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Sample records for functional modules revealed

  1. Remote Synchronization Reveals Network Symmetries and Functional Modules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicosia, Vincenzo; Valencia, Miguel; Chavez, Mario; Díaz-Guilera, Albert; Latora, Vito

    2013-04-01

    We study a Kuramoto model in which the oscillators are associated with the nodes of a complex network and the interactions include a phase frustration, thus preventing full synchronization. The system organizes into a regime of remote synchronization where pairs of nodes with the same network symmetry are fully synchronized, despite their distance on the graph. We provide analytical arguments to explain this result, and we show how the frustration parameter affects the distribution of phases. An application to brain networks suggests that anatomical symmetry plays a role in neural synchronization by determining correlated functional modules across distant locations.

  2. Dynamic Network-Based Relevance Score Reveals Essential Proteins and Functional Modules in Directed Differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Chia-Chou; Lin, Che

    2015-01-01

    The induction of stem cells toward a desired differentiation direction is required for the advancement of stem cell-based therapies. Despite successful demonstrations of the control of differentiation direction, the effective use of stem cell-based therapies suffers from a lack of systematic knowledge regarding the mechanisms underlying directed differentiation. Using dynamic modeling and the temporal microarray data of three differentiation stages, three dynamic protein-protein interaction networks were constructed. The interaction difference networks derived from the constructed networks systematically delineated the evolution of interaction variations and the underlying mechanisms. A proposed relevance score identified the essential components in the directed differentiation. Inspection of well-known proteins and functional modules in the directed differentiation showed the plausibility of the proposed relevance score, with the higher scores of several proteins and function modules indicating their essential roles in the directed differentiation. During the differentiation process, the proteins and functional modules with higher relevance scores also became more specific to the neuronal identity. Ultimately, the essential components revealed by the relevance scores may play a role in controlling the direction of differentiation. In addition, these components may serve as a starting point for understanding the systematic mechanisms of directed differentiation and for increasing the efficiency of stem cell-based therapies. PMID:25977693

  3. Predicting invasive species impacts: a community module functional response approach reveals context dependencies.

    PubMed

    Paterson, Rachel A; Dick, Jaimie T A; Pritchard, Daniel W; Ennis, Marilyn; Hatcher, Melanie J; Dunn, Alison M

    2015-03-01

    Predatory functional responses play integral roles in predator-prey dynamics, and their assessment promises greater understanding and prediction of the predatory impacts of invasive species. Other interspecific interactions, however, such as parasitism and higher-order predation, have the potential to modify predator-prey interactions and thus the predictive capability of the comparative functional response approach. We used a four-species community module (higher-order predator; focal native or invasive predators; parasites of focal predators; native prey) to compare the predatory functional responses of native Gammarus duebeni celticus and invasive Gammarus pulex amphipods towards three invertebrate prey species (Asellus aquaticus, Simulium spp., Baetis rhodani), thus, quantifying the context dependencies of parasitism and a higher-order fish predator on these functional responses. Our functional response experiments demonstrated that the invasive amphipod had a higher predatory impact (lower handling time) on two of three prey species, which reflects patterns of impact observed in the field. The community module also revealed that parasitism had context-dependent influences, for one prey species, with the potential to further reduce the predatory impact of the invasive amphipod or increase the predatory impact of the native amphipod in the presence of a higher-order fish predator. Partial consumption of prey was similar for both predators and occurred increasingly in the order A. aquaticus, Simulium spp. and B. rhodani. This was associated with increasing prey densities, but showed no context dependencies with parasitism or higher-order fish predator. This study supports the applicability of comparative functional responses as a tool to predict and assess invasive species impacts incorporating multiple context dependencies.

  4. Predicting invasive species impacts: a community module functional response approach reveals context dependencies.

    PubMed

    Paterson, Rachel A; Dick, Jaimie T A; Pritchard, Daniel W; Ennis, Marilyn; Hatcher, Melanie J; Dunn, Alison M

    2015-03-01

    Predatory functional responses play integral roles in predator-prey dynamics, and their assessment promises greater understanding and prediction of the predatory impacts of invasive species. Other interspecific interactions, however, such as parasitism and higher-order predation, have the potential to modify predator-prey interactions and thus the predictive capability of the comparative functional response approach. We used a four-species community module (higher-order predator; focal native or invasive predators; parasites of focal predators; native prey) to compare the predatory functional responses of native Gammarus duebeni celticus and invasive Gammarus pulex amphipods towards three invertebrate prey species (Asellus aquaticus, Simulium spp., Baetis rhodani), thus, quantifying the context dependencies of parasitism and a higher-order fish predator on these functional responses. Our functional response experiments demonstrated that the invasive amphipod had a higher predatory impact (lower handling time) on two of three prey species, which reflects patterns of impact observed in the field. The community module also revealed that parasitism had context-dependent influences, for one prey species, with the potential to further reduce the predatory impact of the invasive amphipod or increase the predatory impact of the native amphipod in the presence of a higher-order fish predator. Partial consumption of prey was similar for both predators and occurred increasingly in the order A. aquaticus, Simulium spp. and B. rhodani. This was associated with increasing prey densities, but showed no context dependencies with parasitism or higher-order fish predator. This study supports the applicability of comparative functional responses as a tool to predict and assess invasive species impacts incorporating multiple context dependencies. PMID:25265905

  5. Predicting invasive species impacts: a community module functional response approach reveals context dependencies

    PubMed Central

    Paterson, Rachel A; Dick, Jaimie T A; Pritchard, Daniel W; Ennis, Marilyn; Hatcher, Melanie J; Dunn, Alison M

    2015-01-01

    Summary Predatory functional responses play integral roles in predator–prey dynamics, and their assessment promises greater understanding and prediction of the predatory impacts of invasive species. Other interspecific interactions, however, such as parasitism and higher-order predation, have the potential to modify predator–prey interactions and thus the predictive capability of the comparative functional response approach. We used a four-species community module (higher-order predator; focal native or invasive predators; parasites of focal predators; native prey) to compare the predatory functional responses of native Gammarus duebeni celticus and invasive Gammarus pulex amphipods towards three invertebrate prey species (Asellus aquaticus, Simulium spp., Baetis rhodani), thus, quantifying the context dependencies of parasitism and a higher-order fish predator on these functional responses. Our functional response experiments demonstrated that the invasive amphipod had a higher predatory impact (lower handling time) on two of three prey species, which reflects patterns of impact observed in the field. The community module also revealed that parasitism had context-dependent influences, for one prey species, with the potential to further reduce the predatory impact of the invasive amphipod or increase the predatory impact of the native amphipod in the presence of a higher-order fish predator. Partial consumption of prey was similar for both predators and occurred increasingly in the order A. aquaticus, Simulium spp. and B. rhodani. This was associated with increasing prey densities, but showed no context dependencies with parasitism or higher-order fish predator. This study supports the applicability of comparative functional responses as a tool to predict and assess invasive species impacts incorporating multiple context dependencies. PMID:25265905

  6. Validation of Skeletal Muscle cis-Regulatory Module Predictions Reveals Nucleotide Composition Bias in Functional Enhancers

    PubMed Central

    Kwon, Andrew T.; Chou, Alice Yi; Arenillas, David J.; Wasserman, Wyeth W.

    2011-01-01

    We performed a genome-wide scan for muscle-specific cis-regulatory modules (CRMs) using three computational prediction programs. Based on the predictions, 339 candidate CRMs were tested in cell culture with NIH3T3 fibroblasts and C2C12 myoblasts for capacity to direct selective reporter gene expression to differentiated C2C12 myotubes. A subset of 19 CRMs validated as functional in the assay. The rate of predictive success reveals striking limitations of computational regulatory sequence analysis methods for CRM discovery. Motif-based methods performed no better than predictions based only on sequence conservation. Analysis of the properties of the functional sequences relative to inactive sequences identifies nucleotide sequence composition can be an important characteristic to incorporate in future methods for improved predictive specificity. Muscle-related TFBSs predicted within the functional sequences display greater sequence conservation than non-TFBS flanking regions. Comparison with recent MyoD and histone modification ChIP-Seq data supports the validity of the functional regions. PMID:22144875

  7. Proteomic Profiling in the Brain of CLN1 Disease Model Reveals Affected Functional Modules.

    PubMed

    Tikka, Saara; Monogioudi, Evanthia; Gotsopoulos, Athanasios; Soliymani, Rabah; Pezzini, Francesco; Scifo, Enzo; Uusi-Rauva, Kristiina; Tyynelä, Jaana; Baumann, Marc; Jalanko, Anu; Simonati, Alessandro; Lalowski, Maciej

    2016-03-01

    Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL) are the most commonly inherited progressive encephalopathies of childhood. Pathologically, they are characterized by endolysosomal storage with different ultrastructural features and biochemical compositions. The molecular mechanisms causing progressive neurodegeneration and common molecular pathways linking expression of different NCL genes are largely unknown. We analyzed proteome alterations in the brains of a mouse model of human infantile CLN1 disease-palmitoyl-protein thioesterase 1 (Ppt1) gene knockout and its wild-type age-matched counterpart at different stages: pre-symptomatic, symptomatic and advanced. For this purpose, we utilized a combination of laser capture microdissection-based quantitative liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (MS) and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight MS imaging to quantify/visualize the changes in protein expression in disease-affected brain thalamus and cerebral cortex tissue slices, respectively. Proteomic profiling of the pre-symptomatic stage thalamus revealed alterations mostly in metabolic processes and inhibition of various neuronal functions, i.e., neuritogenesis. Down-regulation in dynamics associated with growth of plasma projections and cellular protrusions was further corroborated by findings from RNA sequencing of CLN1 patients' fibroblasts. Changes detected at the symptomatic stage included: mitochondrial functions, synaptic vesicle transport, myelin proteome and signaling cascades, such as RhoA signaling. Considerable dysregulation of processes related to mitochondrial cell death, RhoA/Huntington's disease signaling and myelin sheath breakdown were observed at the advanced stage of the disease. The identified changes in protein levels were further substantiated by bioinformatics and network approaches, immunohistochemistry on brain tissues and literature knowledge, thus identifying various functional modules affected in the CLN1 childhood

  8. A novel flow cytometric HTS assay reveals functional modulators of ATP binding cassette transporter ABCB6.

    PubMed

    Polireddy, Kishore; Khan, Mohiuddin Md Taimur; Chavan, Hemantkumar; Young, Susan; Ma, Xiaochao; Waller, Anna; Garcia, Matthew; Perez, Dominique; Chavez, Stephanie; Strouse, Jacob J; Haynes, Mark K; Bologa, Cristian G; Oprea, Tudor I; Tegos, George P; Sklar, Larry A; Krishnamurthy, Partha

    2012-01-01

    ABCB6 is a member of the adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-binding cassette family of transporter proteins that is increasingly recognized as a relevant physiological and therapeutic target. Evaluation of modulators of ABCB6 activity would pave the way toward a more complete understanding of the significance of this transport process in tumor cell growth, proliferation and therapy-related drug resistance. In addition, this effort would improve our understanding of the function of ABCB6 in normal physiology with respect to heme biosynthesis, and cellular adaptation to metabolic demand and stress responses. To search for modulators of ABCB6, we developed a novel cell-based approach that, in combination with flow cytometric high-throughput screening (HTS), can be used to identify functional modulators of ABCB6. Accumulation of protoporphyrin, a fluorescent molecule, in wild-type ABCB6 expressing K562 cells, forms the basis of the HTS assay. Screening the Prestwick Chemical Library employing the HTS assay identified four compounds, benzethonium chloride, verteporfin, tomatine hydrochloride and piperlongumine, that reduced ABCB6 mediated cellular porphyrin levels. Validation of the identified compounds employing the hemin-agarose affinity chromatography and mitochondrial transport assays demonstrated that three out of the four compounds were capable of inhibiting ABCB6 mediated hemin transport into isolated mitochondria. However, only verteporfin and tomatine hydrochloride inhibited ABCB6's ability to compete with hemin as an ABCB6 substrate. This assay is therefore sensitive, robust, and suitable for automation in a high-throughput environment as demonstrated by our identification of selective functional modulators of ABCB6. Application of this assay to other libraries of synthetic compounds and natural products is expected to identify novel modulators of ABCB6 activity. PMID:22808084

  9. Zinc modulation of water permeability reveals that aquaporin 0 functions as a cooperative tetramer.

    PubMed

    Németh-Cahalan, Karin L; Kalman, Katalin; Froger, Alexandrine; Hall, James E

    2007-11-01

    We previously showed that the water permeability of AQP0, the water channel of the lens, increases with acid pH and that His40 is required (Németh-Cahalan, K.L., and J.E. Hall. 2000. J. Biol. Chem. 275:6777-6782; Németh-Cahalan, K.L., K. Kalman, and J.E. Hall. 2004. J. Gen. Physiol. 123:573-580). We have now investigated the effect of zinc (and other transition metals) on the water permeability of AQP0 expressed in Xenopus oocytes and determined the amino acid residues that facilitate zinc modulation. Zinc (1 mM) increased AQP0 water permeability by a factor of two and prevented any additional increase induced by acid pH. Zinc had no effect on water permeability of AQP1, AQP4 or MIPfun (AQP0 from killifish), or on mutants of AQP1 and MIPfun with added external histidines. Nickel, but not copper, had the same effect on AQP0 water permeability as zinc. A fit of the concentration dependence of the zinc effect to the Hill equation gives a coefficient greater than three, suggesting that binding of more than one zinc ion is necessary to enhance water permeability. His40 and His122 are necessary for zinc modulation of AQP0 water permeability, implying structural constraints for zinc binding and functional modulation. The change in water permeability was highly sensitive to a coinjected zinc-insensitive mutant and a single insensitive monomer completely abolished zinc modulation. Our results suggest a model in which positive cooperativity among subunits of the AQP0 tetramer is required for zinc modulation, implying that the tetramer is the functional unit. The results also offer the possibility of a pharmacological approach to manipulate the water permeability and transparency of the lens. PMID:17938229

  10. Gene-Disease Network Analysis Reveals Functional Modules in Mendelian, Complex and Environmental Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Bauer-Mehren, Anna; Bundschus, Markus; Rautschka, Michael; Mayer, Miguel A.; Sanz, Ferran; Furlong, Laura I.

    2011-01-01

    Background Scientists have been trying to understand the molecular mechanisms of diseases to design preventive and therapeutic strategies for a long time. For some diseases, it has become evident that it is not enough to obtain a catalogue of the disease-related genes but to uncover how disruptions of molecular networks in the cell give rise to disease phenotypes. Moreover, with the unprecedented wealth of information available, even obtaining such catalogue is extremely difficult. Principal Findings We developed a comprehensive gene-disease association database by integrating associations from several sources that cover different biomedical aspects of diseases. In particular, we focus on the current knowledge of human genetic diseases including mendelian, complex and environmental diseases. To assess the concept of modularity of human diseases, we performed a systematic study of the emergent properties of human gene-disease networks by means of network topology and functional annotation analysis. The results indicate a highly shared genetic origin of human diseases and show that for most diseases, including mendelian, complex and environmental diseases, functional modules exist. Moreover, a core set of biological pathways is found to be associated with most human diseases. We obtained similar results when studying clusters of diseases, suggesting that related diseases might arise due to dysfunction of common biological processes in the cell. Conclusions For the first time, we include mendelian, complex and environmental diseases in an integrated gene-disease association database and show that the concept of modularity applies for all of them. We furthermore provide a functional analysis of disease-related modules providing important new biological insights, which might not be discovered when considering each of the gene-disease association repositories independently. Hence, we present a suitable framework for the study of how genetic and environmental factors

  11. Community Structure Reveals Biologically Functional Modules in MEF2C Transcriptional Regulatory Network

    PubMed Central

    Alcalá-Corona, Sergio A.; Velázquez-Caldelas, Tadeo E.; Espinal-Enríquez, Jesús; Hernández-Lemus, Enrique

    2016-01-01

    Gene regulatory networks are useful to understand the activity behind the complex mechanisms in transcriptional regulation. A main goal in contemporary biology is using such networks to understand the systemic regulation of gene expression. In this work, we carried out a systematic study of a transcriptional regulatory network derived from a comprehensive selection of all potential transcription factor interactions downstream from MEF2C, a human transcription factor master regulator. By analyzing the connectivity structure of such network, we were able to find different biologically functional processes and specific biochemical pathways statistically enriched in communities of genes into the network, such processes are related to cell signaling, cell cycle and metabolism. In this way we further support the hypothesis that structural properties of biological networks encode an important part of their functional behavior in eukaryotic cells. PMID:27252657

  12. Community Structure Reveals Biologically Functional Modules in MEF2C Transcriptional Regulatory Network.

    PubMed

    Alcalá-Corona, Sergio A; Velázquez-Caldelas, Tadeo E; Espinal-Enríquez, Jesús; Hernández-Lemus, Enrique

    2016-01-01

    Gene regulatory networks are useful to understand the activity behind the complex mechanisms in transcriptional regulation. A main goal in contemporary biology is using such networks to understand the systemic regulation of gene expression. In this work, we carried out a systematic study of a transcriptional regulatory network derived from a comprehensive selection of all potential transcription factor interactions downstream from MEF2C, a human transcription factor master regulator. By analyzing the connectivity structure of such network, we were able to find different biologically functional processes and specific biochemical pathways statistically enriched in communities of genes into the network, such processes are related to cell signaling, cell cycle and metabolism. In this way we further support the hypothesis that structural properties of biological networks encode an important part of their functional behavior in eukaryotic cells. PMID:27252657

  13. Single-Cell Co-expression Analysis Reveals Distinct Functional Modules, Co-regulation Mechanisms and Clinical Outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jie; Xia, Shuli; Arand, Brian; Zhu, Heng; Machiraju, Raghu; Huang, Kun; Ji, Hongkai; Qian, Jiang

    2016-01-01

    Co-expression analysis has been employed to predict gene function, identify functional modules, and determine tumor subtypes. Previous co-expression analysis was mainly conducted at bulk tissue level. It is unclear whether co-expression analysis at the single-cell level will provide novel insights into transcriptional regulation. Here we developed a computational approach to compare glioblastoma expression profiles at the single-cell level with those obtained from bulk tumors. We found that the co-expressed genes observed in single cells and bulk tumors have little overlap and show distinct characteristics. The co-expressed genes identified in bulk tumors tend to have similar biological functions, and are enriched for intrachromosomal interactions with synchronized promoter activity. In contrast, single-cell co-expressed genes are enriched for known protein-protein interactions, and are regulated through interchromosomal interactions. Moreover, gene members of some protein complexes are co-expressed only at the bulk level, while those of other complexes are co-expressed at both single-cell and bulk levels. Finally, we identified a set of co-expressed genes that can predict the survival of glioblastoma patients. Our study highlights that comparative analyses of single-cell and bulk gene expression profiles enable us to identify functional modules that are regulated at different levels and hold great translational potential. PMID:27100869

  14. In Vitro Assessment Reveals Parameters-Dependent Modulation on Excitability and Functional Connectivity of Cerebellar Slice by Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Rongyu; Zhang, Guanghao; Weng, Xiechuan; Han, Yao; Lang, Yiran; Zhao, Yuwei; Zhao, Xiaobo; Wang, Kun; Lin, Qiuxia; Wang, Changyong

    2016-01-01

    Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is an increasingly common technique used to selectively modify neural excitability and plasticity. There is still controversy concerning the cortical response to rTMS of different frequencies. In this study, a novel in vitro paradigm utilizing the Multi-Electrodes Array (MEA) system and acute cerebellar slicing is described. In a controllable environment that comprises perfusion, incubation, recording and stimulation modules, the spontaneous single-unit spiking activity in response to rTMS of different frequencies and powers was directly measured and analyzed. Investigation using this in vitro paradigm revealed frequency-dependent modulation upon the excitability and functional connectivity of cerebellar slices. The 1-Hz rTMS sessions induced short-term inhibition or lagged inhibition, whereas 20-Hz sessions induced excitation. The level of modulation is influenced by the value of power. However the long-term response fluctuated without persistent direction. The choice of evaluation method may also interfere with the interpretation of modulation direction. Furthermore, both short-term and long-term functional connectivity was strengthened by 1-Hz rTMS and weakened by 20-Hz rTMS. PMID:27000527

  15. Structure-Function Analyses of a Staphylococcus epidermidis Autoinducing Peptide Reveals Motifs Critical for AgrC-type Receptor Modulation.

    PubMed

    Yang, Tian; Tal-Gan, Yftah; Paharik, Alexandra E; Horswill, Alexander R; Blackwell, Helen E

    2016-07-15

    Staphylococcus epidermidis is frequently implicated in human infections associated with indwelling medical devices due to its ubiquity in the skin flora and formation of robust biofilms. The accessory gene regulator (agr) quorum sensing (QS) system plays a prominent role in the establishment of biofilms and infection by this bacterium. Agr activation is mediated by the binding of a peptide signal (or autoinducing peptide, AIP) to its cognate AgrC receptor. Many questions remain about the role of QS in S. epidermidis infections, as well as in mixed-microbial populations on a host, and chemical modulators of its agr system could provide novel insights into this signaling network. The AIP ligand provides an initial scaffold for the development of such probes; however, the structure-activity relationships (SARs) for activation of S. epidermidis AgrC receptors by AIPs are largely unknown. Herein, we report the first SAR analyses of an S. epidermidis AIP by performing systematic alanine and d-amino acid scans of the S. epidermidis AIP-I. On the basis of these results, we designed and identified potent, pan-group inhibitors of the AgrC receptors in the three S. epidermidis agr groups, as well as a set of AIP-I analogs capable of selective AgrC inhibition in either specific S. epidermidis agr groups or in another common staphylococcal species, S. aureus. In addition, we uncovered a non-native peptide agonist of AgrC-I that can strongly inhibit S. epidermidis biofilm growth. Together, these synthetic analogs represent new and readily accessible probes for investigating the roles of QS in S. epidermidis colonization and infections.

  16. Identification of unstable network modules reveals disease modules associated with the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Kikuchi, Masataka; Ogishima, Soichi; Miyamoto, Tadashi; Miyashita, Akinori; Kuwano, Ryozo; Nakaya, Jun; Tanaka, Hiroshi

    2013-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common cause of dementia, is associated with aging, and it leads to neuron death. Deposits of amyloid β and aberrantly phosphorylated tau protein are known as pathological hallmarks of AD, but the underlying mechanisms have not yet been revealed. A high-throughput gene expression analysis previously showed that differentially expressed genes accompanying the progression of AD were more down-regulated than up-regulated in the later stages of AD. This suggested that the molecular networks and their constituent modules collapsed along with AD progression. In this study, by using gene expression profiles and protein interaction networks (PINs), we identified the PINs expressed in three brain regions: the entorhinal cortex (EC), hippocampus (HIP) and superior frontal gyrus (SFG). Dividing the expressed PINs into modules, we examined the stability of the modules with AD progression and with normal aging. We found that in the AD modules, the constituent proteins, interactions and cellular functions were not maintained between consecutive stages through all brain regions. Interestingly, the modules were collapsed with AD progression, specifically in the EC region. By identifying the modules that were affected by AD pathology, we found the transcriptional regulation-associated modules that interact with the proteasome-associated module via UCHL5 hub protein, which is a deubiquitinating enzyme. Considering PINs as a system made of network modules, we found that the modules relevant to the transcriptional regulation are disrupted in the EC region, which affects the ubiquitin-proteasome system.

  17. In silico screening reveals structurally diverse, nanomolar inhibitors of NQO2 that are functionally active in cells and can modulate NFκB signalling

    PubMed Central

    Nolan, Karen A.; Dunstan, Mark S.; Caraher, Mary C.; Scott, Katherine A.; Leys, David; Stratford, Ian J.

    2011-01-01

    The NCI chemical database has been screened using in silico docking to identify novel nanomolar inhibitors of NRH:quinone oxidoreductase 2 (NQO2). The inhibitors identified from the screen exhibit a diverse range of scaffolds and the structure of one of the inhibitors, NSC13000 co-crystalized with NQO2, has been solved. This has been used to aid the generation of a structure/activity relationship between the computationally derived binding affinity and experimentally measured enzyme inhibitory potency. Many of the compounds are functionally active as inhibitors of NQO2 in cells at non toxic concentrations. To demonstrate this, advantage was taken of the NQO2-mediated toxicity of the chemotherapeutic drug CB1954. The toxicity of this drug is substantially reduced when the function of NQO2 is inhibited and many of the compounds achieve this in cells at nanomolar concentrations. The NQO2 inhibitors also attenuated TNFα-mediated, NFκB-driven transcriptional activity. The link between NQO2 and the regulation of NFκB was confirmed by using siRNA to NQO2 and by the observation that NRH, the cofactor for NQO2 enzyme activity, could regulate NFκB activity in an NQO2 dependent manner. NFκB is a potential therapeutic target and this study reveals an underlying mechanism that may exploitable for developing new anti-cancer drugs. PMID:22090421

  18. Hansenula polymorpha Hac1p Is Critical to Protein N-Glycosylation Activity Modulation, as Revealed by Functional and Transcriptomic Analyses.

    PubMed

    Moon, Hye-Yun; Cheon, Seon Ah; Kim, Hyunah; Agaphonov, M O; Kwon, Ohsuk; Oh, Doo-Byoung; Kim, Jeong-Yoon; Kang, Hyun Ah

    2015-10-01

    Aggregation of misfolded protein in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) induces a cellular protective response to ER stress, the unfolded protein response (UPR), which is mediated by a basic leucine zipper (bZIP) transcription factor, Hac1p/Xbp1. In this study, we identified and studied the molecular functions of a HAC1 homolog from the thermotolerant yeast Hansenula polymorpha (HpHAC1). We found that the HpHAC1 mRNA contains a nonconventional intron of 177 bp whose interaction with the 5' untranslated region is responsible for the translational inhibition of the HpHAC1 mRNA. The H. polymorpha hac1-null (Hphac1Δ) mutant strain grew slowly, even under normal growth conditions, and was less thermotolerant than the wild-type (WT) strain. The mutant strain was also more sensitive to cell wall-perturbing agents and to the UPR-inducing agents dithiothreitol (DTT) and tunicamycin (TM). Using comparative transcriptome analysis of the WT and Hphac1Δ strains treated with DTT and TM, we identified HpHAC1-dependent core UPR targets, which included genes involved in protein secretion and processing, particularly those required for N-linked protein glycosylation. Notably, different glycosylation and processing patterns of the vacuolar glycoprotein carboxypeptidase Y were observed in the WT and Hphac1Δ strains. Moreover, overexpression of active HpHac1p significantly increased the N-linked glycosylation efficiency and TM resistance. Collectively, our results suggest that the function of HpHac1p is important not only for UPR induction but also for efficient glycosylation in H. polymorpha. PMID:26231645

  19. Hansenula polymorpha Hac1p Is Critical to Protein N-Glycosylation Activity Modulation, as Revealed by Functional and Transcriptomic Analyses.

    PubMed

    Moon, Hye-Yun; Cheon, Seon Ah; Kim, Hyunah; Agaphonov, M O; Kwon, Ohsuk; Oh, Doo-Byoung; Kim, Jeong-Yoon; Kang, Hyun Ah

    2015-10-01

    Aggregation of misfolded protein in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) induces a cellular protective response to ER stress, the unfolded protein response (UPR), which is mediated by a basic leucine zipper (bZIP) transcription factor, Hac1p/Xbp1. In this study, we identified and studied the molecular functions of a HAC1 homolog from the thermotolerant yeast Hansenula polymorpha (HpHAC1). We found that the HpHAC1 mRNA contains a nonconventional intron of 177 bp whose interaction with the 5' untranslated region is responsible for the translational inhibition of the HpHAC1 mRNA. The H. polymorpha hac1-null (Hphac1Δ) mutant strain grew slowly, even under normal growth conditions, and was less thermotolerant than the wild-type (WT) strain. The mutant strain was also more sensitive to cell wall-perturbing agents and to the UPR-inducing agents dithiothreitol (DTT) and tunicamycin (TM). Using comparative transcriptome analysis of the WT and Hphac1Δ strains treated with DTT and TM, we identified HpHAC1-dependent core UPR targets, which included genes involved in protein secretion and processing, particularly those required for N-linked protein glycosylation. Notably, different glycosylation and processing patterns of the vacuolar glycoprotein carboxypeptidase Y were observed in the WT and Hphac1Δ strains. Moreover, overexpression of active HpHac1p significantly increased the N-linked glycosylation efficiency and TM resistance. Collectively, our results suggest that the function of HpHac1p is important not only for UPR induction but also for efficient glycosylation in H. polymorpha.

  20. The Modulation Transfer Function for Speech Intelligibility

    PubMed Central

    Elliott, Taffeta M.; Theunissen, Frédéric E.

    2009-01-01

    We systematically determined which spectrotemporal modulations in speech are necessary for comprehension by human listeners. Speech comprehension has been shown to be robust to spectral and temporal degradations, but the specific relevance of particular degradations is arguable due to the complexity of the joint spectral and temporal information in the speech signal. We applied a novel modulation filtering technique to recorded sentences to restrict acoustic information quantitatively and to obtain a joint spectrotemporal modulation transfer function for speech comprehension, the speech MTF. For American English, the speech MTF showed the criticality of low modulation frequencies in both time and frequency. Comprehension was significantly impaired when temporal modulations <12 Hz or spectral modulations <4 cycles/kHz were removed. More specifically, the MTF was bandpass in temporal modulations and low-pass in spectral modulations: temporal modulations from 1 to 7 Hz and spectral modulations <1 cycles/kHz were the most important. We evaluated the importance of spectrotemporal modulations for vocal gender identification and found a different region of interest: removing spectral modulations between 3 and 7 cycles/kHz significantly increases gender misidentifications of female speakers. The determination of the speech MTF furnishes an additional method for producing speech signals with reduced bandwidth but high intelligibility. Such compression could be used for audio applications such as file compression or noise removal and for clinical applications such as signal processing for cochlear implants. PMID:19266016

  1. Spectral density response functions for modulated polarimeters.

    PubMed

    LaCasse, Charles F; Rodríguez-Herrera, Oscar G; Chipman, Russell A; Tyo, J Scott

    2015-11-10

    Conventional imaging devices are often compared using their optical transfer functions (OTFs) in space and their impulse responses in time. Modulated polarimeters cannot be directly compared this way, since they are frequency multiplexed. Here we define a spectral density response function that describes how the spectral density matrix of the Stokes parameters for an object transfers through a modulated polarimeter. This response function facilitates the objective comparison of polarimeters in a way that is analogous to the OTF for conventional imaging systems. The spectral density response is used to calculate a Wiener filter for a rotating analyzer polarimeter as an example of filter optimization for modulated polarimetry. PMID:26560776

  2. Open chromatin reveals the functional maize genome

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Every cellular process mediated through nuclear DNA must contend with chromatin. As results from ENCODE show, open chromatin assays can efficiently integrate across diverse regulatory elements, revealing functional non-coding genome. In this study, we use a MNase hypersensitivity assay to discover o...

  3. Carrier Modulation Via Waveform Probability Density Function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, Glenn L.

    2004-01-01

    Beyond the classic modes of carrier modulation by varying amplitude (AM), phase (PM), or frequency (FM), we extend the modulation domain of an analog carrier signal to include a class of general modulations which are distinguished by their probability density function histogram. Separate waveform states are easily created by varying the pdf of the transmitted waveform. Individual waveform states are assignable as proxies for digital ONEs or ZEROs. At the receiver, these states are easily detected by accumulating sampled waveform statistics and performing periodic pattern matching, correlation, or statistical filtering. No fundamental natural laws are broken in the detection process. We show how a typical modulation scheme would work in the digital domain and suggest how to build an analog version. We propose that clever variations of the modulating waveform (and thus the histogram) can provide simple steganographic encoding.

  4. Carrier Modulation Via Waveform Probability Density Function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, Glenn L.

    2006-01-01

    Beyond the classic modes of carrier modulation by varying amplitude (AM), phase (PM), or frequency (FM), we extend the modulation domain of an analog carrier signal to include a class of general modulations which are distinguished by their probability density function histogram. Separate waveform states are easily created by varying the pdf of the transmitted waveform. Individual waveform states are assignable as proxies for digital one's or zero's. At the receiver, these states are easily detected by accumulating sampled waveform statistics and performing periodic pattern matching, correlation, or statistical filtering. No fundamental physical laws are broken in the detection process. We show how a typical modulation scheme would work in the digital domain and suggest how to build an analog version. We propose that clever variations of the modulating waveform (and thus the histogram) can provide simple steganographic encoding.

  5. Caffeine Modulates Attention Network Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brunye, Tad T.; Mahoney, Caroline R.; Lieberman, Harris R.; Taylor, Holly A.

    2010-01-01

    The present work investigated the effects of caffeine (0 mg, 100 mg, 200 mg, 400 mg) on a flanker task designed to test Posner's three visual attention network functions: alerting, orienting, and executive control [Posner, M. I. (2004). "Cognitive neuroscience of attention". New York, NY: Guilford Press]. In a placebo-controlled, double-blind…

  6. An NPARC Turbulence Module with Wall Functions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zhu, J.; Shih, T.-H.

    1997-01-01

    The turbulence module recently developed for the NPARC code has been extended to include wall functions. The Van Driest transformation is used so that the wall functions can be applied to both incompressible and compressible flows. The module is equipped with three two-equation K-epsilon turbulence models: Chien, Shih-Lumley and CMOTR models. Details of the wall functions as well as their numerical implementation are reported. It is shown that the inappropriate artificial viscosity in the near-wall region has a big influence on the solution of the wall function approach. A simple way to eliminate this influence is proposed, which gives satisfactory results during the code validation. The module can be easily linked to the NPARC code for practical applications.

  7. [Novel function of astrocytes revealed by optogenetics].

    PubMed

    Beppu, Kaoru; Matsui, Ko

    2014-12-01

    Astrocytes respond to neuronal activity. However, whether astrocytic activity has any significance in brain function is unknown. Signaling pathway leading from astrocytes to neurons would be required for astrocytes to participate in neuronal functions and, here, we investigated the presence of such pathway. Optogenetics was used to manipulate astrocytic activity. A light-sensitive protein, channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2), was selectively expressed in astrocytes. Photostimulation of these astrocytes induced glutamate release which modulated neuronal activity and animal behavior. Such glutamate release was triggered by intracellular acidification produced by ChR2 photoactivation. Astrocytic acidification occurs upon brain ischemia, and we found that another optogenetic tool, archaerhodopsin (ArchT), could counter the acidification and suppress astrocytic glutamate release. Controlling of astrocytic pH may become a therapeutic strategy upon ischemia.

  8. Co-modulation analysis of gene regulation in breast cancer reveals complex interplay between ESR1 and ERBB2 genes

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Background Gene regulation is dynamic across cellular conditions and disease subtypes. From the aspect of regulation under modulation, regulation strength between a pair of genes can be modulated by (dependent on) expression abundance of another gene (modulator gene). Previous studies have demonstrated the involvement of genes modulated by single modulator genes in cancers, including breast cancer. However, analysis of multi-modulator co-modulation that can further delineate the landscape of complex gene regulation is, to our knowledge, unexplored previously. In the present study we aim to explore the joint effects of multiple modulator genes in modulating global gene regulation and dissect the biological functions in breast cancer. Results To carry out the analysis, we proposed the Covariability-based Multiple Regression (CoMRe) method. The method is mainly built on a multiple regression model that takes expression levels of multiple modulators as inputs and regulation strength between genes as output. Pairs of genes were divided into groups based on their co-modulation patterns. Analyzing gene expression profiles from 286 breast cancer patients, CoMRe investigated ten candidate modulator genes that interacted and jointly determined global gene regulation. Among the candidate modulators, ESR1, ERBB2, and ADAM12 were found modulating the most numbers of gene pairs. The largest group of gene pairs was composed of ones that were modulated by merely ESR1. Functional annotation revealed that the group was significantly related to tumorigenesis and estrogen signaling in breast cancer. ESR1−ERBB2 co-modulation was the largest group modulated by more than one modulators. Similarly, the group was functionally associated with hormone stimulus, suggesting that functions of the two modulators are performed, at least partially, through modulation. The findings were validated in majorities of patients (> 99%) of two independent breast cancer datasets. Conclusions We have

  9. A Walsh Function Module Users' Manual

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gnoffo, Peter A.

    2014-01-01

    The solution of partial differential equations (PDEs) with Walsh functions offers new opportunities to simulate many challenging problems in mathematical physics. The approach was developed to better simulate hypersonic flows with shocks on unstructured grids. It is unique in that integrals and derivatives are computed using simple matrix multiplication of series representations of functions without the need for divided differences. The product of any two Walsh functions is another Walsh function - a feature that radically changes an algorithm for solving PDEs. A FORTRAN module for supporting Walsh function simulations is documented. A FORTRAN code is also documented with options for solving time-dependent problems: an advection equation, a Burgers equation, and a Riemann problem. The sample problems demonstrate the usage of the Walsh function module including such features as operator overloading, Fast Walsh Transforms in multi-dimensions, and a Fast Walsh reciprocal.

  10. Open chromatin reveals the functional maize genome

    PubMed Central

    Rodgers-Melnick, Eli; Vera, Daniel L.; Bass, Hank W.

    2016-01-01

    Cellular processes mediated through nuclear DNA must contend with chromatin. Chromatin structural assays can efficiently integrate information across diverse regulatory elements, revealing the functional noncoding genome. In this study, we use a differential nuclease sensitivity assay based on micrococcal nuclease (MNase) digestion to discover open chromatin regions in the maize genome. We find that maize MNase-hypersensitive (MNase HS) regions localize around active genes and within recombination hotspots, focusing biased gene conversion at their flanks. Although MNase HS regions map to less than 1% of the genome, they consistently explain a remarkably large amount (∼40%) of heritable phenotypic variance in diverse complex traits. MNase HS regions are therefore on par with coding sequences as annotations that demarcate the functional parts of the maize genome. These results imply that less than 3% of the maize genome (coding and MNase HS regions) may give rise to the overwhelming majority of phenotypic variation, greatly narrowing the scope of the functional genome. PMID:27185945

  11. How MAP kinase modules function as robust, yet adaptable, circuits

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Tianhai; Harding, Angus

    2014-01-01

    Genetic and biochemical studies have revealed that the diversity of cell types and developmental patterns evident within the animal kingdom is generated by a handful of conserved, core modules. Core biological modules must be robust, able to maintain functionality despite perturbations, and yet sufficiently adaptable for random mutations to generate phenotypic variation during evolution. Understanding how robust, adaptable modules have influenced the evolution of eukaryotes will inform both evolutionary and synthetic biology. One such system is the MAP kinase module, which consists of a 3-tiered kinase circuit configuration that has been evolutionarily conserved from yeast to man. MAP kinase signal transduction pathways are used across eukaryotic phyla to drive biological functions that are crucial for life. Here we ask the fundamental question, why do MAPK modules follow a conserved 3-tiered topology rather than some other number? Using computational simulations, we identify a fundamental 2-tiered circuit topology that can be readily reconfigured by feedback loops and scaffolds to generate diverse signal outputs. When this 2-kinase circuit is connected to proximal input kinases, a 3-tiered modular configuration is created that is both robust and adaptable, providing a biological circuit that can regulate multiple phenotypes and maintain functionality in an uncertain world. We propose that the 3-tiered signal transduction module has been conserved through positive selection, because it facilitated the generation of phenotypic variation during eukaryotic evolution. PMID:25483189

  12. Structure and function of laminin LG modules.

    PubMed

    Timpl, R; Tisi, D; Talts, J F; Andac, Z; Sasaki, T; Hohenester, E

    2000-08-01

    Laminin G domain-like (LG) modules of approximately 180-200 residues are found in a number of extracellular and receptor proteins and often are present in tandem arrays. LG modules are implicated in interactions with cellular receptors (integrins, alpha-dystroglycan), sulfated carbohydrates and other extracellular ligands. The recently determined crystal structures of LG modules of the laminin alpha2 chain reveal a compact beta sandwich fold and identify a novel calcium binding site. Binding epitopes for heparin, sulfatides and alpha-dystroglycan have been mapped by site-directed mutagenesis and show considerable overlap. The epitopes are located in surface loops around the calcium site, which in other proteins (agrin, neurexins) are modified by alternative splicing. Efficient ligand binding often requires LG modules to be present in tandem. The close proximity of the N- and C-termini in the LG module, as well as a unique link region between laminin LG3 and LG4, impose certain constraints on the arrangement of LG tandems. Further modifications may be introduced by proteolytic processing of laminin G domains, which is known to occur in the alpha2, alpha3 and alpha4 chains.

  13. Network analysis reveals that bacteria and fungi form modules that correlate independently with soil parameters.

    PubMed

    de Menezes, Alexandre B; Prendergast-Miller, Miranda T; Richardson, Alan E; Toscas, Peter; Farrell, Mark; Macdonald, Lynne M; Baker, Geoff; Wark, Tim; Thrall, Peter H

    2015-08-01

    Network and multivariate statistical analyses were performed to determine interactions between bacterial and fungal community terminal restriction length polymorphisms as well as soil properties in paired woodland and pasture sites. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) revealed that shifts in woodland community composition correlated with soil dissolved organic carbon, while changes in pasture community composition correlated with moisture, nitrogen and phosphorus. Weighted correlation network analysis detected two distinct microbial modules per land use. Bacterial and fungal ribotypes did not group separately, rather all modules comprised of both bacterial and fungal ribotypes. Woodland modules had a similar fungal : bacterial ribotype ratio, while in the pasture, one module was fungal dominated. There was no correspondence between pasture and woodland modules in their ribotype composition. The modules had different relationships to soil variables, and these contrasts were not detected without the use of network analysis. This study demonstrated that fungi and bacteria, components of the soil microbial communities usually treated as separate functional groups as in a CCA approach, were co-correlated and formed distinct associations in these adjacent habitats. Understanding these distinct modular associations may shed more light on their niche space in the soil environment, and allow a more realistic description of soil microbial ecology and function.

  14. Multifunctional ferromagnetic disks for modulating cell function

    PubMed Central

    Vitol, Elina A.; Novosad, Valentyn; Rozhkova, Elena A.

    2013-01-01

    In this work, we focus on the methods for controlling cell function with ferromagnetic disk-shaped particles. We will first review the history of magnetically assisted modulation of cell behavior and applications of magnetic particles for studying physical properties of a cell. Then, we consider the biological applications of the microdisks such as the method for induction of cancer cell apoptosis, controlled drug release, hyperthermia and MRI imaging. PMID:23766544

  15. Discovery of Novel Allosteric Modulators of Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor Subtype 5 Reveals Chemical and Functional Diversity and In Vivo Activity in Rat Behavioral Models of Anxiolytic and Antipsychotic ActivityS⃞

    PubMed Central

    Rodriguez, Alice L.; Grier, Mark D.; Jones, Carrie K.; Herman, Elizabeth J.; Kane, Alexander S.; Smith, Randy L.; Williams, Richard; Zhou, Ya; Marlo, Joy E.; Days, Emily L.; Blatt, Tasha N.; Jadhav, Satyawan; Menon, Usha N.; Vinson, Paige N.; Rook, Jerri M.; Stauffer, Shaun R.; Niswender, Colleen M.; Lindsley, Craig W.; Weaver, C. David

    2010-01-01

    Modulators of metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 5 (mGluR5) may provide novel treatments for multiple central nervous system (CNS) disorders, including anxiety and schizophrenia. Although compounds have been developed to better understand the physiological roles of mGluR5 and potential usefulness for the treatment of these disorders, there are limitations in the tools available, including poor selectivity, low potency, and limited solubility. To address these issues, we developed an innovative assay that allows simultaneous screening for mGluR5 agonists, antagonists, and potentiators. We identified multiple scaffolds that possess diverse modes of activity at mGluR5, including both positive and negative allosteric modulators (PAMs and NAMs, respectively). 3-Fluoro-5-(3-(pyridine-2-yl)-1,2,4-oxadiazol-5-yl)benzonitrile (VU0285683) was developed as a novel selective mGluR5 NAM with high affinity for the 2-methyl-6-(phenylethynyl)-pyridine (MPEP) binding site. VU0285683 had anxiolytic-like activity in two rodent models for anxiety but did not potentiate phencyclidine-induced hyperlocomotor activity. (4-Hydroxypiperidin-1-yl)(4-phenylethynyl)phenyl)methanone (VU0092273) was identified as a novel mGluR5 PAM that also binds to the MPEP site. VU0092273 was chemically optimized to an orally active analog, N-cyclobutyl-6-((3-fluorophenyl)ethynyl)nicotinamide hydrochloride (VU0360172), which is selective for mGluR5. This novel mGluR5 PAM produced a dose-dependent reversal of amphetamine-induced hyperlocomotion, a rodent model predictive of antipsychotic activity. Discovery of structurally and functionally diverse allosteric modulators of mGluR5 that demonstrate in vivo efficacy in rodent models of anxiety and antipsychotic activity provide further support for the tremendous diversity of chemical scaffolds and modes of efficacy of mGluR5 ligands. In addition, these studies provide strong support for the hypothesis that multiple structurally distinct mGluR5 modulators have

  16. On Functional Module Detection in Metabolic Networks

    PubMed Central

    Koch, Ina; Ackermann, Jörg

    2013-01-01

    Functional modules of metabolic networks are essential for understanding the metabolism of an organism as a whole. With the vast amount of experimental data and the construction of complex and large-scale, often genome-wide, models, the computer-aided identification of functional modules becomes more and more important. Since steady states play a key role in biology, many methods have been developed in that context, for example, elementary flux modes, extreme pathways, transition invariants and place invariants. Metabolic networks can be studied also from the point of view of graph theory, and algorithms for graph decomposition have been applied for the identification of functional modules. A prominent and currently intensively discussed field of methods in graph theory addresses the Q-modularity. In this paper, we recall known concepts of module detection based on the steady-state assumption, focusing on transition-invariants (elementary modes) and their computation as minimal solutions of systems of Diophantine equations. We present the Fourier-Motzkin algorithm in detail. Afterwards, we introduce the Q-modularity as an example for a useful non-steady-state method and its application to metabolic networks. To illustrate and discuss the concepts of invariants and Q-modularity, we apply a part of the central carbon metabolism in potato tubers (Solanum tuberosum) as running example. The intention of the paper is to give a compact presentation of known steady-state concepts from a graph-theoretical viewpoint in the context of network decomposition and reduction and to introduce the application of Q-modularity to metabolic Petri net models. PMID:24958145

  17. On functional module detection in metabolic networks.

    PubMed

    Koch, Ina; Ackermann, Jörg

    2013-08-12

    Functional modules of metabolic networks are essential for understanding the metabolism of an organism as a whole. With the vast amount of experimental data and the construction of complex and large-scale, often genome-wide, models, the computer-aided identification of functional modules becomes more and more important. Since steady states play a key role in biology, many methods have been developed in that context, for example, elementary flux modes, extreme pathways, transition invariants and place invariants. Metabolic networks can be studied also from the point of view of graph theory, and algorithms for graph decomposition have been applied for the identification of functional modules. A prominent and currently intensively discussed field of methods in graph theory addresses the Q-modularity. In this paper, we recall known concepts of module detection based on the steady-state assumption, focusing on transition-invariants (elementary modes) and their computation as minimal solutions of systems of Diophantine equations. We present the Fourier-Motzkin algorithm in detail. Afterwards, we introduce the Q-modularity as an example for a useful non-steady-state method and its application to metabolic networks. To illustrate and discuss the concepts of invariants and Q-modularity, we apply a part of the central carbon metabolism in potato tubers (Solanum tuberosum) as running example. The intention of the paper is to give a compact presentation of known steady-state concepts from a graph-theoretical viewpoint in the context of network decomposition and reduction and to introduce the application of Q-modularity to metabolic Petri net models.

  18. On functional module detection in metabolic networks.

    PubMed

    Koch, Ina; Ackermann, Jörg

    2013-01-01

    Functional modules of metabolic networks are essential for understanding the metabolism of an organism as a whole. With the vast amount of experimental data and the construction of complex and large-scale, often genome-wide, models, the computer-aided identification of functional modules becomes more and more important. Since steady states play a key role in biology, many methods have been developed in that context, for example, elementary flux modes, extreme pathways, transition invariants and place invariants. Metabolic networks can be studied also from the point of view of graph theory, and algorithms for graph decomposition have been applied for the identification of functional modules. A prominent and currently intensively discussed field of methods in graph theory addresses the Q-modularity. In this paper, we recall known concepts of module detection based on the steady-state assumption, focusing on transition-invariants (elementary modes) and their computation as minimal solutions of systems of Diophantine equations. We present the Fourier-Motzkin algorithm in detail. Afterwards, we introduce the Q-modularity as an example for a useful non-steady-state method and its application to metabolic networks. To illustrate and discuss the concepts of invariants and Q-modularity, we apply a part of the central carbon metabolism in potato tubers (Solanum tuberosum) as running example. The intention of the paper is to give a compact presentation of known steady-state concepts from a graph-theoretical viewpoint in the context of network decomposition and reduction and to introduce the application of Q-modularity to metabolic Petri net models. PMID:24958145

  19. Cholinergic modulation of hippocampal network function

    PubMed Central

    Teles-Grilo Ruivo, Leonor M.; Mellor, Jack R.

    2013-01-01

    Cholinergic septohippocampal projections from the medial septal area to the hippocampus are proposed to have important roles in cognition by modulating properties of the hippocampal network. However, the precise spatial and temporal profile of acetylcholine release in the hippocampus remains unclear making it difficult to define specific roles for cholinergic transmission in hippocampal dependent behaviors. This is partly due to a lack of tools enabling specific intervention in, and recording of, cholinergic transmission. Here, we review the organization of septohippocampal cholinergic projections and hippocampal acetylcholine receptors as well as the role of cholinergic transmission in modulating cellular excitability, synaptic plasticity, and rhythmic network oscillations. We point to a number of open questions that remain unanswered and discuss the potential for recently developed techniques to provide a radical reappraisal of the function of cholinergic inputs to the hippocampus. PMID:23908628

  20. Modulating Brain Oscillations to Drive Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Thut, Gregor

    2014-01-01

    Do neuronal oscillations play a causal role in brain function? In a study in this issue of PLOS Biology, Helfrich and colleagues address this long-standing question by attempting to drive brain oscillations using transcranial electrical current stimulation. Remarkably, they were able to manipulate visual perception by forcing brain oscillations of the left and right visual hemispheres into synchrony using oscillatory currents over both hemispheres. Under this condition, human observers more often perceived an inherently ambiguous visual stimulus in one of its perceptual instantiations. These findings shed light on the mechanisms underlying neuronal computation. They show that it is the neuronal oscillations that drive the visual experience, not the experience driving the oscillations. And they indicate that synchronized oscillatory activity groups brain areas into functional networks. This points to new ways for controlled experimental and possibly also clinical interventions for the study and modulation of brain oscillations and associated functions. PMID:25549340

  1. Modulation Based on Probability Density Functions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, Glenn L.

    2009-01-01

    A proposed method of modulating a sinusoidal carrier signal to convey digital information involves the use of histograms representing probability density functions (PDFs) that characterize samples of the signal waveform. The method is based partly on the observation that when a waveform is sampled (whether by analog or digital means) over a time interval at least as long as one half cycle of the waveform, the samples can be sorted by frequency of occurrence, thereby constructing a histogram representing a PDF of the waveform during that time interval.

  2. Functional analysis in Arabidopsis of FsPTP1, a tyrosine phosphatase from beechnuts, reveals its role as a negative regulator of ABA signaling and seed dormancy and suggests its involvement in ethylene signaling modulation.

    PubMed

    Alonso-Ramírez, Ana; Rodríguez, Dolores; Reyes, David; Jiménez, Jesús A; Nicolás, Gregorio; Nicolás, Carlos

    2011-09-01

    By means of an RT-PCR approach we isolated a specific tyrosine phosphatase (FsPTP1) induced by abscisic acid (ABA) and correlated with seed dormancy in Fagus sylvatica seeds. To provide genetic evidence of FsPTP1 function in seed dormancy and ABA signal transduction pathway, we overexpressed this gene in Cape Verde Island ecotype of Arabidopsis thaliana, which shows the deepest degree of seed dormancy among Arabidopsis accessions. As a result, 35S:FsPTP1 transgenic seeds showed a reduced dormancy and insensitivity to ABA and osmotic stress conditions accompanied by a reduction in the level of expression of RAB18 and RD29, well-known ABA-responsive genes. Taken together, all these data are consistent with a role of this tyrosine phosphatase as a negative regulator of ABA signaling. In addition, phenotypes of FsPTP1 transgenic plants resemble those observed in ethylene constitutive mutants, accompanied by an increase in the level of expression of a key gene involved in ethylene signaling such as EIN2. All the data presented along the paper suggest that the effect of tyrosine phosphatases in ABA action during the transition from seed dormancy to germination may be through modulation of ethylene signaling.

  3. Androgen Modulation of Hippocampal Structure and Function

    PubMed Central

    Atwi, Sarah; McMahon, Dallan; Scharfman, Helen; MacLusky, Neil J.

    2016-01-01

    Androgens have profound effects on hippocampal structure and function, including induction of spines and spine synapses on the dendrites of CA1 pyramidal neurons, as well as alterations in long-term synaptic plasticity (LTP) and hippocampally dependent cognitive behaviors. How these effects occur remains largely unknown. Emerging evidence, however, suggests that one of the key elements in the response mechanism may be modulation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the mossy fiber (MF) system. In male rats, orchidectomy increases synaptic transmission and excitability in the MF pathway. Testosterone reverses these effects, suggesting that testosterone exerts tonic suppression on MF BDNF levels. These findings suggest that changes in hippocampal function resulting from declining androgen levels may reflect the outcome of responses mediated through normally balanced, but opposing, mechanisms: loss of androgen effects on the hippocampal circuitry may be compensated, at least in part, by an increase in BDNF-dependent MF plasticity. PMID:25416742

  4. Inflammatory stimuli acutely modulate peripheral taste function.

    PubMed

    Kumarhia, Devaki; He, Lianying; McCluskey, Lynnette Phillips

    2016-06-01

    Inflammation-mediated changes in taste perception can affect health outcomes in patients, but little is known about the underlying mechanisms. In the present work, we hypothesized that proinflammatory cytokines directly modulate Na(+) transport in taste buds. To test this, we measured acute changes in Na(+) flux in polarized fungiform taste buds loaded with a Na(+) indicator dye. IL-1β elicited an amiloride-sensitive increase in Na(+) transport in taste buds. In contrast, TNF-α dramatically and reversibly decreased Na(+) flux in polarized taste buds via amiloride-sensitive and amiloride-insensitive Na(+) transport systems. The speed and partial amiloride sensitivity of these changes in Na(+) flux indicate that IL-1β and TNF-α modulate epithelial Na(+) channel (ENaC) function. A portion of the TNF-mediated decrease in Na(+) flux is also blocked by the TRPV1 antagonist capsazepine, although TNF-α further reduced Na(+) transport independently of both amiloride and capsazepine. We also assessed taste function in vivo in a model of infection and inflammation that elevates these and additional cytokines. In rats administered systemic lipopolysaccharide (LPS), CT responses to Na(+) were significantly elevated between 1 and 2 h after LPS treatment. Low, normally preferred concentrations of NaCl and sodium acetate elicited high response magnitudes. Consistent with this outcome, codelivery of IL-1β and TNF-α enhanced Na(+) flux in polarized taste buds. These results demonstrate that inflammation elicits swift changes in Na(+) taste function, which may limit salt consumption during illness. PMID:27009163

  5. Protein complexes and functional modules in molecular networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spirin, Victor; Mirny, Leonid A.

    2003-10-01

    Proteins, nucleic acids, and small molecules form a dense network of molecular interactions in a cell. Molecules are nodes of this network, and the interactions between them are edges. The architecture of molecular networks can reveal important principles of cellular organization and function, similarly to the way that protein structure tells us about the function and organization of a protein. Computational analysis of molecular networks has been primarily concerned with node degree [Wagner, A. & Fell, D. A. (2001) Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. B 268, 1803-1810; Jeong, H., Tombor, B., Albert, R., Oltvai, Z. N. & Barabasi, A. L. (2000) Nature 407, 651-654] or degree correlation [Maslov, S. & Sneppen, K. (2002) Science 296, 910-913], and hence focused on single/two-body properties of these networks. Here, by analyzing the multibody structure of the network of protein-protein interactions, we discovered molecular modules that are densely connected within themselves but sparsely connected with the rest of the network. Comparison with experimental data and functional annotation of genes showed two types of modules: (i) protein complexes (splicing machinery, transcription factors, etc.) and (ii) dynamic functional units (signaling cascades, cell-cycle regulation, etc.). Discovered modules are highly statistically significant, as is evident from comparison with random graphs, and are robust to noise in the data. Our results provide strong support for the network modularity principle introduced by Hartwell et al. [Hartwell, L. H., Hopfield, J. J., Leibler, S. & Murray, A. W. (1999) Nature 402, C47-C52], suggesting that found modules constitute the "building blocks" of molecular networks.

  6. Viruses as Modulators of Mitochondrial Functions

    PubMed Central

    Anand, Sanjeev K.; Tikoo, Suresh K.

    2013-01-01

    Mitochondria are multifunctional organelles with diverse roles including energy production and distribution, apoptosis, eliciting host immune response, and causing diseases and aging. Mitochondria-mediated immune responses might be an evolutionary adaptation by which mitochondria might have prevented the entry of invading microorganisms thus establishing them as an integral part of the cell. This makes them a target for all the invading pathogens including viruses. Viruses either induce or inhibit various mitochondrial processes in a highly specific manner so that they can replicate and produce progeny. Some viruses encode the Bcl2 homologues to counter the proapoptotic functions of the cellular and mitochondrial proteins. Others modulate the permeability transition pore and either prevent or induce the release of the apoptotic proteins from the mitochondria. Viruses like Herpes simplex virus 1 deplete the host mitochondrial DNA and some, like human immunodeficiency virus, hijack the host mitochondrial proteins to function fully inside the host cell. All these processes involve the participation of cellular proteins, mitochondrial proteins, and virus specific proteins. This review will summarize the strategies employed by viruses to utilize cellular mitochondria for successful multiplication and production of progeny virus. PMID:24260034

  7. Knock-out models reveal new aquaporin functions.

    PubMed

    Verkman, Alan S

    2009-01-01

    Knockout mice have been informative in the discovery of unexpected biological functions of aquaporins. Knockout mice have confirmed the predicted roles of aquaporins in transepithelial fluid transport, as in the urinary concentrating mechanism and glandular fluid secretion. A less obvious, though predictable role of aquaporins is in tissue swelling under stress, as in the brain in stroke, tumor and infection. Phenotype analysis of aquaporin knockout mice has revealed several unexpected cellular roles of aquaporins whose mechanisms are being elucidated. Aquaporins facilitate cell migration, as seen in aquaporin-dependent tumor angiogenesis and tumor metastasis, by a mechanism that may involve facilitated water transport in lamellipodia of migrating cells. The ' aquaglyceroporins', aquaporins that transport both glycerol and water, regulate glycerol content in epidermis, fat and other tissues, and lead to a multiplicity of interesting consequences of gene disruption including dry skin, resistance to skin carcinogenesis, impaired cell proliferation and altered fat metabolism. An even more surprising role of a mammalian aquaporin is in neural signal transduction in the central nervous system. The many roles of aquaporins might be exploited for clinical benefit by modulation of aquaporin expression/function - as diuretics, and in the treatment of brain swelling, glaucoma, epilepsy, obesity and cancer. PMID:19096787

  8. Functional modules of sigma factor regulons guarantee adaptability and evolvability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Binder, Sebastian C.; Eckweiler, Denitsa; Schulz, Sebastian; Bielecka, Agata; Nicolai, Tanja; Franke, Raimo; Häussler, Susanne; Meyer-Hermann, Michael

    2016-02-01

    The focus of modern molecular biology turns from assigning functions to individual genes towards understanding the expression and regulation of complex sets of molecules. Here, we provide evidence that alternative sigma factor regulons in the pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa largely represent insulated functional modules which provide a critical level of biological organization involved in general adaptation and survival processes. Analysis of the operational state of the sigma factor network revealed that transcription factors functionally couple the sigma factor regulons and significantly modulate the transcription levels in the face of challenging environments. The threshold quality of newly evolved transcription factors was reached faster and more robustly in in silico testing when the structural organization of sigma factor networks was taken into account. These results indicate that the modular structures of alternative sigma factor regulons provide P. aeruginosa with a robust framework to function adequately in its environment and at the same time facilitate evolutionary change. Our data support the view that widespread modularity guarantees robustness of biological networks and is a key driver of evolvability.

  9. Functional modules of sigma factor regulons guarantee adaptability and evolvability.

    PubMed

    Binder, Sebastian C; Eckweiler, Denitsa; Schulz, Sebastian; Bielecka, Agata; Nicolai, Tanja; Franke, Raimo; Häussler, Susanne; Meyer-Hermann, Michael

    2016-01-01

    The focus of modern molecular biology turns from assigning functions to individual genes towards understanding the expression and regulation of complex sets of molecules. Here, we provide evidence that alternative sigma factor regulons in the pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa largely represent insulated functional modules which provide a critical level of biological organization involved in general adaptation and survival processes. Analysis of the operational state of the sigma factor network revealed that transcription factors functionally couple the sigma factor regulons and significantly modulate the transcription levels in the face of challenging environments. The threshold quality of newly evolved transcription factors was reached faster and more robustly in in silico testing when the structural organization of sigma factor networks was taken into account. These results indicate that the modular structures of alternative sigma factor regulons provide P. aeruginosa with a robust framework to function adequately in its environment and at the same time facilitate evolutionary change. Our data support the view that widespread modularity guarantees robustness of biological networks and is a key driver of evolvability. PMID:26915971

  10. Functional modules of sigma factor regulons guarantee adaptability and evolvability

    PubMed Central

    Binder, Sebastian C.; Eckweiler, Denitsa; Schulz, Sebastian; Bielecka, Agata; Nicolai, Tanja; Franke, Raimo; Häussler, Susanne; Meyer-Hermann, Michael

    2016-01-01

    The focus of modern molecular biology turns from assigning functions to individual genes towards understanding the expression and regulation of complex sets of molecules. Here, we provide evidence that alternative sigma factor regulons in the pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa largely represent insulated functional modules which provide a critical level of biological organization involved in general adaptation and survival processes. Analysis of the operational state of the sigma factor network revealed that transcription factors functionally couple the sigma factor regulons and significantly modulate the transcription levels in the face of challenging environments. The threshold quality of newly evolved transcription factors was reached faster and more robustly in in silico testing when the structural organization of sigma factor networks was taken into account. These results indicate that the modular structures of alternative sigma factor regulons provide P. aeruginosa with a robust framework to function adequately in its environment and at the same time facilitate evolutionary change. Our data support the view that widespread modularity guarantees robustness of biological networks and is a key driver of evolvability. PMID:26915971

  11. Linearization of acousto-optic modulator transmission function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korol, G.; Moskaletz, D.; Moskaletz, O.

    2016-08-01

    The procedure of linearization of nonlinear transmission function of the optical transparency in the form of an acousto-optic modulator by the methods of nonlinear functional analysis is described. The transmission function of a pair of acousto-optic modulators is linearized in the context of generalized superposition principle.

  12. Revealing neuronal function through microelectrode array recordings

    PubMed Central

    Obien, Marie Engelene J.; Deligkaris, Kosmas; Bullmann, Torsten; Bakkum, Douglas J.; Frey, Urs

    2015-01-01

    Microelectrode arrays and microprobes have been widely utilized to measure neuronal activity, both in vitro and in vivo. The key advantage is the capability to record and stimulate neurons at multiple sites simultaneously. However, unlike the single-cell or single-channel resolution of intracellular recording, microelectrodes detect signals from all possible sources around every sensor. Here, we review the current understanding of microelectrode signals and the techniques for analyzing them. We introduce the ongoing advancements in microelectrode technology, with focus on achieving higher resolution and quality of recordings by means of monolithic integration with on-chip circuitry. We show how recent advanced microelectrode array measurement methods facilitate the understanding of single neurons as well as network function. PMID:25610364

  13. Revealing remodeler function: Varied and unique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eastlund, Allen

    Chromatin remodelers perform a necessary and required function for the successful expression of our genetic code. By modifying, shifting, or ejecting nucleosomes from the chromatin structure they allow access to the underlying DNA to the rest of the cell's machinery. This research has focused on two major remodeler motors from major families of chromatin remodelers: the trimeric motor domain of RSC and the motor domain of the ISWI family, ISWI. Using primarily stopped-flow spectrofluorometry, I have categorized the time-dependent motions of these motor domains along their preferred substrate, double-stranded DNA. Combined with collected ATP utilization data, I present the subsequent analysis and associated conclusions that stem from the underlying assumptions and models. Interestingly, there is little in common between the investigated proteins aside from their favored medium. While RSC exhibits modest translocation characteristics and highly effective motion with the ability for large molecular forces, ISWI is not only structurally different but highly inefficient in its motion leading to difficulties in determining its specific translocation mechanics. While chromatin remodeling is a ubiquitous facet of eukaryotic life, there remains much to be understood about their general mechanisms.

  14. Atmospheric modulation transfer function in the infrared

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buskila, Kobi; Towito, Shay; Shmuel, Elad; Levi, Ran; Kopeika, Natan; Krapels, Keith; Driggers, Ronald G.; Vollmerhausen, Richard H.; Halford, Carl E.

    2004-01-01

    In high-resolution ultranarrow field-of-view thermal imagers, image quality over relatively long path lengths is typically limited by atmospheric degradation, especially atmospheric blur. We report our results and analyses of infrared images from two sites, Fort A. P. Hill and Aberdeen Proving Ground. The images are influenced by the various atmospheric phenomena: scattering, absorption, and turbulence. A series of experiments with high-resolution equipment in both the 3-5- and 8-13-μm regions at the two locations indicate that, as in the visible, image quality is limited much more by atmosphere than by the instrumentation for ranges even of the order of only a few kilometers. For paths close to the ground, turbulence is more dominant, whereas for paths involving higher average elevation, aerosol modulation transfer function (MTF) is dominant. As wavelength increases, turbulence MTF also increases, thus permitting aerosol MTF to become more dominant. A critical role in aerosol MTF in the thermal infrared is attributed to absorption, which noticeably decreases atmospheric transmission much more than in the visible, thereby reducing high-spatial-frequency aerosol MTF. These measurements indicate that atmospheric MTF should be a basic component in imaging system design and analysis even in the infrared, especially as higher-resolution hardware becomes available.

  15. Atmospheric modulation transfer function in the infrared.

    PubMed

    Buskila, Kobi; Towito, Shay; Shmuel, Elad; Levi, Ran; Kopeika, Natan; Krapels, Keith; Driggers, Ronald G; Vollmerhausen, Richard H; Halford, Carl E

    2004-01-10

    In high-resolution ultranarrow field-of-view thermal imagers, image quality over relatively long path lengths is typically limited by atmospheric degradation, especially atmospheric blur. We report our results and analyses of infrared images from two sites, Fort A. P. Hill and Aberdeen Proving Ground. The images are influenced by the various atmospheric phenomena: scattering, absorption, and turbulence. A series of experiments with high-resolution equipment in both the 3-5- and 8-13-microm regions at the two locations indicate that, as in the visible, image quality is limited much more by atmosphere than by the instrumentation for ranges even of the order of only a few kilometers. For paths close to the ground, turbulence is more dominant, whereas for paths involving higher average elevation, aerosol modulation transfer function (MTF) is dominant. As wavelength increases, turbulence MTF also increases, thus permitting aerosol MTF to become more dominant. A critical role in aerosol MTF in the thermal infrared is attributed to absorption, which noticeably decreases atmospheric transmission much more than in the visible, thereby reducing high-spatial-frequency aerosol MTF. These measurements indicate that atmospheric MTF should be a basic component in imaging system design and analysis even in the infrared, especially as higher-resolution hardware becomes available.

  16. Multiple Differential Networks Strategy Reveals Carboplatin and Melphalan-Induced Dynamic Module Changes in Retinoblastoma.

    PubMed

    Chen, Cui; Ma, Feng-Wei; Du, Cui-Yun; Wang, Ping

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND Retinoblastoma (RB) is the most common malignant tumor of the eye in childhood. The objective of this paper was to investigate carboplatin (CAR)- and melphalan (MEL)-induced dynamic module changes in RB based on multiple (M) differential networks, and to generate systems-level insights into RB progression. MATERIAL AND METHODS To achieve this goal, we constructed M-differential co-expression networks (DCNs), assigned a weight to each edge, and identified seed genes in M DCNs by ranking genes based on their topological features. Starting with seed genes, a module search was performed to explore candidate modules in CAR and MEL condition. M-DMs were detected according to significance evaluations of M-modules, which originated from refinement of candidate modules. Further, we revealed dynamic changes in M-DM activity and connectivity on the basis of significance of Module Connectivity Dynamic Score (MCDS). RESULTS In the present study, M=2, a total of 21 seed genes were obtained. By assessing module search, refinement, and evaluation, we gained 18 2-DMs. Moreover, 3 significant 2-DMs (Module 1, Module 2, and Module 3) with dynamic changes across CAR and MEL condition were determined, and we denoted them as dynamic modules. Module 1 had 27 nodes of which 6 were seed genes and 56 edges. Module 2 was composed of 28 nodes and 54 edges. A total of 28 nodes interacted with 45 edges presented in Module 3. CONCLUSIONS We have identified 3 dynamic modules with changes induced by CAR and MEL in RB, which might give insights in revealing molecular mechanism for RB therapy. PMID:27144687

  17. [Hunger-driven modulation in brain functions].

    PubMed

    Hirano, Yukinori; Saitoe, Minoru

    2014-01-01

    \\All organisms must obtain nutrition in order to survive and produce their progeny. In the natural environment, however, adequate nutrition or food is not always available. Thus, all organisms are equipped with mechanisms by which their nutritional condition alters their internal activities. In animals, the loss of nutritional intake (fasting) alters not only metabolism, but also behavior in a manner dependent on hormones such as insulin, glucagon, leptin, and ghrelin. As a result, animals are able to maintain their blood sugar level, and are motivated to crave food upon fasting. Moreover, our recent study revealed a novel role of hunger, which facilitates long-term memory (LTM) formation, and its molecular mechanism in the fruit fly, Drosophila. Here, we review the overall effect of fasting, and how fasting affects brain function. I then introduce our finding in which mild fasting facilitates LTM formation, and discuss its biological significance. PMID:24371130

  18. [Hunger-driven modulation in brain functions].

    PubMed

    Hirano, Yukinori; Saitoe, Minoru

    2014-01-01

    \\All organisms must obtain nutrition in order to survive and produce their progeny. In the natural environment, however, adequate nutrition or food is not always available. Thus, all organisms are equipped with mechanisms by which their nutritional condition alters their internal activities. In animals, the loss of nutritional intake (fasting) alters not only metabolism, but also behavior in a manner dependent on hormones such as insulin, glucagon, leptin, and ghrelin. As a result, animals are able to maintain their blood sugar level, and are motivated to crave food upon fasting. Moreover, our recent study revealed a novel role of hunger, which facilitates long-term memory (LTM) formation, and its molecular mechanism in the fruit fly, Drosophila. Here, we review the overall effect of fasting, and how fasting affects brain function. I then introduce our finding in which mild fasting facilitates LTM formation, and discuss its biological significance.

  19. Binding of cellulose binding modules reveal differences between cellulose substrates

    PubMed Central

    Arola, Suvi; Linder, Markus B.

    2016-01-01

    The interaction between cellulase enzymes and their substrates is of central importance to several technological and scientific challenges. Here we report that the binding of cellulose binding modules (CBM) from Trichoderma reesei cellulases Cel6A and Cel7A show a major difference in how they interact with substrates originating from wood compared to bacterial cellulose. We found that the CBM from TrCel7A recognizes the two substrates differently and as a consequence shows an unexpected way of binding. We show that the substrate has a large impact on the exchange rate of the studied CBM, and moreover, CBM-TrCel7A seems to have an additional mode of binding on wood derived cellulose but not on cellulose originating from bacterial source. This mode is not seen in double CBM (DCBM) constructs comprising both CBM-TrCel7A and CBM-TrCel6A. The linker length of DCBMs affects the binding properties, and slows down the exchange rates of the proteins and thus, can be used to analyze the differences between the single CBM. These results have impact on the cellulase research and offer new understanding on how these industrially relevant enzymes act. PMID:27748440

  20. Fold modulating function: bacterial toxins to functional amyloids

    PubMed Central

    Syed, Adnan K.; Boles, Blaise R.

    2014-01-01

    Many bacteria produce cytolytic toxins that target host cells or other competing microbes. It is well known that environmental factors control toxin expression, however, recent work suggests that some bacteria manipulate the fold of these protein toxins to control their function. The β-sheet rich amyloid fold is a highly stable ordered aggregate that many toxins form in response to specific environmental conditions. When in the amyloid state, toxins become inert, losing the cytolytic activity they display in the soluble form. Emerging evidence suggest that some amyloids function as toxin storage systems until they are again needed, while other bacteria utilize amyloids as a structural matrix component of biofilms. This amyloid matrix component facilitates resistance to biofilm disruptive challenges. The bacterial amyloids discussed in this review reveal an elegant system where changes in protein fold and solubility dictate the function of proteins in response to the environment. PMID:25136340

  1. Flexible connectivity in the aging brain revealed by task modulations.

    PubMed

    Geerligs, Linda; Saliasi, Emi; Renken, Remco J; Maurits, Natasha M; Lorist, Monicque M

    2014-08-01

    Recent studies have shown that aging has a large impact on connectivity within and between functional networks. An open question is whether elderly still have the flexibility to adapt functional network connectivity (FNC) to the demands of the task at hand. To study this, we collected fMRI data in younger and older participants during resting state, a selective attention (SA) task and an n-back working memory task with varying levels of difficulty. Spatial independent component (IC) analysis was used to identify functional networks over all participants and all conditions. Dual regression was used to obtain participant and task specific time-courses per IC. Subsequently, functional connectivity was computed between all ICs in each of the tasks. Based on these functional connectivity matrices, a scaled version of the eigenvector centrality (SEC) was used to measure the total influence of each IC in the complete graph of ICs. The results demonstrated that elderly remain able to adapt FNC to task demands. However, there was an age-related shift in the impetus for FNC change. Older participants showed the maximal change in SEC patterns between resting state and the SA task. Young participants, showed the largest shift in SEC patterns between the less demanding SA task and the more demanding 2-back task. Our results suggest that increased FNC changes from resting state to low demanding tasks in elderly reflect recruitment of additional resources, compared with young adults. The lack of change between the low and high demanding tasks suggests that elderly reach a resource ceiling. PMID:24382835

  2. Flexible connectivity in the aging brain revealed by task modulations.

    PubMed

    Geerligs, Linda; Saliasi, Emi; Renken, Remco J; Maurits, Natasha M; Lorist, Monicque M

    2014-08-01

    Recent studies have shown that aging has a large impact on connectivity within and between functional networks. An open question is whether elderly still have the flexibility to adapt functional network connectivity (FNC) to the demands of the task at hand. To study this, we collected fMRI data in younger and older participants during resting state, a selective attention (SA) task and an n-back working memory task with varying levels of difficulty. Spatial independent component (IC) analysis was used to identify functional networks over all participants and all conditions. Dual regression was used to obtain participant and task specific time-courses per IC. Subsequently, functional connectivity was computed between all ICs in each of the tasks. Based on these functional connectivity matrices, a scaled version of the eigenvector centrality (SEC) was used to measure the total influence of each IC in the complete graph of ICs. The results demonstrated that elderly remain able to adapt FNC to task demands. However, there was an age-related shift in the impetus for FNC change. Older participants showed the maximal change in SEC patterns between resting state and the SA task. Young participants, showed the largest shift in SEC patterns between the less demanding SA task and the more demanding 2-back task. Our results suggest that increased FNC changes from resting state to low demanding tasks in elderly reflect recruitment of additional resources, compared with young adults. The lack of change between the low and high demanding tasks suggests that elderly reach a resource ceiling.

