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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. 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.

  12. 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.

  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, 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.

  18. 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.

  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. 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…

  3. 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...

  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. 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

  4. 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

  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. 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

  12. 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.

  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. 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.

  4. 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.

  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. 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

  11. 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

  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. 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

  9. 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

  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. 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…

  3. 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…

  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. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  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. 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

  4. 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).

  5. 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

  6. 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

  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. 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

  10. 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.

  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.

    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

  13. 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.

  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. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  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. 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

  6. 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.

  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. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  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. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  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. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  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. 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

  5. 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

  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

    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

  9. 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

  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.

  11. Does Variation of the Inter-Domain Linker Sequence Modulate the Metal Binding Behaviour of Helix pomatia Cd-Metallothionein?

    PubMed Central

    Gil-Moreno, Selene; Jiménez-Martí, Elena; Palacios, Òscar; Zerbe, Oliver; Dallinger, Reinhard; Capdevila, Mercè; Atrian, Sílvia

    2015-01-01

    Snail metallothioneins (MTs) constitute an ideal model to study structure/function relationships in these metal-binding polypeptides. Helix pomatia harbours three MT isoforms: the highly specific CdMT and CuMT, and an unspecific Cd/CuMT, which represent paralogous proteins with extremely different metal binding preferences while sharing high sequence similarity. Preceding work allowed assessing that, although, the Cys residues are responsible for metal ion coordination, metal specificity or preference is achieved by diversification of the amino acids interspersed between them. The metal-specific MT polypeptides fold into unique, energetically-optimized complexes of defined metal content, when binding their cognate metal ions, while they produce a mixture of complexes, none of them representing a clear energy minimum, with non-cognate metal ions. Another critical, and so far mostly unexplored, region is the stretch linking the individual MT domains, each of which represents an independent metal cluster. In this work, we have designed and analyzed two HpCdMT constructs with substituted linker segments, and determined their coordination behavior when exposed to both cognate and non-cognate metal ions. Results unequivocally show that neither length nor composition of the inter-domain linker alter the features of the Zn(II)- and Cd(II)-complexes, but surprisingly that they influence their ability to bind Cu(I), the non-cognate metal ion. PMID:26703589

  12. Aquatic snails from mining sites have evolved to detect and avoid heavy metals.

    PubMed

    Lefcort, H; Abbott, D P; Cleary, D A; Howell, E; Keller, N C; Smith, M M

    2004-05-01

    Toxicants in polluted environments are often patchily distributed. Hence, rather than being passive absorbers of pollution, some organisms have evolved the ability to detect and avoid toxicants. We studied the avoidance behavior of Physella columbiana, an aquatic pulmonate snail, in a pond that has been polluted with heavy metals for more than 120 years. Populations of this snail are rare at reference sites and are only robust at heavy-metal-polluted sites. We hypothesized that the snails are able to persist because they have evolved the ability to minimize their exposure to metals by actively avoiding metals in their environment. Using a Y-maze flow tank, we tested the avoidance behavior of snails to heavy-metal-polluted sediments and single-metal solutions of cadmium, zinc, or lead. We also tested the avoidance behaviors of the snails' laboratory-reared offspring raised in nonpolluted conditions. In addition, we tested the avoidance behavior of a small population of snails from a reference pond. Although all the snails we tested were able to detect low concentrations of heavy metals, we found that snails from the polluted site were the most sensitive, that their offspring were somewhat less sensitive, and that snails from the reference site were the least sensitive. This suggests that the ability of polluted-site snails to avoid heavy metals is both genetic and environmental. The concentrations of metals avoided by the snails from the polluted site were below the levels found at hot spots within their natal pond. The snails may be able to persist at this site because they decrease their exposure by moving to less-polluted sections of the pond. One application of our findings is the use of aquatic snails and our Y-maze design as an inexpensive pollution detector. Environmental pollutants such as lead, zinc, and arsenic are a problem throughout the world. People in underdeveloped countries often lack sophisticated pollution detection devices. We have developed a

  13. THE BIOCIDE TRIBUTYLTIN REDUCES THE ACCUMULATION OF TESTOSTERONE AS FATTY ACID ESTERS IN THE MUD SNAIL (ILYANASSA OBSOLETA)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Imposex, the development of male sex characteristics by female gonochoristic snails, has been documented globally and is causally associated with exposure to the ubiquitous environmental contaminant tributyltin (TBT). Elevated testosterone levels in snails also are associated wit...

  14. Single- and double-helix chiral fiber sensors

    SciTech Connect

    Kopp, Victor I.; Churikov, Victor M.; Zhang, Guoyin; Singer, Jonathan; Draper, Christopher W.; Chao, Norman; Neugroschl, Daniel; Genack, Azriel Z.

    2007-10-15

    Copropagating core and cladding modes in optical fibers can be coupled by a grating with a period greatly exceeding the wavelength, since their propagation constants are similar. In contrast to conventional long-period gratings, in which the modulation is imposed by exposing a photosensitive core to ultraviolet light, we have created chiral long-period gratings with single- or double-helix symmetry by twisting optical fibers with nonconcentric or noncircular cores, respectively, as they pass through a short heat zone. The difference in symmetry between single- and double-helix gratings is manifested in their polarization properties. The use of these gratings as sensors of liquid level and temperature is demonstrated.

  15. Parametric-Resonance Ionization Cooling in Twin-Helix.

    SciTech Connect

    V.S. Morozov, Ya.S. Derbenev, A. Afanasev, R.P. Johnson, Erdelyi. B., J.A. Maloney

    2011-09-01

    Parametric-resonance Ionization Cooling (PIC) is proposed as the final 6D cooling stage of a highluminosity muon collider. For the implementation of PIC, we developed an epicyclic twin-helix channel with correlated optics. Wedge-shaped absorbers immediately followed by short rf cavities are placed into the twin-helix channel. Parametric resonances are induced in both planes using helical quadrupole harmonics. We demonstrate resonant dynamics and cooling with stochastic effects off using GEANT4/G4beamline. We illustrate compensation of spherical aberrations and benchmark COSY Infinity, a powerful tool for aberration analysis and compensation.

  16. Artificial metalloenzymes derived from three-helix bundles

    PubMed Central

    Tebo, Alison G.; Pecoraro, Vincent L.

    2015-01-01

    Three-helix bundles and coiled-coil motifs are well-established de novo designed scaffolds that have been investigated for their metal-binding and catalytic properties. Satisfaction of the primary coordination sphere for a given metal is sufficient to introduce catalytic activity and a given structure may catalyze different reactions dependent on the identity of the incorporated metal. Here we describe recent contributions in the de novo design of metalloenzymes based on three-helix bundles and coiled-coil motifs, focusing on non-heme systems for hydrolytic and redox chemistry. PMID:25579452

  17. Converting One-Face α-Helix Mimetics into Amphiphilic α-Helix Mimetics as Potent Inhibitors of Protein-Protein Interactions.

    PubMed

    Lee, Ji Hoon; Oh, Misook; Kim, Hyun Soo; Lee, Huisun; Im, Wonpil; Lim, Hyun-Suk

    2016-01-11

    Many biologically active α-helical peptides adopt amphiphilic helical structures that contain hydrophobic residues on one side and hydrophilic residues on the other side. Therefore, α-helix mimetics capable of mimicking such amphiphilic helical peptides should possess higher binding affinity and specificity to target proteins. Here we describe an efficient method for generating amphiphilic α-helix mimetics. One-face α-helix mimetics having hydrophobic side chains on one side was readily converted into amphiphilic α-helix mimetics by introducing appropriate charged residues on the opposite side. We also demonstrate that such two-face amphiphilic α-helix mimetics indeed show remarkably improved binding affinity to a target protein, compared to one-face hydrophobic α-helix mimetics. We believe that generating a large combinatorial library of these amphiphilic α-helix mimetics can be valuable for rapid discovery of highly potent and specific modulators of protein-protein interactions. PMID:26651509

  18. A pilot study testing a natural and a synthetic molluscicide for controlling invasive apple snails (Pomacea maculata)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Pomacea maculata (formerly P. insularum), an apple snail native to South America, was discovered in Louisiana in 2008. These snails strip vegetation, reproduce at tremendous rates, and have reduced rice production and caused ecosystem changes in Asia. In this study snails were exposed to two mollusc...

  19. Measuring Animal Movements in a Natural Ecosystem: A Mark-Recapture Investigation Using Stream-Dwelling Snails

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stewart, Timothy W.

    2007-01-01

    In this investigation, students measure and describe movements of animals in a natural ecosystem. Students mark stream-dwelling snails with nail polish, then search for these snails 1-7 days later. Distances and directions moved by recaptured snails are recorded. Simple statistical techniques are used to answer specific research questions and…

  20. Infection with schistosome parasites in snails leads to increased predation by prawns: implications for human schistosomiasis control.

    PubMed

    Swartz, Scott J; De Leo, Giulio A; Wood, Chelsea L; Sokolow, Susanne H

    2015-12-01

    Schistosomiasis - a parasitic disease that affects over 200 million people across the globe - is primarily transmitted between human definitive hosts and snail intermediate hosts. To reduce schistosomiasis transmission, some have advocated disrupting the schistosome life cycle through biological control of snails, achieved by boosting the abundance of snails' natural predators. But little is known about the effect of parasitic infection on predator-prey interactions, especially in the case of schistosomiasis. Here, we present the results of laboratory experiments performed on Bulinus truncatus and Biomphalaria glabrata snails to investigate: (i) rates of predation on schistosome-infected versus uninfected snails by a sympatric native river prawn, Macrobrachium vollenhovenii, and (ii) differences in snail behavior (including movement, refuge-seeking and anti-predator behavior) between infected and uninfected snails. In predation trials, prawns showed a preference for consuming snails infected with schistosome larvae. In behavioral trials, infected snails moved less quickly and less often than uninfected snails, and were less likely to avoid predation by exiting the water or hiding under substrate. Although the mechanism by which the parasite alters snail behavior remains unknown, these results provide insight into the effects of parasitic infection on predator-prey dynamics and suggest that boosting natural rates of predation on snails may be a useful strategy for reducing transmission in schistosomiasis hotspots. PMID:26677260

  1. Activation of the ATM-Snail pathway promotes breast cancer metastasis

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Mianen; Guo, Xiaojing; Qian, Xiaolong; Wang, Haibo; Yang, Chunying; Brinkman, Kathryn L.; Serrano-Gonzalez, Monica; Jope, Richard S.; Zhou, Binhua; Engler, David A.; Zhan, Ming; Wong, Stephen T.C.; Fu, Li; Xu, Bo

    2012-01-01

    The DNA damage response (DDR) is critical for the maintenance of genetic stability and serves as an anti-cancer barrier during early tumorigenesis. However, the role of the DDR in tumor progression and metastasis is less known. Here, we demonstrate that the ATM kinase, one of the critical DDR elements, is hyperactive in late stage breast tumor tissues with lymph-node metastasis and this hyperactivity correlates with elevated expression of the epithelial–mesenchymal transition marker, Snail. At the molecular level, we demonstrate that ATM regulates Snail stabilization by phosphorylation on Serine-100. Using mass spectrometry, we identified HSP90 as a critical binding protein of Snail in response to DNA damage. HSP90 binds to and stabilizes phosphorylated Snail. We further provide in vitro and in vivo evidence that activation of ATM-mediated Snail phosphorylation promotes tumor invasion and metastasis. Finally, we demonstrate that Snail Serine-100 phosphorylation is elevated in breast cancer tissues with lymph-node metastasis, indicating clinical significance of the ATM-Snail pathway. Together, our findings provide strong evidence that the ATM-Snail pathway promotes tumor metastasis, highlighting a previously undescribed role of the DDR in tumor invasion and metastasis. PMID:22923499

  2. The non-native faucet snail (Bithynia tentaculata) makes the leap to Lake Superior

    EPA Science Inventory

    The European-origin faucet snail (Bithynia tentaculata) has been present in the lower Great Lakes since the late 1800s but only very recently reached Lake Superior. Surveys from 2011 through 2013 found faucet snail to be abundant and wide-spread in the St. Louis River Estuary wi...

  3. Studies on the molluscicidal activity of Agave angustifolia and Pittosporum tobira on schistosomiasis transmitting snails.

    PubMed

    Ibrahim, Abdalla M; Abdel-Gawad, Mahfouz M; El-Nahas, Hanan A; Osman, Nadia S

    2015-04-01

    In the search for new molluscicidal plants for controlling the snail vectors of schistosomiasis, laboratory evaluation was made to assess the molluscicidal activity of Agave angustifolia and Pittosporum tobira plants against Biomphalaria alexandrina snails. Results indicated that both plants have promising molluscicidal activity as the LC90 of the dry powder of both plants was 120 ppm. Both plants showed marked cercaricidal and miracidicidal potencies against S. mansoni larvae. The LC90 of both plants (120 ppm) killed most B. alexandrina eggs within 24 h of exposure. The sub-lethal concentrations of both plants markedly suppressed the survival rate of B. alexandrina snails and the mortality increased with increasing the concentrations and the exposure period up to 10 successive weeks. The accumulative toxic effect of these concentrations was continuous during the recovery period. Also, the reproductive rates of exposed snails were greatly affected even through the recovery period. This depression in reproductive ability of snails was accompanied by histological damage in the hermaphrodite glands of exposed snails. Meanwhile, the growth of snails was estimated weekly and it showed great inhibition in exposed snails comparing with the control ones. PMID:26012228

  4. Feeding clusters and olfaction in the mangrove snail Terebralia palustris (Linnaeus) (Potamididae: Gastropoda).

    PubMed

    Fratini, S; Cannicci, S; Vannini, M

    2001-07-01

    Large numbers of the snail Terebralia palustris (Linnaeus) (Potamididae; Gastropoda) are frequently observed feeding in a cluster on a single fallen mangrove leaf, yet none are present on leaves nearby. Consequently, we investigated the food-finding ability of T. palustris in a Kenyan mangrove forest using field experiments. We estimated the attractive effect of different cues and analysed the paths (video-recorded) of snails when approaching a food-related odour. This intertidal snail can potentially use both air-borne and water-borne odours to locate food. T. palustris is attracted to conspecifics feeding on leaves, while intact leaves as well as non-feeding snails are not attractive. Moreover, the guiding stimulus appears to be compounds released when the leaves are damaged.T. palustris also seems able to discriminate between different food items; it is more strongly attracted to green mangrove leaves than senescent or fallen ones or mangrove propagules, probably because green leaves release a greater amount of attractive cues.Feeding snails thus recruit more snails to feed on the same leaf. The ecological implications of this behaviour are discussed: a large number of snails on the same leaf counteracts the ability of crabs to remove the leaf being eaten by the snails. PMID:11399273

  5. 50 CFR 17.45 - Special rules-snails and clams. [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Special rules-snails and clams. 17.45 Section 17.45 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR... Special rules—snails and clams....

  6. 50 CFR 17.45 - Special rules-snails and clams. [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Special rules-snails and clams. 17.45 Section 17.45 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR... Special rules—snails and clams....

  7. 50 CFR 17.45 - Special rules-snails and clams. [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Special rules-snails and clams. 17.45 Section 17.45 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR... Special rules—snails and clams....

  8. 50 CFR 17.45 - Special rules-snails and clams. [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Special rules-snails and clams. 17.45 Section 17.45 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR... Special rules—snails and clams....

  9. 50 CFR 17.45 - Special rules-snails and clams. [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Special rules-snails and clams. 17.45 Section 17.45 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR... Special rules—snails and clams....

  10. Exploring the temporal effects of seasonal water availability on the snail kite of Florida: Part III

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mooij, Wolf M.; Martin, Julien; Kitchens, Wiley M.; DeAngelis, Donald L.

    2007-01-01

    The Florida snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis) is an endangered raptor that occurs as an isolated population, currently of about 2,000 birds, in the wetlands of southern and central Florida, USA. Its exclusive prey species, the apple snail (Pomacea paludosa) is strongly influenced by seasonal changes in water abundance. Droughts during the snail kite breeding season have a direct negative effect on snail kite survival and reproduction, but droughts are also needed to maintain aquatic vegetation types favorable to snail kite foraging for snails. We used a spatially explicit matrix model to explore the effects of temporal variation in water levels on the viability of the snail kite population under different temporal drought regimes in its wetland breeding habitat. We focused on three aspects of variations in water levels that were likely to affect kites: (1) drought frequency; (2) drought duration; and (3) drought timing within the year. We modeled a 31-year historical scenario using four different scenarios in which the average water level was maintained constant, but the amplitude of water level fluctuations was modified. Our results reveal the complexity of the effects of temporal variation in water levels on snail kite population dynamics. Management implications of these results are discussed. In particular, management decisions should not be based on annual mean water levels alone, but must consider the intra-annual variability.

  11. Local adaptation of the trematode Fasciola hepatica to the snail Galba truncatula.

    PubMed

    Dreyfuss, G; Vignoles, P; Rondelaud, D

    2012-08-01

    Experimental infections of six riverbank populations of Galba truncatula with Fasciola hepatica were carried out to determine if the poor susceptibility of these populations to this digenean might be due to the scarcity or the absence of natural encounters between these snails and the parasite. The first three populations originated from banks frequented by cattle in the past (riverbank group) whereas the three others were living on islet banks without any known contact with local ruminants (islet group). After their exposure, all snails were placed in their natural habitats from the end of October up to their collection at the beginning of April. Compared to the riverbank group, snails, which died without cercarial shedding clearly predominated in the islet group, while the other infected snails were few in number. Most of these last snails released their cercariae during a single shedding wave. In islet snails dissected after their death, the redial and cercarial burdens were significantly lower than those noted in riverbank G. truncatula. Snails living on these islet banks are thus able to sustain larval development of F. hepatica. The modifications noted in the characteristics of snail infection suggest the existence of an incomplete adaptation between these G. truncatula and the parasite, probably due to the absence of natural contact between host and parasite. PMID:22910670

  12. Dry down impacts on apple snail (Pomacea paludosa) demography: Implications for wetland water management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

    Florida apple snails (Pomacea paludosa Say) are prey for several wetland-dependent predators, most notably for the endangered Florida snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis Vieillot). Management concerns for kites have been raised regarding the impacts of wetland dry downs on snails, but little data exists to validate these concerns. We simulated drying events in experimental tanks, where we observed that snail survival patterns, regardless of hydrology, were driven by a post-reproductive die off. In contrast to earlier reports of little to no dry down tolerance, we found that 70% of pre-reproductive adult-sized snails survived a 12-week dry down. Smaller size classes of snails exhibited significantly lower survival rates (< 50% after eight weeks dry). Field surveys showed that 77% of egg production occurs in April-June. Our hydrologic analyses of six peninsular Florida wetlands showed that most dry downs overlapped a portion of the peak snail breeding season, and 70% of dry downs were ??? 12 weeks in duration. Dry down timing can affect recruitment by truncating annual egg production and stranding juveniles. Dry down survival rates and seasonal patterns of egg cluster production helped define a range of hydrologic conditions that support robust apple snail populations, and illustrate why multiple characteristics of dry down events should be considered in developing target hydrologic regimes for wetland fauna. ?? 2008, The Society of Wetland Scientists.

  13. Regulation of T cell receptor beta gene rearrangements and allelic exclusion by the helix-loop-helix protein, E47.

    PubMed

    Agata, Yasutoshi; Tamaki, Nobuyuki; Sakamoto, Shuji; Ikawa, Tomokatsu; Masuda, Kyoko; Kawamoto, Hiroshi; Murre, Cornelis

    2007-12-01

    Allelic exclusion of antigen-receptor genes is ensured primarily by monoallelic locus activation upon rearrangement and subsequently by feedback inhibition of continued rearrangement. Here, we demonstrated that the basic helix-loop-helix protein, E47, promoted T cell receptor beta (TCRbeta) gene rearrangement by directly binding to target gene segments to increase chromatin accessibility in a dosage-sensitive manner. Feedback signaling abrogated E47 binding, leading to a decline in accessibility. Conversely, enforced expression of E47 induced TCRbeta gene rearrangement by antagonizing feedback inhibition. Thus, the abundance of E47 is rate limiting in locus activation, and feedback signaling downregulates E47 activity to ensure allelic exclusion. PMID:18093539

  14. Snail/beta-catenin signaling protects breast cancer cells from hypoxia attack

    SciTech Connect

    Scherbakov, Alexander M.; Stefanova, Lidia B.; Sorokin, Danila V.; Semina, Svetlana E.; Berstein, Lev M.; Krasil’nikov, Mikhail A.

    2013-12-10

    The tolerance of cancer cells to hypoxia depends on the combination of different factors – from increase of glycolysis (Warburg Effect) to activation of intracellular growth/apoptotic pathways. Less is known about the influence of epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) and EMT-associated pathways on the cell sensitivity to hypoxia. The aim of this study was to explore the role of Snail signaling, one of the key EMT pathways, in the mediating of hypoxia response and regulation of cell sensitivity to hypoxia, using as a model in vitro cultured breast cancer cells. Earlier we have shown that estrogen-independent HBL-100 breast cancer cells differ from estrogen-dependent MCF-7 cells with increased expression of Snail1, and demonstrated Snail1 involvement into formation of hormone-resistant phenotype. Because Snail1 belongs to hypoxia-activated proteins, here we studied the influence of Snail1 signaling on the cell tolerance to hypoxia. We found that Snail1-enriched HBL-100 cells were less sensitive to hypoxia-induced growth suppression if compared with MCF-7 line (31% MCF-7 vs. 71% HBL-100 cell viability after 1% O{sub 2} atmosphere for 3 days). Snail1 knock-down enhanced the hypoxia-induced inhibition of cell proliferation giving the direct evidence of Snail1 involvement into cell protection from hypoxia attack. The protective effect of Snail1 was shown to be mediated, at least in a part, via beta-catenin which positively regulated expression of HIF-1-dependent genes. Finally, we found that cell tolerance to hypoxia was accompanied with the failure in the phosphorylation of AMPK – the key energy sensor, and demonstrated an inverse relationship between AMPK and Snail/beta-catenin signaling. Totally, our data show that Snail1 and beta-catenin, besides association with loss of hormone dependence, protect cancer cells from hypoxia and may serve as an important target in the treatment of breast cancer. Moreover, we suggest that the level of these proteins as well

  15. A single peptide loop in an alpha-Helix

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Pitch is not a height but a ratio of rise/run. In an alpha-helix, run can be as the radius (r) from the center of the circle, as a diameter (d) measured across/bisecting a circumference, or as a distance (c) along a circumference; rise in each case can corresponds to same height (h) increase. For ...

  16. Three-dimensional simulation of helix traveling wave tubes

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-12-31

    The authors present a three-dimensional nonlinear formulation and simulation of a helix traveling wave tube (TWT) using a sheath helix model. The simulation is capable of treating both DC and pulsed electron beams as well as single-frequency or multi-tone operation. The model relies upon a spectral decomposition of the electromagnetic fields in terms of the vacuum sheath helix polarizations. The field equations are integrated on a grid and advanced in time using a MacCormack predictor-corrector scheme, and the electron orbit equations are integrated using a fourth order Runge-Kutta algorithm. Charge is accumulated on the grid and the field is interpolated to the particle location by a linear map. Several numerical cases are considered. Simulation of the injection of a DC beam and a signal at a single frequency is compared with a linear field theory of the helix TWT interaction, and good agreement is found. Simulation of a prebunched beam is also discussed, and compared with an experiment at the Naval Research Laboratory.

  17. Structural constraints regulating triple helix formation by A-tracts.

    PubMed

    Sen, A; Gräslund, A

    2000-12-15

    The study concerns the propensity of triple helix formation by different DNA oligonucleotides containing long A-tracts with and without flanking GxC base pairs in order to probe the role of length of the A-tract and the flanking sequences. From nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) studies of imino proton spectra and circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy of samples composed of potential triplex forming strand sequences in correct stoichiometries, we have concluded that 8-mer A-tracts flanked by GxC base pairs exert significant steric hindrance to triple helix formation. When as much as 50 mM Mg2+ was added, no triple helix formation was observed in these samples. In contrast, open-ended 8-mer A-tracts formed triplex with the corresponding two T8 strands under relatively mild ionic conditions (100 mM Na+). Moreover, the shorter the length of the A-tract, the less is the hindrance to form a triple helix. PMID:11152277

  18. Talent Development as a University Mission: The Quadruple Helix

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holm-Nielsen, Lauritz B.; Thorn, Kristian; Olesen, Jeppe Dorup; Huey, Tina

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, the authors discuss the rationale behind making talent development at the PhD, post-doctoral and early career levels an equal fourth pillar of the university's mission, alongside the more traditional pillars of the triple helix. Using Denmark and Aarhus University as a case study, the paper describes how increased institutional…

  19. Probabilistic grammatical model for helix‐helix contact site classification

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Hidden Markov Models power many state‐of‐the‐art tools in the field of protein bioinformatics. While excelling in their tasks, these methods of protein analysis do not convey directly information on medium‐ and long‐range residue‐residue interactions. This requires an expressive power of at least context‐free grammars. However, application of more powerful grammar formalisms to protein analysis has been surprisingly limited. Results In this work, we present a probabilistic grammatical framework for problem‐specific protein languages and apply it to classification of transmembrane helix‐helix pairs configurations. The core of the model consists of a probabilistic context‐free grammar, automatically inferred by a genetic algorithm from only a generic set of expert‐based rules and positive training samples. The model was applied to produce sequence based descriptors of four classes of transmembrane helix‐helix contact site configurations. The highest performance of the classifiers reached AUCROC of 0.70. The analysis of grammar parse trees revealed the ability of representing structural features of helix‐helix contact sites. Conclusions We demonstrated that our probabilistic context‐free framework for analysis of protein sequences outperforms the state of the art in the task of helix‐helix contact site classification. However, this is achieved without necessarily requiring modeling long range dependencies between interacting residues. A significant feature of our approach is that grammar rules and parse trees are human‐readable. Thus they could provide biologically meaningful information for molecular biologists. PMID:24350601

  20. Refuge function of marine algae complicates selection in an intertidal snail.

    PubMed

    Kemppainen, Petri; van Nes, Solveig; Ceder, Christofer; Johannesson, Kerstin

    2005-04-01

    Species with restricted gene flow often show trait-shifts from one type of environment to another. In those rock-dwelling marine gastropods that lack larval dispersal, size generally decreases in wave-exposed habitats reducing risk of dislodgement, while increases in less exposed habitats to resist crab-crushing. In Littorina fabalis, however, snails of moderately exposed shores are generally much larger (11-14 mm) than snails of sheltered shores (5-8 mm). Observations from the White Sea (where crabs are not present) indicate that in the absence of crabs snails are small (6-7 mm) in both habitats. We assumed that the optimal size for L. fabalis in the absence of crabs is less than 8 mm, and thus that increased size in moderately exposed habitats in areas with crabs might be a response to crab predation. In a crab-rich area (Sweden) we showed that crab predation is an important mortality factor for this snail species in both sheltered and moderately exposed habitats. In sheltered habitats, snails were relatively more protected from crab-predation when dwelling on their habitual substrate, fucoid algae, than if experimentally tethered to rocks below the algae. This showed that algae function as snail refuges. Snail dislodgement increased, however, with wave exposure but tethering snails in moderately exposed habitats showed that large snails survived equally well on rocks under the algae as in the canopy of the algae. Thus in sheltered habitats a small snail size is favored, probably due to life-history reasons, while increased risk of being dislodged from the algae refuges promotes a large size in moderately exposed habitats. This study shows an example of selection of a trait depends on complex interactions of different factors (life-history optimization, crab predation, wave induced dislodgement and algal refuges). PMID:15711994

  1. Changes in Frequency of Spontaneous Oscillations in Procerebrum Correlate to Behavioural Choice in Terrestrial Snails

    PubMed Central

    Samarova, Elena; Balaban, Pavel

    2009-01-01

    The aim of our study was to understand functional significance of spontaneous oscillations of local field potential in the olfactory brain lobe of terrestrial snail, the procerebrum (PC). We compared changes in frequency of oscillations in semi-intact preparations from snails trained to percept the same conditioned odor as positive (associated with food reinforcement) or negative (associated with noxious reinforcement). In vivo recordings in freely behaving naïve snails showed a significant decrease of spontaneous PC oscillations frequency during a stage of tentacle withdrawal to odor presentation. In in vitro preparations from naïve snails, a similar decrease in frequency of the PC oscillations to odor presentation was observed. Changes in frequency of the oscillations to cineole presentations in the “aversive” group of snails (demonstrating withdrawal) were much more pronounced than in naïve snails. No significant difference in responses to 5% and 20% cineole was noted. Changes in the spontaneous oscillations frequency in the snails trained to respond with positive reaction (approach) to cineole depended on the concentration of the applied odor, and these responses were qualitatively similar to responses of other groups during the first 10 s of responses to odor, but significantly different (increase in PC oscillations frequency) from the responses of the aversively trained and naïve snails in the interval 11–30 s, which corresponds to the end of the tentacle withdrawal and timing of decision making (approach or escape) in the free behaving snails. Obtained results suggest that frequency of the PC lobe spontaneous oscillations correlate to the choice of behavior in snails: withdrawal (decrease in frequency) or approach (increase in frequency) to the source of odor. PMID:19753329

  2. Effects of an exotic prey species on a native specialist: Eexample of the snail kite

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cattau, Christopher E.; Martin, J.; Kitchens, W.M.

    2010-01-01

    Despite acknowledging that exotic species can exhibit tremendous influence over native populations, few case studies have clearly demonstrated the effects of exotic prey species on native predators. We examined the effects of the recently introduced island apple snail (Pomacea insularum) on the foraging behavior and energetics of the endangered snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus) in Florida. We conducted time-activity budgets: (i) on kites foraging for native Florida apple snails (Pomacea paludosa) in major wetland units within the kites' range that had not been invaded by the exotic island apple snail and (ii) on kites foraging for exotic apple snails in Lake Tohopekaliga, the only major wetland utilized by the snail kite that had suffered a serious invasion of P. insularum. When foraging for P. insularum, snail kites dropped a greater proportion of snails, and they experienced increased handling times and decreased consumption rates; however, kites foraging for P. insularum also spent a smaller proportion of the day in flight. Estimates of net daily energy balances between kites feeding on P. insularum versus P. paludosa were comparable for adults, but juveniles experienced energetic deficiencies when feeding on the exotic snail. Due to this discrepancy, we hypothesize that wetlands invaded by P. insularum, such as Lake Tohopekaliga, may function as ecological traps for the snail kite in Florida by attracting breeding adults but simultaneously depressing juvenile survival. This study highlights the conservation implications and importance of elucidating the effects that exotic species have on native specialists, especially those that are endangered, because subtle influences on behavior may have significant population consequences. ?? 2009 Elsevier Ltd.

  3. Effects of an exotic prey species on a native specialist: example of the snail kite

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cattau, Christopher E.; Martin, J.; Kitchens, Wiley M.

    2010-01-01

    Despite acknowledging that exotic species can exhibit tremendous influence over native populations, few case studies have clearly demonstrated the effects of exotic prey species on native predators. We examined the effects of the recently introduced island apple snail (Pomacea insularum) on the foraging behavior and energetics of the endangered snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus) in Florida. We conducted time-activity budgets: (i) on kites foraging for native Florida apple snails (Pomacea paludosa) in major wetland units within the kites' range that had not been invaded by the exotic island apple snail and (ii) on kites foraging for exotic apple snails in Lake Tohopekaliga, the only major wetland utilized by the snail kite that had suffered a serious invasion of P. insularum. When foraging for P. insularum, snail kites dropped a greater proportion of snails, and they experienced increased handling times and decreased consumption rates; however, kites foraging for P. insularum also spent a smaller proportion of the day in flight. Estimates of net daily energy balances between kites feeding on P. insularum versus P. paludosa were comparable for adults, but juveniles experienced energetic deficiencies when feeding on the exotic snail. Due to this discrepancy, we hypothesize that wetlands invaded by P. insularum, such as Lake Tohopekaliga, may function as ecological traps for the snail kite in Florida by attracting breeding adults but simultaneously depressing juvenile survival. This study highlights the conservation implications and importance of elucidating the effects that exotic species have on native specialists, especially those that are endangered, because subtle influences on behavior may have significant population consequences.

  4. Controllable Snail-Paced Light in Biological Bacteriorhodopsin Thin Film

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Pengfei; Rao, D. V. G. L. N.

    2005-12-01

    We observe that the group velocity of light is reduced to an extremely low value of 0.091mm/s in a biological thin film of bacteriorhodopsin at room temperature. By exploiting unique features of a flexible photoisomerization process for coherent population oscillation, the velocity is all-optically controlled over an enormous span, from snail-paced to normal light speed, with no need of modifying the characteristics of the incident pulse. Because of the large quantum yield for the photoreaction in this biochemical system, the ultraslow light is observed even at low light levels of microwatts, indicating high energy efficiency.

  5. [Equipment for biological experiments with snails aboard piloted orbital stations].

    PubMed

    Gorgiladze, G I; Korotkova, E V; Kuznetsova, E E; Mukhamedieva, L N; Begrov, V V; Pepeliaev, Iu V

    2010-01-01

    To fly biological experiments aboard piloted orbital stations, research equipment was built up of an incubation container, filter system and automatic temperature controller. Investigations included analysis of the makeup and concentrations of gases produced by animals (snails) during biocycle, and emitted after death. Filters are chemisorption active fibrous materials (AFM) with high sorption rate and water receptivity (cation exchange fiber VION-KN-1 and anion exchange fiber VION-AS-1), and water-repellent carbon adsorbent SKLTS. AFM filters were effective in air cleaning and practically excluded ingress of chemical substances from the container into cabin atmosphere over more than 100 days. PMID:21033402

  6. An embryonic transcriptome of the pulmonate snail Radix balthica.

    PubMed

    Tills, Oliver; Truebano, Manuela; Rundle, Simon

    2015-12-01

    The pond snail, Radix balthica (Linnaeus 1758), is an emerging model species within ecological developmental biology. While its development has been characterised in detail, genomic resources for embryonic stages are lacking. We applied Illumina MiSeq RNA-seq to RNA isolated from pools of embryos at two points during development. Embryos were cultured in either the presence or absence of predator kariomones to increase the diversity of the transcripts assembled. Sequencing produced 47.2M paired-end reads, assembled into 54,360 contigs of which 73% were successfully annotated. This transcriptome provides an invaluable resource to build a mechanistic understanding of developmental plasticity. PMID:26297600

  7. [An experimental unit for the recording of the escape reaction of a ground snail to tactile stimulation].

    PubMed

    Moskvitin, A A; Pivovarov, A S

    2003-01-01

    An original working experimental unit for noninvasive objective recording of the magnitude of escape reaction of a ground snail evoked by tactile stimulation is described. A. snail creeps upwards over the cylinder rotating around its horizontal axis. A watching device ensures a constant snail position relative to a light source and a photoelement. A device for tactile stimulation which provides graduated energy of an impact is constructed on the basis of the magnetic circuit of a loudspeaker. In response to a tactile stimulus a snail pulls in its feelers, head, and foot, and the area of snail's shadow decreases. These changes are indicated by the photoelement. PMID:12754854

  8. Exposure of Unwounded Plants to Chemical Cues Associated with Herbivores Leads to Exposure-Dependent Changes in Subsequent Herbivore Attack

    PubMed Central

    Orrock, John L.

    2013-01-01

    Although chemical predator cues often lead to changes in the anti-predator behavior of animal prey, it is not clear whether non-volatile herbivore kairomones (i.e. incidental chemical cues produced by herbivore movement or metabolism but not produced by an attack) trigger the induction of defense in plants prior to attack. I found that unwounded plants (Brassica nigra) that were regularly exposed to kairomones from snails (mucus and feces produced during movement of Helix aspersa) subsequently experienced reduced rates of attack by snails, unlike unwounded plants that received only one initial early exposure to snail kairomones. A follow-up experiment found that mucus alone did not affect snail feeding on previously harvested B. oleracea leaves, suggesting that changes in herbivory on B. nigra were due to changes in plant quality. The finding that chemicals associated with herbivores leads to changes in palatability of unwounded plants suggests that plants eavesdrop on components of non-volatile kairomones of their snail herbivores. Moreover, this work shows that the nature of plant exposure matters, supporting the conclusion that plants that have not been attacked or wounded nonetheless tailor their use of defenses based on incidental chemical information associated with herbivores and the timing with which cues of potential attack are encountered. PMID:24278210

  9. Exposure of unwounded plants to chemical cues associated with herbivores leads to exposure-dependent changes in subsequent herbivore attack.

    PubMed

    Orrock, John L

    2013-01-01

    Although chemical predator cues often lead to changes in the anti-predator behavior of animal prey, it is not clear whether non-volatile herbivore kairomones (i.e. incidental chemical cues produced by herbivore movement or metabolism but not produced by an attack) trigger the induction of defense in plants prior to attack. I found that unwounded plants (Brassica nigra) that were regularly exposed to kairomones from snails (mucus and feces produced during movement of Helix aspersa) subsequently experienced reduced rates of attack by snails, unlike unwounded plants that received only one initial early exposure to snail kairomones. A follow-up experiment found that mucus alone did not affect snail feeding on previously harvested B. oleracea leaves, suggesting that changes in herbivory on B. nigra were due to changes in plant quality. The finding that chemicals associated with herbivores leads to changes in palatability of unwounded plants suggests that plants eavesdrop on components of non-volatile kairomones of their snail herbivores. Moreover, this work shows that the nature of plant exposure matters, supporting the conclusion that plants that have not been attacked or wounded nonetheless tailor their use of defenses based on incidental chemical information associated with herbivores and the timing with which cues of potential attack are encountered. PMID:24278210

  10. OVERVIEW OF HELIX HOUSE NO. 2 (S87), WITH ANTENNA TOWERS, ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    OVERVIEW OF HELIX HOUSE NO. 2 (S-87), WITH ANTENNA TOWERS, HELIX HOUSE NO. 1 (S-3) AND TRANSMITTER BLDG. (S-2) AT REAR, LOOKING WEST SOUTHWEST. - Naval Computer & Telecommunications Area Master Station, Eastern Pacific, Radio Transmitter Facility Lualualei, Helix House No. 2, Base of Radio Antenna Structure No. 427, Makaha, Honolulu County, HI

  11. The repressor function of snail is required for Drosophila gastrulation and is not replaceable by Escargot or Worniu.

