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Sample records for helix aspersa snail

  1. EFFECTS OF DIETARY EXPOSURE TO FOREST PESTICIDES ON THE BROWN GARDEN SNAIL HELIX ASPERSA MULLER

    EPA Science Inventory

    Brown garden snails, Helix aspersa, were fed prepared diets with 12 pesticides used in forest spraying practices where endangered arboreal and terrestrial snails may be at risk. cephate, atrazine, glyphosate, hexazinone, and picloram were not lethal at concentrations of 5,000 mg/...

  2. Larval development of Angiostrongylus vasorum in the land snail Helix aspersa.

    PubMed

    Di Cesare, Angela; Crisi, Paolo Emidio; Bartolini, Roberto; Iorio, Raffaella; Talone, Tonino; Filippi, Laura; Traversa, Donato

    2015-10-01

    The metastrongyloid nematode Angiostrongylus vasorum affects the heart and pulmonary arteries of dogs and wild animals. Over the recent years, dog angiostrongylosis has gained great attention in the veterinary community for the expansion of its geographic range and for a rise in the number of clinical cases. Global warming, changes in phenology of mollusc intermediate hosts and movements of wild reservoirs have been evocated in the spreading of mollusc-borne parasites, including A. vasorum. The land snail Helix aspersa, a vector of other respiratory metastrongyloids, is endemic in most regions of the World, where it is a pest outside its native Mediterranean range. In the present study, the susceptibility and suitability of H. aspersa as an intermediate host of A. vasorum were investigated along with the characteristics of larval recovery and development following two different ways of inoculation, i.e. experimental (group A) vs natural infection (group B). After infections, the snails were kept at environmental conditions for 2 months. Five snails from groups A and B were randomly selected, digested and examined at 15-day intervals for 2 months. L1s, L2s and L3s were microscopically identified based on key morphological and morphometric characteristics and their identity was genetically confirmed. The results showed that A. vasorum may reach the infective stage in H. aspersa and that uptake of larvae and parasitic burden within the snails depend on the grazing capability of the molluscs. Biological and epidemiological implications are discussed. PMID:26122991

  3. Food Choice in the Common Snail (Helix Aspersa).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gill, John; Howell, Pauline

    1985-01-01

    The easily obtained common snail shows interesting dietary preferences which can be the source of several simple experiments. Specific student instructions are given for quantitative and comparative studies using cabbage, lettuce, carrot, rutabaga, and onion. Suggestions for laboratory setup and further work are included. (DH)

  4. Effects of dietary exposure to forest pesticides on the brown garden snail Helix aspersa mueller

    SciTech Connect

    Schuytema, G.S.; Nebeker, A.V.; Griffis, W.L.

    1994-01-01

    Brown garden snails, Helix aspersa, were fed prepared diets with 12 pesticides used in forest spraying practices where endangered arboreal and terrestrial snails may be at risk. Acephate, atrazine, glyphosate, hexazinone, and picloram were not lethal at concentrations of 5,000 mg/kg in 14-day screening tests. The remaining seven pesticides, lethal to 13-100% of the tested snails at 5,000 mg/kg, were evaluated in 10-day definitive feeding tests. Azinphosmethyl (Guthion) and aminocarb were the most toxic, with 10-day LC50s of 188 and 313 mg/kg, respectively. Paraquat, trichlorfon and fenitrothion had 10-day LC50s of 659, 664, and 7,058 mg/kg respectively. Avoidance of pesticide-containing foods occurred, e.g., 10-day LC50s of >10,000 mg/kg for carbaryl and ethyl parathion. Significant descreases (p<0.05) in snail weight (total, shell-only, body-only) or shell diameter were accompanied by a significant decrease in the amount of food consumed/snail/day. Concentrations of pesticide in tissues were measured in snails exposed to atrazine and azinphosmethyl; there was no bioaccumulation. (Copyright (c) 1994 Springer-Verlag New York Inc.)

  5. Evaluation of the genotoxic potential of soil contaminated with mineral coal tailings on snail Helix aspersa.

    PubMed

    de Souza, Melissa Rosa; da Silva, Fernanda Rabaioli; de Souza, Claudia Telles; Niekraszewicz, Liana; Dias, Johnny Ferraz; Premoli, Suziane; Corrêa, Dione Silva; Soares, Mariana do Couto; Marroni, Norma Possa; Morgam-Martins, Maria Isabel; da Silva, Juliana

    2015-11-01

    Coal remains an important source of energy, although the fuel is a greater environmental pollutant. Coal is a mixture of several chemicals, especially inorganic elements and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). Many of these compounds have mutagenic and carcinogenic effects on organisms exposed to this mineral. In the town of Charqueadas (Brazil), the tailings from mining were used for landfill in the lower areas of the town, and the consequence is the formation of large deposits of this material. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the genotoxic potential of soil samples contaminated by coal waste in different sites at Charqueadas, using the land snail Helix aspersa as a biomonitor organism. Thirty terrestrial snails were exposed to different treatments: 20 were exposed to the soil from two different sites in Charqueadas (site 1 and 2; 10 in each group) and 10 non-exposed (control group). Hemolymph cells were collected after 24h, 5days and 7days of exposure and comet assay, micronucleus test, oxidative stress tests were performed. Furthermore, this study quantified the inorganic elements present in soil samples by the PIXE technique and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) by HPLC. This evaluation shows that, in general, soils from sites in Charqueadas, demonstrated a genotoxic effect associated with increased oxidative stress, inorganic and PAH content. These results demonstrate that the coal pyrite tailings from Charqueadas are potentially genotoxic and that H. aspersa is confirmed to be a sensitive instrument for risk assessment of environmental pollution. PMID:26295689

  6. Unpredictable responses of garden snail ( Helix aspersa) populations to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bezemer, T. Martijn; Knight, Kevin J.

    2001-08-01

    We studied the impact of climate change on the population dynamics of the garden snail ( Helix aspersa) in the Ecotron controlled environment facility. The experimental series ran for three plant generations, allowing the snails to reproduce. We investigated the isolated and combined effects of elevated CO 2 (current + 200 μmol mol -1) and warming (current + 2ºC) in three consecutive runs (CO 2, Temperature and Combined). In the CO 2 Run, the number of juvenile snails recorded at the end of the experiment did not differ between ambient and elevated CO 2, whereas in the Temperature Run, fewer juveniles were found at elevated temperatures. An opposite response was observed in the Combined Run, where significantly more juveniles were found in elevated temperature and CO 2 compared to elevated CO 2 on its own. Within each run, juvenile emergence was not affected by treatments but juvenile presence was first observed about 70 days earlier in the Combined Run than in the Temperature Run. The differences in snail performance in the different runs were not correlated with differences in community structure or leaf quality measured as C:N ratios and neither with the abundance of the most preferred host plant species, Cardamine hirsuta. The abundance of this species, however, was significantly altered in all runs. The results illustrate clearly the degree of difficulty in making predictable generalisations about the consequences of climate change for certain species.

  7. Use of the land snail Helix aspersa for monitoring heavy metal soil contamination in Northeast Algeria.

    PubMed

    Larba, R; Soltani, N

    2014-08-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of anthropogenic activities on soil quality using the land snail Helix aspersa as a bioindicator. Soil samples and snails were collected from several sites in Northeast Algeria during the summer and winter of 2010. All of the sites were chosen due to their proximity to industrial factories-a potential source of soil pollution via heavy metal contamination. The concentration of heavy metals (Pb, Cd, Mn, and Fe) in soil samples was analyzed using atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Activity levels of glutathione S-transferase (GST) and acetylcholinesterase (AChE), indicators of oxidative stress and neurotoxicity, respectively, were measured in snails collected from each site. GST and AChE activity were found to vary between sites and by season. The highest levels of GST activity were registered during the summer at sites closest to potential sources of pollution. AChE activity levels also peaked during the summer with the highest values recorded at the site in El Hadjar. These increased levels of bioindicative stress response correlated with increasing metal concentration in soil samples collected at each site. PMID:24687691

  8. Evaluation of different methods for the experimental infection of the land snail Helix aspersa with Aelurostrongylus abstrusus lungworm.

    PubMed

    Napoli, Ettore; Falsone, Luigi; Gaglio, Gabriella; Colella, Vito; Otranto, Domenico; Giannetto, Salvatore; Brianti, Emanuele

    2016-07-30

    The laboratory maintenance of parasitic life cycles is crucial to support research in many fields of parasitology. The land snail Helix aspersa (syn. Cornu aspersum), an intermediate host of feline lungworms Aelurostrongylus abstrusus and Troglostrongylus brevior, is adopted to produce infective stages of those nematodes in laboratory condition. The aim of this study was to compare the most common methods of experimental infection of H. aspersa with first stage larvae (L1) of A. abstrusus (i.e., contact of the snail foot with the L1) with the injection of these larvae in the foot of the snail, instrumental to reduce the infection time and to maximize the output of third-stage larvae (L3). Three groups (i.e., A, B, C) of 15 H. aspersa snails were infected with L1 of A. abstrusus (n=250 for each snail), whereas a fourth group (group D) was not infected (control). Snails were individually placed for 48h on a microfilm containing L1 (group A), on a potato slice previously irrigated with a suspension of L1 (group B), or they were inoculated by injection of L1 in the posterior-ventral portion of the foot (group C). Eighteen days after the infection all snails were analyzed and tissues were digested to recover L3. No difference in mortality rate was recorded among snail groups and the mean number of retrieved L3 was significantly larger in group C (71.5±52.9) compared to group B (38.2±44.9; p=0.0161) and group A (19±23.3; p<0.0001). The injection of A. abstrusus L1 in the foot of H. aspersa proved to be a fast, easy to apply and effective method, resulting in the largest number of infective larvae retrieved. PMID:27369568

  9. Increased response to cadmium and Bacillus thuringiensis maize toxicity in the snail Helix aspersa infected by the nematode Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita.

    PubMed

    Kramarz, Paulina E; de Vaufleury, Annette; Zygmunt, Piotr M S; Verdun, Cyrille

    2007-01-01

    To determine the effect of nematode infection on the response of snails to selected toxins, we infected Helix aspersa with 0-, 0.25-, 1-, or 4-fold the recommended field dose of a commercial nematode application for agricultural use. In the first experiment, the snails also were exposed to cadmium via food and soil at concentrations of 0, 30, 60, 120, or 240 mg/kg in a full-factorial design. In the second experiment, snails were infected with nematodes and also fed either Bt (expressing Bacillus thuringiensis toxin) maize or non-Bt maize. The snails were weighed at the beginning and end (after four weeks) of the experiments, and mortality was checked daily. Neither exposure of snails to nematodes nor exposure of snails to cadmium or Bt toxin affected the survival rates of snails. The number of dead snails was highest for combinations of nematode treatments with cadmium concentrations of 120 and 240 mg/kg. In both experiments (Bt and cadmium), the growth rate decreased with increasing nematode dose. The Bt maize was not harmful to the snails in the absence of nematodes, but infected snails grew faster when fed non-Bt maize. The growth rate of snails exposed to cadmium decreased with exposure to increasing Cd concentrations and differed significantly between the no-nematode treatment and the treatments with nematode doses of one- and fourfold the recommended field dose. Snails treated with the highest dose of nematodes accumulated the highest cadmium concentrations. PMID:17269462

  10. Pro-oxidant effects of extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields in the land snail Helix aspersa.

    PubMed

    Regoli, Francesco; Gorbi, Stefania; Machella, Nicola; Tedesco, Sara; Benedetti, Maura; Bocchetti, Raffaella; Notti, Alessandra; Fattorini, Daniele; Piva, Francesco; Principato, Giovanni

    2005-12-15

    Pro-oxidant effects of extremely low frequency (ELF) 50-Hz magnetic fields were investigated in the land snail Helix aspersa exposed both in short-term laboratory treatments and under field conditions by maintaining the organisms in the proximity of a power line for up to 2 months. Oxidative perturbations were investigated as individual antioxidants (catalase, glutathione reductase, glutathione S-transferases, and total glutathione) and total scavenging capacity toward peroxyl radicals and hydroxyl radicals. Accumulation of lipid peroxidation products, destabilization of lysosomal membranes, and loss of DNA integrity were also evaluated as markers of cell damage. The overall results indicated an oxidative challenge caused by ELF magnetic fields with particularly prompt and sensitive responses for catalase, glutathione reductase, and the overall capability to neutralize peroxyl radicals. Cell injuries occurred to different extents according to duration and intensity of electromagnetic exposure and confirmed complex cause-effect relationships between pro-oxidant factors, efficiency of antioxidant defenses, and the onset of oxidative toxicity. This study highlights the importance of a multimarker approach for detecting a wide panel of biological responses, the necessity of investigating the long-term effects of early oxidative responses, and the role of ELF in enhancing susceptibility to other forms of pathologies or diseases. PMID:16298687

  11. The composition of intracellular granules from the metal-accumulating cells of the common garden snail (Helix aspersa).

    PubMed Central

    Howard, B; Mitchell, P C; Ritchie, A; Simkiss, K; Taylor, M

    1981-01-01

    Certain cells in the hepatopancreas of the common garden snail (Helix aspersa) contain intracellular granules that are sites of metal-ion accumulation. These granules have been extracted and investigated by u.v. and i.r. spectroscopy, atomic-absorption spectroscopy, X-ray microanalysis, thermogravimetric analysis, enzymic assay and microanalysis. The deposits contain about 18% (w/w) water, 5% (w/w) organic matter and 76% (w/w) inorganic material of which the main components are Ca2+, Mg2+ and P2O7(4)-. The possible origin of these granules is discussed, as is their role in detoxifying heavy-metal ions. PMID:6272732

  12. Changes in the reproductive system of the snail Helix aspersa caused by mucus from the love dart.

    PubMed

    Koene, J M; Chase, R

    1998-08-01

    The function of the love dart in certain species of terrestrial snails is unknown. In Helix aspersa, the dart is a sharp calcareous structure that is used to pierce the partner's skin during courtship. When expelled, the dart is covered with a thick mucus. The hypothesis tested here is that the mucus contains a biologically active substance. Extracts of the digitiform glands that produce this mucus were applied to parts of the reproductive system in vitro. The extracts triggered an initial reconfiguration of the copulatory canal that caused the bursa tract diverticulum to become more accessible to the spermatophore. The reconfiguration of the copulatory canal also closed off the tract leading to the bursa copulatrix, a sperm-digesting organ. A few minutes after the initial contraction, the peristaltic contractions in the diverticulum became significantly more frequent. This latter effect continued for at least 1 h, provided that the mucus extract remained in the saline bath. The minimum effective dosage was less than the 2.2 mg of mucus transferred with the dart. Sperm competition is expected in Helix aspersa since multiple matings occur before eggs are laid. By influencing the female organs involved in the processing of foreign sperm, the dart shooter may increase the chance that his sperm will fertilise eggs. PMID:9662502

  13. The influence of diet on the δ 13C of shell carbon in the pulmonate snail Helix aspersa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stott, Lowell D.

    2002-02-01

    The influence of diet and atmospheric CO 2 on the carbon isotope composition of shell aragonite and shell-bound organic carbon in the pulmonate snail Helix aspersa raised in the laboratory was investigated. Three separate groups of snails were raised on romaine lettuce (C3 plant, δ 13C=-25.8‰), corn (C4 plant, δ 13C=-10.5‰), and sour orange ( 12C-enriched C3 plant, δ 13C=-39.1‰). The isotopic composition of body tissues closely tracked the isotopic composition of the snail diet as demonstrated previously. However, the isotopic composition of the acid insoluble organic matrix extracted from the aragonite shells does not track diet in all groups. In snails that were fed corn the isotopic composition of the organic matrix was more negative than the body by as much as 5‰ whereas the matrix was approximately 1‰ heavier than the body tissues in snails fed a diet of C3 plant material. These results indicate that isotopic composition of the organic matrix carbon cannot be used as an isotopic substrate for paleodietary reconstructions without first determining the source of the carbon and any associated fractionations. The isotopic composition of the shell aragonite is offset from the body tissues by 12.3‰ in each of the culture groups. This offset was not influenced by the consumption of carbonate and is not attributable to the diffusion of atmospheric CO 2 into the hemolymph. The carbon isotopic composition of shell aragonite is best explained in terms of equilibrium fractionations associated with exchange between metabolic CO 2 and HCO 3 in the hemolymph and the fractionation associated with carbonate precipitation. These results differ from previous studies, based primarily on samples collected in the field, that have suggested atmospheric carbon dioxide contributes significantly to the shell δ 13C. The culture results indicate that the δ 13C of aragonite is a good recorder of the isotopic composition of the snail body tissue, and therefore a better

  14. Genotoxicity of Nicotiana tabacum leaves on Helix aspersa

    PubMed Central

    da Silva, Fernanda R.; Erdtmann, Bernardo; Dalpiaz, Tiago; Nunes, Emilene; Ferraz, Alexandre; Martins, Tales L.C.; Dias, Johny F.; da Rosa, Darlan P.; Porawskie, Marilene; Bona, Silvia; da Silva, Juliana

    2013-01-01

    Tobacco farmers are routinely exposed to complex mixtures of inorganic and organic chemicals present in tobacco leaves. In this study, we examined the genotoxicity of tobacco leaves in the snail Helix aspersa as a measure of the risk to human health. DNA damage was evaluated using the micronucleus test and the Comet assay and the concentration of cytochrome P450 enzymes was estimated. Two groups of snails were studied: one fed on tobacco leaves and one fed on lettuce (Lactuca sativa L) leaves (control group). All of the snails received leaves (tobacco and lettuce leaves were the only food provided) and water ad libitum. Hemolymph cells were collected after 0, 24, 48 and 72 h. The Comet assay and micronucleus test showed that exposure to tobacco leaves for different periods of time caused significant DNA damage. Inhibition of cytochrome P450 enzymes occurred only in the tobacco group. Chemical analysis indicated the presence of the alkaloid nicotine, coumarins, saponins, flavonoids and various metals. These results show that tobacco leaves are genotoxic in H. aspersa and inhibit cytochrome P450 activity, probably through the action of the complex chemical mixture present in the plant. PMID:23885210

  15. Dynamic and static calcium gradients inside large snail (Helix aspersa) neurones detected with calcium-sensitive microelectrodes

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Roger C.; Postma, Marten

    2007-01-01

    We have used quartz Ca2+-sensitive microelectrodes (CASMs) in large voltage-clamped snail neurones to investigate the inward spread of Ca2+ after a brief depolarisation. Both steady state and [Ca2+]i transients changed with depth of penetration. When the CASM tip was within 20 μm of the far side of the cell the [Ca2+]i transient time to peak was 4.4 ± 0.5 s, rising to 14.7 ± 0.7 s at a distance of 80 μm. We estimate that the Ca2+ transients travelled centripetally at an average speed of 6 μm2 s−1 and decreased in size by half over a distance of about 45 μm. Cyclopiazonic acid had little effect on the size and time to peak of Ca2+ transients but slowed their recovery significantly. This suggests that the endoplasmic reticulum curtails rather than reinforces the transients. Injecting the calcium buffer BAPTA made the Ca2+ transients more uniform in size and increased their times to peak and rates of recovery near the membrane. We have developed a computational model for the transients, which includes diffusion, uptake and Ca2+ extrusion. Good fits were obtained with a rather large apparent diffusion coefficient of about 90 ± 20 μm2 s−1.This may assist fast recovery by extrusion. PMID:16962659

  16. FMRFamide receptors of Helix aspersa

    SciTech Connect

    Payza, K.

    1988-01-01

    A receptor binding assay and an isolated heart bioassay were used to identify and characterize the FMRFamide receptors in Helix. In the heart bioassay, FMRFamide increased myocardial contraction force. A potent FMRFamide analog, desaminoTyr-Phe-norLeu-arg-Phe-amide (daYFnLRFamide), was used as a radioiodinated receptor ligand. The high affinity binding of {sup 125}I-daYFnLRFamide at 0{degree}C to Helix brain membranes was reversible, saturable, pH-dependent and specific, with a K{sub D} of 13-14 nM. A lower affinity (245 nM) site was also observed. Radioligand binding sites were also identified in the heart, male reproductive organs and digestive organs. The structure-activity relations (SAR) of cardiostimulation correlated with the specificity of {sup 125}I-daYFnLRFamide binding to brain and heart receptors. The SAR were similar to those of other molluscan FMRFamide bioassays, except that they showed a marked preference for some analogs with blocked amino-terminals.

  17. Application of Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) and cause and effect analysis in conjunction with ISO 22000 to a snails (Helix aspersa) processing plant; A case study.

    PubMed

    Arvanitoyannis, Ioannis S; Varzakas, Theodoros H

    2009-08-01

    Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) has been applied for the risk assessment of snails manufacturing. A tentative approach of FMEA application to the snails industry was attempted in conjunction with ISO 22000. Preliminary Hazard Analysis was used to analyze and predict the occurring failure modes in a food chain system (snails processing plant), based on the functions, characteristics, and/or interactions of the ingredients or the processes, upon which the system depends. Critical Control points have been identified and implemented in the cause and effect diagram (also known as Ishikawa, tree diagram, and fishbone diagram). In this work a comparison of ISO22000 analysis with HACCP is carried out over snails processing and packaging. However, the main emphasis was put on the quantification of risk assessment by determining the RPN per identified processing hazard. Sterilization of tins, bioaccumulation of heavy metals, packaging of shells and poisonous mushrooms, were the processes identified as the ones with the highest RPN (280, 240, 147, 144, respectively) and corrective actions were undertaken. Following the application of corrective actions, a second calculation of RPN values was carried out leading to considerably lower values (below the upper acceptable limit of 130). It is noteworthy that the application of Ishikawa (Cause and Effect or Tree diagram) led to converging results thus corroborating the validity of conclusions derived from risk assessment and FMEA. Therefore, the incorporation of FMEA analysis within the ISO22000 system of a snails processing industry is considered imperative. PMID:19582641

  18. In vitro metabolism of androstenedione and identification of endogenous steroids in Helix aspersa

    SciTech Connect

    Le Guellec, D.; Thiard, M.C.; Remy-Martin, J.P.; Deray, A.; Gomot, L.; Adessi, G.L.

    1987-06-01

    In vitro metabolism of androstenedione in gonads of juvenile and adult Helix aspersa has been investigated. The conversion of (/sup 3/H)androstenedione into testosterone, 5 alpha-dihydrotestosterone, androsterone, and estriol was demonstrated. In juvenile animals testosterone (59.8%) is the major metabolite whereas in adult animals androsterone (18.8%) is. The following endogenous steroids have been identified by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry in adult gonads: androsterone, dehydroepiandrosterone, androstenedione, 3 alpha-androstanediol, estrone, estradiol-17 beta, and estriol. The levels of testosterone, 5 alpha-dihydrotestosterone, androstenedione, and progesterone have been measured by RIAs in gonads and hemolymph. Their levels vary with the physiological stage: the gonadal and circulating levels of testosterone decrease with the sexual maturation whereas the 5 alpha-dihydrotestosterone increases. These differences observed in metabolism and in level of steroids between the juvenile and the adult snails allow us to suppose that these steroids have a biological role.

  19. Structural studies of Helix aspersa agglutinin complexed with GalNAc: A lectin that serves as a diagnostic tool.

    PubMed

    Pietrzyk, Agnieszka J; Bujacz, Anna; Mak, Paweł; Potempa, Barbara; Niedziela, Tomasz

    2015-11-01

    Lectins belong to a differentiated group of proteins known to possess sugar-binding properties. Due to this fact, they are interesting research targets in medical diagnostics. Helix aspersa agglutinin (HAA) is a lectin that recognizes the epitopes containing α-d-N-acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc), which is present at the surface of metastatic cancer cells. Although several reports have already described the use of HAA as a diagnostic tool, this protein was not characterized on the molecular level. Here, we present for the first time the structural information about lectin isolated from mucus of Helix aspersa (garden snail). The amino acid sequence of this agglutinin was determined by Edman degradation and tertiary as well as quaternary structure by X-ray crystallography. The high resolution crystal structure (1.38Å) and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry analysis provide the detailed information about a large part of the HAA natural glycan chain. The topology of the GalNAc binding cleft and interaction with lectin are very well defined in the structure and fully confirmed by STD HSQC NMR spectroscopy. Together, this provides structural clues regarding HAA specificity and opens possibilities to rational modifications of this important diagnostic tool. PMID:26416237

  20. Free calcium ions in neurones of Helix aspersa measured with ion-selective micro-electrodes.

    PubMed Central

    Alvarez-Leefmans, F J; Rink, T J; Tsien, R Y

    1981-01-01

    1. Intracellular free calcium concentration, [Ca2+]i, was measured in giant neurones of the sub-oesophageal ganglia of Helix aspersa, using Ca-selective micro-electrodes containing a PVC-gelled, neutral-ligand sensor. 2. In calibration solutions the electrodes had a virtually ideal, Nernstian, response down to 1 microM-Ca2+ in the presence of 0.125 M-K+, 18-24 mV from 1 to 0.1 microM-Ca2+ and 8-14 mV from 0.1 to 0.01 microM-Ca2+. Interference from H+ and Mg2+ was negligible. The small response to Na+ at sub-micromolar Ca2+ was taken into account, when necessary, in measurement of [Ca2+]i. 3. Measurements of basal [Ca2+]i were made in ganglia from animals kept only a few weeks in captivity, in a bathing solution equilibrated with air and containing 2 mM-Ca2+. In thirteen measurements from impalements which met stringent criteria for electrode performance and cell viability, the mean basal pCa (--log10[Ca2+]) was 6.77 +/- 0.07 (S.E.), corresponding to a mean free Ca2+ concentration of 0.17 microM. 4. The basal [Ca2+]i in neurones from a group of snails kept hibernating for several months was higher, mean pCa 6.15, for ganglia handled in 2 mM-Ca2+ solution. 5. Intracellular injections of Ca2+ or EGTA raised and lowered, respectively, the indicated basal [Ca2+]i, showing that the electrodes responded appropriately inside the cells and that unknown or untested components of cytoplasm were not significantly interfering with the Ca-sensor. 6. Altering the external Ca2+ concentration between 0.1 and 10 mM usually produced only small, +/- 0.1 pCa units, changes in basal [Ca2+]i of satisfactorily impaled, quiescent cells. 7. In cell 1F, which has repetitive spikes with a substantial Ca current, changes in Ca gradient or blockade of voltage-dependent Ca channels sometimes markedly altered [Ca2+]i, showing that Ca entry with the spikes was elevating [Ca2+]i. 8. Replacing external Na+ with Li+ or bis(2-hydroxyethyl)dimethylammonium had little effect on [Ca2+]i. 9. Elevating CO2

  1. Food-chain transfer of cadmium and zinc from contaminated Urtica dioica to Helix aspersa and Lumbricus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Sinnett, Danielle E; Hodson, Mark E; Hutchings, Tony R

    2009-08-01

    The present study examines the potential of Urtica dioica as an ecologically relevant species for use in ecotoxicological testing. It is prevalent in degraded ecosystems and is a food source for invertebrates. Urtica dioica grown in hydroponic solutions containing from less than 0.003 to 5.7 mg Cd/L or from 0.02 to 41.9 mg Zn/L accumulated metals resulting in leaf tissue concentrations in the range of 0.10 to 24.9 mg Cd/kg or 22.5 to 2,772.0 mg Zn/kg. No toxicological effects were apparent except at the highest concentrations tested, suggesting that this species may be an important pathway for transfer of metals to primary plant consumers. Helix aspersa and Lumbricus terrestris were fed the Cd- and Zn-rich leaves of U. dioica for six and four weeks, respectively. Cadmium and Zn body load increased with increasing metal concentration in the leaves (p < 0.001). Ratios of invertebrate metal concentration to leaf metal concentration were in the range of 1:0.03 to 1:1.4 for Cd and 1:0.2 to 1:2.8 for Zn in H. aspersa and 1:0.002 to 1:3.9 for Cd and 1:0.2 to 1:8.8 for Zn in L. terrestris. Helix aspersa Cd and Zn tissue concentrations (15.5 and 1,220.2 mg/kg, respectively) were approximately threefold those in L. terrestris when both species were fed nettle leaves with concentrations of approximately 23 mg Cd/kg and 3,400 mg Zn/kg. Models demonstrate that L. terrestris Cd tissue concentrations (r2 = 0.74, p < 0.001) and H. aspersa Zn tissue concentrations (r(2) = 0.69, p < 0.001) can be estimated from concentrations of Cd and Zn within the leaves of U. dioica and suggest that reasonably reproducible results can be obtained using these species for ecotoxicological testing. PMID:19292567

  2. Neural response in vestibular organ of Helix aspersa to centrifugation and re-adaptation to normal gravity.

    PubMed

    Popova, Yekaterina; Boyle, Richard

    2015-07-01

    Gravity plays a key role in shaping the vestibular sensitivity (VS) of terrestrial organisms. We studied VS changes in the statocyst of the gastropod Helix aspersa immediately after 4-, 16-, and 32-day exposures to a 1.4G hypergravic field or following a 7-day recovery period. In the same animals we measured latencies of behavioral "negative gravitaxis" responses to a head-down pitch before and after centrifugation and found significant delays after 16- and 32-day runs. In an isolated neural preparation we recorded the electrophysiological responses of the statocyst nerve to static tilt (±19°) and sinusoids (±12°; 0.1 Hz). Spike sorting software was used to separate individual sensory cells' patterns out of a common trace. In correspondence with behavior we observed a VS decrease in animals after 16- (p < 0.05) and 32-day (p < 0.01) centrifugations. These findings reveal the capability of statoreceptors to adjust their sensitivity in response to a prolonged change in the force of gravity. Interestingly, background discharge rate increased after 16 and 32 days in hypergravity and continued to rise through the recovery period. This result indicates that adaptive mechanisms to novel gravity levels were long lasting, and re-adaptation from hypergravity is a more complex process than just "return to normal". PMID:25801308

  3. Helix and Drugs: Snails for Western Health Care From Antiquity to the Present

    PubMed Central

    2005-01-01

    The land helix, or snail, has been used in medicine since antiquity and prepared according to several formulations. This historical report traces the understanding of their properties from the time of Hippocrates, who proposed the use of snail mucus against protoccle and Pliny who thought that the snail increased the speed of delivery and was “a sovereign remedy to treat pain related to burns, abscesses and other wounds”, Galien recommended snails against hydrops foetails. In the 18th century, various snail “preparations” were also recommended for external use with dermatological disorders and internally for symptoms associated with tuberculosis and nephritis. Surprisingly, the 19th century saw a renewed interest in the pharmaceutical and medical use of snails with numerous indications for snail preparations. This interest in snails did not stop at the end of the 19th century. The 1945 edition of Dorvault devotes an entire paragraph to snails, indicating that the therapeutic usage of snails was still alive at that time. Recently the FDA has also shown an interest in snails. Ziconotide (SNXIII), a synthetic peptide coming from snail venom, has been under FDA review since 1999. Pre-clinical and clinical studies of this new drug are promising. PMID:15841274

  4. Stipe wall extension of Flammulina velutipes could be induced by an expansin-like protein from Helix aspersa.

    PubMed

    Fang, Hejian; Zhang, Wenming; Niu, Xin; Liu, Zhonghua; Lu, Changmei; Wei, Hua; Yuan, Sheng

    2014-01-01

    Expansin proteins extend plant cell walls by a hydrolysis-free process that disrupts hydrogen bonding between cell wall polysaccharides. However, it is unknown if this mechanism is operative in mushrooms. Herein we report that the native wall extension activity was located exclusively in the 10 mm apical region of 30 mm Flammulina velutipes stipes. The elongation growth was restricted also to the 9 mm apical region of the stipes where the elongation growth of the 1st millimetre was 40-fold greater than that of the 5th millimetre. Therefore, the wall extension activity represents elongation growth of the stipe. The low concentration of expansin-like protein in F. velutipes stipes prevented its isolation. However, we purified an expansin-like protein from snail stomach juice which reconstituted heat-inactivated stipe wall extension without hydrolytic activity. So the previous hypotheses that stipe wall extension was resulted from hydrolysis of wall polymers by enzymes or disruption of hydrogen bonding of wall polymers exclusively by turgor pressure are challenged. We suggest that stipe wall extension may be mediated by endogenous expansin-like proteins that facilitate cell wall polymer slippage by disrupting noncovalent bonding between glucan chains or chitin chains. PMID:24433673

  5. Adjustment of metabolite composition in the haemolymph to seasonal variations in the land snail Helix pomatia.

    PubMed

    Nicolai, Annegret; Filser, Juliane; Lenz, Roman; Bertrand, Carole; Charrier, Maryvonne

    2011-05-01

    In temperate regions, land snails are subjected to subzero temperatures in winter and hot temperatures often associated to drought in summer. The response to these environmental factors is usually a state of inactivity, hibernation and aestivation, respectively, in a temperature and humidity buffered refuge, accompanied by physiological adjustments to resist cold or heat stress. We investigated how environmental factors in the microhabitat and body condition influence the metabolite composition of haemolymph of the endangered species Helix pomatia. We used UPLC and GC-MS techniques and analyzed annual biochemical variations in a multivariate model. Hibernation and activity months differed in metabolite composition. Snails used photoperiod as cue for seasonal climatic variations to initiate a physiological state and were also highly sensitive to temperature variations, therefore constantly adjusting their physiological processes. Galactose levels gave evidence for the persistence of metabolic activity with energy expenditure during hibernation and for high reproductive activity in June. Triglycerides accumulated prior to hibernation might act as cryoprotectants or energy reserves. During the last month of hibernation snails activated physiological processes related to arousal. During activity, protein metabolism was reflected by high amino acid level. An exceptional aestivation period was observed in April giving evidence for heat stress responses, like the protection of cells from dehydration by polyols and saccharides, the membrane stabilization by cholesterol and enhanced metabolism using the anaerobic succinic acid pathway to sustain costly stress responses. In conclusion, physiological adjustments to environmental variations in Helix pomatia involve water loss regulation, cryoprotectant or heatprotectant accumulation. PMID:21136264

  6. Postembryonic neurogenesis in the procerebrum of the terrestrial snail, Helix lucorum L

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zakharov, I. S.; Hayes, N. L.; Ierusalimsky, V. N.; Nowakowski, R. S.; Balaban, P. M.

    1998-01-01

    Neuronogenesis during posthatching development of the procerebrum of the terrestrial snail Helix lucorum was analyzed using bromodeoxyuridine immunohistochemistry to label proliferating cells. Comparison of the distribution of labeled cells in a series of animals which differed in age at the time of incubation with bromodeoxyuridine, in survival time after incubation, and in age at sacrifice reveals a clear pattern and developmental sequence in neuron origin. First, the proliferating cells are located only at the apical portion of the procerebrum. Second, cells which are produced at any particular age remain, for the most part, confined to a single layer in the procerebrum. Third, as development proceeds, each layer of previously produced neurons is displaced toward the basal part of the procerebrum by the production of additional neurons. Our results suggest that the vast majority of the neurons (probably about 70-80%) of the snail procerebrum are produced during the first 1-2 months of posthatching development.

  7. An octopaminergic system in the CNS of the snails, Lymnaea stagnalis and Helix pomatia

    PubMed Central

    Hiripi, L.