  3. Modulation of immune development and function by intestinal microbiota.

    PubMed

    Kabat, Agnieszka M; Srinivasan, Naren; Maloy, Kevin J

    2014-11-01

    The immune system must constantly monitor the gastrointestinal tract for the presence of pathogens while tolerating trillions of commensal microbiota. It is clear that intestinal microbiota actively modulate the immune system to maintain a mutually beneficial relation, but the mechanisms that maintain homeostasis are not fully understood. Recent advances have begun to shed light on the cellular and molecular factors involved, revealing that a range of microbiota derivatives can influence host immune functions by targeting various cell types, including intestinal epithelial cells, mononuclear phagocytes, innate lymphoid cells, and B and T lymphocytes. Here, we review these findings, highlighting open questions and important challenges to overcome in translating this knowledge into new therapies for intestinal and systemic immune disorders. PMID:25172617

  4. Ribozymes and Riboswitches: Modulation of RNA Function by Small Molecules†

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jinwei; Lau, Matthew W.; Ferré-D'Amaré, Adrian R.

    2010-01-01

    Diverse small molecules interact with catalytic RNAs (ribozymes) as substrates and cofactors, and their intracellular concentrations are sensed by gene-regulatory mRNA domains (riboswitches) that modulate transcription, splicing, translation, or RNA stability. Although recognition mechanisms vary from RNA to RNA, structural analyses reveal recurring strategies that arise from the intrinsic properties of RNA such as base pairing and stacking with conjugated heterocycles, and cation-dependent recognition of anionic functional groups. These studies also suggest that, to a first approximation, the magnitude of ligand-induced reorganization of an RNA is inversely proportional to the complexity of the riboswitch or ribozyme. How these small molecule binding-induced changes in RNA lead to alteration in gene expression is less well understood. While different riboswitches have been proposed to be under either kinetic or thermodynamic control, the biochemical and structural mechanisms that give rise to regulatory consequences downstream of small molecule recognition by RNAs mostly remain to be elucidated. PMID:20931966

  5. Heterogeneity in Neutrophil Microparticles Reveals Distinct Proteome and Functional Properties*

    PubMed Central

    Dalli, Jesmond; Montero-Melendez, Trinidad; Norling, Lucy V; Yin, Xiaoke; Hinds, Charles; Haskard, Dorian; Mayr, Manuel; Perretti, Mauro

    2013-01-01

    Altered plasma neutrophil microparticle levels have recently been implicated in a number of vascular and inflammatory diseases, yet our understanding of their actions is very limited. Herein, we investigate the proteome of neutrophil microparticles in order to shed light on their biological actions. Stimulation of human neutrophils, either in suspension or adherent to an endothelial monolayer, led to the production of microparticles containing >400 distinct proteins with only 223 being shared by the two subsets. For instance, postadherent microparticles were enriched in alpha-2 macroglobulin and ceruloplasmin, whereas microparticles produced by neutrophils in suspension were abundant in heat shock 70 kDa protein 1. Annexin A1 and lactotransferrin were expressed in both microparticle subsets. We next determined relative abundance of these proteins in three types of human microparticle samples: healthy volunteer plasma, plasma of septic patients and skin blister exudates finding that these proteins were differentially expressed on neutrophil microparticles from these samples reflecting in part the expression profiles we found in vitro. Functional assessment of the neutrophil microparticles subsets demonstrated that in response to direct stimulation neutrophil microparticles produced reactive oxygen species and leukotriene B4 as well as locomoted toward a chemotactic gradient. Finally, we investigated the actions of the two neutrophil microparticles subsets described herein on target cell responses. Microarray analysis with human primary endothelial cells incubated with either microparticle subset revealed a discrete modulation of endothelial cell gene expression profile. These findings demonstrate that neutrophil microparticles are heterogenous and can deliver packaged information propagating the activation status of the parent cell, potentially exerting novel and fundamental roles both under homeostatic and disease conditions. PMID:23660474

  6. Engineering and Assembly of Protein Modules into Functional Molecular Systems.

    PubMed

    Hirschi, Stephan; Stauffer, Mirko; Harder, Daniel; Müller, Daniel J; Meier, Wolfgang; Fotiadis, Dimitrios

    2016-01-01

    Synthetic biology approaches range from the introduction of unique features into organisms to the assembly of isolated biomacromolecules or synthetic building blocks into artificial biological systems with biomimetic or completely novel functionalities. Simple molecular systems can be based on containers on the nanoscale that are equipped with tailored functional modules for various applications in healthcare, industry or biological and medical research. The concept, or vision, of assembling native or engineered proteins and/or synthetic components as functional modules into molecular systems is discussed. The main focus is laid on the engineering of energizing modules generating chemical energy, transport modules using this energy to translocate molecules between compartments of a molecular system, and catalytic modules (bio-)chemically processing the molecules. Further key aspects of this discourse are possible approaches for the assembly of simple nanofactories and their applications in biotechnology and medical health. PMID:27363367

  7. Quantitative membrane proteomics reveals new cellular targets of viral immune modulators.

    PubMed

    Bartee, Eric; McCormack, Ashley; Früh, Klaus

    2006-10-01

    Immunomodulators of pathogens frequently affect multiple cellular targets, thus preventing recognition by different immune cells. For instance, the K5 modulator of immune recognition (MIR2) from Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus prevents activation of cytotoxic T cells, natural killer cells, and natural killer T cells by downregulating major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules, the MHC-like molecule CD1, the cell adhesion molecules ICAM-1 and PECAM, and the co-stimulatory molecule B7.2. K5 belongs to a family of viral- and cellular-membrane-spanning RING ubiquitin ligases. While a limited number of transmembrane proteins have been shown to be targeted for degradation by this family, it is unknown whether additional targets exist. We now describe a quantitative proteomics approach to identify novel targets of this protein family. Using stable isotope labeling by amino acids, we compared the proteome of plasma, Golgi, and endoplasmic reticulum membranes in the presence and absence of K5. Mass spectrometric protein identification revealed four proteins that were consistently underrepresented in the plasma membrane of K5 expression cells: MHC I (as expected), bone marrow stromal antigen 2 (BST-2, CD316), activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule (ALCAM, CD166) and Syntaxin-4. Downregulation of each of these proteins was independently confirmed by immunoblotting with specific antibodies. We further demonstrate that ALCAM is a bona fide target of both K5 and the myxomavirus homolog M153R. Upon exiting the endoplasmic reticulum, ALCAM is ubiquitinated in the presence of wild-type, but not RING-deficient or acidic motif-deficient, K5, and is targeted for lysosomal degradation via the multivesicular body pathway. Since ALCAM is the ligand for CD6, a member of the immunological synapse of T cells, its removal by viral immune modulators implies a role for CD6 in the recognition of pathogens by T cells. The unbiased global proteome analysis therefore

  8. Cross-Functional Globalization Modules: A Learning Experience

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cort, Kathryn T.; Das, Jayoti; Synn, Wonhi J.

    2004-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to present cross-functional international teaching modules. The modules presented in this paper are intended to assist higher education institutions in initiating and implementing the first level of internationalization of the business school curriculum. Although the focus is on achieving a level of global awareness,…

  9. Functional organization of the fusiform gyrus revealed with connectivity profiles.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wen; Wang, Jiaojian; Fan, Lingzhong; Zhang, Yuanchao; Fox, Peter T; Eickhoff, Simon B; Yu, Chunshui; Jiang, Tianzi

    2016-08-01

    Within the object recognition-related ventral visual stream, the human fusiform gyrus (FG), which topographically connects the striate cortex to the inferior temporal lobe, plays a pivotal role in high-level visual/cognitive functions. However, though there are many previous investigations of distinct functional modules within the FG, the functional organization of the whole FG in its full functional heterogeneity has not yet been established. In the current study, a replicable functional organization of the FG based on distinct anatomical connectivity patterns was identified. The FG was parcellated into medial (FGm), lateral (FGl), and anterior (FGa) regions using diffusion tensor imaging. We validated the reasonability of such an organizational scheme from the perspective of resting-state whole brain functional connectivity patterns and the involvement of functional subnetworks. We found corroborating support for these three distinct modules, and suggest that the FGm serves as a transition region that combines multiple stimuli, the FGl is responsible for categorical recognition, and the FGa is involved in semantic understanding. These findings support two organizational functional transitions of the ventral temporal gyrus, a posterior/anterior direction of visual/semantic processing, and a media/lateral direction of high-level visual processing. Our results may facilitate a more detailed study of the human FG in the future. Hum Brain Mapp 37:3003-3016, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Functional organization of the fusiform gyrus revealed with connectivity profiles.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wen; Wang, Jiaojian; Fan, Lingzhong; Zhang, Yuanchao; Fox, Peter T; Eickhoff, Simon B; Yu, Chunshui; Jiang, Tianzi

    2016-08-01

    Within the object recognition-related ventral visual stream, the human fusiform gyrus (FG), which topographically connects the striate cortex to the inferior temporal lobe, plays a pivotal role in high-level visual/cognitive functions. However, though there are many previous investigations of distinct functional modules within the FG, the functional organization of the whole FG in its full functional heterogeneity has not yet been established. In the current study, a replicable functional organization of the FG based on distinct anatomical connectivity patterns was identified. The FG was parcellated into medial (FGm), lateral (FGl), and anterior (FGa) regions using diffusion tensor imaging. We validated the reasonability of such an organizational scheme from the perspective of resting-state whole brain functional connectivity patterns and the involvement of functional subnetworks. We found corroborating support for these three distinct modules, and suggest that the FGm serves as a transition region that combines multiple stimuli, the FGl is responsible for categorical recognition, and the FGa is involved in semantic understanding. These findings support two organizational functional transitions of the ventral temporal gyrus, a posterior/anterior direction of visual/semantic processing, and a media/lateral direction of high-level visual processing. Our results may facilitate a more detailed study of the human FG in the future. Hum Brain Mapp 37:3003-3016, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27132874

  11. Matrix factorization reveals aging-specific co-expression gene modules in the fat and muscle tissues in nonhuman primates

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yongcui; Zhao, Weiling; Zhou, Xiaobo

    2016-01-01

    Accurate identification of coherent transcriptional modules (subnetworks) in adipose and muscle tissues is important for revealing the related mechanisms and co-regulated pathways involved in the development of aging-related diseases. Here, we proposed a systematically computational approach, called ICEGM, to Identify the Co-Expression Gene Modules through a novel mathematical framework of Higher-Order Generalized Singular Value Decomposition (HO-GSVD). ICEGM was applied on the adipose, and heart and skeletal muscle tissues in old and young female African green vervet monkeys. The genes associated with the development of inflammation, cardiovascular and skeletal disorder diseases, and cancer were revealed by the ICEGM. Meanwhile, genes in the ICEGM modules were also enriched in the adipocytes, smooth muscle cells, cardiac myocytes, and immune cells. Comprehensive disease annotation and canonical pathway analysis indicated that immune cells, adipocytes, cardiomyocytes, and smooth muscle cells played a synergistic role in cardiac and physical functions in the aged monkeys by regulation of the biological processes associated with metabolism, inflammation, and atherosclerosis. In conclusion, the ICEGM provides an efficiently systematic framework for decoding the co-expression gene modules in multiple tissues. Analysis of genes in the ICEGM module yielded important insights on the cooperative role of multiple tissues in the development of diseases. PMID:27703186

  12. Matrix factorization reveals aging-specific co-expression gene modules in the fat and muscle tissues in nonhuman primates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yongcui; Zhao, Weiling; Zhou, Xiaobo

    2016-10-01

    Accurate identification of coherent transcriptional modules (subnetworks) in adipose and muscle tissues is important for revealing the related mechanisms and co-regulated pathways involved in the development of aging-related diseases. Here, we proposed a systematically computational approach, called ICEGM, to Identify the Co-Expression Gene Modules through a novel mathematical framework of Higher-Order Generalized Singular Value Decomposition (HO-GSVD). ICEGM was applied on the adipose, and heart and skeletal muscle tissues in old and young female African green vervet monkeys. The genes associated with the development of inflammation, cardiovascular and skeletal disorder diseases, and cancer were revealed by the ICEGM. Meanwhile, genes in the ICEGM modules were also enriched in the adipocytes, smooth muscle cells, cardiac myocytes, and immune cells. Comprehensive disease annotation and canonical pathway analysis indicated that immune cells, adipocytes, cardiomyocytes, and smooth muscle cells played a synergistic role in cardiac and physical functions in the aged monkeys by regulation of the biological processes associated with metabolism, inflammation, and atherosclerosis. In conclusion, the ICEGM provides an efficiently systematic framework for decoding the co-expression gene modules in multiple tissues. Analysis of genes in the ICEGM module yielded important insights on the cooperative role of multiple tissues in the development of diseases.

  13. Ferrocene Functionalized Endocrine Modulators as Anticancer Agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hillard, Elizabeth A.; Vessières, Anne; Jaouen, Gerard

    We present here some of our studies on the synthesis and behaviour of ferrocenyl selective endocrine receptor modulators against cancer cells, particularly breast and prostate cancers. The proliferative/anti-proliferative effects of compounds based on steroidal and non-steroidal endocrine modulators have been extensively explored in vitro. Structure-activity relationship studies of such molecules, particularly the hydroxyferrocifens and ferrocene phenols, have shown the effect of (1) the presence and the length of the N,N-dimethylamino side chain, (2) the presence and position of the phenol group, (3) the role of the ferrocenyl moiety, (4) that of conjugation, (5) phenyl functionalisation and (6) the placement of the phenyl group. Compounds possessing a ferrocene moiety linked to a p-phenol by a conjugated π-system are among the most potent of the series, with IC50 values ranging from 0.090 to 0.6µM on hormone independent breast cancer cells. Based on the SAR data and electrochemical studies, we have proposed an original mechanism to explain the unusual behaviour of these bioorganometallic species and coin the term "kronatropic" to qualify this effect, involving ROS production and bio-oxidation. In addition, the importance of formulation is underlined. We also discuss the behaviour of ferrocenyl androgens and anti-androgens for possible use against prostate cancers. In sum, ferrocene has proven to be a fascinating substituent due to its vast potential for oncology.

  14. Functional Module Analysis for Gene Coexpression Networks with Network Integration

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Shuqin; Zhao, Hongyu

    2015-01-01

    Network has been a general tool for studying the complex interactions between different genes, proteins and other small molecules. Module as a fundamental property of many biological networks has been widely studied and many computational methods have been proposed to identify the modules in an individual network. However, in many cases a single network is insufficient for module analysis due to the noise in the data or the tuning of parameters when building the biological network. The availability of a large amount of biological networks makes network integration study possible. By integrating such networks, more informative modules for some specific disease can be derived from the networks constructed from different tissues, and consistent factors for different diseases can be inferred. In this paper, we have developed an effective method for module identification from multiple networks under different conditions. The problem is formulated as an optimization model, which combines the module identification in each individual network and alignment of the modules from different networks together. An approximation algorithm based on eigenvector computation is proposed. Our method outperforms the existing methods, especially when the underlying modules in multiple networks are different in simulation studies. We also applied our method to two groups of gene coexpression networks for humans, which include one for three different cancers, and one for three tissues from the morbidly obese patients. We identified 13 modules with 3 complete subgraphs, and 11 modules with 2 complete subgraphs, respectively. The modules were validated through Gene Ontology enrichment and KEGG pathway enrichment analysis. We also showed that the main functions of most modules for the corresponding disease have been addressed by other researchers, which may provide the theoretical basis for further studying the modules experimentally. PMID:26451826

  15. Functional module identification in protein interaction networks by interaction patterns

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yijie; Qian, Xiaoning

    2014-01-01

    Motivation: Identifying functional modules in protein–protein interaction (PPI) networks may shed light on cellular functional organization and thereafter underlying cellular mechanisms. Many existing module identification algorithms aim to detect densely connected groups of proteins as potential modules. However, based on this simple topological criterion of ‘higher than expected connectivity’, those algorithms may miss biologically meaningful modules of functional significance, in which proteins have similar interaction patterns to other proteins in networks but may not be densely connected to each other. A few blockmodel module identification algorithms have been proposed to address the problem but the lack of global optimum guarantee and the prohibitive computational complexity have been the bottleneck of their applications in real-world large-scale PPI networks. Results: In this article, we propose a novel optimization formulation LCP2 (low two-hop conductance sets) using the concept of Markov random walk on graphs, which enables simultaneous identification of both dense and sparse modules based on protein interaction patterns in given networks through searching for LCP2 by random walk. A spectral approximate algorithm SLCP2 is derived to identify non-overlapping functional modules. Based on a bottom-up greedy strategy, we further extend LCP2 to a new algorithm (greedy algorithm for LCP2) GLCP2 to identify overlapping functional modules. We compare SLCP2 and GLCP2 with a range of state-of-the-art algorithms on synthetic networks and real-world PPI networks. The performance evaluation based on several criteria with respect to protein complex prediction, high level Gene Ontology term prediction and especially sparse module detection, has demonstrated that our algorithms based on searching for LCP2 outperform all other compared algorithms. Availability and implementation: All data and code are available at http://www.cse.usf.edu/∼xqian/fmi/slcp2hop

  16. Differential network analysis reveals the genome-wide landscape of estrogen receptor modulation in hormonal cancers

    PubMed Central

    Hsiao, Tzu-Hung; Chiu, Yu-Chiao; Hsu, Pei-Yin; Lu, Tzu-Pin; Lai, Liang-Chuan; Tsai, Mong-Hsun; Huang, Tim H.-M.; Chuang, Eric Y.; Chen, Yidong

    2016-01-01

    Several mutual information (MI)-based algorithms have been developed to identify dynamic gene-gene and function-function interactions governed by key modulators (genes, proteins, etc.). Due to intensive computation, however, these methods rely heavily on prior knowledge and are limited in genome-wide analysis. We present the modulated gene/gene set interaction (MAGIC) analysis to systematically identify genome-wide modulation of interaction networks. Based on a novel statistical test employing conjugate Fisher transformations of correlation coefficients, MAGIC features fast computation and adaption to variations of clinical cohorts. In simulated datasets MAGIC achieved greatly improved computation efficiency and overall superior performance than the MI-based method. We applied MAGIC to construct the estrogen receptor (ER) modulated gene and gene set (representing biological function) interaction networks in breast cancer. Several novel interaction hubs and functional interactions were discovered. ER+ dependent interaction between TGFβ and NFκB was further shown to be associated with patient survival. The findings were verified in independent datasets. Using MAGIC, we also assessed the essential roles of ER modulation in another hormonal cancer, ovarian cancer. Overall, MAGIC is a systematic framework for comprehensively identifying and constructing the modulated interaction networks in a whole-genome landscape. MATLAB implementation of MAGIC is available for academic uses at https://github.com/chiuyc/MAGIC. PMID:26972162

  17. A Scalable Permutation Approach Reveals Replication and Preservation Patterns of Network Modules in Large Datasets.

    PubMed

    Ritchie, Scott C; Watts, Stephen; Fearnley, Liam G; Holt, Kathryn E; Abraham, Gad; Inouye, Michael

    2016-07-01

    Network modules-topologically distinct groups of edges and nodes-that are preserved across datasets can reveal common features of organisms, tissues, cell types, and molecules. Many statistics to identify such modules have been developed, but testing their significance requires heuristics. Here, we demonstrate that current methods for assessing module preservation are systematically biased and produce skewed p values. We introduce NetRep, a rapid and computationally efficient method that uses a permutation approach to score module preservation without assuming data are normally distributed. NetRep produces unbiased p values and can distinguish between true and false positives during multiple hypothesis testing. We use NetRep to quantify preservation of gene coexpression modules across murine brain, liver, adipose, and muscle tissues. Complex patterns of multi-tissue preservation were revealed, including a liver-derived housekeeping module that displayed adipose- and muscle-specific association with body weight. Finally, we demonstrate the broader applicability of NetRep by quantifying preservation of bacterial networks in gut microbiota between men and women. PMID:27467248

  18. A Scalable Permutation Approach Reveals Replication and Preservation Patterns of Network Modules in Large Datasets.

    PubMed

    Ritchie, Scott C; Watts, Stephen; Fearnley, Liam G; Holt, Kathryn E; Abraham, Gad; Inouye, Michael

    2016-07-01

    Network modules-topologically distinct groups of edges and nodes-that are preserved across datasets can reveal common features of organisms, tissues, cell types, and molecules. Many statistics to identify such modules have been developed, but testing their significance requires heuristics. Here, we demonstrate that current methods for assessing module preservation are systematically biased and produce skewed p values. We introduce NetRep, a rapid and computationally efficient method that uses a permutation approach to score module preservation without assuming data are normally distributed. NetRep produces unbiased p values and can distinguish between true and false positives during multiple hypothesis testing. We use NetRep to quantify preservation of gene coexpression modules across murine brain, liver, adipose, and muscle tissues. Complex patterns of multi-tissue preservation were revealed, including a liver-derived housekeeping module that displayed adipose- and muscle-specific association with body weight. Finally, we demonstrate the broader applicability of NetRep by quantifying preservation of bacterial networks in gut microbiota between men and women.

  19. Nanoscale periodic modulations on sodium chloride surface revealed by tuning fork atomic force microscopy.

    PubMed

    Clark, Kendal W; Qin, Shengyong; Zhang, X-G; Li, An-Ping

    2012-05-11

    The sodium chloride surface is one of the most common platforms for the study of catalysts, thin film growth, and atmospheric aerosols. Here we report a nanoscale periodic modulation pattern on the surface of a cleaved NaCl single crystal, revealed by non-contact atomic force microscopy with a tuning fork sensor. The surface pattern shows two orthogonal domains, extending over the entire cleavage surface. The spatial modulations exhibit a characteristic period of 5.4 nm, along <110> crystallographic directions of the NaCl. The modulations are robust in vacuum, not affected by the tip-induced electric field or gentle annealing (<300 °C); however, they are eliminated after exposure to water and an atomically flat surface can be recovered by subsequent thermal annealing after water exposure. A strong electrostatic charging is revealed on the cleavage surface which may facilitate the formation of the observed metastable surface reconstruction.

  20. Nanoscale periodic modulations on sodium chloride surface revealed by tuning fork atomic force microscopy.

    PubMed

    Clark, Kendal W; Qin, Shengyong; Zhang, X-G; Li, An-Ping

    2012-05-11

    The sodium chloride surface is one of the most common platforms for the study of catalysts, thin film growth, and atmospheric aerosols. Here we report a nanoscale periodic modulation pattern on the surface of a cleaved NaCl single crystal, revealed by non-contact atomic force microscopy with a tuning fork sensor. The surface pattern shows two orthogonal domains, extending over the entire cleavage surface. The spatial modulations exhibit a characteristic period of 5.4 nm, along <110> crystallographic directions of the NaCl. The modulations are robust in vacuum, not affected by the tip-induced electric field or gentle annealing (<300 °C); however, they are eliminated after exposure to water and an atomically flat surface can be recovered by subsequent thermal annealing after water exposure. A strong electrostatic charging is revealed on the cleavage surface which may facilitate the formation of the observed metastable surface reconstruction. PMID:22513484

  1. A Genome-Wide Screen Reveals that the Vibrio cholerae Phosphoenolpyruvate Phosphotransferase System Modulates Virulence Gene Expression

    PubMed Central

    Millet, Yves A.; Chao, Michael C.; Sasabe, Jumpei; Davis, Brigid M.

    2015-01-01

    Diverse environmental stimuli and a complex network of regulatory factors are known to modulate expression of Vibrio cholerae's principal virulence factors. However, there is relatively little known about how metabolic factors impinge upon the pathogen's well-characterized cascade of transcription factors that induce expression of cholera toxin and the toxin-coregulated pilus (TCP). Here, we used a transposon insertion site (TIS) sequencing-based strategy to identify new factors required for expression of tcpA, which encodes the major subunit of TCP, the organism's chief intestinal colonization factor. Besides identifying most of the genes known to modulate tcpA expression, the screen yielded ptsI and ptsH, which encode the enzyme I (EI) and Hpr components of the V. cholerae phosphoenolpyruvate phosphotransferase system (PTS). In addition to reduced expression of TcpA, strains lacking EI, Hpr, or the associated EIIAGlc protein produced less cholera toxin (CT) and had a diminished capacity to colonize the infant mouse intestine. The PTS modulates virulence gene expression by regulating expression of tcpPH and aphAB, which themselves control expression of toxT, the central activator of virulence gene expression. One mechanism by which PTS promotes virulence gene expression appears to be by modulating the amounts of intracellular cyclic AMP (cAMP). Our findings reveal that the V. cholerae PTS is an additional modulator of the ToxT regulon and demonstrate the potency of loss-of-function TIS sequencing screens for defining regulatory networks. PMID:26056384

  2. Nanomaterial-modulated autophagy: underlying mechanisms and functional consequences.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Wei; Wei, Min; Li, Song; Le, Weidong

    2016-06-01

    Autophagy is an essential lysosome-dependent process that controls the quality of the cytoplasm and maintains cellular homeostasis, and dysfunction of this protein degradation system is correlated with various disorders. A growing body of evidence suggests that nanomaterials (NMs) have autophagy-modulating effects, thus predicting a valuable and promising application potential of NMs in the diagnosis and treatment of autophagy-related diseases. NMs exhibit unique physical, chemical and biofunctional properties, which may endow NMs with capabilities to modulate autophagy via various mechanisms. The present review highlights the impacts of various NMs on autophagy and their functional consequences. The possible underlying mechanisms for NM-modulated autophagy are also discussed.

  3. Key herbivores reveal limited functional redundancy on inshore coral reefs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johansson, C. L.; van de Leemput, I. A.; Depczynski, M.; Hoey, A. S.; Bellwood, D. R.

    2013-12-01

    Marine ecosystems are facing increasing exposure to a range of stressors and declines in critical ecological functions. The likelihood of further loss of functions and resilience is dependent, in part, on the extent of functional redundancy (i.e. the capacity of one species to functionally compensate for the loss of another species) within critical functional groups. We used multiple metrics; species richness, generic richness, abundance and reserve capacity (i.e. the relative number of individuals available to fulfil the function if the numerically dominant species is lost), as indicators to assess the potential functional redundancy of four functional groups of herbivorous fishes (browsers, excavators, grazers and scrapers) in two of the worlds' most intact coral reef ecosystems: the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia. We found marked variations in potential redundancy among habitats within each reef system and functional groups. Despite negligible fishing of herbivorous fishes, coastal habitats in both reef systems had lower functional redundancy compared to offshore locations for all herbivorous fishes collectively and the four functional groups independently. This pattern was consistent in all four indicators of redundancy. The potential vulnerability of these coastal habitats is highlighted by recent shifts from coral to macroalgal dominance on several coastal reefs of the GBR. Our approach provides a simple yet revealing evaluation of potential functional redundancy. Moreover, it highlights the spatial variation in potential vulnerability and resilience of reef systems.

  4. Modeling development and quantitative trait mapping reveal independent genetic modules for leaf size and shape.

    PubMed

    Baker, Robert L; Leong, Wen Fung; Brock, Marcus T; Markelz, R J Cody; Covington, Michael F; Devisetty, Upendra K; Edwards, Christine E; Maloof, Julin; Welch, Stephen; Weinig, Cynthia

    2015-10-01

    Improved predictions of fitness and yield may be obtained by characterizing the genetic controls and environmental dependencies of organismal ontogeny. Elucidating the shape of growth curves may reveal novel genetic controls that single-time-point (STP) analyses do not because, in theory, infinite numbers of growth curves can result in the same final measurement. We measured leaf lengths and widths in Brassica rapa recombinant inbred lines (RILs) throughout ontogeny. We modeled leaf growth and allometry as function valued traits (FVT), and examined genetic correlations between these traits and aspects of phenology, physiology, circadian rhythms and fitness. We used RNA-seq to construct a SNP linkage map and mapped trait quantitative trait loci (QTL). We found genetic trade-offs between leaf size and growth rate FVT and uncovered differences in genotypic and QTL correlations involving FVT vs STPs. We identified leaf shape (allometry) as a genetic module independent of length and width and identified selection on FVT parameters of development. Leaf shape is associated with venation features that affect desiccation resistance. The genetic independence of leaf shape from other leaf traits may therefore enable crop optimization in leaf shape without negative effects on traits such as size, growth rate, duration or gas exchange.

  5. Modeling development and quantitative trait mapping reveal independent genetic modules for leaf size and shape.

    PubMed

    Baker, Robert L; Leong, Wen Fung; Brock, Marcus T; Markelz, R J Cody; Covington, Michael F; Devisetty, Upendra K; Edwards, Christine E; Maloof, Julin; Welch, Stephen; Weinig, Cynthia

    2015-10-01

    Improved predictions of fitness and yield may be obtained by characterizing the genetic controls and environmental dependencies of organismal ontogeny. Elucidating the shape of growth curves may reveal novel genetic controls that single-time-point (STP) analyses do not because, in theory, infinite numbers of growth curves can result in the same final measurement. We measured leaf lengths and widths in Brassica rapa recombinant inbred lines (RILs) throughout ontogeny. We modeled leaf growth and allometry as function valued traits (FVT), and examined genetic correlations between these traits and aspects of phenology, physiology, circadian rhythms and fitness. We used RNA-seq to construct a SNP linkage map and mapped trait quantitative trait loci (QTL). We found genetic trade-offs between leaf size and growth rate FVT and uncovered differences in genotypic and QTL correlations involving FVT vs STPs. We identified leaf shape (allometry) as a genetic module independent of length and width and identified selection on FVT parameters of development. Leaf shape is associated with venation features that affect desiccation resistance. The genetic independence of leaf shape from other leaf traits may therefore enable crop optimization in leaf shape without negative effects on traits such as size, growth rate, duration or gas exchange. PMID:26083847

  6. Revealing quantum correlation by negativity of the Wigner function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taghiabadi, Razieh; Akhtarshenas, Seyed Javad; Sarbishaei, Mohsen

    2016-05-01

    We analyze two two-mode continuous variable separable states with the same marginal states. We adopt the definition of classicality in the form of well-defined positive Wigner function describing the state and find that although the states possess positive local Wigner functions, they exhibit negative Wigner functions for the global states. Using the negativity of Wigner function as an indicator of nonclassicality, we show that despite these states possess different negativities of the Wigner function, they do not reveal this difference as phase space nonclassicalities such as negativity of the Mandel Q parameter or quadrature squeezing. We then concentrate on quantum correlation of these states and show that quantum discord and local quantum uncertainty, as two well-defined measures of quantum correlation, manifest the difference between negativity of the Wigner functions. The non-Gaussianity of these states is also examined and show that the difference in behavior of their non-Gaussianity is the same as the difference between negativity of their Wigner functions. We also investigate the influence of correlation rank criterion and find that when the states can be produced locally from classical states, the Wigner functions cannot reveal their quantum correlations.

  7. Glycosylation modulates arenavirus glycoprotein expression and function

    SciTech Connect

    Bonhomme, Cyrille J. Capul, Althea A. Lauron, Elvin J. Bederka, Lydia H. Knopp, Kristeene A. Buchmeier, Michael J.

    2011-01-20

    The glycoprotein of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) contains nine potential N-linked glycosylation sites. We investigated the function of these N-glycosylations by using alanine-scanning mutagenesis. All the available sites were occupied on GP1 and two of three on GP2. N-linked glycan mutations at positions 87 and 97 on GP1 resulted in reduction of expression and absence of cleavage and were necessary for downstream functions, as confirmed by the loss of GP-mediated fusion activity with T87A and S97A mutants. In contrast, T234A and E379N/A381T mutants impaired GP-mediated cell fusion without altered expression or processing. Infectivity via virus-like particles required glycans and a cleaved glycoprotein. Glycosylation at the first site within GP2, not normally utilized by LCMV, exhibited increased VLP infectivity. We also confirmed the role of the N-linked glycan at position 173 in the masking of the neutralizing epitope GP-1D. Taken together, our results indicated a strong relationship between fusion and infectivity.

  8. Functional evolution of a cis-regulatory module.

    PubMed

    Ludwig, Michael Z; Palsson, Arnar; Alekseeva, Elena; Bergman, Casey M; Nathan, Janaki; Kreitman, Martin

    2005-04-01

    Lack of knowledge about how regulatory regions evolve in relation to their structure-function may limit the utility of comparative sequence analysis in deciphering cis-regulatory sequences. To address this we applied reverse genetics to carry out a functional genetic complementation analysis of a eukaryotic cis-regulatory module-the even-skipped stripe 2 enhancer-from four Drosophila species. The evolution of this enhancer is non-clock-like, with important functional differences between closely related species and functional convergence between distantly related species. Functional divergence is attributable to differences in activation levels rather than spatiotemporal control of gene expression. Our findings have implications for understanding enhancer structure-function, mechanisms of speciation and computational identification of regulatory modules.

  9. Performance of SEM scintillation detector evaluated by modulation transfer function and detective quantum efficiency function.

    PubMed

    Bok, Jan; Schauer, Petr

    2014-01-01

    In the paper, the SEM detector is evaluated by the modulation transfer function (MTF) which expresses the detector's influence on the SEM image contrast. This is a novel approach, since the MTF was used previously to describe only the area imaging detectors, or whole imaging systems. The measurement technique and calculation of the MTF for the SEM detector are presented. In addition, the measurement and calculation of the detective quantum efficiency (DQE) as a function of the spatial frequency for the SEM detector are described. In this technique, the time modulated e-beam is used in order to create well-defined input signal for the detector. The MTF and DQE measurements are demonstrated on the Everhart-Thornley scintillation detector. This detector was alternated using the YAG:Ce, YAP:Ce, and CRY18 single-crystal scintillators. The presented MTF and DQE characteristics show good imaging properties of the detectors with the YAP:Ce or CRY18 scintillator, especially for a specific type of the e-beam scan. The results demonstrate the great benefit of the description of SEM detectors using the MTF and DQE. In addition, point-by-point and continual-sweep e-beam scans in SEM were discussed and their influence on the image quality was revealed using the MTF. PMID:24323770

  10. Performance of SEM scintillation detector evaluated by modulation transfer function and detective quantum efficiency function.

    PubMed

    Bok, Jan; Schauer, Petr

    2014-01-01

    In the paper, the SEM detector is evaluated by the modulation transfer function (MTF) which expresses the detector's influence on the SEM image contrast. This is a novel approach, since the MTF was used previously to describe only the area imaging detectors, or whole imaging systems. The measurement technique and calculation of the MTF for the SEM detector are presented. In addition, the measurement and calculation of the detective quantum efficiency (DQE) as a function of the spatial frequency for the SEM detector are described. In this technique, the time modulated e-beam is used in order to create well-defined input signal for the detector. The MTF and DQE measurements are demonstrated on the Everhart-Thornley scintillation detector. This detector was alternated using the YAG:Ce, YAP:Ce, and CRY18 single-crystal scintillators. The presented MTF and DQE characteristics show good imaging properties of the detectors with the YAP:Ce or CRY18 scintillator, especially for a specific type of the e-beam scan. The results demonstrate the great benefit of the description of SEM detectors using the MTF and DQE. In addition, point-by-point and continual-sweep e-beam scans in SEM were discussed and their influence on the image quality was revealed using the MTF.

  11. Diffraction pattern of modulated structures described by Bessel functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolny, Janusz; Buganski, Ireneusz; Strzalka, Radoslaw

    2016-05-01

    We performed detailed analysis of 1D modulated structure (MS) with harmonic modulation within the statistical approach. By applying two-mode Fourier transform, we were able to derive analytically the structure factor for MS with single harmonic modulation component. We confirmed in a very smooth way that ordinary Bessel functions of the first kind define envelopes tuning the intensities of the diffraction peaks. This applies not only to main reflections of the diffraction pattern but also to all satellites. In the second part, we discussed in details the similarities between harmonically modulated structures with multiple modulations and 1D model quasicrystal. The Fourier expansion of the nodes' positions in the Fibonacci chain gives direct numerical definition of the atomic arrangement in MS. In that sense, we can define 1D quasicrystal as a MS with infinite number of harmonic modulations. We prove that characteristic measures (like v(u) relation typical for statistical approach and diffraction pattern) calculated for MS asymptotically approach their counterparts for 1D quasicrystal as large enough number of modulation terms is taken into account.

  12. KCC2 function modulates in vitro ictogenesis.

    PubMed

    Hamidi, Shabnam; Avoli, Massimo

    2015-07-01

    GABAA receptor-mediated inhibition is active and may contribute to epileptiform synchronization. The efficacy of inhibition relies on low levels of intracellular Cl(-), which are controlled by KCC2 activity. This evidence has led us to analyze with field potential recordings the effects induced by the KCC2 blockers VU0240551 (10 μM) or bumetanide (50 μM) and by the KCC2 enhancer CLP257 (100 μM) on the epileptiform discharges generated by piriform and entorhinal cortices (PC and EC, respectively) in an in vitro brain slice preparation. Ictal- and interictal-like discharges along with high-frequency oscillations (HFOs, ripples: 80-200 Hz, fast ripples: 250-500 Hz) were recorded from these two regions during application of 4-aminopyridine (4AP, 50 μM). Blocking KCC2 activity with either VU024055 or high doses of bumetanide abolished ictal discharge in both PC and EC; in addition, these experimental procedures decreased the interval of occurrence and duration of interictal discharges. In contrast, enhancing KCC2 activity with CLP257 increased ictal discharge duration in both regions. Finally, blocking KCC2 activity decreased the duration and amplitude of pharmacologically isolated synchronous GABAergic events whereas enhancing KCC2 activity led to an increase in their duration. Our data demonstrate that in vitro ictogenesis is abolished or facilitated by inhibiting or enhancing KCC2 activity, respectively. We propose that these effects may result from the reduction of GABAA receptor-dependent increases in extracellular K(+) that are known to rest on KCC2 function. PMID:25926348

  13. Aerodynamic parameter estimation via Fourier modulating function techniques

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pearson, A. E.

    1995-01-01

    Parameter estimation algorithms are developed in the frequency domain for systems modeled by input/output ordinary differential equations. The approach is based on Shinbrot's method of moment functionals utilizing Fourier based modulating functions. Assuming white measurement noises for linear multivariable system models, an adaptive weighted least squares algorithm is developed which approximates a maximum likelihood estimate and cannot be biased by unknown initial or boundary conditions in the data owing to a special property attending Shinbrot-type modulating functions. Application is made to perturbation equation modeling of the longitudinal and lateral dynamics of a high performance aircraft using flight-test data. Comparative studies are included which demonstrate potential advantages of the algorithm relative to some well established techniques for parameter identification. Deterministic least squares extensions of the approach are made to the frequency transfer function identification problem for linear systems and to the parameter identification problem for a class of nonlinear-time-varying differential system models.

  14. Multi-functional Electric Module for a Vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bluethmann, William J. (Inventor); Waligora, Thomas M. (Inventor); Fraser-Chanpong, Nathan (Inventor); Reed, Ryan (Inventor); Akinyode, Akinjide Akinniyi (Inventor); Spain, Ivan (Inventor); Dawson, Andrew D. (Inventor); Figuered, Joshua M. (Inventor); Herrera, Eduardo (Inventor); Markee, Mason M. (Inventor)

    2015-01-01

    A multi-functional electric module (eModule) is provided for a vehicle having a chassis, a master controller, and a drive wheel having a propulsion-braking module. The eModule includes a steering control assembly, mounting bracket, propulsion control assembly, brake controller, housing, and control arm. The steering control assembly includes a steering motor controlled by steering controllers in response to control signals from the master controller. A mounting feature of the bracket connects to the chassis. The propulsion control assembly and brake controller are in communication with the propulsion-braking module. The control arm connects to the lower portion and contains elements of a suspension system, with the control arm being connectable to the drive wheel via a wheel input/output block. The controllers are responsive to the master controller to control a respective steering, propulsion, and braking function. The steering motor may have a dual-wound stator with windings controlled via the respective steering controllers.

  15. Human Intellectual Disability Genes Form Conserved Functional Modules in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Oortveld, Merel A. W.; Keerthikumar, Shivakumar; Oti, Martin; Nijhof, Bonnie; Fernandes, Ana Clara; Kochinke, Korinna; Castells-Nobau, Anna; van Engelen, Eva; Ellenkamp, Thijs; Eshuis, Lilian; Galy, Anne; van Bokhoven, Hans; Habermann, Bianca; Brunner, Han G.; Zweier, Christiane; Verstreken, Patrik; Huynen, Martijn A.; Schenck, Annette

    2013-01-01

    Intellectual Disability (ID) disorders, defined by an IQ below 70, are genetically and phenotypically highly heterogeneous. Identification of common molecular pathways underlying these disorders is crucial for understanding the molecular basis of cognition and for the development of therapeutic intervention strategies. To systematically establish their functional connectivity, we used transgenic RNAi to target 270 ID gene orthologs in the Drosophila eye. Assessment of neuronal function in behavioral and electrophysiological assays and multiparametric morphological analysis identified phenotypes associated with knockdown of 180 ID gene orthologs. Most of these genotype-phenotype associations were novel. For example, we uncovered 16 genes that are required for basal neurotransmission and have not previously been implicated in this process in any system or organism. ID gene orthologs with morphological eye phenotypes, in contrast to genes without phenotypes, are relatively highly expressed in the human nervous system and are enriched for neuronal functions, suggesting that eye phenotyping can distinguish different classes of ID genes. Indeed, grouping genes by Drosophila phenotype uncovered 26 connected functional modules. Novel links between ID genes successfully predicted that MYCN, PIGV and UPF3B regulate synapse development. Drosophila phenotype groups show, in addition to ID, significant phenotypic similarity also in humans, indicating that functional modules are conserved. The combined data indicate that ID disorders, despite their extreme genetic diversity, are caused by disruption of a limited number of highly connected functional modules. PMID:24204314

  16. Revealing the structural and functional diversity of plant cell walls.

    PubMed

    Knox, J Paul

    2008-06-01

    The extensive knowledge of the chemistry of isolated cell wall polymers, and that relating to the identification and partial annotation of gene families involved in their synthesis and modification, is not yet matched by a sophisticated understanding of the occurrence of the polymers within cell walls of the diverse cell types within a growing organ. Currently, the main sets of tools that are used to determine cell-type-specific configurations of cell wall polymers and aspects of cell wall microstructures are antibodies, carbohydrate-binding modules (CBMs) and microspectroscopies. As these tools are applied we see that cell wall polymers are extensively developmentally regulated and that there is a range of structurally distinct primary and secondary cell walls within organs and across species. The challenge now is to document cell wall structures in relation to diverse cell biological events and to integrate this knowledge with the emerging understanding of polymer functions.

  17. Synthetic protein interactions reveal a functional map of the cell

    PubMed Central

    Berry, Lisa K; Ólafsson, Guðjón; Ledesma-Fernández, Elena; Thorpe, Peter H

    2016-01-01

    To understand the function of eukaryotic cells, it is critical to understand the role of protein-protein interactions and protein localization. Currently, we do not know the importance of global protein localization nor do we understand to what extent the cell is permissive for new protein associations – a key requirement for the evolution of new protein functions. To answer this question, we fused every protein in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae with a partner from each of the major cellular compartments and quantitatively assessed the effects upon growth. This analysis reveals that cells have a remarkable and unanticipated tolerance for forced protein associations, even if these associations lead to a proportion of the protein moving compartments within the cell. Furthermore, the interactions that do perturb growth provide a functional map of spatial protein regulation, identifying key regulatory complexes for the normal homeostasis of eukaryotic cells. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13053.001 PMID:27098839

  18. Towards revealing the functions of all genes in plants.

    PubMed

    Rhee, Seung Yon; Mutwil, Marek

    2014-04-01

    The great recent progress made in identifying the molecular parts lists of organisms revealed the paucity of our understanding of what most of the parts do. In this review, we introduce computational and statistical approaches and omics data used for inferring gene function in plants, with an emphasis on network-based inference. We also discuss caveats associated with network-based function predictions such as performance assessment, annotation propagation, the guilt-by-association concept, and the meaning of hubs. Finally, we note the current limitations and possible future directions such as the need for gold standard data from several species, unified access to data and tools, quantitative comparison of data and tool quality, and high-throughput experimental validation platforms for systematic gene function elucidation in plants.

  19. Functional Association of Catalytic and Ancillary Modules Dictates Enzymatic Activity in Glycoside Hydrolase Family 43 β-Xylosidase*

    PubMed Central

    Moraïs, Sarah; Salama-Alber, Orly; Barak, Yoav; Hadar, Yitzhak; Wilson, David B.; Lamed, Raphael; Shoham, Yuval; Bayer, Edward A.

    2012-01-01

    β-Xylosidases are hemicellulases that hydrolyze short xylo-oligosaccharides into xylose units, thus complementing endoxylanase degradation of the hemicellulose component of lignocellulosic substrates. Here, we describe the cloning, characterization, and kinetic analysis of a glycoside hydrolase family 43 β-xylosidase (Xyl43A) from the aerobic cellulolytic bacterium, Thermobifida fusca. Temperature and pH optima of 55–60 °C and 5.5–6, respectively, were determined. The apparent Km value was 0.55 mm, using p-nitrophenyl xylopyranoside as substrate, and the catalytic constant (kcat) was 6.72 s−1. T. fusca Xyl43A contains a catalytic module at the N terminus and an ancillary module (termed herein as Module-A) of undefined function at the C terminus. We expressed the two recombinant modules independently in Escherichia coli and examined their remaining catalytic activity and binding properties. The separation of the two Xyl43A modules caused the complete loss of enzymatic activity, whereas potent binding to xylan was fully maintained in the catalytic module and partially in the ancillary Module-A. Nondenaturing gel electrophoresis revealed a specific noncovalent coupling of the two modules, thereby restoring enzymatic activity to 66.7% (relative to the wild-type enzyme). Module-A contributes a phenylalanine residue that functions as an essential part of the active site, and the two juxtaposed modules function as a single functional entity. PMID:22270362

  20. M2 tidal parameter modulation revealed by superconducting gravimeter time series

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meurers, Bruno; Van Camp, Michel; Francis, Olivier; Pálinkáš, Vojtech

    2016-04-01

    Analyzing consecutive and independent 1-yr data sets of 10 European superconducting gravimeters (SG) reveals statistically significant temporal variations of M2 tidal parameters. Both common short-term (< 2 yr) and long-term (> 2 yr) features are identified in all SG time series but one. The averaged variations of the amplitude factor are about 0.2 per mille. The path of load vector variations equivalent to the temporal changes of tidal parameters suggests the presence of an 8.85 yr modulation (lunar perigee). The tidal waves having the potential to modulate M2 with this period belong to the 3rd degree constituents. Their amplitude factors turn out to be much closer to body tide model predictions than that of the main 2nd degree M2, which indicates ocean loading for 3rd degree waves to be less prominent than for 2nd degree waves within the M2 group. These two different responses to the loading suggest that the observed long-term modulation is more due to insufficient frequency resolution of limited time series rather than to time variable loading. Presently, SG gravity time series are still too short to prove if time variable loading processes are involved too as in case of the annual M2 modulation known to appear for analysis intervals of less than 1 yr. The observed variations provide an upper accuracy limit for Earth model validation and permit estimating the temporal stability of SG scale factors and assessing the quality of gravity time series.

  1. A systems biology approach using metabolomic data reveals genes and pathways interacting to modulate divergent growth in cattle

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Systems biology enables the identification of gene networks that modulate complex traits. Comprehensive metabolomic analyses provide innovative phenotypes that are intermediate between the initiator of genetic variability, the genome, and raw phenotypes that are influenced by a large number of environmental effects. The present study combines two concepts, systems biology and metabolic analyses, in an approach without prior functional hypothesis in order to dissect genes and molecular pathways that modulate differential growth at the onset of puberty in male cattle. Furthermore, this integrative strategy was applied to specifically explore distinctive gene interactions of non-SMC condensin I complex, subunit G (NCAPG) and myostatin (GDF8), known modulators of pre- and postnatal growth that are only partially understood for their molecular pathways affecting differential body weight. Results Our study successfully established gene networks and interacting partners affecting growth at the onset of puberty in cattle. We demonstrated the biological relevance of the created networks by comparison to randomly created networks. Our data showed that GnRH (Gonadotropin-releasing hormone) signaling is associated with divergent growth at the onset of puberty and revealed two highly connected hubs, BTC and DGKH, within the network. Both genes are known to directly interact with the GnRH signaling pathway. Furthermore, a gene interaction network for NCAPG containing 14 densely connected genes revealed novel information concerning the functional role of NCAPG in divergent growth. Conclusions Merging both concepts, systems biology and metabolomic analyses, successfully yielded new insights into gene networks and interacting partners affecting growth at the onset of puberty in cattle. Genetic modulation in GnRH signaling was identified as key modifier of differential cattle growth at the onset of puberty. In addition, the benefit of our innovative concept without prior

  2. Functional modulation of power-law distribution in visual perception

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shimono, Masanori; Owaki, Takashi; Amano, Kaoru; Kitajo, Keiichi; Takeda, Tsunehiro

    2007-05-01

    Neuronal activities have recently been reported to exhibit power-law scaling behavior. However, it has not been demonstrated that the power-law component can play an important role in human perceptual functions. Here, we demonstrate that the power spectrum of magnetoencephalograph recordings of brain activity varies in coordination with perception of subthreshold visual stimuli. We observed that perceptual performance could be better explained by modulation of the power-law component than by modulation of the peak power in particular narrow frequency ranges. The results suggest that the brain operates in a state of self-organized criticality, modulating the power spectral exponent of its activity to optimize its internal state for response to external stimuli.

  3. Transcriptome analyses reveal molecular mechanisms underlying functional recovery after spinal cord injury

    PubMed Central

    Duan, Hongmei; Ge, Weihong; Zhang, Aifeng; Xi, Yue; Chen, Zhihua; Luo, Dandan; Cheng, Yin; Fan, Kevin S.; Horvath, Steve; Sofroniew, Michael V.; Cheng, Liming; Yang, Zhaoyang; Sun, Yi E.; Li, Xiaoguang

    2015-01-01

    Spinal cord injury (SCI) is considered incurable because axonal regeneration in the central nervous system (CNS) is extremely challenging, due to harsh CNS injury environment and weak intrinsic regeneration capability of CNS neurons. We discovered that neurotrophin-3 (NT3)-loaded chitosan provided an excellent microenvironment to facilitate nerve growth, new neurogenesis, and functional recovery of completely transected spinal cord in rats. To acquire mechanistic insight, we conducted a series of comprehensive transcriptome analyses of spinal cord segments at the lesion site, as well as regions immediately rostral and caudal to the lesion, over a period of 90 days after SCI. Using weighted gene coexpression network analysis (WGCNA), we established gene modules/programs corresponding to various pathological events at different times after SCI. These objective measures of gene module expression also revealed that enhanced new neurogenesis and angiogenesis, and reduced inflammatory responses were keys to conferring the effect of NT3-chitosan on regeneration. PMID:26460053

  4. Conditional gene deletion reveals functional redundancy of GABAB receptors in peripheral nociceptors in vivo

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is an important inhibitory neurotransmitter which mainly mediates its effects on neurons via ionotropic (GABAA) and metabotropic (GABAB) receptors. GABAB receptors are widely expressed in the central and the peripheral nervous system. Although there is evidence for a key function of GABAB receptors in the modulation of pain, the relative contribution of peripherally- versus centrally-expressed GABAB receptors is unclear. Results In order to elucidate the functional relevance of GABAB receptors expressed in peripheral nociceptive neurons in pain modulation we generated and analyzed conditional mouse mutants lacking functional GABAB(1) subunit specifically in nociceptors, preserving expression in the spinal cord and brain (SNS-GABAB(1)-/- mice). Lack of the GABAB(1) subunit precludes the assembly of functional GABAB receptor. We analyzed SNS-GABAB(1)-/- mice and their control littermates in several models of acute and neuropathic pain. Electrophysiological studies on peripheral afferents revealed higher firing frequencies in SNS-GABAB(1)-/- mice compared to corresponding control littermates. However no differences were seen in basal nociceptive sensitivity between these groups. The development of neuropathic and chronic inflammatory pain was similar across the two genotypes. The duration of nocifensive responses evoked by intraplantar formalin injection was prolonged in the SNS-GABAB(1)-/- animals as compared to their control littermates. Pharmacological experiments revealed that systemic baclofen-induced inhibition of formalin-induced nociceptive behaviors was not dependent upon GABAB(1) expression in nociceptors. Conclusion This study addressed contribution of GABAB receptors expressed on primary afferent nociceptive fibers to the modulation of pain. We observed that neither the development of acute and chronic pain nor the analgesic effects of a systematically-delivered GABAB agonist was significantly changed upon a specific

  5. Functional Connectivity Modulation by Acupuncture in Patients with Bell's Palsy.

    PubMed

    Bian, Yunpeng; He, Xiaoxuan; Hu, Sheng; Li, Chuanfu; Xu, Chunsheng; Kan, Hongxing; Xue, Qiuju; Yang, Jun; Qiu, Bensheng

    2016-01-01

    Bell's palsy (BP), an acute unilateral facial paralysis, is frequently treated with acupuncture in many countries. However, the mechanism of treatment is not clear so far. In order to explore the potential mechanism, 22 healthy volunteers and 17 BP patients with different clinical duration were recruited. The resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging scans were conducted before and after acupuncture at LI4 (Hegu), respectively. By comparing BP-induced functional connectivity (FC) changes with acupuncture-induced FC changes in the patients, the abnormal increased FC that could be reduced by acupuncture was selected. The FC strength of the selected FC at various stages was analyzed subsequently. Our results show that FC modulation of acupuncture is specific and consistent with the tendency of recovery. Therefore, we propose that FC modulation by acupuncture may be beneficial to recovery from the disease. PMID:27293461

  6. Functional Connectivity Modulation by Acupuncture in Patients with Bell's Palsy

    PubMed Central

    He, Xiaoxuan; Hu, Sheng; Li, Chuanfu; Xu, Chunsheng; Kan, Hongxing; Xue, Qiuju; Qiu, Bensheng

    2016-01-01

    Bell's palsy (BP), an acute unilateral facial paralysis, is frequently treated with acupuncture in many countries. However, the mechanism of treatment is not clear so far. In order to explore the potential mechanism, 22 healthy volunteers and 17 BP patients with different clinical duration were recruited. The resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging scans were conducted before and after acupuncture at LI4 (Hegu), respectively. By comparing BP-induced functional connectivity (FC) changes with acupuncture-induced FC changes in the patients, the abnormal increased FC that could be reduced by acupuncture was selected. The FC strength of the selected FC at various stages was analyzed subsequently. Our results show that FC modulation of acupuncture is specific and consistent with the tendency of recovery. Therefore, we propose that FC modulation by acupuncture may be beneficial to recovery from the disease. PMID:27293461

  7. Pharmacological actions of nobiletin in the modulation of platelet function

    PubMed Central

    Vaiyapuri, Sakthivel; Roweth, Harvey; Ali, Marfoua S; Unsworth, Amanda J; Stainer, Alexander R; Flora, Gagan D; Crescente, Marilena; Jones, Chris I; Moraes, Leonardo A; Gibbins, Jonathan M

    2015-01-01

    Background and Purpose The discovery that flavonoids are capable of inhibiting platelet function has led to their investigation as potential antithrombotic agents. However, despite the range of studies on the antiplatelet properties of flavonoids, little is known about the mechanisms by which flavonoids inhibit platelet function. In this study, we aimed to explore the pharmacological effects of a polymethoxy flavonoid, nobiletin, in the modulation of platelet function. Experimental Approach The ability of nobiletin to modulate platelet function was explored by using a range of in vitro and in vivo experimental approaches. Aggregation, dense granule secretion and spreading assays were performed using washed platelets. Fibrinogen binding, α-granule secretion and calcium mobilization assays were performed using platelet-rich plasma and whole blood was used in impedance aggregometry and thrombus formation experiments. The effect of nobiletin in vivo was assessed by measuring tail bleeding time using C57BL/6 mice. Key Results Nobiletin was shown to suppress a range of well-established activatory mechanisms, including platelet aggregation, granule secretion, integrin modulation, calcium mobilization and thrombus formation. Nobiletin extended bleeding time in mice and reduced the phosphorylation of PKB (Akt) and PLCγ2 within the collagen receptor (glycoprotein VI)-stimulated pathway, in addition to increasing the levels of cGMP and phosphorylation of vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein, a protein whose activity is associated with inhibitory cyclic nucleotide signalling. Conclusions and Implications This study provides insight into the underlying molecular mechanisms through which nobiletin modulates haemostasis and thrombus formation. Therefore, nobiletin may represent a potential antithrombotic agent of dietary origins. PMID:25988959

  8. Human Skin Hypoxia Modulates Cerebrovascular and Autonomic Functions

    PubMed Central

    Pucci, Olivia; Qualls, Clifford; Battisti-Charbonney, Anne; Balaban, Dahlia Y.; Fisher, Joe A.; Duffin, Jim; Appenzeller, Otto

    2012-01-01

    Because the skin is an oxygen sensor in amphibians and mice, we thought to confirm this function also in humans. The human upright posture, however, introduces additional functional demands for the maintenance of oxygen homeostasis in which cerebral blood flow and autonomic nervous system (ANS) function may also be involved. We examined nine males and three females. While subjects were breathing ambient air, at sea level, we changed gases in a plastic body-bag during two conditions of the experiment such as to induce skin hypoxia (with pure nitrogen) or skin normoxia (with air). The subjects performed a test of hypoxic ventilatory drive during each condition of the experiment. We found no differences in the hypoxic ventilatory drive tests. However, ANS function and cerebral blood flow velocities were modulated by skin hypoxia and the effect was significantly greater on the left than right middle cerebral arteries. We conclude that skin hypoxia modulates ANS function and cerebral blood flow velocities and this might impact life styles and tolerance to ambient hypoxia at altitude. Thus the skin in normal humans, in addition to its numerous other functions, is also an oxygen sensor. PMID:23056597

  9. An ancestral stomatal patterning module revealed in the non-vascular land plant Physcomitrella patens.

    PubMed

    Caine, Robert S; Chater, Caspar C; Kamisugi, Yasuko; Cuming, Andrew C; Beerling, David J; Gray, Julie E; Fleming, Andrew J

    2016-09-15

    The patterning of stomata plays a vital role in plant development and has emerged as a paradigm for the role of peptide signals in the spatial control of cellular differentiation. Research in Arabidopsis has identified a series of epidermal patterning factors (EPFs), which interact with an array of membrane-localised receptors and associated proteins (encoded by ERECTA and TMM genes) to control stomatal density and distribution. However, although it is well-established that stomata arose very early in the evolution of land plants, until now it has been unclear whether the established angiosperm stomatal patterning system represented by the EPF/TMM/ERECTA module reflects a conserved, universal mechanism in the plant kingdom. Here, we use molecular genetics to show that the moss Physcomitrella patens has conserved homologues of angiosperm EPF, TMM and at least one ERECTA gene that function together to permit the correct patterning of stomata and that, moreover, elements of the module retain function when transferred to Arabidopsis Our data characterise the stomatal patterning system in an evolutionarily distinct branch of plants and support the hypothesis that the EPF/TMM/ERECTA module represents an ancient patterning system.

  10. An ancestral stomatal patterning module revealed in the non-vascular land plant Physcomitrella patens

    PubMed Central

    Chater, Caspar C.; Kamisugi, Yasuko

    2016-01-01

    The patterning of stomata plays a vital role in plant development and has emerged as a paradigm for the role of peptide signals in the spatial control of cellular differentiation. Research in Arabidopsis has identified a series of epidermal patterning factors (EPFs), which interact with an array of membrane-localised receptors and associated proteins (encoded by ERECTA and TMM genes) to control stomatal density and distribution. However, although it is well-established that stomata arose very early in the evolution of land plants, until now it has been unclear whether the established angiosperm stomatal patterning system represented by the EPF/TMM/ERECTA module reflects a conserved, universal mechanism in the plant kingdom. Here, we use molecular genetics to show that the moss Physcomitrella patens has conserved homologues of angiosperm EPF, TMM and at least one ERECTA gene that function together to permit the correct patterning of stomata and that, moreover, elements of the module retain function when transferred to Arabidopsis. Our data characterise the stomatal patterning system in an evolutionarily distinct branch of plants and support the hypothesis that the EPF/TMM/ERECTA module represents an ancient patterning system. PMID:27407102

  11. An ancestral stomatal patterning module revealed in the non-vascular land plant Physcomitrella patens.

    PubMed

    Caine, Robert S; Chater, Caspar C; Kamisugi, Yasuko; Cuming, Andrew C; Beerling, David J; Gray, Julie E; Fleming, Andrew J

    2016-09-15

    The patterning of stomata plays a vital role in plant development and has emerged as a paradigm for the role of peptide signals in the spatial control of cellular differentiation. Research in Arabidopsis has identified a series of epidermal patterning factors (EPFs), which interact with an array of membrane-localised receptors and associated proteins (encoded by ERECTA and TMM genes) to control stomatal density and distribution. However, although it is well-established that stomata arose very early in the evolution of land plants, until now it has been unclear whether the established angiosperm stomatal patterning system represented by the EPF/TMM/ERECTA module reflects a conserved, universal mechanism in the plant kingdom. Here, we use molecular genetics to show that the moss Physcomitrella patens has conserved homologues of angiosperm EPF, TMM and at least one ERECTA gene that function together to permit the correct patterning of stomata and that, moreover, elements of the module retain function when transferred to Arabidopsis Our data characterise the stomatal patterning system in an evolutionarily distinct branch of plants and support the hypothesis that the EPF/TMM/ERECTA module represents an ancient patterning system. PMID:27407102

  12. Functional Relations of Cerebellar Modules of the Cat

    PubMed Central

    Pong, Milton; Gibson, Alan R.

    2010-01-01

    The cerebellum consists of parasagittal zones that define fundamental modules of neural processing. Each zone receives input from a distinct subdivision of the inferior olive (IO)—activity in one olivary subdivision will affect activity in one cerebellar module. To define functions of the cerebellar modules, we inactivated specific olivary subdivisions in six male cats with a glutamate receptor blocker. Olivary inactivation eliminates Purkinje cell complex spikes, which results in a high rate of Purkinje cell simple spike discharge. The increased simple spike discharge inhibits output from connected regions of the cerebellar nuclei. After inactivation, behavior was evaluated during a reach-to-grasp task and during locomotion. Inactivation of each subdivision produced unique behavioral deficits. Performance of the reach-to-grasp task was affected by inactivation of the rostral dorsal accessory olive (rDAO) and the rostral medial accessory olive (rMAO) and, possibly, the principal olive. rDAO inactivation produced paw drag during locomotion and a deficit in grasping the handle during the reach-to-grasp task. rMAO inactivation caused the cats to reach under the handle and produced severe limb drag during locomotion. Inactivation of the dorsal medial cell column, cell group β, or caudal medial accessory olive produced little deficit in the reach-to-grasp task, but each produced a different deficit during locomotion. In all cases, the cats appeared to have intact sensation, good spatial awareness, and no change of affect. Normal cerebellar function requires low rates of IO discharge, and each cerebellar module has a specific and unique function in sensory–motor integration. PMID:20631170

  13. Combinatorial profiling of chromatin-binding modules reveals multi-site discrimination

    PubMed Central

    Garske, Adam L.; Oliver, Samuel S.; Wagner, Elise K.; Musselman, Catherine A.; LeRoy, Gary; Garcia, Benjamin A.; Kutateladze, Tatiana G.; Denu, John M.

    2009-01-01

    Specific interactions between post-translational modifications (PTMs) and chromatin-binding proteins are central to the idea of a ‘histone code’. Here, a 5000-member, PTM-randomized, combinatorial peptide library based on the N-terminus of histone H3 was utilized to interrogate multi-site specificity of six chromatin-binding modules, which read the methylation status of K4. We found that T3 phosphorylation, R2 methylation, and T6 phosphorylation are critical additional PTMs that modulate the ability to recognize and bind histone H3. Notably, phosphorylation of T6 yielded the most varied effect on protein binding, suggesting an important regulatory mechanism for readers of the H3 tail. Mass spectrometry and antibody-based evidence indicate that this previously uncharacterized modification exists on native H3, and NMR analysis of ING2 revealed the structural basis for discrimination. These investigations reveal a continuum of binding affinities in which multi-site PTM recognition involves both switch- and rheostat-like properties, yielding graded effects that depend on the inherent ‘reader’ specificity. PMID:20190764

  14. Proteomic profiling reveals insights into Triticeae stigma development and function.

    PubMed

    Nazemof, Nazila; Couroux, Philippe; Rampitsch, Christof; Xing, Tim; Robert, Laurian S

    2014-11-01

    To our knowledge, this study represents the first high-throughput characterization of a stigma proteome in the Triticeae. A total of 2184 triticale mature stigma proteins were identified using three different gel-based approaches combined with mass spectrometry. The great majority of these proteins are described in a Triticeae stigma for the first time. These results revealed many proteins likely to play important roles in stigma development and pollen-stigma interactions, as well as protection against biotic and abiotic stresses. Quantitative comparison of the triticale stigma transcriptome and proteome showed poor correlation, highlighting the importance of having both types of analysis. This work makes a significant contribution towards the elucidation of the Triticeae stigma proteome and provides novel insights into its role in stigma development and function. PMID:25170101

  15. The response function of modulated grid Faraday cup plasma instruments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barnett, A.; Olbert, S.

    1986-01-01

    Modulated grid Faraday cup plasma analyzers are a very useful tool for making in situ measurements of space plasmas. One of their great attributes is that their simplicity permits their angular response function to be calculated theoretically. An expression is derived for this response function by computing the trajectories of the charged particles inside the cup. The Voyager Plasma Science (PLS) experiment is used as a specific example. Two approximations to the rigorous response function useful for data analysis are discussed. The theoretical formulas were tested by multi-sensor analysis of solar wind data. The tests indicate that the formulas represent the true cup response function for all angles of incidence with a maximum error of only a few percent.

  16. Opioid System Modulates the Immune Function: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Xuan; Liu, Renyu; Chen, Chunhua; Ji, Fang; Li, Tianzuo

    2016-01-01

    Opioid receptors and their ligands produce powerful analgesia that is effective in perioperative period and chronic pain managements accompanied with various side effects including respiratory depression, constipation and addiction etc. Opioids can also interfere with the immune system, not only participating in the function of the immune cells, but also modulating innate and acquired immune responses. The traditional notion of opioids is immunosuppressive. Recent studies indicate that the role of opioid receptors on immune function is complicated, working through various different mechanisms. Different opioids or opioids administrations show various effects on the immune system: immunosuppressive, immunostimulatory, or dual effect. It is important to elucidate the relationship between opioids and immune function, since immune system plays critical role in various physiological and pathophysiological processes, including the inflammation, tumor growth and metastasis, drug abuse, and so on. This review article tends to have an overview of the recent work and perspectives on opioids and the immune function. PMID:26985446

  17. Nanotopographical Modulation of Cell Function through Nuclear Deformation

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Kai; Bruce, Allison; Mezan, Ryan; Kadiyala, Anand; Wang, Liying; Dawson, Jeremy; Rojanasakul, Yon; Yang, Yong

    2016-01-01

    Although nanotopography has been shown to be a potent modulator of cell behavior, it is unclear how the nanotopographical cue, through focal adhesions, affects the nucleus, eventually influencing cell phenotype and function. Thus, current methods to apply nanotopography to regulate cell behavior are basically empirical. We, herein, engineered nanotopographies of various shapes (gratings and pillars) and dimensions (feature size, spacing and height), and thoroughly investigated cell spreading, focal adhesion organization and nuclear deformation of human primary fibroblasts as the model cell grown on the nanotopographies. We examined the correlation between nuclear deformation and cell functions such as cell proliferation, transfection and extracellular matrix protein type I collagen production. It was found that the nanoscale gratings and pillars could facilitate focal adhesion elongation by providing anchoring sites, and the nanogratings could orient focal adhesions and nuclei along the nanograting direction, depending on not only the feature size but also the spacing of the nanogratings. Compared with continuous nanogratings, discrete nanopillars tended to disrupt the formation and growth of focal adhesions and thus had less profound effects on nuclear deformation. Notably, nuclear volume could be effectively modulated by the height of nanotopography. Further, we demonstrated that cell proliferation, transfection, and type I collagen production were strongly associated with the nuclear volume, indicating that the nucleus serves as a critical mechanosensor for cell regulation. Our study delineated the relationships between focal adhesions, nucleus and cell function and highlighted that the nanotopography could regulate cell phenotype and function by modulating nuclear deformation. This study provides insight into the rational design of nanotopography for new biomaterials and the cell–substrate interfaces of implants and medical devices. PMID:26844365

  18. IQGAP1 binds to estrogen receptor-α and modulates its function.

    PubMed

    Erdemir, Huseyin H; Li, Zhigang; Sacks, David B

    2014-03-28

    The estrogen receptor (ER) is a steroid hormone receptor that acts as a transcription factor, modulating genes that regulate a vast range of cellular functions. IQGAP1 interacts with several signaling proteins, cytoskeletal components, and transmembrane receptors, thereby serving as a scaffold to integrate signaling pathways. Both ERα and IQGAP1 contribute to breast cancer. In this study, we report that IQGAP1 binds ERα and ERβ. In vitro analysis with pure proteins revealed a direct interaction between IQGAP1 and ERα. Investigation with multiple short fragments of each protein showed that ERα binds to the IQ domain of IQGAP1, whereas the hinge region of ERα is responsible for binding IQGAP1. In addition, IQGAP1 and ERα co-immunoprecipitated from cells, and the association was modulated by estradiol. The interaction has functional effects. Knockdown of endogenous IQGAP1 attenuated the ability of estradiol to induce transcription of the estrogen-responsive genes pS2, progesterone receptor, and cyclin D1. These data reveal that IQGAP1 binds to ERα and modulates its transcriptional function, suggesting that IQGAP1 might be a target for therapy in patients with breast carcinoma.

  19. Nucleotide substitutions revealing specific functions of Polycomb group genes.

    PubMed

    Bajusz, Izabella; Sipos, László; Pirity, Melinda K

    2015-04-01

    POLYCOMB group (PCG) proteins belong to the family of epigenetic regulators of genes playing important roles in differentiation and development. Mutants of PcG genes were isolated first in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, resulting in spectacular segmental transformations due to the ectopic expression of homeotic genes. Homologs of Drosophila PcG genes were also identified in plants and in vertebrates and subsequent experiments revealed the general role of PCG proteins in the maintenance of the repressed state of chromatin through cell divisions. The past decades of gene targeting experiments have allowed us to make significant strides towards understanding how the network of PCG proteins influences multiple aspects of cellular fate determination during development. Being involved in the transmission of specific expression profiles of different cell lineages, PCG proteins were found to control wide spectra of unrelated epigenetic processes in vertebrates, such as stem cell plasticity and renewal, genomic imprinting and inactivation of X-chromosome. PCG proteins also affect regulation of metabolic genes being important for switching programs between pluripotency and differentiation. Insight into the precise roles of PCG proteins in normal physiological processes has emerged from studies employing cell culture-based systems and genetically modified animals. Here we summarize the findings obtained from PcG mutant fruit flies and mice generated to date with a focus on PRC1 and PRC2 members altered by nucleotide substitutions resulting in specific alleles. We also include a compilation of lessons learned from these models about the in vivo functions of this complex protein family. With multiple knockout lines, sophisticated approaches to study the consequences of peculiar missense point mutations, and insights from complementary gain-of-function systems in hand, we are now in a unique position to significantly advance our understanding of the molecular basis of

  20. Proteomics Analysis Reveals Overlapping Functions of Clustered Protocadherins*

    PubMed Central

    Han, Meng-Hsuan; Lin, Chengyi; Meng, Shuxia; Wang, Xiaozhong

    2010-01-01

    The three tandem-arrayed protocadherin (Pcdh) gene clusters, namely Pcdh-α, Pcdh-β, and Pcdh-γ, play important roles in the development of the vertebrate central nervous system. To gain insight into the molecular action of PCDHs, we performed a systematic proteomics analysis of PCDH-γ-associated protein complexes. We identified a list of 154 non-redundant proteins in the PCDH-γ complexes. This list includes nearly 30 members of clustered Pcdh-α, -β, and -γ families as core components of the complexes and additionally over 120 putative PCDH-associated proteins. We validated a selected subset of PCDH-γ-associated proteins using specific antibodies. Analysis of the identities of PCDH-associated proteins showed that the majority of them overlap with the proteomic profile of postsynaptic density preparations. Further analysis of membrane protein complexes revealed that several validated PCDH-γ-associated proteins exhibit reduced levels in Pcdh-γ-deficient brain tissues. Therefore, PCDH-γs are required for the integrity of the complexes. However, the size of the overall complexes and the abundance of many other proteins remained unchanged, raising a possibility that PCDH-αs and PCDH-βs might compensate for PCDH-γ function in complex formation. As a test of this idea, RNA interference knockdown of both PCDH-αs and PCDH-γs showed that PCDHs have redundant functions in regulating neuronal survival in the chicken spinal cord. Taken together, our data provide evidence that clustered PCDHs coexist in large protein complexes and have overlapping functions during vertebrate neural development. PMID:19843561

  1. An oculomotor decision process revealed by functional magnetic resonance imaging.

    PubMed

    Heinen, Stephen J; Rowland, Jess; Lee, Byeong-Taek; Wade, Alex R

    2006-12-27

    It is not known how the brain decides to act on moving objects. We demonstrated previously that neurons in the macaque supplementary eye field (SEF) reflect the rule of ocular baseball, a go/nogo task in which eye movements signal the rule-guided interpretation of the trajectory of a target. In ocular baseball, subjects must decide whether to pursue a moving spot target with an eye movement after discriminating whether the target will cross a distal, visible line segment. Here we identify cortical regions active during the ocular baseball task using event-related human functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and concurrent eye-movement monitoring. Task-related activity was observed in the SEF, the frontal eye field (FEF), the superior parietal lobule (SPL), and the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC). The SPL and right VLPFC showed heightened activity only during ocular baseball, despite identical stimuli and oculomotor demands in the control task, implicating these areas in the decision process. Furthermore, the right VLPFC but not the SPL showed the greatest activation during the nogo decision trials. This suggests both a functional dissociation between these areas and a role for the right VLPFC in rule-guided inhibition of behavior. In the SEF and FEF, activity was similar for ocular baseball and a control eye-movement task. We propose that, although the SEF reflects the ocular baseball rule, both areas in humans are functionally closer to motor processing than the SPL and the right VLPFC. By recording population activity with fMRI during the ocular baseball task, we have revealed the cortical substrate of an oculomotor decision process.

  2. Modulating executive functioning: trait motivational reactivity and resting HRV.

    PubMed

    Bailey, Rachel L; Potter, Robert F; Lang, Annie; Pisoni, David B

    2015-01-01

    This study assessed relationships among individual differences in trait motivational reactivity, executive functioning, and neurovisceral regulation of emotion and attention indexed via resting heart rate variability (rHRV). We derived predictions regarding these relationships according to neurovisceral neural network theory. Because lower rHRV has been suggested as an endophenotype of less adaptive behaviour, low rHRV individuals were predicted to have high aversive and low appetitive trait motivational reactivity, while high rHRV individuals were predicted to have high reactivity in both appetitive and aversive motivational systems. These predictions were supported. Motivational reactivity also was related to executive functioning deficits, although the pattern of results was not in the predicted direction. Results suggest that trait motivational reactivity scores are related to visceral responses proposed in the neurovisceral integration circuit as well as in the modulation of these responses by higher-order cognitive control systems related to executive function. PMID:24606341

  3. Functional specification of the Performance Measurement (PM) module

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Berliner, J. E.

    1980-01-01

    The design of the Performance Measurement Module is described with emphasis on what the PM Module would do, and what it would look like to the user. The PM Module as described could take several man-years to develop. An evolutionary approach to the implementation of the PM Module is presented which would provide an operational baseline PM Module within a few months.

