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Sample records for activity revealed significant

  1. Phylogenetic and experimental characterization of an acyl-ACP thioesterase family reveals significant diversity in enzymatic specificity and activity

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Acyl-acyl carrier protein thioesterases (acyl-ACP TEs) catalyze the hydrolysis of the thioester bond that links the acyl chain to the sulfhydryl group of the phosphopantetheine prosthetic group of ACP. This reaction terminates acyl chain elongation of fatty acid biosynthesis, and in plant seeds it is the biochemical determinant of the fatty acid compositions of storage lipids. Results To explore acyl-ACP TE diversity and to identify novel acyl ACP-TEs, 31 acyl-ACP TEs from wide-ranging phylogenetic sources were characterized to ascertain their in vivo activities and substrate specificities. These acyl-ACP TEs were chosen by two different approaches: 1) 24 TEs were selected from public databases on the basis of phylogenetic analysis and fatty acid profile knowledge of their source organisms; and 2) seven TEs were molecularly cloned from oil palm (Elaeis guineensis), coconut (Cocos nucifera) and Cuphea viscosissima, organisms that produce medium-chain and short-chain fatty acids in their seeds. The in vivo substrate specificities of the acyl-ACP TEs were determined in E. coli. Based on their specificities, these enzymes were clustered into three classes: 1) Class I acyl-ACP TEs act primarily on 14- and 16-carbon acyl-ACP substrates; 2) Class II acyl-ACP TEs have broad substrate specificities, with major activities toward 8- and 14-carbon acyl-ACP substrates; and 3) Class III acyl-ACP TEs act predominantly on 8-carbon acyl-ACPs. Several novel acyl-ACP TEs act on short-chain and unsaturated acyl-ACP or 3-ketoacyl-ACP substrates, indicating the diversity of enzymatic specificity in this enzyme family. Conclusion These acyl-ACP TEs can potentially be used to diversify the fatty acid biosynthesis pathway to produce novel fatty acids. PMID:21831316

  2. Gene Expression and Activity Profiling Reveal a Significant Contribution of Exo-Phosphotransferases to the Extracellular Nucleotides Metabolism in HUVEC Endothelial Cells.

    PubMed

    Wujak, Magdalena; Hetmann, Anna; Porowińska, Dorota; Roszek, Katarzyna

    2016-11-11

    Purinergic signaling maintains local tissue homeostasis in blood vessels via the regulation of vascular tone, blood platelet aggregation, cell proliferation, and differentiation as well as inflammatory responses. Extracellular purines are important signaling molecules in the vasculature, and both purine-hydrolysing as well as -phosphorylating enzymes are considered to selectively govern extracellular nucleotide/nucleoside metabolism. Recent studies have provided some evidence for the existence of these enzymes in a soluble form in human blood and their secretion into the extracellular space under physiological and pathological conditions. However, the comprehensive analysis of endothelium-derived enzymes involved in purine metabolic pathways has received no attention so far. In the presented study, in vitro cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) are shown to be an abundant source of exo-nucleotidases comprising 5'-nucleotidase (exo-5'-NT), and nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolases (exo-NTPDase) as well as phosphotransferases, represented by nucleoside diphosphate kinase (exo-NDPK) and adenylate kinase (exo-AK). An attempt is also made to demonstrate that, in contrast to the metabolic pattern determined on the endothelial cell surface, exo-phosphorylating activities markedly predominate over exo-hydrolytic ones. We present for the first time the expression profiles of genes encoding isoenzymes belonging to distinct nucleotide kinase and nucleotidase families. The genes encoding NDPK1, NDPK2, AK1, and AK2 phosphotransferases have been shown to be expressed at the highest level in HUVEC cells. The data indicate the coexistence of secreted and cell-associated factors of endothelial origin mediating ATP-consuming and ATP-generating pathways with the predominance of exo-phosphotransferases activity. The described enzymes contribute to the regulation of purinergic signal duration and extent in the venous vasculature. J. Cell. Biochem. 9999: 1

  3. Global Analysis of ATM Polymorphism Reveals Significant Functional Constraint

    PubMed Central

    Thorstenson, Yvonne R.; Shen, Peidong; Tusher, Virginia G.; Wayne, Tierney L.; Davis, Ronald W.; Chu, Gilbert; Oefner, Peter J.

    2001-01-01

    ATM, the gene that is mutated in ataxia-telangiectasia, is associated with cerebellar degeneration, abnormal proliferation of small blood vessels, and cancer. These clinically important manifestations have stimulated interest in defining the sequence variation in the ATM gene. Therefore, we undertook a comprehensive survey of sequence variation in ATM in diverse human populations. The protein-encoding exons of the gene (9,168 bp) and the adjacent intron and untranslated sequences (14,661 bp) were analyzed in 93 individuals from seven major human populations. In addition, the coding sequence was analyzed in one chimpanzee, one gorilla, one orangutan, and one Old World monkey. In human ATM, 88 variant sites were discovered by denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography, which is 96%–100% sensitive for detection of DNA sequence variation. ATM was compared to 14 other autosomal genes for nucleotide diversity. The noncoding regions of ATM had diversity values comparable to other genes, but the coding regions had very low diversity, especially in the last 29% of the protein sequence. A test of the neutral evolution hypothesis, through use of the Hudson/Kreitman/Aguadé statistic, revealed that this region of the human ATM gene was significantly constrained relative to that of the orangutan, the Old World monkey, and the mouse, but not relative to that of the chimpanzee or the gorilla. ATM displayed extensive linkage disequilibrium, consistent with suppression of meiotic recombination at this locus. Seven haplotypes were defined. Two haplotypes accounted for 82% of all chromosomes analyzed in all major populations; two others carrying the same D126E missense polymorphism accounted for 33% of chromosomes in Africa but were never observed outside of Africa. The high frequency of this polymorphism may be due either to a population expansion within Africa or to selective pressure. PMID:11443540

  4. Significant Quantum Effects in Hydrogen Activation

    SciTech Connect

    Kyriakou, Georgios; Davidson, Erlend R.; Peng, Guowen; Roling, Luke T.; Singh, Suyash; Boucher, Matthew B.; Marcinkowski, Matthew D.; Mavrikakis, Manos; Michaelides, Angelos; Sykes, E. Charles H.

    2014-03-31

    Dissociation of molecular hydrogen is an important step in a wide variety of chemical, biological, and physical processes. Due to the light mass of hydrogen, it is recognized that quantum effects are often important to its reactivity. However, understanding how quantum effects impact the reactivity of hydrogen is still in its infancy. Here, we examine this issue using a well-defined Pd/Cu(111) alloy that allows the activation of hydrogen and deuterium molecules to be examined at individual Pd atom surface sites over a wide range of temperatures. Experiments comparing the uptake of hydrogen and deuterium as a function of temperature reveal completely different behavior of the two species. The rate of hydrogen activation increases at lower sample temperature, whereas deuterium activation slows as the temperature is lowered. Density functional theory simulations in which quantum nuclear effects are accounted for reveal that tunneling through the dissociation barrier is prevalent for H2 up to 190 K and for D2 up to 140 K. Kinetic Monte Carlo simulations indicate that the effective barrier to H2 dissociation is so low that hydrogen uptake on the surface is limited merely by thermodynamics, whereas the D2 dissociation process is controlled by kinetics. These data illustrate the complexity and inherent quantum nature of this ubiquitous and seemingly simple chemical process. Examining these effects in other systems with a similar range of approaches may uncover temperature regimes where quantum effects can be harnessed, yielding greater control of bond-breaking processes at surfaces and uncovering useful chemistries such as selective bond activation or isotope separation.

  5. Significant Quantum Effects in Hydrogen Activation

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Dissociation of molecular hydrogen is an important step in a wide variety of chemical, biological, and physical processes. Due to the light mass of hydrogen, it is recognized that quantum effects are often important to its reactivity. However, understanding how quantum effects impact the reactivity of hydrogen is still in its infancy. Here, we examine this issue using a well-defined Pd/Cu(111) alloy that allows the activation of hydrogen and deuterium molecules to be examined at individual Pd atom surface sites over a wide range of temperatures. Experiments comparing the uptake of hydrogen and deuterium as a function of temperature reveal completely different behavior of the two species. The rate of hydrogen activation increases at lower sample temperature, whereas deuterium activation slows as the temperature is lowered. Density functional theory simulations in which quantum nuclear effects are accounted for reveal that tunneling through the dissociation barrier is prevalent for H2 up to ∼190 K and for D2 up to ∼140 K. Kinetic Monte Carlo simulations indicate that the effective barrier to H2 dissociation is so low that hydrogen uptake on the surface is limited merely by thermodynamics, whereas the D2 dissociation process is controlled by kinetics. These data illustrate the complexity and inherent quantum nature of this ubiquitous and seemingly simple chemical process. Examining these effects in other systems with a similar range of approaches may uncover temperature regimes where quantum effects can be harnessed, yielding greater control of bond-breaking processes at surfaces and uncovering useful chemistries such as selective bond activation or isotope separation. PMID:24684530

  6. Cytochrome bd Displays Significant Quinol Peroxidase Activity

    PubMed Central

    Al-Attar, Sinan; Yu, Yuanjie; Pinkse, Martijn; Hoeser, Jo; Friedrich, Thorsten; Bald, Dirk; de Vries, Simon

    2016-01-01

    Cytochrome bd is a prokaryotic terminal oxidase that catalyses the electrogenic reduction of oxygen to water using ubiquinol as electron donor. Cytochrome bd is a tri-haem integral membrane enzyme carrying a low-spin haem b558, and two high-spin haems: b595 and d. Here we show that besides its oxidase activity, cytochrome bd from Escherichia coli is a genuine quinol peroxidase (QPO) that reduces hydrogen peroxide to water. The highly active and pure enzyme preparation used in this study did not display the catalase activity recently reported for E. coli cytochrome bd. To our knowledge, cytochrome bd is the first membrane-bound quinol peroxidase detected in E. coli. The observation that cytochrome bd is a quinol peroxidase, can provide a biochemical basis for its role in detoxification of hydrogen peroxide and may explain the frequent findings reported in the literature that indicate increased sensitivity to hydrogen peroxide and decreased virulence in mutants that lack the enzyme. PMID:27279363

  7. Beyond Statistical Significance: Implications of Network Structure on Neuronal Activity

    PubMed Central

    Vlachos, Ioannis; Aertsen, Ad; Kumar, Arvind

    2012-01-01

    It is a common and good practice in experimental sciences to assess the statistical significance of measured outcomes. For this, the probability of obtaining the actual results is estimated under the assumption of an appropriately chosen null-hypothesis. If this probability is smaller than some threshold, the results are deemed statistically significant and the researchers are content in having revealed, within their own experimental domain, a “surprising” anomaly, possibly indicative of a hitherto hidden fragment of the underlying “ground-truth”. What is often neglected, though, is the actual importance of these experimental outcomes for understanding the system under investigation. We illustrate this point by giving practical and intuitive examples from the field of systems neuroscience. Specifically, we use the notion of embeddedness to quantify the impact of a neuron's activity on its downstream neurons in the network. We show that the network response strongly depends on the embeddedness of stimulated neurons and that embeddedness is a key determinant of the importance of neuronal activity on local and downstream processing. We extrapolate these results to other fields in which networks are used as a theoretical framework. PMID:22291581

  8. Metabolomics reveals significant variations in metabolites and correlations regarding the maturation of walnuts (Juglans regia L.)

    PubMed Central

    Rao, Guodong; Sui, Jinkai

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The content of walnut metabolites is related to its nutritive value and physiological characteristics, however, comprehensive information concerning the metabolome of walnut kernels is limited. In this study we analyzed the metabolites of walnut kernels at five developmental stages from filling to ripening using GC-MS-based untargeted metabolomics; of a total 252 peaks identified, 85 metabolites were positively identified. Further statistical analysis revealed that these 85 metabolites covered different types of metabolism pathways. PCA scores revealed that the metabolic compositions of the embryo are different at each stage, while the metabolic composition of the endotesta could not be significantly separated into distinct groups. Additionally, 7225 metabolite-metabolite correlations were detected in walnut kernel by a Pearson correlation coefficient approach; during screening of the calculated correlations, 463 and 1047 were determined to be significant with r2≥0.49 and had a false discovery rate (FDR) ≤0.05 in endotesta and embryo, respectively. This work provides the first comprehensive metabolomic study of walnut kernels and reveals that most of the carbohydrate and protein-derived carbon was transferred into other compounds, such as fatty acids, during the maturation of walnuts, which may potentially provide the basis for further studies on walnut kernel metabolism. PMID:27215321

  9. Metagenomic analysis reveals significant changes of microbial compositions and protective functions during drinking water treatment.

    PubMed

    Chao, Yuanqing; Ma, Liping; Yang, Ying; Ju, Feng; Zhang, Xu-Xiang; Wu, Wei-Min; Zhang, Tong

    2013-12-19

    The metagenomic approach was applied to characterize variations of microbial structure and functions in raw (RW) and treated water (TW) in a drinking water treatment plant (DWTP) at Pearl River Delta, China. Microbial structure was significantly influenced by the treatment processes, shifting from Gammaproteobacteria and Betaproteobacteria in RW to Alphaproteobacteria in TW. Further functional analysis indicated the basic metabolic functions of microorganisms in TW did not vary considerably. However, protective functions, i.e. glutathione synthesis genes in 'oxidative stress' and 'detoxification' subsystems, significantly increased, revealing the surviving bacteria may have higher chlorine resistance. Similar results were also found in glutathione metabolism pathway, which identified the major reaction for glutathione synthesis and supported more genes for glutathione metabolism existed in TW. This metagenomic study largely enhanced our knowledge about the influences of treatment processes, especially chlorination, on bacterial community structure and protective functions (e.g. glutathione metabolism) in ecosystems of DWTPs.

  10. Phylogeographic analysis reveals significant spatial genetic structure of Incarvillea sinensis as a product of mountain building

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Incarvillea sinensis is widely distributed from Southwest China to Northeast China and in the Russian Far East. The distribution of this species was thought to be influenced by the uplift of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and Quaternary glaciation. To reveal the imprints of geological events on the spatial genetic structure of Incarvillea sinensis, we examined two cpDNA segments ( trnH- psbA and trnS- trnfM) in 705 individuals from 47 localities. Results A total of 16 haplotypes was identified, and significant genetic differentiation was revealed (GST =0.843, NST = 0.975, P < 0.05). The survey detected two highly divergent cpDNA lineages connected by a deep gap with allopatric distributions: the southern lineage with higher genetic diversity and differentiation in the eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and the northern lineage in the region outside the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The divergence between these two lineages was estimated at 4.4 MYA. A correlation between the genetic and the geographic distances indicates that genetic drift was more influential than gene flow in the northern clade with lower diversity and divergence. However, a scenario of regional equilibrium between gene flow and drift was shown for the southern clade. The feature of spatial distribution of the genetic diversity of the southern lineage possibly indicated that allopatric fragmentation was dominant in the collections from the eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Conclusions The results revealed that the uplift of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau likely resulted in the significant divergence between the lineage in the eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the other one outside this area. The diverse niches in the eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau created a wide spectrum of habitats to accumulate and accommodate new mutations. The features of genetic diversity of populations outside the eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau seemed to reveal the imprints of extinction during the Glacial and the interglacial and

  11. Deuterium reveals the dynamics of notch activation.

    PubMed

    Raphael, Kopan

    2011-04-13

    Notch activation requires unfolding of a juxtamembrane negative regulatory domain (NRR). Tiyanont et al. (2011) analyzed the dynamics of NRR unfolding in the presence of EGTA. As predicted from the crystal structure and deletion analyses, the lin-Notch repeats unfold first, facilitating access by ADAM proteases. Surprisingly, the heterodimerization domain remains stable.

  12. β-Thalassemia Patients Revealed a Significant Change of Untargeted Metabolites in Comparison to Healthy Individuals

    PubMed Central

    Musharraf, Syed Ghulam; Iqbal, Ayesha; Ansari, Saqib Hussain; Parveen, Sadia; Khan, Ishtiaq Ahmad; Siddiqui, Amna Jabbar

    2017-01-01

    β-Thalassemia is one of the most prevalent forms of congenital blood disorders characterized by reduced hemoglobin levels with severe complications, affecting all dimensions of life. The mechanisms underlying the phenotypic heterogeneity of β-thalassemia are still poorly understood. We aimed to work over metabolite biomarkers to improve mechanistic understanding of phenotypic heterogeneity and hence better management of disorder at different levels. Untargeted serum metabolites were analyzed after protein precipitation and SPE (solid phase extraction) from 100 β-thalassemia patients and 61 healthy controls using GC-MS. 40 metabolites were identified having a significance difference between these two groups at probability of 0.05 and fold change >1.5. Out of these 40 metabolites, 17 were up-regulated while 23 were down-regulated. PCA and PLS-DA model was also created that revealed a fine separation with a sensitivity of 70% and specificity of 100% on external validation of samples. Metabolic pathway analysis revealed alteration in multiple pathways including glycolysis, pyruvate, propanoate, glycerophospholipid, galactose, fatty acid, starch and sucrose metabolism along with fatty acid elongation in mitochondria, glycerolipid, glyoxylate and dicarboxylate metabolism pointing towards the shift of metabolism in β-thalassemia patients in comparison to healthy individuals. PMID:28198811

  13. Transcriptomic Analysis Reveals Significant B Lymphocyte Suppression in Corticosteroid-Treated Hosts with Pneumocystis Pneumonia.

    PubMed

    Hu, Yang; Wang, Dong; Zhai, Kan; Tong, Zhaohui

    2017-03-01

    Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) is an opportunistic, infectious disease that is prevalent in immunosuppressed hosts. Corticosteroid treatment is the most significant risk factor for patients with PCP who are human immunodeficiency virus negative, although little is known about how corticosteroids alter the host defense against Pneumocystis infection. In the present study, we used transcriptome analysis to examine the immune response in the lungs of corticosteroid-treated PCP mice. The results showed down-regulation in the genes related to both native immunity, such as antigen processing and presentation, inflammatory response, and phagocytosis, as well as B and T lymphocyte immunity. The repression of gene expression, corresponding to B cell immunity, including B cell signaling, homeostasis, and Ig production, was prominent. The finding was confirmed by quantitative PCR of mouse lungs and the peripheral blood of patients with PCP. Flow cytometry also revealed a significant depletion of B cells in corticosteroid-treated PCP mice. Our study has highlighted that corticosteroid treatment suppresses the B cell immunity in the PCP host, which is likely one of the main reasons that corticosteroid treatment may stimulate PCP development.

  14. Seed metabolomic study reveals significant metabolite variations and correlations among different soybean cultivars.

    PubMed

    Lin, Hong; Rao, Jun; Shi, Jianxin; Hu, Chaoyang; Cheng, Fang; Wilson, Zoe A; Zhang, Dabing; Quan, Sheng

    2014-09-01

    Soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] is one of the world's major crops, and soybean seeds are a rich and important resource for proteins and oils. While "omics" studies, such as genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics, have been widely applied in soybean molecular research, fewer metabolomic studies have been conducted for large-scale detection of low molecular weight metabolites, especially in soybean seeds. In this study, we investigated the seed metabolomes of 29 common soybean cultivars through combined gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. One hundred sixty-nine named metabolites were identified and subsequently used to construct a metabolic network of mature soybean seed. Among the 169 detected metabolites, 104 were found to be significantly variable in their levels across tested cultivars. Metabolite markers that could be used to distinguish genetically related soybean cultivars were also identified, and metabolite-metabolite correlation analysis revealed some significant associations within the same or among different metabolite groups. Findings from this work may potentially provide the basis for further studies on both soybean seed metabolism and metabolic engineering to improve soybean seed quality and yield.

  15. Growth behaviors of bacteria reveal the evolutionary significance of energy-efficiency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maitra, Arijit; Dill, Ken

    2015-03-01

    Microorganisms have evolved a mosaic of gene expression changes to adapt their growth behaviors to changing environmental conditions. The subset of genes coding for the protein translation machineries, the ribosomes, however display robust linear activities with growth rates. Such patterns are considered to be the source of growth itself. There is another robust growth law, observed by Monod in the 1940s, in which bacteria are able to scale their growth with food concentration before plateauing off to a constant value. To interlink these observed growth laws we derive an analytical network model that leverages metabolic data to capture how the cell manages its exchange of energy to support costly gene expression. The model explores the limits of energy allocation for function and reveals evolutionary principles. Among others, we find, in glucose medium the fastest growing E. coli operate close to their maximum energy-efficiency. Optimization of energy efficiency provides a quantitative limit to how much energy is allocated for protein synthesis and it is determined by evolutionarily selected structural and biophysical constants. We conclude that energy efficiency has played a key role in bacterial evolution. Supported by the Laufer Center for Physical and Quantitative Biology, SBU.

  16. Adaptive significance of right hemisphere activation in aphasic language comprehension

    PubMed Central

    Meltzer, Jed A.; Wagage, Suraji; Ryder, Jennifer; Solomon, Beth; Braun, Allen R.

    2013-01-01

    Aphasic patients often exhibit increased right hemisphere activity during language tasks. This may represent takeover of function by regions homologous to the left-hemisphere language networks, maladaptive interference, or adaptation of alternate compensatory strategies. To distinguish between these accounts, we tested language comprehension in 25 aphasic patients using an online sentence-picture matching paradigm while measuring brain activation with MEG. Linguistic conditions included semantically irreversible (“The boy is eating the apple”) and reversible (“The boy is pushing the girl”) sentences at three levels of syntactic complexity. As expected, patients performed well above chance on irreversible sentences, and at chance on reversible sentences of high complexity. Comprehension of reversible non-complex sentences ranged from nearly perfect to chance, and was highly correlated with offline measures of language comprehension. Lesion analysis revealed that comprehension deficits for reversible sentences were predicted by damage to the left temporal lobe. Although aphasic patients activated homologous areas in the right temporal lobe, such activation was not correlated with comprehension performance. Rather, patients with better comprehension exhibited increased activity in dorsal fronto-parietal regions. Correlations between performance and dorsal network activity occurred bilaterally during perception of sentences, and in the right hemisphere during a post-sentence memory delay. These results suggest that effortful reprocessing of perceived sentences in short-term memory can support improved comprehension in aphasia, and that strategic recruitment of alternative networks, rather than homologous takeover, may account for some findings of right hemisphere language activation in aphasia. PMID:23566891

  17. Adaptive significance of right hemisphere activation in aphasic language comprehension.

    PubMed

    Meltzer, Jed A; Wagage, Suraji; Ryder, Jennifer; Solomon, Beth; Braun, Allen R

    2013-06-01

    Aphasic patients often exhibit increased right hemisphere activity during language tasks. This may represent takeover of function by regions homologous to the left-hemisphere language networks, maladaptive interference, or adaptation of alternate compensatory strategies. To distinguish between these accounts, we tested language comprehension in 25 aphasic patients using an online sentence-picture matching paradigm while measuring brain activation with MEG. Linguistic conditions included semantically irreversible ("The boy is eating the apple") and reversible ("The boy is pushing the girl") sentences at three levels of syntactic complexity. As expected, patients performed well above chance on irreversible sentences, and at chance on reversible sentences of high complexity. Comprehension of reversible non-complex sentences ranged from nearly perfect to chance, and was highly correlated with offline measures of language comprehension. Lesion analysis revealed that comprehension deficits for reversible sentences were predicted by damage to the left temporal lobe. Although aphasic patients activated homologous areas in the right temporal lobe, such activation was not correlated with comprehension performance. Rather, patients with better comprehension exhibited increased activity in dorsal fronto-parietal regions. Correlations between performance and dorsal network activity occurred bilaterally during perception of sentences, and in the right hemisphere during a post-sentence memory delay. These results suggest that effortful reprocessing of perceived sentences in short-term memory can support improved comprehension in aphasia, and that strategic recruitment of alternative networks, rather than homologous takeover, may account for some findings of right hemisphere language activation in aphasia.

  18. Vane blood-bathed technique reveals the significance of adrenergic reaction in myocardial infarction.

    PubMed

    Herbaczyńska-Cedro, Krystyna; Ceremuzyński, Leszek

    2010-01-01

    Using the blood-bathed technique of Vane we induced acute coronary occlusion in the dog and subsequently detected adrenaline release into the circulatory system, determined the rate of release and documented its significance for induction of cardiac arrhythmias. In the intact anesthetized dog, adrenaline excess of the magnitude released after coronary occlusion was sufficient to injure the healthy myocardium and to induce unfavorable metabolic systemic alterations. Subsequently, clinical research has documented that a serious clinical course of acute myocardial infarction is associated not only with enhanced excretion of catecholamines but also with augmentation of plasma renin activity and aldosterone levels. The positive therapeutic effect of aldosterone antagonists in acute myocardial infarction has been documented. The clinical value of our results, which were obtained in experimental and clinical studies, was later confirmed in multi-center trials.

  19. Seabird diving behaviour reveals the functional significance of shelf-sea fronts as foraging hotspots

    PubMed Central

    Miller, P. I.; Embling, C. B.; Bicknell, A. W. J.; Hosegood, P. J.; Morgan, G.; Ingram, S. N.

    2016-01-01

    Oceanic fronts are key habitats for a diverse range of marine predators, yet how they influence fine-scale foraging behaviour is poorly understood. Here, we investigated the dive behaviour of northern gannets Morus bassanus in relation to shelf-sea fronts. We GPS (global positioning system) tracked 53 breeding birds and examined the relationship between 1901 foraging dives (from time-depth recorders) and thermal fronts (identified via Earth Observation composite front mapping) in the Celtic Sea, Northeast Atlantic. We (i) used a habitat-use availability analysis to determine whether gannets preferentially dived at fronts, and (ii) compared dive characteristics in relation to fronts to investigate the functional significance of these oceanographic features. We found that relationships between gannet dive probabilities and fronts varied by frontal metric and sex. While both sexes were more likely to dive in the presence of seasonally persistent fronts, links to more ephemeral features were less clear. Here, males were positively correlated with distance to front and cross-front gradient strength, with the reverse for females. Both sexes performed two dive strategies: shallow V-shaped plunge dives with little or no active swim phase (92% of dives) and deeper U-shaped dives with an active pursuit phase of at least 3 s (8% of dives). When foraging around fronts, gannets were half as likely to engage in U-shaped dives compared with V-shaped dives, independent of sex. Moreover, V-shaped dive durations were significantly shortened around fronts. These behavioural responses support the assertion that fronts are important foraging habitats for marine predators, and suggest a possible mechanistic link between the two in terms of dive behaviour. This research also emphasizes the importance of cross-disciplinary research when attempting to understand marine ecosystems. PMID:27703698

  20. Seabird diving behaviour reveals the functional significance of shelf-sea fronts as foraging hotspots

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cox, S. L.; Miller, P. I.; Embling, C. B.; Scales, K. L.; Bicknell, A. W. J.; Hosegood, P. J.; Morgan, G.; Ingram, S. N.; Votier, S. C.

    2016-09-01

    Oceanic fronts are key habitats for a diverse range of marine predators, yet how they influence fine-scale foraging behaviour is poorly understood. Here, we investigated the dive behaviour of northern gannets Morus bassanus in relation to shelf-sea fronts. We GPS (global positioning system) tracked 53 breeding birds and examined the relationship between 1901 foraging dives (from time-depth recorders) and thermal fronts (identified via Earth Observation composite front mapping) in the Celtic Sea, Northeast Atlantic. We (i) used a habitat-use availability analysis to determine whether gannets preferentially dived at fronts, and (ii) compared dive characteristics in relation to fronts to investigate the functional significance of these oceanographic features. We found that relationships between gannet dive probabilities and fronts varied by frontal metric and sex. While both sexes were more likely to dive in the presence of seasonally persistent fronts, links to more ephemeral features were less clear. Here, males were positively correlated with distance to front and cross-front gradient strength, with the reverse for females. Both sexes performed two dive strategies: shallow V-shaped plunge dives with little or no active swim phase (92% of dives) and deeper U-shaped dives with an active pursuit phase of at least 3 s (8% of dives). When foraging around fronts, gannets were half as likely to engage in U-shaped dives compared with V-shaped dives, independent of sex. Moreover, V-shaped dive durations were significantly shortened around fronts. These behavioural responses support the assertion that fronts are important foraging habitats for marine predators, and suggest a possible mechanistic link between the two in terms of dive behaviour. This research also emphasizes the importance of cross-disciplinary research when attempting to understand marine ecosystems.

  1. Finding Significant Correlates of Conscious Activity in Rhythmic EEG

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Durka, Piotr J.

    2005-12-01

    One of the important issues in designing an EEG-based brain-computer interface is an exact delineation of the rhythms, related to the intended or performed action. Traditionally, related bands were found by trial and error procedures seeking maximum reactivity. Even then, large values of ERD/ERS did not imply the statistical significance of the results. This paper presents complete methodology, allowing for a high-resolution presentation of the whole time-frequency picture of event-related changes in the energy density of signals, revealing the microstructure of rhythms, and determination of the time-frequency regions of energy changes, which are related to the intentions in a statistically significant way.

  2. Activity screening of environmental metagenomic libraries reveals novel carboxylesterase families

    PubMed Central

    Popovic, Ana; Hai, Tran; Tchigvintsev, Anatoly; Hajighasemi, Mahbod; Nocek, Boguslaw; Khusnutdinova, Anna N.; Brown, Greg; Glinos, Julia; Flick, Robert; Skarina, Tatiana; Chernikova, Tatyana N.; Yim, Veronica; Brüls, Thomas; Paslier, Denis Le; Yakimov, Michail M.; Joachimiak, Andrzej; Ferrer, Manuel; Golyshina, Olga V.; Savchenko, Alexei; Golyshin, Peter N.; Yakunin, Alexander F.

    2017-01-01

    Metagenomics has made accessible an enormous reserve of global biochemical diversity. To tap into this vast resource of novel enzymes, we have screened over one million clones from metagenome DNA libraries derived from sixteen different environments for carboxylesterase activity and identified 714 positive hits. We have validated the esterase activity of 80 selected genes, which belong to 17 different protein families including unknown and cyclase-like proteins. Three metagenomic enzymes exhibited lipase activity, and seven proteins showed polyester depolymerization activity against polylactic acid and polycaprolactone. Detailed biochemical characterization of four new enzymes revealed their substrate preference, whereas their catalytic residues were identified using site-directed mutagenesis. The crystal structure of the metal-ion dependent esterase MGS0169 from the amidohydrolase superfamily revealed a novel active site with a bound unknown ligand. Thus, activity-centered metagenomics has revealed diverse enzymes and novel families of microbial carboxylesterases, whose activity could not have been predicted using bioinformatics tools. PMID:28272521

  3. Significantly different coagulation factor activities underlying the variability of 'normal' activated partial thromboplastin time.

    PubMed

    Park, Kyoung-Jin; Kwon, Eui-Hoon; Ma, Youngeun; Park, In-Ae; Kim, Seon-Woo; Kim, Sun-Hee; Kim, Hee-Jin

    2012-01-01

    The activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) is a widely used coagulation screening test in routine laboratories. The aPTT level in the control population varies and is reflected by the reference interval. However, there have been no studies to investigate the coagulation status determining the variability of the aPTT. The aim of this study was to investigate the coagulation factor activities underlying the variability of aPTT in the population. The study participants were reference individuals with prothrombin time and aPTT within reference intervals. The aPTT was determined using STA-PTT Automate (Diagnostica Stago, Asnieres, France; local reference interval, 29.1-41.9 s). Those with aPTT within the marginal ranges of reference interval were selected for factor assays. We defined the lower marginal group as the lowest 10 percentile of reference interval (29.1-30.9 s) and the upper marginal group as the highest 10 percentile (38.0-41.9 s). Activities of factor II, V, VIII, IX, X, XI, and XII were determined in both groups. The lower marginal and upper marginal groups consisted of 220 and 209 individuals, respectively. All coagulation factors were significantly higher in the lower marginal than in the upper marginal group (P = 0.0127 for factor II and P < 0.0001 for the others). Multiple logistic regression analyses revealed factor XII and VIII were two strongest contributors determining the aPTT level, whereas factor XI was not significantly different between the groups (P = 0.095). This study firstly demonstrated significantly different coagulation factor activities underlying the variability of aPTT in reference individuals. The results suggested the possibility of disease association or phenotypic contribution of variable coagulation activities in the population.

  4. Palaeoceanographic significance of sedimentary features at the Argentine continental margin revealed by multichannel seismic reflection data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gruetzner, Jens; Uenzelmann-Neben, Gabriele; Franke, Dieter

    2010-05-01

    The thermohaline circulation in the Argentine Basin today is characterized by the interaction of northward flowing Antarctic water masses (Antarctic Intermediate Water, AAIW; Circumpolar Deep Water, CDW; Antarctic Bottom Water, AABW) and southward flowing North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW). The transfer of heat and energy via both AABW and NADW constitutes an important component in maintaining the global conveyor belt. We aim at a better understanding of both paths and intensity of this current system in the past by investigating an extensive (> 11000 km) set of high quality seismic reflection profiles from the Argentine continental margin. The profiles show a significant contourite system containing both erosive and depositional features that formed through the evolution of water masses and their modifications (path, physical and chemical properties) due to plate tectonic events such as the opening of the Drake Passage or the extensive emplacement of volcanic flows at the Rio Grande Rise. Overall the depositional features indicate that along slope (contour current) transport dominates over down slope (turbiditic) processes at the southern Argentine margin south of 45° S. Further to the North down slope transport was more extensive as indicated by the presence of submarine canyons crossing the slope down to a depth of ~3500 m. Here we present preliminary results from the southern part of the continental margin (42°-50° S) where we focus on a set of ~50 km wide terraces on the slope and rise separated by contouritic channels. The terraces developed over time in alternating constructional (depositional) and erosive phases. An initial age frame was developed by mapping regional reflectors and seismic units known from previous studies. The sedimentary layer between regional reflectors AR 4 and AR 5 spanning roughly the time interval from the Eocene/Oligocene boundary to the early middle Miocene is thin (0.1 - 0.4 s TWT) below the Valentine Feilberg Terrace but

  5. Patient-Specific Simulations Reveal Significant Differences in Mechanical Stimuli in Venous and Arterial Coronary Grafts.

    PubMed

    Ramachandra, Abhay B; Kahn, Andrew M; Marsden, Alison L

    2016-08-01

    Mechanical stimuli are key to understanding disease progression and clinically observed differences in failure rates between arterial and venous grafts following coronary artery bypass graft surgery. We quantify biologically relevant mechanical stimuli, not available from standard imaging, in patient-specific simulations incorporating non-invasive clinical data. We couple CFD with closed-loop circulatory physiology models to quantify biologically relevant indices, including wall shear, oscillatory shear, and wall strain. We account for vessel-specific material properties in simulating vessel wall deformation. Wall shear was significantly lower (p = 0.014*) and atheroprone area significantly higher (p = 0.040*) in venous compared to arterial grafts. Wall strain in venous grafts was significantly lower (p = 0.003*) than in arterial grafts while no significant difference was observed in oscillatory shear index. Simulations demonstrate significant differences in mechanical stimuli acting on venous vs. arterial grafts, in line with clinically observed graft failure rates, offering a promising avenue for stratifying patients at risk for graft failure.

  6. Genomes of three tomato pathogens within the Ralstonia solanacearum species complex reveal significant evolutionary divergence

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The Ralstonia solanacearum species complex includes thousands of strains pathogenic to an unusually wide range of plant species. These globally dispersed and heterogeneous strains cause bacterial wilt diseases, which have major socio-economic impacts. Pathogenicity is an ancestral trait in R. solanacearum and strains with high genetic variation can be subdivided into four phylotypes, correlating to isolates from Asia (phylotype I), the Americas (phylotype IIA and IIB), Africa (phylotype III) and Indonesia (phylotype IV). Comparison of genome sequences strains representative of this phylogenetic diversity can help determine which traits allow this bacterium to be such a pathogen of so many different plant species and how the bacteria survive in many different habitats. Results The genomes of three tomato bacterial wilt pathogens, CFBP2957 (phy. IIA), CMR15 (phy. III) and PSI07 (phy. IV) were sequenced and manually annotated. These genomes were compared with those of three previously sequenced R. solanacearum strains: GMI1000 (tomato, phy. I), IPO1609 (potato, phy. IIB), and Molk2 (banana, phy. IIB). The major genomic features (size, G+C content, number of genes) were conserved across all of the six sequenced strains. Despite relatively high genetic distances (calculated from average nucleotide identity) and many genomic rearrangements, more than 60% of the genes of the megaplasmid and 70% of those on the chromosome are syntenic. The three new genomic sequences revealed the presence of several previously unknown traits, probably acquired by horizontal transfers, within the genomes of R. solanacearum, including a type IV secretion system, a rhi-type anti-mitotic toxin and two small plasmids. Genes involved in virulence appear to be evolving at a faster rate than the genome as a whole. Conclusions Comparative analysis of genome sequences and gene content confirmed the differentiation of R. solanacearum species complex strains into four phylotypes. Genetic

  7. Village energy survey reveals missing rural raw coal in northern China: Significance in science and policy.

    PubMed

    Zhi, Guorui; Zhang, Yayun; Sun, Jianzhong; Cheng, Miaomiao; Dang, Hongyan; Liu, Shijie; Yang, Junchao; Zhang, Yuzhe; Xue, Zhigang; Li, Shuyuan; Meng, Fan

    2017-04-01

    Burning coal for winter heating has been considered a major contributor to northern China's winter haze, with the district heating boilers holding the balance. However a decade of intensive efforts on district heating boilers brought few improvements to northern China's winter air quality, arousing a speculation that the household heating stoves mainly in rural area rather than the district heating boilers mainly in urban area dominate coal emissions in winter. This implies an extreme underestimation of rural household coal consumption by the China Energy Statistical Yearbooks (CESYs), although direct evidence supporting this speculation is lacking. A village energy survey campaign was launched to gather the firsthand information on household coal consumption in the rural areas of two cities, Baoding (in Hebei province) and Beijing (the capital of China). The survey data show that the rural raw coal consumption in Baoding (5.04 × 10(3) kt) was approximately 6.5 times the value listed in the official CESY 2013 and exceeded the rural total of whole Hebei Province (4668 kt), revealing a huge amount of raw coal missing from the current statistical system. More importantly, rural emissions of particulate matter (PM) and SO2 from raw coal, which had never been included in widely distributing environmental statistical reports, were found higher than those from industrial and urban household sectors in the two cities in 2013, which highlights the importance of rural coal burning in creating northern China's heavy haze and helps to explain why a number of modeling predictions on ambient pollutant concentrations based on normal emission inventories were more bias-prone in winter season than in other seasons. We therefore recommend placing greater emphasis on the "missing" rural raw coal to help China in its long-term ambition to achieve clean air in the context of rapid economic development.

  8. Investigation of seasonal melting of Greenland using GPS records reveals significant ice mass loss in 2010

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Q.; Dixon, T.; Wdowinski, S.

    2011-12-01

    Greenland has experienced significant ice mass loss in the past decade. High-precision global positioning system (GPS) data from sites on the rocky margin of Greenland enable measurement of vertical motion of the coastal area, which is an indicator of nearby mass loss. In this study, seasonal melting variation of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) is investigated using GPS vertical displacement data. Using a cubic spline fitting model, we retrieve three variables of the seasonal melting pattern for GrIS from 1996 to 2010: date of the beginning and end of melt season, length of melt season, and amount of uplift in the melt season. Data from three long -term sites on the periphery of Greenland show anomalously large uplift in 2010, implying significant melting in 2010. Preliminary results also show an early onset of melting in 2010, about 8 days earlier than the 1996-2009 average. In 2010, Greenland experienced a warmer and drier winter as well as a very warm summer, which presumably contributed to the anomalous ice mass loss of 2010.

  9. Diurnal sampling reveals significant variation in CO2 emission from a tropical productive lake.

    PubMed

    Reis, P C J; Barbosa, F A R

    2014-08-01

    It is well accepted in the literature that lakes are generally net heterotrophic and supersaturated with CO2 because they receive allochthonous carbon inputs. However, autotrophy and CO2 undersaturation may happen for at least part of the time, especially in productive lakes. Since diurnal scale is particularly important to tropical lakes dynamics, we evaluated diurnal changes in pCO2 and CO2 flux across the air-water interface in a tropical productive lake in southeastern Brazil (Lake Carioca) over two consecutive days. Both pCO2 and CO2 flux were significantly different between day (9:00 to 17:00) and night (21:00 to 5:00) confirming the importance of this scale for CO2 dynamics in tropical lakes. Net heterotrophy and CO2 outgassing from the lake were registered only at night, while significant CO2 emission did not happen during the day. Dissolved oxygen concentration and temperature trends over the diurnal cycle indicated the dependence of CO2 dynamics on lake metabolism (respiration and photosynthesis). This study indicates the importance of considering the diurnal scale when examining CO2 emissions from tropical lakes.

  10. Global gene expression profiles reveal significant nuclear reprogramming by the blastocyst stage after cloning.

    PubMed

    Smith, Sadie L; Everts, Robin E; Tian, X Cindy; Du, Fuliang; Sung, Li-Ying; Rodriguez-Zas, Sandra L; Jeong, Byeong-Seon; Renard, Jean-Paul; Lewin, Harris A; Yang, Xiangzhong

    2005-12-06

    Nuclear transfer (NT) has potential applications in agriculture and biomedicine, but the technology is hindered by low efficiency. Global gene expression analysis of clones is important for the comprehensive study of nuclear reprogramming. Here, we compared global gene expression profiles of individual bovine NT blastocysts with their somatic donor cells and fertilized control embryos using cDNA microarray technology. The NT embryos' gene expression profiles were drastically different from those of their donor cells and closely resembled those of the naturally fertilized embryos. Our findings demonstrate that the NT embryos have undergone significant nuclear reprogramming by the blastocyst stage; however, problems may occur during redifferentiation for tissue genesis and organogenesis, and small reprogramming errors may be magnified downstream in development.

  11. Denaturation studies reveal significant differences between GFP and blue fluorescent protein.

    PubMed

    Saeed, Ibtesam A; Ashraf, S Salman

    2009-10-01

    Green fluorescent protein (GFP) is an unusually stable fluorescent protein that belongs to a family of related auto-fluorescent proteins (AFPs). These AFPs have been generated from jellyfish GFP by mutating the amino acids in the chromophore or its vicinity. Variants that emit light in the blue region (Blue Fluorescent Protein, BFP), red region, or yellow region are readily available and are widely used in diverse applications. Previously, we had used fluorescence spectroscopy to study the effect of pH on the denaturation of GFP with SDS, urea, and heat. Surprisingly, we found that SDS, urea or heat, did not have any significant effect on the fluorescence of GFP at pH 7.5 or 8.5, however, at pH 6.5, the protein lost all fluorescence within a very short period of time. These results suggested that GFP undergoes a structural/stability shift between pH 6.5 and 7.5, with the GFP structure at pH 6.5 being very sensitive to denaturation by SDS, urea, and heat. In the present study, we wanted to explore whether the stability or structure of the closely related BFP is also pH dependent. As expected, we found heat-induced denaturation and renaturation of BFP to be pH dependent, very much like GFP. However, when exposed to other denaturants like urea/heat or SDS we found BFP to behave very differently than GFP. Unlike GFP, which at pH 8.5 and 7.5 is very resistant to SDS-induced denaturation, BFP readily lost about 20% of its fluorescence at pH 8.5 and about 60% fluorescence at pH 7.5. Also, our denaturation and renaturation studies show that under certain conditions, BFP is more stable than GFP, such that under conditions where GFP is completely denatured, BFP still retained significant fluorescence. Taken together, our preliminary results show that despite being very similar in both amino acid sequences and overall structures, there may be subtle and important structural/conformational differences between BFP and GFP.

  12. Comparative genomics reveals genes significantly associated with woody hosts in the plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae

    PubMed Central

    Laue, Bridget E.; Sharp, Paul M.; Green, Sarah

    2016-01-01

    Summary The diversification of lineages within Pseudomonas syringae has involved a number of adaptive shifts from herbaceous hosts onto various species of tree, resulting in the emergence of highly destructive diseases such as bacterial canker of kiwi and bleeding canker of horse chestnut. This diversification has involved a high level of gene gain and loss, and these processes are likely to play major roles in the adaptation of individual lineages onto their host plants. In order to better understand the evolution of P. syringae onto woody plants, we have generated de novo genome sequences for 26 strains from the P. syringae species complex that are pathogenic on a range of woody species, and have looked for statistically significant associations between gene presence and host type (i.e. woody or herbaceous) across a phylogeny of 64 strains. We have found evidence for a common set of genes associated with strains that are able to colonize woody plants, suggesting that divergent lineages have acquired similarities in genome composition that may form the genetic basis of their adaptation to woody hosts. We also describe in detail the gain, loss and rearrangement of specific loci that may be functionally important in facilitating this adaptive shift. Overall, our analyses allow for a greater understanding of how gene gain and loss may contribute to adaptation in P. syringae. PMID:27145446

  13. Classification of microvascular patterns via cluster analysis reveals their prognostic significance in glioblastoma.

    PubMed

    Chen, Long; Lin, Zhi-Xiong; Lin, Guo-Shi; Zhou, Chang-Fu; Chen, Yu-Peng; Wang, Xing-Fu; Zheng, Zong-Qing

    2015-01-01

    There are limited researches focusing on microvascular patterns (MVPs) in human glioblastoma and their prognostic impact. We evaluated MVPs of 78 glioblastomas by CD34/periodic acid-Schiff dual staining and by cluster analysis of the percentage of microvascular area for distinct microvascular formations. The distribution of 5 types of basic microvascular formations, that is, microvascular sprouting (MS), vascular cluster (VC), vascular garland (VG), glomeruloid vascular proliferation (GVP), and vasculogenic mimicry (VM), was variable. Accordingly, cluster analysis classified MVPs into 2 types: type I MVP displayed prominent MSs and VCs, whereas type II MVP had numerous VGs, GVPs, and VMs. By analyzing the proportion of microvascular area for each type of formation, we determined that glioblastomas with few MSs and VCs had many GVPs and VMs, and vice versa. VG seemed to be a transitional type of formation. In case of type I MVP, expression of Ki-67 and p53 but not MGMT was significantly higher as compared with those of type II MVP (P < .05). Survival analysis showed that the type of MVPs presented as an independent prognostic factor of progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) (both P < .001). Type II MVP had a more negative influence on PFS and OS than did type I MVP. We conclude that the heterogeneous MVPs in glioblastoma can be categorized properly by certain histopathologic and statistical analyses and may influence clinical outcome.

  14. Comparative proteomics reveals a significant bias toward alternative protein isoforms with conserved structure and function.

    PubMed

    Ezkurdia, Iakes; del Pozo, Angela; Frankish, Adam; Rodriguez, Jose Manuel; Harrow, Jennifer; Ashman, Keith; Valencia, Alfonso; Tress, Michael L

    2012-09-01

    Advances in high-throughput mass spectrometry are making proteomics an increasingly important tool in genome annotation projects. Peptides detected in mass spectrometry experiments can be used to validate gene models and verify the translation of putative coding sequences (CDSs). Here, we have identified peptides that cover 35% of the genes annotated by the GENCODE consortium for the human genome as part of a comprehensive analysis of experimental spectra from two large publicly available mass spectrometry databases. We detected the translation to protein of "novel" and "putative" protein-coding transcripts as well as transcripts annotated as pseudogenes and nonsense-mediated decay targets. We provide a detailed overview of the population of alternatively spliced protein isoforms that are detectable by peptide identification methods. We found that 150 genes expressed multiple alternative protein isoforms. This constitutes the largest set of reliably confirmed alternatively spliced proteins yet discovered. Three groups of genes were highly overrepresented. We detected alternative isoforms for 10 of the 25 possible heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins, proteins with a key role in the splicing process. Alternative isoforms generated from interchangeable homologous exons and from short indels were also significantly enriched, both in human experiments and in parallel analyses of mouse and Drosophila proteomics experiments. Our results show that a surprisingly high proportion (almost 25%) of the detected alternative isoforms are only subtly different from their constitutive counterparts. Many of the alternative splicing events that give rise to these alternative isoforms are conserved in mouse. It was striking that very few of these conserved splicing events broke Pfam functional domains or would damage globular protein structures. This evidence of a strong bias toward subtle differences in CDS and likely conserved cellular function and structure is remarkable and

  15. The contribution of Islet1-expressing splanchnic mesoderm cells to distinct branchiomeric muscles reveals significant heterogeneity in head muscle development.

    PubMed

    Nathan, Elisha; Monovich, Amir; Tirosh-Finkel, Libbat; Harrelson, Zachary; Rousso, Tal; Rinon, Ariel; Harel, Itamar; Evans, Sylvia M; Tzahor, Eldad

    2008-02-01

    During embryogenesis, paraxial mesoderm cells contribute skeletal muscle progenitors, whereas cardiac progenitors originate in the lateral splanchnic mesoderm (SpM). Here we focus on a subset of the SpM that contributes to the anterior or secondary heart field (AHF/SHF), and lies adjacent to the cranial paraxial mesoderm (CPM), the precursors for the head musculature. Molecular analyses in chick embryos delineated the boundaries between the CPM, undifferentiated SpM progenitors of the AHF/SHF, and differentiating cardiac cells. We then revealed the regionalization of branchial arch mesoderm: CPM cells contribute to the proximal region of the myogenic core, which gives rise to the mandibular adductor muscle. SpM cells contribute to the myogenic cells in the distal region of the branchial arch that later form the intermandibular muscle. Gene expression analyses of these branchiomeric muscles in chick uncovered a distinct molecular signature for both CPM- and SpM-derived muscles. Islet1 (Isl1) is expressed in the SpM/AHF and branchial arch in both chick and mouse embryos. Lineage studies using Isl1-Cre mice revealed the significant contribution of Isl1(+) cells to ventral/distal branchiomeric (stylohyoid, mylohyoid and digastric) and laryngeal muscles. By contrast, the Isl1 lineage contributes to mastication muscles (masseter, pterygoid and temporalis) to a lesser extent, with virtually no contribution to intrinsic and extrinsic tongue muscles or extraocular muscles. In addition, in vivo activation of the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway in chick embryos resulted in marked inhibition of Isl1, whereas inhibition of this pathway increased Isl1 expression. Our findings demonstrate, for the first time, the contribution of Isl1(+) SpM cells to a subset of branchiomeric skeletal muscles.

  16. Interspecific rice hybrid of Oryza sativa x Oryza nivara reveals a significant increase in seed protein content.

    PubMed

    Mahmoud, Ahmed A; Sukumar, S; Krishnan, Hari B

    2008-01-23

    Wild species offer a potential reservoir of genetic variation for crop improvement. Besides the valuable genes for disease resistance that the wild species have provided for rice improvement, recent studies have shown that these wild species could also provide favorable alleles for the improvement of yield and yield-related traits. The present study reports yet another potential of wild relatives of rice, which involves the improvement of seed protein content. A significant increase in seed protein content was observed in an interspecific hybrid between Oryza sativa ssp. indica and the wild species Oryza nivara. The hybrid showed a protein content of 12.4%, which was 28 and 18.2% higher than those of the parents O. nivara and IR 64, respectively. The increase in protein content was dependent on the genetic background of the rice variety used in the hybridization. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis analysis of seed storage proteins demonstrated that a significant increase in prolamins and glutelins was mainly responsible for the elevated protein content of the hybrid. Amino acid analysis of seed proteins revealed that the hybrid had net gains of 19.5% in lysine and 19.4% in threonine over the O. nivara parent on a seed dry weight basis. Molecular analysis indicated that the increase in protein content of the hybrid was not a result of chromosomal rearrangements or transposable element activation, at least in the chromosomal regions containing seed storage protein genes. A preliminary genetic analysis of the F 2 segregating population showed that the inheritance of the increased protein content was polygenic in nature. The development of this interspecific hybrid offers a great potential for selecting new rice cultivars that combine the high yield and superior cooking quality of IR 64 with improved seed protein content.

  17. The Significance of Ras Activity in Pancreatic Cancer Initiation

    PubMed Central

    Logsdon, Craig D.; Lu, Weiqin

    2016-01-01

    The genetic landscape of pancreatic cancer shows nearly ubiquitous mutations of K-RAS. However, oncogenic K-Rasmt alone is not sufficient to lead to pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) in either human or in genetically modified adult mouse models. Many stimulants, such as high fat diet, CCK, LPS, PGE2 and others, have physiological effects at low concentrations that are mediated in part through modest increases in K-Ras activity. However, at high concentrations, they induce inflammation that, in the presence of oncogenic K-Ras expression, substantially accelerates PDAC formation. The mechanism involves increased activity of oncogenic K-Rasmt. Unlike what has been proposed in the standard paradigm for the role of Ras in oncogenesis, oncogenic K-Rasmt is now known to not be constitutively active. Rather, it can be activated by standard mechanisms similar to wild-type K-Ras, but its activity is sustained for a prolonged period. Furthermore, if the level of K-Ras activity exceeds a threshold at which it begins to generate its own activators, then a feed-forward loop is formed between K-Ras activity and inflammation and pathological processes including oncogenesis are initiated. Oncogenic K-Rasmt activation, a key event in PDAC initiation and development, is subject to complex regulatory mechanisms. Reagents which inhibit inflammation, such as the Cox2 inhibitor celecoxib, block the feed-forward loop and prevent induction of PDAC in models with endogenous oncogenic K-Rasmt. Increased understanding of the role of activating and inhibitory mechanisms on oncogenic K-Rasmt activity is of paramount importance for the development of preventive and therapeutic strategies to fight against this lethal disease. PMID:26929740

  18. Rural Enterprises, Incorporated report of significant activities and accomplishments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1985-01-01

    The ongoing activities of Rural Enterprises, Inc. are presented. The function of Rural Enterprises is to bring innovation from its rudimentary conceptual stages to useful and productive ends by means of cooperation with government, business, and educational institutions.

  19. Small molecules reveal an alternative mechanism of Bax activation

    PubMed Central

    Brahmbhatt, Hetal; Uehling, David; Al-awar, Rima; Leber, Brian; Andrews, David

    2016-01-01

    The pro-apoptotic protein Bax commits a cell to death by permeabilizing the mitochondrial outer membrane (MOM). To obtain small-molecule probes for elucidating the molecular mechanism(s) of Bax activation, we screened for compounds that induced Bax-mediated liposome permeabilization. We identified five structurally different small molecules that promoted both Bax targeting to and oligomerization at membranes. All five compounds initiated Bax oligomerization in the absence of membranes by a mechanism unlike Bax activation by Bcl-2 homology 3 domain (BH3) proteins. Some of the compounds induced Bax/Bak-dependent apoptosis in cells. Activation of Bax by the most active compound was poorly inhibited by the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-XL and requires a cysteine residue at position 126 of Bax that is not required for activation by BH3 proteins. Our results reveal a novel pathway for Bax activation independent of pro-apoptotic BH3 proteins that may have important implications for the regulation of Bax activity in cells. PMID:26916338

  20. Routine Activities and Victimization at School: The Significance of Gender

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Popp, Ann Marie; Peguero, Anthony A.

    2011-01-01

    Routine activities theory has not fully considered the role of gender in shaping victimization and yet, the research literature clearly demonstrates that gender is associated with an individual's risk of victimization. In addition to the pervasive effect of gender on victimization, gender shapes an individual's daily routines and thus may create a…

  1. On the validity versus utility of activity landscapes: are all activity cliffs statistically significant?

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Most work on the topic of activity landscapes has focused on their quantitative description and visual representation, with the aim of aiding navigation of SAR. Recent developments have addressed applications such as quantifying the proportion of activity cliffs, investigating the predictive abilities of activity landscape methods and so on. However, all these publications have worked under the assumption that the activity landscape models are “real” (i.e., statistically significant). Results The current study addresses for the first time, in a quantitative manner, the significance of a landscape or individual cliffs in the landscape. In particular, we question whether the activity landscape derived from observed (experimental) activity data is different from a randomly generated landscape. To address this we used the SALI measure with six different data sets tested against one or more molecular targets. We also assessed the significance of the landscapes for single and multiple representations. Conclusions We find that non-random landscapes are data set and molecular representation dependent. For the data sets and representations used in this work, our results suggest that not all representations lead to non-random landscapes. This indicates that not all molecular representations should be used to a) interpret the SAR and b) combined to generate consensus models. Our results suggest that significance testing of activity landscape models and in particular, activity cliffs, is key, prior to the use of such models. PMID:24694189

  2. Prognotic significance of pretreatment proliferative activity in adult acute leukemia.

    PubMed

    Hart, J S; George, S L; Frei, E; Bodey, G P; Nickerson, R C; Freireich, E J

    1977-04-01

    A statistical analysis of the prognostic significance of eight pretreatment variables was undertaken for 71 previously untreated adult patients with acute leukemia seen at M.D. Anderson Hospital over a 5 1/2-year period. None of the patients had received any prior therapy. Nearly all of the patients (68 of the 71) were treated with 4- or 5-day courses of arabinosyl-cytosine alone or in combination with cyclophosphamide, vincristine (oncovin) and prednisone (COAP). The pretreatment variables studied were age at diagnosis, the percent labeling index of the bone marrow leukemic cells, diagnosis, the highest temperature prior to start of treatment, the marrow clot section cellularity and smear differential percent of blasts, percent absolute marrow leukemic cell infiltrate and absolute number of blasts X 10(3)/mm3 in the peripheral blood. Fifty-one patients had acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML) and 20 patients had acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Using a statistical regression model approach, the only variables found to be of significant prognostic importance with respect to the probability of complete remission for AML patients were the pretreatment percent labeling index, the age of the patient and the highest temperature prior to start of treatment. Unlike AML, the initial percent labeling index did not appear to be of prognostic significance for ALL patients. AML patients with high labeling indices (larger than or equal to 9%) and young patients in general (especially those less than 40 years old) had the best remission rates. With respect to the length of complete remission and survival for all patients, the only important variables were the pretreatment percent labeling index and the age of the patient, respectively. Once in complete remission, an initially high labeling index was an unfavorable sign with respect to length of remission, regardless of the patient's diagnosis. The results of this study are supportive of studies in experimental systems

  3. Active medulloblastoma enhancers reveal subgroup-specific cellular origins.

    PubMed

    Lin, Charles Y; Erkek, Serap; Tong, Yiai; Yin, Linlin; Federation, Alexander J; Zapatka, Marc; Haldipur, Parthiv; Kawauchi, Daisuke; Risch, Thomas; Warnatz, Hans-Jörg; Worst, Barbara C; Ju, Bensheng; Orr, Brent A; Zeid, Rhamy; Polaski, Donald R; Segura-Wang, Maia; Waszak, Sebastian M; Jones, David T W; Kool, Marcel; Hovestadt, Volker; Buchhalter, Ivo; Sieber, Laura; Johann, Pascal; Chavez, Lukas; Gröschel, Stefan; Ryzhova, Marina; Korshunov, Andrey; Chen, Wenbiao; Chizhikov, Victor V; Millen, Kathleen J; Amstislavskiy, Vyacheslav; Lehrach, Hans; Yaspo, Marie-Laure; Eils, Roland; Lichter, Peter; Korbel, Jan O; Pfister, Stefan M; Bradner, James E; Northcott, Paul A

    2016-02-04

    Medulloblastoma is a highly malignant paediatric brain tumour, often inflicting devastating consequences on the developing child. Genomic studies have revealed four distinct molecular subgroups with divergent biology and clinical behaviour. An understanding of the regulatory circuitry governing the transcriptional landscapes of medulloblastoma subgroups, and how this relates to their respective developmental origins, is lacking. Here, using H3K27ac and BRD4 chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing (ChIP-seq) coupled with tissue-matched DNA methylation and transcriptome data, we describe the active cis-regulatory landscape across 28 primary medulloblastoma specimens. Analysis of differentially regulated enhancers and super-enhancers reinforced inter-subgroup heterogeneity and revealed novel, clinically relevant insights into medulloblastoma biology. Computational reconstruction of core regulatory circuitry identified a master set of transcription factors, validated by ChIP-seq, that is responsible for subgroup divergence, and implicates candidate cells of origin for Group 4. Our integrated analysis of enhancer elements in a large series of primary tumour samples reveals insights into cis-regulatory architecture, unrecognized dependencies, and cellular origins.

  4. Active medulloblastoma enhancers reveal subgroup-specific cellular origins

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Charles Y.; Erkek, Serap; Tong, Yiai; Yin, Linlin; Federation, Alexander J.; Zapatka, Marc; Haldipur, Parthiv; Kawauchi, Daisuke; Risch, Thomas; Warnatz, Hans-Jörg; Worst, Barbara C.; Ju, Bensheng; Orr, Brent A.; Zeid, Rhamy; Polaski, Donald R.; Segura-Wang, Maia; Waszak, Sebastian M.; Jones, David T.W.; Kool, Marcel; Hovestadt, Volker; Buchhalter, Ivo; Sieber, Laura; Johann, Pascal; Chavez, Lukas; Gröschel, Stefan; Ryzhova, Marina; Korshunov, Andrey; Chen, Wenbiao; Chizhikov, Victor V.; Millen, Kathleen J.; Amstislavskiy, Vyacheslav; Lehrach, Hans; Yaspo, Marie-Laure; Eils, Roland; Lichter, Peter; Korbel, Jan O.; Pfister, Stefan M.; Bradner, James E.; Northcott, Paul A.

    2016-01-01

    Summary Medulloblastoma is a highly malignant paediatric brain tumour, often inflicting devastating consequences on the developing child. Genomic studies have revealed four distinct molecular subgroups with divergent biology and clinical behaviour. An understanding of the regulatory circuitry governing the transcriptional landscapes of medulloblastoma subgroups, and how this relates to their respective developmental origins, is lacking. Using H3K27ac and BRD4 ChIP-Seq, coupled with tissue-matched DNA methylation and transcriptome data, we describe the active cis-regulatory landscape across 28 primary medulloblastoma specimens. Analysis of differentially regulated enhancers and super-enhancers reinforced inter-subgroup heterogeneity and revealed novel, clinically relevant insights into medulloblastoma biology. Computational reconstruction of core regulatory circuitry identified a master set of transcription factors, validated by ChIP-Seq, that are responsible for subgroup divergence and implicate candidate cells-of-origin for Group 4. Our integrated analysis of enhancer elements in a large series of primary tumour samples reveals insights into cis-regulatory architecture, unrecognized dependencies, and cellular origins. PMID:26814967

  5. Active Mars Revealed through HiRISE DTMs and Orthoimages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mattson, Sarah; McEwen, Alfred S.; Bridges, Nathan; Byrne, Shane; Chojnacki, Matthew; Daubar, Ingrid; Dundas, Colin; Russell, Patrick

    2014-11-01

    Before the arrival of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) with the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE), the amount of surface activity on Mars was not well known. HiRISE repeat imaging (often at ~30 cm/pixel), combined with the ability to take stereo images and generate high resolution Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) reveals the many types of surface processes that are currently active on Mars. Examples of active processes on Mars studied with HiRISE data include aeolian activity [Bridges et al., 2012, Nature 485; Chojnacki et al., 2014, Icarus 232], Recurring Slope Lineae (RSL) [McEwen et al., 2011, Science 333; 2014, Nature Geoscience 7], active gullies [Dundas et al., 2012, Icarus 220], polar processes [Hansen et al., 2011, Science 331; Portyankina et al. 2013, AGU], new impacts [Byrne et al., 2009, Science 325; Daubar et al., 2013, Icarus 225; Dundas et al., 2014, JGR 119], and north polar scarp avalanches [Russell et al., 2008, GRL 35, 2014, LPSC]. These studies utilize images from multiple Mars years and seasons. We generate animated gifs with sequences of orthorectified images to analyze temporal changes (see http://www.uahirise.org/sim/). HiRISE DTMs and orthoimages can be used to quantitatively map and record changes in geospatial software. More than 200 DTMs and 400 orthoimages are available through the Planetary Data System (see http://uahirise.org/dtm). Three-band color (blue-green, red, and near infrared) orthoimages are also available in many cases. The ability to monitor the surface of Mars at high spatial and temporal resolution provides insight into seasonal and annual changes, further increasing our understanding of Mars as an active planet.

  6. Genomic variants reveal differential evolutionary constraints on human transglutaminases and point towards unrecognized significance of transglutaminase 2

    PubMed Central

    Thangaraju, Kiruphagaran; Király, Róbert; Demény, Máté A.; András Mótyán, János; Fuxreiter, Mónika; Fésüs, László

    2017-01-01

    Transglutaminases (TGMs) catalyze Ca2+-dependent transamidation of proteins with specified roles in blood clotting (F13a) and in cornification (TGM1, TGM3). The ubiquitous TGM2 has well described enzymatic and non-enzymatic functions but in-spite of numerous studies its physiological function in humans has not been defined. We compared data on non-synonymous single nucleotide variations (nsSNVs) and loss-of-function variants on TGM1-7 and F13a from the Exome aggregation consortium dataset, and used computational and biochemical analysis to reveal the roles of damaging nsSNVs of TGM2. TGM2 and F13a display rarer damaging nsSNV sites than other TGMs and sequence of TGM2, F13a and TGM1 are evolutionary constrained. TGM2 nsSNVs are predicted to destabilize protein structure, influence Ca2+ and GTP regulation, and non-enzymatic interactions, but none coincide with conserved functional sites. We have experimentally characterized six TGM2 allelic variants detected so far in homozygous form, out of which only one, p.Arg222Gln, has decreased activities. Published exome sequencing data from various populations have not uncovered individuals with homozygous loss-of-function variants for TGM2, TGM3 and TGM7. Thus it can be concluded that human transglutaminases differ in harboring damaging variants and TGM2 is under purifying selection suggesting that it may have so far not revealed physiological functions. PMID:28248968

  7. An anti-hapten camelid antibody reveals a cryptic binding site with significant energetic contributions from a nonhypervariable loop

    SciTech Connect

    Fanning, Sean W.; Horn, James R.

    2014-03-05

    Conventional anti-hapten antibodies typically bind low-molecular weight compounds (haptens) in the crevice between the variable heavy and light chains. Conversely, heavy chain-only camelid antibodies, which lack a light chain, must rely entirely on a single variable domain to recognize haptens. While several anti-hapten VHHs have been generated, little is known regarding the underlying structural and thermodynamic basis for hapten recognition. Here, an anti-methotrexate VHH (anti-MTX VHH) was generated using grafting methods whereby the three complementarity determining regions (CDRs) were inserted onto an existing VHH framework. Thermodynamic analysis of the anti-MTX VHH CDR1-3 Graft revealed a micromolar binding affinity, while the crystal structure of the complex revealed a somewhat surprising noncanonical binding site which involved MTX tunneling under the CDR1 loop. Due to the close proximity of MTX to CDR4, a nonhypervariable loop, the CDR4 loop sequence was subsequently introduced into the CDR1-3 graft, which resulted in a dramatic 1000-fold increase in the binding affinity. Crystal structure analysis of both the free and complex anti-MTX CDR1-4 graft revealed CDR4 plays a significant role in both intermolecular contacts and binding site conformation that appear to contribute toward high affinity binding. Additionally, the anti-MTX VHH possessed relatively high specificity for MTX over closely related compounds aminopterin and folate, demonstrating that VHH domains are capable of binding low-molecular weight ligands with high affinity and specificity, despite their reduced interface.

  8. An anti-hapten camelid antibody reveals a cryptic binding site with significant energetic contributions from a nonhypervariable loop

    PubMed Central

    Fanning, Sean W; Horn, James R

    2011-01-01

    Conventional anti-hapten antibodies typically bind low-molecular weight compounds (haptens) in the crevice between the variable heavy and light chains. Conversely, heavy chain-only camelid antibodies, which lack a light chain, must rely entirely on a single variable domain to recognize haptens. While several anti-hapten VHHs have been generated, little is known regarding the underlying structural and thermodynamic basis for hapten recognition. Here, an anti-methotrexate VHH (anti-MTX VHH) was generated using grafting methods whereby the three complementarity determining regions (CDRs) were inserted onto an existing VHH framework. Thermodynamic analysis of the anti-MTX VHH CDR1-3 Graft revealed a micromolar binding affinity, while the crystal structure of the complex revealed a somewhat surprising noncanonical binding site which involved MTX tunneling under the CDR1 loop. Due to the close proximity of MTX to CDR4, a nonhypervariable loop, the CDR4 loop sequence was subsequently introduced into the CDR1-3 graft, which resulted in a dramatic 1000-fold increase in the binding affinity. Crystal structure analysis of both the free and complex anti-MTX CDR1-4 graft revealed CDR4 plays a significant role in both intermolecular contacts and binding site conformation that appear to contribute toward high affinity binding. Additionally, the anti-MTX VHH possessed relatively high specificity for MTX over closely related compounds aminopterin and folate, demonstrating that VHH domains are capable of binding low-molecular weight ligands with high affinity and specificity, despite their reduced interface. PMID:21557375

  9. Covert Waking Brain Activity Reveals Instantaneous Sleep Depth

    PubMed Central

    McKinney, Scott M.; Dang-Vu, Thien Thanh; Buxton, Orfeu M.; Solet, Jo M.; Ellenbogen, Jeffrey M.

    2011-01-01

    The neural correlates of the wake-sleep continuum remain incompletely understood, limiting the development of adaptive drug delivery systems for promoting sleep maintenance. The most useful measure for resolving early positions along this continuum is the alpha oscillation, an 8–13 Hz electroencephalographic rhythm prominent over posterior scalp locations. The brain activation signature of wakefulness, alpha expression discloses immediate levels of alertness and dissipates in concert with fading awareness as sleep begins. This brain activity pattern, however, is largely ignored once sleep begins. Here we show that the intensity of spectral power in the alpha band actually continues to disclose instantaneous responsiveness to noise—a measure of sleep depth—throughout a night of sleep. By systematically challenging sleep with realistic and varied acoustic disruption, we found that sleepers exhibited markedly greater sensitivity to sounds during moments of elevated alpha expression. This result demonstrates that alpha power is not a binary marker of the transition between sleep and wakefulness, but carries rich information about immediate sleep stability. Further, it shows that an empirical and ecologically relevant form of sleep depth is revealed in real-time by EEG spectral content in the alpha band, a measure that affords prediction on the order of minutes. This signal, which transcends the boundaries of classical sleep stages, could potentially be used for real-time feedback to novel, adaptive drug delivery systems for inducing sleep. PMID:21408616

  10. Alzheimer's Disease Variants with the Genome-Wide Significance are Significantly Enriched in Immune Pathways and Active in Immune Cells.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Qinghua; Jin, Shuilin; Jiang, Yongshuai; Liao, Mingzhi; Feng, Rennan; Zhang, Liangcai; Liu, Guiyou; Hao, Junwei

    2017-01-01

    The existing large-scale genome-wide association studies (GWAS) datasets provide strong support for investigating the mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease (AD) by applying multiple methods of pathway analysis. Previous studies using selected single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with several thresholds of nominal significance for pathway analysis determined that the threshold chosen for SNPs can reflect the disease model. Presumably, then, pathway analysis with a stringent threshold to define "associated" SNPs would test the hypothesis that highly associated SNPs are enriched in one or more particular pathways. Here, we selected 599 AD variants (P < 5.00E-08) to investigate the pathways in which these variants are enriched and the cell types in which these variants are active. Our results showed that AD variants are significantly enriched in pathways of the immune system. Further analysis indicated that AD variants are significantly enriched for enhancers in a number of cell types, in particular the B-lymphocyte, which is the most substantially enriched cell type. This cell type maintains its dominance among the strongest enhancers. AD SNPs also display significant enrichment for DNase in 12 cell types, among which the top 6 significant signals are from immune cell types, including 4 B cells (top 4 significant signals) and CD14+ and CD34+ cells. In summary, our results show that these AD variants with P < 5.00E-08 are significantly enriched in pathways of the immune system and active in immune cells. To a certain degree, the genetic predisposition for development of AD is rooted in the immune system, rather than in neuronal cells.

  11. Quantitative superresolution microscopy reveals differences in nuclear DNA organization of multiple myeloma and monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance.

    PubMed

    Sathitruangsak, Chirawadee; Righolt, Christiaan H; Klewes, Ludger; Tammur, Pille; Ilus, Tiiu; Tamm, Anu; Punab, Mari; Olujohungbe, Adebayo; Mai, Sabine

    2015-05-01

    The mammalian nucleus has a distinct substructure that cannot be visualized directly by conventional microscopy. In this study, the organization of the DNA within the nucleus of multiple myeloma (MM) cells, their precursor cells (monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance; MGUS) and control lymphocytes of the representative patients is visualized and quantified by superresolution microscopy. Three-dimensional structured illumination microscopy (3D-SIM) increases the spatial resolution beyond the limits of conventional widefield fluorescence microscopy. 3D-SIM reveals new insights into the nuclear architecture of cancer as we show for the first time that it resolves organizational differences in intranuclear DNA organization of myeloma cells in MGUS and in MM patients. In addition, we report a significant increase in nuclear submicron DNA structure and structure of the DNA-free space in myeloma nuclei compared to normal lymphocyte nuclei. Our study provides previously unknown details of the nanoscopic DNA architecture of interphase nuclei of the normal lymphocytes, MGUS and MM cells. This study opens new avenues to understanding the disease progression from MGUS to MM.

  12. Clinical significance of plasminogen activator inhibitor activity in patients with exercise-induced ischemia

    SciTech Connect

    Sakata, K.; Kurata, C.; Taguchi, T.; Suzuki, S.; Kobayashi, A.; Yamazaki, N.; Rydzewski, A.; Takada, Y.; Takada, A. )

    1990-10-01

    To assess the fibrinolytic system in patients with exercise-induced ischemia and its relation to ischemia and severity of coronary artery disease (CAD), 47 patients with CAD confirmed by results of coronary angiography underwent symptom-limited multistage exercise thallium-201 emission computed tomography. All patients with CAD had exercise-induced ischemia as assessed from thallium-201 images. Pre- and peak exercise blood samples from each patient and preexercise blood samples from control subjects were assayed for several fibrinolytic components and were also assayed for plasma adrenaline. The extent of ischemia was defined as delta visual uptake score (total visual uptake score in delayed images minus total visual uptake score in initial images) and the severity of CAD as the number of diseased vessels. In the basal condition, plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI) activity was significantly higher in patients with exercise-induced ischemia as compared to control subjects (p less than 0.01), although there were no significant differences in other fibrinolytic variables between the two groups. Moreover, PAI activity in the basal condition displayed a significantly positive correlation with the extent of ischemia (r = 0.47, p less than 0.01). Patients with exercise-induced ischemia were divided into two groups (24 with single-vessel disease and 23 with multivessel disease). There were no significant differences in coronary risk factors, hemodynamics, or plasma adrenaline levels during exercise between single-vessel and multivessel disease except that delta visual uptake score was significantly higher in multivessel disease (p less than 0.01).

  13. Cassava root membrane proteome reveals activities during storage root maturation.

    PubMed

    Naconsie, Maliwan; Lertpanyasampatha, Manassawe; Viboonjun, Unchera; Netrphan, Supatcharee; Kuwano, Masayoshi; Ogasawara, Naotake; Narangajavana, Jarunya

    2016-01-01

    Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is one of the most important crops of Thailand. Its storage roots are used as food, feed, starch production, and be the important source for biofuel and biodegradable plastic production. Despite the importance of cassava storage roots, little is known about the mechanisms involved in their formation. This present study has focused on comparison of the expression profiles of cassava root proteome at various developmental stages using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and LC-MS/MS. Based on an anatomical study using Toluidine Blue, the secondary growth was confirmed to be essential during the development of cassava storage root. To investigate biochemical processes occurring during storage root maturation, soluble and membrane proteins were isolated from storage roots harvested from 3-, 6-, 9-, and 12-month-old cassava plants. The proteins with differential expression pattern were analysed and identified to be associated with 8 functional groups: protein folding and degradation, energy, metabolism, secondary metabolism, stress response, transport facilitation, cytoskeleton, and unclassified function. The expression profiling of membrane proteins revealed the proteins involved in protein folding and degradation, energy, and cell structure were highly expressed during early stages of development. Integration of these data along with the information available in genome and transcriptome databases is critical to expand knowledge obtained solely from the field of proteomics. Possible role of identified proteins were discussed in relation with the activities during storage root maturation in cassava.

  14. An active principle of Nigella sativa L., thymoquinone, showing significant antimicrobial activity against anaerobic bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Randhawa, Mohammad Akram; Alenazy, Awwad Khalaf; Alrowaili, Majed Gorayan; Basha, Jamith

    2017-01-01

    Aim/Background: Thymoquinone (TQ) is the major active principle of Nigella sativa seed (black seed) and is known to control many fungi, bacteria, and some viruses. However, the activity of TQ against anaerobic bacteria is not well demonstrated. Anaerobic bacteria can cause severe infections, including diarrhea, aspiration pneumonia, and brain abscess, particularly in immunodeficient individuals. The present study aimed to investigate the in vitro antimicrobial activity of TQ against some anaerobic pathogens in comparison to metronidazole. Methods: Standard, ATCC, strains of four anaerobic bacteria (Clostridium difficile, Clostridium perfringens, Bacteroides fragilis, and Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron), were initially isolated on special Brucella agar base (with hemin and vitamin K). Then, minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of TQ and metronidazole were determined against these anaerobes when grown in Brucella agar, using serial agar dilution method according to the recommended guidelines for anaerobic organisms instructed by the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute. Results: TQ showed a significant antimicrobial activity against anaerobic bacteria although much weaker than metronidazole. MICs of TQ and metronidazole against various anaerobic human pathogens tested were found to be between 10-160 mg/L and 0.19-6.25 mg/L, respectively. Conclusions: TQ controlled the anaerobic human pathogenic bacteria, which supports the use of N. sativa in the treatment of diarrhea in folk medicine. Further investigations are in need for determination of the synergistic effect of TQ in combination with metronidazole and the activity of derivatives of TQ against anaerobic infections. PMID:28163966

  15. The temporal structures and functional significance of scale-free brain activity

    PubMed Central

    He, Biyu J.; Zempel, John M.; Snyder, Abraham Z.; Raichle, Marcus E.