    1998-01-01

    Octopamine (OA) levels in each ganglion of the terrestrial snail, Helix pomatia, and the pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis, were measured by using the HPLC technique. In both species an inhomogeneous distribution of OA was found in the central nervous system. The buccal ganglia contained a concentration of OA (12.6 pmol mg-1 and 18.8 pmol mg-1) that was two to three times higher than the pedal (4.93 pmol mg-1 and 9.2 pmol mg-1) or cerebral (4.46 pmol mg-1 and 4.9 pmol mg-1) ganglia of Helix and Lymnaea, respectively, whereas no detectable amount of OA could be assayed in the visceroparietal complex. In Lymnaea ganglia, the OA uptake into the synaptosomal fraction had a high (Km1 = 4.07 ± 0.51 μM, Vmax1 = 0.56 ± 0.11 pmol mg-1 per 20 min), and a low (Km2 = 47.6 ± 5.2 μM, Vmax2 = 4.2 ± 0.27 pmol mg-1 per 20 min), affinity component. A specific and dissociable 3H-OA binding to the membrane pellet prepared from the CNS of both Helix and Lymnaea was demonstrated. The Scatchard analysis of the ligand binding data showed a one-binding site, representing a single receptor site. The Kd and Bmax values were found to be 33.7 ± 5.95 nM and 1678 ± 179 fmol g-1 tissue in Helix and 84.9 ± 17.4 nM and 3803 ± 515 fmol g-1 tissue in Lymnaea preparation. The pharmacological properties of the putative molluscan OA receptor were characterized in both species and it was demonstrated that the receptor resembled the insect OA2 rather than to the cloned Lymnaea OA receptor. Immunocytochemical labelling demonstrated the presence of OA-immunoreactive neurons and fibres in the buccal, cerebral and pedal ganglia in the central nervous system of both species investigated. Electrophysiological experiments also suggested that the Lymnaea brain possessed specific receptors for OA. Local application of OA onto the identified buccal B2 neuron evoked a hyperpolarization which could selectively be inhibited by the OAergic agents phentolamine, demethylchlordimeform and 2-chloro-4-methyl-2

  8. Intracellular pH regulation in isolated hepatopancreas cells from the Roman snail (Helix pomatia).

    PubMed

    Manzl, Claudia; Krumschnabel, Gerhard; Schwarzbaum, Pablo J; Chabicovsky, Monika; Dallinger, Reinhard

    2004-01-01

    The mechanisms of intracellular pH (pHi) regulation were studied in isolated hepatopancreas cells from the Roman snail, Helix pomatia. The relationship between intracellular and extracellular pH indicated that pHi is actively regulated in these cells. At least three pHi-regulatory ion transporters were found to be present in these cells and to be responsible for the maintenance of pHi: an amiloride-sensitive Na+/H+ exchanger, a 4-acetamido-4'-isothiocyanostilbene-2,2'disulfonic acid (SITS)-sensitive, presumably Na(+)-dependent, Cl-/HCO3-exchanger, and a bafilomycin-sensitive H(+)-pump. Inhibition of one of these transporters alone did not affect steady state pHi, whereas incubation with amiloride and SITS in combination resulted in a significant intracellular acidification. Following the induction of intracellular acidosis by addition of the weak acid Na+propionate, the Na+/H+ exchanger was immediately activated leading to a rapid recovery of pHi towards the baseline level. Both the SITS-sensitive mechanism and the H(+)-pump responded more slowly, but were of similar importance for pHi recovery. Measurement of pHi recovery from acidification in the three discernible types of hepatopancreas cells with a video fluorescence image system revealed slightly differing response patterns, the physiological significance of which remains to be determined. PMID:14695690

  9. Release of Lungworm Larvae from Snails in the Environment: Potential for Alternative Transmission Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Giannelli, Alessio; Colella, Vito; Abramo, Francesca; do Nascimento Ramos, Rafael Antonio; Falsone, Luigi; Brianti, Emanuele; Varcasia, Antonio; Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Knaus, Martin; Fox, Mark T.; Otranto, Domenico

    2015-01-01

    Background Gastropod-borne parasites may cause debilitating clinical conditions in animals and humans following the consumption of infected intermediate or paratenic hosts. However, the ingestion of fresh vegetables contaminated by snail mucus and/or water has also been proposed as a source of the infection for some zoonotic metastrongyloids (e.g., Angiostrongylus cantonensis). In the meantime, the feline lungworms Aelurostrongylus abstrusus and Troglostrongylus brevior are increasingly spreading among cat populations, along with their gastropod intermediate hosts. The aim of this study was to assess the potential of alternative transmission pathways for A. abstrusus and T. brevior L3 via the mucus of infected Helix aspersa snails and the water where gastropods died. In addition, the histological examination of snail specimens provided information on the larval localization and inflammatory reactions in the intermediate host. Methodology/Principal Findings Twenty-four specimens of H. aspersa received ~500 L1 of A. abstrusus and T. brevior, and were assigned to six study groups. Snails were subjected to different mechanical and chemical stimuli throughout 20 days in order to elicit the production of mucus. At the end of the study, gastropods were submerged in tap water and the sediment was observed for lungworm larvae for three consecutive days. Finally, snails were artificially digested and recovered larvae were counted and morphologically and molecularly identified. The anatomical localization of A. abstrusus and T. brevior larvae within snail tissues was investigated by histology. L3 were detected in the snail mucus (i.e., 37 A. abstrusus and 19 T. brevior) and in the sediment of submerged specimens (172 A. abstrusus and 39 T. brevior). Following the artificial digestion of H. aspersa snails, a mean number of 127.8 A. abstrusus and 60.3 T. brevior larvae were recovered. The number of snail sections positive for A. abstrusus was higher than those for T. brevior

  10. Trypsin-kallikrein isoinhibitor K (type Kunitz) from snails (Helix pomatia). Purification and characterization.

    PubMed

    Dietl, T; Tschesche, H

    1975-10-15

    A basic proteinase inhibitor, isoinhibitor K, was purified by SE-Sephadex C-25 column chromatography from the mixture of acid-stable and heat-stable isoinhibitors of the snail (Helix pomatia). Isoinhibitor K is homogeneous in polyacrylamide gel, cellulose acetate and polyacrylamide-dodecylsulfate electrophoresis. From the electrophoretic mobility in dodecylsulfate-polyacrylamide gel and apparent molecular weight of 6500 +/- 200 was estimated. From the amino acid composition the inhibitor consists of 58 amino acid residues. It contains three disulfide bridges, a C-terminal valine and a lysine residue at the reactive site. Isoinhibitor K inhibits the enzymes: bovine trypsin and chymotrypsin, porcine plasmin and pancreatic kallikrein, the trypsin-like component of Streptomyces griseus proteinase-pronase E, and fungi proteinase K from Tritirachium album Limber, which is only inhibited very slightly in contrast to the effect of the mixture of isoinhibitors. The inhibitory effect of isoinhibitor K against these enzymes is compared to that of the mixture or of other isoinhibitors. The following enzymes are not inhibited by isoinhibitor K: Aspergillus proteinase P and alkaline bacillus proteinase 2231 (Röhm), which both are inhibited by the mixture of isoinhibitors. Porcine elastase, bacterial proteinase N (M) (Röhm), and a trypsin-like proteinase from wheat are not inhibited, porcine acrosin and porcine serum kallikrein only to a very minor extent by the mixture of isoinhibitors. Reactive-site peptide-bond cleavage during inhibition could not be detected. Thus, the inhibitory behaviour is just as broad in specificity and as unusual as that of the trypsin-kallikrein inhibitor (Kunitz) from bovine organs. The N-terminus is blocked by pyroglutamic acid. Isoinhibitor K is the main component of the isoinhibitors secreted into the mucus and amounts to 35-40% of the mixture. PMID:1081050

  11. Functional Changes in the Snail Statocyst System Elicited by Microgravity

    PubMed Central

    Balaban, Pavel M.; Malyshev, Aleksey Y.; Ierusalimsky, Victor N.; Aseyev, Nikolay; Korshunova, Tania A.; Bravarenko, Natasha I.; Lemak, M. S.; Roshchin, Matvey; Zakharov, Igor S.; Popova, Yekaterina; Boyle, Richard

    2011-01-01

    Background The mollusk statocyst is a mechanosensing organ detecting the animal's orientation with respect to gravity. This system has clear similarities to its vertebrate counterparts: a weight-lending mass, an epithelial layer containing small supporting cells and the large sensory hair cells, and an output eliciting compensatory body reflexes to perturbations. Methodology/Principal Findings In terrestrial gastropod snail we studied the impact of 16- (Foton M-2) and 12-day (Foton M-3) exposure to microgravity in unmanned orbital missions on: (i) the whole animal behavior (Helix lucorum L.), (ii) the statoreceptor responses to tilt in an isolated neural preparation (Helix lucorum L.), and (iii) the differential expression of the Helix pedal peptide (HPep) and the tetrapeptide FMRFamide genes in neural structures (Helix aspersa L.). Experiments were performed 13–42 hours after return to Earth. Latency of body re-orientation to sudden 90° head-down pitch was significantly reduced in postflight snails indicating an enhanced negative gravitaxis response. Statoreceptor responses to tilt in postflight snails were independent of motion direction, in contrast to a directional preference observed in control animals. Positive relation between tilt velocity and firing rate was observed in both control and postflight snails, but the response magnitude was significantly larger in postflight snails indicating an enhanced sensitivity to acceleration. A significant increase in mRNA expression of the gene encoding HPep, a peptide linked to ciliary beating, in statoreceptors was observed in postflight snails; no differential expression of the gene encoding FMRFamide, a possible neurotransmission modulator, was observed. Conclusions/Significance Upregulation of statocyst function in snails following microgravity exposure parallels that observed in vertebrates suggesting fundamental principles underlie gravi-sensing and the organism's ability to adapt to gravity changes. This

  12. Feeding behaviour of juvenile snails ( Helix pomatia) to four plant species grown at elevated atmospheric CO 2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ledergerber, S.; Leadley, P. W.; Stöcklin, J.; Baur, Bruno

    1998-02-01

    The feeding behaviour of juveniles of the land snail Helix pomatia was examined in model plant communities consisting of Trifolium repens, Hieracium pilosella, Bromus erectus and Prunella vulgaris that are common species in extensively managed calcareous grasslands in the Swiss Jura mountains. The plant communities were grown either at ambient (350 ppm) or elevated (600 ppm) CO 2 concentrations. Leaves of T. repens and P. vulgaris grown in elevated atmospheric CO 2 had a lower specific leaf area, and leaves of T. repens had lower percentage N on a dry weight basis than leaves grown under ambient CO 2 concentration. Snails fed on all four plant species, but showed a overwhelming preference for T. repens (percentages of total biomass consumed were 91.9% at 350 ppm and 97.6% at 600 ppm). The species-specific feeding intensity of juvenile H. pomatia did not differ between the two treatments. The total dry weight of T. repens consumed by the snails was marginally greater ( P = 0.06) at elevated CO 2, but there were no significant differences in leaf N or leaf area eaten. These findings are similar to numerous other studies showing that invertebrates increase their consumption of plant material to balance reductions in plant N concentrations at elevated CO 2. The leaf biomass, leaf area and amount of nitrogen consumed of the other three plant species did not differ significantly between the two CO 2 treatments. Helix pomatia that fed on plants grown at elevated CO 2 atmosphere showed a larger increase in relative wet weight than those that fed on plants from ambient CO 2 conditions. However, the weight gain of H. pomatia was poorly correlated with amount of plant tissue consumed, so we suggest that the effect of CO 2 on weight gain in H. pomatia was due to a change in the quality of T. repens leaves.

  13. Recent expansion and relic survival: Phylogeography of the land snail genus Helix (Mollusca, Gastropoda) from south to north Europe.

    PubMed

    Fiorentino, V; Manganelli, G; Giusti, F; Ketmaier, V

    2016-05-01

    Little is known about the evolutionary history of Helix, despite the fact that it includes the largest land snails in the western Palaearctic, some of which (e.g. H. pomatia Linnaeus, 1758) are valuable human food. We compared two groups of Helix with apparently contrasting evolutionary histories: the widespread species H. pomatia and the group distributed along the Italian Apennine chain, a relatively unknown set of species with a restricted distribution over a range of altitudes. To reconstruct the evolutionary trajectories of these two groups, we analysed morphological (shell and genitalia) and molecular characters (mitochondrial and nuclear markers) in a total of 59 populations from northern and central Europe (H. pomatia) and along the Apennine chain (various species). We also reconstructed the phylogeny and the evolutionary history of the genus by combining our data with that currently available in the literature. We found that spatial changes did not merely imply fragmentation of populations, but also implied environmental changes (woodlands vs. grasslands) that may have triggered the observed phenotypic diversification. We also found that Anatolia is the ancestral range of Helix and is therefore an important area for the Palaearctic diversity. The results provide insights into the evolutionary history of species richness and more generally into the processes that may have shaped the distribution and diversification of these organisms across Europe and the peri-Mediterranean area. PMID:26926944

  14. Mucus trail tracking in a predatory snail: olfactory processing retooled to serve a novel sensory modality

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Kinjal; Shaheen, Nagma; Witherspoon, Jessica; Robinson, Natallia; Harrington, Melissa A

    2014-01-01

    Introduction The rosy wolfsnail (Euglandina rosea), a predatory land snail, finds prey snails and potential mates by following their mucus trails. Euglandina have evolved unique, mobile lip extensions that detect mucus and aid in following trails. Currently, little is known of the neural substrates of the trail-following behavior. Methods To investigate the neural correlates of trail following we used tract-tracing experiments in which nerves were backfilled with either nickel-lysine or Lucifer yellow, extracellular recording of spiking neurons in snail procerebra using a multielectrode array, and behavioral assays of trail following and movement toward the source of a conditioned odor. Results The tract-tracing experiments demonstrate that in Euglandina, the nerves carrying mucus signals innervate the same region of the central ganglia as the olfactory nerves, while the electrophysiology studies show that mucus stimulation of the sensory epithelium on the lip extensions alters the frequency and pattern of neural activity in the procerebrum in a manner similar to odor stimulation of the olfactory epithelium on the optic tentacles of another land snail species, Cantareus aspersa (previously known as Helix aspersa). While Euglandina learn to follow trails of novel chemicals that they contact with their lip extensions in one to three trials, these snails proved remarkably resistant to associative learning in the olfactory modality. Even after seven to nine pairings of odorant molecules with food, they showed no orientation toward the conditioned odor. This is in marked contrast to Cantareus snails, which reliably oriented toward conditioned odors after two to three trials. Conclusions The apparent inability of Euglandina to learn to associate food with odors and use odor cues to drive behavior suggests that the capability for sophisticated neural processing of nonvolatile mucus cues detected by the lip extensions has evolved at the expense of processing of odorant

  15. Homolog of protein kinase Mζ maintains context aversive memory and underlying long-term facilitation in terrestrial snail Helix.

    PubMed

    Balaban, Pavel M; Roshchin, Matvey; Timoshenko, Alia Kh; Zuzina, Alena B; Lemak, Maria; Ierusalimsky, Victor N; Aseyev, Nikolay A; Malyshev, Aleksey Y

    2015-01-01

    It has been shown that a variety of long-term memories in different regions of the brain and in different species are quickly erased by local inhibition of protein kinase Mζ (PKMζ), a persistently active protein kinase. Using antibodies to mammalian PKMζ, we describe in the present study the localization of immunoreactive molecules in the nervous system of the terrestrial snail Helix lucorum. Presence of a homolog of PKMζ was confirmed with transcriptomics. We have demonstrated in behavioral experiments that contextual fear memory disappeared under a blockade of PKMζ with a selective peptide blocker of PKMζ zeta inhibitory peptide (ZIP), but not with scrambled ZIP. If ZIP was combined with a "reminder" (20 min in noxious context), no impairment of the long-term contextual memory was observed. In electrophysiological experiments we investigated whether PKMζ takes part in the maintenance of long-term facilitation (LTF) in the neural circuit mediating tentacle withdrawal. LTF of excitatory synaptic inputs to premotor interneurons was induced by high-frequency nerve stimulation combined with serotonin bath applications and lasted at least 4 h. We found that bath application of 2 × 10(-6) M ZIP at the 90th min after the tetanization reduced the EPSP amplitude to the non-tetanized EPSP values. Applications of the scrambled ZIP peptide at a similar time and concentration didn't affect the EPSP amplitudes. In order to test whether effects of ZIP are specific to the synapses, we performed experiments with LTF of somatic membrane responses to local glutamate applications. It was shown earlier that serotonin application in such an "artificial synapse" condition elicits LTF of responses to glutamate. It was found that ZIP had no effect on LTF in these conditions, which may be explained by the very low concentration of PKMζ molecules in somata of these identified neurons, as evidenced by immunochemistry. Obtained results suggest that the Helix homolog of PKMζ might be

  16. Peptidergic modulation of serotonin and nerve elicited responses of the salivary duct muscle in the snail, Helix pomatia.

    PubMed

    Kiss, T; Hernádi, L; László, Z; Fekete, Zs N; Elekes, K

    2010-06-01

    In the present study, the ability of a range of endogenous neuropeptides to modulate neuromuscular transmission was examined in the salivary duct neuromuscular preparation of the terrestrial snail, Helix pomatia. Immunohistochemical and physiological techniques were used to localize the neuropeptides (GSPYFVamide, CARP, FMRFamide and APGWamide) and to investigate whether contractions elicited by the stimulation of the salivary nerve or by exogenously applied 5-HT are subject to peptidergic modulation. All of the neuropeptides studied decreased the tonus by a direct action on the muscle fibers in a concentration dependent manner in a range of 10(-9) to 10(-6)M. Neuropeptides distinctly affected the 5-HT evoked contraction or relaxation and GSPYFVa and APGWa decreased also the amplitude of contractions elicited by the stimulation of the salivary nerve. All four neuropeptides facilitated the relaxation phase providing further evidence for the postsynaptic action of neuropeptides. Low Ca(2+)/high Mg(2+) saline abolished the nerve-elicited contractions, however the denervated muscle retained the ability to contract due to the mobilization of the Ca(2+) from intracellular stores. It was concluded, that peptides belonging to different peptide families exerted their effects through pre- and postsynaptic mechanisms. The modulatory effect of neuropeptides can be assigned to the partial co-localization of 5-HT and neuropeptides in the nerves innervating muscles of the salivary duct, as it was demonstrated by double-labeling immunohistochemistry. A double origin of the 5-HTergic innervation was demonstrated, including efferents originating from both the cerebral and visceral ganglia. PMID:20307609

  17. Snails and slugs damaging the cut foliage, Cordyline fruticosa and use of biorationals towards their management.

    PubMed

    Karthiga, S; Jegathambigai, V; Karunarathne, M D S D; Svinningen, A; Mikunthan, G

    2012-01-01

    Snails and slugs became a serious molluscan pests and damaging leaves of purple compacta, Cordyline fruticosa extensively grown for export at Green Farm Ltd, Sri Lanka. The export quality of leaves of C. fruticosa is lowered due to feeding of snails, Achantina fulica (Bowditch), Opeas pyrgula Schmacker and Boettgerx and Helix aspersa Muller and slugs incurring great loss to cut foliage industry. Paucity of information is available to understand snails and slugs damage and their host range that limits to develop suitable management practices. Therefore this study was aimed to determine damage, alternate hosts and to develop possible management practices. Snails and slugs damaged mainly fresh leaves of C. fruticosa. The severity of damage was 44.5% in infested field based on the visual rating method. Leaves of cassava, sting bean, okra, cucumber, passion fruit, papaya, Glyricidia and shoe flower were identified as alternate hosts and neem, Ixora and Dracaena spp were not served as alternate hosts. Among the plant materials tested for their repellence against snails and slugs revealed that neem seed powder was an irritant; neem leaves, mint leaves and Lantana leaves were acted as anti-feedant and Salt as chemical repellent. Among the barrier and bait experiments Bordeaux mixture exhibited a significant barrier effect against horizontal movement of snails. Baits made out of Metaldehyde bait, vegetables bait and jaggery had a strong effect in repelling the snails and slugs. Mulching with Madhuca longifolia punnac was the best to reduce the snails and slugs population compared to M. longifolia seed kernel powder. Oil from M. longifolia failed to reduce their population. Hence the results revealed that saponin containing M. longifolia punnac helped to eliminate snails and slugs when used as mulch. Metaldehyde, vegetable and jaggery baits are also useful to minimize their colonization further. Hence combination of these methods will help to prevent snails and slugs from

  18. Electron cytochemical study of carbohydrate components in different types of cultured glial cells of snail Helix pomatia.

    PubMed

    Koval, L M; Kononenko, N I; Lutsik, M D; Yavorskaya, E N

    1994-01-01

    Using a variety of colloidal gold-labelled lectins with different sugar specificities, the structure and topography of carbohydrate determinants of the surface membrane of in vitro cultured glial and nerve cells of the snail Helix pomatia have been electron cytochemically studied. Heterogeneity of carbohydrate pools among different types of glial cells and between glial and nerve cells was established. It was found that satellite glial cells having the ultrastructural signs of cells with high metabolic level (type II cells) selectively bind GNA which is specific to terminal alpha-D-mannose residues and do not bind other mannose-specific lectins, Con A and LCA. GNA determinants are absent in satellite type I glial cells, fibrous glial cells, microglia and neurons. It has been found that glial cells (satellite type I and II glial cells, filamentous glial cells and microglial cells) do not bind PVA and LABA. LTA did not bind to any glial cells and binds weakly to neurons. Con A and WGA determinants which are abundant on the neurons are completely absent on satellite type II glial cells but present on satellite type I glial cells and filamentous glial cells. Microglial cells contain Con A and LCA determinants and the density of PNA determinants on these cells is the highest compared to other types of glial cells or neurons. It is concluded that some lectin determinants (for RCA-1, PNA, LPA) are present on all types of glial cells, while another determinant (GNA) is specific for a definite type of glial cells and can serve as a marker of these cells. The role of specific carbohydrate determinants in the functioning of a neuron-glial complex is discussed. PMID:7914854

  19. Cadmium Accumulation and Pathological Alterations in the Midgut Gland of Terrestrial Snail Helix pomatia L. from a Zinc Smelter Area: Role of Soil pH.

    PubMed

    Włostowski, Tadeusz; Kozłowski, Paweł; Łaszkiewicz-Tiszczenko, Barbara; Oleńska, Ewa

    2016-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine whether cadmium (Cd) accumulation and toxicity in the midgut gland of Helix pomatia snails living in a Cd-contaminated area were related to soil pH. Toxic responses in the midgut gland (i.e., increased vacuolization and lipid peroxidation) occurred in H. pomatia snails exhibiting the highest Cd levels in the gland (265-274 µg/g dry wt) and living on acidic soil (pH 5.3-5.5), while no toxicity was observed in snails accumulating less Cd (90 µg/g) and ranging on neutral soil (pH 7.0), despite the fact that total soil Cd was similar in the two cases. The accumulation of Cd in the gland was directly related to the water extractable Cd in soil, which in turn correlated inversely with soil pH, indicating that this factor had a significant effect on tissue Cd. It appeared further that the occurrence of Cd toxicity was associated with low levels of metallothionein in the gland of snails ranging on acidic soil. PMID:26868644

  20. Biotic interactions modify the transfer of cesium-137 in a soil-earthworm-plant-snail food web.

    PubMed

    Fritsch, Clémentine; Scheifler, Renaud; Beaugelin-Seiller, Karine; Hubert, Philippe; Coeurdassier, Michaël; de Vaufleury, Annette; Badot, Pierre-Marie

    2008-08-01

    The present study investigated the possible influence of the earthworm Aporrectodea tuberculata on the transfer of cesium-137 ((137)Cs) from a contaminated (130 Bq/kg) deciduous forest soil to the lettuce Lactuca sativa and to the snail Cantareus aspersus (formerly Helix aspersa) in two laboratory experiments. In the first experiment, the International Organization for Standardization 15952 test was used to expose snails for five weeks to contaminated soil with or without earthworms. In these conditions, the presence of earthworms caused a two- to threefold increase in (137)Cs concentrations in snails. Transfer was low in earthworms as well as in snails, with transfer factors (TFs) lower than 3.7 x 10(-2). Activity concentrations were higher in earthworms (2.8- 4.8 Bq/kg dry mass) than in snails (<1.5 Bq/kg). In the second experiment, microcosms were used to determine the contribution of soil and lettuce in the accumulation of (137)Cs in snails. Results suggest that the contribution of lettuce and soil is 80 and 20%, respectively. Microcosms also were used to study the influence of earthworms on (137)Cs accumulation in snail tissues in the most ecologically relevant treatment (soil-earthworm-plant-snail food web). In this case, soil-to-plant transfer was high, with a TF of 0.8, and was not significantly modified by earthworms. Conversely, soil-to-snail transfer was lower (TF, approximately 0.1) but was significantly increased in presence of earthworms. Dose rates were determined in the microcosm study with the EDEN (elementary dose evaluation for natural environment) model. Dose rates were lower than 5.5 x 10(-4) mGy/d, far from values considered to have effects on terrestrial organisms (1 mGy/d). PMID:18266477

  1. Guanine and inosine nucleotides, nucleosides and oxypurines in snail muscles as potential biomarkers of fluoride toxicity.

    PubMed

    Rać, Monika E; Safranow, Krzysztof; Dołegowska, Barbara; Machoy, Zygmunt

    2007-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to determine the toxicity of fluorides on energy metabolism in muscles of the Helix aspersa maxima snail. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of purine compounds was performed in slices of foot from mature snails with high-performance liquid chromatography. Fluoride concentrations were measured using an ion-selective electrode and gas chromatography. The results show that exposure to fluoride pollution was accompanied by a statistically significant increase in fluoride concentrations in soft tissues. This effect was already noticeable with the smallest fluoride dose. Accumulation was greatest in the shell. There is a significant and positive correlation between fluoride concentrations in foot muscles and guanine and inosine nucleotides or uridine content. The content of low-energy guanylate, inosylate and oxypurine in foot muscles significantly increased with rising dose of fluoride. The difference as compared with controls was significant only for the highest dose of fluoride. Interestingly, uric acid, the final product of purine catabolism, dominated quantitatively in the foot muscles of snails. In conclusion, increased low-energy guanylate and inosylate as well as decreased xanthine concentrations in snail muscle can be indicators of the toxic influence of fluoride on the organism. The measuring of fluoride accumulation in the shell is the most suitable bioindicator of fluoride pollution in the environment. PMID:18274260

  2. Snails as indicators of pesticide drift, deposit, transfer and effects in the vineyard.

    PubMed

    Druart, Coline; Millet, Maurice; Scheifler, Renaud; Delhomme, Olivier; Raeppel, Caroline; de Vaufleury, Annette

    2011-09-15

    This paper presents a field-study of real pesticide application conditions in a vineyard. The objective was to measure the exposure, the transfer and the effects of pesticides on a non-target soil invertebrate, the land snail Helix aspersa. There was no drift of the herbicides (glyphosate and glufosinate) whereas the fungicides (cymoxanil, folpet, tebuconazole and pyraclostrobin) were detected up to 20 m from the treated area. For folpet and particularly tebuconazole, spray deposits on soil (corresponding to losses for the intended target i.e. the vine leaves) were high (41.1% and 88.8% loss of applied dose, respectively). For herbicides, the target was the soil and losses (percentage of compounds which did not reach the soil) were of 22% for glufosinate and 52% for glyphosate. In the study plot, glyphosate was transferred to and accumulated in snail tissues (4 mg kg(-1) dry weight, dw), as was its metabolite AMPA (8 mg kg(-1) dw) which could be in relation with the reduced growth observed in snails. No effects on snail survival or growth were found after exposure to the other organic compounds or to copper and sulphur-fungicides, although transfer of tebuconazole, pyraclostrobin and copper occurred. This study brings original field data on the fate of pesticides in a vineyard agro-ecosystem under real conditions of application and shows that transfer and effects of pesticides to a non-target organism occurred. PMID:21784506

  3. Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors Containing the α7-Like Subunit Mediate Contractions of Muscles Responsible for Space Positioning of the Snail, Helix pomatia L. Tentacle

    PubMed Central

    Kiss, Tibor; Krajcs, Nóra; Pirger, Zsolt; Hernádi, László

    2014-01-01

    Three recently discovered tentacle muscles are crucial to perform patterned movements of upper tentacles of the terrestrial snail, Helix pomatia. The muscles receive central and peripheral excitatory cholinergic innervation lacking inhibitory innervation. Here, we investigate the pharmacology of acetylcholine (ACh) responses in muscles to determine the properties of the ACh receptor (AChR), the functional availability of which was assessed using isotonic contraction measurement. Using broad spectrum of nicotinic and muscarinic ligands, we provide the evidence that contractions in the muscles are attributable to the activation of nAChRs that contain the α7-like subunit. Contractions could be evoked by nicotine, carbachol, succinylchloride, TMA, the selective α7-nAChR agonist choline chloride, 3-Bromocytisine and PNU-282987, and blocked by nAChR selective antagonists such as mytolon, hexamethonium, succinylchloride, d-tubocurarine, hemicholinium, DMDA (decamethonium), methyllycaconitine, α-Bungarotoxin (αBgTx) and α-Conotoxin IMI. The specific muscarinic agonist oxotremorine and arecoline failed to elicit contractions. Based on these pharmacological properties we conclude that the Na+ and Ca2+ permeable AChRs of the flexor muscle are nicotinic receptors that contain the α7-like subunit. Immunodetection experiments confirmed the presence of α7- or α7-like AChRs in muscle cells, and α4-AChRs in nerves innervating the muscle. These results support the conclusion that the slowly desensitizing αBgTx-sensitive responses obtained from flexor muscles are produced by activation of α7- like AChRs. This is the first demonstration of postsynaptic expression and an obligatory role for a functional α7-like nAChR in the molluscan periphery. PMID:25303328

  4. Snail Snooping.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Dorothy

    1993-01-01

    Presents an activity in which students in grades 5-8 learn about snail reproduction by observing and charting the activities of land snails, freshwater snails, and slugs. Instructions to implement and extend the activity are provided. (MDH)

  5. Effects of weak environmental magnetic fields on the spontaneous bioelectrical activity of snail neurons.

    PubMed

    Moghadam, Mehri Kaviani; Firoozabadi, Mohammad; Janahmadi, Mahyar

    2011-03-01

    We examined the effects of 50-Hz magnetic fields in the range of flux densities relevant to our current environmental exposures on action potential (AP), after-hyperpolarization potential (AHP) and neuronal excitability in neurons of land snails, Helix aspersa. It was shown that when the neurons were exposed to magnetic field at the various flux densities, marked changes in neuronal excitability, AP firing frequency and AHP amplitude were seen. These effects seemed to be related to the intensity, type (single and continuous or repeated and cumulative) and length of exposure (18 or 20 min). The extremely low-frequency (ELF) magnetic field exposures affect the excitability of F1 neuronal cells in a nonmonotonic manner, disrupting their normal characteristic and synchronized firing patterns by interfering with the cell membrane electrophysiological properties. Our results could explain one of the mechanisms and sites of action of ELF magnetic fields. A possible explanation of the inhibitory effects of magnetic fields could be a decrease in Ca(2+) influx through inhibition of voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels. The detailed mechanism of effect, however, needs to be further studied under voltage-clamp conditions. PMID:21249346

  6. Terrestrial edible land snails as vectors for geographic dissemination of Brachylaima species.

    PubMed

    Gállego, L; González-Moreno, O; Gracenea, M

    2014-10-01

    Cornu aspersum (= syn. Helix aspersa ) snails imported into NE Spain from Algeria and South Africa, and intended for human consumption via sale in public markets, were analyzed to assess their contribution to geographic dissemination of Brachylaima species. Prevalence and viability studies of metacercariae were performed on Algerian and South African Brachylaima adults. Morphometric studies were performed by measuring 16 variables in metacercariae and 18 variables in adults. Principal component analyses (PCA) were performed to assess the contribution of each variable in the separation of the different groups. A MANOVA test performed on morphometric data from Brachylaima llobregatensis and Brachylaima mascomai Algerian and South African adults, revealed a significant multivariate main effect (P < 0.001) and univariate effects in 13 variables (P ≤ 0.001). Pairwise comparisons revealed significant differences in 13 variables between B. mascomai and Algerian adults, as opposed to 3 variables (testis I width, testis II width, and egg width) when compared with B. llobregatensis. South African adults had significant differences in 5 variables (body length, oral sucker length, oral sucker width, egg length, and egg width) when compared with B. llobregatensis, as opposed to 1 variable (testis II width) when compared with B. mascomai. Results from PCA showed 2 different groups: B. llobregatensis/Algerian adults (overlapped) and B. mascomai/South African adults (overlapped). Imported edible C. aspersum specimens can contribute significantly to the geographic spread of Brachylaima species by harboring infective metacercariae which could easily infect animals, given their heteroxenous character. Brachylaima llobregatensis has previously been detected in NE Spain only, and now this species appears to be parasitizing C. aspersum in Algeria (North Africa). This geographic dispersion could be favored by commerce in terrestrial snails such as C. aspersum. PMID:24673619

  7. Snail Trails

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Galus, Pamela

    2002-01-01

    The slime trails of snails lead the author's students to a better understanding of science as inquiry and the processes of science. During this five-day activity, students get up close and personal with one of her favorite creatures, the land snail. Students begin by observing the organism and recording their observations. After making initial…

  8. Snails home

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunstan, D. J.; Hodgson, D. J.

    2014-06-01

    Many gardeners and horticulturalists seek non-chemical methods to control populations of snails. It has frequently been reported that snails that are marked and removed from a garden are later found in the garden again. This phenomenon is often cited as evidence for a homing instinct. We report a systematic study of the snail population in a small suburban garden, in which large numbers of snails were marked and removed over a period of about 6 months. While many returned, inferring a homing instinct from this evidence requires statistical modelling. Monte Carlo techniques demonstrate that movements of snails are better explained by drift under the influence of a homing instinct than by random diffusion. Maximum likelihood techniques infer the existence of two groups of snails in the garden: members of a larger population that show little affinity to the garden itself, and core members of a local garden population that regularly return to their home if removed. The data are strongly suggestive of a homing instinct, but also reveal that snail-throwing can work as a pest management strategy.

  9. Helix coupling

    DOEpatents

    Ginell, W.S.

    1982-03-17

    A coupling for connecting helix members in series, which consists of a pair of U-shaped elements, one of which is attached to each helix end with the U sections of the elements interlocked. The coupling is particularly beneficial for interconnecting helical Nitinol elements utilized in thermal actuators or engines. Each coupling half is attached to the associated helix at two points, thereby providing axial load while being easily removed from the helix, and reusable.

  10. Helix coupling

    DOEpatents

    Ginell, William S.

    1989-04-25

    A coupling for connecting helix members in series, which consists of a pair of U-shaped elements, one of which is attached to each helix end with the "U" sections of the elements interlocked. The coupling is particularly beneficial for interconnecting helical Nitinol elements utilized in thermal actuators or engines. Each coupling half is attached to the associated helix at two points, thereby providing axial load while being easily removed from the helix, and reusable.

  11. Helix capping.

    PubMed Central

    Aurora, R.; Rose, G. D.

    1998-01-01

    Helix-capping motifs are specific patterns of hydrogen bonding and hydrophobic interactions found at or near the ends of helices in both proteins and peptides. In an alpha-helix, the first four >N-H groups and last four >C=O groups necessarily lack intrahelical hydrogen bonds. Instead, such groups are often capped by alternative hydrogen bond partners. This review enlarges our earlier hypothesis (Presta LG, Rose GD. 1988. Helix signals in proteins. Science 240:1632-1641) to include hydrophobic capping. A hydrophobic interaction that straddles the helix terminus is always associated with hydrogen-bonded capping. From a global survey among proteins of known structure, seven distinct capping motifs are identified-three at the helix N-terminus and four at the C-terminus. The consensus sequence patterns of these seven motifs, together with results from simple molecular modeling, are used to formulate useful rules of thumb for helix termination. Finally, we examine the role of helix capping as a bridge linking the conformation of secondary structure to supersecondary structure. PMID:9514257

  12. Historical biogeography of the land snail Cornu aspersum: a new scenario inferred from haplotype distribution in the Western Mediterranean basin

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Despite its key location between the rest of the continent and Europe, research on the phylogeography of north African species remains very limited compared to European and North American taxa. The Mediterranean land mollusc Cornu aspersum (= Helix aspersa) is part of the few species widely sampled in north Africa for biogeographical analysis. It then provides an excellent biological model to understand phylogeographical patterns across the Mediterranean basin, and to evaluate hypotheses of population differentiation. We investigated here the phylogeography of this land snail to reassess the evolutionary scenario we previously considered for explaining its scattered distribution in the western Mediterranean, and to help to resolve the question of the direction of its range expansion (from north Africa to Europe or vice versa). By analysing simultaneously individuals from 73 sites sampled in its putative native range, the present work provides the first broad-scale screening of mitochondrial variation (cyt b and 16S rRNA genes) of C. aspersum. Results Phylogeographical structure mirrored previous patterns inferred from anatomy and nuclear data, since all haplotypes could be ascribed to a B (West) or a C (East) lineage. Alternative migration models tested confirmed that C. aspersum most likely spread from north Africa to Europe. In addition to Kabylia in Algeria, which would have been successively a centre of dispersal and a zone of secondary contacts, we identified an area in Galicia where genetically distinct west and east type populations would have regained contact. Conclusions Vicariant and dispersal processes are reviewed and discussed in the light of signatures left in the geographical distribution of the genetic variation. In referring to Mediterranean taxa which show similar phylogeographical patterns, we proposed a parsimonious scenario to account for the "east-west" genetic splitting and the northward expansion of the western (B) clade which

  13. Modeling snail breeding in Bioregenerative Life Support System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kovalev, Vladimir; Tikhomirov, Alexander A.; Nickolay Manukovsky, D..

    It is known that snail meat is a high quality food that is rich in protein. Hence, heliciculture or land snail farming spreads worldwide because it is a profitable business. The possibility to use the snails of Helix pomatia in Biological Life Support System (BLSS) was studied by Japanese Researches. In that study land snails were considered to be producers of animal protein. Also, snail breeding was an important part of waste processing, because snails were capable to eat the inedible plant biomass. As opposed to the agricultural snail farming, heliciculture in BLSS should be more carefully planned. The purpose of our work was to develop a model for snail breeding in BLSS that can predict mass flow rates in and out of snail facility. There are three linked parts in the model called “Stoichiometry”, “Population” and “Mass balance”, which are used in turn. Snail population is divided into 12 age groups from oviposition to one year. In the submodel “Stoichiometry” the individual snail growth and metabolism in each of 12 age groups are described with stoichiometry equations. Reactants are written on the left side of the equations, while products are written on the right side. Stoichiometry formulas of reactants and products consist of four chemical elements: C, H, O, N. The reactants are feed and oxygen, products are carbon dioxide, metabolic water, snail meat, shell, feces, slime and eggs. If formulas of substances in the stoichiometry equations are substituted with their molar masses, then stoichiometry equations are transformed to the equations of molar mass balance. To get the real mass balance of individual snail growth and metabolism one should multiply the value of each molar mass in the equations on the scale parameter, which is the ratio between mass of monthly consumed feed and molar mass of feed. Mass of monthly consumed feed and stoichiometry coefficients of formulas of meat, shell, feces, slime and eggs should be determined experimentally

  14. Helix-helix interfaces and ligand binding.

    PubMed

    Kurochkina, Natalya; Choekyi, Tsering

    2011-08-21

    Helix-helix parallel interfaces can be characterized by certain combinations of amino acids, which repeatedly occur at core positions a and d (leucine zipper nomenclature) in homologous and nonhomologous proteins and influence interhelical angles. Applied for the prediction of interhelical angles in glutathione S-transferase, intracellular chloride channel and annexin molecules from various sources, correct results were achieved in 58 out of 62 proteins. Interhelical angles are found to correlate with the conformation of the glutathione S-transferase ligands glutathione, s-hexylglutathione, glutathione sulfonic acid, and glutathione-s-dinitrobenzene. PMID:21620863

  15. Reconsolidation of a Context Long-Term Memory in the Terrestrial Snail Requires Protein Synthesis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gainutdinova, Tatiana H.; Tagirova, Rosa R.; Ismailova, Asja I.; Muranova, Lyudmila N.; Samarova, Elena I.; Gainutdinov, Khalil L.; Balaban, Pavel M.

    2005-01-01

    We investigated the influence of the protein synthesis blocker anisomycin on contextual memory in the terrestrial snail "Helix." Prior to the training session, the behavioral responses in two contexts were similar. Two days after a session of electric shocks (5 d) in one context only, the context conditioning was observed as the significant…

  16. Involvement of Na,K-pump in SEPYLRFamide-mediated reduction of cholinosensitivity in Helix neurons

    PubMed Central

    Pivovarov, Arkady S.; Foreman, Richard C.; Walker, Robert J.

