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Sample records for armadillo chaetophractus vellerosus

  1. Genetic structuring in a relictual population of screaming hairy armadillo (Chaetophractus vellerosus) in Argentina revealed by a set of novel microsatellite loci.

    PubMed

    Nardelli, Maximiliano; Ibáñez, Ezequiel Alejandro; Dobler, Dara; Justy, Fabienne; Delsuc, Frédéric; Abba, Agustín Manuel; Cassini, Marcelo Hernán; Túnez, Juan Ignacio

    2016-08-01

    The screaming hairy armadillo (Chaetophractus vellerosus) is a mammal species containing disjunct and isolated populations. In order to assess the effect of habitat fragmentation and geographic isolation, we developed seven new microsatellite loci isolated from low-coverage genome shotgun sequencing data for this species. Among these loci, six microsatellites were found to be polymorphic with 8-26 alleles per locus detected across 69 samples analyzed from a relictual population of the species located in the northeast of the Buenos Aires Province (Argentina). Mean allelic richness and polymorphic information content were 15 and 0.75, with observed and expected heterozygosities ranging from 0.40 to 0.67 and 0.58 to 0.90, respectively. All loci showed departures from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. The analysis of population structure in this relictual population revealed three groups of individuals that are genetically differentiated. These newly developed microsatellites will constitute a very useful tool for the estimation of genetic diversity and structure, population dynamics, social structure, parentage and mating system in this little-studied armadillo species. Such genetic data will be particularly helpful for the development of conservation strategies for this isolated population and also for the endangered Bolivian populations previously recognized as a distinct species (Chaetophractus nationi). PMID:27406582

  2. Brucella suis in armadillos (Chaetophractus villosus) from La Pampa, Argentina.

    PubMed

    Kin, Marta S; Fort, Marcelo; de Echaide, Susana T; Casanave, Emma B

    2014-06-01

    Brucellosis is a zoonotic disease transmitted from an animal reservoir to humans. Both, wildlife and domestic animals, contribute to the spreading of these zoonosis. The surveillance of the animal health status is strictly regulated for domestic animals, whereas disease monitoring in wildlife does not exist. The aim of the present study was to provide data on the prevalence of anti-Brucella antibodies in Chaetophractus villosus from a region of La Pampa, Argentina to assess public health risks. The C. villosus is endemic to South America, and in Argentina it represents a food resource for human consumption. A total of 150 sera of armadillos bleeding between 2007 and 2010 were tested using buffered plate antigen test (BPAT), serum agglutination test (SAT), 2-mercaptoethanol (2-ME) and complement fixation test (CFT), for the detection of anti-Brucella antibodies. Antibodies to Brucella sp. were found in 16% (24:150) of the armadillos tested using the BPAT test. All 24 positive samples were confirmed by the SAT, 2-ME and CFT tests. Strain isolation was attempted from liver and spleen samples of two animals with positive serology. Isolates were characterized by conventional biotyping and identification of specific DNA using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). A total of 2 isolates were recovered from spleen and liver. Both of them were identified as Brucella suis biovar 1. This preliminary study provides the first report on the seroprevalence of brucellosis and describes the first isolate of B. suis biovar 1 in C. villosus in Argentina. PMID:24685240

  3. Spermatogenesis is seasonal in the large hairy armadillo, Chaetophractus villosus (Dasypodidae, Xenarthra, Mammalia).

    PubMed

    Luaces, Juan P; Rossi, Luis F; Merico, Valeria; Zuccotti, Maurizio; Redi, Carlo A; Solari, Alberto J; Merani, Maria S; Garagna, Silvia

    2013-01-01

    Very little is known about the distinct reproductive biology of armadillos. Very few studies have investigated armadillo spermatogenesis, with data available only for Euphractus sexcinctus and Dasypus novemcinctus. In the present study, we analysed male germ cell differentiation in the large hairy armadillo Chaetophractus villosus throughout the year, describing a cycle of the seminiferous epithelium made of eight different stages. Evaluation of the testis/body mass ratio, analysis of the architecture of the seminiferous epithelium and the frequency of defective seminiferous tubules allowed identification of a temporal interruption of spermatogenesis during the period between mid-May to July (mid-end autumn) in correlation with very low testosterone levels. Overall, these results suggest that spermatogenesis is seasonal in C. villosus. PMID:22951275

  4. Trichostrongylina parasites of Dasypodidae (Xenarthra) from Argentina; a new species of Macielia (Molineidae: Anoplostrongylinae) in Chaetophractus vellerosus and redescription of Trichohelix tuberculata.

    PubMed

    Ezquiaga, María C; Navone, Graciela T

    2013-10-01

    Macielia jorgei n. sp. is described from Chaetophractus vellerosus from La Rioja, Argentina. Also Trichohelix tuberculata is redescribed in detail. The new species is characterized by parasitizing the small intestine, possessing a bursal membrane and telamon, having complex and sclerotized spicules distally divided into 2 processes, a simple, poorly sclerotized gubernaculum, and synlophe with bilateral symmetry and 12 cuticular ridges. This is the second report of a species of Macielia in Argentina. The synlophe of Trichohelix tuberculata is asymmetric and is characterized by 3 ventral ridges, oriented to the left. The size of these ridges decreases until they disappear at midbody. PMID:23617773

  5. Ontogenetic variation in the stratum granulosum of the epidermis of Chaetophractus vellerosus (Xenarthra, Dasypodidae) in relation to the development of cornified scales.

    PubMed

    Krmpotic, Cecilia M; Carlini, Alfredo A; Galliari, Fernando C; Favaron, Phelipe; Miglino, María A; Scarano, Alejo C; Barbeito, Claudio G

    2014-12-01

    The epidermis of mammals is characterized by having a stratum granulosum that produces an orthokeratotic stratum corneum, different from the typical reptilian parakeratotic stratum. Nonetheless, some mammals show distinct degrees of parakeratosis in epidermal regions with few or no pilose follicles (e.g., areas subjacent to cornified scales). With respect to the epidermis and the development of cornified scales in the Dasypodidae, previous studies have supported the presence of a continuous stratum granulosum without any variations during ontogeny. This condition, in which the cornified scales develop without a loss of the stratum granulosum, was interpreted as primitive for eutherians. The present contribution expands the knowledge on the epidermis of Chaetophractus vellerosus in distinct ontogenetic stages in order to determine whether the cornified scales show the same developmental pattern as in other eutherians. The presence of a stratum granulosum in C. vellerosus neonates and its reduction in more advanced ontogenetic stages, in direct relationship with cornified scale development, supports the hypothesis that the partial parakeratosis in the xenarthran integument is secondary, as in other eutherians, and can be interpreted as a derived character state. PMID:25307183

  6. Karyotype and chromosome variability in the armadillo Chaetophractus villosus in Argentina.

    PubMed

    Rossi, L F; Luaces, J P; Alonso, F M; Merani, M S

    2014-01-01

    Karyotype and cytotype variations for the large hairy armadillo (Chaetophractus villosus) were studied throughout the species' Argentine distribution. Peripheral blood lymphocyte cultures of 421 animals were used to obtain mitotic metaphases. Preparations were subjected to conventional staining, G- and C-banding, and FISH involving a telomeric probe. Meiotic analysis was performed on testis material from 10 adults. Spermatocytes were examined for synaptonemal complexes in microspreads. The karyotype (2n = 60 XX/XY; FN = 84 without XY) showed an autosomal complement of 6 metacentric and 7 submetacentric chromosomes; the remainder was acrocentric. The X chromosome was submetacentric and the Y acrocentric. Centromeric C+ marks were observed in all chromosomes except pair 16. Three NOR signals were detected in 6q, 12p, and 26p. Two chromosomal rearrangements were characterized in chromosome pair 1 a pericentric inversion seen in the material from Jacinto Aráuz, General Madariaga and Pellegrini and a deletion in the material from Loma Verde. Interstitial telomeric signals were observed in chromosome pairs 4, 12, 16, and 26. Pachytene spermatocyte analysis confirmed the basic chromosome number and morphologies observed in mitotic karyotypes. The evolution of C. villosus involved chromosomal rearrangements as recorded for other species of its superorder. The present results establish the basis for the cytogenetic characterization of this species. PMID:24457264

  7. Loss of helminth species diversity in the large hairy armadillo Chaetophractus villosus on the Tierra del Fuego Island, Argentina.

    PubMed

    Ezquiaga, M C; Abba, A M; Navone, G T

    2016-03-01

    The aim of this work is to compare the taxonomic diversity of parasite species of the large hairy armadillo Chaetophractus villosus in its native range and in another recently introduced population (Tierra del Fuego island), and to evaluate whether the isolation of the latter determines a decrease in its parasitic diversity. Forty specimens from Buenos Aires and Tierra del Fuego Provinces were collected and examined for helminths. Eleven parasite species were found in the native population, and only one species was present in Tierra del Fuego (Trichohelix tuberculata). This may be explained because isolation and climatic conditions prevent encounters between potential host species and infective forms of parasites. Further sampling will be needed throughout the entire Patagonia steppe to confirm how the characteristic parasitic fauna of C. villosus behaves across the armadillo's southern distribution. PMID:25673233

  8. Loss of Sertoli-germ cell adhesion determines the rapid germ cell elimination during the seasonal regression of the seminiferous epithelium of the large hairy armadillo Chaetophractus villosus.

    PubMed

    Luaces, Juan Pablo; Rossi, Luis Francisco; Sciurano, Roberta Beatriz; Rebuzzini, Paola; Merico, Valeria; Zuccotti, Maurizio; Merani, Maria Susana; Garagna, Silvia

    2014-03-01

    The armadillo Chaetophractus villosus is a seasonal breeder whose seminiferous epithelium undergoes rapid regression with massive germ cell loss, leaving the tubules with only Sertoli cells and spermatogonia. Here, we addressed the question of whether this regression entails 1) the disassembly of cell junctions (immunolocalization of nectin-3, Cadm1, N-cadherin, and beta-catenin, and transmission electron microscopy [TEM]); 2) apoptosis (immunolocalization of cytochrome c and caspase 3; TUNEL assay); and 3) the involvement of Sertoli cells in germ cell phagocytosis (TEM). We showed a dramatic reduction in the extension of vimentin filaments associated with desmosomelike junctions at the interface between Sertoli and germ cells, and an increased diffusion of the immunosignals of nectin-3, Cadm1, N-cadherin, and beta-catenin. Together, these results suggest loss of Sertoli-germ cell adhesion, which in turn might determine postmeiotic cell sloughing at the beginning of epithelium regression. Then, loss of Sertoli-germ cell adhesion triggers cell death. Cytochrome c is released from mitochondria, but although postmeiotic cells were negative for late apoptotic markers, at advanced regression spermatocytes were positive for all apoptotic markers. Transmission electron microscopy analysis showed cytoplasmic engulfment of cell debris and lipid droplets within Sertoli cells, a sign of their phagocytic activity, which contributes to the elimination of the residual meiocytes still present in the latest regression phases. These findings are novel and add new players to the mechanisms of seminiferous epithelium regression occurring in seasonal breeders, and they introduce the armadillo as an interesting model for studying seasonal spermatogenesis. PMID:24451984

  9. A new species of Moennigia (Trichostrongylina: Molineidae) a parasite of Chaetophractus spp. (Xenarthra: Dasypodidae) from Argentina.

    PubMed

    Ezquiaga, María C; Navone, Graciela T

    2014-08-01

    Moennigia celinae n. sp. collected from the small intestine of Chaetophractus vellerosus and Chaetophractus villosus (Xenarthra, Dasypodidae) from Argentina is herein described. This new species belongs to the genus Moennigia because it possesses a short uterus with few eggs, atrophied distal branch of the ovejector, vulva near the anus, and a conical tail. The new species has a synlophe with 17 symmetrical ridges and slight ventro-dorsal orientation. The spicule length:body length ratio is similar to that of the other species parasitic of Dasypodidae; however, Moennigia celinae n. sp. differs from Moennigia pintoi and Moennigia lutzi because the latter lack a gubernaculum, and from Moennigia complexus, Moennigia moennigi, Moennigia filamentosus, Moennigia intrusa, Moennigia littlei, Moennigia pulchra and Moennigia dessetae by the latter having very complex spicules with 2 or 3 points at the distal extremity. Moreover, Moennigia celinae n. sp. differs from Moennigia virilis by the length and shape of its spicules. Moennigia celinae n. sp. can be distinguished from Moennigia travassosi by the shape of the dorsal ray of the caudal bursa. Moennigia celinae n. sp. resembles Moennigia pseudopulchra but the gubernaculum of the latter is V-shaped. This is the second report of a species of Moennigia in Argentina and the first for the genus Chaetophractus. PMID:24552210

  10. First record of Toxoplasma gondii in Chaetophractus villosus in Argentina.

    PubMed

    Kin, Marta S; Fort, Marcelo; Giménez, Hugo D; Casanave, Emma B

    2014-03-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular apicomplexan parasite that causes abortion and reproductive disorder in domestic animals. T. gondii is a common worldwide disease in homeothermic animals, including birds and humans. The aim of the present study was to determine the presence of antibodies against T. gondii in the armadillo Chaetophractus villosus in the province of La Pampa, Argentina. Serum samples were collected from 150 individuals (70 males and 80 females). For serological detection of T. gondii, a latex agglutination test was first performed and then positive sera were confirmed with an indirect hemagglutination test, using 1:4 to 1:64 dilutions. Results showed that 27% (41) of the samples presented titers for antibodies against T. gondii. There were not significant differences between the presence of antibodies against T. gondii and age or sexes of the armadillos. Results show that presence of T. gondii antibodies in armadillos were associated with presence of pigs, and sheep, however there was not association with chickens and dairy cattle in capture site. T. gondii has an important presence in C. villosus population, suggesting a potential zoonotic risk for humans and wildlife animals when C. villosus meats are consumed raw or undercooked. This is the first record of the presence of antibodies against T. gondii in C. villosus. PMID:26204031

  11. Structure of armadillo ACBP: a new member of the acyl-CoA-binding protein family

    SciTech Connect

    Costabel, Marcelo D.; Ermácora, Mario R.; Santomé, José A.; Alzari, Pedro M.; Guérin, Diego M. A.

    2006-10-01

    The X-ray structure of the tetragonal form of apo acyl-CoA-binding protein (ACBP) from the Harderian gland of the South American armadillo Chaetophractus villosus has been solved. The X-ray structure of the tetragonal form of apo acyl-CoA-binding protein (ACBP) from the Harderian gland of the South American armadillo Chaetophractus villosus has been solved. ACBP is a carrier for activated long-chain fatty acids and has been associated with many aspects of lipid metabolism. Its secondary structure is highly similar to that of the corresponding form of bovine ACBP and exhibits the unique flattened α-helical bundle (up–down–down–up) motif reported for animal, yeast and insect ACBPs. Conformational differences are located in loops and turns, although these structural differences do not suffice to account for features that could be related to the unusual biochemistry and lipid metabolism of the Harderian gland.

  12. Synapsis, recombination, and chromatin remodeling in the XY body of armadillos.

    PubMed

    Sciurano, Roberta B; Rahn, Mónica I; Rossi, Luis; Luaces, Juan Pablo; Merani, María Susana; Solari, Alberto J

    2012-02-01

    Three xenarthrans species Chaetophractus villosus, Chaetophractus vellerosus, and Zaedyus pichiy have been used for the analysis of the structure, behavior, and immunochemical features of the XY body during pachytene. In all these species, the sex chromosomes form an XY body easily identifiable in thin sections by the special and regular packing of the chromatin fibers of the internal region of the XY body ("differential" regions) and those of the peripheral region (synaptic region). Spermatocyte spreads show a complete synapsis between the X- and the Y-axis, which lasts up to the end of pachytene. From the early pachytene substages to the late ones, the X-axis develops prominent branches, which in late pachytene span the synaptic region. Synapsis is regular as shown by SYCP1 labeling. Axial development is followed by SYCP3 labeling and in the asynaptic region of the X-axis by BRCA1. Gamma-H2AX labels exclusively the differential (asynaptic) region of the X chromosome. A single focus is labeled by MLH1 in the synaptic region. The location of this MLH1 focus spans from 0.3 to 1.6 μm from the telomere in the analyzed xenarthrans, covering approximately half of the Y-axis length. It is concluded that xenarthrans, as basal placental mammals, harbor the largest pseudoautosomal regions of presently analyzed mammals, and shows the typical features of meiotic sex chromosome inactivation (MSCI). PMID:22274548

  13. Learning with "Armadillo Ray"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hubbard, Kathy; Terrell, Chelsea

    2009-01-01

    "Armadillo Ray," by John Beifuss, is the tale of a young, curious armadillo who wants to know what the moon is. He is joined in his quest by snakes, prairie dogs, sage grouse, and owls. The beauty of the book is its simplicity, illustrations and landscapes, and its potential links to reading, geography, science, and mathematics. In this article,…

  14. Chaetophractus villosus as a sentinel organism: Baseline values of mitotic index, chromosome aberrations and sister chromatid exchanges.

    PubMed

    Rossi, Luis Francisco; Luaces, Juan Pablo; Browne, Melanie; Chirino, Mónica Gabriela; Merani, María Susana; Mudry, Marta Dolores

    2016-01-15

    Sentinel species are useful tools for studying the deleterious effects of xenobiotics on wildlife. The large hairy armadillo (Chaetophractus villosus) is the most abundant and widely distributed mammal in Argentina. It is a long-lived, omnivorous, burrowing species, with fairly restricted home ranges. To evaluate the level of spontaneous genetic damage in this mammal, we determined the baseline values of several genotoxicity biomarkers. The study included 20 C. villosus adults of both sexes from eight pristine localities within its geographic distribution range. Genotoxicity analysis was performed on 72-h lymphocyte cultures, using mitomycin C as positive control. We obtained the baseline values of mitotic index (MI=10.52±0.30 metaphases/total cells, n=20), chromosome aberrations (CA=0.13±0.22, n=20), sister chromatid exchanges (SCE)=6.55±0.26, n=6) and replication index (RI=1.66, n=6). MI and CA did not show significant differences (P>0.05) among localities or between sexes. No significant differences in MI, CA, SCE, and RI (P>0.05) were found between values from the pristine localities and historical data. There were significant differences in CA, SCE, and RI (P<0.05) between lymphocyte cultures from pristine localities and those exposed to mitomycin C. We propose the large hairy armadillo as a sentinel organism for environmental biomonitoring of genotoxic chemicals due to its abundance, easy manipulation, well-known biology, the fact that it is usually exposed to different mixtures and concentrations of environmental contaminants, and the baseline values of genetic damage characterized by MI, CA, SCE and RI as biomarkers. PMID:26778508

  15. The armadillo as a model for peripheral neuropathy in leprosy.

    PubMed

    Truman, Richard W; Ebenezer, Gigi J; Pena, Maria T; Sharma, Rahul; Balamayooran, Gayathriy; Gillingwater, Thomas H; Scollard, David M; McArthur, Justin C; Rambukkana, Anura

    2014-01-01

    Leprosy (also known as Hansen's Disease) is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae that primarily targets the peripheral nervous system; skin, muscle, and other tissues are also affected. Other than humans, nine-banded armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus) are the only natural hosts of M. leprae, and they are the only laboratory animals that develop extensive neurological involvement with this bacterium. Infection in the armadillo closely recapitulates many of the structural, physiological, and functional aspects of leprosy seen in humans. Armadillos can be useful models of leprosy for basic scientific investigations into the pathogenesis of leprosy neuropathy and its associated myopathies, as well as for translational research studies in piloting new diagnostic methods or therapeutic interventions. Practical and ethical constraints often limit investigation into human neuropathies, but armadillos are an abundant source of leprotic neurologic fibers. Studies with these animals may provide new insights into the mechanisms involved in leprosy that also might benefit the understanding of other demyelinating neuropathies. Although there is only a limited supply of armadillo-specific reagents, the armadillo whole genomic sequence has been completed, and gene expression studies can be employed. Clinical procedures, such as electrophysiological nerve conduction testing, provide a functional assessment of armadillo nerves. A variety of standard histopathological and immunopathological procedures including Epidermal Nerve Fiber Density (ENFD) analysis, Schwann Cell Density, and analysis for other conserved cellular markers can be used effectively with armadillos and will be briefly reviewed in this text. PMID:24615444

  16. The Armadillo as a Model for Peripheral Neuropathy in Leprosy

    PubMed Central

    Truman, Richard W.; Ebenezer, Gigi J.; Pena, Maria T.; Sharma, Rahul; Balamayooran, Gayathriy; Gillingwater, Thomas H.; Scollard, David M.; McArthur, Justin C.; Rambukkana, Anura

    2014-01-01

    Leprosy (also known as Hansen's Disease) is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae that primarily targets the peripheral nervous system; skin, muscle, and other tissues are also affected. Other than humans, nine-banded armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus) are the only natural hosts of M. leprae, and they are the only laboratory animals that develop extensive neurological involvement with this bacterium. Infection in the armadillo closely recapitulates many of the structural, physiological, and functional aspects of leprosy seen in humans. Armadillos can be useful models of leprosy for basic scientific investigations into the pathogenesis of leprosy neuropathy and its associated myopathies, as well as for translational research studies in piloting new diagnostic methods or therapeutic interventions. Practical and ethical constraints often limit investigation into human neuropathies, but armadillos are an abundant source of leprotic neurologic fibers. Studies with these animals may provide new insights into the mechanisms involved in leprosy that also might benefit the understanding of other demyelinating neuropathies. Although there is only a limited supply of armadillo-specific reagents, the armadillo whole genomic sequence has been completed, and gene expression studies can be employed. Clinical procedures, such as electrophysiological nerve conduction testing, provide a functional assessment of armadillo nerves. A variety of standard histopathological and immunopathological procedures including Epidermal Nerve Fiber Density (ENFD) analysis, Schwann Cell Density, and analysis for other conserved cellular markers can be used effectively with armadillos and will be briefly reviewed in this text. PMID:24615444

  17. Metal accumulation in wild nine-banded armadillos.

    PubMed

    Jarvis, Tayler A; Lockhart, J Mitchell; Loughry, W J; Bielmyer, Gretchen K

    2013-08-01

    Nine-banded armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus) are widespread and abundant New World mammals with a lifestyle that entails prolonged, intimate contact with soils. Thus, armadillos would seem a promising candidate as a sentinel species to monitor chemical contamination in terrestrial ecosystems. Surprisingly, there have been virtually no toxicology studies on armadillos. Here, we provide the first analysis of metal contaminants for wild armadillos. Liver tissues were obtained from 302 armadillos collected at 6 sites in Georgia and Florida, USA that varied in their extent of human disturbance, from rural pine plantations to highly modified military/space installations. Data were stratified by age (juvenile and adult), sex, and site. Temporal (yearly) variation was examined at two of the sites that were sampled over three consecutive years. Concentrations of aluminum, cadmium, copper, nickel, lead, and zinc were measured in liver samples from each site. Although reference levels are not available for armadillos, accumulated metal concentrations were comparable to those reported for other mammals. We found no evidence of sex or age differences in the concentrations of any metal, except for Cd (age) and Pb (sex and age). However, concentrations of most metals varied substantially across sites and over time. Finally, concentrations of many metals were positively correlated with one another, suggesting that they likely co-occurred in some areas. Collectively, this study indicates the utility of armadillos as a sentinel species for studies of metal contamination in terrestrial systems, and highlights the need for further studies of other toxicants in these animals. PMID:23794189

  18. New sylvatic hosts of Trypanosoma cruzi and their reservoir competence in the humid Chaco of Argentina: a longitudinal study.

    PubMed

    Orozco, M Marcela; Enriquez, Gustavo F; Alvarado-Otegui, Julián A; Cardinal, M Victoria; Schijman, Alejandro G; Kitron, Uriel; Gürtler, Ricardo E

    2013-05-01

    A four-year longitudinal study of the structure of sylvatic transmission cycles of Trypanosoma cruzi, reservoir host competence and parasite discrete typing units was conducted in a disturbed rural area of the humid Chaco in Argentina. Among 190 mammals examined by xenodiagnosis and polymerase chain reaction amplification, the composite prevalence of infection was substantially higher in Dasypus novemcinctus armadillos (57.7%) and Didelphis albiventris opossums (38.1%) than in Euphractus sexcinctus (20.0%), Tolypeutes matacus (12.5%), and Chaetophractus vellerosus (6.3%) armadillos. Trypanosoma cruzi was detected for the first time in Thylamys pusilla small opossums and in two unidentified small rodents. Infection was spatially aggregated only in armadillos. All Didelphis were infected with T. cruzi I and all armadillo species were infected with T. cruzi III, implying two distinct sylvatic cycles with no inputs from the domestic cycle. Dasypus armadillos and Didelphis opossums were much more infectious to vectors than other armadillos, small opossums, or rodents. PMID:23530075

  19. Human-armadillo interaction in Ceará, Brazil: Potential for transmission of Mycobacterium leprae.

    PubMed

    Kerr, Ligia; Kendall, Carl; Sousa, Cesar Augusto Barros de; Frota, Cristiane Cunha; Graham, Jove; Rodrigues, Laura; Fernandes, Rafael Lima; Barreto, Maurício Lima

    2015-12-01

    Several factors suggest that armadillos present an important risk for human leprosy infection. This study uses semi-structured interviews to better illustrate how human interaction with armadillos may increase the risk of leprosy transmission. The participants were all residents of the state of Ceará, in northeastern Brazil, all acknowledged contact with armadillos either through hunting, through cooking, or through consumption of its meat. This study raises important issues about contact between human beings and armadillos. The interviews provide evidence of numerous situations in which leprosy transmission via the armadillo is possible. At a minimum, people who hunt armadillos need to be made aware of the risk of infection. PMID:26232656

  20. Presence of antibodies against Leptospira serovars in Chaetophractus villosus (Mammalia, Dasypodidae), La Pampa province, Argentina.

    PubMed

    Kin, Marta S; Brihuega, Bibiana; Fort, Marcelo; Delgado, Fernando; Bedotti, Daniel; Casanave, Emma B

    2015-01-01

    Leptospirosis is a zoonosis of worldwide distribution. The aim of this study was to examine the presence of antibodies against 21 Leptospira reactive serovars in Chaetophractus villosus in La Pampa province, Argentina, using the microscopic agglutination test (MAT). Pathologic changes compatible with leptospirosis and in situ detection of the agent by immunohistochemistry were studied in 24 and 3 individuals respectively. Only 35/150 (23.3%) serum samples had antibodies against Leptospira sp. Six percent of the samples reacted with serovar Canicola, 4.7% with serovar Castellonis, 1.3% with serovar Icterohemorrhagieae and 0.7% with serovar Hardjo. Sixteen (10.6%) serum samples agglutinated with Castellonis-Icterohemorrhagiae and Canicola-Castellonis serovars, both with 4.7%, and Canicola-Hardjo and Castellonis-Canicola-Icterohemorrhagiae both with 0.6%. Fourteen animals had variable degrees of lesions, which were more severe in animals with higher serological titers (3200), and Leptospira sp. was detected in 3 animals by immunohistochemistry. These results represent the first record of the presence of Leptospira in C. villosus in La Pampa. PMID:25754485

  1. Armadillo/Pangolin regulates PCNA and DREF promoter activities.

    PubMed

    Kwon, Eunjeong; Hayashi, Yuko; Otsuki, Kyoko; Hirose, Fumiko; Nishida, Yasuyoshi; Yoo, Mi-Ae; Yamaguchi, Masamitsu

    2004-09-17

    Here we show that Armadillo and Pangolin (dTCF), downstream effectors of the Wingless (Wg) signal transduction pathway, activate transcription of the important DNA replication-related genes encoding Drosophila proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and DNA replication-related element-binding factor (DREF). By transient luciferase expression assays and band mobility shift assays, we demonstrated the PCNA gene to be a direct target gene for the Armadillo/Pangolin complex. Using a GAL4-UAS system, stimulation of the PCNA gene by Armadillo/Pangolin was confirmed in adult females. From the published reports of an inhibitory role, we expected that Drosophila CREB-binding protein (dCBP) would interfere with activation. However, effects were only observed with the DREF but not the PCNA gene. In the latter case, as in mammals, dCBP could potentiate Armadillo-mediated activation. These results suggest that first, PCNA and DREF genes are targets of the Armadillo/Pangolin complex and second, dCBP modulates Wg signaling in a gene-specific manner. PMID:15358517

  2. Uterine adenomyosis in southern three-banded armadillos (Tolypeutes matacus).

    PubMed

    Marrow, Judilee; Viner, Tabitha; Thompson, Rachel; Boedeker, Nancy

    2013-12-01

    Uterine adenomyosis was diagnosed in five southern three-banded armadillos (Tolypeutes matacus) from four different zoological collections in North America between 1995 and 2012. Two cases were diagnosed after ovariohysterectomy and histopathologic evaluation of the uteri, and the remaining cases were identified incidentally at the time of postmortem examination. Animals ranged from 5 to 14 yr of age at the time of diagnosis. Of armadillos diagnosed before postmortem examination, clinical signs included weakness, collapse, anemia, and vulvar discharge. Histopathologic evaluation of the uteri revealed well-developed, irregular endometrial glands extending into the myometrium and occasional hemorrhage within these glands. The two cases diagnosed antemortem were successfully treated with ovariohysterectomy. To the authors' knowledge, this condition has not been previously reported in Xenarthra, including armadillos. PMID:24450063

  3. Female parity, maternal kinship, infant age and sex influence natal attraction and infant handling in a wild colobine (Colobus vellerosus).

    PubMed

    Bădescu, Iulia; Sicotte, Pascale; Ting, Nelson; Wikberg, Eva C

    2015-04-01

    Primate females often inspect, touch and groom others' infants (natal attraction) and they may hold and carry these infants in a manner resembling maternal care (infant handling). While natal attraction and infant handling occur in most wild colobines, little is known about the factors influencing the expression of these behaviors. We examined the effects of female parity, kinship, and dominance rank, as well as infant age and sex in wild Colobus vellerosus at Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary, Ghana. We collected data via focal sampling of females in 2008 and 2009 (N = 61) and of infants in 2010 (N = 12). Accounting for the individuals who interacted with our focal subjects, this study includes 74 females and 66 infants in 8 groups. We recorded female agonistic interactions ad libitum to determine dominance ranks. We used partial pedigree information and genotypes at 17 short tandem repeat loci to determine kinship. We knew female parity, infant age and sex from demographic records. Nulliparous females showed more natal attraction and infant handling than parous females, which may suggest that interactions with infants are more adaptive for nulliparous females because they learn mothering skills through these behaviors. Compared to non-kin, maternal kin were more likely to handle infants. Maternal kin may be permitted greater access to infants because mothers are most familiar with them. Handlers may incur inclusive fitness benefits from infant handling. Dominance rank did not affect female interactions with infants. The youngest infants received the most natal attraction and infant handling, and male infants were handled more than female infants. The potential benefits of learning to mother and inclusive fitness, in combination with the relatively low costs of natal attraction and infant handling, may explain the high rates of these behaviors in many colobines. PMID:25399677

  4. Naturally acquired rabies in an armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) in Texas.

    PubMed Central

    Leffingwell, L M; Neill, S U

    1989-01-01

    The first case of rabies in an armadillo is reported. The rabies fluorescent-antibody test and mouse inoculation procedure were used to substantiate the presence of the virus. The Centers for Disease Control authenticated our findings and was able to determine the source of infection by monoclonal antibody typing. PMID:2643619

  5. Identification of an attractant for the nine-banded armadillo, dasypus novemcinctus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The nine-banded armadillo, Dasypus novemcinctus, is considered by many to be one of the greatest nuisance wildlife species in the Southeastern U.S. Exclusion is laborious because armadillos are adept at both burrowing and climbing, no repellents, toxicants, or fumigants are currently registered for...

  6. A screen for identifying genes interacting with armadillo, the Drosophila homolog of beta-catenin.

    PubMed Central

    Greaves, S; Sanson, B; White, P; Vincent, J P

    1999-01-01

    Drosophila Armadillo is a multifunctional protein implicated in both cell adhesion, as a catenin, and cell signaling, as part of the Wingless signal transduction pathway. We have generated viable fly stocks with alterations in the level of Armadillo available for signaling. Flies from one stock overexpress Armadillo and, as a result, have increased vein material and bristles in the wings. Flies from the other stock have reduced cytoplasmic Armadillo following overexpression of the intracellular domain of DE-cadherin. These flies display a wing-notching phenotype typical of wingless mutations. Both misexpression phenotypes can be dominantly modified by removing one copy of genes known to encode members of the wingless pathway. Here we describe the identification of further mutations that dominantly modify the Armadillo misexpression phenotypes. These mutations are in genes encoding three different functions: establishment and maintenance of adherens junctions, cell cycle control, and Egfr signaling. PMID:10581282

  7. The armadillo as an animal model and reservoir host for Mycobacterium leprae.

    PubMed

    Balamayooran, Gayathriy; Pena, Maria; Sharma, Rahul; Truman, Richard W

    2015-01-01

    Apart from humans, armadillos are the only known natural hosts of Mycobacterium leprae. They are well developed as hosts for in vivo propagation of M leprae and are advancing as models for studying the pathogenesis of leprosy and translational research. Armadillos are immunologically intact. They exhibit the full Ridley-Jopling spectrum of histopathologic responses to M leprae and uniquely manifest extensive neurological involvement that closely recapitulates human leprosy. In addition, free-ranging armadillos in some regions are known to harbor a naturally occurring infection with M leprae, and zoonotic transmission between armadillos and humans has been implicated in a large number of new case presentations. We review the role of the armadillo as a model for leprosy and reservoir for human infection. PMID:25432816

  8. Morphology, morphometry and ultrastructure of captive six-banded armadillo (Euphractus sexcinctus) sperm.

    PubMed

    Sousa, P C; Santos, E A A; Bezerra, J A B; Lima, G L; Castelo, T S; Fontenele-Neto, J D; Silva, A R

    2013-08-01

    We analyzed the sperm characteristics of captive six-banded armadillos (Euphractus sexcinctus), by the assessment of sperm morphology, morphometry, and ultrastructure. In general, armadillo's ejaculates present more than 80% of sperm within the range considered normal for sperm morphology currently accepted for other mammals. Coiled tails (3.9%) and detached heads (2.8%) were the defects most frequently verified. The morphometric analysis revealed that the total length of six-banded armadillo sperm is 77.6±1.2μm, and the length of the tail is 64.7±1.1μm on average. They also present a big head that corresponds to 16.6% of the entire sperm. Through transmission electron microscopy, we identified the presence of electron lucent points into the nucleus and the presence of about 45 mitochondria spirals in the mitochondrial sheath midpiece as a peculiarity of the six-banded armadillo sperm. PMID:23820069

  9. Population dynamics and range expansion in nine-banded armadillos.

    PubMed

    Loughry, William J; Perez-Heydrich, Carolina; McDonough, Colleen M; Oli, Madan K

    2013-01-01

    Understanding why certain species can successfully colonize new areas while others do not is a central question in ecology. The nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) is a conspicuous example of a successful invader, having colonized much of the southern United States in the last 200 years. We used 15 years (1992-2006) of capture-mark-recapture data from a population of armadillos in northern Florida in order to estimate, and examine relationships among, various demographic parameters that may have contributed to this ongoing range expansion. Modeling across a range of values for γ, the probability of juveniles surviving in the population until first capture, we found that population growth rates varied from 0.80 for γ = 0.1, to 1.03 for γ = 1.0. Growth rates approached 1.0 only when γ ≥ 0.80, a situation that might not occur commonly because of the high rate of disappearance of juveniles. Net reproductive rate increased linearly with γ, but life expectancy (estimated at 3 years) was independent of γ. We also found that growth rates were lower during a 3-year period of hardwood removal that removed preferred habitat than in the years preceding or following. Life-table response experiment (LTRE) analysis indicated the decrease in growth rate during logging was primarily due to changes in survival rates of adults. Likewise, elasticity analyses of both deterministic and stochastic population growth rates revealed that survival parameters were more influential on population growth than were those related to reproduction. Collectively, our results are consistent with recent theories regarding biological invasions which posit that populations no longer at the leading edge of range expansion do not exhibit strong positive growth rates, and that high reproductive output is less critical in predicting the likelihood of successful invasion than are life-history strategies that emphasize allocation of resources to future, as opposed to current, reproduction

  10. Population Dynamics and Range Expansion in Nine-Banded Armadillos

    PubMed Central

    Loughry, William J.; Perez-Heydrich, Carolina; McDonough, Colleen M.; Oli, Madan K.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding why certain species can successfully colonize new areas while others do not is a central question in ecology. The nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) is a conspicuous example of a successful invader, having colonized much of the southern United States in the last 200 years. We used 15 years (1992–2006) of capture-mark-recapture data from a population of armadillos in northern Florida in order to estimate, and examine relationships among, various demographic parameters that may have contributed to this ongoing range expansion. Modeling across a range of values for γ, the probability of juveniles surviving in the population until first capture, we found that population growth rates varied from 0.80 for γ = 0.1, to 1.03 for γ = 1.0. Growth rates approached 1.0 only when γ ≥0.80, a situation that might not occur commonly because of the high rate of disappearance of juveniles. Net reproductive rate increased linearly with γ, but life expectancy (estimated at 3 years) was independent of γ. We also found that growth rates were lower during a 3-year period of hardwood removal that removed preferred habitat than in the years preceding or following. Life-table response experiment (LTRE) analysis indicated the decrease in growth rate during logging was primarily due to changes in survival rates of adults. Likewise, elasticity analyses of both deterministic and stochastic population growth rates revealed that survival parameters were more influential on population growth than were those related to reproduction. Collectively, our results are consistent with recent theories regarding biological invasions which posit that populations no longer at the leading edge of range expansion do not exhibit strong positive growth rates, and that high reproductive output is less critical in predicting the likelihood of successful invasion than are life-history strategies that emphasize allocation of resources to future, as opposed to current

  11. Between-Group Variation in Female Dispersal, Kin Composition of Groups, and Proximity Patterns in a Black-and-White Colobus Monkey (Colobus vellerosus)

    PubMed Central

    Wikberg, Eva C.; Sicotte, Pascale; Campos, Fernando A.; Ting, Nelson

    2012-01-01

    A growing body of evidence shows within-population variation in natal dispersal, but the effects of such variation on social relationships and the kin composition of groups remain poorly understood. We investigate the link between dispersal, the kin composition of groups, and proximity patterns in a population of black-and-white colobus (Colobus vellerosus) that shows variation in female dispersal. From 2006 to 2011, we collected behavioral data, demographic data, and fecal samples of 77 males and 92 females residing in eight groups at Boabeng-Fiema, Ghana. A combination of demographic data and a genetic network analysis showed that although philopatry was female-biased, only about half of the females resided in their natal groups. Only one group contained female-female dyads with higher average relatedness than randomly drawn animals of both sexes from the same group. Despite between-group variation in female dispersal and kin composition, female-female dyads in most of the study groups had higher proximity scores than randomly drawn dyads from the same group. We conclude that groups fall along a continuum from female dispersed, not kin-based, and not bonded to female philopatric, kin-based, and bonded. We found only partial support for the predicted link between dispersal, kin composition, and social relationships. In contrast to most mammals where the kin composition of groups is a good predictor of the quality of female-female relationships, this study provides further support for the notion that kinship is not necessary for the development and maintenance of social bonds in some gregarious species. PMID:23144951

  12. The zoogeomorphic characteristics of burrows and burrowing by nine-banded armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sawyer, Carol F.; Brinkman, Donald C.; Walker, Vincent D.; Covington, Tyler D.; Stienstraw, Elizabeth A.

    2012-07-01

    Burrowing animals act like a geomorphic disturbance, changing the environment through soil excavation, landform creation and bioturbation. The potential zoogeomorphic effects of these actions include modification of surficial features, increased soil erosion, changes in the growth and distribution of vegetation, and modifications to soil fertility. The burrowing ninebanded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) migrated to North America prior to the 1850s and has since continued to expand its habitat to the American Southeast and parts of the Midwest. Little data are available on the zoogeomorphic impact of the burrowing nature of this species, making it difficult to predict future implications of this animal as it continues to migrate into new regions. On the University of South Alabama campus, in Mobile, Alabama, armadillos are present on a 35-hectare unprotected forested preserve used by the university community for outdoor activities and research. To understand the potential zoogeomorphic impact of armadillo burrows on the local environment, morphometric measurements were recorded on 187 burrows located in the study area. Using dimensions of burrow entrances and minimum lengths of tunnels in calculations, armadillos excavated approximately 0.029 m3 to 0.04 m3 of soil from each burrow. The entrances to burrows averaged 33.5° in slope and tended to be located in a microhabitat of a fallen tree, exposed tree roots, or a sideslope. Persistent fall of forest litter and anthropogenic modifications makes positive identification of spoil mounds possible in approximately half of the burrow sites. Surface modification by armadillos is ongoing in the study area with over half of the burrows classified as active during the four-month project. We concluded that, for southern Alabama, armadillos prefer to excavate burrows into sideslopes, and that given the lack of ground cover, sandy soil, and humid climate, armadillos are an important zoogeomorphic agent in the region.

  13. The armadillo: a model for the neuropathy of leprosy and potentially other neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Rahul; Lahiri, Ramanuj; Scollard, David M; Pena, Maria; Williams, Diana L; Adams, Linda B; Figarola, John; Truman, Richard W

    2013-01-01

    Leprosy (also known as Hansen's disease) is an infectious peripheral neurological disorder caused by Mycobacterium leprae that even today leaves millions of individuals worldwide with life-long disabilities. The specific mechanisms by which this bacterium induces nerve injury remain largely unknown, mainly owing to ethical and practical limitations in obtaining affected human nerve samples. In addition to humans, nine-banded armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus) are the only other natural host of M. leprae, and they develop a systemically disseminated disease with extensive neurological involvement. M. leprae is an obligate intracellular parasite that cannot be cultivated in vitro. Because of the heavy burdens of bacilli they harbor, nine-banded armadillos have become the organism of choice for propagating large quantities of M. leprae, and they are now advancing as models of leprosy pathogenesis and nerve damage. Although armadillos are exotic laboratory animals, the recently completed whole genome sequence for this animal is enabling researchers to undertake more sophisticated molecular studies and to develop armadillo-specific reagents. These advances will facilitate the use of armadillos in piloting new therapies and diagnostic regimens, and will provide new insights into the oldest known infectious neurodegenerative disorder. PMID:23223615

  14. The armadillo: a model for the neuropathy of leprosy and potentially other neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Rahul; Lahiri, Ramanuj; Scollard, David M.; Pena, Maria; Williams, Diana L.; Adams, Linda B.; Figarola, John; Truman, Richard W.

    2013-01-01

    Leprosy (also known as Hansen’s disease) is an infectious peripheral neurological disorder caused by Mycobacterium leprae that even today leaves millions of individuals worldwide with life-long disabilities. The specific mechanisms by which this bacterium induces nerve injury remain largely unknown, mainly owing to ethical and practical limitations in obtaining affected human nerve samples. In addition to humans, nine-banded armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus) are the only other natural host of M. leprae, and they develop a systemically disseminated disease with extensive neurological involvement. M. leprae is an obligate intracellular parasite that cannot be cultivated in vitro. Because of the heavy burdens of bacilli they harbor, nine-banded armadillos have become the organism of choice for propagating large quantities of M. leprae, and they are now advancing as models of leprosy pathogenesis and nerve damage. Although armadillos are exotic laboratory animals, the recently completed whole genome sequence for this animal is enabling researchers to undertake more sophisticated molecular studies and to develop armadillo-specific reagents. These advances will facilitate the use of armadillos in piloting new therapies and diagnostic regimens, and will provide new insights into the oldest known infectious neurodegenerative disorder. PMID:23223615

  15. Mycobacterium leprae in six-banded (Euphractus sexcinctus) and nine-banded armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus) in Northeast Brazil.

    PubMed

    Frota, Cristiane Cunha; Lima, Luana Nepomuceno Costa; Rocha, Adalgiza da Silva; Suffys, Philip Noel; Rolim, Benedito Neilson; Rodrigues, Laura Cunha; Barreto, Maurício Lima; Kendall, Carl; Kerr, Ligia Regina Sansigolo

    2012-12-01

    Human beings are the main reservoir of the causative agent of leprosy, Mycobacterium leprae. In the Americas, nine-banded armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus) also act as a reservoir for the bacillus. In the state of Ceará (CE), which is located in Northeast Brazil and is an endemic area of leprosy, there are several species of armadillos, including D. novemcinctus and Euphractus sexcinctus (six-banded armadillo). Contact between humans and armadillos occur mainly through hunting, cleaning, preparing, cooking and eating. This study identified M. leprae DNA in the two main species of armadillos found in Northeast Brazil. A total of 29 wild armadillos (27 D. novemcinctus and 2 E. sexcinctus) were captured in different environments of CE countryside. Samples from the ear, nose, liver and spleen from each of these animals were tested by a nested M. leprae-specific repetitive element polymerase chain reaction assay. The samples that tested positive were confirmed by DNA sequencing. M. leprae was detected in 21% (6/29) of the animals, including five D. novemcinctus and one E. sexcinctus. This is the first Brazilian study to identify the presence of a biomarker of M. leprae in wild armadillos (D. novemcinctus and E. sexcinctus) in a leprosy hyperendemic area where there is continuous contact between humans and armadillos. PMID:23283473

  16. Seasonal and spatial trends in the detectability of leprosy in wild armadillos.

    PubMed Central

    Truman, R. W.; Kumaresan, J. A.; McDonough, C. M.; Job, C. K.; Hastings, R. C.

    1991-01-01

    A survey for leprosy among 565 armadillos from Louisiana and Texas found IgM antibodies to the phenolic glycolipid-1 antigen of Mycobacterium leprae in 16% of the animals. There were no geographic trends in the distribution of prevalence rates between the sites and the disease probably has a much greater range. Repeat observations in one location showed significant seasonal variations in the observable antibody prevalence rate, but the yearly average remained similar. Infected armadillos tended to be heavier, and the females usually had plasma progesterone concentrations indicative of sexual maturity. Using these characteristics to stratify the populations into adult and sub-adult cohorts, variations in the observable leprosy prevalence rate were seen to be proportional to changes in the age structure of the populations. Leprosy appears to be maintained in steady state within some regions, and nearly a third of the adult armadillos in Louisiana and Texas harbour M. leprae. PMID:2050208

  17. SQUAMOUS CELL CARCINOMA IN A NINE-BANDED ARMADILLO (DASYPUS NOVEMCINCTUS).

    PubMed

    Lee, Bo-ram; Oh, Sukhun; Lee, Su-hyung; Kim, Yongahn; Youn, Soonghee; Kim, Yangbeom; Kwon, Soowhan; Kim, Dae-yong

    2015-06-01

    Squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) are tumors that occur in most animals and show strong invasiveness into surrounding tissues and nearby osseous tissues. This report describes a case of SCC in a 5-yr-old female nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) with a hemorrhagic mass on the left mandibular region. The tumor originated in skin tissues and showed invasion of the oral cavity, adjacent to the submandibular salivary gland histologically. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a SCC in a nine-banded armadillo. PMID:26056888

  18. Description of semen characteristics from six-banded armadillos (Euphractus sexcinctus) collected by electroejaculation.

    PubMed

    Serafim, M K B; Lira, R A; Costa, L L M; Gadelha, I C N; Freitas, C I A; Silva, A R

    2010-04-01

    The aim of this study is to describe the characteristics of the semen from six-banded armadillos (Euphractus sexcinctus) collected by electroejaculation. Six mature males were physically restrained and electroejaculated twice for the collection of semen. Semen collected was immediately evaluated for appearance, volume, pH, sperm motility, vigor, morphology, percentage of live sperm and functional membrane integrity by light microscopy. Semen was obtained from all (100%) twelve attempts conducted for electroejaculation. Armadillos' semen had a white-translucent appearance, and great viscosity. Mean values obtained in analysis of the semen were: 353+/-86 microl for volume, 9 for pH, 45+/-14 x 10(6)sperm/ml for concentration, 61+/-7% motile sperm with 2+/-0.2 for vigor, 55+/-7% live sperm, 86+/-2% morphologic normal sperm, and 46+/-6% functional membrane integrity. In conclusion, semen from six-banded armadillos can be efficiently obtained by electroejaculation. The characteristics of semen collected by electroejaculation in six-banded armadillos provide background information that may be useful for assisted breeding programs in the members of the Xenarthra family. PMID:19748749

  19. Genomic evidence for rod monochromacy in sloths and armadillos suggests early subterranean history for Xenarthra.

    PubMed

    Emerling, Christopher A; Springer, Mark S

    2015-02-01

    Rod monochromacy is a rare condition in vertebrates characterized by the absence of cone photoreceptor cells. The resulting phenotype is colourblindness and low acuity vision in dim-light and blindness in bright-light conditions. Early reports of xenarthrans (armadillos, sloths and anteaters) suggest that they are rod monochromats, but this has not been tested with genomic data. We searched the genomes of Dasypus novemcinctus (nine-banded armadillo), Choloepus hoffmanni (Hoffmann's two-toed sloth) and Mylodon darwinii (extinct ground sloth) for retinal photoreceptor genes and examined them for inactivating mutations. We performed PCR and Sanger sequencing on cone phototransduction genes of 10 additional xenarthrans to test for shared inactivating mutations and estimated the timing of inactivation for photoreceptor pseudogenes. We concluded that a stem xenarthran became an long-wavelength sensitive-cone monochromat following a missense mutation at a critical residue in SWS1, and a stem cingulate (armadillos, glyptodonts and pampatheres) and stem pilosan (sloths and anteaters) independently acquired rod monochromacy early in their evolutionary history following the inactivation of LWS and PDE6C, respectively. We hypothesize that rod monochromacy in armadillos and pilosans evolved as an adaptation to a subterranean habitat in the early history of Xenarthra. The presence of rod monochromacy has major implications for understanding xenarthran behavioural ecology and evolution. PMID:25540280

  20. Genomic evidence for rod monochromacy in sloths and armadillos suggests early subterranean history for Xenarthra

    PubMed Central

    Emerling, Christopher A.; Springer, Mark S.

    2015-01-01

    Rod monochromacy is a rare condition in vertebrates characterized by the absence of cone photoreceptor cells. The resulting phenotype is colourblindness and low acuity vision in dim-light and blindness in bright-light conditions. Early reports of xenarthrans (armadillos, sloths and anteaters) suggest that they are rod monochromats, but this has not been tested with genomic data. We searched the genomes of Dasypus novemcinctus (nine-banded armadillo), Choloepus hoffmanni (Hoffmann's two-toed sloth) and Mylodon darwinii (extinct ground sloth) for retinal photoreceptor genes and examined them for inactivating mutations. We performed PCR and Sanger sequencing on cone phototransduction genes of 10 additional xenarthrans to test for shared inactivating mutations and estimated the timing of inactivation for photoreceptor pseudogenes. We concluded that a stem xenarthran became an long-wavelength sensitive-cone monochromat following a missense mutation at a critical residue in SWS1, and a stem cingulate (armadillos, glyptodonts and pampatheres) and stem pilosan (sloths and anteaters) independently acquired rod monochromacy early in their evolutionary history following the inactivation of LWS and PDE6C, respectively. We hypothesize that rod monochromacy in armadillos and pilosans evolved as an adaptation to a subterranean habitat in the early history of Xenarthra. The presence of rod monochromacy has major implications for understanding xenarthran behavioural ecology and evolution. PMID:25540280

  1. Notch synergizes with axin to regulate the activity of armadillo in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Hayward, Penelope; Balayo, Tina; Martinez Arias, Alfonso

    2006-10-01

    Cell fate decisions require the integration of various signalling inputs at the level of transcription and signal transduction. Wnt and Notch signalling are two important signalling systems that operate in concert in a variety of systems in vertebrates and invertebrates. There is evidence that the Notch receptor can modulate Wnt signalling and that its target is the activity and levels of Armadillo/beta-catenin. Here, we characterize this function of Notch in relation to Axin, a key element in the regulation of Wnt signalling that acts as a scaffold for the Shaggy/GSK3beta-dependent phosphorylation of Armadillo/beta-catenin. While Notch can regulate ectopic Wingless signalling caused by loss of function of Shaggy, it can only partially regulate the ectopic Wnt signalling induced by the loss of Axin function. The same interactions are observed in tissue culture cells where we observe a synergy in between Axin and Notch in the regulation of Armadillo/beta-catenin. Our results provide evidence for a function of Axin in the regulation of Armadillo that is different from its role as a scaffold for GSK3beta. PMID:16881048

  2. Behavioral responses of three armadillo species (Mammalia: Xenarthra) to an environmental enrichment program in Villavicencio, Colombia.

    PubMed

    Cortés Duarte, Alexandra; Trujillo, Fernando; Superina, Mariella

    2016-07-01

    Enrichment is a powerful tool to improve the welfare of animals under human care. Stress-related health and behavioral problems, as well as reproductive failure, are frequent in armadillos (Xenarthra, Cingulata, Dasypodidae) under human care, which hinders the development of successful ex situ conservation programs. Nevertheless, scientific studies on the effect of enrichment programs on armadillos are virtually non-existent. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of an enrichment program on the behavior of armadillos under human care. The behavior of 12 individuals of three species (Dasypus novemcinctus, D. sabanicola, and Cabassous unicinctus) maintained at Finca El Turpial, Villavicencio, Colombia, was recorded using scan sampling during three daily time blocks of 2 hr each before (4 weeks) and after (4 weeks) implementing an enrichment program. Enrichment did not stimulate the armadillos to change or extend their activity period. In general, activity levels were low during the entire study, and virtually no activity was recorded in the morning in any species, neither without nor with enrichment. The latter did, however, improve welfare by reducing abnormal and increasing natural foraging behaviors. All species were attracted by artificial termite mounds. Dasypus spp. showed special interest in cardboard boxes with food, while Cabassous was mainly attracted to hollow plastic balls filled with food. Our results suggest that separate enrichment programs need to be developed for different armadillo species, and that they should be applied during the time of day at which they are most active. Zoo Biol. 35:304-312, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27272640

  3. The Curse of the Nine-Banded Armadillo: Case Report and Review.

    PubMed

    Elsayed, Galal; Elsayed, Mohammed; Clincea, Radu; Talley, James; Ignacio, Melissa; Thompson, Jennifer C

    2015-07-01

    Hansen's disease (leprosy) is an ancient condition characterized by hypopigmented patches that progress to become plaques with hypoesthesia. Several case reports suggest that armadillos may be a source of Mycobacterium leprae for clinical cases, and contact with armadillos has been shown to be a significant risk factor in several case-control studies. Early diagnosis and treatment result in an excellent prognosis and provide an effective means to prevent complications of peripheral nerve injury, social stigma, and disability. We present a case of Hansen's disease in a previously healthy veteran and provide an overview of the diagnosis, classification, and treatment of the condition. Clinicians should consider leprosy in the differential diagnosis when confronted with chronic skin lesions in the appropriate clinical setting. PMID:26126264

  4. Sporothrix schenckii sensu stricto isolated from soil in an armadillo's burrow.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Anderson Messias; Bagagli, Eduardo; de Camargo, Zoilo Pires; Bosco, Sandra de Moraes Gimenes

    2014-04-01

    Sporotrichosis is a polymorphic disease of man and animals caused by traumatic implantation of propagules into the skin and subcutaneous tissue. Pathogenic species includes S. brasiliensis, S. schenckii, S. globosa and S. luriei. The disease is remarkable for its occurrence as sapronoses and/or zoonosis outbreaks in tropical and subtropical areas; although, the ecology of the clinical clade is still puzzling. Here, we describe an anamorphic Sporothrix strain isolated from soil in an armadillo's burrow, which was located in a hyper endemic area of Paracoccidioidomycosis in Brazil. This isolate was identified as S. schenckii sensu stricto (Clade IIa) based on morphological and physiological characteristics and phylogenetic analyses of calmodulin sequences. We then discuss the role of the nine-banded armadillo Dasypus novemcinctus as a natural carrier of Sporothrix propagules to better understand Sporothrix sources in nature and reveal essential aspects about the pathogen's eco-epidemiology. PMID:24577793

  5. In vivo strains in the femur of the nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus).

    PubMed

    Copploe, Joseph V; Blob, Richard W; Parrish, John H A; Butcher, Michael T

    2015-08-01

    The capacity of limb bones to resist the locomotor loads they encounter depends on both the pattern of those loads and the material properties of the skeletal elements. Among mammals, understanding of the interplay between these two factors has been based primarily on evidence from locomotor behaviors in upright placentals, which show limb bones that are loaded predominantly in anteroposterior bending with minimal amounts of torsion. However, loading patterns from the femora of opossums, marsupials using crouched limb posture, show appreciable torsion while the bone experiences mediolateral (ML) bending. These data indicated greater loading diversity in mammals than was previously recognized, and suggested the possibility that ancestral loading patterns found in sprawling lineages (e.g., reptilian sauropsids) might have been retained among basal mammals. To further test this hypothesis, we recorded in vivo locomotor strains from the femur of the nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), a member of the basal xenarthran clade of placental mammals that also uses crouched limb posture. Orientations of principal strains and magnitudes of shear strains indicate that armadillo femora are exposed to only limited torsion; however, bending is essentially ML, placing the medial aspect of the femur in compression and the lateral aspect in tension. This orientation of bending is similar to that found in opossums, but planar strain analyses indicate much more of the armadillo femur experiences tension during bending, potentially due to muscles pulling on the large, laterally positioned third trochanter. Limb bone safety factors were estimated between 3.3 and 4.3 in bending, similar to other placental mammals, but lower than opossums and most sprawling taxa. Thus, femoral loading patterns in armadillos show a mixture of similarities to both opossums (ML bending) and other placentals (limited torsion and low safety factors), along with unique features (high axial tension

  6. Management of a carapace fracture in a six-banded armadillo (Euphractus sexcinctus).

    PubMed

    Rossetti, Diogo Pascoal; Rahal, Sheila Canevese; Vulcano, Luiz Carlos; Shigue, Daniela Akemi; Teixeira, Carlos Roberto

    2014-09-01

    An adult female free-ranging six-banded armadillo (Euphractus sexcinctus) was presented with an inverted L-shaped fracture of the left pectoral carapace. The fracture was stabilized with the use of three simple interrupted interfragmentary sutures of 2-0 nylon. After 7 days, wound dehiscence occurred, so sutures were replaced and the wound treated topically with castor bean oil cream. Healing of the fracture was observed after 14 days of this treatment. PMID:25314850

  7. Gudu, an Armadillo repeat-containing protein, is required for spermatogenesis in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Wei

    2013-01-01

    The Drosophila annotated gene CG5155 encodes a protein that contains 10 Armadillo-repeats and has an unknown function. To fill this gap, we performed loss-of-function studies using RNAi. By analysis of four independent Drosophila RNAi lines targeting two non-overlapping regions of the CG5155 transcript, we demonstrate that this gene is required for male fertility. Therefore, we have named this gene Gudu. The transcript of Gudu is highly enriched in adult testes. Knockdown of Gudu by a ubiquitous driver leads to defects in the formation of the individualization complex that is required for spermatid maturation, thereby impairing spermatogenesis. Furthermore, testis-specific knockdown of Gudu by crossing the RNAi lines with the bam-Gal4 driver is sufficient to cause the infertility and defective spermatogenesis. Since Gudu is highly homologous to vertebrate ARMC4, also an Armadillo-repeat-containing protein enriched in testes, our results suggest that Gudu and ARMC4 is a subfamily of Armadillo-repeat containing proteins that may have an evolutionarily conserved function in spermatogenesis. PMID:24055424

  8. Phospholipase activity of Mycobacterium leprae harvested from experimentally infected armadillo tissue.

    PubMed Central

    Wheeler, P R; Ratledge, C

    1991-01-01

    Three types of phospholipase activity--phospholipase A1, A2, and lysophospholipase--were detected in Mycobacterium leprae harvested from armadillo tissue at about 25% of the specific activity found in a slowly growing mycobacterium, Mycobacterium microti, which was grown in medium to optimize its phospholipase activity. The highest activity found was lysophospholipase, which released fatty acid from 2-lyso-phosphatidylcholine. Phospholipase activity was detected by using phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine. Differences in relative activities with these three types of substrate distinguished phospholipase activity in M. leprae extracts from armadillo liver extracts. Furthermore, retention of activity in M. leprae after NaOH treatment showed that the activity associated with M. leprae was not host derived. The specific activity of phospholipase was 20 times higher in extracts of M. leprae than in intact M. leprae organisms. Diazotization, a treatment which abolishes activities of surface enzymes exposed to the environment by the formation of covalent azide bonds with exposed amino groups, did not affect M. leprae's phospholipase activity, with one exception: release of arachidonic acid from phosphatidylcholine, which was partially inhibited. Phenolic glycolipid I, the major excreted amphipathic lipid of M. leprae, inhibited phospholipase activity, including release of arachidonic acid, for both M. leprae- and armadillo-derived activity. PMID:1855994

  9. Molecular phylogenetics unveils the ancient evolutionary origins of the enigmatic fairy armadillos.

    PubMed

    Delsuc, Frédéric; Superina, Mariella; Tilak, Marie-Ka; Douzery, Emmanuel J P; Hassanin, Alexandre

    2012-02-01

    Fairy armadillos or pichiciegos (Xenarthra, Dasypodidae) are among the most elusive mammals. Due to their subterranean and nocturnal lifestyle, their basic biology and evolutionary history remain virtually unknown. Two distinct species with allopatric distributions are recognized: Chlamyphorus truncatus is restricted to central Argentina, while Calyptophractus retusus occurs in the Gran Chaco of Argentina, Paraguay, and Bolivia. To test their monophyly and resolve their phylogenetic affinities within armadillos, we obtained sequence data from modern and museum specimens for two mitochondrial genes (12S RNA [MT-RNR1] and NADH dehydrogenase 1 [MT-ND1]) and two nuclear exons (breast cancer 1 early onset exon 11 [BRCA1] and von Willebrand factor exon 28 [VWF]). Phylogenetic analyses provided a reference phylogeny and timescale for living xenarthran genera. Our results reveal monophyletic pichiciegos as members of a major armadillo subfamily (Chlamyphorinae). Their strictly fossorial lifestyle probably evolved as a response to the Oligocene aridification that occurred in South America after their divergence from Tolypeutinae around 32 million years ago (Mya). The ancient divergence date (∼17Mya) for separation between the two species supports their taxonomic classification into distinct genera. The synchronicity with Middle Miocene marine incursions along the Paraná river basin suggests a vicariant origin for pichiciegos by the disruption of their ancestral range. Their phylogenetic distinctiveness and rarity in the wild argue in favor of high conservation priority. PMID:22122941

  10. PATTERNS OF MYCOBACTERIUM LEPRAE INFECTION IN WILD NINE-BANDED ARMADILLOS (DASYPUS NOVEMCINCTUS) IN MISSISSIPPI, USA.

    PubMed

    Perez-Heydrich, Carolina; Loughry, W J; Anderson, Corey Devin; Oli, Madan K

    2016-07-01

    The nine-banded armadillo ( Dasypus novemcinctus ) is the only known nonhuman reservoir of Mycobacterium leprae , the causative agent of Hansen's disease or leprosy. We conducted a 6-yr study on a wild population of armadillos in western Mississippi that was exposed to M. leprae to evaluate the importance of demographic and spatial risk factors on individual antibody status. We found that spatially derived covariates were not predictive of antibody status. Furthermore, analyses revealed no evidence of clustering by antibody-positive individuals. Lactating females and adult males had higher odds of being antibody positive than did nonlactating females. No juveniles or yearlings were antibody positive. Results of these analyses support the hypothesis that M. leprae infection patterns are spatially homogeneous within this armadillo population. Further research related to movement patterns, contact among individuals, antibody status, and environmental factors could help address hypotheses related to the role of environmental transmission on M. leprae infection and the mechanisms underlying the differential infection patterns among demographic groups. PMID:27195687

  11. Ventilatory, cardiovascular and metabolic responses to hypoxia and hypercapnia in the armadillo.

    PubMed

    Boggs, D F; Frappell, P B; Kilgore, D L

    1998-08-01

    Armadillos have a low resting metabolic rate and high hemoglobin affinity for their size, a rigid carapace and a semi-fossorial life style. These characteristics could contribute to unusual respiratory responses to hypoxia and hypercapnia which were investigated in this study. Ventilatory and oxygen consumption responses of six adult unanesthetized armadillos to 15, 12, 10 and 8% O2 and 1.5, 3, 5 and 7% CO2 were measured by barometric plethysmography and flow-through respirometry. A significant increase in ventilation occurred in response to 10 and 8% O2 but a decline in oxygen consumption only occurred at 8% inspired O2. The convection requirement response has a threshold at a PaO2 of approximately = 28 Torr which corresponds to a Hb saturation of approximately 70%. Ventilation increased in response to 3% and higher levels of CO2, with no change in oxygen consumption. The magnitude of the ventilatory response to CO2 was similar to other semi-fossorial mammals and less than that of nonburrowing species. However, the pattern of the response was unique in being largely a frequency response with little change in tidal volume, contrary to the tidal volume dominated response to hypercapnia typical of mammals. This feature, not shared by another Xenarthran, the sloth, who lacks a carapace, is likely attributable to the low respiratory system compliance and increased airway resistance resulting from the rigid carapace and small lungs of armadillos and emphasizes the importance of respiratory mechanics in determining breathing pattern. PMID:9832229

  12. Ontogenetic criteria to distinguish vertebral types on the debated xenarthran synsacrum.

    PubMed

    Galliari, Fernando C; Carlini, Alfredo A

    2015-05-01

    The presence of a synsacrum formed by the fusion of vertebrae that come into closed contact with the ilium and ischium is a feature that characterizes the clade Xenarthra. Nevertheless, the proper identity of each vertebral element that forms it is a matter of discussion. In this article, we provide ontogenetic information about skeletal ossification of the xenarthran synsacrum and define the position of the sacrocaudal limit within it. We analyzed the synsacrum of 25 specimens of nonadult and 101 adult armadillos and anteaters: Dasypus hybridus, D. novemcinctus, Chaetophractus vellerosus, C. villosus, Tamandua tetradactyla, and Myrmecophaga tridactyla. Two sets of vertebrae were identified: an anterior set, often attached to the iliac bones, in which transverse processes are originated mainly from an expansion of the base of the neural arches, and secondarily from a lateroventral ossification center. A posterior set is characterized by a series of vertebrae along which extra lateral ossifications (described here for the first time) are developed and form exclusively the transverse processes. Among armadillos, the sacrocaudal limit is set between the last vertebrae attached to the iliac bones and the first vertebrae that form the dorsal border of the sacroischial fenestra. In addition, anterior free caudals also showed extra lateral ossifications forming exclusively the transverse processes, supporting the notion that more posterior synsacrals are in fact caudal vertebrae that were incorporated to the synsacrum. In pilosans, the sacrocaudal limit is set between the first vertebrae that come into contact with the ischial bones and the immediately anterior one. However, the pattern of homologies is obscured by the low resolution in the ontogenetic sequence when compared to that of armadillos. PMID:25503782

  13. Characterizing adrenocortical activity in zoo-housed southern three-banded armadillos (Tolypeutes matacus).

    PubMed

    Howell-Stephens, Jennifer A; Brown, Joel S; Bernier, David; Mulkerin, Diane; Santymire, Rachel M

    2012-08-01

    Improving the husbandry in the southern three-banded armadillo (Tolypeutes matacus) through gaining knowledge of its stress physiology is imperative to maintaining a healthy, zoo-housed population. Our objectives were to: 1) validate the use of fecal hormone analysis for monitoring adrenocortical activity using both an adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) challenge and biological events; and 2) characterize longitudinal adrenocortical activity in male and female southern three-banded armadillos. An ACTH injection was given intra-muscularly to one male (4IU/kg; 5.6IU total) and one female (5.5IU/kg; 8IU total) southern three-banded armadillo. Fecal samples were collected 1 day pre- and continued 5 days post-ACTH to capture the physiological response measured by elevated fecal glucocorticoid metabolites (FGM) to validate these techniques. Additionally, natural and routine events, including pairing individuals for breeding and veterinary procedures/handling, were used to biologically validate these techniques. To characterize adrenocortical activity, fecal samples (∼3025 total; n=275/animal/yr) were collected from 11 (5 males; 6 females) southern three-banded armadillos 5-7 times a week for 1 year at Lincoln Park Zoo (Chicago, IL). A cortisol enzyme immunoassay was used for FGM analysis. The ACTH challenge in the male resulted in a twofold increase of FGM (1123.2±36.2 ng/g dry feces) above baseline (675.7±10.0 ng/g dry feces) at approximately 54-94h post- injection. The female exhibited a twofold increase (1635.4 ng/g dry feces) over baseline FGMs (608.5±12.3 ng/g dry feces) approximately 30h post-injection. Reproductive behaviors and veterinary procedures resulted in elevated FGM concentrations from all individuals except for one male. The longitudinal characterization demonstrated that sex and season did not influence (P<0.05) FGM concentrations. Individuals were highly variable with mean FGM concentration of 2010.1±862.4 ng/g dry feces (range, 816.3-7889.1 ng

  14. Isolation of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis from armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus) in an area where the fungus was recently isolated from soil.

    PubMed

    Silva-Vergara, M L; Martinez, R; Camargo, Z P; Malta, M H; Maffei, C M; Chadu, J B

    2000-06-01

    Natural infection of armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus) with Paracoccidioides brasiliensis in Northern Brazil was reported in 1986, raising great interest in the understanding of the role of this mammal in the epidemiological cycle of the fungus. Recently, P. brasiliensis was isolated from the soil of Ibiá, State of Minas Gerais, southeastern Brazil. Armadillos captured in this area were evaluated for the presence of P. brasiliensis in the viscera and infection was detected in 4/16 animals (25%). Fungal yeast phase cells were observed in three of the four infected armadillos by direct microscopic examination and by the indirect immunofluorescence test carried out on homogenized tissues. P. brasiliensis was isolated from three armadillos whose homogenized viscera had been injected into Swiss mice. The new strains (Ibiá-T1, Ibiá-T2 and Ibiá-T3) were identified as P. brasiliensis on the basis of macro- and micromorphology, thermodimorphism, production and serologic activity of exoantigens, and by polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-detection of the gp43 gene. The lethality and lesions caused to the mice from which the strains were recovered confirmed the virulence of the isolates. We conclude that P. brasiliensis infects armadillos in locations with different geoclimatic characteristics and vegetation cover. The direct observation of yeast cells in tissues and the multiple visceral involvement, including the lungs, suggests the occurrence of paracoccidioidomycosis disease in these mammals and supports their role as wild hosts in the epidemiological cycle of the fungus. PMID:10892986

  15. Expression and characterization of recombinant interferon gamma (IFN-γ) from the nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) and its effect on Mycobacterium leprae-infected macrophages

    PubMed Central

    Peña, M. T.; Adams, J. E.; Adams, L. B; Gillis, T. P.; Williams, D. L.; Spencer, J. S.; Krahenbuhl, J. L; Truman, R. W.

    2008-01-01

    Armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus) manifest the full histopathological spectrum of leprosy, and are hosts of choice for in vivo propagation of Mycobacterium leprae. Though potentially useful as a model of leprosy pathogenesis, few armadillo specific reagents exist. We have identified a region of high homology to the interferon gamma (IFN-γ) of other mammals within the recently published armadillo whole genomic sequence. cDNA was made from ConA-stimulated armadillo peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), amplified, and cloned into a pET expression vector for transformation and over-expression in E. coli. The recombinant protein (rDnIFN-γ) was characterized by western blot and its biological function confirmed with biosassays including intracellular killing of Toxoplasma gondii and induction of indoleamine 2, 3-dioxygenase activity. In using rIFN-γ to activate macrophages from mice, humans or armadillos, similar to humans, rIFN-γ-activated armadillo MΦ did not produce nitrite and or inhibit the viability of M. leprae in vitro. Conversely, murine rIFN-γ-activated mouse MΦ produced high levels of nitrite and killed intracellular M. leprae in vitro. These data indicate that the response of armadillo MΦto rDnIFN-γ is similar to that which occurs in humans, and demonstrates a potentially important value of the armadillo as a model in leprosy research. PMID:18558493

  16. Structures of designed armadillo-repeat proteins show propagation of inter-repeat interface effects

    PubMed Central

    Reichen, Christian; Madhurantakam, Chaithanya; Hansen, Simon; Grütter, Markus G.; Plückthun, Andreas; Mittl, Peer R. E.