  4. Challenges and achievements in the therapeutic modulation of aquaporin functionality.

    PubMed

    Beitz, Eric; Golldack, André; Rothert, Monja; von Bülow, Julia

    2015-11-01

    Aquaporin (AQP) water and solute channels have basic physiological functions throughout the human body. AQP-facilitated water permeability across cell membranes is required for rapid reabsorption of water from pre-urine in the kidneys and for sustained near isosmolar water fluxes e.g. in the brain, eyes, inner ear, and lungs. Cellular water permeability is further connected to cell motility. AQPs of the aquaglyceroporin subfamily are necessary for lipid degradation in adipocytes and glycerol uptake into the liver, as well as for skin moistening. Modulation of AQP function is desirable in several pathophysiological situations, such as nephrogenic diabetes insipidus, Sjögren's syndrome, Menière's disease, heart failure, or tumors to name a few. Attempts to design or to find effective small molecule AQP inhibitors have yielded only a few hits. Challenges reside in the high copy number of AQP proteins in the cell membranes, and spatial restrictions in the protein structure. This review gives an overview on selected physiological and pathophysiological conditions in which modulation of AQP functions appears beneficial and discusses first achievements in the search of drug-like AQP inhibitors. PMID:26277280

  5. Cytokine Signaling Modulates Blood-Brain Barrier Function

    PubMed Central

    Pan, Weihong; Stone, Kirsten P.; Hsuchou, Hung; Manda, Vamshi K.; Zhang, Yan; Kastin, Abba J.

    2014-01-01

    The blood-brain barrier (BBB) provides a vast interface for cytokines to affect CNS function. The BBB is a target for therapeutic intervention. It is essential, therefore, to understand how cytokines interact with each other at the level of the BBB and how secondary signals modulate CNS functions beyond the BBB. The interactions between cytokines and lipids, however, have not been fully addressed at the level of the BBB. Here, we summarize current understanding of the localization of cytokine receptors and transporters in specific membrane microdomains, particularly lipid rafts, on the luminal (apical) surface of the microvascular endothelial cells composing the BBB. We then illustrate the clinical context of cytokine effects on the BBB by neuroendocrine regulation and amplification of inflammatory signals. Two unusual aspects discussed are signaling crosstalk by different classes of cytokines and genetic regulation of drug efflux transporters. We also introduce a novel area of focus on how cytokines may act through nuclear hormone receptors to modulate efflux transporters and other targets. A specific example discussed is the ATP-binding cassette transporter-1 (ABCA-1) that regulates lipid metabolism. Overall, cytokine signaling at the level of the BBB is a crucial feature of the dynamic regulation that can rapidly change BBB function and affect brain health and disease. PMID:21834767

  6. Gap junction modulation and its implications for heart function

    PubMed Central

    Kurtenbach, Stefan; Kurtenbach, Sarah; Zoidl, Georg

    2014-01-01

    Gap junction communication (GJC) mediated by connexins is critical for heart function. To gain insight into the causal relationship of molecular mechanisms of disease pathology, it is important to understand which mechanisms contribute to impairment of gap junctional communication. Here, we present an update on the known modulators of connexins, including various interaction partners, kinases, and signaling cascades. This gap junction network (GJN) can serve as a blueprint for data mining approaches exploring the growing number of publicly available data sets from experimental and clinical studies. PMID:24578694

  7. Dissociable Modulation of Overt Visual Attention in Valence and Arousal Revealed by Topology of Scan Path

    PubMed Central

    Ni, Jianguang; Jiang, Huihui; Jin, Yixiang; Chen, Nanhui; Wang, Jianhong; Wang, Zhengbo; Luo, Yuejia; Ma, Yuanye; Hu, Xintian

    2011-01-01

    Emotional stimuli have evolutionary significance for the survival of organisms; therefore, they are attention-grabbing and are processed preferentially. The neural underpinnings of two principle emotional dimensions in affective space, valence (degree of pleasantness) and arousal (intensity of evoked emotion), have been shown to be dissociable in the olfactory, gustatory and memory systems. However, the separable roles of valence and arousal in scene perception are poorly understood. In this study, we asked how these two emotional dimensions modulate overt visual attention. Twenty-two healthy volunteers freely viewed images from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS) that were graded for affective levels of valence and arousal (high, medium, and low). Subjects' heads were immobilized and eye movements were recorded by camera to track overt shifts of visual attention. Algebraic graph-based approaches were introduced to model scan paths as weighted undirected path graphs, generating global topology metrics that characterize the algebraic connectivity of scan paths. Our data suggest that human subjects show different scanning patterns to stimuli with different affective ratings. Valence salient stimuli (with neutral arousal) elicited faster and larger shifts of attention, while arousal salient stimuli (with neutral valence) elicited local scanning, dense attention allocation and deep processing. Furthermore, our model revealed that the modulatory effect of valence was linearly related to the valence level, whereas the relation between the modulatory effect and the level of arousal was nonlinear. Hence, visual attention seems to be modulated by mechanisms that are separate for valence and arousal. PMID:21494331

  8. System-wide assembly of pathways and modules hierarchically reveal metabolic mechanism of cerebral ischemia

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Yan; Guo, Zhili; Zhang, Liangxiao; Zhang, Yingying; Chen, Yinying; Nan, Jingyi; Zhao, Buchang; Xiao, Hongbin; Wang, Zhong; Wang, Yongyan

    2015-01-01

    The relationship between cerebral ischemia and metabolic disorders is poorly understood, which is partly due to the lack of comparative fusing data for larger complete systems and to the complexity of metabolic cascade reactions. Based on the fusing maps of comprehensive serum metabolome, fatty acid and amino acid profiling, we identified 35 potential metabolic biomarkers for ischemic stroke. Our analyses revealed 8 significantly altered pathways by MetPA (Metabolomics Pathway Analysis, impact score >0.10) and 15 significantly rewired modules in a complex ischemic network using the Markov clustering (MCL) method; all of these pathways became more homologous as the number of overlapping nodes was increased. We then detected 24 extensive pathways based on the total modular nodes from the network analysis, 12 of which were new discovery pathways. We provided a new perspective from the viewpoint of abnormal metabolites for the overall study of ischemic stroke as well as a new method to simplify the network analysis by selecting the more closely connected edges and nodes to build a module map of stroke. PMID:26621314

  9. Modulators of Stomatal Lineage Signal Transduction Alter Membrane Contact Sites and Reveal Specialization among ERECTA Kinases.

    PubMed

    Ho, Chin-Min Kimmy; Paciorek, Tomasz; Abrash, Emily; Bergmann, Dominique C

    2016-08-22

    Signal transduction from a cell's surface to its interior requires dedicated signaling elements and a cellular environment conducive to signal propagation. Plant development, defense, and homeostasis rely on plasma membrane receptor-like kinases to perceive endogenous and environmental signals, but little is known about their immediate downstream targets and signaling modifiers. Using genetics, biochemistry, and live-cell imaging, we show that the VAP-RELATED SUPPRESSOR OF TMM (VST) family is required for ERECTA-mediated signaling in growth and cell-fate determination and reveal a role for ERECTA-LIKE2 in modulating signaling by its sister kinases. We show that VSTs are peripheral plasma membrane proteins that can form complexes with integral ER-membrane proteins, thereby potentially influencing the organization of the membrane milieu to promote efficient and differential signaling from the ERECTA-family members to their downstream intracellular targets.

  10. Functional Genomics Reveals Linkers Critical for Influenza Virus Polymerase

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Lulan; Wu, Aiping; Wang, Yao E.; Quanquin, Natalie; Li, Chunfeng; Wang, Jingfeng; Chen, Hsiang-Wen; Liu, Suyang; Liu, Ping; Zhang, Hong; Qin, F. Xiao-Feng

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Influenza virus mRNA synthesis by the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase involves binding and cleavage of capped cellular mRNA by the PB2 and PA subunits, respectively, and extension of viral mRNA by PB1. However, the mechanism for such a dynamic process is unclear. Using high-throughput mutagenesis and sequencing analysis, we have not only generated a comprehensive functional map for the microdomains of individual subunits but also have revealed the PA linker to be critical for polymerase activity. This PA linker binds to PB1 and also forms ionic interactions with the PA C-terminal channel. Nearly all mutants with five-amino-acid insertions in the linker were nonviable. Our model further suggests that the PA linker plays an important role in the conformational changes that occur between stages that favor capped mRNA binding and cleavage and those associated with viral mRNA synthesis. IMPORTANCE The RNA-dependent RNA polymerase of influenza virus consists of the PB1, PB2, and PA subunits. By combining genome-wide mutagenesis analysis with the recently discovered crystal structure of the influenza polymerase heterotrimer, we generated a comprehensive functional map of the entire influenza polymerase complex. We identified the microdomains of individual subunits, including the catalytic domains, the interaction interfaces between subunits, and nine linkers interconnecting different domains. Interestingly, we found that mutants with five-amino-acid insertions in individual linkers were nonviable, suggesting the critical roles these linkers play in coordinating spatial relationships between the subunits. We further identified an extended PA linker that binds to PB1 and also forms ionic interactions with the PA C-terminal channel. PMID:26719244

  11. Changes in macrophage function modulated by the lipid environment.

    PubMed

    Williams, Michael R; Cauvi, David M; Rivera, Isabel; Hawisher, Dennis; De Maio, Antonio

    2016-04-01

    Macrophages (Mφs) play a critical role in the defense against pathogens, orchestrating the inflammatory response during injury and maintaining tissue homeostasis. During these processes, macrophages encounter a variety of environmental conditions that are likely to change their gene expression pattern, which modulates their function. In this study, we found that murine Mφs displayed two different subpopulations characterized by differences in morphologies, expression of surface markers and phagocytic capacity under non-stimulated conditions. These two subpopulations could be recapitulated by changes in the culture conditions. Thus, Mφs grown in suspension in the presence of serum were highly phagocytic, whereas subtraction of serum resulted in rapid attachment and reduced phagocytic activity. The difference in phagocytosis between these subpopulations was correlated with the expression levels of FcγR. These two cell subpopulations also differed in their responses to LPS and the expression of surface markers, including CD14, CD86, scavenger receptor A1, TLR4 and low-density lipoprotein receptor. Moreover, we found that the lipid/cholesterol content in the culture medium mediated the differences between these two cell subpopulations. Thus, we described a mechanism that modulatesfunction depending on the exposure to lipids within their surrounding microenvironment.

  12. Fatty acids as modulators of neutrophil recruitment, function and survival.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Hosana G; Takeo Sato, Fabio; Curi, Rui; Vinolo, Marco A R

    2016-08-15

    Neutrophils are well-known to act in the destruction of invading microorganisms. They have also been implicated in the activation of other immune cells including B- and T-lymphocytes and in the resolution of inflammation and tissue regeneration. Neutrophils are produced in the bone marrow and released into the circulation from where they migrate to tissues to perform their effector functions. Neutrophils are in constant contact with fatty acids that can modulate their function, activation and fate (survival or cell death) through different mechanisms. In this review, the effects of fatty acids pertaining to five classes, namely, long-chain saturated fatty acids (LCSFAs), short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), and omega-3 (n-3), omega-6 (n-6) and omega-9 (n-9) unsaturated fatty acids, on neutrophils and the relevance of these effects for disease development are discussed.

  13. Spatiotemporal dynamics of affective picture processing revealed by intracranial high-gamma modulations.

    PubMed

    Boucher, Olivier; D'Hondt, Fabien; Tremblay, Julie; Lepore, Franco; Lassonde, Maryse; Vannasing, Phetsamone; Bouthillier, Alain; Nguyen, Dang Khoa

    2015-01-01

    Our comprehension of the neural mechanisms underlying emotional information processing has largely benefited from noninvasive electrophysiological and functional neuroimaging techniques in recent years. However, the spatiotemporal dynamics of the neural events occurring during emotional processing remain imprecise due to the limited combination of spatial and temporal resolution provided by these techniques. This study examines the modulations of high-frequency activity of intracranial electroencephalography recordings associated with affective picture valence, in epileptic patients awaiting neurosurgery. Recordings were obtained from subdural grids and depth electrodes in eight patients while they viewed a series of unpleasant, pleasant and neutral pictures from the International Affective Picture System. Broadband high-gamma (70-150 Hz) power was computed for separate 100-ms time windows and compared according to ratings of emotional valence. Compared to emotionally neutral or pleasant pictures, unpleasant stimuli were associated with an early and long-lasting (≈200-1,000 ms) bilateral increase in high-gamma activity in visual areas of the occipital and temporal lobes, together with a late and transient (≈500-800 ms) decrease found bilaterally in the lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC). Pleasant pictures were associated with increased gamma activity in the occipital cortex, compared to the emotionally neutral stimuli. Consistent with previous studies, our results provide direct evidence of emotion-related modulations in the visual ventral pathway during picture processing. Results in the lateral PFC also shed light on the neural mechanisms underlying its role in negative emotions processing. This study demonstrates the utility of intracranial high-gamma modulations to study emotional process with a high spatiotemporal precision.

  14. Molecular force modulation spectroscopy revealing the dynamic response of single bacteriorhodopsins.

    PubMed

    Janovjak, Harald; Müller, Daniel J; Humphris, Andrew D L

    2005-02-01

    Recent advances in atomic force microscopy allowed globular and membrane proteins to be mechanically unfolded on a single-molecule level. Presented is an extension to the existing force spectroscopy experiments. While unfolding single bacteriorhodopsins from native purple membranes, small oscillation amplitudes (6-9 nm) were supplied to the vertical displacement of the cantilever at a frequency of 3 kHz. The phase and amplitude response of the cantilever-protein system was converted to reveal the elastic (conservative) and viscous (dissipative) contributions to the unfolding process. The elastic response (stiffness) of the extended parts of the protein were in the range of a few tens pN/nm and could be well described by the derivative of the wormlike chain model. Discrete events in the viscous response coincided with the unfolding of single secondary structure elements and were in the range of 1 microNs/m. In addition, these force modulation spectroscopy experiments revealed novel mechanical unfolding intermediates of bacteriorhodopsin. We found that kinks result in a loss of unfolding cooperativity in transmembrane helices. Reconstructing force-distance spectra by the integration of amplitude-distance spectra verified their position, offering a novel approach to detect intermediates during the forced unfolding of single proteins. PMID:15574708

  15. Quantitative Proteomics Analysis Reveals the Min System of Escherichia coli Modulates Reversible Protein Association with the Inner Membrane.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hsiao-Lin; Chiang, I-Chen; Liang, Suh-Yuen; Lee, Der-Yen; Chang, Geen-Dong; Wang, Kwan-Yu; Lin, Shu-Yu; Shih, Yu-Ling

    2016-05-01

    The Min system of Escherichia coli mediates placement of the division septum at the midcell. It oscillates from pole to pole to establish a concentration gradient of the division inhibition that is high at the poles but low at the midcell; the cell middle thereby becomes the most favorable site for division. Although Min oscillation is well studied from molecular and biophysical perspectives, it is still an enigma as to whether such a continuous, energy-consuming, and organized movement of the Min proteins would affect cellular processes other than the division site selection. To tackle this question, we compared the inner membrane proteome of the wild-type and Δmin strains using a quantitative approach. Forty proteins that showed differential abundance on the inner membrane of the mutant cells were identified and defined as proteins of interest (POIs). More than half of the POIs were peripheral membrane proteins, suggesting that the Min system affects mainly reversible protein association with the inner membrane. In addition, 6 out of 10 selected POIs directly interacted with at least one of the Min proteins, confirming the correlation between POIs and the Min system.Further analysis revealed a functional relationship between metabolism and the Min system. Metabolic enzymes accounted for 45% of the POIs, and there was a change of metabolites in the related reactions. We hypothesize that the Min system could alter the membrane location of proteins to modulate their enzymatic activity. Thus, the metabolic modulation in the Δmin mutant is likely an adaptive phenotype in cells of abnormal size and chromosome number due to an imbalanced abundance of proteins on the inner membrane. Taken together, the current work reports novel interactions of the Min system and reveals a global physiological impact of the Min system in addition to the division site placement.

  16. Functional evolution of cis-regulatory modules at a homeotic gene in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Ho, Margaret C W; Johnsen, Holly; Goetz, Sara E; Schiller, Benjamin J; Bae, Esther; Tran, Diana A; Shur, Andrey S; Allen, John M; Rau, Christoph; Bender, Welcome; Fisher, William W; Celniker, Susan E; Drewell, Robert A

    2009-11-01

    It is a long-held belief in evolutionary biology that the rate of molecular evolution for a given DNA sequence is inversely related to the level of functional constraint. This belief holds true for the protein-coding homeotic (Hox) genes originally discovered in Drosophila melanogaster. Expression of the Hox genes in Drosophila embryos is essential for body patterning and is controlled by an extensive array of cis-regulatory modules (CRMs). How the regulatory modules functionally evolve in different species is not clear. A comparison of the CRMs for the Abdominal-B gene from different Drosophila species reveals relatively low levels of overall sequence conservation. However, embryonic enhancer CRMs from other Drosophila species direct transgenic reporter gene expression in the same spatial and temporal patterns during development as their D. melanogaster orthologs. Bioinformatic analysis reveals the presence of short conserved sequences within defined CRMs, representing gap and pair-rule transcription factor binding sites. One predicted binding site for the gap transcription factor KRUPPEL in the IAB5 CRM was found to be altered in Superabdominal (Sab) mutations. In Sab mutant flies, the third abdominal segment is transformed into a copy of the fifth abdominal segment. A model for KRUPPEL-mediated repression at this binding site is presented. These findings challenge our current understanding of the relationship between sequence evolution at the molecular level and functional activity of a CRM. While the overall sequence conservation at Drosophila CRMs is not distinctive from neighboring genomic regions, functionally critical transcription factor binding sites within embryonic enhancer CRMs are highly conserved. These results have implications for understanding mechanisms of gene expression during embryonic development, enhancer function, and the molecular evolution of eukaryotic regulatory modules.

  17. System identification and model reduction using modulating function techniques

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shen, Yan

    1993-01-01

    Weighted least squares (WLS) and adaptive weighted least squares (AWLS) algorithms are initiated for continuous-time system identification using Fourier type modulating function techniques. Two stochastic signal models are examined using the mean square properties of the stochastic calculus: an equation error signal model with white noise residuals, and a more realistic white measurement noise signal model. The covariance matrices in each model are shown to be banded and sparse, and a joint likelihood cost function is developed which links the real and imaginary parts of the modulated quantities. The superior performance of above algorithms is demonstrated by comparing them with the LS/MFT and popular predicting error method (PEM) through 200 Monte Carlo simulations. A model reduction problem is formulated with the AWLS/MFT algorithm, and comparisons are made via six examples with a variety of model reduction techniques, including the well-known balanced realization method. Here the AWLS/MFT algorithm manifests higher accuracy in almost all cases, and exhibits its unique flexibility and versatility. Armed with this model reduction, the AWLS/MFT algorithm is extended into MIMO transfer function system identification problems. The impact due to the discrepancy in bandwidths and gains among subsystem is explored through five examples. Finally, as a comprehensive application, the stability derivatives of the longitudinal and lateral dynamics of an F-18 aircraft are identified using physical flight data provided by NASA. A pole-constrained SIMO and MIMO AWLS/MFT algorithm is devised and analyzed. Monte Carlo simulations illustrate its high-noise rejecting properties. Utilizing the flight data, comparisons among different MFT algorithms are tabulated and the AWLS is found to be strongly favored in almost all facets.

  18. Modulation of cardiorespiratory function mediated by the paraventricular nucleus

    PubMed Central

    Kc, Prabha; Dick, Thomas E.

    2010-01-01

    The hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) coordinates autonomic and neuroendocrine systems to maintain homeostasis and to respond to stress. Neuroanatomic and neurophysiologic experiments have provided insight into the mechanisms by which the PVN acts. The PVN projects directly to the spinal cord and brainstem and, specifically, to sites that control cardiorespiratory function: the intermediolateral cell columns and phrenic motor nuclei in the spinal cord and rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM) and the rostral nuclei in the ventral respiratory column (rVRC) in the brainstem. Activation of the PVN increases ventilation (both tidal volume and frequency) and blood pressure (both heart rate and sympathetic nerve activity). Excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters including glutamate and GABA converge in the PVN to influence its neuronal activity. However, a tonic GABAergic input to the PVN directly modulates excitatory outflow from the PVN. Further, even within the PVN, microinjection of GABAA receptor blockers increases glutamate release suggesting an indirect mechanism by which GABA control contributes to PVN functions. PVN activity alters blood pressure and ventilation during various stresses, such as maternal separation, chronic intermittent hypoxia (CIH), dehydration and hemorrhage. Among the several PVN neurotransmitters and neurohormones, vasopressin and oxytocin modulate ventilation and blood pressure. Here, we review our data indicating that increases in vasopressin and vasopressin type 1A (V1A) receptor signaling in the RVLM and rVRC are mechanisms increasing blood pressure and ventilation after exposure to CIH. That blockade of V1A receptors in the medulla normalizes baseline blood pressure as well as blunts PVN-evoked blood pressure and ventilatory responses in CIH-conditioned animals indicate the role of vasopressin in cardiorespiratory control. In summary, morphological and functional studies have found that the PVN integrates sensory input and

  19. TAAR1 Modulates Cortical Glutamate NMDA Receptor Function

    PubMed Central

    Espinoza, Stefano; Lignani, Gabriele; Caffino, Lucia; Maggi, Silvia; Sukhanov, Ilya; Leo, Damiana; Mus, Liudmila; Emanuele, Marco; Ronzitti, Giuseppe; Harmeier, Anja; Medrihan, Lucian; Sotnikova, Tatyana D; Chieregatti, Evelina; Hoener, Marius C; Benfenati, Fabio; Tucci, Valter; Fumagalli, Fabio; Gainetdinov, Raul R

    2015-01-01

    Trace Amine-Associated Receptor 1 (TAAR1) is a G protein-coupled receptor expressed in the mammalian brain and known to influence subcortical monoaminergic transmission. Monoamines, such as dopamine, also play an important role within the prefrontal cortex (PFC) circuitry, which is critically involved in high-o5rder cognitive processes. TAAR1-selective ligands have shown potential antipsychotic, antidepressant, and pro-cognitive effects in experimental animal models; however, it remains unclear whether TAAR1 can affect PFC-related processes and functions. In this study, we document a distinct pattern of expression of TAAR1 in the PFC, as well as altered subunit composition and deficient functionality of the glutamate N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in the pyramidal neurons of layer V of PFC in mice lacking TAAR1. The dysregulated cortical glutamate transmission in TAAR1-KO mice was associated with aberrant behaviors in several tests, indicating a perseverative and impulsive phenotype of mutants. Conversely, pharmacological activation of TAAR1 with selective agonists reduced premature impulsive responses observed in the fixed-interval conditioning schedule in normal mice. Our study indicates that TAAR1 plays an important role in the modulation of NMDA receptor-mediated glutamate transmission in the PFC and related functions. Furthermore, these data suggest that the development of TAAR1-based drugs could provide a novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of disorders related to aberrant cortical functions. PMID:25749299

  20. Modulating functional and dysfunctional mentalizing by transcranial magnetic stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Schuwerk, Tobias; Langguth, Berthold; Sommer, Monika

    2014-01-01

    Mentalizing, the ability to attribute mental states to others and oneself, is a cognitive function with high relevance for social interactions. Recent neuroscientific research has increasingly contributed to attempts to decompose this complex social cognitive function into constituting neurocognitive building blocks. Additionally, clinical research that focuses on social cognition to find links between impaired social functioning and neurophysiological deviations has accumulated evidence that mentalizing is affected in most psychiatric disorders. Recently, both lines of research have started to employ transcranial magnetic stimulation: the first to modulate mentalizing in order to specify its neurocognitive components, the latter to treat impaired mentalizing in clinical conditions. This review integrates findings of these two different approaches to draw a more detailed picture of the neurocognitive basis of mentalizing and its deviations in psychiatric disorders. Moreover, we evaluate the effectiveness of hitherto employed stimulation techniques and protocols, paradigms and outcome measures. Based on this overview we highlight new directions for future research on the neurocognitive basis of functional and dysfunctional social cognition. PMID:25477838

  1. LANDSAT-4 Thematic Mapper Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) evaluation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schowengerdt, R. (Principal Investigator)

    1985-01-01

    The Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) for thematic mapping (TM) bands 3, 4, 5 and 7 is reliably estimated with the San Mateo Bridge target in the 12/31/82 scene. These results are to be compared with those from the 8/12/83 scene. Bands 1, 2 and 6 are to be analyzed with a different target possessing greater contrast. This may be possible with the underflight data comparison currently underway. The registration of this data to the TM image of 8/12/83 for a region arround the Stockton sewage pond east of San Francisco has begun. This particular approach has the advantage that the full two-dimensional MFT will be measured instead of the MFT in only one azimuth as reported.

  2. Rbg1-Tma46 dimer structure reveals new functional domains and their role in polysome recruitment.

    PubMed

    Francis, Sandrea M; Gas, María-Eugenia; Daugeron, Marie-Claire; Bravo, Jeronimo; Séraphin, Bertrand

    2012-11-01

    Developmentally Regulated GTP-binding (DRG) proteins are highly conserved GTPases that associate with DRG Family Regulatory Proteins (DFRP). The resulting complexes have recently been shown to participate in eukaryotic translation. The structure of the Rbg1 GTPase, a yeast DRG protein, in complex with the C-terminal region of its DFRP partner, Tma46, was solved by X-ray diffraction. These data reveal that DRG proteins are multimodular factors with three additional domains, helix-turn-helix (HTH), S5D2L and TGS, packing against the GTPase platform. Surprisingly, the S5D2L domain is inserted in the middle of the GTPase sequence. In contrast, the region of Tma46 interacting with Rbg1 adopts an extended conformation typical of intrinsically unstructured proteins and contacts the GTPase and TGS domains. Functional analyses demonstrate that the various domains of Rbg1, as well as Tma46, modulate the GTPase activity of Rbg1 and contribute to the function of these proteins in vivo. Dissecting the role of the different domains revealed that the Rbg1 TGS domain is essential for the recruitment of this factor in polysomes, supporting further the implication of these conserved factors in translation.

  3. Geometrical modulation transfer function for different pixel active area shapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yadid-Pecht, Orly

    2000-04-01

    In this work we consider the effect of the pixel active area geometrical shape on the modulation transfer function (MTF) of an image sensor. When designing a CMOS Active Pixel Sensor, or a CCD or CID sensor for this matter, the active area of the pixel would have a certain geometrical shape which might not cover the whole pixel area. To improve the device performance, it is important to understand the effect this has on the pixel sensitivity and on the resulting MTF. We perform a theoretical analysis of the MTF for the active area shape and derive explicit formulas for the transfer function for pixel arrays with a square, a rectangular and an L shaped active area (most commonly used), and generalize for any connected active area shape. Preliminary experimental results of subpixel scanning sensitivity maps and the corresponding MTFs have also bee obtained, which confirm the theoretical derivations. Both the simulation results and the MTF calculated from the point spread function measurements of the actual pixel arrays show that the active area shape contributes significantly to the behavior of the overall MTF. The results also indicate that for any potential pixel active area shape, the effect of its diversion from the square pixel could be calculated, so that tradeoff between the conflicting requirements, such as SNR and MTF, could be compared per each pixel design for better overall sensor performance.

  4. Dabigatran and Argatroban Diametrically Modulate Thrombin Exosite Function

    PubMed Central

    Yeh, Calvin H.; Stafford, Alan R.; Leslie, Beverly A.; Fredenburgh, James C.; Weitz, Jeffrey I.

    2016-01-01

    Thrombin is a highly plastic molecule whose activity and specificity are regulated by exosites 1 and 2, positively-charged domains that flank the active site. Exosite binding by substrates and cofactors regulates thrombin activity by localizing thrombin, guiding substrates, and by inducing allosteric changes at the active site. Although inter-exosite and exosite-to-active-site allostery have been demonstrated, the impact of active site ligation on exosite function has not been examined. To address this gap, we used surface plasmon resonance to determine the effects of dabigatran and argatroban, active site-directed inhibitors, on thrombin binding to immobilized γA/γA-fibrin or glycoprotein Ibα peptide via exosite 1 and 2, respectively, and thrombin binding to γA/γ′-fibrin or factor Va, which is mediated by both exosites. Whereas dabigatran attenuated binding, argatroban increased thrombin binding to γA/γA- and γA/γ′-fibrin and to factor Va. The results with immobilized fibrin were confirmed by examining the binding of radiolabeled thrombin to fibrin clots. Thus, dabigatran modestly accelerated the dissociation of thrombin from γA/γA-fibrin clots, whereas argatroban attenuated dissociation. Dabigatran had no effect on thrombin binding to glycoprotein Ibα peptide, whereas argatroban promoted binding. These findings not only highlight functional effects of thrombin allostery, but also suggest that individual active site-directed thrombin inhibitors uniquely modulate exosite function, thereby identifying potential novel mechanisms of action. PMID:27305147

  5. A systematic method to identify modulation of transcriptional regulation via chromatin activity reveals regulatory network during mESC differentiation.

    PubMed

    Duren, Zhana; Wang, Yong

    2016-01-01

    Chromatin regulators (CRs) are crucial for connecting the chromatin level and transcriptome level by modulating chromatin structures, establishing, and maintaining epigenetic modifications. We present a systematic method to identify MOdulation of transcriptional regulation via CHromatin Activity (MOCHA) from gene expression data and demonstrate its advantage in associating CRs to their chromatin localization and understand CRs' function. We first re-construct the CRs modulation network by integrating the correlation and conditional correlation concepts. Then we quantify the chromatin activity as hidden variable in network by integrating the upstream and downstream information. We applied MOCHA to systematically explore the interplay of CRs, TFs, and target genes in mouse embryonic stem cells (ESC). As a result, MOCHA identified 420 chromatin regulators with modulation preference, including Pou5f1 and Eed. We found that BAF complex, NuRD complex, and polycomb-group proteins, regulate the delicate balance between pluripotency and differentiation by modulating key TFs including Klf4, Tcf3, and Max; NuRD complex members Mbd3 and Hdac1 may modulate Klf4 to achieve its dual functional roles in pluripotent and differentiation stages;Imprinted gene H19 and Igf2 are modulated by DNA methylation, histone acetylation, and insulator CTCF. Finally, we analyzed CR's combinational modulation pattern by constructing a CR-CR interaction network. PMID:26949222

  6. A systematic method to identify modulation of transcriptional regulation via chromatin activity reveals regulatory network during mESC differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Duren, Zhana; Wang, Yong

    2016-01-01

    Chromatin regulators (CRs) are crucial for connecting the chromatin level and transcriptome level by modulating chromatin structures, establishing, and maintaining epigenetic modifications. We present a systematic method to identify MOdulation of transcriptional regulation via CHromatin Activity (MOCHA) from gene expression data and demonstrate its advantage in associating CRs to their chromatin localization and understand CRs’ function. We first re-construct the CRs modulation network by integrating the correlation and conditional correlation concepts. Then we quantify the chromatin activity as hidden variable in network by integrating the upstream and downstream information. We applied MOCHA to systematically explore the interplay of CRs, TFs, and target genes in mouse embryonic stem cells (ESC). As a result, MOCHA identified 420 chromatin regulators with modulation preference, including Pou5f1 and Eed. We found that BAF complex, NuRD complex, and polycomb-group proteins, regulate the delicate balance between pluripotency and differentiation by modulating key TFs including Klf4, Tcf3, and Max; NuRD complex members Mbd3 and Hdac1 may modulate Klf4 to achieve its dual functional roles in pluripotent and differentiation stages;Imprinted gene H19 and Igf2 are modulated by DNA methylation, histone acetylation, and insulator CTCF. Finally, we analyzed CR’s combinational modulation pattern by constructing a CR-CR interaction network. PMID:26949222

  7. Mineralocorticoid Receptors Modulate Vascular Endothelial Function in Human Obesity

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, Moon-Hyon; Yoo, Jeung-Ki; Luttrell, Meredith; Kim, Han-Kyul; Meade, Thomas H.; English, Mark; Segal, Mark S.; Christou, Demetra D.

    2015-01-01

    Obesity increases linearly with age and is associated with impaired vascular endothelial function and increased risk for cardiovascular disease. Mineralocorticoid receptors (MR) contribute to impaired vascular endothelial function in cardiovascular disease; however, their role in uncomplicated human obesity is unknown. Because plasma aldosterone levels are elevated in obesity and adipocytes may be a source of aldosterone, we hypothesized that MR modulate vascular endothelial function in older adults in an adiposity-dependent manner. To test this hypothesis, we administered MR blockade (Eplerenone; 100 mg/day) for 1 month in a balanced, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study to 22 older adults (10 men, 55–79 years) varying widely in adiposity (body mass index: 20–45 kg/m2) but who were free from overt cardiovascular disease. We evaluated vascular endothelial function (brachial artery flow-mediated dilation [FMD] via ultrasonography) and oxidative stress (plasma F2-isoprostanes and vascular endothelial cell protein expression of nitrotyrosine and NADPH oxidase p47phox) during placebo and MR blockade. In the whole group, oxidative stress (P>0.05) and FMD did not change with MR blockade (6.39±0.67 vs. 6.23±0.73 %, P=0.7, placebo vs. Eplerenone). However, individual improvements in FMD in response to Eplerenone were associated with higher total body fat (body mass index: r=0.45, P=0.02 and DXA-derived % body fat: r=0.50, P=0.009) and abdominal fat (total: r=0.61, P=0.005, visceral: r=0.67, P=0.002 and subcutaneous: r=0.48, P=0.03). In addition, greater improvements in FMD with Eplerenone were related with higher baseline fasting glucose (r=0.53, P=0.01). MR influence vascular endothelial function in an adiposity-dependent manner in healthy older adults. PMID:23786536

  8. Control over the strength of connections between modules: a double dissociation between stimulus format and task revealed by Granger causality mapping in fMRI

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Britt; Soliman, Sherif; O’Malley, Shannon; Danckert, James; Besner, Derek

    2015-01-01

    Drawing on theoretical and computational work with the localist dual route reading model and results from behavioral studies, Besner et al. (2011) proposed that the ability to perform tasks that require overriding stimulus-specific defaults (e.g., semantics when naming Arabic numerals, and phonology when evaluating the parity of number words) necessitate the ability to modulate the strength of connections between cognitive modules for lexical representation, semantics, and phonology on a task- and stimulus-specific basis. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to evaluate this account by assessing changes in functional connectivity while participants performed tasks that did and did not require such stimulus-task default overrides. The occipital region showing the greatest modulation of BOLD signal strength for the two stimulus types was used as the seed region for Granger causality mapping (GCM). Our GCM analysis revealed a region of rostromedial frontal cortex with a crossover interaction. When participants performed tasks that required overriding stimulus type defaults (i.e., parity judgments of number words and naming Arabic numerals) functional connectivity between the occipital region and rostromedial frontal cortex was present. Statistically significant functional connectivity was absent when the tasks were the default for the stimulus type (i.e., parity judgments of Arabic numerals and reading number words). This frontal region (BA 10) has previously been shown to be involved in goal-directed behavior and maintenance of a specific task set. We conclude that overriding stimulus-task defaults requires a modulation of connection strengths between cognitive modules and that the override mechanism predicted from cognitive theory is instantiated by frontal modulation of neural activity of brain regions specialized for sensory processing. PMID:25870571

  9. Single particle tracking with sterol modulation reveals the cholesterol-mediated diffusion properties of integrin receptors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arora, Neha; Syed, Aleem; Sander, Suzanne; Smith, Emily A.

    2014-12-01

    A combination of sterol modulation with cyclodextrins plus fluorescence microscopy revealed a biophysical mechanism behind cholesterol’s influence on the diffusion of a ubiquitous class of receptors called integrins. The heterogeneous diffusion of integrins bound to ligand-coated quantum dots was measured using single particle tracking (SPT), and the ensemble changes in integrin diffusion were measured by fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP). A 25 ± 1% reduction of membrane cholesterol resulted in three significant changes to the diffusion of ligand-bound αPS2CβPS integrins as measured by SPT. There was a 23% increase in ligand-bound mobile integrins; there was a statistically significant increase in the average diffusion coefficient inside zones of confined diffusion, and histograms of confined integrin trajectories showed an increased frequency in the range of 0.1-1 μm2 s-1 and a decreased frequency in the 0.001-0.1 μm2 s-1 range. No statistical change was measured in the duration of confinement nor the size of confined zones. Restoring the cholesterol-depleted cells with exogenous cholesterol or exogenous epicholesterol resulted in similar diffusion properties. Epicholesterol differs from cholesterol in the orientation of a single hydroxyl group. The ability of epicholesterol to substitute for cholesterol suggests a biophysical mechanism for cholesterol’s effect on integrin diffusion. Influences of bilayer thickness, viscosity and organization are discussed as possible explanations for the measured changes in integrin diffusion when the membrane cholesterol concentration is reduced.

  10. Network analysis reveals common host protein/s modulating pathogenesis of neurotropic viruses

    PubMed Central

    Ghosh, Sourish; Mukherjee, Sriparna; Sengupta, Nabonita; Roy, Arunava; Dey, Dhritiman; Chakraborty, Surajit; Chattopadhyay, Dhrubajyoti; Banerjee, Arpan; Basu, Anirban

    2016-01-01

    Network analysis through graph theory provides a quantitative approach to characterize specific proteins and their constituent assemblies that underlie host-pathogen interactions. In the present study, graph theory was used to analyze the interactome designed out of 50 differentially expressing proteins from proteomic analysis of Chandipura Virus (CHPV, Family: Rhabdoviridae) infected mouse brain tissue to identify the primary candidates for intervention. Using the measure of degree centrality, that quantifies the connectedness of a single protein within a milieu of several other interacting proteins, DJ-1 was selected for further molecular validation. To elucidate the generality of DJ-1’s role in propagating infection its role was also monitored in another RNA virus, Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV, Family: Flaviviridae) infection. Concurrently, DJ-1 got over-expressed in response to reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation following viral infection which in the early phase of infection migrated to mitochondria to remove dysfunctional mitochondria through the process of mitophagy. DJ-1 was also observed to modulate the viral replication and interferon responses along with low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor expression in neurons. Collectively these evidences reveal a comprehensive role for DJ-1 in neurotropic virus infection in the brain. PMID:27581498

  11. Network analysis reveals common host protein/s modulating pathogenesis of neurotropic viruses.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Sourish; Mukherjee, Sriparna; Sengupta, Nabonita; Roy, Arunava; Dey, Dhritiman; Chakraborty, Surajit; Chattopadhyay, Dhrubajyoti; Banerjee, Arpan; Basu, Anirban

    2016-01-01

    Network analysis through graph theory provides a quantitative approach to characterize specific proteins and their constituent assemblies that underlie host-pathogen interactions. In the present study, graph theory was used to analyze the interactome designed out of 50 differentially expressing proteins from proteomic analysis of Chandipura Virus (CHPV, Family: Rhabdoviridae) infected mouse brain tissue to identify the primary candidates for intervention. Using the measure of degree centrality, that quantifies the connectedness of a single protein within a milieu of several other interacting proteins, DJ-1 was selected for further molecular validation. To elucidate the generality of DJ-1's role in propagating infection its role was also monitored in another RNA virus, Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV, Family: Flaviviridae) infection. Concurrently, DJ-1 got over-expressed in response to reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation following viral infection which in the early phase of infection migrated to mitochondria to remove dysfunctional mitochondria through the process of mitophagy. DJ-1 was also observed to modulate the viral replication and interferon responses along with low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor expression in neurons. Collectively these evidences reveal a comprehensive role for DJ-1 in neurotropic virus infection in the brain. PMID:27581498

  12. Modulation of microsaccade rate by task difficulty revealed through between- and within-trial comparisons.

    PubMed

    Gao, Xin; Yan, Hongmei; Sun, Hong-Jin

    2015-01-01

    Microsaccades (MSs) are small eye movements that occur during attempted visual fixation. While most studies concerning MSs focus on their roles in visual processing, some also suggest that the MS rate can be modulated by the amount of mental exertion involved in nonvisual processing. The current study focused on the effects of task difficulty on MS rate in a nonvisual mental arithmetic task. Experiment 1 revealed a general inverse relationship between MS rate and subjective task difficulty. During Experiment 2, three task phases with different requirements were identified: during calculation (between stimulus presentation and response), postcalculation (after reporting an answer), and a control condition (undergoing a matching sequence of events without the need to make a calculation). MS rate was observed to approximately double from the during-calculation phase to the postcalculation phase, and was significantly higher in the control condition compared to postcalculation. Only during calculation was the MS rate generally decreased with greater task difficulty. Our results suggest that the nonvisual cognitive processing can suppress MS rate, and that the extent of such suppression is related to the task difficulty. PMID:25740876

  13. A Genome-wide Screen Reveals a Role for microRNA-1 in Modulating Cardiac Cell Polarity

    PubMed Central

    King, Isabelle N.; Qian, Li; Liang, Jianping; Huang, Yu; Shieh, Joseph T.C.; Kwon, Chulan; Srivastava, Deepak

    2011-01-01

    Summary Many molecular pathways involved in heart disease have their roots in evolutionarily ancient developmental programs that depend critically on gene dosage and timing. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) modulate gene dosage post-transcriptionally, and among these, the muscle-specific miR-1 is particularly important for developing and maintaining somatic/skeletal and cardiac muscle. To identify pathways regulated by miR-1, we performed a forward genetic screen in Drosophila using wing-vein patterning as a biological assay. We identified several unexpected genes that genetically interacted with dmiR-1, one of which was kayak, encoding a developmentally-regulated transcription factor. Additional studies directed at this genetic relationship revealed a previously unappreciated function of dmiR-1 in regulating the polarity of cardiac progenitor cells. The mammalian orthologue of kay, c-Fos, was dysregulated in hearts of gain- or loss-of-function miR-1 mutant mice in a stress-dependent manner. These findings illustrate the power of Drosophila-based screens to find points of intersection between miRNAs and conserved pathways in mammals. PMID:21497762

  14. Phase noise reveals early category-specific modulation of the event-related potentials

    PubMed Central

    Németh, Kornél; Kovács, Petra; Vakli, Pál; Kovács, Gyula; Zimmer, Márta

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies have found that the amplitude of the early event-related potential (ERP) components evoked by faces, such as N170 and P2, changes systematically as a function of noise added to the stimuli. This change has been linked to an increased perceptual processing demand and to enhanced difficulty in perceptual decision making about faces. However, to date it has not yet been tested whether noise manipulation affects the neural correlates of decisions about face and non-face stimuli similarly. To this end, we measured the ERPs for faces and cars at three different phase noise levels. Subjects performed the same two-alternative age-discrimination task on stimuli chosen from young–old morphing continua that were created from faces as well as cars and were calibrated to lead to similar performances at each noise-level. Adding phase noise to the stimuli reduced performance and enhanced response latency for the two categories to the same extent. Parallel to that, phase noise reduced the amplitude and prolonged the latency of the face-specific N170 component. The amplitude of the P1 showed category-specific noise dependence: it was enhanced over the right hemisphere for cars and over the left hemisphere for faces as a result of adding phase noise to the stimuli, but remained stable across noise levels for cars over the left and for faces over the right hemisphere. Moreover, noise modulation altered the category-selectivity of the N170, while the P2 ERP component, typically associated with task decision difficulty, was larger for the more noisy stimuli regardless of stimulus category. Our results suggest that the category-specificity of noise-induced modulations of ERP responses starts at around 100 ms post-stimulus. PMID:24795689

  15. Rhythmic Components in Extracranial Brain Signals Reveal Multifaceted Task Modulation of Overlapping Neuronal Activity

    PubMed Central

    van Ede, Freek; Maris, Eric

    2016-01-01

    Oscillatory neuronal activity is implicated in many cognitive functions, and its phase coupling between sensors may reflect networks of communicating neuronal populations. Oscillatory activity is often studied using extracranial recordings and compared between experimental conditions. This is challenging, because there is overlap between sensor-level activity generated by different sources, and this can obscure differential experimental modulations of these sources. Additionally, in extracranial data, sensor-level phase coupling not only reflects communicating populations, but can also be generated by a current dipole, whose sensor-level phase coupling does not reflect source-level interactions. We present a novel method, which is capable of separating and characterizing sources on the basis of their phase coupling patterns as a function of space, frequency and time (trials). Importantly, this method depends on a plausible model of a neurobiological rhythm. We present this model and an accompanying analysis pipeline. Next, we demonstrate our approach, using magnetoencephalographic (MEG) recordings during a cued tactile detection task as a case study. We show that the extracted components have overlapping spatial maps and frequency content, which are difficult to resolve using conventional pairwise measures. Because our decomposition also provides trial loadings, components can be readily contrasted between experimental conditions. Strikingly, we observed heterogeneity in alpha and beta sources with respect to whether their activity was suppressed or enhanced as a function of attention and performance, and this happened both in task relevant and irrelevant regions. This heterogeneity contrasts with the common view that alpha and beta amplitude over sensory areas are always negatively related to attention and performance. PMID:27336159

  16. Nonoisotopic Assay for the Presynaptic Choline Transporter Reveals Capacity for Allosteric Modulation of Choline Uptake

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Current therapies to enhance CNS cholinergic function rely primarily on extracellular acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibition, a pharmacotherapeutic strategy that produces dose-limiting side effects. The Na+-dependent, high-affinity choline transporter (CHT) is an unexplored target for cholinergic medication development. Although functional at the plasma membrane, CHT at steady-state is localized to synaptic vesicles such that vesicular fusion can support a biosynthetic response to neuronal excitation. To identify allosteric potentiators of CHT activity, we mapped endocytic sequences in the C-terminus of human CHT, identifying transporter mutants that exhibit significantly increased transport function. A stable HEK-293 cell line was generated from one of these mutants (CHT LV-AA) and used to establish a high-throughput screen (HTS) compatible assay based on the electrogenic nature of the transporter. We established that the addition of choline to these cells, at concentrations appropriate for high-affinity choline transport at presynaptic terminals, generates a hemicholinium-3 (HC-3)-sensitive, membrane depolarization that can be used for the screening of CHT inhibitors and activators. Using this assay, we discovered that staurosporine increased CHT LV-AA choline uptake activity, an effect mediated by a decrease in choline KM with no change in Vmax. As staurosporine did not change surface levels of CHT, nor inhibit HC-3 binding, we propose that its action is directly or indirectly allosteric in nature. Surprisingly, staurosporine reduced choline-induced membrane depolarization, suggesting that increased substrate coupling to ion gradients, arising at the expense of nonstoichiometric ion flow, accompanies a shift of CHT to a higher-affinity state. Our findings provide a new approach for the identification of CHT modulators that is compatible with high-throughput screening approaches and presents a novel model by which small molecules can enhance substrate flux

  17. The Bilingual Brain as Revealed by Functional Neuroimaging.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abutalebi, Jubin; Cappa, Stefano F.; Perani, Daniela

    2001-01-01

    Functional neuroimaging of bilinguals and monolinguals used in conjunction with experimental cognitive tasks has been successful in establishing functional specialization as a principle of brain organization in humans. Consistent results show that attained proficiency and possibly language exposure are more important than age of acquisition as a…

  18. A DEK Domain-Containing Protein Modulates Chromatin Structure and Function in Arabidopsis[W][OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Waidmann, Sascha; Kusenda, Branislav; Mayerhofer, Juliane; Mechtler, Karl; Jonak, Claudia

    2014-01-01

    Chromatin is a major determinant in the regulation of virtually all DNA-dependent processes. Chromatin architectural proteins interact with nucleosomes to modulate chromatin accessibility and higher-order chromatin structure. The evolutionarily conserved DEK domain-containing protein is implicated in important chromatin-related processes in animals, but little is known about its DNA targets and protein interaction partners. In plants, the role of DEK has remained elusive. In this work, we identified DEK3 as a chromatin-associated protein in Arabidopsis thaliana. DEK3 specifically binds histones H3 and H4. Purification of other proteins associated with nuclear DEK3 also established DNA topoisomerase 1α and proteins of the cohesion complex as in vivo interaction partners. Genome-wide mapping of DEK3 binding sites by chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by deep sequencing revealed enrichment of DEK3 at protein-coding genes throughout the genome. Using DEK3 knockout and overexpressor lines, we show that DEK3 affects nucleosome occupancy and chromatin accessibility and modulates the expression of DEK3 target genes. Furthermore, functional levels of DEK3 are crucial for stress tolerance. Overall, data indicate that DEK3 contributes to modulation of Arabidopsis chromatin structure and function. PMID:25387881

  19. Modulation of Chloride Channel Functions by the Plant Lignan Compounds Kobusin and Eudesmin

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Yu; Yu, Bo; Fang, Fang; Cao, Huanhuan; Ma, Tonghui; Yang, Hong

    2015-01-01

    Plant lignans are diphenolic compounds widely present in vegetables, fruits, and grains. These compounds have been demonstrated to have protective effect against cancer, hypertension and diabetes. In the present study, we showed that two lignan compounds, kobusin and eudesmin, isolated from Magnoliae Flos, could modulate intestinal chloride transport mediated by cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) and calcium-activated chloride channels (CaCCs). The compounds activated CFTR channel function in both FRT cells and in HT-29 cells. The modulating effects of kobusin and eudesmin on the activity of CaCCgie (CaCC expressed in gastrointestinal epithelial cells) were also investigated, and the result showed that both compounds could stimulate CaCCgie-mediated short-circuit currents and the stimulation was synergistic with ATP. In ex vivo studies, both compounds activated CFTR and CaCCgie chloride channel activities in mouse colonic epithelia. Remarkably, the compounds showed inhibitory effects toward ANO1/CaCC-mediated short-circuit currents in ANO1/CaCC-expressing FRT cells, with IC50 values of 100 μM for kobusin and 200 μM for eudesmin. In charcoal transit study, both compounds mildly reduced gastrointestinal motility in mice. Taken together, these results revealed a new kind of activity displayed by the lignan compounds, one that is concerned with the modulation of chloride channel function. PMID:26635857

  20. Effects of LDL Receptor Modulation on Lymphatic Function

    PubMed Central

    Milasan, Andreea; Dallaire, François; Mayer, Gaétan; Martel, Catherine

    2016-01-01

    Atherosclerosis is driven by the accumulation of immune cells and cholesterol in the arterial wall. Although recent studies have shown that lymphatic vessels play an important role in macrophage reverse cholesterol transport, the specific underlying mechanisms of this physiological feature remain unknown. In the current report, we sought to better characterize the lymphatic dysfunction that is associated with atherosclerosis by studying the physiological and temporal origins of this impairment. First, we assessed that athero-protected Pcsk9−/− mice exhibited improved collecting lymphatic vessel function throughout age when compared to WT mice for up to six months, while displaying enhanced expression of LDLR on lymphatic endothelial cells. Lymphatic dysfunction was present before the atherosclerotic lesion formation in a mouse model that is predisposed to develop atherosclerosis (Ldlr−/−; hApoB100+/+). This dysfunction was presumably associated with a defect in the collecting lymphatic vessels in a non-specific cholesterol- but LDLR-dependent manner. Treatment with a selective VEGFR-3 agonist rescued this impairment observed early in the onset of this arterial disease. We suggest that LDLR modulation is associated with early atherosclerosis-related lymphatic dysfunction, and bring forth a pleiotropic role for PCSK9 in lymphatic function. Our study unveils new potential therapeutic targets for the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis. PMID:27279328

  1. ERS-1 modulation transfer function impact on shoreline change model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marghany, Maged

    2003-11-01

    The impact of wave spectra modulation transfer function (MTF) in shoreline change model accuracy has been presented. The MTF consisted of real aperture radar (RAR) and velocity-bunching which is utilized to map the wave spectra observed from ERS-1 into the observed real ocean wave spectra. Based on this information, the shoreline change model have developed. Two hypotheses were concerned with the shoreline change model based on ERS-1 wave spectra. First, there is a significant difference between RAR and velocity-bunching modulations for ERS-1 wave spectra modeling. Second, this significant difference is induced a different spatial variation for shoreline change pattern. This study shows that there was the significant difference between velocity-bunching and quasi-linear models. The study shows that velocity-bunching model produces wave spectra pattern approximately close to the real ocean wave compared to the quasi-linear model. The error percentage occurred with velocity-bunching and quasi-linear models were 33.5 and 46.7%, respectively. The highest rate of erosion occurred to the shore south of Chendering with -5 m per year and the highest rate of sedimentation occurred to north of Chendering headland with 3 m per year. It can be concluded that ERS-1 data could be used to model shoreline change and identify the locations of erosion and sedimentation. The sedimentation was occurred due to the effect of lowest wave spectra energy captured along the range direction while the erosion was occurred due to highest spectra energy captured near azimuth direction.

  2. Quetiapine modulates functional connectivity in brain aggression networks.

    PubMed

    Klasen, Martin; Zvyagintsev, Mikhail; Schwenzer, Michael; Mathiak, Krystyna A; Sarkheil, Pegah; Weber, René; Mathiak, Klaus

    2013-07-15

    Aggressive behavior is associated with dysfunctions in an affective regulation network encompassing amygdala and prefrontal areas such as orbitofrontal (OFC), anterior cingulate (ACC), and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). In particular, prefrontal regions have been postulated to control amygdala activity by inhibitory projections, and this process may be disrupted in aggressive individuals. The atypical antipsychotic quetiapine successfully attenuates aggressive behavior in various disorders; the underlying neural processes, however, are unknown. A strengthened functional coupling in the prefrontal-amygdala system may account for these anti-aggressive effects. An inhibition of this network has been reported for virtual aggression in violent video games as well. However, there have been so far no in-vivo observations of pharmacological influences on corticolimbic projections during human aggressive behavior. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, quetiapine and placebo were administered for three successive days prior to an fMRI experiment. In this experiment, functional brain connectivity was assessed during virtual aggressive behavior in a violent video game and an aggression-free control task in a non-violent modification. Quetiapine increased the functional connectivity of ACC and DLPFC with the amygdala during virtual aggression, whereas OFC-amygdala coupling was attenuated. These effects were observed neither for placebo nor for the non-violent control. These results demonstrate for the first time a pharmacological modification of aggression-related human brain networks in a naturalistic setting. The violence-specific modulation of prefrontal-amygdala networks appears to control aggressive behavior and provides a neurobiological model for the anti-aggressive effects of quetiapine. PMID:23501053

  3. Quetiapine modulates functional connectivity in brain aggression networks.

    PubMed

    Klasen, Martin; Zvyagintsev, Mikhail; Schwenzer, Michael; Mathiak, Krystyna A; Sarkheil, Pegah; Weber, René; Mathiak, Klaus

    2013-07-15

    Aggressive behavior is associated with dysfunctions in an affective regulation network encompassing amygdala and prefrontal areas such as orbitofrontal (OFC), anterior cingulate (ACC), and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). In particular, prefrontal regions have been postulated to control amygdala activity by inhibitory projections, and this process may be disrupted in aggressive individuals. The atypical antipsychotic quetiapine successfully attenuates aggressive behavior in various disorders; the underlying neural processes, however, are unknown. A strengthened functional coupling in the prefrontal-amygdala system may account for these anti-aggressive effects. An inhibition of this network has been reported for virtual aggression in violent video games as well. However, there have been so far no in-vivo observations of pharmacological influences on corticolimbic projections during human aggressive behavior. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, quetiapine and placebo were administered for three successive days prior to an fMRI experiment. In this experiment, functional brain connectivity was assessed during virtual aggressive behavior in a violent video game and an aggression-free control task in a non-violent modification. Quetiapine increased the functional connectivity of ACC and DLPFC with the amygdala during virtual aggression, whereas OFC-amygdala coupling was attenuated. These effects were observed neither for placebo nor for the non-violent control. These results demonstrate for the first time a pharmacological modification of aggression-related human brain networks in a naturalistic setting. The violence-specific modulation of prefrontal-amygdala networks appears to control aggressive behavior and provides a neurobiological model for the anti-aggressive effects of quetiapine.

  4. A Simple Approach of Presampled Modulation Transfer Function Measurement Tested on the Phoenix Nanotom Scanner

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ivashkov, D.; Batranin, A.; Mamyrbayev, T.

    2016-01-01

    In this paper presampled modulation transfer function of the 2D images obtained on the Phoenix Nanotom scanner was investigated with different measurement set-ups. Three parameters were chosen to investigate their influence on modulation transfer function: source- detector distance, tube current and binning mode. A simple method for modulation transfer function determination of digital imaging detectors from edge images was applied. The following results were achieved and briefly discussed: modulation transfer function improves with increase of the source-detector distance, slightly improves with increase of the current and remains constant for different binning modes. All measurements were carried out in University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria at Wels campus.

  5. Family Functioning: Understanding Families and Helping Them Cope. Grow to 5 Module L.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Katz, Lynne

    This module is one of 13 in the "Grow to 5" series, which is a revised and updated version of Florida's "Model of Interdisciplinary Training for Children with Handicaps (MITCH)." This 3-hour module focuses on training educators and other service providers in principles of family functioning and coping with stress. The module begins with…

  6. Genome-Wide Association and Functional Follow-Up Reveals New Loci for Kidney Function

    PubMed Central

    Fuchsberger, Christian; Olden, Matthias; Chen, Ming-Huei; Tin, Adrienne; Taliun, Daniel; Li, Man; Gao, Xiaoyi; Gorski, Mathias; Yang, Qiong; Hundertmark, Claudia; Foster, Meredith C.; O'Seaghdha, Conall M.; Glazer, Nicole; Isaacs, Aaron; Liu, Ching-Ti; Smith, Albert V.; O'Connell, Jeffrey R.; Struchalin, Maksim; Tanaka, Toshiko; Li, Guo; Johnson, Andrew D.; Gierman, Hinco J.; Feitosa, Mary; Hwang, Shih-Jen; Atkinson, Elizabeth J.; Lohman, Kurt; Cornelis, Marilyn C.; Johansson, Åsa; Tönjes, Anke; Dehghan, Abbas; Chouraki, Vincent; Holliday, Elizabeth G.; Sorice, Rossella; Kutalik, Zoltan; Lehtimäki, Terho; Esko, Tõnu; Deshmukh, Harshal; Ulivi, Sheila; Chu, Audrey Y.; Murgia, Federico; Trompet, Stella; Imboden, Medea; Kollerits, Barbara; Pistis, Giorgio; Harris, Tamara B.; Launer, Lenore J.; Aspelund, Thor; Eiriksdottir, Gudny; Mitchell, Braxton D.; Boerwinkle, Eric; Schmidt, Helena; Cavalieri, Margherita; Rao, Madhumathi; Hu, Frank B.; Demirkan, Ayse; Oostra, Ben A.; de Andrade, Mariza; Turner, Stephen T.; Ding, Jingzhong; Andrews, Jeanette S.; Freedman, Barry I.; Koenig, Wolfgang; Illig, Thomas; Döring, Angela; Wichmann, H.-Erich; Kolcic, Ivana; Zemunik, Tatijana; Boban, Mladen; Minelli, Cosetta; Wheeler, Heather E.; Igl, Wilmar; Zaboli, Ghazal; Wild, Sarah H.; Wright, Alan F.; Campbell, Harry; Ellinghaus, David; Nöthlings, Ute; Jacobs, Gunnar; Biffar, Reiner; Endlich, Karlhans; Ernst, Florian; Homuth, Georg; Kroemer, Heyo K.; Nauck, Matthias; Stracke, Sylvia; Völker, Uwe; Völzke, Henry; Kovacs, Peter; Stumvoll, Michael; Mägi, Reedik; Hofman, Albert; Uitterlinden, Andre G.; Rivadeneira, Fernando; Aulchenko, Yurii S.; Polasek, Ozren; Hastie, Nick; Vitart, Veronique; Helmer, Catherine; Wang, Jie Jin; Ruggiero, Daniela; Bergmann, Sven; Kähönen, Mika; Viikari, Jorma; Nikopensius, Tiit; Province, Michael; Ketkar, Shamika; Colhoun, Helen; Doney, Alex; Robino, Antonietta; Giulianini, Franco; Krämer, Bernhard K.; Portas, Laura; Ford, Ian; Buckley, Brendan M.; Adam, Martin; Thun, Gian-Andri; Paulweber, Bernhard; Haun, Margot; Sala, Cinzia; Metzger, Marie; Mitchell, Paul; Ciullo, Marina; Kim, Stuart K.; Vollenweider, Peter; Raitakari, Olli; Metspalu, Andres; Palmer, Colin; Gasparini, Paolo; Pirastu, Mario; Jukema, J. Wouter; Probst-Hensch, Nicole M.; Kronenberg, Florian; Toniolo, Daniela; Gudnason, Vilmundur; Shuldiner, Alan R.; Coresh, Josef; Schmidt, Reinhold; Ferrucci, Luigi; Siscovick, David S.; van Duijn, Cornelia M.; Borecki, Ingrid; Kardia, Sharon L. R.; Liu, Yongmei; Curhan, Gary C.; Rudan, Igor; Gyllensten, Ulf; Wilson, James F.; Franke, Andre; Pramstaller, Peter P.; Rettig, Rainer; Prokopenko, Inga; Witteman, Jacqueline C. M.; Hayward, Caroline; Ridker, Paul; Parsa, Afshin; Bochud, Murielle; Heid, Iris M.; Goessling, Wolfram; Chasman, Daniel I.; Kao, W. H. Linda; Fox, Caroline S.

    2012-01-01

    Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is an important public health problem with a genetic component. We performed genome-wide association studies in up to 130,600 European ancestry participants overall, and stratified for key CKD risk factors. We uncovered 6 new loci in association with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), the primary clinical measure of CKD, in or near MPPED2, DDX1, SLC47A1, CDK12, CASP9, and INO80. Morpholino knockdown of mpped2 and casp9 in zebrafish embryos revealed podocyte and tubular abnormalities with altered dextran clearance, suggesting a role for these genes in renal function. By providing new insights into genes that regulate renal function, these results could further our understanding of the pathogenesis of CKD. PMID:22479191

  7. Advances in cell surface glycoengineering reveal biological function.

    PubMed

    Nischan, Nicole; Kohler, Jennifer J

    2016-08-01

    Cell surface glycans are critical mediators of cell-cell, cell-ligand, and cell-pathogen interactions. By controlling the set of glycans displayed on the surface of a cell, it is possible to gain insight into the biological functions of glycans. Moreover, control of glycan expression can be used to direct cellular behavior. While genetic approaches to manipulate glycosyltransferase gene expression are available, their utility in glycan engineering has limitations due to the combinatorial nature of glycan biosynthesis and the functional redundancy of glycosyltransferase genes. Biochemical and chemical strategies offer valuable complements to these genetic approaches, notably by enabling introduction of unnatural functionalities, such as fluorophores, into cell surface glycans. Here, we describe some of the most recent developments in glycoengineering of cell surfaces, with an emphasis on strategies that employ novel chemical reagents. We highlight key examples of how these advances in cell surface glycan engineering enable study of cell surface glycans and their function. Exciting new technologies include synthetic lipid-glycans, new chemical reporters for metabolic oligosaccharide engineering to allow tandem and in vivo labeling of glycans, improved chemical and enzymatic methods for glycoproteomics, and metabolic glycosyltransferase inhibitors. Many chemical and biochemical reagents for glycan engineering are commercially available, facilitating their adoption by the biological community.

  8. Unsuspected functional disparity in Devonian fishes revealed by tooth morphometrics?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gauchey, Samuel; Girard, Catherine; Adnet, Sylvain; Renaud, Sabrina

    2014-09-01

    The shape of features involved in key biological functions, such as teeth in nutrition, can provide insights into ecological processes even in ancient time, by linking the occupation of the morphological space (disparity) to the occupation of the ecological space. Investigating disparity in radiating groups may provide insights into the ecological diversification underlying evolution of morphological diversity. Actinopterygian fishes initiated their radiation in the Devonian, a period characterized by the diversification of marine ecosystem. Although a former morpho-functional analysis of jaw shape concluded to conservative and poorly diversified morphologies in this early part of their history, fish tooth disparity evidenced here an unsuspected diversity of possible functional significance in the pivotal period of the Late Devonian (Famennian). All teeth being caniniforms, some were stocky and robust, in agreement with expectations for active generalist predators. More surprisingly, elongated teeth also occurred at the beginning of Famennian. Their needle-like shape challenges morpho-functional interpretations by making them fragile in response to bending or torsion. The occurrence of both types of fish teeth during the beginning of the Famennian points to a discrete but real increase in disparity, thus testifying a first burst of feeding specialization despite overall conservative jaw morphology. The disappearance of these needle-like teeth in the Late Famennian might have been related to a relay in dental diversity with abundant co-occurring groups, namely conodonts and chondrichthyans (sharks).

  9. Dual modulating functions of thrombomodulin in the alternative complement pathway.

    PubMed

    Tateishi, Koichiro; Imaoka, Mio; Matsushita, Misao

    2016-07-19

    Thrombomodulin (TM) is a transmembrane protein expressed on vascular endothelial cells. TM has anticoagulant and anti-inflammatory properties. It has recently been reported that TM modulates complement, an immune effector system that destroys pathogens and is also involved in inflammation. TM was demonstrated to enhance the degradation of C3b into iC3b by factor I and factor H, indicating that its role is in negative regulation in the alternative pathway of the complement system. In this study, we examined the effects of recombinant human soluble TM protein composed of the extracellular domains (rTM) on the alternative pathway. The degradation of C3b into iC3b by factor I and factor H was enhanced by rTM as assessed by SDS-PAGE, confirming the previous observation. We also found that rTM enhances the cleavage of C3 into C3b as a result of activation of the alternative pathway. These results indicate that TM has both activating and inactivating functions in the alternative pathway. PMID:27210597

  10. Vitamin C modulates TET1 function during somatic cell reprogramming.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jiekai; Guo, Lin; Zhang, Lei; Wu, Haoyu; Yang, Jiaqi; Liu, He; Wang, Xiaoshan; Hu, Xiao; Gu, Tianpeng; Zhou, Zhiwei; Liu, Jing; Liu, Jiadong; Wu, Hongling; Mao, Shi-Qing; Mo, Kunlun; Li, Yingying; Lai, Keyu; Qi, Jing; Yao, Hongjie; Pan, Guangjin; Xu, Guo-Liang; Pei, Duanqing

    2013-12-01

    Vitamin C, a micronutrient known for its anti-scurvy activity in humans, promotes the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) through the activity of histone demethylating dioxygenases. TET hydroxylases are also dioxygenases implicated in active DNA demethylation. Here we report that TET1 either positively or negatively regulates somatic cell reprogramming depending on the absence or presence of vitamin C. TET1 deficiency enhances reprogramming, and its overexpression impairs reprogramming in the context of vitamin C by modulating the obligatory mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition (MET). In the absence of vitamin C, TET1 promotes somatic cell reprogramming independent of MET. Consistently, TET1 regulates 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) formation at loci critical for MET in a vitamin C-dependent fashion. Our findings suggest that vitamin C has a vital role in determining the biological outcome of TET1 function at the cellular level. Given its benefit to human health, vitamin C should be investigated further for its role in epigenetic regulation. PMID:24162740

  11. Akting up in the GABA hypothesis of schizophrenia: Akt1 deficiency modulates GABAergic functions and hippocampus-dependent functions.

    PubMed

    Chang, Chia-Yuan; Chen, Yi-Wen; Wang, Tsu-Wei; Lai, Wen-Sung

    2016-01-01

    Accumulating evidence implies that both AKT1 and GABAA receptor (GABAAR) subunit genes are involved in schizophrenia pathogenesis. Activated Akt promotes GABAergic neuron differentiation and increases GABAAR expression on the plasma membrane. To elucidate the role of Akt1 in modulating GABAergic functions and schizophrenia-related cognitive deficits, a set of 6 in vitro and in vivo experiments was conducted. First, an Akt1/2 inhibitor was applied to evaluate its effect on GABAergic neuron-like cell formation from P19 cells. Inhibiting Akt resulted in a reduction in parvalbumin-positive neuron-like cells. In Akt1(-/-) and wild-type mice, seizures induced using pentylenetetrazol (a GABAAR antagonist) were measured, and GABAAR expression and GABAergic interneuron abundance in the brain were examined. Female Akt1(-/-) mice, but not male Akt1(-/-) mice, exhibited less pentylenetetrazol-induced convulsive activity than their corresponding wild-type controls. Reduced parvalbumin-positive interneuron abundance and GABAAR subunit expression, especially in the hippocampus, were also observed in female Akt1(-/-) mice compared to female wild-type mice. Neuromorphometric analyses revealed significantly reduced neurite complexity in hippocampal pyramidal neurons. Additionally, female Akt1(-/-) mice displayed increased hippocampal oscillation power and impaired spatial memory compared to female wild-type mice. Our findings suggest that Akt1 deficiency modulates GABAergic interneurons and GABAAR expression, contributing to hippocampus-dependent cognitive functional impairment.

  12. Akting up in the GABA hypothesis of schizophrenia: Akt1 deficiency modulates GABAergic functions and hippocampus-dependent functions.

    PubMed

    Chang, Chia-Yuan; Chen, Yi-Wen; Wang, Tsu-Wei; Lai, Wen-Sung

    2016-01-01

    Accumulating evidence implies that both AKT1 and GABAA receptor (GABAAR) subunit genes are involved in schizophrenia pathogenesis. Activated Akt promotes GABAergic neuron differentiation and increases GABAAR expression on the plasma membrane. To elucidate the role of Akt1 in modulating GABAergic functions and schizophrenia-related cognitive deficits, a set of 6 in vitro and in vivo experiments was conducted. First, an Akt1/2 inhibitor was applied to evaluate its effect on GABAergic neuron-like cell formation from P19 cells. Inhibiting Akt resulted in a reduction in parvalbumin-positive neuron-like cells. In Akt1(-/-) and wild-type mice, seizures induced using pentylenetetrazol (a GABAAR antagonist) were measured, and GABAAR expression and GABAergic interneuron abundance in the brain were examined. Female Akt1(-/-) mice, but not male Akt1(-/-) mice, exhibited less pentylenetetrazol-induced convulsive activity than their corresponding wild-type controls. Reduced parvalbumin-positive interneuron abundance and GABAAR subunit expression, especially in the hippocampus, were also observed in female Akt1(-/-) mice compared to female wild-type mice. Neuromorphometric analyses revealed significantly reduced neurite complexity in hippocampal pyramidal neurons. Additionally, female Akt1(-/-) mice displayed increased hippocampal oscillation power and impaired spatial memory compared to female wild-type mice. Our findings suggest that Akt1 deficiency modulates GABAergic interneurons and GABAAR expression, contributing to hippocampus-dependent cognitive functional impairment. PMID:27615800

  13. Akting up in the GABA hypothesis of schizophrenia: Akt1 deficiency modulates GABAergic functions and hippocampus-dependent functions

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Chia-Yuan; Chen, Yi-Wen; Wang, Tsu-Wei; Lai, Wen-Sung

    2016-01-01

    Accumulating evidence implies that both AKT1 and GABAA receptor (GABAAR) subunit genes are involved in schizophrenia pathogenesis. Activated Akt promotes GABAergic neuron differentiation and increases GABAAR expression on the plasma membrane. To elucidate the role of Akt1 in modulating GABAergic functions and schizophrenia-related cognitive deficits, a set of 6 in vitro and in vivo experiments was conducted. First, an Akt1/2 inhibitor was applied to evaluate its effect on GABAergic neuron-like cell formation from P19 cells. Inhibiting Akt resulted in a reduction in parvalbumin-positive neuron-like cells. In Akt1−/− and wild-type mice, seizures induced using pentylenetetrazol (a GABAAR antagonist) were measured, and GABAAR expression and GABAergic interneuron abundance in the brain were examined. Female Akt1−/− mice, but not male Akt1−/− mice, exhibited less pentylenetetrazol-induced convulsive activity than their corresponding wild-type controls. Reduced parvalbumin-positive interneuron abundance and GABAAR subunit expression, especially in the hippocampus, were also observed in female Akt1−/− mice compared to female wild-type mice. Neuromorphometric analyses revealed significantly reduced neurite complexity in hippocampal pyramidal neurons. Additionally, female Akt1−/− mice displayed increased hippocampal oscillation power and impaired spatial memory compared to female wild-type mice. Our findings suggest that Akt1 deficiency modulates GABAergic interneurons and GABAAR expression, contributing to hippocampus-dependent cognitive functional impairment. PMID:27615800

  14. Restricted cooperative games on metabolic networks reveal functionally important reactions.

    PubMed

    Sajitz-Hermstein, Max; Nikoloski, Zoran

    2012-12-01

    Understanding the emerging properties of complex biological systems is in the crux of systems biology studies. Computational methods for elucidating the role of each component in the synergetic interplay can be used to identify targets for genetic and metabolic engineering. In particular, we aim at determining the importance of reactions in a metabolic network with respect to a specific biological function. Therefore, we propose a novel game-theoretic framework which integrates restricted cooperative games with the outcome of flux balance analysis. We define productivity games on metabolic networks and present an analysis of their unrestricted and restricted variants based on the game-theoretic solution concept of the Shapley value. Correspondingly, this concept provides a characterization of the robustness and functional centrality for each enzyme involved in a given metabolic network. Furthermore, the comparison of two different environments - feast and famine - demonstrates the dependence of the results on the imposed flux capacities.

  15. Microscale laser surgery reveals adaptive function of male intromittent genitalia.

    PubMed

    Polak, Michal; Rashed, Arash

    2010-05-01

    The leading hypothesis for the evolution of male genital complexity proposes that genital traits evolve in response to post-insemination sexual selection; that is, via cryptic female choice or sperm competition. Here, we describe a laser ablation technique for high-precision manipulation of microscale body parts of insects, and employ it to discern the adaptive function of a rapidly evolving and taxonomically important genital trait: the intromittent claw-like genital spines of male Drosophila bipectinata Duda. We demonstrate experimentally and unambiguously that the genital spines of this species function to mechanically couple the genitalia together. The excision of the spines by laser ablation sharply reduced the ability of males both to copulate and to compete against rival males for mates. When spineless males did succeed to copulate, their insemination success and fertilization rate were not statistically different from controls, at odds with the post-insemination sexual selection hypothesis of genital function and evolution. The results provide direct experimental support for the hypothesis that genital traits evolve in response to sexual selection occurring prior to insemination.

  16. Microscale laser surgery reveals adaptive function of male intromittent genitalia

    PubMed Central

    Polak, Michal; Rashed, Arash

    2010-01-01

    The leading hypothesis for the evolution of male genital complexity proposes that genital traits evolve in response to post-insemination sexual selection; that is, via cryptic female choice or sperm competition. Here, we describe a laser ablation technique for high-precision manipulation of microscale body parts of insects, and employ it to discern the adaptive function of a rapidly evolving and taxonomically important genital trait: the intromittent claw-like genital spines of male Drosophila bipectinata Duda. We demonstrate experimentally and unambiguously that the genital spines of this species function to mechanically couple the genitalia together. The excision of the spines by laser ablation sharply reduced the ability of males both to copulate and to compete against rival males for mates. When spineless males did succeed to copulate, their insemination success and fertilization rate were not statistically different from controls, at odds with the post-insemination sexual selection hypothesis of genital function and evolution. The results provide direct experimental support for the hypothesis that genital traits evolve in response to sexual selection occurring prior to insemination. PMID:20053645

  17. A Modularity-Based Method Reveals Mixed Modules from Chemical-Gene Heterogeneous Network

    PubMed Central

    Song, Jianglong; Tang, Shihuan; Liu, Xi; Gao, Yibo; Yang, Hongjun; Lu, Peng

    2015-01-01

    For a multicomponent therapy, molecular network is essential to uncover its specific mode of action from a holistic perspective. The molecular system of a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) formula can be represented by a 2-class heterogeneous network (2-HN), which typically includes chemical similarities, chemical-target interactions and gene interactions. An important premise of uncovering the molecular mechanism is to identify mixed modules from complex chemical-gene heterogeneous network of a TCM formula. We thus proposed a novel method (MixMod) based on mixed modularity to detect accurate mixed modules from 2-HNs. At first, we compared MixMod with Clauset-Newman-Moore algorithm (CNM), Markov Cluster algorithm (MCL), Infomap and Louvain on benchmark 2-HNs with known module structure. Results showed that MixMod was superior to other methods when 2-HNs had promiscuous module structure. Then these methods were tested on a real drug-target network, in which 88 disease clusters were regarded as real modules. MixMod could identify the most accurate mixed modules from the drug-target 2-HN (normalized mutual information 0.62 and classification accuracy 0.4524). In the end, MixMod was applied to the 2-HN of Buchang naoxintong capsule (BNC) and detected 49 mixed modules. By using enrichment analysis, we investigated five mixed modules that contained primary constituents of BNC intestinal absorption liquid. As a matter of fact, the findings of in vitro experiments using BNC intestinal absorption liquid were found to highly accord with previous analysis. Therefore, MixMod is an effective method to detect accurate mixed modules from chemical-gene heterogeneous networks and further uncover the molecular mechanism of multicomponent therapies, especially TCM formulae. PMID:25927435

  18. Selective Modulation of Interhemispheric Functional Connectivity by HD-tACS Shapes Perception

    PubMed Central

    Helfrich, Randolph F.; Knepper, Hannah; Nolte, Guido; Strüber, Daniel; Rach, Stefan

    2014-01-01

    Oscillatory neuronal synchronization between cortical areas has been suggested to constitute a flexible mechanism to coordinate information flow in the human cerebral cortex. However, it remains unclear whether synchronized neuronal activity merely represents an epiphenomenon or whether it is causally involved in the selective gating of information. Here, we combined bilateral high-density transcranial alternating current stimulation (HD-tACS) at 40 Hz with simultaneous electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings to study immediate electrophysiological effects during the selective entrainment of oscillatory gamma-band signatures. We found that interhemispheric functional connectivity was modulated in a predictable, phase-specific way: In-phase stimulation enhanced synchronization, anti-phase stimulation impaired functional coupling. Perceptual correlates of these connectivity changes were found in an ambiguous motion task, which strongly support the functional relevance of long-range neuronal coupling. Additionally, our results revealed a decrease in oscillatory alpha power in response to the entrainment of gamma band signatures. This finding provides causal evidence for the antagonistic role of alpha and gamma oscillations in the parieto-occipital cortex and confirms that the observed gamma band modulations were physiological in nature. Our results demonstrate that synchronized cortical network activity across several spatiotemporal scales is essential for conscious perception and cognition. PMID:25549264

  19. Form and Function: An Organic Chemistry Module. Teacher's Guide.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jarvis, Bruce; Mazzocchi, Paul; Hearle, Robert

    This teacher's guide is designed to provide science teachers with the necessary guidance and suggestions for teaching organic chemistry. In this book, the diverse field of organic chemistry modules is introduced. The material in this book can be integrated with the other modules in a sequence that helps students to see that chemistry is a unified…

  20. Functional proteomics reveal the effect of Salvia miltiorrhiza aqueous extract against vascular atherosclerotic lesions.