    2007-01-01

    SEPYLRFamide acts as an inhibitory modulator of acetylcholine (ACh) receptors in Helix lucorum neurones. Ouabain, a specific inhibitor of Na,K-pump, (0.1 mM, bath application) decreased the ACh-induced inward current (ACh-current) and increased the leak current. Ouabain decreased the modulatory SEPYLRFamide effect on the ACh-current. There was a correlation between the effects of ouabain on the amplitude of the ACh-current and on the modulatory peptide effect. Ouabain and SEPYLRFamide inhibited the activity of Helix aspersa brain Na,K-ATPase. Activation of Na,K-pump by intracellular injection of 3 M Na acetate or 3 M NaCl reduced the modulatory peptide effect on the ACh-current. An inhibitor of Na/Ca-exchange, benzamil (25 μM, bath application), and an inhibitor of Ca2+-pump in the endoplasmic reticulum, thapsigargin (TG, applied intracellularly), both prevented the effect of ouabain on SEPYLRFamide-mediated modulatory effect. Another inhibitor of Ca2+-pump in the endoplasmic reticulum, cyclopiazonic acid (applied intracellularly), did not prevent the effect of ouabain on SEPYLRFamide-mediated modulatory effect. These results indicate that Na,K-pump is responsible for the SEPYLRFamide-mediated inhibition of ACh receptors in Helix neurons. Na/Ca-exchange and intracellular Ca2+ released from internal pools containing TG-sensitive Ca2+-pump are involved in the Na,K-pump pathway for the SEPYLRFamide-mediated inhibition of ACh receptors. PMID:17049630

  17. Involvement of Na,K-pump in SEPYLRFamide-mediated reduction of cholinosensitivity in Helix neurons.

    PubMed

    Pivovarov, Arkady S; Foreman, Richard C; Walker, Robert J

    2007-02-01

    SEPYLRFamide acts as an inhibitory modulator of acetylcholine (ACh) receptors in Helix lucorum neurones. Ouabain, a specific inhibitor of Na,K-pump, (0.1 mM, bath application) decreased the ACh-induced inward current (ACh-current) and increased the leak current. Ouabain decreased the modulatory SEPYLRFamide effect on the ACh-current. There was a correlation between the effects of ouabain on the amplitude of the ACh-current and on the modulatory peptide effect. Ouabain and SEPYLRFamide inhibited the activity of Helix aspersa brain Na,K-ATPase. Activation of Na,K-pump by intracellular injection of 3 M Na acetate or 3 M NaCl reduced the modulatory peptide effect on the ACh-current. An inhibitor of Na/Ca-exchange, benzamil (25 muM, bath application), and an inhibitor of Ca(2+)-pump in the endoplasmic reticulum, thapsigargin (TG, applied intracellularly), both prevented the effect of ouabain on SEPYLRFamide-mediated modulatory effect. Another inhibitor of Ca(2+)-pump in the endoplasmic reticulum, cyclopiazonic acid (applied intracellularly), did not prevent the effect of ouabain on SEPYLRFamide-mediated modulatory effect. These results indicate that Na,K-pump is responsible for the SEPYLRFamide-mediated inhibition of ACh receptors in Helix neurons. Na/Ca-exchange and intracellular Ca(2+) released from internal pools containing TG-sensitive Ca(2+)-pump are involved in the Na,K-pump pathway for the SEPYLRFamide-mediated inhibition of ACh receptors. PMID:17049630

  18. Inquiry, Land Snails, and Environmental Factors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barrow, Lloyd H.; Krantz, Patrick D.

    2002-01-01

    Introduces land snails for use in inquiry-based science activities. Describes common characteristics and safety considerations while introducing students to land snails. Explains procedures for inquiry-based use of land snails in classrooms. (YDS)

  19. Snail-type zinc finger proteins prevent neurogenesis in Scutoid and transgenic animals of Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Fuse, N; Matakatsu, H; Taniguchi, M; Hayashi, S

    1999-10-01

    Scutoid is a classical dominant gain-of-function mutation of Drosophila, causing a loss of bristles and roughening of the compound eye. Previous genetic and molecular analyses have shown that Scutoid is associated with a chromosomal transposition resulting in a fusion of no-oceli and snail genes. How this gene fusion event leads to the defects in neurogenesis was not known until now. Here have found that snail is ectopically expressed in the eye-antennal and wing imaginal discs in Scutoid larvae, and that this expression is reduced in Scutoid revertants. We have also shown that the expressivity of Scutoid is enhanced by zeste mutations. snail and escargot encode evolutionarily conserved zinc-finger proteins involved in the development of mesoderm and limbs. Snail and Escargot proteins share a common target DNA sequence with the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) type proneural gene products. When expressed in the developing external sense organ precursors of the thorax and the eye, these proteins cause a loss of mechanosensory bristles in the thorax and perturbed the development of the compound eye. Such phenotypes resemble those associated with Scutoid. Furthermore, the effect of ectopic Escargot on bristle development is antagonized by coexpression of the bHLH gene asense. Thus, our results suggest that the Scutoid phenotype is due to an ectopic snail expression under the control of no-oceli enhancer, antagonizing neurogenesis through its inhibitory interaction with bHLH proteins. PMID:10552298

  20. Feline lungworms unlock a novel mode of parasite transmission

    PubMed Central

    Colella, Vito; Giannelli, Alessio; Brianti, Emanuele; Ramos, Rafael Antonio Nascimento; Cantacessi, Cinzia; Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Otranto, Domenico

    2015-01-01

    Snail-borne lungworms exert an enormous toll on the health and welfare of animals and humans. Of these parasites, Aelurostrongylus abstrusus and Troglostrongylus brevior affect the respiratory tract of felids. These lungworms share both the ecological niche and the species of snail (Helix aspersa) acting as intermediate host. Recently, the ability of H. aspersa to shed infective third-stage larvae (L3s) of A. abstrusus and T. brevior in the environment has been demonstrated, matching previous knowledge of mode of transmission of zoonotic lungworms. Here, we evaluated, for the first time, the ability of A. abstrusus and T. brevior L3s to infect new, susceptible snail hosts following their release from experimentally infected molluscs, and refer to this novel route of parasite transmission as intermediesis. The implications of snail-to-snail transmission in the epidemiology of snail-borne diseases are also discussed. PMID:26271902

  1. Bioaccumulative and conchological assessment of heavy metal transfer in a soil-plant-snail food chain

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), cadmium (Cd), and lead (Pb) can pose serious threats to environmental health because they tend to bioaccumulate in terrestrial ecosystems. We investigated under field conditions the transfer of these heavy metals in a soil-plant-snail food chain in Banat area, Romania. The main goal of this paper was to assess the Roman snail (Helix pomatia) usefulness in environmental monitoring as bioindicator of heavy metal accumulation. Eight sampling sites, selected by different history of heavy metal (HM) exposure, were chosen to be sampled for soil, nettle leaves, and newly matured snails. This study also aimed to identify the putative effects of HM accumulation in the environment on phenotypic variability in selected shell features, which included shell height (SH), relative shell height (RSH), and whorl number (WN). Results Significantly higher amounts of HMs were accumulated in snail hepatopancreas and not in foot. Cu, Zn, and Cd have biomagnified in the snail body, particularly in the hepatopancreas. In contrast, Pb decreased when going up into the food chain. Zn, Cd, and Pb correlated highly with each other at all levels of the investigated food chain. Zn and Pb exhibited an effective soil–plant transfer, whereas in the snail body only foot Cu concentration was correlated with that in soil. There were significant differences among sampling sites for WN, SH, and RSH when compared with reference snails. WN was strongly correlated with Cd and Pb concentrations in nettle leaves but not with Cu and Zn. SH was independent of HM concentrations in soil, snail hepatopancreas, and foot. However, SH correlated negatively with nettle leaves concentrations for each HM except Cu. In contrast, RSH correlated significantly only with Pb concentration in hepatopancreas. Conclusions The snail hepatopancreas accumulates high amounts of HMs, and therefore, this organ can function as a reliable biomarker for tracking HM bioavailability in soil. Long

  2. Super D-helix

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cho, Jin-Ho; Oh, Phillial

    2001-11-01

    We study the ``Myers effect'' for a bunch of D1-branes with type-IIB superstrings moving in one direction along the branes. We show that the ``blown-up'' configuration is a helical D1-brane, which is self-supported from collapse by the axial momentum flow. The tilting angle of the helix is determined by the number of D1-branes. The radius of the helix is stabilized to a certain value depending on the number of D1-branes and the momentum carried by type-IIB superstrings. This helix is actually a T-dual version of the supertube recently found as the ``blown-up'' configuration of a bunch of type-IIA superstrings carrying a D0-brane charge. It is shown that the helical D1 configuration preserves one-quarter of the supersymmetry of the type-IIB Minkowski vacuum.

  3. Double-helix stellarator

    SciTech Connect

    Moroz, P.E.

    1997-09-01

    A new stellarator configuration, the Double-Helix Stellarator (DHS), is introduced. This novel configuration features a double-helix center post as the only helical element of the stellarator coil system. The DHS configuration has many unique characteristics. One of them is the extreme low plasma aspect ratio, A {approx} 1--1.2. Other advantages include a high enclosed volume, appreciable rotational transform, and a possibility of extreme-high-{beta} MHD equilibria. Moreover, the DHS features improved transport characteristics caused by the absence of the magnetic field ripple on the outboard of the torus. Compactness, simplicity and modularity of the coil system add to the DHS advantages for fusion applications.

  4. Polymorphism in pleistocene land snails.

    PubMed

    Owen, D F

    1966-04-01

    Under suitable conditions the colors and patterns of the shells of land snails may be preserved for thousands of years. In a late Pleistocene population of Limicolaria martensiana all the major color forms that occur in modern living snails may be distinguished, and the basic polymorphism is at least 8,000 to 10,000 year old. PMID:17830234

  5. An artificial perch to help Snail Kites handle an exotic Apple Snail

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pias, Kyle E.; Welch, Zach C.; Kitchens, Wiley M.

    2012-01-01

    In the United States, the Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus) is a federally endangered species and restricted to the wetlands of south-central Florida where the current population numbers less than 1,500. The Snail Kite is an extreme dietary specialist, previously feeding almost exclusively on one species of snail, the Florida Apple Snail (Pomacea paludosa). Within the past decade, an exotic species of apple snail, the Island Apple Snail (Pomacea insularum), has become established on lakes in central Florida. Island Apple Snails are larger than the native Florida Apple Snails, and Snail Kites handle the exotic snails less efficiently. Juvenile Snail Kites, in particular, have lower daily energy balances while feeding on Island Apple Snails. An inexpensive, easy-to-construct platform was developed that would provide Snail Kites with a flat, stable surface on which to extract snails. The platform has the potential to reduce the difficulties Snail Kites experience when handling exotic snails, and may benefit the Snail Kite population as a whole. Initial observations indicate that Snail Kites use the platforms frequently, and snails extracted at the platforms are larger than snails extracted at other perches.

  6. Differences in predatory pressure on terrestrial snails by birds and mammals.

    PubMed

    Rosin, Zuzanna M; Olborska, Paulina; Surmacki, Adrian; Tryjanowski, Piotr

    2011-09-01

    The evolution of shell polymorphism in terrestrial snails is a classic textbook example of the effect of natural selection in which avian and mammalian predation represents an important selective force on gene frequency. However, many questions about predation remain unclear, especially in the case of mammals. We collected 2000 specimens from eight terrestrial gastropod species to investigate the predation pressure exerted by birds and mice on snails. We found evidence of avian and mammalian predation in 26.5% and 36.8% of the shells. Both birds and mammals were selective with respect to snail species, size and morphs. Birds preferred the brown-lipped banded snail Cepaea nemoralis (L.) and mice preferred the burgundy snail Helix pomatia L. Mice avoided pink mid-banded C. nemoralis and preferred brown mid-banded morphs, which were neglected by birds. In contrast to mice, birds chose larger individuals. Significant differences in their predatory pressure can influence the evolution and maintenance of shell size and polymorphism of shell colouration in snails. PMID:21857115

  7. Structure and Function of the Snail Statocyst System after a 16-Day Flight on Foton-M-2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Balaban, P. M.; Malyshev, A. Y.; Zakharov, I. S.; Aseev, N. A.; Bravarenko, N. I.; Ierusalimsky, V. N.; Samarova, A. I.; Vorontzov, D. D.; Popova, Y.; Boyle, R.

    2006-01-01

    In terrestrial gastropod snail Helix lucorum L. we studied the changes after a 16-day exposure to microgravity in: behavior, neural responses to adequate motion stimulation, intersensory interactions between the photosensory pathways and the statocyst receptors, and in expression of the HPeP gene in the statocyst receptors. In behavioral experiments it was found that the latency of body position change to sudden orientation change (flip from horizontal to downwards position) was significantly reduced in the postflight snails. Extracellularly recorded neural responses of the statocyst nerve to adequate motion stimulation in the postflight snails were independent of the motion direction while in the control animals an orientation selectivity was observed. Significant differences in the HPeP gene mRNA expression pattern in the statocyst receptor neurons were observed in postflight (30h) and control snails. Obtained results confirm the possibility to elucidate the influence of microgravity exposure on mechanisms and function of gravireceptors using this simple model animal.

  8. Helix peptide immunoreactivity pattern in the nervous system of juvenile aplysia.

    PubMed

    Ierusalimsky, V N; Boguslavsky, D V; Belyavsky, A V; Balaban, P M

    2003-12-12

    Distribution of neurons immunopositive to antibody against the small peptides encoded by the Helix Command-Specific 2 (HCS2) gene in the central nervous system of juvenile Aplysia californica was investigated. The HCS2 gene is specifically expressed in the withdrawal behavior neurons of the terrestrial snail Helix lucorum. In Aplysia, 20-25 immunopositive neuronal somata were observed on dorsal surface of each pleural ganglion (including a giant pleural neuron). The HCS2-encoded peptide immunopositive fibers were observed in neuropiles of all ganglia and in many nerves. Functional significance of Aplysia immunopositive cells is discussed. PMID:14667582

  9. Helix control in polymers

    PubMed Central

    Totsingan, Filbert; Jain, Vipul; Green, Mark M.

    2012-01-01

    The helix is a critical conformation exhibited by biological macromolecules and plays a key role in fundamental biological processes. Biological helical polymers exist in a single helical sense arising from the chiral effect of their primary units—for example, DNA and proteins adopt predominantly a right-handed helix conformation in response to the asymmetric conformational propensity of D-sugars and L-amino acids, respectively. In using these homochiral systems, nature blocks our observations of some fascinating aspects of the cooperativity in helical systems, although when useful for a specific purpose, “wrong” enantiomers may be incorporated in specific places. In synthetic helical systems, on the contrary, incorporation of non-racemic chirality is an additional burden, and the findings discussed in this review show that this burden may be considerably alleviated by taking advantage of the amplification of chirality, in which small chiral influences lead to large consequences. Peptide nucleic acid (PNA), which is a non-chiral synthetic DNA mimic, shows a cooperative response to a small chiral effect induced by a chiral amino acid, which is limited, however, due to the highly flexible nature of this oligomeric chimera. The lack of internal stereochemical bias is an important factor which makes PNA an ideal system to understand some cooperative features that are not directly accessible from DNA. PMID:22772039

  10. Small Molecules in the Cone Snail Arsenal.

    PubMed

    Neves, Jorge L B; Lin, Zhenjian; Imperial, Julita S; Antunes, Agostinho; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Olivera, Baldomero M; Schmidt, Eric W

    2015-10-16

    Cone snails are renowned for producing peptide-based venom, containing conopeptides and conotoxins, to capture their prey. A novel small-molecule guanine derivative with unprecedented features, genuanine, was isolated from the venom of two cone snail species. Genuanine causes paralysis in mice, indicating that small molecules and not just polypeptides may contribute to the activity of cone snail venom. PMID:26421741

  11. Measuring the Double Helix

    SciTech Connect

    Mathew-Fenn, R.S.; Das, R.; Harbury, P.A.B.

    2009-05-26

    DNA is thought to behave as a stiff elastic rod with respect to the ubiquitous mechanical deformations inherent to its biology. To test this model at short DNA lengths, we measured the mean and variance of end-to-end length for a series of DNA double helices in solution, using small-angle x-ray scattering interference between gold nanocrystal labels. In the absence of applied tension, DNA is at least one order of magnitude softer than measured by single-molecule stretching experiments. Further, the data rule out the conventional elastic rod model. The variance in end-to-end length follows a quadratic dependence on the number of base pairs rather than the expected linear dependence, indicating that DNA stretching is cooperative over more than two turns of the DNA double helix. Our observations support the idea of long-range allosteric communication through DNA structure.

  12. The Infrared Helix

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    The Helix nebula exhibits complex structure on the smallest visible scales. It is composed of gaseous shells and disks puffed out by a dying sun-like star.

    In this new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, 'cometary knots' show blue-green heads caused by excitation of their molecular material from shocks or ultraviolet radiation. The tails of the cometary knots appear redder due to being shielded from the central star's ultraviolet radiation and wind by the heads of the knots.

    This image was captured by the telescope's infrared array camera. The false color composite depicts wavelengths of 3.6 microns (blue), 4.5 microns (green), and 8.0 microns (red). The color saturation has been increased to intensify hues.

  13. Physiological, Diurnal and Stress-Related Variability of Cadmium-Metallothionein Gene Expression in Land Snails

    PubMed Central

    Pedrini-Martha, Veronika; Niederwanger, Michael; Kopp, Renate; Schnegg, Raimund; Dallinger, Reinhard

    2016-01-01

    The terrestrial Roman snail Helix pomatia has successfully adapted to strongly fluctuating conditions in its natural soil habitat. Part of the snail’s stress defense strategy is its ability to express Metallothioneins (MTs). These are multifunctional, cysteine-rich proteins that bind and inactivate transition metal ions (Cd2+, Zn2+, Cu+) with high affinity. In Helix pomatia a Cadmium (Cd)-selective, inducible Metallothionein Isoform (CdMT) is mainly involved in detoxification of this harmful metal. In addition, the snail CdMT has been shown to also respond to certain physiological stressors. The aim of the present study was to investigate the physiological and diurnal variability of CdMT gene expression in snails exposed to Cd and non-metallic stressors such as desiccation and oxygen depletion. CdMT gene expression was upregulated by Cd exposure and desiccation, whereas no significant impact on the expression of CdMT was measured due to oxygen depletion. Overall, Cd was clearly more effective as an inducer of the CdMT gene expression compared to the applied non-metallic stressors. In unexposed snails, diurnal rhythmicity of CdMT gene expression was observed with higher mRNA concentrations at night compared to daytime. This rhythmicity was severely disrupted in Cd-exposed snails which exhibited highest CdMT gene transcription rates in the morning. Apart from diurnal rhythmicity, feeding activity also had a strong impact on CdMT gene expression. Although underlying mechanisms are not completely understood, it is clear that factors increasing MT expression variability have to be considered when using MT mRNA quantification as a biomarker for environmental stressors. PMID:26935042

  14. Snail modulates cell metabolism in MDCK cells

    SciTech Connect

    Haraguchi, Misako; Indo, Hiroko P.; Iwasaki, Yasumasa; Iwashita, Yoichiro; Fukushige, Tomoko; Majima, Hideyuki J.; Izumo, Kimiko; Horiuchi, Masahisa; Kanekura, Takuro; Furukawa, Tatsuhiko; Ozawa, Masayuki

    2013-03-22

    Highlights: ► MDCK/snail cells were more sensitive to glucose deprivation than MDCK/neo cells. ► MDCK/snail cells had decreased oxidative phosphorylation, O{sub 2} consumption and ATP content. ► TCA cycle enzyme activity, but not expression, was lower in MDCK/snail cells. ► MDCK/snail cells showed reduced PDH activity and increased PDK1 expression. ► MDCK/snail cells showed reduced expression of GLS2 and ACLY. -- Abstract: Snail, a repressor of E-cadherin gene transcription, induces epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and is involved in tumor progression. Snail also mediates resistance to cell death induced by serum depletion. By contrast, we observed that snail-expressing MDCK (MDCK/snail) cells undergo cell death at a higher rate than control (MDCK/neo) cells in low-glucose medium. Therefore, we investigated whether snail expression influences cell metabolism in MDCK cells. Although gylcolysis was not affected in MDCK/snail cells, they did exhibit reduced pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) activity, which controls pyruvate entry into the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. Indeed, the activity of multiple enzymes involved in the TCA cycle was decreased in MDCK/snail cells, including that of mitochondrial NADP{sup +}-dependent isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH2), succinate dehydrogenase (SDH), and electron transport Complex II and Complex IV. Consequently, lower ATP content, lower oxygen consumption and increased survival under hypoxic conditions was also observed in MDCK/snail cells compared to MDCK/neo cells. In addition, the expression and promoter activity of pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 1 (PDK1), which phosphorylates and inhibits the activity of PDH, was increased in MDCK/snail cells, while expression levels of glutaminase 2 (GLS2) and ATP-citrate lyase (ACLY), which are involved in glutaminolysis and fatty acid synthesis, were decreased in MDCK/snail cells. These results suggest that snail modulates cell metabolism by altering the expression and activity of

  15. Celss nutrition system utilizing snails

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Midorikawa, Y.; Fujii, T.; Ohira, A.; Nitta, K.

    At the 40th IAF Congress in Malaga, a nutrition system for a lunar base CELSS was presented. A lunar base with a total of eight crew members was envisaged. In this paper, four species of plants—rice, soybean, lettuce and strawberry—were introduced to the system. These plants were sufficient to satisfy fundamental nutritional needs of the crew members. The supply of nutrition from plants and the human nutritional requirements could almost be balanced. Our study revealed that the necessary plant cultivation area per crew member would be nearly 40 m 3 in the lunar base. The sources of nutrition considered in the study were energy, sugar, fat, amino acids, inorganic salt and vitamins; however, calcium, vitamin B 2, vitamin A and sodium were found to be lacking. Therefore, a subsystem to supply these elements is of considerable value. In this paper, we report on a study for breeding snails and utilizing meat as food. Nutrients supplied from snails are shown to compensate for the abovementioned lacking elements. We evaluate the snail breeder and the associated food supply system as a subsystem of closed ecological life support system.

  16. Production of apple snail for space diet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamashita, Masamichi; Motoki, Shigeru; Space Agriculture Task Force, J.; Katayama, Naomi

    For food production in space at recycling bio-elements under closed environment, appropriate organisms should be chosen to drive the closed materials recycle loop. We propose a combination of green algae, photosynthetic protozoa, and aquatic plants such as Wolffia spp., for the primary producer fixing solar energy to chemical form in biomass, and apple snail, Pomacea bridgesii, which converts this biomass to animal meat. Because of high proliferation rate of green algae or protozoa compared to higher plants, and direct conversion of them to apple snail, the efficiency of food production in this combination is high, in terms of energy usage, space for rearing, and yield of edible biomass. Furthermore, green algae and apple snail can form a closed ecological system with exchanging bio-elements between two member, i.e. excreta of snail turn to fertilizer of algae, and grown algae become feed for snail. Since apple snail stays in water or on wet substrate, control of rearing is easy to make. Mass production technology of apple snail has been well established to utilize it as human food. Nutrients of apple snail are also listed in the standard tables of food composition in Japan. Nutrients for 100 g of apple snail canned in brine are energy 340 kJ, protein 16.5 g, lipid 1.0 g, cholesterol 240 mg, carbohydrate 0.8 g, Ca 400 mg, Fe 3.9 mg, Zn 1.5 mg. It is rich in minerals, especially Ca and Fe. Vitamin contents are quite low, but K 0.005 mg, B2 0.09 mg, B12 0.0006 mg, folate 0.001 mg, and E 0.6 mg. The amino acid score of apple snail could not be found in literature. Overall, apple snail provides rich protein and animal lipid such as cholesterol. It could be a good source of minerals. However, it does not give enough vitamin D and B12 , which are supposed to be supplemented by animal origin foods. In terms of acceptance in food culture, escargot is a gourmet menu in French dishes, and six to ten snail, roughly 50 g, are served for one person. Apple snail reaches to 30 g

  17. Triple helix purification and sequencing

    DOEpatents

    Wang, Renfeng; Smith, Lloyd M.; Tong, Xinchun E.

    1995-01-01

    Disclosed herein are methods, kits, and equipment for purifying single stranded circular DNA and then using the DNA for DNA sequencing purposes. Templates are provided with an insert having a hybridization region. An elongated oligonucleotide has two regions that are complementary to the insert and the oligo is bound to a magnetic anchor. The oligo hybridizes to the insert on two sides to form a stable triple helix complex. The anchor can then be used to drag the template out of solution using a magnet. The system can purify sequencing templates, and if desired the triple helix complex can be opened up to a double helix so that the oligonucleotide will act as a primer for further DNA synthesis.

  18. Triple helix purification and sequencing

    DOEpatents

    Wang, R.; Smith, L.M.; Tong, X.E.

    1995-03-28

    Disclosed herein are methods, kits, and equipment for purifying single stranded circular DNA and then using the DNA for DNA sequencing purposes. Templates are provided with an insert having a hybridization region. An elongated oligonucleotide has two regions that are complementary to the insert and the oligo is bound to a magnetic anchor. The oligo hybridizes to the insert on two sides to form a stable triple helix complex. The anchor can then be used to drag the template out of solution using a magnet. The system can purify sequencing templates, and if desired the triple helix complex can be opened up to a double helix so that the oligonucleotide will act as a primer for further DNA synthesis. 4 figures.

  19. Snail peptide expression pattern in the nervous system of the medicinal leech.

    PubMed

    Aseyev, Nikolay; Ierusalimsky, Viktor; Boguslavsky, Dmitry; Balaban, Pavel

    2005-10-31

    Distribution of neurons immunopositive to antibodies against the "command neuron peptides" (CNPs) encoded by the snail Helix Command-Specific 2 (HCS2) gene was investigated in the nervous system of medicinal leech Hirudo. Immunopositive neurons were found in the leech segmental ganglia, brain and tail ganglionic masses, and peripheral ganglia. The CNPs immunopositive fibers were observed in neuropils of all ganglia and in some nerves. The role of CNPs immunopositive cells in animal behavior and the putative functions of the CNPs neuropeptide family are discussed. PMID:16039008

  20. Effects of cooling on the response of the snail bursting neuron to acetylcholine.

    PubMed

    Nedeljković, Miodrag; Kartelija, Gordana; Radenović, Lidija

    2005-06-01

    The Br-type neuron of the snail Helix pomatia, involved in neuronal regulation of various homeostatic and adaptive mechanisms, represents an interesting model for studying effects of temperature change on neuronal activity of poikilotherms. Acetylcholine induces a transient, inward dose-dependent current in the identified Br neuron. In the work presented, we analyzed the effects of cooling on the acetylcholine-induced inward current. The amplitude of acetylcholine-induced inward current was markedly decreased after cooling, and the speed of the decay of acetylcholine response was decreased. PMID:16154950

  1. A novel basic helix-loop-helix protein is expressed in muscle attachment sites of the Drosophila epidermis.

    PubMed Central

    Armand, P; Knapp, A C; Hirsch, A J; Wieschaus, E F; Cole, M D

    1994-01-01

    We have found that a novel basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) protein is expressed almost exclusively in the epidermal attachments sites for the somatic muscles of Drosophila melanogaster. A Drosophila cDNA library was screened with radioactively labeled E12 protein, which can dimerize with many HLH proteins. One clone that emerged from this screen encoded a previously unknown protein of 360 amino acids, named delilah, that contains both basic and HLH domains, similar to a group of cellular transcription factors implicated in cell type determination. Delilah protein formed heterodimers with E12 that bind to the muscle creatine kinase promoter. In situ hybridization with the delilah cDNA localized the expression of the gene to a subset of cells in the epidermis which form a distinct pattern involving both the segmental boundaries and intrasegmental clusters. This pattern was coincident with the known sites of attachment of the somatic muscles to tendon cells in the epidermis. delilah expression persists in snail mutant embryos which lack mesoderm, indicating that expression of the gene was not induced by attachment of the underlying muscles. The similarity of this gene to other bHLH genes suggests that it plays an important role in the differentiation of epidermal cells into muscle attachment sites. Images PMID:8196652

  2. Controlling slugs and snails in orchids

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Slugs and snails are pests of orchids, preferring tender plant tissues such as flowers and root tips. Unlike many insect pests which feed only on certain types of plants, most species of slugs and snails are generalists, feeding on green plants, algae, fungi, decaying plant matter, or decaying anima...

  3. Inquiry, Land Snails, and Environmental Factors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barrow, Lloyd H.; Krantz, Patrick D.

    2005-01-01

    Land snails are common invertebrates that fascinate children. Unfortunately, they are seldom used for activities in the science classroom. Snails are inexpensive, take up little space in the classroom, and require only low maintenance, and their learning dividends can be enormous. For example, students can use them in inquiry-based activities that…

  4. Modeling apple snail population dynamics on the Everglades landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Darby, Phil; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Romanach, Stephanie; Suir, Kevin J.; Bridevaux, Joshua L.

    2015-01-01

    Comparisons of model output to empirical data indicate the need for more data to better understand, and eventually parameterize, several aspects of snail ecology in support of EverSnail. A primary value of EverSnail is its capacity to describe the relative response of snail abundance to alternative hydrologic scenarios considered for Everglades water management and restoration.

  5. Bacterial flora of the schistosome vector snail Biomphalaria glabrata.

    PubMed Central

    Ducklow, H W; Boyle, P J; Maugel, P W; Strong, C; Mitchell, R

    1979-01-01

    The aerobic heterotrophic bacterial flora in over 200 individuals from 10 wild populations and 3 laboratory colonies of the schistosome vector snail Biomphalaria glabrata was examined. Internal bacterial densities were inversely proportional to snail size and were higher in stressed and laboratory-reared snails. The numerically predominant bacterial genera in individual snails included Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, Aeromonas, Vibrio, and several members of the Enterobacteriaceae. Enterobacteriaceae seldom predominated in laboratory colonies. Our data suggest that Vibrio extorquens and a Pasteurella sp. tend to predominate in high-bacterial-density snails. These snails may be compromised and may harbor opportunistic snail pathogens. PMID:539821

  6. Bacterial flora of the schistosome vector snail Biomphalaria glabrata.

    PubMed

    Ducklow, H W; Boyle, P J; Maugel, P W; Strong, C; Mitchell, R

    1979-10-01

    The aerobic heterotrophic bacterial flora in over 200 individuals from 10 wild populations and 3 laboratory colonies of the schistosome vector snail Biomphalaria glabrata was examined. Internal bacterial densities were inversely proportional to snail size and were higher in stressed and laboratory-reared snails. The numerically predominant bacterial genera in individual snails included Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, Aeromonas, Vibrio, and several members of the Enterobacteriaceae. Enterobacteriaceae seldom predominated in laboratory colonies. Our data suggest that Vibrio extorquens and a Pasteurella sp. tend to predominate in high-bacterial-density snails. These snails may be compromised and may harbor opportunistic snail pathogens. PMID:539821

  7. Mathematical simulation of an aquatic snail population.

    PubMed

    Jobin, W R; Michelson, E H

    1967-01-01

    Techniques for controlling the intermediate snail hosts of schistosomiasis have had to be evaluated by field trials, since the complexity of snail population dynamics has so far made it impossible to predict the effects of these techniques and thereby avoid costly field testing.However, in laboratory studies with Biomphalaria glabrata it was found that the fecundity of these snails was directly proportional to F/NV, where F is the total amount of food in the habitat, N the number of snails, and V the volume of the habitat. The use of this fecundity variable together with data published on snail longevity and fecundity made it possible to construct a mathematical model of a snail population which may eventually be useful for evaluating snail control methods.For preliminary verification of the model, its predictions were compared with a published history of a population of Bulinus globosus in a small pond. The general agreement of the predicted and observed population data indicated that the basic structure of the model was sound. PMID:5301741

  8. Recent advances in helix-coil theory.

    PubMed

    Doig, Andrew J

    2002-12-10

    Peptide helices in solution form a complex mixture of all helix, all coil or, most frequently, central helices with frayed coil ends. In order to interpret experiments on helical peptides and make theoretical predictions on helices, it is therefore essential to use a helix-coil theory that takes account of this equilibrium. The original Zimm-Bragg and Lifson-Roig helix-coil theories have been greatly extended in the last 10 years to include additional interactions. These include preferences for the N-cap, N1, N2, N3 and C-cap positions, capping motifs, helix dipoles, side chain interactions and 3(10)-helix formation. These have been applied to determine energies for these preferences from experimental data and to predict the helix contents of peptides. This review discusses these newly recognised structural features of helices and how they have been included in helix-coil models. PMID:12488008

  9. Structure and Function of the Snail Statocyst System after Orbital Missions on Foton M-2 and M-3

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balaban, P. M.; Malyshev, A. Y.; Ierusalimsky, V. N.; Aseev, N. A.; Korshunova, T. A.; Bravarenko, N. I.; Lemak, M. S.; Roschin, M. V.; Zakharov, I. S.; Popova, Y.; Boyle, R.

    2008-06-01

    In terrestrial gastropod snail Helix lucorum L. we studied the changes after a 16-day (Foton M-2) and 12-day (Foton M-3) exposure to microgravity in: behavior, neural responses to adequate motion stimulation, intersensory interactions between the photo- and the statocyst receptors, and in expression of the HPeP and FMRFa genes in the statoreceptors. Experiments were performed in the interval 13-30 hours after landing. In behavioral experiments it was found that the latency of body position response to sudden orientation change (90° pitch head-down from horizontal position) was significantly reduced in the postflight snails. Responses recorded extracellularly from the statocyst nerve to adequate motion stimulation in the postflight snails were independent of the motion direction, while in the control animals differences in responses to different directions were observed. In electrophysiological recordings it was possible to distinguish firing patterns of up to 11 of the 13 receptors that constitute the statocyst. A significantly higher firing rate in statocyst responses to body orientation at all tested speeds were observed in postflight snails, while in control snails similar dependence of statocyst responses on speed of body position change was observed, but firing rate at each speed was significantly less. Significant differences in the HPeP gene mRNA expression pattern in the statocyst receptor neurons were observed between postflight and control snails. No differences in expression of FMRFa gene expression was noted in the nervous system or statocyst after the flight. Results suggest a possibility to describe the subcellular mechanisms of changes in gravireceptors due to microgravity exposure using this simple model animal.

  10. Freshwater snail consumption and angiostrongyliasis in Malaya.

    PubMed

    Liat, L B; Fong, Y L; Krishnansamy, M; Ramachandran, P; Mansor, S

    1978-06-01

    A survey of the freshwater snails, Pila scutata and Bellamyia ingallsiana, as food consumed by the local population was carried out in Peninsular Malaysia. Of these two species the first is preferred; the sizes favoured are between 25--40 mm. Pila snails were found to be consumed by the three communities, viz. Malay, Chinese and Indian, in different ways. The various methods of preparing the snails for consumption are described. P. scutata is an intermediate host of the rat-lung worm, Angiostrongylus malaysiensis. As this worm presumably is the causative agent of human eosinophilic meningoencephalitis, the eating habits of the three races in consuming the snail in relation to the epidemiology of the disease was also discussed. PMID:726037

  11. Behavioural responses of the snail Lymnaea acuminata to carbohydrates in snail-attractant pellets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tiwari, Farindra; Singh, D. K.

    Snail control is one of the most important tools in the campaign to reduce the incidence of fascioliasis. In order to attain this objective, the method of bait formulation in order to contain an attractant and a molluscicide is an expedient approach to lure the target snail population to the molluscicide. This study identifies certain carbohydrates, namely sucrose, maltose, glucose, fructose and starch, for preparing such baits. These were tested on Lymnaea acuminata, an intermediate host of the digenean trematodes Fasciola hepatica and Fasciola gigantica. The behavioural responses of snails to these carbohydrates were examined. Significant variations in behavioural responses were observed in the snail even when the five carbohydrates were used in low concentrations in snail-attractant pellets. Starch emerged as the strongest attractant for Lymnaea acuminata, followed by maltose.

  12. Improved detection of helix-turn-helix DNA-binding motifs in protein sequences.

    PubMed Central

    Dodd, I B; Egan, J B

    1990-01-01

    We present an update of our method for systematic detection and evaluation of potential helix-turn-helix DNA-binding motifs in protein sequences [Dodd, I. and Egan, J. B. (1987) J. Mol. Biol. 194, 557-564]. The new method is considerably more powerful, detecting approximately 50% more likely helix-turn-helix sequences without an increase in false predictions. This improvement is due almost entirely to the use of a much larger reference set of 91 presumed helix-turn-helix sequences. The scoring matrix derived from this reference set has been calibrated against a large protein sequence database so that the score obtained by a sequence can be used to give a practical estimation of the probability that the sequence is a helix-turn-helix motif. PMID:2402433

  13. Entrapment of Water at the Transmembrane Helix-Helix Interface of Quiescin Sulfhydryl Oxidase 2.

    PubMed

    Ried, Christian L; Scharnagl, Christina; Langosch, Dieter

    2016-03-01

    Little is known about how a membrane can regulate interactions between transmembrane helices. Here, we show that strong self-interaction of the transmembrane helix of human quiescin sulfhydryl oxidase 2 rests on a motif of conserved amino acids comprising one face of the helix. Atomistic molecular dynamics simulations suggest that water molecules enter the helix-helix interface and connect serine residues of both partner helices. In addition, an interfacial tyrosine can interact with noninterfacial water or lipid. Dimerization of this transmembrane helix might therefore be controlled by membrane properties controlling water permeation and/or by the lipid composition of the membrane. PMID:26894260

  14. Multiwalled ice helixes and ice nanotubes

    PubMed Central

    Bai, Jaeil; Wang, Jun; Zeng, X. C.

    2006-01-01

    We report six phases of high-density nano-ice predicted to form within carbon nanotubes (CNTs) at high pressure. High-density nano-ice self-assembled within smaller-diameter CNT (17,0) exhibits a double-walled helical structure where the outer wall consists of four double-stranded helixes, which resemble a DNA double helix, and the inner wall is a quadruple-stranded helix. Four other double-walled nano-ices, self-assembled respectively in two larger-diameter CNTs (20,0 and 22,0), display tubular structure. Within CNT (24,0), the confined water can freeze spontaneously into a triple-walled helical nano-ice where the outer wall is an 18-stranded helix and the middle and inner walls are hextuple-stranded helixes. PMID:17170136

  15. Aquatic Snails, Passive Hosts of Mycobacterium ulcerans

    PubMed Central

    Marsollier, Laurent; Sévérin, Tchibozo; Aubry, Jacques; Merritt, Richard W.; Saint André, Jean-Paul; Legras, Pierre; Manceau, Anne-Lise; Chauty, Annick; Carbonnelle, Bernard; Cole, Stewart T.