    2010-01-01

    SUMMARY Scale-free dynamics, with a power spectrum following P ∝ f-β, are an intrinsic feature of many complex processes in nature. In neural systems, scale-free activity is often neglected in electrophysiological research. Here, we investigate scale-free dynamics in human brain and show that it contains extensive nested frequencies, with the phase of lower frequencies modulating the amplitude of higher frequencies in an upward progression across the frequency spectrum. The functional significance of scale-free brain activity is indicated by task performance modulation and regional variation, with β being larger in default network and visual cortex and smaller in hippocampus and cerebellum. The precise patterns of nested frequencies in the brain differ from other scale-free dynamics in nature, such as earth seismic waves and stock market fluctuations, suggesting system-specific generative mechanisms. Our findings reveal robust temporal structures and behavioral significance of scale-free brain activity and should motivate future study on its physiological mechanisms and cognitive implications. PMID:20471349

  16. Significant genetic differentiation between Poland and Germany follows present-day political borders, as revealed by Y-chromosome analysis.

    PubMed

    Kayser, Manfred; Lao, Oscar; Anslinger, Katja; Augustin, Christa; Bargel, Grazyna; Edelmann, Jeanett; Elias, Sahar; Heinrich, Marielle; Henke, Jürgen; Henke, Lotte; Hohoff, Carsten; Illing, Anett; Jonkisz, Anna; Kuzniar, Piotr; Lebioda, Arleta; Lessig, Rüdiger; Lewicki, Slawomir; Maciejewska, Agnieszka; Monies, Dorota Marta; Pawłowski, Ryszard; Poetsch, Micaela; Schmid, Dagmar; Schmidt, Ulrike; Schneider, Peter M; Stradmann-Bellinghausen, Beate; Szibor, Reinhard; Wegener, Rudolf; Wozniak, Marcin; Zoledziewska, Magdalena; Roewer, Lutz; Dobosz, Tadeusz; Ploski, Rafal

    2005-09-01

    To test for human population substructure and to investigate human population history we have analysed Y-chromosome diversity using seven microsatellites (Y-STRs) and ten binary markers (Y-SNPs) in samples from eight regionally distributed populations from Poland (n = 913) and 11 from Germany (n = 1,215). Based on data from both Y-chromosome marker systems, which we found to be highly correlated (r = 0.96), and using spatial analysis of the molecular variance (SAMOVA), we revealed statistically significant support for two groups of populations: (1) all Polish populations and (2) all German populations. By means of analysis of the molecular variance (AMOVA) we observed a large and statistically significant proportion of 14% (for Y-SNPs) and 15% (for Y-STRs) of the respective total genetic variation being explained between both countries. The same population differentiation was detected using Monmonier's algorithm, with a resulting genetic border between Poland and Germany that closely resembles the course of the political border between both countries. The observed genetic differentiation was mainly, but not exclusively, due to the frequency distribution of two Y-SNP haplogroups and their associated Y-STR haplotypes: R1a1*, most frequent in Poland, and R1*(xR1a1), most frequent in Germany. We suggest here that the pronounced population differentiation between the two geographically neighbouring countries, Poland and Germany, is the consequence of very recent events in human population history, namely the forced human resettlement of many millions of Germans and Poles during and, especially, shortly after World War II. In addition, our findings have consequences for the forensic application of Y-chromosome markers, strongly supporting the implementation of population substructure into forensic Y chromosome databases, and also for genetic association studies.

  17. Metatranscriptomics reveals overall active bacterial composition in caries lesions

    PubMed Central

    Simón-Soro, Aurea; Guillen-Navarro, Miriam; Mira, Alex

    2014-01-01

    Background Identifying the microbial species in caries lesions is instrumental to determine the etiology of dental caries. However, a significant proportion of bacteria in carious lesions have not been cultured, and the use of molecular methods has been limited to DNA-based approaches, which detect both active and inactive or dead microorganisms. Objective To identify the RNA-based, metabolically active bacterial composition of caries lesions at different stages of disease progression in order to provide a list of potential etiological agents of tooth decay. Design Non-cavitated enamel caries lesions (n=15) and dentin caries lesions samples (n=12) were collected from 13 individuals. RNA was extracted and cDNA was constructed, which was used to amplify the 16S rRNA gene. The resulting 780 bp polymerase chain reaction products were pyrosequenced using Titanium-plus chemistry, and the sequences obtained were used to determine the bacterial composition. Results A mean of 4,900 sequences of the 16S rRNA gene with an average read length of 661 bp was obtained per sample, giving a comprehensive view of the active bacterial communities in caries lesions. Estimates of bacterial diversity indicate that the microbiota of cavities is highly complex, each sample containing between 70 and 400 metabolically active species. The composition of these bacterial consortia varied among individuals and between caries lesions of the same individuals. In addition, enamel and dentin lesions had a different bacterial makeup. Lactobacilli were found almost exclusively in dentin cavities. Streptococci accounted for 40% of the total active community in enamel caries, and 20% in dentin caries. However, Streptococcus mutans represented only 0.02–0.73% of the total bacterial community. Conclusions The data indicate that the etiology of dental caries is tissue dependent and that the disease has a clear polymicrobial origin. The low proportion of mutans streptococci detected confirms that they

  18. Color-Doppler sonographic tissue perfusion measurements reveal significantly diminished renal cortical perfusion in kidneys with vesicoureteral reflux

    PubMed Central

    Scholbach, T. M.; Sachse, C.

    2016-01-01

    Vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) and its sequelae may lead to reduced renal perfusion and loss of renal function. Methods to describe and monitor tissue perfusion are needed. We investigated dynamic tissue perfusion measurement (DTPM) with the PixelFlux-software to measure microvascular changes in the renal cortex in 35 children with VUR and 28 healthy children. DTPM of defined horizontal slices of the renal cortex was carried out. A kidney was assigned to the “low grade reflux”-group if the reflux grade of the voiding cystourethrogram was 1 to 3 and to the “high grade reflux”-group if the reflux grade was 4 to 5. Kidneys with VUR showed a significantly reduced cortical perfusion. Compared to healthy kidneys, this decline reached in low and high grade refluxes within the proximal 50% of the cortex: 3% and 12 %, in the distal 50% of the cortex: 21% and 44 % and in the most distal 20 % of the cortex 41% and 44%. DTPM reveals a perfusion loss in kidneys depending on the degree of VUR, which is most pronounced in the peripheral cortex. Thus, DTPM offers the tool to evaluate microvascular perfusion, to help planning treatment decisions in children with VUR. PMID:27051133

  19. Single cell activity reveals direct electron transfer in methanotrophic consortia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGlynn, Shawn E.; Chadwick, Grayson L.; Kempes, Christopher P.; Orphan, Victoria J.

    2015-10-01

    Multicellular assemblages of microorganisms are ubiquitous in nature, and the proximity afforded by aggregation is thought to permit intercellular metabolic coupling that can accommodate otherwise unfavourable reactions. Consortia of methane-oxidizing archaea and sulphate-reducing bacteria are a well-known environmental example of microbial co-aggregation; however, the coupling mechanisms between these paired organisms is not well understood, despite the attention given them because of the global significance of anaerobic methane oxidation. Here we examined the influence of interspecies spatial positioning as it relates to biosynthetic activity within structurally diverse uncultured methane-oxidizing consortia by measuring stable isotope incorporation for individual archaeal and bacterial cells to constrain their potential metabolic interactions. In contrast to conventional models of syntrophy based on the passage of molecular intermediates, cellular activities were found to be independent of both species intermixing and distance between syntrophic partners within consortia. A generalized model of electric conductivity between co-associated archaea and bacteria best fit the empirical data. Combined with the detection of large multi-haem cytochromes in the genomes of methanotrophic archaea and the demonstration of redox-dependent staining of the matrix between cells in consortia, these results provide evidence for syntrophic coupling through direct electron transfer.

  20. Activities on Facebook Reveal the Depressive State of Users

    PubMed Central

    Kwak, Jinah

    2013-01-01

    Background As online social media have become prominent, much effort has been spent on identifying users with depressive symptoms in order to aim at early diagnosis, treatment, and even prevention by using various online social media. In this paper, we focused on Facebook to discern any correlations between the platform’s features and users’ depressive symptoms. This work may be helpful in trying to reach and detect large numbers of depressed individuals more easily. Objective Our goal was to develop a Web application and identify depressive symptom–related features from users of Facebook, a popular social networking platform. Methods 55 Facebook users (male=40, female=15, mean age 24.43, SD 3.90) were recruited through advertisement fliers distributed to students in a large university in Korea. Using EmotionDiary, the Facebook application we developed, we evaluated depressive symptoms using the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression (CES-D) scale. We also provided tips and facts about depression to participants and measured their responses using EmotionDiary. To identify the Facebook features related to depression, correlation analyses were performed between CES-D and participants’ responses to tips and facts or Facebook social features. Last, we interviewed depressed participants (CES-D≥25) to assess their depressive symptoms by a psychiatrist. Results Facebook activities had predictive power in distinguishing depressed and nondepressed individuals. Participants’ response to tips and facts, which can be explained by the number of app tips viewed and app points, had a positive correlation (P=.04 for both cases), whereas the number of friends and location tags had a negative correlation with the CES-D scale (P=.08 and P=.045 respectively). Furthermore, in finding group differences in Facebook social activities, app tips viewed and app points resulted in significant differences (P=.01 and P=.03 respectively) between probably depressed and

  1. Familial longevity study reveals a significant association of mitochondrial DNA copy number between centenarians and their offspring.

    PubMed

    He, Yong-Han; Chen, Xiao-Qiong; Yan, Dong-Jing; Xiao, Fu-Hui; Lin, Rong; Liao, Xiao-Ping; Liu, Yao-Wen; Pu, Shao-Yan; Yu, Qin; Sun, Hong-Peng; Jiang, Jian-Jun; Cai, Wang-Wei; Kong, Qing-Peng

    2016-11-01

    Reduced mitochondrial function is an important cause of aging and age-related diseases. We previously revealed a relatively higher level of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) content in centenarians. However, it is still unknown whether such an mtDNA content pattern of centenarians could be passed on to their offspring and how it was regulated. To address these issues, we recruited 60 longevity families consisting of 206 family members (cohort 1) and explored their mtDNA copy number. The results showed that the first generation of the offspring (F1 offspring) had a higher level of mtDNA copy number than their spouses (p < 0.05) independent of a gender effect. In addition, we found a positive association of mtDNA copy number in centenarians with that in F1 offspring (r = 0.54, p = 0.0008) but not with that in F1 spouses. These results were replicated in another independent cohort consisting of 153 subjects (cohort 2). RNA sequencing analysis suggests that the single-stranded DNA-binding protein 4 was significantly associated with mtDNA copy number and was highly expressed in centenarians as well as F1 offspring versus the F1 spouses, thus likely regulates the mtDNA copy number in the long-lived family members. In conclusion, our results suggest that the pattern of high mtDNA copy number is likely inheritable, which may act as a favorable factor to familial longevity through assuring adequate energy supply.

  2. Simultaneous Application of Heat, Drought, and Virus to Arabidopsis Plants Reveals Significant Shifts in Signaling Networks1[W][OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Prasch, Christian Maximilian; Sonnewald, Uwe

    2013-01-01

    Considering global climate change, the incidence of combined drought and heat stress is likely to increase in the future and will considerably influence plant-pathogen interactions. Until now, little has been known about plants exposed to simultaneously occurring abiotic and biotic stresses. To shed some light on molecular plant responses to multiple stress factors, a versatile multifactorial test system, allowing simultaneous application of heat, drought, and virus stress, was developed in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). Comparative analysis of single, double, and triple stress responses by transcriptome and metabolome analysis revealed that gene expression under multifactorial stress is not predictable from single stress treatments. Hierarchical cluster and principal component analyses identified heat as the major stress factor, clearly separating heat-stressed from non-heat-stressed plants. We identified 11 genes differentially regulated in all stress combinations as well as 23 genes specifically regulated under triple stress. Furthermore, we showed that virus-treated plants displayed enhanced expression of defense genes, which was abolished in plants additionally subjected to heat and drought stress. Triple stress also reduced the expression of genes involved in the R-mediated disease response and increased the cytoplasmic protein response, which was not seen under single stress conditions. These observations suggested that abiotic stress factors significantly altered turnip mosaic virus-specific signaling networks, which led to a deactivation of defense responses and a higher susceptibility of plants. Collectively, our transcriptome and metabolome data provide a powerful resource to study plant responses during multifactorial stress and allow identifying metabolic processes and functional networks involved in tripartite interactions of plants with their environment. PMID:23753177

  3. Metatranscriptomic Analysis of Groundwater Reveals an Active Anammox Bacterial Population

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jewell, T. N. M.; Karaoz, U.; Thomas, B. C.; Banfield, J. F.; Brodie, E.; Williams, K. H.; Beller, H. R.

    2014-12-01

    Groundwater is a major natural resource, yet little is known about the contribution of microbial anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) activity to subsurface nitrogen cycling. During anammox, energy is generated as ammonium is oxidized under anaerobic conditions to dinitrogen gas, using nitrite as the final electron acceptor. This process is a global sink for fixed nitrogen. Only a narrow range of monophyletic bacteria within the Planctomycetes carries out anammox, and the full extent of their metabolism, and subsequent impact on nitrogen cycling and microbial community structure, is still unknown. Here, we employ a metatranscriptomic analysis on enriched mRNA to identify the abundance and activity of a population of anammox bacteria within an aquifer at Rifle, CO. Planktonic biomass was collected over a two-month period after injection of up to 1.5 mM nitrate. Illumina-generated sequences were mapped to a phylogenetically binned Rifle metagenome database. We identified transcripts for genes with high protein sequence identities (81-98%) to those of anammox strain KSU-1 and to two of the five anammox bacteria genera, Brocadia and Kuenenia, suggesting an active, if not diverse, anammox population. Many of the most abundant anammox transcripts mapped to a single scaffold, indicative of a single dominant anammox species. Transcripts of the genes necessary for the anammox pathway were present, including an ammonium transporter (amtB), nitrite/formate transporter, nitrite reductase (nirK), and hydrazine oxidoreductase (hzoB). The form of nitrite reductase encoded by anammox is species-dependent, and we only identified nirK, with no evidence of anammox nirS. In addition to the anammox pathway we saw evidence of the anammox bacterial dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium pathway (narH, putative nrfA, and nrfB), which provides an alternate means of generating substrates for anammox from nitrate, rather than relying on an external pool. Transcripts for hydroxylamine

  4. Revealing Significant Relations between Chemical/Biological Features and Activity: Associative Classification Mining for Drug Discovery

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yu, Pulan

    2012-01-01

    Classification, clustering and association mining are major tasks of data mining and have been widely used for knowledge discovery. Associative classification mining, the combination of both association rule mining and classification, has emerged as an indispensable way to support decision making and scientific research. In particular, it offers a…

  5. Activation of Human Salivary Aldehyde Dehydrogenase by Sulforaphane: Mechanism and Significance

    PubMed Central

    Alam, Md. Fazle; Laskar, Amaj Ahmed; Maryam, Lubna

    2016-01-01

    Cruciferous vegetables contain the bio-active compound sulforaphane (SF) which has been reported to protect individuals against various diseases by a number of mechanisms, including activation of the phase II detoxification enzymes. In this study, we show that the extracts of five cruciferous vegetables that we commonly consume and SF activate human salivary aldehyde dehydrogenase (hsALDH), which is a very important detoxifying enzyme in the mouth. Maximum activation was observed at 1 μg/ml of cabbage extract with 2.6 fold increase in the activity. There was a ~1.9 fold increase in the activity of hsALDH at SF concentration of ≥ 100 nM. The concentration of SF at half the maximum response (EC50 value) was determined to be 52 ± 2 nM. There was an increase in the Vmax and a decrease in the Km of the enzyme in the presence of SF. Hence, SF interacts with the enzyme and increases its affinity for the substrate. UV absorbance, fluorescence and CD studies revealed that SF binds to hsALDH and does not disrupt its native structure. SF binds with the enzyme with a binding constant of 1.23 x 107 M-1. There is one binding site on hsALDH for SF, and the thermodynamic parameters indicate the formation of a spontaneous strong complex between the two. Molecular docking analysis depicted that SF fits into the active site of ALDH3A1, and facilitates the catalytic mechanism of the enzyme. SF being an antioxidant, is very likely to protect the catalytic Cys 243 residue from oxidation, which leads to the increase in the catalytic efficiency and hence the activation of the enzyme. Further, hsALDH which is virtually inactive towards acetaldehyde exhibited significant activity towards it in the presence of SF. It is therefore very likely that consumption of large quantities of cruciferous vegetables or SF supplements, through their activating effect on hsALDH can protect individuals who are alcohol intolerant against acetaldehyde toxicity and also lower the risk of oral cancer

  6. The Functional Significance of Posttranslational Modifications on Polo-Like Kinase 1 Revealed by Chemical Genetic Complementation

    PubMed Central

    Lasek, Amber L.; McPherson, Brittany M.; Trueman, Natalie G.; Burkard, Mark E.

    2016-01-01

    Mitosis is coordinated by carefully controlled phosphorylation and ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis. Polo-like kinase 1 (Plk1) plays a central role in regulating mitosis and cytokinesis by phosphorylating target proteins. Yet, Plk1 is itself a target for posttranslational modification by phosphorylation and ubiquitination. We developed a chemical-genetic complementation assay to evaluate the functional significance of 34 posttranslational modifications (PTMs) on human Plk1. To do this, we used human cells that solely express a modified analog-sensitive Plk1 (Plk1AS) and complemented with wildtype Plk1. The wildtype Plk1 provides cells with a functional Plk1 allele in the presence of 3-MB-PP1, a bulky ATP-analog inhibitor that specifically inhibits Plk1AS. Using this approach, we evaluated the ability of 34 singly non-modifiable Plk1 mutants to complement Plk1AS in the presence of 3-MB-PP1. Mutation of the T-loop activating residue T210 and adjacent T214 are lethal, but surprisingly individual mutation of the remaining 32 posttranslational modification sites did not disrupt the essential functions of Plk1. To evaluate redundancy, we simultaneously mutated all phosphorylation sites in the kinase domain except for T210 and T214 or all sites in the C-terminal polo-box domain (PBD). We discovered that redundant phosphorylation events within the kinase domain are required for accurate chromosome segregation in anaphase but those in the PBD are dispensable. We conclude that PTMs within the T-loop of Plk1 are essential and nonredundant, additional modifications in the kinase domain provide redundant control of Plk1 function, and those in the PBD are dispensable for essential mitotic functions of Plk1. This comprehensive evaluation of Plk1 modifications demonstrates that although phosphorylation and ubiquitination are important for mitotic progression, many individual PTMs detected in human tissue may have redundant, subtle, or dispensable roles in gene function. PMID

  7. Metabolomics reveals a novel vitamin E metabolite and attenuated vitamin E metabolism upon PXR activation.

    PubMed

    Cho, Joo-Youn; Kang, Dong Wook; Ma, Xiaochao; Ahn, Sung-Hoon; Krausz, Kristopher W; Luecke, Hans; Idle, Jeffrey R; Gonzalez, Frank J

    2009-05-01

    Pregnane X receptor (PXR) is an important nuclear receptor xenosensor that regulates the expression of metabolic enzymes and transporters involved in the metabolism of xenobiotics and endobiotics. In this study, ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) coupled with electrospray time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOFMS), revealed altered urinary metabolomes in both Pxr-null and wild-type mice treated with the mouse PXR activator pregnenolone 16alpha-carbonitrile (PCN). Multivariate data analysis revealed that PCN significantly attenuated the urinary vitamin E metabolite alpha-carboxyethyl hydroxychroman (CEHC) glucuronide together with a novel metabolite in wild-type but not Pxr-null mice. Deconjugation experiments with beta-glucuronidase and beta-glucosidase suggested that the novel urinary metabolite was gamma-CEHC beta-D-glucoside (Glc). The identity of gamma-CEHC Glc was confirmed by chemical synthesis and by comparing tandem mass fragmentation of the urinary metabolite with the authentic standard. The lower urinary CEHC was likely due to PXR-mediated repression of hepatic sterol carrier protein 2 involved in peroxisomal beta-oxidation of branched-chain fatty acids (BCFA). Using a combination of metabolomic analysis and a genetically modified mouse model, this study revealed that activation of PXR results in attenuated levels of the two vitamin E conjugates, and identification of a novel vitamin E metabolite, gamma-CEHC Glc. Activation of PXR results in attenuated levels of the two vitamin E conjugates that may be useful as biomarkers of PXR activation.

  8. Activation of AMP-activated protein kinase revealed by hydrogen/deuterium exchange Mass Spectrometry

    PubMed Central

    Landgraf, Rachelle R.; Goswami, Devrishi; Rajamohan, Francis; Harris, Melissa S.; Calabrese, Matthew; Hoth, Lise R.; Magyar, Rachelle; Pascal, Bruce D.; Chalmers, Michael J.; Busby, Scott A.; Kurumbail, Ravi; Griffin, Patrick R.

    2013-01-01

    Summary AMP-Activated protein kinase (AMPK) monitors cellular energy, regulates genes involved in ATP synthesis and consumption, and is allosterically activated by nucleotides and synthetic ligands. Analysis of the intact enzyme by hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry reveals conformational perturbations of AMPK in response to binding of nucleotides, cyclodextrin and a synthetic small molecule activator, A769662. Results from this analysis clearly show that binding of AMP leads to conformational changes primarily in the γ subunit of AMPK and subtle changes in the α and β subunits. In contrast, A769662 causes profound conformational changes in the glycogen binding module of the β subunit and in the kinase domain of the α subunit suggesting that the molecular binding site of latter resides between the α and β subunits. The distinct short and long-range perturbations induced upon binding of AMP and A769662 suggest fundamentally different molecular mechanisms for activation of AMPK by these two ligands. PMID:24076403

  9. Sequencing the extrachromosomal circular mobilome reveals retrotransposon activity in plants

    PubMed Central

    Llauro, Christel; Jobet, Edouard; Robakowska-Hyzorek, Dagmara; Lasserre, Eric; Ghesquière, Alain; Panaud, Olivier

    2017-01-01

    Retrotransposons are mobile genetic elements abundant in plant and animal genomes. While efficiently silenced by the epigenetic machinery, they can be reactivated upon stress or during development. Their level of transcription not reflecting their transposition ability, it is thus difficult to evaluate their contribution to the active mobilome. Here we applied a simple methodology based on the high throughput sequencing of extrachromosomal circular DNA (eccDNA) forms of active retrotransposons to characterize the repertoire of mobile retrotransposons in plants. This method successfully identified known active retrotransposons in both Arabidopsis and rice material where the epigenome is destabilized. When applying mobilome-seq to developmental stages in wild type rice, we identified PopRice as a highly active retrotransposon producing eccDNA forms in the wild type endosperm. The mobilome-seq strategy opens new routes for the characterization of a yet unexplored fraction of plant genomes. PMID:28212378

  10. Trends in space activities in 2014: The significance of the space activities of governments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paikowsky, Deganit; Baram, Gil; Ben-Israel, Isaac

    2016-01-01

    This article addresses the principal events of 2014 in the field of space activities, and extrapolates from them the primary trends that can be identified in governmental space activities. In 2014, global space activities centered on two vectors. The first was geopolitical, and the second relates to the matrix between increasing commercial space activities and traditional governmental space activities. In light of these two vectors, the article outlines and analyzes trends of space exploration, human spaceflights, industry and technology, cooperation versus self-reliance, and space security and sustainability. It also reviews the space activities of the leading space-faring nations.

  11. Recombinant Human Peptidoglycan Recognition Proteins Reveal Antichlamydial Activity.

    PubMed

    Bobrovsky, Pavel; Manuvera, Valentin; Polina, Nadezhda; Podgorny, Oleg; Prusakov, Kirill; Govorun, Vadim; Lazarev, Vassili

    2016-07-01

    Peptidoglycan recognition proteins (PGLYRPs) are innate immune components that recognize the peptidoglycan and lipopolysaccharides of bacteria and exhibit antibacterial activity. Recently, the obligate intracellular parasite Chlamydia trachomatis was shown to have peptidoglycan. However, the antichlamydial activity of PGLYRPs has not yet been demonstrated. The aim of our study was to test whether PGLYRPs exhibit antibacterial activity against C. trachomatis Thus, we cloned the regions containing the human Pglyrp1, Pglyrp2, Pglyrp3, and Pglyrp4 genes for subsequent expression in human cell lines. We obtained stable HeLa cell lines that secrete recombinant human PGLYRPs into culture medium. We also generated purified recombinant PGLYRP1, -2, and -4 and confirmed their activities against Gram-positive (Bacillus subtilis) and Gram-negative (Escherichia coli) bacteria. Furthermore, we examined the activities of recombinant PGLYRPs against C. trachomatis and determined their MICs. We also observed a decrease in the infectious ability of chlamydial elementary bodies in the next generation after a single exposure to PGLYRPs. Finally, we demonstrated that PGLYRPs attach to C. trachomatis elementary bodies and activate the expression of the chlamydial two-component stress response system. Thus, PGLYRPs inhibit the development of chlamydial infection.

  12. Recombinant Human Peptidoglycan Recognition Proteins Reveal Antichlamydial Activity

    PubMed Central

    Manuvera, Valentin; Polina, Nadezhda; Podgorny, Oleg; Prusakov, Kirill; Govorun, Vadim; Lazarev, Vassili

    2016-01-01

    Peptidoglycan recognition proteins (PGLYRPs) are innate immune components that recognize the peptidoglycan and lipopolysaccharides of bacteria and exhibit antibacterial activity. Recently, the obligate intracellular parasite Chlamydia trachomatis was shown to have peptidoglycan. However, the antichlamydial activity of PGLYRPs has not yet been demonstrated. The aim of our study was to test whether PGLYRPs exhibit antibacterial activity against C. trachomatis. Thus, we cloned the regions containing the human Pglyrp1, Pglyrp2, Pglyrp3, and Pglyrp4 genes for subsequent expression in human cell lines. We obtained stable HeLa cell lines that secrete recombinant human PGLYRPs into culture medium. We also generated purified recombinant PGLYRP1, -2, and -4 and confirmed their activities against Gram-positive (Bacillus subtilis) and Gram-negative (Escherichia coli) bacteria. Furthermore, we examined the activities of recombinant PGLYRPs against C. trachomatis and determined their MICs. We also observed a decrease in the infectious ability of chlamydial elementary bodies in the next generation after a single exposure to PGLYRPs. Finally, we demonstrated that PGLYRPs attach to C. trachomatis elementary bodies and activate the expression of the chlamydial two-component stress response system. Thus, PGLYRPs inhibit the development of chlamydial infection. PMID:27160295

  13. Enceladus's activity as revealed by Cassini-Huygens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, Juergen

    2015-08-01

    The activity of Enceladus has been monitored by Cassini for nearly one decade after its discovery (see Science, 2006, 311, special issue). Thus, crucial properties of the vapor and dust plumes, heat output, surface properties, and the gravity field of the satellite are constrained in a fairly detailed manner. In this paper I review key observational facts and discuss implications for the vent geometries as well as interior structure and composition. Special emphasize I will give to data recorded by the Cassini Cosmic Dust Analyzer, and the conclusions drawn from it, concerning the number, size, and composition of grains ejected by the plumes associated with the south polar activity.

  14. The draft genome sequence of Corynebacterium diphtheriae bv. mitis NCTC 3529 reveals significant diversity between the primary disease-causing biovars.

    PubMed

    Sangal, Vartul; Tucker, Nicholas P; Burkovski, Andreas; Hoskisson, Paul A

    2012-06-01

    We report the draft genome of the human pathogen Corynebacterium diphtheriae bv. mitis NCTC 3529. This is the first C. diphtheriae bv. mitis strain to be sequenced and reveals significant differences from the other primary biovar, C. diphtheriae bv. gravis.

  15. Revealing Student Blogging Activities Using RSS Feeds and LMS Logs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Derntl, Michael

    2010-01-01

    Blogs are an easy-to-use, free alternative to classic means of computer-mediated communication. Moreover, they are authentically aligned with web activity patterns of today's students. The body of studies on integrating and implementing blogs in various educational settings has grown rapidly recently; however, it is often difficult to distill…

  16. Sleeping Beauty screen reveals Pparg activation in metastatic prostate cancer.

    PubMed

    Ahmad, Imran; Mui, Ernest; Galbraith, Laura; Patel, Rachana; Tan, Ee Hong; Salji, Mark; Rust, Alistair G; Repiscak, Peter; Hedley, Ann; Markert, Elke; Loveridge, Carolyn; van der Weyden, Louise; Edwards, Joanne; Sansom, Owen J; Adams, David J; Leung, Hing Y

    2016-07-19

    Prostate cancer (CaP) is the most common adult male cancer in the developed world. The paucity of biomarkers to predict prostate tumor biology makes it important to identify key pathways that confer poor prognosis and guide potential targeted therapy. Using a murine forward mutagenesis screen in a Pten-null background, we identified peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (Pparg), encoding a ligand-activated transcription factor, as a promoter of metastatic CaP through activation of lipid signaling pathways, including up-regulation of lipid synthesis enzymes [fatty acid synthase (FASN), acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), ATP citrate lyase (ACLY)]. Importantly, inhibition of PPARG suppressed tumor growth in vivo, with down-regulation of the lipid synthesis program. We show that elevated levels of PPARG strongly correlate with elevation of FASN in human CaP and that high levels of PPARG/FASN and PI3K/pAKT pathway activation confer a poor prognosis. These data suggest that CaP patients could be stratified in terms of PPARG/FASN and PTEN levels to identify patients with aggressive CaP who may respond favorably to PPARG/FASN inhibition.

  17. Sleeping Beauty screen reveals Pparg activation in metastatic prostate cancer

    PubMed Central

    Ahmad, Imran; Mui, Ernest; Galbraith, Laura; Patel, Rachana; Tan, Ee Hong; Salji, Mark; Rust, Alistair G.; Repiscak, Peter; Hedley, Ann; Markert, Elke; Loveridge, Carolyn; van der Weyden, Louise; Edwards, Joanne; Sansom, Owen J.; Adams, David J.; Leung, Hing Y.

    2016-01-01

    Prostate cancer (CaP) is the most common adult male cancer in the developed world. The paucity of biomarkers to predict prostate tumor biology makes it important to identify key pathways that confer poor prognosis and guide potential targeted therapy. Using a murine forward mutagenesis screen in a Pten-null background, we identified peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (Pparg), encoding a ligand-activated transcription factor, as a promoter of metastatic CaP through activation of lipid signaling pathways, including up-regulation of lipid synthesis enzymes [fatty acid synthase (FASN), acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), ATP citrate lyase (ACLY)]. Importantly, inhibition of PPARG suppressed tumor growth in vivo, with down-regulation of the lipid synthesis program. We show that elevated levels of PPARG strongly correlate with elevation of FASN in human CaP and that high levels of PPARG/FASN and PI3K/pAKT pathway activation confer a poor prognosis. These data suggest that CaP patients could be stratified in terms of PPARG/FASN and PTEN levels to identify patients with aggressive CaP who may respond favorably to PPARG/FASN inhibition. PMID:27357679

  18. ChIP-on-chip significance analysis reveals large-scale binding and regulation by human transcription factor oncogenes

    PubMed Central

    Margolin, Adam A.; Palomero, Teresa; Sumazin, Pavel; Califano, Andrea; Ferrando, Adolfo A.; Stolovitzky, Gustavo

    2009-01-01

    ChIP-on-chip has emerged as a powerful tool to dissect the complex network of regulatory interactions between transcription factors and their targets. However, most ChIP-on-chip analysis methods use conservative approaches aimed at minimizing false-positive transcription factor targets. We present a model with improved sensitivity in detecting binding events from ChIP-on-chip data. Its application to human T cells, followed by extensive biochemical validation, reveals that 3 oncogenic transcription factors, NOTCH1, MYC, and HES1, bind to several thousand target gene promoters, up to an order of magnitude increase over conventional analysis methods. Gene expression profiling upon NOTCH1 inhibition shows broad-scale functional regulation across the entire range of predicted target genes, establishing a closer link between occupancy and regulation. Finally, the increased sensitivity reveals a combinatorial regulatory program in which MYC cobinds to virtually all NOTCH1-bound promoters. Overall, these results suggest an unappreciated complexity of transcriptional regulatory networks and highlight the fundamental importance of genome-scale analysis to represent transcriptional programs. PMID:19118200

  19. ChIP-on-chip significance analysis reveals large-scale binding and regulation by human transcription factor oncogenes.

    PubMed

    Margolin, Adam A; Palomero, Teresa; Sumazin, Pavel; Califano, Andrea; Ferrando, Adolfo A; Stolovitzky, Gustavo

    2009-01-06

    ChIP-on-chip has emerged as a powerful tool to dissect the complex network of regulatory interactions between transcription factors and their targets. However, most ChIP-on-chip analysis methods use conservative approaches aimed at minimizing false-positive transcription factor targets. We present a model with improved sensitivity in detecting binding events from ChIP-on-chip data. Its application to human T cells, followed by extensive biochemical validation, reveals that 3 oncogenic transcription factors, NOTCH1, MYC, and HES1, bind to several thousand target gene promoters, up to an order of magnitude increase over conventional analysis methods. Gene expression profiling upon NOTCH1 inhibition shows broad-scale functional regulation across the entire range of predicted target genes, establishing a closer link between occupancy and regulation. Finally, the increased sensitivity reveals a combinatorial regulatory program in which MYC cobinds to virtually all NOTCH1-bound promoters. Overall, these results suggest an unappreciated complexity of transcriptional regulatory networks and highlight the fundamental importance of genome-scale analysis to represent transcriptional programs.

  20. Long-term home cage activity scans reveal lowered exploratory behaviour in symptomatic female Rett mice.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Lianne; Plano, Andrea; Cobb, Stuart; Riedel, Gernot

    2013-08-01

    Numerous experimental models have been developed to reiterate endophenotypes of Rett syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder with a multitude of motor, cognitive and vegetative symptoms. Here, female Mecp2(Stop) mice [1] were characterised at mild symptomatic conditions in tests for anxiety (open field, elevated plus maze) and home cage observation systems for food intake, locomotor activity and circadian rhythms. Aged 8-9 months, Mecp2(Stop) mice presented with heightened body weight, lower overall activity in the open field, but no anxiety phenotype. Although home cage activity scans conducted in two different observation systems, PhenoMaster and PhenoTyper, confirmed normal circadian activity, they revealed severely compromised habituation to a novel environment in all parameters registered including those derived from a non-linear decay model such as initial exploration maximum, decay half-life of activity and span, as well as plateau. Furthermore, overall activity was significantly reduced in nocturnal periods due to reductions in both fast ambulatory movements, but also a slow lingering. In contrast, light-period activity profiles during which the amount of sleep was highest remained normal in Mecp2(Stop) mice. These data confirm the slow and progressive development of Rett-like symptoms in female Mecp2(Stop) mice resulting in a prominent reduction of overall locomotor activity, while circadian rhythms are maintained. Alterations in the time-course of habituation may indicate deficiencies in cognitive processing.

  1. Metaproteomic analysis reveals microbial metabolic activities in the deep ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Da-Zhi; Xie, Zhang-Xian; Zhang, Shu-Feng; Wang, Ming-Hua; Zhang, Hao; Kong, Ling-Fen; Lin, Lin

    2016-04-01

    The deep sea is the largest habitat on earth and holds many and varied microbial life forms. However, little is known about their metabolic activities in the deep ocean. Here, we characterized protein profiles of particulate (>0.22 μm) and dissolved (between 10 kDa and 0.22 μm) fractions collected from the deep South China Sea using a shotgun proteomic approach. SAR324, Alteromonadales and SAR11 were the most abundant groups, while Prasinophyte contributed most to eukaryotes and cyanophage to viruses. The dominant heterotrophic activity was evidenced by the abundant transporters (33%). Proteins participating in nitrification, methanogenesis, methyltrophy and CO2 fixation were detected. Notably, the predominance of unique cellular proteins in dissolved fraction suggested the presence of membrane structures. Moreover, the detection of translation proteins related to phytoplankton indicated that other process rather than sinking particles might be the downward export of living cells. Our study implied that novel extracellular activities and the interaction of deep water with its overlying water could be crucial to the microbial world of deep sea.

  2. Latent luciferase activity in the fruit fly revealed by a synthetic luciferin

    PubMed Central

    Mofford, David M.; Reddy, Gadarla Randheer; Miller, Stephen C.

    2014-01-01

    Beetle luciferases are thought to have evolved from fatty acyl-CoA synthetases present in all insects. Both classes of enzymes activate fatty acids with ATP to form acyl-adenylate intermediates, but only luciferases can activate and oxidize d-luciferin to emit light. Here we show that the Drosophila fatty acyl-CoA synthetase CG6178, which cannot use d-luciferin as a substrate, is able to catalyze light emission from the synthetic luciferin analog CycLuc2. Bioluminescence can be detected from the purified protein, live Drosophila Schneider 2 cells, and from mammalian cells transfected with CG6178. Thus, the nonluminescent fruit fly possesses an inherent capacity for bioluminescence that is only revealed upon treatment with a xenobiotic molecule. This result expands the scope of bioluminescence and demonstrates that the introduction of a new substrate can unmask latent enzymatic activity that differs significantly from an enzyme’s normal function without requiring mutation. PMID:24616520

  3. Revealing phosphoproteins playing role in tobacco pollen activated in vitro.

    PubMed

    Fíla, Jan; Matros, Andrea; Radau, Sonja; Zahedi, René Peiman; Capková, Věra; Mock, Hans-Peter; Honys, David

    2012-11-01

    The transition between the quiescent mature and the metabolically active germinating pollen grain most probably involves changes in protein phosphorylation status, since phosphorylation has been implicated in the regulation of many cellular processes. Given that, only a minor proportion of cellular proteins are phosphorylated at any one time, and that phosphorylated and nonphosphorylated forms of many proteins can co-exist within a cell, the identification of phosphoproteins requires some prior enrichment from a crude protein extract. Here, we have used metal oxide/hydroxide affinity chromatography (MOAC) based on an aluminum hydroxide matrix for this purpose, and have generated a population of phosphoprotein candidates from both mature and in vitro activated tobacco pollen grains. Both electrophoretic and nonelectrophoretic methods, allied to MS, were applied to these extracts to identify a set of 139 phosphoprotein candidates. In vitro phosphorylation was also used to validate the spectrum of phosphoprotein candidates obtained by the MOAC phosphoprotein enrichment. Since only one phosphorylation site was detected by the above approach, titanium dioxide phosphopeptide enrichment of trypsinized mature pollen crude extract was performed as well. It resulted in a detection of additional 51 phosphorylation sites giving a total of 52 identified phosphosites in this set of 139 phosphoprotein candidates.

  4. Active Interaction Mapping Reveals the Hierarchical Organization of Autophagy.

    PubMed

    Kramer, Michael H; Farré, Jean-Claude; Mitra, Koyel; Yu, Michael Ku; Ono, Keiichiro; Demchak, Barry; Licon, Katherine; Flagg, Mitchell; Balakrishnan, Rama; Cherry, J Michael; Subramani, Suresh; Ideker, Trey

    2017-02-16

    We have developed a general progressive procedure, Active Interaction Mapping, to guide assembly of the hierarchy of functions encoding any biological system. Using this process, we assemble an ontology of functions comprising autophagy, a central recycling process implicated in numerous diseases. A first-generation model, built from existing gene networks in Saccharomyces, captures most known autophagy components in broad relation to vesicle transport, cell cycle, and stress response. Systematic analysis identifies synthetic-lethal interactions as most informative for further experiments; consequently, we saturate the model with 156,364 such measurements across autophagy-activating conditions. These targeted interactions provide more information about autophagy than all previous datasets, producing a second-generation ontology of 220 functions. Approximately half are previously unknown; we confirm roles for Gyp1 at the phagophore-assembly site, Atg24 in cargo engulfment, Atg26 in cytoplasm-to-vacuole targeting, and Ssd1, Did4, and others in selective and non-selective autophagy. The procedure and autophagy hierarchy are at http://atgo.ucsd.edu/.

  5. Oscillatory Brain Activity Reveals Linguistic Prints in the Quantity Code

    PubMed Central

    Salillas, Elena; Barraza, Paulo; Carreiras, Manuel

    2015-01-01

    Number representations change through education, although it is currently unclear whether and how language could impact the magnitude representation that we share with other species. The most prominent view is that language does not play any role in modulating the core numeric representation involved in the contrast of quantities. Nevertheless, possible cultural hints on the numerical magnitude representation are currently on discussion focus. In fact, the acquisition of number words provides linguistic input that the quantity system may not ignore. Bilingualism offers a window to the study of this question, especially in bilinguals where the two number wording systems imply also two different numerical systems, such as in Basque-Spanish bilinguals. The present study evidences linguistic prints in the core number representational system through the analysis of EEG oscillatory activity during a simple number comparison task. Gamma band synchronization appears when Basque-Spanish bilinguals compare pairs of Arabic numbers linked through the Basque base-20 wording system, but it does not if the pairs are related through the base-10 system. Crucially, this gamma activity, originated in a left fronto-parietal network, only appears in bilinguals who learned math in Basque and not in equivalent proficiency bilinguals who learned math in Spanish. Thus, this neural index reflected in gamma band synchrony appears to be triggered by early learning experience with the base-20 numerical associations in Basque number words. PMID:25875210

  6. Multilocus phylogenetic analyses reveal unexpected abundant diversity and significant disjunct distribution pattern of the Hedgehog Mushrooms (Hydnum L.).

    PubMed

    Feng, Bang; Wang, Xiang-Hua; Ratkowsky, David; Gates, Genevieve; Lee, Su See; Grebenc, Tine; Yang, Zhu L

    2016-05-06

    Hydnum is a fungal genus proposed by Linnaeus in the early time of modern taxonomy. It contains several ectomycorrhizal species which are commonly consumed worldwide. However, Hydnum is one of the most understudied fungal genera, especially from a molecular phylogenetic view. In this study, we extensively gathered specimens of Hydnum from Asia, Europe, America and Australasia, and analyzed them by using sequences of four gene fragments (ITS, nrLSU, tef1α and rpb1). Our phylogenetic analyses recognized at least 31 phylogenetic species within Hydnum, 15 of which were reported for the first time. Most Australasian species were recognized as strongly divergent old relics, but recent migration between Australasia and the Northern Hemisphere was also detected. Within the Northern Hemisphere, frequent historical biota exchanges between the Old World and the New World via both the North Atlantic Land Bridge and the Bering Land Bridge could be elucidated. Our study also revealed that most Hydnum species found in subalpine areas of the Hengduan Mountains in southwestern China occur in northeastern/northern China and Europe, indicating that the composition of the mycobiota in the Hengduan Mountains reigion is more complicated than what we have known before.

  7. Multilocus phylogenetic analyses reveal unexpected abundant diversity and significant disjunct distribution pattern of the Hedgehog Mushrooms (Hydnum L.)

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Bang; Wang, Xiang-Hua; Ratkowsky, David; Gates, Genevieve; Lee, Su See; Grebenc, Tine; Yang, Zhu L.

    2016-01-01

    Hydnum is a fungal genus proposed by Linnaeus in the early time of modern taxonomy. It contains several ectomycorrhizal species which are commonly consumed worldwide. However, Hydnum is one of the most understudied fungal genera, especially from a molecular phylogenetic view. In this study, we extensively gathered specimens of Hydnum from Asia, Europe, America and Australasia, and analyzed them by using sequences of four gene fragments (ITS, nrLSU, tef1α and rpb1). Our phylogenetic analyses recognized at least 31 phylogenetic species within Hydnum, 15 of which were reported for the first time. Most Australasian species were recognized as strongly divergent old relics, but recent migration between Australasia and the Northern Hemisphere was also detected. Within the Northern Hemisphere, frequent historical biota exchanges between the Old World and the New World via both the North Atlantic Land Bridge and the Bering Land Bridge could be elucidated. Our study also revealed that most Hydnum species found in subalpine areas of the Hengduan Mountains in southwestern China occur in northeastern/northern China and Europe, indicating that the composition of the mycobiota in the Hengduan Mountains reigion is more complicated than what we have known before. PMID:27151256

  8. Light and electron microscopy of the European beaver (Castor fiber) stomach reveal unique morphological features with possible general biological significance.

    PubMed

    Ziółkowska, Natalia; Lewczuk, Bogdan; Petryński, Wojciech; Palkowska, Katarzyna; Prusik, Magdalena; Targońska, Krystyna; Giżejewski, Zygmunt; Przybylska-Gornowicz, Barbara

    2014-01-01

    Anatomical, histological, and ultrastructural studies of the European beaver stomach revealed several unique morphological features. The prominent attribute of its gross morphology was the cardiogastric gland (CGG), located near the oesophageal entrance. Light microscopy showed that the CGG was formed by invaginations of the mucosa into the submucosa, which contained densely packed proper gastric glands comprised primarily of parietal and chief cells. Mucous neck cells represented <0.1% of cells in the CGG gastric glands and 22-32% of cells in the proper gastric glands of the mucosa lining the stomach lumen. These data suggest that chief cells in the CGG develop from undifferentiated cells that migrate through the gastric gland neck rather than from mucous neck cells. Classical chief cell formation (i.e., arising from mucous neck cells) occurred in the mucosa lining the stomach lumen, however. The muscularis around the CGG consisted primarily of skeletal muscle tissue. The cardiac region was rudimentary while the fundus/corpus and pyloric regions were equally developed. Another unusual feature of the beaver stomach was the presence of specific mucus with a thickness up to 950 µm (in frozen, unfixed sections) that coated the mucosa. Our observations suggest that the formation of this mucus is complex and includes the secretory granule accumulation in the cytoplasm of pit cells, the granule aggregation inside cells, and the incorporation of degenerating cells into the mucus.

  9. Characterization and phylogenetic analysis of α-gliadin gene sequences reveals significant genomic divergence in Triticeae species.

    PubMed

    Li, Guang-Rong; Lang, Tao; Yang, En-Nian; Liu, Cheng; Yang, Zu-Jun

    2014-12-01

    Although the unique properties of wheat α-gliadin gene family are well characterized, little is known about the evolution and genomic divergence of α-gliadin gene family within the Triticeae. We isolated a total of 203 α-gliadin gene sequences from 11 representative diploid and polyploid Triticeae species, and found 108 sequences putatively functional. Our results indicate that α-gliadin genes may have possibly originated from wild Secale species, where the sequences contain the shortest repetitive domains and display minimum variation. A miniature inverted-repeat transposable element insertion is reported for the first time in α-gliadin gene sequence of Thinopyrum intermedium in this study, indicating that the transposable element might have contributed to the diversification of α-gliadin genes family among Triticeae genomes. The phylogenetic analyses revealed that the α-gliadin gene sequences of Dasypyrum, Australopyrum, Lophopyrum, Eremopyrum and Pseudoroengeria species have amplified several times. A search for four typical toxic epitopes for celiac disease within the Triticeae α-gliadin gene sequences showed that the α-gliadins of wild Secale, Australopyrum and Agropyron genomes lack all four epitopes, while other Triticeae species have accumulated these epitopes, suggesting that the evolution of these toxic epitopes sequences occurred during the course of speciation, domestication or polyploidization of Triticeae.

  10. Light and Electron Microscopy of the European Beaver (Castor fiber) Stomach Reveal Unique Morphological Features with Possible General Biological Significance

    PubMed Central

    Petryński, Wojciech; Palkowska, Katarzyna; Prusik, Magdalena; Targońska, Krystyna; Giżejewski, Zygmunt; Przybylska-Gornowicz, Barbara

    2014-01-01

    Anatomical, histological, and ultrastructural studies of the European beaver stomach revealed several unique morphological features. The prominent attribute of its gross morphology was the cardiogastric gland (CGG), located near the oesophageal entrance. Light microscopy showed that the CGG was formed by invaginations of the mucosa into the submucosa, which contained densely packed proper gastric glands comprised primarily of parietal and chief cells. Mucous neck cells represented <0.1% of cells in the CGG gastric glands and 22–32% of cells in the proper gastric glands of the mucosa lining the stomach lumen. These data suggest that chief cells in the CGG develop from undifferentiated cells that migrate through the gastric gland neck rather than from mucous neck cells. Classical chief cell formation (i.e., arising from mucous neck cells) occurred in the mucosa lining the stomach lumen, however. The muscularis around the CGG consisted primarily of skeletal muscle tissue. The cardiac region was rudimentary while the fundus/corpus and pyloric regions were equally developed. Another unusual feature of the beaver stomach was the presence of specific mucus with a thickness up to 950 µm (in frozen, unfixed sections) that coated the mucosa. Our observations suggest that the formation of this mucus is complex and includes the secretory granule accumulation in the cytoplasm of pit cells, the granule aggregation inside cells, and the incorporation of degenerating cells into the mucus. PMID:24727802

  11. Neural activity reveals perceptual grouping in working memory.

    PubMed

    Rabbitt, Laura R; Roberts, Daniel M; McDonald, Craig G; Peterson, Matthew S

    2017-03-01

    There is extensive evidence that the contralateral delay activity (CDA), a scalp recorded event-related brain potential, provides a reliable index of the number of objects held in visual working memory. Here we present evidence that the CDA not only indexes visual object working memory, but also the number of locations held in spatial working memory. In addition, we demonstrate that the CDA can be predictably modulated by the type of encoding strategy employed. When individual locations were held in working memory, the pattern of CDA modulation mimicked previous findings for visual object working memory. Specifically, CDA amplitude increased monotonically until working memory capacity was reached. However, when participants were instructed to group individual locations to form a constellation, the CDA was prolonged and reached an asymptote at two locations. This result provides neural evidence for the formation of a unitary representation of multiple spatial locations.

  12. GC-MS metabolomic analysis reveals significant alterations in cerebellar metabolic physiology in a mouse model of adult onset hypothyroidism.

    PubMed

    Constantinou, Caterina; Chrysanthopoulos, Panagiotis K; Margarity, Marigoula; Klapa, Maria I

    2011-02-04

    Although adult-onset hypothyroidism (AOH) has been connected to neural activity alterations, including movement, behavioral, and mental dysfunctions, the underlying changes in brain metabolic physiology have not been investigated in a systemic and systematic way. The current knowledge remains fragmented, referring to different experimental setups and recovered from various brain regions. In this study, we developed and applied a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) metabolomics protocol to obtain a holistic view of the cerebellar metabolic physiology in a Balb/cJ mouse model of prolonged adult-onset hypothyroidism induced by a 64-day treatment with 1% potassium perchlorate in the drinking water of the animals. The high-throughput analysis enabled the correlation between multiple parallel-occurring metabolic phenomena; some have been previously related to AOH, while others implicated new pathways, designating new directions for further research. Specifically, an overall decline in the metabolic activity of the hypothyroid compared to the euthyroid cerebellum was observed, characteristically manifested in energy metabolism, glutamate/glutamine metabolism, osmolytic/antioxidant capacity, and protein/lipid synthesis. These alterations provide strong evidence that the mammalian cerebellum is metabolically responsive to AOH. In light of the cerebellum core functions and its increasingly recognized role in neurocognition, these findings further support the known phenotypic manifestations of AOH into movement and cognitive dysfunctions.

  13. The significance of the Golgi complex in envelopment of bovine herpesvirus 1 (BHV-1) as revealed by cryobased electron microscopy.

    PubMed

    Wild, Peter; Schraner, Elisabeth M; Cantieni, Daniel; Loepfe, Eva; Walther, Paul; Müller, Martin; Engels, Monika

    2002-01-01

    Nucleocapsids of herpesviruses originate in the nucleus of host cells and bud through the inner nuclear membrane acquiring tegument and envelope. The release of the enveloped virus particle from the perinuclear space is unknown. Cryobased electron microscopic imaging revealed enveloped virus particles within cisterns associated with the perinuclear space, a pre-Golgi compartment connecting Golgi cisterns to the perinuclear space, and enveloped virus particles in Golgi cisterns where they are packaged into transport vacuoles by membrane fission. To our knowledge, our images show for the first time the connectivity from the perinuclear space to Golgi cisterns. The data strongly indicate an intracisternal transport of enveloped virus particles from the budding site to the packaging site. Budding starts by condensation at the inner membrane. Condensation involving the viral envelope and peripheral tegument was persistent in virus particles within perinuclear space and associated cisterns. Virus particles within Golgi cisterns and transport vacuoles originating by Golgi membrane fission, however, lacked condensation. Instead, spikes were clearly evident. The phenomenon of condensation is considered likely to be responsible for preventing fusion of the viral envelope with cisternal membranes and/or for driving virions from the perinuclear space to Golgi cisterns. Glycoprotein K is discussed to likely play a role in the intracisternal transportation of virions. In addition to the pathway including intracisternal transport and packaging, there were clear indications for the well-known pathway involving wrapping of cytoplasmic nucleocapsids by Golgi membranes. The origin of the cytoplasmic nucleocapsids, however, remains obscure. Lack of evidence for release of nucleocapsids at the outer nuclear membrane suggests that the process is very rapid, or that nucleocapsids pass the nucleocytoplasmic barrier via an alternative route.

  14. Significant modifications of the salivary proteome potentially associated with complications of Down syndrome revealed by top-down proteomics.

    PubMed

    Cabras, Tiziana; Pisano, Elisabetta; Montaldo, Caterina; Giuca, Maria Rita; Iavarone, Federica; Zampino, Giuseppe; Castagnola, Massimo; Messana, Irene

    2013-07-01

    People with Down syndrome, a frequent genetic disorder in humans, have increased risk of health problems associated with this condition. One clinical feature of Down syndrome is the increased prevalence and severity of periodontal disease in comparison with the general population. Because saliva plays an important role in maintaining oral health, in the present study the salivary proteome of Down syndrome subjects was investigated to explore modifications with respect to healthy subjects. Whole saliva of 36 Down syndrome subjects, divided in the age groups 10-17 yr and 18-50 yr, was analyzed by a top-down proteomic approach, based on the high performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-MS analysis of the intact proteins and peptides, and the qualitative and quantitative profiles were compared with sex- and age-matched control groups. The results showed the following interesting features: 1) as opposed to controls, in Down syndrome subjects the concentration of the major salivary proteins of gland origin did not increase with age; as a consequence concentration of acidic proline rich proteins and S cystatins were found significantly reduced in older Down syndrome subjects with respect to matched controls; 2) levels of the antimicrobial α-defensins 1 and 2 and histatins 3 and 5 were significantly increased in whole saliva of older Down syndrome subjects with respect to controls; 3) S100A7, S100A8, and S100A12 levels were significantly increased in whole saliva of Down syndrome subjects in comparison with controls. The increased level of S100A7 and S100A12 may be of particular interest as a biomarker of early onset Alzheimer's disease, which is frequently associated with Down syndrome.

  15. Significant Modifications of the Salivary Proteome Potentially Associated with Complications of Down Syndrome Revealed by Top-down Proteomics*

    PubMed Central

    Cabras, Tiziana; Pisano, Elisabetta; Montaldo, Caterina; Giuca, Maria Rita; Iavarone, Federica; Zampino, Giuseppe; Castagnola, Massimo; Messana, Irene

    2013-01-01

    People with Down syndrome, a frequent genetic disorder in humans, have increased risk of health problems associated with this condition. One clinical feature of Down syndrome is the increased prevalence and severity of periodontal disease in comparison with the general population. Because saliva plays an important role in maintaining oral health, in the present study the salivary proteome of Down syndrome subjects was investigated to explore modifications with respect to healthy subjects. Whole saliva of 36 Down syndrome subjects, divided in the age groups 10–17 yr and 18–50 yr, was analyzed by a top-down proteomic approach, based on the high performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization–MS analysis of the intact proteins and peptides, and the qualitative and quantitative profiles were compared with sex- and age-matched control groups. The results showed the following interesting features: 1) as opposed to controls, in Down syndrome subjects the concentration of the major salivary proteins of gland origin did not increase with age; as a consequence concentration of acidic proline rich proteins and S cystatins were found significantly reduced in older Down syndrome subjects with respect to matched controls; 2) levels of the antimicrobial α-defensins 1 and 2 and histatins 3 and 5 were significantly increased in whole saliva of older Down syndrome subjects with respect to controls; 3) S100A7, S100A8, and S100A12 levels were significantly increased in whole saliva of Down syndrome subjects in comparison with controls. The increased level of S100A7 and S100A12 may be of particular interest as a biomarker of early onset Alzheimer's disease, which is frequently associated with Down syndrome. PMID:23533003

  16. Physiological significance of ghrelin revealed by studies using genetically engineered mouse models with modifications in the ghrelin system.

    PubMed

    Ariyasu, Hiroyuki; Akamizu, Takashi

    2015-01-01

    Ghrelin, an endogenous ligand for the growth hormone (GH) secretagogue receptor (GHS-R or ghrelin receptor), is a 28-amino acid acylated peptide mainly produced in the stomach. The pharmacological administration of ghrelin is known to exert diverse effects, such as stimulating GH secretion, promoting food intake, and increasing adiposity. In recent years, genetically engineered mouse models have provided important insights into the physiology of various hormones. In this review, we discuss current knowledge regarding the physiological significance of ghrelin on the basis of studies using genetically engineered mouse models with modifications in the ghrelin system.

  17. Characterisation of Drosophila CMP-sialic acid synthetase activity reveals unusual enzymatic properties

    PubMed Central

    Mertsalov, Ilya B.; Novikov, Boris N.; Scott, Hilary; Dangott, Lawrence; Panin, Vladislav M.

    2016-01-01

    CMP-sialic acid synthetase (CSAS) is a key enzyme of the sialylation pathway. CSAS produces the activated sugar donor, CMP-sialic acid, which serves as a substrate for sialyltransferases to modify glycan termini with sialic acid. Unlike other animal CMP-Sia synthetases that normally localize in the nucleus, Drosophila melanogaster CSAS (DmCSAS) localizes in the cell secretory compartment, predominantly in the Golgi, which suggests that this enzyme has properties distinct from those of its vertebrate counterparts. To test this hypothesis, we purified recombinant DmCSAS and characterised its activity in vitro. Our experiments revealed several unique features of this enzyme. DmCSAS displays specificity for N-acetylneuraminic acid as a substrate, shows preference for lower pH and can function with a broad range of metal cofactors. When tested at a pH corresponding to the Golgi compartment, the enzyme showed significant activity with several metal cations, including Zn2+, Fe2+, Co2+ and Mn2+, while the activity with Mg2+ was found to be low. Protein sequence analysis and site-specific mutagenesis identified an aspartic acid residue that is necessary for enzymatic activity and predicted to be involved in coordinating a metal cofactor. DmCSAS enzymatic activity was found to be essential in vivo for rescuing the phenotype of DmCSAS mutants. Finally, our experiments revealed a steep dependence of the enzymatic activity on temperature. Taken together, our results indicate that DmCSAS underwent evolutionary adaptation to pH and ionic environment different from that of counterpart synthetases in vertebrates. Our data also suggest that environmental temperatures can regulate Drosophila sialylation, thus modulating neural transmission. PMID:27114558

  18. Characterization of Drosophila CMP-sialic acid synthetase activity reveals unusual enzymatic properties.

    PubMed

    Mertsalov, Ilya B; Novikov, Boris N; Scott, Hilary; Dangott, Lawrence; Panin, Vladislav M

    2016-07-01

    CMP-sialic acid synthetase (CSAS) is a key enzyme of the sialylation pathway. CSAS produces the activated sugar donor, CMP-sialic acid, which serves as a substrate for sialyltransferases to modify glycan termini with sialic acid. Unlike other animal CSASs that normally localize in the nucleus, Drosophila melanogaster CSAS (DmCSAS) localizes in the cell secretory compartment, predominantly in the Golgi, which suggests that this enzyme has properties distinct from those of its vertebrate counterparts. To test this hypothesis, we purified recombinant DmCSAS and characterized its activity in vitro Our experiments revealed several unique features of this enzyme. DmCSAS displays specificity for N-acetylneuraminic acid as a substrate, shows preference for lower pH and can function with a broad range of metal cofactors. When tested at a pH corresponding to the Golgi compartment, the enzyme showed significant activity with several metal cations, including Zn(2+), Fe(2+), Co(2+) and Mn(2+), whereas the activity with Mg(2+) was found to be low. Protein sequence analysis and site-specific mutagenesis identified an aspartic acid residue that is necessary for enzymatic activity and predicted to be involved in co-ordinating a metal cofactor. DmCSAS enzymatic activity was found to be essential in vivo for rescuing the phenotype of DmCSAS mutants. Finally, our experiments revealed a steep dependence of the enzymatic activity on temperature. Taken together, our results indicate that DmCSAS underwent evolutionary adaptation to pH and ionic environment different from that of counterpart synthetases in vertebrates. Our data also suggest that environmental temperatures can regulate Drosophila sialylation, thus modulating neural transmission.

  19. Structure-activity relationships in carbohydrates revealed by their hydration.

    PubMed

    Maugeri, Laura; Busch, Sebastian; McLain, Sylvia E; Pardo, Luis Carlos; Bruni, Fabio; Ricci, Maria Antonietta

    2016-12-21

    One of the more intriguing aspects of carbohydrate chemistry is that despite having very similar molecular structures, sugars have very different properties. For instance, there is a sensible difference in sweet taste between glucose and trehalose, even though trehalose is a disaccharide that comprised two glucose units, suggesting a different ability of these two carbohydrates to bind to sweet receptors. Here we have looked at the hydration of specific sites and at the three-dimensional configuration of water molecules around three carbohydrates (glucose, cellobiose, and trehalose), combining neutron diffraction data with computer modelling. Results indicate that identical chemical groups can have radically different hydration patterns depending on their location on a given molecule. These differences can be linked with the specific activity of glucose, cellobiose, and trehalose as a sweet substance, as building block of cellulose fiber, and as a bioprotective agent, respectively. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Recent Advances in Bionanomaterials" Guest Editors: Dr. Marie-Louise Saboungi and Dr. Samuel D. Bader.

  20. Metabolomics reveals significant impairments in the immune system of the APP/PS1 transgenic mice of Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    González-Domínguez, Raúl; García-Barrera, Tamara; Vitorica, Javier; Gómez-Ariza, José Luis

    2015-02-01

    Inflammatory processes and other failures related to the immune system are common features associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD), in both brain and the peripheral system. Thus, the study of the main organs of the immune system may have a great potential for the elucidation of pathological mechanisms underlying these abnormalities. This is the first metabolomic investigation performed in spleen and thymus from transgenic mice of AD. Tissues were fingerprinted using a metabolomic platform comprising GC-MS and ultra-HPLC-MS. Multivariate statistics demonstrated significant differences in numerous metabolites between the APP/PS1 mice and wild-type controls, and it was proven that multiple biochemical pathways are disturbed in these organs including abnormal metabolism of phospholipids, energy deficiencies, altered homeostasis of amino acids, oxidative stress, and others. Therefore, these findings highlight the importance of the proper metabolic functioning of peripheral immune system in the development of neurodegenerative disorders such as AD.

  1. Reticulate Structures Reveal the Significance of Cell Motility in the Morphogenesis of Complex Microbial Structures in Pavilion Lake, British Columbia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shepard, R.

    2008-12-01

    Microbial communities are architects of incredibly complex and diverse morphological structures. Each morphology is a snapshot that reflects the complex interactions within the microbial community and between the community and its environment. Characterizing morphology as an emergent property of microbial communities is thus relevant to understanding the evolution of multicellularity and complexity in developmental systems, to the identification of biosignatures, and to furthering our understanding of modern and ancient microbial ecology. Recently discovered cyanobacterial mats in Pavilion Lake, British Columbia construct unusual complex architecture on the scale of decimeters that incorporates significant void space. Fundamental mesoscale morphological elements include terraces, arches, bridges, depressions, domes, and pillars. The mats themselves also exhibit several microscale morphologies, with reticulate structures being the dominant example. The reticulate structures exhibit a diverse spectrum of morphologies with endmembers characterized by either angular or curvilinear ridges. In laboratory studies, aggregation into reticulate structures occurs as a result of the random gliding and colliding among motile cyanobacterial filaments. Likewise, when Pavilion reticulate mats were sampled and brought to the surface, cyanobacteria invariably migrated out of the mat onto surrounding surfaces. Filaments were observed to move rapidly in clumps, preferentially following paths of previous filaments. The migrating filaments organized into new angular and ropey reticulate biofilms within hours of sampling, demonstrating that cell motility is responsible for the reticulate patterns. Because the morphogenesis of reticulate structures can be linked to motility behaviors of filamentous cyanobacteria, the Willow Point mats provide a unique natural laboratory in which to elucidate the connections between a specific microbial behavior and the construction of complex microbial

  2. Significant population genetic structure of the Cameroonian fresh water snail, Bulinus globosus, (Gastropoda: Planorbidae) revealed by nuclear microsatellite loci analysis.

    PubMed

    Djuikwo-Teukeng, F F; Da Silva, A; Njiokou, F; Kamgang, B; Ekobo, A Same; Dreyfuss, G

    2014-09-01

    In order to characterize the demographic traits and spatial structure of Cameroonians Bulinus globosus, intermediate host of Schistosoma haematobium, genetic structure of seven different populations, collected from the tropical zone, was studied using six polymorphic microsatellites. Intrapopulation genetic diversity ranged from 0.37 to 0.55. Interpopulation genetic diversity variation clearly illustrated their significant isolation due to distance with gene flow substantially limited to neighbouring populations. The effective population sizes (Ne) were relatively low (from 3.0 to 18.6), which supposes a high rate from which populations would lose their genetic diversity by drift. Analysis of genetic temporal variability indicated fluctuations of allelic frequencies (35 of 42 locus-population combinations, P<0.05) characteristic of stochastic demography, and this is reinforced by events of bottlenecks detected in all populations. These findings demonstrated that Cameroonian B. globosus were mixed-maters with some populations showing clear preference for outcrossing. These data also suggest that genetic drift and gene flow are the main factors shaping the genetic structure of studied populations.

  3. Multispectral images of flowers reveal the adaptive significance of using long-wavelength-sensitive receptors for edge detection in bees.

    PubMed

    Vasas, Vera; Hanley, Daniel; Kevan, Peter G; Chittka, Lars

    2017-03-17

    Many pollinating insects acquire their entire nutrition from visiting flowers, and they must therefore be efficient both at detecting flowers and at recognizing familiar rewarding flower types. A crucial first step in recognition is the identification of edges and the segmentation of the visual field into areas that belong together. Honeybees and bumblebees acquire visual information through three types of photoreceptors; however, they only use a single receptor type-the one sensitive to longer wavelengths-for edge detection and movement detection. Here, we show that these long-wavelength receptors (peak sensitivity at ~544 nm, i.e., green) provide the most consistent signals in response to natural objects. Using our multispectral image database of flowering plants, we found that long-wavelength receptor responses had, depending on the specific scenario, up to four times higher signal-to-noise ratios than the short- and medium-wavelength receptors. The reliability of the long-wavelength receptors emerges from an intricate interaction between flower coloration and the bee's visual system. This finding highlights the adaptive significance of bees using only long-wavelength receptors to locate flowers among leaves, before using information provided by all three receptors to distinguish the rewarding flower species through trichromatic color vision.

  4. Revealing the nature of the active site on the carbon catalyst for C-H bond activation.

    PubMed

    Sun, XiaoYing; Li, Bo; Su, Dangsheng

    2014-09-28

    A reactivity descriptor for the C-H bond activation on the nanostructured carbon catalyst is proposed. Furthermore the calculations reveal that the single ketone group can be an active site in ODH reaction.

  5. Altered niche of an ecologically significant urchin species, Centrostephanus rodgersii, in its extended range revealed using an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perkins, Nicholas R.; Hill, Nicole A.; Foster, Scott D.; Barrett, Neville S.

    2015-03-01

    Poleward range shifts of species as a result of global climate change are being increasingly documented. As species extend into new ranges their ecological impacts and the niches that they occupy may be unpredictable. We use benthic imagery obtained from the broad-scale deployment of an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) to quantify the depth distribution of barrens habitat formed by a recent range extension of the sea urchin species, Centrostephanus rodgersii, a known ecosystem engineer. AUV transects covering similar depths from both the historical range of New South Wales, Australia, and from the range extension area of the east coast of Tasmania were examined for the presence of barrens. We find that C. rodgersii occupies a different realised niche in its extended range, with barrens habitat occurring significantly deeper in Tasmanian waters (16-58 m) compared to NSW waters (7-27 m). The expansion of barrens habitat has devastating impacts on biodiversity, with flow-on effects to ecosystem services and local fisheries, and in Tasmania this threat extends to deeper, invertebrate-dominated habitats. This finding has important management implications, in particular the need to incorporate deeper reef systems into planning, with increased barrens expected under future climate change predictions. One conservation management approach is the use of no-take Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) to prevent barren establishment in representative habitats by rebuilding viable populations of urchin predators. We also examine the correlation between MPA status and the occurrence of barrens within a small, no-take Tasmanian reserve and adjacent control sites. We find that there is suggestive, but inconclusive, evidence for fewer barrens in the MPA (p = 0.07). Our study highlights the utility of a novel technology for conducting large-scale benthic surveys and monitoring the impacts of range extending species.

  6. Recent fracture induced electromagnetic field measurements revealing an Earth system in second order phase transition before the occurrence of significant earthquakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Potirakis, Stelios M.; Contoyiannis, Yiannis; Kopanas, John; Antonopoulos, George; Nomicos, Constantinos; Eftaxias, Konstantinos

    2015-04-01

    A crucial feature observed in the study of fracture induced electromagnetic emissions (EMEs) is the asynchronous appearance of MHz and kHz AE-EM precursors: the MHz EMEs precede the kHz ones: the strong avalanche-like kHz emissions are launched in the tail of pre-fracture emissions. Herein, we focus on the systematically observed precursory MHz EME. We show that both, the MHz EMEs recorded prior to recent significant earthquakes that occurred in Greece and the associated seismic activities came to critical condition a few days before the main shock occurrence. The analyses were performed my means of two independent statistical method, namely, the method of critical fluctuation and the natural time method, both revealing critical features. This results indicates the existence of a strong connection of the MHz EME with the corresponding earthquake preparation process. Accumulated laboratory, theoretical and numerical evidence supports the hypothesis that the MHz EME is emitted during the fracture of process of heterogeneous medium surrounding the family of strong entities (asperities) distributed along the fault sustaining the system. The kHz EME is attributed to the family of asperities themselves.

  7. Structures of glycosylated mammalian glutaminyl cyclases reveal conformational variability near the active center.

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Carrillo, David; Koch, Birgit; Parthier, Christoph; Wermann, Michael; Dambe, Tresfore; Buchholz, Mirko; Ludwig, Hans-Henning; Heiser, Ulrich; Rahfeld, Jens-Ulrich; Stubbs, Milton T; Schilling, Stephan; Demuth, Hans-Ulrich

    2011-07-19

    Formation of N-terminal pyroglutamate (pGlu or pE) from glutaminyl or glutamyl precursors is catalyzed by glutaminyl cyclases (QC). As the formation of pGlu-amyloid has been linked with Alzheimer's disease, inhibitors of QCs are currently the subject of intense development. Here, we report three crystal structures of N-glycosylated mammalian QC from humans (hQC) and mice (mQC). Whereas the overall structures of the enzymes are similar to those reported previously, two surface loops in the neighborhood of the active center exhibit conformational variability. Furthermore, two conserved cysteine residues form a disulfide bond at the base of the active center that was not present in previous reports of hQC structure. Site-directed mutagenesis suggests a structure-stabilizing role of the disulfide bond. At the entrance to the active center, the conserved tryptophan residue, W(207), which displayed multiple orientations in previous structure, shows a single conformation in both glycosylated human and murine QCs. Although mutagenesis of W(207) into leucine or glutamine altered substrate conversion significantly, the binding constants of inhibitors such as the highly potent PQ50 (PBD150) were minimally affected. The crystal structure of PQ50 bound to the active center of murine QC reveals principal binding determinants provided by the catalytic zinc ion and a hydrophobic funnel. This study presents a first comparison of two mammalian QCs containing typical, conserved post-translational modifications.

  8. An Acute Lateral Ankle Sprain Significantly Decreases Physical Activity across the Lifespan.

    PubMed

    Hubbard-Turner, Tricia; Wikstrom, Erik A; Guderian, Sophie; Turner, Michael J

    2015-09-01

    We do not know the impact an ankle sprain has on physical activity levels across the lifespan. With the negative consequences of physical inactivity well established, understanding the effect of an ankle sprain on this outcome is critical. The objective of this study was to measure physical activity across the lifespan after a single ankle sprain in an animal model. Thirty male mice (CBA/J) were randomly placed into one of three groups: the transected calcaneofibular ligament (CFL) group, the transected anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL)/CFL group, and a SHAM group. Three days after surgery, all of the mice were individually housed in a cage containing a solid surface running wheel. Physical activity levels were recorded and averaged every week across the mouse's lifespan. The SHAM mice ran significantly more distance each day compared to the remaining two running groups (post hoc p = 0.011). Daily duration was different between the three running groups (p = 0.048). The SHAM mice ran significantly more minutes each day compared to the remaining two running groups (post hoc p=0.046) while the ATFL/CFL mice ran significantly less minutes each day (post hoc p = 0.028) compared to both the SHAM and CFL only group. The SHAM mice ran at a faster daily speed versus the remaining two groups of mice (post hoc p = 0.019) and the ATFL/CFL mice ran significantly slower each day compared to the SHAM and CFL group (post hoc p = 0.005). The results of this study indicate that a single ankle sprain significantly decreases physical activity across the lifespan in mice. This decrease in physical activity can potentially lead to the development of numerous chronic diseases. An ankle sprain thus has the potential to lead to significant long term health risks if not treated appropriately. Key pointsA single ankle significantly decreased physical activity levels in mice across the lifespan.Decreased physical activity could significantly negatively impact overall health if not modified

  9. An Acute Lateral Ankle Sprain Significantly Decreases Physical Activity across the Lifespan

    PubMed Central

    Hubbard-Turner, Tricia; Wikstrom, Erik A.; Guderian, Sophie; Turner, Michael J.

    2015-01-01

    We do not know the impact an ankle sprain has on physical activity levels across the lifespan. With the negative consequences of physical inactivity well established, understanding the effect of an ankle sprain on this outcome is critical. The objective of this study was to measure physical activity across the lifespan after a single ankle sprain in an animal model. Thirty male mice (CBA/J) were randomly placed into one of three groups: the transected calcaneofibular ligament (CFL) group, the transected anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL)/CFL group, and a SHAM group. Three days after surgery, all of the mice were individually housed in a cage containing a solid surface running wheel. Physical activity levels were recorded and averaged every week across the mouse’s lifespan. The SHAM mice ran significantly more distance each day compared to the remaining two running groups (post hoc p = 0.011). Daily duration was different between the three running groups (p = 0.048). The SHAM mice ran significantly more minutes each day compared to the remaining two running groups (post hoc p=0.046) while the ATFL/CFL mice ran significantly less minutes each day (post hoc p = 0.028) compared to both the SHAM and CFL only group. The SHAM mice ran at a faster daily speed versus the remaining two groups of mice (post hoc p = 0.019) and the ATFL/CFL mice ran significantly slower each day compared to the SHAM and CFL group (post hoc p = 0.005). The results of this study indicate that a single ankle sprain significantly decreases physical activity across the lifespan in mice. This decrease in physical activity can potentially lead to the development of numerous chronic diseases. An ankle sprain thus has the potential to lead to significant long term health risks if not treated appropriately. Key points A single ankle significantly decreased physical activity levels in mice across the lifespan. Decreased physical activity could significantly negatively impact overall health if not

  10. Risk Factors for Clinically Significant Intimate Partner Violence among Active-Duty Members

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith Slep, Amy M.; Foran, Heather M.; Heyman, Richard E.; Snarr, Jeffery D.

    2011-01-01

    Hypothesized risk factors for men's and women's clinically significant intimate partner violence (CS-IPV) from four ecological levels (i.e., individual, family, workplace, community) were tested in a representative sample of active-duty U.S. Air Force members (N = 42,744). When considered together, we expected only individual and family factors to…

  11. Subjective Significance Shapes Arousal Effects on Modified Stroop Task Performance: A Duality of Activation Mechanisms Account

    PubMed Central

    Imbir, Kamil K.

    2016-01-01

    Activation mechanisms such as arousal are known to be responsible for slowdown observed in the Emotional Stroop and modified Stroop tasks. Using the duality of mind perspective, we may conclude that both ways of processing information (automatic or controlled) should have their own mechanisms of activation, namely, arousal for an experiential mind, and subjective significance for a rational mind. To investigate the consequences of both, factorial manipulation was prepared. Other factors that influence Stroop task processing such as valence, concreteness, frequency, and word length were controlled. Subjective significance was expected to influence arousal effects. In the first study, the task was to name the color of font for activation charged words. In the second study, activation charged words were, at the same time, combined with an incongruent condition of the classical Stroop task around a fixation point. The task was to indicate the font color for color-meaning words. In both studies, subjective significance was found to shape the arousal impact on performance in terms of the slowdown reduction for words charged with subjective significance. PMID:26869974

  12. Nanoscale electrochemical patterning reveals the active sites for catechol oxidation at graphite surfaces.

    PubMed

    Patel, Anisha N; McKelvey, Kim; Unwin, Patrick R

    2012-12-19

    Graphite-based electrodes (graphite, graphene, and nanotubes) are used widely in electrochemistry, and there is a long-standing view that graphite step edges are needed to catalyze many reactions, with the basal surface considered to be inert. In the present work, this model was tested directly for the first time using scanning electrochemical cell microscopy reactive patterning and shown to be incorrect. For the electro-oxidation of dopamine as a model process, the reaction rate was measured at high spatial resolution across a surface of highly oriented pyrolytic graphite. Oxidation products left behind in a pattern defined by the scanned electrochemical cell served as surface-site markers, allowing the electrochemical activity to be correlated directly with the graphite structure on the nanoscale. This process produced tens of thousands of electrochemical measurements at different locations across the basal surface, unambiguously revealing it to be highly electrochemically active, with step edges providing no enhanced activity. This new model of graphite electrodes has significant implications for the design of carbon-based biosensors, and the results are additionally important for understanding electrochemical processes on related sp(2)-hybridized materials such as pristine graphene and nanotubes.

