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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. Comparative genomic and transcriptional analyses of the carbohydrate-active enzymes and secretomes of phytopathogenic fungi reveal their significant roles during infection and development.

    PubMed

    Lyu, Xueliang; Shen, Cuicui; Fu, Yanping; Xie, Jiatao; Jiang, Daohong; Li, Guoqing; Cheng, Jiasen

    2015-01-01

    Our comparative genomic analysis showed that the numbers of plant cell wall (PCW)- and fungal cell wall (FCW)-degradation-associated carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes) in necrotrophic and hemibiotrophic fungi are significantly larger than that in most biotrophic fungi. However, our transcriptional analyses of CAZyme-encoding genes in Melampsora larici-populina, Puccinia graminis and Sclerotinia sclerotiorum showed that many genes encoding PCW- and FCW-degradation-associated CAZymes were significantly up-regulated during the infection of both necrotrophic fungi and biotrophic fungi, indicating an existence of a universal mechanism underlying PCW degradation and FCW reorganization or modification, which are both intimately involved in necrotrophic and biotrophic fungal infection. Furthermore, our results showed that the FCW reorganization or modification was also related to the fungal development. Additionally, our transcriptional analysis of the secretome of S. sclerotiorum showed that many secreted protein-encoding genes were dramatically induced during infection. Among them, a small, cysteine-rich protein SsCVNH was experimentally confirmed to be essential for the virulence and sclerotial development, indicating that the small secreted proteins might also play crucial roles as potential effectors in host-non-specific necrotrophic fungi. PMID:26531059

  3. Comparative genomic and transcriptional analyses of the carbohydrate-active enzymes and secretomes of phytopathogenic fungi reveal their significant roles during infection and development

    PubMed Central

    Lyu, Xueliang; Shen, Cuicui; Fu, Yanping; Xie, Jiatao; Jiang, Daohong; Li, Guoqing; Cheng, Jiasen

    2015-01-01

    Our comparative genomic analysis showed that the numbers of plant cell wall (PCW)- and fungal cell wall (FCW)-degradation-associated carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes) in necrotrophic and hemibiotrophic fungi are significantly larger than that in most biotrophic fungi. However, our transcriptional analyses of CAZyme-encoding genes in Melampsora larici-populina, Puccinia graminis and Sclerotinia sclerotiorum showed that many genes encoding PCW- and FCW-degradation-associated CAZymes were significantly up-regulated during the infection of both necrotrophic fungi and biotrophic fungi, indicating an existence of a universal mechanism underlying PCW degradation and FCW reorganization or modification, which are both intimately involved in necrotrophic and biotrophic fungal infection. Furthermore, our results showed that the FCW reorganization or modification was also related to the fungal development. Additionally, our transcriptional analysis of the secretome of S. sclerotiorum showed that many secreted protein-encoding genes were dramatically induced during infection. Among them, a small, cysteine-rich protein SsCVNH was experimentally confirmed to be essential for the virulence and sclerotial development, indicating that the small secreted proteins might also play crucial roles as potential effectors in host-non-specific necrotrophic fungi. PMID:26531059

  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. 78 FR 55772 - Culturally Significant Object Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Beauty Revealed: Images of...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-09-11

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF STATE Culturally Significant Object Imported for Exhibition Determinations: ``Beauty Revealed: Images of Women in...: Images of Women in Qing Dynasty Chinese Painting,'' imported from abroad for temporary exhibition...

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

    PubMed

    Rao, Guodong; Sui, Jinkai; Zhang, Jianguo

    2016-01-01

    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 r(2)≥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

  10. Frantic activity revealed in dusty stellar factories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2009-01-01

    Thanks to the Very Large Telescope's acute and powerful near-infrared eye, astronomers have uncovered a host of new young, massive and dusty stellar nurseries in nearby galaxy NGC 253. The centre of this galaxy appears to harbour a twin of our own Milky Way's supermassive black hole. ESO PR Photo 02a/09 The Spiral Galaxy NGC 253 Astronomers from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Spain) used NACO, a sharp-eyed adaptive optics instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT), to study the fine detail in NGC 253, one of the brightest and dustiest spiral galaxies in the sky. Adaptive Optics (AO) corrects for the blurring effect introduced by the Earth's atmosphere. This turbulence causes the stars to twinkle in a way that delights poets, but frustrates astronomers, since it smears out the images. With AO in action the telescope can produce images that are as sharp as is theoretically possible, as if the telescope were in space. NACO revealed features in the galaxy that were only 11 light-years across. "Our observations provide us with so much spatially resolved detail that we can, for the first time, compare them with the finest radio maps for this galaxy -- maps that have existed for more than a decade," says Juan Antonio Fernández-Ontiveros, the lead author of the paper reporting the results [1]. Astronomers identified 37 distinct bright regions, a threefold increase on previous results, packed into a tiny region at the core of the galaxy, comprising just one percent of the galaxy's total size. The astronomers combined their NACO images with data from another VLT instrument, VISIR, as well as with images from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and radio observations made by the Very Large Array and the Very Large Baseline Interferometer. Combining these observations, taken in different wavelength regimes, provided a clue to the nature of these regions. "We now think that these are probably very active nurseries that contain many stars bursting from their

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    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.

  12. Membrane bioreactor wastewater treatment plants reveal diverse yeast and protist communities of potential significance in biofouling.

    PubMed

    Liébana, Raquel; Arregui, Lucía; Belda, Ignacio; Gamella, Luis; Santos, Antonio; Marquina, Domingo; Serrano, Susana

    2015-01-01

    The yeast community was studied in a municipal full-scale membrane bioreactor wastewater treatment plant (MBR-WWTP). The unexpectedly high diversity of yeasts indicated that the activated sludge formed a suitable environment for them to proliferate, with cellular concentrations of 2.2 ± 0.8 × 10(3) CFU ml(-1). Sixteen species of seven genera were present in the biological reactor, with Ascomycetes being the most prevalent group (93%). Most isolates were able to grow in a synthetic wastewater medium, adhere to polyethylene surfaces, and develop biofilms of variable complexity. The relationship between yeast populations and the protists in the MBR-WWTP was also studied, revealing that some protist species preyed on and ingested yeasts. These results suggest that yeast populations may play a role in the food web of a WWTP and, to some extent, contribute to membrane biofouling in MBR systems. PMID:25588128

  13. 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. PMID:24942044

  14. 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. PMID:23566891

  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. A spontaneous metastasis model reveals the significance of claudin-9 overexpression in lung cancer metastasis.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Rajesh K; Chheda, Zinal S; Das Purkayastha, Biswa Pratim; Gomez-Gutierrez, Jorge G; Jala, Venkatakrishna R; Haribabu, Bodduluri

    2016-03-01

    Metastasis causes most cancer related mortality but the mechanisms governing metastatic dissemination are poorly defined. Metastasis involves egression of cancer cells from the primary tumors, their survival in circulation and colonization at the secondary sites. Cancer cell egression from the primary tumor is the least defined process of metastasis as experimental metastasis models directly seed cancer cells in circulation, thus bypassing this crucial step. Here, we developed a spontaneous metastasis model that retains the egression step of metastasis. By repeated in vivo passaging of the poorly metastatic Lewis lung carcinoma (3LL) cells, we generated a cell line (p-3LL) that readily metastasizes to lungs and liver from subcutaneous (s.c.) tumors. Interestingly, when injected intravenously, 3LL and p-3LL cells showed a similar frequency of metastasis. This suggests enhanced egression of p-3LL cells may underlie the enhanced metastatic spread from primary tumors. Microarray analysis of 3LL and p-3LL cells as well as the primary tumors derived from these cells revealed altered expression of several genes including significant upregulation of a tight junction protein, claudin-9. Increased expression of claudin-9 was confirmed in both p-3LL cells and tumors derived from these cells. Knockdown of claudin-9 expression in p-3LL cells by si-RNA significantly reduced their motility, invasiveness in vitro and metastasis in vivo. Conversely, transient overexpression of claudin-9 in 3LL cells enhanced their motility. These results suggest an essential role for claudin-9 in promoting lung cancer metastasis. PMID:26669782

  17. Shocking Detail of Superstar's Activity Revealed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1999-10-01

    NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has imaged Eta Carinae and revealed a hot inner core around this mysterious superstar. The new X-ray observation shows three distinct structures: an outer, horseshoe shaped ring about two light years in diameter, a hot inner core about 3 light months in diameter, and a hot central source less than a light month in diameter which may contain the superstar. All three structures are thought to represent shock waves produced by matter rushing away from the superstar at supersonic speeds. The temperature of the shock-heated gas ranges from 60 million degrees Celsius in the central regions to 3 million degrees Celsius on the outer structure. An earlier image of Eta Carinae by the Hubble Space Telescope revealed two spectacular bubbles of gas expanding in opposite directions away from a central bright region at speeds in excess of a million miles per hour. The inner region visible in the Chandra image has never been resolved before, and appears to be associated with a central disk of high velocity gas rushing out at much higher speeds perpendicular to the bipolar optical nebula. "It is not what I expected," said Dr. Fred Seward of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. "I expected to see a strong point source with a little diffuse emission cloud around it. Instead, we see just the opposite- a bright cloud of diffuse emission, and much less radiation from the center." "The Chandra image contains some puzzles for existing ideas of how a star can produce such hot and intense X-rays," agreed Prof. Kris Davidson of the University of Minnesota. "In the most popular theory, X-rays are made by colliding gas streams from two stars so close together that they'd look like a point source to us. But what happens to gas streams that escape to farther distances? The extended hot stuff in the middle of the new image gives demanding new conditions for any theory to meet." Eta Carinae is one of the most enigmatic and intriguing objects in our

  18. Routine activities and victimization at school: the significance of gender.

    PubMed

    Popp, Ann Marie; Peguero, Anthony A

    2011-08-01

    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 gender-specific relationship with victimization. This article explores the importance of gender in understanding the relationship between student's participation in extracurricular routine activities (e.g., student government, clubs, sports, and etc.) and the risk of victimization. From the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002, a sample of 10th-grade students was drawn for analyses. Hierarchical Generalized Linear Modeling was employed to explore the role of gender in the relationship between extracurricular routine activities and victimization at school. The results reveal that students' gender indeed interacts with several of the extracurricular routine activities creating gender-specific risks of victimization. This article highlights the importance of gender in explaining victimization and suggests researchers should consider how gender may interact with other routine activities and victimization. PMID:20956442

  19. Next-Generation Sequencing Reveals Significant Bacterial Diversity of Botrytized Wine

    PubMed Central

    Bokulich, Nicholas A.; Joseph, C. M. Lucy; Allen, Greg; Benson, Andrew K.; Mills, David A.

    2012-01-01

    While wine fermentation has long been known to involve complex microbial communities, the composition and role of bacteria other than a select set of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) has often been assumed either negligible or detrimental. This study served as a pilot study for using barcoded amplicon next-generation sequencing to profile bacterial community structure in wines and grape musts, comparing the taxonomic depth achieved by sequencing two different domains of prokaryotic 16S rDNA (V4 and V5). This study was designed to serve two goals: 1) to empirically determine the most taxonomically informative 16S rDNA target region for barcoded amplicon sequencing of wine, comparing V4 and V5 domains of bacterial 16S rDNA to terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (TRFLP) of LAB communities; and 2) to explore the bacterial communities of wine fermentation to better understand the biodiversity of wine at a depth previously unattainable using other techniques. Analysis of amplicons from the V4 and V5 provided similar views of the bacterial communities of botrytized wine fermentations, revealing a broad diversity of low-abundance taxa not traditionally associated with wine, as well as atypical LAB communities initially detected by TRFLP. The V4 domain was determined as the more suitable read for wine ecology studies, as it provided greater taxonomic depth for profiling LAB communities. In addition, targeted enrichment was used to isolate two species of Alphaproteobacteria from a finished fermentation. Significant differences in diversity between inoculated and uninoculated samples suggest that Saccharomyces inoculation exerts selective pressure on bacterial diversity in these fermentations, most notably suppressing abundance of acetic acid bacteria. These results determine the bacterial diversity of botrytized wines to be far higher than previously realized, providing further insight into the fermentation dynamics of these wines, and demonstrate the utility of next

  20. 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.

  1. 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. PMID:27447176

  2. Recent progress in revealing the biological and medical significance of the non-neuronal cholinergic system.

    PubMed

    Grando, Sergei A; Kawashima, Koichiro; Kirkpatrick, Charles J; Kummer, Wolfgang; Wessler, Ignaz

    2015-11-01

    This special issue of International Immunopharmacology is the proceedings of the Fourth International Symposium on Non-neuronal Acetylcholine that was held on August 28-30, 2014 at the Justus Liebig University of Giessen in Germany. It contains original contributions of meeting participants covering the significant progress in understanding of the biological and medical significance of the non-neuronal cholinergic system extending from exciting insights into molecular mechanisms regulating this system via miRNAs over the discovery of novel cholinergic cellular signaling circuitries to clinical implications in cancer, wound healing, immunity and inflammation, cardiovascular, respiratory and other diseases. PMID:26362206

  3. 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

  4. Future role and significance of space activities in reflection of global social, technological and economic trends

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diekmann, Andreas; Richarz, Hans.-Peter

    The paper describes the interrelation of space activities and global socio-economic trends like "globalisation of markets" and "renaissance of fine arts". The interrelation reveals the economic strategic, technological and scientific dimension of space activities and their benefits to mankind. Then, the significance and perspectives of space activities in these dimensions are examined in more detail. The paper calls (1) for a more visible initiative to employ space activities to tackle urgent questions of global change and development, and (2) for a stronger impetus to secure European economic position in space sector as a key industry of the 21st century.

  5. [Phylogenomic analysis reveals the significant expansion of gene families of Volvariella volvacea ].

    PubMed

    Gong, Ming; Tan, Qi; Chen, Mingjie; Bao, Dapeng; Wang, Hong

    2014-09-01

    [OBJECTIVE] Cryogenic autolysis of Volvariella volvacea is an unusual phenomenon of abnormal metabolism. The aim of this study was to describe this molecular feature of abnormal metabolism at the genome-level. [METHODS] We used 21 fungal species for the phylogenomic analysis and then selected 9 representative species in basidiomycetes for the comparative genomic analysis. [ RESULTS] The phylogenomic analysis shows that V. volvacea was located at the bottom of the cluster consisting of grass-degrading fungi. Phylogenetic tree shows that basidiomycetes and ascomycetes fungi have independent evolutionary trajectories. Therefore, nine representative species in basidiomycetes were chosen for the comparative genomic analysis. The result shows that compared to other grass-degrading fungi, V. volvacea has the tendency of contraction. The comparison of the number of gene families on a different scale shows that there was a significant expansion of 3 large size ( > 200) gene families (faml, fam4 and fam6) in V. volvacea with their total number significantly more than other species, representing that the molecular feature of V. volvacea is correlated with its abnormal metabolism. [ CONCLUSION] The significant expansion of 3 gene families ( > 200) in V. volvacea indicates the enhancement of their function in specific gene families, which is most likely associated with cryogenic autolysis of V. volvacea. PMID:25522588

  6. A Paleocene lowland macroflora from Patagonia reveals significantly greater richness than North American analogs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iglesias, Ari; Wilf, Peter; Johnson, Kirk R.; Zamuner, Alba B.; Rubén Cúneo, N.; Matheos, Sergio D.; Singer, Bradley S.

    2007-10-01

    Few South American macrofloras of Paleocene age are known, and this limits our knowledge of diversity and composition between the end-Cretaceous event and the Eocene appearance of high floral diversity. We report new, unbiased collections of 2516 compression specimens from the Paleocene Salamanca Formation (ca. 61.7 Ma) from two localities in the Palacio de los Loros exposures in southern Chubut, Patagonia, Argentina. Our samples reveal considerably greater richness than was previously known from the Paleocene of Patagonia, including 36 species of angiosperm leaves as well as angiosperm fruits, flowers, and seeds; ferns; and conifer leaves, cones, and seeds. The floras, which are from siltstone and sandstone channel-fills deposited on low-relief floodplain landscapes in a humid, warm temperate climate, are climatically and paleoenvironmentally comparable to many quantitatively collected Paleocene floras from the Western Interior of North America. Adjusted for sample size, there are >50% more species at each Palacio de los Loros quarry than in any comparable U.S. Paleocene sample. These results indicate more vibrant terrestrial ecosystems in Patagonian than in North American floodplain environments ˜4 m.y. after the end-Cretaceous extinction, and they push back the time line 10 m.y. for the evolution of high floral diversity in South America. The cause of the dis parity is unknown but could involve reduced impact effects because of greater distance from the Chicxulub site, higher latest Cretaceous diversity, or faster recovery or immigration rates.

  7. Association Mapping in Turkish Olive Cultivars Revealed Significant Markers Related to Some Important Agronomic Traits.

    PubMed

    Kaya, Hilal Betul; Cetin, Oznur; Kaya, Hulya Sozer; Sahin, Mustafa; Sefer, Filiz; Tanyolac, Bahattin

    2016-08-01

    Olive (Olea europaea L.) is one of the most important fruit trees especially in the Mediterranean countries due to high consumption of table olive and olive oil. In olive breeding, the phenotypic traits associated to fruit are the key factors that determine productivity. Association mapping has been used in some tree species and a lot of crop plant species, and here, we perform an initial effort to detect marker-trait associations in olive tree. In the current study, a total of 96 olive genotypes, including both oil and table olive genotypes from Turkish Olive GenBank Resources, were used to examine marker-trait associations. For olive genotyping, SNP, AFLP, and SSR marker data were selected from previously published study and association analysis was performed between these markers and 5 yield-related traits. Three different approaches were used to check for false-positive results in association tests, and association results obtained from these models were compared. Using the model utilizing both population structure and relative kinship, eleven associations were significant with FDR ≤ 0.05. The largest number of significant associations was detected for fruit weight and stone weight. Our results suggested that association mapping could be an effective approach for identifying marker-trait associations in olive genotypes, without the development of mapping populations. This study shows for the first time the use of association mapping for identifying molecular markers linked to important traits in olive tree. PMID:27209034

  8. Transcriptomic and Protein Expression Analysis Reveals Clinicopathological Significance of Bloom Syndrome Helicase (BLM) in Breast Cancer.

    PubMed

    Arora, Arvind; Abdel-Fatah, Tarek M A; Agarwal, Devika; Doherty, Rachel; Moseley, Paul M; Aleskandarany, Mohammed A; Green, Andrew R; Ball, Graham; Alshareeda, Alaa T; Rakha, Emad A; Chan, Stephen Y T; Ellis, Ian O; Madhusudan, Srinivasan

    2015-04-01

    Bloom syndrome helicase (BLM) has key roles in homologous recombination repair, telomere maintenance, and DNA replication. Germ-line mutations in the BLM gene causes Bloom syndrome, a rare disorder characterized by premature aging and predisposition to multiple cancers, including breast cancer. The clinicopathologic significance of BLM in sporadic breast cancers is unknown. We investigated BLM mRNA expression in the Molecular Taxonomy of Breast Cancer International Consortium cohort (n = 1,950) and validated in an external dataset of 2,413 tumors. BLM protein level was evaluated in the Nottingham Tenovus series comprising 1,650 breast tumors. BLM mRNA overexpression was significantly associated with high histologic grade, larger tumor size, estrogen receptor-negative (ER(-)), progesterone receptor-negative (PR(-)), and triple-negative phenotypes (ps < 0.0001). BLM mRNA overexpression was also linked to aggressive molecular phenotypes, including PAM50.Her2 (P < 0.0001), PAM50.Basal (P < 0.0001), and PAM50.LumB (P < 0.0001) and Genufu subtype (ER(+)/Her2(-)/high proliferation; P < 0.0001). PAM50.LumA tumors and Genufu subtype (ER(+)/Her2(-)/low proliferation) were more likely to express low levels of BLM mRNA (ps < 0.0001). Integrative molecular clusters (intClust) intClust.1 (P < 0.0001), intClust.5 (P < 0.0001), intClust.9 (P < 0.0001), and intClust.10 (P < 0.0001) were also more likely in tumors with high BLM mRNA expression. BLM mRNA overexpression was associated with poor breast cancer-specific survival (BCSS; ps < 0.000001). At the protein level, altered subcellular localization with high cytoplasmic BLM and low nuclear BLM was linked to aggressive phenotypes. In multivariate analysis, BLM mRNA and BLM protein levels independently influenced BCSS. This is the first and the largest study to provide evidence that BLM is a promising biomarker in breast cancer. PMID:25673821

  9. Metabolomic approach with LC-MS reveals significant effect of pressure on diver's plasma.

    PubMed

    Ciborowski, Michal; Javier Rupérez, F; Martínez-Alcázar, Ma Paz; Angulo, Santiago; Radziwon, Piotr; Olszanski, Romuald; Kloczko, Janusz; Barbas, Coral

    2010-08-01

    Professional and recreational diving are growing activities in modern life. Diving has been associated with increased prevalence of stroke, hypertension, asthma, diabetes, or bone necrosis. We evaluated the effect of increased pressure equivalent to diving at 30 and 60 m for 30 min in two groups of divers using an untargeted approach with LC-MS fingerprinting of plasma. We found over 100 metabolites to be altered in plasma post exposure and after the corresponding decompression procedures. Among them, a group of lysophosphatidylcholines and lysophosphatidylethanolamines were increased, including lysoplasmalogen, a thrombosis promoter, together with changes in metabolic rate-associated molecules such as acylcarnitines and hemolysis-related compounds. Moreover, three metabolites that could be associated to bone degradation show different intensities between experimental groups. Ultimately, this nontargeted, short-term study opens the possibility of discovering markers of long-term effect of pressure that could be employed in routine health control of divers and could facilitate the development of safer decompression procedures. PMID:20504017

  10. Integrated Genomic Analysis of Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinomas Reveals Genomic Rearrangement Events as Significant Drivers of Disease.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Stephen J; Hart, Steven N; Halling, Geoffrey C; Johnson, Sarah H; Smadbeck, James B; Drucker, Travis; Lima, Joema Felipe; Rohakhtar, Fariborz Rakhshan; Harris, Faye R; Kosari, Farhad; Subramanian, Subbaya; Petersen, Gloria M; Wiltshire, Timothy D; Kipp, Benjamin R; Truty, Mark J; McWilliams, Robert R; Couch, Fergus J; Vasmatzis, George

    2016-02-01

    Many somatic mutations have been detected in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), leading to the identification of some key drivers of disease progression, but the involvement of large genomic rearrangements has often been overlooked. In this study, we performed mate pair sequencing (MPseq) on genomic DNA from 24 PDAC tumors, including 15 laser-captured microdissected PDAC and 9 patient-derived xenografts, to identify genome-wide rearrangements. Large genomic rearrangements with intragenic breakpoints altering key regulatory genes involved in PDAC progression were detected in all tumors. SMAD4, ZNF521, and FHIT were among the most frequently hit genes. Conversely, commonly reported genes with copy number gains, including MYC and GATA6, were frequently observed in the absence of direct intragenic breakpoints, suggesting a requirement for sustaining oncogenic function during PDAC progression. Integration of data from MPseq, exome sequencing, and transcriptome analysis of primary PDAC cases identified limited overlap in genes affected by both rearrangements and point mutations. However, significant overlap was observed in major PDAC-associated signaling pathways, with all PDAC exhibiting reduced SMAD4 expression, reduced SMAD-dependent TGFβ signaling, and increased WNT and Hedgehog signaling. The frequent loss of SMAD4 and FHIT due to genomic rearrangements strongly implicates these genes as key drivers of PDAC, thus highlighting the strengths of an integrated genomic and transcriptomic approach for identifying mechanisms underlying disease initiation and progression. PMID:26676757

  11. 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

  12. Ozone-Induced Dissociation of Conjugated Lipids Reveals Significant Reaction Rate Enhancements and Characteristic Odd-Electron Product Ions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pham, Huong T.; Maccarone, Alan T.; Campbell, J. Larry; Mitchell, Todd W.; Blanksby, Stephen J.

    2013-02-01

    Ozone-induced dissociation (OzID) is an alternative ion activation method that relies on the gas phase ion-molecule reaction between a mass-selected target ion and ozone in an ion trap mass spectrometer. Herein, we evaluated the performance of OzID for both the structural elucidation and selective detection of conjugated carbon-carbon double bond motifs within lipids. The relative reactivity trends for [M + X]+ ions (where X = Li, Na, K) formed via electrospray ionization (ESI) of conjugated versus nonconjugated fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) were examined using two different OzID-enabled linear ion-trap mass spectrometers. Compared with nonconjugated analogues, FAMEs derived from conjugated linoleic acids were found to react up to 200 times faster and to yield characteristic radical cations. The significantly enhanced reactivity of conjugated isomers means that OzID product ions can be observed without invoking a reaction delay in the experimental sequence (i.e., trapping of ions in the presence of ozone is not required). This possibility has been exploited to undertake neutral-loss scans on a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer targeting characteristic OzID transitions. Such analyses reveal the presence of conjugated double bonds in lipids extracted from selected foodstuffs. Finally, by benchmarking of the absolute ozone concentration inside the ion trap, second order rate constants for the gas phase reactions between unsaturated organic ions and ozone were obtained. These results demonstrate a significant influence of the adducting metal on reaction rate constants in the fashion Li > Na > K.

  13. Carbohydrate active enzymes revealed in Coptotermes formosanus transcriptome

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A normalized cDNA library of Coptotermes formosanus was constructed using mixed RNA isolated from workers, soldiers, nymphs and alates of both sexes. Sequencing of this library generated 131,637 EST and 25,939 unigenes were assembled. Carbohydrate active enzymes (CAZymes) revealed in this library we...

  14. 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

  15. Topological structure dynamics revealing collective evolution in active nematics

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Xia-qing; Ma, Yu-qiang

    2013-01-01

    Topological defects frequently emerge in active matter like bacterial colonies, cytoskeleton extracts on substrates, self-propelled granular or colloidal layers and so on, but their dynamical properties and the relations to large-scale organization and fluctuations in these active systems are seldom touched. Here we reveal, through a simple model for active nematics using self-driven hard elliptic rods, that the excitation, annihilation and transportation of topological defects differ markedly from those in non-active media. These dynamical processes exhibit strong irreversibility in active nematics in the absence of detailed balance. Moreover, topological defects are the key factors in organizing large-scale dynamic structures and collective flows, resulting in multi-spatial temporal effects. These findings allow us to control the self-organization of active matter through topological structures. PMID:24346733

  16. 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.

  17. Distribution and significance of heterotrophic marine bacteria with antibacterial activity.

    PubMed Central

    Nair, S; Simidu, U

    1987-01-01

    Bacteria with antibacterial activity were isolated from seawater, sediments, phytoplankton, and zooplankton of Suruga, Sagami, and Tokyo Bays and from soft corals and sponges collected from the Taiwan coast. Of the 726 strains isolated, 37 showed antibacterial activity against either Vibrio parahaemolyticus (ATCC 17802) or Staphylococcus aureus (P209). Sediment harbored the lowest number of these forms of bacteria, and those from Tokyo Bay did not show any activity. Attached isolates showed greater activity compared with free-living forms. Relatively high numbers of strains with antibacterial activity were associated with phytoplankton. Among the zooplankton isolates, cladocerans harbored the maximum number of antibacterial strains. Isolates were more inhibitory to gram-positive test cultures. Autoinhibition was observed only among 8% of the isolates. Marine nonproducers were more susceptible. Pseudomonas/Alteromonas species made up 81.0% of isolates, of which 30% were pigmented strains. The absence or reduction in number of bacteria with antibacterial activity in Tokyo Bay is attributed to its eutrophic nature, which may tend to moderate the production of antibacterial compounds. PMID:3435149

  18. Significant Natural Product Biosynthetic Potential of Actinorhizal Symbionts of the Genus Frankia, as Revealed by Comparative Genomic and Proteomic Analyses▿

    PubMed Central

    Udwary, Daniel W.; Gontang, Erin A.; Jones, Adam C.; Jones, Carla S.; Schultz, Andrew W.; Winter, Jaclyn M.; Yang, Jane Y.; Beauchemin, Nicholas; Capson, Todd L.; Clark, Benjamin R.; Esquenazi, Eduardo; Eustáquio, Alessandra S.; Freel, Kelle; Gerwick, Lena; Gerwick, William H.; Gonzalez, David; Liu, Wei-Ting; Malloy, Karla L.; Maloney, Katherine N.; Nett, Markus; Nunnery, Joshawna K.; Penn, Kevin; Prieto-Davo, Alejandra; Simmons, Thomas L.; Weitz, Sara; Wilson, Micheal C.; Tisa, Louis S.; Dorrestein, Pieter C.; Moore, Bradley S.

    2011-01-01

    Bacteria of the genus Frankia are mycelium-forming actinomycetes that are found as nitrogen-fixing facultative symbionts of actinorhizal plants. Although soil-dwelling actinomycetes are well-known producers of bioactive compounds, the genus Frankia has largely gone uninvestigated for this potential. Bioinformatic analysis of the genome sequences of Frankia strains ACN14a, CcI3, and EAN1pec revealed an unexpected number of secondary metabolic biosynthesis gene clusters. Our analysis led to the identification of at least 65 biosynthetic gene clusters, the vast majority of which appear to be unique and for which products have not been observed or characterized. More than 25 secondary metabolite structures or structure fragments were predicted, and these are expected to include cyclic peptides, siderophores, pigments, signaling molecules, and specialized lipids. Outside the hopanoid gene locus, no cluster could be convincingly demonstrated to be responsible for the few secondary metabolites previously isolated from other Frankia strains. Few clusters were shared among the three species, demonstrating species-specific biosynthetic diversity. Proteomic analysis of Frankia sp. strains CcI3 and EAN1pec showed that significant and diverse secondary metabolic activity was expressed in laboratory cultures. In addition, several prominent signals in the mass range of peptide natural products were observed in Frankia sp. CcI3 by intact-cell matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS). This work supports the value of bioinformatic investigation in natural products biosynthesis using genomic information and presents a clear roadmap for natural products discovery in the Frankia genus. PMID:21498757

  19. 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…

  20. Pathogenic significance of alpha-N-acetylgalactosaminidase activity found in the hemagglutinin of influenza virus.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Nobuto; Urade, Masahiro

    2005-04-01

    Serum vitamin D3-binding protein (Gc protein) is the precursor for the principal macrophage activating factor (MAF). The precursor activity of serum Gc protein was reduced in all influenza virus-infected patients. These patient sera contained alpha-N-acetylgalactosaminidase (Nagalase) that deglycosylates Gc protein. Deglycosylated Gc protein cannot be converted to MAF, thus it loses the MAF precursor activity, leading to immunosuppression. An influenza virus stock contained a large amount of Nagalase activity. A sucrose gradient centrifugation analysis of the virus stock showed that the profile of Nagalase activity corresponds to that of hemagglutinating activity. When these gradient fractions were treated with 0.01% trypsin for 30 min, the Nagalase activity of each fraction increased significantly, suggesting that the Nagalase activity resides on an outer envelope protein of the influenza virion and is enhanced by the proteolytic process. After disruption of influenza virions with sodium deoxycholate, fractionation of the envelope proteins with mannose-specific lectin affinity column along with electrophoretic analysis of the Nagalase peak fraction revealed that Nagalase is the intrinsic component of the hemagglutinin (HA). Cloned HA protein exhibited Nagalase activity only if treated with trypsin. Since both fusion capacity and Nagalase activity of HA protein are expressed by proteolytic cleavage, Nagalase activity appears to be an enzymatic basis for the fusion process. Thus, Nagalase plays dual roles in regulating both infectivity and immunosuppression. PMID:15848273

  1. Memory activation reveals abnormal EEG in preclinical Huntington's disease.

    PubMed

    van der Hiele, Karin; Jurgens, Caroline K; Vein, Alla A; Reijntjes, Robert H A M; Witjes-Ané, Marie-Noëlle W; Roos, Raymund A C; van Dijk, Gert; Middelkoop, Huub A M

    2007-04-15

    The EEG is potentially useful as a marker of early Huntington's disease (HD). In dementia, the EEG during a memory activation challenge showed abnormalities where the resting EEG did not. We investigated whether memory activation also reveals EEG abnormalities in preclinical HD. Sixteen mutation carriers for HD and 13 nonmutation carriers underwent neurological, neuropsychological, MRI and EEG investigations. The EEG was registered during a rest condition, i.e. eyes closed, and a working memory task. In each condition we determined absolute power in the theta (4-8 Hz) and alpha (8-13 Hz) bands and subsequently calculated relative alpha power. The EEG during eyes closed did not differ between groups. The EEG during memory activation showed less relative alpha power in mutation carriers as compared to nonmutation carriers, even though memory performance was similar [F (1,27) = 10.87; P = 0.003]. Absolute powers also showed less alpha power [F (1,27) = 7.02; P = 0.013] but similar theta power. No correlations were found between absolute and relative alpha power on the one hand and neuropsychological scores, motor scores or number of CAG repeats on the other. In conclusion, memory activation reveals functional brain changes in Huntington's disease before clinical signs become overt. PMID:17266047

  2. 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

  3. Small molecules reveal an alternative mechanism of Bax activation.

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-15

    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

  4. Aberrant Activity in Degenerated Retinas Revealed by Electrical Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Zeck, Günther

    2016-01-01

    In this review, I present and discuss the current understanding of aberrant electrical activity found in the ganglion cell layer (GCL) of rod-degenerated (rd) mouse retinas. The reported electrophysiological properties revealed by electrical imaging using high-density microelectrode arrays can be subdivided between spiking activity originating from retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and local field potentials (LFPs) reflecting strong trans-membrane currents within the GCL. RGCs in rd retinas show increased and rhythmic spiking compared to age-matched wild-type retinas. Fundamental spiking frequencies range from 5 to 15 Hz in various mouse models. The rhythmic RGC spiking is driven by a presynaptic network comprising AII amacrine and bipolar cells. In the healthy retina this rhythm-generating circuit is inhibited by photoreceptor input. A unique physiological feature of rd retinas is rhythmic LFP manifested as spatially-restricted low-frequency (5–15 Hz) voltage changes. Their spatiotemporal characterization revealed propagation and correlation with RGC spiking. LFPs rely on gap-junctional coupling and are shaped by glycinergic and by GABAergic transmission. The aberrant RGC spiking and LFPs provide a simple readout of the functionality of the remaining retinal circuitry which can be used in the development of improved vision restoration strategies. PMID:26903810

  5. Sensors at Centrosomes Reveal Determinants of Local Separase Activity

    PubMed Central

    Agircan, Fikret Gurkan; Schiebel, Elmar

    2014-01-01

    Separase is best known for its function in sister chromatid separation at the metaphase-anaphase transition. It also has a role in centriole disengagement in late mitosis/G1. To gain insight into the activity of separase at centrosomes, we developed two separase activity sensors: mCherry-Scc1(142-467)-ΔNLS-eGFP-PACT and mCherry-kendrin(2059-2398)-eGFP-PACT. Both localize to the centrosomes and enabled us to monitor local separase activity at the centrosome in real time. Both centrosomal sensors were cleaved by separase before anaphase onset, earlier than the corresponding H2B-mCherry-Scc1(142-467)-eGFP sensor at chromosomes. This indicates that substrate cleavage by separase is not synchronous in the cells. Depletion of the proteins astrin or Aki1, which have been described as inhibitors of centrosomal separase, did not led to a significant activation of separase at centrosomes, emphasizing the importance of direct separase activity measurements at the centrosomes. Inhibition of polo-like kinase Plk1, on the other hand, decreased the separase activity towards the Scc1 but not the kendrin reporter. Together these findings indicate that Plk1 regulates separase activity at the level of substrate affinity at centrosomes and may explain in part the role of Plk1 in centriole disengagement. PMID:25299182

  6. 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.

  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. Limiting prothrombin activation to meizothrombin is compatible with survival but significantly alters hemostasis in mice.

    PubMed

    Shaw, Maureen A; Kombrinck, Keith W; McElhinney, Kathryn E; Sweet, David R; Flick, Matthew J; Palumbo, Joseph S; Cheng, Mei; Esmon, Naomi L; Esmon, Charles T; Brill, Alexander; Wagner, Denisa D; Degen, Jay L; Mullins, Eric S

    2016-08-01

    Thrombin-mediated proteolysis is central to hemostatic function but also plays a prominent role in multiple disease processes. The proteolytic conversion of fII to α-thrombin (fIIa) by the prothrombinase complex occurs through 2 parallel pathways: (1) the inactive intermediate, prethrombin; or (2) the proteolytically active intermediate, meizothrombin (fIIa(MZ)). FIIa(MZ) has distinct catalytic properties relative to fIIa, including diminished fibrinogen cleavage and increased protein C activation. Thus, fII activation may differentially influence hemostasis and disease depending on the pathway of activation. To determine the in vivo physiologic and pathologic consequences of restricting thrombin generation to fIIa(MZ), mutations were introduced into the endogenous fII gene, resulting in expression of prothrombin carrying 3 amino acid substitutions (R157A, R268A, and K281A) to limit activation events to yield only fIIa(MZ) Homozygous fII(MZ) mice are viable, express fII levels comparable with fII(WT) mice, and have reproductive success. Although in vitro studies revealed delayed generation of fIIa(MZ) enzyme activity, platelet aggregation by fII(MZ) is similar to fII(WT) Consistent with prior analyses of human fIIa(MZ), significant prolongation of clotting times was observed for fII(MZ) plasma. Adult fII(MZ) animals displayed significantly compromised hemostasis in tail bleeding assays, but did not demonstrate overt bleeding. More notably, fII(MZ) mice had 2 significant phenotypic advantages over fII(WT) animals: protection from occlusive thrombosis after arterial injury and markedly diminished metastatic potential in a setting of experimental tumor metastasis to the lung. Thus, these novel animals will provide a valuable tool to assess the role of both fIIa and fIIa(MZ) in vivo. PMID:27252233

  9. A genome scan revealed significant associations of growth traits with a major QTL and GHR2 in tilapia

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Feng; Sun, Fei; Xia, Jun Hong; Li, Jian; Fu, Gui Hong; Lin, Grace; Tu, Rong Jian; Wan, Zi Yi; Quek, Delia; Yue, Gen Hua

    2014-01-01

    Growth is an important trait in animal breeding. However, the genetic effects underpinning fish growth variability are still poorly understood. QTL mapping and analysis of candidate genes are effective methods to address this issue. We conducted a genome-wide QTL analysis for growth in tilapia. A total of 10, 7 and 8 significant QTLs were identified for body weight, total length and standard length at 140 dph, respectively. The majority of these QTLs were sex-specific. One major QTL for growth traits was identified in the sex-determining locus in LG1, explaining 71.7%, 67.2% and 64.9% of the phenotypic variation (PV) of body weight, total length and standard length, respectively. In addition, a candidate gene GHR2 in a QTL was significantly associated with body weight, explaining 13.1% of PV. Real-time qPCR revealed that different genotypes at the GHR2 locus influenced the IGF-1 expression level. The markers located in the major QTL for growth traits could be used in marker-assisted selection of tilapia. The associations between GHR2 variants and growth traits suggest that the GHR2 gene should be an important gene that explains the difference in growth among tilapia species. PMID:25435025

  10. A genome scan revealed significant associations of growth traits with a major QTL and GHR2 in tilapia.

    PubMed

    Liu, Feng; Sun, Fei; Xia, Jun Hong; Li, Jian; Fu, Gui Hong; Lin, Grace; Tu, Rong Jian; Wan, Zi Yi; Quek, Delia; Yue, Gen Hua

    2014-01-01

    Growth is an important trait in animal breeding. However, the genetic effects underpinning fish growth variability are still poorly understood. QTL mapping and analysis of candidate genes are effective methods to address this issue. We conducted a genome-wide QTL analysis for growth in tilapia. A total of 10, 7 and 8 significant QTLs were identified for body weight, total length and standard length at 140 dph, respectively. The majority of these QTLs were sex-specific. One major QTL for growth traits was identified in the sex-determining locus in LG1, explaining 71.7%, 67.2% and 64.9% of the phenotypic variation (PV) of body weight, total length and standard length, respectively. In addition, a candidate gene GHR2 in a QTL was significantly associated with body weight, explaining 13.1% of PV. Real-time qPCR revealed that different genotypes at the GHR2 locus influenced the IGF-1 expression level. The markers located in the major QTL for growth traits could be used in marker-assisted selection of tilapia. The associations between GHR2 variants and growth traits suggest that the GHR2 gene should be an important gene that explains the difference in growth among tilapia species. PMID:25435025

  11. 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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-13

    Scale-free dynamics, with a power spectrum following P proportional to f(-beta), 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 beta 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

  14. Surgically resected human tumors reveal the biological significance of the gastric cancer stem cell markers CD44 and CD26

    PubMed Central

    NISHIKAWA, SHIMPEI; KONNO, MASAMITSU; HAMABE, ATSUSHI; HASEGAWA, SHINICHIRO; KANO, YOSHIHIRO; FUKUSUMI, TAKAHITO; SATOH, TAROH; TAKIGUCHI, SHUJI; MORI, MASAKI; DOKI, YUICHIRO; ISHII, HIDESHI

    2015-01-01

    Cancer tissue is maintained by relatively small populations of cancer stem cells (CSCs), which are involved in chemotherapy resistance, recurrence and metastasis. As tumor tissues are comprised of various cells, studies of human clinical samples are important for the characterization of CSCs. In the present study, an expression profiling study was performed in which an anti-cell surface marker antibody-based array platform, a flow cytometry-based cell separation technique and a tumorigenicity analysis in immunodeficient animals were utilized. These approaches revealed that the markers cluster of differentiation (CD)44 and CD26 facilitated the fractionation of surgically resected human gastric cancer (GC) cells into the following subset populations with distinct tumorigenic potentials: Highly tumorigenic CD26+CD44+ cells (6/6 mice formed tumors), moderately tumorigenic CD26+CD44− cells (5/6 mice formed tumors), and weakly or non-tumorigenic CD26−CD44− cells (2/6 mice formed tumors). Furthermore, exposure to 5-fluorouracil significantly increased the proportion of CD26+ cells in vitro. The present study demonstrated that the combined expression of CD26 and CD44 presents a potential marker of human GC stem cells. PMID:26137071

  15. 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

  16. 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. PMID:26547558

  17. Hidden Stages of Cognition Revealed in Patterns of Brain Activation.

    PubMed

    Anderson, John R; Pyke, Aryn A; Fincham, Jon M

    2016-09-01

    To advance cognitive theory, researchers must be able to parse the performance of a task into its significant mental stages. In this article, we describe a new method that uses functional MRI brain activation to identify when participants are engaged in different cognitive stages on individual trials. The method combines multivoxel pattern analysis to identify cognitive stages and hidden semi-Markov models to identify their durations. This method, applied to a problem-solving task, identified four distinct stages: encoding, planning, solving, and responding. We examined whether these stages corresponded to their ascribed functions by testing whether they are affected by appropriate factors. Planning-stage duration increased as the method for solving the problem became less obvious, whereas solving-stage duration increased as the number of calculations to produce the answer increased. Responding-stage duration increased with the difficulty of the motor actions required to produce the answer. PMID:27440808

  18. Molecular analysis of faecal and duodenal samples reveals significantly higher prevalence and numbers of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in irritable bowel syndrome.

    PubMed

    Kerckhoffs, Angèle P M; Ben-Amor, Kaouther; Samsom, Melvin; van der Rest, Michel E; de Vogel, Joris; Knol, Jan; Akkermans, Louis M A

    2011-02-01

    Intestinal microbiota may play a role in the pathophysiology of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In this case-control study, mucosa-associated small intestinal and faecal microbiota of IBS patients and healthy subjects were analysed using molecular-based methods. Duodenal mucosal brush and faecal samples were collected from 37 IBS patients and 20 healthy subjects. The bacterial 16S rRNA gene was amplified and analysed using PCR denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Pooled average DGGE profiles of all IBS patients and all healthy subjects from both sampling sites were generated and fingerprints of both groups were compared. The DGGE band fragments which were confined to one group were further characterized by sequence analysis. Quantitative real-time PCR (q-PCR) was used to quantify the disease-associated microbiota. Averaged DGGE profiles of both groups were identical for 78.2 % in the small intestinal samples and for 86.25 % in the faecal samples. Cloning and sequencing of the specific bands isolated from small intestinal and faecal DGGE patterns of IBS patients showed that 45.8 % of the clones belonged to the genus Pseudomonas, of which Pseudomonas aeruginosa was the predominant species. q-PCR analysis revealed higher levels (P<0.001) of P. aeruginosa in the small intestine of IBS patients (8.3 %±0.950) than in the small intestine of healthy subjects (0.1 %±0.069). P. aeruginosa was also significantly (P<0.001) more abundant (2.34 %±0.31) in faeces of IBS patients than in faeces of healthy subjects (0.003 %±0.0027). This study shows that P. aeruginosa is detected more frequently and at higher levels in IBS patients than in healthy subjects, suggesting its potential role in the pathophysiology of IBS. PMID:20947663

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-22

    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. PMID:26375009

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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…

  4. An MHC-defined primate model reveals significant rejection of bone marrow after mixed chimerism induction despite full MHC matching.