    PubMed

    Hemavathy, Kirugaval; Hu, Xiaodi; Ashraf, Shovon I; Small, Stephen J; Ip, Y Tony

    2004-05-15

    Mesoderm formation in the Drosophila embryo depends on the maternal Toll signaling pathway. The Toll pathway establishes the Dorsal nuclear gradient, which regulates many zygotic genes to establish the mesodermal fate and promote the invagination of ventral cells. An important target gene of Dorsal is snail, which is required for proper mesoderm invagination. The Snail protein contains five zinc fingers and is a transcriptional repressor. However, it is not clear whether repressing target genes is a requirement for Snail to control ventral invagination. To examine such requirement, we conducted a series of genetic rescue experiments in snail mutant embryos. Snail, Worniu, and Escargot are closely related zinc-finger proteins and have equal functions during neuroblast development. However, among these three proteins, only Snail can rescue the mesoderm invagination phenotype. Moreover, the ability of various Snail mutant constructs to repress gene expression correlates with their ability to control invagination. This unique property of Snail in mesoderm formation can be attributed mostly to the CtBP co-repressor interaction motifs in the N-terminus, not to the C-terminal DNA-binding zinc fingers. Ectopic expression of Snail outside the ventral domain is not sufficient to induce cell movement even though repression of target genes still occurs. Together, the results show that the repressor function of Snail is essential for gastrulation. The repression of target genes by Snail may permit other factors in the ventral cells to positively promote mesoderm invagination. PMID:15110709

  12. Snail Family Transcription Factors Are Implicated in Thyroid Carcinogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Hardy, Robert G.; Vicente-Dueñas, Carolina; González-Herrero, Ines; Anderson, Catriona; Flores, Teresa; Hughes, Sharon; Tselepis, Chris; Ross, James A.; Sánchez-García, Isidro

    2007-01-01

    E-Cadherin (CDH1) expression is reduced in thyroid carcinomas by primarily unknown mechanisms. In several tissues, SNAIL (SNAI1) and SLUG (SNAI2) induce epithelial-mesenchymal transition by altering target gene transcription, including CDH1 repression, but these transcription factors have not been studied in thyroid carcinoma. Recently, our group has provided direct evidence that ectopic SNAI1 expression induces epithelial and mesenchymal mouse tumors. SNAI1, SNAI2, and CDH1 expression were analyzed in thyroid-derived cell lines and samples of human follicular and papillary thyroid carcinoma by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, Western blotting, and immunohistochemistry. The effect of SNAI1 expression on CDH1 transcription was analyzed by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and Western blotting in ori-3 cells. Thyroid carcinoma development was analyzed in CombitTA-Snail mice, in which SNAI1 levels are up-regulated. SNAI1 and SNAI2 were not expressed in cells derived from normal thyroid tissue, or in normal human thyroid samples, but were highly expressed in cell lines derived from thyroid carcinomas, in human thyroid carcinoma samples, and their metastases. SNAI1 expression in ori-3 cells repressed CDH1 transcription. Combi-TA mice developed papillary thyroid carcinomas, the incidence of which was increased by concomitant radiotherapy. In conclusion, SNAI1 and SNAI2 are ectopically expressed in thyroid carcinomas, and aberrant expression in mice is associated with papillary carcinoma development. PMID:17724139

  13. Allying with armored snails: the complete genome of gammaproteobacterial endosymbiont

    PubMed Central

    Nakagawa, Satoshi; Shimamura, Shigeru; Takaki, Yoshihiro; Suzuki, Yohey; Murakami, Shun-ichi; Watanabe, Tamaki; Fujiyoshi, So; Mino, Sayaka; Sawabe, Tomoo; Maeda, Takahiro; Makita, Hiroko; Nemoto, Suguru; Nishimura, Shin-Ichiro; Watanabe, Hiromi; Watsuji, Tomo-o; Takai, Ken

    2014-01-01

    Deep-sea vents harbor dense populations of various animals that have their specific symbiotic bacteria. Scaly-foot gastropods, which are snails with mineralized scales covering the sides of its foot, have a gammaproteobacterial endosymbiont in their enlarged esophageal glands and diverse epibionts on the surface of their scales. In this study, we report the complete genome sequencing of gammaproteobacterial endosymbiont. The endosymbiont genome displays features consistent with ongoing genome reduction such as large proportions of pseudogenes and insertion elements. The genome encodes functions commonly found in deep-sea vent chemoautotrophs such as sulfur oxidation and carbon fixation. Stable carbon isotope (13C)-labeling experiments confirmed the endosymbiont chemoautotrophy. The genome also includes an intact hydrogenase gene cluster that potentially has been horizontally transferred from phylogenetically distant bacteria. Notable findings include the presence and transcription of genes for flagellar assembly, through which proteins are potentially exported from bacterium to the host. Symbionts of snail individuals exhibited extreme genetic homogeneity, showing only two synonymous changes in 19 different genes (13 810 positions in total) determined for 32 individual gastropods collected from a single colony at one time. The extremely low genetic individuality in endosymbionts probably reflects that the stringent symbiont selection by host prevents the random genetic drift in the small population of horizontally transmitted symbiont. This study is the first complete genome analysis of gastropod endosymbiont and offers an opportunity to study genome evolution in a recently evolved endosymbiont. PMID:23924784

  14. Reproduction and demography of the Florida Everglade (Snail) Kite

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1989-01-01

    An 18-year study of reproduction and survival of the Florida Everglade (Snail) Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus) has revealed the following: extremely poor nesting success (only 13.6% of nests found at the nest-building stage successful); extremely long breeding seasons (some reproductive activity in almost all months in good years); frequent multiple brooding and frequent multiple brooding and frequent renesting after failure; low egg hatchability (81%); high failure rates due to nest collapse, desertion, and predation; extremely high survival of juveniles and adults under good water conditions; and high vulnerability to drought due to near total dependency on a single species of drought-sensitive snail for food. Despite low nesting success, the species has increased rapidly under good conditions, mainly because of multiple nesting attempts within long breeding seasons and high survival rates of free-flying birds. Nesting success varied significantly between regions and nest substrates, but not as a function of seasons or solitary vs. colonial nesting. While nesting success was reduced in low water years, this effect was at least partly due to heavy use of poor nest substrates under such conditions. Clutch size and numbers of young per successful nest varied with regions, but not as a function of seasons or water levels. The effects of coloniality on clutch size and numbers of young were inconsistent. Significant effects of nest-substrate types on clutch size and numbers of young were apparently artifacts of substrate differences between regions.

  15. Microgeographic evolution of snail shell shape and predator behavior.

    PubMed

    Schilthuizen, Menno; van Til, Angelique; Salverda, Merijn; Liew, Thor-Seng; James, S Sheena; bin Elahan, Berjaya; Vermeulen, Jaap J

    2006-09-01

    Genetic divergence in geographically isolated populations is a prerequisite for allopatric speciation, one of the most common modes of speciation. In ecologically equivalent populations existing within a small, environmentally homogeneous area, an important role for environmentally neutral divergence is often found or inferred. We studied a species complex of conspicuously shaped Opisthostoma land snails on scattered limestone outcrops within a small area of lowland rainforest in Borneo. We used shell morphometrics, mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences, and marks of predation to study the factors involved in allopatric divergence. We found that a striking geographic divergence exists in shell morphology, which is partly associated with neutral genetic divergence. We also found geographic differentiation in the behavior of the snails' invertebrate predator and evidence of an evolutionary interaction between aspects of shell shape and predator behavior. Our study shows that adaptation to biotic aspects of the environment may play a more important role in allopatric speciation than previously suspected, even on a geographically very small scale. PMID:17089969

  16. Characterizations of cholinesterases in golden apple snail (Pomacea canaliculata).

    PubMed

    Zou, Xiang-Hui; Xie, Heidi Qun-Hui; Zha, Guang-Cai; Chen, Vicky Ping; Sun, Yan-Jie; Zheng, Yu-Zhong; Tsim, Karl Wah-Keung; Dong, Tina Ting-Xia; Choi, Roy Chi-Yan; Luk, Wilson Kin-Wai

    2014-07-01

    Cholinesterases (ChEs) have been identified in vertebrates and invertebrates. Inhibition of ChE activity in invertebrates, such as bivalve molluscs, has been used to evaluate the exposure of organophosphates, carbamate pesticides, and heavy metals in the marine system. The golden apple snail (Pomacea canaliculata) is considered as one of the worst invasive alien species harmful to rice and other crops. The ChE(s) in this animal, which has been found recently, but poorly characterized thus far, could serve as biomarker(s) for environmental surveillance as well as a potential target for the pest control. In this study, the tissue distribution, substrate preference, sensitivity to ChE inhibitors, and molecular species of ChEs in P. canaliculata were investigated. It was found that the activities of both AChE and BChE were present in all test tissues. The intestine had the most abundant ChE activities. Both enzymes had fair activities in the head, kidney, and gills. The BChE activity was more sensitive to tetra-isopropylpyrophosphoramide (iso-OMPA) than the AChE. Only one BChE molecular species, 5.8S, was found in the intestine and head, whereas two AChE species, 5.8S and 11.6S, were found there. We propose that intestine ChEs of this snail may be potential biomarkers for manipulating pollutions. PMID:24217797

  17. Determination and quantification of Schistosoma mansoni cercarial emergence from Biomphalaria glabrata snails.

    PubMed

    Tucker, Matthew S; Lewis, Fred A; Driver, James D; Granath, Willard O

    2014-12-01

    Living and fixed samples of Schistosoma mansoni -infected Biomphalaria glabrata snails were used to determine the relative contributions of different snail tissues to cercarial emergence (shedding). Three methods of observations were employed: (1) direct microscopical observations of shedding snails; (2) microscopic analysis of 5 μm serial sections (H&E stained) of actively shedding snails; and (3) scanning electron microscopic (SEM) observations of snails that were fixed while actively shedding. For this investigation, there were advantages and disadvantages to using each method. We confirmed the results of others that there were 3 tissues of the snail that contributed most prominently to cercarial release (mantle collar, pseudobranch, and headfoot). Based on histological analysis of cercarial accumulations in presumed shedding sites in these 3 tissues, 57% of the cercariae could be seen in the mantle collar, 30.6% in the pseudobranch, and 12.5% in the headfoot. Other anterior structures were involved to a much lesser extent. SEM observations clearly showed cercariae emerging either body first, tail first, or likely emerging en masse from blebs, especially from the mantle collar. These studies provide a more quantitative appraisal of the role the different anterior snail tissues play in cercarial emergence. PMID:25019357

  18. Bacterial induction of Snail1 contributes to blood-brain barrier disruption

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Brandon J.; Hancock, Bryan M.; Bermudez, Andres; Cid, Natasha Del; Reyes, Efren; van Sorge, Nina M.; Lauth, Xavier; Smurthwaite, Cameron A.; Hilton, Brett J.; Stotland, Aleksandr; Banerjee, Anirban; Buchanan, John; Wolkowicz, Roland; Traver, David; Doran, Kelly S.

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial meningitis is a serious infection of the CNS that results when blood-borne bacteria are able to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is the leading cause of neonatal meningitis; however, the molecular mechanisms that regulate bacterial BBB disruption and penetration are not well understood. Here, we found that infection of human brain microvascular endothelial cells (hBMECs) with GBS and other meningeal pathogens results in the induction of host transcriptional repressor Snail1, which impedes expression of tight junction genes. Moreover, GBS infection also induced Snail1 expression in murine and zebrafish models. Tight junction components ZO-1, claudin 5, and occludin were decreased at both the transcript and protein levels in hBMECs following GBS infection, and this repression was dependent on Snail1 induction. Bacteria-independent Snail1 expression was sufficient to facilitate tight junction disruption, promoting BBB permeability to allow bacterial passage. GBS induction of Snail1 expression was dependent on the ERK1/2/MAPK signaling cascade and bacterial cell wall components. Finally, overexpression of a dominant-negative Snail1 homolog in zebrafish elevated transcription of tight junction protein–encoding genes and increased zebrafish survival in response to GBS challenge. Taken together, our data support a Snail1-dependent mechanism of BBB disruption and penetration by meningeal pathogens. PMID:25961453

  19. Comparative toxicity of Paraquat herbicide and some plant extracts in Lymnaea natalensis snails.

    PubMed

    Bakry, Fayez A; Eleiwa, Mona E; Taha, Samir A; Ismil, Somya M

    2016-01-01

    Paraquat has been shown to be a highly toxic compound for humans and animals, and many cases of acute poisoning and death have been reported over the past few decades. The present study was undertaken to evaluate comprehensively herbicides (Paraquat) and some plant extracts to biochemical aspects of Lymnaea natalensis snails. It was found that the exposure of L. natalensis to Paraquat and plant extracts led to a significant reduction in the infectivity of Fasciola gigantica miracidia to the snail. The glucose level in hemolymph of exposed snails was elevated, while the glycogen showed a decrease in soft tissues when compared with the control group. In addition, the activity level of some enzymes representing glycolytic enzymes as hexokinase (HK), pyruvate kinase (PK), phosphofructokinase (PFK), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and glucose phosphate isomerase (GPI) in snail's tissues were reduced in response to the treatment. It was concluded that the pollution of the aquatic environment by herbicide would adversely affect the metabolism of the L. natalensis snails. Snails treated with Agave attenuate, Ammi visnaga, and Canna iridiflora plant had less toxic effect compared to snails treated with Paraquat. PMID:24081640

  20. Taken to the limit--Is desiccation stress causing precocious encystment of trematode parasites in snails?

    PubMed

    O'Dwyer, Katie; Poulin, Robert

    2015-12-01

    When hosts experience environmental stress, the quantity and quality of resources they provide for parasites may be diminished, and host longevity may be decreased. Under stress, parasites may adopt alternative strategies to avoid fitness reductions. Trematode parasites typically have complex life cycles, involving asexual reproduction in a gastropod first intermediate host. A rare phenomenon, briefly mentioned in the literature, and termed 'precocious encystment' involves the next stage in the parasites' life cycle (metacercarial cyst) forming within the preceding stage (redia), while still inside the snail. In the trematode Parorchis sp. NZ using rocky shore snails exposed to long periods outside water, we hypothesised that this might be an adaptive strategy against desiccation, preventing parasite emergence from the snail. To test this, we first investigated the effect of prolonged desiccation on the survival of two species of high intertidal snails. Secondly, we measured the reproductive output (cercarial production) of the parasite under wet and dry conditions. Finally, we quantified the influence of desiccation stress on the occurrence of precocious encystment. Snail mortality was higher under dry conditions, indicating stress, and it was somewhat exacerbated for infected snails. Parasite reproductive output differed between wet and dry conditions, with parasites of snails kept in dry conditions producing more cercariae when placed in water. Little variation was observed in the occurrence of precocious encystment, although some subtle patterns emerged. Given the stresses associated with living in high intertidal environments, we discuss precocious encystment as a possible stress response in this trematode parasite. PMID:26344863

  1. Male characteristics on female mud snails caused by antifouling bottom paints.

    PubMed

    Smith, B S

    1981-02-01

    This study continues an investigation of an anatomical abnormality, named 'imposex', which consists of a superimposition of male characteristics on to a functionally normal female reproductive anatomy of the dioecious snail Nassarius obsoletus Say. Imposex is prevalent in natural populations living near yacht basins and rarely found distant from them. In the current study caged snails were transferred between a yacht basin and a distant 'clean' locality where the natural population of snails was normal. Imposex was induced in some normal snails kept at the marina and suppressed, but not lost in abnormal snails kept at the clean locality. A similar positive result was obtained in the laboratory by exposing normal snails to organotin-containing antifouling paints and abnormal snails to clean sea water. Results were negative in parallel tests of various marina-associated materials which did not contain organotin. The laboratory studies have thus identified a causative factor for the anatomical abnormalities common near yacht basins in the natural environment. They also provide a rare, if not unique, example of a chemical agent which causes the appearance of superfluous anatomical features in an animal. PMID:7185870

  2. The mesoderm determinant snail collaborates with related zinc-finger proteins to control Drosophila neurogenesis.

    PubMed

    Ashraf, S I; Hu, X; Roote, J; Ip, Y T

    1999-11-15

    The Snail protein functions as a transcriptional regulator to establish early mesodermal cell fate. Later, in germ band-extended embryos, Snail is also expressed in most neuroblasts. Here we present evidence that this expression of Snail is required for central nervous system (CNS) development. The neural function of snail is masked by two closely linked genes, escargot and worniu. Both Escargot and Worniu contain zinc-finger domains that are highly homologous to that of Snail. Although not affecting expression of early neuroblast markers, the deletion of the region containing all three genes correlates with loss of expression of CNS determinants including fushi tarazu, pdm-2 and even-skipped. Transgenic expression of each of the three Snail family proteins can rescue efficiently the fushi tarazu defects, and partially the pdm-2 and even-skipped CNS patterns. These results demonstrate that the Snail family proteins have essential functions during embryonic CNS development, around the time of ganglion mother cell formation. PMID:10562554

  3. [Life span and cercaria shedding of schistosome-infected snails in mountain region of Yunnan].

    PubMed

    Xie, F; Yin, G; Wu, J; Duan, Y; Zhang, X; Yang, J; Qian, K; Tan, H; Zheng, J; Zhang, R

    1990-01-01

    The life span and cercaria shedding of infected Oncomelania snails in a mountain region of Shitoudi village, Weishan County, Yunnan Province were observed in simulated local ecological environments. 135 infected snails were isolated for observation 3 months after exposure to miracidia in August, 1987. The snail survival rate from the day of initial cercaria shedding to next June, July, August and September was 27.4, 16.3, 13.3 and 11.9% respectively, and the average number of cercariae shed was 139.9, 29.6, 39.2 and 75 per month respectively. The average life span of infected snails was 171.6 days. The average number of cercariae shed per snail in its whole life was 673.0. It was estimated that the average patent period of infected snails was over half a year. As this is the first report in our country in respect to the life span and cercariae shedding of infected snails in a mountain region, the result might be useful for quantitative analysis of epidemiological factors of schistosomiasis in this kind of endemic areas as well as for formulation of control strategy. PMID:2114229

  4. Temperature dependence of Opisthorchis viverrini infection in first intermediate host snail, Bithynia siamensis goniomphalos.

    PubMed

    Prasopdee, Sattrachai; Kulsantiwong, Jutharat; Piratae, Supawadee; Khampoosa, Panita; Thammasiri, Chalida; Suwannatrai, Apiporn; Laha, Thewarach; Grams, Rudi; Loukas, Alex; Tesana, Smarn

    2015-01-01

    Determining of the success of a parasite's infectiveness in its snail host clearly depends on environmental conditions. Temperature, one of the most influential factors impinging on metabolism of cold-blooded animals, is believed to be an important factor in parasitic infection in snails. In order to elucidate the influence of temperature, sex and size of snails on infectivity of Opisthorchis viverrini to its first intermediate host, Bithynia siamensis goniomphalos, 960 snails were divided into 2 groups by sex. Each group was subdivided by their size into small and medium sub-groups. Each snail was fed with embryonated uterine-eggs of O. viverrini at different temperatures (16-37°C, 3°C intervals). Dissections were carried out 1, 7, 14, 28 and 56 days thereafter and detection of O. viverrini infection was undertaken by PCR using specific primers. Infection was strongly temperature-dependent, as temperature increases of 1°C resulted in increased odds of infection 5.4% (P<0.01). A temperature of 34°C gave the highest rate of infection of 44.14%. We also found that the odds of infection in small sized snails was 39.8% higher relative to medium sized snails (P<0.05). Relative to day 1, the decrease in the odds of infection was detected when the day post infection was longer (P<0.01). Proportion of infection in female was not different to male significantly. PMID:24161535

  5. Dining local: the microbial diet of a snail that grazes microbial communities is geographically structured.

    PubMed

    O'Rorke, Richard; Cobian, Gerald M; Holland, Brenden S; Price, Melissa R; Costello, Vincent; Amend, Anthony S

    2015-05-01

    Achatinella mustelina is a critically endangered tree snail that subsists entirely by grazing microbes from leaf surfaces of native trees. Little is known about the fundamental aspects of these microbe assemblages: not taxonomic composition, how this varies with host plant or location, nor whether snails selectively consume microbes. To address these questions, we collected 102 snail faecal samples as a proxy for diet, and 102 matched-leaf samples from four locations. We used Illumina amplicon sequencing to determine bacterial and fungal community composition. Microbial community structure was significantly distinct between snail faeces and leaf samples, but the same microbes occurred in both. We conclude that snails are not 'picky' eaters at the microbial level, but graze the surface of whatever plant they are on. In a second experiment, the gut was dissected from non-endangered native tree snails in the same family as Achatinella to confirm that faecal samples reflect gut contents. Over 60% of fungal reads were shared between faeces, gut and leaf samples. Overall, location, sample type (faeces or leaf) and host plant identity all significantly explained the community composition and variation among samples. Understanding the microbial ecology of microbes grazed by tree snails enables effective management when conservation requires captive breeding or field relocation. PMID:25285515

  6. Glial potassium channels activated by neuronal firing or intracellular cyclic AMP in Helix.

    PubMed Central

    Gommerat, I; Gola, M

    1996-01-01

    1. Cell-attached and whole cell patch clamp experiments were performed on satellite glial cells adhering to the cell body of neurones in situ within the nervous system of the snail Helix pomatia. The underlying neurone was under current or voltage-clamp control. 2. Neuronal firing induced a delayed (20-30 s) persistent (3-4 min) increase in the opening probability of glial K+ channels. The channels were also activated by perfusing the ganglion with a depolarizing high-K+ saline, except when the underlying neurone was prevented from depolarizing under voltage-clamp conditions. 3. Two K(+)-selective channels were detected in the glial membrane. The channel responding to neuronal firing was present in 95% of the patches (n = 393). It had a unitary conductance of 56 pS, a Na+ :K+ permeability ratio < 0.02 and displayed slight inward rectification in symmetrical [K+] conditions. It was sensitive to TEA, Ba2+ and Cs+. The following results refer to this channel as studied in the cell-attached configuration. 4. The glial K+ channel was activated by bath application of the membrane-permeant cyclic AMP derivatives 8-bromo-cAMP and dibutyryl-cAMP, the adenylyl cyclase activator forskolin and the diesterase inhibitors IBMX, theophylline and caffeine. It was insensitive to cyclic GMP activators and to conditions that might alter the intracellular [Ca2+] (ionomycin, low-Ca2+ saline and Ca2+ channel blockers). 5. The forskolin-induced changes in channel behaviour (open and closed time distributions, burst duration, short and long gaps within bursts) could be accounted for by a four-state model (3 closed states, 1 open state) by simply changing one of the six rate parameters. 6. The present results suggest that the signal sent by an active neurone to satellite glial cells is confined to the glial cells round that neurone. The effect of this signal on the class of glial K+ channels studied can be mimicked by an increase in glial cAMP concentration. The subsequent delayed opening

  7. The ectopic expression of Snail in MDBK cells does not induce epithelial-mesenchymal transition

    PubMed Central

    IZAWA, GENYA; KOBAYASHI, WAKAKO; HARAGUCHI, MISAKO; SUDO, AKIHARU; OZAWA, MASAYUKI

    2015-01-01

    Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), a key process in the tumor metastatic cascade, is characterized by the loss of cell-cell junctions and cell polarity, as well as by the acquisition of migratory and invasive properties. However, the precise molecular events that initiate this complex EMT process are poorly understood. Snail expression induces EMT in Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells and the human epidermoid carcinoma cell line, A431. Snail is a zinc finger transcription factor and triggers EMT by suppressing E-cadherin expression. In the present study, to broaden our knowledge of Snail-induced EMT, we generated stable Snail transfectants using Madin-Darby bovine kidney (MDBK) cells. Contrary to the MDCK or A431 cells examined in our previous studies, the MDBK cells transfected with the Snail construct maintained an epithelial morphology and showed no sign of reduced cell-cell adhesiveness compared to the control cells. Consistent with these observations, the down-regulation of epithelial marker proteins, e.g. E-cadherin and desmoglein, and the upregulation of mesenchymal marker proteins, e.g., N-cadherin and fibronectin, were not detected. Furthermore, the E-cadherin promoter was not methylated. Therefore, in the MDBK cells, the ectopic expression of Snail failed to induce EMT. As previously demonstrated, in MDCK cells, Snail expression is accompanied by the increased expression of other EMT-inducing transcription factors, e.g., Slug and zinc finger E-box-binding homeobox 1 (ZEB1). However, the MDBK cells transfected with the Snail construct did not exhibit an increased expression of these factors. Thus, it is possible that the failure to upregulate other EMT-related transcription factors may explain the lack of Snail-mediated induction of EMT in MDBK cells. PMID:25998899

  8. A 20 GHz, 75 watt helix TWT for space communications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heney, J. F.; Tamashiro, R. N.

    1982-01-01

    A space-qualified, helix-type traveling wave tube is being developed for satellite communication systems in the frequency band of 17.7 to 21.2 GHz. The design approach stresses very high efficiency operation, but with very low distortion. The tube provides multi-mode operation, permitting CW saturated power output levels of 75 watts, 40 watt and 7.5 watts. Operation is also anticipated at 5 dB below these saturation levels to achieve the required low distortion levels. Advanced construction features include a 5 stage depressed collector, a diamond supported helix slow-wave circuit, and a type M dispenser cathode. High reliability and long life (10 years) are objectives of the tube design. The status of the development and recent experimental results are presented.

  9. Crowding effect on helix-coil transition: Beyond entropic stabilization

    SciTech Connect

    Koutsioubas, A.; Lairez, D.; Combet, S.; Longeville, S.; Zalczer, G.

    2012-06-07

    We report circular dichroism measurements on the helix-coil transition of poly(L-glutamic acid) in solution with polyethylene glycol (PEG) as a crowding agent. The PEG solutions have been characterized by small angle neutron scattering and are well described by the picture of a network of mesh size {xi}, usual for semi-dilute chains in good solvent. We show that the increase of PEG concentration stabilizes the helices and increases the transition temperature. But more unexpectedly, we also notice that the increase of concentration of crowding agent reduces the mean helix extent at the transition, or in other words reduces its cooperativity. This result cannot be taken into account for by an entropic stabilization mechanism. Comparing the mean length of helices at the transition and the mesh size of the PEG network, our results strongly suggest two regimes: helices shorter or longer than the mesh size.

  10. Structure of single-wall carbon nanotubes: a graphene helix.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jae-Kap; Lee, Sohyung; Kim, Jin-Gyu; Min, Bong-Ki; Kim, Yong-Il; Lee, Kyung-Il; An, Kay Hyeok; John, Phillip

    2014-08-27

    Evidence is presented in this paper that certain single-wall carbon nanotubes are not seamless tubes, but rather adopt a graphene helix resulting from the spiral growth of a nano-graphene ribbon. The residual traces of the helices are confirmed by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy. The analysis also shows that the tubular graphene material may exhibit a unique armchair structure and the chirality is not a necessary condition for the growth of carbon nanotubes. The description of the structure of the helical carbon nanomaterials is generalized using the plane indices of hexagonal space groups instead of using chiral vectors. It is also proposed that the growth model, via a graphene helix, results in a ubiquitous structure of single-wall carbon nanotubes. PMID:24838196

  11. Highly twisted double-helix carbon nanotube yarns.

    PubMed

    Shang, Yuanyuan; Li, Yibin; He, Xiaodong; Du, Shanyi; Zhang, Luhui; Shi, Enzheng; Wu, Shiting; Li, Zhen; Li, Peixu; Wei, Jinquan; Wang, Kunlin; Zhu, Hongwei; Wu, Dehai; Cao, Anyuan

    2013-02-26

    The strength and flexibility of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) allow them to be constructed into a variety of innovated architectures with fascinating properties. Here, we show that CNTs can be made into a highly twisted yarn-derived double-helix structure by a conventional twist-spinning process. The double-helix is a stable and hierarchical configuration consisting of two single-helical yarn segments, with controlled pitch and unique mechanical properties. While one of the yarn components breaks early under tension due to the highly twisted state, the second yarn produces much larger tensile strain and significantly prolongs the process until ultimate fracture. In addition, these elastic and conductive double-helix yarns show simultaneous and reversible resistance change in response to a wide range of input sources (mechanical, photo, and thermal) such as applied strains or stresses, light illumination, and environmental temperature. Our results indicate that it is possible to create higher-level, more complex architectures from CNT yarns and fabricate multifunctional nanomaterials with potential applications in many areas. PMID:23289799

  12. A 20 GHz, 75 watt, helix TWT for space communications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heney, J. F.; Tamashiro, R. N.

    1983-01-01

    A space-qualified, helix-type traveling wave tube is being developed for satellite communication systems in the frequency band of 17.7 to 21.2 GHz. The design approach stresses very high efficiency operation, but with very low distortion. The tube provides multi-mode operation, permitting CW saturated power output levels of 75, 40, and 7.5 W. Operation is also anticipated at 5 dB below these saturation levels to achieve the required low distortion levels. Advanced construction features include a five-stage depressed collector, a diamond supported helix slow-wave circuit, and a type M dispenser cathode. High reliability and long life (10 yr) are objectives of the tube design. Preliminary test results on early developmental models of this tube are very encouraging. An output power of 75 to 90 W has been achieved over the full bandwidth with about 40 dB of saturated gain. More importantly, the basic electronic efficiency of the interaction process has been increased from about 7.5-11 percent by the use of the diamond helix support compared to earlier tubes using BeO support rods. This effort is supported by NASA Lewis Research Center and is aimed toward application in the NASA Advanced Communications Satellite Technology Program.

  13. Field analysis of helix traveling wave tube interaction

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-12-31

    Recent results are presented for the linear field analysis of the coupled beam-wave system for the traveling wave tube (TWT) and numerical techniques for TWT design. The basic model includes an electron beam of constant current density located inside the helix. The helix is loaded externally by lossy dielectric material, a conducting shell and vanes for dispersion modification. The model is further divided into axial regions which may include severs, lossy materials, or circuit velocity steps, with the helix geometry varied arbitrarily in each region. The backward-wave root of the coupled dispersion equation is discarded and the sum of the fields for the three forward waves is followed to the circuit output. The dispersion equations are expressed in terms of equating admittance functions at radial boundaries. The numerical procedures to solve the dispersion equations will be described. Results obtained using the field analysis will be compared with those from the conventional coupled-mode Pierce theory for the same geometry. The issue of weak (Brillouin) vs. strong focusing will be discussed and recent refinements to the field theory will be described.

  14. The effects of season and temperature on D-lactate dehydrogenase, pyruvate kinase and arginine kinase in the foot of Helix pomatia L.

    PubMed

    Wieser, W; Wright, E

    1979-04-01

    The effects of pH, season, environmental and experimental temperatures on the activities and kinetic parameters of D-lactate dehydrogenase, pyruvate kinase and arginine kinase from the foot of the pulmonate snail Helix pomatia were analyzed. Both in phosphate and Tris buffers D-lactate dehydrogenase was the enzyme with the most acid maximum, arginine kinase that with the most alkaline, whilst pyruvate kinase occupied an intermediate position. Pyruvate kinase activity, measured at 20 degrees C, was positively correlated with the environmental temperature at the moment of collecting the animal, whereas neither arginine kinase nor D-lactate dehydrogenase showed such a relationship. A seasonal study based on approximately 100 specimens established that arginine kinase activity remained the same throughout the year. Pyruvate kinase activity was slightly lower, and D-lactate dehydrogenase activity significantly higher, in winter than in summer animals. Snails subjected in spring to a short warm-up period before enzyme extraction showed extreme variability and some extraordinarily high values of pyruvate kinase activity, suggesting that either season or elevated temperature may have an immediate effect on the activity of this enzyme. Individual variability of all three enzymes ranges from 300 to 400%. The activities of pyruvate kinase and D-lactate dehydrogenase are strongly correlated in summer, forming a "constant-proportion-group", whereas in winter, with D-lactate dehydrogenase activity increasing and pyruvate kinase activity decreasing these two enzymes become "uncoupled". The Km value of pyruvate kinase is independent of experimental temperature between 10 and 25 degrees C, whereas that of D-lactate dehydrogenase and arginine kinase increases about three-fold within this range. Thus the temperature relationship of a single enzymic reaction cannot be used as an arguemnt for or against the occurrence of temperature compensation of whole animal metabolism. The

  15. SNAIL gene inhibited by hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) in epithelial ovarian cancer.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Pengnan; Liu, Yanmei; Feng, Youji; Gao, Shujun

    2016-09-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between HIF-1α and SNAIL gene expression in the epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) cell line. EOC cells were treated with hypoxia, hypoxia combined with rapamycin, and control. The expression of HIF-1α and E-cad were assessed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and western blotting. The gene expression of SNAIL was studied by RT-PCR and real-time PCR. RNA interference technology was used to determine the relationship between HIF-1α and SNAIL. The present study indicated that the HIF-1α protein was expressed and increased in EOC cell line. SNAIL mRNA was found to increase and E-cad expression decreased with the time of hypoxia prolonged. Hypoxia increased invasion abilities of EOC cell line, but compared with cells exposed to hypoxia, the change of invasive ability of cells with rapamycin had no effect. The expression of HIF-1α protein and SNAIL mRNA could be inhibited gradually by rapamycin. siRNA of HIF-1α could suppress the expression of SNAIL while siRNA of SNAIL had no influence on HIF-1α protein expression. HIF-1α may be the upstream of the SNAIL gene in EOC. Our data suggested that HIF-1α might be an upregulator of the SNAIL gene and HIF-1α-SNAIL-E-cad pathway may play an important role in EOC invasion and metastasis. PMID:27044634

  16. An affinity-structure database of helix-turn-helix: DNA complexes with a universal coordinate system

    SciTech Connect

    AlQuraishi, Mohammed; Tang, Shengdong; Xia, Xide

    2015-11-19

    Molecular interactions between proteins and DNA molecules underlie many cellular processes, including transcriptional regulation, chromosome replication, and nucleosome positioning. Computational analyses of protein-DNA interactions rely on experimental data characterizing known protein-DNA interactions structurally and biochemically. While many databases exist that contain either structural or biochemical data, few integrate these two data sources in a unified fashion. Such integration is becoming increasingly critical with the rapid growth of structural and biochemical data, and the emergence of algorithms that rely on the synthesis of multiple data types to derive computational models of molecular interactions. We have developed an integrated affinity-structure database in which the experimental and quantitative DNA binding affinities of helix-turn-helix proteins are mapped onto the crystal structures of the corresponding protein-DNA complexes. This database provides access to: (i) protein-DNA structures, (ii) quantitative summaries of protein-DNA binding affinities using position weight matrices, and (iii) raw experimental data of protein-DNA binding instances. Critically, this database establishes a correspondence between experimental structural data and quantitative binding affinity data at the single basepair level. Furthermore, we present a novel alignment algorithm that structurally aligns the protein-DNA complexes in the database and creates a unified residue-level coordinate system for comparing the physico-chemical environments at the interface between complexes. Using this unified coordinate system, we compute the statistics of atomic interactions at the protein-DNA interface of helix-turn-helix proteins. We provide an interactive website for visualization, querying, and analyzing this database, and a downloadable version to facilitate programmatic analysis. Lastly, this database will facilitate the analysis of protein-DNA interactions and the

  17. An affinity-structure database of helix-turn-helix: DNA complexes with a universal coordinate system

    DOE PAGESBeta

    AlQuraishi, Mohammed; Tang, Shengdong; Xia, Xide

    2015-11-19

    Molecular interactions between proteins and DNA molecules underlie many cellular processes, including transcriptional regulation, chromosome replication, and nucleosome positioning. Computational analyses of protein-DNA interactions rely on experimental data characterizing known protein-DNA interactions structurally and biochemically. While many databases exist that contain either structural or biochemical data, few integrate these two data sources in a unified fashion. Such integration is becoming increasingly critical with the rapid growth of structural and biochemical data, and the emergence of algorithms that rely on the synthesis of multiple data types to derive computational models of molecular interactions. We have developed an integrated affinity-structure database inmore » which the experimental and quantitative DNA binding affinities of helix-turn-helix proteins are mapped onto the crystal structures of the corresponding protein-DNA complexes. This database provides access to: (i) protein-DNA structures, (ii) quantitative summaries of protein-DNA binding affinities using position weight matrices, and (iii) raw experimental data of protein-DNA binding instances. Critically, this database establishes a correspondence between experimental structural data and quantitative binding affinity data at the single basepair level. Furthermore, we present a novel alignment algorithm that structurally aligns the protein-DNA complexes in the database and creates a unified residue-level coordinate system for comparing the physico-chemical environments at the interface between complexes. Using this unified coordinate system, we compute the statistics of atomic interactions at the protein-DNA interface of helix-turn-helix proteins. We provide an interactive website for visualization, querying, and analyzing this database, and a downloadable version to facilitate programmatic analysis. Lastly, this database will facilitate the analysis of protein-DNA interactions and the

  18. Solar radio-transmitters on snail kites in Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1989-01-01

    The effectiveness and safety of one- and two-stage solar radio-transmitters in tracking the movements and survival of adult and fledgling Snail Kites (Rostrhamus sociabilis) were evaluated between 1979 and 1983 in southern Florida. Transmitters were attached to birds with back-pack arrangements using teflon ribbon straps. Accessory plastic shields minimized feather coverage of the solar cells. Intact transmitters were seen on birds up to 47 mo after installation. Operating lives ranged from 8 to 21 mo for one-stage, and 10 to 14 mo for two-stage transmitters. Because survival of adult and nestling radio-marked kites was high, we conclude that our transmitter-attachment method had little effect on the birds.

  19. Toxins from cone snails: properties, applications and biotechnological production.

    PubMed

    Becker, Stefan; Terlau, Heinrich

    2008-05-01

    Cone snails are marine predators that use venoms to immobilize their prey. The venoms of these mollusks contain a cocktail of peptides that mainly target different voltage- and ligand-gated ion channels. Typically, conopeptides consist of ten to 30 amino acids but conopeptides with more than 60 amino acids have also been described. Due to their extraordinary pharmacological properties, conopeptides gained increasing interest in recent years. There are several conopeptides used in clinical trials and one peptide has received approval for the treatment of pain. Accordingly, there is an increasing need for the production of these peptides. So far, most individual conopeptides are synthesized using solid phase peptide synthesis. Here, we describe that at least some of these peptides can be obtained using prokaryotic or eukaryotic expression systems. This opens the possibility for biotechnological production of also larger amounts of long chain conopeptides for the use of these peptides in research and medical applications. PMID:18340446

  20. Gut stem cells, a story of snails, flies and mice

    PubMed Central

    Amoyel, Marc

    2015-01-01

    Intestinal stem cells (ISCs) replenish and regenerate several types of cells in the gut, both during normal homeostasis and in response to various insults such as infections. Although gut structure and complexity vary across phyla, two functional categories of differentiated cell types are always present: absorptive cells and those of the secretory lineage. A series of studies in Drosophila and mouse published in The EMBO Journal, including one in this issue, identifies conserved roles for the Snail family of zinc finger transcription factors in regulating self-renewal and differentiation of ISCs (Korzelius et al, 2014; Loza-Coll et al, 2014; Horvay et al, 2015). PMID:25863942

  1. Copper toxicity to the fresh water snail, Lymnaea luteola

    SciTech Connect

    Reddy, N.M.; Rao, P.V.