    2016-01-01

    The armadillo repeat serves as a scaffold for the development of modular peptide-recognition modules. In order to develop such a system, three crystal structures of designed armadillo-repeat proteins with third-generation N-caps (YIII-type), four or five internal repeats (M-type) and second-generation C-caps (AII-type) were determined at 1.8 Å (His-YIIIM4AII), 2.0 Å (His-YIIIM5AII) and 1.95 Å (YIIIM5AII) resolution and compared with those of variants with third-generation C-caps. All constructs are full consensus designs in which the internal repeats have exactly the same sequence, and hence identical conformations of the internal repeats are expected. The N-cap and internal repeats M1 to M3 are indeed extremely similar, but the comparison reveals structural differences in internal repeats M4 and M5 and the C-cap. These differences are caused by long-range effects of the C-cap, contacting molecules in the crystal, and the intrinsic design of the repeat. Unfortunately, the rigid-body movement of the C-terminal part impairs the regular arrangement of internal repeats that forms the putative peptide-binding site. The second-generation C-cap improves the packing of buried residues and thereby the stability of the protein. These considerations are useful for future improvements of an armadillo-repeat-based peptide-recognition system. PMID:26894544

  17. Structures of designed armadillo-repeat proteins show propagation of inter-repeat interface effects.

    PubMed

    Reichen, Christian; Madhurantakam, Chaithanya; Hansen, Simon; Grütter, Markus G; Plückthun, Andreas; Mittl, Peer R E

    2016-01-01

    The armadillo repeat serves as a scaffold for the development of modular peptide-recognition modules. In order to develop such a system, three crystal structures of designed armadillo-repeat proteins with third-generation N-caps (YIII-type), four or five internal repeats (M-type) and second-generation C-caps (AII-type) were determined at 1.8 Å (His-YIIIM4AII), 2.0 Å (His-YIIIM5AII) and 1.95 Å (YIIIM5AII) resolution and compared with those of variants with third-generation C-caps. All constructs are full consensus designs in which the internal repeats have exactly the same sequence, and hence identical conformations of the internal repeats are expected. The N-cap and internal repeats M1 to M3 are indeed extremely similar, but the comparison reveals structural differences in internal repeats M4 and M5 and the C-cap. These differences are caused by long-range effects of the C-cap, contacting molecules in the crystal, and the intrinsic design of the repeat. Unfortunately, the rigid-body movement of the C-terminal part impairs the regular arrangement of internal repeats that forms the putative peptide-binding site. The second-generation C-cap improves the packing of buried residues and thereby the stability of the protein. These considerations are useful for future improvements of an armadillo-repeat-based peptide-recognition system. PMID:26894544

  18. Coccidioidomycosis in armadillo hunters from the state of Ceará, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Brillhante, Raimunda Sâmia Nogueira; Moreira Filho, Renato Evando; Rocha, Marcos Fábio Gadelha; Castelo-Branco, Débora de Souza Collares Maia; Fechine, Maria Auxiliadora Bezerra; Lima, Rita Amanda Chaves de; Picanço, Yuri Vieira Cunha; Cordeiro, Rossana de Aguiar; Camargo, Zoilo Pires de; Queiroz, José Ajax Nogueira; Araujo, Roberto Wagner Bezerra de; Mesquita, Jacó Ricarte Lima de; Sidrim, José Júlio Costa

    2012-09-01

    Coccidioidomycosis is a systemic mycosis with a variable clinical presentation. Misdiagnosis of coccidioidomycosis as bacterial pneumopathy leads to inappropriate prescription of antibiotics and delayed diagnosis. This report describes an outbreak among armadillo hunters in northeastern Brazil in which an initial diagnosis of bacterial pneumonia was later confirmed as coccidioidomycosis caused by Coccidioides posadasii. Thus, this mycosis should be considered as an alternative diagnosis in patients reporting symptoms of pneumonia, even if these symptoms are only presented for a short period, who are from areas considered endemic for this disease. PMID:22990973

  19. Pelvic peritoneum in male armadillo and anteater (Xenarthra, Mammalia): a comparative survey.

    PubMed

    Rezende, Lorenna Cardoso; Ferreira, Jussara Rocha

    2013-01-01

    The literature supports the hypothesis that the pelvic excavation is the bottom of the abdominal cavity, which is covered by the peritoneal serous membrane in order to promote visceral dynamics. We studied the peritoneum in eight specimens of Xenarthra (Euphractus sexcinctus, Myrmecophaga tridactyla and Tamandua tetradactyla). The animals were fixed in formaldehyde (10%). For description and analyzes of the pelvic peritoneum, dissection and photo documentation were performed. We saw that the parietal serous membrane reflected, involving the pelvic viscera. The urorectal septum is the floor of the higher pelvis as a serosa reflection between the bladder and the rectum. The bladder and gonads are completely peritonized in adult armadillo. In anteaters and young armadillos, the testicles are in a position analogous to the uterus, joined by the conjunctive septum at the midline and along with the bladder, they partially project to the higher and lower pelvis. In Myrmecophagidae, vesicogenital, rectogenital and sacrorectal recesses were observed. In Dasypodidae, the recesses are similar to those of other recent vertebrates. PMID:23317367

  20. Finite Element Analysis of the Cingulata Jaw: An Ecomorphological Approach to Armadillo's Diets.

    PubMed

    Serrano-Fochs, Sílvia; De Esteban-Trivigno, Soledad; Marcé-Nogué, Jordi; Fortuny, Josep; Fariña, Richard A

    2014-01-01

    Finite element analyses (FEA) were applied to assess the lower jaw biomechanics of cingulate xenarthrans: 14 species of armadillos as well as one Pleistocene pampathere (11 extant taxa and the extinct forms Vassallia, Eutatus and Macroeuphractus). The principal goal of this work is to comparatively assess the biomechanical capabilities of the mandible based on FEA and to relate the obtained stress patterns with diet preferences and variability, in extant and extinct species through an ecomorphology approach. The results of FEA showed that omnivorous species have stronger mandibles than insectivorous species. Moreover, this latter group of species showed high variability, including some similar biomechanical features of the insectivorous Tolypeutes matacus and Chlamyphorus truncatus to those of omnivorous species, in agreement with reported diets that include items other than insects. It remains unclear the reasons behind the stronger than expected lower jaw of Dasypus kappleri. On the other hand, the very strong mandible of the fossil taxon Vassallia maxima agrees well with the proposed herbivorous diet. Moreover, Eutatus seguini yielded a stress pattern similar to Vassalia in the posterior part of the lower jaw, but resembling that of the stoutly built Macroeuphractus outesi in the anterior part. The results highlight the need for more detailed studies on the natural history of extant armadillos. FEA proved a powerful tool for biomechanical studies in a comparative framework. PMID:25919313

  1. Osteoderm morphology and development in the nine-banded armadillo, Dasypus novemcinctus (Mammalia, Xenarthra, Cingulata).

    PubMed

    Vickaryous, Matthew K; Hall, Brian K

    2006-11-01

    Among modern mammals, armadillos (Xenarthra, Cingulata) are the only group that possesses osteoderms, bony inclusions within the integument. Along the body, osteoderms are organized into five discrete assemblages: the head, pectoral, banded, pelvic, and tail shields. The pectoral, banded, and pelvic shields articulate to form the carapace. We examined osteoderm skeletogenesis in the armadillo Dasypus novemcinctus using serial and whole-mount histochemistry. Compared with the rest of the skeleton, osteoderms have a delayed onset of development. Skeletogenesis begins as condensations of osteoblasts secreting osteoid, localized within the papillary layer of the dermis. Osteoderm formation is asynchronous both within each shield and across the body. The first osteoderms to mineralize are situated within the pectoral shield of the carapace, followed by elements within the banded, head, pelvic, and tail shields. In general, within each shield ossification begins craniomedially and proceeds caudally and laterally, except over the head, where the earliest elements form over the frontal and parietal bones. The absence of cartilage precursors indicates that osteoderms are dermal elements, possibly related to the all-encompassing vertebrate dermal skeleton (exoskeleton). The mode of development of D. novemcinctus osteoderms is unlike that described for squamate osteoderms, which arise via bone metaplasia, and instead is comparable with intramembranously derived elements of the skull. PMID:17051548

  2. Structural and functional dissection of Toxoplasma gondii armadillo repeats only protein.

    PubMed

    Mueller, Christina; Samoo, Atta; Hammoudi, Pierre-Mehdi; Klages, Natacha; Kallio, Juha Pekka; Kursula, Inari; Soldati-Favre, Dominique

    2016-03-01

    Rhoptries are club-shaped, regulated secretory organelles that cluster at the apical pole of apicomplexan parasites. Their discharge is essential for invasion and the establishment of an intracellular lifestyle. Little is known about rhoptry biogenesis and recycling during parasite division. In Toxoplasma gondii, positioning of rhoptries involves the armadillo repeats only protein (ARO) and myosin F (MyoF). Here, we show that two ARO partners, ARO-interacting protein (AIP) and adenylate cyclase β (ACβ) localize to a rhoptry subcompartment. In absence of AIP, ACβ disappears from the rhoptries. By assessing the contribution of each ARO armadillo (ARM) repeat, we provide evidence that ARO is multifunctional, participating not only in positioning but also in clustering of rhoptries. Structural analyses show that ARO resembles the myosin-binding domain of the Caenorhabditis elegans myosin chaperone UNC-45. A conserved patch of aromatic and acidic residues denotes the putative MyoF-binding site, and the overall arrangement of the ARM repeats explains the dramatic consequences of deleting each of them. Finally, Plasmodium falciparum ARO functionally complements ARO depletion and interacts with the same partners, highlighting the conservation of rhoptry biogenesis in Apicomplexa. PMID:26769898

  3. Beta-catenin versus the other armadillo catenins: assessing our current view of canonical Wnt signaling.

    PubMed

    Miller, Rachel K; Hong, Ji Yeon; Muñoz, William A; McCrea, Pierre D

    2013-01-01

    The prevailing view of canonical Wnt signaling emphasizes the role of beta-catenin acting downstream of Wnt activation to regulate transcriptional activity. However, emerging evidence indicates that other armadillo catenins in vertebrates, such as members of the p120 subfamily, convey parallel signals to the nucleus downstream of canonical Wnt pathway activation. Their study is thus needed to appreciate the networked mechanisms of canonical Wnt pathway transduction, especially as they may assist in generating the diversity of Wnt effects observed in development and disease. In this chapter, we outline evidence of direct canonical Wnt effects on p120 subfamily members in vertebrates and speculate upon these catenins' roles in conjunction with or aside from beta-catenin. PMID:23481204

  4. An armadillo-like sphagesaurid crocodyliform from the Late Cretaceous of Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marinho, Thiago S.; Carvalho, Ismar S.

    2009-02-01

    The Sphagesauridae is a family of Crocodyliformes exclusively known for the Brazilian Late Cretaceous Bauru Basin. This lineage reveals how diverse was the morphology and ecology of terrestrial Crocodyliformes during the Late Cretaceous of Gondwana. Here is described Armadillosuchus arrudai gen. et sp. nov., a sphagesaurid that presents some mammal-like morphological features, such as propalinal and alternate unilateral jaw occlusion pattern and heavy body armor, composed of a rigid shield and mobile-banded section as in extant armadillos (Xenarthra, Dasypodidae). These unusual morphological features contrast to the double row of osteoderms observed on the closest relatives of A. arrudai. As its mammal analogs, A. arrudai presents some evidence of fossoriality and an exclusive terrestrial life style in contrast to the extant alligatorids and crocodylids.

  5. Evidence that Armadillo transduces wingless by mediating nuclear export or cytosolic activation of Pangolin.

    PubMed

    Chan, Siu-Kwong; Struhl, Gary

    2002-10-18

    Secreted proteins of the Wnt family have profound organizing roles during animal development and are transduced via the activities of the Frizzled (Fz) class of transmembrane receptors and the TCF/LEF/Pangolin class of transcription factors. beta-catenins, including Drosophila Armadillo (Arm), link activation of Fz at the cell surface to transcriptional regulation by TCF in the nucleus. The consensus view is that Wnt signaling induces beta-catenin to enter the nucleus and combine with TCF to form a transcription factor complex in which TCF binds DNA and the C-terminal domain of beta-catenin activates transcription. Here, we present findings, which challenge this view and suggest instead that beta-catenin may transduce Wnt signals by exporting TCF from the nucleus or activating it in the cytoplasm. PMID:12408870

  6. Reassessment of the hairy long-nosed armadillo "Dasypus" pilosus (Xenarthra, Dasypodidae) and revalidation of the genus Cryptophractus Fitzinger, 1856.

    PubMed

    Castro, Mariela C; Ciancio, Martín R; Pacheco, Víctor; Salas-Gismondi, Rodolfo M; Bostelmann, J Enrique; Carlini, Alfredo A

    2015-01-01

    The hairy long-nosed armadillo, currently referred as Dasypus (Cryptophractus) pilosus, is an enigmatic species endemic to montane cloud forests and subparamo of Peruvian Andes. Its strikingly different external features, which include the carapace concealed by abundant hair, the presence of more movable bands, and a slender skull, have raised questions regarding its taxonomic status as subgenus or as genus. This paper assesses this issue based on a cladistic study and provides a detailed comparative description of the species, including the first account on the distinctive ornamentation of its osteoderms. Based on several unique characters in the carapace, skull, mandible, and teeth, as well as on the external phylogenetic position relative to other Dasypus, we favor the assignment of the hairy long-nosed armadillo to other genus. As result, we revalidate the original generic epithet, so that the valid name of the species is Cryptophractus pilosus Fitzinger, 1856. PMID:25947717

  7. Ancient DNA from the extinct South American giant glyptodont Doedicurus sp. (Xenarthra: Glyptodontidae) reveals that glyptodonts evolved from Eocene armadillos.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Kieren J; Scanferla, Agustin; Soibelzon, Esteban; Bonini, Ricardo; Ochoa, Javier; Cooper, Alan

    2016-07-01

    Glyptodonts were giant (some of them up to ~2400 kg), heavily armoured relatives of living armadillos, which became extinct during the Late Pleistocene/early Holocene alongside much of the South American megafauna. Although glyptodonts were an important component of Cenozoic South American faunas, their early evolution and phylogenetic affinities within the order Cingulata (armoured New World placental mammals) remain controversial. In this study, we used hybridization enrichment and high-throughput sequencing to obtain a partial mitochondrial genome from Doedicurus sp., the largest (1.5 m tall, and 4 m long) and one of the last surviving glyptodonts. Our molecular phylogenetic analyses revealed that glyptodonts fall within the diversity of living armadillos. Reanalysis of morphological data using a molecular 'backbone constraint' revealed several morphological characters that supported a close relationship between glyptodonts and the tiny extant fairy armadillos (Chlamyphorinae). This is surprising as these taxa are among the most derived cingulates: glyptodonts were generally large-bodied and heavily armoured, while the fairy armadillos are tiny (~9-17 cm) and adapted for burrowing. Calibration of our phylogeny with the first appearance of glyptodonts in the Eocene resulted in a more precise timeline for xenarthran evolution. The osteological novelties of glyptodonts and their specialization for grazing appear to have evolved rapidly during the Late Eocene to Early Miocene, coincident with global temperature decreases and a shift from wet closed forest towards drier open woodland and grassland across much of South America. This environmental change may have driven the evolution of glyptodonts, culminating in the bizarre giant forms of the Pleistocene. PMID:27158910

  8. When xenarthrans had enamel: insights on the evolution of their hypsodonty and paleontological support for independent evolution in armadillos.

    PubMed

    Ciancio, Martín R; Vieytes, Emma C; Carlini, Alfredo A

    2014-09-01

    All xenarthrans known to date are characterized by having permanent teeth that are both high crowned and open rooted, i.e., euhypsodont, and with a type of hypsodonty different from that of the rest of Placentalia: dentine hypsodonty. Also, most xenarthrans lack enamel; however, its presence has been reported in the fossil armadillo Utaetus buccatus and in living Dasypus. Considering the divergence of Xenarthra from other eutherians that possessed enameled teeth, the absence of enamel is a derived character. Diverse specializations are known in the dentition of xenarthrans, but the primitive pattern of their teeth and dentitions is still unknown. Here, we describe the mandible and teeth of a fossil armadillo, Astegotherium dichotomus (Astegotheriini, Dasypodidae), from the early Middle Eocene of Argentine Patagonia, with teeth showing both true enamel and closed roots. It is the oldest xenarthran with mandibular remains exhibiting protohypsodonty and is therefore likely representative of ancestral cingulates and xenarthrans generally. Astegotherium supports a recent hypothesis based on molecular data that enamel loss occurred independently not only within xenarthrans but also within dasypodid armadillos. PMID:25038888

  9. When xenarthrans had enamel: insights on the evolution of their hypsodonty and paleontological support for independent evolution in armadillos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ciancio, Martín R.; Vieytes, Emma C.; Carlini, Alfredo A.

    2014-09-01

    All xenarthrans known to date are characterized by having permanent teeth that are both high crowned and open rooted, i.e., euhypsodont, and with a type of hypsodonty different from that of the rest of Placentalia: dentine hypsodonty. Also, most xenarthrans lack enamel; however, its presence has been reported in the fossil armadillo Utaetus buccatus and in living Dasypus. Considering the divergence of Xenarthra from other eutherians that possessed enameled teeth, the absence of enamel is a derived character. Diverse specializations are known in the dentition of xenarthrans, but the primitive pattern of their teeth and dentitions is still unknown. Here, we describe the mandible and teeth of a fossil armadillo, Astegotherium dichotomus (Astegotheriini, Dasypodidae), from the early Middle Eocene of Argentine Patagonia, with teeth showing both true enamel and closed roots. It is the oldest xenarthran with mandibular remains exhibiting protohypsodonty and is therefore likely representative of ancestral cingulates and xenarthrans generally. Astegotherium supports a recent hypothesis based on molecular data that enamel loss occurred independently not only within xenarthrans but also within dasypodid armadillos.

  10. Oldest cingulate skulls provide congruence between morphological and molecular scenarios of armadillo evolution

    PubMed Central

    Billet, Guillaume; Hautier, Lionel; de Muizon, Christian; Valentin, Xavier

    2011-01-01

    The cingulates of the mammalian order Xenarthra present a typical case of disagreement between molecular and morphological phylogenetic studies. We report here the discovery of two new skulls from the Late Oligocene Salla Beds of Bolivia (approx. 26 Ma), which are the oldest known well-preserved cranial remains of the group. A new taxon is described: Kuntinaru boliviensis gen. et sp. nov. A phylogenetic analysis clusters K. boliviensis together with the armadillo subfamily Tolypeutinae. These skulls document an early spotty occurrence for the Tolypeutinae at 26 Ma, in agreement with the temporal predictions of previous molecular studies. The fossil record of tolypeutines is now characterized by a unique occurrence in the Late Oligocene, and a subsequent 12 Myr lack in the fossil record. It is noteworthy that the tolypeutines remain decidedly marginal in the Late Palaeogene and Early Neogene deposits, whereas other cingulate groups diversify. Also, the anatomical phylogenetic analysis herein, which includes K. boliviensis, is congruent with recent molecular phylogenetic analyses. Kuntinaru boliviensis is the oldest confident calibration point available for the whole Cingulata. PMID:21288952

  11. Bioluminescence imaging to track real-time armadillo promoter activity in live Drosophila embryos.

    PubMed

    Akiyoshi, Ryutaro; Kaneuch, Taro; Aigaki, Toshiro; Suzuki, Hirobumi

    2014-09-01

    We established a method for bioluminescence imaging (BLI) to track real-time gene expression in live Drosophila embryos. We constructed a transgenesis vector containing multiple cloning sites and enhanced green-emitting luciferase (ELuc; Emerald Luc), a brighter and pH-insensitive luciferase for promoter analysis. To evaluate the utility of BLI using an ELuc reporter together with an optimized microscope system, we visualized the expression pattern of armadillo (arm), a member of the Wnt pathway in Drosophila, throughout embryogenesis. We generated transgenic flies carrying the arm:: ELuc fusion gene, and successfully performed BLI continuously for 22 h in the same embryos. Our study showed, for the first time, that arm::Eluc expression was dramatically increased in the anterior midgut rudiment, myoblasts of the dorsal/lateral musculature, and the posterior spiracle after stage 13, and the cephalic region at stage 17. To further demonstrate the application of our BLI system, we revealed that arm transcriptional activity in embryos was modulated inversely by treatment with ionomycin or 6-bromoindirubin-3-oxime (BIO), an inhibitor and activator of Wnt/β-catenin signaling, respectively. Therefore, our microscopic BLI system is useful for monitoring gene expression in live Drosophila embryos, and for investigating regulatory mechanisms by using chemicals and mutations that might affect expression. PMID:25023969

  12. Spontaneous self-assembly of engineered armadillo repeat protein fragments into a folded structure.

    PubMed

    Watson, Randall P; Christen, Martin T; Ewald, Christina; Bumbak, Fabian; Reichen, Christian; Mihajlovic, Maja; Schmidt, Elena; Güntert, Peter; Caflisch, Amedeo; Plückthun, Andreas; Zerbe, Oliver

    2014-07-01

    Repeat proteins are built of modules, each of which constitutes a structural motif. We have investigated whether fragments of a designed consensus armadillo repeat protein (ArmRP) recognize each other. We examined a split ArmRP consisting of an N-capping repeat (denoted Y), three internal repeats (M), and a C-capping repeat (A). We demonstrate that the C-terminal MA fragment adopts a fold similar to the corresponding part of the entire protein. In contrast, the N-terminal YM2 fragment constitutes a molten globule. The two fragments form a 1:1 YM2:MA complex with a nanomolar dissociation constant essentially identical to the crystal structure of the continuous YM3A protein. Molecular dynamics simulations show that the complex is structurally stable over a 1 μs timescale and reveal the importance of hydrophobic contacts across the interface. We propose that the existence of a stable complex recapitulates possible intermediates in the early evolution of these repeat proteins. PMID:24931467

  13. Protection of Armadillo/β-Catenin by Armless, a Novel Positive Regulator of Wingless Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Reim, Gerlinde; Hruzova, Martina; Goetze, Sandra; Basler, Konrad

    2014-01-01

    The Wingless (Wg/Wnt) signaling pathway is essential for metazoan development, where it is central to tissue growth and cellular differentiation. Deregulated Wg pathway activation underlies severe developmental abnormalities, as well as carcinogenesis. Armadillo/β-Catenin plays a key role in the Wg transduction cascade; its cytoplasmic and nuclear levels directly determine the output activity of Wg signaling and are thus tightly controlled. In all current models, once Arm is targeted for degradation by the Arm/β-Catenin destruction complex, its fate is viewed as set. We identified a novel Wg/Wnt pathway component, Armless (Als), which is required for Wg target gene expression in a cell-autonomous manner. We found by genetic and biochemical analyses that Als functions downstream of the destruction complex, at the level of the SCF/Slimb/βTRCP E3 Ub ligase. In the absence of Als, Arm levels are severely reduced. We show by biochemical and in vivo studies that Als interacts directly with Ter94, an AAA ATPase known to associate with E3 ligases and to drive protein turnover. We suggest that Als antagonizes Ter94's positive effect on E3 ligase function and propose that Als promotes Wg signaling by rescuing Arm from proteolytic degradation, spotlighting an unexpected step where the Wg pathway signal is modulated. PMID:25369031

  14. Trypanosoma cruzi III from armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus novemcinctus) from Northeastern Venezuela and its biological behavior in murine model. Risk of emergency of Chagas' disease.

    PubMed

    Morocoima, Antonio; Carrasco, Hernán J; Boadas, Johanna; Chique, José David; Herrera, Leidi; Urdaneta-Morales, Servio

    2012-11-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi, etiological agent of Chagas' disease, was isolated from armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus novemcinctus) captured in rural communities Northeastern Venezuela from Nueva Esparta State (no endemic for Chagas' disease), Monagas and Anzoátegui States (endemics). The isolates, genetically typed by PCR-RFLP as belonging to the TcIII DTU, have demonstrated in murine model heterogenic parasitemia, mortality and histotropism with marked parasitism in cardiac, skeletal, and smooth myocytes that showed correlation with lymphobasophilic inflammatory infiltrates. Our finding of T. cruzi infected armadillos in Isla Margarita (Nueva Esparta State), together with reports of triatomine vectors in this region, the accentuated synanthropy of armadillos, intense economic activity, migration due to tourism and the lack of environmental education programs all of them represent risks that could cause the emergence of Chagas' disease in this area. This is the first report of the TcIII DTU in Northeastern Venezuela, thus widening the geographic distribution of this DTU. PMID:22902748

  15. A combined NMR and computational approach to investigate peptide binding to a designed Armadillo repeat protein.

    PubMed

    Ewald, Christina; Christen, Martin T; Watson, Randall P; Mihajlovic, Maja; Zhou, Ting; Honegger, Annemarie; Plückthun, Andreas; Caflisch, Amedeo; Zerbe, Oliver

    2015-05-22

    The specific recognition of peptide sequences by proteins plays an important role both in biology and in diagnostic applications. Here we characterize the relatively weak binding of the peptide neurotensin (NT) to the previously developed Armadillo repeat protein VG_328 by a multidisciplinary approach based on solution NMR spectroscopy, mutational studies, and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, totaling 20μs for all MD runs. We describe assignment challenges arising from the repetitive nature of the protein sequence, and we present novel approaches to address them. Partial assignments obtained for VG_328 in combination with chemical shift perturbations allowed us to identify the repeats not involved in binding. Their subsequent elimination resulted in a reduced-size binder with very similar affinity for NT, for which near-complete backbone assignments were achieved. A binding mode suggested by automatic docking and further validated by explicit solvent MD simulations is consistent with paramagnetic relaxation enhancement data collected using spin-labeled NT. Favorable intermolecular interactions are observed in the MD simulations for the residues that were previously shown to contribute to binding in an Ala scan of NT. We further characterized the role of residues within the N-cap for protein stability and peptide binding. Our multidisciplinary approach demonstrates that an initial low-resolution picture for a low-micromolar-peptide binder can be refined through the combination of NMR, protein design, docking, and MD simulations to establish its binding mode, even in the absence of crystallographic data, thereby providing valuable information for further design. PMID:25816772

  16. Brain tumor specifies intermediate progenitor cell identity by attenuating β-catenin/Armadillo activity

    PubMed Central

    Komori, Hideyuki; Xiao, Qi; McCartney, Brooke M.; Lee, Cheng-Yu

    2014-01-01

    During asymmetric stem cell division, both the daughter stem cell and the presumptive intermediate progenitor cell inherit cytoplasm from their parental stem cell. Thus, proper specification of intermediate progenitor cell identity requires an efficient mechanism to rapidly extinguish the activity of self-renewal factors, but the mechanisms remain unknown in most stem cell lineages. During asymmetric division of a type II neural stem cell (neuroblast) in the Drosophila larval brain, the Brain tumor (Brat) protein segregates unequally into the immature intermediate neural progenitor (INP), where it specifies INP identity by attenuating the function of the self-renewal factor Klumpfuss (Klu), but the mechanisms are not understood. Here, we report that Brat specifies INP identity through its N-terminal B-boxes via a novel mechanism that is independent of asymmetric protein segregation. Brat-mediated specification of INP identity is critically dependent on the function of the Wnt destruction complex, which attenuates the activity of β-catenin/Armadillo (Arm) in immature INPs. Aberrantly increasing Arm activity in immature INPs further exacerbates the defects in the specification of INP identity and enhances the supernumerary neuroblast mutant phenotype in brat mutant brains. By contrast, reducing Arm activity in immature INPs suppresses supernumerary neuroblast formation in brat mutant brains. Finally, reducing Arm activity also strongly suppresses supernumerary neuroblasts induced by overexpression of klu. Thus, the Brat-dependent mechanism extinguishes the function of the self-renewal factor Klu in the presumptive intermediate progenitor cell by attenuating Arm activity, balancing stem cell maintenance and progenitor cell specification. PMID:24257623

  17. Anatomy of Shoulder Girdle Muscle Modifications and Walking Adaptation in the Scaly Chinese Pangolin (Manis Pentadactyla Pentadactyla: Pholidota) Compared with the Partially Osteoderm-Clad Armadillos (Dasypodidae).

    PubMed

    Kawashima, Tomokazu; Thorington, Richard W; Bohaska, Paula W; Chen, Yen-Jean; Sato, Fumi

    2015-07-01

    Because pangolins are unique mammals with a body and limbs almost entirely sheathed in hard keratinous overlapping scales and with digging and climbing abilities, the shoulder girdle muscles may differ significantly from those of other mammals including the partially osteoderm-clad armadillos. Therefore, we conducted a functional anatomical study of the shoulder girdle muscles in Chinese pangolins (Manis pentadactyla pentadactyla, Pholidota) and some armadillo species (Dasypodidae). Our CT scans revealed that the pangolin's overlapping scales are hard structures completely encasing the limbs. The armadillo's limbs, however, are covered with small relatively soft non-overlapping scales embedded in the skin, and articulate completely free of the hard osteodermal carapace. The attachments of some shoulder girdle muscles in the pangolin have moved from the surrounding edges of the scapula to the spine, and they, therefore, fully cover the scapula. In addition, some pangolin shoulder girdle muscles cross the shoulder joint to insert on the distal humerus, but this does not occur in armadillos. We cannot rule out the possibility that these muscle modifications represent adaptations for digging and/or climbing in pangolins. Our results and previous literature do not establish specific links between them and locomotive modes. However, we propose that the Chinese pangolin may use its derived muscular features when walking to move its armor-restricted forelimbs more effectively by swinging its head from side to side. PMID:25950650

  18. Modulation of the ligand-independent traffic of Notch by Axin and Apc contributes to the activation of Armadillo in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Muñoz-Descalzo, Silvia; Tkocz, Katarzyna; Balayo, Tina; Arias, Alfonso Martinez

    2011-04-01

    There is increasing evidence for close functional interactions between Wnt and Notch signalling. In many instances, these are mediated by convergence of the signalling events on common transcriptional targets, but there are other instances that cannot be accounted for in this manner. Studies in Drosophila have revealed that an activated form of Armadillo, the effector of Wnt signalling, interacts with, and is modulated by, the Notch receptor. Specifically, the ligand-independent traffic of Notch serves to set up a threshold for the amount of this form of Armadillo and therefore for Wnt signalling. In the current model of Wnt signalling, a complex assembled around Axin and Apc allows GSK3 (Shaggy) to phosphorylate Armadillo and target it for degradation. However, genetic experiments suggest that the loss of function of any of these three elements does not have the same effect as elevating the activity of β-catenin. Here, we show that Axin and Apc, but not GSK3, modulate the ligand-independent traffic of Notch. This finding helps to explain unexpected differences in the phenotypes obtained by different ways of activating Armadillo function and provides further support for the notion that Wnt and Notch signalling form a single functional module. PMID:21389052

  19. Destruction complex function in the Wnt signaling pathway of Drosophila requires multiple interactions between Adenomatous polyposis coli 2 and Armadillo.

    PubMed

    Kunttas-Tatli, Ezgi; Zhou, Meng-Ning; Zimmerman, Sandra; Molinar, Olivia; Zhouzheng, Fangyuan; Carter, Krista; Kapur, Megha; Cheatle, Alys; Decal, Richard; McCartney, Brooke M

    2012-03-01

    The tumor suppressor Adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) negatively regulates Wnt signaling through its activity in the destruction complex. APC binds directly to the main effector of the pathway, β-catenin (βcat, Drosophila Armadillo), and helps to target it for degradation. In vitro studies demonstrated that a nonphosphorylated 20-amino-acid repeat (20R) of APC binds to βcat through the N-terminal extended region of a 20R. When phosphorylated, the phospho-region of an APC 20R also binds βcat and the affinity is significantly increased. These distinct APC-βcat interactions suggest different models for the sequential steps of destruction complex activity. However, the in vivo role of 20R phosphorylation and extended region interactions has not been rigorously tested. Here we investigated the functional role of these molecular interactions by making targeted mutations in Drosophila melanogaster APC2 that disrupt phosphorylation and extended region interactions and deletion mutants missing the Armadillo binding repeats. We tested the ability of these mutants to regulate Wnt signaling in APC2 null and in APC2 APC1 double-null embryos. Overall, our in vivo data support the role of phosphorylation and extended region interactions in APC2's destruction complex function, but suggest that the extended region plays a more significant functional role. Furthermore, we show that the Drosophila 20Rs with homology to the vertebrate APC repeats that have the highest affinity for βcat are functionally dispensable, contrary to biochemical predictions. Finally, for some mutants, destruction complex function was dependent on APC1, suggesting that APC2 and APC1 may act cooperatively in the destruction complex. PMID:22174073

  20. F-Actin Organization and Pollen Tube Tip Growth in Arabidopsis Are Dependent on the Gametophyte-Specific Armadillo Repeat Protein ARO1[W

    PubMed Central

    Gebert, Marina; Dresselhaus, Thomas; Sprunck, Stefanie

    2008-01-01

    The signal-mediated and spatially controlled assembly and dynamics of actin are crucial for maintaining shape, motility, and tip growth of eukaryotic cells. We report that a novel Armadillo repeat protein in Arabidopsis thaliana, ARMADILLO REPEAT ONLY1 (ARO1), is of fundamental importance for polar growth and F-actin organization in tip-growing pollen tubes. ARO1 is specifically expressed in the vegetative cell of pollen as well as in the egg cell. ARO1-GFP (for green fluorescent protein) fusion proteins accumulate most notably in pollen tube tips and partially colocalize with F-actin in the shank of pollen tubes. ARO1 knockout results in a highly disorganized actin cytoskeleton, growth depolarization, and ultimately tube growth arrest. Tip-localized ARO1-GFP is spatially shifted toward the future site of tip growth, indicating a role of ARO1 in the signaling network controlling tip growth and regulating actin organization. After the pollen tube discharges its contents into the receptive synergid, ARO1-GFP colocalizes with emerging F-actin structures near the site of sperm cell fusion, suggesting additional participation in the mechanism of sperm cell tracking toward the female gametes. The variable localization of ARO1 in the cytoplasm, the nucleus, and at the plasma membrane, however, indicates a multifunctional role like that of β-catenin/Armadillo and the p120 catenins. PMID:18931021

  1. An Armadillo Motif in Ufd3 Interacts with Cdc48 and is Involved in Ubiquitin Homeostasis and Protein Degradation

    SciTech Connect

    Zhao, G.; Li, G; Schindelin, H; Lennarz, W

    2009-01-01

    The yeast AAA-ATPase Cdc48 and the ubiquitin fusion degradation (UFD) proteins play important, evolutionarily conserved roles in ubiquitin dependent protein degradation. The N-terminal domain of Cdc48 interacts with substrate-recruiting cofactors, whereas the C terminus of Cdc48 binds to proteins such as Ufd3 that process substrates. Ufd3 is essential for efficient protein degradation and for maintaining cellular ubiquitin levels. This protein contains an N-terminal WD40 domain, a central ubiquitin-binding domain, and a C-terminal Cdc48-binding PUL domain. The crystal structure of the PUL domain reveals an Armadillo repeat with high structural similarity to importin-a, and the Cdc48-binding site could be mapped to the concave surface of the PUL domain by biochemical studies. Alterations of the Cdc48 binding site of Ufd3 by site-directed mutagenesis resulted in a depletion of cellular ubiquitin pools and reduced activity of the ubiquitin fusion degradation pathway. Therefore, our data provide direct evidence that the functions of Ufd3 in ubiquitin homeostasis and protein degradation depend on its interaction with the C terminus of Cdc48.

  2. A new Dasypodini armadillo (Xenarthra: Cingulata) from San Gregorio Formation, Pliocene of Venezuela: affinities and biogeographic interpretations.

    PubMed

    Castro, Mariela C; Carlini, Alfredo A; Sánchez, Rodolfo; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R

    2014-02-01

    We describe Pliodasypus vergelianus gen. et sp. nov., a Dasypodini armadillo from the middle Pliocene of Venezuela (Vergel Member, San Gregorio Formation). Although scarce, the remains are remarkable because of their geochronologic proximity to the main phase of Great American Biotic Interchange (GABI). The cladistic analysis conducted reveals that Pliodasypus groups with Dasypus and both are sister taxa of Propraopus, whereas Anadasypus is at a basal position. With respect to the records of tribe Dasypodini, after its oldest representative (Anadasypus, middle and late Miocene), the chronologically subsequent form is Pl. vergelianus (middle Pliocene), followed by Dasypus bellus in higher northern latitudes (late Pliocene), and then by widespread occurrences in the Pleistocene of North America (D. bellus) and South America (Propraopus, Dasypus punctatus, and Dasypus novemcinctus). Thus, we infer that Dasypus differentiated in the late Pliocene at low latitudes in the northern South America. It leads to two alternative hypotheses of dispersal: (a) some early Dasypus remained cryptically in South America until the Pleistocene, whereas others dispersed to North America between 2.2 and 2.7 Ma, or (b) they dispersed to North America subsequently to the emersion of the Panamanian isthmus and D. bellus differentiated there; later, during the Pleistocene, D. bellus entered South America and experienced speciation. The same process of re-ingression has been proposed to other xenarthrans, breaking with the traditional assumption that the GABI was unidirectional. PMID:24414134

  3. A new Dasypodini armadillo (Xenarthra: Cingulata) from San Gregorio Formation, Pliocene of Venezuela: affinities and biogeographic interpretations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castro, Mariela C.; Carlini, Alfredo A.; Sánchez, Rodolfo; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R.

    2014-02-01

    We describe Pliodasypus vergelianus gen. et sp. nov., a Dasypodini armadillo from the middle Pliocene of Venezuela (Vergel Member, San Gregorio Formation). Although scarce, the remains are remarkable because of their geochronologic proximity to the main phase of Great American Biotic Interchange (GABI). The cladistic analysis conducted reveals that Pliodasypus groups with Dasypus and both are sister taxa of Propraopus, whereas Anadasypus is at a basal position. With respect to the records of tribe Dasypodini, after its oldest representative ( Anadasypus, middle and late Miocene), the chronologically subsequent form is Pl. vergelianus (middle Pliocene), followed by Dasypus bellus in higher northern latitudes (late Pliocene), and then by widespread occurrences in the Pleistocene of North America ( D. bellus) and South America ( Propraopus, Dasypus punctatus, and Dasypus novemcinctus). Thus, we infer that Dasypus differentiated in the late Pliocene at low latitudes in the northern South America. It leads to two alternative hypotheses of dispersal: (a) some early Dasypus remained cryptically in South America until the Pleistocene, whereas others dispersed to North America between 2.2 and 2.7 Ma, or (b) they dispersed to North America subsequently to the emersion of the Panamanian isthmus and D. bellus differentiated there; later, during the Pleistocene, D. bellus entered South America and experienced speciation. The same process of re-ingression has been proposed to other xenarthrans, breaking with the traditional assumption that the GABI was unidirectional.

  4. Inhibition of Drosophila Wg signaling involves competition between Mad and Armadillo/beta-catenin for dTcf binding.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Yi Arial; Rahnama, Maryam; Wang, Simon; Lee, Wendy; Verheyen, Esther M

    2008-01-01

    Precisely regulated signal transduction pathways are crucial for the regulation of developmental events and prevention of tumorigenesis. Both the Transforming Growth Factor beta (TGFbeta)/Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) and Wnt/Wingless (Wg) pathways play essential roles in organismal patterning and growth, and their deregulation can lead to cancers. We describe a mechanism of interaction between Drosophila Wg and BMP signaling in which Wg target gene expression is antagonized by BMP signaling. In vivo, high levels of both an activated BMP receptor and the BMP effector Mad can inhibit the expression of Wg target genes. Conversely, loss of mad can induce Wg target gene expression. In addition, we find that ectopic expression in vivo of the Wg transcription factor dTcf is able to suppress the inhibitory effect caused by ectopic Mad. In vitro binding studies revealed competition for dTcf binding between Mad and the Wnt effector beta-catenin/Armadillo (Arm). Our in vivo genetic analyses and target gene studies support a mechanism consistent with the in vitro binding and competition studies, namely that BMP pathway components can repress Wg target gene expression by influencing the binding of Arm and dTcf. PMID:19065265

  5. The Microtubule Plus-End Tracking Protein ARMADILLO-REPEAT KINESIN1 Promotes Microtubule Catastrophe in Arabidopsis[W][OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Eng, Ryan Christopher; Wasteneys, Geoffrey O.

    2014-01-01

    Microtubule dynamics are critically important for plant cell development. Here, we show that Arabidopsis thaliana ARMADILLO-REPEAT KINESIN1 (ARK1) plays a key role in root hair tip growth by promoting microtubule catastrophe events. This destabilizing activity appears to maintain adequate free tubulin concentrations in order to permit rapid microtubule growth, which in turn is correlated with uniform tip growth. Microtubules in ark1-1 root hairs exhibited reduced catastrophe frequency and slower growth velocities, both of which were restored by low concentrations of the microtubule-destabilizing drug oryzalin. An ARK1-GFP (green fluorescent protein) fusion protein expressed under its endogenous promoter localized to growing microtubule plus ends and rescued the ark1-1 root hair phenotype. Transient overexpression of ARK1-RFP (red fluorescent protein) increased microtubule catastrophe frequency. ARK1-fusion protein constructs lacking the N-terminal motor domain still labeled microtubules, suggesting the existence of a second microtubule binding domain at the C terminus of ARK1. ARK1-GFP was broadly expressed in seedlings, but mutant phenotypes were restricted to root hairs, indicating that ARK1’s function is redundant in cells other than those forming root hairs. PMID:25159991

  6. 3D model for Cancerous Inhibitor of Protein Phosphatase 2A armadillo domain unveils highly conserved protein-protein interaction characteristics.

    PubMed

    Dahlström, Käthe M; Salminen, Tiina A

    2015-12-01

    Cancerous Inhibitor of Protein Phosphatase 2A (CIP2A) is a human oncoprotein, which exerts its cancer-promoting function through interaction with other proteins, for example Protein Phosphatase 2A (PP2A) and MYC. The lack of structural information for CIP2A significantly prevents the design of anti-cancer therapeutics targeting this protein. In an attempt to counteract this fact, we modeled the three-dimensional structure of the N-terminal domain (CIP2A-ArmRP), analyzed key areas and amino acids, and coupled the results to the existing literature. The model reliably shows a stable armadillo repeat fold with a positively charged groove. The fact that this conserved groove highly likely binds peptides is corroborated by the presence of a conserved polar ladder, which is essential for the proper peptide-binding mode of armadillo repeat proteins and, according to our results, several known CIP2A interaction partners appropriately possess an ArmRP-binding consensus motif. Moreover, we show that Arg229Gln, which has been linked to the development of cancer, causes a significant change in charge and surface properties of CIP2A-ArmRP. In conclusion, our results reveal that CIP2A-ArmRP shares the typical fold, protein-protein interaction site and interaction patterns with other natural armadillo proteins and that, presumably, several interaction partners bind into the central groove of the modeled CIP2A-ArmRP. By providing essential structural characteristics of CIP2A, the present study significantly increases our knowledge on how CIP2A interacts with other proteins in cancer progression and how to develop new therapeutics targeting CIP2A. PMID:26393783

  7. The first armadillo repeat is involved in the recognition and regulation of beta-catenin phosphorylation by protein kinase CK1.

    PubMed

    Bustos, Victor H; Ferrarese, Anna; Venerando, Andrea; Marin, Oriano; Allende, Jorge E; Pinna, Lorenzo A

    2006-12-26

    Multiple phosphorylation of beta-catenin by glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3) in the Wnt pathway is primed by CK1 through phosphorylation of Ser-45, which lacks a typical CK1 canonical sequence. Synthetic peptides encompassing amino acids 38-64 of beta-catenin are phosphorylated by CK1 on Ser-45 with low affinity (K(m) approximately 1 mM), whereas intact beta-catenin is phosphorylated at Ser-45 with very high affinity (K(m) approximately 200 nM). Peptides extended to include a putative CK1 docking motif (FXXXF) at 70-74 positions or a F74AA mutation in full-length beta-catenin had no significant effect on CK1 phosphorylation efficiency. beta-Catenin C-terminal deletion mutants up to residue 181 maintained their high affinity, whereas removal of the 131-181 fragment, corresponding to the first armadillo repeat, was deleterious, resulting in a 50-fold increase in K(m) value. Implication of the first armadillo repeat in beta-catenin targeting by CK1 is supported in that the Y142E mutation, which mimics phosphorylation of Tyr-142 by tyrosine kinases and promotes dissociation of beta-catenin from alpha-catenin, further improves CK1 phosphorylation efficiency, lowering the K(m) value to <50 nM, approximating the physiological concentration of beta-catenin. In contrast, alpha-catenin, which interacts with the N-terminal region of beta-catenin, prevents Ser-45 phosphorylation of CK1 in a dose-dependent manner. Our data show that the integrity of the N-terminal region and the first armadillo repeat are necessary and sufficient for high-affinity phosphorylation by CK1 of Ser-45. They also suggest that beta-catenin association with alpha-catenin and beta-catenin phosphorylation by CK1 at Ser-45 are mutually exclusive. PMID:17172446

  8. The Armadillo Repeat-containing Protein, ARMCX3, Physically and Functionally Interacts with the Developmental Regulatory Factor Sox10*

    PubMed Central

    Mou, Zhongming; Tapper, Andrew R.; Gardner, Paul D.

    2009-01-01

    Sox10 is a member of the group E Sox transcription factor family and plays key roles in neural crest development and subsequent cellular differentiation. Sox10 binds to regulatory sequences in target genes via its conserved high mobility group domain. In most cases, Sox10 exerts its transcriptional effects in concert with other DNA-binding factors, adaptor proteins, and nuclear import proteins. These interactions can lead to synergistic gene activation and can be cell type-specific. In earlier work, we demonstrated that Sox10 transactivates the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor α3 and β4 subunit genes and does so only in neuronal-like cell lines, raising the possibility that Sox10 mediates its effects via interactions with co-regulatory factors. Here we describe the identification of the armadillo repeat-containing protein, ARMCX3, as a Sox10-interacting protein. Biochemical analyses indicate that ARMCX3 is an integral membrane protein of the mitochondrial outer membrane. Others have shown that Sox10 is a nucleocytoplasmic shuttling protein. We extend this observation and demonstrate that, in the cytoplasm, Sox10 is peripherally associated with the mitochondrial outer membrane. Both Sox10 and ARMCX3 are expressed in mouse brain and spinal cord as well as several cell lines. Overexpression of ARMCX3 increased the amount of mitochondrially associated Sox10. In addition, although ARMCX3 does not possess intrinsic transcriptional activity, it does enhance transactivation of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor α3 and β4 subunit gene promoters by Sox10. These results suggest that Sox10 is a membrane-associated factor whose transcriptional function is increased by direct interactions with ARMCX3 and raise the possibility of a signal transduction cascade between the nucleus and mitochondria through Sox10/ARMCX3 interactions. PMID:19304657

  9. Btk29A-mediated tyrosine phosphorylation of armadillo/β-catenin promotes ring canal growth in Drosophila oogenesis.

    PubMed

    Hamada-Kawaguchi, Noriko; Nishida, Yasuyoshi; Yamamoto, Daisuke

    2015-01-01

    Drosophila Btk29A is the ortholog of mammalian Btk, a Tec family nonreceptor tyrosine kinase whose deficit causes X-linked agammaglobulinemia in humans. The Btk29AficP mutation induces multiple abnormalities in oogenesis, including the growth arrest of ring canals, large intercellular bridges that allow the flow of cytoplasm carrying maternal products essential for embryonic development from the nurse cells to the oocyte during oogenesis. In this study, inactivation of Parcas, a negative regulator of Btk29A, was found to promote Btk29A accumulation on ring canals with a concomitant increase in the ring canal diameter, counteracting the Btk29AficP mutation. This mutation markedly reduced the accumulation of phosphotyrosine on ring canals and in the regions of cell-cell contact, where adhesion-supporting proteins such as DE-cadherin and β-catenin ortholog Armadillo (Arm) are located. Our previous in vitro and in vivo analyses revealed that Btk29A directly phosphorylates Arm, leading to its release from DE-cadherin. In the present experiments, immunohistological analysis revealed that phosphorylation at tyrosine 150 (Y150) and Y667 of Arm was diminished in Btk29AficP mutant ring canals. Overexpression of an Arm mutant with unphosphorylatable Y150 inhibited ring canal growth. Thus Btk29A-induced Y150 phosphorylation is necessary for the normal growth of ring canals. We suggest that the dissociation of tyrosine-phosphorylated Arm from DE-cadherin allows dynamic actin to reorganize, leading to ring canal expansion and cell shape changes during the course of oogenesis. PMID:25803041

  10. Evidence for the Nucleo-Apical Shuttling of a Beta-Catenin Like Plasmodium falciparum Armadillo Repeat Containing Protein

    PubMed Central

    Mitra, Pallabi; Gupta, Enna Dogra; Sahar, Tajali; Pandey, Alok K.; Dangi, Poonam; Reddy, K. Sony; Chauhan, Virander Singh; Gaur, Deepak

    2016-01-01

    Eukaryotic Armadillo (ARM) repeat proteins are multifaceted with prominent roles in cell-cell adhesion, cytoskeletal regulation and intracellular signaling among many others. One such ARM repeat containing protein, ARM Repeats Only (ARO), has recently been demonstrated in both Toxoplasma (TgARO) and Plasmodium (PfARO) parasites to be targeted to the rhoptries during the late asexual stages. TgARO has been implicated to play an important role in rhoptry positioning i.e. directing the rhoptry towards the apical end of the parasite. Here, we report for the first time that PfARO exhibits a DNA binding property and a dynamic sub-cellular localization between the nucleus (early schizont) and rhoptry (late schizont) during the different stages of the asexual blood-stage life cycle. PfARO possesses a putative nuclear export signal (NES) and the nucleo-apical shuttling was sensitive to Leptomycin B (LMB) suggesting that the nuclear export was mediated by CRM1. Importantly, PfARO specifically bound an A-T rich DNA sequence of the P. falciparum Gyrase A (PfgyrA) gene, suggesting that the DNA binding specificity of PfARO is likely due to the AT-richness of the probe. This is a novel functional characteristic that has not been reported previously for any P. falciparum ARM containing protein and suggests a putative role for PfARO in gene regulation. This study describes for the first time a conserved P. falciparum ARM repeat protein with a high degree of functional versatility. PMID:26828945

  11. Evidence for the Nucleo-Apical Shuttling of a Beta-Catenin Like Plasmodium falciparum Armadillo Repeat Containing Protein.

    PubMed

    Mitra, Pallabi; Gupta, Enna Dogra; Sahar, Tajali; Pandey, Alok K; Dangi, Poonam; Reddy, K Sony; Chauhan, Virander Singh; Gaur, Deepak

    2016-01-01

    Eukaryotic Armadillo (ARM) repeat proteins are multifaceted with prominent roles in cell-cell adhesion, cytoskeletal regulation and intracellular signaling among many others. One such ARM repeat containing protein, ARM Repeats Only (ARO), has recently been demonstrated in both Toxoplasma (TgARO) and Plasmodium (PfARO) parasites to be targeted to the rhoptries during the late asexual stages. TgARO has been implicated to play an important role in rhoptry positioning i.e. directing the rhoptry towards the apical end of the parasite. Here, we report for the first time that PfARO exhibits a DNA binding property and a dynamic sub-cellular localization between the nucleus (early schizont) and rhoptry (late schizont) during the different stages of the asexual blood-stage life cycle. PfARO possesses a putative nuclear export signal (NES) and the nucleo-apical shuttling was sensitive to Leptomycin B (LMB) suggesting that the nuclear export was mediated by CRM1. Importantly, PfARO specifically bound an A-T rich DNA sequence of the P. falciparum Gyrase A (PfgyrA) gene, suggesting that the DNA binding specificity of PfARO is likely due to the AT-richness of the probe. This is a novel functional characteristic that has not been reported previously for any P. falciparum ARM containing protein and suggests a putative role for PfARO in gene regulation. This study describes for the first time a conserved P. falciparum ARM repeat protein with a high degree of functional versatility. PMID:26828945

  12. An ancient and conserved function for Armadillo-related proteins in the control of spore and seed germination by abscisic acid.

    PubMed

    Moody, Laura A; Saidi, Younousse; Gibbs, Daniel J; Choudhary, Anushree; Holloway, Daniel; Vesty, Eleanor F; Bansal, Kiran Kaur; Bradshaw, Susan J; Coates, Juliet C

    2016-08-01

    Armadillo-related proteins regulate development throughout eukaryotic kingdoms. In the flowering plant Arabidopsis thaliana, Armadillo-related ARABIDILLO proteins promote multicellular root branching. ARABIDILLO homologues exist throughout land plants, including early-diverging species lacking true roots, suggesting that early-evolving ARABIDILLOs had additional biological roles. Here we investigated, using molecular genetics, the conservation and diversification of ARABIDILLO protein function in plants separated by c. 450 million years of evolution. We demonstrate that ARABIDILLO homologues in the moss Physcomitrella patens regulate a previously undiscovered inhibitory effect of abscisic acid (ABA) on spore germination. Furthermore, we show that A. thaliana ARABIDILLOs function similarly during seed germination. Early-diverging ARABIDILLO homologues from both P. patens and the lycophyte Selaginella moellendorffii can substitute for ARABIDILLO function during A. thaliana root development and seed germination. We conclude that (1) ABA was co-opted early in plant evolution to regulate functionally analogous processes in spore- and seed-producing plants and (2) plant ARABIDILLO germination functions were co-opted early into both gametophyte and sporophyte, with a specific rooting function evolving later in the land plant lineage. PMID:27040616

  13. Using non-invasive methods to characterize gonadal hormonal patterns of southern three-banded armadillos (Tolypeutes matacus) housed in North American zoos.

    PubMed

    Howell-Stephens, J; Bernier, D; Brown, J S; Mulkerin, D; Santymire, R M

    2013-05-01

    Understanding the basic reproductive biology and limitations to successful breeding of the southern three-banded armadillo (Tolypeutes matacus) is necessary to maintain viable zoo populations. Our objectives were to: 1) describe the reproductive biology using non-invasive, fecal hormone analysis; 2) assess influence of season on gonadal hormonal patterns in both the sexes; 3) characterize reproductive cyclicity and pregnancy in the female; and 4) characterize the onset of sexual maturity in males. Nineteen armadillos were monitored including: 13 (7 males, 6 females) from Lincoln Park Zoo and six (3 males, 3 females) from San Antonio Zoological Garden. Fecal samples (n=5220; 275/animal/yr) were collected 5 to 7 times a week for 1 year. Hormones were extracted from feces and analyzed for progestagen (females) and androgen (males) metabolite concentrations using enzyme immunoassays. Mean estrous cycle length (26.4±1.3 days) did not vary (P<0.05) among individuals (n=9). Mean gestation length (n=3) was 114.0±0.6 days long with mean fecal progestagen metabolites increasing 10-fold during pregnancy. Seasons did not influence (P<0.05) fecal androgen or progestagen metabolites. These data can assist with management decisions, which will directly affect the success of this species in zoos. PMID:23541612

  14. Armadillos, Boatbills & Crocodiles.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berkovits, Annette; Greenblatt, Esther

    1980-01-01

    Recounts the unique partnership in science instruction developed between Nassau and Suffolk County (New York) schools and the Bronx Zoo to provide educational experiences for handicapped and mentally retarded students. Discussion focuses on a five-phase program developed for 200 elementary secondary students from Rosemary Kennedy Center through…

  15. Structural and mutational analysis reveals that CTNNBL1 binds NLSs in a manner distinct from that of its closest armadillo-relative, karyopherin α☆

    PubMed Central

    Ganesh, Karuna; van Maldegem, Febe; Telerman, Stephanie B.; Simpson, Paul; Johnson, Christopher M.; Williams, Roger L.; Neuberger, Michael S.; Rada, Cristina

    2014-01-01

    CTNNBL1 is a spliceosome-associated protein that binds nuclear localization signals (NLSs) in splice factors CDC5L and Prp31 as well as the antibody diversifying enzyme AID. Here, crystal structures of human CTNNBL1 reveal a distinct structure from its closest homologue karyopherin-α. CTNNBL1 comprises a HEAT-like domain (including a nuclear export signal), a central armadillo domain, and a coiled-coil C-terminal domain. Structure-guided mutations of the region homologous to the karyopherin-α NLS-binding site fail to disrupt CTNNBL1–NLS interactions. Our results identify CTNNBL1 as a unique selective NLS-binding protein with striking differences from karyopherin-αs. PMID:24269683

  16. Natural infection of gastrointestinal nematodes in long-nosed armadillos Dasypus novemcinctus Linnaeus, 1758 from Pantanal wetlands, Aquidauana sub-region, Mato Grosso do Sul State, with the description of Hadrostrongylus speciosum n. gen. et n. sp. (Molineidae: Anoplostrongylinae).

    PubMed

    Lux Hoppe, Estevam G; do Nascimento, Adjair Antonio

    2007-03-15

    This study evaluated the gastrointestinal helminth fauna of long-nosed armadillos, Dasypus novemcinctus, from the Pantanal wetlands, Aquidauana sub-region, Aquidauana County, Mato Grosso do Sul State, Brazil. Thirteen species of nematodes, comprising seven genera and four families, were recovered from their gastrointestinal tracts. The following descriptors of infection were determined: prevalence, variation of intensity, average intensity and abundance. Hadrostrongylus speciosum n. gen. et n. sp. is first described here. PMID:17071001

  17. Rapid Identification of a Natural Knockout Allele of ARMADILLO REPEAT-CONTAINING KINESIN1 That Causes Root Hair Branching by Mapping-By-Sequencing1[C][W

    PubMed Central

    Rishmawi, Louai; Sun, Hequan; Schneeberger, Korbinian; Hülskamp, Martin; Schrader, Andrea

    2014-01-01

    In Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), branched root hairs are an indicator of defects in root hair tip growth. Among 62 accessions, one accession (Heiligkreuztal2 [HKT2.4]) displayed branched root hairs, suggesting that this accession carries a mutation in a gene of importance for tip growth. We determined 200- to 300-kb mapping intervals using a mapping-by-sequencing approach of F2 pools from crossings of HKT2.4 with three different accessions. The intersection of these mapping intervals was 80 kb in size featuring not more than 36 HKT2.4-specific single nucleotide polymorphisms, only two of which changed the coding potential of genes. Among them, we identified the causative single nucleotide polymorphism changing a splicing site in ARMADILLO REPEAT-CONTAINING KINESIN1. The applied strategies have the potential to complement statistical methods in high-throughput phenotyping studies using different natural accessions to identify causative genes for distinct phenotypes represented by only one or a few accessions. PMID:25248719

  18. The Armadillo Repeat Gene ZAK IXIK Promotes Arabidopsis Early Embryo and Endosperm Development through a Distinctive Gametophytic Maternal Effect[C][W][OA

    PubMed Central

    Ngo, Quy A.; Baroux, Celia; Guthörl, Daniela; Mozerov, Peter; Collinge, Margaret A.; Sundaresan, Venkatesan; Grossniklaus, Ueli

    2012-01-01

    The proper balance of parental genomic contributions to the fertilized embryo and endosperm is essential for their normal growth and development. The characterization of many gametophytic maternal effect (GME) mutants affecting seed development indicates that there are certain classes of genes with a predominant maternal contribution. We present a detailed analysis of the GME mutant zak ixik (zix), which displays delayed and arrested growth at the earliest stages of embryo and endosperm development. ZIX encodes an Armadillo repeat (Arm) protein highly conserved across eukaryotes. Expression studies revealed that ZIX manifests a GME through preferential maternal expression in the early embryo and endosperm. This parent-of-origin–dependent expression is regulated by neither the histone and DNA methylation nor the DNA demethylation pathways known to regulate some other GME mutants. The ZIX protein is localized in the cytoplasm and nucleus of cells in reproductive tissues and actively dividing root zones. The maternal ZIX allele is required for the maternal expression of MINISEED3. Collectively, our results reveal a reproductive function of plant Arm proteins in promoting early seed growth, which is achieved through a distinct GME of ZIX that involves mechanisms for maternal allele-specific expression that are independent of the well-established pathways. PMID:23064319

  19. Validation of Armadillo officinalis Dumèril, 1816 (Crustacea, Isopoda, Oniscidea) as a bioindicator: in vivo study of air benzene exposure.

    PubMed

    Agodi, A; Oliveri Conti, G; Barchitta, M; Quattrocchi, A; Lombardo, B M; Montesanto, G; Messina, G; Fiore, M; Ferrante, M

    2015-04-01

    This study tests the potential for using Armadillo officinalis as a bioindicator of exposure to and activation of benzene metabolic pathways using an in vivo model. A. officinalis specimens collected in a natural reserve were divided into a control and three test groups exposed to 2.00, 5.32 or 9.09 µg/m(3) benzene for 24h. Three independent tests were performed to assess model reproducibility. Animals were dissected to obtain three pooled tissue samples per group: hepatopancreas (HEP), other organs and tissues (OOT), and exoskeleton (EXO). Muconic acid (MA), S-phenylmercapturic acid (S-PMA), two human metabolites of benzene, and changes in mtDNA copy number, a human biomarker of benzene exposure, were determined in each sample; benzene was determined only in EXO. MA was measured by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with ultraviolet (UV) detection, S-PMA by triple quadrupole mass spectrometer liquid chromatography with electro spray ionization (LC-MS-ESI-TQD), mtDNA by real-time quantitative PCR and end-point PCR, and benzene by quadrupole mass spectrometer head-space gas chromatography (HSGC-MS). MA and S-PMA levels rose both in HEP and OOT; EXO exhibited increasing benzene concentrations; and mtDNA copy number rose in HEP but not in OOT samples. Overall, our findings demonstrate that A. officinalis is a sensitive bioindicator of air benzene exposure and show for the first time its ability to reproduce human metabolic dynamics. PMID:25638523

  20. Aspidodera kinsellai n. sp. (Nematoda: Heterakoidea) from nine-banded armadillos in Middle America with notes on phylogeny and host-parasite biogeography.

    PubMed

    Jiménez, F Agustín; Carreno, Ramón A; Gardner, Scott L

    2013-12-01

    Aspidodera kinsellai n. sp. (Heterakoidea: Aspidoderidae) from the 9-banded armadillo, Dasypus novemcinctus , is herein described. This nematode occurs from Costa Rica north through central Mexico where it can be found causing co-infections with Aspidodera sogandaresi . Aspidodera kinsellai n. sp. can be discriminated from this and all other species in the family based on 3 key features, including (1) conspicuous lateral grooves with no lateral alae starting immediately after the hood and terminating at the cloacal/anal region; (2) long hoods in both male (360 μm) and female (401 μm), and (3) a relatively long (152 μm) terminal spine or terminus that gradually tapers to a point from the last pair of papillae. This is the 18th recognized species of the family and the 3rd in the genus present outside of South America. A phylogenetic analysis of the species in the genus with the use of the mitochondrial partial genes cytochrome C oxidase subunit 1 (cox1), the ribosomal large subunit (rrnL), and the internal transcriber spacer (ITS) shows that 2 species of Aspidodera may have entered into North America from the south via 2 independent events. PMID:23909482

  1. A new species of Tunga perforating the osteoderms of its armadillo host in Argentina and redescription of the male of Tunga terasma.

    PubMed

    Ezquiaga, M C; Linardi, P M; De Avelar, D M; Lareschi, M

    2015-06-01

    A new species of Tunga (Siphonaptera: Tungidae) collected from armadillos in Argentina is described. The new species is characterized by large and pigmented eyes, the presence of two bristles on antennal segment II, two bristles at the base of the maxilla, and a discoid neosome compressed anteroposteriorly. The gravid female is located in the carapace of the host, perforating the osteoderms. The new species resembles Tunga penetrans and Tunga terasma in general appearance. However, it differs by the greater anteroposterior compression of the neosome, a more angular head, and a manubrium with a pointed proximal end and convex ventral margin (the proximal end of the manubrium is rounded or slightly pointed in T. terasma, and the ventral margin is straight in both T. penetrans and T. terasma). In addition, specimens of T. penetrans have more bristles in antennal segments II and III, and lack bristles in the posterior tibia. This is the first report of a species of Tunga perforating the osteoderms of its host and thereby showing a high degree of specialization. Tunga terasma is recorded for the first time in Argentina; the male is described again and the characteristics of the species amended. This information may be useful in epidemiological studies of diseases caused by species of Tunga. PMID:25630228

  2. Rapid identification of a natural knockout allele of ARMADILLO REPEAT-CONTAINING KINESIN1 that causes root hair branching by mapping-by-sequencing.

    PubMed

    Rishmawi, Louai; Sun, Hequan; Schneeberger, Korbinian; Hülskamp, Martin; Schrader, Andrea

    2014-11-01

    In Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), branched root hairs are an indicator of defects in root hair tip growth. Among 62 accessions, one accession (Heiligkreuztal2 [HKT2.4]) displayed branched root hairs, suggesting that this accession carries a mutation in a gene of importance for tip growth. We determined 200- to 300-kb mapping intervals using a mapping-by-sequencing approach of F2 pools from crossings of HKT2.4 with three different accessions. The intersection of these mapping intervals was 80 kb in size featuring not more than 36 HKT2.4-specific single nucleotide polymorphisms, only two of which changed the coding potential of genes. Among them, we identified the causative single nucleotide polymorphism changing a splicing site in ARMADILLO REPEAT-CONTAINING KINESIN1. The applied strategies have the potential to complement statistical methods in high-throughput phenotyping studies using different natural accessions to identify causative genes for distinct phenotypes represented by only one or a few accessions. PMID:25248719

  3. Litopenaeus vannamei sterile-alpha and armadillo motif containing protein (LvSARM) is involved in regulation of Penaeidins and antilipopolysaccharide factors.

    PubMed

    Wang, Pei-Hui; Gu, Zhi-Hua; Wan, Ding-Hui; Zhu, Wei-Bin; Qiu, Wei; Weng, Shao-Ping; Yu, Xiao-Qiang; He, Jian-Guo

    2013-01-01

    The Toll-like receptor (TLR)-mediated NF-κB pathway is tightly controlled because overactivation may result in severe damage to the host, such as in the case of chronic inflammatory diseases and cancer. In mammals, sterile-alpha and armadillo motif-containing protein (SARM) plays an important role in negatively regulating this pathway. While Caenorhabditis elegans SARM is crucial for an efficient immune response against bacterial and fungal infections, it is still unknown whether Drosophila SARM participates in immune responses. Here, Litopenaeus vannamei SARM (LvSARM) was cloned and functionally characterized. LvSARM shared signature domains with and exhibited significant similarities to mammalian SARM. Real-time quantitative PCR analysis indicated that the expression of LvSARM was responsive to Vibrio alginolyticus and white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) infections in the hemocyte, gill, hepatopancreas and intestine. In Drosophila S2 cells, LvSARM was widely distributed in the cytoplasm and could significantly inhibit the promoters of the NF-κB pathway-controlled antimicrobial peptide genes (AMPs). Silencing of LvSARM using dsRNA-mediated RNA interference increased the expression levels of Penaeidins and antilipopolysaccharide factors, which are L.vannamei AMPs, and increased the mortality rate after V. alginolyticus infection. Taken together, our results reveal that LvSARM may be a novel component of the shrimp Toll pathway that negatively regulates shrimp AMPs, particularly Penaeidins and antilipopolysaccharide factors. PMID:23405063

  4. Identification of Interacting Motifs Between Armadillo Repeat Containing 1 (ARC1) and Exocyst 70 A1 (Exo70A1) Proteins in Brassica oleracea.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jing; Zhang, Hecui; Lian, Xiaoping; Converse, Richard; Zhu, Liquan

    2016-02-01

    In order to identify the functional domains which regulate the interaction between the self-incompatibility proteins armadillo repeat containing 1 (ARC1) and exocyst 70 A1 (Exo70A1) in Brassica oleracea, fragments containing selected motifs of ARC1 (ARC1210, ARC1246, ARC1279, ARC1354) and site-specific mutants with substitutions at possible interaction sites (ARC1354m, ARC1664m) were PCR amplified and inserted into pGADT7, while coding sequences from Exo70A1 (Exo70A185, Exo70A1) were subcloned into pGBKT7. The interactions between the protein products produced by these constructs were then analyzed utilizing a yeast two-hybrid system. Our data indicate that both ARC1210 and ARC1246 interact strongly with Exo70A185 and Exo70A1, while ARC1279, ARC1354, ARC1354m and ARC1664m exhibited a weak interaction, indicating that the recognition sites are located within the 210 N-terminal amino acids of ARC1 and the 85 N-terminal amino acids of Exo70A1. This was further verified by GST pull-down analysis. This supports a model in which the N-terminal leucine zipper of ARC1 and the first 85 N-terminal amino acids of Exo70A1 mediate the interaction between these two proteins. Bioinformatic and phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that these motifs were highly conserved across different species, indicating that the interaction characterized in B. oleracea may operate in a wide array of cultivars. PMID:26696546

  5. Drosophila E-cadherin and its binding partner Armadillo/ beta-catenin are required for axonal pathway choices in the developing larval brain.

    PubMed

    Fung, Siaumin; Wang, Fay; Spindler, Shana R; Hartenstein, Volker

    2009-08-15

    The fly brain is formed by approximately hundred paired lineages of neurons, each lineage derived from one neuroblast. Embryonic neuroblasts undergo a small number of divisions and produce the primary neurons that form the functioning larval brain. In the larva, neuroblasts produce the secondary lineages that make up the bulk of the adult brain. Axons of a given secondary lineage fasciculate with each other and form a discrete bundle, the secondary axon tract (SAT). Secondary axon tracts prefigure the long axon connections of the adult brain, and therefore pathway choices of SATs made in the larva determine adult brain circuitry. Drosophila Shotgun/E-cadherin (DE-cad) and its binding partner Armadillo/beta-catenin (beta-cat) are expressed in newly born secondary neurons and their axons. The fact that the highly diverse, yet invariant pattern of secondary lineages and SATs has been recently mapped in the wild-type brain enabled us to investigate the role of DE-cad and beta-cat with the help of MARCM clones. Clones were validated by their absence of DE-cad immuno-reactivity. The most significant phenotype consists in the defasciculation and an increased amount of branching of SATs at the neuropile-cortex boundary, as well as subtle changes in the trajectory of SATs within the neuropile. In general, only a fraction of mutant clones in a given lineage showed structural abnormalities. Furthermore, although they all globally express DE-cad and beta-cat, lineages differ in their requirement for DE-cad function. Some lineages never showed morphological abnormalities in MARCM clones, whereas others reacted with abnormal branching and changes in SAT trajectory at a high frequency. We conclude that DE-cad/beta-cat form part of the mechanism that control branching and trajectory of axon tracts in the larval brain. PMID:19520071

  6. Drosophila E-cadherin and its binding partner Armadillo/ β-catenin are required for axonal pathway choices in the developing larval brain

    PubMed Central

    Fung, Siaumin; Wang, Fay; Spindler, Shana R; Hartenstein, Volker

    2009-01-01

    The fly brain is formed by approximately hundred paired lineages of neurons, each lineage derived from one neuroblast. Embryonic neuroblasts undergo a small number of divisions and produce the primary neurons that form the functioning larval brain. In the larva, neuroblasts produce the secondary lineages that make up the bulk of the adult brain. Axons of a given secondary lineage fasciculate with each other and form a discrete bundle, the secondary axon tract (SAT). Secondary axon tracts prefigure the long axon connections of the adult brain, and therefore pathway choices of SATs made in the larva determine adult brain circuitry. Drosophila Shotgun/E-cadherin (DE-cad) and its binding partner Armadillo/β-catenin (β-cat) are expressed in newly born secondary neurons and their axons. The fact that the highly diverse, yet invariant pattern of secondary lineages and SATs has been recently mapped in the wild-type brain enabled us to investigate the role of DE-cad and β-cat with the help of MARCM clones. Clones were validated by their absence of DE-cad immuno-reactivity. The most significant phenotype consists in the defasciculation and an increased amount of branching of SATs at the neuropile-cortex boundary, as well as subtle changes in the trajectory of SATs within the neuropile. In general, only a fraction of mutant clones in a given lineage showed structural abnormalities. Furthermore, although they all globally express DE-cad and β-cat, lineages differ in their requirement for DE-cad function. Some lineages never showed morphological abnormalities in MARCM clones, whereas others reacted with abnormal branching and changes in SAT trajectory at a high frequency. We conclude that DE-cad/β-cat form part of the mechanism that control branching and trajectory of axon tracts in the larval brain. PMID:19520071

  7. Specific Armadillo Repeat Sequences Facilitate β-Catenin Nuclear Transport in Live Cells via Direct Binding to Nucleoporins Nup62, Nup153, and RanBP2/Nup358*

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Manisha; Jamieson, Cara; Johnson, Michael; Molloy, Mark P.; Henderson, Beric R.

    2012-01-01

    β-Catenin transduces the Wnt signal from the membrane to nucleus, and certain gene mutations trigger its nuclear accumulation leading to cell transformation and cancer. β-Catenin shuttles between the nucleus and cytoplasm independent of classical Ran/transport receptor pathways, and this movement was previously hypothesized to involve the central Armadillo (Arm) domain. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) assays were used to delineate functional transport regions of the Arm domain in living cells. The strongest nuclear import/export activity was mapped to Arm repeats R10–12 using both in vivo FRAP and in vitro export assays. By comparison, Arm repeats R3–8 of β-catenin were highly active for nuclear import but displayed a comparatively weak export activity. We show for the first time using purified components that specific Arm sequences of β-catenin interact directly in vitro with the FG repeats of the nuclear pore complex (NPC) components Nup62, Nup98, and Nup153, indicating an independent ability of β-catenin to traverse the NPC. Moreover, a proteomics screen identified RanBP2/Nup358 as a binding partner of Arm R10–12, and β-catenin was confirmed to interact with endogenous and ectopic forms of Nup358. We further demonstrate that knock-down of endogenous Nup358 and Nup62 impeded the rate of nuclear import/export of β-catenin to a greater extent than that of importin-β. The Arm R10–12 sequence facilitated transport even when β-catenin was bound to the Arm-binding partner LEF-1, and its activity was stimulated by phosphorylation at Tyr-654. These findings provide functional evidence that the Arm domain contributes to regulated β-catenin transport through direct interaction with the NPC. PMID:22110128

  8. Sterile-α- and armadillo motif-containing protein inhibits the TRIF-dependent downregulation of signal regulatory protein α to interfere with intracellular bacterial elimination in Burkholderia pseudomallei-infected mouse macrophages.