  13. Significant Centers of Tectonic Activity as Identified by Wrinkle Ridges for the Western Hemisphere of Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, R.C.; Haldemann, A. F. C.; Golombek, M. P.; Franklin, B. J.; Dohm, J. M.; Lias, J.

    2000-01-01

    The western hemisphere region of Mars has been the site of numerous scientific investigations regarding its tectonic evolution. For this region of Mars, the dominant tectonic region is the Tharsis province. Tharsis is characterized by an enormous system of radiating grabens and a circumferential system of wrinkle ridges. Past investigations of grabens associated with Tharsis have identified specific centers of tectonic activity. A recent structural analysis of the western hemisphere region of Mars which includes the Tharsis region, utilized 25,000 structures to determine the history of local and regional centers of tectonic activity based primarily on the spatial and temporal relationships of extensional features. This investigation revealed that Tharsis is more structurally complex (heterogeneous) than has been previously identified: it consists of numerous regional and local centers of tectonic activity (some are more dominant and/or more long lived than others). Here we use the same approach as Anderson et al. to determine whether the centers of tectonic activity that formed the extensional features also contributed to wrinkle ridge (compressional) formation.

  14. Are secular correlations between sunspots, geomagnetic activity, and global temperature significant?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Love, J.J.; Mursula, K.; Tsai, V.C.; Perkins, D.M.

    2011-01-01

    Recent studies have led to speculation that solar-terrestrial interaction, measured by sunspot number and geomagnetic activity, has played an important role in global temperature change over the past century or so. We treat this possibility as an hypothesis for testing. We examine the statistical significance of cross-correlations between sunspot number, geomagnetic activity, and global surface temperature for the years 1868-2008, solar cycles 11-23. The data contain substantial autocorrelation and nonstationarity, properties that are incompatible with standard measures of cross-correlational significance, but which can be largely removed by averaging over solar cycles and first-difference detrending. Treated data show an expected statistically- significant correlation between sunspot number and geomagnetic activity, Pearson p < 10-4, but correlations between global temperature and sunspot number (geomagnetic activity) are not significant, p = 0.9954, (p = 0.8171). In other words, straightforward analysis does not support widely-cited suggestions that these data record a prominent role for solar-terrestrial interaction in global climate change. With respect to the sunspot-number, geomagnetic-activity, and global-temperature data, three alternative hypotheses remain difficult to reject: (1) the role of solar-terrestrial interaction in recent climate change is contained wholly in long-term trends and not in any shorter-term secular variation, or, (2) an anthropogenic signal is hiding correlation between solar-terrestrial variables and global temperature, or, (3) the null hypothesis, recent climate change has not been influenced by solar-terrestrial interaction. ?? 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.

  15. Angiogenesis Interactome and Time Course Microarray Data Reveal the Distinct Activation Patterns in Endothelial Cells

    PubMed Central

    Chu, Liang-Hui; Lee, Esak; Bader, Joel S.; Popel, Aleksander S.

    2014-01-01

    Angiogenesis involves stimulation of endothelial cells (EC) by various cytokines and growth factors, but the signaling mechanisms are not completely understood. Combining dynamic gene expression time-course data for stimulated EC with protein-protein interactions associated with angiogenesis (the “angiome”) could reveal how different stimuli result in different patterns of network activation and could implicate signaling intermediates as points for control or intervention. We constructed the protein-protein interaction networks of positive and negative regulation of angiogenesis comprising 367 and 245 proteins, respectively. We used five published gene expression datasets derived from in vitro assays using different types of blood endothelial cells stimulated by VEGFA (vascular endothelial growth factor A). We used the Short Time-series Expression Miner (STEM) to identify significant temporal gene expression profiles. The statistically significant patterns between 2D fibronectin and 3D type I collagen substrates for telomerase-immortalized EC (TIME) show that different substrates could influence the temporal gene activation patterns in the same cell line. We investigated the different activation patterns among 18 transmembrane tyrosine kinase receptors, and experimentally measured the protein level of the tyrosine-kinase receptors VEGFR1, VEGFR2 and VEGFR3 in human umbilical vein EC (HUVEC) and human microvascular EC (MEC). The results show that VEGFR1–VEGFR2 levels are more closely coupled than VEGFR1–VEGFR3 or VEGFR2–VEGFR3 in HUVEC and MEC. This computational methodology can be extended to investigate other molecules or biological processes such as cell cycle. PMID:25329517

  16. Liquid chromatography-electrospray linear ion trap mass spectrometry analysis of targeted neuropeptides in Tac1(-/-) mouse spinal cords reveals significant lower concentration of opioid peptides.

    PubMed

    Saidi, Mouna; Beaudry, Francis

    2015-08-01

    Tachykinin and opioid peptides play a central role in pain transmission, modulation and inhibition. The treatment of pain is very important in medicine and many studies using NK1 receptor antagonists failed to show significant analgesic effects in humans. Recent investigations suggest that both pronociceptive tachykinins and the analgesic opioid systems are important for normal pain sensation. The analysis of opioid peptides in Tac1(-/-) spinal cord tissues offers a great opportunity to verify the influence of the tachykinin system on specific opioid peptides. The objectives of this study were to develop an HPLC-MS/MRM assay to quantify targeted peptides in spinal cord tissues. Secondly, we wanted to verify if the Tac1(-/-) mouse endogenous opioid system is hampered and therefore affects significantly the pain modulatory pathways. Targeted neuropeptides were analyzed by high performance liquid chromatography linear ion trap mass spectrometry. Our results reveal that EM-2, Leu-Enk and Dyn A were down-regulated in Tac1(-/-) spinal cord tissues. Interestingly, Dyn A was almost 3 fold down-regulated (p<0.0001). No significant concentration differences were observed in mouse Tac1(-/-) spinal cords for Met-Enk and CGRP. The analysis of Tac1(-/-) mouse spinal cords revealed noteworthy decreases of EM-2, Leu-Enk and Dyn A concentrations which strongly suggest a significant impact on the endogenous pain-relieving mechanisms. These observations may have insightful impact on future analgesic drug developments and therapeutic strategies.

  17. Structure analysis reveals the flexibility of the ADAMTS-5 active site

    SciTech Connect

    Shieh, Huey-Sheng; Tomasselli, Alfredo G.; Mathis, Karl J.; Schnute, Mark E.; Woodard, Scott S.; Caspers, Nicole; Williams, Jennifer M.; Kiefer, James R.; Munie, Grace; Wittwer, Arthur; Malfait, Anne-Marie; Tortorella, Micky D.

    2012-03-02

    A ((1S,2R)-2-hydroxy-2,3-dihydro-1H-inden-1-yl) succinamide derivative (here referred to as Compound 12) shows significant activity toward many matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), including MMP-2, MMP-8, MMP-9, and MMP-13. Modeling studies had predicted that this compound would not bind to ADAMTS-5 (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs-5) due to its shallow S1' pocket. However, inhibition analysis revealed it to be a nanomolar inhibitor of both ADAMTS-4 and -5. The observed inconsistency was explained by analysis of crystallographic structures, which showed that Compound 12 in complex with the catalytic domain of ADAMTS-5 (cataTS5) exhibits an unusual conformation in the S1' pocket of the protein. This first demonstration that cataTS5 can undergo an induced conformational change in its active site pocket by a molecule like Compound 12 should enable the design of new aggrecanase inhibitors with better potency and selectivity profiles.

  18. Recent tectonic activity on Mercury revealed by small thrust fault scarps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watters, Thomas R.; Daud, Katie; Banks, Maria E.; Selvans, Michelle M.; Chapman, Clark R.; Ernst, Carolyn M.

    2016-10-01

    Large tectonic landforms on the surface of Mercury, consistent with significant contraction of the planet, were revealed by the flybys of Mariner 10 in the mid-1970s. The MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) mission confirmed that the planet's past 4 billion years of tectonic history have been dominated by contraction expressed by lobate fault scarps that are hundreds of kilometres long. Here we report the discovery of small thrust fault scarps in images from the low-altitude campaign at the end of the MESSENGER mission that are orders of magnitude smaller than the large-scale lobate scarps. These small scarps have tens of metres of relief, are only kilometres in length and are comparable in scale to small young scarps on the Moon. Their small-scale, pristine appearance, crosscutting of impact craters and association with small graben all indicate an age of less than 50 Myr. We propose that these scarps are the smallest members of a continuum in scale of thrust fault scarps on Mercury. The young age of the small scarps, along with evidence for recent activity on large-scale scarps, suggests that Mercury is tectonically active today and implies a prolonged slow cooling of the planet's interior.

  19. Occurrence of neutral endopeptidase activity in the cat carotid body and its significance in chemoreception.

    PubMed

    Kumar, G K; Runold, M; Ghai, R D; Cherniack, N S; Prabhakar, N R

    1990-05-28

    The carotid body contains both tachykinins and enkephalins. Neutral endopeptidase (NEP, E.C. 3.4.24.11), has been suggested to involve in the metabolism of these neuropeptides in several organs. In the present study we determined neutral endopeptidase activity of the cat carotid body and assessed its significance in chemoreception. The cytosolic and membrane fractions of the carotid body contained NEP-like activity whereas it occurred only in the membrane fractions of the superior cervical and the nodose ganglia. Phosphoramidon, thiorphan and metal ion chelators inhibited NEP-like activity of all the 3 tissues studied; other protease inhibitors, however, were ineffective. Close carotid body administration of phosphoramidon significantly potentiated the carotid body response to low PO2 but not to hypercapnia. The enhanced response to hypoxia following phosphoramidon was further augmented by naloxone, an enkephalin antagonist. These results demonstrate that the glomus tissue contains detectable amounts of NEP-like activity and its inhibition selectively affects the hypoxic response of the carotid body.

  20. Metabolomics Reveals that Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Activation by Environmental Chemicals Induces Systemic Metabolic Dysfunction in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Limin; Hatzakis, Emmanuel; Nichols, Robert G.; Hao, Ruixin; Correll, Jared; Smith, Philip B.; Chiaro, Christopher R.; Perdew, Gary H.; Patterson, Andrew D.

    2016-01-01

    Environmental exposure to dioxins and dioxin-like compounds poses a significant health risk for human health. Developing a better understanding of the mechanisms of toxicity through activation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) is likely to improve the reliability of risk assessment. In this study, the AHR-dependent metabolic response of mice exposed to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzofuran (TCDF) were assessed using global 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based metabolomics and targeted metabolic profiling of extracts obtained from serum and liver. 1H NMR analyses revealed that TCDF exposure suppressed gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis, stimulated lipogenesis, and triggered inflammatory gene expression in an Ahr-dependent manner. Targeted analyses using gas chromatography mass spectrometry showed TCDF treatment altered the ratio of unsaturated/saturated fatty acids. Consistent with this observation, an increase in hepatic expression of stearoyl coenzyme A desaturase 1 was also observed. In addition, TCDF exposure resulted in inhibition of de novo fatty acid biosynthesis manifested by down-regulation of acetyl-CoA, malonyl-CoA and palmitoyl-CoA metabolites and related mRNA levels. In contrast, no significant changes in the levels of glucose and lipid were observed in serum and liver obtained from Ahr-null mice following TCDF treatment, thus strongly supporting the important role of the AHR in mediating the metabolic effects seen following TCDF exposure. PMID:26023891

  1. The anti-obesity drug orlistat reveals anti-viral activity.

    PubMed

    Ammer, Elisabeth; Nietzsche, Sandor; Rien, Christian; Kühnl, Alexander; Mader, Theresa; Heller, Regine; Sauerbrei, Andreas; Henke, Andreas

    2015-12-01

    The administration of drugs to inhibit metabolic pathways not only reduces the risk of obesity-induced diseases in humans but may also hamper the replication of different viral pathogens. In order to investigate the value of the US Food and Drug Administration-approved anti-obesity drug orlistat in view of its anti-viral activity against different human-pathogenic viruses, several anti-viral studies, electron microscopy analyses as well as fatty acid uptake experiments were performed. The results indicate that administrations of non-cytotoxic concentrations of orlistat reduced the replication of coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3) in different cell types significantly. Moreover, orlistat revealed cell protective effects and modified the formation of multi-layered structures in CVB3-infected cells, which are necessary for viral replication. Lowering fatty acid uptake from the extracellular environment by phloretin administrations had only marginal impact on CVB3 replication. Finally, orlistat reduced also the replication of varicella-zoster virus moderately but had no significant influence on the replication of influenza A viruses. The data support further experiments into the value of orlistat as an inhibitor of the fatty acid synthase to develop new anti-viral compounds, which are based on the modulation of cellular metabolic pathways.

  2. High throughput sequencing reveals alterations in the recombination signatures with diminishing Spo11 activity.

    PubMed

    Rockmill, Beth; Lefrançois, Philippe; Voelkel-Meiman, Karen; Oke, Ashwini; Roeder, G Shirleen; Fung, Jennifer C

    2013-10-01

    Spo11 is the topoisomerase-like enzyme responsible for the induction of the meiosis-specific double strand breaks (DSBs), which initiates the recombination events responsible for proper chromosome segregation. Nineteen PCR-induced alleles of SPO11 were identified and characterized genetically and cytologically. Recombination, spore viability and synaptonemal complex (SC) formation were decreased to varying extents in these mutants. Arrest by ndt80 restored these events in two severe hypomorphic mutants, suggesting that ndt80-arrested nuclei are capable of extended DSB activity. While crossing-over, spore viability and synaptonemal complex (SC) formation defects correlated, the extent of such defects was not predictive of the level of heteroallelic gene conversions (prototrophs) exhibited by each mutant. High throughput sequencing of tetrads from spo11 hypomorphs revealed that gene conversion tracts associated with COs are significantly longer and gene conversion tracts unassociated with COs are significantly shorter than in wild type. By modeling the extent of these tract changes, we could account for the discrepancy in genetic measurements of prototrophy and crossover association. These findings provide an explanation for the unexpectedly low prototroph levels exhibited by spo11 hypomorphs and have important implications for genetic studies that assume an unbiased recovery of prototrophs, such as measurements of CO homeostasis. Our genetic and physical data support previous observations of DSB-limited meioses, in which COs are disproportionally maintained over NCOs (CO homeostasis).

  3. Functional significance of UDP-glucuronosyltransferase variants in the metabolism of active tamoxifen metabolites.

    PubMed

    Blevins-Primeau, Andrea S; Sun, Dongxiao; Chen, Gang; Sharma, Arun K; Gallagher, Carla J; Amin, Shantu; Lazarus, Philip

    2009-03-01

    Tamoxifen (TAM) is a selective estrogen receptor modulator widely used in the prevention and treatment of breast cancer. A major mode of metabolism of the major active metabolites of TAM, 4-OH-TAM and endoxifen, is by glucuronidation via the UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) family of enzymes. To examine whether polymorphisms in the UGT enzymes responsible for the glucuronidation of active TAM metabolites play an important role in interindividual differences in TAM metabolism, cell lines overexpressing wild-type or variant UGTs were examined for their activities against TAM metabolites in vitro. For variants of active extrahepatic UGTs, the UGT1A8(173Ala/277Tyr) variant exhibited no detectable glucuronidation activity against the trans isomers of either 4-OH-TAM or endoxifen. Little or no difference in TAM glucuronidating activity was observed for the UGT1A8(173Gly/277Cys) or UGT1A10(139Lys) variants compared with their wild-type counterparts. For active hepatic UGTs, the UGT2B7(268Tyr) variant exhibited significant (P < 0.01) 2- and 5-fold decreases in activity against the trans isomers of 4-OH-TAM and endoxifen, respectively, compared with wild-type UGT2B7(268His). In studies of 111 human liver microsomal specimens, the rate of O-glucuronidation against trans-4-OH-TAM and trans-endoxifen was 28% (P < 0.001) and 27% (P = 0.002) lower, respectively, in individuals homozygous for the UGT2B7 Tyr(268)Tyr genotype compared with subjects with the UGT2B7 His(268)His genotype, with a significant (P < 0.01) trend of decreasing activity against both substrates with increasing numbers of the UGT2B7(268His) allele. These results suggest that functional polymorphisms in TAM-metabolizing UGTs, including UGT2B7 and potentially UGT1A8, may be important in interindividual variability in TAM metabolism and response to TAM therapy.

  4. Biological significance of nuclear localization of mitogen-activated protein kinase Pmk1 in fission yeast.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Mir, Laura; Franco, Alejandro; Madrid, Marisa; Vicente-Soler, Jero; Villar-Tajadura, M Antonia; Soto, Teresa; Pérez, Pilar; Gacto, Mariano; Cansado, José

    2012-07-27

    Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways play a fundamental role in the response of eukaryotic cells to environmental changes. Also, much evidence shows that the stimulus-dependent nuclear targeting of this class of regulatory kinases is crucial for adequate regulation of distinct cellular events. In the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, the cell integrity MAPK pathway, whose central element is the MAPK Pmk1, regulates multiple processes such as cell wall integrity, vacuole fusion, cytokinesis, and ionic homeostasis. In non-stressed cells Pmk1 is constitutively localized in both cytoplasm and nucleus, and its localization pattern appears unaffected by its activation status or in response to stress, thus questioning the biological significance of the presence of this MAPK into the nucleus. We have addressed this issue by characterizing mutants expressing Pmk1 versions excluded from the cell nucleus and anchored to the plasma membrane in different genetic backgrounds. Although nuclear Pmk1 partially regulates cell wall integrity at a transcriptional level, membrane-tethered Pmk1 performs many of the biological functions assigned to wild type MAPK like regulation of chloride homeostasis, vacuole fusion, and cellular separation. However, we found that down-regulation of nuclear Pmk1 by MAPK phosphatases induced by the stress activated protein kinase pathway is important for the fine modulation of extranuclear Pmk1 activity. These results highlight the importance of the control of MAPK activity at subcellular level.

  5. Biological Significance of Nuclear Localization of Mitogen-activated Protein Kinase Pmk1 in Fission Yeast*

    PubMed Central

    Sánchez-Mir, Laura; Franco, Alejandro; Madrid, Marisa; Vicente-Soler, Jero; Villar-Tajadura, M. Antonia; Soto, Teresa; Pérez, Pilar; Gacto, Mariano; Cansado, José

    2012-01-01

    Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways play a fundamental role in the response of eukaryotic cells to environmental changes. Also, much evidence shows that the stimulus-dependent nuclear targeting of this class of regulatory kinases is crucial for adequate regulation of distinct cellular events. In the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, the cell integrity MAPK pathway, whose central element is the MAPK Pmk1, regulates multiple processes such as cell wall integrity, vacuole fusion, cytokinesis, and ionic homeostasis. In non-stressed cells Pmk1 is constitutively localized in both cytoplasm and nucleus, and its localization pattern appears unaffected by its activation status or in response to stress, thus questioning the biological significance of the presence of this MAPK into the nucleus. We have addressed this issue by characterizing mutants expressing Pmk1 versions excluded from the cell nucleus and anchored to the plasma membrane in different genetic backgrounds. Although nuclear Pmk1 partially regulates cell wall integrity at a transcriptional level, membrane-tethered Pmk1 performs many of the biological functions assigned to wild type MAPK like regulation of chloride homeostasis, vacuole fusion, and cellular separation. However, we found that down-regulation of nuclear Pmk1 by MAPK phosphatases induced by the stress activated protein kinase pathway is important for the fine modulation of extranuclear Pmk1 activity. These results highlight the importance of the control of MAPK activity at subcellular level. PMID:22685296

  6. Volcanic activity before and after large tectonic earthquakes: Observations and statistical significance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eggert, Silke; Walter, Thomas R.

    2009-06-01

    The study of volcanic triggering and interaction with the tectonic surroundings has received special attention in recent years, using both direct field observations and historical descriptions of eruptions and earthquake activity. Repeated reports of clustered eruptions and earthquakes may imply that interaction is important in some subregions. However, the subregions likely to suffer such clusters have not been systematically identified, and the processes responsible for the observed interaction remain unclear. We first review previous works about the clustered occurrence of eruptions and earthquakes, and describe selected events. We further elaborate available databases and confirm a statistically significant relationship between volcanic eruptions and earthquakes on the global scale. Moreover, our study implies that closed volcanic systems in particular tend to be activated in association with a tectonic earthquake trigger. We then perform a statistical study at the subregional level, showing that certain subregions are especially predisposed to concurrent eruption-earthquake sequences, whereas such clustering is statistically less significant in other subregions. Based on this study, we argue that individual and selected observations may bias the perceptible weight of coupling. The activity at volcanoes located in the predisposed subregions (e.g., Japan, Indonesia, Melanesia), however, often unexpectedly changes in association with either an imminent or a past earthquake.

  7. Integrative Proteomics and Phosphoproteomics Profiling Reveals Dynamic Signaling Networks and Bioenergetics Pathways Underlying T Cell Activation.

    PubMed

    Tan, Haiyan; Yang, Kai; Li, Yuxin; Shaw, Timothy I; Wang, Yanyan; Blanco, Daniel Bastardo; Wang, Xusheng; Cho, Ji-Hoon; Wang, Hong; Rankin, Sherri; Guy, Cliff; Peng, Junmin; Chi, Hongbo

    2017-03-21

    The molecular circuits by which antigens activate quiescent T cells remain poorly understood. We combined temporal profiling of the whole proteome and phosphoproteome via multiplexed isobaric labeling proteomics technology, computational pipelines for integrating multi-omics datasets, and functional perturbation to systemically reconstruct regulatory networks underlying T cell activation. T cell receptors activated the T cell proteome and phosphoproteome with discrete kinetics, marked by early dynamics of phosphorylation and delayed ribosome biogenesis and mitochondrial activation. Systems biology analyses identified multiple functional modules, active kinases, transcription factors and connectivity between them, and mitochondrial pathways including mitoribosomes and complex IV. Genetic perturbation revealed physiological roles for mitochondrial enzyme COX10-mediated oxidative phosphorylation in T cell quiescence exit. Our multi-layer proteomics profiling, integrative network analysis, and functional studies define landscapes of the T cell proteome and phosphoproteome and reveal signaling and bioenergetics pathways that mediate lymphocyte exit from quiescence.

  8. Proteomics analysis of dendritic cell activation by contact allergens reveals possible biomarkers regulated by Nrf2.

    PubMed

    Mussotter, Franz; Tomm, Janina Melanie; El Ali, Zeina; Pallardy, Marc; Kerdine-Römer, Saadia; Götz, Mario; von Bergen, Martin; Haase, Andrea; Luch, Andreas

    2016-12-15

    Allergic contact dermatitis is a widespread disease with high clinical relevance affecting approximately 20% of the general population. Typically, contact allergens are low molecular weight electrophilic compounds which can activate the Keap1/Nrf2 pathway. We performed a proteomics study to reveal possible biomarkers for dendritic cell (DC) activation by contact allergens and to further elucidate the role of Keap1/Nrf2 signaling in this process. We used bone marrow derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) of wild-type (nrf2(+/+)) and Nrf2 knockout (nrf2(-/-)) mice and studied their response against the model contact sensitizers 2,4-dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB), cinnamaldehyde (CA) and nickel(II) sulfate by 2-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2D-PAGE) in combination with electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-MS/MS). Sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS, 100μM) served as irritant control. While treatment with nickel(II) sulfate and SDS had only little effects, CA and DNCB led to significant changes in protein expression. We found 18 and 30 protein spots up-regulated in wild-type cells treated with 50 and 100μM CA, respectively. For 5 and 10μM DNCB, 32 and 37 spots were up-regulated, respectively. Almost all of these proteins were not differentially expressed in nrf2(-/-) BMDCs, indicating an Nrf2-dependent regulation. Among them proteins were detected which are involved in oxidative stress and heat shock responses, as well as in signal transduction or basic cellular pathways. The applied approach allowed us to differentiate between Nrf2-dependent and Nrf2-independent cellular biomarkers differentially regulated upon allergen-induced DC activation. The data presented might contribute to the further development of suitable in vitro testing methods for chemical-mediated sensitization.

  9. Interspecies insertion polymorphism analysis reveals recent activity of transposable elements in extant coelacanths.

    PubMed

    Naville, Magali; Chalopin, Domitille; Volff, Jean-Nicolas

    2014-01-01

    Coelacanths are lobe-finned fish represented by two extant species, Latimeria chalumnae in South Africa and Comoros and L. menadoensis in Indonesia. Due to their intermediate phylogenetic position between ray-finned fish and tetrapods in the vertebrate lineage, they are of great interest from an evolutionary point of view. In addition, extant specimens look similar to 300 million-year-old fossils; because of their apparent slowly evolving morphology, coelacanths have been often described as « living fossils ». As an underlying cause of such a morphological stasis, several authors have proposed a slow evolution of the coelacanth genome. Accordingly, sequencing of the L. chalumnae genome has revealed a globally low substitution rate for protein-coding regions compared to other vertebrates. However, genome and gene evolution can also be influenced by transposable elements, which form a major and dynamic part of vertebrate genomes through their ability to move, duplicate and recombine. In this work, we have searched for evidence of transposition activity in coelacanth genomes through the comparative analysis of orthologous genomic regions from both Latimeria species. Comparison of 5.7 Mb (0.2%) of the L. chalumnae genome with orthologous Bacterial Artificial Chromosome clones from L. menadoensis allowed the identification of 27 species-specific transposable element insertions, with a strong relative contribution of CR1 non-LTR retrotransposons. Species-specific homologous recombination between the long terminal repeats of a new coelacanth endogenous retrovirus was also detected. Our analysis suggests that transposon activity is responsible for at least 0.6% of genome divergence between both Latimeria species. Taken together, this study demonstrates that coelacanth genomes are not evolutionary inert: they contain recently active transposable elements, which have significantly contributed to post-speciation genome divergence in Latimeria.

  10. Different continuous cropping spans significantly affect microbial community membership and structure in a vanilla-grown soil as revealed by deep pyrosequencing.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Wu; Zhao, Qingyun; Zhao, Jun; Xun, Weibing; Li, Rong; Zhang, Ruifu; Wu, Huasong; Shen, Qirong

    2015-07-01

    In the present study, soil bacterial and fungal communities across vanilla continuous cropping time-series fields were assessed through deep pyrosequencing of 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions. The results demonstrated that the long-term monoculture of vanilla significantly altered soil microbial communities. Soil fungal diversity index increased with consecutive cropping years, whereas soil bacterial diversity was relatively stable. Bray-Curtis dissimilarity cluster and UniFrac-weighted principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) revealed that monoculture time was the major determinant for fungal community structure, but not for bacterial community structure. The relative abundances (RAs) of the Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Basidiomycota phyla were depleted along the years of vanilla monoculture. Pearson correlations at the phyla level demonstrated that Actinobacteria, Armatimonadetes, Bacteroidetes, Verrucomicrobia, and Firmicutes had significant negative correlations with vanilla disease index (DI), while no significant correlation for fungal phyla was observed. In addition, the amount of the pathogen Fusarium oxysporum accumulated with increasing years and was significantly positively correlated with vanilla DI. By contrast, the abundance of beneficial bacteria, including Bradyrhizobium and Bacillus, significantly decreased over time. In sum, soil weakness and vanilla stem wilt disease after long-term continuous cropping can be attributed to the alteration of the soil microbial community membership and structure, i.e., the reduction of the beneficial microbes and the accumulation of the fungal pathogen.

  11. The Crowded Sea: Incorporating Multiple Marine Activities in Conservation Plans Can Significantly Alter Spatial Priorities

    PubMed Central

    Mazor, Tessa; Possingham, Hugh P.; Edelist, Dori; Brokovich, Eran; Kark, Salit

    2014-01-01

    Successful implementation of marine conservation plans is largely inhibited by inadequate consideration of the broader social and economic context within which conservation operates. Marine waters and their biodiversity are shared by a host of stakeholders, such as commercial fishers, recreational users and offshore developers. Hence, to improve implementation success of conservation plans, we must incorporate other marine activities while explicitly examining trade-offs that may be required. In this study, we test how the inclusion of multiple marine activities can shape conservation plans. We used the entire Mediterranean territorial waters of Israel as a case study to compare four planning scenarios with increasing levels of complexity, where additional zones, threats and activities were added (e.g., commercial fisheries, hydrocarbon exploration interests, aquaculture, and shipping lanes). We applied the marine zoning decision support tool Marxan to each planning scenario and tested a) the ability of each scenario to reach biodiversity targets, b) the change in opportunity cost and c) the alteration of spatial conservation priorities. We found that by including increasing numbers of marine activities and zones in the planning process, greater compromises are required to reach conservation objectives. Complex plans with more activities incurred greater opportunity cost and did not reach biodiversity targets as easily as simplified plans with less marine activities. We discovered that including hydrocarbon data in the planning process significantly alters spatial priorities. For the territorial waters of Israel we found that in order to protect at least 10% of the range of 166 marine biodiversity features there would be a loss of ∼15% of annual commercial fishery revenue and ∼5% of prospective hydrocarbon revenue. This case study follows an illustrated framework for adopting a transparent systematic process to balance biodiversity goals and economic

  12. Quercetin phospholipid complex significantly protects against oxidative injury in ARPE-19 cells associated with activation of Nrf2 pathway.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xin-Rong; Yu, Hai-Tao; Yang, Yan; Hang, Li; Yang, Xue-Wen; Ding, Shu-Hua

    2016-01-05

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a major cause of blindness worldwide. Oxidative stress plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of dry AMD. Quercetin has potent anti-oxidative activities, but poor bioavailability limits its therapeutic application. Herein, we prepared the phospholipid complex of quercetin (quercetin-PC), characterized its structure by differential scanning calorimetry, infrared spectrum and x-ray diffraction. Quercetin-PC had equilibrium solubility of 38.36 and 1351.27μg/ml in water and chloroform, respectively, which was remarkably higher than those of quercetin alone. Then we established hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-induced oxidative injury model in human ARPE-19 cells to examine the effects of quercetin-PC. Quercetin-PC, stronger than quercetin, promoted cell proliferation, and the proliferation rate was increased to be 78.89% when treated with Quercetin-PC at 400μM. Moreover, quercetin-PC effectively prevented ARPE-19 cells from apoptosis, and the apoptotic rate was reduced to be 3.1% when treated with Quercetin-PC at 200μM. In addition, quercetin-PC at 200μM significantly increased the activities of SOD, CAT and GSH-PX, and reduced the levels of reactive oxygen species and MDA in H2O2-treated ARPE-19 cells, but quercetin at 200μM failed to do so. Molecular examinations revealed that quercetin-PC at 200μM significantly activated Nrf2 nuclear translocation and significantly enhanced the expression of target genes HO-1, NQO-1 and GCL by different folds at both mRNA and protein levels. Our current data collectively indicated that quercetin-PC had stronger protective effects against oxidative-induced damages in ARPE-19 cells, which was associated with activation of Nrf2 pathway and its target genes implicated in antioxidant defense.

  13. The DNA polymerase activity of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Rev1 is biologically significant.

    PubMed

    Wiltrout, Mary Ellen; Walker, Graham C

    2011-01-01

    A cell's ability to tolerate DNA damage is directly connected to the human development of diseases and cancer. To better understand the processes underlying mutagenesis, we studied the cell's reliance on the potentially error-prone translesion synthesis (TLS), and an error-free, template-switching pathway in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The primary proteins mediating S. cerevisiae TLS are three DNA polymerases (Pols): Rev1, Pol ζ (Rev3/7), and Pol η (Rad30), all with human homologs. Rev1's noncatalytic role in recruiting other DNA polymerases is known to be important for TLS. However, the biological significance of Rev1's unusual conserved DNA polymerase activity, which inserts dC, is much less well understood. Here, we demonstrate that inactivating Rev1's DNA polymerase function sensitizes cells to both chronic and acute exposure to 4-nitroquinoline-1-oxide (4-NQO) but not to UV or cisplatin. Full Rev1-dependent resistance to 4-NQO, however, also requires the additional Rev1 functions. When error-free tolerance is disrupted through deletion of MMS2, Rev1's catalytic activity is more vital for 4-NQO resistance, possibly explaining why the biological significance of Rev1's catalytic activity has been elusive. In the presence or absence of Mms2-dependent error-free tolerance, the catalytic dead strain of Rev1 exhibits a lower 4-NQO-induced mutation frequency than wild type. Furthermore, Pol ζ, but not Pol η, also contributes to 4-NQO resistance. These results show that Rev1's catalytic activity is important in vivo when the cell has to cope with specific DNA lesions, such as N(2)-dG.

  14. Multitaxon activity profiling reveals differential microbial response to reduced seawater pH and oil pollution.

    PubMed

    Coelho, Francisco J R C; Cleary, Daniel F R; Costa, Rodrigo; Ferreira, Marina; Polónia, Ana R M; Silva, Artur M S; Simões, Mário M Q; Oliveira, Vanessa; Gomes, Newton C M

    2016-09-01

    There is growing concern that predicted changes to global ocean chemistry will interact with anthropogenic pollution to significantly alter marine microbial composition and function. However, knowledge of the compounding effects of climate change stressors and anthropogenic pollution is limited. Here, we used 16S and 18S rRNA (cDNA)-based activity profiling to investigate the differential responses of selected microbial taxa to ocean acidification and oil hydrocarbon contamination under controlled laboratory conditions. Our results revealed that a lower relative abundance of sulphate-reducing bacteria (Desulfosarcina/Desulfococcus clade) due to an adverse effect of seawater acidification and oil hydrocarbon contamination (reduced pH-oil treatment) may be coupled to changes in sediment archaeal communities. In particular, we observed a pronounced compositional shift and marked reduction in the prevalence of otherwise abundant operational taxonomic units (OTUs) belonging to the archaeal Marine Benthic Group B and Marine Hydrothermal Vent Group (MHVG) in the reduced pH-oil treatment. Conversely, the abundance of several putative hydrocarbonoclastic fungal OTUs was higher in the reduced pH-oil treatment. Sediment hydrocarbon profiling, furthermore, revealed higher concentrations of several alkanes in the reduced pH-oil treatment, corroborating the functional implications of the structural changes to microbial community composition. Collectively, our results advance the understanding of the response of a complex microbial community to the interaction between reduced pH and anthropogenic pollution. In future acidified marine environments, oil hydrocarbon contamination may alter the typical mixotrophic and k-/r-strategist composition of surface sediment microbiomes towards a more heterotrophic state with lower doubling rates, thereby impairing the ability of the ecosystem to recover from acute oil contamination events.

  15. Metagenomics, metatranscriptomics and single cell genomics reveal functional response of active Oceanospirillales to Gulf oil spill

    SciTech Connect

    Mason, Olivia U.; Hazen, Terry C.; Borglin, Sharon; Chain, Patrick S. G.; Dubinsky, Eric A.; Fortney, Julian L.; Han, James; Holman, Hoi-Ying N.; Hultman, Jenni; Lamendella, Regina; Mackelprang, Rachel; Malfatti, Stephanie; Tom, Lauren M.; Tringe, Susannah G.; Woyke, Tanja; Zhou, Jizhong; Rubin, Edward M.; Jansson, Janet K.

    2012-06-12

    The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico resulted in a deep-sea hydrocarbon plume that caused a shift in the indigenous microbial community composition with unknown ecological consequences. Early in the spill history, a bloom of uncultured, thus uncharacterized, members of the Oceanospirillales was previously detected, but their role in oil disposition was unknown. Here our aim was to determine the functional role of the Oceanospirillales and other active members of the indigenous microbial community using deep sequencing of community DNA and RNA, as well as single-cell genomics. Shotgun metagenomic and metatranscriptomic sequencing revealed that genes for motility, chemotaxis and aliphatic hydrocarbon degradation were significantly enriched and expressed in the hydrocarbon plume samples compared with uncontaminated seawater collected from plume depth. In contrast, although genes coding for degradation of more recalcitrant compounds, such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, total xylenes and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, were identified in the metagenomes, they were expressed at low levels, or not at all based on analysis of the metatranscriptomes. Isolation and sequencing of two Oceanospirillales single cells revealed that both cells possessed genes coding for n-alkane and cycloalkane degradation. Specifically, the near-complete pathway for cyclohexane oxidation in the Oceanospirillales single cells was elucidated and supported by both metagenome and metatranscriptome data. The draft genome also included genes for chemotaxis, motility and nutrient acquisition strategies that were also identified in the metagenomes and metatranscriptomes. These data point towards a rapid response of members of the Oceanospirillales to aliphatic hydrocarbons in the deep sea.

  16. Significant correlation between refractive index and activity of mitochondria: single mitochondrion study.

    PubMed

    Haseda, Keisuke; Kanematsu, Keita; Noguchi, Keiichi; Saito, Hiromu; Umeda, Norihiro; Ohta, Yoshihiro

    2015-03-01

    Measurements of refractive indices (RIs) of intracellular components can provide useful information on the structure and function of cells. The present study reports, for the first time, determination of the RI of an isolated mitochondrion in isotonic solution using retardation-modulated differential interference contrast microscopy. The value was 1.41 ± 0.01, indicating that mitochondria are densely packed with molecules having high RIs. Further, the RIs of each mitochondrion were significantly correlated with the mitochondrial membrane potential, an index of mitochondrial activity. These results will provide useful information on the structures and functions of cells based on the intracellular distribution of RIs.

  17. Marine organism sulfated polysaccharides exhibiting significant antimalarial activity and inhibition of red blood cell invasion by Plasmodium

    PubMed Central

    Marques, Joana; Vilanova, Eduardo; Mourão, Paulo A. S.; Fernàndez-Busquets, Xavier

    2016-01-01

    The antimalarial activity of heparin, against which there are no resistances known, has not been therapeutically exploited due to its potent anticoagulating activity. Here, we have explored the antiplasmodial capacity of heparin-like sulfated polysaccharides from the sea cucumbers Ludwigothurea grisea and Isostichopus badionotus, from the red alga Botryocladia occidentalis, and from the marine sponge Desmapsamma anchorata. In vitro experiments demonstrated for most compounds significant inhibition of Plasmodium falciparum growth at low-anticoagulant concentrations. This activity was found to operate through inhibition of erythrocyte invasion by Plasmodium, likely mediated by a coating of the parasite similar to that observed for heparin. In vivo four-day suppressive tests showed that several of the sulfated polysaccharides improved the survival of Plasmodium yoelii-infected mice. In one animal treated with I. badionotus fucan parasitemia was reduced from 10.4% to undetectable levels, and Western blot analysis revealed the presence of antibodies against P. yoelii antigens in its plasma. The retarded invasion mediated by sulfated polysaccharides, and the ensuing prolonged exposure of Plasmodium to the immune system, can be explored for the design of new therapeutic approaches against malaria where heparin-related polysaccharides of low anticoagulating activity could play a dual role as drugs and as potentiators of immune responses. PMID:27071342

  18. A Global Genomic Screening Strategy Reveals Diverse Activators of Constitutive Activated Receptor (CAR)

    EPA Science Inventory

    A comprehensive survey of conditions that activate CAR in the mouse liver has not been carried out but would be useful in understanding their impact on CAR-dependent liver tumor induction. A gene signature dependent on CAR activation was identified by comparing the transcript pr...

  19. Aspects of igneous activity significant to a repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    SciTech Connect

    Krier, D. J.; Perry, F. V.

    2004-01-01

    Location, timing, volume, and eruptive style of post-Miocene volcanoes have defined the volcanic hazard significant to a proposed high-level radioactive waste (HLW) and spent nuclear fuel (SNF) repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as a low-probability, high-consequence event. Examination of eruptive centers in the region that may be analogueues to possible future volcanic activity at Yucca Mountain have aided in defining and evaluating the consequence scenarios for intrusion into and eruption above a repository. The probability of a future event intersecting a repository at Yucca Mountain has a mean value of 1.7 x 10{sup -8} per year. This probability comes from the Probabilistic Volcanic Hazard Assessment (PVHA) completed in 1996 and updated to reflect change in repository layout. Since that time, magnetic anomalies representing potential buried volcanic centers have been identified fiom magnetic surveys; however these potential buried centers only slightly increase the probability of an event intersecting the repository. The proposed repository will be located in its central portion of Yucca Mountain at approximately 300m depth. The process for assessing performance of a repository at Yucca Mountain has identified two scenarios for igneous activity that, although having a very low probability of occurrence, could have a significant consequence should an igneous event occur. Either a dike swarm intersecting repository drifts containing waste packages, or a volcanic eruption through the repository could result in release of radioactive material to the accessible environment. Ongoing investigations are assessing the mechanisms and significance of the consequence scenarios. Lathrop Wells Cone ({approx}80,000 yrs), a key analogue for estimating potential future volcanic activity, is the youngest surface expression of apparent waning basaltic volcanism in the region. Cone internal structure, lavas, and ash-fall tephra have been examined to estimate eruptive volume

  20. Family-based association analyses of imputed genotypes reveal genome-wide significant association of Alzheimer's disease with OSBPL6, PTPRG, and PDCL3.

    PubMed

    Herold, C; Hooli, B V; Mullin, K; Liu, T; Roehr, J T; Mattheisen, M; Parrado, A R; Bertram, L; Lange, C; Tanzi, R E

    2016-11-01

    The genetic basis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is complex and heterogeneous. Over 200 highly penetrant pathogenic variants in the genes APP, PSEN1, and PSEN2 cause a subset of early-onset familial AD. On the other hand, susceptibility to late-onset forms of AD (LOAD) is indisputably associated to the ɛ4 allele in the gene APOE, and more recently to variants in more than two-dozen additional genes identified in the large-scale genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and meta-analyses reports. Taken together however, although the heritability in AD is estimated to be as high as 80%, a large proportion of the underlying genetic factors still remain to be elucidated. In this study, we performed a systematic family-based genome-wide association and meta-analysis on close to 15 million imputed variants from three large collections of AD families (~3500 subjects from 1070 families). Using a multivariate phenotype combining affection status and onset age, meta-analysis of the association results revealed three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that achieved genome-wide significance for association with AD risk: rs7609954 in the gene PTPRG (P-value=3.98 × 10(-8)), rs1347297 in the gene OSBPL6 (P-value=4.53 × 10(-8)), and rs1513625 near PDCL3 (P-value=4.28 × 10(-8)). In addition, rs72953347 in OSBPL6 (P-value=6.36 × 10(-7)) and two SNPs in the gene CDKAL1 showed marginally significant association with LOAD (rs10456232, P-value=4.76 × 10(-7); rs62400067, P-value=3.54 × 10(-7)). In summary, family-based GWAS meta-analysis of imputed SNPs revealed novel genomic variants in (or near) PTPRG, OSBPL6, and PDCL3 that influence risk for AD with genome-wide significance.

  1. Significant antitumor activity in vivo following treatment with the microtubule agent ENMD-1198.

    PubMed

    LaVallee, Theresa M; Burke, Patricia A; Swartz, Glenn M; Hamel, Ernest; Agoston, Gregory E; Shah, Jamshed; Suwandi, Lita; Hanson, Art D; Fogler, William E; Sidor, Carolyn F; Treston, Anthony M

    2008-06-01

    Clinical studies using the microtubule-targeting agent 2-methoxyestradiol (2ME2; Panzem) in cancer patients show that treatment is associated with clinical benefit, including prolonged stable disease, complete and partial responses, and an excellent safety profile. Studies have shown that 2ME2 is metabolized by conjugation at positions 3 and 17 and oxidation at position 17. To define structure-activity relationships for these positions of 2ME2 and to generate metabolically stable analogues with improved anti-tubulin properties, a series of analogues was generated and three lead analogues were selected, ENMD-1198, ENMD-1200, and ENMD-1237. These molecules showed improved metabolic stability with >65% remaining after 2-h incubation with hepatocytes. Pharmacokinetic studies showed that oral administration of the compounds resulted in increased plasma levels compared with 2ME2. All three analogues bind the colchicine binding site of tubulin, induce G(2)-M cell cycle arrest and apoptosis, and reduce hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha levels. ENMD-1198 and ENMD-1200 showed improved in vitro antiproliferative activities. Significant reductions in tumor volumes compared with vehicle-treated mice were observed in an orthotopic breast carcinoma (MDA-MB-231) xenograft model following daily oral treatment with all compounds (ANOVA, P < 0.05). Significantly improved median survival time was observed with ENMD-1198 and ENMD-1237 (200 mg/kg/d) in a Lewis lung carcinoma metastatic model (P < 0.05). In both tumor models, the high-dose group of ENMD-1198 showed antitumor activity equivalent to that of cyclophosphamide. ENMD-1198 was selected as the lead molecule in this analogue series and is currently in a phase I clinical trial in patients with refractory solid tumors.

  2. Expression and biological significance of Ca2+-activated ion channels in human keratinocytes.

    PubMed

    Koegel, H; Alzheimer, C

    2001-01-01

    In whole-cell recordings from HaCaT keratinocytes, ATP, bradykinin, and histamine caused a biphasic change of the membrane potential consisting of an initial transient depolarization, followed by a pronounced and long-lasting hyperpolarization. Flash photolysis of caged IP3 mimicked the agonist-induced voltage response, suggesting that intracellular Ca2+ release and subsequent opening of Ca2+-activated ion channels serve as the common transduction mechanism. In contrast, cAMP- and PKC-dependent pathways were not involved in the electrophysiological effects of the extracellular signaling molecules. The depolarization was predominantly mediated by a DIDS- and niflumic acid-sensitive Cl- current, whereas a charybdotoxin- and clotrimazole-sensitive K+ current underlay the prominent hyperpolarization. Consistent with the electrophysiological data, RT-PCR showed that HaCaT keratinocytes express two types of Ca2+-activated Cl- channels, CaCC2 and CaCC3 (CLCA2), as well as the Ca2+-activated K+ channel hSK4. That the pronounced hSK4-mediated hyperpolarization bears significance on the growth and differentiation properties of keratinocytes is suggested by RNase protection assays showing that hSK4 mRNA expression is strongly down-regulated under conditions that allow keratinocyte differentiation. hSK4 might thus play a role in linking changes in membrane potential to the biological fate of keratinocytes.

  3. Novel activities of CYP11A1 and their potential physiological significance

    PubMed Central

    Slominski, Andrzej T.; Li, Wei; Kim, Tae-Kang; Semak, Igor; Wang, Jin; Zjawiony, Jordan K.; Tuckey, Robert C.

    2014-01-01

    CYP11A1, found only in vertebrates, catalyzes the first step of steroidogenesis where cholesterol is converted to pregnenolone. The purified enzyme, also converts desmosterol and plant sterols including campesterol and β-sitosterol, to pregnenolone. Studies, initially with purified enzyme, reveal that 7-dehydrocholesterol (7DHC), ergosterol, lumisterol 3, and vitamins D3 and D2 also serve as substrates for CYP11A1, with 7DHC being better and vitamins D3 and D2 being poorer substrates than cholesterol. Adrenal glands, placenta, and epidermal keratinocytes can also carry out these conversions and 7-dehydropregnenolone has been detected in the epidermis, adrenal glands, and serum, and 20-hydroxyvitamin D3 was detected in human serum and the epidermis. Thus, this metabolism does appear to occur in vivo, although its quantitative importance and physiological role remain to be established. CYP11A1 action on 7DHC in vivo is further supported by detection of Δ7steroids in Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome patients. The activity of CYP11A1 is affected by the structure of the substrate with sterols having steroidal or Δ7-steroidal structures undergoing side chain cleavage following hydroxylations at C22 and C20. In contrast, metabolism of vitamin D involves sequential hydroxylations that start at C20 but do not lead to cleavage. Molecular modeling using the crystal structure of CYP11A1 predicts that other intermediates of cholesterol synthesis could also serve as substrates for CYP11A1. Finally, CYP11A1-derived secosteroidal hydroxy-derivatives and Δ7steroids are biologically active when administered in vitro in a manner dependent on the structure of the compound and the lineage of the target cells, suggesting physiological roles for these metabolites. This article is part of a special issue entitled ‘SI: Steroid/Sterol signaling’. PMID:25448732

  4. Novel activities of CYP11A1 and their potential physiological significance.

    PubMed

    Slominski, Andrzej T; Li, Wei; Kim, Tae-Kang; Semak, Igor; Wang, Jin; Zjawiony, Jordan K; Tuckey, Robert C

    2015-07-01

    CYP11A1, found only in vertebrates, catalyzes the first step of steroidogenesis where cholesterol is converted to pregnenolone. The purified enzyme, also converts desmosterol and plant sterols including campesterol and β-sitosterol, to pregnenolone. Studies, initially with purified enzyme, reveal that 7-dehydrocholesterol (7DHC), ergosterol, lumisterol 3, and vitamins D3 and D2 also serve as substrates for CYP11A1, with 7DHC being better and vitamins D3 and D2 being poorer substrates than cholesterol. Adrenal glands, placenta, and epidermal keratinocytes can also carry out these conversions and 7-dehydropregnenolone has been detected in the epidermis, adrenal glands, and serum, and 20-hydroxyvitamin D3 was detected in human serum and the epidermis. Thus, this metabolism does appear to occur in vivo, although its quantitative importance and physiological role remain to be established. CYP11A1 action on 7DHC in vivo is further supported by detection of Δ(7)steroids in Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome patients. The activity of CYP11A1 is affected by the structure of the substrate with sterols having steroidal or Δ(7)-steroidal structures undergoing side chain cleavage following hydroxylations at C22 and C20. In contrast, metabolism of vitamin D involves sequential hydroxylations that start at C20 but do not lead to cleavage. Molecular modeling using the crystal structure of CYP11A1 predicts that other intermediates of cholesterol synthesis could also serve as substrates for CYP11A1. Finally, CYP11A1-derived secosteroidal hydroxy-derivatives and Δ(7)steroids are biologically active when administered in vitro in a manner dependent on the structure of the compound and the lineage of the target cells, suggesting physiological roles for these metabolites. This article is part of a special issue entitled 'SI: Steroid/Sterol signaling'.

  5. A Smartphone Application Significantly Improved Diabetes Self-Care Activities with High User Satisfaction

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Yu Jin; Byun, Jong Kyu; Park, So Young; Hong, Soo Min; Chin, Sang Ouk; Chon, Suk; Oh, Seungjoon; Woo, Jeong-taek; Kim, Sung Woon; Kim, Young Seol

    2015-01-01

    Background We developed for the first time a smartphone application designed for diabetes self-management in Korea and registered a patent for the relevant algorithm. We also investigated the user satisfaction with the application and the change in diabetes related self-care activities after using the application. Methods We conducted a questionnaire survey on volunteers with diabetes who were using the application. Ninety subjects responded to the questionnaire between June 2012 and March 2013. A modified version of the Summary of Diabetes Self-Care Activities (SDSCA) was used in this study. Results The survey results exhibited a mean subject age of 44.0 years old, and males accounted for 78.9% of the subjects. Fifty percent of the subjects had diabetes for less than 3 years. The majority of respondents experienced positive changes in their clinical course after using the application (83.1%) and were satisfied with the structure and completeness of the application (86.7%). Additionally, the respondents' answers indicated that the application was easy to use (96.7%) and recommendable to others (97.7%) and that they would continue using the application to manage their diabetes (96.7%). After using the Diabetes Notepad application, diabetes related self-care activities assessed by SDSCA displayed statistically significant improvements (P<0.05), except for the number of days of drinking. Conclusion This smartphone-based application can be a useful tool leading to positive changes in diabetes related self-care activities and increase user satisfaction. PMID:26124991

  6. Systems analysis of MVA-C induced immune response reveals its significance as a vaccine candidate against HIV/AIDS of clade C.

    PubMed

    Gómez, Carmen Elena; Perdiguero, Beatriz; Jiménez, Victoria; Filali-Mouhim, Abdelali; Ghneim, Khader; Haddad, Elias K; Quakkelaar, Esther D; Quakkerlaar, Esther D; Delaloye, Julie; Harari, Alexandre; Roger, Thierry; Duhen, Thomas; Dunhen, Thomas; Sékaly, Rafick P; Melief, Cornelis J M; Calandra, Thierry; Sallusto, Federica; Lanzavecchia, Antonio; Wagner, Ralf; Pantaleo, Giuseppe; Esteban, Mariano

    2012-01-01

    Based on the partial efficacy of the HIV/AIDS Thai trial (RV144) with a canarypox vector prime and protein boost, attenuated poxvirus recombinants expressing HIV-1 antigens are increasingly sought as vaccine candidates against HIV/AIDS. Here we describe using systems analysis the biological and immunological characteristics of the attenuated vaccinia virus Ankara strain expressing the HIV-1 antigens Env/Gag-Pol-Nef of HIV-1 of clade C (referred as MVA-C). MVA-C infection of human monocyte derived dendritic cells (moDCs) induced the expression of HIV-1 antigens at high levels from 2 to 8 hpi and triggered moDCs maturation as revealed by enhanced expression of HLA-DR, CD86, CD40, HLA-A2, and CD80 molecules. Infection ex vivo of purified mDC and pDC with MVA-C induced the expression of immunoregulatory pathways associated with antiviral responses, antigen presentation, T cell and B cell responses. Similarly, human whole blood or primary macrophages infected with MVA-C express high levels of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines involved with T cell activation. The vector MVA-C has the ability to cross-present antigens to HIV-specific CD8 T cells in vitro and to increase CD8 T cell proliferation in a dose-dependent manner. The immunogenic profiling in mice after DNA-C prime/MVA-C boost combination revealed activation of HIV-1-specific CD4 and CD8 T cell memory responses that are polyfunctional and with effector memory phenotype. Env-specific IgG binding antibodies were also produced in animals receiving DNA-C prime/MVA-C boost. Our systems analysis of profiling immune response to MVA-C infection highlights the potential benefit of MVA-C as vaccine candidate against HIV/AIDS for clade C, the prevalent subtype virus in the most affected areas of the world.

  7. Energy Landscape Topography Reveals the Underlying Link Between Binding Specificity and Activity of Enzymes.

    PubMed

    Chu, Wen-Ting; Wang, Jin

    2016-06-14

    Enzyme activity (often quantified by kcat/Km) is the main function of enzyme when it is active against the specific substrate. Higher or lower activities are highly desired for the design of novel enzyme and drug resistance. However, it is difficult to measure the activities of all possible variants and find the "hot-spot" within the limit of experimental time. In this study, we explore the underlying energy landscape of enzyme-substrate interactions and introduce the intrinsic specificity ratio (ISR), which reflects the landscape topography. By studying two concrete systems, we uncover the statistical correlation between the intrinsic specificity and the enzyme activity kcat/Km. This physics-based concept and method show that the energy landscape topography is valuable for understanding the relationship between enzyme specificity and activity. In addition, it can reveal the underlying mechanism of enzyme-substrate actions and has potential applications on enzyme design.

  8. Energy Landscape Topography Reveals the Underlying Link Between Binding Specificity and Activity of Enzymes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chu, Wen-Ting; Wang, Jin

    2016-06-01

    Enzyme activity (often quantified by kcat/Km) is the main function of enzyme when it is active against the specific substrate. Higher or lower activities are highly desired for the design of novel enzyme and drug resistance. However, it is difficult to measure the activities of all possible variants and find the “hot-spot” within the limit of experimental time. In this study, we explore the underlying energy landscape of enzyme-substrate interactions and introduce the intrinsic specificity ratio (ISR), which reflects the landscape topography. By studying two concrete systems, we uncover the statistical correlation between the intrinsic specificity and the enzyme activity kcat/Km. This physics-based concept and method show that the energy landscape topography is valuable for understanding the relationship between enzyme specificity and activity. In addition, it can reveal the underlying mechanism of enzyme-substrate actions and has potential applications on enzyme design.

  9. Energy Landscape Topography Reveals the Underlying Link Between Binding Specificity and Activity of Enzymes

    PubMed Central

    Chu, Wen-Ting; Wang, Jin

    2016-01-01

    Enzyme activity (often quantified by kcat/Km) is the main function of enzyme when it is active against the specific substrate. Higher or lower activities are highly desired for the design of novel enzyme and drug resistance. However, it is difficult to measure the activities of all possible variants and find the “hot-spot” within the limit of experimental time. In this study, we explore the underlying energy landscape of enzyme-substrate interactions and introduce the intrinsic specificity ratio (ISR), which reflects the landscape topography. By studying two concrete systems, we uncover the statistical correlation between the intrinsic specificity and the enzyme activity kcat/Km. This physics-based concept and method show that the energy landscape topography is valuable for understanding the relationship between enzyme specificity and activity. In addition, it can reveal the underlying mechanism of enzyme-substrate actions and has potential applications on enzyme design. PMID:27298067

  10. [Lymphokine-activated killer cell adoptive immunotherapy for cancer treatment and its significance].

    PubMed

    Toge, T; Yamaguchi, Y

    1992-09-01

    New culture system, CDCS-T1, was developed for clinical conduction of lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cell adoptive immunotherapy (AIT). Advanced or recurrent cancer patients of digestive tract were treated with AIT with LAK cells generated by CDCS-T1 in combination with plasma exchange. Partial responses were shown in 10 to 20% of patients treated. Long survival was found in some responders, indicating the significance of LAK therapy for cancer treatment. AIT with LAK cell transfer was also conducted in patients with esophageal cancer as postoperative adjuvant therapy. Better restoration of postoperative depression of immunological parameters was found in patients with postoperative LAK cell transfer. It is suggested that postoperative LAK cell transfer is a good candidate for adjuvant immunotherapy for cancer treatment.

  11. Nanosilver based anionic linear globular dendrimer with a special significant antiretroviral activity.

    PubMed

    Ardestani, Mehdi Shafiee; Fordoei, Alireza Salehi; Abdoli, Asghar; Ahangari Cohan, Reza; Bahramali, Golnaz; Sadat, Seyed Mehdi; Siadat, Seyed Davar; Moloudian, Hamid; Nassiri Koopaei, Nasser; Bolhasani, Azam; Rahimi, Pooneh; Hekmat, Soheila; Davari, Mehdi; Aghasadeghi, Mohammad Reza

    2015-05-01

    HIV is commonly caused to a very complicated disease which has not any recognized vaccine, so designing and development of novel antiretroviral agents with specific application of nanomedicine is a globally interested research subject worldwide. In the current study, a novel structure of silver complexes with anionic linear globular dendrimer was synthesized, characterized and then assessed against HIV replication pathway in vitro as well. The results showed a very good yield of synthesis (up to 70%) for the nano-complex as well as a very potent significant (P < 0.05) antiretroviral activity with non-severe toxic effects in comparison with the Nevirapine as standard drug in positive control group. According to the present data, silver anionic linear globular dendrimers complex may have a promising future to inhibit replication of HIV viruse in clinical practice.

  12. An insight into synthetic Schiff bases revealing antiproliferative activities in vitro.

    PubMed

    Sztanke, Krzysztof; Maziarka, Agata; Osinka, Anna; Sztanke, Małgorzata

    2013-07-01

    Schiff bases or azomethines are among the most important groups of biomolecules. These compounds have been found to reveal both remarkable biological activities and a variety of valuable practical applications. An interest in the exploration of novel series of synthetic Schiff bases has undoubtedly been growing due to their proven utility as attractive lead structures for the design of novel cytotoxic and cytostatic agents with a mechanism of action that sometimes differs from that of clinically authorized anticancer agents. Therefore, in the present paper we have focussed our attention on the collected synthetic simple Schiff bases of aldimine- and ketimine-types revealing anticancer activities in vitro, that have been described in the scientific literature during the last decade, and on structural variations whose affect the antiproliferative activity in sets of the designed molecules.

  13. Significant foreshock activities of M>7.5 earthquakes in the Kuril subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harada, T.; Yokoi, S.; Satake, K.

    2014-12-01

    In the Kuril subduction zone, some M>7.5 earthquakes are accompanied by significant foreshock activities, providing a good opportunity to understand the characteristics of foreshocks for large interplate events such as occur along the Japan Trench and Nankai Trough etc. Some preliminary results from our examination of the foreshock sequences are as follows. Relocated foreshocks tend to migrate with time toward the trench axis. Foreshock distributions of the interplate earthquakes do not overlap with the large coseismic slips (asperities) of the mainshocks. Foreshocks of the 2007 northern Kuril outer-rise event, however, were distributed on the entire rupture area. Foreshock sequences seem to be limited in the regions where the background seismicity rates are relatively high. The foreshock activities were found in the examination of the space-time pattern of M>7 events along the northern Japan to Kuril trench since 1913 (e.g. Harada, Satake, and Ishibashi, 2011:AGU, 2012:AOGS). The large earthquakes preceded by active foreshock sequences are: the 2006 (M8.3), 2007 (M8.1) offshore Simushir earthquakes, the 1963 (M8.5), 1991 (M7.6), 1995 (M7.9) offshore Urup events, the 1978 (M7.8) offshore Iturup events, the 1969 (M8.2) offshore Shikotan event. In contrast, M>7.5 interplate earthquakes offshore Hokkaido (1952 (M8.1), 1973 (M7.8), 2003 (M8.1)) and intraslab earthquakes (1958 (M8.3), 1978 (M7.8), 1993 (M7.6), 1994 (M8.3)) had few or no foreshocks. In the examination of the active foreshocks, we relocated foreshocks by the Modified JHD method (Hurukawa, 1995), compared relocated foreshock areas with mainshock coseismic slip distributions estimated by the teleseismic body-wave inversion (Kikuchi and Kanamori, 2003), and examined the relation between active foreshock sequences and regional background seismicity. This study was supported by the MEXT's "New disaster mitigation research project on Mega thrust earthquakes around Nankai/Ryukyu subduction zones".

  14. Chronic methamphetamine exposure significantly decreases microglia activation in the arcuate nucleus.

    PubMed

    Lloyd, Steven A; Corkill, Beau; Bruster, Matthew C; Roberts, Rick L; Shanks, Ryan A

    2017-03-18

    Methamphetamine is a powerful psychostimulant drug and its use and abuse necessitates a better understanding of its neurobiobehavioral effects. The acute effects of binge dosing of methamphetamine on the neurons in the CNS are well studied. However, the long-term effects of chronic, low-dose methamphetamine are less well characterized, especially in other cell types and areas outside of the major dopamine pathways. Mice were administered 5mg/kg/day methamphetamine for ten days and brain tissue was analyzed using histochemistry and image analysis. Increased microglia activity in the striatum confirmed toxic effects of methamphetamine in this brain region using this dosing paradigm. A significant decrease in microglia activity in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus was observed with no effect noted on dopamine neurons in the arcuate nucleus. Given the importance of this area in homeostatic and neuroendocrine regulation, the current study highlights the need to more fully understand the systemic effects of chronic, low-dose methamphetamine use. The novel finding of microglia downregulation after chronic methamphetamine could lead to advances in understanding neuroinflammatory responses towards addiction treatment and protection from psychostimulant-induced neurotoxicity.

  15. Pure versus combined Merkel cell carcinomas: immunohistochemical evaluation of cellular proteins (p53, Bcl-2, and c-kit) reveals significant overexpression of p53 in combined tumors.

    PubMed

    Lai, Jonathan H; Fleming, Kirsten E; Ly, Thai Yen; Pasternak, Sylvia; Godlewski, Marek; Doucette, Steve; Walsh, Noreen M

    2015-09-01

    Merkel cell polyomavirus is of oncogenic significance in approximately 80% of Merkel cell carcinomas. Morphological subcategories of the tumor differ in regard to viral status, the rare combined type being uniformly virus negative and the predominant pure type being mainly virus positive. Indications that different biological subsets of the tumor exist led us to explore this diversity. In an Eastern Canadian cohort of cases (75 patients; mean age, 76 years [range, 43-91]; male/female ratio, 43:32; 51 [68%] pure and 24 [34%] combined tumors), we semiquantitatively compared the immunohistochemical expression of 3 cellular proteins (p53, Bcl-2, and c-kit) in pure versus combined groups. Viral status was known in a subset of cases. The significant overexpression of p53 in the combined group (mean [SD], 153.8 [117.8] versus 121.6 [77.9]; P = .01) and the increased epidermal expression of this protein (p53 patches) in the same group lend credence to a primary etiologic role for sun damage in these cases. Expression of Bcl-2 and c-kit did not differ significantly between the 2 morphological groups. A relative increase in c-kit expression was significantly associated with a virus-negative status (median [interquartile range], 100 [60-115] versus 70 [0-100]; P = .03). Emerging data reveal divergent biological pathways in Merkel cell carcinoma, each with a characteristic immunohistochemical profile. Virus-positive tumors (all pure) exhibit high retinoblastoma protein and low p53 expression, whereas virus-negative cases (few pure and all combined) show high p53 and relatively high c-kit expression. The potential biological implications of this dichotomy call for consistent stratification of these tumors in future studies.

  16. Risperidone significantly inhibits interferon-gamma-induced microglial activation in vitro.

    PubMed

    Kato, Takahiro; Monji, Akira; Hashioka, Sadayuki; Kanba, Shigenobu

    2007-05-01

    Microglia has recently been regarded to be a mediator of neuroinflammation via the release of proinflammatory cytokines, nitric oxide (NO) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the central nervous system (CNS). Microglia has thus been reported to play an important role in the pathology of neurodegenerative disease, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD). The pathological mechanisms of schizophrenia remain unclear while some recent neuroimaging studies suggest even schizophrenia may be a kind of neurodegenerative disease. Risperidone has been reported to decrease the reduction of MRI volume during the clinical course of schizophrenia. Many recent studies have demonstrated that immunological mechanisms via such as interferon (IFN)-gamma and cytokines might be relevant to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. In the present study, we thus investigated the effects of risperidone on the generation of nitric oxide, inducible NO synthase (iNOS) expression and inflammatory cytokines: interleukin (IL)-1beta, IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha by IFN-gamma-activated microglia by using Griess assay, Western blotting and ELISA, respectively. In comparison with haloperidol, risperidone significantly inhibited the production of NO and proinflammatory cytokines by activated microglia. The iNOS levels of risperidone-treated cells were much lower than those of the haloperidol-treated cells. Antipsychotics, especially risperidone may have an anti-inflammatory effect via the inhibition of microglial activation, which is not only directly toxic to neurons but also has an inhibitory effect on neurogenesis and oligodendrogenesis, both of which have been reported to play a crucial role in the pathology of schizophrenia.

  17. Volcanic activity before and after large tectonic earthquakes: Observations and statistical significance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eggert, S.; Walter, T. R.

    2009-04-01

    The study of volcanic triggering and coupling to the tectonic surroundings has received special attention in recent years, using both direct field observations and historical descriptions of eruptions and earthquake activity. Repeated reports of volcano-earthquake interactions in, e.g., Europe and Japan, may imply that clustered occurrence is important in some regions. However, the regions likely to suffer clustered eruption-earthquake activity have not been systematically identified, and the processes responsible for the observed interaction are debated. We first review previous works about the correlation of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, and describe selected local clustered events. Following an overview of previous statistical studies, we further elaborate the databases of correlated eruptions and earthquakes from a global perspective. Since we can confirm a relationship between volcanic eruptions and earthquakes on the global scale, we then perform a statistical study on the regional level, showing that time and distance between events follow a linear relationship. In the time before an earthquake, a period of volcanic silence often occurs, whereas in the time after, an increase in volcanic activity is evident. Our statistical tests imply that certain regions are especially predisposed to concurrent eruption-earthquake pairs, e.g., Japan, whereas such pairing is statistically less significant in other regions, such as Europe. Based on this study, we argue that individual and selected observations may bias the perceptible weight of coupling. Volcanoes located in the predisposed regions (e.g., Japan, Indonesia, Melanesia), however, indeed often have unexpectedly changed in association with either an imminent or a past earthquake.

  18. Significance of Neuronal Cytochrome P450 Activity in Opioid-Mediated Stress-Induced Analgesia

    PubMed Central

    Hough, Lindsay B.; Nalwalk, Julia W.; Yang, Weizhu; Ding, Xinxin

    2014-01-01

    Stressful environmental changes can suppress nociceptive transmission, a phenomenon known as “stress-induced analgesia”. Depending on the stressor and the subject, opioid or non-opioid mechanisms are activated. Brain μ opioid receptors mediate analgesia evoked either by exogenous agents (e.g. morphine), or by the release of endogenous opioids following stressful procedures. Recent work with morphine and neuronal cytochrome P450 (P450)-deficient mice proposed a signal transduction role for P450 enzymes in μ analgesia. Since μ opioid receptors also mediate some forms of stress-induced analgesia, the present studies assessed the significance of brain P450 activity in opioid-mediated stress-induced analgesia. Two widely-used models of opioid stress-induced analgesia (restraint and warm water swim) were studied in both sexes of wild-type control and P450-deficient (Null) mice. In control mice, both stressors evoked moderate analgesic responses which were blocked by pretreatment with the opioid antagonist naltrexone, confirming the opioid nature of these responses. Consistent with literature, sex differences (control female > control male) were seen in swim-induced, but not restraint-induced, analgesia. Null mice showed differential responses to the two stress paradigms. As compared with control subjects, Null mice showed highly attenuated restraint-induced analgesia, showing a critical role for neuronal P450s in this response. However, warm water swim-induced analgesia was unchanged in Null vs. control mice. Additional control experiments confirmed the absence of morphine analgesia in Null mice. These results are the first to show that some forms of opioid-mediated stress-induced analgesia require brain neuronal P450 activity. PMID:25020125

  19. Nuclear RNA-seq of single neurons reveals molecular signatures of activation.

    PubMed

    Lacar, Benjamin; Linker, Sara B; Jaeger, Baptiste N; Krishnaswami, Suguna; Barron, Jerika; Kelder, Martijn; Parylak, Sarah; Paquola, Apuã; Venepally, Pratap; Novotny, Mark; O'Connor, Carolyn; Fitzpatrick, Conor; Erwin, Jennifer; Hsu, Jonathan Y; Husband, David; McConnell, Michael J; Lasken, Roger; Gage, Fred H

    2016-04-19

    Single-cell sequencing methods have emerged as powerful tools for identification of heterogeneous cell types within defined brain regions. Application of single-cell techniques to study the transcriptome of activated neurons can offer insight into molecular dynamics associated with differential neuronal responses to a given experience. Through evaluation of common whole-cell and single-nuclei RNA-sequencing (snRNA-seq) methods, here we show that snRNA-seq faithfully recapitulates transcriptional patterns associated with experience-driven induction of activity, including immediate early genes (IEGs) such as Fos, Arc and Egr1. SnRNA-seq of mouse dentate granule cells reveals large-scale changes in the activated neuronal transcriptome after brief novel environment exposure, including induction of MAPK pathway genes. In addition, we observe a continuum of activation states, revealing a pseudotemporal pattern of activation from gene expression alone. In summary, snRNA-seq of activated neurons enables the examination of gene expression beyond IEGs, allowing for novel insights into neuronal activation patterns in vivo.

  20. Nuclear RNA-seq of single neurons reveals molecular signatures of activation

    PubMed Central

    Lacar, Benjamin; Linker, Sara B.; Jaeger, Baptiste N.; Krishnaswami, Suguna; Barron, Jerika; Kelder, Martijn; Parylak, Sarah; Paquola, Apuã; Venepally, Pratap; Novotny, Mark; O'Connor, Carolyn; Fitzpatrick, Conor; Erwin, Jennifer; Hsu, Jonathan Y.; Husband, David; McConnell, Michael J.; Lasken, Roger; Gage, Fred H.

    2016-01-01

    Single-cell sequencing methods have emerged as powerful tools for identification of heterogeneous cell types within defined brain regions. Application of single-cell techniques to study the transcriptome of activated neurons can offer insight into molecular dynamics associated with differential neuronal responses to a given experience. Through evaluation of common whole-cell and single-nuclei RNA-sequencing (snRNA-seq) methods, here we show that snRNA-seq faithfully recapitulates transcriptional patterns associated with experience-driven induction of activity, including immediate early genes (IEGs) such as Fos, Arc and Egr1. SnRNA-seq of mouse dentate granule cells reveals large-scale changes in the activated neuronal transcriptome after brief novel environment exposure, including induction of MAPK pathway genes. In addition, we observe a continuum of activation states, revealing a pseudotemporal pattern of activation from gene expression alone. In summary, snRNA-seq of activated neurons enables the examination of gene expression beyond IEGs, allowing for novel insights into neuronal activation patterns in vivo. PMID:27090946

  1. Family-based Association Analyses of Imputed Genotypes Reveal Genome-Wide Significant Association of Alzheimer’s disease with OSBPL6, PTPRG and PDCL3

    PubMed Central

    Herold, Christine; Hooli, Basavaraj V.; Mullin, Kristina; Liu, Tian; Roehr, Johannes T; Mattheisen, Manuel; Parrado, Antonio R.; Bertram, Lars; Lange, Christoph; Tanzi, Rudolph E.

    2015-01-01

    The genetic basis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is complex and heterogeneous. Over 200 highly penetrant pathogenic variants in the genes APP, PSEN1 and PSEN2 cause a subset of early-onset familial Alzheimer's disease (EOFAD). On the other hand, susceptibility to late-onset forms of AD (LOAD) is indisputably associated to the ε4 allele in the gene APOE, and more recently to variants in more than two-dozen additional genes identified in the large-scale genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and meta-analyses reports. Taken together however, although the heritability in AD is estimated to be as high as 80%, a large proportion of the underlying genetic factors still remain to be elucidated. In this study we performed a systematic family-based genome-wide association and meta-analysis on close to 15 million imputed variants from three large collections of AD families (~3,500 subjects from 1,070 families). Using a multivariate phenotype combining affection status and onset age, meta-analysis of the association results revealed three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that achieved genome-wide significance for association with AD risk: rs7609954 in the gene PTPRG (P-value = 3.98·10−08), rs1347297 in the gene OSBPL6 (P-value = 4.53·10−08), and rs1513625 near PDCL3 (P-value = 4.28·10−08). In addition, rs72953347 in OSBPL6 (P-value = 6.36·10−07) and two SNPs in the gene CDKAL1 showed marginally significant association with LOAD (rs10456232, P-value: 4.76·10−07; rs62400067, P-value: 3.54·10−07). In summary, family-based GWAS meta-analysis of imputed SNPs revealed novel genomic variants in (or near) PTPRG, OSBPL6, and PDCL3 that influence risk for AD with genome-wide significance. PMID:26830138

  2. Magnetoencephalography reveals early activation of V4 in grapheme-color synesthesia.

    PubMed

    Brang, D; Hubbard, E M; Coulson, S; Huang, M; Ramachandran, V S

    2010-10-15

    Grapheme-color synesthesia is a neurological phenomenon in which letters and numbers (graphemes) consistently evoke particular colors (e.g. A may be experienced as red). The cross-activation theory proposes that synesthesia arises as a result of cross-activation between posterior temporal grapheme areas (PTGA) and color processing area V4, while the disinhibited feedback theory proposes that synesthesia arises from disinhibition of pre-existing feedback connections. Here we used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to test whether V4 and PTGA activate nearly simultaneously, as predicted by the cross-activation theory, or whether V4 activation occurs only after the initial stages of grapheme processing, as predicted by the disinhibited feedback theory. Using our high-resolution MEG source imaging technique (VESTAL), PTGA and V4 regions of interest (ROIs) were separately defined, and activity in response to the presentation of achromatic graphemes was measured. Activation levels in PTGA did not significantly differ between synesthetes and controls (suggesting similar grapheme processing mechanisms), whereas activation in V4 was significantly greater in synesthetes. In synesthetes, PTGA activation exceeded baseline levels beginning 105-109ms, and V4 activation did so 5ms later, suggesting nearly simultaneous activation of these areas. Results are discussed in the context of an updated version of the cross-activation model, the cascaded cross-tuning model of grapheme-color synesthesia.

  3. Significant bone microarchitecture impairment in premenopausal women with active celiac disease.

    PubMed

    Zanchetta, María Belén; Costa, Florencia; Longobardi, Vanesa; Longarini, Gabriela; Mazure, Roberto Martín; Moreno, María Laura; Vázquez, Horacio; Silveira, Fernando; Niveloni, Sonia; Smecuol, Edgardo; Temprano, María de la Paz; Hwang, Hui Jer; González, Andrea; Mauriño, Eduardo César; Bogado, Cesar; Zanchetta, Jose R; Bai, Julio César

    2015-07-01

    Patients with active celiac disease (CD) are more likely to have osteoporosis and increased risk of fractures. High-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography (HR-pQCT) permits three-dimensional exploration of bone microarchitectural characteristics measuring separately cortical and trabecular compartments, and giving a more profound insight into bone disease pathophysiology and fracture. We aimed to determine the volumetric and microarchitectural characteristics of peripheral bones-distal radius and tibia-in an adult premenopausal cohort with active CD assessed at diagnosis. We prospectively enrolled 31 consecutive premenopausal women with newly diagnosed CD (median age 29 years, range: 18-49) and 22 healthy women of similar age (median age 30 years, range 21-41) and body mass index. Compared with controls, peripheral bones of CD patients were significantly lower in terms of total volumetric density mg/cm(3) (mean ± SD: 274.7 ± 51.7 vs. 324.7 ± 45.8, p 0.0006 at the radius; 264.4 ± 48.7 vs. 307 ± 40.7, p 0.002 at the tibia), trabecular density mg/cm(3) (118.6 ± 31.5 vs. 161.9 ± 33.6, p<0.0001 at the radius; 127.9 ± 28.7 vs. 157.6 ± 15.6, p < 0.0001 at the tibia); bone volume/trabecular volume ratio % (9.9 ± 2.6 vs. 13.5 ± 2.8, p<0.0001 at the radius; 10.6 ± 2.4 vs. 13.1 ± 1.3, p < 0.0001 at the tibia); number of trabeculae 1/mm (1.69 ± 0.27 vs. 1.89 ± 0.26, p 0.009 at the radius; 1.53 ± 0.32 vs. 1.80 ± 0.26, p 0.002 at the tibia); and trabecular thickness mm (0.058 ± 0.010 vs. 0.071 ± 0.008, p < 0.0001 at the radius with no significant difference at the tibia). Cortical density was significantly lower in both regions (D comp mg/cm(3) 860 ± 57.2 vs. 893.9 ± 43, p 0.02; 902.7 ± 48.7 vs. 932.6 ± 32.6, p 0.01 in radius and tibia respectively). Although cortical thickness was lower in CD patients, it failed to show any significant inter-group difference (a-8% decay with p 0.11 in both bones). Patients with symptomatic CD (n = 22) had

  4. Functional Screening of Hydrolytic Activities Reveals an Extremely Thermostable Cellulase from a Deep-Sea Archaeon

    PubMed Central

    Leis, Benedikt; Heinze, Simon; Angelov, Angel; Pham, Vu Thuy Trang; Thürmer, Andrea; Jebbar, Mohamed; Golyshin, Peter N.; Streit, Wolfgang R.; Daniel, Rolf; Liebl, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    Extreme habitats serve as a source of enzymes that are active under extreme conditions and are candidates for industrial applications. In this work, six large-insert mixed genomic libraries were screened for hydrolase activities in a broad temperature range (8–70°C). Among a variety of hydrolytic activities, one fosmid clone, derived from a library of pooled isolates of hyperthermophilic archaea from deep sea vents, displayed hydrolytic activity on carboxymethyl cellulose substrate plates at 70°C but not at lower temperatures. Sequence analysis of the fosmid insert revealed a gene encoding a novel glycoside hydrolase family 12 (GHF12) endo-1,4-β-glucanase, termed Cel12E. The enzyme shares 45% sequence identity with a protein from the archaeon Thermococcus sp. AM4 and displays a unique multidomain architecture. Biochemical characterization of Cel12E revealed a remarkably thermostable protein, which appears to be of archaeal origin. The enzyme displayed maximum activity at 92°C and was active on a variety of linear 1,4-β-glucans like carboxymethyl cellulose, β-glucan, lichenan, and phosphoric acid swollen cellulose. The protein is able to bind to various insoluble β-glucans. Product pattern analysis indicated that Cel12E is an endo-cleaving β-glucanase. Cel12E expands the toolbox of hyperthermostable archaeal cellulases with biotechnological potential. PMID:26191525

  5. Proteomic analysis reveals significant elevation of heat shock protein 70 in patients with chronic heart failure due to arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy.