    1987-07-01

    Haemocyanins are found in arthropoda and mollusca and show a copper content characteristic for each phylum. Heavy metal accumulation by mollusks is widely reported. Approximately one third of the enzymes either required addition of a metal ion as a cofactor in order to exhibit maximum activity or contained a slightly bound metal ion which appeared to be involved in the catalytic process. Copper is the only metal which has been detected in significant amounts in amino oxidase. The present study is designed to evaluate the influence of such copper, which is of such common occurrence in biological material, on some of the lipolytic enzymes of fresh water pulmonate snail, Lymnaea luteola when added to ambient medium. The present study also highlights the possible detoxification mechanism prevailing in this fresh water mollusk.

  2. Recent Progresses in Studying Helix-Helix Interactions in Proteins by Incorporating the Wenxiang Diagram into the NMR Spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Guo-Ping; Chen, Dong; Liao, Siming; Huang, Ri-Bo

    2016-01-01

    All residues in an alpha helix can be characterized and dispositioned on a 2D the wenxiang diagram, which possesses the following features: (1) the relative locations of the amino acids in the α-helix can be clearly displayed regardless how long it is; (2) direction of an alphahelix can be indicated; and (3) more information regarding each of the constituent amino acid residues in an alpha helix. Owing to its intuitionism and easy visibility, wenxiang diagrams have had an immense influence on our understanding of protein structure, protein-protein interactions, and the effect of helical structural stability on protein conformational transitions. In this review, we summarize two recent applications of wenxiang diagrams incorporating NMR spectroscopy in the researches of the coiled-coil protein interactions related to the regulation of contraction or relaxation states of vascular smooth muscle cells, and the effects of α-helical stability on the protein misfolding in prion disease, in hopes that the gained valuable information through these studies can stimulate more and more widely applications of wenxiang diagrams in structural biology. PMID:26286215

  3. Evaluation of a high-precision gear measuring machine for helix measurement using helix and wedge artifacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taguchi, Tetsuya; Kondo, Yohan

    2016-08-01

    High-precision gears are required for advanced motion and power transmission. The reliability of the measured value becomes important as the gear accuracy increases, and the establishment of a traceability system is needed. Therefore, a high-precision gear measuring machine (GMM) with a smaller uncertainty is expected to improve the gear calibration uncertainty. For this purpose, we developed a prototype of a high-precision GMM that adopts a direct drive mechanism and other features. Then, the high measurement capability of the developed GMM was verified using gear artifacts. Recently, some new measurement methods using simple shapes such as spheres and planes have been proposed as standards. We have verified the tooth profile measurement using a sphere artifact and reported the results that the developed GMM had a high capability in tooth profile measurement. Therefore, we attempted to devise a new evaluation method for helix measurement using a wedge artifact (WA) whose plane was treated as the tooth flank, and the high measurement capability of the developed GMM was verified. The results will provide a part of information to fully assess measurement uncertainty as our future work. This paper describes the evaluation results of the developed GMM for helix measurement using both a helix artifact and the WA, and discusses the effectiveness of the WA as a new artifact to evaluate the GMMs.

  4. Lipid solvation effects contribute to the affinity of Gly-xxx-Gly motif-mediated helix-helix interactions.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Rachel M; Rath, Arianna; Melnyk, Roman A; Deber, Charles M

    2006-07-18

    Interactions between transmembrane helices are mediated by the concave Gly-xxx-Gly motif surface. Whether Gly residues per se are sufficient for selection of this motif has not been established. Here, we used the in vivo TOXCAT assay to measure the relative affinities of all 18 combinations of Gly, Ala, and Ser "small-xxx-small" mutations in glycophorin A (GpA) and bacteriophage M13 major coat protein (MCP) homodimers. Affinity values were compared with the accessibility to a methylene-sized probe of the total surface area of each helix monomer as a measure of solvation by membrane components. A strong inverse correlation was found between nonpolar-group lipid accessibility and dimer affinity (R = 0.75 for GpA, p = 0.013, and R = 0.81 for MCP, p = 0.004), suggesting that lipid as a poor membrane protein solvent, conceptually analogous to water in soluble protein folding, can contribute to dimer stability and help to define helix-helix interfaces. PMID:16834324

  5. Elongator Protein 3 (Elp3) stabilizes Snail1 and regulates neural crest migration in Xenopus

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Xiangcai; Li, Jiejing; Zeng, Wanli; Li, Chaocui; Mao, Bingyu

    2016-01-01

    Elongator protein 3 (Elp3) is the enzymatic unit of the elongator protein complex, a histone acetyltransferase complex involved in transcriptional elongation. It has long been shown to play an important role in cell migration; however, the underlying mechanism is unknown. Here, we showed that Elp3 is expressed in pre-migratory and migrating neural crest cells in Xenopus embryos, and knockdown of Elp3 inhibited neural crest cell migration. Interestingly, Elp3 binds Snail1 through its zinc-finger domain and inhibits its ubiquitination by β-Trcp without interfering with the Snail1/Trcp interaction. We showed evidence that Elp3-mediated stabilization of Snail1 was likely involved in the activation of N-cadherin in neural crest cells to regulate their migratory ability. Our findings provide a new mechanism for the function of Elp3 in cell migration through stabilizing Snail1, a master regulator of cell motility. PMID:27189455

  6. Helobdella nilae and Alboglossiphonia conjugata leeches as biological agents for snails control.

    PubMed

    Abd-Allah, Karim F; Saleh, Mohamed H; El-Hamshary, Azza M S; Negm-Eldin, Mohsen M; El-Fakahany, Amany F; Abdel-Tawab, Ahmed H; Abdel-Maboud, Amina I; Aly, Nagwa S M

    2009-04-01

    The efficacy of leeches, as biological agents, in control of snail intermediate hosts of schistosomiasis (Bulinus truncatus, Biomphalaria alexandrina) and fascioliasis (Lymnaea natalensis) as well as their effect on the non-target snails Physa acuta, Melanioides tuberculata and Cleopatra bulimoides was evaluated. Two glossiphoniid snail leeches, Helobdella nilae and Alboglossiphonia conjugata were used. They destroyed egg masses and young snails more rapidly than adult ones. H. nilae showed a stronger destructive effect than A. conjugata. In a descending order, it preferred L. natalensis followed by B. truncatus, B. alexandrina, Ph. acuta, M. tuberculata and lastly C. bulimoides. But, A. conjugata preferred L. natalensis followed by B. truncatus, Ph. acuta, M. tuberculata, B. alexandrina and lastly C. bulimoides. The detailed diagnostic morphology and biology of the two leeches were given. PMID:19530628

  7. Wet Adhesion and Adhesive Locomotion of Snails on Anti-Adhesive Non-Wetting Surfaces

    PubMed Central

    Shirtcliffe, Neil J.; McHale, Glen; Newton, Michael I.

    2012-01-01

    Creating surfaces capable of resisting liquid-mediated adhesion is extremely difficult due to the strong capillary forces that exist between surfaces. Land snails use this to adhere to and traverse across almost any type of solid surface of any orientation (horizontal, vertical or inverted), texture (smooth, rough or granular) or wetting property (hydrophilic or hydrophobic) via a layer of mucus. However, the wetting properties that enable snails to generate strong temporary attachment and the effectiveness of this adhesive locomotion on modern super-slippy superhydrophobic surfaces are unclear. Here we report that snail adhesion overcomes a wide range of these microscale and nanoscale topographically structured non-stick surfaces. For the one surface which we found to be snail resistant, we show that the effect is correlated with the wetting response of the surface to a weak surfactant. Our results elucidate some critical wetting factors for the design of anti-adhesive and bio-adhesion resistant surfaces. PMID:22693563

  8. Bioluminescent signals spatially amplified by wavelength-specific diffusion through the shell of a marine snail

    PubMed Central

    Deheyn, Dimitri D.; Wilson, Nerida G.

    2011-01-01

    Some living organisms produce visible light (bioluminescence) for intra- or interspecific visual communication. Here, we describe a remarkable bioluminescent adaptation in the marine snail Hinea brasiliana. This species produces a luminous display in response to mechanical stimulation caused by encounters with other motile organisms. The light is produced from discrete areas on the snail's body beneath the snail's shell, and must thus overcome this structural barrier to be viewed by an external receiver. The diffusion and transmission efficiency of the shell is greater than a commercial diffuser reference material. Most strikingly, the shell, although opaque and pigmented, selectively diffuses the blue-green wavelength of the species bioluminescence. This diffusion generates a luminous display that is enlarged relative to the original light source. This unusual shell thus allows spatially amplified outward transmission of light communication signals from the snail, while allowing the animal to remain safely inside its hard protective shell. PMID:21159673

  9. A basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor, PhFBH4, regulates flower senescence by modulating ethylene biosynthesis pathway in petunia

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factors (TFs) play important roles in regulating multiple biological processes in plants. However, there are few reports about the function of bHLHs in flower senescence. In this study, a bHLH TF, PhFBH4, was found to be dramatically upregulated during...

  10. Snail/beta-catenin signaling protects breast cancer cells from hypoxia attack.

    PubMed

    Scherbakov, Alexander M; Stefanova, Lidia B; Sorokin, Danila V; Semina, Svetlana E; Berstein, Lev M; Krasil'nikov, Mikhail A

    2013-12-10

    The tolerance of cancer cells to hypoxia depends on the combination of different factors--from increase of glycolysis (Warburg Effect) to activation of intracellular growth/apoptotic pathways. Less is known about the influence of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and EMT-associated pathways on the cell sensitivity to hypoxia. The aim of this study was to explore the role of Snail signaling, one of the key EMT pathways, in the mediating of hypoxia response and regulation of cell sensitivity to hypoxia, using as a model in vitro cultured breast cancer cells. Earlier we have shown that estrogen-independent HBL-100 breast cancer cells differ from estrogen-dependent MCF-7 cells with increased expression of Snail1, and demonstrated Snail1 involvement into formation of hormone-resistant phenotype. Because Snail1 belongs to hypoxia-activated proteins, here we studied the influence of Snail1 signaling on the cell tolerance to hypoxia. We found that Snail1-enriched HBL-100 cells were less sensitive to hypoxia-induced growth suppression if compared with MCF-7 line (31% MCF-7 vs. 71% HBL-100 cell viability after 1% O2 atmosphere for 3 days). Snail1 knock-down enhanced the hypoxia-induced inhibition of cell proliferation giving the direct evidence of Snail1 involvement into cell protection from hypoxia attack. The protective effect of Snail1 was shown to be mediated, at least in a part, via beta-catenin which positively regulated expression of HIF-1-dependent genes. Finally, we found that cell tolerance to hypoxia was accompanied with the failure in the phosphorylation of AMPK - the key energy sensor, and demonstrated an inverse relationship between AMPK and Snail/beta-catenin signaling. Totally, our data show that Snail1 and beta-catenin, besides association with loss of hormone dependence, protect cancer cells from hypoxia and may serve as an important target in the treatment of breast cancer. Moreover, we suggest that the level of these proteins as well the level of

  11. The Effect of Aquatic Plant Abundance on Shell Crushing Resistance in a Freshwater Snail

    PubMed Central

    Chaves-Campos, Johel; Coghill, Lyndon M.; García de León, Francisco J.; Johnson, Steven G.

    2012-01-01

    Most of the shell material in snails is composed of calcium carbonate but the organic shell matrix determines the properties of calcium carbonate crystals. It has been shown that the deposition of calcium carbonate is affected by the ingestion of organic compounds. We hypothesize that organic compounds not synthesized by the snails are important for shell strength and must be obtained from the diet. We tested this idea indirectly by evaluating whether the abundance of the organic matter that snails eat is related to the strength of their shells. We measured shell crushing resistance in the snail Mexipyrgus churinceanus and the abundance of the most common aquatic macrophyte, the water lily Nymphaea ampla, in ten bodies of water in the valley of Cuatro Ciénegas, Mexico. We used stable isotopes to test the assumption that these snails feed on water lily organic matter. We also measured other factors that can affect crushing resistance, such as the density of crushing predators, snail density, water pH, and the concentration of calcium and phosphorus in the water. The isotope analysis suggested that snails assimilate water lily organic matter that is metabolized by sediment bacteria. The variable that best explained the variation in crushing resistance found among sites was the local abundance of water lilies. We propose that the local amount of water lily organic matter provides organic compounds important in shell biomineralization, thus determining crushing resistance. Hence, we propose that a third trophic level could be important in the coevolution of snail defensive traits and predatory structures. PMID:22970206

  12. The Giant Snail Achatina fulica as a Candidate Species for Advanced Bioregenerative Life Support Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verbitskaya, Olga; Manukovsky, Nickolay; Kovalev, Vladimir

    Maintenance of crew health is of paramount importance for long duration space missions. Weight loss, bone and calcium loss, increased exposure to radiation and oxidative stress are critical concerns that need to be alleviated. Rational nutrition is a resource for mitigating the influence of unfavorable conditions. The insufficiency of vegetarian diet has been examined by the Japanese, Chinese and U.S. developers of bioregenerative life support systems (BLSS). Hence, inclusion of animals such as silkworm in BLSS looks justified. The giant snail is currently under studying as a source of animal food and a species of reducing waste in BLSS. An experimental system to conduct cultivation of giant snail was developed. It was established that there are some reasons to use the giant snails in BLSS. It could be a source of delicious meat. A. fulica is capable of consuming a wide range of feedstuffs including plant residues. Cultivation of snail in the limited volume does not demand the big expenditures of labor. The production of crude edible biomass and protein of A. fulica was 60±15 g and 7±1.8 g respectively per 1 kg of consumed forage (fresh salad leaves, root and leafy tops of carrot). To satisfy daily animal protein needs (30-35 g) a crewman has to consume 260-300 g of snail meat. To produce such amount of snail protein it takes to use 4.3-5.0 kg of plant forage daily. The nutritional composition of A. fulica whole bodies (without shell) and a meal prepared in various ways was quantitatively determined. Protein, carbohydrate, fat acid and ash content percentages were different among samples prepared in various ways. The protein content was highest (68 %) in the dry sample washed with CH3 COOH solution. Taking into consideration the experimental results a conceptual configuration of BLSS with inclusion of giant snail was developed and mass flow rates between compartments were calculated. Keywords: animal food; protein; giant snail; BLSS; conceptual configuration.

  13. The effect of aquatic plant abundance on shell crushing resistance in a freshwater snail.

    PubMed

    Chaves-Campos, Johel; Coghill, Lyndon M; García de León, Francisco J; Johnson, Steven G

    2012-01-01

    Most of the shell material in snails is composed of calcium carbonate but the organic shell matrix determines the properties of calcium carbonate crystals. It has been shown that the deposition of calcium carbonate is affected by the ingestion of organic compounds. We hypothesize that organic compounds not synthesized by the snails are important for shell strength and must be obtained from the diet. We tested this idea indirectly by evaluating whether the abundance of the organic matter that snails eat is related to the strength of their shells. We measured shell crushing resistance in the snail Mexipyrgus churinceanus and the abundance of the most common aquatic macrophyte, the water lily Nymphaea ampla, in ten bodies of water in the valley of Cuatro Ciénegas, Mexico. We used stable isotopes to test the assumption that these snails feed on water lily organic matter. We also measured other factors that can affect crushing resistance, such as the density of crushing predators, snail density, water pH, and the concentration of calcium and phosphorus in the water. The isotope analysis suggested that snails assimilate water lily organic matter that is metabolized by sediment bacteria. The variable that best explained the variation in crushing resistance found among sites was the local abundance of water lilies. We propose that the local amount of water lily organic matter provides organic compounds important in shell biomineralization, thus determining crushing resistance. Hence, we propose that a third trophic level could be important in the coevolution of snail defensive traits and predatory structures. PMID:22970206

  14. Polymorphism and Population Density in the African Land Snail, Limicolaria martensiana.

    PubMed

    Owen, D F

    1963-05-10

    In natural populations of the African land snail, Limicolaria martensiana, the degree of polymorphism in color and pattern may vary with the density of the population. This could occur because predators eat the snails selectively and use past experience as a guide in finding further prey. Hence contrasting color forms may be at an advantage in dense populations where predators would have ample opportunity to learn to recognize prey. PMID:17737105

  15. [Occurrence of Achatina fulica Bowdich, 1822 (Mollusca, Gastropoda) in Brazil: intermediate snail host of angiostrongyliasis].

    PubMed

    Teles, H M; Vaz, J F; Fontes, L R; Domingos, M de F

    1997-06-01

    Achatina fulica, the intermediate snail host of angiostrongyliasis and also an agricultural pest, is being bred in Brazil for human consumption as "escargot". The snail has escaped from its artificial breeding sites and its dispersal in Itariri country, State of S. Paulo, is reported here for the first time. A. fulica is a transmitter of the rat lungworm Angiostrongylus cantonensis, nematode which causes meningoencephalic angiostrongyliasis; the risks of human contamination are commented on. PMID:9515269

  16. Occurrence of a Snail Borne Disease, Cercarial Dermatitis (Swimmer Itch) in Doon Valley (Uttarakhand), India

    PubMed Central

    JAUHARI, Rakesh Kumar; NONGTHOMBAM, Pemola Devi

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Background ‘Cercarial dermatitis’ also known as swimmers itch (Skin allergies) is caused by a trematode parasite, Schistosoma which has two hosts - an invertebrate (snail) and a vertebrate (livestock, human being). Although the availability of both vector snails and pathogens at the selected site the Doon Valley in northern India has already been confirmed but there was a hazy picture of the disease, whether it is due to entrance of cercariae or due to wild variety of grass (Parthenium hysterophorus). The present study is an attempt to provide a way forward towards the vector snails and snail borne diseases in the study area. Methods Snail sampling and identification was done by applying standard methods / using Keys & Catalogues. Associated parasites and cercariometry in snails has been worked out by cercarial shedding. Human involvement at zo-onotic level has been performed in collaboration with Health centers and socio- economic aspect of inhabitants of study area. Results The snail diversity encountered 19 species including the vector species such as Indoplanorbis exustus, Gyraulus convexiusculus, Melanoides tuberculata and Lymnaea acuminata. The cercarial diversity comprised Furcocercous, Monostome, Amphistome and liver fluke / Xiphidiocercaria. During the study (2009–2010), 0.173% was found with cercarial dermatitis among human population in the selected area. The symptoms of disease recorded were red spots and swellings on effected parts of skin. Frequent visits of livestock to the water body and presence of vector snails provides a clue in completing the life cycle of the parasite of the family Schistosomatidae. Conclusion Cercarial dermatitis has been considered a potential risk at those places where warm blooded and snail’s hosts share a link with aquatic bodies with particular emphasis to temperature and time of year. PMID:26060739

  17. The effects of wetland habitat structure on Florida apple snail density

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Karunaratne, L.B.; Darby, P.C.; Bennetts, R.E.

    2006-01-01

    Wetlands often support a variety of juxtaposed habitat patches (e.g., grass-, shrub- or tree-dominated) differentially suited to support the inhabiting fauna. The proportion of available habitat types has been affected by human activity and consequently has contributed to degrading habitat quality for some species. The Florida apple snail (Pomacea paludosa) has drawn attention as a critical prey item for wetlands wildlife and as an indicator of wetlands restoration success in peninsular Florida, USA. An apparent contradiction has evolved wherein this species appears intolerant of drying events, but these disturbances may be necessary to maintain suitable habitat structure for apple snails. We recently reported that assertions regarding intolerance to dry downs in this species were inaccurate. Here, we compared snail density in habitats with (wet prairie) and without (slough) emergent macrophytes, as well as evaluating the effects of structural attributes within the broad wet prairie habitat type. Snail densities were greater in prairies relative to sloughs (??2= 12.90, df=1, P=0.0003), often by a factor of two to three. Within wet prairie habitats, we found greater snail densities in Panicum hemitomon as compared to Eleocharis cellulosa (??2=31.45, df=1, P=0.0001). Significantly fewer snails were found in dense E. cellulosa as compared to habitats with lower stem density (??2= 10.73, df=1, P=0.011). Our results indicate that wet prairie habitat supports greater snail densities than nymphaea-dominatd slough. Our results have implications for wetlands water management in that continuous inundation has been shown to convert wet prairie to slough habitat, and we suggest this should be avoided in support of apple snails and their predators. ?? 2006, The Society of Wetland Scientists.

  18. Biochemical responses to the toxicity of the biocide abamectin on the freshwater snail Physa acuta.

    PubMed

    Ma, Junguo; Zhou, Chune; Li, Yao; Li, Xiaoyu

    2014-03-01

    The toxic effects of abamectin (ABM), an anthelmintic drug, on the snail, Physa Acuta, and the biochemical responses to the exposure stress were evaluated. The activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione S-transferase (GST), acetylcholinesterase (AChE), and nitric oxide synthase (NOS), and the contents of malondialdehyde (MDA) were determined in snail soft tissues (head, foot, visceral mass, and the mantle) for up to 96h of exposure to 3.4, 9.6, 19.2, or 27.4μgL(-1) of ABM. The results showed that SOD and GST activities were promoted by ABM-exposure at the earlier periods of treatment (12-48h) while these activites were inhibited at the end of test. The tendency of CAT activity was similar to that of SOD, but it increased at the end of test. MDA levels of the snail soft tissues increased in all treatment groups, including the recovery group, indicating that lipid peroxidation occurred in snail soft tissues. ABM-exposure inhibited AChE activity. However, NOS activities increased by ABM-exposure. In addition, activities of antioxidant enzymes and AChE from the snail soft tissues resumed the normal levels after 96h of recovery period, but MDA level did not attain the original level. This study provides information on the biochemical mechanism of ABM toxicity on the snail. PMID:24507123

  19. Bacterial diversity in different regions of gastrointestinal tract of Giant African Snail (Achatina fulica)

    PubMed Central

    Pawar, Kiran D; Banskar, Sunil; Rane, Shailendra D; Charan, Shakti S; Kulkarni, Girish J; Sawant, Shailesh S; Ghate, Hemant V; Patole, Milind S; Shouche, Yogesh S

    2012-01-01

    The gastrointestinal (GI) tract of invasive land snail Achatina fulica is known to harbor metabolically active bacterial communities. In this study, we assessed the bacterial diversity in the different regions of GI tract of Giant African snail, A. fulica by culture-independent and culture-dependent methods. Five 16S rRNA gene libraries from different regions of GI tract of active snails indicated that sequences affiliated to phylum γ-Proteobacteria dominated the esophagus, crop, intestine, and rectum libraries, whereas sequences affiliated to Tenericutes dominated the stomach library. On phylogenetic analysis, 30, 27, 9, 27, and 25 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) from esophagus, crop, stomach, intestine, and rectum libraries were identified, respectively. Estimations of the total bacterial diversity covered along with environmental cluster analysis showed highest bacterial diversity in the esophagus and lowest in the stomach. Thirty-three distinct bacterial isolates were obtained, which belonged to 12 genera of two major bacterial phyla namely γ-Proteobacteria and Firmicutes. Among these, Lactococcus lactis and Kurthia gibsonii were the dominant bacteria present in all GI tract regions. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) analysis indicated significant differences in bacterial load in different GI tract regions of active and estivating snails. The difference in the bacterial load between the intestines of active and estivating snail was maximum. Principal component analysis (PCA) of terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism suggested that bacterial community structure changes only in intestine when snail enters estivation state. PMID:23233413

  20. NF2 blocks Snail-mediated p53 suppression in mesothelioma

    PubMed Central

    Cho, Jung-Hyun; Lee, Su-Jin; Oh, Ah-Young; Yoon, Min-Ho; Woo, Tae-Geun; Park, Bum-Joon

    2015-01-01

    Although asbestos causes malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), rising from lung mesothelium, the molecular mechanism has not been suggested until now. Extremely low mutation rate in classical tumor suppressor genes (such as p53 and pRb) and oncogenes (including Ras or myc) indicates that there would be MPM-specific carcinogenesis pathway. To address this, we treated silica to mimic mesothelioma carcinogenesis in mesothelioma and non-small cell lung cancer cell lines (NSCLC). Treatment of silica induced p-Erk and Snail through RKIP reduction. In addition, p53 and E-cadherin were decreased by silica-treatment. Elimination of Snail restored p53 expression. We found that NF2 (frequently deleted in MPM) inhibited Snail-mediated p53 suppression and was stabilized by RKIP. Importantly, GN25, an inhibitor of p53-Snail interaction, induced p53 and apoptosis. These results indicate that MPM can be induced by reduction of RKIP/NF2, which suppresses p53 through Snail. Thus, the p53-Snail binding inhibitor such as GN25 is a drug candidate for MPM. PMID:25823924

  1. Toxicity of copper sulfate and rotenone to Chinese mystery snail (Bellamya chinensis)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Haak, Danielle M.; Stephen, Bruce J.; Kill, Robert A.; Smeenk, Nicholas A.; Allen, Craig R.; Pope, Kevin L.

    2014-01-01

    The Chinese mystery snail (Bellamya chinensis) is a freshwater snail native to Southeast Asia, Japan, and Russia and is currently classified as an invasive species in at least 27 states in the USA. The species tolerates a wide range of environmental conditions, making management of established populations difficult. We tested the efficacy of two traditional chemical treatments, rotenone and copper sulfate, on the elimination of adult Chinese mystery snails in laboratory experiments. All snails (N=50) survived 72-hour exposure to rotenone-treated lake water, and 96% (N=25) survived 72-hour exposure to pre-determined rotenone concentrations of 0.25, 2.5, and 25.0 mg/L. All snails (N=10) survived exposure to 1.25 mg/L copper sulfate solution, 90% (N=10) survived exposure to 2.50 mg/L copper sulfate solution, and 80% (N=5) survived exposure to 5.0 mg/L copper sulfate solution. Neither rotenone nor copper sulfate effectively killed adult Chinese mystery snails in laboratory experiments, most likely due to their relatively large size, thick shell, and operculum. Therefore, it appears that populations will be very difficult to control once established, and management should focus on preventing additional spread or introductions of this species.

  2. Snail nuclear transport: the gateways regulating epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition?

    PubMed

    Muqbil, Irfana; Wu, Jack; Aboukameel, Amro; Mohammad, Ramzi M; Azmi, Asfar S

    2014-08-01

    Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and the reverse process (MET) play central role in organ developmental biology. It is a fine tuned process that when disturbed leads to pathological conditions especially cancers with aggressive and metastatic behavior. Snail is an oncogene that has been well established to be a promoter of EMT through direct repression of epithelial morphology promoter E-cadherin. It can function in the nucleus, in the cytosol and as discovered recently, extracellularly through secretory vesicular structures. The intracellular transport of snail has for long been shown to be regulated by the nuclear pore complex. One of the Karyopherins, importin alpha, mediates snail import, while exportin 1 (Xpo1) also known as chromosome maintenance region 1 (CRM1) is its major nuclear exporter. A number of additional biological regulators are emerging that directly modulate Snail stability by altering its subcellular localization. These observations indicate that targeting the nuclear transport machinery could be an important and as of yet, unexplored avenue for therapeutic intervention against the EMT processes in cancer. In parallel, a number of novel agents that disrupt nuclear transport have recently been discovered and are being explored for their anti-cancer effects in the early clinical settings. Through this review we provide insights on the mechanisms regulating snail subcellular localization and how this impacts EMT. We discuss strategies on how the nuclear transport function can be harnessed to rein in EMT through modulation of snail signaling. PMID:24954011

  3. Snail Nuclear Transport: the Gateways Regulating Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition?

    PubMed Central

    Muqbil, Irfana; Wu, Jack; Aboukameel, Amro; Mohammad, Ramzi M.; Azmi, Asfar S.

    2014-01-01

    Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and the reverse process (MET) plays central role in organ developmental biology. It is a fine tuned process that when disturbed leads to pathological conditions especially cancers with aggressive and metastatic behavior. Snail is an oncogene that has been well established to be a promoter of EMT through direct repression of epithelial morphology promoter E-cadherin. It can function in the nucleus, in the cytosol and as discovered recently, extracellularly through secretory vesicular structures. The intracellular transport of snail has for long been shown to be regulated by the nuclear pore complex. One of the Karyopherins, importin alpha, mediates snail import, while importin beta/exportin 1 (Xpo1) or chromosome maintenance region 1 (CRM1) is its major nuclear exporter. A number of additional biological regulators are emerging that directly modulate Snail stability by altering its subcellular localization. These observations indicate that targeting the nuclear transport machinery could be an important and as of yet, unexplored avenue for therapeutic intervention against the EMT processes in cancer. In parallel, a number of novel agents that disrupt nuclear transport have recently been discovered and are being explored for their anti-cancer effects in the early clinical settings. Through this review we provide insights on the mechanisms regulating snail subcellular localization and how this impacts EMT. We discuss strategies on how the nuclear transport function can be harnessed to rein in EMT through modulation of snail signaling. PMID:24954011

  4. Endothelial Snail Regulates Capillary Branching Morphogenesis via Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor 3 Expression

    PubMed Central

    Park, Jeong Ae; Kim, Dong Young; Kim, Young-Myeong; Kwon, Young-Guen

    2015-01-01

    Vascular branching morphogenesis is activated and maintained by several signaling pathways. Among them, vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) signaling is largely presented in arteries, and VEGFR3 signaling is in veins and capillaries. Recent reports have documented that Snail, a well-known epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition protein, is expressed in endothelial cells, where it regulates sprouting angiogenesis and embryonic vascular development. Here, we identified Snail as a regulator of VEGFR3 expression during capillary branching morphogenesis. Snail was dramatically upregulated in sprouting vessels in the developing retinal vasculature, including the leading-edged vessels and vertical sprouting vessels for capillary extension toward the deep retina. Results from in vitro functional studies demonstrate that Snail expression colocalized with VEGFR3 and upregulated VEGFR3 mRNA by directly binding to the VEGFR3 promoter via cooperating with early growth response protein-1. Snail knockdown in postnatal mice attenuated the formation of the deep capillary plexus, not only by impairing vertical sprouting vessels but also by downregulating VEGFR3 expression. Collectively, these data suggest that the Snail-VEGFR3 axis controls capillary extension, especially in vessels expressing VEGFR2 at low levels. PMID:26147525

  5. Role of Ras signaling in the induction of snail by transforming growth factor-beta.

    PubMed

    Horiguchi, Kana; Shirakihara, Takuya; Nakano, Ayako; Imamura, Takeshi; Miyazono, Kohei; Saitoh, Masao

    2009-01-01

    The epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a crucial morphological event that occurs during the progression of epithelial tumors. EMT can be induced by transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta in some tumor cells. Here, we demonstrate the molecular mechanism whereby Snail, a key regulator of EMT, is induced by TGF-beta in tumor cells. Snail induction by TGF-beta was highly dependent on cooperation with active Ras signals, and silencing of Ras abolished Snail induction by TGF-beta in pancreatic cancer Panc-1 cells. Transfection of constitutively active Ras into HeLa cells led to induction of Snail by TGF-beta, while representative direct targets of TGF-beta, including Smad7 and PAI-1, were not affected by Ras signaling. Using mitogen-activated protein kinase inhibitors or Smad3 or Smad2 mutants, we found that phosphorylation at the linker region of Smad2/3 was not required for the induction of Snail by TGF-beta. Taken together, these findings indicate that Ras and TGF-beta-Smad signaling selectively cooperate in the induction of Snail, which occurs in a Smad-dependent manner, but independently of phosphorylation at the linker region of R-Smads by Ras signaling. PMID:19010789

  6. Impact of invasive apple snails on the functioning and services of natural and managed wetlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horgan, Finbarr G.; Stuart, Alexander M.; Kudavidanage, Enoka P.

    2014-01-01

    At least 14 species of apple snail (Ampullariidae) have been released to water bodies outside their native ranges; however, less than half of these species have become widespread or caused appreciable impacts. We review evidence for the impact of apple snails on natural and managed wetlands focusing on those studies that have elucidated impact mechanisms. Significant changes in wetland ecosystems have been noted in regions where the snails are established: Two species in particular (Pomacea canaliculata and Pomacea maculata) have become major pests of aquatic crops, including rice, and caused enormous increases in molluscicide use. Invasive apple snails have also altered macrophyte community structure in natural and managed wetlands through selective herbivory and certain apple snail species can potentially shift the balance of freshwater ecosystems from clear water (macrophyte dominated) to turbid (plankton dominated) states by depleting densities of native aquatic plants. Furthermore, the introductions of some apple snail species have altered benthic community structure either directly, through predation, or indirectly, through exploitation competition or as a result of management actions. To date much of the evidence for these impacts has been based on correlations, with few manipulative field or mesocosm experiments. Greater attention to impact monitoring is required, and, for Asia in particular, a landscape approach to impact management that includes both natural and managed-rice wetlands is recommended.

  7. Foraging and refuge use by a pond snail: Effects of physiological state, predators, and resources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wojdak, Jeremy M.

    2009-09-01

    The costs and benefits of anti-predator behavioral responses should be functions of the actual risk of predation, the availability of the prey's resources, and the physiological state of the prey. For example, a food-stressed individual risks starvation when hiding from predators, while a well-fed organism can better afford to hide (and pay the cost of not foraging). Similarly, the benefits of resource acquisition are probably highest for the prey in the poorest state, while there may be diminishing returns for prey nearing satiation. Empirical studies of state-dependent behavior are only beginning, however, and few studies have investigated interactions between all three potentially important factors. Here I present the results of a laboratory experiment where I manipulated the physiological state of pond snails ( Physa gyrina), the abundance of algal resources, and predation cues ( Belostoma flumineum waterbugs consuming snails) in a full factorial design to assess their direct effects on snail behavior and indirect effects on algal biomass. On average, snails foraged more when resources were abundant, and when predators were absent. Snails also foraged more when previously exposed to physiological stress. Snails spent more time at the water's surface (a refuging behavior) in the presence of predation cues on average, but predation, resource levels, and prey state had interactive effects on refuge use. There was a consistent positive trait-mediated indirect effect of predators on algal biomass, across all resource levels and prey states.

  8. Overexpression of miR-506 inhibits growth of osteosarcoma through Snail2

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Zhongxiang; Zhang, Yuting; Gao, Ningyang; Wang, Xiang

    2015-01-01

    Osteosarcoma (OS) is a prevalent primary bone malignancy and its distal metastasis accounts for the majority of OS-related death. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play critical roles during cancer metastasis. Thus, elucidation of the involvement of specific miRNAs in the metastasis of OS may provide novel therapeutic targets for OS treatment. Here, we showed that in the OS specimens from patients, the levels of miR-506 were significantly decreased and the levels of Snail2 were significantly increased, compared to the paired normal bone tissue. MiR-506 and Snail2 inversely correlated in patients’ specimen. Bioinformatics analyses predicted that miR-506 may target the 3’-UTR of Snail2 mRNA to inhibit its translation, which was confirmed by luciferase-reporter assay. Moreover, miR-506 overexpression inhibited Snail2-mediated cell invasiveness, while miR-506 depletion increased Snail2-mediated cell invasiveness in OS cells. Together, our data suggest that miR-506 suppression in OS cells may promote Snail2-mediated cancer metastasis. PMID:26885269

  9. Snail mediates medial-lateral patterning of the ascidian neural plate.

    PubMed

    Hudson, Clare; Sirour, Cathy; Yasuo, Hitoyoshi

    2015-07-15

    The ascidian neural plate exhibits a regular, grid-like arrangement of cells. Patterning of the neural plate across the medial-lateral axis is initiated by bilateral sources of Nodal signalling, such that Nodal signalling induces expression of lateral neural plate genes and represses expression of medial neural plate genes. One of the earliest lateral neural plate genes induced by Nodal signals encodes the transcription factor Snail. Here, we show that Snail is a critical downstream factor mediating this Nodal-dependent patterning. Using gain and loss of function approaches, we show that Snail is required to repress medial neural plate gene expression at neural plate stages and to maintain the lateral neural tube genetic programme at later stages. A comparison of these results to those obtained following Nodal gain and loss of function indicates that Snail mediates a subset of Nodal functions. Consistently, overexpression of Snail can partially rescue a Nodal inhibition phenotype. We conclude that Snail is an early component of the gene regulatory network, initiated by Nodal signals, that patterns the ascidian neural plate. PMID:25962578

  10. Small mammals cause non-trophic effects on habitat and associated snails in a native system.

    PubMed

    Huntzinger, Mikaela; Karban, Richard; Maron, John L

    2011-12-01

    Legacy effects occur when particular species or their interactions with others have long-lasting impacts, and they are increasingly recognized as important determinants of ecological processes. However, when such legacy effects have been explicitly explored, they most often involve the long-term direct effects of species on systems, as opposed to the indirect effects. Here, we explore how a legacy of small mammal exclusion on the abundance of a shrub, bush lupine (Lupinus arboreus), influences the abundance of a native land snail (Helminthoglypta arrosa) in coastal prairie and dune habitats in central California. The factors that limit populations of land snails are very poorly known despite the threats to the persistence of this group of species. In grasslands, prior vole (Microtus californicus) exclusion created long-lasting gains in bush lupine abundance, mediated through the seedbank, and was associated with increased snail numbers (10×) compared to control plots where mammals were never excluded. Similar plots in dune habitat showed no difference in snail numbers due to previous mammal exclusion. We tested whether increased competition for food, increased predation, and/or lower desiccation explained the decline in snail numbers in plots with reduced lupine cover. Tethering experiments supported the hypothesis that voles can have long-lasting impacts as ecosystem engineers, reducing woody lupine habitat required for successful aestivation by snails. These results add to a growing list of studies that have found that non-trophic interactions can be limiting to invertebrate consumers. PMID:21691854

  11. Autoinhibition of ETV6 DNA Binding Is Established by the Stability of Its Inhibitory Helix.

    PubMed

    De, Soumya; Okon, Mark; Graves, Barbara J; McIntosh, Lawrence P

    2016-04-24

    The ETS transcriptional repressor ETV6 (or TEL) is autoinhibited by an α-helix that sterically blocks its DNA-binding ETS domain. The inhibitory helix is marginally stable and unfolds when ETV6 binds to either specific or non-specific DNA. Using NMR spectroscopy, we show that folding of the inhibitory helix requires a buried charge-dipole interaction with helix H1 of the ETS domain. This interaction also contributes directly to autoinhibition by precluding a highly conserved dipole-enhanced hydrogen bond between the phosphodiester backbone of bound DNA and the N terminus of helix H1. To probe further the thermodynamic basis of autoinhibition, ETV6 variants were generated with amino acid substitutions introduced along the solvent exposed surface of the inhibitory helix. These changes were designed to increase the intrinsic helical propensity of the inhibitory helix without perturbing its packing interactions with the ETS domain. NMR-monitored amide hydrogen exchange measurements confirmed that the stability of the folded inhibitory helix increases progressively with added helix-promoting substitutions. This also results in progressively reinforced autoinhibition and decreased DNA-binding affinity. Surprisingly, locking the inhibitory helix onto the ETS domain by a disulfide bridge severely impairs, but does not abolish DNA binding. Weak interactions still occur via an interface displaced from the canonical ETS domain DNA-binding surface. Collectively, these studies establish a direct thermodynamic linkage between inhibitory helix stability and ETV6 autoinhibition, and demonstrate that helix unfolding does not strictly precede DNA binding. Modulating inhibitory helix stability provides a potential route for the in vivo regulation of ETV6 activity. PMID:26920109

  12. Research on Dynamic Monitoring (1990-2010) of Schistosomiasis Vector-Snail at Xinmin Beach, Gaoyou Lake, Jiangsu Province, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Zhaoyan; Li, Chuanrong; Tang, Lingli; Zhou, Xiaonong; Ma, Lingling

    2014-11-01

    Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease that menaces human health. In terms of impact, this disease is second only to malaria as the most devastating parasitic disease. Oncomelania hupensis (snail) is the unique intermediate host of schistosoma, so monitoring and controlling of the number of snail is key to reduce the risk of schistosomiasis transmission. Remote sensing technology can real-timely access the large-scale environmental factors related to snail breeding and reproduction, and can also provide the efficient information to determine the location, area, and spread tendency of snail. Based on the T-S (Takagi-Sugeno) fuzzy information theory, a quantitative remote sensing monitoring model of snail has been developed in previous wok. In a case study, this paper will take Xinmin beach, Gaoyou Lake as new research area, carry out 20 years (1990 - 2010) dynamic monitoring, to further validate the effectiveness of the T-S Fuzzy RS snail monitoring model.