    2004-01-01

    Accumulative indirect evidence of the epidemiology of Mycobacterium ulcerans infections causing chronic skin ulcers (i.e., Buruli ulcer disease) suggests that the development of this pathogen and its transmission to humans are related predominantly to aquatic environments. We report that snails could transitorily harbor M. ulcerans without offering favorable conditions for its growth and replication. A novel intermediate link in the transmission chain of M. ulcerans becomes likely with predator aquatic insects in addition to phytophage insects. Water bugs, such as Naucoris cimicoides, a potential vector of M. ulcerans, were shown to be infected specifically by this bacterium after feeding on snails experimentally exposed to M. ulcerans. PMID:15466578

  16. Id-1 is induced in MDCK epithelial cells by activated Erk/MAPK pathway in response to expression of the Snail and E47 transcription factors

    SciTech Connect

    Jorda, Mireia; Vinyals, Antonia; Marazuela, Anna; Cubillo, Eva; Olmeda, David; Valero, Eva; Cano, Amparo; Fabra, Angels . E-mail: afabra@idibell.org

    2007-07-01

    Id-1, a member of the helix-loop-helix transcription factor family has been shown to be involved in cell proliferation, angiogenesis and invasion of many types of human cancers. We have previously shown that stable expression of E47 and Snail repressors of the E-cadherin promoter in MDCK epithelial cell line triggers epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) concomitantly with changes in gene expression. We show here that both factors activate the Id-1 gene promoter and induce Id-1 mRNA and protein. The upregulation of the Id-1 gene occurs through the transactivation of the promoter by the Erk/MAPK signaling pathway. Moreover, oncogenic Ras is also able to activate Id-1 promoter in MDCK cells in the absence of both E47 and Snail transcription factors. Several transcriptionally active regulatory elements have been identified in the proximal promoter, including AP-1, Sp1 and four putative E-boxes. By EMSA, we only detected an increased binding to Sp1 and AP-1 elements in E47- and Snail-expressing cells. Binding is affected by the treatment of cells with PD 98059 MEK inhibitor, suggesting that MAPK/Erk contributes to the recruitment or assembly of proteins to Id-1 promoter. Small interfering RNA directed against Sp1 reduced Id-1 expression and the upregulation of the promoter, indicating that Sp1 is required for Id-1 induction in E47- and Snail-expressing cells. Our results provide new insights into how some target genes are activated during and/or as a consequence of the EMT triggered by both E47 and Snail transcription factors.

  17. The dual protection of a micro land snail against a micro predatory snail.

    PubMed

    Wada, Shinichiro; Chiba, Satoshi

    2013-01-01

    Defense against a single predatory attack strategy may best be achieved not by a single trait but by a combination of different traits. We tested this hypothesis experimentally by examining the unique shell traits (the protruded aperture and the denticles within the aperture) of the micro land snail Bensonella plicidens. We artificially altered shell characteristics by removing the denticles and/or cutting the protruded aperture. These snails were offered to the carnivorous micro land snail Indoennea bicolor, which preys on the snails by gaining entry to their shell. B. plicidens exhibited the best defence when both of the traits studied were present; the defensive ability of B. plicidens decreased if either trait was removed and was further reduced if both traits were removed. These results suggest that a combination of different traits provides more effective defence against attack by the predator than either single trait by itself. PMID:23326582

  18. The Dual Protection of a Micro Land Snail against a Micro Predatory Snail

    PubMed Central

    Wada, Shinichiro; Chiba, Satoshi

    2013-01-01

    Defense against a single predatory attack strategy may best be achieved not by a single trait but by a combination of different traits. We tested this hypothesis experimentally by examining the unique shell traits (the protruded aperture and the denticles within the aperture) of the micro land snail Bensonella plicidens. We artificially altered shell characteristics by removing the denticles and/or cutting the protruded aperture. These snails were offered to the carnivorous micro land snail Indoennea bicolor, which preys on the snails by gaining entry to their shell. B. plicidens exhibited the best defence when both of the traits studied were present; the defensive ability of B. plicidens decreased if either trait was removed and was further reduced if both traits were removed. These results suggest that a combination of different traits provides more effective defence against attack by the predator than either single trait by itself. PMID:23326582

  19. Modeling snail breeding in a bioregenerative life support system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kovalev, V. S.; Manukovsky, N. S.; Tikhomirov, A. A.; Kolmakova, A. A.

    2015-07-01

    The discrete-time model of snail breeding consists of two sequentially linked submodels: "Stoichiometry" and "Population". In both submodels, a snail population is split up into twelve age groups within one year of age. The first submodel is used to simulate the metabolism of a single snail in each age group via the stoichiometric equation; the second submodel is used to optimize the age structure and the size of the snail population. Daily intake of snail meat by crewmen is a guideline which specifies the population productivity. The mass exchange of the snail unit inhabited by land snails of Achatina fulica is given as an outcome of step-by-step modeling. All simulations are performed using Solver Add-In of Excel 2007.

  20. Modeling snail breeding in a bioregenerative life support system.

    PubMed

    Kovalev, V S; Manukovsky, N S; Tikhomirov, A A; Kolmakova, A A

    2015-07-01

    The discrete-time model of snail breeding consists of two sequentially linked submodels: "Stoichiometry" and "Population". In both submodels, a snail population is split up into twelve age groups within one year of age. The first submodel is used to simulate the metabolism of a single snail in each age group via the stoichiometric equation; the second submodel is used to optimize the age structure and the size of the snail population. Daily intake of snail meat by crewmen is a guideline which specifies the population productivity. The mass exchange of the snail unit inhabited by land snails of Achatina fulica is given as an outcome of step-by-step modeling. All simulations are performed using Solver Add-In of Excel 2007. PMID:26256627

  1. Snail promotes an invasive phenotype in lung carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Snail is a transcriptional factor which is known to influence the epitheliomesenchymal transition (EMT) by regulating adhesion proteins such as E-cadherin and claudins as well as matrix metalloproteases (MMP). Methods To evaluate the functional importance of snail, a transciptional factor involved in EMT in lung tumors, we investigated its expression in a large set of lung carcinomas by immunohistochemistry. Expression of snail and effects of snail knockdown was studied in cell lines. Results Nuclear snail expression was seen in 21% of cases this being strongest in small cell lung carcinomas (SCLC). There was significantly greater snail expression in SCLC compared to squamous cell or adenocarcinoma. Positive snail expression was associated with poor survival in the whole material and separately in squamous cell and adenocarcinomas. In Cox regression analysis, snail expression showed an independent prognostic value in all of these groups. In several cell lines knockdown of snail reduced invasion in both matrigel assay and in the myoma tissue model for invasion. The influence of snail knockdown on claudin expression was cell type specific. Snail knockdown in these cell lines modified the expression of MMP2 and MMP9 but did not influence the activation of these MMPs to any significant degree. Conclusions The results show that snail plays an important role in the invasive characteristics of lung carcinoma influencing the survival of the patients. Snail knockdown might thus be one option for targeted molecular therapy in lung cancer. Snail knockdown influenced the expression of claudins individually in a cell-line dependent manner but did not influence MMP expressions or activations to any significant degree. PMID:23157169

  2. Mate desertion in the snail kite

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beissinger, S.R.; Snyder, N.F.R.

    1988-01-01

    Mate desertion during the breeding cycle was documented at 28 of 36 (78%) snail kite, Rostrhamus sociabilis nests in Florida between 1979 and 1983. Offspring mortality occurred at only one deserted nest, however. Parents that were deserted by their mates continued to care for their young until independence (3?5 additional weeks) and provided snails at a rate similar to that of both parents combined before desertion. Males and females deserted with nearly equal frequency, except in 1982 when more females deserted. No desertion occurred during drought years, whereas desertion occurred at nearly every nest during favourable conditions. The occurrence of mate desertion was generally related to indirect measures of snail abundance: foraging range, snail delivery rates to the young and growth rates. Small broods were deserted more frequently by females than by males and tended to be deserted earlier than large ones. After desertion, deserters had the opportunity to re-mate and nest again since breeding seasons were commonly lengthy, but whether they did so was impossible to determine conclusively in most cases. The deserted bird sometimes incurred increased energetic costs and lost breeding opportunities during periods of monoparental care.

  3. Functional characterization of a synthetic hydrophilic antifungal peptide derived from the marine snail Cenchritis muricatus.

    PubMed

    López-Abarrategui, Carlos; Alba, Annia; Silva, Osmar N; Reyes-Acosta, Osvaldo; Vasconcelos, Ilka M; Oliveira, Jose T A; Migliolo, Ludovico; Costa, Maysa P; Costa, Carolina R; Silva, Maria R R; Garay, Hilda E; Dias, Simoni C; Franco, Octávio L; Otero-González, Anselmo J

    2012-04-01

    Antimicrobial peptides have been found in mollusks and other sea animals. In this report, a crude extract of the marine snail Cenchritis muricatus was evaluated against human pathogens responsible for multiple deleterious effects and diseases. A peptide of 1485.26 Da was purified by reversed-phase HPLC and functionally characterized. This trypsinized peptide was sequenced by MS/MS technology, and a sequence (SRSELIVHQR), named Cm-p1 was recovered, chemically synthesized and functionally characterized. This peptide demonstrated the capacity to prevent the development of yeasts and filamentous fungi. Otherwise, Cm-p1 displayed no toxic effects against mammalian cells. Molecular modeling analyses showed that this peptide possible forms a single hydrophilic α-helix and the probable cationic residue involved in antifungal activity action is proposed. The data reported here demonstrate the importance of sea animals peptide discovery for biotechnological tools development that could be useful in solving human health and agribusiness problems. PMID:22210491

  4. Larval stages of Brachylaima fuscatum in the terrestrial snail Limicolaria aurora from southern Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Awharitoma, A O; Okaka, C E; Obaze, S E

    2003-03-01

    Of 150 specimens of the gastropod snail Limicolaria aurora examined from the Edo and Delta states of Nigeria, 63.4% were infected with larval digeneans comprising mother sporocysts (12.1%) daughter sporocysts (20.4%) cercariae (43.1%) and metacercariae (24.5%). Attempts to experimentally infect three 14-day-old chicks (Gallus domesticus) and two laboratory-bred 4-month-old mice (Mus musculus) by oral feeding and peritoneal injection with cercariae were negative, although experimental infections of chicks via a cloacal drop yielded 62 immature and 37 mature worms from the intestinal caeca and ileum. The worms were identified as Brachylaima fuscatum (Trematoda: Brachylaimidae). The study also revealed that L. aurora acts as an intermediate host for B. fuscatum, in addition to Eulota sp., Helix sp., Helicella sp., Oxychilus sp. and Agrolimax sp. PMID:12590656

  5. Terminal residue hydrophobicity modulates transmembrane helix-helix interactions.

    PubMed

    Ng, Derek P; Deber, Charles M

    2014-06-17

    Central to the formation of tertiary structure in membrane protein folding is the presence of amino acid sequence motifs (such as "small-XXX-small" segments) in the TM segments that promote interaction-compatible surfaces through which the TM α-helices interact. Here, we sought to elucidate additional factors that may work in tandem to dictate the ultimate interaction fate of TM-embedded segments. In this context, we used proteolipid protein (PLP), the major protein from central nervous system myelin for which mutant-dependent non-native oligomerization has been implicated in neurological disorders, to explore the specific effects of TM boundary residues (the membrane entry and exit points), keying on the secondary structure and self-association of peptides corresponding to the PLP TM2 α-helix (wild-type sequence ⁶⁶AFQYVIYGTASFFFLYGALLLAEGF⁹⁰). Using gel electrophoresis, circular dichroism, and Förster resonance energy transfer in the membrane-mimetic detergent sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), we found that mutation of F90 to residues such as A, I, L, or V maintains the onset of TM2-TM2 dimerization, whereas mutation to E, G, Q, N, S, or T abrogates dimer formation. We attribute this sensitivity to changes in local hydrophobicity, viz., a decrease in hydrophobicity reduces local lipid-peptide interactions, which in turn disrupts peptide α-helicity and hence the effectiveness of an incipient interaction-compatible surface. Our results show that the secondary structure and oligomeric state of PLP TM2 Lys-tagged peptides are significantly modulated by the specific nature of their C-terminal boundary residue, thus providing insight as to how point mutations, particularly where they produce disease states, can compromise the folding process. PMID:24857611

  6. The effect of cooling on the acetylcholine-induced current of identified Helix pomatia Br neuron.

    PubMed

    Nedeljkovic, Miodrag; Kartelija, Gordana; Radenovic, Lidija; Todorovic, Natasa

    2005-05-01

    The Br neuron of the snail Helix pomatia, involved in neuronal regulation of various homeostatic and adaptive mechanisms, represents an interesting model for studying effects of temperature changes on neuronal activity of poikilotherms. The acetylcholine (ACh) induces a transient, inward dose-dependent current in the identified Br neuron. In the work presented, we analyses the effects of cooling on the ACh-induced inward current. The amplitude of ACh-induced inward current was markedly decreased after cooling and the speed of the decay of ACh response was decreased. Sensitivity to cooling of Ach-activated current on the Br neuron is mediated by a mechanism that does not involve change in the apparent receptor affinity or the cooperativity of binding. PMID:15759140

  7. Rosalind Franklin and the Double Helix

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elkin, Lynne Osman

    2003-03-01

    Although she made essential contributions toward elucidating the structure of DNA, Rosalind Franklin is known to many only as seen through the distorting lens of James Watson's book, The Double Helix.

  8. A Helix Replacement Mechanism Directs Metavinculin Functions

    SciTech Connect

    Rangarajan, Erumbi S.; Lee, Jun Hyuck; Yogesha, S.D.; Izard, Tina

    2010-10-11

    Cells require distinct adhesion complexes to form contacts with their neighbors or the extracellular matrix, and vinculin links these complexes to the actin cytoskeleton. Metavinculin, an isoform of vinculin that harbors a unique 68-residue insert in its tail domain, has distinct actin bundling and oligomerization properties and plays essential roles in muscle development and homeostasis. Moreover, patients with sporadic or familial mutations in the metavinculin-specific insert invariably develop fatal cardiomyopathies. Here we report the high resolution crystal structure of the metavinculin tail domain, as well as the crystal structures of full-length human native metavinculin (1,134 residues) and of the full-length cardiomyopathy-associated {Delta}Leu954 metavinculin deletion mutant. These structures reveal that an {alpha}-helix (H1{prime}) and extended coil of the metavinculin insert replace {alpha}-helix H1 and its preceding extended coil found in the N-terminal region of the vinculin tail domain to form a new five-helix bundle tail domain. Further, biochemical analyses demonstrate that this helix replacement directs the distinct actin bundling and oligomerization properties of metavinculin. Finally, the cardiomyopathy associated {Delta}Leu954 and Arg975Trp metavinculin mutants reside on the replaced extended coil and the H1{prime} {alpha}-helix, respectively. Thus, a helix replacement mechanism directs metavinculin's unique functions.

  9. [Light microscopy of statocyst cell elements from Helix lucorum (space experiment aboard the orbital station "MIR")].

    PubMed

    Gorgiladze, G I; Bukiia, R D; Kalandarishvili, E L; Taktakishvili, A D; Davitashvili, M T; Gelashvili, N Sh; Madzhagaladze, N B; Galkin, V A

    2013-01-01

    Statocyst epithelial lining of terrestrial pulmonary snail Helix lucorum is a spatially arranged structure consisting of 13 cell ensembles. Each ensemble has a sensory cell surrounded by companion cells. The sensory cell on the anterior statocyst pole is star-shaped due to multiple protoplasmatic protrusions on its body. The remaining 12 polygon-shaped cells form 3 tires along the statocyst internal perimeter: anterior, middle or equatorial and posterior. There are 4 cells in each tire. Topography of every sensory cell on the statocyst internal surface was described as well as cell nuclei size and form, nucleoli number and patterns of cytoplasm vacuolization. Space free of sensory cells is occupied by supporting or intercalary cells. Exposure to space microgravity over 40, 43, 102 and 135 days aboard the orbital station MIR affected morphology of the sensory cells. Specifically, this appeared as reductions in cell height and, consequently, extension of the statocyst cavity internal diameter and volume in the space-flown snails. PMID:24490279

  10. Ultrastructural localization of NADPH diaphorase and nitric oxide synthase in the neuropils of the snail CNS.

    PubMed

    Nacsa, Kálmán; Elekes, Károly; Serfőző, Zoltán

    2015-08-01

    Comparative studies on the nervous system revealed that nitric oxide (NO) retains its function through the evolution. In vertebrates NO can act in different ways: it is released solely or as a co-transmitter, released from presynaptic or postsynaptic site, spreads as a volumetric signal or targets synaptic proteins. In invertebrates, however, the possible sites of NO release have not yet been identified. Therefore, in the present study, the subcellular distribution of the NO synthase (NOS) was examined in the central nervous system (CNS) of two gastropod species, the terrestrial snail, Helix pomatia and the pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis, which are model species in comparative neurobiology. For the visualization of NOS NADPH-diaphorase histochemistry and an immunohistochemical procedure using a universal anti-NOS antibody were applied. At light microscopic level both techniques labeled identical structures in sensory tracts ramifying in the neuropils of central ganglia and cell bodies of the Lymnaea and Helix CNS. At ultrastructural level NADPH-d reactive/NOS-immunoreactive materials were localized on the nuclear envelope and membrane segments of the rough and smooth endoplasmic reticulum, as well as the cell membrane and axolemma of positive perikarya. NADPH-d reactive and NOS-immunoreactive varicosities connected to neighboring neurons with both unspecialized and specialized synaptic contacts. In the varicosities, the majority of the NADPH-d reactive/NOS-immunoreactive membrane segments were detected in round and pleomorph agranular vesicles of small size (50-200 nm). However, only a small portion (16%) of the vesicles displayed the NADPH-d reactivity/NOS-immunoreactivity. No evidence for the postsynaptic location of NOS was found. Our results suggest that the localization of NADPH-diaphorase and NOS is identical in the snail nervous system. In contrast to vertebrates, however, NO seems to act exclusively in an anterograde way possibly released from membrane

  11. Fecundity of the Chinese mystery snail in a Nebraska reservoir

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stephen, Bruce J.; Allen, Craig R.; Chaine, Noelle M.; Fricke, Kent A.; Haak, Danielle M.; Hellman, Michelle L.; Kill, Robert A.; Nemec, Kristine T.; Pope, Kevin L.; Smeenk, Nicholas A.; Uden, Daniel R.; Unstad, Kody M.; VanderHam, Ashley E.; Wong, Alec

    2013-01-01

    The Chinese mystery snail (Bellamya chinensis) is a non-indigenous, invasive species in freshwater ecosystems of North America. We provide fecundity estimates for a population of these snails in a Nebraska reservoir. We dissected 70 snails, of which 29 were females. Nearly all female snails contained developing young, with an average of 25 young per female. Annual fecundity was estimated at between 27.2 and 33.3 young per female per year. Based on an estimated adult population and the calculated fecundity, the annual production for this reservoir was between 2.2 and 3.7 million young.

  12. Snail1 Mediates Hypoxia-Induced Melanoma Progression

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Shujing; Kumar, Suresh M.; Martin, James S.; Yang, Ruifeng; Xu, Xiaowei

    2011-01-01

    Tumor hypoxia is a known adverse prognostic factor, and the hypoxic dermal microenvironment participates in melanomagenesis. High levels of hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) expression in melanoma cells, particularly HIF-2α, is associated with poor prognosis. The mechanism underlying the effect of hypoxia on melanoma progression, however, is not fully understood. We report evidence that the effects of hypoxia on melanoma cells are mediated through activation of Snail1. Hypoxia increased melanoma cell migration and drug resistance, and these changes were accompanied by increased Snail1 and decreased E-cadherin expression. Snail1 expression was regulated by HIF-2α in melanoma. Snail1 overexpression led to more aggressive tumor phenotypes and features associated with stem-like melanoma cells in vitro and increased metastatic capacity in vivo. In addition, we found that knockdown of endogenous Snail1 reduced melanoma proliferation and migratory capacity. Snail1 knockdown also prevented melanoma metastasis in vivo. In summary, hypoxia up-regulates Snail1 expression and leads to increased metastatic capacity and drug resistance in melanoma cells. Our findings support that the effects of hypoxia on melanoma are mediated through Snail1 gene activation and suggest that Snail1 is a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of melanoma. PMID:21996677

  13. The convoluted evolution of snail chirality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schilthuizen, M.; Davison, A.

    2005-11-01

    The direction that a snail (Mollusca: Gastropoda) coils, whether dextral (right-handed) or sinistral (left-handed), originates in early development but is most easily observed in the shell form of the adult. Here, we review recent progress in understanding snail chirality from genetic, developmental and ecological perspectives. In the few species that have been characterized, chirality is determined by a single genetic locus with delayed inheritance, which means that the genotype is expressed in the mother's offspring. Although research lags behind the studies of asymmetry in the mouse and nematode, attempts to isolate the loci involved in snail chirality have begun, with the final aim of understanding how the axis of left-right asymmetry is established. In nature, most snail taxa (>90%) are dextral, but sinistrality is known from mutant individuals, populations within dextral species, entirely sinistral species, genera and even families. Ordinarily, it is expected that strong frequency-dependent selection should act against the establishment of new chiral types because the chiral minority have difficulty finding a suitable mating partner (their genitalia are on the ‘wrong’ side). Mixed populations should therefore not persist. Intriguingly, however, a very few land snail species, notably the subgenus Amphidromus sensu stricto, not only appear to mate randomly between different chiral types, but also have a stable, within-population chiral dimorphism, which suggests the involvement of a balancing factor. At the other end of the spectrum, in many species, different chiral types are unable to mate and so could be reproductively isolated from one another. However, while empirical data, models and simulations have indicated that chiral reversal must sometimes occur, it is rarely likely to lead to so-called ‘single-gene’ speciation. Nevertheless, chiral reversal could still be a contributing factor to speciation (or to divergence after speciation) when

  14. Relativistic helix traveling wave tube amplifiers

    SciTech Connect

    Freund, H.P.; Vanderplaats, N.R.; Kodis, M.A. )

    1992-07-01

    A relativistic field theory of a helix traveling wave tube (TWT) is described for the case in which a thin annular beam propagates through a sheath helix enclosed within a loss-free wall. The theory is applied to the study of a TWT with an intense relativistic electron beam. The analysis implicitly includes beam space-charge effects and is valid for arbitrary azimuthal mode number, and the coupled-wave Pierce theory is recovered in the [ital near]-[ital resonant] limit. The results indicate that impressive gains and efficiencies are possible in this regime. In addition, the interaction is relatively insensitive to the effects of a beam energy spread.

  15. Epicyclic Twin-Helix Ionization Cooling Simulations

    SciTech Connect

    Vasiliy Morozov, Yaroslav Derbenev, A. Afanaciev, R.P. Johnson

    2011-04-01

    Parametric-resonance Ionization Cooling (PIC) is proposed as the final 6D cooling stage of a highluminosity muon collider. For the implementation of PIC, we earlier developed an epicyclic twin-helix channel with correlated behavior of the horizontal and vertical betatron motions and dispersion. We now insert absorber plates with short energy-recovering units located next to them at the appropriate locations in the twin-helix channel. We first demonstrate conventional ionization cooling in such a system with the optics uncorrelated. We then adjust the correlated optics state and induce a parametric resonance to study ionization cooling under the resonant condition.

  16. Helix propensities of conformationally restricted amino acids. Non-natural substitutes for helix breaking proline and helix forming alanine.

    PubMed

    Alías, Miriam; Ayuso-Tejedor, Sara; Fernández-Recio, Juan; Cativiela, Carlos; Sancho, Javier

    2010-02-21

    Alpha helices are useful scaffolds to build biologically active peptides. The intrinsic stability of an alpha-helix is a key feature that can be successfully designed, and it is governed by the constituting amino acid residues. Their individual contributions to helix stability are given, according to Lifson-Roig theory, by their w parameters, which are known for all proteinogenic amino acids, but not for non-natural ones. On the other hand, non-natural, conformationally-restricted amino acids can be used to impart biochemical stability to peptides intended for in vivo administration. Efficient design of peptides based on these amino acids requires the previous determination of their w parameters. We begin here this task by determining the w parameters of two restricted analogs of alanine: (alpha-methyl)alanine and 1-aminocyclopropanecarboxylic acid. According to their w values (alpha-methyl)alanine is almost as good a helix forming residue as alanine, while 1-aminocyclopropanecarboxylic acid is, similarly to proline, a helix breaker. PMID:20135035

  17. Deletion of the N- or C-Terminal Helix of Apolipophorin III To Create a Four-Helix Bundle Protein.

    PubMed

    Dwivedi, Pankaj; Rodriguez, Johana; Ibe, Nnejiuwa U; Weers, Paul M M

    2016-07-01

    Apolipophorin III (apoLp-III) is an exchangeable apolipoprotein found in insects and plays an important function in lipid transport. The protein has an unusual five-helix bundle architecture, deviating from the common four-helix bundle motif. To understand the role of the additional helix in apoLp-III, the N-terminal or C-terminal helix was deleted to create a putative four-helix bundle protein. While the protein lacking helix-1 could be expressed in bacteria albeit at reduced yields, apoLp-III lacking helix-5 could not be produced. Mutational analysis by truncating helix-5 showed that a minimum segment of approximately one-third of the C-terminal helix is required for protein expression. The variant lacking helix-5 was produced by inserting a methionine residue between helix-4 and -5; subsequent cyanogenbromide cleavage generated the four-helix variant. Both N- and C-terminal helix deletion variants displayed significantly reduced helical content, protein stability, and tertiary structure. Despite the significantly altered structure, the variants were still fully functional. The rate of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine vesicle solubilization was enhanced 4-5-fold compared to the wild-type protein, and the deletion variants were effective in binding to lipolyzed low density lipoprotein thereby preventing lipoprotein aggregation. These results show that the additional helix of apoLp-III is not essential for lipid binding but is required for proper folding to keep the protein into a stable conformation. PMID:27280697

  18. Phenotypic Plasticity of the Introduced New Zealand Mud Snail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum, Compared to Sympatric Native Snails

    PubMed Central

    Levri, Edward P.; Krist, Amy C.; Bilka, Rachel; Dybdahl, Mark F.

    2014-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity is likely to be important in determining the invasive potential of a species, especially if invasive species show greater plasticity or tolerance compared to sympatric native species. Here in two separate experiments we compare reaction norms in response to two environmental variables of two clones of the New Zealand mud snail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum, isolated from the United States, (one invasive and one not yet invasive) with those of two species of native snails that are sympatric with the invader, Fossaria bulimoides group and Physella gyrina group. We placed juvenile snails in environments with high and low conductivity (300 and 800 mS) in one experiment, and raised them at two different temperatures (16°C and 22°C) in a second experiment. Growth rate and mortality were measured over the course of 8 weeks. Mortality rates were higher in the native snails compared to P. antipodarum across all treatments, and variation in conductivity influenced mortality. In both experiments, reaction norms did not vary significantly between species. There was little evidence that the success of the introduced species is a result of greater phenotypic plasticity to these variables compared to the sympatric native species. PMID:24699685

  19. Supercharged Snails for Stream Ecology & Water-Quality Studies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stewart, Arthur J.; Ryon, Michael G.

    2003-01-01

    Gill-breathing freshwater snails (Family "Pleuroceridae") are ecologically important, abundant in many streams in the United States, and easy to collect and maintain under classroom conditions. These snails can be used in classroom tests to demonstrate effects of pollutants on aquatic organisms. In more advanced classes, students can cage the…

  20. Into the Eye of the Helix

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2009-02-01

    A deep new image of the magnificent Helix planetary nebula has been obtained using the Wide Field Imager at ESO's La Silla Observatory. The image shows a rich background of distant galaxies, usually not seen in other images of this object. ESO PR Photo 07a/09 The Helix Nebula ESO PR Video 06a/09 Helix Nebula Zoom-in ESO PR Video 06b/09 Pan over the Helix Nebula ESO PR Video 06c/09 Zoom and pan over the Helix Nebula The Helix Nebula, NGC 7293, lies about 700 light-years away in the constellation of Aquarius (the Water Bearer). It is one of the closest and most spectacular examples of a planetary nebula. These exotic objects have nothing to do with planets, but are the final blooming of Sun-like stars before their retirement as white dwarfs. Shells of gas are blown off from a star's surface, often in intricate and beautiful patterns, and shine under the harsh ultraviolet radiation from the faint, but very hot, central star. The main ring of the Helix Nebula is about two light-years across or half the distance between the Sun and its closest stellar neighbour. Despite being photographically very spectacular the Helix is hard to see visually as its light is thinly spread over a large area of sky and the history of its discovery is rather obscure. It first appears in a list of new objects compiled by the German astronomer Karl Ludwig Harding in 1824. The name Helix comes from the rough corkscrew shape seen in the earlier photographs. Although the Helix looks very much like a doughnut, studies have shown that it possibly consists of at least two separate discs with outer rings and filaments. The brighter inner disc seems to be expanding at about 100 000 km/h and to have taken about 12 000 years to have formed. Because the Helix is relatively close -- it covers an area of the sky about a quarter of the full Moon -- it can be studied in much greater detail than most other planetary nebulae and has been found to have an unexpected and complex structure. All around the

  1. North American Paleozoic land snails with a summary of other Paleozoic nonmarine snails

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Solem, Alan; Yochelson, Ellis Leon

    1979-01-01

    Land snails from the Paleozoic of North America are known from the coal fields of eastern Canada, from the Dunkard basin west of the Allegheny Mountains, and from the western margin of the Illinois basin. The earliest finds were made about 125 years ago; essentially no new information has been recorded for a century. Large collections of Anthracopupa from the Dunkard basin sparked inquiry into the land snails from the other two areas. Studies using the SEM (scanning electron microscope) have provided considerable insight into microdetails of shell structure, which allow systematic assignment of these gastropods. All may be assigned to extant families, except one, for which insufficient material allows only superfamily assignment. The prosobranch Dawsonella is confirmed as being a terrestrial neritacean gastropod. To date, it is known only from the upper Middle Pennsylvanian of Illinois and Indiana. All the other Paleozoic land snails are stylommatophoran pulmonates; their current classification as nonmarine cyclophoraceans is not correct. Restudy of material from the Joggins section of Nova Scotia indicates that representatives of two ordinal groups of pulmonates appeared simultaneously in upper Lower Pennsylvanian strata; the oldest land prosobranch is found in only very slightly younger rocks. Zonites (Conulus) priscus is reassigned to the new genus Protodiscus in the extant family Discidae. Dendropupa is placed within the family Enidae, Anthraaopupa is placed in the family Tornatellinidae, and 'Pupa' bigsbii is assigned to the superfamily Pupillacea. All four of these family-level taxa are diverse and belong to two orders within the superorder Stylommatophora, heretofore considered a derived rather than an ancestral stock. Anthracopupa ohioensis Whitfield is a highly variable species, and two other species Naticopsis (?) diminuta and A.(?) dunkardona, both named by Stauffer and Schroyer, are placed in synonymy with it. To obtain taxonomic data to support the

  2. The Mitochondrial Genome of the Venomous Cone Snail Conus consors

    PubMed Central

    Brauer, Age; Kurz, Alexander; Stockwell, Tim; Baden-Tillson, Holly; Heidler, Juliana; Wittig, Ilka; Kauferstein, Silke; Mebs, Dietrich; Stöcklin, Reto; Remm, Maido

    2012-01-01

    Cone snails are venomous predatory marine neogastropods that belong to the species-rich superfamily of the Conoidea. So far, the mitochondrial genomes of two cone snail species (Conus textile and Conus borgesi) have been described, and these feed on snails and worms, respectively. Here, we report the mitochondrial genome sequence of the fish-hunting cone snail Conus consors and describe a novel putative control region (CR) which seems to be absent in the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of other cone snail species. This possible CR spans about 700 base pairs (bp) and is located between the genes encoding the transfer RNA for phenylalanine (tRNA-Phe, trnF) and cytochrome c oxidase subunit III (cox3). The novel putative CR contains several sequence motifs that suggest a role in mitochondrial replication and transcription. PMID:23236512

  3. High velocity knot in the Helix nebula

    SciTech Connect

    Meaburn, J.; Walsh, J.R.

    1980-01-01

    A high velocity (about 66 km/s) split feature about 15 arcseconds in extent has been detected in forbidden O II emission over a dark knot in the loop of the Helix nebula. This velocity splitting is much greater than the 20 km/s large scale splitting observed previously, and several mechanisms are proposed to account for this feature.

  4. Nonlinear analysis of helix traveling wave tubes

    SciTech Connect

    Freund, H.P.; Zaidman, E.G.; Vanderplaats, N.R.; Kodis, M.A.

    1994-12-31

    A nonlinear formulation of the interaction in a helix traveling wave tube (TWT) is presented. The formulation is intended to treat a wide class of helix TWTs including both emission-gated and multi-tone operation. The essential feature of each of these configurations is that multiple waves must be included in the formulation. As a result, a fully time-dependent analysis is required. The numerical procedure for this in a helix TWT is complicated by the fact that the radial profile of the field varies with frequency. This contrasts, for example, with the case of a smooth bore waveguide in which the radial profile for each TE{sub ln} or TM{sub ln} mode is invariant in frequency. Because of this, a complete self-consistent particle-in-cell (PIC) formulation must be three-dimensional. In order to circumvent the computational expense of a 3D PIC formulation, the authors adopt an approach in which the electromagnetic field is represented as a superposition of azimuthally symmetric modes in a vacuum sheath helix. The specific electron distributions are chosen to model either a continuous beam for the multi-tone TWT and a pulsed beam for the emission-gated TWT. Numerical results of the simulation for examples of interest to an emission-gated TWT experiment at NRL will be presented.

  5. Conformational Diffusion and Helix Formation Kinetics

    SciTech Connect

    Hummer, Gerhard; Garcia, Angel E.; Garde, Shekhar

    2000-09-18

    The time, temperature, and sequence dependences of helix formation kinetics of fully atomistic peptide models in explicit solvent are described quantitatively by a diffusive search within the coil state with barrierless transitions into the helical state. Conformational diffusion leads to nonexponential kinetics and jump-width dependences in temperature jump experiments. (c) 2000 The American Physical Society.

  6. Effective harmonic approach to helix proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, Sung Nam Peter

    Recent laser-induced experiments have shown that on the time scale of long range tertiary contact formation, the kinetics of the helix-coil interconversion are very rapid (1). The notion that secondary structures form first before long range tertiary contacts are made, suggests that the helix-coil interconversion is one key in understanding the protein folding problem. We developed a method of generating an alpha-helix conformation of any residue using AMBER 4.0, the Protein Data Bank (PDB), and a series of pattern matching translation and rotation operations. We have chosen to study Alanine for its highly non polar nature, and Glutamine for its highly polar characteristic. Using the information obtained from the above method, analysis of vibrational lattice dynamics are carried out on polymers Poly-alpha-L alanine (PLA) and Poly-alpha-L glutamic acid (PLGA). The lattice dynamics method called Modified Self- consistent Harmonic Approach theory (MSHA) was used in carrying out the analysis of the PLA and PLGA helix-coil transition. MSHA was originally developed for the DNA molecule by Prohofsky et al. In this model, the molecule is considered as a one dimensional, repeating unit cell of an infinite helix. The lattice was modeled with harmonic force constants. Anharmonicity of hydrogen bond force constants at different temperatures are introduced along with the effects of water on the polar PLGA and the non polar PLA. Using MSHA, we calculated the opening bond probabilities of PLGA at different temperatures. The experimentally observed helix to coil relaxation time τ* of PLGA was inversely compared to our results with a correlation coefficient of 0.8424 (5, 13, 58). These experiments were done at temperatures ranging from 295 K to 310 K. Our calculation also yielded critical melting temperatures of Tc=317 K for PLGA and Tc=347 K for PLA. The calculated acoustic compressional velocities were 4.78 km/s and 4.84 km/s for PLA and PLGA respectively. Our calculation

  7. Thermodynamics of helix-coil transitions studied by multicanonical algorithms

    SciTech Connect

    Okamoto, Yuko; Hansmann, U.H.E.

    1995-07-13

    Thermodynamics of helix-coil transitions in amino acid homo-oligomers are studied by the recently proposed multicanonical algorithms. Homo-oligomers of length 10 are considered for three characteristic amino acids, alanine (helix former), valine (helix indifferent), and glycine (helix breaker). For alanine other lengths (15 and 20) are also considered in order to examine the length dependence. From one multicanonical production run with completely random initial conformations, we have obtained the lowest-energy conformations and various thermodynamic quantities (average helicity, Zimm-Bragg s and {sigma} parameters, free energy differences between helix and coil states, etc.) as functions of temperature. The results confirm the fact that alanine is helix-forming, valine is helix-indifferent, and glycine is helix-breaking. 36 refs., 10 figs., 5 tabs.

  8. How parasitism, stream substrate, and movement patterns mediate response to disturbance in the snail Elimia flava

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tomba, A. M.; Feminella, J. W.

    2005-05-01

    Snails in the genus Elimia are abundant in southeastern USA streams, and also serve as intermediate hosts to parasitic trematodes. Previous work indicated that high-flows decrease snail abundance and trematode prevalence, and others have shown substrate type and snail size affect likelihood of snail dislodgement. To investigate how parasitism, size, substrate, and snail behavior influenced dislodgement, we placed Elimia flava in artificial streams containing tile or gravel substrates, and then exposed them to progressively increasing flow velocities ( ~10, 40, 90 cm/s) for 5 minutes each. We recorded snail behavior and time to dislodgement, and then preserved snails to quantify their size and parasite load. Snails on tile dislodged significantly faster than snails on gravel, and snails with high parasite loads also dislodged faster than snails without parasites. Parasitism also appeared to affect movement patterns: snails showing predominantly downstream movement had higher parasite loads than those that did not. Behavior also affected dislodgement probability, as snails moving upstream or to the waterline remained on the substrate longer than snails not showing those behaviors. Parasitism, substrate composition, and snail movement are useful predictors of the likelihood of dislodgement, and parasitism and substrate may both increase snail vulnerability to flow disturbance.