    PubMed

    Baral, Pankaj; Utaisincharoen, Pongsak

    2013-09-01

    Burkholderia pseudomallei, the causative agent of melioidosis, evades macrophage killing by suppressing the TRIF-dependent pathway, leading to inhibition of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression. We previously demonstrated that virulent wild-type B. pseudomallei inhibits the TRIF-dependent pathway by upregulating sterile-α- and armadillo motif-containing protein (SARM) and by inhibiting downregulation of signal regulatory protein α (SIRPα); both molecules are negative regulators of Toll-like receptor signaling. In contrast, the less virulent lipopolysaccharide (LPS) mutant of B. pseudomallei is unable to exhibit these features and is susceptible to macrophage killing. However, the functional relationship of these two negative regulators in the evasion of macrophage defense has not been elucidated. We demonstrated here that SIRPα downregulation was observed after inhibition of SARM expression by small interfering RNA in wild-type-infected macrophages, indicating that SIRPα downregulation is regulated by SARM. Furthermore, this downregulation requires activation of the TRIF signaling pathway, as we observed abrogation of SIRPα downregulation as well as restricted bacterial growth in LPS mutant-infected TRIF-depleted macrophages. Although inhibition of SARM expression is correlated to SIRPα downregulation and iNOS upregulation in gamma interferon-activated wild-type-infected macrophages, these phenomena appear to bypass the TRIF-dependent pathway. Similar to live bacteria, the wild-type LPS is able to upregulate SARM and to prevent SIRPα downregulation, implying that the LPS of B. pseudomallei may play a crucial role in regulating the expression of these two negative regulators. Altogether, our findings show a previously unrecognized role of B. pseudomallei-induced SARM in inhibiting SIRPα downregulation-mediated iNOS upregulation, facilitating the ability of the bacterium to multiply in macrophages. PMID:23836818

  9. Helminthological records of six-banded armadillos Euphractus sexcinctus (Linnaeus, 1758) from the Brazilian semi-arid region, Patos county, Paraíba state, including new morphological data on Trichohelix tuberculata (Parona and Stossich, 1901) Ortlepp, 1922 and proposal of Hadrostrongylus ransomi nov. comb.

    PubMed

    Hoppe, E G L; Araújo de Lima, R C; Tebaldi, J H; Athayde, A C R; Nascimento, A A

    2009-05-01

    This work aimed to evaluate the gastrointestinal helminthfauna composition of six-banded armadillos from the Brazilian semi-arid region. Gastrointestinal contents of six road-killed adult animals from Patos County, Paraíba State, were analyzed. Six species of nematodes, comprising five genera and four families, were recovered from the analyzed animals. New morphological data on Trichohelix tuberculata is given, along with a new taxonomical proposal for Hadrostrongylus ransomi (Travassos, 1935) n. comb. This is the first record for parasitic helminths in this host from the Brazilian semi-arid. PMID:19675948

  10. The S-Domain Receptor Kinase Arabidopsis Receptor Kinase2 and the U Box/Armadillo Repeat-Containing E3 Ubiquitin Ligase9 Module Mediates Lateral Root Development under Phosphate Starvation in Arabidopsis1[C][W][OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Deb, Srijani; Sankaranarayanan, Subramanian; Wewala, Gayathri; Widdup, Ellen; Samuel, Marcus A.

    2014-01-01

    When plants encounter nutrient-limiting conditions in the soil, the root architecture is redesigned to generate numerous lateral roots (LRs) that increase the surface area of roots, promoting efficient uptake of these deficient nutrients. Of the many essential nutrients, reduced availability of inorganic phosphate has a major impact on plant growth because of the requirement of inorganic phosphate for synthesis of organic molecules, such as nucleic acids, ATP, and phospholipids, that function in various crucial metabolic activities. In our screens to identify a potential role for the S-domain receptor kinase1-6 and its interacting downstream signaling partner, the Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) plant U box/armadillo repeat-containing E3 ligase9 (AtPUB9), we identified a role for this module in regulating LR development under phosphate-starved conditions. Our results show that Arabidopsis double mutant plants lacking AtPUB9 and Arabidopsis Receptor Kinase2 (AtARK2; ark2-1/pub9-1) display severely reduced LRs when grown under phosphate-starved conditions. Under these starvation conditions, these plants accumulated very low to no auxin in their primary root and LR tips as observed through expression of the auxin reporter DR5::uidA transgene. Exogenous auxin was sufficient to rescue the LR developmental defects in the ark2-1/pub9-1 lines, indicating a requirement of auxin accumulation for this process. Our subcellular localization studies with tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) suspension-cultured cells indicate that interaction between ARK2 and AtPUB9 results in accumulation of AtPUB9 in the autophagosomes. Inhibition of autophagy in wild-type plants resulted in reduction of LR development and auxin accumulation under phosphate-starved conditions, suggesting a role for autophagy in regulating LR development. Thus, our study has uncovered a previously unknown signaling module (ARK2-PUB9) that is required for auxin-mediated LR development under phosphate-starved conditions

  11. First isolation of Leptospira interrogans from Lycalopex griseus (South American gray fox) in Argentina shows new MLVA genotype.

    PubMed

    Scialfa, Exequiel; Brihuega, Bibiana; Venzano, Agustín; Morris, Winston Eduardo; Bolpe, Jorge; Schettino, Mateo

    2013-01-01

    To identify carriers of Leptospira spp. in Argentina, wild animals were trapped in Buenos Aires Province during three nights, capturing 12 Didelphis albiventris (white-eared opossum), six Chaetophractus villosus (big hairy armadillo), five Lycalopex griseus (South American gray fox), and two Conepatus chinga (Molina's hog-nosed skunk). All were tested by microscopic agglutination test, and five (two gray foxes, two armadillos, and one skunk) were positive for Leptospira interrogans serovars Canicola and Icterohaemorrhagiae, L. borgpetersenii serovar Castellonis, and L. kirschneri serovar Grippotyphosa, at titers of 1:50 and 1:100. Kidney tissue from all animals was cultured, and one isolate of L. interrogans from a gray fox was obtained. Hamsters inoculated with the isolate died after 6 days with no macroscopic lesions at necropsy. However, histologic examination revealed glomerulonephritis, interstitial nephritis, and pneumonia. The Leptospira strain from the South American gray fox was analyzed serologically and its pathogenicity was established. Genotyping through multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis showed that the strain was a new genotype related to the L. interrogans serogroup Icterohaemorrhagiae. PMID:23307384

  12. Sitting Swimmers and Stuffed Armadillos in Sundresses: Reader Response and Classroom Creativity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Danis, M. Francine

    1992-01-01

    Argues that literature classes will grow more interesting and more effective if educators coordinate two kinds of emphases: allowing for discovery and moving toward productivity. Offers four principles for developing assignments: respect the process; nourish the participants; aim for a variety of products; and reflect together on process,…

  13. Sitting Swimmers and Stuffed Armadillos in Sundresses: Reader-Response and Classroom Creativity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Danis, M. Francine

    Literature instructors become frustrated as they read poorly written student essays. The problem is partly the students' lack of experience: they have not read a lot or written a lot. Literature classes can be more interesting and effective if teachers coordinate two kinds of emphases: allowing for discovery and moving toward productivity. In…

  14. Trophic ecology of the armadillo ant,Tatuidris tatusia, assessed by stable isotopes and behavioral observations

    PubMed Central

    Jacquemin, Justine; Delsinne, Thibaut; Maraun, Mark; Leponce, Maurice

    2014-01-01

    Ants of the genus Tatuidris Brown and Kempf (Formicidae: Agroecomyrmecinae) generally occur at low abundances in forests of Central and South America. Their morphological peculiarities, such as mandibular brushes, are presumably linked with specialized predatory habits. Our aims were to (1) assess the Tatuidris abundance in an evergreen premontane forest of Ecuador; (2) detail morphological characteristics and feeding behavior of Tatuidris; and (3) define the position of Tatuidris in the food web. A total of 465 litter samples were collected. For the first time, live Tatuidris individuals were observed. Various potential food sources were offered to them. A nitrogen stable isotope ratio analysis (15N/14N) was conducted on Tatuidris tatusia, other ants, and common organisms from the leaf-litter mesofauna. We found a relatively high abundance of T. tatusia in the site. Live individuals did not feed on any of the food sources offered, as usually observed with diet specialist ants. The isotope analysis revealed that T. tatusia is one of the top predators of the leaf-litter food web. PMID:25199767

  15. Nucleoporin Nup50 Stabilizes Closed Conformation of Armadillo repeat 10 in Importin α5*

    PubMed Central

    Pumroy, Ruth A.; Nardozzi, Jonathan D.; Hart, Darren J.; Root, Michael J.; Cingolani, Gino

    2012-01-01

    The human genome encodes six isoforms of importin α that show greater than 60% sequence similarity and remarkable substrate specificity. The isoform importin α5 can bind phosphorylated cargos such as STAT1 and Epstein-Barr Virus Nuclear Antigen 1, as well as the influenza virus polymerase subunit PB2. In this work, we have studied the interaction of the nucleoporin Nup50 with importin α5. We show that the first 47 residues of Nup50 bind to the C terminus of importin α5 like a “clip,” stabilizing the closed conformation of ARM 10. In vitro, Nup50 binds with high affinity either to empty importin α5 or to a preassembled complex of importin α5 bound to the C-terminal domain of the import cargo PB2, resulting in a trimeric complex. By contrast, PB2 can only bind with high affinity to importin α5 in the absence of Nup50. This suggests that Nup50 primary function may not be to actively displace the import cargo from importin α5 but rather to prevent cargo rebinding in preparation for recycling. This is the first evidence for a nucleoporin modulating the import reaction by directly altering the three-dimensional structure of an import adaptor. PMID:22130666

  16. Inhibitors of endocytosis prevent Wnt/Wingless signalling by reducing the level of basal β-catenin/Armadillo.

    PubMed

    Gagliardi, Maria; Hernandez, Ana; McGough, Ian J; Vincent, Jean-Paul

    2014-11-15

    A key step in the canonical Wnt signalling pathway is the inhibition of GSK3β, which results in the accumulation of nuclear β-catenin (also known as CTNNB1), and hence regulation of target genes. Evidence suggests that endocytosis is required for signalling, yet its role and the molecular understanding remains unclear. A recent and controversial model suggests that endocytosis contributes to Wnt signalling by causing the sequestration of the ligand-receptor complex, including LRP6 and GSK3 to multivesicular bodies (MVBs), thus preventing GSK3β from accessing β-catenin. Here, we use specific inhibitors (Dynasore and Dyngo-4a) to confirm the essential role of endocytosis in Wnt/Wingless signalling in human and Drosophila cells. However, we find no evidence that, in Drosophila cells or wing imaginal discs, LRP6/Arrow traffics to MVBs or that MVBs are required for Wnt/Wingless signalling. Moreover, we show that activation of signalling through chemical blockade of GSK3β is prevented by endocytosis inhibitors, suggesting that endocytosis impacts on Wnt/Wingless signalling downstream of the ligand-receptor complex. We propose that, through an unknown mechanism, endocytosis boosts the resting pool of β-catenin upon which GSK3β normally acts. PMID:25236598

  17. Inhibitors of endocytosis prevent Wnt/Wingless signalling by reducing the level of basal β-catenin/Armadillo

    PubMed Central

    Gagliardi, Maria; Hernandez, Ana; McGough, Ian J.; Vincent, Jean-Paul

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT A key step in the canonical Wnt signalling pathway is the inhibition of GSK3β, which results in the accumulation of nuclear β-catenin (also known as CTNNB1), and hence regulation of target genes. Evidence suggests that endocytosis is required for signalling, yet its role and the molecular understanding remains unclear. A recent and controversial model suggests that endocytosis contributes to Wnt signalling by causing the sequestration of the ligand–receptor complex, including LRP6 and GSK3 to multivesicular bodies (MVBs), thus preventing GSK3β from accessing β-catenin. Here, we use specific inhibitors (Dynasore and Dyngo-4a) to confirm the essential role of endocytosis in Wnt/Wingless signalling in human and Drosophila cells. However, we find no evidence that, in Drosophila cells or wing imaginal discs, LRP6/Arrow traffics to MVBs or that MVBs are required for Wnt/Wingless signalling. Moreover, we show that activation of signalling through chemical blockade of GSK3β is prevented by endocytosis inhibitors, suggesting that endocytosis impacts on Wnt/Wingless signalling downstream of the ligand–receptor complex. We propose that, through an unknown mechanism, endocytosis boosts the resting pool of β-catenin upon which GSK3β normally acts. PMID:25236598

  18. 50 CFR 32.28 - Florida.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... squirrel, armadillo, opossum, rabbit, raccoon, coyote, and beaver on designated areas of the refuge in... or bag limit), gray squirrel, rabbit, armadillo, opossum, raccoon, beaver, and coyote during...

  19. I Feel Like an Armadillo: A Look at College Seniors and Recent Graduates Using Erik Erikson's Model of "Identity Versus Role-Diffusion."

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jaurigue, Rebecca

    Developmental psychologist Erik Erikson observed that achieving a sense of self, an identity, was the important psychosocial task facing adolescents. The conflict lies in discovering and defining that identity despite parental and societal demands, changing values and opportunities, the influence of friends, and lovers, education, and finances.…

  20. 50 CFR 32.28 - Florida.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... feral hog, gray squirrel, armadillo, opossum, rabbit, raccoon, coyote, and beaver on designated areas of..., armadillo, opossum, raccoon, beaver, and coyote during the archery season. 18. Hunters may take deer,...

  1. 50 CFR 32.28 - Florida.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... feral hog, gray squirrel, armadillo, opossum, rabbit, raccoon, coyote, and beaver on designated areas of..., armadillo, opossum, raccoon, beaver, and coyote during the archery season. 18. Hunters may take deer,...

  2. 50 CFR 32.28 - Florida.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... feral hog, gray squirrel, armadillo, opossum, rabbit, raccoon, coyote, and beaver on designated areas of..., armadillo, opossum, raccoon, beaver, and coyote during the archery season. 18. Hunters may take deer,...

  3. Drosophila homeodomain-interacting protein kinase inhibits the Skp1-Cul1-F-box E3 ligase complex to dually promote Wingless and Hedgehog signaling.

    PubMed

    Swarup, Sharan; Verheyen, Esther M

    2011-06-14

    Drosophila Homeodomain-interacting protein kinase (Hipk) has been shown to regulate in vivo, the stability of Armadillo, the transcriptional effector of Wingless signaling. The Wingless pathway culminates in the stabilization of Armadillo that, in the absence of signaling, is sequentially phosphorylated, polyubiquitinated and degraded. Loss-of-function clones for hipk result in reduced stabilized Armadillo, whereas overexpression of hipk elevates Armadillo levels to promote Wingless-responsive target gene expression. Here, we show that overexpression of hipk can suppress the effects of negative regulators of Armadillo to prevent its degradation in the wing imaginal disc. Hipk acts to stabilize Armadillo by impeding the function of the E3 ubiquitin ligase Skp1-Cul1-F-box (SCF)(Slimb), thereby inhibiting Armadillo ubiquitination and subsequent degradation. Vertebrate Hipk2 displays a similar ability to prevent β-catenin ubiquitination in a functionally conserved mechanism. We find that Hipk's ability to inhibit SCF(Slimb)-mediated ubiquitination is not restricted to Armadillo and extends to other substrates of SCF(Slimb), including the Hedgehog signaling effector Ci. Thus, similar to casein kinase 1 and glycogen synthase kinase 3, Hipk dually regulates both Wingless and Hedgehog signaling by controlling the stability of their respective signaling effectors, but it is the first kinase to our knowledge identified that promotes the stability of both Armadillo and Ci. PMID:21628596

  4. Zoonotic Leprosy in the Southeastern United States

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Rahul; Singh, Pushpendra; Loughry, W.J.; Lockhart, J. Mitchell; Inman, W. Barry; Duthie, Malcolm S.; Pena, Maria T.; Marcos, Luis A.; Scollard, David M.; Cole, Stewart T.

    2015-01-01

    Nine-banded armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus) are naturally infected with Mycobacterium leprae and have been implicated in zoonotic transmission of leprosy. Early studies found this disease mainly in Texas and Louisiana, but armadillos in the southeastern United States appeared to be free of infection. We screened 645 armadillos from 8 locations in the southeastern United States not known to harbor enzootic leprosy for M. leprae DNA and antibodies. We found M. leprae–infected armadillos at each location, and 106 (16.4%) animals had serologic/PCR evidence of infection. Using single-nucleotide polymorphism variable number tandem repeat genotyping/genome sequencing, we detected M. leprae genotype 3I-2-v1 among 35 armadillos. Seven armadillos harbored a newly identified genotype (3I-2-v15). In comparison, 52 human patients from the same region were infected with 31 M. leprae types. However, 42.3% (22/52) of patients were infected with 1 of the 2 M. leprae genotype strains associated with armadillos. The geographic range and complexity of zoonotic leprosy is expanding. PMID:26583204

  5. Zoonotic Leprosy in the Southeastern United States.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Rahul; Singh, Pushpendra; Loughry, W J; Lockhart, J Mitchell; Inman, W Barry; Duthie, Malcolm S; Pena, Maria T; Marcos, Luis A; Scollard, David M; Cole, Stewart T; Truman, Richard W

    2015-12-01

    Nine-banded armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus) are naturally infected with Mycobacterium leprae and have been implicated in zoonotic transmission of leprosy. Early studies found this disease mainly in Texas and Louisiana, but armadillos in the southeastern United States appeared to be free of infection. We screened 645 armadillos from 8 locations in the southeastern United States not known to harbor enzootic leprosy for M. leprae DNA and antibodies. We found M. leprae-infected armadillos at each location, and 106 (16.4%) animals had serologic/PCR evidence of infection. Using single-nucleotide polymorphism variable number tandem repeat genotyping/genome sequencing, we detected M. leprae genotype 3I-2-v1 among 35 armadillos. Seven armadillos harbored a newly identified genotype (3I-2-v15). In comparison, 52 human patients from the same region were infected with 31 M. leprae types. However, 42.3% (22/52) of patients were infected with 1 of the 2 M. leprae genotype strains associated with armadillos. The geographic range and complexity of zoonotic leprosy is expanding. PMID:26583204

  6. Coop functions as a corepressor of Pangolin and antagonizes Wingless signaling.

    PubMed

    Song, Haiyun; Goetze, Sandra; Bischof, Johannes; Spichiger-Haeusermann, Chloe; Kuster, Marco; Brunner, Erich; Basler, Konrad

    2010-05-01

    Wingless (Wg) signaling regulates expression of its target genes via Pangolin and Armadillo, and their interacting cofactors. In the absence of Wg, Pangolin mediates transcriptional repression. In the presence of Wg, Pangolin, Armadillo, and a cohort of coactivators mediate transcriptional activation. Here we uncover Coop (corepressor of Pan) as a Pangolin-interacting protein. Coop and Pangolin form a complex on DNA containing a Pangolin/TCF-binding motif. Overexpression of Coop specifically represses Wg target genes, while loss of Coop function causes derepression. Finally, we show that Coop antagonizes the binding of Armadillo to Pangolin, providing a mechanism for Coop-mediated repression of Wg target gene transcription. PMID:20439429

  7. Molecular cloning and developmental expression of plakophilin 2 in zebrafish

    SciTech Connect

    Moriarty, Miriam A.; Martin, Eva D.; Byrnes, Lucy; Grealy, Maura

    2008-02-29

    Armadillo proteins are involved in providing strength and support to cells and tissues, nuclear transport, and transcriptional activation. In this report, we describe the identification and characterisation of the cDNA of the desmosomal armadillo protein plakophilin 2 in zebrafish. The 2448 bp coding sequence encodes a predicted 815 amino acid protein, with nine armadillo repeats characteristic of the p120-catenin subfamily. It shares conserved N-glycosylation, myristoylation, and glycogen synthase kinase 3, casein kinase 2, and protein kinase C phosphorylation sites with mammalian armadillo proteins including plakoglobin and {beta}-catenin. Semi-quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and whole mount in situ hybridisation show that it is expressed both maternally and zygotically. It is ubiquitously expressed during blastula stages but becomes restricted to epidermal and cardiac tissue during gastrulation. These results provide evidence that zebrafish plakophilin 2 is developmentally regulated with potential roles in cell adhesion, signalling, and cardiac and skin development.

  8. The ISWI-containing NURF complex regulates the output of the canonical Wingless pathway.

    PubMed

    Song, Haiyun; Spichiger-Haeusermann, Chloe; Basler, Konrad

    2009-10-01

    Wingless (Wg) signalling regulates the expression of its target genes through Pangolin, Armadillo and their interacting co-factors. In a genetic screen for Wg signalling components, we found that imitation switch (ISWI), a chromatin-remodelling ATPase, had a positive role in transducing the canonical Wg signal, promoting the expression of the Wg target senseless. ISWI is found in several chromatin-remodelling complexes, including nucleosome remodelling factor (NURF). The effect of interfering with the function of other components of the NURF complex in vivo mimics that of ISWI. The NURF complex is also required for the efficient expression of other Wg target genes. Armadillo interacts directly with the NURF complex in vitro and recruits it to Wg targets in cultured cells. Together, our results suggest that the ISWI-containing NURF complex functions as a co-activator of Armadillo to promote Wg-mediated transcription. PMID:19713963

  9. Environmental Mapping of Paracoccidioides spp. in Brazil Reveals New Clues into Genetic Diversity, Biogeography and Wild Host Association

    PubMed Central

    Arantes, Thales Domingos; Theodoro, Raquel Cordeiro; Teixeira, Marcus de Melo; Bosco, Sandra de Moraes Gimenes; Bagagli, Eduardo

    2016-01-01

    Background Paracoccidioides brasiliensis and Paracoccidioides lutzii are the etiological agents of Paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM), and are easily isolated from human patients. However, due to human migration and a long latency period, clinical isolates do not reflect the spatial distribution of these pathogens. Molecular detection of P. brasiliensis and P. lutzii from soil, as well as their isolation from wild animals such as armadillos, are important for monitoring their environmental and geographical distribution. This study aimed to detect and, for the first time, evaluate the genetic diversity of P. brasiliensis and P. lutzii for Paracoccidioidomycosis in endemic and non-endemic areas of the environment, by using Nested PCR and in situ hybridization techniques. Methods/Principal Findings Aerosol (n = 16) and soil (n = 34) samples from armadillo burrows, as well as armadillos (n = 7) were collected in endemic and non-endemic areas of PCM in the Southeastern, Midwestern and Northern regions of Brazil. Both P. brasiliensis and P. lutzii were detected in soil (67.5%) and aerosols (81%) by PCR of Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) region (60%), and also by in situ hybridization (83%). Fungal isolation from armadillo tissues was not possible. Sequences from both species of P. brasiliensis and P. lutzii were detected in all regions. In addition, we identified genetic Paracoccidioides variants in soil and aerosol samples which have never been reported before in clinical or armadillo samples, suggesting greater genetic variability in the environment than in vertebrate hosts. Conclusions/Significance Data may reflect the actual occurrence of Paracoccidioides species in their saprobic habitat, despite their absence/non-detection in seven armadillos evaluated in regions with high prevalence of PCM infection by P. lutzii. These results may indicate a possible ecological difference between P. brasiliensis and P. lutzii concerning their wild hosts. PMID:27045486

  10. Hipk proteins dually regulate Wnt/Wingless signal transduction.

    PubMed

    Verheyen, Esther M; Swarup, Sharan; Lee, Wendy

    2012-01-01

    The Wnt/Wingless (Wg) pathway is an evolutionarily conserved signaling system that is used reiteratively, both spatially and temporally, to control the development of multicellular animals. The stability of cytoplasmic β-catenin/Armadillo, the transcriptional effector of the pathway, is controlled by sequential N-terminal phosphorylation and ubiquitination that targets it for proteasome-mediated degradation. Orthologous members of the Homeodomain-interacting protein kinase family from Drosophila to vertebrates have been implicated in the regulation of Wnt/Wingless signaling. In Drosophila, as a consequence of Hipk activity, cells accumulate stabilized Armadillo that directs the expression of Wg-specific target genes. Hipk promotes the stabilization of Armadillo by inhibiting its ubiquitination (and hence subsequent degradation) by the SCF(Slimb) E3 ubiquitin ligase complex. Vertebrate Hipk2 impedes β-catenin ubiquitination to promote its stability and the Wnt signal in a mechanism that is functionally conserved. Moreover, we describe here that Hipk proteins have a role independent of their effect on β-catenin/Armadillo stability to enhance Wnt/Wingless signaling. PMID:22634475

  11. No, No Annette. An Actions for Health Book. Contemporary Health Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    ETR Associates, Santa Cruz, CA.

    This document contains a short fictional story about a girl who, with the help of a fictional guardian armadillo, learns how to say "no" when her friends want her to do something she thinks is wrong. Readers will learn how to say no without losing their friends. (NB)

  12. The recovery of ancient DNA from Dasypus bellus provides new possibilities for investigating late Pleistocene mammal response to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Letts, Brandon; Shapiro, Beth

    2010-05-01

    Dasypus bellus, the 'beautiful armadillo,' is well known as a casualty of the Pleistocene megafaunal mass extinction event. Appearing in the fossil record about 2.5 Mya, D. bellus was widespread throughout the mid to southern United States and Mexico until it went extinct by about 10 kya. It was replaced by D. novemcinctus, the nine-banded armadillo, which is morphologically identical but smaller. The exact taxonomic status of D. bellus and its phylogenetic relationship with D. novemcinctus has been a subject of debate. In particular, it remains unresolved whether D. bellus was more closely related to North American than South American D. novemcinctus. To address this, we extracted and sequenced fragments of ancient mitochondrial DNA from surprisingly well-preserved remains of D. bellus recovered from Mefford Cave in Florida. Our results reveal a surprisingly close relationship between the extinct D. bellus and North American D. novemcinctus. Although southern climates have been considered inhospitable for the preservation of ancient DNA, thousands of bones per individual and the propensity of the armadillo to seek out shelter in caves makes preservation more likely than for other organisms. The armadillo may therefore make an excellent proxy organism for investigating the influence of climate change on animal populations south of the cold permafrost regions.

  13. Odds 'N' Ends.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Naturescope, 1986

    1986-01-01

    Presents information on some of the unusual mammal groups, such as platypuses, kangaroos, anteaters, and armadillos. Characteristics of these animals are given and teaching activities are described, including "Oddball Options,""Pocket Pals," and "Fact and Fancy." A reproducible handout for "Oddball Options" is included. (TW)

  14. The sylvatic transmission cycle of Trypanosoma cruzi in a rural area in the humid Chaco of Argentina

    PubMed Central

    Alvarado-Otegui, J.A.; Ceballos, L.A.; Orozco, M.M.; Enriquez, G.F.; Cardinal, M.V.; Cura, C.; Schijman, A.G.; Kitron, U.; Gürtler, R.E.

    2012-01-01

    Little is known about the sylvatic transmission cycle of Trypanosoma cruzi in the Gran Chaco ecoregion. We conducted surveys to identify the main sylvatic hosts of T. cruzi, parasite discrete typing units and vector species involved in Pampa del Indio, a rural area in the humid Argentinean Chaco. A total of 44 mammals from 14 species was captured and examined for infection by xenodiagnosis and polymerase chain reaction amplification of the hyper-variable region of kinetoplast DNA minicircles of T. cruzi (kDNA-PCR). Ten (22.7%) mammals were positive by xenodiagnosis or kDNA-PCR. Four of 11 (36%) Didelphis albiventris (white-eared opossums) and six of nine (67%) Dasypus novemcinctus (nine-banded armadillos) were positive by xenodiagnosis and or kDNA-PCR. Rodents, other armadillo species, felids, crab-eating raccoons, hares and rabbits were not infected. Positive animals were highly infectious to the bugs that fed upon them as determined by xenodiagnosis. All positive opossums were infected with T. cruzi I and all positive nine-banded armadillos with T. cruzi III. Extensive searches in sylvatic habitats using 718 Noireau trap-nights only yielded Triatoma sordida whereas no bug was collected in 26 light-trap nights. Four armadillos or opossums fitted with a spool-and-line device were successfully tracked to their refuges; only one Panstrongylus geniculatus was found in an armadillo burrow. No sylvatic triatomine was infected with T. cruzi by microscopical examination or kDNA-PCR. Our results indicate that two independent sylvatic transmission cycles of T. cruzi occur in the humid Chaco. The putative vectors of both cycles need to be identified conclusively. PMID:22771688

  15. The sylvatic transmission cycle of Trypanosoma cruzi in a rural area in the humid Chaco of Argentina.

    PubMed

    Alvarado-Otegui, J A; Ceballos, L A; Orozco, M M; Enriquez, G F; Cardinal, M V; Cura, C; Schijman, A G; Kitron, U; Gürtler, R E

    2012-10-01

    Little is known about the sylvatic transmission cycle of Trypanosoma cruzi in the Gran Chaco ecoregion. We conducted surveys to identify the main sylvatic hosts of T. cruzi, parasite discrete typing units and vector species involved in Pampa del Indio, a rural area in the humid Argentinean Chaco. A total of 44 mammals from 14 species were captured and examined for infection by xenodiagnosis and polymerase chain reaction amplification of the hyper-variable region of kinetoplast DNA minicircles of T. cruzi (kDNA-PCR). Ten (22.7%) mammals were positive by xenodiagnosis or kDNA-PCR. Four of 11 (36%) Didelphis albiventris (white-eared opossums) and six of nine (67%) Dasypus novemcinctus (nine-banded armadillos) were positive by xenodiagnosis and or kDNA-PCR. Rodents, other armadillo species, felids, crab-eating raccoons, hares and rabbits were not infected. Positive animals were highly infectious to the bugs that fed upon them as determined by xenodiagnosis. All positive opossums were infected with T. cruzi I and all positive nine-banded armadillos with T. cruzi III. Extensive searches in sylvatic habitats using 718 Noireau trap-nights only yielded Triatoma sordida whereas no bug was collected in 26 light-trap nights. Four armadillos or opossums fitted with a spool-and-line device were successfully tracked to their refuges; only one Panstrongylus geniculatus was found in an armadillo burrow. No sylvatic triatomine was infected with T. cruzi by microscopical examination or kDNA-PCR. Our results indicate that two independent sylvatic transmission cycles of T. cruzi occur in the humid Chaco. The putative vectors of both cycles need to be identified conclusively. PMID:22771688

  16. Patterns and trends of leprosy in Mexico: 1989-2009.

    PubMed

    Larrea, Maria Rupérez; Carreño, Maria Cristina; Fine, Paul E M

    2012-06-01

    Data from the Mexican national leprosy control programme 1989-2009 are described and analysed. After initial increases associated with the introduction of MDT and the start of the global elimination initiative in the early 1990 s, both prevalence and incidence declined dramatically throughout most of the country. Reported prevalence fell below 1 per 10000 in 1994 and has remained below that level ever since. There is considerable geographic heterogeneity, with highest case detection rates in western states bordering the Pacific and lowest in the south east. Reasons for these geographic differences are unclear. There is evidence of increases in average age of cases, and in proportions male and MB, as in several other populations with declining leprosy. There is some evidence of increasing leprosy in states bordering on Texas, USA, where M. leprae is known to be harboured in armadillos. The relevance of armadillos for leprosy in Mexico is unclear but a priority question. PMID:22997694

  17. Microstructure of dental hard tissues in fossil and recent xenarthrans (Mammalia: Folivora and Cingulata).

    PubMed

    Kalthoff, Daniela C

    2011-06-01

    A striking difference between xenarthrans and other mammals is the complete loss of tooth enamel in all members but the earliest armadillos. However, sloth and armadillo teeth show structured wear facets, which in all other mammals are formed by tooth enamel. How is that possible? Here, I report about an analysis of fossil and recent xenarthran dental hard tissue microstructure. It shows that osteodentine is not exclusive to fossil Cingulata, but also occurs in some recent taxa. Furthermore, I found profound modifications of orthodentine architecture in comparison to other mammals. Remarkable features are (a) a larger proportion of the highly mineralized, collagen-free peritubular dentine, and (b) a modified architecture of the odontoblastic process with frequent interconnections between the extensions and unusually intensive branching of the extensions forming a complex meshwork, penetrating the intertubular dentine matrix. The orthodentine microstructural build-up is unique in Folivora and Cingulata. PMID:21456028

  18. Osa-containing Brahma chromatin remodeling complexes are required for the repression of Wingless target genes

    PubMed Central

    Collins, Russell T.; Treisman, Jessica E.

    2000-01-01

    The Wingless signaling pathway directs many developmental processes in Drosophila by regulating the expression of specific downstream target genes. We report here that the product of the trithorax group gene osa is required to repress such genes in the absence of the Wingless signal. The Wingless-regulated genes nubbin, Distal-less, and decapentaplegic and a minimal enhancer from the Ultrabithorax gene are misexpressed in osa mutants and repressed by ectopic Osa. Osa-mediated repression occurs downstream of the up-regulation of Armadillo but is sensitive both to the relative levels of activating Armadillo/Pangolin and repressing Groucho/Pangolin complexes present and to the responsiveness of the promoter to Wingless. Osa functions as a component of the Brahma chromatin-remodeling complex; other components of this complex are likewise required to repress Wingless target genes. These results suggest that altering the conformation of chromatin is an important mechanism by which Wingless signaling activates gene expression. PMID:11124806

  19. Drosophila exocyst components Sec5, Sec6, and Sec15 regulate DE-Cadherin trafficking from recycling endosomes to the plasma membrane.

    PubMed

    Langevin, Johanna; Morgan, Matthew J; Sibarita, Jean-Baptiste; Aresta, Sandra; Murthy, Mala; Schwarz, Thomas; Camonis, Jacques; Bellaïche, Yohanns

    2005-09-01

    The E-Cadherin-catenin complex plays a critical role in epithelial cell-cell adhesion, polarization, and morphogenesis. Here, we have analyzed the mechanism of Drosophila E-Cadherin (DE-Cad) localization. Loss of function of the Drosophila exocyst components sec5, sec6, and sec15 in epithelial cells results in DE-Cad accumulation in an enlarged Rab11 recycling endosomal compartment and inhibits DE-Cad delivery to the membrane. Furthermore, Rab11 and Armadillo interact with the exocyst components Sec15 and Sec10, respectively. Our results support a model whereby the exocyst regulates DE-Cadherin trafficking, from recycling endosomes to sites on the epithelial cell membrane where Armadillo is located. PMID:16224820

  20. ICAT Inhibits beta-Catenin Binding to Tcf/Lef-Family Transcription Factors and in the General Coactivator p300 Using Independent Structural Modules

    SciTech Connect

    Daniels, D. L.

    2002-01-01

    In the canonical Wnt signaling pathway, {beta}-catenin activates target genes through its interactions with Tcf/Lef-family transcription factors and additional transcriptional coactivators. The crystal structure of ICAT, an inhibitor of {beta}-catenin-mediated transcription, bound to the armadillo repeat domain of {beta}-catenin, has been determined. ICAT contains an N-terminal helilical domain that binds to repeats 11 and 12 of {beta}-catenin, and an extended C-terminal region that binds to repeats 5-10 in a manner similar that of Tcfs and other {beta}-catenin ligands. Full-length ICAT dissociates complexes of {beta}-catenin, Lef-1, and the transcriptional coactivator p300, whereas the helical domain alone selectively blocks binding to p300. The C-terminal armadillo repeats of {beta}-catenin may be an attractive target for compounds designed to disrupt aberrant {beta}-catenin-mediated transcription associated with various cancers.

  1. Priodontes maximus (Cingulata: Chlamyphoridae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carter, Tracy S.; Superina, Mariella; Leslie,, David M., Jr.

    2016-01-01

    Priodontes maximus (Kerr, 1792), called the giant armadillo, is monotypic and by far the largest extant armadillo. Average adult weight is about 30kg (in captivity, as high as 80kg). Its carapace extends about halfway down its sides, making it impossible to curl up tightly. It is dark brown to black dorsally, with a broad light band around the lower part of its carapace. It primarily digs to escape, enhanced by its 20-cm, sickle-shaped nail on its 3rd forefingers. P. maximus is widely distributed in South America but nowhere abundant. It is affected by habitat loss and fragmentation, agriculture, hunting, collection for museum specimens, and illegal animal trafficking. P. maximus is listed as “Vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.

  2. ARVCF expression is significantly correlated with the malignant phenotype of non-small cell lung cancer.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Di; Tang, Na; Liu, Yang; Wang, En-Hua

    2015-06-01

    Armadillo repeat gene deleted in velo-cardio-facial syndrome (ARVCF) is a member of the p120 catenin (p120ctn) family; it contains nine central Armadillo repeats and binds to the juxtamembrane domain of E-cadherin. We used immunohistochemistry to measure ARVCF expression in 121 patients with NSCLC and western blotting to examine differences in ARVCF expression between lung cancer and adjacent normal lung tissues. We interfered with ARVCF expression in two lung cancer cell lines and measured its effects on invasion and proliferation. ARVCF expression correlated with the malignant phenotype and poor prognosis. We also observed ARVCF-dependent changes in small GTPase (mainly RhoA) activity in lung cancer cells. We confirmed that ARVCF plays an important role in the malignant phenotype. PMID:25683624

  3. β catenin in health: A review

    PubMed Central

    Prakash, Sharada; Swaminathan, Uma

    2015-01-01

    β catenin belongs to the armadillo family of proteins. It plays a crucial role in developmental and homeostatic processes. Wnts are a family of 19 secreted glycoproteins that transduce multiple signaling cascades, including the canonical Wnt/β catenin pathway, Wnt/Ca2+ pathway and the Wnt/polarity pathway. This is a review on β catenin, Wnt proteins and their secretion, the signaling pathway, the associated factors and the crucial role of β catenin in odontogenesis. PMID:26604501

  4. β catenin in health: A review.

    PubMed

    Prakash, Sharada; Swaminathan, Uma

    2015-01-01

    β catenin belongs to the armadillo family of proteins. It plays a crucial role in developmental and homeostatic processes. Wnts are a family of 19 secreted glycoproteins that transduce multiple signaling cascades, including the canonical Wnt/β catenin pathway, Wnt/Ca(2+) pathway and the Wnt/polarity pathway. This is a review on β catenin, Wnt proteins and their secretion, the signaling pathway, the associated factors and the crucial role of β catenin in odontogenesis. PMID:26604501

  5. Shotgun Mitogenomics Provides a Reference Phylogenetic Framework and Timescale for Living Xenarthrans

    PubMed Central

    Gibb, Gillian C.; Condamine, Fabien L.; Kuch, Melanie; Enk, Jacob; Moraes-Barros, Nadia; Superina, Mariella; Poinar, Hendrik N.; Delsuc, Frédéric

    2016-01-01

    Xenarthra (armadillos, sloths, and anteaters) constitutes one of the four major clades of placental mammals. Despite their phylogenetic distinctiveness in mammals, a reference phylogeny is still lacking for the 31 described species. Here we used Illumina shotgun sequencing to assemble 33 new complete mitochondrial genomes, establishing Xenarthra as the first major placental clade to be fully sequenced at the species level for mitogenomes. The resulting data set allowed the reconstruction of a robust phylogenetic framework and timescale that are consistent with previous studies conducted at the genus level using nuclear genes. Incorporating the full species diversity of extant xenarthrans points to a number of inconsistencies in xenarthran systematics and species definition. We propose to split armadillos into two distinct families Dasypodidae (dasypodines) and Chlamyphoridae (euphractines, chlamyphorines, and tolypeutines) to better reflect their ancient divergence, estimated around 42 Ma. Species delimitation within long-nosed armadillos (genus Dasypus) appeared more complex than anticipated, with the discovery of a divergent lineage in French Guiana. Diversification analyses showed Xenarthra to be an ancient clade with a constant diversification rate through time with a species turnover driven by high but constant extinction. We also detected a significant negative correlation between speciation rate and past temperature fluctuations with an increase in speciation rate corresponding to the general cooling observed during the last 15 My. Biogeographic reconstructions identified the tropical rainforest biome of Amazonia and the Guiana Shield as the cradle of xenarthran evolutionary history with subsequent dispersions into more open and dry habitats. PMID:26556496

  6. Shotgun Mitogenomics Provides a Reference Phylogenetic Framework and Timescale for Living Xenarthrans.

    PubMed

    Gibb, Gillian C; Condamine, Fabien L; Kuch, Melanie; Enk, Jacob; Moraes-Barros, Nadia; Superina, Mariella; Poinar, Hendrik N; Delsuc, Frédéric

    2016-03-01

    Xenarthra (armadillos, sloths, and anteaters) constitutes one of the four major clades of placental mammals. Despite their phylogenetic distinctiveness in mammals, a reference phylogeny is still lacking for the 31 described species. Here we used Illumina shotgun sequencing to assemble 33 new complete mitochondrial genomes, establishing Xenarthra as the first major placental clade to be fully sequenced at the species level for mitogenomes. The resulting data set allowed the reconstruction of a robust phylogenetic framework and timescale that are consistent with previous studies conducted at the genus level using nuclear genes. Incorporating the full species diversity of extant xenarthrans points to a number of inconsistencies in xenarthran systematics and species definition. We propose to split armadillos into two distinct families Dasypodidae (dasypodines) and Chlamyphoridae (euphractines, chlamyphorines, and tolypeutines) to better reflect their ancient divergence, estimated around 42 Ma. Species delimitation within long-nosed armadillos (genus Dasypus) appeared more complex than anticipated, with the discovery of a divergent lineage in French Guiana. Diversification analyses showed Xenarthra to be an ancient clade with a constant diversification rate through time with a species turnover driven by high but constant extinction. We also detected a significant negative correlation between speciation rate and past temperature fluctuations with an increase in speciation rate corresponding to the general cooling observed during the last 15 My. Biogeographic reconstructions identified the tropical rainforest biome of Amazonia and the Guiana Shield as the cradle of xenarthran evolutionary history with subsequent dispersions into more open and dry habitats. PMID:26556496

  7. Reducing canonical Wingless/Wnt signaling pathway confers protection against mutant Huntingtin toxicity in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Dupont, Pascale; Besson, Marie-Thérèse; Devaux, Jérôme; Liévens, Jean-Charles

    2012-08-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a genetic neurodegenerative disease characterized by movement disorders, cognitive decline and neuropsychiatric symptoms. HD is caused by expanded CAG tract within the coding region of Huntingtin protein. Despite major insights into the molecular mechanisms leading to HD, no effective cure is yet available. Mutant Huntingtin (mHtt) has been reported to alter the stability and levels of β-Catenin, a key molecule in cell adhesion and signal transduction in Wingless (Wg)/Wnt pathway. However it remains to establish whether manipulation of Wg/Wnt signaling can impact HD pathology. We here investigated the phenotypic interactions between mHtt and Wg/Wnt signaling by using the power of Drosophila genetics. We provide compelling evidence that reducing Armadillo/β-Catenin levels confers protection and that this beneficial effect is correlated with the inactivation of the canonical Wg/Wnt signaling pathway. Knockdowns of Wnt ligands or of the downstream transcription factor Pangolin/TCF both ameliorate the survival of HD flies. Similarly, overexpression of one Armadillo/β-Catenin destruction complex component (Axin, APC2 or Shaggy/GSK-3β) increases the lifespan of HD flies. Loss of functional Armadillo/β-Catenin not only abolishes neuronal intrinsic but also glia-induced alterations in HD flies. Our findings highlight that restoring canonical Wg/Wnt signaling may be of therapeutic value. PMID:22531500

  8. Crystal Structure of a Full-Length [beta]-Catenin

    SciTech Connect

    Xing, Yi; Takemaru, Ken-Ichi; Liu, Jing; Berndt, Jason D.; Zheng, Jie J.; Moon, Randall T.; Xu, Wenqing

    2008-08-19

    {beta}-catenin plays essential roles in cell adhesion and Wnt signaling, while deregulation of {beta}-catenin is associated with multiple diseases including cancers. Here, we report the crystal structures of full-length zebrafish {beta}-catenin and a human {beta}-catenin fragment that contains both the armadillo repeat and the C-terminal domains. Our structures reveal that the N-terminal region of the C-terminal domain, a key component of the C-terminal transactivation domain, forms a long {alpha} helix that packs on the C-terminal end of the armadillo repeat domain, and thus forms part of the {beta}-catenin superhelical core. The existence of this helix redefines our view of interactions of {beta}-catenin with some of its critical partners, including ICAT and Chibby, which may form extensive interactions with this C-terminal domain {alpha} helix. Our crystallographic and NMR studies also suggest that the unstructured N-terminal and C-terminal tails interact with the ordered armadillo repeat domain in a dynamic and variable manner.

  9. Environmental enrichment for a mixed-species nocturnal mammal exhibit.

    PubMed

    Clark, Fay E; Melfi, Vicky A

    2012-01-01

    Environmental enrichment (EE) is an integral aspect of modern zoo animal management but, empirical evaluation of it is biased toward species housed in single-species groups. Nocturnal houses, where several nocturnal species are housed together, are particularly overlooked. This study investigated whether three species (nine-banded armadillos, Dasypus novemcinctus; Senegal bush babies, Galago senegalensis; two-toed sloths, Choloepus didactylus) in the nocturnal house at Paignton Zoo Environmental Park, UK could be enriched using food-based and sensory EE. Subjects were an adult male and female of each species. EE was deemed effective if it promoted target species-typical behaviors, behavioral diversity, and increased use of enriched exhibit zones. Results from generalized linear mixed models demonstrated that food-based EE elicited the most positive behavioral effects across species. One set of food-based EEs (Kong®, termite mound and hanging food) presented together was associated with a significant increase in species-typical behaviors, increased behavioral diversity, and increased use of enriched exhibit zones in armadillos and bush babies. Although one type of sensory EE (scented pine cones) increased overall exhibit use in all species, the other (rainforest sounds) was linked to a significant decrease in species-typical behavior in bush babies and sloths. There were no intra or interspecies conflicts over EE, and commensalism occurred between armadillos and bush babies. Our data demonstrate that simple food-based and sensory EE can promote positive behavioral changes in a mixed-species nocturnal mammal exhibit. We suggest that both food and sensory EE presented concurrently will maximize opportunities for naturalistic activity in all species. PMID:21387395

  10. [Seasonal evaluation of mammal species richness and abundance in the "Mário Viana" municipal reserve, Mato Grosso, Brasil].

    PubMed

    Rocha, Ednaldo Cândido; Silva, Elias; Martins, Sebastião Venâncio; Barreto, Francisco Cândido Cardoso

    2006-09-01

    We evaluated seasonal species presence and richness, and abundance of medium and large sized mammalian terrestrial fauna in the "Mário Viana" Municipal Biological Reserve, Nova Xavantina, Mato Grosso, Brazil. During 2001, two monthly visits were made to an established transect, 2,820 m in length. Records of 22 mammal species were obtained and individual footprint sequences quantified for seasonal calculation of species richness and relative abundance index (x footprints/km traveled). All 22 species occurred during the rainy season, but only 18 during the dry season. Pseudalopex vetulus (Lund, 1842) (hoary fox), Eira barbara (Linnaeus, 1758) (tayra), Puma concolor (Linnaeus, 1771) (cougar) and Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris (Linnaeus, 1766) (capybara) were only registered during the rainy season. The species diversity estimated using the Jackknife procedure in the dry season (19.83, CI = 2.73) was smaller than in the rainy season (25.67, CI = 3.43). Among the 18 species common in the two seasons, only four presented significantly different abundance indexes: Dasypus novemcinctus Linnaeus, 1758 (nine-banded armadillo), Euphractus sexcinctus (Linnaeus, 1758) (six-banded armadillo), Dasyprocta azarae Lichtenstein, 1823 (Azara's Agouti) and Tapirus terrestris (Linnaeus, 1758) (tapir). On the other hand, Priodontes maximus (Kerr, 1792) (giant armadillo) and Leopardus pardalis (Linnaeus, 1758) (ocelot) had identical abundance index over the two seasons. Distribution of species abundance in the sampled area followed the expected pattern for communities in equilibrium, especially in the rainy season, suggesting that the environment still maintains good characteristics for mammal conservation. The present study shows that the reserve, although only 470 ha in size, plays an important role for conservation of mastofauna of the area as a refuge in an environment full of anthropic influence (mainly cattle breeding in exotic pasture). PMID:18491629

  11. Resource Selection and Its Implications for Wide-Ranging Mammals of the Brazilian Cerrado

    PubMed Central

    Vynne, Carly; Keim, Jonah L.; Machado, Ricardo B.; Marinho-Filho, Jader; Silveira, Leandro; Groom, Martha J.; Wasser, Samuel K.

    2011-01-01

    Conserving animals beyond protected areas is critical because even the largest reserves may be too small to maintain viable populations for many wide-ranging species. Identification of landscape features that will promote persistence of a diverse array of species is a high priority, particularly, for protected areas that reside in regions of otherwise extensive habitat loss. This is the case for Emas National Park, a small but important protected area located in the Brazilian Cerrado, the world's most biologically diverse savanna. Emas Park is a large-mammal global conservation priority area but is too small to protect wide-ranging mammals for the long-term and conserving these populations will depend on the landscape surrounding the park. We employed novel, noninvasive methods to determine the relative importance of resources found within the park, as well as identify landscape features that promote persistence of wide-ranging mammals outside reserve borders. We used scat detection dogs to survey for five large mammals of conservation concern: giant armadillo (Priodontes maximus), giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus), jaguar (Panthera onca), and puma (Puma concolor). We estimated resource selection probability functions for each species from 1,572 scat locations and 434 giant armadillo burrow locations. Results indicate that giant armadillos and jaguars are highly selective of natural habitats, which makes both species sensitive to landscape change from agricultural development. Due to the high amount of such development outside of the Emas Park boundary, the park provides rare resource conditions that are particularly important for these two species. We also reveal that both woodland and forest vegetation remnants enable use of the agricultural landscape as a whole for maned wolves, pumas, and giant anteaters. We identify those features and their landscape compositions that should be prioritized for conservation, arguing

  12. Resource selection and its implications for wide-ranging mammals of the brazilian cerrado.

    PubMed

    Vynne, Carly; Keim, Jonah L; Machado, Ricardo B; Marinho-Filho, Jader; Silveira, Leandro; Groom, Martha J; Wasser, Samuel K

    2011-01-01

    Conserving animals beyond protected areas is critical because even the largest reserves may be too small to maintain viable populations for many wide-ranging species. Identification of landscape features that will promote persistence of a diverse array of species is a high priority, particularly, for protected areas that reside in regions of otherwise extensive habitat loss. This is the case for Emas National Park, a small but important protected area located in the Brazilian Cerrado, the world's most biologically diverse savanna. Emas Park is a large-mammal global conservation priority area but is too small to protect wide-ranging mammals for the long-term and conserving these populations will depend on the landscape surrounding the park. We employed novel, noninvasive methods to determine the relative importance of resources found within the park, as well as identify landscape features that promote persistence of wide-ranging mammals outside reserve borders. We used scat detection dogs to survey for five large mammals of conservation concern: giant armadillo (Priodontes maximus), giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus), jaguar (Panthera onca), and puma (Puma concolor). We estimated resource selection probability functions for each species from 1,572 scat locations and 434 giant armadillo burrow locations. Results indicate that giant armadillos and jaguars are highly selective of natural habitats, which makes both species sensitive to landscape change from agricultural development. Due to the high amount of such development outside of the Emas Park boundary, the park provides rare resource conditions that are particularly important for these two species. We also reveal that both woodland and forest vegetation remnants enable use of the agricultural landscape as a whole for maned wolves, pumas, and giant anteaters. We identify those features and their landscape compositions that should be prioritized for conservation, arguing

  13. Interactions of Plakoglobin and [beta]-Catenin with Desmosomal Cadherins BASIS OF SELECTIVE EXCLUSION OF [alpha]- AND [beta]-CATENIN FROM DESMOSOMES

    SciTech Connect

    Choi, Hee-Jung; Gross, Julia C.; Pokutta, Sabine; Weis, William I.; Stanford-MED

    2009-11-18

    Plakoglobin and {beta}-catenin are homologous armadillo repeat proteins found in adherens junctions, where they interact with the cytoplasmic domain of classical cadherins and with {alpha}-catenin. Plakoglobin, but normally not {beta}-catenin, is also a structural constituent of desmosomes, where it binds to the cytoplasmic domains of the desmosomal cadherins, desmogleins and desmocollins. Here, we report structural, biophysical, and biochemical studies aimed at understanding the molecular basis of selective exclusion of {beta}-catenin and {alpha}-catenin from desmosomes. The crystal structure of the plakoglobin armadillo domain bound to phosphorylated E-cadherin shows virtually identical interactions to those observed between {beta}-catenin and E-cadherin. Trypsin sensitivity experiments indicate that the plakoglobin arm domain by itself is more flexible than that of {beta}-catenin. Binding of plakoglobin and {beta}-catenin to the intracellular regions of E-cadherin, desmoglein1, and desmocollin1 was measured by isothermal titration calorimetry. Plakoglobin and {beta}-catenin bind strongly and with similar thermodynamic parameters to E-cadherin. In contrast, {beta}-catenin binds to desmoglein-1 more weakly than does plakoglobin. {beta}-Catenin and plakoglobin bind with similar weak affinities to desmocollin-1. Full affinity binding of desmoglein-1 requires sequences C-terminal to the region homologous to the catenin-binding domain of classical cadherins. Although pulldown assays suggest that the presence of N- and C-terminal {beta}-catenin 'tails' that flank the armadillo repeat region reduces the affinity for desmosomal cadherins, calorimetric measurements show no significant effects of the tails on binding to the cadherins. Using purified proteins, we show that desmosomal cadherins and {alpha}-catenin compete directly for binding to plakoglobin, consistent with the absence of {alpha}-catenin in desmosomes.

  14. Structure and Energetic Contributions of a Designed Modular Peptide-Binding Protein with Picomolar Affinity.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Simon; Tremmel, Dirk; Madhurantakam, Chaithanya; Reichen, Christian; Mittl, Peer R E; Plückthun, Andreas

    2016-03-16

    Natural armadillo repeat proteins (nArmRP) like importin-α or β-catenin bind their target peptides such that each repeat interacts with a dipeptide unit within the stretched target peptide. However, this modularity is imperfect and also restricted to short peptide stretches of usually four to six consecutive amino acids. Here we report the development and characterization of a regularized and truly modular peptide-specific binding protein, based on designed armadillo repeat proteins (dArmRP), binding to peptides of alternating lysine and arginine residues (KR)n. dArmRP were obtained from nArmRP through cycles of extensive protein engineering, which rendered them more uniform. This regularity is reflected in the consistent binding of dArmRP to (KR)-peptides, where affinities depend on the lengths of target peptides and the number of internal repeats in a very systematic manner, thus confirming the modularity of the interaction. This exponential dependency between affinity and recognition length suggests that each module adds a constant increment of binding energy to sequence-specific recognition. This relationship was confirmed by comprehensive mutagenesis studies that also reveal the importance of individual peptide side chains. The 1.83 Å resolution crystal structure of a dArmRP with five identical internal repeats in complex with the cognate (KR)5 peptide proves a modular binding mode, where each dipeptide is recognized by one internal repeat. The confirmation of this true modularity over longer peptide stretches lays the ground for the design of binders with different specificities and tailored affinities by the assembly of dipeptide-specific modules based on armadillo repeats. PMID:26878586

  15. Autochthonous borderline tuberculoid leprosy in a man from Florida.

    PubMed

    Villada, Gabriel; Zarei, Mina; Romagosa, Ricardo; Forgione, Patrizia; Fabbrocini, Gabriella; Romanelli, Paolo

    2016-03-01

    Leprosy (Hansen's disease) is a chronic contagious granulomatous disease principally affecting the skin and peripheral nervous system, caused by Mycobacterium leprae. In this report, we present a case of autochthonous leprosy in a man from Florida as the first human case reported from this region. Authors believe dermatologists need to be aware of the possibility of autochthonous transmission of leprosy in the Eastern-Southern United States, and should consider leprosy in any patient with atypical skin lesions, even when a history of contact with armadillo is missing. PMID:27255063

  16. Morphological, molecular and ecological aspects of the South American hypogeous fungus Alpova austroalnicola sp. nov.

    PubMed

    Nouhra, Eduardo R; Dominguez, Laura S; Becerra, Alejandra G; Trappe, James M

    2005-01-01

    Field studies in Argentina's Yunga District revealed Alpova austroalnicola sp. nov., a hypogeous fungus associated with Alnus acuminata ssp. acuminata. Morphological and molecular studies based on amplification and sequencing of the nuclear LSU rDNA gene showed its unique identity within Alpova. Related genera included in the analyses were Boletus edulis, Rhizopogon spp., Suillus luteus and Truncocolumella citrina. Additional observations of animal diggings around the sites and microscopic examination of fecal pellets of the nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus novemcinctus) indicate A. austroalnicola is consumed and its spores dispersed by animals. PMID:16392248

  17. Flexible Dermal Armor in Nature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Wen; Chen, Irene H.; Mckittrick, Joanna; Meyers, Marc A.

    2012-04-01

    Many animals possess dermal armor, which acts primarily as protection against predators. We illustrate this through examples from both our research and the literature: alligator, fish (alligator gar, arapaima, and Senegal bichir), armadillo, leatherback turtle, and a lizard, the Gila monster. The dermal armor in these animals is flexible and has a hierarchical structure with collagen fibers joining mineralized units (scales, tiles, or plates). This combination significantly increases the strength and flexibility in comparison with a simple monolithic mineral composite or rigid dermal armor. This dermal armor is being studied for future bioinspired armor applications providing increased mobility.

  18. OpenMP for 3D potential boundary value problems solved by PIES

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    KuŻelewski, Andrzej; Zieniuk, Eugeniusz

    2016-06-01

    The main purpose of this paper is examination of an application of modern parallel computing technique OpenMP to speed up the calculation in the numerical solution of parametric integral equations systems (PIES). The authors noticed, that solving more complex boundary problems by PIES sometimes requires large computing time. This paper presents the use of OpenMP and fast C++ linear algebra library Armadillo for boundary value problems modelled by 3D Laplace's equation and solved using PIES. The testing example shows that the use of mentioned technologies significantly increases speed of calculations in PIES.

  19. Feeding preferences of Triatoma dimidiata maculipennis in Yucatan, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Quintal, R E; Polanco, G G

    1977-01-01

    To determine whether a low preference for human blood by Triatoma dimidiata maculipennis Stal, 1859, the only known vector of Chagas' disease in Yucatan, Mexico, would account for the low prevalence of antibodies to Trypanosoma cruzi in man in the area, the intestinal contents of 924 bugs were tested against antisera to blood antigens of chicken, opossum, dog, bat, monkey, pig, goat, rabbit, horse, human, rat, ox, cat, and armadillo. Although the chicken was the primary host, man was fed upon frequently; thus, the hypothesis was rejected. Other explanations must be found for the relative lack of antibodies against T. cruzi in humans in Yucatan. PMID:320892

  20. Radiocarbon dating of extinct fauna in the Americas recovered from tar pits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jull, A. J. T.; Iturralde-Vinent, M.; O'Malley, J. M.; MacPhee, R. D. E.; McDonald, H. G.; Martin, P. S.; Moody, J.; Rincón, A.

    2004-08-01

    We have obtained radiocarbon dates by accelerator mass spectrometry on bones of extinct large mammals from tar pits. Results on some samples of Glyptodon and Holmesina (extinct large mammals similar to armadillos) yielded ages of >25 and >21 ka, respectively. We also studied the radiocarbon ages of three different samples of bones from the extinct Cuban ground sloth, Parocnus bownii, which yielded dates ranging from 4960 ± 280 to 11 880 ± 420 yr BP. In order to remove the tar component pretreat the samples sufficiently to obtain reliable dates, we cleaned the samples by Soxhlet extraction in benzene. Resulting samples of collagenous material were often small.

  1. The correct name of the endemic Dasypus (Cingulata: Dasypodidae) from northwestern Argentina.

    PubMed

    Feijó, Anderson; Cordeiro-Estrela, Pedro

    2014-01-01

    We show that Dasypus mazzai Yepes 1933 is a senior synonym of Dasypus yepesi Vizcaíno 1995. We present morphological evidence that the holotype of D. mazzai is not a juvenile of Dasypus novemcinctus or any other species of this genus, but a distinct endemic species from northwestern Argentina undistinguishable from D. yepesi. Therefore, the correct name for the long-nosed armadillo of intermediate size occurring in the Argentinean provinces of Jujuy and Salta is Dasypus mazzai Yepes 1933. PMID:25543926

  2. Identification of a cellulose synthase-associated protein required for cellulose biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Gu, Ying; Kaplinsky, Nick; Bringmann, Martin; Cobb, Alex; Carroll, Andrew; Sampathkumar, Arun; Baskin, Tobias I.; Persson, Staffan; Somerville, Chris R.

    2010-01-01

    Cellulose synthase-interactive protein 1 (CSI1) was identified in a two-hybrid screen for proteins that interact with cellulose synthase (CESA) isoforms involved in primary plant cell wall synthesis. CSI1 encodes a 2,150-amino acid protein that contains 10 predicted Armadillo repeats and a C2 domain. Mutations in CSI1 cause defective cell elongation in hypocotyls and roots and reduce cellulose content. CSI1 is associated with CESA complexes, and csi1 mutants affect the distribution and movement of CESA complexes in the plasma membrane. PMID:20616083

  3. Dasypodidae Borner, 1919 (Insecta, Hymenoptera): Proposed emendation of spelling to Dasypodaidae, so removing the homonymy with Dasypodidae Gray, 1821 (Mammalia, Xenarthra)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Alexander, B.A.; Michener, C.D.; Gardner, A.L.

    1998-01-01

    The family-group name DASYPODIDAE Borner, 1919 (Insecta, Hymenoptera) is a junior homonym Of DASYPODIDAE Gray, 1821 (Mammalia, Xenarthra). It is proposed that the homonymy between the two names, which relate to short-tongued bees and armadillos respectively, should be removed by emending the stem of the generic name Dasypoda Latreille, 1802, on which the insect familygroup name is based, to give DASYPODAIDAE, while leaving the mammalian name (based on Dasypus Linnaeus, 1758) unchanged. Dasypus novemcinctus Linnaeus, 1758, the type species of Dasypus, has a wide distribution in the southern United States, Central and South America. The genus Dasypoda ranges throughout most of the Palearctic region.

  4. Apo and InsP[subscript 3]-bound crystal structures of the ligand-binding domain of an InsP[subscript 3] receptor

    SciTech Connect

    Lin, Chun-Chi; Baek, Kyuwon; Lu, Zhe

    2012-05-08

    We report the crystal structures of the ligand-binding domain (LBD) of a rat inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor (InsP{sub 3}R) in its apo and InsP{sub 3}-bound conformations. Comparison of these two conformations reveals that LBD's first {beta}-trefoil fold ({beta}-TF1) and armadillo repeat fold (ARF) move together as a unit relative to its second {beta}-trefoil fold ({beta}-TF2). Whereas apo LBD may spontaneously transition between gating conformations, InsP{sub 3} binding shifts this equilibrium toward the active state.

  5. The UNC-45 Myosin Chaperone: From Worms to Flies to Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Chi F.; Melkani, Girish C.; Bernstein, Sanford I.

    2014-01-01

    UNC-45 is a UCS domain protein that is critical for myosin stability and function. It likely aides in folding myosin during cellular differentiation and maintenance and protects myosin from denaturation during stress. Invertebrates have a single unc-45 gene that is expressed in both muscle and non-muscle tissues. Vertebrates possess one gene expressed in striated muscle (unc-45b) and one that is more generally expressed (unc-45a). Structurally, UNC-45 is composed of a series of alpha-helices connected by loops. It has an N-terminal TPR domain that binds to Hsp90 and a central domain composed of armadillo repeats. Its C-terminal UCS domain, which is also comprised of helical armadillo repeats, interacts with myosin. In this review, we present biochemical, structural and genetic analyses of UNC-45 in Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila melanogaster and various vertebrates. Further, we provide insights into UNC-45 functions, its potential mechanism of action and its roles in human disease. PMID:25376491

  6. Methods for extracting climate indicator data from social media.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fuka, M. Z.; Fuka, D. R.

    2011-12-01

    This paper shows how we've used the R software suite to extract climate indicator data from Twitter. In the course of this research we've collected extensive data sets of unsolicited observations ("tweets") for hundreds of climate-related phenological, biological, epidemiological and meteorological effects. R has proved itself in our work as a useful tool for manipulating those large data sets. Our experience from this effort has yielded a variety of insights on using R to extract geophysics-specific information from publicly accessible social media sources. We illustrate our methodology by mapping tweeted US armadillo sightings to explore the impact of climate variability on the extent of the animal's range. This example usefully demonstrates R's technical capabilities in collecting, time-stamping, geolocating, analyzing, visualizing and otherwise processing climate-related data derived from unsolicited social media postings. We also "mash-up" the data sets with those acquired by more traditional means, for example, temperature and precipitation data across the armadillo's US range. Our data-handling practice is extendable to social sharing services other than Twitter, providing the environmental modeling community an opportunity to access largely untapped resources of non-traditional climate indicator data to better understand the effects of climate change at local, regional and global scales.

  7. Circannual Testis Changes in Seasonally Breeding Mammals.

    PubMed

    Jiménez, Rafael; Burgos, Miguel; Barrionuevo, Francisco J

    2015-01-01

    In the non-equatorial zones of the Earth, species concentrate their reproductive effort in the more favorable season. A consequence of seasonal breeding is seasonal testis regression, which implies the depletion of the germinative epithelium, permeation of the blood-testis barrier, and reduced androgenic function. This process has been studied in a number of vertebrates, but the mechanisms controlling it are not yet well understood. Apoptosis was assumed for years to be an important effector of seasonal germ cell depletion in all vertebrates, including mammals, but an alternative mechanism has recently been reported in the Iberian mole as well as in the large hairy armadillo. It is based on the desquamation of meiotic and post-meiotic germ cells as a consequence of altered Sertoli-germ cell adhesion molecule expression and distribution. Desquamated cells are either discarded alive through the epididymis, as in the mole, or subsequently die by apoptosis, as in the armadillo. Also, recent findings on the reproductive cycle of the greater white-toothed shrew at the meridional limits of its distribution area have revealed that the mechanisms controlling seasonal breeding are in fact far more plastic and versatile than initially suspected. Perhaps these higher adaptive capacities place mammals in a better position to face the ongoing climate change. PMID:26375035

  8. Finite Element Analysis of the Cingulata Jaw: An Ecomorphological Approach to Armadillo’s Diets

    PubMed Central

    Serrano-Fochs, Sílvia; De Esteban-Trivigno, Soledad; Marcé-Nogué, Jordi; Fortuny, Josep; Fariña, Richard A.

    2015-01-01

    Finite element analyses (FEA) were applied to assess the lower jaw biomechanics of cingulate xenarthrans: 14 species of armadillos as well as one Pleistocene pampathere (11 extant taxa and the extinct forms Vassallia, Eutatus and Macroeuphractus). The principal goal of this work is to comparatively assess the biomechanical capabilities of the mandible based on FEA and to relate the obtained stress patterns with diet preferences and variability, in extant and extinct species through an ecomorphology approach. The results of FEA showed that omnivorous species have stronger mandibles than insectivorous species. Moreover, this latter group of species showed high variability, including some similar biomechanical features of the insectivorous Tolypeutes matacus and Chlamyphorus truncatus to those of omnivorous species, in agreement with reported diets that include items other than insects. It remains unclear the reasons behind the stronger than expected lower jaw of Dasypus kappleri. On the other hand, the very strong mandible of the fossil taxon Vassallia maxima agrees well with the proposed herbivorous diet. Moreover, Eutatus seguini yielded a stress pattern similar to Vassalia in the posterior part of the lower jaw, but resembling that of the stoutly built Macroeuphractus outesi in the anterior part. The results highlight the need for more detailed studies on the natural history of extant armadillos. FEA proved a powerful tool for biomechanical studies in a comparative framework. PMID:25919313

  9. Evolutionary Adaptation of the Fly Pygo PHD Finger toward Recognizing Histone H3 Tail Methylated at Arginine 2

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Thomas C.R.; Mieszczanek, Juliusz; Sánchez-Barrena, María José; Rutherford, Trevor J.; Fiedler, Marc; Bienz, Mariann

    2013-01-01

    Summary Pygo proteins promote Armadillo- and β-catenin-dependent transcription, by relieving Groucho-dependent repression of Wnt targets. Their PHD fingers bind histone H3 tail methylated at lysine 4, and to the HD1 domain of their Legless/BCL9 cofactors, linking Pygo to Armadillo/β-catenin. Intriguingly, fly Pygo orthologs exhibit a tryptophan > phenylalanine substitution in their histone pocket-divider which reduces their affinity for histones. Here, we use X-ray crystallography and NMR, to discover a conspicuous groove bordering this phenylalanine in the Drosophila PHD-HD1 complex—a semi-aromatic cage recognizing asymmetrically methylated arginine 2 (R2me2a), a chromatin mark of silenced genes. Our structural model of the ternary complex reveals a distinct mode of dimethylarginine recognition, involving a polar interaction between R2me2a and its groove, the structural integrity of which is crucial for normal tissue patterning. Notably, humanized fly Pygo derepresses Notch targets, implying an inherent Notch-related function of classical Pygo orthologs, disabled in fly Pygo, which thus appears dedicated to Wnt signaling. PMID:24183574

  10. The phylogenetic affinities of the extinct glyptodonts.

    PubMed

    Delsuc, Frédéric; Gibb, Gillian C; Kuch, Melanie; Billet, Guillaume; Hautier, Lionel; Southon, John; Rouillard, Jean-Marie; Fernicola, Juan Carlos; Vizcaíno, Sergio F; MacPhee, Ross D E; Poinar, Hendrik N

    2016-02-22

    Among the fossils of hitherto unknown mammals that Darwin collected in South America between 1832 and 1833 during the Beagle expedition were examples of the large, heavily armored herbivores later known as glyptodonts. Ever since, glyptodonts have fascinated evolutionary biologists because of their remarkable skeletal adaptations and seemingly isolated phylogenetic position even within their natural group, the cingulate xenarthrans (armadillos and their allies). In possessing a carapace comprised of fused osteoderms, the glyptodonts were clearly related to other cingulates, but their precise phylogenetic position as suggested by morphology remains unresolved. To provide a molecular perspective on this issue, we designed sequence-capture baits using in silico reconstructed ancestral sequences and successfully assembled the complete mitochondrial genome of Doedicurus sp., one of the largest glyptodonts. Our phylogenetic reconstructions establish that glyptodonts are in fact deeply nested within the armadillo crown-group, representing a distinct subfamily (Glyptodontinae) within family Chlamyphoridae. Molecular dating suggests that glyptodonts diverged no earlier than around 35 million years ago, in good agreement with their fossil record. Our results highlight the derived nature of the glyptodont morphotype, one aspect of which is a spectacular increase in body size until their extinction at the end of the last ice age. PMID:26906483

  11. Four events of host switching in Aspidoderidae (Nematoda) involve convergent lineages of mammals.

    PubMed

    Jiménez, F Agustín; Gardner, Scott L; Navone, Graciela; Ortí, Guillermo

    2012-12-01

    The Great American Interchange resulted in the mixing of faunistic groups with different origins and evolutionary trajectories that underwent rapid diversification in North and South America. As a result, groups of animals of recent arrival converged into similar habits and formed ecological guilds with some of the endemics. We present a reconstruction of the evolutionary events in Aspidoderidae, a family of nematodes that infect mammals that are part of this interchange, i.e., dasypodids, opossums, and sigmodontine, geomyid, and hystricognath rodents. By treating hosts as discrete states of character and using parsimony and Bayesian inferences to optimize these traits into the phylogeny of Aspidoderidae, we reconstructed Dasypodidae (armadillos) as the synapomorphic host for the family. In addition, 4 events of host switching were detected. One consisted of the switch from dasypodids to hystricognath rodents, and subsequently to geomyid rodents. The remaining set of events consisted of a switch from dasypodids to didelphid marsupials and then to sigmodontine rodents. The reconstruction of the ancestral distribution suggests 3 events of dispersal into the Nearctic. Two of these invasions would suggest that 2 different lineages of dasypodid parasites entered the Northern Hemisphere at different times, which is consistent with the presence of 2 lineages of armadillos in Mexico. PMID:22663159

  12. Detection of Paracoccidioides spp. in environmental aerosol samples.

    PubMed

    Arantes, Thales Domingos; Theodoro, Raquel Cordeiro; Da Graça Macoris, Severino Assis; Bagagli, Eduardo

    2013-01-01

    Taking into account that paracoccidioidomycosis infection occurs by inhalation of the asexual conidia produced by Paracoccidioides spp. in its saprobic phase, this work presents the collection of aerosol samples as an option for environmental detection of this pathogen, by positioning a cyclonic air sampler at the entrance of armadillo burrows. Methods included direct culture, extinction technique culture and Nested PCR of the rRNA coding sequence, comprising the ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 region. In addition, we evaluated one armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) as a positive control for the studied area. Although the pathogen could not be isolated by the culturing strategies, the aerosol sampling associated with molecular detection through Nested PCR proved the best method for discovering Paracoccidioides spp. in the environment. Most of the ITS sequences obtained in this investigation proved to be highly similar with the homologous sequences of Paracoccidioides lutzii from the GenBank database, suggesting that this Paracoccidioides species may not be exclusive to mid-western Brazil as proposed so far. PMID:22762209

  13. Insights from animal models on the immunogenetics of leprosy: a review.

    PubMed

    Adams, Linda B; Pena, Maria T; Sharma, Rahul; Hagge, Deanna A; Schurr, Erwin; Truman, Richard W

    2012-12-01

    A variety of host immunogenetic factors appear to influence both an individual's susceptibility to infection with Mycobacterium leprae and the pathologic course of the disease. Animal models can contribute to a better understanding of the role of immunogenetics in leprosy through comparative studies helping to confirm the significance of various identified traits and in deciphering the underlying mechanisms that may be involved in expression of different disease related phenotypes. Genetically engineered mice, with specific immune or biochemical pathway defects, are particularly useful for investigating granuloma formation and resistance to infection and are shedding new light on borderline areas of the leprosy spectrum which are clinically unstable and have a tendency toward immunological complications. Though armadillos are less developed in this regard, these animals are the only other natural hosts of M. leprae and they present a unique opportunity for comparative study of genetic markers and mechanisms associable with disease susceptibility or resistance, especially the neurological aspects of leprosy. In this paper, we review the recent contributions of genetically engineered mice and armadillos toward our understanding of the immunogenetics of leprosy. PMID:23283472

  14. Discrete typing units of Trypanosoma cruzi identified in rural dogs and cats in the humid Argentinean Chaco.

    PubMed

    Enriquez, G F; Cardinal, M V; Orozco, M M; Lanati, L; Schijman, A G; Gürtler, R E

    2013-03-01

    The discrete typing units (DTUs) of Trypanosoma cruzi that infect domestic dogs and cats have rarely been studied. With this purpose we conducted a cross-sectional xenodiagnostic survey of dog and cat populations residing in 2 infested rural villages in Pampa del Indio, in the humid Argentine Chaco. Parasites were isolated by culture from 44 dogs and 12 cats with a positive xenodiagnosis. DTUs were identified from parasite culture samples using a strategy based on multiple polymerase-chain reactions. TcVI was identified in 37 of 44 dogs and in 10 of 12 cats, whereas TcV was identified in 5 dogs and in 2 cats -a new finding for cats. No mixed infections were detected. The occurrence of 2 dogs infected with TcIII -classically found in armadillos- suggests a probable link with the local sylvatic transmission cycle involving Dasypus novemcinctus armadillos and a potential risk of human infection with TcIII. Our study reinforces the importance of dogs and cats as domestic reservoir hosts and sources of various DTUs infecting humans, and suggests a link between dogs and the sylvatic transmission cycle of TcIII. PMID:23058180

  15. Mechanisms of nerve injury in leprosy.

    PubMed

    Scollard, David M; Truman, Richard W; Ebenezer, Gigi J

    2015-01-01

    All patients with leprosy have some degree of nerve involvement. Perineural inflammation is the histopathologic hallmark of leprosy, and this localization may reflect a vascular route of entry of Mycobacterium leprae into nerves. Once inside nerves, M. leprae are ingested by Schwann cells, with a wide array of consequences. Axonal atrophy may occur early in this process; ultimately, affected nerves undergo segmental demyelination. Knowledge of the mechanisms of nerve injury in leprosy has been greatly limited by the minimal opportunities to study affected nerves in man. The nine-banded armadillo provides the only animal model of the pathogenesis of M. leprae infection. New tools available for this model enable the study and correlation of events occurring in epidermal nerve fibers, dermal nerves, and nerve trunks, including neurophysiologic parameters, bacterial load, and changes in gene transcription in both neural and inflammatory cells. The armadillo model is likely to enhance understanding of the mechanisms of nerve injury in leprosy and offers a means of testing proposed interventions. PMID:25432810

  16. Distribution of tolypeutes illiger, 1811 (xenarthra: cingulata) with comments on its biogeography and conservation.

    PubMed

    Feijó, Anderson; Garbino, Guilherme S T; Campos, Bruno A T P; Rocha, Patrício A; Ferrari, Stephen F; Langguth, Alfredo

    2015-01-01

    This study reviews the data available on the distribution of three-banded armadillos of the genus Tolypeutes, identifying potential geographic barriers and evaluating possible biogeographic processes that may account for the present-day distribution of the species and its conservation status. The database was derived from published records, interviews, and voucher specimens, over a timescale ranging from the fossil record to specimens collected in 2013. A total of 236 localities were recorded, with 68 attributed to Tolypeutes matacus and 168 to Tolypeutes tricinctus. The vegetation within the range of the genus is predominantly a xerophytic mosaic of grassland, savannas, open woodland, and xeric thorn forest. The marine transgressions of the Miocene and the uplifting of the Brazilian Shield may have contributed to the vicariant separation of the ancestral populations of T. matacus, to the west and south, and T. tricinctus, to the north and east. The three-banded armadillo is possibly one of the most threatened of Brazilian mammals, considering the low number of recent records and the fact that it is hunted intensively throughout its range. PMID:25660700

  17. Iron-regulated envelope proteins of mycobacteria grown in vitro and their occurrence in Mycobacterium avium and Mycobacterium leprae grown in vivo.