  13. Age-dependent susceptibilities of Bulinus truncatus snails to an aqueous extract of Pulicaria crispa (Forssk.) Oliv. (Asteraceae) leaves.

    PubMed

    Ali, Elnour A; Bushara, Hamid O; Ali, Faisal S; Hussein, Mansour F

    2009-05-01

    This study was carried out to investigate the potential use of the herb Pulicaria crispa in the biological control of different developmental stages of Bulinus truncatus, a major snail intermediate host of urinary schistosomiasis. Age-dependent susceptibilities of mature adult snails, immature snails, juveniles, and one-day old egg masses to aqueous extracts of Pulicaria crispa leaves collected from Khartoum (Sudan) and Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) was determined and compared. The results show the juvenile snails are the most susceptible, followed in descending order by one-day old egg masses, immature snails, and mature adult snails. The P. crispa sample collected from Riyadh was significantly more potent against B. truncatus than that collected from Khartoum, as indicated by the least (LC50) and (LC90) values for all B. truncatus ages. PMID:19842431

  14. Distribution and abundance of schistosomiasis and fascioliasis host snails along the Mara River in Kenya and Tanzania

    PubMed Central

    Dida, Gabriel O.; Gelder, Frank B.; Anyona, Douglas N.; Matano, Ally-Said; Abuom, Paul O.; Adoka, Samson O.; Ouma, Collins; Kanangire, Canisius K.; Owuor, Phillip O.; Ofulla, Ayub V. O.

    2014-01-01

    We purposively selected 39 sampling sites along the Mara River and its two perennial tributaries of Amala and Nyangores and sampled snails. In addition, water physicochemical parameters (temperature, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, alkalinity, salinity and pH) were taken to establish their influence on the snail abundance and habitat preference. Out of the 39 sites sampled, 10 (25.6%) had snails. The snail species encountered included Biomphalaria pfeifferi Krauss – the intermediate host of Schistosoma mansoni Sambon, Bulinus africanus – the intermediate host of Schistosoma haematobium, and Lymnaea natalensis Krauss – the intermediate host of both Fasciola gigantica and F. hepatica Cobbold. Ceratophallus spp., a non-vector snail was also encountered. Most (61.0%) of the snails were encountered in streamside pools. Schistosomiasis-transmitting host snails, B. pfeifferi and B. africanus, were fewer than fascioliasis-transmitting Lymnaea species. All the four different snail species were found to be attached to different aquatic weeds, with B. pfeifferi accounting for over half (61.1%) of the snails attached to the sedge, followed by B. africanus and Lymnaea spp., accounting for 22.2 and 16.7%, respectively. Ceratophallus spp. were non-existent in sedge. The results from this preliminary study show that snails intermediate hosts of schistosomiasis and fascioliasis exists in different habitats, in few areas along the Mara River, though their densities are still low to have any noticeable impacts on disease transmission in case they are infected. The mere presence of the vector snails in these focal regions calls for their immediate control and institution of proper regulations, management, and education among the locals that can help curtail the spread of the snails and also schistosomiasis and fascioliasis within the Mara River basin. PMID:25405008

  15. Designing Covalently Linked Heterodimeric Four-Helix Bundles.

    PubMed

    Chino, M; Leone, L; Maglio, O; Lombardi, A

    2016-01-01

    De novo design has proven a powerful methodology for understanding protein folding and function, and for mimicking or even bettering the properties of natural proteins. Extensive progress has been made in the design of helical bundles, simple structural motifs that can be nowadays designed with a high degree of precision. Among helical bundles, the four-helix bundle is widespread in nature, and is involved in numerous and fundamental processes. Representative examples are the carboxylate bridged diiron proteins, which perform a variety of different functions, ranging from reversible dioxygen binding to catalysis of dioxygen-dependent reactions, including epoxidation, desaturation, monohydroxylation, and radical formation. The "Due Ferri" (two-irons; DF) family of proteins is the result of a de novo design approach, aimed to reproduce in minimal four-helix bundle models the properties of the more complex natural diiron proteins, and to address how the amino acid sequence modulates their functions. The results so far obtained point out that asymmetric metal environments are essential to reprogram functions, and to achieve the specificity and selectivity of the natural enzymes. Here, we describe a design method that allows constructing asymmetric four-helix bundles through the covalent heterodimerization of two different α-helical harpins. In particular, starting from the homodimeric DF3 structure, we developed a protocol for covalently linking the two α2 monomers by using the Cu(I) catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition. The protocol was then generalized, in order to include the construction of several linkers, in different protein positions. Our method is fast, low cost, and in principle can be applied to any couple of peptides/proteins we desire to link. PMID:27586346

  16. Unwinding of double-stranded DNA helix by dehydration.

    PubMed Central

    Lee, C H; Mizusawa, H; Kakefuda, T

    1981-01-01

    Conformation changes of the double-stranded DNA helix in response to dehydration were investigated by monitoring, by agarose gel electrophoresis, the linking number of covalently closed circular DNA generated by ligation of linear DNA in the presence of different organic solvents or different temperatures. It was found that: (i) The DNA helix unwinds upon addition of certain organic solvents or elevation of temperature. (ii) The conformational change observed under the experimental conditions is a continuous process in response to the organic solvent concentration. (iii) The delta H of unwinding one linking of the DNA helix is constant at approximately 12.2 +/- 0.4 kcal/mol (1 kcal = 4.184 kJ); the corresponding delta S and d(delta S)/dn are 2nkR and 2kR, in which n is the relative equivalent linking number (referred to the state of delta S = 0 for unwinding) of the DNA, R is the gas constant, and k is equal to 1117/number of base pairs. The delta H, delta S, and d(delta S)/dn for unwinding i linkings are i X 12.2 kcal/mol, 2inkR, and 2ikR, respectively. (iv) d(delta S)/dn, like k, is inversely proportional to the number of base pairs in DNA. (v) Double-stranded DNAs of different chain lengths have average delta S = 35 cal/mol.K for unwinding one linking under the experimental conditions; this corresponds to 127 +/- 14 base pairs per "relative linking." Images PMID:7019913

  17. Fluctuations in the DNA double helix: A critical review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frank-Kamenetskii, Maxim D.; Prakash, Shikha

    2014-06-01

    A critical overview of the extensive literature on fluctuations in the DNA double helix is presented. Both theory and experiment are comprehensively reviewed and analyzed. Fluctuations, which open up the DNA double helix making bases accessible for hydrogen exchange and chemical modification, are the main focus of the review. Theoretical descriptions of the DNA fluctuations are discussed with special emphasis on most popular among them: the nonlinear-dynamic Peyrard-Bishop-Dauxois (PBD) model and the empirical two-state (or helix-coil) model. The experimental data on the issue are comprehensibly overviewed in the historical retrospective with main emphasis on the hydrogen exchange data and formaldehyde kinetics. The theoretical descriptions are critically evaluated from the viewpoint of their applicability to describe DNA in water environment and from the viewpoint of agreement of their predictions with the reliable experimental data. The presented analysis makes it possible to conclude that, while the two-state model is most adequate from theoretical viewpoint and its predictions, based on an empirical parametrization, agree with experimental data very well, the PBD model is inapplicable to DNA in water from theoretical viewpoint on one hand and it makes predictions totally incompatible with reliable experimental data on the other. In particular, it is argued that any oscillation movements of nucleotides, assumed by the PBD model, are severely damped in water, that no "bubbles", which the PBD model predicts, exist in reality in linear DNA well below the melting range and the lifetime of an open state in DNA is actually 5 orders of magnitude longer than the value predicted by the PBD model.

  18. Mechanically Induced Helix-Coil Transition in Biopolymer Networks

    PubMed Central

    Courty, Sebastien; Gornall, Joanne L.; Terentjev, Eugene M.

    2006-01-01

    The quasi-equilibrium evolution of the helical fraction occurring in a biopolymer network (gelatin gel) under an applied stress has been investigated by observing modulation in its optical activity. Its variation with the imposed chain extension is distinctly nonmonotonic and corresponds to the transition of initially coiled strands to induced left-handed helices. The experimental results are in qualitative agreement with theoretical predictions of helices induced on chain extension. This new effect of mechanically stimulated helix-coil transition has been studied further as a function of the elastic properties of the polymer network: crosslink density and network aging. PMID:16239334

  19. Scattering of linearly polarized microwave radiation from a dielectric helix.

    PubMed

    Haracz, R D; Cohen, L D; Cohen, A; Wang, R T

    1987-11-01

    A method for calculating the electric field scattered from a helical dielectric target is compared to an equivalent experiment. The wavelength of the incident light is 3.18 cm, and the right-handed helix has a radius of 1.83 cm and wire radius of 0.24 cm, a pitch of 0.553 cm, and seven turns. The index of refraction of, the target is 1.626-i 0.012. A brief description of the Shifrin theory generalized to this application is given along with a discussion of the experiment, and the experimental intensities are compared to the first-order theory. PMID:20523417

  20. Triple helix structures: sequence dependence, flexibility and mismatch effects.

    PubMed

    Sun, J S; Mergny, J L; Lavery, R; Montenay-Garestier, T; Hélène, C

    1991-12-01

    By means of molecular modelling, electrostatic interactions are shown to play an important role in the sequence-dependent structure of triple helices formed by a homopyrimidine oligonucleotide bound to a homopurine. homopyrimidine sequence on DNA. This is caused by the presence of positive charges due to the protonation of cytosines in the Hoogsteen-bonded strand, required in order to form C.GxC+ triplets. Energetic and conformational characteristics of triple helices with different sequences are analyzed and discussed. The effects of duplex mismatches on the triple helix stability are investigated via thermal dissociation using UV absorption. PMID:1815635

  1. Repair and recombination induced by triple helix DNA.

    PubMed

    Chin, Joanna Y; Schleifman, Erica B; Glazer, Peter M

    2007-01-01

    Triple-helix DNA structures can form endogenously at mirror repeat polypurine/polypyrimidine sequences or by introduction of triplex-forming oligonucleotides (TFOs). Recent evidence suggests that triple helices are sources of genetic instability, and are subject to increased rates of mutagenesis and recruitment of repair factors. Indeed, observations using TFOs suggest that triple helices provoke a variety of biological processes which can be harnessed to modulate gene expression and induce heritable changes in targeted genes. This review surveys the biological applications of TFOs, with particular attention to their recombinogenic and mutagenic potential, and summarizes available evidence for the mechanism of triplex and triplex-associated repair. PMID:17485375

  2. Wave patterns in α-helix proteins with interspine coupling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mimshe Fewu, J. C.; Tabi, C. B.; Edongue, H.; Ekobena Fouda, H. P.; Kofané, T. C.

    2013-02-01

    Modulational instability is a direct way by which localized structures emerge in nonlinear systems. We investigate analytically, through the linear stability of plane wave solutions, the existence of localized structures in α-helix proteins with three spines. Through numerical simulations, trains of pulses are found and confirm our analytical predictions. The presence of higher-order interactions between adjacent spines tends to suppress the formed localized structures for erratic ones to emerge. These erratic structures are highly localized and rather reinforce the idea that the energy to be used in metabolic processes is rather confined to specific regions for its efficiency.

  3. Broadband circular polarizers constructed using helix-like chiral metamaterials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ji, Ruonan; Wang, Shao-Wei; Liu, Xingxing; Chen, Xiaoshuang; Lu, Wei

    2016-08-01

    In this paper, one kind of helix-like chiral metamaterial which can be realized by multiple conventional lithography or electron beam lithographic techniques is proposed to have a broadband bianisotropic optical response analogous to helical metamaterials. On the basis of twisted metamaterials, via tailoring the relative orientation within the lattice, the anisotropy of arcs is converted into magneto-electric coupling of closely spaced arc pairs, which leads to a broad bianisotropic optical response. By connecting the adjacent upper and lower arcs, the coupling of metasurface pairs is transformed into the coupling of the three-dimensional inclusions, and provides a much broader and higher bianisotropic optical response. For only a four-layer helix-like metamaterial, the maximum extinction ratio can reach 19.7. The operation band is in the wavelength range of 4.69 μm to 8.98 μm with an average extinction ratio of 6.9. And the transmittance for selective polarization is above 0.8 in the entire operation band. Such a structure is a promising candidate for integratable and scalable broadband circular polarizers, especially it has great potential to act as a broadband circular micropolarizer in the field of the full-Stokes division of focal plane polarimeters.In this paper, one kind of helix-like chiral metamaterial which can be realized by multiple conventional lithography or electron beam lithographic techniques is proposed to have a broadband bianisotropic optical response analogous to helical metamaterials. On the basis of twisted metamaterials, via tailoring the relative orientation within the lattice, the anisotropy of arcs is converted into magneto-electric coupling of closely spaced arc pairs, which leads to a broad bianisotropic optical response. By connecting the adjacent upper and lower arcs, the coupling of metasurface pairs is transformed into the coupling of the three-dimensional inclusions, and provides a much broader and higher bianisotropic optical

  4. Folding Dynamics of an α Helix and a β Hairpin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hofrichter, James

    1998-03-01

    What processes limit the rate at which proteins fold? In an effort to address this question we have begun to study the dynamics of the formation of loops, α helices and the minimal β structural element, a β hairpin, which must occur on the pathway from random coils to folded proteins. Because these processes occur on time scales of 10-5-10-9 seconds and experimental access to these time scales has been limited, the kinetics of these processes have not been extensively studied. The expectation is that a more complete understanding of the dynamics of these microprocesses will provide constraints on possible mechanisms for the overall folding of more complex structures. We have explored the kinetics of the helix-coil transition of a synthetic, 21-residue peptide: Ac-WAAAH^+(AAARA)_3A-NH2 and of the folding of a 16 residue β hairpin from protein G B1 using the nanosecond temperature jump technique. Both processes were studied by monitoring tryptophan fluorescence. In the helical peptide, the quantum yield of tryptophan decreases as a result of the interaction between tryptophan in position 1 with the protonated histidine in position 5. In the native conformation of the hairpin, it increases because it forms part of a hydrophobic cluster which stabilizes the native conformation (in a peptide in which a dansylated lysine is incorporated at the C-terminus the fluorescence is quenched). At 300 K, the relaxation time for the helix-coil transition is ~ 250 ns and that for the hairpin-coil transition is ~ 2.2 μs, about 10 times slower. The apparent activation energies are 6.8 kcal/mol for the helix and 10 kcal/mol for the hairpin. We have developed simple kinetic models for these processes which incorporate the sequence- and position-dependent properties known from equilibrium studies and the single-sequence approximation. These models provide a remarkably consistent picture of the dynamics, permitting us to extract information on both the microscopic rates for the c

  5. Thermodynamics of helix-coil transitions in amino-acid homopolymers studied by multicanonical algorithms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansmann, Ulrich H. E.; Okamoto, Yuko

    1996-03-01

    Thermodynamics of helix-coil transitions in amino-acid homopolymers are studied by the multicanonical algorithms. Homopolymers 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 various thermodynamic quantities (average helix length, specific heat, etc.) as functions of temperature. The results, though preliminary, suggest that the helix-coil transition for poly-alanine is second-order, while the nature of phase transition is not clear for poly-valine and poly-glycine.

  6. SNAIL transcription factor increases the motility and invasive capacity of prostate cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Osorio, Luis A; Farfán, Nancy M; Castellón, Enrique A; Contreras, Héctor R

    2016-01-01

    The incidence and mortality rates of prostate cancer (PCa) are increasing, and PCa is almost the second‑leading cause of cancer‑associated mortality in men. During tumor progression, epithelial cells decrease the number of adhesion molecules, change their polarity and position, rearrange their cytoskeleton and increase their migratory and invasive capacities. These changes are known under the concept of epithelial‑mesenchymal transition (EMT). EMT is characterized by an upregulation of certain transcription factors, including SNAIL1, which represses genes that are characteristic of an epithelial phenotype, including E‑cadherin, and indirectly increase the expression levels of genes, which are associated with the mesenchymal phenotype. It has been suggested that the transcription factor, SNAIL1, decreases the proliferation and increases the migratory and invasive capacities of PCa cell lines. The present study was performed using LNCaP and PC3 cell lines, in which the expression levels of SNAIL1 were increased or silenced through the use of lentiviral vectors. The expression levels of EMT markers were quantified using reverse transcription‑quantitative polymerase chain reaction and western blot analysis. In addition, cell survival was analyzed using an MTS assay; cell proliferation was examined using an antibody targeting Ki‑67; migration on plates with 8 µm pores to allow the passage of cells; and invasiveness was analyzed using a membrane chamber covered in dried basement membrane matrix solution. The levels of apoptosis were determined using a Caspase 3/7 assay containing a substrate modified by caspases 3 and 7. The results demonstrated that the overexpression and silencing of SNAIL1 decreased cell proliferation and survival. However, the overexpression of SNAIL1 decreased apoptosis, compared with cells with the SNAIL1‑silenced cells, in which cell apoptosis increased. The migration and invasive capacities increased in the cells overexpressing

  7. SNAIL transcription factor increases the motility and invasive capacity of prostate cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    OSORIO, LUIS A.; FARFÁN, NANCY M.; CASTELLÓN, ENRIQUE A.; CONTRERAS, HÉCTOR R.

    2016-01-01

    The incidence and mortality rates of prostate cancer (PCa) are increasing, and PCa is almost the second-leading cause of cancer-associated mortality in men. During tumor progression, epithelial cells decrease the number of adhesion molecules, change their polarity and position, rearrange their cytoskeleton and increase their migratory and invasive capacities. These changes are known under the concept of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). EMT is characterized by an upregulation of certain transcription factors, including SNAIL1, which represses genes that are characteristic of an epithelial phenotype, including E-cadherin, and indirectly increase the expression levels of genes, which are associated with the mesenchymal phenotype. It has been suggested that the transcription factor, SNAIL1, decreases the proliferation and increases the migratory and invasive capacities of PCa cell lines. The present study was performed using LNCaP and PC3 cell lines, in which the expression levels of SNAIL1 were increased or silenced through the use of lentiviral vectors. The expression levels of EMT markers were quantified using reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction and western blot analysis. In addition, cell survival was analyzed using an MTS assay; cell proliferation was examined using an antibody targeting Ki-67; migration on plates with 8 µm pores to allow the passage of cells; and invasiveness was analyzed using a membrane chamber covered in dried basement membrane matrix solution. The levels of apoptosis were determined using a Caspase 3/7 assay containing a substrate modified by caspases 3 and 7. The results demonstrated that the overexpression and silencing of SNAIL1 decreased cell proliferation and survival. However, the overexpression of SNAIL1 decreased apoptosis, compared with cells with the SNAIL1-silenced cells, in which cell apoptosis increased. The migration and invasive capacities increased in the cells overexpressing SNAIL1, and

  8. Effects of washing produce contaminated with the snail and slug hosts of Angiostrongylus cantonensis with three common household solutions.

    PubMed

    Yeung, Norine W; Hayes, Kenneth A; Cowie, Robert H

    2013-06-01

    The emerging infectious disease angiostrongyliasis (rat lungworm disease) is caused by ingesting snails and slugs infected by the nematode Angiostrongylus cantonensis. The definitive hosts of A. cantonensis are rats and the obligatory intermediate hosts are slugs and snails. Many cases result from accidentally ingesting infected snails or slugs on produce (eg, lettuce). This study assessed three readily available household products as washing solutions for removing snails and slugs from produce (romaine lettuce) to lower the probability of accidentally ingesting them. The solutions were acetic acid (vinegar), sodium hypochlorite (bleach), and sodium chloride (domestic salt). Snail and slug species known to be intermediate hosts and that are common in the Hawaiian Islands were used in the experiments: the alien snail Succinea tenella, the alien semi-slug Parmarion martensi, and the alien slugs Veronicella cubensis and Deroceras laeve. None of the products was any more effective than washing and rinsing with tap water alone. Most snails and slugs were removed after treatment but some remained on the lettuce even after washing and rinsing the produce. Only washing, rinsing, and then rinsing each leaf individually resulted in complete removal of all snails and slugs. The study did not address removal of any remaining slime left by the snails and slugs, nor did it address killing of worms. PMID:23901391

  9. FBXO11 promotes ubiquitination of the Snail family of transcription factors in cancer progression and epidermal development.

    PubMed

    Jin, Yue; Shenoy, Anitha K; Doernberg, Samuel; Chen, Hao; Luo, Huacheng; Shen, Huangxuan; Lin, Tong; Tarrash, Miriam; Cai, Qingsong; Hu, Xin; Fiske, Ryan; Chen, Ting; Wu, Lizi; Mohammed, Kamal A; Rottiers, Veerle; Lee, Siu Sylvia; Lu, Jianrong

    2015-06-28

    The Snail family of transcription factors are core inducers of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Here we show that the F-box protein FBXO11 recognizes and promotes ubiquitin-mediated degradation of multiple Snail family members including Scratch. The association between FBXO11 and Snai1 in vitro is independent of Snai1 phosphorylation. Overexpression of FBXO11 in mesenchymal cells reduces Snail protein abundance and cellular invasiveness. Conversely, depletion of endogenous FBXO11 in epithelial cancer cells causes Snail protein accumulation, EMT, and tumor invasion, as well as loss of estrogen receptor expression in breast cancer cells. Expression of FBXO11 is downregulated by EMT-inducing signals TGFβ and nickel. In human cancer, high FBXO11 levels correlate with expression of epithelial markers and favorable prognosis. The results suggest that FBXO11 sustains the epithelial state and inhibits cancer progression. Inactivation of FBXO11 in mice leads to neonatal lethality, epidermal thickening, and increased Snail protein levels in epidermis, validating that FBXO11 is a physiological ubiquitin ligase of Snail. Moreover, in C. elegans, the FBXO11 mutant phenotype is attributed to the Snail factors as it is suppressed by inactivation/depletion of Snail homologs. Collectively, these findings suggest that the FBXO11-Snail regulatory axis is evolutionarily conserved and critically governs carcinoma progression and mammalian epidermal development. PMID:25827072

  10. Changes in epilithic communities due to individual and combined treatments of zinc and snail grazing in stream mesocosms

    SciTech Connect

    Genter, R.B.; Colwell, F.S.; Pratt, J.R.; Cherry, D.S.; Cairns, J. Jr.

    1988-06-01

    Effects of 0.5 mg/liter zinc (Zn) and snail grazing (400 snails/m2) on density of dominant algal and protozoan taxa, epilithic glucose respiration, and ash-free dry weight (AFDW) were examined using established (12-day colonization) periphyton communities in flow-through stream mesocosms with four treatments (Zn, snails, Zn and snails, control) for 30 days. Grazing and Zn similarly reduced the abundance of 5 of 10 dominant algal taxa and AFDW during the first 10 days of treatment. Abundance of these taxa and AFDW in grazed (ambient Zn) treatments approached control levels after 10 days as the effect due to snails decreased. Decreasing temperatures may have reduced snail activity. Snails, Zn, and the combination of these treatments contributed to higher rates of glucose respiration per unit AFDW. Protozoan species abundance was reduced to less than half by Zn but was unaffected by snails. Although Zn and snails individually altered structural and functional aspects of this microbial community, the effects when both treatments were combined could not always be inferred from the individual effects. Testing individual and combined variables that affect periphyton with a corresponding assessment of population dynamics, biomass, and community functional attributes will enhance understanding of the overall effects of pollutants on periphyton communities.

  11. FBXO11 promotes ubiquitination of the Snail family of transcription factors in cancer progression and epidermal development

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Yue; Shenoy, Anitha K.; Doernberg, Samuel; Chen, Hao; Luo, Huacheng; Shen, Huangxuan; Lin, Tong; Tarrash, Miriam; Cai, Qingsong; Hu, Xin; Fiske, Ryan; Chen, Ting; Wu, Lizi; Mohammed, Kamal A.; Rottiers, Veerle; Lee, Siu Sylvia; Lu, Jianrong

    2015-01-01

    The Snail family of transcription factors are core inducers of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Here we show that the F-box protein FBXO11 recognizes and promotes ubiquitin-mediated degradation of multiple Snail family members including Scratch. The association between FBXO11 and Snai1 in vitro is independent of Snai1 phosphorylation. Overexpression of FBXO11 in mesenchymal cells reduces Snail protein abundance and cellular invasiveness. Conversely, depletion of endogenous FBXO11 in epithelial cancer cells causes Snail protein accumulation, EMT, and tumor invasion, as well as loss of estrogen receptor expression in breast cancer cells. Expression of FBXO11 is downregulated by EMT-inducing signals TGFβ and nickel. In human cancer, high FBXO11 levels correlate with expression of epithelial markers and favorable prognosis. The results suggest that FBXO11 sustains the epithelial state and inhibits cancer progression. Inactivation of FBXO11 in mice leads to neonatal lethality, epidermal thickening, and increased Snail protein levels in epidermis, validating that FBXO11 is a physiological ubiquitin ligase of Snail. Moreover, in C. elegans, the FBXO11 mutant phenotype is attributed to the Snail factors as it is suppressed by inactivation/depletion of Snail homologs. Collectively, these findings suggest that the FBXO11-Snail regulatory axis is evolutionarily conserved and critically governs carcinoma progression and mammalian epidermal development. PMID:25827072

  12. Three-dimensional simulation of helix traveling-wave tube cold-test characteristics using MAFIA

    SciTech Connect

    Kory, C.L.

    1996-08-01

    The cold-test parameters including dispersion, impedance, and attenuation have been calculated for a helix traveling-wave tube (TWT) slow-wave circuit using MAFIA, the three-dimensional (3-D) electromagnetic finite-integration computer code. The helix model includes tape thickness, rectangular dielectric supports, and material properties consistent with the actual circuit. Measured cold-test data and computer-derived results for the helix circuit are presented with excellent agreement.

  13. Chlorophyllin Bait Formulation and Exposure to Different Spectrum of Visible Light on the Reproduction of Infected/Uninfected Snail Lymnaea acuminata

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Navneet; Singh, D. K.; Singh, Vinay Kumar

    2016-01-01

    Fasciolosis is a waterborne disease, caused by Fasciola species. Snail Lymnaea acuminata is an intermediate host of these flukes. Control of snail population is major tool in reducing the incidences. Variation in light intensity and wavelength caused significant changes in reproduction pattern of snails. Maximum fecundity was noted with bait containing carbohydrate (starch, 468 ± 0.10/20 snails) or amino acid (serine, 319 ± 0.29/20 snails) as attractant. Sublethal feeding of chlorophyllin bait with starch or serine attractant to infected and uninfected snails caused significant reduction in fecundity, hatchability, and survivability. These significant changes are observed in snails exposed to different spectral band of visible light and sunlight. Maximum fecundity of 536 ± 2.0 and minimum of 89.3 ± 0.4 were noted in snails not fed with bait and exposed to sunlight and red spectral band, respectively. There was complete arrest in the fecundity of infected and uninfected snails and no survivability of uninfected snails after 48 h feeding with bait containing chlorophyllin + attractant. Minimum hatchability (9.25 ± 0.5) was noted in red light exposed, chlorophyllin + starch fed infected snails and hatching period of bait fed snails was prolonged. Conclusively, chlorophyllin bait and red light reduce reproduction capacity in snails. PMID:26925296

  14. Chlorophyllin Bait Formulation and Exposure to Different Spectrum of Visible Light on the Reproduction of Infected/Uninfected Snail Lymnaea acuminata.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Navneet; Singh, D K; Singh, Vinay Kumar

    2016-01-01

    Fasciolosis is a waterborne disease, caused by Fasciola species. Snail Lymnaea acuminata is an intermediate host of these flukes. Control of snail population is major tool in reducing the incidences. Variation in light intensity and wavelength caused significant changes in reproduction pattern of snails. Maximum fecundity was noted with bait containing carbohydrate (starch, 468 ± 0.10/20 snails) or amino acid (serine, 319 ± 0.29/20 snails) as attractant. Sublethal feeding of chlorophyllin bait with starch or serine attractant to infected and uninfected snails caused significant reduction in fecundity, hatchability, and survivability. These significant changes are observed in snails exposed to different spectral band of visible light and sunlight. Maximum fecundity of 536 ± 2.0 and minimum of 89.3 ± 0.4 were noted in snails not fed with bait and exposed to sunlight and red spectral band, respectively. There was complete arrest in the fecundity of infected and uninfected snails and no survivability of uninfected snails after 48 h feeding with bait containing chlorophyllin + attractant. Minimum hatchability (9.25 ± 0.5) was noted in red light exposed, chlorophyllin + starch fed infected snails and hatching period of bait fed snails was prolonged. Conclusively, chlorophyllin bait and red light reduce reproduction capacity in snails. PMID:26925296

  15. Thermal tolerance and climate warming sensitivity in tropical snails.

    PubMed

    Marshall, David J; Rezende, Enrico L; Baharuddin, Nursalwa; Choi, Francis; Helmuth, Brian

    2015-12-01

    Tropical ectotherms are predicted to be especially vulnerable to climate change because their thermal tolerance limits generally lie close to current maximum air temperatures. This prediction derives primarily from studies on insects and lizards and remains untested for other taxa with contrasting ecologies. We studied the HCT (heat coma temperatures) and ULT (upper lethal temperatures) of 40 species of tropical eulittoral snails (Littorinidae and Neritidae) inhabiting exposed rocky shores and shaded mangrove forests in Oceania, Africa, Asia and North America. We also estimated extremes in animal body temperature at each site using a simple heat budget model and historical (20 years) air temperature and solar radiation data. Phylogenetic analyses suggest that HCT and ULT exhibit limited adaptive variation across habitats (mangroves vs. rocky shores) or geographic locations despite their contrasting thermal regimes. Instead, the elevated heat tolerance of these species (HCT = 44.5 ± 1.8°C and ULT = 52.1 ± 2.2°C) seems to reflect the extreme temperature variability of intertidal systems. Sensitivity to climate warming, which was quantified as the difference between HCT or ULT and maximum body temperature, differed greatly between snails from sunny (rocky shore; Thermal Safety Margin, TSM = -14.8 ± 3.3°C and -6.2 ± 4.4°C for HCT and ULT, respectively) and shaded (mangrove) habitats (TSM = 5.1 ± 3.6°C and 12.5 ± 3.6°C). Negative TSMs in rocky shore animals suggest that mortality is likely ameliorated during extreme climatic events by behavioral thermoregulation. Given the low variability in heat tolerance across species, habitat and geographic location account for most of the variation in TSM and may adequately predict the vulnerability to climate change. These findings caution against generalizations on the impact of global warming across ectothermic taxa and highlight how the consideration of nonmodel animals, ecological transitions

  16. FOXQ1 promotes gastric cancer metastasis through upregulation of Snail.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jing; Liu, Yimin; Zhang, Jia; Cui, Xiaohai; Li, Gang; Wang, Jiansheng; Ren, Hong; Zhang, Yunfeng

    2016-06-01

    Gastric cancer (GC) is one of the most common cancers, and the second most common cause of cancer deaths worldwide. Forkhead box Q1 (FOXQ1) is a member of the forkhead transcription factor family and its upregulation is closely correlated with tumor progression and prognosis of multiple cancer types, including GC. FOXQ1 has been shown to regulate EMT and function in human cancers. However, the role of FOXQ1 in regulating EMT in GC and the exactly mechanism has not been clarified. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of FOXQ1 on EMT in human GC. FOXQ1 protein was detected by immunohistochemistry in human GC specimens and their clinical significance evaluated. We examined the cell biology and molecular biology changes after overexpression and knockdown of FOXQ1 in gastric cancer cells in vitro. To further understand the underlying mechanisms of EMT promoted by FOXQ1, we examined the changes of target genes of FOXQ1 after overexpression and knockdown of FOXQ1 in gastric cancer cells. In the present study, we demonstrate that FOXQ1 is overexpressed in GC tissues and its expression level is closely correlated with histologic differentiation, pTNM stage, and lymphatic metastasis of GC. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed that a high expression level of FOXQ1 resulted in a significantly poor prognosis of GC patients. FOXQ1 modulated GC cell invasion in vitro, and induced E-cadherin repression. FOXQ1 also upregulated the expression of vimentin in vitro. The Snail signaling pathway was likely involved in the induction of EMT by FOXQ1 in GC. Our results demonstrate that FOXQ1 is a prognostic marker for patients with GC, FOXQ1 over-expression is involved in acquisition of the mesenchymal phenotype of gastric cancer cells, and that subsequent Snail expression is essential for induction of EMT. The results suggest that FOXQ1 is a potential therapeutic target for the development of therapies for GC. PMID:27109028

  17. Habitat characteristics for different freshwater snail species as determined biologically through macroinvertebrate information.

    PubMed

    El-Khayat, Hanaa M M; Mahmoud, Kadria M A; Mostafa, Bayomy B; Tantawy, Ahmad A; El-Deeb, Fatma A; Ragb, Fawzy M; Ismail, Nahed M; El-Said, Kalil M; Taleb, Hoda M Abu

    2011-12-01

    Macro-invertebrates including freshwater snails collected from 643 sites over 8 successive seasons among the River Nile, branches, main canals and certain drains in eight Egyptian Governorates. Thirteen snail species and one bivalve species were identified. The most distributed were Lanistus carinatus and Physa acuta while the most abundant were Cleopatra bulimoides and Physa acuta during the whole study. The sites that harbored each snail species in all the examined water-courses were grouped seasonally and their biological assessment was determined by their minimum and maximum total point similarity percentage to that of the corresponded reference site and mean of the total points. Habitats for most snail species attained minimum total point's similarity percentage less than 21% (very poor habitat) during autumn and winter then spring while during summer very poor habitat was harbored by only few snail species. P. acuta was the only survived snails in habitat which attained 0 as a minimum total point's similarity percentage during two seasons and L. carinatus and Succinea cleopatra during one season. With respect to medically important snails very poor sites constituted 23% of Biomphalaria alexandrina sites, 14% of Lymnaea natalensis and 9.4% of Bulinus truncatus sites. The studied macroinvertebrate matrices, total number of organisms, taxa richness, the Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera (EPT) index, ratio of EPT index to chironomidae, ratio of scraper to filtering collector, contribution of dominant macroinvertebrate major group, comparison revealed descending tolerances from B. alexanrina followed by L. natalensis then B. truncates, but Hilsenhoff Biotic Index (HBI) showed the same tolerance to organic pollution. PMID:22435158

  18. Broadband circular polarizers constructed using helix-like chiral metamaterials.

    PubMed

    Ji, Ruonan; Wang, Shao-Wei; Liu, Xingxing; Chen, Xiaoshuang; Lu, Wei

    2016-08-01

    In this paper, one kind of helix-like chiral metamaterial which can be realized by multiple conventional lithography or electron beam lithographic techniques is proposed to have a broadband bianisotropic optical response analogous to helical metamaterials. On the basis of twisted metamaterials, via tailoring the relative orientation within the lattice, the anisotropy of arcs is converted into magneto-electric coupling of closely spaced arc pairs, which leads to a broad bianisotropic optical response. By connecting the adjacent upper and lower arcs, the coupling of metasurface pairs is transformed into the coupling of the three-dimensional inclusions, and provides a much broader and higher bianisotropic optical response. For only a four-layer helix-like metamaterial, the maximum extinction ratio can reach 19.7. The operation band is in the wavelength range of 4.69 μm to 8.98 μm with an average extinction ratio of 6.9. And the transmittance for selective polarization is above 0.8 in the entire operation band. Such a structure is a promising candidate for integratable and scalable broadband circular polarizers, especially it has great potential to act as a broadband circular micropolarizer in the field of the full-Stokes division of focal plane polarimeters. PMID:27352818

  19. Transmembrane Helix Assembly by Max-Min Ant System Algorithm.

    PubMed

    Sujaree, Kanon; Kitjaruwankul, Sunan; Boonamnaj, Panisak; Supunyabut, Chirayut; Sompornpisut, Pornthep

    2015-12-01

    Because of the rapid progress in biochemical and structural studies of membrane proteins, considerable attention has been given on developing efficient computational methods for solving low-to-medium resolution structures using sparse structural data. In this study, we demonstrate a novel algorithm, max-min ant system (MMAS), designed to find an assembly of α-helical transmembrane proteins using a rigid helix arrangement guided by distance constraints. The new algorithm generates a large variety with finite number of orientations of transmembrane helix bundle and finds the solution that is matched with the provided distance constraints based on the behavior of ants to search for the shortest possible path between their nest and the food source. To demonstrate the efficiency of the novel search algorithm, MMAS is applied to determine the transmembrane packing of KcsA and MscL ion channels from a limited distance information extracted from the crystal structures, and the packing of KvAP voltage sensor domain using a set of 10 experimentally determined constraints, and the results are compared with those of two popular used stochastic methods, simulated annealing Monte Carlo method and genetic algorithm. PMID:26058409

  20. ADP-ribosyltransferase from Helix pomatia. Purification and characterization.

    PubMed

    Burtscher, H J; Klocker, H; Schneider, R; Auer, B; Hirsch-Kauffmann, M; Schweiger, M

    1987-12-15

    ADP-ribosyltransferases from several higher eukaryotes have been purified and characterized, but little is known about ADP-ribosyltransferases in lower eukaryotes. We have purified an ADP-ribosyltransferase (EC 2.4.2.30) from Helix pomatia. The enzyme has an apparent Km of 26.7 microM. Optimal conditions for the enzyme reaction are 17.5 degrees C and pH 8. The time course is linear during the first 10 min of the reaction. The enzyme is capable of poly-ADP-ribosylation. The most highly purified preparation shows one major band at an Mr of 75,000 on electrophoresis in an SDS/polyacrylamide gel, with minor bands at Mr 115,000 and 155,000. Re-activation of SDS/polyacrylamide gels in situ shows the 75,000-Mr band to be enzymically active and additional active bands with Mr values of 115,000, 90,000 and 87,000 respectively. The 115,000-Mr and 75,000-Mr bands cross-react with a polyclonal affinity-purified antiserum against human ADP-ribosyltransferase. Like enzymes from higher eukaryotes, the activity from Helix pomatia is inhibited by thymidine, theophylline, theobromine nicotinamide, 3-methoxybenzamide and 3-aminobenzamide, and is dependent on histone and DNA. PMID:3124818

  1. The Application of Electric Shock as a Novel Pest Control Method for Apple Snail, Pomacea canaliculata (Gastropoda: Ampullariidae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yagyu, Yoshihito; Tsuji, Satoshi; Satoh, Saburoh; Yamabe, Chobei

    The apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata, brought to Japan from Taiwan for human consumption in the 1980s, has come to be considered as deleterious for rice cultivation. The snail is unable to injure young rice plants while receiving electric shock because the snail retracts its entire body into its shell and shuts its aperture with its operculum. Electric shock should be applied intermittently to reduce the amount of energy that is wasted when the snail is in its shell made of one of the insulator. The minimum electric shock required for controlling snails and the time required for movement after application of electric shock to determine the frequency of each electric shock were investigated using two methods; vertical and horizontal application of the electrical stimulation. The results showed that there is a strong correlation between the strength of electric shock and the reaction of the snails, and electric shock made snails inactive when it was applied 0.35 A/m2 in the horizontal direction and 0.45 A/m2 in the vertical direction with water of 11 mS/m. A positive correlation was also found between electric shock and the reaction of the snails and shell height. In comparison with larger snails, the smaller snails had higher threshold levels against electric current density because their shorter feet tended to have lower voltage dorp. Moreover, the frequency of electric shock should be chosen the minimum duration for the inactive condition, and it was approximately 10 seconds. Consequently the direction of electric current should be in the horizontal direction above 0.35 A/m2 and the frequency of electric shock should be less than 10 seconds for practical use. However, electric shock would have to be maintained at greater than 0.35 A/m2 because snails might become habituated to electric shock and water in paddy field would have high electric conductivity.