    PubMed

    Wei, Ying-Jie; Huang, Yin-Xia; Shen, Ya; Cui, Chuan-Jue; Zhang, Xiao-Ling; Zhang, Hao; Hu, Sheng-Shou

    2009-12-01

    As proteins are the ultimate biological determinants of phenotype of disease, we screened altered proteins associated with heart failure due to arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) to identify biomarkers potential for rapid diagnosis of heart failure. By 2-dimensional gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry, we identified five commonly altered proteins with more than 1.5 fold changes in eight ARVC failing hearts using eight non-failing hearts as reference. Noticeably, one of the altered proteins, heat shock protein 70 (HSP70), was increased by 1.64 fold in ARVC failing hearts compared with non-failing hearts. The increase of cardiac HSP70 was further validated by Western blot, immunochemistry, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in failing hearts due to not only ARVC, but also dilated (DCM, n = 18) and ischemic cardiomyopathy (ICM, n = 8). Serum HSP70 was also observed to be significantly increased in heart failure patients derived from the three forms of cardiomyopathies. In addition, we observed hypoxia/serum depletion stimulation induced significantly elevation of intracellular and extracellular HSP70 in cultured neonatal rat cardiomyocytes. For the first time to our knowledge, we revealed and clearly demonstrated significant up-regulation of cardiac and serum HSP70 in ARVC heart failure patients. Our results indicate that elevated HSP70 is the common feature of heart failure due to ARVC, DCM, and ICM, which suggests that HSP70 may be used as a biomarker for the presence of heart failure due to cardiomyopathies of different etiologies and may hold diagnostic/prognostic potential in clinical practice.

  6. Structural Differences between Active Forms of Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor Type 1 Revealed by Conformationally Sensitive Ligands*

    PubMed Central

    Li, Shih-Hon; Gorlatova, Natalia V.; Lawrence, Daniel A.; Schwartz, Bradford S.

    2008-01-01

    Plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (PAI-1) is a serine protease inhibitor (serpin) in which the reactive center loop (RCL) spontaneously inserts into a central β-sheet, β-sheet A, resulting in inactive inhibitor. Available x-ray crystallographic studies of PAI-1 in an active conformation relied on the use of stabilizing mutations. Recently it has become evident that these structural models do not adequately explain the behavior of wild-type PAI-1 (wtPAI-1) in solution. To probe the structure of native wtPAI-1, we used three conformationally sensitive ligands: the physiologic cofactor, vitronectin; a monoclonal antibody, 33B8, that binds preferentially to RCL-inserted forms of PAI-1; and RCL-mimicking peptides that insert into β-sheet A. From patterns of interaction with wtPAI-1 and the stable mutant, 14-1B, we propose a model of the native conformation of wtPAI-1 in which the bottom of the central sheet is closed, whereas the top of the β-sheet A is open to allow partial insertion of the RCL. Because the incorporation of RCL-mimicking peptides into wtPAI-1 is accelerated by vitronectin, we further propose that vitronectin alters the conformation of the RCL to allow increased accessibility to β-sheet A, yielding a structural hypothesis that is contradictory to the current structural model of PAI-1 in solution and its interaction with vitronectin. PMID:18436534

  7. Significantly Enhanced Visible Light Photoelectrochemical Activity in TiO₂ Nanowire Arrays by Nitrogen Implantation.

    PubMed

    Wang, Gongming; Xiao, Xiangheng; Li, Wenqing; Lin, Zhaoyang; Zhao, Zipeng; Chen, Chi; Wang, Chen; Li, Yongjia; Huang, Xiaoqing; Miao, Ling; Jiang, Changzhong; Huang, Yu; Duan, Xiangfeng

    2015-07-08

    Titanium oxide (TiO2) represents one of most widely studied materials for photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting but is severely limited by its poor efficiency in the visible light range. Here, we report a significant enhancement of visible light photoactivity in nitrogen-implanted TiO2 (N-TiO2) nanowire arrays. Our systematic studies show that a post-implantation thermal annealing treatment can selectively enrich the substitutional nitrogen dopants, which is essential for activating the nitrogen implanted TiO2 to achieve greatly enhanced visible light photoactivity. An incident photon to electron conversion efficiency (IPCE) of ∼10% is achieved at 450 nm in N-TiO2 without any other cocatalyst, far exceeding that in pristine TiO2 nanowires (∼0.2%). The integration of oxygen evolution reaction (OER) cocatalyst with N-TiO2 can further increase the IPCE at 450 nm to ∼17% and deliver an unprecedented overall photocurrent density of 1.9 mA/cm(2), by integrating the IPCE spectrum with standard AM 1.5G solar spectrum. Systematic photoelectrochemical and electrochemical studies demonstrated that the enhanced PEC performance can be attributed to the significantly improved visible light absorption and more efficient charge separation. Our studies demonstrate the implantation approach can be used to reliably dope TiO2 to achieve the best performed N-TiO2 photoelectrodes to date and may be extended to fundamentally modify other semiconductor materials for PEC water splitting.

  8. A High-Throughput Screen Reveals New Small-Molecule Activators and Inhibitors of Pantothenate Kinases

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Pantothenate kinase (PanK) is a regulatory enzyme that controls coenzyme A (CoA) biosynthesis. The association of PanK with neurodegeneration and diabetes suggests that chemical modifiers of PanK activity may be useful therapeutics. We performed a high throughput screen of >520000 compounds from the St. Jude compound library and identified new potent PanK inhibitors and activators with chemically tractable scaffolds. The HTS identified PanK inhibitors exemplified by the detailed characterization of a tricyclic compound (7) and a preliminary SAR. Biophysical studies reveal that the PanK inhibitor acts by binding to the ATP–enzyme complex. PMID:25569308

  9. Cationic Polymethacrylate-Modified Liposomes Significantly Enhanced Doxorubicin Delivery and Antitumor Activity

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Wenxi; Shao, Anna; Zhang, Nan; Fang, Jinzhang; Ruan, Jennifer Jin; Ruan, Benfang Helen

    2017-01-01

    Liposome (LP) encapsulation of doxorubicin (DOX) is a clinically validated method for cancer drug delivery, but its cellular uptake is actually lower than the free DOX. Therefore, we modified DOX-LP with a cationic polymer (Eudragit RL100; ER) to improve its cellular uptake and antitumor activity. The resulting DOX-ERLP was a 190 nm nanoparticle that was absorbed efficiently and caused cancer cell death in 5 hrs. Growth as measured by the MTT assay or microscopic imaging demonstrated that DOX-ERLP has at least a two-fold greater potency than the free DOX in inhibiting the growth of a DOX resistant (MCF7/adr) cell and an aggressive liver cancer H22 cell. Further, its in vivo efficacy was tested in H22-bearing mice, where four injections of DOX-ERLP reduced the tumor growth by more than 60% and caused an average of 60% tumor necrosis, which was significantly better than the DOX and DOX-LP treated groups. Our work represents the first use of polymethacrylate derivatives for DOX liposomal delivery, demonstrating the great potential of cationic polymethacrylate modified liposomes for improving cancer drug delivery. PMID:28225062

  10. Seasonal activity of millipedes (Diplopoda)--their economic and medical significance.

    PubMed

    Kania, Grzegorz; Kłapeć, Teresa

    2012-01-01

    The millipede Brachydesmus superus Latzel, Polydesmus inconstans Latzel (Diplopoda: Polydesmida) and Kryphioiulus occultus C. L. Koch (Diplopoda: Julida) were collected from compost in gardens in Lublin, eastern Poland. Collections were made by using pitfall traps between April - September 2009 and 2010. Brachydesmus superus, Polydesmus inconstans and Kryphioiulus occultus play a significant role in composting of plant residues. Cylindroiulus caeruleocinctus Wood and Ommatoiulus sabulosus Linnaeus (Diplopoda: Julida) were collected manually in 2009-2011 in fallows and ruderals of Lublin and Kraków. C. caeruleocinctus and O. sabulosus caused considerable nuisance during mass occurrence and migration in human residences. The sex ratio has been determined for populations of C. caeruleocinctus, total sex ratio average 1:1.46. The number of females prevailed. Millipedes of the temperate climate have two peaks in the spring and autumn pattern of activity of the year. Both common species C. caeruleocinctus and O. sabulosus were analysed bacteriologically. The millipede Cylindroiulus caeruleocinctus transmits Citrobacter freundii, Pantoea agglomerans, Serratia marcescens, Raoultella planticola, Salmonella arizonae. The millipede Ommatoiulus sabulosus transmits Citrobacter freundii, Pantoea agglomerans, Raoultella planticola and Xanthomonas maltophila.

  11. Novel pyrazole derivatives as neutral CB₁ antagonists with significant activity towards food intake.

    PubMed

    Manca, Ilaria; Mastinu, Andrea; Olimpieri, Francesca; Falzoi, Matteo; Sani, Monica; Ruiu, Stefania; Loriga, Giovanni; Volonterio, Alessandro; Tambaro, Simone; Bottazzi, Mirko Emilio Heiner; Zanda, Matteo; Pinna, Gérard Aimè; Lazzari, Paolo

    2013-04-01

    In spite of rimonabant's withdrawal from the European market due to its adverse effects, interest in the development of drugs based on CB1 antagonists is revamping on the basis of the peculiar properties of this class of compounds. In particular, new strategies have been proposed for the treatment of obesity and/or related risk factors through CB1 antagonists, i.e. by the development of selectively peripherally acting agents or by the identification of neutral CB1 antagonists. New compounds based on the lead CB1 antagonist/inverse agonist rimonabant have been synthesized with focus on obtaining neutral CB1 antagonists. Amongst the new derivatives described in this paper, the mixture of the two enantiomers (±)-5-(4-chlorophenyl)-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-3-(2-cyclohexyl-1-hydroxyethyl)-4-methyl-1H-pyrazole ((±)-5), and compound 5-(4-chlorophenyl)-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-3-[(Z)-2-cyclohexyl-1-fluorovinyl]-4-methyl-1H-pyrazole ((Z)-6), showed interesting pharmacological profiles. According to the preliminary pharmacological evaluation, these novel pyrazole derivatives showed in fact both neutral CB1 antagonism behaviour and significant in vivo activity towards food intake.

  12. Spores of most common airborne fungi reveal no ice nucleation activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pummer, B. G.; Atanasova, L.; Bauer, H.; Bernardi, J.; Druzhinina, I. S.; Grothe, H.

    2013-06-01

    Fungal spores are ubiquitous biological aerosols, which are considered to show ice nucleation (IN) activity. In this study the respective IN activity was tested in oil emulsion in the immersion freezing mode. The focus was laid on species of economical, ecological or sanitary significance. For the first time, not only common moulds, but also edible mushrooms (Basidiomycota, Agaricomycetes) were investigated, as they contribute massively to the total amount of fungal spores in the atmosphere. Only Fusarium avenaceum showed freezing events at low subzero-temperatures, while the other investigated fungal spores showed no significant IN activity. Furthermore, we selected a set of fungal strains from different sites and exposed them to occasional freezing stress during cultivation. Although the total protein expression was altered by this treatment, it had no significant impact on the IN activity.

  13. Young asteroidal fluid activity revealed by absolute age from apatite in carbonaceous chondrite.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ai-Cheng; Li, Qiu-Li; Yurimoto, Hisayoshi; Sakamoto, Naoya; Li, Xian-Hua; Hu, Sen; Lin, Yang-Ting; Wang, Ru-Cheng

    2016-09-29

    Chondritic meteorites, consisting of the materials that have formed in the early solar system (ESS), have been affected by late thermal events and fluid activity to various degrees. Determining the timing of fluid activity in ESS is of fundamental importance for understanding the nature, formation, evolution and significance of fluid activity in ESS. Previous investigations have determined the relative ages of fluid activity with short-lived isotope systematics. Here we report an absolute (207)Pb/(206)Pb isochron age (4,450±50 Ma) of apatite from Dar al Gani (DaG) 978, a type ∼3.5, ungrouped carbonaceous chondrite. The petrographic, mineralogical and geochemical features suggest that the apatite in DaG 978 should have formed during metamorphism in the presence of a fluid. Therefore, the apatite age represents an absolute age for fluid activity in an asteroidal setting. An impact event could have provided the heat to activate this young fluid activity in ESS.

  14. Young asteroidal fluid activity revealed by absolute age from apatite in carbonaceous chondrite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Ai-Cheng; Li, Qiu-Li; Yurimoto, Hisayoshi; Sakamoto, Naoya; Li, Xian-Hua; Hu, Sen; Lin, Yang-Ting; Wang, Ru-Cheng

    2016-09-01

    Chondritic meteorites, consisting of the materials that have formed in the early solar system (ESS), have been affected by late thermal events and fluid activity to various degrees. Determining the timing of fluid activity in ESS is of fundamental importance for understanding the nature, formation, evolution and significance of fluid activity in ESS. Previous investigations have determined the relative ages of fluid activity with short-lived isotope systematics. Here we report an absolute 207Pb/206Pb isochron age (4,450+/-50 Ma) of apatite from Dar al Gani (DaG) 978, a type ~3.5, ungrouped carbonaceous chondrite. The petrographic, mineralogical and geochemical features suggest that the apatite in DaG 978 should have formed during metamorphism in the presence of a fluid. Therefore, the apatite age represents an absolute age for fluid activity in an asteroidal setting. An impact event could have provided the heat to activate this young fluid activity in ESS.

  15. Physicochemical state of the nanotopographic surface of commercially pure titanium following anodization-hydrothermal treatment reveals significantly improved hydrophilicity and surface energy profiles.

    PubMed

    Takebe, Jun; Ito, Shigeki; Miura, Shingo; Miyata, Kyohei; Ishibashi, Kanji

    2012-01-01

    A method of coating commercially pure titanium (cpTi) implants with a highly crystalline, thin hydroxyapatite (HA) layer using discharge anodic oxidation followed by hydrothermal treatment (Spark discharged Anodic oxidation treatment ; SA-treated cpTi) has been reported for use in clinical dentistry. We hypothesized that a thin HA layer with high crystallinity and nanostructured anodic titanium oxide film on such SA-treated cpTi implant surfaces might be a crucial function of their surface-specific potential energy. To test this, we analyzed anodic oxide (AO) cpTi and SA-treated cpTi disks by SEM and AFM. Contact angles and surface free energy of each disk surface was measured using FAMAS software. High-magnification SEM and AFM revealed the nanotopographic structure of the anodic titanium oxide film on SA-treated cpTi; however, this was not observed on the AO cpTi surface. The contact angle and surface free energy measurements were also significantly different between AO cpTi and SA-treated cpTi surfaces (Tukey's, P<0.05). These data indicated that the change of physicochemical properties of an anodic titanium oxide film with HA crystals on an SA-treated cpTi surface may play a key role in the phenomenon of osteoconduction during the process of osseointegration.

  16. Structural and functional analysis of aa3-type and cbb3-type cytochrome c oxidases of Paracoccus denitrificans reveals significant differences in proton-pump design.

    PubMed

    de Gier, J W; Schepper, M; Reijnders, W N; van Dyck, S J; Slotboom, D J; Warne, A; Saraste, M; Krab, K; Finel, M; Stouthamer, A H; van Spanning, R J; van der Oost, J

    1996-06-01

    In Paracoccus denitrificans the aa3-type cytochrome c oxidase and the bb3-type quinol oxidase have previously been characterized in detail, both biochemically and genetically. Here we report on the isolation of a genomic locus that harbours the gene cluster ccoNOOP, and demonstrate that it encodes an alternative cbb3-type cytochrome c oxidase. This oxidase has previously been shown to be specifically induced at low oxygen tensions, suggesting that its expression is controlled by an oxygen-sensing mechanism. This view is corroborated by the observation that the ccoNOOP gene cluster is preceded by a gene that encodes an FNR homologue and that its promoter region contains an FNR-binding motif. Biochemical and physiological analyses of a set of oxidase mutants revealed that, at least under the conditions tested, cytochromes aa3, bb3 and cbb3 make up the complete set of terminal oxidases in P. denitrificans. Proton-translocation measurements of these oxidase mutants indicate that all three oxidase types have the capacity to pump protons. Previously, however, we have reported decreased H+/e- coupling efficiencies of the cbb3-type oxidase under certain conditions. Sequence alignment suggests that many residues that have been proposed to constitute the chemical and pumped proton channels in cytochrome aa3 (and probably also in cytochrome bb3) are not conserved in cytochrome cbb3. It is concluded that the design of the proton pump in cytochrome cbb3 differs significantly from that in the other oxidase types.

  17. Genetic basis of heterosis for growth-related traits in Arabidopsis investigated by testcross progenies of near-isogenic lines reveals a significant role of epistasis.

    PubMed

    Melchinger, Albrecht E; Piepho, Hans-Peter; Utz, H Friedrich; Muminovic, Jasmina; Wegenast, Thilo; Törjék, Otto; Altmann, Thomas; Kusterer, Barbara

    2007-11-01

    Epistasis seems to play a significant role in the manifestation of heterosis. However, the power of detecting epistatic interactions among quantitative trait loci (QTL) in segregating populations is low. We studied heterosis in Arabidopsis thaliana hybrid C24 x Col-0 by testing near-isogenic lines (NILs) and their triple testcross (TTC) progenies. Our objectives were to (i) provide the theoretical basis for estimating different types of genetic effects with this experimental design, (ii) determine the extent of heterosis for seven growth-related traits, (iii) map the underlying QTL, and (iv) determine their gene action. Two substitution libraries, each consisting of 28 NILs and covering approximately 61 and 39% of the Arabidopsis genome, were assayed by 110 single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers. With our novel generation means approach 38 QTL were detected, many of which confirmed heterotic QTL detected previously in the same cross with TTC progenies of recombinant inbred lines. Furthermore, many of the QTL were common for different traits and in common with the 58 QTL detected by a method that compares triplets consisting of a NIL, its recurrent parent, and their F(1) cross. While the latter approach revealed mostly (75%) overdominant QTL, the former approach allowed separation of dominance and epistasis by analyzing all materials simultaneously and yielded substantial positive additive x additive effects besides directional dominance. Positive epistatic effects reduced heterosis for growth-related traits in our materials.

  18. Expression of progerin in aging mouse brains reveals structural nuclear abnormalities without detectible significant alterations in gene expression, hippocampal stem cells or behavior.

    PubMed

    Baek, Jean-Ha; Schmidt, Eva; Viceconte, Nikenza; Strandgren, Charlotte; Pernold, Karin; Richard, Thibaud J C; Van Leeuwen, Fred W; Dantuma, Nico P; Damberg, Peter; Hultenby, Kjell; Ulfhake, Brun; Mugnaini, Enrico; Rozell, Björn; Eriksson, Maria

    2015-03-01

    Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) is a segmental progeroid syndrome with multiple features suggestive of premature accelerated aging. Accumulation of progerin is thought to underlie the pathophysiology of HGPS. However, despite ubiquitous expression of lamin A in all differentiated cells, the HGPS mutation results in organ-specific defects. For example, bone and skin are strongly affected by HGPS, while the brain appears to be unaffected. There are no definite explanations as to the variable sensitivity to progeria disease among different organs. In addition, low levels of progerin have also been found in several tissues from normal individuals, but it is not clear if low levels of progerin contribute to the aging of the brain. In an attempt to clarify the origin of this phenomenon, we have developed an inducible transgenic mouse model with expression of the most common HGPS mutation in brain, skin, bone and heart to investigate how the mutation affects these organs. Ultrastructural analysis of neuronal nuclei after 70 weeks of expression of the LMNA c.1824C>T mutation showed severe distortion with multiple lobulations and irregular extensions. Despite severe distortions in the nuclei of hippocampal neurons of HGPS animals, there were only negligible changes in gene expression after 63 weeks of transgenic expression. Behavioral analysis and neurogenesis assays, following long-term expression of the HGPS mutation, did not reveal significant pathology. Our results suggest that certain tissues are protected from functional deleterious effects of progerin.

  19. Expression of progerin in aging mouse brains reveals structural nuclear abnormalities without detectible significant alterations in gene expression, hippocampal stem cells or behavior

    PubMed Central

    Baek, Jean-Ha; Schmidt, Eva; Viceconte, Nikenza; Strandgren, Charlotte; Pernold, Karin; Richard, Thibaud J. C.; Van Leeuwen, Fred W.; Dantuma, Nico P.; Damberg, Peter; Hultenby, Kjell; Ulfhake, Brun; Mugnaini, Enrico; Rozell, Björn; Eriksson, Maria

    2015-01-01

    Hutchinson–Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) is a segmental progeroid syndrome with multiple features suggestive of premature accelerated aging. Accumulation of progerin is thought to underlie the pathophysiology of HGPS. However, despite ubiquitous expression of lamin A in all differentiated cells, the HGPS mutation results in organ-specific defects. For example, bone and skin are strongly affected by HGPS, while the brain appears to be unaffected. There are no definite explanations as to the variable sensitivity to progeria disease among different organs. In addition, low levels of progerin have also been found in several tissues from normal individuals, but it is not clear if low levels of progerin contribute to the aging of the brain. In an attempt to clarify the origin of this phenomenon, we have developed an inducible transgenic mouse model with expression of the most common HGPS mutation in brain, skin, bone and heart to investigate how the mutation affects these organs. Ultrastructural analysis of neuronal nuclei after 70 weeks of expression of the LMNA c.1824C>T mutation showed severe distortion with multiple lobulations and irregular extensions. Despite severe distortions in the nuclei of hippocampal neurons of HGPS animals, there were only negligible changes in gene expression after 63 weeks of transgenic expression. Behavioral analysis and neurogenesis assays, following long-term expression of the HGPS mutation, did not reveal significant pathology. Our results suggest that certain tissues are protected from functional deleterious effects of progerin. PMID:25343989

  20. Infrared Laser Spectroscopy of the n-PROPYL and i-PROPYL Radicals in Helium Droplets: Significant Bend-Stretch Coupling Revealed in the CH Stretch Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moradi, Christopher P.; Douberly, Gary E.; Tabor, Daniel P.; Sibert, Edwin

    2016-06-01

    The n-propyl and i-propyl radicals were generated in the gas phase via pyrolysis of n-butyl nitrite (CH3(CH2)3ONO) and i-butyl nitrite (CH3CH(CH3)CH2ONO) precursors, respectively. Nascent radicals were promptly solvated by a beam of He nanodroplets, and the infrared spectra of the radicals were recorded in the C-H stretching region. In addition to three vibrations of n-propyl previously measured in an Ar matrix, we observe many unreported bands between 2800 and 3150 wn, which we attribute to propyl radicals. The C-H stretching modes observed above 2960 wn for both radicals are in excellent agreement with anharmonic frequencies computed using VPT2. Between 2800 and 2960 wn, however, the spectra of n-propyl and i-propyl radicals become quite congested and difficult to assign due to the presence of multiple anharmonic resonances. Computations employing a local mode Hamiltonian reveal the origin of the spectral congestion to be strong coupling between the high frequency C-H stretching modes and the lower frequency bending/scissoring motions. The only significant local coupling is between stretches and bends on the same CH2/CH3 group.

  1. The complete chloroplast genome sequence of Mahonia bealei (Berberidaceae) reveals a significant expansion of the inverted repeat and phylogenetic relationship with other angiosperms.

    PubMed

    Ma, Ji; Yang, Bingxian; Zhu, Wei; Sun, Lianli; Tian, Jingkui; Wang, Xumin

    2013-10-10

    Mahonia bealei (Berberidaceae) is a frequently-used traditional Chinese medicinal plant with efficient anti-inflammatory ability. This plant is one of the sources of berberine, a new cholesterol-lowering drug with anti-diabetic activity. We have sequenced the complete nucleotide sequence of the chloroplast (cp) genome of M. bealei. The complete cp genome of M. bealei is 164,792 bp in length, and has a typical structure with large (LSC 73,052 bp) and small (SSC 18,591 bp) single-copy regions separated by a pair of inverted repeats (IRs 36,501 bp) of large size. The Mahonia cp genome contains 111 unique genes and 39 genes are duplicated in the IR regions. The gene order and content of M. bealei are almost unarranged which is consistent with the hypothesis that large IRs stabilize cp genome and reduce gene loss-and-gain probabilities during evolutionary process. A large IR expansion of over 12 kb has occurred in M. bealei, 15 genes (rps19, rpl22, rps3, rpl16, rpl14, rps8, infA, rpl36, rps11, petD, petB, psbH, psbN, psbT and psbB) have expanded to have an additional copy in the IRs. The IR expansion rearrangement occurred via a double-strand DNA break and subsequence repair, which is different from the ordinary gene conversion mechanism. Repeat analysis identified 39 direct/inverted repeats 30 bp or longer with a sequence identity ≥ 90%. Analysis also revealed 75 simple sequence repeat (SSR) loci and almost all are composed of A or T, contributing to a distinct bias in base composition. Comparison of protein-coding sequences with ESTs reveals 9 putative RNA edits and 5 of them resulted in non-synonymous modifications in rpoC1, rps2, rps19 and ycf1. Phylogenetic analysis using maximum parsimony (MP) and maximum likelihood (ML) was performed on a dataset composed of 65 protein-coding genes from 25 taxa, which yields an identical tree topology as previous plastid-based trees, and provides strong support for the sister relationship between Ranunculaceae and Berberidaceae

  2. Conditional deletion of the glutamate transporter GLT-1 reveals that astrocytic GLT-1 protects against fatal epilepsy while neuronal GLT-1 contributes significantly to glutamate uptake into synaptosomes.

    PubMed

    Petr, Geraldine T; Sun, Yan; Frederick, Natalie M; Zhou, Yun; Dhamne, Sameer C; Hameed, Mustafa Q; Miranda, Clive; Bedoya, Edward A; Fischer, Kathryn D; Armsen, Wencke; Wang, Jianlin; Danbolt, Niels C; Rotenberg, Alexander; Aoki, Chiye J; Rosenberg, Paul A

    2015-04-01

    GLT-1 (EAAT2; slc1a2) is the major glutamate transporter in the brain, and is predominantly expressed in astrocytes, but at lower levels also in excitatory terminals. We generated a conditional GLT-1 knock-out mouse to uncover cell-type-specific functional roles of GLT-1. Inactivation of the GLT-1 gene was achieved in either neurons or astrocytes by expression of synapsin-Cre or inducible human GFAP-CreERT2. Elimination of GLT-1 from astrocytes resulted in loss of ∼80% of GLT-1 protein and of glutamate uptake activity that could be solubilized and reconstituted in liposomes. This loss was accompanied by excess mortality, lower body weight, and seizures suggesting that astrocytic GLT-1 is of major importance. However, there was only a small (15%) reduction that did not reach significance of glutamate uptake into crude forebrain synaptosomes. In contrast, when GLT-1 was deleted in neurons, both the GLT-1 protein and glutamate uptake activity that could be solubilized and reconstituted in liposomes were virtually unaffected. These mice showed normal survival, weight gain, and no seizures. However, the synaptosomal glutamate uptake capacity (Vmax) was reduced significantly (40%). In conclusion, astrocytic GLT-1 performs critical functions required for normal weight gain, resistance to epilepsy, and survival. However, the contribution of astrocytic GLT-1 to glutamate uptake into synaptosomes is less than expected, and the contribution of neuronal GLT-1 to synaptosomal glutamate uptake is greater than expected based on their relative protein expression. These results have important implications for the interpretation of the many previous studies assessing glutamate uptake capacity by measuring synaptosomal uptake.

  3. Efflux pumps of Mycobacterium tuberculosis play a significant role in antituberculosis activity of potential drug candidates.

    PubMed

    Balganesh, Meenakshi; Dinesh, Neela; Sharma, Sreevalli; Kuruppath, Sanjana; Nair, Anju V; Sharma, Umender

    2012-05-01

    Active efflux of drugs mediated by efflux pumps that confer drug resistance is one of the mechanisms developed by bacteria to counter the adverse effects of antibiotics and chemicals. To understand these efflux mechanisms in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, we generated knockout (KO) mutants of four efflux pumps of the pathogen belonging to different classes. We measured the MICs and kill values of two different compound classes on the wild type (WT) and the efflux pump (EP) KO mutants in the presence and absence of the efflux inhibitors verapamil and l-phenylalanyl-l-arginyl-β-naphthylamide (PAβN). Among the pumps studied, the efflux pumps belonging to the ABC (ATP-binding cassette) class, encoded by Rv1218c, and the SMR (small multidrug resistance) class, encoded by Rv3065, appear to play important roles in mediating the efflux of different chemical classes and antibiotics. Efflux pumps encoded by Rv0849 and Rv1258c also mediate the efflux of these compounds, but to a lesser extent. Increased killing is observed in WT M. tuberculosis cells by these compounds in the presence of either verapamil or PAβN. The efflux pump KO mutants were more susceptible to these compounds in the presence of efflux inhibitors. We have shown that these four efflux pumps of M. tuberculosis play a vital role in mediating efflux of different chemical scaffolds. Inhibitors of one or several of these efflux pumps could have a significant impact in the treatment of tuberculosis. The identification and characterization of Rv0849, a new efflux pump belonging to the MFS (major facilitator superfamily) class, are reported.

  4. Crystal structure of an avian influenza polymerase PA[subscript N] reveals an endonuclease active site

    SciTech Connect

    Yuan, Puwei; Bartlam, Mark; Lou, Zhiyong; Chen, Shoudeng; Zhou, Jie; He, Xiaojing; Lv, Zongyang; Ge, Ruowen; Li, Xuemei; Deng, Tao; Fodor, Ervin; Rao, Zihe; Liu, Yingfang

    2009-11-10

    The heterotrimeric influenza virus polymerase, containing the PA, PB1 and PB2 proteins, catalyses viral RNA replication and transcription in the nucleus of infected cells. PB1 holds the polymerase active site and reportedly harbours endonuclease activity, whereas PB2 is responsible for cap binding. The PA amino terminus is understood to be the major functional part of the PA protein and has been implicated in several roles, including endonuclease and protease activities as well as viral RNA/complementary RNA promoter binding. Here we report the 2.2 angstrom (A) crystal structure of the N-terminal 197 residues of PA, termed PA(N), from an avian influenza H5N1 virus. The PA(N) structure has an alpha/beta architecture and reveals a bound magnesium ion coordinated by a motif similar to the (P)DX(N)(D/E)XK motif characteristic of many endonucleases. Structural comparisons and mutagenesis analysis of the motif identified in PA(N) provide further evidence that PA(N) holds an endonuclease active site. Furthermore, functional analysis with in vivo ribonucleoprotein reconstitution and direct in vitro endonuclease assays strongly suggest that PA(N) holds the endonuclease active site and has critical roles in endonuclease activity of the influenza virus polymerase, rather than PB1. The high conservation of this endonuclease active site among influenza strains indicates that PA(N) is an important target for the design of new anti-influenza therapeutics.

  5. Single molecule analysis reveals reversible and irreversible steps during spliceosome activation

    PubMed Central

    Hoskins, Aaron A; Rodgers, Margaret L; Friedman, Larry J; Gelles, Jeff; Moore, Melissa J

    2016-01-01

    The spliceosome is a complex machine composed of small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs) and accessory proteins that excises introns from pre-mRNAs. After assembly the spliceosome is activated for catalysis by rearrangement of subunits to form an active site. How this rearrangement is coordinated is not well-understood. During activation, U4 must be released to allow U6 conformational change, while Prp19 complex (NTC) recruitment is essential for stabilizing the active site. We used multi-wavelength colocalization single molecule spectroscopy to directly observe the key events in Saccharomyces cerevisiae spliceosome activation. Following binding of the U4/U6.U5 tri-snRNP, the spliceosome either reverses assembly by discarding tri-snRNP or proceeds to activation by irreversible U4 loss. The major pathway for NTC recruitment occurs after U4 release. ATP stimulates both the competing U4 release and tri-snRNP discard processes. The data reveal the activation mechanism and show that overall splicing efficiency may be maintained through repeated rounds of disassembly and tri-snRNP reassociation. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.14166.001 PMID:27244240

  6. Mutational activation of ErbB2 reveals a new protein kinase autoinhibition mechanism.

    PubMed

    Fan, Ying-Xin; Wong, Lily; Ding, Jinhui; Spiridonov, Nikolay A; Johnson, Richard C; Johnson, Gibbes R

    2008-01-18

    Autoinhibition plays a key role in the control of protein kinase activity. ErbB2 is a unique receptor-tyrosine kinase that does not bind ligand but possesses an extracellular domain poised to engage other ErbBs. Little is known about the molecular mechanism for ErbB2 catalytic regulation. Here we show that ErbB2 kinase is strongly autoinhibited, and a loop connecting the alphaC helix and beta4 sheet within the kinase domain plays a major role in the control of kinase activity. Mutations of two Gly residues at positions 776 and 778 in this loop dramatically increase ErbB2 catalytic activity. Kinetic analysis demonstrates that mutational activation is due to approximately 10- and approximately 7-fold increases in ATP binding affinity and turnover number, respectively. Expression of the activated ErbB2 mutants in cells resulted in elevated ligand-independent ErbB2 autophosphorylation, ErbB3 phosphorylation, and stimulation of mitogen-activated protein kinase. Molecular modeling suggests that the ErbB2 kinase domain is stabilized in an inactive state via a hydrophobic interaction between the alphaC-beta4 and activation loops. Importantly, many ErbB2 human cancer mutations have been identified in the alphaC-beta4 loop, including the activating G776S mutation studied here. Our findings reveal a new kinase regulatory mechanism in which the alphaC-beta4 loop functions as an intramolecular switch that controls ErbB2 activity and suggests that loss of alphaC-beta4 loop-mediated autoinhibition is involved in oncogenic activation of ErbB2.

  7. Whole-brain activity maps reveal stereotyped, distributed networks for visuomotor behavior.

    PubMed

    Portugues, Ruben; Feierstein, Claudia E; Engert, Florian; Orger, Michael B

    2014-03-19

    Most behaviors, even simple innate reflexes, are mediated by circuits of neurons spanning areas throughout the brain. However, in most cases, the distribution and dynamics of firing patterns of these neurons during behavior are not known. We imaged activity, with cellular resolution, throughout the whole brains of zebrafish performing the optokinetic response. We found a sparse, broadly distributed network that has an elaborate but ordered pattern, with a bilaterally symmetrical organization. Activity patterns fell into distinct clusters reflecting sensory and motor processing. By correlating neuronal responses with an array of sensory and motor variables, we find that the network can be clearly divided into distinct functional modules. Comparing aligned data from multiple fish, we find that the spatiotemporal activity dynamics and functional organization are highly stereotyped across individuals. These experiments systematically reveal the functional architecture of neural circuits underlying a sensorimotor behavior in a vertebrate brain.

  8. Whole-brain activity maps reveal stereotyped, distributed networks for visuomotor behavior

    PubMed Central

    Portugues, Ruben; Feierstein, Claudia E.; Engert, Florian; Orger, Michael B.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Most behaviors, even simple innate reflexes, are mediated by circuits of neurons spanning areas throughout the brain. However, in most cases, the distribution and dynamics of firing patterns of these neurons during behavior are not known. We imaged activity, with cellular resolution, throughout the whole brains of zebrafish performing the optokinetic response. We found a sparse, broadly distributed network that has an elaborate, but ordered, pattern, with a bilaterally symmetrical organization. Activity patterns fell into distinct clusters reflecting sensory and motor processing. By correlating neuronal responses with an array of sensory and motor variables, we find that the network can be clearly divided into distinct functional modules. Comparing aligned data from multiple fish, we find that the spatiotemporal activity dynamics and functional organization are highly stereotyped across individuals. These experiments reveal, for the first time in a vertebrate, the comprehensive functional architecture of the neural circuits underlying a sensorimotor behavior. PMID:24656252

  9. Quantitative and Temporal Requirements Revealed for Zap-70 Catalytic Activity During T Cell Development

    PubMed Central

    Au-Yeung, Byron B.; Melichar, Heather J.; Ross, Jenny O.; Cheng, Debra A.; Zikherman, Julie; Shokat, Kevan M.; Robey, Ellen A.; Weiss, Arthur

    2014-01-01

    The catalytic activity of Zap-70 is crucial for T cell receptor (TCR) signaling, but the quantitative and temporal requirements for its function in thymocyte development are not known. Using a chemical-genetic system to selectively and reversibly inhibit Zap-70 catalytic activity in a model of synchronized thymic selection, we showed that CD4+CD8+ thymocytes integrate multiple, transient, Zap-70-dependent signals over more than 36 h to reach a cumulative threshold for positive selection, whereas one hour of signaling was sufficient for negative selection. Titration of Zap-70 activity resulted in graded reductions in positive and negative selection but did not decrease the cumulative TCR signals integrated by positively selected OT-I cells, revealing heterogeneity, even among CD4+CD8+ thymocytes expressing identical TCRs undergoing positive selection. PMID:24908390

  10. Integrative analysis of breast cancer reveals prognostic haematopoietic activity and patient-specific immune response profiles

    PubMed Central

    Varn, Frederick S.; Andrews, Erik H.; Mullins, David W.; Cheng, Chao

    2016-01-01

    Transcriptional programmes active in haematopoietic cells enable a variety of functions including dedifferentiation, innate immunity and adaptive immunity. Understanding how these programmes function in the context of cancer can provide valuable insights into host immune response, cancer severity and potential therapy response. Here we present a method that uses the transcriptomes of over 200 murine haematopoietic cells, to infer the lineage-specific haematopoietic activity present in human breast tumours. Correlating this activity with patient survival and tumour purity reveals that the transcriptional programmes of many cell types influence patient prognosis and are found in environments of high lymphocytic infiltration. Collectively, these results allow for a detailed and personalized assessment of the patient immune response to a tumour. When combined with routinely collected patient biopsy genomic data, this method can enable a richer understanding of the complex interplay between the host immune system and cancer. PMID:26725977

  11. Crystal Structure of Escherichia coli Diaminopropionate Ammonia-lyase Reveals Mechanism of Enzyme Activation and Catalysis*

    PubMed Central

    Bisht, Shveta; Rajaram, Venkatesan; Bharath, Sakshibeedu R.; Kalyani, Josyula Nitya; Khan, Farida; Rao, Appaji N.; Savithri, Handanahal S.; Murthy, Mathur R. N.

    2012-01-01

    Pyridoxal 5′-phosphate (PLP)-dependent enzymes utilize the unique chemistry of a pyridine ring to carry out diverse reactions involving amino acids. Diaminopropionate (DAP) ammonia-lyase (DAPAL) is a prokaryotic PLP-dependent enzyme that catalyzes the degradation of d- and l-forms of DAP to pyruvate and ammonia. Here, we report the first crystal structure of DAPAL from Escherichia coli (EcDAPAL) in tetragonal and monoclinic forms at 2.0 and 2.2 Å resolutions, respectively. Structures of EcDAPAL soaked with substrates were also determined. EcDAPAL has a typical fold type II PLP-dependent enzyme topology consisting of a large and a small domain with the active site at the interface of the two domains. The enzyme is a homodimer with a unique biological interface not observed earlier. Structure of the enzyme in the tetragonal form had PLP bound at the active site, whereas the monoclinic structure was in the apo-form. Analysis of the apo and holo structures revealed that the region around the active site undergoes transition from a disordered to ordered state and assumes a conformation suitable for catalysis only upon PLP binding. A novel disulfide was found to occur near a channel that is likely to regulate entry of ligands to the active site. EcDAPAL soaked with dl-DAP revealed density at the active site appropriate for the reaction intermediate aminoacrylate, which is consistent with the observation that EcDAPAL has low activity under crystallization conditions. Based on the analysis of the structure and results of site-directed mutagenesis, a two-base mechanism of catalysis involving Asp120 and Lys77 is suggested. PMID:22505717

  12. Crystal structure of Escherichia coli diaminopropionate ammonia-lyase reveals mechanism of enzyme activation and catalysis.

    PubMed

    Bisht, Shveta; Rajaram, Venkatesan; Bharath, Sakshibeedu R; Kalyani, Josyula Nitya; Khan, Farida; Rao, Appaji N; Savithri, Handanahal S; Murthy, Mathur R N

    2012-06-08

    Pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP)-dependent enzymes utilize the unique chemistry of a pyridine ring to carry out diverse reactions involving amino acids. Diaminopropionate (DAP) ammonia-lyase (DAPAL) is a prokaryotic PLP-dependent enzyme that catalyzes the degradation of d- and l-forms of DAP to pyruvate and ammonia. Here, we report the first crystal structure of DAPAL from Escherichia coli (EcDAPAL) in tetragonal and monoclinic forms at 2.0 and 2.2 Å resolutions, respectively. Structures of EcDAPAL soaked with substrates were also determined. EcDAPAL has a typical fold type II PLP-dependent enzyme topology consisting of a large and a small domain with the active site at the interface of the two domains. The enzyme is a homodimer with a unique biological interface not observed earlier. Structure of the enzyme in the tetragonal form had PLP bound at the active site, whereas the monoclinic structure was in the apo-form. Analysis of the apo and holo structures revealed that the region around the active site undergoes transition from a disordered to ordered state and assumes a conformation suitable for catalysis only upon PLP binding. A novel disulfide was found to occur near a channel that is likely to regulate entry of ligands to the active site. EcDAPAL soaked with dl-DAP revealed density at the active site appropriate for the reaction intermediate aminoacrylate, which is consistent with the observation that EcDAPAL has low activity under crystallization conditions. Based on the analysis of the structure and results of site-directed mutagenesis, a two-base mechanism of catalysis involving Asp(120) and Lys(77) is suggested.

  13. Genome Wide Expression Profiling of Cancer Cell Lines Cultured in Microgravity Reveals Significant Dysregulation of Cell Cycle and MicroRNA Gene Networks

    PubMed Central

    Vidyasekar, Prasanna; Shyamsunder, Pavithra; Arun, Rajpranap; Santhakumar, Rajalakshmi; Kapadia, Nand Kishore; Kumar, Ravi; Verma, Rama Shanker

    2015-01-01

    Zero gravity causes several changes in metabolic and functional aspects of the human body and experiments in space flight have demonstrated alterations in cancer growth and progression. This study reports the genome wide expression profiling of a colorectal cancer cell line-DLD-1, and a lymphoblast leukemic cell line-MOLT-4, under simulated microgravity in an effort to understand central processes and cellular functions that are dysregulated among both cell lines. Altered cell morphology, reduced cell viability and an aberrant cell cycle profile in comparison to their static controls were observed in both cell lines under microgravity. The process of cell cycle in DLD-1 cells was markedly affected with reduced viability, reduced colony forming ability, an apoptotic population and dysregulation of cell cycle genes, oncogenes, and cancer progression and prognostic markers. DNA microarray analysis revealed 1801 (upregulated) and 2542 (downregulated) genes (>2 fold) in DLD-1 cultures under microgravity while MOLT-4 cultures differentially expressed 349 (upregulated) and 444 (downregulated) genes (>2 fold) under microgravity. The loss in cell proliferative capacity was corroborated with the downregulation of the cell cycle process as demonstrated by functional clustering of DNA microarray data using gene ontology terms. The genome wide expression profile also showed significant dysregulation of post transcriptional gene silencing machinery and multiple microRNA host genes that are potential tumor suppressors and proto-oncogenes including MIR22HG, MIR17HG and MIR21HG. The MIR22HG, a tumor-suppressor gene was one of the highest upregulated genes in the microarray data showing a 4.4 log fold upregulation under microgravity. Real time PCR validated the dysregulation in the host gene by demonstrating a 4.18 log fold upregulation of the miR-22 microRNA. Microarray data also showed dysregulation of direct targets of miR-22, SP1, CDK6 and CCNA2. PMID:26295583

  14. A novel method for RNA extraction from FFPE samples reveals significant differences in biomarker expression between orthotopic and subcutaneous pancreatic cancer patient-derived xenografts

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Mark; Maawy, Ali; Chang, Alexander; Lee, Jacqueline; Gharibi, Armen; Katz, Matthew H; Fleming, Jason; Hoffman, Robert M; Bouvet, Michael; Doebler, Robert; Kelber, Jonathan A

    2017-01-01

    Next-generation sequencing (NGS) can identify and validate new biomarkers of cancer onset, progression and therapy resistance. Substantial archives of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) cancer samples from patients represent a rich resource for linking molecular signatures to clinical data. However, performing NGS on FFPE samples is limited by poor RNA purification methods. To address this hurdle, we developed an improved methodology for extracting high-quality RNA from FFPE samples. By briefly integrating a newly-designed micro-homogenizing (mH) tool with commercially available FFPE RNA extraction protocols, RNA recovery is increased by approximately 3-fold while maintaining standard A260/A280 ratios and RNA quality index (RQI) values. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the mH-purified FFPE RNAs are longer and of higher integrity. Previous studies have suggested that pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) gene expression signatures vary significantly under in vitro versus in vivo and in vivo subcutaneous versus orthotopic conditions. By using our improved mH-based method, we were able to preserve established expression patterns of KRas-dependency genes within these three unique microenvironments. Finally, expression analysis of novel biomarkers in KRas mutant PDAC samples revealed that PEAK1 decreases and MST1R increases by over 100-fold in orthotopic versus subcutaneous microenvironments. Interestingly, however, only PEAK1 levels remain elevated in orthotopically grown KRas wild-type PDAC cells. These results demonstrate the critical nature of the orthotopic tumor microenvironment when evaluating the clinical relevance of new biomarkers in cells or patient-derived samples. Furthermore, this new mH-based FFPE RNA extraction method has the potential to enhance and expand future FFPE-RNA-NGS cancer biomarker studies. PMID:27602776

  15. Interspecies activity correlations reveal functional correspondence between monkey and human brain areas.

    PubMed

    Mantini, Dante; Hasson, Uri; Betti, Viviana; Perrucci, Mauro G; Romani, Gian Luca; Corbetta, Maurizio; Orban, Guy A; Vanduffel, Wim

    2012-02-05

    Evolution-driven functional changes in the primate brain are typically assessed by aligning monkey and human activation maps using cortical surface expansion models. These models use putative homologous areas as registration landmarks, assuming they are functionally correspondent. For cases in which functional changes have occurred in an area, this assumption prohibits to reveal whether other areas may have assumed lost functions. Here we describe a method to examine functional correspondences across species. Without making spatial assumptions, we assessed similarities in sensory-driven functional magnetic resonance imaging responses between monkey (Macaca mulatta) and human brain areas by temporal correlation. Using natural vision data, we revealed regions for which functional processing has shifted to topologically divergent locations during evolution. We conclude that substantial evolution-driven functional reorganizations have occurred, not always consistent with cortical expansion processes. This framework for evaluating changes in functional architecture is crucial to building more accurate evolutionary models.

  16. Breadth and Intensity: Salient, Separable, and Developmentally Significant Dimensions of Structured Youth Activity Involvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Busseri, Michael A.; Rose-Krasnor, Linda

    2009-01-01

    In recent years, an impressive volume of evidence has accumulated demonstrating that youth involvement in structured, organized activities (e.g. school sports, community clubs) may facilitate positive youth development. We present a theory-based framework for studying structured activity involvement (SAI) as a context for positive youth…

  17. fMRI reveals neural activity overlap between adult and infant pain.

    PubMed

    Goksan, Sezgi; Hartley, Caroline; Emery, Faith; Cockrill, Naomi; Poorun, Ravi; Moultrie, Fiona; Rogers, Richard; Campbell, Jon; Sanders, Michael; Adams, Eleri; Clare, Stuart; Jenkinson, Mark; Tracey, Irene; Slater, Rebeccah

    2015-04-21

    Limited understanding of infant pain has led to its lack of recognition in clinical practice. While the network of brain regions that encode the affective and sensory aspects of adult pain are well described, the brain structures involved in infant nociceptive processing are completely unknown, meaning we cannot infer anything about the nature of the infant pain experience. Using fMRI we identified the network of brain regions that are active following acute noxious stimulation in newborn infants, and compared the activity to that observed in adults. Significant infant brain activity was observed in 18 of the 20 active adult brain regions but not in the infant amygdala or orbitofrontal cortex. Brain regions that encode sensory and affective components of pain are active in infants, suggesting that the infant pain experience closely resembles that seen in adults. This highlights the importance of developing effective pain management strategies in this vulnerable population.

  18. Revealing Time-Unlocked Brain Activity from MEG Measurements by Common Waveform Estimation

    PubMed Central

    Takeda, Yusuke; Yamanaka, Kentaro; Yamagishi, Noriko; Sato, Masa-aki

    2014-01-01

    Brain activities related to cognitive functions, such as attention, occur with unknown and variable delays after stimulus onsets. Recently, we proposed a method (Common Waveform Estimation, CWE) that could extract such brain activities from magnetoencephalography (MEG) or electroencephalography (EEG) measurements. CWE estimates spatiotemporal MEG/EEG patterns occurring with unknown and variable delays, referred to here as unlocked waveforms, without hypotheses about their shapes. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate the usefulness of CWE for cognitive neuroscience. For this purpose, we show procedures to estimate unlocked waveforms using CWE and to examine their role. We applied CWE to the MEG epochs during Go trials of a visual Go/NoGo task. This revealed unlocked waveforms with interesting properties, specifically large alpha oscillations around the temporal areas. To examine the role of the unlocked waveform, we attempted to estimate the strength of the brain activity of the unlocked waveform in various conditions. We made a spatial filter to extract the component reflecting the brain activity of the unlocked waveform, applied this spatial filter to MEG data under different conditions (a passive viewing, a simple reaction time, and Go/NoGo tasks), and calculated the powers of the extracted components. Comparing the powers across these conditions suggests that the unlocked waveforms may reflect the inhibition of the task-irrelevant activities in the temporal regions while the subject attends to the visual stimulus. Our results demonstrate that CWE is a potential tool for revealing new findings of cognitive brain functions without any hypothesis in advance. PMID:24879410

  19. The Significance of Turning Passive Into Active in Control Mastery Theory

    PubMed Central

    FOREMAN, STEVEN A.

    1996-01-01

    Turning passive into active was first described by Freud but was later given expanded importance by Weiss. This new conceptualization of turning passive into active as an interpersonal communication and test has made a major contribution to the clinical treatment of difficult patients. This article reviews "control mastery" theory and puts its notion of passive-into-active testing into perspective with regard to Freud’s original conception as well as other conceptions, such as identification with the aggressor and projective identification. Formulation and the treatment of patients are illustrated with clinical examples. PMID:22700271

  20. Single-Molecule Imaging Reveals the Activation Dynamics of Intracellular Protein Smad3 on Cell Membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Nan; Yang, Yong; He, Kangmin; Zhang, Fayun; Zhao, Libo; Zhou, Wei; Yuan, Jinghe; Liang, Wei; Fang, Xiaohong

    2016-09-01

    Smad3 is an intracellular protein that plays a key role in propagating transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) signals from cell membrane to nucleus. However whether the transient process of Smad3 activation occurs on cell membrane and how it is regulated remains elusive. Using advanced live-cell single-molecule fluorescence microscopy to image and track fluorescent protein-labeled Smad3, we observed and quantified, for the first time, the dynamics of individual Smad3 molecules docking to and activation on the cell membrane. It was found that Smad3 docked to cell membrane in both unstimulated and stimulated cells, but with different diffusion rates and dissociation kinetics. The change in its membrane docking dynamics can be used to study the activation of Smad3. Our results reveal that Smad3 binds with type I TGF-β receptor (TRI) even in unstimulated cells. Its activation is regulated by TRI phosphorylation but independent of receptor endocytosis. This study offers new information on TGF-β/Smad signaling, as well as a new approach to investigate the activation of intracellular signaling proteins for a better understanding of their functions in signal transduction.

  1. Single-Molecule Imaging Reveals the Activation Dynamics of Intracellular Protein Smad3 on Cell Membrane

    PubMed Central

    Li, Nan; Yang, Yong; He, Kangmin; Zhang, Fayun; Zhao, Libo; Zhou, Wei; Yuan, Jinghe; Liang, Wei; Fang, Xiaohong

    2016-01-01

    Smad3 is an intracellular protein that plays a key role in propagating transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) signals from cell membrane to nucleus. However whether the transient process of Smad3 activation occurs on cell membrane and how it is regulated remains elusive. Using advanced live-cell single-molecule fluorescence microscopy to image and track fluorescent protein-labeled Smad3, we observed and quantified, for the first time, the dynamics of individual Smad3 molecules docking to and activation on the cell membrane. It was found that Smad3 docked to cell membrane in both unstimulated and stimulated cells, but with different diffusion rates and dissociation kinetics. The change in its membrane docking dynamics can be used to study the activation of Smad3. Our results reveal that Smad3 binds with type I TGF-β receptor (TRI) even in unstimulated cells. Its activation is regulated by TRI phosphorylation but independent of receptor endocytosis. This study offers new information on TGF-β/Smad signaling, as well as a new approach to investigate the activation of intracellular signaling proteins for a better understanding of their functions in signal transduction. PMID:27641076

  2. Active-Site Monovalent Cations Revealed in a 1.55 Å Resolution Hammerhead Ribozyme Structure

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Michael; Schultz, Eric P.; Martick, Monika; Scott, William G.

    2013-01-01

    We have obtained a 1.55 Å crystal structure of a hammerhead ribozyme derived from Schistosoma mansoni in conditions that permit detailed observations of Na+ ion binding in the ribozyme's active site. At least two such Na+ ions are observed. The first Na+ ion binds to the N7 of G10.1 and the adjacent A9 phosphate in a manner identical to that previously observed for divalent cations. A second Na+ ion binds to the Hoogsteen face of G12, the general base in the hammerhead cleavage reaction, thereby potentially dissipating the negative charge of the catalytically active enolate form of the nucleotide base. A potential but more ambiguous third site bridges the A9 and scissile phosphates in a manner consistent with previous predictions. Hammerhead ribozymes have been observed to be active in the presence of high concentrations of monovalent cations, including Na+, but the mechanism by which monovalent cations substitute for divalent cations in hammerhead catalysis remains unclear. Our results enable us to suggest that Na+ directly and specifically substitutes for divalent cations in the hammerhead active site. The detailed geometry of the pre-catalytic active site complex is also revealed with a new level of precision, thanks to the quality of the electron density maps obtained from what is currently the highest resolution ribozyme structure in the protein data bank. PMID:23711504

  3. Nuclear receptor engineering based on novel structure activity relationships revealed by farnesyl pyrophosphate.

    PubMed

    Goyanka, Ritu; Das, Sharmistha; Samuels, Herbert H; Cardozo, Timothy

    2010-11-01

    Nuclear receptors (NRs) comprise the second largest protein family targeted by currently available drugs, acting via specific ligand interactions within the ligand binding domain (LBD). Recently, farnesyl pyrophosphate (FPP) was shown to be a unique promiscuous NR ligand, activating a subset of NR family members and inhibiting wound healing in skin. The current study aimed at visualizing the unique basis of FPP interaction with multiple receptors in order to identify general structure-activity relationships that operate across the NR family. Docking of FPP to the 3D structures of the LBDs of a diverse set of NRs consistently revealed an electrostatic FPP pyrophosphate contact with an NR arginine conserved in the NR family, a hydrophobic farnesyl contact with NR helix-12 and a ligand binding pocket volume between 300 and 430 Å(3) as the minimal requirements for FPP activation of any NR. Lack of any of these structural features appears to render a given NR resistant to FPP activation. We used these structure-activity relationships to rationally design and successfully engineer several mutant human estrogen receptors that retain responsiveness to estradiol but no longer respond to FPP.

  4. Significance of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors in the cardiovascular system in health and disease.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Emma; Grieve, David J

    2009-06-01

    Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are ligand-activated nuclear transcription factors that belong to the nuclear receptor superfamily. Three isoforms of PPAR have been identified, alpha, delta and gamma, which play distinct roles in the regulation of key metabolic processes, such as glucose and lipid redistribution. PPARalpha is expressed predominantly in the liver, kidney and heart, and is primarily involved in fatty acid oxidation. PPARgamma is mainly associated with adipose tissue, where it controls adipocyte differentiation and insulin sensitivity. PPARdelta is abundantly and ubiquitously expressed, but as yet its function has not been clearly defined. Activators of PPARalpha (fibrates) and gamma (thiazolidinediones) have been used clinically for a number of years in the treatment of hyperlipidaemia and to improve insulin sensitivity in diabetes. More recently, PPAR activation has been found to confer additional benefits on endothelial function, inflammation and thrombosis, suggesting that PPAR agonists may be good candidates for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. In this regard, it has been demonstrated that PPAR activators are capable of reducing blood pressure and attenuating the development of atherosclerosis and cardiac hypertrophy. This review will provide a detailed discussion of the current understanding of basic PPAR physiology, with particular reference to the cardiovascular system. It will also examine the evidence supporting the involvement of the different PPAR isoforms in cardiovascular disease and discuss the current and potential future clinical applications of PPAR activators.

  5. Single-cell transcriptome analyses reveal signals to activate dormant neural stem cells.

    PubMed

    Luo, Yuping; Coskun, Volkan; Liang, Aibing; Yu, Juehua; Cheng, Liming; Ge, Weihong; Shi, Zhanping; Zhang, Kunshan; Li, Chun; Cui, Yaru; Lin, Haijun; Luo, Dandan; Wang, Junbang; Lin, Connie; Dai, Zachary; Zhu, Hongwen; Zhang, Jun; Liu, Jie; Liu, Hailiang; deVellis, Jean; Horvath, Steve; Sun, Yi Eve; Li, Siguang

    2015-05-21

    The scarcity of tissue-specific stem cells and the complexity of their surrounding environment have made molecular characterization of these cells particularly challenging. Through single-cell transcriptome and weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA), we uncovered molecular properties of CD133(+)/GFAP(-) ependymal (E) cells in the adult mouse forebrain neurogenic zone. Surprisingly, prominent hub genes of the gene network unique to ependymal CD133(+)/GFAP(-) quiescent cells were enriched for immune-responsive genes, as well as genes encoding receptors for angiogenic factors. Administration of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) activated CD133(+) ependymal neural stem cells (NSCs), lining not only the lateral but also the fourth ventricles and, together with basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), elicited subsequent neural lineage differentiation and migration. This study revealed the existence of dormant ependymal NSCs throughout the ventricular surface of the CNS, as well as signals abundant after injury for their activation.

  6. Fifteen years of thermal activity at Vanuatu's volcanoes (2000-2015) revealed by MIROVA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coppola, D.; Laiolo, M.; Cigolini, C.

    2016-08-01

    The Vanuatu archipelago consists of 80 islands and hosts 5 subaerial volcanoes (Yasur, Lopevi, Ambrym, Aoba and Gaua) that have shown sign of activity during the past decade. In this contribution we provide a 15 years-long datasets (2000-2015) of the thermal activity recorded at these active volcanoes by means of MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) a new volcanic hotspot detection system based on MODIS data. The analyzed volcanoes are characterized by a spectrum of volcanic activities whose thermal signature has been tracked and carefully analyzed. These include strombolian-vulcanian explosions at Yasur, lava flows at Lopevi, lava lakes at Ambrym, surtseyan-type eruptions within the Voui crater lake of Aoba and ash-dominated eruptions with strong degassing at Gaua. The collected data reveal several details of the long term eruptive dynamics at single sites such as a monthly long pulse in thermal emissions at Yasur volcano as well as at the two active craters of Ambrym (Benbow and Marum). Heating cycles within Aoba crater lake and intermittent pressurized eruptions at Lopevi volcano has also been detected and shed light in the eruptive dynamics of the analyzed volcanoes. In addition we were able to track a two years long intensification of thermal output at Benbow crater (Ambrym) that preceded the occurrence of the first intra-caldera eruptions of this volcano since 1989. We emphasize how the data provided by MIROVA represent a new, safe and affordable method for monitoring in near-real time a large spectrum of volcanic activities taking place at Vanuatu and other volcanic areas.

  7. Significant role of climatic trends on hydrothermal activity Coso Hot Springs, California

    SciTech Connect

    Lofgren, B.E. )

    1990-05-01

    The hydrothermal features of Coso Hot Springs have attracted visitors for 130 yr and scientific investigators for two decades. In 1978, anticipating effects of major geothermal developments nearby, the Naval Weapons Center (NWC) initiated a comprehensive monitoring program at a dozen hydrothermal sites in the Coso Hot Springs area. Nine years of monitoring preceded power production in the nearby Coso geothermal field in July 1987. During this period, steam was rising from numerous vents and gently boiling mud pots. Local rainfall caused increased boiling activity in several mud pots, with some overflowing during wet periods. Then in August 1988, a year after geothermal power production began major changes in hot spring activity commenced. Small mud pots and steamers started to grow and coalesce. In March 1989, mud-pot activity became more violent. Many buried wells failed causing surface activity in other areas to diminish. During ensuing months, large mud cones developed and much of the steam and boiling water occurred in a few major pots. Because the abrupt changes in hydrothermal activity followed so closely after nearby geothermal production began, the obvious cause has been attributed to geothermal developments. Studies of NWC baseline monitoring data indicate, however, that no effects of geothermal developments have been felt in the hot springs area. Rainfall and barometric effects account for most of the fluctuations in records of the past decade. Early accounts and field evidence suggest similar changes have occurred in the past.

  8. Newly identified active faults in the Pollino seismic gap, southern Italy, and their seismotectonic significance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brozzetti, Francesco; Cirillo, Daniele; de Nardis, Rita; Cardinali, Mauro; Lavecchia, Giusy; Orecchio, Barbara; Presti, Debora; Totaro, Cristina

    2017-01-01

    The following is a geological study of a Quaternary and active normal fault-system, which crops out in the Pollino area, a seismogenic sector of the Southern Apennines, Italy. From 2010 to 2014, this area was affected by long lasting seismic activity characterized by three major events which occurred in May 2012 (Mw 4.3), in October 2012 (Mw 5.2) and in June 2014 (Mw 4.0). The integration of structural-geological data with morpho-structural and remote sensing analyses, led to define the geometry, the kinematics, the cross-cutting relationships and the slip rates of the inferred active fault segments within and near the epicentral area. We reconstructed an asymmetric extensional pattern characterized by low-angle, E and NNE-dipping faults, and by antithetic, high-angle, SW- to WSW-dipping faults. The geometry of the faults at depth was constrained using high-resolution hypocenter distributions. The overall system fits well with the deformation field obtained from focal mechanisms and geodetic data. Comparing the fault pattern with the time-space evolution of the Pollino seismic activity, we identified the seismogenic sources in two, near-parallel, WSW-dipping faults, whose seismogenic potential were assessed. The peculiar perpendicular-to-fault-strike evolution of the seismic activity, is discussed in the frame of the reconstructed seismotectonic model.

  9. Structural snapshots of Xer recombination reveal activation by synaptic complex remodeling and DNA bending

    PubMed Central

    Bebel, Aleksandra; Karaca, Ezgi; Kumar, Banushree; Stark, W Marshall; Barabas, Orsolya

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial Xer site-specific recombinases play an essential genome maintenance role by unlinking chromosome multimers, but their mechanism of action has remained structurally uncharacterized. Here, we present two high-resolution structures of Helicobacter pylori XerH with its recombination site DNA difH, representing pre-cleavage and post-cleavage synaptic intermediates in the recombination pathway. The structures reveal that activation of DNA strand cleavage and rejoining involves large conformational changes and DNA bending, suggesting how interaction with the cell division protein FtsK may license recombination at the septum. Together with biochemical and in vivo analysis, our structures also reveal how a small sequence asymmetry in difH defines protein conformation in the synaptic complex and orchestrates the order of DNA strand exchanges. Our results provide insights into the catalytic mechanism of Xer recombination and a model for regulation of recombination activity during cell division. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.19706.001 PMID:28009253

  10. The evolution of magnetic activity on V711 Tauri and evidence for a significant facular contribution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dorren, J. D.; Guinan, E. F.

    1990-01-01

    The nature of the long-term evolution of magnetic activity in the RS CVn binary V711 Tauri is investigated using the complete set of available archival IUE SWP low-dispersion spectra of V711 Tau for the period covering August 1978 - December 1984. An analysis of the spectra confirmed the pattern of a long-term smooth variation of chromospheric and transition region emission found previosly by Dorren et al. (1986). An explanation of the relationship between the different facets of the magnetic activity on V711 Tau is presented.

  11. Brain Network Activation (BNA) reveals scopolamine-induced impairment of visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Reches, Amit; Levy-Cooperman, Naama; Laufer, Ilan; Shani-Hershkovitch, Revital; Ziv, Keren; Kerem, Dani; Gal, Noga; Stern, Yaki; Cukierman, Guy; Romach, Myroslava K; Sellers, Edward M; Geva, Amir B

    2014-09-01

    The overarching goal of this event-related potential (ERP) study was to examine the effects of scopolamine on the dynamics of brain network activation using a novel ERP network analysis method known as Brain Network Activation (BNA). BNA was used for extracting group-common stimulus-activated network patterns elicited to matching probe stimuli in the context of a delayed matching-to-sample task following placebo and scopolamine treatments administered to healthy participants. The BNA extracted networks revealed the existence of two pathophysiological mechanisms following scopolamine, disconnection, and compensation. Specifically, weaker frontal theta and parietal alpha coupling was accompanied with enhanced fronto-centro-parietal theta activation relative to placebo. In addition, using the characteristic BNA network of each treatment as well as corresponding literature-guided selective subnetworks as combined biomarkers managed to differentiate between individual responses to each of the treatments. Behavioral effects associated with scopolamine included delayed response time and impaired response accuracy. These results indicate that the BNA method is sensitive to the effects of scopolamine on working memory and that it may potentially enable diagnosis and treatment assessment of dysfunctions associated with cholinergic deficiency.

  12. Rapid ester biosynthesis screening reveals a high activity alcohol-O-acyltransferase (AATase) from tomato fruit.

    PubMed

    Lin, Jyun-Liang; Zhu, Jie; Wheeldon, Ian

    2016-05-01

    Ethyl and acetate esters are naturally produced in various yeasts, plants, and bacteria. The biosynthetic pathways that produce these esters share a common reaction step, the condensation of acetyl/acyl-CoA with an alcohol by alcohol-O-acetyl/acyltransferase (AATase). Recent metabolic engineering efforts exploit AATase activity to produce fatty acid ethyl esters as potential diesel fuel replacements as well as short- and medium-chain volatile esters as fragrance and flavor compounds. These efforts have been limited by the lack of a rapid screen to quantify ester biosynthesis. Enzyme engineering efforts have also been limited by the lack of a high throughput screen for AATase activity. Here, we developed a high throughput assay for AATase activity and used this assay to discover a high activity AATase from tomato fruit, Solanum lycopersicum (Atf-S.l). Atf1-S.l exhibited broad specificity towards acyl-CoAs with chain length from C4 to C10 and was specific towards 1-pentanol. The AATase screen also revealed new acyl-CoA substrate specificities for Atf1, Atf2, Eht1, and Eeb1 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and Atf-C.m from melon fruit, Cucumis melo, thus increasing the pool of characterized AATases that can be used in ester biosynthesis of ester-based fragrance and flavor compounds as well as fatty acid ethyl ester biofuels.

  13. Camelid Ig V genes reveal significant human homology not seen in therapeutic target genes, providing for a powerful therapeutic antibody platform

    PubMed Central

    Klarenbeek, Alex; Mazouari, Khalil El; Desmyter, Aline; Blanchetot, Christophe; Hultberg, Anna; de Jonge, Natalie; Roovers, Rob C; Cambillau, Christian; Spinelli, Sylvia; Del-Favero, Jurgen; Verrips, Theo; de Haard, Hans J; Achour, Ikbel

    2015-01-01

    Camelid immunoglobulin variable (IGV) regions were found homologous to their human counterparts; however, the germline V repertoires of camelid heavy and light chains are still incomplete and their therapeutic potential is only beginning to be appreciated. We therefore leveraged the publicly available HTG and WGS databases of Lama pacos and Camelus ferus to retrieve the germline repertoire of V genes using human IGV genes as reference. In addition, we amplified IGKV and IGLV genes to uncover the V germline repertoire of Lama glama and sequenced BAC clones covering part of the Lama pacos IGK and IGL loci. Our in silico analysis showed that camelid counterparts of all human IGKV and IGLV families and most IGHV families could be identified, based on canonical structure and sequence homology. Interestingly, this sequence homology seemed largely restricted to the Ig V genes and was far less apparent in other genes: 6 therapeutically relevant target genes differed significantly from their human orthologs. This contributed to efficient immunization of llamas with the human proteins CD70, MET, interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-6, resulting in large panels of functional antibodies. The in silico predicted human-homologous canonical folds of camelid-derived antibodies were confirmed by X-ray crystallography solving the structure of 2 selected camelid anti-CD70 and anti-MET antibodies. These antibodies showed identical fold combinations as found in the corresponding human germline V families, yielding binding site structures closely similar to those occurring in human antibodies. In conclusion, our results indicate that active immunization of camelids can be a powerful therapeutic antibody platform. PMID:26018625

  14. The Measurement of Brain Electrical Activity and Its Significance to the Educator.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Torello, Michael W.

    The article discusses the measurement of brain electrical activity and, in particular, the examination of electroencephalographic (EEG) data, as providing useful information in the diagnosis of dyslexia and other learning disabilities. Topographic imaging of EEG (TIE) is described as a procedure which provides functional data at comparatively low…

  15. The Social and Economic Significance of Recreation Activities in the Marine Environment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ditton, Robert B.

    Although the data obtained by an Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission in 1960 indicated that 44 percent of participants in outdoor recreation prefer water-based activities, the potential demand for recreation within the coastal zone is much greater than that study indicates, because the unfulfilled recreational demands of the urban…

  16. Latent outflow activity for western Tharsis, Mars: Significant flood record exposed

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dohm, J.M.; Anderson, R.C.; Baker, V.R.; Ferris, J.C.; Rudd, L.P.; Hare, T.M.; Rice, J. W.; Casavant, R.R.; Strom, R.G.; Zimbelman, J.R.; Scott, D.H.

    2001-01-01

    Observations permitted by the newly acquired Mars Observer Laser Altimeter data have revealed a system of gigantic valleys northwest of the huge Martian shield volcano, Arsia Mons, in the western hemisphere of Mars (northwestern slope valleys (NSVs)). These features, which generally correspond spatially to gravity lows, are obscured by veneers of materials including volcanic lava flows, air fall deposits, and eolian materials. Geologic investigations of the Tharsis region suggest that the system of gigantic valleys predates the construction of Arsia Mons and its extensive associated lava flows of mainly late Hesperian and Amazonian age and coincides stratigraphically with the early development of the outflow channels that debouch into Chryse Planitia. Similar to the previously identified outflow channels, which issued tremendous volumes of water into topographic lows such as Chryse Planitia, the NSVs potentially represent flooding of immense magnitude and, as such, a source of water for a northern plains ocean.

  17. Functional mapping of protein kinase A reveals its importance in adult Schistosoma mansoni motor activity.

    PubMed

    de Saram, Paulu S R; Ressurreição, Margarida; Davies, Angela J; Rollinson, David; Emery, Aidan M; Walker, Anthony J

    2013-01-01

    Cyclic AMP (cAMP)-dependent protein kinase/protein kinase A (PKA) is the major transducer of cAMP signalling in eukaryotic cells. Here, using laser scanning confocal microscopy and 'smart' anti-phospho PKA antibodies that exclusively detect activated PKA, we provide a detailed in situ analysis of PKA signalling in intact adult Schistosoma mansoni, a causative agent of debilitating human intestinal schistosomiasis. In both adult male and female worms, activated PKA was consistently found associated with the tegument, oral and ventral suckers, oesophagus and somatic musculature. In addition, the seminal vesicle and gynaecophoric canal muscles of the male displayed activated PKA whereas in female worms activated PKA localized to the ootype wall, the ovary, and the uterus particularly around eggs during expulsion. Exposure of live worms to the PKA activator forskolin (50 µM) resulted in striking PKA activation in the central and peripheral nervous system including at nerve endings at/near the tegument surface. Such neuronal PKA activation was also observed without forskolin treatment, but only in a single batch of worms. In addition, PKA activation within the central and peripheral nervous systems visibly increased within 15 min of worm-pair separation when compared to that observed in closely coupled worm pairs. Finally, exposure of adult worms to forskolin induced hyperkinesias in a time and dose dependent manner with 100 µM forskolin significantly increasing the frequency of gross worm movements to 5.3 times that of control worms (P≤0.001). Collectively these data are consistent with PKA playing a central part in motor activity and neuronal communication, and possibly interplay between these two systems in S. mansoni. This study, the first to localize a protein kinase when exclusively in an activated state in adult S. mansoni, provides valuable insight into the intricacies of functional protein kinase signalling in the context of whole schistosome physiology.

  18. Young asteroidal fluid activity revealed by absolute age from apatite in carbonaceous chondrite

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Ai-Cheng; Li, Qiu-Li; Yurimoto, Hisayoshi; Sakamoto, Naoya; Li, Xian-Hua; Hu, Sen; Lin, Yang-Ting; Wang, Ru-Cheng

    2016-01-01

    Chondritic meteorites, consisting of the materials that have formed in the early solar system (ESS), have been affected by late thermal events and fluid activity to various degrees. Determining the timing of fluid activity in ESS is of fundamental importance for understanding the nature, formation, evolution and significance of fluid activity in ESS. Previous investigations have determined the relative ages of fluid activity with short-lived isotope systematics. Here we report an absolute 207Pb/206Pb isochron age (4,450±50 Ma) of apatite from Dar al Gani (DaG) 978, a type ∼3.5, ungrouped carbonaceous chondrite. The petrographic, mineralogical and geochemical features suggest that the apatite in DaG 978 should have formed during metamorphism in the presence of a fluid. Therefore, the apatite age represents an absolute age for fluid activity in an asteroidal setting. An impact event could have provided the heat to activate this young fluid activity in ESS. PMID:27682449

  19. Using the Significant Learning Taxonomy and Active Learning to Improve Accounting Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Killian, Larita J.; Brandon, Christopher D.

    2009-01-01

    Like other members of the academy, accounting professors are challenged to improve student learning. We must help students move beyond the "bean counter" role and develop higher-level skills such as analysis, synthesis, and problem-solving. The Significant Learning Taxonomy was used as a template to improve learning in an introductory accounting…

  20. Culture, Leadership, and Activism: Translating Fink's Taxonomy of Significant Learning into Pedagogical Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jenkins, Toby S.

    2016-01-01

    Through the article, I share the theoretical foundations, structure, knowledge acquisition, and outcomes of a cultural leadership course. The process for course development integrates several theories and research methods into practice: L. Dee Fink's Taxonomy of Significant Learning, Feminist Theory, Critical Race Theory, and…

  1. Characterization of the circulating hemocytes in mud crab (Scylla olivacea) revealed phenoloxidase activity.

    PubMed

    Mangkalanan, Seksan; Sanguanrat, Piyachat; Utairangsri, Tanatchaporn; Sritunyalucksana, Kallaya; Krittanai, Chartchai

    2014-05-01

    This study focused on an isolation and characterization of the circulating hemocytes in mud crab, Scylla olivacea. Isolation of specific cell types of hemocytes from crab hemolymph was accomplished by using 60% Percoll density gradient centrifugation. Four separated bands of the hemocytes were successfully obtained. Characterization of these isolated hemocytes by light microscope using trypan blue-rose bengal staining, rose bengal-hematoxilin staining, and phase contrast revealed four distinct types of hemocyte cells. Using their specific morphology and granularity, they were identified as hyaline cell (HC), small granular cell (SGC), large granular cell (LGC) and mixed granular cell (MGC). Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) revealed more details on specific cell size, size of cytoplasmic granule, and nuclear to cytoplasmic ratio, and confirmed the classification. Relative abundance of these cells types in the hemolymph of an adult crab were 15.50±8.22% for HC, 55.50±7.15% for SGC, 13.50±5.28% for LGC, and 15.50±3.50% for MGC. Proteomic analysis of protein expression for each specific cell types by two-dimensional electrophoresis identified two highly abundant proteins, prophenoloxidase (ProPO) and peroxinectin in LGC. Determination of phenoloxidase (PO) activity in each isolated cell types using in vitro and in situ chemical assays confirmed the presence of PO activity only in LGC. Based on an increased PO activity of crab hemolymph during the course of White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV) infection, these results suggest that prophenoloxidase pathway was employed for host defense mechanism against WSSV and it may link to the role of large granular hemocyte.