    PubMed

    Sritharan, M; Ratledge, C

    1990-01-01

    Several iron-regulated envelope proteins (IREPs), 11-180 kDa, have been detected in preparations of walls and membranes of Mycobacterium smegmatis, in an armadillo-derived mycobacterium (ADM) and in M. avium. The same sized proteins from M. vacae appeared under both iron-deficient and iron-sufficient growth conditions. Two larger proteins, of 240 and 250 kDa, appeared in the membranes of M. smegmatis and M. avium only when grown iron-sufficiently but were constitutively present in both ADM and M. vaccae. The IREPs from M. smegmatis were not induced under zinc-deficient growth conditions. Three of the four IREPs (14, 21 and 29 kDa) recognized in M. avium grown in vitro were also recovered from membrane fractions of the same strain grown in mice. In addition, these membranes contained both the high-molecular-mass proteins associated with iron-sufficient growth conditions. Membranes of M. leprae, recovered from infected armadillos, showed the faint presence of a possible IREP at 29 kDa and wall preparations showed the presence of a 21-kDa protein. Membranes also contained the two larger proteins at 240 and 250 kDa. An explanation for the simultaneous occurrence of both low-iron-regulated and high-iron-regulated proteins is offered. PMID:2202378

  18. The Adenomatous polyposis coli tumour suppressor is essential for Axin complex assembly and function and opposes Axin's interaction with Dishevelled.

    PubMed

    Mendoza-Topaz, Carolina; Mieszczanek, Juliusz; Bienz, Mariann

    2011-11-01

    Most cases of colorectal cancer are linked to mutational inactivation of the Adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) tumour suppressor. APC downregulates Wnt signalling by enabling Axin to promote the degradation of the Wnt signalling effector β-catenin (Armadillo in flies). This depends on Axin's DIX domain whose polymerization allows it to form dynamic protein assemblies ('degradasomes'). Axin is inactivated upon Wnt signalling, by heteropolymerization with the DIX domain of Dishevelled, which recruits it into membrane-associated 'signalosomes'. How APC promotes Axin's function is unclear, especially as it has been reported that APC's function can be bypassed by overexpression of Axin. Examining apc null mutant Drosophila tissues, we discovered that APC is required for Axin degradasome assembly, itself essential for Armadillo downregulation. Degradasome assembly is also attenuated in APC mutant cancer cells. Notably, Axin becomes prone to Dishevelled-dependent plasma membrane recruitment in the absence of APC, indicating a crucial role of APC in opposing the interaction of Axin with Dishevelled. Indeed, co-expression experiments reveal that APC displaces Dishevelled from Axin assemblies, promoting degradasome over signalosome formation in the absence of Wnts. APC thus empowers Axin to function in two ways-by enabling its DIX-dependent self-assembly, and by opposing its DIX-dependent copolymerization with Dishevelled and consequent inactivation. PMID:22645652

  19. The innate immunity adaptor SARM translocates to the nucleus to stabilize lamins and prevent DNA fragmentation in response to pro-apoptotic signaling.

    PubMed

    Sethman, Chad R; Hawiger, Jacek

    2013-01-01

    Sterile alpha and armadillo-motif containing protein (SARM), a highly conserved and structurally unique member of the MyD88 family of Toll-like receptor adaptors, plays an important role in innate immunity signaling and apoptosis. Its exact mechanism of intracellular action remains unclear. Apoptosis is an ancient and ubiquitous process of programmed cell death that results in disruption of the nuclear lamina and, ultimately, dismantling of the nucleus. In addition to supporting the nuclear membrane, lamins serve important roles in chromatin organization, epigenetic regulation, transcription, nuclear transport, and mitosis. Mutations and other damage that destabilize nuclear lamins (laminopathies) underlie a number of intractable human diseases. Here, we report that SARM translocates to the nucleus of human embryonic kidney cells by using its amino-terminal Armadillo repeat region. Within the nucleus, SARM forms a previously unreported lattice akin to the nuclear lamina scaffold. Moreover, we show that SARM protects lamins from apoptotic degradation and reduces internucleosomal DNA fragmentation in response to signaling induced by the proinflammatory cytokine Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha. These findings indicate an important link between the innate immunity adaptor SARM and stabilization of nuclear lamins during inflammation-driven apoptosis in human cells. PMID:23923041

  20. Genome-wide characterization of centromeric satellites from multiple mammalian genomes.

    PubMed

    Alkan, Can; Cardone, Maria Francesca; Catacchio, Claudia Rita; Antonacci, Francesca; O'Brien, Stephen J; Ryder, Oliver A; Purgato, Stefania; Zoli, Monica; Della Valle, Giuliano; Eichler, Evan E; Ventura, Mario

    2011-01-01

    Despite its importance in cell biology and evolution, the centromere has remained the final frontier in genome assembly and annotation due to its complex repeat structure. However, isolation and characterization of the centromeric repeats from newly sequenced species are necessary for a complete understanding of genome evolution and function. In recent years, various genomes have been sequenced, but the characterization of the corresponding centromeric DNA has lagged behind. Here, we present a computational method (RepeatNet) to systematically identify higher-order repeat structures from unassembled whole-genome shotgun sequence and test whether these sequence elements correspond to functional centromeric sequences. We analyzed genome datasets from six species of mammals representing the diversity of the mammalian lineage, namely, horse, dog, elephant, armadillo, opossum, and platypus. We define candidate monomer satellite repeats and demonstrate centromeric localization for five of the six genomes. Our analysis revealed the greatest diversity of centromeric sequences in horse and dog in contrast to elephant and armadillo, which showed high-centromeric sequence homogeneity. We could not isolate centromeric sequences within the platypus genome, suggesting that centromeres in platypus are not enriched in satellite DNA. Our method can be applied to the characterization of thousands of other vertebrate genomes anticipated for sequencing in the near future, providing an important tool for annotation of centromeres. PMID:21081712

  1. Recruitment of β-catenin to N-cadherin is necessary for smooth muscle contraction.

    PubMed

    Wang, Tao; Wang, Ruping; Cleary, Rachel A; Gannon, Olivia J; Tang, Dale D

    2015-04-01

    β-Catenin is a key component that connects transmembrane cadherin with the actin cytoskeleton at the cell-cell interface. However, the role of the β-catenin/cadherin interaction in smooth muscle has not been well characterized. Here stimulation with acetylcholine promoted the recruitment of β-catenin to N-cadherin in smooth muscle cells/tissues. Knockdown of β-catenin by lentivirus-mediated shRNA attenuated smooth muscle contraction. Nevertheless, myosin light chain phosphorylation at Ser-19 and actin polymerization in response to contractile activation were not reduced by β-catenin knockdown. In addition, the expression of the β-catenin armadillo domain disrupted the recruitment of β-catenin to N-cadherin. Force development, but not myosin light chain phosphorylation and actin polymerization, was reduced by the expression of the β-catenin armadillo domain. Furthermore, actin polymerization and microtubules have been implicated in intracellular trafficking. In this study, the treatment with the inhibitor latrunculin A diminished the interaction of β-catenin with N-cadherin in smooth muscle. In contrast, the exposure of smooth muscle to the microtubule depolymerizer nocodazole did not affect the protein-protein interaction. Together, these findings suggest that smooth muscle contraction is mediated by the recruitment of β-catenin to N-cadherin, which may facilitate intercellular mechanotransduction. The association of β-catenin with N-cadherin is regulated by actin polymerization during contractile activation. PMID:25713069

  2. The mitochondrial DNA molecule of the aardvark, Orycteropus afer, and the position of the Tubulidentata in the eutherian tree.

    PubMed Central

    Arnason, U; Gullberg, A; Janke, A

    1999-01-01

    An outstanding problem in mammal phylogeny is the relationship of the aardvark (Orycteropus afer), the only living species of the order Tubulidentata, to the extant eutherian lineages. In order to examine this problem the complete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) molecule of the aardvark was sequenced and analysed. The aardvark tRNA-Ser (UCN) differs from that of other mammalian mtDNAs reported and appears to have reversed to the ancestral secondary structure of non-mammalian vertebrates and mitochondrial tRNAs in general. Phylogenetic analysis of 12 concatenated protein-coding genes (3325 amino acids) included the aardvark and 15 additional eutherians, two marsupials and a monotreme. The most strongly supported tree identified the aardvark as a sister group of a clade including the armadillo (Xenarthra) and the Cetferungulata (carnivores, perissodactyls, artiodactyls and cetaceans). By applying three molecular calibration points the divergence between the aardvark and armadillo-cetferungulates was estimated at ca. 90 million years before present. PMID:10097395

  3. Ecological study of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis in soil: growth ability, conidia production and molecular detection

    PubMed Central

    Terçarioli, Gisela Ramos; Bagagli, Eduardo; Reis, Gabriela Martins; Theodoro, Raquel Cordeiro; Bosco, Sandra De Moraes Gimenes; Macoris, Severino Assis da Graça; Richini-Pereira, Virgínia Bodelão

    2007-01-01

    Background Paracoccidioides brasiliensis ecology is not completely understood, although several pieces of evidence point to the soil as its most probable habitat. The present study aimed to investigate the fungal growth, conidia production and molecular pathogen detection in different soil conditions. Methods Soils samples of clayey, sandy and medium textures were collected from ground surface and the interior of armadillo burrows in a hyperendemic area of Paracoccidioidomycosis. P. brasiliensis was inoculated in soil with controlled humidity and in culture medium containing soil extracts. The molecular detection was carried out by Nested PCR, using panfungal and species specific primers from the ITS-5.8S rDNA region. Results The soil texture does not affect fungus development and the growth is more abundant on/in soil saturated with water. Some soil samples inhibited the development of P. brasiliensis, especially those that contain high values of Exchangeable Aluminum (H+Al) in their composition. Some isolates produced a large number of conidia, mainly in soil-extract agar medium. The molecular detection was positive only in samples collected from armadillo burrows, both in sandy and clayey soil. Conclusion P. brasiliensis may grow and produce the infectious conidia in sandy and clayey soil, containing high water content, mainly in wild animal burrows, but without high values of H+Al. PMID:17953742

  4. Gene flow in wild chimpanzee populations: what genetic data tell us about chimpanzee movement over space and time.

    PubMed

    Gagneux, P; Gonder, M K; Goldberg, T L; Morin, P A

    2001-06-29

    The isolation of phylogenetically distinct primate immunodeficiency viruses from at least seven wild-born, captive chimpanzees indicates that viruses closely related to HIV-1 may be endemic in some wild chimpanzee populations. The search for the chimpanzee population or populations harbouring these viruses is therefore on. This paper attempts to answer the question of whether or not such populations of chimpanzees are likely to exist at all, and, if so, where they are likely to be found. We summarize what is known about gene flow in wild populations of chimpanzees, both between major phylogeographical subdivisions of the species, and within these subdivisions. Our analysis indicates that hitherto undocumented reproductively isolated chimpanzee populations may in fact exist. This conclusion is based on the observation that, despite limited geographical sampling and limited numbers of genetic loci, conventional notions of the nature and extent of chimpanzee gene flow have recently been substantially revised. Molecular genetic studies using mitochondrial DNA sequences and hypervariable nuclear microsatellite markers have indicated the existence of heretofore undocumented barriers to chimpanzee gene flow. These studies have identified at least one population of chimpanzees genetically distinct enough to be classified into a new subspecies (Pan troglodytes vellerosus). At the same time, they have called into question the long-accepted genetic distinction between eastern chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) and western equatorial chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes troglodytes). The same studies have further indicated that gene flow between local populations is more extensive than was previously thought, and follows patterns sometimes inconsistent with those documented through direct behavioural observation. Given the apparently incomplete nature of the current understanding of chimpanzee gene flow in equatorial Africa, it seems reasonable to speculate that a chimpanzee

  5. Effectiveness of scat-detection dogs in determining species presence in a tropical savanna landscape.

    PubMed

    Vynne, Carly; Skalski, John R; Machado, Ricardo B; Groom, Martha J; Jácomo, Anah T A; Marinho-Filho, Jader; Ramos Neto, Mario B; Pomilla, Cristina; Silveira, Leandro; Smith, Heath; Wasser, Samuel K

    2011-02-01

    Most protected areas are too small to sustain populations of wide-ranging mammals; thus, identification and conservation of high-quality habitat for those animals outside parks is often a high priority, particularly for regions where extensive land conversion is occurring. This is the case in the vicinity of Emas National Park, a small protected area in the Brazilian Cerrado. Over the last 40 years the native vegetation surrounding the park has been converted to agriculture, but the region still supports virtually all of the animals native to the area. We determined the effectiveness of scat-detection dogs in detecting presence of five species of mammals threatened with extinction by habitat loss: maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus), puma (Puma concolor), jaguar (Panthera onca), giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), and giant armadillo (Priodontes maximus). The probability of scat detection varied among the five species and among survey quadrats of different size, but was consistent across team, season, and year. The probability of occurrence, determined from the presence of scat, in a randomly selected site within the study area ranged from 0.14 for jaguars, which occur primarily in the forested areas of the park, to 0.91 for maned wolves, the most widely distributed species in our study area. Most occurrences of giant armadillos in the park were in open grasslands, but in the agricultural matrix they tended to occur in riparian woodlands. At least one target species occurred in every survey quadrat, and giant armadillos, jaguars, and maned wolves were more likely to be present in quadrats located inside than outside the park. The effort required for detection of scats was highest for the two felids. We were able to detect the presence for each of five wide-ranging species inside and outside the park and to assign occurrence probabilities to specific survey sites. Thus, scat dogs provide an effective survey tool for rare species even when accurate detection

  6. Ensembl 2007.

    PubMed

    Hubbard, T J P; Aken, B L; Beal, K; Ballester, B; Caccamo, M; Chen, Y; Clarke, L; Coates, G; Cunningham, F; Cutts, T; Down, T; Dyer, S C; Fitzgerald, S; Fernandez-Banet, J; Graf, S; Haider, S; Hammond, M; Herrero, J; Holland, R; Howe, K; Howe, K; Johnson, N; Kahari, A; Keefe, D; Kokocinski, F; Kulesha, E; Lawson, D; Longden, I; Melsopp, C; Megy, K; Meidl, P; Ouverdin, B; Parker, A; Prlic, A; Rice, S; Rios, D; Schuster, M; Sealy, I; Severin, J; Slater, G; Smedley, D; Spudich, G; Trevanion, S; Vilella, A; Vogel, J; White, S; Wood, M; Cox, T; Curwen, V; Durbin, R; Fernandez-Suarez, X M; Flicek, P; Kasprzyk, A; Proctor, G; Searle, S; Smith, J; Ureta-Vidal, A; Birney, E

    2007-01-01

    The Ensembl (http://www.ensembl.org/) project provides a comprehensive and integrated source of annotation of chordate genome sequences. Over the past year the number of genomes available from Ensembl has increased from 15 to 33, with the addition of sites for the mammalian genomes of elephant, rabbit, armadillo, tenrec, platypus, pig, cat, bush baby, common shrew, microbat and european hedgehog; the fish genomes of stickleback and medaka and the second example of the genomes of the sea squirt (Ciona savignyi) and the mosquito (Aedes aegypti). Some of the major features added during the year include the first complete gene sets for genomes with low-sequence coverage, the introduction of new strain variation data and the introduction of new orthology/paralog annotations based on gene trees. PMID:17148474

  7. The role of P-cadherin in skin biology and skin pathology: lessons from the hair follicle.

    PubMed

    Samuelov, Liat; Sprecher, Eli; Paus, Ralf

    2015-06-01

    Adherens junctions (AJs) are one of the major intercellular junctions in various epithelia including the epidermis and the follicular epithelium. AJs connect the cell surface to the actin cytoskeleton and comprise classic transmembrane cadherins, such as P-cadherin, armadillo family proteins, and actin microfilaments. Loss-of-function mutations in CDH3, which encodes P-cadherin, result in two allelic autosomal recessive disorders: hypotrichosis with juvenile macular dystrophy (HJMD) and ectodermal dysplasia, ectrodactyly, and macular dystrophy (EEM) syndromes. Both syndromes feature sparse hair heralding progressive macular dystrophy. EEM syndrome is characterized in addition by ectodermal and limb defects. Recent studies have demonstrated that, together with its involvement in cell-cell adhesion, P-cadherin plays a crucial role in regulating cell signaling, malignant transformation, and other major intercellular processes. Here, we review the roles of P-cadherin in skin and hair biology, with emphasize on human hair growth, cycling and pigmentation. PMID:25707507

  8. Homeodomain-interacting protein kinase (Hipk) phosphorylates the small SPOC family protein Spenito.

    PubMed

    Dewald, D N; Steinmetz, E L; Walldorf, U

    2014-12-01

    The Drosophila homeodomain-interacting protein kinase (Hipk) is a versatile regulator involved in a variety of pathways, such as Notch and Wingless signalling, thereby acting in processes including the promotion of eye development or control of cell numbers in the nervous system. In vertebrates, extensive studies have related its homologue HIPK2 to important roles in the control of p53-mediated apoptosis and tumour suppression. Spenito (Nito) belongs to the group of small SPOC family proteins and has a role, amongst others, as a regulator of Wingless signalling downstream of Armadillo. In the present study, we show that both proteins have an enzyme-substrate relationship, adding a new interesting component to the broad range of Hipk interactions, and we map several phosphorylation sites of Nito. Furthermore, we were able to define a preliminary consensus motif for Hipk target sites, which will simplify the identification of new substrates of this kinase. PMID:25040100

  9. Multidisciplinary study of radionuclides and heavy-metal concentrations in wildlife on phosphate-mined and reclaimed lands. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Pritchard, P.C.H.; Bloodwell, J.M.

    1986-11-01

    The phosphate-rich mineral deposits of central Florida tend to exhibit background radiation levels that are elevated due to the uranium and its decay products found in association with the ore. The report documents radioactivity levels in two groups of animals that had heretofore not been examined by other investigators -- aquatic reptiles (American alligators, softshell turtles, and Florida cooter turtles) and terrestrial mammals (armadillos), based on the criterion that these species have significant proportions of their mass comprised of bony tissue likely to show elevated concentrations of radium. The alligator bones contained only low concentrations of radium, and there were no significant differences between alligators collected from mined, mineralized-unmined, or unmineralized land. Whether the levels of radium in the bones of the turtles represents a hazard to the health of these long-lived animals or to humans who may consume their flesh is unclear.

  10. The T-box transcription factor Midline regulates wing development by repressing wingless and hedgehog in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Chong-Lei; Wang, Xian-Feng; Cheng, Qian; Wang, Dan; Hirose, Susumu; Liu, Qing-Xin

    2016-01-01

    Wingless (Wg) and Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathways are key players in animal development. However, regulation of the expression of wg and hh are not well understood. Here, we show that Midline (Mid), an evolutionarily conserved transcription factor, expresses in the wing disc of Drosophila and plays a vital role in wing development. Loss or knock down of mid in the wing disc induced hyper-expression of wingless (wg) and yielded cocked and non-flat wings. Over-expression of mid in the wing disc markedly repressed the expression of wg, DE-Cadherin (DE-Cad) and armadillo (arm), and resulted in a small and blistered wing. In addition, a reduction in the dose of mid enhanced phenotypes of a gain-of-function mutant of hedgehog (hh). We also observed repression of hh upon overexpression of mid in the wing disc. Taken together, we propose that Mid regulates wing development by repressing wg and hh in Drosophila. PMID:27301278

  11. Wide angle view of MOCR activity during STS-3 mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1982-01-01

    Wide angle view of Mission Operation Control Room (MOCR) activity during Day 2 of STS-3 mission. This view shows many of th consoles, tracking map, and Eidophor-controlled data screens. Flight controllers in the foreground are (l.r.) R. John Rector and Chares L. Dumie. They are seated at the EECOM console. The 'thermodillo' contraption, used by flight controllers to indicate the Shuttle's position in relation to the sun for various tests, can be seen at right (28732); closeup view of the 'thermodillo'. The position of the armadillo's tail indicates position of the orbiter in relation to sun (28733); Mission Specialist/Astronaut Sally K. Ride, STS-3 orbit team spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM), talks to flight director during mission control center activity. Mission Specialist/Astronaut George D. Nelson, backup orbit team CAPCOM, watches the monitor at his console (28734).

  12. Natural flexible dermal armor.

    PubMed

    Yang, Wen; Chen, Irene H; Gludovatz, Bernd; Zimmermann, Elizabeth A; Ritchie, Robert O; Meyers, Marc A

    2013-01-01

    Fish, reptiles, and mammals can possess flexible dermal armor for protection. Here we seek to find the means by which Nature derives its protection by examining the scales from several fish (Atractosteus spatula, Arapaima gigas, Polypterus senegalus, Morone saxatilis, Cyprinius carpio), and osteoderms from armadillos, alligators, and leatherback turtles. Dermal armor has clearly been developed by convergent evolution in these different species. In general, it has a hierarchical structure with collagen fibers joining more rigid units (scales or osteoderms), thereby increasing flexibility without significantly sacrificing strength, in contrast to rigid monolithic mineral composites. These dermal structures are also multifunctional, with hydrodynamic drag (in fish), coloration for camouflage or intraspecies recognition, temperature and fluid regulation being other important functions. The understanding of such flexible dermal armor is important as it may provide a basis for new synthetic, yet bioinspired, armor materials. PMID:23161399

  13. A new molineid (Nematoda: Trichostrongylina) parasite of Dasypus hybridus (Xenarthra: Dasypodidae) from Argentina.

    PubMed

    Ezquiaga, María C; Digiani, María C; Navone, Graciela T

    2012-12-01

    Delicata abbai n. sp. collected from the small intestine of the southern long-nosed armadillo, Dasypus hybridus, from Argentina is herein described. This new species is characterized by vulvar opening within second half of body length, female tail conical, ending bluntly with a terminal spine, complex spicules, presence of a bursal membrane supported by 2 small rays, and a synlophe with bilateral symmetry and 26 cuticular ridges. By the morphology of the caudal bursa, caudal end of female, and shape of spicules, the new species resembles Delicata cameroni Travassos, 1935 and Delicata variabilis Travassos, 1935 . However, it differs from D. cameroni by having rays 5 and 6 diverging more proximally, rays 8 shorter than the dorsal ray, and spicules with a different shape. Delicata abbai n. sp. is distinguished from D. variabilis mainly by the spicules, which have a different shape and proportion of their constitutive parts. This is the first report of a species of Delicata in Argentina. PMID:22663347

  14. Validation of qPCR Methods for the Detection of Mycobacterium in New World Animal Reservoirs

    PubMed Central

    Housman, Genevieve; Malukiewicz, Joanna; Boere, Vanner; Grativol, Adriana D.; Pereira, Luiz Cezar M.; Silva, Ita de Oliveira e; Ruiz-Miranda, Carlos R.; Truman, Richard; Stone, Anne C.

    2015-01-01

    Zoonotic pathogens that cause leprosy (Mycobacterium leprae) and tuberculosis (Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex, MTBC) continue to impact modern human populations. Therefore, methods able to survey mycobacterial infection in potential animal hosts are necessary for proper evaluation of human exposure threats. Here we tested for mycobacterial-specific single- and multi-copy loci using qPCR. In a trial study in which armadillos were artificially infected with M. leprae, these techniques were specific and sensitive to pathogen detection, while more traditional ELISAs were only specific. These assays were then employed in a case study to detect M. leprae as well as MTBC in wild marmosets. All marmosets were negative for M. leprae DNA, but 14 were positive for the mycobacterial rpoB gene assay. Targeted capture and sequencing of rpoB and other MTBC genes validated the presence of mycobacterial DNA in these samples and revealed that qPCR is useful for identifying mycobacterial-infected animal hosts. PMID:26571269

  15. Detection of Rickettsia bellii and Rickettsia amblyommii in Amblyomma longirostre (Acari: Ixodidae) from Bahia state, Northeast Brazil.

    PubMed

    McIntosh, Douglas; Bezerra, Rodrigo Alves; Luz, Hermes Ribeiro; Faccini, João Luiz Horacio; Gaiotto, Fernanda Amato; Giné, Gastón Andrés Fernandez; Albuquerque, George Rego

    2015-01-01

    Studies investigating rickettsial infections in ticks parasitizing wild animals in the Northeast region of Brazil have been confined to the detection of Rickettsia amblyommii in immature stages of Amblyomma longirostre collected from birds in the state of Bahia, and in immatures and females of Amblyomma auricularium collected from the striped hog-nosed skunk (Conepatus semistriatus) and armadillos (Euphractus sexcinctus) in the state of Pernambuco. The current study extends the distribution of R. amblyommii (strain Aranha), which was detected in A. longirostre collected from the thin-spined porcupine Chaetomys subspinosus and the hairy dwarf porcupine Coendou insidiosus. In addition, we report the first detection of Rickettsia bellii in adults of A. longirostre collected from C. insidiosus in the state of Bahia. PMID:26413074

  16. Detection of Rickettsia bellii and Rickettsia amblyommii in Amblyomma longirostre (Acari: Ixodidae) from Bahia state, Northeast Brazil

    PubMed Central

    McIntosh, Douglas; Bezerra, Rodrigo Alves; Luz, Hermes Ribeiro; Faccini, João Luiz Horacio; Gaiotto, Fernanda Amato; Giné, Gastón Andrés Fernandez; Albuquerque, George Rego

    2015-01-01

    Studies investigating rickettsial infections in ticks parasitizing wild animals in the Northeast region of Brazil have been confined to the detection of Rickettsia amblyommii in immature stages of Amblyomma longirostre collected from birds in the state of Bahia, and in immatures and females of Amblyomma auriculariumcollected from the striped hog-nosed skunk (Conepatus semistriatus) and armadillos (Euphractus sexcinctus) in the state of Pernambuco. The current study extends the distribution of R. amblyommii (strain Aranha), which was detected in A. longirostre collected from the thin-spined porcupine Chaetomys subspinosus and the hairy dwarf porcupine Coendou insidiosus. In addition, we report the first detection of Rickettsia bellii in adults of A. longirostre collected from C. insidiosus in the state of Bahia. PMID:26413074

  17. Factors associated with Paracoccidiodes brasiliensis infection among permanent residents of three endemic areas in Colombia.

    PubMed Central

    Cadavid, D.; Restrepo, A.

    1993-01-01

    The natural habitat of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis, the aetiologic agent of paracoccidioidomycosis, has not been determined. Consequently, the events leading to the acquisition of infection remain controversial. To identify factors associated with infection in endemic areas we conducted a survey in three rural communities in Colombia where we had previously diagnosed paracoccidioidomycosis in children. Permanent residents were surveyed taking into consideration environmental and occupational variables. Skin tests were used to classify subjects as infected or non-infected. Variables found associated with infection were: (i) community A: previous residence around Porce river and agriculture in vegetable gardens; (ii) community C: frequent use of specific water sources; (iii) community V: housekeeping activities, and (iv) total group: age > 25 years and contact with bats. Residents in communities with higher prevalence of infection were older, had more complex residence history, and referred more contact with armadillos than residents of communities with lower infection. PMID:8348926

  18. dSarm/Sarm1 is required for activation of an injury-induced axon death pathway.

    PubMed

    Osterloh, Jeannette M; Yang, Jing; Rooney, Timothy M; Fox, A Nicole; Adalbert, Robert; Powell, Eric H; Sheehan, Amy E; Avery, Michelle A; Hackett, Rachel; Logan, Mary A; MacDonald, Jennifer M; Ziegenfuss, Jennifer S; Milde, Stefan; Hou, Ying-Ju; Nathan, Carl; Ding, Aihao; Brown, Robert H; Conforti, Laura; Coleman, Michael; Tessier-Lavigne, Marc; Züchner, Stephan; Freeman, Marc R

    2012-07-27

    Axonal and synaptic degeneration is a hallmark of peripheral neuropathy, brain injury, and neurodegenerative disease. Axonal degeneration has been proposed to be mediated by an active autodestruction program, akin to apoptotic cell death; however, loss-of-function mutations capable of potently blocking axon self-destruction have not been described. Here, we show that loss of the Drosophila Toll receptor adaptor dSarm (sterile α/Armadillo/Toll-Interleukin receptor homology domain protein) cell-autonomously suppresses Wallerian degeneration for weeks after axotomy. Severed mouse Sarm1 null axons exhibit remarkable long-term survival both in vivo and in vitro, indicating that Sarm1 prodegenerative signaling is conserved in mammals. Our results provide direct evidence that axons actively promote their own destruction after injury and identify dSarm/Sarm1 as a member of an ancient axon death signaling pathway. PMID:22678360

  19. GENIE Flight Test Results and System Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brady, Tye; Paschall, Stephen, II; Crain, Timothy P., II; Demars, Kyle; Bishop, Robert

    2011-01-01

    NASA has envisioned a suite of lander test vehicles that will be flown in Earth s atmosphere to incrementally demonstrate applicable lunar lander performance in the terrestrial environment. As each terrestrial rocket progresses in maturity, relevant space flight technology matures to a higher technology readiness level, preparing it for inclusion on a future lunar lander design.. NASA s "Project M" lunar mission concept flew its first terrestrial rocket, RR1, in June 2010 in Caddo Mills, Texas. The Draper Laboratory built GENIE (Guidance Embedded Navigator Integration Environment) successfully demonstrated accurate, real time, embedded performance of Project M navigation and guidance algorithms in a highly dynamic environment. The RR1 vehicle, built by Armadillo Aerospace, performed a successful 60 second free flight and gave the team great confidence in Project M s highly reliable and robust GNC system design and implementation. This paper provides an overview of the GENIE system and describes recent flight performance test results onboard the RR1 terrestrial rocket.

  20. Validation of qPCR Methods for the Detection of Mycobacterium in New World Animal Reservoirs.

    PubMed

    Housman, Genevieve; Malukiewicz, Joanna; Boere, Vanner; Grativol, Adriana D; Pereira, Luiz Cezar M; Silva, Ita de Oliveira; Ruiz-Miranda, Carlos R; Truman, Richard; Stone, Anne C

    2015-11-01

    Zoonotic pathogens that cause leprosy (Mycobacterium leprae) and tuberculosis (Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex, MTBC) continue to impact modern human populations. Therefore, methods able to survey mycobacterial infection in potential animal hosts are necessary for proper evaluation of human exposure threats. Here we tested for mycobacterial-specific single- and multi-copy loci using qPCR. In a trial study in which armadillos were artificially infected with M. leprae, these techniques were specific and sensitive to pathogen detection, while more traditional ELISAs were only specific. These assays were then employed in a case study to detect M. leprae as well as MTBC in wild marmosets. All marmosets were negative for M. leprae DNA, but 14 were positive for the mycobacterial rpoB gene assay. Targeted capture and sequencing of rpoB and other MTBC genes validated the presence of mycobacterial DNA in these samples and revealed that qPCR is useful for identifying mycobacterial-infected animal hosts. PMID:26571269

  1. The T-box transcription factor Midline regulates wing development by repressing wingless and hedgehog in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Fu, Chong-Lei; Wang, Xian-Feng; Cheng, Qian; Wang, Dan; Hirose, Susumu; Liu, Qing-Xin

    2016-01-01

    Wingless (Wg) and Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathways are key players in animal development. However, regulation of the expression of wg and hh are not well understood. Here, we show that Midline (Mid), an evolutionarily conserved transcription factor, expresses in the wing disc of Drosophila and plays a vital role in wing development. Loss or knock down of mid in the wing disc induced hyper-expression of wingless (wg) and yielded cocked and non-flat wings. Over-expression of mid in the wing disc markedly repressed the expression of wg, DE-Cadherin (DE-Cad) and armadillo (arm), and resulted in a small and blistered wing. In addition, a reduction in the dose of mid enhanced phenotypes of a gain-of-function mutant of hedgehog (hh). We also observed repression of hh upon overexpression of mid in the wing disc. Taken together, we propose that Mid regulates wing development by repressing wg and hh in Drosophila. PMID:27301278

  2. UXT plays dual opposing roles on SARM-induced apoptosis.

    PubMed

    Sethurathinam, Shalini; Singh, Laishram Pradeepkumar; Panneerselvam, Porkodi; Byrne, Bernadette; Ding, Jeak Ling

    2013-10-11

    Apoptosis is a vital defense mechanism for the clearance of infected cells. Ubiquitously expressed transcript (UXT), which exists in two isoforms (V1 and V2), interact with both apoptotic and cellular proteins. By yeast two-hybrid analysis, we found that UXT interacts with SARM (sterile α and HEAT armadillo motif-containing protein). Since SARM is a TLR adaptor which induces intrinsic apoptosis following immune activation, we were prompted to query whether UXT and SARM might co-regulate apoptosis. We found that the UXT isoforms elicit dual opposing regulatory effects on SARM-induced apoptosis; while UXT V1, co-expressed with SARM, caused a reduction in caspase 8 activity, UXT V2 strongly increased caspase 8 activity and enhanced SARM-induced apoptosis by activating the extrinsic pathway and depolarizing the mitochondria. PMID:24021647

  3. Mammals of South America, Volume 1, Marsupials, Xenarthrans, Shrews, and Bats

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    2007-01-01

    The vast terrain between Panama and Tierra del Fuego contains some of the world?s richest mammalian fauna, but until now it has lacked a comprehensive systematic reference to the identification, distribution, and taxonomy of its mammals. The first such book of its kind and the inaugural volume in a three-part series, Mammals of South America both summarizes existing information and encourages further research of the mammals indigenous to the region. Containing identification keys and brief descriptions of each order, family, and genus, the first volume of Mammals of South America covers marsupials, shrews, armadillos, sloths, anteaters, and bats. Species accounts include taxonomic descriptions, synonymies, keys to identification, distributions with maps and a gazetteer of marginal localities, lists of recognized subspecies, brief summaries of natural history information, and discussions of issues related to taxonomic interpretations. Highly anticipated and much needed, this book will be a landmark contribution to mammalogy, zoology, tropical biology, and conservation biology.

  4. Phosphorylation of Mad controls competition between wingless and BMP signaling.

    PubMed

    Eivers, Edward; Demagny, Hadrien; Choi, Renee H; De Robertis, Edward M

    2011-01-01

    Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) and Wnts are growth factors that provide essential patterning signals for cell proliferation and differentiation. Here, we describe a molecular mechanism by which the phosphorylation state of the Drosophila transcription factor Mad determines its ability to transduce either BMP or Wingless (Wg) signals. Previously, Mad was thought to function in gene transcription only when phosphorylated by BMP receptors. We found that the unphosphorylated form of Mad was required for canonical Wg signaling by interacting with the Pangolin-Armadillo transcriptional complex. Phosphorylation of the carboxyl terminus of Mad by BMP receptor directed Mad toward BMP signaling, thereby preventing Mad from functioning in the Wg pathway. The results show that Mad has distinct signal transduction roles in the BMP and Wnt pathways depending on its phosphorylation state. PMID:21990430

  5. Construction of radiation hybrid panels.

    PubMed

    Page, John E; Murphy, William J

    2008-01-01

    Whole-genome radiation hybrid (RH) mapping has proven to be a powerful tool for mapping genes and comparing genome architecture. We describe a protocol for constructing RH panels by rescuing irradiated fibroblast donor cells of any mammalian species by polyethylene glycol fusion to a thymidine kinase-deficient hamster cell line. Characterization and expansion of a panel of 90-100 cell lines can be used to map virtually any PCR-based marker that can be distinguished from the recipient hamster genome. The described procedure has been used successfully to create RH panels from diverse mammalian species such as macaques, elephants, alpacas, and armadillos, and may be applicable to nonmammalian vertebrates as well. PMID:18629660

  6. Development of the carapacial ridge: implications for the evolution of genetic networks in turtle shell development.

    PubMed

    Moustakas, Jacqueline E

    2008-01-01

    Paleontologists and neontologists have long looked to development to understand the homologies of the dermal bones that form the "armor" of turtles, crocodiles, armadillos, and other vertebrates. This study shows molecular evidence supporting a dermomyotomal identity for the mesenchyme of the turtle carapacial ridge. The mesenchyme of the carapace primordium expresses Pax3, Twist1, Dermo1, En1, Sim1, and Gremlin at early stages and before overt ossification expresses Pax1. A hypothesis is proposed that this mesenchyme forms dermal bone in the turtle carapace. A comparison of regulatory gene expression in the primordia of the turtle carapace, the vertebrate limb, and the vertebral column implies the exaptation of key genetic networks in the development of the turtle shell. This work establishes a new role for this mesodermal compartment and highlights the importance of changes in genetic regulation in the evolution of morphology. PMID:18184355

  7. Localization of the human {beta}-catenin gene (CTNNB1) to 3p21: A region implicated in tumor development

    SciTech Connect

    Kraus, C.; Liehr, T.; Ballhausen, G.

    1994-09-01

    The human {beta}-catenin locus (CTNNB1) was mapped by in situ fluorescence analysis to band p21 on the short arm of chromosome 3, a region frequently affected by somatic alterations in a variety of tumors. PCR primers for the genomic amplification of {beta}-catenin sequences were selected on the basis of homology to exon 4 of the Drosophila armadillo gene. Analysis of a panel of somatic cell hybrids confirmed the localization of {beta}-catenin on human chromosome 3. Furthermore, exclusion mapping of three hybrids carrying defined fragments of the short arm of human chromosome 3 allowed us to determine the position of the CTNNB1 locus close to the marker D3S2 in 3p21. 22 refs., 3 figs.

  8. Radiometric macrophage culture assay for rapid evaluation of antileprosy activity of rifampin

    SciTech Connect

    Mittal, A.; Seshadri, P.S.; Prasad, H.K.; Sathish, M.; Nath, I.

    1983-10-01

    The antileprosy effect of rifampin was evaluated by a newly developed rapid in vitro assay wherein 31 human-derived strains and 1 armadillo-derived strain of Mycobacterium leprae were maintained for 2 and 3 weeks, respectively, in murine and human macrophages in the presence of (3H)thymidine. Of these strains, 27 showed significant incorporation of the radiolabel in cultures of live bacilli as compared with control cultures of heat-killed bacilli of the same strain. Consistent and significant inhibition of (3H)thymidine uptake was observed in M. leprae resident cultures with 3 to 200 ng of rifampin per ml as compared with similar cultures without the drug. In general, an increase in percent inhibition was seen from 3 to 20 ng/ml, with marginal increases at 40, 50, and 100 ng/ml. M. leprae strains appear to be remarkably susceptible to this drug in the in vitro assay.

  9. Inherited desmosomal disorders.

    PubMed

    Samuelov, Liat; Sprecher, Eli

    2015-06-01

    Desmosomes serve as intercellular junctions in various tissues including the skin and the heart where they play a crucial role in cell-cell adhesion, signalling and differentiation. The desmosomes connect the cell surface to the keratin cytoskeleton and are composed of a transmembranal part consisting mainly of desmosomal cadherins, armadillo proteins and desmoplakin, which form the intracytoplasmic desmosomal plaque. Desmosomal genodermatoses are caused by mutations in genes encoding the various desmosomal components. They are characterized by skin, hair and cardiac manifestations occurring in diverse combinations. Their classification into a separate and distinct clinical group not only recognizes their common pathogenesis and facilitates their diagnosis but might also in the future form the basis for the design of novel and targeted therapies for these occasionally life-threatening diseases. PMID:25487406

  10. δ-Catenin interacts with LEF-1 and negatively regulates its transcriptional activity.

    PubMed

    He, Yongfeng; Ki, Hyunkyoung; Kim, Hangun; Kim, Kwonseop

    2015-08-01

    δ-Catenin and β-catenin belong to different subfamilies of armadillo proteins but share some common binding partners, such as E-cadherin. This is the first study that demonstrated a novel common binding partner for δ-catenin and β-catenin, lymphoid enhancer factor-1 (LEF-1). We found that the N-terminus of δ-catenin (amino acids 85-325) bound to the middle region of LEF-1 unlike β-catenin. Overexpressed δ-catenin entered the nucleus and inhibited LEF-1-mediated transcriptional activity in Bosc23 and DLD-1 cell lines. The current study provided novel insights that will provide a better understanding of the effects of δ-catenin on Wnt/LEF-1-mediated transcriptional activity. PMID:25808920

  11. Kinase active Misshapen regulates Notch signaling in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Mishra, Abhinava K; Sachan, Nalani; Mutsuddi, Mousumi; Mukherjee, Ashim

    2015-11-15

    Notch signaling pathway represents a principal cellular communication system that plays a pivotal role during development of metazoans. Drosophila misshapen (msn) encodes a protein kinase, which is related to the budding yeast Ste20p (sterile 20 protein) kinase. In a genetic screen, using candidate gene approach to identify novel kinases involved in Notch signaling, we identified msn as a novel regulator of Notch signaling. Data presented here suggest that overexpression of kinase active form of Msn exhibits phenotypes similar to Notch loss-of-function condition and msn genetically interacts with components of Notch signaling pathway. Kinase active form of Msn associates with Notch receptor and regulate its signaling activity. We further show that kinase active Misshapen leads to accumulation of membrane-tethered form of Notch. Moreover, activated Msn also depletes Armadillo and DE-Cadherin from adherens junctions. Thus, this study provides a yet unknown mode of regulation of Notch signaling by Misshapen. PMID:26431585

  12. Aspidoderidae from North America, with the description of a new species of Aspidodera (Nematoda: Heterakoidea).

    PubMed

    Jiménez-Ruiz, F Agustín; Gardner, Scott L; Varela-Stokes, Andrea S

    2006-08-01

    Aspidodera sogandaresi n. sp. (Heterakoidea: Aspidoderidae) from Dasypus novemcinctus Linnaeus, 1758 is herein described. This nematode occurs in armadillos from as far south as the canal zone of Panama, north through central Mexico, and into the southern United States. Previously identified as Aspidodera fasciata (Schneider, 1866), this new species has blunt projections on the lips and lateral expansions at the distal tips of the spicules, whereas A. fasciata has conspicuous digitiform projections on the lips, and a terminal round expansion at the tips of the spicules. Other species of the family present in North America include Aspidodera binansata Railliet and Henry, 1913; Aspidodera vazi Proença, 1937; and Lauroia trinidadensis Cameron, 1939. PMID:16995403

  13. Evolutionary Patterns of Bone Histology and Bone Compactness in Xenarthran Mammal Long Bones

    PubMed Central

    Straehl, Fiona R.; Scheyer, Torsten M.; Forasiepi, Analía M.; MacPhee, Ross D.; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R.

    2013-01-01

    Bone microstructure reflects physiological characteristics and has been shown to contain phylogenetic and ecological signals. Although mammalian long bone histology is receiving increasing attention, systematic examination of the main clades has not yet been performed. Here we describe the long bone microstructure of Xenarthra based on thin sections representing twenty-two species. Additionally, patterns in bone compactness of humeri and femora are investigated. The primary bone tissue of xenarthran long bones is composed of a mixture of woven, parallel-fibered and lamellar bone. The vascular canals have a longitudinal, reticular or radial orientation and are mostly arranged in an irregular manner. Concentric rows of vascular canals and laminar organization of the tissue are only found in anteater bones. The long bones of adult specimens are marked by dense Haversian bone, a feature that has been noted for most groups of mammals. In the long bones of armadillos, secondary osteons have an oblique orientation within the three-dimensional bone tissue, thus resulting in their irregular shape when the bones are sectioned transversely. Secondary remodeling is generally more extensive in large taxa than in small taxa, and this could be caused by increased loading. Lines of arrested growth are assumed to be present in all specimens, but they are restricted to the outermost layer in bones of armadillos and are often masked by secondary remodeling in large taxa. Parameters of bone compactness show a pattern in the femur that separates Cingulata and Pilosa (Folivora and Vermilingua), with cingulates having a lower compactness than pilosans. In addition, cingulates show an allometric relationship between humeral and femoral bone compactness. PMID:23874932

  14. Trypanosoma cruzi IIc: phylogenetic and phylogeographic insights from sequence and microsatellite analysis and potential impact on emergent Chagas disease.

    PubMed

    Llewellyn, Martin S; Lewis, Michael D; Acosta, Nidia; Yeo, Matthew; Carrasco, Hernan J; Segovia, Maikell; Vargas, Jorge; Torrico, Faustino; Miles, Michael A; Gaunt, Michael W

    2009-01-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent of Chagas disease, is highly genetically diverse. Numerous lines of evidence point to the existence of six stable genetic lineages or DTUs: TcI, TcIIa, TcIIb, TcIIc, TcIId, and TcIIe. Molecular dating suggests that T. cruzi is likely to have been an endemic infection of neotropical mammalian fauna for many millions of years. Here we have applied a panel of 49 polymorphic microsatellite markers developed from the online T. cruzi genome to document genetic diversity among 53 isolates belonging to TcIIc, a lineage so far recorded almost exclusively in silvatic transmission cycles but increasingly a potential source of human infection. These data are complemented by parallel analysis of sequence variation in a fragment of the glucose-6-phosphate isomerase gene. New isolates confirm that TcIIc is associated with terrestrial transmission cycles and armadillo reservoir hosts, and demonstrate that TcIIc is far more widespread than previously thought, with a distribution at least from Western Venezuela to the Argentine Chaco. We show that TcIIc is truly a discrete T. cruzi lineage, that it could have an ancient origin and that diversity occurs within the terrestrial niche independently of the host species. We also show that spatial structure among TcIIc isolates from its principal host, the armadillo Dasypus novemcinctus, is greater than that among TcI from Didelphis spp. opossums and link this observation to differences in ecology of their respective niches. Homozygosity in TcIIc populations and some linkage indices indicate the possibility of recombination but cannot yet be effectively discriminated from a high genome-wide frequency of gene conversion. Finally, we suggest that the derived TcIIc population genetic data have a vital role in determining the origin of the epidemiologically important hybrid lineages TcIId and TcIIe. PMID:19721699

  15. Evolutionary patterns of bone histology and bone compactness in xenarthran mammal long bones.

    PubMed

    Straehl, Fiona R; Scheyer, Torsten M; Forasiepi, Analía M; MacPhee, Ross D; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R

    2013-01-01

    Bone microstructure reflects physiological characteristics and has been shown to contain phylogenetic and ecological signals. Although mammalian long bone histology is receiving increasing attention, systematic examination of the main clades has not yet been performed. Here we describe the long bone microstructure of Xenarthra based on thin sections representing twenty-two species. Additionally, patterns in bone compactness of humeri and femora are investigated. The primary bone tissue of xenarthran long bones is composed of a mixture of woven, parallel-fibered and lamellar bone. The vascular canals have a longitudinal, reticular or radial orientation and are mostly arranged in an irregular manner. Concentric rows of vascular canals and laminar organization of the tissue are only found in anteater bones. The long bones of adult specimens are marked by dense Haversian bone, a feature that has been noted for most groups of mammals. In the long bones of armadillos, secondary osteons have an oblique orientation within the three-dimensional bone tissue, thus resulting in their irregular shape when the bones are sectioned transversely. Secondary remodeling is generally more extensive in large taxa than in small taxa, and this could be caused by increased loading. Lines of arrested growth are assumed to be present in all specimens, but they are restricted to the outermost layer in bones of armadillos and are often masked by secondary remodeling in large taxa. Parameters of bone compactness show a pattern in the femur that separates Cingulata and Pilosa (Folivora and Vermilingua), with cingulates having a lower compactness than pilosans. In addition, cingulates show an allometric relationship between humeral and femoral bone compactness. PMID:23874932

  16. Sea-Level Flight Demonstration and Altitude Characterization of a LO2/LCH4 Based Accent Propulsion Lander

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Collins, Jacob; Hurlbert, Eric; Romig, Kris; Melcher, John; Hobson, Aaron; Eaton, Phil

    2009-01-01

    A 1,500 lbf thrust-class liquid oxygen (LO2)/Liquid Methane (LCH4) rocket engine was developed and tested at both sea-level and simulated altitude conditions. The engine was fabricated by Armadillo Aerospace (AA) in collaboration with NASA Johnson Space Center. Sea level testing was conducted at Armadillo Aerospace facilities at Caddo Mills, TX. Sea-level tests were conducted using both a static horizontal test bed and a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) test bed capable of lift-off and hover-flight in low atmosphere conditions. The vertical test bed configuration is capable of throttling the engine valves to enable liftoff and hover-flight. Simulated altitude vacuum testing was conducted at NASA Johnson Space Center White Sands Test Facility (WSTF), which is capable of providing altitude simulation greater than 120,000 ft equivalent. The engine tests demonstrated ignition using two different methods, a gas-torch and a pyrotechnic igniter. Both gas torch and pyrotechnic ignition were demonstrated at both sea-level and vacuum conditions. The rocket engine was designed to be configured with three different nozzle configurations, including a dual-bell nozzle geometry. Dual-bell nozzle tests were conducted at WSTF and engine performance data was achieved at both ambient pressure and simulated altitude conditions. Dual-bell nozzle performance data was achieved over a range of altitude conditions from 90,000 ft to 50,000 ft altitude. Thrust and propellant mass flow rates were measured in the tests for specific impulse (Isp) and C* calculations.

  17. Seroepidemiology of Toxoplasma gondii infection in elderly people in a northern Mexican city.

    PubMed

    Alvarado-Esquivel, Cosme; Liesenfeld, Oliver; Burciaga-López, Blanca Delia; Ramos-Nevárez, Agar; Estrada-Martínez, Sergio; Cerrillo-Soto, Sandra Margarita; Carrete-Ramírez, Francisco Antolín; López-Centeno, María de Lourdes; Ruiz-Martínez, María Magdalena

    2012-07-01

    Whereas it is well-known that the seroprevalence of infection with Toxoplasma gondii increases with age, details of the seroepidemiology of infection in elderly people are largely unknown. Anti-T. gondii IgG and IgM antibody levels were determined in 483 subjects aged ≥60 years old in Durango City, Mexico, using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Socio-demographic, clinical, and behavioral characteristics from each participant were also obtained. In total, 58 (12%) of 483 participants (mean age 70.35±6.63 years) had anti-T. gondii IgG antibodies, and 14 (2.9%) also had anti-T. gondii IgM antibodies. Seroprevalence of infection varied significantly with age, birthplace, and educational level. Seroprevalence increased with age, especially in women (p=0.01), and was higher in subjects born outside of Durango State than those born within Durango State (p=0.008). Seroprevalence was higher in men with up to 12 years of education than in men with more than 12 years of education (p=0.01). Multivariate analysis of behavioral data showed a positive association of T. gondii infection with the presence of cats in the neighborhood, as well as consumption of boar, pigeon, iguana, and armadillo meats, and chorizo. Gender-specific analysis showed the described associations in women but not in men. In contrast, consumption of beef showed a negative association with T. gondii infection. This is the first report of the seroprevalence and contributing factors for T. gondii infection in elderly people, and of an association of the consumption of armadillo and iguana meats with T. gondii infection. Our results will provide the basis for the design of optimal preventive measures against T. gondii infection. PMID:22448744

  18. Tick fauna from two locations in the Brazilian savannah.

    PubMed

    Szabó, Matias Pablo Juan; Olegário, Maria Marlene Martins; Santos, André Luiz Quagliatto

    2007-01-01

    The Cerrado is Brazil's tropical savannah, which is arguably under greater threat than the Amazon rainforest. The Cerrado Biome of tropical South America covers about 2 million km(2) and is considered a biodiversity hot spot which means that it is especially rich in endemic species and particularly threatened by human activities. The Cerrado is increasingly exposed to agricultural activities which enhance the likelihood of mixing parasites from rural, urban and wildlife areas. Information about ticks from the Cerrado biome is scarce. In this report tick species free-living, on domestic animals and on a few wild animals in two farms in the Cerrado biome (Nova Crixás and Araguapaz municipalities, Goiás State, Brazil) are described. Amblyomma cajennense was the first and Amblyomma parvum the second host-seeking tick species found. Only two other tick species were found free-living: one Amblyomma nodosum and three Amblyomma naponense nymphs. Cattle were infested with Boophilus microplus and A. cajennense. Buffalos were infested with B. microplus and A. parvum. Dogs were infested with A. cajennense, Amblyomma ovale, A. parvum and Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks. Anocentor nitens, B. microplus, A. cajennense, and A. parvum were found on horses. Amblyomma auricularium were found attached to nine-banded armadillos and Amblyomma rotundatum to red-footed tortoise, cururu toads and a rattlesnake. The latter was also infested with an adult A. cajennense. No tick was found on a goat, a tropical rat snake and a yellow armadillo. Among the observations the infestation of several domestic animals with A. parvum seems be the main feature. It suggests that this species might become a pest. However, the life cycle of A. parvum in nature, as well as its disease vectoring capacity, are largely unknown. It would be important to determine if it is a species expanding its geographic range by adaptation to new hosts or if it has been maintained in high numbers at definite locations by

  19. Diversity, seasonality, and context of mammalian roadkills in the southern Great Plains.

    PubMed

    Smith-Patten, Brenda D; Patten, Michael A

    2008-06-01

    Thousands of mammals are killed annually from vehicle collisions, making the issue an important one for conservation biologists and environmental managers. We recorded all readily identifiable kills on or immediately adjacent to roads in the southern Great Plains from March 2004-March 2007. We also recorded distance traveled, whether a road was paved or divided, the number of lanes, and prevailing habitat. Surveys were opportunistic and were conducted by car during conditions of good visibility. Over our 239 surveys and > 16,500 km traveled, we recorded 1412 roadkills from 18 different mammal species (size ranged from Sciurus squirrels to the white-tailed deer, Odocolieus virginianus). The overall kill rate was 8.50/100 km. Four species were prone to collisions: the Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana), nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), and northern raccoon (Procyon lotor). Together they accounted for approximately 85% (1198) of all roadkills. Mortality rate differed significantly between 2- and 4-lane roads (8.39 versus 7.79/100 km). Kill rates were significantly higher on paved versus unpaved roads (8.60 versus 3.65/100 km), but did not depend on whether a road was divided. Roadkills were higher in spring than in fall (1.5 x), winter (1.4x), or summer (1.3x). The spring peak (in kills/100 km) was driven chiefly by the armadillo (2.76 in spring/summer versus 0.73 in autumn/winter) and opossum (2.65 versus 1.47). By contrast, seasonality was dampened by a late winter/early spring peak in skunk mortalities, for which 41% occurred in the 6-week period of mid-February through March. The raccoon did not exhibit a strong seasonal pattern. Our data are consistent with dispersal patterns of these species. Our results underscore the high rate of highway mortality in the southern plains, as well as differences in seasonality and road type that contribute to mortality. Conservation and management efforts should focus on

  20. Camera trap records of animal activity prior to a M=7 earthquake in Northern Peru

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grant, R.; Raulin, J.; Freund, F.

    2013-12-01

    Earthquake (EQ) preparation is associated with geophysical changes occurring over many scales. Some pre-earthquake (pre-EQ) processes affect the ionosphere, others leave their mark on biota. We report (i) on ionospheric anomalies recorded prior to the M=7 Contamana EQ [1] in North-Eastern Peru, 134 km deep, associated with the subduction of the Nazca plate underneath the Northern Andes, (ii) on changes in animal activity recorded in the Yanachaga National Park, about 320 km from the EQ epicentre, over a 30 day period leading up to the M=7 seismic event. Night-time Very Low Frequency (VLF) phase data were analyzed for the period 01 June to 31 Oct. 2011 using propagation paths passing close to the Yanachaga Park from the NAA emitter (USA) to receivers PIU in Piura and PLO in Lima (Peru). Ionospheric phase perturbations were observed starting 2 weeks before the EQ with periodicities from few tens of secs to few minutes. Animal activity data were obtained by evaluating the images of a cluster of 10 motion-triggered cameras of the Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring Network www.teamnetwork.org. We analyzed 1359 photographic records for the pre-EQ period and 1491 photographic records for a control period with low seismicity. Animal activity started to noticeably decline 3 weeks before the EQ. Different animal species were found to react differently. The number of rodents declined to zero about one week before the EQ and so did the number of tapirs. Armadillos, a burrowing animal, were recorded in larger numbers. Though the armadillos were presumably also flushed out of their holes, they apparently did not hide like the rodents. We discuss the results in the context of recent advances in solid state physics, which provide plausible mechanisms for pre-EQ ionospheric anomalies and for changes in animal behavior. [1] Tavera, H. (2012), Report on the 24 Aug. 2011 M 7.0 Contamana, Peru, Intermediate Depth Earthquake Seismological Research Letters, 83, 1007-1013, doi: 10.1785/0220120005

  1. Diversity, Seasonality, and Context of Mammalian Roadkills in the Southern Great Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith-Patten, Brenda D.; Patten, Michael A.

    2008-06-01

    Thousands of mammals are killed annually from vehicle collisions, making the issue an important one for conservation biologists and environmental managers. We recorded all readily identifiable kills on or immediately adjacent to roads in the southern Great Plains from March 2004-March 2007. We also recorded distance traveled, whether a road was paved or divided, the number of lanes, and prevailing habitat. Surveys were opportunistic and were conducted by car during conditions of good visibility. Over our 239 surveys and >16,500 km traveled, we recorded 1412 roadkills from 18 different mammal species (size ranged from Sciurus squirrels to the white-tailed deer, Odocolieus virginianus). The overall kill rate was 8.50 / 100 km. Four species were prone to collisions: the Virginia opossum ( Didelphis virginiana), nine-banded armadillo ( Dasypus novemcinctus), striped skunk ( Mephitis mephitis), and northern raccoon ( Procyon lotor). Together they accounted for approximately 85% (1198) of all roadkills. Mortality rate differed significantly between 2- and 4-lane roads (8.39 versus 7.79 / 100 km). Kill rates were significantly higher on paved versus unpaved roads (8.60 versus 3.65 / 100 km), but did not depend on whether a road was divided. Roadkills were higher in spring than in fall (1.5×), winter (1.4×), or summer (1.3×). The spring peak (in kills / 100 km) was driven chiefly by the armadillo (2.76 in spring/summer versus 0.73 in autumn/winter) and opossum (2.65 versus 1.47). By contrast, seasonality was dampened by a late winter/early spring peak in skunk mortalities, for which 41% occurred in the 6-week period of mid-February through March. The raccoon did not exhibit a strong seasonal pattern. Our data are consistent with dispersal patterns of these species. Our results underscore the high rate of highway mortality in the southern plains, as well as differences in seasonality and road type that contribute to mortality. Conservation and management efforts should

  2. Leprosy.

    PubMed

    Meyers, W M

    1992-01-01

    Growing out of the successful transmission of leprosy to armadillos, making available large quantities of M. leprae, there have been remarkable recent advances in the knowledge of the leprosy bacillus. These bacilli and their isolated chemical constituents provide organisms for in vitro testing of new drugs, reagents for the study of the immunologic dysfunction in leprosy patients, development of early diagnostic methods, and the preparation of candidate vaccines. Leprosy is usually transmitted by the nasorespiratory route, but occasionally, there is transplacental infection. There are reports suggesting that patients have acquired leprosy by contact with wild M. leprae-infected armadillos in Louisiana and Texas. Perturbations in lymphocyte-macrophage interaction appear to be most closely related to the defective CMI in leprosy. The helper T/suppressor T cell populations vary markedly in lesions of the various forms of leprosy, with enhanced suppression of T-cell activity in lepromatous disease. Infiltration of IL-2 and gamma-interferon seems to stimulate CMI in situ in lesions of lepromatous leprosy. Vaccination of lepromatous patients with a killed M. leprae-plus-BCG preparation stimulates CMI and clears tissues of leprosy bacilli, providing an immunotherapeutic approach to the management of leprosy. Immunoprophylactic vaccine trials are in progress, and initial results should be available in 1991. Because of drug resistance, dapsone monotherapy of leprosy is no longer recommended. Multidrug regimens, composed of dapsone, rifampin, and clofazimine or a thioamide, are now required and appear to reduce the incidence of leprosy when applied assiduously. Newer experimental drugs that may eventually be included in these regimens include the fluoroquinolones, minocycline, and clarithromycin. There is no clear evidence that the early serologic diagnosis of leprosy is generally applicable. Favorable response to therapy in multibacillary patients, however, may be assessed

  3. Inhibition of E-cadherin/catenin complex formation by O-linked N-acetylglucosamine transferase is partially independent of its catalytic activity.

    PubMed

    Liu, Haiyan; Gu, Yuchao; Qi, Jieqiong; Han, Cuifang; Zhang, Xinling; Bi, Chuanlin; Yu, Wengong

    2016-02-01

    p120-catenin (p120) contains a large central armadillo repeat domain, via which it binds to E‑cadherin to stabilize the latter, thereby regulating cell‑to‑cell adhesion. A previous study by our group demonstrated that O‑linked N‑acetylglucosamine (O‑GlcNAc) is involved in the regulation of the interaction between p120 and E‑cadherin. As O‑GlcNAc transferase (OGT) is able to directly bind to the majority of its target proteins, the present study hypothesized that OGT may additionally regulate the formation of the E‑cadherin/catenin complex independent of its catalytic activity. To verify this hypothesis, a catalytically inactive OGT mutant was expressed in H1299 cells, and its effects on the formation of the E‑cadherin/catenin complex were assessed. A cytoskeleton‑binding protein extraction assay confirmed that OGT inhibited the formation of the E‑cadherin/catenin complex independent of its catalytic activity. In addition, co‑immunoprecipitation and pull‑down assays were used to evaluate the interaction between OGT and p120. Immunoblotting indicated that OGT was able to directly bind to p120. To determine the domain of p120 involved in binding to OGT, a series of deletion mutants of p120 were constructed and subjected to protein binding assays by pull‑down assays. Immunoblotting showed that OGT bound to the regulatory and armadillo domains of p120, which might interfere with the interaction between p120 and E‑cadherin. Finally, OGT, p120 and E‑cadherin cytoplasmic domains (ECD) were recombinantly expressed in BL21 (DE3) recombinant E. coli cells, and a glutathione S‑transferase (GST) pull‑down assay was performed to assess the interactions among the purified recombinant proteins. Immunoblotting indicated that maltose‑binding protein (MBP)‑OGT inhibited the binding of His‑p120 to GST‑ECD in a dose‑dependent manner. All of these results suggested that OGT inhibited the formation of the E‑cadherin/catenin complex

  4. Genomic organization of the human {beta}-catenin gene (CTNNB1)

    SciTech Connect

    Nollet, F.; Berx, G.; Molemans, F.; Roy, F. van

    1996-03-05

    The cytoplasmic {beta}-catenin protein is implicated in signal transduction and associates with both the cell-cell adhesion protein E-cadherin and the tumor suppressor gene product APC. We determined the primary structure of the human {beta}-catenin gene (CTNNB1) by analysis cDNA and genomic clones. The size of the complete gene was determined to be 23.2 kb. Restriction mapping and partial sequence analysis revealed 16 exons. All splice donor and acceptor sites were conformable to the GT/AG rule. The exon size ranged from 61 to 790 bp. Half of the introns were smaller than 550 bp, with the smallest being 84 pb and the longest being 6700 bp. The intron-exon boundaries did not coincide either with conserved sites in the 12 armadillo repeat sequences of {beta}-catenin or with intron-exon boundaries in the armadillo gene of Drosophila. A major site for transcription initiation was identified as an A residue 214 nucleotides upstream of the ATG initiation codon. The resulting transcript is 3362 nucleotides long. Compared to the previously published mRNA sequence, additional residues were identified, 16 at the 5{prime} end and 766 at the 3{prime} end of the mRNA. An alternative splice acceptor site within exon 16 reduced the 3{prime} UTR sequence by 159 bp. Polymerase chain reaction on cDNA from 14 human cell lines demonstrated the general occurrence of both splice variants. The 5{prime}-flanking region is highly GC-rich and lacks a CCAAT box, but contains a TATA box and potential binding sites for several transcription factors, such as NFkB, SP1, AP2, and EGR1. Both a 437-bp fragment and a 6-kb fragment, containing about 4.7 kb of the 5{prime}-flanking region in addition to the noncoding exon 1 and 1 kb of intron 1, showed clear promoter activity when these fragments were linked to a secreted alkaline phosphatase reporter gene and transfected into a mouse epithelial cell line. 53 refs., 5 figs., 2 tabs.

  5. Structure of the rabbit ryanodine receptor RyR1 at near-atomic resolution

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Jianping; Li, Zhangqiang; Xie, Tian; Peng, Wei; Yin, Changcheng; Li, Xueming; Scheres, Sjors H.W.; Shi, Yigong; Yan, Nieng

    2014-01-01

    The ryanodine receptors (RyRs) are high-conductance intracellular Ca2+ channels that play a pivotal role in the excitation-contraction coupling of skeletal and cardiac muscles. RyRs are the largest known ion channels, with a homotetrameric organization and approximately 5000 residues in each protomer. Here we report the structure of the rabbit RyR1 in complex with its modulator FKBP12 at an overall resolution of 3.8 Å, determined by single-particle electron cryo-microscopy. Three previously uncharacterized domains, named Central, Handle, and Helical domains, display the armadillo repeat fold. These domains, together with the amino-terminal domain, constitute a network of superhelical scaffold for binding and propagation of conformational changes. The channel domain exhibits the voltage-gated ion channel superfamily fold with distinct features. A negative charge-enriched hairpin loop connecting S5 and the pore helix is positioned above the entrance to the selectivity filter vestibule. The four elongated S6 segments form a right-handed helical bundle that closes the pore at the cytoplasmic border of the membrane. Allosteric regulation of the pore by the cytoplasmic domains is mediated through extensive interactions between the Central domains and the channel domain. These structural features explain high ion conductance by RyRs and the long-range allosteric regulation of channel activities. PMID:25517095

  6. The red-eared slider turtle carapace under fatigue loading: The effect of rib-suture arrangement.

    PubMed

    Achrai, Ben; Daniel Wagner, H

    2015-08-01

    Biological structures consisting of strong boney elements interconnected by compliant but tough collagenous sutures are abundantly found in skulls and shells of, among others, armadillos, alligators, turtles and more. In the turtle shell, a unique arrangement of alternating rigid (rib) and flexible (suture) elements gives rise to superior mechanical performance when subjected to low and high strain-rate loadings. However, the resistance to repeated load cycling - fatigue - of the turtle shell has yet to be examined. Such repeated loading could approximately simulate the consecutive high-stress bending loads exerted during (a predator) biting or clawing. In the present study flexural high-stress cyclic loads were applied to rib and suture specimens, taken from the top dorsal part of the red-eared slider turtle shell, termed carapace. Subsequently, to obtain a more complete and integrated fatigue behavior of the carapace, specimens containing a complex alternating rib-suture-rib-suture-rib configuration were tested as well. Although the sutures were found to be the least resistant to repeated loads, a synergistic effect was observed for the complex specimens, displaying improved fatigue durability compared to the individual (suture or even rib) constituents. This study may assist in the design of future high-stress fatigue-resistant materials incorporating complex assemblies of rigid and flexible elements. PMID:26042699

  7. Molecular identification of trypanosomatids in wild animals.

    PubMed

    Tenório, M S; Oliveira e Sousa, L; Alves-Martin, M F; Paixão, M S; Rodrigues, M V; Starke-Buzetti, W A; Araújo Junior, J P; Lucheis, S B

    2014-06-16

    Diverse wild animal species can be reservoirs of zoonotic flagellate parasites, which can cause pathologic Chagas disease. The present study aimed to detect the natural occurrence of flagellate parasites through direct microscopic examination of the parasites in blood samples and through PCR of whole blood and blood culture (haemoculture) samples from 38 captive and 65 free-living wild animals in the Centre for Conservation of Wild Fauna (CCWF), an area endemic for leishmaniasis. For this study, PCR was accomplished using primers for the ribosomal region (ITS-1) of the flagellate parasites. The amplified fragments were cloned and sequenced to identify DNA of the Trypanosomatid parasite species, observed in blood cultures from 3.9% (04/103) of the animals. Through these techniques, Trypanosoma cruzi was identified in haemoculture samples of the following three free-living species: common agouti (Dasyprocta aguti), white-eared opossum (Didelphis albiventris), and nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus). Furthermore, Trypanosoma minasense was identified in whole blood samples from 01 (0.9%) captive animal (black howler monkey-Alouatta caraya). These results demonstrated the first report of T. cruzi isolation in wild species from the CCWF using blood culture, which can be applied in addition to molecular tools for epidemiological studies and to identify trypanosomatids in wild animals. PMID:24636787

  8. Feeding Preferences of Lutzomyia longipalpis (Diptera: Psychodidae), the Sand Fly Vector, for Leishmania infantum (Kinetoplastida: Trypanosomatidae)

    PubMed Central

    Macedo-Silva, Virgínia P.; Martins, Daniella R. A.; De Queiroz, Paula Vivianne Souza; Pinheiro, Marcos Paulo G.; Freire, Caio C. M.; Queiroz, José W.; Dupnik, Kathryn M.; Pearson, Richard D.; Wilson, Mary E.; Jeronimo, Selma M. B.; Ximenes, Maria De Fátima F.M.