    PubMed

    Hung, Yu-Chiang; Wang, Pei-Wen; Pan, Tai-Long

    2010-06-01

    Salvia miltiorrhiza is a Chinese herb widely used for cardiovascular disorder regimens, yet little is known about the cellular mechanisms that contribute to attenuated growth of smooth muscle cells (SMCs) under oxidative stress such as homocysteine (Hcy) treatment. As anticipated, a low dose (0.015 mg/mL) of S.miltiorrhiza aqueous extract (SMAE) significantly inhibited (>60%) the growth of a rat smooth muscle cell line (A10) under Hcy stimulation and the intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) concentration obviously decreased after SMAE treatment in terms of reducing p47(phox) translocation and increasing catalase activity. Signaling profile suggests that SMAE inhibited Hcy-induced A10 cell growth via the PKC/MAPK-dependent pathway. Two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) coupled with mass spectrometry revealed statistically significant changes in the intensity of 14 proteins in response to Hcy and Hcy/SMAE. Meanwhile, SMAE attenuated carbonyl-modification of specific cytoskeleton and chaperone proteins leading to cell type transformation. Moreover, a network analysis using MetaCore shed more light on the molecular basis associated with SMAE efficacy. SMAE exerts its protective effect through the scavenging of ROS and subsequent modulation of protein carbonylation to inhibit cell proliferation. These signature networks and functional proteomics highlighted herein may facilitate the evaluation of potential therapeutic targets and elucidate novel mechanisms through which protein functions can be regulated by the redox status.

  1. Enantiomers of 3-methylspermidine selectively modulate deoxyhypusine synthesis and reveal important determinants for spermidine transport.

    PubMed

    Hyvönen, Mervi T; Khomutov, Maxim; Petit, Marine; Weisell, Janne; Kochetkov, Sergey N; Alhonen, Leena; Vepsäläinen, Jouko; Khomutov, Alex R; Keinänen, Tuomo A

    2015-06-19

    Eukaryotic translation initiation factor 5A (eIF5A) is essential for cell proliferation, becoming functionally active only after post-translational conversion of a specific Lys to hypusine [N(ε)-(4-amino-2-hydroxybutyl)lysine]. Deoxyhypusine synthase (DHS) is the rate-limiting enzyme of this two-step process, and the polyamine spermidine is the only natural donor of the butylamine group for this reaction, which is very conserved-hypusine biosynthesis suffers last when the intracellular spermidine pool is depleted. DHS has a very strict substrate specificity, and only a few spermidine analogs are substrates of the enzyme and can support long-term growth of spermidine-depleted cells. Herein, we compared the biological properties of earlier unknown enantiomers of 3-methylspermidine (3-MeSpd) in deoxyhypusine synthesis, in supporting cell growth and in polyamine transport. Long-term treatment of DU145 cells with α-difluoromethylornithine (inhibitor of polyamine biosynthesis) and (R)-3-MeSpd did not cause depletion of hypusinated eIF5A, and the cells were still able to grow, whereas the combination of α-difluoromethylornithine with a racemate or (S)-3-MeSpd caused cessation of cell growth. Noticeably, DHS preferred the (R)- over the (S)-enantiomer as a substrate. (R)-3-MeSpd competed with [(14)C]-labeled spermidine for cellular uptake less efficiently than the (S)-3-MeSpd (Ki = 141 μM vs 19 μM, respectively). The cells treated with racemic 3-MeSpd accumulated intracellularly mainly (S)-3-MeSpd, but not DHS substrate (R)-3-MeSpd, explaining the inability of the racemate to support long-term growth. The distinct properties of 3-MeSpd enantiomers can be exploited in designing polyamine uptake inhibitors, facilitating drug delivery and modulating deoxyhypusine synthesis.

  2. Large Work Function Modulation of Monolayer MoS2 by Ambient Gases.

    PubMed

    Lee, Si Young; Kim, Un Jeong; Chung, JaeGwan; Nam, Honggi; Jeong, Hye Yun; Han, Gang Hee; Kim, Hyun; Oh, Hye Min; Lee, Hyangsook; Kim, Hyochul; Roh, Young-Geun; Kim, Jineun; Hwang, Sung Woo; Park, Yeonsang; Lee, Young Hee

    2016-06-28

    Although two-dimensional monolayer transition-metal dichalcogenides reveal numerous unique features that are inaccessible in bulk materials, their intrinsic properties are often obscured by environmental effects. Among them, work function, which is the energy required to extract an electron from a material to vacuum, is one critical parameter in electronic/optoelectronic devices. Here, we report a large work function modulation in MoS2 via ambient gases. The work function was measured by an in situ Kelvin probe technique and further confirmed by ultraviolet photoemission spectroscopy and theoretical calculations. A measured work function of 4.04 eV in vacuum was converted to 4.47 eV with O2 exposure, which is comparable with a large variation in graphene. The homojunction diode by partially passivating a transistor reveals an ideal junction with an ideality factor of almost one and perfect electrical reversibility. The estimated depletion width obtained from photocurrent mapping was ∼200 nm, which is much narrower than bulk semiconductors.

  3. Signal transduction mediated by endostatin directly modulates cellular function of lung cancer cells in vitro.

    PubMed

    Cui, Ri; Ohashi, Rina; Takahashi, Fumiyuki; Yoshioka, Masakata; Tominaga, Shigeru; Sasaki, Shinichi; Gu, Tao; Takagi, Yumiko; Takahashi, Kazuhisa

    2007-06-01

    Endostatin (ED) is a carboxyl-terminal fragment of collagen XVIII with strong antiangiogenic activity. ED has been considered as a highly specific inhibitor of endothelial cell proliferation and migration through interaction with its receptor on the surface of endothelial cells. Recently, direct antitumor effects of ED in colon cancer cells and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells has been reported. However, its effect on lung cancer cells has not been clarified. The purpose of the present study was to determine the effect of ED on in vitro lung cancer cell function and to identify its receptor on lung cancer cells. We revealed that alpha5 integrin is capable of being a functional ED receptor among several integrins that are expressed on murine lung cancer (Lewis lung cancer [LLC]) cells. We further demonstrated that the ED-integrin interaction modulates various in vitro biological functions of LLC cells as we revealed that immobilized ED helps in LLC cell adhesion and migration in an integrin-dependent manner. Furthermore, ED inhibited LLC cell proliferation and induced apoptosis. Interestingly, ED did not demonstrate any antiproliferative activity against the other murine lung cancer cell line, KLN205, that lacks alpha5 integrin but binds to immobilized ED through the beta1 integrin. In addition, the binding of ED to alpha5 integrin on LLC cells induced phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase. Taken together, these results suggest that the interaction between ED and alpha5 integrin may play an important role in lung cancer cell function.

  4. Analysis and measurement of the modulation transfer function of harmonic shear wave induced phase encoding imaging.

    PubMed

    McAleavey, Stephen A

    2014-05-01

    Shear wave induced phase encoding (SWIPE) imaging generates ultrasound backscatter images of tissue-like elastic materials by using traveling shear waves to encode the lateral position of the scatters in the phase of the received echo. In contrast to conventional ultrasound B-scan imaging, SWIPE offers the potential advantages of image formation without beam focusing or steering from a single transducer element, lateral resolution independent of aperture size, and the potential to achieve relatively high lateral resolution with low frequency ultrasound. Here a Fourier series description of the phase modulated echo signal is developed, demonstrating that echo harmonics at multiples of the shear wave frequency reveal target k-space data at identical multiples of the shear wavenumber. Modulation transfer functions of SWIPE imaging systems are calculated for maximum shear wave acceleration and maximum shear constraints, and compared with a conventionally focused aperture. The relative signal-to-noise ratio of the SWIPE method versus a conventionally focused aperture is found through these calculations. Reconstructions of wire targets in a gelatin phantom using 1 and 3.5 MHz ultrasound and a cylindrical shear wave source are presented, generated from the fundamental and second harmonic of the shear wave modulation frequency, demonstrating weak dependence of lateral resolution with ultrasound frequency.

  5. Structural and functional roles of the N- and C-terminal extended modules in channelrhodopsin-1.

    PubMed

    Doi, Satoko; Mori, Arisa; Tsukamoto, Takashi; Reissig, Louisa; Ihara, Kunio; Sudo, Yuki

    2015-09-26

    Channelrhodopsins have become a focus of interest because of their ability to control neural activity by light, used in a technology called optogenetics. The channelrhodopsin in the eukaryote Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (CrChR-1) is a light-gated cation channel responsible for motility changes upon photo-illumination and a member of the membrane-embedded retinal protein family. Recent crystal structure analysis revealed that CrChR-1 has unique extended modules both at its N- and C-termini compared to other microbial retinal proteins. This study reports the first successful expression of a ChR-1 variant in Escherichia coli as a holoprotein: the ChR-1 variant lacking both the N- and C-termini (CrChR-1_82-308). However, compared to ChR-1 having the extended modules (CrChR-1_1-357), truncation of the termini greatly altered the absorption maximum and photochemical properties, including the pKa values of its charged residues around the chromophore, the reaction rates in the photocycle and the photo-induced ion channeling activity. The results of some experiments regarding ion transport activity suggest that CrChR-1_82-308 has a proton channeling activity even in the dark. On the basis of these results, we discuss the structural and functional roles of the N- and C-terminal extended modules in CrChR-1. PMID:26098533

  6. Intrinsic functional network architecture of human semantic processing: Modules and hubs.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yangwen; Lin, Qixiang; Han, Zaizhu; He, Yong; Bi, Yanchao

    2016-05-15

    Semantic processing entails the activation of widely distributed brain areas across the temporal, parietal, and frontal lobes. To understand the functional structure of this semantic system, we examined its intrinsic functional connectivity pattern using a database of 146 participants. Focusing on areas consistently activated during semantic processing generated from a meta-analysis of 120 neuroimaging studies (Binder et al., 2009), we found that these regions were organized into three stable modules corresponding to the default mode network (Module DMN), the left perisylvian network (Module PSN), and the left frontoparietal network (Module FPN). These three dissociable modules were integrated by multiple connector hubs-the left angular gyrus (AG) and the left superior/middle frontal gyrus linking all three modules, the left anterior temporal lobe linking Modules DMN and PSN, the left posterior portion of dorsal intraparietal sulcus (IPS) linking Modules DMN and FPN, and the left posterior middle temporal gyrus (MTG) linking Modules PSN and FPN. Provincial hubs, which converge local information within each system, were also identified: the bilateral posterior cingulate cortices/precuneus, the bilateral border area of the posterior AG and the superior lateral occipital gyrus for Module DMN; the left supramarginal gyrus, the middle part of the left MTG and the left orbital inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) for Module FPN; and the left triangular IFG and the left IPS for Module FPN. A neuro-functional model for semantic processing was derived based on these findings, incorporating the interactions of memory, language, and control. PMID:26973170

  7. Intrinsic functional network architecture of human semantic processing: Modules and hubs.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yangwen; Lin, Qixiang; Han, Zaizhu; He, Yong; Bi, Yanchao

    2016-05-15

    Semantic processing entails the activation of widely distributed brain areas across the temporal, parietal, and frontal lobes. To understand the functional structure of this semantic system, we examined its intrinsic functional connectivity pattern using a database of 146 participants. Focusing on areas consistently activated during semantic processing generated from a meta-analysis of 120 neuroimaging studies (Binder et al., 2009), we found that these regions were organized into three stable modules corresponding to the default mode network (Module DMN), the left perisylvian network (Module PSN), and the left frontoparietal network (Module FPN). These three dissociable modules were integrated by multiple connector hubs-the left angular gyrus (AG) and the left superior/middle frontal gyrus linking all three modules, the left anterior temporal lobe linking Modules DMN and PSN, the left posterior portion of dorsal intraparietal sulcus (IPS) linking Modules DMN and FPN, and the left posterior middle temporal gyrus (MTG) linking Modules PSN and FPN. Provincial hubs, which converge local information within each system, were also identified: the bilateral posterior cingulate cortices/precuneus, the bilateral border area of the posterior AG and the superior lateral occipital gyrus for Module DMN; the left supramarginal gyrus, the middle part of the left MTG and the left orbital inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) for Module FPN; and the left triangular IFG and the left IPS for Module FPN. A neuro-functional model for semantic processing was derived based on these findings, incorporating the interactions of memory, language, and control.

  8. Comparative genomics of Geobacter chemotaxis genes reveals diverse signaling function

    PubMed Central

    Tran, Hoa T; Krushkal, Julia; Antommattei, Frances M; Lovley, Derek R; Weis, Robert M

    2008-01-01

    Background Geobacter species are δ-Proteobacteria and are often the predominant species in a variety of sedimentary environments where Fe(III) reduction is important. Their ability to remediate contaminated environments and produce electricity makes them attractive for further study. Cell motility, biofilm formation, and type IV pili all appear important for the growth of Geobacter in changing environments and for electricity production. Recent studies in other bacteria have demonstrated that signaling pathways homologous to the paradigm established for Escherichia coli chemotaxis can regulate type IV pili-dependent motility, the synthesis of flagella and type IV pili, the production of extracellular matrix material, and biofilm formation. The classification of these pathways by comparative genomics improves the ability to understand how Geobacter thrives in natural environments and better their use in microbial fuel cells. Results The genomes of G. sulfurreducens, G. metallireducens, and G. uraniireducens contain multiple (~70) homologs of chemotaxis genes arranged in several major clusters (six, seven, and seven, respectively). Unlike the single gene cluster of E. coli, the Geobacter clusters are not all located near the flagellar genes. The probable functions of some Geobacter clusters are assignable by homology to known pathways; others appear to be unique to the Geobacter sp. and contain genes of unknown function. We identified large numbers of methyl-accepting chemotaxis protein (MCP) homologs that have diverse sensing domain architectures and generate a potential for sensing a great variety of environmental signals. We discuss mechanisms for class-specific segregation of the MCPs in the cell membrane, which serve to maintain pathway specificity and diminish crosstalk. Finally, the regulation of gene expression in Geobacter differs from E. coli. The sequences of predicted promoter elements suggest that the alternative sigma factors σ28 and σ54 play a role

  9. Statistical universals reveal the structures and functions of human music.

    PubMed

    Savage, Patrick E; Brown, Steven; Sakai, Emi; Currie, Thomas E

    2015-07-21

    Music has been called "the universal language of mankind." Although contemporary theories of music evolution often invoke various musical universals, the existence of such universals has been disputed for decades and has never been empirically demonstrated. Here we combine a music-classification scheme with statistical analyses, including phylogenetic comparative methods, to examine a well-sampled global set of 304 music recordings. Our analyses reveal no absolute universals but strong support for many statistical universals that are consistent across all nine geographic regions sampled. These universals include 18 musical features that are common individually as well as a network of 10 features that are commonly associated with one another. They span not only features related to pitch and rhythm that are often cited as putative universals but also rarely cited domains including performance style and social context. These cross-cultural structural regularities of human music may relate to roles in facilitating group coordination and cohesion, as exemplified by the universal tendency to sing, play percussion instruments, and dance to simple, repetitive music in groups. Our findings highlight the need for scientists studying music evolution to expand the range of musical cultures and musical features under consideration. The statistical universals we identified represent important candidates for future investigation.

  10. Statistical universals reveal the structures and functions of human music

    PubMed Central

    Savage, Patrick E.; Brown, Steven; Sakai, Emi; Currie, Thomas E.

    2015-01-01

    Music has been called “the universal language of mankind.” Although contemporary theories of music evolution often invoke various musical universals, the existence of such universals has been disputed for decades and has never been empirically demonstrated. Here we combine a music-classification scheme with statistical analyses, including phylogenetic comparative methods, to examine a well-sampled global set of 304 music recordings. Our analyses reveal no absolute universals but strong support for many statistical universals that are consistent across all nine geographic regions sampled. These universals include 18 musical features that are common individually as well as a network of 10 features that are commonly associated with one another. They span not only features related to pitch and rhythm that are often cited as putative universals but also rarely cited domains including performance style and social context. These cross-cultural structural regularities of human music may relate to roles in facilitating group coordination and cohesion, as exemplified by the universal tendency to sing, play percussion instruments, and dance to simple, repetitive music in groups. Our findings highlight the need for scientists studying music evolution to expand the range of musical cultures and musical features under consideration. The statistical universals we identified represent important candidates for future investigation. PMID:26124105

  11. Statistical universals reveal the structures and functions of human music.

    PubMed

    Savage, Patrick E; Brown, Steven; Sakai, Emi; Currie, Thomas E

    2015-07-21

    Music has been called "the universal language of mankind." Although contemporary theories of music evolution often invoke various musical universals, the existence of such universals has been disputed for decades and has never been empirically demonstrated. Here we combine a music-classification scheme with statistical analyses, including phylogenetic comparative methods, to examine a well-sampled global set of 304 music recordings. Our analyses reveal no absolute universals but strong support for many statistical universals that are consistent across all nine geographic regions sampled. These universals include 18 musical features that are common individually as well as a network of 10 features that are commonly associated with one another. They span not only features related to pitch and rhythm that are often cited as putative universals but also rarely cited domains including performance style and social context. These cross-cultural structural regularities of human music may relate to roles in facilitating group coordination and cohesion, as exemplified by the universal tendency to sing, play percussion instruments, and dance to simple, repetitive music in groups. Our findings highlight the need for scientists studying music evolution to expand the range of musical cultures and musical features under consideration. The statistical universals we identified represent important candidates for future investigation. PMID:26124105

  12. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Human Brainstem and Cervical Spinal Cord during Cognitive Modulation of Pain.

    PubMed

    Leung, Roxanne H; Stroman, Patrick W

    2016-01-01

    Pain is a complex sensory experience, and cognitive factors such as attention can influence its perception. Modulation of pain involves a network of subcortical structures; however, the role and relationship of these regions in cognitive modulation of pain are not well understood. The aims of this research were to evaluate the behavioral effect of cognitive modulation of pain and investigate the neural correlates of this mechanism in the brainstem and cervical spinal cord (SC), using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and structural equation modeling (SEM). We applied noxious thermal stimulation on the C6 dermatome to 12 healthy female participants while they performed the n-Back task. Our findings demonstrate a significant attenuation in pain perception across the group as a result of the task, along with high intersubject variability in the degree of modulation. Using fMRI, our studies characterize neural responses in subcortical regions that are involved in the modulation of pain. SEM analysis reveals connectivity between the brainstem and SC at the group and individual levels, depending on cognitive load and degree of pain modulation, respectively. All together, our research demonstrates the behavioral effect of cognitive modulation on pain and provides insight into the subcortical neural response to the process. PMID:27652451

  13. Structural and Functional Studies of the Rap1 C-Terminus Reveal Novel Separation-of-Function Mutants

    SciTech Connect

    Feeser, Elizabeth A.; Wolberger, Cynthia

    2010-02-19

    The yeast Rap1 protein plays an important role in transcriptional silencing and in telomere length homeostasis. Rap1 mediates silencing at the HM loci and at telomeres by recruiting the Sir3 and Sir4 proteins to chromatin via a Rap1 C-terminal domain, which also recruits the telomere length regulators, Rif1 and Rif2. We report the 1.85 {angstrom} resolution crystal structure of the Rap1 C-terminus, which adopts an all-helical fold with no structural homologues. The structure was used to engineer surface mutations in Rap1, and the effects of these mutations on silencing and telomere length regulation were assayed in vivo. Our surprising finding was that there is no overlap between mutations affecting mating-type and telomeric silencing, suggesting that Rap1 plays distinct roles in silencing at the silent mating-type loci and telomeres. We also found novel Rap1 phenotypes and new separation-of-function mutants, which provide new tools for studying Rap1 function. Yeast two-hybrid studies were used to determine how specific mutations affect recruitment of Sir3, Rif1, and Rif2. A comparison of the yeast two-hybrid and functional data reveals patterns of protein interactions that correlate with each Rap1 phenotype. We find that Sir3 interactions are important for telomeric silencing, but not mating type silencing, and that Rif1 and Rif2 interactions are important in different subsets of telomeric length mutants. Our results show that the role of Rap1 in silencing differs between the HM loci and the telomeres and offer insight into the interplay between HM silencing, telomeric silencing, and telomere length regulation. These findings suggest a model in which competition and multiple recruitment events modulate silencing and telomere length regulation.

  14. Functional metagenomic screen reveals new and diverse microbial rhodopsins.

    PubMed

    Pushkarev, Alina; Béjà, Oded

    2016-09-01

    Ion-translocating retinylidene rhodopsins are widely distributed among marine and freshwater microbes. The translocation is light-driven, contributing to the production of biochemical energy in diverse microbes. Until today, most microbial rhodopsins had been detected using bioinformatics based on homology to other rhodopsins. In the past decade, there has been increased interest in microbial rhodopsins in the field of optogenetics since microbial rhodopsins were found to be most useful in vertebrate neuronal systems. Here we report on a functional metagenomic assay for detecting microbial rhodopsins. Using an array of narrow pH electrodes and light-emitting diode illumination, we were able to screen a metagenomic fosmid library to detect diverse marine proteorhodopsins and an actinorhodopsin based solely on proton-pumping activity. Our assay therefore provides a rather simple phenotypic means to enrich our understanding of microbial rhodopsins without any prior knowledge of the genomic content of the environmental entities screened. PMID:26894445

  15. Functional significance of conserved residues in the phosphohydrolase module of Escherichia coli MutT protein.

    PubMed

    Shimokawa, H; Fujii, Y; Furuichi, M; Sekiguchi, M; Nakabeppu, Y

    2000-09-01

    Escherichia coli MutT protein hydrolyzes 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2'-dGTP (8-oxo-dGTP) to the monophosphate, thus avoiding the incorporation of 8-oxo-7,8-dihydroguanine (8-oxo-G) into nascent DNA. Bacterial and mammalian homologs of MutT protein share the phosphohydrolase module (MutT: Gly37-->Gly59). By saturation mutagenesis of conserved residues in the MutT module, four of the 10 conserved residues (Gly37, Gly38, Glu53 and Glu57) were revealed to be essential to suppress spontaneous A:T-->C:G transversion mutation in a mutT(-) mutator strain. For the other six residues (Lys39, Glu44, Thr45, Arg52, Glu56 and Gly59), many positive mutants which can suppress the spontaneous mutation were obtained; however, all of the positive mutants for Glu44 and Arg52 either partially or inefficiently suppressed the mutation, indicating that these two residues are also important for MutT function. Several positive mutants for Lys39, Thr45, Glu56 and Gly59 efficiently decreased the elevated spontaneous mutation rate, as seen with the wild-type, hence, these four residues are non-essential for MutT function. As Lys38 and Glu55 in human MTH1, corresponding to the non-essential residues Lys39 and Glu56 in MutT, could not be replaced by any other residue without loss of function, different structural features between the two modules of MTH1 and MutT proteins are evident. PMID:10954591

  16. Modulation of Lysozyme Function and Degradation after Nitration with Peroxynitrite

    PubMed Central

    Curry-McCoy, Tiana V.; Osna, Natalia A.; Donohue, Terrence M.

    2009-01-01

    Background Peroxynitrite (PN) is formed from superoxide and nitric oxide, both of which are increased during hepatic ethanol metabolism. Peroxynitrite forms adducts with proteins, causing structural and functional alterations. Here, we investigated PN-induced alterations in lysozyme structure and function, and whether they altered the protein’s susceptibility to proteasome-catalyzed degradation. Methods Hen egg lysozyme was nitrated using varying amounts of either PN or the PN donor, 3-morpholinosynonimine (SIN-1). The activity, nitration status and the susceptibility of lysozyme to proteasome-catalyzed degradation were assessed. Results Lysozyme nitration by PN or SIN-1 caused dose-dependent formation of 3-nitrotyrosine-lysozyme adducts, causing decreased catalytic activity, and enhanced susceptibility to degradation by the 20S proteasome. Kinetic analyses revealed an increased affinity by the 20S proteasome toward nitrated lysozyme compared with the native protein. Conclusion Lysozyme nitration enhances the affinity of the modified enzyme for degradation by the proteasome, thereby increasing its susceptibility to proteolysis. General Significance Increased levels of peroxynitrite have been detected in tissues of ethanol-fed animals. The damaging effects from excessive peroxynitrite in the cell increase hepatotoxicity and cellular death by protein modification due to nitration. Cellular defenses against such changes include enhanced proteolysis by the proteasome in order to maintain protein quality control. PMID:19376194

  17. The DAVID Gene Functional Classification Tool: a novel biological module-centric algorithm to functionally analyze large gene lists

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Da Wei; Sherman, Brad T; Tan, Qina; Collins, Jack R; Alvord, W Gregory; Roayaei, Jean; Stephens, Robert; Baseler, Michael W; Lane, H Clifford; Lempicki, Richard A

    2007-01-01

    The DAVID Gene Functional Classification Tool uses a novel agglomeration algorithm to condense a list of genes or associated biological terms into organized classes of related genes or biology, called biological modules. This organization is accomplished by mining the complex biological co-occurrences found in multiple sources of functional annotation. It is a powerful method to group functionally related genes and terms into a manageable number of biological modules for efficient interpretation of gene lists in a network context. PMID:17784955

  18. Selection on soil microbiomes reveals reproducible impacts on plant function.

    PubMed

    Panke-Buisse, Kevin; Poole, Angela C; Goodrich, Julia K; Ley, Ruth E; Kao-Kniffin, Jenny

    2015-04-01

    Soil microorganisms found in the root zone impact plant growth and development, but the potential to harness these benefits is hampered by the sheer abundance and diversity of the players influencing desirable plant traits. Here, we report a high level of reproducibility of soil microbiomes in altering plant flowering time and soil functions when partnered within and between plant hosts. We used a multi-generation experimental system using Arabidopsis thaliana Col to select for soil microbiomes inducing earlier or later flowering times of their hosts. We then inoculated the selected microbiomes from the tenth generation of plantings into the soils of three additional A. thaliana genotypes (Ler, Be, RLD) and a related crucifer (Brassica rapa). With the exception of Ler, all other plant hosts showed a shift in flowering time corresponding with the inoculation of early- or late-flowering microbiomes. Analysis of the soil microbial community using 16 S rRNA gene sequencing showed distinct microbiota profiles assembling by flowering time treatment. Plant hosts grown with the late-flowering-associated microbiomes showed consequent increases in inflorescence biomass for three A. thaliana genotypes and an increase in total biomass for B. rapa. The increase in biomass was correlated with two- to five-fold enhancement of microbial extracellular enzyme activities associated with nitrogen mineralization in soils. The reproducibility of the flowering phenotype across plant hosts suggests that microbiomes can be selected to modify plant traits and coordinate changes in soil resource pools.

  19. Selection on soil microbiomes reveals reproducible impacts on plant function.

    PubMed

    Panke-Buisse, Kevin; Poole, Angela C; Goodrich, Julia K; Ley, Ruth E; Kao-Kniffin, Jenny

    2015-04-01

    Soil microorganisms found in the root zone impact plant growth and development, but the potential to harness these benefits is hampered by the sheer abundance and diversity of the players influencing desirable plant traits. Here, we report a high level of reproducibility of soil microbiomes in altering plant flowering time and soil functions when partnered within and between plant hosts. We used a multi-generation experimental system using Arabidopsis thaliana Col to select for soil microbiomes inducing earlier or later flowering times of their hosts. We then inoculated the selected microbiomes from the tenth generation of plantings into the soils of three additional A. thaliana genotypes (Ler, Be, RLD) and a related crucifer (Brassica rapa). With the exception of Ler, all other plant hosts showed a shift in flowering time corresponding with the inoculation of early- or late-flowering microbiomes. Analysis of the soil microbial community using 16 S rRNA gene sequencing showed distinct microbiota profiles assembling by flowering time treatment. Plant hosts grown with the late-flowering-associated microbiomes showed consequent increases in inflorescence biomass for three A. thaliana genotypes and an increase in total biomass for B. rapa. The increase in biomass was correlated with two- to five-fold enhancement of microbial extracellular enzyme activities associated with nitrogen mineralization in soils. The reproducibility of the flowering phenotype across plant hosts suggests that microbiomes can be selected to modify plant traits and coordinate changes in soil resource pools. PMID:25350154

  20. Revealing humans’ sensorimotor functions with electrical cortical stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Desmurget, Michel; Sirigu, Angela

    2015-01-01

    Direct electrical stimulation (DES) of the human brain has been used by neurosurgeons for almost a century. Although this procedure serves only clinical purposes, it generates data that have a great scientific interest. Had DES not been employed, our comprehension of the organization of the sensorimotor systems involved in movement execution, language production, the emergence of action intentionality or the subjective feeling of movement awareness would have been greatly undermined. This does not mean, of course, that DES is a gold standard devoid of limitations and that other approaches are not of primary importance, including electrophysiology, modelling, neuroimaging or psychophysics in patients and healthy subjects. Rather, this indicates that the contribution of DES cannot be restricted, in humans, to the ubiquitous concepts of homunculus and somatotopy. DES is a fundamental tool in our attempt to understand the human brain because it represents a unique method for mapping sensorimotor pathways and interfering with the functioning of localized neural populations during the performance of well-defined behavioural tasks. PMID:26240422

  1. Dolphin whistles: a functional misnomer revealed by heliox breathing.

    PubMed

    Madsen, P T; Jensen, F H; Carder, D; Ridgway, S

    2012-04-23

    Delphinids produce tonal whistles shaped by vocal learning for acoustic communication. Unlike terrestrial mammals, delphinid sound production is driven by pressurized air within a complex nasal system. It is unclear how fundamental whistle contours can be maintained across a large range of hydrostatic pressures and air sac volumes. Two opposing hypotheses propose that tonal sounds arise either from tissue vibrations or through actual whistle production from vortices stabilized by resonating nasal air volumes. Here, we use a trained bottlenose dolphin whistling in air and in heliox to test these hypotheses. The fundamental frequency contours of stereotyped whistles were unaffected by the higher sound speed in heliox. Therefore, the term whistle is a functional misnomer as dolphins actually do not whistle, but form the fundamental frequency contour of their tonal calls by pneumatically induced tissue vibrations analogous to the operation of vocal folds in terrestrial mammals and the syrinx in birds. This form of tonal sound production by nasal tissue vibrations has probably evolved in delphinids to enable impedance matching to the water, and to maintain tonal signature contours across changes in hydrostatic pressures, air density and relative nasal air volumes during dives. PMID:21900314

  2. Dolphin whistles: a functional misnomer revealed by heliox breathing

    PubMed Central

    Madsen, P. T.; Jensen, F. H.; Carder, D.; Ridgway, S.

    2012-01-01

    Delphinids produce tonal whistles shaped by vocal learning for acoustic communication. Unlike terrestrial mammals, delphinid sound production is driven by pressurized air within a complex nasal system. It is unclear how fundamental whistle contours can be maintained across a large range of hydrostatic pressures and air sac volumes. Two opposing hypotheses propose that tonal sounds arise either from tissue vibrations or through actual whistle production from vortices stabilized by resonating nasal air volumes. Here, we use a trained bottlenose dolphin whistling in air and in heliox to test these hypotheses. The fundamental frequency contours of stereotyped whistles were unaffected by the higher sound speed in heliox. Therefore, the term whistle is a functional misnomer as dolphins actually do not whistle, but form the fundamental frequency contour of their tonal calls by pneumatically induced tissue vibrations analogous to the operation of vocal folds in terrestrial mammals and the syrinx in birds. This form of tonal sound production by nasal tissue vibrations has probably evolved in delphinids to enable impedance matching to the water, and to maintain tonal signature contours across changes in hydrostatic pressures, air density and relative nasal air volumes during dives. PMID:21900314

  3. Selection on soil microbiomes reveals reproducible impacts on plant function

    PubMed Central

    Panke-Buisse, Kevin; Poole, Angela C; Goodrich, Julia K; Ley, Ruth E; Kao-Kniffin, Jenny

    2015-01-01

    Soil microorganisms found in the root zone impact plant growth and development, but the potential to harness these benefits is hampered by the sheer abundance and diversity of the players influencing desirable plant traits. Here, we report a high level of reproducibility of soil microbiomes in altering plant flowering time and soil functions when partnered within and between plant hosts. We used a multi-generation experimental system using Arabidopsis thaliana Col to select for soil microbiomes inducing earlier or later flowering times of their hosts. We then inoculated the selected microbiomes from the tenth generation of plantings into the soils of three additional A. thaliana genotypes (Ler, Be, RLD) and a related crucifer (Brassica rapa). With the exception of Ler, all other plant hosts showed a shift in flowering time corresponding with the inoculation of early- or late-flowering microbiomes. Analysis of the soil microbial community using 16 S rRNA gene sequencing showed distinct microbiota profiles assembling by flowering time treatment. Plant hosts grown with the late-flowering-associated microbiomes showed consequent increases in inflorescence biomass for three A. thaliana genotypes and an increase in total biomass for B. rapa. The increase in biomass was correlated with two- to five-fold enhancement of microbial extracellular enzyme activities associated with nitrogen mineralization in soils. The reproducibility of the flowering phenotype across plant hosts suggests that microbiomes can be selected to modify plant traits and coordinate changes in soil resource pools. PMID:25350154

  4. Motif module map reveals enforcement of aging by continual NF-kappaB activity.

    PubMed

    Adler, Adam S; Sinha, Saurabh; Kawahara, Tiara L A; Zhang, Jennifer Y; Segal, Eran; Chang, Howard Y

    2007-12-15

    Aging is characterized by specific alterations in gene expression, but their underlying mechanisms and functional consequences are not well understood. Here we develop a systematic approach to identify combinatorial cis-regulatory motifs that drive age-dependent gene expression across different tissues and organisms. Integrated analysis of 365 microarrays spanning nine tissue types predicted fourteen motifs as major regulators of age-dependent gene expression in human and mouse. The motif most strongly associated with aging was that of the transcription factor NF-kappaB. Inducible genetic blockade of NF-kappaB for 2 wk in the epidermis of chronologically aged mice reverted the tissue characteristics and global gene expression programs to those of young mice. Age-specific NF-kappaB blockade and orthogonal cell cycle interventions revealed that NF-kappaB controls cell cycle exit and gene expression signature of aging in parallel but not sequential pathways. These results identify a conserved network of regulatory pathways underlying mammalian aging and show that NF-kappaB is continually required to enforce many features of aging in a tissue-specific manner.

  5. Regulation of bone mass and osteoclast function depend on the F-actin modulator SWAP-70.

    PubMed

    Garbe, Annette I; Roscher, Anne; Schüler, Christiane; Lutter, Anne-Helen; Glösmann, Martin; Bernhardt, Ricardo; Chopin, Michael; Hempel, Ute; Hofbauer, Lorenz C; Rammelt, Stefan; Egerbacher, Monika; Erben, Reinhold G; Jessberger, Rolf

    2012-10-01

    Bone remodeling involves tightly regulated bone-resorbing osteoclasts and bone-forming osteoblasts. Determining osteoclast function is central to understanding bone diseases such as osteoporosis and osteopetrosis. Here, we report a novel function of the F-actin binding and regulatory protein SWAP-70 in osteoclast biology. F-actin ring formation, cell morphology, and bone resorption are impaired in Swap-70(-/-) osteoclasts, whereas the expression of osteoclast differentiation markers induced in vitro by macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF) and receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) remains unaffected. Swap-70(-/-) mice develop osteopetrosis with increased bone mass, abnormally dense bone, and impaired osteoclast function. Ectopic expression of SWAP-70 in Swap-70(-/-) osteoclasts in vitro rescues their deficiencies in bone resorption and F-actin ring formation. Rescue requires a functional pleckstrin homology (PH) domain, known to support membrane localization of SWAP-70, and the F-actin binding domain. Transplantation of SWAP-70-proficient bone marrow into Swap-70(-/-) mice restores osteoclast resorption capacity in vivo. The identification of the role of SWAP-70 in promoting osteoclast function through modulating membrane-proximal F-actin rearrangements reveals a new pathway to control osteoclasts and bone homeostasis.

  6. Comprehensive profiling of lysine acetylproteome analysis reveals diverse functions of lysine acetylation in common wheat

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yumei; Song, Limin; Liang, Wenxing; Mu, Ping; Wang, Shu; Lin, Qi

    2016-01-01

    Lysine acetylation of proteins, a dynamic and reversible post-translational modification, plays a critical regulatory role in both eukaryotes and prokaryotes. Several researches have been carried out on acetylproteome in plants. However, until now, there have been no data on common wheat, the major cereal crop in the world. In this study, we performed a global acetylproteome analysis of common wheat variety (Triticum aestivum L.), Chinese Spring. In total, 416 lysine modification sites were identified on 277 proteins, which are involved in a wide variety of biological processes. Consistent with previous studies, a large proportion of the acetylated proteins are involved in metabolic process. Interestingly, according to the functional enrichment analysis, 26 acetylated proteins are involved in photosynthesis and Calvin cycle, suggesting an important role of lysine acetylation in these processes. Moreover, protein interaction network analysis reveals that diverse interactions are modulated by protein acetylation. These data represent the first report of acetylome in common wheat and serve as an important resource for exploring the physiological role of lysine acetylation in this organism and likely in all plants. PMID:26875666

  7. Casein kinase 1 proteomics reveal prohibitin 2 function in molecular clock.

    PubMed

    Kategaya, Lorna S; Hilliard, Aisha; Zhang, Louying; Asara, John M; Ptáček, Louis J; Fu, Ying-Hui

    2012-01-01

    Throughout the day, clock proteins synchronize changes in animal physiology (e.g., wakefulness and appetite) with external cues (e.g., daylight and food). In vertebrates, both casein kinase 1 delta and epsilon (CK1δ and CK1ε) regulate these circadian changes by phosphorylating other core clock proteins. In addition, CK1 can regulate circadian-dependent transcription in a non-catalytic manner, however, the mechanism is unknown. Furthermore, the extent of functional redundancy between these closely related kinases is debated. To further advance knowledge about CK1δ and CK1ε mechanisms of action in the biological clock, we first carried out proteomic analysis of both kinases in human cells. Next, we tested interesting candidates in a cell-based circadian readout which resulted in the discovery of PROHIBITIN 2 (PHB2) as a modulator of period length. Decreasing the expression of PHB2 increases circadian-driven transcription, thus revealing PHB2 acts as an inhibitor in the molecular clock. While stable binding of PHB2 to either kinase was not detected, knocking down CK1ε expression increases PHB2 protein levels and, unexpectedly, knocking down CK1δ decreases PHB2 transcript levels. Thus, isolating CK1 protein complexes led to the identification of PHB2 as an inhibitor of circadian transcription. Furthermore, we show that CK1δ and CK1ε differentially regulate the expression of PHB2.

  8. Modulation transfer function of a digital dental x-ray system.

    PubMed

    Chen, S K; Hollender, L

    1994-03-01

    An impulse train method to control aliasing was used to measure the modulation transfer function of a digital dental x-ray system (RVG 32000 ZHR, Trophy Radiologie, Vincennes, France). The detector of this system is composed of an intensifying screen, a fiber optics taper, and a charged couple device chip. The modulation transfer function could not be measured by impulse method such as the line spread function or edge response function because of aliasing from undersampling of the digital system. The system modulation transfer function was difficult to recover at the spatial frequencies smaller than the Nyquist frequency. The modulation transfer function beyond the Nyquist frequencies was impossible to recover in this study.

  9. Mining Functional Modules in Heterogeneous Biological Networks Using Multiplex PageRank Approach

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jun; Zhao, Patrick X.

    2016-01-01

    Identification of functional modules/sub-networks in large-scale biological networks is one of the important research challenges in current bioinformatics and systems biology. Approaches have been developed to identify functional modules in single-class biological networks; however, methods for systematically and interactively mining multiple classes of heterogeneous biological networks are lacking. In this paper, we present a novel algorithm (called mPageRank) that utilizes the Multiplex PageRank approach to mine functional modules from two classes of biological networks. We demonstrate the capabilities of our approach by successfully mining functional biological modules through integrating expression-based gene-gene association networks and protein-protein interaction networks. We first compared the performance of our method with that of other methods using simulated data. We then applied our method to identify the cell division cycle related functional module and plant signaling defense-related functional module in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Our results demonstrated that the mPageRank method is effective for mining sub-networks in both expression-based gene-gene association networks and protein-protein interaction networks, and has the potential to be adapted for the discovery of functional modules/sub-networks in other heterogeneous biological networks. The mPageRank executable program, source code, the datasets and results of the presented two case studies are publicly and freely available at http://plantgrn.noble.org/MPageRank/. PMID:27446133

  10. Mining Functional Modules in Heterogeneous Biological Networks Using Multiplex PageRank Approach.

    PubMed

    Li, Jun; Zhao, Patrick X

    2016-01-01

    Identification of functional modules/sub-networks in large-scale biological networks is one of the important research challenges in current bioinformatics and systems biology. Approaches have been developed to identify functional modules in single-class biological networks; however, methods for systematically and interactively mining multiple classes of heterogeneous biological networks are lacking. In this paper, we present a novel algorithm (called mPageRank) that utilizes the Multiplex PageRank approach to mine functional modules from two classes of biological networks. We demonstrate the capabilities of our approach by successfully mining functional biological modules through integrating expression-based gene-gene association networks and protein-protein interaction networks. We first compared the performance of our method with that of other methods using simulated data. We then applied our method to identify the cell division cycle related functional module and plant signaling defense-related functional module in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Our results demonstrated that the mPageRank method is effective for mining sub-networks in both expression-based gene-gene association networks and protein-protein interaction networks, and has the potential to be adapted for the discovery of functional modules/sub-networks in other heterogeneous biological networks. The mPageRank executable program, source code, the datasets and results of the presented two case studies are publicly and freely available at http://plantgrn.noble.org/MPageRank/.

  11. Mining Functional Modules in Heterogeneous Biological Networks Using Multiplex PageRank Approach.

    PubMed

    Li, Jun; Zhao, Patrick X

    2016-01-01

    Identification of functional modules/sub-networks in large-scale biological networks is one of the important research challenges in current bioinformatics and systems biology. Approaches have been developed to identify functional modules in single-class biological networks; however, methods for systematically and interactively mining multiple classes of heterogeneous biological networks are lacking. In this paper, we present a novel algorithm (called mPageRank) that utilizes the Multiplex PageRank approach to mine functional modules from two classes of biological networks. We demonstrate the capabilities of our approach by successfully mining functional biological modules through integrating expression-based gene-gene association networks and protein-protein interaction networks. We first compared the performance of our method with that of other methods using simulated data. We then applied our method to identify the cell division cycle related functional module and plant signaling defense-related functional module in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Our results demonstrated that the mPageRank method is effective for mining sub-networks in both expression-based gene-gene association networks and protein-protein interaction networks, and has the potential to be adapted for the discovery of functional modules/sub-networks in other heterogeneous biological networks. The mPageRank executable program, source code, the datasets and results of the presented two case studies are publicly and freely available at http://plantgrn.noble.org/MPageRank/. PMID:27446133

  12. Mechanical regulation of cell function with geometrically modulated elastomeric substrates

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Jianping; Wang, Yang-Kao; Yang, Michael T.; Desai, Ravi A.; Yu, Xiang; Liu, Zhijun; Chen, Christopher S.

    2011-01-01

    We report the establishment of a library of micromolded elastomeric micropost arrays to modulate substrate rigidity independently of effects on adhesive and other material surface properties. We demonstrate that micropost rigidity impacts cell morphology, focal adhesions, cytoskeletal contractility, and stem cell differentiation. Furthermore, early changes in cytoskeletal contractility predicted later stem cell fate decisions at the single cell level. PMID:20676108

  13. Functional malignant cell heterogeneity in pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors revealed by targeting of PDGF-DD

    PubMed Central

    Cortez, Eliane; Gladh, Hanna; Braun, Sebastian; Bocci, Matteo; Cordero, Eugenia; Björkström, Niklas K.; Miyazaki, Hideki; Michael, Iacovos P.; Eriksson, Ulf; Folestad, Erika; Pietras, Kristian

    2016-01-01

    Intratumoral heterogeneity is an inherent feature of most human cancers and has profound implications for cancer therapy. As a result, there is an emergent need to explore previously unmapped mechanisms regulating distinct subpopulations of tumor cells and to understand their contribution to tumor progression and treatment response. Aberrant platelet-derived growth factor receptor beta (PDGFRβ) signaling in cancer has motivated the development of several antagonists currently in clinical use, including imatinib, sunitinib, and sorafenib. The discovery of a novel ligand for PDGFRβ, platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-DD, opened the possibility of a previously unidentified signaling pathway involved in tumor development. However, the precise function of PDGF-DD in tumor growth and invasion remains elusive. Here, making use of a newly generated Pdgfd knockout mouse, we reveal a functionally important malignant cell heterogeneity modulated by PDGF-DD signaling in pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PanNET). Our analyses demonstrate that tumor growth was delayed in the absence of signaling by PDGF-DD. Surprisingly, ablation of PDGF-DD did not affect the vasculature or stroma of PanNET; instead, we found that PDGF-DD stimulated bulk tumor cell proliferation by induction of paracrine mitogenic signaling between heterogeneous malignant cell clones, some of which expressed PDGFRβ. The presence of a subclonal population of tumor cells characterized by PDGFRβ expression was further validated in a cohort of human PanNET. In conclusion, we demonstrate a previously unrecognized heterogeneity in PanNET characterized by signaling through the PDGF-DD/PDGFRβ axis. PMID:26831065

  14. Facilitating Structure-Function Studies of CFTR Modulator Sites with Efficiencies in Mutagenesis and Functional Screening.

    PubMed

    Molinski, Steven V; Ahmadi, Saumel; Hung, Maurita; Bear, Christine E

    2015-12-01

    There are nearly 2000 mutations in the CFTR gene associated with cystic fibrosis disease, and to date, the only approved drug, Kalydeco, has been effective in rescuing the functional expression of a small subset of these mutant proteins with defects in channel activation. However, there is currently an urgent need to assess other mutations for possible rescue by Kalydeco, and further, definition of the binding site of such modulators on CFTR would enhance our understanding of the mechanism of action of such therapeutics. Here, we describe a simple and rapid one-step PCR-based site-directed mutagenesis method to generate mutations in the CFTR gene. This method was used to generate CFTR mutants bearing deletions (p.Gln2_Trp846del, p.Ser700_Asp835del, p.Ile1234_Arg1239del) and truncation with polyhistidine tag insertion (p.Glu1172-3Gly-6-His*), which either recapitulate a disease phenotype or render tools for modulator binding site identification, with subsequent evaluation of drug responses using a high-throughput (384-well) membrane potential-sensitive fluorescence assay of CFTR channel activity within a 1 wk time frame. This proof-of-concept study shows that these methods enable rapid and quantitative comparison of multiple CFTR mutants to emerging drugs, facilitating future large-scale efforts to stratify mutants according to their "theratype" or most promising targeted therapy.

  15. Modulation of α power and functional connectivity during facial affect recognition.

    PubMed

    Popov, Tzvetan; Miller, Gregory A; Rockstroh, Brigitte; Weisz, Nathan

    2013-04-01

    Research has linked oscillatory activity in the α frequency range, particularly in sensorimotor cortex, to processing of social actions. Results further suggest involvement of sensorimotor α in the processing of facial expressions, including affect. The sensorimotor face area may be critical for perception of emotional face expression, but the role it plays is unclear. The present study sought to clarify how oscillatory brain activity contributes to or reflects processing of facial affect during changes in facial expression. Neuromagnetic oscillatory brain activity was monitored while 30 volunteers viewed videos of human faces that changed their expression from neutral to fearful, neutral, or happy expressions. Induced changes in α power during the different morphs, source analysis, and graph-theoretic metrics served to identify the role of α power modulation and cross-regional coupling by means of phase synchrony during facial affect recognition. Changes from neutral to emotional faces were associated with a 10-15 Hz power increase localized in bilateral sensorimotor areas, together with occipital power decrease, preceding reported emotional expression recognition. Graph-theoretic analysis revealed that, in the course of a trial, the balance between sensorimotor power increase and decrease was associated with decreased and increased transregional connectedness as measured by node degree. Results suggest that modulations in α power facilitate early registration, with sensorimotor cortex including the sensorimotor face area largely functionally decoupled and thereby protected from additional, disruptive input and that subsequent α power decrease together with increased connectedness of sensorimotor areas facilitates successful facial affect recognition.

  16. A Common Evolutionary Origin for Tailed-Bacteriophage Functional Modules and Bacterial Machineries

    PubMed Central

    Veesler, David; Cambillau, Christian

    2011-01-01

    Summary: Bacteriophages belonging to the order Caudovirales possess a tail acting as a molecular nanomachine used during infection to recognize the host cell wall, attach to it, pierce it, and ensure the high-efficiency delivery of the genomic DNA to the host cytoplasm. In this review, we provide a comprehensive analysis of the various proteins constituting tailed bacteriophages from a structural viewpoint. To this end, we had in mind to pinpoint the resemblances within and between functional modules such as capsid/tail connectors, the tails themselves, or the tail distal host recognition devices, termed baseplates. This comparison has been extended to bacterial machineries embedded in the cell wall, for which shared molecular homology with phages has been recently revealed. This is the case for the type VI secretion system (T6SS), an inverted phage tail at the bacterial surface, or bacteriocins. Gathering all these data, we propose that a unique ancestral protein fold may have given rise to a large number of bacteriophage modules as well as to some related bacterial machinery components. PMID:21885679

  17. Methodology for fast curve fitting to modulated Voigt dispersion lineshape functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Westberg, Jonas; Wang, Junyang; Axner, Ove

    2014-01-01

    Faraday rotation spectroscopy (FAMOS) as well as other modulated techniques that rely on dispersion produce lock-in signals that are proportional to various Fourier coefficients of modulated dispersion lineshape functions of the molecular transition targeted. In order to enable real-time curve fitting to such signals a fast methodology for calculating the Fourier coefficients of modulated lineshape functions is needed. Although there exist an analytical expression for such Fourier coefficients of modulated Lorentzian absorption and dispersion lineshape functions, there is no corresponding expression for a modulated Voigt dispersion function. The conventional computational route of such Fourier coefficients has therefore so far either consisted of using various approximations to the modulated Voigt lineshape function or solving time-consuming integrals, which has precluded accurate real-time curve fitting. Here we present a new methodology to calculate Fourier coefficients of modulated Voigt dispersion lineshape functions that is significantly faster (several orders of magnitude) and more accurate than previous approximative calculation procedures, which allows for real-time curve fitting to FAMOS signals also in the Voigt regime.

  18. Development and Evaluation of the SUMIT Microcomputer Module Entitled 'Predator Functional Response'.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shaltz, Mark B.

    An experiment was conducted that compared the teaching effectiveness of a computer assisted instructional module and a lecture-discussion. The module, Predator Functional Response (PFR), was developed as part of the SUMIT (Single-concept User-adaptable Microcomputer-based Instructional Technique) project. A class of 30 students was randomly…

  19. Nuclear Technology. Course 30: Mechanical Inspection. Module 30-2, Pump Functional Testing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wasel, Ed; Espy, John

    This second in a series of eight modules for a course titled Mechanical Inspection describes typical pump functional tests which are performed after pump installation and prior to release of the plant for unrestricted power operation. The module follows a typical format that includes the following sections: (1) introduction, (2) module…

  20. The aging memory: Modulating epigenetic modifications to improve cognitive function.

    PubMed

    Fonseca, Rosalina

    2016-09-01

    Age-related cognitive decline is a major concern in society. Here, I discuss recent evidence that shows an age-related modulation of gene transcription by epigenetic modifications. Epigenetic modifications, such as histone acetylation, is unbalanced in aging, with an increase in histone deacetylation, that limits the expression of plasticity-related genes. By modifying the balance towards histone acetylation, histone deacetylase inhibitors present a new pharmacological approach to ameliorate age-related cognitive deficits.

  1. Time-resolved cryogenic modulation reveals isomer interconversion profiles in dynamic chromatography.

    PubMed

    Mariott, P; Trapp, O; Shellie, R; Schurig, V G

    2001-06-01

    The dynamic chromatographic study of interconversion of E and Z forms of oximes has been investigated by using a novel cryogenic modulation method in a two-dimensional gas chromatographic array. The primary column is a conventional capillary GC column on which the molecular interconversion proceeds. In this case, the molecular dynamical process leads to a peak profile describing the kinetics and thermodynamics of the interconverting molecules during its chromatographic elution. Thus an interconversion region intercedes the elution of the individual stereoisomers of the reaction. Since the molecules are isomers, classical molecular identification methods such as gas chromatography-mass spectrometry are unable to study the individual instantaneous amounts of each of the compounds. Hence the infinitesimal profiles of interconversion along the entire column have never been experimentally observed; rather the total profile is normally subjected to mathematical modelling studies in order to match experiment with theory, and to gain the kinetic parameters of the process. In the present study, an instantaneous ratio of the individual isomers can be found during the chromatographic elution by direct measurement. This is achieved by using a cryogenic zone focussing process, with rapid longitudinal modulation of a cold trap and continual pulsing of collected zones into a fast-analysis high-resolution capillary column on which isomer interconversion is minimized. The data can be displayed as a two-dimensional contour plot to demonstrate the individual isomer profiles. The two-dimensional analysis also allows easy measurement of the peak ratios of the two isomers which is an indicator of the extent of interconversion that has taken place. Two model systems, acetaldoxime and butyraldoxime, were chosen to illustrate the use of the cryogenic modulation procedure. It is anticipated that the procedure could be applied to other molecules which exhibit gas-phase isomerizations or

  2. Functional proteomic analysis reveals the involvement of KIAA1199 in breast cancer growth, motility and invasiveness

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background KIAA1199 is a recently identified novel gene that is up-regulated in human cancer with poor survival. Our proteomic study on signaling polarity in chemotactic cells revealed KIAA1199 as a novel protein target that may be involved in cellular chemotaxis and motility. In the present study, we examined the functional significance of KIAA1199 expression in breast cancer growth, motility and invasiveness. Methods We validated the previous microarray observation by tissue microarray immunohistochemistry using a TMA slide containing 12 breast tumor tissue cores and 12 corresponding normal tissues. We performed the shRNA-mediated knockdown of KIAA1199 in MDA-MB-231 and HS578T cells to study the role of this protein in cell proliferation, migration and apoptosis in vitro. We studied the effects of KIAA1199 knockdown in vivo in two groups of mice (n = 5). We carried out the SILAC LC-MS/MS based proteomic studies on the involvement of KIAA1199 in breast cancer. Results KIAA1199 mRNA and protein was significantly overexpressed in breast tumor specimens and cell lines as compared with non-neoplastic breast tissues from large-scale microarray and studies of breast cancer cell lines and tumors. To gain deeper insights into the novel role of KIAA1199 in breast cancer, we modulated KIAA1199 expression using shRNA-mediated knockdown in two breast cancer cell lines (MDA-MB-231 and HS578T), expressing higher levels of KIAA1199. The KIAA1199 knockdown cells showed reduced motility and cell proliferation in vitro. Moreover, when the knockdown cells were injected into the mammary fat pads of female athymic nude mice, there was a significant decrease in tumor incidence and growth. In addition, quantitative proteomic analysis revealed that knockdown of KIAA1199 in breast cancer (MDA-MB-231) cells affected a broad range of cellular functions including apoptosis, metabolism and cell motility. Conclusions Our findings indicate that KIAA1199 may play an important role in breast

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-05

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

  4. Finite-element modelling reveals force modulation of jaw adductors in stag beetles.

    PubMed

    Goyens, J; Soons, J; Aerts, P; Dirckx, J

    2014-12-01

    Male stag beetles carry large and heavy mandibles that arose through sexual selection over mating rights. Although the mandibles of Cyclommatus metallifer males are used in pugnacious fights, they are surprisingly slender. Our bite force measurements show a muscle force reduction of 18% for tip biting when compared with bites with the teeth located halfway along the mandibles. This suggests a behavioural adaptation to prevent failure. We confirmed this by constructing finite-element (FE) models that mimic both natural bite situations as well as the hypothetical situation of tip biting without muscle force modulation. These models, based on micro-CT images, investigate the material stresses in the mandibles for different combinations of bite location and muscle force. Young's modulus of the cuticle was experimentally determined to be 5.1 GPa with the double indentation method, and the model was validated by digital image correlation on living beetles. FE analysis proves to be a valuable tool in the investigation of the trade-offs of (animal) weapon morphology and usage. Furthermore, the demonstrated bite force modulation in male stag beetles suggests the presence of mechanosensors inside the armature.

  5. Network integration of parallel metabolic and transcriptional data reveals metabolic modules that regulate macrophage polarization.

    PubMed

    Jha, Abhishek K; Huang, Stanley Ching-Cheng; Sergushichev, Alexey; Lampropoulou, Vicky; Ivanova, Yulia; Loginicheva, Ekaterina; Chmielewski, Karina; Stewart, Kelly M; Ashall, Juliet; Everts, Bart; Pearce, Edward J; Driggers, Edward M; Artyomov, Maxim N

    2015-03-17

    Macrophage polarization involves a coordinated metabolic and transcriptional rewiring that is only partially understood. By using an integrated high-throughput transcriptional-metabolic profiling and analysis pipeline, we characterized systemic changes during murine macrophage M1 and M2 polarization. M2 polarization was found to activate glutamine catabolism and UDP-GlcNAc-associated modules. Correspondingly, glutamine deprivation or inhibition of N-glycosylation decreased M2 polarization and production of chemokine CCL22. In M1 macrophages, we identified a metabolic break at Idh, the enzyme that converts isocitrate to alpha-ketoglutarate, providing mechanistic explanation for TCA cycle fragmentation. (13)C-tracer studies suggested the presence of an active variant of the aspartate-arginosuccinate shunt that compensated for this break. Consistently, inhibition of aspartate-aminotransferase, a key enzyme of the shunt, inhibited nitric oxide and interleukin-6 production in M1 macrophages, while promoting mitochondrial respiration. This systems approach provides a highly integrated picture of the physiological modules supporting macrophage polarization, identifying potential pharmacologic control points for both macrophage phenotypes. PMID:25786174

  6. Finite-element modelling reveals force modulation of jaw adductors in stag beetles

    PubMed Central

    Goyens, J.; Soons, J.; Aerts, P.; Dirckx, J.

    2014-01-01

    Male stag beetles carry large and heavy mandibles that arose through sexual selection over mating rights. Although the mandibles of Cyclommatus metallifer males are used in pugnacious fights, they are surprisingly slender. Our bite force measurements show a muscle force reduction of 18% for tip biting when compared with bites with the teeth located halfway along the mandibles. This suggests a behavioural adaptation to prevent failure. We confirmed this by constructing finite-element (FE) models that mimic both natural bite situations as well as the hypothetical situation of tip biting without muscle force modulation. These models, based on micro-CT images, investigate the material stresses in the mandibles for different combinations of bite location and muscle force. Young's modulus of the cuticle was experimentally determined to be 5.1 GPa with the double indentation method, and the model was validated by digital image correlation on living beetles. FE analysis proves to be a valuable tool in the investigation of the trade-offs of (animal) weapon morphology and usage. Furthermore, the demonstrated bite force modulation in male stag beetles suggests the presence of mechanosensors inside the armature. PMID:25297317

  7. Network integration of parallel metabolic and transcriptional data reveals metabolic modules that regulate macrophage polarization.

    PubMed

    Jha, Abhishek K; Huang, Stanley Ching-Cheng; Sergushichev, Alexey; Lampropoulou, Vicky; Ivanova, Yulia; Loginicheva, Ekaterina; Chmielewski, Karina; Stewart, Kelly M; Ashall, Juliet; Everts, Bart; Pearce, Edward J; Driggers, Edward M; Artyomov, Maxim N

    2015-03-17

    Macrophage polarization involves a coordinated metabolic and transcriptional rewiring that is only partially understood. By using an integrated high-throughput transcriptional-metabolic profiling and analysis pipeline, we characterized systemic changes during murine macrophage M1 and M2 polarization. M2 polarization was found to activate glutamine catabolism and UDP-GlcNAc-associated modules. Correspondingly, glutamine deprivation or inhibition of N-glycosylation decreased M2 polarization and production of chemokine CCL22. In M1 macrophages, we identified a metabolic break at Idh, the enzyme that converts isocitrate to alpha-ketoglutarate, providing mechanistic explanation for TCA cycle fragmentation. (13)C-tracer studies suggested the presence of an active variant of the aspartate-arginosuccinate shunt that compensated for this break. Consistently, inhibition of aspartate-aminotransferase, a key enzyme of the shunt, inhibited nitric oxide and interleukin-6 production in M1 macrophages, while promoting mitochondrial respiration. This systems approach provides a highly integrated picture of the physiological modules supporting macrophage polarization, identifying potential pharmacologic control points for both macrophage phenotypes.

  8. A functional module-based exploration between inflammation and cancer in esophagus.

    PubMed

    Liu, Nannan; Li, Chunhua; Huang, Yan; Yi, Ying; Bo, Wanlan; Li, Chunmiao; Li, Yue; Hu, Yongfei; Li, Kongning; Wang, Hong; Zhuang, Liwei; Fan, Huihui; Wang, Dong

    2015-01-01

    Inflammation contributing to the underlying progression of diverse human cancers has been generally appreciated, however, explorations into the molecular links between inflammation and cancer in esophagus are still at its early stage. In our study, we presented a functional module-based approach, in combination with multiple data resource (gene expression, protein-protein interactions (PPI), transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulations) to decipher the underlying links. Via mapping differentially expressed disease genes, functional disease modules were identified. As indicated, those common genes and interactions tended to play important roles in linking inflammation and cancer. Based on crosstalk analysis, we demonstrated that, although most disease genes were not shared by both kinds of modules, they might act through participating in the same or similar functions to complete the molecular links. Additionally, we applied pivot analysis to extract significant regulators for per significant crosstalk module pair. As shown, pivot regulators might manipulate vital parts of the module subnetworks, and then work together to bridge inflammation and cancer in esophagus. Collectively, based on our functional module analysis, we demonstrated that shared genes or interactions, significant crosstalk modules, and those significant pivot regulators were served as different functional parts underlying the molecular links between inflammation and cancer in esophagus. PMID:26489668

  9. Fat Modulates the Relationship between Sarcopenia and Physical Function in Nonobese Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Marcus, Robin L.; Brixner, Diana I.; Ghate, Sameer; LaStayo, Paul

    2012-01-01

    It is intuitive to think that sarcopenia should be associated with declines in physical function though recent evidence questions this assertion. This study investigated the relationship between absolute and relative sarcopenia, with physical performance in 202 nonobese (mean BMI = 26.6 kg/ht2) community-dwelling older (mean age = 73.8 ± 5.9 years) adults. While absolute sarcopenia (appendicular skeletal mass (ASM)/ht2) was either not associated, or weakly associated with physical performance, relative sarcopenia (ASM/kg) demonstrated moderate (r = 0.31 to r = 0.51, P < 0.01) relationships with performance outcomes in both males and females. Knee extension strength (r = 0.27) and leg extension power (r = 0.41) were both related to absolute sarcopenia (P < 0.001) in females and not in males. Strength and power were associated with relative sarcopenia in both sexes (from r = 0.47 to r = 0.67, P < 0.001). The ratio of lean mass to total body mass, that is, relative sarcopenia, is an important consideration relative to physical function in older adults even in the absence of obesity. Stratifying these individuals into equal tertiles of total body fat revealed a trend of diminished regression coefficients across each incrementally higher fat grouping for performance measures, providing further evidence that total body fat modulates the relationship between sarcopenia and physical function. PMID:22312329

  10. An improved FORTRAN program for calculating modulation transfer functions: concise communication.

    PubMed

    Benedetto, A R; Nusynowitz, M L

    1977-01-01

    An improved FORTRAN II program for calculating modulation transfer functions (MTFs) is presented. The program features (A) simplified input-data specifications; (B) a conversational mode of use; and (C) graphic printout of the MTF curve.

  11. Optimization of current modulation function for proton spread-out Bragg peak fields

    SciTech Connect

    Lu, H.-M.; Kooy, Hanne

    2006-05-15

    Proton treatments with spread-out Bragg peak (SOBP) fields often use a rotating modulation wheel of varying thickness to modulate the pristine Bragg peak in depth and intensity. The technique of modulating also the beam current independently over the wheel rotation provides an additional control over the intensities of the pulled-back Bragg peaks. As a result, a single wheel can be used over a large range of energies and SOBP parameters and field-specific wheels are no longer necessary. An essential task in commissioning a particular treatment depth is the determination of this current modulation function. We have developed a method for the optimization of the current modulation function. The basic idea is to treat the entire beam nozzle, housing the various beam scattering and modulating components, as a whole and to characterize its effect as a transformation from a modulating beam current to a depth-dose distribution. While this transformation is difficult to calculate theoretically due to the complex scattering paths in the nozzle and the phantom, it can, however, be determined by time-resolved dose measurements. Using this transformation, we can calculate SOBP depth-dose distributions for any current modulation function and optimize it by a simple numerical optimization. We have applied the new method to a number of proton beams with satisfactory results.

  12. Multi-function Mach-Zehnder modulator for pulse shaping and generation.

    PubMed

    Gao, Jing; Wu, Hui

    2016-09-19

    We present a multi-function electronic-photonic integrated circuit (EPIC) design which exploits a new operation mode of a Mach-Zehnder modulator (MZM). Different from the conventional design, the two arms of the modulator are driven by time-shifted signals of tunable amplitude. We study its operation in the linear and quadratic regions where the MZM is biased at π/2 and π initial phase difference, respectively. In the linear region, the modulator sums the waveforms of the driving signals in the two arms, which can be used to add pre-emphasis function to the modulator, and hence it obviates an electrical pre-emphasis driver. Furthermore, when operating in the quadratic region, the modulator can produce optical pulses with tunable pulse width at double clock rate. Prototype circuits are designed first using a suit of device, electromagnetic simulators to build compact models, and then importing into a photonic circuit simulator for complete circuit performance evaluation. PMID:27661958

  13. The effect of age on relational encoding as revealed by hippocampal functional connectivity.

    PubMed

    Foster, Chris M; Picklesimer, Milton E; Mulligan, Neil W; Giovanello, Kelly S

    2016-10-01

    The neural processes mediating cognition occur in networks distributed throughout the brain. The encoding and retrieval of relational memories, memories for multiple items or multifeatural events, is supported by a network of brain regions, particularly the hippocampus. The hippocampal coupling hypothesis suggests that the hippocampus is functionally connected with the default mode network (DMN) during retrieval, but during encoding, decouples from the DMN. Based on prior research suggesting that older adults are less able to modulate between brain network states, we tested the hypothesis that older adults' hippocampus would show functional connectivity with the DMN during relational encoding. The results suggest that, while the hippocampus is functionally connected to some regions of the DMN during relational encoding in both younger and older adults, older adults show additional DMN connectivity. Such age-related changes in network modulation appear not to be mediated by compensatory processes, but rather to reflect a form of neural inefficiency, most likely due to reduced inhibition. PMID:27496142

  14. Drosophila Dicer-2 has an RNA interference–independent function that modulates Toll immune signaling

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zhaowei; Wu, Di; Liu, Yongxiang; Xia, Xiaoling; Gong, Wanyun; Qiu, Yang; Yang, Jie; Zheng, Ya; Li, Jingjing; Wang, Yu-Feng; Xiang, Ye; Hu, Yuanyang; Zhou, Xi

    2015-01-01

    Dicer-2 is the central player for small interfering RNA biogenesis in the Drosophila RNA interference (RNAi) pathway. Intriguingly, we found that Dicer-2 has an unconventional RNAi-independent function that positively modulates Toll immune signaling, which defends against Gram-positive bacteria, fungi, and some viruses, in both cells and adult flies. The loss of Dicer-2 expression makes fruit flies more susceptible to fungal infection. We further revealed that Dicer-2 posttranscriptionally modulates Toll signaling because Dicer-2 is required for the proper expression of Toll protein but not for Toll protein stability or Toll mRNA transcription. Moreover, Dicer-2 directly binds to the 3′ untranslated region (3′UTR) of Toll mRNA via its PAZ (Piwi/Argonaute/Zwille) domain and is required for protein translation mediated by Toll 3′UTR. The loss of Toll 3′UTR binding activity makes Dicer-2 incapable of promoting Toll signaling. These data indicate that the interaction between Dicer-2 and Toll mRNA plays a pivotal role in Toll immune signaling. In addition, we found that Dicer-2 is also required for the Toll signaling induced by two different RNA viruses in Drosophila cells. Consequently, our findings uncover a novel RNAi-independent function of Dicer-2 in the posttranscriptional regulation of Toll protein expression and signaling, indicate an unexpected intersection of the RNAi pathway and the Toll pathway, and provide new insights into Toll immune signaling, Drosophila Dicer-2, and probably Dicer and Dicer-related proteins in other organisms. PMID:26601278

  15. Functional Domains of Autoimmune Regulator (AIRE) Modulate INS-VNTR Transcription in Human Thymic Epithelial Cells.

    PubMed

    Sparks, Avis E; Chen, Chiachen; Breslin, Mary B; Lan, Michael S

    2016-05-20

    INS-VNTR (insulin-variable number of tandem repeats) and AIRE (autoimmune regulator) have been associated with the modulation of insulin gene expression in thymus, which is essential to induce either insulin tolerance or the development of insulin autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes. We sought to analyze whether each functional domain of AIRE is critical for the activation of INS-VNTR in human thymic epithelial cells. Twelve missense or nonsense mutations in AIRE and two chimeric AIRE constructs were generated. A luciferase reporter assay and a pulldown assay using biotinylated INS-class I VNTR probe were performed to examine the transactivation and binding activities of WT, mutant, and chimeric AIREs on the INS-VNTR promoter. Confocal microscopy analysis was performed for WT or mutant AIRE cellular localization. We found that all of the AIRE mutations resulted in loss of transcriptional activation of INS-VNTR except mutant P252L. Using WT/mutant AIRE heterozygous forms to modulate the INS-VNTR target revealed five mutations (R257X, G228W, C311fsX376, L397fsX478, and R433fsX502) that functioned in a dominant negative fashion. The LXXLL-3 motif is identified for the first time to be essential for DNA binding to INS-VNTR, whereas the intact PHD1, PHD2, LXXLL-3, and LXXLL-4 motifs were important for successful transcriptional activation. AIRE nuclear localization in the human thymic epithelial cell line was disrupted by mutations in the homogenously staining region domain and the R257X mutation in the PHD1 domain. This study supports the notion that AIRE mutation could specifically affect human insulin gene expression in thymic epithelial cells through INS-VNTR and subsequently induce either insulin tolerance or autoimmunity. PMID:27048654

  16. Androgens Modulate Structure and Function of the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus Brain Clock

    PubMed Central

    Karatsoreos, Ilia N.; Butler, Matthew P.; LeSauter, Joseph

    2011-01-01

    Gonadal hormones can modulate circadian rhythms in rodents and humans, and androgen receptors are highly localized within the core region of the mouse suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) brain clock. Although androgens are known to modulate neural plasticity in other CNS compartments, the role of androgens and their receptors on plasticity in the SCN is unexplored. In the present study, we ask whether androgens influence the structure and function of the mouse SCN by examining the effects of gonadectomy (GDX) on the structure of the SCN circuit and its responses to light, including induction of clock genes and behavioral phase shifting. We found that after GDX, glial fibrillary acidic protein increased with concomitant decreases in the expression of the synaptic proteins synaptophysin and postsynaptic density 95. We also found that GDX exerts effects on the molecular and behavioral responses to light that are phase dependent. In late night [circadian time (CT)21], GDX increased light-induced mPer1 but not mPer2 expression compared with intact (INT) controls. In contrast, in early night (CT13.5), GDX decreased light induced mPer2 but had no effect on mPer1. At CT13.5, GDX animals also showed larger phase delays than did INT. Treatment of GDX animals with the nonaromatizable androgen dihydrotestosterone restored glial fibrillary acidic protein, postsynaptic density 95, and synaptophysin in the SCN and reinstated the INT pattern of molecular and behavioral responses to light. Together, the results reveal a role for androgens in regulating circuitry in the mouse SCN, with functional consequences for clock gene expression and behavioral responses to photic phase resetting stimuli. PMID:21363939

  17. Pharmacological, antioxidant, genotoxic studies and modulation of rat splenocyte functions by Cyperus rotundus extracts

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Cyperus rotundus Linn. (Cyperaceae) is a Tunisian medicinal plant used in folkloric (traditional) medicine to treat stomach disorders and inflammatory diseases. The present study explored the analgesic, anti-inflammatory and genotoxic activities of extracts from the aerial parts of C. rotundus. The antioxidant capacity and the modulation of splenocyte functions by these extracts were also investigated in mice. The phytochemical analysis was carried out using standard methods. Methods Aqueous, ethyl acetate, methanol and TOF-enriched extracts (300, 150, and 50 μg/ml) were evaluated for their analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities. 4, 2, and 1 mg/ml of each extract were tested to investigate their effect on lipid peroxidation. The genotoxic study was monitored by measuring the structural chromosome aberrations of mice treated with 300 mg/kg of extract. The proliferation of lymphocytes in the absence and presence of mitogens was assessed at a concentration range 1–1000 μg/ml. Results The tested extracts were able to decrease the mouse ear oedema induced by xylene. Furthermore, it was shown that the same extracts reduced the number of abdominal contractions caused by acetic acid in mice, revealing the peripheral analgesic activity of these extracts. It is worth noting that mice treated with doses up to 300 mg/kg b.w. of Cyperus rotundus extracts did not exhibit any toxicity. The tested extracts significantly enhance lymphocyte proliferation at 1 mg/ml. Conclusions It appears that C. rotundus extracts contain potent components such as flavonoids that may potentially be useful for modulating the immune cell functions, provoking analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. PMID:23388107

  18. Functional Domains of Autoimmune Regulator (AIRE) Modulate INS-VNTR Transcription in Human Thymic Epithelial Cells.

    PubMed

    Sparks, Avis E; Chen, Chiachen; Breslin, Mary B; Lan, Michael S

    2016-05-20

    INS-VNTR (insulin-variable number of tandem repeats) and AIRE (autoimmune regulator) have been associated with the modulation of insulin gene expression in thymus, which is essential to induce either insulin tolerance or the development of insulin autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes. We sought to analyze whether each functional domain of AIRE is critical for the activation of INS-VNTR in human thymic epithelial cells. Twelve missense or nonsense mutations in AIRE and two chimeric AIRE constructs were generated. A luciferase reporter assay and a pulldown assay using biotinylated INS-class I VNTR probe were performed to examine the transactivation and binding activities of WT, mutant, and chimeric AIREs on the INS-VNTR promoter. Confocal microscopy analysis was performed for WT or mutant AIRE cellular localization. We found that all of the AIRE mutations resulted in loss of transcriptional activation of INS-VNTR except mutant P252L. Using WT/mutant AIRE heterozygous forms to modulate the INS-VNTR target revealed five mutations (R257X, G228W, C311fsX376, L397fsX478, and R433fsX502) that functioned in a dominant negative fashion. The LXXLL-3 motif is identified for the first time to be essential for DNA binding to INS-VNTR, whereas the intact PHD1, PHD2, LXXLL-3, and LXXLL-4 motifs were important for successful transcriptional activation. AIRE nuclear localization in the human thymic epithelial cell line was disrupted by mutations in the homogenously staining region domain and the R257X mutation in the PHD1 domain. This study supports the notion that AIRE mutation could specifically affect human insulin gene expression in thymic epithelial cells through INS-VNTR and subsequently induce either insulin tolerance or autoimmunity.