  9. Effects of sewage sludge amendment on snail growth and trace metal transfer in the soil-plant-snail food chain.

    PubMed

    Bourioug, Mohamed; Gimbert, Frédéric; Alaoui-Sehmer, Laurence; Benbrahim, Mohammed; Badot, Pierre-Marie; Alaoui-Sossé, Badr; Aleya, Lotfi

    2015-11-01

    Cu, Zn, Pb, and Cd concentrations in a soil plant (Lactuca sativa) continuum were measured after sewage sludge amendment. The effects of sewage sludge on growth and trace metal bioaccumulation in snails (Cantareus aspersus) were investigated in a laboratory experiment specifically designed to identify contamination sources (e.g., soil and leaves). Application of sewage sludge increased trace metal concentrations in topsoil. However, except Zn, metal concentrations in lettuce leaves did not reflect those in soil. Lettuce leaves were the main source of Zn, Cu, and Cd in exposed snails. Bioaccumulation of Pb suggested its immediate transfer to snails via the soil. No apparent toxic effects of trace metal accumulation were observed in snails. Moreover, snail growth was significantly stimulated at high rates of sludge application. This hormesis effect may be due to the enhanced nutritional content of lettuce leaves exposed to sewage sludge. PMID:26165994

  10. What can be learnt from a snail?

    PubMed

    Johannesson, Kerstin

    2016-01-01

    The marine snail Littorina saxatilis is a common inhabitant of intertidal shores of the north Atlantic. It is amazingly polymorphic and forms reproductively isolated ecotypes in microhabitats where crabs are either present and wave action is less furious, or where waves are strong and crabs are absent. Decades of research have unveiled much of the ecological and demographic context of the formation of crab- and wave-ecotype snails showing important phenotypic differences being inherited, differential selection being strong over adjacent microhabitats, local dispersal being restricted, and long-distance transports of individuals being rare. In addition, strong assortative mating of ecotypes has been shown to include a component of male mate preference based on female size. Several studies support ecotypes being diverged locally and under gene flow in a parallel and highly replicated fashion. The high level of replication at various levels of independence (from local to pan-European scale) provides excellent opportunities to investigate the detailed mechanisms of microevolution, including the formation of barriers to gene flow. Current investigations benefit from a draft reference genome and an integration of genomic approaches, modelling and experiments to unveil molecular and ecological components of speciation and their interactions. PMID:27087845

  11. Spatial mosaic evolution of snail defensive traits

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Steven G; Hulsey, C Darrin; de León, Francisco J García

    2007-01-01

    Background Recent models suggest that escalating reciprocal selection among antagonistically interacting species is predicted to occur in areas of higher resource productivity. In a putatively coevolved interaction between a freshwater snail (Mexipyrgus churinceanus) and a molluscivorous cichlid (Herichthys minckleyi), we examined three components of this interaction: 1) spatial variation in two putative defensive traits, crushing resistance and shell pigmentation; 2) whether abiotic variables or frequency of molariform cichlids are associated with spatial patterns of crushing resistance and shell pigmentation and 3) whether variation in primary productivity accounted for small-scale variation in these defensive traits. Results Using spatial autocorrelation to account for genetic and geographic divergence among populations, we found no autocorrelation among populations at small geographic and genetic distances for the two defensive traits. There was also no correlation between abiotic variables (temperature and conductivity) and snail defensive traits. However, crushing resistance and frequency of pigmented shells were negatively correlated with molariform frequency. Crushing resistance and levels of pigmentation were significantly higher in habitats dominated by aquatic macrophytes, and both traits are phenotypically correlated. Conclusion Crushing resistance and pigmentation of M. churinceanus exhibit striking variation at small spatial scales often associated with differences in primary productivity, substrate coloration and the frequency of molariform cichlids. These local geographic differences may result from among-habitat variation in how resource productivity interacts to promote escalation in prey defenses. PMID:17397540

  12. Chiral Speciation in Terrestrial Pulmonate Snails

    PubMed Central

    Gittenberger, Edmund; Hamann, Thomas D.; Asami, Takahiro

    2012-01-01

    On the basis of data in the literature, the percentages of dextral versus sinistral species of snails have been calculated for western Europe, Turkey, North America (north of Mexico), and Japan. When the family of Clausiliidae is represented, about a quarter of all snail species may be sinistral, whereas less than one per cent of the species may be sinistral where that family does not occur. The number of single-gene speciation events on the basis of chirality, resulting in the origin of mirror image species, is not closely linked to the percentage of sinistral versus dextral species in a particular region. Turkey is nevertheless exceptional by both a high percentage of sinistral species and a high number of speciation events resulting in mirror image species. Shell morphology and genetic background may influence the ease of chirality-linked speciation, whereas sinistrality may additionally be selected against by internal selection. For the Clausiliidae, the fossil record and the recent fauna suggest that successful reversals in coiling direction occurred with a frequency of once every three to four million years. PMID:22532825

  13. The emerging role of Snail1 in the tumor stroma.

    PubMed

    Herrera, A; Herrera, M; Peña, C

    2016-09-01

    The transcription factor Snail1 leads to the epithelial-mesenchymal transition by repressing the adherent and tight junctions in epithelial cells. This process is related to an increase of cell migratory and mesenchymal properties during both embryonic development and tumor progression. Although Snail1 expression is very limited in adult animals, emerging evidence has placed Snail at the forefront of medical science. As a transcriptional repressor, Snail1 confers cancer stem cell-like traits on tumor cells and promotes drug resistance, tumor recurrence and metastasis. In this review, we summarize recent reports that suggest the pro-tumorigenic roles of Snail1 expression in tumor stroma. The crosstalk between tumor and stromal cells mediated by Snail1 regulates paracrine communication, pro-tumorigenic abilities of cancer cells, extracellular matrix characteristics and mesenchymal differentiation in cancer stem cells and cancer-associated fibroblasts. Therefore, understanding the regulation and functional roles of Snail1 in the tumor microenvironment will provide us with new therapies for treating metastatic disease. PMID:26687368

  14. Digenetic larvae in Schistosome snails from El Fayoum, Egypt with detection of Schistosoma mansoni in the snail by PCR.

    PubMed

    Aboelhadid, Shawky M; Thabet, Marwa; El-Basel, Dayhoum; Taha, Ragaa

    2016-09-01

    The present study aims to detect the digenetic larvae infections in Bulinus truncatus and Biomphalaria alexandrina snails and also PCR detection of Schistosoma mansoni infection. The snails were collected from different branches of Yousef canal and their derivatives in El Fayoum Governorate. The snails were investigated for infection through induction of cercarial shedding by exposure to light and crushing of the snails. The shed cercariae were S. mansoni, Pharyngeate longifurcate type I and Pharyngeate longifurcate type II from B. alexandrina, while that found in B. truncatus were Schitosoma haematobium and Xiphidiocercaria species cercariae. The seasonal prevalence of infection was discussed. Polymerase chain reaction was used for the detection of S. mansoni in the DNA from field collected infected and non infected snails. The results of PCR showed that the pool of B. alexandrina snails which shed S. mansoni cercariae in the laboratory, gave positive reaction in the samples. Pooled samples of field collected B. alexandrina that showed negative microscopic shedding of cercariae gave negative and positive PCR in a consecutive manner. Accordingly, a latent infection in the snail (negative microscopic) could be detected by using PCR. PMID:27605774

  15. The double helix and the 'wronged heroine'.

    PubMed

    Maddox, Brenda

    2003-01-23

    In 1962, James Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins received the Nobel prize for the discovery of the structure of DNA. Notably absent from the podium was Rosalind Franklin, whose X-ray photographs of DNA contributed directly to the discovery of the double helix. Franklin's premature death, combined with misogynist treatment by the male scientific establishment, cast her as a feminist icon. This myth overshadowed her intellectual strength and independence both as a scientist and as an individual. PMID:12540909

  16. Snails, stable iostopes, and southwestern desert paleoclimates

    SciTech Connect

    Sharpe, S.E.; Whelan, J.F.; Forester, R.M.; Burdett, J.

    1995-09-01

    Modern and fossil molluscs (snails) occur in many localities in and semi-arid regions throughout the desert southwest. Live terrestrial snails are found under rocks and in forest litter and aquatic taxa inhabit springs, seeps, and/or wetlands. Molluscs uptake local water during their growing season (spring and summer) and incorporate its delta 180 signature into their shells. Preliminary 180 analysis of modem shells from the southern Great Basin indicates that the shells probably reflect meteoric water 180 values during the growing season. This provides a way to estimate the delta 180 value of precipitation and, thereby, the source of the moisture-bearing air masses. Significant 180 variability in shells analyzed include geographic location, elevation, taxonomy, and habitat (terrestrial, spring, or wetland). We found a rough inverse correlation with elevation in modem shells from the Spring Range in southern Nevada. The delta 180 values of modem and fossil shells are also very different; modem values in this location are much higher than those from nearby late Pleistocene-age molluscs suggesting that the Pleistocene summers were variously colder and wetter than today or less evaporative (more humid). Assuming shell material directly reflects the 180 of the growing-season environment, comparison of modem and fossil shell delta 180 values can potentially identify changes in air-mass moisture sources and can help to define seasonal precipitation change through time. Comprehension and quantification of community and isotopic variability in modem gastropods is required to create probabilistic valid transfer functions with fossil materials. Valid inferences about past environmental conditions can then be established with known confidence limits.

  17. Predation of schistosomiasis vector snails by ostracoda (crustacea)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sohn, I.G.; Kornicker, L.S.

    1972-01-01

    An ostracod species of Cypretta is an effective predator in laboratory experiments on 1- to 3-day-old Biomphalaria glabrata, a vector snail of the blood fluke that causes the tropical and subtropical disease schistosomiasis.

  18. Energy saving through trail following in a marine snail.

    PubMed

    Davies, Mark S; Blackwell, Janine

    2007-05-01

    Most snails and slugs locomote over a layer of mucus and although the resultant mucus trail is expensive to produce, we show that this expense can be reduced by trail following. When tracking over fresh conspecific trails, the marine intertidal snail Littorina littorea (L.) produced only approximately 27% of the mucus laid by marker snails. When tracking over weathered trails, snails adjusted their mucus production to recreate a convex trail profile of similar shape and thickness to the trail as originally laid. Maximum energy saving occurs when following recently laid trails which are little weathered. Many and diverse ecological roles for trail following have been proposed. Energy saving is the only role that applies across the Gastropoda and so may help to explain why trail following is such a well-established behaviour. PMID:17327203

  19. Apple Snail: a Bio Cleaner of the Water Free Surface.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bassiri, Golnaz

    2005-11-01

    Oil spills from tankers represent a threat for shorelines and marine life. Despite continuing research, there has been little change in the fundamental technology for dealing with oil spills. An experimental investigation of the feeding strategy of Apple snails from the water free surface, called surface film feeding, is being studied motivated by the need to develop new techniques to recover oil spills. To feed on floating food (usually a thin layer of microorganisms), the apple snail forms a funnel with its foot and pulls the free surface toward the funnel. High speed imaging and particle image velocimetry were used in the present investigation to measure the free surface motion and to investigate the mechanism used by the apple snails to pull the free surface. The results suggest that the snail pulls the free surface via the wavy motion of the muscles in its funnel.

  20. METHODS FOR EXCLUDING SLUGS AND SNAILS ON EXPORTED HORTICULTURAL COMMODITIES

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increasingly, slugs and snails (mollusks) are recognized as important quarantine pests threatening agriculture, export markets and the environment. This increased awareness results from the rapid spread of damaging species concurrent with higher levels of international trade of horticultural commodi...

  1. Snail levels control the migration mechanism of mesenchymal tumor cells

    PubMed Central

    BELGIOVINE, CRISTINA; CHIESA, GIULIO; CHIODI, ILARIA; FRAPOLLI, ROBERTA; BONEZZI, KATIUSCIA; TARABOLETTI, GIULIA; D'INCALCI, MAURIZIO; MONDELLO, CHIARA

    2016-01-01

    Cancer cells use two major types of movement: Mesenchymal, which is typical of cells of mesenchymal origin and depends on matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity, and amoeboid, which is characteristic of cells with a rounded shape and relies on the activity of Rho-associated kinase (ROCK). The present authors previously demonstrated that, during neoplastic transformation, telomerase-immortalized human fibroblasts (cen3tel cells) acquired a ROCK-dependent/MMP independent mechanism of invasion, mediated by the downregulation of the ROCK cellular inhibitor Round (Rnd)3/RhoE. In the present study, cen3tel transformation was also demonstrated to be paralleled by downregulation of Snail, a major determinant of the mesenchymal movement. To test whether Snail levels could determine the type of movement adopted by mesenchymal tumor cells, Snail was ectopically expressed in tumorigenic cells. It was observed that ectopic Snail did not increase the levels of typical mesenchymal markers, but induced cells to adopt an MMP-dependent mechanism of invasion. In cells expressing ectopic Snail, invasion became sensitive to the MMP inhibitor Ro 28–2653 and insensitive to the ROCK inhibitor Y27632, suggesting that, once induced by Snail, the mesenchymal movement prevails over the amoeboid one. Snail-expressing cells had a more aggressive behavior in vivo, and exhibited increased tumor growth rate and metastatic ability. These results confirm the high plasticity of cancer cells, which can adopt different types of movement in response to changes in the expression of specific genes. Furthermore, the present findings indicate that Rnd3 and Snail are possible regulators of the type of invasion mechanism adopted by mesenchymal tumor cells. PMID:27347214

  2. Lanthanide-binding helix-turn-helix peptides: Solution structure of a designed metallonuclease

    PubMed Central

    Welch, Joel T.; Kearney, William R.; Franklin, Sonya J.

    2003-01-01

    A designed lanthanide-binding chimeric peptide based on the strikingly similar geometries of the EF-hand and helix-turn-helix (HTH) motifs was investigated by NMR and CD spectroscopy and found to retain the same overall solution structure of the parental motifs. CD spectroscopy showed that the 33-mer peptide P3W folds on binding lanthanides, with an increase in α-helicity from 20% in the absence of metal to 38% and 35% in the presence of excess Eu(III) and La(III) ions, respectively. The conditional binding affinities of P3W for La(III) (5.9 ± 0.3 μM) and for Eu(III) (6.2 ± 0.3 μM) (pH 7.8, 5 mM Tris) were determined by tryptophan fluorescence titration. The La(III) complex of peptide P3, which differs from P3W by only one Trp-to-His substitution, has much less signal dispersion in the proton NMR spectra than LaP3W, indicating that the Trp residue is a critical hydrophobic anchor for maintaining a well-folded helix-turn-helix structure. A chemical-shift index analysis indicates the metallopeptide has a helix-loop-helix secondary structure. A structure calculated by using nuclear Overhauser effect and other NMR constraints reveals that P3W not only has a tightly folded metal-binding loop but also retains the α−α corner supersecondary structure of the parental motifs. Although the solution structure is undefined at both the N and C termini, the NMR structure confirms the successful incorporation of a metal-binding loop into a HTH sequence. PMID:12644701

  3. Modulation of defensive reflex conditioning in snails by serotonin.

    PubMed

    Andrianov, Vyatcheslav V; Bogodvid, Tatiana K; Deryabina, Irina B; Golovchenko, Aleksandra N; Muranova, Lyudmila N; Tagirova, Roza R; Vinarskaya, Aliya K; Gainutdinov, Khalil L

    2015-01-01

    Highlights Daily injection of serotonin before a training session accelerated defensive reflex conditioning in snails.Daily injection of 5-hydroxytryptophan before a training session in snails with a deficiency of serotonin induced by the "neurotoxic" analog of serotonin 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine, restored the ability of snails to learn.After injection of the "neurotoxic" analogs of serotonin 5,6- and 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine as well as serotonin, depolarization of the membrane and decrease of the threshold potential of premotor interneurons was observed. We studied the role of serotonin in the mechanisms of learning in terrestrial snails. To produce a serotonin deficit, the "neurotoxic" analogs of serotonin, 5,6- or 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine (5,6/5,7-DHT) were used. Injection of 5,6/5,7-DHT was found to disrupt defensive reflex conditioning. Within 2 weeks of neurotoxin application, the ability to learn had recovered. Daily injection of serotonin before a training session accelerated defensive reflex conditioning and daily injections of 5-HTP in snails with a deficiency of serotonin induced by 5,7-DHT restored the snail's ability to learn. We discovered that injections of the neurotoxins 5,6/5,7-DHT as well as serotonin, caused a decrease in the resting and threshold potentials of the premotor interneurons LPa3 and RPa3. PMID:26557063

  4. Modulation of defensive reflex conditioning in snails by serotonin

    PubMed Central

    Andrianov, Vyatcheslav V.; Bogodvid, Tatiana K.; Deryabina, Irina B.; Golovchenko, Aleksandra N.; Muranova, Lyudmila N.; Tagirova, Roza R.; Vinarskaya, Aliya K.; Gainutdinov, Khalil L.

    2015-01-01

    Highlights Daily injection of serotonin before a training session accelerated defensive reflex conditioning in snails.Daily injection of 5-hydroxytryptophan before a training session in snails with a deficiency of serotonin induced by the “neurotoxic” analog of serotonin 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine, restored the ability of snails to learn.After injection of the “neurotoxic” analogs of serotonin 5,6- and 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine as well as serotonin, depolarization of the membrane and decrease of the threshold potential of premotor interneurons was observed. We studied the role of serotonin in the mechanisms of learning in terrestrial snails. To produce a serotonin deficit, the “neurotoxic” analogs of serotonin, 5,6- or 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine (5,6/5,7-DHT) were used. Injection of 5,6/5,7-DHT was found to disrupt defensive reflex conditioning. Within 2 weeks of neurotoxin application, the ability to learn had recovered. Daily injection of serotonin before a training session accelerated defensive reflex conditioning and daily injections of 5-HTP in snails with a deficiency of serotonin induced by 5,7-DHT restored the snail's ability to learn. We discovered that injections of the neurotoxins 5,6/5,7-DHT as well as serotonin, caused a decrease in the resting and threshold potentials of the premotor interneurons LPa3 and RPa3. PMID:26557063

  5. High power, high frequency helix TWT's

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sloley, H. J.; Willard, J.; Paatz, S. R.; Keat, M. J.

    The design and performance characteristics of a 34-GHz pulse tube capable of 75 W peak power output at 30 percent duty cycle and a broadband CW tube are presented. Particular attention is given to the engineering problems encountered during the development of the tubes, including the suppression of backward wave oscillation, the design of electron guns for small-diameter high-current beams, and the thermal capability of small helix structures. The discussion also covers the effects of various design parameters and choice of engineering materials on the ultimate practical limit of power and gain at the operating frequencies. Measurements are presented for advanced experimental tubes.

  6. scratch, a pan-neural gene encoding a zinc finger protein related to snail, promotes neuronal development.

    PubMed

    Roark, M; Sturtevant, M A; Emery, J; Vaessin, H; Grell, E; Bier, E

    1995-10-01

    The Drosophila scratch (scrt) gene is expressed in most or all neuronal precursor cells and encodes a predicted zinc finger transcription factor closely related to the product of the mesoderm determination gene snail (sna). Adult flies homozygous for scrt null alleles have a reduced number of photoreceptors in the eye, and embryos lacking the function of both scrt and the pan-neural gene deadpan (dpn), which encodes a basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) protein, exhibit a significant loss of neurons. Conversely, ectopic expression of a scrt transgene during embryonic and adult development leads to the production of supernumerary neurons. Consistent with scrt functioning as a transcription factor, various genes are more broadly expressed than normal in scrt null mutants. Reciprocally, these same genes are expressed at reduced levels in response to ectopic scrt expression. We propose that scrt promotes neuronal cell fates by suppressing expression of genes promoting non-neuronal cell fates. We discuss the similarities between the roles of the ancestrally related scrt, sna, and escargot (esc) genes in regulating cell fate choices. PMID:7557390

  7. A conserved role for Snail as a potentiator of active transcription

    PubMed Central

    Rembold, Martina; Ciglar, Lucia; Yáñez-Cuna, J. Omar; Zinzen, Robert P.; Girardot, Charles; Jain, Ankit; Welte, Michael A.; Stark, Alexander; Leptin, Maria; Furlong, Eileen E.M.

    2014-01-01

    The transcription factors of the Snail family are key regulators of epithelial–mesenchymal transitions, cell morphogenesis, and tumor metastasis. Since its discovery in Drosophila ∼25 years ago, Snail has been extensively studied for its role as a transcriptional repressor. Here we demonstrate that Drosophila Snail can positively modulate transcriptional activation. By combining information on in vivo occupancy with expression profiling of hand-selected, staged snail mutant embryos, we identified 106 genes that are potentially directly regulated by Snail during mesoderm development. In addition to the expected Snail-repressed genes, almost 50% of Snail targets showed an unanticipated activation. The majority of “Snail-activated” genes have enhancer elements cobound by Twist and are expressed in the mesoderm at the stages of Snail occupancy. Snail can potentiate Twist-mediated enhancer activation in vitro and is essential for enhancer activity in vivo. Using a machine learning approach, we show that differentially enriched motifs are sufficient to predict Snail's regulatory response. In silico mutagenesis revealed a likely causative motif, which we demonstrate is essential for enhancer activation. Taken together, these data indicate that Snail can potentiate enhancer activation by collaborating with different activators, providing a new mechanism by which Snail regulates development. PMID:24402316

  8. Helix Nucleation by the Smallest Known α-Helix in Water.

    PubMed

    Hoang, Huy N; Driver, Russell W; Beyer, Renée L; Hill, Timothy A; D de Araujo, Aline; Plisson, Fabien; Harrison, Rosemary S; Goedecke, Lena; Shepherd, Nicholas E; Fairlie, David P

    2016-07-11

    Cyclic pentapeptides (e.g. Ac-(cyclo-1,5)-[KAXAD]-NH2 ; X=Ala, 1; Arg, 2) in water adopt one α-helical turn defined by three hydrogen bonds. NMR structure analysis reveals a slight distortion from α-helicity at the C-terminal aspartate caused by torsional restraints imposed by the K(i)-D(i+4) lactam bridge. To investigate this effect on helix nucleation, the more water-soluble 2 was appended to N-, C-, or both termini of a palindromic peptide ARAARAARA (≤5 % helicity), resulting in 67, 92, or 100 % relative α-helicity, as calculated from CD spectra. From the C-terminus of peptides, 2 can nucleate at least six α-helical turns. From the N-terminus, imperfect alignment of the Asp5 backbone amide in 2 reduces helix nucleation, but is corrected by a second unit of 2 separated by 0-9 residues from the first. These cyclic peptides are extremely versatile helix nucleators that can be placed anywhere in 5-25 residue peptides, which correspond to most helix lengths in protein-protein interactions. PMID:27226426

  9. A Classification of Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors of Soybean

    PubMed Central

    Hudson, Karen A.; Hudson, Matthew E.

    2015-01-01

    The complete genome sequence of soybean allows an unprecedented opportunity for the discovery of the genes controlling important traits. In particular, the potential functions of regulatory genes are a priority for analysis. The basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) family of transcription factors is known to be involved in controlling a wide range of systems critical for crop adaptation and quality, including photosynthesis, light signalling, pigment biosynthesis, and seed pod development. Using a hidden Markov model search algorithm, 319 genes with basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor domains were identified within the soybean genome sequence. These were classified with respect to their predicted DNA binding potential, intron/exon structure, and the phylogeny of the bHLH domain. Evidence is presented that the vast majority (281) of these 319 soybean bHLH genes are expressed at the mRNA level. Of these soybean bHLH genes, 67% were found to exist in two or more homeologous copies. This dataset provides a framework for future studies on bHLH gene function in soybean. The challenge for future research remains to define functions for the bHLH factors encoded in the soybean genome, which may allow greater flexibility for genetic selection of growth and environmental adaptation in this widely grown crop. PMID:25763382

  10. [Quaternion-based Characterization of Protein α Helix].

    PubMed

    Xu, Yonghong; Chu, Zefei

    2016-02-01

    This paper proposes a method based on quaternion for characterization a helix of proteins. The method defines the parameter called Quaternion Helix Axis Spherical Distance (QHASD) on the basis of mapping protein Cα frames' helical axis onto a unit sphere, and uses QHASD to characterize the a helix of the protein secondary structure. Application of this method has been verified based on the PDBselect database, with an a helix characterization accuracy of 91.7%. This method possesses significant advantages of high detection accuracy, low computation and clear geometric significance. PMID:27382757

  11. HELIX: The High Energy Light Isotope Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarle, Gregory

    This is the lead proposal for a new suborbital program, HELIX (High-Energy Light Isotope eXperiment), designed to make measurements of the isotopic composition of light cosmic-ray nuclei from ~200 MeV/nuc to ~10 GeV/nuc. Past measurements of this kind have provided profound insights into the nature and origin of cosmic rays, revealing, for instance, information on acceleration and confinement time scales, and exposing some conspicuous discrepancies between solar and cosmic-ray abundances. The most detailed information currently available comes from the ACE/CRIS mission, but is restricted to energies below a few 100 MeV/nuc. HELIX aims at extending this energy range by over an order of magnitude, where, in most cases, no measurements of any kind exist, and where relativistic time dilation affects the apparent lifetime of radioactive clock nuclei. The HELIX measurements will provide essential information for understanding the propagation history of cosmic rays in the galaxy. This is crucial for properly interpreting several intriguing anomalies reported in recent cosmic-ray measurements, pertaining to the energy spectra of protons, helium, and heavier nuclei, and to the anomalous rise in the positron fraction at higher energy. HELIX employs a high-precision magnet spectrometer to provide measurements which are not achievable by any current or planned instrument. The superconducting magnet originally used for the HEAT payload in five successful high-altitude flights will be combined with state-of-the-art detectors to measure the charge, time-of-flight, magnetic rigidity, and velocity of cosmic-ray particles with high precision. The instrumentation includes plastic scintillators, silicon-strip detectors repurposed from Fermilab's CDF detector, a high-performance gas drift chamber, and a ring-imaging Cherenkov counter employing aerogel radiators and silicon photomultipliers. To reduce cost and technical risk, the HELIX program will be structured in two stages. The first

  12. Importance of Hydrophilic Hydration and Intramolecular Interactions in the Thermodynamics of Helix-Coil Transition and Helix-Helix Assembly in a Deca-Alanine Peptide.

    PubMed

    Tomar, Dheeraj S; Weber, Valéry; Pettitt, B Montgomery; Asthagiri, D

    2016-01-14

    For a model deca-alanine peptide the cavity (ideal hydrophobic) contribution to hydration favors the helix state over extended states and the paired helix bundle in the assembly of two helices. The energetic contributions of attractive protein-solvent interactions are separated into quasi-chemical components consisting of a short-range part arising from interactions with solvent in the first hydration shell and the remaining long-range part that is well described by a Gaussian. In the helix-coil transition, short-range attractive protein-solvent interactions outweigh hydrophobic hydration and favor the extended coil states. Analysis of enthalpic effects shows that it is the favorable hydration of the peptide backbone that favors the unfolded state. Protein intramolecular interactions favor the helix state and are decisive in favoring folding. In the pairing of two helices, the cavity contribution outweighs the short-range attractive protein-water interactions. However, long-range, protein-solvent attractive interactions can either enhance or reverse this trend depending on the mutual orientation of the helices. In helix-helix assembly, change in enthalpy arising from change in attractive protein-solvent interactions favors disassembly. In helix pairing as well, favorable protein intramolecular interactions are found to be as important as hydration effects. Overall, hydrophilic protein-solvent interactions and protein intramolecular interactions are found to play a significant role in the thermodynamics of folding and assembly in the system studied. PMID:26649757

  13. Snail1 controls TGF-β responsiveness and differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Batlle, Raquel; Alba-Castellón, Lorena; Loubat-Casanovas, Jordina; Armenteros, Elena; Francí, Clara; Stanisavljevic, Jelena; Banderas, Rodrigo; Martin-Caballero, Juan; Bonilla, Félix; Baulida, Josep; Casal, J. Ignacio; Gridley, Thomas; de Herreros, Antonio García

    2012-01-01

    The Snail1 transcriptional repressor plays a key role in triggering epithelial to mesenchymal transition. Although Snail1 is widely expressed in early development, in adult animals it is limited to a subset of mesenchymal cells where it has a largely unknown function. Using a mouse model with inducible depletion of Snail1, here we demonstrate that Snail1 is required to maintain mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). This effect is associated to the responsiveness to TGF-β1 which shows a strong Snail1 dependence. Snail1-depletion in conditional knock-out adult animals causes a significant decrease in the number of bone marrow-derived MSCs. In culture, Snail1-deficient MSCs prematurely differentiate to osteoblasts or adipocytes and, in contrast to controls, are resistant to the TGF-β1-induced differentiation block. These results demonstrate a new role for Snail1 in TGF-β response and MSC maintenance. PMID:22869142

  14. CHUK, a conserved helix-loop-helix ubiquitous kinase, maps to human chromosome 10 and mouse chromosome 19

    SciTech Connect

    Mock, B.A.; McBride, O.W.; Kozak, C.A.

    1995-05-20

    Helix-loop-helix proteins contain stretches of DNA that encode two amphipathic {alpha}-helices joined by a loop structure and are involved in protein dimerization and transcriptional regulation essential to a variety of cellular processes. CHUK, a newly described conserved helix-loop-helix ubiquitous kinase, was mapped by somatic cell hybrid analyses to human Chr 10q24-q25. Chuk and a related sequence, Chuk-rs1, were mapped to mouse chromosomes 19 and 16, respectively, by a combination of somatic cell hybrid, recombinant inbred, and backcross analyses. 17 refs., 2 figs., 1 tab.

  15. Lactic acid microflora of the gut of snail Cornu aspersum

    PubMed Central

    Koleva, Zdravka; Dedov, Ivaylo; Kizheva, Joana; Lipovanska, Roxana; Moncheva, Penka; Hristova, Petya

    2014-01-01

    The intestinal lactic acid microflora of the edible snail Cornu aspersum was studied by culture-based methods and was phenotypically and molecularly characterized. The antibacterial activity of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) isolates was investigated. Snails in different stages of development were collected from farms located in several regions of Bulgaria. One hundred twenty-two isolates, belonging to the group of LAB, were characterized morphologically and were divided into four groups. Representative isolates from each morphological type were subjected to phenotypic characterization and molecular identification. The snail gut lactic acid microflora was composed by Enterococcus (17 isolates), Lactococcus (12 isolates), Leuconostoc (7 isolates), Lactobacillus (18 isolates) and Weissella (1 isolate). The species affiliation of Lactococcus lactis (12), Leuconostoc mesenteroides (4) and Lactobacillus plantarum (2) was confirmed by species-specific primers. The Lactobacillus isolates were identified by sequence analysis of 16S rDNA as Lactobacillus brevis (12), L. plantarum (2), Lactobacillus graminis (1) and Lactobacillus curvatus (3). The species L. brevis, L. graminis and L. curvatus were found in snails in a phase of hibernation, whereas L. plantarum was identified both in active and hibernation phases. Antibacterial activity (bacteriocine-like) was shown only by one strain of L. mesentereoides P4/8 against Propionibacterium acnes. The present study showed that the LAB are a component of the microbial communities in the snail digestive system. This is the first report on Lactobacillus strains detected in the gut of C. aspersum. PMID:26019550

  16. Comets Kick up Dust in Helix Nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    This infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows the Helix nebula, a cosmic starlet often photographed by amateur astronomers for its vivid colors and eerie resemblance to a giant eye.

    The nebula, located about 700 light-years away in the constellation Aquarius, belongs to a class of objects called planetary nebulae. Discovered in the 18th century, these colorful beauties were named for their resemblance to gas-giant planets like Jupiter.

    Planetary nebulae are the remains of stars that once looked a lot like our sun. When sun-like stars die, they puff out their outer gaseous layers. These layers are heated by the hot core of the dead star, called a white dwarf, and shine with infrared and visible colors. Our own sun will blossom into a planetary nebula when it dies in about five billion years.

    In Spitzer's infrared view of the Helix nebula, the eye looks more like that of a green monster's. Infrared light from the outer gaseous layers is represented in blues and greens. The white dwarf is visible as a tiny white dot in the center of the picture. The red color in the middle of the eye denotes the final layers of gas blown out when the star died.

    The brighter red circle in the very center is the glow of a dusty disk circling the white dwarf (the disk itself is too small to be resolved). This dust, discovered by Spitzer's infrared heat-seeking vision, was most likely kicked up by comets that survived the death of their star. Before the star died, its comets and possibly planets would have orbited the star in an orderly fashion. But when the star blew off its outer layers, the icy bodies and outer planets would have been tossed about and into each other, resulting in an ongoing cosmic dust storm. Any inner planets in the system would have burned up or been swallowed as their dying star expanded.

    So far, the Helix nebula is one of only a few dead-star systems in which evidence for comet survivors has been found.

    This image

  17. Loss of Snail2 favors skin tumor progression by promoting the recruitment of myeloid progenitors

    PubMed Central

    Villarejo, Ana; Molina-Ortiz, Patricia; Montenegro, Yenny; Moreno-Bueno, Gema; Morales, Saleta; Santos, Vanesa; Gridley, Tom; Pérez-Moreno, Mirna A.; Peinado, Héctor; Portillo, Francisco; Calés, Carmela; Cano, Amparo

    2015-01-01

    Snail2 is a zinc finger transcription factor involved in driving epithelial to mesenchymal transitions. Snail2 null mice are viable, but display defects in melanogenesis, gametogenesis and hematopoiesis, and are markedly radiosensitive. Here, using mouse genetics, we have studied the contributions of Snail2 to epidermal homeostasis and skin carcinogenesis. Snail2 −/− mice presented a defective epidermal terminal differentiation and, unexpectedly, an increase in number, size and malignancy of tumor lesions when subjected to the two-stage mouse skin chemical carcinogenesis protocol, compared with controls. Additionally, tumor lesions from Snail2 −/− mice presented a high inflammatory component with an elevated percentage of myeloid precursors in tumor lesions that was further increased in the presence of the anti-inflammatory agent dexamethasone. In vitro studies in Snail2 null keratinocytes showed that loss of Snail2 leads to a decrease in proliferation indicating a non-cell autonomous role for Snail2 in the skin carcinogenic response observed in vivo. Bone marrow (BM) cross-reconstitution assays between Snail2 wild-type and null mice showed that Snail2 absence in the hematopoietic system fully reproduces the tumor behavior of the Snail2 null mice and triggers the accumulation of myeloid precursors in the BM, blood and tumor lesions. These results indicate a new role for Snail2 in preventing myeloid precursors recruitment impairing skin chemical carcinogenesis progression. PMID:25784375

  18. The faucet snail (Bithynia tentaculata) invades the St. Louis River Estuary

    EPA Science Inventory

    The European-origin faucet snail (Bithynia tentaculata) now numbers among the aquatic invasive species present in the St. Louis River Estuary. This snail has been in the lower Great Lakes since the early 20th century but is new to the Lake Superior basin. We found faucet snails...