    2014-01-01

    Leishmania infantum, the causative agent of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in Brazil, is spread mostly by the bite of the sand fly Lutzomyia longipalpis (Lutz & Neiva). We trapped sand flies in endemic neighborhoods near Natal, Brazil, where cases of human and dog VL were documented. Amplification of species-specific cytochrome b (Cyt b) genes by polymerase chain reaction revealed that sand flies from rural and periurban areas harbored blood from different sources. The most common source of bloodmeal was human, but blood from dog, chicken, and armadillo was also present. We tested the preference for a source of bloodmeal experimentally by feeding L. longipalpis F1 with blood from different animals. There were significant differences between the proportion of flies engorged and number of eggs laid among flies fed on different sources, varying from 8.4 to 19 (P < 0.0001). Blood from guinea pig or horse was best to support sand fly oviposition, but human blood also supported sand fly oviposition well. No sand flies fed on cats, and sand flies feeding on the opossum Monodelphis domestica Wagner produced no eggs. These data support the hypothesis that L. longipalpis is an eclectic feeder, and humans are an important source of blood for this sand fly species in periurban areas of Brazil. PMID:24605474

  9. Molecular evolution of the neurohypophysial hormone precursors in mammals: Comparative genomics reveals novel mammalian oxytocin and vasopressin analogues.

    PubMed

    Wallis, Michael

    2012-11-01

    Among vertebrates the neurohypophysial hormones show considerable variation. However, in eutherian mammals they have been considered rather conserved, with arginine vasopressin (AVP) and oxytocin (OT) in all species except pig and some relatives, where lysine vasopressin replaces AVP. The availability of genomic data for a wide range of mammals makes it possible to assess whether these peptides and their precursors may be more variable in Eutheria than previously suspected. A survey of these data confirms that AVP and OT occur in most eutherians, but with exceptions. In a New-World monkey (marmoset, Callithrix jacchus) and in tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri), Pro(8)OT replaces OT, confirming a recent report for these species. In armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) Leu(3)OT replaces OT, while in tenrec (Echinops telfairi) Thr(4)AVP replaces AVP. In these two species there is also evidence for additional genes/pseudogenes, encoding much-modified forms of AVP, but in most other eutherian species there is no evidence for additional neurohypophysial hormone genes. Evolutionary analysis shows that sequences of eutherian neurohypophysial hormone precursors are generally strongly conserved, particularly those regions encoding active peptide and neurophysin. The close association between OT and VP genes has led to frequent gene conversion of sequences encoding neurophysins. A monotreme, platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) has genes for OT and AVP, organized tail-to-tail as in eutherians, but in marsupials 3-4 genes are present for neurohypophysial hormones, organized tail-to-head as in lower vertebrates. PMID:22995712

  10. Discovery of alpha-defensins in basal mammals.

    PubMed

    Lynn, David J; Bradley, Daniel G

    2007-01-01

    Alpha-defensins are essential molecules of the innate immune system that have broad spectrum antimicrobial activity against a range of bacteria and viruses. To date, alpha-defensins have only been identified in the Euarchontoglires branch of the mammals. This has led to speculation that alpha-defensins may be specific to this group, a somewhat surprising finding, given their importance in the immune system. The mammalian genome project provided us with the opportunity to search for alpha-defensins in previously unexamined mammalian superorders. Using hidden Markov model (HMM) profile searching, we report the discovery of alpha-defensins in the African savanna elephant, the lesser hedgehog tenrec, and the nine-banded armadillo genomes representing two of the most basal mammalian superorders, Afrotheria and Xenarthra. Furthermore, we identify an alpha-defensin-like gene in the gray short-tailed opossum, suggesting that alpha-defensins may have evolved much earlier than previously thought, before the divergence of placental mammals and marsupials approximately 130 mya. PMID:17367857

  11. Monitoring the status and trends of tropical forest terrestrial vertebrate communities from camera trap data: a tool for conservation.

    PubMed

    Ahumada, Jorge A; Hurtado, Johanna; Lizcano, Diego

    2013-01-01

    Reducing the loss of biodiversity is key to ensure the future well being of the planet. Indicators to measure the state of biodiversity should come from primary data that are collected using consistent field methods across several sites, longitudinal, and derived using sound statistical methods that correct for observation/detection bias. In this paper we analyze camera trap data collected between 2008 and 2012 at a site in Costa Rica (Volcan Barva transect) as part of an ongoing tropical forest global monitoring network (Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring Network). We estimated occupancy dynamics for 13 species of mammals, using a hierarchical modeling approach. We calculated detection-corrected species richness and the Wildlife Picture Index, a promising new indicator derived from camera trap data that measures changes in biodiversity from the occupancy estimates of individual species. Our results show that 3 out of 13 species showed significant declines in occupancy over 5 years (lowland paca, Central American agouti, nine-banded armadillo). We hypothesize that hunting, competition and/or increased predation for paca and agouti might explain these patterns. Species richness and the Wildlife Picture Index are relatively stable at the site, but small herbivores that are hunted showed a decline in diversity of about 25%. We demonstrate the usefulness of longitudinal camera trap deployments coupled with modern statistical methods and advocate for the use of this approach in monitoring and developing global and national indicators for biodiversity change. PMID:24023898

  12. An unconventional nuclear localization motif is crucial for function of the Drosophila Wnt/wingless antagonist Naked cuticle.

    PubMed

    Waldrop, Sharon; Chan, Chih-Chiang; Cagatay, Tolga; Zhang, Shu; Rousset, Raphaël; Mack, Judy; Zeng, Wenlin; Fish, Matt; Zhang, Mei; Amanai, Manami; Wharton, Keith A

    2006-09-01

    Wnt/beta-catenin signals orchestrate cell fate and behavior throughout the animal kingdom. Aberrant Wnt signaling impacts nearly the entire spectrum of human disease, including birth defects, cancer, and osteoporosis. If Wnt signaling is to be effectively manipulated for therapeutic advantage, we first must understand how Wnt signals are normally controlled. Naked cuticle (Nkd) is a novel and evolutionarily conserved inducible antagonist of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling that is crucial for segmentation in the model genetic organism, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Nkd can bind and inhibit the Wnt signal transducer Dishevelled (Dsh), but the mechanism by which Nkd limits Wnt signaling in the fly embryo is not understood. Here we show that nkd mutants exhibit elevated levels of the beta-catenin homolog Armadillo but no alteration in Dsh abundance or distribution. In the fly embryo, Nkd and Dsh are predominantly cytoplasmic, although a recent report suggests that vertebrate Dsh requires nuclear localization for activity in gain-of-function assays. While Dsh-binding regions of Nkd contribute to its activity, we identify a conserved 30-amino-acid motif, separable from Dsh-binding regions, that is essential for Nkd function and nuclear localization. Replacement of the 30-aa motif with a conventional nuclear localization sequence rescued a small fraction of nkd mutant animals to adulthood. Our studies suggest that Nkd targets Dsh-dependent signal transduction steps in both cytoplasmic and nuclear compartments of cells receiving the Wnt signal. PMID:16849595

  13. Monitoring the Status and Trends of Tropical Forest Terrestrial Vertebrate Communities from Camera Trap Data: A Tool for Conservation

    PubMed Central

    Ahumada, Jorge A.; Hurtado, Johanna; Lizcano, Diego

    2013-01-01

    Reducing the loss of biodiversity is key to ensure the future well being of the planet. Indicators to measure the state of biodiversity should come from primary data that are collected using consistent field methods across several sites, longitudinal, and derived using sound statistical methods that correct for observation/detection bias. In this paper we analyze camera trap data collected between 2008 and 2012 at a site in Costa Rica (Volcan Barva transect) as part of an ongoing tropical forest global monitoring network (Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring Network). We estimated occupancy dynamics for 13 species of mammals, using a hierarchical modeling approach. We calculated detection-corrected species richness and the Wildlife Picture Index, a promising new indicator derived from camera trap data that measures changes in biodiversity from the occupancy estimates of individual species. Our results show that 3 out of 13 species showed significant declines in occupancy over 5 years (lowland paca, Central American agouti, nine-banded armadillo). We hypothesize that hunting, competition and/or increased predation for paca and agouti might explain these patterns. Species richness and the Wildlife Picture Index are relatively stable at the site, but small herbivores that are hunted showed a decline in diversity of about 25%. We demonstrate the usefulness of longitudinal camera trap deployments coupled with modern statistical methods and advocate for the use of this approach in monitoring and developing global and national indicators for biodiversity change. PMID:24023898

  14. The structure of FMNL2-Cdc42 yields insights into the mechanism of lamellipodia and filopodia formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kühn, Sonja; Erdmann, Constanze; Kage, Frieda; Block, Jennifer; Schwenkmezger, Lisa; Steffen, Anika; Rottner, Klemens; Geyer, Matthias

    2015-05-01

    Formins are actin polymerization factors that elongate unbranched actin filaments at the barbed end. Rho family GTPases activate Diaphanous-related formins through the relief of an autoregulatory interaction. The crystal structures of the N-terminal domains of human FMNL1 and FMNL2 in complex with active Cdc42 show that Cdc42 mediates contacts with all five armadillo repeats of the formin with specific interactions formed by the Rho-GTPase insert helix. Mutation of three residues within Rac1 results in a gain-of-function mutation for FMNL2 binding and reconstitution of the Cdc42 phenotype in vivo. Dimerization of FMNL1 through a parallel coiled coil segment leads to formation of an umbrella-shaped structure that--together with Cdc42--spans more than 15 nm in diameter. The two interacting FMNL-Cdc42 heterodimers expose six membrane interaction motifs on a convex protein surface, the assembly of which may facilitate actin filament elongation at the leading edge of lamellipodia and filopodia.

  15. Recruitment of PLANT U-BOX13 and the PI4Kβ1/β2 phosphatidylinositol-4 kinases by the small GTPase RabA4B plays important roles during salicylic acid-mediated plant defense signaling in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Antignani, Vincenzo; Klocko, Amy L; Bak, Gwangbae; Chandrasekaran, Suma D; Dunivin, Taylor; Nielsen, Erik

    2015-01-01

    Protection against microbial pathogens involves the activation of cellular immune responses in eukaryotes, and this cellular immunity likely involves changes in subcellular membrane trafficking. In eukaryotes, members of the Rab GTPase family of small monomeric regulatory GTPases play prominent roles in the regulation of membrane trafficking. We previously showed that RabA4B is recruited to vesicles that emerge from trans-Golgi network (TGN) compartments and regulates polarized membrane trafficking in plant cells. As part of this regulation, RabA4B recruits the closely related phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase (PI4K) PI4Kβ1 and PI4Kβ2 lipid kinases. Here, we identify a second Arabidopsis thaliana RabA4B-interacting protein, PLANT U-BOX13 (PUB13), which has recently been identified to play important roles in salicylic acid (SA)-mediated defense signaling. We show that PUB13 interacts with RabA4B through N-terminal domains and with phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate (PI-4P) through a C-terminal armadillo domain. Furthermore, we demonstrate that a functional fluorescent PUB13 fusion protein (YFP-PUB13) localizes to TGN and Golgi compartments and that PUB13, PI4Kβ1, and PI4Kβ2 are negative regulators of SA-mediated induction of pathogenesis-related gene expression. Taken together, these results highlight a role for RabA4B and PI-4P in SA-dependent defense responses. PMID:25634989

  16. Deubiquitinase USP47/UBP64E Regulates β-Catenin Ubiquitination and Degradation and Plays a Positive Role in Wnt Signaling.

    PubMed

    Shi, Jiandang; Liu, Yajuan; Xu, Xuehe; Zhang, Wen; Yu, Tianxin; Jia, Jianhang; Liu, Chunming

    2015-10-01

    Wnt signaling plays important roles in development and tumorigenesis. A central question about the Wnt pathway is the regulation of β-catenin. Phosphorylation of β-catenin by CK1α and GSK3 promotes β-catenin binding to β-TrCP, leading to β-catenin degradation through the proteasome. The phosphorylation and ubiquitination of β-catenin have been well characterized; however, it is unknown whether and how a deubiquitinase is involved. In this study, by screening RNA interference (RNAi) libraries, we identified USP47 as a deubiquitinase that prevents β-catenin ubiquitination. Inactivation of USP47 by RNAi increased β-catenin ubiquitination, attenuated Wnt signaling, and repressed cancer cell growth. Furthermore, USP47 deubiquitinates itself, whereas β-TrCP promotes USP47 ubiquitination through interaction with an atypical motif in USP47. Finally, in vivo studies in the Drosophila wing suggest that UBP64E, the USP47 counterpart in Drosophila, is required for Armadillo stabilization and plays a positive role in regulating Wnt target gene expression. PMID:26169834

  17. Condensin HEAT Subunits Required for DNA Repair, Kinetochore/Centromere Function and Ploidy Maintenance in Fission Yeast

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Xingya; Nakazawa, Norihiko; Yanagida, Mitsuhiro

    2015-01-01

    Condensin, a central player in eukaryotic chromosomal dynamics, contains five evolutionarily-conserved subunits. Two SMC (structural maintenance of chromosomes) subunits contain ATPase, hinge, and coiled-coil domains. One non-SMC subunit is similar to bacterial kleisin, and two other non-SMC subunits contain HEAT (similar to armadillo) repeats. Here we report isolation and characterization of 21 fission yeast (Schizosaccharomyces pombe) mutants for three non-SMC subunits, created using error-prone mutagenesis that resulted in single-amino acid substitutions. Beside condensation, segregation, and DNA repair defects, similar to those observed in previously isolated SMC and cnd2 mutants, novel phenotypes were observed for mutants of HEAT-repeats containing Cnd1 and Cnd3 subunits. cnd3-L269P is hypersensitive to the microtubule poison, thiabendazole, revealing defects in kinetochore/centromere and spindle assembly checkpoints. Three cnd1 and three cnd3 mutants increased cell size and doubled DNA content, thereby eliminating the haploid state. Five of these mutations reside in helix B of HEAT repeats. Two non-SMC condensin subunits, Cnd1 and Cnd3, are thus implicated in ploidy maintenance. PMID:25764183

  18. The PCP pathway regulates Baz planar distribution in epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Aigouy, Benoit; Le Bivic, André

    2016-01-01

    The localisation of apico-basal polarity proteins along the Z-axis of epithelial cells is well understood while their distribution in the plane of the epithelium is poorly characterised. Here we provide a systematic description of the planar localisation of apico-basal polarity proteins in the Drosophila ommatidial epithelium. We show that the adherens junction proteins Shotgun and Armadillo, as well as the baso-lateral complexes, are bilateral, i.e. present on both sides of cell interfaces. In contrast, we report that other key adherens junction proteins, Bazooka and the myosin regulatory light chain (Spaghetti squash) are unilateral, i.e. present on one side of cell interfaces. Furthermore, we demonstrate that planar cell polarity (PCP) and not the apical determinants Crumbs and Par-6 control Bazooka unilaterality in cone cells. Altogether, our work unravels an unexpected organisation and combination of apico-basal, cytoskeletal and planar polarity proteins that is different on either side of cell-cell interfaces and unique for the different contacts of the same cell. PMID:27624969

  19. Molecular detection of Leishmania spp. in road-killed wild mammals in the Central Western area of the State of São Paulo, Brazil

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Road-killed wild animals have been classified as sentinels for detecting such zoonotic pathogens as Leishmania spp., offering new opportunities for epidemiological studies of this infection. Methods This study aimed to evaluate the presence of Leishmania spp. and Leishmania chagasi DNA by PCR in tissue samples (lung, liver, spleen, kidney, heart, mesenteric lymph node and adrenal gland) from 70 road-killed wild animals. Results DNA was detected in tissues of one Cavia aperea (Brazilian guinea pig), five Cerdocyon thous (crab-eating fox), one Dasypus septemcinctus (seven-banded armadillo), two Didelphis albiventris (white-eared opossum), one Hydrochoerus hydrochoeris (capybara), two Myrmecophaga tridactyla (giant anteater), one Procyon cancrivorus (crab-eating raccoon), two Sphiggurus spinosus (porcupine) and one Tamandua tetradactyla (lesser anteater) from different locations in the Central Western part of São Paulo state. The Leishmania chagasi DNA were confirmed in mesenteric lymph node of one Cerdocyon thous. Results indicated common infection in wild animals. Conclusions The approach employed herein proved useful for detecting the environmental occurrence of Leishmania spp. and L. chagasi, as well as determining natural wild reservoirs and contributing to understand the host-parasite interaction. PMID:24963288

  20. Characterization of Adenomatous Polyposis Coli Protein Dynamics and Localization at the Centrosome

    PubMed Central

    Lui, Christina; Mok, Myth T. S.; Henderson, Beric R.

    2016-01-01

    The adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) tumor suppressor is a multifunctional regulator of Wnt signaling and acts as a mobile scaffold at different cellular sites. APC was recently found to stimulate microtubule (MT) growth at the interphase centrosome; however, little is known about its dynamics and localization at this site. To address this, we analysed APC dynamics in fixed and live cells by fluorescence microscopy. In detergent-extracted cells, we discovered that APC was only weakly retained at the centrosome during interphase suggesting a rapid rate of exchange. This was confirmed in living cells by fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP), which identified two pools of green fluorescent protein (GFP)-APC: a major rapidly exchanging pool (~86%) and minor retained pool (~14%). The dynamic exchange rate of APC was unaffected by C-terminal truncations implicating a targeting role for the N-terminus. Indeed, we mapped centrosome localization to N-terminal armadillo repeat (ARM) domain amino acids 334–625. Interestingly, the rate of APC movement to the centrosome was stimulated by intact MTs, and APC dynamics slowed when MTs were disrupted by nocodazole treatment or knockdown of γ-tubulin. Thus, the rate of APC recycling at the centrosome is enhanced by MT growth, suggesting a positive feedback to stimulate its role in MT growth. PMID:27144584

  1. p120 catenin regulates lamellipodial dynamics and cell adhesion in cooperation with cortactin

    PubMed Central

    Boguslavsky, Shlomit; Grosheva, Inna; Landau, Elad; Shtutman, Michael; Cohen, Miriam; Arnold, Katya; Feinstein, Elena; Geiger, Benjamin; Bershadsky, Alexander

    2007-01-01

    The armadillo-family protein, p120 catenin (p120), binds to the juxtamembrane domain of classical cadherins and increases cell–cell junction stability. Overexpression of p120 modulates the activity of Rho family GTPases and augments cell migratory ability. Here we show that down-regulation of p120 in epithelial MCF-7 cells by siRNA leads to a striking decrease in lamellipodial persistence and focal adhesion formation. Similar alterations in lamellipodial activity were observed in MCF-7 cells treated with siRNA to cortactin, an activator of Arp2/3-dependent actin polymerization. We found that, in many cell types, p120 is colocalized with cortactin-containing actin structures not only at cell–cell junctions, but also at extrajunctional sites including membrane ruffles and actin-rich halos around endocytotic vesicles. p120 depletion led to dramatic loss of cortactin and its partner, Arp3, from the cell leading edges. Cortactin and p120 are shown to directly interact with each other via the cortactin N-terminal region. We propose that the mechanism underlying p120 functions at the leading edge involves its cooperation with cortactin. PMID:17576929

  2. p120 catenin regulates lamellipodial dynamics and cell adhesion in cooperation with cortactin.

    PubMed

    Boguslavsky, Shlomit; Grosheva, Inna; Landau, Elad; Shtutman, Michael; Cohen, Miriam; Arnold, Katya; Feinstein, Elena; Geiger, Benjamin; Bershadsky, Alexander

    2007-06-26

    The armadillo-family protein, p120 catenin (p120), binds to the juxtamembrane domain of classical cadherins and increases cell-cell junction stability. Overexpression of p120 modulates the activity of Rho family GTPases and augments cell migratory ability. Here we show that down-regulation of p120 in epithelial MCF-7 cells by siRNA leads to a striking decrease in lamellipodial persistence and focal adhesion formation. Similar alterations in lamellipodial activity were observed in MCF-7 cells treated with siRNA to cortactin, an activator of Arp2/3-dependent actin polymerization. We found that, in many cell types, p120 is colocalized with cortactin-containing actin structures not only at cell-cell junctions, but also at extrajunctional sites including membrane ruffles and actin-rich halos around endocytotic vesicles. p120 depletion led to dramatic loss of cortactin and its partner, Arp3, from the cell leading edges. Cortactin and p120 are shown to directly interact with each other via the cortactin N-terminal region. We propose that the mechanism underlying p120 functions at the leading edge involves its cooperation with cortactin. PMID:17576929

  3. Absence of the articular disc in the tasmanian devil temporomandibular joint.

    PubMed

    Hayashi, K; Sugisaki, M; Kino, K; Ishikawa, T; Sugisaki, M; Abe, S

    2013-12-01

    The articular disc of the temporomandibular joint is a constant structure in mammals. According to Parsons' report in 1900, however, it is absent in four animals: the armadillo, two kinds of monotremes and the Tasmanian devil. Thereafter, no research was performed to confirm this observation. The aim of this study was to determine by anatomical and histological examination whether the Tasmanian devil has an articular disc in its temporomandibular joint. Six fresh frozen corpses and one dry skull of Tasmanian devils were obtained from the School of Zoology, University of Tasmania. The corpses were dissected and the morphology of the temporomandibular joint was carefully observed by gross anatomical and histological examination. The structure of the temporomandibular joint of the dry skull was examined macroscopically and by micro-computed tomography. In all cases, absence of the articular disc in the Tasmanian devil temporomandibular joint was morphologically confirmed. The surface layer of both the condyle and the glenoid fossa comprised a thick fibrous tissue. Micro-computed tomography revealed dense and fine trabecular bone in the condyle. The thick fibrous tissue covering the condyle and high-density trabecular bone in the condyle might play a role in absorption against powerful mastication and heavy loading of the Tasmanian devil temporomandibular joint. PMID:23438215

  4. Degradation of glyoxalase I in Brassica napus stigma leads to self-incompatibility response.

    PubMed

    Sankaranarayanan, Subramanian; Jamshed, Muhammad; Samuel, Marcus A

    2015-01-01

    Self-incompatibility (rejection of 'self'-pollen) is a reproductive barrier that allows hermaphroditic flowering plants to prevent inbreeding, to promote outcrossing and hybrid vigour. The self-incompatibility response in Brassica involves allele-specific interaction between the pollen small cysteine-rich, secreted protein ligand (SCR/SP11) and the stigmatic S-receptor kinase (SRK), which leads to the activation of the E3 ubiquitin ligase ARC1 (Armadillo repeat-containing 1), resulting in proteasomal degradation of compatibility factors needed for successful pollination. Despite this, targets of ARC1 and the intracellular signalling network that is regulated by these targets, have remained elusive. Here we show that glyoxalase I (GLO1), an enzyme that is required for the detoxification of methylglyoxal (MG, a cytotoxic by-product of glycolysis), is a stigmatic compatibility factor required for pollination to occur and is targeted by the self-incompatibility system. Suppression of GLO1 was sufficient to reduce compatibility, and overexpression of GLO1 in self-incompatible Brassica napus stigmas resulted in partial breakdown of the self-incompatibility response. ARC1-mediated destruction of GLO1 after self-pollination results in increased MG levels and a concomitant increase in MG-modified proteins (including GLO1), which are efficiently targeted for destruction in the papillary cells, leading to pollen rejection. Our findings demonstrate the elegant nature of plants to use a metabolic by-product to regulate the self-incompatibility response. PMID:27251720

  5. Characterization of bbtTICAM from amphioxus suggests the emergence of a MyD88-independent pathway in basal chordates

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Manyi; Yuan, Shaochun; Huang, Shengfeng; Li, Jun; Xu, Liqun; Huang, Huiqing; Tao, Xin; Peng, Jian; Xu, Anlong

    2011-01-01

    The MyD88-independent pathway, one of the two crucial TLR signaling routes, is thought to be a vertebrate innovation. However, a novel Toll/interleukin-1 receptor (TIR) adaptor, designated bbtTICAM, which was identified in the basal chordate amphioxus, links this pathway to invertebrates. The protein architecture of bbtTICAM is similar to that of vertebrate TICAM1 (TIR-containing adaptor molecule-1, also known as TRIF), while phylogenetic analysis based on the TIR domain indicated that bbtTICAM is the oldest ortholog of vertebrate TICAM1 and TICAM2 (TIR-containing adaptor molecule-2, also known as TRAM). Similar to human TICAM1, bbtTICAM activates NF-κB in a MyD88-independent manner by interacting with receptor interacting protein (RIP) via its RHIM motif. Such activation requires bbtTICAM to form homodimers in endosomes, and it may be negatively regulated by amphioxus SARM (sterile α and armadillo motif-containing protein) and TRAF2. However, bbtTICAM did not induce the production of type I interferon. Thus, our study not only presents the ancestral features of vertebrate TICAM1 and TICAM2, but also reveals the evolutionary origin of the MyD88-independent pathway from basal chordates, which will aid in understanding the development of the vertebrate TLR network. PMID:21931360

  6. Discrete typing units of Trypanosoma cruzi identified in rural dogs and cats in the humid Argentinean Chaco

    PubMed Central

    ENRIQUEZ, G.F.; CARDINAL, M.V.; OROZCO, M.M.; LANATI, L.; SCHIJMAN, A.G.; GÜRTLER, R.E.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY The discrete typing units (DTUs) of Trypanosoma cruzi that infect domestic dogs and cats have rarely been studied. With this purpose we conducted a cross-sectional xenodiagnostic survey of dog and cat populations residing in two infested rural villages in Pampa del Indio, in the humid Argentine Chaco. Parasites were isolated by culture from 44 dogs and 12 cats with a positive xenodiagnosis. DTUs were identified from parasite culture samples using a strategy based on multiple polymerase-chain reactions. TcVI was identified in 37 of 44 dogs and in 10 of 12 cats, whereas TcV was identified in five dogs and in two cats –a new finding for cats. No mixed infections were detected. The occurrence of two dogs infected with TcIII –classically found in armadillos– suggests a probable link with the local sylvatic transmission cycle involving Dasypus novemcinctus armadillos and a potential risk of human infection with TcIII. Our study reinforces the importance of dogs and cats as domestic reservoir hosts and sources of various DTUs infecting humans, and suggests a link between dogs and the sylvatic transmission cycle of TcIII. PMID:23058180

  7. The inner ear of Megatherium and the evolution of the vestibular system in sloths.

    PubMed

    Billet, G; Germain, D; Ruf, I; de Muizon, C; Hautier, L

    2013-12-01

    Extant tree sloths are uniquely slow mammals with a very specialized suspensory behavior. To improve our understanding of their peculiar evolution, we investigated the inner ear morphology of one of the largest and most popular fossil ground sloths, Megatherium americanum. We first address the predicted agility of this animal from the scaling of its semicircular canals (SC) relative to body mass, based on recent work that provided evidence that the size of the SC in mammals correlates with body mass and levels of agility. Our analyses predict intermediate levels of agility for Megatherium, contrasting with the extreme slowness of extant sloths. Secondly, we focus on the morphology of the SC at the inner ear scale and investigate the shape and proportions of these structures in Megatherium and in a large diversity of extant xenarthrans represented in our database. Our morphometric analyses demonstrate that the giant ground sloth clearly departs from the SC morphology of both extant sloth genera (Choloepus, Bradypus) and is in some aspects closer to that of armadillos and anteaters. Given the close phylogenetic relationships of Megatherium with the extant genus Choloepus, these results are evidence of substantial homoplasy of the SC anatomy in sloths. This homoplasy most likely corresponds to an outstanding convergent evolution between extant suspensory sloth genera. PMID:24111879

  8. Ancient collagen reveals evolutionary history of the endemic South American 'ungulates'.

    PubMed

    Buckley, Michael

    2015-05-01

    Since the late eighteenth century, fossils of bizarre extinct creatures have been described from the Americas, revealing a previously unimagined chapter in the history of mammals. The most bizarre of these are the 'native' South American ungulates thought to represent a group of mammals that evolved in relative isolation on South America, but with an uncertain affinity to any particular placental lineage. Many authors have considered them descended from Laurasian 'condylarths', which also includes the probable ancestors of perissodactyls and artiodactyls, whereas others have placed them either closer to the uniquely South American xenarthrans (anteaters, armadillos and sloths) or the basal afrotherians (e.g. elephants and hyraxes). These hypotheses have been debated owing to conflicting morphological characteristics and the hitherto inability to retrieve molecular information. Of the 'native' South American mammals, only the toxodonts and litopterns persisted until the Late Pleistocene-Early Holocene. Owing to known difficulties in retrieving ancient DNA (aDNA) from specimens from warm climates, this research presents a molecular phylogeny for both Macrauchenia patachonica (Litopterna) and Toxodon platensis (Notoungulata) recovered using proteomics-based (liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry) sequencing analyses of bone collagen. The results place both taxa in a clade that is monophyletic with the perissodactyls, which today are represented by horses, rhinoceroses and tapirs. PMID:25833851

  9. Muscular reconstruction and functional morphology of the hind limb of santacrucian (Early Miocene) sloths (Xenarthra, Folivora) of Patagonia.

    PubMed

    Toledo, Néstor; Bargo, M Susana; Vizcaíno, Sergio F

    2015-05-01

    This article presents a morphofunctional analysis of the hind limb of Santacrucian (Early Miocene) sloths from southernmost Patagonia (Argentina). These fossil sloths were mid sized to large animals, ranging from 40 to 120 kg, and their postcranial skeleton was markedly different in shape compared with that of extant tree sloths, which vary from 2 to 10 kg. The functional anatomy of the hind limb of Santacrucian sloths was compared with that of living xenarthrans (tree sloths, anteaters, and armadillos), which involved reconstruction of the hind limb musculature and comparative and qualitative morphofunctional analyses, and hypotheses on the biological role of the hind limb in terms of preferences in substrate, posture, and strategies of locomotion were formulated. The hind limb of Santacrucian sloths bears strong resemblances to that of living South American anteaters in stoutness of skeletal elements, form of the characteristics related to muscular and ligamentous attachments, and conservative, pentadactylous strong-clawed pes. The musculature was very well developed, allowing powerful forces, principally in entire limb adduction, crus flexion and extension, pes extension, and toe prehension. These functional features, together with those of the forelimb, are congruent with climbing behavior, and support the hypothesis that Santacrucian sloths were good but slow climbing mammals. However, their climbing strategies were limited, owing principally to their comparatively large body size, and they relied to a large extent on their powerful musculature and curved manual and pedal unguals for both moving and standing on the arboreal supports. PMID:25644288

  10. Collagen Sequence Analysis of the Extinct Giant Ground Sloths Lestodon and Megatherium.

    PubMed

    Buckley, Michael; Fariña, Richard A; Lawless, Craig; Tambusso, P Sebastián; Varela, Luciano; Carlini, Alfredo A; Powell, Jaime E; Martinez, Jorge G

    2015-01-01

    For over 200 years, fossils of bizarre extinct creatures have been described from the Americas that have ranged from giant ground sloths to the 'native' South American ungulates, groups of mammals that evolved in relative isolation on South America. Ground sloths belong to the South American xenarthrans, a group with modern although morphologically and ecologically very different representatives (anteaters, armadillos and sloths), which has been proposed to be one of the four main eutherian clades. Recently, proteomics analyses of bone collagen have recently been used to yield a molecular phylogeny for a range of mammals including the unusual 'Malagasy aardvark' shown to be most closely related to the afrotherian tenrecs, and the south American ungulates supporting their morphological association with condylarths. However, proteomics results generate partial sequence information that could impact upon the phylogenetic placement that has not been appropriately tested. For comparison, this paper examines the phylogenetic potential of proteomics-based sequencing through the analysis of collagen extracted from two extinct giant ground sloths, Lestodon and Megatherium. The ground sloths were placed as sister taxa to extant sloths, but with a closer relationship between Lestodon and the extant sloths than the basal Megatherium. These results highlight that proteomics methods could yield plausible phylogenies that share similarities with other methods, but have the potential to be more useful in fossils beyond the limits of ancient DNA survival. PMID:26540101

  11. Skeletal ossification and sequence heterochrony in xenarthran evolution.

    PubMed

    Hautier, Lionel; Weisbecker, Vera; Goswami, Anjali; Knight, Frank; Kardjilov, Nikolay; Asher, Robert J

    2011-01-01

    Previous analyses of how mammals vary in their ossification sequences have focused on monotremes, marsupials, and boreoeutherian placentals. Here, we focus on the sequence of cranial and postcranial ossification events during growth in the xenarthran skull and skeleton, including armadillos, anteaters, and sloths. We use two different methods to quantify sequence heterochrony: sequence analysis of variance (ANOVA) and event-paring/Parsimov. Our results indicate that Parsimov is conservative and does not detect clear heterochronic shifts between xenarthran and boreoeutherian placentals. Sequence-ANOVA performs better, but both methods exhibit sensitivity to the artifactual accumulation of ties. By controlling for ties and taking into account results that the methods have in common, our analysis suggests that xenarthrans significantly differ from other placentals by a late ossification of the sternum and an early ossification of the phalanges and pubis. We interpret these differences as showing that heterochrony plays a role in the skeletal development of xenarthrans, a change from previous studies that have emphasized the developmental homogeneity of the skeleton across placental mammals. PMID:23016907

  12. Molecular decay of the tooth gene Enamelin (ENAM) mirrors the loss of enamel in the fossil record of placental mammals.

    PubMed

    Meredith, Robert W; Gatesy, John; Murphy, William J; Ryder, Oliver A; Springer, Mark S

    2009-09-01

    Vestigial structures occur at both the anatomical and molecular levels, but studies documenting the co-occurrence of morphological degeneration in the fossil record and molecular decay in the genome are rare. Here, we use morphology, the fossil record, and phylogenetics to predict the occurrence of "molecular fossils" of the enamelin (ENAM) gene in four different orders of placental mammals (Tubulidentata, Pholidota, Cetacea, Xenarthra) with toothless and/or enamelless taxa. Our results support the "molecular fossil" hypothesis and demonstrate the occurrence of frameshift mutations and/or stop codons in all toothless and enamelless taxa. We then use a novel method based on selection intensity estimates for codons (omega) to calculate the timing of iterated enamel loss in the fossil record of aardvarks and pangolins, and further show that the molecular evolutionary history of ENAM predicts the occurrence of enamel in basal representatives of Xenarthra (sloths, anteaters, armadillos) even though frameshift mutations are ubiquitous in ENAM sequences of living xenarthrans. The molecular decay of ENAM parallels the morphological degeneration of enamel in the fossil record of placental mammals and provides manifest evidence for the predictive power of Darwin's theory. PMID:19730686

  13. Cognitive Function Related to the Sirh11/Zcchc16 Gene Acquired from an LTR Retrotransposon in Eutherians

    PubMed Central

    Irie, Masahito; Yoshikawa, Masanobu; Ono, Ryuichi; Iwafune, Hirotaka; Furuse, Tamio; Yamada, Ikuko; Wakana, Shigeharu; Yamashita, Yui; Abe, Takaya; Ishino, Fumitoshi; Kaneko-Ishino, Tomoko

    2015-01-01

    Gene targeting of mouse S ushi- i chi-related r etrotransposon h omologue 11 / Z inc finger CCHC domain-containing 16 (Sirh11/Zcchc16) causes abnormal behaviors related to cognition, including attention, impulsivity and working memory. Sirh11/Zcchc16 encodes a CCHC type of zinc-finger protein that exhibits high homology to an LTR retrotransposon Gag protein. Upon microdialysis analysis of the prefrontal cortex region, the recovery rate of noradrenaline (NA) was reduced compared with dopamine (DA) after perfusion of high potassium-containing artificial cerebrospinal fluid in knockout (KO) mice. These data indicate that Sirh11/Zcchc16 is involved in cognitive function in the brain, possibly via the noradrenergic system, in the contemporary mouse developmental systems. Interestingly, it is highly conserved in three out of the four major groups of the eutherians, euarchontoglires, laurasiatheria and afrotheria, but is heavily mutated in xenarthran species such as the sloth and armadillo, suggesting that it has contributed to brain evolution in the three major eutherian lineages, including humans and mice. Sirh11/Zcchc16 is the first SIRH gene to be involved in brain function, instead of just the placenta, as seen in the case of Peg10, Peg11/Rtl1 and Sirh7/Ldoc1. PMID:26402067

  14. Evolutionary analysis suggests that AMTN is enamel-specific and a candidate for AI.

    PubMed

    Gasse, B; Silvent, J; Sire, J-Y

    2012-11-01

    Molecular evolutionary analysis is an efficient method to predict and/or validate amino acid substitutions that could lead to a genetic disease and to highlight residues and motifs that could play an important role in the protein structure and/or function. We have applied such analysis to amelotin (AMTN), a recently identified enamel protein in the rat, mouse, and humans. An in silico search for AMTN provided 42 new mammalian sequences that were added to the 3 published sequences with which we performed the analysis using a dataset representative of all lineages (circa 220 million years of evolution), including 2 enamel-less species, sloth and armadillo. During evolution, of the 209 residues of human AMTN, 17 were unchanged and 34 had conserved their chemical properties. Substituting these important residues could lead to amelogenesis imperfecta (AI). Also, AMTN possesses a well-conserved signal peptide, 2 conserved motifs whose function is certainly important but unknown, and a putative phosphorylation site (SXE). In addition, the sequences of the 2 enamel-less species display mutations revealing that AMTN underwent pseudogenization, which suggests that AMTN is an enamel-specific protein. PMID:22968158

  15. Collagen Sequence Analysis of the Extinct Giant Ground Sloths Lestodon and Megatherium

    PubMed Central

    Buckley, Michael; Fariña, Richard A.; Lawless, Craig; Tambusso, P. Sebastián; Varela, Luciano; Carlini, Alfredo A.; Powell, Jaime E.; Martinez, Jorge G.

    2015-01-01

    For over 200 years, fossils of bizarre extinct creatures have been described from the Americas that have ranged from giant ground sloths to the ‘native’ South American ungulates, groups of mammals that evolved in relative isolation on South America. Ground sloths belong to the South American xenarthrans, a group with modern although morphologically and ecologically very different representatives (anteaters, armadillos and sloths), which has been proposed to be one of the four main eutherian clades. Recently, proteomics analyses of bone collagen have recently been used to yield a molecular phylogeny for a range of mammals including the unusual ‘Malagasy aardvark’ shown to be most closely related to the afrotherian tenrecs, and the south American ungulates supporting their morphological association with condylarths. However, proteomics results generate partial sequence information that could impact upon the phylogenetic placement that has not been appropriately tested. For comparison, this paper examines the phylogenetic potential of proteomics-based sequencing through the analysis of collagen extracted from two extinct giant ground sloths, Lestodon and Megatherium. The ground sloths were placed as sister taxa to extant sloths, but with a closer relationship between Lestodon and the extant sloths than the basal Megatherium. These results highlight that proteomics methods could yield plausible phylogenies that share similarities with other methods, but have the potential to be more useful in fossils beyond the limits of ancient DNA survival. PMID:26540101

  16. The Interrelationships of Placental Mammals and the Limits of Phylogenetic Inference.

    PubMed

    Tarver, James E; Dos Reis, Mario; Mirarab, Siavash; Moran, Raymond J; Parker, Sean; O'Reilly, Joseph E; King, Benjamin L; O'Connell, Mary J; Asher, Robert J; Warnow, Tandy; Peterson, Kevin J; Donoghue, Philip C J; Pisani, Davide

    2016-02-01

    Placental mammals comprise three principal clades: Afrotheria (e.g., elephants and tenrecs), Xenarthra (e.g., armadillos and sloths), and Boreoeutheria (all other placental mammals), the relationships among which are the subject of controversy and a touchstone for debate on the limits of phylogenetic inference. Previous analyses have found support for all three hypotheses, leading some to conclude that this phylogenetic problem might be impossible to resolve due to the compounded effects of incomplete lineage sorting (ILS) and a rapid radiation. Here we show, using a genome scale nucleotide data set, microRNAs, and the reanalysis of the three largest previously published amino acid data sets, that the root of Placentalia lies between Atlantogenata and Boreoeutheria. Although we found evidence for ILS in early placental evolution, we are able to reject previous conclusions that the placental root is a hard polytomy that cannot be resolved. Reanalyses of previous data sets recover Atlantogenata + Boreoeutheria and show that contradictory results are a consequence of poorly fitting evolutionary models; instead, when the evolutionary process is better-modeled, all data sets converge on Atlantogenata. Our Bayesian molecular clock analysis estimates that marsupials diverged from placentals 157-170 Ma, crown Placentalia diverged 86-100 Ma, and crown Atlantogenata diverged 84-97 Ma. Our results are compatible with placental diversification being driven by dispersal rather than vicariance mechanisms, postdating early phases in the protracted opening of the Atlantic Ocean. PMID:26733575

  17. Ancient collagen reveals evolutionary history of the endemic South American ‘ungulates’

    PubMed Central

    Buckley, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Since the late eighteenth century, fossils of bizarre extinct creatures have been described from the Americas, revealing a previously unimagined chapter in the history of mammals. The most bizarre of these are the ‘native’ South American ungulates thought to represent a group of mammals that evolved in relative isolation on South America, but with an uncertain affinity to any particular placental lineage. Many authors have considered them descended from Laurasian ‘condylarths’, which also includes the probable ancestors of perissodactyls and artiodactyls, whereas others have placed them either closer to the uniquely South American xenarthrans (anteaters, armadillos and sloths) or the basal afrotherians (e.g. elephants and hyraxes). These hypotheses have been debated owing to conflicting morphological characteristics and the hitherto inability to retrieve molecular information. Of the ‘native’ South American mammals, only the toxodonts and litopterns persisted until the Late Pleistocene–Early Holocene. Owing to known difficulties in retrieving ancient DNA (aDNA) from specimens from warm climates, this research presents a molecular phylogeny for both Macrauchenia patachonica (Litopterna) and Toxodon platensis (Notoungulata) recovered using proteomics-based (liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry) sequencing analyses of bone collagen. The results place both taxa in a clade that is monophyletic with the perissodactyls, which today are represented by horses, rhinoceroses and tapirs. PMID:25833851

  18. The Interrelationships of Placental Mammals and the Limits of Phylogenetic Inference

    PubMed Central

    Tarver, James E.; dos Reis, Mario; Mirarab, Siavash; Moran, Raymond J.; Parker, Sean; O’Reilly, Joseph E.; King, Benjamin L.; O’Connell, Mary J.; Asher, Robert J.; Warnow, Tandy; Peterson, Kevin J.; Donoghue, Philip C.J.; Pisani, Davide

    2016-01-01

    Placental mammals comprise three principal clades: Afrotheria (e.g., elephants and tenrecs), Xenarthra (e.g., armadillos and sloths), and Boreoeutheria (all other placental mammals), the relationships among which are the subject of controversy and a touchstone for debate on the limits of phylogenetic inference. Previous analyses have found support for all three hypotheses, leading some to conclude that this phylogenetic problem might be impossible to resolve due to the compounded effects of incomplete lineage sorting (ILS) and a rapid radiation. Here we show, using a genome scale nucleotide data set, microRNAs, and the reanalysis of the three largest previously published amino acid data sets, that the root of Placentalia lies between Atlantogenata and Boreoeutheria. Although we found evidence for ILS in early placental evolution, we are able to reject previous conclusions that the placental root is a hard polytomy that cannot be resolved. Reanalyses of previous data sets recover Atlantogenata + Boreoeutheria and show that contradictory results are a consequence of poorly fitting evolutionary models; instead, when the evolutionary process is better-modeled, all data sets converge on Atlantogenata. Our Bayesian molecular clock analysis estimates that marsupials diverged from placentals 157–170 Ma, crown Placentalia diverged 86–100 Ma, and crown Atlantogenata diverged 84–97 Ma. Our results are compatible with placental diversification being driven by dispersal rather than vicariance mechanisms, postdating early phases in the protracted opening of the Atlantic Ocean. PMID:26733575

  19. Functional and Genomic Analyses of Alpha-Solenoid Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Fournier, David; Palidwor, Gareth A.; Shcherbinin, Sergey; Szengel, Angelika; Schaefer, Martin H.; Perez-Iratxeta, Carol; Andrade-Navarro, Miguel A.

    2013-01-01

    Alpha-solenoids are flexible protein structural domains formed by ensembles of alpha-helical repeats (Armadillo and HEAT repeats among others). While homology can be used to detect many of these repeats, some alpha-solenoids have very little sequence homology to proteins of known structure and we expect that many remain undetected. We previously developed a method for detection of alpha-helical repeats based on a neural network trained on a dataset of protein structures. Here we improved the detection algorithm and updated the training dataset using recently solved structures of alpha-solenoids. Unexpectedly, we identified occurrences of alpha-solenoids in solved protein structures that escaped attention, for example within the core of the catalytic subunit of PI3KC. Our results expand the current set of known alpha-solenoids. Application of our tool to the protein universe allowed us to detect their significant enrichment in proteins interacting with many proteins, confirming that alpha-solenoids are generally involved in protein-protein interactions. We then studied the taxonomic distribution of alpha-solenoids to discuss an evolutionary scenario for the emergence of this type of domain, speculating that alpha-solenoids have emerged in multiple taxa in independent events by convergent evolution. We observe a higher rate of alpha-solenoids in eukaryotic genomes and in some prokaryotic families, such as Cyanobacteria and Planctomycetes, which could be associated to increased cellular complexity. The method is available at http://cbdm.mdc-berlin.de/~ard2/. PMID:24278209

  20. Influence of Tertiary paleoenvironmental changes on the diversification of South American mammals: a relaxed molecular clock study within xenarthrans

    PubMed Central

    Delsuc, Frédéric; Vizcaíno, Sergio F; Douzery, Emmanuel JP

    2004-01-01

    Background Comparative genomic data among organisms allow the reconstruction of their phylogenies and evolutionary time scales. Molecular timings have been recently used to suggest that environmental global change have shaped the evolutionary history of diverse terrestrial organisms. Living xenarthrans (armadillos, anteaters and sloths) constitute an ideal model for studying the influence of past environmental changes on species diversification. Indeed, extant xenarthran species are relicts from an evolutionary radiation enhanced by their isolation in South America during the Tertiary era, a period for which major climate variations and tectonic events are relatively well documented. Results We applied a Bayesian approach to three nuclear genes in order to relax the molecular clock assumption while accounting for differences in evolutionary dynamics among genes and incorporating paleontological uncertainties. We obtained a molecular time scale for the evolution of extant xenarthrans and other placental mammals. Divergence time estimates provide substantial evidence for contemporaneous diversification events among independent xenarthran lineages. This correlated pattern of diversification might possibly relate to major environmental changes that occurred in South America during the Cenozoic. Conclusions The observed synchronicity between planetary and biological events suggests that global change played a crucial role in shaping the evolutionary history of extant xenarthrans. Our findings open ways to test this hypothesis further in other South American mammalian endemics like hystricognath rodents, platyrrhine primates, and didelphid marsupials. PMID:15115541

  1. Plakophilin-1, a Novel Wnt Signaling Regulator, Is Critical for Tooth Development and Ameloblast Differentiation.

    PubMed

    Miyazaki, Kanako; Yoshizaki, Keigo; Arai, Chieko; Yamada, Aya; Saito, Kan; Ishikawa, Masaki; Xue, Han; Funada, Keita; Haruyama, Naoto; Yamada, Yoshihiko; Fukumoto, Satoshi; Takahashi, Ichiro

    2016-01-01

    Tooth morphogenesis is initiated by reciprocal interactions between the ectoderm and neural crest-derived mesenchyme, and the Wnt signaling pathway is involved in this process. We found that Plakophilin (PKP)1, which is associated with diseases such as ectodermal dysplasia/skin fragility syndrome, was highly expressed in teeth and skin, and was upregulated during tooth development. We hypothesized that PKP1 regulates Wnt signaling via its armadillo repeat domain in a manner similar to β-catenin. To determine its role in tooth development, we performed Pkp1 knockdown experiments using ex vivo organ cultures and cell cultures. Loss of Pkp1 reduced the size of tooth germs and inhibited dental epithelial cell proliferation, which was stimulated by Wnt3a. Furthermore, transfected PKP1-emerald green fluorescent protein was translocated from the plasma membrane to the nucleus upon stimulation with Wnt3a and LiCl, which required the PKP1 N terminus (amino acids 161 to 270). Localization of PKP1, which is known as an adhesion-related desmosome component, shifted to the plasma membrane during ameloblast differentiation. In addition, Pkp1 knockdown disrupted the localization of Zona occludens 1 in tight junctions and inhibited ameloblast differentiation; the two proteins were shown to directly interact by immunoprecipitation. These results implicate the participation of PKP1 in early tooth morphogenesis as an effector of canonical Wnt signaling that controls ameloblast differentiation via regulation of the cell adhesion complex. PMID:27015268

  2. Stability of hard plates on soft substrates and application to the design of bioinspired segmented armor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martini, R.; Barthelat, F.

    2016-07-01

    Flexible natural armors from fish, alligators or armadillo are attracting an increasing amount of attention from their unique and attractive combinations of hardness, flexibility and light weight. In particular, the extreme contrast of stiffness between hard plates and surrounding soft tissues give rise to unusual and attractive mechanisms, which now serve as model for the design of bio-inspired armors. Despite a growing interest in bio-inspired flexible protection, there is little guidelines as to the choice of materials, optimum thickness, size, shape and arrangement for the protective plates. In this work, we focus on a failure mode we recently observed on natural and bio-inspired scaled armors: the unstable tilting of individual scales subjected to off-centered point forces. We first present a series of experiments on this system, followed by a model based on contact mechanics and friction. We condense the result into a single stability diagram which capture the key parameters that govern the onset of plate tilting from a localized force. We found that the stability of individual plates is governed by the location of the point force on the plate, by the friction at the surface of the plate, by the size of the plate and by the stiffness of the substrate. We finally discuss how some of these parameters can be optimized at the design stage to produce bio-inspired protective systems with desired combination of surface hardness, stability and flexural compliance.

  3. Characterization of Adenomatous Polyposis Coli Protein Dynamics and Localization at the Centrosome.

    PubMed

    Lui, Christina; Mok, Myth T S; Henderson, Beric R

    2016-01-01

    The adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) tumor suppressor is a multifunctional regulator of Wnt signaling and acts as a mobile scaffold at different cellular sites. APC was recently found to stimulate microtubule (MT) growth at the interphase centrosome; however, little is known about its dynamics and localization at this site. To address this, we analysed APC dynamics in fixed and live cells by fluorescence microscopy. In detergent-extracted cells, we discovered that APC was only weakly retained at the centrosome during interphase suggesting a rapid rate of exchange. This was confirmed in living cells by fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP), which identified two pools of green fluorescent protein (GFP)-APC: a major rapidly exchanging pool (~86%) and minor retained pool (~14%). The dynamic exchange rate of APC was unaffected by C-terminal truncations implicating a targeting role for the N-terminus. Indeed, we mapped centrosome localization to N-terminal armadillo repeat (ARM) domain amino acids 334-625. Interestingly, the rate of APC movement to the centrosome was stimulated by intact MTs, and APC dynamics slowed when MTs were disrupted by nocodazole treatment or knockdown of γ-tubulin. Thus, the rate of APC recycling at the centrosome is enhanced by MT growth, suggesting a positive feedback to stimulate its role in MT growth. PMID:27144584

  4. The structure of FMNL2–Cdc42 yields insights into the mechanism of lamellipodia and filopodia formation

    PubMed Central

    Kühn, Sonja; Erdmann, Constanze; Kage, Frieda; Block, Jennifer; Schwenkmezger, Lisa; Steffen, Anika; Rottner, Klemens; Geyer, Matthias

    2015-01-01

    Formins are actin polymerization factors that elongate unbranched actin filaments at the barbed end. Rho family GTPases activate Diaphanous-related formins through the relief of an autoregulatory interaction. The crystal structures of the N-terminal domains of human FMNL1 and FMNL2 in complex with active Cdc42 show that Cdc42 mediates contacts with all five armadillo repeats of the formin with specific interactions formed by the Rho-GTPase insert helix. Mutation of three residues within Rac1 results in a gain-of-function mutation for FMNL2 binding and reconstitution of the Cdc42 phenotype in vivo. Dimerization of FMNL1 through a parallel coiled coil segment leads to formation of an umbrella-shaped structure that—together with Cdc42—spans more than 15 nm in diameter. The two interacting FMNL–Cdc42 heterodimers expose six membrane interaction motifs on a convex protein surface, the assembly of which may facilitate actin filament elongation at the leading edge of lamellipodia and filopodia. PMID:25963737

  5. Genetic characterization of Toxoplasma gondii from Brazilian wildlife revealed abundant new genotypes

    PubMed Central

    Vitaliano, S.N.; Soares, H.S.; Minervino, A.H.H.; Santos, A.L.Q.; Werther, K.; Marvulo, M.F.V.; Siqueira, D.B.; Pena, H.F.J.; Soares, R.M.; Su, C.; Gennari, S.M.

    2014-01-01

    This study aimed to isolate and genotype T. gondii from Brazilian wildlife. For this purpose, 226 samples were submitted to mice bioassay and screened by PCR based on 18S rRNA sequences. A total of 15 T. gondii isolates were obtained, including samples from four armadillos (three Dasypus novemcinctus, one Euphractus sexcinctus), three collared anteaters (Tamandua tetradactyla), three whited-lipped peccaries (Tayassu pecari), one spotted paca (Cuniculus paca), one oncilla (Leopardus tigrinus), one hoary fox (Pseudalopex vetulus), one lineated woodpecker (Dryocopus lineatus) and one maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus). DNA from the isolates, originated from mice bioassay, and from the tissues of the wild animal, designated as “primary samples”, were genotyped by PCR–restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR/RFLP), using 12 genetic markers (SAG1, SAG2, alt.SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L258, PK1, CS3 and Apico). A total of 17 genotypes were identified, with 13 identified for the first time and four already reported in published literature. Results herein obtained corroborate previous studies in Brazil, confirming high diversity and revealing unique genotypes in this region. Given most of genotypes here identified are different from previous studies in domestic animals, future studies on T. gondii from wildlife is of interest to understand population genetics and structure of this parasite. PMID:25426424

  6. Pathogenic effect of entomopathogenic nematode-bacterium complexes on terrestrial isopods.

    PubMed

    Sicard, Mathieu; Raimond, Maryline; Prats, Olivier; Lafitte, Alexandra; Braquart-Varnier, Christine

    2008-09-01

    In this study, we evaluated the effect of entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) Steinernema carpocapsae, Steinernema feltiae and Heterorhabditis bacteriophora, symbiotically associated with bacteria of the genera Xenorhabdus or Photorhabdus, on the survival of eight terrestrial isopod species. The EPN species S. carpocapsae and H. bacteriophora reduced the survival of six isopod species while S. feltiae reduced survival for two species. Two terrestrial isopod species tested (Armadillidium vulgare and Armadillo officinalis) were found not to be affected by treatment with EPNs while the six other isopod species showed survival reduction with at least one EPN species. By using aposymbiotic S. carpocapsae (i.e. without Xenorhabdus symbionts), we showed that nematodes can be isopod pathogens on their own. Nevertheless, symbiotic nematodes were more pathogenic for isopods than aposymbiotic ones showing that bacteria acted synergistically with their nematodes to kill isopods. By direct injection of entomopathogenic bacteria into isopod hemolymph, we showed that bacteria had a pathogenic effect on terrestrial isopods even if they appeared unable to multiply within isopod hemolymphs. A developmental study of EPNs in isopods showed that two of them (S. carpocapsae and H. bacteriophora) were able to develop while S. feltiae could not. No EPN species were able to produce offspring emerging from isopods. We conclude that EPN and their bacteria can be pathogens for terrestrial isopods but that such hosts represent a reproductive dead-end for them. Thus, terrestrial isopods appear not to be alternative hosts for EPN populations maintained in the absence of insects. PMID:18346756

  7. Osteoderm histology of the Pampatheriidae (Cingulata, Xenarthra, Mammalia): Implications for systematics, osteoderm growth, and biomechanical adaptation.

    PubMed

    Wolf, Dominik; Kalthoff, Daniela C; Sander, P Martin

    2012-04-01

    Pampatheres are extinct, large-bodied cingulates, which share morphological characters with both armadillos and glyptodonts but are considered to be more closely related to the latter. The osteoderm histology of six pampathere taxa was examined and compared to the histology of other cingulate osteoderms. This study investigates the development and functional adaptation of pampathere osteoderms as well as the phylogenetic relationships of the Pampatheriidae within the Cingulata. We found that pampathere osteoderms share a uniform histological organization based on a basic diploe-like structure. After initial stages of intramembranous growth, metaplastic ossification, that is, the direct incorporation and mineralization of pre-existing protein fibers, plays an important role in osteoderm development and provides information on various kinds of soft tissue otherwise not preserved. The latest stages of osteoderm growth are dominated by periosteal bone formation especially in the superficial cortex. Movable band osteoderms show regular arrangements of incorporated fibers that may increase the resistance of particularly weak areas against strain. The histological composition of pampathere osteoderms is plesiomorphic in its basic structure but shows a number of derived features. A unique array of Sharpey's fibers that are incorporated into the bone matrix at sutured osteoderm margins is interpreted as a synapomorphy of pampatheres. The arrangement of dermal fibers in the deep and superficial cortexes supports the close relationship between pampatheres and glyptodonts. PMID:22045687

  8. An E3 ubiquitin ligase, ERECT LEAF1, functions in brassinosteroid signaling of rice

    PubMed Central

    Sakamoto, Tomoaki; Kitano, Hidemi; Fujioka, Shozo

    2013-01-01

    A spontaneous rice mutant, erect leaf1 (elf1–1), produced a dwarf phenotype with erect leaves and short grains. Physiological analyses suggested that elf1–1 is brassinosteroid-insensitive, so we hypothesized that ELF1 encodes a positive regulator of brassinosteroid signaling. ELF1, identified by means of positional cloning, encodes a protein with both a U-box domain and ARMADILLO (ARM) repeats. U-box proteins have been shown to function as E3 ubiquitin ligases; in fact, ELF1 possessed E3 ubiquitin ligase activity in vitro. However, ELF1 itself does not appear to be polyubiquitinated. Mutant phenotypes of 2 more elf1 alleles indicate that the entire ARM repeats is indispensable for ELF1 activity. These results suggest that ELF1 ubiquitinates target proteins through an interaction mediated by ARM repeats. Similarities in the phenotypes of elf1 and d61 mutants (mutants of brassinosteroid receptor gene OsBRI1), and in the regulation of ELF1 and OsBRI1 expression, imply that ELF1 functions as a positive regulator of brassinosteroid signaling in rice. PMID:24299927

  9. A Jurassic mammaliaform and the earliest mammalian evolutionary adaptations.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Chang-Fu; Wu, Shaoyuan; Martin, Thomas; Luo, Zhe-Xi

    2013-08-01

    The earliest evolution of mammals and origins of mammalian features can be traced to the mammaliaforms of the Triassic and Jurassic periods that are extinct relatives to living mammals. Here we describe a new fossil from the Middle Jurassic that has a mandibular middle ear, a gradational transition of thoracolumbar vertebrae and primitive ankle features, but highly derived molars with a high crown and multiple roots that are partially fused. The upper molars have longitudinal cusp rows that occlude alternately with those of the lower molars. This specialization for masticating plants indicates that herbivory evolved among mammaliaforms, before the rise of crown mammals. The new species shares the distinctive dental features of the eleutherodontid clade, previously represented only by isolated teeth despite its extensive geographic distribution during the Jurassic. This eleutherodontid was terrestrial and had ambulatory gaits, analogous to extant terrestrial mammals such as armadillos or rock hyrax. Its fur corroborates that mammalian integument had originated well before the common ancestor of living mammals. PMID:23925238

  10. Dynamic and Static Interactions between p120 Catenin and E-Cadherin Regulate the Stability of Cell-Cell Adhesion

    SciTech Connect

    Ishiyama, Noboru; Lee, Seung-Hye; Liu, Shuang; Li, Guang-Yao; Smith, Matthew J.; Reichardt, Louis F.; Ikura, Mitsuhiko

    2010-04-26

    The association of p120 catenin (p120) with the juxtamembrane domain (JMD) of the cadherin cytoplasmic tail is critical for the surface stability of cadherin-catenin cell-cell adhesion complexes. Here, we present the crystal structure of p120 isoform 4A in complex with the JMD core region (JMD{sub core}) of E-cadherin. The p120 armadillo repeat domain contains modular binding pockets that are complementary to electrostatic and hydrophobic properties of the JMD{sub core}. Single-residue mutations within the JMD{sub core}-binding site of p120 abolished its interaction with E- and N-cadherins in vitro and in cultured cells. These mutations of p120 enabled us to clearly differentiate between N-cadherin-dependent and -independent steps of neuronal dendritic spine morphogenesis crucial for synapse development. NMR studies revealed that p120 regulates the stability of cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion by associating with the majority of the JMD, including residues implicated in clathrin-mediated endocytosis and Hakai-dependent ubiquitination of E-cadherin, through its discrete dynamic and static binding sites.

  11. Genetic characterization of Toxoplasma gondii from Brazilian wildlife revealed abundant new genotypes.

    PubMed

    Vitaliano, S N; Soares, H S; Minervino, A H H; Santos, A L Q; Werther, K; Marvulo, M F V; Siqueira, D B; Pena, H F J; Soares, R M; Su, C; Gennari, S M

    2014-12-01

    This study aimed to isolate and genotype T. gondii from Brazilian wildlife. For this purpose, 226 samples were submitted to mice bioassay and screened by PCR based on 18S rRNA sequences. A total of 15 T. gondii isolates were obtained, including samples from four armadillos (three Dasypus novemcinctus, one Euphractus sexcinctus), three collared anteaters (Tamandua tetradactyla), three whited-lipped peccaries (Tayassu pecari), one spotted paca (Cuniculus paca), one oncilla (Leopardus tigrinus), one hoary fox (Pseudalopex vetulus), one lineated woodpecker (Dryocopus lineatus) and one maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus). DNA from the isolates, originated from mice bioassay, and from the tissues of the wild animal, designated as "primary samples", were genotyped by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR/RFLP), using 12 genetic markers (SAG1, SAG2, alt.SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L258, PK1, CS3 and Apico). A total of 17 genotypes were identified, with 13 identified for the first time and four already reported in published literature. Results herein obtained corroborate previous studies in Brazil, confirming high diversity and revealing unique genotypes in this region. Given most of genotypes here identified are different from previous studies in domestic animals, future studies on T. gondii from wildlife is of interest to understand population genetics and structure of this parasite. PMID:25426424

  12. Mammal madness: is the mammal tree of life not yet resolved?

    PubMed

    Foley, Nicole M; Springer, Mark S; Teeling, Emma C

    2016-07-19

    Most molecular phylogenetic studies place all placental mammals into four superordinal groups, Laurasiatheria (e.g. dogs, bats, whales), Euarchontoglires (e.g. humans, rodents, colugos), Xenarthra (e.g. armadillos, anteaters) and Afrotheria (e.g. elephants, sea cows, tenrecs), and estimate that these clades last shared a common ancestor 90-110 million years ago. This phylogeny has provided a framework for numerous functional and comparative studies. Despite the high level of congruence among most molecular studies, questions still remain regarding the position and divergence time of the root of placental mammals, and certain 'hard nodes' such as the Laurasiatheria polytomy and Paenungulata that seem impossible to resolve. Here, we explore recent consensus and conflict among mammalian phylogenetic studies and explore the reasons for the remaining conflicts. The question of whether the mammal tree of life is or can be ever resolved is also addressed.This article is part of the themed issue 'Dating species divergences using rocks and clocks'. PMID:27325836

  13. Methods used in preclinical assessment of anti-Buruli ulcer agents: A global perspective.

    PubMed

    Tsouh, Patrick Valere Fokou; Addo, Phyllis; Yeboah-Manu, Dorothy; Boyom, Fabrice Fekam

    2015-01-01

    Buruli ulcer (BU) caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans is the third most common chronic mycobacterial infection in humans. Approximately 5000 cases are reported annually from at least 33 countries around the globe, especially in rural African communities. Even though anti-mycobacterial therapy is often effective for early nodular or ulcerative lesions, surgery is sometimes employed for aiding wound healing and correction of deformities. The usefulness of the antibiotherapy nonetheless is challenged by huge restrictive factors such as high cost, surgical scars and loss of income due to loss of man-hours, and in some instances employment. For these reasons, more effective and safer drugs are urgently needed, and research programs into alternative therapeutics including investigation of natural products should be encouraged. There is the need for appropriate susceptibility testing methods for the evaluation of potency. A number of biological assay methodologies are in current use, ranging from the classical agar and broth dilution assay formats, to radiorespirometric, dye-based, and fluorescent/luminescence reporter assays. Mice, rats, armadillo, guinea pigs, monkeys, grass cutters and lizards have been suggested as animal models for Buruli ulcer. This review presents an overview of in vitro and in vivo susceptibility testing methods developed so far for the determination of anti-Buruli ulcer activity of natural products and derivatives. PMID:25792087

  14. Interaction of Sp1 zinc finger with transport factor in the nuclear localization of transcription factor Sp1

    SciTech Connect

    Ito, Tatsuo; Kitamura, Haruka; Uwatoko, Chisana; Azumano, Makiko; Itoh, Kohji; Kuwahara, Jun

    2010-12-10

    Research highlights: {yields} Sp1 zinc fingers themselves interact with importin {alpha}. {yields} Sp1 zinc finger domains play an essential role as a nuclear localization signal. {yields} Sp1 can be transported into the nucleus in an importin-dependent manner. -- Abstract: Transcription factor Sp1 is localized in the nucleus and regulates the expression of many cellular genes, but the nuclear transport mechanism of Sp1 is not well understood. In this study, we revealed that GST-fused Sp1 protein bound to endogenous importin {alpha} in HeLa cells via the Sp1 zinc finger domains, which comprise the DNA binding domain of Sp1. It was found that the Sp1 zinc finger domains directly interacted with a wide range of importin {alpha} including the armadillo (arm) repeat domain and the C-terminal acidic domain. Furthermore, it turned out that all three zinc fingers of Sp1 are essential for binding to importin {alpha}. Taken together, these results suggest that the Sp1 zinc finger domains play an essential role as a NLS and Sp1 can be transported into the nucleus in an importin-dependent manner even though it possesses no classical NLSs.

  15. Pauci- and Multibacillary Leprosy: Two Distinct, Genetically Neglected Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Gaschignard, Jean; Grant, Audrey Virginia; Thuc, Nguyen Van; Orlova, Marianna; Cobat, Aurélie; Huong, Nguyen Thu; Ba, Nguyen Ngoc; Thai, Vu Hong; Abel, Laurent; Schurr, Erwin; Alcaïs, Alexandre

    2016-01-01

    After sustained exposure to Mycobacterium leprae, only a subset of exposed individuals develops clinical leprosy. Moreover, leprosy patients show a wide spectrum of clinical manifestations that extend from the paucibacillary (PB) to the multibacillary (MB) form of the disease. This “polarization” of leprosy has long been a major focus of investigation for immunologists because of the different immune response in these two forms. But while leprosy per se has been shown to be under tight human genetic control, few epidemiological or genetic studies have focused on leprosy subtypes. Using PubMed, we collected available data in English on the epidemiology of leprosy polarization and the possible role of human genetics in its pathophysiology until September 2015. At the genetic level, we assembled a list of 28 genes from the literature that are associated with leprosy subtypes or implicated in the polarization process. Our bibliographical search revealed that improved study designs are needed to identify genes associated with leprosy polarization. Future investigations should not be restricted to a subanalysis of leprosy per se studies but should instead contrast MB to PB individuals. We show the latter approach to be the most powerful design for the identification of genetic polarization determinants. Finally, we bring to light the important resource represented by the nine-banded armadillo model, a unique animal model for leprosy. PMID:27219008

  16. Development and embryonic staging in non-model organisms: the case of an afrotherian mammal.

    PubMed

    Werneburg, Ingmar; Tzika, Athanasia C; Hautier, Lionel; Asher, Robert J; Milinkovitch, Michel C; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R

    2013-01-01

    Studies of evolutionary developmental biology commonly use 'model organisms' such as fruit flies or mice, and questions are often functional or epigenetic. Phylogenetic investigations, in contrast, typically use species that are less common and mostly deal with broad scale analyses in the tree of life. However, important evolutionary transformations have taken place at all taxonomic levels, resulting in such diverse forms as elephants and shrews. To understand the mechanisms underlying morphological diversification, broader sampling and comparative approaches are paramount. Using a simple, standardized protocol, we describe for the first time the development of soft tissues and some parts of the skeleton, using μCT-imaging of developmental series of Echinops telfairi and Tenrec ecaudatus, two tenrecid afrotherian mammals. The developmental timing of soft tissue and skeletal characters described for the tenrecids is briefly compared with that of other mammals, including mouse, echidna, and the opossum. We found relatively few heterochronic differences in development in the armadillo vs. tenrec, consistent with a close relationship of Xenarthra and Afrotheria. Ossification in T. ecaudatus continues well into the second half of overall gestation, resembling the pattern seen in other small mammals and differing markedly from the advanced state of ossification evident early in the gestation of elephants, sheep, and humans. PMID:22537021

  17. ARMC5 mutation analysis in patients with primary aldosteronism and bilateral adrenal lesions.

    PubMed

    Mulatero, P; Schiavi, F; Williams, T A; Monticone, S; Barbon, G; Opocher, G; Fallo, F

    2016-06-01

    Idiopathic hyperaldosteronism (IHA) due to bilateral adrenal hyperplasia is the most common subtype of primary aldosteronism (PA). The pathogenesis of IHA is still unknown, but the bilateral disease suggests a potential predisposing genetic alteration. Heterozygous germline mutations of armadillo repeat containing 5 (ARMC5) have been shown to be associated with hypercortisolism due to sporadic primary bilateral macronodular adrenal hyperplasia and are also observed in African-American PA patients. We investigated the presence of germline ARMC5 mutations in a group of PA patients who had bilateral computed tomography-detectable adrenal alterations. We sequenced the entire coding region of ARMC5 and all intron/exon boundaries in 39 patients (37 Caucasians and 2 black Africans) with confirmed PA (8 unilateral, 27 bilateral and 4 undetermined subtype) and bilateral adrenal lesions. We identified 11 common variants, 5 rare variants with a minor allele frequency <1% and 2 new variants not previously reported in public databases. We did not detect by in silico analysis any ARMC5 sequence variations that were predicted to alter protein function. In conclusion, ARMC5 mutations are not present in a fairly large series of Caucasian patients with PA associated to bilateral adrenal disease. Further studies are required to definitively clarify the role of ARMC5 in the pathogenesis of adrenal nodules and aldosterone excess in patients with PA. PMID:26446392

  18. Function of Armcx3 and Armc10/SVH Genes in the Regulation of Progenitor Proliferation and Neural Differentiation in the Chicken Spinal Cord

    PubMed Central

    Mirra, Serena; Ulloa, Fausto; Gutierrez-Vallejo, Irene; Martì, Elisa; Soriano, Eduardo

    2016-01-01

    The eutherian X-chromosome specific family of Armcx genes has been described as originating by retrotransposition from Armc10/SVH, a single Arm-containing somatic gene. Armcx3 and Armc10/SVH are characterized by high expression in the central nervous system and they play an important role in the regulation of mitochondrial distribution and transport in neurons. In addition, Armcx/Arm10 genes have several Armadillo repeats in their sequence. In this study we address the potential role of this gene family in neural development by using the chick neural tube as a model. We show that Armc10/SVH is expressed in the chicken spinal cord, and knocking-down Armc10/SVH by sh-RNAi electroporation in spinal cord reduces proliferation of neural precursor cells (NPCs). Moreover, we analyzed the effects of murine Armcx3 and Armc10 overexpression, showing that both proteins regulate progenitor proliferation, while Armcx3 overexpression also specifically controls neural maturation. We show that the phenotypes found following Armcx3 overexpression require its mitochondrial localization, suggesting a novel link between mitochondrial dynamics and regulation of neural development. Furthermore, we found that both Armcx3 and Armc10 may act as inhibitors of Wnt-β-catenin signaling. Our results highlight both common and differential functions of Armcx/Armc10 genes in neural development in the spinal cord. PMID:26973462

  19. Attempted isolation of Blastomyces dermatitidis from native shrews in northern Wisconsin, USA.

    PubMed

    Baumgardner, Dennis J; Summerbell, Richard; Krajden, Sigmund; Alexopoulou, Iakovina; Agrawal, Bobby; Bergeson, Mitch; Fuksa, Milan; Bemis, Christina; Baumgardner, Mark A

    2005-08-01

    The precise ecological niche of Blastomyces dermatitidis is unknown. The related dimorphic fungus, Paracoccidioides brasiliensis, has been isolated from South American ground-dwelling insectivorous armadillos. We attempted to isolate Blastomyces from shrews, North American ground-dwelling insectivores that have been shown to harbor Histoplasma capsulatum in endemic areas. Forty-seven masked shrews (Sorex cinereus) and 13 northern short-tailed shrews (Blarina brevicauda) were collected in endemic areas of northern Wisconsin and Michigan using pitfall traps. Specimens were collected between 1998 and summer 2002, stored frozen, then necropsied. Cultures of nasopharynx, lungs, liver, spleen and large and small bowel were placed on yeast extract phosphate agar with one or two drops of ammonium hydroxide. Cultures for Blastomyces were negative from all 60 shrews and two deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) and three southern red-backed voles (Clethrionomys gapperi), which were trapped inadvertently. Histological examination of 36 of these specimens revealed no Blastomyces yeast forms. Northern Wisconsin shrews do not appear to be carriers of B. dermatitidis. PMID:16178369

  20. The catenin p120{sup ctn} inhibits Kaiso-mediated transcriptional repression of the {beta}-catenin/TCF target gene matrilysin

    SciTech Connect

    Spring, Christopher M.; Kelly, Kevin F.; O'Kelly, Ita; Graham, Monica; Crawford, Howard C.; Daniel, Juliet M. . E-mail: danielj@mcmaster.ca

    2005-05-01

    The POZ-zinc finger transcription factor Kaiso was first identified as a specific binding partner for the Armadillo catenin and cell adhesion cofactor, p120{sup ctn}. Kaiso is a unique POZ protein with bi-modal DNA-binding properties; it associates with a sequence-specific DNA consensus Kaiso binding site (KBS) or methylated CpG dinucleotides, and regulates transcription of artificial promoters containing either site. Interestingly, the promoter of the Wnt/{beta}-catenin/TCF target gene matrilysin possesses two conserved copies of the KBS, which suggested that Kaiso might regulate matrilysin expression. In this study, we demonstrate using chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis that Kaiso associates with the matrilysin promoter in vivo. Minimal promoter assays further confirmed that Kaiso specifically repressed transcription of the matrilysin promoter; mutation of the KBS element or RNAi-mediated depletion of Kaiso abrogated this effect. More importantly, Kaiso blocked {beta}-catenin-mediated activation of the matrilysin promoter. Consistent with our previous findings, both Kaiso-DNA binding and Kaiso-mediated transcriptional repression of the matrilysin promoter were inhibited by overexpression of wild-type p120{sup ctn}, but not by a p120{sup ctn} mutant exhibiting impaired nuclear import. Collectively, our data establish Kaiso as a sequence-specific transcriptional repressor of the matrilysin promoter, and suggest that p120{sup ctn} and {beta}-catenin act in a synergistic manner, via distinct mechanisms, to activate matrilysin expression.