  2. Toxicity of Metals to a Freshwater Snail, Melanoides tuberculata

    PubMed Central

    Shuhaimi-Othman, M.; Nur-Amalina, R.; Nadzifah, Y.

    2012-01-01

    Adult freshwater snails Melanoides tuberculata (Gastropod, Thiaridae) were exposed for a four-day period in laboratory conditions to a range of copper (Cu), cadmium (Cd), zinc (Zn), lead (Pb), nickel (Ni), iron (Fe), aluminium (Al), and manganese (Mn) concentrations. Mortality was assessed and median lethal times (LT50) and concentrations (LC50) were calculated. LT50 and LC50 increased with the decrease in mean exposure concentrations and times, respectively, for all metals. The LC50 values for the 96-hour exposures to Cu, Cd, Zn, Pb, Ni, Fe, Al, and Mn were 0.14, 1.49, 3.90, 6.82, 8.46, 8.49, 68.23, and 45.59 mg L−1, respectively. Cu was the most toxic metal to M. tuberculata, followed by Cd, Zn, Pb, Ni, Fe, Mn, and Al (Cu > Cd > Zn > Pb > Ni > Fe > Mn > Al). Metals bioconcentration in M. tuberculata increases with exposure to increasing concentrations and Cu has the highest accumulation (concentration factor) in the soft tissues. A comparison of LC50 values for metals for this species with those for other freshwater gastropods reveals that M. tuberculata is equally sensitive to metals. PMID:22666089

  3. Phylogeography and conservation genetics of the Iowa pleistocene snail.

    PubMed

    Ross, T K

    1999-09-01

    The Iowa Pleistocene snail, Discus macclintocki, is an endangered species that survives only in relictual populations on algific (cold-air) talus slopes in northeast Iowa and northwest Illinois in the central region of the USA. These populations are believed to have been isolated since the temperatures began to warm at the end of the last glacial period around 16 500 years ago. DNA sequencing of the 16s rRNA gene of the mitochondria was used to determine the genetic relationship among 10 populations and the genetic diversity within these populations. Genetic diversity is extremely high within this species with 40 haplotypes spread across the 10 populations sampled within a 4000 km2 region. Phylogenetic analyses showed that haplotypes formed monophyletic groups by the watershed on which they were found, suggesting that watersheds were important historical avenues of gene flow. Genetic distances were strongly related to the geographical distance among all populations, but this relationship was dependent on the scale being considered. PMID:10564443

  4. A phylogeny of the land snails (Gastropoda: Pulmonata).

    PubMed Central

    Wade, C. M.; Mordan, P. B.; Clarke, B.

    2001-01-01

    We have undertaken the first large-scale molecular phylogenetic analysis of the Stylommatophora. Sequences of the ribosomal RNA gene-cluster were examined in 104 species of snails and slugs from 50 families, encompassing all the currently recognized major groups. It allows an independent test of the present classification based on morphology. At the level of families our molecular phylogeny closely supports the current taxonomy, but the deep branches within the tree do not. Surprisingly, a single assemblage including the families Achatinidae, Subulinidae and Streptaxidae lies near the base of the tree, forming a sister group to all remaining stylommatophorans. This primary division into 'achatinoid' and 'non-achatinoid' taxa is unexpected, and demands a radical reinterpretation of early stylommatophoran evolution. In particular, the Orthurethra appear to be relatively advanced within the 'non-achatinoid clade', and broadly equivalent to other super-familial clusters. This indicates that supposedly primitive features such as the orthurethran kidney are derived. The molecular tree also suggests that the origin of the Stylommatophora is much earlier than the main period of their diversification. PMID:11270439

  5. Prostaglandin E2 accelerates invasion by upregulating Snail in hepatocellular carcinoma cells.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Min; Zhang, Hai; Cheng, Shanyu; Zhang, Dengcai; Xu, Yan; Bai, Xiaoming; Xia, Shukai; Zhang, Li; Ma, Juan; Du, Mingzhan; Wang, Yipin; Wang, Jie; Chen, Meng; Leng, Jing

    2014-07-01

    Our previous studies showed that prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) promotes hepatoma cell growth and migration, as well as invasion; however, the precise mechanism remains elusive. Snail and p65 protein levels were detected in human samples with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) by immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining. HCC cell lines (Huh-7 and Hep3B) were used for in vitro experiments. PGE2/Akt/NF-κB pathway was investigated in Huh-7 and Hep3B cells after treatment with PGE2, EP4 receptor (EP4R) agonist, Akt inhibitor, and NF-κB inhibitor, respectively, by real-time reverse transcription (RT)-PCR, Western blotting, and immunofluorescence (IF) staining. In vitro cell invasion assay was performed to evaluate the effect of PGE2 on tumor invasiveness. Knockdown of EP4R was carried out in Huh-7 cells through plasmid-based small interfering RNA (siRNA) approach to confirm the regulation of PGE2 on Snail by EP4R. Dual luciferase reporter assay was performed to assess Snail promoter activity in Huh-7 cell after treatment with EP4R agonist. We found that the protein levels of Snail were higher in HCC tissues than those in control and that PGE2 and EP4R agonist treatment significantly increased Snail expression in Huh-7 and Hep3B cells. EP4R agonist also profoundly promoted invasiveness of Huh-7 cells. Knockdown of the EP4R by siRNA completely blocked the PGE2-induced upregulation of Snail expression and reduced invasiveness of Huh-7 cells. We failed to find that EP4R-induced upregulation of Snail was reversed by inhibition of cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB), a canonical downstream target of EP4R. Alternatively, EP4R agonist treatment significantly increased the levels of phosphorylated EGFR and Akt both in Huh-7 and Hep3B cells. AG1478, an EGFR inhibitor, blocked the phosphorylation of Akt. The levels of phosphorylated IκB increased in Huh-7 cells after treatment with EP4R agonist for 30 min. The levels of phosphorylated p65 started to increase in Huh-7 cells treated

  6. Genome-wide features of neuroendocrine regulation in Drosophila by the basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor DIMMED

    PubMed Central

    Hadžić, Tarik; Park, Dongkook; Abruzzi, Katharine C.; Yang, Lin; Trigg, Jennifer S.; Rohs, Remo; Rosbash, Michael; Taghert, Paul H.

    2015-01-01

    Neuroendocrine (NE) cells use large dense core vesicles (LDCVs) to traffic, process, store and secrete neuropeptide hormones through the regulated secretory pathway. The dimmed (DIMM) basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor of Drosophila controls the level of regulated secretory activity in NE cells. To pursue its mechanisms, we have performed two independent genome-wide analyses of DIMM's activities: (i) in vivo chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) to define genomic sites of DIMM occupancy and (ii) deep sequencing of purified DIMM neurons to characterize their transcriptional profile. By this combined approach, we showed that DIMM binds to conserved E-boxes in enhancers of 212 genes whose expression is enriched in DIMM-expressing NE cells. DIMM binds preferentially to certain E-boxes within first introns of specific gene isoforms. Statistical machine learning revealed that flanking regions of putative DIMM binding sites contribute to its DNA binding specificity. DIMM's transcriptional repertoire features at least 20 LDCV constituents. In addition, DIMM notably targets the pro-secretory transcription factor, creb-A, but significantly, DIMM does not target any neuropeptide genes. DIMM therefore prescribes the scale of secretory activity in NE neurons, by a systematic control of both proximal and distal points in the regulated secretory pathway. PMID:25634895

  7. Selective utilization of basic helix-loop-helix-leucine zipper proteins at the immunoglobulin heavy-chain enhancer.

    PubMed

    Carter, R S; Ordentlich, P; Kadesch, T

    1997-01-01

    The microE3 E box within the immunoglobulin heavy-chain (IgH) enhancer binds several proteins of the basic helix-loop-helix-leucine zipper (bHLHzip) class, including TFE3, USF1, and Max. Both TFE3 and USF have been described as transcriptional activators, and so we investigated their possible roles in activating the IgH enhancer in vivo. Although TFE3 activated various enhancer-based reporters, both USF1 and Max effectively inhibited transcription. Inhibition by USF correlated with the lack of a strong activation domain and was the result of the protein neutralizing the microE3 site. The effects of dominant-negative derivatives of TFE3 and USF1 confirmed that TFE3, or a TFE3-like protein, is the primary cellular bHLHzip protein that activates the IgH enhancer. In addition to providing a physiological role for TFE3, our results call into question the traditional view of USF1 as an obligate transcriptional activator. PMID:8972181

  8. GLABRA2 Directly Suppresses Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factor Genes with Diverse Functions in Root Hair Development

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Qing; Ohashi, Yohei; Kato, Mariko; Tsuge, Tomohiko; Gu, Hongya; Qu, Li-Jia; Aoyama, Takashi

    2015-01-01

    The Arabidopsis thaliana GLABRA2 (GL2) gene encodes a transcription factor involved in the cell differentiation of various epidermal tissues. During root hair pattern formation, GL2 suppresses root hair development in non-hair cells, acting as a node between the gene regulatory networks for cell fate determination and cell differentiation. Despite the importance of GL2 function, its molecular basis remains obscure because the GL2 target genes leading to the network for cell differentiation are unknown. We identified five basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor genes—ROOT HAIR DEFECTIVE6 (RHD6), RHD6-LIKE1 (RSL1), RSL2, LjRHL1-LIKE1 (LRL1), and LRL2—as GL2 direct targets using transcriptional and post-translational induction systems. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis confirmed GL2 binding to upstream regions of these genes in planta. Reporter gene analyses showed that these genes are expressed in various stages of root hair development and are suppressed by GL2 in non-hair cells. GL2 promoter-driven green fluorescent protein fusions of LRL1 and LRL2, but not those of the other bHLH proteins, conferred root hair development on non-hair cells. These results indicate that GL2 directly suppresses bHLH genes with diverse functions in root hair development. PMID:26486447

  9. Structure of bacteriophage [phi]29 head fibers has a supercoiled triple repeating helix-turn-helix motif

    SciTech Connect

    Xiang, Ye; Rossmann, Michael G.

    2011-12-22

    The tailed bacteriophage {phi}29 capsid is decorated with 55 fibers attached to quasi-3-fold symmetry positions. Each fiber is a homotrimer of gene product 8.5 (gp8.5) and consists of two major structural parts, a pseudohexagonal base and a protruding fibrous portion that is about 110 {angstrom} in length. The crystal structure of the C-terminal fibrous portion (residues 112-280) has been determined to a resolution of 1.6 {angstrom}. The structure is about 150 {angstrom} long and shows three distinct structural domains designated as head, neck, and stem. The stem region is a unique three-stranded helix-turn-helix supercoil that has not previously been described. When fitted into a cryoelectron microscope reconstruction of the virus, the head structure corresponded to a disconnected density at the distal end of the fiber and the neck structure was located in weak density connecting it to the fiber. Thin section studies of Bacillus subtilis cells infected with fibered or fiberless {phi}29 suggest that the fibers might enhance the attachment of the virions onto the host cell wall.

  10. Conservation of lotus and Arabidopsis basic helix-loop-helix proteins reveals new players in root hair development.

    PubMed

    Karas, Bogumil; Amyot, Lisa; Johansen, Christopher; Sato, Shusei; Tabata, Satoshi; Kawaguchi, Masayoshi; Szczyglowski, Krzysztof

    2009-11-01

    Basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) proteins constitute a large family of transcriptional regulators in plants. Although they have been shown to play important roles in a wide variety of developmental processes, relatively few have been functionally characterized. Here, we describe the map-based cloning of the Lotus japonicus ROOTHAIRLESS1 (LjRHL1) locus. Deleterious mutations in this locus prevent root hair development, which also aborts root hair-dependent colonization of the host root by nitrogen-fixing bacteria. We show that the LjRHL1 gene encodes a presumed bHLH transcription factor that functions in a nonredundant manner to control root hair development in L. japonicus. Homology search and cross-species complementation experiments defined three members of the Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) bHLH protein family, At2g24260, At4g30980, and At5g58010, as functionally equivalent to LjRHL1. Curiously, At2g24260 and At4g30980 mRNA species accumulate independently from the known positive regulators of root hair cell fate, while all three genes act in a partially redundant manner to regulate root hair development in Arabidopsis. PMID:19675148

  11. A novel initiator regulates expression of the nontissue-specific helix-loop-helix gene ME1.

    PubMed Central

    Shain, D H; Neuman, T; Zuber, M X

    1995-01-01

    The mouse ME1 gene (HEB, REB and GE1, homologues in human, rat and chick, respectively) is a member of the nontissue-specific helix-loop-helix (HLH) gene family that includes E2A, E2-2 and Drosophila daughterless. We have examined the factors that control ME1 gene expression. ME1 is a single copy gene that spans > or = 150 kb of DNA and contains > 10 exons. Transcription was directed by an unusual initiator element that contained a 13 bp poly d(A) tract flanked by palindromic and inverted repeat sequences. Both RNase protection and primer extension analyses mapped the ME1 transcriptional start site to the center of the 13 bp poly d(A) tract. The ME1 initiator and its proximal sequences were required for promoter activity, supported basal levels of transcription, and contributed to cell type-specific gene expression. Other cis-elements utilized by the TATA-less ME1 promoter included a cluster of Sp1 response elements, E-boxes and a strong repressor. Collectively, our results suggest that the ME1 initiator and other cis-elements in the proximal promoter play an important role in regulating ME1 gene expression. Images PMID:7784173

  12. Observation of helix associations for insertion of a retinal molecule and distortions of helix structures in bacteriorhodopsin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urano, Ryo; Okamoto, Yuko

    2015-12-01

    We applied a newly proposed prediction method for membrane protein structures to bacteriorhodopsin that has distorted transmembrane helices in the native structure. This method uses an implicit membrane model, which restricts sampling space during folding in a membrane region, and includes helix bending. Replica-exchange simulations were performed with seven transmembrane helices only without a retinal molecule. Obtained structures were classified into clusters of similar structures, which correspond to local-minimum free energy states. The two lowest free energy states corresponded to a native-like structure with the correct empty space for retinal and a structure with this empty space filled with a helix. Previous experiments of bacteriorhodopsin suggested that association of transmembrane helices enables them to make a room for insertion of a retinal. Our results are consistent with these results. Moreover, distortions of helices in the native-like structures were successfully reproduced. In the distortions, whereas the locations of kinks for all helices were similar to those of Protein Data Bank's data, the amount of bends was more similar for helices away from the retinal than for those close to the retinal in the native structure. This suggests a hypothesis that the amino-acid sequence specifies the location of kinks in transmembrane helices and that the amount of distortions depends on the interactions with the surrounding molecules such as neighboring helices, lipids, and retinal.

  13. DNA recognition for virus assembly through multiple sequence-independent interactions with a helix-turn-helix motif

    PubMed Central

    Greive, Sandra J.; Fung, Herman K.H.; Chechik, Maria; Jenkins, Huw T.; Weitzel, Stephen E.; Aguiar, Pedro M.; Brentnall, Andrew S.; Glousieau, Matthieu; Gladyshev, Grigory V.; Potts, Jennifer R.; Antson, Alfred A.

    2016-01-01

    The helix-turn-helix (HTH) motif features frequently in protein DNA-binding assemblies. Viral pac site-targeting small terminase proteins possess an unusual architecture in which the HTH motifs are displayed in a ring, distinct from the classical HTH dimer. Here we investigate how such a circular array of HTH motifs enables specific recognition of the viral genome for initiation of DNA packaging during virus assembly. We found, by surface plasmon resonance and analytical ultracentrifugation, that individual HTH motifs of the Bacillus phage SF6 small terminase bind the packaging regions of SF6 and related SPP1 genome weakly, with little local sequence specificity. Nuclear magnetic resonance chemical shift perturbation studies with an arbitrary single-site substrate suggest that the HTH motif contacts DNA similarly to how certain HTH proteins contact DNA non-specifically. Our observations support a model where specificity is generated through conformational selection of an intrinsically bent DNA segment by a ring of HTHs which bind weakly but cooperatively. Such a system would enable viral gene regulation and control of the viral life cycle, with a minimal genome, conferring a major evolutionary advantage for SPP1-like viruses. PMID:26673721

  14. Genome-Wide Analysis of Basic/Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factor Family in Rice and Arabidopsis1[W

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xiaoxing; Duan, Xuepeng; Jiang, Haixiong; Sun, Yujin; Tang, Yuanping; Yuan, Zheng; Guo, Jingkang; Liang, Wanqi; Chen, Liang; Yin, Jingyuan; Ma, Hong; Wang, Jian; Zhang, Dabing

    2006-01-01

    The basic/helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factors and their homologs form a large family in plant and animal genomes. They are known to play important roles in the specification of tissue types in animals. On the other hand, few plant bHLH proteins have been studied functionally. Recent completion of whole genome sequences of model plants Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) and rice (Oryza sativa) allows genome-wide analysis and comparison of the bHLH family in flowering plants. We have identified 167 bHLH genes in the rice genome, and their phylogenetic analysis indicates that they form well-supported clades, which are defined as subfamilies. In addition, sequence analysis of potential DNA-binding activity, the sequence motifs outside the bHLH domain, and the conservation of intron/exon structural patterns further support the evolutionary relationships among these proteins. The genome distribution of rice bHLH genes strongly supports the hypothesis that genome-wide and tandem duplication contributed to the expansion of the bHLH gene family, consistent with the birth-and-death theory of gene family evolution. Bioinformatics analysis suggests that rice bHLH proteins can potentially participate in a variety of combinatorial interactions, endowing them with the capacity to regulate a multitude of transcriptional programs. In addition, similar expression patterns suggest functional conservation between some rice bHLH genes and their close Arabidopsis homologs. PMID:16896230

  15. The basic helix loop helix transcription factor Twist1 is a novel regulator of ATF4 in osteoblasts.

    PubMed

    Danciu, Theodora E; Li, Yan; Koh, Amy; Xiao, Guozhi; McCauley, Laurie K; Franceschi, Renny T

    2012-01-01

    Parathyroid hormone (PTH) is an essential regulator of endochondral bone formation and an important anabolic agent for the reversal of bone loss. PTH mediates its functions in part by regulating binding of the bone-related activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) to the osteoblast-specific gene, osteocalcin. The basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) factors Twist1 and Twist2 also regulate osteocalcin transcription in part through the interaction of the C-terminal "box" domain in these factors and Runx2. In this study, we discovered a novel function of PTH: its ability to dramatically decrease Twist1 transcription. Since ATF4 is a major regulator of the PTH response in osteoblasts, we assessed the mutual regulation between these factors and determined that Twist proteins and ATF4 physically interact in a manner that affects ATF4 DNA binding function. We mapped the interaction domain of Twist proteins to the C-terminal "box" domain and of ATF4, to the N-terminus. Furthermore, we demonstrate that Twist1 overexpression in osteoblasts attenuates ATF4 binding to the osteocalcin promoter in response to PTH. This study thus identifies Twist proteins as novel inhibitory binding partners of ATF4 and explores the functional significance of this interaction. PMID:21866569

  16. The basic helix loop helix transcription factor Twist1 is a novel regulator of ATF4 in osteoblasts

    PubMed Central

    Danciu, Theodora E.; Li, Yan; Koh, Amy; Xiao, Guozhi; McCauley, Laurie K.; Franceschi, Renny T.

    2011-01-01

    Parathyroid hormone (PTH) is an essential regulator of endochondral bone formation and an important anabolic agent for the reversal of bone loss. PTH mediates its functions in part by regulating binding of the bone-related activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) to the osteoblast-specific gene, osteocalcin. The basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) factors Twist1 and Twist2 also regulate osteocalcin transcription in part through the interaction of the C-terminal “box” domain in these factors and Runx2. In this study, we discovered a novel function of PTH: its ability to dramatically decrease Twist1 transcription. Since ATF4 is a major regulator of the PTH response in osteoblasts, we assessed the mutual regulation between these factors and determined that Twist proteins and ATF4 physically interact in a manner that affects ATF4 DNA binding function. We mapped the interaction domain of Twist proteins to the C-terminal “box” domain and of ATF4, to the N-terminus. Furthermore, we demonstrate that Twist1 overexpression in osteoblasts attenuates ATF4 binding to the osteocalcin promoter in response to PTH. This study thus identifies Twist proteins as novel inhibitory binding partners of ATF4 and explores the functional significance of this interaction. PMID:21866569

  17. DNA recognition for virus assembly through multiple sequence-independent interactions with a helix-turn-helix motif.

    PubMed

    Greive, Sandra J; Fung, Herman K H; Chechik, Maria; Jenkins, Huw T; Weitzel, Stephen E; Aguiar, Pedro M; Brentnall, Andrew S; Glousieau, Matthieu; Gladyshev, Grigory V; Potts, Jennifer R; Antson, Alfred A

    2016-01-29

    The helix-turn-helix (HTH) motif features frequently in protein DNA-binding assemblies. Viral pac site-targeting small terminase proteins possess an unusual architecture in which the HTH motifs are displayed in a ring, distinct from the classical HTH dimer. Here we investigate how such a circular array of HTH motifs enables specific recognition of the viral genome for initiation of DNA packaging during virus assembly. We found, by surface plasmon resonance and analytical ultracentrifugation, that individual HTH motifs of the Bacillus phage SF6 small terminase bind the packaging regions of SF6 and related SPP1 genome weakly, with little local sequence specificity. Nuclear magnetic resonance chemical shift perturbation studies with an arbitrary single-site substrate suggest that the HTH motif contacts DNA similarly to how certain HTH proteins contact DNA non-specifically. Our observations support a model where specificity is generated through conformational selection of an intrinsically bent DNA segment by a ring of HTHs which bind weakly but cooperatively. Such a system would enable viral gene regulation and control of the viral life cycle, with a minimal genome, conferring a major evolutionary advantage for SPP1-like viruses. PMID:26673721

  18. Phylogeny, Functional Annotation, and Protein Interaction Network Analyses of the Xenopus tropicalis Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Deyu

    2013-01-01

    The previous survey identified 70 basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) proteins, but it was proved to be incomplete, and the functional information and regulatory networks of frog bHLH transcription factors were not fully known. Therefore, we conducted an updated genome-wide survey in the Xenopus tropicalis genome project databases and identified 105 bHLH sequences. Among the retrieved 105 sequences, phylogenetic analyses revealed that 103 bHLH proteins belonged to 43 families or subfamilies with 46, 26, 11, 3, 15, and 4 members in the corresponding supergroups. Next, gene ontology (GO) enrichment analyses showed 65 significant GO annotations of biological processes and molecular functions and KEGG pathways counted in frequency. To explore the functional pathways, regulatory gene networks, and/or related gene groups coding for Xenopus tropicalis bHLH proteins, the identified bHLH genes were put into the databases KOBAS and STRING to get the signaling information of pathways and protein interaction networks according to available public databases and known protein interactions. From the genome annotation and pathway analysis using KOBAS, we identified 16 pathways in the Xenopus tropicalis genome. From the STRING interaction analysis, 68 hub proteins were identified, and many hub proteins created a tight network or a functional module within the protein families. PMID:24312906

  19. Digenean-gastropod host associations inform on aspects of specific immunity in snails

    PubMed Central

    Adema, C.M.; Loker, E.S.

    2014-01-01

    Gastropod immunology is informed importantly by the study of the frequent encounters snails endure with digeneans (digenetic trematodes). One of the hallmarks of gastropod-digenean associations is their specificity: any particular digenean parasite species is transmitted by a limited subset of snail taxa. We discuss the nature of this specificity, including its immunological basis. We then review studies of the model gastropod Biomphalaria glabrata indicating that the baseline responses of snails to digeneans can be elevated in a specific manner. Studies incorporating molecular and functional approaches are then highlighted, and are further suggestive of the capacity for specific gastropod immune responses. These studies have led to the compatibility polymorphism hypothesis: the interactions between diversified fibrinogen-related proteins (FREPs) and diverse carbohydrate-decorated polymorphic parasite antigens determine recognition and trigger specific immunity. Complex glycan structures are also likely to play a role in the host specificity typifying snail-digenean interactions. We conclude by noting the dynamic and consequential interactions between snails and digeneans can be considered as drivers of diversification of digenean parasites and in the development and maintenance of specific immunity in gastropods. PMID:25034871

  20. Bisphenol A regulates Snail-mediated epithelial-mesenchymal transition in hemangioma cells.

    PubMed

    Zhai, Denggao; He, Jiantai; Li, Xiaoli; Gong, Liansheng; Ouyang, Yang

    2016-08-01

    Hemangioma (HA) can be exposed to bisphenol A (BPA) through direct skin absorption. Although numerous studies indicated that BPA can trigger the progression of cancers, there is no study concerning the effects of BPA on development of HA. Our present study revealed that nanomolar BPA can significantly increase the in vitro migration and invasion of HA cells via induction of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), which was evidenced by the upregulation of vimentin and downregulation of E-cadherin. The BPA treatment also significantly increased the expression and nuclear localization of Snail and the key transcription factor of EMT, while it had no effect on the expression of other transcription factors such as Slug, Twist, or ZEB1. Silencing of Snail by small interfering RNAs attenuated BPA-induced downregulation of cadherin and upregulation of vimentin, suggesting that Snail is essential for BPA-induced EMT. Both estrogen receptor α (ERα) and G protein-coupled estrogen receptor (GPER) were expressed in HA cells; furthermore, BPA treatment can increase the expression of both ERα and GPER. However, only the inhibitor of ERα (ICI 182, 780), and not GPER (G15), can abolish BPA-induced upregulation of Snail. It suggested that ERα is involved in BPA-induced EMT of HA cells. Collectively, our data suggested that BPA can trigger the EMT of HA cells via ERα/Snail signals. It indicated that more attention should be paid to the skin exposure to BPA for HA patients. PMID:27480627

  1. Estimating Genetic and Maternal Effects Determining Variation in Immune Function of a Mixed-Mating Snail

    PubMed Central

    Seppälä, Otto; Langeloh, Laura

    2016-01-01

    Evolution of host defenses such as immune function requires heritable genetic variation in them. However, also non-genetic maternal effects can contribute to phenotypic variation, thus being an alternative target for natural selection. We investigated the role of individuals’ genetic background and maternal effects in determining immune defense traits (phenoloxidase and antibacterial activity of hemolymph), as well as in survival and growth, in the simultaneously hermaphroditic snail Lymnaea stagnalis. We utilized the mixed mating system of this species by producing full-sib families in which each parental snail had produced offspring as both a dam and as a sire, and tested whether genetic background (family) and non-genetic maternal effects (dam nested within family) explain trait variation. Immune defense traits and growth were affected solely by individuals’ genetic background. Survival of snails did not show family-level variation. Additionally, some snails were produced through self-fertilization. They showed reduced growth and survival suggesting recessive load or overdominance. Immune defense traits did not respond to inbreeding. Our results suggest that the variation in snail immune function and growth was due to genetic differences. Since immune traits did not respond to inbreeding, this variation is most likely due to additive or epistatic genetic variance. PMID:27551822

  2. An overview of freshwater snails in Asia with main focus on Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Madsen, H; Hung, N M

    2014-12-01

    Freshwater snails have received much attention for their role as intermediate hosts for trematodes causing disease in people and animals such as schistosomiasis and various food-borne trematodes. While effective medical treatment exists for some of these diseases there is need for preventive measures to reduce transmission, e.g. control of intermediate hosts because transmission patterns are often complicated due to presence of reservoir final hosts. In order to implement control measures against the intermediate host snails with minimal impact on the freshwater ecosystems and their biodiversity, a profound knowledge on transmission patterns of the trematodes is required and this is partly related to distribution, habitat preferences, and seasonal variation in density of the intermediate host species. Identification of snail species can be problematic on the basis of morphological and anatomical characters alone as some species show morphological plasticity and similarly morphological differentiation of cercariae found in snails may be difficult and this could lead to biased perceptions of intermediate host spectra and transmission patterns. In this paper, we give an overview of the snail families and their medical and veterinary importance in Asia but with main focus on Vietnam. PMID:25149356

  3. Reprint of "An overview of freshwater snails in Asia with main focus on Vietnam".

    PubMed

    Madsen, H; Hung, N M

    2015-01-01

    Freshwater snails have received much attention for their role as intermediate hosts for trematodes causing disease in people and animals such as schistosomiasis and various food-borne trematodes. While effective medical treatment exists for some of these diseases there is need for preventive measures to reduce transmission, e.g. control of intermediate hosts because transmission patterns are often complicated due to presence of reservoir final hosts. In order to implement control measures against the intermediate host snails with minimal impact on the freshwater ecosystems and their biodiversity, a profound knowledge on transmission patterns of the trematodes is required and this is partly related to distribution, habitat preferences, and seasonal variation in density of the intermediate host species. Identification of snail species can be problematic on the basis of morphological and anatomical characters alone as some species show morphological plasticity and similarly morphological differentiation of cercariae found in snails may be difficult and this could lead to biased perceptions of intermediate host spectra and transmission patterns. In this paper, we give an overview of the snail families and their medical and veterinary importance in Asia but with main focus on Vietnam. PMID:25446169

  4. Ecotoxicological effect of sublethal exposure to zinc oxide nanoparticles on freshwater snail Biomphalaria alexandrina.

    PubMed

    Fahmy, Sohair R; Abdel-Ghaffar, Fathy; Bakry, Fayez A; Sayed, Dawlat A

    2014-08-01

    Freshwater snails are used as sensitive biomarkers of aquatic ecosystem pollution. The potential impacts of zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnONPs) on aquatic ecosystems have attracted special attention due to their unique properties. The present investigation was designed to evaluate the possible mechanisms of ecotoxicological effects of ZnONPs on freshwater snail Biomphalaria alexandrina. ZnONPs showed molluscicidal activity against B. alexandrina snails, and the LC50 was 145 μg/ml. Two tested concentrations of ZnONPs were selected: The first concentration was equivalent to LC10 (7 μg/ml), and the second was equivalent to LC25 (35 μg/ml). Exposure to ZnONPs (7 and 35 μg/ml) for three consecutive weeks significantly induced malondialdehyde and nitric oxide with concomitant decreases in glutathione and glutathione-S-transferase levels in hemolymph and soft tissues of treated snails. Moreover, ZnONPs elicited a significant decrease in total protein and albumin contents coinciding with enhancement of total lipids and cholesterol levels as well as activities of aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, and alkaline phosphatase in hemolymph and soft tissues of treated snails. This study highlights the potential ecological implications of ZnONP release in aquatic environments and may serve to encourage regulatory agencies in Egypt to more carefully monitor and regulate the industrial use and disposal of ZnONPs. PMID:24736985

  5. Heat shock proteins and survival strategies in congeneric land snails (Sphincterochila) from different habitats.

    PubMed

    Mizrahi, Tal; Heller, Joseph; Goldenberg, Shoshana; Arad, Zeev

    2012-09-01

    Polmunate land snails are subject to stress conditions in their terrestrial habitat, and depend on a range of behavioural, physiological and biochemical adaptations for coping with problems of maintaining water, ionic and thermal balance. The involvement of the heat shock protein (HSP) machinery in land snails was demonstrated following short-term experimental aestivation and heat stress, suggesting that land snails use HSPs as part of their survival strategy. As climatic variation was found to be associated with HSP expression, we tested whether adaptation of land snails to different habitats affects HSP expression in two closely related Sphincterochila snail species, a desert species Sphincterochila zonata and a Mediterranean-type species Sphincterochila cariosa. Our study suggests that Sphincterochila species use HSPs as part of their survival strategy following desiccation and heat stress, and as part of the natural annual cycle of activity and aestivation. Our studies also indicate that adaptation to different habitats results in the development of distinct strategies of HSP expression in response to stress, namely the reduced expression of HSPs in the desert-inhabiting species. We suggest that these different strategies reflect the difference in heat and aridity encountered in the natural habitats, and that the desert species S. zonata relies on mechanisms and adaptations other than HSP induction thus avoiding the fitness consequences of continuous HSP upregulation. PMID:22528052

  6. Antidepressants cause foot detachment from substrate in five species of marine snail.

    PubMed

    Fong, Peter P; Molnar, Nikolett

    2013-03-01

    Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) are released into aquatic ecosystems through discharged sewage wastewater. Antidepressants are among those APIs often detected in wastewater effluent and have been recently reported to cause foot detachment from the substrate in freshwater snails. We tested the effects of four commonly prescribed antidepressants {fluoxetine ("Prozac"), fluvoxamine ("Luvox"), venlafaxine ("Effexor"), and citalopram ("Celexa") on adhesion to the substrate in five species of marine snails, three from the Pacific coast (Chlorostoma funebralis, Nucella ostrina, Urosalpinx cinerea) and two species from the Atlantic coast (Tegula fasciatus and Lithopoma americanum) of North America representing three different gastropod families. All antidepressants tested induced foot detachment from the substrate in all snail species in a mainly dose-dependent manner (p < 0.04-0.00000001). The lowest LOECs (lowest observed effect concentration) for antidepressants and snails were recorded for Lithopoma in 43.4 μg/L (100 nM) fluvoxamine and Chlorostoma in 157 μg/L (500 nM) venlafaxine and 217 μg/L (500 nM) fluvoxamine. The trochids and turbinids were 2-10× more sensitive to the antidepressants than the muricids. Latency to detachment was also dose dependent, with the fastest average times to detach seen in Chlorostoma and Lithopoma (7.33 and 13.16 min respectively in 3.13 mg/L venlafaxine). The possible physiological mechanisms regulating antidepressant-induced foot detachment in marine snails and the possible ecological consequences are discussed. PMID:23218553

  7. Formin Is Associated with Left-Right Asymmetry in the Pond Snail and the Frog

    PubMed Central

    Davison, Angus; McDowell, Gary S.; Holden, Jennifer M.; Johnson, Harriet F.; Koutsovoulos, Georgios D.; Liu, M. Maureen; Hulpiau, Paco; Van Roy, Frans; Wade, Christopher M.; Banerjee, Ruby; Yang, Fengtang; Chiba, Satoshi; Davey, John W.; Jackson, Daniel J.; Levin, Michael; Blaxter, Mark L.