  19. Drosophila Dicer-2 has an RNA interference-independent function that modulates Toll immune signaling.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhaowei; Wu, Di; Liu, Yongxiang; Xia, Xiaoling; Gong, Wanyun; Qiu, Yang; Yang, Jie; Zheng, Ya; Li, Jingjing; Wang, Yu-Feng; Xiang, Ye; Hu, Yuanyang; Zhou, Xi

    2015-10-01

    Dicer-2 is the central player for small interfering RNA biogenesis in the Drosophila RNA interference (RNAi) pathway. Intriguingly, we found that Dicer-2 has an unconventional RNAi-independent function that positively modulates Toll immune signaling, which defends against Gram-positive bacteria, fungi, and some viruses, in both cells and adult flies. The loss of Dicer-2 expression makes fruit flies more susceptible to fungal infection. We further revealed that Dicer-2 posttranscriptionally modulates Toll signaling because Dicer-2 is required for the proper expression of Toll protein but not for Toll protein stability or Toll mRNA transcription. Moreover, Dicer-2 directly binds to the 3' untranslated region (3'UTR) of Toll mRNA via its PAZ (Piwi/Argonaute/Zwille) domain and is required for protein translation mediated by Toll 3'UTR. The loss of Toll 3'UTR binding activity makes Dicer-2 incapable of promoting Toll signaling. These data indicate that the interaction between Dicer-2 and Toll mRNA plays a pivotal role in Toll immune signaling. In addition, we found that Dicer-2 is also required for the Toll signaling induced by two different RNA viruses in Drosophila cells. Consequently, our findings uncover a novel RNAi-independent function of Dicer-2 in the posttranscriptional regulation of Toll protein expression and signaling, indicate an unexpected intersection of the RNAi pathway and the Toll pathway, and provide new insights into Toll immune signaling, Drosophila Dicer-2, and probably Dicer and Dicer-related proteins in other organisms. PMID:26601278

  20. Energetic Changes Caused by Antigenic Module Insertion in a Virus-Like Particle Revealed by Experiment and Molecular Dynamics Simulations

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Lin; Tang, Ronghong; Bai, Shu; Connors, Natalie K.; Lua, Linda H. L.; Chuan, Yap P.; Middelberg, Anton P. J.; Sun, Yan

    2014-01-01

    The success of recombinant virus-like particles (VLPs) for human papillomavirus and hepatitis B demonstrates the potential of VLPs as safe and efficacious vaccines. With new modular designs emerging, the effects of antigen module insertion on the self-assembly and structural integrity of VLPs should be clarified so as to better enabling improved design. Previous work has revealed insights into the molecular energetics of a VLP subunit, capsomere, comparing energetics within various solution conditions known to drive or inhibit self-assembly. In the present study, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations coupled with the molecular mechanics-Poisson-Boltzmann surface area (MM-PBSA) method were performed to examine the molecular interactions and energetics in a modular capsomere of a murine polyomavirus (MPV) VLP designed to protect against influenza. Insertion of an influenza antigenic module is found to lower the binding energy within the capsomere, and a more active state is observed in Assembly Buffer as compared with that in Stabilization Buffer, which has been experimentally validated through measurements using differential scanning calorimetry. Further in-depth analysis based on free-energy decomposition indicates that destabilized binding can be attributed to electrostatic interaction induced by the chosen antigen module. These results provide molecular insights into the conformational stability of capsomeres and their abilities to be exploited for antigen presentation, and are expected to be beneficial for the biomolecular engineering of VLP vaccines. PMID:25215874

  1. Single molecule analysis of functionally asymmetric G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) oligomers reveals diverse spatial and structural assemblies.

    PubMed

    Jonas, Kim C; Fanelli, Francesca; Huhtaniemi, Ilpo T; Hanyaloglu, Aylin C

    2015-02-13

    Formation of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) into dimers and higher order oligomers represents a key mechanism in pleiotropic signaling, yet how individual protomers function within oligomers remains poorly understood. We present a super-resolution imaging approach, resolving single GPCR molecules to ∼ 8 nm resolution in functional asymmetric dimers and oligomers using dual-color photoactivatable dyes and localization microscopy (PD-PALM). PD-PALM of two functionally defined mutant luteinizing hormone receptors (LHRs), a ligand-binding deficient receptor (LHR(B-)) and a signaling-deficient (LHR(S-)) receptor, which only function via intermolecular cooperation, favored oligomeric over dimeric formation. PD-PALM imaging of trimers and tetramers revealed specific spatial organizations of individual protomers in complexes where the ratiometric composition of LHR(B-) to LHR(S-) modulated ligand-induced signal sensitivity. Structural modeling of asymmetric LHR oligomers strongly aligned with PD-PALM-imaged spatial arrangements, identifying multiple possible helix interfaces mediating inter-protomer associations. Our findings reveal that diverse spatial and structural assemblies mediating GPCR oligomerization may acutely fine-tune the cellular signaling profile.

  2. Apolipoprotein E ε4 Modulates Cognitive Profiles, Hippocampal Volume, and Resting-State Functional Connectivity in Alzheimer's Disease.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiao; Wang, Jinhui; He, Yi; Li, Huiying; Yuan, Huishu; Evans, Alan; Yu, Xin; He, Yong; Wang, Huali

    2015-01-01

    The apolipoprotein E ε4 (APOE ε4) allele is a well-established genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD). Numerous studies have suggested that the modulation of APOE ε4 affects cognition and brain structure and function in healthy populations, particularly in the hippocampus, a key area associated with AD pathology. However, the effect of APOE ε4 allele on cognitive performance, hippocampal structural morphology, and specifically on functional characteristics in patients with AD remains poorly understood. Here, we employed a neuropsychological battery test and multi-modal structural MRI and resting-state functional MRI dataset to systematically investigate cognitive performance, hippocampal structural volume, and functional properties (including local low-frequency oscillating amplitude, intra-regional functional synchrony, and inter-regional functional connectivity) in 16 APOE ε4-carriers and 26 non-carriers at early stages of AD. Compared to non-carriers, APOE ε4-carriers exhibited poorer performance on recognition performance, but performed better on the late item generation of the verbal fluency task (associated with executive function). Structural imaging analysis revealed that APOE ε4-carriers exhibited smaller left hippocampal volumes compared to non-carriers, and the result remains significant after correcting for effects of brain size. Functional imaging analysis revealed that APOE ε4-carriers exhibited decreased amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations in the left hippocampus, non-significant changes in intra-regional synchronization within the hippocampus and decreased hippocampal functional connectivity predominantly in components of the default-mode network including the medial frontal and parietal cortices and the lateral temporal cortical regions. Taken together, our results showed APOE genotypic effects on the cognitive profile and hippocampal structural and functional characteristics in patients at early stages of AD, thus providing

  3. Markov state models provide insights into dynamic modulation of protein function.

    PubMed

    Shukla, Diwakar; Hernández, Carlos X; Weber, Jeffrey K; Pande, Vijay S

    2015-02-17

    CONSPECTUS: Protein function is inextricably linked to protein dynamics. As we move from a static structural picture to a dynamic ensemble view of protein structure and function, novel computational paradigms are required for observing and understanding conformational dynamics of proteins and its functional implications. In principle, molecular dynamics simulations can provide the time evolution of atomistic models of proteins, but the long time scales associated with functional dynamics make it difficult to observe rare dynamical transitions. The issue of extracting essential functional components of protein dynamics from noisy simulation data presents another set of challenges in obtaining an unbiased understanding of protein motions. Therefore, a methodology that provides a statistical framework for efficient sampling and a human-readable view of the key aspects of functional dynamics from data analysis is required. The Markov state model (MSM), which has recently become popular worldwide for studying protein dynamics, is an example of such a framework. In this Account, we review the use of Markov state models for efficient sampling of the hierarchy of time scales associated with protein dynamics, automatic identification of key conformational states, and the degrees of freedom associated with slow dynamical processes. Applications of MSMs for studying long time scale phenomena such as activation mechanisms of cellular signaling proteins has yielded novel insights into protein function. In particular, from MSMs built using large-scale simulations of GPCRs and kinases, we have shown that complex conformational changes in proteins can be described in terms of structural changes in key structural motifs or "molecular switches" within the protein, the transitions between functionally active and inactive states of proteins proceed via multiple pathways, and ligand or substrate binding modulates the flux through these pathways. Finally, MSMs also provide a theoretical

  4. Markov State Models Provide Insights into Dynamic Modulation of Protein Function

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Conspectus Protein function is inextricably linked to protein dynamics. As we move from a static structural picture to a dynamic ensemble view of protein structure and function, novel computational paradigms are required for observing and understanding conformational dynamics of proteins and its functional implications. In principle, molecular dynamics simulations can provide the time evolution of atomistic models of proteins, but the long time scales associated with functional dynamics make it difficult to observe rare dynamical transitions. The issue of extracting essential functional components of protein dynamics from noisy simulation data presents another set of challenges in obtaining an unbiased understanding of protein motions. Therefore, a methodology that provides a statistical framework for efficient sampling and a human-readable view of the key aspects of functional dynamics from data analysis is required. The Markov state model (MSM), which has recently become popular worldwide for studying protein dynamics, is an example of such a framework. In this Account, we review the use of Markov state models for efficient sampling of the hierarchy of time scales associated with protein dynamics, automatic identification of key conformational states, and the degrees of freedom associated with slow dynamical processes. Applications of MSMs for studying long time scale phenomena such as activation mechanisms of cellular signaling proteins has yielded novel insights into protein function. In particular, from MSMs built using large-scale simulations of GPCRs and kinases, we have shown that complex conformational changes in proteins can be described in terms of structural changes in key structural motifs or “molecular switches” within the protein, the transitions between functionally active and inactive states of proteins proceed via multiple pathways, and ligand or substrate binding modulates the flux through these pathways. Finally, MSMs also provide a

  5. Cadmium modulates adipocyte functions in metallothionein-null mice

    SciTech Connect

    Kawakami, Takashige; Nishiyama, Kaori; Kadota, Yoshito; Sato, Masao; Inoue, Masahisa; Suzuki, Shinya

    2013-11-01

    Our previous study has demonstrated that exposure to cadmium (Cd), a toxic heavy metal, causes a reduction of adipocyte size and the modulation of adipokine expression. To further investigate the significance of the Cd action, we studied the effect of Cd on the white adipose tissue (WAT) of metallothionein null (MT{sup −/−}) mice, which cannot form atoxic Cd–MT complexes and are used for evaluating Cd as free ions, and wild type (MT{sup +/+}) mice. Cd administration more significantly reduced the adipocyte size of MT{sup −/−} mice than that of MT{sup +/+} mice. Cd exposure also induced macrophage recruitment to WAT with an increase in the expression level of Ccl2 (MCP-1) in the MT{sup −/−} mice. The in vitro exposure of Cd to adipocytes induce triglyceride release into culture medium, decrease in the expression levels of genes involved in fatty acid synthesis and lipid hydrolysis at 24 h, and at 48 h increase in phosphorylation of the lipid-droplet-associated protein perilipin, which facilitates the degradation of stored lipids in adipocytes. Therefore, the reduction in adipocyte size by Cd may arise from an imbalance between lipid synthesis and lipolysis. In addition, the expression levels of leptin, adiponectin and resistin decreased in adipocytes. Taken together, exposure to Cd may induce unusually small adipocytes and modulate the expression of adipokines differently from the case of physiologically small adipocytes, and may accelerate the risk of developing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. - Highlights: • Cd causes a marked reduction in adipocyte size in MT-null mice. • Cd enhances macrophage migration into adipose tissue and disrupt adipokine secretion. • MT gene alleviates Cd-induced adipocyte dysfunctions. • Cd enhances the degradation of stored lipids in adipocytes, mediated by perilipin. • Cd induces unusually small adipocytes and the abnormal expression of adipokines.

  6. Radiation inactivation reveals discrete cation binding sites that modulate dihydropyridine binding sites

    SciTech Connect

    Bolger, G.T.; Skolnick, P.; Kempner, E.S. )

    1989-08-01

    In low ionic strength buffer (5 mM Tris.HCl), the binding of (3H) nitrendipine to dihydropyridine calcium antagonist binding sites of mouse forebrain membranes is increased by both Na{sup +} and Ca{sup 2+}. Radiation inactivation was used to determine the target size of ({sup 3}H)nitrendipine binding sites in 5 mM Tris.HCl buffer, in the presence and absence of these cations. After irradiation, ({sup 3}H) nitrendipine binding in buffer with or without Na+ was diminished, due to a loss of binding sites and also to an increase in Kd. After accounting for radiation effects on the dissociation constant, the target size for the nitrendipine binding site in buffer was 160-170 kDa and was 170-180 kDa in the presence of sodium. In the presence of calcium ions, ({sup 3}H)nitrendipine binding showed no radiation effects on Kd and yielded a target size of 150-170 kDa. These findings suggest, as in the case of opioid receptors, the presence of high molecular weight membrane components that modulate cation-induced alterations in radioligand binding to dihydropyridine binding sites.

  7. Exercise and fitness modulate cognitive function in older adults.

    PubMed

    Chu, Chien-Heng; Chen, Ai-Guo; Hung, Tsung-Min; Wang, Chun-Chih; Chang, Yu-Kai

    2015-12-01

    This study investigated the effects of acute exercise on cognitive function and the modulatory role of fitness in the relationship between exercise and cognition. Forty-six healthy older adults, categorized into higher or lower fitness groups, completed the Stroop test after both 30 min of aerobic exercise and a reading control with a counterbalanced order. Our findings demonstrated that acute exercise leads to general improvements in 2 types of cognitive functions and to specific improvements in executive function. Additionally, older adults with initially higher fitness levels experienced greater beneficial effects from acute exercise.

  8. Honey Bee Allatostatins Target Galanin/Somatostatin-Like Receptors and Modulate Learning: A Conserved Function?

    PubMed Central

    Urlacher, Elodie; Soustelle, Laurent; Parmentier, Marie-Laure; Verlinden, Heleen; Gherardi, Marie-Julie; Fourmy, Daniel; Mercer, Alison R.

    2016-01-01

    Sequencing of the honeybee genome revealed many neuropeptides and putative neuropeptide receptors, yet functional characterization of these peptidic systems is scarce. In this study, we focus on allatostatins, which were first identified as inhibitors of juvenile hormone synthesis, but whose role in the adult honey bee (Apis mellifera) brain remains to be determined. We characterize the bee allatostatin system, represented by two families: allatostatin A (Apime-ASTA) and its receptor (Apime-ASTA-R); and C-type allatostatins (Apime-ASTC and Apime-ASTCC) and their common receptor (Apime-ASTC-R). Apime-ASTA-R and Apime-ASTC-R are the receptors in bees most closely related to vertebrate galanin and somatostatin receptors, respectively. We examine the functional properties of the two honeybee receptors and show that they are transcriptionally expressed in the adult brain, including in brain centers known to be important for learning and memory processes. Thus we investigated the effects of exogenously applied allatostatins on appetitive olfactory learning in the bee. Our results show that allatostatins modulate learning in this insect, and provide important insights into the evolution of somatostatin/allatostatin signaling. PMID:26741132

  9. Functional cross-modulation between SOCS proteins can stimulate cytokine signaling.

    PubMed

    Piessevaux, Julie; Lavens, Delphine; Montoye, Tony; Wauman, Joris; Catteeuw, Dominiek; Vandekerckhove, Joël; Belsham, Denise; Peelman, Frank; Tavernier, Jan

    2006-11-01

    SOCS (suppressors of cytokine signaling) proteins are negative regulators of cytokine signaling that function primarily at the receptor level. Remarkably, in vitro and in vivo observations revealed both inhibitory and stimulatory effects of SOCS2 on growth hormone signaling, suggesting an additional regulatory level. In this study, we examined the possibility of direct cross-modulation between SOCS proteins and found that SOCS2 could interfere with the inhibitory actions of other SOCS proteins in growth hormone, interferon, and leptin signaling. This SOCS2 effect was SOCS box-dependent, required recruitment of the elongin BC complex, and coincided with degradation of target SOCS proteins. Detailed mammalian protein-protein interaction trap (MAPPIT) analysis indicated that SOCS2 can interact with all members of the SOCS family. SOCS2 may thus function as a molecular bridge between a ubiquitin-protein isopeptide ligase complex and SOCS proteins, targeting them for proteasomal turnover. We furthermore extended these observations to SOCS6 and SOCS7. Our findings point to a unique regulatory role for SOCS2, SOCS6, and SOCS7 within the SOCS family and provide an explanation for the unexpected phenotypes observed in SOCS2 and SOCS6 transgenic mice. PMID:16956890

  10. The ubiquitin-specific protease USP10 modulates androgen receptor function.

    PubMed

    Faus, Hortensia; Meyer, Hellmuth-Alexander; Huber, Martina; Bahr, Inke; Haendler, Bernard

    2005-12-21

    The role of the ubiquitin/proteasome system in degrading nuclear hormone receptors and regulating their transcriptional function has emerged in the last few years. We identified the ubiquitin-specific protease USP10 as part of DNA-bound androgen receptor (AR) complexes purified from nuclear extracts of PC-3 cells stably expressing the AR. The interaction between USP10 and the AR was confirmed by GST pull-down assays. Fluorescence microscopy documented that USP10 was localised in the nucleus and the cytoplasm. Cell-based transactivation assays in PC-3/AR cells revealed that overexpression of wild-type USP10, but not of an enzymatically inactive form, stimulated AR activity mediated by reporter constructs harbouring selective androgen response elements (AREs), non-selective steroid response elements (SREs) or the mouse mammary tumour virus (MMTV) promoter. Conversely, USP10 expression knock-down by siRNAs impaired the MMTV response to androgen. In summary, the data indicate that USP10 is a new cofactor that binds to the AR and stimulates the androgen response of target promoters. This finding underlines the role of the ubiquitin/proteasome system in modulating the AR function.

  11. Additive functions in boolean models of gene regulatory network modules.

    PubMed

    Darabos, Christian; Di Cunto, Ferdinando; Tomassini, Marco; Moore, Jason H; Provero, Paolo; Giacobini, Mario

    2011-01-01

    Gene-on-gene regulations are key components of every living organism. Dynamical abstract models of genetic regulatory networks help explain the genome's evolvability and robustness. These properties can be attributed to the structural topology of the graph formed by genes, as vertices, and regulatory interactions, as edges. Moreover, the actual gene interaction of each gene is believed to play a key role in the stability of the structure. With advances in biology, some effort was deployed to develop update functions in boolean models that include recent knowledge. We combine real-life gene interaction networks with novel update functions in a boolean model. We use two sub-networks of biological organisms, the yeast cell-cycle and the mouse embryonic stem cell, as topological support for our system. On these structures, we substitute the original random update functions by a novel threshold-based dynamic function in which the promoting and repressing effect of each interaction is considered. We use a third real-life regulatory network, along with its inferred boolean update functions to validate the proposed update function. Results of this validation hint to increased biological plausibility of the threshold-based function. To investigate the dynamical behavior of this new model, we visualized the phase transition between order and chaos into the critical regime using Derrida plots. We complement the qualitative nature of Derrida plots with an alternative measure, the criticality distance, that also allows to discriminate between regimes in a quantitative way. Simulation on both real-life genetic regulatory networks show that there exists a set of parameters that allows the systems to operate in the critical region. This new model includes experimentally derived biological information and recent discoveries, which makes it potentially useful to guide experimental research. The update function confers additional realism to the model, while reducing the complexity

  12. Additive Functions in Boolean Models of Gene Regulatory Network Modules

    PubMed Central

    Darabos, Christian; Di Cunto, Ferdinando; Tomassini, Marco; Moore, Jason H.; Provero, Paolo; Giacobini, Mario

    2011-01-01

    Gene-on-gene regulations are key components of every living organism. Dynamical abstract models of genetic regulatory networks help explain the genome's evolvability and robustness. These properties can be attributed to the structural topology of the graph formed by genes, as vertices, and regulatory interactions, as edges. Moreover, the actual gene interaction of each gene is believed to play a key role in the stability of the structure. With advances in biology, some effort was deployed to develop update functions in Boolean models that include recent knowledge. We combine real-life gene interaction networks with novel update functions in a Boolean model. We use two sub-networks of biological organisms, the yeast cell-cycle and the mouse embryonic stem cell, as topological support for our system. On these structures, we substitute the original random update functions by a novel threshold-based dynamic function in which the promoting and repressing effect of each interaction is considered. We use a third real-life regulatory network, along with its inferred Boolean update functions to validate the proposed update function. Results of this validation hint to increased biological plausibility of the threshold-based function. To investigate the dynamical behavior of this new model, we visualized the phase transition between order and chaos into the critical regime using Derrida plots. We complement the qualitative nature of Derrida plots with an alternative measure, the criticality distance, that also allows to discriminate between regimes in a quantitative way. Simulation on both real-life genetic regulatory networks show that there exists a set of parameters that allows the systems to operate in the critical region. This new model includes experimentally derived biological information and recent discoveries, which makes it potentially useful to guide experimental research. The update function confers additional realism to the model, while reducing the complexity

  13. Modulation of the pupil function of microscope objective lens for multifocal multi-photon microscopy using a spatial light modulator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsumoto, Naoya; Okazaki, Shigetoshi; Takamoto, Hisayoshi; Inoue, Takashi; Terakawa, Susumu

    2014-02-01

    We propose a method for high precision modulation of the pupil function of a microscope objective lens to improve the performance of multifocal multi-photon microscopy (MMM). To modulate the pupil function, we adopt a spatial light modulator (SLM) and place it at the conjugate position of the objective lens. The SLM can generate an arbitrary number of spots to excite the multiple fluorescence spots (MFS) at the desired positions and intensities by applying an appropriate computer-generated hologram (CGH). This flexibility allows us to control the MFS according to the photobleaching level of a fluorescent protein and phototoxicity of a specimen. However, when a large number of excitation spots are generated, the intensity distribution of the MFS is significantly different from the one originally designed due to misalignment of the optical setup and characteristics of the SLM. As a result, the image of a specimen obtained using laser scanning for the MFS has block noise segments because the SLM could not generate a uniform MFS. To improve the intensity distribution of the MFS, we adaptively redesigned the CGH based on the observed MFS. We experimentally demonstrate an improvement in the uniformity of a 10 × 10 MFS grid using a dye solution. The simplicity of the proposed method will allow it to be applied for calibration of MMM before observing living tissue. After the MMM calibration, we performed laser scanning with two-photon excitation to observe a real specimen without detecting block noise segments.

  14. Size product modulation by enzyme concentration reveals two distinct levan elongation mechanisms in Bacillus subtilis levansucrase.

    PubMed

    Raga-Carbajal, Enrique; Carrillo-Nava, Ernesto; Costas, Miguel; Porras-Dominguez, Jaime; López-Munguía, Agustín; Olvera, Clarita

    2016-04-01

    Two levan distributions are produced typically by Bacillus subtilis levansucrase (SacB): a high-molecular weight (HMW) levan with an average molecular weight of 2300 kDa, and a low-molecular weight (LMW) levan with 7.2 kDa. Previous results have demonstrated how reaction conditions modulate levan molecular weight distribution. Here we demonstrate that the SacB enzyme is able to perform two mechanisms: a processive mechanism for the synthesis of HMW levan and a non-processive mechanism for the synthesis of LMW levan. Furthermore, the effect of enzyme and substrate concentration on the elongation mechanism was studied. While a negligible effect of substrate concentration was observed, we found that SacB elongation mechanism is determined by enzyme concentration. A high concentration of enzyme is required to synthesize LMW levan, involving the sequential formation of a wide variety of intermediate size levan oligosaccharides with a degree of polymerization (DP) up to ∼70. In contrast, an HMW levan distribution is synthesized through a processive mechanism producing oligosaccharides with DP <20, in reactions occurring at low enzyme concentration. Additionally, reactions where levansucrase concentration was varied while the total enzyme activity was kept constant (using a combination of active SacB and an inactive SacB E342A/D86A) allowed us to demonstrate that enzyme concentration and not enzyme activity affects the final levan molecular weight distribution. The effect of enzyme concentration on the elongation mechanism is discussed in detail, finding that protein-product interactions are responsible for the mechanism shift.

  15. Functional Constraint Profiling of a Viral Protein Reveals Discordance of Evolutionary Conservation and Functionality.

    PubMed

    Wu, Nicholas C; Olson, C Anders; Du, Yushen; Le, Shuai; Tran, Kevin; Remenyi, Roland; Gong, Danyang; Al-Mawsawi, Laith Q; Qi, Hangfei; Wu, Ting-Ting; Sun, Ren

    2015-07-01

    Viruses often encode proteins with multiple functions due to their compact genomes. Existing approaches to identify functional residues largely rely on sequence conservation analysis. Inferring functional residues from sequence conservation can produce false positives, in which the conserved residues are functionally silent, or false negatives, where functional residues are not identified since they are species-specific and therefore non-conserved. Furthermore, the tedious process of constructing and analyzing individual mutations limits the number of residues that can be examined in a single study. Here, we developed a systematic approach to identify the functional residues of a viral protein by coupling experimental fitness profiling with protein stability prediction using the influenza virus polymerase PA subunit as the target protein. We identified a significant number of functional residues that were influenza type-specific and were evolutionarily non-conserved among different influenza types. Our results indicate that type-specific functional residues are prevalent and may not otherwise be identified by sequence conservation analysis alone. More importantly, this technique can be adapted to any viral (and potentially non-viral) protein where structural information is available.

  16. Genotypes and Pathogenicity of Cellulitis Isolates Reveal Traits That Modulate APEC Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Barbieri, Nicolle Lima; de Oliveira, Aline Luísa; Tejkowski, Thiago Moreira; Pavanelo, Daniel Brisotto; Rocha, Débora Assumpção; Matter, Letícia Beatriz; Callegari-Jacques, Sidia Maria; de Brito, Benito Guimarães; Horn, Fabiana

    2013-01-01

    We characterized 144 Escherichia coli isolates from severe cellulitis lesions in broiler chickens from South Brazil. Analysis of susceptibility to 15 antimicrobials revealed frequencies of resistance of less than 30% for most antimicrobials except tetracycline (70%) and sulphonamides (60%). The genotyping of 34 virulence-associated genes revealed that all the isolates harbored virulence factors related to adhesion, iron acquisition and serum resistance, which are characteristic of the avian pathogenic E. coli (APEC) pathotype. ColV plasmid-associated genes (cvi/cva, iroN, iss, iucD, sitD, traT, tsh) were especially frequent among the isolates (from 66.6% to 89.6%). According to the Clermont method of ECOR phylogenetic typing, isolates belonged to group D (47.2%), to group A (27.8%), to group B2 (17.4%) and to group B1 (7.6%); the group B2 isolates contained the highest number of virulence-associated genes. Clonal relationship analysis using the ARDRA method revealed a similarity level of 57% or higher among isolates, but no endemic clone. The virulence of the isolates was confirmed in vivo in one-day-old chicks. Most isolates (72.9%) killed all infected chicks within 7 days, and 65 isolates (38.1%) killed most of them within 24 hours. In order to analyze differences in virulence among the APEC isolates, we created a pathogenicity score by combining the times of death with the clinical symptoms noted. By looking for significant associations between the presence of virulence-associated genes and the pathogenicity score, we found that the presence of genes for invasins ibeA and gimB and for group II capsule KpsMTII increased virulence, while the presence of pic decreased virulence. The fact that ibeA, gimB and KpsMTII are characteristic of neonatal meningitis E. coli (NMEC) suggests that genes of NMEC in APEC increase virulence of strains. PMID:23977279

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:24345941

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

    PubMed

    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. 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.

  20. Endothelial Mineralocorticoid Receptors Differentially Contribute to Coronary and Mesenteric Vascular Function Without Modulating Blood Pressure.

    PubMed

    Mueller, Katelee Barrett; Bender, Shawn B; Hong, Kwangseok; Yang, Yan; Aronovitz, Mark; Jaisser, Frederic; Hill, Michael A; Jaffe, Iris Z

    2015-11-01

    Arteriolar vasoreactivity tightly regulates tissue-specific blood flow and contributes to systemic blood pressure (BP) but becomes dysfunctional in the setting of cardiovascular disease. The mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) is known to regulate BP via the kidney and by vasoconstriction in smooth muscle cells. Although endothelial cells (EC) express MR, the contribution of EC-MR to BP and resistance vessel function remains unclear. To address this, we created a mouse with MR specifically deleted from EC (EC-MR knockout [EC-MR-KO]) but with intact leukocyte MR expression and normal renal MR function. Telemetric BP studies reveal no difference between male EC-MR-KO mice and MR-intact littermates in systolic, diastolic, circadian, or salt-sensitive BP or in the hypertensive responses to aldosterone±salt or angiotensin II±l-nitroarginine methyl ester. Vessel myography demonstrated normal vasorelaxation in mesenteric and coronary arterioles from EC-MR-KO mice. After exposure to angiotensin II-induced hypertension, impaired endothelial-dependent relaxation was prevented in EC-MR-KO mice in mesenteric vessels but not in coronary vessels. Mesenteric vessels from angiotensin II-exposed EC-MR-KO mice showed increased maximum responsiveness to acetylcholine when compared with MR-intact vessels, a difference that is lost with indomethacin+l-nitroarginine methyl ester pretreatment. These data support that EC-MR plays a role in regulating endothelial function in hypertension. Although there was no effect of EC-MR deletion on mesenteric vasoconstriction, coronary arterioles from EC-MR-KO mice showed decreased constriction to endothelin-1 and thromboxane agonist at baseline and also after exposure to hypertension. These data support that EC-MR participates in regulation of vasomotor function in a vascular bed-specific manner that is also modulated by risk factors, such as hypertension.

  1. Modulation of dendritic cell maturation and function by B lymphocytes.

    PubMed

    Bayry, Jagadeesh; Lacroix-Desmazes, Sébastien; Kazatchkine, Michel D; Hermine, Olivier; Tough, David F; Kaveri, Srini V

    2005-07-01

    Investigating the signals that regulate the function of dendritic cells (DC), the sentinels of the immune system, is critical to understanding the role of DC in the regulation of immune responses. Accumulating lines of evidence indicate that in addition to innate stimuli and T cell-derived signals, B lymphocytes exert a profound regulatory effect in vitro and in vivo on the Ag-presenting function of DC. The identification of B cells as a cellular source of cytokines, chemokines, and autoantibodies that are critically involved in the process of maturation, migration, and function of DC provides a rationale for immunotherapeutic intervention of autoimmune and inflammatory conditions by targeting B cells. Conversely, efficient cross-presentation of Ags by DC pulsed with immune complexes provides an alternative approach in the immunotherapy of cancer and infectious diseases. PMID:15972625

  2. The Neuropsychopharmacology of Fronto-Executive Function: Monoaminergic Modulation

    PubMed Central

    Robbins, T.W.; Arnsten, A.F.T.

    2010-01-01

    We review the modulatory effects of the catecholamine neurotransmitters noradrenaline and dopamine on prefrontal cortical function. The effects of pharmacologic manipulations of these systems, sometimes in comparison with the indoleamine serotonin (5-HT), on performance on a variety of tasks that tap working memory, attentional-set formation and shifting, reversal learning, and response inhibition are compared in rodents, nonhuman primates, and humans using, in a behavioral context, several techniques ranging from microiontophoresis and single-cell electrophysiological recording to pharmacologic functional magnetic resonance imaging. Dissociable effects of drugs and neurotoxins affecting these monoamine systems suggest new ways of conceptualizing state-dependent fronto-executive functions, with implications for understanding the molecular genetic basis of mental illness and its treatment. PMID:19555290

  3. Single Channel Recordings Reveal Differential β2 Subunit Modulations Between Mammalian and Drosophila BKCa(β2) Channels

    PubMed Central

    Zhong, Ling; Guo, Xiying; Weng, Anxi; Xiao, Feng; Zeng, Wenping; Zhang, Yan; Ding, Jiuping; Hou, Panpan

    2016-01-01

    Large-conductance Ca2+- and voltage-activated potassium (BK) channels are widely expressed in tissues. As a voltage and calcium sensor, BK channels play significant roles in regulating the action potential frequency, neurotransmitter release, and smooth muscle contraction. After associating with the auxiliary β2 subunit, mammalian BK(β2) channels (mouse or human Slo1/β2) exhibit enhanced activation and complete inactivation. However, how the β2 subunit modulates the Drosophila Slo1 channel remains elusive. In this study, by comparing the different functional effects on heterogeneous BK(β2) channel, we found that Drosophila Slo1/β2 channel exhibits “paralyzed”-like and incomplete inactivation as well as slow activation. Further, we determined three different modulations between mammalian and Drosophila BK(β2) channels: 1) dSlo1/β2 doesn’t have complete inactivation. 2) β2(K33,R34,K35) delays the dSlo1/Δ3-β2 channel activation. 3) dSlo1/β2 channel has enhanced pre-inactivation than mSlo1/β2 channel. The results in our study provide insights into the different modulations of β2 subunit between mammalian and Drosophila Slo1/β2 channels and structural basis underlie the activation and pre-inactivation of other BK(β) complexes. PMID:27755549

  4. Individual preferences modulate incentive values: Evidence from functional MRI

    PubMed Central

    Koeneke, Susan; Pedroni, Andreas F; Dieckmann, Anja; Bosch, Volker; Jäncke, Lutz

    2008-01-01

    Background In most studies on human reward processing, reward intensity has been manipulated on an objective scale (e.g., varying monetary value). Everyday experience, however, teaches us that objectively equivalent rewards may differ substantially in their subjective incentive values. One factor influencing incentive value in humans is branding. The current study explores the hypothesis that individual brand preferences modulate activity in reward areas similarly to objectively measurable differences in reward intensity. Methods A wheel-of-fortune game comprising an anticipation phase and a subsequent outcome evaluation phase was implemented. Inside a 3 Tesla MRI scanner, 19 participants played for chocolate bars of three different brands that differed in subjective attractiveness. Results Parametrical analysis of the obtained fMRI data demonstrated that the level of activity in anatomically distinct neural networks was linearly associated with the subjective preference hierarchy of the brands played for. During the anticipation phases, preference-dependent neural activity has been registered in premotor areas, insular cortex, orbitofrontal cortex, and in the midbrain. During the outcome phases, neural activity in the caudate nucleus, precuneus, lingual gyrus, cerebellum, and in the pallidum was influenced by individual preference. Conclusion Our results suggest a graded effect of differently preferred brands onto the incentive value of objectively equivalent rewards. Regarding the anticipation phase, the results reflect an intensified state of wanting that facilitates action preparation when the participants play for their favorite brand. This mechanism may underlie approach behavior in real-life choice situations. PMID:19032746

  5. Zolpidem modulates GABA(A) receptor function in subthalamic nucleus.

    PubMed

    Chen, Lei; Xie, Jun-Xia; Fung, Kam-Shuen; Yung, Wing-Ho

    2007-05-01

    The subthalamic nucleus occupies a position in the indirect pathway of basal ganglia circuit, which plays an important role in the movement regulation. Zolpidem is an imidazopyridine agonist with a high affinity on the benzodiazepine site of GABA(A) receptors containing alpha 1 subunit. Recently, zolpidem has been reported to be useful in treating subgroups of parkinsonian patients. A high density of zolpidem binding sites has been shown in rat subthalamic nucleus. To further investigate the modulation of zolpidem on GABA(A) receptor-mediated inhibitory synaptic current in subthalamic nucleus, whole-cell patch clamp recordings were used in the present study. Zolpidem at 100nM significantly prolonged the decay time and rise time of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents, with no effect on the amplitude and frequency. The benzodiazepine antagonist flumazenil could completely block the potentiation induced by zolpidem, confirming the specificity on the benzodiazepine site. At a high concentration of 1 microM, zolpidem significantly increased the decay time, rise time, amplitude and frequency of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents. In the behaving rats, unilateral microinjection of zolpidem into subthalamic nucleus induced a significant contralateral rotation. The present findings on the effect of zolpidem in subthalamic nucleus provide a rationale for further investigations into its potential in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. PMID:17337310

  6. Extracting a shape function for a signal with intra-wave frequency modulation.

    PubMed

    Hou, Thomas Y; Shi, Zuoqiang

    2016-04-13

    In this paper, we develop an effective and robust adaptive time-frequency analysis method for signals with intra-wave frequency modulation. To handle this kind of signals effectively, we generalize our data-driven time-frequency analysis by using a shape function to describe the intra-wave frequency modulation. The idea of using a shape function in time-frequency analysis was first proposed by Wu (Wu 2013 Appl. Comput. Harmon. Anal. 35, 181-199. (doi:10.1016/j.acha.2012.08.008)). A shape function could be any smooth 2π-periodic function. Based on this model, we propose to solve an optimization problem to extract the shape function. By exploring the fact that the shape function is a periodic function with respect to its phase function, we can identify certain low-rank structure of the signal. This low-rank structure enables us to extract the shape function from the signal. Once the shape function is obtained, the instantaneous frequency with intra-wave modulation can be recovered from the shape function. We demonstrate the robustness and efficiency of our method by applying it to several synthetic and real signals. One important observation is that this approach is very stable to noise perturbation. By using the shape function approach, we can capture the intra-wave frequency modulation very well even for noise-polluted signals. In comparison, existing methods such as empirical mode decomposition/ensemble empirical mode decomposition seem to have difficulty in capturing the intra-wave modulation when the signal is polluted by noise.

  7. Inflammation modulates human HDL composition and function in vivo

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Inflammation may directly impair HDL functions, in particular reverse cholesterol transport (RCT), but limited data support this concept in humans. Our study was designed to investigate this relationship. We employed low-dose human endotoxemia to assess the effects of inflammation on HDL and RCT-rel...

  8. Reducing the diffraction artifacts while implementing a phase function on a spatial light modulator.

    PubMed

    Benoît-Pasanau, Céline; Goudail, François; Chavel, Pierre; Cano, Jean-Paul; Ballet, Jérôme

    2011-02-01

    Spatial light modulators are often used to implement phase modulation. Since they are pixelated, the phase function is usually approximated by a regularly sampled piecewise constant function, and the periodicity of the pixel sampling generates annoying diffraction peaks. We theoretically investigate two pixelation techniques: the isophase method and a new nonperiodic method derived from the Voronoi tessellation technique. We show that, for a suitable choice of parameters, the diffraction peaks disappear and are replaced by a smoothly varying halo. We illustrate the potential of these two techniques for implementing a lens function and wavefront correction. PMID:21283242

  9. Angiogenesis and vascular functions in modulation of obesity, adipose metabolism, and insulin sensitivity.

    PubMed

    Cao, Yihai

    2013-10-01

    White and brown adipose tissues are hypervascularized and the adipose vasculature displays phenotypic and functional plasticity to coordinate with metabolic demands of adipocytes. Blood vessels not only supply nutrients and oxygen to nourish adipocytes, they also serve as a cellular reservoir to provide adipose precursor and stem cells that control adipose tissue mass and function. Multiple signaling molecules modulate the complex interplay between the vascular system and the adipocytes. Understanding fundamental mechanisms by which angiogenesis and vasculatures modulate adipocyte functions may provide new therapeutic options for treatment of obesity and metabolic disorders by targeting the adipose vasculature.

  10. Assessing upper limb function in nonambulant SMA patients: development of a new module.

    PubMed

    Mazzone, Elena; Bianco, Flaviana; Martinelli, Diego; Glanzman, Allan M; Messina, Sonia; De Sanctis, Roberto; Main, Marion; Eagle, Michelle; Florence, Julaine; Krosschell, Kristin; Vasco, Gessica; Pelliccioni, Marco; Lombardo, Marilena; Pane, Marika; Finkel, Richard; Muntoni, Francesco; Bertini, Enrico; Mercuri, Eugenio

    2011-06-01

    We report the development of a module specifically designed for assessing upper limb function in nonambulant SMA patients, including young children and those with severe contractures. The application of the module to a preschool cohort of 40 children (age 30-48 months) showed that all the items could be completed by 30 months. The module was also used in 45 nonambulant SMA patients (age 30 months to 27 years). Their scores were more variable than in the preschool cohort, ranging from 0 to 18. The magnitude of scores was not related to age (r=-0.19). The upper limb scores had a good correlation with the Hammersmith Functional Motor Scale, r=0.75, but the upper limb function did not always strictly follow the overall gross motor function. These findings suggest that even some of the very weak nonambulant children possess upper limb skills that can be measured.

  11. [The assessment of modulated radiofrequence electromagnetic radiation on cognitive function in rats of different ages].

    PubMed

    Priakhin, E A; Triapitsyna, G A; Andreev, S S; Kolomiets, I A; Polevik, N D; Akleev, A V

    2007-01-01

    The modulated radiofrequence electromagnetic radiation influence on cognitive function of male uninbred Wister rat exposed at the age of sexual maturation (2 months) and at the age of morphofunctional maturity (3.5 months) was examined. Animals were subjected to pulse electromagnetic radiation (925 MHz) modulated as a GSM standard with the power density 1.2 mW/cm2 for 10 minutes every day for 12 days. At day 8 of exposure the cognitive function were examined with the Morris water maze. In the result of investigation it was determines that modulated radiofrequence electromagnetic radiation at the sexual maturation age did not affect the spatial learning and improve the visual orientation performance. Modulated radiofrequence electromagnetic exposure of animals at the sex maturity age did not affect the visual performance and improve the spatial performance of male rats.

  12. Modulation of Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus Interleukin-6 Function by Hypoxia-Upregulated Protein 1

    PubMed Central

    Giffin, Louise; Yan, Feng; Major, M. Ben

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV, also called human herpesvirus 8) is linked to the development of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), primary effusion lymphoma (PEL), and multicentric Castleman's disease (MCD). KSHV expresses several proteins that modulate host cell signaling pathways. One of these proteins is viral interleukin-6 (vIL-6), which is a homolog of human IL-6 (hIL-6). vIL-6 is able to prevent apoptosis and promote proinflammatory signaling, angiogenesis, and cell proliferation. Although it can be secreted, vIL-6 is mainly an intracellular protein that is retained in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). We performed affinity purification and mass spectrometry to identify novel vIL-6 binding partners and found that a cellular ER chaperone, hypoxia-upregulated protein 1 (HYOU1), interacts with vIL-6. Immunohistochemical staining reveals that both PEL and KS tumor tissues express significant amounts of HYOU1. We also show that HYOU1 increases endogenous vIL-6 protein levels and that HYOU1 facilitates vIL-6-induced JAK/STAT signaling, migration, and survival in endothelial cells. Furthermore, our data suggest that HYOU1 also modulates vIL-6's ability to induce CCL2, a chemokine involved in cell migration. Finally, we investigated the impact of HYOU1 on cellular hIL-6 signaling. Collectively, our data indicate that HYOU1 is important for vIL-6 function and may play a role in the pathogenesis of KSHV-associated cancers. IMPORTANCE KSHV vIL-6 is detectable in all KSHV-associated malignancies and promotes tumorigenesis and inflammation. We identified a cellular protein, called hypoxia-upregulated protein 1 (HYOU1), that interacts with KSHV vIL-6 and is present in KSHV-infected tumors. Our data suggest that HYOU1 facilitates the vIL-6-induced signaling, migration, and survival of endothelial cells. PMID:24920810

  13. Nestin Modulates Glucocorticoid Receptor Function by Cytoplasmic Anchoring

    PubMed Central

    Szalay, Beata; Hagel, Christian; Hohenberg, Heinrich; Deppert, Wolfgang; Bohn, Wolfgang

    2009-01-01

    Nestin is the characteristic intermediate filament (IF) protein of rapidly proliferating progenitor cells and regenerating tissue. Nestin copolymerizes with class III IF-proteins, mostly vimentin, into heteromeric filaments. Its expression is downregulated with differentiation. Here we show that a strong nestin expression in mouse embryo tissue coincides with a strong accumulation of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR), a key regulator of growth and differentiation in embryonic development. Microscopic studies on cultured cells show an association of GR with IFs composed of vimentin and nestin. Cells lacking nestin, but expressing vimentin, or cells expressing vimentin, but lacking nestin accumulate GR in the nucleus. Completing these networks with an exogenous nestin, respectively an exogenous vimentin restores cytoplasmic anchoring of GR to the IF system. Thus, heteromeric filaments provide the basis for anchoring of GR. The reaction pattern with phospho-GR specific antibodies and the presence of the chaperone HSC70 suggest that specifically the unliganded receptor is anchored to the IF system. Ligand addition releases GR from IFs and shifts the receptor into the nucleus. Suppression of nestin by specific shRNA abolishes anchoring of GR, induces its accumulation in the nucleus and provokes an irreversible G1/S cell cycle arrest. Suppression of GR prior to that of nestin prevents entry into the arrest. The data give evidence that nestin/vimentin specific anchoring modulates growth suppression by GR. We hypothesize that expression of nestin is a major determinant in suppression of anti-proliferative activity of GR in undifferentiated tissue and facilitates activation of this growth control in a precise tissue and differentiation dependent manner. PMID:19562035

  14. Genomic heterogeneity of osteosarcoma - shift from single candidates to functional modules.

    PubMed

    Poos, Kathrin; Smida, Jan; Maugg, Doris; Eckstein, Gertrud; Baumhoer, Daniel; Nathrath, Michaela; Korsching, Eberhard

    2015-01-01

    Osteosarcoma (OS), a bone tumor, exhibit a complex karyotype. On the genomic level a highly variable degree of alterations in nearly all chromosomal regions and between individual tumors is observable. This hampers the identification of common drivers in OS biology. To identify the common molecular mechanisms involved in the maintenance of OS, we follow the hypothesis that all the copy number-associated differences between the patients are intercepted on the level of the functional modules. The implementation is based on a network approach utilizing copy number associated genes in OS, paired expression data and protein interaction data. The resulting functional modules of tightly connected genes were interpreted regarding their biological functions in OS and their potential prognostic significance. We identified an osteosarcoma network assembling well-known and lesser-known candidates. The derived network shows a significant connectivity and modularity suggesting that the genes affected by the heterogeneous genetic alterations share the same biological context. The network modules participate in several critical aspects of cancer biology like DNA damage response, cell growth, and cell motility which is in line with the hypothesis of specifically deregulated but functional modules in cancer. Further, we could deduce genes with possible prognostic significance in OS for further investigation (e.g. EZR, CDKN2A, MAP3K5). Several of those module genes were located on chromosome 6q. The given systems biological approach provides evidence that heterogeneity on the genomic and expression level is ordered by the biological system on the level of the functional modules. Different genomic aberrations are pointing to the same cellular network vicinity to form vital, but already neoplastically altered, functional modules maintaining OS. This observation, exemplarily now shown for OS, has been under discussion already for a longer time, but often in a hypothetical manner, and

  15. Genomic Heterogeneity of Osteosarcoma - Shift from Single Candidates to Functional Modules

    PubMed Central

    Maugg, Doris; Eckstein, Gertrud; Baumhoer, Daniel; Nathrath, Michaela; Korsching, Eberhard

    2015-01-01

    Osteosarcoma (OS), a bone tumor, exhibit a complex karyotype. On the genomic level a highly variable degree of alterations in nearly all chromosomal regions and between individual tumors is observable. This hampers the identification of common drivers in OS biology. To identify the common molecular mechanisms involved in the maintenance of OS, we follow the hypothesis that all the copy number-associated differences between the patients are intercepted on the level of the functional modules. The implementation is based on a network approach utilizing copy number associated genes in OS, paired expression data and protein interaction data. The resulting functional modules of tightly connected genes were interpreted regarding their biological functions in OS and their potential prognostic significance. We identified an osteosarcoma network assembling well-known and lesser-known candidates. The derived network shows a significant connectivity and modularity suggesting that the genes affected by the heterogeneous genetic alterations share the same biological context. The network modules participate in several critical aspects of cancer biology like DNA damage response, cell growth, and cell motility which is in line with the hypothesis of specifically deregulated but functional modules in cancer. Further, we could deduce genes with possible prognostic significance in OS for further investigation (e.g. EZR, CDKN2A, MAP3K5). Several of those module genes were located on chromosome 6q. The given systems biological approach provides evidence that heterogeneity on the genomic and expression level is ordered by the biological system on the level of the functional modules. Different genomic aberrations are pointing to the same cellular network vicinity to form vital, but already neoplastically altered, functional modules maintaining OS. This observation, exemplarily now shown for OS, has been under discussion already for a longer time, but often in a hypothetical manner, and

  16. Phosphatidic acid modulation of Kv channel voltage sensor function.

    PubMed

    Hite, Richard K; Butterwick, Joel A; MacKinnon, Roderick

    2014-01-01

    Membrane phospholipids can function as potent regulators of ion channel function. This study uncovers and investigates the effect of phosphatidic acid on Kv channel gating. Using the method of reconstitution into planar lipid bilayers, in which protein and lipid components are defined and controlled, we characterize two effects of phosphatidic acid. The first is a non-specific electrostatic influence on activation mediated by electric charge density on the extracellular and intracellular membrane surfaces. The second is specific to the presence of a primary phosphate group, acts only through the intracellular membrane leaflet and depends on the presence of a particular arginine residue in the voltage sensor. Intracellular phosphatidic acid accounts for a nearly 50 mV shift in the midpoint of the activation curve in a direction consistent with stabilization of the voltage sensor's closed conformation. These findings support a novel mechanism of voltage sensor regulation by the signaling lipid phosphatidic acid. PMID:25285449

  17. Exogenous neurotensin modulates sperm function in Japanese Black cattle

    PubMed Central

    UMEZU, Kohei; HIRADATE, Yuuki; OIKAWA, Toshinori; ISHIGURO, Hirotoshi; NUMABE, Takashi; HARA, Kenshiro; TANEMURA, Kentaro

    2016-01-01

    Recently, the conception rates after artificial insemination have been pointed out to decline continuously. To overcome this problem, the control of frozen and thawed sperm quality is required. However, the mechanism of bovine sperm functional regulation is still largely unknown. In mammals, the ejaculated sperm are capable of showing fertilizing ability during migration in the female reproductive organs. It is well known that these female organs secrete several factors contributing to sperm capacitation. We previously reported that neurotensin (NT) secreted from the oviduct and cumulus cells enhanced sperm capacitation and acrosome reaction in mice. In this study, we confirmed the expression of the NT receptor (NTR1) in the bovine sperm neck region and the secretion of NT in the bovine uterus and oviduct. The similar expression patterns of NT and NTR1 suggests a conserved mechanism of sperm functional regulation between mouse and cattle. Thus, we examined the effects of exogenous NT on the bovine sperm functions. First, we showed that NT induced sperm protein tyrosine phosphorylation in a dose-dependent manner, suggesting that NT enhances sperm capacitation. Second, we showed that NT induced acrosome reactions of capacitated sperm in a dose-dependent manner, suggesting that NT facilitates acrosome reaction. Finally, we used a computer-aided sperm analysis system to show that NT did not have a great effect on sperm motility. These results suggest that NT acts as a facilitator of sperm capacitation and acrosome reaction in the female reproductive tracts in cattle, highlighting the importance of NT-mediated signaling to regulate sperm functions. PMID:27210588

  18. Exogenous neurotensin modulates sperm function in Japanese Black cattle.

    PubMed

    Umezu, Kohei; Hiradate, Yuuki; Oikawa, Toshinori; Ishiguro, Hirotoshi; Numabe, Takashi; Hara, Kenshiro; Tanemura, Kentaro

    2016-08-25

    Recently, the conception rates after artificial insemination have been pointed out to decline continuously. To overcome this problem, the control of frozen and thawed sperm quality is required. However, the mechanism of bovine sperm functional regulation is still largely unknown. In mammals, the ejaculated sperm are capable of showing fertilizing ability during migration in the female reproductive organs. It is well known that these female organs secrete several factors contributing to sperm capacitation. We previously reported that neurotensin (NT) secreted from the oviduct and cumulus cells enhanced sperm capacitation and acrosome reaction in mice. In this study, we confirmed the expression of the NT receptor (NTR1) in the bovine sperm neck region and the secretion of NT in the bovine uterus and oviduct. The similar expression patterns of NT and NTR1 suggests a conserved mechanism of sperm functional regulation between mouse and cattle. Thus, we examined the effects of exogenous NT on the bovine sperm functions. First, we showed that NT induced sperm protein tyrosine phosphorylation in a dose-dependent manner, suggesting that NT enhances sperm capacitation. Second, we showed that NT induced acrosome reactions of capacitated sperm in a dose-dependent manner, suggesting that NT facilitates acrosome reaction. Finally, we used a computer-aided sperm analysis system to show that NT did not have a great effect on sperm motility. These results suggest that NT acts as a facilitator of sperm capacitation and acrosome reaction in the female reproductive tracts in cattle, highlighting the importance of NT-mediated signaling to regulate sperm functions. PMID:27210588

  19. Campylobacter infection in chickens modulates the intestinal epithelial barrier function.

    PubMed

    Awad, Wageha A; Molnár, Andor; Aschenbach, Jörg R; Ghareeb, Khaled; Khayal, Basel; Hess, Claudia; Liebhart, Dieter; Dublecz, Károly; Hess, Michael

    2015-02-01

    Asymptomatic carriage of Campylobacter jejuni is highly prevalent in chicken flocks. Thus, we investigated whether chronic Campylobacter carriage affects chicken intestinal functions despite the absence of clinical symptoms. An experiment was carried out in which commercial chickens were orally infected with C. jejuni (1 × 10(8) CFU/bird) at 14 days of life. Changes in ion transport and barrier function were assessed by short-circuit current (I(sc)) and transepithelial ion conductance (G(t)) in Ussing chambers. G(t) increased in cecum and colon of Campylobacter-infected chicken 7 d post-infection (DPI), whereas G t initially decreased in the jejunum at 7 DPI and increased thereafter at 14 DPI. The net charge transfer across the epithelium was reduced or tended to be reduced in all segments, as evidenced by a decreased I sc. Furthermore, the infection induced intestinal histomorphological changes, most prominently including a decrease in villus height, crypt depth and villus surface area in the jejunum at 7 DPI. Furthermore, body mass gain was decreased by Campylobacter carriage. This study demonstrates, for the first time, changes in the intestinal barrier function in Campylobacter-infected chickens and these changes were associated with a decrease in growth performance in otherwise healthy-appearing birds.

  20. Functional modulation on macrophage by low dose naltrexone (LDN).

    PubMed

    Yi, Zhe; Guo, Shengnan; Hu, Xu; Wang, Xiaonan; Zhang, Xiaoqing; Griffin, Noreen; Shan, Fengping

    2016-10-01

    Previously it was confirmed that naltrexone, a non-peptide δ-opioid receptor selective antagonist is mainly used for alcoholic dependence and opioid addiction treatment. However, there is increasing data on immune regulation of low dose naltrexone (LDN). The aim of this work was to explore the effect of LDN on the phenotype and function of macrophage. The changes of macrophage after treatment with LDN were examined using flow cytometry (FCM); FITC-dextran phagocytosis and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). We have found that LDN enhances function of macrophage as confirmed by up-regulating MHC II molecule and CD64 on macrophage while down-regulating CD206 expression. Furthermore the productions of TNF-α, IL-6, IL-1β, increased significantly. Macrophages in LDN treated group performed the enhanced phagocytosis. Therefore it is concluded that LDN could promote function of macrophage and this work has provided concrete data of impact on immune system by LDN. Especially the data would support interaction between CD4+T cell and macrophage in AIDS treatment with LDN in Africa (LDN has already been approved in Nigeria for the use in AIDS treatment). PMID:27561742

  1. Essential Functional Modules for Pathogenic and Defensive Mechanisms in Candida albicans Infections

    PubMed Central

    Tsai, I-Chun; Lin, Che; Chuang, Yung-Jen

    2014-01-01

    The clinical and biological significance of the study of fungal pathogen Candida albicans (C. albicans) has markedly increased. However, the explicit pathogenic and invasive mechanisms of such host-pathogen interactions have not yet been fully elucidated. Therefore, the essential functional modules involved in C. albicans-zebrafish interactions were investigated in this study. Adopting a systems biology approach, the early-stage and late-stage protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks for both C. albicans and zebrafish were constructed. By comparing PPI networks at the early and late stages of the infection process, several critical functional modules were identified in both pathogenic and defensive mechanisms. Functional modules in C. albicans, like those involved in hyphal morphogenesis, ion and small molecule transport, protein secretion, and shifts in carbon utilization, were seen to play important roles in pathogen invasion and damage caused to host cells. Moreover, the functional modules in zebrafish, such as those involved in immune response, apoptosis mechanisms, ion transport, protein secretion, and hemostasis-related processes, were found to be significant as defensive mechanisms during C. albicans infection. The essential functional modules thus determined could provide insights into the molecular mechanisms of host-pathogen interactions during the infection process and thereby devise potential therapeutic strategies to treat C. albicans infection. PMID:24757665

  2. Function and regulation of TRPP2 ion channel revealed by a gain-of-function mutant.

    PubMed

    Arif Pavel, Mahmud; Lv, Caixia; Ng, Courtney; Yang, Lei; Kashyap, Parul; Lam, Clarissa; Valentino, Victoria; Fung, Helen Y; Campbell, Thomas; Møller, Simon Geir; Zenisek, David; Holtzman, Nathalia G; Yu, Yong

    2016-04-26

    Mutations in polycystin-1 and transient receptor potential polycystin 2 (TRPP2) account for almost all clinically identified cases of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), one of the most common human genetic diseases. TRPP2 functions as a cation channel in its homomeric complex and in the TRPP2/polycystin-1 receptor/ion channel complex. The activation mechanism of TRPP2 is unknown, which significantly limits the study of its function and regulation. Here, we generated a constitutively active gain-of-function (GOF) mutant of TRPP2 by applying a mutagenesis scan on the S4-S5 linker and the S5 transmembrane domain, and studied functional properties of the GOF TRPP2 channel. We found that extracellular divalent ions, including Ca(2+), inhibit the permeation of monovalent ions by directly blocking the TRPP2 channel pore. We also found that D643, a negatively charged amino acid in the pore, is crucial for channel permeability. By introducing single-point ADPKD pathogenic mutations into the GOF TRPP2, we showed that different mutations could have completely different effects on channel activity. The in vivo function of the GOF TRPP2 was investigated in zebrafish embryos. The results indicate that, compared with wild type (WT), GOF TRPP2 more efficiently rescued morphological abnormalities, including curly tail and cyst formation in the pronephric kidney, caused by down-regulation of endogenous TRPP2 expression. Thus, we established a GOF TRPP2 channel that can serve as a powerful tool for studying the function and regulation of TRPP2. The GOF channel may also have potential application for developing new therapeutic strategies for ADPKD. PMID:27071085

  3. Myocyte repolarization modulates myocardial function in aging dogs.

    PubMed

    Sorrentino, Andrea; Signore, Sergio; Qanud, Khaled; Borghetti, Giulia; Meo, Marianna; Cannata, Antonio; Zhou, Yu; Wybieralska, Ewa; Luciani, Marco; Kannappan, Ramaswamy; Zhang, Eric; Matsuda, Alex; Webster, Andrew; Cimini, Maria; Kertowidjojo, Elizabeth; D'Alessandro, David A; Wunimenghe, Oriyanhan; Michler, Robert E; Royer, Christopher; Goichberg, Polina; Leri, Annarosa; Barrett, Edward G; Anversa, Piero; Hintze, Thomas H; Rota, Marcello

    2016-04-01

    Studies of myocardial aging are complex and the mechanisms involved in the deterioration of ventricular performance and decreased functional reserve of the old heart remain to be properly defined. We have studied a colony of beagle dogs from 3 to 14 yr of age kept under a highly regulated environment to define the effects of aging on the myocardium. Ventricular, myocardial, and myocyte function, together with anatomical and structural properties of the organ and cardiomyocytes, were evaluated. Ventricular hypertrophy was not observed with aging and the structural composition of the myocardium was modestly affected. Alterations in the myocyte compartment were identified in aged dogs, and these factors negatively interfere with the contractile reserve typical of the young heart. The duration of the action potential is prolonged in old cardiomyocytes contributing to the slower electrical recovery of the myocardium. Also, the remodeled repolarization of cardiomyocytes with aging provides inotropic support to the senescent muscle but compromises its contractile reserve, rendering the old heart ineffective under conditions of high hemodynamic demand. The defects in the electrical and mechanical properties of cardiomyocytes with aging suggest that this cell population is an important determinant of the cardiac senescent phenotype. Collectively, the delayed electrical repolarization of aging cardiomyocytes may be viewed as a critical variable of the aging myopathy and its propensity to evolve into ventricular decompensation under stressful conditions.

  4. Speed-Dependent Modulation of the Locomotor Behavior in Adult Mice Reveals Attractor and Transitional Gaits

    PubMed Central

    Lemieux, Maxime; Josset, Nicolas; Roussel, Marie; Couraud, Sébastien; Bretzner, Frédéric

    2016-01-01

    Locomotion results from an interplay between biomechanical constraints of the muscles attached to the skeleton and the neuronal circuits controlling and coordinating muscle activities. Quadrupeds exhibit a wide range of locomotor gaits. Given our advances in the genetic identification of spinal and supraspinal circuits important to locomotion in the mouse, it is now important to get a better understanding of the full repertoire of gaits in the freely walking mouse. To assess this range, young adult C57BL/6J mice were trained to walk and run on a treadmill at different locomotor speeds. Instead of using the classical paradigm defining gaits according to their footfall pattern, we combined the inter-limb coupling and the duty cycle of the stance phase, thus identifying several types of gaits: lateral walk, trot, out-of-phase walk, rotary gallop, transverse gallop, hop, half-bound, and full-bound. Out-of-phase walk, trot, and full-bound were robust and appeared to function as attractor gaits (i.e., a state to which the network flows and stabilizes) at low, intermediate, and high speeds respectively. In contrast, lateral walk, hop, transverse gallop, rotary gallop, and half-bound were more transient and therefore considered transitional gaits (i.e., a labile state of the network from which it flows to the attractor state). Surprisingly, lateral walk was less frequently observed. Using graph analysis, we demonstrated that transitions between gaits were predictable, not random. In summary, the wild-type mouse exhibits a wider repertoire of locomotor gaits than expected. Future locomotor studies should benefit from this paradigm in assessing transgenic mice or wild-type mice with neurotraumatic injury or neurodegenerative disease affecting gait. PMID:26941592

  5. Scaling behavior in turbulent Rayleigh-Bénard convection revealed by conditional structure functions.

    PubMed

    Ching, Emily S C; Tsang, Yue-Kin; Fok, T N; He, Xiaozhou; Tong, Penger

    2013-01-01

    We show that the nature of the scaling behavior can be revealed by studying the conditional structure functions evaluated at given values of the locally averaged thermal dissipation rate. These conditional structure functions have power-law dependence on the value of the locally averaged thermal dissipation rate, and such dependence for the Bolgiano-Obukhov scaling is different from the other scaling behaviors. Our analysis of experimental measurements verifies the power-law dependence and reveals the Bolgiano-Obukhov scaling behavior at the center of the bottom plate of the convection cell.

  6. Metatranscriptomics reveals temperature-driven functional changes in microbiome impacting cheese maturation rate

    PubMed Central

    De Filippis, Francesca; Genovese, Alessandro; Ferranti, Pasquale; Gilbert, Jack A.; Ercolini, Danilo

    2016-01-01

    Traditional cheeses harbour complex microbial consortia that play an important role in shaping typical sensorial properties. However, the microbial metabolism is considered difficult to control. Microbial community succession and the related gene expression were analysed during ripening of a traditional Italian cheese, identifying parameters that could be modified to accelerate ripening. Afterwards, we modulated ripening conditions and observed consistent changes in microbial community structure and function. We provide concrete evidence of the essential contribution of non-starter lactic acid bacteria in ripening-related activities. An increase in the ripening temperature promoted the expression of genes related to proteolysis, lipolysis and amino acid/lipid catabolism and significantly increases the cheese maturation rate. Moreover, temperature-promoted microbial metabolisms were consistent with the metabolomic profiles of proteins and volatile organic compounds in the cheese. The results clearly indicate how processing-driven microbiome responses can be modulated in order to optimize production efficiency and product quality. PMID:26911915

  7. Structural Insights into the Assembly and Function of the SAGA Deubiquitinating Module

    SciTech Connect

    Samara, Nadine L.; Datta, Ajit B.; Berndsen, Christopher E.; Zhang, Xiangbin; Yao, Tingting; Cohen, Robert E.; Wolberger, Cynthia

    2010-08-18

    SAGA is a transcriptional coactivator complex that is conserved across eukaryotes and performs multiple functions during transcriptional activation and elongation. One role is deubiquitination of histone H2B, and this activity resides in a distinct subcomplex called the deubiquitinating module (DUBm), which contains the ubiquitin-specific protease Ubp8, bound to Sgf11, Sus1, and Sgf73. The deubiquitinating activity depends on the presence of all four DUBm proteins. We report here the 1.90 angstrom resolution crystal structure of the DUBm bound to ubiquitin aldehyde, as well as the 2.45 angstrom resolution structure of the uncomplexed DUBm. The structure reveals an arrangement of protein domains that gives rise to a highly interconnected complex, which is stabilized by eight structural zinc atoms that are critical for enzymatic activity. The structure suggests a model for how interactions with the other DUBm proteins activate Ubp8 and allows us to speculate about how the DUBm binds to monoubiquitinated histone H2B in nucleosomes.

  8. Cardiac effects of 3-iodothyronamine: a new aminergic system modulating cardiac function.

    PubMed

    Chiellini, Grazia; Frascarelli, Sabina; Ghelardoni, Sandra; Carnicelli, Vittoria; Tobias, Sandra C; DeBarber, Andrea; Brogioni, Simona; Ronca-Testoni, Simonetta; Cerbai, Elisabetta; Grandy, David K; Scanlan, Thomas S; Zucchi, Riccardo

    2007-05-01

    3-Iodothyronamine T1AM is a novel endogenous thyroid hormone derivative that activates the G protein-coupled receptor known as trace anime-associated receptor 1 (TAAR1). In the isolated working rat heart and in rat cardiomyocytes, T1AM produced a reversible, dose-dependent negative inotropic effect (e.g., 27+/-5, 51+/-3, and 65+/-2% decrease in cardiac output at 19, 25, and 38 microM concentration, respectively). An independent negative chronotropic effect was also observed. The hemodynamic effects of T1AM were remarkably increased in the presence of the tyrosine kinase inhibitor genistein, whereas they were attenuated in the presence of the tyrosine phosphatase inhibitor vanadate. No effect was produced by inhibitors of protein kinase A, protein kinase C, calcium-calmodulin kinase II, phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase, or MAP kinases. Tissue cAMP levels were unchanged. In rat ventricular tissue, Western blot experiments with antiphosphotyrosine antibodies showed reduced phosphorylation of microsomal and cytosolic proteins after perfusion with synthetic T1AM; reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction experiments revealed the presence of transcripts for at least 5 TAAR subtypes; specific and saturable binding of [125I]T1AM was observed, with a dissociation constant in the low micromolar range (5 microM); and endogenous T1AM was detectable by tandem mass spectrometry. In conclusion, our findings provide evidence for the existence of a novel aminergic system modulating cardiac function.

  9. Cardiac effects of 3-iodothyronamine: a new aminergic system modulating cardiac function.

    PubMed

    Chiellini, Grazia; Frascarelli, Sabina; Ghelardoni, Sandra; Carnicelli, Vittoria; Tobias, Sandra C; DeBarber, Andrea; Brogioni, Simona; Ronca-Testoni, Simonetta; Cerbai, Elisabetta; Grandy, David K; Scanlan, Thomas S; Zucchi, Riccardo

    2007-05-01

    3-Iodothyronamine T1AM is a novel endogenous thyroid hormone derivative that activates the G protein-coupled receptor known as trace anime-associated receptor 1 (TAAR1). In the isolated working rat heart and in rat cardiomyocytes, T1AM produced a reversible, dose-dependent negative inotropic effect (e.g., 27+/-5, 51+/-3, and 65+/-2% decrease in cardiac output at 19, 25, and 38 microM concentration, respectively). An independent negative chronotropic effect was also observed. The hemodynamic effects of T1AM were remarkably increased in the presence of the tyrosine kinase inhibitor genistein, whereas they were attenuated in the presence of the tyrosine phosphatase inhibitor vanadate. No effect was produced by inhibitors of protein kinase A, protein kinase C, calcium-calmodulin kinase II, phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase, or MAP kinases. Tissue cAMP levels were unchanged. In rat ventricular tissue, Western blot experiments with antiphosphotyrosine antibodies showed reduced phosphorylation of microsomal and cytosolic proteins after perfusion with synthetic T1AM; reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction experiments revealed the presence of transcripts for at least 5 TAAR subtypes; specific and saturable binding of [125I]T1AM was observed, with a dissociation constant in the low micromolar range (5 microM); and endogenous T1AM was detectable by tandem mass spectrometry. In conclusion, our findings provide evidence for the existence of a novel aminergic system modulating cardiac function. PMID:17284482

  10. Hijacking mitochondria: bacterial toxins that modulate mitochondrial function.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Jhih-Hang; Tong, Janette; Gabriel, Kipros

    2012-05-01

    Bacterial infection has enormous global social and economic impacts stemming from effects on human health and agriculture. Although there are still many unanswered questions, decades of research has uncovered many of the pathogenic mechanisms at play. It is now clear that bacterial pathogens produce a plethora of proteins known as "toxins" and "effectors" that target a variety of physiological host processes during the course of infection. One of the targets of host targeted bacterial toxins and effectors are the mitochondria. The mitochondrial organelles are major players in many biological functions, including energy conversion to ATP and cell death pathways, which inherently makes them targets for bacterial proteins. We present a summary of the toxins targeted to mitochondria and for those that have been studied in finer detail, we also summarize what we know about the mechanisms of targeting and finally their action at the organelle.

  11. Functional Equivalence of an Evolutionarily Conserved RNA Binding Module*

    PubMed Central

    Wells, Melissa L.; Hicks, Stephanie N.; Perera, Lalith; Blackshear, Perry J.

    2015-01-01

    Members of the tristetraprolin (TTP) family of proteins participate in the regulation of mRNA turnover after initially binding to AU-rich elements in target mRNAs. Related proteins from most groups of eukaryotes contain a conserved tandem zinc finger (TZF) domain consisting of two closely spaced, similar CCCH zinc fingers that form the primary RNA binding domain. There is considerable sequence variation within the TZF domains from different family members within a single organism and from different organisms, raising questions about sequence-specific effects on RNA binding and decay promotion. We hypothesized that TZF domains from evolutionarily distant species are functionally interchangeable. The single family member expressed in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Zfs1, promotes the turnover of several dozen transcripts, some of which are involved in cell-cell interactions. Using knockin techniques, we replaced the TZF domain of S. pombe Zfs1 with the equivalent domains from human TTP and the single family member proteins expressed in the silkworm Bombyx mori, the pathogenic yeast Candida guilliermondii, and the plant Chromolaena odorata. We found that the TZF domains from these widely disparate species could completely substitute for the native S. pombe TZF domain, as determined by measurement of target transcript levels and the flocculation phenotype characteristic of Zfs1 deletion. Recombinant TZF domain peptides from several of these species bound to an AU-rich RNA oligonucleotide with comparably high affinity. We conclude that the TZF domains from TTP family members in these evolutionarily widely divergent species are functionally interchangeable in mRNA binding and decay. PMID:26292216

  12. Functional equivalence of an evolutionarily conserved RNA binding module.

    PubMed

    Wells, Melissa L; Hicks, Stephanie N; Perera, Lalith; Blackshear, Perry J

    2015-10-01

    Members of the tristetraprolin (TTP) family of proteins participate in the regulation of mRNA turnover after initially binding to AU-rich elements in target mRNAs. Related proteins from most groups of eukaryotes contain a conserved tandem zinc finger (TZF) domain consisting of two closely spaced, similar CCCH zinc fingers that form the primary RNA binding domain. There is considerable sequence variation within the TZF domains from different family members within a single organism and from different organisms, raising questions about sequence-specific effects on RNA binding and decay promotion. We hypothesized that TZF domains from evolutionarily distant species are functionally interchangeable. The single family member expressed in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Zfs1, promotes the turnover of several dozen transcripts, some of which are involved in cell-cell interactions. Using knockin techniques, we replaced the TZF domain of S. pombe Zfs1 with the equivalent domains from human TTP and the single family member proteins expressed in the silkworm Bombyx mori, the pathogenic yeast Candida guilliermondii, and the plant Chromolaena odorata. We found that the TZF domains from these widely disparate species could completely substitute for the native S. pombe TZF domain, as determined by measurement of target transcript levels and the flocculation phenotype characteristic of Zfs1 deletion. Recombinant TZF domain peptides from several of these species bound to an AU-rich RNA oligonucleotide with comparably high affinity. We conclude that the TZF domains from TTP family members in these evolutionarily widely divergent species are functionally interchangeable in mRNA binding and decay.

  13. Selective oestrogen receptor modulators differentially potentiate brain mitochondrial function.

    PubMed

    Irwin, R W; Yao, J; To, J; Hamilton, R T; Cadenas, E; Brinton, R D

    2012-01-01

    The mitochondrial energy-transducing capacity of the brain is important for long-term neurological health and is influenced by endocrine hormone responsiveness. The present study aimed to determine the role of oestrogen receptor (ER) subtypes in regulating mitochondrial function using selective agonists for ERα (propylpyrazoletriol; PPT) and ERβ (diarylpropionitrile; DPN). Ovariectomised female rats were treated with 17β-oestradiol (E(2) ), PPT, DPN or vehicle control. Both ER selective agonists significantly increased the mitochondrial respiratory control ratio and cytochrome oxidase (COX) activity relative to vehicle. Western blots of purified whole brain mitochondria detected ERα and, to a greater extent, ERβ localisation. Pre-treatment with DPN, an ERβ agonist, significantly increased ERβ association with mitochondria. In the hippocampus, DPN activated mitochondrial DNA-encoded COX I expression, whereas PPT was ineffective, indicating that mechanistically ERβ, and not ERα, activated mitochondrial transcriptional machinery. Both selective ER agonists increased protein expression of nuclear DNA-encoded COX IV, suggesting that activation of ERβ or ERα is sufficient. Selective ER agonists up-regulated a panel of bioenergetic enzymes and antioxidant defence proteins. Up-regulated proteins included pyruvate dehydrogenase, ATP synthase, manganese superoxide dismutase and peroxiredoxin V. In vitro, whole cell metabolism was assessed in live primary cultured hippocampal neurones and mixed glia. The results of analyses conducted in vitro were consistent with data obtained in vivo. Furthermore, lipid peroxides, accumulated as a result of hormone deprivation, were significantly reduced by E(2) , PPT and DPN. These findings suggest that the activation of both ERα and ERβ is differentially required to potentiate mitochondrial function in brain. As active components in hormone therapy, synthetically designed oestrogens as well as natural phyto-oestrogen cocktails

  14. Functional equivalence of an evolutionarily conserved RNA binding module.

    PubMed

    Wells, Melissa L; Hicks, Stephanie N; Perera, Lalith; Blackshear, Perry J

    2015-10-01

    Members of the tristetraprolin (TTP) family of proteins participate in the regulation of mRNA turnover after initially binding to AU-rich elements in target mRNAs. Related proteins from most groups of eukaryotes contain a conserved tandem zinc finger (TZF) domain consisting of two closely spaced, similar CCCH zinc fingers that form the primary RNA binding domain. There is considerable sequence variation within the TZF domains from different family members within a single organism and from different organisms, raising questions about sequence-specific effects on RNA binding and decay promotion. We hypothesized that TZF domains from evolutionarily distant species are functionally interchangeable. The single family member expressed in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Zfs1, promotes the turnover of several dozen transcripts, some of which are involved in cell-cell interactions. Using knockin techniques, we replaced the TZF domain of S. pombe Zfs1 with the equivalent domains from human TTP and the single family member proteins expressed in the silkworm Bombyx mori, the pathogenic yeast Candida guilliermondii, and the plant Chromolaena odorata. We found that the TZF domains from these widely disparate species could completely substitute for the native S. pombe TZF domain, as determined by measurement of target transcript levels and the flocculation phenotype characteristic of Zfs1 deletion. Recombinant TZF domain peptides from several of these species bound to an AU-rich RNA oligonucleotide with comparably high affinity. We conclude that the TZF domains from TTP family members in these evolutionarily widely divergent species are functionally interchangeable in mRNA binding and decay. PMID:26292216

  15. The structure of mouse cytomegalovirus m04 protein obtained from sparse NMR data reveals a conserved fold of the m02-m06 viral immune modulator family.