    PubMed

    Larsen, C P; Page, A; Linzie, K H; Russell, M; Deane, T; Stempora, L; Strobert, E; Penedo, M C T; Ward, T; Wiseman, R; O'Connor, D; Miller, W; Sen, S; Singh, K; Kean, L S

    2010-11-01

    In murine models, mixed hematopoietic chimerism induction leads to robust immune tolerance. However, translation to primates and to patients has been difficult. In this study, we used a novel MHC-defined rhesus macaque model to examine the impact of MHC matching on the stability of costimulation blockade-/sirolimus-mediated chimerism, and to probe possible mechanisms of bone marrow rejection after nonmyeloablative transplant. Using busulfan-based pretransplant preparation and maintenance immunosuppression with sirolimus, as well as CD28 and CD154 blockade, all recipients demonstrated donor engraftment after transplant. However, the mixed chimerism that resulted was compartmentalized, with recipients demonstrating significantly higher whole blood chimerism compared to T cell chimerism. Thus, the vast majority of T cells presenting posttransplant were recipient-rather than donor-derived. Surprisingly, even in MHC-matched transplants, rejection of donor hematopoiesis predominated after immunosuppression withdrawal. Weaning of immunosuppression was associated with a surge of antigen-experienced T cells, and transplant rejection was associated with the acquisition of donor-directed T cell alloreactivity. These results suggest that a reservoir of alloreactive cells was present despite prior costimulation blockade and sirolimus, and that the post-immunosuppression lymphocytic rebound may have lead to a phenotypic shift in these recipient T cells towards an activated, antigen-experienced phenotype, and ultimately, to transplant rejection. PMID:20849552

  5. 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

  6. Survey of activated kinase proteins reveals potential targets for cholangiocarcinoma treatment.

    PubMed

    Dokduang, Hasaya; Juntana, Sirinun; Techasen, Anchalee; Namwat, Nisana; Yongvanit, Puangrat; Khuntikeo, Narong; Riggins, Gregory J; Loilome, Watcharin

    2013-12-01

    Improving therapy for patients with cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) presents a significant challenge. This is made more difficult by a lack of a clear understanding of potential molecular targets, such as deregulated kinases. In this work, we profiled the activated kinases in CCA in order to apply them as the targets for CCA therapy. Human phospho-receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) and phospho-kinase array analyses revealed that multiple kinases are activated in both CCA cell lines and human CCA tissues that included cell growth, apoptosis, cell to cell interaction, movement, and angiogenesis RTKs. Predominately, the kinases activated downstream were those in the PI3K/Akt, Ras/MAPK, JAK/STAT, and Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathways. Western blot analysis confirms that Erk1/2 and Akt activation were increased in CCA tissues when compared with their normal adjacent tissue. The inhibition of kinase activation using multi-targeted kinase inhibitors, sorafenib and sunitinib led to significant cell growth inhibition and apoptosis induction via suppression of Erk1/2 and Akt activation, whereas drugs with specificity to a single kinase showed less potency. In conclusion, our study reveals the involvement of multiple kinase proteins in CCA growth that might serve as therapeutic targets for combined kinase inhibition. PMID:23812726

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Structure-Based Simulations Reveal Concerted Dynamics of GPCR Activation

    PubMed Central

    Leioatts, Nicholas; Suresh, Pooja; Romo, Tod D.; Grossfield, Alan

    2014-01-01

    G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are a vital class of proteins that transduce biological signals across the cell membrane. However, their allosteric activation mechanism is not fully understood; crystal structures of active and inactive receptors have been reported, but the functional pathway between these two states remains elusive. Here, we employ structure-based (Gō-like) models to simulate activation of two GPCRs, rhodopsin and the β2 adrenergic receptor (β2AR). We used data-derived reaction coordinates that capture the activation mechanism for both proteins, showing that activation proceeds through quantitatively different paths in the two systems. Both reaction coordinates are determined from the dominant concerted motions in the simulations so the technique is broadly applicable. There were two surprising results. First, the main structural changes in the simulations were distributed throughout the transmembrane bundle, and not localized to the obvious areas of interest, such as the intracellular portion of helix 6. Second, the activation (and deactivation) paths were distinctly non-monotonic, populating states that were not simply interpolations between the inactive and active structures. These transitions also suggest a functional explanation for β2AR’s basal activity: it can proceed through a more broadly defined path during the observed transitions. PMID:24889093

  10. 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. PMID:27160295

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:27357679

  13. 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

  14. 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…

  15. 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

  16. 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

    2016-01-01

    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

  17. 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

  18. Co-evolution of cancer microenvironment reveals distinctive patterns of gastric cancer invasion: laboratory evidence and clinical significance

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Cancer invasion results from constant interactions between cancer cells and their microenvironment. Major components of the cancer microenvironment are stromal cells, infiltrating inflammatory cells, collagens, matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) and newly formed blood vessels. This study was to determine the roles of MMP-9, MMP-2, type IV collagen, infiltrating macrophages and tumor microvessels in gastric cancer (GC) invasion and their clinico-pathological significance. Methods Paraffin-embedded tissue sections from 37 GC patients were studied by Streptavidin-Peroxidase (SP) immunohistochemical technique to determine the levels of MMP-2, MMP-9, type IV collagen, macrophages infiltration and microvessel density (MVD). Different invasion patterns were delineated and their correlation with major clinico-pathological information was explored. Results MMP2 expression was higher in malignant gland compared to normal gland, especially nearby the basement membrane (BM). High densities of macrophages at the interface of cancer nests and stroma were found where BM integrity was destroyed. MMP2 expression was significantly increased in cases with recurrence and distant metastasis (P = 0.047 and 0.048, respectively). Infiltrating macrophages were correlated with serosa invasion (P = 0.011) and TNM stage (P = 0.001). MVD was higher in type IV collagen negative group compared to type IV collagen positive group (P = 0.026). MVD was related to infiltrating macrophages density (P = 0.040). Patients with negative MMP9 expression had better overall survival (OS) compared to those with positive MMP9 expression (Median OS 44.0 vs 13.5 mo, P = 0.036). Median OS was significantly longer in type IV collagen positive group than negative group (Median OS 25.5 vs 10.0 mo, P = 0.044). The cumulative OS rate was higher in low macrophages density group than in high macrophages density group (median OS 40.5 vs 13.0 mo, P = 0.056). Median OS was significantly longer in low MVD group than

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Networks of Food Sharing Reveal the Functional Significance of Multilevel Sociality in Two Hunter-Gatherer Groups.

    PubMed

    Dyble, Mark; Thompson, James; Smith, Daniel; Salali, Gul Deniz; Chaudhary, Nikhil; Page, Abigail E; Vinicuis, Lucio; Mace, Ruth; Migliano, Andrea Bamberg

    2016-08-01

    Like many other mammalian and primate societies [1-4], humans are said to live in multilevel social groups, with individuals situated in a series of hierarchically structured sub-groups [5, 6]. Although this multilevel social organization has been described among contemporary hunter-gatherers [5], questions remain as to the benefits that individuals derive from living in such groups. Here, we show that food sharing among two populations of contemporary hunter-gatherers-the Palanan Agta (Philippines) and Mbendjele BaYaka (Republic of Congo)-reveals similar multilevel social structures, with individuals situated in households, within sharing clusters of 3-4 households, within the wider residential camps, which vary in size. We suggest that these groupings serve to facilitate inter-sexual provisioning, kin provisioning, and risk reduction reciprocity, three levels of cooperation argued to be fundamental in human societies [7, 8]. Humans have a suite of derived life history characteristics including a long childhood and short inter-birth intervals that make offspring energetically demanding [9] and have moved to a dietary niche that often involves the exploitation of difficult to acquire foods with highly variable return rates [10-12]. This means that human foragers face both day-to-day and more long-term energetic deficits that conspire to make humans energetically interdependent. We suggest that a multilevel social organization allows individuals access to both the food sharing partners required to buffer themselves against energetic shortfalls and the cooperative partners required for skill-based tasks such as cooperative foraging. PMID:27451900

  2. 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.

  3. 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. PMID:25393935

  4. Global Genomic Analysis of Intraductal Papillary Mucinous Neoplasms of the Pancreas Reveals Significant Molecular Differences Compared to Ductal Adenocarcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Fritz, Stefan; Fernandez-del Castillo, Carlos; Mino-Kenudson, Mari; Crippa, Stefano; Deshpande, Vikram; Lauwers, Gregory Y.; Warshaw, Andrew L.; Thayer, Sarah P.; Iafrate, A. John

    2013-01-01

    Objective To determine whether intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms of the pancreas (IPMNs) have a different genetic background compared with ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Summary Background Data The biologic and clinical behavior of IPMNs and IPMN-associated adenocarcinomas is different from PDAC in having a less aggressive tumor growth and significantly improved survival. Up to date, the molecular mechanisms underlying the clinical behavior of IPMNs are incompletely understood. Methods 128 cystic pancreatic lesions were prospectively identified during the course of 2 years. From the corresponding surgical specimens, 57 IPMNs were separated and subdivided by histologic criteria into those with low-grade dysplasia, moderate dysplasia, high-grade dysplasia, and invasive cancer. Twenty specimens were suitable for DNA isolation and subsequent performance of array CGH. Results While none of the IPMNs with low-grade dysplasia displayed detectable chromosomal aberrations, IPMNs with moderate and high-grade dysplasia showed frequent copy number alterations. Commonly lost regions were located on chromosome 5q, 6q, 10q, 11q, 13q, 18q, and 22q. The incidence of loss of chromosome 5q, 6q, and 11q was significantly higher in IPMNs with high-grade dysplasia or invasion compared with PDAC. Ten of 13 IPMNs with moderate dysplasia or malignancy had loss of part or all of chromosome 6q, with a minimal deleted region between linear positions 78.0 and 130.0. Conclusions This study is the first to use array CGH to characterize IPMNs. Recurrent cytogenetic alterations were identified and were different than those described in PDAC. Array CGH may help distinguish between these 2 entities and give insight into the differences in their biology and prognosis. PMID:19247032

  5. 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

  6. Clusterin glycopeptide variant characterization reveals significant site-specific glycan changes in the plasma of clear cell renal cell carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Gbormittah, Francisca O; Bones, Jonathan; Hincapie, Marina; Tousi, Fateme; Hancock, William S; Iliopoulos, Othon

    2015-06-01

    Cancer-related alterations in protein glycosylation may serve as diagnostic or prognostic biomarkers or may be used for monitoring disease progression. Clusterin is a medium abundance, yet heavily glycosylated, glycoprotein that is upregulated in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) tumors. We recently reported that the N-glycan profile of clusterin is altered in the plasma of ccRCC patients. Here, we characterized the occupancy and the degree of heterogeneity of individual N-glycosylation sites of clusterin in the plasma of patients diagnosed with localized ccRCC, before and after curative nephrectomy (n = 40). To this end, we used tandem mass spectrometry of immunoaffinity-enriched plasma samples to analyze the individual glycosylation sites in clusterin. We determined the levels of targeted clusterin glycoforms containing either a biantennary digalactosylated disialylated (A2G2S2) glycan or a core fucosylated biantennary digalactosylated disialylated (FA2G2S2) glycan at N-glycosite N374. We showed that the presence of these two clusterin glycoforms differed significantly in the plasma of patients prior to and after curative nephrectomy for localized ccRCC. Removal of ccRCC led to a significant increase in the levels of both FA2G2S2 and A2G2S2 glycans in plasma clusterin. These changes were further confirmed by lectin blotting of plasma clusterin. It is envisioned that these identified glycan alterations may provide an additional level of therapeutic or biomarker sensitivity than levels currently achievable by monitoring expression differences alone. PMID:25855029

  7. Oscillatory brain activity reveals linguistic prints in the quantity code.

    PubMed

    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

  8. Autotaxin Structure Activity Relationships Revealed through Lysophosphatidylcholine Analogs

    PubMed Central

    North, E. Jeffrey; Osborne, Daniel A.; Bridson, Peter K.; Baker, Daniel L.; Parrill, Abby L.

    2009-01-01

    Autotaxin (ATX) catalyzes the hydrolysis of lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) to form the bioactive lipid lysophosphatidic acid (LPA). LPA stimulates cell proliferation, cell survival, and cell migration and is involved in obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, neuropathic pain, atherosclerosis and various cancers, suggesting that ATX inhibitors have broad therapeutic potential. Product feedback inhibition of ATX by LPA has stimulated structure activity studies focused on LPA analogs. However, LPA displays mixed mode inhibition, indicating it can bind to both the enzyme and the enzyme-substrate complex. This suggests that LPA may not interact solely with the catalytic site. In this report we have prepared LPC analogs to help map out substrate structure activity relationships. The structural variances include length and unsaturation of the fatty tail, choline and polar linker presence, acyl versus ether linkage of the hydrocarbon chain, and methylene and nitrogen replacement of the choline oxygen. All LPC analogs were assayed in competition with the synthetic substrate, FS-3, to show the preference ATX has for each alteration. Choline presence and methylene replacement of the choline oxygen were detrimental to ATX recognition. These findings provide insights into the structure of the enzyme in the vicinity of the catalytic site as well as suggesting that ATX produces rate enhancement, at least in part, by substrate destabilization. PMID:19345587

  9. 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

  10. The Longitudinal Transcriptomic Response of the Substantia Nigra to Intrastriatal 6-Hydroxydopamine Reveals Significant Upregulation of Regeneration-Associated Genes

    PubMed Central

    Cole-Strauss, Allyson; Grabinski, Tessa; Mattingly, Zachary R.; Winn, Mary E.; Steece-Collier, Kathy; Sortwell, Caryl E.; Manfredsson, Fredric P.; Lipton, Jack W.

    2015-01-01

    We hypothesized that the study of gene expression at 1, 2, 4, 6 and 16 weeks in the substantia nigra (SN) after intrastriatal 6-OHDA in the Sprague-Dawley rat (rattus norvegicus) would identify cellular responses during the degenerative process that could be axoprotective. Specifically, we hypothesized that genes expressed within the SN that followed a profile of being highly upregulated early after the lesion (during active axonal degeneration) and then progressively declined to baseline over 16 weeks as DA neurons died are indicative of potential protective responses to the striatal 6-OHDA insult. Utilizing a κ-means cluster analysis strategy, we demonstrated that one such cluster followed this hypothesized expression pattern over time, and that this cluster contained several interrelated transcripts that are classified as regeneration-associated genes (RAGs) including Atf3, Sprr1a, Ecel1, Gadd45a, Gpnmb, Sox11, Mmp19, Srgap1, Rab15,Lifr, Trib3, Tgfb1, and Sema3c. All exemplar transcripts tested from this cluster (Sprr1a, Ecel1, Gadd45a, Atf3 and Sox11) were validated by qPCR and a smaller subset (Sprr1a, Gadd45a and Sox11) were shown to be exclusively localized to SN DA neurons using a dual label approach with RNAScope in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry. Upregulation of RAGs is typically associated with the response to axonal injury in the peripheral nerves and was not previously reported as part of the axodegenerative process for DA neurons of the SN. Interestingly, as part of this cluster, other transcripts were identified based on their expression pattern but without a RAG provenance in the literature. These "RAG-like" transcripts need further characterization to determine if they possess similar functions to or interact with known RAG transcripts. Ultimately, it is hoped that some of the newly identified axodegeneration-reactive transcripts could be exploited as axoprotective therapies in PD and other neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:25992874

  11. 19th century auroral observations reveal solar activity patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silverman, Sam

    Growing interest in the aurora in the early part of the eighteenth century, which resulted from the spectacular reappearance of the aurora in 1707 and 1716, followed a relative scarcity of great auroras during the Maunder minimum, a period of prolonged reduced solar activity from about 1645-1715. Observations in the early eighteenth century led to questions about the geographical extent, nature, and temporal variability of the auroras. Typically, such observations were included as part of recorded meteorological notations, though occasionally early astronomers, such as Tycho Brahe in the 1590s, included auroras in their observations. Meteorological observations were important because of the effects of weather and climate on agriculture, and, according to the belief at the time, on disease.

  12. 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. PMID:27114558

  13. 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.

  14. Gamete production patterns, ploidy, and population genetics reveal evolutionary significant units in hybrid water frogs (Pelophylax esculentus).

    PubMed

    Pruvost, Nicolas B M; Hoffmann, Alexandra; Reyer, Heinz-Ulrich

    2013-09-01

    . These differences are strong evidence for a polyphyletic origin of triploids. Moreover, our findings shed light on the evolutionary potential inherent to the P. esculentus complex, where rare events due to untypical gametogenetic processes can lead to the raise, the perpetuation, and the dispersion of new evolutionary significant lineages which may also deserve special conservation measures. PMID:24101984

  15. 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.

  16. Paraoxonase-1 activity determination via paraoxon substrate yields no significant difference in mild hyperhomocysteinemia.

    PubMed

    Türkeli, Hatice; Caycı, Tuncer; Akgül, Emin Özgür; Macit, Enis; Yaman, Halil; Aydın, Ibrahim; Demirin, Hilmi; Alacam, Hasan; Ozkan, Esin; Cakır, Erdinç; Deren, Ozgür; Erbil, Mehmet Kemal; Kunak, Z Ilker; Burat, Kutlay; Akman, Serif

    2010-11-01

    Elevated plasma homocystein (Hcy) level has been recognized as an important risk factor for a number of cardiovascular diseases, peripheral arterial occlusive disease and venous thrombosis. A part of Hcy in the organism is turned to homocysteine thiolactone (HcyT) via a ring closure reaction, which gains rate in hyperhomocysteinemia, and in turn undergoes a hydrolytic reaction back to Hcy by paraoxonase enzyme (PON). Since this is a protective reflex action enzyme against hyperhomocysteinemia, we investigated how a mild hyperhomocysteinemic nutritional habit affected serum PON activity in a population-based study. The difference detected via enzymatic activity using the paraoxon substrate was statistically non-significant (p=0.19), suggesting a defective performance to reflect the expected significance. Determination of serum PON activity via substrate paraoxon yielded no significant difference in an acute mild hyperhomocysteinemic diet model in humans. PMID:19419786

  17. 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

  18. Preparation and characterization of quaternary ammonium chitosan hydrogel with significant antibacterial activity.

    PubMed

    Fan, Lihong; Yang, Jing; Wu, Huan; Hu, Zhihai; Yi, Jiayan; Tong, Jun; Zhu, Xiaoming

    2015-08-01

    Quaternary ammonium chitosan (HACC)/polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)/polyethylene oxide (PEO) hydrogels were prepared using gamma radiation. The chemical structure of the hydrogels was characterized using FT-IR. The results revealed that HACC, PVA and PEO were perfectly compatible and interacted via the hydrogen bonds. As revealed by SEM, scaffolds with a homogeneous interconnected pore structure were obtained after lyophilizing the hydrogels. The influence of different radiation doses and weight ratios on properties including gel content, swelling ability, water evaporation rate and mechanical properties were investigated. It indicated that the hydrogels had the good swelling ability, water evaporation rate and mechanical properties. In vitro antibacterial activity assessment, the hydrogels exhibited a pronounced inhibitory effect against two bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli). Therefore, the hydrogels showed a promising potential to be applied as wound dressing. PMID:25895959

  19. Apolipoprotein A-I in Labeo rohita: Cloning and functional characterisation reveal its broad spectrum antimicrobial property, and indicate significant role during ectoparasitic infection.

    PubMed

    Mohapatra, Amruta; Karan, Sweta; Kar, Banya; Garg, L C; Dixit, A; Sahoo, P K

    2016-08-01

    Apolipoprotein A-I (ApoA-I) is the most abundant and multifunctional high-density lipoprotein (HDL) having a major role in lipid transport and potent antimicrobial activity against a wide range of microbes. In this study, a complete CDS of 771 bp of Labeo rohita (rohu) ApoA-I (LrApoA-I) encoding a protein of 256 amino acids was amplified, cloned and sequenced. Tissue specific transcription analysis of LrApoA-I revealed its expression in a wide range of tissues, with a very high level of expression in liver and spleen. Ontogenic study of LrApoA-I expression showed presence of transcripts in milt and 3 h post-fertilization onwards in the larvae. The expression kinetics of LrApoA-I was studied upon infection with three different types of pathogens to elucidate its functional significance. Its expression was found to be up-regulated in the anterior kidney of L. rohita post-infection with Aeromonas hydrophila. Similarly following poly I:C (poly inosinic:cytidylic) stimulation, the transcript levels increased in both the anterior kidney and liver tissues. Significant up-regulation of LrApoA-I expression was observed in skin, mucous, liver and anterior kidney of the fish challenged with the ectoparasite Argulus siamensis. Immunomodulatory effect of recombinant LrApoA-I (rApoA-I) produced in Escherichia coli was demonstrated against A. hydrophila challenge in vivo. L. rohita administered with rApoA-I at a dose of 100 μg exhibited significantly higher protection (∼55%) upon challenge with A. hydrophila 12 h post-administration of the protein, in comparison to that observed in control group, along with higher level of expression of immune-related genes. The heightened expression of ApoA-I observed post-infection reflected its involvement in immune responses against a wide range of infections including bacterial, viral as well as parasitic pathogens. Our results also suggest the possibility of using rApoA-I as an immunostimulant, particularly rendering protection

  20. 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…

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

    PubMed

    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

  2. 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

  3. [Significance of mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) activity in human lymphomas].

    PubMed

    Márk, Ágnes

    2014-06-01

    Neoplastic processes, tumor growth, and tumor cell proliferation and survival are often due to the altered activation of different signaling pathways. The increased activity of PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling has been shown to be an important regulator of tumor growth in several solid tumors and in mantle cell lymphomas. The active form of mTOR kinase (mammalian target of rapamycin) is a key signaling molecule, and it exists in two different complexes, mTORC1 and mTORC2. In the present work, mTOR activity was investigated in different lymphoma types, in parallel with clinical data. We also examined in Hodgkin lymphomas (HL) the role of mTOR activity in survival mechanisms such as antiapoptotic protein expression and alterations in the microenvironment. We determined which lymphoma types display characteristic high mTOR activity in our TMA (tissue microarray) study. We observed that mTOR activity is increased in mitotic lymphoid cells compared to interphasic cells. The number of diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and HL cases was extended in a further set of TMA. We observed significantly higher mTOR activity in the non-centrum germinativum derived subtype of DLBCL than in the centrum germinativum derived subtype, which was a prognostic marker; 63% of mTOR active cases showed Rictor overexpression, indicating mTORC2 activity. High mTOR activity was also established in 92% of HL cases, which was linked to mTORC1. This finding was not a prognostic marker, however, it can be useful in targeted therapy. We observed the overexpression of the antiapoptotic protein BCL-xL and NFκB-p50 in the majority of mTOR active HLs. HLs showed high numbers of regulatory T cells in the microenvironment and high expression of galectin-1 in tumor cells and in the extracellular matrix, when compared to reactive lymph nodes. We confirmed that mTOR inhibition had significant antiproliferative and antiapoptotic effects in lymphoma cell lines and in lymphoma xenografts (HL, DLBCL, Burkitt lymphoma

  4. Significance probability mapping: an aid in the topographic analysis of brain electrical activity.

    PubMed

    Duffy, F H; Bartels, P H; Burchfiel, J L

    1981-05-01

    We illustrate the application of significance probability mapping (SPM) to the analysis of topographic maps of spectral analyzed EEG and visual evoked potential (VEP) activity from patients with brain tumors, boys with dyslexia, and control subjects. When the VEP topographic plots of tumor patients were displayed as number of standard deviations from a reference mean, more subjects were correctly identified than by inspection of the underlying raw data. When topographic plots of EEG alpha activity obtained while listening to speech or music were compared by t statistic to plots of resting alpha activity, regions of cortex presumably activated by speech or music were delineated. DIfferent regions were defined in dyslexic boys and controls. We propose that SPM will prove valuable in the regional localization of normal and abnormal functions in other clinical situations. PMID:6165544

  5. 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.

  6. Protopanaxadiol, an Active Ginseng Metabolite, Significantly Enhances the Effects of Fluorouracil on Colon Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Chong-Zhi; Zhang, Zhiyu; Wan, Jin-Yi; Zhang, Chun-Feng; Anderson, Samantha; He, Xin; Yu, Chunhao; He, Tong-Chuan; Qi, Lian-Wen; Yuan, Chun-Su

    2015-01-01

    In this study, we evaluated the effects of protopanaxadiol (PPD), a gut microbiome induced ginseng metabolite, in increasing the anticancer effects of a chemotherapeutic agent fluorouracil (5-FU) on colorectal cancer. An in vitro HCT-116 colorectal cancer cell proliferation test was conducted to observe the effects of PPD, 5-FU and their co-administration and the related mechanisms of action. Then, an in vivo xenografted athymic mouse model was used to confirm the in vitro data. Our results showed that the human gut microbiome converted ginsenoside compound K to PPD as a metabolite. PPD and 5-FU significantly inhibited HCT-116 cell proliferation in a concentration-dependent manner (both p < 0.01), and the effects of 5-FU were very significantly enhanced by combined treatment with PPD (p < 0.01). Cell cycle evaluation demonstrated that 5-FU markedly induced the cancer cell S phase arrest, while PPD increased arrest in G1 phase. Compared to the control, 5-FU and PPD increased apoptosis, and their co-administration significantly increased the number of apoptotic cells (p < 0.01). Using bioluminescence imaging, in vivo data revealed that 5-FU significantly reduced the tumor growth up to Day 20 (p < 0.05). PPD and 5-FU co-administration very significantly reduced the tumor size in a dose-related manner (p < 0.01 compared to the 5-FU alone). The quantification of the tumor size and weight changes for 43 days supported the in vivo imaging data. Our results demonstrated that the co-administration of PPD and 5-FU significantly inhibited the tumor growth, indicating that PPD significantly enhanced the anticancer action of 5-FU, a commonly used chemotherapeutic agent. PPD may have a clinical value in 5-FU’s cancer therapeutics. PMID:25625815

  7. 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.

  8. Pinelliae rhizoma, a toxic chinese herb, can significantly inhibit CYP3A activity in rats.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jinjun; Cheng, Zaixing; He, Shugui; Shi, Jian; Liu, Shuqiang; Zhang, Guiyu; Zhu, Lijun; Liu, Liang; Liu, Zhongqiu; Lin, Na; Lu, Linlin

    2015-01-01

    Raw Pinelliae Rhizoma (RPR) is a representative toxic herb that is widely used for eliminating phlegm or treating cough and vomiting. Given its irritant toxicity, its processed products, including Pinelliae Rhizoma Praeparatum (PRP) and Pinelliae Rhizoma Praeparatum cum Zingibere et Alumine (PRPZA), are more commonly applied and administered concomitantly with other chemical drugs, such as cough medications. This study aimed to investigate the effects of RPR, PRP, and PRPZA on CYP3A activity. Testosterone (Tes) and buspirone (BP) were used as specific probe substrates ex vivo and in vivo, respectively. CYP3A activity was determined by the metabolite formation ratios from the substrates. Ex vivo results show that the metabolite formation ratios from Tes significantly decreased, indicating that RPR, PRP, and PRPZA could inhibit CYP3A activity in rats. CYP3A protein and mRNA levels were determined to explore the underlying mechanism. These levels showed marked and consistent down-regulation with CYP3A activity. A significant decrease in metabolite formation ratios from BP was also found in PRPZA group in vivo, implying that PRPZA could inhibit CYP3A activity. Conclusively, co-administration of PR with other CYP3A-metabolizing drugs may cause drug-drug interactions. Clinical use of PR-related formulae should be monitored carefully to avoid adverse interactions. PMID:25574821

  9. Core microbial functional activities in ocean environments revealed by global metagenomic profiling analyses.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Ari J S; Siam, Rania; Setubal, João C; Moustafa, Ahmed; Sayed, Ahmed; Chambergo, Felipe S; Dawe, Adam S; Ghazy, Mohamed A; Sharaf, Hazem; Ouf, Amged; Alam, Intikhab; Abdel-Haleem, Alyaa M; Lehvaslaiho, Heikki; Ramadan, Eman; Antunes, André; Stingl, Ulrich; Archer, John A C; Jankovic, Boris R; Sogin, Mitchell; Bajic, Vladimir B; El-Dorry, Hamza

    2014-01-01

    Metagenomics-based functional profiling analysis is an effective means of gaining deeper insight into the composition of marine microbial populations and developing a better understanding of the interplay between the functional genome content of microbial communities and abiotic factors. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of 24 datasets covering surface and depth-related environments at 11 sites around the world's oceans. The complete datasets comprises approximately 12 million sequences, totaling 5,358 Mb. Based on profiling patterns of Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COGs) of proteins, a core set of reference photic and aphotic depth-related COGs, and a collection of COGs that are associated with extreme oxygen limitation were defined. Their inferred functions were utilized as indicators to characterize the distribution of light- and oxygen-related biological activities in marine environments. The results reveal that, while light level in the water column is a major determinant of phenotypic adaptation in marine microorganisms, oxygen concentration in the aphotic zone has a significant impact only in extremely hypoxic waters. Phylogenetic profiling of the reference photic/aphotic gene sets revealed a greater variety of source organisms in the aphotic zone, although the majority of individual photic and aphotic depth-related COGs are assigned to the same taxa across the different sites. This increase in phylogenetic and functional diversity of the core aphotic related COGs most probably reflects selection for the utilization of a broad range of alternate energy sources in the absence of light. PMID:24921648

  10. Core Microbial Functional Activities in Ocean Environments Revealed by Global Metagenomic Profiling Analyses

    PubMed Central

    Ferreira, Ari J. S.; Siam, Rania; Setubal, João C.; Moustafa, Ahmed; Sayed, Ahmed; Chambergo, Felipe S.; Dawe, Adam S.; Ghazy, Mohamed A.; Sharaf, Hazem; Ouf, Amged; Alam, Intikhab; Abdel-Haleem, Alyaa M.; Lehvaslaiho, Heikki; Ramadan, Eman; Antunes, André; Stingl, Ulrich; Archer, John A. C.; Jankovic, Boris R.; Sogin, Mitchell; Bajic, Vladimir B.; El-Dorry, Hamza

    2014-01-01

    Metagenomics-based functional profiling analysis is an effective means of gaining deeper insight into the composition of marine microbial populations and developing a better understanding of the interplay between the functional genome content of microbial communities and abiotic factors. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of 24 datasets covering surface and depth-related environments at 11 sites around the world's oceans. The complete datasets comprises approximately 12 million sequences, totaling 5,358 Mb. Based on profiling patterns of Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COGs) of proteins, a core set of reference photic and aphotic depth-related COGs, and a collection of COGs that are associated with extreme oxygen limitation were defined. Their inferred functions were utilized as indicators to characterize the distribution of light- and oxygen-related biological activities in marine environments. The results reveal that, while light level in the water column is a major determinant of phenotypic adaptation in marine microorganisms, oxygen concentration in the aphotic zone has a significant impact only in extremely hypoxic waters. Phylogenetic profiling of the reference photic/aphotic gene sets revealed a greater variety of source organisms in the aphotic zone, although the majority of individual photic and aphotic depth-related COGs are assigned to the same taxa across the different sites. This increase in phylogenetic and functional diversity of the core aphotic related COGs most probably reflects selection for the utilization of a broad range of alternate energy sources in the absence of light. PMID:24921648

  11. [Clinical significance of telomerase activity in precancerous lesion of the liver (adenomatous hyperplasia)].

    PubMed

    Nishimoto, A; Miura, N; Oshimura, M

    1998-05-01

    To understand the role of telomere dynamics in hepatocellular carcinogenesis, we examined the lengths of terminal restriction fragments (TRFs) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and surrounding tissues with chronic active hepatitis (CAH), liver cirrhosis (LC) and atypical adenomatous hyperplasia (AAH). The peak TRFs in all HCCs were significantly shorter than those of the surrounding tissues (CAH, LC). TRF in AAH was shortened and similar to that of HCC. Telomerase was examined in CAH, LC, AH, and HCC, and detected in high levels almost exclusively in HCCs. Interestingly, the intensity of telomerase activity in the AH was similar to that of HCC. Thus, the progressive shortening of telomere and the activation of telomerase may be a useful marker for the early detection of malignant progression in liver disease. PMID:9613131

  12. Activity in ventromedial prefrontal cortex during self-related processing: positive subjective value or personal significance?

    PubMed

    Kim, Kyungmi; Johnson, Marcia K

    2015-04-01

    Well-being and subjective experience of a coherent world depend on our sense of 'self' and relations between the self and the environment (e.g. people, objects and ideas). The ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vMPFC) is involved in self-related processing, and disrupted vMPFC activity is associated with disruptions of emotional/social functioning (e.g. depression and autism). Clarifying precise function(s) of vMPFC in self-related processing is an area of active investigation. In this study, we sought to more specifically characterize the function of vMPFC in self-related processing, focusing on two alternative accounts: (i) assignment of positive subjective value to self-related information and (ii) assignment of personal significance to self-related information. During functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), participants imagined owning objects associated with either their perceived ingroup or outgroup. We found that for ingroup-associated objects, vMPFC showed greater activity for objects with increased than decreased post-ownership preference. In contrast, for outgroup-associated objects, vMPFC showed greater activity for objects with decreased than increased post-ownership preference. Our findings support the idea that the function of vMPFC in self-related processing may not be to represent/evaluate the 'positivity' or absolute preference of self-related information but to assign personal significance to it based on its meaning/function for the self. PMID:24837477

  13. The neurological significance of abnormal natural killer cell activity in chronic toxigenic mold exposures.

    PubMed

    Anyanwu, Ebere; Campbell, Andrew W; Jones, Joseph; Ehiri, John E; Akpan, Akpan I

    2003-11-13

    Toxigenic mold activities produce metabolites that are either broad-spectrum antibiotics or mycotoxins that are cytotoxic. Indoor environmental exposure to these toxigenic molds leads to adverse health conditions with the main outcome measure of frequent neuroimmunologic and behavioral consequences. One of the immune system disorders found in patients presenting with toxigenic mold exposure is an abnormal natural killer cell activity. This paper presents an overview of the neurological significance of abnormal natural killer cell (NKC) activity in chronic toxigenic mold exposure. A comprehensive review of the literature was carried out to evaluate and assess the conditions under which the immune system could be dysfunctionally interfered with leading to abnormal NKC activity and the involvement of mycotoxins in these processes. The functions, mechanism, the factors that influence NKC activities, and the roles of mycotoxins in NKCs were cited wherever necessary. The major presentations are headache, general debilitating pains, nose bleeding, fevers with body temperatures up to 40 degrees C (104 degrees F), cough, memory loss, depression, mood swings, sleep disturbances, anxiety, chronic fatigue, vertigo/dizziness, and in some cases, seizures. Although sleep is commonly considered a restorative process that is important for the proper functioning of the immune system, it could be disturbed by mycotoxins. Most likely, mycotoxins exert some rigorous effects on the circadian rhythmic processes resulting in sleep deprivation to which an acute and transient increase in NKC activity is observed. Depression, psychological stress, tissue injuries, malignancies, carcinogenesis, chronic fatigue syndrome, and experimental allergic encephalomyelitis could be induced at very low physiological concentrations by mycotoxin-induced NKC activity. In the light of this review, it is concluded that chronic exposures to toxigenic mold could lead to abnormal NKC activity with a wide range

  14. 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

  15. Significant Enhancement of Water Splitting Activity of N-Carbon Electrocatalyst by Trace Level Co Doping.

    PubMed

    Bayatsarmadi, Bita; Zheng, Yao; Tang, Youhong; Jaroniec, Mietek; Qiao, Shi-Zhang

    2016-07-01

    Replacement of precious metal electrocatalysts with highly active and cost efficient alternatives for complete water splitting at low voltage has attracted a growing attention in recent years. Here, this study reports a carbon-based composite co-doped with nitrogen and trace amount of metallic cobalt (1 at%) as a bifunctional electrocatalyst for water splitting at low overpotential and high current density. An excellent electrochemical activity of the newly developed electrocatalyst originates from its graphitic nanostructure and highly active Co-Nx sites. In the case of carefully optimized sample of this electrocatalyst, 10 mA cm(-2) current density can be achieved for two half reactions in alkaline solutions-hydrogen evolution reaction and oxygen evolution reaction-at low overpotentials of 220 and 350 mV, respectively, which are smaller than those previously reported for nonprecious metal and metal-free counterparts. Based on the spectroscopic and electrochemical investigations, the newly identified Co-Nx sites in the carbon framework are responsible for high electrocatalytic activity of the Co,N-doped carbon. This study indicates that a trace level of the introduced Co into N-doped carbon can significantly enhance its electrocatalytic activity toward water splitting. PMID:27246288

  16. Increased expression of β-glucosidase A in Clostridium thermocellum 27405 significantly increases cellulase activity

    PubMed Central

    Maki, Miranda L.; Armstrong, Lachlan; Leung, Kam Tin; Qin, Wensheng

    2013-01-01

    β-glucosidase A (bglA) in Clostridium thermocellum 27405 was increased by expression from shuttle vector pIBglA in attempts to increase cellulase activity and ethanol titer by lowering the end product inhibition of cellulase. Through a modified electrotransformation protocol C. thermocellum transformant (+MCbglA) harbouring pIBglA was produced. The β-glucosidase activity of +MCbglA was 2.3- and 1.6-fold greater than wild-type (WT) during late log and stationary phases of growth. Similarly, total cellulase activity of +MCbglA was shown to be 1.7-, 2.3- and 1.6-fold greater than WT during, log, late log and stationary phases of growth. However, there was no significant correlation found between increased cellulase activity and increased ethanol titers for +MCbglA compared with the WT. C. thermocellum has industrial potential for consolidated bioprocessing (CBP) to make a more cost effective production of biofuels; however, the hydrolysis rate of the strain is still hindered by end product inhibition. We successfully increased total cellulase activity by increased expression of bglA and thereby increased the productivity of C. thermocellum during the hydrolysis stage in CBP. Our work also lends insights into the complex metabolism of C. thermocellum for future improvement of this strain. PMID:22922214

  17. Antisecretory and antimotility activity of Aconitum heterophyllum and its significance in treatment of diarrhea

    PubMed Central

    Prasad, Satyendra K.; Jain, Divya; Patel, Dinesh K.; Sahu, Alakh N.; Hemalatha, Siva

    2014-01-01

    Aim: The roots of the plant Aconitum heterophyllum (EAH) are traditionally used for curing hysteria, throat infection, dyspepsia, abdominal pain, diabetes, and diarrhea. Therefore, the present study was undertaken to determine the mechanism involved in the anti-diarrheal activity of roots of A. heterophyllum. Materials and Methods: Ant-diarrheal activity of ethanol extract at 50, 100, and 200 mg/kg p.o. was evaluated using fecal excretion and castor oil-induced diarrhea models, while optimized dose, that is, 100 mg/kg p.o. was further subjected to small intestinal transit, intestinal fluids accumulation, PGE2-induced enteropooling and gastric emptying test. To elucidate the probable mechanism, various biochemical parameters and Na+, K+ concentration in intestinal fluids were also determined. Further, antibacterial activity of extract along with its standardization using aconitine as a marker with the help of HPLC was carried out. Results: The results depicted a significant (P < 0.05) reduction in normal fecal output at 100 and 200 mg/kg p.o. of extract after 5th and 7th h of treatment. Castor oil-induced diarrhea model demonstrated a ceiling effect at 100 mg/kg p.o. with a protection of 60.185% from diarrhea. EAH at 100 mg/kg p.o. also showed significant activity in small intestinal transit, fluid accumulation, and PGE2-induced enteropooling models, which also restored the altered biochemical parameters and prevented Na+ and K+ loss. The extract with 0.0833% w/w of aconitine depicted a potential antibacterial activity of extract against microbes implicated in diarrhea. Conclusion: The study concluded antisecretory and antimotility effect of A. heterophyllum, which mediates through nitric oxide path way. PMID:24550590

  18. Active Hemovigilance Significantly Improves Reporting of Acute Non-infectious Adverse Reactions to Blood Transfusion.

    PubMed

    Agnihotri, Naveen; Agnihotri, Ajju

    2016-09-01

    One of the key purposes of a hemovigilance program is to improve reporting of transfusion related adverse events and subsequent data-driven improvement in blood transfusion (BT) practices. We conducted a study over 3 years to assess the impact of healthcare worker training and an active feedback programme on reporting of adverse reactions to BTs. All hospitalized patients who required a BT were included in the study. Healthcare workers involved in BT to patients were sensitized and trained in adverse reaction reporting by conducting training sessions and meetings. All the transfused patients were 'actively' monitored for any acute adverse reaction by using a uniquely coded blood issue form. A total of 18,914 blood components transfused to 5785 different patients resulted in 61 adverse reaction episodes. This incidence of 0.32 % in our study was found to be significantly higher (p < 0.005) than that reported from the same region in the past. Red blood cell units were the most frequently transfused component and thus most commonly involved in an adverse reaction (42.6 %), however apheresis platelets had the highest chance of reaction per unit transfused (0.66 %). There was no mortality associated with the BT during the study period. An active surveillance program significantly improves reporting and management of adverse reactions to BTs. PMID:27429527

  19. Comparative analyses of Podospora anserina secretomes reveal a large array of lignocellulose-active enzymes.

    PubMed

    Poidevin, Laetitia; Berrin, Jean-Guy; Bennati-Granier, Chloé; Levasseur, Anthony; Herpoël-Gimbert, Isabelle; Chevret, Didier; Coutinho, Pedro M; Henrissat, Bernard; Heiss-Blanquet, Senta; Record, Eric

    2014-09-01

    The genome of the coprophilous fungus Podospora anserina harbors a large and highly diverse set of putative lignocellulose-acting enzymes. In this study, we investigated the enzymatic diversity of a broad range of P. anserina secretomes induced by various carbon sources (dextrin, glucose, xylose, arabinose, lactose, cellobiose, saccharose, Avicel, Solka-floc, birchwood xylan, wheat straw, maize bran, and sugar beet pulp (SBP)). Compared with the Trichoderma reesei enzymatic cocktail, P. anserina secretomes displayed similar cellulase, xylanase, and pectinase activities and greater arabinofuranosidase, arabinanase, and galactanase activities. The secretomes were further tested for their capacity to supplement a T. reesei cocktail. Four of them improved significantly the saccharification yield of steam-exploded wheat straw up to 48 %. Fine analysis of the P. anserina secretomes produced with Avicel and SBP using proteomics revealed a large array of CAZymes with a high number of GH6 and GH7 cellulases, CE1 esterases, GH43 arabinofuranosidases, and AA1 laccase-like multicopper oxidases. Moreover, a preponderance of AA9 (formerly GH61) was exclusively produced in the SBP condition. This study brings additional insights into the P. anserina enzymatic machinery and will facilitate the selection of promising targets for the development of future biorefineries. PMID:24695830

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

    PubMed

    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

    2011-04-01

    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. PMID:21370305

  1. 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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26643168

  2. The crowded sea: incorporating multiple marine activities in conservation plans can significantly alter spatial priorities.

