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Sample records for helix aspersa snail

  1. Antimicrobial properties of mucus from the brown garden snail Helix aspersa.

    PubMed

    Pitt, S J; Graham, M A; Dedi, C G; Taylor-Harris, P M; Gunn, A

    2015-01-01

    Research into naturally occurring antimicrobial substances has yielded effective treatments. One area of interest is peptides and proteins produced by invertebrates as part of their defence system, including the contents of mollusc mucus. Mucus produced by the African giant land snail, Achatina fulica has been reported to contain two proteins with broad-spectrum antibacterial activity. Mucus from the brown garden snail, Helix aspersa, appears to have skin regeneration properties. This study sought to investigate the antimicrobial properties of H. aspersa mucus. Mucus was collected from H. aspersa snails, diluted in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS), with the supernatant tested against a wide range of organisms in a disc-diffusion antimicrobial assay. This was followed with comparative experiments involving A. fulica, including bacteriophage assays. Mucus from both species of snail was passed through a series of protein size separation columns in order to determine the approximate size of the antimicrobial substance. Electrophoresis was also carried out on the H. aspersa mucus. Results indicated that H. aspersa mucus had a strong antibacterial effect against several strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and a weak effect against Staphylococcus aureus. Mucus from A. fulica also inhibited the growth of S. aureus, but the broad spectrum of activity reported by other workers was not observed. Antimicrobial activity was not caused by bacteriophage. Size separation experiments indicated that the antimicrobial substance(s) in H. aspersa were between 30 and 100 kDa. Electrophoresis revealed two proteins in this region (30-40 kDa and 50-60 kDa). These do not correspond with antimicrobial proteins previously reported in A. fulica. This study found one or more novel antimicrobial agents in H. aspersa mucus, with a strong effect against P. aeruginosa.

  2. Development of the feline lungworms Aelurostrongylus abstrusus and Troglostrongylus brevior in Helix aspersa snails.

    PubMed

    Giannelli, Alessio; Ramos, Rafael Antonio Nascimento; Annoscia, Giada; Di Cesare, Angela; Colella, Vito; Brianti, Emanuele; Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Mutafchiev, Yasen; Otranto, Domenico

    2014-04-01

    Aelurostrongylus abstrusus (Strongylida, Angiostrongylidae) and Troglostrongylus brevior (Strongylida, Crenosomatidae) are regarded as important lungworm species of domestic felids, with the latter considered an emerging threat in the Mediterranean region. The present study aimed to assess their concurrent development in the mollusc Helix aspersa (Pulmonata, Helicidae). Thirty snails were infested with 100 first-stage larvae (L1) of A. abstrusus and T. brevior, isolated from a naturally infested kitten. Larval development was checked by digesting five specimens at 2, 6 and 11 days post infestation. Larvae retrieved were morphologically described and their identification was confirmed by specific PCR and sequencing. All H. aspersa snails were positive for A. abstrusus and T. brevior, whose larval stages were simultaneously detected at each time point. In addition, snails were exposed to outdoor conditions and examined after overwintering, testing positive up to 120 days post infestation. Data herein presented suggest that A. abstrusus and T. brevior develop in H. aspersa snails and may eventually co-infest cats. Data on the morphology of both parasitic species in H. aspersa provide additional information on their development and identification, to better understand the population dynamics of these lungworms in receptive snails and paratenic hosts.