    PubMed

    Sgourakis, Nikolaos G; Natarajan, Kannan; Ying, Jinfa; Vogeli, Beat; Boyd, Lisa F; Margulies, David H; Bax, Ad

    2014-09-01

    Immunoevasins are key proteins used by viruses to subvert host immune responses. Determining their high-resolution structures is key to understanding virus-host interactions toward the design of vaccines and other antiviral therapies. Mouse cytomegalovirus encodes a unique set of immunoevasins, the m02-m06 family, that modulates major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC-I) antigen presentation to CD8+ T cells and natural killer cells. Notwithstanding the large number of genetic and functional studies, the structural biology of immunoevasins remains incompletely understood, largely because of crystallization bottlenecks. Here we implement a technology using sparse nuclear magnetic resonance data and integrative Rosetta modeling to determine the structure of the m04/gp34 immunoevasin extracellular domain. The structure reveals a β fold that is representative of the m02-m06 family of viral proteins, several of which are known to bind MHC-I molecules and interfere with antigen presentation, suggesting its role as a diversified immune regulation module.

  16. On-orbit Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) Measurements for IKONOS and QuickBird

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Helde, Dennis; Choi, Jason; Anderson, Cody

    2007-01-01

    Point Spread Function is a method of evaluation the spatial resolution of an imaging system. It is also a measure of the spread of a single point of light. Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) is a measure of the spatial frequency response. It is often calculated from th point spread function (PSF). System response at the Nyquist frequency (or 0.5 cycle/pixel) is often used as a figure of merit

  17. The connectivity of functional cores reveals different degrees of segregation and integration in the brain at rest.

    PubMed

    de Pasquale, Francesco; Sabatini, Umberto; Della Penna, Stefania; Sestieri, Carlo; Caravasso, Chiara Falletta; Formisano, Rita; Péran, Patrice

    2013-04-01

    The principles of functional specialization and integration in the resting brain are implemented in a complex system of specialized networks that share some degree of interaction. Recent studies have identified wider functional modules compared to previously defined networks and reported a small-world architecture of brain activity in which central nodes balance the pressure to evolve segregated pathways with the integration of local systems. The accurate identification of such central nodes is crucial but might be challenging for several reasons, e.g. inter-subject variability and physiological/pathological network plasticity, and recent works reported partially inconsistent results concerning the properties of these cortical hubs. Here, we applied a whole-brain data-driven approach to extract cortical functional cores and examined their connectivity from a resting state fMRI experiment on healthy subjects. Two main statistically significant cores, centered on the posterior cingulate cortex and the supplementary motor area, were extracted and their functional connectivity maps, thresholded at three statistical levels, revealed the presence of two complex systems. One system is consistent with the default mode network (DMN) and gradually connects to visual regions, the other centered on motor regions and gradually connects to more sensory-specific portions of cortex. These two large scale networks eventually converged to regions belonging to the medial aspect of the DMN, potentially allowing inter-network interactions. PMID:23220493

  18. Principles of motivation revealed by the diverse functions of neuropharmacological and neuroanatomical substrates underlying feeding behavior

    PubMed Central

    Baldo, Brian A.; Pratt, Wayne E.; Will, Matthew J.; Hanlon, Erin C.; Bakshi, Vaishali P.; Cador, Martine

    2013-01-01

    Circuits that participate in specific subcomponents of feeding (e.g., gustatory perception, peripheral feedback relevant to satiety and energy balance, reward coding, etc.) are found at all levels of the neural axis. Further complexity is conferred by the wide variety of feeding-modulatory neurotransmitters and neuropeptides that act within these circuits. An ongoing challenge has been to refine the understanding of the functional specificity of these neurotransmitters and circuits, and there have been exciting advances in recent years. We focus here on foundational work of Dr. Ann Kelley that identified distinguishable actions of striatal opioid peptide modulation and dopamine transmission in subcomponents of reward processing. We also discuss her work in overlaying these neuropharmacological effects upon anatomical pathways that link the telencephalon (cortex and basal ganglia) with feeding-control circuits in the hypothalamus. Using these seminal contributions as a starting point, we will discuss new findings that expand our understanding of (1) the specific, differentiable motivational processes that are governed by central dopamine and opioid transmission, (2) the manner in which other striatal neuromodulators, specifically acetylcholine, endocannabinoids and adenosine, modulate these motivational processes (including via interactions with opioid systems), and (3) the organization of the cortical-subcortical network that subserves opioid-driven feeding. The findings discussed here strengthen the view that incentive-motivational properties of food are coded by substrates and neural circuits that are distinguishable from those that mediate the acute hedonic experience of food reward. Striatal opioid transmission modulates reward processing by engaging frontotemporal circuits, possibly via a hypothalamic-thalamic axis, that ultimately impinges upon hypothalamic modules dedicated to autonomic function and motor pattern control. We will conclude by discussing

  19. Bio-mimicking of Proline-Rich Motif Applied to Carbon Nanotube Reveals Unexpected Subtleties Underlying Nanoparticle Functionalization

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yuanzhao; Jimenez-Cruz, Camilo A.; Wang, Jian; Zhou, Bo; Yang, Zaixing; Zhou, Ruhong

    2014-01-01

    Here, we report computational studies of the SH3 protein domain interacting with various single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) either bare or functionalized by mimicking the proline-rich motif (PRM) ligand (PPPVPPRR) and compare it to the SH3-PRM complex binding. With prolines or a single arginine attached, the SWCNT gained slightly on specificity when compared with the bare control, whereas with multi-arginine systems the specificity dropped dramatically to our surprise. Although the electrostatic interaction provided by arginines is crucial in the recognition between PRM and SH3 domain, our results suggest that attaching multiple arginines to the SWCNT has a detrimental effect on the binding affinity. Detailed analysis of the MD trajectories found two main factors that modulate the specificity of the binding: the existence of competing acidic patches at the surface of SH3 that leads to “trapping and clamping” by the arginines, and the rigidity of the SWCNT introducing entropic penalties in the proper binding. Further investigation revealed that the same “clamping” phenomenon exits in the PRM-SH3 system, which has not been reported in previous literature. The competing effects between nanoparticle and its functionalization components revealed by our model system should be of value to current and future nanomedicine designs. PMID:25427563

  20. Construction of multi-functional open modulized Matlab simulation toolbox for imaging ladar system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Long; Zhao, Yuan; Tang, Meng; He, Jiang; Zhang, Yong

    2011-06-01

    Ladar system simulation is to simulate the ladar models using computer simulation technology in order to predict the performance of the ladar system. This paper presents the developments of laser imaging radar simulation for domestic and overseas studies and the studies of computer simulation on ladar system with different application requests. The LadarSim and FOI-LadarSIM simulation facilities of Utah State University and Swedish Defence Research Agency are introduced in details. This paper presents the low level of simulation scale, un-unified design and applications of domestic researches in imaging ladar system simulation, which are mostly to achieve simple function simulation based on ranging equations for ladar systems. Design of laser imaging radar simulation with open and modularized structure is proposed to design unified modules for ladar system, laser emitter, atmosphere models, target models, signal receiver, parameters setting and system controller. Unified Matlab toolbox and standard control modules have been built with regulated input and output of the functions, and the communication protocols between hardware modules. A simulation based on ICCD gain-modulated imaging ladar system for a space shuttle is made based on the toolbox. The simulation result shows that the models and parameter settings of the Matlab toolbox are able to simulate the actual detection process precisely. The unified control module and pre-defined parameter settings simplify the simulation of imaging ladar detection. Its open structures enable the toolbox to be modified for specialized requests. The modulization gives simulations flexibility.

  1. Acupuncture modulates resting state hippocampal functional connectivity in Alzheimer disease.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhiqun; Liang, Peipeng; Zhao, Zhilian; Han, Ying; Song, Haiqing; Xu, Jianyang; Lu, Jie; Li, Kuncheng

    2014-01-01

    Our objective is to clarify the effects of acupuncture on hippocampal connectivity in patients with Alzheimer disease (AD) using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Twenty-eight right-handed subjects (14 AD patients and 14 healthy elders) participated in this study. Clinical and neuropsychological examinations were performed on all subjects. MRI was performed using a SIEMENS verio 3-Tesla scanner. The fMRI study used a single block experimental design. We first acquired baseline resting state data during the initial 3 minutes and then performed acupuncture stimulation on the Tai chong and He gu acupoints for 3 minutes. Last, we acquired fMRI data for another 10 minutes after the needle was withdrawn. The preprocessing and data analysis were performed using statistical parametric mapping (SPM5) software. Two-sample t-tests were performed using data from the two groups in different states. We found that during the resting state, several frontal and temporal regions showed decreased hippocampal connectivity in AD patients relative to control subjects. During the resting state following acupuncture, AD patients showed increased connectivity in most of these hippocampus related regions compared to the first resting state. In conclusion, we investigated the effect of acupuncture on AD patients by combing fMRI and traditional acupuncture. Our fMRI study confirmed that acupuncture at Tai chong and He gu can enhance the hippocampal connectivity in AD patients.

  2. Inflammation Modulates Human HDL Composition and Function in vivo

    PubMed Central

    de la Llera Moya, Margarita; McGillicuddy, Fiona C; Hinkle, Christine C; Byrne, Michael; Joshi, Michelle R; Nguyen, Vihn; Tabita-Martinez, Jennifer; Wolfe, Megan L; Badellino, Karen; Pruscino, Leticia; Mehta, Nehal N; Asztalos, Bela F; Reilly, Muredach P

    2012-01-01

    Objectives Inflammation may directly impair HDL functions, in particular reverse cholesterol transport (RCT), but limited data support this concept in humans. Methods and Results We employed low-dose human endotoxemia to assess the effects of inflammation on HDL and RCT-related parameters in vivo. Endotoxemia induced remodelling of HDL with depletion of pre-β1a HDL particles determined by 2-D gel electrophoresis (-32.2 ± 9.3% at 24h, p<0.05) as well as small (-23.0 ± 5.1%, p<0.01, at 24h) and medium (-57.6 ± 8.0% at 16h, p<0.001) HDL estimated by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). This was associated with induction of class II secretory phospholipase A2 (~36 fold increase) and suppression of lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase activity (-20.8 ± 3.4% at 24h, p<0.01) and cholesterol ester transfer protein mass (-22.2 ± 6.8% at 24h, p<0.001). The HDL fraction, isolated following endotoxemia, had reduced capacity to efflux cholesterol in vitro from SR-BI and ABCA1, but not ABCG1 transporter cell models. Conclusions These data support the concept that “atherogenic-HDL dysfunction” and impaired RCT occur in human inflammatory syndromes, largely independent of changes in plasma HDL-C and ApoA-I levels. PMID:22456230

  3. Leptin as a modulator of neuroendocrine function in humans.

    PubMed

    Khan, Sami M; Hamnvik, Ole-Petter R; Brinkoetter, Mary; Mantzoros, Christos S

    2012-07-01

    Leptin, a peptide hormone secreted by adipocytes in proportion of the amount of energy stored in fat, plays a central role in regulating human energy homeostasis. In addition, leptin plays a significant permissive role in the physiological regulation of several neuroendocrine axes, including the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal, -thyroid, -growth hormone, and -adrenal axes. Decreased levels of leptin, also known as hypoleptinemia, signal to the brain a state of energy deprivation. Hypoleptinemia can be a congenital or acquired condition, and is associated with alterations of the aforementioned axes aimed at promoting survival. More specifically, gonadotropin levels decrease and become less pulsatile under conditions of energy deprivation, and these changes can be at least partially reversed through leptin administration in physiological replacement doses. Similarly, leptin deficiency is associated with thyroid axis abnormalities including abnormal levels of thyrotropin-releasing hormone, and leptin administration may at least partially attenuate this effect. Leptin deficiency results in decreased insulin-like growth factor 1 levels which can be partially ameliorated through leptin administration, and leptin appears to have a much more pronounced effect on the growth of rodents than that of humans. Similarly, adrenal axis function is regulated more tightly by low leptin in rodents than in humans. In addition to congenital leptin deficiency, conditions that may be associated with decreased leptin levels include hypothalamic amenorrhea, anorexia nervosa, and congenital or acquired lipodystrophy syndromes. Accumulating evidence from proof of concept studies suggests that leptin administration, in replacement doses, may ameliorate neuroendocrine abnormalities in individuals who suffer from these conditions.

  4. DNA and RNA aptamers as modulators of protein function.

    PubMed

    Ulrich, Henning

    2005-03-01

    The SELEX technique (systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment) is a combinatorial library approach in which DNA or RNA molecules are selected by their ability to bind their protein targets with high affinity and specificity. The isolated molecules are referred to as aptamers (from aptus = Latin "to fit"). First, RNA and DNA aptamers were identified that bind to proteins naturally interacting with nucleic acids, or to small organic molecules such as ATP. In the following years, the use of the SELEX technique was extended to isolate oligonucleotide ligands for a wide range of proteins of importance for therapy, and diagnostics. Since these RNA and DNA molecules bind their targets with similar affinities as antibodies, and are able to distinguish between isotypes of an enzyme, aptamers have been also called synthetic antibodies. Recently, the use of in vitro selection methods to isolate protein inhibitors has been extended to complex targets, such as receptors that are only functional in their membrane-bound form, cells, and trypanosomes. RNA aptamers have been expressed in living cells where they inhibit a protein implicated in intracellular signal transduction. The utility of aptamers for in vivo experiments, and diagnostic and therapeutic purposes, is considerably enhanced by introducing chemical modifications into the oligonucleotides to provide resistance against enzymatic degradation in body fluids. Recently, such inhibitors have been evolved for a great variety of targets, including receptors, growth factors, and adhesion molecules implicated in disease. Furthermore, some results were already obtained in animal models and clinical trials. PMID:16787315

  5. Antihelminthic niclosamide modulates dendritic cells activation and function.

    PubMed

    Wu, Chieh-Shan; Li, Yi-Rong; Chen, Jeremy J W; Chen, Ying-Che; Chu, Chiang-Liang; Pan, I-Hong; Wu, Yu-Shan; Lin, Chi-Chen

    2014-01-01

    Dendritic cells (DCs) link the sensing of the environment by the innate immune system to the initiation of adaptive immune responses. Accordingly, DCs are considered to be a major target in the development of immunomodulating compounds. In this study, the effect of niclosamide, a Food and Drug Administration-approved antihelminthic drug, on the activation of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated murine bone marrow-derived DCs was examined. Our experimental results show that niclosamide reduced the pro-inflammatory cytokine and chemokine expression of LPS-activated DCs. In addition, niclosamide also affected the expression of MHC and costimulatory molecules and influenced the ability of the cells to take up antigens. Therefore, in mixed cell cultures composed of syngeneic OVA-specific T cells and DCs, niclosamide-treated DCs showed a decreased ability to stimulate T cell proliferation and IFN-γ production. Furthermore, intravenous injection of niclosamide also attenuated contact hypersensitivity (CHS) in mice during sensitization with 2,4-dinitro-1-fluorobenzene. Blocking the LPS-induced activation of MAPK-ERK, JNK and NF-κB may contribute to the inhibitory effect of niclosamide on DC activation. Collectively, our findings suggest that niclosamide can manipulate the function of DCs. These results provide new insight into the immunopharmacological role of niclosamide and suggest that it may be useful for the treatment of chronic inflammatory disorders or DC-mediated autoimmune diseases. PMID:24561310

  6. Tropomodulin isoforms utilize specific binding functions to modulate dendrite development.

    PubMed

    Gray, Kevin T; Suchowerska, Alexandra K; Bland, Tyler; Colpan, Mert; Wayman, Gary; Fath, Thomas; Kostyukova, Alla S

    2016-06-01

    Tropomodulins (Tmods) cap F-actin pointed ends and have altered expression in the brain in neurological diseases. The function of Tmods in neurons has been poorly studied and their role in neurological diseases is entirely unknown. In this article, we show that Tmod1 and Tmod2, but not Tmod3, are positive regulators of dendritic complexity and dendritic spine morphology. Tmod1 increases dendritic branching distal from the cell body and the number of filopodia/thin spines. Tmod2 increases dendritic branching proximal to the cell body and the number of mature dendritic spines. Tmods utilize two actin-binding sites and two tropomyosin (Tpm)-binding sites to cap F-actin. Overexpression of Tmods with disrupted Tpm-binding sites indicates that Tmod1 and Tmod2 differentially utilize their Tpm- and actin-binding sites to affect morphology. Disruption of Tmod1's Tpm-binding sites abolished the overexpression phenotype. In contrast, overexpression of the mutated Tmod2 caused the same phenotype as wild type overexpression. Proximity ligation assays indicate that the mutated Tmods are shuttled similarly to wild type Tmods. Our data begins to uncover the roles of Tmods in neural development and the mechanism by which Tmods alter neural morphology. These observations in combination with altered Tmod expression found in several neurological diseases also suggest that dysregulation of Tmod expression may be involved in the pathology of these diseases. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27126680

  7. Modulation of rhythmic function in the posterior midbrain.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Rill, E; Skinner, R D

    1988-11-01

    Recordings of single unit activity in the posterior midbrain of the cat were carried out in the "fictive spontaneous locomotion" preparation. Neuronal activity was studied in relation to the onset, alternation and termination of cyclic hindlimb neurographic activity in the precollicular-postmammillary transected animal. Histochemical identification of pedunculopontine (nicotinamide adenine dinuceotide phosphate-diaphorase positive) neurons allowed the localization of recording sites in relation to this nucleus. Neurons located in the area of the cuneiform nucleus dorsal to the pedunculopontine nucleus were found to be related preferentially to cyclic (bursting) neurographic activity, while neurons in the area of the pedunculopontine were found to be related preferentially to the onset ("on") or termination ("off") of cycling episodes. Different populations of cells in the area appeared to be related to the frequency of alternation (bursting) compared with the duration of the cyclic episodes (on/off). While the area of the cuneiform-pedunculopontine nucleus has been found to be equivalent to the mesencephalic locomotor region, the same area has been found to be related to other rhythmic activities (e.g. respiratory, masticatory, sleep cycle, pressor, vesico-motor, etc.). A hypothesis is proposed to account for the weight of evidence implicating the same region in a host of distinct rhythmic activities. This hypothesis suggest that an oscillatory reverberation between cholinergic (pedunculopontine, laterodorsal tegmental nuclei) and aminergic (locus coeruleus, substantia nigra) centers is responsible for generating the various function-related "frequencies" (bursting) or "states" (on/off) of activity.

  8. Taurine supplementation modulates glucose homeostasis and islet function.

    PubMed

    Carneiro, Everardo M; Latorraca, Marcia Q; Araujo, Eliana; Beltrá, Marta; Oliveras, Maria J; Navarro, Mónica; Berná, Genoveva; Bedoya, Francisco J; Velloso, Licio A; Soria, Bernat; Martín, Franz

    2009-07-01

    Taurine is a conditionally essential amino acid for human that is involved in the control of glucose homeostasis; however, the mechanisms by which the amino acid affects blood glucose levels are unknown. Using an animal model, we have studied these mechanisms. Mice were supplemented with taurine for 30 d. Blood glucose homeostasis was assessed by intraperitoneal glucose tolerance tests (IPGTT). Islet cell function was determined by insulin secretion, cytosolic Ca2+ measurements and glucose metabolism from isolated islets. Islet cell gene expression and translocation was examined via immunohistochemistry and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Insulin signaling was studied by Western blot. Islets from taurine-supplemented mice had: (i) significantly higher insulin content, (ii) increased insulin secretion at stimulatory glucose concentrations, (iii) significantly displaced the dose-response curve for glucose-induced insulin release to the left, (iv) increased glucose metabolism at 5.6 and 11.1-mmol/L concentrations; (v) slowed cytosolic Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) oscillations in response to stimulatory glucose concentrations; (vi) increased insulin, sulfonylurea receptor-1, glucokinase, Glut-2, proconvertase and pancreas duodenum homeobox-1 (PDX-1) gene expression and (vii) increased PDX-1 expression in the nucleus. Moreover, taurine supplementation significantly increased both basal and insulin stimulated tyrosine phosphorylation of the insulin receptor in skeletal muscle and liver tissues. Finally, taurine supplemented mice showed an improved IPGTT. These results indicate that taurine controls glucose homeostasis by regulating the expression of genes required for glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. In addition, taurine enhances peripheral insulin sensitivity. PMID:18708284

  9. Structure-Function Analysis of the TibA Self-Associating Autotransporter Reveals a Modular Organization ▿

    PubMed Central

    Côté, Jean-Philippe; Mourez, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Some enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli strains express the TibA adhesin/invasin, a multifunctional autotransporter that mediates the autoaggregation of bacteria, biofilm formation, adhesion to cultured epithelial cells, and invasion of these cells. To elucidate the structure-function relationship in TibA, we generated mutants by transposon-based linker scanning mutagenesis and by site-directed mutagenesis. Several insertion mutants had a defect in either adhesion or autoaggregation. Mutants with a defect in autoaggregation were found in the N-terminal half of the extracellular domain, while mutants with a defect in adhesion were found in the C-terminal half. The deletion of the putative N-terminal autoaggregation domain abolished the autoaggregation of the bacteria but did not affect adhesion. The deletion of a proline-rich region located at the C terminus of the extracellular domain abolished the adhesion properties of TibA but did not affect invasion. This finding suggests that adhesion and invasion may rely on distinct mechanisms. Thus, our results reveal that TibA possesses a modular organization, with the extracellular domain being separated into an autoaggregation module and an adhesion module. PMID:21343356

  10. Structure-function analysis of the TibA self-associating autotransporter reveals a modular organization.

    PubMed

    Côté, Jean-Philippe; Mourez, Michael

    2011-05-01

    Some enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli strains express the TibA adhesin/invasin, a multifunctional autotransporter that mediates the autoaggregation of bacteria, biofilm formation, adhesion to cultured epithelial cells, and invasion of these cells. To elucidate the structure-function relationship in TibA, we generated mutants by transposon-based linker scanning mutagenesis and by site-directed mutagenesis. Several insertion mutants had a defect in either adhesion or autoaggregation. Mutants with a defect in autoaggregation were found in the N-terminal half of the extracellular domain, while mutants with a defect in adhesion were found in the C-terminal half. The deletion of the putative N-terminal autoaggregation domain abolished the autoaggregation of the bacteria but did not affect adhesion. The deletion of a proline-rich region located at the C terminus of the extracellular domain abolished the adhesion properties of TibA but did not affect invasion. This finding suggests that adhesion and invasion may rely on distinct mechanisms. Thus, our results reveal that TibA possesses a modular organization, with the extracellular domain being separated into an autoaggregation module and an adhesion module. PMID:21343356

  11. Quantitative Imaging of Cholinergic Interneurons Reveals a Distinctive Spatial Organization and a Functional Gradient across the Mouse Striatum

    PubMed Central

    Götz, Jürgen; Bertran-Gonzalez, Jesus

    2016-01-01

    Information processing in the striatum requires the postsynaptic integration of glutamatergic and dopaminergic signals, which are then relayed to the output nuclei of the basal ganglia to influence behavior. Although cellularly homogeneous in appearance, the striatum contains several rare interneuron populations which tightly modulate striatal function. Of these, cholinergic interneurons (CINs) have been recently shown to play a critical role in the control of reward-related learning; however how the striatal cholinergic network is functionally organized at the mesoscopic level and the way this organization influences striatal function remains poorly understood. Here, we systematically mapped and digitally reconstructed the entire ensemble of CINs in the mouse striatum and quantitatively assessed differences in densities, spatial arrangement and neuropil content across striatal functional territories. This approach demonstrated that the rostral portion of the striatum contained a higher concentration of CINs than the caudal striatum and that the cholinergic content in the core of the ventral striatum was significantly lower than in the rest of the regions. Additionally, statistical comparison of spatial point patterns in the striatal cholinergic ensemble revealed that only a minor portion of CINs (17%) aggregated into cluster and that they were predominantly organized in a random fashion. Furthermore, we used a fluorescence reporter to estimate the activity of over two thousand CINs in naïve mice and found that there was a decreasing gradient of CIN overall function along the dorsomedial-to-ventrolateral axis, which appeared to be independent of their propensity to aggregate within the striatum. Altogether this work suggests that the regulation of striatal function by acetylcholine across the striatum is highly heterogeneous, and that signals originating in external afferent systems may be principally determining the function of CINs in the striatum. PMID:27314496

  12. Complex Interplay between the P-Glycoprotein Multidrug Efflux Pump and the Membrane: Its Role in Modulating Protein Function

    PubMed Central

    Sharom, Frances Jane

    2014-01-01

    Multidrug resistance in cancer is linked to expression of the P-glycoprotein multidrug transporter (Pgp, ABCB1), which exports many structurally diverse compounds from cells. Substrates first partition into the bilayer and then interact with a large flexible binding pocket within the transporter’s transmembrane regions. Pgp has been described as a hydrophobic vacuum cleaner or an outwardly directed drug/lipid flippase. Recent X-ray crystal structures have shed some light on the nature of the drug-binding pocket and suggested routes by which substrates can enter it from the membrane. Detergents have profound effects on Pgp function, and several appear to be substrates. Biochemical and biophysical studies in vitro, some using purified reconstituted protein, have explored the effects of the membrane environment. They have demonstrated that Pgp is involved in a complex relationship with its lipid environment, which modulates the behavior of its substrates, as well as various functions of the protein, including ATP hydrolysis, drug binding, and drug transport. Membrane lipid composition and fluidity, phospholipid headgroup and acyl chain length all influence Pgp function. Recent studies focusing on thermodynamics and kinetics have revealed some important principles governing Pgp–lipid and substrate–lipid interactions, and how these affect drug-binding and transport. In some cells, Pgp is associated with cholesterol-rich microdomains, which may modulate its functions. The relationship between Pgp and cholesterol remains an open question; however, it clearly affects several aspects of its function in addition to substrate–membrane partitioning. The action of Pgp modulators appears to depend on their membrane permeability, and membrane fluidizers and surfactants reverse drug resistance, likely via an indirect mechanism. A detailed understanding of how the membrane affects Pgp substrates and Pgp’s catalytic cycle may lead to new strategies to combat clinical drug

  13. Complex Interplay between the P-Glycoprotein Multidrug Efflux Pump and the Membrane: Its Role in Modulating Protein Function.

    PubMed

    Sharom, Frances Jane

    2014-01-01

    Multidrug resistance in cancer is linked to expression of the P-glycoprotein multidrug transporter (Pgp, ABCB1), which exports many structurally diverse compounds from cells. Substrates first partition into the bilayer and then interact with a large flexible binding pocket within the transporter's transmembrane regions. Pgp has been described as a hydrophobic vacuum cleaner or an outwardly directed drug/lipid flippase. Recent X-ray crystal structures have shed some light on the nature of the drug-binding pocket and suggested routes by which substrates can enter it from the membrane. Detergents have profound effects on Pgp function, and several appear to be substrates. Biochemical and biophysical studies in vitro, some using purified reconstituted protein, have explored the effects of the membrane environment. They have demonstrated that Pgp is involved in a complex relationship with its lipid environment, which modulates the behavior of its substrates, as well as various functions of the protein, including ATP hydrolysis, drug binding, and drug transport. Membrane lipid composition and fluidity, phospholipid headgroup and acyl chain length all influence Pgp function. Recent studies focusing on thermodynamics and kinetics have revealed some important principles governing Pgp-lipid and substrate-lipid interactions, and how these affect drug-binding and transport. In some cells, Pgp is associated with cholesterol-rich microdomains, which may modulate its functions. The relationship between Pgp and cholesterol remains an open question; however, it clearly affects several aspects of its function in addition to substrate-membrane partitioning. The action of Pgp modulators appears to depend on their membrane permeability, and membrane fluidizers and surfactants reverse drug resistance, likely via an indirect mechanism. A detailed understanding of how the membrane affects Pgp substrates and Pgp's catalytic cycle may lead to new strategies to combat clinical drug resistance

  14. Life span and structure of ephemeral root modules of different functional groups from a desert system.

    PubMed

    Liu, Bo; He, Junxia; Zeng, Fanjiang; Lei, Jiaqiang; Arndt, Stefan K

    2016-07-01

    The terminal branch orders of plant root systems have been proposed as short-lived 'ephemeral' modules specialized for resource absorption. The occurrence of ephemeral root modules has so far only been reported for a temperate tree species and it is unclear if the concept also applies to other woody (shrub, tree) and herb species. Fine roots of 12 perennial dicotyledonous herb, shrub and tree species were monitored for two growing seasons using a branch-order classification, sequential sampling and rhizotrons in the Taklamakan desert. Two root modules existed in all three plant functional groups. Among the first five branch orders, the first two (perennial herbs, shrubs) or three (trees) root orders were ephemeral and had a primary anatomical structure, high nitrogen (N) concentrations, high respiration rates and very short life spans of 1-4 months, whereas the last two branch orders in all functional groups were perennial, with thicker diameters, no or collapsed cortex, distinct secondary growth, low N concentrations, low respiration rates, but much longer life spans. Ephemeral, short-lived root modules and long-lived, persistent root modules seem to be a general feature across many plant functional groups and could represent a basic root system design.

  15. Cholinergic and serotonergic modulations differentially affect large-scale functional networks in the mouse brain.

    PubMed

    Shah, Disha; Blockx, Ines; Keliris, Georgios A; Kara, Firat; Jonckers, Elisabeth; Verhoye, Marleen; Van der Linden, Annemie

    2016-07-01

    Resting-state functional MRI (rsfMRI) is a widely implemented technique used to investigate large-scale topology in the human brain during health and disease. Studies in mice provide additional advantages, including the possibility to flexibly modulate the brain by pharmacological or genetic manipulations in combination with high-throughput functional connectivity (FC) investigations. Pharmacological modulations that target specific neurotransmitter systems, partly mimicking the effect of pathological events, could allow discriminating the effect of specific systems on functional network disruptions. The current study investigated the effect of cholinergic and serotonergic antagonists on large-scale brain networks in mice. The cholinergic system is involved in cognitive functions and is impaired in, e.g., Alzheimer's disease, while the serotonergic system is involved in emotional and introspective functions and is impaired in, e.g., Alzheimer's disease, depression and autism. Specific interest goes to the default-mode-network (DMN), which is studied extensively in humans and is affected in many neurological disorders. The results show that both cholinergic and serotonergic antagonists impaired the mouse DMN-like network similarly, except that cholinergic modulation additionally affected the retrosplenial cortex. This suggests that both neurotransmitter systems are involved in maintaining integrity of FC within the DMN-like network in mice. Cholinergic and serotonergic modulations also affected other functional networks, however, serotonergic modulation impaired the frontal and thalamus networks more extensively. In conclusion, this study demonstrates the utility of pharmacological rsfMRI in animal models to provide insights into the role of specific neurotransmitter systems on functional networks in neurological disorders. PMID:26195064

  16. The endoplasmic reticulum binding protein BiP displays dual function in modulating cell death events.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Humberto H; Silva, Priscila A; Mendes, Giselle C; Brustolini, Otávio J B; Pimenta, Maiana R; Gouveia, Bianca C; Valente, Maria Anete S; Ramos, Humberto J O; Soares-Ramos, Juliana R L; Fontes, Elizabeth P B

    2014-02-01

    The binding protein (BiP) has been demonstrated to participate in innate immunity and attenuate endoplasmic reticulum- and osmotic stress-induced cell death. Here, we employed transgenic plants with manipulated levels of BiP to assess whether BiP also controlled developmental and hypersensitive programmed cell death (PCD). Under normal conditions, the BiP-induced transcriptome revealed a robust down-regulation of developmental PCD genes and an up-regulation of the genes involved in hypersensitive PCD triggered by nonhost-pathogen interactions. Accordingly, the BiP-overexpressing line displayed delayed leaf senescence under normal conditions and accelerated hypersensitive response triggered by Pseudomonas syringae pv tomato in soybean (Glycine max) and tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum), as monitored by measuring hallmarks of PCD in plants. The BiP-mediated delay of leaf senescence correlated with the attenuation of N-rich protein (NRP)-mediated cell death signaling and the inhibition of the senescence-associated activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR). By contrast, under biological activation of salicylic acid (SA) signaling and hypersensitive PCD, BiP overexpression further induced NRP-mediated cell death signaling and antagonistically inhibited the UPR. Thus, the SA-mediated induction of NRP cell death signaling occurs via a pathway distinct from UPR. Our data indicate that during the hypersensitive PCD, BiP positively regulates the NRP cell death signaling through a yet undefined mechanism that is activated by SA signaling and related to ER functioning. By contrast, BiP's negative regulation of leaf senescence may be linked to its capacity to attenuate the UPR activation and NRP cell death signaling. Therefore, BiP can function either as a negative or positive modulator of PCD events. PMID:24319082

  17. Bursicon functions within the Drosophila CNS to modulate wing expansion behavior, hormone secretion, and cell death.

    PubMed

    Peabody, Nathan C; Diao, Fengqiu; Luan, Haojiang; Wang, Howard; Dewey, Elizabeth M; Honegger, Hans-Willi; White, Benjamin H

    2008-12-31

    Hormones are often responsible for synchronizing somatic physiological changes with changes in behavior. Ecdysis (i.e., the shedding of the exoskeleton) in insects has served as a useful model for elucidating the molecular and cellular mechanisms of this synchronization, and has provided numerous insights into the hormonal coordination of body and behavior. An example in which the mechanisms have remained enigmatic is the neurohormone bursicon, which, after the final molt, coordinates the plasticization and tanning of the initially folded wings with behaviors that drive wing expansion. The somatic effects of the hormone are governed by bursicon that is released into the blood from neurons in the abdominal ganglion (the B(AG)), which die after wing expansion. How bursicon induces the behavioral programs required for wing expansion, however, has remained unknown. Here we show by targeted suppression of excitability that a pair of bursicon-immunoreactive neurons distinct from the B(AG) and located within the subesophageal ganglion in Drosophila (the B(SEG)) is involved in controlling wing expansion behaviors. Unlike the B(AG), the B(SEG) arborize widely in the nervous system, including within the abdominal neuromeres, suggesting that, in addition to governing behavior, they also may modulate the B(AG.) Indeed, we show that animals lacking bursicon receptor function have deficits both in the humoral release of bursicon and in posteclosion apoptosis of the B(AG). Our results reveal novel neuromodulatory functions for bursicon and support the hypothesis that the B(SEG) are essential for orchestrating both the behavioral and somatic processes underlying wing expansion.

  18. N-glycans modulate the function of human corticosteroid-binding globulin.

    PubMed

    Sumer-Bayraktar, Zeynep; Kolarich, Daniel; Campbell, Matthew P; Ali, Sinan; Packer, Nicolle H; Thaysen-Andersen, Morten

    2011-08-01

    Human corticosteroid-binding globulin (CBG), a heavily glycosylated protein containing six N-linked glycosylation sites, transports cortisol and other corticosteroids in blood circulation. Here, we investigate the biological importance of the N-glycans of CBG derived from human serum by performing a structural and functional characterization of CBG N-glycosylation. Liquid chromatography-tandem MS-based glycoproteomics and glycomics combined with exoglycosidase treatment revealed 26 complex type N-glycoforms, all of which were terminated with α2,3-linked neuraminic acid (NeuAc) residues. The CBG N-glycans showed predominantly bi- and tri-antennary branching, but higher branching was also observed. N-glycans from all six N-glycosylation sites were identified with high site occupancies (70.5-99.5%) and glycoforms from all sites contained a relatively low degree of core-fucosylation (0-34.9%). CBG showed site-specific glycosylation and the site-to-site differences in core-fucosylation and branching could be in silico correlated with the accessibility to the individual glycosylation sites on the maturely folded protein. Deglycosylated and desialylated CBG analogs were generated to investigate the biological importance of CBG N-glycans. As a functional assay, MCF-7 cells were challenged with native and glycan-modified CBG and the amount of cAMP, which is produced as a quantitative response upon CBG binding to its cell surface receptor, was used to evaluate the CBG:receptor interaction. The removal of both CBG N-glycans and NeuAc residues increased the production of cAMP significantly. This confirms that N-glycans are involved in the CBG:receptor interaction and indicates that the modulation is performed by steric and/or electrostatic means through the terminal NeuAc residues.

  19. A Functional Screen Reveals an Extensive Layer of Transcriptional and Splicing Control Underlying RAS/MAPK Signaling in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Ashton-Beaucage, Dariel; Udell, Christian M.; Gendron, Patrick; Sahmi, Malha; Lefrançois, Martin; Baril, Caroline; Guenier, Anne-Sophie; Duchaine, Jean; Lamarre, Daniel; Lemieux, Sébastien; Therrien, Marc

    2014-01-01

    The small GTPase RAS is among the most prevalent oncogenes. The evolutionarily conserved RAF-MEK-MAPK module that lies downstream of RAS is one of the main conduits through which RAS transmits proliferative signals in normal and cancer cells. Genetic and biochemical studies conducted over the last two decades uncovered a small set of factors regulating RAS/MAPK signaling. Interestingly, most of these were found to control RAF activation, thus suggesting a central regulatory role for this event. Whether additional factors are required at this level or further downstream remains an open question. To obtain a comprehensive view of the elements functionally linked to the RAS/MAPK cascade, we used a quantitative assay in Drosophila S2 cells to conduct a genome-wide RNAi screen for factors impacting RAS-mediated MAPK activation. The screen led to the identification of 101 validated hits, including most of the previously known factors associated to this pathway. Epistasis experiments were then carried out on individual candidates to determine their position relative to core pathway components. While this revealed several new factors acting at different steps along the pathway—including a new protein complex modulating RAF activation—we found that most hits unexpectedly work downstream of MEK and specifically influence MAPK expression. These hits mainly consist of constitutive splicing factors and thereby suggest that splicing plays a specific role in establishing MAPK levels. We further characterized two representative members of this group and surprisingly found that they act by regulating mapk alternative splicing. This study provides an unprecedented assessment of the factors modulating RAS/MAPK signaling in Drosophila. In addition, it suggests that pathway output does not solely rely on classical signaling events, such as those controlling RAF activation, but also on the regulation of MAPK levels. Finally, it indicates that core splicing components can also

  20. In actio optophysiological analyses reveal functional diversification of dopaminergic neurons in the nematode C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Tanimoto, Yuki; Zheng, Ying Grace; Fei, Xianfeng; Fujie, Yukako; Hashimoto, Koichi; Kimura, Koutarou D.

    2016-01-01

    Many neuronal groups such as dopamine-releasing (dopaminergic) neurons are functionally divergent, although the details of such divergence are not well understood. Dopamine in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans modulates various neural functions and is released from four left-right pairs of neurons. The terminal identities of these dopaminergic neurons are regulated by the same genetic program, and previous studies have suggested that they are functionally redundant. In this study, however, we show functional divergence within the dopaminergic neurons of C. elegans. Because dopaminergic neurons of the animals were supposedly activated by mechanical stimulus upon entry into a lawn of their food bacteria, we developed a novel integrated microscope system that can auto-track a freely-moving (in actio) C. elegans to individually monitor and stimulate the neuronal activities of multiple neurons. We found that only head-dorsal pair of dopaminergic neurons (CEPD), but not head-ventral or posterior pairs, were preferentially activated upon food entry. In addition, the optogenetic activation of CEPD neurons alone exhibited effects similar to those observed upon food entry. Thus, our results demonstrated functional divergence in the genetically similar dopaminergic neurons, which may provide a new entry point toward understanding functional diversity of neurons beyond genetic terminal identification. PMID:27193056

  1. In actio optophysiological analyses reveal functional diversification of dopaminergic neurons in the nematode C. elegans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanimoto, Yuki; Zheng, Ying Grace; Fei, Xianfeng; Fujie, Yukako; Hashimoto, Koichi; Kimura, Koutarou D.

    2016-05-01

    Many neuronal groups such as dopamine-releasing (dopaminergic) neurons are functionally divergent, although the details of such divergence are not well understood. Dopamine in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans modulates various neural functions and is released from four left-right pairs of neurons. The terminal identities of these dopaminergic neurons are regulated by the same genetic program, and previous studies have suggested that they are functionally redundant. In this study, however, we show functional divergence within the dopaminergic neurons of C. elegans. Because dopaminergic neurons of the animals were supposedly activated by mechanical stimulus upon entry into a lawn of their food bacteria, we developed a novel integrated microscope system that can auto-track a freely-moving (in actio) C. elegans to individually monitor and stimulate the neuronal activities of multiple neurons. We found that only head-dorsal pair of dopaminergic neurons (CEPD), but not head-ventral or posterior pairs, were preferentially activated upon food entry. In addition, the optogenetic activation of CEPD neurons alone exhibited effects similar to those observed upon food entry. Thus, our results demonstrated functional divergence in the genetically similar dopaminergic neurons, which may provide a new entry point toward understanding functional diversity of neurons beyond genetic terminal identification.

  2. The relative efficacy of functional and developmental cranial modules for reconstructing global human population history.

    PubMed

    von Cramon-Taubadel, Noreen

    2011-09-01

    This study tests the relative efficacy of human cranial modules, defined on the basis of developmental and functional criteria, for reconstructing neutral genetic population history. Specifically, two hypotheses were tested: 1) The "basicranial hypothesis" predicts that the endochondrally ossifying basicranium will be more reliable for reconstructing population history than intramembranously ossifying regions of the human cranium. This is based on the assumption that early ossification of the basicranium and its distinct functional constraints produce a cranial structure that is relatively immune to non-neutral evolutionary forces. 2) The "single function hypothesis" predicts that cranial regions associated with a single (sensory) function are less reliable indicators of neutral genetic history. Here the prediction is based on the logic that complex, multi-functional, integrated cranial regions are less likely toexhibit homoplasy and, therefore, provide a more accurate morphological proxy for genetic relationships. The congruence between craniometric affinity matrices and neutral genetic population matrices based on autosomal microsatellite and classical markers was assessed using a series of Mantel and Dow-Cheverud tests. The results did not support the predictions of the "basicranial hypothesis," as the endochondrally ossifying basicranium was not significantly more congruent with the genetic data than intramembraneously ossifying modules. Moreover, although the results provided some support for the "single function hypothesis," defining cranial modules on the basis of anatomical or functional complexity did not provide a consistent means of predicting their phylogenetic efficacy. These results have important implications for building an accurate inference model of cranial evolution in the human fossil record.

  3. Structure of an Arrestin2-clathrin Complex Reveals a Novel Clathrin Binding Domain that Modulates Receptor Trafficking

    SciTech Connect

    Kang, D.; Kern, R; Puthenveedu, M; von Zastrow, M; Williams, J; Benovic, J

    2009-01-01

    Non-visual arrestins play a pivotal role as adaptor proteins in regulating the signaling and trafficking of multiple classes of receptors. Although arrestin interaction with clathrin, AP-2, and phosphoinositides contributes to receptor trafficking, little is known about the configuration and dynamics of these interactions. Here, we identify a novel interface between arrestin2 and clathrin through x-ray diffraction analysis. The intrinsically disordered clathrin binding box of arrestin2 interacts with a groove between blades 1 and 2 in the clathrin {beta}-propeller domain, whereas an 8-amino acid splice loop found solely in the long isoform of arrestin2 (arrestin2L) interacts with a binding pocket formed by blades 4 and 5 in clathrin. The apposition of the two binding sites in arrestin2L suggests that they are exclusive and may function in higher order macromolecular structures. Biochemical analysis demonstrates direct binding of clathrin to the splice loop in arrestin2L, whereas functional analysis reveals that both binding domains contribute to the receptor-dependent redistribution of arrestin2L to clathrin-coated pits. Mutagenesis studies reveal that the clathrin binding motif in the splice loop is (L/I){sub 2}GXL. Taken together, these data provide a framework for understanding the dynamic interactions between arrestin2 and clathrin and reveal an essential role for this interaction in arrestin-mediated endocytosis.

  4. Association between Periodontal Disease and Inflammatory Arthritis Reveals Modulatory Functions by Melanocortin Receptor Type 3

    PubMed Central

    Montero-Melendez, Trinidad; Madeira, Mila F.M.; Norling, Lucy V.; Alsam, Asil; Curtis, Michael A.; da Silva, Tarcília A.; Perretti, Mauro

    2015-01-01

    Because there is clinical evidence for an association between periodontal disease and rheumatoid arthritis, it is important to develop suitable experimental models to explore pathogenic mechanisms and therapeutic opportunities. The K/BxN serum model of inflammatory arthritis was applied using distinct protocols, and modulation of joint disruption afforded by dexamethasone and calcitonin was established in comparison to the melanocortin (MC) receptor agonist DTrp8–γ-melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH; DTrp). Wild-type and MC receptor type 3 (MC3)-null mice of different ages were also used. There was significant association between severity of joint disease, induced with distinct protocols and volumes of the arthritogenic K/BxN serum, and periodontal bone damage. Therapeutic treatment with 10 μg dexamethasone, 30 ng elcatonin, and 20 μg DTrp per mouse revealed unique and distinctive pharmacological properties, with only DTrp protecting both joint and periodontal tissue. Further analyses in nonarthritic animals revealed higher susceptibility to periodontal bone loss in Mc3r−/− compared with wild-type mice, with significant exacerbation at 14 weeks of age. These data reveal novel protective properties of endogenous MC3 on periodontal status in health and disease and indicate that MC3 activation could lead to the development of a new genus of anti-arthritic bone-sparing therapeutics. PMID:24979595

  5. Inducible knock-down of GNOM during root formation reveals tissue-specific response to auxin transport and its modulation of local auxin biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Guo, Jingzhe; Wei, Jun; Xu, Jian; Sun, Meng-Xiang

    2014-03-01

    In plants, active transport of auxin plays an essential role in root development. Localization of the PIN1 auxin transporters to the basal membrane of cells directs auxin flow and depends on the trafficking mediator GNOM. GNOM-dependent auxin transport is vital for root development and thus offers a useful tool for the investigation of a possible tissue-specific response to dynamic auxin transport. To avoid pleiotropic effects, DEX-inducible expression of GNOM antisense RNA was used to disrupt GNOM expression transiently or persistently during embryonic root development. It was found that the elongation zone and the pericycle layer are the most sensitive to GNOM-dependent auxin transport variations, which is shown by the phenotypes in cell elongation and the initiation of lateral root primordia, respectively. This suggests that auxin dynamics is critical to cell differentiation and cell fate transition, but not to cell division. The results also reveal that GNOM-dependent auxin transport could affect local auxin biosynthesis. This suggests that local auxin biosynthesis may also contribute to the establishment of GNOM-dependent auxin gradients in specific tissues, and that auxin transport and local auxin biosynthesis may function together in the regulatory network for initiation and development of lateral root primordia. Thus, the data reveal a tissue-specific response to auxin transport and modulation of local auxin biosynthesis by auxin transport.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-19

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

  7. 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.

  8. Moire modulation transfer function of alexandrite rods and their thresholds as lasers

    SciTech Connect

    Kafri, O.; Samelson, H.; Chin, T.; Heller, D.F.

    1986-04-01

    We show that there is a simple correlation between the modulation transfer function (MTF) of alexandrite laser rods and the thresholds of these rods as cw lasers. Thus the MTF provides a novel and important way to evaluate material (before or after fabrication) for use in solid-state lasers. This approach should be generally applicable to all solid-state laser materials.

  9. Measurement of MODIS optics effective focal length, distortion, and modulation transfer function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thurlow, Paul E.; Cline, Richard W.

    1993-08-01

    A combination MODIS optics characteristics, short back focal length, and relatively distorting optics, has required major revisions in techniques used earlier to characterize effective focal length (EFL) and modulation transfer function (MTF) in the thematic mapper (TM) project. This paper compares measurement approaches used to characterize TM optics and revised methodology intended to characterize MODIS optics at an integration and assembly level.

  10. MODULATION OF RAT LEYDIG CELL STEROIDOGENIC FUNCTION BY DI(2-ETHYLHEXYL)PHTHALATE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Modulation of rat Leydig cell steroidogenic function by di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate.

    Akingbemi BT, Youker RT, Sottas CM, Ge R, Katz E, Klinefelter GR, Zirkin BR, Hardy MP.

    Center for Biomedical Research, Population Council, New York, New York 10021, USA. benson@popcbr...

  11. Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) measurement techniques for lenses and linear detector arrays

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schnabel, J. J., Jr.; Kaishoven, J. E., Jr.; Tom, D.

    1984-01-01

    Application is the determination of the Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) for linear detector arrays. A system set up requires knowledge of the MTF of the imaging lens. Procedure for this measurement is described for standard optical lab equipment. Given this information, various possible approaches to MTF measurement for linear arrays is described. The knife edge method is then described in detail.

  12. Mitofusin 2 regulates the oocytes development and quality by modulating meiosis and mitochondrial function.

    PubMed

    Liu, Qun; Kang, Lina; Wang, Lingjuan; Zhang, Ling; Xiang, Wenpei

    2016-07-29

    Mitofusin-2 (Mfn2), one of the mitochondrial dynamic proteins plays a key role in maintaining the integrity of mitochondrial morphology and function. However, it is unknown if Mfn2 influences the quality of oocytes in the process of development by modulating mitochondrial function in vitro. In this study, immature oocytes were transfected with Mfn2-siRNA for 16 h. We found that the expression level of the Mfn2 gene was significantly lower than those of the control group. The rates of maturation and fertility were also found to have declined. Moreover, mitochondrial structure and function, especially the morphogenesis of spindles, were observed as abnormal during meiosis. Thus, the above findings indicate that down-regulation of Mfn2 may have an impact on the maturation and fertilization of immature oocytes in vitro by modulating meiosis and mitochondrial function.

  13. Mitofusin 2 regulates the oocytes development and quality by modulating meiosis and mitochondrial function

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Qun; Kang, Lina; Wang, Lingjuan; Zhang, Ling; Xiang, Wenpei

    2016-01-01

    Mitofusin-2 (Mfn2), one of the mitochondrial dynamic proteins plays a key role in maintaining the integrity of mitochondrial morphology and function. However, it is unknown if Mfn2 influences the quality of oocytes in the process of development by modulating mitochondrial function in vitro. In this study, immature oocytes were transfected with Mfn2-siRNA for 16 h. We found that the expression level of the Mfn2 gene was significantly lower than those of the control group. The rates of maturation and fertility were also found to have declined. Moreover, mitochondrial structure and function, especially the morphogenesis of spindles, were observed as abnormal during meiosis. Thus, the above findings indicate that down-regulation of Mfn2 may have an impact on the maturation and fertilization of immature oocytes in vitro by modulating meiosis and mitochondrial function. PMID:27469431

  14. Dynamic functional network connectivity reveals unique and overlapping profiles of insula subdivisions.

    PubMed

    Nomi, Jason S; Farrant, Kristafor; Damaraju, Eswar; Rachakonda, Srinivas; Calhoun, Vince D; Uddin, Lucina Q

    2016-05-01

    The human insular cortex consists of functionally diverse subdivisions that engage during tasks ranging from interoception to cognitive control. The multiplicity of functions subserved by insular subdivisions calls for a nuanced investigation of their functional connectivity profiles. Four insula subdivisions (dorsal anterior, dAI; ventral, VI; posterior, PI; middle, MI) derived using a data-driven approach were subjected to static- and dynamic functional network connectivity (s-FNC and d-FNC) analyses. Static-FNC analyses replicated previous work demonstrating a cognition-emotion-interoception division of the insula, where the dAI is functionally connected to frontal areas, the VI to limbic areas, and the PI and MI to sensorimotor areas. Dynamic-FNC analyses consisted of k-means clustering of sliding windows to identify variable insula connectivity states. The d-FNC analysis revealed that the most frequently occurring dynamic state mirrored the cognition-emotion-interoception division observed from the s-FNC analysis, with less frequently occurring states showing overlapping and unique subdivision connectivity profiles. In two of the states, all subdivisions exhibited largely overlapping profiles, consisting of subcortical, sensory, motor, and frontal connections. Two other states showed the dAI exhibited a unique connectivity profile compared with other insula subdivisions. Additionally, the dAI exhibited the most variable functional connections across the s-FNC and d-FNC analyses, and was the only subdivision to exhibit dynamic functional connections with regions of the default mode network. These results highlight how a d-FNC approach can capture functional dynamics masked by s-FNC approaches, and reveal dynamic functional connections enabling the functional flexibility of the insula across time. Hum Brain Mapp 37:1770-1787, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26880689

  15. Systems-based analyses of brain regions functionally impacted in Parkinson's disease reveals underlying causal mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Riley, Brigit E; Gardai, Shyra J; Emig-Agius, Dorothea; Bessarabova, Marina; Ivliev, Alexander E; Schüle, Birgitt; Schüle, Birgit; Alexander, Jeff; Wallace, William; Halliday, Glenda M; Langston, J William; Braxton, Scott; Yednock, Ted; Shaler, Thomas; Johnston, Jennifer A

    2014-01-01

    Detailed analysis of disease-affected tissue provides insight into molecular mechanisms contributing to pathogenesis. Substantia nigra, striatum, and cortex are functionally connected with increasing degrees of alpha-synuclein pathology in Parkinson's disease. We undertook functional and causal pathway analysis of gene expression and proteomic alterations in these three regions, and the data revealed pathways that correlated with disease progression. In addition, microarray and RNAseq experiments revealed previously unidentified causal changes related to oligodendrocyte function and synaptic vesicle release, and these and other changes were reflected across all brain regions. Importantly, subsets of these changes were replicated in Parkinson's disease blood; suggesting peripheral tissue may provide important avenues for understanding and measuring disease status and progression. Proteomic assessment revealed alterations in mitochondria and vesicular transport proteins that preceded gene expression changes indicating defects in translation and/or protein turnover. Our combined approach of proteomics, RNAseq and microarray analyses provides a comprehensive view of the molecular changes that accompany functional loss and alpha-synuclein pathology in Parkinson's disease, and may be instrumental to understand, diagnose and follow Parkinson's disease progression.

  16. Systems-Based Analyses of Brain Regions Functionally Impacted in Parkinson's Disease Reveals Underlying Causal Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Emig-Agius, Dorothea; Bessarabova, Marina; Ivliev, Alexander E.; Schüle, Birgit; Alexander, Jeff; Wallace, William; Halliday, Glenda M.; Langston, J. William; Braxton, Scott; Yednock, Ted; Shaler, Thomas; Johnston, Jennifer A.

    2014-01-01

    Detailed analysis of disease-affected tissue provides insight into molecular mechanisms contributing to pathogenesis. Substantia nigra, striatum, and cortex are functionally connected with increasing degrees of alpha-synuclein pathology in Parkinson's disease. We undertook functional and causal pathway analysis of gene expression and proteomic alterations in these three regions, and the data revealed pathways that correlated with disease progression. In addition, microarray and RNAseq experiments revealed previously unidentified causal changes related to oligodendrocyte function and synaptic vesicle release, and these and other changes were reflected across all brain regions. Importantly, subsets of these changes were replicated in Parkinson's disease blood; suggesting peripheral tissue may provide important avenues for understanding and measuring disease status and progression. Proteomic assessment revealed alterations in mitochondria and vesicular transport proteins that preceded gene expression changes indicating defects in translation and/or protein turnover. Our combined approach of proteomics, RNAseq and microarray analyses provides a comprehensive view of the molecular changes that accompany functional loss and alpha-synuclein pathology in Parkinson's disease, and may be instrumental to understand, diagnose and follow Parkinson's disease progression. PMID:25170892

  17. Central Nervous System Control of Gastrointestinal Motility and Secretion and Modulation of Gastrointestinal Functions

    PubMed Central

    Browning, Kirsteen N.; Travagli, R. Alberto

    2016-01-01

    Although the gastrointestinal (GI) tract possesses intrinsic neural plexuses that allow a significant degree of autonomy over GI functions, the central nervous system (CNS) provides extrinsic neural inputs that regulate, modulate, and control these functions. While the intestines are capable of functioning in the absence of extrinsic inputs, the stomach and esophagus are much more dependent upon extrinsic neural inputs, particularly from parasympathetic and sympathetic pathways. The sympathetic nervous system exerts a predominantly inhibitory effect upon GI muscle and provides a tonic inhibitory influence over mucosal secretion while, at the same time, regulates GI blood flow via neurally mediated vasoconstriction. The parasympathetic nervous system, in contrast, exerts both excitatory and inhibitory control over gastric and intestinal tone and motility. Although GI functions are controlled by the autonomic nervous system and occur, by and large, independently of conscious perception, it is clear that the higher CNS centers influence homeostatic control as well as cognitive and behavioral functions. This review will describe the basic neural circuitry of extrinsic inputs to the GI tract as well as the major CNS nuclei that innervate and modulate the activity of these pathways. The role of CNS-centered reflexes in the regulation of GI functions will be discussed as will modulation of these reflexes under both physiological and pathophysiological conditions. Finally, future directions within the field will be discussed in terms of important questions that remain to be resolved and advances in technology that may help provide these answers. PMID:25428846

  18. Launch and Functional Considerations Guiding the Scaling and Design of Rigid Inflatable Habitat Modules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bell, L.

    2002-01-01

    The Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) has a long history of projects that involve design of space structures, including habitats for low-Earth orbit (LEO) and planetary applications. Most of these facilities and component systems are planned to comply with size, geometry and mass restrictions imposed by the Space Shuttle Orbiter's payload and lift/landing abort restrictions. These constraints limit launch elements to approximately 15 ft. diameter, 40 ft. long cylindrical dimensions weighing no more than approximately 25 metric tons. It is clear that future success of commercial space programs such as tourism will hinge upon the availability of bigger and more efficient Earth to LEO launch vehicles which can greatly reduce transportation and operational costs. This will enable development and utilization of larger habitat modules and other infrastructure elements which can be deployed with fewer launches and on-orbit assembly procedures. The sizing of these new heavy lift launchers should be scaled to optimize habitat functionality and efficiency, just as the habitat designs must consider optimization of launch vehicle economy. SICSA's planning studies address these vehicle and habitat optimization priorities as parallel and interdependent considerations. The allowable diameter of habitat modules established by launch vehicle capacity dictates functionally acceptable internal configuration options. Analyses of these options relative to practical dimensions for Earth-to-orbit launch vehicle scaling were conducted for two general schemes. The "bologna slice" configuration stacks the floors within a predominately cylindrical or spherical envelope, producing circular areas. The "banana split" approach divides a cylindrical module longitudinally, creating floors that are generally rectangular in shape. The assessments established minimum sizes for reasonable utility and efficiency. The bologna slice option. This configuration is only acceptable

  19. Repeated application of Modafinil and Levodopa reveals a drug-independent precise timing of spatial working memory modulation.

    PubMed

    Bezu, M; Shanmugasundaram, B; Lubec, G; Korz, V

    2016-10-01

    Cognition enhancing drugs often target the dopaminergic system, which is involved in learning and memory, including working memory that in turn involves mainly the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus. In most animal models for modulations of working memory animals are pre-trained to a certain criterion and treated then acutely to test drugs effects on working memory. Thus, little is known regarding subchronic or chronic application of cognition enhancing drugs and working memory performance. Therefore we trained male rats over six days in a rewarded alternation test in a T-maze. Rats received daily injections of either modafinil or Levodopa (L-Dopa) at a lower and a higher dose 30min before training. Levodopa but not modafinil increased working memory performance during early training significantly at day 3 when compared to vehicle controls. Both drugs induced dose dependent differences in working memory with significantly better performance at low doses compared to high doses for modafinil, in contrast to L-Dopa where high dose treated rats performed better than low dose rats. Strikingly, these effects appeared only at day 3 for both drugs, followed by a decline in behavioral performance. Thus, a critical drug independent time window for dopaminergic effects upon working memory could be revealed. Evaluating the underlying mechanisms contributes to the understanding of temporal effects of dopamine on working memory performance.

  20. QM/MM Studies Reveal How Substrate-Substrate and Enzyme-Substrate Interactions Modulate Retaining Glycosyltransferases Catalysis and Mechanism.

    PubMed

    Gómez, Hansel; Mendoza, Fernanda; Lluch, José M; Masgrau, Laura

    2015-01-01

    Glycosyltransferases (GTs) catalyze the biosynthesis of glycosidic linkages by transferring a monosaccharide from a nucleotide sugar donor to an acceptor substrate, and they do that with exquisite regio- and stereospecificity. Retaining GTs act with retention of the configuration at the anomeric carbon of the transferred sugar. Their chemical mechanism has been under debate for long as conclusive experimental data to confirm the mechanism have been elusive. In the past years, quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) calculations have shed light on the mechanistic discussion. Here, we review the work carried out in our group investigating three of these retaining enzymes (LgtC, α3GalT, and GalNAc-T2). Our results support the controversial front-side attack mechanism as the general mechanism for most retaining GTs. The latest structural data are in agreement with these findings. QM/MM calculations have revealed how enzyme-substrate and substrate-substrate interactions modulate the transfer reaction catalyzed by these enzymes. Moreover, they provide an explanation on why in some cases a strong nucleophilic residue is found on the β-face of the sugar, opening the door to a shift toward a double-displacement mechanism.

  1. Transcriptomic comparison between Brassica oleracea and rice (Oryza sativa) reveals diverse modulations on cell death in response to Sclerotinia sclerotiorum.

    PubMed

    Mei, Jiaqin; Ding, Yijuan; Li, Yuehua; Tong, Chaobo; Du, Hai; Yu, Yang; Wan, Huafan; Xiong, Qing; Yu, Jingyin; Liu, Shengyi; Li, Jiana; Qian, Wei

    2016-01-01

    Sclerotinia stem rot caused by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum is a devastating disease of Brassica crops, but not in rice. The leaves of a rice line, a partial resistant (R) and a susceptible (S) Brassica oleracea pool that bulked from a resistance-segregating F2 population were employed for transcriptome sequencing before and after inoculation by S. sclerotiorum for 6 and 12 h. Distinct transcriptome profiles were revealed between B. oleracea and rice in response to S. sclerotiorum. Enrichment analyses of GO and KEGG indicated an enhancement of antioxidant activity in the R B. oleracea and rice, and histochemical staining exhibited obvious lighter reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation and cell death in rice and the R B. oleracea as compared to that in the S B. oleracea. Significant enhancement of Ca(2+) signalling, a positive regulator of ROS and cell death, were detected in S B. oleracea after inoculation, while it was significantly repressed in the R B. oleracea group. Obvious difference was detected between two B. oleracea groups for WRKY transcription factors, particularly for those regulating cell death. These findings suggest diverse modulations on cell death in host in response to S. sclerotiorum. Our study provides useful insight into the resistant mechanism to S. sclerotiorum. PMID:27647523

  2. Transcriptomic comparison between Brassica oleracea and rice (Oryza sativa) reveals diverse modulations on cell death in response to Sclerotinia sclerotiorum

    PubMed Central

    Mei, Jiaqin; Ding, Yijuan; Li, Yuehua; Tong, Chaobo; Du, Hai; Yu, Yang; Wan, Huafan; Xiong, Qing; Yu, Jingyin; Liu, Shengyi; Li, Jiana; Qian, Wei

    2016-01-01

    Sclerotinia stem rot caused by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum is a devastating disease of Brassica crops, but not in rice. The leaves of a rice line, a partial resistant (R) and a susceptible (S) Brassica oleracea pool that bulked from a resistance-segregating F2 population were employed for transcriptome sequencing before and after inoculation by S. sclerotiorum for 6 and 12 h. Distinct transcriptome profiles were revealed between B. oleracea and rice in response to S. sclerotiorum. Enrichment analyses of GO and KEGG indicated an enhancement of antioxidant activity in the R B. oleracea and rice, and histochemical staining exhibited obvious lighter reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation and cell death in rice and the R B. oleracea as compared to that in the S B. oleracea. Significant enhancement of Ca2+ signalling, a positive regulator of ROS and cell death, were detected in S B. oleracea after inoculation, while it was significantly repressed in the R B. oleracea group. Obvious difference was detected between two B. oleracea groups for WRKY transcription factors, particularly for those regulating cell death. These findings suggest diverse modulations on cell death in host in response to S. sclerotiorum. Our study provides useful insight into the resistant mechanism to S. sclerotiorum. PMID:27647523

  3. Molecularly clean ionic liquid/rubrene single-crystal interfaces revealed by frequency modulation atomic force microscopy.

    PubMed

    Yokota, Yasuyuki; Hara, Hisaya; Morino, Yusuke; Bando, Ken-ichi; Imanishi, Akihito; Uemura, Takafumi; Takeya, Jun; Fukui, Ken-ichi

    2015-03-14

    The structural properties of ionic liquid/rubrene single-crystal interfaces were investigated using frequency modulation atomic force microscopy. The spontaneous dissolution of rubrene molecules into the ionic liquid was triggered by surface defects such as rubrene oxide defects, and the dissolution rate strongly depended on the initial conditions of the rubrene surface. Dissolution of the second rubrene layer was slower due to the lower defect density, leading to the formation of a clean interface irrespective of the initial conditions. Molecular-resolution images were easily obtained at the interface, and their corrugation patterns changed with the applied force. Force curve measurements revealed that a few solvation layers of ionic liquid molecules formed at the interface, and the force needed to penetrate the solvation layers was an order of magnitude smaller than typical ionic liquid/inorganic solid interfaces. These specific properties are discussed with respect to electric double-layer transistors based on the ionic liquid/rubrene single-crystal interface. PMID:25669665

  4. Acid modulates the squamous epithelial barrier function by modulating the localization of claudins in the superficial layers.

    PubMed

    Oshima, Tadayuki; Koseki, Junichi; Chen, Xin; Matsumoto, Takayuki; Miwa, Hiroto

    2012-01-01

    Acid is a major cause of gastro-esophageal reflux disease. However, the influence of acid on the esophageal stratified epithelial barrier function and tight junction (TJ) proteins is not fully understood. Here, we explore the influence of acid on barrier function and TJ proteins using a newly developed model of the esophageal-like squamous epithelial cell layers that employs an air-liquid interface (ALI) system. Barrier function was determined by measuring trans-epithelial electrical resistance (TEER) and diffusion of paracellular tracers. TJ-related protein (claudin-1, claudin-4, occludin and ZO-1) expression and localization was examined by immunofluorescent staining, and by western blotting of 1% NP-40 soluble and insoluble fractions. We also examined the influence of acid (pH 2-4) on the barrier created by these cells. The in vitro ALI culture system showed a tight barrier (1500-2500 Ω·cm(2)) with the expression of claudin-1, claudin-4, occludin and ZO-1 in the superficial layers. Claudin-1, claudin-4, occludin and ZO-1 were detected as dots and whisker-like lines in the superficial layers, and as a broad line in the suprabasal layers. These localization patterns are similar to those in the human esophagus. On day 7 under ALI culture, TJ proteins were detected in the superficial layers with functional properties, including decreased permeability and increased TEER. Dilated intercellular spaces were detected at the suprabasal cell layers even under the control conditions of ALI cells. pH 2 acid on the apical side significantly reduced the TEER in ALI-cultured cells. This decrease in TEER by the acid was in parallel with the decreased amount of detergent-insoluble claudin-4. Claudin-4 delocalization was confirmed by immunofluorescent staining. In conclusion, TJs are located in the superficial layers of the esophagus, and acid stimulation disrupts barrier function, at least in part by modulating the amount and localization of claudin-4 in the superficial layers.

  5. Mutation analysis of the base-pair connecting two functional modules in the DSL ribozyme.

    PubMed

    Ishikawa, Junya; Furuta, Hiroyuki; Ikawa, Yoshiya

    2008-01-01

    The class DSL ribozyme is one of artificial RNA enzymes generated by module-based molecular design. In the structure of this ribozyme, two most important functional modules are connected by a U-A base-pair. We have examined the possible importance of this base-pair by site-directed mutation experiments using the DSL-1S ribozyme and its derivative possessing altered modular organization. The analysis indicated that the DSL-1S ribozyme preferred U-A pair at the positions whereas the derivative preferred A-U pair.

  6. The endocannabinoid system: an emotional buffer in the modulation of memory function.

    PubMed

    Morena, Maria; Campolongo, Patrizia

    2014-07-01

    Extensive evidence indicates that endocannabinoids modulate cognitive processes in animal models and human subjects. However, the results of endocannabinoid system manipulations on cognition have been contradictory. As for anxiety behavior, a duality has indeed emerged with regard to cannabinoid effects on memory for emotional experiences. Here we summarize findings describing cannabinoid effects on memory acquisition, consolidation, retrieval and extinction. Additionally, we review findings showing how the endocannabinoid system modulates memory function differentially, depending on the level of stress and arousal associated with the experimental context. Based on the evidence reviewed here, we propose that the endocannabinoid system is an emotional buffer that moderates the effects of environmental context and stress on cognitive processes.

  7. Genetic Interaction Maps in Escherichia coli Reveal Functional Crosstalk among Cell Envelope Biogenesis Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Vlasblom, James; Gagarinova, Alla; Phanse, Sadhna; Graham, Chris; Yousif, Fouad; Ding, Huiming; Xiong, Xuejian; Nazarians-Armavil, Anaies; Alamgir, Md; Ali, Mehrab; Pogoutse, Oxana; Pe'er, Asaf; Arnold, Roland; Michaut, Magali; Parkinson, John; Golshani, Ashkan; Whitfield, Chris; Wodak, Shoshana J.; Moreno-Hagelsieb, Gabriel; Greenblatt, Jack F.; Emili, Andrew

    2011-01-01

    As the interface between a microbe and its environment, the bacterial cell envelope has broad biological and clinical significance. While numerous biosynthesis genes and pathways have been identified and studied in isolation, how these intersect functionally to ensure envelope integrity during adaptive responses to environmental challenge remains unclear. To this end, we performed high-density synthetic genetic screens to generate quantitative functional association maps encompassing virtually the entire cell envelope biosynthetic machinery of Escherichia coli under both auxotrophic (rich medium) and prototrophic (minimal medium) culture conditions. The differential patterns of genetic interactions detected among >235,000 digenic mutant combinations tested reveal unexpected condition-specific functional crosstalk and genetic backup mechanisms that ensure stress-resistant envelope assembly and maintenance. These networks also provide insights into the global systems connectivity and dynamic functional reorganization of a universal bacterial structure that is both broadly conserved among eubacteria (including pathogens) and an important target. PMID:22125496

  8. The Chlamydomonas Genome Reveals the Evolution of Key Animal and Plant Functions

    SciTech Connect

    Merchant, Sabeeha S

    2007-04-09

    Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is a unicellular green alga whose lineage diverged from land plants over 1 billion years ago. It is a model system for studying chloroplast-based photosynthesis, as well as the structure, assembly, and function of eukaryotic flagella (cilia), which were inherited from the common ancestor of plants and animals, but lost in land plants. We sequenced the 120-megabase nuclear genome of Chlamydomonas and performed comparative phylogenomic analyses, identifying genes encoding uncharacterized proteins that are likely associated with the function and biogenesis of chloroplasts or eukaryotic flagella. Analyses of the Chlamydomonas genome advance our understanding of the ancestral eukaryotic cell, reveal previously unknown genes associated with photosynthetic and flagellar functions, and establish links between ciliopathy and the composition and function of flagella.

  9. The Chlamydomonas genome reveals the evolution of key animal and plant functions.

    PubMed

    Merchant, Sabeeha S; Prochnik, Simon E; Vallon, Olivier; Harris, Elizabeth H; Karpowicz, Steven J; Witman, George B; Terry, Astrid; Salamov, Asaf; Fritz-Laylin, Lillian K; Maréchal-Drouard, Laurence; Marshall, Wallace F; Qu, Liang-Hu; Nelson, David R; Sanderfoot, Anton A; Spalding, Martin H; Kapitonov, Vladimir V; Ren, Qinghu; Ferris, Patrick; Lindquist, Erika; Shapiro, Harris; Lucas, Susan M; Grimwood, Jane; Schmutz, Jeremy; Cardol, Pierre; Cerutti, Heriberto; Chanfreau, Guillaume; Chen, Chun-Long; Cognat, Valérie; Croft, Martin T; Dent, Rachel; Dutcher, Susan; Fernández, Emilio; Fukuzawa, Hideya; González-Ballester, David; González-Halphen, Diego; Hallmann, Armin; Hanikenne, Marc; Hippler, Michael; Inwood, William; Jabbari, Kamel; Kalanon, Ming; Kuras, Richard; Lefebvre, Paul A; Lemaire, Stéphane D; Lobanov, Alexey V; Lohr, Martin; Manuell, Andrea; Meier, Iris; Mets, Laurens; Mittag, Maria; Mittelmeier, Telsa; Moroney, James V; Moseley, Jeffrey; Napoli, Carolyn; Nedelcu, Aurora M; Niyogi, Krishna; Novoselov, Sergey V; Paulsen, Ian T; Pazour, Greg; Purton, Saul; Ral, Jean-Philippe; Riaño-Pachón, Diego Mauricio; Riekhof, Wayne; Rymarquis, Linda; Schroda, Michael; Stern, David; Umen, James; Willows, Robert; Wilson, Nedra; Zimmer, Sara Lana; Allmer, Jens; Balk, Janneke; Bisova, Katerina; Chen, Chong-Jian; Elias, Marek; Gendler, Karla; Hauser, Charles; Lamb, Mary Rose; Ledford, Heidi; Long, Joanne C; Minagawa, Jun; Page, M Dudley; Pan, Junmin; Pootakham, Wirulda; Roje, Sanja; Rose, Annkatrin; Stahlberg, Eric; Terauchi, Aimee M; Yang, Pinfen; Ball, Steven; Bowler, Chris; Dieckmann, Carol L; Gladyshev, Vadim N; Green, Pamela; Jorgensen, Richard; Mayfield, Stephen; Mueller-Roeber, Bernd; Rajamani, Sathish; Sayre, Richard T; Brokstein, Peter; Dubchak, Inna; Goodstein, David; Hornick, Leila; Huang, Y Wayne; Jhaveri, Jinal; Luo, Yigong; Martínez, Diego; Ngau, Wing Chi Abby; Otillar, Bobby; Poliakov, Alexander; Porter, Aaron; Szajkowski, Lukasz; Werner, Gregory; Zhou, Kemin; Grigoriev, Igor V; Rokhsar, Daniel S; Grossman, Arthur R

    2007-10-12

    Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is a unicellular green alga whose lineage diverged from land plants over 1 billion years ago. It is a model system for studying chloroplast-based photosynthesis, as well as the structure, assembly, and function of eukaryotic flagella (cilia), which were inherited from the common ancestor of plants and animals, but lost in land plants. We sequenced the approximately 120-megabase nuclear genome of Chlamydomonas and performed comparative phylogenomic analyses, identifying genes encoding uncharacterized proteins that are likely associated with the function and biogenesis of chloroplasts or eukaryotic flagella. Analyses of the Chlamydomonas genome advance our understanding of the ancestral eukaryotic cell, reveal previously unknown genes associated with photosynthetic and flagellar functions, and establish links between ciliopathy and the composition and function of flagella. PMID:17932292

  10. The Chlamydomonas Genome Reveals the Evolution of Key Animal and Plant Functions

    PubMed Central

    Merchant, Sabeeha S.; Prochnik, Simon E.; Vallon, Olivier; Harris, Elizabeth H.; Karpowicz, Steven J.; Witman, George B.; Terry, Astrid; Salamov, Asaf; Fritz-Laylin, Lillian K.; Maréchal-Drouard, Laurence; Marshall, Wallace F.; Qu, Liang-Hu; Nelson, David R.; Sanderfoot, Anton A.; Spalding, Martin H.; Kapitonov, Vladimir V.; Ren, Qinghu; Ferris, Patrick; Lindquist, Erika; Shapiro, Harris; Lucas, Susan M.; Grimwood, Jane; Schmutz, Jeremy; Cardol, Pierre; Cerutti, Heriberto; Chanfreau, Guillaume; Chen, Chun-Long; Cognat, Valérie; Croft, Martin T.; Dent, Rachel; Dutcher, Susan; Fernández, Emilio; Ferris, Patrick; Fukuzawa, Hideya; González-Ballester, David; González-Halphen, Diego; Hallmann, Armin; Hanikenne, Marc; Hippler, Michael; Inwood, William; Jabbari, Kamel; Kalanon, Ming; Kuras, Richard; Lefebvre, Paul A.; Lemaire, Stéphane D.; Lobanov, Alexey V.; Lohr, Martin; Manuell, Andrea; Meier, Iris; Mets, Laurens; Mittag, Maria; Mittelmeier, Telsa; Moroney, James V.; Moseley, Jeffrey; Napoli, Carolyn; Nedelcu, Aurora M.; Niyogi, Krishna; Novoselov, Sergey V.; Paulsen, Ian T.; Pazour, Greg; Purton, Saul; Ral, Jean-Philippe; Riaño-Pachón, Diego Mauricio; Riekhof, Wayne; Rymarquis, Linda; Schroda, Michael; Stern, David; Umen, James; Willows, Robert; Wilson, Nedra; Zimmer, Sara Lana; Allmer, Jens; Balk, Janneke; Bisova, Katerina; Chen, Chong-Jian; Elias, Marek; Gendler, Karla; Hauser, Charles; Lamb, Mary Rose; Ledford, Heidi; Long, Joanne C.; Minagawa, Jun; Page, M. Dudley; Pan, Junmin; Pootakham, Wirulda; Roje, Sanja; Rose, Annkatrin; Stahlberg, Eric; Terauchi, Aimee M.; Yang, Pinfen; Ball, Steven; Bowler, Chris; Dieckmann, Carol L.; Gladyshev, Vadim N.; Green, Pamela; Jorgensen, Richard; Mayfield, Stephen; Mueller-Roeber, Bernd; Rajamani, Sathish; Sayre, Richard T.; Brokstein, Peter; Dubchak, Inna; Goodstein, David; Hornick, Leila; Huang, Y. Wayne; Jhaveri, Jinal; Luo, Yigong; Martínez, Diego; Ngau, Wing Chi Abby; Otillar, Bobby; Poliakov, Alexander; Porter, Aaron; Szajkowski, Lukasz; Werner, Gregory; Zhou, Kemin; Grigoriev, Igor V.; Rokhsar, Daniel S.; Grossman, Arthur R.