    PubMed

    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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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. PMID:25680890

  6. 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. PMID:25391237

  7. A new autoinhibited kinase conformation reveals a salt-bridge switch in kinase activation

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Qiang; Yang, Shaoyuan; Li, Dan; Zhang, Xiaoying; Zheng, Jimin; Jia, Zongchao

    2016-01-01

    In the structure of autoinhibited EphA2 tyrosine kinase reported herein, we have captured the entire activation segment, revealing a previously unknown role of the conserved Arg762 in kinase autoinhibition by interacting with the essential Mg2+-chelating Asp757. While it is well known that this Arg residue is involved in an electrostatic interaction with the phospho-residue of the activation loop to stabilize the active conformation, our structure determination revealed a new role for the Arg, acting as a switch between the autoinhibited and activated conformations. Mutation of Arg762 to Ala in EphA2 sensitized Mg2+ response, resulting in enhanced kinase catalytic activity and Mg2+ cooperativity. Furthermore, mutation of the corresponding Arg/Lys to Ala in PKA and p38MAPK also exhibited similar behavior. This new salt bridge-mediated switch may thus be an important mechanism of activation on a broader scope for kinases which utilize autophosphorylation. PMID:27324091

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25798310

  9. Clinical prognostic significance and pro-metastatic activity of RANK/RANKL via the AKT pathway in endometrial cancer.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jing; Liu, Yao; Wang, Lihua; Sun, Xiao; Wang, Yudong

    2016-02-01

    RANK/RANKL plays a key role in metastasis of certain malignant tumors, which makes it a promising target for developing novel therapeutic strategies for cancer. However, the prognostic value and pro-metastatic activity of RANK in endometrial cancer (EC) remain to be determined. Thus, the present study investigated the effect of RANK on the prognosis of EC patients, as well as the pro-metastatic activity of EC cells. The results indicated that those with high expression of RANK showed decreased overall survival and progression-free survival. Statistical analysis revealed the positive correlations between RANK/RANKL expression and metastasis-related factors. Additionally, RANK/RANKL significantly promoted cell migration/invasion via activating AKT/β-catenin/Snail pathway in vitro. However, RANK/RANKL-induced AKT activation could be suppressed after osteoprotegerin (OPG) treatment. Furthermore, the combination of medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) and RANKL could in turn attenuate the effect of RANKL alone. Similarly, MPA could partially inhibit the RANK-induced metastasis in an orthotopic mouse model via suppressing AKT/β-catenin/Snail pathway. Therefore, therapeutic inhibition of MPA in RANK/RANKL-induced metastasis was mediated by AKT/β-catenin/Snail pathway both in vitro and in vivo, suggesting a potential target of RANK for gene-based therapy for EC. PMID:26734994

  10. Clinical prognostic significance and pro-metastatic activity of RANK/RANKL via the AKT pathway in endometrial cancer

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jing; Liu, Yao; Wang, Lihua; Sun, Xiao; Wang, Yudong

    2016-01-01

    RANK/RANKL plays a key role in metastasis of certain malignant tumors, which makes it a promising target for developing novel therapeutic strategies for cancer. However, the prognostic value and pro-metastatic activity of RANK in endometrial cancer (EC) remain to be determined. Thus, the present study investigated the effect of RANK on the prognosis of EC patients, as well as the pro-metastatic activity of EC cells. The results indicated that those with high expression of RANK showed decreased overall survival and progression-free survival. Statistical analysis revealed the positive correlations between RANK/RANKL expression and metastasis-related factors. Additionally, RANK/RANKL significantly promoted cell migration/invasion via activating AKT/β-catenin/Snail pathway in vitro. However, RANK/RANKL-induced AKT activation could be suppressed after osteoprotegerin (OPG) treatment. Furthermore, the combination of medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) and RANKL could in turn attenuate the effect of RANKL alone. Similarly, MPA could partially inhibit the RANK-induced metastasis in an orthotopic mouse model via suppressing AKT/β-catenin/Snail pathway. Therefore, therapeutic inhibition of MPA in RANK/RANKL-induced metastasis was mediated by AKT/β-catenin/Snail pathway both in vitro and in vivo, suggesting a potential target of RANK for gene-based therapy for EC. PMID:26734994

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

    PubMed

    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

  12. 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

  13. Systems of meaning and transference: Implicit significant-other activation evokes shared reality.

    PubMed

    Przybylinski, Elizabeth; Andersen, Susan M

    2015-10-01

    Evidence shows that representations of significant others (SOs) are used in interpersonal relations-for example, in the social-cognitive process of transference (see Andersen & Chen, 2002), a process that is assumed to serve meaning-making functions (Glassman & Andersen, 1999b). Five studies tested the more specific notion that implicit activation of an SO representation in transference should indirectly activate the worldview shared with the SO, leading to its active pursuit, validation, and protection. Shared worldviews were assessed beforehand, both idiographically, as values (Studies 1 and 4), and nomothetically, as political ideology or religious beliefs (Studies 2, 3, and 5). In each experiment, participants learned about new persons, one subtly resembling their own SO. Transference was assessed (memory bias; positive evaluation; see Andersen, Reznik, & Manzella, 1996) and, crucially, as predicted, when considering the new person resembling their SO (vs. the control persons), participants showed faster response latencies in a lexical decision task to words reflecting the worldview shared with the SO (vs. held only personally, Studies 1-3, or only by the SO, Study 3). With this person, they also anticipated a more meaningful interaction and actively socially tuned to the SO-shared worldview, selecting conversation topics reflecting the SO-shared worldview (vs. personally held or SO-held topics, Studies 1-3). Finally, threatening the SO-shared worldview with this person (vs. threatening personally held, SO-held, or irrelevant worldviews) prompted goal activation to restore the disrupted meaning (Studies 4 and 5), assessed by response latency in a lexical decision task. Transference thus evokes shared meaning systems and serves epistemic functions. PMID:26414844

  14. Active loading into extracellular vesicles significantly improves the cellular uptake and photodynamic effect of porphyrins.

    PubMed

    Fuhrmann, Gregor; Serio, Andrea; Mazo, Manuel; Nair, Rekha; Stevens, Molly M

    2015-05-10

    Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are phospholipid-based particles endogenously produced by cells. Their natural composition and selective cell interactions make them promising drug carriers. However, in order to harness their properties, efficient exogenous drug encapsulation methods need to be investigated. Here, EVs from various cellular origins (endothelial, cancer and stem cells) were produced and characterised for size and composition. Porphyrins of different hydrophobicities were employed as model drugs and encapsulated into EVs using various passive and active methods (electroporation, saponin, extrusion and dialysis). Hydrophobic compounds loaded very efficiently into EVs and at significantly higher amounts than into standard liposomes composed of phosphocholine and cholesterol using passive incubation. Moreover, loading into EVs significantly increased the cellular uptake by >60% and the photodynamic effect of hydrophobic porphyrins in vitro compared to free or liposome encapsulated drug. The active encapsulation techniques, with the saponin-assisted method in particular, allowed an up to 11 fold higher drug loading of hydrophilic porphyrins compared to passive methods. EVs loaded with hydrophilic porphyrins induced a stronger phototoxic effect than free drug in a cancer cell model. Our findings create a firm basis for the development of EVs as smart drug carriers based on straightforward and transferable methods. PMID:25483424

  15. 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

  16. Cryo-EM structure of the activated NAIP2-NLRC4 inflammasome reveals nucleated polymerization.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Liman; Chen, Shuobing; Ruan, Jianbin; Wu, Jiayi; Tong, Alexander B; Yin, Qian; Li, Yang; David, Liron; Lu, Alvin; Wang, Wei Li; Marks, Carolyn; Ouyang, Qi; Zhang, Xinzheng; Mao, Youdong; Wu, Hao

    2015-10-23

    The NLR family apoptosis inhibitory proteins (NAIPs) bind conserved bacterial ligands, such as the bacterial rod protein PrgJ, and recruit NLR family CARD-containing protein 4 (NLRC4) as the inflammasome adapter to activate innate immunity. We found that the PrgJ-NAIP2-NLRC4 inflammasome is assembled into multisubunit disk-like structures through a unidirectional adenosine triphosphatase polymerization, primed with a single PrgJ-activated NAIP2 per disk. Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) reconstruction at subnanometer resolution revealed a ~90° hinge rotation accompanying NLRC4 activation. Unlike in the related heptameric Apaf-1 apoptosome, in which each subunit needs to be conformationally activated by its ligand before assembly, a single PrgJ-activated NAIP2 initiates NLRC4 polymerization in a domino-like reaction to promote the disk assembly. These insights reveal the mechanism of signal amplification in NAIP-NLRC4 inflammasomes. PMID:26449474

  17. Clinical significance of serum protease-activated receptor-1 levels in gastric cancer patients

    PubMed Central

    TAS, FARUK; KARABULUT, SENEM; TASTEKIN, DIDEM; DURANYILDIZ, DERYA

    2016-01-01

    Protease-activated receptor-1 (PAR-1) has a significant role in the pathogenesis of various malignancies and its expression mainly affects the survivals of cancer patients. The aim of the present study was to determine the clinical significance of the serum concentrations of PAR-1 in patients with gastric carcinoma. A total of 63 pathologically confirmed gastric cancer patients were enrolled in this study, with a median age of 62 years. Serum PAR-1 concentrations were determined by the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method and no significant difference in the baseline serum PAR-1 concentrations was found between patients and normal controls (P=0.5). The investigated clinical variables, including patient age, gender, localization of lesion, histology, grade of pathology, disease stage and serum tumor markers (lactate dehydrogenase, carcinoembryonic antigen and carbohydrate antigen 19-9) were not correlated with serum PAR-1 levels (P>0.05). Furthermore, no association was identified between the serum PAR-1 level and chemotherapy responsiveness (P=0.43). Serum PAR-1 level also had no prognostic role for survival (P=0.27). In conclusion, the serum PAR-1 concentration has no diagnostic, predictive and prognostic values in gastric cancer patients. PMID:27073639

  18. Clinical significance of the plasminogen activator system in relation to grade of tumor and treatment response in colorectal carcinoma patients.

    PubMed

    Halamkova, J; Kiss, I; Pavlovsky, Z; Tomasek, J; Jarkovsky, J; Cech, Z; Tucek, S; Hanakova, L; Moulis, M; Zavrelova, J; Man, M; Benda, P; Robek, O; Kala, Z; Penka, M

    2011-01-01

    Urokinase (uPA) plays an essential role in the activation of plasminogen to plasmin, and together with its receptor (uPAR), tissue activator (tPA) and urokinase inhibitors (PAI 1, PAI 2, PAI 3 and protease nexin) forms the plasminogen activator system (PAS), a component of metastatic cascade importantly contributing to the invasive growth and angiogenesis of malignant tumours. In our project we examined the expression of uPA, uPAR, PAI 1 and PAI 2 in tumor tissue and we also studied the plasma levels of PAI 1 before and after the initiation of therapy in patients with colorectal carcinoma in relationship to grade of tumor and the treatment response. In our prospective evaluation we included 80 patients treated for adenocarcinoma of the colon and rectum. Analysis of collected data revealed statistically significant evidence of a relationship between the level of PAI 1 in plasma before treatment and grade of the tumor, which increases with tumor grade (p=0.025). We demonstrated that there exists a statistically significant relationship between the expression of PAI 2 (p<0.001) and uPAR (p=0.031) and grade of tumor. We also confirmed a statistically significant relationship between soluble levels of PAI 1 before treatment and therapeutic response (p=0.021). In our group of patients the expression of uPA, uPAR, PAI 1 and 2 in tumor tissue in relation to response to treatment was also assessed. Our results suggest that the greater expression of these parameters in tumor tissue is linked to a worse response to therapy. In conclusion, PAS factors help as a prognostic indicators and could also act as a predictive factor in colorectal carcinoma. PMID:21744990

  19. Significant 99mTc-MDP but Unimpressive 18F-NaF Gastric Activity in a Patient With Multiple Myeloma.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shumao; Chen, Yue; Huang, Zhanwen; Cai, Liang; Zhang, Yin

    2016-09-01

    A 69-year-old man with a history of low back pain for more than 4 months underwent Tc-MDP bone scan to determine the cause of the symptoms. In addition to the osseous lesions, significant activity in the stomach wall was noted. However, a subsequent F-NaF PET/CT only revealed bone lesion without increased activity in the stomach wall. The cause of the back pain was eventually confirmed due to multiple myeloma. PMID:27504809

  20. Optogenetic activation of mechanically insensitive afferents in mouse colorectum reveals chemosensitivity.

    PubMed

    Feng, Bin; Joyce, Sonali C; Gebhart, G F

    2016-05-15

    The sensory innervation of the distal colorectum includes mechanically insensitive afferents (MIAs; ∼25%), which acquire mechanosensitivity in persistent visceral hypersensitivity and thus generate de novo input to the central nervous system. We utilized an optogenetic approach to bypass the process of transduction (generator potential) and focus on transformation (spike initiation) at colorectal MIA sensory terminals, which is otherwise not possible in typical functional studies. From channelrhodopsin2-expressing mice (driven by Advillin-Cre), the distal colorectum with attached pelvic nerve was harvested for ex vivo single-fiber recordings. Afferent receptive fields (RFs) were identified by electrical stimulation and tested for response to mechanical stimuli (probing, stroking, and stretch), and afferents were classified as either MIAs or mechanosensitive afferents (MSAs). All MIA and MSA RFs were subsequently stimulated optically and MIAs were also tested for activation/sensitization with inflammatory soup (IS), acidic hypertonic solution (AHS), and/or bile salts (BS). Responses to pulsed optical stimuli (1-10 Hz) were comparable between MSAs and MIAs whereas 43% of MIAs compared with 86% of MSAs responded tonically to stepped optical stimuli. Tonic-spiking MIAs responded preferentially to AHS (an osmotic stimulus) whereas non-tonic-spiking MIAs responded to IS (an inflammatory stimulus). A significant proportion of MIAs were also sensitized by BS. These results reveal transformation as a critical factor underlying the differences between MIAs (osmosensors vs. inflammatory sensors), revealing a previously unappreciated heterogeneity of MIA endings. The current study draws attention to the sensory encoding of MIA nerve endings that likely contribute to afferent sensitization and thus have important roles in visceral pain. PMID:26950857

  1. 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.

  2. Patterns of Activity Revealed by a Time Lag Analysis of a Model Active Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bradshaw, Stephen; Viall, Nicholeen

    2016-05-01

    We investigate the global activity patterns predicted from a model active region heated by distributions of nanoflares that have a range of average frequencies. The activity patterns are manifested in time lag maps of narrow-band instrument channel pairs. We combine an extrapolated magnetic skeleton with hydrodynamic and forward modeling codes to create a model active region, and apply the time lag method to synthetic observations. Our aim is to recover some typical properties and patterns of activity observed in active regions. Our key findings are: 1. Cooling dominates the time lag signature and the time lags between the channel pairs are generally consistent with observed values. 2. Shorter coronal loops in the core cool more quickly than longer loops at the periphery. 3. All channel pairs show zero time lag when the line-of-sight passes through coronal loop foot-points. 4. There is strong evidence that plasma must be re-energized on a time scale comparable to the cooling timescale to reproduce the observed coronal activity, but it is likely that a relatively broad spectrum of heating frequencies operates across active regions. 5. Due to their highly dynamic nature, we find nanoflare trains produce zero time lags along entire flux tubes in our model active region that are seen between the same channel pairs in observed active regions.

  3. Proliferative activity is a significant prognostic factor in male breast carcinoma.

    PubMed Central

    Pich, A.; Margaria, E.; Chiusa, L.

    1994-01-01

    The proliferative activity of male breast carcinoma has been investigated using the staining of the argyrophilic nucleolar organizer regions (AgNORs), the monoclonal antibody against the proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PC10) and the monoclonal antibody MIB-1 in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded specimens from 27 primary male breast carcinomas at diagnosis. A significant correlation was found between survival and AgNOR counts (median of survival 77 months for cases with AgNOR/cell < or = 7.27 but 37 months only for cases with > 7.27 AgNOR/cell; P = 0.001), proliferating cell nuclear antigen scores (median of survival 73 months for cases with proliferating cell nuclear antigen < or = 18.25% versus 41 for cases with proliferating cell nuclear antigen > 18.25%; P = 0.013) and MIB-1 scores (median of survival 73 months for cases with MIB-1 scores < or = 23.5% versus 37 months for cases with MIB-1 scores > 23.5%; P = 0.01). Tumor histological grade was also correlated with prognosis (median of survival 72 months for grade 2 versus 33 months for grade 3 tumors; P = 0.01). Estrogen and progesterone receptors, immunohistochemically detected on paraffin-embedded sections, had no prognostic value. In the multivariate survival analysis, only AgNOR counts (P = 0.007) and tumor size (P = 0.003) had an independent prognostic significance. Our results indicate that methods for assessing the cell proliferation in routinely processed specimens offer significant prognostic information in male breast carcinoma. The finding, together with the lack of prognostic significance for estrogen receptors and progesterone receptors, suggests that male breast carcinoma is biologically different from female breast cancer. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6 PMID:7519830

  4. Functional significance of complex fluctuations in brain activity: from resting state to cognitive neuroscience

    PubMed Central

    Papo, David

    2014-01-01

    Behavioral studies have shown that human cognition is characterized by properties such as temporal scale invariance, heavy-tailed non-Gaussian distributions, and long-range correlations at long time scales, suggesting models of how (non observable) components of cognition interact. On the other hand, results from functional neuroimaging studies show that complex scaling and intermittency may be generic spatio-temporal properties of the brain at rest. Somehow surprisingly, though, hardly ever have the neural correlates of cognition been studied at time scales comparable to those at which cognition shows scaling properties. Here, we analyze the meanings of scaling properties and the significance of their task-related modulations for cognitive neuroscience. It is proposed that cognitive processes can be framed in terms of complex generic properties of brain activity at rest and, ultimately, of functional equations, limiting distributions, symmetries, and possibly universality classes characterizing them. PMID:24966818

  5. High-resolution magic angle spinning and 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy reveal significantly altered neuronal metabolite profiles in CLN1 but not in CLN3.

    PubMed

    Sitter, Beathe; Autti, Taina; Tyynelä, Jaana; Sonnewald, Ursula; Bathen, Tone F; Puranen, Johanna; Santavuori, Pirkko; Haltia, Matti J; Paetau, Anders; Polvikoski, Tuomo; Gribbestad, Ingrid S; Häkkinen, Anna-Maija

    2004-09-01

    The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs) are among the most severe inherited progressive neurodegenerative disorders of children. The purpose of this study was to compare the in vivo 1.5-T 1H magnetic resonance (MR) and ex vivo 14.3-T high-resolution (HR) magic angle spinning (MAS) 1H MR brain spectra of patients with infantile (CLN1) and juvenile (CLN3) types of NCL, to obtain detailed information about the alterations in the neuronal metabolite profiles in these diseases and to test the suitability of the ex vivo HR MAS (1)H MRS technique in analysis of autopsy brain tissue. Ex vivo spectra from CLN1 autopsy brain tissue (n = 9) significantly differed from those of the control (n = 9) and CLN3 (n = 5) groups, although no differences were found between the CLN3 and the control groups. Principal component analysis of ex vivo data showed that decreased levels of N-acetylaspartate (NAA), gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), glutamine, and glutamate as well as increased levels of inositols characterized the CLN1 spectra. Also, the intensity ratio of lipid methylene/methyl protons was decreased in spectra of CLN1 brain tissue compared with CLN3 and control brain tissue. In concordance with the ex vivo data, the in vivo spectra of late-stage patients with CLN1 (n = 3) revealed a dramatic decrease of NAA and a proportional increase of myo-inositol and lipids compared with control subjects. Again, the spectra of patients with CLN3 (n = 13) did not differ from those of controls (n = 15). In conclusion, the ex vivo and in vivo spectroscopic findings were in good agreement within all analyzed groups and revealed significant alterations in metabolite profiles in CLN1 brain tissue but not in CLN3 compared with controls. Furthermore, HR MAS 1H MR spectra facilitated refined detection of neuronal metabolites, including GABA, and composition of lipids in the autopsy brain tissue of NCL patients. PMID:15352223

  6. 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...

  7. Nutritional significance of a rice bran concentrate with trypsin inhibitor activity.

    PubMed

    Maki, Z; Tashiro, M

    1983-06-01

    A rice bran protein concentrate (RBPC) was prepared from de-fatted rice bran by extraction with a 1% sodium chloride solution and by acetone-precipitation. This protein concentrate contained 45% protein, which was as good as casein in terms of protein quality being judged from the results of amino acid analysis. On the other hand, RBPC possessed the trypsin inhibitor activity corresponding to the complete inhibition of about 6 mg of bovine trypsin per 1 g of dry material. The activity was, however, completely destroyed by autoclaving RBPC for 30 min at 121 degrees C. In vitro digestion tests showed that RBPC was easily digested by pepsin but was resistant to the attack by trypsin, compared with autoclaved RBPC. Concerning in vivo digestion, however, there was no significant difference in apparent nitrogen digestibility between RBPC and the heated RBPC. In growth experiments with weanling rats fed a 10% level of protein diet, growth depression and the tendency of slight pancreatic hypertrophy were observed in rats receiving a RBPC diet. It is presumed that one of the reasons which explains these phenomena is the presence of trypsin inhibitor in RBPC. PMID:6619992

  8. Comparison of the activities of the lantibiotics nisin and lacticin 3147 against clinically significant mycobacteria.

    PubMed

    Carroll, James; Draper, Lorraine A; O'Connor, Paula M; Coffey, Aidan; Hill, Colin; Ross, R Paul; Cotter, Paul D; O'Mahony, Jim

    2010-08-01

    The aim of this study was to use the microtitre alamarBlue assay to investigate and compare the antimycobacterial potential of the lantibiotics nisin and lacticin 3147 against a representative cohort of clinically significant mycobacteria, i.e. Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Ra, Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) ATCC 19698 and Mycobacterium kansasii CIT11/06. Lacticin 3147 displayed potent activity against all strains of mycobacteria, with MIC(90) values (lowest concentration of lantibiotic that prevented growth of >90% of the bacterial population) of 60 mg/L and 15 mg/L for M. kansasii and MAP, respectively. Lacticin 3147 was particularly effective against M. tuberculosis H37Ra, with a MIC(90) value of 7.5mg/L. Nisin, although inhibitory, was generally less potent against all strains of mycobacteria, with MIC(90) values of 60 mg/L for M. kansasii and >60 mg/L for MAP and M. tuberculosis H37Ra. Thus, lacticin 3147 is a potent antimycobacterial peptide that shows superior activity compared with nisin at physiological pH. PMID:20547041

  9. Lack of significant promoting activity by benzene in the rat liver model of carcinogenesis

    SciTech Connect

    Taningher, M.; Perrotta, A.; Malacarne, D.

    1995-08-01

    The promoting activity of benzene on rat liver carcinogenesis was investigated. The chemical was tested for its ability to enhance the growth of preneoplastic foci, as detected by gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) staining in diethylnitrosamine (DENA) initiated hepatocytes. Two weeks after receiving a single ip dose of 200 mg/kg DENA, F344 rats were given daily oral doses of 400 mg/kg benzene (5 d/wk) for 6 wk. At wk 3 after the experiment began, all animals underwent partial hepatectomy, and at wk 8 were sacrificed. Following benzene treatment, no variation in the liver/body weight ratio was observed. After scoring of foci in liver slides, no significant difference in foci number and area could be observed between rats treated with DENA plus benzene and rats treated with DENA alone. Practically no foci were observed in the liver of rats treated only with benzene. The lack of benzene promoting activity in the liver model is discussed. 28 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab.

  10. Significant Improvement of Antithrombotic Responses to Clopidogrel by Use of a Novel Conjugate as Revealed in an Arterial Model of Thrombosis.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Haoming; Lauver, D Adam; Wang, Hui; Sun, Duxin; Hollenberg, Paul F; Chen, Y Eugene; Osawa, Yoichi; Eitzman, Daniel T

    2016-10-01

    Clopidogrel is a prodrug that requires bioactivation by cytochrome P450 (P450) enzymes to a pharmacologically active metabolite for antiplatelet action. The clinical limitations of clopidogrel are in large part due to its poor pharmacokinetics resulting from inefficient bioactivation by P450s. In this study, we determined the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of a novel conjugate of clopidogrel, referred to as ClopNPT, in animal models and we evaluated its potential to overcome the limitations of clopidogrel. Results from pharmacokinetic (PK) studies showed that ClopNPT released the active metabolite with a time to maximal plasma concentration of <5 minutes in C57BL/6 mice after either oral or intravenous administration, and plasma concentrations of the active metabolite reached Cmax values of 1242 and 1100 ng/ml after a 10-mg/kg oral dose and a 5-mg/kg intravenous dose, respectively. Furthermore, ClopNPT was highly effective in preventing arterial thrombosis in rabbits and mice after vascular injuries. Formation of occlusive thrombi was prevented by ClopNPT at the 1-mg/kg dose with no significant increase in tongue bleeding time, whereas clopidogrel was ineffective at the same dose. These results suggest that ClopNPT has favorable PK/pharmacodynamic properties that can potentially overcome the attenuated PK properties of clopidogrel and thus significantly improve the efficacy of antiplatelet therapy. PMID:27511819

  11. Revealing divergent evolution, identifying circular permutations and detecting active-sites by protein structure comparison

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Luonan; Wu, Ling-Yun; Wang, Yong; Zhang, Shihua; Zhang, Xiang-Sun

    2006-01-01

    Background Protein structure comparison is one of the most important problems in computational biology and plays a key role in protein structure prediction, fold family classification, motif finding, phylogenetic tree reconstruction and protein docking. Results We propose a novel method to compare the protein structures in an accurate and efficient manner. Such a method can be used to not only reveal divergent evolution, but also identify circular permutations and further detect active-sites. Specifically, we define the structure alignment as a multi-objective optimization problem, i.e., maximizing the number of aligned atoms and minimizing their root mean square distance. By controlling a single distance-related parameter, theoretically we can obtain a variety of optimal alignments corresponding to different optimal matching patterns, i.e., from a large matching portion to a small matching portion. The number of variables in our algorithm increases with the number of atoms of protein pairs in almost a linear manner. In addition to solid theoretical background, numerical experiments demonstrated significant improvement of our approach over the existing methods in terms of quality and efficiency. In particular, we show that divergent evolution, circular permutations and active-sites (or structural motifs) can be identified by our method. The software SAMO is available upon request from the authors, or from and . Conclusion A novel formulation is proposed to accurately align protein structures in the framework of multi-objective optimization, based on a sequence order-independent strategy. A fast and accurate algorithm based on the bipartite matching algorithm is developed by exploiting the special features. Convergence of computation is shown in experiments and is also theoretically proven. PMID:16948858

  12. Engagement in activities revealing the body and psychosocial adjustment in adults with a trans-tibial prosthesis.

    PubMed

    Donovan-Hall, M K; Yardley, L; Watts, R J

    2002-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of the appearance of a prosthesis on social behaviour, social discomfort and psychological well-being in eleven amputees taking delivery of a prosthesis with a silicone cover. Two new scales were developed: the 'Engagement in everyday activities involving revealing the body' (EEARB); and the 'Discomfort-Engagement in everyday activities involving revealing the body' (Discomfort-EEARB) scales. The psychometric properties of these scales were determined using a sample of 101 able-bodied adults. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale were also used to measure psychological well-being in the amputee sample. The EEARB and Discomfort-EEARB proved to have good reliability and validity. Comparison of amputees' scores prior to receiving the silicone cosmesis with those of the able-bodied adults revealed significant behavioural limitations and social discomfort, associated with low self-esteem, anxiety and depression. There was a significant increase in amputees' scores three months afier taking delivery of their prosthesis, indicating that amputees reported engaging in more activities which involved revealing their body, and that they would feel more comfortable in situations which involved revealing the body. As the amputee sample available was small and self-selected, it is not possible to generalise these findings to the amputee population as a whole. However, since there is little previous research investigating the effects of the appearance of the prosthesis, these findings demonstrate the need for further research in this area. PMID:12043922

  13. Significance of redox-active cysteines in human FAD synthase isoform 2.

    PubMed

    Miccolis, Angelica; Galluccio, Michele; Nitride, Chiara; Giancaspero, Teresa Anna; Ferranti, Pasquale; Iametti, Stefania; Indiveri, Cesare; Bonomi, Francesco; Barile, Maria

    2014-12-01

    FAD synthase (FMN:ATP adenylyl transferase, FMNAT or FADS, EC 2.7.7.2) is the last enzyme in the pathway converting riboflavin into FAD. In humans, FADS is localized in different subcellular compartments and exists in different isoforms. Isoform 2 (490-amino acids) is organized in two domains: the 3'-phosphoadenosine-5'-phosphosulfate (PAPS) reductase domain, that is the FAD-forming catalytic domain, and one resembling a molybdopterin-binding (MPTb) domain, with a hypothetical regulatory role. hFADS2 contains ten Cys residues, seven of which located in the PAPS reductase domain, with a possible involvement either in FAD synthesis or in FAD delivery to cognate apo-flavoproteins. A homology model of the PAPS reductase domain of hFADS2 revealed a co-ordinated network among the Cys residues in this domain. In this model, C312 and C303 are very close to the flavin substrate, consistent with a significantly lowered FAD synthesis rate in C303A and C312A mutants. FAD synthesis is also inhibited by thiol-blocking reagents, suggesting the involvement of free cysteines in the hFADS2 catalytic cycle. Mass spectrometry measurements and titration with thiol reagents on wt hFADS2 and on several individual cysteine/alanine mutants allowed us to detect two stably reduced cysteines (C139 and C241, one for each protein domain), two stable disulfide bridges (C399-C402, C303-C312, both in the PAPS domain), and two unstable disulfides (C39-C50; C440-C464). Whereas the C39-C50 unstable disulfide is located in the MPTb domain and appears to have no catalytic relevance, a cysteine-based redox switch may involve formation and breakdown of a disulfide between C440 and C464 in the PAPS domain. PMID:25135855

  14. Wide-field Ca2+ imaging reveals visually evoked activity in the retrosplenial area

    PubMed Central

    Murakami, Tomonari; Yoshida, Takashi; Matsui, Teppei; Ohki, Kenichi

    2015-01-01

    Due to recent advances of genetic manipulation, mouse brain has become a useful model for studying brain function, which demands whole brain functional mapping techniques in the mouse brain. In the present study, to finely map visual responsive areas in the mouse brain, we combined high-resolution wide-field optical imaging with transgenic mice containing the genetically encoded Ca2+ indicator, GCaMP3. With the high signal amplitude of GCaMP3 expressing in excitatory neurons, this system allowed neural activity to be observed with relatively fine spatial resolution and cell-type specificity. To evaluate this system, we examined whether non-visual areas exhibited a visual response over the entire surface of the mouse hemisphere. We found that two association areas, the retrosplenial area (RS) and secondary motor/anterior cingulate area (M2/AC), were significantly responsive to drifting gratings. Examination using gratings with distinct spatiotemporal frequency parameters revealed that the RS strongly responded to high-spatial and low-temporal frequency gratings. The M2/AC exhibited a response property similar to that of the RS, though it was not statistically significant. Finally, we performed cellular imaging using two-photon microscopy to examine orientation and direction selectivity of individual neurons, and found that a minority of neurons in the RS clearly showed visual responses sharply selective for orientation and direction. These results suggest that neurons in RS encode visual information of fine spatial details in images. Thus, the present study shows the usefulness of the functional mapping method using a combination of wide-field and two-photon Ca2+ imaging, which allows for whole brain mapping with high spatiotemporal resolution and cell-type specificity. PMID:26106292

  15. 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

  16. Expression of the vertebrate Gli proteins in Drosophila reveals a distribution of activator and repressor activities.

    PubMed

    Aza-Blanc, P; Lin, H Y; Ruiz i Altaba, A; Kornberg, T B

    2000-10-01

    The Cubitus interruptus (Ci) and Gli proteins are transcription factors that mediate responses to Hedgehog proteins (Hh) in flies and vertebrates, respectively. During development of the Drosophila wing, Ci transduces the Hh signal and regulates transcription of different target genes at different locations. In vertebrates, the three Gli proteins are expressed in overlapping domains and are partially redundant. To assess how the vertebrate Glis correlate with Drosophila Ci, we expressed each in Drosophila and monitored their behaviors and activities. We found that each Gli has distinct activities that are equivalent to portions of the regulatory arsenal of Ci. Gli2 and Gli1 have activator functions that depend on Hh. Gli2 and Gli3 are proteolyzed to produce a repressor form able to inhibit hh expression. However, while Gli3 repressor activity is regulated by Hh, Gli2 repressor activity is not. These observations suggest that the separate activator and repressor functions of Ci are unevenly partitioned among the three Glis, yielding proteins with related yet distinct properties. PMID:10976059

  17. Whole blood transcriptional profiling reveals significant down-regulation of human leukocyte antigen class I and II genes in essential thrombocythemia, polycythemia vera and myelofibrosis.

    PubMed

    Skov, Vibe; Riley, Caroline Hasselbalch; Thomassen, Mads; Larsen, Thomas Stauffer; Jensen, Morten K; Bjerrum, Ole Weis; Kruse, Torben A; Hasselbalch, Hans Carl

    2013-10-01

    Gene expression profiling studies in the Philadelphia-negative chronic myeloproliferative neoplasms have revealed significant deregulation of several immune and inflammation genes that might be of importance for clonal evolution due to defective tumor immune surveillance. Other mechanisms might be down-regulation of major histocompatibility (MHC) class I and II genes, which are used by tumor cells to escape antitumor T-cell-mediated immune responses. We have performed whole blood transcriptional profiling of genes encoding human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I and II molecules, β2-microglobulin and members of the antigen processing machinery of HLA class I molecules (LMP2, LMP7, TAP1, TAP2 and tapasin). The findings of significant down-regulation of several of these genes may possibly be of major importance for defective tumor immune surveillance. Since up-regulation of HLA genes is recorded during treatment with epigenome modulating agents (DNA-hypomethylators and DNA-hyperacetylators [histone deacetylase inhibitors]) and interferon-α2, our findings call for prospective transcriptional studies of HLA genes during treatment with these agents. PMID:23302045

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

    PubMed

    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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Transcriptomic Sequencing Reveals a Set of Unique Genes Activated by Butyrate-Induced Histone Modification.

    PubMed

    Li, Cong-Jun; Li, Robert W; Baldwin, Ransom L; Blomberg, Le Ann; Wu, Sitao; Li, Weizhong

    2016-01-01

    Butyrate is a nutritional element with strong epigenetic regulatory activity as a histone deacetylase inhibitor. Based on the analysis of differentially expressed genes in the bovine epithelial cells using RNA sequencing technology, a set of unique genes that are activated only after butyrate treatment were revealed. A complementary bioinformatics analysis of the functional category, pathway, and integrated network, using Ingenuity Pathways Analysis, indicated that these genes activated by butyrate treatment are related to major cellular functions, including cell morphological changes, cell cycle arrest, and apoptosis. Our results offered insight into the butyrate-induced transcriptomic changes and will accelerate our discerning of the molecular fundamentals of epigenomic regulation. PMID:26819550

  2. Transcriptomic Sequencing Reveals a Set of Unique Genes Activated by Butyrate-Induced Histone Modification

    PubMed Central

    Li, Cong-Jun; Li, Robert W.; Baldwin, Ransom L.; Blomberg, Le Ann; Wu, Sitao; Li, Weizhong

    2016-01-01

    Butyrate is a nutritional element with strong epigenetic regulatory activity as a histone deacetylase inhibitor. Based on the analysis of differentially expressed genes in the bovine epithelial cells using RNA sequencing technology, a set of unique genes that are activated only after butyrate treatment were revealed. A complementary bioinformatics analysis of the functional category, pathway, and integrated network, using Ingenuity Pathways Analysis, indicated that these genes activated by butyrate treatment are related to major cellular functions, including cell morphological changes, cell cycle arrest, and apoptosis. Our results offered insight into the butyrate-induced transcriptomic changes and will accelerate our discerning of the molecular fundamentals of epigenomic regulation. PMID:26819550

  3. Renal adenylate cyclase assay for biologically active parathyroid hormone: clinical utility and physiological significance.

    PubMed

    Auf'mkolk, B; Hesch, R D

    1986-01-01

    The stimulation of cyclic AMP production by human renal cortical membranes in the presence of the GTP analogue 5'-guanylimidodiphosphate and a calcium chelator represents a homologous assay system for the evaluation of biologically active parathyroid hormone (bioPTH) in human serum. Bioactive PTH was raised above normal (normal range: undetectable to 4.6 pmol human PTH(1-34) per 1) in 13/17 (76%) patients with primary hyperparathyroidism, in 5/6 (83%) patients with surgically proven hyperparathyroidism secondary to chronic renal failure, in 4/5 (80%) patients with hyperparathyroidism secondary to hypocalcaemia, in all three patients with pseudohypoparathyroidism, in 5/17 (29%) patients with osteoporosis and in 1/9 (11%) patients with renal stones and/or hypercalciuria. Bioactive PTH correlated positively with immunoreactive PTH (iPTH) measured with a radioimmunoassay predominantly recognizing the middle- and carboxyl-terminal region of the PTH molecule (r = 0.503, P less than 0.001). A positive correlation (r = 0.572, P less than 0.05) was found between values of serum calcium and bioPTH in the group with primary hyperparathyroidism. Immunoreactive PTH did not correlate significantly with calcium in this group. In the other patients except those who had chronic renal failure, a negative correlation between serum calcium and both bioPTH and iPTH was observed (P less than 0.01). When alkaline phosphatase was compared with bioPTH in all patients, the correlation was positive (r = 0.390, P less than 0.01); no significant correlation existed between iPTH and alkaline phosphatase in the patients studied.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:3944539

  4. 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

  5. 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

    2016-01-01

    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

  6. Gene Expression Analysis of the 26S Proteasome Subunit PSMB4 Reveals Significant Upregulation, Different Expression and Association with Proliferation in Human Pulmonary Neuroendocrine Tumours

    PubMed Central

    Mairinger, Fabian Dominik; Walter, Robert Fred Henry; Theegarten, Dirk; Hager, Thomas; Vollbrecht, Claudia; Christoph, Daniel Christian; Worm, Karl; Ting, Saskia; Werner, Robert; Stamatis, Georgios; Mairinger, Thomas; Baba, Hideo; Zarogoulidis, Konstantinos; Huang, Haidong; Li, Qiang; Tsakiridis, Kosmas; Zarogoulidis, Paul; Schmid, Kurt Werner; Wohlschlaeger, Jeremias

    2014-01-01

    Background: Proteasomal subunit PSMB4 was suggested to be a survival gene in an animal model of hepatocellular carcinoma and in glioblastoma cell lines. In pulmonary adenocarcinoma, a high expression of these genes was found to be associated with poor differentiation and survival. This study investigates the gene expression levels of 26S proteasome subunits in human pulmonary neuroendocrine tumours including typical (TC) and atypical (AC) carcinoid tumours as well as small cell (SCLC) and large cell (LCNEC) neuroendocrine carcinomas. Material and methods: Gene expression levels of proteasomal subunits (PSMA1, PSMA5, PSMB4, PSMB5 and PSMD1) were investigated in 80 neuroendocrine pulmonary tumours (each 20 TC, AC, LCNLC and SCLC) and compared to controls. mRNA levels were determined by using TaqMan assays. Immunohistochemistry on tissue microarrays (TMA) was performed to determine the expression of ki67, cleaved caspase 3 and PSMB4. Results: All proteasomal subunit gene expressions were significantly upregulated in TC, AC, SCLC and LCNEC compared to controls. PSMB4 mRNA is differently expressed between all neuroendocrine tumour subtypes demonstrating the highest expression and greatest range in LCNEC (p=0.043), and is significantly associated with proliferative activity (p=0.039). Conclusion: In line with other 26S proteasomal subunits PSMB4 is significantly increased, but differently expressed between pulmonary neuroendocrine tumours and is associated with the proliferative activity. Unlike in pulmonary adenocarcinomas, no association with biological behaviour was observed, suggesting that increased proteasomal subunit gene expression is a common and probably early event in the tumorigenesis of pulmonary neuroendocrine tumours regardless of their differentiation. PMID:25157275

  7. Latent myostatin has significant activity and this activity is controlled more efficiently by WFIKKN1 than by WFIKKN2.

    PubMed

    Szláma, György; Trexler, Mária; Patthy, László

    2013-08-01

    Myostatin, a negative regulator of skeletal muscle growth, is produced from myostatin precursor by multiple steps of proteolytic processing. After cleavage by a furin-type protease, the propeptide and growth factor domains remain associated, forming a noncovalent complex, the latent myostatin complex. Mature myostatin is liberated from latent myostatin by bone morphogenetic protein 1/tolloid proteases. Here, we show that, in reporter assays, latent myostatin preparations have significant myostatin activity, as the noncovalent complex dissociates at an appreciable rate, and both mature and semilatent myostatin (a complex in which the dimeric growth factor domain interacts with only one molecule of myostatin propeptide) bind to myostatin receptor. The interaction of myostatin receptor with semilatent myostatin is efficiently blocked by WAP, Kazal, immunoglobulin, Kunitz and NTR domain-containing protein 1 or growth and differentiation factor-associated serum protein 2 (WFIKKN1), a large extracellular multidomain protein that binds both mature myostatin and myostatin propeptide [Kondás et al. (2008) J Biol Chem 283, 23677-23684]. Interestingly, the paralogous protein WAP, Kazal, immunoglobulin, Kunitz and NTR domain-containing protein 2 or growth and differentiation factor-associated serum protein 1 (WFIKKN2) was less efficient than WFIKKN1 as an antagonist of the interactions of myostatin receptor with semilatent myostatin. Our studies have shown that this difference is attributable to the fact that only WFIKKN1 has affinity for the propeptide domain, and this interaction increases its potency in suppressing the receptor-binding activity of semilatent myostatin. As the interaction of WFIKKN1 with various forms of myostatin permits tighter control of myostatin activity until myostatin is liberated from latent myostatin by bone morphogenetic protein 1/tolloid proteases, WFIKKN1 may have greater potential as an antimyostatic agent than WFIKKN2. PMID:23829672

  8. Biochemical characterization and crystal structure of a GH10 xylanase from termite gut bacteria reveal a novel structural feature and significance of its bacterial Ig-like domain.

    PubMed

    Han, Qian; Liu, Ning; Robinson, Howard; Cao, Lin; Qian, Changli; Wang, Qianfu; Xie, Lei; Ding, Haizhen; Wang, Qian; Huang, Yongping; Li, Jianyong; Zhou, Zhihua

    2013-12-01

    Bacterial Ig-like (Big) domains are commonly distributed in glycoside hydrolases (GH), but their structure and function remains undefined. Xylanase is a GH, and catalyzes the hydrolysis of the internal β-xylosidic linkages of xylan. In this study, we report the molecular cloning, biochemical and biophysical characterization, and crystal structure of a termite gut bacterial xylanase, Xyl-ORF19, which was derived from gut bacteria of a wood-feeding termite (Globitermes brachycerastes). The protein architecture of Xyl-ORF19 reveals that it has two domains, a C-terminal GH10 catalytic domain and an N-terminal Big_2 non-catalytic domain. The catalytic domain folds in an (α/β)8 barrel as most GH10 xylanases do, but it has two extra β-strands. The non-catalytic domain is structurally similar to an immunoglobulin-like domain of intimins. The recombinant enzyme without the non-catalytic domain has fairly low catalytic activity, and is different from the full-length enzyme in kinetic parameters, pH and temperature profiles, which suggests the non-catalytic domain could affect the enzyme biochemical and biophysical properties as well as the role for enzyme localization. This study provides a molecular basis for future efforts in xylanase bioengineering. PMID:23794438

  9. Demonstration of Trophozoites of G. Lamblia in Ileal Mucosal Biopsy Specimens May Reveal Giardiasis in Patients With Significantly Inflamed Parasite-free Duodenal Mucosa.

    PubMed

    Oberhuber, Georg; Mesteri, Ildiko; Kopf, Wolfram; Müller, Heiko

    2016-09-01

    In the majority of individuals, infestation with trophozoites of Giardia lamblia (synonymous G. duodenalis or G. intestinalis) leads to a self-limited disease. Whereas most duodenal biopsies with chronic giardiasis show little or no inflammatory reaction, some patients may develop a severe disease with significant mucosal inflammation and various degrees of villous blunting. Occasionally, the histologic changes may resemble those of celiac disease. In this paper, we describe 11 patients, 5 of them female, with chronic giardiasis and demonstrable G. lamblia in ileal biopsies. The median age was 45 years (35 to 62 y), with male patients being at least 10 years younger than female patients. All of the duodenal biopsies showed at least mild villous blunting (grading: mild, marked, or total). In the mucosa an increased number of plasma cells and lymphocytes was observed. Furthermore, varying numbers of granulocytes were found in the lamina propria and in the epithelial layer. In 1 case only, the number of intraepithelial lymphocytes was >40/100 epithelial cells thus mirroring the histologic picture of celiac disease with a flat mucosa (with negative celiac disease-specific serological findings). Interestingly enough, all mucosal biopsy specimens from the duodenum were parasite free. Therefore, giardiasis could only be revealed by the demonstration of trophozoites of G. lamblia in biopsy specimens from the terminal ileum, which had been taken simultaneously or several weeks later. In contrast to duodenal biopsies, the ileal mucosa appeared either normal or only mildly inflamed in this setting. All patients but 1 were symptomatic, with chronic diarrhea being the leading symptom. Symptoms resolved after antibiotic therapy. This study demonstrates that giardiasis may be associated with a significant duodenal pathology in biopsy specimens without discernible parasites. In the cases described here infestation with G. lamblia was only proven histologically by examination of

  10. 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. PMID:25343989

  11. Comparative Transcriptome Analysis Reveals Significant Differences in MicroRNA Expression and Their Target Genes between Adipose and Muscular Tissues in Cattle

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Jiajie; Zhang, Bowen; Lan, Xianyong; Zhang, Chunlei; Lei, Chuzhao; Chen, Hong

    2014-01-01

    The posttranscriptional gene regulation mediated by microRNAs (miRNAs) plays an important role in various species. However, to date limited miRNAs have been reported between fat and muscle tissues in beef cattle. In this paper, 412 known and 22 novel miRNAs in backfat as well as 334 known and 10 novel miRNAs in longissimus thoracis were identified in the Chinese Qinchuan beef cattle. Bta-miR-199a-3p, -154c, -320a and -432 were expressed at higher levels in backfat tissue, while bta-miR-1, -133a, -206, and -378 were also significantly enriched in muscle tissue. Functional analysis revealed that fat-enriched miRNAs targeted PRKAA1/2, PPARA and PPARG genes to modulate lipid and fatty acid metabolism, and muscle-enriched miRNAs targeted CSRP3 gene to present function involved in skeletal and muscular system development. The results obtained may help in the design of new selection strategies to improve beef quality. PMID:25006962

  12. 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. PMID:23177772

  13. 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

  14. 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 Central

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

    2007-01-01

    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 × 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 ∼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 F1 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 × additive effects besides directional dominance. Positive epistatic effects reduced heterosis for growth-related traits in our materials. PMID:18039884

  15. Significant differences between Lactobacillus casei subsp. casei ATCC 393T and a commonly used plasmid-cured derivative revealed by a polyphasic study.