  19. New scope on the relationship between rotifers and Biomphalaria alexandrina snails

    PubMed Central

    Mossallam, Shereen Farouk; Amer, Eglal Ibrahim; Abou-El-Naga, Iman Fathy

    2013-01-01

    Objective To investigate the effect of rotifer internalization into snail tissue on the development of schistosomes. Methods Susceptible laboratory-bred Biomphalaria alexandrina (B. alexandrina) snails were exposed to lab-maintained rotifers; Philodina spp., two weeks before and after being infected with Schistosoma mansoni (S. mansoni) miracidia. The consequent histopathological impact on snail tissues and cercarial biology were investigated before and after emergence from snails. Results Contamination of B. alexandrina snails with philodina, two weeks before miracidial exposure, was found to hinder the preliminary development of S. mansoni cercariae inside the snail tissues. Furthermore, when snails were contaminated with rotifers two weeks post miracidial exposure; growth of already established cercariae was found to be retarded. The consequent influence of internalized rotifers within the snail tissue was clearly reflected on cercarial emergence, activity and infectivity along the four weeks duration of shedding. In the present study, comparison of snail histopathological findings and altered cercarial biology observed between the experimental and control groups indicated that the rotifers may have affected the levels of snail's energy reservoirs, which eventually was found to have had an adverse impact on reproduction, growth and survival of the parasite within the snail host, coupled with its performance outside the snail. Conclusions In future biological control strategies of schistosomiasis, ritifers should be considered as a parasitic scourge of humanity. PMID:23905015

  20. Ecology of bacterial communities in the schistosomiasis vector snailBiomphalaria glabrata.

    PubMed

    Ducklow, H W; Clausen, K; Mitchell, R

    1981-09-01

    The internal colony-forming bacterial flora of the schistosome intermediate host snailBiomphalaria glabrata (Say) has been characterized in ca. 500 individual snails from Puerto Rico, Guadeloupe, and St. Lucia, and from laboratory aquaria. Freshly captured wild snails harbor 2-40×10(6) CFU·g(-1), and healthy aquarium snails harbor 4-16×10(7) CFU·g(-1), whereas moribund individuals have 4-10 times as many bacteria as healthy individuals from the same habitats.Pseudomonas spp. are the most common predominant bacteria in normal snails, whereasAcinetobacter, Aeromonas, andMoraxella spp. predominate in moribund snails. External bacterial populations in water appear to have little effect on the composition and size of the flora in any snail. In addition to normal (healthy) and moribund snails, a third group of snails has been distinguished on the basis of internal bacterial density and predominating genera. These "high-density" snails may have undergone stresses and may harbor opportunistic pathogens. The microfloras of wild and laboratory-reared snails can be altered and stimulated to increase in density by crowding the snails or treating them with antibiotics. PMID:24227500

  1. Loss of Snail2 favors skin tumor progression by promoting the recruitment of myeloid progenitors.

    PubMed

    Villarejo, Ana; Molina-Ortiz, Patricia; Montenegro, Yenny; Moreno-Bueno, Gema; Morales, Saleta; Santos, Vanesa; Gridley, Tom; Pérez-Moreno, Mirna A; Peinado, Héctor; Portillo, Francisco; Calés, Carmela; Cano, Amparo

    2015-05-01

    Snail2 is a zinc finger transcription factor involved in driving epithelial to mesenchymal transitions. Snail2 null mice are viable, but display defects in melanogenesis, gametogenesis and hematopoiesis, and are markedly radiosensitive. Here, using mouse genetics, we have studied the contributions of Snail2 to epidermal homeostasis and skin carcinogenesis. Snail2 (-/-) mice presented a defective epidermal terminal differentiation and, unexpectedly, an increase in number, size and malignancy of tumor lesions when subjected to the two-stage mouse skin chemical carcinogenesis protocol, compared with controls. Additionally, tumor lesions from Snail2 (-/-) mice presented a high inflammatory component with an elevated percentage of myeloid precursors in tumor lesions that was further increased in the presence of the anti-inflammatory agent dexamethasone. In vitro studies in Snail2 null keratinocytes showed that loss of Snail2 leads to a decrease in proliferation indicating a non-cell autonomous role for Snail2 in the skin carcinogenic response observed in vivo. Bone marrow (BM) cross-reconstitution assays between Snail2 wild-type and null mice showed that Snail2 absence in the hematopoietic system fully reproduces the tumor behavior of the Snail2 null mice and triggers the accumulation of myeloid precursors in the BM, blood and tumor lesions. These results indicate a new role for Snail2 in preventing myeloid precursors recruitment impairing skin chemical carcinogenesis progression. PMID:25784375

  2. Government and Governance of Regional Triple Helix Interactions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Danson, Mike; Todeva, Emanuela

    2016-01-01

    This conceptual paper contributes to the discussion of the role of regional government and regional Triple Helix constellations driving economic development and growth within regional boundaries. The impact of regionalism and subsidiarity on regional Triple Helix constellations, and the questions of governmentality, governance and institutional…

  3. Regional Dimensions of the Triple Helix Model: Setting the Context

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Todeva, Emanuela; Danson, Mike

    2016-01-01

    This paper introduces the rationale for the special issue and its contributions, which bridge the literature on regional development and the Triple Helix model. The concept of the Triple Helix at the sub-national, and specifically regional, level is established and examined, with special regard to regional economic development founded on…

  4. Multi-Facial, Non-Peptidic α-Helix Mimetics

    PubMed Central

    Lanning, Maryanna E.; Fletcher, Steven

    2015-01-01

    α-Helices often recognize their target proteins at protein–protein interfaces through more than one recognition face. This review describes the state-of-the-art in the design of non-peptidic α-helix mimetics that reproduce functionality from multiple faces of an α-helix. PMID:26404384

  5. MTA3 regulates CGB5 and Snail genes in trophoblast

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Ying; Miyazaki, Jun; Nishizawa, Haruki; Kurahashi, Hiroki; Leach, Richard; Wang, Kai

    2013-04-19

    Highlights: •Impaired MTA3, raised CGB5 and Snail expression are associated with preeclampsia. •Knock-down of MTA3 causes up-regulation of CGB5 and Snail genes in BeWo cells. •MTA3 occupies CGB5 and Snail gene promoters in BeWo cells. -- Abstract: Secreted by the placental trophoblast, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is an important hormone during pregnancy and is required for the maintenance of pregnancy. Previous studies have shown that dys-regulation of hCG expression is associated with preeclampsia. However, the exact relationship between altered hCG levels and development of preeclampsia is unknown. Metastasis associated protein 3 (MTA3), a chromatin remodeling protein, is abundantly expressed in the placental trophoblasts, but its function is unknown. In breast cancer, MTA3 has been shown to repress the expression of Snail and cell migration. However, whether MTA3 acts similarly in the trophoblast has not been investigated. In the present study, we examined the role of MTA3 in regulating the hCG β-subunit gene (gene name: CGB5) and Snail expression in the trophoblast cell line, BeWo, as well as its relevance to the high hCG expression levels seen in preeclampsia. First, we investigated MTA3 expression in preeclamptic placenta as compared to normal control placenta via gene expression microarray and qRT-PCR and found that MTA3 was significantly down-regulated, whereas both CGB5 and Snail were up-regulated in preeclamptic placenta. Secondly, we knocked down MTA3 gene in trophoblast cell line BeWo and found Snail and hCG were both up-regulated, suggesting that MTA3 represses Snail and hCG gene expression in trophoblasts. Next, we cloned the CGB5 and Snail promoters into the pGL3-basic vector individually and found that silencing of MTA3 by siRNA resulted in an increase of both CGB5 and Snail promoter activities. To confirm that this MTA3 inhibition is a direct effect, we performed a chromatin immune-precipitation (ChIP) assay and found that MTA3

  6. E Proteins and ID Proteins: Helix-Loop-Helix Partners in Development and Disease.

    PubMed

    Wang, Lan-Hsin; Baker, Nicholas E

    2015-11-01

    The basic Helix-Loop-Helix (bHLH) proteins represent a well-known class of transcriptional regulators. Many bHLH proteins act as heterodimers with members of a class of ubiquitous partners, the E proteins. A widely expressed class of inhibitory heterodimer partners-the Inhibitor of DNA-binding (ID) proteins-also exists. Genetic and molecular analyses in humans and in knockout mice implicate E proteins and ID proteins in a wide variety of diseases, belying the notion that they are non-specific partner proteins. Here, we explore relationships of E proteins and ID proteins to a variety of disease processes and highlight gaps in knowledge of disease mechanisms. PMID:26555048

  7. Basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors and epidermal cell fate determination in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Hongtao; Li, Xia; Ma, Ligeng

    2012-01-01

    Cell fate determination is an important process in multicellular organisms. Plant epidermis is a readily-accessible, well-used model for the study of cell fate determination. Our knowledge of cell fate determination is growing steadily due to genetic and molecular analyses of root hairs, trichomes, and stomata, which are derived from the epidermal cells of roots and aerial tissues. Studies have shown that a large number of factors are involved in the establishment of these cell types, especially members of the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) superfamily, which is an important family of transcription factors. In this mini-review, we focus on the role of bHLH transcription factors in cell fate determination in Arabidopsis. PMID:23073001

  8. Helix-coiled gold nanowires for molecular sensing.

    PubMed

    Chae, Weon-Sik; Kim, Eun-Mee; Yu, Hyunung; Jeon, Seokwoo; Jung, Jin-Seung

    2012-04-01

    Helix-coiled gold nanowires were fabricated by a templating route using unique composite templates consisting of anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) nanotubular membrane and confined mesoporous silica therein. A different degree of confinement energy induces a different degree of helix curvature of confined porous silica nanochannels in an AAO, which works as a hard template for the electrochemical deposition of gold, thereby rationally enabling a different degree of helix curvature of gold nano-replicas. From surface-enhanced Raman scattering experiments, we first found that helix-coiled gold nanowires show more distinctly enhanced molecule sensing efficiency than those from simple smooth gold nanowires, and gold nanowires with the narrower lateral width show more enhanced molecule sensing efficiency than those of thicker width helix nanowires. PMID:22849155

  9. NMR-based approach to measure the free energy of transmembrane helix-helix interactions.

    PubMed

    Mineev, Konstantin S; Lesovoy, Dmitry M; Usmanova, Dinara R; Goncharuk, Sergey A; Shulepko, Mikhail A; Lyukmanova, Ekaterina N; Kirpichnikov, Mikhail P; Bocharov, Eduard V; Arseniev, Alexander S

    2014-01-01

    Knowledge of the energetic parameters of transmembrane helix-helix interactions is necessary for the establishment of a structure-energy relationship for α-helical membrane domains. A number of techniques have been developed to measure the free energies of dimerization and oligomerization of transmembrane α-helices, and all of these have their advantages and drawbacks. In this study we propose a methodology to determine the magnitudes of the free energy of interactions between transmembrane helices in detergent micelles. The suggested approach employs solution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to determine the population of the oligomeric states of the transmembrane domains and introduces a new formalism to describe the oligomerization equilibrium, which is based on the assumption that both the dimerization of the transmembrane domains and the dissociation of the dimer can occur only upon the collision of detergent micelles. The technique has three major advantages compared with other existing approaches: it may be used to analyze both weak and relatively strong dimerization/oligomerization processes, it works well for the analysis of complex equilibria, e.g. when monomer, dimer and high-order oligomer populations are simultaneously present in the solution, and it can simultaneously yield both structural and energetic characteristics of the helix-helix interaction under study. The proposed methodology was applied to investigate the oligomerization process of transmembrane domains of fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) and vascular endothelium growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2), and allowed the measurement of the free energy of dimerization of both of these objects. In addition the proposed method was able to describe the multi-state oligomerization process of the VEGFR2 transmembrane domain. PMID:24036227

  10. Movements of florida apple snails in relation to water levels and drying events

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Darby, P.C.; Bennetts, R.E.; Miller, S.J.; Percival, H.F.

    2002-01-01

    Florida apple snails (Pomacea Paludosa) apparently have only a limited tolerance to wetland drying events (although little direct evidence exists), but their populations routinely face dry downs under natural and managed water regimes. In this paper, we address speculation that apple snails respond to decreasing water levels and potential drying events by moving toward refugia that remain inundated. We monitored the movements of apple snails in central Florida, USA during drying events at the Blue Cypress Marsh (BC) and at Lake Kissimmee (LK). We monitored the weekly movements of 47 BC snails and 31 LK snails using radio-telemetry. Snails tended to stop moving when water depths were 10 cm. Snails moved along the greatest positive depth gradient (i.e., towards deeper water) when they encountered water depths between 10 and 20 cm. Snails tended to move toward shallower water in water depths ???50 cm, suggesting that snails were avoiding deep water areas such as canals and sloughs. Of the 11 BC snails originally located in the area that eventually went dry, three (27%) were found in deep water refugia by the end of the study. Only one of the 31 LK snails escaped the drying event by moving to deeper water. Our results indicate that some snails may opportunistically escape drying events through movement. The tendency to move toward deeper water was statistically significant and indicates that this behavioral trait might enhance survival when the spatial extent of a dry down is limited. However, as water level falls below 10 cm, snails stop moving and become stranded. As the spatial extent of a dry down increases, we predict that the number of snails stranded would increase proportionally. Stranded Pomacea paludosa must contend with dry marsh conditions, possibly by aestivation. Little more than anecdotal information has been published on P. paludosa aestivation, but it is a common adaptation among other apple snails (Caenogastropoda: Ampullaridae). ?? 2002, The Society

  11. The accessory helix of complexin functions by stabilizing central helix secondary structure

    PubMed Central

    Radoff, Daniel T; Dong, Yongming; Snead, David; Bai, Jihong; Eliezer, David; Dittman, Jeremy S

    2014-01-01

    The presynaptic protein complexin (CPX) is a critical regulator of synaptic vesicle fusion, but the mechanisms underlying its regulatory effects are not well understood. Its highly conserved central helix (CH) directly binds the ternary SNARE complex and is required for all known CPX functions. The adjacent accessory helix (AH) is not conserved despite also playing an important role in CPX function, and numerous models for its mechanism have been proposed. We examined the impact of AH mutations and chimeras on CPX function in vivo and in vitro using C. elegans. The mouse AH fully restored function when substituted into worm CPX suggesting its mechanism is evolutionarily conserved. CPX inhibitory function was impaired when helix propagation into the CH was disrupted whereas replacing the AH with a non-native helical sequence restored CPX function. We propose that the AH operates by stabilizing CH secondary structure rather than through protein or lipid interactions. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04553.001 PMID:25383924

  12. Folding and unfolding of helix-turn-helix motifs in the gas phase.

    PubMed

    Zilch, Lloyd W; Kaleta, David T; Kohtani, Motoya; Krishnan, Ranjani; Jarrold, Martin F

    2007-07-01

    Ion mobility measurements and molecular dynamic simulations have been performed for a series of peptides designed to have helix-turn-helix motifs. For peptides with two helical sections linked by a short loop region: AcA(14)KG(3)A(14)K+2H(+), AcA(14)KG(5)A(14)K+2H(+), AcA(14)KG(7)A(14)K+2H(+), and AcA(14)KSar(3)A(14)K+2H(+) (Ac = acetyl, A = alanine, G = glycine, Sar = sarcosine and K = lysine); a coiled-coil geometry with two anti-parallel helices is the lowest energy conformation. The helices uncouple and the coiled-coil unfolds as the temperature is raised. Equilibrium constants determined as a function of temperature yield enthalpy and entropy changes for the unfolding of the coiled-coil. The enthalpy and entropy changes depend on the length and nature of the loop region. For a peptide with three helical sections: protonated AcA(14)KG(3)A(14)KG(3)A(14)K; a coiled-coil bundle with three helices side-by-side is substantially less stable than a geometry with two helices in an antiparallel coiled-coil and the third helix collinear with one of the other two. PMID:17521916

  13. Folding and Unfolding of Helix-Turn-Helix Motifs in the Gas Phase

    PubMed Central

    Zilch, Lloyd W.; Kaleta, David T.; Kohtani, Motoya; Krishnan, Ranjani; Jarrold, Martin F.

    2009-01-01

    Ion mobility measurements and molecular dynamic simulations have been performed for a series of peptides designed to have helix-turn-helix motifs. For peptides with two helical sections linked by a short loop region: AcA14KG3A14K+2H+, AcA14KG5A14K+2H+, AcA14KG7A14K+2H+, and AcA14KSar3A14K+2H+ (Ac = acetyl, A = alanine, G = glycine, Sar = sarcosine and K = lysine); a coiled-coil geometry with two anti-parallel helices is the lowest energy conformation. The helices uncouple and the coiled-coil unfolds as the temperature is raised. Equilibrium constants determined as a function of temperature yield enthalpy and entropy changes for the unfolding of the coiled-coil. The enthalpy and entropy changes depend on the length and nature of the loop region. For a peptide with three helical sections: protonated AcA14KG3A14KG3A14K; a coiled-coil bundle with three helices side-by-side is substantially less stable than a geometry with two helices in an antiparallel coiled-coil and the third helix collinear with one of the other two. PMID:17521916

  14. The Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factor PIF5 Acts on Ethylene Biosynthesis and Phytochrome Signaling by Distinct Mechanisms

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    HYTOCHROME-INTERACTING FACTOR5 (PIF5), a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor, interacts specifically with the photoactivated form of phytochrome B (phyB). Here, we report that dark-grown Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings overexpressing PIF5 (PIF5-OX) exhibit exaggerated apical hooks and short h...

  15. Global assessment of schistosomiasis control over the past century shows targeting the snail intermediate host works best

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sokolow, Susanne H.; Wood, Chelsea L.; Jones, Isabel J.; Swartz, Scott J.; Lopez, Melina; Hsieh, Michael H.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Kuris, Armand M.; Rickards, Chloe; De Leo, Giulio A.

    2016-01-01

    Snail control has been the most effective way to reduce schistosomiasis prevalence. Despite evidence that snail control leads to long-term disease reduction and elimination, most current schistosomiasis control efforts emphasize MDA using praziquantel over snail control. Combining drug-based control programs with affordable snail control seems the best strategy for eliminating schistosomiasis.

  16. Recognition and binding of a helix-loop-helix peptide to carbonic anhydrase occurs via partly folded intermediate structures.

    PubMed

    Lignell, Martin; Becker, Hans-Christian

    2010-02-01

    We have studied the association of a helix-loop-helix peptide scaffold carrying a benzenesulfonamide ligand to carbonic anhydrase using steady-state and time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy. The helix-loop-helix peptide, developed for biosensing applications, is labeled with the fluorescent probe dansyl, which serves as a polarity-sensitive reporter of the binding event. Using maximum entropy analysis of the fluorescence lifetime of dansyl at 1:1 stoichiometry reveals three characteristic fluorescence lifetime groups, interpreted as differently interacting peptide/protein structures. We characterize these peptide/protein complexes as mostly bound but unfolded, bound and partly folded, and strongly bound and folded. Furthermore, analysis of the fluorescence anisotropy decay resulted in three different dansyl rotational correlation times, namely 0.18, 1.2, and 23 ns. Using the amplitudes of these times, we can correlate the lifetime groups with the corresponding fluorescence anisotropy component. The 23-ns rotational correlation time, which appears with the same amplitude as a 17-ns fluorescence lifetime, shows that the dansyl fluorophore follows the rotational diffusion of carbonic anhydrase when it is a part of the folded peptide/protein complex. A partly folded and partly hydrated interfacial structure is manifested in an 8-ns dansyl fluorescence lifetime and a 1.2-ns rotational correlation time. This structure, we believe, is similar to a molten-globule-like interfacial structure, which allows segmental movement and has a higher degree of solvent exposure of dansyl. Indirect excitation of dansyl on the helix-loop-helix peptide through Förster energy transfer from one or several tryptophans in the carbonic anhydrase shows that the helix-loop-helix scaffold binds to a tryptophan-rich domain of the carbonic anhydrase. We conclude that binding of the peptide to carbonic anhydrase involves a transition from a disordered to an ordered structure of the helix-loop-helix

  17. Nuclear ubiquitination by FBXL5 modulates Snail1 DNA binding and stability.

    PubMed

    Viñas-Castells, Rosa; Frías, Álex; Robles-Lanuza, Estefanía; Zhang, Kun; Longmore, Gregory D; García de Herreros, Antonio; Díaz, Víctor M

    2014-01-01

    The zinc finger transcription factor Snail1 regulates epithelial to mesenchymal transition, repressing epithelial markers and activating mesenchymal genes. Snail1 is an extremely labile protein degraded by the cytoplasmic ubiquitin-ligases β-TrCP1/FBXW1 and Ppa/FBXL14. Using a short hairpin RNA screening, we have identified FBXL5 as a novel Snail1 ubiquitin ligase. FBXL5 is located in the nucleus where it interacts with Snail1 promoting its polyubiquitination and affecting Snail1 protein stability and function by impairing DNA binding. Snail1 downregulation by FBXL5 is prevented by Lats2, a protein kinase that phosphorylates Snail1 precluding its nuclear export but not its polyubiquitination. Actually, although polyubiquitination by FBXL5 takes place in the nucleus, Snail1 is degraded in the cytosol. Finally, FBXL5 is highly sensitive to stress conditions and is downregulated by iron depletion and γ-irradiation, explaining Snail1 stabilization in these conditions. These results characterize a novel nuclear ubiquitin ligase controlling Snail1 protein stability and provide the molecular basis for understanding how radiotherapy upregulates the epithelial to mesenchymal transition-inducer Snail1. PMID:24157836

  18. Nuclear ubiquitination by FBXL5 modulates Snail1 DNA binding and stability

    PubMed Central

    Viñas-Castells, Rosa; Frías, Álex; Robles-Lanuza, Estefanía; Zhang, Kun; Longmore, Gregory D.; García de Herreros, Antonio; Díaz, Víctor M.

    2014-01-01

    The zinc finger transcription factor Snail1 regulates epithelial to mesenchymal transition, repressing epithelial markers and activating mesenchymal genes. Snail1 is an extremely labile protein degraded by the cytoplasmic ubiquitin-ligases β-TrCP1/FBXW1 and Ppa/FBXL14. Using a short hairpin RNA screening, we have identified FBXL5 as a novel Snail1 ubiquitin ligase. FBXL5 is located in the nucleus where it interacts with Snail1 promoting its polyubiquitination and affecting Snail1 protein stability and function by impairing DNA binding. Snail1 downregulation by FBXL5 is prevented by Lats2, a protein kinase that phosphorylates Snail1 precluding its nuclear export but not its polyubiquitination. Actually, although polyubiquitination by FBXL5 takes place in the nucleus, Snail1 is degraded in the cytosol. Finally, FBXL5 is highly sensitive to stress conditions and is downregulated by iron depletion and γ-irradiation, explaining Snail1 stabilization in these conditions. These results characterize a novel nuclear ubiquitin ligase controlling Snail1 protein stability and provide the molecular basis for understanding how radiotherapy upregulates the epithelial to mesenchymal transition-inducer Snail1. PMID:24157836

  19. Intraguild predation by shore crabs affects mortality, behavior, growth, and densities of California horn snails

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lorda, J.; Hechinger, R.F.; Cooper, S. D.; Kuris, A. M.; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2016-01-01

    The California horn snail, Cerithideopsis californica, and the shore crabs, Pachygrapsus crassipesand Hemigrapsus oregonensis, compete for epibenthic microalgae, but the crabs also eat snails. Such intraguild predation is common in nature, despite models predicting instability. Using a series of manipulations and field surveys, we examined intraguild predation from several angles, including the effects of stage-dependent predation along with direct consumptive and nonconsumptive predator effects on intraguild prey. In the laboratory, we found that crabs fed on macroalgae, snail eggs, and snails, and the size of consumed snails increased with predator crab size. In field experiments, snails grew less in the presence of crabs partially because snails behaved differently and were buried in the sediment (nonconsumptive effects). Consistent with these results, crab and snail abundances were negatively correlated in three field surveys conducted at three different spatial scales in estuaries of California, Baja California, and Baja California Sur: (1) among 61 sites spanning multiple habitat types in three estuaries, (2) among the habitats of 13 estuaries, and (3) among 34 tidal creek sites in one estuary. These results indicate that shore crabs are intraguild predators on California horn snails that affect snail populations via predation and by influencing snail behavior and performance.

  20. Effects of serotonin on the heartbeat of pond snails in a hunger state

    PubMed Central

    Yamagishi, Miki; Watanabe, Takayuki; Hatakeyama, Dai; Ito, Etsuro

    2015-01-01

    Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine: 5-HT) is a multimodal transmitter that controls both feeding response and heartbeat in snails. However, the effects of 5-HT on the hunger state are still unknown. We therefore examined the relation among the hunger state, the heartbeat rate and the 5-HT action in food-starved snails. We found that the hunger state was significantly distinguished by the heartbeat rate in snails. The heartbeat rate was high in the food-satiated snails, whereas it was low in the food-starved snails. An increase in 5-HT concentration in the body boosted the heartbeat rate in the food-starved snails, but did not affect the rate in the food-satiated snails. These results suggest that 5-HT application may mimic the change from a starvation to a satiation state normally achieved by direct ingestion of food. PMID:27493507

  1. Snail Coordinately Regulates Downstream Pathways to Control Multiple Aspects of Mammalian Neural Precursor Development

    PubMed Central

    Zander, Mark A.; Burns, Sarah E.; Yang, Guang; Kaplan, David R.

    2014-01-01

    The Snail transcription factor plays a key role in regulating diverse developmental processes but is not thought to play a role in mammalian neural precursors. Here, we have examined radial glial precursor cells of the embryonic murine cortex and demonstrate that Snail regulates their survival, self-renewal, and differentiation into intermediate progenitors and neurons via two distinct and separable target pathways. First, Snail promotes cell survival by antagonizing a p53-dependent death pathway because coincident p53 knockdown rescues survival deficits caused by Snail knockdown. Second, we show that the cell cycle phosphatase Cdc25b is regulated by Snail in radial precursors and that Cdc25b coexpression is sufficient to rescue the decreased radial precursor proliferation and differentiation observed upon Snail knockdown. Thus, Snail acts via p53 and Cdc25b to coordinately regulate multiple aspects of mammalian embryonic neural precursor biology. PMID:24719096

  2. An ecological study of Bithynia snails, the first intermediate host of Opisthorchis viverrini in northeast Thailand.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yi-Chen; Ho, Richard Cheng Yong; Feng, Chen-Chieh; Namsanor, Jutamas; Sithithaworn, Paiboon

    2015-01-01

    Infection with the food-borne trematodiasis, liver fluke Opisthorchis viverrini, is a major public health concern in Southeast Asia. While epidemiology and parasitic incidence in humans are well studied, ecological information on the O. viverrini intermediate hosts remains limited. This study aimed to investigate the factors affecting the distribution and abundance of the first intermediate host, Bithynia siamensis goniomphalos snails. Water quality and snails were sampled in 31 sites in Muang District, Khon Kaen Province, Thailand from June 2012 to January 2013 to characterize the B.s. goniomphalos snail habitats. Species relative abundance and Shannon's diversity and evenness indices were employed to describe snail compositions and diversities across different habitat types. Statistical analyses were conducted to examine the extent to which the water quality variables and species interactions account for the relative abundance of B.s. goniomphalos snails. The results showed that the freshwater habitats of ponds, streams and rice paddies possessed significantly different abiotic water qualities, with water temperature and pH showing distinct statistical differences (P<0.05). Different habitats had different snail diversity and species evenness, with high B.s. goniomphalos snail abundance at rice paddy habitats. The differences in snail abundance might be due to the distinct sets of abiotic water qualities associated with each habitat types. The relative abundance of B.s. goniomphalos snails was found to be negatively correlated with that of Filopaludina martensi martensi snails (r=-0.46, P<0.05), underscoring the possible influence of species interaction on B.s. goniomphalos snail population. Field work observations revealed that rice planting seasons and irrigation could regulate snail population dynamics at rice paddy habitats. This study provides new ecological insights into the factors affecting Bithynia snail distribution and abundance. It bridges the

  3. Molecular diversity of avian schistosomes in Danish freshwater snails.

    PubMed

    Christiansen, Anne Ø; Olsen, Annette; Buchmann, Kurt; Kania, Per W; Nejsum, Peter; Vennervald, Birgitte J

    2016-03-01

    Avian schistosomes are widespread parasites of snails and waterfowl and may cause cercarial dermatitis (swimmer's itch) in humans, a disease that is frequently reported in European countries. These parasites are known to occur in Denmark, but here, we applied a new approach using molecular tools to identify the parasites at species level. In order to do that, 499 pulmonate freshwater snails (Radix sp., Lymnaea stagnalis, Stagnicola sp. and Planorbarius corneus) were sampled from 12 lakes, ponds, and marshes in the greater Copenhagen area. Avian schistosome cercariae were identified by microscopy and subjected to molecular investigation by sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of the 5.8S and ITS2 ribosomal DNA for species identification. Additionally, snail hosts belonging to the genus Radix were identified by sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of partial ITS2 ribosomal DNA. Three out of 499 snails shed different species of Trichobilharzia cercariae: Trichobilharzia szidati was isolated from L. stagnalis, Trichobilharzia franki from Radix auricularia and Trichobilharzia regenti from Radix peregra. In the light of the public health risk represented by bird schistosomes, these findings are of concern and, particularly, the presence of the potentially neuro-pathogenic species, T. regenti, in Danish freshwaters calls for attention. PMID:26573519

  4. A snail-eating snake recognizes prey handedness

    PubMed Central

    Danaisawadi, Patchara; Asami, Takahiro; Ota, Hidetoshi; Sutcharit, Chirasak; Panha, Somsak

    2016-01-01

    Specialized predator-prey interactions can be a driving force for their coevolution. Southeast Asian snail-eating snakes (Pareas) have more teeth on the right mandible and specialize in predation on the clockwise-coiled (dextral) majority in shelled snails by soft-body extraction. Snails have countered the snakes’ dextral-predation by recurrent coil reversal, which generates diverse counterclockwise-coiled (sinistral) prey where Pareas snakes live. However, whether the snake predator in turn evolves any response to prey reversal is unknown. We show that Pareas carinatus living with abundant sinistrals avoids approaching or striking at a sinistral that is more difficult and costly to handle than a dextral. Whenever it strikes, however, the snake succeeds in predation by handling dextral and sinistral prey in reverse. In contrast, P. iwasakii with little access to sinistrals on small peripheral islands attempts and frequently misses capturing a given sinistral. Prey-handedness recognition should be advantageous for right-handed snail-eating snakes where frequently encountering sinistrals. Under dextral-predation by Pareas snakes, adaptive fixation of a prey population for a reversal gene instantaneously generates a sinistral species because interchiral mating is rarely possible. The novel warning, instead of sheltering, effect of sinistrality benefitting both predators and prey could further accelerate single-gene ecological speciation by left-right reversal. PMID:27046345

  5. Fossil snail shells tell story about Tibetan Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wendel, JoAnna

    2014-09-01

    Ancient and modern snail shells have given scientists a unique look at the evolution of the Tibetan Plateau, confirming that parts of the plateau have actually lost elevation over time, despite its immense height. A new paper detailing the research was published on 29 August in the Geological Society of America Bulletin (doi:10.1130/B31000.1).

  6. A snail-eating snake recognizes prey handedness.

    PubMed

    Danaisawadi, Patchara; Asami, Takahiro; Ota, Hidetoshi; Sutcharit, Chirasak; Panha, Somsak

    2016-01-01

    Specialized predator-prey interactions can be a driving force for their coevolution. Southeast Asian snail-eating snakes (Pareas) have more teeth on the right mandible and specialize in predation on the clockwise-coiled (dextral) majority in shelled snails by soft-body extraction. Snails have countered the snakes' dextral-predation by recurrent coil reversal, which generates diverse counterclockwise-coiled (sinistral) prey where Pareas snakes live. However, whether the snake predator in turn evolves any response to prey reversal is unknown. We show that Pareas carinatus living with abundant sinistrals avoids approaching or striking at a sinistral that is more difficult and costly to handle than a dextral. Whenever it strikes, however, the snake succeeds in predation by handling dextral and sinistral prey in reverse. In contrast, P. iwasakii with little access to sinistrals on small peripheral islands attempts and frequently misses capturing a given sinistral. Prey-handedness recognition should be advantageous for right-handed snail-eating snakes where frequently encountering sinistrals. Under dextral-predation by Pareas snakes, adaptive fixation of a prey population for a reversal gene instantaneously generates a sinistral species because interchiral mating is rarely possible. The novel warning, instead of sheltering, effect of sinistrality benefitting both predators and prey could further accelerate single-gene ecological speciation by left-right reversal. PMID:27046345

  7. Environmental adaptations of the African snail Limicolaria festiva Martens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El Rayah, El Amin; Constantinou, C.; Cloudsley-Thompson, J. L.

    1984-12-01

    L. festiva is able to exist in the hot, arid, Sahel savanna regions of Africa in consequence of its nocturnal circadian rhythm of locomotory activity, and its low rate of water loss during periods of inactivity when an epiphragm has been secreted and while the snail is aestivating.

  8. The maintenance of hybrids by parasitism in a freshwater snail.

    PubMed

    Guttel, Yonathan; Ben-Ami, Frida

    2014-11-01

    Hybrids have often been labelled evolutionary dead-ends due to their lower fertility and viability. However, there is growing awareness that hybridisation between different species may play a constructive role in animal evolution as a means to create variability. Thus, hybridisation and introgression may contribute to adaptive evolution, for example with regards to natural antagonists (parasites, predators, competitors) and adaptation to local environmental conditions. Here we investigated whether parasite intensity contributes to the continuous recreation of hybrids in 74 natural populations of Melanopsis, a complex of freshwater snails with three species. We also examined, under laboratory conditions, whether hybrids and their parental taxa differ in their tolerance of low and high temperatures and salinity levels. Infections were consistently less prevalent in males than in females, and lower in snails from deeper habitats. Infection prevalence in hybrids was significantly lower than in the parental taxa. Low hybrid infection rates could not be explained by sediment type, snail density or geographic distribution of the sampling sites. Interestingly, infected hybrid snails did not show signs of parasite-induced gigantism, whereas all parental taxa did. We found that hybrids mostly coped with extreme temperatures and salinity levels as well as their parental taxa did. Taken together, our results suggest that Melanopsis hybrids perform better in the presence of parasites and environmental stress. This may explain the widespread and long-term occurrence of Melanopsis hybrids as evidenced by paleontological and biogeographic data. Hybridisation may be an adaptive host strategy, reducing infection rates and resisting gigantism. PMID:25173837

  9. Direct folding simulation of a long helix in explicit water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Ya; Lu, Xiaoliang; Duan, Lili; Zhang, Dawei; Mei, Ye; Zhang, John Z. H.

    2013-05-01

    A recently proposed Polarizable Hydrogen Bond (PHB) method has been employed to simulate the folding of a 53 amino acid helix (PDB ID 2KHK) in explicit water. Under PHB simulation, starting from a fully extended structure, the peptide folds into the native state as confirmed by measured time evolutions of radius of gyration, root mean square deviation (RMSD), and native hydrogen bond. Free energy and cluster analysis show that the folded helix is thermally stable under the PHB model. Comparison of simulation results under, respectively, PHB and standard nonpolarizable force field demonstrates that polarization is critical for stable folding of this long α-helix.

  10. Effect of opening helix on flying wire emittance measurements

    SciTech Connect

    Pruss, Stan; /Fermilab

    1996-04-01

    It has been noted for some time that after the protons are injected, when the helix is opened the proton normalized vertical emittance (as measured by the flying wires) increases by about two {pi} mm-mr. The horizontal emittance decreases by about the same amount. This has been recognized as a false result, but there has been uncertainty as to whether it was due to the flying wires not measuring the beam sigma correctly when the beam center moved at the wires or whether the effective beta at the wires changed when the helix was opened and the orbit changed all around the machine. This study attempts to answer that question. The study took place Sunday, Feb. 25, 1996, from 18:30 to 22:30. The study consisted of injecting P1, P2 and P3 as normal, coalesced bunches and P4 and P5 as uncoalesced bunch trains of nominally 11 bunches. The purpose in using more than a single bunch was to increase statistical sampling and to investigate whether there was any significant difference between coalesced and uncoalesced bunches. Because the injection kicker had a long flat-top for 36 bunch studies, P6 could not be injected and when P5 was injected, P1 emittance increased by about two {pi} mm-mr. The flying wires were flown several times, the helix was turned on, the wires flown several times, the helix turned off, and the wires flown several times. The helix cycling was performed by knobbing the power supplies to avoid any possible emittance dilution from a non-adiabatic change. note that during the helix off state during helix cycling, one of the power supplies for the horizontal separators was inadvertently not turned down to zero, leaving the horizontal part of the helix at {approx} 16% of normal. After three cycles of helix on-off, a local horizontal three bump was made to duplicate the horizontal orbit change at the E11 wires and the wires were flown several times. The local bump was removed and the wires flown several times. Finally, the protons were put onto the pbar helix

  11. Metallothionein of the terrestrial mollusc Helix pomatia as a possible biomarker for environmental stressors

    SciTech Connect

    Berger, B.; Dallinger, R.; Moore, C.

    1995-12-31

    Metallothioneins (MTs) are metal-binding proteins believed to function in homeostasis and detoxification of metals. MT synthesis is induced by various metals and chemical and physical stressors. MTs can therefore be considered as part of the cellular stress response. To test the effects of stressors on MT levels in the Roman snail (Helix pomatia) the authors exposed 8 individuals each to cadmium, copper, low temperature and X-ray radiation. MT concentrations were measured by a Thiomolybdate-Cd-Chelex assay in midgut gland and mantle tissues. This method allows to determine both the Cu-containing and the Cd,Zn-containing MT pool. The basal levels of MT in midgut gland and mantle of controls were about 2 mg MT g{sup {minus}1} fresh weight. In both organs about 80% of MT belongs to the Cu-MT pool indicating their importance for the metabolism of essential metals in non-stressed snails. As expected, changes of MT concentrations were most pronounced after cadmium exposure, MT levels in midgut glands rising to 4.2 mg MT g{sup {minus}1} f.w. and the proportion of Cd,Zn-MT increasing from 20% (controls) to 55%. This is an indication for the switching of MT function from the homeostatic control of metals towards their detoxification, Cadmium exposure as well as most of the other stressors did not affect MT concentrations in the mantle. MT levels in this organ decreased due to X-ray radiation, showing the ability of MT to function as a radical scavenger. There exists a complex pattern of increase and decrease of MT concentrations depending on the kind of stressor and the type of organ. By means of statistical methods it was possible to distinguish between the control and stressed MT status of the tissue. Moreover, the results prove that MTs should be measured in metabolically different organs and that different MT pools (Cu-MT, Cd,Zn-MT) should be considered, if these proteins are used as biomarkers for environmental stress.

  12. A supramolecular helix that disregards chirality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roche, Cécile; Sun, Hao-Jan; Leowanawat, Pawaret; Araoka, Fumito; Partridge, Benjamin E.; Peterca, Mihai; Wilson, Daniela A.; Prendergast, Margaret E.; Heiney, Paul A.; Graf, Robert; Spiess, Hans W.; Zeng, Xiangbing; Ungar, Goran; Percec, Virgil

    2016-01-01

    The functions of complex crystalline systems derived from supramolecular biological and non-biological assemblies typically emerge from homochiral programmed primary structures via first principles involving secondary, tertiary and quaternary structures. In contrast, heterochiral and racemic compounds yield disordered crystals, amorphous solids or liquids. Here, we report the self-assembly of perylene bisimide derivatives in a supramolecular helix that in turn self-organizes in columnar hexagonal crystalline domains regardless of the enantiomeric purity of the perylene bisimide. We show that both homochiral and racemic perylene bisimide compounds, including a mixture of 21 diastereomers that cannot be deracemized at the molecular level, self-organize to form single-handed helical assemblies with identical single-crystal-like order. We propose that this high crystalline order is generated via a cogwheel mechanism that disregards the chirality of the self-assembling building blocks. We anticipate that this mechanism will facilitate access to previously inaccessible complex crystalline systems from racemic and homochiral building blocks.

  13. A supramolecular helix that disregards chirality.

    PubMed

    Roche, Cécile; Sun, Hao-Jan; Leowanawat, Pawaret; Araoka, Fumito; Partridge, Benjamin E; Peterca, Mihai; Wilson, Daniela A; Prendergast, Margaret E; Heiney, Paul A; Graf, Robert; Spiess, Hans W; Zeng, Xiangbing; Ungar, Goran; Percec, Virgil

    2016-01-01

    The functions of complex crystalline systems derived from supramolecular biological and non-biological assemblies typically emerge from homochiral programmed primary structures via first principles involving secondary, tertiary and quaternary structures. In contrast, heterochiral and racemic compounds yield disordered crystals, amorphous solids or liquids. Here, we report the self-assembly of perylene bisimide derivatives in a supramolecular helix that in turn self-organizes in columnar hexagonal crystalline domains regardless of the enantiomeric purity of the perylene bisimide. We show that both homochiral and racemic perylene bisimide compounds, including a mixture of 21 diastereomers that cannot be deracemized at the molecular level, self-organize to form single-handed helical assemblies with identical single-crystal-like order. We propose that this high crystalline order is generated via a cogwheel mechanism that disregards the chirality of the self-assembling building blocks. We anticipate that this mechanism will facilitate access to previously inaccessible complex crystalline systems from racemic and homochiral building blocks. PMID:26673268

  14. Effects of radiation on DNA's double helix

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    The blueprint of life, DNA's double helix is found in the cells of everything from bacteria to astronauts. Exposure to radiation(depicted at right) such as X-rays (upper) or heavy ion particles (lower), can damage DNA and cause dire consequences both to the organism itself and to future generations. One of NASA's main goals is to develop better radiation shielding materials to protect astronauts from destructive radiation in space. This is particularly important for long space missions. NASA has selected researchers to study materials that provide better shielding. This research is managed by NASA's Office of Biological and Physical Research and is supported by the Microgravity Science and Applications Department at NASA's Marshall Center. During International Space Station Expedition Six, the Extravehicular Activity Radiation Monitoring (EVARM) will continue to measure radiation dosage encountered by the eyes, internal organs and skin during specific spacewalks, and relate it to the type of activity, location and other factors. An analysis of this information may be useful in mitigating potential exposure to space walkers in the future. (Illustration by Dr. Frank Cucinotta, NASA/Johnson Space Center, and Prem Saganti, Lockheed Martin)

  15. The effect of alpha-latrotoxin on a synaptic connection between identified neurons in the brain of the mollusc Helix pomatia L.