    2010-01-01

    Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is a unicellular green alga whose lineage diverged from land plants over 1 billion years ago. It is a model system for studying chloroplast-based photosynthesis, as well as the structure, assembly, and function of eukaryotic flagella (cilia), which were inherited from the common ancestor of plants and animals, but lost in land plants. We sequenced the ∼120-megabase nuclear genome of Chlamydomonas and performed comparative phylogenomic analyses, identifying genes encoding uncharacterized proteins that are likely associated with the function and biogenesis of chloroplasts or eukaryotic flagella. Analyses of the Chlamydomonas genome advance our understanding of the ancestral eukaryotic cell, reveal previously unknown genes associated with photosynthetic and flagellar functions, and establish links between ciliopathy and the composition and function of flagella. PMID:17932292

  11. Thermodynamic and functional characteristics of deep-sea enzymes revealed by pressure effects.

    PubMed

    Ohmae, Eiji; Miyashita, Yurina; Kato, Chiaki

    2013-09-01

    Hydrostatic pressure analysis is an ideal approach for studying protein dynamics and hydration. The development of full ocean depth submersibles and high pressure biological techniques allows us to investigate enzymes from deep-sea organisms at the molecular level. The aim of this review was to overview the thermodynamic and functional characteristics of deep-sea enzymes as revealed by pressure axis analysis after giving a brief introduction to the thermodynamic principles underlying the effects of pressure on the structural stability and function of enzymes.

  12. Bisphosphonates modulate vital functions of human osteoblasts and affect their interactions with breast cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Kaiser, Tatjana; Teufel, Ingrid; Geiger, Konstanze; Vater, Yvonne; Aicher, Wilhelm K; Klein, Gerd; Fehm, Tanja

    2013-07-01

    Bisphosphonates (BPs) are in clinical use for the treatment of breast cancer patients with bone metastases. Their anti-resorptive effect is mainly explained by inhibition of osteoclast activity, but recent evidence also points to a direct action of BPs on bone-forming osteoblasts. However, the mechanisms how BPs influence osteoblasts and their interactions with breast cancer cells are still poorly characterized. Human osteoblasts isolated from bone specimens were characterized in depth by their expression of osteogenic marker genes. The influence of the nitrogen-containing BPs zoledronate (Zol), ibandronate (Iban), and pamidronate (Pam) on molecular and cellular functions of osteoblasts was assessed focusing on cell proliferation and viability, apoptosis, cytokine secretion, and osteogenic-associated genes. Furthermore, effects of BPs on osteoblast-breast tumor cell interactions were examined in an established in vitro model system. The BPs Zol and Pam inhibited cell viability of osteoblasts. This effect was mediated by an induction of caspase-dependent apoptosis in osteoblasts. By interfering with the mevalonate pathway, Zol also reduces the proliferation of osteoblasts. The expression of phenotypic markers of osteogenic differentiation was altered by Zol and Pam. In addition, both BPs strongly influenced the secretion of the chemokine CCL2 by osteoblasts. Breast cancer cells also responded to Zol and Pam with a reduced cell adhesion to osteoblast-derived extracellular matrix molecules and with a decreased migration in response to osteoblast-secreted factors. BPs revealed prominent effects on human osteoblasts. Zol and Pam as the most potent BPs affected not only the expression of osteogenic markers, osteoblast viability, and proliferation but also important osteoblast-tumor cell interactions. Changing the osteoblast metabolism by BPs modulates migration and adhesion of breast cancer cells as well. PMID:23807419

  13. Antioxidant Defenses of Francisella tularensis Modulate Macrophage Function and Production of Proinflammatory Cytokines.

    PubMed

    Rabadi, Seham M; Sanchez, Belkys C; Varanat, Mrudula; Ma, Zhuo; Catlett, Sally V; Melendez, Juan Andres; Malik, Meenakshi; Bakshi, Chandra Shekhar

    2016-03-01

    Francisella tularensis, the causative agent of a fatal human disease known as tularemia, has been used in the bioweapon programs of several countries in the past, and now it is considered a potential bioterror agent. Extreme infectivity and virulence of F. tularensis is due to its ability to evade immune detection and to suppress the host's innate immune responses. However, Francisella-encoded factors and mechanisms responsible for causing immune suppression are not completely understood. Macrophages and neutrophils generate reactive oxygen species (ROS)/reactive nitrogen species as a defense mechanism for the clearance of phagocytosed microorganisms. ROS serve a dual role; at high concentrations they act as microbicidal effector molecules that destroy intracellular pathogens, and at low concentrations they serve as secondary signaling messengers that regulate the expression of various inflammatory mediators. We hypothesized that the antioxidant defenses of F. tularensis maintain redox homeostasis in infected macrophages to prevent activation of redox-sensitive signaling components that ultimately result in suppression of pro-inflammatory cytokine production and macrophage microbicidal activity. We demonstrate that antioxidant enzymes of F. tularensis prevent the activation of redox-sensitive MAPK signaling components, NF-κB signaling, and the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines by inhibiting the accumulation of ROS in infected macrophages. We also report that F. tularensis inhibits ROS-dependent autophagy to promote its intramacrophage survival. Collectively, this study reveals novel pathogenic mechanisms adopted by F. tularensis to modulate macrophage innate immune functions to create an environment permissive for its intracellular survival and growth. PMID:26644475

  14. A graph-based integrative method of detecting consistent protein functional modules from multiple data sources.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yuan; Cheng, Yue; Ge, Liang; Du, Nan; Jia, Kebin; Zhang, Aidong

    2015-01-01

    Many clustering methods have been developed to identify functional modules in Protein-Protein Interaction (PPI) networks but the results are far from satisfaction. To overcome the noise and incomplete problems of PPI networks and find more accurate and stable functional modules, we propose an integrative method, bipartite graph-based Non-negative Matrix Factorisation method (BiNMF), in which we adopt multiple biological data sources as different views that describe PPIs. Specifically, traditional clustering models are adopted as preliminary analysis of different views of protein functional similarity. Then the intermediate clustering results are represented by a bipartite graph which can comprehensively represent the relationships between proteins and intermediate clusters and finally overlapping clustering results are achieved. Through extensive experiments, we see that our method is superior to baseline methods and detailed analysis has demonstrated the benefits of integrating diverse clustering methods and multiple biological information sources. PMID:26547971

  15. Highly multiplexed profiling of single-cell effector functions reveals deep functional heterogeneity in response to pathogenic ligands

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Yao; Xue, Qiong; Eisele, Markus R.; Sulistijo, Endah S.; Brower, Kara; Han, Lin; Amir, El-ad David; Pe’er, Dana; Miller-Jensen, Kathryn; Fan, Rong

    2015-01-01

    Despite recent advances in single-cell genomic, transcriptional, and mass-cytometric profiling, it remains a challenge to collect highly multiplexed measurements of secreted proteins from single cells for comprehensive analysis of functional states. Herein, we combine spatial and spectral encoding with polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microchambers for codetection of 42 immune effector proteins secreted from single cells, representing the highest multiplexing recorded to date for a single-cell secretion assay. Using this platform to profile differentiated macrophages stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), the ligand of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), reveals previously unobserved deep functional heterogeneity and varying levels of pathogenic activation. Uniquely protein profiling on the same single cells before and after LPS stimulation identified a role for macrophage inhibitory factor (MIF) to potentiate the activation of LPS-induced cytokine production. Advanced clustering analysis identified functional subsets including quiescent, polyfunctional fully activated, partially activated populations with different cytokine profiles. This population architecture is conserved throughout the cell activation process and prevails as it is extended to other TLR ligands and to primary macrophages derived from a healthy donor. This work demonstrates that the phenotypically similar cell population still exhibits a large degree of intrinsic heterogeneity at the functional and cell behavior level. This technology enables full-spectrum dissection of immune functional states in response to pathogenic or environmental stimulation, and opens opportunities to quantify deep functional heterogeneity for more comprehensive and accurate immune monitoring. PMID:25646488

  16. Tamoxifen augments the innate immune function of neutrophils through modulation of intracellular ceramide.

    PubMed

    Corriden, Ross; Hollands, Andrew; Olson, Joshua; Derieux, Jaclyn; Lopez, Justine; Chang, John T; Gonzalez, David J; Nizet, Victor

    2015-01-01

    Tamoxifen is a selective oestrogen receptor modulator widely used for the treatment of breast cancer. In addition to its activity as an oestrogen receptor agonist/antagonist, tamoxifen also modulates sphingolipid biosynthesis, which has been shown to play an important role in the regulation of neutrophil activity. Here, we find that tamoxifen stimulation enhances several pro-inflammatory pathways in human neutrophils, including chemotaxis, phagocytosis and neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation. The enhancement of NET production occurs via a ceramide/PKCζ-mediated pathway, and treatment with synthetic ceramide is sufficient to promote NET formation. Pretreatment of human neutrophils with tamoxifen boosts neutrophil bactericidal capacity against a variety of pathogens in vitro and enhances clearance of the leading human pathogen methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in vivo. Our results suggest that tamoxifen, and the lipid signalling pathways it modulates, merit further exploration as targets for boosting host innate immune function. PMID:26458291

  17. Modulation of BK Channel Function by Auxiliary Beta and Gamma Subunits

    PubMed Central

    Li, Q.; Yan, J.

    2016-01-01

    The large-conductance, Ca2+- and voltage-activated K+ (BK) channel is ubiquitously expressed in mammalian tissues and displays diverse biophysical or pharmacological characteristics. This diversity is in part conferred by channel modulation with different regulatory auxiliary subunits. To date, two distinct classes of BK channel auxiliary subunits have been identified: β subunits and γ subunits. Modulation of BK channels by the four auxiliary β (β1–β4) subunits has been well established and intensively investigated over the past two decades. The auxiliary γ subunits, however, were identified only very recently, which adds a new dimension to BK channel regulation and improves our understanding of the physiological functions of BK channels in various tissues and cell types. This chapter will review the current understanding of BK channel modulation by auxiliary β and γ subunits, especially the latest findings. PMID:27238261

  18. Tamoxifen Augments the Innate Immune Function of Neutrophils Through Modulation of Intracellular Ceramide

    PubMed Central

    Corriden, Ross; Hollands, Andrew; Olson, Joshua; Derieux, Jaclyn; Lopez, Justine; Chang, John T.; Gonzalez, David J.; Nizet, Victor

    2015-01-01

    Tamoxifen is a selective estrogen receptor modulator widely used for the treatment of breast cancer. In addition to its activity as an estrogen receptor agonist/antagonist, tamoxifen also modulates sphingolipid biosynthesis, which has been shown to play an important role in the regulation of neutrophil activity. Here, we find that tamoxifen stimulation enhances several pro-inflammatory pathways in human neutrophils, including chemotaxis, phagocytosis and neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation. The enhancement of NET production occurs via a ceramide/PKCζ-mediated pathway, and treatment with synthetic ceramide is sufficient to promote NET formation. Pretreatment of human neutrophils with tamoxifen boosts neutrophil bactericidal capacity against a variety of pathogens in vitro and enhances clearance of the leading human pathogen methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in vivo. Our results suggest that tamoxifen, and the lipid signaling pathways it modulates, merit further exploration as targets for boosting host innate immune function. PMID:26458291

  19. Modulation of morpho-functional characteristics of astrocytes using chemically-functionalized water-soluble single-walled carbon nanotubes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gottipati, Manoj K.

    In this thesis, I report the use of chemically functionalized water-soluble single-walled carbon nanotubes (ws-SWCNTs) for the modulation of morpho-functional characteristics of astrocytes. When added to the culturing medium, ws-SWCNTs were able to make astrocytes larger and stellate/mature, changes associated with the increase in glial fibrillary acidic protein immunoreactivity. Thus, ws-SWCNTs could have more beneficial effects at the injury site than previously thought; by affecting astrocytes, they could provide for a more comprehensive re-establishment of the brain computational power. Keywords: Carbon nanotubes, graft copolymers, astrocytes, glial fibrillary acidic protein.

  20. Functional traits reveal processes driving natural afforestation at large spatial scales.

    PubMed

    Mason, Norman W H; Wiser, Susan K; Richardson, Sarah J; Thorsen, Michael J; Holdaway, Robert J; Dray, Stéphane; Thomson, Fiona J; Carswell, Fiona E

    2013-01-01

    An understanding of the processes governing natural afforestation over large spatial scales is vital for enhancing forest carbon sequestration. Models of tree species occurrence probability in non-forest vegetation could potentially identify the primary variables determining natural afforestation. However, inferring processes governing afforestation using tree species occurrence is potentially problematic, since it is impossible to know whether observed occurrences are due to recruitment or persistence of existing trees following disturbance. Plant functional traits have the potential to reveal the processes by which key environmental and land cover variables influence afforestation. We used 10,061 survey plots to identify the primary environmental and land cover variables influencing tree occurrence probability in non-forest vegetation in New Zealand. We also examined how these variables influenced diversity of functional traits linked to plant ecological strategy and dispersal ability. Mean annual temperature was the most important environmental predictor of tree occurrence. Local woody cover and distance to forest were the most important land cover variables. Relationships between these variables and ecological strategy traits revealed a trade-off between ability to compete for light and colonize sites that were marginal for tree occurrence. Biotically dispersed species occurred less frequently with declining temperature and local woody cover, suggesting that abiotic stress limited their establishment and that biotic dispersal did not increase ability to colonize non-woody vegetation. Functional diversity for ecological strategy traits declined with declining temperature and woody cover and increasing distance to forest. Functional diversity for dispersal traits showed the opposite trend. This suggests that low temperatures and woody cover and high distance to forest may limit tree species establishment through filtering on ecological strategy traits, but not on

  1. Disorder transitions and conformational diversity cooperatively modulate biological function in proteins.

    PubMed

    Zea, Diego Javier; Monzon, Alexander Miguel; Gonzalez, Claudia; Fornasari, María Silvina; Tosatto, Silvio C E; Parisi, Gustavo

    2016-06-01

    Structural differences between conformers sustain protein biological function. Here, we studied in a large dataset of 745 intrinsically disordered proteins, how ordered-disordered transitions modulate structural differences between conformers as derived from crystallographic data. We found that almost 50% of the proteins studied show no transitions and have low conformational diversity while the rest show transitions and a higher conformational diversity. In this last subset, 60% of the proteins become more ordered after ligand binding, while 40% more disordered. As protein conformational diversity is inherently connected with protein function our analysis suggests differences in structure-function relationships related to order-disorder transitions.

  2. Extracellular Acidification Acts as a Key Modulator of Neutrophil Apoptosis and Functions

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Shannan; Liu, Peng; Zhu, Haiyan; Gong, Haiyan; Yao, Jianfeng; Sun, Yawei; Geng, Guangfeng; Wang, Tong; Feng, Sizhou; Han, Mingzhe; Zhou, Jiaxi; Xu, Yuanfu

    2015-01-01

    In human pathological conditions, the acidification of local environment is a frequent feature, such as tumor and inflammation. As the pH of microenvironment alters, the functions of immune cells are about to change. It makes the extracellular acidification a key modulator of innate immunity. Here we detected the impact of extracellular acidification on neutrophil apoptosis and functions, including cell death, respiratory burst, migration and phagocytosis. As a result, we found that under the acid environment, neutrophil apoptosis delayed, respiratory burst inhibited, polarization augmented, chemotaxis differed, endocytosis enhanced and bacteria killing suppressed. These findings suggested that extracellular acidification acts as a key regulator of neutrophil apoptosis and functions. PMID:26340269

  3. Two-dimensional, phase modulated lattice sums with application to the Helmholtz Green’s function

    SciTech Connect

    Linton, C. M.

    2015-01-15

    A class of two-dimensional phase modulated lattice sums in which the denominator is an indefinite quadratic polynomial Q is expressed in terms of a single, exponentially convergent series of elementary functions. This expression provides an extremely efficient method for the computation of the quasi-periodic Green’s function for the Helmholtz equation that arises in a number of physical contexts when studying wave propagation through a doubly periodic medium. For a class of sums in which Q is positive definite, our new result can be used to generate representations in terms of θ-functions which are significant generalisations of known results.

  4. Effects of task orientation on subsequent source memory as revealed by functional MRI.

    PubMed

    Guo, Xiuyan; Zhu, Lei; Zheng, Li; Li, Jianqi; Wang, Qianfeng; Yang, Zhiliang

    2013-09-15

    Episodic memories are composed of various interrelated elements, including those specific to items of central interest and those pertaining to related features, such as the color, shape, size, spatial location, temporal order, and media or modalities of presentation. Memory about a core item (such as a word, object, or picture) is called item memory while memory about the context or related fea-tures of a core item is defined as source memory. What determines which sources within an episode are successfully remembered is of particular interest to researchers. Behavioral evidence suggests that the orientation of a memory task influences whether the related source of the item will be re-membered later. This study explored changes in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex while par-ticipants completed two tasks: an item-oriented task and a source-oriented task. We used functional MRI to investigate the neural mechanisms by which task orientation influences source encoding. We found that subsequent source memory effects in the right prefrontal cortex and hippocampus were modulated by task orientation, whereas task orientation modulated item memory effects in the prefrontal cortex. These findings highlight the possibility that the hippocampus contributes to the intentional encoding of item-source associations, whereas the prefrontal cortex is biased toward processing information to which attention is directed. PMID:25206552

  5. Metatranscriptomics reveals temperature-driven functional changes in microbiome impacting cheese maturation rate

    DOE PAGESBeta

    De Filippis, Francesca; Genovese, Alessandro; Ferranti, Pasquale; Gilbert, Jack A.; Ercolini, Danilo

    2016-02-25

    Traditional cheeses harbour complex microbial consortia that play an important role in shaping typical sensorial properties. However, the microbial metabolism is considered difficult to control. Microbial community succession and the related gene expression were analysed during ripening of a traditional Italian cheese, identifying parameters that could be modified to accelerate ripening. Afterwards, we modulated ripening conditions and observed consistent changes in microbial community structure and function. We provide concrete evidence of the essential contribution of non-starter lactic acid bacteria in ripening-related activities. An increase in the ripening temperature promoted the expression of genes related to proteolysis, lipolysis and amino acid/lipidmore » catabolism and significantly increases the cheese maturation rate. Moreover, temperature-promoted microbial metabolisms were consistent with the metabolomic profiles of proteins and volatile organic compounds in the cheese. Finally, the results clearly indicate how processing-driven microbiome responses can be modulated in order to optimize production efficiency and product quality.« less

  6. Genome-Wide Functional Profiling Reveals Genes Required for Tolerance to Benzene Metabolites in Yeast

    PubMed Central

    North, Matthew; Tandon, Vickram J.; Thomas, Reuben; Loguinov, Alex; Gerlovina, Inna; Hubbard, Alan E.; Zhang, Luoping; Smith, Martyn T.; Vulpe, Chris D.

    2011-01-01

    Benzene is a ubiquitous environmental contaminant and is widely used in industry. Exposure to benzene causes a number of serious health problems, including blood disorders and leukemia. Benzene undergoes complex metabolism in humans, making mechanistic determination of benzene toxicity difficult. We used a functional genomics approach to identify the genes that modulate the cellular toxicity of three of the phenolic metabolites of benzene, hydroquinone (HQ), catechol (CAT) and 1,2,4-benzenetriol (BT), in the model eukaryote Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Benzene metabolites generate oxidative and cytoskeletal stress, and tolerance requires correct regulation of iron homeostasis and the vacuolar ATPase. We have identified a conserved bZIP transcription factor, Yap3p, as important for a HQ-specific response pathway, as well as two genes that encode putative NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductases, PST2 and YCP4. Many of the yeast genes identified have human orthologs that may modulate human benzene toxicity in a similar manner and could play a role in benzene exposure-related disease. PMID:21912624

  7. Small molecule modulation of nuclear receptor conformational dynamics: implications for function and drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Kojetin, Douglas J; Burris, Thomas P

    2013-01-01

    Nuclear receptors are targets for a wide range of ligands, both natural and synthetic, that regulate their activity and provide a means to pharmacologically modulate the receptor. Recent emphasis in the nuclear receptor field has focused on selective nuclear receptor modulators, which can display graded transcriptional responses and tissue selective pharmacological responses that deviate from the prototypical agonist or antagonist. Understanding the molecular mechanism of action of these selective modulators will provide significant insight toward the development of the next generation of modulators. Although most nuclear receptor structural studies have primarily focused on obtaining ligand-receptor cocrystal structures, recent studies implicate an important role for protein dynamics in the mechanism of action of nuclear receptor ligands. Here we review nuclear receptor studies reporting how ligands modulate the conformational dynamics of the nuclear receptor ligand-binding domain (LBD). A particular emphasis is placed on protein NMR and hydrogen/deuterium exchange (HDX) techniques and how they provide complementary information that, when combined with crystallography, provide detailed insight into the function of nuclear receptors.

  8. Structure of the SthK Carboxy-Terminal Region Reveals a Gating Mechanism for Cyclic Nucleotide-Modulated Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    Kesters, Divya; Brams, Marijke; Nys, Mieke; Wijckmans, Eveline; Spurny, Radovan; Voets, Thomas; Tytgat, Jan; Kusch, Jana; Ulens, Chris

    2015-01-01

    Cyclic nucleotide-sensitive ion channels are molecular pores that open in response to cAMP or cGMP, which are universal second messengers. Binding of a cyclic nucleotide to the carboxyterminal cyclic nucleotide binding domain (CNBD) of these channels is thought to cause a conformational change that promotes channel opening. The C-linker domain, which connects the channel pore to this CNBD, plays an important role in coupling ligand binding to channel opening. Current structural insight into this mechanism mainly derives from X-ray crystal structures of the C-linker/CNBD from hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-modulated (HCN) channels. However, these structures reveal little to no conformational changes upon comparison of the ligand-bound and unbound form. In this study, we take advantage of a recently identified prokaryote ion channel, SthK, which has functional properties that strongly resemble cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) channels and is activated by cAMP, but not by cGMP. We determined X-ray crystal structures of the C-linker/CNBD of SthK in the presence of cAMP or cGMP. We observe that the structure in complex with cGMP, which is an antagonist, is similar to previously determined HCN channel structures. In contrast, the structure in complex with cAMP, which is an agonist, is in a more open conformation. We observe that the CNBD makes an outward swinging movement, which is accompanied by an opening of the C-linker. This conformation mirrors the open gate structures of the Kv1.2 channel or MthK channel, which suggests that the cAMP-bound C-linker/CNBD from SthK represents an activated conformation. These results provide a structural framework for better understanding cyclic nucleotide modulation of ion channels, including HCN and CNG channels. PMID:25625648

  9. Yeast gain-of-function mutations reveal structure-function relationships conserved among different subfamilies of transient receptor potential channels.

    PubMed

    Su, Zhenwei; Zhou, Xinliang; Haynes, W John; Loukin, Stephen H; Anishkin, Andriy; Saimi, Yoshiro; Kung, Ching

    2007-12-01

    Transient receptor potential (TRP) channels found in animals, protists, and fungi are primary chemo-, thermo-, or mechanosensors. Current research emphasizes the characteristics of individual channels in each animal TRP subfamily but not the mechanisms common across subfamilies. A forward genetic screen of the TrpY1, the yeast TRP channel, recovered gain-of-function (GOF) mutations with phenotype in vivo and in vitro. Single-channel patch-clamp analyses of these GOF-mutant channels show prominent aberrations in open probability and channel kinetics. These mutations revealed functionally important aromatic amino acid residues in four locations: at the intracellular end of the fifth transmembrane helix (TM5), at both ends of TM6, and at the immediate extension of TM6. These aromatics have counterparts in most TRP subfamilies. The one in TM5 (F380L) aligns precisely with an exceptional Drosophila mutant allele (F550I) that causes constitutive activity in the canonical TRP channel, resulting in rapid and severe retinal degeneration beyond mere loss of phototaxis. Thus, this phenylalanine maintains the balance of various functional states (conformations) of a channel for insect phototransduction as well as one for fungal mechanotransduction. This residue is among a small cluster of phenylalanines found in all known subfamilies of TRP channels. This unique case illustrates that GOF mutations can reveal structure-function principles that can be generalized across different TRP subfamilies. It appears that the conserved aromatics in the four locations have conserved functions in most TRP channels. The possible mechanistic roles of these aromatics and the further use of yeast genetics to dissect TRP channels are discussed.

  10. 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.

  11. Modular organization of the white spruce (Picea glauca) transcriptome reveals functional organization and evolutionary signatures.

    PubMed

    Raherison, Elie S M; Giguère, Isabelle; Caron, Sébastien; Lamara, Mebarek; MacKay, John J

    2015-07-01

    Transcript profiling has shown the molecular bases of several biological processes in plants but few studies have developed an understanding of overall transcriptome variation. We investigated transcriptome structure in white spruce (Picea glauca), aiming to delineate its modular organization and associated functional and evolutionary attributes. Microarray analyses were used to: identify and functionally characterize groups of co-expressed genes; investigate expressional and functional diversity of vascular tissue preferential genes which were conserved among Picea species, and identify expression networks underlying wood formation. We classified 22 857 genes as variable (79%; 22 coexpression groups) or invariant (21%) by profiling across several vegetative tissues. Modular organization and complex transcriptome restructuring among vascular tissue preferential genes was revealed by their assignment to coexpression groups with partially overlapping profiles and partially distinct functions. Integrated analyses of tissue-based and temporally variable profiles identified secondary xylem gene networks, showed their remodelling over a growing season and identified PgNAC-7 (no apical meristerm (NAM), Arabidopsis transcription activation factor (ATAF) and cup-shaped cotyledon (CUC) transcription factor 007 in Picea glauca) as a major hub gene specific to earlywood formation. Reference profiling identified comprehensive, statistically robust coexpressed groups, revealing that modular organization underpins the evolutionary conservation of the transcriptome structure.

  12. Genetic Diversity of Coastal Bottlenose Dolphins Revealed by Structurally and Functionally Diverse Hemoglobins

    PubMed Central

    Remington, Nicole; Stevens, Robert D.; Wells, Randall S.; Hohn, Aleta; Dhungana, Suraj; Taboy, Celine H.; Crumbliss, Alvin L.; Henkens, Robert; Bonaventura, Celia

    2007-01-01

    Studies of structure-function relationships in the respiratory proteins of marine mammals revealed unexpected variations in the number and types of hemoglobins (Hbs) present in coastal bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus. We obtained blood samples from free-ranging coastal bottlenose dolphins as a component of capture-release studies. We found that the oxygen-binding functions of bottlenose dolphin blood are poised between effector-saturated and unsaturated levels, enabling exercise-dependent shifts in oxygen transfer functions. Isolated bottlenose dolphin Hbs showed elevated pH sensitivities (Bohr effects) and appreciably lower oxygen affinities than adult human Hb in the absence of allosteric effectors. These properties may be an adaptive modification that enhance oxygen delivery during diving episodes when oxygen tensions and effector levels are low. The Hbs of individual dolphins showed similar oxygen affinities, responses to effectors, and expression of heme-heme interaction in oxygen binding, but differed in their redox potentials and rates of autoxidation. The heterogeneity suggested by these functional variations in Hbs of individual dolphins was born out by variations in the molecular weights and numbers of their α and β globin chains. Although coastal bottlenose dolphins were expected to have a single type of Hb, the mass differences observed revealed considerable genetic diversity. There were multiple Hb forms in some individuals and differences in Hb patterns among individuals within the same community. PMID:17604574

  13. An Artificial Reaction Promoter Modulates Mitochondrial Functions via Chemically Promoting Protein Acetylation

    PubMed Central

    Shindo, Yutaka; Komatsu, Hirokazu; Hotta, Kohji; Ariga, Katsuhiko; Oka, Kotaro

    2016-01-01

    Acetylation, which modulates protein function, is an important process in intracellular signalling. In mitochondria, protein acetylation regulates a number of enzymatic activities and, therefore, modulates mitochondrial functions. Our previous report showed that tributylphosphine (PBu3), an artificial reaction promoter that promotes acetylransfer reactions in vitro, also promotes the reaction between acetyl-CoA and an exogenously introduced fluorescent probe in mitochondria. In this study, we demonstrate that PBu3 induces the acetylation of mitochondrial proteins and a decrease in acetyl-CoA concentration in PBu3-treated HeLa cells. This indicates that PBu3 can promote the acetyltransfer reaction between acetyl-CoA and mitochondrial proteins in living cells. PBu3-induced acetylation gradually reduced mitochondrial ATP concentrations in HeLa cells without changing the cytoplasmic ATP concentration, suggesting that PBu3 mainly affects mitochondrial functions. In addition, pyruvate, which is converted into acetyl-CoA in mitochondria and transiently increases ATP concentrations in the absence of PBu3, elicited a further decrease in mitochondrial ATP concentrations in the presence of PBu3. Moreover, the application and removal of PBu3 reversibly alternated mitochondrial fragmentation and elongation. These results indicate that PBu3 enhances acetyltransfer reactions in mitochondria and modulates mitochondrial functions in living cells. PMID:27374857

  14. Microwave influence on the isolated heart function. 1: Effect of modulation

    SciTech Connect

    Pakhomov, A.G.; Dubovick, B.V.; Degtyariov, I.G.; Pronkevich, A.N.

    1995-09-01

    Dependence of the microwave effect on modulation parameters (pulse width, duty ratio, and peak intensity) was studied in an isolated frog auricle preparation. The rate and amplitude of spontaneous auricle twitches were measured during and after a 2 min exposure to 915 or 885 MHz microwaves and were compared to preexposure values. The studied ranges of modulation parameters were: pulse width, 10{sup {minus}6}--10{sup {minus}2} s; duty ratio, 7:100000, and peak specific absorption rate, 100--3,000 W/kg. Combinations of the parameters were chosen by chance, and about 400 various exposure regimes were tested. The experiments established that no regime was effective unless the average microwave power was high enough to induce preparation heating (0.1--0.4 C). The twitch rate instantly increased, and the amplitude decreased, as the temperature rose; similar changes could be induced by equivalent conventional heating. the data provide evidence that the effect of short-term microwave exposure on the isolated heart pacemaker and contractile functions depends on pulse modulation just as much as modulation determines the average absorbed power. These functions demonstrated no specific dependence on exposure parameters such as frequency or power windows.

  15. Top-down Modulation of Neural Activity in Anticipatory Visual Attention: Control Mechanisms Revealed by Simultaneous EEG-fMRI.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yuelu; Bengson, Jesse; Huang, Haiqing; Mangun, George R; Ding, Mingzhou

    2016-02-01

    In covert visual attention, frontoparietal attention control areas are thought to issue signals to selectively bias sensory neurons to facilitate behaviorally relevant information and suppress distraction. We investigated the relationship between activity in attention control areas and attention-related modulation of posterior alpha activity using simultaneous electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging in humans during cued visual-spatial attention. Correlating single-trial EEG alpha power with blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) activity, we found that BOLD in the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) and left middle frontal gyrus was inversely correlated with occipital alpha power. Importantly, in IPS, inverse correlations were stronger for alpha within the hemisphere contralateral to the attended hemifield, implicating the IPS in the enhancement of task-relevant sensory areas. Positive BOLD-alpha correlations were observed in sensorimotor cortices and the default mode network, suggesting a mechanism of active suppression over task-irrelevant areas. The magnitude of cue-induced alpha lateralization was positively correlated with BOLD in dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, implicating a role of executive control in attention. These results show that IPS and frontal executive areas are the main sources of biasing influences on task-relevant visual cortex, whereas task-irrelevant default mode network and sensorimotor cortex are inhibited during visual attention.

  16. Human EAG channels are directly modulated by PIP2 as revealed by electrophysiological and optical interference investigations

    PubMed Central

    Han, Bo; He, Kunyan; Cai, Chunlin; Tang, Yin; Yang, Linli; Heinemann, Stefan H.; Hoshi, Toshinori; Hou, Shangwei

    2016-01-01

    Voltage-gated ether à go-go (EAG) K+ channels are expressed in various types of cancer cells and also in the central nervous system. Aberrant overactivation of human EAG1 (hEAG1) channels is associated with cancer and neuronal disorders such as Zimmermann-Laband and Temple-Baraitser syndromes. Although hEAG1 channels are recognized as potential therapeutic targets, regulation of their functional properties is only poorly understood. Here, we show that the membrane lipid phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) is a potent inhibitory gating modifier of hEAG1 channels. PIP2 inhibits the channel activity by directly binding to a short N-terminal segment of the channel important for Ca2+/calmodulin (CaM) binding as evidenced by bio-layer interferometry measurements. Conversely, depletion of endogenous PIP2 either by serotonin-induced phospholipase C (PLC) activation or by a rapamycin-induced translocation system enhances the channel activity at physiological membrane potentials, suggesting that PIP2 exerts a tonic inhibitory influence. Our study, combining electrophysiological and direct binding assays, demonstrates that hEAG1 channels are subject to potent inhibitory modulation by multiple phospholipids and suggests that manipulations of the PIP2 signaling pathway may represent a strategy to treat hEAG1 channel-associated diseases. PMID:27005320

  17. Gene Co-Expression Network Analysis for Identifying Modules and Functionally Enriched Pathways in Type 1 Diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Riquelme Medina, Ignacio; Lubovac-Pilav, Zelmina

    2016-01-01

    Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a complex disease, caused by the autoimmune destruction of the insulin producing pancreatic beta cells, resulting in the body’s inability to produce insulin. While great efforts have been put into understanding the genetic and environmental factors that contribute to the etiology of the disease, the exact molecular mechanisms are still largely unknown. T1D is a heterogeneous disease, and previous research in this field is mainly focused on the analysis of single genes, or using traditional gene expression profiling, which generally does not reveal the functional context of a gene associated with a complex disorder. However, network-based analysis does take into account the interactions between the diabetes specific genes or proteins and contributes to new knowledge about disease modules, which in turn can be used for identification of potential new biomarkers for T1D. In this study, we analyzed public microarray data of T1D patients and healthy controls by applying a systems biology approach that combines network-based Weighted Gene Co-Expression Network Analysis (WGCNA) with functional enrichment analysis. Novel co-expression gene network modules associated with T1D were elucidated, which in turn provided a basis for the identification of potential pathways and biomarker genes that may be involved in development of T1D. PMID:27257970

  18. Gene Co-Expression Network Analysis for Identifying Modules and Functionally Enriched Pathways in Type 1 Diabetes.

    PubMed

    Riquelme Medina, Ignacio; Lubovac-Pilav, Zelmina

    2016-01-01

    Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a complex disease, caused by the autoimmune destruction of the insulin producing pancreatic beta cells, resulting in the body's inability to produce insulin. While great efforts have been put into understanding the genetic and environmental factors that contribute to the etiology of the disease, the exact molecular mechanisms are still largely unknown. T1D is a heterogeneous disease, and previous research in this field is mainly focused on the analysis of single genes, or using traditional gene expression profiling, which generally does not reveal the functional context of a gene associated with a complex disorder. However, network-based analysis does take into account the interactions between the diabetes specific genes or proteins and contributes to new knowledge about disease modules, which in turn can be used for identification of potential new biomarkers for T1D. In this study, we analyzed public microarray data of T1D patients and healthy controls by applying a systems biology approach that combines network-based Weighted Gene Co-Expression Network Analysis (WGCNA) with functional enrichment analysis. Novel co-expression gene network modules associated with T1D were elucidated, which in turn provided a basis for the identification of potential pathways and biomarker genes that may be involved in development of T1D. PMID:27257970

  19. The modulation of brain functional connectivity with manual acupuncture in healthy subjects: An electroencephalograph case study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yi, Guo-Sheng; Wang, Jiang; Han, Chun-Xiao; Deng, Bin; Wei, Xi-Le; Li, Nuo

    2013-02-01

    Manual acupuncture is widely used for pain relief and stress control. Previous studies on acupuncture have shown its modulatory effects on the functional connectivity associated with one or a few preselected brain regions. To investigate how manual acupuncture modulates the organization of functional networks at a whole-brain level, we acupuncture at ST36 of a right leg to obtain electroencephalograph (EEG) signals. By coherence estimation, we determine the synchronizations between all pairwise combinations of EEG channels in three acupuncture states. The resulting synchronization matrices are converted into functional networks by applying a threshold, and the clustering coefficients and path lengths are computed as a function of threshold. The results show that acupuncture can increase functional connections and synchronizations between different brain areas. For a wide range of thresholds, the clustering coefficient during acupuncture and post-acupuncture period is higher than that during the pre-acupuncture control period, whereas the characteristic path length is shorter. We provide further support for the presence of “small-world" network characteristics in functional networks by using acupuncture. These preliminary results highlight the beneficial modulations of functional connectivity by manual acupuncture, which could contribute to the understanding of the effects of acupuncture on the entire brain, as well as the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying acupuncture. Moreover, the proposed method may be a useful approach to the further investigation of the complexity of patterns of interrelations between EEG channels.

  20. Dissection of Cauliflower Mosaic Virus Transactivator/Viroplasmin Reveals Distinct Essential Functions in Basic Virus Replication

    PubMed Central

    Kobayashi, Kappei; Hohn, Thomas

    2003-01-01

    Cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) transactivator/viroplasmin (Tav) is an essential multifunctional viral protein. Dissection of Tav by deletion mutagenesis revealed that the central region is essential for CaMV replication in single cells but that the N- and C-terminal parts are not. Strains with mutations in the central region were defective in the translational transactivator function and could be complemented by coexpressing Gag (capsid protein precursor) and Pol (polyprotein with protease, reverse transcriptase, and RNase H activity) from separate monocistronic plasmids. In contrast, total omission of Tav was only partially complemented by Gag and Pol overexpression from separate plasmids. These results indicate that CaMV basic replication requires both Tav-activated polycistronic translation and some posttranslational function(s) of Tav that is not affected by the deletions in the central region of Tav. PMID:12857928

  1. Crystal structure of a TAF1-TAF7 complex in human transcription factor IID reveals a promoter binding module

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Hui; Curran, Elizabeth C; Hinds, Thomas R; Wang, Edith H; Zheng, Ning

    2014-01-01

    The general transcription factor IID (TFIID) initiates RNA polymerase II-mediated eukaryotic transcription by nucleating pre-initiation complex formation at the core promoter of protein-encoding genes. TAF1, the largest integral subunit of TFIID, contains an evolutionarily conserved yet poorly characterized central core domain, whose specific mutation disrupts cell proliferation in the temperature-sensitive mutant hamster cell line ts13. Although the impaired TAF1 function in the ts13 mutant has been associated with defective transcriptional regulation of cell cycle genes, the mechanism by which TAF1 mediates transcription as part of TFIID remains unclear. Here, we present the crystal structure of the human TAF1 central core domain in complex with another conserved TFIID subunit, TAF7, which biochemically solubilizes TAF1. The TAF1-TAF7 complex displays an inter-digitated compact architecture, featuring an unexpected TAF1 winged helix (WH) domain mounted on top of a heterodimeric triple barrel. The single TAF1 residue altered in the ts13 mutant is buried at the junction of these two structural domains. We show that the TAF1 WH domain has intrinsic DNA-binding activity, which depends on characteristic residues that are commonly used by WH fold proteins for interacting with DNA. Importantly, mutations of these residues not only compromise DNA binding by TAF1, but also abrogate its ability to rescue the ts13 mutant phenotype. Together, our results resolve the structural organization of the TAF1-TAF7 module in TFIID and unveil a critical promoter-binding function of TAF1 in transcription regulation. PMID:25412659

  2. Frequency modulation reveals the phasing of orbital eccentricity during Cretaceous Oceanic Anoxic Event II and the Eocene hyperthermals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laurin, Jiří; Meyers, Stephen R.; Galeotti, Simone; Lanci, Luca

    2016-05-01

    Major advances in our understanding of paleoclimate change derive from a precise reconstruction of the periods, amplitudes and phases of the 'Milankovitch cycles' of precession, obliquity and eccentricity. While numerous quantitative approaches exist for the identification of these astronomical cycles in stratigraphic data, limitations in radioisotopic dating, and instability of the theoretical astronomical solutions beyond ∼50 Myr ago, can challenge identification of the phase relationships needed to constrain climate response and anchor floating astrochronologies. Here we demonstrate that interference patterns accompanying frequency modulation (FM) of short eccentricity provide a robust basis for identifying the phase of long eccentricity forcing in stratigraphic data. One- and two-dimensional models of sedimentary distortion of the astronomical signal are used to evaluate the veracity of the FM method, and indicate that pristine eccentricity FM can be readily distinguished in paleo-records. Apart from paleoclimatic implications, the FM approach provides a quantitative technique for testing and calibrating theoretical astronomical solutions, and for refining chronologies for the deep past. We present two case studies that use the FM approach to evaluate major carbon-cycle perturbations of the Eocene and Late Cretaceous. Interference patterns in the short-eccentricity band reveal that Eocene hyperthermals ETM2 ('Elmo'), H2, I1 and ETM3 (X; ∼52-54 Myr ago) were associated with maxima in the 405-kyr cycle of orbital eccentricity. The same eccentricity configuration favored regional anoxic episodes in the Mediterranean during the Middle and Late Cenomanian (∼94.5-97 Myr ago). The initial phase of the global Oceanic Anoxic Event II (OAE II; ∼93.9-94.5 Myr ago) coincides with maximum and falling 405-kyr eccentricity, and the recovery phase occurs during minimum and rising 405-kyr eccentricity. On a Myr scale, the event overlaps with a node in eccentricity

  3. Seed selection strategy in global network alignment without destroying the entire structures of functional modules

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Network alignment is one of the most common biological network comparison methods. Aligning protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks of different species is of great important to detect evolutionary conserved pathways or protein complexes across species through the identification of conserved interactions, and to improve our insight into biological systems. Global network alignment (GNA) problem is NP-complete, for which only heuristic methods have been proposed so far. Generally, the current GNA methods fall into global heuristic seed-and-extend approaches. These methods can not get the best overall consistent alignment between networks for the opinionated local seed. Furthermore These methods are lost in maximizing the number of aligned edges between two networks without considering the original structures of functional modules. Methods We present a novel seed selection strategy for global network alignment by constructing the pairs of hub nodes of networks to be aligned into multiple seeds. Beginning from every hub seed and using the membership similarity of nodes to quantify to what extent the nodes can participate in functional modules associated with current seed topologically we align the networks by modules. By this way we can maintain the functional modules are not damaged during the heuristic alignment process. And our method is efficient in resolving the fatal problem of most conventional algorithms that the initialization selected seeds have a direct influence on the alignment result. The similarity measures between network nodes (e.g., proteins) include sequence similarity, centrality similarity, and dynamic membership similarity and our algorithm can be called Multiple Hubs-based Alignment (MHA). Results When applying our seed selection strategy to several pairs of real PPI networks, it is observed that our method is working to strike a balance, extending the conserved interactions while maintaining the functional modules unchanged. In

  4. Revealing microbial functional activities in the Red Sea sponge Stylissa carteri by metatranscriptomics.

    PubMed

    Moitinho-Silva, Lucas; Seridi, Loqmane; Ryu, Taewoo; Voolstra, Christian R; Ravasi, Timothy; Hentschel, Ute

    2014-12-01

    Sponges are important components of marine benthic environments and are associated with microbial symbionts that carry out ecologically relevant functions. Stylissa carteri is an abundant, low-microbial abundance species in the Red Sea. We aimed to achieve the functional and taxonomic characterization of the most actively expressed prokaryotic genes in S. carteri. Prokaryotic mRNA was enriched from sponge total RNA, sequenced using Illumina HiSeq technology and annotated using the metagenomics Rapid Annotation using Subsystem Technology (MG-RAST) pipeline. We detected high expression of archaeal ammonia oxidation and photosynthetic carbon fixation by members of the genus Synechococcus. Functions related to stress response and membrane transporters were among the most highly expressed by S. carteri symbionts. Unexpectedly, gene functions related to methylotrophy were highly expressed by gammaproteobacterial symbionts. The presence of seawater-derived microbes is indicated by the phylogenetic proximity of organic carbon transporters to orthologues of members from the SAR11 clade. In summary, we revealed the most expressed functions of the S. carteri-associated microbial community and linked them to the dominant taxonomic members of the microbiome. This work demonstrates the applicability of metatranscriptomics to explore poorly characterized symbiotic consortia and expands our knowledge of the ecologically relevant functions carried out by coral reef sponge symbionts.

  5. Measurements of ocean wave spectra and modulation transfer function with the airborne two frequency scatterometer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weissman, D. E.; Johnson, J. W.

    1984-01-01

    The directional spectrum and the microwave modulation transfer function of ocean waves can be measured with the airborne two frequency scatterometer technique. Similar to tower based observations, the aircraft measurements of the Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) show that it is strongly affected by both wind speed and sea state. Also detected are small differences in the magnitudes of the MTF between downwind and upwind radar look directions, and variations with ocean wavenumber. The MTF inferred from the two frequency radar is larger than that measured using single frequency, wave orbital velocity techniques such as tower based radars or ROWS measurements from low altitude aircraft. Possible reasons for this are discussed. The ability to measure the ocean directional spectrum with the two frequency scatterometer, with supporting MTF data, is demonstrated.

  6. Aubry transition studied by direct evaluation of the modulation functions of infinite incommensurate systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Erp, T. S.; Fasolino, A.

    2002-08-01

    Incommensurate structures can be described by the Frenkel-Kontorova model. Aubry has shown that, at a critical value Kc of the coupling of the harmonic chain to an incommensurate periodic potential, the system displays the analyticity-breaking transition between a sliding and pinned state. The ground-state equations coincide with the standard map in non-linear dynamics, with smooth or chaotic orbits below and above Kc, respectively. For the standard map, Greene and MacKay have calculated the value Kc = 0.971635. Conversely, evaluations based on the analyticity breaking of the modulation function have been performed for high commensurate approximants. Here we show how the modulation function of the infinite system can be calculated without using approximants but by Taylor expansions of increasing order. This approach leads to a value Kc' = 0.97978, implying the existence of a golden invariant circle up to Kc' > Kc.

  7. Analysis of voltage effect on holographic gratings by modulation transfer function.

    PubMed

    Fontanilla-Urdaneta, Rosangela Coromoto; Olivares-Pérez, Arturo; Fuentes-Tapia, Israel; Ríos-Velasco, Mónica Areli

    2011-05-01

    The experimental data allow us to determine the imaging quality of holographic gratings with photosensitive film using organic material based on a polyvinyl alcohol matrix doped with potassium dichromate and nickel (II) chloride hexahydrate. The diffraction efficiency is estimated by different spatial frequencies, and the readout image quality is analyzed by the modulation transfer function. The experiment is carried out, with and without voltage application, at different spatial frequencies to obtain the image quality of photosensitive film.

  8. Efficient α, β-motif finder for identification of phenotype-related functional modules

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Microbial communities in their natural environments exhibit phenotypes that can directly cause particular diseases, convert biomass or wastewater to energy, or degrade various environmental contaminants. Understanding how these communities realize specific phenotypic traits (e.g., carbon fixation, hydrogen production) is critical for addressing health, bioremediation, or bioenergy problems. Results In this paper, we describe a graph-theoretical method for in silico prediction of the cellular subsystems that are related to the expression of a target phenotype. The proposed (α, β)-motif finder approach allows for identification of these phenotype-related subsystems that, in addition to metabolic subsystems, could include their regulators, sensors, transporters, and even uncharacterized proteins. By comparing dozens of genome-scale networks of functionally associated proteins, our method efficiently identifies those statistically significant functional modules that are in at least α networks of phenotype-expressing organisms but appear in no more than β networks of organisms that do not exhibit the target phenotype. It has been shown via various experiments that the enumerated modules are indeed related to phenotype-expression when tested with different target phenotypes like hydrogen production, motility, aerobic respiration, and acid-tolerance. Conclusion Thus, we have proposed a methodology that can identify potential statistically significant phenotype-related functional modules. The functional module is modeled as an (α, β)-clique, where α and β are two criteria introduced in this work. We also propose a novel network model, called the two-typed, divided network. The new network model and the criteria make the problem tractable even while very large networks are being compared. The code can be downloaded from http://www.freescience.org/cs/ABClique/ PMID:22078292

  9. Modulation of hypothalamic-pituitary-interrenal axis function by social status in rainbow trout.

    PubMed

    Jeffrey, Jennifer D; Esbaugh, Andrew J; Vijayan, Mathilakath M; Gilmour, Kathleen M

    2012-04-01

    Juvenile rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) form stable dominance hierarchies when confined in pairs. These hierarchies are driven by aggressive competition over limited resources and result in one fish becoming dominant over the other. An important indicator of low social status is sustained elevation of circulating cortisol levels as a result of chronic activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-interrenal (HPI) axis. In the present study it was hypothesized that social status modulates the expression of key proteins involved in the functioning of the HPI axis. Cortisol treatment and fasting were used to assess whether these characteristics seen in subordinate fish also affected HPI axis function. Social status modulated plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) levels, cortisol synthesis, and liver glucocorticoid receptor (GR) expression. Plasma ACTH levels were lower by approximately 2-fold in subordinate and cortisol-treated fish, consistent with a negative feedback role for cortisol in modulating HPI axis function. Although cortisol-treated fish exhibited differences in corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) and CRF-binding protein (CRF-BP) mRNA relative abundances in the preoptic area and telencephalon, respectively, no effect of social status on CRF or CRF-BP was detected. Head kidney melanocortin 2 receptor (MC2R) mRNA relative levels were unaffected by social status, while mRNA relative abundances of steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) and cytochrome P450 side chain cleavage (P450scc) enzyme were elevated in dominant fish. Liver GR2 mRNA and total GR protein levels in subordinate fish were lower than control values by approximately 2-fold. In conclusion, social status modulated the functioning of the HPI axis in rainbow trout. Our results suggest altered cortisol dynamics and reduced target tissue response to this steroid in subordinate fish, while the higher transcript levels for steroid biosynthesis in dominant fish leads us to propose an

  10. A functional genomics screen in planarians reveals regulators of whole-brain regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Roberts-Galbraith, Rachel H; Brubacher, John L; Newmark, Phillip A

    2016-01-01

    Planarians regenerate all body parts after injury, including the central nervous system (CNS). We capitalized on this distinctive trait and completed a gene expression-guided functional screen to identify factors that regulate diverse aspects of neural regeneration in Schmidtea mediterranea. Our screen revealed molecules that influence neural cell fates, support the formation of a major connective hub, and promote reestablishment of chemosensory behavior. We also identified genes that encode signaling molecules with roles in head regeneration, including some that are produced in a previously uncharacterized parenchymal population of cells. Finally, we explored genes downregulated during planarian regeneration and characterized, for the first time, glial cells in the planarian CNS that respond to injury by repressing several transcripts. Collectively, our studies revealed diverse molecules and cell types that underlie an animal’s ability to regenerate its brain. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.17002.001 PMID:27612384

  11. Specific polyunsaturated fatty acids modulate lipid delivery and oocyte development in C. elegans revealed by molecular-selective label-free imaging

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Wei-Wen; Yi, Yung-Hsiang; Chien, Cheng-Hao; Hsiung, Kuei-Ching; Ma, Tian-Hsiang; Lin, Yi-Chun; Lo, Szecheng J.; Chang, Ta-Chau

    2016-01-01

    Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) exhibit critical functions in biological systems and their importance during animal oocyte maturation has been increasingly recognized. However, the detailed mechanism of lipid transportation for oocyte development remains largely unknown. In this study, the transportation of yolk lipoprotein (lipid carrier) and the rate of lipid delivery into oocytes in live C. elegans were examined for the first time by using coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy. The accumulation of secreted yolk lipoprotein in the pseudocoelom of live C. elegans can be detected by CARS microscopy at both protein (~1665 cm−1) and lipid (~2845 cm−1) Raman bands. In addition, an image analysis protocol was established to quantitatively measure the levels of secreted yolk lipoprotein aberrantly accumulated in PUFA-deficient fat mutants (fat-1, fat-2, fat-3, fat-4) and PUFA-supplemented fat-2 worms (the PUFA add-back experiments). Our results revealed that the omega-6 PUFAs, not omega-3 PUFAs, play a critical role in modulating lipid/yolk level in the oocytes and regulating reproductive efficiency of C. elegans. This work demonstrates the value of using CARS microscopy as a molecular-selective label-free imaging technique for the study of PUFA regulation and oocyte development in C. elegans. PMID:27535493

  12. Specific polyunsaturated fatty acids modulate lipid delivery and oocyte development in C. elegans revealed by molecular-selective label-free imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Wei-Wen; Yi, Yung-Hsiang; Chien, Cheng-Hao; Hsiung, Kuei-Ching; Ma, Tian-Hsiang; Lin, Yi-Chun; Lo, Szecheng J.; Chang, Ta-Chau

    2016-08-01

    Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) exhibit critical functions in biological systems and their importance during animal oocyte maturation has been increasingly recognized. However, the detailed mechanism of lipid transportation for oocyte development remains largely unknown. In this study, the transportation of yolk lipoprotein (lipid carrier) and the rate of lipid delivery into oocytes in live C. elegans were examined for the first time by using coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy. The accumulation of secreted yolk lipoprotein in the pseudocoelom of live C. elegans can be detected by CARS microscopy at both protein (~1665 cm‑1) and lipid (~2845 cm‑1) Raman bands. In addition, an image analysis protocol was established to quantitatively measure the levels of secreted yolk lipoprotein aberrantly accumulated in PUFA-deficient fat mutants (fat-1, fat-2, fat-3, fat-4) and PUFA-supplemented fat-2 worms (the PUFA add-back experiments). Our results revealed that the omega-6 PUFAs, not omega-3 PUFAs, play a critical role in modulating lipid/yolk level in the oocytes and regulating reproductive efficiency of C. elegans. This work demonstrates the value of using CARS microscopy as a molecular-selective label-free imaging technique for the study of PUFA regulation and oocyte development in C. elegans.

  13. Specific polyunsaturated fatty acids modulate lipid delivery and oocyte development in C. elegans revealed by molecular-selective label-free imaging.

    PubMed

    Chen, Wei-Wen; Yi, Yung-Hsiang; Chien, Cheng-Hao; Hsiung, Kuei-Ching; Ma, Tian-Hsiang; Lin, Yi-Chun; Lo, Szecheng J; Chang, Ta-Chau

    2016-01-01

    Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) exhibit critical functions in biological systems and their importance during animal oocyte maturation has been increasingly recognized. However, the detailed mechanism of lipid transportation for oocyte development remains largely unknown. In this study, the transportation of yolk lipoprotein (lipid carrier) and the rate of lipid delivery into oocytes in live C. elegans were examined for the first time by using coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy. The accumulation of secreted yolk lipoprotein in the pseudocoelom of live C. elegans can be detected by CARS microscopy at both protein (~1665 cm(-1)) and lipid (~2845 cm(-1)) Raman bands. In addition, an image analysis protocol was established to quantitatively measure the levels of secreted yolk lipoprotein aberrantly accumulated in PUFA-deficient fat mutants (fat-1, fat-2, fat-3, fat-4) and PUFA-supplemented fat-2 worms (the PUFA add-back experiments). Our results revealed that the omega-6 PUFAs, not omega-3 PUFAs, play a critical role in modulating lipid/yolk level in the oocytes and regulating reproductive efficiency of C. elegans. This work demonstrates the value of using CARS microscopy as a molecular-selective label-free imaging technique for the study of PUFA regulation and oocyte development in C. elegans. PMID:27535493

  14. Sex, hormones and neurogenesis in the hippocampus: hormonal modulation of neurogenesis and potential functional implications.

    PubMed

    Galea, L A M; Wainwright, S R; Roes, M M; Duarte-Guterman, P; Chow, C; Hamson, D K

    2013-11-01

    The hippocampus is an area of the brain that undergoes dramatic plasticity in response to experience and hormone exposure. The hippocampus retains the ability to produce new neurones in most mammalian species and is a structure that is targeted in a number of neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases, many of which are influenced by both sex and sex hormone exposure. Intriguingly, gonadal and adrenal hormones affect the structure and function of the hippocampus differently in males and females. Adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus is regulated by both gonadal and adrenal hormones in a sex- and experience-dependent way. Sex differences in the effects of steroid hormones to modulate hippocampal plasticity should not be completely unexpected because the physiology of males and females is different, with the most notable difference being that females gestate and nurse the offspring. Furthermore, reproductive experience (i.e. pregnancy and mothering) results in permanent changes to the maternal brain, including the hippocampus. This review outlines the ability of gonadal and stress hormones to modulate multiple aspects of neurogenesis (cell proliferation and cell survival) in both male and female rodents. The function of adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus is linked to spatial memory and depression, and the present review provides early evidence of the functional links between the hormonal modulation of neurogenesis that may contribute to the regulation of cognition and stress.

  15. Structural and functional analysis of amphioxus HIFα reveals ancient features of the HIFα family.

    PubMed

    Gao, Shan; Lu, Ling; Bai, Yan; Zhang, Peng; Song, Weibo; Duan, Cunming

    2014-04-01

    Hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) are master regulators of the transcriptional response to hypoxia. To gain insight into the structural and functional evolution of the HIF family, we characterized the HIFα gene from amphioxus, an invertebrate chordate, and identified several alternatively spliced HIFα isoforms. Whereas HIFα Ia, the full-length isoform, contained a complete oxygen-dependent degradation (ODD) domain, the isoforms Ib, Ic, and Id had 1 or 2 deletions in the ODD domain. When tagged with GFP and tested in mammalian cells, the amphioxus HIFα Ia protein level increased in response to hypoxia or CoCl2 treatment, whereas HIFα Ib, Ic, and Id showed reduced or no hypoxia regulation. Deletion of the ODD sequence in HIFα Ia up-regulated the HIFα Ia levels under normoxia. Gene expression analysis revealed HIFα Ic to be the predominant isoform in embryos and larvae, whereas isoform Ia was the most abundant form in the adult stage. The expression levels of Ib and Id were very low. Hypoxia treatment of adults had no effect on the mRNA levels of these HIFα isoforms. Functional analyses in mammalian cells showed all 4 HIFα isoforms capable of entering the nucleus and activating hypoxia response element-dependent reporter gene expression. The functional nuclear location signal (NLS) mapped to 3 clusters of basic residues. (775)KKARL functioned as the primary NLS, but (737)KRK and (754)KK also contributed to the nuclear localization. All amphioxus HIFα isoforms had 2 functional transactivation domains (TADs). Its C-terminal transactivation (C-TAD) shared high sequence identity with the human HIF-1α and HIF-2α C-TAD. This domain contained a conserved asparagine, and its mutation resulted in an increase in transcriptional activity. These findings reveal many ancient features of the HIFα family and provide novel insights into the evolution of the HIFα family.

  16. Acetylproteomic analysis reveals functional implications of lysine acetylation in human spermatozoa (sperm).

    PubMed

    Yu, Heguo; Diao, Hua; Wang, Chunmei; Lin, Yan; Yu, Fudong; Lu, Hui; Xu, Wei; Li, Zheng; Shi, Huijuan; Zhao, Shimin; Zhou, Yuchuan; Zhang, Yonglian

    2015-04-01

    Male infertility is a medical condition that has been on the rise globally. Lysine acetylation of human sperm, an essential posttranslational modification involved in the etiology of sperm abnormality, is not fully understood. Therefore, we first generated a qualified pan-anti-acetyllysine monoclonal antibody to characterize the global lysine acetylation of uncapacitated normal human sperm with a proteomics approach. With high enrichment ratios that were up to 31%, 973 lysine-acetylated sites that matched to 456 human sperm proteins, including 671 novel lysine acetylation sites and 205 novel lysine-acetylated proteins, were identified. These proteins exhibited conserved motifs XXXKYXXX, XXXKFXXX, and XXXKHXXX, were annotated to function in multiple metabolic processes, and were localized predominantly in the mitochondrion and cytoplasmic fractions. Between the uncapacitated and capacitated sperm, different acetylation profiles in regard to functional proteins involved in sperm capacitation, sperm-egg recognition, sperm-egg plasma fusion, and fertilization were observed, indicating that acetylation of functional proteins may be required during sperm capacitation. Bioinformatics analysis revealed association of acetylated proteins with diseases and drugs. Novel acetylation of voltage-dependent anion channel proteins was also found. With clinical sperm samples, we observed differed lysine acetyltransferases and lysine deacetylases expression between normal sperm and abnormal sperm of asthenospermia or necrospermia. Furthermore, with sperm samples impaired by epigallocatechin gallate to mimic asthenospermia, we observed that inhibition of sperm motility was partly through the blockade of voltage-dependent anion channel 2 Lys-74 acetylation combined with reduced ATP levels and mitochondrial membrane potential. Taken together, we obtained a qualified pan-anti-acetyllysine monoclonal antibody, analyzed the acetylproteome of uncapacitated human sperm, and revealed

  17. Acetylproteomic Analysis Reveals Functional Implications of Lysine Acetylation in Human Spermatozoa (sperm)*

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Heguo; Diao, Hua; Wang, Chunmei; Lin, Yan; Yu, Fudong; Lu, Hui; Xu, Wei; Li, Zheng; Shi, Huijuan; Zhao, Shimin; Zhou, Yuchuan; Zhang, Yonglian

    2015-01-01

    Male infertility is a medical condition that has been on the rise globally. Lysine acetylation of human sperm, an essential posttranslational modification involved in the etiology of sperm abnormality, is not fully understood. Therefore, we first generated a qualified pan-anti-acetyllysine monoclonal antibody to characterize the global lysine acetylation of uncapacitated normal human sperm with a proteomics approach. With high enrichment ratios that were up to 31%, 973 lysine-acetylated sites that matched to 456 human sperm proteins, including 671 novel lysine acetylation sites and 205 novel lysine-acetylated proteins, were identified. These proteins exhibited conserved motifs XXXKYXXX, XXXKFXXX, and XXXKHXXX, were annotated to function in multiple metabolic processes, and were localized predominantly in the mitochondrion and cytoplasmic fractions. Between the uncapacitated and capacitated sperm, different acetylation profiles in regard to functional proteins involved in sperm capacitation, sperm-egg recognition, sperm-egg plasma fusion, and fertilization were observed, indicating that acetylation of functional proteins may be required during sperm capacitation. Bioinformatics analysis revealed association of acetylated proteins with diseases and drugs. Novel acetylation of voltage-dependent anion channel proteins was also found. With clinical sperm samples, we observed differed lysine acetyltransferases and lysine deacetylases expression between normal sperm and abnormal sperm of asthenospermia or necrospermia. Furthermore, with sperm samples impaired by epigallocatechin gallate to mimic asthenospermia, we observed that inhibition of sperm motility was partly through the blockade of voltage-dependent anion channel 2 Lys-74 acetylation combined with reduced ATP levels and mitochondrial membrane potential. Taken together, we obtained a qualified pan-anti-acetyllysine monoclonal antibody, analyzed the acetylproteome of uncapacitated human sperm, and revealed

  18. Structural and functional analysis of amphioxus HIFα reveals ancient features of the HIFα family.

    PubMed

    Gao, Shan; Lu, Ling; Bai, Yan; Zhang, Peng; Song, Weibo; Duan, Cunming

    2014-04-01

    Hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) are master regulators of the transcriptional response to hypoxia. To gain insight into the structural and functional evolution of the HIF family, we characterized the HIFα gene from amphioxus, an invertebrate chordate, and identified several alternatively spliced HIFα isoforms. Whereas HIFα Ia, the full-length isoform, contained a complete oxygen-dependent degradation (ODD) domain, the isoforms Ib, Ic, and Id had 1 or 2 deletions in the ODD domain. When tagged with GFP and tested in mammalian cells, the amphioxus HIFα Ia protein level increased in response to hypoxia or CoCl2 treatment, whereas HIFα Ib, Ic, and Id showed reduced or no hypoxia regulation. Deletion of the ODD sequence in HIFα Ia up-regulated the HIFα Ia levels under normoxia. Gene expression analysis revealed HIFα Ic to be the predominant isoform in embryos and larvae, whereas isoform Ia was the most abundant form in the adult stage. The expression levels of Ib and Id were very low. Hypoxia treatment of adults had no effect on the mRNA levels of these HIFα isoforms. Functional analyses in mammalian cells showed all 4 HIFα isoforms capable of entering the nucleus and activating hypoxia response element-dependent reporter gene expression. The functional nuclear location signal (NLS) mapped to 3 clusters of basic residues. (775)KKARL functioned as the primary NLS, but (737)KRK and (754)KK also contributed to the nuclear localization. All amphioxus HIFα isoforms had 2 functional transactivation domains (TADs). Its C-terminal transactivation (C-TAD) shared high sequence identity with the human HIF-1α and HIF-2α C-TAD. This domain contained a conserved asparagine, and its mutation resulted in an increase in transcriptional activity. These findings reveal many ancient features of the HIFα family and provide novel insights into the evolution of the HIFα family. PMID:24174425

  19. Functional Characterization of PyrG, an Unusual Nonribosomal Peptide Synthetase Module from the Pyridomycin Biosynthetic Pathway.

    PubMed

    Huang, Tingting; Li, Lili; Brock, Nelson L; Deng, Zixin; Lin, Shuangjun

    2016-08-01

    Pyridomycin is an antimycobacterial cyclodepsipeptide assembled by a nonribosomal peptide synthetase/polyketide synthase hybrid system. Analysis of its cluster revealed a nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) module, PyrG, that contains two tandem adenylation domains and a PKS-type ketoreductase domain. In this study, we biochemically validated that the second A domain recognizes and activates α-keto-β-methylvaleric acid (2-KVC) as the native substrate; the first A domain was not functional but might play a structural role. The KR domain catalyzed the reduction of the 2-KVC tethered to the peptidyl carrier protein of PyrG in the presence of the MbtH family protein, PyrH. PyrG was demonstrated to recognize many amino acids. This substrate promiscuity provides the potential to generate pyridomycin analogues with various enolic acids moiety; this is important for binding InhA, a critical enzyme for cell-wall biosynthesis in Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

  20. Targeted capture and resequencing of 1040 genes reveal environmentally driven functional variation in grey wolves.

    PubMed

    Schweizer, Rena M; Robinson, Jacqueline; Harrigan, Ryan; Silva, Pedro; Galverni, Marco; Musiani, Marco; Green, Richard E; Novembre, John; Wayne, Robert K

    2016-01-01

    In an era of ever-increasing amounts of whole-genome sequence data for individuals and populations, the utility of traditional single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) array-based genome scans is uncertain. We previously performed a SNP array-based genome scan to identify candidate genes under selection in six distinct grey wolf (Canis lupus) ecotypes. Using this information, we designed a targeted capture array for 1040 genes, including all exons and flanking regions, as well as 5000 1-kb nongenic neutral regions, and resequenced these regions in 107 wolves. Selection tests revealed striking patterns of variation within candidate genes relative to noncandidate regions and identified potentially functional variants related to local adaptation. We found 27% and 47% of candidate genes from the previous SNP array study had functional changes that were outliers in sweed and bayenv analyses, respectively. This result verifies the use of genomewide SNP surveys to tag genes that contain functional variants between populations. We highlight nonsynonymous variants in APOB, LIPG and USH2A that occur in functional domains of these proteins, and that demonstrate high correlation with precipitation seasonality and vegetation. We find Arctic and High Arctic wolf ecotypes have higher numbers of genes under selection, which highlight their conservation value and heightened threat due to climate change. This study demonstrates that combining genomewide genotyping arrays with large-scale resequencing and environmental data provides a powerful approach to discern candidate functional variants in natural populations. PMID:26562361

  1. Analyses of soil microbial community compositions and functional genes reveal potential consequences of natural forest succession

    PubMed Central

    Cong, Jing; Yang, Yunfeng; Liu, Xueduan; Lu, Hui; Liu, Xiao; Zhou, Jizhong; Li, Diqiang; Yin, Huaqun; Ding, Junjun; Zhang, Yuguang

    2015-01-01

    The succession of microbial community structure and function is a central ecological topic, as microbes drive the Earth’s biogeochemical cycles. To elucidate the response and mechanistic underpinnings of soil microbial community structure and metabolic potential relevant to natural forest succession, we compared soil microbial communities from three adjacent natural forests: a coniferous forest (CF), a mixed broadleaf forest (MBF) and a deciduous broadleaf forest (DBF) on Shennongjia Mountain in central China. In contrary to plant communities, the microbial taxonomic diversity of the DBF was significantly (P < 0.05) higher than those of CF and MBF, rendering their microbial community compositions markedly different. Consistently, microbial functional diversity was also highest in the DBF. Furthermore, a network analysis of microbial carbon and nitrogen cycling genes showed the network for the DBF samples was relatively large and tight, revealing strong couplings between microbes. Soil temperature, reflective of climate regimes, was important in shaping microbial communities at both taxonomic and functional gene levels. As a first glimpse of both the taxonomic and functional compositions of soil microbial communities, our results suggest that microbial community structure and function potentials will be altered by future environmental changes, which have implications for forest succession. PMID:25943705

  2. Analyses of soil microbial community compositions and functional genes reveal potential consequences of natural forest succession.

    PubMed

    Cong, Jing; Yang, Yunfeng; Liu, Xueduan; Lu, Hui; Liu, Xiao; Zhou, Jizhong; Li, Diqiang; Yin, Huaqun; Ding, Junjun; Zhang, Yuguang

    2015-01-01

    The succession of microbial community structure and function is a central ecological topic, as microbes drive the Earth's biogeochemical cycles. To elucidate the response and mechanistic underpinnings of soil microbial community structure and metabolic potential relevant to natural forest succession, we compared soil microbial communities from three adjacent natural forests: a coniferous forest (CF), a mixed broadleaf forest (MBF) and a deciduous broadleaf forest (DBF) on Shennongjia Mountain in central China. In contrary to plant communities, the microbial taxonomic diversity of the DBF was significantly (P < 0.05) higher than those of CF and MBF, rendering their microbial community compositions markedly different. Consistently, microbial functional diversity was also highest in the DBF. Furthermore, a network analysis of microbial carbon and nitrogen cycling genes showed the network for the DBF samples was relatively large and tight, revealing strong couplings between microbes. Soil temperature, reflective of climate regimes, was important in shaping microbial communities at both taxonomic and functional gene levels. As a first glimpse of both the taxonomic and functional compositions of soil microbial communities, our results suggest that microbial community structure and function potentials will be altered by future environmental changes, which have implications for forest succession. PMID:25943705

  3. Analyses of soil microbial community compositions and functional genes reveal potential consequences of natural forest succession

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cong, Jing; Yang, Yunfeng; Liu, Xueduan; Lu, Hui; Liu, Xiao; Zhou, Jizhong; Li, Diqiang; Yin, Huaqun; Ding, Junjun; Zhang, Yuguang

    2015-05-01

    The succession of microbial community structure and function is a central ecological topic, as microbes drive the Earth’s biogeochemical cycles. To elucidate the response and mechanistic underpinnings of soil microbial community structure and metabolic potential relevant to natural forest succession, we compared soil microbial communities from three adjacent natural forests: a coniferous forest (CF), a mixed broadleaf forest (MBF) and a deciduous broadleaf forest (DBF) on Shennongjia Mountain in central China. In contrary to plant communities, the microbial taxonomic diversity of the DBF was significantly (P < 0.05) higher than those of CF and MBF, rendering their microbial community compositions markedly different. Consistently, microbial functional diversity was also highest in the DBF. Furthermore, a network analysis of microbial carbon and nitrogen cycling genes showed the network for the DBF samples was relatively large and tight, revealing strong couplings between microbes. Soil temperature, reflective of climate regimes, was important in shaping microbial communities at both taxonomic and functional gene levels. As a first glimpse of both the taxonomic and functional compositions of soil microbial communities, our results suggest that microbial community structure and function potentials will be altered by future environmental changes, which have implications for forest succession.

  4. Analyses of soil microbial community compositions and functional genes reveal potential consequences of natural forest succession.

    PubMed

    Cong, Jing; Yang, Yunfeng; Liu, Xueduan; Lu, Hui; Liu, Xiao; Zhou, Jizhong; Li, Diqiang; Yin, Huaqun; Ding, Junjun; Zhang, Yuguang

    2015-05-06

    The succession of microbial community structure and function is a central ecological topic, as microbes drive the Earth's biogeochemical cycles. To elucidate the response and mechanistic underpinnings of soil microbial community structure and metabolic potential relevant to natural forest succession, we compared soil microbial communities from three adjacent natural forests: a coniferous forest (CF), a mixed broadleaf forest (MBF) and a deciduous broadleaf forest (DBF) on Shennongjia Mountain in central China. In contrary to plant communities, the microbial taxonomic diversity of the DBF was significantly (P < 0.05) higher than those of CF and MBF, rendering their microbial community compositions markedly different. Consistently, microbial functional diversity was also highest in the DBF. Furthermore, a network analysis of microbial carbon and nitrogen cycling genes showed the network for the DBF samples was relatively large and tight, revealing strong couplings between microbes. Soil temperature, reflective of climate regimes, was important in shaping microbial communities at both taxonomic and functional gene levels. As a first glimpse of both the taxonomic and functional compositions of soil microbial communities, our results suggest that microbial community structure and function potentials will be altered by future environmental changes, which have implications for forest succession.