    PubMed

    Acedo-Félix, Evelia; Pérez-Martínez, Gaspar

    2003-01-01

    Many studies on Lactobacillus casei subsp. casei (L. casei) have been carried out using strain ATCC 393 (pLZ15-). Four strains of L. casei ATCC 393T and three of ATCC 393 (pLZ15-) were compared using phenotypic methods and many of the available genotyping techniques. These tests showed that strains of ATCC 393T obtained from independent public type-culture collections were significantly different from the plasmid-free (pLZ15-) strains of ATCC 393T. These findings were confirmed by sequencing the first 580 nt (domain I) of the 16S and 23S rDNAs of the strains. Complete sequencing of the 16S rDNA of one representative strain from each group revealed that strain ATCC 393T from culture collections was 99% similar to Lactobacillus zeae ATCC 15820T and that the strain so far considered as L. casei ATCC 393 (pLZ15-) was, in turn, 100% similar to L. casei ATCC 334 and Lactobacillus paracasei subsp. paracasei ATCC 4022. All data obtained in this work indicate that the ancestral strain of ATCC 393 (pLZ15-) might never have been the strain that is now available from culture collections. PMID:12656154

  16. 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

  17. Saccharomyces cerevisiae a-Factor Mutants Reveal Residues Critical for Processing, Activity, and Export

    PubMed Central

    Huyer, Gregory; Kistler, Amy; Nouvet, Franklin J.; George, Carolyn M.; Boyle, Meredith L.; Michaelis, Susan

    2006-01-01

    The Saccharomyces cerevisiae mating pheromone a-factor provides a paradigm for understanding the biogenesis of prenylated fungal pheromones. The biogenesis of a-factor involves multiple steps: (i) C-terminal CAAX modification (where C is cysteine, A is aliphatic, and X is any residue) which includes prenylation, proteolysis, and carboxymethylation (by Ram1p/Ram2p, Ste24p or Rce1p, and Ste14p, respectively); (ii) N-terminal processing, involving two sequential proteolytic cleavages (by Ste24p and Axl1p); and (iii) nonclassical export (by Ste6p). Once exported, mature a-factor interacts with the Ste3p receptor on MATα cells to stimulate mating. The a-factor biogenesis machinery is well defined, as is the CAAX motif that directs C-terminal modification; however, very little is known about the sequence determinants within a-factor required for N-terminal processing, activity, and export. Here we generated a large collection of a-factor mutants and identified residues critical for the N-terminal processing steps mediated by Ste24p and Axl1p. We also identified mutants that fail to support mating but do not affect biogenesis or export, suggesting a defective interaction with the Ste3p receptor. Mutants significantly impaired in export were also found, providing evidence that the Ste6p transporter recognizes sequence determinants as well as CAAX modifications. We also performed a phenotypic analysis of the entire set of isogenic a-factor biogenesis machinery mutants, which revealed information about the dependency of biogenesis steps upon one another, and demonstrated that export by Ste6p requires the completion of all processing events. Overall, this comprehensive analysis will provide a useful framework for the study of other fungal pheromones, as well as prenylated metazoan proteins involved in development and aging. PMID:16963638

  18. Targeted massively parallel sequencing of angiosarcomas reveals frequent activation of the mitogen activated protein kinase pathway

    PubMed Central

    Murali, Rajmohan; Chandramohan, Raghu; Möller, Inga; Scholz, Simone L.; Berger, Michael; Huberman, Kety; Viale, Agnes; Pirun, Mono; Socci, Nicholas D.; Bouvier, Nancy; Bauer, Sebastian; Artl, Monika; Schilling, Bastian; Schimming, Tobias; Sucker, Antje; Schwindenhammer, Benjamin; Grabellus, Florian; Speicher, Michael R.; Schaller, Jörg; Hillen, Uwe; Schadendorf, Dirk; Mentzel, Thomas; Cheng, Donavan T.; Wiesner, Thomas; Griewank, Klaus G.

    2015-01-01

    Angiosarcomas are rare malignant mesenchymal tumors of endothelial differentiation. The clinical behavior is usually aggressive and the prognosis for patients with advanced disease is poor with no effective therapies. The genetic bases of these tumors have been partially revealed in recent studies reporting genetic alterations such as amplifications of MYC (primarily in radiation-associated angiosarcomas), inactivating mutations in PTPRB and R707Q hotspot mutations of PLCG1. Here, we performed a comprehensive genomic analysis of 34 angiosarcomas using a clinically-approved, hybridization-based targeted next-generation sequencing assay for 341 well-established oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. Over half of the angiosarcomas (n = 18, 53%) harbored genetic alterations affecting the MAPK pathway, involving mutations in KRAS, HRAS, NRAS, BRAF, MAPK1 and NF1, or amplifications in MAPK1/CRKL, CRAF or BRAF. The most frequently detected genetic aberrations were mutations in TP53 in 12 tumors (35%) and losses of CDKN2A in 9 tumors (26%). MYC amplifications were generally mutually exclusive of TP53 alterations and CDKN2A loss and were identified in 8 tumors (24%), most of which (n = 7, 88%) arose post-irradiation. Previously reported mutations in PTPRB (n = 10, 29%) and one (3%) PLCG1 R707Q mutation were also identified. Our results demonstrate that angiosarcomas are a genetically heterogeneous group of tumors, harboring a wide range of genetic alterations. The high frequency of genetic events affecting the MAPK pathway suggests that targeted therapies inhibiting MAPK signaling may be promising therapeutic avenues in patients with advanced angiosarcomas. PMID:26440310

  19. Meta-analysis reveals significant association of 3′-UTR VNTR in SLC6A3 with smoking cessation in Caucasian populations

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Yunlong; Yuan, Wenji; Cui, Wenyan; Li, Ming D.

    2015-01-01

    Many studies have examined the association between SLC6A3 3′-UTR VNTR polymorphism and smoking cessation; however, the results are inconclusive, primarily because of the small to moderate-size samples. The primary goal of this study was to determine whether this polymorphism has any effect on smoking cessation by a meta-analysis of all reported studies. We adopted a 9-repeat dominant model that considers 9-repeat and non 9-repeat as two genotypes and compared their frequencies in former vs. current smokers. Eleven studies with 5,480 participants were included. Considering the presence of study heterogeneity and differences in the availability of information from each study, three separate meta-analyses were performed with the Comprehensive Meta-Analysis statistical software (v. 2.0). The first meta-analysis provided evidence of association between the 9-repeat genotype and smoking cessation under the fixed-effects model (pooled odds ratio [OR] 1.13; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01, 1.27; P = 0.037) but not in the random-effects model (pooled OR 1.11; 95% CI 0.96, 1.29; P = 0.159). Given the marginal evidence of heterogeneity among studies (P = 0.10; I2 = 35.9%), which likely was caused by inclusion of an Asian-population treatment study with an opposite effect of the polymorphism on smoking cessation, we excluded these data, revealing a significant association between the 9-repeat genotype and smoking cessation under both the fixed- and random-effects models (pooled OR 1.15; 95% CI 1.02, 1.29; P = 0.02 for both models). By analyzing adjusted and unadjusted results, we performed the third meta-analysis, which showed consistently that the 9-repeat genotype was significantly associated with smoking cessation under both the fixed- and random-effects models (pooled OR 1.17; 95% CI 1.04, 1.31; P = 0.009 for both models). We conclude that the 3′-UTR VNTR polymorphism is significantly associated with smoking cessation, and smokers with one or more 9-repeat alleles

  20. 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 Central

    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.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25834045

  1. 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.

  2. Natural and semisynthetic analogues of manadoperoxide B reveal new structural requirements for trypanocidal activity.

    PubMed

    Chianese, Giuseppina; Scala, Fernando; Calcinai, Barbara; Cerrano, Carlo; Dien, Henny A; Kaiser, Marcel; Tasdemir, Deniz; Taglialatela-Scafati, Orazio

    2013-09-01

    Chemical analysis of the Indonesian sponge Plakortis cfr. lita afforded two new analogues of the potent trypanocidal agent manadoperoxide B (1), namely 12-isomanadoperoxide B (2) and manadoperoxidic acid B (3). These compounds were isolated along with a new short chain dicarboxylate monoester (4), bearing some interesting relationships with the polyketide endoperoxides found in this sponge. Some semi-synthetic analogues of manadoperoxide B (6-8) were prepared and evaluated for antitrypanosomal activity and cytotoxicity. These studies revealed crucial structure-activity relationships that should be taken into account in the design of optimized and simplified endoperoxyketal trypanocidal agents. PMID:23989650

  3. 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

  4. DNA polymerase beta reveals enhanced activity and processivity in reverse micelles.

    PubMed

    Anarbaev, Rashid O; Rogozina, Anastasia L; Lavrik, Olga I

    2009-04-01

    Water is essential for the stability and functions of proteins and DNA. Reverse micelles are simple model systems where the structure and dynamics of water are controlled. We have estimated the size of complex reverse micelles by light scattering technique and examined the local microenvironment using fluorescein as molecular probe. The micelle size and water polarity inside reverse micelles depend on water volume fraction. We have investigated the different hydration and confinement effects on activity, processivity, and stability of mammalian DNA polymerase beta in reverse micelles. The enzyme displays high processivity on primed single-stranded M13mp19 DNA with maximal activity at 10% of water content. The processivity and activity of DNA polymerase strongly depend on the protein concentration. The enzyme reveals also the enhanced stability in the presence of template-primer and at high protein concentration. The data provide direct evidence for strong influence of microenvironment on DNA polymerase activity. PMID:19138815

  5. Significance of Plasma Dopamine β-Hydroxylase Activity as an Index of Sympathetic Neuronal Function

    PubMed Central

    Reid, John L.; Kopin, Irwin J.

    1974-01-01

    Plasma norepinephrine and dopamine β-hydroxylase (EC 1.14.17.1) activity were measured in rats. Adrenergic neuron blockade with bretylium for 4 hr and ganglion blockade with chlorisondamine for 72 hr lowered plasma norepinephrine. Neither treatment altered plasma dopamine β-hydroxylase activity. Phenoxybenzamine for up to 48 hr markedly raised plasma norepinephrine and transiently lowered plasma dopamine β-hydroxylase at 24 hr. Prolonged pharmacological modification of sympathetic nervous activity and plasma norepinephrine were not attended by parallel changes in circulating dopamine β-hydroxylase activity. Plasma dopamine β-hydroxylase activity does not appear to be a sensitive index of prolonged alterations in sympathetic neural activity. Norepinephrine in plasma, however, appears to reflect sensitively and accurately the rate of release of the neurotransmitter. PMID:4530990

  6. Hydrogenase activity in aged, nonviable Desulfovibrio vulgaris cultures and its significance in anaerobic biocorrosion

    SciTech Connect

    Chatelus, C.; Carrier, P.; Saignes, P.; Libert, M.F.; Berlier, Y.; Lespinat, P.A.; Fauque, G.; Legall, J.

    1987-07-01

    Batch cultures of Desulfovibrio vulgaris stored at 32 degrees C for 10 months have been found to retain 50% of the hydrogenase activity of a 1-day culture. The hydrogenase found in old cultures needs reducing conditions for its activation. Viable cell counts are negative after 6 months, showing that the hydrogenase activity does not depend on the presence of viable cells. These observations are of importance in the understanding of anaerobic biocorrosion of metals caused by depolarization phenomena. (Refs. 16).

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  9. 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…

  10. Mapping the Human Platelet Lipidome Reveals Cytosolic Phospholipase A2 as a Regulator of Mitochondrial Bioenergetics during Activation.

    PubMed

    Slatter, David A; Aldrovandi, Maceler; O'Connor, Anne; Allen, Stuart M; Brasher, Christopher J; Murphy, Robert C; Mecklemann, Sven; Ravi, Saranya; Darley-Usmar, Victor; O'Donnell, Valerie B

    2016-05-10

    Human platelets acutely increase mitochondrial energy generation following stimulation. Herein, a lipidomic circuit was uncovered whereby the substrates for this are exclusively provided by cPLA2, including multiple fatty acids and oxidized species that support energy generation via β-oxidation. This indicates that acute lipid membrane remodeling is required to support energetic demands during platelet activation. Phospholipase activity is linked to energy metabolism, revealing cPLA2 as a central regulator of both lipidomics and energy flux. Using a lipidomic approach (LipidArrays), we also estimated the total number of lipids in resting, thrombin-activated, and aspirinized platelets. Significant diversity between genetically unrelated individuals and a wealth of species was revealed. Resting platelets demonstrated ∼5,600 unique species, with only ∼50% being putatively identified. Thrombin elevated ∼900 lipids >2-fold with 86% newly appearing and 45% inhibited by aspirin supplementation, indicating COX-1 is required for major activation-dependent lipidomic fluxes. Many lipids were structurally identified. With ∼50% of the lipids being absent from databases, a major opportunity for mining lipids relevant to human health and disease is presented. PMID:27133131

  11. Straightforward conversion of decoquinate into inexpensive tractable new derivatives with significant antimalarial activities.

    PubMed

    Beteck, Richard M; Coertzen, Dina; Smit, Frans J; Birkholtz, Lyn-Marie; Haynes, Richard K; N'Da, David D

    2016-07-01

    As part of a programme aimed at identifying rational new triple drug combinations for treatment of malaria, tuberculosis and toxoplasmosis, we have selected quinolones as one component, given that selected examples exhibit exceptionally good activities against the causative pathogens of the foregoing diseases. The quinolone decoquinate (DQ), an old and inexpensive coccidiostat, displays anti-malarial activity in vitro against Plasmodium falciparum (Pf). However, because of its exceedingly poor solubility in water or organic solvents, development of DQ as a drug is problematical. We have therefore converted DQ in straightforward fashion into tractable new derivatives that display good activities in vitro against chloroquine-sensitive NF54 and multidrug-resistant K1 and W2 Pf, and relatively low toxicities against human fibroblast cells. The most active compound, the N-acetyl derivative 30, is 5-fold more active than DQ against NF54 and K1 and equipotent with DQ against W2. It possesses an activity profile against all strains comparable with that of the artemisinin derivative artesunate. Overall, this compound and the other accessible and active derivatives serve as an attractive template for development of new and economic lead quinolones. PMID:27210430

  12. Asymmetric mutations in the tetrameric R67 dihydrofolate reductase reveal high tolerance to active-site substitutions

    PubMed Central

    Ebert, Maximilian C C J C; Morley, Krista L; Volpato, Jordan P; Schmitzer, Andreea R; Pelletier, Joelle N

    2015-01-01

    Type II R67 dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) is a bacterial plasmid-encoded enzyme that is intrinsically resistant to the widely-administered antibiotic trimethoprim. R67 DHFR is genetically and structurally unrelated to E. coli chromosomal DHFR and has an unusual architecture, in that four identical protomers form a single symmetrical active site tunnel that allows only one substrate binding/catalytic event at any given time. As a result, substitution of an active-site residue has as many as four distinct consequences on catalysis, constituting an atypical model of enzyme evolution. Although we previously demonstrated that no single residue of the native active site is indispensable for function, library selection here revealed a strong bias toward maintenance of two native protomers per mutated tetramer. A variety of such “half-native” tetramers were shown to procure native-like catalytic activity, with similar KM values but kcat values 5- to 33-fold lower, illustrating a high tolerance for active-site substitutions. The selected variants showed a reduced thermal stability (Tm ∼12°C lower), which appears to result from looser association of the protomers, but generally showed a marked increase in resilience to heat denaturation, recovering activity to a significantly greater extent than the variant with no active-site substitutions. Our results suggest that the presence of two native protomers in the R67 DHFR tetramer is sufficient to provide native-like catalytic rate and thus ensure cellular proliferation. PMID:25401264

  13. 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

  14. Phosphoproteomic network analysis in the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus reveals new candidates in egg activation.

    PubMed

    Guo, Hongbo; Garcia-Vedrenne, Ana Elisa; Isserlin, Ruth; Lugowski, Andrew; Morada, Anthony; Sun, Alex; Miao, Yishen; Kuzmanov, Uros; Wan, Cuihong; Ma, Hongyue; Foltz, Kathy; Emili, Andrew

    2015-12-01

    Fertilization triggers a dynamic symphony of molecular transformations induced by a rapid rise in intracellular calcium. Most prominent are surface alterations, metabolic activation, cytoskeletal reorganization, and cell-cycle reentry. While the activation process appears to be broadly evolutionarily conserved, and protein phosphorylation is known to play a key role, the signaling networks mediating the response to fertilization are not well described. To address this gap, we performed a time course phosphoproteomic analysis of egg activation in the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, a system that offers biochemical tractability coupled with exquisite synchronicity. By coupling large-scale phosphopeptide enrichment with unbiased quantitative MS, we identified striking changes in global phosphoprotein patterns at 2- and 5-min postfertilization as compared to unfertilized eggs. Overall, we mapped 8796 distinct phosphosite modifications on 2833 phosphoproteins, of which 15% were differentially regulated in early egg activation. Activated kinases were identified by phosphosite mapping, while enrichment analyses revealed conserved signaling cascades not previously associated with egg activation. This work represents the most comprehensive study of signaling associated with egg activation to date, suggesting novel mechanisms that can be experimentally tested and providing a valuable resource for the broader research community. All MS data have been deposited in the ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD002239 (http://proteomecentral.proteomexchange.org/dataset/PXD002239). PMID:26227301

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Biological Significance of Local TGF-β Activation in Liver Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Hayashi, Hiromitsu; Sakai, Takao

    2012-01-01

    The cytokine transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) plays a pivotal role in a diverse range of cellular responses, including cell proliferation, apoptosis, differentiation, migration, adhesion, angiogenesis, stimulation of extracellular matrix (ECM) synthesis, and downregulation of ECM degradation. TGF-β and its receptors are ubiquitously expressed by most cell types and tissues in vivo. In intact adult tissues and organs, TGF-β is secreted in a biologically inactive (latent) form associated in a non-covalent complex with the ECM. In response to injury, local latent TGF-β complexes are converted into active TGF-β according to a tissue- and injury type-specific activation mechanism. Such a well and tightly orchestrated regulation in TGF-β activity enables an immediate, highly localized response to type-specific tissue injury. In the pathological process of liver fibrosis, TGF-β plays as a master profibrogenic cytokine in promoting activation and myofibroblastic differentiation of hepatic stellate cells, a central event in liver fibrogenesis. Continuous and/or persistent TGF-β signaling induces sustained production of ECM components and of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase synthesis. Therefore, the regulation of locally activated TGF-β levels is increasingly recognized as a therapeutic target for liver fibrogenesis. This review summarizes our present knowledge of the activation mechanisms and bioavailability of latent TGF-β in biological and pathological processes in the liver. PMID:22363291

  18. 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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  1. Drug-Metabolizing Activity, Protein and Gene Expression of UDP-Glucuronosyltransferases Are Significantly Altered in Hepatocellular Carcinoma Patients

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Linlin; Zhou, Juan; Shi, Jian; Peng, Xiao-juan; Qi, Xiao-xiao; Wang, Ying; Li, Fang-yuan; Zhou, Fu-Yuan; Liu, Liang; Liu, Zhong-Qiu

    2015-01-01

    UDP-glucuronosyltransferases (UGTs), the most important enzymes in body detoxification and homeostasis maintaining, govern the glucuronidation reaction of various endogenous and environmental carcinogens. The metabolic function of UGTs can be severely influenced by hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the fifth prevalent and third malignant cancer worldwide. Particularly in China, HBV-positive HCC account for approximately 80% of HCC patients. But rare papers addressed the alteration on the metabolism of UGTs specific substrates, translational and transcriptional activity of UGTs in HBV-positive HCC patients. In present study, we choose the main UGT isoforms, UGT1As, UGT1A1, UGT1A9, UGT1A4 and UGT2B7, to determine the alterations of metabolic activity, protein and gene expression of UGTs in HBV-positive HCC. The corresponding specific substrates such as genistein, SN-38, tamoxifen, propofol and zidovudine were utilized respectively in UGTs metabolic activity determination. Furthermore, the plausible mechanism responsible for UGTs alterations was addressed by analyzing the protein and gene expressions in tumor and the adjacent normal tissues in HBV-positive HCC. The results revealed that in the tumor human liver microsomes (HLMs), either Vmax (maximum reaction rate, Rmax for UGT1A1) or the clearance rates (Vmax/Km, Clint) of UGT1A, UGT1A1, UGT1A4, UGT1A9 and UGT2B7 were significant lower than those of in the adjacent normal HLMs. Subsequently, the relative protein and gene expressions of these isoforms were notably decreased in most of tumor tissues comparing with the adjacent normal tissues. More interestingly, in tumor tissues, the metabolic activity reduction ratio of each UGT isoform was closely related to its protein reduction ratio, indicating that decreasing protein level would contribute to the reduced metabolic function of UGTs in HBV-positive HCC. In summary, our study firstly determined the alteration of UGT function in HBV-positive HCC patients, which would

  2. Drug-Metabolizing Activity, Protein and Gene Expression of UDP-Glucuronosyltransferases Are Significantly Altered in Hepatocellular Carcinoma Patients.

    PubMed

    Lu, Linlin; Zhou, Juan; Shi, Jian; Peng, Xiao-juan; Qi, Xiao-xiao; Wang, Ying; Li, Fang-Yuan; Zhou, Fu-Yuan; Liu, Liang; Liu, Zhong-Qiu

    2015-01-01

    UDP-glucuronosyltransferases (UGTs), the most important enzymes in body detoxification and homeostasis maintaining, govern the glucuronidation reaction of various endogenous and environmental carcinogens. The metabolic function of UGTs can be severely influenced by hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the fifth prevalent and third malignant cancer worldwide. Particularly in China, HBV-positive HCC account for approximately 80% of HCC patients. But rare papers addressed the alteration on the metabolism of UGTs specific substrates, translational and transcriptional activity of UGTs in HBV-positive HCC patients. In present study, we choose the main UGT isoforms, UGT1As, UGT1A1, UGT1A9, UGT1A4 and UGT2B7, to determine the alterations of metabolic activity, protein and gene expression of UGTs in HBV-positive HCC. The corresponding specific substrates such as genistein, SN-38, tamoxifen, propofol and zidovudine were utilized respectively in UGTs metabolic activity determination. Furthermore, the plausible mechanism responsible for UGTs alterations was addressed by analyzing the protein and gene expressions in tumor and the adjacent normal tissues in HBV-positive HCC. The results revealed that in the tumor human liver microsomes (HLMs), either V(max) (maximum reaction rate, R(max) for UGT1A1) or the clearance rates (V(max)/K(m), Clint) of UGT1A, UGT1A1, UGT1A4, UGT1A9 and UGT2B7 were significant lower than those of in the adjacent normal HLMs. Subsequently, the relative protein and gene expressions of these isoforms were notably decreased in most of tumor tissues comparing with the adjacent normal tissues. More interestingly, in tumor tissues, the metabolic activity reduction ratio of each UGT isoform was closely related to its protein reduction ratio, indicating that decreasing protein level would contribute to the reduced metabolic function of UGTs in HBV-positive HCC. In summary, our study firstly determined the alteration of UGT function in HBV-positive HCC patients, which

  3. An MHC-defined primate model reveals significant rejection of bone marrow after mixed-chimerism induction despite full MHC matching

    PubMed Central

    Larsen, Christian P.; Page, Andrew; Linzie, Kelly Hamby; Russell, Maria; Deane, Taylor; Stempora, Linda; Strobert, Elizabeth; Penedo, Maria Cecilia T.; Ward, Thea; Wiseman, Roger; O'Connor, David; Miller, Weston; Sen, Sharon; Singh, Karnail; Kean, Leslie S.

    2010-01-01

    In murine models, mixed hematopoietic chimerism-induction leads to robust immune tolerance. However, translation to primates and to patients has been difficult. In this study, we used a novel MHC-defined rhesus macaque model to examine the impact of MHC matching on the stability of costimulation blockade/sirolimus-mediated chimerism, and to probe possible mechanisms of bone marrow rejection after non-myeloablative transplant. Using busulfan-based pre-transplant preparation and maintenance immunosuppression with sirolimus, as well as CD28- and CD154-blockade, all recipients demonstrated donor engraftment after transplant. However, the mixed-chimerism that resulted was compartmentalized, with recipients demonstrating significantly higher whole blood chimerism compared to T cell chimerism Thus, the vast majority of T cells present post-transplant were recipient- rather than donor-derived. Surprisingly, even in MHC-matched transplants, rejection of donor hematopoiesis predominated after immunosuppression withdrawal. Weaning of immunosuppression was associated with a surge of antigen-experienced T cells, and transplant rejection was associated with the acquisition of donor-directed T cell alloreactivity. These results suggest that a reservoir of alloreactive cells was present despite prior costimulation blockade and sirolimus, and that the post-immunosuppression lymphocytic rebound may have lead to a phenotypic shift in these recipient T cells towards an activated, antigen experienced phenotype, and ultimately, to transplant rejection. PMID:20849552

  4. [Plasminogen activator system and its clinical significance in patients with a malignant disease].

    PubMed

    Halámková, J; Kiss, I; Tomásek, J; Pavlovský, Z; Cech, Z; Tutek, S; Hanáková, L; Moulis, M; Penka, M

    2011-01-01

    Urokinase (uPA) plays an essential role in the activation of plasminogen to plasmin, a serine protease participating in the activation of matrixmetaloproteinases, latent elastases, growth factors and cytokines involved in the degradation of extracellular matrix elements. Together with its receptor (uPAR), tissue activator (tPA) and urokinase inhibitors (PAI-1, PAI-2, PAI-3 and protease nexin), it forms the plasminogen activator system (PAS), a component of metastatic cascade importantly contributing to the invasive growth and angiogenesis of malignant tumours. Plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 inhibits uPA-dependent invasiveness of some cancer cell lines. The vitronectin-PAI-1 complex inhibits migration of smooth muscle cells by binding alpha(v)beta3 integrin to vitronectin. PAI-1 or its deficiency interferes with signalling pathways such as PI3K/Akt and JAK/STAT and it is included in the processes of maintaining the integrity of the endothelial cells and thereby regulation of cell death. PAI-1 affects apoptosis by reducing cell adhesion and functioning of intracellular signalling pathways. The individual components of PAS undoubtedly play an important role in angiogenesis and metastasising of malignant tumours. In the near future, results of published studies with various types of cancer could be reflected in diagnostic and therapeutic algorithms and, at the same time, could serve as the goal for targeted therapies. PMID:22257230

  5. 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.

  6. Metabolomics reveal 1-palmitoyl lysophosphatidylcholine production by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Haruya; Goto, Tsuyoshi; Yamazaki, Yota; Kamakari, Kosuke; Hirata, Mariko; Suzuki, Hideyuki; Shibata, Daisuke; Nakata, Rieko; Inoue, Hiroyasu; Takahashi, Nobuyuki; Kawada, Teruo

    2015-02-01

    PPARα is well known as a master regulator of lipid metabolism. PPARα activation enhances fatty acid oxidation and decreases the levels of circulating and cellular lipids in obese diabetic patients. Although PPARα target genes are widely known, little is known about the alteration of plasma and liver metabolites during PPARα activation. Here, we report that metabolome analysis-implicated upregulation of many plasma lysoGP species during bezafibrate (PPARα agonist) treatment. In particular, 1-palmitoyl lysophosphatidylcholine [LPC(16:0)] is increased by bezafibrate treatment in both plasma and liver. In mouse primary hepatocytes, the secretion of LPC(16:0) increased on PPARα activation, and this effect was attenuated by PPARα antagonist treatment. We demonstrated that Pla2g7 gene expression levels in the murine hepatocytes were increased by PPARα activation, and the secretion of LPC(16:0) was suppressed by Pla2g7 siRNA treatment. Interestingly, LPC(16:0) activates PPARα and induces the expression of PPARα target genes in hepatocytes. Furthermore, we showed that LPC(16:0) has the ability to recover glucose uptake in adipocytes induced insulin resistance. These results reveal that LPC(16:0) is induced by PPARα activation in hepatocytes; LPC(16:0) contributes to the upregulation of PPARα target genes in hepatocytes and the recovery of glucose uptake in insulin-resistant adipocytes. PMID:25510248

  7. Structural snapshots reveal distinct mechanisms of procaspase-3 and -7 activation

    PubMed Central

    Thomsen, Nathan D.; Koerber, James T.; Wells, James A.

    2013-01-01

    Procaspase-3 (P3) and procaspase-7 (P7) are activated through proteolytic maturation to form caspase-3 (C3) and caspase-7 (C7), respectively, which serve overlapping but nonredundant roles as the executioners of apoptosis in humans. However, it is unclear if differences in P3 and P7 maturation mechanisms underlie their unique biological functions, as the structure of P3 remains unknown. Here, we report structures of P3 in a catalytically inactive conformation, structures of P3 and P7 bound to covalent peptide inhibitors that reveal the active conformation of the zymogens, and the structure of a partially matured C7:P7 heterodimer. Along with a biochemical analysis, we show that P3 is catalytically inactive and matures through a symmetric all-or-nothing process. In contrast, P7 contains latent catalytic activity and matures through an asymmetric and tiered mechanism, suggesting a lower threshold for activation. Finally, we use our structures to design a selection strategy for conformation specific antibody fragments that stimulate procaspase activity, showing that executioner procaspase conformational equilibrium can be rationally modulated. Our studies provide a structural framework that may help to explain the unique roles of these important proapoptotic enzymes, and suggest general strategies for the discovery of proenzyme activators. PMID:23650375

  8. Metabolomics reveal 1-palmitoyl lysophosphatidylcholine production by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α[S

    PubMed Central

    Takahashi, Haruya; Goto, Tsuyoshi; Yamazaki, Yota; Kamakari, Kosuke; Hirata, Mariko; Suzuki, Hideyuki; Shibata, Daisuke; Nakata, Rieko; Inoue, Hiroyasu; Takahashi, Nobuyuki; Kawada, Teruo

    2015-01-01

    PPARα is well known as a master regulator of lipid metabolism. PPARα activation enhances fatty acid oxidation and decreases the levels of circulating and cellular lipids in obese diabetic patients. Although PPARα target genes are widely known, little is known about the alteration of plasma and liver metabolites during PPARα activation. Here, we report that metabolome analysis-implicated upregulation of many plasma lysoGP species during bezafibrate (PPARα agonist) treatment. In particular, 1-palmitoyl lysophosphatidylcholine [LPC(16:0)] is increased by bezaf­ibrate treatment in both plasma and liver. In mouse primary hepatocytes, the secretion of LPC(16:0) increased on PPARα activation, and this effect was attenuated by PPARα antagonist treatment. We demonstrated that Pla2g7 gene expression levels in the murine hepatocytes were increased by PPARα activation, and the secretion of LPC(16:0) was suppressed by Pla2g7 siRNA treatment. Interestingly, LPC(16:0) activates PPARα and induces the expression of PPARα target genes in hepatocytes. Furthermore, we showed that LPC(16:0) has the ability to recover glucose uptake in adipocytes induced insulin resistance. These results reveal that LPC(16:0) is induced by PPARα activation in hepatocytes; LPC(16:0) contributes to the upregulation of PPARα target genes in hepatocytes and the recovery of glucose uptake in insulin-resistant adipocytes. PMID:25510248

  9. 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.

  10. Phenotype Specific Analyses Reveal Distinct Regulatory Mechanism for Chronically Activated p53

    PubMed Central

    Cairns, Jonathan M.; Menon, Suraj; Pérez-Mancera, Pedro A.; Tomimatsu, Kosuke; Bermejo-Rodriguez, Camino; Ito, Yoko; Chandra, Tamir; Narita, Masako; Lyons, Scott K.; Lynch, Andy G.; Kimura, Hiroshi; Ohbayashi, Tetsuya; Tavaré, Simon; Narita, Masashi

    2015-01-01

    The downstream functions of the DNA binding tumor suppressor p53 vary depending on the cellular context, and persistent p53 activation has recently been implicated in tumor suppression and senescence. However, genome-wide information about p53-target gene regulation has been derived mostly from acute genotoxic conditions. Using ChIP-seq and expression data, we have found distinct p53 binding profiles between acutely activated (through DNA damage) and chronically activated (in senescent or pro-apoptotic conditions) p53. Compared to the classical ‘acute’ p53 binding profile, ‘chronic’ p53 peaks were closely associated with CpG-islands. Furthermore, the chronic CpG-island binding of p53 conferred distinct expression patterns between senescent and pro-apoptotic conditions. Using the p53 targets seen in the chronic conditions together with external high-throughput datasets, we have built p53 networks that revealed extensive self-regulatory ‘p53 hubs’ where p53 and many p53 targets can physically interact with each other. Integrating these results with public clinical datasets identified the cancer-associated lipogenic enzyme, SCD, which we found to be directly repressed by p53 through the CpG-island promoter, providing a mechanistic link between p53 and the ‘lipogenic phenotype’, a hallmark of cancer. Our data reveal distinct phenotype associations of chronic p53 targets that underlie specific gene regulatory mechanisms. PMID:25790137

  11. Knockin of Cre Gene at Ins2 Locus Reveals No Cre Activity in Mouse Hypothalamic Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Li, Ling; Gao, Lin; Wang, Kejia; Ma, Xianhua; Chang, Xusheng; Shi, Jian-Hui; Zhang, Ye; Yin, Kai; Liu, Zhimin; Shi, Yuguang; Xie, Zhifang; Zhang, Weiping J.

    2016-01-01

    The recombination efficiency and cell specificity of Cre driver lines are critical for exploring pancreatic β cell biology with the Cre/LoxP approach. Some commonly used Cre lines are based on the short Ins2 promoter fragment and show recombination activity in hypothalamic neurons; however, whether this stems from endogenous Ins2 promoter activity remains controversial. In this study, we generated Ins2-Cre knockin mice with a targeted insertion of IRES-Cre at the Ins2 locus and demonstrated with a cell lineage tracing study that the Ins2 gene is not transcriptionally active in the hypothalamus. The Ins2-Cre driver line displayed robust Cre expression and activity in pancreatic β cells without significant alterations in insulin expression. In the brain, Cre activity was mainly restricted to the choroid plexus, without significant recombination detected in the hippocampus or hypothalamus by the LacZ or fluorescent tdTomato reporters. Furthermore, Ins2-Cre mice exhibited normal glucose tolerance and insulin secretion upon glucose stimulation in vivo. In conclusion, this Ins2-Cre driver line allowed high-fidelity detection of endogenous Ins2 promoter activity in vivo, and the negative activity in the hypothalamus demonstrated that this system is a promising alternative tool for studying β cell biology. PMID:26830324

  12. 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., Jr.; 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.

  13. 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…

  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. 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…

  16. Adaptability and selectivity of human peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) pan agonists revealed from crystal structures

    SciTech Connect

    Oyama, Takuji; Toyota, Kenji; Waku, Tsuyoshi; Hirakawa, Yuko; Nagasawa, Naoko; Kasuga, Jun-ichi; Hashimoto, Yuichi; Miyachi, Hiroyuki; Morikawa, Kosuke

    2009-08-01

    The structures of the ligand-binding domains (LBDs) of human peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARα, PPARγ and PPARδ) in complexes with a pan agonist, an α/δ dual agonist and a PPARδ-specific agonist were determined. The results explain how each ligand is recognized by the PPAR LBDs at an atomic level. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) belong to the nuclear hormone receptor family, which is defined as transcriptional factors that are activated by the binding of ligands to their ligand-binding domains (LBDs). Although the three PPAR subtypes display different tissue distribution patterns and distinct pharmacological profiles, they all are essentially related to fatty-acid and glucose metabolism. Since the PPARs share similar three-dimensional structures within the LBDs, synthetic ligands which simultaneously activate two or all of the PPARs could be potent candidates in terms of drugs for the treatment of abnormal metabolic homeostasis. The structures of several PPAR LBDs were determined in complex with synthetic ligands, derivatives of 3-(4-alkoxyphenyl)propanoic acid, which exhibit unique agonistic activities. The PPARα and PPARγ LBDs were complexed with the same pan agonist, TIPP-703, which activates all three PPARs and their crystal structures were determined. The two LBD–ligand complex structures revealed how the pan agonist is adapted to the similar, but significantly different, ligand-binding pockets of the PPARs. The structures of the PPARδ LBD in complex with an α/δ-selective ligand, TIPP-401, and with a related δ-specific ligand, TIPP-204, were also determined. The comparison between the two PPARδ complexes revealed how each ligand exhibits either a ‘dual selective’ or ‘single specific’ binding mode.

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

    Klarenbeek, Alex; El Mazouari, Khalil; 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

  19. Maturation processes in automatic change detection as revealed by event-related brain potentials and dipole source localization: significance for adult AD/HD.

    PubMed

    Wild-Wall, Nele; Oades, Robert D; Juran, Stephanie A

    2005-10-01

    Mismatch negativity (MMN) is an event-related potential reflecting automatic attention-related information processing marking the detection of auditory change. The bilateral scalp distribution develops by 14 years of age, and is elicited with adult latencies by 17 years. But consistent with reports of continued brain maturation after adolescence, we show here that features of the temporal and frontal lobe dipole sources also continue to develop in the third decade of life. This has consequences for studies of the developmental course of MMN anomalies, from childhood into adulthood, in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Two groups of healthy subjects with mean ages of 17 and 30 years were presented with a 3-tone auditory oddball. The duration-deviant MMN was recorded during attention to a visual discrimination (auditory-passive condition) and an active auditory discrimination. MMN amplitudes were smaller in the older subjects and the MMN lasted longer over the right hemisphere. Latencies and moments of the four dipoles in the temporal and frontal lobes did not distinguish the two subject-groups. But both temporal lobe sources were located significantly more ventrally and further left in the young adult than in the adolescent subjects. The left cingular source moved posteriorly and the right inferior frontal source moved antero-medially in the older subjects. Brain development in the third decade may cause the two frontal sources to move apart on the rostro-caudal axis but the temporal lobe sources to move left on the lateral and down on the dorsoventral axes. Thus special care is necessary in interpreting putative dysfunctional neurobiological changes in developmental attention-deficit disorders where as-yet-unspecified sub-groups may show a late developmental lag, partial lag, or no lag at all, associated with other impairments. PMID:15922470

  20. Real-time DNA binding measurements of the ETS1 recombinant oncoproteins reveal significant kinetic differences between the p42 and p51 isoforms.

    PubMed Central

    Fisher, R. J.; Fivash, M.; Casas-Finet, J.; Erickson, J. W.; Kondoh, A.; Bladen, S. V.; Fisher, C.; Watson, D. K.; Papas, T.

    1994-01-01

    The sequence-specific DNA binding of recombinant p42 and p51 ETS1 oncoprotein was examined quantitatively to determine whether the loss of the Exon VII phosphorylation domain in p42 ETS1 or the phosphorylation of expressed Exon VII in p51 ETS1 had an effect on DNA binding activity. The kinetics of sequence-specific DNA binding was measured using real-time changes in surface plasmon resonance with BIAcore (registered trademark, Pharmacia Biosensor) technology. The real-time binding of p42 and p51 ETS1 displayed significant differences in kinetic behavior. p51 ETS1 is characterized by a fast initial binding and conversion to a stable complex, whereas p42 ETS1 exhibits a slow initial binding and conversion to a stable complex. All of the p51 ETS1 DNA binding states are characterized by rapid turnover, whereas the p42 ETS1 DNA binding states are 4-20 times more stable. A model describing these kinetic steps is presented. Stoichiometric titrations of either p42 or p51 ETS1 with specific oligonucleotides show 1:1 complex formation. The DNA sequence specificity of the p42 and p51 ETS1 as determined by mutational analysis was similar. The in vitro phosphorylation of p51 ETS1 by CAM kinase II obliterates its binding to specific DNA, suggesting that the regulation of p51 ETS1 sequence-specific DNA binding occurs through phosphorylation by a calcium-dependent second messenger. The p42 ETS1 lacks this regulatory domain (Exon VII), and binding to its specific DNA sequence is not sensitive to calcium signaling. PMID:8003962

  1. Cofactor bypass variants reveal a conformational control mechanism governing cell wall polymerase activity.

    PubMed

    Markovski, Monica; Bohrhunter, Jessica L; Lupoli, Tania J; Uehara, Tsuyoshi; Walker, Suzanne; Kahne, Daniel E; Bernhardt, Thomas G

    2016-04-26

    To fortify their cytoplasmic membrane and protect it from osmotic rupture, most bacteria surround themselves with a peptidoglycan (PG) exoskeleton synthesized by the penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs). As their name implies, these proteins are the targets of penicillin and related antibiotics. We and others have shown that the PG synthases PBP1b and PBP1a of Escherichia coli require the outer membrane lipoproteins LpoA and LpoB, respectively, for their in vivo function. Although it has been demonstrated that LpoB activates the PG polymerization activity of PBP1b in vitro, the mechanism of activation and its physiological relevance have remained unclear. We therefore selected for variants of PBP1b (PBP1b*) that bypass the LpoB requirement for in vivo function, reasoning that they would shed light on LpoB function and its activation mechanism. Several of these PBP1b variants were isolated and displayed elevated polymerization activity in vitro, indicating that the activation of glycan polymer growth is indeed one of the relevant functions of LpoB in vivo. Moreover, the location of amino acid substitutions causing the bypass phenotype on the PBP1b structure support a model in which polymerization activation proceeds via the induction of a conformational change in PBP1b initiated by LpoB binding to its UB2H domain, followed by its transmission to the glycosyl transferase active site. Finally, phenotypic analysis of strains carrying a PBP1b* variant revealed that the PBP1b-LpoB complex is most likely not providing an important physical link between the inner and outer membranes at the division site, as has been previously proposed. PMID:27071112

  2. Dynamic Transcription Factor Activity Profiles Reveal Key Regulatory Interactions During Megakaryocytic and Erythroid Differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Duncan, Mark T.; Shin, Seungjin; Wu, Jia J.; Mays, Zachary; Weng, Stanley; Bagheri, Neda; Miller, William M.; Shea, Lonnie D.

    2014-01-01

    The directed differentiation toward erythroid (E) or megakaryocytic (MK) lineages by the MK-E progenitor (MEP) could enhance the ex vivo generation of red blood cells and platelets for therapeutic transfusions. The lineage choice at the MEP bifurcation is controlled in large part by activity within the intracellular signal transduction network, the output of which determines the activity of transcription factors (TFs) and ultimately gene expression. Although many TFs have been implicated, E or MK differentiation is a complex process requiring multiple days, and the dynamics of TF activities during commitment and terminal maturation are relatively unexplored. Herein, we applied a living cell array for the large-scale, dynamic quantification of TF activities during MEP bifurcation. A panel of hematopoietic TFs (GATA-1, GATA-2, SCL/TAL1, FLI-1, NF-E2, PU.1, c-Myb) was characterized during E and MK differentiation of bipotent K562 cells. Dynamic TF activity profiles associated with differentiation towards each lineage were identified, and validated with previous reports. From these activity profiles, we show that GATA-1 is an important hub during early hemin- and PMA-induced differentiation, and reveal several characteristic TF interactions for E and MK differentiation that confirm regulatory mechanisms documented in the literature. Additionally, we highlight several novel TF interactions at various stages of E and MK differentiation. Furthermore, we investigated the mechanism by which nicotinamide (NIC) promoted terminal MK maturation using an MK-committed cell line, CHRF-288-11 (CHRF). Concomitant with its enhancement of ploidy, NIC strongly enhanced the activity of three TFs with known involvement in terminal MK maturation: FLI-1, NF-E2, and p53. Dynamic profiling of TF activity represents a novel tool to complement traditional assays focused on mRNA and protein expression levels to understand progenitor cell differentiation. PMID:24853077

  3. Dynamic transcription factor activity profiles reveal key regulatory interactions during megakaryocytic and erythroid differentiation.