    2016-01-01

    Summary While components of the pathway that establishes left-right asymmetry have been identified in diverse animals, from vertebrates to flies, it is striking that the genes involved in the first symmetry-breaking step remain wholly unknown in the most obviously chiral animals, the gastropod snails. Previously, research on snails was used to show that left-right signaling of Nodal, downstream of symmetry breaking, may be an ancestral feature of the Bilateria [1, 2]. Here, we report that a disabling mutation in one copy of a tandemly duplicated, diaphanous-related formin is perfectly associated with symmetry breaking in the pond snail. This is supported by the observation that an anti-formin drug treatment converts dextral snail embryos to a sinistral phenocopy, and in frogs, drug inhibition or overexpression by microinjection of formin has a chirality-randomizing effect in early (pre-cilia) embryos. Contrary to expectations based on existing models [3, 4, 5], we discovered asymmetric gene expression in 2- and 4-cell snail embryos, preceding morphological asymmetry. As the formin-actin filament has been shown to be part of an asymmetry-breaking switch in vitro [6, 7], together these results are consistent with the view that animals with diverse body plans may derive their asymmetries from the same intracellular chiral elements [8]. PMID:26923788

  8. Distinct Bacterial Microbiomes in Sexual and Asexual Potamopyrgus antipodarum, a New Zealand Freshwater Snail.

    PubMed

    Takacs-Vesbach, Cristina; King, Kayla; Van Horn, David; Larkin, Katelyn; Neiman, Maurine

    2016-01-01

    Different reproductive strategies and the transition to asexuality can be associated with microbial symbionts. Whether such a link exists within mollusks has never been evaluated. We took the first steps towards addressing this possibility by performing pyrosequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes associated with Potamopyrgus antipodarum, a New Zealand freshwater snail. A diverse set of 60 tissue collections from P. antipodarum that were genetically and geographically distinct and either obligately sexual or asexual were included, which allowed us to evaluate whether reproductive mode was associated with a particular bacterial community. 2624 unique operational taxonomic units (OTU, 97% DNA similarity) were detected, which were distributed across ~30 phyla. While alpha diversity metrics varied little among individual samples, significant differences in bacterial community composition and structure were detected between sexual and asexual snails, as well as among snails from different lakes and genetic backgrounds. The mean dissimilarity of the bacterial communities between the sexual and asexual P. antipodarum was 90%, largely driven by the presence of Rickettsiales in sexual snails and Rhodobacter in asexual snails. Our study suggests that there might be a link between reproductive mode and the bacterial microbiome of P. antipodarum, though a causal connection requires additional study. PMID:27563725

  9. The Drosophila gene escargot encodes a zinc finger motif found in snail-related genes.

    PubMed

    Whiteley, M; Noguchi, P D; Sensabaugh, S M; Odenwald, W F; Kassis, J A

    1992-02-01

    Two independent P-element enhancer detection lines were obtained that express lacZ in a pattern of longitudinal stripes early in germband elongation. In this paper, molecular and genetic characterization of a gene located near these transposons is presented. Sequence analysis of a cDNA clone from the region reveals that this gene has a high degree of similarity with the Drosophila snail gene (Boulay et al., 1987). The sequence similarity extends over 400 nucleotides, and includes a region encoding five tandem zinc finger motifs (72% nucleotide identity; 76% amino acid identity). This region is also conserved in the snail homologue from Xenopus laevis (76% nucleotide identity; 83% amino acid identity) (Sargent and Bennett, 1990). We have named the Drosophila snail-related gene escargot (esg), and the region of sequence conservation common to all three genes the 'snailbox'. A number of Drosophila genomic DNA fragments cross-hybridize to a probe from the snailbox region suggesting that snail and escargot are members of a multigene family. The expression pattern of escargot is dynamic and complex. Early in germband elongation, escargot RNA is expressed in a pattern of longitudinal stripes identical to the one observed in the two enhancer detection lines. Later in development, escargot is expressed in cells that will form the larval imaginal tissues, escargot is allelic with l(2)35Ce, an essential gene located near snail in the genome. PMID:1571289

  10. Prehistoric inter-archipelago trading of Polynesian tree snails leaves a conservation legacy.

    PubMed

    Lee, Taehwan; Burch, John B; Coote, Trevor; Fontaine, Benoît; Gargominy, Olivier; Pearce-Kelly, Paul; Foighil, Diarmaid O

    2007-11-22

    Inter-archipelago exchange networks were an important aspect of prehistoric Polynesian societies. We report here a novel genetic characterization of a prehistoric exchange network involving an endemic Pacific island tree snail, Partula hyalina. It occurs in the Society (Tahiti only), Austral and Southern Cook Islands. Our genetic data, based on museum, captive and wild-caught samples, establish Tahiti as the source island. The source lineage is polymorphic in shell coloration and contains a second nominal species, the dark-shelled Partula clara, in addition to the white-shelled P. hyalina. Prehistoric inter-island introductions were non-random: they involved white-shelled snails only and were exclusively inter-archipelago in scope. Partulid shells were commonly used in regional Polynesian jewellery, and we propose that the white-shelled P. hyalina, originally restricted to Tahiti, had aesthetic value throughout these archipelagoes. Demand within the Society Islands could be best met by trading dead shells, but a low rate of inter-archipelago exchange may have prompted the establishment of multiple founder populations in the Australs and Southern Cooks. The alien carnivorous land snail Euglandina rosea has recently devastated populations of all 61 endemic species of Society Island partulid snails. Southern Cooks and Australs P. hyalina now represent the only unscathed wild populations remaining of this once spectacular land snail radiation. PMID:17848368

  11. Specialized insulin is used for chemical warfare by fish-hunting cone snails.

    PubMed

    Safavi-Hemami, Helena; Gajewiak, Joanna; Karanth, Santhosh; Robinson, Samuel D; Ueberheide, Beatrix; Douglass, Adam D; Schlegel, Amnon; Imperial, Julita S; Watkins, Maren; Bandyopadhyay, Pradip K; Yandell, Mark; Li, Qing; Purcell, Anthony W; Norton, Raymond S; Ellgaard, Lars; Olivera, Baldomero M

    2015-02-10

    More than 100 species of venomous cone snails (genus Conus) are highly effective predators of fish. The vast majority of venom components identified and functionally characterized to date are neurotoxins specifically targeted to receptors, ion channels, and transporters in the nervous system of prey, predators, or competitors. Here we describe a venom component targeting energy metabolism, a radically different mechanism. Two fish-hunting cone snails, Conus geographus and Conus tulipa, have evolved specialized insulins that are expressed as major components of their venoms. These insulins are distinctive in having much greater similarity to fish insulins than to the molluscan hormone and are unique in that posttranslational modifications characteristic of conotoxins (hydroxyproline, γ-carboxyglutamate) are present. When injected into fish, the venom insulin elicits hypoglycemic shock, a condition characterized by dangerously low blood glucose. Our evidence suggests that insulin is specifically used as a weapon for prey capture by a subset of fish-hunting cone snails that use a net strategy to capture prey. Insulin appears to be a component of the nirvana cabal, a toxin combination in these venoms that is released into the water to disorient schools of small fish, making them easier to engulf with the snail's distended false mouth, which functions as a net. If an entire school of fish simultaneously experiences hypoglycemic shock, this should directly facilitate capture by the predatory snail. PMID:25605914

  12. Differential gene expression in haemocytes of the snail Biomphalaria glabrata: effects of Schistosoma mansoni infection.

    PubMed

    Miller, A N; Raghavan, N; FitzGerald, P C; Lewis, F A; Knight, M

    2001-05-15

    Parasite encapsulation and destruction in Biomphalaria glabrata has been shown to involve the cellular component of the snail's internal defence system, the haemocytes. To identify genes involved in the immunobiology of these cells, we used the method of differential display reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (DDRT-PCR) to investigate differential gene regulation in haemocytes isolated from Schistosoma mansoni exposed and unexposed snails. RNA isolated from circulating haemocytes from resistant snails (BS-90 stock), previously exposed to S. mansoni, was analysed using 12 different arbitrary primers in conjunction with an anchored Oligo d(T(11)CG) primer. Transcription profiles between haemocytes of parasite exposed and unexposed snails were compared and a total of 87 differentially regulated bands were identified and isolated. Of these, 65 bands were cloned and used as probes in Southern blots to show the presence of corresponding sequences in the snail genome. RT-PCR was performed to verify the regulation of these transcripts. DNA sequence analysis showed that the majority of the cloned sequences were novel, although a few showed a high degree of sequence similarity to other sequences in the DNA and protein databases. One of these included a differentially expressed transcript that showed a significant degree of sequence identity to E. coli transposase Tn5, an enzyme whose activity is normally associated with generating mobility and instability in the genome. PMID:11336750

  13. Correlated S-palmitoylation profiling of Snail-induced epithelial to mesenchymal transition.

    PubMed

    Hernandez, Jeannie L; Davda, Dahvid; Majmudar, Jaimeen D; Won, Sang Joon; Prakash, Ashesh; Choi, Alexandria I; Martin, Brent R

    2016-05-24

    Epithelial cells form spatially-organized adhesion complexes that establish polarity gradients, regulate cell proliferation, and direct wound healing. As cells accumulate oncogenic mutations, these key tumor suppression mechanisms are disrupted, eliminating many adhesion complexes and bypassing contact inhibition. The transcription factor Snail is often expressed in malignant cancers, where it promotes transcriptional reprogramming to drive epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and establishes a more invasive state. S-Palmitoylation describes the fatty-acyl post-translational modification of cysteine residues in proteins, and is required for membrane anchoring, trafficking, localization and function of hundreds of proteins involved in cell growth, polarity, and signaling. Since Snail-expression disrupts apico-basolateral cell polarity, we asked if Snail-dependent transformation induces proteome-wide changes in S-palmitoylation. MCF10A breast cancer cells were retrovirally transduced with Snail and correlated proteome-wide changes in protein abundance and S-palmitoylation were profiled by using stable isotope labeling in cell culture with amino acid (SILAC) mass spectrometry. This analysis identified increased levels of proteins involved in migration, glycolysis, and cell junction remodeling, and decreased levels of proteins involved in cell adhesion. Overall, protein S-palmitoylation is highly correlated with protein abundance, yet for a subset of proteins, this correlation is uncoupled. These findings suggest that Snail-overexpression affects the S-palmitoylation cycle of some proteins, which may participate in cell polarity and tumor suppression. PMID:27030425

  14. Formin Is Associated with Left-Right Asymmetry in the Pond Snail and the Frog.

    PubMed

    Davison, Angus; McDowell, Gary S; Holden, Jennifer M; Johnson, Harriet F; Koutsovoulos, Georgios D; Liu, M Maureen; Hulpiau, Paco; Van Roy, Frans; Wade, Christopher M; Banerjee, Ruby; Yang, Fengtang; Chiba, Satoshi; Davey, John W; Jackson, Daniel J; Levin, Michael; Blaxter, Mark L

    2016-03-01

    While components of the pathway that establishes left-right asymmetry have been identified in diverse animals, from vertebrates to flies, it is striking that the genes involved in the first symmetry-breaking step remain wholly unknown in the most obviously chiral animals, the gastropod snails. Previously, research on snails was used to show that left-right signaling of Nodal, downstream of symmetry breaking, may be an ancestral feature of the Bilateria [1 and 2]. Here, we report that a disabling mutation in one copy of a tandemly duplicated, diaphanous-related formin is perfectly associated with symmetry breaking in the pond snail. This is supported by the observation that an anti-formin drug treatment converts dextral snail embryos to a sinistral phenocopy, and in frogs, drug inhibition or overexpression by microinjection of formin has a chirality-randomizing effect in early (pre-cilia) embryos. Contrary to expectations based on existing models [3, 4 and 5], we discovered asymmetric gene expression in 2- and 4-cell snail embryos, preceding morphological asymmetry. As the formin-actin filament has been shown to be part of an asymmetry-breaking switch in vitro [6 and 7], together these results are consistent with the view that animals with diverse body plans may derive their asymmetries from the same intracellular chiral elements [8]. PMID:26923788

  15. Fascioliasis Control: In Vivo and In Vitro Phytotherapy of Vector Snail to Kill Fasciola Larva

    PubMed Central

    Sunita, Kumari; Singh, D. K.

    2011-01-01

    Snail is one of the important components of an aquatic ecosystem, it acts as intermediate host of Fasciola species. Control of snail population below a certain threshold level is one of the important methods in the campaign to reduce the incidence of fascioliasis. Life cycle of the parasite can be interrupted by killing the snail or Fasciola larva redia and cercaria in the snail body. In vivo and in vitro toxicity of the plant products and their active component such as citral, ferulic acid, umbelliferone, azadirachtin, and allicin against larva of Fasciola in infected snail Lymnaea acuminata were tested. Mortality of larvae were observed at 2 h, 4 h, 6 h, and 8 h, of treatment. In in vivo treatment, azadirachtin caused highest mortality in redia and cercaria larva (8 h, LC50 0.11, and 0.05 mg/L) whereas in in vitro condition allicin was highly toxic against redia and cercaria (8 h, LC50 0.01, and 0.009 mg/L). Toxicity of citral was lowest against redia and cercaria larva. PMID:22132306

  16. Estimating Genetic and Maternal Effects Determining Variation in Immune Function of a Mixed-Mating Snail.

    PubMed

    Seppälä, Otto; Langeloh, Laura

    2016-01-01

    Evolution of host defenses such as immune function requires heritable genetic variation in them. However, also non-genetic maternal effects can contribute to phenotypic variation, thus being an alternative target for natural selection. We investigated the role of individuals' genetic background and maternal effects in determining immune defense traits (phenoloxidase and antibacterial activity of hemolymph), as well as in survival and growth, in the simultaneously hermaphroditic snail Lymnaea stagnalis. We utilized the mixed mating system of this species by producing full-sib families in which each parental snail had produced offspring as both a dam and as a sire, and tested whether genetic background (family) and non-genetic maternal effects (dam nested within family) explain trait variation. Immune defense traits and growth were affected solely by individuals' genetic background. Survival of snails did not show family-level variation. Additionally, some snails were produced through self-fertilization. They showed reduced growth and survival suggesting recessive load or overdominance. Immune defense traits did not respond to inbreeding. Our results suggest that the variation in snail immune function and growth was due to genetic differences. Since immune traits did not respond to inbreeding, this variation is most likely due to additive or epistatic genetic variance. PMID:27551822

  17. Distinct Bacterial Microbiomes in Sexual and Asexual Potamopyrgus antipodarum, a New Zealand Freshwater Snail

    PubMed Central

    Takacs-Vesbach, Cristina; King, Kayla; Van Horn, David; Larkin, Katelyn; Neiman, Maurine

    2016-01-01

    Different reproductive strategies and the transition to asexuality can be associated with microbial symbionts. Whether such a link exists within mollusks has never been evaluated. We took the first steps towards addressing this possibility by performing pyrosequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes associated with Potamopyrgus antipodarum, a New Zealand freshwater snail. A diverse set of 60 tissue collections from P. antipodarum that were genetically and geographically distinct and either obligately sexual or asexual were included, which allowed us to evaluate whether reproductive mode was associated with a particular bacterial community. 2624 unique operational taxonomic units (OTU, 97% DNA similarity) were detected, which were distributed across ~30 phyla. While alpha diversity metrics varied little among individual samples, significant differences in bacterial community composition and structure were detected between sexual and asexual snails, as well as among snails from different lakes and genetic backgrounds. The mean dissimilarity of the bacterial communities between the sexual and asexual P. antipodarum was 90%, largely driven by the presence of Rickettsiales in sexual snails and Rhodobacter in asexual snails. Our study suggests that there might be a link between reproductive mode and the bacterial microbiome of P. antipodarum, though a causal connection requires additional study. PMID:27563725

  18. Prehistoric inter-archipelago trading of Polynesian tree snails leaves a conservation legacy

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Taehwan; Burch, John B; Coote, Trevor; Fontaine, Benoît; Gargominy, Olivier; Pearce-Kelly, Paul; Foighil, Diarmaid Ó

    2007-01-01

    Inter-archipelago exchange networks were an important aspect of prehistoric Polynesian societies. We report here a novel genetic characterization of a prehistoric exchange network involving an endemic Pacific island tree snail, Partula hyalina. It occurs in the Society (Tahiti only), Austral and Southern Cook Islands. Our genetic data, based on museum, captive and wild-caught samples, establish Tahiti as the source island. The source lineage is polymorphic in shell coloration and contains a second nominal species, the dark-shelled Partula clara, in addition to the white-shelled P. hyalina. Prehistoric inter-island introductions were non-random: they involved white-shelled snails only and were exclusively inter-archipelago in scope. Partulid shells were commonly used in regional Polynesian jewellery, and we propose that the white-shelled P. hyalina, originally restricted to Tahiti, had aesthetic value throughout these archipelagoes. Demand within the Society Islands could be best met by trading dead shells, but a low rate of inter-archipelago exchange may have prompted the establishment of multiple founder populations in the Australs and Southern Cooks. The alien carnivorous land snail Euglandina rosea has recently devastated populations of all 61 endemic species of Society Island partulid snails. Southern Cooks and Australs P. hyalina now represent the only unscathed wild populations remaining of this once spectacular land snail radiation. PMID:17848368

  19. Recapitulating the α-helix: nonpeptidic, low-molecular-weight ligands for the modulation of helix-mediated protein-protein interactions.

    PubMed

    Lanning, Maryanna; Fletcher, Steven

    2013-12-01

    Protein-protein interactions play critical roles in a wide variety of biological processes, and their dysregulations contribute to the pathogenesis of several diseases, including cancer. Chemical entities that can abrogate aberrant protein-protein interactions may provide novel therapeutic agents. A large number of protein-protein interactions are mediated by protein secondary structure, the most commonly encountered form of which is the α-helix. Accordingly, over the last decade, there has been a flood of nonpeptidic small molecules that recapitulate the projection and chemical nature of key side chains of the canonical α-helix as a strategy to disrupt helix-mediated protein-protein interactions. In this review, we discuss recent advances (post 2006) in the design of synthetic α-helix mimetics, which include single-faced and two-faced/amphipathic structures, for the modulation of protein-protein interactions. PMID:24261892

  20. Doppler velocimetry of a current driven spin helix

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Luyi

    2012-02-01

    We present direct observation of the translational motion of spin helices in GaAs quantum wells under the influence of applied electric fields. Previously, the lifetime of such helices was observed by time-resolving the amplitude of light diffracted from the periodic spin polarization [1]. This technique cannot be applied to tracking the motion of current-driven spin helices because diffraction amplitude is insensitive to translation of the center of mass of a periodic structure. In this talk, we describe a new experimental technique, Doppler spin velocimetry, capable of resolving displacements of spin polarization at the level of 1 nm on a picosecond time scale [2]. This is accomplished through the use of heterodyne detection to measure the optical phase of the diffracted light. We discuss experiments in which this technique is used to measure the motion of spin helices as a function of temperature, in-plane electric field, and photoinduced spin polarization amplitude. Several striking observations will be reported -- for example, the spin helix velocity changes sign as a function of wavevector and is zero at the wavevector that yields the largest spin lifetime. Another important observation is that the velocity of spin polarization packets becomes equal to the drift velocity of the high-mobility electron gas in the limit of small spin helix amplitude. Finally, we show that spin helices continue propagate at the same speed as the Fermi sea even when the electron drift velocity exceeds the Fermi velocity of 10^7 cm-s-1. In collaboration with J. D. Koralek and J. Orenstein, UC Berkeley and LBNL, D. R. Tibbetts, J. L. Reno, and M. P. Lilly, SNL. Supported by DOE under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231 and DE-AC04-94AL85000. [4pt] [1] J. D. Koralek et al., ``Emergency of the persistent spin helix in semiconductor quantum wells,'' Nature 458, 610-613 (2009). [0pt] [2] L. Yang et al, ``Doppler velocimetry of spin propagation in a two-dimensional electron gas,'' to appear

  1. The role of glycine (residue 89) in the central helix of EF-hand protein troponin-C exposed following amino-terminal alpha-helix deletion.

    PubMed

    Ding, X L; Akella, A B; Su, H; Gulati, J

    1994-11-01

    Because an N-terminal alpha-helical (N-helix) arm and a KGK-triplet (residues 88KGK90) in the central helix of troponin-C (TnC) are missing in calmodulin, several recent studies have attempted to elucidate the structure-function correlations of these units. Presently, with a family of genetically manipulated derivatives especially developed for this study and tested on permeabilized isolated single skeletal muscle fiber segments, we explored the specificities of the amino acid residues within the N-helix and the KGK-triplet in TnC. Noticeably, the amino acid compositions vary between the N-helices of the cardiac and skeletal TnC isoforms. On the other hand, the KGK-triplet is located similarly in both TnC isoforms. We previously indicated that deletion of the N-helix (mutant delta Nt) diminishes the tension obtained on activation with maximal calcium, but the contractile function is revived by the superimposed deletion of the 88KGK90-triplet (mutant delta Nt delta KGK; see Gulati J, Babu A, Su H, Zhang YF, 1993, J Biol Chem 268:11685-11690). Using this functional test, we find that replacement of Gly-89 with a Leu or an Ala could also overcome the contractile defect associated with N-helix deletion. On the other hand, replacement of the skeletal TnC N-helix with cardiac type N-helix was unable to restore contractile function. The findings indicate a destabilizing influence of Gly-89 residue in skeletal TnC and suggest that the N-terminal arm in normal TnC serves to moderate this effect. Moreover, specificity of the N-helix between cardiac and skeletal TnCs raises the possibility that resultant structural disparities are also important for the functional distinctions of the TnC isoforms. PMID:7703855

  2. Use of ice water and salt treatments to eliminate an exotic snail, red-rim melania Melanoides tuberculatus, from small immersible fisheries equipment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ice water and salt treatments were evaluated for disinfection of fisheries equipment contaminated with a non-indigenous tropical snail, the red-rim melania Melanoides tuberculatus. The snail can displace native snails and can transmit trematodes directly to fishes and indirectly to other animals, i...

  3. Survival of the faucet snail Bithynia tentaculata after chemical disinfection, pH extremes, and heated water bath treatments

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bithynia tentaculata, the faucet snail, is a non indigenous aquatic snail from Eurasia that was introduced into Lake Michigan in 1871. The snail’s distribution in the United States has expanded to the mid-Atlantic states and the drainage basin of the Great Lakes and most recently to the Mississippi...

  4. Global Assessment of Schistosomiasis Control Over the Past Century Shows Targeting the Snail Intermediate Host Works Best

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Background Despite control efforts, human schistosomiasis remains prevalent throughout Africa, Asia, and South America. The global schistosomiasis burden has changed little since the new anthelmintic drug, praziquantel, promised widespread control. Methodology We evaluated large-scale schistosomiasis control attempts over the past century and across the globe by identifying factors that predict control program success: snail control (e.g., molluscicides or biological control), mass drug administrations (MDA) with praziquantel, or a combined strategy using both. For data, we compiled historical information on control tactics and their quantitative outcomes for all 83 countries and territories in which: (i) schistosomiasis was allegedly endemic during the 20th century, and (ii) schistosomiasis remains endemic, or (iii) schistosomiasis has been "eliminated," or is "no longer endemic," or transmission has been interrupted. Principal Findings Widespread snail control reduced prevalence by 92 ± 5% (N = 19) vs. 37 ± 7% (N = 29) for programs using little or no snail control. In addition, ecological, economic, and political factors contributed to schistosomiasis elimination. For instance, snail control was most common and widespread in wealthier countries and when control began earlier in the 20th century. Conclusions/Significance 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. PMID:27441556

  5. Alterations of biochemical indicators in hepatopancreas of the golden apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata, from paddy fields in Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Chiu, Yuh-Wen; Wu, Jui-Pin; Hsieh, Tsung-Chih; Liang, Shih-Hsiung; Chen, Chien-Min; Huang, Da-Ji

    2014-07-01

    The freshwater golden apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata, is one of the world's 100 worst invasive alien species. The snails' wide distribution, high abundance, and sensitivity to environmental pollution make them a potential bioindicator for environmental contamination. In this study, the biochemical status of golden apple snails collected from paddy fields throughout the island of Taiwan was examined. This study found that the biochemical status of apple snails collected from paddy fields differed from that of animals bred and maintained in the laboratory. Furthermore, certain biochemical endpoints of the snails collected from the paddy fields before and after agricultural activities were also different-hemolymphatic vitellogenin protein was induced in male snail after exposure to estrogen-like chemicals, the hepatic monooxygenase (1.97 +/- 0.50 deltaA(650mm) 30 min(-1) mg(-1) protein in control group) and glutathione S transferase (0.02 +/- 0.01 delta A(340mm) 30 min(-1) mg(-1) protein in control group) snails exposed to pesticides, as well as the hepatopancreatic levels of aspartate aminotransferase (450.00 +/- 59.40 U mg(-1) mg(-1) protein in control group) and alanine aminotransferase (233.27 +/- 42.09 U mg(-1) mg(-1) protein in control group) decreased the indicating that xenobiotics destroyed hepatopancreatic. The above findings reveal that apple snail could be used as a practical bioindicator to monitor anthropogenic environmental pollution. PMID:25004751

  6. Survival and growth of freshwater pulmonate and nonpulmonate snails in 28-day exposures to copper, ammonia, and pentachlorophenol

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Besser, John M.; Dorman, Rebecca A.; Hardesty, Douglas K.; Ingersoll, Christopher G.

    2016-01-01

    We performed toxicity tests with two species of pulmonate snails (Lymnaea stagnalis and Physa gyrina) and four taxa of nonpulmonate snails in the family Hydrobiidae (Pyrgulopsis robusta,Taylorconcha serpenticola, Fluminicola sp., and Fontigens aldrichi). Snails were maintained in static-renewal or recirculating culture systems with adults removed periodically to isolate cohorts of offspring for toxicity testing. This method successfully produced offspring for both species of pulmonate snails and for two hydrobiid species, P. robusta and Fluminicola sp. Toxicity tests were performed for 28 days with copper, ammonia, and pentachlorophenol in hard reconstituted water with endpoints of survival and growth. Tests were started with 1-week-old L. stagnalis, 2-week-old P. gyrina, 5- to 13-week-old P. robusta and Fluminicola sp., and older juveniles and adults of several hydrobiid species. For all three chemicals, chronic toxicity values for pulmonate snails were consistently greater than those for hydrobiid snails, and hydrobiids were among the most sensitive taxa in species sensitivity distributions for all three chemicals. These results suggest that the toxicant sensitivity of nonpulmonate snails in the family Hydrobiidae would not be adequately represented by results of toxicity testing with pulmonate snails.

  7. Survival and Growth of Freshwater Pulmonate and Nonpulmonate Snails in 28-Day Exposures to Copper, Ammonia, and Pentachlorophenol.

    PubMed

    Besser, John M; Dorman, Rebecca A; Hardesty, Douglas L; Ingersoll, Christopher G

    2016-02-01

    We performed toxicity tests with two species of pulmonate snails (Lymnaea stagnalis and Physa gyrina) and four taxa of nonpulmonate snails in the family Hydrobiidae (Pyrgulopsis robusta, Taylorconcha serpenticola, Fluminicola sp., and Fontigens aldrichi). Snails were maintained in static-renewal or recirculating culture systems with adults removed periodically to isolate cohorts of offspring for toxicity testing. This method successfully produced offspring for both species of pulmonate snails and for two hydrobiid species, P. robusta and Fluminicola sp. Toxicity tests were performed for 28 days with copper, ammonia, and pentachlorophenol in hard reconstituted water with endpoints of survival and growth. Tests were started with 1-week-old L. stagnalis, 2-week-old P. gyrina, 5- to 13-week-old P. robusta and Fluminicola sp., and older juveniles and adults of several hydrobiid species. For all three chemicals, chronic toxicity values for pulmonate snails were consistently greater than those for hydrobiid snails, and hydrobiids were among the most sensitive taxa in species sensitivity distributions for all three chemicals. These results suggest that the toxicant sensitivity of nonpulmonate snails in the family Hydrobiidae would not be adequately represented by results of toxicity testing with pulmonate snails. PMID:26747374

  8. Enhancer of splitD, a dominant mutation of Drosophila, and its use in the study of functional domains of a helix-loop-helix protein.

    PubMed Central

    Tietze, K; Oellers, N; Knust, E

    1992-01-01

    Helix-loop-helix proteins play important roles in developmental processes, such as myogenesis, neurogenesis, and sex determination. The gene Enhancer of split [E(spl)] of Drosophila, a member of a gene complex that is involved in early neurogenesis, encodes a protein with a basic domain and a helix-loop-helix motif. We took advantage of a dominant mutation of this gene, E(spl)D, to define in vivo structural features of this protein for proper function. The mutation renders the otherwise recessive eye phenotype of spl dominant. By germ-line transformation of different in vitro mutagenized versions of the E(spl) gene, we could demonstrate that the basic domain of this helix-loop-helix protein is functional and necessary for expression of the dominant phenotype. These results are supported by in vitro DNA-binding assays, which showed that the basic domain is in fact necessary for DNA binding, despite the presence of a proline residue. Furthermore, we could show that the dominant enhancement of spl is caused by truncation of the E(SPL)D protein in combination with deletion of a putative regulatory element. Images PMID:1631102

  9. Proposal of a new hydrogen-bonding form to maintain curdlan triple helix.

    PubMed

    Miyoshi, Kentaro; Uezu, Kazuya; Sakurai, Kazuo; Shinkai, Seiji

    2004-06-01

    Curdlan and other beta-1,3-D-glucans form right-handed triple helices, and it has been believed that the intermolecular H-bond is present at the center of the helix to maintain the structure. In this H-bond model, three secondary OH groups form an inequilateral hexagonal shape perpendicular to the helix axis. This hexagonal form seems to be characteristic for beta-1,3-D-glucans and is widely accepted. We carried out MOPAC and ab initio calculations for the curdlan helix, and we propose a new intermolecular H-bonding model. In our model, the H-bonds are formed between the O2-atoms on different x-y planes along the curdlan helix, hence the H-bonds are not perpendicular to the helix axis. The new H-bonds are connected along the helix, traversing three curdlan chains to make a left-handed helix. Therefore, the H-bonding array leads to a reverse helix of the main chain. According to our MOPAC calculation, this model is more stable than the previous one. We believe that the continuous H-bonding array is stabilized by cooperative phenomena in the polymeric system. PMID:17191891

  10. Triple Helix Systems: An Analytical Framework for Innovation Policy and Practice in the Knowledge Society

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ranga, Marina; Etzkowitz, Henry

    2013-01-01

    This paper introduces the concept of Triple Helix systems as an analytical construct that synthesizes the key features of university--industry--government (Triple Helix) interactions into an "innovation system" format, defined according to systems theory as a set of components, relationships and functions. Among the components of Triple…

  11. VIEW OF EAST ELEVATION OF HELIX HOUSE NO. 2 (S87), ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    VIEW OF EAST ELEVATION OF HELIX HOUSE NO. 2 (S-87), LOOKING WEST (without scale stick). - Naval Computer & Telecommunications Area Master Station, Eastern Pacific, Radio Transmitter Facility Lualualei, Helix House No. 2, Base of Radio Antenna Structure No. 427, Makaha, Honolulu County, HI

  12. VIEW OF HELIX HOUSE NO. 2 (S87), WITH ANTENNA TOWER ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    VIEW OF HELIX HOUSE NO. 2 (S-87), WITH ANTENNA TOWER CABLE SUPPORT IN FOREGROUND, LOOKING SOUTHEAST. - Naval Computer & Telecommunications Area Master Station, Eastern Pacific, Radio Transmitter Facility Lualualei, Helix House No. 2, Base of Radio Antenna Structure No. 427, Makaha, Honolulu County, HI

  13. VIEW OF EAST ELEVATION OF HELIX HOUSE NO. 2 (S87), ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    VIEW OF EAST ELEVATION OF HELIX HOUSE NO. 2 (S-87), LOOKING WEST (with scale stick). - Naval Computer & Telecommunications Area Master Station, Eastern Pacific, Radio Transmitter Facility Lualualei, Helix House No. 2, Base of Radio Antenna Structure No. 427, Makaha, Honolulu County, HI

  14. VIEW OF SOUTH ELEVATION OF HELIX HOUSE NO. 2 (S87) ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    VIEW OF SOUTH ELEVATION OF HELIX HOUSE NO. 2 (S-87) SHOWING MAIN ENTRY DOOR, LOOKING NORTH NORTHWEST. - Naval Computer & Telecommunications Area Master Station, Eastern Pacific, Radio Transmitter Facility Lualualei, Helix House No. 2, Base of Radio Antenna Structure No. 427, Makaha, Honolulu County, HI

  15. RFID Tag Helix Antenna Sensors for Wireless Drug Dosage Monitoring.

    PubMed

    Huang, Haiyu; Zhao, Peisen; Chen, Pai-Yen; Ren, Yong; Liu, Xuewu; Ferrari, Mauro; Hu, Ye; Akinwande, Deji

    2014-01-01

    Miniaturized helix antennas are integrated with drug reservoirs to function as RFID wireless tag sensors for real-time drug dosage monitoring. The general design procedure of this type of biomedical antenna sensors is proposed based on electromagnetic theory and finite element simulation. A cost effective fabrication process is utilized to encapsulate the antenna sensor within a biocompatible package layer using PDMS material, and at the same time form a drug storage or drug delivery unit inside the sensor. The in vitro experiment on two prototypes of antenna sensor-drug reservoir assembly have shown the ability to monitor the drug dosage by tracking antenna resonant frequency shift from 2.4-2.5-GHz ISM band with realized sensitivity of 1.27 [Formula: see text] for transdermal drug delivery monitoring and 2.76-[Formula: see text] sensitivity for implanted drug delivery monitoring. PMID:27170865

  16. Helix versus sheet formation in a small peptide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peng, Yong; Hansmann, Ulrich H.

    2003-10-01

    Segments with the amino acid sequence EKAYLRT (glutamine-lysine-alanine-tyrosine-leucine-arginine-threonine) appear in naturally occurring proteins both in α-helices and β-sheets. For this reason, we have used this peptide to study how secondary structure formation in proteins depends on the local environment. Our data rely on multicanonical Monte Carlo simulations where the interactions among all atoms are taken into account. Results in gas phase are compared with that in an implicit solvent. We find that both the solvated molecule and EKAYLRT in gas phase form an α-helix when not interacting with other molecules. However, in the vicinity of a β-strand, the peptide forms a β-strand. Because of this change in secondary structure our peptide may provide a simple model for the α→β transition that is supposedly related to the outbreak of prion diseases and similar illnesses.

  17. Spontaneous and stable uniform lying helix liquid-crystal alignment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Outram, B. I.; Elston, S. J.

    2013-01-01

    The flexoelectro-optic effect in the uniform lying helix (ULH) geometry could provide many advantages over existing liquid-crystal technologies, however reliably forming the ULH has been problematic. Here, we achieve spontaneous, stable, and repeatable ULH alignment for materials with both positive and negative dielectric anisotropy in devices ranging from 1 to 7 μm in thickness without the need for any field application or flow-induced alignment, using a combination of weak homeotropic alignment conditions and unidirectional grooved surface profiles. The technique requires slow cooling from the isotropic phase and through the blue phase. Devices made using the technique display sub-millisecond and linear electro-optical responses.

  18. Microscopical approach to the helix-coil transition in DNA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morozov, V. F.; Mamasakhlisov, E. Sh.; Hayryan, Shura; Hu, Chin-Kun

    2000-06-01

    A model Hamiltonian for double-strand polynucleotides is suggested to describe the phenomenon of helix-coil transition. The Hamiltonian is constructed using solely the microscopical, pure physical quantities, characterizing the molecular chain, namely the energy of hydrogen-bond formation and the number of conformations of repeated unit. Realistic constraints are imposed on the conformations of chain in the case of loop formation. The advantage of the suggested approach is that the parameters of the model can be obtained from independent calculations or experiments. It is shown that with the approximation of neglecting the effect of large loops, the model of DNA is reduced to the generalized microscopical model of polypeptide chain.

  19. Emergence of the persistent spin helix in semiconductor quantum wells.

    PubMed

    Koralek, J D; Weber, C P; Orenstein, J; Bernevig, B A; Zhang, Shou-Cheng; Mack, S; Awschalom, D D

    2009-04-01

    According to Noether's theorem, for every symmetry in nature there is a corresponding conservation law. For example, invariance with respect to spatial translation corresponds to conservation of momentum. In another well-known example, invariance with respect to rotation of the electron's spin, or SU(2) symmetry, leads to conservation of spin polarization. For electrons in a solid, this symmetry is ordinarily broken by spin-orbit coupling, allowing spin angular momentum to flow to orbital angular momentum. However, it has recently been predicted that SU(2) can be achieved in a two-dimensional electron gas, despite the presence of spin-orbit coupling. The corresponding conserved quantities include the amplitude and phase of a helical spin density wave termed the 'persistent spin helix'. SU(2) is realized, in principle, when the strengths of two dominant spin-orbit interactions, the Rashba (strength parameterized by alpha) and linear Dresselhaus (beta(1)) interactions, are equal. This symmetry is predicted to be robust against all forms of spin-independent scattering, including electron-electron interactions, but is broken by the cubic Dresselhaus term (beta(3)) and spin-dependent scattering. When these terms are negligible, the distance over which spin information can propagate is predicted to diverge as alpha approaches beta(1). Here we report experimental observation of the emergence of the persistent spin helix in GaAs quantum wells by independently tuning alpha and beta(1). Using transient spin-grating spectroscopy, we find a spin-lifetime enhancement of two orders of magnitude near the symmetry point. Excellent quantitative agreement with theory across a wide range of sample parameters allows us to obtain an absolute measure of all relevant spin-orbit terms, identifying beta(3) as the main SU(2)-violating term in our samples. The tunable suppression of spin relaxation demonstrated in this work is well suited for application to spintronics. PMID:19340077

  20. Alpha-Helix folding in the presence of structural constraints.

    PubMed

    Ihalainen, Janne A; Paoli, Beatrice; Muff, Stefanie; Backus, Ellen H G; Bredenbeck, Jens; Woolley, G Andrew; Caflisch, Amedeo; Hamm, Peter

    2008-07-15

    We have investigated the site-specific folding kinetics of a photoswitchable cross-linked alpha-helical peptide by using single (13)C = (18)O isotope labeling together with time-resolved IR spectroscopy. We observe that the folding times differ from site to site by a factor of eight at low temperatures (6 degrees C), whereas at high temperatures (45 degrees C), the spread is considerably smaller. The trivial sum of the site signals coincides with the overall folding signal of the unlabeled peptide, and different sites fold in a noncooperative manner. Moreover, one of the sites exhibits a decrease of hydrogen bonding upon folding, implying that the unfolded state at low temperature is not unstructured. Molecular dynamics simulations at low temperature reveal a stretched-exponential behavior which originates from parallel folding routes that start from a kinetically partitioned unfolded ensemble. Different metastable structures (i.e., traps) in the unfolded ensemble have a different ratio of loop and helical content. Control simulations of the peptide at high temperature, as well as without the cross-linker at low temperature, show faster and simpler (i.e., single-exponential) folding kinetics. The experimental and simulation results together provide strong evidence that the rate-limiting step in formation of a structurally constrained alpha-helix is the escape from heterogeneous traps rather than the nucleation rate. This conclusion has important implications for an alpha-helical segment within a protein, rather than an isolated alpha-helix, because the cross-linker is a structural constraint similar to those present during the folding of a globular protein. PMID:18621686

  1. Copper, zinc and lead bioaccumulation in marine snail, Strombus gigas, from Guacanayabo Gulf, Cuba.

    PubMed

    Díaz Rizo, O; Olivares Reumont, S; Viguri Fuente, J; Díaz Arado, O; López Pino, N; D'Alessandro Rodríguez, K; Arado López, J O; Gelen Rudnikas, A; Arencibia Carballo, G

    2010-09-01

    Levels of copper, zinc and lead were determined in sediments and edible muscle of marine snail Strombus gigas collected from Guacanayabo Gulf, Cuba. The concentration range of each metal in marine snail muscle on mg kg(-1) wet weight varied as follows: Cu = 6.4-32.6, Zn = 20.4-31.1 and Pb = 0.2-2.3; and in corresponding sediments (on mg kg(-1) dry weight) as: Cu = 157-186, Zn = 56-94 and Pb = 20-37. The average biota-sediment accumulation factors (BSAFs) obtained for studied metals are less than unity in all cases, indicating that only a little fraction of metal content in the sediments is bioavailable, independently of their possible enrichments in the sediments. The concentrations of copper and lead in some of the marine snails are above typical public health recommended limits. PMID:20676604

  2. Scope for growth in a tropical freshwater snail -- Implications for monitoring sublethal toxic stressors

    SciTech Connect

    Lai, P.C.C.; Lam, P.K.S.

    1995-12-31

    Scope for growth (SfG), the difference between the energy input to an organism from its food and the output from respiratory metabolism, has been used as a bioassay for environmental stress in the temperate region. Here, the same technique was applied to a tropical freshwater snail, Brotia hainanensis (Thiaridae), to investigate whether the technique is applicable to biological systems at lower latitudes. In this study, the effects of copper and low pH on the SfG of the snails were examined. The results show that both copper and low pH can significantly reduce the SfG of individual snails through a decrease in the amount of energy absorbed, while the change in energy expenditure is not apparent. It was also found that the SfG assay is most informative at stress levels too low to be detected by the corresponding acute tests.