  2. Constitutive nitric oxide synthase activation is a significant route for nitroglycerin-mediated vasodilation

    PubMed Central

    Bonini, Marcelo G.; Stadler, Krisztian; de Oliveira Silva, Sueli; Corbett, Jean; Dore, Michael; Petranka, John; Fernandes, Denise C.; Tanaka, Leonardo Y.; Duma, Danielle; Laurindo, Francisco R. M.; Mason, Ronald P.

    2008-01-01

    The physiological effects of nitroglycerin as a potent vasodilator have long been documented. However, the molecular mechanisms by which nitroglycerin exerts its biological functions are still a matter of intense debate. Enzymatic pathways converting nitroglycerin to vasoactive compounds have been identified, but none of them seems to fully account for the reported clinical observations. Here, we demonstrate that nitroglycerin triggers constitutive nitric oxide synthase (NOS) activation, which is a major source of NO responsible for low-dose (1–10 nM) nitroglycerin-induced vasorelaxation. Our studies in cell cultures, isolated vessels, and whole animals identified endothelial NOS activation as a fundamental requirement for nitroglycerin action at pharmacologically relevant concentrations in WT animals. PMID:18562300

  3. Molecular and functional significance of Ca2+-activated Cl− channels in pulmonary arterial smooth muscle

    PubMed Central

    Forrest, Abigail S.; Ayon, Ramon J.; Wiwchar, Michael; Angermann, Jeff E.; Pritchard, Harry A. T.; Singer, Cherie A.; Valencik, Maria L.; Britton, Fiona; Greenwood, Iain A.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Increased peripheral resistance of small distal pulmonary arteries is a hallmark signature of pulmonary hypertension (PH) and is believed to be the consequence of enhanced vasoconstriction to agonists, thickening of the arterial wall due to remodeling, and increased thrombosis. The elevation in arterial tone in PH is attributable, at least in part, to smooth muscle cells of PH patients being more depolarized and displaying higher intracellular Ca2+ levels than cells from normal subjects. It is now clear that downregulation of voltage-dependent K+ channels (e.g., Kv1.5) and increased expression and activity of voltage-dependent (Cav1.2) and voltage-independent (e.g., canonical and vanilloid transient receptor potential [TRPC and TRPV]) Ca2+ channels play an important role in the functional remodeling of pulmonary arteries in PH. This review focuses on an anion-permeable channel that is now considered a novel excitatory mechanism in the systemic and pulmonary circulations. It is permeable to Cl− and is activated by a rise in intracellular Ca2+ concentration (Ca2+-activated Cl− channel, or CaCC). The first section outlines the biophysical and pharmacological properties of the channel and ends with a description of the molecular candidate genes postulated to encode for CaCCs, with particular emphasis on the bestrophin and the newly discovered TMEM16 and anoctamin families of genes. The second section provides a review of the various sources of Ca2+ activating CaCCs, which include stimulation by mobilization from intracellular Ca2+ stores and Ca2+ entry through voltage-dependent and voltage-independent Ca2+ channels. The third and final section summarizes recent findings that suggest a potentially important role for CaCCs and the gene TMEM16A in PH. PMID:26064450

  4. Significant Modules and Biological Processes between Active Components of Salvia miltiorrhiza Depside Salt and Aspirin.

    PubMed

    Li, Yuan; Xie, Yanming; Wang, Lianxin; Zhang, Yingying; Gu, Hao; Chai, Yan

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study is to examine and compare the similarities and differences between active components of S. miltiorrhiza depside salt and aspirin using perspective of pharmacological molecular networks. Active components of S. miltiorrhiza depside salt and aspirin's related genes were identified via the STITCH4.0 and GeneCards Database. A text search engine (Agilent Literature Search 2.71) and MCODE software were applied to construct network and divide modules, respectively. Finally, 32, 2, and 28 overlapping genes, modules, and pathways were identified between active components of S. miltiorrhiza depside salt and aspirin. A multidimensional framework of drug network showed that two networks reflected commonly in human aortic endothelial cells and atherosclerosis process. Aspirin plays a more important role in metabolism, such as the well-known AA metabolism pathway and other lipid or carbohydrate metabolism pathways. S. miltiorrhiza depside salt still plays a regulatory role in type II diabetes mellitus, insulin resistance, and adipocytokine signaling pathway. Therefore, this study suggests that aspirin combined with S. miltiorrhiza depside salt may be more efficient in treatment of CHD patients, especially those with diabetes mellitus or hyperlipidemia. Further clinical trials to confirm this hypothesis are still needed.

  5. Therapeutic significance and pharmacological activities of antidiarrheal medicinal plants mention in Ayurveda: A review

    PubMed Central

    Mishra, Ashish; Seth, Ankit; Maurya, Santosh Kumar

    2016-01-01

    Diarrhea is a serious problem affecting 3-5 billion people per year around the world, especially children of below 5 years. 70% of the world population uses traditional and indigenous medicine for their primary health care. The facts of these indigenous remedies are passed verbally and sometimes as documents. Since ancient time, Ayurveda is the main system of healing in South East Asian countries. Indian literature from ayurvedic texts and other books claim the potency of several plants in the treatment of diarrhea. As the global prospective of ayurvedic medicine is increasing, interest regarding the scientific basis of their action is parallely increasing. Researchers are doing experiments to establish the relation between the claimed action and observed pharmacological activities. In the present article, an attempt was made to compile the scientific basis of medicinal plants used to cure diarrhea in Ayurveda. Literature was collected via electronic search (PubMed, ScienceDirect, Medline, and Google Scholar) from published articles that reports antidiarrheal activity of plants that were mentioned in Ayurveda classics. A total of 109 plant species belonging to 58 families were reported for their antidiarrheal activity. Several Indian medicinal plants have demonstrated promising antidiarrheal effects, but the studies on the antidiarrheal potentials of these plants are not taken beyond proof of concept stage. It is hoped that the article would stimulate future clinical studies because of the paucity of knowledge in this area. PMID:27366356

  6. Significant Modules and Biological Processes between Active Components of Salvia miltiorrhiza Depside Salt and Aspirin

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Yanming; Wang, Lianxin; Zhang, Yingying; Gu, Hao; Chai, Yan

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study is to examine and compare the similarities and differences between active components of S. miltiorrhiza depside salt and aspirin using perspective of pharmacological molecular networks. Active components of S. miltiorrhiza depside salt and aspirin's related genes were identified via the STITCH4.0 and GeneCards Database. A text search engine (Agilent Literature Search 2.71) and MCODE software were applied to construct network and divide modules, respectively. Finally, 32, 2, and 28 overlapping genes, modules, and pathways were identified between active components of S. miltiorrhiza depside salt and aspirin. A multidimensional framework of drug network showed that two networks reflected commonly in human aortic endothelial cells and atherosclerosis process. Aspirin plays a more important role in metabolism, such as the well-known AA metabolism pathway and other lipid or carbohydrate metabolism pathways. S. miltiorrhiza depside salt still plays a regulatory role in type II diabetes mellitus, insulin resistance, and adipocytokine signaling pathway. Therefore, this study suggests that aspirin combined with S. miltiorrhiza depside salt may be more efficient in treatment of CHD patients, especially those with diabetes mellitus or hyperlipidemia. Further clinical trials to confirm this hypothesis are still needed. PMID:27069488

  7. Therapeutic significance and pharmacological activities of antidiarrheal medicinal plants mention in Ayurveda: A review.

    PubMed

    Mishra, Ashish; Seth, Ankit; Maurya, Santosh Kumar

    2016-01-01

    Diarrhea is a serious problem affecting 3-5 billion people per year around the world, especially children of below 5 years. 70% of the world population uses traditional and indigenous medicine for their primary health care. The facts of these indigenous remedies are passed verbally and sometimes as documents. Since ancient time, Ayurveda is the main system of healing in South East Asian countries. Indian literature from ayurvedic texts and other books claim the potency of several plants in the treatment of diarrhea. As the global prospective of ayurvedic medicine is increasing, interest regarding the scientific basis of their action is parallely increasing. Researchers are doing experiments to establish the relation between the claimed action and observed pharmacological activities. In the present article, an attempt was made to compile the scientific basis of medicinal plants used to cure diarrhea in Ayurveda. Literature was collected via electronic search (PubMed, ScienceDirect, Medline, and Google Scholar) from published articles that reports antidiarrheal activity of plants that were mentioned in Ayurveda classics. A total of 109 plant species belonging to 58 families were reported for their antidiarrheal activity. Several Indian medicinal plants have demonstrated promising antidiarrheal effects, but the studies on the antidiarrheal potentials of these plants are not taken beyond proof of concept stage. It is hoped that the article would stimulate future clinical studies because of the paucity of knowledge in this area.

  8. Serotonin2c receptor constitutive activity: in vivo direct and indirect evidence and functional significance.

    PubMed

    Navailles, Sylvia; Lagière, Mélanie; Guthrie, Martin; De Deurwaerdère, Philippe

    2013-06-01

    Serotonin2c (5-HT2c) receptors are widely expressed in the central nervous system where they play a pivotal role in the regulation of neuronal network excitability. Along with this fundamental physiological function, 5-HT2c receptors are thought to be implicated in the pathophysiology of several neuropsychiatric disorders and have become a major pharmacological target for the development of improved treatments of these disorders. In the past decade, many studies have focused on the constitutive activity of 5-HT2c receptors and the therapeutic potential of drugs acting as inverse agonists. Although the constitutive activity of the 5-HT2c receptor has been clearly described in vitro, the transposition of this concept to living animals is often difficult to ascertain. Nevertheless, cumulating evidence has demonstrated the functional relevance of such property in regulating physiological systems in vivo both at the level of the central and peripheral nervous systems. The present review provides an update of the growing number of studies that show, by means of pharmacological tools, the participation of the constitutive activity of 5-HT2c receptors in the control of various biochemical and behavioural functions in vivo and emphasizes the functional organization of this constitutive control together with the phasic and tonic (involving the spontaneous release of 5-HT) modalities of the 5-HT2c receptor in the brain.

  9. Phosphoproteomic Analysis of KSHV-Infected Cells Reveals Roles of ORF45-Activated RSK during Lytic Replication

    PubMed Central

    Avey, Denis; Tepper, Sarah; Li, Wenwei; Turpin, Zachary; Zhu, Fanxiu

    2015-01-01

    Kaposi’s Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus (KSHV) is an oncogenic virus which has adapted unique mechanisms to modulate the cellular microenvironment of its human host. The pathogenesis of KSHV is intimately linked to its manipulation of cellular signaling pathways, including the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. We have previously shown that KSHV ORF45 contributes to the sustained activation of both ERK and p90 ribosomal S6 kinase (RSK, a major functional mediator of ERK/MAPK signaling) during KSHV lytic replication. ORF45-activated RSK is required for optimal KSHV lytic gene expression and progeny virion production, though the underlying mechanisms downstream of this activation are still unclear. We hypothesized that the activation of RSK by ORF45 causes differential phosphorylation of cellular and viral substrates, affecting biological processes essential for efficient KSHV lytic replication. Accordingly, we observed widespread and significant differences in protein phosphorylation upon induction of lytic replication. Mass-spectrometry-based phosphoproteomic screening identified putative substrates of ORF45-activated RSK in KSHV-infected cells. Bioinformatic analyses revealed that nuclear proteins, including several transcriptional regulators, were overrepresented among these candidates. We validated the ORF45/RSK-dependent phosphorylation of several putative substrates by employing KSHV BAC mutagenesis, kinase inhibitor treatments, and/or CRISPR-mediated knockout of RSK in KSHV-infected cells. Furthermore, we assessed the consequences of knocking out these substrates on ORF45/RSK-dependent regulation of gene expression and KSHV progeny virion production. Finally, we show data to support that ORF45 regulates the translational efficiency of a subset of viral/cellular genes with complex secondary structure in their 5’ UTR. Altogether, these data shed light on the mechanisms by which KSHV ORF45 manipulates

  10. Active populations of rare microbes in oceanic environments as revealed by bromodeoxyuridine incorporation and 454 tag sequencing.

    PubMed

    Hamasaki, Koji; Taniguchi, Akito; Tada, Yuya; Kaneko, Ryo; Miki, Takeshi

    2016-02-01

    The "rare biosphere" consisting of thousands of low-abundance microbial taxa is important as a seed bank or a gene pool to maintain microbial functional redundancy and robustness of the ecosystem. Here we investigated contemporaneous growth of diverse microbial taxa including rare taxa and determined their variability in environmentally distinctive locations along a north-south transect in the Pacific Ocean in order to assess which taxa were actively growing and how environmental factors influenced bacterial community structures. A bromodeoxyuridine-labeling technique in combination with PCR amplicon pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes gave 215-793 OTUs from 1200 to 3500 unique sequences in the total communities and 175-299 OTUs nearly 860 to 1800 sequences in the active communities. Unexpectedly, many of the active OTUs were not detected in the total fractions. Among these active but rare OTUs, some taxa (2-4% of rare OTUs) showed much higher abundance (>0.10% of total reads) in the active fraction than in the total fraction, suggesting that their contribution to bacterial community productivity or growth was much larger than that expected from their standing stocks at each location. An ordination plot by the principal component analysis presented that bacterial community compositions among 4 sampling locations and between total and active fractions were distinctive with each other. A redundancy analysis revealed that the variability of community compositions significantly correlated to seawater temperature and dissolved oxygen concentration. Also, a variation partitioning analysis showed that the environmental factors explained 49% of the variability of community compositions and the distance only explained 4.0% of its variability. These results implied very dynamic change of community structures due to environmental filtering. The active bacterial populations are more diverse and spread further in rare biosphere than we have ever seen. This study implied that rare

  11. An in vitro screening with emerging contaminants reveals inhibition of carboxylesterase activity in aquatic organisms.

    PubMed

    Solé, Montserrat; Sanchez-Hernandez, Juan C

    2015-12-01

    Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) form part of the new generation of pollutants present in many freshwater and marine ecosystems. Although environmental concentrations of these bioactive substances are low, they cause sublethal effects (e.g., enzyme inhibition) in non-target organisms. However, little is known on metabolism of PPCPs by non-mammal species. Herein, an in vitro enzyme trial was performed to explore sensitivity of carboxylesterase (CE) activity of aquatic organisms to fourteen PPCPs. The esterase activity was determined in the liver of Mediterranean freshwater fish (Barbus meridionalis and Squalius laietanus), coastal marine fish (Dicentrarchus labrax and Solea solea), middle-slope fish (Trachyrhynchus scabrus), deep-sea fish (Alepocephalus rostratus and Cataetix laticeps), and in the digestive gland of a decapod crustacean (Aristeus antennatus). Results showed that 100μM of the lipid regulators simvastatin and fenofibrate significantly inhibited (30-80% of controls) the CE activity of all target species. Among the personal care products, nonylphenol and triclosan were strong esterase inhibitors in most species (36-68% of controls). Comparison with literature data suggests that fish CE activity is as sensitive to inhibition by some PPCPs as that of mammals, although their basal activity levels are lower than in mammals. Pending further studies on the interaction between PPCPs and CE activity, we postulate that this enzyme may act as a molecular sink for certain PPCPs in a comparable way than that described for the organophosphorus pesticides.

  12. Comparative Proteomics Analysis Reveals L-Arginine Activates Ethanol Degradation Pathways in HepG2 Cells

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Guokai; Lestari, Retno; Long, Baisheng; Fan, Qiwen; Wang, Zhichang; Guo, Xiaozhen; Yu, Jie; Hu, Jun; Yang, Xingya; Chen, Changqing; Liu, Lu; Li, Xiuzhi; Purnomoadi, Agung; Achmadi, Joelal; Yan, Xianghua

    2016-01-01

    L-Arginine (Arg) is a versatile amino acid that plays crucial roles in a wide range of physiological and pathological processes. In this study, to investigate the alteration induced by Arg supplementation in proteome scale, isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantification (iTRAQ) based proteomic approach was employed to comparatively characterize the differentially expressed proteins between Arg deprivation (Ctrl) and Arg supplementation (+Arg) treated human liver hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG2) cells. A total of 21 proteins were identified as differentially expressed proteins and these 21 proteins were all up-regulated by Arg supplementation. Six amino acid metabolism-related proteins, mostly metabolic enzymes, showed differential expressions. Intriguingly, Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) based pathway analysis suggested that the three ethanol degradation pathways were significantly altered between Ctrl and +Arg. Western blotting and enzymatic activity assays validated that the key enzymes ADH1C, ALDH1A1, and ALDH2, which are mainly involved in ethanol degradation pathways, were highly differentially expressed, and activated between Ctrl and +Arg in HepG2 cells. Furthermore, 10 mM Arg significantly attenuated the cytotoxicity induced by 100 mM ethanol treatment (P < 0.0001). This study is the first time to reveal that Arg activates ethanol degradation pathways in HepG2 cells. PMID:26983598

  13. Protein profiling reveals antioxidant and signaling activities of NAP (Davunetide) in rodent hippocampus exposed to hypobaric hypoxia.

    PubMed

    Sethy, Niroj Kumar; Sharma, Narendra Kumar; Das, Mainak; Bhargava, Kalpana

    2014-11-01

    NAP (davunetide) is a clinical octapeptide and reportedly possesses neuroprotective, neurotrophic and cognitive protective properties. The information for NAP-mediated neuroproteome changes and associated signaling pathways during hypoxia will help in drug development programmes across the world. In the present study, we have evaluated the antioxidant activities of NAP in rat hippocampus exposed to hypobaric hypoxia (25,000 ft, 282 mm Hg) for 3, 6 and 12 h respectively. Using 2D-gel electrophoresis (2D-GE) with matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time of flight (MALDI-TOF/TOF) mass spectrometry, we have identified altered expression of 80 proteins in NAP-supplemented hippocampus after hypoxia. Pathway analysis revealed that NAP supplementation significantly regulated oxidative stress response, oxidoreductase activity and cellular response to stress pathways during hypoxia. Additionally, NAP supplementation also regulated energy production pathways along with AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling and signaling by Rho family GTPases pathways. We observed higher expression of antioxidant Sod1, Eno1, Prdx2 and Prdx5 proteins that were subsequently validated by Western blotting. A higher level of Prdx2 was also observed by immunohistochemistry in NAP-supplemented hippocampus during hypoxia. In corroboration, we are able to detect significant lower level of protein carbonyls in NAP-supplemented hypoxic hippocampus suggesting amelioration of oxidant molecules by NAP supplementation. These results emphasize the antioxidant and signaling properties of NAP in rodent hippocampus during hypobaric hypoxia.

  14. Comparative proteomic analysis reveals activation of mucosal innate immune signaling pathways during cholera.

    PubMed

    Ellis, Crystal N; LaRocque, Regina C; Uddin, Taher; Krastins, Bryan; Mayo-Smith, Leslie M; Sarracino, David; Karlsson, Elinor K; Rahman, Atiqur; Shirin, Tahmina; Bhuiyan, Taufiqur R; Chowdhury, Fahima; Khan, Ashraful Islam; Ryan, Edward T; Calderwood, Stephen B; Qadri, Firdausi; Harris, Jason B

    2015-03-01

    Vibrio cholerae O1 is a major cause of acute watery diarrhea in over 50 countries. Evidence suggests that V. cholerae O1 may activate inflammatory pathways, and a recent study of a Bangladeshi population showed that variants in innate immune genes play a role in mediating susceptibility to cholera. We analyzed human proteins present in the small intestine of patients infected with V. cholerae O1 to characterize the host response to this pathogen. We collected duodenal biopsy specimens from patients with acute cholera after stabilization and again 30 days after initial presentation. Peptides extracted from biopsy specimens were sequenced and quantified using label-free mass spectrometry and SEQUEST. Twenty-seven host proteins were differentially abundant between the acute and convalescent stages of infection; the majority of these have known roles in innate defense, cytokine production, and apoptosis. Immunostaining confirmed that two proteins, WARS and S100A8, were more abundant in lamina propria cells during the acute stage of cholera. Analysis of the differentially abundant proteins revealed the activation of key regulators of inflammation by the innate immune system, including Toll-like receptor 4, nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells, mitogen-activated protein kinases, and caspase-dependent inflammasomes. Interleukin-12β (IL-12β) was a regulator of several proteins that were activated during cholera, and we confirmed that IL-12β was produced by lymphocytes recovered from duodenal biopsy specimens of cholera patients. Our study shows that a broad inflammatory response is generated in the gut early after onset of cholera, which may be critical in the development of long-term mucosal immunity against V. cholerae O1.

  15. Dissociated functional significance of decision-related activity in the primate dorsal stream

    PubMed Central

    Katz, Leor N.; Yates, Jacob L.; Pillow, Jonathan W.; Huk, Alexander C.

    2016-01-01

    During decision-making, neurons in multiple brain regions exhibit responses that are correlated with decisions1-6. However, it remains uncertain whether or not various forms of decision-related activity are causally related to decision-making7-9. Here we address this question by recording and reversibly inactivating the lateral intraparietal (LIP) and middle temporal (MT) areas of rhesus macaques performing a motion direction discrimination task. Neurons in area LIP exhibited firing rate patterns that directly resembled the evidence accumulation process posited to govern decision making2,10, with strong correlations between their response fluctuations and the animal's choices. Neurons in area MT, in contrast, exhibited weak correlations between their response fluctuations and animal choices, and had firing rate patterns consistent with their sensory role in motion encoding1. The behavioral impact of pharmacological inactivation of each area was inversely related to their degree of decision-related activity: while inactivation of neurons in MT profoundly impaired psychophysical performance, inactivation in LIP had no measurable impact on decision-making performance, despite having silenced the very clusters that exhibited strong decision-related activity. Although LIP inactivation did not impair psychophysical behavior, it did influence spatial selection and oculomotor metrics in a free-choice control task. The absence of an effect on perceptual decision-making was stable over trials and sessions, arguing against several forms of compensation, and was robust to changes in stimulus type and task geometry. Thus, decision-related signals in LIP do not appear to be necessary for computing perceptual decisions. Our findings highlight a dissociation between decision correlation and causation, showing that strong neuron-decision correlations may reflect secondary or epiphenomenal signals, and do not necessarily offer direct access to the neural computations underlying

  16. Caffeine-activated large-conductance plasma membrane cation channels in cardiac myocytes: characteristics and significance.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yu-An; Tuft, Richard A; Lifshitz, Lawrence M; Fogarty, Kevin E; Singer, Joshua J; Zou, Hui

    2007-10-01

    Caffeine-activated, large-conductance, nonselective cation channels (LCCs) have been found in the plasma membrane of isolated cardiac myocytes in several species. However, little is known about the effects of opening these channels. To examine such effects and to further understand the caffeine-activation mechanism, we carried out studies using whole-cell patch-clamp techniques with freshly isolated cardiac myocytes from rats and mice. Unlike previous studies, thapsigargin was used so that both the effect of opening LCCs and the action of caffeine were independent of Ca(2+) release from intracellular stores. These Ca(2+)-permeable LCCs were found in a majority of the cells from atria and ventricles, with a conductance of approximately 370 pS in rat atria. Caffeine and all its direct metabolic products (theophylline, theobromine, and paraxanthine) activated the channel, while isocaffeine did not. Although they share some similarities with ryanodine receptors (RyRs, the openings of which give rise to Ca(2+) sparks), LCCs also showed some different characteristics. With simultaneous Ca(2+) imaging and current recording, the localized fluorescence increase due to Ca(2+) entry through a single opening of an LCC (SCCaFT) was detected. When membrane potential, instead of current, was recorded, SCCaFT-like fluorescence transients (indicating single LCC openings) were found to accompany membrane depolarizations. To our knowledge, this is the first report directly linking membrane potential changes to a single opening of an ion channel. Moreover, these events in cardiac cells suggest a possible additional mechanism by which caffeine and theophylline contribute to the generation of cardiac arrhythmias.

  17. Dissociated functional significance of decision-related activity in the primate dorsal stream.

    PubMed

    Katz, Leor N; Yates, Jacob L; Pillow, Jonathan W; Huk, Alexander C

    2016-07-14

    During decision making, neurons in multiple brain regions exhibit responses that are correlated with decisions. However, it remains uncertain whether or not various forms of decision-related activity are causally related to decision making. Here we address this question by recording and reversibly inactivating the lateral intraparietal (LIP) and middle temporal (MT) areas of rhesus macaques performing a motion direction discrimination task. Neurons in area LIP exhibited firing rate patterns that directly resembled the evidence accumulation process posited to govern decision making, with strong correlations between their response fluctuations and the animal's choices. Neurons in area MT, in contrast, exhibited weak correlations between their response fluctuations and choices, and had firing rate patterns consistent with their sensory role in motion encoding. The behavioural impact of pharmacological inactivation of each area was inversely related to their degree of decision-related activity: while inactivation of neurons in MT profoundly impaired psychophysical performance, inactivation in LIP had no measurable impact on decision-making performance, despite having silenced the very clusters that exhibited strong decision-related activity. Although LIP inactivation did not impair psychophysical behaviour, it did influence spatial selection and oculomotor metrics in a free-choice control task. The absence of an effect on perceptual decision making was stable over trials and sessions and was robust to changes in stimulus type and task geometry, arguing against several forms of compensation. Thus, decision-related signals in LIP do not appear to be critical for computing perceptual decisions, and may instead reflect secondary processes. Our findings highlight a dissociation between decision correlation and causation, showing that strong neuron-decision correlations do not necessarily offer direct access to the neural computations underlying decisions.

  18. UNESCO active learning approach in optics and photonics leads to significant change in Morocco

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berrada, K.; Channa, R.; Outzourhit, A.; Azizan, M.; Oueriagli, A.

    2014-07-01

    There are many difficulties in teaching science and technology in developing countries. Several different teaching strategies have to be applied in these cases. More specifically, for developing countries competencies in teaching science in the introductory classroom has attracted much attention. As a specific example we will consider the Moroccan system. In most developing countries everything is moving so slowly that the progress stays static for development. Also, any change needs time, effort and engagement. In our case we discovered that many teachers feel uncomfortable when introducing new teaching methods and evaluation in classes at introductory physics. However, the introduction of an Active Learning in our curricula showed difficulties that students have in understanding physics and especially concepts. Students were interested in having Active Learning courses much more than passive and traditional ones. Changing believes on physical phenomena and reality of the world students become more attractive and their way of thinking Science changed. The main philosophy of fostering modern hands-on learning techniques -adapted to local needs and availability of teaching resources- is elaborated. The Active Learning program provides the teachers with a conceptual evaluation instrument, drawn from relevant physics education research, giving teachers an important tool to measure student learning. We will try to describe the UNESCO Chair project in physics created in 2010 at Cadi Ayyad University since our first experience with UNESCO ALOP program. Many efforts have been done so far and the project helps now to develop more national and international collaborations between universities and Regional Academies of Education and Training. As a new result of these actions and according to our local needs, the translation of the ALOP program into Arabic is now available under the auspice of UNESCO and encouragement of international partners SPIE, ICTP, ICO and OSA.

  19. Stepwise multiphoton activation fluorescence reveals a new method of melanin detection.

    PubMed

    Lai, Zhenhua; Kerimo, Josef; Mega, Yair; Dimarzio, Charles A

    2013-06-01

    The stepwise multiphoton activated fluorescence (SMPAF) of melanin, activated by a continuous-wave mode near infrared (NIR) laser, reveals a broad spectrum extending from the visible spectra to the NIR and has potential application for a low-cost, reliable method of detecting melanin. SMPAF images of melanin in mouse hair and skin are compared with conventional multiphoton fluorescence microscopy and confocal reflectance microscopy (CRM). By combining CRM with SMPAF, we can locate melanin reliably. However, we have the added benefit of eliminating background interference from other components inside mouse hair and skin. The melanin SMPAF signal from the mouse hair is a mixture of a two-photon process and a third-order process. The melanin SMPAF emission spectrum is activated by a 1505.9-nm laser light, and the resulting spectrum has a peak at 960 nm. The discovery of the emission peak may lead to a more energy-efficient method of background-free melanin detection with less photo-bleaching.

  20. A chimeric prokaryotic pentameric ligand–gated channel reveals distinct pathways of activation

    PubMed Central

    Schmandt, Nicolaus; Velisetty, Phanindra; Chalamalasetti, Sreevatsa V.; Stein, Richard A.; Bonner, Ross; Talley, Lauren; Parker, Mark D.; Mchaourab, Hassane S.; Yee, Vivien C.; Lodowski, David T.

    2015-01-01

    Recent high resolution structures of several pentameric ligand–gated ion channels have provided unprecedented details of their molecular architecture. However, the conformational dynamics and structural rearrangements that underlie gating and allosteric modulation remain poorly understood. We used a combination of electrophysiology, double electron–electron resonance (DEER) spectroscopy, and x-ray crystallography to investigate activation mechanisms in a novel functional chimera with the extracellular domain (ECD) of amine-gated Erwinia chrysanthemi ligand–gated ion channel, which is activated by primary amines, and the transmembrane domain of Gloeobacter violaceus ligand–gated ion channel, which is activated by protons. We found that the chimera was independently gated by primary amines and by protons. The crystal structure of the chimera in its resting state, at pH 7.0 and in the absence of primary amines, revealed a closed-pore conformation and an ECD that is twisted with respect to the transmembrane region. Amine- and pH-induced conformational changes measured by DEER spectroscopy showed that the chimera exhibits a dual mode of gating that preserves the distinct conformational changes of the parent channels. Collectively, our findings shed light on both conserved and divergent features of gating mechanisms in this class of channels, and will facilitate the design of better allosteric modulators. PMID:26415570

  1. Community Lenses Revealing the Role of Sociocultural Environment on Physical Activity

    PubMed Central

    Belon, Ana Paula; Nieuwendyk, Laura M.; Vallianatos, Helen; Nykiforuk, Candace I. J.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose To identify perceptions of how sociocultural environment enabled and hindered physical activity (PA) participation. Design Community-based participatory research. Setting Two semirural and two urban communities located in Alberta, Canada. Participants Thirty-five people (74.3% females, 71.4% aged 25–64 years) across the four communities. Method PhotoVoice activities occurred over 3 months during the spring of 2009. Participants were asked to document perceived environmental attributes that might foster or inhibit PA in their community. Photographs and narratives were shared in one-on-one interviews. Line-by-line coding of the transcripts was independently conducted by two researchers using an inductive approach. Codes were arranged into themes and subthemes, which were then organized into the Analysis Grid for Environments Linked to Obesity (ANGELO) framework. Results Six main themes (accompanied by subthemes) emerged: sociocultural aesthetics, safety, social involvement, PA motivation, cultural ideas of recreation, and car culture. Representative quotes and photographs illustrate enablers and obstacles identified by participants. Conclusion This PhotoVoice study revealed how aspects of participants’ sociocultural environments shaped their decisions to be physically active. Providing more PA resources is only one step in the promotion of supportive environments. Strategies should also account for the beautification and maintenance of communities, increasing feelings of safety, enhancement of social support among community members, popularization of PA, and mitigating car culture, among others. PMID:25973966

  2. In silico Analysis of Combinatorial microRNA Activity Reveals Target Genes and Pathways Associated with Breast Cancer Metastasis

    PubMed Central

    Dombkowski, Alan A.; Sultana, Zakia; Craig, Douglas B.; Jamil, Hasan

    2011-01-01

    This is an open access article. Unrestricted non-commercial use is permitted provided the original work is properly cited. Aberrant microRNA activity has been reported in many diseases, and studies often find numerous microRNAs concurrently dysregulated. Most target genes have binding sites for multiple microRNAs, and mounting evidence indicates that it is important to consider their combinatorial effect on target gene repression. A recent study associated the coincident loss of expression of six microRNAs with metastatic potential in breast cancer. Here, we used a new computational method, miR-AT!, to investigate combinatorial activity among this group of microRNAs. We found that the set of transcripts having multiple target sites for these microRNAs was significantly enriched with genes involved in cellular processes commonly perturbed in metastatic tumors: cell cycle regulation, cytoskeleton organization, and cell adhesion. Network analysis revealed numerous target genes upstream of cyclin D1 and c-Myc, indicating that the collective loss of the six microRNAs may have a focal effect on these two key regulatory nodes. A number of genes previously implicated in cancer metastasis are among the predicted combinatorial targets, including TGFB1, ARPC3, and RANKL. In summary, our analysis reveals extensive combinatorial interactions that have notable implications for their potential role in breast cancer metastasis and in therapeutic development. PMID:21552493

  3. Significance of conservative asparagine residues in the thermal hysteresis activity of carrot antifreeze protein.

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Dang-Quan; Liu, Bing; Feng, Dong-Ru; He, Yan-Ming; Wang, Shu-Qi; Wang, Hong-Bin; Wang, Jin-Fa

    2004-01-01

    The approximately 24-amino-acid leucine-rich tandem repeat motif (PXXXXXLXXLXXLXLSXNXLXGXI) of carrot antifreeze protein comprises most of the processed protein and should contribute at least partly to the ice-binding site. Structural predictions using publicly available online sources indicated that the theoretical three-dimensional model of this plant protein includes a 10-loop beta-helix containing the approximately 24-amino-acid tandem repeat. This theoretical model indicated that conservative asparagine residues create putative ice-binding sites with surface complementarity to the 1010 prism plane of ice. We used site-specific mutagenesis to test the importance of these residues, and observed a distinct loss of thermal hysteresis activity when conservative asparagines were replaced with valine or glutamine, whereas a large increase in thermal hysteresis was observed when phenylalanine or threonine residues were replaced with asparagine, putatively resulting in the formation of an ice-binding site. These results confirmed that the ice-binding site of carrot antifreeze protein consists of conservative asparagine residues in each beta-loop. We also found that its thermal hysteresis activity is directly correlated with the length of its asparagine-rich binding site, and hence with the size of its ice-binding face. PMID:14531728

  4. A significant increase in both basal and maximal calcineurin activity in the rat pilocarpine model of status epilepticus.

    PubMed

    Kurz, J E; Sheets, D; Parsons, J T; Rana, A; Delorenzo, R J; Churn, S B

    2001-07-01

    This study focused on the effects of status epilepticus on the activity of calcineurin, a neuronally enriched, calcium-dependent phosphatase. Calcineurin is an important modulator of many neuronal processes, including learning and memory, induction of apoptosis, receptor function and neuronal excitability. Therefore, a status epilepticus-induced alteration of the activity of this important phosphatase would have significant physiological implications. Status epilepticus was induced by pilocarpine injection and allowed to continue for 60 min. Brain region homogenates were then assayed for calcineurin activity by dephosphorylation of p-nitrophenol phosphate. A significant status epilepticus-dependent increase in both basal and Mn(2+)-dependent calcineurin activity was observed in homogenates isolated from the cortex and hippocampus, but not the cerebellum. This increase was resistant to 150 nM okadaic acid, but sensitive to 50 microM okadaic acid. The increase in basal activity was also resistant to 100 microM sodium orthovanadate. Both maximal dephosphorylation rate and substrate affinity were increased following status epilepticus. However, the increase in calcineurin activity was not found to be due to an increase in calcineurin enzyme levels. Finally, increase in calcineurin activity was found to be NMDA-receptor activation dependent. The data demonstrate that status epilepticus resulted in a significant increase in both basal and maximal calcineurin activity.

  5. The elastase-PK101 structure: Mechanism of an ultrasensitive activity-based probe revealed

    DOE PAGES

    Lechtenberg, Bernhard C.; Robinson, Howard R.; Kasperkiewicz, Paulina; ...

    2015-01-22

    Human neutrophil elastase (HNE) plays a central role in neutrophil host defense, but its broad specificity makes HNE a difficult target for both inhibitor and probe development. Recently, we identified the unnatural amino acid containing activity-based probe PK101, which exhibits astounding sensitivity and selectivity for HNE, yet completely lacks mechanistic explanation for its unique characteristics. Here, we present the crystal structure of the HNE-PK101 complex which not only reveals the basis for PK101 ultrasensitivity but also uncovers so far unrecognized HNE features. Strikingly, the Nle(O-Bzl) function in the P4 position of PK101 reveals and leverages an “exo-pocket” on HNE asmore » a critical factor for selectivity. Furthermore, the PK101 P3 position harbors a methionine dioxide function, which mimics a post-translationally oxidized methionine residue and forms a critical hydrogen bond to the backbone amide of Gly219 of HNE. Gly219 resides in a Gly–Gly motif that is unique to HNE, yet compulsory for this interaction. Consequently, this feature enables HNE to accommodate substrates that have undergone methionine oxidation, which constitutes a hallmark post-translational modification of neutrophil signaling.« less

  6. The elastase-PK101 structure: Mechanism of an ultrasensitive activity-based probe revealed

    SciTech Connect

    Lechtenberg, Bernhard C.; Robinson, Howard R.; Kasperkiewicz, Paulina; Drag, Marcin; Riedl, Stefan J.

    2015-01-22

    Human neutrophil elastase (HNE) plays a central role in neutrophil host defense, but its broad specificity makes HNE a difficult target for both inhibitor and probe development. Recently, we identified the unnatural amino acid containing activity-based probe PK101, which exhibits astounding sensitivity and selectivity for HNE, yet completely lacks mechanistic explanation for its unique characteristics. Here, we present the crystal structure of the HNE-PK101 complex which not only reveals the basis for PK101 ultrasensitivity but also uncovers so far unrecognized HNE features. Strikingly, the Nle(O-Bzl) function in the P4 position of PK101 reveals and leverages an “exo-pocket” on HNE as a critical factor for selectivity. Furthermore, the PK101 P3 position harbors a methionine dioxide function, which mimics a post-translationally oxidized methionine residue and forms a critical hydrogen bond to the backbone amide of Gly219 of HNE. Gly219 resides in a Gly–Gly motif that is unique to HNE, yet compulsory for this interaction. Consequently, this feature enables HNE to accommodate substrates that have undergone methionine oxidation, which constitutes a hallmark post-translational modification of neutrophil signaling.

  7. Spatially Defined EGF Receptor Activation Reveals an F-Actin-Dependent Phospho-Erk Signaling Complex

    PubMed Central

    Singhai, Amit; Wakefield, Devin L.; Bryant, Kirsten L.; Hammes, Stephen R.; Holowka, David; Baird, Barbara

    2014-01-01

    We investigated the association of signaling proteins with epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptors (EGFR) using biotinylated EGF bound to streptavidin that is covalently coupled in an ordered array of micron-sized features on silicon surfaces. Using NIH-3T3 cells stably expressing EGFR, we observe concentration of fluorescently labeled receptors and stimulated tyrosine phosphorylation that are spatially confined to the regions of immobilized EGF and quantified by cross-correlation analysis. We observe recruitment of phosphorylated paxillin to activated EGFR at these patterned features, as well as β1-containing integrins that preferentially localize to more peripheral EGF features, as quantified by radial fluorescence analysis. In addition, we detect recruitment of EGFP-Ras, MEK, and phosphorylated Erk to patterned EGF in a process that depends on F-actin and phosphoinositides. These studies reveal and quantify the coformation of multiprotein EGFR signaling complexes at the plasma membrane in response to micropatterned growth factors. PMID:25468343

  8. Structures of two superoxide dismutases from Bacillus anthracis reveal a novel active centre

    SciTech Connect

    Boucher, Ian W.; Kalliomaa, Anne K.; Levdikov, Vladimir M.; Blagova, Elena V.; Fogg, Mark J.; Brannigan, James A. Wilson, Keith S.; Wilkinson, Anthony J.

    2005-07-01

    The crystal structures of two manganese superoxide dismutases from B. anthracis were solved by X-ray crystallography using molecular replacement. The BA4499 and BA5696 genes of Bacillus anthracis encode proteins homologous to manganese superoxide dismutase, suggesting that this organism has an expanded repertoire of antioxidant proteins. Differences in metal specificity and quaternary structure between the dismutases of prokaryotes and higher eukaryotes may be exploited in the development of therapeutic antibacterial compounds. Here, the crystal structure of two Mn superoxide dismutases from B. anthracis solved to high resolution are reported. Comparison of their structures reveals that a highly conserved residue near the active centre is substituted in one of the proteins and that this is a characteristic feature of superoxide dismutases from the B. cereus/B. anthracis/B. thuringiensis group of organisms.

  9. Single-molecule spectroscopy reveals how calmodulin activates NO synthase by controlling its conformational fluctuation dynamics

    PubMed Central

    He, Yufan; Haque, Mohammad Mahfuzul; Stuehr, Dennis J.; Lu, H. Peter

    2015-01-01

    Mechanisms that regulate the nitric oxide synthase enzymes (NOS) are of interest in biology and medicine. Although NOS catalysis relies on domain motions, and is activated by calmodulin binding, the relationships are unclear. We used single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) spectroscopy to elucidate the conformational states distribution and associated conformational fluctuation dynamics of the two electron transfer domains in a FRET dye-labeled neuronal NOS reductase domain, and to understand how calmodulin affects the dynamics to regulate catalysis. We found that calmodulin alters NOS conformational behaviors in several ways: It changes the distance distribution between the NOS domains, shortens the lifetimes of the individual conformational states, and instills conformational discipline by greatly narrowing the distributions of the conformational states and fluctuation rates. This information was specifically obtainable only by single-molecule spectroscopic measurements, and reveals how calmodulin promotes catalysis by shaping the physical and temporal conformational behaviors of NOS. PMID:26311846

  10. Analysis of miRNA market trends reveals hotspots of research activity.

    PubMed

    Oosta, Gary; Razvi, Enal

    2012-04-01

    We have conducted an analysis of the miRNA research marketplace by evaluating the publication trends in the field. In this article, we present the results of our analysis which reveals that hotspots exist in terms of research activities in the miRNA space--these hotspots illustrate the areas in the miRNA research space where specific miRNAs have been extensively studied, and other areas that represent new territory. We frame these data into the context of areas of opportunity for miRNA content harvest versus segments of opportunity for the development of research tools. Also presented in this article are the primary market data from online surveys we have performed with researchers involved in miRNA research around the world. Taken together, these data frame the current state of the miRNA marketplace and provide niches of opportunity for new entrants into this space.

  11. Structures of Cas9 endonucleases reveal RNA-mediated conformational activation.

    PubMed

    Jinek, Martin; Jiang, Fuguo; Taylor, David W; Sternberg, Samuel H; Kaya, Emine; Ma, Enbo; Anders, Carolin; Hauer, Michael; Zhou, Kaihong; Lin, Steven; Kaplan, Matias; Iavarone, Anthony T; Charpentier, Emmanuelle; Nogales, Eva; Doudna, Jennifer A

    2014-03-14

    Type II CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)-Cas (CRISPR-associated) systems use an RNA-guided DNA endonuclease, Cas9, to generate double-strand breaks in invasive DNA during an adaptive bacterial immune response. Cas9 has been harnessed as a powerful tool for genome editing and gene regulation in many eukaryotic organisms. We report 2.6 and 2.2 angstrom resolution crystal structures of two major Cas9 enzyme subtypes, revealing the structural core shared by all Cas9 family members. The architectures of Cas9 enzymes define nucleic acid binding clefts, and single-particle electron microscopy reconstructions show that the two structural lobes harboring these clefts undergo guide RNA-induced reorientation to form a central channel where DNA substrates are bound. The observation that extensive structural rearrangements occur before target DNA duplex binding implicates guide RNA loading as a key step in Cas9 activation.

  12. The structure of Plasmodium falciparum serine hydroxymethyltransferase reveals a novel redox switch that regulates its activities

    SciTech Connect

    Chitnumsub, Penchit Ittarat, Wanwipa; Jaruwat, Aritsara; Noytanom, Krittikar; Amornwatcharapong, Watcharee; Pornthanakasem, Wichai; Chaiyen, Pimchai; Yuthavong, Yongyuth; Leartsakulpanich, Ubolsree

    2014-06-01

    The crystal structure of P. falciparum SHMT revealed snapshots of an intriguing disulfide/sulfhydryl switch controlling the functional activity. Plasmodium falciparum serine hydroxymethyltransferase (PfSHMT), an enzyme in the dTMP synthesis cycle, is an antimalarial target because inhibition of its expression or function has been shown to be lethal to the parasite. As the wild-type enzyme could not be crystallized, protein engineering of residues on the surface was carried out. The surface-engineered mutant PfSHMT-F292E was successfully crystallized and its structure was determined at 3 Å resolution. The PfSHMT-F292E structure is a good representation of PfSHMT as this variant revealed biochemical properties similar to those of the wild type. Although the overall structure of PfSHMT is similar to those of other SHMTs, unique features including the presence of two loops and a distinctive cysteine pair formed by Cys125 and Cys364 in the tetrahydrofolate (THF) substrate binding pocket were identified. These structural characteristics have never been reported in other SHMTs. Biochemical characterization and mutation analysis of these two residues confirm that they act as a disulfide/sulfhydryl switch to regulate the THF-dependent catalytic function of the enzyme. This redox switch is not present in the human enzyme, in which the cysteine pair is absent. The data reported here can be further exploited as a new strategy to specifically disrupt the activity of the parasite enzyme without interfering with the function of the human enzyme.

  13. Plasma inhibitory activity (PIA): a pharmacodynamic assay reveals insights into the basis for cytotoxic response to FLT3 inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Levis, Mark; Brown, Patrick; Smith, B. Douglas; Stine, Adam; Pham, Rosalyn; Stone, Richard; DeAngelo, Daniel; Galinsky, Ilene; Giles, Frank; Estey, Elihu; Kantarjian, Hagop; Cohen, Pamela; Wang, Yanfeng; Roesel, Johannes; Karp, Judith E.; Small, Donald

    2006-01-01

    We have developed a useful surrogate assay for monitoring the efficacy of FLT3 inhibition in patients treated with oral FLT3 inhibitors. The plasma inhibitory activity (PIA) for FLT3 correlates with clinical activity in patients treated with CEP-701 and PKC412. Using the PIA assay, along with in vitro phosphorylation and cytotoxicity assays in leukemia cells, we compared PKC412 and its metabolite, CGP52421, with CEP-701. While both drugs could effectively inhibit FLT3 in vitro, CEP-701 was more cytotoxic to primary samples at comparable levels of FLT3 inhibition. PKC412 appears to be more selective than CEP-701 and therefore less effective at inducing cytotoxicity in primary acute myeloid leukemia (AML) samples in vitro. However, the PKC412 metabolite CGP52421 is less selective than its parent compound, PKC412, and is more cytotoxic against primary blast samples at comparable levels of FLT3 inhibition. The plasma inhibitory activity assay represents a useful correlative tool in the development of small-molecule inhibitors. Our application of this assay has revealed that the metabolite CGP52421 may contribute a significant portion of the antileukemia activity observed in patients receiving oral PKC412. Additionally, our results suggest that nonselectivity may constitute an important component of the cytotoxic effect of FLT3 inhibitors in FLT3-mutant AML. PMID:16857987

  14. A MICROARRAY ANALYSIS OF GENE EXPRESSION IN THE EMBRYONIC FORELIMB OF THE C57BL/6J MOUSE REVEALS SIGNIFICANT ALTERATIONS METABOLIC AND DEVELOPMENTAL REGULATION FOLLOWING ETHANOL EXPOSURE.

    EPA Science Inventory

    The observation of transcriptional changes following embryonic ethanol exposure may provide significant insights into the biological response to ethanol exposure. In this study, we used microarray analysis to examine the transcriptional response of the developing limb to a dose ...

  15. Genome of the Asian longhorned beetle, Anoplophora glabripennis), a globally significant invasive species, reveals key functional and evolutionary innovations at the beetle-plant interface

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Asian longhorned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis; AGLAB) is a globally significant invasive species capable of inflicting severe feeding damage on many important orchard, ornamental and forest trees. Genome sequencing, annotation, gene expression assays, and functional and comparative genomic s...

  16. Activation of Big Grain1 significantly improves grain size by regulating auxin transport in rice.

    PubMed

    Liu, Linchuan; Tong, Hongning; Xiao, Yunhua; Che, Ronghui; Xu, Fan; Hu, Bin; Liang, Chengzhen; Chu, Jinfang; Li, Jiayang; Chu, Chengcai

    2015-09-01

    Grain size is one of the key factors determining grain yield. However, it remains largely unknown how grain size is regulated by developmental signals. Here, we report the identification and characterization of a dominant mutant big grain1 (Bg1-D) that shows an extra-large grain phenotype from our rice T-DNA insertion population. Overexpression of BG1 leads to significantly increased grain size, and the severe lines exhibit obviously perturbed gravitropism. In addition, the mutant has increased sensitivities to both auxin and N-1-naphthylphthalamic acid, an auxin transport inhibitor, whereas knockdown of BG1 results in decreased sensitivities and smaller grains. Moreover, BG1 is specifically induced by auxin treatment, preferentially expresses in the vascular tissue of culms and young panicles, and encodes a novel membrane-localized protein, strongly suggesting its role in regulating auxin transport. Consistent with this finding, the mutant has increased auxin basipetal transport and altered auxin distribution, whereas the knockdown plants have decreased auxin transport. Manipulation of BG1 in both rice and Arabidopsis can enhance plant biomass, seed weight, and yield. Taking these data together, we identify a novel positive regulator of auxin response and transport in a crop plant and demonstrate its role in regulating grain size, thus illuminating a new strategy to improve plant productivity.

  17. Spores of many common airborne fungi reveal no ice nucleation activity in oil immersion freezing experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pummer, B. G.; Atanasova, L.; Bauer, H.; Bernardi, J.; Druzhinina, I. S.; Fröhlich-Nowoisky, J.; Grothe, H.

    2013-12-01

    Fungal spores are ubiquitous biological aerosols, which are considered to act as ice nuclei. In this study the ice nucleation (IN) activity of spores harvested from 29 fungal strains belonging to 21 different species was tested in the immersion freezing mode by microscopic observation of water-in-oil emulsions. Spores of 8 of these strains were also investigated in a microdroplet freezing array instrument. The focus was laid on species of economical, ecological or sanitary significance. Besides common molds (Ascomycota), some representatives of the widespread group of mushrooms (Basidiomycota) were also investigated. Fusarium avenaceum was the only sample showing IN activity at relatively high temperatures (about 264 K), while the other investigated fungal spores showed no freezing above 248 K. Many of the samples indeed froze at homogeneous ice nucleation temperatures (about 237 K). In combination with other studies, this suggests that only a limited number of species may act as atmospheric ice nuclei. This would be analogous to what is already known for the bacterial ice nuclei. Apart from that, we selected a set of fungal strains from different sites and exposed them to occasional freezing stress during their cultivation. This was in order to test if the exposure to a cold environment encourages the expression of ice nuclei during growth as a way of adaptation. Although the total protein expression was altered by this treatment, it had no significant impact on the IN activity.

  18. Voltage-Sensitive Dyes And Imaging Techniques Reveal New Patterns Of Electrical Activity In Heart Cortex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salama, Guy

    1988-04-01

    Voltage-sensitive dyes bind to the plasms membrane of excitable cells (ie., muscle or nerve cells) and exhibit fluorescence and/or absorption changes that vary linearly with changes in transmembrane electrical potential. These potentiometric optical probes can be used to measure local changes in transmembrane potential by monitoring optical signals from dye molecules bound to the surface membrane. Consequently, when excitable cells are stained with such a dye and are stimulated to fire an electrical impulse (ie., an action potential (AP)), the changes in dye fluorescence have the characteristic shape and time course of APs recorded with an intracellular micro-electrode. Potentiometric dyes in conjuction with imaging techniques can now be used to visualize complex patterns and propagation of electrical activity. With photodiode arrays on video imaging techniques, patterns of biological electrical activity can be obtained with high temporal and spatial resolution which could not be obtained by conventional micro-electrodes. These methods reveal new details and offer powerful approaches to study fundamental problem in cardiac electrophysiology, communication in nerve networks, and the organization of cortical neurons.

  19. Synthesis and folding of a mirror-image enzyme reveals ambidextrous chaperone activity

    PubMed Central

    Weinstock, Matthew T.; Jacobsen, Michael T.; Kay, Michael S.

    2014-01-01

    Mirror-image proteins (composed of d-amino acids) are promising therapeutic agents and drug discovery tools, but as synthesis of larger d-proteins becomes feasible, a major anticipated challenge is the folding of these proteins into their active conformations. In vivo, many large and/or complex proteins require chaperones like GroEL/ES to prevent misfolding and produce functional protein. The ability of chaperones to fold d-proteins is unknown. Here we examine the ability of GroEL/ES to fold a synthetic d-protein. We report the total chemical synthesis of a 312-residue GroEL/ES-dependent protein, DapA, in both l- and d-chiralities, the longest fully synthetic proteins yet reported. Impressively, GroEL/ES folds both l- and d-DapA. This work extends the limits of chemical protein synthesis, reveals ambidextrous GroEL/ES folding activity, and provides a valuable tool to fold d-proteins for drug development and mirror-image synthetic biology applications. PMID:25071217

  20. Quantitative proteomics reveals the induction of mitophagy in tumor necrosis factor-α-activated (TNFα) macrophages.

    PubMed

    Bell, Christina; English, Luc; Boulais, Jonathan; Chemali, Magali; Caron-Lizotte, Olivier; Desjardins, Michel; Thibault, Pierre

    2013-09-01

    Macrophages play an important role in innate and adaptive immunity as professional phagocytes capable of internalizing and degrading pathogens to derive antigens for presentation to T cells. They also produce pro-inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) that mediate local and systemic responses and direct the development of adaptive immunity. The present work describes the use of label-free quantitative proteomics to profile the dynamic changes of proteins from resting and TNF-α-activated mouse macrophages. These analyses revealed that TNF-α activation of macrophages led to the down-regulation of mitochondrial proteins and the differential regulation of several proteins involved in vesicle trafficking and immune response. Importantly, we found that the down-regulation of mitochondria proteins occurred through mitophagy and was specific to TNF-α, as other cytokines such as IL-1β and IFN-γ had no effect on mitochondria degradation. Furthermore, using a novel antigen presentation system, we observed that the induction of mitophagy by TNF-α enabled the processing and presentation of mitochondrial antigens at the cell surface by MHC class I molecules. These findings highlight an unsuspected role of TNF-α in mitophagy and expanded our understanding of the mechanisms responsible for MHC presentation of self-antigens.

  1. Activation of nanoscale allosteric protein domain motion revealed by neutron spin echo spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bu, Zimei; Farago, Bela; Callaway, David

    2012-02-01

    NHERF1 is a multi-domain scaffolding protein that assembles the signaling complexes, and regulates the cell surface expression and endocytic recycling of a variety of membrane proteins. The ability of the two PDZ domains in NHERF1 to assemble protein complexes is allosterically modulated by a membrane-cytoskeleton linker protein ezrin, whose binding site is located as far as 110 angstroms away from the PDZ domains. Here, using neutron spin echo (NSE) spectroscopy, selective deuterium labeling, and theoretical analyses, we reveal the activation of interdomain motion in NHERF1 on nanometer length scales and on sub-microsecond time scales upon forming a complex with ezrin. We show that a much simplified coarse-grained model is sufficient to describe inter-domain motion of a multi-domain protein or protein complex. We expect that future NSE experiments will benefit by exploiting our approach of selective deuteration to resolve the specific domain motions of interest from a plethora of global translational and rotational motions. The results demonstrate that propagation of allosteric signals to distal sites involves the activation of long-range coupled domain motions on submicrosecond time scales, and that these coupled motions can be distinguished and characterized by NSE.

  2. Activity-Based Protein Profiling Reveals Broad Reactivity of the Nerve Agent Sarin.

    PubMed

    Tuin, Adriaan W; Mol, Marijke A E; van den Berg, Roland M; Fidder, A; van der Marel, Gijs A; Overkleeft, Herman S; Noort, Daan

    2009-04-01

    Elucidation of noncholinesterase protein targets of organophosphates, and nerve agents in particular, may reveal additional mechanisms for their high toxicity as well as clues for novel therapeutic approaches toward intoxications with these agents. Within this framework, we here describe the synthesis of the activity-based probe 3, which contains a phosphonofluoridate moiety, a P-Me moiety, and a biotinylated O-alkyl group, and its use in activity-based protein profiling with two relevant biological samples, that is, rhesus monkey liver and cultured human A549 lung cells. In this way, we have unearthed eight serine hydrolases (fatty acid synthase, acylpeptide hydrolase, dipeptidyl peptidase 9, prolyl oligopeptidase, carboxylesterase, long-chain acyl coenzyme A thioesterase, PAF acetylhydrolase 1b, and esterase D/S-formyl glutathione hydrolase) as targets that are modified by the nerve agent sarin. It is also shown that the newly developed probe 3 might find its way into the development of alternative, less laborious purification protocols for human butyrylcholinesterase, a potent bioscavenger currently under clinical investigation as a prophylactic/therapeutic for nerve agent intoxications.

  3. Inner workings of thrombolites: spatial gradients of metabolic activity as revealed by metatranscriptome profiling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mobberley, J. M.; Khodadad, C. L. M.; Visscher, P. T.; Reid, R. P.; Hagan, P.; Foster, J. S.

    2015-07-01

    Microbialites are sedimentary deposits formed by the metabolic interactions of microbes and their environment. These lithifying microbial communities represent one of the oldest ecosystems on Earth, yet the molecular mechanisms underlying the function of these communities are poorly understood. In this study, we used comparative metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analyses to characterize the spatial organization of the thrombolites of Highborne Cay, The Bahamas, an actively forming microbialite system. At midday, there were differences in gene expression throughout the spatial profile of the thrombolitic mat with a high abundance of transcripts encoding genes required for photosynthesis, nitrogen fixation and exopolymeric substance production in the upper three mm of the mat. Transcripts associated with denitrification and sulfate reduction were in low abundance throughout the depth profile, suggesting these metabolisms were less active during midday. Comparative metagenomics of the Bahamian thrombolites with other known microbialite ecosystems from across the globe revealed that, despite many shared core pathways, the thrombolites represented genetically distinct communities. This study represents the first time the metatranscriptome of living microbialite has been characterized and offers a new molecular perspective on those microbial metabolisms, and their underlying genetic pathways, that influence the mechanisms of carbonate precipitation in lithifying microbial mat ecosystems.

  4. Abnormal Spontaneous Brain Activity in Women with Premenstrual Syndrome Revealed by Regional Homogeneity

    PubMed Central

    Liao, Hai; Pang, Yong; Liu, Peng; Liu, Huimei; Duan, Gaoxiong; Liu, Yanfei; Tang, Lijun; Tao, Jien; Wen, Danhong; Li, Shasha; Liang, Lingyan; Deng, Demao

    2017-01-01

    Background: Previous studies have revealed that the etiologies of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) refer to menstrual cycle related brain changes. However, its intrinsic neural mechanism is still unclear. The aim of the present study was to assess abnormal spontaneous brain activity and to explicate the intricate neural mechanism of PMS using resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (RS-fMRI). Materials and Methods: The data of 20 PMS patients (PMS group) and 21 healthy controls (HC group) were analyzed by regional homogeneity (ReHo) method during the late luteal phase of menstrual cycle. In addition, all the participants were asked to complete a daily record of severity of problems (DRSP) questionnaire. Results: Compared with HC group, the results showed that PMS group had increased ReHo mainly in the bilateral precuneus, left inferior temporal cortex (ITC), right inferior frontal cortex (IFC) and left middle frontal cortex (MFC) and decreased ReHo in the right anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) at the luteal phase. Moreover, the PMS group had higher DRSP scores, and the DRSP scores positively correlated with ReHo in left MFC and negatively correlated with ReHo in the right ACC. Conclusion: Our results suggest that abnormal spontaneous brain activity is found in PMS patients and the severity of symptom is specifically related to the left MFC and right ACC. The present findings may be beneficial to explicate the intricate neural mechanism of PMS. PMID:28243196

  5. Inner workings of thrombolites: spatial gradients of metabolic activity as revealed by metatranscriptome profiling

    PubMed Central

    Mobberley, J. M.; Khodadad, C. L. M.; Visscher, P. T.; Reid, R. P.; Hagan, P.; Foster, J. S.

    2015-01-01

    Microbialites are sedimentary deposits formed by the metabolic interactions of microbes and their environment. These lithifying microbial communities represent one of the oldest ecosystems on Earth, yet the molecular mechanisms underlying the function of these communities are poorly understood. In this study, we used comparative metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analyses to characterize the spatial organization of the thrombolites of Highborne Cay, The Bahamas, an actively forming microbialite system. At midday, there were differences in gene expression throughout the spatial profile of the thrombolitic mat with a high abundance of transcripts encoding genes required for photosynthesis, nitrogen fixation and exopolymeric substance production in the upper three mm of the mat. Transcripts associated with denitrification and sulfate reduction were in low abundance throughout the depth profile, suggesting these metabolisms were less active during midday. Comparative metagenomics of the Bahamian thrombolites with other known microbialite ecosystems from across the globe revealed that, despite many shared core pathways, the thrombolites represented genetically distinct communities. This study represents the first time the metatranscriptome of living microbialite has been characterized and offers a new molecular perspective on those microbial metabolisms, and their underlying genetic pathways, that influence the mechanisms of carbonate precipitation in lithifying microbial mat ecosystems. PMID:26213359

  6. The Lipid Portion of Activated Platelet-Rich Plasma Significantly Contributes to Its Wound Healing Properties

    PubMed Central

    Hoeferlin, Lauren Alexis; Huynh, Quoc K.; Mietla, Jennifer A.; Sell, Scott A.; Tucker, Jason; Chalfant, Charles Edward; Wijesinghe, Dayanjan Shanaka

    2015-01-01

    Objective: Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a popular choice for the treatment of chronic wounds. Current dogma attributes these healing properties to the peptide growth factors of PRP. However, PRP is also rich in bioactive lipids whose contribution to healing has not been characterized and warrants investigation due to the protease-rich environment of chronic wounds. Approach: The lipid fraction of PRP was tested with respect to proliferation and migration of primary adult human dermal fibroblasts (HDFa)±exposure to chronic wound fluid (CWF). This fraction was also characterized via LC-MS/MS for bioactive lipids. A synthetic formulation of the bioactive lipid composition was developed and tested for the ability to overcome proliferative growth arrest induced by CWF. Results: The data demonstrate the ability of the lipid fraction of PRP to significantly enhance the migration and proliferation of HDFa, and to overcome the proliferative growth arrest induced by CWF. Furthermore, the synthetic lipid formulation generated following characterization of the PRP lipidome demonstrated a similar ability to overcome proliferative arrest of HDFa in the presence of CWF. Innovation: For the first time, we demonstrate the relevance of the lipid fraction of PRP toward the biology of wound healing. These studies open the possibility of altering the lipid profile of PRP via diet or exogenous pathway manipulation to obtain a better healing outcome. Conclusion: The lipid fraction of PRP is under investigated and yet relevant component in wound healing. The current study demonstrates the relevance of this fraction in wound healing by PRP. PMID:25713752

  7. Significance of an Active Volcanic Front in the Far Western Aleutian Arc

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yogodzinski, G. M.; Kelemen, P. B.; Hoernle, K.

    2015-12-01

    Discovery of a volcanic front west of Buldir Volcano, the western-most emergent Aleutian volcano, demonstrates that the surface expression of Aleutian volcanism falls below sea level just west of 175.9° E longitude, but is otherwise continuous from mainland Alaska to Kamchatka. The newly discovered sites of western Aleutian seafloor volcanism are the Ingenstrem Depression, a 60 km-long structural depression just west of Buldir, and an unnamed area 300 km further west, referred to as the Western Cones. These locations fall along a volcanic front that stretches from Buldir to Piip Seamount near the Komandorsky Islands. Western Aleutian seafloor volcanic rocks include large quantities of high-silica andesite and dacite, which define a highly calc-alkaline igneous series and carry trace element signatures that are unmistakably subduction-related. This indicates that subducting oceanic lithosphere is present beneath the westernmost Aleutian arc. The rarity of earthquakes below depths of 200 km indicates that the subducting plate is unusually hot. Some seafloor volcanoes are 6-8 km wide at the base, and so are as large as many emergent Aleutian volcanoes. The seafloor volcanoes are submerged in water depths >3000 m because they sit on oceanic lithosphere of the Bering Sea. The volcanic front is thus displaced to the north of the ridge of arc crust that underlies the western Aleutian Islands. This displacement, which developed since approximately 6 Ma when volcanism was last active on the islands, must be a consequence of oblique convergence in a system where the subducting plate and large blocks of arc crust are both moving primarily in an arc-parallel sense. The result is a hot-slab system where low subduction rates probably limit advection of hot mantle to the subarc, and produce a relatively cool and perhaps stagnant mantle wedge. The oceanic setting and highly oblique subduction geometry also severely limit rates of sediment subduction, so the volcanic rocks, which

  8. Biophysical assay for tethered signaling reactions reveals tether-controlled activity for the phosphatase SHP-1.

    PubMed

    Goyette, Jesse; Salas, Citlali Solis; Coker-Gordon, Nicola; Bridge, Marcus; Isaacson, Samuel A; Allard, Jun; Dushek, Omer

    2017-03-01

    Tethered enzymatic reactions are ubiquitous in signaling networks but are poorly understood. A previously unreported mathematical analysis is established for tethered signaling reactions in surface plasmon resonance (SPR). Applying the method to the phosphatase SHP-1 interacting with a phosphorylated tether corresponding to an immune receptor cytoplasmic tail provides five biophysical/biochemical constants from a single SPR experiment: two binding rates, two catalytic rates, and a reach parameter. Tether binding increases the activity of SHP-1 by 900-fold through a binding-induced allosteric activation (20-fold) and a more significant increase in local substrate concentration (45-fold). The reach parameter indicates that this local substrate concentration is exquisitely sensitive to receptor clustering. We further show that truncation of the tether leads not only to a lower reach but also to lower binding and catalysis. This work establishes a new framework for studying tethered signaling processes and highlights the tether as a control parameter in clustered receptor signaling.

  9. Biophysical assay for tethered signaling reactions reveals tether-controlled activity for the phosphatase SHP-1

    PubMed Central

    Goyette, Jesse; Salas, Citlali Solis; Coker-Gordon, Nicola; Bridge, Marcus; Isaacson, Samuel A.; Allard, Jun; Dushek, Omer

    2017-01-01

    Tethered enzymatic reactions are ubiquitous in signaling networks but are poorly understood. A previously unreported mathematical analysis is established for tethered signaling reactions in surface plasmon resonance (SPR). Applying the method to the phosphatase SHP-1 interacting with a phosphorylated tether corresponding to an immune receptor cytoplasmic tail provides five biophysical/biochemical constants from a single SPR experiment: two binding rates, two catalytic rates, and a reach parameter. Tether binding increases the activity of SHP-1 by 900-fold through a binding-induced allosteric activation (20-fold) and a more significant increase in local substrate concentration (45-fold). The reach parameter indicates that this local substrate concentration is exquisitely sensitive to receptor clustering. We further show that truncation of the tether leads not only to a lower reach but also to lower binding and catalysis. This work establishes a new framework for studying tethered signaling processes and highlights the tether as a control parameter in clustered receptor signaling. PMID:28378014

  10. Glycan structure of Gc Protein-derived Macrophage Activating Factor as revealed by mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Borges, Chad R; Rehder, Douglas S

    2016-09-15

    Disagreement exists regarding the O-glycan structure attached to human vitamin D binding protein (DBP). Previously reported evidence indicated that the O-glycan of the Gc1S allele product is the linear core 1 NeuNAc-Gal-GalNAc-Thr trisaccharide. Here, glycan structural evidence is provided from glycan linkage analysis and over 30 serial glycosidase-digestion experiments which were followed by analysis of the intact protein by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS). Results demonstrate that the O-glycan from the Gc1F protein is the same linear trisaccharide found on the Gc1S protein and that the hexose residue is galactose. In addition, the putative anti-cancer derivative of DBP known as Gc Protein-derived Macrophage Activating Factor (GcMAF, which is formed by the combined action of β-galactosidase and neuraminidase upon DBP) was analyzed intact by ESI-MS, revealing that the activating E. coli β-galactosidase cleaves nothing from the protein-leaving the glycan structure of active GcMAF as a Gal-GalNAc-Thr disaccharide, regardless of the order in which β-galactosidase and neuraminidase are applied. Moreover, glycosidase digestion results show that α-N-Acetylgalactosamindase (nagalase) lacks endoglycosidic function and only cleaves the DBP O-glycan once it has been trimmed down to a GalNAc-Thr monosaccharide-precluding the possibility of this enzyme removing the O-glycan trisaccharide from cancer-patient DBP in vivo.

  11. Characterization of the biocontrol activity of pseudomonas fluorescens strain X reveals novel genes regulated by glucose.

    PubMed

    Kremmydas, Gerasimos F; Tampakaki, Anastasia P; Georgakopoulos, Dimitrios G

    2013-01-01

    Pseudomonas fluorescens strain X, a bacterial isolate from the rhizosphere of bean seedlings, has the ability to suppress damping-off caused by the oomycete Pythium ultimum. To determine the genes controlling the biocontrol activity of strain X, transposon mutagenesis, sequencing and complementation was performed. Results indicate that, biocontrol ability of this isolate is attributed to gcd gene encoding glucose dehydrogenase, genes encoding its co-enzyme pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ), and two genes (sup5 and sup6) which seem to be organized in a putative operon. This operon (named supX) consists of five genes, one of which encodes a non-ribosomal peptide synthase. A unique binding site for a GntR-type transcriptional factor is localized upstream of the supX putative operon. Synteny comparison of the genes in supX revealed that they are common in the genus Pseudomonas, but with a low degree of similarity. supX shows high similarity only to the mangotoxin operon of Ps. syringae pv. syringae UMAF0158. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis indicated that transcription of supX is strongly reduced in the gcd and PQQ-minus mutants of Ps. fluorescens strain X. On the contrary, transcription of supX in the wild type is enhanced by glucose and transcription levels that appear to be higher during the stationary phase. Gcd, which uses PQQ as a cofactor, catalyses the oxidation of glucose to gluconic acid, which controls the activity of the GntR family of transcriptional factors. The genes in the supX putative operon have not been implicated before in the biocontrol of plant pathogens by pseudomonads. They are involved in the biosynthesis of an antimicrobial compound by Ps. fluorescens strain X and their transcription is controlled by glucose, possibly through the activity of a GntR-type transcriptional factor binding upstream of this putative operon.

  12. Electrocorticography reveals the temporal dynamics of posterior parietal cortical activity during recognition memory decisions

    PubMed Central

    Gonzalez, Alex; Hutchinson, J. Benjamin; Uncapher, Melina R.; Chen, Janice; LaRocque, Karen F.; Foster, Brett L.; Rangarajan, Vinitha; Parvizi, Josef; Wagner, Anthony D.

    2015-01-01

    Theories of the neurobiology of episodic memory predominantly focus on the contributions of medial temporal lobe structures, based on extensive lesion, electrophysiological, and imaging evidence. Against this backdrop, functional neuroimaging data have unexpectedly implicated left posterior parietal cortex (PPC) in episodic retrieval, revealing distinct activation patterns in PPC subregions as humans make memory-related decisions. To date, theorizing about the functional contributions of PPC has been hampered by the absence of information about the temporal dynamics of PPC activity as retrieval unfolds. Here, we leveraged electrocorticography to examine the temporal profile of high gamma power (HGP) in dorsal PPC subregions as participants made old/new recognition memory decisions. A double dissociation in memory-related HGP was observed, with activity in left intraparietal sulcus (IPS) and left superior parietal lobule (SPL) differing in time and sign for recognized old items (Hits) and correctly rejected novel items (CRs). Specifically, HGP in left IPS increased for Hits 300–700 ms poststimulus onset, and decayed to baseline ∼200 ms preresponse. By contrast, HGP in left SPL increased for CRs early after stimulus onset (200−300 ms) and late in the memory decision (from 700 ms to response). These memory-related effects were unique to left PPC, as they were not observed in right PPC. Finally, memory-related HGP in left IPS and SPL was sufficiently reliable to enable brain-based decoding of the participant’s memory state at the single-trial level, using multivariate pattern classification. Collectively, these data provide insights into left PPC temporal dynamics as humans make recognition memory decisions. PMID:26283375

  13. Characterization of CLL exosomes reveals a distinct microRNA signature and enhanced secretion by activation of BCR signaling.

    PubMed

    Yeh, Yuh-Ying; Ozer, Hatice Gulcin; Lehman, Amy M; Maddocks, Kami; Yu, Lianbo; Johnson, Amy J; Byrd, John C

    2015-05-21

    Multiple studies show that chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells are heavily dependent on their microenvironment for survival. Communication between CLL cells and the microenvironment is mediated through direct cell contact, soluble factors, and extracellular vesicles. Exosomes are small particles enclosed with lipids, proteins, and small RNAs that can convey biological materials to surrounding cells. Our data herein demonstrate that CLL cells release significant amounts of exosomes in plasma that exhibit abundant CD37, CD9, and CD63 expression. Our work also pinpoints the regulation of B-cell receptor (BCR) signaling in the release of CLL exosomes: BCR activation by α-immunoglobulin (Ig)M induces exosome secretion, whereas BCR inactivation via ibrutinib impedes α-IgM-stimulated exosome release. Moreover, analysis of serial plasma samples collected from CLL patients on an ibrutinib clinical trial revealed that exosome plasma concentration was significantly decreased following ibrutinib therapy. Furthermore, microRNA (miR) profiling of plasma-derived exosomes identified a distinct exosome microRNA signature, including miR-29 family, miR-150, miR-155, and miR-223 that have been associated with CLL disease. Interestingly, expression of exosome miR-150 and miR-155 increases with BCR activation. In all, this study successfully characterized CLL exosomes, demonstrated the control of BCR signaling in the release of CLL exosomes, and uncovered a disease-relevant exosome microRNA profile.

  14. Characterization of CLL exosomes reveals a distinct microRNA signature and enhanced secretion by activation of BCR signaling

    PubMed Central

    Yeh, Yuh-Ying; Ozer, Hatice Gulcin; Lehman, Amy M.; Maddocks, Kami; Yu, Lianbo; Byrd, John C.

    2015-01-01

    Multiple studies show that chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells are heavily dependent on their microenvironment for survival. Communication between CLL cells and the microenvironment is mediated through direct cell contact, soluble factors, and extracellular vesicles. Exosomes are small particles enclosed with lipids, proteins, and small RNAs that can convey biological materials to surrounding cells. Our data herein demonstrate that CLL cells release significant amounts of exosomes in plasma that exhibit abundant CD37, CD9, and CD63 expression. Our work also pinpoints the regulation of B-cell receptor (BCR) signaling in the release of CLL exosomes: BCR activation by α-immunoglobulin (Ig)M induces exosome secretion, whereas BCR inactivation via ibrutinib impedes α-IgM-stimulated exosome release. Moreover, analysis of serial plasma samples collected from CLL patients on an ibrutinib clinical trial revealed that exosome plasma concentration was significantly decreased following ibrutinib therapy. Furthermore, microRNA (miR) profiling of plasma-derived exosomes identified a distinct exosome microRNA signature, including miR-29 family, miR-150, miR-155, and miR-223 that have been associated with CLL disease. Interestingly, expression of exosome miR-150 and miR-155 increases with BCR activation. In all, this study successfully characterized CLL exosomes, demonstrated the control of BCR signaling in the release of CLL exosomes, and uncovered a disease-relevant exosome microRNA profile. PMID:25833959

  15. Biases during DNA extraction of activated sludge samples revealed by high throughput sequencing.

    PubMed

    Guo, Feng; Zhang, Tong

    2013-05-01

    Standardization of DNA extraction is a fundamental issue of fidelity and comparability in investigations of environmental microbial communities. Commercial kits for soil or feces are often adopted for studies of activated sludge because of a lack of specific kits, but they have never been evaluated regarding their effectiveness and potential biases based on high throughput sequencing. In this study, seven common DNA extraction kits were evaluated, based on not only yield/purity but also sequencing results, using two activated sludge samples (two sub-samples each, i.e. ethanol-fixed and fresh, as-is). The results indicate that the bead-beating step is necessary for DNA extraction from activated sludge. The two kits without the bead-beating step yielded very low amounts of DNA, and the least abundant operational taxonomic units (OTUs), and significantly underestimated the Gram-positive Actinobacteria, Nitrospirae, Chloroflexi, and Alphaproteobacteria and overestimated Gammaproteobacteria, Deltaproteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and the rare phyla whose cell walls might have been readily broken. Among the other five kits, FastDNA(@) SPIN Kit for Soil extracted the most and the purest DNA. Although the number of total OTUs obtained using this kit was not the highest, the abundant OTUs and abundance of Actinobacteria demonstrated its efficiency. The three MoBio kits and one ZR kit produced fair results, but had a relatively low DNA yield and/or less Actinobacteria-related sequences. Moreover, the 50 % ethanol fixation increased the DNA yield, but did not change the sequenced microbial community in a significant way. Based on the present study, the FastDNA SPIN kit for Soil is recommended for DNA extraction of activated sludge samples. More importantly, the selection of the DNA extraction kit must be done carefully if the samples contain dominant lysing-resistant groups, such as Actinobacteria and Nitrospirae.

  16. Structures of BmrR-Drug Complexes Reveal a Rigid Multidrug Binding Pocket And Transcription Activation Through Tyrosine Expulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Newberry, K.J.; Huffman, J.L.; Miller, M.C.; Vazquez-Laslop, N.; Neyfakh, A.A.; Brennan, R.G.