    PubMed

    Duncan, Mark T; Shin, Seungjin; Wu, Jia J; Mays, Zachary; Weng, Stanley; Bagheri, Neda; Miller, William M; Shea, Lonnie D

    2014-10-01

    The directed differentiation toward erythroid (E) or megakaryocytic (MK) lineages by the MK-E progenitor (MEP) could enhance the ex vivo generation of red blood cells and platelets for therapeutic transfusions. The lineage choice at the MEP bifurcation is controlled in large part by activity within the intracellular signal transduction network, the output of which determines the activity of transcription factors (TFs) and ultimately gene expression. Although many TFs have been implicated, E or MK differentiation is a complex process requiring multiple days, and the dynamics of TF activities during commitment and terminal maturation are relatively unexplored. Herein, we applied a living cell array for the large-scale, dynamic quantification of TF activities during MEP bifurcation. A panel of hematopoietic TFs (GATA-1, GATA-2, SCL/TAL1, FLI-1, NF-E2, PU.1, c-Myb) was characterized during E and MK differentiation of bipotent K562 cells. Dynamic TF activity profiles associated with differentiation towards each lineage were identified, and validated with previous reports. From these activity profiles, we show that GATA-1 is an important hub during early hemin- and PMA-induced differentiation, and reveal several characteristic TF interactions for E and MK differentiation that confirm regulatory mechanisms documented in the literature. Additionally, we highlight several novel TF interactions at various stages of E and MK differentiation. Furthermore, we investigated the mechanism by which nicotinamide (NIC) promoted terminal MK maturation using an MK-committed cell line, CHRF-288-11 (CHRF). Concomitant with its enhancement of ploidy, NIC strongly enhanced the activity of three TFs with known involvement in terminal MK maturation: FLI-1, NF-E2, and p53. Dynamic profiling of TF activity represents a novel tool to complement traditional assays focused on mRNA and protein expression levels to understand progenitor cell differentiation. PMID:24853077

  4. 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

  5. Active sensing associated with spatial learning reveals memory-based attention in an electric fish.

    PubMed

    Jun, James J; Longtin, André; Maler, Leonard

    2016-05-01

    Active sensing behaviors reveal what an animal is attending to and how it changes with learning. Gymnotus sp, a gymnotiform weakly electric fish, generates an electric organ discharge (EOD) as discrete pulses to actively sense its surroundings. We monitored freely behaving gymnotid fish in a large dark "maze" and extracted their trajectories and EOD pulse pattern and rate while they learned to find food with electrically detectable landmarks as cues. After training, they more rapidly found food using shorter, more stereotyped trajectories and spent more time near the food location. We observed three forms of active sensing: sustained high EOD rates per unit distance (sampling density), transient large increases in EOD rate (E-scans) and stereotyped scanning movements (B-scans) were initially strong at landmarks and food, but, after learning, intensified only at the food location. During probe (no food) trials, after learning, the fish's search area and intense active sampling was still centered on the missing food location, but now also increased near landmarks. We hypothesize that active sensing is a behavioral manifestation of attention and essential for spatial learning; the fish use spatial memory of landmarks and path integration to reach the expected food location and confine their attention to this region. PMID:26961107

  6. Significantly enhancing supercapacitive performance of nitrogen-doped graphene nanosheet electrodes by phosphoric acid activation.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ping; He, Haili; Xu, Xiaolong; Jin, Yongdong

    2014-02-12

    In this work, we present a new method to synthesize the phosphorus, nitrogen contained graphene nanosheets, which uses dicyandiamide to prevent the aggregation of graphene oxide and act as the nitrogen precursor, and phosphoric acid (H3PO4) as the activation reagent. We have found that through the H3PO4 activation, the samples exhibit the remarkably enhanced supercapacitive performance, and depending on the amount of H3PO4 introduced, the specific capacitance of the samples is gradually increased from 7.6 to 244.6 F g(-1). Meanwhile, the samples also exhibit the good rate capability and excellent stability (up to 10 000 cycles). Through the transmission electron microscopy, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and Brunauer-Emmett-Teller analyses, H3PO4 treatment induced large pore volume and phosphorus related function groups in the product are assumed to response for the enhancement. PMID:24456232

  7. Shortened cecropin A-melittin hybrids. Significant size reduction retains potent antibiotic activity.

    PubMed

    Andreu, D; Ubach, J; Boman, A; Wåhlin, B; Wade, D; Merrifield, R B; Boman, H G

    1992-01-20

    We have earlier reported two 26-residue antibacterial peptides made up from different segments of cecropin A (CA) and melittin (M). We now report a substantial reduction in size at the C-terminal section of the highly active hybrid CA(1-8)M(1-18), leading to a series of 20-, 18- and 15-residue analogs with antibiotic properties similar to the larger molecule. In particular, the 15-residue hybrids CA(1-7)M(2-9), CA(1-7)M(4-11) and CA(1-7)M(5-12) are the shortest cecropin-based peptide antibiotics described so far, with antibacterial activity and spectra similar or better than cecropin A and a 60% reduction in size. Their reduced size and highly alpha-helical structure require an alternative mechanism for their interaction with bacterial membranes. PMID:1733777

  8. Primary School Children's Health-Enhancing Physical Activity Patterns: The School as a Significant Environment?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fairclough, S. J.; Butcher, Z. H.; Stratton, G.

    2008-01-01

    The moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) of 70 children (age 8.6 years; 40 boys) was measured and gender and age differences were compared. Boys spent 28 minutes per day more than girls in MVPA (p=0.02, d=0.54), and younger children accumulated 24 minutes more MVPA than older peers (p=0.0001, d=0.91). Similar gender and age-related trends…

  9. 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

  10. 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. PMID:27366356

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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. PMID:27069488

  14. Posterior parietal cortex activity reflects the significance of others' actions during natural viewing.

    PubMed

    Salmi, Juha; Glerean, Enrico; Jääskeläinen, Iiro P; Lahnakoski, Juha M; Kettunen, Juho; Lampinen, Jouko; Tikka, Pia; Sams, Mikko

    2014-09-01

    The posterior parietal cortex (PPC) has been associated with multiple stimulus-driven (e.g., processing stimulus movements, providing visual signals for the motor system), goal-directed (e.g., directing visual attention to a target, processing behavioral priority of intentions), and action-related functions in previous studies with non-naturalistic paradigms. Here, we examined how these functions reflect PPC activity during natural viewing. Fourteen healthy volunteers watched a re-edited movie during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Participants separately annotated behavioral priority (accounting for percepts, thoughts, and emotions) they had experienced during movie episodes. Movements in the movie were quantified with computer vision and eye movements were recorded from a separate group of subjects. Our results show that while overlapping dorsomedial PPC areas respond to episodes with multiple types of stimulus content, ventrolateral PPC areas exhibit enhanced activity when viewing goal-directed human hand actions. Furthermore, PPC activity related to viewing goal-directed human hand actions was more accurately explained by behavioral priority than by movements of the stimulus or eye movements. Taken together, our results suggest that PPC participates in perception of goal-directed human hand actions, supporting the view that PPC has a special role in providing visual signals for the motor system ("how"), in addition to processing visual spatial movements ("where"). PMID:24706557

  15. A caspase active site probe reveals high fractional inhibition needed to block DNA fragmentation.

    PubMed

    Méthot, Nathalie; Vaillancourt, John P; Huang, JingQi; Colucci, John; Han, Yongxin; Ménard, Stéphane; Zamboni, Robert; Toulmond, Sylvie; Nicholson, Donald W; Roy, Sophie

    2004-07-01

    Apoptotic markers consist of either caspase substrate cleavage products or phenotypic changes that manifest themselves as a consequence of caspase-mediated substrate cleavage. We have shown recently that pharmacological inhibitors of caspase activity prevent the appearance of two such apoptotic manifestations, alphaII-spectrin cleavage and DNA fragmentation, but that blockade of the latter required a significantly higher concentration of inhibitor. We investigated this phenomenon through the use of a novel radiolabeled caspase inhibitor, [(125)I]M808, which acts as a caspase active site probe. [(125)I]M808 bound to active caspases irreversibly and with high sensitivity in apoptotic cell extracts, in tissue extracts from several commonly used animal models of cellular injury, and in living cells. Moreover, [(125)I]M808 detected active caspases in septic mice when injected intravenously. Using this caspase probe, an active site occupancy assay was developed and used to measure the fractional inhibition required to block apoptosis-induced DNA fragmentation. In thymocytes, occupancy of up to 40% of caspase active sites had no effect on DNA fragmentation, whereas inhibition of half of the DNA cleaving activity required between 65 and 75% of active site occupancy. These results suggest that a high and persistent fractional inhibition will be required for successful caspase inhibition-based therapies. PMID:15067000

  16. Cloud-based simulations on Google Exacycle reveal ligand-modulation of GPCR activation pathways

    PubMed Central

    Bowman, Gregory R.; Konerding, David E.; Belov, Dan; Altman, Russ B.; Pande, Vijay S.

    2014-01-01

    Simulations can provide tremendous insight into atomistic details of biological mechanisms, but micro- to milliseconds timescales are historically only accessible on dedicated supercomputers. We demonstrate that cloud computing is a viable alternative, bringing long-timescale processes within reach of a broader community. We used Google's Exacycle cloud computing platform to simulate 2 milliseconds of dynamics of the β2 adrenergic receptor — a major drug target G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR). Markov state models aggregate independent simulations into a single statistical model that is validated by previous computational and experimental results. Moreover, our models provide an atomistic description of the activation of a GPCR, revealing multiple activation pathways. Agonists and inverse agonists interact differentially with these pathways, with profound implications for drug design PMID:24345941

  17. 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. PMID:26000486

  18. Cloud-based simulations on Google Exacycle reveal ligand modulation of GPCR activation pathways

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohlhoff, Kai J.; Shukla, Diwakar; Lawrenz, Morgan; Bowman, Gregory R.; Konerding, David E.; Belov, Dan; Altman, Russ B.; Pande, Vijay S.

    2014-01-01

    Simulations can provide tremendous insight into the atomistic details of biological mechanisms, but micro- to millisecond timescales are historically only accessible on dedicated supercomputers. We demonstrate that cloud computing is a viable alternative that brings long-timescale processes within reach of a broader community. We used Google's Exacycle cloud-computing platform to simulate two milliseconds of dynamics of a major drug target, the G-protein-coupled receptor β2AR. Markov state models aggregate independent simulations into a single statistical model that is validated by previous computational and experimental results. Moreover, our models provide an atomistic description of the activation of a G-protein-coupled receptor and reveal multiple activation pathways. Agonists and inverse agonists interact differentially with these pathways, with profound implications for drug design.

  19. TAF4 Inactivation Reveals the 3 Dimensional Growth Promoting Activities of Collagen 6A3

    PubMed Central

    Duluc, Isabelle; Vicaire, Serge; Philipps, Muriel; Freund, Jean-Noel; Davidson, Irwin

    2014-01-01

    Collagen 6A3 (Col6a3), a component of extracellular matrix, is often up-regulated in tumours and is believed to play a pro-oncogenic role. However the mechanisms of its tumorigenic activity are poorly understood. We show here that Col6a3 is highly expressed in densely growing mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs). In MEFs where the TAF4 subunit of general transcription factor IID (TFIID) has been inactivated, elevated Col6a3 expression prevents contact inhibition promoting their 3 dimensional growth as foci and fibrospheres. Analyses of gene expression in densely growing Taf4−/− MEFs revealed repression of the Hippo pathway and activation of Wnt signalling. The Hippo activator Kibra/Wwc1 is repressed under dense conditions in Taf4−/− MEFs, leading to nuclear accumulation of the proliferation factor YAP1 in the cells forming 3D foci. At the same time, Wnt9a is activated and the Sfrp2 antagonist of Wnt signalling is repressed. Surprisingly, treatment of Taf4−/− MEFs with all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) restores contact inhibition suppressing 3D growth. ATRA represses Col6a3 expression independently of TAF4 expression and Col6a3 silencing is sufficient to restore contact inhibition in Taf4−/− MEFs and to suppress 3D growth by reactivating Kibra expression to induce Hippo signalling and by inducing Sfrp2 expression to antagonize Wnt signalling. All together, these results reveal a critical role for Col6a3 in regulating both Hippo and Wnt signalling to promote 3D growth, and show that the TFIID subunit TAF4 is essential to restrain the growth promoting properties of Col6a3. Our data provide new insight into the role of extra cellular matrix components in regulating cell growth. PMID:24498316

  20. 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. PMID:27376476

  1. 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.

  2. Active-site mobility revealed by the crystal structure of arylmalonate decarboxylase from Bordetella bronchiseptica.

    PubMed

    Kuettner, E Bartholomeus; Keim, Antje; Kircher, Markus; Rosmus, Susann; Sträter, Norbert

    2008-03-21

    Arylmalonate decarboxylase (AMDase) from Bordetella bronchiseptica catalyzes the enantioselective decarboxylation of arylmethylmalonates without the need for an organic cofactor or metal ion. The decarboxylation reaction is of interest for the synthesis of fine chemicals. As basis for an analysis of the catalytic mechanism of AMDase and for a rational enzyme design, we determined the X-ray structure of the enzyme up to 1.9 A resolution. Like the distantly related aspartate or glutamate racemases, AMDase has an aspartate transcarbamoylase fold consisting of two alpha/beta domains related by a pseudo dyad. However, the domain orientation of AMDase differs by about 30 degrees from that of the glutamate racemases, and also significant differences in active-site structures are observed. In the crystals, four independent subunits showing different conformations of active-site loops are present. This finding is likely to reflect the active-site mobility necessary for catalytic activity. PMID:18258259

  3. Mechanistic studies of anticancer aptamer AS1411 reveal a novel role for nucleolin in regulating Rac1 activation.

    PubMed

    Reyes-Reyes, E Merit; Šalipur, Francesca R; Shams, Mitra; Forsthoefel, Matthew K; Bates, Paula J

    2015-08-01

    AS1411 is a G-rich quadruplex-forming oligodeoxynucleotide that binds specifically to nucleolin, a protein found on the surface and in the cytoplasm of most malignant cells but absent from the surface/cytoplasm of most normal cells. AS1411 has shown promising clinical activity and is being widely used as a tumor-targeting agent, but its mechanism of action is not fully understood. Previously, we showed that AS1411 is taken up in cancer cells by macropinocytosis (fluid phase endocytosis) and subsequently stimulates further macropinocytosis by a nucleolin-dependent mechanism. In the current study, we have investigated the significance and molecular mechanisms of AS1411-induced macropinocytosis. Our results indicate that the antiproliferative activity of AS1411 in various cell lines correlated with its capacity to stimulate macropinocytosis. In DU145 prostate cancer cells, AS1411 induced activation of EGFR, Akt, p38, and Rac1. Activation of Akt and p38 were not critical for AS1411 activity because Akt activation was not observed in all AS1411-responsive cell lines and knockdown of p38 had no effect on AS1411's ability to inhibit proliferation. On the other hand, activation of EGFR and Rac1 appeared to play a role in AS1411 activity in all cancer cell lines examined (DU145, MDA-MB-468, A549, LNCaP) and their inhibition significantly reduced AS1411-mediated macropinocytosis and AS1411 antiproliferative activity. Interestingly, downregulation of nucleolin expression by siRNA also produced a substantial increase in activated Rac1, revealing a previously unknown role for nucleolin as a negative regulator of Rac1 activation. Our results are consistent with a model whereby AS1411 binding to nucleolin leads to sustained activation of Rac1 and causes methuosis, a novel type of nonapoptotic cell death characterized by hyperstimulation of macropinocytosis. We speculate that methuosis is a tumor/metastasis suppressor mechanism that opposes the malignant functions of Rac1 and that

  4. The significance of lipid composition for membrane activity: new concepts and ways of assessing function.

    PubMed

    Vigh, Làszló; Escribá, Pablo V; Sonnleitner, Alois; Sonnleitner, Max; Piotto, Stefano; Maresca, Bruno; Horváth, Ibolya; Harwood, John L

    2005-09-01

    In the last decade or so, it has been realised that membranes do not just have a lipid-bilayer structure in which proteins are embedded or with which they associate. Structures are dynamic and contain areas of heterogeneity which are vital for their formation. In this review, we discuss some of the ways in which these dynamic and heterogeneous structures have implications during stress and in relation to certain human diseases. A particular stress is that of temperature which may instigate adaptation in poikilotherms or appropriate defensive responses during fever in mammals. Recent data emphasise the role of membranes in sensing temperature changes and in controlling a regulatory loop with chaperone proteins. This loop seems to need the existence of specific membrane microdomains and also includes association of chaperone (heat stress) proteins with the membrane. The role of microdomains is then discussed further in relation to various human pathologies such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. The concept of modifying membrane lipids (lipid therapy) as a means for treating such pathologies is then introduced. Examples are given when such methods have been shown to have benefit. In order to study membrane microheterogeneity in detail and to elucidate possible molecular mechanisms that account for alteration in membrane function, new methods are needed. In the second part of the review, we discuss ultra-sensitive and ultra-resolution imaging techniques. These include atomic force microscopy, single particle tracking, single particle tracing and various modern fluorescence methods. Finally, we deal with computing simulation of membrane systems. Such methods include coarse-grain techniques and Monte Carlo which offer further advances into molecular dynamics. As computational methods advance they will have more application by revealing the very subtle interactions that take place between the lipid and protein components of membranes - and

  5. Functional activity maps based on significance measures and Independent Component Analysis.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Murcia, F J; Górriz, J M; Ramírez, J; Puntonet, C G; Illán, I A

    2013-07-01

    The use of functional imaging has been proven very helpful for the process of diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's Disease (AD). In many cases, the analysis of these images is performed by manual reorientation and visual interpretation. Therefore, new statistical techniques to perform a more quantitative analysis are needed. In this work, a new statistical approximation to the analysis of functional images, based on significance measures and Independent Component Analysis (ICA) is presented. After the images preprocessing, voxels that allow better separation of the two classes are extracted, using significance measures such as the Mann-Whitney-Wilcoxon U-Test (MWW) and Relative Entropy (RE). After this feature selection step, the voxels vector is modelled by means of ICA, extracting a few independent components which will be used as an input to the classifier. Naive Bayes and Support Vector Machine (SVM) classifiers are used in this work. The proposed system has been applied to two different databases. A 96-subjects Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) database from the "Virgen de las Nieves" Hospital in Granada, Spain, and a 196-subjects Positron Emission Tomography (PET) database from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI). Values of accuracy up to 96.9% and 91.3% for SPECT and PET databases are achieved by the proposed system, which has yielded many benefits over methods proposed on recent works. PMID:23660005

  6. Microfluidic Investigation Reveals Distinct Roles for Actin Cytoskeleton and Myosin II Activity in Capillary Leukocyte Trafficking

    PubMed Central

    Gabriele, Sylvain; Benoliel, Anne-Marie; Bongrand, Pierre; Théodoly, Olivier

    2009-01-01

    Circulating leukocyte sequestration in pulmonary capillaries is arguably the initiating event of lung injury in acute respiratory distress syndrome. We present a microfluidic investigation of the roles of actin organization and myosin II activity during the different stages of leukocyte trafficking through narrow capillaries (entry, transit and shape relaxation) using specific drugs (latrunculin A, jasplakinolide, and blebbistatin). The deformation rate during entry reveals that cell stiffness depends strongly on F-actin organization and hardly on myosin II activity, supporting a microfilament role in leukocyte sequestration. In the transit stage, cell friction is influenced by stiffness, demonstrating that the actin network is not completely broken after a forced entry into a capillary. Conversely, membrane unfolding was independent of leukocyte stiffness. The surface area of sequestered leukocytes increased by up to 160% in the absence of myosin II activity, showing the major role of molecular motors in microvilli wrinkling and zipping. Finally, cell shape relaxation was largely independent of both actin organization and myosin II activity, whereas a deformed state was required for normal trafficking through capillary segments. PMID:19450501

  7. 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. PMID:26814045

  8. Interdomain conformational changes in Akt activation revealed by chemical cross-linking and tandem mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Huang, Bill X; Kim, Hee-Yong

    2006-06-01

    Akt, a serine/threonine kinase, plays a critical role in cell survival. Upon growth factor receptor stimulation, cytosolic Akt is recruited to the plasma membrane by phospholipid binding and activated through phosphorylation at Thr(308) and Ser(473). Although crystal structures for the parts of Akt have been reported, neither the three-dimensional structure of the whole molecule nor sequential conformational changes during activation have been demonstrated. In this study, we demonstrated that Akt undergoes dramatic interdomain conformational changes during activation processes by probing the three-dimensional structure of full-length Akt in solution using chemical cross-linking and tandem mass spectrometry. The cross-linking results not only provided new structural information but also revealed distinctive spatial arrangements of individual domains in the Akt molecule in resting, membrane-interacted, phosphorylated, and substrate-bound states. Our data allowed a new model for stepwise interdomain conformational changes in Akt activation sequence, setting a stage for the further investigation on Akt-membrane, Akt-protein, and/or Akt-drug interactions in solution to understand molecular mechanisms involved in physiological and pathophysiological processes of cell survival. PMID:16531397

  9. Modest Activity of Pomalidomide in Patients with Myelofibrosis and Significant Anemia

    PubMed Central

    Daver, Naval; Shastri, Aditi; Kadia, Tapan; Quintas-Cardama, Alfonso; Jabbour, Elias; Konopleva, Marina; O’Brien, Susan; Pierce, Sherry; Zhou, Lingsha; Cortes, Jorge; Kantarjian, Hagop; Verstovsek, Srdan

    2014-01-01

    We evaluated single agent pomalidomide for myelofibrosis-associated anemia. First, 21 patients received pomalidomide 3.0mg/day on 21-day-on/7-day-off schedule. Due to poor tolerance the study was quickly suspended. Second, 29 patients received pomalidomide 0.5mg/day continuously. Three patients (10%) experienced clinical improvement in hemoglobin per International-Working-Group criteria (median time to response 1.6 months; median response duration 6.7 months). Ten patients were RBC-transfusion-dependent per Delphi criteria; 2 (20%) achieved RBC-transfusion-independence (time to response 0.9 months in both; response duration of 8.3 and 15 months). One grade 3/4 toxicity (neutropenia) occurred. Pomalidomide at low dose is well tolerated but has modest clinical activity in myelofibrosis. PMID:23890523

  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. 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

  12. 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. PMID:24316230

  13. 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

  14. Relict landscapes in active mountain belts: their age, interpretation and geodynamic significance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van der Beek, Peter

    2010-05-01

    Planar topographic markers have been widely used to infer the topographic and erosional history of mountain belts. During the last two decades, attention has focused on high-elevation low-relief surfaces in orogenic belts, the interpretation of which has generated considerable controversy regarding their age, mechanism of formation and tectonic or climatic significance. I will review three case studies to illustrate these issues. In the Pyrenees, high-elevation, low-relief surfaces have been mapped throughout the mountain belt and were suggested to have developed at high elevations due to significant base-level rise as a result of backfilling of the southern foreland basin, which developed under endorheic conditions between Late Eocene and Late Miocene times. Isolation of these surface remnants has been suggested to result from a more erosive climate since the Pliocene. However, an alternative study suggests that such relict landscape elements are restricted to the Eastern Pyrenees, developed at low elevations during the Miocene and were subsequently tectonically uplifted. This second hypothesis appears to be comforted by a suite of thermochronological, stratigraphic and geophysical data from the Eastern Pyrenees. We have used a thermo-kinematic model integrating the existing thermochronometry data from the central Pyrenees to constrain the amount and timing of base-level change in that area and find that, while significant filling and re-excavation of the southern flank must have occurred, the timing of exhumation is Late Miocene rather than Pliocene-Quaternary and the relationship with hypothetical relict landscape elements in the high chain remains unclear. In the western European Alps, widespread high-elevation low-relief surfaces develop close to the interface between crystalline basement and sedimentary cover in the "external crystalline massifs" (e.g., Pelvoux-Ecrins, Belledonne, Aar). These surfaces clearly appear to be lithologically controlled and to have

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26283354

  16. [The significance of free radicals and antioxidants due to the load induced by sport activity].

    PubMed

    Holecek, V; Liska, J; Racek, J; Rokyta, R

    2004-01-01

    Sport performance is followed by a high production of free radicals. The main reasons are reperfusion after the previous imbalance between the increased need of the organism and the ability of blood supply by oxygen, increased production of ATP, decomposition of the cells particularly white blood cells, oxidation of the purin basis from DNA, stress, output of epinephrine release of free iron, increased temperature in the muscle and its inflammation, and the reception of free radicals from external environment. Peroxidation of lipids, proteins, DNA and other compounds follows the previous biochemical steps. Antioxidants are consumed by free radicals, antioxidative enzymes are released into blood plasma, intracellular calcium is increased, the production of nitric oxide rises, the levels of hydrogen peroxide and hypochlorous acid increase. These penetrate through the membranes and oxidatively damage the tissues. Training improves the ability of the organism to balance the increased load of free radicals. The damage can be lowered by the application of a mixture of antioxidants, the most important are vitamin C, A, E, glutathione, selenium, carnosine, eventually bioflavonoids and ginkgo biloba. The lack of antioxidants can significantly diminish the sport performance and therefore the supplementation with antioxidants is for top sportsmen but also for aged people advisable. PMID:15709642

  17. 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. PMID:26283354

  18. 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. PMID:26562051

  19. 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 ...

  20. 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

  1. On the way of revealing coactivator complexes cross-talk during transcriptional activation.

    PubMed

    Krasnov, Aleksey N; Mazina, Marina Yu; Nikolenko, Julia V; Vorobyeva, Nadezhda E

    2016-01-01

    Transcriptional activation is a complex, multistage process implemented by hundreds of proteins. Many transcriptional proteins are organized into coactivator complexes, which participate in transcription regulation at numerous genes and are a driver of this process. The molecular action mechanisms of coactivator complexes remain largely understudied. Relevant publications usually deal with the involvement of these complexes in the entire process of transcription, and only a few studies are aimed to elucidate their functions at its particular stages. This review summarizes available information on the participation of key coactivator complexes in transcriptional activation. The timing of coactivator complex binding/removal has been used for restructuring previously described information about the transcriptional process. Several major stages of transcriptional activation have been distinguished based on the presence of covalent histone modifications and general transcriptional factors, and the recruitment and/or removal phases have been determined for each coactivator included in analysis. Recruitment of Mediator, SWItch/Sucrose Non-Fermentable and NUcleosome Remodeling Factor complexes during transcription activation has been investigated thoroughly; CHD and INOsitol auxotrophy 80 families are less well studied. In most cases, the molecular mechanisms responsible for the removal of certain coactivator complexes after the termination of their functions at the promoters are still not understood. On the basis of the summarized information, we propose a scheme that illustrates the involvement of coactivator complexes in different stages of the transcription activation process. This scheme may help to gain a deeper insight into the molecular mechanism of functioning of coactivator complexes, find novel participants of the process, and reveal novel structural or functional connections between different coactivators. PMID:26913181

  2. Identification of Chronic Stress Activated Regions Reveals a Potential Recruited Circuit in Rat Brain

    PubMed Central

    Flak, Jonathan N.; Solomon, Matia B.; Jankord, Ryan; Krause, Eric G.; Herman, James P.

    2015-01-01

    Chronic stress induces pre-synaptic and post-synaptic modifications in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN) that are consistent with enhanced excitatory hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis drive. The brain regions mediating these molecular modifications are not known. We hypothesized that chronic variable stress (CVS) tonically activates stress-excitatory regions that interact with the PVN, culminating in stress facilitation. In order to identify chronically activated brain regions, ΔFosB, a documented marker of tonic neuronal activation, was assessed in known stress regulatory limbic and brainstem sites. Four experimental groups were included: CVS, repeated restraint (RR) (control for HPA habituation), animals weight-matched (WM) to CVS animals (control for changes in circulating metabolic factors due to reduced weight gain), and non-handled controls. CVS, but not RR or WM, induced adrenal hypertrophy, indicating that sustained HPA axis drive only occurred in the CVS group. CVS (but not RR or WM) selectively increased the number of FosB/ΔFosB nuclei in the nucleus of the solitary tract, posterior hypothalamic nucleus, and both the infralimbic and prelimbic divisions of the medial prefrontal cortex, indicating an involvement of these regions in chronic drive of the HPA axis. Increases in FosB/ΔFosB-immunoreactive cells were observed following both RR and CVS in the other regions (e.g., the dorsomedial hypothalamus), suggesting activation by both habituating and non-habituating stress conditions. The data suggest that unpredictable stress uniquely activates interconnected cortical, hypothalamic, and brainstem nuclei, potentially revealing the existence of a recruited circuitry mediating chronic drive of brain stress effector systems. PMID:22789020

  3. Lost for emotion words: what motor and limbic brain activity reveals about autism and semantic theory.

    PubMed

    Moseley, Rachel L; Shtyrov, Yury; Mohr, Bettina; Lombardo, Michael V; Baron-Cohen, Simon; Pulvermüller, Friedemann

    2015-01-01

    Autism spectrum conditions (ASC) are characterised by deficits in understanding and expressing emotions and are frequently accompanied by alexithymia, a difficulty in understanding and expressing emotion words. Words are differentially represented in the brain according to their semantic category and these difficulties in ASC predict reduced activation to emotion-related words in limbic structures crucial for affective processing. Semantic theories view 'emotion actions' as critical for learning the semantic relationship between a word and the emotion it describes, such that emotion words typically activate the cortical motor systems involved in expressing emotion actions such as facial expressions. As ASC are also characterised by motor deficits and atypical brain structure and function in these regions, motor structures would also be expected to show reduced activation during emotion-semantic processing. Here we used event-related fMRI to compare passive processing of emotion words in comparison to abstract verbs and animal names in typically-developing controls and individuals with ASC. Relatively reduced brain activation in ASC for emotion words, but not matched control words, was found in motor areas and cingulate cortex specifically. The degree of activation evoked by emotion words in the motor system was also associated with the extent of autistic traits as revealed by the Autism Spectrum Quotient. We suggest that hypoactivation of motor and limbic regions for emotion word processing may underlie difficulties in processing emotional language in ASC. The role that sensorimotor systems and their connections might play in the affective and social-communication difficulties in ASC is discussed. PMID:25278250

  4. Lost for emotion words: What motor and limbic brain activity reveals about autism and semantic theory

    PubMed Central

    Moseley, Rachel L.; Shtyrov, Yury; Mohr, Bettina; Lombardo, Michael V.; Baron-Cohen, Simon; Pulvermüller, Friedemann

    2015-01-01

    Autism spectrum conditions (ASC) are characterised by deficits in understanding and expressing emotions and are frequently accompanied by alexithymia, a difficulty in understanding and expressing emotion words. Words are differentially represented in the brain according to their semantic category and these difficulties in ASC predict reduced activation to emotion-related words in limbic structures crucial for affective processing. Semantic theories view ‘emotion actions’ as critical for learning the semantic relationship between a word and the emotion it describes, such that emotion words typically activate the cortical motor systems involved in expressing emotion actions such as facial expressions. As ASC are also characterised by motor deficits and atypical brain structure and function in these regions, motor structures would also be expected to show reduced activation during emotion-semantic processing. Here we used event-related fMRI to compare passive processing of emotion words in comparison to abstract verbs and animal names in typically-developing controls and individuals with ASC. Relatively reduced brain activation in ASC for emotion words, but not matched control words, was found in motor areas and cingulate cortex specifically. The degree of activation evoked by emotion words in the motor system was also associated with the extent of autistic traits as revealed by the Autism Spectrum Quotient. We suggest that hypoactivation of motor and limbic regions for emotion word processing may underlie difficulties in processing emotional language in ASC. The role that sensorimotor systems and their connections might play in the affective and social-communication difficulties in ASC is discussed. PMID:25278250

  5. Comparative Proteomic Analysis Reveals Activation of Mucosal Innate Immune Signaling Pathways during Cholera

    PubMed Central

    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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25561705

  6. 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. PMID:25561705

  7. Drug and food-deprivation modulation of activity in rats given chronic dietary lead: significance of type of activity measure.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, B K; Kutscher, C L

    1981-09-01

    In Experiment 1, rats were given a 1% lead acetate diet from Day 100 of life to the termination of the experiment. After 82 days of lead feeding behavioral tests were started. Lead exposure increased wheel-turning hyperactivity produced by food deprivation and phenylethylamine injection. Lead produced no activity change in the unchallenged condition. In the open field, lead-exposure rats were less responsive to the stimulating action of PEA and amphetamine and to the sedating action of pentobarbital. In Experiment 2, the interaction of lead with food deprivation of PEA on wheel-turning was replicated in naive animals given only a 32-day exposure. Chemical analysis was made of tissues. Ingested lead entered the brain. Regional steady-state levels of brain norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin were not altered by lead treatment when measured following four days of starvation at a time when lead-induced behavioral change was distinct. It was concluded that pharmacological challenges on activity may be sensitive indicators of lead exposure, but the type of activity measure is critical. PMID:7291253

  8. Dynamic Allostery of the Catabolite Activator Protein Revealed by Interatomic Forces

    PubMed Central

    Louet, Maxime; Seifert, Christian; Hensen, Ulf; Gräter, Frauke

    2015-01-01

    The Catabolite Activator Protein (CAP) is a showcase example for entropic allostery. For full activation and DNA binding, the homodimeric protein requires the binding of two cyclic AMP (cAMP) molecules in an anti-cooperative manner, the source of which appears to be largely of entropic nature according to previous experimental studies. We here study at atomic detail the allosteric regulation of CAP with Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. We recover the experimentally observed entropic penalty for the second cAMP binding event with our recently developed force covariance entropy estimator and reveal allosteric communication pathways with Force Distribution Analyses (FDA). Our observations show that CAP binding results in characteristic changes in the interaction pathways connecting the two cAMP allosteric binding sites with each other, as well as with the DNA binding domains. We identified crucial relays in the mostly symmetric allosteric activation network, and suggest point mutants to test this mechanism. Our study suggests inter-residue forces, as opposed to coordinates, as a highly sensitive measure for structural adaptations that, even though minute, can very effectively propagate allosteric signals. PMID:26244893

  9. Multimodal imaging reveals temporal and spatial microglia and matrix metalloproteinase activity after experimental stroke

    PubMed Central

    Zinnhardt, Bastian; Viel, Thomas; Wachsmuth, Lydia; Vrachimis, Alexis; Wagner, Stefan; Breyholz, Hans-Jörg; Faust, Andreas; Hermann, Sven; Kopka, Klaus; Faber, Cornelius; Dollé, Frédéric; Pappata, Sabina; Planas, Anna M; Tavitian, Bertrand; Schäfers, Michael; Sorokin, Lydia M; Kuhlmann, Michael T; Jacobs, Andreas H

    2015-01-01

    Stroke is the most common cause of death and disability from neurologic disease in humans. Activation of microglia and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) is involved in positively and negatively affecting stroke outcome. Novel, noninvasive, multimodal imaging methods visualizing microglial and MMP alterations were employed. The spatio-temporal dynamics of these parameters were studied in relation to blood flow changes. Micro positron emission tomography (μPET) using [18F]BR-351 showed MMP activity within the first days after transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAo), followed by increased [18F]DPA-714 uptake as a marker for microglia activation with a maximum at 14 days after tMCAo. The inflammatory response was spatially located in the infarct core and in adjacent (penumbral) tissue. For the first time, multimodal imaging based on PET, single photon emission computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging revealed insight into the spatio-temporal distribution of critical parameters of poststroke inflammation. This allows further evaluation of novel treatment paradigms targeting the postischemic inflammation. PMID:26126867

  10. 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

  11. Multimodal imaging reveals temporal and spatial microglia and matrix metalloproteinase activity after experimental stroke.

    PubMed

    Zinnhardt, Bastian; Viel, Thomas; Wachsmuth, Lydia; Vrachimis, Alexis; Wagner, Stefan; Breyholz, Hans-Jörg; Faust, Andreas; Hermann, Sven; Kopka, Klaus; Faber, Cornelius; Dollé, Frédéric; Pappata, Sabina; Planas, Anna M; Tavitian, Bertrand; Schäfers, Michael; Sorokin, Lydia M; Kuhlmann, Michael T; Jacobs, Andreas H

    2015-11-01

    Stroke is the most common cause of death and disability from neurologic disease in humans. Activation of microglia and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) is involved in positively and negatively affecting stroke outcome. Novel, noninvasive, multimodal imaging methods visualizing microglial and MMP alterations were employed. The spatio-temporal dynamics of these parameters were studied in relation to blood flow changes. Micro positron emission tomography (μPET) using [(18)F]BR-351 showed MMP activity within the first days after transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAo), followed by increased [(18)F]DPA-714 uptake as a marker for microglia activation with a maximum at 14 days after tMCAo. The inflammatory response was spatially located in the infarct core and in adjacent (penumbral) tissue. For the first time, multimodal imaging based on PET, single photon emission computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging revealed insight into the spatio-temporal distribution of critical parameters of poststroke inflammation. This allows further evaluation of novel treatment paradigms targeting the postischemic inflammation. PMID:26126867

  12. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  14. Dynamic Allostery of the Catabolite Activator Protein Revealed by Interatomic Forces.

    PubMed

    Louet, Maxime; Seifert, Christian; Hensen, Ulf; Gräter, Frauke

    2015-08-01

    The Catabolite Activator Protein (CAP) is a showcase example for entropic allostery. For full activation and DNA binding, the homodimeric protein requires the binding of two cyclic AMP (cAMP) molecules in an anti-cooperative manner, the source of which appears to be largely of entropic nature according to previous experimental studies. We here study at atomic detail the allosteric regulation of CAP with Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. We recover the experimentally observed entropic penalty for the second cAMP binding event with our recently developed force covariance entropy estimator and reveal allosteric communication pathways with Force Distribution Analyses (FDA). Our observations show that CAP binding results in characteristic changes in the interaction pathways connecting the two cAMP allosteric binding sites with each other, as well as with the DNA binding domains. We identified crucial relays in the mostly symmetric allosteric activation network, and suggest point mutants to test this mechanism. Our study suggests inter-residue forces, as opposed to coordinates, as a highly sensitive measure for structural adaptations that, even though minute, can very effectively propagate allosteric signals. PMID:26244893

  15. Timing of posterior parahippocampal gyrus activity reveals multiple scene processing stages.

    PubMed

    Bastin, Julien; Committeri, Giorgia; Kahane, Philippe; Galati, Gaspare; Minotti, Lorella; Lachaux, Jean-Philippe; Berthoz, Alain

    2013-06-01

    Posterior parahippocampal gyrus (PPHG) is strongly involved during scene recognition and spatial cognition. How PPHG electrophysiological activity could underlie these functions, and whether they share similar timing mechanisms is unknown. We addressed this question in two intracerebral experiments which revealed that PPHG neural activity dissociated an early stimulus-driven effect (>200 and <500 ms) and a late task-related effect (>600 and <800 ms). Strongest PPHG gamma band (50-150 Hz) activities were found early when subjects passively viewed scenes (scene selectivity effect) and lately when they had to estimate the position of an object relative to the environment (allocentric effect). Based on single trial analyses, we were able to predict when patients viewed scenes (compared to other visual categories) and when they performed allocentric judgments (compared to other spatial judgments). The anatomical location corresponding to the strongest effects was in the depth of the collateral sulcus. Our findings directly affect current theories of visual scene processing and spatial orientation by providing new timing constraints and by demonstrating the existence of separable information processing stages in the functionally defined parahippocampal place area. PMID:22287281

  16. The significance of different health institutions and their respective contributions of active pharmaceutical ingredients to wastewater.

    PubMed

    Herrmann, Manuel; Olsson, Oliver; Fiehn, Rainer; Herrel, Markus; Kümmerer, Klaus

    2015-12-01

    Active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) have been frequently found in the environment. It is, however, still not quite clear who is mainly responsible for API emissions. Hospitals have been considered to be the main contributing point sources for wastewater (WW) discharge of APIs. However, recent studies have shown that the contribution of hospitals to the input of APIs into the aquatic environment is quite low. Due to demographic change and the increase of psychiatric diseases, health institutions (HIs) such as psychiatric hospitals and nursing homes are likely to be important sources as well, but no data is available in this respect. This study aims to assess the impact of HIs and to provide a methodology to measure their respective contributions. Drawing on pharmaceutical consumption data for the years 2010, 2011, and 2012, this study identified API usage patterns for a psychiatric hospital (146 beds), a nursing home (286 inhabitants), and a general hospital (741 beds), the latter of which comprises three separate locations. All the HIs are located in two sub-regions of a county district with about 400,000 citizens in southwestern Germany. A selection of neurological drugs was quantified in the sewer of these facilities to evaluate the correlation between consumption and emission. The API contribution of HIs was assessed by comparing the specific consumption in the facilities with the consumption in households, expressed as the emission potential (IEP). The study shows that the usage patterns of APIs in the psychiatric hospital and the nursing home were different from the general hospital. Neurological drugs such as anticonvulsants, psycholeptics, and psychoanaleptics were mainly consumed in the psychiatric hospital and the nursing home (74% and 65%, respectively). Predicted and average measured concentrations in the effluent of the investigated HIs differed mostly by less than one order of magnitude. Therefore, the consumption-based approach is a useful method

  17. 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

  18. 454 Pyrosequencing reveals bacterial diversity of activated sludge from 14 sewage treatment plants

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Tong; Shao, Ming-Fei; Ye, Lin

    2012-01-01

    Activated sludge (AS) contains highly complex microbial communities. In this study, PCR-based 454 pyrosequencing was applied to investigate the bacterial communities of AS samples from 14 sewage treatment plants of Asia (mainland China, Hong Kong, and Singapore), and North America (Canada and the United States). A total of 259 K effective sequences of 16S rRNA gene V4 region were obtained from these AS samples. These sequences revealed huge amount of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) in AS, that is, 1183–3567 OTUs in a sludge sample, at 3% cutoff level and sequencing depth of 16 489 sequences. Clear geographical differences among the AS samples from Asia and North America were revealed by (1) cluster analyses based on abundances of OTUs or the genus/family/order assigned by Ribosomal Database Project (RDP) and (2) the principal coordinate analyses based on OTUs abundances, RDP taxa abundances and UniFrac of OTUs and their distances. In addition to certain unique bacterial populations in each AS sample, some genera were dominant, and core populations shared by multiple samples, including two commonly reported genera of Zoogloea and Dechloromonas, three genera not frequently reported (i.e., Prosthecobacter, Caldilinea and Tricoccus) and three genera not well described so far (i.e., Gp4 and Gp6 in Acidobacteria and Subdivision3 genera incertae sedis of Verrucomicrobia). Pyrosequencing analyses of multiple AS samples in this study also revealed the minority populations that are hard to be explored by traditional molecular methods and showed that a large proportion of sequences could not be assigned to taxonomic affiliations even at the phylum/class levels. PMID:22170428

  19. Physical Connectivity Mapping by Circular Permutation of Human Telomerase RNA Reveals New Regions Critical for Activity and Processivity.

    PubMed

    Mefford, Melissa A; Zappulla, David C

    2015-01-01

    Telomerase is a specialized ribonucleoprotein complex that extends the 3' ends of chromosomes to counteract telomere shortening. However, increased telomerase activity is associated with ∼90% of human cancers. The telomerase enzyme minimally requires an RNA (hTR) and a specialized reverse transcriptase protein (TERT) for activity in vitro. Understanding the structure-function relationships within hTR has important implications for human disease. For the first time, we have tested the physical-connectivity requirements in the 451-nucleotide hTR RNA using circular permutations, which reposition the 5' and 3' ends. Our extensive in vitro analysis identified three classes of hTR circular permutants with altered function. First, circularly permuting 3' of the template causes specific defects in repeat-addition processivity, revealing that the template recognition element found in ciliates is conserved in human telomerase RNA. Second, seven circular permutations residing within the catalytically important core and CR4/5 domains completely abolish telomerase activity, unveiling mechanistically critical portions of these domains. Third, several circular permutations between the core and CR4/5 significantly increase telomerase activity. Our extensive circular permutation results provide insights into the architecture and coordination of human telomerase RNA and highlight where the RNA could be targeted for the development of antiaging and anticancer therapeutics. PMID:26503788

  20. 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.