  5. DENSE: efficient and prior knowledge-driven discovery of phenotype-associated protein functional modules

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Identifying cellular subsystems that are involved in the expression of a target phenotype has been a very active research area for the past several years. In this paper, cellular subsystem refers to a group of genes (or proteins) that interact and carry out a common function in the cell. Most studies identify genes associated with a phenotype on the basis of some statistical bias, others have extended these statistical methods to analyze functional modules and biological pathways for phenotype-relatedness. However, a biologist might often have a specific question in mind while performing such analysis and most of the resulting subsystems obtained by the existing methods might be largely irrelevant to the question in hand. Arguably, it would be valuable to incorporate biologist's knowledge about the phenotype into the algorithm. This way, it is anticipated that the resulting subsytems would not only be related to the target phenotype but also contain information that the biologist is likely to be interested in. Results In this paper we introduce a fast and theoretically guranteed method called DENSE (Dense and ENriched Subgraph Enumeration) that can take in as input a biologist's prior knowledge as a set of query proteins and identify all the dense functional modules in a biological network that contain some part of the query vertices. The density (in terms of the number of network egdes) and the enrichment (the number of query proteins in the resulting functional module) can be manipulated via two parameters γ and μ, respectively. Conclusion This algorithm has been applied to the protein functional association network of Clostridium acetobutylicum ATCC 824, a hydrogen producing, acid-tolerant organism. The algorithm was able to verify relationships known to exist in literature and also some previously unknown relationships including those with regulatory and signaling functions. Additionally, we were also able to hypothesize that some uncharacterized

  6. Structure-function insights of membrane and soluble proteins revealed by electron crystallography.

    PubMed

    Dreaden, Tina M; Devarajan, Bharanidharan; Barry, Bridgette A; Schmidt-Krey, Ingeborg

    2013-01-01

    Electron crystallography is emerging as an important method in solving protein structures. While it has found extensive applications in the understanding of membrane protein structure and function at a wide range of resolutions, from revealing oligomeric arrangements to atomic models, electron crystallography has also provided invaluable information on the soluble α/β-tubulin which could not be obtained by any other method to date. Examples of critical insights from selected structures of membrane proteins as well as α/β-tubulin are described here, demonstrating the vast potential of electron crystallography that is first beginning to unfold.

  7. The roles of evolutionarily conserved functional modules in cilia-related trafficking

    PubMed Central

    Sung, Ching-Hwa; Leroux, Michel R.

    2014-01-01

    Cilia are present across most eukaryotic phyla and have diverse sensory and motility roles in animal physiology, cell signalling and development. Their biogenesis and maintenance depend on vesicular and intraciliary (intraflagellar) trafficking pathways that share conserved structural and functional modules. The functional units of the interconnected pathways, which include proteins involved in membrane coating as well as small GTPases and their accessory factors, were first experimentally associated with canonical vesicular trafficking. These components are, however, ancient, having been co-opted by the ancestral eukaryote to establish the ciliary organelle, and their study can inform us about ciliary biology in higher organisms. PMID:24296415

  8. The roles of evolutionarily conserved functional modules in cilia-related trafficking.

    PubMed

    Sung, Ching-Hwa; Leroux, Michel R

    2013-12-01

    Cilia are present across most eukaryotic phyla and have diverse sensory and motility roles in animal physiology, cell signalling and development. Their biogenesis and maintenance depend on vesicular and intraciliary (intraflagellar) trafficking pathways that share conserved structural and functional modules. The functional units of the interconnected pathways, which include proteins involved in membrane coating as well as small GTPases and their accessory factors, were first experimentally associated with canonical vesicular trafficking. These components are, however, ancient, having been co-opted by the ancestral eukaryote to establish the ciliary organelle, and their study can inform us about ciliary biology in higher organisms.

  9. Quantitative protein localization signatures reveal an association between spatial and functional divergences of proteins.

    PubMed

    Loo, Lit-Hsin; Laksameethanasan, Danai; Tung, Yi-Ling

    2014-03-01

    Protein subcellular localization is a major determinant of protein function. However, this important protein feature is often described in terms of discrete and qualitative categories of subcellular compartments, and therefore it has limited applications in quantitative protein function analyses. Here, we present Protein Localization Analysis and Search Tools (PLAST), an automated analysis framework for constructing and comparing quantitative signatures of protein subcellular localization patterns based on microscopy images. PLAST produces human-interpretable protein localization maps that quantitatively describe the similarities in the localization patterns of proteins and major subcellular compartments, without requiring manual assignment or supervised learning of these compartments. Using the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model system, we show that PLAST is more accurate than existing, qualitative protein localization annotations in identifying known co-localized proteins. Furthermore, we demonstrate that PLAST can reveal protein localization-function relationships that are not obvious from these annotations. First, we identified proteins that have similar localization patterns and participate in closely-related biological processes, but do not necessarily form stable complexes with each other or localize at the same organelles. Second, we found an association between spatial and functional divergences of proteins during evolution. Surprisingly, as proteins with common ancestors evolve, they tend to develop more diverged subcellular localization patterns, but still occupy similar numbers of compartments. This suggests that divergence of protein localization might be more frequently due to the development of more specific localization patterns over ancestral compartments than the occupation of new compartments. PLAST enables systematic and quantitative analyses of protein localization-function relationships, and will be useful to elucidate protein

  10. Functional modulation of G-protein coupled receptors during Parkinson disease-like neurodegeneration.

    PubMed

    Jenkins, Bruce G; Zhu, Aijun; Poutiainen, Pekka; Choi, Ji-Kyung; Kil, Kun-Eek; Zhang, Zhaoda; Kuruppu, Darshini; Aytan, Nurgul; Dedeoglu, Alpaslan; Brownell, Anna-Liisa

    2016-09-01

    G-protein coupled dopamine and metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGlu) can modulate neurotransmission during Parkinson's disease (PD)-like neurodegeneration. PET imaging studies in a unilateral dopamine denervation model (6-OHDA) showed a significant inverse correlation of presynaptic mGlu4 and postsynaptic mGlu5 expression in the striatum and rapidly declining mGlu4 and enhanced mGlu5 expression in the hippocampus during progressive degeneration over time. Immunohistochemical studies verified the decreased mGlu4 expression in the hippocampus on the lesion side but did not show difference in mGlu5 expression between lesion and control side. Pharmacological MRI studies showed enhanced hemodynamic response in several brain areas on the lesion side compared to the control side after challenge with mGlu4 positive allosteric modulator or mGlu5 negative allosteric modulator. However, mGlu4 response was biphasic having short enhancement followed by negative response on both sides of brain. Studies in mGlu4 expressing cells demonstrated that glutamate induces cooperative increase in binding of mGlu4 ligands - especially at high glutamate levels consistent with in vivo concentration. This suggests that mGlu allosteric modulators as drug candidates will be highly sensitive to changes in glutamate concentration and hence metabolic state. These experiments demonstrate the importance of the longitudinal imaging studies to investigate temporal changes in receptor functions to obtain individual response for experimental drugs. PMID:26581500

  11. Reconfigurable optical interleaver modules with tunable wavelength transfer matrix function using polymer photonics lightwave circuits.

    PubMed

    Chen, Changming; Niu, Xiaoyan; Han, Chao; Shi, Zuosen; Wang, Xinbin; Sun, Xiaoqiang; Wang, Fei; Cui, Zhanchen; Zhang, Daming

    2014-08-25

    A transparent reconfigurable optical interleaver module composed of cascaded AWGs-based wavelength-channel-selector/interleaver monolithically integrated with multimode interference (MMI) variable optical attenuators (VOAs) and Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI) switch arrays was designed and fabricated using polymer photonic lightwave circuits. Highly fluorinated photopolymer and grafting modified organic-inorganic hybrid material were synthesized as the waveguide core and caldding, respectively. Thermo-optic (TO) tunable wavelength transfer matrix (WTM) function of the module can be achieved for optical routing network. The one-chip transmission loss is ~ 6 dB and crosstalk is less than ~25 dB for transverse-magnetic (TM) mode. The crosstalk and extinction ratio of the MMI VOAs were measured as -15.2 dB and 17.5 dB with driving current 8 mA, respectively. The modulation depth of the TO switches is obtained as ~18.2 dB with 2.2 V bias. Proposed novel interleaver module could be well suited for DWDM optical communication systems.

  12. Alu-miRNA interactions modulate transcript isoform diversity in stress response and reveal signatures of positive selection.

    PubMed

    Pandey, Rajesh; Bhattacharya, Aniket; Bhardwaj, Vivek; Jha, Vineet; Mandal, Amit K; Mukerji, Mitali

    2016-09-02

    Primate-specific Alus harbor different regulatory features, including miRNA targets. In this study, we provide evidence for miRNA-mediated modulation of transcript isoform levels during heat-shock response through exaptation of Alu-miRNA sites in mature mRNA. We performed genome-wide expression profiling coupled with functional validation of miRNA target sites within exonized Alus, and analyzed conservation of these targets across primates. We observed that two miRNAs (miR-15a-3p and miR-302d-3p) elevated in stress response, target RAD1, GTSE1, NR2C1, FKBP9 and UBE2I exclusively within Alu. These genes map onto the p53 regulatory network. Ectopic overexpression of miR-15a-3p downregulates GTSE1 and RAD1 at the protein level and enhances cell survival. This Alu-mediated fine-tuning seems to be unique to humans as evident from the absence of orthologous sites in other primate lineages. We further analyzed signatures of selection on Alu-miRNA targets in the genome, using 1000 Genomes Phase-I data. We found that 198 out of 3177 Alu-exonized genes exhibit signatures of selection within Alu-miRNA sites, with 60 of them containing SNPs supported by multiple evidences (global-FST > 0.3, pair-wise-FST > 0.5, Fay-Wu's H < -20, iHS > 2.0, high ΔDAF) and implicated in p53 network. We propose that by affecting multiple genes, Alu-miRNA interactions have the potential to facilitate population-level adaptations in response to environmental challenges.

  13. fMRI-constrained source analysis reveals early top-down modulations of interference processing using a flanker task.

    PubMed

    Siemann, Julia; Herrmann, Manfred; Galashan, Daniela

    2016-08-01

    Usually, incongruent flanker stimuli provoke conflict processing whereas congruent flankers should facilitate task performance. Various behavioral studies reported improved or even absent conflict processing with correctly oriented selective attention. In the present study we attempted to reinvestigate these behavioral effects and to disentangle neuronal activity patterns underlying the attentional cueing effect taking advantage of a combination of the high temporal resolution of Electroencephalographic (EEG) and the spatial resolution of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Data from 20 participants were acquired in different sessions per method. We expected the conflict-related N200 event-related potential (ERP) component and areas associated with flanker processing to show validity-specific modulations. Additionally, the spatio-temporal dynamics during cued flanker processing were examined using an fMRI-constrained source analysis approach. In the ERP data we found early differences in flanker processing between validity levels. An early centro-parietal relative positivity for incongruent stimuli occurred only with valid cueing during the N200 time window, while a subsequent fronto-central negativity was specific to invalidly cued interference processing. The source analysis additionally pointed to separate neural generators of these effects. Regional sources in visual areas were involved in conflict processing with valid cueing, while a regional source in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) seemed to contribute to the ERP differences with invalid cueing. Moreover, the ACC and precentral gyrus demonstrated an early and a late phase of congruency-related activity differences with invalid cueing. We discuss the first effect to reflect conflict detection and response activation while the latter more likely originated from conflict monitoring and control processes during response competition. PMID:27181762

  14. Alu-miRNA interactions modulate transcript isoform diversity in stress response and reveal signatures of positive selection

    PubMed Central

    Pandey, Rajesh; Bhattacharya, Aniket; Bhardwaj, Vivek; Jha, Vineet; Mandal, Amit K.; Mukerji, Mitali

    2016-01-01

    Primate-specific Alus harbor different regulatory features, including miRNA targets. In this study, we provide evidence for miRNA-mediated modulation of transcript isoform levels during heat-shock response through exaptation of Alu-miRNA sites in mature mRNA. We performed genome-wide expression profiling coupled with functional validation of miRNA target sites within exonized Alus, and analyzed conservation of these targets across primates. We observed that two miRNAs (miR-15a-3p and miR-302d-3p) elevated in stress response, target RAD1, GTSE1, NR2C1, FKBP9 and UBE2I exclusively within Alu. These genes map onto the p53 regulatory network. Ectopic overexpression of miR-15a-3p downregulates GTSE1 and RAD1 at the protein level and enhances cell survival. This Alu-mediated fine-tuning seems to be unique to humans as evident from the absence of orthologous sites in other primate lineages. We further analyzed signatures of selection on Alu-miRNA targets in the genome, using 1000 Genomes Phase-I data. We found that 198 out of 3177 Alu-exonized genes exhibit signatures of selection within Alu-miRNA sites, with 60 of them containing SNPs supported by multiple evidences (global-FST > 0.3, pair-wise-FST > 0.5, Fay-Wu’s H < −20, iHS > 2.0, high ΔDAF) and implicated in p53 network. We propose that by affecting multiple genes, Alu-miRNA interactions have the potential to facilitate population-level adaptations in response to environmental challenges. PMID:27586304

  15. Alu-miRNA interactions modulate transcript isoform diversity in stress response and reveal signatures of positive selection.

    PubMed

    Pandey, Rajesh; Bhattacharya, Aniket; Bhardwaj, Vivek; Jha, Vineet; Mandal, Amit K; Mukerji, Mitali

    2016-01-01

    Primate-specific Alus harbor different regulatory features, including miRNA targets. In this study, we provide evidence for miRNA-mediated modulation of transcript isoform levels during heat-shock response through exaptation of Alu-miRNA sites in mature mRNA. We performed genome-wide expression profiling coupled with functional validation of miRNA target sites within exonized Alus, and analyzed conservation of these targets across primates. We observed that two miRNAs (miR-15a-3p and miR-302d-3p) elevated in stress response, target RAD1, GTSE1, NR2C1, FKBP9 and UBE2I exclusively within Alu. These genes map onto the p53 regulatory network. Ectopic overexpression of miR-15a-3p downregulates GTSE1 and RAD1 at the protein level and enhances cell survival. This Alu-mediated fine-tuning seems to be unique to humans as evident from the absence of orthologous sites in other primate lineages. We further analyzed signatures of selection on Alu-miRNA targets in the genome, using 1000 Genomes Phase-I data. We found that 198 out of 3177 Alu-exonized genes exhibit signatures of selection within Alu-miRNA sites, with 60 of them containing SNPs supported by multiple evidences (global-FST > 0.3, pair-wise-FST > 0.5, Fay-Wu's H < -20, iHS > 2.0, high ΔDAF) and implicated in p53 network. We propose that by affecting multiple genes, Alu-miRNA interactions have the potential to facilitate population-level adaptations in response to environmental challenges. PMID:27586304

  16. Conditional Epistatic Interaction Maps Reveal Global Functional Rewiring of Genome Integrity Pathways in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Ashwani; Beloglazova, Natalia; Bundalovic-Torma, Cedoljub; Phanse, Sadhna; Deineko, Viktor; Gagarinova, Alla; Musso, Gabriel; Vlasblom, James; Lemak, Sofia; Hooshyar, Mohsen; Minic, Zoran; Wagih, Omar; Mosca, Roberto; Aloy, Patrick; Golshani, Ashkan; Parkinson, John; Emili, Andrew; Yakunin, Alexander F; Babu, Mohan

    2016-01-26

    As antibiotic resistance is increasingly becoming a public health concern, an improved understanding of the bacterial DNA damage response (DDR), which is commonly targeted by antibiotics, could be of tremendous therapeutic value. Although the genetic components of the bacterial DDR have been studied extensively in isolation, how the underlying biological pathways interact functionally remains unclear. Here, we address this by performing systematic, unbiased, quantitative synthetic genetic interaction (GI) screens and uncover widespread changes in the GI network of the entire genomic integrity apparatus of Escherichia coli under standard and DNA-damaging growth conditions. The GI patterns of untreated cultures implicated two previously uncharacterized proteins (YhbQ and YqgF) as nucleases, whereas reorganization of the GI network after DNA damage revealed DDR roles for both annotated and uncharacterized genes. Analyses of pan-bacterial conservation patterns suggest that DDR mechanisms and functional relationships are near universal, highlighting a modular and highly adaptive genomic stress response.

  17. Self responses along cingulate cortex reveal quantitative neural phenotype for high functioning autism

    PubMed Central

    Chiu, Pearl H.; Kayali, M. Amin; Kishida, Kenneth T.; Tomlin, Damon; Klinger, Laura G.; Klinger, Mark R.; Montague, P. Read

    2014-01-01

    Summary Attributing behavioral outcomes correctly to oneself or to other agents is essential for all productive social exchange. We approach this issue in high-functioning males with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) using two separate fMRI paradigms. First, using a visual imagery task, we extract a basis set for responses along the cingulate cortex of control subjects that reveals an agent-specific eigenvector (self eigenmode) associated with imagining oneself executing a specific motor act. Second, we show that the same self eigenmode arises during one's own decision (the self phase) in an interpersonal exchange game (iterated trust game). Third, using this exchange game, we show that ASD males exhibit a severely diminished self eigenmode when playing the game with a human partner. This diminished response covaries parametrically with their behaviorally assessed symptom severity suggesting its value as an objective endophenotype. These findings may provide a quantitative assessment tool for high functioning ASD. PMID:18255038

  18. Single-cell analysis reveals functionally distinct classes within the planarian stem cell compartment.

    PubMed

    van Wolfswinkel, Josien C; Wagner, Daniel E; Reddien, Peter W

    2014-09-01

    Planarians are flatworms capable of regenerating any missing body region. This capacity is mediated by neoblasts, a proliferative cell population that contains pluripotent stem cells. Although population-based studies have revealed many neoblast characteristics, whether functionally distinct classes exist within this population is unclear. Here, we used high-dimensional single-cell transcriptional profiling from over a thousand individual neoblasts to directly compare gene expression fingerprints during homeostasis and regeneration. We identified two prominent neoblast classes that we named ζ (zeta) and σ (sigma). Zeta-neoblasts encompass specified cells that give rise to an abundant postmitotic lineage, including epidermal cells, and are not required for regeneration. By contrast, sigma-neoblasts proliferate in response to injury, possess broad lineage capacity, and can give rise to zeta-neoblasts. These findings indicate that planarian neoblasts comprise two major and functionally distinct cellular compartments.

  19. Single-cell analysis reveals functionally distinct classes within the planarian stem cell compartment

    PubMed Central

    van Wolfswinkel, Josien C.; Wagner, Daniel E.; Reddien, Peter W.

    2014-01-01

    Planarians are flatworms capable of regenerating any missing body region. This capacity is mediated by neoblasts, a proliferative cell population that contains pluripotent stem cells. Although population-based studies have revealed many neoblast characteristics, whether functionally distinct classes exist within this population is unclear. Here, we used high-dimensional single-cell transcriptional profiling from over a thousand individual neoblasts to directly compare gene expression fingerprints during homeostasis and regeneration. We identified two prominent neoblast classes that we named ζ (zeta) and σ (sigma). Zeta-neoblasts encompass specified cells that give rise to an abundant postmitotic lineage including epidermal cells, and are not required for regeneration. By contrast, sigma-neoblasts proliferate in response to injury, possess broad lineage capacity, and can give rise to zeta-neoblasts. These findings present a new view of planarian neoblasts, in which the population is comprised of two major and functionally distinct cellular compartments. PMID:25017721

  20. Flexible establishment of functional brain networks supports attentional modulation of unconscious cognition.

    PubMed

    Ulrich, Martin; Adams, Sarah C; Kiefer, Markus

    2014-11-01

    In classical theories of attention, unconscious automatic processes are thought to be independent of higher-level attentional influences. Here, we propose that unconscious processing depends on attentional enhancement of task-congruent processing pathways implemented by a dynamic modulation of the functional communication between brain regions. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we tested our model with a subliminally primed lexical decision task preceded by an induction task preparing either a semantic or a perceptual task set. Subliminal semantic priming was significantly greater after semantic compared to perceptual induction in ventral occipito-temporal (vOT) and inferior frontal cortex, brain areas known to be involved in semantic processing. The functional connectivity pattern of vOT varied depending on the induction task and successfully predicted the magnitude of behavioral and neural priming. Together, these findings support the proposal that dynamic establishment of functional networks by task sets is an important mechanism in the attentional control of unconscious processing. PMID:24954512

  1. Amygdala activity can be modulated by unexpected chord functions during music listening.

    PubMed

    Koelsch, Stefan; Fritz, Thomas; Schlaug, Gottfried

    2008-12-01

    Numerous earlier studies have investigated the cognitive processing of musical syntax with regular and irregular chord sequences. However, irregular sequences may also be perceived as unexpected, and therefore have a different emotional valence than regular sequences. We provide behavioral data showing that irregular chord functions presented in chord sequence paradigms are perceived as less pleasant than regular sequences. A reanalysis of functional MRI data showed increased blood oxygen level-dependent signal changes bilaterally in the amygdala in response to music-syntactically irregular (compared with regular) chord functions. The combined data indicate that music-syntactically irregular events elicit brain activity related to emotional processes, and that, in addition to intensely pleasurable music or highly unpleasant music, single chord functions can also modulate amygdala activity.

  2. Thermodynamic Characterization of a Triheme Cytochrome Family from Geobacter sulfurreducens Reveals Mechanistic and Functional Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Morgado, Leonor; Bruix, Marta; Pessanha, Miguel; Londer, Yuri Y.; Salgueiro, Carlos A.

    2010-01-01

    Abstract A family of five periplasmic triheme cytochromes (PpcA-E) was identified in Geobacter sulfurreducens, where they play a crucial role by driving electron transfer from the cytoplasm to the cell exterior and assisting the reduction of extracellular acceptors. The thermodynamic characterization of PpcA using NMR and visible spectroscopies was previously achieved under experimental conditions identical to those used for the triheme cytochrome c7 from Desulfuromonas acetoxidans. Under such conditions, attempts to obtain NMR data were complicated by the relatively fast intermolecular electron exchange. This work reports the detailed thermodynamic characterization of PpcB, PpcD, and PpcE under optimal experimental conditions. The thermodynamic characterization of PpcA was redone under these new conditions to allow a proper comparison of the redox properties with those of other members of this family. The heme reduction potentials of the four proteins are negative, differ from each other, and cover different functional ranges. These reduction potentials are strongly modulated by heme-heme interactions and by interactions with protonated groups (the redox-Bohr effect) establishing different cooperative networks for each protein, which indicates that they are designed to perform different functions in the cell. PpcA and PpcD appear to be optimized to interact with specific redox partners involving e−/H+ transfer via different mechanisms. Although no evidence of preferential electron transfer pathway or e−/H+ coupling was found for PpcB and PpcE, the difference in their working potential ranges suggests that they may also have different physiological redox partners. This is the first study, to our knowledge, to characterize homologous cytochromes from the same microorganism and provide evidence of their different mechanistic and functional properties. These findings provide an explanation for the coexistence of five periplasmic triheme cytochromes in G

  3. Separable roles of UFO during floral development revealed by conditional restoration of gene function.

    PubMed

    Laufs, Patrick; Coen, Enrico; Kronenberger, Jocelyne; Traas, Jan; Doonan, John

    2003-02-01

    The UNUSUAL FLORAL ORGANS (UFO) gene is required for several aspects of floral development in Arabidopsis including specification of organ identity in the second and third whorls and the proper pattern of primordium initiation in the inner three whorls. UFO is expressed in a dynamic pattern during the early phases of flower development. Here we dissect the role of UFO by ubiquitously expressing it in ufo loss-of-function flowers at different developmental stages and for various durations using an ethanol-inducible expression system. The previously known functions of UFO could be separated and related to its expression at specific stages of development. We show that a 24- to 48-hour period of UFO expression from floral stage 2, before any floral organs are visible, is sufficient to restore normal petal and stamen development. The earliest requirement for UFO is during stage 2, when the endogenous UFO gene is transiently expressed in the centre of the wild-type flower and is required to specify the initiation patterns of petal, stamen and carpel primordia. Petal and stamen identity is determined during stages 2 or 3, when UFO is normally expressed in the presumptive second and third whorl. Although endogenous UFO expression is absent from the stamen whorl from stage 4 onwards, stamen identity can be restored by UFO activation up to stage 6. We also observed floral phenotypes not observed in loss-of-function or constitutive gain-of-function backgrounds, revealing additional roles of UFO in outgrowth of petal primordia. PMID:12506008

  4. Manganese-enhanced MRI reveals structural and functional changes in the cortex of Bassoon mutant mice.

    PubMed

    Angenstein, Frank; Niessen, Heiko G; Goldschmidt, Jürgen; Lison, Holger; Altrock, Wilko D; Gundelfinger, Eckart D; Scheich, Henning

    2007-01-01

    Manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (ME-MRI) was used to analyze the brain architecture in mice lacking the functional presynaptic active zone protein Bassoon. Anatomical characterization revealed a significant increase in the total brain volume in Bassoon mutants as compared with wild-type mice, which is mainly caused by changes in cortex and hippocampus volume. The measured enlargement in cortical volume coincides with an altered Mn2+ distribution within cortical layers as visualized by T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging. Two days after manganese application, the cortex of Bassoon mutant mice appeared more laminated in ME-MRI, with an enhanced accumulation of manganese in deep, central, and superficial cortical cell layers. Whereas morphologically the cortical lamination is not affected by the absence of a functional Bassoon, an altered basal activation pattern was found in the cortex of the mutant mice both by metabolic labeling with [14C]-2-deoxyglucose and histochemical detection of the potassium analogue thallium uptake. Consequently, the results indicate that the absence of the functional presynaptic protein Bassoon causes disturbance in the formation of normal basal cortical activation patterns and thereby in the functional cortical architecture. Furthermore, this study shows that ME-MRI can become a valuable tool for a structural characterization of genetically modified mice.

  5. 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

  6. Separable roles of UFO during floral development revealed by conditional restoration of gene function.

    PubMed

    Laufs, Patrick; Coen, Enrico; Kronenberger, Jocelyne; Traas, Jan; Doonan, John

    2003-02-01

    The UNUSUAL FLORAL ORGANS (UFO) gene is required for several aspects of floral development in Arabidopsis including specification of organ identity in the second and third whorls and the proper pattern of primordium initiation in the inner three whorls. UFO is expressed in a dynamic pattern during the early phases of flower development. Here we dissect the role of UFO by ubiquitously expressing it in ufo loss-of-function flowers at different developmental stages and for various durations using an ethanol-inducible expression system. The previously known functions of UFO could be separated and related to its expression at specific stages of development. We show that a 24- to 48-hour period of UFO expression from floral stage 2, before any floral organs are visible, is sufficient to restore normal petal and stamen development. The earliest requirement for UFO is during stage 2, when the endogenous UFO gene is transiently expressed in the centre of the wild-type flower and is required to specify the initiation patterns of petal, stamen and carpel primordia. Petal and stamen identity is determined during stages 2 or 3, when UFO is normally expressed in the presumptive second and third whorl. Although endogenous UFO expression is absent from the stamen whorl from stage 4 onwards, stamen identity can be restored by UFO activation up to stage 6. We also observed floral phenotypes not observed in loss-of-function or constitutive gain-of-function backgrounds, revealing additional roles of UFO in outgrowth of petal primordia.

  7. Cryptic biodiversity effects: importance of functional redundancy revealed through addition of food web complexity.

    PubMed

    Philpott, Stacy M; Pardee, Gabriella L; Gonthier, David J

    2012-05-01

    Interactions between predators and the degree of functional redundancy among multiple predator species may determine whether herbivores experience increased or decreased predation risk. Specialist parasites can modify predator behavior, yet rarely have cascading effects on multiple predator species and prey been evaluated. We examined influences of specialist phorid parasites (Pseudacteon spp.) on three predatory ant species and herbivores in a coffee agroecosystem. Specifically, we examined whether changes in ant richness affected fruit damage by the coffee berry borer (Hypothenemus hampei) and whether phorids altered multi-predator effects. Each ant species reduced borer damage, and without phorids, increasing predator richness did not further decrease borer damage. However, with phorids, activity of one ant species was reduced, indicating that the presence of multiple ant species was necessary to limit borer damage. In addition, phorid presence revealed synergistic effects of multiple ant species, not observed without the presence of this parasite. Thus, a trait-mediated cascade resulting from a parasite-induced predator behavioral change revealed the importance of functional redundancy, predator diversity, and food web complexity for control of this important pest.

  8. The phosphoproteome of Aspergillus nidulans reveals functional association with cellular processes involved in morphology and secretion.

    PubMed

    Ramsubramaniam, Nikhil; Harris, Steven D; Marten, Mark R

    2014-11-01

    We describe the first phosphoproteome of the model filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans. Phosphopeptides were enriched using titanium dioxide, separated using a convenient ultra-long reverse phase gradient, and identified using a "high-high" strategy (high mass accuracy on the parent and fragment ions) with higher-energy collisional dissociation. Using this approach 1801 phosphosites, from 1637 unique phosphopeptides, were identified. Functional classification revealed phosphoproteins were overrepresented under GO categories related to fungal morphogenesis: "sites of polar growth," "vesicle mediated transport," and "cytoskeleton organization." In these same GO categories, kinase-substrate analysis of phosphoproteins revealed the majority were target substrates of CDK and CK2 kinase families, indicating these kinase families play a prominent role in fungal morphogenesis. Kinase-substrate analysis also identified 57 substrates for kinases known to regulate secretion of hydrolytic enzymes (e.g. PkaA, SchA, and An-Snf1). Altogether this data will serve as a benchmark that can be used to elucidate regulatory networks functionally associated with fungal morphogenesis and secretion. All MS data have been deposited in the ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD000715 (http://proteomecentral.proteomexchange.org/dataset/PXD000715).

  9. How emotional abilities modulate the influence of early life stress on hippocampal functioning

    PubMed Central

    Alkan Härtwig, Elif; Koelsch, Stefan; Heekeren, Hauke R.; Heuser, Isabella; Bajbouj, Malek

    2014-01-01

    Early life stress (ELS) is known to have considerable influence on brain development, mental health and affective functioning. Previous investigations have shown that alexithymia, a prevalent personality trait associated with difficulties experiencing and verbalizing emotions, is particularly related to ELS. The aim of the present study was to investigate how neural correlates of emotional experiences in alexithymia are altered in the presence and absence of ELS. Therefore, 50 healthy individuals with different levels of alexithymia were matched regarding ELS and investigated with respect to neural correlates of audio-visually induced emotional experiences via functional magnetic resonance imaging. The main finding was that ELS modulated hippocampal responses to pleasant (>neutral) stimuli in high-alexithymic individuals, whereas there was no such modulation in low-alexithymic individuals matched for ELS. Behavioral and psychophysiological results followed a similar pattern. When considered independent of ELS, alexithymia was associated with decreased responses in insula (pleasant > neutral) and temporal pole (unpleasant > neutral). Our results show that the influence of ELS on emotional brain responses seems to be modulated by an individual’s degree of alexithymia. Potentially, protective and adverse effects of emotional abilities on brain responses to emotional experiences are discussed. PMID:23685776

  10. Functional insights into modulation of BKCa channel activity to alter myometrial contractility

    PubMed Central

    Lorca, Ramón A.; Prabagaran, Monali; England, Sarah K.

    2014-01-01

    The large-conductance voltage- and Ca2+-activated K+ channel (BKCa) is an important regulator of membrane excitability in a wide variety of cells and tissues. In myometrial smooth muscle, activation of BKCa plays essential roles in buffering contractility to maintain uterine quiescence during pregnancy and in the transition to a more contractile state at the onset of labor. Multiple mechanisms of modulation have been described to alter BKCa channel activity, expression, and cellular localization. In the myometrium, BKCa is regulated by alternative splicing, protein targeting to the plasma membrane, compartmentation in membrane microdomains, and posttranslational modifications. In addition, interaction with auxiliary proteins (i.e., β1- and β2-subunits), association with G-protein coupled receptor signaling pathways, such as those activated by adrenergic and oxytocin receptors, and hormonal regulation provide further mechanisms of variable modulation of BKCa channel function in myometrial smooth muscle. Here, we provide an overview of these mechanisms of BKCa channel modulation and provide a context for them in relation to myometrial function. PMID:25132821

  11. Mitochondrial functions modulate neuroendocrine, metabolic, inflammatory, and transcriptional responses to acute psychological stress

    PubMed Central

    Picard, Martin; McManus, Meagan J.; Gray, Jason D.; Nasca, Carla; Moffat, Cynthia; Kopinski, Piotr K.; Seifert, Erin L.; McEwen, Bruce S.; Wallace, Douglas C.

    2015-01-01

    The experience of psychological stress triggers neuroendocrine, inflammatory, metabolic, and transcriptional perturbations that ultimately predispose to disease. However, the subcellular determinants of this integrated, multisystemic stress response have not been defined. Central to stress adaptation is cellular energetics, involving mitochondrial energy production and oxidative stress. We therefore hypothesized that abnormal mitochondrial functions would differentially modulate the organism’s multisystemic response to psychological stress. By mutating or deleting mitochondrial genes encoded in the mtDNA [NADH dehydrogenase 6 (ND6) and cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI)] or nuclear DNA [adenine nucleotide translocator 1 (ANT1) and nicotinamide nucleotide transhydrogenase (NNT)], we selectively impaired mitochondrial respiratory chain function, energy exchange, and mitochondrial redox balance in mice. The resulting impact on physiological reactivity and recovery from restraint stress were then characterized. We show that mitochondrial dysfunctions altered the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis, sympathetic adrenal–medullary activation and catecholamine levels, the inflammatory cytokine IL-6, circulating metabolites, and hippocampal gene expression responses to stress. Each mitochondrial defect generated a distinct whole-body stress-response signature. These results demonstrate the role of mitochondrial energetics and redox balance as modulators of key pathophysiological perturbations previously linked to disease. This work establishes mitochondria as stress-response modulators, with implications for understanding the mechanisms of stress pathophysiology and mitochondrial diseases. PMID:26627253

  12. Decreased Modulation of EEG Oscillations in High-Functioning Autism during a Motor Control Task.

    PubMed

    Ewen, Joshua B; Lakshmanan, Balaji M; Pillai, Ajay S; McAuliffe, Danielle; Nettles, Carrie; Hallett, Mark; Crone, Nathan E; Mostofsky, Stewart H

    2016-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are thought to result in part from altered cortical excitatory-inhibitory balance; this pathophysiology may impact the generation of oscillations on electroencephalogram (EEG). We investigated premotor-parietal cortical physiology associated with praxis, which has strong theoretical and empirical associations with ASD symptomatology. Twenty five children with high-functioning ASD (HFA) and 33 controls performed a praxis task involving the pantomiming of tool use, while EEG was recorded. We assessed task-related modulation of signal power in alpha and beta frequency bands. Compared with controls, subjects with HFA showed 27% less left central (motor/premotor) beta (18-22 Hz) event-related desynchronization (ERD; p = 0.030), as well as 24% less left parietal alpha (7-13 Hz) ERD (p = 0.046). Within the HFA group, blunting of central ERD attenuation was associated with impairments in clinical measures of praxis imitation (r = -0.4; p = 0.04) and increased autism severity (r = 0.48; p = 0.016). The modulation of central beta activity is associated, among other things, with motor imagery, which may be necessary for imitation. Impaired imitation has been associated with core features of ASD. Altered modulation of oscillatory activity may be mechanistically involved in those aspects of motor network function that relate to the core symptoms of ASD. PMID:27199719

  13. Decreased Modulation of EEG Oscillations in High-Functioning Autism during a Motor Control Task

    PubMed Central

    Ewen, Joshua B.; Lakshmanan, Balaji M.; Pillai, Ajay S.; McAuliffe, Danielle; Nettles, Carrie; Hallett, Mark; Crone, Nathan E.; Mostofsky, Stewart H.

    2016-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are thought to result in part from altered cortical excitatory-inhibitory balance; this pathophysiology may impact the generation of oscillations on electroencephalogram (EEG). We investigated premotor-parietal cortical physiology associated with praxis, which has strong theoretical and empirical associations with ASD symptomatology. Twenty five children with high-functioning ASD (HFA) and 33 controls performed a praxis task involving the pantomiming of tool use, while EEG was recorded. We assessed task-related modulation of signal power in alpha and beta frequency bands. Compared with controls, subjects with HFA showed 27% less left central (motor/premotor) beta (18–22 Hz) event-related desynchronization (ERD; p = 0.030), as well as 24% less left parietal alpha (7–13 Hz) ERD (p = 0.046). Within the HFA group, blunting of central ERD attenuation was associated with impairments in clinical measures of praxis imitation (r = −0.4; p = 0.04) and increased autism severity (r = 0.48; p = 0.016). The modulation of central beta activity is associated, among other things, with motor imagery, which may be necessary for imitation. Impaired imitation has been associated with core features of ASD. Altered modulation of oscillatory activity may be mechanistically involved in those aspects of motor network function that relate to the core symptoms of ASD. PMID:27199719

  14. Dissociable Temporo-Parietal Memory Networks Revealed by Functional Connectivity during Episodic Retrieval

    PubMed Central

    Hirose, Satoshi; Kimura, Hiroko M.; Jimura, Koji; Kunimatsu, Akira; Abe, Osamu; Ohtomo, Kuni; Miyashita, Yasushi; Konishi, Seiki

    2013-01-01

    Episodic memory retrieval most often recruits multiple separate processes that are thought to involve different temporal regions. Previous studies suggest dissociable regions in the left lateral parietal cortex that are associated with the retrieval processes. Moreover, studies using resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) have provided evidence for the temporo-parietal memory networks that may support the retrieval processes. In this functional MRI study, we tested functional significance of the memory networks by examining functional connectivity of brain activity during episodic retrieval in the temporal and parietal regions of the memory networks. Recency judgments, judgments of the temporal order of past events, can be achieved by at least two retrieval processes, relational and item-based. Neuroimaging results revealed several temporal and parietal activations associated with relational/item-based recency judgments. Significant RSFC was observed between one parahippocampal region and one left lateral parietal region associated with relational recency judgments, and between four lateral temporal regions and another left lateral parietal region associated with item-based recency judgments. Functional connectivity during task was found to be significant between the parahippocampal region and the parietal region in the RSFC network associated with relational recency judgments. However, out of the four tempo-parietal RSFC networks associated with item-based recency judgments, only one of them (between the left posterior lateral temporal region and the left lateral parietal region) showed significant functional connectivity during task. These results highlight the contrasting roles of the parahippocampal and the lateral temporal regions in recency judgments, and suggest that only a part of the tempo-parietal RSFC networks are recruited to support particular retrieval processes. PMID:24009657

  15. Statistically significant contrasts between EMG waveforms revealed using wavelet-based functional ANOVA.

    PubMed

    McKay, J Lucas; Welch, Torrence D J; Vidakovic, Brani; Ting, Lena H

    2013-01-01

    We developed wavelet-based functional ANOVA (wfANOVA) as a novel approach for comparing neurophysiological signals that are functions of time. Temporal resolution is often sacrificed by analyzing such data in large time bins, increasing statistical power by reducing the number of comparisons. We performed ANOVA in the wavelet domain because differences between curves tend to be represented by a few temporally localized wavelets, which we transformed back to the time domain for visualization. We compared wfANOVA and ANOVA performed in the time domain (tANOVA) on both experimental electromyographic (EMG) signals from responses to perturbation during standing balance across changes in peak perturbation acceleration (3 levels) and velocity (4 levels) and on simulated data with known contrasts. In experimental EMG data, wfANOVA revealed the continuous shape and magnitude of significant differences over time without a priori selection of time bins. However, tANOVA revealed only the largest differences at discontinuous time points, resulting in features with later onsets and shorter durations than those identified using wfANOVA (P < 0.02). Furthermore, wfANOVA required significantly fewer (~1/4;×; P < 0.015) significant F tests than tANOVA, resulting in post hoc tests with increased power. In simulated EMG data, wfANOVA identified known contrast curves with a high level of precision (r(2) = 0.94 ± 0.08) and performed better than tANOVA across noise levels (P < <0.01). Therefore, wfANOVA may be useful for revealing differences in the shape and magnitude of neurophysiological signals (e.g., EMG, firing rates) across multiple conditions with both high temporal resolution and high statistical power. PMID:23100136

  16. The age-related posterior-anterior shift as revealed by voxelwise analysis of functional brain networks

    PubMed Central

    McCarthy, Paul; Benuskova, Lubica; Franz, Elizabeth A.

    2014-01-01

    The posterior-anterior shift in aging (PASA) is a commonly observed phenomenon in functional neuroimaging studies of aging, characterized by age-related reductions in occipital activity alongside increases in frontal activity. In this work we have investigated the hypothesis as to whether the PASA is also manifested in functional brain network measures such as degree, clustering coefficient, path length and local efficiency. We have performed statistical analysis upon functional networks derived from a fMRI dataset containing data from healthy young, healthy aged, and aged individuals with very mild to mild Alzheimer's disease (AD). Analysis of both task based and resting state functional network properties has indicated that the PASA can also be characterized in terms of modulation of functional network properties, and that the onset of AD appears to accentuate this modulation. We also explore the effect of spatial normalization upon the results of our analysis. PMID:25426065

  17. Modulation transfer function of partial gating detector by liquid crystal auto-controlling light intensity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Xusan; Tang, Yuanhe; Liu, Kai; Liu, Hanchen; Gao, Haiyang; Li, Qing; Zhang, Ruixia; Ye, Na; Liang, Yuan; Zhao, Gaoxiang

    2008-12-01

    Based on the electro-optical properties of liquid crystal, we have designed a novel partial gating detector. Liquid crystal can be taken to change its own transmission according to the light intensity outside. Every single pixel of the image is real-time modulated by liquid crystal, thus the strong light is weakened and low light goes through the detector normally .The purpose of partial-gating strong light (>105lx) can be achieved by this detector. The modulation transfer function (MTF) equations of the main optical sub-systems are calculated in this paper, they are liquid crystal panels, linear fiber panel and CCD array detector. According to the relevant size, the MTF value of this system is fitted out. The result is MTF= 0.518 at Nyquist frequency.

  18. Modulation of Immune Function by Polyphenols: Possible Contribution of Epigenetic Factors

    PubMed Central

    Cuevas, Alejandro; Saavedra, Nicolás; Salazar, Luis A.; Abdalla, Dulcineia S. P.

    2013-01-01

    Several biological activities have been described for polyphenolic compounds, including a modulator effect on the immune system. The effects of these biologically active compounds on the immune system are associated to processes as differentiation and activation of immune cells. Among the mechanisms associated to immune regulation are epigenetic modifications as DNA methylation of regulatory sequences, histone modifications and posttranscriptional repression by microRNAs that influences the gene expression of key players involved in the immune response. Considering that polyphenols are able to regulate the immune function and has been also demonstrated an effect on epigenetic mechanisms, it is possible to hypothesize that there exists a mediator role of epigenetic mechanisms in the modulation of the immune response by polyphenols. PMID:23812304

  19. Measurement of optical modulation functions in sparsely sampled mosaic focal plane arrays

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, J. B.; Thurlow, P. E.

    1982-01-01

    It is pointed out that the measurement of optical modulation functions for detectors in focal plane arrays may be somewhat more difficult under 'full-up' systems conditions as compared to ideal laboratory conditions. An idealized optical modulation test arrangement is considered along with a full-up scanned system involving an earth mapper in polar orbit. In testing the system in full-up condition, a problem arises with respect to the acquisition of knife edge response data. In order to overcome this problem, a preferred method is developed for obtaining KER data on a single scan. A special 'phased edge' reticle is developed for use in the test set-up. Attention is given to aspects of knife edge reconstruction.

  20. Optimizing the rotating point spread function by SLM aided spiral phase modulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baránek, M.; Bouchal, Z.

    2014-12-01

    We demonstrate the vortex point spread function (PSF) whose shape and the rotation sensitivity to defocusing can be controlled by a phase-only modulation implemented in the spatial or frequency domains. Rotational effects are studied in detail as a result of the spiral modulation carried out in discrete radial and azimuthal sections with different topological charges. As the main result, a direct connection between properties of the PSF and the parameters of the spiral mask is found and subsequently used for an optimal shaping of the PSF and control of its defocusing rotation rate. Experiments on the PSF rotation verify a good agreement with theoretical predictions and demonstrate potential of the method for applications in microscopy, tracking of particles and 3D imaging.

  1. Docosahexaenoic acid modulates inflammatory and antineurogenic functions of activated microglial cells.

    PubMed

    Antonietta Ajmone-Cat, Maria; Lavinia Salvatori, Maria; De Simone, Roberta; Mancini, Melissa; Biagioni, Stefano; Bernardo, Antonietta; Cacci, Emanuele; Minghetti, Luisa

    2012-03-01

    The complex process of microglial activation encompasses several functional activation states associated either with neurotoxic/antineurogenic or with neurotrophic/proneurogenic properties, depending mainly on the extent of activation and the nature of the activating stimuli. Several studies have demonstrated that acute exposure to the prototypical activating agent lipopolysaccharide (LPS) confers antineurogenic properties upon microglial cells. Acutely activated microglia ortheir conditioned media (CM) reduce neural stem progenitor cell (NPC) survival and prevent NPC differentiation into neurons. The present study tested the hypothesis that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a long-chain polyunsatured fatty acid (L-PUFA) with potent immunomodulatory properties, could dampen microglial proinflammatory functions and modulate their antineurogenic effect. We demonstrate that DHA dose dependently inhibits the synthesis of inflammatory products in activated microglia without inducing an alternative antiinflammatory phenotype. Among the possible DHA mechanisms of action, we propose the inhibition of p38 MAPK phosphorylation and the activation of the nuclear receptor peroxisome proliferator activated receptor (PPAR)-γ. The attenuation of M1 proinflammatory phenotype has relevant consequences for the survival and differentiation of NPC, because DHA reverses the antineurogenic activities of conditioned media from LPS-activated microglia. Our study identifies new relevant potentially protective and proneurogenic functions of DHA, exerted through the modulation of microglial functions, that could be exploited to sustain or promote neuroregenerative processes in damaged/aged brain. PMID:22057807

  2. Selected phenolic compounds in cultivated plants: ecologic functions, health implications, and modulation by pesticides.

    PubMed Central

    Daniel, O; Meier, M S; Schlatter, J; Frischknecht, P

    1999-01-01

    Phenolic compounds are widely distributed in the plant kingdom. Plant tissues may contain up to several grams per kilogram. External stimuli such as microbial infections, ultraviolet radiation, and chemical stressors induce their synthesis. The phenolic compounds resveratrol, flavonoids, and furanocoumarins have many ecologic functions and affect human health. Ecologic functions include defense against microbial pathogens and herbivorous animals. Phenolic compounds may have both beneficial and toxic effects on human health. Effects on low-density lipoproteins and aggregation of platelets are beneficial because they reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Mutagenic, cancerogenic, and phototoxic effects are risk factors of human health. The synthesis of phenolic compounds in plants can be modulated by the application of herbicides and, to a lesser extent, insecticides and fungicides. The effects on ecosystem functioning and human health are complex and cannot be predicted with great certainty. The consequences of the combined natural and pesticide-induced modulating effects for ecologic functions and human health should be further evaluated. PMID:10229712

  3. Molecular Mechanisms of COMPLEXIN Fusion Clamp Function in Synaptic Exocytosis Revealed in a New Drosophila Mutant

    PubMed Central

    Iyer, Janani; Wahlmark, Christopher J.; Kuser-Ahnert, Giselle A.; Kawasaki, Fumiko

    2013-01-01

    The COMPLEXIN (CPX) proteins play a critical role in synaptic vesicle fusion and neurotransmitter release. Previous studies demonstrated that CPX functions in both activation of evoked neurotransmitter release and inhibition/clamping of spontaneous synaptic vesicle fusion. Here we report a new cpx mutant in Drosophila melanogaster, cpx1257, revealing spatially defined and separable pools of CPX which make distinct contributions to the activation and clamping functions. In cpx1257, lack of only the last C-terminal amino acid of CPX is predicted to disrupt prenylation and membrane targeting of CPX. Immunocytochemical analysis established localization of wild-type CPX to active zone (AZ) regions containing neurotransmitter release sites as well as broader presynaptic membrane compartments including synaptic vesicles. Parallel biochemical studies confirmed CPX membrane association and demonstrated robust binding interactions of CPX with all three SNAREs. This is in contrast to the cpx1257 mutant, in which AZ localization of CPX persists but general membrane localization and, surprisingly, the bulk of CPX-SNARE protein interactions are abolished. Furthermore, electrophysiological analysis of neuromuscular synapses revealed interesting differences between cpx1257 and a cpx null mutant. The cpx null exhibited a marked decrease in the EPSC amplitude, slowed EPSC rise and decay times and an increased mEPSC frequency with respect to wild-type. In contrast, cpx1257 exhibited a wild-type EPSC with an increased mEPSC frequency and thus a selective failure to clamp spontaneous release. These results indicate that spatially distinct and separable interactions of CPX with presynaptic membranes and SNARE proteins mediate separable activation and clamping functions of CPX in neurotransmitter release. PMID:23769723

  4. Insights into the Modulation of Dopamine Transporter Function by Amphetamine, Orphenadrine, and Cocaine Binding.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Mary Hongying; Block, Ethan; Hu, Feizhuo; Cobanoglu, Murat Can; Sorkin, Alexander; Bahar, Ivet

    2015-01-01

    Human dopamine (DA) transporter (hDAT) regulates dopaminergic signaling in the central nervous system by maintaining the synaptic concentration of DA at physiological levels, upon reuptake of DA into presynaptic terminals. DA translocation involves the co-transport of two sodium ions and the channeling of a chloride ion, and it is achieved via alternating access between outward-facing (OF) and inward-facing states of DAT. hDAT is a target for addictive drugs, such as cocaine, amphetamine (AMPH), and therapeutic antidepressants. Our recent quantitative systems pharmacology study suggested that orphenadrine (ORPH), an anticholinergic agent and anti-Parkinson drug, might be repurposable as a DAT drug. Previous studies have shown that DAT-substrates like AMPH or -blockers like cocaine modulate the function of DAT in different ways. However, the molecular mechanisms of modulation remained elusive due to the lack of structural data on DAT. The newly resolved DAT structure from Drosophila melanogaster opens the way to a deeper understanding of the mechanism and time evolution of DAT-drug/ligand interactions. Using a combination of homology modeling, docking analysis, molecular dynamics simulations, and molecular biology experiments, we performed a comparative study of the binding properties of DA, AMPH, ORPH, and cocaine and their modulation of hDAT function. Simulations demonstrate that binding DA or AMPH drives a structural transition toward a functional form predisposed to translocate the ligand. In contrast, ORPH appears to inhibit DAT function by arresting it in the OF open conformation. The analysis shows that cocaine and ORPH competitively bind DAT, with the binding pose and affinity dependent on the conformational state of DAT. Further assays show that the effect of ORPH on DAT uptake and endocytosis is comparable to that of cocaine. PMID:26106364

  5. Insights into the Modulation of Dopamine Transporter Function by Amphetamine, Orphenadrine, and Cocaine Binding

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Mary Hongying; Block, Ethan; Hu, Feizhuo; Cobanoglu, Murat Can; Sorkin, Alexander; Bahar, Ivet

    2015-01-01

    Human dopamine (DA) transporter (hDAT) regulates dopaminergic signaling in the central nervous system by maintaining the synaptic concentration of DA at physiological levels, upon reuptake of DA into presynaptic terminals. DA translocation involves the co-transport of two sodium ions and the channeling of a chloride ion, and it is achieved via alternating access between outward-facing (OF) and inward-facing states of DAT. hDAT is a target for addictive drugs, such as cocaine, amphetamine (AMPH), and therapeutic antidepressants. Our recent quantitative systems pharmacology study suggested that orphenadrine (ORPH), an anticholinergic agent and anti-Parkinson drug, might be repurposable as a DAT drug. Previous studies have shown that DAT-substrates like AMPH or -blockers like cocaine modulate the function of DAT in different ways. However, the molecular mechanisms of modulation remained elusive due to the lack of structural data on DAT. The newly resolved DAT structure from Drosophila melanogaster opens the way to a deeper understanding of the mechanism and time evolution of DAT–drug/ligand interactions. Using a combination of homology modeling, docking analysis, molecular dynamics simulations, and molecular biology experiments, we performed a comparative study of the binding properties of DA, AMPH, ORPH, and cocaine and their modulation of hDAT function. Simulations demonstrate that binding DA or AMPH drives a structural transition toward a functional form predisposed to translocate the ligand. In contrast, ORPH appears to inhibit DAT function by arresting it in the OF open conformation. The analysis shows that cocaine and ORPH competitively bind DAT, with the binding pose and affinity dependent on the conformational state of DAT. Further assays show that the effect of ORPH on DAT uptake and endocytosis is comparable to that of cocaine. PMID:26106364

  6. Presence and Function of Dopamine Transporter (DAT) in Stallion Sperm: Dopamine Modulates Sperm Motility and Acrosomal Integrity

    PubMed Central

    Covarrubias, Alejandra A.; Rodríguez-Gil, Joan Enric; Ramírez-Reveco, Alfredo; Concha, Ilona I.

    2014-01-01

    Dopamine is a catecholamine with multiple physiological functions, playing a key role in nervous system; however its participation in reproductive processes and sperm physiology is controversial. High dopamine concentrations have been reported in different portions of the feminine and masculine reproductive tract, although the role fulfilled by this catecholamine in reproductive physiology is as yet unknown. We have previously shown that dopamine type 2 receptor is functional in boar sperm, suggesting that dopamine acts as a physiological modulator of sperm viability, capacitation and motility. In the present study, using immunodetection methods, we revealed the presence of several proteins important for the dopamine uptake and signalling in mammalian sperm, specifically monoamine transporters as dopamine (DAT), serotonin (SERT) and norepinephrine (NET) transporters in equine sperm. We also demonstrated for the first time in equine sperm a functional dopamine transporter using 4-[4-(Dimethylamino)styryl]-N-methylpyridinium iodide (ASP+), as substrate. In addition, we also showed that dopamine (1 mM) treatment in vitro, does not affect sperm viability but decreases total and progressive sperm motility. This effect is reversed by blocking the dopamine transporter with the selective inhibitor vanoxerine (GBR12909) and non-selective inhibitors of dopamine reuptake such as nomifensine and bupropion. The effect of dopamine in sperm physiology was evaluated and we demonstrated that acrosome integrity and thyrosine phosphorylation in equine sperm is significantly reduced at high concentrations of this catecholamine. In summary, our results revealed the presence of monoamine transporter DAT, NET and SERT in equine sperm, and that the dopamine uptake by DAT can regulate sperm function, specifically acrosomal integrity and sperm motility. PMID:25402186

  7. Modulation of the input–output function by GABAA receptor-mediated currents in rat oculomotor nucleus motoneurons

    PubMed Central

    Torres-Torrelo, Julio; Torres, Blas; Carrascal, Livia

    2014-01-01

    The neuronal input–output function depends on recruitment threshold and gain of the firing frequency–current (f–I) relationship. These two parameters are positively correlated in ocular motoneurons (MNs) recorded in alert preparation and inhibitory inputs could contribute to this correlation. Phasic inhibition mediated by γ-amino butyric acid (GABA) occurs when a high concentration of GABA at the synaptic cleft activates postsynaptic GABAA receptors, allowing neuronal information transfer. In some neuronal populations, low concentrations of GABA activate non-synaptic GABAA receptors and generate a tonic inhibition, which modulates cell excitability. This study determined how ambient GABA concentrations modulate the input–output relationship of rat oculomotor nucleus MNs. Superfusion of brain slices with GABA (100 μm) produced a GABAA receptor-mediated current that reduced the input resistance, increased the recruitment threshold and shifted the f–I relationship rightward without any change in gain. These modifications did not depend on MN size. In absence of exogenous GABA, gabazine (20 μm; antagonist of GABAA receptors) abolished spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents and revealed a tonic current in MNs. Gabazine increased input resistance and decreased recruitment threshold mainly in larger MNs. The f–I relationship shifted to the left, without any change in gain. Gabazine effects were chiefly due to MN tonic inhibition because tonic current amplitude was five-fold greater than phasic. This study demonstrates a tonic inhibition in ocular MNs that modulates cell excitability depending on cell size. We suggest that GABAA tonic inhibition acting concurrently with glutamate receptors activation could reproduce the positive covariation between threshold and gain reported in alert preparation. PMID:25194049

  8. Modulation of the input-output function by GABAA receptor-mediated currents in rat oculomotor nucleus motoneurons.

    PubMed

    Torres-Torrelo, Julio; Torres, Blas; Carrascal, Livia

    2014-11-15

    The neuronal input-output function depends on recruitment threshold and gain of the firing frequency-current (f-I) relationship. These two parameters are positively correlated in ocular motoneurons (MNs) recorded in alert preparation and inhibitory inputs could contribute to this correlation. Phasic inhibition mediated by γ-amino butyric acid (GABA) occurs when a high concentration of GABA at the synaptic cleft activates postsynaptic GABAA receptors, allowing neuronal information transfer. In some neuronal populations, low concentrations of GABA activate non-synaptic GABAA receptors and generate a tonic inhibition, which modulates cell excitability. This study determined how ambient GABA concentrations modulate the input-output relationship of rat oculomotor nucleus MNs. Superfusion of brain slices with GABA (100 μm) produced a GABAA receptor-mediated current that reduced the input resistance, increased the recruitment threshold and shifted the f-I relationship rightward without any change in gain. These modifications did not depend on MN size. In absence of exogenous GABA, gabazine (20 μm; antagonist of GABAA receptors) abolished spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents and revealed a tonic current in MNs. Gabazine increased input resistance and decreased recruitment threshold mainly in larger MNs. The f-I relationship shifted to the left, without any change in gain. Gabazine effects were chiefly due to MN tonic inhibition because tonic current amplitude was five-fold greater than phasic. This study demonstrates a tonic inhibition in ocular MNs that modulates cell excitability depending on cell size. We suggest that GABAA tonic inhibition acting concurrently with glutamate receptors activation could reproduce the positive covariation between threshold and gain reported in alert preparation.

  9. Interannual modulation of eddy kinetic energy in the northeastern South China Sea as revealed by an eddy-resolving OGCM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Zhongbin; Zhang, Zhiwei; Zhao, Wei; Tian, Jiwei

    2016-05-01

    Interannual modulation of eddy kinetic energy (EKE) in the northeastern South China Sea (NE-SCS) is investigated based on outputs of an eddy-resolving oceanic general circulation model between 1980 and 2014. The EKE displays distinct interannual modulations with periods between 1.5 and 7 years. The maximum peak-to-trough amplitude of the interannual modulation occurred during period 2004-2005, which was about 1.5-fold the time-mean EKE level. Further analysis suggested that interannual variability of EKE in the NE-SCS is primarily modulated by the Luzon Strait transport (LST). During high-EKE years, the LST increases corresponding to a strengthened Kuroshio intrusion. The strengthened Kuroshio intrusion enhances the baroclinic instability of current in the NE-SCS and thus leads to a strong EKE. The reverse is true during low-EKE years when LST is smaller. Influences of ENSO and Pacific mesoscale eddies on the interannual modulation of LST are also discussed in this study.

  10. High-resolution chemical dissection of a model eukaryote reveals targets, pathways and gene functions.

    PubMed

    Hoepfner, Dominic; Helliwell, Stephen B; Sadlish, Heather; Schuierer, Sven; Filipuzzi, Ireos; Brachat, Sophie; Bhullar, Bhupinder; Plikat, Uwe; Abraham, Yann; Altorfer, Marc; Aust, Thomas; Baeriswyl, Lukas; Cerino, Raffaele; Chang, Lena; Estoppey, David; Eichenberger, Juerg; Frederiksen, Mathias; Hartmann, Nicole; Hohendahl, Annika; Knapp, Britta; Krastel, Philipp; Melin, Nicolas; Nigsch, Florian; Oakeley, Edward J; Petitjean, Virginie; Petersen, Frank; Riedl, Ralph; Schmitt, Esther K; Staedtler, Frank; Studer, Christian; Tallarico, John A; Wetzel, Stefan; Fishman, Mark C; Porter, Jeffrey A; Movva, N Rao

    2014-01-01

    Due to evolutionary conservation of biology, experimental knowledge captured from genetic studies in eukaryotic model organisms provides insight into human cellular pathways and ultimately physiology. Yeast chemogenomic profiling is a powerful approach for annotating cellular responses to small molecules. Using an optimized platform, we provide the relative sensitivities of the heterozygous and homozygous deletion collections for nearly 1800 biologically active compounds. The data quality enables unique insights into pathways that are sensitive and resistant to a given perturbation, as demonstrated with both known and novel compounds. We present examples of novel compounds that inhibit the therapeutically relevant fatty acid synthase and desaturase (Fas1p and Ole1p), and demonstrate how the individual profiles facilitate hypothesis-driven experiments to delineate compound mechanism of action. Importantly, the scale and diversity of tested compounds yields a dataset where the number of modulated pathways approaches saturation. This resource can be used to map novel biological connections, and also identify functions for unannotated genes. We validated hypotheses generated by global two-way hierarchical clustering of profiles for (i) novel compounds with a similar mechanism of action acting upon microtubules or vacuolar ATPases, and (ii) an un-annotated ORF, YIL060w, that plays a role in respiration in the mitochondria. Finally, we identify and characterize background mutations in the widely used yeast deletion collection which should improve the interpretation of past and future screens throughout the community. This comprehensive resource of cellular responses enables the expansion of our understanding of eukaryotic pathway biology. PMID:24360837

  11. Intermediate closed state for glycine receptor function revealed by cysteine cross-linking

    PubMed Central

    Prevost, Marie S.; Moraga-Cid, Gustavo; Van Renterghem, Catherine; Edelstein, Stuart J.; Changeux, Jean-Pierre; Corringer, Pierre-Jean

    2013-01-01

    Pentameric ligand-gated ion channels (pLGICs) mediate signal transmission by coupling the binding of extracellular ligands to the opening of their ion channel. Agonist binding elicits activation and desensitization of pLGICs, through several conformational states, that are, thus far, incompletely characterized at the structural level. We previously reported for GLIC, a prokaryotic pLGIC, that cross-linking of a pair of cysteines at both sides of the extracellular and transmembrane domain interface stabilizes a locally closed (LC) X-ray structure. Here, we introduced the homologous pair of cysteines on the human α1 glycine receptor. We show by electrophysiology that cysteine cross-linking produces a gain-of-function phenotype characterized by concomitant constitutive openings, increased agonist potency, and equalization of efficacies of full and partial agonists. However, it also produces a reduction of maximal currents at saturating agonist concentrations without change of the unitary channel conductance, an effect reversed by the positive allosteric modulator propofol. The cross-linking thus favors a unique closed state distinct from the resting and longest-lived desensitized states. Fitting the data according to a three-state allosteric model suggests that it could correspond to a LC conformation. Its plausible assignment to a gating intermediate or a fast-desensitized state is discussed. Overall, our data show that relative movement of two loops at the extracellular-transmembrane interface accompanies orthosteric agonist-mediated gating. PMID:24085847

  12. A Broad RNA Virus Survey Reveals Both miRNA Dependence and Functional Sequestration.

    PubMed

    Scheel, Troels K H; Luna, Joseph M; Liniger, Matthias; Nishiuchi, Eiko; Rozen-Gagnon, Kathryn; Shlomai, Amir; Auray, Gaël; Gerber, Markus; Fak, John; Keller, Irene; Bruggmann, Rémy; Darnell, Robert B; Ruggli, Nicolas; Rice, Charles M

    2016-03-01

    Small non-coding RNAs have emerged as key modulators of viral infection. However, with the exception of hepatitis C virus, which requires the liver-specific microRNA (miRNA)-122, the interactions of RNA viruses with host miRNAs remain poorly characterized. Here, we used crosslinking immunoprecipitation (CLIP) of the Argonaute (AGO) proteins to characterize strengths and specificities of miRNA interactions in the context of 15 different RNA virus infections, including several clinically relevant pathogens. Notably, replication of pestiviruses, a major threat to milk and meat industries, critically depended on the interaction of cellular miR-17 and let-7 with the viral 3' UTR. Unlike canonical miRNA interactions, miR-17 and let-7 binding enhanced pestivirus translation and RNA stability. miR-17 sequestration by pestiviruses conferred reduced AGO binding and functional de-repression of cellular miR-17 targets, thereby altering the host transcriptome. These findings generalize the concept of RNA virus dependence on cellular miRNAs and connect virus-induced miRNA sequestration to host transcriptome regulation. PMID:26962949

  13. Prokaryotic caspase homologs: phylogenetic patterns and functional characteristics reveal considerable diversity.

    PubMed

    Asplund-Samuelsson, Johannes; Bergman, Birgitta; Larsson, John

    2012-01-01

    Caspases accomplish initiation and execution of apoptosis, a programmed cell death process specific to metazoans. The existence of prokaryotic caspase homologs, termed metacaspases, has been known for slightly more than a decade. Despite their potential connection to the evolution of programmed cell death in eukaryotes, the phylogenetic distribution and functions of these prokaryotic metacaspase sequences are largely uncharted, while a few experiments imply involvement in programmed cell death. Aiming at providing a more detailed picture of prokaryotic caspase homologs, we applied a computational approach based on Hidden Markov Model search profiles to identify and functionally characterize putative metacaspases in bacterial and archaeal genomes. Out of the total of 1463 analyzed genomes, merely 267 (18%) were identified to contain putative metacaspases, but their taxonomic distribution included most prokaryotic phyla and a few archaea (Euryarchaeota). Metacaspases were particularly abundant in Alphaproteobacteria, Deltaproteobacteria and Cyanobacteria, which harbor many morphologically and developmentally complex organisms, and a distinct correlation was found between abundance and phenotypic complexity in Cyanobacteria. Notably, Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli, known to undergo genetically regulated autolysis, lacked metacaspases. Pfam domain architecture analysis combined with operon identification revealed rich and varied configurations among the metacaspase sequences. These imply roles in programmed cell death, but also e.g. in signaling, various enzymatic activities and protein modification. Together our data show a wide and scattered distribution of caspase homologs in prokaryotes with structurally and functionally diverse sub-groups, and with a potentially intriguing evolutionary role. These features will help delineate future characterizations of death pathways in prokaryotes.

  14. Diurnal Changes in Mitochondrial Function Reveal Daily Optimization of Light and Dark Respiratory Metabolism in Arabidopsis*

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Chun Pong; Eubel, Holger; Millar, A. Harvey

    2010-01-01

    Biomass production by plants is often negatively correlated with respiratory rate, but the value of this rate changes dramatically during diurnal cycles, and hence, biomass is the cumulative result of complex environment-dependent metabolic processes. Mitochondria in photosynthetic plant tissues undertake substantially different metabolic roles during light and dark periods that are dictated by substrate availability and the functional capacity of mitochondria defined by their protein composition. We surveyed the heterogeneity of the mitochondrial proteome and its function during a typical night and day cycle in Arabidopsis shoots. This used a staged, quantitative analysis of the proteome across 10 time points covering 24 h of the life of 3-week-old Arabidopsis shoots grown under 12-h dark and 12-h light conditions. Detailed analysis of enzyme capacities and substrate-dependent respiratory processes of isolated mitochondria were also undertaken during the same time course. Together these data reveal a range of dynamic changes in mitochondrial capacity and uncover day- and night-enhanced protein components. Clear diurnal changes were evident in mitochondrial capacities to drive the TCA cycle and to undertake functions associated with nitrogen and sulfur metabolism, redox poise, and mitochondrial antioxidant defense. These data quantify the nature and nuances of a daily rhythm in Arabidopsis mitochondrial respiratory capacity. PMID:20601493

  15. Comparative expression profiling reveals gene functions in female meiosis and gametophyte development in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Lihua; He, Jiangman; Cai, Hanyang; Lin, Haiyan; Li, Yanqiang; Liu, Renyi; Yang, Zhenbiao; Qin, Yuan

    2014-11-01

    Megasporogenesis is essential for female fertility, and requires the accomplishment of meiosis and the formation of functional megaspores. The inaccessibility and low abundance of female meiocytes make it particularly difficult to elucidate the molecular basis underlying megasporogenesis. We used high-throughput tag-sequencing analysis to identify genes expressed in female meiocytes (FMs) by comparing gene expression profiles from wild-type ovules undergoing megasporogenesis with those from the spl mutant ovules, which lack megasporogenesis. A total of 862 genes were identified as FMs, with levels that are consistently reduced in spl ovules in two biological replicates. Fluorescence-assisted cell sorting followed by RNA-seq analysis of DMC1:GFP-labeled female meiocytes confirmed that 90% of the FMs are indeed detected in the female meiocyte protoplast profiling. We performed reverse genetic analysis of 120 candidate genes and identified four FM genes with a function in female meiosis progression in Arabidopsis. We further revealed that KLU, a putative cytochrome P450 monooxygenase, is involved in chromosome pairing during female meiosis, most likely by affecting the normal expression pattern of DMC1 in ovules during female meiosis. Our studies provide valuable information for functional genomic analyses of plant germline development as well as insights into meiosis. PMID:25182975

  16. Conditional Degradation of Plasmodium Calcineurin Reveals Functions in Parasite Colonization of both Host and Vector

    PubMed Central

    Philip, Nisha; Waters, Andrew P.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Functional analysis of essential genes in the malarial parasite, Plasmodium, is hindered by lack of efficient strategies for conditional protein regulation. We report the development of a rapid, specific, and inducible chemical-genetic tool in the rodent malaria parasite, P. berghei, in which endogenous proteins engineered to contain the auxin-inducible degron (AID) are selectively degraded upon adding auxin. Application of AID to the calcium-regulated protein phosphatase, calcineurin, revealed functions in host and vector stages of parasite development. Whereas depletion of calcineurin in late-stage schizonts demonstrated its critical role in erythrocyte attachment and invasion in vivo, stage-specific depletion uncovered roles in gamete development, fertilization, and ookinete-to-oocyst and sporozoite-to-liver stage transitions. Furthermore, AID technology facilitated concurrent generation and phenotyping of transgenic lines, allowing multiple lines to be assessed simultaneously with significant reductions in animal use. This study highlights the broad applicability of AID for functional analysis of proteins across the Plasmodium life cycle. PMID:26118994

  17. Edge reconstruction in armchair phosphorene nanoribbons revealed by discontinuous Galerkin density functional theory.

    PubMed

    Hu, Wei; Lin, Lin; Yang, Chao

    2015-12-21

    With the help of our recently developed massively parallel DGDFT (Discontinuous Galerkin Density Functional Theory) methodology, we perform large-scale Kohn-Sham density functional theory calculations on phosphorene nanoribbons with armchair edges (ACPNRs) containing a few thousands to ten thousand atoms. The use of DGDFT allows us to systematically achieve a conventional plane wave basis set type of accuracy, but with a much smaller number (about 15) of adaptive local basis (ALB) functions per atom for this system. The relatively small number of degrees of freedom required to represent the Kohn-Sham Hamiltonian, together with the use of the pole expansion the selected inversion (PEXSI) technique that circumvents the need to diagonalize the Hamiltonian, results in a highly efficient and scalable computational scheme for analyzing the electronic structures of ACPNRs as well as their dynamics. The total wall clock time for calculating the electronic structures of large-scale ACPNRs containing 1080-10,800 atoms is only 10-25 s per self-consistent field (SCF) iteration, with accuracy fully comparable to that obtained from conventional planewave DFT calculations. For the ACPNR system, we observe that the DGDFT methodology can scale to 5000-50,000 processors. We use DGDFT based ab initio molecular dynamics (AIMD) calculations to study the thermodynamic stability of ACPNRs. Our calculations reveal that a 2 × 1 edge reconstruction appears in ACPNRs at room temperature.

  18. Hearing Without Listening: Functional Connectivity Reveals the Engagement of Multiple Nonauditory Networks During Basic Sound Processing

    PubMed Central

    Melcher, Jennifer R.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract The present functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study presents data challenging the traditional view that sound is processed almost exclusively in the classical auditory pathway unless imbued with behavioral significance. In a first experiment, subjects were presented with broadband noise in on/off fashion as they performed an unrelated visual task. A conventional analysis assuming predictable sound-evoked responses demonstrated a typical activation pattern that was confined to classical auditory centers. In contrast, spatial independent component analysis (sICA) disclosed multiple networks of acoustically responsive brain centers. One network comprised classical auditory centers, but four others included nominally “nonauditory” areas: cingulo-insular cortex, mediotemporal limbic lobe, basal ganglia, and posterior orbitofrontal cortex, respectively. Functional connectivity analyses confirmed the sICA results by demonstrating coordinated activity between the involved brain structures. In a second experiment, fMRI data obtained from unstimulated (i.e., resting) subjects revealed largely similar networks. Together, these two experiments suggest the existence of a coordinated system of multiple acoustically responsive intrinsic brain networks, comprising classical auditory centers but also other brain areas. Our results suggest that nonauditory centers play a role in sound processing at a very basic level, even when the sound is not intertwined with behaviors requiring the well-known functionality of these regions. PMID:22433051

  19. Comparative expression profiling reveals gene functions in female meiosis and gametophyte development in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Lihua; He, Jiangman; Cai, Hanyang; Lin, Haiyan; Li, Yanqiang; Liu, Renyi; Yang, Zhenbiao; Qin, Yuan

    2014-11-01

    Megasporogenesis is essential for female fertility, and requires the accomplishment of meiosis and the formation of functional megaspores. The inaccessibility and low abundance of female meiocytes make it particularly difficult to elucidate the molecular basis underlying megasporogenesis. We used high-throughput tag-sequencing analysis to identify genes expressed in female meiocytes (FMs) by comparing gene expression profiles from wild-type ovules undergoing megasporogenesis with those from the spl mutant ovules, which lack megasporogenesis. A total of 862 genes were identified as FMs, with levels that are consistently reduced in spl ovules in two biological replicates. Fluorescence-assisted cell sorting followed by RNA-seq analysis of DMC1:GFP-labeled female meiocytes confirmed that 90% of the FMs are indeed detected in the female meiocyte protoplast profiling. We performed reverse genetic analysis of 120 candidate genes and identified four FM genes with a function in female meiosis progression in Arabidopsis. We further revealed that KLU, a putative cytochrome P450 monooxygenase, is involved in chromosome pairing during female meiosis, most likely by affecting the normal expression pattern of DMC1 in ovules during female meiosis. Our studies provide valuable information for functional genomic analyses of plant germline development as well as insights into meiosis.

  20. Rationally engineered Troponin C modulates in vivo cardiac function and performance in health and disease

    PubMed Central

    Shettigar, Vikram; Zhang, Bo; Little, Sean C.; Salhi, Hussam E.; Hansen, Brian J.; Li, Ning; Zhang, Jianchao; Roof, Steve R.; Ho, Hsiang-Ting; Brunello, Lucia; Lerch, Jessica K.; Weisleder, Noah; Fedorov, Vadim V.; Accornero, Federica; Rafael-Fortney, Jill A.; Gyorke, Sandor; Janssen, Paul M. L.; Biesiadecki, Brandon J.; Ziolo, Mark T.; Davis, Jonathan P.

    2016-01-01

    Treatment for heart disease, the leading cause of death in the world, has progressed little for several decades. Here we develop a protein engineering approach to directly tune in vivo cardiac contractility by tailoring the ability of the heart to respond to the Ca2+ signal. Promisingly, our smartly formulated Ca2+-sensitizing TnC (L48Q) enhances heart function without any adverse effects that are commonly observed with positive inotropes. In a myocardial infarction (MI) model of heart failure, expression of TnC L48Q before the MI preserves cardiac function and performance. Moreover, expression of TnC L48Q after the MI therapeutically enhances cardiac function and performance, without compromising survival. We demonstrate engineering TnC can specifically and precisely modulate cardiac contractility that when combined with gene therapy can be employed as a therapeutic strategy for heart disease. PMID:26908229

  1. Personal experience with narrated events modulates functional connectivity within visual and motor systems during story comprehension.

    PubMed

    Chow, Ho Ming; Mar, Raymond A; Xu, Yisheng; Liu, Siyuan; Wagage, Suraji; Braun, Allen R

    2015-04-01

    Past experience of everyday life activities, which forms the basis of our knowledge about the world, greatly affects how we understand stories. Yet, little is known about how this influence is instantiated in the human brain. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate how past experience facilitates functional connectivity during the comprehension of stories rich in perceptual and motor deta