    PubMed

    Osipenko, O N; Romanenko, A V; Petrushenko, E A; Terlezkaya YaT

    1993-09-01

    The effect of alpha-latrotoxin on identified monosynaptic peptidergic contacts between identified neurons from the brain of the snail Helix pomatia L. was studied. It was found that, after extracellular application, toxin evoked an increase in the amplitude of the postsynaptic response. Neither amplitude nor duration of the action potential in a presynaptic neuron was affected. Intracellular injection of toxin into the soma of a presynaptic neuron led to a decrease in the postsynaptic current amplitude. The current induced by intracellular injection of cAMP into a postsynaptic neuron was also inhibited by extracellular or intracellular application of toxin. These data indicate that toxin evokes both an increase of transmitter release from a presynaptic neuron and a decrease in amplitude of the postsynaptic response. PMID:7505489

  16. Pseudosuccinea columella: age resistance to Calicophoron daubneyi infection in two snail populations

    PubMed Central

    Dar, Yasser; Rondelaud, Daniel; Vignoles, Philippe; Dreyfuss, Gilles

    2015-01-01

    Individual infections of Egyptian and French Pseudosuccinea columella with five miracidia of Calicophoron daubneyi were carried out to determine whether this lymnaeid was capable of sustaining larval development of this parasite. On day 42 post-exposure (at 23 °C), infected snails were only noted in groups of individuals measuring 1 or 2 mm in height at miracidial exposure. Snail survival in the 2-mm groups was significantly higher than that noted in the 1-mm snails, whatever the geographic origin of snail population. In contrast, prevalence of C. daubneyi infection was significantly greater in the 1-mm groups (15–20% versus 3.4–4.0% in the 2-mm snails). Low values were noted for the mean shell growth of infected snails at their death (3.1–4.0 mm) and the mean number of cercariae (<9 in the 1-mm groups, <19 in the 2-mm snails). No significant differences between snail populations and snails groups were noted for these last two parameters. Most infected snails died after a single cercarial shedding wave. Both populations of P. columella showed an age resistance to C. daubneyi infection and only juveniles measuring 2 mm or less in shell height at exposure can ensure larval development of this digenean up to cercarial shedding. PMID:25664810

  17. Snail and serpinA1 promote tumor progression and predict prognosis in colorectal cancer

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Jin Hwa; Lee, Ja Rang; Kim, Hye Kyung; Jo, Hong-jae; Kim, Hyun Sung; Oh, Nahmgun; Song, Geun Am; Park, Do Youn

    2015-01-01

    The role of Snail and serpin peptidase inhibitor clade A member 1 (serpinA1) in tumorigenesis has been previously identified. However, the exact role and mechanism of these proteins in progression of colorectal cancer (CRC) are controversial. In this study, we investigated the role of Snail and serpinA1 in colorectal cancer (CRC) and examined the mechanisms through which these proteins mediate CRC progression. Immunohistochemical analysis of 528 samples from patients with CRC showed that elevated expression of Snail or serpinA1 was correlated with advanced stage, lymph node metastasis, and poor prognosis. Moreover, we detected a correlation between Snail and serpinA1 expression. Functional studies performed using the CRC cell lines DLD-1 and SW-480 showed that overexpression of Snail or serpinA1 significantly increased CRC cell invasion and migration. Conversely, knockdown of Snail or serpinA1 expression suppressed CRC cell invasion and migration. ChIP analysis revealed that Snail regulated serpinA1 by binding to its promoter. In addition, fibronectin mediated Snail and serpinA1 signaling was involved in CRC cell invasion and migration. Taken together, our data showed that Snail and serpinA1 promoted CRC progression through fibronectin. These findings suggested that Snail and serpinA1 were novel prognostic biomarkers and candidate therapeutic targets in CRC. PMID:26015410

  18. Trematode communities in snails can indicate impact and recovery from hurricanes in a tropical coastal lagoon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Aguirre-Macedo, Maria Leopoldina; Vidal-Martinez, Victor M.; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2011-01-01

    In September 2002, Hurricane Isidore devastated the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. To understand its effects on the parasites of aquatic organisms, we analyzed long-term monthly population data of the horn snail Cerithidea pliculosa and its trematode communities in Celestún, Yucatán, Mexico before and after the hurricane (February 2001 to December 2009). Five trematode species occurred in the snail population: Mesostephanus appendiculatoides, Euhaplorchis californiensis, two species of the genus Renicola and one Heterophyidae gen. sp. Because these parasites use snails as first intermediate hosts, fishes as second intermediate hosts and birds as final hosts, their presence in snails depends on food webs. No snails were present at the sampled sites for 6 months after the hurricane. After snails recolonised the site, no trematodes were found in snails until 14 months after the hurricane. It took several years for snail and trematode populations to recover. Our results suggest that the increase in the occurrence of hurricanes predicted due to climate change can impact upon parasites with complex life cycles. However, both the snail populations and their parasite communities eventually reached numbers of individuals and species similar to those before the hurricane. Thus, the trematode parasites of snails can be useful indicators of coastal lagoon ecosystem degradation and recovery.

  19. Transient SNAIL1 Expression is Necessary for Metastatic Competence in Breast Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Tran, Hung D.; Luitel, Krishna; Kim, Michael; Zhang, Kun; Longmore, Gregory D.; Tran, David D.

    2016-01-01

    SNAIL1 has been suggested to regulate breast cancer metastasis based on analyses of human breast tumor transcriptomes and experiments using cancer cell lines and xenografts. However, in vivo genetic experimental support for a role for SNAIL1 in breast cancer metastasis that develops in an immunocompetent tumor microenvironment has not been determined. To address this question, we created a genetic SNAIL1 model by coupling an endogenous SNAIL1 reporter with an inducible SNAIL1 transgene. Using multiple genetic models of breast cancer, we demonstrated that endogenous SNAIL1 expression was restricted to primary tumors that ultimately disseminate. SNAIL1 gene deletion either during the premalignant phase or after primary tumors have reached a palpable size blunted metastasis, indicating that late metastasis was the main driver of metastasis and that this was dependent on SNAIL1. Importantly, SNAIL1 expression during breast cancer metastasis was transient and forced transient, but not continuous, SNAIL1 expression in breast tumors was sufficient to increase metastasis. PMID:25164016

  20. Snail controls proliferation of Drosophila ovarian epithelial follicle stem cells, independently of E-cadherin.

    PubMed

    Tseng, Chen-Yuan; Kao, Shih-Han; Hsu, Hwei-Jan

    2016-06-15

    Epithelial stem cells undergo constant self-renewal and differentiation to maintain the homeostasis of epithelial tissues that undergo rapid turnover. Recent studies have shown that the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), which is primarily mediated by Snail via the suppression of E-cadherin, is able to generate cells with stem cell properties. However, the role of Snail in epithelial stem cells remains unclear. Here, we report that Snail directly controls proliferation of follicle stem cells (FSCs) in Drosophila females. Disruption of Snail expression in FSCs compromises their proliferation, but not their maintenance. Conversely, FSCs with excessive Snail expression display increased proliferation and lifespan, which is accompanied by a moderate decrease in the expression of E-cadherin (required for adhesion of FSCs to their niche) at the junction between their adjacent cells, indicating a conserved role of Snail in E-cadherin inhibition, which promote epithelial cell proliferation. Interestingly, a decrease in E-cadherin in snail-knock down FSCs does not restore the decreased proliferation of snail-knock down FSCs, suggesting that adhesion strength of FSCs to their niche is dispensable for Snail-mediated FSC division. Our results demonstrate that Snail controls epithelial stem cell division independently of its known role in the EMT, which contributes to induction of cancer stem cells. PMID:27141871

  1. Snail1 transcriptional repressor binds to its own promoter and controls its expression

    PubMed Central

    Peiró, Sandra; Escrivà, Maria; Puig, Isabel; Barberà, Maria José; Dave, Natàlia; Herranz, Nicolás; Larriba, Maria Jesús; Takkunen, Minna; Francí, Clara; Muñoz, Alberto; Virtanen, Ismo; Baulida, Josep; de Herreros, Antonio García

    2006-01-01

    The product of Snail1 gene is a transcriptional repressor of E-cadherin expression and an inductor of the epithelial–mesenchymal transition in several epithelial tumour cell lines. Transcription of Snail1 is induced when epithelial cells are forced to acquire a mesenchymal phenotype. In this work we demonstrate that Snail1 protein limits its own expression: Snail1 binds to an E-box present in its promoter (at −146 with respect to the transcription start) and represses its activity. Therefore, mutation of the E-box increases Snail1 transcription in epithelial and mesenchymal cells. Evidence of binding of ectopic or endogenous Snail1 to its own promoter was obtained by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) experiments. Studies performed expressing different forms of Snail1 under the control of its own promoter demonstrate that disruption of the regulatory loop increases the cellular levels of Snail protein. These results indicate that expression of Snail1 gene can be regulated by its product and evidence the existence of a fine-tuning feed-back mechanism of regulation of Snail1 transcription. PMID:16617148

  2. Analysis of Zn, Cd, As, Cu, Pb, and Fe in snails as bioindicators and soil samples near traffic road by ICP-OES.

    PubMed

    Massadeh, Adnan M; Alomary, Ahmed A; Mir, Sayeeda; Momani, Fouad A; Haddad, Hazem I; Hadad, Yazen A

    2016-07-01

    Snails are used as biological indicators of the environment pollution for heavy metals. Living snail samples were collected from different sites at the city of Irbid-Jordan and classified according to their morphological features including Helix pelasga, Eobania vermiculata, Xeropicta derbentina, Oychilus, Xerocrassa seetzenii, Xerocrassa simulata, and Pila. Zn, Cd, As, Cu, Pb, and Fe levels were measured by inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy. Results indicated that metal concentrations in all snail shell samples were with an average and range for Zn 22.4 (6.5-105.5) μg g(-1), Cd 7.8 (0.4-48.1) μg g(-1), As 25.9 (0.7-248.5) μg g(-1), Cu 15.1 (1.6-69.0) μg g(-1), Pb 0.4 (0.2-1.7) μg g(-1), and Fe 119.6 (14.0-1102.0) μg g(-1), whereas, in soil samples, the average and range for Zn 204.0 (12.0-709.0) μg g(-1), Cd 5.7 (0.2-39.5) μg g(-1), As 3.2 (1.8-5.2) μg g(-1), Cu 22.1 (2.3-77.4) μg g(-1), Pb 0.2 (0.1-0.3) μg g(-1), and Fe 242.4 (25.0-680.0) μg g(-1). PMID:27026544

  3. Misplaced helix slows down ultrafast pressure-jump protein folding.

    PubMed

    Prigozhin, Maxim B; Liu, Yanxin; Wirth, Anna Jean; Kapoor, Shobhna; Winter, Roland; Schulten, Klaus; Gruebele, Martin

    2013-05-14

    Using a newly developed microsecond pressure-jump apparatus, we monitor the refolding kinetics of the helix-stabilized five-helix bundle protein λ*YA, the Y22W/Q33Y/G46,48A mutant of λ-repressor fragment 6-85, from 3 μs to 5 ms after a 1,200-bar P-drop. In addition to a microsecond phase, we observe a slower 1.4-ms phase during refolding to the native state. Unlike temperature denaturation, pressure denaturation produces a highly reversible helix-coil-rich state. This difference highlights the importance of the denatured initial condition in folding experiments and leads us to assign a compact nonnative helical trap as the reason for slower P-jump-induced refolding. To complement the experiments, we performed over 50 μs of all-atom molecular dynamics P-drop refolding simulations with four different force fields. Two of the force fields yield compact nonnative states with misplaced α-helix content within a few microseconds of the P-drop. Our overall conclusion from experiment and simulation is that the pressure-denatured state of λ*YA contains mainly residual helix and little β-sheet; following a fast P-drop, at least some λ*YA forms misplaced helical structure within microseconds. We hypothesize that nonnative helix at helix-turn interfaces traps the protein in compact nonnative conformations. These traps delay the folding of at least some of the population for 1.4 ms en route to the native state. Based on molecular dynamics, we predict specific mutations at the helix-turn interfaces that should speed up refolding from the pressure-denatured state, if this hypothesis is correct. PMID:23620522

  4. Overexpression of Snail in retinal pigment epithelial triggered epithelial–mesenchymal transition

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Hui; Li, Min; Xu, Ding; Zhao, Chun; Liu, Guodong; Wang, Fang

    2014-03-28

    Highlights: • First reported overexpression of Snail in RPE cells could directly trigger EMT. • Further confirmed the regulator role of Snail in RPE cells EMT in vitro. • Snail may be a potential therapeutic target to prevent the fibrosis of PVR. - Abstract: Snail transcription factor has been implicated as an important regulator in epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) during tumourigenesis and fibrogenesis. Our previous work showed that Snail transcription factor was activated in transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) induced EMT in retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells and may contribute to the development of retinal fibrotic disease such as proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR). However, whether Snail alone has a direct role on retinal pigment epithelial–mesenchymal transition has not been investigated. Here, we analyzed the capacity of Snail to drive EMT in human RPE cells. A vector encoding Snail gene or an empty vector were transfected into human RPE cell lines ARPE-19 respectively. Snail overexpression in ARPE-19 cells resulted in EMT, which was characterized by the expected phenotypic transition from a typical epithelial morphology to mesenchymal spindle-shaped. The expression of epithelial markers E-cadherin and Zona occludin-1 (ZO-1) were down-regulated, whereas mesenchymal markers a-smooth muscle actin (a-SMA) and fibronectin were up-regulated in Snail expression vector transfected cells. In addition, ectopic expression of Snail significantly enhanced ARPE-19 cell motility and migration. The present data suggest that overexpression of Snail in ARPE-19 cells could directly trigger EMT. These results may provide novel insight into understanding the regulator role of Snail in the development of retinal pigment epithelial–mesenchymal transition.

  5. Translocation of α-helix chains through a nanopore

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Zhiyong; Li, Shiben; Zhang, Linxi; ur Rehman, Ateeq; Liang, Haojun

    2010-10-01

    The translocation of α-helix chains through a nanopore is studied through Langevin dynamics simulations. The α-helix chains exhibit several different characteristics about their average translocation times and the α-helix structures when they transport through the nanopores under the driving forces. First, the relationship between average translocation times τ and the chain length N satisfies the scaling law, τ ˜Nα, and the scaling exponent α depends on the driving force f for the small forces while it is close to the Flory exponent (ν) in the other force regions. For the chains with given chain lengths, it is observed that the dependence of the average translocation times can be expressed as τ ˜f-1/2 for the small forces while can be described as τ ˜f in the large force regions. Second, for the large driving force, the average number of α-helix structures Nh decreases first and then increases in the translocation process. The average waiting time of each bead, especially of the first bead, is also dependent on the driving forces. Furthermore, an elasticity spring model is presented to reasonably explain the change of the α-helix number during the translocation and its elasticity can be locally damaged by the large driving forces. Our results demonstrate the unique behaviors of α-helix chains transporting through the pores, which can enrich our insights into and knowledge on biopolymers transporting through membranes.

  6. A directional nucleation-zipping mechanism for triple helix formation

    PubMed Central

    Alberti, Patrizia; Arimondo, Paola B.; Mergny, Jean-Louis; Garestier, Thérèse; Hélène, Claude; Sun, Jian-Sheng

    2002-01-01

    A detailed kinetic study of triple helix formation was performed by surface plasmon resonance. Three systems were investigated involving 15mer pyrimidine oligonucleotides as third strands. Rate constants and activation energies were validated by comparison with thermodynamic values calculated from UV-melting analysis. Replacement of a T·A base pair by a C·G pair at either the 5′ or the 3′ end of the target sequence allowed us to assess mismatch effects and to delineate the mechanism of triple helix formation. Our data show that the association rate constant is governed by the sequence of base triplets on the 5′ side of the triplex (referred to as the 5′ side of the target oligopurine strand) and provides evidence that the reaction pathway for triple helix formation in the pyrimidine motif proceeds from the 5′ end to the 3′ end of the triplex according to the nucleation-zipping model. It seems that this is a general feature for all triple helices formation, probably due to the right-handedness of the DNA double helix that provides a stronger base stacking at the 5′ than at the 3′ duplex–triplex junction. Understanding the mechanism of triple helix formation is not only of fundamental interest, but may also help in designing better triple helix-forming oligonucleotides for gene targeting and control of gene expression. PMID:12490709

  7. Impact of the age of Biomphalaria alexandrina snails on Schistosoma mansoni transmission: modulation of the genetic outcome and the internal defence system of the snail

    PubMed Central

    Abou-El-Naga, Iman Fathy; Sadaka, Hayam Abd El-Monem; Amer, Eglal Ibrahim; Diab, Iman Hassan; Khedr, Safaa Ibrahim Abd El-Halim

    2015-01-01

    Of the approximately 34 identified Biomphalaria species,Biomphalaria alexandrina represents the intermediate host of Schistosoma mansoni in Egypt. Using parasitological and SOD1 enzyme assay, this study aimed to elucidate the impact of the age of B. alexandrina snails on their genetic variability and internal defence against S. mansoni infection. Susceptible and resistant snails were reared individually for self-reproduction; four subgroups of their progeny were used in experiment. The young susceptible subgroup showed the highest infection rate, the shortest pre-patent period, the highest total cercarial production, the highest mortality rate and the lowest SOD1 activity. Among the young and adult susceptible subgroups, 8% and 26% were found to be resistant, indicating the inheritance of resistance alleles from parents. The adult resistant subgroup, however, contained only resistant snails and showed the highest enzyme activity. The complex interaction between snail age, genetic background and internal defence resulted in great variability in compatibility patterns, with the highest significant difference between young susceptible and adult resistant snails. The results demonstrate that resistance alleles function to a greater degree in adults, with higher SOD1 activity and provide potential implications for Biomphalaria control. The identification of the most susceptible snail age enables determination of the best timing for applying molluscicides. Moreover, adult resistant snails could be beneficial in biological snail control. PMID:26061235

  8. Salvador-Warts-Hippo pathway in a developmental checkpoint monitoring Helix-Loop-Helix proteins

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Lan-Hsin; Baker, Nicholas E.

    2014-01-01

    The E-proteins and Id-proteins are, respectively, the positive and negative heterodimer partners for the basic-helix-loop-helix protein family, and as such contribute to a remarkably large number of cell fate decisions. E-proteins and Id-proteins also function to inhibit or promote cell proliferation and cancer. Using a genetic modifier screen in Drosophila, we show that the Id-protein Extramacrochaetae enables growth by suppressing activation of the Salvador-Warts-Hippo pathway of tumor suppressors, activation that requires transcriptional activation of the expanded gene by the E-protein Daughterless. Daughterless protein binds to an intronic enhancer in the expanded gene, both activating the SWH pathway independently of the transmembrane protein Crumbs, and bypassing the negative feedback regulation that targets the same expanded enhancer. Thus the Salvador-Warts-Hippo pathway has a cell-autonomous function to prevent inappropriate differentiation due to transcription factor imbalance, and monitors the intrinsic developmental status of progenitor cells, distinct from any responses to cell-cell interactions. PMID:25579975

  9. Macrocyclization and labeling of helix-loop-helix peptide with intramolecular bis-thioether linkage.

    PubMed

    Nishihara, Toshio; Kitada, Hidekazu; Fujiwara, Daisuke; Fujii, Ikuo

    2016-11-01

    Conformationally constrained peptides have been developed as an inhibitor for protein-protein interactions (PPIs), and we have de novo designed cyclized helix-loop-helix (cHLH) peptide with a disulfide bond consisting of 40 amino acids to generate molecular-targeting peptides. However, synthesis of long peptides has sometimes resulted in low yield according to the respective amino acid sequences. Here we developed a method for efficient synthesis and labeling for cHLH peptides. First, we synthesized two peptide fragments and connected them by the copper-mediated alkyne and azide cycloaddition (CuAAC) reaction. Cyclization was performed by bis-thioether linkage using 1,3-dibromomethyl-5-propargyloxybenzene, and subsequently, the cHLH peptide was labeled with an azide-labeled probe. Finally, we designed and synthesized a peptide inhibitor for the p53-HDM2 interaction using a structure-guided design and successfully labeled it with a fluorescent probe or a functional peptide, respectively, by click chemistry. This macrocyclization and labeling method for cHLH peptide would facilitate the discovery of de novo bioactive ligands and therapeutic leads. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Biopolymers (Pept Sci) 106: 415-421, 2016. PMID:26917088

  10. Helix-loop-helix transcription factors mediate activation and repression of the p75LNGFR gene.

    PubMed Central

    Chiaramello, A; Neuman, K; Palm, K; Metsis, M; Neuman, T

    1995-01-01

    Sequence analysis of rat and human low-affinity nerve growth factor receptor p75LNGFR gene promoter regions revealed a single E-box cis-acting element, located upstream of the major transcription start sites. Deletion analysis of the E-box sequence demonstrated that it significantly contributes to p75LNGFR promoter activity. This E box has a dual function; it mediates either activation or repression of the p75LNGFR promoter activity, depending on the interacting transcription factors. We showed that the two isoforms of the class A basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor ME1 (ME1a and ME1b), the murine homolog of the human HEB transcription factor, specifically repress p75LNGFR promoter activity. This repression can be released by coexpression of the HLH Id2 transcriptional regulator. In vitro analyses demonstrated that ME1a forms a stable complex with the p75LNGFR E box and likely competes with activating E-box-binding proteins. By using ME1a-overexpressing PC12 cells, we showed that the endogenous p75LNGFR gene is a target of ME1a repression. Together, these data demonstrate that the p75LNGFR E box and the interacting bHLH transcription factors are involved in the regulation of p75LNGFR gene expression. These results also show that class A bHLH transcription factors can repress and Id-like negative regulators can stimulate gene expression. PMID:7565756

  11. Suppression of mammary epithelial cell differentiation by the helix-loop-helix protein Id-1

    SciTech Connect

    Desprez, P.; Hara, E.; Bissell, M.J.

    1995-06-01

    Cell proliferation and differentiation are precisely coordinated during the development and maturation of the mammary gland, and this balance invariably is disrupted during carcinogenesis. Little is known about the cell-specific transcription factors that regulate these processes in the mammary gland. The mouse mammary epithelial cell line SCp2 grows well under standard culture conditions but arrests growth, forms alveolus-like structures, and expresses {beta}-casein, a differentiation marker, 4 to 5 days after exposure to basement membrane and lactogenic hormones (differentiation signals). The authors show that this differentiation entails a marked decline in the expression of Id-1, a helix-loop-helix (HLH) protein that inactivates basic HLH transcription factors in other cell types. SCp2 cells stably transfected with an Id-1 expression vector grew more rapidly than control cells under standard conditions, but in response to differentiation signals, they lost three-dimensional organization, invaded the basement membrane, and then resumed growth. SCp2 cells expressing an Id-1 antisense vector grew more slowly than controls; in response to differentiation signals, they remained stably growth arrested and fully differentiated, as did control cells. The authors suggest that Id-1 renders cells refractory to differentiation signals and receptive to growth signals by inactivating one or more basic HLH proteins that coordinate growth and differentiation in the mammary epithelium. 53 refs., 6 figs.

  12. Hydroxyproline Ring Pucker Causes Frustration of Helix Parameters in the Collagen Triple Helix

    PubMed Central

    Ying Chow, W.; Bihan, Dominique; Forman, Chris J.; Slatter, David A.; Reid, David G.; Wales, David J.; Farndale, Richard W.; Duer, Melinda J.

    2015-01-01

    Collagens, the most abundant proteins in mammals, are defined by their triple-helical structures and distinctive Gly-Xaa-Yaa repeating sequence, where Xaa is often proline and Yaa, hydroxyproline (Hyp/O). It is known that hydroxyproline in the Yaa position stabilises the triple helix, and that lack of proline hydroxylation in vivo leads to dysfunctional collagen extracellular matrix assembly, due to a range of factors such as a change in hydration properties. In addition, we note that in model peptides, when Yaa is unmodified proline, the Xaa proline has a strong propensity to adopt an endo ring conformation, whilst when Yaa is hydroxyproline, the Xaa proline adopts a range of endo and exo conformations. Here we use a combination of solid-state NMR spectroscopy and potential energy landscape modelling of synthetic triple-helical collagen peptides to understand this effect. We show that hydroxylation of the Yaa proline causes the Xaa proline ring conformation to become metastable, which in turn confers flexibility on the triple helix. PMID:26220399

  13. The basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor, Mist1, induces maturation of mouse fetal hepatoblasts.

    PubMed

    Chikada, Hiromi; Ito, Keiichi; Yanagida, Ayaka; Nakauchi, Hiromitsu; Kamiya, Akihide

    2015-01-01

    Hepatic stem/progenitor cells, hepatoblasts, have a high proliferative ability and can differentiate into mature hepatocytes and cholangiocytes. Therefore, these cells are considered to be useful for regenerative medicine and drug screening for liver diseases. However, it is problem that in vitro maturation of hepatoblasts is insufficient in the present culture system. In this study, a novel regulator to induce hepatic differentiation was identified and the molecular function of this factor was examined in embryonic day 13 hepatoblast culture with maturation factor, oncostatin M and extracellular matrices. Overexpression of the basic helix-loop-helix type transcription factor, Mist1, induced expression of mature hepatocytic markers such as carbamoyl-phosphate synthetase1 and several cytochrome P450 (CYP) genes in this culture system. In contrast, Mist1 suppressed expression of cholangiocytic markers such as Sox9, Sox17, Ck19, and Grhl2. CYP3A metabolic activity was significantly induced by Mist1 in this hepatoblast culture. In addition, Mist1 induced liver-enriched transcription factors, CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein α and Hepatocyte nuclear factor 1α, which are known to be involved in liver functions. These results suggest that Mist1 partially induces mature hepatocytic expression and function accompanied by the down-regulation of cholangiocytic markers. PMID:26456005

  14. Basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor gene family phylogenetics and nomenclature.

    PubMed

    Skinner, Michael K; Rawls, Alan; Wilson-Rawls, Jeanne; Roalson, Eric H

    2010-07-01

    A phylogenetic analysis of the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) gene superfamily was performed using seven different species (human, mouse, rat, worm, fly, yeast, and plant Arabidopsis) and involving over 600 bHLH genes (Stevens et al., 2008). All bHLH genes were identified in the genomes of the various species, including expressed sequence tags, and the entire coding sequence was used in the analysis. Nearly 15% of the gene family has been updated or added since the original publication. A super-tree involving six clades and all structural relationships was established and is now presented for four of the species. The wealth of functional data available for members of the bHLH gene superfamily provides us with the opportunity to use this exhaustive phylogenetic tree to predict potential functions of uncharacterized members of the family. This phylogenetic and genomic analysis of the bHLH gene family has revealed unique elements of the evolution and functional relationships of the different genes in the bHLH gene family. PMID:20219281

  15. Origin and Diversification of Basic-Helix-Loop-Helix Proteins in Plants

    PubMed Central

    Pires, Nuno; Dolan, Liam

    2010-01-01

    Basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) proteins are a class of transcription factors found throughout eukaryotic organisms. Classification of the complete sets of bHLH proteins in the sequenced genomes of Arabidopsis thaliana and Oryza sativa (rice) has defined the diversity of these proteins among flowering plants. However, the evolutionary relationships of different plant bHLH groups and the diversity of bHLH proteins in more ancestral groups of plants are currently unknown. In this study, we use whole-genome sequences from nine species of land plants and algae to define the relationships between these proteins in plants. We show that few (less than 5) bHLH proteins are encoded in the genomes of chlorophytes and red algae. In contrast, many bHLH proteins (100–170) are encoded in the genomes of land plants (embryophytes). Phylogenetic analyses suggest that plant bHLH proteins are monophyletic and constitute 26 subfamilies. Twenty of these subfamilies existed in the common ancestors of extant mosses and vascular plants, whereas six further subfamilies evolved among the vascular plants. In addition to the conserved bHLH domains, most subfamilies are characterized by the presence of highly conserved short amino acid motifs. We conclude that much of the diversity of plant bHLH proteins was established in early land plants, over 440 million years ago. PMID:19942615

  16. Hydroxyproline Ring Pucker Causes Frustration of Helix Parameters in the Collagen Triple Helix

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ying Chow, W.; Bihan, Dominique; Forman, Chris J.; Slatter, David A.; Reid, David G.; Wales, David J.; Farndale, Richard W.; Duer, Melinda J.

    2015-07-01

    Collagens, the most abundant proteins in mammals, are defined by their triple-helical structures and distinctive Gly-Xaa-Yaa repeating sequence, where Xaa is often proline and Yaa, hydroxyproline (Hyp/O). It is known that hydroxyproline in the Yaa position stabilises the triple helix, and that lack of proline hydroxylation in vivo leads to dysfunctional collagen extracellular matrix assembly, due to a range of factors such as a change in hydration properties. In addition, we note that in model peptides, when Yaa is unmodified proline, the Xaa proline has a strong propensity to adopt an endo ring conformation, whilst when Yaa is hydroxyproline, the Xaa proline adopts a range of endo and exo conformations. Here we use a combination of solid-state NMR spectroscopy and potential energy landscape modelling of synthetic triple-helical collagen peptides to understand this effect. We show that hydroxylation of the Yaa proline causes the Xaa proline ring conformation to become metastable, which in turn confers flexibility on the triple helix.

  17. The basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor, Mist1, induces maturation of mouse fetal hepatoblasts

    PubMed Central

    Chikada, Hiromi; Ito, Keiichi; Yanagida, Ayaka; Nakauchi, Hiromitsu; Kamiya, Akihide

    2015-01-01

    Hepatic stem/progenitor cells, hepatoblasts, have a high proliferative ability and can differentiate into mature hepatocytes and cholangiocytes. Therefore, these cells are considered to be useful for regenerative medicine and drug screening for liver diseases. However, it is problem that in vitro maturation of hepatoblasts is insufficient in the present culture system. In this study, a novel regulator to induce hepatic differentiation was identified and the molecular function of this factor was examined in embryonic day 13 hepatoblast culture with maturation factor, oncostatin M and extracellular matrices. Overexpression of the basic helix-loop-helix type transcription factor, Mist1, induced expression of mature hepatocytic markers such as carbamoyl-phosphate synthetase1 and several cytochrome P450 (CYP) genes in this culture system. In contrast, Mist1 suppressed expression of cholangiocytic markers such as Sox9, Sox17, Ck19, and Grhl2. CYP3A metabolic activity was significantly induced by Mist1 in this hepatoblast culture. In addition, Mist1 induced liver-enriched transcription factors, CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein α and Hepatocyte nuclear factor 1α, which are known to be involved in liver functions. These results suggest that Mist1 partially induces mature hepatocytic expression and function accompanied by the down-regulation of cholangiocytic markers. PMID:26456005

  18. Heat conductivity of DNA double helix

    PubMed Central

    Savin, Alexander V.; Mazo, Mikhail A.; Kikot, Irina P.; Manevitch, Leonid I.; Onufriev, Alexey V.

    2015-01-01

    Thermal conductivity of isolated single molecule DNA fragments is of importance for nanotechnology, but has not yet been measured experimentally. Theoretical estimates based on simplified (1D) models predict anomalously high thermal conductivity. To investigate thermal properties of single molecule DNA we have developed a 3D coarse-grained (CG) model that retains the realism of the full all-atom description, but is significantly more efficient. Within the proposed model each nucleotide is represented by 6 particles or grains; the grains interact via effective potentials inferred from classical molecular dynamics (MD) trajectories based on a well-established all-atom potential function. Comparisons of 10 ns long MD trajectories between the CG and the corresponding all-atom model show similar root-mean-square deviations from the canonical B-form DNA, and similar structural fluctuations. At the same time, the CG model is 10 to 100 times faster depending on the length of the DNA fragment in the simulation. Analysis of dispersion curves derived from the CG model yields longitudinal sound velocity and torsional stiffness in close agreement with existing experiments. The computational efficiency of the CG model makes it possible to calculate thermal conductivity of a single DNA molecule not yet available experimentally. For a uniform (polyG-polyC) DNA, the estimated conductivity coefficient is 0.3 W/mK which is half the value of thermal conductivity for water. This result is in stark contrast with estimates of thermal conductivity for simplified, effectively 1D chains (”beads on a spring”) that predict anomalous (infinite) thermal conductivity. Thus, full 3D character of DNA double-helix retained in the proposed model appears to be essential for describing its thermal properties at a single molecule level. PMID:26207085

  19. Nanoparticle biofabrication using English ivy (Hedera helix)

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background English ivy (Hedera helix) is well known for its adhesive properties and climbing ability. Essential to its ability to adhere to vertical surfaces is the secretion of a nanocomposite adhesive containing spherical nanoparticles, 60–85 nm in diameter, produced exclusively by root hairs present on adventitious roots. These organic nanoparticles have shown promise in biomedical and cosmetic applications, and represent a safer alternative to metal oxide nanoparticles currently available. Results It was discovered that the maximum adventitious root production was achieved by a 4 h application of 1 mg/ml indole-3 butyric acid (IBA) to juvenile English ivy shoot segments cultured in custom vessels. After incubation of the shoots under continuous light at 83 μmol/m2 s at 20°C for 2 weeks, the adventitious roots were harvested from the culture system and it was possible to isolate 90 mg of dry weight nanoparticles per 12 g of roots. The nanoparticle morphology was characterized by atomic force microscopy, and found to be similar to previous studies. Conclusions An enhanced system for the production of English ivy adventitious roots and their nanoparticles by modifying GA7 Magenta boxes and identifying the optimal concentration of IBA for adventitious root growth was developed. This system is the first such platform for growing and harvesting organic nanoparticles from plants, and represents an important step in the development of plant-based nanomanufacturing. It is a significant improvement on the exploitation of plant systems for the formation of metallic nanoparticles, and represents a pathway for the generation of bulk ivy nanoparticles for translation into biomedical applications. PMID:23095780

  20. A possible family of B-like triple helix structures: comparison with the Arnott A-like triple helix.

    PubMed

    Ouali, M; Letellier, R; Adnet, F; Liquier, J; Sun, J S; Lavery, R; Taillandier, E

    1993-03-01

    Recent experimental studies of the structure of triple helices show that their conformation in solution differs from the A-like structure derived from diffraction data on triple helix fibers by Arnott and co-workers. Here we show by means of molecular modeling that a family of triple helix structures may exist with similar conformational energies, but with a variety of sugar puckers. The characteristics of these putative triple helices are analyzed for three different base sequences: (T.AxT)n, (C.GxC+)n, and alternating (C.GxC+/T.AxT)n. In the case of (C.GxC+)n triple helix, infrared and Raman spectra have been obtained and clearly reveal the existence of both N- and S-type sugars in solution. The molecular mechanics calculations allow us to propose a stereochemically reasonable model for this triple helix, in good agreement with the vibrational spectroscopy results. PMID:8448168

  1. Metabolic acceleration in the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zimmer, Elke I.; Ducrot, V.; Jager, T.; Koene, J.; Lagadic, L.; Kooijman, S. A. L. M.