    2009-05-22

    BmrR is a member of the MerR family and a multidrug binding transcription factor that up-regulates the expression of the bmr multidrug efflux transporter gene in response to myriad lipophilic cationic compounds. The structural mechanism by which BmrR binds these chemically and structurally different drugs and subsequently activates transcription is poorly understood. Here, we describe the crystal structures of BmrR bound to rhodamine 6G (R6G) or berberine (Ber) and cognate DNA. These structures reveal each drug stacks against multiple aromatic residues with their positive charges most proximal to the carboxylate group of Glu-253 and that, unlike other multidrug binding pockets, that of BmrR is rigid. Substitution of Glu-253 with either alanine (E253A) or glutamine (E253Q) results in unpredictable binding affinities for R6G, Ber, and tetraphenylphosphonium. Moreover, these drug binding studies reveal that the negative charge of Glu-253 is not important for high affinity binding to Ber and tetraphenylphosphonium but plays a more significant, but unpredictable, role in R6G binding. In vitro transcription data show that E253A and E253Q are constitutively active, and structures of the drug-free E253A-DNA and E253Q-DNA complexes support a transcription activation mechanism requiring the expulsion of Tyr-152 from the multidrug binding pocket. In sum, these data delineate the mechanism by which BmrR binds lipophilic, monovalent cationic compounds and suggest the importance of the redundant negative electrostatic nature of this rigid drug binding pocket that can be used to discriminate against molecules that are not substrates of the Bmr multidrug efflux pump.

  17. Structures of BmrR-drug complexes reveal a rigid multidrug binding pocket and transcription activation through tyrosine expulsion.

    PubMed

    Newberry, Kate J; Huffman, Joy L; Miller, Marshall C; Vazquez-Laslop, Nora; Neyfakh, Alex A; Brennan, Richard G

    2008-09-26

    BmrR is a member of the MerR family and a multidrug binding transcription factor that up-regulates the expression of the bmr multidrug efflux transporter gene in response to myriad lipophilic cationic compounds. The structural mechanism by which BmrR binds these chemically and structurally different drugs and subsequently activates transcription is poorly understood. Here, we describe the crystal structures of BmrR bound to rhodamine 6G (R6G) or berberine (Ber) and cognate DNA. These structures reveal each drug stacks against multiple aromatic residues with their positive charges most proximal to the carboxylate group of Glu-253 and that, unlike other multidrug binding pockets, that of BmrR is rigid. Substitution of Glu-253 with either alanine (E253A) or glutamine (E253Q) results in unpredictable binding affinities for R6G, Ber, and tetraphenylphosphonium. Moreover, these drug binding studies reveal that the negative charge of Glu-253 is not important for high affinity binding to Ber and tetraphenylphosphonium but plays a more significant, but unpredictable, role in R6G binding. In vitro transcription data show that E253A and E253Q are constitutively active, and structures of the drug-free E253A-DNA and E253Q-DNA complexes support a transcription activation mechanism requiring the expulsion of Tyr-152 from the multidrug binding pocket. In sum, these data delineate the mechanism by which BmrR binds lipophilic, monovalent cationic compounds and suggest the importance of the redundant negative electrostatic nature of this rigid drug binding pocket that can be used to discriminate against molecules that are not substrates of the Bmr multidrug efflux pump.

  18. The clinical significance of K-Cl cotransport activity in red cells of patients with HbSC disease.

    PubMed

    Rees, David C; Thein, Swee Lay; Osei, Anna; Drasar, Emma; Tewari, Sanjay; Hannemann, Anke; Gibson, John S

    2015-05-01

    HbSC disease is the second commonest form of sickle cell disease, with poorly understood pathophysiology and few treatments. We studied the role of K-Cl cotransport activity in determining clinical and laboratory features, and investigated its potential role as a biomarker. Samples were collected from 110 patients with HbSC disease and 41 with sickle cell anemia (HbSS). K-Cl cotransport activity was measured in the oxygenated (K-Cl cotransport(100)) and deoxygenated (K-Cl cotransport(0)) states, using radioactive tracer studies. K-Cl cotransport activity was high in HbSC and decreased significantly on deoxygenation. K-Cl cotransport activity correlated significantly and positively with the formation of sickle cells. On multiple regression analysis, K-Cl cotransport increased significantly and independently with increasing reticulocyte count and age. K-Cl cotransport activity was increased in patients who attended hospital with acute pain in 2011 compared to those who did not (K-Cl cotransport(100): mean 3.87 versus 3.20, P=0.009, independent samples T-test; K-Cl cotransport(0): mean 0.96 versus 0.68, P=0.037). On logistic regression only K-Cl cotransport was associated with hospital attendance. Increased K-Cl cotransport activity was associated with the presence of retinopathy, but this effect was confounded by age. This study links variability in a fundamental aspect of cellular pathology with a clinical outcome, suggesting that K-Cl cotransport is central to the pathology of HbSC disease. Increased K-Cl cotransport activity is associated with increasing age, which may be of pathophysiological significance. Effective inhibition of K-Cl cotransport activity is likely to be of therapeutic benefit.

  19. Temporal quantitative phosphoproteomics of ADP stimulation reveals novel central nodes in platelet activation and inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Beck, Florian; Geiger, Jörg; Gambaryan, Stepan; Solari, Fiorella A.; Dell’Aica, Margherita; Loroch, Stefan; Mattheij, Nadine J.; Mindukshev, Igor; Pötz, Oliver; Jurk, Kerstin; Burkhart, Julia M.; Fufezan, Christian; Heemskerk, Johan W. M.; Walter, Ulrich

    2017-01-01

    Adenosine diphosphate (ADP) enhances platelet activation by virtually any other stimulant to complete aggregation. It binds specifically to the G-protein–coupled membrane receptors P2Y1 and P2Y12, stimulating intracellular signaling cascades, leading to integrin αIIbβ3 activation, a process antagonized by endothelial prostacyclin. P2Y12 inhibitors are among the most successful antiplatelet drugs, however, show remarkable variability in efficacy. We reasoned whether a more detailed molecular understanding of ADP-induced protein phosphorylation could identify (1) critical hubs in platelet signaling toward aggregation and (2) novel molecular targets for antiplatelet treatment strategies. We applied quantitative temporal phosphoproteomics to study ADP-mediated signaling at unprecedented molecular resolution. Furthermore, to mimic the antagonistic efficacy of endothelial-derived prostacyclin, we determined how Iloprost reverses ADP-mediated signaling events. We provide temporal profiles of 4797 phosphopeptides, 608 of which showed significant regulation. Regulated proteins are implicated in well-known activating functions such as degranulation and cytoskeletal reorganization, but also in less well-understood pathways, involving ubiquitin ligases and GTPase exchange factors/GTPase-activating proteins (GEF/GAP). Our data demonstrate that ADP-triggered phosphorylation occurs predominantly within the first 10 seconds, with many short rather than sustained changes. For a set of phosphorylation sites (eg, PDE3ASer312, CALDAG-GEFISer587, ENSASer109), we demonstrate an inverse regulation by ADP and Iloprost, suggesting that these are central modulators of platelet homeostasis. This study demonstrates an extensive spectrum of human platelet protein phosphorylation in response to ADP and Iloprost, which inversely overlap and represent major activating and inhibitory pathways. PMID:28060719

  20. Cingulate seizure-like activity reveals neuronal avalanche regulated by network excitability and thalamic inputs

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Cortical neurons display network-level dynamics with unique spatiotemporal patterns that construct the backbone of processing information signals and contribute to higher functions. Recent years have seen a wealth of research on the characteristics of neuronal networks that are sufficient conditions to activate or cease network functions. Local field potentials (LFPs) exhibit a scale-free and unique event size distribution (i.e., a neuronal avalanche) that has been proven in the cortex across species, including mice, rats, and humans, and may be used as an index of cortical excitability. In the present study, we induced seizure activity in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) with medial thalamic inputs and evaluated the impact of cortical excitability and thalamic inputs on network-level dynamics. We measured LFPs from multi-electrode recordings in mouse cortical slices and isoflurane-anesthetized rats. Results The ACC activity exhibited a neuronal avalanche with regard to avalanche size distribution, and the slope of the power-law distribution of the neuronal avalanche reflected network excitability in vitro and in vivo. We found that the slope of the neuronal avalanche in seizure-like activity significantly correlated with cortical excitability induced by γ-aminobutyric acid system manipulation. The thalamic inputs desynchronized cingulate seizures and affected the level of cortical excitability, the modulation of which could be determined by the slope of the avalanche size. Conclusions We propose that the neuronal avalanche may be a tool for analyzing cortical activity through LFPs to determine alterations in network dynamics. PMID:24387299

  1. Extensive hydrothermal activity revealed by multi-tracer survey in the Wallis and Futuna region (SW Pacific)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konn, C.; Fourré, E.; Jean-Baptiste, P.; Donval, J. P.; Guyader, V.; Birot, D.; Alix, A. S.; Gaillot, A.; Perez, F.; Dapoigny, A.; Pelleter, E.; Resing, J. A.; Charlou, J. L.; Fouquet, Y.

    2016-10-01

    The study area is close to the Wallis and Futuna Islands in the French EEZ. It exists on the western boundary of the fastest tectonic area in the world at the junction of the Lau and North-Fiji basins. At this place, the unstable back-arc accommodates the plate motion in three ways: (i) the north Fiji transform fault, (ii) numerous unstable spreading ridges, and (iii) large areas of recent volcanic activity. This instability creates bountiful opportunity for hydrothermal discharge to occur. Based on geochemical (CH4, TDM, 3He) and geophysical (nephelometry) tracer surveys: (1) no hydrothermal activity could be found on the Futuna Spreading Centre (FSC) which sets the western limit of hydrothermal activity; (2) four distinct hydrothermal active areas were identified: Kulo Lasi Caldera, Amanaki Volcano, Fatu Kapa and Tasi Tulo areas; (3) extensive and diverse hydrothermal manifestations were observed and especially a 2D distribution of the sources. At Kulo Lasi, our data and especially tracer ratios (CH4/3He 50×106 and CH4/TDM 4.5) reveal a transient CH4 input, with elevated levels of CH4 measured in 2010, that had vanished in 2011, most likely caused by an eruptive magmatic event. By contrast at Amanaki, vertical tracer profiles and tracer ratios point to typical seawater/basalt interactions. Fatu Kapa is characterised by a substantial spatial variability of the hydrothermal water column anomalies, most likely due to widespread focused and diffuse hydrothermal discharge in the area. In the Tasi Tulo zone, the hydrothermal signal is characterised by a total lack of turbidity, although other tracer anomalies are in the same range as in nearby Fatu Kapa. The background data set revealed the presence of a Mn and 3He chronic plume due to the extensive and cumulative venting over the entire area. To that respect, we believe that the joined domain composed of our active area and the nearby active area discovered in the East by Lupton et al. (2012) highly contribute to the

  2. Transcriptional profiling of Chinese medicinal formula Si-Wu-Tang on breast cancer cells reveals phytoestrogenic activity

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Si-Wu-Tang (SWT), comprising the combination of four herbs, Paeoniae, Angelicae, Chuanxiong and Rehmanniae, is one of the most popular traditional oriental medicines for women’s diseases. In our previous study, the microarray gene expression profiles of SWT on breast cancer cell line MCF-7 were found similar to the effect of β-estradiol (E2) on MCF-7 cells in the Connectivity Map database. Methods Further data analysis was conducted to find the main similarities and differences between the effects of SWT and E2 on MCF-7 gene expression. The cell proliferation assay on MCF-7 (ER-positive) and MDA-MB-231 (ER-negative) cells were used to examine such estrogenic activity. The estrogenic potency of SWT was further confirmed by estrogen-responsive element (ERE) luciferase reporter assay in MCF-7 cells. Results Many estrogen regulated genes strongly up-regulated by E2 were similarly up-regulated by SWT, e.g., GREB1, PGR and EGR3. Of interest with regard to safety of SWT, the oncogenes MYBL1 and RET were strongly induced by E2 but not by SWT. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis revealed a highly concordant expression change in selected genes with data obtained by microarrays. Further supporting SWT’s estrogenic activity, in MCF-7 but not in MDA-MB-231 cells, SWT stimulated cell growth at lower concentrations (< 3.0 mg/ml), while at high concentrations, it inhibits the growth of both cell lines. The growth inhibitory potency of SWT was significantly higher in MDA-MB-231 than in MCF-7 cells. The SWT-induced cell growth of MCF-7 could be blocked by addition of the estrogen receptor antagonist tamoxifen. In addition, SWT was able to activate the ERE activity at lower concentrations. The herbal components Angelicae, Chuanxiong and Rehmanniae at lower concentrations (< 3.0 mg/ml) also showed growth-inducing and ERE-activating activity in MCF-7 cells. Conclusions These results revealed a new mechanism to support the clinical use of SWT for estrogen related diseases

  3. A significant increase in both basal and maximal calcineurin activity following fluid percussion injury in the rat.

    PubMed

    Kurz, Jonathan E; Parsons, J Travis; Rana, Aniruddha; Gibson, Cynthia J; Hamm, Robert J; Churn, Severn B

    2005-04-01

    Calcineurin, a neuronally enriched, calcium-stimulated phosphatase, is an important modulator of many neuronal processes, including several that are physiologically related to the pathology of traumatic brain injury. This study examined the effects of moderate, central fluid percussion injury on the activity of this important neuronal enzyme. Animals were sacrificed at several time-points postinjury and cortical, hippocampal, and cerebellar homogenates were assayed for calcineurin activity by dephosphorylation of p-nitrophenol phosphate. A significant brain injury-dependent increase was observed in both hippocampal and cortical homogenates under both basal and maximally-stimulated reaction conditions. This increase persisted 2-3 weeks post-injury. Brain injury did not alter substrate affinity, but did induce a significant increase in the apparent maximal dephosphorylation rate. Unlike the other brain regions, no change in calcineurin activity was observed in the cerebellum following brain injury. No brain region tested displayed a significant change in calcineurin enzyme levels as determined by Western blot, demonstrating that increased enzyme synthesis was not responsible for the observed increase in activity. The data support the conclusion that fluid percussion injury results in increased calcineurin activity in the rat forebrain. This increased activity has broad physiological implications, possibly resulting in altered cellular excitability or a greater likelihood of neuronal cell death.

  4. Early Category-Specific Cortical Activation Revealed by Visual Stimulus Inversion

    PubMed Central

    Meeren, Hanneke K. M.; Hadjikhani, Nouchine; Ahlfors, Seppo P.; Hämäläinen, Matti S.; de Gelder, Beatrice

    2008-01-01

    Visual categorization may already start within the first 100-ms after stimulus onset, in contrast with the long-held view that during this early stage all complex stimuli are processed equally and that category-specific cortical activation occurs only at later stages. The neural basis of this proposed early stage of high-level analysis is however poorly understood. To address this question we used magnetoencephalography and anatomically-constrained distributed source modeling to monitor brain activity with millisecond-resolution while subjects performed an orientation task on the upright and upside-down presented images of three different stimulus categories: faces, houses and bodies. Significant inversion effects were found for all three stimulus categories between 70–100-ms after picture onset with a highly category-specific cortical distribution. Differential responses between upright and inverted faces were found in well-established face-selective areas of the inferior occipital cortex and right fusiform gyrus. In addition, early category-specific inversion effects were found well beyond visual areas. Our results provide the first direct evidence that category-specific processing in high-level category-sensitive cortical areas already takes place within the first 100-ms of visual processing, significantly earlier than previously thought, and suggests the existence of fast category-specific neocortical routes in the human brain. PMID:18946504

  5. Analysis of a triple testcross design with recombinant inbred lines reveals a significant role of epistasis in heterosis for biomass-related traits in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Kusterer, Barbara; Muminovic, Jasmina; Utz, H Friedrich; Piepho, Hans-Peter; Barth, Susanne; Heckenberger, Martin; Meyer, Rhonda C; Altmann, Thomas; Melchinger, Albrecht E

    2007-04-01

    Primary causes of heterosis are still unknown. Our goal was to investigate the extent and underlying genetic causes of heterosis for five biomass-related traits in Arabidopsis thaliana. We (i) investigated the relative contribution of dominance and epistatic effects to heterosis in the hybrid C24 x Col-0 by generation means analysis and estimates of variance components based on a triple testcross (TTC) design with recombinant inbred lines (RILs), (ii) estimated the average degree of dominance, and (iii) examined the importance of reciprocal and maternal effects in this cross. In total, 234 RILs were crossed to parental lines and their F1's. Midparent heterosis (MPH) was high for rosette diameter at 22 days after sowing (DAS) and 29 DAS, growth rate (GR), and biomass yield (BY). Using the F2-metric, directional dominance prevailed for the majority of traits studied but reciprocal and maternal effects were not significant. Additive and dominance variances were significant for all traits. Additive x additive and dominance x dominance variances were significant for all traits but GR. We conclude that dominance as well as digenic and possibly higher-order epistatic effects play an important role in heterosis for biomass-related traits. Our results encourage the use of Arabidopsis hybrid C24 x Col-0 for identification and description of quantitative trait loci (QTL) for heterosis for biomass-related traits and further genomic studies.

  6. Allosteric Nanobodies Reveal the Dynamic Range and Diverse Mechanisms of GPCR Activation

    PubMed Central

    Staus, Dean P; Strachan, Ryan T; Manglik, Aashish; Pani, Biswaranjan; Kahsai, Alem W; Kim, Tae Hun; Wingler, Laura M; Ahn, Seungkirl; Chatterjee, Arnab; Masoudi, Ali; Kruse, Andrew C; Pardon, Els; Steyaert, Jan; Weis, William I; Prosser, R. Scott; Kobilka, Brian K; Costa, Tommaso; Lefkowitz, Robert J

    2016-01-01

    G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) modulate many physiological processes by transducing a variety of extracellular cues into intracellular responses. Ligand binding to an extracellular orthosteric pocket propagates conformational change to the receptor cytosolic region to promote binding and activation of downstream signaling effectors such as G proteins and β-arrestins. It is widely appreciated that different agonists can share the same binding pocket but evoke unique receptor conformations leading to a wide range of downstream responses (i.e., ‘efficacy’)1. Furthermore, mounting biophysical evidence, primarily using the β-adrenergic receptor (β2AR) as a model system, supports the existence of multiple active and inactive conformational states2–5. However, how agonists with varying efficacy modulate these receptor states to initiate cellular responses is not well understood. Here we report stabilization of two distinct β2AR conformations using single domain camelid antibodies (nanobodies): a previously described positive allosteric nanobody (Nb80) and a newly identified negative allosteric nanobody (Nb60)6,7. We show that Nb60 stabilizes a previously unappreciated low affinity receptor state which corresponds to one of two inactive receptor conformations as delineated by X-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy. We find that the agonist isoproterenol has a 15,000-fold higher affinity for the β2AR in the presence of Nb80 compared to Nb60, highlighting the full allosteric range of a GPCR. Assessing the binding of 17 ligands of varying efficacy to the β2AR in the absence and presence of Nb60 or Nb80 reveals large ligand-specific effects that can only be explained using an allosteric model which assumes equilibrium amongst at least three receptor states. Agonists generally exert efficacy by stabilizing the active Nb80-stabilized receptor state (R80). In contrast, for a number of partial agonists, both stabilization of R80 and destabilization of the

  7. Substrate-binding specificity of chitinase and chitosanase as revealed by active-site architecture analysis.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shijia; Shao, Shangjin; Li, Linlin; Cheng, Zhi; Tian, Li; Gao, Peiji; Wang, Lushan

    2015-12-11

    Chitinases and chitosanases, referred to as chitinolytic enzymes, are two important categories of glycoside hydrolases (GH) that play a key role in degrading chitin and chitosan, two naturally abundant polysaccharides. Here, we investigate the active site architecture of the major chitosanase (GH8, GH46) and chitinase families (GH18, GH19). Both charged (Glu, His, Arg, Asp) and aromatic amino acids (Tyr, Trp, Phe) are observed with higher frequency within chitinolytic active sites as compared to elsewhere in the enzyme structure, indicating significant roles related to enzyme function. Hydrogen bonds between chitinolytic enzymes and the substrate C2 functional groups, i.e. amino groups and N-acetyl groups, drive substrate recognition, while non-specific CH-π interactions between aromatic residues and substrate mainly contribute to tighter binding and enhanced processivity evident in GH8 and GH18 enzymes. For different families of chitinolytic enzymes, the number, type, and position of substrate atoms bound in the active site vary, resulting in different substrate-binding specificities. The data presented here explain the synergistic action of multiple enzyme families at a molecular level and provide a more reasonable method for functional annotation, which can be further applied toward the practical engineering of chitinases and chitosanases.

  8. A Rodent Model of Schizophrenia Reveals Increase in Creatine Kinase Activity with Associated Behavior Changes

    PubMed Central

    Canever, Leila; Oliveira, Larissa; de Luca, Renata D'Altoé; Correa, Paulo T. F.; Fraga, Daiane de B.; Matos, Maria Paula; Scaini, Giselli; Quevedo, João; Streck, Emílio L.; Zugno, Alexandra I.

    2010-01-01

    Schizophrenia is a debilitating mental disorder characterized by positive (delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech) and negative (affective flattering, avolition and social withdrawal) symptoms as well as cognitive deficits. The frequency, severity and topography characterize the disorder as heterogeneous, the pathophysiology of schizophrenia is poorly understood. Sub-anesthetic doses of ketamine produce hyperactivity, stereotypy and abnormal social interaction and it is used as a model of schizophrenia. In this study, we induced an animal model by acute sub-anesthetic doses of ketamine and tested different behavioral parameters. We also evaluated the activity of creatine kinase (CK) in brain of rats treated with ketamine. Our results demonstrated that administration of 10, 25 and 50 mg/kg of ketamine induced an increase of covered distance in habituated and non-habituated rats to the behavioral apparatus. Ketamine administration induced significant social deficits and stereotypic behavioral in all doses tested. Finally we evaluated the effect of different doses of ketamine on creatinine kinase (CK) activity and we observed that CK activity is increased inspecific regions of the brain. Our study suggests that our animal model may be used as a model of schizophrenia and that cerebral energy metabolism might be altered in the brain of schizophrenic patients, probably leading to alterations that might be involved in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. PMID:21270541

  9. Active nucleosome positioning beyond intrinsic biophysics is revealed by in vitro reconstitution.

    PubMed

    Korber, Philipp

    2012-04-01

    Genome-wide nucleosome maps revealed well-positioned nucleosomes as a major theme in eukaryotic genome organization. Promoter regions often show a conserved pattern with an NDR (nucleosome-depleted region) from which regular nucleosomal arrays emanate. Three mechanistic contributions to such NDR-array-organization and nucleosome positioning in general are discussed: DNA sequence, DNA binders and DNA-templated processes. Especially, intrinsic biophysics of DNA sequence preferences for nucleosome formation was prominently suggested to explain the majority of nucleosome positions ('genomic code for nucleosome positioning'). Nonetheless, non-histone factors that bind DNA with high or low specificity, such as transcription factors or remodelling enzymes respectively and processes such as replication, transcription and the so-called 'statistical positioning' may be involved too. Recently, these models were tested for yeast by genome-wide reconstitution. DNA sequence preferences as probed by SGD (salt gradient dialysis) reconstitution generated many NDRs, but only few individual nucleosomes, at their proper positions, and no arrays. Addition of a yeast extract and ATP led to dramatically more in vivo-like nucleosome positioning, including regular arrays for the first time. This improvement depended essentially on the extract and ATP but not on transcription or replication. Nucleosome occupancy and close spacing were maintained around promoters, even at lower histone density, arguing for active packing of nucleosomes against the 5' ends of genes rather than statistical positioning. A first extract fractionation identified a direct, specific, necessary, but not sufficient role for the RSC (remodels the structure of chromatin) remodelling enzyme. Collectively, nucleosome positioning in yeast is actively determined by factors beyond intrinsic biophysics, and in steady-state rather than at equilibrium.

  10. A Link between ORC-Origin Binding Mechanisms and Origin Activation Time Revealed in Budding Yeast

    PubMed Central

    Hoggard, Timothy; Shor, Erika; Müller, Carolin A.; Nieduszynski, Conrad A.; Fox, Catherine A.

    2013-01-01

    Eukaryotic DNA replication origins are selected in G1-phase when the origin recognition complex (ORC) binds chromosomal positions and triggers molecular events culminating in the initiation of DNA replication (a.k.a. origin firing) during S-phase. Each chromosome uses multiple origins for its duplication, and each origin fires at a characteristic time during S-phase, creating a cell-type specific genome replication pattern relevant to differentiation and genome stability. It is unclear whether ORC-origin interactions are relevant to origin activation time. We applied a novel genome-wide strategy to classify origins in the model eukaryote Saccharomyces cerevisiae based on the types of molecular interactions used for ORC-origin binding. Specifically, origins were classified as DNA-dependent when the strength of ORC-origin binding in vivo could be explained by the affinity of ORC for origin DNA in vitro, and, conversely, as ‘chromatin-dependent’ when the ORC-DNA interaction in vitro was insufficient to explain the strength of ORC-origin binding in vivo. These two origin classes differed in terms of nucleosome architecture and dependence on origin-flanking sequences in plasmid replication assays, consistent with local features of chromatin promoting ORC binding at ‘chromatin-dependent’ origins. Finally, the ‘chromatin-dependent’ class was enriched for origins that fire early in S-phase, while the DNA-dependent class was enriched for later firing origins. Conversely, the latest firing origins showed a positive association with the ORC-origin DNA paradigm for normal levels of ORC binding, whereas the earliest firing origins did not. These data reveal a novel association between ORC-origin binding mechanisms and the regulation of origin activation time. PMID:24068963

  11. Pomalidomide shows significant therapeutic activity against CNS lymphoma with a major impact on the tumor microenvironment in murine models.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhimin; Qiu, Yushi; Personett, David; Huang, Peng; Edenfield, Brandy; Katz, Jason; Babusis, Darius; Tang, Yang; Shirely, Michael A; Moghaddam, Mehran F; Copland, John A; Tun, Han W

    2013-01-01

    Primary CNS lymphoma carries a poor prognosis. Novel therapeutic agents are urgently needed. Pomalidomide (POM) is a novel immunomodulatory drug with anti-lymphoma activity. CNS pharmacokinetic analysis was performed in rats to assess the CNS penetration of POM. Preclinical evaluation of POM was performed in two murine models to assess its therapeutic activity against CNS lymphoma. The impact of POM on the CNS lymphoma immune microenvironment was evaluated by immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence. In vitro cell culture experiments were carried out to further investigate the impact of POM on the biology of macrophages. POM crosses the blood brain barrier with CNS penetration of ~ 39%. Preclinical evaluations showed that it had significant therapeutic activity against CNS lymphoma with significant reduction in tumor growth rate and prolongation of survival, that it had a major impact on the tumor microenvironment with an increase in macrophages and natural killer cells, and that it decreased M2-polarized tumor-associated macrophages and increased M1-polarized macrophages when macrophages were evaluated based on polarization status. In vitro studies using various macrophage models showed that POM converted the polarization status of IL4-stimulated macrophages from M2 to M1, that M2 to M1 conversion by POM in the polarization status of lymphoma-associated macrophages is dependent on the presence of NK cells, that POM induced M2 to M1 conversion in the polarization of macrophages by inactivating STAT6 signaling and activating STAT1 signaling, and that POM functionally increased the phagocytic activity of macrophages. Based on our findings, POM is a promising therapeutic agent for CNS lymphoma with excellent CNS penetration, significant preclinical therapeutic activity, and a major impact on the tumor microenvironment. It can induce significant biological changes in tumor-associated macrophages, which likely play a major role in its therapeutic activity against CNS

  12. Detailed investigation of the microbial community in foaming activated sludge reveals novel foam formers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Feng; Wang, Zhi-Ping; Yu, Ke; Zhang, T.

    2015-01-01

    Foaming of activated sludge (AS) causes adverse impacts on wastewater treatment operation and hygiene. In this study, we investigated the microbial communities of foam, foaming AS and non-foaming AS in a sewage treatment plant via deep-sequencing of the taxonomic marker genes 16S rRNA and mycobacterial rpoB and a metagenomic approach. In addition to Actinobacteria, many genera (e.g., Clostridium XI, Arcobacter, Flavobacterium) were more abundant in the foam than in the AS. On the other hand, deep-sequencing of rpoB did not detect any obligate pathogenic mycobacteria in the foam. We found that unknown factors other than the abundance of Gordonia sp. could determine the foaming process, because abundance of the same species was stable before and after a foaming event over six months. More interestingly, although the dominant Gordonia foam former was the closest with G. amarae, it was identified as an undescribed Gordonia species by referring to the 16S rRNA gene, gyrB and, most convincingly, the reconstructed draft genome from metagenomic reads. Our results, based on metagenomics and deep sequencing, reveal that foams are derived from diverse taxa, which expands previous understanding and provides new insight into the underlying complications of the foaming phenomenon in AS.

  13. Genome-wide analysis of LXRα activation reveals new transcriptional networks in human atherosclerotic foam cells.

    PubMed

    Feldmann, Radmila; Fischer, Cornelius; Kodelja, Vitam; Behrens, Sarah; Haas, Stefan; Vingron, Martin; Timmermann, Bernd; Geikowski, Anne; Sauer, Sascha

    2013-04-01

    Increased physiological levels of oxysterols are major risk factors for developing atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. Lipid-loaded macrophages, termed foam cells, are important during the early development of atherosclerotic plaques. To pursue the hypothesis that ligand-based modulation of the nuclear receptor LXRα is crucial for cell homeostasis during atherosclerotic processes, we analysed genome-wide the action of LXRα in foam cells and macrophages. By integrating chromatin immunoprecipitation-sequencing (ChIP-seq) and gene expression profile analyses, we generated a highly stringent set of 186 LXRα target genes. Treatment with the nanomolar-binding ligand T0901317 and subsequent auto-regulatory LXRα activation resulted in sequence-dependent sharpening of the genome-binding patterns of LXRα. LXRα-binding loci that correlated with differential gene expression revealed 32 novel target genes with potential beneficial effects, which in part explained the implications of disease-associated genetic variation data. These observations identified highly integrated LXRα ligand-dependent transcriptional networks, including the APOE/C1/C4/C2-gene cluster, which contribute to the reversal of cholesterol efflux and the dampening of inflammation processes in foam cells to prevent atherogenesis.

  14. Chlorophyll a fluorescence lifetime reveals reversible UV-induced photosynthetic activity in the green algae Tetraselmis.

    PubMed

    Kristoffersen, Arne S; Hamre, Børge; Frette, Øyvind; Erga, Svein R

    2016-04-01

    The fluorescence lifetime is a very useful parameter for investigating biological materials on the molecular level as it is mostly independent of the fluorophore concentration. The green alga Tetraselmis blooms in summer, and therefore its response to UV irradiation is of particular interest. In vivo fluorescence lifetimes of chlorophyll a were measured under both normal and UV-stressed conditions of Tetraselmis. Fluorescence was induced by two-photon excitation using a femtosecond laser and laser scanning microscope. The lifetimes were measured in the time domain by time-correlated single-photon counting. Under normal conditions, the fluorescence lifetime was 262 ps, while after 2 h of exposure to UV radiation the lifetime increased to 389 ps, indicating decreased photochemical quenching, likely caused by a damaged and down-regulated photosynthetic apparatus. This was supported by a similar increase in the lifetime to 425 ps when inhibiting photosynthesis chemically using DCMU. Furthermore, the UV-stressed sample was dark-adapted overnight, resulting in a return of the lifetime to 280 ps, revealing that the damage caused by UV radiation is repairable on a relatively short time scale. This reversal of photosynthetic activity was also confirmed by [Formula: see text] measurements.

  15. Ribosome•RelA structures reveal the mechanism of stringent response activation

    PubMed Central

    Loveland, Anna B; Bah, Eugene; Madireddy, Rohini; Zhang, Ying; Brilot, Axel F; Grigorieff, Nikolaus; Korostelev, Andrei A

    2016-01-01

    Stringent response is a conserved bacterial stress response underlying virulence and antibiotic resistance. RelA/SpoT-homolog proteins synthesize transcriptional modulators (p)ppGpp, allowing bacteria to adapt to stress. RelA is activated during amino-acid starvation, when cognate deacyl-tRNA binds to the ribosomal A (aminoacyl-tRNA) site. We report four cryo-EM structures of E. coli RelA bound to the 70S ribosome, in the absence and presence of deacyl-tRNA accommodating in the 30S A site. The boomerang-shaped RelA with a wingspan of more than 100 Å wraps around the A/R (30S A-site/RelA-bound) tRNA. The CCA end of the A/R tRNA pins the central TGS domain against the 30S subunit, presenting the (p)ppGpp-synthetase domain near the 30S spur. The ribosome and A/R tRNA are captured in three conformations, revealing hitherto elusive states of tRNA engagement with the ribosomal decoding center. Decoding-center rearrangements are coupled with the step-wise 30S-subunit 'closure', providing insights into the dynamics of high-fidelity tRNA decoding. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.17029.001 PMID:27434674

  16. Detailed investigation of the microbial community in foaming activated sludge reveals novel foam formers

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Feng; Wang, Zhi-Ping; Yu, Ke; Zhang, T.

    2015-01-01

    Foaming of activated sludge (AS) causes adverse impacts on wastewater treatment operation and hygiene. In this study, we investigated the microbial communities of foam, foaming AS and non-foaming AS in a sewage treatment plant via deep-sequencing of the taxonomic marker genes 16S rRNA and mycobacterial rpoB and a metagenomic approach. In addition to Actinobacteria, many genera (e.g., Clostridium XI, Arcobacter, Flavobacterium) were more abundant in the foam than in the AS. On the other hand, deep-sequencing of rpoB did not detect any obligate pathogenic mycobacteria in the foam. We found that unknown factors other than the abundance of Gordonia sp. could determine the foaming process, because abundance of the same species was stable before and after a foaming event over six months. More interestingly, although the dominant Gordonia foam former was the closest with G. amarae, it was identified as an undescribed Gordonia species by referring to the 16S rRNA gene, gyrB and, most convincingly, the reconstructed draft genome from metagenomic reads. Our results, based on metagenomics and deep sequencing, reveal that foams are derived from diverse taxa, which expands previous understanding and provides new insight into the underlying complications of the foaming phenomenon in AS. PMID:25560234

  17. Revealing a new activity of the human Dicer DUF283 domain in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Kurzynska-Kokorniak, Anna; Pokornowska, Maria; Koralewska, Natalia; Hoffmann, Weronika; Bienkowska-Szewczyk, Krystyna; Figlerowicz, Marek

    2016-01-01

    The ribonuclease Dicer is a multidomain enzyme that plays a fundamental role in the biogenesis of small regulatory RNAs (srRNAs), which control gene expression by targeting complementary transcripts and inducing their cleavage or repressing their translation. Recent studies of Dicer’s domains have permitted to propose their roles in srRNA biogenesis. For all of Dicer’s domains except one, called DUF283 (domain of unknown function), their involvement in RNA substrate recognition, binding or cleavage has been postulated. For DUF283, the interaction with Dicer’s protein partners has been the only function suggested thus far. In this report, we demonstrate that the isolated DUF283 domain from human Dicer is capable of binding single-stranded nucleic acids in vitro. We also show that DUF283 can act as a nucleic acid annealer that accelerates base-pairing between complementary RNA/DNA molecules in vitro. We further demonstrate an annealing activity of full length human Dicer. The overall results suggest that Dicer, presumably through its DUF283 domain, might facilitate hybridization between short RNAs and their targets. The presented findings reveal the complex nature of Dicer, whose functions may extend beyond the biogenesis of srRNAs. PMID:27045313

  18. Geometric morphometric analysis of Colombian Anopheles albimanus (Diptera: Culicidae) reveals significant effect of environmental factors on wing traits and presence of a metapopulation.

    PubMed

    Gómez, Giovan F; Márquez, Edna J; Gutiérrez, Lina A; Conn, Jan E; Correa, Margarita M

    2014-07-01

    Anopheles albimanus is a major malaria mosquito vector in Colombia. In the present study, wing variability (size and shape) in An. albimanus populations from Colombian Maracaibo and Chocó bio-geographical eco-regions and the relationship of these phenotypic traits with environmental factors were evaluated. Microsatellite and morphometric data facilitated a comparison of the genetic and phenetic structure of this species. Wing size was influenced by elevation and relative humidity, whereas wing shape was affected by these two variables and also by rainfall, latitude, temperature and eco-region. Significant differences in mean shape between populations and eco-regions were detected, but they were smaller than those at the intra-population level. Correct assignment based on wing shape was low at the population level (<58%) and only slightly higher (>70%) at the eco-regional level, supporting the low population structure inferred from microsatellite data. Wing size was similar among populations with no significant differences between eco-regions. Population relationships in the genetic tree did not agree with those from the morphometric data; however, both datasets consistently reinforced a panmictic population of An. albimanus. Overall, site-specific population differentiation is not strongly supported by wing traits or genotypic data. We hypothesize that the metapopulation structure of An. albimanus throughout these Colombian eco-regions is favoring plasticity in wing traits, a relevant characteristic of species living under variable environmental conditions and colonizing new habitats.

  19. Genome-wide indel/SSR scanning reveals significant loci associated with excellent agronomic traits of a cabbage (Brassica oleracea) elite parental line ‘01–20’

    PubMed Central

    Lv, Honghao; Wang, Qingbiao; Han, Fengqing; Liu, Xing; Fang, Zhiyuan; Yang, Limei; Zhuang, Mu; Liu, Yumei; Li, Zhansheng; Zhang, Yangyong

    2017-01-01

    Elite parental lines are of great significance to crop breeding. To discover unique genomic loci associated with excellent economic traits in the elite cabbage inbred-line ‘01–20’, we performed comparisons of phenotypes as well as whole-genome insertion-deletion/simple sequence repeat loci between ‘01–20’ and each of its five sister lines. ‘01–20’ has a range of excellent agronomic traits, including early-maturing, and improvements in plant type and leaf colour. Eight unique loci were discovered for ‘01–20’ and ‘01-07-258’, another elite line similar to ‘01–20’ at the whole-genome level. In addition, two excellent double-haploid lines derived from a cross of ‘01–20’ also inherited these loci. Based on the quantitative trait locus association results, five of these loci were found to be associated with important agronomic traits, which could explain why the elite parent ‘01–20’ possesses greener outer leaves, a more compact and upright plant-type, rounder head, shorter core length, and better taste. Additionally, some of these loci have clustering effects for quantitative trait loci associated with different traits; therefore, important genes in these regions were analysed. The obtained results should enable marker-assisted multi-trait selection at the whole-genome level in cabbage breeding and provide insights into significant genome loci and their breeding effects. PMID:28164997

  20. Geometric morphometric analysis of Colombian Anopheles albimanus (Diptera: Culicidae) reveals significant effect of environmental factors on wing traits and presence of a metapopulation

    PubMed Central

    Gómez, Giovan F.; Márquez, Edna J.; Gutiérrez, Lina A.; Conn, Jan E.; Correa, Margarita M.

    2015-01-01

    Anopheles albimanus is a major malaria mosquito vector in Colombia. In the present study, wing variability (size and shape) in An. albimanus populations from Colombian Maracaibo and Chocó bio-geographical eco-regions and the relationship of these phenotypic traits with environmental factors were evaluated. Microsatellite and morphometric data facilitated a comparison of the genetic and phenetic structure of this species. Wing size was influenced by elevation and relative humidity, whereas wing shape was affected by these two variables and also by rainfall, latitude, temperature and eco-region. Significant differences in mean shape between populations and eco-regions were detected, but they were smaller than those at the intra-population level. Correct assignment based on wing shape was low at the population level (<58%) and only slightly higher (>70%) at the eco-regional level, supporting the low population structure inferred from microsatellite data. Wing size was similar among populations with no significant differences between eco-regions. Population relationships in the genetic tree did not agree with those from the morphometric data; however, both datasets consistently reinforced a panmictic population of An. albimanus. Overall, site-specific population differentiation is not strongly supported by wing traits or genotypic data. We hypothesize that the metapopulation structure of An. albimanus throughout these Colombian eco-regions is favoring plasticity in wing traits, a relevant characteristic of species living under variable environmental conditions and colonizing new habitats. PMID:24704285

  1. Bovine Teat Microbiome Analysis Revealed Reduced Alpha Diversity and Significant Changes in Taxonomic Profiles in Quarters with a History of Mastitis

    PubMed Central

    Falentin, Hélène; Rault, Lucie; Nicolas, Aurélie; Bouchard, Damien S.; Lassalas, Jacques; Lamberton, Philippe; Aubry, Jean-Marc; Marnet, Pierre-Guy; Le Loir, Yves; Even, Sergine

    2016-01-01

    Mastitis is a mammary gland inflammatory disease often due to bacterial infections. Like many other infections, it used to be considered as a host-pathogen interaction driven by host and bacterial determinants. Until now, the involvement of the bovine mammary gland microbiota in the host-pathogen interaction has been poorly investigated, and mainly during the infectious episode. In this study, the bovine teat microbiome was investigated in 31 quarters corresponding to 27 animals, which were all free of inflammation at sampling time but which had different histories regarding mastitis: from no episode of mastitis on all the previous lactations (Healthy quarter, Hq) to one or several clinical mastitis events (Mastitic quarter, Mq). Several quarters whose status was unclear (possible history of subclinical mastitis) were classified as NDq. Total bacterial DNA was extracted from foremilk samples and swab samples of the teat canal. Taxonomic profiles were determined by pyrosequencing on 16s amplicons of the V3-4 region. Hq quarters showed a higher diversity compared to Mq ones (Shannon index: ~8 and 6, respectively). Clustering of the quarters based on their bacterial composition made it possible to separate Mq and Hq quarters into two separate clusters (C1 and C2, respectively). Discriminant analysis of taxonomic profiles between these clusters revealed several differences and allowed the identification of taxonomic markers in relation to mastitis history. C2 quarters were associated with a higher proportion of the Clostridia class (including genera such as Ruminococcus, Oscillospira, Roseburia, Dorea, etc.), the Bacteroidetes phylum (Prevotella, Bacteroides, Paludibacter, etc.), and the Bifidobacteriales order (Bifidobacterium), whereas C1 quarters showed a higher proportion of the Bacilli class (Staphylococcus) and Chlamydiia class. These results indicate that microbiota is altered in udders which have already developed mastitis, even far from the infectious episode

  2. Stability of active mantle upwelling revealed by net characteristics of plate tectonics.

    PubMed

    Conrad, Clinton P; Steinberger, Bernhard; Torsvik, Trond H

    2013-06-27

    Viscous convection within the mantle is linked to tectonic plate motions and deforms Earth's surface across wide areas. Such close links between surface geology and deep mantle dynamics presumably operated throughout Earth's history, but are difficult to investigate for past times because the history of mantle flow is poorly known. Here we show that the time dependence of global-scale mantle flow can be deduced from the net behaviour of surface plate motions. In particular, we tracked the geographic locations of net convergence and divergence for harmonic degrees 1 and 2 by computing the dipole and quadrupole moments of plate motions from tectonic reconstructions extended back to the early Mesozoic era. For present-day plate motions, we find dipole convergence in eastern Asia and quadrupole divergence in both central Africa and the central Pacific. These orientations are nearly identical to the dipole and quadrupole orientations of underlying mantle flow, which indicates that these 'net characteristics' of plate motions reveal deeper flow patterns. The positions of quadrupole divergence have not moved significantly during the past 250 million years, which suggests long-term stability of mantle upwelling beneath Africa and the Pacific Ocean. These upwelling locations are positioned above two compositionally and seismologically distinct regions of the lowermost mantle, which may organize global mantle flow as they remain stationary over geologic time.

  3. A new dinucleotide repeat polymorphism at the telomere of chromosome 21q reveals a significant difference between male and female rates of recombination

    SciTech Connect

    Blouin, J.L.; Gos, A.; Morris, M.A.

    1995-08-01

    We have used a half-YAC containing the human chromosome 21 long-arm telomere to clone, map, and characterize a new dinucleotide repeat polymorphism (D21S1575) close to 21qter. The marker is <120 kb from the telomeric (TTAGGG){sub n} sequences and is the most distal highly polymorphic marker on chromosome 21q. This marker has a heterozygosity of 71% because of a variable (TA){sub n} repeat embedded within a long interspersed element (LINE) element. Genotyping of the CEPH families and linkage analysis provided a more accurate determination of the full length of the chromosome 21 genetic map. A highly significant difference was detected between male and female recombination rates in the telomeric region: in the most telomeric 2.3 Mb of chromosome 21q, recombination was only observed in male meioses. 35 refs., 4 figs., 2 tabs.

  4. Revealing the significance and polyphase tectonothermal evolution of a major metamorphic unit in an orogen: the central Sanandaj-Sirjan zone, Zagros Mts., Iran

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shakerardakani, Farzaneh; Neubauer, Franz; Genser, Johann; Liu, Xiaoming; Dong, Yunpeng; Monfaredi, Behzad; Benroider, Manfred; Finger, Fritz; Waitzinger, Michael

    2016-04-01

    The Dorud-Azna region in the central Sanandaj-Sirjan metamorphic belt plays a key role in promoting the tectonic evolution of Zagros orogen, within the frame of the Arabia-Eurasia collision zone. From footwall to hangingwall, structural data combined with the U-Pb zircon and extensive 40Ar-39Ar mineral dating survey demonstrate three metamorphosed tectonic units, which include: (1) The Triassic June complex is metamorphosed within greenschist facies conditions, overlain by (2) the amphibolite-grade metamorphic Galeh-Doz orthogneiss, which is intruded by mafic dykes, and (3) the Amphibolite-Metagabbro unit. To the east, these units were intruded by the Jurassic Darijune gabbro. We present U-Pb detrital zircon ages of a garnet-micaschist from the Amphibolite-Metagabbro unit, which yield six distinctive age groups, including a previously unrecognized Late Grenvillian age population at ~0.93 to 0.99 Ga. We speculate that this unique Late Grenvillian group coupled with biogeographic evidence suggests either relationship with the South China craton or to the "Gondwana superfan". The laser ablation ICP-MS U-Pb zircon ages of 608 ± 18 Ma and 588 ± 41 Ma of the granitic Galeh-Doz orthogneiss reveals a Panafrican basement same as known from the Yazd block of Central Iran. Geochemistry and Sr-Nd isotopes of alkaline and subalkaline mafic dykes within the Galeh-Doz orthogneiss show OIB-type to MORB-type and indicate involvement of both depleted and enriched sources for its genesis. The new 40Ar-39Ar amphibole age of ca. 322.2 ± 3.9 Ma from the alkaline mafic dyke implies Carboniferous cooling age after intrusion. The metagabbros (including the Dare-Hedavand metagabbro with a 206Pb/238U age of 314.6 ± 3.7 Ma) and amphibolites with E-MORB geochemical signature of the Amphibolite-Metagabbro unit represent an Upper Paleozoic rift. The geochemical composition of the Triassic greenschist facies metamorphosed June complex, implying formation in a same, but younger tectonic

  5. Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy reveals significant decline in the contents of N-acetylaspartylglutamate in the hippocampus of aged healthy subjects

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Ruiting; Zhu, Qingfeng; Song, Zhenhu; Wang, Ya

    2016-01-01

    Introduction To characterize the contents of choline (Cho), creatine (Cr) and N-acetylaspartylglutamate (NAA) in the hippocampus of healthy volunteers, we investigated the contents and their correlationship with age, gender and laterality. Material and methods Volunteers were grouped into a young, a middle and an old age. The Cho, Cr and NAA contents were determined with proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS), and the correlationship was analyzed with Pearson correlation Results The concentration of NAA in the bilateral hippocampi was markedly lower in the old than in the young and the middle (LSD test, all p < 0.025). Furthermore, NAA/Cr in the bilateral hippocampi head (left: 1.10 ±0.40 vs. 1.54 ±0.49 or 1.43 ±0.49; right: 1.04 ±0.42 vs. 1.35 ±0.40 or 1.30 ±0.42), region 1 of the bilateral hippocampal body (left: 1.24 ±0.53 vs. 1.58 ±0.58 or 1.35 ±0.44; right: 1.30 ±0.43 vs. 1.54 ±0.51 or 1.35 ±0.51) and region 2 of the left hippocampal body (1.21 ±0.32 vs. 1.46 ±0.36 or 1.36 ±0.44) and the left hippocampal tail (1.11 ±0.40 vs. 1.36 ±0.47 or 1.15 ±0.32) was significantly higher in the old than in the young and the middle, respectively (all p < 0.026). The NAA content in the bilateral hippocampal head, body and tail negatively correlated with age. Moreover, the NAA, Cho and Cr contents in the hippocampal body and the tail were higher in the right than the left. Conclusions The NAA content of the hippocampal head, body and tail were significantly decreased in the old compared with younger persons, and it negatively correlates with age. The NAA, Cho and Cr contents exhibit laterality in the hippocampal body and tail. PMID:28144264

  6. Expression and activity analysis reveal that heme oxygenase (decycling) 1 is associated with blue egg formation.

    PubMed

    Wang, Z P; Liu, R F; Wang, A R; Li, J Y; Deng, X M

    2011-04-01

    Biliverdin is responsible for the coloration of blue eggs and is secreted onto the eggshell by the shell gland. Previous studies confirmed that a significant difference exists in biliverdin content between blue eggs and brown eggs, although the reasons are still unknown. Because the pigment is derived from oxidative degradation of heme catalyzed by heme oxygenase (HO), this study compared heme oxygenase (decycling) 1 (HMOX1), the gene encoding HO expression and HO activity, in the shell glands of the Dongxiang blue-shelled chicken (n = 12) and the Dongxiang brown-shelled chicken (n = 12). Results showed that HMOX1 was highly expressed at the mRNA (1.58-fold; P < 0.05) and protein levels in blue-shelled chickens compared with brown-shelled chickens. At the functional level, blue-shelled chickens also showed 1.40-fold (P < 0.05) higher HO activity than brown-shelled chickens. To explore the reasons for the differential expression of HMOX1, an association study of 6 SNP capturing the majority of HMOX1 variants with the blue egg coloration was performed. Results showed no significant association between SNP and the blue egg coloration in HMOX1 (P > 0.05). Taken together, these results show that blue egg formation is associated with high expression of HMOX1 in the shell gland of Dongxiang blue-shelled chickens, and suggest that differential expression of HMOX1 in the 2 groups of chickens is most likely to arise from an alteration in the trans-acting factor.

  7. Shotgun metagenomic data reveals significant abundance but low diversity of "Candidatus Scalindua" marine anammox bacteria in the Arabian Sea oxygen minimum zone.

    PubMed

    Villanueva, Laura; Speth, Daan R; van Alen, Theo; Hoischen, Alexander; Jetten, Mike S M

    2014-01-01

    Anaerobic ammonium oxidizing (anammox) bacteria are responsible for a significant portion of the loss of fixed nitrogen from the oceans, making them important players in the global nitrogen cycle. To date, marine anammox bacteria found in both water columns and sediments worldwide belong almost exclusively to "Candidatus Scalindua" species. Recently the genome assembly of a marine anammox enrichment culture dominated by "Candidatus Scalindua profunda" became available and can now be used as a template to study metagenome data obtained from various oxygen minimum zones (OMZs). Here, we sequenced genomic DNA from suspended particulate matter recovered at the upper (170 m deep) and center (600 m) area of the OMZ in the Arabian Sea by SOLiD and Ion Torrent technology. The genome of "Candidatus Scalindua profunda" served as a template to collect reads. Based on the mapped reads marine anammox Abundance was estimated to be at least 0.4% in the upper and 1.7% in the center area. Single nucleotide variation (SNV) analysis was performed to assess diversity of the "Candidatus Scalindua" populations. Most highly covered were the two diagnostic anammox genes hydrazine synthase (scal_01318c, hzsA) and hydrazine dehydrogenase (scal_03295, hdh), while other genes involved in anammox metabolism (narGH, nirS, amtB, focA, and ACS) had a lower coverage but could still be assembled and analyzed. The results show that "Candidatus Scalindua" is abundantly present in the Arabian Sea OMZ, but that the diversity within the ecosystem is relatively low.

  8. Hospital population screening reveals overrepresentation of CD5(-) monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis and monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance of IgM type.

    PubMed

    Voigtlaender, Minna; Vogler, Birthe; Trepel, Martin; Panse, Jens; Jung, Roman; Bokemeyer, Carsten; Bacher, Ulrike; Binder, Mascha

    2015-09-01

    Monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis (MBL) and monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) result from clonal expansions of mature B or plasma cells. Here, we set out to determine the immunophenotypic/monoclonal immunoglobulin (M protein) features and co-prevalence of MBL and MGUS in a hospital-based cohort of 1909 non-hematooncological patients. Of the evaluable cases, 3.8 % showed evidence for MBL by immunophenotyping, while 9.8 % were screened positive for M protein by immunofixation. With six concomitant cases (0.4 %), MBL and MGUS were not statistically associated. At least in two of these coincident cases, MBL and MGUS were of different clonal origin since both clones had divergent light chain restriction. CD5(-) MBL (57.1 %) and IgM+ MGUS (24.7 %) were strikingly overrepresented compared to population-based screenings and did not progress to overt lymphoma or myeloma during the observation period (mean follow-up of 117 weeks or 110 weeks, respectively). Prevalence and phenotypes suggest that a substantial proportion of incidental MBL and MGUS in hospitalized patients may be attributed to transiently expanded B-cell clones in the context of disease-related immune stimulation rather than reflecting veritable precursors of clonal B-cell malignancies.

  9. Label-free LC-MSMS analysis of vitreous from autoimmune uveitis reveals a significant decrease in secreted Wnt signalling inhibitors DKK3 and SFRP2.

    PubMed

    Hauck, Stefanie M; Hofmaier, Florian; Dietter, Johannes; Swadzba, Margarete E; Blindert, Marcel; Amann, Barbara; Behler, Jennifer; Kremmer, Elisabeth; Ueffing, Marius; Deeg, Cornelia A

    2012-07-19

    Equine recurrent uveitis is a severe and frequent blinding disease in horses which presents with auto-reactive invading T-cells, resulting in the destruction of the inner eye. Infiltration of inflammatory cells into the retina and vitreous is driven by currently unknown guidance cues, however surgical removal of the vitreous (vitrectomy) has proven therapeutically successful. Therefore, proteomic analyses of vitrectomy samples are likely to result in detection of proteins contributing to disease pathogenesis. Vitreous from healthy and ERU diseased horses were directly compared by quantitative mass spectrometry based on label-free quantification of peak intensities across samples. We found a significant upregulation of complement and coagulation cascades and downregulation of negative paracrine regulators of canonical Wnt signalling including the Wnt signalling inhibitors DKK3 and SFRP2. Based on immunohistochemistry, both proteins are expressed in equine retina and suggest localisation to retinal Müller glial cells (RMG), which may be the source cells for these proteins. Furthermore, retinal expression levels and patterns of DKK3 change in response to ERU. Since many other regulated proteins identified here are associated with RMG cells, these cells qualify as the prime responders to autoimmune triggers.

  10. Active chromatin domains are defined by acetylation islands revealed by genome-wide mapping.

    PubMed

    Roh, Tae-Young; Cuddapah, Suresh; Zhao, Keji

    2005-03-01

    The identity and developmental potential of a human cell is specified by its epigenome that is largely defined by patterns of chromatin modifications including histone acetylation. Here we report high-resolution genome-wide mapping of diacetylation of histone H3 at Lys 9 and Lys 14 in resting and activated human T cells by genome-wide mapping technique (GMAT). Our data show that high levels of the H3 acetylation are detected in gene-rich regions. The chromatin accessibility and gene expression of a genetic domain is correlated with hyperacetylation of promoters and other regulatory elements but not with generally elevated acetylation of the entire domain. Islands of acetylation are identified in the intergenic and transcribed regions. The locations of the 46,813 acetylation islands identified in this study are significantly correlated with conserved noncoding sequences (CNSs) and many of them are colocalized with known regulatory elements in T cells. TCR signaling induces 4045 new acetylation loci that may mediate the global chromatin remodeling and gene activation. We propose that the acetylation islands are epigenetic marks that allow prediction of functional regulatory elements.

  11. Active chromatin domains are defined by acetylation islands revealed by genome-wide mapping

    PubMed Central

    Roh, Tae-Young; Cuddapah, Suresh; Zhao, Keji

    2005-01-01

    The identity and developmental potential of a human cell is specified by its epigenome that is largely defined by patterns of chromatin modifications including histone acetylation. Here we report high-resolution genome-wide mapping of diacetylation of histone H3 at Lys 9 and Lys 14 in resting and activated human T cells by genome-wide mapping technique (GMAT). Our data show that high levels of the H3 acetylation are detected in gene-rich regions. The chromatin accessibility and gene expression of a genetic domain is correlated with hyperacetylation of promoters and other regulatory elements but not with generally elevated acetylation of the entire domain. Islands of acetylation are identified in the intergenic and transcribed regions. The locations of the 46,813 acetylation islands identified in this study are significantly correlated with conserved noncoding sequences (CNSs) and many of them are colocalized with known regulatory elements in T cells. TCR signaling induces 4045 new acetylation loci that may mediate the global chromatin remodeling and gene activation. We propose that the acetylation islands are epigenetic marks that allow prediction of functional regulatory elements. PMID:15706033

  12. Proteomic analysis of tylosin-resistant Mycoplasma gallisepticum reveals enzymatic activities associated with resistance.

    PubMed

    Xia, Xi; Wu, Congming; Cui, Yaowen; Kang, Mengjiao; Li, Xiaowei; Ding, Shuangyang; Shen, Jianzhong

    2015-11-20

    Mycoplasma gallisepticum is a significant pathogenic bacterium that infects poultry, causing chronic respiratory disease and sinusitis in chickens and turkeys, respectively. M. gallisepticum infection poses a substantial economic threat to the poultry industry, and this threat is made worse by the emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains. The mechanisms of resistance are often difficult to determine; for example, little is known about antibiotic resistance of M. gallisepticum at the proteome level. In this study, we performed comparative proteomic analyses of an antibiotic (tylosin)-resistant M. gallisepticum mutant and a susceptible parent strain using a combination of two-dimensional differential gel electrophoresis and nano-liquid chromatography-quadrupole-time of flight mass spectrometry. Thirteen proteins were identified as differentially expressed in the resistant strain compared to the susceptible strain. Most of these proteins were related to catalytic activity, including catalysis that promotes the formylation of initiator tRNA and energy production. Elongation factors Tu and G were over-expressed in the resistant strains, and this could promote the binding of tRNA to ribosomes and catalyze ribosomal translocation, the coordinated movement of tRNA, and conformational changes in the ribosome. Taken together, our results indicate that M. gallisepticum develops resistance to tylosin by regulating associated enzymatic activities.

  13. Deep Sequencing of Subseafloor Eukaryotic rRNA Reveals Active Fungi across Marine Subsurface Provinces

    PubMed Central

    Orsi, William; Biddle, Jennifer F.; Edgcomb, Virginia

    2013-01-01

    The deep marine subsurface is a vast habitat for microbial life where cells may live on geologic timescales. Because DNA in sediments may be preserved on long timescales, ribosomal RNA (rRNA) is suggested to be a proxy for the active fraction of a microbial community in the subsurface. During an investigation of eukaryotic 18S rRNA by amplicon pyrosequencing, unique profiles of Fungi were found across a range of marine subsurface provinces including ridge flanks, continental margins, and abyssal plains. Subseafloor fungal populations exhibit statistically significant correlations with total organic carbon (TOC), nitrate, sulfide, and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC). These correlations are supported by terminal restriction length polymorphism (TRFLP) analyses of fungal rRNA. Geochemical correlations with fungal pyrosequencing and TRFLP data from this geographically broad sample set suggests environmental selection of active Fungi in the marine subsurface. Within the same dataset, ancient rRNA signatures were recovered from plants and diatoms in marine sediments ranging from 0.03 to 2.7 million years old, suggesting that rRNA from some eukaryotic taxa may be much more stable than previously considered in the marine subsurface. PMID:23418556

  14. Characterization of 10-Hydroxygeraniol Dehydrogenase from Catharanthus roseus Reveals Cascaded Enzymatic Activity in Iridoid Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Krithika, Ramakrishnan; Srivastava, Prabhakar Lal; Rani, Bajaj; Kolet, Swati P.; Chopade, Manojkumar; Soniya, Mantri; Thulasiram, Hirekodathakallu V.

    2015-01-01

    Catharanthus roseus [L.] is a major source of the monoterpene indole alkaloids (MIAs), which are of significant interest due to their therapeutic value. These molecules are formed through an intermediate, cis-trans-nepetalactol, a cyclized product of 10-oxogeranial. One of the key enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of MIAs is an NAD(P)+ dependent oxidoreductase system, 10-hydroxygeraniol dehydrogenase (Cr10HGO), which catalyses the formation of 10-oxogeranial from 10-hydroxygeraniol via 10-oxogeraniol or 10-hydroxygeranial. This work describes the cloning and functional characterization of Cr10HGO from C. roseus and its role in the iridoid biosynthesis. Substrate specificity studies indicated that, Cr10HGO has good activity on substrates such as 10-hydroxygeraniol, 10-oxogeraniol or 10-hydroxygeranial over monohydroxy linear terpene derivatives. Further it was observed that incubation of 10-hydroxygeraniol with Cr10HGO and iridoid synthase (CrIDS) in the presence of NADP+ yielded a major metabolite, which was characterized as (1R, 4aS, 7S, 7aR)-nepetalactol by comparing its retention time, mass fragmentation pattern, and co-injection studies with that of the synthesized compound. These results indicate that there is concerted activity of Cr10HGO with iridoid synthase in the formation of (1R, 4aS, 7S, 7aR)-nepetalactol, an important intermediate in iridoid biosynthesis. PMID:25651761

  15. Deep sequencing of subseafloor eukaryotic rRNA reveals active Fungi across marine subsurface provinces.

    PubMed

    Orsi, William; Biddle, Jennifer F; Edgcomb, Virginia

    2013-01-01

    The deep marine subsurface is a vast habitat for microbial life where cells may live on geologic timescales. Because DNA in sediments may be preserved on long timescales, ribosomal RNA (rRNA) is suggested to be a proxy for the active fraction of a microbial community in the subsurface. During an investigation of eukaryotic 18S rRNA by amplicon pyrosequencing, unique profiles of Fungi were found across a range of marine subsurface provinces including ridge flanks, continental margins, and abyssal plains. Subseafloor fungal populations exhibit statistically significant correlations with total organic carbon (TOC), nitrate, sulfide, and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC). These correlations are supported by terminal restriction length polymorphism (TRFLP) analyses of fungal rRNA. Geochemical correlations with fungal pyrosequencing and TRFLP data from this geographically broad sample set suggests environmental selection of active Fungi in the marine subsurface. Within the same dataset, ancient rRNA signatures were recovered from plants and diatoms in marine sediments ranging from 0.03 to 2.7 million years old, suggesting that rRNA from some eukaryotic taxa may be much more stable than previously considered in the marine subsurface.

  16. Proteomic analysis of tylosin-resistant Mycoplasma gallisepticum reveals enzymatic activities associated with resistance

    PubMed Central

    Xia, Xi; Wu, Congming; Cui, Yaowen; Kang, Mengjiao; Li, Xiaowei; Ding, Shuangyang; Shen, Jianzhong

    2015-01-01

    Mycoplasma gallisepticum is a significant pathogenic bacterium that infects poultry, causing chronic respiratory disease and sinusitis in chickens and turkeys, respectively. M. gallisepticum infection poses a substantial economic threat to the poultry industry, and this threat is made worse by the emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains. The mechanisms of resistance are often difficult to determine; for example, little is known about antibiotic resistance of M. gallisepticum at the proteome level. In this study, we performed comparative proteomic analyses of an antibiotic (tylosin)-resistant M. gallisepticum mutant and a susceptible parent strain using a combination of two-dimensional differential gel electrophoresis and nano-liquid chromatography-quadrupole-time of flight mass spectrometry. Thirteen proteins were identified as differentially expressed in the resistant strain compared to the susceptible strain. Most of these proteins were related to catalytic activity, including catalysis that promotes the formylation of initiator tRNA and energy production. Elongation factors Tu and G were over-expressed in the resistant strains, and this could promote the binding of tRNA to ribosomes and catalyze ribosomal translocation, the coordinated movement of tRNA, and conformational changes in the ribosome. Taken together, our results indicate that M. gallisepticum develops resistance to tylosin by regulating associated enzymatic activities. PMID:26584633

  17. Transcriptomic Analysis of Tail Regeneration in the Lizard Anolis carolinensis Reveals Activation of Conserved Vertebrate Developmental and Repair Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Hutchins, Elizabeth D.; Markov, Glenn J.; Eckalbar, Walter L.; George, Rajani M.; King, Jesse M.; Tokuyama, Minami A.; Geiger, Lauren A.; Emmert, Nataliya; Ammar, Michael J.; Allen, April N.; Siniard, Ashley L.; Corneveaux, Jason J.; Fisher, Rebecca E.; Wade, Juli; DeNardo, Dale F.; Rawls, J. Alan; Huentelman, Matthew J.; Wilson-Rawls, Jeanne; Kusumi, Kenro

    2014-01-01

    Lizards, which are amniote vertebrates like humans, are able to lose and regenerate a functional tail. Understanding the molecular basis of this process would advance regenerative approaches in amniotes, including humans. We have carried out the first transcriptomic analysis of tail regeneration in a lizard, the green anole Anolis carolinensis, which revealed 326 differentially expressed genes activating multiple developmental and repair mechanisms. Specifically, genes involved in wound response, hormonal regulation, musculoskeletal development, and the Wnt and MAPK/FGF pathways were differentially expressed along the regenerating tail axis. Furthermore, we identified 2 microRNA precursor families, 22 unclassified non-coding RNAs, and 3 novel protein-coding genes significantly enriched in the regenerating tail. However, high levels of progenitor/stem cell markers were not observed in any region of the regenerating tail. Furthermore, we observed multiple tissue-type specific clusters of proliferating cells along the regenerating tail, not localized to the tail tip. These findings predict a different mechanism of regeneration in the lizard than the blastema model described in the salamander and the zebrafish, which are anamniote vertebrates. Thus, lizard tail regrowth involves the activation of conserved developmental and wound response pathways, which are potential targets for regenerative medical therapies. PMID:25140675

  18. Transcriptomic analysis of tail regeneration in the lizard Anolis carolinensis reveals activation of conserved vertebrate developmental and repair mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Hutchins, Elizabeth D; Markov, Glenn J; Eckalbar, Walter L; George, Rajani M; King, Jesse M; Tokuyama, Minami A; Geiger, Lauren A; Emmert, Nataliya; Ammar, Michael J; Allen, April N; Siniard, Ashley L; Corneveaux, Jason J; Fisher, Rebecca E; Wade, Juli; DeNardo, Dale F; Rawls, J Alan; Huentelman, Matthew J; Wilson-Rawls, Jeanne; Kusumi, Kenro

    2014-01-01

    Lizards, which are amniote vertebrates like humans, are able to lose and regenerate a functional tail. Understanding the molecular basis of this process would advance regenerative approaches in amniotes, including humans. We have carried out the first transcriptomic analysis of tail regeneration in a lizard, the green anole Anolis carolinensis, which revealed 326 differentially expressed genes activating multiple developmental and repair mechanisms. Specifically, genes involved in wound response, hormonal regulation, musculoskeletal development, and the Wnt and MAPK/FGF pathways were differentially expressed along the regenerating tail axis. Furthermore, we identified 2 microRNA precursor families, 22 unclassified non-coding RNAs, and 3 novel protein-coding genes significantly enriched in the regenerating tail. However, high levels of progenitor/stem cell markers were not observed in any region of the regenerating tail. Furthermore, we observed multiple tissue-type specific clusters of proliferating cells along the regenerating tail, not localized to the tail tip. These findings predict a different mechanism of regeneration in the lizard than the blastema model described in the salamander and the zebrafish, which are anamniote vertebrates. Thus, lizard tail regrowth involves the activation of conserved developmental and wound response pathways, which are potential targets for regenerative medical therapies.

  19. Prognostic significance of infarct core pathology revealed by quantitative non-contrast in comparison with contrast cardiac magnetic resonance imaging in reperfused ST-elevation myocardial infarction survivors

    PubMed Central

    Carrick, David; Haig, Caroline; Rauhalammi, Sam; Ahmed, Nadeem; Mordi, Ify; McEntegart, Margaret; Petrie, Mark C.; Eteiba, Hany; Hood, Stuart; Watkins, Stuart; Lindsay, Mitchell; Mahrous, Ahmed; Ford, Ian; Tzemos, Niko; Sattar, Naveed; Welsh, Paul; Radjenovic, Aleksandra; Oldroyd, Keith G.; Berry, Colin

    2016-01-01

    Aims To assess the prognostic significance of infarct core tissue characteristics using cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging in survivors of acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). Methods and results We performed an observational prospective single centre cohort study in 300 reperfused STEMI patients (mean ± SD age 59 ± 12 years, 74% male) who underwent CMR 2 days and 6 months post-myocardial infarction (n = 267). Native T1 was measured in myocardial regions of interest (n = 288). Adverse remodelling was defined as an increase in left ventricular (LV) end-diastolic volume ≥20% at 6 months. All-cause death or first heart failure hospitalization was a pre-specified outcome that was assessed during follow-up (median duration 845 days). One hundred and sixty (56%) patients had a hypo-intense infarct core disclosed by native T1. In multivariable regression, infarct core native T1 was inversely associated with adverse remodelling [odds ratio (95% confidence interval (CI)] per 10 ms reduction in native T1: 0.91 (0.82, 0.00); P = 0.061). Thirty (10.4%) of 288 patients died or experienced a heart failure event and 13 of these events occurred post-discharge. Native T1 values (ms) within the hypo-intense infarct core (n = 160 STEMI patients) were inversely associated with the risk of all-cause death or first hospitalization for heart failure post-discharge (for a 10 ms increase in native T1: hazard ratio 0.730, 95% CI 0.617, 0.863; P < 0.001) including after adjustment for left ventricular ejection fraction, infarct core T2 and myocardial haemorrhage. The prognostic results for microvascular obstruction were similar. Conclusion Infarct core native T1 represents a novel non-contrast CMR biomarker with potential for infarct characterization and prognostication in STEMI survivors. Confirmatory studies are warranted. ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT02072850. PMID:26261290

  20. Comparative Proteomic Characterization of 4 Human Liver-Derived Single Cell Culture Models Reveals Significant Variation in the Capacity for Drug Disposition, Bioactivation, and Detoxication

    PubMed Central

    Sison-Young, Rowena L. C.; Mitsa, Dimitra; Jenkins, Rosalind E.; Mottram, David; Alexandre, Eliane; Richert, Lysiane; Aerts, Hélène; Weaver, Richard J.; Jones, Robert P.; Johann, Esther; Hewitt, Philip G.; Ingelman-Sundberg, Magnus; Goldring, Christopher E. P.; Kitteringham, Neil R.; Park, B. Kevin

    2015-01-01

    In vitro preclinical models for the assessment of drug-induced liver injury (DILI) are usually based on cryopreserved primary human hepatocytes (cPHH) or human hepatic tumor-derived cell lines; however, it is unclear how well such cell models reflect the normal function of liver cells. The physiological, pharmacological, and toxicological phenotyping of available cell-based systems is necessary in order to decide the testing purpose for which they are fit. We have therefore undertaken a global proteomic analysis of 3 human-derived hepatic cell lines (HepG2, Upcyte, and HepaRG) in comparison with cPHH with a focus on drug metabolizing enzymes and transport proteins (DMETs), as well as Nrf2-regulated proteins. In total, 4946 proteins were identified, of which 2722 proteins were common across all cell models, including 128 DMETs. Approximately 90% reduction in expression of cytochromes P450 was observed in HepG2 and Upcyte cells, and approximately 60% in HepaRG cells relative to cPHH. Drug transporter expression was also lower compared with cPHH with the exception of MRP3 and P-gp (MDR1) which appeared to be significantly expressed in HepaRG cells. In contrast, a high proportion of Nrf2-regulated proteins were more highly expressed in the cell lines compared with cPHH. The proteomic database derived here will provide a rational basis for the context-specific selection of the most appropriate ‘hepatocyte-like’ cell for the evaluation of particular cellular functions associated with DILI and, at the same time, assist in the construction of a testing paradigm which takes into account the in vivo disposition of a new drug. PMID:26160117

  1. Modulation of ethylene responses by OsRTH1 overexpression reveals the biological significance of ethylene in rice seedling growth and development.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wei; Zhou, Xin; Wen, Chi-Kuang

    2012-06-01

    Overexpression of Arabidopsis Reversion-To-ethylene Sensitivity1 (RTE1) results in whole-plant ethylene insensitivity dependent on the ethylene receptor gene Ethylene Response1 (ETR1). However, overexpression of the tomato RTE1 homologue Green Ripe (GR) delays fruit ripening but does not confer whole-plant ethylene insensitivity. It was decided to investigate whether aspects of ethylene-induced growth and development of the monocotyledonous model plant rice could be modulated by rice RTE1 homologues (OsRTH genes). Results from a cross-species complementation test in Arabidopsis showed that OsRTH1 overexpression complemented the rte1-2 loss-of-function mutation and conferred whole-plant ethylene insensitivity in an ETR1-dependent manner. In contrast, OsRTH2 and OsRTH3 overexpression did not complement rte1-2 or confer ethylene insensitivity. In rice, OsRTH1 overexpression substantially prevented ethylene-induced alterations in growth and development, including leaf senescence, seedling leaf elongation and development, coleoptile elongation or curvature, and adventitious root development. Results of subcellular localizations of OsRTHs, each fused with the green fluorescent protein, in onion epidermal cells suggested that the three OsRTHs were predominantly localized to the Golgi. OsRTH1 may be an RTE1 orthologue of rice and modulate rice ethylene responses. The possible roles of auxins and gibberellins in the ethylene-induced alterations in growth were evaluated and the biological significance of ethylene in the early stage of rice seedling growth is discussed.

  2. Synchrotron X-ray imaging reveals a correlation of tumor copper speciation with Clioquinol's anticancer activity

    SciTech Connect

    Barrea, Raul A.; Chen, Di; Irving, Thomas C.; Dou, Q. Ping

    2009-10-21

    Tumor development and metastasis depend on angiogenesis that requires certain growth factors, proteases, and the trace element copper (Cu). Recent studies suggest that Cu could be used as a novel target for cancer therapies. Clioquinol (CQ), an antibiotic that is able to form stable complexes with Cu or zinc (Zn), has shown proteasome-inhibitory, androgen receptor-suppressing, apoptosis-inducing, and antitumor activities in human cancer cells and xenografts. The mechanisms underlying the interaction of CQ with cellular Cu, the alteration of the Cu/Zn ratio and the antitumor role of CQ in vivo have not been fully elucidated. We report here that Cu accumulates in tumor tissue and that the Cu/Zn balances in tumor, but not normal, tissue change significantly after the treatment with CQ. Cu speciation analysis showed that the Cu(I) species is predominant in both normal and tumor tissues and that Cu(II) content was significantly increased in tumor, but not normal tissue after CQ treatment. Our findings indicate that CQ can interact with cellular Cu in vivo, dysregulates the Cu/Zn balance and is able to convert Cu(I) to Cu(II) in tumor tissue. This conversion of Cu(I) to Cu(II) may be associated with CQ-induced proteasome inhibition and growth suppression in the human prostate tumor xenografts.

  3. Multichannel Detrended Fluctuation Analysis Reveals Synchronized Patterns of Spontaneous Spinal Activity in Anesthetized Cats

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez, Erika E.; Hernández-Lemus, Enrique; Itzá-Ortiz, Benjamín A.; Jiménez, Ismael; Rudomín, Pablo

    2011-01-01

    The analysis of the interaction and synchronization of relatively large ensembles of neurons is fundamental for the understanding of complex functions of the nervous system. It is known that the temporal synchronization of neural ensembles is involved in the generation of specific motor, sensory or cognitive processes. Also, the intersegmental coherence of spinal spontaneous activity may indicate the existence of synaptic neural pathways between different pairs of lumbar segments. In this study we present a multichannel version of the detrended fluctuation analysis method (mDFA) to analyze the correlation dynamics of spontaneous spinal activity (SSA) from time series analysis. This method together with the classical detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA) were used to find out whether the SSA recorded in one or several segments in the spinal cord of the anesthetized cat occurs either in a random or in an organized manner. Our results are consistent with a non-random organization of the sets of neurons involved in the generation of spontaneous cord dorsum potentials (CDPs) recorded either from one lumbar segment (DFA- mean = 1.040.09) or simultaneously from several lumbar segments (mDFA- mean = 1.010.06), where  = 0.5 indicates randomness while 0.5 indicates long-term correlations. To test the sensitivity of the mDFA method we also examined the effects of small spinal lesions aimed to partially interrupt connectivity between neighboring lumbosacral segments. We found that the synchronization and correlation between the CDPs recorded from the L5 and L6 segments in both sides of the spinal cord were reduced when a lesion comprising the left dorsal quadrant was performed between the segments L5 and L6 (mDFA- = 0.992 as compared to initial conditions mDFA- = 1.186). The synchronization and correlation were reduced even further after a similar additional right spinal lesion (mDFA- = 0.924). In contrast to the classical methods, such as correlation

  4. Multichannel detrended fluctuation analysis reveals synchronized patterns of spontaneous spinal activity in anesthetized cats.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez, Erika E; Hernández-Lemus, Enrique; Itzá-Ortiz, Benjamín A; Jiménez, Ismael; Rudomín, Pablo

    2011-01-01

    The analysis of the interaction and synchronization of relatively large ensembles of neurons is fundamental for the understanding of complex functions of the nervous system. It is known that the temporal synchronization of neural ensembles is involved in the generation of specific motor, sensory or cognitive processes. Also, the intersegmental coherence of spinal spontaneous activity may indicate the existence of synaptic neural pathways between different pairs of lumbar segments. In this study we present a multichannel version of the detrended fluctuation analysis method (mDFA) to analyze the correlation dynamics of spontaneous spinal activity (SSA) from time series analysis. This method together with the classical detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA) were used to find out whether the SSA recorded in one or several segments in the spinal cord of the anesthetized cat occurs either in a random or in an organized manner. Our results are consistent with a non-random organization of the sets of neurons involved in the generation of spontaneous cord dorsum potentials (CDPs) recorded either from one lumbar segment (DFA-α mean = 1.04[Formula: see text]0.09) or simultaneously from several lumbar segments (mDFA-α mean = 1.01[Formula: see text]0.06), where α = 0.5 indicates randomness while α = 0.5 indicates long-term correlations. To test the sensitivity of the mDFA method we also examined the effects of small spinal lesions aimed to partially interrupt connectivity between neighboring lumbosacral segments. We found that the synchronization and correlation between the CDPs recorded from the L5 and L6 segments in both sides of the spinal cord were reduced when a lesion comprising the left dorsal quadrant was performed between the segments L5 and L6 (mDFA-[Formula: see text] = 0.992 as compared to initial conditions mDFA-α = 1.186). The synchronization and correlation were reduced even further after a similar additional right spinal lesion (mDFA-α = 0.924). In contrast

  5. Diversity of Orientia tsutsugamushi clinical isolates in Cambodia reveals active selection and recombination process.

    PubMed

    Duong, Veasna; Blassdell, Kim; May, Thinh Thi Xuan; Sreyrath, Lay; Gavotte, Laurent; Morand, Serge; Frutos, Roger; Buchy, Philippe

    2013-04-01

    Orientia tsutsugamushi, the causative agent of scrub typhus in South East Asia and Pacific, is an obligate intracellular bacterium closely related to the Rickettsia. The pathogen is transmitted to humans through the bites of infected larvae of trombiculid mites of the genus Leptotrombidium in which is maintained trough vertical transmission mechanism. The infection in rodents has been described in over 20 species. Scrub typhus is commonly confused with other tropical fevers and late diagnosis and treatment can lead to severe organ failures and a strain-dependent mortality rate of up to 50%. A MLST scheme associating seven core function genes: adk, lepB, lipA, lipB, secY, sodB and sucA was developed and validated on seven Cambodian strains detected in patients and two complete reference genomes from Korea and Japan. Sequence data were analyzed both with respect to sequence type (ST) diversity and DNA polymorphism. Differing trends were revealed. DNA polymorphism and phylogeny of individual gene loci indicated a significant level of recombination and genetic diversity. However, the ST distribution is clearly clonal and the clinical situation can be summarized by the formula: one patient, one strain, one ST. This contradiction is only apparent and is most likely the consequence of the unique life cycle of O. tsutsugamushi. The quasi exclusive vertical transmission mode in mites generates repeated bottlenecks and small-size populations and strongly limits genetic diversity. O. tsutsugamushi has developed specific mechanisms for generating genetic diversity which include recombination, duplication and conjugation. Recombination and other mechanisms for increasing genetic diversity are likely to occur in rodents which can act as maintenance hosts, although occurrence in mites cannot be excluded. Consequences for the epidemiology of scrub typhus are discussed.