  3. Bugs as drugs, part two: worms, leeches, scorpions, snails, ticks, centipedes, and spiders.

    PubMed

    Cherniack, E Paul

    2011-03-01

    In this second of a two-part series analyzing the evidence for the use of organisms as medicine, the use of a number of different "bugs" (worms, leeches, snails, ticks, centipedes, and spiders) is detailed. Several live organisms are used as treatments: leeches for plastic surgery and osteoarthritis and the helminths Trichuris suis and Necator americanus for inflammatory bowel disease. Leech saliva is the source of a number of anticoagulants, including the antithrombin agent hirudin and its synthetic analogues, which have been approved for human use. Predatory arthropods, such as certain species of snails, spiders, scorpions, centipedes, and ticks provide a trove of potential analgesic peptides in their venom. A synthetic analogue of a snail venom peptide, ziconotide, has been approved for human use and is used as an alternative to opioids in severe pain cases. Arthropods, such as ticks, have venom that contains anticoagulants and centipede venom has a protein that corrects abnormalities in lipid metabolism. PMID:21438646

  4. Schistosoma mansoni: identification of chemicals that attract or trap its snail vector, Biomphalaria glabrata.

    PubMed

    Uhazy, L S; Tanaka, R D; MacInnis, A J

    1978-09-01

    A new bioassay for chemical attractants of aquatic snails demonstrated that Biomphalaria glabrata could be attracted to or trapped in the vicinity of homogenates of lettuce. Fractionation of homogenates revealed the amino acids glutamate and proline and the primary attractants. Attraction was specific for the L form of glutamate. Proline appeared to stimulate reproductive activity. Glutathione, gamma-aminobutyric acid, and a number of other compounds had no effect. Extracts of lyophilized snail tissue also attracted other snails and may thus contain pheromones. These results permit formulation and testing of controlled-release attractants designed to overcome the repellant effects of slow-release molluscicides, as well as the design of stimulants to be used with no-release poisons. PMID:684418

  5. Tristetraprolin suppresses the EMT through the down-regulation of Twist1 and Snail1 in cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    Yoon, Nal Ae; Jo, Hyun Gun; Lee, Unn Hwa; Park, Ji Hye; Yoon, Ji Eun; Ryu, Jinhyun; Kang, Sang Soo; Min, Young Joo; Ju, Seong-A; Seo, Eun Hui; Huh, In Young; Lee, Byung Ju; Park, Jeong Woo; Cho, Wha Ja

    2016-01-01

    Inhibition of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-inducing transcription factors Twist and Snail prevents tumor metastasis but enhances metastatic growth. Here, we report an unexpected role of a tumor suppressor tristetraprolin (TTP) in inhibiting Twist and Snail without enhancing cellular proliferation. TTP bound to the AU-rich element (ARE) within the mRNA 3′UTRs of Twist1 and Snail1, enhanced the decay of their mRNAs and inhibited the EMT of cancer cells. The ectopic expression of Twist1 or Snail1 without their 3′UTRs blocked the inhibitory effects of TTP on the EMT. We also observed that TTP overexpression suppressed the growth of cancer cells. Our data propose a new model whereby TTP down-regulates Twist1 and Snail1 and inhibits both the EMT and the proliferation of cancer cells. PMID:26840564

  6. Connecting two proteins using a fusion alpha helix stabilized by a chemical cross linker

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeong, Woo Hyeon; Lee, Haerim; Song, Dong Hyun; Eom, Jae-Hoon; Kim, Sun Chang; Lee, Hee-Seung; Lee, Hayyoung; Lee, Jie-Oh

    2016-03-01

    Building a sophisticated protein nano-assembly requires a method for linking protein components in a predictable and stable structure. Most of the cross linkers available have flexible spacers. Because of this, the linked hybrids have significant structural flexibility and the relative structure between their two components is largely unpredictable. Here we describe a method of connecting two proteins via a `fusion α helix' formed by joining two pre-existing helices into a single extended helix. Because simple ligation of two helices does not guarantee the formation of a continuous helix, we used EY-CBS, a synthetic cross linker that has been shown to react selectively with cysteines in α-helices, to stabilize the connecting helix. Formation and stabilization of the fusion helix was confirmed by determining the crystal structures of the fusion proteins with and without bound EY-CBS. Our method should be widely applicable for linking protein building blocks to generate predictable structures.

  7. Dispersion relations for a plasma-filled helix-loaded-waveguide

    SciTech Connect

    Makowski, M.A.; Hooper, E.B.; Stallard, B.W.

    1994-01-01

    The propagation of waves on bounded, magnetized plasma columns arises in connection with a variety of applications. To this end dispersion relations axe developed for a variety of multi-region circularly symmetric configurations. These include, a sheath helix in free space, a plasma column in free space, a plasma filled conducting tube, a plasma filled sheath-helix in free space, a sheath helix within a conducting cylinder, a plasma filled sheath-helix within a conducting cylinder, and a plasma column within a sheath-helix contained within a conducting cylinder. The latter configuration is of the most interest for whistler wave excitation for plasma thruster applications, since it includes the effect of a vacuum region separating the plasma column from the helical excitation structure.

  8. Connecting two proteins using a fusion alpha helix stabilized by a chemical cross linker

    PubMed Central

    Jeong, Woo Hyeon; Lee, Haerim; Song, Dong Hyun; Eom, Jae-Hoon; Kim, Sun Chang; Lee, Hee-Seung; Lee, Hayyoung; Lee, Jie-Oh

    2016-01-01

    Building a sophisticated protein nano-assembly requires a method for linking protein components in a predictable and stable structure. Most of the cross linkers available have flexible spacers. Because of this, the linked hybrids have significant structural flexibility and the relative structure between their two components is largely unpredictable. Here we describe a method of connecting two proteins via a ‘fusion α helix' formed by joining two pre-existing helices into a single extended helix. Because simple ligation of two helices does not guarantee the formation of a continuous helix, we used EY-CBS, a synthetic cross linker that has been shown to react selectively with cysteines in α-helices, to stabilize the connecting helix. Formation and stabilization of the fusion helix was confirmed by determining the crystal structures of the fusion proteins with and without bound EY-CBS. Our method should be widely applicable for linking protein building blocks to generate predictable structures. PMID:26980593

  9. KSHV-Mediated Regulation of Par3 and SNAIL Contributes to B-Cell Proliferation.

    PubMed

    Jha, Hem C; Sun, Zhiguo; Upadhyay, Santosh K; El-Naccache, Darine W; Singh, Rajnish K; Sahu, Sushil K; Robertson, Erle S

    2016-07-01

    Studies have suggested that Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) and transformation is an important step in progression to cancer. Par3 (partitioning-defective protein) is a crucial factor in regulating epithelial cell polarity. However, the mechanism by which the latency associated nuclear antigen (LANA) encoded by Kaposi's Sarcoma associated herpesvirus (KSHV) regulates Par3 and EMTs markers (Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition) during viral-mediated B-cell oncogenesis has not been fully explored. Moreover, several studies have demonstrated a crucial role for EMT markers during B-cell malignancies. In this study, we demonstrate that Par3 is significantly up-regulated in KSHV-infected primary B-cells. Further, Par3 interacted with LANA in KSHV positive and LANA expressing cells which led to translocation of Par3 from the cell periphery to a predominantly nuclear signal. Par3 knockdown led to reduced cell proliferation and increased apoptotic induction. Levels of SNAIL was elevated, and E-cadherin was reduced in the presence of LANA or Par3. Interestingly, KSHV infection in primary B-cells led to enhancement of SNAIL and down-regulation of E-cadherin in a temporal manner. Importantly, knockdown of SNAIL, a major EMT regulator, in KSHV cells resulted in reduced expression of LANA, Par3, and enhanced E-cadherin. Also, SNAIL bound to the promoter region of p21 and can regulate its activity. Further a SNAIL inhibitor diminished NF-kB signaling through upregulation of Caspase3 in KSHV positive cells in vitro. This was also supported by upregulation of SNAIL and Par3 in BC-3 transplanted NOD-SCID mice which has potential as a therapeutic target for KSHV-associated B-cell lymphomas. PMID:27463802

  10. Differential spatial repositioning of activated genes in Biomphalaria glabrata snails infected with Schistosoma mansoni.

    PubMed

    Arican-Goktas, Halime D; Ittiprasert, Wannaporn; Bridger, Joanna M; Knight, Matty

    2014-09-01

    Schistosomiasis is an infectious disease infecting mammals as the definitive host and fresh water snails as the intermediate host. Understanding the molecular and biochemical relationship between the causative schistosome parasite and its hosts will be key to understanding and ultimately treating and/or eradicating the disease. There is increasing evidence that pathogens that have co-evolved with their hosts can manipulate their hosts' behaviour at various levels to augment an infection. Bacteria, for example, can induce beneficial chromatin remodelling of the host genome. We have previously shown in vitro that Biomphalaria glabrata embryonic cells co-cultured with schistosome miracidia display genes changing their nuclear location and becoming up-regulated. This also happens in vivo in live intact snails, where early exposure to miracidia also elicits non-random repositioning of genes. We reveal differences in the nuclear repositioning between the response of parasite susceptible snails as compared to resistant snails and with normal or live, attenuated parasites. Interestingly, the stress response gene heat shock protein (Hsp) 70 is only repositioned and then up-regulated in susceptible snails with the normal parasite. This movement and change in gene expression seems to be controlled by the parasite. Other differences in the behaviour of genes support the view that some genes are responding to tissue damage, for example the ferritin genes move and are up-regulated whether the snails are either susceptible or resistant and upon exposure to either normal or attenuated parasite. This is the first time host genome reorganisation has been seen in a parasitic host and only the second time for any pathogen. We believe that the parasite elicits a spatio-epigenetic reorganisation of the host genome to induce favourable gene expression for itself and this might represent a fundamental mechanism present in the human host infected with schistosome cercariae as well as in

  11. Comparative Functional Responses Predict the Invasiveness and Ecological Impacts of Alien Herbivorous Snails

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Meng; Mu, Xidong; Dick, Jaimie T. A.; Fang, Miao; Gu, Dangen; Luo, Du; Zhang, Jiaen; Luo, Jianren; Hu, Yinchang

    2016-01-01

    Understanding determinants of the invasiveness and ecological impacts of alien species is amongst the most sought-after and urgent research questions in ecology. Several studies have shown the value of comparing the functional responses (FRs) of alien and native predators towards native prey, however, the technique is under-explored with herbivorous alien species and as a predictor of invasiveness as distinct from ecological impact. Here, in China, we conducted a mesocosm experiment to compare the FRs among three herbivorous snail species: the golden apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata, a highly invasive and high impact alien listed in “100 of the World's Worst Invasive Alien Species”; Planorbarius corneus, a non-invasive, low impact alien; and the Chinese native snail, Bellamya aeruginosa, when feeding on four locally occurring plant species. Further, by using a numerical response equation, we modelled the population dynamics of the snail consumers. For standard FR parameters, we found that the invasive and damaging alien snail had the highest “attack rates” a, shortest “handling times” h and also the highest estimated maximum feeding rates, 1/hT, whereas the native species had the lowest attack rates, longest handling times and lowest maximum feeding rates. The non-invasive, low impact alien species had consistently intermediate FR parameters. The invasive alien species had higher population growth potential than the native snail species, whilst that of the non-invasive alien species was intermediate. Thus, while the comparative FR approach has been proposed as a reliable method for predicting the ecological impacts of invasive predators, our results further suggest that comparative FRs could extend to predict the invasiveness and ecological impacts of alien herbivores and should be explored in other taxa and trophic groups to determine the general utility of the approach. PMID:26771658

  12. Association between shell morphology of micro-land snails (genus Plectostoma) and their predator's predatory behaviour.

    PubMed

    Liew, Thor-Seng; Schilthuizen, Menno

    2014-01-01

    Predator-prey interactions are among the main ecological interactions that shape the diversity of biological form. In many cases, the evolution of the mollusc shell form is presumably driven by predation. However, the adaptive significance of several uncommon, yet striking, shell traits of land snails are still poorly known. These include the distorted coiled "tuba" and the protruded radial ribs that can be found in micro-landsnails of the genus Plectostoma. Here, we experimentally tested whether these shell traits may act as defensive adaptations against predators. We characterised and quantified the possible anti-predation behaviour and shell traits of Plectostoma snails both in terms of their properties and efficiencies in defending against the Atopos slug predatory strategies, namely, shell-apertural entry and shell-drilling. The results showed that Atopos slugs would first attack the snail by shell-apertural entry, and, should this fail, shift to the energetically more costly shell-drilling strategy. We found that the shell tuba of Plectostoma snails is an effective defensive trait against shell-apertural entry attack. None of the snail traits, such as resting behaviour, shell thickness, shell tuba shape, shell rib density and intensity can fully protect the snail from the slug's shell-drilling attack. However, these traits could increase the predation costs to the slug. Further analysis on the shell traits revealed that the lack of effectiveness in these anti-predation shell traits may be caused by a functional trade-off between shell traits under selection of two different predatory strategies. PMID:24749008

  13. The endocrine disruptor effect of the herbicides atrazine and glyphosate on Biomphalaria alexandrina snails.

    PubMed

    Omran, Nahla Elsayed; Salama, Wesam Mohamed

    2016-04-01

    Atrazine (AZ) and glyphosate (GL) are herbicides that are widely applied to cereal crops in Egypt. The present study was designed to investigate the response of the snailBiomphalaria alexandrina(Mollusca: Gastropoda) as a bioindicator for endocrine disrupters in terms of steroid levels (testosterone (T) and 17β-estradiol (E)), alteration of microsomal CYP4501B1-like immunoreactivity, total protein (TP) level, and gonadal structure after exposure to sublethal concentrations of AZ or GL for 3 weeks. In order to study the ability of the snails' recuperation, the exposed snails were subjected to a recovery period for 2 weeks. The results showed that the level of T, E, and TP contents were significantly decreased (p≤ 0.05) in both AZ- and GL-exposed groups compared with control (unexposed) group. The level of microsomal CYP4501B1-like immunoreactivity increased significantly (p≤ 0.05) in GL- and AZ-exposed snails and reach nearly a 50% increase in AZ-exposed group. Histological investigation of the ovotestis showed that AZ and GL caused degenerative changes including azoospermia and oocytes deformation. Interestingly, all the recovered groups did not return back to their normal state. It can be concluded that both herbicides are endocrine disrupters and cause cellular toxicity indicated by the decrease of protein content and the increase in CYP4501B1-like immunoreactivity. This toxicity is irreversible and the snail is not able to recover its normal state. The fluctuation of CYP4501B1 suggests that this vertebrate-like enzyme may be functional also in the snail and may be used as a biomarker for insecticide toxicity. PMID:24215068

  14. KSHV-Mediated Regulation of Par3 and SNAIL Contributes to B-Cell Proliferation

    PubMed Central

    Jha, Hem C.; Sun, Zhiguo; Upadhyay, Santosh K.; El-Naccache, Darine W.; Singh, Rajnish K.; Sahu, Sushil K.; Robertson, Erle S.

    2016-01-01

    Studies have suggested that Epithelial–Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) and transformation is an important step in progression to cancer. Par3 (partitioning-defective protein) is a crucial factor in regulating epithelial cell polarity. However, the mechanism by which the latency associated nuclear antigen (LANA) encoded by Kaposi's Sarcoma associated herpesvirus (KSHV) regulates Par3 and EMTs markers (Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition) during viral-mediated B-cell oncogenesis has not been fully explored. Moreover, several studies have demonstrated a crucial role for EMT markers during B-cell malignancies. In this study, we demonstrate that Par3 is significantly up-regulated in KSHV-infected primary B-cells. Further, Par3 interacted with LANA in KSHV positive and LANA expressing cells which led to translocation of Par3 from the cell periphery to a predominantly nuclear signal. Par3 knockdown led to reduced cell proliferation and increased apoptotic induction. Levels of SNAIL was elevated, and E-cadherin was reduced in the presence of LANA or Par3. Interestingly, KSHV infection in primary B-cells led to enhancement of SNAIL and down-regulation of E-cadherin in a temporal manner. Importantly, knockdown of SNAIL, a major EMT regulator, in KSHV cells resulted in reduced expression of LANA, Par3, and enhanced E-cadherin. Also, SNAIL bound to the promoter region of p21 and can regulate its activity. Further a SNAIL inhibitor diminished NF-kB signaling through upregulation of Caspase3 in KSHV positive cells in vitro. This was also supported by upregulation of SNAIL and Par3 in BC-3 transplanted NOD-SCID mice which has potential as a therapeutic target for KSHV-associated B-cell lymphomas. PMID:27463802

  15. Comparative Functional Responses Predict the Invasiveness and Ecological Impacts of Alien Herbivorous Snails.

    PubMed

    Xu, Meng; Mu, Xidong; Dick, Jaimie T A; Fang, Miao; Gu, Dangen; Luo, Du; Zhang, Jiaen; Luo, Jianren; Hu, Yinchang

    2016-01-01

    Understanding determinants of the invasiveness and ecological impacts of alien species is amongst the most sought-after and urgent research questions in ecology. Several studies have shown the value of comparing the functional responses (FRs) of alien and native predators towards native prey, however, the technique is under-explored with herbivorous alien species and as a predictor of invasiveness as distinct from ecological impact. Here, in China, we conducted a mesocosm experiment to compare the FRs among three herbivorous snail species: the golden apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata, a highly invasive and high impact alien listed in "100 of the World's Worst Invasive Alien Species"; Planorbarius corneus, a non-invasive, low impact alien; and the Chinese native snail, Bellamya aeruginosa, when feeding on four locally occurring plant species. Further, by using a numerical response equation, we modelled the population dynamics of the snail consumers. For standard FR parameters, we found that the invasive and damaging alien snail had the highest "attack rates" a, shortest "handling times" h and also the highest estimated maximum feeding rates, 1/hT, whereas the native species had the lowest attack rates, longest handling times and lowest maximum feeding rates. The non-invasive, low impact alien species had consistently intermediate FR parameters. The invasive alien species had higher population growth potential than the native snail species, whilst that of the non-invasive alien species was intermediate. Thus, while the comparative FR approach has been proposed as a reliable method for predicting the ecological impacts of invasive predators, our results further suggest that comparative FRs could extend to predict the invasiveness and ecological impacts of alien herbivores and should be explored in other taxa and trophic groups to determine the general utility of the approach. PMID:26771658

  16. Folding simulations of gramicidin A into the β-helix conformations: Simulated annealing molecular dynamics study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mori, Takaharu; Okamoto, Yuko

    2009-10-01

    Gramicidin A is a linear hydrophobic 15-residue peptide which consists of alternating D- and L-amino acids and forms a unique tertiary structure, called the β6.3-helix, to act as a cation-selective ion channel in the natural conditions. In order to investigate the intrinsic ability of the gramicidin A monomer to form secondary structures, we performed the folding simulation of gramicidin A using a simulated annealing molecular dynamics (MD) method in vacuum mimicking the low-dielectric, homogeneous membrane environment. The initial conformation was a fully extended one. From the 200 different MD runs, we obtained a right-handed β4.4-helix as the lowest-potential-energy structure, and left-handed β4.4-helix, right-handed and left-handed β6.3-helix as local-minimum energy states. These results are in accord with those of the experiments of gramicidin A in homogeneous organic solvent. Our simulations showed a slight right-hand sense in the lower-energy conformations and a quite β-sheet-forming tendency throughout almost the entire sequence. In order to examine the stability of the obtained right-handed β6.3-helix and β4.4-helix structures in more realistic membrane environment, we have also performed all-atom MD simulations in explicit water, ion, and lipid molecules, starting from these β-helix structures. The results suggested that β6.3-helix is more stable than β4.4-helix in the inhomogeneous, explicit membrane environment, where the pore water and the hydrogen bonds between Trp side-chains and lipid-head groups have a role to further stabilize the β6.3-helix conformation.

  17. Folding simulations of gramicidin A into the beta-helix conformations: Simulated annealing molecular dynamics study.

    PubMed

    Mori, Takaharu; Okamoto, Yuko

    2009-10-28

    Gramicidin A is a linear hydrophobic 15-residue peptide which consists of alternating D- and L-amino acids and forms a unique tertiary structure, called the beta(6.3)-helix, to act as a cation-selective ion channel in the natural conditions. In order to investigate the intrinsic ability of the gramicidin A monomer to form secondary structures, we performed the folding simulation of gramicidin A using a simulated annealing molecular dynamics (MD) method in vacuum mimicking the low-dielectric, homogeneous membrane environment. The initial conformation was a fully extended one. From the 200 different MD runs, we obtained a right-handed beta(4.4)-helix as the lowest-potential-energy structure, and left-handed beta(4.4)-helix, right-handed and left-handed beta(6.3)-helix as local-minimum energy states. These results are in accord with those of the experiments of gramicidin A in homogeneous organic solvent. Our simulations showed a slight right-hand sense in the lower-energy conformations and a quite beta-sheet-forming tendency throughout almost the entire sequence. In order to examine the stability of the obtained right-handed beta(6.3)-helix and beta(4.4)-helix structures in more realistic membrane environment, we have also performed all-atom MD simulations in explicit water, ion, and lipid molecules, starting from these beta-helix structures. The results suggested that beta(6.3)-helix is more stable than beta(4.4)-helix in the inhomogeneous, explicit membrane environment, where the pore water and the hydrogen bonds between Trp side-chains and lipid-head groups have a role to further stabilize the beta(6.3)-helix conformation. PMID:19894978

  18. Paraphyly and budding speciation in the hairy snail (Pulmonata, Hygromiidae)

    PubMed Central

    Kruckenhauser, Luise; Duda, Michael; Bartel, Daniela; Sattmann, Helmut; Harl, Josef; Kirchner, Sandra; Haring, Elisabeth

    2014-01-01

    Delimitation of species is often complicated by discordance of morphological and genetic data. This may be caused by the existence of cryptic or polymorphic species. The latter case is particularly true for certain snail species showing an exceptionally high intraspecific genetic diversity. The present investigation deals with the Trochulus hispidus complex, which has a complicated taxonomy. Our analyses of the COI sequence revealed that individuals showing a T. hispidus phenotype are distributed in nine highly differentiated mitochondrial clades (showing p-distances up to 19%). The results of a parallel morphometric investigation did not reveal any differentiation between these clades, although the overall variability is quite high. The phylogenetic analyses based on 12S, 16S and COI sequences show that the T. hispidus complex is paraphyletic with respect to several other morphologically well-defined Trochulus species (T. clandestinus, T. villosus, T. villosulus and T. striolatus) which form well-supported monophyletic groups. The nc marker sequence (5.8S–ITS2–28S) shows only a clear separation of T. o. oreinos and T. o. scheerpeltzi, and a weakly supported separation of T. clandestinus, whereas all other species and the clades of the T. hispidus complex appear within one homogeneous group. The paraphyly of the T. hispidus complex reflects its complicated history, which was probably driven by geographic isolation in different glacial refugia and budding speciation. At our present state of knowledge, it cannot be excluded that several cryptic species are embedded within the T. hispidus complex. However, the lack of morphological differentiation of the T. hispidus mitochondrial clades does not provide any hints in this direction. Thus, we currently do not recommend any taxonomic changes. The results of the current investigation exemplify the limitations of barcoding attempts in highly diverse species such as T. hispidus. PMID:25170185

  19. Growth rate of the intermediate snail host Galba truncatula influences redial development of the trematode Fascioloides magna.

    PubMed

    Rondelaud, D; Novobilský, A; Höglund, J; Kašný, M; Pankrác, J; Vignoles, P; Dreyfuss, G

    2014-12-01

    A total of 850 pre-adult Galba truncatula (shell height, 4 mm), originating from four French snail populations differing in shell height at the adult stage (from 6.5 to 12 mm), were individually subjected at 20°C to single-miracidium infections with Fascioloides magna. At day 75 post-exposure, the surviving snails were dissected, and rediae and cercariae were counted. Snail groups differed in shell growth during the experiment: from 1.8 ± 0.4 mm in group A up to 4.0 ± 1.1 mm in group D. The prevalence of F. magna infection, the numbers of free rediae and cercariae significantly increased together with increasing growth of infected snails during the experiment. Group A produced 1-6 first-generation rediae per snail and the mean daughter redia production ranged from 7.5 second-generation rediae (when a single first generation per snail developed) to 2.3 (6 first-generation rediae per snail). In contrast, up to ten first-generation rediae were noted in group D, and each mother redia gave daughter rediae with averages ranging from 1.5 (ten first-generation rediae per snail) to 13 (a single first generation per snail). In conclusion, the development of F. magna in G. truncatula exhibited both inter- and intrapopulation variability, where the development of rediae and cercariae was positively correlated with snail growth. PMID:23710885

  20. Susceptibility of Snails to Infection with Schistosomes is influenced by Temperature and Expression of Heat Shock Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Knight, Matty; Elhelu, O; Smith, M; Haugen, B; Miller, A; Raghavan, N; Wellman, C; Cousin, C; Dixon, F; Mann, V; Rinaldi, G; Ittiprasert, W; Brindley, PJ

    2015-01-01

    The freshwater snail, Biomphalaria glabrata is the obligate intermediate host for the transmission of the parasitic trematode, Schistosoma mansoni the causative agent of the chronic debilitating neglected tropical disease, schistosomiasis. We showed previously that in juvenile snails, early and significant induction of stress manifested by the expression of stress proteins, Hsp 70, Hsp 90 and reverse transcriptase (RT) of the non- LTR retrotransposon, nimbus, is a characteristic feature of juvenile susceptible NMRI but not resistant BS-90 snails. These latter, however, could be rendered susceptible after mild heat shock at 32°C, revealing that resistance in the BS-90 resistant snail to schistosomes is a temperature dependent trait. Here we tested the hypothesis that maintenance of BS-90 resistant snails at the permissive temperature for several generations affects the resistance phenotype displayed at the non-permissive temperature of 25°C. The progeny of BS-90 snails bred and maintained through several generations (F1 to F4) at 32°C were susceptible to the schistosome infection when returned to room temperature, shedding cercariae at four weeks post-infection. Moreover, the study of expression levels of the heat shock protein (Hsp) 70 protein by ELISA and western blot analysis, showed that this protein is also differentially expressed between susceptible and resistant snails, with susceptible snails expressing more protein than their resistant counterparts after early exposure to wild-type but not to radiation-attenuated miracidia. These data suggested that in the face of global warming, the ability to sustain a reduction in schistosomiasis by using refractory snails as a strategy to block transmission of the disease might prove challenging since non-lethal elevation in temperature, affects snail susceptibility to S. mansoni. PMID:26504668

  1. A smallest 6 kda metalloprotease, mini-matrilysin, in living world: a revolutionary conserved zinc-dependent proteolytic domain- helix-loop-helix catalytic zinc binding domain (ZBD)

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The Aim of this study is to study the minimum zinc dependent metalloprotease catalytic folding motif, helix B Met loop-helix C, with proteolytic catalytic activities in metzincin super family. The metzincin super family share a catalytic domain consisting of a twisted five-stranded β sheet and three long α helices (A, B and C). The catalytic zinc is at the bottom of the cleft and is ligated by three His residues in the consensus sequence motif, HEXXHXXGXXH, which is located in helix B and part of the adjacent Met turn region. An interesting question is - what is the minimum portion of the enzyme that still possesses catalytic and inhibitor recognition?” Methods We have expressed a 60-residue truncated form of matrilysin which retains only the helix B-Met turn-helix C region and deletes helix A and the five-stranded β sheet which form the upper portion of the active cleft. This is only 1/4 of the full catalytic domain. The E. coli derived 6 kDa MMP-7 ZBD fragments were purified and refolded. The proteolytic activities were analyzed by Mca-Pro-Leu-Gly-Leu-Dpa-Ala-Arg-NH2 peptide assay and CM-transferrin zymography analysis. SC44463, BB94 and Phosphoramidon were computationally docked into the 3day structure of the human MMP7 ZBD and TAD and thermolysin using the docking program GOLD. Results This minimal 6 kDa matrilysin has been refolded and shown to have proteolytic activity in the Mca-Pro-Leu-Gly-Leu-Dpa-Ala-Arg-NH2 peptide assay. Triton X-100 and heparin are important factors in the refolding environment for this mini-enzyme matrilysin. This minienzyme has the proteolytic activity towards peptide substrate, but the hexamer and octamer of the mini MMP-7 complex demonstrates the CM-transferrin proteolytic activities in zymographic analysis. Peptide digestion is inhibited by SC44463, specific MMP7 inhibitors, but not phosphorimadon. Interestingly, the mini MMP-7 can be processed by autolysis and producing ~ 6 ~ 7 kDa fragments. Thus

  2. Resistance of pulmonate snail populations to repeated treatments of copper sulfate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blankespoor, Harvey D.; Cameron, Stephen C.; Cairns, John

    1985-09-01

    Two species of pulmonate snails, Lymnaea cat-ascopium and Physa integra, were collected from Douglas and Houghton Lakes. Snail populations from the former lake (pristine) had never been exposed to copper sulfate, whereas those from the latter one (treated) had been subjected to the molluscicide for more than 40 years. Molluscs from the treated lake were more resistant to the copper at concentrations of 0.5 and 1.0 ppm than those from the pristine lake. Furthermore, larger lymnaeids had a higher survival rate than smaller ones.

  3. Snail control in urban sites in Brazil with slow-release hexabutyldistannoxane and pentachlorophenol*

    PubMed Central

    Toledo, J. V.; Da Silva, C. S. Monteiro; Bulhões, M. S.; Leme, L. A. Paes; Netto, J. A. Da Silva; Gilbert, B.

    1976-01-01

    Slow release formulations of hexabutyldistannoxane (TBTO) and pentachlorophenol (PCP) were tested for the control of Biomphalaria tenagophila in 52 urban sites in Rio de Janeiro. TBTO acted faster and lasted longer than PCP and at 15 g/m2 it eliminated snails from 76% of the treated sites for 1 year. Water pollution and rate of flow had no significant influence on the molluscicidal properties of either compound, but alkalinity lowered the activity of TBTO. Failure to control snail populations was due mainly to human interference and to the non-treatment of adjacent breeding sites that were temporarily dry and therefore overlooked. PMID:1088356

  4. A genome-wide identification of basic helix-loop-helix motifs in Pediculus humanus corporis (Phthiraptera: Pediculidae).

    PubMed

    Wang, Xu-Hua; Wang, Yong; Zhang, De-Bao; Liu, A-Ke; Yao, Qin; Chen, Ke-Ping

    2014-01-01

    Basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) proteins comprise a large superfamily of transcription factors, which are involved in the regulation of various developmental processes. bHLH family members are widely distributed in various eukaryotes including yeast, fruit fly, zebrafish, mouse, and human. In this study, we identified 55 bHLH motifs encoded in genome sequence of the human body louse, Pediculus humanus corporis (Phthiraptera: Pediculidae). Phylogenetic analyses of the identified P. humanus corporis bHLH (PhcbHLH) motifs revealed that there are 23, 11, 9, 1, 10, and 1 member(s) in groups A, B, C, D, E, and F, respectively. Examination to GenBank annotations of the 55 PhcbHLH members indicated that 29 PhcbHLH proteins were annotated in consistence with our analytical result, 8 were annotated different with our analytical result, 12 were merely annotated as hypothetical protein, and the rest 6 were not deposited in GenBank. A comparison on insect bHLH gene composition revealed that human body louse possibly has more hairy and E(spl) genes than other insect species. Because hairy and E(spl) genes have been found to negatively regulate the differentiation of insect preneural cells, it is suggested that the existence of additional hairy and E(spl) genes in human body louse is probably the consequence of its long period adaptation to the relatively dark and stable environment. These data provide good references for further studies on regulatory functions of bHLH proteins in the growth and development of human body louse. PMID:25434030

  5. De novo design of protein-protein interactions through modification of inter-molecular helix-helix interface residues.

    PubMed

    Yagi, Sota; Akanuma, Satoshi; Yamagishi, Manami; Uchida, Tatsuya; Yamagishi, Akihiko

    2016-05-01

    For de novo design of protein-protein interactions (PPIs), information on the shape and chemical complementarity of their interfaces is generally required. Recent advances in computational PPI design have allowed for de novo design of protein complexes, and several successful examples have been reported. In addition, a simple and easy-to-use approach has also been reported that arranges leucines on a solvent-accessible region of an α-helix and places charged residues around the leucine patch to induce interactions between the two helical peptides. For this study, we adopted this approach to de novo design a new PPI between the helical bundle proteins sulerythrin and LARFH. A non-polar patch was created on an α-helix of LARFH around which arginine residues were introduced to retain its solubility. The strongest interaction found was for the LARFH variant cysLARFH-IV-3L3R and the sulerythrin mutant 6L6D (KD=0.16 μM). This artificial protein complex is maintained by hydrophobic and ionic interactions formed by the inter-molecular helical bundle structure. Therefore, by the simple and easy-to-use approach to create de novo interfaces on the α-helices, we successfully generated an artificial PPI. We also created a second LARFH variant with the non-polar patch surrounded by positively charged residues at each end. Upon mixing this LARFH variant with 6L6D, mesh-like fibrous nanostructures were observed by atomic force microscopy. Our method may, therefore, also be applicable to the de novo design of protein nanostructures. PMID:26867971

  6. Light signal transduction pathway from flavin chromophore to the J alpha helix of Arabidopsis phototropin1.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Atsushi; Iwata, Tatsuya; Sato, Yoshiaki; Matsuoka, Daisuke; Tokutomi, Satoru; Kandori, Hideki

    2009-04-01

    In the plant blue-light sensor phototropin, illumination of the chromophoric LOV domains causes activation of the serine/threonine kinase domain. Flavin mononucleotide (FMN) is a chromophore molecule in the two LOV domains (LOV1 and LOV2), but only LOV2 is responsible for kinase activation. Previous studies reported an important role of an additional helix connected to the C-terminal of LOV2 (Jalpha helix) for the function of phototropin; however, it remains unclear how the Jalpha helix affects light-induced structural changes in LOV2. In this study we compared light-induced protein structural changes of the LOV2 domain of Arabidopsis phot1 in the absence (LOV2-core) and presence (LOV2-Jalpha) of the Jalpha helix by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy. Prominent peaks were observed only in the amide-I region (1650 (-)/1625 (+) cm(-1)) of LOV2-Jalpha at physiological temperatures (>/=260 K), corresponding to structural perturbation of the alpha-helix. The peaks were diminished by point mutation of functionally important amino acids such as Phe-556 between FMN and the beta-sheet, Gln-575 being hydrogen-bonded with FMN, and Ile-608 on the Jalpha helix. We thus conclude that a light signal is relayed from FMN through these amino acids and eventually changes the interaction between LOV2-core and the Jalpha helix in Arabidopsis phot1. PMID:19348760

  7. The Mtr4 ratchet helix and arch domain both function to promote RNA unwinding.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Lacy L; Jackson, Ryan N; Rexhepaj, Megi; King, Alejandra Klauer; Lott, Lindsey K; van Hoof, Ambro; Johnson, Sean J

    2014-12-16

    Mtr4 is a conserved Ski2-like RNA helicase and a subunit of the TRAMP complex that activates exosome-mediated 3'-5' turnover in nuclear RNA surveillance and processing pathways. Prominent features of the Mtr4 structure include a four-domain ring-like helicase core and a large arch domain that spans the core. The 'ratchet helix' is positioned to interact with RNA substrates as they move through the helicase. However, the contribution of the ratchet helix in Mtr4 activity is poorly understood. Here we show that strict conservation along the ratchet helix is particularly extensive for Ski2-like RNA helicases compared to related helicases. Mutation of residues along the ratchet helix alters in vitro activity in Mtr4 and TRAMP and causes slow growth phenotypes in vivo. We also identify a residue on the ratchet helix that influences Mtr4 affinity for polyadenylated substrates. Previous work indicated that deletion of the arch domain has minimal effect on Mtr4 unwinding activity. We now show that combining the arch deletion with ratchet helix mutations abolishes helicase activity and produces a lethal in vivo phenotype. These studies demonstrate that the ratchet helix modulates helicase activity and suggest that the arch domain plays a previously unrecognized role in unwinding substrates. PMID:25414331

  8. Helix dipole movement and conformational variability contribute to allosteric GDP release in Galphai subunits.

    PubMed

    Preininger, Anita M; Funk, Michael A; Oldham, William M; Meier, Scott M; Johnston, Christopher A; Adhikary, Suraj; Kimple, Adam J; Siderovski, David P; Hamm, Heidi E; Iverson, Tina M

    2009-03-31

    Heterotrimeric G proteins (Galphabetagamma) transmit signals from activated G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) to downstream effectors through a guanine nucleotide signaling cycle. Numerous studies indicate that the carboxy-terminal alpha5 helix of Galpha subunits participates in Galpha-receptor binding, and previous EPR studies suggest this receptor-mediated interaction induces a rotation and translation of the alpha5 helix of the Galpha subunit [Oldham, W. M., et al. (2006) Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 13, 772-777]. On the basis of this result, an engineered disulfide bond was designed to constrain the alpha5 helix of Galpha(i1) into its EPR-measured receptor-associated conformation through the introduction of cysteines at position 56 in the alpha1 helix and position 333 in the alpha5 helix (I56C/Q333C Galpha(i1)). A functional mimetic of the EPR-measured alpha5 helix dipole movement upon receptor association was additionally created by introduction of a positive charge at the amino terminus of this helix, D328R Galpha(i1). Both proteins exhibit a dramatically elevated level of basal nucleotide exchange. The 2.9 A resolution crystal structure of I56C/Q333C Galpha(i1) in complex with GDP-AlF(4)(-) reveals the shift of the alpha5 helix toward the guanine nucleotide binding site that is anticipated by EPR measurements. The structure of the I56C/Q333C Galpha(i1) subunit further revealed altered positions for the switch regions and throughout the Galpha(i1) subunit, accompanied by significantly elevated crystallographic temperature factors. Combined with previous evidence in the literature, the structural analysis supports the critical role of electrostatics of the alpha5 helix dipole and overall conformational variability during nucleotide release. PMID:19222191

  9. Helix Dipole Movement and Conformational Variability Contribute to Allosteric GDP Release in G[alpha] Subunits

    SciTech Connect

    Preininger, Anita M.; Funk, Michael A.; Oldham, William M.; Meier, Scott M.; Johnston, Christopher A.; Adhikary, Suraj; Kimple, Adam J.; Siderovski, David P.; Hamm, Heidi E.; Iverson, Tina M.