  3. Seasonal modulation of free radical metabolism in estivating land snails Helix aspersa.

    PubMed

    Ramos-Vasconcelos, Gabriella R; Cardoso, Luciano A; Hermes-Lima, Marcelo

    2005-02-01

    We investigated the regulation of free radical metabolism in Helix aspersa snails during a cycle of 20-day estivation and 24-h arousal in summer in comparison with estivation/arousal in winter-snails. In winter-snails (J. Exp. Biol. 206, 675-685, 2003), we had already observed an increase in the selenium-dependent glutathione-peroxidase (Se-GPX) activity in foot muscle and hepatopancreas and in the contents of hepatopancreas GSH-equivalents (GSH-eq=GSH+2 GSSG) during estivation compared with 24-h aroused snails. Summer-estivation prompted a 3.6-fold increase in Se-GPX activity in hepatopancreas, though not in foot muscle. Total-superoxide dismutase and catalase activities in hepatopancreas decreased (by 30-40%) during summer-estivation; however, no changes occurred in the activities of glutathione reductase, glutathione S-transferase and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase in the two organs. GSH-eq levels were increased (by 54%) in foot muscle during estivation, but were unchanged in hepatopancreas. In contrast with winter-snails, oxidative stress markers (lipid peroxidation, carbonyl protein, and the GSSG/GSH-eq ratio) were unaltered during estivation/arousal in summer. These results demonstrate that seasonality modulates not only the absolute activities/levels of antioxidants (enzymes and GSH-eq) in H. aspersa, but also the regulatory process that controls the snail's antioxidant capacity during estivation/arousal. These results suggest that H. aspersa has an "internal clock" controlling the regulation of free radical metabolism in the different seasons.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gill, John; Howell, Pauline

    1985-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Larba, R; Soltani, N

    2014-08-01

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

  8. Infections of Larval Stages of Dicrocoelium dendriticum and Brachylaima sp. in Brown Garden Snail, Helix aspersa, in Turkey

    PubMed Central

    Köse, Mustafa; Eser, Mustafa; Kartal, Kürşat; Bozkurt, Mehmet Fatih

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the presence and prevalence of larval stages of Dicrocoelium dendriticum and Brachylaima sp. in the first intermediate host, a species of land snail, Helix aspersa, in Turkey. A total of 211 snails were collected in April-May 2014 from pastures in Mersin District. Larval stages of D. dendriticum were identified under a light microscope. Hepatopancreas from naturally infected H. aspersa snails were examined histologically. The prevalence of larval stages of D. dendriticum and Brachylaima sp. in H. aspersa snails was found to be 2.4% and 1.9%, respectively, in Mersin, Turkey. Cercariae were not matured in sporocysts at the beginning of April; however, it was observed that cercariae matured and started to leave sporocysts by early-May. Thus, it was concluded that H. aspersa acts as an intermediate host to D. dendriticumin and Brachylaima sp. in Mersin, Turkey. A digenean trematode Brachylaima sp. was seen for the first time in Turkey. PMID:26537045

  9. Infections of Larval Stages of Dicrocoelium dendriticum and Brachylaima sp. in Brown Garden Snail, Helix aspersa, in Turkey.

    PubMed

    Köse, Mustafa; Eser, Mustafa; Kartal, Kürşat; Bozkurt, Mehmet Fatih

    2015-10-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the presence and prevalence of larval stages of Dicrocoelium dendriticum and Brachylaima sp. in the first intermediate host, a species of land snail, Helix aspersa, in Turkey. A total of 211 snails were collected in April-May 2014 from pastures in Mersin District. Larval stages of D. dendriticum were identified under a light microscope. Hepatopancreas from naturally infected H. aspersa snails were examined histologically. The prevalence of larval stages of D. dendriticum and Brachylaima sp. in H. aspersa snails was found to be 2.4% and 1.9%, respectively, in Mersin, Turkey. Cercariae were not matured in sporocysts at the beginning of April; however, it was observed that cercariae matured and started to leave sporocysts by early-May. Thus, it was concluded that H. aspersa acts as an intermediate host to D. dendriticumin and Brachylaima sp. in Mersin, Turkey. A digenean trematode Brachylaima sp. was seen for the first time in Turkey.

  10. Defence against oxidative stress in two species of land snails (Helix pomatia and Helix aspersa) subjected to estivation.