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

    DOE PAGESBeta

    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 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

  2. A contrast agent recognizing activated platelets reveals murine cerebral malaria pathology undetectable by conventional MRI.

    PubMed

    von Zur Muhlen, Constantin; Sibson, Nicola R; Peter, Karlheinz; Campbell, Sandra J; Wilainam, Panop; Grau, Georges E; Bode, Christoph; Choudhury, Robin P; Anthony, Daniel C

    2008-03-01

    Human and murine cerebral malaria are associated with elevated levels of cytokines in the brain and adherence of platelets to the microvasculature. Here we demonstrated that the accumulation of platelets in the brain microvasculature can be detected with MRI, using what we believe to be a novel contrast agent, at a time when the pathology is undetectable by conventional MRI. Ligand-induced binding sites (LIBS) on activated platelet glycoprotein IIb/IIIa receptors were detected in the brains of malaria-infected mice 6 days after inoculation with Plasmodium berghei using microparticles of iron oxide (MPIOs) conjugated to a single-chain antibody specific for the LIBS (LIBS-MPIO). No binding of the LIBS-MPIO contrast agent was detected in uninfected animals. A combination of LIBS-MPIO MRI, confocal microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy revealed that the proinflammatory cytokine TNF-alpha, but not IL-1beta or lymphotoxin-alpha (LT-alpha), induced adherence of platelets to cerebrovascular endothelium. Peak platelet adhesion was found 12 h after TNF-alpha injection and was readily detected with LIBS-MPIO contrast-enhanced MRI. Temporal studies revealed that the level of MPIO-induced contrast was proportional to the number of platelets bound. Thus, the LIBS-MPIO contrast agent enabled noninvasive detection of otherwise undetectable cerebral pathology by in vivo MRI before the appearance of clinical disease, highlighting the potential of targeted contrast agents for diagnostic, mechanistic, and therapeutic studies. PMID:18274670

  3. A contrast agent recognizing activated platelets reveals murine cerebral malaria pathology undetectable by conventional MRI

    PubMed Central

    von zur Muhlen, Constantin; Sibson, Nicola R.; Peter, Karlheinz; Campbell, Sandra J.; Wilainam, Panop; Grau, Georges E.; Bode, Christoph; Choudhury, Robin P.; Anthony, Daniel C.

    2008-01-01

    Human and murine cerebral malaria are associated with elevated levels of cytokines in the brain and adherence of platelets to the microvasculature. Here we demonstrated that the accumulation of platelets in the brain microvasculature can be detected with MRI, using what we believe to be a novel contrast agent, at a time when the pathology is undetectable by conventional MRI. Ligand-induced binding sites (LIBS) on activated platelet glycoprotein IIb/IIIa receptors were detected in the brains of malaria-infected mice 6 days after inoculation with Plasmodium berghei using microparticles of iron oxide (MPIOs) conjugated to a single-chain antibody specific for the LIBS (LIBS-MPIO). No binding of the LIBS-MPIO contrast agent was detected in uninfected animals. A combination of LIBS-MPIO MRI, confocal microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy revealed that the proinflammatory cytokine TNF-α, but not IL-1β or lymphotoxin-α (LT-α), induced adherence of platelets to cerebrovascular endothelium. Peak platelet adhesion was found 12 h after TNF-α injection and was readily detected with LIBS-MPIO contrast-enhanced MRI. Temporal studies revealed that the level of MPIO-induced contrast was proportional to the number of platelets bound. Thus, the LIBS-MPIO contrast agent enabled noninvasive detection of otherwise undetectable cerebral pathology by in vivo MRI before the appearance of clinical disease, highlighting the potential of targeted contrast agents for diagnostic, mechanistic, and therapeutic studies. PMID:18274670

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-22

    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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2005-01-01

    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. PMID:16511113

  8. Electrophilic activity-based RNA probes reveal a self-alkylating RNA for RNA labeling

    PubMed Central

    McDonald, Richard I.; Guilinger, John P.; Mukherji, Shankar; Curtis, Edward A.; Lee, Won I.; Liu, David R.

    2014-01-01

    Probes that form covalent bonds with RNA molecules based on their chemical reactivity would advance our ability to study the transcriptome. We developed a set of electrophilic activity-based RNA probes designed to react with unusually nucleophilic RNAs. We used these probes to identify reactive genome-encoded RNAs, resulting in the discovery of a 42-nt catalytic RNA from an archaebacterium that reacts with a 2,3-disubstituted epoxide at N7 of a specific guanosine. Detailed characterization of the catalytic RNA revealed the structural requirements for reactivity. We developed this catalytic RNA into a general tool to selectively conjugate a small molecule to an RNA of interest. This strategy enabled up to 500-fold enrichment of target RNA from total mammalian RNA or from cell lysate. We demonstrated the utility of this approach by selectively capturing proteins in yeast cell lysate that bind to the ASH1 mRNA. PMID:25306441

  9. 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.

  10. A novel molecule integrating therapeutic and diagnostic activities reveals multiple aspects of stem cell-based therapy.

    PubMed

    Hingtgen, Shawn D; Kasmieh, Randa; van de Water, Jeroen; Weissleder, Ralph; Shah, Khalid

    2010-04-01

    Stem cells are promising therapeutic delivery vehicles; however pre-clinical and clinical applications of stem cell-based therapy would benefit significantly from the ability to simultaneously determine therapeutic efficacy and pharmacokinetics of therapies delivered by engineered stem cells. In this study, we engineered and screened numerous fusion variants that contained therapeutic (TRAIL) and diagnostic (luciferase) domains designed to allow simultaneous investigation of multiple events in stem cell-based therapy in vivo. When various stem cell lines were engineered with the optimized molecule, SRL(O)L(2)TR, diagnostic imaging showed marked differences in the levels and duration of secretion between stem cell lines, while the therapeutic activity of the molecule showed the different secretion levels translated to significant variability in tumor cell killing. In vivo, simultaneous diagnostic and therapeutic monitoring revealed that stem cell-based delivery significantly improved pharmacokinetics and anti-tumor effectiveness of the therapy compared to intravenous or intratumoral delivery. As treatment for highly malignant brain tumor xenografts, tracking SRL(O)L(2)TR showed stable stem cell-mediated delivery significantly regressed peripheral and intracranial tumors. Together, the integrated diagnostic and therapeutic properties of SRL(O)L(2)TR answer critical questions necessary for successful utilization of stem cells as novel therapeutic vehicles. PMID:20127797

  11. Transcriptional regulatory analysis reveals PDR3 and GCR1 as regulators of significantly induced genes by 5-hydroxymethylfurfural stress involved in bioethanol conversion for ethanologenic yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    5-Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) is one of major inhibitory compounds derived from dehydration of hexoses during biomass degradation using dilute acid hydrolysis. It inhibits yeast growth, reduces enzymatic activities, breaks down DNA, and represses protein and RNA synthesis. We study stress toleranc...

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

    PubMed Central

    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

    2015-01-01

    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 less well known, meaning little can be inferred 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. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.06356.001 PMID:25895592

  13. 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.

  14. A Systematic Analysis Reveals Heterogeneous Changes in the Endocytic Activities of Cancer Cells

    PubMed Central

    Elkin, Sarah R.; Bendris, Nawal; Reis, Carlos R.; Zhou, Yunyun; Xie, Yang; Huffman, Kenneth E.; Minna, John D.; Schmid, Sandra L.

    2016-01-01

    Metastasis is a multistep process requiring cancer cell signaling, invasion, migration, survival, and proliferation. These processes require dynamic modulation of cell surface proteins by endocytosis. Given this functional connection, it has been suggested that endocytosis is dysregulated in cancer. To test this, we developed In-Cell ELISA assays to measure three different endocytic pathways: clathrin-mediated endocytosis, caveolae-mediated endocytosis, and clathrin-independent endocytosis and compared these activities using two different syngeneic models for normal and oncogene-transformed human lung epithelial cells. We found that all endocytic activities were reduced in the transformed versus normal counterparts. However, when we screened 29 independently isolated non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines to determine whether these changes were systematic, we observed significant heterogeneity. Nonetheless, using hierarchical clustering based on their combined endocytic properties, we identified two phenotypically distinct clusters of NSCLCs. One co-clustered with mutations in KRAS, a mesenchymal phenotype, increased invasion through collagen and decreased growth in soft agar, whereas the second was enriched in cells with an epithelial phenotype. Interestingly, the two clusters also differed significantly in clathrin-independent internalization and surface expression of CD44 and CD59. Taken together, our results suggest that endocytotic alterations in cancer cells that affect cell surface expression of critical molecules have a significant influence on cancer-relevant phenotypes, with potential implications for interventions to control cancer by modulating endocytic dynamics. PMID:26359453

  15. Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Kinase-4 Structures Reveal a Metastable Open Conformation Fostering Robust Core-free Basal Activity

    SciTech Connect

    Wynn, R. Max; Kato, Masato; Chuang, Jacinta L.; Tso, Shih-Chia; Li, Jun; Chuang, David T.

    2008-10-21

    Human pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC) is down-regulated by pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase (PDK) isoforms 1-4. PDK4 is overexpressed in skeletal muscle in type 2 diabetes, resulting in impaired glucose utilization. Here we show that human PDK4 has robust core-free basal activity, which is considerably higher than activity levels of other PDK isoforms stimulated by the PDC core. PDK4 binds the L3 lipoyl domain, but its activity is not significantly stimulated by any individual lipoyl domains or the core of PDC. The 2.0-{angstrom} crystal structures of the PDK4 dimer with bound ADP reveal an open conformation with a wider active-site cleft, compared with that in the closed conformation epitomized by the PDK2-ADP structure. The open conformation in PDK4 shows partially ordered C-terminal cross-tails, in which the conserved DW (Asp{sup 394}-Trp{sup 395}) motif from one subunit anchors to the N-terminal domain of the other subunit. The open conformation fosters a reduced binding affinity for ADP, facilitating the efficient removal of product inhibition by this nucleotide. Alteration or deletion of the DW-motif disrupts the C-terminal cross-tail anchor, resulting in the closed conformation and the nearly complete inactivation of PDK4. Fluorescence quenching and enzyme activity data suggest that compounds AZD7545 and dichloroacetate lock PDK4 in the open and the closed conformational states, respectively. We propose that PDK4 with bound ADP exists in equilibrium between the open and the closed conformations. The favored metastable open conformation is responsible for the robust basal activity of PDK4 in the absence of the PDC core.

  16. Context Differences Reveal Insulator and Activator Functions of a Su(Hw) Binding Region

    PubMed Central

    Wehling, Misty D.; Geyer, Pamela K.

    2008-01-01

    Insulators are DNA elements that divide chromosomes into independent transcriptional domains. The Drosophila genome contains hundreds of binding sites for the Suppressor of Hairy-wing [Su(Hw)] insulator protein, corresponding to locations of the retroviral gypsy insulator and non-gypsy binding regions (BRs). The first non-gypsy BR identified, 1A-2, resides in cytological region 1A. Using a quantitative transgene system, we show that 1A-2 is a composite insulator containing enhancer blocking and facilitator elements. We discovered that 1A-2 separates the yellow (y) gene from a previously unannotated, non-coding RNA gene, named yar for y-achaete (ac) intergenic RNA. The role of 1A-2 was elucidated using homologous recombination to excise these sequences from the natural location, representing the first deletion of any Su(Hw) BR in the genome. Loss of 1A-2 reduced yar RNA accumulation, without affecting mRNA levels from the neighboring y and ac genes. These data indicate that within the 1A region, 1A-2 acts an activator of yar transcription. Taken together, these studies reveal that the properties of 1A-2 are context-dependent, as this element has both insulator and enhancer activities. These findings imply that the function of non-gypsy Su(Hw) BRs depends on the genomic environment, predicting that Su(Hw) BRs represent a diverse collection of genomic regulatory elements. PMID:18704163

  17. High-throughput mutagenesis reveals functional determinants for DNA targeting by activation-induced deaminase.

    PubMed

    Gajula, Kiran S; Huwe, Peter J; Mo, Charlie Y; Crawford, Daniel J; Stivers, James T; Radhakrishnan, Ravi; Kohli, Rahul M

    2014-09-01

    Antibody maturation is a critical immune process governed by the enzyme activation-induced deaminase (AID), a member of the AID/APOBEC DNA deaminase family. AID/APOBEC deaminases preferentially target cytosine within distinct preferred sequence motifs in DNA, with specificity largely conferred by a small 9-11 residue protein loop that differs among family members. Here, we aimed to determine the key functional characteristics of this protein loop in AID and to thereby inform our understanding of the mode of DNA engagement. To this end, we developed a methodology (Sat-Sel-Seq) that couples saturation mutagenesis at each position across the targeting loop, with iterative functional selection and next-generation sequencing. This high-throughput mutational analysis revealed dominant characteristics for residues within the loop and additionally yielded enzymatic variants that enhance deaminase activity. To rationalize these functional requirements, we performed molecular dynamics simulations that suggest that AID and its hyperactive variants can engage DNA in multiple specific modes. These findings align with AID's competing requirements for specificity and flexibility to efficiently drive antibody maturation. Beyond insights into the AID-DNA interface, our Sat-Sel-Seq approach also serves to further expand the repertoire of techniques for deep positional scanning and may find general utility for high-throughput analysis of protein function. PMID:25064858

  18. 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

  19. Structural characterization reveals the keratinolytic activity of an arthrobacter nicotinovorans protease.

    PubMed

    Sone, Teruo; Haraguchi, Yumiko; Kuwahara, Aki; Ose, Toyoyuki; Takano, Megumi; Abe, Ayumi; Tanaka, Michiko; Tanaka, Isao; Asano, Kozo

    2015-01-01

    Elevated cadmium (Cd) concentrations in fishery byproducts are an environmental concern, that might be reduced by enzymatic removal and adsorption of the contaminants during recycling the byproducts as animal food. We cloned the gene for Arthrobacter nicotinovorans serine protease (ANISEP), which was isolated from the hepatopancreas of the Japanese scallop (Patiopecten yessoensis) and has been found to be an effective enzyme for Cd(II) removal. The gene is 993 bp in length and encodes 330 amino acids, including the pre (1-30) and pro (31-111) sequences. The catalytic triad consists of His, Asp, and Ser. Sequence similarities indicate that ANISEP is a extracellular serine protease. X-ray crystallography revealed structural similarities between ANISEP and the trypsin-like serine protease NAALP from Nesterenkonia sp. Site-directed mutagenesis identified Ser171 as catalytic residue. The keratinolytic activity of ANISEP was 10-fold greater than that of trypsin. ANISEP digested Cd(II)-bound recombinant metallothionein MT-10a from Laternula elliptica, but did not release Cd. These results further suggest ANISEP is a trypsin-like serine protease that can release Cd from the Japanese scallop hepatopancreas because of its strong keratinolytic activity. PMID:25256266

  20. High-throughput mutagenesis reveals functional determinants for DNA targeting by activation-induced deaminase

    PubMed Central

    Gajula, Kiran S.; Huwe, Peter J.; Mo, Charlie Y.; Crawford, Daniel J.; Stivers, James T.; Radhakrishnan, Ravi; Kohli, Rahul M.

    2014-01-01

    Antibody maturation is a critical immune process governed by the enzyme activation-induced deaminase (AID), a member of the AID/APOBEC DNA deaminase family. AID/APOBEC deaminases preferentially target cytosine within distinct preferred sequence motifs in DNA, with specificity largely conferred by a small 9–11 residue protein loop that differs among family members. Here, we aimed to determine the key functional characteristics of this protein loop in AID and to thereby inform our understanding of the mode of DNA engagement. To this end, we developed a methodology (Sat-Sel-Seq) that couples saturation mutagenesis at each position across the targeting loop, with iterative functional selection and next-generation sequencing. This high-throughput mutational analysis revealed dominant characteristics for residues within the loop and additionally yielded enzymatic variants that enhance deaminase activity. To rationalize these functional requirements, we performed molecular dynamics simulations that suggest that AID and its hyperactive variants can engage DNA in multiple specific modes. These findings align with AID's competing requirements for specificity and flexibility to efficiently drive antibody maturation. Beyond insights into the AID-DNA interface, our Sat-Sel-Seq approach also serves to further expand the repertoire of techniques for deep positional scanning and may find general utility for high-throughput analysis of protein function. PMID:25064858

  1. Neuroinformatics analyses reveal GABAt and SSADH as major proteins involved in anticonvulsant activity of valproic acid.

    PubMed

    Piplani, Sakshi; Verma, Prabhakar Kumar; Kumar, Ajit

    2016-07-01

    The unequivocal hypotheses about anticonvulsant activity of valproic acid (VPA) have always been a basic hurdle in designing next generation neurotherapeutics, particularly the anti-epileptic drugs. The present study reports about a comprehensive in-silico investigation into qualitative and quantitative binding of VPA and corresponding natural ligands of four major enzymes involved in neurotransmissions, namely-GABA transaminase (GABAt), α-keto glutarate dehydrogenase (α-KGDH), Succinate Semialdehyde dehydrogenase (SSADH) and Glutamate Decarboxylase (GAD), respectively. The molecular docking analyses revealed that VPA inhibits GABAt and α-KGDH through allosteric while SSADH through competitive mode of binding. There is an observed elevation in binding of glutamate over GAD in the presence of VPA. The docking inhibition constant (Ki) of VPA to all the studied enzymatic receptors were observed to be well below the therapeutic concentration of VPA in blood, except for α-KGDH, thus favouring GABAergic over glutamatergic mode of anticonvulsant activity of VPA. The report is probably the first comprehensive in-silico molecular study about VPA action. PMID:27261619

  2. 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.

  3. Pomalidomide Shows Significant Therapeutic Activity against CNS Lymphoma with a Major Impact on the Tumor Microenvironment in Murine Models

    PubMed Central

    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

  4. Review: Genomic era analyses of RNA secondary structure and RNA-binding proteins reveal their significance to post-transcriptional regulation in plants

    PubMed Central

    Silverman, Ian M.; Li, Fan; Gregory, Brian D.

    2014-01-01

    The eukaryotic transcriptome is regulated both transcriptionally and post-transcriptionally. Transcriptional control was the major focus of early research efforts, while more recently post-transcriptional mechanisms have gained recognition for their significant regulatory importance. At the heart of post-transcriptional regulatory pathways are cis- and trans-acting features and factors including RNA secondary structure as well as RNA-binding proteins and their recognition sites on target RNAs. Recent advances in genomic methodologies have significantly improved our understanding of both RNA secondary structure and RNA-binding proteins and their regulatory effects within the eukaryotic transcriptome. In this review, we focus specifically on the collection of these regulatory moieties in plant transcriptomes. We describe the approaches for studying RNA secondary structure and RNA-protein interaction sites, with an emphasis on recent methodological advances that produce transcriptome-wide datasets. We discuss how these methods that include genome-wide RNA secondary structure determination and RNA-protein interaction site mapping are significantly improving our understanding of the functions of these two elements in post-transcriptional regulation. Finally, we delineate the need for additional genome-wide studies of RNA secondary structure and RNA-protein interactions in plants. PMID:23498863

  5. High-resolution melting analysis of the spa locus reveals significant diversity within sequence type 93 methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus from northern Australia.

    PubMed

    Tong, S Y C; Lilliebridge, R A; Holt, D C; McDonald, M I; Currie, B J; Giffard, P M

    2009-12-01

    High-resolution melting analysis is an inherently robust, easy and inexpensive approach to the examination of genomic regions containing single-nucleotide polymorphisms and hypervariable loci. Staphylococcus aureus sequence type (ST) 93 is a singleton, Panton-Valentine leukocidin-positive clone unique to Australia. A high-resolution melting-based method for the identification of ST93 was developed, and a similar approach was used to reveal diversity within the spa locus of this lineage. Statistical and graphical methods that account for instrumental and operator-dependent variation in high-resolution melting curves were developed, to allow greater confidence and reproducibility in deciding whether another curve is truly different from the baseline curve of an amplicon with known sequence. The data support a very early acquisition, or multiple independent acquisitions, of SCCmec by ST93 methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA), and the coexistence of MSSA and methicillin-resistant S. aureus versions of the same lineage within northern Australia. PMID:19392885

  6. Effects of nanomaterials on luciferase with significant protection and increased enzyme activity observed for zinc oxide nanomaterials.

    PubMed

    Barber, S; Abdelhakiem, M; Ghosh, K; Mitchell, L; Spidle, R; Jacobs, B; Washington, L; Li, J; Wanekaya, A; Glaspell, G; DeLong, R K

    2011-12-01

    This principle goal of this research was to examine the effects of various nanomaterials on the activity and behavior of the firefly enzyme luciferase. Nanomaterials have been found to stabilize, and in some instances, shown to increase the activity of enzymes. In this study gold, manganese oxide (MnO), and zinc oxide (ZnO) nanomaterials were utilized in order to test their effects on enzyme activity. Luciferase was used because its activity is easy to analyze, as it typically produces a large amount of bioluminescence easily detected by a Microtiter plate reader. Following incubation with the various nanomaterials, luciferase was subjected to degradation by several protein denaturing agents, such as heat, SDS, urea, ethanol, protease, hydrogen peroxide, and pH changes. Results indicated that luciferase activity is indeed affected when combined with nanomaterials, accompanied by both increases and decreases in enzyme activity depending on the type of nanomaterial and denaturing agent used. In most of the experiments, when incubated with ZnO nanomaterials, luciferase depicted significant increases in activity and bioluminescence. Additional experiments, in which human A375 cells were treated with luciferase-nanomaterial mixtures, also depicted increased enzyme activity and bioluminescence for luciferase incubated with ZnO nanomaterials. Ultimately, our findings indicated that when luciferase was subjected to multiple types of denaturation, zinc oxide nanomaterials dramatically preserved and increased enzyme activity and bioluminescence. PMID:22408903

  7. Quantitative cell signalling analysis reveals down-regulation of MAPK pathway activation in colorectal cancer.

    PubMed

    Gulmann, Christian; Sheehan, Katherine M; Conroy, Ronán M; Wulfkuhle, Julia D; Espina, Virginia; Mullarkey, Michelle J; Kay, Elaine W; Liotta, Lance A; Petricoin, Emanuel F

    2009-08-01

    Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) are considered to play significant roles in colonic carcinogenesis and kinase inhibitor therapy has been proposed as a potential tool in the treatment of this disease. Reverse-phase microarray assays using phospho-specific antibodies can directly measure levels of phosphorylated protein isoforms. In the current study, samples from 35 cases of untreated colorectal cancer colectomies were laser capture-microdissected to isolate epithelium and stroma from cancer as well as normal (i.e. uninvolved) mucosa. Lysates generated from these four tissue types were spotted onto reverse-phase protein microarrays and probed with a panel of antibodies to ERK, p-ERK, p38, p-p38, p-JNK, MEK and p-MEK. Whereas total protein levels were unchanged, or slightly elevated (p38, p = 0.0025) in cancers, activated isoforms, including p-ERK, p-p38 and p-JNK, were decreased two- to four-fold in cancers compared with uninvolved mucosa (p < 0.0023 in all cases except for p-JNK in epithelium, where decrement was non-significant). This was backed up by western blotting. Dukes' stage B and C cancers displayed lower p-ERK and p-p38 expression than Dukes' stage A cancers, although this was not statistically significant. It is concluded that MAPK activity may be down-regulated in colorectal cancer and that further exploration of inhibitory therapy in this system should be carefully evaluated if this finding is confirmed in larger series. PMID:19396842

  8. 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.

  9. Fractal analysis reveals subclasses of neurons and suggests an explanation of their spontaneous activity.

    PubMed

    Favela, Luis H; Coey, Charles A; Griff, Edwin R; Richardson, Michael J

    2016-07-28

    The present work used fractal time series analysis (detrended fluctuation analysis; DFA) to examine the spontaneous activity of single neurons in an anesthetized animal model, specifically, the mitral cells in the rat main olfactory bulb. DFA bolstered previous research in suggesting two subclasses of mitral cells. Although there was no difference in the fractal scaling of the interspike interval series at the shorter timescales, there was a significant difference at longer timescales. Neurons in Group B exhibited fractal, power-law scaled interspike intervals, whereas neurons in Group A exhibited random variation. These results raise questions about the role of these different cells within the olfactory bulb and potential explanations of their dynamics. Specifically, self-organized criticality has been proposed as an explanation of fractal scaling in many natural systems, including neural systems. However, this theory is based on certain assumptions that do not clearly hold in the case of spontaneous neural activity, which likely reflects intrinsic cell dynamics rather than activity driven by external stimulation. Moreover, it is unclear how self-organized criticality might account for the random dynamics observed in Group A, and how these random dynamics might serve some functional role when embedded in the typical activity of the olfactory bulb. These theoretical considerations provide direction for additional experimental work. PMID:27189719

  10. Skipped-Stimulus Approach Reveals That Short-Term Plasticity Dominates Synaptic Strength during Ongoing Activity

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Hua

    2015-01-01

    All synapses show activity-dependent changes in strength, which affect the fidelity of postsynaptic spiking. This is particularly important at auditory nerve synapses, where the presence and timing of spikes carry information about a sound's structure, which must be passed along for proper processing. However, it is not clear how synaptic plasticity influences spiking during ongoing activity. Under these conditions, conventional analyses erroneously suggest that synaptic plasticity has no influence on EPSC amplitude or spiking. Therefore, we developed new approaches to study how ongoing activity influences synaptic strength, using voltage- and current-clamp recordings from bushy cells in brain slices from mouse anteroventral cochlear nucleus. We applied identical trains of stimuli, except for one skipped stimulus, and found that EPSC amplitude was affected for 60 ms following a skipped stimulus. We further showed that the initial probability of release, calcium-dependent mechanisms of recovery, and desensitization all play a role even during ongoing activity. Current-clamp experiments indicated that these processes had a significant effect on postsynaptic spiking, as did the refractory period to a smaller extent. Thus short-term plasticity has real, important functional consequences. PMID:26019343

  11. 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

  12. 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. PMID:27503803

  13. Extensive hydrothermal activity in the NE Lau basin revealed by ROV dives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Embley, R. W.; Resing, J. A.; Tebo, B.; Baker, E. T.; Butterfield, D. A.; Chadwick, B.; Davis, R.; de Ronde, C. E. J.; Lilley, M. D.; Lupton, J. E.; Merle, S. G.; Rubin, K. H.; Shank, T. M.; Walker, S. L.; Arculus, R. J.; Bobbitt, A. M.; Buck, N. J.; Caratori Tontini, F.; Crowhurst, P. V.; Mitchell, E.; Olson, E. J.; Ratmeyer, V.; Richards, S.; Roe, K. K.; Kenner-Chavis, P.; Martinez-Lyons, A.; Sheehan, C.; Brian, R.

    2014-12-01

    Dives with the QUEST 4000 ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) in September 2012 discovered nine hydrothermal sites in the arc and rear-arc region of the NE Lau Basin in 1150 m to 2630 m depth. These sites, originally detected by water column and seafloor surveys conducted in 2008-2011, include: (1) a paired sulfur-rich/black smoker field on the summit of a tectonically deformed magmatic arc volcano (Niua), (2) fracture-controlled black smoker venting on several small en echelon seamounts (north Matas) that lie between the magmatic arc and the backarc spreading center and (3) a magmatic degassing site on the summit of a dacite cone within a large (~12 km diameter) caldera volcano (Niuatahi). Dives at West Mata Seamount, which was undergoing strombolian volcanic activity and effusive rift-zone eruptions from 2008 to 2010, revealed a dormant volcanic phase in September 2012, with continued low-temperature diffuse venting. The high-temperature venting is likely driven by magmatic heat indicative of underlying partial melt zones and/or melt pockets distributed through the region. The occurrence of the youngest known boninite eruptions on the Mata volcanoes is consistent with subduction fluid flux melting extending into the rear-arc zone. Extension related to the transition from subduction to strike-slip motion of the northern Tonga Arc over the active Subduction-Transform Edge Propagator (STEP) fault probably contributes to the enhanced volcanism/hydrothermal activity in the NE Lau Basin. Chemosynthetic ecosystems at these sites range from mostly motile, lower diversity ecosystems at the eruptive/magmatically-degassing sites to higher diversity ecosystems with less mobile faunal components at the black-smoker systems. The wide range of fluid chemistry, water depth and geologic settings of the hydrothermal systems in this area provides an intriguing template to study the interaction of hydrothermal fluid chemistry, chemosynthetic habitats and their geologic underpinning

  14. Hyperactive hydrothermal activity in the NE Lau basin revealed by ROV dives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Embley, R. W.; Resing, J. A.; Tebo, B.; Baker, E. T.; Butterfield, D. A.; Chadwick, B.; Davis, R.; de Ronde, C. E.; Lilley, M. D.; Lupton, J. E.; Merle, S. G.; Rubin, K. H.; Shank, T. M.; Walker, S. L.; Arculus, R. J.; Bobbitt, A. M.; Buck, N.; Caratori Tontini, F.; Crowhurst, P. V.; Mitchell, E.; Olson, E. J.; Ratmeyer, V.; Richards, S.; Roe, K. K.; Keener, P.; Martinez Lyons, A.; Sheehan, C.; Brian, R.

    2013-12-01

    Dives with the QUEST 4000 ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) in September 2012 discovered nine hydrothermal sites in the arc and rear-arc region of the NE Lau Basin in 1150 m to 2630 m depth. These sites, originally detected by water column and seafloor surveys conducted in 2008-2011, include: (1) a paired sulfur-rich/black smoker field on the summit of a tectonically deformed magmatic arc volcano (Niua), (2) fracture-controlled black smoker venting on several small en echelon seamounts (north Matas) that lie between the magmatic arc and the backarc spreading center and (3) a magmatic degassing site on the summit of a dacite cone within a large (~12 km diameter) caldera volcano (Niuatahi). Dives at West Mata Seamount, which was undergoing strombolian volcanic activity and effusive rift-zone eruptions from 2008 to 2010, revealed a dormant volcanic phase in September 2012, with continued low-temperature diffuse venting. The high-temperature venting is likely driven by magmatic heat indicative of underlying partial melt zones and/or melt pockets distributed through the region. The occurrence of the youngest known boninite eruptions on the Mata volcanoes is consistent with subduction fluid flux melting extending into the rear-arc zone. Extension related to the transition from subduction to strike-slip motion of the northern Tonga Arc over the active Subduction-Transform Edge Propagator (STEP) fault probably contributes to the enhanced volcanism/hydrothermal activity in the NE Lau Basin. Chemosynthetic ecosystems at these sites range from mostly motile, lower diversity ecosystems at the eruptive/magmatically-degassing sites to higher diversity ecosystems with less mobile faunal components at the black-smoker systems. The wide range of fluid chemistry, water depth and geologic settings of the hydrothermal systems in this area provides an intriguing template to study the interaction of hydrothermal fluid chemistry, chemosynthetic habitats and their geologic underpinning

  15. Combined genetic and transcriptomic analysis reveals three major signalling pathways activated by Myc-LCOs in Medicago truncatula.

    PubMed

    Camps, Céline; Jardinaud, Marie-Françoise; Rengel, David; Carrère, Sébastien; Hervé, Christine; Debellé, Frédéric; Gamas, Pascal; Bensmihen, Sandra; Gough, Clare

    2015-10-01

    Myc-LCOs are newly identified symbiotic signals produced by arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. Like rhizobial Nod factors, they are lipo-chitooligosaccharides that activate the common symbiotic signalling pathway (CSSP) in plants. To increase our limited understanding of the roles of Myc-LCOs we aimed to analyse Myc-LCO-induced transcriptional changes and their genetic control. Whole genome RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) was performed on roots of Medicago truncatula wild-type plants, and dmi3 and nsp1 symbiotic mutants affected in nodulation and mycorrhizal signalling. Plants were treated separately with the two major types of Myc-LCOs, sulphated and nonsulphated. Generalized linear model analysis identified 2201 differentially expressed genes and classified them according to genotype and/or treatment effects. Three genetic pathways for Myc-LCO-regulation of transcriptomic reprogramming were highlighted: DMI3- and NSP1-dependent; DMI3-dependent and NSP1-independent; and DMI3- and NSP1-independent. Comprehensive analysis revealed overlaps with previous AM studies, and highlighted certain functions, especially signalling components and transcription factors. These data provide new insights into mycorrhizal signalling mechanisms, supporting a role for NSP1, and specialisation for NSP1-dependent and -independent pathways downstream of DMI3. Our data also indicate significant Myc-LCO-activated signalling upstream of DMI3 and/or parallel to the CSSP and some constitutive activity of the CSSP. PMID:25919491

  16. The crystal structure of Escherichia coli heat shock protein YedU reveals three potential catalytic active sites

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Yonghong; Liu, Deqian; Kaluarachchi, Warna D.; Bellamy, Henry D.; White, Mark A.; Fox, Robert O.

    2003-01-01

    The mRNA of Escherichia coli yedU gene is induced 31-fold upon heat shock. The 31-kD YedU protein, also calls Hsp31, is highly conserved in several human pathogens and has chaperone activity. We solved the crystal structure of YedU at 2.2 Å resolution. YedU monomer has an α/β/α sandwich domain and a small α/β domain. YedU is a dimer in solution, and its crystal structure indicates that a significant amount of surface area is buried upon dimerization. There is an extended hydrophobic patch that crosses the dimer interface on the surface of the protein. This hydrophobic patch is likely the substrate-binding site responsible for the chaperone activity. The structure also reveals a potential protease-like catalytic triad composed of Cys184, His185, and Asp213, although no enzymatic activity could be identified. YedU coordinates a metal ion using His85, His122, and Glu90. This 2-His-1-carboxylate motif is present in carboxypeptidase A (a zinc enzyme), and a number of dioxygenases and hydroxylases that utilize iron as a cofactor, suggesting another potential function for YedU. PMID:14500888

  17. Apoptotic human neutrophil peptide-1 anti-tumor activity revealed by cellular biomechanics.

    PubMed

    Gaspar, Diana; Freire, João M; Pacheco, Teresa R; Barata, João T; Castanho, Miguel A R B

    2015-02-01

    Cancer remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Although progress has been made regarding chemotherapeutic agents, new therapies that combine increased selectivity and efficacy with low resistance are still needed. In the search for new anticancer agents, therapies based on biologically active peptides, in particular, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), have attracted attention for their decreased resistance development and low cytotoxicity. Many AMPs have proved to be tumoricidal agents against human cancer cells, but their mode of action is still controversial. The existence of common properties shared by the membranes of bacteria and tumor cells points to similar lipid-targeting mechanisms in both cases. On the other hand, anticancer peptides (ACPs) also induce apoptosis and inhibit angiogenesis. Human neutrophil peptide-1 (HNP-1) is an endogenous AMP that has been implicated in different cellular phenomena such as tumor proliferation. The presence of HNP-1 in the serum/plasma of oncologic patients turns this peptide into a potential tumor biomarker. The present work reveals the different effects of HNP-1 on the biophysical and nanomechanical properties of solid and hematological tumor cells. Studies on cellular morphology, cellular stiffness, and membrane ultrastructure and charge using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and zeta potential measurements show a preferential binding of HNP-1 to solid tumor cells from human prostate adenocarcinoma when compared to human leukemia cells. AFM also reveals induction of apoptosis with cellular membrane defects at very low peptide concentrations. Understanding ACPs mode(s) of action will certainly open innovative pathways for drug development in cancer treatment. PMID:25447543

  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 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

  19. Bovine Teat Microbiome Analysis Revealed Reduced Alpha Diversity and Significant Changes in Taxonomic Profiles in Quarters with a History of Mastitis.

    PubMed

    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

  20. 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

  1. Crystal structure of P58(IPK) TPR fragment reveals the mechanism for its molecular chaperone activity in UPR

    SciTech Connect

    Tao, Jiahui; Petrova, Kseniya; Ron, David; Sha, Bingdong

    2010-05-25

    P58(IPK) might function as an endoplasmic reticulum molecular chaperone to maintain protein folding homeostasis during unfolded protein responses. P58(IPK) contains nine tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR) motifs and a C-terminal J-domain within its primary sequence. To investigate the mechanism by which P58(IPK) functions to promote protein folding within the endoplasmic reticulum, we have determined the crystal structure of P58(IPK) TPR fragment to 2.5 {angstrom} resolution by the SAD method. The crystal structure of P58(IPK) revealed three domains (I-III) with similar folds and each domain contains three TPR motifs. An ELISA assay indicated that P58(IPK) acts as a molecular chaperone by interacting with misfolded proteins such as luciferase and rhodanese. The P58(IPK) structure reveals a conserved hydrophobic patch located in domain I that might be involved in binding the misfolded polypeptides. Structure-based mutagenesis for the conserved hydrophobic residues located in domain I significantly reduced the molecular chaperone activity of P58(IPK).

  2. 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.

  3. Screening of endocrine organ-specific humoral autoimmunity in 47,XXY Klinefelter's syndrome reveals a significant increase in diabetes-specific immunoreactivity in comparison with healthy control men.

    PubMed

    Panimolle, Francesca; Tiberti, Claudio; Granato, Simona; Semeraro, Antonella; Gianfrilli, Daniele; Anzuini, Antonella; Lenzi, Andrea; Radicioni, Antonio

    2016-04-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the frequency of humoral endocrine organ-specific autoimmunity in 47,XXY Klinefelter's syndrome (KS) by investigating the autoantibody profile specific to type 1 diabetes (T1DM), Addison's disease (AD), Hashimoto thyroiditis (HT), and autoimmune chronic atrophic gastritis (AG). Sixty-one adult Caucasian 47,XXY KS patients were tested for autoantibodies specific to T1DM (Insulin Abs, GAD Abs, IA-2 Abs, Znt8 Abs), HT (TPO Abs), AD (21-OH Abs), and AG (APC Abs). Thirty-five of these patients were not undergoing testosterone replacement therapy TRT (Group 1) and the remaining 26 patients started TRT before the beginning of the study (Group 2). KS autoantibody frequencies were compared to those found in 122 control men. Six of 61 KS patients (9.8 %) were positive for at least one endocrine autoantibody, compared to 6.5 % of controls. Interestingly, KS endocrine immunoreactivity was directed primarily against diabetes-specific autoantigens (8.2 %), with a significantly higher frequency than in controls (p = 0.016). Two KS patients (3.3 %) were TPO Ab positive, whereas no patients were positive for AD- and AG-related autoantigens. The autoantibody endocrine profile of untreated and treated KS patients was not significantly different. Our findings demonstrate for the first time that endocrine humoral immunoreactivity is not rare in KS patients and that it is more frequently directed against type 1 diabetes-related autoantigens, thus suggesting the importance of screening for organ-specific autoimmunity in clinical practice. Follow-up studies are needed to establish if autoantibody-positive KS patients will develop clinical T1DM. PMID:25935328

  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. Modeling prograde TiO2 activity and its significance for Ti-in-quartz thermobarometry of pelitic metamorphic rocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ashley, Kyle T.; Law, Richard D.

    2015-02-01

    Since its calibration, the Ti-in-quartz thermobarometer has been applied to a wide variety of geologic scenarios. The abundance of quartz in the continental crust and the involvement of silica in metamorphic reactions, deformation, and fluid flux processes make it a particularly powerful tool for constraining the pressure and temperature evolution of rocks, which is essential for developing tectonic models. Being able to quantitatively determine the solubility of Ti in quartz, however, is dependent upon being able to determine the activity of TiO2 in the rock during quartz growth or re-equilibration. Here we calculate TiO2 chemical potentials of the system relative to that of rutile (as a standard state), projected in P- T space for an average sub-aluminous pelite composition. Titania activities are calculated from these dependent potentials, with resultant activities used to correct for Ti isopleth projection in the Thomas et al. (2010) solubility equation. The modeling results are in good agreement with previous studies that suggest ilmenite-bearing assemblages buffer high TiO2 activities and titanite-bearing assemblages have much lower activities (≥0.5). At elevated temperatures, however, significant deviation from an assumed average pelite activity of 1.0 occurs, where the projected Ti concentration in quartz is up to 400 % different when assuming a dynamic system activity. This is due, in part, to the sequestering of Ti in biotite during heating and the destabilization of Ti-oxides at higher temperatures. With quartz-producing reactions, deformation-driven solution-transfer processes and other Si-mobilization events occur during the prograde and retrograde history of metapelites, and assuming TiO2 activities associated with the peak metamorphic paragenesis may be misleading and result in significant errors in P- T calculations.

  6. Significant others and contingencies of self-worth: activation and consequences of relationship-specific contingencies of self-worth.

    PubMed

    Horberg, E J; Chen, Serena

    2010-01-01

    Three studies tested the activation and consequences of contingencies of self-worth associated with specific significant others, that is, relationship-specific contingencies of self-worth. The results showed that activating the mental representation of a significant other with whom one strongly desires closeness led participants to stake their self-esteem in domains in which the significant other wanted them to excel. This was shown in terms of self-reported contingencies of self-worth (Study 1), in terms of self-worth after receiving feedback on a successful or unsatisfactory performance in a relationship-specific contingency domain (Study 2), and in terms of feelings of reduced self-worth after thinking about a failure in a relationship-specific contingency domain (Study 3). Across studies, a variety of contingency domains were examined. Furthermore, Study 3 showed that failing in an activated relationship-specific contingency domain had negative implications for current feelings of closeness and acceptance in the significant-other relationship. Overall, the findings suggest that people's contingencies of self-worth depend on the social situation and that performance in relationship-specific contingency domains can influence people's perceptions of their relationships. PMID:20053033

  7. Paternity analysis reveals significant isolation and near neighbor pollen dispersal in small Cariniana legalis Mart. Kuntze populations in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest.

    PubMed

    Tambarussi, Evandro V; Boshier, David; Vencovsky, Roland; Freitas, Miguel L M; Sebbenn, Alexandre M

    2015-12-01

    Throughout the world, large trees are increasingly rare. Cariniana legalis is the tallest tree species of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, reaching up to 60 m in height. Due to extensive deforestation of the Atlantic Forest, remnant C. legalis populations are small and spatially isolated, requiring the development of strategies for their conservation. For in situ and ex situ genetic conservation to be effective, it is important to understand the levels and patterns of spatial genetic structure (SGS), and gene flow. We investigated SGS and pollen flow in three small, physically isolated C. legalis stands using microsatellite loci. We measured, mapped, and sampled all C. legalis trees in the three stands: 65 trees from Ibicatu population, 22 trees from MGI, and 4 trees from MGII. We also collected and genotyped 600 seeds from Ibicatu, 250 seeds from MGI, and 200 seeds from MGII. Significant SGS was detected in Ibicatu up to 150 m, but substantial levels of external pollen flow were also detected in Ibicatu (8%), although not in MGI (0.4%) or MGII (0%). Selfing was highest in MGII (18%), the smallest group of trees, compared to MGI (6.4%) and Ibicatu (6%). In MGI and MGII, there was a strong pattern of mating among near-neighbors. Seed collection strategies for breeding, in situ and ex situ conservation and ecological restoration, must ensure collection from seed trees located at distances greater than 350 m and from several forest fragments. PMID:27069608

  8. ACTIVE LONGITUDES REVEALED BY LARGE-SCALE AND LONG-LIVED CORONAL STREAMERS

    SciTech Connect

    Li Jing

    2011-07-10

    We use time-series ultraviolet full sun images to construct limb-synoptic maps of the Sun. On these maps, large-scale, long-lived coronal streamers appear as repetitive sinusoid-like arcs projected over the polar regions. They are caused by high altitude plasma produced from sunspot-rich regions at latitudes generally far from the poles. The non-uniform longitudinal distribution of these streamers reveals four longitudinal zones at the surface of the Sun from which sunspots erupt preferentially over the 5 year observing interval (2006 January to 2011 April). Spots in these zones (or clusters) have individual lifetimes short compared to the lifetimes of the coronal features which they sustain, and they erupt at different times. The four sunspot clusters contain >75% of all numbered sunspots in this period. They occupy two distinct longitudinal zones separated by {approx}180{sup 0} and each spanning {approx}100{sup 0} in longitude. The rotation rates of the spot clusters are {approx}5% faster than the rates at both the surface and the bottom of the convection zone. While no convincing theoretical framework exists to interpret the sunspot clusters in the longitude-time space, their persistent and nonuniform distribution indicates long-lived, azimuthal structures beneath the surface, and are compatible with the existence of previously reported active longitudes on the Sun.