  1. Structural and functional characterization of the Wnt inhibitor APC membrane recruitment 1 (Amer1).

    PubMed

    Tanneberger, Kristina; Pfister, Astrid S; Kriz, Vitezslav; Bryja, Vitezslav; Schambony, Alexandra; Behrens, Jürgen

    2011-06-01

    Amer1/WTX binds to the tumor suppressor adenomatous polyposis coli and acts as an inhibitor of Wnt signaling by inducing β-catenin degradation. We show here that Amer1 directly interacts with the armadillo repeats of β-catenin via a domain consisting of repeated arginine-glutamic acid-alanine (REA) motifs, and that Amer1 assembles the β-catenin destruction complex at the plasma membrane by recruiting β-catenin, adenomatous polyposis coli, and Axin/Conductin. Deletion or specific mutations of the membrane binding domain of Amer1 abolish its membrane localization and abrogate negative control of Wnt signaling, which can be restored by artificial targeting of Amer1 to the plasma membrane. In line, a natural splice variant of Amer1 lacking the plasma membrane localization domain is deficient for Wnt inhibition. Knockdown of Amer1 leads to the activation of Wnt target genes, preferentially in dense compared with sparse cell cultures, suggesting that Amer1 function is regulated by cell contacts. Amer1 stabilizes Axin and counteracts Wnt-induced degradation of Axin, which requires membrane localization of Amer1. The data suggest that Amer1 exerts its negative regulatory role in Wnt signaling by acting as a scaffold protein for the β-catenin destruction complex and promoting stabilization of Axin at the plasma membrane. PMID:21498506

  2. Self-association of the APC tumor suppressor is required for the assembly, stability, and activity of the Wnt signaling destruction complex.

    PubMed

    Kunttas-Tatli, Ezgi; Roberts, David M; McCartney, Brooke M

    2014-11-01

    The tumor suppressor adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) is an essential negative regulator of Wnt signaling through its activity in the destruction complex with Axin, GSK3β, and CK1 that targets β-catenin/Armadillo (β-cat/Arm) for proteosomal degradation. The destruction complex forms macromolecular particles we termed the destructosome. Whereas APC functions in the complex through its ability to bind both β-cat and Axin, we hypothesize that APC proteins play an additional role in destructosome assembly through self-association. Here we show that a novel N-terminal coil, the APC self-association domain (ASAD), found in vertebrate and invertebrate APCs, directly mediates self-association of Drosophila APC2 and plays an essential role in the assembly and stability of the destructosome that regulates β-cat degradation in Drosophila and human cells. Consistent with this, removal of the ASAD from the Drosophila embryo results in β-cat/Arm accumulation and aberrant Wnt pathway activation. These results suggest that APC proteins are required not only for the activity of the destructosome, but also for the assembly and stability of this macromolecular machine. PMID:25208568

  3. Adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) membrane recruitment 3, a member of the APC membrane recruitment family of APC-binding proteins, is a positive regulator of Wnt-β-catenin signalling.

    PubMed

    Brauburger, Katharina; Akyildiz, Senem; Ruppert, Jan G; Graeb, Michael; Bernkopf, Dominic B; Hadjihannas, Michel V; Behrens, Jürgen

    2014-02-01

    The adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) membrane recruitment (Amer) family proteins Amer1/Wilms tumour gene on the X chromosome and Amer2 are binding partners of the APC tumour suppressor protein, and act as negative regulators in the Wnt signalling cascade. So far, nothing has been known about the third member of the family, Amer3. Here we show that Amer3 binds to the armadillo repeat domain of APC, similarly to Amer1 and Amer2. Amer3 also binds to the Wnt pathway regulator conductin/axin2. Furthermore, we identified Amer1 as binding partner of Amer3. Whereas Amer1 and Amer2 are linked to the plasma membrane by an N-terminal membrane localization domain, Amer3 lacks this domain. Amer3 localizes to the cytoplasm and nucleus of epithelial cells, and this is dependent on specific nuclear import and export sequences. Functionally, exogenous Amer3 enhances the expression of a β-catenin/T-cell factor-dependent reporter gene, and knockdown of endogenous Amer3 reduces Wnt target gene expression in colorectal cancer cells. Thus, Amer3 acts as an activator of Wnt signalling, in contrast to Amer1 and Amer2, which are inhibitors, suggesting a nonredundant role of Amer proteins in the regulation of this pathway. Our data, together with those of previous studies, provide a comprehensive picture of similarities and differences within the Amer protein family. PMID:24251807

  4. Identification of plakoglobin domains required for association with N-cadherin and alpha-catenin.

    PubMed

    Sacco, P A; McGranahan, T M; Wheelock, M J; Johnson, K R

    1995-08-25

    Cadherins are calcium-dependent, cell surface glycoproteins involved in cell-cell adhesion. To function in cell-cell adhesion, the transmembrane cadherin molecule must be associated with the cytoskeleton via cytoplasmic proteins known as catenins. Three catenins, alpha-catenin, beta-catenin, and gamma-catenin (also known as plakoglobin), have been identified. The domain of the cadherin molecule important for its interaction with the catenins has been mapped to the COOH-terminal 70 amino acids, but less is known about regions of the catenins that allow them to associate with one another or with the cadherin molecule. In this study we have transfected carboxyl-terminal deletions of plakoglobin into the human fibrosarcoma HT-1080 and used immunofluorescence localization and co-immunoprecipitation to map the regions of plakoglobin that allow it to associate with N-cadherin and with alpha-catenin. Plakoglobin is an armadillo family member containing 13 weakly similar internal repeats. These data show that the alpha-catenin-binding region maps within the first repeat and the N-cadherin-binding region maps within repeats 7 and 8. PMID:7650039

  5. Do apprehended saffron finches know how to survive predators? A careful look at reintroduction candidates.

    PubMed

    Dutra, Luisa Mascarenhas Ladeia; Young, Robert John; Galdino, Conrado Aleksander Barbosa; Vasconcellos, Angélica da Silva

    2016-04-01

    Wildlife trafficking is a major factor contributing to the reduction of biological diversity. In Brazil, trafficked animals are apprehended by environmental agencies and released in the wild. The maintenance of wild animals in captivity may jeopardize their survival in the wild, for example, by reducing their ability to recognize a predator. Saffron finches (Sicalis flaveola) are among the most trafficked Brazilian birds. Twenty-eight apprehended saffron finches were submitted to Temperament and Predator-recognition tests, with presentation of predator and non-predator models: a live and a taxidermised hawk, a taxidermised armadillo and a Lego cube. The captive saffron finches have retained general anti-predator responses, such as increasing alertness, avoiding back-facing and keeping distance when presented with potential predators. The birds responded more strongly to the live hawk than to the cube. Although some responses to the other stimuli were not statistically different from each other, a decrease in intensity of response with the decrease in threat level was remarkable. We found no relationship between temperament traits and responses to predators: a possible consequence of husbandry practices in captivity. Our results indicate saffron finches may retain basic anti-predator responses in captivity, which favours release and reintroduction programmes: information relevant for conservation management. PMID:26827615

  6. Epidemiology of Ornithodoros brasiliensis (mouro tick) in the southern Brazilian highlands and the description of human and animal retrospective cases of tick parasitism.

    PubMed

    Reck, José; Marks, Fernanda S; Guimarães, Jorge A; Termignoni, Carlos; Martins, João Ricardo

    2013-02-01

    Ornithodoros brasiliensis, also known as the "mouro" tick, is an argasid tick found exclusively in the southern Brazilian highlands. O. brasiliensis parasitism is frequently associated with severe symptoms directly induced by the tick bite, a condition compatible with the definition of tick toxicosis. The objectives of this work include (i) the determination of the distribution of O. brasiliensis in farms located in the tick-endemic region, (ii) the description of the characteristics of O. brasiliensis habitats, (iii) the analysis of risk factors associated with O. brasiliensis, and (iv) the retrospective description of cases of human and animal parasitism by O. brasiliensis. Of the 30 farms included in this study, O. brasiliensis was identified on 5 farms (frequency 16.7%), in which several ticks found in high density buried in soil were collected. Information regarding the tick habitats and the local population was recorded. The data indicated that O. brasiliensis feeds on humans, dogs, armadillos (Dasypus hybridus), and possibly skunks (Conepatus chinga). The analysis of risk factors indicated that the presence of house basements with an unpaved (natural soil) floor on farms and insufficient sanitary conditions significantly enhanced the probability of identifying O. brasiliensis. Additionally, we describe retrospectively cases of tick parasitism in 28 humans and 11 dogs including the most common symptoms associated with tick toxicosis. This is the first study concerning O. brasiliensis epidemiology, distribution, and habitat, and the report represents the most comprehensive characterization of Ornithodoros bite-associated toxicosis syndrome. PMID:23238249

  7. An evolutionarily conserved autoinhibitory molecular switch in ELMO proteins regulates Rac signaling.

    PubMed

    Patel, Manishha; Margaron, Yoran; Fradet, Nadine; Yang, Qi; Wilkes, Brian; Bouvier, Michel; Hofmann, Kay; Côté, Jean-François

    2010-11-23

    Dedicator of cytokinesis (DOCK) proteins are guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) controlling the activity of Rac1/Cdc42 during migration, phagocytosis, and myoblast fusion [1-4]. Engulfment and cell motility (ELMO) proteins bind a subset of DOCK members and are emerging as critical regulators of Rac signaling [5-10]. Although formation of a DOCK180/ELMO complex is not essential for Rac1 activation, ELMO mutants deficient in binding to DOCK180 are unable to promote cytoskeleton remodeling [11]. How ELMO regulates signaling through DOCK GEFs is poorly understood. Here, we identify an autoinhibitory switch in ELMO presenting homology to a regulatory unit described for Dia formins. One part of the switch, composed of a Ras-binding domain (RBD) and Armadillo repeats, is positioned N-terminally while the other is housed in the C terminus. We demonstrate interaction between these fragments, suggesting autoinhibition of ELMO. Using a bioluminescence resonance energy transfer biosensor, we establish that ELMO undergoes conformational changes upon disruption of autoinhibition. We found that engagement of ELMO to RhoG, or with DOCK180, promotes the relief of autoinhibition in ELMO. Functionally, we found that ELMO mutants with impaired autoregulatory activity promote cell elongation. These results demonstrate an unsuspected level of regulation for Rac1 signaling via autoinhibition of ELMO. PMID:21035343

  8. Wingless and its signalling pathway have common and separable functions during tracheal development.

    PubMed

    Llimargas, M

    2000-10-01

    The Drosophila tracheal tree consists of a tubular network of epithelial branches that constitutes the respiratory system. Groups of tracheal cells migrate towards stereotyped directions while they acquire specific tracheal fates. This work shows that the wingless/WNT signalling pathway is needed within the tracheal cells for the formation of the dorsal trunk and for fusion of the branches. These functions are achieved through the regulation of target genes, such as spalt in the dorsal trunk and escargot in the fusion cells. The pathway also aids tracheal invagination and helps guide the ganglionic branch. Moreover the wingless/WNT pathway displays antagonistic interactions with the DPP (decapentaplegic) pathway, which regulates branching along the dorsoventral axis. Remarkably, the wingless gene itself, acting through its canonical pathway, seems not to be absolutely required for all these tracheal functions. However, the artificial overexpression of wingless in tracheal cells mimics the overexpression of a constitutively activated armadillo protein. The results suggest that another gene product, possibly a WNT, could help to trigger the wingless cascade in the developing tracheae. PMID:11003840

  9. Development and embryonic staging in non-model organisms: the case of an afrotherian mammal

    PubMed Central

    Werneburg, Ingmar; Tzika, Athanasia C; Hautier, Lionel; Asher, Robert J; Milinkovitch, Michel C; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R

    2013-01-01

    Studies of evolutionary developmental biology commonly use ‘model organisms’ such as fruit flies or mice, and questions are often functional or epigenetic. Phylogenetic investigations, in contrast, typically use species that are less common and mostly deal with broad scale analyses in the tree of life. However, important evolutionary transformations have taken place at all taxonomic levels, resulting in such diverse forms as elephants and shrews. To understand the mechanisms underlying morphological diversification, broader sampling and comparative approaches are paramount. Using a simple, standardized protocol, we describe for the first time the development of soft tissues and some parts of the skeleton, using μCT-imaging of developmental series of Echinops telfairi and Tenrec ecaudatus, two tenrecid afrotherian mammals. The developmental timing of soft tissue and skeletal characters described for the tenrecids is briefly compared with that of other mammals, including mouse, echidna, and the opossum. We found relatively few heterochronic differences in development in the armadillo vs. tenrec, consistent with a close relationship of Xenarthra and Afrotheria. Ossification in T. ecaudatus continues well into the second half of overall gestation, resembling the pattern seen in other small mammals and differing markedly from the advanced state of ossification evident early in the gestation of elephants, sheep, and humans. PMID:22537021

  10. Cognitive Function Related to the Sirh11/Zcchc16 Gene Acquired from an LTR Retrotransposon in Eutherians.

    PubMed

    Irie, Masahito; Yoshikawa, Masanobu; Ono, Ryuichi; Iwafune, Hirotaka; Furuse, Tamio; Yamada, Ikuko; Wakana, Shigeharu; Yamashita, Yui; Abe, Takaya; Ishino, Fumitoshi; Kaneko-Ishino, Tomoko

    2015-09-01

    Gene targeting of mouse Sushi-ichi-related retrotransposon homologue 11/Zinc finger CCHC domain-containing 16 (Sirh11/Zcchc16) causes abnormal behaviors related to cognition, including attention, impulsivity and working memory. Sirh11/Zcchc16 encodes a CCHC type of zinc-finger protein that exhibits high homology to an LTR retrotransposon Gag protein. Upon microdialysis analysis of the prefrontal cortex region, the recovery rate of noradrenaline (NA) was reduced compared with dopamine (DA) after perfusion of high potassium-containing artificial cerebrospinal fluid in knockout (KO) mice. These data indicate that Sirh11/Zcchc16 is involved in cognitive function in the brain, possibly via the noradrenergic system, in the contemporary mouse developmental systems. Interestingly, it is highly conserved in three out of the four major groups of the eutherians, euarchontoglires, laurasiatheria and afrotheria, but is heavily mutated in xenarthran species such as the sloth and armadillo, suggesting that it has contributed to brain evolution in the three major eutherian lineages, including humans and mice. Sirh11/Zcchc16 is the first SIRH gene to be involved in brain function, instead of just the placenta, as seen in the case of Peg10, Peg11/Rtl1 and Sirh7/Ldoc1. PMID:26402067

  11. Structures of the APC–ARM domain in complexes with discrete Amer1/WTX fragments reveal that it uses a consensus mode to recognize its binding partners

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Zhenyi; Akyildiz, Senem; Xiao, Yafei; Gai, Zhongchao; An, Ying; Behrens, Jürgen; Wu, Geng

    2015-01-01

    The tumor suppressor APC employs its conserved armadillo repeat (ARM) domain to recognize many of its binding partners, including Amer1/WTX, which is mutated in Wilms' tumor and bone overgrowth syndrome. The APC–Amer1 complex has important roles in regulating Wnt signaling and cell adhesion. Three sites A1, A2, and A3 of Amer1 have been reported to mediate its interaction with APC-ARM. In this study, crystal structures of APC–ARM in complexes with Amer1-A1, -A2, and -A4, which is newly identified in this work, were determined. Combined with our GST pull-down, yeast two-hybrid, and isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) assay results using mutants of APC and Amer1 interface residues, our structures demonstrate that Amer1-A1, -A2, and -A4, as well as other APC-binding proteins such as Asef and Sam68, all employ a common recognition pattern to associate with APC–ARM. In contrast, Amer1-A3 binds to the C-terminal side of APC–ARM through a bipartite interaction mode. Composite mutations on either APC or Amer1 disrupting all four interfaces abrogated their association in cultured cells and impaired the membrane recruitment of APC by Amer1. Our study thus comprehensively elucidated the recognition mechanism between APC and Amer1, and revealed a consensus recognition sequence employed by various APC–ARM binding partners.

  12. Beyond TLR Signaling—The Role of SARM in Antiviral Immune Defense, Apoptosis & Development.

    PubMed

    Panneerselvam, Porkodi; Ding, Jeak Ling

    2015-01-01

    SARM (Sterile alpha and armadillo motif-containing protein) is the recently identified TIR domain-containing cytosolic protein. Classified as a member of the TLR adaptor family, the multiple locations and functions of SARM (sometimes playing opposing roles), provoke an enigma on its biology. Although originally assumed to be a member of the TLR adaptor family (functioning as a negative regulator of TLR signaling pathway), latest findings indicate that SARM regulates signaling differently from other TLR adaptor proteins. Recent studies have highlighted the significant functional role of SARM in mediating apoptosis and antiviral innate immune response. In this review, we provide an update on the evolutionary conservation, spatial distribution, and regulated expression of SARM to highlight its diverse functional roles. The review will summarize findings on the known interacting partners of SARM and provide analogy on how they add new dimensions to the current understanding on the multifaceted roles of SARM in antiviral activities and apoptotic functions. In addition, we provide a future perspective on the roles of SARM in differentiation and development, with substantial emphasis on the molecular insights to its mechanisms of action. PMID:26268046

  13. Targeting of pro-apoptotic TLR adaptor SARM to mitochondria: definition of the critical region and residues in the signal sequence.

    PubMed

    Panneerselvam, Porkodi; Singh, Laishram Pradeepkumar; Ho, Bow; Chen, Jianzhu; Ding, Jeak Ling

    2012-03-01

    The fifth and the most well-conserved member of the TLR (Toll-like receptor) adaptor, SARM (sterile α- and HEAT/armadillo-motif-containing protein), has been reported to be an important mediator of apoptosis. However, the exact cellular localization of SARM with respect to its role is unclear. In the present study we show that SARM specifically co-localizes with mitochondria. Endogenous SARM is mainly found in the mitochondria. We demonstrate that the N-terminal 27 amino acids (S27) of SARM, which is hydrophobic and polybasic, acts as a mitochondria-targeting signal sequence, associating SARM to the mitochondria. The S27 peptide has an inherent ability to bind to lipids and mitochondria. This sequence effectively translocates the soluble EGFP (enhanced green fluorescence protein) reporter into the mitochondria. Positioning S27 downstream of the EGFP abrogates its mitochondria-targeting ability. Transmission electron microscopy confirms the ability of S27 to import EGFP into the mitochondria. Importantly, by mutagenesis study, we delineated the specificity of the mitochondria-targeting ability to the arginine residue at the 14th position. The R14A SARM mutant also showed reduced apoptotic potential when compared with the wild-type. Taken together, S27, which is a bona fide signal sequence that targets SARM to the mitochondria, explains the pro-apoptotic activity of SARM. PMID:22145856

  14. SARM regulates CCL5 production in macrophages by promoting the recruitment of transcription factors and RNA polymerase II to the Ccl5 promoter.

    PubMed

    Gürtler, Claudia; Carty, Michael; Kearney, Jay; Schattgen, Stefan A; Ding, Aihao; Fitzgerald, Katherine A; Bowie, Andrew G

    2014-05-15

    The four Toll/IL-1R domain-containing adaptor proteins MyD88, MAL, TRIF, and TRAM are well established as essential mediators of TLR signaling and gene induction following microbial detection. In contrast, the function of the fifth, most evolutionarily conserved Toll/IL-1R adaptor, sterile α and HEAT/Armadillo motif-containing protein (SARM), has remained more elusive. Recent studies of Sarm(-/-) mice have highlighted a role for SARM in stress-induced neuronal cell death and immune responses in the CNS. However, whether SARM has a role in immune responses in peripheral myeloid immune cells is less clear. Thus, we characterized TLR-induced cytokine responses in SARM-deficient murine macrophages and discovered a requirement for SARM in CCL5 production, whereas gene induction of TNF, IL-1β, CCL2, and CXCL10 were SARM-independent. SARM was not required for TLR-induced activation of MAPKs or of transcription factors implicated in CCL5 induction, namely NF-κB and IFN regulatory factors, nor for Ccl5 mRNA stability or splicing. However, SARM was critical for the recruitment of transcription factors and of RNA polymerase II to the Ccl5 promoter. Strikingly, the requirement of SARM for CCL5 induction was not restricted to TLR pathways, as it was also apparent in cytosolic RNA and DNA responses. Thus, this study identifies a new role for SARM in CCL5 expression in macrophages. PMID:24711619

  15. Morphology and identification of the mature larvae of several species of the genus Otiorhynchus (Coleoptera, Curculionidae, Entiminae) from Central Europe with an update of the life history traits.

    PubMed

    Gosik, Rafał; Sprick, Peter; Skuhrovec, Jiří; Deruś, Magdalena; Hommes, Martin

    2016-01-01

    The mature larvae of 14 Otiorhynchus taxa are described: O. (Otiorhynchus) armadillo (Rossi, 1792), O. (Nehrodistus) armatus Boheman, 1846, O. (Otiorhynchus) aurifer Boheman, 1843, O. (Pocodalemes) crataegi Germar, 1824, Otiorhynchus (Arammichnus) indefinitus Reitter, 1912 (syn. O. dieckmanni Magnano, 1979), O. (Choilisanus) raucus (Fa-bricius, 1777) and 3 taxa of the O. (Otiorhynchus) tenebricosus complex (Herbst, 1784), O. (Otiorhynchus) clavipes (Bonsdorff, 1785), O. (Otiorhynchus) fuscipes (Olivier, 1807) and O. (Otiorhynchus) lugdunensis Boheman, 1843, are described and illustrated for the first time. The larvae of (Otiorhynchus) meridionalis Gyllenhal, 1834, O. (Pendragon) ovatus (Linnaeus, 1758), O. (Zustalestus) rugosostriatus (Goeze, 1777), O. (Metopiorrhynchus) singularis (Linnaeus, 1767), and O. (Dorymerus) sulcatus (Fabricius, 1775) are redescribed and illustrated, and new characters are added. Important characters of the mature larvae (e.g. chaetotaxy, shape of head and body) are explained in detail and illustrated. A key to the identification of the mature larvae of 19 Otiorhynchus taxa is provided. Breeding and collecting data of the larvae are given, and the study is completed by a current overview on the life histories of all treated species. PMID:27394846

  16. Expansion and Function of Repeat Domain Proteins During Stress and Development in Plants.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Manisha; Pandey, Girdhar K

    2015-01-01

    The recurrent repeats having conserved stretches of amino acids exists across all domains of life. Subsequent repetition of single sequence motif and the number and length of the minimal repeating motifs are essential characteristics innate to these proteins. The proteins with tandem peptide repeats are essential for providing surface to mediate protein-protein interactions for fundamental biological functions. Plants are enriched in tandem repeat containing proteins typically distributed into various families. This has been assumed that the occurrence of multigene repeats families in plants enable them to cope up with adverse environmental conditions and allow them to rapidly acclimatize to these conditions. The evolution, structure, and function of repeat proteins have been studied in all kingdoms of life. The presence of repeat proteins is particularly profuse in multicellular organisms in comparison to prokaryotes. The precipitous expansion of repeat proteins in plants is presumed to be through internal tandem duplications. Several repeat protein gene families have been identified in plants. Such as Armadillo (ARM), Ankyrin (ANK), HEAT, Kelch-like repeats, Tetratricopeptide (TPR), Leucine rich repeats (LRR), WD40, and Pentatricopeptide repeats (PPR). The structure and functions of these repeat proteins have been extensively studied in plants suggesting a critical role of these repeating peptides in plant cell physiology, stress and development. In this review, we illustrate the structural, functional, and evolutionary prospects of prolific repeat proteins in plants. PMID:26793205

  17. A new function of rapid eye movement sleep: improvement of muscular efficiency.

    PubMed

    Cai, Zi-Jian

    2015-05-15

    Previously I demonstrated that the slow wave sleep (SWS) functioned to adjust the emotional balance disrupted by emotional memories randomly accumulated during waking, while the rapid eye movement (REM) sleep played the opposite role. Many experimental results have unambiguously shown that various emotional memories are processed during REM sleep. In this article, it is attempted to combine this confirmed function of REM sleep with the atonic state unique to REM sleep, and to integrate a new theory suggesting that improvement of muscular efficiency be a new function of REM sleep. This new function of REM sleep is more advantageous than the function of REM sleep in emotional memories and disinhibited drives to account for the phylogenetic variations of REM sleep, especially the absence of REM sleep in dolphins and short duration of REM sleep in birds in contrary to that in humans and rodents, the absence of penile erections in REM sleep in armadillo, as well as the higher voltage in EEG during REM sleep in platypus and ostrich. Besides, this new function of REM sleep is also advantageous to explain the association of REM sleep with the atonic episodes in SWS, the absence of drastic menopausal change in duration of REM sleep, and the effects of ambient temperature on the duration of REM sleep. These comparative and experimental evidences support the improvement of muscular efficiency as a new and major function of REM sleep. PMID:25770701

  18. Dissecting nuclear Wingless signalling: recruitment of the transcriptional co-activator Pygopus by a chain of adaptor proteins.

    PubMed

    Städeli, Reto; Basler, Konrad

    2005-11-01

    Members of the Wingless (Wg)/Wnt family of secreted glycoproteins control cell fate during embryonic development and adult homeostasis. Wnt signals regulate the expression of target genes by activating a conserved signal transduction pathway. Upon receptor activation, the signal is transmitted intracellularly by stabilization of Armadillo (Arm)/beta-catenin. Arm/beta-catenin translocates to the nucleus, interacts with DNA-binding factors of the Pangolin (Pan)/TCF/LEF class and activates transcription of target genes in cooperation with the recently identified proteins Legless/BCL9 (Lgs) and Pygopus (Pygo). Here, we analyse the mode of action of Pan, Arm, Lgs, and Pygo in Drosophila cultured cells. We provide evidence that together these four proteins form a 'chain of adaptors' linking the NH2-terminal homology domain (NHD) of Pygo to the DNA-binding domain of Pan. We show that the NHD has potent transcriptional activation capacity, which differs from that of acidic activator domains and depends on a conserved NPF tripeptide. A single point mutation within this NPF motif abolishes the transcriptional activity of the Pygo NHD in vitro and strongly reduces Wg signalling in vivo. Together, our results suggest that the transcriptional output of Wg pathway activity largely relies on a 'chain of adaptors' design to direct the Pygo NHD to Wg target promoters in an Arm-dependent manner. PMID:16169192

  19. Wingless signaling and the control of cell shape in Drosophila wing imaginal discs.

    PubMed

    Widmann, Thomas J; Dahmann, Christian

    2009-10-01

    The control of cell morphology is important for shaping animals during development. Here we address the role of the Wnt/Wingless signal transduction pathway and two of its target genes, vestigial and shotgun (encoding E-cadherin), in controlling the columnar shape of Drosophila wing disc cells. We show that clones of cells mutant for arrow (encoding an essential component of the Wingless signal transduction pathway), vestigial or shotgun undergo profound cell shape changes and are extruded towards the basal side of the epithelium. Compartment-wide expression of a dominant-negative form of the Wingless transducer T-cell factor (TCF/Pangolin), or double-stranded RNA targeting vestigial or shotgun, leads to abnormally short cells throughout this region, indicating that these genes act cell autonomously to maintain normal columnar cell shape. Conversely, overexpression of Wingless, a constitutively-active form of the Wingless transducer beta-catenin/Armadillo, or Vestigial, results in precocious cell elongation. Co-expression of Vestigial partially suppresses the abnormal cell shape induced by dominant-negative TCF. We conclude that Wingless signal transduction plays a cell-autonomous role in promoting and maintaining the columnar shape of wing disc cells. Furthermore, our data suggest that Wingless controls cell shape, in part, through maintaining vestigial expression. PMID:19627985

  20. Novel TCF-binding sites specify transcriptional repression by Wnt signalling.

    PubMed

    Blauwkamp, Timothy A; Chang, Mikyung V; Cadigan, Ken M

    2008-05-21

    Both transcriptional activation and repression have essential functions in maintaining proper spatial and temporal control of gene expression. Although Wnt signalling is often associated with gene activation, we have identified several directly repressed targets of Wnt signalling in Drosophila. Here, we explore how individual Wnt target genes are specified for signal-induced activation or repression. Similar to activation, repression required binding of Armadillo (Arm) to the N terminus of TCF. However, TCF/Arm mediated repression by binding to DNA motifs that are markedly different from typical TCF-binding sites. Conversion of the novel motifs to standard TCF-binding sites reversed the mode of regulation, resulting in Wnt-mediated activation instead of repression. A mutant form of Arm defective in activation was still functional for repression, indicating that distinct domains of the protein are required for each activity. This study suggests that the sequence of TCF-binding sites allosterically regulates the TCF/Arm complex to effect either transcriptional activation or repression. PMID:18418383

  1. Wingless blocks bristle formation and morphogenetic furrow progression in the eye through repression of Daughterless.

    PubMed

    Cadigan, Kenneth M; Jou, Austin D; Nusse, Roel

    2002-07-01

    In the developing eye, wingless activity represses proneural gene expression (and thus interommatidial bristle formation) and positions the morphogenetic furrow by blocking its initiation in the dorsal and ventral regions of the presumptive eye. We provide evidence that wingless mediates both effects, at least in part, through repression of the basic helix-loop-helix protein Daughterless. daughterless is required for high proneural gene expression and furrow progression. Ectopic expression of wingless blocks Daughterless expression in the proneural clusters. This repression, and that of furrow progression, can be mimicked by an activated form of armadillo and blocked by a dominant negative form of pangolin/TCF. Placing daughterless under the control of a heterologous promoter blocks the ability of ectopic wingless to inhibit bristle formation and furrow progression. hedgehog and decapentapleigic could not rescue the wingless furrow progression block, indicating that wingless acts downstream of these genes. In contrast, Atonal and Scute, which are thought to heterodimerize with Daughterless to promote furrow progression and bristle formation, respectively, can block ectopic wingless action. These results are summarized in a model where daughterless is a major, but probably not the only, target of wingless action in the eye. PMID:12091309

  2. Functional analyses in the milkweed bug Oncopeltus fasciatus (Hemiptera) support a role for Wnt signaling in body segmentation but not appendage development.

    PubMed

    Angelini, David R; Kaufman, Thomas C

    2005-07-15

    Specification of the proximal-distal (PD) axis of insect appendages is best understood in Drosophila melanogaster, where conserved signaling molecules encoded by the genes decapentaplegic (dpp) and wingless (wg) play key roles. However, the development of appendages from imaginal discs as in Drosophila is a derived state, while more basal insects produce appendages from embryonic limb buds. Therefore, the universality of the Drosophila limb PD axis specification mechanism has been debated since dpp expression in more basal insect species differs dramatically from Drosophila. Here, we test the function of Wnt signaling in the development of the milkweed bug Oncopeltus fasciatus, a species with the basal state of appendage development from limb buds. RNA interference of wg and pangolin (pan) produce defects in the germband and eyes, but not in the appendages. Distal-less and dachshund, two genes regulated by Wg signaling in Drosophila and expressed in specific PD domains along the limbs of both species, are expressed normally in the limbs of pan-depleted Oncopeltus embryos. Despite these apparently paradoxical results, Armadillo protein, the transducer of Wnt signaling, does not accumulate properly in the nuclei of cells in the legs of pan-depleted embryos. In contrast, engrailed RNAi in Oncopeltus produces cuticular and appendage defects similar to Drosophila. Therefore, our data suggest that Wg signaling is functionally conserved in the development of the germband, while it is not essential in the specification of the limb PD axis in Oncopeltus and perhaps basal insects. PMID:15939417

  3. The miR-310/13 cluster antagonizes β-catenin function in the regulation of germ and somatic cell differentiation in the Drosophila testis.

    PubMed

    Pancratov, Raluca; Peng, Felix; Smibert, Peter; Yang, Shiuan; Olson, Emily Ruth; Guha-Gilford, Ciaran; Kapoor, Amol J; Liang, Feng-Xia; Lai, Eric C; Flaherty, Maria Sol; DasgGupta, Ramanuj

    2013-07-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are regulators of global gene expression and function in a broad range of biological processes. Recent studies have suggested that miRNAs can function as tumor suppressors or oncogenes by modulating the activities of evolutionarily conserved signaling pathways that are commonly dysregulated in cancer. We report the identification of the miR-310 to miR-313 (miR-310/13) cluster as a novel antagonist of Wingless (Drosophila Wnt) pathway activity in a functional screen for Drosophila miRNAs. We demonstrate that miR-310/13 can modulate Armadillo (Arm; Drosophila β-catenin) expression and activity by directly targeting the 3'-UTRs of arm and pangolin (Drosophila TCF) in vivo. Notably, the miR-310/13-deficient flies exhibit abnormal germ and somatic cell differentiation in the male gonad, which can be rescued by reducing Arm protein levels or activity. Our results implicate a previously unrecognized function for miR-310/13 in dampening the activity of Arm in early somatic and germline progenitor cells, whereby inappropriate/sustained activation of Arm-mediated signaling or cell adhesion may impact normal differentiation in the Drosophila male gonad. PMID:23821034

  4. Molecular cloning and characterization of human WINS1 and mouse Wins2, homologous to Drosophila segment polarity gene Lines (Lin).

    PubMed

    Katoh, Masaru

    2002-08-01

    WNT signaling molecules play key roles in carcinogenesis and embryogenesis. Drosophila segment polarity gene Lines (Lin) is essential for Wnt/Wingless-dependent patterning in dorsal epidermis and also for hindgut development. With Wnt signaling, Lin accumulates in the nucleus to modulate transcription of Wnt target genes through association with beta-catenin/Armadillo and TCF/Pangolin. Here, human WINS1 and mouse Wins2, encoding proteins with Drosophila Lin homologous domain, were isolated using bioinformatics and cDNA-PCR. Human WINS1 encoded 757-amino-acid protein, and mouse Wins2 encoded 498-amino-acid protein. Human WINS1 and mouse Wins2 showed 60.0% total-amino-acid identity. Lin homologous domain of WINS1 and Wins2 showed 29.4% and 27.2% amino-acid identity with that of Drosphila Lin, respectively. In the human chromosome 15q26 region, WINS1 gene was clustered with ASB7 gene encoding ankyrin repeat and SOCS box-containing protein 7. Human WINS1 mRNA of 2.8-kb in size was expressed in adult testis, prostate, spleen, thymus, skeletal muscle, fetal kidney and brain. This is the first report on molecular cloning and initial characterization of human WINS1 and mouse Wins2 PMID:12119551

  5. Requirement for Pangolin/dTCF in Drosophila Wingless signaling.

    PubMed

    Schweizer, Liang; Nellen, Denise; Basler, Konrad

    2003-05-13

    The Wingless (Wg) protein is a secreted glycoprotein involved in intercellular signaling. On activation of the Wg signaling pathway, Armadillo is stabilized, causing target genes to be activated by the transcription factor Pangolin (Pan). This study investigated the roles of Pan in the developing wing of Drosophila by clonal analysis. Three different aspects of wing development were examined: cell proliferation, wing margin specification, and wg self-refinement. Our results indicate that Pan function is critically required for all three of these processes. Consequently, lack of pan causes a severe reduction in the activity of the Wg target genes Distalless and vestigial within their normal domain of expression. Loss of pan function does not, however, lead to a derepression of these genes outside this domain. Thus, although Pan is positively required for the induction of Wg targets in the wing imaginal disk, it does not appear to play a default repressor function in the absence of Wg input. In contrast, lack of zygotic pan function causes a milder phenotype than that caused by the lack of wg function in the embryo. We show that this difference cannot be attributed to maternally provided pan product, indicating that a Pan repressor function usually prevents the expression of embryonic Wg targets. Together, our results suggest that for embryonic patterning the activator as well as repressor forms of Pan play important roles, while for wing development Pan operates primarily in the activator mode. PMID:12730381

  6. Characterization and RNA-seq analysis of underperformer, an activation-tagged potato mutant.

    PubMed

    Aulakh, Sukhwinder S; Veilleux, Richard E; Dickerman, Allan W; Tang, Guozhu; Flinn, Barry S

    2014-04-01

    The potato cv. Bintje and a Bintje activation-tagged mutant, underperformer (up) were compared. Mutant up plants grown in vitro were dwarf, with abundant axillary shoot growth, greater tuber yield, altered tuber traits and early senescence compared to wild type. Under in vivo conditions, the dwarf and early senescence phenotypes of the mutant remained, but the up plants exhibited a lower tuber yield and fewer axillary shoots compared to wild type. Southern blot analyses indicated a single T-DNA insertion in the mutant, located on chromosome 10. Initial PCR-based gene expression studies indicated transcriptional activation/repression of several genes in the mutant flanking the insertion. The gene immediately flanking the right border of the T-DNA insertion, which encoded an uncharacterized Broad complex, Tramtrac, Bric-a-brac; also known as Pox virus and Zinc finger (BTB/POZ) domain-containing protein (StBTB/POZ1) containing an Armadillo repeat region, was up-regulated in the mutant. Global gene expression comparisons between Bintje and up using RNA-seq on leaves from 60 day-old plants revealed a dataset of over 1,600 differentially expressed genes. Gene expression analyses suggested a variety of biological processes and pathways were modified in the mutant, including carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, cell division and cell cycle activity, biotic and abiotic stress responses, and proteolysis. PMID:24306493

  7. Clinicopathological correlates of adrenal Cushing's syndrome.

    PubMed

    Duan, Kai; Hernandez, Karen Gomez; Mete, Ozgur

    2015-06-01

    Endogenous Cushing's syndrome is a rare endocrine disorder that incurs significant cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, due to glucocorticoid excess. It comprises adrenal (20%) and non-adrenal (80%) aetiologies. While the majority of cases are attributed to pituitary or ectopic corticotropin (ACTH) overproduction, primary cortisol-producing adrenal cortical lesions are increasingly recognised in the pathophysiology of Cushing's syndrome. Our understanding of this disease has progressed substantially over the past decade. Recently, important mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of adrenal hypercortisolism have been elucidated with the discovery of mutations in cyclic AMP signalling (PRKACA, PRKAR1A, GNAS, PDE11A, PDE8B), armadillo repeat containing 5 gene (ARMC5) a putative tumour suppressor gene, aberrant G-protein-coupled receptors, and intra-adrenal secretion of ACTH. Accurate subtyping of Cushing's syndrome is crucial for treatment decision-making and requires a complete integration of clinical, biochemical, imaging and pathology findings. Pathological correlates in the adrenal glands include hyperplasia, adenoma and carcinoma. While the most common presentation is diffuse adrenocortical hyperplasia secondary to excess ACTH production, this entity is usually treated with pituitary or ectopic tumour resection. Therefore, when confronted with adrenalectomy specimens in the setting of Cushing's syndrome, surgical pathologists are most commonly exposed to adrenocortical adenomas, carcinomas and primary macronodular or micronodular hyperplasia. This review provides an update on the rapidly evolving knowledge of adrenal Cushing's syndrome and discusses the clinicopathological correlations of this important disease. PMID:26045561

  8. Clinicopathological correlates of adrenal Cushing's syndrome.

    PubMed

    Duan, Kai; Gomez Hernandez, Karen; Mete, Ozgur

    2015-03-01

    Endogenous Cushing's syndrome is a rare endocrine disorder that incurs significant cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, due to glucocorticoid excess. It comprises adrenal (20%) and non-adrenal (80%) aetiologies. While the majority of cases are attributed to pituitary or ectopic corticotropin (ACTH) overproduction, primary cortisol-producing adrenal cortical lesions are increasingly recognised in the pathophysiology of Cushing's syndrome. Our understanding of this disease has progressed substantially over the past decade. Recently, important mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of adrenal hypercortisolism have been elucidated with the discovery of mutations in cyclic AMP signalling (PRKACA, PRKAR1A, GNAS, PDE11A, PDE8B), armadillo repeat containing 5 gene (ARMC5) a putative tumour suppressor gene, aberrant G-protein-coupled receptors, and intra-adrenal secretion of ACTH. Accurate subtyping of Cushing's syndrome is crucial for treatment decision-making and requires a complete integration of clinical, biochemical, imaging and pathology findings. Pathological correlates in the adrenal glands include hyperplasia, adenoma and carcinoma. While the most common presentation is diffuse adrenocortical hyperplasia secondary to excess ACTH production, this entity is usually treated with pituitary or ectopic tumour resection. Therefore, when confronted with adrenalectomy specimens in the setting of Cushing's syndrome, surgical pathologists are most commonly exposed to adrenocortical adenomas, carcinomas and primary macronodular or micronodular hyperplasia. This review provides an update on the rapidly evolving knowledge of adrenal Cushing's syndrome and discusses the clinicopathological correlations of this important disease. PMID:25425660

  9. Trypanosoma cruzi and Chagas' Disease in the United States

    PubMed Central

    Bern, Caryn; Kjos, Sonia; Yabsley, Michael J.; Montgomery, Susan P.

    2011-01-01

    Summary: Chagas' disease is caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi and causes potentially life-threatening disease of the heart and gastrointestinal tract. The southern half of the United States contains enzootic cycles of T. cruzi, involving 11 recognized triatomine vector species. The greatest vector diversity and density occur in the western United States, where woodrats are the most common reservoir; other rodents, raccoons, skunks, and coyotes are also infected with T. cruzi. In the eastern United States, the prevalence of T. cruzi is highest in raccoons, opossums, armadillos, and skunks. A total of 7 autochthonous vector-borne human infections have been reported in Texas, California, Tennessee, and Louisiana; many others are thought to go unrecognized. Nevertheless, most T. cruzi-infected individuals in the United States are immigrants from areas of endemicity in Latin America. Seven transfusion-associated and 6 organ donor-derived T. cruzi infections have been documented in the United States and Canada. As improved control of vector- and blood-borne T. cruzi transmission decreases the burden in countries where the disease is historically endemic and imported Chagas' disease is increasingly recognized outside Latin America, the United States can play an important role in addressing the altered epidemiology of Chagas' disease in the 21st century. PMID:21976603

  10. Forces driven by morphogenesis modulate Twist Expression to determine Anterior Mid-gut Differentiation in Drosophila embryos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farge, Emmanuel

    2008-03-01

    By combining magnetic tweezers to in vivo laser ablation, we locally manipulate Drosophila embryonic tissues with physiologically relevant forces. We demonstrate that high level of Twist expression in the stomodeal primordium is mechanically induced in response to compression by the 60±20 nN force developed during germ-band extension (GBE). We find that this force triggers the junctional release and nuclear translocation of Armadillo involved in Twist mechanical induction in the stomodeum in a Src42A dependent way. Finally, stomodeal-specific RNAi-mediated silencing of Twist during compression impairs the differentiation of midgut cells, as revealed by strong defects in Dve expression and abnormal larval lethality. Thus, mechanical induction of Twist overexpression in stomodeal cells is necessary for subsequent midgut differentiation. In collaboration with Nicolas Desprat, Willy Supatto, and Philippe-Alexandre Pouille, MGDET, UMR168 CNRS, Institut Curie11 rue Pierre et Marie Curie, F-75005, Paris, France; and Emmanuel Beaurepaire, LOB, Ecole Polytechnique, CNRS and INSERM U 696, 91128 Palaiseau, France.

  11. Role of PGL-I of M. leprae in TNF-alpha production by in vitro whole blood assay.

    PubMed

    Dhungel, S; Ranjit, C; Sapkota, B R; Macdonald, M

    2008-03-01

    Phenolic glycolipid-I (PGL-I) is known to be a major antigen of Mycobacterium leprae. We have studied the influence of PGL-I on the production of Tumour Necrosis Factor alpha (TNF-alpha) using the in vitro whole blood assay. Armadillo-derived M. leprae (ADML) are thought to be depleted of PGL-I during the purification process. M. leprae obtained from mouse foot pad material (MFPML) has been subjected to a less rigorous purification process; their PGL-I coating is therefore believed to be more intact than that of ADML. PGL-I or ADML alone induced the secretion of minimal levels of TNF-alpha in whole blood assay; when added in combination, higher levels of this cytokine were observed. The highest TNF-alpha response was seen following stimulation with MFPML. MFP material not infected with ML did not elicit any response. The difference in TNF-alpha response shown by ADML and MFPML was postulated to be largely due to the presence of higher levels of PGL-I in MFPML. This increase in TNF-alpha production suggests that PGL-I may play a significant role in the induction of TNF-alpha during natural infection. PMID:18700620

  12. Components of Intraflagellar Transport Complex A Function Independently of the Cilium to Regulate Canonical Wnt Signaling in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Balmer, Sophie; Dussert, Aurore; Collu, Giovanna M; Benitez, Elvira; Iomini, Carlo; Mlodzik, Marek

    2015-09-28

    The development of multicellular organisms requires the precisely coordinated regulation of an evolutionarily conserved group of signaling pathways. Temporal and spatial control of these signaling cascades is achieved through networks of regulatory proteins, segregation of pathway components in specific subcellular compartments, or both. In vertebrates, dysregulation of primary cilia function has been strongly linked to developmental signaling defects, yet it remains unclear whether cilia sequester pathway components to regulate their activation or cilia-associated proteins directly modulate developmental signaling events. To elucidate this question, we conducted an RNAi-based screen in Drosophila non-ciliated cells to test for cilium-independent loss-of-function phenotypes of ciliary proteins in developmental signaling pathways. Our results show no effect on Hedgehog signaling. In contrast, our screen identified several cilia-associated proteins as functioning in canonical Wnt signaling. Further characterization of specific components of Intraflagellar Transport complex A uncovered a cilia-independent function in potentiating Wnt signals by promoting β-catenin/Armadillo activity. PMID:26364750

  13. Identification of Phosphorylation Consensus Sequences and Endogenous Neuronal Substrates of the Psychiatric Risk Kinase TNIK.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qi; Amato, Stephen P; Rubitski, David M; Hayward, Matthew M; Kormos, Bethany L; Verhoest, Patrick R; Xu, Lan; Brandon, Nicholas J; Ehlers, Michael D

    2016-02-01

    Traf2- and Nck-interacting kinase (TNIK) is a serine/threonine kinase highly expressed in the brain and enriched in the postsynaptic density of glutamatergic synapses in the mammalian brain. Accumulating genetic evidence and functional data have implicated TNIK as a risk factor for psychiatric disorders. However, the endogenous substrates of TNIK in neurons are unknown. Here, we describe a novel selective small molecule inhibitor of the TNIK kinase family. Using this inhibitor, we report the identification of endogenous neuronal TNIK substrates by immunoprecipitation with a phosphomotif antibody followed by mass spectrometry. Phosphorylation consensus sequences were defined by phosphopeptide sequence analysis. Among the identified substrates were members of the delta-catenin family including p120-catenin, δ-catenin, and armadillo repeat gene deleted in velo-cardio-facial syndrome (ARVCF), each of which is linked to psychiatric or neurologic disorders. Using p120-catenin as a representative substrate, we show TNIK-induced p120-catenin phosphorylation in cells requires intact kinase activity and phosphorylation of TNIK at T181 and T187 in the activation loop. Addition of the small molecule TNIK inhibitor or knocking down TNIK by two shRNAs reduced endogenous p120-catenin phosphorylation in cells. Together, using a TNIK inhibitor and phosphomotif antibody, we identify endogenous substrates of TNIK in neurons, define consensus sequences for TNIK, and suggest signaling pathways by which TNIK influences synaptic development and function linked to psychiatric and neurologic disorders. PMID:26645429

  14. Ras-activated Dsor1 promotes Wnt signaling in Drosophila development.

    PubMed

    Hall, Eric T; Verheyen, Esther M

    2015-12-15

    Wnt/Wingless (Wg) and Ras-MAPK signaling both play fundamental roles in growth and cell fate determination, and when dysregulated, can lead to tumorigenesis. Several conflicting modes of interaction between Ras-MAPK and Wnt signaling have been identified in specific cellular contexts, causing synergistic or antagonistic effects on target genes. We find novel evidence that the Drosophila homolog of the dual specificity kinases MEK1/2 (also known as MAP2K1/2), Downstream of Raf1 (Dsor1), is required for Wnt signaling. Knockdown of Dsor1 results in loss of Wg target gene expression, as well as reductions in stabilized Armadillo (Arm; Drosophila β-catenin). We identify a close physical interaction between Dsor1 and Arm, and find that catalytically inactive Dsor1 causes a reduction in active Arm. These results suggest that Dsor1 normally counteracts the Axin-mediated destruction of Arm. We find that Ras-Dsor1 activity is independent of upstream activation by EGFR, and instead it appears to be activated by the insulin-like growth factor receptor to promote Wg signaling. Taken together, our results suggest that there is a new crosstalk pathway between insulin and Wg signaling that is mediated by Dsor1. PMID:26542023

  15. Function of Armcx3 and Armc10/SVH Genes in the Regulation of Progenitor Proliferation and Neural Differentiation in the Chicken Spinal Cord.

    PubMed

    Mirra, Serena; Ulloa, Fausto; Gutierrez-Vallejo, Irene; Martì, Elisa; Soriano, Eduardo

    2016-01-01

    The eutherian X-chromosome specific family of Armcx genes has been described as originating by retrotransposition from Armc10/SVH, a single Arm-containing somatic gene. Armcx3 and Armc10/SVH are characterized by high expression in the central nervous system and they play an important role in the regulation of mitochondrial distribution and transport in neurons. In addition, Armcx/Arm10 genes have several Armadillo repeats in their sequence. In this study we address the potential role of this gene family in neural development by using the chick neural tube as a model. We show that Armc10/SVH is expressed in the chicken spinal cord, and knocking-down Armc10/SVH by sh-RNAi electroporation in spinal cord reduces proliferation of neural precursor cells (NPCs). Moreover, we analyzed the effects of murine Armcx3 and Armc10 overexpression, showing that both proteins regulate progenitor proliferation, while Armcx3 overexpression also specifically controls neural maturation. We show that the phenotypes found following Armcx3 overexpression require its mitochondrial localization, suggesting a novel link between mitochondrial dynamics and regulation of neural development. Furthermore, we found that both Armcx3 and Armc10 may act as inhibitors of Wnt-β-catenin signaling. Our results highlight both common and differential functions of Armcx/Armc10 genes in neural development in the spinal cord. PMID:26973462

  16. Kdm2a/b Lysine Demethylases Regulate Canonical Wnt Signaling by Modulating the Stability of Nuclear β-Catenin.

    PubMed

    Lu, Lei; Gao, Yan; Zhang, Zan; Cao, Qing; Zhang, Xuena; Zou, Jianghuan; Cao, Ying

    2015-06-22

    In the absence of Wnt activation, cytosolic β-catenin is degraded through GSK3/CK1-mediated phosphorylation at the N terminus. Here, we show that, upon Wnt activation, the stability of nuclear β-catenin is regulated via methylation/demethylation. The protein lysine demethylases Kdm2a and Kdm2b regulate the turnover of non-phosphorylated β-catenin specifically within the nucleus via direct interaction with the fourth and fifth armadillo repeats. The lysine residues within this region are required for the methylation of non-phosphorylated β-catenin, which is demethylated by Kdm2a/b and subsequently ubiquitylated. During Xenopus embryogenesis, kdm2a/b genes are transcribed during early embryogenesis and are required for the specification of the body axis. Kdm2a/b knockdown in Xenopus embryos leads to increases in non-phosphorylated and methylated β-catenin, concurrent with the upregulation of β-catenin target genes. This mechanism is required for controlling the output of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway to maintain normal cellular functions. PMID:26004508

  17. Plakophilin-2 loss promotes TGF-β1/p38 MAPK-dependent fibrotic gene expression in cardiomyocytes.

    PubMed

    Dubash, Adi D; Kam, Chen Y; Aguado, Brian A; Patel, Dipal M; Delmar, Mario; Shea, Lonnie D; Green, Kathleen J

    2016-02-15

    Members of the desmosome protein family are integral components of the cardiac area composita, a mixed junctional complex responsible for electromechanical coupling between cardiomyocytes. In this study, we provide evidence that loss of the desmosomal armadillo protein Plakophilin-2 (PKP2) in cardiomyocytes elevates transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling, which together coordinate a transcriptional program that results in increased expression of profibrotic genes. Importantly, we demonstrate that expression of Desmoplakin (DP) is lost upon PKP2 knockdown and that restoration of DP expression rescues the activation of this TGF-β1/p38 MAPK transcriptional cascade. Tissues from PKP2 heterozygous and DP conditional knockout mouse models also exhibit elevated TGF-β1/p38 MAPK signaling and induction of fibrotic gene expression in vivo. These data therefore identify PKP2 and DP as central players in coordination of desmosome-dependent TGF-β1/p38 MAPK signaling in cardiomyocytes, pathways known to play a role in different types of cardiac disease, such as arrhythmogenic or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. PMID:26858265

  18. SARM modulates MyD88-mediated TLR activation through BB-loop dependent TIR-TIR interactions.

    PubMed

    Carlsson, Emil; Ding, Jeak Ling; Byrne, Bernadette

    2016-02-01

    Toll-like receptors (TLRs) recognise invading pathogens and initiate an innate immune response by recruiting intracellular adaptor proteins via heterotypic Toll/interleukin-1 receptor (TIR) domain interactions. Of the five TIR domain-containing adaptor proteins identified, Sterile α- and armadillo-motif-containing protein (SARM) is functionally unique; suppressing immune signalling instead of promoting it. Here we demonstrate that the recombinantly expressed and purified SARM TIR domain interacts with both the major human TLR adaptors, MyD88 and TRIF. A single glycine residue located in the BB-loop of the SARM TIR domain, G601, was identified as essential for interaction. A short peptide derived from this motif was also found to interact with MyD88 in vitro. SARM expression in HEK293 cells was found to significantly suppress lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-mediated upregulation of inflammatory cytokines, IL-8 and TNF-α, an effect lost in the G601A mutant. The same result was observed with cytokine activation initiated by MyD88 expression and stimulation of TLR2 with lipoteichoic acid (LTA), suggesting that SARM is capable of suppressing both TRIF- and MyD88- dependent TLR signalling. Our findings indicate that SARM acts on a broader set of target proteins than previously thought, and that the BB-loop motif is functionally important, giving further insight into the endogenous mechanisms used to suppress inflammation in immune cells. PMID:26592460

  19. Hematopoietic plakophilin-3 regulates acute tissue-specific and systemic inflammation in mice.

    PubMed

    Sklyarova, Tatyana; van Hengel, Jolanda; Van Wonterghem, Elien; Libert, Claude; van Roy, Frans; Vandenbroucke, Roosmarijn E

    2015-10-01

    Plakophilin-3 (PKP3) is a member of the armadillo protein family, which is important in cell-cell contacts and signaling during development and tumorigenesis. In conventional facilities, PKP3-deficient mice (PKP3(-/-)) develop spontaneous dermatitis, indicating a possible involvement of PKP3 in inflammatory responses. Here, we show that PKP3 deficiency sensitizes mice to irritant contact dermatitis induced by phorbol myristate acetate (PMA). This sensitization occurred in mice with PKP3 deficiency in the hematopoietic system (PKP3(-/-hem)), but not if the deficiency was specific to skin keratinocytes (PKP3(-/-ker)). In a model of dextran sulfate sodium induced colitis, ubiquitous PKP3 deletion, but not intestinal epithelial PKP3 deficiency (PKP3(-/-IEC)), impaired survival from disease. Interestingly, PKP3(-/-hem) mice also displayed increased sensitivity to dextran sulfate sodium induced colitis. Finally, PKP3(-/-) mice were more sensitive to the lethality of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) injection than wild-type (WT) mice, and this phenotype was associated with increased intestinal permeability. PKP3(-/-IEC) mice did not reproduce the enhanced endotoxin reactivity of PKP3(-/-) mice, in contrast to PKP3(-/-hem) mice. Finally, in vitro stimulation of WT neutrophils with LPS or PMA increased Pkp3 expression. In conclusion, our data highlight a novel role for hematopoietic PKP3 in the regulation of both locally and systemically induced immune responses. Nonetheless, further research is needed to unravel the underlying mechanism. PMID:26173741

  20. Molecular characterization, tissue distribution, and immune reaction expression of karyopherins in the domestic silkworm (Bombyx mori).

    PubMed

    Li, J; Wang, L; Qian, C; Zhang, C F; Dai, L S; Liu, Q N; Wei, G Q; Sun, Y; Liu, D R; Zhu, B J; Liu, C L

    2015-01-01

    Karyopherins, including alpha and beta types, are transport proteins in the eukaryotic cell that carry cargoes across nuclear pore complexes into or out of the nucleus. In this study, full open reading frames of one beta and three alpha types of karyopherin were cloned from cDNA of the domestic silkworm (Bombyx mori). The one beta and three alpha types' open reading frames were 2661, 1563, 1515, and 1551 base pairs long, respectively, and coded 886, 520, 504, and 516 amino acids, respectively. The alphas all had one importin-beta-binding (IBB) domain, and eight, four, or seven armadillo/beta-catenin-like repeats. The beta had 19 HEAT repeat domains, which constructed one importin-beta-N-terminal domain and one IBB domain. The recombinant proteins were expressed in Escherichia coli cells. The molecular weight of the beta type was approximately 100 kDa, and the alphas weighed approximately 60 kDa. Phylogenic tree construction revealed that the alphas could be classified into three known karyopherin-alpha subfamilies. We detected mRNA of the four karyopherins in normal 3rd day of 5th instar larvae, and in larvae injected with Gram-positive bacteria, Gram-negative bacteria, viruses, and fungi using real-time fluorescence quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, and found that the four karyopherins were widely distributed, but their expression levels were related to tissues type, the microbe injected, and the time point. PMID:26535618

  1. The structure of FMNL2-Cdc42 yields insights into the mechanism of lamellipodia and filopodia formation.

    PubMed

    Kühn, Sonja; Erdmann, Constanze; Kage, Frieda; Block, Jennifer; Schwenkmezger, Lisa; Steffen, Anika; Rottner, Klemens; Geyer, Matthias

    2015-01-01

    Formins are actin polymerization factors that elongate unbranched actin filaments at the barbed end. Rho family GTPases activate Diaphanous-related formins through the relief of an autoregulatory interaction. The crystal structures of the N-terminal domains of human FMNL1 and FMNL2 in complex with active Cdc42 show that Cdc42 mediates contacts with all five armadillo repeats of the formin with specific interactions formed by the Rho-GTPase insert helix. Mutation of three residues within Rac1 results in a gain-of-function mutation for FMNL2 binding and reconstitution of the Cdc42 phenotype in vivo. Dimerization of FMNL1 through a parallel coiled coil segment leads to formation of an umbrella-shaped structure that—together with Cdc42—spans more than 15 nm in diameter. The two interacting FMNL-Cdc42 heterodimers expose six membrane interaction motifs on a convex protein surface, the assembly of which may facilitate actin filament elongation at the leading edge of lamellipodia and filopodia. PMID:25963737

  2. Apical Organelle Secretion by Toxoplasma Controls Innate and Adaptive Immunity and Mediates Long-Term Protection.

    PubMed

    Sloves, Pierre-Julien; Mouveaux, Thomas; Ait-Yahia, Saliha; Vorng, Han; Everaere, Laetitia; Sangare, Lamba Omar; Tsicopoulos, Anne; Tomavo, Stanislas

    2015-11-01

    Apicomplexan parasites have unique apical rhoptry and microneme secretory organelles that are crucial for host infection, although their role in protection against Toxoplasma gondii infection is not thoroughly understood. Here, we report a novel function of the endolysosomal T. gondii sortilin-like receptor (TgSORTLR), which mediates trafficking to functional apical organelles and their subsequent secretion of virulence factors that are critical to the induction of sterile immunity against parasite reinfection. We further demonstrate that the T. gondii armadillo repeats-only protein (TgARO) mutant, which is deficient only in apical secretion of rhoptries, is also critical in mounting protective immunity. The lack of TgSORTLR and TgARO proteins completely inhibited T-helper 1-dependent adaptive immunity and compromised the function of natural killer T-cell-mediated innate immunity. Our findings reveal an essential role for apical secretion in promoting sterile protection against T. gondii and provide strong evidence for rhoptry-regulated discharge of antigens as a key effector for inducing protective immunity. PMID:25910629

  3. A homologue gene of β-catenin participates in the development of shrimps and immune response to bacteria and viruses.

    PubMed

    Xie, Ya-Kai; Ding, Ding; Wang, Hui-Min; Kang, Cui-Jie

    2015-11-01

    β-Catenin is a multifunctional protein that is involved in many physiological processes, including development, cell proliferation, cell migration, and apoptosis. However, the function of β-Catenin in crustacean is unknown. In this study, the first shrimp homologous gene of β-catenin in Marsupenaeus japonicus (i.e., Mjβ-catenin) was identified and characterized. The full-length of the complementary DNA of Mjβ-catenin is 3130 bp, including a 2463 bp open reading frame that encodes 821 amino acid. Multiple alignment of β-Catenin proteins suggested that the Armadillo/β-Catenin-like repeat domains were conserved. Phylogenetic analysis showed that β-Catenin from shrimp was clustered into one group with invertebrate β-Catenin. The transcription of β-catenin in various development stages of shrimp was detected and persistently increased as the shrimp matured. In adult shrimp, β-catenin was widely distributed in detected tissues and has the relatively high expression level in gills, hemocytes, testes, and ovaries. The transcripts of β-catenin in tissues of adult shrimp were significantly up-regulated at various time points after infecting with Staphylococcus aureus, Vibrio anguillarum, and white-spot syndrome virus. Furthermore, knockdown of β-catenin resulted in impaired bacterial clearance ability and increased virus copy in shrimp in vivo. Therefore, β-Catenin in shrimp participates in the development and immune response of shrimps. PMID:26334791

  4. P120-catenin isoforms 1A and 3A differently affect invasion and proliferation of lung cancer cells

    SciTech Connect

    Liu Yang; Dong Qianze; Zhao Yue; Dong Xinjun; Miao Yuan; Dai Shundong; Yang Zhiqiang; Zhang Di; Wang Yan; Li Qingchang; Zhao Chen; Wang Enhua

    2009-03-10

    Different isoforms of p120-catenin (p120ctn), a member of the Armadillo gene family, are variably expressed in different tissues as a result of alternative splicing and the use of multiple translation initiation codons. When expressed in cancer cells, these isoforms may confer different properties with respect to cell adhesion and invasion. We have previously reported that the p120ctn isoforms 1 and 3 were the most highly expressed isoforms in normal lung tissues, and their expression level was reduced in lung tumor cells. To precisely define their biological roles, we transfected p120ctn isoforms 1A and 3A into the lung cancer cell lines A549 and NCI-H460. Enhanced expression of p120ctn isoform 1A not only upregulated E-cadherin and {beta}-catenin, but also downregulated the Rac1 activity, and as a result, inhibited the ability of cells to invade. In contrast, overexpression of p120ctn isoform 3A led to the inactivation of Cdc42 and the activation of RhoA, and had a smaller influence on invasion. However, we found that isoform 3A had a greater ability than isoform 1A in both inhibiting the cell cycle and reducing tumor cell proliferation. The present study revealed that p120ctn isoforms 1A and 3A differently regulated the adhesive, proliferative, and invasive properties of lung cancer cells through distinct mechanisms.

  5. Direct Ubiquitination of β-Catenin by Siah-1 and Regulation by the Exchange Factor TBL1*

    PubMed Central

    Dimitrova, Yoana N.; Li, Jiong; Lee, Young-Tae; Rios-Esteves, Jessica; Friedman, David B.; Choi, Hee-Jung; Weis, William I.; Wang, Cun-Yu; Chazin, Walter J.

    2010-01-01

    β-Catenin is a key component of the Wnt signaling pathway that functions as a transcriptional co-activator of Wnt target genes. Upon UV-induced DNA damage, β-catenin is recruited for polyubiquitination and subsequent proteasomal degradation by a unique, p53-induced SCF-like complex (SCF(TBL1)), comprised of Siah-1, Siah-1-interacting protein (SIP), Skp1, transducin β-like 1 (TBL1), and adenomatous polyposis coli (APC). Given the complexity of the various factors involved and the novelty of ubiquitination of the non-phosphorylated β-catenin substrate, we have investigated Siah-1-mediated ubiquitination of β-catenin in vitro and in cells. Overexpression and purification protocols were developed for each of the SCF(TBL1) proteins, enabling a systematic analysis of β-catenin ubiquitination using an in vitro ubiquitination assay. This study revealed that Siah-1 alone was able to polyubiquitinate β-catenin. In addition, TBL1 was shown to play a role in protecting β-catenin from Siah-1 ubiquitination in vitro and from Siah-1-targeted proteasomal degradation in cells. Siah-1 and TBL1 were found to bind to the same armadillo repeat domain of β-catenin, suggesting that polyubiquitination of β-catenin is regulated by competition between Siah-1 and TBL1 during Wnt signaling. PMID:20181957

  6. Plakophilin-1, a Novel Wnt Signaling Regulator, Is Critical for Tooth Development and Ameloblast Differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Arai, Chieko; Yamada, Aya; Saito, Kan; Ishikawa, Masaki; Xue, Han; Funada, Keita; Haruyama, Naoto; Yamada, Yoshihiko; Fukumoto, Satoshi; Takahashi, Ichiro

    2016-01-01

    Tooth morphogenesis is initiated by reciprocal interactions between the ectoderm and neural crest-derived mesenchyme, and the Wnt signaling pathway is involved in this process. We found that Plakophilin (PKP)1, which is associated with diseases such as ectodermal dysplasia/skin fragility syndrome, was highly expressed in teeth and skin, and was upregulated during tooth development. We hypothesized that PKP1 regulates Wnt signaling via its armadillo repeat domain in a manner similar to β-catenin. To determine its role in tooth development, we performed Pkp1 knockdown experiments using ex vivo organ cultures and cell cultures. Loss of Pkp1 reduced the size of tooth germs and inhibited dental epithelial cell proliferation, which was stimulated by Wnt3a. Furthermore, transfected PKP1-emerald green fluorescent protein was translocated from the plasma membrane to the nucleus upon stimulation with Wnt3a and LiCl, which required the PKP1 N terminus (amino acids 161 to 270). Localization of PKP1, which is known as an adhesion-related desmosome component, shifted to the plasma membrane during ameloblast differentiation. In addition, Pkp1 knockdown disrupted the localization of Zona occludens 1 in tight junctions and inhibited ameloblast differentiation; the two proteins were shown to directly interact by immunoprecipitation. These results implicate the participation of PKP1 in early tooth morphogenesis as an effector of canonical Wnt signaling that controls ameloblast differentiation via regulation of the cell adhesion complex. PMID:27015268

  7. Essential Role of the E3 Ubiquitin Ligase NOPPERABO1 in Schizogenous Intercellular Space Formation in the Liverwort Marchantia polymorpha[W

    PubMed Central

    Ishizaki, Kimitsune; Mizutani, Miya; Shimamura, Masaki; Masuda, Akihide; Nishihama, Ryuichi; Kohchi, Takayuki

    2013-01-01

    The vast majority of land plants develop gas-exchange tissues with intercellular spaces (ICSs) connected directly to the air. Although the developmental processes of ICS have been described in detail at the morphological and ultrastructural level in diverse land plants, little is known about the molecular mechanism responsible for ICS formation. The liverwort Marchantia polymorpha develops a multilayered tissue with a large ICS (air chamber), whose formation is initiated at selected positions of epidermal cells. We isolated a mutant of M. polymorpha showing impaired air-chamber formation, nopperabo1 (nop1), from T-DNA–tagged lines. In nop1 plants, no ICS was formed; consequently, a single-layered epidermis developed on the dorsal side of the thallus. The causal gene NOP1 encodes a Plant U-box (PUB) E3 ubiquitin ligase carrying tandem ARMADILLO (ARM) repeats in the C terminus. An in vitro ubiquitination assay indicated that the NOP1 protein possesses E3 ubiquitin ligase activity in a U-box–dependent manner. Confocal microscopy and biochemical analysis showed that NOP1 was localized to the plasma membrane. Our investigation demonstrated the essential role of the PUB-ARM–type ubiquitin ligase in ICS formation in M. polymorpha, which sheds light on the molecular mechanism of schizogenous ICS formation in land plants. PMID:24170128

  8. Pauci- and Multibacillary Leprosy: Two Distinct, Genetically Neglected Diseases.

    PubMed

    Gaschignard, Jean; Grant, Audrey Virginia; Thuc, Nguyen Van; Orlova, Marianna; Cobat, Aurélie; Huong, Nguyen Thu; Ba, Nguyen Ngoc; Thai, Vu Hong; Abel, Laurent; Schurr, Erwin; Alcaïs, Alexandre

    2016-05-01

    After sustained exposure to Mycobacterium leprae, only a subset of exposed individuals develops clinical leprosy. Moreover, leprosy patients show a wide spectrum of clinical manifestations that extend from the paucibacillary (PB) to the multibacillary (MB) form of the disease. This "polarization" of leprosy has long been a major focus of investigation for immunologists because of the different immune response in these two forms. But while leprosy per se has been shown to be under tight human genetic control, few epidemiological or genetic studies have focused on leprosy subtypes. Using PubMed, we collected available data in English on the epidemiology of leprosy polarization and the possible role of human genetics in its pathophysiology until September 2015. At the genetic level, we assembled a list of 28 genes from the literature that are associated with leprosy subtypes or implicated in the polarization process. Our bibliographical search revealed that improved study designs are needed to identify genes associated with leprosy polarization. Future investigations should not be restricted to a subanalysis of leprosy per se studies but should instead contrast MB to PB individuals. We show the latter approach to be the most powerful design for the identification of genetic polarization determinants. Finally, we bring to light the important resource represented by the nine-banded armadillo model, a unique animal model for leprosy. PMID:27219008

  9. The alterations in the extracellular matrix composition guide the repair of damaged liver tissue

    PubMed Central

    Klaas, Mariliis; Kangur, Triin; Viil, Janeli; Mäemets-Allas, Kristina; Minajeva, Ave; Vadi, Krista; Antsov, Mikk; Lapidus, Natalia; Järvekülg, Martin; Jaks, Viljar

    2016-01-01

    While the cellular mechanisms of liver regeneration have been thoroughly studied, the role of extracellular matrix (ECM) in liver regeneration is still poorly understood. We utilized a proteomics-based approach to identify the shifts in ECM composition after CCl4 or DDC treatment and studied their effect on the proliferation of liver cells by combining biophysical and cell culture methods. We identified notable alterations in the ECM structural components (eg collagens I, IV, V, fibronectin, elastin) as well as in non-structural proteins (eg olfactomedin-4, thrombospondin-4, armadillo repeat-containing x-linked protein 2 (Armcx2)). Comparable alterations in ECM composition were seen in damaged human livers. The increase in collagen content and decrease in elastic fibers resulted in rearrangement and increased stiffness of damaged liver ECM. Interestingly, the alterations in ECM components were nonhomogenous and differed between periportal and pericentral areas and thus our experiments demonstrated the differential ability of selected ECM components to regulate the proliferation of hepatocytes and biliary cells. We define for the first time the alterations in the ECM composition of livers recovering from damage and present functional evidence for a coordinated ECM remodelling that ensures an efficient restoration of liver tissue. PMID:27264108

  10. Diversification of importin-α isoforms in cellular trafficking and disease states

    PubMed Central

    Pumroy, Ruth A.; Cingolani, Gino

    2015-01-01

    The human genome encodes seven isoforms of importin α which are grouped into three subfamilies known as α1, α2 and α3. All isoforms share a fundamentally conserved architecture that consists of an N-terminal, autoinhibitory, importin-β-binding (IBB) domain and a C-terminal Arm (Armadillo)-core that associates with nuclear localization signal (NLS) cargoes. Despite striking similarity in amino acid sequence and 3D structure, importin-α isoforms display remarkable substrate specificity in vivo. In the present review, we look at key differences among importin-α isoforms and provide a comprehensive inventory of known viral and cellular cargoes that have been shown to associate preferentially with specific isoforms. We illustrate how the diversification of the adaptor importin α into seven isoforms expands the dynamic range and regulatory control of nucleocytoplasmic transport, offering unexpected opportunities for pharmacological intervention. The emerging view of importin α is that of a key signalling molecule, with isoforms that confer preferential nuclear entry and spatiotemporal specificity on viral and cellular cargoes directly linked to human diseases. PMID:25656054

  11. A conserved role for the ARC1 E3 ligase in Brassicaceae self-incompatibility.

    PubMed

    Indriolo, Emily; Goring, Daphne R

    2014-01-01

    Ubiquitination plays essential roles in the regulation of many processes in plants including pollen rejection in self-incompatible species. In the Brassicaceae (mustard family), self-incompatibility drives the rejection of self-pollen by preventing pollen hydration following pollen contact with the stigmatic surface. Self-pollen is recognized by a ligand-receptor pair: the pollen S-locus cysteine rich/S-locus protein 11 (SCR/SP11) ligand and the pistil S receptor kinase (SRK). Following self-pollen contact, the SCR/SP11 ligand on the pollen surface binds to SRK on the pistil surface, and the SRK-activated signaling pathway is initiated. This pathway includes the armadillo repeat containing 1 (ARC1) protein, a member of the plant U-box (PUB) family of E3 ubiquitin ligases. ARC1 is a functional E3 ligase and is required downstream of SRK for the self-incompatibility response. This mini review highlights our recent progress in establishing ARC1's conserved role in self-pollen rejection in Brassica and Arabidopsis species and discusses future research directions in this field. PMID:24847339

  12. The miR-310/13 cluster antagonizes β-catenin function in the regulation of germ and somatic cell differentiation in the Drosophila testis

    PubMed Central

    Pancratov, Raluca; Peng, Felix; Smibert, Peter; Yang, Jr-Shiuan; Olson, Emily Ruth; Guha-Gilford, Ciaran; Kapoor, Amol J.; Liang, Feng-Xia; Lai, Eric C.; Flaherty, Maria Sol; DasGupta, Ramanuj

    2013-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are regulators of global gene expression and function in a broad range of biological processes. Recent studies have suggested that miRNAs can function as tumor suppressors or oncogenes by modulating the activities of evolutionarily conserved signaling pathways that are commonly dysregulated in cancer. We report the identification of the miR-310 to miR-313 (miR-310/13) cluster as a novel antagonist of Wingless (Drosophila Wnt) pathway activity in a functional screen for Drosophila miRNAs. We demonstrate that miR-310/13 can modulate Armadillo (Arm; Drosophila β-catenin) expression and activity by directly targeting the 3′-UTRs of arm and pangolin (Drosophila TCF) in vivo. Notably, the miR-310/13-deficient flies exhibit abnormal germ and somatic cell differentiation in the male gonad, which can be rescued by reducing Arm protein levels or activity. Our results implicate a previously unrecognized function for miR-310/13 in dampening the activity of Arm in early somatic and germline progenitor cells, whereby inappropriate/sustained activation of Arm-mediated signaling or cell adhesion may impact normal differentiation in the Drosophila male gonad. PMID:23821034

  13. The Continuing Challenges of Leprosy

    PubMed Central

    Scollard, D. M.; Adams, L. B.; Gillis, T. P.; Krahenbuhl, J. L.; Truman, R. W.; Williams, D. L.