    PubMed

    Nowakowska, Anna; Caputa, Michał; Rogalska, Justyna

    2011-12-01

    During summer, land snails are exposed to estivation/arousal cycles that imposes oxidative stress, but they exhibit different patterns of antioxidant defence. To test the ability of two related species, Helix pomatia and Helix aspersa, to modulate their antioxidant defence mechanism during estivation/arousal cycles, we examined activities of catalase and glutathione-related enzymes and concentrations of glutathione and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS; as products of lipid peroxidation). In both species, estivation evoked changes in activity of total and selenium-dependent glutathione peroxidase (GPx), but did not affect activity of catalase, glutathione reductase, and glutathione transferase, and had no effect on concentration of glutathione. Activity of catalase in estivating snails, instead of the expected increase, showed a tendency to diminish. Extremely low activities of catalase in the foot were usually associated with extremely high activities of both forms of GPx. In conclusion, maintenance of relatively high activities of the antioxidant enzymes and accumulation of glutathione, resulting in a low and stable concentration of TBARS, plays an important role in scavenging oxygen free radicals from the organism of both species.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-12-15

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

  12. Hypometabolism, antioxidant defenses and free radical metabolism in the pulmonate land snail Helix aspersa.

    PubMed

    Ramos-Vasconcelos, Gabriella R; Hermes-Lima, Marcelo

    2003-02-01

    The aim of this work was to evaluate the effect of a cycle of estivation and awakening on free radical metabolism in selected organs of the land snail Helix aspersa. Estivation for 20 days induced a 4.9- and 1.8-fold increase in selenium-dependent glutathione peroxidase activity (Se-GPX) and in total glutathione levels (GSH-eq), respectively, in hepatopancreas when compared to activity in active animals 24 h after awakening. Foot muscle Se-GPX activity was also increased 3.9-fold during estivation, whereas GSH-eq did not vary. The activities of other antioxidant enzymes (catalase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione reductase and glutathione S-transferase) and glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase were unchanged in both organs. After 15 min of awakening, the glutathione disulphide (GSSG)/GSH-eq ratio increased significantly by 55% in hepatopancreas, slowly returning to the levels observed during estivation. The higher GSSG/GSH-eq ratio may be caused by increased formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) during awakening. The levels of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) decreased from 49 to 30.7 nmol g(-1) wet mass in hepatopancreas after 5 min arousal and, after 30 min, TBARS rose significantly to 39.6 nmol g(-1) wet mass, gradually declining thereafter. The levels of lipid hydroperoxides in hepatopancreas and of carbonyl protein in foot muscle both decreased during awakening. The higher levels of products of free radical damage during estivation may have resulted from low levels of ROS formation associated with decreased rates of lipid hydroperoxide detoxification and oxidized protein turnover caused by metabolic depression. The regulation of the antioxidant system during hypometabolism may constitute a mechanism to minimize oxidative stress during cycles of estivation and awakening.

  13. Shell of snail Helix aspersa maxima (Helicidae) as a protection of bioaccumulation toxic sodium fluoride in soft tissue.

    PubMed

    Rać, Monika Ewa; Stachowska, Ewa; Machoy, Zygmunt

    2005-01-01

    The aim of this work was to determine the extent of bioaccumulation of sodium fluorides in tissues of snails under strictly controlled conditions, and also to determine resistance and tolerance to sodium fluoride load in these organisms. The study was performed on snails removed from aestivation. Quantitation of fluoride levels was done in soft tissues (foot, hepatopancreas) and shells of mature snails. Results show that long exposure to sodium fluoride pollution at a low level results in accumulation principally in the soft tissues of the snails. Because of the possibility of fluoride accumulation in the foot, the number of snails used for culinary purposes must be controlled, as it can potentially cause chronic toxemia caused by this trace element. Results also show that the shells of snails offer protection against the bioaccumulation of toxic fluoride in the soft tissue. The Helix aspersa maxima snail is characterised by high resistance and tolerance to fluoride load. Fluoride levels in soft tissues of the snail cannot serve as an indicator for biomonitoring purposes. In contrast, levels in the shell rose significantly with the concentration of fluoride and can be used in biomonitoring of sodium fluoride pollution.