    2009-06-01

    Heterotrimeric G proteins (Galphabetagamma) transmit signals from activated G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) to downstream effectors through a guanine nucleotide signaling cycle. Numerous studies indicate that the carboxy-terminal alpha5 helix of Galpha subunits participates in Galpha-receptor binding, and previous EPR studies suggest this receptor-mediated interaction induces a rotation and translation of the alpha5 helix of the Galpha subunit [Oldham, W. M., et al. (2006) Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 13, 772-777]. On the basis of this result, an engineered disulfide bond was designed to constrain the alpha5 helix of Galpha(i1) into its EPR-measured receptor-associated conformation through the introduction of cysteines at position 56 in the alpha1 helix and position 333 in the alpha5 helix (I56C/Q333C Galpha(i1)). A functional mimetic of the EPR-measured alpha5 helix dipole movement upon receptor association was additionally created by introduction of a positive charge at the amino terminus of this helix, D328R Galpha(i1). Both proteins exhibit a dramatically elevated level of basal nucleotide exchange. The 2.9 A resolution crystal structure of I56C/Q333C Galpha(i1) in complex with GDP-AlF(4)(-) reveals the shift of the alpha5 helix toward the guanine nucleotide binding site that is anticipated by EPR measurements. The structure of the I56C/Q333C Galpha(i1) subunit further revealed altered positions for the switch regions and throughout the Galpha(i1) subunit, accompanied by significantly elevated crystallographic temperature factors. Combined with previous evidence in the literature, the structural analysis supports the critical role of electrostatics of the alpha5 helix dipole and overall conformational variability during nucleotide release.

  10. Free-energy determinants of alpha-helix insertion into lipid bilayers.

    PubMed Central

    Ben-Tal, N; Ben-Shaul, A; Nicholls, A; Honig, B

    1996-01-01

    A detailed treatment is provided of the various free-energy terms that contribute to the transfer of a polyalanine alpha-helix from the aqueous phase into lipid bilayers. In agreement with previous work, the hydrophobic effect is found to provide the major driving force for helix insertion. However, an opposing effect of comparable magnitude is also identified and is attributed to the large free-energy penalty associated with the desolvation of peptide hydrogen bonds on transfer to the low dielectric environment of the bilayer. Lipid perturbation effects as well as the entropy loss associated with helix immobilization in the bilayer are also evaluated. Two configurations of a membrane-bound 25mer polyalanine helix were found to be lower in free energy than the isolated helix in the aqueous phase. The first corresponds to the case of vertical insertion, in which a helix terminus protrudes from each side of the bilayer. The second minimum is for the case of horizontal insertion, for which the helix is adsorbed upon the surface of the bilayer. The calculated free-energy minima are found to be in good agreement with recent measurements of related systems. Large free-energy barriers resulting from desolvation of unsatisfied hydrogen-bonding groups at the helix termini are obtained for both insertion processes. The barriers for insertion are significantly reduced if the helix termini are assumed to be "capped" through the formation of hydrogen bonds with polar sidechains. For uncapped helices, our results support recently proposed models in which helices are inserted by first adsorbing on the membrane surface and then having one terminus "swing around" so as to penetrate the bilayer. Images FIGURE 1 PMID:8785340

  11. Fluctuations of an Exposed π-Helix Involved in Lipoxygenase Substrate Recognition

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    The second helix in lipoxygenases adapts to permit substrate access to the active site, but details of this process are varied and poorly understood. We therefore examined the dynamics of helix 2 in solutions of spin-labeled soybean lipoxygenase-1 and spin relaxation at 60 K of the spin-labels by catalytic iron. Helix 2 in soybean lipoxygenase structures is surface-exposed and contains one turn of π-helix, centrally located. A site-directed spin-label scan of 18 of the 21 helix 2 residues, and electron paramagnetic resonance, showed that the π-helical segment became unusually mobile, on a nanosecond time scale, under conditions favoring substrate binding (pH 9 and lipid addition), while segments before and after had relatively unchanged dynamics. Backbone dynamics of residues in the π-helical segment appeared to be correlated, at pH 9. Samples also were frozen to examine the polarity and proticity of the local environments, the effect of the local environment on intrinsic relaxation, and dipolar relaxation by two symmetries of catalytic iron. The average hyperfine tensor component, Azz, of four π-helix residues decreased by 1.75 G, with an increase in pH from 7 to 9, while it remained unaffected for nearby buried residues. Power saturation data suggested the change in polarity specific to the π-helix altered the intrinsic relaxation rates. Different symmetries of iron contributed to distance-dependent magnetic relaxation. We interpret these data to mean that a π-helix in the second helix of plant lipoxygenases is highly dynamic and is the site where lipid chains penetrate to inner helices that outline the substrate pocket. PMID:25036469

  12. Correlation between steroid sex hormones, egg laying capacity and cercarial shedding in Biomphalaria alexandrina snails after treatment with Haplophyllum tuberculatum.

    PubMed

    Rizk, Maha Z; Metwally, Nadia S; Hamed, Manal A; Mohamed, Azza M

    2012-10-01

    Schistosomiasis is considered the second most pre-valiant worldwide parasitic disease ranked next to malaria. It has significant economic and public health consequences in many developing countries. Several ways have been practiced in order to bring the disease under an adequate control through the breakage of the life cycle of the parasite. Snail control could be regarded as a rapid and efficient of reducing or eliminating transmission and remains among the methods of choice for schistosomiasis control. The aim of this work is to evaluate the role of Haplophyllum tuberculatum (family Rutaceae) as a plant molluscicide. The mortality rate of Biomphalaria alexandrina snails were monitored after treatment with three extracts of the plant aerial parts; petroleum ether, chloroform and ethanol. Chloroform extract that recorded the most potent effect was further evaluated through measuring the toxicity pattern against B. alexandrina snails, egg laying capacity, cercarial shedding, phenol oxidase enzyme and the levels of steroid sex hormones. Histopathological examination of hepatopancreas and ovotestis of treated snails were also done for result confirmation. Treatment of snails by chloroform extract recorded reduction in egg laying capacity, decrease in cercarial shedding, diminution in phenol oxidase enzyme, disturbance in steroid sex hormones and sever alternation of the histopathological picture of snails tissue. In conclusion, H. tuberculatum recorded molluscicidal potency against B. alexandrina snails. Further studies are needed for its environmental applications. PMID:22771439

  13. Survival of the faucet snail after chemical disinfection, pH extremes, and heated water bath treatments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mitchell, A.J.; Cole, R.A.

    2008-01-01

    The faucet snail Bithynia tentaculata, a nonindigenous aquatic snail from Eurasia, was introduced into Lake Michigan in 1871 and has spread to the mid-Atlantic states, the Great Lakes region, Montana, and most recently, the Mississippi River. The faucet snail serves as intermediate host for several trematodes that have caused large-scale mortality among water birds, primarily in the Great Lakes region and Montana. It is important to limit the spread of the faucet snail; small fisheries equipment can serve as a method of snail distribution. Treatments with chemical disinfection, pH extremes, and heated water baths were tested to determine their effectiveness as a disinfectant for small fisheries equipment. Two treatments eliminated all test snails: (1) a 24-h exposure to Hydrothol 191 at a concentration of at least 20 mg/L and (2) a treatment with 50??C heated water for 1 min or longer. Faucet snails were highly resistant to ethanol, NaCl, formalin, Lysol, potassium permanganate, copper sulfate, Baquacil, Virkon, household bleach, and pH extremes (as low as 1 and as high as 13).

  14. Role of the lymnaeid snail Pseudosuccinea columella in the transmission of the liver fluke Fasciola hepatica in Egypt.

    PubMed

    Dar, Y; Vignoles, P; Rondelaud, D; Dreyfuss, G

    2015-11-01

    Experimental infections of three Egyptian Pseudosuccinea columella populations with sympatric miracidia of Fasciola sp., coming from cattle- or sheep-collected eggs, were carried out to determine the capacity of this lymnaeid to support larval development of the parasite. Using microsatellite markers, the isolates of Egyptian miracidia were identified as Fasciola hepatica. Apart from being independent of snail origin, prevalences ranging from 60.4 to 75.5% in snails infected with five miracidia of F. hepatica were significantly higher than values of 30.4 to 42.2% in snails with bi-miracidial infections. The number of metacercariae ranged from 243 to 472 per cercarial-shedding snail and was independent of snail origin, parasite origin and miracidial dose used for infection. If P. columella was subjected to two successive bi-miracidial infections with F. hepatica, prevalence of infection was 63.3%, with a mean of 311 metacercariae per snail. These values were clearly greater than those already reported for Radix natalensis infected with the same parasite and the same protocol. Successful experimental infection of P. columella with F. hepatica suggests that this lymnaeid snail is an important intermediate host for the transmission of fascioliasis in Egypt. PMID:24865184

  15. Schistosoma haematobium detection in snails by DraI PCR and Sh110/Sm-Sl PCR: further evidence of the interruption of schistosomiasis transmission in Morocco

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background This is the first study in Morocco to estimate snail infection rates at the last historic transmission sites of schistosomiasis, known to be free from new infection among humans since 2004. Screening of large numbers of snails for infection is one way to confirm that Schistosoma haematobium transmission has stopped and does not resurge. Methods A total of 2703 Bulinus truncatus snails were collected from 24 snail habitats in five provinces of Morocco: Errachidia, El Kelaa des Sraghna, Tata, Beni Mellal, and Chtouka Ait Baha. All visible snails were collected with a scoop net or by hand. We used waders and gloves as simple precautions. Snails were morphologically identified according to Moroccan Health Ministry guide of schistosomiasis (1982). All snails were analyzed in pools by molecular tool, using primers from the newly identified repeated DNA sequence, termed DraI, in the S. haematobium group. To distinguish S. bovis and S. haematobium, the snails were analyzed by Sh110/Sm-Sl PCR that was specific of S. haematobium. Results The results showed that snails from Errachidia, Chtouka Ait Baha, sector of Agoujgal in Tata and sector of Mbarkiya in El kelaa des Sraghna were negative for DraI PCR; but, snails from remaining snail habitats of El Kelaa des Sraghna, Tata and Beni Mellal were positive. This led to suggest the presence of circulating schistosome species (S. haematobium, S. bovis or others) within these positive snail habitats. Subsequently, confirmation with S. haematobium species specific molecular assay, Sh110/Sm-Sl PCR, showed that none of the collected snails were infected by S. haematobium in all historic endemic areas. Conclusion The absence of S. haematobium infection in snails supports the argument of S. haematobium transmission interruption in Morocco. PMID:24962624

  16. Accessing commercial cloud resources within the European Helix Nebula cloud marketplace

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cordeiro, C.; De Salvo, A.; Di Girolamo, A.; Field, L.; Giordano, D.; Jones, R.; Villazon, L.

    2015-12-01

    Helix Nebula - the Science Cloud Initiative - is a public-private partnership between Europe's leading scientific research organisations and European IT cloud providers. CERN contributed to this initiative by providing a flagship use case: the workloads from the ATLAS experiment. Aiming to gain experience in managing and monitoring large-scale deployments, as well as in benchmarking the cloud resources, a sizable Monte Carlo production was performed using the Helix Nebula platform. This contribution describes the Helix Nebula initiative and summarizes the experience and the lessons learned from deploying ATLAS experiment application within large cloud setups involving several commercial providers.

  17. Identification of SNAIL1 Peptide-Based Irreversible Lysine-Specific Demethylase 1-Selective Inactivators.

    PubMed

    Itoh, Yukihiro; Aihara, Keisuke; Mellini, Paolo; Tojo, Toshifumi; Ota, Yosuke; Tsumoto, Hiroki; Solomon, Viswas Raja; Zhan, Peng; Suzuki, Miki; Ogasawara, Daisuke; Shigenaga, Akira; Inokuma, Tsubasa; Nakagawa, Hidehiko; Miyata, Naoki; Mizukami, Tamio; Otaka, Akira; Suzuki, Takayoshi

    2016-02-25

    Inhibition of lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1), a flavin-dependent histone demethylase, has recently emerged as a new strategy for treating cancer and other diseases. LSD1 interacts physically with SNAIL1, a member of the SNAIL/SCRATCH family of transcription factors. This study describes the discovery of SNAIL1 peptide-based inactivators of LSD1. We designed and prepared SNAIL1 peptides bearing a propargyl amine, hydrazine, or phenylcyclopropane moiety. Among them, peptide 3, bearing hydrazine, displayed the most potent LSD1-inhibitory activity in enzyme assays. Kinetic study and mass spectrometric analysis indicated that peptide 3 is a mechanism-based LSD1 inhibitor. Furthermore, peptides 37 and 38, which consist of cell-membrane-permeable oligoarginine conjugated with peptide 3, induced a dose-dependent increase of dimethylated Lys4 of histone H3 in HeLa cells, suggesting that they are likely to exhibit LSD1-inhibitory activity intracellularly. In addition, peptide 37 decreased the viability of HeLa cells. We believe this new approach for targeting LSD1 provides a basis for development of potent selective inhibitors and biological probes for LSD1. PMID:26700437

  18. Angiotensin II Contributes to Diabetic Renal Dysfunction in Rodents and Humans via Notch1/Snail Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Gagliardini, Elena; Perico, Norberto; Rizzo, Paola; Buelli, Simona; Longaretti, Lorena; Perico, Luca; Tomasoni, Susanna; Zoja, Carla; Macconi, Daniela; Morigi, Marina; Remuzzi, Giuseppe; Benigni, Ariela

    2014-01-01

    In nondiabetic rat models of renal disease, angiotensin II (Ang II) perpetuates podocyte injury and promotes progression to end-stage kidney disease. Herein, we wanted to explore the role of Ang II in diabetic nephropathy by a translational approach spanning from in vitro to in vivo rat and human studies, and to dissect the intracellular pathways involved. In isolated perfused rat kidneys and in cultured human podocytes, Ang II down-regulated nephrin expression via Notch1 activation and nuclear translocation of Snail. Hairy enhancer of split-1 was a Notch1-downstream gene effector that activated Snail in cultured podocytes. In vitro changes of the Snail/nephrin axis were similar to those in renal biopsy specimens of Zucker diabetic fatty rats and patients with advanced diabetic nephropathy, and were normalized by pharmacological inhibition of the renin-angiotensin system. Collectively, the present studies provide evidence that Ang II plays a relevant role in perpetuating glomerular injury in experimental and human diabetic nephropathy via persistent activation of Notch1 and Snail signaling in podocytes, eventually resulting in down-regulation of nephrin expression, the integrity of which is crucial for the glomerular filtration barrier. PMID:23707238

  19. A study on biological control of six fresh water snails of medical and veterinary importance.

    PubMed

    Abd-Allah, Karim F; Negm-Eldin, Mohsen M; Saleh, Mohamed H; El-Hamshary, Azza M S; El-Gozamy, Bothina M R; Aly, Nagwa S M

    2009-04-01

    This study evaluated the molluscicidal effect of Commiphora mnolmol oil extract (Myrrh), on control of six fresh water snails (Lymnaea natalensis, Bulinus truncatus, Biomphalaria alexandrina, Physa acuta, Melania tuberculata and Cleopatra bulimoides). Also, the extract effect on the egg masses of L. natalensis, B. truncatus, B. alexandrina and Ph. acuta was evaluated. Snails and egg masses were exposed at 16-20 degrees C to various concentrations (conc.). LD50 after 24 hours expo-sure were 264/132, 283/195, 230/252, 200/224, 241/246 & 241/246 ppm for young/adult of L. natalensis, B. truncatus, B. alexandrina, Ph. acuta, M. tuberculata and C. bulimnoides respectively. LDtoo after 24 hours exposure were 400/400 for L. natalensis, B. truncatus, B. alexandrina, M. tuberculata and C. bulimoides, and 300/300 for Ph. acuta. Also, complete mortality (100%) was achieved for the egg masses of L. natalensis, B. truncatus, B. alexandrina and Ph. acuta at concentrations of 300, 200, 300 & 400 ppm respectively. Lower concentrations gave the same results after longer exposure. LD100 of C. molmol oil extract (Myrrh) had a rapid lethal effect on the six snail species and their egg masses in high conc. of 300 & 400 ppm. Commiphora molmol is a promising plant to be included with the candidate plant molluscicides. The oil extract of this plant showed a remarkable molluscicidal activity against used snail species. PMID:19530615

  20. Regulation of heterochromatin transcription by Snail1/LOXL2 during epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition.

    PubMed

    Millanes-Romero, Alba; Herranz, Nicolás; Perrera, Valentina; Iturbide, Ane; Loubat-Casanovas, Jordina; Gil, Jesús; Jenuwein, Thomas; García de Herreros, Antonio; Peiró, Sandra

    2013-12-12

    Although heterochromatin is enriched with repressive traits, it is also actively transcribed, giving rise to large amounts of noncoding RNAs. Although these RNAs are responsible for the formation and maintenance of heterochromatin, little is known about how their transcription is regulated. Here, we show that the Snail1 transcription factor represses mouse pericentromeric transcription, acting through the H3K4 deaminase LOXL2. Since Snail1 plays a key role in the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), we analyzed the regulation of heterochromatin transcription in this process. At the onset of EMT, one of the major structural heterochromatin proteins, HP1α, is transiently released from heterochromatin foci in a Snail1/LOXL2-dependent manner, concomitantly with a downregulation of major satellite transcription. Moreover, preventing the downregulation of major satellite transcripts compromised the migratory and invasive behavior of mesenchymal cells. We propose that Snail1 regulates heterochromatin transcription through LOXL2, thus creating the favorable transcriptional state necessary for completing EMT. PMID:24239292

  1. Plasticity as Phenotype: G x E Interaction in a Freshwater Snail

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brunkow, P. E.; Calloway, S. A.

    2005-05-01

    Plasticity in morphological development allows species to accommodate environmental variation experienced during growth; however, genetic variation for phenotypic plasticity per se has been relatively under-studied. We utilized the well-documented plastic response of shell development to predator cues in a freshwater snail to quantify genetic variation for plasticity in growth rate and shell shape. Field-caught pairs of snails reproduced in the laboratory to create families of full siblings, which were then divided and allowed to grow in control and predator cue treatments. Predator (crayfish) cues had significant effects on both size-corrected growth rate and shell shape; family identity also significantly affected both final shell shape and growth rate. The interaction between predator treatment and family identity significantly affected snail growth rate but not final shell shape, suggesting genetic variation in the plastic response to predator cues for a physiological variable (growth rate) but not for a variable known to mechanically reduce the risk of predation (shell shape), at least in this population of snails. The possibility that risk of multiple modes of predation (i.e., both fish and crayfish) in some populations might maintain genetic variation in morphological plasticity is discussed.

  2. NF-κB and Snail1a coordinate the cell cycle with gastrulation

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xiaolin; Huang, Sizhou; Ma, Jun; Li, Chun; Zhang, Yaoguang

    2009-01-01

    The cell cycle needs to strictly coordinate with developmental processes to ensure correct generation of the body plan and different tissues. However, the molecular mechanism underlying the coordination remains largely unknown. In this study, we investigate how the cell cycle coordinates gastrulation cell movements in zebrafish. We present a system to modulate the cell cycle in early zebrafish embryos by manipulating the geminin-Cdt1 balance. Alterations of the cell cycle change the apoptotic level during gastrulation, which correlates with the nuclear level of antiapoptotic nuclear factor κB (NF-κB). NF-κB associates with the Snail1a promoter region on the chromatin and directly activates Snail1a, an important factor controlling cell delamination, which is the initial step of mesendodermal cell movements during gastrulation. In effect, the cell cycle coordinates the delamination of mesendodermal cells through the transcription of Snail1a. Our results suggest a molecular mechanism by which NF-κB and Snail1a coordinate the cell cycle through gastrulation. PMID:19307597

  3. NF-kappaB and Snail1a coordinate the cell cycle with gastrulation.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiaolin; Huang, Sizhou; Ma, Jun; Li, Chun; Zhang, Yaoguang; Luo, Lingfei

    2009-03-23

    The cell cycle needs to strictly coordinate with developmental processes to ensure correct generation of the body plan and different tissues. However, the molecular mechanism underlying the coordination remains largely unknown. In this study, we investigate how the cell cycle coordinates gastrulation cell movements in zebrafish. We present a system to modulate the cell cycle in early zebrafish embryos by manipulating the geminin-Cdt1 balance. Alterations of the cell cycle change the apoptotic level during gastrulation, which correlates with the nuclear level of antiapoptotic nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB). NF-kappaB associates with the Snail1a promoter region on the chromatin and directly activates Snail1a, an important factor controlling cell delamination, which is the initial step of mesendodermal cell movements during gastrulation. In effect, the cell cycle coordinates the delamination of mesendodermal cells through the transcription of Snail1a. Our results suggest a molecular mechanism by which NF-kappaB and Snail1a coordinate the cell cycle through gastrulation. PMID:19307597

  4. Exposure to novel odors induces opioid-mediated analgesia in the land snail, Cepaea nemoralis.

    PubMed

    Kavaliers, M; Tepperman, F S

    1988-11-01

    Land snails, Cepaea nemoralis, that were exposed for 1-30 min to a novel odor of either peppermint extract or vegetable juice concentrate displayed an increase in the latency of their nociceptive response to an aversive thermal stimulus (40 degrees C, hot-plate). This "analgesic" response, which entailed the elevation of the fully extended foot in hydrated snails, was evident directly after exposure to the novel chemostimuli and lasted for 15-30 min. This novelty-induced analgesia was blocked by the exogenous opiate antagonist naloxone. Analgesia was not observed in snails that were exposed to the same olfactory cue 4 or 24 h later, but was evident when the alternate novel odor (peppermint or vegetable juice) was presented. However, a significant analgesia was displayed by snails that were reexposed to their initial olfactory stimulus after 48-72 h. These findings indicate that exposure to a novel olfactory stimulus can activate endogenous opioid systems and induce an analgesic response in mollusks. PMID:2849409

  5. Specialized insulin is used for chemical warfare by fish-hunting cone snails

    PubMed Central

    Safavi-Hemami, Helena; Gajewiak, Joanna; Karanth, Santhosh; Robinson, Samuel D.; Ueberheide, Beatrix; Douglass, Adam D.; Schlegel, Amnon; Imperial, Julita S.; Watkins, Maren; Bandyopadhyay, Pradip K.; Yandell, Mark; Li, Qing; Purcell, Anthony W.; Norton, Raymond S.; Ellgaard, Lars; Olivera, Baldomero M.

    2015-01-01

    More than 100 species of venomous cone snails (genus Conus) are highly effective predators of fish. The vast majority of venom components identified and functionally characterized to date are neurotoxins specifically targeted to receptors, ion channels, and transporters in the nervous system of prey, predators, or competitors. Here we describe a venom component targeting energy metabolism, a radically different mechanism. Two fish-hunting cone snails, Conus geographus and Conus tulipa, have evolved specialized insulins that are expressed as major components of their venoms. These insulins are distinctive in having much greater similarity to fish insulins than to the molluscan hormone and are unique in that posttranslational modifications characteristic of conotoxins (hydroxyproline, γ-carboxyglutamate) are present. When injected into fish, the venom insulin elicits hypoglycemic shock, a condition characterized by dangerously low blood glucose. Our evidence suggests that insulin is specifically used as a weapon for prey capture by a subset of fish-hunting cone snails that use a net strategy to capture prey. Insulin appears to be a component of the nirvana cabal, a toxin combination in these venoms that is released into the water to disorient schools of small fish, making them easier to engulf with the snail’s distended false mouth, which functions as a net. If an entire school of fish simultaneously experiences hypoglycemic shock, this should directly facilitate capture by the predatory snail. PMID:25605914

  6. 76 FR 31866 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Reclassification of the Tulotoma Snail From...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-06-02

    ... in the Federal Register on June 22, 2010 (75 FR 35424). The tulotoma snail (Tulotoma magnifica... Coosa River drainage (56 FR 797; January 9, 1991). These included approximately a 3-kilometer (km) (1.8... species prior to June 22, 2010, are outlined in our proposed rule for this reclassification (75 FR...

  7. Atrazine does not affect algal biomass or snail populations in microcosm communities at environmentally relevant concentrations.

    PubMed

    Baxter, Leilan R; Moore, Dana L; Sibley, Paul K; Solomon, Keith R; Hanson, Mark L

    2011-07-01

    The herbicide atrazine is a photosynthetic inhibitor used around the world in agricultural applications. Contamination of surface waters adjacent to treated areas can directly reduce growth of nontarget aquatic autotrophs, but the severity of impacts is highly dependent on species sensitivity and exposure concentration. Secondary effects resulting from macrophyte or phytoplankton decline may include an expansion of the more tolerant periphyton community. Recently, this shift in the autotrophic community has been proposed as a mechanism for increased rates of parasite infections in amphibians via augmented populations of aquatic snails which act as intermediate hosts to larval trematodes. To further clarify this relationship, an outdoor microcosm study was conducted to examine the effects of atrazine on primary production and snail populations over a range of environmentally relevant concentrations. In July 2009, 15 experimental ponds were treated to achieve initial concentrations of 0, 1, 10, 30, and 100 µg/L atrazine. Over a period of 73 d, measures were taken of macrophyte, phytoplankton, and periphyton biomass, growth, and fecundity of caged snails (Physella spp. and Stagnicola elodes) and free-living snails (Physella spp.). Except for declines in macrophyte biomass at the highest treatment level, no consistent relationships were found between atrazine concentration and any measured parameter. Comparison of these results with previous findings highlights the variability of responses to atrazine exposure between similarly constructed freshwater communities, even at concentrations up to 20 times higher than sustained environmental levels. PMID:21567448

  8. A "Love" Dart Allohormone Identified in the Mucous Glands of Hermaphroditic Land Snails.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Michael J; Wang, Tianfang; Koene, Joris M; Storey, Kenneth B; Cummins, Scott F

    2016-04-01

    Animals have evolved many ways to enhance their own reproductive success. One bizarre sexual ritual is the "love" dart shooting of helicid snails, which has courted many theories regarding its precise function. Acting as a hypodermic needle, the dart transfers an allohormone that increases paternity success. Its precise physiological mechanism of action within the recipient snail is to close off the entrance to the sperm digestion organ via a contraction of the copulatory canal, thereby delaying the digestion of most donated sperm. In this study, we used the common garden snailCornu aspersumto identify the allohormone that is responsible for this physiological change in the female system of this simultaneous hermaphrodite. The love dart allohormone (LDA) was isolated from extracts derived from mucous glands that coat the dart before it is stabbed through the partner's body wall. We isolated LDA from extracts using bioassay-guided contractility measurement of the copulatory canal. LDA is encoded within a 235-amino acid precursor protein containing multiple cleavage sites that, when cleaved, releases multiple bioactive peptides. Synthetic LDA also stimulated copulatory canal contractility. Combined with our finding that the protein amino acid sequence resembles previously described molluscan buccalin precursors, this indicates that LDA is partially conserved in helicid snails and less in other molluscan species. In summary, our study provides the full identification of an allohormone that is hypodermically injected via a love dart. More importantly, our findings have important consequences for understanding reproductive biology and the evolution of alternative reproductive strategies. PMID:26817846

  9. THE BIOCIDE TRIBUTYLTIN ALTERS TESTOSTERONE ESTERIFICATION IN MUD SNAILS (ILYANASSA OBSOLETA)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Biocide Tributyltin Alters Testosterone Esterification in Mud Snails (Ilyanassa obsoleta)

    Meredith P. Gooding and Gerald A. LeBlanc
    Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7633

    Tributyltin (TBT...

  10. Mitochondrial Genome Sequence of the Galápagos Endemic Land Snail Naesiotus nux

    PubMed Central

    Hunter, Samuel S.; Settles, Matthew L.; New, Daniel D.; Parent, Christine E.

    2016-01-01

    We report herein the draft mitochondrial genome sequence of Naesiotus nux, a Galápagos endemic land snail species of the genus Naesiotus. The circular genome is 15 kb and encodes 13 protein-coding genes, 2 rRNA genes, and 21 tRNA genes. PMID:26798085

  11. Effect of snails (Elimia clavaeformis) on phosphorus cycling in stream periphyton and leaf detritus communities

    SciTech Connect

    Jay, E.A.

    1993-10-01

    In this study, the author examined the effect of grazing on phosphorus cycling in stream periphyton and leaf detritus communities using the snail Elimia clavaeformis. Phosphorus cycling fluxes and turnover rates were measured in a laboratory and in a natural stream, respectively, using radioactive tracer techniques.

  12. Larval dermestid beetles feeding on nestling snail kites, wood storks, and great blue herons

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Snyder, N.F.R.; Ogden, J.C.; Bittner, J.D.; Grau, G.A.

    1984-01-01

    In recent years abdominal lesions attributable to larval dermestid beetles (Dermestes nidum) have appeared in nestling Snail (Everglade) Kites (Rostrhamus sociabilis), Wood Storks (Mycteria americana), and Great Blue Herons (Ardea herodias). Although it appears that most nestlings affected have survived, the degree of threat posed by dermestid larvae to various avian species is as yet unclear.

  13. Larval dermestid beetles feeding on nestling snail kites, wood storks, and great blue herons

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Snyder, N.F.R.; Ogden, J.C.; Bittner, J.D.; Grau, G.A.

    1984-01-01

    In recent years abdominal lesions attributable to larval dermestid beetles (D. nidum) have appeared in nestling snail (Everglade) kites (R. sociabilis), wood storks (M. americana) and great blue herons (A. herodias). Although it appears that most nestlings affected have survived, the degree of threat posed by dermestid larvae to various avian species is as yet unclear.

  14. Tropical sea snail shells: Possible exotic sources for ceramic biomaterial synthesis

    SciTech Connect

    Oktar, F. N.; Kiyici, I. A.; Gökçe, H.; Ağaogulları, D.; Kayali, E. S.

    2013-12-16

    In this study, chemical and structural properties of sea snail shell based bioceramic materials (i.e. hydroxyapatite, whitlockite and other phases) are produced by using mechano-chemical (ultrasonic) conversion method. For this purpose, differential thermal and gravimetric analysis (DTA/TG), X-ray diffraction, infra-red (IR) and scanning electron microscope (SEM) studies are performed.

  15. A multiplex PCR for the detection of Fasciola hepatica in the intermediate snail host Galba cubensis.

    PubMed

    Alba, Annia; Vázquez, Antonio A; Hernández, Hilda; Sánchez, Jorge; Marcet, Ricardo; Figueredo, Mabel; Sarracent, Jorge; Fraga, Jorge

    2015-07-30

    Fasciolosis is a snail-borne trematode infection that has re-emerged as a human disease, and is considered a significant problem for veterinary medicine worldwide. The evaluation of the transmission risk of fasciolosis as well as the efficacy of the strategies for its control could be carried out through epidemiological surveillance of the snails that act as intermediate hosts of the parasites. The present study aimed to develop the first multiplex PCR to detect Fasciola hepatica in Galba cubensis, an important intermediate host of the parasite in the Americas and especially in the Caribbean basin. The multiplex PCR was optimized for the amplification of a 340 bp fragment of the second internal transcribed spacer (ITS-2) of F. hepatica rDNA, while another set of primers was designed and used to amplify a conserved segment of the nuclear 18S rDNA of the snail (451 bp), as an internal control of the reaction. The assay was able to detect up to 100 pg of the parasite even at high concentrations of snail DNA, an analytical sensitivity that allows the detection of less than a single miracidium, which is the minimal biological infestation unit. A controlled laboratory-reared G. cubensis - F. hepatica system was used for the evaluation of the developed multiplex PCR, and 100% sensitivity and specificity was achieved. This assay constitutes a novel, useful and suitable technique for the survey of fasciolosis transmission through one of the main intermediate hosts in the Western hemisphere. PMID:26012858

  16. Effects of Endosulfan on Predator-Prey Interactions Between Catfish and Schistosoma Host Snails.

    PubMed

    Monde, Concillia; Syampungani, Stephen; Van den Brink, Paul J

    2016-08-01

    The effect of the pesticide endosulfan on predator-prey interactions between catfish and Schistosoma host snails was assessed in static tank experiments. Hybrid catfish (Clarias gariepinus × C. ngamensis) and Bulinus globosus were subjected to various endosulfan concentrations including an untreated control. The 48- and 96-h LC50 values for catfish were 1.0 and <0.5 µg/L, respectively, whereas the 48- and 96-h LC50 values for snails were 1137 and 810 µg/L. To assess sublethal effects on the feeding of the catfish on B. globosus, endosulfan concentrations between 0.03 and 1.0 µg/L were used. Predation was significantly greater (p < 0.001) in control tanks than in all other treatments. There was progressively decreasing predation with increasing toxicant concentration. Biological control of Schistosoma host snails using fish may be affected in endosulfan-polluted aquatic systems of Southern Africa because it has been found present at concentrations that are indicated to cause lethal effects on the evaluated hybrid catfish and to inhibit the predation of snails by this hybrid catfish. PMID:27033099

  17. Evolution of whole-body enantiomorphy in the tree snail genus Amphidromus

    PubMed Central

    SUTCHARIT, C; ASAMI, T; PANHA, S

    2007-01-01

    Diverse animals exhibit left–right asymmetry in development. However, no example of dimorphism for the left–right polarity of development (whole-body enantiomorphy) is known to persist within natural populations. In snails, whole-body enantiomorphs have repeatedly evolved as separate species. Within populations, however, snails are not expected to exhibit enantiomorphy, because of selection against the less common morph resulting from mating disadvantage. Here we present a unique example of evolutionarily stable whole-body enantiomorphy in snails. Our molecular phylogeny of South-east Asian tree snails in the genus Amphidromus indicates that enantiomorphy has likely persisted as the ancestral state over a million generations. Enantiomorphs have continuously coexisted in every population surveyed spanning a period of 10 years. Our results indicate that whole-body enantiomorphy is maintained within populations opposing the rule of directional asymmetry in animals. This study implicates the need for explicit approaches to disclosure of a maintenance mechanism and conservation of the genus. PMID:17305832

  18. Population genetics and the effects of a severe bottleneck in an ex situ population of critically endangered Hawaiian tree snails.

    PubMed

    Price, Melissa R; Hadfield, Michael G

    2014-01-01

    As wild populations decline, ex situ propagation provides a potential bank of genetic diversity and a hedge against extinction. These programs are unlikely to succeed if captive populations do not recover from the severe bottleneck imposed when they are founded with a limited number of individuals from remnant populations. In small captive populations allelic richness may be lost due to genetic drift, leading to a decline in fitness. Wild populations of the Hawaiian tree snail Achatinella lila, a hermaphroditic snail with a long life history, have declined precipitously due to introduced predators and other human impacts. A captive population initially thrived after its founding with seven snails, exceeding 600 captive individuals in 2009, but drastically declined in the last five years. Measures of fitness were examined from 2,018 captive snails that died between 1998 and 2012, and compared with genotypic data for six microsatellite loci from a subset of these deceased snails (N = 335), as well as live captive snails (N = 198) and wild snails (N = 92). Surprisingly, the inbreeding coefficient (Fis) declined over time in the captive population, and is now approaching values observed in the 2013 wild population, despite a significant decrease in allelic richness. However, adult annual survival and fecundity significantly declined in the second generation. These measures of fitness were positively correlated with heterozygosity. Snails with higher measures of heterozygosity had more offspring, and third generation offspring with higher measures of heterozygosity were more likely to reach maturity. These results highlight the importance of maintaining genetic diversity in captive populations, particularly those initiated with a small number of individuals from wild remnant populations. Genetic rescue may allow for an increase in genetic diversity in the captive population, as measures of heterozygosity and rarified allelic richness were higher in wild tree

  19. Elevated Snail Expression Mediates Tumor Progression in Areca Quid Chewing-Associated Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma via Reactive Oxygen Species

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Shiuan-Shinn; Tsai, Chung-Hung; Yu, Cheng-Chia; Chang, Yu-Chao

    2013-01-01

    Background Snail is an important transcription factor implicated in several tumor progression and can be induced by reactive oxygen species (ROS). Areca quid chewing is a major risk factor of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Therefore, we hypothesize that the major areca nut alkaloid arecoline may induce Snail via ROS and involve in the pathogenesis of areca quid chewing-associated OSCC. Methodology/Principal Finding Thirty-six OSCC and ten normal oral epithelium specimens were examined by immunohistochemistry and analyzed by the clinico-pathological profiles. Cytotoxicity, 2′, 7′-dichlorofluorescein diacetate assay, and western blot were used to investigate the effects of arecoline in human oral keratinocytes (HOKs) and oral epithelial cell line OECM-1 cells. In addition, antioxidants N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), curcumin, and epigallocatechin-3 gallate (EGCG) were added to find the possible regulatory mechanisms. Initially, Snail expression was significantly higher in OSCC specimens (p<0.05). Elevated Snail expression was associated with lymph node metastasis (p = 0.031) and poor differentiation (p = 0.017). Arecoline enhanced the generation of intracellular ROS at the concentration higher than 40 µg/ml (p<0.05). Arecoline was also found to induced Snail expression in a dose- and time-dependent manner (p<0.05). Treatment with NAC, curcumin, and EGCG markedly inhibited arecoline induced Snail expression (p<0.05). Conclusion/Significance: Our results suggest that Snail overexpression in areca quid chewing-associated OSCC is associated with tumors differentiation and lymph node metastasis. Arecoline-upregulated Snail expression may be mediated by ROS generation. In addition, arecoline induced Snail expression was downregulated by NAC, curcumin, and EGCG. PMID:23874481

  20. New insight in lymnaeid snails (Mollusca, Gastropoda) as intermediate hosts of Fasciola hepatica (Trematoda, Digenea) in Belgium and Luxembourg

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The present study aims to assess the epidemiological role of different lymnaeid snails as intermediate hosts of the liver fluke Fasciola hepatica in Belgium and Luxembourg. Methods During summer 2008, 7103 lymnaeid snails were collected from 125 ponds distributed in 5 clusters each including 25 ponds. Each cluster was located in a different biogeographic area of Belgium and Luxembourg. In addition, snails were also collected in sixteen other biotopes considered as temporary wet areas. These snails were identified as Galba truncatula (n = 2474) (the main intermediate host of F. hepatica in Europe) and Radix sp. (n = 4629). Moreover, several biological and non-biological variables were also recorded from the different biotopes. DNA was extracted from each snail collected using Chelex® technique. DNA samples were screened through a multiplex PCR that amplifies lymnaeid internal transcribed spacer 2 gene sequences (500–600 bp) (acting as an internal control) and a 124 bp fragment of repetitive DNA from Fasciola sp. Results Lymnaeid snails were found in 75 biotopes (53.2%). Thirty individuals of G. truncatula (1.31%) and 7 of Radix sp. (0.16%) were found to be positive for Fasciola sp. The seven positive Radix sp. snails all belonged to the species R. balthica (Linnaeus, 1758). Classification and regression tree analysis were performed in order to better understand links and relative importance of the different recorded factors. One of the best explanatory variables for the presence/absence of the different snail species seems to be the geographic location, whereas for the infection status of the snails no obvious relationship was linked to the presence of cattle. Conclusions Epidemiological implications of these findings and particularly the role of R. balthica as an alternative intermediate host in Belgium and Luxembourg were discussed. PMID:24524623