    2006-01-01

    Leprosy is best understood as two conjoined diseases. The first is a chronic mycobacterial infection that elicits an extraordinary range of cellular immune responses in humans. The second is a peripheral neuropathy that is initiated by the infection and the accompanying immunological events. The infection is curable but not preventable, and leprosy remains a major global health problem, especially in the developing world, publicity to the contrary notwithstanding. Mycobacterium leprae remains noncultivable, and for over a century leprosy has presented major challenges in the fields of microbiology, pathology, immunology, and genetics; it continues to do so today. This review focuses on recent advances in our understanding of M. leprae and the host response to it, especially concerning molecular identification of M. leprae, knowledge of its genome, transcriptome, and proteome, its mechanisms of microbial resistance, and recognition of strains by variable-number tandem repeat analysis. Advances in experimental models include studies in gene knockout mice and the development of molecular techniques to explore the armadillo model. In clinical studies, notable progress has been made concerning the immunology and immunopathology of leprosy, the genetics of human resistance, mechanisms of nerve injury, and chemotherapy. In nearly all of these areas, however, leprosy remains poorly understood compared to other major bacterial diseases. PMID:16614253

  14. Expansion and Function of Repeat Domain Proteins During Stress and Development in Plants

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Manisha; Pandey, Girdhar K.

    2016-01-01

    The recurrent repeats having conserved stretches of amino acids exists across all domains of life. Subsequent repetition of single sequence motif and the number and length of the minimal repeating motifs are essential characteristics innate to these proteins. The proteins with tandem peptide repeats are essential for providing surface to mediate protein–protein interactions for fundamental biological functions. Plants are enriched in tandem repeat containing proteins typically distributed into various families. This has been assumed that the occurrence of multigene repeats families in plants enable them to cope up with adverse environmental conditions and allow them to rapidly acclimatize to these conditions. The evolution, structure, and function of repeat proteins have been studied in all kingdoms of life. The presence of repeat proteins is particularly profuse in multicellular organisms in comparison to prokaryotes. The precipitous expansion of repeat proteins in plants is presumed to be through internal tandem duplications. Several repeat protein gene families have been identified in plants. Such as Armadillo (ARM), Ankyrin (ANK), HEAT, Kelch-like repeats, Tetratricopeptide (TPR), Leucine rich repeats (LRR), WD40, and Pentatricopeptide repeats (PPR). The structure and functions of these repeat proteins have been extensively studied in plants suggesting a critical role of these repeating peptides in plant cell physiology, stress and development. In this review, we illustrate the structural, functional, and evolutionary prospects of prolific repeat proteins in plants. PMID:26793205

  15. Cloning, identification and functional analysis of a β-catenin homologue from Pacific white shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shuang; Shi, Lili; L, Kai; Li, Haoyang; Wang, Sheng; He, Jianguo; Li, Chaozheng

    2016-07-01

    Wnt signaling is known to control multiple of cellular processes such as cell differentiation, communication, apoptosis and proliferation, and is also reported to play a role during microbial infection. β-catenin is a key regulator of the Wnt signaling cascade. In the present study, we cloned and identified a β-catenin homologue from Litopenaeus vannamei termed Lvβ-catenin. The full-length of Lvβ-catenin transcript was 2797 bp in length within a 2451 bp open reading frame (ORF) that encoded a protein of 816 amino acids. Lvβ-catenin protein was comprised of several characteristic domains such as an N-terminal region of GSK-β consensus phosphorylation site and Coed coil section, a central region of 12 continuous Armadillo/β-Catenin-like repeat (ARM) domains and a C-terminal region. Real-time PCR showed Lvβ-catenin expression was responsive to Vibrio parahaemolyticus and white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) infection. Dual-reporter analysis showed that over-expression of Lvβ-catenin could induce activation of the promoter activities of several antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) such as shrimp PEN4, suggesting that Lvβ-catenin could play a role in regulating the production of AMPs. Knockdown of Lvβ-catenin enhanced the sensitivity of shrimps to V. parahaemolyticus and WSSV challenge, suggesting Lvβ-catenin could play a positive role against bacterial and viral pathogens. In summary, the results presented in this study provided some insights into the function of Wnt/β-catenin of shrimp in regulating AMPs and the host defense against invading pathogens. PMID:27036405

  16. Non-legalized commerce in game meat in the Brazilian Amazon: a case study.

    PubMed

    Baía Jr, Pedro Chaves; Guimarães, Diva Anelie; Le Pendu, Yvonnick

    2010-09-01

    In tropical forests, wild game meat represents an option or the only protein source for some human populations. This study analyzed the wildlife meat trade destined to human consumption in an open market of the Amazon rainforest, Brazil. Wildlife meat trade was monitored during 2005 through interviews to vendors and consumers in order to evaluate the socioeconomic profile of the sellers, the main species and byproducts sold, their geographical origin, commercial value, frequency of sale and product demand. Data indicated that vendors were financially highly dependant of this activity, getting a monthly income up to US$271.49. During the survey, the amount of wildlife meat on sale added a total of 5 970kg, as follows: 63.2% capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris), 34.4% cayman (Melanosuchus niger and/or Caiman crocodilus crocodilus), 1.1% paca (Cuniculus paca); 0.6% armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), 0.5% deer (Mazama americana), 0.2% matamata (Chelus fimbriatus), and 0.1% opossum (Didelphis marsupialis). Most of the commercialized species were not slaughtered locally. The consumption of wildlife meat was admitted by 94% of the interviewed, consisting of 27 ethno-species: 19 mammals, 6 reptiles, and 2 birds. The same percentage of the interviewed (94%) already bought wildlife meat of 18 species: 12 mammals and 6 reptiles. The great amount of wildlife meat traded and the important demand for these products by the local population, point out the necessity to adopt policies for a sustainable management of cinegetic species, guaranteeing the conservation of the environment, the improvement of living standards, and the maintenance of the local culture. PMID:20737856

  17. The complexity of the sylvatic cycle of Trypanosoma cruzi in Rio de Janeiro state (Brazil) revealed by the non-transcribed spacer of the mini-exon gene.

    PubMed

    Fernandes, O; Mangia, R H; Lisboa, C V; Pinho, A P; Morel, C M; Zingales, B; Campbell, D A; Jansen, A M

    1999-02-01

    American trypanosamiasis occurs in nature as a sylvatic cycle, where Trypanosoma cruzi interacts with wild triatomines and mammalian reservoirs, such as marsupials, rodents, armadillos and other animals. Due to difficulties in trying to isolate T. cruzi stocks from the sylvatic cycle, very few studies have been performed in order to understand the parasite infection in natural environments. Traditionally T. cruzi has been considered to be composed of a highly heterogeneous population of parasites. In contrast, the mini-exon and the 24S alpha rRNA gene loci have shown that T. cruzi stocks can be clustered in 2 major phylogenetic groups: lineage 1 and lineage 2. In this report, 68 recently isolated T. cruzi samples from the sylvatic cycle belonging to different geographical areas in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, have been typed based on a variable spot in the non-transcribed spacer of the mini-exon gene. Eight isolates were from triatomines, 26 stocks were from golden-lion tamarins, 31 from opossums, 2 from rodents and 1 from a three-toed sloth. Thirty (44%-30/68) isolates were typed as lineage 1, while 36 (53%-36/68) isolates were typed as lineage 2. Two opossums presented mixed infection. Therefore, 3% (2/68) of the isolates were typed as lineage 1 + lineage 2. Using these geographical regions as models of sylvatic environments, it was observed that 96% of the Didelphis marsupialis were infected by lineage 2 isolates, while all 26 golden-lion tamarins were infected by lineage 1. The results show preferential association of the 2 lineages of T. cruzi with different hosts, composing the complexity of the sylvatic cycle. PMID:10028530

  18. Animal models of human placentation--a review.

    PubMed

    Carter, A M

    2007-04-01

    This review examines the strengths and weaknesses of animal models of human placentation and pays particular attention to the mouse and non-human primates. Analogies can be drawn between mouse and human in placental cell types and genes controlling placental development. There are, however, substantive differences, including a different mode of implantation, a prominent yolk sac placenta, and fewer placental hormones in the mouse. Crucially, trophoblast invasion is very limited in the mouse and transformation of uterine arteries depends on maternal factors. The mouse also has a short gestation and delivers poorly developed young. Guinea pig is a good alternative rodent model and among the few species known to develop pregnancy toxaemia. The sheep is well established as a model in fetal physiology but is of limited value for placental research. The ovine placenta is epitheliochorial, there is no trophoblast invasion of uterine vessels, and the immunology of pregnancy may be quite different. We conclude that continued research on non-human primates is needed to clarify embryonic-endometrial interactions. The interstitial implantation of human is unusual, but the initial interaction between trophoblast and endometrium is similar in macaques and baboons, as is the subsequent lacunar stage. The absence of interstitial trophoblast cells in the monkey is an important difference from human placentation. However, there is a strong resemblance in the way spiral arteries are invaded and transformed in the macaque, baboon and human. Non-human primates are therefore important models for understanding the dysfunction that has been linked to pre-eclampsia and fetal growth restriction. Models that are likely to be established in the wake of comparative genomics include the marmoset, tree shrew, hedgehog tenrec and nine-banded armadillo. PMID:17196252

  19. Glycosylation at the fetomaternal interface in hemomonochorial placentae from five widely separated species of mammal: is there evidence for convergent evolution?

    PubMed

    Jones, Carolyn J P; Carter, Anthony M; Aplin, John D; Enders, Allen C

    2007-01-01

    Hemomonochorial placentation occurs in diverse species. We have examined placental glycosylation in five widely separated mammals with this type of placentation--lesser hedgehog tenrec (Echinops telfairi), spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta), nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), human (Homo sapiens) and guinea pig (Cavia porcellus)--in order to assess whether evolutionary convergence to the hemomonochorial state is accompanied by a similar convergence of glycan expression. Placentae from 2 E. telfairi, 3 C. crocuta, 1 D. novemcinctus, 4 womenand 1 C. porcellus were fixed and processed into epoxy resin. Binding of twenty-three lectins was assessed using a semiquantitative ranking system. The trophoblast apical/microvillous membrane of all five species showed marked similarities in glycosylation. In the N-linked series, there were abundant bi/tri-antennary complex chains, while the non-bisected variants were much scarcer. All species had plentiful N-acetyl lactosamine sequences; at chain termini, binding to Galbeta1,4GlcNAc and Galbeta1,3GalNAc sequences was greatly enhanced after neuraminidase treatment. In all species, terminal NeuNAcalpha2,3 residues were detected. The tenrec had unusually abundant terminal N-acetyl galactosamine. The basal plasma membrane/basal lamina showed glycosylation patterns distinct from the microvillous membrane in each case, indicating chemical diversity of the two opposite faces of trophoblast. Similar classes of glycan at the hemochorial interface suggest conservation of function. The observed lectin binding patterns suggest broad similarities of glycosylation that may have arisen by convergent evolution. PMID:17587801

  20. Isolation of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis from free-ranging birds and mammals on livestock premises.

    PubMed

    Corn, Joseph L; Manning, Elizabeth J B; Sreevatsan, Srinand; Fischer, John R

    2005-11-01

    Surveys for Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis infection in free-ranging mammals and birds were conducted on nine dairy and beef cattle farms in Wisconsin and Georgia. Specimens were collected from 774 animals representing 25 mammalian and 22 avian species. Specimens of ileum, liver, intestinal lymph nodes, and feces were harvested from the larger mammals; a liver specimen and the gastrointestinal tract were harvested from birds and small mammals. Cultures were performed by using radiometric culture and acid-fast isolates were identified by 16S/IS900/IS1311 PCR and mycobactin dependency characteristics. M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis was cultured from tissues and feces from 39 samples from 30 animals representing nine mammalian and three avian species. The prevalence of infected wild animals by premises ranged from 2.7 to 8.3% in Wisconsin and from 0 to 6.0% in Georgia. Shedding was documented in seven (0.9%) animals: three raccoons, two armadillos, one opossum, and one feral cat. The use of two highly polymorphic short sequence repeat loci for analysis of 29 of the 39 strains identified 10 alleles. One allelic pattern broadly shared in domestic ruminants ("7,5") appeared in approximately one-third of the wildlife M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis isolates studied. Given the few cases of shedding by free-ranging animals compared to the volume of contaminated manure produced by infected domestic ruminant livestock, contamination of the farm environment by infected wildlife was negligible. Wildlife may, however, have epidemiological significance for farms where M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis recently has been eliminated or on farms free of M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis but located in the geographic vicinity of farms with infected livestock. PMID:16269731

  1. Isolation of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis from Free-Ranging Birds and Mammals on Livestock Premises

    PubMed Central

    Corn, Joseph L.; Manning, Elizabeth J. B.; Sreevatsan, Srinand; Fischer, John R.

    2005-01-01

    Surveys for Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis infection in free-ranging mammals and birds were conducted on nine dairy and beef cattle farms in Wisconsin and Georgia. Specimens were collected from 774 animals representing 25 mammalian and 22 avian species. Specimens of ileum, liver, intestinal lymph nodes, and feces were harvested from the larger mammals; a liver specimen and the gastrointestinal tract were harvested from birds and small mammals. Cultures were performed by using radiometric culture and acid-fast isolates were identified by 16S/IS900/IS1311 PCR and mycobactin dependency characteristics. M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis was cultured from tissues and feces from 39 samples from 30 animals representing nine mammalian and three avian species. The prevalence of infected wild animals by premises ranged from 2.7 to 8.3% in Wisconsin and from 0 to 6.0% in Georgia. Shedding was documented in seven (0.9%) animals: three raccoons, two armadillos, one opossum, and one feral cat. The use of two highly polymorphic short sequence repeat loci for analysis of 29 of the 39 strains identified 10 alleles. One allelic pattern broadly shared in domestic ruminants (“7,5”) appeared in approximately one-third of the wildlife M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis isolates studied. Given the few cases of shedding by free-ranging animals compared to the volume of contaminated manure produced by infected domestic ruminant livestock, contamination of the farm environment by infected wildlife was negligible. Wildlife may, however, have epidemiological significance for farms where M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis recently has been eliminated or on farms free of M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis but located in the geographic vicinity of farms with infected livestock. PMID:16269731

  2. Interference of HCV replication by cell penetrable human monoclonal scFv specific to NS5B polymerase

    PubMed Central

    Thueng-in, Kanyarat; Thanongsaksrikul, Jeeraphong; Jittavisutthikul, Surasak; Seesuay, Watee; Chulanetra, Monrat; Sakolvaree, Yuwaporn; Srimanote, Potjanee; Chaicumpa, Wanpen

    2014-01-01

    A new class of hepatitis C virus (HCV)-targeted therapeutics that is safe, broadly effective and can cope with virus mutations is needed. The HCV's NS5B is highly conserved and different from human protein, and thus it is an attractive target for anti-HCV therapeutics development. In this study, NS5B bound-phage clones selected from a human single chain variable antibody fragment (scFv) phage display library were used to transform appropriate E. coli bacteria. Two scFv inhibiting HCV polymerase activity were selected. The scFvs were linked to a cell penetrating peptide to make cell penetrable scFvs. The transbodies reduced the HCV RNA and infectious virus particles released into the culture medium and inside hepatic cells transfected with a heterologous HCV replicon. They also rescued the innate immune response of the transfected cells. Phage mimotope search and homology modeling/molecular docking revealed the NS5B subdomains and residues bound by the scFvs. The scFv mimotopes matched residues of the NS5B, which are important for nucleolin binding during HCV replication, as well as residues that interconnect the fingers and thumb domains for forming a polymerase active groove. Both scFvs docked on several residues at the thumb armadillo-like fold that could be the polymerase interactive sites of other viral/host proteins for the formation of the replication complex and replication initiation. In conclusion, human transbodies that inhibited HCV RdRp activity and HCV replication and restored the host innate immune response were produced. They are potentially future interferon-free anti-HCV candidates, particularly in combination with other cognates that are specific to NS5B epitopes and other HCV enzymes. PMID:25517317

  3. Structure And Function of the Yeast U-Box-Containing Ubiquitin Ligase Ufd2p

    SciTech Connect

    Tu, D.; Li, W.; Ye, Y.; Brunger, A.T.

    2009-06-04

    Proteins conjugated by Lys-48-linked polyubiquitin chains are preferred substrates of the eukaryotic proteasome. Polyubiquitination requires an activating enzyme (E1), a conjugating enzyme (E2), and a ligase (E3). Occasionally, these enzymes only assemble short ubiquitin oligomers, and their extension to full length involves a ubiquitin elongating factor termed E4. Ufd2p, as the first E4 identified to date, is involved in the degradation of misfolded proteins of the endoplasmic reticulum and of a ubiquitin-{beta}-GAL fusion substrate in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The mechanism of action of Ufd2p is unknown. Here we describe the crystal structure of the full-length yeast Ufd2p protein. Ufd2p has an elongated shape consisting of several irregular Armadillo-like repeats with two helical hairpins protruding from it and a U-box domain flexibly attached to its C terminus. The U-box of Ufd2p has a fold similar to that of the RING (Really Interesting New Gene) domain that is present in certain ubiquitin ligases. Accordingly, Ufd2p has all of the hallmarks of a RING finger-containing ubiquitin ligase: it associates with its cognate E2 Ubc4p via its U-box domain and catalyzes the transfer of ubiquitin from the E2 active site to Ufd2p itself or to an acceptor ubiquitin molecule to form unanchored diubiquitin oligomers. Thus, Ufd2p can function as a bona fide E3 ubiquitin ligase to promote ubiquitin chain elongation on a substrate.

  4. Loss of teeth and enamel in tetrapods: fossil record, genetic data and morphological adaptations.

    PubMed

    Davit-Béal, Tiphaine; Tucker, Abigail S; Sire, Jean-Yves

    2009-04-01

    Since their recruitment in the oral cavity, approximately 450 million years ago, teeth have been subjected to strong selective constraints due to the crucial role that they play in species survival. It is therefore quite surprising that the ability to develop functional teeth has subsequently been lost several times, independently, in various lineages. In this review, we concentrate our attention on tetrapods, the only vertebrate lineage in which several clades lack functional teeth from birth to adulthood. Indeed, in other lineages, teeth can be absent in adults but be functionally present in larvae and juveniles, can be absent in the oral cavity but exist in the pharyngeal region, or can develop on the upper jaw but be absent on the lower jaw. Here, we analyse the current data on toothless (edentate) tetrapod taxa, including information available on enamel-less species. Firstly, we provide an analysis of the dispersed and fragmentary morphological data published on the various living taxa concerned (and their extinct relatives) with the aim of tracing the origin of tooth or enamel loss, i.e. toads in Lissamphibia, turtles and birds in Sauropsida, and baleen whales, pangolins, anteaters, sloths, armadillos and aardvark in Mammalia. Secondly, we present current hypotheses on the genetic basis of tooth loss in the chicken and thirdly, we try to answer the question of how these taxa have survived tooth loss given the crucial importance of this tool. The loss of teeth (or only enamel) in all of these taxa was not lethal because it was always preceded in evolution by the pre-adaptation of a secondary tool (beak, baleens, elongated adhesive tongues or hypselodonty) useful for improving efficiency in food uptake. The positive selection of such secondary tools would have led to relaxed functional constraints on teeth and would have later compensated for the loss of teeth. These hypotheses raise numerous questions that will hopefully be answered in the near future. PMID

  5. Body mass estimation in xenarthra: a predictive equation suitable for all quadrupedal terrestrial placentals?

    PubMed

    De Esteban-Trivigno, Soledad; Mendoza, Manuel; De Renzi, Miquel

    2008-10-01

    The Magnorder Xenarthra includes strange extinct groups, like glyptodonts, similar to large armadillos, and ground sloths, terrestrial relatives of the extant tree sloths. They have created considerable paleobiological interest in the last decades; however, the ecology of most of these species is still controversial or unknown. The body mass estimation of extinct species has great importance for paleobiological reconstructions. The commonest way to estimate body mass from fossils is through linear regression. However, if the studied species does not have similar extant relatives, the allometric pattern described by the regression could differ from those shown by the extinct group. That is the case for glyptodonts and ground sloths. Thus, stepwise multiple regression were developed including extant xenarthrans (their taxonomic relatives) and ungulates (their size and ecological relatives). Cases were weighted to maximize the taxonomic evenness. Twenty-eight equations were obtained. The distribution of the percent of prediction error (%PE) was analyzed between taxonomic groups (Perissodactyla, Artiodactyla, and Xenarthra) and size groups (0-20 kg, 20-300 kg, and more than 300 kg). To assess the predictive power of the functions, equations were applied to species not included in the regression development [test set cross validation, (TSCV)]. Only five equations had a homogeneous %PE between the aforementioned groups. These were applied to five extinct species. A mean body mass of 80 kg was estimated for Propalaehoplophorus australis (Cingulata: Glyptodontidae), 594 kg for Scelidotherium leptocephalum (Phyllophaga: Mylodontidae), and 3,550.7 kg for Lestodon armatus (Phyllophaga: Mylodontidae). The high scatter of the body mass estimations obtained for Catonyx tarijensis (Phyllophaga: Mylodontidae) and Thalassocnus natans (Phyllophaga: Megatheriidae), probably due to different specializations, prevented us from predicting its body mass. Surprisingly, although obtained

  6. Folliculin, the product of the Birt-Hogg-Dube tumor suppressor gene, interacts with the adherens junction protein p0071 to regulate cell-cell adhesion.

    PubMed

    Medvetz, Doug A; Khabibullin, Damir; Hariharan, Venkatesh; Ongusaha, Pat P; Goncharova, Elena A; Schlechter, Tanja; Darling, Thomas N; Hofmann, Ilse; Krymskaya, Vera P; Liao, James K; Huang, Hayden; Henske, Elizabeth P

    2012-01-01

    Birt-Hogg-Dube (BHD) is a tumor suppressor gene syndrome associated with fibrofolliculomas, cystic lung disease, and chromophobe renal cell carcinoma. In seeking to elucidate the pathogenesis of BHD, we discovered a physical interaction between folliculin (FLCN), the protein product of the BHD gene, and p0071, an armadillo repeat containing protein that localizes to the cytoplasm and to adherens junctions. Adherens junctions are one of the three cell-cell junctions that are essential to the establishment and maintenance of the cellular architecture of all epithelial tissues. Surprisingly, we found that downregulation of FLCN leads to increased cell-cell adhesion in functional cell-based assays and disruption of cell polarity in a three-dimensional lumen-forming assay, both of which are phenocopied by downregulation of p0071. These data indicate that the FLCN-p0071 protein complex is a negative regulator of cell-cell adhesion. We also found that FLCN positively regulates RhoA activity and Rho-associated kinase activity, consistent with the only known function of p0071. Finally, to examine the role of Flcn loss on cell-cell adhesion in vivo, we utilized keratin-14 cre-recombinase (K14-cre) to inactivate Flcn in the mouse epidermis. The K14-Cre-Bhd(flox/flox) mice have striking delays in eyelid opening, wavy fur, hair loss, and epidermal hyperplasia with increased levels of mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) activity. These data support a model in which dysregulation of the FLCN-p0071 interaction leads to alterations in cell adhesion, cell polarity, and RhoA signaling, with broad implications for the role of cell-cell adhesion molecules in the pathogenesis of human disease, including emphysema and renal cell carcinoma. PMID:23139756

  7. Molecular cloning and characterization of the β-catenin gene from fine-wool sheep.

    PubMed

    Cui, Kai; Yang, Zu; Darwish, Hesham; Zhang, Yuanyuan; Ge, Yaqiong; Zhang, Xiyue; Li, Rongni; Deng, Xuemei

    2014-08-10

    β-Catenin is an evolutionarily conserved molecule that functions as a crucial effector in both cell-to-cell adhesion and Wnt signaling. To gain a better understanding of its role in the development of hair follicles, we cloned the cDNA sequence of the β-catenin gene from the skin of Aohan fine-wool sheep and performed a variety of bioinformatics analyses. We obtained the full-length sequence, which was 4573-bp long and contained a 2346-bp open reading frame encoding a protein of 781 amino acids. The protein had a predicted molecular weight of 85.4 kDa and a theoretical isoelectric point of 5.57. Domain architecture analysis of the β-catenin protein revealed an armadillo repeat region, which is a common feature of β-catenin in other species. The ovine β-catenin gene shares 97.91%, 94.25%, 94.59%, 83.89%, and 89.39% sequence identity with its homologs in Bos taurus, Homo sapiens, Sus scrofa, Gallus gallus, and Mus musculus, respectively, while the amino acid sequence is more than 99% identical with each of these species. The expression of β-catenin mRNA was detected in the heart, liver, spleen, lung, kidney, skin, muscle, and adipose tissue. Expression levels were maximal in the lung and minimal in the muscle, and the difference in expression in these tissues was significant (P<0.01). Western blot analysis revealed the presence of the β-catenin protein in all tissues examined; expression was lowest in the skin and adipose tissues. PMID:24881815

  8. PLANT U-BOX PROTEIN10 Regulates MYC2 Stability in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    Jung, Choonkyun; Zhao, Pingzhi; Seo, Jun Sung; Mitsuda, Nobutaka; Deng, Shulin; Chua, Nam-Hai

    2015-01-01

    MYC2 is an important regulator for jasmonic acid (JA) signaling, but little is known about its posttranslational regulation. Here, we show that the MYC2 C-terminal region interacted with the PLANT U-BOX PROTEIN10 (PUB10) armadillo repeats in vitro. MYC2 was efficiently polyubiquitinated by PUB10 with UBC8 as an E2 enzyme and the conserved C249 in PUB10 was required for activity. The inactive PUB10(C249A) mutant protein retained its ability to heterodimerize with PUB10, thus blocking PUB10 E3 activity as a dominant-negative mutant. Both MYC2 and PUB10 were nucleus localized and coimmunoprecipitation experiments confirmed their interaction in vivo. Although unstable in the wild type, MYC2 stability was enhanced in pub10, suggesting destabilization by PUB10. Moreover, MYC2 half-life was shortened or prolonged by induced expression of PUB10 or the dominant-negative PUB10(C249A) mutant, respectively. Root growth of pub10 seedlings phenocopied 35S:MYC2 seedlings and was hypersensitive to methyl jasmonate, whereas 35S:PUB10 and jin1-9 (myc2) seedlings were hyposensitive. In addition, the root phenotype conferred by MYC2 overexpression in double transgenic plants was reversed or enhanced by induced expression of PUB10 or PUB10(C249A), respectively. Similar results were obtained with three other JA-regulated genes, TAT, JR2, and PDF1.2. Collectively, our results show that MYC2 is targeted by PUB10 for degradation during JA responses. PMID:26163577

  9. Kpna7 interacts with egg-specific nuclear factors in the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss).

    PubMed

    Wang, Lei; Ma, Hao; Fu, Liyuan; Yao, Jianbo

    2014-12-01

    Nuclear proteins are required for the initiation of transcription in early embryos before embryonic genome activation. The regulated transport of nuclear proteins is mediated by factors known as importins (karyopherins). Kpna7, a newly discovered member of the importin α family, is critical for early development in mammals. In this study, we characterize rainbow trout Kpna7. The cDNA for rainbow trout Kpna7 encodes a 519 amino acid protein that contains a conserved importin β binding (IBB) domain and seven armadillo/beta-catenin-like repeat (ARM) motifs. Reverse-transcriptase PCR and Western blot analyses revealed that Kpna7 is specifically expressed in eggs/ovary. Real-time PCR analysis demonstrated that expression of Kpna7 mRNA is high in unfertilized eggs, gradually decreases in early-stage embryos until 3 days post-fertilization, and declines sharply thereafter, reaching a level that is barely detectable in 4-day-old embryos. Using a yeast two-hybrid screening system, we identified two Kpna7-interacting proteins from a rainbow trout egg cDNA library: Stl3 (rhamnose-binding lectin 3) and an uncharacterized protein. Both genes appear to be expressed specifically in eggs/testis. Co-immunoprecipitation assays confirmed the interaction between Kpna7 and Stl3, and co-transfection experiments using EGFP-tagged Stl3 showed that Kpna7 facilitates the nuclear transport of Stl3 through an interaction with the predicted nuclear-localization signal cluster at the carboxy-terminus of Stl3. Our data suggest that Kpna7 may function in early embryonic development as a unique nuclear transporter for egg-specific proteins. PMID:25511304

  10. Ubiquitination by SAG regulates macrophage survival/death and immune response during infection

    PubMed Central

    Chang, S C; Ding, J L

    2014-01-01

    The checkpoint between the life and death of macrophages is crucial for the host's frontline immune defense during acute phase infection. However, the mechanism as to how the immune cell equilibrates between apoptosis and immune response is unclear. Using in vitro and ex vivo approaches, we showed that macrophage survival is synchronized by SAG (sensitive to apoptosis gene), which is a key member of the ubiquitin–proteasome system (UPS). When challenged by pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs), we observed a reciprocal expression profile of pro- and antiapoptotic factors in macrophages. However, SAG knockdown disrupted this balance. Further analysis revealed that ubiquitination of Bax and SARM (sterile α- and HEAT/armadillo-motif-containing protein) by SAG-UPS confers survival advantage to infected macrophages. SAG knockdown caused the accumulation of proapoptotic Bax and SARM, imbalance of Bcl-2/Bax in the mitochondria, induction of cytosolic cytochrome c and activation of caspase-9 and -3, all of which led to disequilibrium between life and death of macrophages. In contrast, SAG-overexpressing macrophages challenged with PAMPs exhibited upregulation of protumorigenic cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α), and downregulation of antitumorigenic cytokine (IL-12p40) and anti-inflammatory cytokine (IL-10). This suggests that SAG-dependent UPS is a key switch between immune defense and apoptosis or immune overactivation and tumorigenesis. Altogether, our results indicate that SAG-UPS facilitates a timely and appropriate level of immune response, prompting future development of potential immunomodulators of SAG-UPS. PMID:24786833

  11. Restricting nonclassical MHC genes coevolve with TRAV genes used by innate-like T cells in mammals.

    PubMed

    Boudinot, Pierre; Mondot, Stanislas; Jouneau, Luc; Teyton, Luc; Lefranc, Marie-Paule; Lantz, Olivier

    2016-05-24

    Whereas major histocompatibility class-1 (MH1) proteins present peptides to T cells displaying a large T-cell receptor (TR) repertoire, MH1Like proteins, such as CD1D and MR1, present glycolipids and microbial riboflavin precursor derivatives, respectively, to T cells expressing invariant TR-α (iTRA) chains. The groove of such MH1Like, as well as iTRA chains used by mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) and natural killer T (NKT) cells, respectively, may result from a coevolution under particular selection pressures. Herein, we investigated the evolutionary patterns of the iTRA of MAIT and NKT cells and restricting MH1Like proteins: MR1 appeared 170 Mya and is highly conserved across mammals, evolving more slowly than other MH1Like. It has been pseudogenized or independently lost three times in carnivores, the armadillo, and lagomorphs. The corresponding TRAV1 gene also evolved slowly and harbors highly conserved complementarity determining regions 1 and 2. TRAV1 is absent exclusively from species in which MR1 is lacking, suggesting that its loss released the purifying selection on MR1. In the rabbit, which has very few NKT and no MAIT cells, a previously unrecognized iTRA was identified by sequencing leukocyte RNA. This iTRA uses TRAV41, which is highly conserved across several groups of mammals. A rabbit MH1Like gene was found that appeared with mammals and is highly conserved. It was independently lost in a few groups in which MR1 is present, like primates and Muridae, illustrating compensatory emergences of new MH1Like/Invariant T-cell combinations during evolution. Deciphering their role is warranted to search similar effector functions in humans. PMID:27170188

  12. Ixodid ticks on white-tailed deer and feral swine in Florida.

    PubMed

    Allan, S A; Simmons, L A; Burridge, M J

    2001-06-01

    A state-wide survey was conducted in Florida during the 1997-99 hunting seasons to examine white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and feral swine (Sus scrofa) for potential indigenous vectors of the rickettsial agent of heartwater, Cowdria ruminantium. A total of 504 white-tailed deer and 166 feral swine was examined from 30 wildlife management areas across the state. Amblyomma maculatum, an experimental vector of C. ruminantium, was common on both deer and feral swine throughout the state. Of the collection of 3,169 ticks, 34.5% were Ixodes scapularis Say, 34.0% Amblyomma americanum (L.), 25.5% Amblyomma maculatum Koch, 5.8% Dermacentor variabilis (Say), 0.4% Ixodes affinis Neumann, 0.03% Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Latreille) and 0.01% Amblyomma auricularium (Conil). The only exotic tick collected was A. auricularium, which is found on armadillos in Central and South America and is not known to be associated with any disease. Overall, the most prevalent species on deer were I. scapularis (51.1%) and A. maculatum (35.8%), with A. americanum less prevalent (16.0%) and D. variabilis (3.0%) and I. affinis (1.9%) rare. On feral swine, the most prevalent species were I. scapularis (69.7%) and D. variabilis (56.9%), with A. maculatum (16.2%) and A. americanum (4.6%) less common. The geographic distribution of ticks differed significantly throughout the state. Both A. maculatum and Dermacentor variabilis were more prevalent on deer from southern Florida compared to northern and central Florida. In contrast, A. americanum were more prevalent in northern and central Florida but rare in southern Florida, and I. scapularis were more common in southern compared to northern Florida. These geographic differences may reflect differences in the risk of tick-borne diseases to domestic animals, wildlife and humans within Florida. PMID:11469190

  13. Nuclear Localization of the Autism Candidate Gene Neurobeachin and Functional Interaction with the NOTCH1 Intracellular Domain Indicate a Role in Regulating Transcription

    PubMed Central

    Tuand, Krizia; Stijnen, Pieter; Volders, Karolien; Declercq, Jeroen; Nuytens, Kim; Meulemans, Sandra; Creemers, John

    2016-01-01

    Background Neurobeachin (NBEA) is an autism spectrum disorders (ASD) candidate gene. NBEA deficiency affects regulated secretion, receptor trafficking, synaptic architecture and protein kinase A (PKA)-mediated phosphorylation. NBEA is a large multidomain scaffolding protein. From N- to C-terminus, NBEA has a concanavalin A-like lectin domain flanked by armadillo repeats (ACA), an A-kinase anchoring protein domain that can bind to PKA, a domain of unknown function (DUF1088) and a BEACH domain, preceded by a pleckstrin homology-like domain and followed by WD40 repeats (PBW). Although most of these domains mediate protein-protein interactions, no interaction screen has yet been performed. Methods Yeast two-hybrid screens with the ACA and PBW domain modules of NBEA gave a list of interaction partners, which were analyzed for Gene Ontology (GO) enrichment. Neuro-2a cells were used for confocal microscopy and nuclear extraction analysis. NOTCH-mediated transcription was studied with luciferase reporter assays and qRT-PCR, combined with NBEA knockdown or overexpression. Results Both domain modules showed a GO enrichment for the nucleus. PBW almost exclusively interacted with transcription regulators, while ACA interacted with a number of PKA substrates. NBEA was partially localized in the nucleus of Neuro-2a cells, albeit much less than in the cytoplasm. A nuclear localization signal was found in the DUF1088 domain, which was shown to contribute to the nuclear localization of an EGFP-DPBW fusion protein. Yeast two-hybrid identified the Notch1 intracellular domain as a physical interactor of the PBW domain and a role for NBEA as a negative regulator in Notch-mediated transcription was demonstrated. Conclusion Defining novel interaction partners of conserved NBEA domain modules identified a role for NBEA as transcriptional regulator in the nucleus. The physical interaction of NBEA with NOTCH1 is most relevant for ASD pathogenesis because NOTCH signaling is essential for

  14. Genetic Variation and Exchange in Trypanosoma cruzi Isolates from the United States

    PubMed Central

    Roellig, Dawn M.; Savage, Mason Y.; Fujita, A. Wendy; Barnabé, Christian; Tibayrenc, Michel; Steurer, Frank J.; Yabsley, Michael J.

    2013-01-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, is a multiclonal parasite with high levels of genetic diversity and broad host and geographic ranges. Molecular characterization of South American isolates of T. cruzi has demonstrated homologous recombination and nuclear hybridization, as well as the presence of 6 main genetic clusters or “discrete typing units” (DTUs). Few studies have extensively investigated such exchange events and genetic diversity in North American isolates. In the current study, we genetically characterized over 50 US isolates from wildlife reservoirs (e.g., raccoons, opossums, armadillos, skunks), domestic dogs, humans, nonhuman primates, and reduviid vectors from nine states (TX, CA, OK, SC, FL, GA, MD, LA, TN) using a multilocus sequencing method. Single nucleotide polymorphisms were identified in sequences of the mismatch-repair class 2 (MSH2) and Tc52 genes. Typing based on the two genes often paralleled genotyping by classic methodologies using mini-exon and 18S and 24Sα rRNA genes. Evidence for genetic exchange was obtained by comparing sequence phylogenies of nuclear and mitochondrial gene targets, dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase (DHFR-TS) and the cytochrome oxidase subunit II- NADH dehydrogenase subunit I region (COII-ND1), respectively. We observed genetic exchange in several US isolates as demonstrated by incongruent mitochondrial and nuclear genes phylogenies, which confirms a previous finding of a single genetic exchange event in a Florida isolate. The presence of SNPs and evidence of genetic exchange illustrates that strains from the US are genetically diverse, even though only two phylogenetic lineages have been identified in this region. PMID:23457528

  15. Genetic variation and exchange in Trypanosoma cruzi isolates from the United States.

    PubMed

    Roellig, Dawn M; Savage, Mason Y; Fujita, A Wendy; Barnabé, Christian; Tibayrenc, Michel; Steurer, Frank J; Yabsley, Michael J

    2013-01-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, is a multiclonal parasite with high levels of genetic diversity and broad host and geographic ranges. Molecular characterization of South American isolates of T. cruzi has demonstrated homologous recombination and nuclear hybridization, as well as the presence of 6 main genetic clusters or "discrete typing units" (DTUs). Few studies have extensively investigated such exchange events and genetic diversity in North American isolates. In the current study, we genetically characterized over 50 US isolates from wildlife reservoirs (e.g., raccoons, opossums, armadillos, skunks), domestic dogs, humans, nonhuman primates, and reduviid vectors from nine states (TX, CA, OK, SC, FL, GA, MD, LA, TN) using a multilocus sequencing method. Single nucleotide polymorphisms were identified in sequences of the mismatch-repair class 2 (MSH2) and Tc52 genes. Typing based on the two genes often paralleled genotyping by classic methodologies using mini-exon and 18S and 24Sα rRNA genes. Evidence for genetic exchange was obtained by comparing sequence phylogenies of nuclear and mitochondrial gene targets, dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase (DHFR-TS) and the cytochrome oxidase subunit II- NADH dehydrogenase subunit I region (COII-ND1), respectively. We observed genetic exchange in several US isolates as demonstrated by incongruent mitochondrial and nuclear genes phylogenies, which confirms a previous finding of a single genetic exchange event in a Florida isolate. The presence of SNPs and evidence of genetic exchange illustrates that strains from the US are genetically diverse, even though only two phylogenetic lineages have been identified in this region. PMID:23457528

  16. Experimental infection with Trichinella T12 in domestic cats.

    PubMed

    Ribicich, M; Krivokapich, S; Pasqualetti, M; Gonzalez Prous, C L; Gatti, G M; Falzoni, E; Aronowicz, T; Arbusti, P; Fariña, F; Rosa, A

    2013-05-20

    Trichinella spiralis has been documented in wild animals in Argentina, including puma, armadillos, rats and wild boars. In 2008, molecular analysis identified Trichinella T12 from a naturally infected puma (Puma concolor) from Patagonia. The aim of the present work was to study the relationship between the infectivity and pathology of Trichinella T12 in the puma and in domestic cats, and the possible risks that may be present for transmission among these animals. Two cats (A and B) were orally-infected with 3300 and 1850 Trichinella T12 muscle larvae, respectively; one additional cat was used as a control. During the 54 days post-infection, a daily examination was performed which included monitoring body temperature, and cardiac and respiration rates; the animals were then euthanized. Hematological studies included hematocrit (%), hemoglobin (g/dl), and white cell, neutrophil, lymphocyte and eosinophil counts. Blood biochemistry included urea, creatinine, AST, ALT, CK, LDH and ALP. An ELISA assay was also performed. At necropsy, organs (liver, spleen, brain, cerebellum and kidney), nails and muscle samples were obtained for histopathology studies and artificial digestion. The muscles that were studied included the diaphragm, massetter, cutaneous, temporal, intercostals, lumbar, tongue, limbs, neck and tail. Clinical signs, such as anorexia, diarrhea, vomiting, shaggy hair, decay and muscle pain, were observed in both cats. The eosinophil counts were elevated in both cats A and B. Trichinella larvae were recovered from all of the muscles analyzed where the histopathology showed larvae in several muscles without degenerative reaction. Neither larvae nor lesions were observed in non-muscular organs. Cat A had a maximum of 246 larvae per gram (lpg) in the temporal muscle and a minimum of 80 lpg in the tongue, while cat B had a maximum of 65 lpg in muscles of the leg and a minimum of 10 lpg in tail muscles. This study represents the first record of experimental

  17. Isoform- and Dose-sensitive Feedback Interactions between Paired Box 6 gene and δ-Catenin in Cell Differentiation and Death

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jiao; Lu, Jian-Ping; Suter, David M.; Krause, Karl-Heinz; Fini, M. Elizabeth; Chen, Baoan; Lu, Qun

    2010-01-01

    Pax6, a mammalian homolog of the Drosophila paired box gene family member expressed in stem and progenitor cells, resides at the top of the genetic hierarchy in controlling cell fates and morphogenesis. While Pax6 activation can lead to mitotic arrest, premature neurogenesis, and apoptosis, the underlying molecular mechanisms have not been resolved. Here we report that either Pax6(+5a) or Pax6(−5a) was sufficient to promote, whereas their knockdown reduced the expression of δ-catenin (CTNND2), a neural specific member of the armadillo/β-catenin superfamily. Pax6(+5a) elicited stronger effects on δ-catenin than Pax6(−5a). Inducible Pax6(+5a) expression demonstrated a biphasic and dose-dependent regulation of δ-catenin expression and cell fates. A moderate upregulation of Pax6(+5a) promoted δ-catenin expression and induced neurite-like cellular protrusions, but increasing expression of Pax6(+5a) reversed these processes. Furthermore, sustained high expression of Pax6(+5a) triggered apoptosis as determined by the reduction of phospho-Bad, Bcl-2, survivin and procaspases, as well as the increases in Bax and cleaved poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase. Importantly, re-introducing δ-catenin by ectopic expression elicited a feedback suppression on Pax6(+5a) expression and reduced Pax6(+5a) induced apoptosis. Therefore, δ-catenin expression is not only controlled by Pax6, but it also provides a feedback suppression mechanism for their functional interactions with important implications in cellular morphogenesis, apoptosis, and cancer. PMID:20074565

  18. Fabrication, testing and modeling of a new flexible armor inspired from natural fish scales and osteoderms.

    PubMed

    Chintapalli, Ravi Kiran; Mirkhalaf, Mohammad; Dastjerdi, Ahmad Khayer; Barthelat, Francois

    2014-09-01

    Crocodiles, armadillo, turtles, fish and many other animal species have evolved flexible armored skins in the form of hard scales or osteoderms, which can be described as hard plates of finite size embedded in softer tissues. The individual hard segments provide protection from predators, while the relative motion of these segments provides the flexibility required for efficient locomotion. In this work, we duplicated these broad concepts in a bio-inspired segmented armor. Hexagonal segments of well-defined size and shape were carved within a thin glass plate using laser engraving. The engraved plate was then placed on a soft substrate which simulated soft tissues, and then punctured with a sharp needle mounted on a miniature loading stage. The resistance of our segmented armor was significantly higher when smaller hexagons were used, and our bio-inspired segmented glass displayed an increase in puncture resistance of up to 70% compared to a continuous plate of glass of the same thickness. Detailed structural analyses aided by finite elements revealed that this extraordinary improvement is due to the reduced span of individual segments, which decreases flexural stresses and delays fracture. This effect can however only be achieved if the plates are at least 1000 stiffer than the underlying substrate, which is the case for natural armor systems. Our bio-inspired system also displayed many of the attributes of natural armors: flexible, robust with 'multi-hit' capabilities. This new segmented glass therefore suggests interesting bio-inspired strategies and mechanisms which could be systematically exploited in high-performance flexible armors. This study also provides new insights and a better understanding of the mechanics of natural armors such as scales and osteoderms. PMID:24613857

  19. PONS2train: tool for testing the MLP architecture and local traning methods for runoff forecast

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maca, P.; Pavlasek, J.; Pech, P.

    2012-04-01

    The purpose of presented poster is to introduce the PONS2train developed for runoff prediction via multilayer perceptron - MLP. The software application enables the implementation of 12 different MLP's transfer functions, comparison of 9 local training algorithms and finally the evaluation the MLP performance via 17 selected model evaluation metrics. The PONS2train software is written in C++ programing language. Its implementation consists of 4 classes. The NEURAL_NET and NEURON classes implement the MLP, the CRITERIA class estimates model evaluation metrics and for model performance evaluation via testing and validation datasets. The DATA_PATTERN class prepares the validation, testing and calibration datasets. The software application uses the LAPACK, BLAS and ARMADILLO C++ linear algebra libraries. The PONS2train implements the first order local optimization algorithms: standard on-line and batch back-propagation with learning rate combined with momentum and its variants with the regularization term, Rprop and standard batch back-propagation with variable momentum and learning rate. The second order local training algorithms represents: the Levenberg-Marquardt algorithm with and without regularization and four variants of scaled conjugate gradients. The other important PONS2train features are: the multi-run, the weight saturation control, early stopping of trainings, and the MLP weights analysis. The weights initialization is done via two different methods: random sampling from uniform distribution on open interval or Nguyen Widrow method. The data patterns can be transformed via linear and nonlinear transformation. The runoff forecast case study focuses on PONS2train implementation and shows the different aspects of the MLP training, the MLP architecture estimation, the neural network weights analysis and model uncertainty estimation.

  20. Rickettsia amblyommii infecting Amblyomma auricularium ticks in Pernambuco, northeastern Brazil: isolation, transovarial transmission, and transstadial perpetuation.

    PubMed

    Saraiva, Danilo G; Nieri-Bastos, Fernanda A; Horta, Maurício C; Soares, Herbert S; Nicola, Patricia A; Pereira, Luiz Cezar M; Labruna, Marcelo B

    2013-09-01

    This study investigated rickettsial infection in Amblyomma auricularium ticks from the state of Pernambuco, northeastern Brazil. An engorged female of A. auricularium collected from a skunk (Conepatus semistriatus) was sent alive to the laboratory, where the female was found through molecular analysis to be infected by Rickettsia amblyommii. This engorged female oviposited, and its offspring was reared through three consecutive generations, always using tick-naïve rabbits to feed the ticks. PCR performed on five egg pools, 10 larvae, 10 nymphs, and 10 adults of each of the three generations always yielded rickettsial DNA, indicating maintenance of rickettsial infection in the ticks by transstadial and transovarial passages. DNA sequences of random PCR products from eggs, larvae, nymphs, and adults were identified as R. amblyommii. All infested rabbits seroconverted to R. amblyommii antigens at the 21(st) day after infestation, indicating that larvae, nymphs, and adults transmitted R. amblyommii through parasitism. However, no infested rabbit presented fever or any clinical alteration during the experimental period. Rickettsiae were successfully isolated from the two A. auricularium females, and the isolates were established in Vero cell culture. Molecular characterization of the isolates confirmed R. amblyommii by sequencing partial gltA, ompA, and ompB genes. From another sample of 15 A. auricularium adult ticks collected from two armadillos (Euphractus sexcinctus), eight (53.3%) were infected by R. amblyommii. This study reports R. amblyommii infecting the tick A. auricularium for the first time. This is also the first report of rickettsia infecting ticks in the northeastern region of Brazil. PMID:23705586

  1. Neural System Antigens Are Recognized by Autoantibodies from Patients Affected by a New Variant of Endemic Pemphigus Foliaceus in Colombia

    PubMed Central

    Howard, Michael S.; Yi, Hong; Gao, Weiqing; Hashimoto, Takashi; Grossniklaus, Hans E.

    2015-01-01

    Background Endemic pemphigus foliaceus (EPF), is also known as “fogo selvagem” or “wild fire,” reflecting the intense burning sensation of the skin reported by patients with this disease. Based on this finding, we tested for neural autoreactivity in patients affected by a new variant of EPF (El Bagre-EPF). Methods We tested 20 El Bagre-EPF patients, 20 normal controls from the endemic area, and 20 age- and sex-matched normal controls from outside the endemic area. We tested for autoreactivity to several immunoglobulins and complement. Both human skin and bovine tail were used as antigens. Results We detected autoreactivity to neural structures, mechanoreceptors, nerves, perineural cell layers of the arachnoid envelope around the optic nerve, brain structures, and to neuromuscular spindles; these structures colocalized with several neural markers. The patient antibodies also colocalized with desmoplakins 1 and 2, with the armadillo repeat protein deleted in velo-cardio-facial syndrome and with p0071 antibodies. Autoreactivity was also found associated with neurovascular bundles innervating the skin, and immunoelectron microscopy using protein A gold against patient antibodies was positive against the nerve axons. Paucicellularity of the intraepidermal nerve endings and defragmentation of the neural plexus were seen in 70% of the cases and not in the controls from the endemic area (p<0.005). Neuropsychological and/or behavioral symptoms were detected in individuals from the endemic area, including sensorimotor axonal neuropathy. Conclusions Our findings may explain for the first time the “pose of pemphigus,” representing a dorsiflexural posture seen in EPF patients vis-a-vis the weakness of the extensor nerves, and furthermore, the autoreactivity to nerves in EPF could explain the “burning sensation” encountered in EPF disease. PMID:21210298

  2. A comparative study of Trypanosoma cruzi infection in sylvatic mammals from a protected and a disturbed area in the Argentine Chaco.

    PubMed

    Orozco, M M; Enriquez, G F; Cardinal, M V; Piccinali, R V; Gürtler, R E

    2016-03-01

    Understanding the complex epidemiology of Trypanosoma cruzi transmission cycles requires comparative studies in widely different environments. We assessed the occurrence of T. cruzi infection in sylvatic mammals, their infectiousness to the vector, and parasite genotypes in a protected area of the Argentine Chaco, and compared them with information obtained similarly in a nearby disturbed area. A total of 278 mammals from >23 species in the protected area were diagnosed for T. cruzi infection using xenodiagnosis, kDNA-PCR and nuclear satellite DNA-PCR (SAT) from blood samples. The relative abundance and species composition differed substantially between areas. Didelphis albiventris opossums were less abundant in the protected area; had a significantly lower body mass index, and a stage structure biased toward earlier stages. The capture of armadillos was lower in the protected area. The composite prevalence of T. cruzi infection across host species was significantly lower in the protected area (11.1%) than in the disturbed area (22.1%), and heterogeneous across species groups. The prevalence of infection in D. albiventris and Thylamys pusilla opossums was significantly lower in the protected area (nil for D. albiventris), whereas infection in sigmodontine rodents was three times higher in the protected area (17.5 versus 5.7%). Parasite isolates from the two xenodiagnosis-positive mammals (1 Dasypus novemcinctus and 1 Conepatus chinga) were typed as TcIII; both specimens were highly infectious to Triatoma infestans. Fat-tailed opossums, bats and rodents were kDNA-PCR-positive and xenodiagnosis-negative. Desmodus rotundus and Myotis bats were found infected with T. cruzi for the first time in the Gran Chaco. PMID:26708994

  3. Metal accumulation in wild-caught opossum.

    PubMed

    Lockhart, J Mitchell; Siddiqui, Samreen; Loughry, W J; Bielmyer-Fraser, Gretchen K

    2016-06-01

    The Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) is widespread in the USA, ranging south through Latin America. The ecology of opossums is such that they are in frequent contact with soils, suggesting that they may function as a valuable bioindicator for chemical contamination in terrestrial environments. Surprisingly, there have been virtually no toxicology studies on opossums. Here, we provide the first analysis of metal contaminants in opossum liver tissues. Liver samples were obtained from 471 opossums, collected from 2003 to 2006, at four sites in North Florida and South Georgia, USA, and concentrations of copper, lead, nickel, selenium, and zinc were measured. We found little evidence of age differences in the concentration of any of the metals. However, there were at least some significant differences between years, males and females, and between sites for each metal, although the pattern of these differences was not always consistent across metals. Concentrations of metals in liver tissue were positively correlated with one another, primarily of each metal (except Pb) with zinc. Reference levels of metal contaminants are not available for opossums, but concentrations of Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn in our samples were for the most part significantly higher than those reported from liver tissues of nine-banded armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus) collected at the same sites and in the same years. Data from other small mammals studied elsewhere further indicate that metal concentrations in opossums were high, but at this time, it is not possible to determine if these elevated levels generated toxicity. The substantial temporal and spatial variation we found in metal concentrations suggests that determination of baseline levels for opossums may not be straightforward. Nonetheless, this is the first study quantifying metal accumulation in the livers of Didelphis virginiana and, as such, provides an important starting point for future research. PMID:27138002

  4. Loss of teeth and enamel in tetrapods: fossil record, genetic data and morphological adaptations

    PubMed Central

    Davit-Béal, Tiphaine; Tucker, Abigail S; Sire, Jean-Yves

    2009-01-01

    Since their recruitment in the oral cavity, approximately 450 million years ago, teeth have been subjected to strong selective constraints due to the crucial role that they play in species survival. It is therefore quite surprising that the ability to develop functional teeth has subsequently been lost several times, independently, in various lineages. In this review, we concentrate our attention on tetrapods, the only vertebrate lineage in which several clades lack functional teeth from birth to adulthood. Indeed, in other lineages, teeth can be absent in adults but be functionally present in larvae and juveniles, can be absent in the oral cavity but exist in the pharyngeal region, or can develop on the upper jaw but be absent on the lower jaw. Here, we analyse the current data on toothless (edentate) tetrapod taxa, including information available on enamel-less species. Firstly, we provide an analysis of the dispersed and fragmentary morphological data published on the various living taxa concerned (and their extinct relatives) with the aim of tracing the origin of tooth or enamel loss, i.e. toads in Lissamphibia, turtles and birds in Sauropsida, and baleen whales, pangolins, anteaters, sloths, armadillos and aardvark in Mammalia. Secondly, we present current hypotheses on the genetic basis of tooth loss in the chicken and thirdly, we try to answer the question of how these taxa have survived tooth loss given the crucial importance of this tool. The loss of teeth (or only enamel) in all of these taxa was not lethal because it was always preceded in evolution by the pre-adaptation of a secondary tool (beak, baleens, elongated adhesive tongues or hypselodonty) useful for improving efficiency in food uptake. The positive selection of such secondary tools would have led to relaxed functional constraints on teeth and would have later compensated for the loss of teeth. These hypotheses raise numerous questions that will hopefully be answered in the near future. PMID

  5. A novel role for the tumour suppressor Nitrilase1 modulating the Wnt/β-catenin signalling pathway.

    PubMed

    Mittag, Sonnhild; Valenta, Tomas; Weiske, Jörg; Bloch, Laura; Klingel, Susanne; Gradl, Dietmar; Wetzel, Franziska; Chen, Yuan; Petersen, Iver; Basler, Konrad; Huber, Otmar

    2016-01-01

    Nitrilase1 was classified as a tumour suppressor in association with the fragile histidine-triad protein Fhit. However, knowledge about nitrilase1 and its tumour suppressor function is still limited. Whereas nitrilase1 and Fhit are discrete proteins in mammals, they are merged in Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans. According to the Rosetta-Stone hypothesis, proteins encoded as fusion proteins in one organism and as separate proteins in another organism may act in the same signalling pathway. Although a direct interaction of human nitrilase1 and Fhit has not been shown, our previous finding that Fhit interacts with β-catenin and represses its transcriptional activity in the canonical Wnt pathway suggested that human nitrilase1 also modulates Wnt signalling. In fact, human nitrilase1 forms a complex with β-catenin and LEF-1/TCF-4, represses β-catenin-mediated transcription and shows an additive effect together with Fhit. Knockdown of human nitrilase1 enhances Wnt target gene expression. Moreover, our experiments show that β-catenin competes away human nitrilase1 from LEF-1/TCF and thereby contributes to the activation of Wnt-target gene transcription. Inhibitory activity of human nitrilase1 on vertebrate Wnt signalling was confirmed by repression of Wnt-induced double axis formation in Xenopus embryogenesis. In line with this finding, the Drosophila fusion protein Drosophila NitFhit directly binds to Armadillo and represses the Wingless pathway in reporter gene assays. Genetic experiments confirmed the repressive activity of Drosophila NitFhit on Wingless signalling in the Drosophila wing imaginal disc. In addition, colorectal tumour microarray analysis revealed a significantly reduced expression of human nitrilase1 in poorly differentiated tumours. Taken together, repression of the canonical Wnt pathway represents a new mechanism for the human nitrilase1 tumour suppressor function. PMID:27462437

  6. p120 Catenin-Mediated Stabilization of E-Cadherin Is Essential for Primitive Endoderm Specification

    PubMed Central

    Haenebalcke, Lieven; Stryjewska, Agata; De Rycke, Riet; Lemeire, Kelly; Huylebroeck, Danny; Stemmler, Marc P.; Wirth, Dagmar; Haigh, Jody J.; van Hengel, Jolanda; van Roy, Frans

    2016-01-01

    E-cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion is critical for naive pluripotency of cultured mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs). E-cadherin-depleted mESC fail to downregulate their pluripotency program and are unable to initiate lineage commitment. To further explore the roles of cell adhesion molecules during mESC differentiation, we focused on p120 catenin (p120ctn). Although one key function of p120ctn is to stabilize and regulate cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion, it has many additional functions, including regulation of transcription and Rho GTPase activity. Here, we investigated the role of mouse p120ctn in early embryogenesis, mESC pluripotency and early fate determination. In contrast to the E-cadherin-null phenotype, p120ctn-null mESCs remained pluripotent, but their in vitro differentiation was incomplete. In particular, they failed to form cystic embryoid bodies and showed defects in primitive endoderm formation. To pinpoint the underlying mechanism, we undertook a structure-function approach. Rescue of p120ctn-null mESCs with different p120ctn wild-type and mutant expression constructs revealed that the long N-terminal domain of p120ctn and its regulatory domain for RhoA were dispensable, whereas its armadillo domain and interaction with E-cadherin were crucial for primitive endoderm formation. We conclude that p120ctn is not only an adaptor and regulator of E-cadherin, but is also indispensable for proper lineage commitment. PMID:27556156

  7. Cloning, Characteristics, and Functional Analysis of Rabbit NADPH Oxidase 5

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Feng; Yin, Caiyong; Dimitropoulou, Christiana; Fulton, David J. R.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Nox5 was the last member of the Nox enzyme family to be identified. Functionally distinct from the other Nox isoforms, our understanding of its physiological significance has been hampered by the absence of Nox5 in mouse and rat genomes. Nox5 is present in the genomes of other species such as the rabbit that have broad utility as models of cardiovascular disease. However, the mRNA sequence, characteristics, and functional analysis of rabbit Nox5 has not been fully defined and were the goals of the current study. Methods: Rabbit Nox5 was amplified from rabbit tissue, cloned, and sequenced. COS-7 cells were employed for expression and functional analysis via Western blotting and measurements of superoxide. We designed and synthesized miRNAs selectively targeting rabbit Nox5. The nucleotide and amino acid sequences of rabbit Nox5 were aligned with those of putative rabbit isoforms (X1, X2, X3, and X4). A phylogenetic tree was generated based on the mRNA sequence for Nox5 from rabbit and other species. Results: Sequence alignment revealed that the identified rabbit Nox5 was highly conserved with the predicted sequence of rabbit Nox5. Cell based experiments reveal that rabbit Nox5 was robustly expressed and produced superoxide at rest and in a calcium and PMA-dependent manner that was susceptible to superoxide dismutase and the flavoprotein inhibitor, DPI. miRNA-1 was shown to be most effective in down-regulating the expression of rabbit Nox5. Phylogenetic analysis revealed a close relationship between rabbit and armadillo Nox5. Rabbit Nox5 was relatively closely related to human Nox5, but lies in a distinct cluster. Conclusion: Our study establishes the suitability of the rabbit as a model organism to further our understanding of the role of Nox5 in cardiovascular and other diseases and provides new information on the genetic relationship of Nox5 genes in different species. PMID:27486403

  8. Effects of purification and fluorescent staining on viability of Mycobacterium leprae.

    PubMed

    Lahiri, Ramanuj; Randhawa, Baljit; Krahenbuhl, James L

    2005-09-01

    Over the years, researchers have carried out experiments with Mycobacterium leprae obtained from either human multibacillary lesions, or infected armadillo tissues, or infected footpad tissues of conventional mice as well as athymic nu/nu mice. In general, these sources of leprosy bacilli are satisfactory for most biochemical and mouse footpad studies, but less than satisfactory for studies in cell biology and immunology where contaminating host tissues pose a serious problem. We examined the utility of a procedure for eliminating mouse footpad tissue from M. leprae suspension using sodium hydroxide solution and its subsequent effect on the viability of the organism by determining the rate of palmitic acid oxidation, bacterial membrane integrity, and growth in the mouse footpad. We found that treating M. leprae suspension, obtained from infected nu/nu mouse footpad, with 0.1N NaOH for 3 min was sufficient to remove the majority of mouse tissue without adversely affecting the viability of the organism. This is a simple and rapid method to get suspensions of nu/nu footpad-derived viable M. leprae essentially free of host tissues, which can be a research reagent for studying the host-pathogen relationship in leprosy. We also report here a method for labeling M. leprae with the fluorescent dye PKH26, without compromising on the viability of the organism. This method may be useful in intracellular trafficking studies of M. leprae or in other cell biology studies that require tracking of the bacteria using fluorescent tag. We observed the staining to be stable in vitro over considerable lengths of time and did not affect the viability of the bacteria. PMID:16830641

  9. Sarm1-mediated axon degeneration requires both SAM and TIR interactions.

    PubMed

    Gerdts, Josiah; Summers, Daniel W; Sasaki, Yo; DiAntonio, Aaron; Milbrandt, Jeffrey

    2013-08-14

    Axon degeneration is an evolutionarily conserved pathway that eliminates damaged or unneeded axons. Manipulation of this poorly understood pathway may allow treatment of a wide range of neurological disorders. In an RNAi-based screen performed in cultured mouse DRG neurons, we observed strong suppression of injury-induced axon degeneration upon knockdown of Sarm1 [SARM (sterile α-motif-containing and armadillo-motif containing protein)]. We find that a SARM-dependent degeneration program is engaged by disparate neuronal insults: SARM ablation blocks axon degeneration induced by axotomy or vincristine treatment, while SARM acts in parallel with a soma-derived caspase-dependent pathway following trophic withdrawal. SARM is a multidomain protein that associates with neuronal mitochondria. Deletion of the N-terminal mitochondrial localization sequence disrupts SARM mitochondrial localization in neurons but does not alter its ability to promote axon degeneration. In contrast, mutation of either the SAM (sterile α motif) or TIR (Toll-interleukin-1 receptor) domains abolishes the ability of SARM to promote axonal degeneration, while a SARM mutant containing only these domains elicits axon degeneration and nonapoptotic neuronal death even in the absence of injury. Protein-protein interaction studies demonstrate that the SAM domains are necessary and sufficient to mediate SARM-SARM binding. SARM mutants lacking a TIR domain bind full-length SARM and exhibit strong dominant-negative activity. These results indicate that SARM plays an integral role in the dismantling of injured axons and support a model in which SAM-mediated multimerization is necessary for TIR-dependent engagement of a downstream destruction pathway. These findings suggest that inhibitors of SAM and TIR interactions represent therapeutic candidates for blocking pathological axon loss and neuronal cell death. PMID:23946415

  10. T-cell death following immune activation is mediated by mitochondria-localized SARM.

    PubMed

    Panneerselvam, P; Singh, L P; Selvarajan, V; Chng, W J; Ng, S B; Tan, N S; Ho, B; Chen, J; Ding, J L

    2013-03-01

    Following acute-phase infection, activated T cells are terminated to achieve immune homeostasis, failure of which results in lymphoproliferative and autoimmune diseases. We report that sterile α- and heat armadillo-motif-containing protein (SARM), the most conserved Toll-like receptors adaptor, is proapoptotic during T-cell immune response. SARM expression is significantly reduced in natural killer (NK)/T lymphoma patients compared with healthy individuals, suggesting that decreased SARM supports NK/T-cell proliferation. T cells knocked down of SARM survived and proliferated more significantly compared with wild-type T cells following influenza infection in vivo. During activation of cytotoxic T cells, the SARM level fell before rising, correlating inversely with cell proliferation and subsequent T-cell clearance. SARM knockdown rescued T cells from both activation- and neglect-induced cell deaths. The mitochondria-localized SARM triggers intrinsic apoptosis by generating reactive oxygen species and depolarizing the mitochondrial potential. The proapoptotic function is attributable to the C-terminal sterile alpha motif and Toll/interleukin-1 receptor domains. Mechanistically, SARM mediates intrinsic apoptosis via B cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) family members. SARM suppresses B cell lymphoma-extra large (Bcl-xL) and downregulates extracellular signal-regulated kinase phosphorylation, which are cell survival effectors. Overexpression of Bcl-xL and double knockout of Bcl-2 associated X protein and Bcl-2 homologous antagonist killer substantially reduced SARM-induced apoptosis. Collectively, we have shown how T-cell death following infection is mediated by SARM-induced intrinsic apoptosis, which is crucial for T-cell homeostasis. PMID:23175186

  11. Ubiquitination by SAG regulates macrophage survival/death and immune response during infection.

    PubMed

    Chang, S C; Ding, J L

    2014-09-01

    The checkpoint between the life and death of macrophages is crucial for the host's frontline immune defense during acute phase infection. However, the mechanism as to how the immune cell equilibrates between apoptosis and immune response is unclear. Using in vitro and ex vivo approaches, we showed that macrophage survival is synchronized by SAG (sensitive to apoptosis gene), which is a key member of the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS). When challenged by pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs), we observed a reciprocal expression profile of pro- and antiapoptotic factors in macrophages. However, SAG knockdown disrupted this balance. Further analysis revealed that ubiquitination of Bax and SARM (sterile α- and HEAT/armadillo-motif-containing protein) by SAG-UPS confers survival advantage to infected macrophages. SAG knockdown caused the accumulation of proapoptotic Bax and SARM, imbalance of Bcl-2/Bax in the mitochondria, induction of cytosolic cytochrome c and activation of caspase-9 and -3, all of which led to disequilibrium between life and death of macrophages. In contrast, SAG-overexpressing macrophages challenged with PAMPs exhibited upregulation of protumorigenic cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α), and downregulation of antitumorigenic cytokine (IL-12p40) and anti-inflammatory cytokine (IL-10). This suggests that SAG-dependent UPS is a key switch between immune defense and apoptosis or immune overactivation and tumorigenesis. Altogether, our results indicate that SAG-UPS facilitates a timely and appropriate level of immune response, prompting future development of potential immunomodulators of SAG-UPS. PMID:24786833

  12. Activation of TLR3 Promotes the Degeneration of Retinal Ganglion Cells by Upregulating the Protein Levels of JNK3

    PubMed Central

    Chintala, Shravan K.; Putris, Nahrain; Geno, Mason

    2015-01-01

    Purpose. To investigate whether activation of Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) promotes the degeneration of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) by upregulating the protein levels of c-jun N-terminal kinase 3 (JNK3). Methods. Toll-like receptor 3-specific activator, Poly(I:C) (polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid), or PBS was injected into the vitreous humor of Thy1-YFP mice. At 24, 48, and 72 hours after treatments, degeneration of RGCs was assessed by using antibodies against brain-specific homeobox/POU domain protein 3a (Brn3a). A TLR3-specific inhibitor was injected into the vitreous humor with or without Poly(I:C). Western blot assays were performed to determine relative levels of TLR3, JNK3, pJNK3, and sterile alpha and HEAT/Armadillo motif-containing 1 (SARM1) proteins in retinal protein extracts, and immunohistochemistry assays were performed to determine their cellular localization in the retina. Mouse eyes were treated with Poly(I:C) or PBS along with MitoTracker Red, and colocalization of MitoTracker Red and JNK3 in the retinas was determined by using antibodies against JNK3. Results. Poly(I:C) activated TLR3 and upregulated its downstream target protein JNK3 but not SARM1 in the retina. Poly(I:C) activated TLR3 and upregulated JNK3 specifically in RGCs and promoted a significant degeneration of RGCs over a 72-hour time period. Toll-like receptor 3 upregulated the levels of JNK3 protein in the cytoplasm of RGCs, but not in the mitochondria. Toll-like receptor 3-specific inhibitor downregulated Poly(I:C)-mediated upregulation of JNK3 protein, and, in turn, significantly attenuated TLR3-induced degeneration of RGCs. Conclusions. Results presented in this study show that the activation of TLR3 alone promotes the degeneration of RGCs by upregulating the protein levels of JNK3. PMID:25564448

  13. p120 Catenin-Mediated Stabilization of E-Cadherin Is Essential for Primitive Endoderm Specification.