  14. Multiple paternity and postcopulatory sexual selection in a hermaphrodite: what influences sperm precedence in the garden snail Helix aspersa?

    PubMed

    Evanno, Guillaume; Madec, Luc; Arnaud, Jean-François

    2005-03-01

    Sperm competition has been studied in many gonochoric animals but little is known about its occurrence in simultaneous hermaphrodites, especially in land snails. The reproductive behaviour of the land snail Helix aspersa involves several features, like multiple mating, long-term sperm storage and dart-shooting behaviour, which may promote sperm competition. Cryptic female choice may also occur through a spermatheca subdivided into tubules, which potentially allows compartmentalized sperm storage of successive mates. In order to determine the outcome of postcopulatory sexual selection in this species, we designed a cross-breeding experiment where a recipient ('female') mated with two sperm donors ('males'). Mates came from either the same population as the recipient or from a distinct one. To test for the influence a recipient can have on the paternity of its offspring, we excluded the effects of dart shooting by using only virgin snails as sperm donors because they do not shoot any dart before their first copulation. We measured the effects of size of mates as well as time to first and second mating on second mate sperm precedence (P2; established using microsatellite markers). Multiple paternity was detected in 62.5% of clutches and overall there was first-mate sperm precedence with a mean P2 of 0.24. Generalized linear modelling revealed that the best predictors of paternity were the time between matings and the time before first mating. Overall, both first and second mates that copulated quickly got greater parentage, which may suggest that postcopulatory events influence patterns of sperm precedence in the garden snail.

  15. Use of the Land Snail Helix aspersa as Sentinel Organism for Monitoring Ecotoxicologic Effects of Urban Pollution: An Integrated Approach

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

    Atmospheric pollution from vehicular traffic is a matter of growing interest, often leading to temporary restrictions in urban areas. Although guidelines indicate limits for several parameters, the real toxicologic impacts remain largely unexplored in field conditions. In this study our aim was to validate an ecotoxicologic approach to evaluate both bioaccumulation and toxicologic effects caused by airborne pollutants. Specimens of the land snail Helix aspersa were caged in five sites in the urban area of Ancona, Italy. After 4 weeks, trace metals (cadmium, chromium, copper, iron, manganese, nickel, lead, and zinc) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were measured and these data integrated with the analyses of molecular and biochemical responses. Such biomarkers reflected the induction of detoxification pathways or the onset of cellular toxicity caused by pollutants. Biomarkers that correlated with contaminant accumulation included levels of metallothioneins, activity of biotransformation enzymes (ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase, ethoxycoumarin O-deethylase), and peroxisomal proliferation. More general responses were investigated as oxidative stress variations, including efficiency of antioxidant defenses (catalase, glutathione reductase, glutathione S-transferases, glutathione peroxidases, and total glutathione) and total oxyradical scavenging capacity toward peroxyl and hydroxyl radicals, onset of cellular damages (i.e., lysosomal destabilization), and loss of DNA integrity. Results revealed a marked accumulation of metals and PAHs in digestive tissues of organisms maintained in more traffic-congested sites. The contemporary appearance of several alterations confirmed the cellular reactivity of these chemicals with toxicologic effects of potential concern for human health. The overall results of this exploratory study suggest the utility of H. aspersa as a sentinel organism for biomonitoring the biologic impact of atmospheric pollution in urban areas. PMID

  16. Oxidative stress on land snail Helix aspersa as a sentinel organism for ecotoxicological effects of urban pollution with heavy metals.