  9. In vivo role of the HNF4α AF-1 activation domain revealed by exon swapping

    PubMed Central

    Briançon, Nadège; Weiss, Mary C

    2006-01-01

    The gene encoding the nuclear receptor hepatocyte nuclear factor 4α (HNF4α) generates isoforms HNF4α1 and HNF4α7 from usage of alternative promoters. In particular, HNF4α7 is expressed in the pancreas whereas HNF4α1 is found in liver, and mutations affecting HNF4α function cause impaired insulin secretion and/or hepatic defects in humans and in tissue-specific ‘knockout' mice. HNF4α1 and α7 isoforms differ exclusively by amino acids encoded by the first exon which, in HNF4α1 but not in HNF4α7, includes the activating function (AF)-1 transactivation domain. To investigate the roles of HNF4α1 and HNF4α7 in vivo, we generated mice expressing only one isoform under control of both promoters, via reciprocal swapping of the isoform-specific first exons. Unlike Hnf4α gene disruption which causes embryonic lethality, these ‘α7-only' and ‘α1-only' mice are viable, indicating functional redundancy of the isoforms. However, the former show dyslipidemia and preliminary results indicate impaired glucose tolerance for the latter, revealing functional specificities of the isoforms. These ‘knock-in' mice provide the first test in vivo of the HNF4α AF-1 function and have permitted identification of AF-1-dependent target genes. PMID:16498401

  10. Activation of Nanoscale Allosteric Protein Domain Motion Revealed by Neutron Spin Echo Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Farago, Bela; Li, Jianquan; Cornilescu, Gabriel; Callaway, David J.E.; Bu, Zimei

    2010-01-01

    NHERF1 is a multidomain scaffolding protein that assembles 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 the membrane-cytoskeleton linker protein ezrin, whose binding site is located as far as 110 Ångstroms 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 submicrosecond timescales upon forming a complex with ezrin. We show that a much-simplified coarse-grained model suffices to describe interdomain motion of a multidomain 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. Our results demonstrate that the dynamic propagation of allosteric signals to distal sites involves changes in long-range coupled domain motions on submicrosecond timescales, and that these coupled motions can be distinguished and characterized by NSE. PMID:21081097

  11. 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

  12. Multimodular biosensors reveal a novel platform for activation of G proteins by growth factor receptors

    PubMed Central

    Midde, Krishna K.; Aznar, Nicolas; Laederich, Melanie B.; Ma, Gary S.; Kunkel, Maya T.; Newton, Alexandra C.; Ghosh, Pradipta

    2015-01-01

    Environmental cues are transmitted to the interior of the cell via a complex network of signaling hubs. Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) and trimeric G proteins are two such major signaling hubs in eukaryotes. Conventionally, canonical signal transduction via trimeric G proteins is thought to be triggered exclusively by G protein-coupled receptors. Here we used molecular engineering to develop modular fluorescent biosensors that exploit the remarkable specificity of bimolecular recognition, i.e., of both G proteins and RTKs, and reveal the workings of a novel platform for activation of G proteins by RTKs in single living cells. Comprised of the unique modular makeup of guanidine exchange factor Gα-interacting vesicle-associated protein (GIV)/girdin, a guanidine exchange factor that links G proteins to a variety of RTKs, these biosensors provide direct evidence that RTK–GIV–Gαi ternary complexes are formed in living cells and that Gαi is transactivated within minutes after growth factor stimulation at the plasma membrane. Thus, GIV-derived biosensors provide a versatile strategy for visualizing, monitoring, and manipulating the dynamic association of Gαi with RTKs for noncanonical transactivation of G proteins in cells and illuminate a fundamental signaling event regulated by GIV during diverse cellular processes and pathophysiologic states. PMID:25713130

  13. High-speed in vivo calcium imaging reveals neuronal network activity with near-millisecond precision.

    PubMed

    Grewe, Benjamin F; Langer, Dominik; Kasper, Hansjörg; Kampa, Björn M; Helmchen, Fritjof

    2010-05-01

    Two-photon calcium imaging of neuronal populations enables optical recording of spiking activity in living animals, but standard laser scanners are too slow to accurately determine spike times. Here we report in vivo imaging in mouse neocortex with greatly improved temporal resolution using random-access scanning with acousto-optic deflectors. We obtained fluorescence measurements from 34-91 layer 2/3 neurons at a 180-490 Hz sampling rate. We detected single action potential-evoked calcium transients with signal-to-noise ratios of 2-5 and determined spike times with near-millisecond precision and 5-15 ms confidence intervals. An automated 'peeling' algorithm enabled reconstruction of complex spike trains from fluorescence traces up to 20-30 Hz frequency, uncovering spatiotemporal trial-to-trial variability of sensory responses in barrel cortex and visual cortex. By revealing spike sequences in neuronal populations on a fast time scale, high-speed calcium imaging will facilitate optical studies of information processing in brain microcircuits. PMID:20400966

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Ribosome•RelA structures reveal the mechanism of stringent response activation.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:27434674

  17. 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.

  18. 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. PMID:26538330

  19. 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

  20. Significant Association between Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria and Uranium-Reducing Microbial Communities as Revealed by a Combined Massively Parallel Sequencing-Indicator Species Approach

    SciTech Connect

    Cardenas, Erick; Leigh, Mary Beth; Marsh, Terence; Tiedje, James M.; Wu, Wei-min; Luo, Jian; Ginder-Vogel, Matthew; Kitanidis, Peter K.; Criddle, Craig; Carley, Jack M; Carroll, Sue L; Gentry, Terry J; Watson, David B; Gu, Baohua; Jardine, Philip M; Zhou, Jizhong

    2010-10-01

    Massively parallel sequencing has provided a more affordable and high-throughput method to study microbial communities, although it has mostly been used in an exploratory fashion. We combined pyrosequencing with a strict indicator species statistical analysis to test if bacteria specifically responded to ethanol injection that successfully promoted dissimilatory uranium(VI) reduction in the subsurface of a uranium contamination plume at the Oak Ridge Field Research Center in Tennessee. Remediation was achieved with a hydraulic flow control consisting of an inner loop, where ethanol was injected, and an outer loop for flow-field protection. This strategy reduced uranium concentrations in groundwater to levels below 0.126 M and created geochemical gradients in electron donors from the inner-loop injection well toward the outer loop and downgradient flow path. Our analysis with 15 sediment samples from the entire test area found significant indicator species that showed a high degree of adaptation to the three different hydrochemical-created conditions. Castellaniella and Rhodanobacter characterized areas with low pH, heavy metals, and low bioactivity, while sulfate-, Fe(III)-, and U(VI)-reducing bacteria (Desulfovibrio, Anaeromyxobacter, and Desulfosporosinus) were indicators of areas where U(VI) reduction occurred. The abundance of these bacteria, as well as the Fe(III) and U(VI) reducer Geobacter, correlated with the hydraulic connectivity to the substrate injection site, suggesting that the selected populations were a direct response to electron donor addition by the groundwater flow path. A false-discovery-rate approach was implemented to discard false-positive results by chance, given the large amount of data compared.

  1. Significant association between sulfate-reducing bacteria and uranium-reducing microbial communities as revealed by a combined massively parallel sequencing-indicator species approach.

    PubMed

    Cardenas, Erick; Wu, Wei-Min; Leigh, Mary Beth; Carley, Jack; Carroll, Sue; Gentry, Terry; Luo, Jian; Watson, David; Gu, Baohua; Ginder-Vogel, Matthew; Kitanidis, Peter K; Jardine, Philip M; Zhou, Jizhong; Criddle, Craig S; Marsh, Terence L; Tiedje, James M

    2010-10-01

    Massively parallel sequencing has provided a more affordable and high-throughput method to study microbial communities, although it has mostly been used in an exploratory fashion. We combined pyrosequencing with a strict indicator species statistical analysis to test if bacteria specifically responded to ethanol injection that successfully promoted dissimilatory uranium(VI) reduction in the subsurface of a uranium contamination plume at the Oak Ridge Field Research Center in Tennessee. Remediation was achieved with a hydraulic flow control consisting of an inner loop, where ethanol was injected, and an outer loop for flow-field protection. This strategy reduced uranium concentrations in groundwater to levels below 0.126 μM and created geochemical gradients in electron donors from the inner-loop injection well toward the outer loop and downgradient flow path. Our analysis with 15 sediment samples from the entire test area found significant indicator species that showed a high degree of adaptation to the three different hydrochemical-created conditions. Castellaniella and Rhodanobacter characterized areas with low pH, heavy metals, and low bioactivity, while sulfate-, Fe(III)-, and U(VI)-reducing bacteria (Desulfovibrio, Anaeromyxobacter, and Desulfosporosinus) were indicators of areas where U(VI) reduction occurred. The abundance of these bacteria, as well as the Fe(III) and U(VI) reducer Geobacter, correlated with the hydraulic connectivity to the substrate injection site, suggesting that the selected populations were a direct response to electron donor addition by the groundwater flow path. A false-discovery-rate approach was implemented to discard false-positive results by chance, given the large amount of data compared. PMID:20729318

  2. Modulation of ethylene responses by OsRTH1 overexpression reveals the biological significance of ethylene in rice seedling growth and development

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Wei; Zhou, Xin; Wen, Chi-Kuang

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22451723

  3. 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

  4. Molecular Analysis of Isoniazid-Resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis Isolates from England and Wales Reveals the Phylogenetic Significance of the ahpC −46A Polymorphism

    PubMed Central

    Baker, L. V.; Brown, T. J.; Maxwell, O.; Gibson, A. L.; Fang, Z.; Yates, M. D.; Drobniewski, F. A.

    2005-01-01

    The present study investigated the prevalence and diagnostic potential of the most commonly reported mutations associated with isoniazid resistance, katG 315Thr, katG 315Asn, inhA −15T, inhA −8A, and the oxyR-ahpC intergenic region, in a population sample of 202 isoniazid-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates and 176 randomly selected fully sensitive isolates from England and Wales identified by using a directed oligonucleotide array and limited DNA sequencing. The strains were recovered from patients originating from 29 countries; 41 isolates were multidrug resistant. Mutations affecting katG 315, the inhA promoter, and the oxyR-ahpC intergenic region were found in 62.7, 21.9, and 30% of 169 genotypically distinct isoniazid-resistant isolates, respectively, whereas they were found in 0, 0, and 8% of susceptible strains, respectively. The frequency of mutation at each locus was unrelated to the resistance profile or previous antituberculous drug therapy. The commonest mutation in the oxyR-ahpC intergenic region, ahpC −46A, was present in 23.7% of isoniazid-resistant isolates and 7.5% of susceptible isolates. This proved to be a phylogenetic marker for a subgroup of M. tuberculosis strains originating on the Indian subcontinent, which shared IS6110-based restriction fragment length polymorphism and spoligotype features with the Delhi strain and Central Asian strain CAS1; and this marker is strongly associated with isoniazid resistance and the katG 315Thr mutation. In total, 82.8% of unrelated isoniazid-resistant isolates could be identified by analysis of just two loci: katG 315 and the inhA promoter. Analysis of the oxyR-ahpC intergenic region, although phylogenetically interesting, does not contribute significantly to further identification of isoniazid-resistant isolates. PMID:15793126

  5. Comprehensive analysis of HPV16 integration in OSCC reveals no significant impact of physical status on viral oncogene and virally disrupted human gene expression.

    PubMed

    Olthof, Nadine C; Speel, Ernst-Jan M; Kolligs, Jutta; Haesevoets, Annick; Henfling, Mieke; Ramaekers, Frans C S; Preuss, Simon F; Drebber, Uta; Wieland, Ulrike; Silling, Steffi; Lam, Wan L; Vucic, Emily A; Kremer, Bernd; Klussmann, Jens-P; Huebbers, Christian U

    2014-01-01

    Infection with high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16 is an independent risk factor for the development of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas (OSCC). However, it is unclear whether viral integration is an essential hallmark in the carcinogenic process of OSCC and whether HPV integration correlates with the level of viral gene transcription and influences the expression of disrupted host genes. We analyzed 75 patients with OSCC. HPV16-positivity was proven by p16(INK4A) immunohistochemistry, PCR and FISH. Viral integration was examined using DIPS- as well as APOT-PCR. Viral E2, E6 and E7 gene expression levels were quantified by quantitative reverse transcriptase (RT-q)PCR. Expression levels of 7 human genes disrupted by the virus were extracted from mRNA expression profiling data of 32 OSCCs. Viral copy numbers were assessed by qPCR in 73 tumors. We identified 37 HPV16-human fusion products indicating viral integration in 29 (39%) OSCC. In the remaining tumors (61%) only episome-derived PCR products were detected. When comparing OSCC with or without an integration-derived fusion product, we did not find significant differences in the mean RNA expression of viral genes E2, E6 and E7 or the viral copy numbers per cell, nor did the RNA expression of the HPV-disrupted genes differ from either group of OSCC. In conclusion, our data do not support the hypothesis that integration affects the levels of viral and/or HPV-disrupted human gene transcripts. Thus constitutive, rather than a high level, of expression of oncogene transcripts appears to be required in HPV-related OSCC. PMID:24586376

  6. A combined massively parallel sequencing indicator species approach revealed significant association between sulfate-reducing bacteria and uranium-reducing microbial communities

    SciTech Connect

    Cardenas, Erick; Wu, Wei-min; Leigh, Mary Beth; Carley, Jack M; Carroll, Sue L; Gentry, Terry; Luo, Jian; Watson, David B; Gu, Baohua; Ginder-Vogel, Matthew A.; Kitanidis, Peter K.; Jardine, Philip; Kelly, Shelly D; Zhou, Jizhong; Criddle, Craig; Marsh, Terence; Tiedje, James

    2010-08-01

    Massively parallel sequencing has provided a more affordable and high throughput method to study microbial communities, although it has been mostly used in an exploratory fashion. We combined pyrosequencing with a strict indicator species statistical analysis to test if bacteria specifically responded to ethanol injection that successfully promoted dissimilatory uranium (VI) reduction in the subsurface of a uranium contamination plume at the Oak Ridge Field Research Center in Tennessee, USA. Remediation was achieved with a hydraulic flow control consisting of an inner loop, where ethanol was injected, and an outer loop for flow field protection. This strategy reduced uranium concentrations in groundwater to levels below 0.126 {micro}M, and created geochemical gradients in electron donors from the inner loop injection well towards the outer loop and down-gradient flow path. Our analysis with 15 sediment samples from the entire test area found significant indicator species that showed a high degree of adaptation to the three different hydrochemical created conditions. Castellaniella, and Rhodanobacter characterized areas with low pH, heavy metals, and low bioactivity; while sulfate-, Fe(III)-, and U(VI)-reducing bacteria (Desulfovibrio, Anaeromyxobacter, and Desulfosporosinus) were indicators of areas where U(VI) reduction occurred. Abundance of these bacteria as well as the Fe(III)- and U(VI)-reducer Geobacter correlated with the hydraulic connectivity to the substrate injection site, suggesting that the selected populations were a direct response to the electron donor addition and by the groundwater flow path. A false discovery rate approach was implemented to discard false positives by chance given the large amount of data compared.

  7. Phage display-mediated discovery of novel tyrosinase-targeting tetrapeptide inhibitors reveals the significance of N-terminal preference of cysteine residues and their functional sulfur atom.

    PubMed

    Lee, Yu-Ching; Hsiao, Nai-Wan; Tseng, Tien-Sheng; Chen, Wang-Chuan; Lin, Hui-Hsiung; Leu, Sy-Jye; Yang, Ei-Wen; Tsai, Keng-Chang

    2015-02-01

    Tyrosinase, a key copper-containing enzyme involved in melanin biosynthesis, is closely associated with hyperpigmentation disorders, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases, and as such, it is an essential target in medicine and cosmetics. Known tyrosinase inhibitors possess adverse side effects, and there are no safety regulations; therefore, it is necessary to develop new inhibitors with fewer side effects and less toxicity. Peptides are exquisitely specific to their in vivo targets, with high potencies and relatively few off-target side effects. Thus, we systematically and comprehensively investigated the tyrosinase-inhibitory abilities of N- and C-terminal cysteine/tyrosine-containing tetrapeptides by constructing a phage-display random tetrapeptide library and conducting computational molecular docking studies on novel tyrosinase tetrapeptide inhibitors. We found that N-terminal cysteine-containing tetrapeptides exhibited the most potent tyrosinase-inhibitory abilities. The positional preference of cysteine residues at the N terminus in the tetrapeptides significantly contributed to their tyrosinase-inhibitory function. The sulfur atom in cysteine moieties of N- and C-terminal cysteine-containing tetrapeptides coordinated with copper ions, which then tightly blocked substrate-binding sites. N- and C-terminal tyrosine-containing tetrapeptides functioned as competitive inhibitors against mushroom tyrosinase by using the phenol ring of tyrosine to stack with the imidazole ring of His263, thus competing for the substrate-binding site. The N-terminal cysteine-containing tetrapeptide CRVI exhibited the strongest tyrosinase-inhibitory potency (with an IC50 of 2.7 ± 0.5 μM), which was superior to those of the known tyrosinase inhibitors (arbutin and kojic acid) and outperformed kojic acid-tripeptides, mimosine-FFY, and short-sequence oligopeptides at inhibiting mushroom tyrosinase. PMID:25403678

  8. Study of prognostic significance of antenatal ultrasonography and renin angiotensin system activation in predicting disease severity in posterior urethral valves

    PubMed Central

    Bhadoo, Divya; Bajpai, M.; Abid, Ali; Sukanya, Gayan; Agarwala, Sandeep; Srinivas, M.; Deka, Deepika; Agarwal, Nutan; Agarwal, Ramesh; Kumar, Rakesh

    2015-01-01

    Aims: Study on prognostic significance of antenatal ultrasonography and renin angiotensin system activation in predicting disease severity in posterior urethral valves. Materials and Methods: Antenatally diagnosed hydronephrosis patients were included. Postnatally, they were divided into two groups, posterior urethral valve (PUV) and non-PUV. The studied parameters were: Gestational age at detection, surgical intervention, ultrasound findings, cord blood and follow up plasma renin activity (PRA) values, vesico-ureteric reflux (VUR), renal scars, and glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Results: A total of 25 patients were included, 10 PUV and 15 non-PUV. All infants with PUV underwent primary valve incision. GFR was less than 60 ml/min/1.73 m2 body surface area in 4 patients at last follow-up. Keyhole sign, oligoamnios, absent bladder cycling, and cortical cysts were not consistent findings on antenatal ultrasound in PUV. Cord blood PRA was significantly higher (P < 0.0001) in PUV compared to non-PUV patients. Gestational age at detection of hydronephrosis, cortical cysts, bladder wall thickness, and amniotic fluid index were not significantly correlated with GFR while PRA could differentiate between poor and better prognosis cases with PUV. Conclusions: Ultrasound was neither uniformly useful in diagnosing PUV antenatally, nor differentiating it from cases with non-PUV hydronephrosis. In congenital hydronephrosis, cord blood PRA was significantly higher in cases with PUV compared to non-PUV cases and fell significantly after valve ablation. Cord blood PRA could distinguish between poor and better prognosis cases with PUV. PMID:25829668

  9. 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. PMID:23803848

  10. 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. PMID:23110785

  11. Protonation state of a single histidine residue contributes significantly to the kinetics of the reaction of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 with tissue-type plasminogen activator.

    PubMed

    Komissarov, Andrey A; Declerck, Paul J; Shore, Joseph D

    2004-05-28

    Stopped-flow fluorometry was used to study the kinetics of the reactive center loop insertion occurring during the reaction of N-((2-(iodoacetoxy)ethyl)-N-methyl)amino-7-nitrobenz-2-oxa-3-diazole (NBD) P9 plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) with tissue-(tPA) and urokinase (uPA)-type plasminogen activators and human pancreatic elastase at pH 5.5-8.5. The limiting rate constants of reactive center loop insertion (k(lim)) and concentrations of proteinase at half-saturation (K(0.5)) for tPA and uPA and the specificity constants (k(lim)/K(0.5)) for elastase were determined. The pH dependences of k(lim)/K(0.5) reflected inactivation of each enzyme due to protonation of His57 of the catalytic triad. However, the specificity of the inhibitory reaction with tPA and uPA was notably higher than that for the substrate reaction catalyzed by elastase. pH dependences of k(lim) and K(0.5) obtained for tPA revealed an additional ionizable group (pKa, 6.0-6.2) affecting the reaction. Protonation of this group resulted in a significant increase in both k(lim) and K(0.5) and a 4.6-fold decrease in the specificity of the reaction of tPA with NBD P9 PAI-1. Binding of monoclonal antibody MA-55F4C12 to PAI-1 induced a decrease in k(lim) and K(0.5) at any pH but did not affect either the pKa of the group or an observed decrease in k(lim)/K(0.5) due to protonation of the group. In contrast to tPA, the k(lim) and K(0.5) for the reactions of uPA with NBD P9 PAI-1 or its complex with the monoclonal antibody were independent of pH in the 6.5-8.5 range. Since slightly acidic pH is a feature of a number of malignant tumors, alterations in PAI-1/tPA kinetics could play a role in the cancerogenesis. Changes in the protonation state of His(188), which is placed closely to the S1 site and is unique for tPA, has been proposed to contribute to the observed pH dependences of k(lim) and K(0.5). PMID:15033993

  12. Risk of significant cytopenias after treatment with tocilizumab in systemic juvenile arthritis patients with a history of macrophage activation syndrome

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Tocilizumab (TCZ) is the first FDA- approved treatment for systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (sJIA). We report 3 cases of cytopenias in children with sJIA treated with TCZ. Two of the children who developed significant cytopenias shortly after initiation of TCZ had a history of macrophage activation syndrome. We raise the possibility that patients with a tendency towards MAS have an increased risk of developing cytopenias when treated with tocilizumab. PMID:22931129

  13. Distinct isoform of FABP7 revealed by screening for retroelement-activated genes in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

    PubMed

    Lock, Frances E; Rebollo, Rita; Miceli-Royer, Katharine; Gagnier, Liane; Kuah, Sabrina; Babaian, Artem; Sistiaga-Poveda, Maialen; Lai, C Benjamin; Nemirovsky, Oksana; Serrano, Isabel; Steidl, Christian; Karimi, Mohammad M; Mager, Dixie L

    2014-08-26

    Remnants of ancient transposable elements (TEs) are abundant in mammalian genomes. These sequences harbor multiple regulatory motifs and hence are capable of influencing expression of host genes. In response to environmental changes, TEs are known to be released from epigenetic repression and to become transcriptionally active. Such activation could also lead to lineage-inappropriate activation of oncogenes, as one study described in Hodgkin lymphoma. However, little further evidence for this mechanism in other cancers has been reported. Here, we reanalyzed whole transcriptome data from a large cohort of patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) compared with normal B-cell centroblasts to detect genes ectopically expressed through activation of TE promoters. We have identified 98 such TE-gene chimeric transcripts that were exclusively expressed in primary DLBCL cases and confirmed several in DLBCL-derived cell lines. We further characterized a TE-gene chimeric transcript involving a fatty acid-binding protein gene (LTR2-FABP7), normally expressed in brain, that was ectopically expressed in a subset of DLBCL patients through the use of an endogenous retroviral LTR promoter of the LTR2 family. The LTR2-FABP7 chimeric transcript encodes a novel chimeric isoform of the protein with characteristics distinct from native FABP7. In vitro studies reveal a dependency for DLBCL cell line proliferation and growth on LTR2-FABP7 chimeric protein expression. Taken together, these data demonstrate the significance of TEs as regulators of aberrant gene expression in cancer and suggest that LTR2-FABP7 may contribute to the pathogenesis of DLBCL in a subgroup of patients. PMID:25114248

  14. Distinct isoform of FABP7 revealed by screening for retroelement-activated genes in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma

    PubMed Central

    Lock, Frances E.; Rebollo, Rita; Miceli-Royer, Katharine; Gagnier, Liane; Kuah, Sabrina; Babaian, Artem; Sistiaga-Poveda, Maialen; Lai, C. Benjamin; Nemirovsky, Oksana; Serrano, Isabel; Steidl, Christian; Karimi, Mohammad M.; Mager, Dixie L.

    2014-01-01

    Remnants of ancient transposable elements (TEs) are abundant in mammalian genomes. These sequences harbor multiple regulatory motifs and hence are capable of influencing expression of host genes. In response to environmental changes, TEs are known to be released from epigenetic repression and to become transcriptionally active. Such activation could also lead to lineage-inappropriate activation of oncogenes, as one study described in Hodgkin lymphoma. However, little further evidence for this mechanism in other cancers has been reported. Here, we reanalyzed whole transcriptome data from a large cohort of patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) compared with normal B-cell centroblasts to detect genes ectopically expressed through activation of TE promoters. We have identified 98 such TE-gene chimeric transcripts that were exclusively expressed in primary DLBCL cases and confirmed several in DLBCL-derived cell lines. We further characterized a TE-gene chimeric transcript involving a fatty acid-binding protein gene (LTR2-FABP7), normally expressed in brain, that was ectopically expressed in a subset of DLBCL patients through the use of an endogenous retroviral LTR promoter of the LTR2 family. The LTR2-FABP7 chimeric transcript encodes a novel chimeric isoform of the protein with characteristics distinct from native FABP7. In vitro studies reveal a dependency for DLBCL cell line proliferation and growth on LTR2-FABP7 chimeric protein expression. Taken together, these data demonstrate the significance of TEs as regulators of aberrant gene expression in cancer and suggest that LTR2-FABP7 may contribute to the pathogenesis of DLBCL in a subgroup of patients. PMID:25114248

  15. 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. PMID:21406370

  16. 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. PMID:25140675

  17. Phosphoproteomic analysis of induced resistance reveals activation of signal transduction processes by beneficial and pathogenic interaction in grapevine.

    PubMed

    Perazzolli, Michele; Palmieri, Maria Cristina; Matafora, Vittoria; Bachi, Angela; Pertot, Ilaria

    2016-05-20

    Protein phosphorylation regulates several key processes of the plant immune system. Protein kinases and phosphatases are pivotal regulators of defense mechanisms elicited by resistance inducers. However, the phosphorylation cascades that trigger the induced resistance mechanisms in plants have not yet been deeply investigated. The beneficial fungus Trichoderma harzianum T39 (T39) induces resistance against grapevine downy mildew (Plasmopara viticola), but its efficacy could be further improved by a better understanding of the cellular regulations involved. We investigated quantitative changes in the grapevine phosphoproteome during T39-induced resistance to get an overview of regulatory mechanisms of downy mildew resistance. Immunodetection experiments revealed activation of the 45 and 49kDa kinases by T39 treatment both before and after pathogen inoculation, and the phosphoproteomic analysis identified 103 phosphopeptides that were significantly affected by the phosphorylation cascades during T39-induced resistance. Peptides affected by T39 treatment showed comparable phosphorylation levels after P. viticola inoculation, indicating activation of the microbial recognition machinery before pathogen infection. Phosphorylation profiles of proteins related to photosynthetic processes and protein ubiquitination indicated a partial overlap of cellular responses in T39-treated and control plants. However, phosphorylation changes of proteins involved in response to stimuli, signal transduction, hormone signaling, gene expression regulation, and RNA metabolism were exclusively elicited by P. viticola inoculation in T39-treated plants. These results highlighted the relevance of phosphorylation changes during T39-induced resistance and identified key regulator candidates of the grapevine defense against downy mildew. PMID:27010348

  18. Toxicogenomic analysis of mainstream tobacco smoke-exposed mice reveals repression of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 gene in heart.

    PubMed

    Halappanavar, Sabina; Stampfli, Martin R; Berndt-Weis, Lynn; Williams, Andrew; Douglas, George R; Yauk, Carole L

    2009-01-01

    Tobacco smoking is associated with cardiovascular pathology. However, the molecular mechanisms of tobacco smoke exposure that lead to initiation or exacerbation of cardiovascular disease are unclear. In this study, the effects of mainstream tobacco smoke (MTS) on global transcription in the heart were investigated. Male C57B1/CBA mice were exposed to MTS from 2 cigarettes daily, 5 days/wk for 6 or 12 wk. Mice were sacrificed immediately, or 6 wk following the last cigarette. High-density DNA microarrays were used to characterize global gene expression changes in whole heart. Fifteen genes were significantly differentially expressed following exposure to MTS. Among these genes, cytochrome P-450 1A1 (Cyp1A1) was upregulated by 12-fold, and Serpine-1 (plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, PAI-1) was downregulated by 1.7-fold. Concomitant increase in Cyp1A1 protein levels and decrease in total and active PAI-1 protein was observed in tissue extracts by Western blot assay and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), respectively. Observed changes were transient and were partially reversed during break periods. Thus, gene expression profiling of heart tissue revealed a novel cardiovascular mechanism operating in response to MTS. Our results suggest a potential role for PAI-1 in MTS-induced cardiovascular pathology. PMID:18925475

  19. 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

  20. Elucidation of procoagulant mechanism and pathophysiological significance of a new prothrombin activating metalloprotease purified from Daboia russelii russelii venom.

    PubMed

    Thakur, Rupamoni; Chattopadhyay, Pronobesh; Ghosh, Siddharth S; Mukherjee, Ashis K

    2015-06-15

    The procoagulant proteases present in Russell's Viper venom (RVV) are responsible for promoting consumption coagulopathy in victims. In this study, a procoagulant metalloprotease (Rusviprotease) possessing prothrombin activating and α-fibrinogenase properties has been purified and characterized from RVV. Rusviprotease is a 26.8 kDa glycoprotein which also exists in other multimeric forms. The peptide mass fingerprinting and secondary structure analyses of Rusviprotease revealed its similarity with snake venom prothrombin activators and metalloproteases. Similar to group A prothrombin activators, Rusviprotease cleaved prothrombin independent of any co-factor requirement generating meizothrombin which is further cleaved to form thrombin. The Km and Vmax values of Rusviprotease towards prothrombin were determined to be 1.73 μM, and 153.5 nM thrombin generated/min/μmoles of Rusviprotease, respectively. The Km and Vmax values of Rusviprotease towards fibrinogen were calculated to be 3.14 μM and 78.7 nmol/min, respectively. Spectrofluorometric study provided the evidence of interaction between Rusviprotease and factor Xa with a Kd value of 6.64 nM. This interaction augmented the prothrombin activating property of the factor Xa-prothrombinase-Rusviprotease complex by 2.5 fold. Intravenous injection of Rusviprotease to BALB/c mice (0.1 mg/kg) resulted in in vivo defibrinogenation rendering the blood incoagulable. In conclusion, Rusviprotease is the first example of a prothrombin activator with fibrinogenolytic property purified from Daboia russelii russelii venom. PMID:25817001

  1. Novel nitrifiers and comammox in a full-scale hybrid biofilm and activated sludge reactor revealed by metagenomic approach.

    PubMed

    Chao, Yuanqing; Mao, Yanping; Yu, Ke; Zhang, Tong

    2016-09-01

    Biofilms are widely used in wastewater treatment for their particular enhancement of nitrogen removal and other significant advantages. In this study, the diversity and potential functions of nitrogen removal bacteria in suspended activated sludge (AS) and biofilm of a full-scale hybrid reactor were uncovered by metagenomes (∼34 Gb), coupled with PCR-based 454 reads (>33 K reads). The results indicated that the diversity and abundance of nitrifiers and denitrifiers in biofilm did not surpass that in AS, while more nitrification and denitrification genes were indeed found in biofilm than AS, suggesting that the increased nitrogen removal ability by applying biofilm might be attributed to the enhancement of removal efficiency, rather than the biomass accumulation of nitrogen removal bacteria. The gene annotation and phylogenetic analysis results revealed that AS and biofilm samples consisted of 6.0 % and 9.4 % of novel functional genes for nitrogen removal and 18 % and 30 % of new Nitrospira species for nitrite-oxidizing bacteria, respectively. Moreover, the identification of Nitrospira-like amoA genes provided metagenomic evidence for the presence of complete ammonia oxidizer (comammox) with the functional potential to perform the complete oxidation of ammonia to nitrate. These findings have significant implications in expanding our knowledge of the biological nitrogen transformations in wastewater treatment. PMID:27287850

  2. Characterization of 10-hydroxygeraniol dehydrogenase from Catharanthus roseus reveals cascaded enzymatic activity in iridoid biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    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

  3. 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

  4. 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

    2015-01-01

    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

  5. 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

  6. Length and activity of the root apical meristem revealed in vivo by infrared imaging.

    PubMed

    Bizet, François; Hummel, Irène; Bogeat-Triboulot, Marie-Béatrice

    2015-03-01

    Understanding how cell division and cell elongation influence organ growth and development is a long-standing issue in plant biology. In plant roots, most of the cell divisions occur in a short and specialized region, the root apical meristem (RAM). Although RAM activity has been suggested to be of high importance to understand how roots grow and how the cell cycle is regulated, few experimental and numeric data are currently available. The characterization of the RAM is difficult and essentially based upon cell length measurements through destructive and time-consuming microscopy approaches. Here, a new non-invasive method is described that couples infrared light imaging and kinematic analyses and that allows in vivo measurements of the RAM length. This study provides a detailed description of the RAM activity, especially in terms of cell flux and cell division rate. We focused on roots of hydroponic grown poplars and confirmed our method on maize roots. How the RAM affects root growth rate is studied by taking advantage of the high inter-individual variability of poplar root growth. An osmotic stress was applied and did not significantly affect the RAM length, highlighting its homeostasis in short to middle-term responses. The methodology described here simplifies a lot experimental procedures, allows an increase in the number of individuals that can be taken into account in experiments, and means new experiments can be formulated that allow temporal monitoring of the RAM length. PMID:25540436

  7. Aberrant spontaneous brain activity in chronic tinnitus patients revealed by resting-state functional MRI

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yu-Chen; Zhang, Jian; Li, Xiao-Wei; Xia, Wenqing; Feng, Xu; Gao, Bo; Ju, Sheng-Hong; Wang, Jian; Salvi, Richard; Teng, Gao-Jun

    2014-01-01

    Objective The neural mechanisms that give rise to the phantom sound of tinnitus are poorly understood. This study aims to investigate whether aberrant spontaneous brain activity exists in chronic tinnitus patients using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technique. Materials and methods A total of 31 patients with chronic tinnitus patients and 32 healthy age-, sex-, and education-matched healthy controls were prospectively examined. Both groups had normal hearing thresholds. We calculated the amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (ALFFs) of fMRI signals to measure spontaneous neuronal activity and detect the relationship between fMRI information and clinical data of tinnitus. Results Compared with healthy controls, we observed significant increased ALFF within several selected regions including the right middle temporal gyrus (MTG), right superior frontal gyrus (SFG), and right angular gyrus; decreased ALFF was detected in the left cuneus, right middle occipital gyrus and bilateral thalamus. Moreover, tinnitus distress correlated positively with increased ALFF in right MTG and right SFG; tinnitus duration correlated positively with higher ALFF values in right SFG. Conclusions The present study confirms that chronic tinnitus patients have aberrant ALFF in many brain regions, which is associated with specific clinical tinnitus characteristics. ALFF disturbance in specific brain regions might be used to identify the neuro-pathophysiological mechanisms in chronic tinnitus patients. PMID:25379434

  8. 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

  9. Length and activity of the root apical meristem revealed in vivo by infrared imaging

    PubMed Central

    Bizet, François; Hummel, Irène; Bogeat-Triboulot, Marie-Béatrice

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how cell division and cell elongation influence organ growth and development is a long-standing issue in plant biology. In plant roots, most of the cell divisions occur in a short and specialized region, the root apical meristem (RAM). Although RAM activity has been suggested to be of high importance to understand how roots grow and how the cell cycle is regulated, few experimental and numeric data are currently available. The characterization of the RAM is difficult and essentially based upon cell length measurements through destructive and time-consuming microscopy approaches. Here, a new non-invasive method is described that couples infrared light imaging and kinematic analyses and that allows in vivo measurements of the RAM length. This study provides a detailed description of the RAM activity, especially in terms of cell flux and cell division rate. We focused on roots of hydroponic grown poplars and confirmed our method on maize roots. How the RAM affects root growth rate is studied by taking advantage of the high inter-individual variability of poplar root growth. An osmotic stress was applied and did not significantly affect the RAM length, highlighting its homeostasis in short to middle-term responses. The methodology described here simplifies a lot experimental procedures, allows an increase in the number of individuals that can be taken into account in experiments, and means new experiments can be formulated that allow temporal monitoring of the RAM length. PMID:25540436

  10. Structure of the nisin leader peptidase NisP revealing a C-terminal autocleavage activity.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yueyang; Li, Xin; Li, Ruiqing; Li, Shanshan; Ni, Hongqian; Wang, Hui; Xu, Haijin; Zhou, Weihong; Saris, Per E J; Yang, Wen; Qiao, Mingqiang; Rao, Zihe

    2014-06-01

    Nisin is a widely used antibacterial lantibiotic polypeptide produced by Lactococcus lactis. NisP belongs to the subtilase family and functions in the last step of nisin maturation as the leader-peptide peptidase. Deletion of the nisP gene in LAC71 results in the production of a non-active precursor peptide with the leader peptide unremoved. Here, the 1.1 Å resolution crystal structure of NisP is reported. The structure shows similarity to other subtilases, which can bind varying numbers of Ca atoms. However, no calcium was found in this NisP structure, and the predicted calcium-chelating residues were placed so as to not allow NisP to bind a calcium ion in this conformation. Interestingly, a short peptide corresponding to its own 635-647 sequence was found to bind to the active site of NisP. Biochemical assays and native mass-spectrometric analysis confirmed that NisP possesses an auto-cleavage site between residues Arg647 and Ser648. Further, it was shown that NisP mutated at the auto-cleavage site (R647P/S648P) had full catalytic activity for nisin leader-peptide cleavage, although the C-terminal region of NisP was no longer cleaved. Expressing this mutant in L. lactis LAC71 did not affect the production of nisin but did decrease the proliferation rate of the bacteria, suggesting the biological significance of the C-terminal auto-cleavage of NisP. PMID:24914961

  11. Widely Used Pesticides with Previously Unknown Endocrine Activity Revealed as in Vitro Antiandrogens

    PubMed Central

    Orton, Frances; Rosivatz, Erika; Scholze, Martin; Kortenkamp, Andreas

    2011-01-01

    Background Evidence suggests that there is widespread decline in male reproductive health and that antiandrogenic pollutants may play a significant role. There is also a clear disparity between pesticide exposure and data on endocrine disruption, with most of the published literature focused on pesticides that are no longer registered for use in developed countries. Objective We used estimated human exposure data to select pesticides to test for antiandrogenic activity, focusing on highest use pesticides. Methods We used European databases to select 134 candidate pesticides based on highest exposure, followed by a filtering step according to known or predicted receptor-mediated antiandrogenic potency, based on a previously published quantitative structure–activity relationship (QSAR) model. In total, 37 pesticides were tested for in vitro androgen receptor (AR) antagonism. Of these, 14 were previously reported to be AR antagonists (“active”), 4 were predicted AR antagonists using the QSAR, 6 were predicted to not be AR antagonists (“inactive”), and 13 had unknown activity, which were “out of domain” and therefore could not be classified with the QSAR (“unknown”). Results All 14 pesticides with previous evidence of AR antagonism were confirmed as antiandrogenic in our assay, and 9 previously untested pesticides were identified as antiandrogenic (dimethomorph, fenhexamid, quinoxyfen, cyprodinil, λ-cyhalothrin, pyrimethanil, fludioxonil, azinphos-methyl, pirimiphos-methyl). In addition, we classified 7 compounds as androgenic. Conclusions Due to estimated antiandrogenic potency, current use, estimated exposure, and lack of previous data, we strongly recommend that dimethomorph, fludioxonil, fenhexamid, imazalil, ortho-phenylphenol, and pirimiphos-methyl be tested for antiandrogenic effects in vivo. The lack of human biomonitoring data for environmentally relevant pesticides presents a barrier to current risk assessment of pesticides on humans. PMID

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Metatranscriptome Analysis of Aquifer Samples Reveals Unexpected Metabolic Lifestyles Relevant to Active Biogeochemical Cycling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    Modern molecular ecology techniques are revealing the metabolic potential of uncultivated microorganisms, but there is still much to be learned about the actual biogeochemical roles of microbes that have cultivated relatives. Here, we present metatranscriptomic and metagenomic data from a field study that provides evidence of coupled redox processes that have not been documented in cultivated relatives and, indeed, represent strains with metabolic traits that are novel with respect to closely related isolates. The data come from omics analysis of groundwater samples collected during an experiment in which nitrate (a native electron acceptor) was injected into a perennially suboxic aquifer in Rifle (CO). Transcriptional data indicated that just two groups of chemolithoautotrophic bacteria accounted for a very large portion (~80%) of overall community gene expression: (1) members of the Fe(II)-oxidizing Gallionellaceae family and (2) strains of the S-oxidizing species, Sulfurimonas denitrificans. Metabolic lifestyles for Gallionellaceae strains that were novel compared to cultivated representatives included nitrate-dependent Fe(II) oxidation and S oxidation. Evidence for these metabolisms included highly correlated temporal expression in binned data of nitrate reductase (e.g., narGHI) genes (which have never been reported in Gallionellaceae genomes) and Fe(II) oxidation genes (e.g., mtoA) or S oxidation genes (e.g., dsrE, aprA). Of the two most active strains of S. denitrificans, only one showed strong expression of S oxidation genes, whereas the other was apparently using an unexpected (as-yet unidentified) primary electron donor. Transcriptional data added considerable interpretive value to this study, as (1) metagenomic data would not have highlighted these organisms, which had a disproportionately large role in community metabolism relative to their populations, and (2) co-expression of coupled pathway genes could not be predicted based solely on metagenomic data.

  15. Active fault creep variations at Chihshang, Taiwan, revealed by creep meter monitoring, 1998-2001

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Jian-Cheng; Angelier, Jacques; Chu, Hao-Tsu; Hu, Jyr-Ching; Jeng, Fu-Shu; Rau, Ruey-Juin

    2003-11-01

    The daily creep meter data recorded at Chihshang in 1998-2001 are presented. The Chihshang creep meter experiment was set up across the Chihshang thrust fault, the most active segment of the Longitudinal Valley Fault, which is the present-day plate suture between the Eurasian and the Philippine Sea plates in eastern Taiwan. Near-continuous data recording at two sites revealed different surface fault motions yet similar annual shortening rates: 16.2 mm at the Tapo site (comprising two connected creep meters) and 15.0 mm at the Chinyuan site (three creep meters straddling parallel fault branches). Four of the five creep meters showed a seasonal variation, with the fault moving steadily during the rainy season from April to October, and remaining quiescent during the rest of the year. The only exception was recorded by the creep meter located on a mélange-composed hillslope, where local gravitational landsliding played an additional role other than tectonic faulting. Through comparison with daily precipitation data, we inferred that moderate rainfall suffices to trigger or facilitate slippage on the surface fault, during the transition period of the dry/wet season. During the observation period from 1998 to 2001, the subsurface seismicity exhibited clusters of microearthquakes on the Chihshang Fault at depths of 10-25 km. Recurrent earthquakes occurred regardless of whether the season was wet or dry, indicating that the stress relaxation associated with seismicity in the seismogenic zone did not transfer immediately up to the surface. The accumulated strain on the Chihshang Fault at shallow surface levels was released through creep during the wet season. In addition to these short-term seasonal variations, an apparent decrease in the annual slipping rate on the Chihshang Fault during the last few years deserves further investigation in order to mitigate against seismic hazard.

  16. Transcriptional Analysis of a Dehalococcoides-Containing Microbial Consortium Reveals Prophage Activation

    PubMed Central

    Waller, Alison S.; Hug, Laura A.; Mo, Kaiguo; Radford, Devon R.; Maxwell, Karen L.