    2014-11-01

    Under constant environmental conditions, most animals tend to grow following the von Bertalanffy growth curve. Deviations from this curve can point to changes in the environment that the animals experience, such as food limitation when the available food is not sufficient or suitable. However, such deviations can also point to a phenomenon called metabolic acceleration, which is receiving increasing attention in the field of Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) modeling. Reasons for such an acceleration are usually changes in shape during ontogeny, which cause changes in the surface area to volume ratio of the organism. Those changes, in turn, lead to changes in some of the model parameters that have length in their dimension. The life-history consequences of metabolic acceleration as implemented in the DEB theory are an s-shaped growth curve (when body size is expressed as a length measure) and a prolongation of the hatching time. The great pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis was earlier found to be food limited during the juvenile phase in laboratory experiments conducted under classical ecotoxicity test protocols. The pond snail has isomorphic shell growth but yet does not exhibit the expected von Bertalanffy growth curve under food limitation. When applying the standard DEB model to data from such life-cycle experiments, we also found that the hatching time is consistently underestimated, which could be a sign of metabolic acceleration. We here present an application of the DEB model including metabolic acceleration to the great pond snail. We account for the simultaneous hermaphroditism of the snail by including a model extension that describes the relative investment into the male and female function. This model allowed us to adequately predict the life history of the snail over the entire life cycle. However, the pond snail does not change in shape substantially after birth, so the original explanation for the metabolic acceleration does not hold. Since the change in shape

  2. De novo design of transmembrane helix-helix interactions and measurement of stability in a biological membrane.

    PubMed

    Nash, Anthony; Notman, Rebecca; Dixon, Ann M

    2015-05-01

    Membrane proteins regulate a large number of cellular functions, and have great potential as tools for manipulation of biological systems. Developing these tools requires a robust and quantitative understanding of membrane protein folding and interactions within the bilayer. With this in mind, we have designed a series of proteins to probe the net thermodynamic contribution of well-known sequence motifs to transmembrane helix-helix association in a biological membrane. The proteins were designed from first principles (de novo) using current knowledge about membrane insertion and stabilizing interaction motifs. A simple poly-Leu "scaffold" was decorated with individual helix interaction motifs (G-XXX-G, polar residues, heptad repeat) to create transmembrane helix-helix interactions of increasing strength. The GALLEX assay, an in vivo assay for measurement of transmembrane helix self-association, was combined with computational methods to characterize the relative strength and mode of interaction for each sequence. In addition, the apparent free energy contribution (ΔΔGapp) of each motif to transmembrane helix self-association was measured in a biological membrane, results that are the first of their kind for these de novo designed sequences, and suggest that the free energy barrier to overcoming weak association is quite small (<1.4 kcal mol(-1)) in a natural membrane. By quantifying and rationalizing the contribution of key motifs to transmembrane helix association, our work offers a route to direct the design of novel sequences for use in biotechnology or synthetic biology (e.g. molecular switches) and to predict the effects of sequence modification in known transmembrane domains (for control of cellular processes). PMID:25732028

  3. Intracellular localization of the HCS2 gene products in identified snail neurons in vivo and in vitro.

    PubMed

    Ivanova, J L; Leonova, O G; Popenko, V I; Ierusalimsky, V N; Korshunova, T A; Boguslavsky, D V; Malyshev, A Y; Balaban, P M; Belyavsky, A V

    2006-03-01

    1. The HCS2 (Helix command specific 2) gene expressed in giant command neurons for withdrawal behavior of the terrestrial snail Helix lucorum encodes a unique hybrid precursor protein that contains a Ca-binding (EF-hand motif) protein and four small peptides (CNP1-CNP4) with similar Tyr-Pro-Arg-X aminoacid sequence at the C terminus. Previous studies suggest that under conditions of increased intracellular Ca(2+) concentration the HCS2 peptide precursor may be cleaved, and small physiologically active peptides transported to the release sites. In the present paper, intracellular localization of putative peptide products of the HCS2-encoded precursor was studied immunocytochemically by means of light and electron microscopy. 2. Polyclonal antibodies against the CNP3 neuropeptide and a Ca-binding domain of the precursor protein were used for gold labeling of ultrathin sections of identified isolated neurons maintained in culture for several days, and in same identified neurons freshly isolated from the central nervous system. 3. In freshly isolated neurons, the gold particles were mainly localized over the cytoplasmic secretory granules, with the density of labeling for the CNP3 neuropeptide being two-fold higher than for the calcium-binding domain. In cultured neurons, both antibodies mostly labeled clusters of secretory granules in growth cones and neurites of the neuron. The density of labeling for cultured neurons was the same for both antibodies, and was two-fold higher than for the freshly isolated from the central nervous system neurons. 4. The immunogold particles were practically absent in the bodies of cultured neurons. 5. The data obtained conform to the suggestion that the HCS2 gene products are transported from the cell body to the regions of growth or release sites. PMID:16763780

  4. Tunable Control of Polyproline Helix (PPII) Structure via Aromatic Electronic Effects: An Electronic Switch of Polyproline Helix

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Aromatic rings exhibit defined interactions via the unique aromatic π face. Aromatic amino acids interact favorably with proline residues via both the hydrophobic effect and aromatic–proline interactions, C−H/π interactions between the aromatic π face and proline ring C–H bonds. The canonical aromatic amino acids Trp, Tyr, and Phe strongly disfavor a polyproline helix (PPII) when they are present in proline-rich sequences because of the large populations of cis amide bonds induced by favorable aromatic–proline interactions (aromatic–cis-proline and proline–cis-proline–aromatic interactions). We demonstrate the ability to tune polyproline helix conformation and cis–trans isomerism in proline-rich sequences using aromatic electronic effects. Electron-rich aromatic residues strongly disfavor polyproline helix and exhibit large populations of cis amide bonds, while electron-poor aromatic residues exhibit small populations of cis amide bonds and favor polyproline helix. 4-Aminophenylalanine is a pH-dependent electronic switch of polyproline helix, with cis amide bonds favored as the electron-donating amine, but trans amide bonds and polyproline helix preferred as the electron-withdrawing ammonium. Peptides with block proline–aromatic PPXPPXPPXPP sequences exhibited electronically switchable pH-dependent structures. Electron-poor aromatic amino acids provide special capabilities to integrate aromatic residues into polyproline helices and to serve as the basis of aromatic electronic switches to change structure. PMID:25075447

  5. Arsenic transfer and impacts on snails exposed to stabilized and untreated As-contaminated soils.

    PubMed

    Coeurdassier, M; Scheifler, R; Mench, M; Crini, N; Vangronsveld, J; de Vaufleury, A

    2010-06-01

    An As-contaminated soil (Unt) was amended with either iron grit (Z), a coal fly ash (beringite, B) or B + Z (BZ) and placed in lysimeters in 1997. An uncontaminated soil (R) was also studied. In summer and autumn 2003, lettuces were cultivated in the lysimeters and snails were caged for one month. Lettuce As concentrations were higher during the summer, while no differences occurred in snails between seasons. Snail As concentrations (microg g(-1) DW) ranged from 2.5 to 7.0 in B, Z and BZ, and peaked at 17.5 in Unt. In summer, snail survival was affected in Unt and Z compared to R and B while no mortality was noticed in autumn. Snail growth decreased only in B, BZ and Unt in autumn. Snail As concentrations suggest a risk for their predators even on the remediated soils. PMID:20362375

  6. Lumican Inhibits SNAIL-Induced Melanoma Cell Migration Specifically by Blocking MMP-14 Activity.

    PubMed

    Stasiak, Marta; Boncela, Joanna; Perreau, Corinne; Karamanou, Konstantina; Chatron-Colliet, Aurore; Proult, Isabelle; Przygodzka, Patrycja; Chakravarti, Shukti; Maquart, François-Xavier; Kowalska, M Anna; Wegrowski, Yanusz; Brézillon, Stéphane

    2016-01-01

    Lumican, a small leucine rich proteoglycan, inhibits MMP-14 activity and melanoma cell migration in vitro and in vivo. Snail triggers epithelial-mesenchymal transitions endowing epithelial cells with migratory and invasive properties during tumor progression. The aim of this work was to investigate lumican effects on MMP-14 activity and migration of Snail overexpressing B16F1 (Snail-B16F1) melanoma cells and HT-29 colon adenocarcinoma cells. Lumican inhibits the Snail induced MMP-14 activity in B16F1 but not in HT-29 cells. In Snail-B16F1 cells, lumican inhibits migration, growth, and melanoma primary tumor development. A lumican-based strategy targeting Snail-induced MMP-14 activity might be useful for melanoma treatment. PMID:26930497

  7. Lumican Inhibits SNAIL-Induced Melanoma Cell Migration Specifically by Blocking MMP-14 Activity

    PubMed Central

    Stasiak, Marta; Boncela, Joanna; Perreau, Corinne; Karamanou, Konstantina; Chatron-Colliet, Aurore; Proult, Isabelle; Przygodzka, Patrycja; Chakravarti, Shukti; Maquart, François-Xavier; Kowalska, M. Anna; Wegrowski, Yanusz; Brézillon, Stéphane

    2016-01-01

    Lumican, a small leucine rich proteoglycan, inhibits MMP-14 activity and melanoma cell migration in vitro and in vivo. Snail triggers epithelial-mesenchymal transitions endowing epithelial cells with migratory and invasive properties during tumor progression. The aim of this work was to investigate lumican effects on MMP-14 activity and migration of Snail overexpressing B16F1 (Snail-B16F1) melanoma cells and HT-29 colon adenocarcinoma cells. Lumican inhibits the Snail induced MMP-14 activity in B16F1 but not in HT-29 cells. In Snail-B16F1 cells, lumican inhibits migration, growth, and melanoma primary tumor development. A lumican-based strategy targeting Snail-induced MMP-14 activity might be useful for melanoma treatment. PMID:26930497

  8. Measurement of Selected Enzymatic Activities in Solanum nigrum-Treated Biomphalaria arabica Snails

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Al-Daihan, Sooad

    In the present study, glucose, acid and alkaline phosphatases (ACP and ALP), α-amylase and lipase were measured for the first time in tissue homogenates of Biomphalaria arabica snails, molluscan intermediate host for Schistosoma mansoni in Saudi Arabia. Also, the effect of sublethal concentrations (LC25) of dry powdered Solanum nigrum leaf was tested as plant molluscicide against this snail species. The tested enzymes were altered in molluscicide-treated snails compared to control. While ALP and amylase were slightly affected, ACP and lipase were significantly altered. Glucose as an important energy source for a successful schistosome-snail relationship was significantly reduced in molluscicide-treated snails. In conclusion, sublethal concentration of the molluscicide showed potent effect in disturbing snail biochemistry which may render them physiologically unsuitable for the developing of schistosome parasite. This could be considered as a promising strategy to control the disease.

  9. Removal of corallivorous snails as a proactive tool for the conservation of acroporid corals.

    PubMed

    Williams, Dana E; Miller, Margaret W; Bright, Allan J; Cameron, Caitlin M

    2014-01-01

    Corallivorous snail feeding is a common source of tissue loss for the threatened coral, Acropora palmata, accounting for roughly one-quarter of tissue loss in monitored study plots over seven years. In contrast with larger threats such as bleaching, disease, or storms, corallivory by Coralliophila abbreviata is one of the few direct sources of partial mortality that may be locally managed. We conducted a field experiment to explore the effectiveness and feasibility of snail removal. Long-term monitoring plots on six reefs in the upper Florida Keys were assigned to one of three removal treatments: (1) removal from A. palmata only, (2) removal from all host coral species, or (3) no-removal controls. During the initial removal in June 2011, 436 snails were removed from twelve 150 m(2) plots. Snails were removed three additional times during a seven month "removal phase", then counted at five surveys over the next 19 months to track recolonization. At the conclusion, snails were collected, measured and sexed. Before-After-Control-Impact analysis revealed that both snail abundance and feeding scar prevalence were reduced in removal treatments compared to the control, but there was no difference between removal treatments. Recolonization by snails to baseline abundance is estimated to be 3.7 years and did not differ between removal treatments. Recolonization rate was significantly correlated with baseline snail abundance. Maximum snail size decreased from 47.0 mm to 34.6 mm in the removal treatments. The effort required to remove snails from A. palmata was 30 diver minutes per 150 m(2) plot, compared with 51 min to remove snails from all host corals. Since there was no additional benefit observed with removing snails from all host species, removals can be more efficiently focused on only A. palmata colonies and in areas where C. abbreviata abundance is high, to effectively conserve A. palmata in targeted areas. PMID:25469321

  10. Determination of wing cell fate by the escargot and snail genes in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Fuse, N; Hirose, S; Hayashi, S

    1996-04-01

    Inset appendages such as the wing and the leg are formed in response to inductive signals in the embryonic field. In Drosophila, cells receiving such signals initiate developmental programs which allow them to become imaginal discs. Subsequently, these discs autonomously organize patterns specific for each appendage. We here report that two related transcription factors, Escargot and Snail that are expressed in the embryonic wing disc, function as intrinsic determinants of the wing cell fate. In escargot or snail mutant embryos, wing-specific expression of Snail, Vestigial and beta-galactosidase regulated by escargot enhancer were found as well as in wild-type embryos. However, in escargot snail double mutant embryos, wing development proceeded until stage 13, but the marker expression was not maintained in later stages, and the invagination of the primordium was absent. From such analyses, it was concluded that Escargot and Snail expression in the wing disc are maintained by their auto- and crossactivation. Ubiquitous escargot or snail expression induced from the hsp70 promoter rescued the escargot snail double mutant phenotype with the effects confined to the prospective wing cells. Similar DNA binding specificities of Escargot and Snail suggest that they control the same set of genes required for wing development. We thus propose the following scenario for early wing disc development. Prospective wing cells respond to the induction by turning on escargot and snail transcription, and become competent for regulation by Escargot and Snail. Such cells initiate auto- and crossregulatory circuits of escargot and snail. The sustained Escargot and Snail expression then activates vestigial and other target genes that are essential for wing development. This maintains the commitment to the wing cell fate and induces wing-specific cell shape change. PMID:8620833

  11. Removal of corallivorous snails as a proactive tool for the conservation of acroporid corals

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Margaret W.; Bright, Allan J.; Cameron, Caitlin M.

    2014-01-01

    Corallivorous snail feeding is a common source of tissue loss for the threatened coral, Acropora palmata, accounting for roughly one-quarter of tissue loss in monitored study plots over seven years. In contrast with larger threats such as bleaching, disease, or storms, corallivory by Coralliophila abbreviata is one of the few direct sources of partial mortality that may be locally managed. We conducted a field experiment to explore the effectiveness and feasibility of snail removal. Long-term monitoring plots on six reefs in the upper Florida Keys were assigned to one of three removal treatments: (1) removal from A. palmata only, (2) removal from all host coral species, or (3) no-removal controls. During the initial removal in June 2011, 436 snails were removed from twelve 150 m2 plots. Snails were removed three additional times during a seven month “removal phase”, then counted at five surveys over the next 19 months to track recolonization. At the conclusion, snails were collected, measured and sexed. Before-After-Control-Impact analysis revealed that both snail abundance and feeding scar prevalence were reduced in removal treatments compared to the control, but there was no difference between removal treatments. Recolonization by snails to baseline abundance is estimated to be 3.7 years and did not differ between removal treatments. Recolonization rate was significantly correlated with baseline snail abundance. Maximum snail size decreased from 47.0 mm to 34.6 mm in the removal treatments. The effort required to remove snails from A. palmata was 30 diver minutes per 150 m2 plot, compared with 51 min to remove snails from all host corals. Since there was no additional benefit observed with removing snails from all host species, removals can be more efficiently focused on only A. palmata colonies and in areas where C. abbreviata abundance is high, to effectively conserve A. palmata in targeted areas. PMID:25469321

  12. Phenotypic plasticity in two marine snails: constraints superseding life history.

    PubMed

    Hollander, J; Collyer, M L; Adams, D C; Johannesson, K

    2006-11-01

    In organisms encountering predictable environments, fixed development is expected, whereas in organisms that cannot predict their future environment, phenotypic plasticity would be optimal to increase local adaptation. To test this prediction we experimentally compared phenotypic plasticity in two rocky-shore snail species; Littorina saxatilis releasing miniature snails on the shore, and Littorina littorea releasing drifting larvae settling on various shores, expecting L. littorea to show more phenotypic plasticity than L. saxatilis. We compared magnitude and direction of vectors of phenotypic difference in juvenile shell traits after 3 months exposure to different stimuli simulating sheltered and crab-rich shores, or wave-exposed and crab-free shores. Both species showed similar direction and magnitude of vectors of phenotypic difference with minor differences only between ecotypes of the nondispersing species, indicating that plasticity is an evolving trait in L. saxatilis. The lack of a strong plastic response in L. littorea might be explained by limits rather than costs to plasticity. PMID:17040383

  13. Mercury residues in south Florida apple snails (Pomacea paludosa)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eisemann, J.D.; Beyer, W.N.; Bennetts, R.E.; Morton, Alexandra

    1997-01-01

    Mercury concentrations in the sediments of south Florida wetlands have increased three fold in the last century (Rood et al. 1993). Because south Florida is home to many endemic and endangered species, it is important to understand the potential impacts of mercury in this ecosystem's food web. Recent research by Malley et al. (1996) has shown mollusks to be sensitive indicators of methyl mercury which can reflect small differences in background methyl mercury concentrations. In this study, we attempted to determine if the apple snail (Pomacea paludosa) or its eggs are good indicators of bioavailable mercury. Then, using the apple snail as an indicator, we attempted to determine geographic differences in the concentrations of mercury in south Florida.

  14. How Stress Alters Memory in ‘Smart’ Snails

    PubMed Central

    Dalesman, Sarah; Lukowiak, Ken

    2012-01-01

    Cognitive ability varies within species, but whether this variation alters the manner in which memory formation is affected by environmental stress is unclear. The great pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis, is commonly used as model species in studies of learning and memory. The majority of those studies used a single laboratory strain (i.e. the Dutch strain) originating from a wild population in the Netherlands. However, our recent work has identified natural populations that demonstrate significantly enhanced long-term memory (LTM) formation relative to the Dutch strain following operant conditioning of aerial respiratory behaviour. Here we assess how two populations with enhanced memory formation (i.e. ‘smart’ snails), one from Canada (Trans Canada 1: TC1) and one from the U.K. (Chilton Moor: CM) respond to ecologically relevant stressors. In control conditions the Dutch strain forms memory lasting 1–3 h following a single 0.5 h training session in our standard calcium pond water (80 mg/l [Ca2+]), whereas the TC1 and CM populations formed LTM lasting 5+ days following this training regime. Exposure to low environmental calcium pond water (20 mg/l [Ca2+]), which blocks LTM in the Dutch strain, reduced LTM retention to 24 h in the TC1 and CM populations. Crowding (20 snails in 100 ml) immediately prior to training blocks LTM in the Dutch strain, and also did so in TC1 and CM populations. Therefore, snails with enhanced cognitive ability respond to these ecologically relevant stressors in a similar manner to the Dutch strain, but are more robust at forming LTM in a low calcium environment. Despite the two populations (CM and TC1) originating from different continents, LTM formation was indistinguishable in both control and stressed conditions. This indicates that the underlying mechanisms controlling cognitive differences among populations may be highly conserved in L. stagnalis. PMID:22384220

  15. Population estimate of Chinese mystery snail (Bellamya chinensis) in a Nebraska reservoir

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chaine, Noelle M.; Allen, Craig R.; Fricke, Kent A.; Haak, Danielle M.; Hellman, Michelle L.; Kill, Robert A.; Nemec, Kristine T.; Pope, Kevin L.; Smeenk, Nicholas A.; Stephen, Bruce J.; Uden, Daniel R.; Unstad, Kody M.; VanderHam, Ashley E.

    2012-01-01

    The Chinese mystery snail (Bellamya chinensis) is an aquatic invasive species in North America. Little is known regarding this species' impacts on freshwater ecosystems. It is be lieved that population densities can be high, yet no population estimates have been reported. We utilized a mark-recapture approach to generate a population estimate for Chinese mystery snail in Wild Plum Lake, a 6.47-ha reservoir in southeast Nebraska. We calculated, using bias-adjusted Lincoln-Petersen estimation, that there were approximately 664 adult snails within a 127 m2 transect (5.2 snails/m2). If this density was consistent throughout the littoral zone (<3 m in depth) of the reservoir, then the total adult population in this impoundment is estimated to be 253,570 snails, and the total Chinese mystery snail wet biomass is estimated to be 3,119 kg (643 kg/ha). If this density is confined to the depth sampled in this study (1.46 m), then the adult population is estimated to be 169,400 snails, and wet biomass is estimated to be 2,084 kg (643 kg/ha). Additional research is warranted to further test the utility of mark-recapture methods for aquatic snails and to better understand Chinese mystery snail distributions within reservoirs.

  16. Fasciola hepatica in Snails Collected from Water-Dropwort Fields using PCR

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hwang-Yong; Choi, In-Wook; Kim, Yeon-Rok; Quan, Juan-Hua; Ismail, Hassan Ahmed Hassan Ahmed; Cha, Guang-Ho; Hong, Sung-Jong

    2014-01-01

    Fasciola hepatica is a trematode that causes zoonosis mainly in cattle and sheep and occasionally in humans. Fascioliasis has been reported in Korea; however, determining F. hepatica infection in snails has not been done recently. Thus, using PCR, we evaluated the prevalence of F. hepatica infection in snails at 4 large water-dropwort fields. Among 349 examined snails, F. hepatica-specific internal transcribed space 1 (ITS-1) and/or ITS-2 markers were detected in 12 snails and confirmed using sequence analysis. Morphologically, 213 of 349 collected snails were dextral shelled, which is the same aperture as the lymnaeid snail, the vectorial host for F. hepatica. Among the 12 F. hepatica-infected snails, 6 were known first intermediate hosts in Korea (Lymnaea viridis and L. ollula) and the remaining 6 (Lymnaea sp.) were potentially a new first intermediate host in Korea. It has been shown that the overall prevalence of the snails contaminated with F. hepatica in water-dropwort fields was 3.4%; however, the prevalence varied among the fields. This is the first study to estimate the prevalence of F. hepatica infection using the vectorial capacity of the snails in Korea. PMID:25548416

  17. Snail Is a Critical Mediator of Invadosome Formation and Joint Degradation in Arthritis.

    PubMed

    Lauzier, Annie; Lavoie, Roxane R; Charbonneau, Martine; Gouin-Boisvert, Béatrice; Harper, Kelly; Dubois, Claire M

    2016-02-01

    Progressive cartilage destruction, mediated by invasive fibroblast-like synoviocytes, is a central feature in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Members of the Snail family of transcription factors are required for cell migration and invasion, but their role in joint destruction remains unknown. Herein, we demonstrate that Snail is essential for the formation of extracellular matrix-degrading invadosomal structures by synovial cells from collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) rats and RA patients. Mechanistically, Snail induces extracellular matrix degradation in synovial cells by repressing PTEN, resulting in increased phosphorylation of platelet-derived growth factor receptor and activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/AKT pathway. Of significance, Snail is overexpressed in synovial cells and tissues of CIA rats and RA patients, whereas knockdown of Snail in CIA joints prevents cartilage invasion and joint damage. Furthermore, Snail expression is associated with an epithelial-mesenchymal transition gene signature characteristic of transglutaminase 2/transforming growth factor-β activation. Transforming growth factor-β and transglutaminase 2 stimulate Snail-dependent invadosome formation in rat and human synoviocytes. Our results identify the Snail-PTEN platelet-derived growth factor receptor/phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase axis as a novel regulator of the prodestructive invadosome-forming phenotype of synovial cells. New therapies for RA target inflammation, and are only partly effective in preventing joint damage. Blocking Snail and/or its associated gene expression program may provide an additional tool to improve the efficacy of treatments to prevent joint destruction. PMID:26704941

  18. Ajuba LIM proteins are Snail/Slug corepressors required for neural crest development in Xenopus

    PubMed Central

    Langer, Ellen M.; Feng, Yunfeng; Zhaoyuan, Hou; Rauscher, Frank J.; Kroll, Kristen L.; Longmore, Gregory D.

    2008-01-01

    Snail family transcriptional repressors regulate epithelial mesenchymal transitions during physiological and pathological processes. A conserved SNAG repression domain present in all vertebrate Snail proteins is necessary for repressor complex assembly. Here, we identify the Ajuba family of LIM proteins as functional corepressors of the Snail family via an interaction with the SNAG domain. Ajuba LIM proteins interact with Snail in the nucleus on endogenous E-cadherin promoters and contribute to Snail-dependent repression of E-cadherin. Using Xenopus neural crest as a model of in vivo Snail- or Slug-induced EMT, we demonstrate that Ajuba LIM proteins contribute to neural crest development as Snail/Slug corepressors and are required for in vivo Snail/Slug function. Because Ajuba LIM proteins are also components of adherens junction and contribute to their assembly or stability, their functional interaction with Snail proteins in the nucleus suggests that Ajuba LIM proteins are important regulators of epithelia dynamics communicating surface events with nuclear responses. PMID:18331720

  19. Snail1 is required for the maintenance of the pancreatic acinar phenotype

    PubMed Central

    Loubat-Casanovas, Jordina; Peña, Raúl; Gonzàlez, Núria; Alba-Castellón, Lorena; Rosell, Santi; Francí, Clara; Navarro, Pilar; de Herreros, Antonio García

    2016-01-01

    The Snail1 transcriptional factor is required for correct embryonic development, yet its expression in adult animals is very limited and its functional roles are not evident. We have now conditionally inactivated Snail1 in adult mice and analyzed the phenotype of these animals. Snail1 ablation rapidly altered pancreas structure: one month after Snail1 depletion, acinar cells were markedly depleted, and pancreas accumulated adipose tissue. Snail1 expression was not detected in the epithelium but was in pancreatic mesenchymal cells (PMCs). Snail1 ablation in cultured PMCs downregulated the expression of several β-catenin/Tcf-4 target genes, modified the secretome of these cells and decreased their ability to maintain acinar markers in cultured pancreas cells. Finally, Snail1 deficiency modified the phenotype of pancreatic tumors generated in transgenic mice expressing c-myc under the control of the elastase promoter. Specifically, Snail1 depletion did not significantly alter the size of the tumors but accelerated acinar-ductal metaplasia. These results demonstrate that Snail1 is expressed in PMCs and plays a pivotal role in maintaining acinar cells within the pancreas in normal and pathological conditions. PMID:26735179

  20. Elucidation of the aggregation pathways of helix-turn-helix peptides: Stabilization at the turn region is critical for fibril formation

    PubMed Central

    Do, Thanh D.; Chamas, Ali; Zheng, Xueyun; Barnes, Aaron; Chang, Dayna; Veldstra, Tjitske; Takhar, Harmeet; Dressler, Nicolette; Trapp, Benjamin; Miller, Kylie; McMahon, Audrene; Meredith, Stephen C.; Shea, Joan-Emma; Cantrell, Kristi Lazar; Bowers, Michael T.

    2015-01-01

    Aggregation of proteins to fiber-like aggregates often involves a transformation of native monomers to β-sheet-rich oligomers. This general observation underestimates the importance of α-helical segments in the aggregation cascade. Here, using a combination of experimental techniques and accelerated molecular dynamics simulations, we investigate the aggregation of a 43-residue, apolipoprotein A-I mimetic peptide and its E21Q and D26N mutants. Our study indicates a strong propensity of helical segments not to adopt cross-β fibrils. The helix-turn-helix monomeric conformation of the peptides is preserved in the mature fibrils. Furthermore, we reveal opposite effects of mutations on and near the turn region in the self-assembly of these peptides. We show that the E21-R24 salt bridge is a major contributor to helix-turn-helix folding, subsequently leading to abundant fibril formation. On the other hand, the K19-D26 interaction is not required to fold the native helix-turn-helix. However, removal of the charged D26 residue decreases the stability of helix-turn-helix monomer, and consequently reduces aggregation. Finally, we provide a more refined assembly model for the helix-turn-helix peptides from apolipoprotein A-I based on the parallel stacking of helix-turn-helix dimers. PMID:26070092

  1. TREMATODE INFECTION OF FRESHWATER SNAIL, FAMILY BITHYNIIDAE IN THAILAND.

    PubMed

    Kulsantiwong, Jutharat; Prasopdee, Sattrachai; Piratae, Supawadee; Khampoosa, Panita; Thammasiri, Chalida; Suwannatrai, Apiporn; Boonmars, Thidarut; Viyanant, Vithoon; Ruangsitichai, Jiraporn; Tarbsripair, Pairat; Tesana, Smarn

    2015-05-01

    Opisthorchis viverrini is restricted to and requires for its aquatic life cycle only Bithynia snail as first intermediate host but many species of cyprinid fish as second intermediate hosts. A survey in Thailand of trematode infection in freshwater snails of the family Bithyniidae carried out during October 2008 - July 2009 found a total of 5,492 snails, classified into ten species distributed in various geographic areas. Bithyniafuniculata and Gabbia pygmaea were localized to the north, B. s. goniomphalos, Wattebledia siamensis and W. crosseana to northeast and B. s. siamensis, Hydrobioides nassa and G. wykoffi to central region. W. baschi and G. erawanensis was found only in the south and Erawan waterfall, Kanchanaburi Province, respectively. Trematode infection rate was 3.15%. Cercariae were identified as belonging to six types, namely, amartae , monostome, mutabile, O. viverrini, virgulate, and unknown. The prevalence of cercarial infection in B. s. goniomphalos of amartae, mutabile, O. viverrini, virgulate, and unknown type cercaria was 0.55%, 0.74%, 1.07%, 2.87%, and 0.37%, respectively, and in B. s. siamensis monostome (1.10%) and virgulate (0.55%). Only virgulate cercariae were shed from W. crosseana (3.85%) and W. siamensis (5.19%). Cercariae of the unknown type were found in G. wykoffi (1.69%). No infection of O. viverrini cercariae was detected in the other species. PMID:26521513

  2. Regulatory module network of basic/helix-loop-helix transcription factors in mouse brain

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jing; Liu, Zijing J; Pan, Yuchun C; Liu, Qi; Fu, Xing; Cooper, Nigel GF; Li, Yixue; Qiu, Mengsheng; Shi, Tieliu

    2007-01-01

    Background The basic/helix-loop-helix (bHLH) proteins are important components of the transcriptional regulatory network, controlling a variety of biological processes, especially the development of the central nervous system. Until now, reports describing the regulatory network of the bHLH transcription factor (TF) family have been scarce. In order to understand the regulatory mechanisms of bHLH TFs in mouse brain, we inferred their regulatory network from genome-wide gene expression profiles with the module networks method. Results A regulatory network comprising 15 important bHLH TFs and 153 target genes was constructed. The network was divided into 28 modules based on expression profiles. A regulatory-motif search shows the complexity and diversity of the network. In addition, 26 cooperative bHLH TF pairs were also detected in the network. This cooperation suggests possible physical interactions or genetic regulation between TFs. Interestingly, some TFs in the network regulate more than one module. A novel cross-repression between Neurod6 and Hey2 was identified, which may control various functions in different brain regions. The presence of TF binding sites (TFBSs) in the promoter regions of their target genes validates more than 70% of TF-target gene pairs of the network. Literature mining provides additional support for five modules. More importantly, the regulatory relationships among selected key components are all validated in mutant mice. Conclusion Our network is reliable and very informative for understanding the role of bHLH TFs in mouse brain development and function. It provides a framework for future experimental analyses. PMID:18021424

  3. Suppression of Chondrogenesis by Id Helix-Loop-Helix Proteins in Murine Embryonic Orofacial Tissue

    PubMed Central

    Mukhopadhyay, Partha; Rezzoug, Francine; Webb, Cynthia L.; Pisano, M. Michele; Greene, Robert M.

    2009-01-01

    Inhibitors of differentiation (Id) proteins are helix-loop-helix (HLH) transcription factors lacking a DNA binding domain. Id proteins modulate cell proliferation, apoptosis, and differentiation in embryonic/fetal tissue. Perturbation of any of these processes in cells of the developing orofacial region results in orofacial anomalies. Chondrogenesis, a process integral to normal orofacial ontogenesis, is known to be modulated, in part, by Id proteins. In the present study, the mRNA and protein expression patterns of Id1, Id2, Id3 and Id4 were examined in developing murine orofacial tissue in vivo, as well as in murine embryonic maxillary mesenchymal cells in vitro. The functional role of Ids during chondrogenesis was also explored in vitro. Results reveal that cells derived from developing murine orofacial tissue: (1) express Id1, Id2, Id3 and Id4 mRNAs and proteins on each of gestational days 12-14, (2) express all four Id proteins in a developmentally regulated manner, (3) undergo chondrogenesis and express genes encoding various chondrogenic marker proteins (e.g. Runx2, Type X collagen, Sox9) when cultured under micromass conditions, and (4) can have their chondrogenic potential regulated via alteration of Id protein function through overexpression of a basic HLH factor. In summary, results from the current report reveal for the first time, the expression of all four Id proteins in cells derived from developing murine orofacial tissue, and demonstrate a functional role for the Ids in regulating the ability of these cells to undergo chondrogenesis. PMID:19349107

  4. Regulation of Arabidopsis Brassinosteroid Signaling by Atypical Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Proteins[C][W

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Hao; Zhu, Yongyou; Fujioka, Shozo; Asami, Tadao; Li, Jiayang; Li, Jianming

    2009-01-01

    Basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) proteins are highly conserved transcription factors critical for cell proliferation and differentiation. Recent studies have implicated bHLH proteins in many plant signaling processes, including brassinosteroid (BR) signaling. Here, we report identification of two families of atypical bHLH proteins capable of modulating BR signaling. We found that activation-tagged bri1 suppressor 1-Dominant (atbs1-D), previously identified as a dominant suppressor of a weak BR receptor mutant bri1-301, was caused by overexpression of a 93–amino acid atypical bHLH protein lacking amino acids critical for DNA binding. Interestingly, atbs1-D only suppresses weak BR mutants, while overexpression of a truncated ATBS1 lacking the basic motif also rescues bri1-301, suggesting that ATBS1 likely stimulates BR signaling by sequestering negative BR signaling components. A yeast two-hybrid screen using ATBS1 as bait discovered four ATBS1-Interacting Factors (AIFs) that are members of another atypical bHLH protein subfamily. AIF1 exhibits an overlapping expression pattern with ATBS1 and its homologs and interacts with ATBS1 in vitro and in vivo. AIF1 overexpression nullifies the suppressive effect of atbs1-D on bri1-301 and results in dwarf transgenic plants resembling BR mutants. By contrast, silencing of AIF1 partially suppressed the bri1-301 phenotype. Our results suggested that plants use these atypical bHLH proteins to regulate BR signaling. PMID:20023194

  5. Phylogenetic analyses of vector mosquito basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors.

    PubMed

    Zhang, D B; Wang, Y; Liu, A K; Wang, X H; Dang, C W; Yao, Q; Chen, K P

    2013-10-01

    Basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factors play critical roles in the regulation of a wide range of developmental processes in higher organisms and have been identified in more than 20 organisms. Mosquitoes are important vectors of certain human diseases. In this study, Aedes aegypti, Anopheles gambiae str. PEST and Culex quinquefasciatus genomes were found to encode 55, 55 and 57 bHLH genes, respectively. Further phylogenetic analyses and OrthoDB and Kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes orthology database searches led us to define orthology for all the identified mosquito bHLHs successfully. This provides useful information with which to update annotations to 40 Ae. aegypti, 55 An. gambiae and 38 C. quinquefasciatus bHLH genes in VectorBase. The mosquito lineage has more bHLH genes in the Atonal, neurogenin (Ngn) and Hes-related with YRPW motif (Hey) families than do other insect species, suggesting that mosquitoes have evolved to be more sensitive to vibration, light and chemicals. Mosquito bHLH genes generally have higher evolutionary rates than other insect species. However, no pervasive positive selection occurred in the evolution of insect bHLH genes. Only episodic positive selection was found to affect evolution of bHLH genes in 11 families. Besides, coding regions of several Ae. aegypti bHLH motifs have unusually long introns in which multiple copies of transposable elements have been identified. These data provide a solid basis for further studies on structures and functions of bHLH proteins in the regulation of mosquito development and for prevention and control of mosquito-mediated human diseases. PMID:23906262

  6. The Other Double Helix--The Fascinating Chemistry of Starch

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hancock, Robert D.; Tarbet, Bryon J.

    2000-08-01

    Current textbooks deal only briefly with the chemistry of starch. A short review with 21 references is presented, describing the structure of starch and indicating the double helix structure of A-type and B-type starch. The structure of the starch granule is examined, pointing out the existence of growth rings of alternating crystalline and noncrystalline starch, with growing amylopectin molecules extending from the hilum (point of origin) to the surface of the starch granule. The swelling of starch granules in water, above the gelatinization temperature of about 60 °C, is discussed. The process of gelatinization involves unraveling of the starch helix and a manyfold increase in volume of the starch granule as water is imbibed and bound to the unraveled starch polymer by hydrogen bonding. Baking bread or pastries causes unraveling of the starch helix, and the process by which these products become stale corresponds primarily to the re-forming of the starch helix. The importance of this phenomenon in food science is discussed. The absorption of nonpolar linear molecules such as I2, or linear nonpolar portions of molecules such as n-butanol or fats and phospholipids, by the C-type helix of starch is examined. The way in which starch is structurally modified to retard staling is discussed in relation to food technology.

  7. Helix/Coil Nucleation: A Local Response to Global Demands

    PubMed Central

    Vorov, Oleg K.; Livesay, Dennis R.; Jacobs, Donald J.

    2009-01-01

    Abstract A complete description of protein structure and function must include a proper treatment of mechanisms that lead to cooperativity. The helix/coil transition serves as a simple example of a cooperative folding process, commonly described by a nucleation-propagation mechanism. The prevalent view is that coil structure must first form a short segment of helix in a localized region despite paying a free energy cost (nucleation). Afterward, helical structure propagates outward from the nucleation site. Both processes entail enthalpy-entropy compensation that derives from the loss in conformational entropy on helix formation with concomitant gain in favorable interactions. Nucleation-propagation models inherently assume that cooperativity arises from a sequential series of local events. An alternative distance constraint model asserts there is a direct link between available degrees of freedom and cooperativity through the nonadditivity in conformational entropy. That is, helix nucleation is a concerted manifestation of rigidity propagating through atomic structure. The link between network rigidity and nonadditivity of conformational entropy is shown in this study by solving the distance constraint model using a simple global constraint counting approximation. Cooperativity arises from competition between excess and deficiency in available degrees of freedom in the coil and helix states respectively. PMID:19948130

  8. Stabilization of magnetic helix in exchange-coupled thin films

    PubMed Central

    Dzemiantsova, L. V.; Meier, G.; Röhlsberger, R.

    2015-01-01

    Based on micromagnetic simulations, we report on a novel magnetic helix in a soft magnetic film that is sandwiched between and exchange-coupled to two hard magnetic layers with different anisotropies. We show that such a confined helix stays stable without the presence of an external magnetic field. The magnetic stability is determined by the energy minimization and is a result of an internal magnetic field created by the exchange interaction. We show that this internal field stores a magnetic energy density of a few kJ/m3. We also find that it dramatically modifies ferromagnetic resonances, such that the helix can be used as a ferromagnetic resonance filter and a fast acting attenuator. PMID:26537574

  9. Stabilization of magnetic helix in exchange-coupled thin films.

    PubMed

    Dzemiantsova, L V; Meier, G; Röhlsberger, R

    2015-01-01

    Based on micromagnetic simulations, we report on a novel magnetic helix in a soft magnetic film that is sandwiched between and exchange-coupled to two hard magnetic layers with different anisotropies. We show that such a confined helix stays stable without the presence of an external magnetic field. The magnetic stability is determined by the energy minimization and is a result of an internal magnetic field created by the exchange interaction. We show that this internal field stores a magnetic energy density of a few kJ/m(3). We also find that it dramatically modifies ferromagnetic resonances, such that the helix can be used as a ferromagnetic resonance filter and a fast acting attenuator. PMID:26537574

  10. Conformation dependent electronic transport in a DNA double-helix

    SciTech Connect

    Kundu, Sourav Karmakar, S. N.

    2015-10-15

    We present a tight-binding study of conformation dependent electronic transport properties of DNA double-helix including its helical symmetry. We have studied the changes in the localization properties of DNA as we alter the number of stacked bases within every pitch of the double-helix keeping fixed the total number of nitrogen bases within the DNA molecule. We take three DNA sequences, two of them are periodic and one is random and observe that in all the cases localization length increases as we increase the radius of DNA double-helix i.e., number of nucleobases within a pitch. We have also investigated the effect of backbone energetic on the I-V response of the system and found that in presence of helical symmetry, depending on the interplay of conformal variation and disorder, DNA can be found in either metallic, semiconducting and insulating phases, as observed experimentally.