    PubMed

    Pieters, Tim; Goossens, Steven; Haenebalcke, Lieven; Andries, Vanessa; Stryjewska, Agata; De Rycke, Riet; Lemeire, Kelly; Hochepied, Tino; Huylebroeck, Danny; Berx, Geert; Stemmler, Marc P; Wirth, Dagmar; Haigh, Jody J; van Hengel, Jolanda; van Roy, Frans

    2016-08-01

    E-cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion is critical for naive pluripotency of cultured mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs). E-cadherin-depleted mESC fail to downregulate their pluripotency program and are unable to initiate lineage commitment. To further explore the roles of cell adhesion molecules during mESC differentiation, we focused on p120 catenin (p120ctn). Although one key function of p120ctn is to stabilize and regulate cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion, it has many additional functions, including regulation of transcription and Rho GTPase activity. Here, we investigated the role of mouse p120ctn in early embryogenesis, mESC pluripotency and early fate determination. In contrast to the E-cadherin-null phenotype, p120ctn-null mESCs remained pluripotent, but their in vitro differentiation was incomplete. In particular, they failed to form cystic embryoid bodies and showed defects in primitive endoderm formation. To pinpoint the underlying mechanism, we undertook a structure-function approach. Rescue of p120ctn-null mESCs with different p120ctn wild-type and mutant expression constructs revealed that the long N-terminal domain of p120ctn and its regulatory domain for RhoA were dispensable, whereas its armadillo domain and interaction with E-cadherin were crucial for primitive endoderm formation. We conclude that p120ctn is not only an adaptor and regulator of E-cadherin, but is also indispensable for proper lineage commitment. PMID:27556156

  14. The Transcriptional Repressor Kaiso Localizes at the Mitotic Spindle and Is a Constituent of the Pericentriolar Material

    PubMed Central

    Soubry, Adelheid; Staes, Katrien; Parthoens, Eef; Noppen, Sam; Stove, Christophe; Bogaert, Pieter; van Hengel, Jolanda; van Roy, Frans

    2010-01-01

    Kaiso is a BTB/POZ zinc finger protein known as a transcriptional repressor. It was originally identified through its in vitro association with the Armadillo protein p120ctn. Subcellular localization of Kaiso in cell lines and in normal and cancerous human tissues revealed that its expression is not restricted to the nucleus. In the present study we monitored Kaiso's subcellular localization during the cell cycle and found the following: (1) during interphase, Kaiso is located not only in the nucleus, but also on microtubular structures, including the centrosome; (2) at metaphase, it is present at the centrosomes and on the spindle microtubules; (3) during telophase, it accumulates at the midbody. We found that Kaiso is a genuine PCM component that belongs to a pericentrin molecular complex. We analyzed the functions of different domains of Kaiso by visualizing the subcellular distribution of GFP-tagged Kaiso fragments throughout the cell cycle. Our results indicate that two domains are responsible for targeting Kaiso to the centrosomes and microtubules. The first domain, designated SA1 for spindle-associated domain 1, is located in the center of the Kaiso protein and localizes at the spindle microtubules and centrosomes; the second domain, SA2, is an evolutionarily conserved domain situated just before the zinc finger domain and might be responsible for localizing Kaiso towards the centrosomal region. Constructs containing both SA domains and Kaiso's aminoterminal BTB/POZ domain triggered the formation of abnormal centrosomes. We also observed that overexpression of longer or full-length Kaiso constructs led to mitotic cell arrest and frequent cell death. Knockdown of Kaiso accelerated cell proliferation. Our data reveal a new target for Kaiso at the centrosomes and spindle microtubules during mitosis. They also strongly imply that Kaiso's function as a transcriptional regulator might be linked to the control of the cell cycle and to cell proliferation in cancer

  15. Convergence of gut microbiomes in myrmecophagous mammals.

    PubMed

    Delsuc, Frédéric; Metcalf, Jessica L; Wegener Parfrey, Laura; Song, Se Jin; González, Antonio; Knight, Rob

    2014-03-01

    Mammals have diversified into many dietary niches. Specialized myrmecophagous (ant- and termite-eating) placental mammals represent a textbook example of evolutionary convergence driven by extreme diet specialization. Armadillos, anteaters, aardvarks, pangolins and aardwolves thus provide a model system for understanding the potential role of gut microbiota in the convergent adaptation to myrmecophagy. Here, we expand upon previous mammalian gut microbiome studies by using high-throughput barcoded Illumina sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene to characterize the composition of gut microbiota in 15 species representing all placental myrmecophagous lineages and their close relatives from zoo- and field-collected samples. We confirm that both diet and phylogeny drive the evolution of mammalian gut microbiota, with cases of convergence in global composition, but also examples of phylogenetic inertia. Our results reveal specialized placental myrmecophages as a spectacular case of large-scale convergence in gut microbiome composition. Indeed, neighbour-net networks and beta-diversity plots based on UniFrac distances show significant clustering of myrmecophagous species (anteaters, aardvarks and aardwolves), even though they belong to phylogenetically distant lineages representing different orders. The aardwolf, which diverged from carnivorous hyenas only in the last 10 million years, experienced a convergent shift in the composition of its gut microbiome to become more similar to other myrmecophages. These results confirm diet adaptation to be a major driving factor of convergence in gut microbiome composition over evolutionary timescales. This study sets the scene for future metagenomic studies aiming at evaluating potential convergence in functional gene content in the microbiomes of specialized mammalian myrmecophages. PMID:24118574

  16. Identification and characterization of rat Bcl9l gene in silico.

    PubMed

    Katoh, Yuriko; Katoh, Masaru

    2005-03-01

    Drosophila wingless (wg), shaggy (sgg), armadillo (arm), legless (lgs), pygopus (pygo), pangolin (pan), and engrailed (en) are segment polarity genes implicated in Wg-Arm (WNT-beta-catenin) pathway. Drosophila lgs encodes nuclear scaffold protein functioning as positive regulator for Wg-Arm pathway. Cancer-associated genes BCL9 and BCL9L are human homologs for Drosophila lgs. Here, we identified and characterized rat Bcl9l gene by using bioinformatics. Rat Bcl9l gene, consisting of eight exons, was located within AC124034.4 and AC105645.5 genome sequences. Bcl9l gene was linked to Blr1 gene at rat chromosome 8q22 in the tail-to-tail manner with an interval less than 2 kb. Rat Bcl9l gene was found to encode a 1494-aa Bcl9l protein, which showed 97.7% and 94.2% total-amino-acid identity with mouse Bcl9l and human BCL9L, respectively. B9H1-B9H6 domains, originally identified as conserved regions among mammalian BCL9 and BCL9L homologs, were also identified within rat Bcl9l. B9H1 and B9H2 domains corresponded to HD1 and HD2 domains of Drosophila lgs, functioning as binding regions for Pygo and Arm, respectively. B9H4 domain was characterized by multiple Ser-Pro repeats. Thr 954 within B9H4 domain of rat Bcl9l was conserved in mammalian BCL9 and BCL9L homologs. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that mammalian Bcl9l homologs were more related to human BCL9 than to Drosophila lgs. This is the first report on rat Bcl9l gene. PMID:15703843

  17. NOT10 and C2orf29/NOT11 form a conserved module of the CCR4-NOT complex that docks onto the NOT1 N-terminal domain

    PubMed Central

    Bawankar, Praveen; Loh, Belinda; Wohlbold, Lara; Schmidt, Steffen; Izaurralde, Elisa

    2013-01-01

    The CCR4-NOT complex plays a crucial role in post-transcriptional mRNA regulation in eukaryotes. This complex catalyzes the removal of mRNA poly(A) tails, thereby repressing translation and committing an mRNA to degradation. The conserved core of the complex is assembled by the interaction of at least two modules: the NOT module, which minimally consists of NOT1, NOT2 and NOT3, and a catalytic module comprising two deadenylases, CCR4 and POP2/CAF1. Additional complex subunits include CAF40 and two newly identified human subunits, NOT10 and C2orf29. The role of the NOT10 and C2orf29 subunits and how they are integrated into the complex are unknown. Here, we show that the Drosophila melanogaster NOT10 and C2orf29 orthologs form a complex that interacts with the N-terminal domain of NOT1 through C2orf29. These interactions are conserved in human cells, indicating that NOT10 and C2orf29 define a conserved module of the CCR4-NOT complex. We further investigated the assembly of the D. melanogaster CCR4-NOT complex, and demonstrate that the conserved armadillo repeat domain of CAF40 interacts with a region of NOT1, comprising a domain of unknown function, DUF3819. Using tethering assays, we show that each subunit of the CCR4-NOT complex causes translational repression of an unadenylated mRNA reporter and deadenylation and degradation of a polyadenylated reporter. Therefore, the recruitment of a single subunit of the complex to an mRNA target induces the assembly of the complete CCR4-NOT complex, resulting in a similar regulatory outcome. PMID:23303381

  18. A novel role for the tumour suppressor Nitrilase1 modulating the Wnt/β-catenin signalling pathway

    PubMed Central

    Mittag, Sonnhild; Valenta, Tomas; Weiske, Jörg; Bloch, Laura; Klingel, Susanne; Gradl, Dietmar; Wetzel, Franziska; Chen, Yuan; Petersen, Iver; Basler, Konrad; Huber, Otmar

    2016-01-01

    Nitrilase1 was classified as a tumour suppressor in association with the fragile histidine-triad protein Fhit. However, knowledge about nitrilase1 and its tumour suppressor function is still limited. Whereas nitrilase1 and Fhit are discrete proteins in mammals, they are merged in Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans. According to the Rosetta-Stone hypothesis, proteins encoded as fusion proteins in one organism and as separate proteins in another organism may act in the same signalling pathway. Although a direct interaction of human nitrilase1 and Fhit has not been shown, our previous finding that Fhit interacts with β-catenin and represses its transcriptional activity in the canonical Wnt pathway suggested that human nitrilase1 also modulates Wnt signalling. In fact, human nitrilase1 forms a complex with β-catenin and LEF-1/TCF-4, represses β-catenin-mediated transcription and shows an additive effect together with Fhit. Knockdown of human nitrilase1 enhances Wnt target gene expression. Moreover, our experiments show that β-catenin competes away human nitrilase1 from LEF-1/TCF and thereby contributes to the activation of Wnt-target gene transcription. Inhibitory activity of human nitrilase1 on vertebrate Wnt signalling was confirmed by repression of Wnt-induced double axis formation in Xenopus embryogenesis. In line with this finding, the Drosophila fusion protein Drosophila NitFhit directly binds to Armadillo and represses the Wingless pathway in reporter gene assays. Genetic experiments confirmed the repressive activity of Drosophila NitFhit on Wingless signalling in the Drosophila wing imaginal disc. In addition, colorectal tumour microarray analysis revealed a significantly reduced expression of human nitrilase1 in poorly differentiated tumours. Taken together, repression of the canonical Wnt pathway represents a new mechanism for the human nitrilase1 tumour suppressor function. PMID:27462437

  19. Combined exome and whole-genome sequencing identifies mutations in ARMC4 as a cause of primary ciliary dyskinesia with defects in the outer dynein arm

    PubMed Central

    Onoufriadis, Alexandros; Shoemark, Amelia; Munye, Mustafa M; James, Chela T; Schmidts, Miriam; Patel, Mitali; Rosser, Elisabeth M; Bacchelli, Chiara; Beales, Philip L; Scambler, Peter J; Hart, Stephen L; Danke-Roelse, Jeannette E; Sloper, John J; Hull, Sarah; Hogg, Claire; Emes, Richard D; Pals, Gerard; Moore, Anthony T; Chung, Eddie M K; Mitchison, Hannah M

    2014-01-01

    Background Primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) is a rare, genetically heterogeneous ciliopathy disorder affecting cilia and sperm motility. A range of ultrastructural defects of the axoneme underlie the disease, which is characterised by chronic respiratory symptoms and obstructive lung disease, infertility and body axis laterality defects. We applied a next-generation sequencing approach to identify the gene responsible for this phenotype in two consanguineous families. Methods and results Data from whole-exome sequencing in a consanguineous Turkish family, and whole-genome sequencing in the obligate carrier parents of a consanguineous Pakistani family was combined to identify homozygous loss-of-function mutations in ARMC4, segregating in all five affected individuals from both families. Both families carried nonsense mutations within the highly conserved armadillo repeat region of ARMC4: c.2675C>A; pSer892* and c.1972G>T; p.Glu658*. A deficiency of ARMC4 protein was seen in patient's respiratory cilia accompanied by loss of the distal outer dynein arm motors responsible for generating ciliary beating, giving rise to cilia immotility. ARMC4 gene expression is upregulated during ciliogenesis, and we found a predicted interaction with the outer dynein arm protein DNAI2, mutations in which also cause PCD. Conclusions We report the first use of whole-genome sequencing to identify gene mutations causing PCD. Loss-of-function mutations in ARMC4 cause PCD with situs inversus and cilia immotility, associated with a loss of the distal outer (but not inner) dynein arms. This addition of ARMC4 to the list of genes associated with ciliary outer dynein arm defects expands our understanding of the complexities of PCD genetics. PMID:24203976

  20. Scaling of form and function in the xenarthran femur: a 100-fold increase in body mass is mitigated by repositioning of the third trochanter

    PubMed Central

    Milne, Nick; O'Higgins, Paul

    2012-01-01

    How animals cope with increases in body size is a key issue in biology. Here, we consider scaling of xenarthrans, particularly how femoral form and function varies to accommodate the size range between the 3 kg armadillo and its giant relative the 300 kg glyptodont. It has already been noted that femoral morphology differs between these animals and suggested that this reflects a novel adaptation to size increase in glyptodont. We test this idea by applying a finite element analysis of coronal plane forces to femoral models of these animals, simulating the stance phase in the hind limb; where the femur is subject to bending owing to longitudinal compressive as well as abduction loads on the greater trochanter. We use these models to examine the hypothesis that muscles attaching on the third trochanter (T3) can reduce this bending in the loaded femur and that the T3 forces are more effective at reducing bending in glyptodont where the T3 is situated at the level of the knee. The analysis uses traditional finite element methods to produce strain maps and examine strains at 200 points on the femur. The coordinates of these points before and after loading are also used to carry out geometric morphometric (GM) analyses of the gross deformation of the model in different loading scenarios. The results show that longitudinal compressive and abductor muscle loading increases bending in the coronal plane, and that loads applied to the T3 reduce that bending. In the glyptodont model, the T3 loads are more effective and can more readily compensate for the bending owing to longitudinal and abductor loads. This study also demonstrates the usefulness of GM methods in interpreting the results of finite element analyses. PMID:22673355

  1. Attenuated traumatic axonal injury and improved functional outcome after traumatic brain injury in mice lacking Sarm1.

    PubMed

    Henninger, Nils; Bouley, James; Sikoglu, Elif M; An, Jiyan; Moore, Constance M; King, Jean A; Bowser, Robert; Freeman, Marc R; Brown, Robert H

    2016-04-01

    Axonal degeneration is a critical, early event in many acute and chronic neurological disorders. It has been consistently observed after traumatic brain injury, but whether axon degeneration is a driver of traumatic brain injury remains unclear. Molecular pathways underlying the pathology of traumatic brain injury have not been defined, and there is no efficacious treatment for traumatic brain injury. Here we show that mice lacking the mouse Toll receptor adaptorSarm1(sterile α/Armadillo/Toll-Interleukin receptor homology domain protein) gene, a key mediator of Wallerian degeneration, demonstrate multiple improved traumatic brain injury-associated phenotypes after injury in a closed-head mild traumatic brain injury model.Sarm1(-/-)mice developed fewer β-amyloid precursor protein aggregates in axons of the corpus callosum after traumatic brain injury as compared toSarm1(+/+)mice. Furthermore, mice lackingSarm1had reduced plasma concentrations of the phophorylated axonal neurofilament subunit H, indicating that axonal integrity is maintained after traumatic brain injury. Strikingly, whereas wild-type mice exibited a number of behavioural deficits after traumatic brain injury, we observed a strong, early preservation of neurological function inSarm1(-/-)animals. Finally, usingin vivoproton magnetic resonance spectroscopy we found tissue signatures consistent with substantially preserved neuronal energy metabolism inSarm1(-/-)mice compared to controls immediately following traumatic brain injury. Our results indicate that the SARM1-mediated prodegenerative pathway promotes pathogenesis in traumatic brain injury and suggest that anti-SARM1 therapeutics are a viable approach for preserving neurological function after traumatic brain injury. PMID:26912636

  2. Arm-Gal4 inheritance influences development and lifespan in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Slade, F A; Staveley, B E

    2015-01-01

    The UAS-Gal4 ectopic expression system is a widely used and highly valued tool that allows specific gene expression in Drosophila melanogaster. Yeast transcription factor Gal4 can be directed using D. melanogaster transcriptional control elements, and is often assumed to have little effect on the organism. By evaluation of the consequences of maternal and paternal inheritance of a Gal4 transgene under the transcriptional regulation of armadillo control elements (arm-Gal4), we demonstrated that Gal4 expression could be detrimental to development and longevity. Male progeny expressing arm-Gal4 in the presence of UAS-lacZ transgene had reduced numbers and size of ommatidia, compared to flies expressing UAS-lacZ transgene under the control of other Gal4 transgenes. Aged at 25°C, the median life span of male flies with maternally inherited elav-Gal4 was 70 days, without a responding transgene or with UAS-lacZ. The median life span of maternally inherited arm-Gal4 male flies without a responding transgene was 48 days, and 40 days with the UAS-lacZ transgene. A partial rescue of this phenotype was observed with the expression of UAS-lacZ under paternal arm-Gal4 control, having an average median lifespan of 60 days. This data suggests that arm-Gal4 has detrimental effects on Drosophila development and lifespan that are directly dependent upon parental inheritance, and that the benign responder and reporter gene UAS-lacZ may influence D. melanogaster development. These findings should be taken into consideration during the design and execution of UAS-Gal4 expression experiments. PMID:26505429

  3. PLANT U-BOX PROTEIN10 Regulates MYC2 Stability in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Jung, Choonkyun; Zhao, Pingzhi; Seo, Jun Sung; Mitsuda, Nobutaka; Deng, Shulin; Chua, Nam-Hai

    2015-07-01

    MYC2 is an important regulator for jasmonic acid (JA) signaling, but little is known about its posttranslational regulation. Here, we show that the MYC2 C-terminal region interacted with the PLANT U-BOX PROTEIN10 (PUB10) armadillo repeats in vitro. MYC2 was efficiently polyubiquitinated by PUB10 with UBC8 as an E2 enzyme and the conserved C249 in PUB10 was required for activity. The inactive PUB10(C249A) mutant protein retained its ability to heterodimerize with PUB10, thus blocking PUB10 E3 activity as a dominant-negative mutant. Both MYC2 and PUB10 were nucleus localized and coimmunoprecipitation experiments confirmed their interaction in vivo. Although unstable in the wild type, MYC2 stability was enhanced in pub10, suggesting destabilization by PUB10. Moreover, MYC2 half-life was shortened or prolonged by induced expression of PUB10 or the dominant-negative PUB10(C249A) mutant, respectively. Root growth of pub10 seedlings phenocopied 35S:MYC2 seedlings and was hypersensitive to methyl jasmonate, whereas 35S:PUB10 and jin1-9 (myc2) seedlings were hyposensitive. In addition, the root phenotype conferred by MYC2 overexpression in double transgenic plants was reversed or enhanced by induced expression of PUB10 or PUB10(C249A), respectively. Similar results were obtained with three other JA-regulated genes, TAT, JR2, and PDF1.2. Collectively, our results show that MYC2 is targeted by PUB10 for degradation during JA responses. PMID:26163577

  4. Di-Ras2 Protein Forms a Complex with SmgGDS Protein in Brain Cytosol in Order to Be in a Low Affinity State for Guanine Nucleotides.

    PubMed

    Ogita, Yoshitaka; Egami, Sachiko; Ebihara, Arisa; Ueda, Nami; Katada, Toshiaki; Kontani, Kenji

    2015-08-14

    The Ras family of small GTPases function in a wide variety of biological processes as "molecular switches" by cycling between inactive GDP-bound and active GTP-bound forms. Di-Ras1 and Di-Ras2 were originally identified as small GTPases forming a distinct subgroup of the Ras family. Di-Ras1/Di-Ras2 mRNAs are detected predominantly in brain and heart tissues. Biochemical analysis of Di-Ras1/Di-Ras2 has revealed that they have little GTPase activity and that their intrinsic guanine-nucleotide exchange rates are much faster than that of H-Ras. Yet little is known about the biological role(s) of Di-Ras1/Di-Ras2 or of how their activities are regulated. In the present study we found that endogenous Di-Ras2 co-purifies with SmgGDS from rat brain cytosol. Size-exclusion chromatography of purified recombinant proteins showed that Di-Ras2 forms a high affinity complex with SmgGDS. SmgGDS is a guanine nucleotide exchange factor with multiple armadillo repeats and has recently been shown to specifically activate RhoA and RhoC. In contrast to the effect on RhoA, SmgGDS does not act as a guanine nucleotide exchange factor for Di-Ras2 but instead tightly associates with Di-Ras2 to reduce its binding affinity for guanine nucleotides. Finally, pulse-chase analysis revealed that Di-Ras2 binds, in a C-terminal CAAX motif-dependent manner, to SmgGDS immediately after its synthesis. This leads to increased Di-Ras2 stability. We thus propose that isoprenylated Di-Ras2 forms a tight complex with SmgGDS in cytosol immediately after its synthesis, which lowers its affinity for guanine nucleotides. PMID:26149690

  5. Structure and Function of the PLAA/Ufd3-p97/Cdc48 Complex

    SciTech Connect

    Qiu, Liyan; Pashkova, Natasha; Walker, John R.; Winistorfer, Stanley; Allali-Hassani, Abdellah; Akutsu, Masato; Piper, Robert; Dhe-Paganon, Sirano

    2010-02-11

    PLAA (ortholog of yeast Doa1/Ufd3, also know as human PLAP or phospholipase A2-activating protein) has been implicated in a variety of disparate biological processes that involve the ubiquitin system. It is linked to the maintenance of ubiquitin levels, but the mechanism by which it accomplishes this is unclear. The C-terminal PUL (PLAP, Ufd3p, and Lub1p) domain of PLAA binds p97, an AAA ATPase, which among other functions helps transfer ubiquitinated proteins to the proteasome for degradation. In yeast, loss of Doa1 is suppressed by altering p97/Cdc48 function indicating that physical interaction between PLAA and p97 is functionally important. Although the overall regions of interaction between these proteins are known, the structural basis has been unavailable. We solved the high resolution crystal structure of the p97-PLAA complex showing that the PUL domain forms a 6-mer Armadillo-containing domain. Its N-terminal extension folds back onto the inner curvature forming a deep ridge that is positively charged with residues that are phylogenetically conserved. The C terminus of p97 binds in this ridge, where the side chain of p97-Tyr805, implicated in phosphorylation-dependent regulation, is buried. Expressed in doa1{Delta} null cells, point mutants of the yeast ortholog Doa1 that disrupt this interaction display slightly reduced ubiquitin levels, but unlike doa1{Delta} null cells, showed only some of the growth phenotypes. These data suggest that the p97-PLAA interaction is important for a subset of PLAA-dependent biological processes and provides a framework to better understand the role of these complex molecules in the ubiquitin system.

  6. Indigenous Cases of Leprosy (Hansen's Disease) in Southern Mississippi.

    PubMed

    Marcos, Luis A; Dobbs, Thomas; Walker, Sue; Waller, William; Stryjewska, Barbara M

    2015-07-01

    Hansen's disease or leprosy is a chronic infection of the skin and peripheral nerves caused by Mycobacterium leprae. In the U.S., leprosy is mainly reported in immigrants, but indigenous leprosy cases have been also reported in this country, especially in semitropical southern states (i.e., Texas, Louisiana). The objective of this series of cases is to describe indigenous leprosy cases reported in southern Mississippi (MS) during the period 2012-2014. Information was collected from medical records at Hattiesburg Clinic and the MS Department of Health. Four cases were reported during the period of study (3 Caucasian males, 1 African-American woman). Non of visited endemic leprosy country. The age ranged from 60 to 83 years (median: 75.5 years). Of the four cases, three presented with a slowly progressive erythematous rash disseminated mainly on the thorax and abdomen, with a lesser degree on the extremities. The time between onset of rash until the diagnosis ranged from 5 to 16 months (median: 7 months). Only one case had direct contact with armadillos (blood exposure). Non of these patients had a history of immunosuppression. The most common symptoms were neuropathic pain (n=2), generalized pruritus (n=2) and loss of sensation in extremities (n=2). One case had severe peripheral neuropathy with muscle weakness, atrophy in left arm, and wasting on left hand. Skin biopsies showed diffuse granulomatous infiltrate with foamy histiocytes along with acid fast bacilli by Fite stain. By Ridley-Jopling classification system, three cases were diagnosis as lepromatous leprosy, and one, borderline lepromatous. Treatment included clofazimine, dapsone and rifampin that was offered free of charge by the National Hansen's Diseases Program, Baton Rouge, L.A. One patient did not tolerate therapy. In conclusion, a slowly progressive disseminated erythematous skin rash on the trunk should raise suspicion for leprosy in the elderly population in south MS. PMID:26434167

  7. Comparative aspects of trophoblast development and placentation.

    PubMed

    Carter, Anthony M; Enders, Allen C

    2004-07-01

    Based on the number of tissues separating maternal from fetal blood, placentas are classified as epitheliochorial, endotheliochorial or hemochorial. We review the occurrence of these placental types in the various orders of eutherian mammals within the framework of the four superorders identified by the techniques of molecular phylogenetics. The superorder Afrotheria diversified in ancient Africa and its living representatives include elephants, sea cows, hyraxes, aardvark, elephant shrews and tenrecs. Xenarthra, comprising armadillos, anteaters and sloths, diversified in South America. All placentas examined from members of these two oldest superorders are either endotheliochorial or hemochorial. The superorder Euarchontoglires includes two sister groups, Glires and Euarchonta. The former comprises rodents and lagomorphs, which typically have hemochorial placentas. The most primitive members of Euarchonta, the tree shrews, have endotheliochorial placentation. Flying lemurs and all higher primates have hemochorial placentas. However, the lemurs and lorises are exceptional among primates in having epitheliochorial placentation. Laurasiatheria, the last superorder to arise, includes several orders with epitheliochorial placentation. These comprise whales, camels, pigs, ruminants, horses and pangolins. In contrast, nearly all carnivores have endotheliochorial placentation, whilst bats have endotheliochorial or hemochorial placentas. Also included in Laurasiatheria are a number of insectivores that have many conserved morphological characters; none of these has epitheliochorial placentation. Consideration of placental type in relation to the findings of molecular phylogenetics suggests that the likely path of evolution in Afrotheria was from endotheliochorial to hemochorial placentation. This is also a likely scenario for Xenarthra and the bats. We argue that a definitive epitheliochorial placenta is a secondary specialization and that it evolved twice, once in the

  8. Dynamic modeling and mobility analysis of the transforming roving-rolling explorer (TRREx) as it Traverses Rugged Martian Terrain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edwin, Lionel E.; Mazzoleni, Andre P.

    2016-03-01

    All planetary surface exploration missions thus far have employed traditional rovers with a rocker-bogie suspension. These rovers can navigate moderately rough and flat terrain, but are not designed to traverse rugged terrain with steep slopes. The fact is, however, that the most scientifically interesting missions require exploration platforms with capabilities for navigating such types of rugged terrain. This issue motivates the development of new kinds of rovers that take advantage of the latest advances in robotic technologies to traverse rugged terrain efficiently. This work analyzes one such rover concept called the Transforming Roving-Rolling Explorer (TRREx) that is principally aimed at addressing the above issue. Biologically inspired by the way the armadillo curls up into a ball when threatened, and the way the golden wheel spider uses the dynamic advantages of a sphere to roll down hills when escaping danger, the TRREx rover can traverse like a traditional 6-wheeled rover over conventional terrain, but can also transform itself into a sphere, when necessary, to travel down steep inclines, or navigate rough terrain. This paper investigates the mobility of the TRREx when it is in its rolling mode, i.e. when it is a sphere and can steer itself through actuations that shift its center of mass to achieve the desired direction of roll. A mathematical model describing the dynamics of the rover in this spherical configuration is presented, and actuated rolling is demonstrated through computer simulation. Parametric analyzes that investigate the rover's mobility as a function of its design parameters are also presented. This work highlights the contribution of the spherical rolling mode to the enhanced mobility of the TRREx rover and how it could enable challenging surface exploration missions in the future.

  9. Evidence for an evolutionary relationship between the large adaptor nucleoporin Nup192 and karyopherins.

    PubMed

    Stuwe, Tobias; Lin, Daniel H; Collins, Leslie N; Hurt, Ed; Hoelz, André

    2014-02-18

    Nucleocytoplasmic transport is facilitated by nuclear pore complexes (NPCs), which are massive proteinaceous transport channels embedded in the nuclear envelope. Nup192 is a major component of an adaptor nucleoporin subcomplex proposed to link the NPC coat with the central transport channel. Here, we present the structure of the ∼110-kDa N-terminal domain (NTD) of Nup192 at 2.7-Å resolution. The structure reveals an open ring-shaped architecture composed of Huntingtin, EF3, PP2A, and TOR1 (HEAT) and Armadillo (ARM) repeats. A comparison of different conformations indicates that the NTD consists of two rigid halves connected by a flexible hinge. Unexpectedly, the two halves of the ring are structurally related to karyopherin-α (Kap-α) and β-karyopherin family members. Biochemically, we identify a conserved patch that binds an unstructured segment in Nup53 and show that a C-terminal tail region binds to a putative helical fragment in Nic96. The Nup53 segment that binds Nup192 is a classical nuclear localization-like sequence that interacts with Kap-α in a mutually exclusive and mechanistically distinct manner. The disruption of the Nup53 and Nic96 binding sites in vivo yields growth and mRNA export defects, revealing their critical role in proper NPC function. Surprisingly, both interactions are dispensable for NPC localization, suggesting that Nup192 possesses another nucleoporin interaction partner. These data indicate that the structured domains in the adaptor nucleoporin complex are held together by peptide interactions that resemble those found in karyopherin•cargo complexes and support the proposal that the adaptor nucleoporins arose from ancestral karyopherins. PMID:24505056

  10. Tandem-repeat protein domains across the tree of life

    PubMed Central

    Jernigan, Kristin K.

    2015-01-01

    Tandem-repeat protein domains, composed of repeated units of conserved stretches of 20–40 amino acids, are required for a wide array of biological functions. Despite their diverse and fundamental functions, there has been no comprehensive assessment of their taxonomic distribution, incidence, and associations with organismal lifestyle and phylogeny. In this study, we assess for the first time the abundance of armadillo (ARM) and tetratricopeptide (TPR) repeat domains across all three domains in the tree of life and compare the results to our previous analysis on ankyrin (ANK) repeat domains in this journal. All eukaryotes and a majority of the bacterial and archaeal genomes analyzed have a minimum of one TPR and ARM repeat. In eukaryotes, the fraction of ARM-containing proteins is approximately double that of TPR and ANK-containing proteins, whereas bacteria and archaea are enriched in TPR-containing proteins relative to ARM- and ANK-containing proteins. We show in bacteria that phylogenetic history, rather than lifestyle or pathogenicity, is a predictor of TPR repeat domain abundance, while neither phylogenetic history nor lifestyle predicts ARM repeat domain abundance. Surprisingly, pathogenic bacteria were not enriched in TPR-containing proteins, which have been associated within virulence factors in certain species. Taken together, this comparative analysis provides a newly appreciated view of the prevalence and diversity of multiple types of tandem-repeat protein domains across the tree of life. A central finding of this analysis is that tandem repeat domain-containing proteins are prevalent not just in eukaryotes, but also in bacterial and archaeal species. PMID:25653910

  11. Local and scientific knowledge for assessing the use of fallows and mature forest by large mammals in SE Brazil: identifying singularities in folkecology

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Local ecological knowledge (LEK) has been discussed in terms of its similarities to and its potential to complement normative scientific knowledge. In this study, we compared the knowledge of a Brazilian quilombola population regarding the habitat use and life habits of large mammals with in situ recordings of the species. We also tested the hypothesis that quilombola LEK has a special focus on the anthropogenic portion of the landscape. Methods The habitats investigated were anthropogenic secondary forests and mature forests in the southeastern Atlantic coast of Brazil. We conducted the faunal survey using the camera-trap method. The sampling effort consisted of deploying 1,217 cameras/day in the mature forests and 1,189 cameras/day in the secondary forests. Statistical comparisons regarding the habitat use of the species were based on the randomization procedure. We interviewed 36 men who were more than 40 years old in the three communities studied. Informal, semi-structured and structured interviews were used. Two variables were considered in the LEK analyses: level of internal agreement and level of convergence with the scientific data. Results The camera trap sampling resulted in a total of 981 records. Animals such as opossums, tayras, armadillos and deer showed a non-selective pattern in the use of habitats. In contrast, the coati was more common in mature forests. We found that nearly 40% of the interviewees’ responses converged with the scientific data on the use of habitats. However, the LEK on the species’ life habits was highly convergent with the scientific data. The hypothesis that secondary forests would have a greater relevance for local knowledge was validated for four of the five analyzed species. Conclusions We suggest two principal considerations of ecological and ethnoecological interest: (1) In the Atlantic Forest of the Ribeira Valley, the secondary forests resulting from shifting cultivation were as attractive to the species

  12. The Catenin p120ctn Interacts with Kaiso, a Novel BTB/POZ Domain Zinc Finger Transcription Factor

    PubMed Central

    Daniel, Juliet M.; Reynolds, Albert B.

    1999-01-01

    p120ctn is an Armadillo repeat domain protein with structural similarity to the cell adhesion cofactors β-catenin and plakoglobin. All three proteins interact directly with the cytoplasmic domain of the transmembrane cell adhesion molecule E-cadherin; β-catenin and plakoglobin bind a carboxy-terminal region in a mutually exclusive manner, while p120 binds the juxtamembrane region. Unlike β-catenin and plakoglobin, p120 does not interact with α-catenin, the tumor suppressor adenomatous polyposis coli (APC), or the transcription factor Lef-1, suggesting that it has unique binding partners and plays a distinct role in the cadherin-catenin complex. Using p120 as bait, we conducted a yeast two-hybrid screen and identified a novel transcription factor which we named Kaiso. Kaiso’s deduced amino acid sequence revealed an amino-terminal BTB/POZ protein-protein interaction domain and three carboxy-terminal zinc fingers of the C2H2 DNA-binding type. Kaiso thus belongs to a rapidly growing family of POZ-ZF transcription factors that include the Drosophila developmental regulators Tramtrak and Bric à brac, and the human oncoproteins BCL-6 and PLZF, which are causally linked to non-Hodgkins’ lymphoma and acute promyelocytic leukemia, respectively. Monoclonal antibodies to Kaiso were generated and used to immunolocalize the protein and confirm the specificity of the p120-Kaiso interaction in mammalian cells. Kaiso specifically coprecipitated with a variety of p120-specific monoclonal antibodies but not with antibodies to α- or β-catenin, E-cadherin, or APC. Like other POZ-ZF proteins, Kaiso localized to the nucleus and was associated with specific nuclear dots. Yeast two-hybrid interaction assays mapped the binding domains to Arm repeats 1 to 7 of p120 and the carboxy-terminal 200 amino acids of Kaiso. In addition, Kaiso homodimerized via its POZ domain but it did not heterodimerize with BCL-6, which heterodimerizes with PLZF. The involvement of POZ-ZF proteins in

  13. Shifting species ranges and changing phenology: A new approach to mining social media for ecosystems observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fuka, M. Z.; Osborne-Gowey, J. D.; Fuka, D. R.

    2013-12-01

    Geoscientists & ecologists are increasingly using social media to solicit 'citizen scientists' to participate in the data collection process. However, social media users are also a largely untapped resource of spontaneous, unsolicited observations of the natural world. Of particular interest are observations of species phenology & range to better develop a predictive understanding of how ecosystems are affected by a changing climate and human-mediated influences. Social media users' observations include information on phenological & biological phenomena such as flowers blooming, native & invasive species sightings, unusual behaviors, animal tracks, droppings, damage, feeding, nesting, etc. Our AGU2011 pilot study on the North American armadillo suggests that useful observational data can be extracted from Twitter to map current species ranges to compare with past ranges. We have expanded that work by mining Twitter for a number of North American species and ecosystem observations to determine usefulness for environmental applications such as: 1) supplementing existing databases, 2) identifying outlier phenomena, 3) guiding additional crowd-sourced studies and data collection efforts, 4) recruiting citizen scientists, 5) gauging sentiment about the observations and 6) informing ecosystems policy-making and education. We present the results for our evaluation of a representative sample from a list of 200+ species for which we've collected data since August 2011. Our results include frequency of reports and sightings by day, week and month, where the number of observations range from a few per month to ten or more per day. We discuss challenges, best practices and tools for distilling information from crowd-sourced observations gathered via Twitter in the form of 140-character 'tweets'. For example, geolocation is a critical issue. Despite the prevalence of smart phones, specific latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates are included in fewer than 10% of the

  14. Coevolved Mutations Reveal Distinct Architectures for Two Core Proteins in the Bacterial Flagellar Motor

    PubMed Central

    Pandini, Alessandro; Kleinjung, Jens; Rasool, Shafqat; Khan, Shahid

    2015-01-01

    Switching of bacterial flagellar rotation is caused by large domain movements of the FliG protein triggered by binding of the signal protein CheY to FliM. FliG and FliM form adjacent multi-subunit arrays within the basal body C-ring. The movements alter the interaction of the FliG C-terminal (FliGC) “torque” helix with the stator complexes. Atomic models based on the Salmonella entrovar C-ring electron microscopy reconstruction have implications for switching, but lack consensus on the relative locations of the FliG armadillo (ARM) domains (amino-terminal (FliGN), middle (FliGM) and FliGC) as well as changes during chemotaxis. The generality of the Salmonella model is challenged by the variation in motor morphology and response between species. We studied coevolved residue mutations to determine the unifying elements of switch architecture. Residue interactions, measured by their coevolution, were formalized as a network, guided by structural data. Our measurements reveal a common design with dedicated switch and motor modules. The FliM middle domain (FliMM) has extensive connectivity most simply explained by conserved intra and inter-subunit contacts. In contrast, FliG has patchy, complex architecture. Conserved structural motifs form interacting nodes in the coevolution network that wire FliMM to the FliGC C-terminal, four-helix motor module (C3-6). FliG C3-6 coevolution is organized around the torque helix, differently from other ARM domains. The nodes form separated, surface-proximal patches that are targeted by deleterious mutations as in other allosteric systems. The dominant node is formed by the EHPQ motif at the FliMMFliGM contact interface and adjacent helix residues at a central location within FliGM. The node interacts with nodes in the N-terminal FliGc α-helix triad (ARM-C) and FliGN. ARM-C, separated from C3-6 by the MFVF motif, has poor intra-network connectivity consistent with its variable orientation revealed by structural data. ARM-C could

  15. Molecular decay of enamel matrix protein genes in turtles and other edentulous amniotes

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Secondary edentulism (toothlessness) has evolved on multiple occasions in amniotes including several mammalian lineages (pangolins, anteaters, baleen whales), birds, and turtles. All edentulous amniote clades have evolved from ancestors with enamel-capped teeth. Previous studies have documented the molecular decay of tooth-specific genes in edentulous mammals, all of which lost their teeth in the Cenozoic, and birds, which lost their teeth in the Cretaceous. By contrast with mammals and birds, tooth loss in turtles occurred in the Jurassic (201.6-145.5 Ma), providing an extended time window for tooth gene degradation in this clade. The release of the painted turtle and Chinese softshell turtle genomes provides an opportunity to recover the decayed remains of tooth-specific genes in Testudines. Results We queried available genomes of Testudines (Chrysemys picta [painted turtle], Pelodiscus sinensis [Chinese softshell turtle]), Aves (Anas platyrhynchos [duck], Gallus gallus [chicken], Meleagris gallopavo [turkey], Melopsittacus undulatus [budgerigar], Taeniopygia guttata [zebra finch]), and enamelless mammals (Orycteropus afer [aardvark], Choloepus hoffmanni [Hoffmann’s two-toed sloth], Dasypus novemcinctus [nine-banded armadillo]) for remnants of three enamel matrix protein (EMP) genes with putative enamel-specific functions. Remnants of the AMBN and ENAM genes were recovered in Chrysemys and retain their original synteny. Remnants of AMEL were recovered in both testudines, although there are no shared frameshifts. We also show that there are inactivated copies of AMBN, AMEL and ENAM in representatives of divergent avian lineages including Galloanserae, Passeriformes, and Psittaciformes, and that there are shared frameshift mutations in all three genes that predate the basal split in Neognathae. Among enamelless mammals, all three EMP genes exhibit inactivating mutations in Orycteropus and Choloepus. Conclusions Our results highlight the power of

  16. An LTR Retrotransposon-Derived Gene Displays Lineage-Specific Structural and Putative Species-Specific Functional Variations in Eutherians.

    PubMed

    Irie, Masahito; Koga, Akihiko; Kaneko-Ishino, Tomoko; Ishino, Fumitoshi

    2016-01-01

    Amongst the 11 eutherian-specific genes acquired from a sushi-ichi retrotransposon is the CCHC type zinc-finger protein-encoding gene SIRH11/ZCCHC16. Its contribution to eutherian brain evolution is implied because of its involvement in cognitive function in mice, possibly via the noradrenergic system. Although, the possibility that Sirh11/Zcchc16 functions as a non-coding RNA still remains, dN/dS ratios in pairwise comparisons between its orthologs have provided supportive evidence that it acts as a protein. It became a pseudogene in armadillos (Cingulata) and sloths (Pilosa), the only two extant orders of xenarthra, which prompted us to examine the lineage-specific variations of SIRH11/ZCCHC16 in eutherians. We examined the predicted SIRH11/ZCCHC16 open reading frame (ORF) in 95 eutherian species based on the genomic DNA information in GenBank. A large variation in the SIRH11/ZCCHC16 ORF was detected in several lineages. These include a lack of a CCHC RNA-binding domain in its C-terminus, observed in gibbons (Hylobatidae: Primates) and megabats (Megachiroptera: Chiroptera). A lack of the N-terminal half, on the other hand, was observed in New World monkeys (Platyrrhini: Primates) and species belonging to New World and African Hystricognaths (Caviomorpha and Bathyergidae: Rodents) along with Cetacea and Ruminantia (Cetartiodactyla). Among the hominoids, interestingly, three out of four genera of gibbons have lost normal SIRH11/ZCCHC16 function by deletion or the lack of the CCHC RNA-binding domain. Our extensive dN/dS analysis suggests that such truncated SIRH11/ZCCHC16 ORFs are functionally diversified even within lineages. Combined, our results show that SIRH11/ZCCHC16 may contribute to the diversification of eutherians by lineage-specific structural changes after its domestication in the common eutherian ancestor, followed by putative species-specific functional changes that enhanced fitness and occurred as a consequence of complex natural selection events

  17. A core MRB1 complex component is indispensable for RNA editing in insect and human infective stages of Trypanosoma brucei.

    PubMed

    Ammerman, Michelle L; Tomasello, Danielle L; Faktorová, Drahomíra; Kafková, Lucie; Hashimi, Hassan; Lukeš, Julius; Read, Laurie K

    2013-01-01

    Uridine insertion/deletion RNA editing is a unique and vital process in kinetoplastids, required for creation of translatable open reading frames in most mitochondrially-encoded RNAs. Emerging as a key player in this process is the mitochondrial RNA binding 1 (MRB1) complex. MRB1 comprises an RNA-independent core complex of at least six proteins, including the GAP1/2 guide RNA (gRNA) binding proteins. The core interacts in an RNA-enhanced or -dependent manner with imprecisely defined TbRGG2 subcomplexes, Armadillo protein MRB10130, and additional factors that comprise the dynamic MRB1 complex. Towards understanding MRB1 complex function in RNA editing, we present here functional characterization of the pentein domain-containing MRB1 core protein, MRB11870. Inducible RNAi studies demonstrate that MRB11870 is essential for proliferation of both insect vector and human infective stage T. brucei. MRB11870 ablation causes a massive defect in RNA editing, affecting both pan-edited and minimally edited mRNAs, but does not substantially affect mitochondrial RNA stability or processing of precursor transcripts. The editing defect in MRB1-depleted cells occurs at the initiation stage of editing, as pre-edited mRNAs accumulate. However, the gRNAs that direct editing remain abundant in the knockdown cells. To examine the contribution of MRB11870 to MRB1 macromolecular interactions, we tagged core complexes and analyzed their composition and associated proteins in the presence and absence of MRB11870. These studies demonstrated that MRB11870 is essential for association of GAP1/2 with the core, as well as for interaction of the core with other proteins and subcomplexes. Together, these data support a model in which the MRB1 core mediates functional interaction of gRNAs with the editing machinery, having GAP1/2 as its gRNA binding constituents. MRB11870 is a critical component of the core, essential for its structure and function. PMID:24250748

  18. Estimates of soil ingestion by wildlife

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beyer, W.N.; Connor, E.E.; Gerould, S.

    1994-01-01

    Many wildlife species ingest soil while feeding, but ingestion rates are known for only a few species. Knowing ingestion rates may be important for studies of environmental contaminants. Wildlife may ingest soil deliberately, or incidentally, when they ingest soil-laden forage or animals that contain soil. We fed white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) diets containing 0-15% soil to relate the dietary soil content to the acid-insoluble ash content of scat collected from the mice. The relation was described by an equation that required estimates of the percent acid-insoluble ash content of the diet, digestibility of the diet, and mineral content of soil. We collected scat from 28 wildlife species by capturing animals, searching appropriate habitats for scat, or removing material from the intestines of animals collected for other purposes. We measured the acid-insoluble ash content of the scat and estimated the soil content of the diets by using the soil-ingestion equation. Soil ingestion estimates should be considered only approximate because they depend on estimated rather than measured digestibility values and because animals collected from local populations at one time of the year may not represent the species as a whole. Sandpipers (Calidris spp.), which probe or peck for invertebrates in mud or shallow water, consumed sediments at a rate of 7-30% of their diets. Nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus, soil = 17% of diet), American woodcock (Scolopax minor, 10%), and raccoon (Procyon lotor, 9%) had high rates of soil ingestion, presumably because they ate soil organisms. Bison (Bison bison, 7%), black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus, 8%), and Canada geese (Branta canadensis, 8%) consumed soil at the highest rates among the herbivores studied, and various browsers studied consumed little soil. Box turtle (Terrapene carolina, 4%), opossum (Didelphis virginiana, 5%), red fox (Vulpes vulpes, 3%), and wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo, 9%) consumed soil

  19. Transforming Roving-Rolling Explorer (TRREx) for Planetary Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edwin, Lionel Ernest

    All planetary surface exploration missions thus far have employed traditional rovers with a rocker-bogie suspension. These rovers can navigate moderately rough and flat terrain, but are not designed to traverse rugged terrain with steep slopes. The fact is, however, that many scientifically interesting missions require exploration platforms with capabilities for navigating such types of chaotic terrain. This issue motivates the development of new kinds of rovers that take advantage of the latest advances in robotic technologies to traverse rugged terrain efficiently. This dissertation proposes and analyses one such rover concept called the Transforming Roving-Rolling Explorer (TRREx) that is principally aimed at addressing the above issue. Biologically inspired by the way the armadillo curls up into a ball when threatened, and the way the golden wheel spider uses the dynamic advantages of a sphere to roll down hills when escaping danger, the novel TRREx rover can traverse like a traditional 6-wheeled rover over conventional terrain, but can also transform itself into a sphere, when necessary, to travel down steep inclines, or navigate rough terrain. This work presents the proposed design architecture and capabilities followed by the development of mathematical models and experiments that facilitate the mobility analysis of the TRREx in the rolling mode. The ability of the rover to self-propel in the rolling mode in the absence of a negative gradient increases its versatility and concept value. Therefore, a dynamic model of a planar version of the problem is first used to investigate the feasibility and value of such self-propelled locomotion - 'actuated rolling'. Construction and testing of a prototype Planar/Cylindrical TRREx that is capable of demonstrating actuated rolling is presented, and the results from the planar dynamic model are experimentally validated. This planar model is then built upon to develop a mathematical model of the spherical TRREx in the

  20. β-Catenin Binds to the Activation Function 2 Region of the Androgen Receptor and Modulates the Effects of the N-Terminal Domain and TIF2 on Ligand-Dependent Transcription

    PubMed Central

    Song, Liang-Nian; Herrell, Roger; Byers, Stephen; Shah, Salimuddin; Wilson, Elizabeth M.; Gelmann, Edward P.

    2003-01-01

    β-Catenin is a multifunctional molecule that is activated by signaling through WNT receptors. β-Catenin can also enhance the transcriptional activity of some steroid hormone receptors such as the androgen receptor and retinoic acid receptor α. Androgens can affect nuclear translocation of β-catenin and influence its subcellular distribution. Using mammalian two-hybrid binding assays, analysis of reporter gene transcription, and coimmunoprecipitation, we now show that β-catenin binds to the androgen receptor ligand-binding domain (LBD) and modulates the transcriptional effects of TIF2 and the androgen receptor N-terminal domain (NTD). In functional assays, β-catenin bound to androgen receptor only in the presence of ligand agonists, not antagonists. β-Catenin binding to the androgen receptor LBD was independent of and cooperative with the androgen receptor NTD and the p160 coactivator TIF2, both of which bind to the activation function 2 (AF-2) region of the androgen receptor. Different mutations of androgen receptor helix 3 amino acids disrupted binding of androgen receptor NTD and β-catenin. β-Catenin, androgen receptor NTD, and TIF2 binding to the androgen receptor LBD were affected similarly by a subset of helix 12 mutations, but disruption of two sites on helix 12 affected only binding of β-catenin and not of TIF2 or the androgen receptor NTD. Mutational disruption of each of five LXXLL peptide motifs in the β-catenin armadillo repeats did not disrupt either binding to androgen receptor or transcriptional coactivation. ICAT, an inhibitor of T-cell factor 4 (TCF-4), and E-cadherin binding to β-catenin also blocked binding of the androgen receptor LBD. We also demonstrated cross talk between the WNT and androgen receptor signaling pathways because excess androgen receptor could interfere with WNT signaling and excess TCF-4 inhibited the interaction of β-catenin and androgen receptor. Taken together, the data show that β-catenin can bind to the

  1. Agent-based modeling for the landuse change of hunter-gather societies and the impacts on biodiversity in Guyana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iwamura, T.; Fragoso, J.; Lambin, E.

    2012-12-01

    The interactions with animals are vital to the Amerindian, indigenous people, of Rupunini savannah-forest in Guyana. Their connections extend from basic energy and protein resource to spiritual bonding through "paring" to a certain animal in the forest. We collected extensive dataset of 23 indigenous communities for 3.5 years, consisting 9900 individuals from 1307 households, as well as animal observation data in 8 transects per communities (47,000 data entries). In this presentation, our research interest is to model the driver of land use change of the indigenous communities and its impacts on the ecosystem in the Rupunini area under global change. Overarching question we would like to answer with this program is to find how and why "tipping-point" from hunting gathering society to the agricultural society occurs in the future. Secondary question is what is the implication of the change to agricultural society in terms of biodiversity and carbon stock in the area, and eventually the well-being of Rupunini people. To answer the questions regarding the society shift in agriculture activities, we built as simulation with Agent-Based Modeling (Multi Agents Simulation). We developed this simulation by using Netlogo, the programming environment specialized for spatially explicit agent-based modeling (ABM). This simulation consists of four different process in the Rupunini landscape; forest succession, animal population growth, hunting of animals, and land clearing for agriculture. All of these processes are carried out by a set of computational unit, called "agents". In this program, there are four types of agents - patches, villages, households, and animals. Here, we describe the impacts of hunting on the biodiversity based on actual demographic data from one village named Crush Water. Animal population within the hunting territory of the village stabilized but Agouti/Paca dominates the landscape with little population of armadillos and peccaries. White-tailed deers

  2. Aminopeptidase B, a glucagon-processing enzyme: site directed mutagenesis of the Zn2+-binding motif and molecular modelling

    PubMed Central

    Pham, Viet-Laï; Cadel, Marie-Sandrine; Gouzy-Darmon, Cécile; Hanquez, Chantal; Beinfeld, Margery C; Nicolas, Pierre; Etchebest, Catherine; Foulon, Thierry

    2007-01-01

    Background Aminopeptidase B (Ap-B; EC 3.4.11.6) catalyzes the cleavage of basic residues at the N-terminus of peptides and processes glucagon into miniglucagon. The enzyme exhibits, in vitro, a residual ability to hydrolyze leukotriene A4 into the pro-inflammatory lipid mediator leukotriene B4. The potential bi-functional nature of Ap-B is supported by close structural relationships with LTA4 hydrolase (LTA4H ; EC 3.3.2.6). A structure-function analysis is necessary for the detailed understanding of the enzymatic mechanisms of Ap-B and to design inhibitors, which could be used to determine the complete in vivo functions of the enzyme. Results The rat Ap-B cDNA was expressed in E. coli and the purified recombinant enzyme was characterized. 18 mutants of the H325EXXHX18E348 Zn2+-binding motif were constructed and expressed. All mutations were found to abolish the aminopeptidase activity. A multiple alignment of 500 sequences of the M1 family of aminopeptidases was performed to identify 3 sub-families of exopeptidases and to build a structural model of Ap-B using the x-ray structure of LTA4H as a template. Although the 3D structures of the two enzymes resemble each other, they differ in certain details. The role that a loop, delimiting the active center of Ap-B, plays in discriminating basic substrates, as well as the function of consensus motifs, such as RNP1 and Armadillo domain are discussed. Examination of electrostatic potentials and hydrophobic patches revealed important differences between Ap-B and LTA4H and suggests that Ap-B is involved in protein-protein interactions. Conclusion Alignment of the primary structures of the M1 family members clearly demonstrates the existence of different sub-families and highlights crucial residues in the enzymatic activity of the whole family. E. coli recombinant enzyme and Ap-B structural model constitute powerful tools for investigating the importance and possible roles of these conserved residues in Ap-B, LTA4H and M1

  3. Wildlife effects of DDT dust used for tick control on a Texas prairie

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    George, J.L.; Stickel, W.H.

    1949-01-01

    armadillos, striped skunks, and rabbits gave no indication of pronounced damage to these forms. No mammals of any kind were found dead or affected in or near the DDT area. Four rough green snakes and one Texan spiny lizard were found dead in the DDT area. Mortality was probably high among insectivorous reptiles.

  4. An LTR Retrotransposon-Derived Gene Displays Lineage-Specific Structural and Putative Species-Specific Functional Variations in Eutherians

    PubMed Central

    Irie, Masahito; Koga, Akihiko; Kaneko-Ishino, Tomoko; Ishino, Fumitoshi

    2016-01-01

    Amongst the 11 eutherian-specific genes acquired from a sushi-ichi retrotransposon is the CCHC type zinc-finger protein-encoding gene SIRH11/ZCCHC16. Its contribution to eutherian brain evolution is implied because of its involvement in cognitive function in mice, possibly via the noradrenergic system. Although, the possibility that Sirh11/Zcchc16 functions as a non-coding RNA still remains, dN/dS ratios in pairwise comparisons between its orthologs have provided supportive evidence that it acts as a protein. It became a pseudogene in armadillos (Cingulata) and sloths (Pilosa), the only two extant orders of xenarthra, which prompted us to examine the lineage-specific variations of SIRH11/ZCCHC16 in eutherians. We examined the predicted SIRH11/ZCCHC16 open reading frame (ORF) in 95 eutherian species based on the genomic DNA information in GenBank. A large variation in the SIRH11/ZCCHC16 ORF was detected in several lineages. These include a lack of a CCHC RNA-binding domain in its C-terminus, observed in gibbons (Hylobatidae: Primates) and megabats (Megachiroptera: Chiroptera). A lack of the N-terminal half, on the other hand, was observed in New World monkeys (Platyrrhini: Primates) and species belonging to New World and African Hystricognaths (Caviomorpha and Bathyergidae: Rodents) along with Cetacea and Ruminantia (Cetartiodactyla). Among the hominoids, interestingly, three out of four genera of gibbons have lost normal SIRH11/ZCCHC16 function by deletion or the lack of the CCHC RNA-binding domain. Our extensive dN/dS analysis suggests that such truncated SIRH11/ZCCHC16 ORFs are functionally diversified even within lineages. Combined, our results show that SIRH11/ZCCHC16 may contribute to the diversification of eutherians by lineage-specific structural changes after its domestication in the common eutherian ancestor, followed by putative species-specific functional changes that enhanced fitness and occurred as a consequence of complex natural selection events

  5. Mechanisms of pulmonary cyst pathogenesis in Birt-Hogg-Dube syndrome: The stretch hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Kennedy, John C; Khabibullin, Damir; Henske, Elizabeth P

    2016-04-01

    Loss-of-function mutations in the folliculin gene (FLCN) on chromosome 17p cause Birt-Hogg-Dube syndrome (BHD), which is associated with cystic lung disease. The risk of lung collapse (pneumothorax) in BHD patients is 50-fold higher than in the general population. The cystic lung disease in BHD is distinctive because the cysts tend to be basilar, subpleural and lentiform, differentiating BHD from most other cystic lung diseases. Recently, major advances in elucidating the primary functions of the folliculin protein have been made, including roles in mTOR and AMPK signaling via the interaction of FLCN with FNIP1/2, and cell-cell adhesion via the physical interaction of FLCN with plakophilin 4 (PKP4), an armadillo-repeat containing protein that interacts with E-cadherin and is a component of the adherens junctions. In addition, in just the last three years, the pulmonary impact of FLCN deficiency has been examined for the first time. In mouse models, evidence has emerged that AMPK signaling and cell-cell adhesion are involved in alveolar enlargement. In addition, the pathologic features of human BHD cysts have been recently comprehensively characterized. The "stretch hypothesis" proposes that cysts in BHD arise because of fundamental defects in cell-cell adhesion, leading to repeated respiration-induced physical stretch-induced stress and, over time, expansion of alveolar spaces particularly in regions of the lung with larger changes in alveolar volume and at weaker "anchor points" to the pleura. This hypothesis ties together many of the new data from cellular and mouse models of BHD and from the human pathologic studies. Critical questions remain. These include whether the consequences of stretch-induced cyst formation arise through a destructive/inflammatory program or a proliferative program (or both), whether cyst initiation involves a "second hit" genetic event inactivating the remaining wild-type copy of FLCN (as is known to occur in BHD-associated renal cell

  6. Inactivation of C4orf26 in toothless placental mammals.

    PubMed

    Springer, Mark S; Starrett, James; Morin, Phillip A; Lanzetti, Agnese; Hayashi, Cheryl; Gatesy, John

    2016-02-01

    Previous studies have reported inactivated copies of six enamel-related genes (AMBN, AMEL, AMTN, ENAM, KLK4, MMP20) and one dentin-related gene (DSPP) in one or more toothless vertebrates and/or vertebrates with enamelless teeth, thereby providing evidence that these genes are enamel or tooth-specific with respect to their critical functions that are maintained by natural selection. Here, we employ available genome sequences for edentulous and enamelless mammals to evaluate the enamel specificity of four genes (WDR72, SLC24A4, FAM83H, C4orf26) that have been implicated in amelogenesis imperfecta, a condition in which proper enamel formation is abrogated during tooth development. Coding sequences for WDR72, SCL24A4, and FAM83H are intact in four edentulous taxa (Chinese pangolin, three baleen whales) and three taxa (aardvark, nine-banded armadillo, Hoffmann's two-toed sloth) with enamelless teeth, suggesting that these genes have critical functions beyond their involvement in tooth development. By contrast, genomic data for C4orf26 reveal inactivating mutations in pangolin and bowhead whale as well as evidence for deletion of this gene in two minke whale species. Hybridization capture of exonic regions and PCR screens provide evidence for inactivation of C4orf26 in eight additional baleen whale species. However, C4orf26 is intact in all three species with enamelless teeth that were surveyed, as well as in 95 additional mammalian species with enamel-capped teeth. Estimates of selection intensity suggest that dN/dS ratios on branches leading to taxa with enamelless teeth are similar to the dN/dS ratio on branches leading to taxa with enamel-capped teeth. Based on these results, we conclude that C4orf26 is tooth-specific, but not enamel-specific, with respect to its essential functions that are maintained by natural selection. A caveat is that an alternative splice site variant, which translates exon 3 in a different reading frame, is putatively functional in

  7. HeLa Based Cell Free Expression Systems for Expression of Plasmodium Rhoptry Proteins.

    PubMed

    Yadavalli, Raghavendra; Sam-Yellowe, Tobili

    2015-01-01

    Malaria causes significant global morbidity and mortality. No routine vaccine is currently available. One of the major reasons for lack of a vaccine is the challenge of identifying suitable vaccine candidates. Malarial proteins expressed using prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell based expression systems are poorly glycosylated, generally insoluble and undergo improper folding leading to reduced immunogenicity. The wheat germ, rabbit reticulocyte lysate and Escherichia coli lysate cell free expression systems are currently used for expression of malarial proteins. However, the length of expression time and improper glycosylation of proteins still remains a challenge. We demonstrate expression of Plasmodium proteins in vitro using HeLa based cell free expression systems, termed "in vitro human cell free expression systems". The 2 HeLa based cell free expression systems transcribe mRNA in 75 min and 3 µl of transcribed mRNA is sufficient to translate proteins in 90 min. The 1-step expression system is a transcription and translation coupled expression system; the transcription and co-translation occurs in 3 hr. The process can also be extended for 6 hr by providing additional energy. In the 2-step expression system, mRNA is first transcribed and then added to the translation mix for protein expression. We describe how to express malaria proteins; a hydrophobic PF3D7_0114100 Maurer's Cleft - 2 transmembrane (PfMC-2TM) protein, a hydrophilic PF3D7_0925900 protein and an armadillo repeats containing protein PF3D7_1361800, using the HeLa based cell free expression system. The proteins are expressed in micro volumes employing 2-step and 1-step expression strategies. An affinity purification method to purify 25 µl of proteins expressed using the in vitro human cell free expression system is also described. Protein yield is determined by Bradford's assay and the expressed and purified proteins can be confirmed by western blotting analysis. Expressed recombinant proteins can be

  8. Carbohydrate specificity of an insecticidal lectin isolated from the leaves of Glechoma hederacea (ground ivy) towards mammalian glycoconjugates

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Tanuja; Wu, June H.; Peumans, Willy J.; Rougé, Pierre; Van Damme, Els J. M.; Alvarez, Richard A.; Blixt, Ola; Wu, Albert M.

    2005-01-01

    Preliminary studies indicated that the potent insecticidal lectin, Gleheda, from the leaves of Glechoma hederacea (ground ivy) preferentially agglutinates human erythrocytes carrying the Tn (GalNAcα1-Ser/Thr) antigen. However, no details have been reported yet with respect to the fine specificity of the lectin. To corroborate the molecular basis of the insecticidal activity and physiological function of Gleheda, it is necessary to identify the recognition factors that are involved in the Gleheda–glycotope interaction. In the present study, the requirement of high-density multivalent carbohydrate structural units for Gleheda binding and a fine-affinity profile were evaluated using ELLSA (enzyme-linked lectinosorbent assay) with our extended glycan/ligand collections, a glycan array and molecular modelling. From the results, we concluded that a high-density of exposed multivalent Tn-containing glycoproteins (natural armadillo and asialo ovine salivary glycoproteins) were the most potent factors for Gleheda binding. They were, on a nanogram basis, 6.5×105, 1.5×104 and 3.1×103 times more active than univalent Gal (galactose), GalNAc (N-acetylgalactosamine) and Tn respectively. Among mono- and oligo-saccharides examined, simple clustered Tn (molecular mass <3000 Da) from ovine salivary glycoprotein was the best, being 37.5 and 1.7×103 times better than GalNAc and Gal respectively. GalNAc glycosides were significantly more active than Gal glycosides, indicating that the N-acetamido group at C-2 plays an important role in Gleheda binding. The results of glycan array support the conclusions drawn with respect to the specificity of Gleheda based on the ELLSA assays. These findings combined with the results of the molecular modelling and docking indicate the occurrence of a primary GalNAcα1-binding site in the Gleheda monomer. However, the extraordinary binding feature of Gleheda for glycoproteins demonstrates the importance of affinity enhancement by high

  9. Lake Erie walleyes--again on the upswing?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Seldon, Charles P.; Van Meter, Harry D.

    1960-01-01

    armadillos, striped skunks, and rabbits gave no indication of pronounced damage to these forms. No mammals of any kind were found dead or affected in or near the DDT area. Four rough green snakes and one Texan spiny lizard were found dead in the DDT area. Mortality was probably high among insectivorous reptiles.

  10. Changing dietary habits among Akwen Xerente.

    PubMed

    Rocha, Tatiana Evangelista da Silva; Silva, Reijane Pinheiro da; Nascimento, Maira Messias do

    2016-06-01

    The research aimed to identify the current feed of Xerente people in Indian villages Porteira and Funil in the city of Tocantinia / TO. It was used a qualitative ethnographic approach. Conducted from September 2013 to August 2014. The data were presented in a diary, through participant observation of food practices with the guidance of a script. A process of dietary change that permeates the culture of this people is taking place. Factors such as the deficit in the planting gardens, the recent arrival of energy, and therefore the technology has allowed access to processed foods. But some families still maintain the farming of cassava, yam, and beans. The main animals that are hunted in the village are peccary, deer and armadillo. It was possible to point which foods are inserted in the Xerente feed and factors related to this situation. A pesquisa objetivou identificar a alimentação atual do povo Xerente, nas aldeias indígenas Porteira e Funil, no município de Tocantínia / TO. Utilizou-se uma abordagem etnográfica qualitativa. Realizada entre setembro de 2013 a agosto de 2014. Os dados foram descritos através de um diário de campo, por meio da observação das práticas alimentares com a orientação de um roteiro. Está ocorrendo um processo de mudança alimentar na cultura deste povo. Fatores como o déficit no plantio das roças, a chegada da energia, e consequentemente a tecnologia, permitiu o acesso a alimentos industrializados. Mas algumas famílias ainda mantem o cultivo de mandioca, inhame, feijão andu. Os principais animais que são caçados na aldeia são caititu, veado e tatu. Foi possível encontrar a presença de alimentos industrializados inseridos na alimentação do Xerente e isso tem provocado alterações nos hábitos desse povo. PMID:27384282

  11. Evolutionary ethics from Darwin to Moore.

    PubMed

    Allhoff, Fritz

    2003-01-01

    Evolutionary ethics has a long history, dating all the way back to Charles Darwin. Almost immediately after the publication of the Origin, an immense interest arose in the moral implications of Darwinism and whether the truth of Darwinism would undermine traditional ethics. Though the biological thesis was certainly exciting, nobody suspected that the impact of the Origin would be confined to the scientific arena. As one historian wrote, 'whether or not ancient populations of armadillos were transformed into the species that currently inhabit the new world was certainly a topic about which zoologists could disagree. But it was in discussing the broader implications of the theory...that tempers flared and statements were made which could transform what otherwise would have been a quiet scholarly meeting into a social scandal' (Farber 1994, 22). Some resistance to the biological thesis of Darwinism sprung from the thought that it was incompatible with traditional morality and, since one of them had to go, many thought that Darwinism should be rejected. However, some people did realize that a secular ethics was possible so, even if Darwinism did undermine traditional religious beliefs, it need not have any effects on moral thought. Before I begin my discussion of evolutionary ethics from Darwin to Moore, I would like to make some more general remarks about its development. There are three key events during this history of evolutionary ethics. First, Charles Darwin published On the Origin of the Species (Darwin 1859). Since one did not have a fully developed theory of evolution until 1859, there exists little work on evolutionary ethics until then. Shortly thereafter, Herbert Spencer (1898) penned the first systematic theory of evolutionary ethics, which was promptly attacked by T.H. Huxley (Huxley 1894). Second, at about the turn of the century, moral philosophers entered the fray and attempted to demonstrate logical errors in Spencer's work; such errors were alluded

  12. The Wilkes subglacial basin eastern margin electrical conductivity anomaly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rizzello, Daniele; Armadillo, Egidio; Ferraccioli, Fausto; Caneva, Giorgio

    2014-05-01

    allowed for a new processing of a wide dataset acquired during three different international Antarctic campaigns supported by the Italian Antarctic Project: the BACKTAM, WIBEM and WISE expeditions. The qualitative analysis of the induction arrows, in the period range 20-170 s, reveals an approximately 2D regional electrical conductivity pattern with a clear differentiation between the three Terrains crossed by the GDS transect we have re-analized: the Robertson Bay, the Bowers and the Wilson Terrain. Bi-dimensional conductivity models, jointly with magnetic and gravimetric profiles, suggest a differentiation of the investigated area in three crustal sectors separated by the Daniels Range and the Bowers Mts., in close relation with main known structural lineaments; to the West, a deep conductivity anomaly is associated with the transition to the Wilkes Subglagial Basin. We deem that such anomaly, together with the magnetic and gravimetric signatures, is compatible with an extensional regime in the eastern margin of the WSB. References Rizzello, D., Armadillo, E., Manzella, A."Statistical analysis of the polar electrojet influence on geomagnetic transfer functions estimates, over wide time and space scales". EGU 2013 General Assembly, Wien - poster presentation.

  13. Elimination of Leprosy as a public health problem by 2000 AD: an epidemiological perspective

    PubMed Central

    Nsagha, Dickson Shey; Bamgboye, Elijah Afolabi; Assob, Jules Clement Nguedia; Njunda, Anna Longdoh; Kamga, Henri Lucien Foumou; Zoung-Kanyi Bissek, Anne-Cécile; Tabah, Earnest Nji; Oyediran, Alain Bankole OO; Njamnshi, Alfred Kongnyu

    2011-01-01

    the Nippon Foundation that supplies free multi-drug therapy) opportunities. Elimination created the unrealistic expectation that the leprosy problem could be solved by 2000. First, the elimination goal was not feasible in several areas which had high incidence of leprosy. Even if elimination was to be attained, significant numbers of new cases of leprosy would continue to occur and many people with physical imperfections, severe psychological, economic and social problems caused by leprosy would need continuous assistance. Extra-human reservoirs of Mycobacterium leprae, the relationship between leprosy and poverty, prevention of disabilities, lack of a reliable laboratory test to detect subclinical infection and a vaccine are also challenging issues. Conclusion The evidence base available to inform on leprosy elimination is highly positive with the availability of multi-drug therapy blister packs. There are concerns that leprosy was not the right disease to be targeted for elimination as there are no reliable diagnostic tests to detect subclinical infection including the lack of a vaccine, extra-human reservoirs (monkeys and armadillos), increase in the burden of child cases, no good epidemiological indicator as prevalence instead of incidence is used to measure elimination. Multi-drug therapy treats leprosy very well but there is no proof that it concurrently interrupts transmission. The high social stigma, prevention of disabilities, and the relationship between leprosy and poverty are still major concerns. PMID:22145052

  14. Statistical analysis of the polar electrojet influence on geomagnetic transfer functions estimates over wide time and space scales.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rizzello, Daniele; Armadillo, Egidio; Manzella, Adele

    2013-04-01

    Statistical analysis of the polar electrojet influence on geomagnetic transfer functions estimates over wide time and space scales. D.Rizzello(1),E.Armadillo(1),A.Manzella(2) 1)DISTAV - University of Genoa,Italy. 2)Institute of Geosciences and Earth Resources - CNR, Pisa, Italy. Magnetotelluric (MT) and magnetovariational (MV) investigations can provide original information and constraints on the electrical conductivity, thermal state and structure of the crust and mantle at the base of the polar ice sheets. These methods provide depth resolution, lacking in potential field methods, and can reach high investigation depth, an invaluable advantage where very difficult logistic conditions prevent or limit the use of active methods such as seismic surveys. However, MT/MV surveys have not been applied extensively in polar areas mainly because electromagnetic data could be biased by the polar electrojet current systems (PEJ) occurring at high geomagnetic latitude. In fact, close to the auroral oval, the electromagnetic fields at ground may violate the uniform plane wave assumption at the base of standard MT/MV data processing, resulting in possible erroneous interpretations of the Earth's deep conductivity structure. It has been shown that a careful selection of events to be analyzed may decrease bias, and different robust techniques have been developed and applied. Even if the source currents flow in complex 3D systems that change from event to event in an unpredictable way, some general rules have been observed. Violations of uniform plane wave source assumption are enhanced during higher geomagnetic activity induced by high solar activity, because PEJ equivalent geometry becomes more complicated, affecting also EM field at lower latitudes. Differences in the degree of source distortions have also been reported between day/night and seasonal observations. The ISEE (Ice Sheet Electromagnetic Experiment) project, founded by the Italian National Antarctic Research