    2012-01-01

    Chlorinated solvents are among the most prevalent groundwater contaminants in the industrialized world. Biodegradation with Dehalococcoides-containing mixed cultures is an effective remediation technology. To elucidate transcribed genes in a Dehalococcoides-containing mixed culture, a shotgun metagenome microarray was created and used to investigate gene transcription during vinyl chloride (VC) dechlorination and during starvation (no chlorinated compounds) by a microbial enrichment culture called KB-1. In both treatment conditions, methanol was amended as an electron donor. Subsequently, spots were sequenced that contained the genes most differentially transcribed between the VC-degrading and methanol-only conditions, as well as spots with the highest intensities. Sequencing revealed that during VC degradation Dehalococcoides genes involved in transcription, translation, metabolic energy generation, and amino acid and lipid metabolism and transport were overrepresented in the transcripts compared to the average Dehalococcoides genome. KB-1 rdhA14 (vcrA) was the only reductive dehalogenase homologous (RDH) gene with higher transcript levels during VC degradation, while multiple RDH genes had higher transcript levels in the absence of VC. Numerous hypothetical genes from Dehalococcoides also had higher transcript levels in methanol-only treatments, indicating that many uncharacterized proteins are involved in cell maintenance in the absence of chlorinated substrates. In addition, microarray results prompted biological experiments confirming that electron acceptor limiting conditions activated a Dehalococcoides prophage. Transcripts from Spirochaetes, Chloroflexi, Geobacter, and methanogens demonstrate the importance of non-Dehalococcoides organisms to the culture, and sequencing of identified shotgun clones of interest provided information for follow-on targeted studies. PMID:22179237

  17. 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

  18. Significantly reduced cytochrome P450 3A4 expression and activity in liver from humans with diabetes mellitus

    PubMed Central

    Dostalek, Miroslav; Court, Michael H; Yan, Bingfang; Akhlaghi, Fatemeh

    2011-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Patients with diabetes mellitus require pharmacotherapy with numerous medications. However, the effect of diabetes on drug biotransformation is not well understood. Our goal was to investigate the effect of diabetes on liver cytochrome P450 3As, the most abundant phase I drug-metabolizing enzymes in humans. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH Human liver microsomal fractions (HLMs) were prepared from diabetic (n = 12) and demographically matched nondiabetic (n = 12) donors, genotyped for CYP3A4*1B and CYP3A5*3 polymorphisms. Cytochrome P450 3A4, 3A5 and 2E1 mRNA expression, protein level and enzymatic activity were compared between the two groups. KEY RESULTS Midazolam 1′- or 4-hydroxylation and testosterone 6β-hydroxylation, catalyzed by P450 3A, were markedly reduced in diabetic HLMs, irrespective of genotype. Significantly lower P450 3A4 protein and comparable mRNA levels were observed in diabetic HLMs. In contrast, neither P450 3A5 protein level nor mRNA expression differed significantly between the two groups. Concurrently, we have observed increased P450 2E1 protein level and higher chlorzoxazone 6-hydroxylation activity in diabetic HLMs. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS These studies indicate that diabetes is associated with a significant decrease in hepatic P450 3A4 enzymatic activity and protein level. This finding could be clinically relevant for diabetic patients who have additional comorbidities and are receiving multiple medications. To further characterize the effect of diabetes on P450 3A4 activity, a well-controlled clinical study in diabetic patients is warranted. PMID:21323901

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Altered Spontaneous Activity in Patients with Persistent Somatoform Pain Disorder Revealed by Regional Homogeneity.

    PubMed

    Huang, Tianming; Zhao, Zhiyong; 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

  2. 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

  3. Systematically Altering Bacterial SOS Activity under Stress Reveals Therapeutic Strategies for Potentiating Antibiotics.

    PubMed

    Mo, Charlie Y; Manning, Sara A; Roggiani, Manuela; Culyba, Matthew J; Samuels, Amanda N; Sniegowski, Paul D; Goulian, Mark; Kohli, Rahul M

    2016-01-01

    The bacterial SOS response is a DNA damage repair network that is strongly implicated in both survival and acquired drug resistance under antimicrobial stress. The two SOS regulators, LexA and RecA, have therefore emerged as potential targets for adjuvant therapies aimed at combating resistance, although many open questions remain. For example, it is not well understood whether SOS hyperactivation is a viable therapeutic approach or whether LexA or RecA is a better target. Furthermore, it is important to determine which antimicrobials could serve as the best treatment partners with SOS-targeting adjuvants. Here we derived Escherichia coli strains that have mutations in either lexA or recA genes in order to cover the full spectrum of possible SOS activity levels. We then systematically analyzed a wide range of antimicrobials by comparing the mean inhibitory concentrations (MICs) and induced mutation rates for each drug-strain combination. We first show that significant changes in MICs are largely confined to DNA-damaging antibiotics, with strains containing a constitutively repressed SOS response impacted to a greater extent than hyperactivated strains. Second, antibiotic-induced mutation rates were suppressed when SOS activity was reduced, and this trend was observed across a wider spectrum of antibiotics. Finally, perturbing either LexA or RecA proved to be equally viable strategies for targeting the SOS response. Our work provides support for multiple adjuvant strategies, while also suggesting that the combination of an SOS inhibitor with a DNA-damaging antibiotic could offer the best potential for lowering MICs and decreasing acquired drug resistance. IMPORTANCE Our antibiotic arsenal is becoming depleted, in part, because bacteria have the ability to rapidly adapt and acquire resistance to our best agents. The SOS pathway, a widely conserved DNA damage stress response in bacteria, is activated by many antibiotics and has been shown to play central role in

  4. Systematically Altering Bacterial SOS Activity under Stress Reveals Therapeutic Strategies for Potentiating Antibiotics

    PubMed Central

    Mo, Charlie Y.; Manning, Sara A.; Roggiani, Manuela; Culyba, Matthew J.; Samuels, Amanda N.; Sniegowski, Paul D.; Goulian, Mark

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The bacterial SOS response is a DNA damage repair network that is strongly implicated in both survival and acquired drug resistance under antimicrobial stress. The two SOS regulators, LexA and RecA, have therefore emerged as potential targets for adjuvant therapies aimed at combating resistance, although many open questions remain. For example, it is not well understood whether SOS hyperactivation is a viable therapeutic approach or whether LexA or RecA is a better target. Furthermore, it is important to determine which antimicrobials could serve as the best treatment partners with SOS-targeting adjuvants. Here we derived Escherichia coli strains that have mutations in either lexA or recA genes in order to cover the full spectrum of possible SOS activity levels. We then systematically analyzed a wide range of antimicrobials by comparing the mean inhibitory concentrations (MICs) and induced mutation rates for each drug-strain combination. We first show that significant changes in MICs are largely confined to DNA-damaging antibiotics, with strains containing a constitutively repressed SOS response impacted to a greater extent than hyperactivated strains. Second, antibiotic-induced mutation rates were suppressed when SOS activity was reduced, and this trend was observed across a wider spectrum of antibiotics. Finally, perturbing either LexA or RecA proved to be equally viable strategies for targeting the SOS response. Our work provides support for multiple adjuvant strategies, while also suggesting that the combination of an SOS inhibitor with a DNA-damaging antibiotic could offer the best potential for lowering MICs and decreasing acquired drug resistance. IMPORTANCE Our antibiotic arsenal is becoming depleted, in part, because bacteria have the ability to rapidly adapt and acquire resistance to our best agents. The SOS pathway, a widely conserved DNA damage stress response in bacteria, is activated by many antibiotics and has been shown to play central role

  5. 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. PMID:25568077

  6. 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

  7. Perceptual Distortions in Pitch and Time Reveal Active Prediction and Support for an Auditory Pitch-Motion Hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:23936462

  8. CD10-Equipped Melanoma Cells Acquire Highly Potent Tumorigenic Activity: A Plausible Explanation of Their Significance for a Poor Prognosis

    PubMed Central

    Hashimoto-Hachiya, Akiko; Liu, Min; Abe, Takeru; Hagihara, Akihito; Yokomizo, Takehiko; Furue, Masutaka

    2016-01-01

    CD10 has been widely used in cancer diagnosis. We previously demonstrated that its expression in melanoma increased with tumor progression and predicted poor patient survival. However, the mechanism by which CD10 promotes melanoma progression remains unclear. In order to elucidate the role of CD10 in melanoma, we established CD10-overexpressing A375 melanoma cells and performed DNA microarray and qRT–PCR analyses to identify changes in the gene expression profile. The microarray analysis revealed that up-regulated genes in CD10-A375 were mostly involved in cell proliferation, angiogenesis, and resistance to apoptosis; down-regulated genes mostly belonged to the categories associated with cell adhesion and migration. Accordingly, in functional experiments, CD10-A375 showed significantly greater cell proliferation in vitro and higher tumorigenicity in vivo; CD10 enzymatic inhibitors, thiorphan and phosphoramidon, significantly blocked the tumor growth of CD10-A375 in mice. In migration and invasion assays, CD10-A375 displayed lower migratory and invasive capacity than mock-A375. CD10 augmented melanoma cell resistance to apoptosis mediated by etoposide and gemcitabine. These findings indicate that CD10 may promote tumor progression by regulating the expression profiles of genes related to cell proliferation, angiogenesis, and resistance to apoptosis. PMID:26881775

  9. The antiviral activity, mechanism of action, clinical significance and resistance of abacavir in the treatment of pediatric AIDS.

    PubMed

    Melroy, Joel; Nair, Vasu

    2005-01-01

    The novel carbocyclic nucleoside, abacavir, is metabolized in cells to carbovir triphosphate which is a potent inhibitor of HIV reverse transcriptase (K(i) 0.021 microM with calf thymus DNA template primer). Abacavir exhibits potent in vitro antiviral activity against wild-type HIV-1 (IC(50) 4.0 microM, MT-4 cells) but this activity is lower than the activity of AZT (IC(50) 0.040 microM, MT-4 cells). However, there is no significant difference between the levels of activity of abacavir (IC(50) 0.26 microM) and AZT (IC(50) 0.23 microM) against clinical isolates of HIV-1. The in vitro toxicity data (CC(50)) of abacavir were: 160 microM (CEM cells); 140 microM (CD4+ CEM cells) and 110 microM (normal bone progenitor cells, BFU-E). Abacavir has been approved in the United States for the treatment of pediatric and adult HIV infection and current recommendations consist of combination therapy in children with HIV infection. Resistance to abacavir develops relatively slowly, with most of the mutations conferring minimal resistance. The M184V mutation appears to be the cornerstone of higher level resistance in regimens containing abacavir, imparting a 2-4 fold reduction in the susceptibility of HIV to abacavir. PMID:16305515

  10. Significant activity of ecdysteroids on the resistance to doxorubicin in mammalian cancer cells expressing the human ABCB1 transporter.

    PubMed

    Martins, Ana; Tóth, Noémi; Ványolós, Attila; Béni, Zoltán; Zupkó, István; Molnár, József; Báthori, Mária; Hunyadi, Attila

    2012-06-14

    Multidrug resistance (MDR) is a major cause of failure of cancer chemotherapy. Fifty-eight ecdysteroids, herbal analogues of the insect molting hormone and their semisynthetic derivatives, were tested for their activity against L5178 mouse T-cell lymphoma cells (non-MDR) and their subcell line transfected with pHa MDR1/A retrovirus overexpressing the human ABCB1 efflux pump (MDR cell line). The compounds showed very low antiproliferative activities but modulated the efflux of rhodamine 123 mediated by the ABCB1 transporter. Roughly depending on the polarity, mild to strong synergism or antagonism was observed by combining ecdysteroids with doxorubicin, and specific structure-activity relationships were also found. Our results show the effect of ecdysteroids on MDR cancer cells for the first time. Less polar derivatives may serve as valuable leads toward a potent and safe resistance modulator. Biological significance of the resistance-increasing activity of the most abundant phytoecdysteroids including 20-hydroxyecdysone is yet to be clarified. PMID:22578055

  11. N- and C-terminal truncations of a GH10 xylanase significantly increase its activity and thermostability but decrease its SDS resistance.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Fei; Huang, Jingxuan; Liu, Xingchen; Hu, Hang; Long, Liangkun; Chen, Kaixiang; Ding, Shaojun

    2016-04-01

    XynII from Volvariella volvacea has high sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) resistance, with the potential for industrial applications under harsh conditions. It consists of a single glycoside hydrolase family 10 (GH10) catalytic domain but contains an additional unique 10 and 4 amino acid residues at the N- and C-terminus, respectively. In this study, five XynII derivatives with N- and/or C-terminus deletions were constructed to determine the effects of these regions on enzyme activity, substrate specificity, thermostability, and SDS resistance. Our results revealed that N- and/or C-terminal truncations significantly increased enzyme activity and thermostability, but reduced SDS resistance. Specifically, the XynIIΔNC4 mutant had 2.53-fold more catalytic efficiency (k cat/K m) towards beechwood xylan than wild-type and 3.0-fold more thermostability (t 1/2 [55°C]). XynIIΔNC4 displayed 3.33-, 4.38-, 1.37-, and 1.98-fold more activity against xylotriose, xylotetraose, xylopentaose, and xylohexaose, respectively, than XynII did. However, its half-life (t 1/2) in 4 % SDS was only 1.72 h, while that of XynII was 4.65 h. Circular dichroism analysis revealed that deletion of N- and C-terminal segments caused minor changes in secondary structure. Our observations suggest that the extra N- and C-terminal segments in wild-type XynII evolved to strengthen the interaction between these regions of the protein, making the local structure more rigid and reducing structural flexibility. In this way, N- and C-terminal truncations increased the thermostability and activity of XynII on different xylans and linear xylooligosaccharides, but reduced its resistance to SDS. PMID:26621803

  12. 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. PMID:25081552

  13. 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.

  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. PMID:26759370

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Protein-tyrosine phosphorylation interaction network in Bacillus subtilis reveals new substrates, kinase activators and kinase cross-talk

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Lei; Pigeonneau, Nathalie; Ventroux, Magali; Derouiche, Abderahmane; Bidnenko, Vladimir; Mijakovic, Ivan; Noirot-Gros, Marie-Françoise

    2014-01-01

    Signal transduction in eukaryotes is generally transmitted through phosphorylation cascades that involve a complex interplay of transmembrane receptors, protein kinases, phosphatases and their targets. Our previous work indicated that bacterial protein-tyrosine kinases and phosphatases may exhibit similar properties, since they act on many different substrates. To capture the complexity of this phosphorylation-based network, we performed a comprehensive interactome study focused on the protein-tyrosine kinases and phosphatases in the model bacterium Bacillus subtilis. The resulting network identified many potential new substrates of kinases and phosphatases, some of which were experimentally validated. Our study highlighted the role of tyrosine and serine/threonine kinases and phosphatases in DNA metabolism, transcriptional control and cell division. This interaction network reveals significant crosstalk among different classes of kinases. We found that tyrosine kinases can bind to several modulators, transmembrane or cytosolic, consistent with a branching of signaling pathways. Most particularly, we found that the division site regulator MinD can form a complex with the tyrosine kinase PtkA and modulate its activity in vitro. In vivo, it acts as a scaffold protein which anchors the kinase at the cell pole. This network highlighted a role of tyrosine phosphorylation in the spatial regulation of the Z-ring during cytokinesis. PMID:25374563

  18. Physiological Sleep Propensity Might Be Unaffected by Significant Variations in Self-Reported Well-Being, Activity, and Mood.

    PubMed

    Putilov, Arcady A

    2015-01-01

    Background and Objective. Depressive state is often associated with such physical symptoms as general weakness, fatigue, tiredness, slowness, reduced activity, low energy, and sleepiness. The involvement of the sleep-wake regulating mechanisms has been proposed as one of the plausible explanations of this association. Both physical depressive symptoms and increased physiological sleep propensity can result from disordered and insufficient sleep. In order to avoid the influence of disordered and insufficient sleep, daytime and nighttime sleepiness were tested in winter depression characterized by normal night sleep duration and architecture. Materials and Methods. A total sample consisted of 6 healthy controls and 9 patients suffered from depression in the previous winter season. Sleep latency was determined across 5 daytime and 4 nighttime 20-min attempts to nap in summer as well as in winter before and after a week of 2-hour evening treatment with bright light. Results and Conclusions. Patients self-reported abnormally lowered well-being, activity, and mood only in winter before the treatment. Physiological sleep propensity was neither abnormal nor linked to significant changes in well-being, activity, and mood following the treatment and change in season. It seems unlikely that the mechanisms regulating the sleep-wake cycle contributed to the development of the physical depressive symptoms. PMID:26294978

  19. Physiological Sleep Propensity Might Be Unaffected by Significant Variations in Self-Reported Well-Being, Activity, and Mood

    PubMed Central

    Putilov, Arcady A.

    2015-01-01

    Background and Objective. Depressive state is often associated with such physical symptoms as general weakness, fatigue, tiredness, slowness, reduced activity, low energy, and sleepiness. The involvement of the sleep-wake regulating mechanisms has been proposed as one of the plausible explanations of this association. Both physical depressive symptoms and increased physiological sleep propensity can result from disordered and insufficient sleep. In order to avoid the influence of disordered and insufficient sleep, daytime and nighttime sleepiness were tested in winter depression characterized by normal night sleep duration and architecture. Materials and Methods. A total sample consisted of 6 healthy controls and 9 patients suffered from depression in the previous winter season. Sleep latency was determined across 5 daytime and 4 nighttime 20-min attempts to nap in summer as well as in winter before and after a week of 2-hour evening treatment with bright light. Results and Conclusions. Patients self-reported abnormally lowered well-being, activity, and mood only in winter before the treatment. Physiological sleep propensity was neither abnormal nor linked to significant changes in well-being, activity, and mood following the treatment and change in season. It seems unlikely that the mechanisms regulating the sleep-wake cycle contributed to the development of the physical depressive symptoms. PMID:26294978

  20. Ranking of stimuli that evoked memories in significant others after exposure to circumcerebral magnetic fields: correlations with ambient geomagnetic activity.

    PubMed

    Booth, J N; Charette, J C; Persinger, M A

    2002-10-01

    To identify means to enhance the laboratory production of alleged paranormal phenomena, 15 pairs of men and women involved emotionally were tested by male and female experimenters who were not familiar with the hypothesis that ambient (geomagnetic) activity could modulate this production. While the female of the pair was exposed to six different patterns of complex magnetic fields designed to affect states of consciousness, the male wrote his reminiscences about shared experiences evoked by a postcard randomly selected from a collection of five. Increased global geomagnetic activity (k values between 0 and 5) at the time of the experiments was significantly and moderately correlated with the more accurate ranking of the stimulus cards. These results were similar to those of a previous study. We suggest that alleged paranormal phenomena involve processes that might be produced by experimentally altering the electroencephalographic correlates of consciousness with circumcerebral applications of counterclockwise weak magnetic fields. However, these processes may be enhanced if global geomagnetic activity is increasing during the periods of exposure. PMID:12434850

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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. PMID:25270760

  5. 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. PMID:26164793

  6. 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

  7. Nonexercise Activity Thermogenesis is Significantly Lower in Type 2 Diabetic Patients With Mental Disorders Than in Those Without Mental Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Hamasaki, Hidetaka; Ezaki, Osamu; Yanai, Hidekatsu

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Physical activity improves health in patients with mental disorders. Nonexercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) represents energy expenditure due to daily physical activities other than volitional exercise. We aimed to evaluate NEAT in type 2 diabetic patients with and without accompanying mental disorders. Between September 2010 and September 2014, we studied 150 patients with type 2 diabetes, 50 of whom also had a diagnosis of mental disorder, such as schizophrenia or mood disorder. We evaluated their NEAT in structured interviews using a validated questionnaire, and investigated differences in NEAT score and metabolic parameters between patients with and without mental disorders. The NEAT score was significantly lower in patients with mental disorders than in those without (56.3 ± 9.9 vs 61.9 ± 12.1; P = 0.005). Patients with mental disorders had significantly higher triglyceride (184.5 ± 116.3 vs 146.4 ± 78.4 mg/dL; P = 0.02) and insulin levels (18.7 ± 20.1 vs 11.2 ± 8.5 μU/mL; P = 0.006), and significantly lower B-type natriuretic peptide (12.1 ± 13.3 vs 26.3 ± 24.8 pg/mL; P < 0.001) and brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity levels (1501 ± 371 vs 1699 ± 367 cm/s; P = 0.003) than patients without mental disorders. In patients with schizophrenia, specifically, NEAT showed a negative correlation with hemoglobin A1c levels (β = −0.493, P = 0.031), and a positive correlation with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (β = 0.519, P = 0.023) and B-type natriuretic peptide levels (β = 0.583, P = 0.02). Our results suggest that NEAT may be beneficial for the management of obesity, insulin sensitivity, and lipid profiles in patients with mental disorders. Incorporating NEAT into interventions for type 2 diabetes in patients with mental disorders, especially schizophrenia, shows promise and warrants further investigation. PMID:26765475

  8. 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. PMID:20455032

  9. A proteomic approach reveals integrin activation state-dependent control of microtubule cortical targeting.

    PubMed

    Byron, Adam; Askari, Janet A; Humphries, Jonathan D; Jacquemet, Guillaume; Koper, Ewa J; Warwood, Stacey; Choi, Colin K; Stroud, Matthew J; Chen, Christopher S; Knight, David; Humphries, Martin J

    2015-01-01

    Integrin activation, which is regulated by allosteric changes in receptor conformation, enables cellular responses to the chemical, mechanical and topological features of the extracellular microenvironment. A global view of how activation state converts the molecular composition of the region proximal to integrins into functional readouts is, however, lacking. Here, using conformation-specific monoclonal antibodies, we report the isolation of integrin activation state-dependent complexes and their characterization by mass spectrometry. Quantitative comparisons, integrating network, clustering, pathway and image analyses, define multiple functional protein modules enriched in a conformation-specific manner. Notably, active integrin complexes are specifically enriched for proteins associated with microtubule-based functions. Visualization of microtubules on micropatterned surfaces and live cell imaging demonstrate that active integrins establish an environment that stabilizes microtubules at the cell periphery. These data provide a resource for the interrogation of the global molecular connections that link integrin activation to adhesion signalling. PMID:25609142

  10. 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. PMID:26168032

  11. 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

    2016-01-01

    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

  12. A proteomic approach reveals integrin activation state-dependent control of microtubule cortical targeting

    PubMed Central

    Byron, Adam; Askari, Janet A.; Humphries, Jonathan D.; Jacquemet, Guillaume; Koper, Ewa J.; Warwood, Stacey; Choi, Colin K.; Stroud, Matthew J.; Chen, Christopher S.; Knight, David; Humphries, Martin J.

    2015-01-01

    Integrin activation, which is regulated by allosteric changes in receptor conformation, enables cellular responses to the chemical, mechanical and topological features of the extracellular microenvironment. A global view of how activation state converts the molecular composition of the region proximal to integrins into functional readouts is, however, lacking. Here, using conformation-specific monoclonal antibodies, we report the isolation of integrin activation state-dependent complexes and their characterization by mass spectrometry. Quantitative comparisons, integrating network, clustering, pathway and image analyses, define multiple functional protein modules enriched in a conformation-specific manner. Notably, active integrin complexes are specifically enriched for proteins associated with microtubule-based functions. Visualization of microtubules on micropatterned surfaces and live cell imaging demonstrate that active integrins establish an environment that stabilizes microtubules at the cell periphery. These data provide a resource for the interrogation of the global molecular connections that link integrin activation to adhesion signalling. PMID:25609142

  13. 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

  14. 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. PMID:26424600

  15. Increase of electrodermal activity of heart meridian during physical exercise: the significance of electrical values in acupuncture and diagnostic importance.

    PubMed

    Pontarollo, Francesco; Rapacioli, Giuliana; Bellavite, Paolo

    2010-08-01

    Electric field measurements of skin potential and electrical currents are physiological indicators of electrodermal activity (EDA) and have been associated with a variety of sensory, cognitive and emotional stimuli. The aim of this study was to investigate the EDA at some hand acupoints before, during and after a physical exercise. EDA of eight points located at the corner of fingernails of hands was measured in 10 healthy young volunteers before, during and after a 14-min acute exercise in a bicycle ergometer. In pre-exercise resting state the parameters were stable and similar between the 8 different tested points, while during exercise a significant increase of current (from 1000-2000 to 4000-8000 nA) was observed, with the maximal values related to the point located on the ulnar side of the little finger, at the base of the nail, corresponding to the Shao chong (HT9) of heart meridian. PMID:20621275

  16. A 220-nucleotide deletion of the intronic enhancer reveals an epigenetic hierarchy in immunoglobulin heavy chain locus activation

    PubMed Central

    Chakraborty, Tirtha; Perlot, Thomas; Subrahmanyam, Ramesh; Jani, Anant; Goff, Peter H.; Zhang, Yu; Ivanova, Irina; Alt, Frederick W.

    2009-01-01

    A tissue-specific transcriptional enhancer, Eμ, has been implicated in developmentally regulated recombination and transcription of the immunoglobulin heavy chain (IgH) gene locus. We demonstrate that deleting 220 nucleotides that constitute the core Eμ results in partially active locus, characterized by reduced histone acetylation, chromatin remodeling, transcription, and recombination, whereas other hallmarks of tissue-specific locus activation, such as loss of H3K9 dimethylation or gain of H3K4 dimethylation, are less affected. These observations define Eμ-independent and Eμ-dependent phases of locus activation that reveal an unappreciated epigenetic hierarchy in tissue-specific gene expression. PMID:19414554

  17. A trial-by-trial analysis reveals more intense physical activity is associated with better cognitive control performance in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    PubMed

    Hartanto, T A; Krafft, C E; Iosif, A M; Schweitzer, J B

    2016-01-01

    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 a 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 group but not in the 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:27092167

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Bacterial biofilm formation inhibitory activity revealed for plant derived natural compounds.

    PubMed

    Artini, M; Papa, R; Barbato, G; Scoarughi, G L; Cellini, A; Morazzoni, P; Bombardelli, E; Selan, L

    2012-01-15

    Use of herbal plant remedies to treat infectious diseases is a common practice in many countries in traditional and alternative medicine. However to date there are only few antimicrobial agents derived from botanics. Based on microbiological screening tests of crude plant extracts we identified four compounds derived from Krameria, Aesculus hippocastanum and Chelidonium majus that showed a potentially interesting antimicrobial activity. In this work we present an in depth characterization of the inhibition activity of these pure compounds on the formation of biofilm of Staphylococcus aureus as well as of Staphylococcus epidermidis strains. We show that two of these compounds possess interesting potential to become active principles of new drugs. PMID:22182580

  4. A biosensor of local kinesin activity reveals roles of PKC and EB1 in KIF17 activation

    PubMed Central

    Espenel, Cedric; Acharya, Bipul R.

    2013-01-01

    We showed previously that the kinesin-2 motor KIF17 regulates microtubule (MT) dynamics and organization to promote epithelial differentiation. How KIF17 activity is regulated during this process remains unclear. Several kinesins, including KIF17, adopt compact and extended conformations that reflect autoinhibited and active states, respectively. We designed biosensors of KIF17 to monitor its activity directly in single cells using fluorescence lifetime imaging to detect Förster resonance energy transfer. Lifetime data are mapped on a phasor plot, allowing us to resolve populations of active and inactive motors in individual cells. Using this biosensor, we demonstrate that PKC contributes to the activation of KIF17 and that this is required for KIF17 to stabilize MTs in epithelia. Furthermore, we show that EB1 recruits KIF17 to dynamic MTs, enabling its accumulation at MT ends and thus promoting MT stabilization at discrete cellular domains. PMID:24189273

  5. Active mechanics in living oocytes reveal molecular-scale force kinetics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahmed, Wylie; Fodor, Etienne; Almonacid, Maria; Bussonnier, Matthias; Verlhac, Marie-Helene; Gov, Nir; Visco, Paolo; van Wijland, Frederic; Betz, Timo

    Unlike traditional materials, living cells actively generate forces at the molecular scale that change their structure and mechanical properties. This nonequilibrium activity is essential for cellular function, and drives processes such as cell division. Single molecule studies have uncovered the detailed force kinetics of isolated motor proteins in-vitro, however their behavior in-vivo has been elusive due to the complex environment inside the cell. Here, we quantify active forces and intracellular mechanics in living oocytes using in-vivo optical trapping and laser interferometry of endogenous vesicles. We integrate an experimental and theoretical framework to connect mesoscopic measurements of nonequilibrium properties to the underlying molecular- scale force kinetics. Our results show that force generation by myosin-V drives the cytoplasmic-skeleton out-of-equilibrium (at frequencies below 300 Hz) and actively softens the environment. In vivo myosin-V activity generates a force of F ~ 0 . 4 pN, with a power-stroke of length Δx ~ 20 nm and duration τ ~ 300 μs, that drives vesicle motion at vv ~ 320 nm/s. This framework is widely applicable to characterize living cells and other soft active materials.

  6. 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.

  7. Transcriptomic Analysis of Musca domestica to Reveal Key Genes of the Prophenoloxidase-Activating System

    PubMed Central

    Li, Dianxiang; Liang, Yongli; Wang, Xianwei; Wang, Lei; Qi, Mei; Yu, Yang; Luan, Yuanyuan

    2015-01-01

    The proPO system regulates melanization in arthropods. However, the genes that are involved in the proPO system in housefly Musca domestica remain unclear. Thus, this study analyzed the combined transcriptome obtained from M. domestica larvae, pupae, and adults that were either normal or bacteria-challenged by an Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus mixture. A total of 54,821,138 clean reads (4.93 Gb) were yielded by Illumina sequencing, which were de novo assembled into 89,842 unigenes. Of the 89,842 unigenes, based on a similarity search with known genes in other insects, 24 putative genes related to the proPO system were identified. Eight of the identified genes encoded for peptidoglycan recognition receptors, two encoded for prophenoloxidases, three encoded for prophenoloxidase-activating enzymes, and 11 encoded for serine proteinase inhibitors. The expression levels of these identified genes were investigated by qRT-PCR assay, which were consistent with expected activation process of the proPO system, and their activation functions were confirmed by the measurement of phenoloxidase activity in bacteria-infected larvae after proPO antibody blockage, suggesting these candidate genes might have potentially different roles in the activation of proPO system. Collectively, this study has provided the comprehensive transcriptomic data of an insect and some fundamental basis toward achieving understanding of the activation mechanisms and immune functions of the proPO system in M. domestica. PMID:26156588

  8. Dynamic BRG1 Recruitment during T Helper Differentiation and Activation Reveals Distal Regulatory Elements▿§

    PubMed Central

    De, Supriyo; Wurster, Andrea L.; Precht, Patricia; Wood, William H.; Becker, Kevin G.; Pazin, Michael J.

    2011-01-01

    T helper cell differentiation and activation require specific transcriptional programs accompanied by changes in chromatin structure. However, little is known about the chromatin remodeling enzymes responsible. We performed genome-wide analysis to determine the general principles of BRG1 binding, followed by analysis of specific genes to determine whether these general rules were typical of key T cell genes. We found that binding of the remodeling protein BRG1 was programmed by both lineage and activation signals. BRG1 binding positively correlated with gene activity at protein-coding and microRNA (miRNA) genes. BRG1 binding was found at promoters and distal regions, including both novel and previously validated distal regulatory elements. Distal BRG1 binding correlated with expression, and novel distal sites in the Gata3 locus possessed enhancer-like activity, suggesting a general role for BRG1 in long-distance gene regulation. BRG1 recruitment to distal sites in Gata3 was impaired in cells lacking STAT6, a transcription factor that regulates lineage-specific genes. Together, these findings suggest that BRG1 interprets both differentiation and activation signals and plays a causal role in gene regulation, chromatin structure, and cell fate. Our findings suggest that BRG1 binding is a useful marker for identifying active cis-regulatory regions in protein-coding and miRNA genes. PMID:21262765

  9. 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

  10. Protein phosphorylation changes reveal new candidates in the regulation of egg activation and early embryogenesis in D. melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Krauchunas, Amber R.; Horner, Vanessa L.; Wolfner, Mariana F.

    2012-01-01

    Egg activation is the series of events that must occur for a mature oocyte to become capable of supporting embryogenesis. These events include changes to the egg’s outer coverings, the resumption and completion of meiosis, the translation of new proteins, and the degradation of specific maternal mRNAs. While we know some of the molecules that direct the initial events of egg activation, it remains unclear how multiple pathways are coordinated to change the cellular state from mature oocyte to activated egg. Using a proteomic approach we have identified new candidates for the regulation and progression of egg activation. Reasoning that phosphorylation can simultaneously and rapidly modulate the activity of many proteins, we identified proteins that are post-translationally modified during the transition from oocyte to activated egg in Drosophila melanogaster. We find that at least 311 proteins change in phosphorylation state between mature oocytes and activated eggs. These proteins fall into various functional classes related to the events of egg activation including calcium binding, proteolysis, and protein translation. Our set of candidates includes genes already associated with egg activation, as well as many genes not previously studied during this developmental period. RNAi knockdown of a subset of these genes revealed a new gene, mrityu, necessary for embryonic development past the first mitosis. Thus, by identifying phospho-modulated proteins we have produced a focused candidate set for future genetic studies to test their roles in egg activation and the initiation of embryogenesis. PMID:22884528

  11. Complex Regulation Pattern of IRF3 Activation Revealed by a Novel Dimerization Reporter System.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zining; Ji, Jingyun; Peng, Di; Ma, Feng; Cheng, Genhong; Qin, F Xiao-Feng

    2016-05-15

    Induction of type I IFN (IFN-I) is essential for host antiviral immune responses. However, IFN-I also plays divergent roles in antibacterial immunity, persistent viral infections, autoimmune diseases, and tumorigenesis. IFN regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) is the master transcription factor that controls IFN-I production via phosphorylation-dependent dimerization in most cell types in response to viral infections and various innate stimuli by pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). To monitor the dynamic process of IRF3 activation, we developed a novel IRF3 dimerization reporter based on bimolecular luminescence complementation (BiLC) techniques, termed the IRF3-BiLC reporter. Robust induction of luciferase activity of the IRF3-BiLC reporter was observed upon viral infection and PAMP stimulation with a broad dynamic range. Knockout of TANK-binding kinase 1, the critical upstream kinase of IRF3, as well as the mutation of serine 386, the essential phosphorylation site of IRF3, completely abolished the luciferase activity of IRF3-BiLC reporter, confirming the authenticity of IRF3 activation. Taken together, these results demonstrated that the IRF3-BiLC reporter is a highly specific, reliable, and sensitive system to measure IRF3 activity. Using this reporter system, we further observed that the temporal pattern and magnitude of IRF3 activation induced by various PAMPs are highly complex with distinct cell type-specific characteristics, and IRF3 dimerization is a direct regulatory node for IFN-α/β receptor-mediated feed-forward regulation and crosstalk with other pathways. Therefore, the IRF3-BiLC reporter has multiple potential applications, including mechanistic studies as well as the identification of novel compounds that can modulate IRF3 activation. PMID:27045107

  12. β-Arrestin biosensors reveal a rapid, receptor-dependent activation/deactivation cycle.

    PubMed

    Nuber, Susanne; Zabel, Ulrike; Lorenz, Kristina; Nuber, Andreas; Milligan, Graeme; Tobin, Andrew B; Lohse, Martin J; Hoffmann, Carsten

    2016-03-31

    (β-)Arrestins are important regulators of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). They bind to active, phosphorylated GPCRs and thereby shut off 'classical' signalling to G proteins, trigger internalization of GPCRs via interaction with the clathrin machinery and mediate signalling via 'non-classical' pathways. 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). 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 crystallography. 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

  13. 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. PMID:26386518

  14. 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

  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 PAGESBeta

    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 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. Rho GTPase Transcriptome Analysis Reveals Oncogenic Roles for Rho GTPase-Activating Proteins in Basal-like Breast Cancers.

    PubMed

    Lawson, Campbell D; Fan, Cheng; Mitin, Natalia; Baker, Nicole M; George, Samuel D; Graham, David M; Perou, Charles M; Burridge, Keith; Der, Channing J; Rossman, Kent L

    2016-07-01

    The basal-like breast cancer (BLBC) subtype accounts for a disproportionately high percentage of overall breast cancer mortality. The current therapeutic options for BLBC need improvement; hence, elucidating signaling pathways that drive BLBC growth may identify novel targets for the development of effective therapies. Rho GTPases have previously been implicated in promoting tumor cell proliferation and metastasis. These proteins are inactivated by Rho-selective GTPase-activating proteins (RhoGAP), which have generally been presumed to act as tumor suppressors. Surprisingly, RNA-Seq analysis of the Rho GTPase signaling transcriptome revealed high expression of several RhoGAP genes in BLBC tumors, raising the possibility that these genes may be oncogenic. To evaluate this, we examined the roles of two of these RhoGAPs, ArhGAP11A (also known as MP-GAP) and RacGAP1 (also known as MgcRacGAP), in promoting BLBC. Both proteins were highly expressed in human BLBC cell lines, and knockdown of either gene resulted in significant defects in the proliferation of these cells. Knockdown of ArhGAP11A caused CDKN1B/p27-mediated arrest in the G1 phase of the cell cycle, whereas depletion of RacGAP1 inhibited growth through the combined effects of cytokinesis failure, CDKN1A/p21-mediated RB1 inhibition, and the onset of senescence. Random migration was suppressed or enhanced by the knockdown of ArhGAP11A or RacGAP1, respectively. Cell spreading and levels of GTP-bound RhoA were increased upon depletion of either RhoGAP. We have established that, via the suppression of RhoA, ArhGAP11A and RacGAP1 are both critical drivers of BLBC growth, and propose that RhoGAPs can act as oncogenes in cancer. Cancer Res; 76(13); 3826-37. ©2016 AACR. PMID:27216196

  18. Microarray analysis of nemorosone-induced cytotoxic effects on pancreatic cancer cells reveals activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR)

    PubMed Central

    Holtrup, Frank; Bauer, Andrea; Fellenberg, Kurt; Hilger, Ralf A; Wink, Michael; Hoheisel, Jörg D

    2011-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Pancreatic cancer is one of the leading cancer-related causes of death due to high chemo-resistance and fast metastasation. Nemorosone, a polycyclic polyprenylated acylphloroglucinol, has recently been identified as a promising anticancer agent. Here, we examine its growth-inhibitory effects on pancreatic cancer cells. Based on transcription profiling, a molecular mode of action is proposed. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH Nemorosone cytotoxicity was assessed by the resazurin proliferation assay on pancreatic cancer cells and fibroblasts. Apoptosis was determined by Annexin V/propidium iodide staining as well as cytochrome c and caspase activation assays. Staining with the voltage-dependent dye JC-1 and fluorescence microscopy were used to detect effects on mitochondrial membrane potential. Total RNA was isolated from treated cell lines and subjected to microarray analysis, subsequent pathway identification and modelling. Gene expression data were validated by quantitative polymerase chain reaction and siRNA-mediated gene knock-down. KEY RESULTS Nemorosone significantly inhibited cancer cell growth, induced cytochrome c release and subsequent caspase-dependent apoptosis, rapidly abolished mitochondrial membrane potential and elevated cytosolic calcium levels, while fibroblasts were largely unaffected. Expression profiling revealed 336 genes to be affected by nemorosone. A total of 75 genes were altered in all three cell lines, many of which were within the unfolded protein response (UPR) network. DNA damage inducible transcript 3 was identified as a key regulator in UPR-mediated cell death. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS Nemorosone could be a lead compound for the development of novel anticancer drugs amplifying the already elevated UPR level in solid tumours, thus driving them into apoptosis. This study forms the basis for further investigations identifying nemorosone's direct molecular target(s). PMID:21091652

  19. 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.

  20. Mutant N143P Reveals How Na[superscript +] Activates Thrombin

    SciTech Connect

    Niu, Weiling; Chen, Zhiwei; Bush-Pelc, Leslie A.; Bah, Alaji; Gandhi, Prafull S.; Di Cera, Enrico

    2010-01-12

    The molecular mechanism of thrombin activation by Na{sup +} remains elusive. Its kinetic formulation requires extension of the classical Botts-Morales theory for the action of a modifier on an enzyme to correctly account for the contribution of the E*, E, and E:Na{sup +} forms. The extended scheme establishes that analysis of k{sub cat} unequivocally identifies allosteric transduction of Na{sup +} binding into enhanced catalytic activity. The thrombin mutant N143P features no Na{sup +}-dependent enhancement of k{sub cat} yet binds Na{sup +} with an affinity comparable to that of wild type. Crystal structures of the mutant in the presence and absence of Na{sup +} confirm that Pro{sup 143} abrogates the important H-bond between the backbone N atom of residue 143 and the carbonyl O atom of Glu{sup 192}, which in turn controls the orientation of the Glu{sup 192}-Gly{sup 193} peptide bond and the correct architecture of the oxyanion hole. We conclude that Na{sup +} activates thrombin by securing the correct orientation of the Glu{sup 192}-Gly{sup 193} peptide bond, which is likely flipped in the absence of cation. Absolute conservation of the 143-192 H-bond in trypsin-like proteases and the importance of the oxyanion hole in protease function suggest that this mechanism of Na{sup +} activation is present in all Na{sup +}-activated trypsin-like proteases.

  1. Genetically encoded proton sensors reveal activity-dependent pH changes in neurons

    PubMed Central

    Raimondo, Joseph V.; Irkle, Agnese; Wefelmeyer, Winnie; Newey, Sarah E.; Akerman, Colin J.

    2011-01-01

    The regulation of hydrogen ion concentration (pH) is fundamental to cell viability, metabolism, and enzymatic function. Within the nervous system, the control of pH is also involved in diverse and dynamic processes including development, synaptic transmission, and the control of network excitability. As pH affects neuronal activity, and can also itself be altered by neuronal activity, the existence of tools to accurately measure hydrogen ion fluctuations is important for understanding the role pH plays under physiological and pathological conditions. Outside of their use as a marker of synaptic release, genetically encoded pH sensors have not been utilized to study hydrogen ion fluxes associated with network activity. By combining whole-cell patch clamp with simultaneous two-photon or confocal imaging, we quantified the amplitude and time course of neuronal, intracellular, acidic transients evoked by epileptiform activity in two separate in vitro models of temporal lobe epilepsy. In doing so, we demonstrate the suitability of three genetically encoded pH sensors: deGFP4, E2GFP, and Cl-sensor for investigating activity-dependent pH changes at the level of single neurons. PMID:22666186

  2. Structural interpretation of activity cliffs revealed by systematic analysis of structure-activity relationships in analog series.

    PubMed

    Sisay, Mihiret T; Peltason, Lisa; Bajorath, Jürgen

    2009-10-01

    Discontinuity in structure-activity relationships (SARs) is caused by so-called activity cliffs and represents one of the major caveats in SAR modeling and lead optimization. At activity cliffs, small structural modifications of compounds lead to substantial differences in potency that are essentially unpredictable using quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) methods. In order to better understand SAR discontinuity at the molecular level of detail, we have analyzed different compound series in combinatorial analog graphs and determined substitution patterns that introduce activity cliffs of varying magnitude. So identified SAR determinants were then analyzed on the basis of complex crystal structures to enable a structural interpretation of SAR discontinuity and underlying activity cliffs. In some instances, SAR discontinuity detected within analog series could be well rationalized on the basis of structural data, whereas in others a structural explanation was not possible. This reflects the intrinsic complexity of small molecule SARs and suggests that the analysis of short-range receptor-ligand interactions seen in X-ray structures is insufficient to comprehensively account for SAR discontinuity. However, in other cases, SAR information extracted from ligands was incomplete but could be deduced taking X-ray data into account. Thus, taken together, these findings illustrate the complementarity of ligand-based SAR analysis and structural information. PMID:19761254

  3. Structures of apicomplexan calcium-dependent protein kinases reveal mechanism of activation by calcium

    PubMed Central

    Wernimont, Amy K.; Artz, Jennifer D.; Finerty, Patrick; Lin, Y.; Amani, Mehrnaz; Allali-Hassani, Abdellah; Senisterra, Guillermo; Vedadi, Masoud; Tempel, Wolfram; Mackenzie, Farrell; Chau, Irene; Lourido, Sebastian; Sibley, L. David; Hui, Raymond

    2013-01-01

    Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) play pivotal roles in the calcium-signaling pathway in plants, ciliates and apicomplexan parasites, and comprise a 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. PMID:20436473

  4. Structural investigation of heteroyohimbine alkaloid synthesis reveals active site elements that control stereoselectivity.

    PubMed

    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

  5. 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

  6. Analysis of protein phosphorylation in nerve terminal reveals extensive changes in active zone proteins upon exocytosis.

    PubMed

    Kohansal-Nodehi, Mahdokht; Chua, John Je; Urlaub, Henning; Jahn, Reinhard; Czernik, Dominika

    2016-01-01

    Neurotransmitter release is mediated by the fast, calcium-triggered fusion of synaptic vesicles with the presynaptic plasma membrane, followed by endocytosis and recycling of the membrane of synaptic vesicles. While many of the proteins governing these processes are known, their regulation is only beginning to be understood. Here we have applied quantitative phosphoproteomics to identify changes in phosphorylation status of presynaptic proteins in resting and stimulated nerve terminals isolated from the brains of Wistar rats. Using rigorous quantification, we identified 252 phosphosites that are either up- or downregulated upon triggering calcium-dependent exocytosis. Particularly pronounced were regulated changes of phosphosites within protein constituents of the presynaptic active zone, including bassoon, piccolo, and RIM1. Additionally, we have