  6. Zephycandidine A, the First Naturally Occurring Imidazo[1,2-f]phenanthridine Alkaloid from Zephyranthes candida, Exhibits Significant Anti-tumor and Anti-acetylcholinesterase Activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhan, Guanqun; Qu, Xiaolan; Liu, Junjun; Tong, Qingyi; Zhou, Junfei; Sun, Bin; Yao, Guangmin

    2016-09-01

    Zephycandidine A (1), the first naturally occurring imidazo[1,2-f]phenanthridine alkaloid, was isolated from Zephyranthes candida (Amaryllidaceae). The structure of 1 was elucidated by spectroscopic analyses and NMR calculation, and a plausible biogenetic pathway for zephycandidine A (1) was proposed. Zephycandidine A (1) exhibited significant cytotoxicity against five cancer cell lines with IC50 values ranging from 1.98 to 7.03 μM with selectivity indices as high as 10 when compared to the normal Beas-2B cell. Further studies suggested that zephycandidine A (1) induces apoptosis in leukemia cells by the activation of caspase-3, upregulation of Bax, downregulation of Bcl-2, and degradation of PARP expression. In addition, zephycandidine A (1) showed acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitory activity, and the docking studies of zephycandidine A (1) and galanthamine (2) with AChE revealed that interactions with W286 and Y337 are necessary.

  7. Zephycandidine A, the First Naturally Occurring Imidazo[1,2-f]phenanthridine Alkaloid from Zephyranthes candida, Exhibits Significant Anti-tumor and Anti-acetylcholinesterase Activities

    PubMed Central

    Zhan, Guanqun; Qu, Xiaolan; Liu, Junjun; Tong, Qingyi; Zhou, Junfei; Sun, Bin; Yao, Guangmin

    2016-01-01

    Zephycandidine A (1), the first naturally occurring imidazo[1,2-f]phenanthridine alkaloid, was isolated from Zephyranthes candida (Amaryllidaceae). The structure of 1 was elucidated by spectroscopic analyses and NMR calculation, and a plausible biogenetic pathway for zephycandidine A (1) was proposed. Zephycandidine A (1) exhibited significant cytotoxicity against five cancer cell lines with IC50 values ranging from 1.98 to 7.03 μM with selectivity indices as high as 10 when compared to the normal Beas-2B cell. Further studies suggested that zephycandidine A (1) induces apoptosis in leukemia cells by the activation of caspase-3, upregulation of Bax, downregulation of Bcl-2, and degradation of PARP expression. In addition, zephycandidine A (1) showed acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitory activity, and the docking studies of zephycandidine A (1) and galanthamine (2) with AChE revealed that interactions with W286 and Y337 are necessary. PMID:27658482

  8. Significant enhancement in the photocatalytic activity of N, W co-doped TiO2 nanomaterials for promising environmental applications.

    PubMed

    Thind, Sapanbir S; Wu, Guosheng; Tian, Min; Chen, Aicheng

    2012-11-30

    In this work, a mesoporous N, W co-doped TiO(2) photocatalyst was synthesized via a one-step solution combustion method, which utilized urea as the nitrogen source and sodium tungstate as the tungsten source. The photocatalytic activity of the N, W co-doped TiO(2) photocatalyst was significantly enhanced by a facile UV pretreatment approach and was evaluated by measuring the rate of photodegradation of Rhodamine B under both UV and visible (λ > 420) light. Following the UV pretreatment, the UV photocatalytic activity of the N, W co-doped TiO(2) was doubled. In terms of visible light activity, the UV pretreatment resulted in an extraordinary >12 fold improvement. In order to gain insight into this substantial enhancement, the N, W co-doped TiO(2) photocatalysts were studied using x-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, N(2) physisorption, UV-vis absorbance spectroscopy and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy prior to and following the UV pretreatment. Our experimental results have revealed that this significant augmentation of photocatalytic activity may be attributed to several synergetic factors, including increase of the specific surface area, reduction of the band gap energy and the removal of carbon impurities.

  9. Dual-color STED microscopy reveals a sandwich structure of Bassoon and Piccolo in active zones of adult and aged mice

    PubMed Central

    Nishimune, Hiroshi; Badawi, Yomna; Mori, Shuuichi; Shigemoto, Kazuhiro

    2016-01-01

    Presynaptic active zones play a pivotal role as synaptic vesicle release sites for synaptic transmission, but the molecular architecture of active zones in mammalian neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) at sub-diffraction limited resolution remains unknown. Bassoon and Piccolo are active zone specific cytosolic proteins essential for active zone assembly in NMJs, ribbon synapses, and brain synapses. These proteins are thought to colocalize and share some functions at active zones. Here, we report an unexpected finding of non-overlapping localization of these two proteins in mouse NMJs revealed using dual-color stimulated emission depletion (STED) super resolution microscopy. Piccolo puncta sandwiched Bassoon puncta and aligned in a Piccolo-Bassoon-Piccolo structure in adult NMJs. P/Q-type voltage-gated calcium channel (VGCC) puncta colocalized with Bassoon puncta. The P/Q-type VGCC and Bassoon protein levels decreased significantly in NMJs from aged mouse. In contrast, the Piccolo levels in NMJs from aged mice were comparable to levels in adult mice. This study revealed the molecular architecture of active zones in mouse NMJs at sub-diffraction limited resolution, and described the selective degeneration mechanism of active zone proteins in NMJs from aged mice. Interestingly, the localization pattern of active zone proteins described herein is similar to active zone structures described using electron microscope tomography. PMID:27321892

  10. Altered Spontaneous Activity in Patients with Persistent Somatoform Pain Disorder Revealed by Regional Homogeneity

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Chao; Lu, Jing; Li, Xuzhou; Tang, Chaozheng; Fan, Mingxia; Luo, Yanli

    2016-01-01

    Persistent somatoform pain disorder (PSPD) is a mental disorder un-associated with any somatic injury and can cause severe somatosensory and emotional impairments in patients. However, so far, the neuro-pathophysiological mechanism of the functional impairments in PSPD is still unclear. The present study assesses the difference in regional spontaneous activity between PSPD and healthy controls (HC) during a resting state, in order to elucidate the neural mechanisms underlying PSPD. Resting-state functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging data were obtained from 13 PSPD patients and 23 age- and gender-matched HC subjects in this study. Kendall’s coefficient of concordance was used to measure regional homogeneity (ReHo), and a two-sample t-test was subsequently performed to investigate the ReHo difference between PSPD and HC. Additionally, the correlations between the mean ReHo of each survived area and the clinical assessments were further analyzed. Compared with the HC group, patients with PSPD exhibited decreased ReHo in the bilateral primary somatosensory cortex, posterior cerebellum, and occipital lobe, while increased ReHo in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and default mode network (including the medial PFC, right inferior parietal lobe (IPL), and left supramarginal gyrus). In addition, significant positive correlations were found between the mean ReHo of both right IPL and left supramarginal gyrus and participants’ Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (SAS) scores, and between the mean ReHo of the left middle frontal gyrus and Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) scores. Our results suggest that abnormal spontaneous brain activity in specific brain regions during a resting state may be associated with the dysfunctions in pain, memory and emotional processing commonly observed in patients with PSPD. These findings help us to understand the neural mechanisms underlying PSPD and suggest that the ReHo metric could be used as a clinical marker for PSPD. PMID:26977802

  11. Coadministration of Pinellia ternata Can Significantly Reduce Aconitum carmichaelii to Inhibit CYP3A Activity in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Jinjun; Cheng, Zaixing; Zhu, Lijun; Lu, Linlin; Zhang, Guiyu; Wang, Ying; Xu, Ying; Lin, Na; Liu, Zhongqiu

    2014-01-01

    Chuanwu (CW), the mother root of Aconitum carmichaelii Debx., is a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for treating traumatic injuries, rheumatoid arthritis, and tumors. CW coadministered with banxia (BX), the root of Pinellia ternata, is also widely prescribed in clinical practice. However, the mechanism of this combination is yet deciphered. Current study aimed to investigate the effects of CW, including raw chuanwu (RCW) and processed chuanwu (PCW) alone, as well as CW coadministered with BX on CYP3A activity. Buspirone (BP) and testosterone (Tes) were used as specific probe substrates in vivo and ex vivo, respectively. CYP3A activity was determined by the metabolites formation ratios from the substrates. Compared with those in the control group, the metabolites formation ratios significantly decreased in the RCW and PCW alone groups, accompanied by a marked decrease in CYP3A protein and mRNA levels. However, there was a significant increase in those ratios in the RCW-BX and PCW-BX groups compared to the RCW and PCW alone groups. The results indicated that both RCW and PCW can inhibit CYP3A activity in rats because of downregulation of CYP3A protein and mRNA levels. Decreases in CYP3A activity can be reversed by coadministration with BX. PMID:25371696

  12. Tectonic activity revealed by morphostructural analysis: Development of the Sierra de la Candelaria range, northwestern Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barcelona, H.; Peri, G.; Tobal, J.; Sagripanti, L.; Favetto, A.

    2014-12-01

    The tectonically active broken foreland of NW Argentina is a recent analog of the eastern margin of the Puna plateau during Mio-Pliocene times and likely of other broken forelands worldwide. In order to evaluate active tectonism in the broken foreland of the NW Argentine Andes, we examined the complex geomorphology in the vicinity of the basement-cored Sierra de la Candelaria range at ˜26°S and deciphered multiple episodes of crustal deformation spanning the Pliocene to the Quaternary. Digital elevation models, satellite images and geological data within a GIS environment allowed us to analyze the terrain, drainage networks, river dynamics and structure, as well as to obtain detailed geomorphological mapping, active tectonic indices, longitudinal river profiles and structural sections. Three morphostructural segments were defined based on the structural features, the differential vertical dissection pattern over the basement, the faulted Pliocene to recent deposits, the stepwise propagation of anticlines and the distortion over the fluvial system. By combining the several lines of evidence, we concluded that the Sierra de la Candelaria range was subjected to a multi-stage development. The first stage uplifted the central segment concomitant with the formation of the surrounding ranges and with the main partition phase of the foreland. After a significant time lapse, the mountain range was subjected to southward thick-skinned growth and northward growth via stepwise thin-skinned deformation and exerted control over the dynamics of the Río Rosario. Taking into account the surrounding basins and ranges of the Sierra de la Candelaria, the southern Santa Bárbara System is characterized by partially isolated intramontane basins (Choromoro and Rosario) limited by shielded ranges that caused moisture block and shows continuous deformation. These features were related to early stages of a broken foreland evolution model and modern analogs were found at the northern

  13. Pathogenesis and significance of glomerular C4d deposition in lupus nephritis: activation of classical and lectin pathways

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Min-Kyung; Maeng, Young-In; Lee, Sun-Jae; Lee, In Hee; Bae, Jisuk; Kang, Yu-Na; Park, Byung-Tae; Park, Kwan-Kyu

    2013-01-01

    Immune complex-mediated complement activation through the classic pathway plays a key role in the pathogenesis of lupus nephritis (LN). C4d deposition in renal tissue reflects the prognosis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The aim of the current study is to investigate the pathogenesis and clinicopathologic significance of glomerular C4d deposition in LN. We retrospectively analyzed clinical and histopathological data of 20 SLE patients with renal biopsy-proven LN and 10 non-SLE renal biopsy samples as control. LN biopsies showed varying degrees of glomerular C4d staining associated with immune complex deposits, IgG (p = 0.015), C1q (p = 0.032) and C3 (p = 0.049). 7 LN biopsies had all of C4d, C1q and C3 deposits in their glomeruli, indicative of the activation of the classical pathway, whereas 2 LN biopsies had C4d and C3 deposits without accompanying C1q deposits, indicating the activation of the lectin pathway. Glomerular C4d deposition was correlated with the LN subtype (p < 0.001). In particular, a diffusely intense and coarsely granular pattern of C4d deposition in all glomeruli was detected in class V membranous LN. However, glomerular C4d deposition was correlated with neither disease activity of SLE nor histological activity and chronicity of LN. In conclusion, the activation of the lectin pathway as well as the classical pathway seems to play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of LN. Glomerular C4d staining could be helpful for diagnosing class V membranous LN, although glomerular C4d deposition does not reflect SLE disease activity and histological activity and chronicity. PMID:24133594

  14. HIV-1 Structural Proteins Serve as PAMPs for TLR2 Heterodimers Significantly Increasing Infection and Innate Immune Activation

    PubMed Central

    Henrick, Bethany M.; Yao, Xiao-Dan; Rosenthal, Kenneth Lee

    2015-01-01

    Immune activation is critical to HIV infection and pathogenesis; however, our understanding of HIV innate immune activation remains incomplete. Recently we demonstrated that soluble TLR2 (sTLR2) physically inhibited HIV-induced NFκB activation and inflammation, as well as HIV-1 infection. In light of these findings, we hypothesized that HIV-1 structural proteins may serve as pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) for cellular TLR2 heterodimers. These studies made use of primary human T cells and TZMbl cells stably transformed to express TLR2 (TZMbl-2). Our results demonstrated that cells expressing TLR2 showed significantly increased proviral DNA compared to cells lacking TLR2, and mechanistically this may be due to a TLR2-mediated increased CCR5 expression. Importantly, we show that HIV-1 structural proteins, p17, p24, and gp41, act as viral PAMPs signaling through TLR2 and its heterodimers leading to significantly increased immune activation via the NFκB signaling pathway. Using co-immunoprecipitation and a dot blot method, we demonstrated direct protein interactions between these viral PAMPs and TLR2, while only p17 and gp41 bound to TLR1. Specifically, TLR2/1 heterodimer recognized p17 and gp41, while p24 lead to immune activation through TLR2/6. These results were confirmed using TLR2/1 siRNA knock down assays which ablated p17 and gp41-induced cellular activation and through studies of HEK293 cells expressing selected TLRs. Interestingly, our results show in the absence of TLR6, p24 bound to TLR2 and blocked p17 and gp41-induced activation, thus providing a novel mechanism by which HIV-1 can manipulate innate sensing. Taken together, our results identified, for the first time, novel HIV-1 PAMPs that play a role in TLR2-mediated cellular activation and increased proviral DNA. These findings have important implications for our fundamental understanding of HIV-1 immune activation and pathogenesis, as well as HIV-1 vaccine development. PMID:26347747

  15. Prefrontal activation during two Japanese Stroop tasks revealed with multi-channel near-infrared spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Yukina; Sumitani, Satsuki; Hosokawa, Mai; Ohmori, Tetsuro

    2015-01-01

    The Stroop task is sometimes used in psychiatric research to elicit prefrontal activity, which presumably reflects cognitive functioning. Although there are two Stroop tasks (Kana script and Kanji script) in Japan, it is unclear whether these tasks elicit the same hemoglobin changes. Moreover, it is unclear whether psychological conditions or characteristics influence hemoglobin changes in the Japanese Stroop task. The aim of this study was to clarify whether hemoglobin changes elicited by the two Japanese Stroop tasks accurately reflected cognitive functioning. Hemoglobin changes were measured with multi-channel near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) in 100 healthy Japanese participants performing two Japanese Stroop tasks. The Beck-Depression Inventory (BDI), State-Trait-Anxiety Inventory (STAI), and Maudsley Obsessive Compulsive Inventory (MOCI) were administered to participants to identify psychological conditions or personality characteristics. Compared with the Kanji task, the Kana task produced a greater Stroop effect and a larger increase in oxyhemoglobin (oxy-Hb) concentration. Moreover there were no significant correlations between oxy-Hb concentration and BDI, STAI-trait, STAI-state, or MOCI scores. Therefore we found that a participant's psychological conditions or characteristics did not influence the hemodynamic changes during either task. These data suggest the Kana Stroop task is more useful than the Kanji Stroop task for NIRS studies in psychiatric research.

  16. Comparative Analysis of Carbohydrate Active Enzymes in Clostridium termitidis CT1112 Reveals Complex Carbohydrate Degradation Ability

    PubMed Central

    Munir, Riffat I.; Schellenberg, John; Henrissat, Bernard; Verbeke, Tobin J.; Sparling, Richard; Levin, David B.

    2014-01-01

    Clostridium termitidis strain CT1112 is an anaerobic, gram positive, mesophilic, cellulolytic bacillus isolated from the gut of the wood-feeding termite, Nasutitermes lujae. It produces biofuels such as hydrogen and ethanol from cellulose, cellobiose, xylan, xylose, glucose, and other sugars, and therefore could be used for biofuel production from biomass through consolidated bioprocessing. The first step in the production of biofuel from biomass by microorganisms is the hydrolysis of complex carbohydrates present in biomass. This is achieved through the presence of a repertoire of secreted or complexed carbohydrate active enzymes (CAZymes), sometimes organized in an extracellular organelle called cellulosome. To assess the ability and understand the mechanism of polysaccharide hydrolysis in C. termitidis, the recently sequenced strain CT1112 of C. termitidis was analyzed for both CAZymes and cellulosomal components, and compared to other cellulolytic bacteria. A total of 355 CAZyme sequences were identified in C. termitidis, significantly higher than other Clostridial species. Of these, high numbers of glycoside hydrolases (199) and carbohydrate binding modules (95) were identified. The presence of a variety of CAZymes involved with polysaccharide utilization/degradation ability suggests hydrolysis potential for a wide range of polysaccharides. In addition, dockerin-bearing enzymes, cohesion domains and a cellulosomal gene cluster were identified, indicating the presence of potential cellulosome assembly. PMID:25101643

  17. Laser speckle contrast reveals cerebral blood flow dynamics evoked by optogenetically controlled neuronal activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Nan; Thakor, Nitish V.; Pelled, Galit

    2013-03-01

    As a critical basis of functional brain imaging, neurovascular coupling describes the link between neuronal and hemodynamic changes. The majority of in vivo neurovascular coupling studies was performed by inducing sensory stimulation via afferent inputs. Unfortunately such an approach results in recruiting of multiple types of cells, which confounds the explanation of neuronal roles in stimulus evoked hemodynamic changes. Recently optogenetics has emerged to provide immediate control of neurons by exciting or inhibiting genetically engineered neurons expressing light sensitive proteins. However, there is a need for optical methods capable of imaging the concurrent hemodynamic changes. We utilize laser speckle contrast imaging (LSCI) to obtain high resolution display of cerebral blood flow (CBF) in the vicinity of the targeted neural population. LSCI is a minimally invasive method for imaging CBF in microvessels through thinned skull, and produces images with high spatiotemporal resolution, wide field of view. In the integrated system light sources with different wavelengths and band-passing/blocking filters were used to allow simultaneous optical manipulation of neuronal activities and optical imaging of corresponding CBF. Experimental studies were carried out in a rodent model expressing channalrhodopsin (ChR2) in excitatory neurons in the somatosensory cortex (S1). The results demonstrated significant increases of CBF in response to ChR2 stimulation (exciting neuronal firing) comparable to the CBF response to contralateral forepaw stimulation. The approach promises to be an exciting minimally invasive method to study neurovascular coupling. The complete system provides a novel approach for broad neuroscience applications.

  18. Potentially novel copper resistance genes in copper-enriched activated sludge revealed by metagenomic analysis.

    PubMed

    Li, Li-Guan; Cai, Lin; Zhang, Xu-Xiang; Zhang, Tong

    2014-12-01

    In this study, we utilized the Illumina high-throughput metagenomic approach to investigate diversity and abundance of both microbial community and copper resistance genes (CuRGs) in activated sludge (AS) which was enriched under copper selective stress up to 800 mg/L. The raw datasets (~3.5 Gb for each sample, i.e., the copper-enriched AS and the control AS) were merged and normalized for the BLAST analyses against the SILVA SSU rRNA gene database and self-constructed copper resistance protein database (CuRD). Also, the raw metagenomic sequences were assembled into contigs and analyzed based on Open Reading Frames (ORFs) to identify potentially novel copper resistance genes. Among the different resistance systems for copper detoxification under the high copper stress condition, the Cus system was the most enriched system. The results also indicated that genes encoding multi-copper oxidase played a more important role than those encoding efflux proteins. More significantly, several potentially novel copper resistance ORFs were identified by Pfam search and phylogenic analysis. This study demonstrated a new understanding of microbial-mediated copper resistance under high copper stress using high-throughput shotgun sequencing technique.

  19. Perceptual distortions in pitch and time reveal active prediction and support for an auditory pitch-motion hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Henry, Molly J; McAuley, J Devin

    2013-01-01

    A number of accounts of human auditory perception assume that listeners use prior stimulus context to generate predictions about future stimulation. Here, we tested an auditory pitch-motion hypothesis that was developed from this perspective. Listeners judged either the time change (i.e., duration) or pitch change of a comparison frequency glide relative to a standard (referent) glide. Under a constant-velocity assumption, listeners were hypothesized to use the pitch velocity (Δf/Δt) of the standard glide to generate predictions about the pitch velocity of the comparison glide, leading to perceptual distortions along the to-be-judged dimension when the velocities of the two glides differed. These predictions were borne out in the pattern of relative points of subjective equality by a significant three-way interaction between the velocities of the two glides and task. In general, listeners' judgments along the task-relevant dimension (pitch or time) were affected by expectations generated by the constant-velocity standard, but in an opposite manner for the two stimulus dimensions. When the comparison glide velocity was faster than the standard, listeners overestimated time change, but underestimated pitch change, whereas when the comparison glide velocity was slower than the standard, listeners underestimated time change, but overestimated pitch change. Perceptual distortions were least evident when the velocities of the standard and comparison glides were matched. Fits of an imputed velocity model further revealed increasingly larger distortions at faster velocities. The present findings provide support for the auditory pitch-motion hypothesis and add to a larger body of work revealing a role for active prediction in human auditory perception.

  20. Early-Onset Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Mutations Significantly Increase the Velocity, Force, and Actin-Activated ATPase Activity of Human β-Cardiac Myosin.

    PubMed

    Adhikari, Arjun S; Kooiker, Kristina B; Sarkar, Saswata S; Liu, Chao; Bernstein, Daniel; Spudich, James A; Ruppel, Kathleen M

    2016-12-13

    Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a heritable cardiovascular disorder that affects 1 in 500 people. A significant percentage of HCM is attributed to mutations in β-cardiac myosin, the motor protein that powers ventricular contraction. This study reports how two early-onset HCM mutations, D239N and H251N, affect the molecular biomechanics of human β-cardiac myosin. We observed significant increases (20%-90%) in actin gliding velocity, intrinsic force, and ATPase activity in comparison to wild-type myosin. Moreover, for H251N, we found significantly lower binding affinity between the S1 and S2 domains of myosin, suggesting that this mutation may further increase hyper-contractility by releasing active motors. Unlike previous HCM mutations studied at the molecular level using human β-cardiac myosin, early-onset HCM mutations lead to significantly larger changes in the fundamental biomechanical parameters and show clear hyper-contractility.

  1. Activating killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR) and their cognate HLA ligands are significantly increased in autism

    PubMed Central

    Torres, Anthony R.; Westover, Jonna B.; Gibbons, Cole; Johnson, Randall C.; Ward, David C.

    2012-01-01

    Killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) proteins are expressed on natural killer (NK) cells and appear important in innate and adaptive immunity. There are about 14 KIR genes on chromosome 19q13.4, composed of those that inhibit and those that activate NK cell killing. Haplotypes have different combinations of these genes meaning that not all genes are present in a subject. There are two main classes of cognate human leukocyte antigen (HLA) ligands (HLA-Bw4 and HLA-C1/C2) that bind to the inhibitory/activating receptors. As a general rule, the inhibitory state is maintained except when virally infected or tumor cells are encountered; however, both increased activation and inhibition states have been associated with susceptibility and protection against numerous disease states including cancer, arthritis, and psoriasis. Utilizing DNA from 158 Caucasian subjects with autism and 176 KIR control subjects we show for the first time a highly significant increase in four activating KIR genes (2DS5, 3DS1, 2DS1 and 2DS4) as measured by chi square values and odds ratios. In addition, our data suggests a highly significant increase in the activating KIR gene 2DS1 and its cognate HLA-C2 ligand (2DS1+C2; p=0.00003 [Odds Ratio=2.87]). This information ties together two major immune gene complexes, the Human Leukocyte Complex and the Leukocyte Receptor Complex, and may partially explain immune abnormalities observed in many subjects with autism. PMID:22884899

  2. An Antimicrobial Metabolite from Bacillus sp.: Significant Activity Against Pathogenic Bacteria Including Multidrug-Resistant Clinical Strains

    PubMed Central

    Chalasani, Ajay G.; Dhanarajan, Gunaseelan; Nema, Sushma; Sen, Ramkrishna; Roy, Utpal

    2015-01-01

    In this study, the cell free modified tryptone soya broth (pH 7.4 ± 0.2) of Bacillus subtilis URID 12.1 showed significant antimicrobial activity against multidrug-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus, S. epidermidis, Streptococcus pyogenes and Enterococcus faecalis. The partially purified antimicrobial molecule was found to be resistant to extremes of pH and temperatures and also to higher concentrations of trypsin and proteinase K. The antimicrobial molecule was purified by a three-step method that included reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC). The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values were determined for 14 species of bacteria using a microbroth dilution technique. The HPLC-purified fraction showed the MICs ranging from 0.5 to 16 μg/ml for methicillin and vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MVRSA) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis (MRSE) strains. The molecular mass of the antimicrobial compound was determined to be 842.37 Da. The same antimicrobial fraction showed negligible haemolytic activity against human red blood cells even at a concentration as high as 100 μg/ml. Because of its significant antimicrobial activity at low MIC values coupled with its non-haemolytic property, it may prove to be a novel antimicrobial lead molecule. PMID:26696963

  3. Precursory Activity Before Larger Events in Greece Revealed by Aggregated Seismicity Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adamaki, Angeliki K.; Roberts, Roland G.

    2017-03-01

    We investigate the seismicity rate behaviour in and around Greece during 2009, seeking significant changes in rate preceding larger events. For individual larger events it is difficult to clearly distinguish precursory rate changes from other, possibly unrelated, variations in seismicity. However, when we aggregate seismicity data occurring within a radius of 10 km and in a 50-day window prior to earthquakes with, e.g. magnitude ≥3.5, the resulting aggregated time series show a clearly increasing trend starting 2-3 weeks prior to the "mainshock" time. We apply statistical tests to investigate if the observed behaviour may be simply consistent with random (poissonian) variations, or, as some earlier studies suggest, with clustering in the sense that high activity rates at some time may imply increased rates later, and thus (randomly) greater probability of larger coming events than for periods of lower seismicity. In this case, rate increases have little useful predictive power. Using data from the entire catalogue, the aggregated rate changes before larger events are clearly and strongly statistically significant and cannot be explained by such clustering. To test this we choose events at random from the catalogue as potential "mainshocks". The events preceding the randomly chosen earthquakes show less pronounced rate increases compared to the observed rate changes prior to larger events. Similar behaviour is observed in data sub-sets. However, statistical confidence decreases for geographical subsets containing few "mainshocks" as it does when data are weighted such that "mainshocks" with many preceding events are strongly downweighted relative to those with fewer. The analyses suggest that genuine changes in aggregated rate do occur prior to larger events and that this behaviour is not due to a small number of mainshocks with many preceding events dominating the analysis. It does not automatically follow that it will be possible to routinely observe precursory

  4. Polyclonal B-cell activation reveals antibodies against human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in HIV-1-seronegative individuals.

    PubMed Central

    Jehuda-Cohen, T; Slade, B A; Powell, J D; Villinger, F; De, B; Folks, T M; McClure, H M; Sell, K W; Ahmed-Ansari, A

    1990-01-01

    Identification of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-infected individuals is of paramount importance for the control of the spread of AIDS worldwide. Currently, the vast majority of screening centers throughout the world rely on serological techniques. As such, clinically asymptomatic but HIV-infected, seronegative individuals are rarely identified. In this report we show that 18% (30/165) of seronegative individuals who were considered to be a unique cohort of patients at high risk for HIV infection had circulating B cells that, upon in vitro polyclonal activation with pokeweed mitogen, produced antibodies reactive with HIV. Furthermore, polymerase chain reaction analysis of DNA obtained from aliquots of the peripheral blood mononuclear cells from these seronegative but pokeweed mitogen assay-positive individuals tested revealed the presence of HIV-specific sequences in a significant number of samples. In addition, depletion of CD8+ T cells from peripheral blood mononuclear cells of HIV-1-seronegative individuals prior to in vitro culture with pokeweed mitogen resulted in increased sensitivity for detecting HIV-reactive antibodies. This assay has obvious epidemiological implications, especially in the case of high-risk groups, and also provides a simple technique to enhance detection of HIV-infected individuals. Of further interest is the determination of the mechanisms related to the lack of HIV-specific antibodies in the serum of these infected individuals. Images PMID:2111024

  5. Selective activation of SHP2 activity by cisplatin revealed by a novel chemical probe-based assay

    SciTech Connect

    Kuo, Chun-Chen; Chu, Chi-Yuan; Lin, Jing-Jer; Lo, Lee-Chiang

    2010-01-01

    Src homology-2 (SH2) domain-containing phosphatase 2 (SHP2) is known to participate in several different signaling pathways to mediate cell growth, survival, migration, and differentiation. However, due to the lack of proper analytical tools, it is unclear whether the phosphatase activity of SHP2 is activated in most studies. We have previously developed an activity-based probe LCL2 that formed covalent linkage with catalytically active protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs). Here, by combining LCL2 with a SHP2 specific antibody, we established an assay system that enables the direct monitoring of SHP2 activity upon cisplatin treatment of cancer cells. The protocol is advantageous over conventional colorimetric or in-gel PTP assays as it is specific and does not require the use of radioisotope reagents. Using this assay, we found SHP2 activity was selectively activated by cisplatin. Moreover, the activation of SHP2 appeared to be specific for cisplatin as other DNA damage agents failed to activate the activity. Although the role of SHP2 activation by cisplatin treatments is still unclear to us, our results provide the first direct evidence for the activation of SHP2 during cisplatin treatments. More importantly, the concept of using activity-based probe in conjunction with target-specific antibodies could be extended to other enzyme classes.

  6. Revealing Rembrandt

    PubMed Central

    Parker, Andrew J.

    2014-01-01

    The power and significance of artwork in shaping human cognition is self-evident. The starting point for our empirical investigations is the view that the task of neuroscience is to integrate itself with other forms of knowledge, rather than to seek to supplant them. In our recent work, we examined a particular aspect of the appreciation of artwork using present-day functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Our results emphasized the continuity between viewing artwork and other human cognitive activities. We also showed that appreciation of a particular aspect of artwork, namely authenticity, depends upon the co-ordinated activity between the brain regions involved in multiple decision making and those responsible for processing visual information. The findings about brain function probably have no specific consequences for understanding how people respond to the art of Rembrandt in comparison with their response to other artworks. However, the use of images of Rembrandt's portraits, his most intimate and personal works, clearly had a significant impact upon our viewers, even though they have been spatially confined to the interior of an MRI scanner at the time of viewing. Neuroscientific studies of humans viewing artwork have the capacity to reveal the diversity of human cognitive responses that may be induced by external advice or context as people view artwork in a variety of frameworks and settings. PMID:24795552

  7. Spaceflight and simulated microgravity cause a significant reduction of key gene expression in early T-cell activation.

    PubMed

    Martinez, Emily M; Yoshida, Miya C; Candelario, Tara Lynne T; Hughes-Fulford, Millie

    2015-03-15

    Healthy immune function depends on precise regulation of lymphocyte activation. During the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Apollo and Shuttle eras, multiple spaceflight studies showed depressed lymphocyte activity under microgravity (μg) conditions. Scientists on the ground use two models of simulated μg (sμg): 1) the rotating wall vessel (RWV) and 2) the random positioning machine (RPM), to study the effects of altered gravity on cell function before advancing research to the true μg when spaceflight opportunities become available on the International Space Station (ISS). The objective of this study is to compare the effects of true μg and sμg on the expression of key early T-cell activation genes in mouse splenocytes from spaceflight and ground animals. For the first time, we compared all three conditions of microgravity spaceflight, RPM, and RWV during immune gene activation of Il2, Il2rα, Ifnγ, and Tagap; moreover, we confirm two new early T-cell activation genes, Iigp1 and Slamf1. Gene expression for all samples was analyzed using quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). Our results demonstrate significantly increased gene expression in activated ground samples with suppression of mouse immune function in spaceflight, RPM, and RWV samples. These findings indicate that sμg models provide an excellent test bed for scientists to develop baseline studies and augment true μg in spaceflight experiments. Ultimately, sμg and spaceflight studies in lymphocytes may provide insight into novel regulatory pathways, benefiting both future astronauts and those here on earth suffering from immune disorders.

  8. Spaceflight and simulated microgravity cause a significant reduction of key gene expression in early T-cell activation

    PubMed Central

    Martinez, Emily M.; Yoshida, Miya C.; Candelario, Tara Lynne T.

    2015-01-01

    Healthy immune function depends on precise regulation of lymphocyte activation. During the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Apollo and Shuttle eras, multiple spaceflight studies showed depressed lymphocyte activity under microgravity (μg) conditions. Scientists on the ground use two models of simulated μg (sμg): 1) the rotating wall vessel (RWV) and 2) the random positioning machine (RPM), to study the effects of altered gravity on cell function before advancing research to the true μg when spaceflight opportunities become available on the International Space Station (ISS). The objective of this study is to compare the effects of true μg and sμg on the expression of key early T-cell activation genes in mouse splenocytes from spaceflight and ground animals. For the first time, we compared all three conditions of microgravity spaceflight, RPM, and RWV during immune gene activation of Il2, Il2rα, Ifnγ, and Tagap; moreover, we confirm two new early T-cell activation genes, Iigp1 and Slamf1. Gene expression for all samples was analyzed using quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). Our results demonstrate significantly increased gene expression in activated ground samples with suppression of mouse immune function in spaceflight, RPM, and RWV samples. These findings indicate that sμg models provide an excellent test bed for scientists to develop baseline studies and augment true μg in spaceflight experiments. Ultimately, sμg and spaceflight studies in lymphocytes may provide insight into novel regulatory pathways, benefiting both future astronauts and those here on earth suffering from immune disorders. PMID:25568077

  9. [Changes of ADAMTS13 activity and vWF antigen level in patients with acute myelogenous leukemia and their significance].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wen-Juan; Han, Yue; Ma, Zhen-Ni; Wang, Qian; Tang, Ya-Qiong; Wang, Jie; Su, Jian; Sun, Ai-Ning; Wang, Zhao-Yue; Ruan, Chang-Geng; Wu, De-Pei

    2014-12-01

    This study was purposed to investigate the changes of von Willebrand factor cleaving protease (ADAMTS13) activity and vWF antigen level in patients with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) before and after treatment and evaluate their clinical significance. Seventy-three AML patients were enrolled in this study, the sodium citrate anticoagulated plasma was collected before and after their induction chemotherapy. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer substrate vWF73 (FRETS-vWF73) assay was established to detect the plasma ADAMTS13 activity while vWF antigen level was measured by ELISA. The results showed that the ADAMTS13 activity in newly diagnosed patients with AML before induction therapy was obviously lower than that in normal controls (63.3 ± 25.5)% vs (105.1 ± 37.7)(P < 0.01), while the vWF antigen level was higher than that in normal controls (226.6 ± 127.0)% vs (111.4 ± 39.7)% (P < 0.01). After standard induction chemotherapy, the ADAMTS13 activity of AML patients in complete remission period was higher than that in AML patients before therapy (P < 0.01), and was not significant difference with that in normal controls; the vWF antigen was significantly lower than that in AML patients before therapy (P < 0.01), but it still was higher than that in controls (P < 0.05). The ADAMTS13 activity in newly diagnosed AML patients complicated with infection before therapy was obviously lower than that in AML patients without infection (52.2 ± 20.6)% vs (73.9 ± 24.7)% (P < 0.01), while the vWF antigen level was significantly higher than that in AML patients without infection (262.2 ± 135.7)% vs (193.8 ± 110.2)% (P < 0.05). The ADAMTS13 activity in AML patients with disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) was significantly lower than that in AML patients without DIC (42.0 ± 14.5)% vs (73.4 ± 22.7)% (P < 0.01), while the vWF antigen level was obviously higher that in AML patients without DIC (274.2 ± 140.0)% vs (204.7 ± 115.5)% (P < 0.01). It is concluded

  10. A biosensor for the protease TACE reveals actin damage induced TACE activation

    PubMed Central

    Chapnick, Douglas A.; Bunker, Eric; Liu, Xuedong

    2016-01-01

    Ligand shedding has gained increased attention as a major posttranslational modification mechanism used by cells to respond to diverse environmental conditions. The TACEadam17 protease is a critical mediator of such ligand shedding, regulating the maturation and release of an impressive range of extracellular substrates that drive diverse cellular responses. Exactly how this protease is itself activated remains unclear, in part due to the lack of available tools to measure TACE activity with temporal and spatial resolution in live cells. We have developed a FRET based biosensor for TACE activity (TSen), which is capable of reporting TACE activation kinetics in live cells with a high degree of specificity. TSen was used in combination with chemical biology to probe the dependence of various means of TACE activation on p38 and Erk kinase activities, as well as to identify a novel connection between actin cytoskeletal disruption and TACE activation. Such cytoskeletal disruption leads to rapid and robust TACE activation in some cell types and accumulation of TACE at the plasma membrane, allowing for increased cleavage of endogenous substrates. Our study highlights both the versatility of TSen as a tool to understand the mechanisms of TACE activation in live cells and the importance of actin cytoskeletal integrity as a modulator of TACE activity. PMID:25714465

  11. RNA Profiles of Porcine Embryos during Genome Activation Reveal Complex Metabolic Switch Sensitive to In Vitro Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Østrup, Olga; Olbricht, Gayla; Østrup, Esben; Hyttel, Poul; Collas, Philippe; Cabot, Ryan

    2013-01-01

    Fertilization is followed by complex changes in cytoplasmic composition and extensive chromatin reprogramming which results in the abundant activation of totipotent embryonic genome at embryonic genome activation (EGA). While chromatin reprogramming has been widely studied in several species, only a handful of reports characterize changing transcriptome profiles and resulting metabolic changes in cleavage stage embryos. The aims of the current study were to investigate RNA profiles of in vivo developed (ivv) and in vitro produced (ivt) porcine embryos before (2-cell stage) and after (late 4-cell stage) EGA and determine major metabolic changes that regulate totipotency. The period before EGA was dominated by transcripts responsible for cell cycle regulation, mitosis, RNA translation and processing (including ribosomal machinery), protein catabolism, and chromatin remodelling. Following EGA an increase in the abundance of transcripts involved in transcription, translation, DNA metabolism, histone and chromatin modification, as well as protein catabolism was detected. The further analysis of members of overlapping GO terms revealed that despite that comparable cellular processes are taking place before and after EGA (RNA splicing, protein catabolism), different metabolic pathways are involved. This strongly suggests that a complex metabolic switch accompanies EGA. In vitro conditions significantly altered RNA profiles before EGA, and the character of these changes indicates that they originate from oocyte and are imposed either before oocyte aspiration or during in vitro maturation. IVT embryos have altered content of apoptotic factors, cell cycle regulation factors and spindle components, and transcription factors, which all may contribute to reduced developmental competence of embryos produced in vitro. Overall, our data are in good accordance with previously published, genome-wide profiling data in other species. Moreover, comparison with mouse and human embryos

  12. Electromyographic activation reveals cortical and sub-cortical dissociation during emergence from general anesthesia.

    PubMed

    Hight, Darren F; Voss, Logan J; García, Paul S; Sleigh, Jamie W

    2016-07-21

    During emergence from anesthesia patients regain their muscle tone (EMG). In a typical population of surgical patients the actual volatile gas anesthetic concentrations in the brain (CeMAC) at which EMG activation occurs remains unknown, as is whether EMG activation at higher CeMACs is correlated with subsequent severe pain, or with cortical activation. Electroencephalographic (EEG) and EMG activity was recorded from the forehead of 273 patients emerging from general anesthesia following surgery. We determined CeMAC at time of EMG activation and at return of consciousness. Pain was assessed immediately after return of consciousness using an 11 point numerical rating scale. The onset of EMG activation during emergence was associated with neither discernible muscle movement nor with the presence of exogenous stimulation in half the patients. EMG activation could be modelled as two distinct processes; termed high- and low-CeMAC (occurring higher or lower than 0.07 CeMAC). Low-CeMAC activation was typically associated with simultaneous EMG activation and consciousness, and the presence of a laryngeal mask. In contrast, high-CeMAC EMG activation occurred independently of return of consciousness, and was not associated with severe post-operative pain, but was more common in the presence of an endotracheal tube. Patients emerging from general anesthesia with an endotracheal tube in place are more likely to have an EMG activation at higher CeMAC concentrations. These activations are not associated with subsequent high-pain, nor with cortical arousal, as evidenced by continuing delta waves in the EEG. Conversely, patients emerging from general anesthesia with a laryngeal mask demonstrate marked neural inertia-EMG activation occurs at a low CeMAC, and is closely temporally associated with return of consciousness.

  13. Significant alterations in anisotropic ice growth rate induced by the ice nucleation-active bacteria Xanthomonas campestris

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nada, Hiroki; Zepeda, Salvador; Miura, Hitoshi; Furukawa, Yoshinori

    2010-09-01

    In the present study, we found that the ice nucleation-active bacteria Xanthomonas campestris significantly altered anisotropic ice growth rate. Results of ice growth experiments in the presence of X. campestris showed that this bacterium decreased the ice crystal growth rate in the c-axis, whereas it increased growth rates in directions normal to the c-axis. These results indicate that these alterations in anisotropic growth rate are the result of selective binding of bacterial ice-nucleating proteins along the {0 0 0 1} basal plane.

  14. Plasma Thrombin Generation and Sensitivity to Activated Protein C Among Patients With Myeloma and Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance.

    PubMed

    Crowley, Maeve P; Kevane, Barry; O'Shea, Susan I; Quinn, Shane; Egan, Karl; Gilligan, Oonagh M; Ní Áinle, Fionnuala

    2016-09-01

    The etiology of the prothrombotic state in myeloma has yet to be definitively characterized. Similarly, while recent evidence suggests that patients with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) may also be at increased risk of thrombosis, the magnitude and the etiology of this risk have also yet to be defined. The present study aims to characterize patterns of plasma thrombin generation and sensitivity to the anticoagulant activity of activated protein C (APC) at the time of initial diagnosis of myeloma and in response to therapy in comparison to that observed among patients with MGUS and matched, healthy volunteers. Patients presenting with newly diagnosed/newly relapsed myeloma (n = 8), MGUS (n = 8), and matched healthy volunteers (n = 8) were recruited. Plasma thrombin generation was determined by calibrated automated thrombography. Peak thrombin generation was significantly higher in patients with myeloma (383.4 ± 33.4 nmol/L) and MGUS (353.4 ± 16.5 nmol/L) compared to healthy volunteers (276.7 ± 20.8 nmol/L; P < .05). In the presence of APC, endogenous thrombin potential was significantly lower in control plasma (228.6 ± 44.5 nmol/L × min) than in either myeloma (866.2 ± 241.3 nmol/L × min, P = .01) or MGUS plasma (627 ± 91.5 nmol/L × min, P = .003). Within the myeloma cohort, peak thrombin generation was significantly higher at diagnosis (353.2 ± 15.9 nmol/L) than following completion of the third cycle of therapy (282.1 ± 15.2 nmol/L; P < .005). Moreover, sensitivity to APC increased progressively with each cycle of chemotherapy. Further study of the etiology and evolving patterns of hypercoagulability among patients with these conditions is warranted and may have future implications for thromboprophylaxis strategies.

  15. A FRET biosensor reveals spatiotemporal activation and functions of aurora kinase A in living cells.

    PubMed

    Bertolin, Giulia; Sizaire, Florian; Herbomel, Gaëtan; Reboutier, David; Prigent, Claude; Tramier, Marc

    2016-09-14

    Overexpression of AURKA is a major hallmark of epithelial cancers. It encodes the multifunctional serine/threonine kinase aurora A, which is activated at metaphase and is required for cell cycle progression; assessing its activation in living cells is mandatory for next-generation drug design. We describe here a Förster's resonance energy transfer (FRET) biosensor detecting the conformational changes of aurora kinase A induced by its autophosphorylation on Thr288. The biosensor functionally replaces the endogenous kinase in cells and allows the activation of the kinase to be followed throughout the cell cycle. Inhibiting the catalytic activity of the kinase prevents the conformational changes of the biosensor. Using this approach, we discover that aurora kinase A activates during G1 to regulate the stability of microtubules in cooperation with TPX2 and CEP192. These results demonstrate that the aurora kinase A biosensor is a powerful tool to identify new regulatory pathways controlling aurora kinase A activation.

  16. Alanine-Scanning Mutational Analysis of Durancin GL Reveals Residues Important for Its Antimicrobial Activity.

    PubMed

    Ju, Xingrong; Chen, Xinquan; Du, Lihui; Wu, Xueyou; Liu, Fang; Yuan, Jian

    2015-07-22

    Durancin GL is a novel class IIa bacteriocin with 43 residues produced by Enterococcus durans 41D. This bacteriocin demonstrates narrow inhibition spectrum and potent antimicrobial activity against several Listeria monocytogenes strains, including nisin-resistant L. monocytogenes NR30. A systematic alanine-scanning mutational analysis with site-directed mutagenesis was performed to analyze durancin GL residues important for antimicrobial activity and specificity. Results showed that three mutations lost their antimicrobial activity, ten mutations demonstrated a decreased effect on the activity, and seven mutations exhibited relatively high activity. With regard to inhibitory spectrum, four mutants demonstrated a narrower antimicrobial spectrum than wild-type durancin GL. Another four mutants displayed a broader target cell spectrum and increased potency relative to wild-type durancin GL. These findings broaden our understanding of durancin GL residues important for its antimicrobial activity and contribute to future rational design of variants with increased potency.

  17. A FRET biosensor reveals spatiotemporal activation and functions of aurora kinase A in living cells

    PubMed Central

    Bertolin, Giulia; Sizaire, Florian; Herbomel, Gaëtan; Reboutier, David; Prigent, Claude; Tramier, Marc

    2016-01-01

    Overexpression of AURKA is a major hallmark of epithelial cancers. It encodes the multifunctional serine/threonine kinase aurora A, which is activated at metaphase and is required for cell cycle progression; assessing its activation in living cells is mandatory for next-generation drug design. We describe here a Förster's resonance energy transfer (FRET) biosensor detecting the conformational changes of aurora kinase A induced by its autophosphorylation on Thr288. The biosensor functionally replaces the endogenous kinase in cells and allows the activation of the kinase to be followed throughout the cell cycle. Inhibiting the catalytic activity of the kinase prevents the conformational changes of the biosensor. Using this approach, we discover that aurora kinase A activates during G1 to regulate the stability of microtubules in cooperation with TPX2 and CEP192. These results demonstrate that the aurora kinase A biosensor is a powerful tool to identify new regulatory pathways controlling aurora kinase A activation. PMID:27624869

  18. Characterization of AhR agonists reveals antagonistic activity in European herring gull (Larus argentatus) eggs.

    PubMed

    Muusse, Martine; Christensen, Guttorm; Gomes, Tânia; Kočan, Anton; Langford, Katherine; Tollefsen, Knut Erik; Vaňková, Lenka; Thomas, Kevin V

    2015-05-01

    European herring gull (Larus argentatus) eggs from two Norwegian islands, Musvær in the south east and Reiaren in Northern Norway, were screened for dioxins, furans, and dioxin-like and selected non-dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and subjected to non-target analysis to try to identify the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) agonists, responsible for elevated levels measured using the dioxin responsive chemically activated luciferase expression (DR-CALUX) assay. Eggs from Musvær contained chemically calculated toxic equivalent (WHO TEQ) levels of between 109 and 483 pg TEQ/g lw, and between 82 and 337 pg TEQ/g lw was determined in eggs from Reiaren. In particular PCB126 contributed highly to the total TEQ (69-82%). In 19 of the 23 samples the calculated WHO TEQ was higher than the TEQCALUX. Using CALUX specific relative effect potencies (REPs), the levels were lower at between 77 and 292 pg/g lw in eggs from Musvær and between 55 and 223 pg/g lw in eggs from Reiaren, which was higher than the TEQCALUX in 16 of the 23 samples. However, the means of the REP values and the TEQCALUX were not significantly different. This suggests the presence of compounds that can elicit antagonist effects, with a low binding affinity to the AhR. Non-target analysis identified the presence of hexachlorobenzene (HCB) (quantified at 9.6-185 pg/g lw) but neither this compound nor high concentrations of PCB126 and non-dioxin-like PCBs could explain the differences between the calculated TEQ or REP values and the TEQCALUX. Even though, for most AhR agonists, the sensitivity of herring gulls is not known, the reported levels can be considered to represent a risk for biological effects in the developing embryo, compared to LC50 values in chicken embryos. For human consumers of herring gull eggs, these eggs contain TEQ levels up to four times higher than the maximum tolerable weekly intake.

  19. Equilibrium physics breakdown reveals the active nature of red blood cell flickering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turlier, Herve; Fedosov, Dmitry; Auth, Thorsten; Gov, Nir S.; Sykes, Cecile; Joanny, Jean-Francois; Gompper, Gerhard; Betz, Timo

    2015-03-01

    Red blood cell membrane flickering stimulated an abundant biological, biophysical and biochemical literature over the past 50 years. While the phenomenon has been interpreted as thermal fluctuations of the cell membrane, recent results suggest the involvement of metabolic processes. However, to date there is no direct and conclusive evidence that an active force drives membrane flickering. By comparing membrane undulations and active microrheology measurements on single human erythrocytes, we show that flickering is partly driven by an active metabolic process, as it does not satisfy the equilibrium fluctuation-dissipation relation on timescales slower than 100ms. Analytical and numerical models of the red blood cell reproduce experimental results. The analytical model assumes that membrane activity results from reversible binding of the elastic spectrin network to the lipid bilayer and predicts active fluctuations to increase with local curvature and extensional prestress in the cytoskeleton. Our mean-field calculation shows that the strength and kinetics of the binding activity regulates thereupon both passive and active mechanical properties of the red blood cell. Numerical simulations explore other possible origins of active forces on the membrane and predict coherent timescales for the molecular underlying metabolic processes.

  20. Rational engineering of L-asparaginase reveals importance of dual activity for cancer cell toxicity.

    PubMed

    Offman, Marc N; Krol, Marcin; Patel, Naina; Krishnan, Shekhar; Liu, JiZhong; Saha, Vaskar; Bates, Paul A

    2011-02-03

    Using proteins in a therapeutic context often requires engineering to modify functionality and enhance efficacy. We have previously reported that the therapeutic antileukemic protein macromolecule Escherichia coli L-asparaginase is degraded by leukemic lysosomal cysteine proteases. In the present study, we successfully engineered L-asparaginase to resist proteolytic cleavage and at the same time improve activity. We employed a novel combination of mutant sampling using a genetic algorithm in tandem with flexibility studies using molecular dynamics to investigate the impact of lid-loop and mutations on drug activity. Applying these methods, we successfully predicted the more active L-asparaginase mutants N24T and N24A. For the latter, a unique hydrogen bond network contributes to higher activity. Furthermore, interface mutations controlling secondary glutaminase activity demonstrated the importance of this enzymatic activity for drug cytotoxicity. All selected mutants were expressed, purified, and tested for activity and for their ability to form the active tetrameric form. By introducing the N24A and N24A R195S mutations to the drug L-asparaginase, we are a step closer to individualized drug design.

  1. Discovery of a Potent HIV Integrase Inhibitor That Leads to a Prodrug with Significant anti-HIV Activity

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Worldwide research efforts in drug discovery involving HIV integrase have produced only one compound, raltegravir, that has been approved for clinical use in HIV/AIDS. As resistance, toxicity, and drug–drug interactions are recurring issues with all classes of anti-HIV drugs, the discovery of novel integrase inhibitors remains a significant scientific challenge. We have designed a lead HIV-1 strand transfer (ST) inhibitor (IC50 70 nM), strategically assembled on a pyridinone scaffold. A focused structure–activity investigation of this parent compound led to a significantly more potent ST inhibitor, 2 (IC50 6 ± 3 nM). Compound 2 exhibits good stability in pooled human liver microsomes. It also displays a notably favorable profile with respect to key human cytochrome P450 (CYP) isozymes and human UDP glucuronosyl transferases (UGTs). The prodrug of inhibitor 2, i.e., compound 10, was found to possess remarkable anti-HIV-1 activity in cell culture (EC50 9 ± 4 nM, CC50 135 ± 7 μM, therapeutic index = 15 000). PMID:22328963

  2. Novel Molecular Insights into Classical and Alternative Activation States of Microglia as Revealed by Stable Isotope Labeling by Amino Acids in Cell Culture (SILAC)-based Proteomics.

    PubMed

    Bell-Temin, Harris; Culver-Cochran, Ashley E; Chaput, Dale; Carlson, Christina M; Kuehl, Melanie; Burkhardt, Brant R; Bickford, Paula C; Liu, Bin; Stevens, Stanley M

    2015-12-01

    Microglia, the resident immune cells of the brain, have been shown to display a complex spectrum of roles that span from neurotrophic to neurotoxic depending on their activation status. Microglia can be classified into four stages of activation, M1, which most closely matches the classical (pro-inflammatory) activation stage, and the alternative activation stages M2a, M2b, and M2c. The alternative activation stages have not yet been comprehensively analyzed through unbiased, global-scale protein expression profiling. In this study, BV2 mouse immortalized microglial cells were stimulated with agonists specific for each of the four stages and total protein expression for 4644 protein groups was quantified using SILAC-based proteomic analysis. After validating induction of the various stages through a targeted cytokine assay and Western blotting of activation states, the data revealed novel insights into the similarities and differences between the various states. The data identify several protein groups whose expression in the anti-inflammatory, pro-healing activation states are altered presumably to curtail inflammatory activation through differential protein expression, in the M2a state including CD74, LYN, SQST1, TLR2, and CD14. The differential expression of these proteins promotes healing, limits phagocytosis, and limits activation of reactive nitrogen species through toll-like receptor cascades. The M2c state appears to center around the down-regulation of a key member in the formation of actin-rich phagosomes, SLP-76. In addition, the proteomic data identified a novel activation marker, DAB2, which is involved in clathrin-mediated endocytosis and is significantly different between M2a and either M1 or M2b states. Western blot analysis of mouse primary microglia stimulated with the various agonists of the classical and alternative activation states revealed a similar trend of DAB2 expression compared with BV2 cells.

  3. Novel Molecular Insights into Classical and Alternative Activation States of Microglia as Revealed by Stable Isotope Labeling by Amino Acids in Cell Culture (SILAC)-based Proteomics*

    PubMed Central

    Bell-Temin, Harris; Culver-Cochran, Ashley E.; Chaput, Dale; Carlson, Christina M.; Kuehl, Melanie; Burkhardt, Brant R.; Bickford, Paula C.; Liu, Bin; Stevens, Stanley M.

    2015-01-01

    Microglia, the resident immune cells of the brain, have been shown to display a complex spectrum of roles that span from neurotrophic to neurotoxic depending on their activation status. Microglia can be classified into four stages of activation, M1, which most closely matches the classical (pro-inflammatory) activation stage, and the alternative activation stages M2a, M2b, and M2c. The alternative activation stages have not yet been comprehensively analyzed through unbiased, global-scale protein expression profiling. In this study, BV2 mouse immortalized microglial cells were stimulated with agonists specific for each of the four stages and total protein expression for 4644 protein groups was quantified using SILAC-based proteomic analysis. After validating induction of the various stages through a targeted cytokine assay and Western blotting of activation states, the data revealed novel insights into the similarities and differences between the various states. The data identify several protein groups whose expression in the anti-inflammatory, pro-healing activation states are altered presumably to curtail inflammatory activation through differential protein expression, in the M2a state including CD74, LYN, SQST1, TLR2, and CD14. The differential expression of these proteins promotes healing, limits phagocytosis, and limits activation of reactive nitrogen species through toll-like receptor cascades. The M2c state appears to center around the down-regulation of a key member in the formation of actin-rich phagosomes, SLP-76. In addition, the proteomic data identified a novel activation marker, DAB2, which is involved in clathrin-mediated endocytosis and is significantly different between M2a and either M1 or M2b states. Western blot analysis of mouse primary microglia stimulated with the various agonists of the classical and alternative activation states revealed a similar trend of DAB2 expression compared with BV2 cells. PMID:26424600

  4. Enhanced activity of the free radical producing enzyme xanthine oxidase in hypoxic rat liver. Regulation and pathophysiologic significance.

    PubMed Central

    Brass, C A; Narciso, J; Gollan, J L

    1991-01-01

    It has been widely proposed that conversion of xanthine dehydrogenase (XDH) to its free radical-producing form, xanthine oxidase (XOD), underlies ischemic/reperfusion injury, although the relationship of this conversion to hypoxia and its physiologic control have not been defined. This study details the time course and control of this enzymatic interconversion. In a functionally intact, isolated perfused rat liver model, mean % XOD activity increased as a function of both the duration (25 to 45% in 3 h) and degree (r = 0.97) of hypoxia. This process was markedly accelerated in ischemic liver by an overnight fast (45 vs. 30% at 2 h), and by imposing a short period of in vivo ischemia (cardiopulmonary arrest 72%). Moreover, only under these conditions was there a significant rise in the XOD activity due to the conformationally altered XDH molecule (XODc, 18%), as well as concomitant morphologic injury. Neither circulating white blood cells nor thrombosis appeared to contribute to the effects of in vivo ischemia on enzyme conversion. Thus, it is apparent that conversion to the free radical-producing state, with high levels of XOD activity and concurrent cellular injury, can be achieved during a relatively short period of hypoxia under certain well-defined physiologic conditions, in a time course consistent with its purported role in modulating reperfusion injury. These data also suggest that the premorbid condition of organ donors (e.g., nutritional status and relative state of hypoxia) is important in achieving optimal organ preservation. Images PMID:1991828

  5. Properties of active nucleosomes as revealed by HMG 14 and 17 chromatography.

    PubMed Central

    Weisbrod, S T

    1982-01-01

    Nucleosomes from actively transcribed genes (active nucleosomes) contain nonhistone proteins HMG 14 and 17 and are preferentially sensitive to digestion by DNAse I. Active nucleosomes isolated by chromatography on an HMG 14 and 17 glass bead affinity column were analyzed with respect to overall structure, accessory nonhistone components and modifications to the DNA and histones. The experiments lead to the following conclusions: the DNA in the active nucleosome is undermethylated compared to bulk DNA; topoisomerase I is a non-stoichiometric component of the active nucleosome fraction; the level of histone acetylation is enriched in active nucleosomes, but the extent of enrichment cannot account for HMG binding; and the two histone H3 molecules in the active nucleosome can dimerize more readily and are, therefore, probably closer together than those in the bulk of the nucleosomes. Additionally it is shown that HMG 14 and 17 prefer to bind to single- vs. double-stranded nucleic acids. The role of HMG 14 and 17 in producing a highly DNAse I sensitive structure and correspondingly helping to facilitate transcription is discussed in terms of these properties. Images PMID:6210882

  6. Equilibrium physics breakdown reveals the active nature of red blood cell flickering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turlier, H.; Fedosov, D. A.; Audoly, B.; Auth, T.; Gov, N. S.; Sykes, C.; Joanny, J.-F.; Gompper, G.; Betz, T.

    2016-05-01

    Red blood cells, or erythrocytes, are seen to flicker under optical microscopy, a phenomenon initially described as thermal fluctuations of the cell membrane. But recent studies have suggested the involvement of non-equilibrium processes, without definitively ruling out equilibrium interpretations. Using active and passive microrheology to directly compare the membrane response and fluctuations on single erythrocytes, we report here a violation of the fluctuation-dissipation relation, which is a direct demonstration of the non-equilibrium nature of flickering. With an analytical model of the composite erythrocyte membrane and realistic stochastic simulations, we show that several molecular mechanisms may explain the active fluctuations, and we predict their kinetics. We demonstrate that tangential metabolic activity in the network formed by spectrin, a cytoskeletal protein, can generate curvature-mediated active membrane motions. We also show that other active membrane processes represented by direct normal force dipoles may explain the observed membrane activity. Our findings provide solid experimental and theoretical frameworks for future investigations of the origin and function of active motion in cells.

  7. A Trial by Trial Analysis Reveals More Intense Physical Activity is Associated with Better Cognitive Control Performance in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Hartanto, T.A.; Krafft, C.E.; Iosif, A.M.; Schweitzer, J.B.

    2015-01-01

    Hyperactivity is a key symptom and the most observable manifestation of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The over-activity associated with ADHD can cause specific challenges in academic settings, extracurricular activities and social relationships. Cognitive control challenges are also well-established in ADHD. The current study included 44 children between the ages of 10 and 17 diagnosed with ADHD or who were typically developing (TD), all of whom had no psychiatric co-morbidity or significant learning disorders. Participants wore an actometer on their ankle while performing a flanker paradigm in order to objectively measure their rates of activity in association with cognitive control. Analyses assessed the relationship between frequency and intensity of activity to task accuracy on trial by trial basis. A significant interaction effect between group and performance revealed that more intense movement was associated with better performance in the ADHD, but not TD group. The ADHD group demonstrated more intense activity than the TD group during correct (but not error) trials. Within-group, children with ADHD generated higher intensity movements in their correct trials compared to their error trials, whereas the TD group did not demonstrate any within-group differences. These findings suggest that excessive motoric activity associated with clinically significant ADHD symptoms may reflect compensatory efforts to modulate attention and alertness. Future research should systematically explore the relationship between motion in ADHD and how it might be used to improve cognitive performance. PMID:26059476

  8. Single-Molecule Nanocatalysis Reveals Catalytic Activation Energy of Single Nanocatalysts.

    PubMed

    Chen, Tao; Zhang, Yuwei; Xu, Weilin

    2016-09-28

    By monitoring the temperature-dependent catalytic activity of single Au nanocatalysts for a fluorogenic reaction, we derive the activation energies via multiple methods for two sequential catalytic steps (product formation and dissociation) on single nanocatalysts. The wide distributions of activation energies across multiple individual nanocatalysts indicate a huge static heterogeneity among the individual nanocatalysts. The compensation effect and isokinetic relationship of catalytic reactions are observed at the single particle level. This study exemplifies another function of single-molecule nanocatalysis and improves our understanding of heterogeneous catalysis.

  9. The crystal structure of the cysteine protease Xylellain from Xylella fastidiosa reveals an intriguing activation mechanism.

    PubMed

    Leite, Ney Ribeiro; Faro, Aline Regis; Dotta, Maria Amélia Oliva; Faim, Livia Maria; Gianotti, Andreia; Silva, Flavio Henrique; Oliva, Glaucius; Thiemann, Otavio Henrique

    2013-02-14

    Xylella fastidiosa is responsible for a wide range of economically important plant diseases. We report here the crystal structure and kinetic data of Xylellain, the first cysteine protease characterized from the genome of the pathogenic X. fastidiosa strain 9a5c. Xylellain has a papain-family fold, and part of the N-terminal sequence blocks the enzyme active site, thereby mediating protein activity. One novel feature identified in the structure is the presence of a ribonucleotide bound outside the active site. We show that this ribonucleotide plays an important regulatory role in Xylellain enzyme kinetics, possibly functioning as a physiological mediator.

  10. Structures, chemotaxonomic significance, cytotoxic and Na(+),K(+)-ATPase inhibitory activities of new cardenolides from Asclepias curassavica.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Rong-Rong; Tian, Hai-Yan; Tan, Ya-Fang; Chung, Tse-Yu; Sun, Xiao-Hui; Xia, Xue; Ye, Wen-Cai; Middleton, David A; Fedosova, Natalya; Esmann, Mikael; Tzen, Jason T C; Jiang, Ren-Wang

    2014-11-28

    Five new cardenolide lactates (1–5) and one new dioxane double linked cardenolide glycoside (17) along with 15 known compounds (6–16 and 18–21) were isolated from the ornamental milkweed Asclepias curassavica. Their structures were elucidated by extensive spectroscopic methods (IR, UV, MS, 1D- and 2D-NMR). The molecular structures and absolute configurations of 1–3 and 17 were further confirmed by single-crystal X-ray diffraction analysis. Simultaneous isolation of dioxane double linked cardenolide glycosides (17–21) and cardenolide lactates (1–5) provided unique chemotaxonomic markers for this genus. Compounds 1–21 were evaluated for the inhibitory activities against DU145 prostate cancer cells. The dioxane double linked cardenolide glycosides showed the most potent cytotoxic effect followed by normal cardenolides and cardenolide lactates, while the C21 steroids were non-cytotoxic. Enzymatic assay established a correlation between the cytotoxic effects in DU145 cancer cells and the Ki for the inhibition of Na(+),K(+)-ATPase. Molecular docking analysis revealed relatively strong H-bond interactions between the bottom of the binding cavity and compounds 18 or 20, and explained why the dioxane double linked cardenolide glycosides possessed higher inhibitory potency on Na(+),K(+)-ATPase than the cardenolide lactate.

  11. Lipid droplets in activated mast cells - a significant source of triglyceride-derived arachidonic acid for eicosanoid production.

    PubMed

    Dichlberger, Andrea; Schlager, Stefanie; Kovanen, Petri T; Schneider, Wolfgang J

    2016-08-15

    Mast cells are potent effectors of immune reactions and key players in various inflammatory diseases such as atherosclerosis, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis. The cellular defense response of mast cells represents a unique and powerful system, where external signals can trigger cell activation resulting in a stimulus-specific and highly coordinated release of a plethora of bioactive mediators. The arsenal of mediators encompasses preformed molecules stored in cytoplasmic secretory granules, as well as newly synthesized proteinaceous and lipid mediators. The release of mediators occurs in strict chronological order and requires proper coordination between the endomembrane system and various enzymatic machineries. For the generation of lipid mediators, cytoplasmic lipid droplets have been shown to function as a major intracellular pool of arachidonic acid, the precursor for eicosanoid biosynthesis. Recent studies have revealed that not only phospholipids in mast cell membranes, but also triglycerides in mast cell lipid droplets are a substrate source for eicosanoid formation. The present review summarizes current knowledge about mast cell lipid droplet biology, and discusses expansions and challenges of traditional mechanistic models for eicosanoid production.

  12. Purification and properties of a beta-galactosidase from carambola fruit with significant activity towards cell wall polysaccharides.

    PubMed

    Balasubramaniam, Sumathi; Lee, Heng Chin; Lazan, Hamid; Othman, Roohaida; Ali, Zainon Mohd

    2005-01-01

    beta-Galactosidase (EC. 3.2.1.23) from ripe carambola (Averrhoa carambola L. cv. B10) fruit was fractionated through a combination of ion exchange and gel filtration chromatography into four isoforms, viz. beta-galactosidase I, II, III and IV. This beta-galactosidases had apparent native molecular masses of 84, 77, 58 and 130 kDa, respectively. beta-Galactosidase I, the predominant isoform, was purified to electrophoretic homogeneity; analysis of the protein by SDS-PAGE revealed two subunits with molecular masses of 48 and 36 kDa. N-terminal amino acid sequence of the respective polypeptides shared high similarities albeit at different domains, with the deduced amino acid sequence of certain plant beta-galactosidases, thus, explaining the observed low similarity between the two subunits. beta-Galactosidase I was probably a heterodimer that have glycoprotein properties and a pI value of 7.2, with one of the potential glycosylation sites appeared to reside within the 48-kDa-polypeptide. The purified beta-galactosidase I was substantially active in hydrolyzing (1-->4)beta-linked spruce and a mixture of (1-->3)beta- and (1-->6)beta-linked gum arabic galactans. This isoform also had the capability to solubilize and depolymerize structurally intact pectins as well as to modify alkaline-soluble hemicelluloses, reflecting in part changes that occur during ripening.

  13. Significant decrease of ADP release rate underlies the potent activity of dimethylenastron to inhibit mitotic kinesin Eg5 and cancer cell proliferation

    SciTech Connect

    Sun, Linlin; Sun, Xiaodong; Xie, Songbo; Yu, Haiyang; Zhong, Diansheng

    2014-05-09

    Highlights: • DIMEN displays higher anti-proliferative activity than enastron. • DIMEN induced mitotic arrest and apoptosis more significantly than enastron. • DIMEN blocked the conformational change of ADP-binding pocket more effectively. • DIMEN hindered ADP release more potently than enastron. - Abstract: Eg5 is a mitotic kinesin that plays a crucial role in the formation of bipolar mitotic spindles, by hydrolyzing ATP to push apart anti-parallel microtubules. Dimethylenastron is potent specific small molecule inhibitor of Eg5. The mechanism by which dimethylenastron inhibits Eg5 function remains unclear. By comparing with enastron, here we report that dimethylenastron prevents the growth of pancreatic and lung cancer cells more effectively, by halting mitotic progression and triggering apoptosis. We analyze their interactions with ADP-bound Eg5 crystal structure, and find that dimethylenastron binds Eg5 motor domain with higher affinity. In addition, dimethylenastron allosterically blocks the conformational change of the “sandwich”-like ADP-binding pocket more effectively. We subsequently use biochemical approach to reveal that dimethylenastron slows ADP release more significantly than enastron. These data thus provide biological, structural and mechanistic insights into the potent inhibitory activity of dimethylenastron.

  14. Activation pathway of Src kinase reveals intermediate states as targets for drug design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shukla, Diwakar; Meng, Yilin; Roux, Benoît; Pande, Vijay S.

    2014-03-01

    Unregulated activation of Src kinases leads to aberrant signalling, uncontrolled growth and differentiation of cancerous cells. Reaching a complete mechanistic understanding of large-scale conformational transformations underlying the activation of kinases could greatly help in the development of therapeutic drugs for the treatment of these pathologies. In principle, the nature of conformational transition could be modelled in silico via atomistic molecular dynamics simulations, although this is very challenging because of the long activation timescales. Here we employ a computational paradigm that couples transition pathway techniques and Markov state model-based massively distributed simulations for mapping the conformational landscape of c-src tyrosine kinase. The computations provide the thermodynamics and kinetics of kinase activation for the first time, and help identify key structural intermediates. Furthermore, the presence of a novel allosteric site in an intermediate state of c-src that could be potentially used for drug design is predicted.

  15. Differential brain activity states during the perception and nonperception of illusory motion as revealed by magnetoencephalography.

    PubMed

    Crowe, David A; Leuthold, Arthur C; Georgopoulos, Apostolos P

    2010-12-28

    We studied visual perception using an annular random-dot motion stimulus called the racetrack. We recorded neural activity using magnetoencephalography while subjects viewed variants of this stimulus that contained no inherent motion or various degrees of embedded motion. Subjects reported seeing rotary motion during viewing of all stimuli. We found that, in the absence of any motion signals, patterns of brain activity differed between states of motion perception and nonperception. Furthermore, when subjects perceived motion, activity states within the brain did not differ across stimuli of different amounts of embedded motion. In contrast, we found that during periods of nonperception brain-activity states varied with the amount of motion signal embedded in the stimulus. Taken together, these results suggest that during perception the brain may lock into a stable state in which lower-level signals are suppressed.

  16. Flagellin/TLR5 responses in epithelia reveal intertwined activation of inflammatory and apoptotic pathways

    PubMed Central

    Zeng, Hui; Wu, Huixia; Sloane, Valerie; Jones, Rheinallt; Yu, Yimin; Lin, Patricia; Gewirtz, Andrew T.; Neish, Andrew S.

    2015-01-01

    Flagellin, the primary structural component of bacterial flagella, is recognized by Toll-like receptor 5 (TLR5) present on the basolateral surface of intestinal epithelial cells. Utilizing biochemical assays of proinflammatory signaling pathways and mRNA expression profiling, we found that purified flagellin could recapitulate the human epithelial cell proinflammatory responses activated by flagellated pathogenic bacteria. Flagellin-induced proinflammatory activation showed similar kinetics and gene specificity as that induced by the classical endogenous proinflammatory cytokine TNF-α, although both responses were more rapid than that elicited by viable flagellated bacteria. Flagellin, like TNF-α, activated a number of antiapoptotic mediators, and pretreatment of epithelial cells with this bacterial protein could protect cells from subsequent bacterially mediated apoptotic challenge. However, when NF-κB-mediated or phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt proinflammatory signaling was blocked, flagellin could induce programmed cell death. Consistently, we demonstrate that flagellin and viable flagellate Salmonella induces both the extrinsic and intrinsic caspase activation pathways, with the extrinsic pathway (caspase 8) activated by purified flagellin in a TLR5-dependant fashion. We conclude that interaction of flagellin with epithelial cells induces caspase activation in parallel with proinflammatory responses. Such intertwining of proinflammatory and apoptotic signaling mediated by bacterial products suggests roles for host programmed cell death in the pathogenesis of enteric infections. PMID:16179598

  17. A systems study reveals concurrent activation of AMPK and mTOR by amino acids

    PubMed Central

    Pezze, Piero Dalle; Ruf, Stefanie; Sonntag, Annika G.; Langelaar-Makkinje, Miriam; Hall, Philip; Heberle, Alexander M.; Navas, Patricia Razquin; van Eunen, Karen; Tölle, Regine C.; Schwarz, Jennifer J.; Wiese, Heike; Warscheid, Bettina; Deitersen, Jana; Stork, Björn; Fäßler, Erik; Schäuble, Sascha; Hahn, Udo; Horvatovich, Peter; Shanley, Daryl P.; Thedieck, Kathrin

    2016-01-01

    Amino acids (aa) are not only building blocks for proteins, but also signalling molecules, with the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) acting as a key mediator. However, little is known about whether aa, independently of mTORC1, activate other kinases of the mTOR signalling network. To delineate aa-stimulated mTOR network dynamics, we here combine a computational–experimental approach with text mining-enhanced quantitative proteomics. We report that AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), phosphatidylinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) and mTOR complex 2 (mTORC2) are acutely activated by aa-readdition in an mTORC1-independent manner. AMPK activation by aa is mediated by Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase kinase β (CaMKKβ). In response, AMPK impinges on the autophagy regulators Unc-51-like kinase-1 (ULK1) and c-Jun. AMPK is widely recognized as an mTORC1 antagonist that is activated by starvation. We find that aa acutely activate AMPK concurrently with mTOR. We show that AMPK under aa sufficiency acts to sustain autophagy. This may be required to maintain protein homoeostasis and deliver metabolite intermediates for biosynthetic processes. PMID:27869123

  18. Activity Patterns of Free-Ranging Koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) Revealed by Accelerometry

    PubMed Central

    Ryan, Michelle A.; Whisson, Desley A.; Holland, Greg J.; Arnould, John P. Y.

    2013-01-01

    An understanding of koala activity patterns is important for measuring the behavioral response of this species to environmental change, but to date has been limited by the logistical challenges of traditional field methodologies. We addressed this knowledge gap by using tri-axial accelerometer data loggers attached to VHF radio collars to examine activity patterns of adult male and female koalas in a high-density population at Cape Otway, Victoria, Australia. Data were obtained from 27 adult koalas over two 7-d periods during the breeding season: 12 in the early-breeding season in November 2010, and 15 in the late-breeding season in January 2011. Multiple 15 minute observation blocks on each animal were used for validation of activity patterns determined from the accelerometer data loggers. Accelerometry was effective in distinguishing between inactive (sleeping, resting) and active (grooming, feeding and moving) behaviors. Koalas were more active during the early-breeding season with a higher index of movement (overall dynamic body acceleration [ODBA]) for both males and females. Koalas showed a distinct temporal pattern of behavior, with most activity occurring from mid-afternoon to early morning. Accelerometry has potential for examining fine-scale behavior of a wide range of arboreal and terrestrial species. PMID:24224050

  19. Structure of Escherichia coli tyrosine Kinase Etk Reveals a Novel Activation Mechanism

    SciTech Connect

    Lee,D.; Zheng, J.; She, Y.; Jia, Z.

    2008-01-01

    While protein tyrosine (Tyr) kinases (PTKs) have been extensively characterized in eukaryotes, far less is known about their emerging counterparts in prokaryotes. The inner-membrane Wzc/Etk protein belongs to the bacterial PTK family, which has an important function in regulating the polymerization and transport of virulence-determining capsular polysaccharide (CPS). The kinase uses a unique two-step activation process involving intra-phosphorylation of a Tyr residue, although the molecular mechanism remains unknown. Herein, we report the first crystal structure of a bacterial PTK, the C-terminal kinase domain of Escherichia coli Tyr kinase (Etk) at 2.5-Angstroms resolution. The fold of the Etk kinase domain differs markedly from that of eukaryotic PTKs. Based on the observed structure and supporting mass spectrometric evidence of Etk, a unique activation mechanism is proposed that involves the phosphorylated Tyr residue, Y574, at the active site and its specific interaction with a previously unidentified key Arg residue, R614, to unblock the active site. Both in vitro kinase activity and in vivo antibiotics resistance studies using structure-guided mutants further support the novel activation mechanism.

  20. Trichoderma harzianum IOC-4038: A promising strain for the production of a cellulolytic complex with significant β-glucosidase activity from sugarcane bagasse cellulignin.

    PubMed

    de Castro, Aline Machado; Pedro, Kelly Cristina Nascimento Rodrigues; da Cruz, Juliana Cunha; Ferreira, Marcela Costa; Leite, Selma Gomes Ferreira; Pereira, Nei

    2010-11-01

    Sugarcane bagasse is an agroindustrial residue generated in large amounts in Brazil. This biomass can be used for the production of cellulases, aiming at their use in second-generation processes for bioethanol production. Therefore, this work reports the ability of a fungal strain, Trichoderma harzianum IOC-4038, to produce cellulases on a novel material, xylan free and cellulose rich, generated from sugarcane bagasse, named partially delignified cellulignin. The extract produced by T. harzianum under submerged conditions reached 745, 97, and 559 U L(-1) of β-glucosidase, FPase, and endoglucanase activities, respectively. The partial characterization of this enzyme complex indicated, using a dual analysis, that the optimal pH values for the biocatalysis ranged from 4.9 to 5.2 and optimal temperatures were between 47 and 54 °C, depending on the activity studied. Thermal stability analyses revealed no significant decrease in activity at 37 °C during 23 h of incubation. When compared to model strains, Aspergillus niger ATCC-16404 and Trichoderma reesei RutC30, T. harzianum fermentation was faster and its extract showed a better balanced enzyme complex, with adequate characteristics for its application in simultaneous saccharification and fermentation processes.

  1. Blocking two-component signalling enhances Candida albicans virulence and reveals adaptive mechanisms that counteract sustained SAPK activation

    PubMed Central

    Ikeh, Mélanie A. C.; Haider, Mohammed; Brown, Alistair J. P.; Morgan, Brian A.; Erwig, Lars P.; Quinn, Janet

    2017-01-01

    The Ypd1 phosphorelay protein is a central constituent of fungal two-component signal transduction pathways. Inhibition of Ypd1 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Cryptococcus neoformans is lethal due to the sustained activation of the ‘p38-related’ Hog1 stress-activated protein kinase (SAPK). As two-component signalling proteins are not found in animals, Ypd1 is considered to be a prime antifungal target. However, a major fungal pathogen of humans, Candida albicans, can survive the concomitant sustained activation of Hog1 that occurs in cells lacking YPD1. Here we show that the sustained activation of Hog1 upon Ypd1 loss is mediated through the Ssk1 response regulator. Moreover, we present evidence that C. albicans survives SAPK activation in the short-term, following Ypd1 loss, by triggering the induction of protein tyrosine phosphatase-encoding genes which prevent the accumulation of lethal levels of phosphorylated Hog1. In addition, our studies reveal an unpredicted, reversible, mechanism that acts to substantially reduce the levels of phosphorylated Hog1 in ypd1Δ cells following long-term sustained SAPK activation. Indeed, over time, ypd1Δ cells become phenotypically indistinguishable from wild-type cells. Importantly, we also find that drug-induced down-regulation of YPD1 expression actually enhances the virulence of C. albicans in two distinct animal infection models. Investigating the underlying causes of this increased virulence, revealed that drug-mediated repression of YPD1 expression promotes hyphal growth both within murine kidneys, and following phagocytosis, thus increasing the efficacy by which C. albicans kills macrophages. Taken together, these findings challenge the targeting of Ypd1 proteins as a general antifungal strategy and reveal novel cellular adaptation mechanisms to sustained SAPK activation. PMID:28135328

  2. β-Arrestin biosensors reveal a rapid, receptor-dependent activation/deactivation cycle

    PubMed Central

    Nuber, Susanne; Zabel, Ulrike; Lorenz, Kristina; Nuber, Andreas; Milligan, Graeme; Tobin, Andrew B.; Lohse, Martin J.; Hoffmann, Carsten

    2016-01-01

    (β-)Arrestins are important regulators of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs)1–3. They bind to active, phosphorylated GPCRs and thereby shut off ‘classical’ signalling to G proteins3,4, trigger internalization of GPCRs via interaction with the clathrin machinery5–7 and mediate signalling via ‘non-classical’ pathways1,2. In addition to two visual arrestins that bind to rod and cone photoreceptors (termed arrestin1 and arrestin4), there are only two (non-visual) β-arrestin proteins (β-arrestin1 and β-arrestin2, also termed arrestin2 and arrestin3), which regulate hundreds of different (non-visual) GPCRs. Binding of these proteins to GPCRs usually requires the active form of the receptors plus their phosphorylation by G-protein-coupled receptor kinases (GRKs)1,3,4. The binding of receptors or their carboxy terminus as well as certain truncations induce active conformations of (β-)arrestins that have recently been solved by X-ray crystallography8–10. Here we investigate both the interaction of β-arrestin with GPCRs, and the β-arrestin conformational changes in real time and in living human cells, using a series of fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based β-arrestin2 biosensors. We observe receptor-specific patterns of conformational changes in β-arrestin2 that occur rapidly after the receptor–β-arrestin2 interaction. After agonist removal, these changes persist for longer than the direct receptor interaction. Our data indicate a rapid, receptor-type-specific, two-step binding and activation process between GPCRs and β-arrestins. They further indicate that β-arrestins remain active after dissociation from receptors, allowing them to remain at the cell surface and presumably signal independently. Thus, GPCRs trigger a rapid, receptor-specific activation/deactivation cycle of β-arrestins, which permits their active signalling. PMID:27007855

  3. How community environment shapes physical activity: perceptions revealed through the PhotoVoice method.

    PubMed

    Belon, Ana Paula; Nieuwendyk, Laura M; Vallianatos, Helen; Nykiforuk, Candace I J

    2014-09-01

    A growing body of evidence shows that community environment plays an important role in individuals' physical activity engagement. However, while attributes of the physical environment are widely investigated, sociocultural, political, and economic aspects of the environment are often neglected. This article helps to fill these knowledge gaps by providing a more comprehensive understanding of multiple dimensions of the community environment relative to physical activity. The purpose of this study was to qualitatively explore how people's experiences and perceptions of their community environments affect their abilities to engage in physical activity. A PhotoVoice method was used to identify barriers to and opportunities for physical activity among residents in four communities in the province of Alberta, Canada, in 2009. After taking pictures, the thirty-five participants shared their perceptions of those opportunities and barriers in their community environments during individual interviews. Using the Analysis Grid for Environments Linked to Obesity (ANGELO) framework, themes emerging from these photo-elicited interviews were organized in four environment types: physical, sociocultural, economic, and political. The data show that themes linked to the physical (56.6%) and sociocultural (31.4%) environments were discussed more frequently than the themes of the economic (5.9%) and political (6.1%) environments. Participants identified nuanced barriers and opportunities for physical activity, which are illustrated by their quotes and photographs. The findings suggest that a myriad of factors from physical, sociocultural, economic, and political environments influence people's abilities to be physically active in their communities. Therefore, adoption of a broad, ecological perspective is needed to address the barriers and build upon the opportunities described by participants to make communities more healthy and active.

  4. Mutational and structural analyses of Caldanaerobius polysaccharolyticus Man5B reveal novel active site residues for family 5 glycoside hydrolases.

    PubMed

    Oyama, Takuji; Schmitz, George E; Dodd, Dylan; Han, Yejun; Burnett, Alanna; Nagasawa, Naoko; Mackie, Roderick I; Nakamura, Haruki; Morikawa, Kosuke; Cann, Isaac

    2013-01-01

    CpMan5B is a glycoside hydrolase (GH) family 5 enzyme exhibiting both β-1,4-mannosidic and β-1,4-glucosidic cleavage activities. To provide insight into the amino acid residues that contribute to catalysis and substrate specificity, we solved the structure of CpMan5B at 1.6 Å resolution. The structure revealed several active site residues (Y12, N92 and R196) in CpMan5B that are not present in the active sites of other structurally resolved GH5 enzymes. Residue R196 in GH5 enzymes is thought to be strictly conserved as a histidine that participates in an electron relay network with the catalytic glutamates, but we show that an arginine fulfills a functionally equivalent role and is found at this position in every enzyme in subfamily GH5_36, which includes CpMan5B. Residue N92 is required for full enzymatic activity and forms a novel bridge over the active site that is absent in other family 5 structures. Our data also reveal a role of Y12 in establishing the substrate preference for CpMan5B. Using these molecular determinants as a probe allowed us to identify Man5D from Caldicellulosiruptor bescii as a mannanase with minor endo-glucanase activity.

  5. Mutational and Structural Analyses of Caldanaerobius polysaccharolyticus Man5B Reveal Novel Active Site Residues for Family 5 Glycoside Hydrolases

    PubMed Central

    Han, Yejun; Burnett, Alanna; Nagasawa, Naoko; Mackie, Roderick I.; Nakamura, Haruki; Morikawa, Kosuke; Cann, Isaac

    2013-01-01

    CpMan5B is a glycoside hydrolase (GH) family 5 enzyme exhibiting both β-1,4-mannosidic and β-1,4-glucosidic cleavage activities. To provide insight into the amino acid residues that contribute to catalysis and substrate specificity, we solved the structure of CpMan5B at 1.6 Å resolution. The structure revealed several active site residues (Y12, N92 and R196) in CpMan5B that are not present in the active sites of other structurally resolved GH5 enzymes. Residue R196 in GH5 enzymes is thought to be strictly conserved as a histidine that participates in an electron relay network with the catalytic glutamates, but we show that an arginine fulfills a functionally equivalent role and is found at this position in every enzyme in subfamily GH5_36, which includes CpMan5B. Residue N92 is required for full enzymatic activity and forms a novel bridge over the active site that is absent in other family 5 structures. Our data also reveal a role of Y12 in establishing the substrate preference for CpMan5B. Using these molecular determinants as a probe allowed us to identify Man5D from Caldicellulosiruptor bescii as a mannanase with minor endo-glucanase activity. PMID:24278284

  6. From Blame to Punishment: Disrupting Prefrontal Cortex Activity Reveals Norm Enforcement Mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Buckholtz, Joshua W; Martin, Justin W; Treadway, Michael T; Jan, Katherine; Zald, David H; Jones, Owen; Marois, René

    2015-09-23

    The social welfare provided by cooperation depends on the enforcement of social norms. Determining blameworthiness and assigning a deserved punishment are two cognitive cornerstones of norm enforcement. Although prior work has implicated the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in norm-based judgments, the relative contribution of this region to blameworthiness and punishment decisions remains poorly understood. Here, we used repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and fMRI to determine the specific role of DLPFC function in norm-enforcement behavior. DLPFC rTMS reduced punishment for wrongful acts without affecting blameworthiness ratings, and fMRI revealed punishment-selective DLPFC recruitment, suggesting that these two facets of norm-based decision making are neurobiologically dissociable. Finally, we show that DLPFC rTMS affects punishment decision making by altering the integration of information about culpability and harm. Together, these findings reveal a selective, causal role for DLPFC in norm enforcement: representational integration of the distinct information streams used to make punishment decisions.

  7. Urinary metabolomics in Fxr-null mice reveals activated adaptive metabolic pathways upon bile acid challenge.

    PubMed

    Cho, Joo-Youn; Matsubara, Tsutomu; Kang, Dong Wook; Ahn, Sung-Hoon; Krausz, Kristopher W; Idle, Jeffrey R; Luecke, Hans; Gonzalez, Frank J

    2010-05-01

    Farnesoid X receptor (FXR) is a nuclear receptor that regulates genes involved in synthesis, metabolism, and transport of bile acids and thus plays a major role in maintaining bile acid homeostasis. In this study, metabolomic responses were investigated in urine of wild-type and Fxr-null mice fed cholic acid, an FXR ligand, using ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) coupled with electrospray time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOFMS). Multivariate data analysis between wild-type and Fxr-null mice on a cholic acid diet revealed that the most increased ions were metabolites of p-cresol (4-methylphenol), corticosterone, and cholic acid in Fxr-null mice. The structural identities of the above metabolites were confirmed by chemical synthesis and by comparing retention time (RT) and/or tandem mass fragmentation patterns of the urinary metabolites with the authentic standards. Tauro-3alpha,6,7alpha,12alpha-tetrol (3alpha,6,7alpha,12alpha-tetrahydroxy-5beta-cholestan-26-oyltaurine), one of the most increased metabolites in Fxr-null mice on a CA diet, is a marker for efficient hydroxylation of toxic bile acids possibly through induction of Cyp3a11. A cholestatic model induced by lithocholic acid revealed that enhanced expression of Cyp3a11 is the major defense mechanism to detoxify cholestatic bile acids in Fxr-null mice. These results will be useful for identification of biomarkers for cholestasis and for determination of adaptive molecular mechanisms in cholestasis.

  8. Structure of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Rtr1 reveals an active site for an atypical phosphatase.

    PubMed

    Irani, Seema; Yogesha, S D; Mayfield, Joshua; Zhang, Mengmeng; Zhang, Yong; Matthews, Wendy L; Nie, Grace; Prescott, Nicholas A; Zhang, Yan Jessie

    2016-03-01

    Changes in the phosphorylation status of the carboxyl-terminal domain (CTD) of RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) correlate with the process of eukaryotic transcription. The yeast protein regulator of transcription 1 (Rtr1) and the human homolog RNAPII-associated protein 2 (RPAP2) may function as CTD phosphatases; however, crystal structures of Kluyveromyces lactis Rtr1 lack a consensus active site. We identified a phosphoryl transfer domain in Saccharomyces cerevisiae Rtr1 by obtaining and characterizing a 2.6 Å resolution crystal structure. We identified a putative substrate-binding pocket in a deep groove between the zinc finger domain and a pair of helices that contained a trapped sulfate ion. Because sulfate mimics the chemistry of a phosphate group, this structural data suggested that this groove represents the phosphoryl transfer active site. Mutagenesis of the residues lining this groove disrupted catalytic activity of the enzyme assayed in vitro with a fluorescent chemical substrate, and expression of the mutated Rtr1 failed to rescue growth of yeast lacking Rtr1. Characterization of the phosphatase activity of RPAP2 and a mutant of the conserved putative catalytic site in the same chemical assay indicated a conserved reaction mechanism. Our data indicated that the structure of the phosphoryl transfer domain and reaction mechanism for the phosphoryl transfer activity of Rtr1 is distinct from those of other phosphatase families.

  9. Recent and episodic volcanic and glacial activity on Mars revealed by the High Resolution Stereo Camera.

    PubMed

    Neukum, G; Jaumann, R; Hoffmann, H; Hauber, E; Head, J W; Basilevsky, A T; Ivanov, B A; Werner, S C; van Gasselt, S; Murray, J B; McCord, T

    2004-12-23

    The large-area coverage at a resolution of 10-20 metres per pixel in colour and three dimensions with the High Resolution Stereo Camera Experiment on the European Space Agency Mars Express Mission has made it possible to study the time-stratigraphic relationships of volcanic and glacial structures in unprecedented detail and give insight into the geological evolution of Mars. Here we show that calderas on five major volcanoes on Mars have undergone repeated activation and resurfacing during the last 20 per cent of martian history, with phases of activity as young as two million years, suggesting that the volcanoes are potentially still active today. Glacial deposits at the base of the Olympus Mons escarpment show evidence for repeated phases of activity as recently as about four million years ago. Morphological evidence is found that snow and ice deposition on the Olympus construct at elevations of more than 7,000 metres led to episodes of glacial activity at this height. Even now, water ice protected by an insulating layer of dust may be present at high altitudes on Olympus Mons.

  10. Small-angle neutron and X-ray scattering reveal conformational changes in rhodopsin activation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shrestha, Utsab R.; Bhowmik, Debsindhu; Perera, Suchitrhanga M. C. D.; Chawla, Udeep; Struts, Andrey V.; Graziono, Vito; Pingali, Sai Venkatesh; Heller, William T.; Qian, Shuo; Brown, Michael F.; Chu, Xiang-Qiang

    2015-03-01

    Understanding G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) activation plays a crucial role in the development of novel improved molecular drugs. During photo-activation, the retinal chromophore of the visual GPCR rhodopsin isomerizes from 11-cis to all-trans conformation, yielding an equilibrium between inactive Meta-I and active Meta-II states. The principal goals of this work are to address whether the activation of rhodopsin leads to a single state or a conformational ensemble, and how protein organizational structure changes with detergent environment in solution. We use both small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) techniques to answer the above questions. For the first time we observe the change in protein conformational ensemble upon photo-activation by SANS with contrast variation, which enables the separate study of the protein structure within the detergent assembly. In addition, SAXS study of protein structure within detergent assembly suggests that the detergent molecules form a belt of monolayer (micelle) around protein with different geometrical shapes to keep the protein in folded state.

  11. Structure of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Rtr1 reveals an active site for an atypical phosphatase

    PubMed Central

    Mayfield, Joshua; Zhang, Mengmeng; Zhang, Yong; Matthews, Wendy L.; Nie, Grace; Prescott, Nicholas A.; Zhang, Yan Jessie

    2016-01-01

    Changes in the phosphorylation status of the carboxyl-terminal domain (CTD) of RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) correlate with the process of eukaryotic transcription. The yeast protein regulator of transcription 1 (Rtr1) and the human homolog RNAPII-associated protein 2 (RPAP2) may function as CTD phosphatases; however, crystal structures of Kluyveromyces lactis Rtr1 lack a consensus active site. We identified a phosphoryl transfer domain in Saccharomyces cerevisiae Rtr1 by obtaining and characterizing a 2.6 Å resolution crystal structure. We identified a putative substrate-binding pocket in a deep groove between the zinc finger domain and a pair of helices that contained a trapped sulfate ion. Because sulfate mimics the chemistry of a phosphate group, this structural data suggested that this groove represents the phosphoryl transfer active site. Mutagenesis of the residues lining this groove disrupted catalytic activity of the enzyme assayed in vitro with a fluorescent chemical substrate, and expression of the mutated Rtr1 failed to rescue growth of yeast lacking Rtr1. Characterization of the phosphatase activity of RPAP2 and a mutant of the conserved putative catalytic site in the same chemical assay indicated a conserved reaction mechanism. Our data indicated that the structure of the phosphoryl transfer domain and reaction mechanism for the phosphoryl transfer activity of Rtr1 is distinct from those of other phosphatase families. PMID:26933063

  12. Structural basis for PPAR partial or full activation revealed by a novel ligand binding mode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Capelli, Davide; Cerchia, Carmen; Montanari, Roberta; Loiodice, Fulvio; Tortorella, Paolo; Laghezza, Antonio; Cervoni, Laura; Pochetti, Giorgio; Lavecchia, Antonio

    2016-10-01

    The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are nuclear receptors involved in the regulation of the metabolic homeostasis and therefore represent valuable therapeutic targets for the treatment of metabolic diseases. The development of more balanced drugs interacting with PPARs, devoid of the side-effects showed by the currently marketed PPARγ full agonists, is considered the major challenge for the pharmaceutical companies. Here we present a structure-based virtual screening approach that let us identify a novel PPAR pan-agonist with a very attractive activity profile and its crystal structure in the complex with PPARα and PPARγ, respectively. In PPARα this ligand occupies a new pocket whose filling is allowed by the ligand-induced switching of the F273 side chain from a closed to an open conformation. The comparison between this pocket and the corresponding cavity in PPARγ provides a rationale for the different activation of the ligand towards PPARα and PPARγ, suggesting a novel basis for ligand design.

  13. Direct measurement of TRPV4 and PIEZO1 activity reveals multiple mechanotransduction pathways in chondrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Rocio Servin-Vences, M; Moroni, Mirko; Lewin, Gary R; Poole, Kate

    2017-01-01

    The joints of mammals are lined with cartilage, comprised of individual chondrocytes embedded in a specialized extracellular matrix. Chondrocytes experience a complex mechanical environment and respond to changing mechanical loads in order to maintain cartilage homeostasis. It has been proposed that mechanically gated ion channels are of functional importance in chondrocyte mechanotransduction; however, direct evidence of mechanical current activation in these cells has been lacking. We have used high-speed pressure clamp and elastomeric pillar arrays to apply distinct mechanical stimuli to primary murine chondrocytes, stretch of the membrane and deflection of cell-substrate contacts points, respectively. Both TRPV4 and PIEZO1 channels contribute to currents activated by stimuli applied at cell-substrate contacts but only PIEZO1 mediates stretch-activated currents. These data demonstrate that there are separate, but overlapping, mechanoelectrical transduction pathways in chondrocytes. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.21074.001 PMID:28135189

  14. Structures of apicomplexan calcium-dependent protein kinases reveal mechanism of activation by calcium

    SciTech Connect

    Wernimont, Amy K; Artz, Jennifer D.; Jr, Patrick Finerty; Lin, Yu-Hui; Amani, Mehrnaz; Allali-Hassani, Abdellah; Senisterra, Guillermo; Vedadi, Masoud; Tempel, Wolfram; Mackenzie, Farrell; Chau, Irene; Lourido, Sebastian; Sibley, L. David; Hui, Raymond

    2010-09-21

    Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) have pivotal roles in the calcium-signaling pathway in plants, ciliates and apicomplexan parasites and comprise a calmodulin-dependent kinase (CaMK)-like kinase domain regulated by a calcium-binding domain in the C terminus. To understand this intramolecular mechanism of activation, we solved the structures of the autoinhibited (apo) and activated (calcium-bound) conformations of CDPKs from the apicomplexan parasites Toxoplasma gondii and Cryptosporidium parvum. In the apo form, the C-terminal CDPK activation domain (CAD) resembles a calmodulin protein with an unexpected long helix in the N terminus that inhibits the kinase domain in the same manner as CaMKII. Calcium binding triggers the reorganization of the CAD into a highly intricate fold, leading to its relocation around the base of the kinase domain to a site remote from the substrate binding site. This large conformational change constitutes a distinct mechanism in calcium signal-transduction pathways.

  15. High throughput estimation of functional cell activities reveals disease mechanisms and predicts relevant clinical outcomes.

    PubMed

    Hidalgo, Marta R; Cubuk, Cankut; Amadoz, Alicia; Salavert, Francisco; Carbonell-Caballero, José; Dopazo, Joaquin

    2017-01-17

    Understanding the aspects of the cell functionality that account for disease or drug action mechanisms is a main challenge for precision medicine. Here we propose a new method that models cell signaling using biological knowledge on signal transduction. The method recodes individual gene expression values (and/or gene mutations) into accurate measurements of changes in the activity of signaling circuits, which ultimately constitute high-throughput estimations of cell functionalities caused by gene activity within the pathway. Moreover, such estimations can be obtained either at cohort-level, in case/control comparisons, or personalized for individual patients. The accuracy of the method is demonstrated in an extensive analysis involving 5640 patients from 12 different cancer types. Circuit activity measurements not only have a high diagnostic value but also can be related to relevant disease outcomes such as survival, and can be used to assess therapeutic interventions.

  16. Structural investigation of heteroyohimbine alkaloid synthesis reveals active site elements that control stereoselectivity

    PubMed Central

    Stavrinides, Anna; Tatsis, Evangelos C.; Caputi, Lorenzo; Foureau, Emilien; Stevenson, Clare E. M.; Lawson, David M.; Courdavault, Vincent; O'Connor, Sarah E.

    2016-01-01

    Plants produce an enormous array of biologically active metabolites, often with stereochemical variations on the same molecular scaffold. These changes in stereochemistry dramatically impact biological activity. Notably, the stereoisomers of the heteroyohimbine alkaloids show diverse pharmacological activities. We reported a medium chain dehydrogenase/reductase (MDR) from Catharanthus roseus that catalyses formation of a heteroyohimbine isomer. Here we report the discovery of additional heteroyohimbine synthases (HYSs), one of which produces a mixture of diastereomers. The crystal structures for three HYSs have been solved, providing insight into the mechanism of reactivity and stereoselectivity, with mutation of one loop transforming product specificity. Localization and gene silencing experiments provide a basis for understanding the function of these enzymes in vivo. This work sets the stage to explore how MDRs evolved to generate structural and biological diversity in specialized plant metabolism and opens the possibility for metabolic engineering of new compounds based on this scaffold. PMID:27418042

  17. Radiation inactivation analysis of influenza virus reveals different target sizes for fusion, leakage, and neuraminidase activities

    SciTech Connect

    Gibson, S.; Jung, C.Y.; Takahashi, M.; Lenard, J.

    1986-10-07

    The size of the functional units responsible for several activities carried out by the influenza virus envelope glycoproteins was determined by radiation inactivation analysis. Neuraminidase activity, which resides in the glycoprotein NA, was inactivated exponentially with an increasing radiation dose, yielding a target size of 94 +/- 5 kilodaltons (kDa), in reasonable agreement with that of the disulfide-bonded dimer (120 kDa). All the other activities studied are properties of the HA glycoprotein and were normalized to the known molecular weight of the neuraminidase dimer. Virus-induced fusion activity was measured by two phospholipid dilution assays: relief of energy transfer between N-(7-nitro-2,1,3-benzoxadiazol-4-yl)dipalmitoyl-L-alpha- phosphatidylethanolamine (N-NBD-PE) and N-(lissamine rhodamine B sulfonyl)-dioleoyl-L-alpha-phosphatidylethanolamine (N-Rh-PE) in target liposomes and relief of self-quenching of N-Rh-PE in target liposomes. Radiation inactivation of fusion activity proceeded exponentially with radiation dose, yielding normalized target sizes of 68 +/- 6 kDa by assay i and 70 +/- 4 kDa by assay ii. These values are close to the molecular weight of a single disulfide-bonded (HA1 + HA2) unit (75 kDa), the monomer of the HA trimer. A single monomer is thus inactivated by each radiation event, and each monomer (or some part of it) constitutes a minimal functional unit capable of mediating fusion. Virus-induced leakage of calcein from target liposomes and virus-induced leakage of hemoglobin from erythrocytes (hemolysis) both showed more complex inactivation behavior: a pronounced shoulder was present in both inactivation curves, followed by a steep drop in activity at higher radiation levels.

  18. In vivo imaging of alphaherpesvirus infection reveals synchronized activity dependent on axonal sorting of viral proteins.

    PubMed

    Granstedt, Andrea E; Bosse, Jens B; Thiberge, Stephan Y; Enquist, Lynn W

    2013-09-10

    A clinical hallmark of human alphaherpesvirus infections is peripheral pain or itching. Pseudorabies virus (PRV), a broad host range alphaherpesvirus, causes violent pruritus in many different animals, but the mechanism is unknown. Previous in vitro studies have shown that infected, cultured peripheral nervous system (PNS) neurons exhibited aberrant electrical activity after PRV infection due to the action of viral membrane fusion proteins, yet it is unclear if such activity occurs in infected PNS ganglia in living animals and if it correlates with disease symptoms. Using two-photon microscopy, we imaged autonomic ganglia in living mice infected with PRV strains expressing GCaMP3, a genetically encoded calcium indicator, and used the changes in calcium flux to monitor the activity of many neurons simultaneously with single-cell resolution. Infection with virulent PRV caused these PNS neurons to fire synchronously and cyclically in highly correlated patterns among infected neurons. This activity persisted even when we severed the presynaptic axons, showing that infection-induced firing is independent of input from presynaptic brainstem neurons. This activity was not observed after infections with an attenuated PRV recombinant used for circuit tracing or with PRV mutants lacking either viral glycoprotein B, required for membrane fusion, or viral membrane protein Us9, required for sorting virions and viral glycoproteins into axons. We propose that the viral fusion proteins produced by virulent PRV infection induce electrical coupling in unmyelinated axons in vivo. This action would then give rise to the synchronous and cyclical activity in the ganglia and contribute to the characteristic peripheral neuropathy.

  19. Working memory and lexical ambiguity resolution as revealed by ERPs: a difficult case for activation theories.

    PubMed

    Gunter, Thomas C; Wagner, Susanne; Friederici, Angela D

    2003-07-01

    This series of three event-related potential experiments explored the issue of whether the underlying mechanism of working memory (WM) supporting language processing is inhibitory or activational in nature. These different cognitive mechanisms have been proposed to explain the more efficient processing of subjects with a high WM span compared to those with a low WM span. Participants with high and low WM span were presented with sentences containing a homonym followed three words later by a nominal disambiguation cue and a final disambiguation using a verb. At the position of the disambiguation cue, inhibitory or activational WM mechanisms predict contrasting results. When activation is the underlying mechanism for efficient processing, the prediction is that high memory span persons activate both meanings of the homonym equally in WM, whereas low memory span persons only have one meaning present. When inhibition is the underlying mechanism, the predictions are the reverse. The ERP data, in particular, the variations of the meaning related N400 component, showed clear evidence for inhibition as the underlying cognitive mechanism in high-span readers. For low-span participants the cueing towards the dominant or the subordinate meaning elicited an equivalently large N400 component suggesting that both meanings are active in WM. In high-span subjects, the dominant disambiguation cue elicited a smaller N400 than the subordinate one, indicating that for these subjects particularly the dominant meaning is active. The experiments showed that inhibitory processes are probably underlying WM used during language comprehension in high-span subjects. Moreover, they demonstrate that these subjects can use their inhibition in a more flexible manner than low-span subjects. The effects that these processing differences have on the efficiency of language parsing are discussed.

  20. Revealing the activation pathway for TMEM16A chloride channels from macroscopic currents and kinetic models.

    PubMed

    Contreras-Vite, Juan A; Cruz-Rangel, Silvia; De Jesús-Pérez, José J; Figueroa, Iván A Aréchiga; Rodríguez-Menchaca, Aldo A; Pérez-Cornejo, Patricia; Hartzell, H Criss; Arreola, Jorge

    2016-07-01

    TMEM16A (ANO1), the pore-forming subunit of calcium-activated chloride channels, regulates several physiological and pathophysiological processes such as smooth muscle contraction, cardiac and neuronal excitability, salivary secretion, tumour growth and cancer progression. Gating of TMEM16A is complex because it involves the interplay between increases in intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca(2+)]i), membrane depolarization, extracellular Cl(-) or permeant anions and intracellular protons. Our goal here was to understand how these variables regulate TMEM16A gating and to explain four observations. (a) TMEM16A is activated by voltage in the absence of intracellular Ca(2+). (b) The Cl(-) conductance is decreased after reducing extracellular Cl(-) concentration ([Cl(-)]o). (c) ICl is regulated by physiological concentrations of [Cl(-)]o. (d) In cells dialyzed with 0.2 μM [Ca(2+)]i, Cl(-) has a bimodal effect: at [Cl(-)]o <30 mM TMEM16A current activates with a monoexponential time course, but above 30 mM, [Cl(-)]o ICl activation displays fast and slow kinetics. To explain the contribution of Vm, Ca(2+) and Cl(-) to gating, we developed a 12-state Markov chain model. This model explains TMEM16A activation as a sequential, direct, and Vm-dependent binding of two Ca(2+) ions coupled to a Vm-dependent binding of an external Cl(-) ion, with Vm-dependent transitions between states. Our model predicts that extracellular Cl(-) does not alter the apparent Ca(2+) affinity of TMEM16A, which we corroborated experimentally. Rather, extracellular Cl(-) acts by stabilizing the open configuration induced by Ca(2+) and by contributing to the Vm dependence of activation.

  1. Functional significance of parasitism-induced suppression of juvenile hormone esterase activity in developmentally delayed Choristoneura fumiferana larvae.

    PubMed

    Cusson, M; Laforge, M; Miller, D; Cloutier, C; Stoltz, D

    2000-03-01

    The parasitic wasp Tranosema rostrale transmits a polydnavirus (PDV) to its host, Choristoneura fumiferana, during oviposition. Last-instar C. fumiferana larvae parasitized by T. rostrale early in the stadium fail to undergo metamorphosis, and injection of the wasp's calyx fluid (CxF; contains PDV) into healthy caterpillars induces a dose-dependent delay in initiation of metamorphosis (D. Doucet and M. Cusson, 1996, Entomol. Exp. Appl. 81, 21-30). In the present work, parasitization and injection of CxF (0.5 female equivalent) on the first day of the last stadium both prevented the rise in hemolymph 20-hydroxyecdysone (20HE) titer observed between day 4 and day 7 in control and saline-injected larvae. Similarly, juvenile hormone esterase (JHE) activity was depressed following parasitization or CxF injection, whereas control larvae displayed a peak on day 4. However, neither parasitism nor injection of CxF on day 1 prevented the JH-producing glands from turning off during the first half of the last stadium. Likewise, low but clearly detectable JH titers were observed in the first hours following the molt but very low titers, at or near the detection limit of our radioimmunoassay, were seen in both control and parasitized larvae on day 4. Prothoracic glands showed no apparent sign of degeneration 4 days after injection of CxF but had significantly smaller cells than saline-injected larvae 7 days postinjection. It is not clear whether this was a direct effect of T. rostrale PDV. Thus, disruption of spruce budworm metamorphosis by T. rostrale CxF involves depression of 20HE titers but is not associated with a measurable increase in the level of JH, as shown for some other host-parasitoid systems. In view of the latter observation, we put forward three hypotheses regarding the functional significance of the observed suppression of JHE activity in developmentally arrested C. fumiferana larvae.

  2. Determination of the physiological 2:2 TLR5:flagellin activation stoichiometry revealed by the activity of a fusion receptor

    SciTech Connect

    Ivičak-Kocjan, Karolina; Panter, Gabriela; Benčina, Mojca; Jerala, Roman

    2013-05-24

    Highlights: •The chimeric protein fusing flagellin to the TLR5 ectodomain is constitutively active. •Mutation P736H within the BB-loop of TLR5 TIR domain renders the receptor inactive. •The R90D mutation in flagellin inactivated autoactivation of the chimeric protein. •The 2:2 stoichiometry of the TLR5:flagellin complex is physiologically relevant. -- Abstract: Toll-like receptor 5 (TLR5) recognizes flagellin of most flagellated bacteria, enabling activation of the MyD88-dependent signaling pathway. The recently published crystal structure of a truncated zebrafish TLR5 ectodomain in complex with an inactive flagellin fragment indicated binding of two flagellin molecules to a TLR5 homodimer, however this complex did not dimerize in solution. In the present study, we aimed to determine the physiological stoichiometry of TLR5:flagellin activation by the use of a chimeric protein composed of an active flagellin fragment linked to the N-terminus of human TLR5 (SF-TLR5). This construct was constitutively active. Inactivation by the R90D mutation within flagellin demonstrated that autoactivation of the chimeric protein depended solely on the specific interaction between TLR5 and flagellin. Addition of wild-type hTLR5 substantially lowered autoactivation of SF-TLR5 in a concentration dependent manner, an effect which was reversible by the addition of exogenous Salmonella typhimurium flagellin, indicating the biological activity of a TLR5:flagellin complex with a 2:2 stoichiometry. These results, in addition to the combinations of inactive P736H mutation within the BB-loop of the TIR domain of TLR5 and SF-TLR5, further confirm the mechanism of TLR5 activation.

  3. Sulfur Use Efficiency Is a Significant Determinant of Drought Stress Tolerance in Relation to Photosynthetic Activity in Brassica napus Cultivars

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Bok-Rye; Zaman, Rashed; Avice, Jean-Christophe; Ourry, Alain; Kim, Tae-Hwan

    2016-01-01

    To investigate the varietal difference in sulfur use efficiency (SUE) and drought stress tolerance, Brassica napus ‘Mosa’ and ‘Saturnin’ were exposed to polyethylene glycol (PEG)-induced drought stress for 72 h. Direct quantification of S uptake, de novo synthesis of amino acids and proteins was performed by tracing 34S. The responses of photosynthetic activity in relation to SUE were also examined. The total amount of newly absorbed S decreased with drought stress in both cultivars but the decrease rate was significantly higher in Mosa (-64%) than in Saturnin (-41%). Drought stress also decreased the amount of S assimilated into amino acids (34S-amino acids) and proteins (34S-proteins). The total amount of S incorporated into amino acids and proteins was generally higher in Saturnin (663.7 μg S per plant) than in Mosa (337.3 μg S per plant). The estimation of SUE based on S uptake (SUpE) and S assimilation (SUaE) showed that SUE was much higher in Saturnin than in Mosa. The inhibition of photosynthetic activity including Rubisco protein degradation caused by drought stress was much lower in the cultivar with higher SUE (Saturnin). The present study clearly indicates that the genotype with higher SUE is more tolerant to PEG-induced drought stress. PMID:27092167

  4. Sulfur Use Efficiency Is a Significant Determinant of Drought Stress Tolerance in Relation to Photosynthetic Activity in Brassica napus Cultivars.

    PubMed

    Lee, Bok-Rye; Zaman, Rashed; Avice, Jean-Christophe; Ourry, Alain; Kim, Tae-Hwan

    2016-01-01

    To investigate the varietal difference in sulfur use efficiency (SUE) and drought stress tolerance, Brassica napus 'Mosa' and 'Saturnin' were exposed to polyethylene glycol (PEG)-induced drought stress for 72 h. Direct quantification of S uptake, de novo synthesis of amino acids and proteins was performed by tracing (34)S. The responses of photosynthetic activity in relation to SUE were also examined. The total amount of newly absorbed S decreased with drought stress in both cultivars but the decrease rate was significantly higher in Mosa (-64%) than in Saturnin (-41%). Drought stress also decreased the amount of S assimilated into amino acids ((34)S-amino acids) and proteins ((34)S-proteins). The total amount of S incorporated into amino acids and proteins was generally higher in Saturnin (663.7 μg S per plant) than in Mosa (337.3 μg S per plant). The estimation of SUE based on S uptake (SUpE) and S assimilation (SUaE) showed that SUE was much higher in Saturnin than in Mosa. The inhibition of photosynthetic activity including Rubisco protein degradation caused by drought stress was much lower in the cultivar with higher SUE (Saturnin). The present study clearly indicates that the genotype with higher SUE is more tolerant to PEG-induced drought stress.

  5. Gas-Phase Ambient Air Contaminants Exhibit Significant Dioxin-like and Estrogen-like Activity in Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Klein, Gail P.; Hodge, Erin M.; Diamond, Miriam L.; Yip, Amelia; Dann, Tom; Stern, Gary; Denison, Michael S.; Harper, Patricia A.

    2006-01-01

    Several adverse health effects, such as respiratory and cardiovascular morbidity, have been linked to exposure to particulate matter in ambient air; however, the biologic activity of gas-phase ambient organic air contaminants has not been examined as thoroughly. Using aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR)–based and estrogen receptor (ER)–based cell bioassay systems, we assessed the dioxin-like and estrogenic activities of gas-phase organic ambient air contaminants compared with those of particulate-phase contaminants using samples collected between seasons over 2 years from an urban and a rural location in the Greater Toronto Area, Canada. The concentration of the sum (∑) of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which was highest in the gas phase, was 10–100 times more abundant than that of ∑polychlorinated biphenyls, ∑nitro-polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and ∑organochlorine pesticides, and 103 to 104 times more abundant than ∑polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/dibenzofurans. Gas-phase samples induced significant AHR- and ER-dependent gene expression. The activity of the gas-phase samples was greater than that of the particulate-phase samples in the estrogen assay and, in one case, in the AHR assay. We found no strong associations between either summer or winter seasons or urban or rural locations in the relative efficacy of the extracts in either the ER or AHR assay despite differences in chemical composition, concentrations, and abundance. Our results suggest that mechanistic studies of the health effects of ambient air must consider gas and particulate phases because chemicals present in both phases can affect AHR and ER signaling pathways. PMID:16675423

  6. Reconstituted B cell receptor signaling reveals carbohydrate-dependent mode of activation

    PubMed Central

    Villar, Rina F.; Patel, Jinal; Weaver, Grant C.; Kanekiyo, Masaru; Wheatley, Adam K.; Yassine, Hadi M.; Costello, Catherine E.; Chandler, Kevin B.; McTamney, Patrick. M.; Nabel, Gary J.; McDermott, Adrian B.; Mascola, John R.; Carr, Steven A.; Lingwood, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Activation of immune cells (but not B cells) with lectins is widely known. We used the structurally defined interaction between influenza hemagglutinin (HA) and its cell surface receptor sialic acid (SA) to identify a B cell receptor (BCR) activation modality that proceeded through non-cognate interactions with antigen. Using a new approach to reconstitute antigen-receptor interactions in a human reporter B cell line, we found that sequence-defined BCRs from the human germline repertoire could be triggered by both complementarity to influenza HA and a separate mode of signaling that relied on multivalent ligation of BCR sialyl-oligosaccharide. The latter suggested a new mechanism for priming naïve B cell responses and manifested as the induction of SA-dependent pan-activation by peripheral blood B cells. BCR crosslinking in the absence of complementarity is a superantigen effect induced by some microbial products to subvert production of antigen-specific immune responses. B cell superantigen activity through affinity for BCR carbohydrate is discussed. PMID:27796362

  7. How Force Might Activate Talin's Vinculin Binding Sites: SMD Reveals a Structural Mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Hytönen, Vesa P; Vogel, Viola

    2008-01-01

    Upon cell adhesion, talin physically couples the cytoskeleton via integrins to the extracellular matrix, and subsequent vinculin recruitment is enhanced by locally applied tensile force. Since the vinculin binding (VB) sites are buried in the talin rod under equilibrium conditions, the structural mechanism of how vinculin binding to talin is force-activated remains unknown. Taken together with experimental data, a biphasic vinculin binding model, as derived from steered molecular dynamics, provides high resolution structural insights how tensile mechanical force applied to the talin rod fragment (residues 486–889 constituting helices H1–H12) might activate the VB sites. Fragmentation of the rod into three helix subbundles is prerequisite to the sequential exposure of VB helices to water. Finally, unfolding of a VB helix into a completely stretched polypeptide might inhibit further binding of vinculin. The first events in fracturing the H1–H12 rods of talin1 and talin2 in subbundles are similar. The proposed force-activated α-helix swapping mechanism by which vinculin binding sites in talin rods are exposed works distinctly different from that of other force-activated bonds, including catch bonds. PMID:18282082

  8. Transcriptomic sequencing reveals a set of unique genes activated by butyrate-induced histone modification

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Butyrate is a nutritional element with strong epigenetic regulatory activity as an inhibitor of histone deacetylases (HDACs). Based on the analysis of differentially expressed genes induced by butyrate in the bovine epithelial cell using deep RNA-sequencing technology (RNA-seq), a set of unique gen...

  9. Increasing AIP Macrocycle Size Reveals Key Features of agr Activation in Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Jeffrey G; Wang, Boyuan; Debelouchina, Galia T; Novick, Richard P; Muir, Tom W

    2015-05-04

    The agr locus in the commensal human pathogen, Staphylococcus aureus, is a two-promoter regulon with allelic variability that produces a quorum-sensing circuit involved in regulating virulence within the bacterium. Secretion of unique autoinducing peptides (AIPs) and detection of their concentrations by AgrC, a transmembrane receptor histidine kinase, coordinates local bacterial population density with global changes in gene expression. The finding that staphylococcal virulence can be inhibited through antagonism of this quorum-sensing pathway has fueled tremendous interest in understanding the structure-activity relationships underlying the AIP-AgrC interaction. The defining structural feature of the AIP is a 16-membered, thiolactone-containing macrocycle. Surprisingly, the importance of ring size on agr activation or inhibition has not been explored. In this study, we address this deficiency through the synthesis and functional analysis of AIP analogues featuring enlarged and reduced macrocycles. Notably, this study is the first to interrogate AIP function by using both established cell-based reporter gene assays and newly developed in vitro AgrC-I binding and autophosphorylation activity assays. Based on our data, we present a model for robust agr activation involving a cooperative, three-points-of-contact interaction between the AIP macrocycle and AgrC.

  10. Event-related potentials reveal early activation of body part representations in action concept comprehension.

    PubMed

    Lu, Aitao; Liu, Jing; Zhang, John X

    2012-03-09

    With tasks involving action concept comprehension, many fMRI studies have reported brain activations in sensori-motor regions specific to effectors of the referent action. There is relatively less evidence whether such activations reflect early semantic access or late conceptual re-processing. Here we recorded event-related potentials when participants recognized noun-verb pairs. For Congruent pairs, the verb was the one most commonly associated with the noun (e.g., football-kick). Compared with a control condition, verbs in Congruent pairs showed priming effects in the time windows of 100-150 ms and 210-260 ms. Such activation seems to be specific to body part but not other aspects of the action as similar priming effect was also found when the noun and verb involved different actions though sharing the same body part (e.g., football-jump), documenting for the first time the early activation of body part representations in action concept comprehension.

  11. Vector analysis of ecoenzyme activities reveal constraints on coupled C, N and P dynamics

    EPA Science Inventory

    We developed a quantitative method for estimating resource allocation strategies of microbial communities based on the proportional activities of four, key extracellular enzymes, 1,4-ß-glucosidase (BG), leucine amino-peptidase (LAP), 1,4-ß-N-acetylglucosaminidase (NAG...

  12. Ensemble Activation of G-Protein -Coupled Receptors Revealed by Small-Angle Neutron Scattering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chu, Xiang-Qiang; Perera, Suchithranga; Shrestha, Utsab; Chawla, Udeep; Struts, Andrey; Qian, Shuo; Brown, Michael

    2014-03-01

    Rhodopsin is a G-protein -coupled receptor (GPCR) involved in visual light perception and occurs naturally in a membrane lipid environment. Rhodopsin photoactivation yields cis-trans isomerization of retinal giving equilibrium between inactive Meta-I and active Meta-II states. Does photoactivation lead to a single Meta-II conformation, or do substates exist as described by an ensemble-activation mechanism (EAM)? We use small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) to investigate conformational changes in rhodopsin-detergent and rhodopsin-lipid complexes upon photoactivation. Meta-I state is stabilized in CHAPS-solubilized rhodopsin, while Meta-II is trapped in DDM-solubilized rhodopsin. SANS data are acquired from 80% D2O solutions and at contrast-matching points for both DDM and CHAPS samples. Our experiments demonstrate that for detergent-solubilized rhodopsin, SANS with contrast variation can detect structural differences between the rhodopsin dark-state, Meta-I, Meta-II, and ligand-free opsin states. Dark-state rhodopsin has more conformational flexibility in DDM micelles compared to CHAPS, which is consistent with an ensemble of activated Meta-II states. Furthermore, time-resolved SANS enables study of the time-dependent structural transitions between Meta-I and Meta-II, which is crucial to understanding the ensemble-based activation.

  13. Interspecies cathelicidin comparison reveals divergence in antimicrobial activity, TLR modulation, chemokine induction and regulation of phagocytosis

    PubMed Central

    Coorens, Maarten; Scheenstra, Maaike R.; Veldhuizen, Edwin J. A.; Haagsman, Henk P.

    2017-01-01

    Cathelicidins are short cationic peptides initially described as antimicrobial peptides, which can also modulate the immune system. Because most findings have been described in the context of human LL-37 or murine CRAMP, or have been investigated under varying conditions, it is unclear which functions are cathelicidin specific and which functions are general cathelicidin properties. This study compares 12 cathelicidins from 6 species under standardized conditions to better understand the conservation of cathelicidin functions. Most tested cathelicidins had strong antimicrobial activity against E. coli and/or MRSA. Interestingly, while more physiological culture conditions limit the antimicrobial activity of almost all cathelicidins against E. coli, activity against MRSA is enhanced. Seven out of 12 cathelicidins were able to neutralize LPS and another 7 cathelicidins were able to neutralize LTA; however, there was no correlation found with LPS neutralization. In contrast, only 4 cathelicidins enhanced DNA-induced TLR9 activation. In conclusion, these results provide new insight in the functional differences of cathelicidins both within and between species. In addition, these results underline the importance not to generalize cathelicidin functions and indicates that caution should be taken in extrapolating results from LL-37- or CRAMP-related studies to other animal settings. PMID:28102367

  14. Active role of the liquid phase of developer in revealing surface flaws by capillary methods

    SciTech Connect

    Prokhorenko, P.P.; Dezhkunov, N.V.; Stoicheva, I.V.

    1988-08-01

    The article investigates the interaction of two chemically nonreacting liquids after they have been brought into contact with each other in a capillary. It is established that the liquid phase of the developer is not only a passive carrier of the developing component but also exerts an active influence on the process of development, and consequently, on the detectability of flaws.

  15. Distinct summer and winter bacterial communities in the active layer of Svalbard permafrost revealed by DNA- and RNA-based analyses

    SciTech Connect

    Schostag, Morten; Stibal, Marek; Jacobsen, Carsten S.; Bælum, Jacob; Taş, Neslihan; Elberling, Bo; Jansson, Janet K.; Semenchuk, Philipp; Priemé, Anders

    2015-04-30

    The active layer of soil overlaying permafrost in the Arctic is subjected to dramatic annual changes in temperature and soil chemistry, which likely affect bacterial activity and community structure. We studied seasonal variations in the bacterial community of active layer soil from Svalbard (78°N) by co-extracting DNA and RNA from 12 soil cores collected monthly over a year. PCR amplicons of 16S rRNA genes (DNA) and reverse transcribed transcripts (cDNA) were quantified and sequenced to test for the effect of low winter temperature and seasonal variation in concentration of easily degradable organic matter on the bacterial communities. The copy number of 16S rRNA genes and transcripts revealed no distinct seasonal changes indicating potential bacterial activity during winter despite soil temperatures well below -10°C. Multivariate statistical analysis of the bacterial diversity data (DNA and cDNA libraries) revealed a season-based clustering of the samples, and, e.g., the relative abundance of potentially active Cyanobacteria peaked in June and Alphaproteobacteria increased over the summer and then declined from October to November. The structure of the bulk (DNA-based) community was significantly correlated with pH and dissolved organic carbon, while the potentially active (RNA-based) community structure was not significantly correlated with any of the measured soil parameters. A large fraction of the 16S rRNA transcripts was assigned to nitrogen-fixing bacteria (up to 24% in June) and phototrophic organisms (up to 48% in June) illustrating the potential importance of nitrogen fixation in otherwise nitrogen poor Arctic ecosystems and of phototrophic bacterial activity on the soil surface.

  16. Distinct summer and winter bacterial communities in the active layer of Svalbard permafrost revealed by DNA- and RNA-based analyses

    DOE PAGES

    Schostag, Morten; Stibal, Marek; Jacobsen, Carsten S.; ...

    2015-04-30

    The active layer of soil overlaying permafrost in the Arctic is subjected to dramatic annual changes in temperature and soil chemistry, which likely affect bacterial activity and community structure. We studied seasonal variations in the bacterial community of active layer soil from Svalbard (78°N) by co-extracting DNA and RNA from 12 soil cores collected monthly over a year. PCR amplicons of 16S rRNA genes (DNA) and reverse transcribed transcripts (cDNA) were quantified and sequenced to test for the effect of low winter temperature and seasonal variation in concentration of easily degradable organic matter on the bacterial communities. The copy numbermore » of 16S rRNA genes and transcripts revealed no distinct seasonal changes indicating potential bacterial activity during winter despite soil temperatures well below -10°C. Multivariate statistical analysis of the bacterial diversity data (DNA and cDNA libraries) revealed a season-based clustering of the samples, and, e.g., the relative abundance of potentially active Cyanobacteria peaked in June and Alphaproteobacteria increased over the summer and then declined from October to November. The structure of the bulk (DNA-based) community was significantly correlated with pH and dissolved organic carbon, while the potentially active (RNA-based) community structure was not significantly correlated with any of the measured soil parameters. A large fraction of the 16S rRNA transcripts was assigned to nitrogen-fixing bacteria (up to 24% in June) and phototrophic organisms (up to 48% in June) illustrating the potential importance of nitrogen fixation in otherwise nitrogen poor Arctic ecosystems and of phototrophic bacterial activity on the soil surface.« less

  17. Distinct summer and winter bacterial communities in the active layer of Svalbard permafrost revealed by DNA- and RNA-based analyses

    PubMed Central

    Schostag, Morten; Stibal, Marek; Jacobsen, Carsten S.; Bælum, Jacob; Taş, Neslihan; Elberling, Bo; Jansson, Janet K.; Semenchuk, Philipp; Priemé, Anders

    2015-01-01

    The active layer of soil overlaying permafrost in the Arctic is subjected to dramatic annual changes in temperature and soil chemistry, which likely affect bacterial activity and community structure. We studied seasonal variations in the bacterial community of active layer soil from Svalbard (78°N) by co-extracting DNA and RNA from 12 soil cores collected monthly over a year. PCR amplicons of 16S rRNA genes (DNA) and reverse transcribed transcripts (cDNA) were quantified and sequenced to test for the effect of low winter temperature and seasonal variation in concentration of easily degradable organic matter on the bacterial communities. The copy number of 16S rRNA genes and transcripts revealed no distinct seasonal changes indicating potential bacterial activity during winter despite soil temperatures well below −10°C. Multivariate statistical analysis of the bacterial diversity data (DNA and cDNA libraries) revealed a season-based clustering of the samples, and, e.g., the relative abundance of potentially active Cyanobacteria peaked in June and Alphaproteobacteria increased over the summer and then declined from October to November. The structure of the bulk (DNA-based) community was significantly correlated with pH and dissolved organic carbon, while the potentially active (RNA-based) community structure was not significantly correlated with any of the measured soil parameters. A large fraction of the 16S rRNA transcripts was assigned to nitrogen-fixing bacteria (up to 24% in June) and phototrophic organisms (up to 48% in June) illustrating the potential importance of nitrogen fixation in otherwise nitrogen poor Arctic ecosystems and of phototrophic bacterial activity on the soil surface. PMID:25983731

  18. Chk1 inhibition significantly potentiates activity of nucleoside analogs in TP53-mutated B-lymphoid cells

    PubMed Central

    Zemanova, Jana; Hylse, Ondrej; Collakova, Jana; Vesely, Pavel; Oltova, Alexandra; Borsky, Marek; Zaprazna, Kristina; Kasparkova, Marie; Janovska, Pavlina; Verner, Jan; Kohoutek, Jiri; Dzimkova, Marta; Bryja, Vitezslav; Jaskova, Zuzana; Brychtova, Yvona; Paruch, Kamil; Trbusek, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Treatment options for TP53-mutated lymphoid tumors are very limited. In experimental models, TP53-mutated lymphomas were sensitive to direct inhibition of checkpoint kinase 1 (Chk1), a pivotal regulator of replication. We initially tested the potential of the highly specific Chk1 inhibitor SCH900776 to synergize with nucleoside analogs (NAs) fludarabine, cytarabine and gemcitabine in cell lines derived from B-cell malignancies. In p53-proficient NALM-6 cells, SCH900776 added to NAs enhanced signaling towards Chk1 (pSer317/pSer345), effectively blocked Chk1 activation (Ser296 autophosphorylation), increased replication stress (p53 and γ-H2AX accumulation) and temporarily potentiated apoptosis. In p53-defective MEC-1 cell line representing adverse chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), Chk1 inhibition together with NAs led to enhanced and sustained replication stress and significantly potentiated apoptosis. Altogether, among 17 tested cell lines SCH900776 sensitized four of them to all three NAs. Focusing further on MEC-1 and co-treatment of SCH900776 with fludarabine, we disclosed chromosome pulverization in cells undergoing aberrant mitoses. SCH900776 also increased the effect of fludarabine in a proportion of primary CLL samples treated with pro-proliferative stimuli, including those with TP53 disruption. Finally, we observed a fludarabine potentiation by SCH900776 in a T-cell leukemia 1 (TCL1)-driven mouse model of CLL. Collectively, we have substantiated the significant potential of Chk1 inhibition in B-lymphoid cells. PMID:27556692

  19. Structural units important for activity of a novel-type phosphoserine phosphatase from Hydrogenobacter thermophilus TK-6 revealed by crystal structure analysis.

    PubMed

    Chiba, Yoko; Horita, Shoichiro; Ohtsuka, Jun; Arai, Hiroyuki; Nagata, Koji; Igarashi, Yasuo; Tanokura, Masaru; Ishii, Masaharu

    2013-04-19

    Novel-type serine-synthesizing enzymes, termed metal-independent phosphoserine phosphatases (iPSPs), were recently identified and characterized from Hydrogenobacter thermophilus, a chemolithoautotrophic bacterium belonging to the order Aquificales. iPSPs are cofactor-dependent phosphoglycerate mutase (dPGM)-like phosphatases that have significant amino acid sequence similarity to dPGMs but lack phosphoglycerate mutase activity. Genes coding dPGM-like phosphatases have been identified in a broad range of organisms; however, predicting the function of the corresponding proteins based on sequence information alone is difficult due to their diverse substrate preferences. Here, we determined the crystal structure of iPSP1 from H. thermophilus in the apo-form and in complex with its substrate L-phosphoserine to find structural units important for its phosphatase activity toward L-phosphoserine. Structural and biochemical characterization of iPSP1 revealed that the side chains of His(85) and C-terminal region characteristic of iPSP1 are responsible for the PSP activity. The importance of these structural units for PSP activity was confirmed by high PSP activity observed in two novel dPGM-like proteins from Cyanobacteria and Chloroflexus in which the two structural units were conserved. We anticipate that our present findings will facilitate understanding of the serine biosynthesis pathways of organisms that lack gene(s) encoding conventional PSPs, as the structural information revealed here will help to identify iPSP from sequence databases.

  20. Native Electrophoresis-Coupled Activity Assays Reveal Catalytically-Active Protein Aggregates of Escherichia coli β-Glucuronidase.

    PubMed

    Burchett, Gina G; Folsom, Charles G; Lane, Kimberly T

    2015-01-01

    β-glucuronidase is found as a functional homotetramer in a variety of organisms, including humans and other animals, as well as a number of bacteria. This enzyme is important in these organisms, catalyzing the hydrolytic removal of a glucuronide moiety from substrate molecules. This process serves to break down sugar conjugates in animals and provide sugars for metabolism in bacteria. While β-glucuronidase is primarily found as a homotetramer, previous studies have indicated that the human form of the protein is also catalytically active as a dimer. Here we present evidence for not only an active dimer of the E. coli form of the protein, but also for several larger active complexes, including an octomer and a 16-mer. Additionally, we propose a model for the structures of these large complexes, based on computationally-derived molecular modeling studies. These structures may have application in the study of human disease, as several diseases have been associated with the aggregation of proteins.

  1. Efficacious gene silencing in serum and significant apoptotic activity induction by survivin downregulation mediated by new cationic gemini tocopheryl lipids.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Krishan; Maiti, Bappa; Kondaiah, Paturu; Bhattacharya, Santanu

    2015-02-02

    Nonviral gene delivery offers cationic liposomes as promising instruments for the delivery of double-stranded RNA (ds RNA) molecules for successful sequence-specific gene silencing (RNA interference). The efficient delivery of siRNA (small interfering RNA) to cells while avoiding unexpected side effects is an important prerequisite for the exploitation of the power of this excellent tool. We present here six new tocopherol based cationic gemini lipids, which induce substantial gene knockdown without any obvious cytotoxicity. All the efficient coliposomal formulations derived from each of these geminis and a helper lipid, dioleoylphosphatidylethanolamine (DOPE), were well characterized using physical methods such as atomic force microscopy (AFM) and dynamic light scattering (DLS). Zeta potential measurements were conducted to estimate the surface charge of these formulations. Flow cytometric analysis showed that the optimized coliposomal formulations could transfect anti-GFP siRNA efficiently in three different GFP expressing cell lines, viz., HEK 293T, HeLa, and Caco-2, significantly better than a potent commercial standard Lipofectamine 2000 (L2K) both in the absence and in the presence of serum (FBS). Notably, the knockdown activity of coliposomes of gemini lipids was not affected even in the presence of serum (10% and 50% FBS) while it dropped down for L2K significantly. Observations under a fluorescence microscope, RT-PCR, and Western blot analysis substantiated the flow cytometry results. The efficient cellular entry of labeled siRNA in GFP expressing cells as evidenced from confocal microscopy put forward these gemini lipids among the potent lipidic carriers for siRNA. The efficient transfection capabilities were also profiled in a more relevant fashion while performing siRNA transfections against survivin (an anti-apoptotic protein) which induced substantial apoptosis. Furthermore, the survivin downregulation improved the therapeutic efficacy levels of an

  2. Telomerase activity is more significant for predicting the outcome of IVF treatment than telomere length in granulosa cells.

    PubMed

    Wang, Wenjun; Chen, Hong; Li, Ruiqi; Ouyang, Nengyong; Chen, Jinghua; Huang, Lili; Mai, Meiqi; Zhang, Ningfeng; Zhang, Qingxue; Yang, Dongzi

    2014-05-01

    Our previous study has demonstrated that luteinized granulosa cells (GCs) have the potential to proliferate and that the telomerase activity (TA) of luteinized GCs may predict the clinical outcomes of IVF treatment. However, in the field of telomere research, there have always been different opinions regarding the significance of TA and telomere length (TL). Thus, in the present study, we compared the effects of these two parameters on IVF treatment outcomes in the same individuals. TL did not differ significantly between the pregnant group and the non-pregnant group. The TA, number of retrieved oocytes and rate of blastocyst transfer were significantly higher in the pregnant group than in the non-pregnant group (0.8825 OD×mm, 12.75±2.20 and 34.48%, respectively, in the pregnant group vs 0.513 OD×mm, 11.60±0.93 and 14.89%, respectively, in the non-pregnant group (P<0.05)), while basal FSH level was lower in the pregnant group than in the non-pregnant group. The subjects did not differ with regard to ovarian stimulation or other clinical characteristics. A TA increase of 1 OD×mm increased the chance of becoming pregnant 4.769-fold (odds ratio: 5.769, 95% CI: 1.434-23.212, P<0.014). The areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves were 0.576 for TL and 0.674 for TA (P=0.271 and P<0. 012 respectively). The corresponding cut-off points were 4.470 for TL and 0.650 OD×mm for TA. These results demonstrate that TA is a better predictor of pregnancy outcomes following IVF treatment than TL. No other clinical parameters, including age, baseline FSH level or peak oestradiol level, distinguished between the pregnant group and the non-pregnant group as effectively as TA.

  3. Fractionation of a Herbal Antidiarrheal Medicine Reveals Eugenol as an Inhibitor of Ca2+-Activated Cl− Channel TMEM16A

    PubMed Central

    Yao, Zhen; Namkung, Wan; Ko, Eun A.; Park, Jinhong; Tradtrantip, Lukmanee; Verkman, A. S.

    2012-01-01

    The Ca2+-activated Cl− channel TMEM16A is involved in epithelial fluid secretion, smooth muscle contraction and neurosensory signaling. We identified a Thai herbal antidiarrheal formulation that inhibited TMEM16A Cl− conductance. C18-reversed-phase HPLC fractionation of the herbal formulation revealed >98% of TMEM16A inhibition activity in one out of approximately 20 distinct peaks. The purified, active compound was identified as eugenol (4-allyl-2-methoxyphenol), the major component of clove oil. Eugenol fully inhibited TMEM16A Cl− conductance with single-site IC50∼150 µM. Eugenol inhibition of TMEM16A in interstitial cells of Cajal produced strong inhibition of intestinal contraction in mouse ileal segments. TMEM16A Cl− channel inhibition adds to the list of eugenol molecular targets and may account for some of its biological activities. PMID:22666439

  4. 10Be surface exposure dating reveals strong active deformation in the central Andean backarc interior

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García Morabito, Ezequiel; Terrizzano, Carla; Zech, Roland; Willett, Sean; Yamin, Marcela; Haghipour, Negar; Wuethrich, Lorenz; Christl, Marcus; María Cortes, José; Ramos, Victor

    2016-04-01

    Understanding the deformation associated with active thrust wedges is essential to evaluate seismic hazard. How is active faulting distributed throughout the wedge, and how much deformation is taken up by individual structures? We address these questions for our study region, the central Andean backarc of Argentina. We combined a structural and geomorphological approach with surface exposure dating (10Be) of alluvial fans and strath terraces in two key localities at ~32° S: the Cerro Salinas, located in the active orogenic front of the Precordillera, and the Barreal block in the interior of the Andean mountain range. We analysed 22 surface samples and 6 depth profiles. At the thrust front, the oldest terrace (T1) yields an age of 100-130 ka, the intermediate terrace (T2) between 40-95 ka, and the youngest terrace (T3) an age of ~20 ka. In the Andean interior, T1´ dates to 117-146 ka, T2´ to ~70 ka, and T3´ to ~20 ka, all calculations assuming negligible erosion and using the scaling scheme for spallation based on Lal 1991, Stone 2000. Vertical slip rates of fault offsets are 0.3-0.5 mm/yr and of 0.6-1.2 mm/yr at the thrust front and in the Andean interior, respectively. Our results highlight: i) fault activity related to the growth of the Andean orogenic wedge is not only limited to a narrow thrust front zone. Internal structures have been active during the last 150 ka, ii) deformation rates in the Andean interior are comparable or even higher that those estimated and reported along the emerging thrust front, iii) distribution of active faulting seems to account for unsteady state conditions, and iv) seismic hazards may be more relevant in the internal parts of the Andean orogen than assumed so far. References Lal, D., 1991: Cosmic ray labeling of erosion surfaces: In situ nuclide production rates and erosion models. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 104: 424-439. Stone, J.O., 2000: Air pressure and cosmogenic isotope production. Journal of Geophysical

  5. A Global Genomic Screening Strategy Reveals Genetic and Chemical Activators ofPeroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor alpha (PPARalpha)

    EPA Science Inventory

    A comprehensive survey of chemical, diet and genetic perturbations that activate PPARalpha in the mouse liver has not been carried out but would be useful to identify the factors that may contribute to PPARalpha-dependent liver tumors. A gene signature dependent on PPARalpha ac...

  6. Revealing the Origin of Activity in Nitrogen-Doped Nanocarbons towards Electrocatalytic Reduction of Carbon Dioxide.

    PubMed

    Xu, Junyuan; Kan, Yuhe; Huang, Rui; Zhang, Bingsen; Wang, Bolun; Wu, Kuang-Hsu; Lin, Yangming; Sun, Xiaoyan; Li, Qingfeng; Centi, Gabriele; Su, Dangsheng

    2016-05-23

    Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are functionalized with nitrogen atoms for reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2 ). The investigation explores the origin of the catalyst's activity and the role of nitrogen chemical states therein. The catalysts show excellent performances, with about 90 % current efficiency for CO formation and stability over 60 hours. The Tafel analyses and density functional theory calculations suggest that the reduction of CO2 proceeds through an initial rate-determining transfer of one electron to CO2 , which leads to the formation of carbon dioxide radical anion (CO2 (.-) ). The initial reduction barrier is too high on pristine CNTs, resulting in a very high overpotentials at which the hydrogen evolution reaction dominates over CO2 reduction. The doped nitrogen atoms stabilize the radical anion, thereby lowering the initial reduction barrier and improving the intrinsic activity. The most efficient nitrogen chemical state for this reaction is quaternary nitrogen, followed by pyridinic and pyrrolic nitrogen.

  7. Integrated Experimental and Model-based Analysis Reveals the Spatial Aspects of EGFR Activation Dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Shankaran, Harish; Zhang, Yi; Chrisler, William B.; Ewald, Jonathan A.; Wiley, H. S.; Resat, Haluk

    2012-10-02

    The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) belongs to the ErbB family of receptor tyrosine kinases, and controls a diverse set of cellular responses relevant to development and tumorigenesis. ErbB activation is a complex process involving receptor-ligand binding, receptor dimerization, phosphorylation, and trafficking (internalization, recycling and degradation), which together dictate the spatio-temporal distribution of active receptors within the cell. The ability to predict this distribution, and elucidation of the factors regulating it, would help to establish a mechanistic link between ErbB expression levels and the cellular response. Towards this end, we constructed mathematical models for deconvolving the contributions of receptor dimerization and phosphorylation to EGFR activation, and to examine the dependence of these processes on sub-cellular location. We collected experimental datasets for EGFR activation dynamics in human mammary epithelial cells, with the specific goal of model parameterization, and used the data to estimate parameters for several alternate models. Model-based analysis indicated that: 1) signal termination via receptor dephosphorylation in late endosomes, prior to degradation, is an important component of the response, 2) less than 40% of the receptors in the cell are phosphorylated at any given time, even at saturating ligand doses, and 3) receptor dephosphorylation rates at the cell surface and early endosomes are comparable. We validated the last finding by measuring EGFR dephosphorylation rates at various times following ligand addition both in whole cells, and in endosomes using ELISAs and fluorescent imaging. Overall, our results provide important information on how EGFR phosphorylation levels are regulated within cells. Further, the mathematical model described here can be extended to determine receptor dimer abundances in cells co-expressing various levels of ErbB receptors. This study demonstrates that an iterative cycle of

  8. Active Trans-Plasma Membrane Water Cycling in Yeast Is Revealed by NMR

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yajie; Poirier-Quinot, Marie; Springer, Charles S.; Balschi, James A.

    2011-01-01

    Plasma membrane water transport is a crucial cellular phenomenon. Net water movement in response to an osmotic gradient changes cell volume. Steady-state exchange of water molecules, with no net flux or volume change, occurs by passive diffusion through the phospholipid bilayer and passage through membrane proteins. The hypothesis is tested that plasma membrane water exchange also correlates with ATP-driven membrane transport activity in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). Longitudinal 1H2O NMR relaxation time constant (T1) values were measured in yeast suspensions containing extracellular relaxation reagent. Two-site-exchange analysis quantified the reversible exchange kinetics as the mean intracellular water lifetime (τi), where τi−1 is the pseudo-first-order rate constant for water efflux. To modulate cellular ATP, yeast suspensions were bubbled with 95%O2/5%CO2 (O2) or 95%N2/5%CO2 (N2). ATP was high during O2, and τi−1 was 3.1 s−1 at 25°C. After changing to N2, ATP decreased and τi−1 was 1.8 s−1. The principal active yeast ion transport protein is the plasma membrane H+-ATPase. Studies using the H+-ATPase inhibitor ebselen or a yeast genetic strain with reduced H+-ATPase found reduced τi−1, notwithstanding high ATP. Steady-state water exchange correlates with H+-ATPase activity. At volume steady state, water is cycling across the plasma membrane in response to metabolic transport activity. PMID:22261073

  9. A new autocatalytic activation mechanism for cysteine proteases revealed by Prevotella intermedia interpain A

    PubMed Central

    Mallorquí-Fernández, Noemí; Manandhar, Surya P.; Mallorquí-Fernández, Goretti; Usón, Isabel; Wawrzonek, Katarzyna; Kantyka, Tomasz; Solà, Maria; Thøgersen, Ida B.; Enghild, Jan J.; Potempa, Jan; Gomis-Rüth, F.Xavier

    2009-01-01

    Prevotella intermedia is a major periodontopathogen contributing to human gingivitis and periodontitis. Such pathogens release proteases as virulence factors that cause deterrence of host defences and tissue destruction. A new cysteine protease from the cysteine-histidine-dyad class, interpain A, was studied in its zymogenic and its self-processed mature form. The latter consists of a bivalved moiety made up by two subdomains. In the structure of a catalytic cysteine-to-alanine zymogen variant, the right subdomain interacts with an unusual prodomain, thus contributing to latency. Unlike the catalytic cysteine residue, already in its competent conformation in the zymogen, the catalytic histidine is swung out from its active conformation and trapped in a cage shaped by a backing helix, a zymogenic hairpin and a latency flap in the zymogen. Dramatic rearrangement of up to 20Å of these elements triggered by a tryptophan switch occurs during activation and accounts for a new activation mechanism for proteolytic enzymes. These findings can be extrapolated to related potentially pathogenic cysteine proteases such as Streprococcus pyogenes SpeB and Porphyromonas gingivalis periodontain. PMID:17993455

  10. Digital Health: Tracking Physiomes and Activity Using Wearable Biosensors Reveals Useful Health-Related Information

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Gao; Zhou, Wenyu; Schüssler-Fiorenza Rose, Sophia Miryam; Perelman, Dalia; Colbert, Elizabeth; Runge, Ryan; Rego, Shannon; Sonecha, Ria; Datta, Somalee; McLaughlin, Tracey; Snyder, Michael P.

    2017-01-01

    A new wave of portable biosensors allows frequent measurement of health-related physiology. We investigated the use of these devices to monitor human physiological changes during various activities and their role in managing health and diagnosing and analyzing disease. By recording over 250,000 daily measurements for up to 43 individuals, we found personalized circadian differences in physiological parameters, replicating previous physiological findings. Interestingly, we found striking changes in particular environments, such as airline flights (decreased peripheral capillary oxygen saturation [SpO2] and increased radiation exposure). These events are associated with physiological macro-phenotypes such as fatigue, providing a strong association between reduced pressure/oxygen and fatigue on high-altitude flights. Importantly, we combined biosensor information with frequent medical measurements and made two important observations: First, wearable devices were useful in identification of early signs of Lyme disease and inflammatory responses; we used this information to develop a personalized, activity-based normalization framework to identify abnormal physiological signals from longitudinal data for facile disease detection. Second, wearables distinguish physiological differences between insulin-sensitive and -resistant individuals. Overall, these results indicate that portable biosensors provide useful information for monitoring personal activities and physiology and are likely to play an important role in managing health and enabling affordable health care access to groups traditionally limited by socioeconomic class or remote geography. PMID:28081144

  11. Molecular Dynamics Simulations Reveal the Mechanisms of Allosteric Activation of Hsp90 by Designed Ligands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vettoretti, Gerolamo; Moroni, Elisabetta; Sattin, Sara; Tao, Jiahui; Agard, David A.; Bernardi, Anna; Colombo, Giorgio

    2016-04-01

    Controlling biochemical pathways through chemically designed modulators may provide novel opportunities to develop therapeutic drugs and chemical tools. The underlying challenge is to design new molecular entities able to act as allosteric chemical switches that selectively turn on/off functions by modulating the conformational dynamics of their target protein. We examine the origins of the stimulation of ATPase and closure kinetics in the molecular chaperone Hsp90 by allosteric modulators through atomistic molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and analysis of protein-ligand interactions. In particular, we focus on the cross-talk between allosteric ligands and protein conformations and its effect on the dynamic properties of the chaperone’s active state. We examine the impact of different allosteric modulators on the stability, structural and internal dynamics properties of Hsp90 closed state. A critical aspect of this study is the development of a quantitative model that correlates Hsp90 activation to the presence of a certain compound, making use of information on the dynamic adaptation of protein conformations to the presence of the ligand, which allows to capture conformational states relevant in the activation process. We discuss the implications of considering the conformational dialogue between allosteric ligands and protein conformations for the design of new functional modulators.

  12. Molecular Dynamics Simulations Reveal the Mechanisms of Allosteric Activation of Hsp90 by Designed Ligands

    PubMed Central

    Vettoretti, Gerolamo; Moroni, Elisabetta; Sattin, Sara; Tao, Jiahui; Agard, David A.; Bernardi, Anna; Colombo, Giorgio

    2016-01-01

    Controlling biochemical pathways through chemically designed modulators may provide novel opportunities to develop therapeutic drugs and chemical tools. The underlying challenge is to design new molecular entities able to act as allosteric chemical switches that selectively turn on/off functions by modulating the conformational dynamics of their target protein. We examine the origins of the stimulation of ATPase and closure kinetics in the molecular chaperone Hsp90 by allosteric modulators through atomistic molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and analysis of protein-ligand interactions. In particular, we focus on the cross-talk between allosteric ligands and protein conformations and its effect on the dynamic properties of the chaperone’s active state. We examine the impact of different allosteric modulators on the stability, structural and internal dynamics properties of Hsp90 closed state. A critical aspect of this study is the development of a quantitative model that correlates Hsp90 activation to the presence of a certain compound, making use of information on the dynamic adaptation of protein conformations to the presence of the ligand, which allows to capture conformational states relevant in the activation process. We discuss the implications of considering the conformational dialogue between allosteric ligands and protein conformations for the design of new functional modulators. PMID:27032695

  13. Using Carbohydrate Interaction Assays to Reveal Novel Binding Sites in Carbohydrate Active Enzymes

    PubMed Central

    Wilkens, Casper; Dilokpimol, Adiphol; Nakai, Hiroyuki; Lewińska, Anna; Abou Hachem, Maher; Svensson, Birte

    2016-01-01

    Carbohydrate active enzymes often contain auxiliary binding sites located either on independent domains termed carbohydrate binding modules (CBMs) or as so-called surface binding sites (SBSs) on the catalytic module at a certain distance from the active site. The SBSs are usually critical for the activity of their cognate enzyme, though they are not readily detected in the sequence of a protein, but normally require a crystal structure of a complex for their identification. A variety of methods, including affinity electrophoresis (AE), insoluble polysaccharide pulldown (IPP) and surface plasmon resonance (SPR) have been used to study auxiliar