    PubMed

    Abdel-Halim, K Y; Abo El-Saad, A M; Talha, M M; Hussein, A A; Bakry, N M

    2013-10-01

    The oxidative stress in the digestive gland of the land snail Helix aspersa was considered as a bioindicator for atmospheric pollution with heavy metals from several industries and vehicular traffic in Kafr El-Zayat city. Regional means of heavy metals concentration of all sites were 0.71, 7.09, 0.71, 2.68, 41.44 and 18.01 mg kg(-1) wet mass for Cd, Mn, Ni, Pb, Zn and Cu, respectively. In addition, the highest values of Cd concentrations were found 1.22 and 1.73 mg kg(-1) wet mass in S1 (Potato International Center) and S4 (The Nile bank), respectively. Lactate dehydrogenase (D-LDH(and recorded lipid peroxidation (LPO) levels were significantly high in S1 and S2 (Traffic station). On the other hand, the highest activity of catalase (CAT) was found in S2 (194.04% of control), while the activity of glutathione peroxidase (GPx) reached the highest significant value in S1. As a matter of fact, glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and glutathione reductase (GR) activities were significantly higher in polluted sites than in reference zone. In contrast, the glutathione (GSH) concentration of exposed animals showed significant decrease in all sites, with the lowest value in S1 (57.61% of control). However, metallothioneins concentration (MT) showed no significant difference in all sites except in S1 which accounted for 127.81% of control. Therefore, the overall results of this study showed the importance of H. aspersa as a sentinel organism for biomonitoring the biologic impact of atmospheric pollution in urban areas.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stott, Lowell D.

    2002-02-01

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

  18. Transfer and effects of cadmium in an experimental food chain involving the snail Helix aspersa and the predatory carabid beetle Chrysocarabus splendens.

    PubMed

    Scheifler, R; Gomot-de Vaufleury, A; Toussaint, M L; Badot, P M

    2002-08-01

    The transfer and the toxic effects of Cd were studied in an experimental food chain involving the snail Helix aspersa as prey organism and one of its natural predators, the carabid beetle Chrysocarabus splendens. Juvenile snails were fed plant-based food enriched with 0, 10, 50 and 100 microg g(-1) of Cd, then were offered as prey to beetle larvae from egg hatching to pupation stage. Cd concentrations in snail tissues increased with increasing Cd concentration in food and with duration of exposure. Bioaccumulation factors ranged from 1.87 to 3.39, showing that H. aspersa snails, even in their early life stages, belong to macroconcentrator species for Cd. No significant reduction of snail consumption by beetles was found in exposed groups. Cd concentrations in beetle larvae remained very low (lower than 1 microg g(-1) for all groups), demonstrating a very effective regulation capacity in beetle larvae. However, Cd concentrations in highest exposed groups were higher than those found in control groups. Cd contents in adult beetles were lower than in larvae, showing a loss of Cd during metamorphosis. Despite the low Cd concentrations found in beetles, their exposure to Cd contaminated snails led to 31% of mortality, which occurred only during pupation and for the highest exposure level. No clear sublethal effects were found. These results showed that snails inhabiting heavily polluted areas may represent a risk of secondary poisoning for predatory invertebrates and provided quantitative data on the transfer of Cd between two compartments of a terrestrial food chain.

  19. Study of the diet effect on δ 13C of shell carbonate of the land snail Helix aspersa in experimental conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Metref, S.; Rousseau, D.-D.; Bentaleb, I.; Labonne, M.; Vianey-Liaud, M.

    2003-06-01

    This study aims to demonstrate the influence of the metabolic CO 2 derived from the diet and of the atmospheric CO 2 on the shell carbonate δ 13C of the pulmonate snail Helix aspersa maxima raised under controlled conditions. Adult snails were analyzed and compared with three hatching and 1-day old young snails stemming from the same breeding. One day after, the 2-day old individuals were raised during 1 month. Three groups of gastropods were fed with fresh lettuce (C 3 plant, δ 13C=-27.49‰), three groups with corn (C 4 plant, δ 13C=-11.7‰), and three groups ate alternately both (C 3+C 4). The difference between the average δ 13C values of the adult snails on the one hand and the hatched and 1-day old snails on the other hand indicates a depletion of 2.47‰. Therefore, the isotopic parents-offspring signal is not preserved. The depleted ingested albumen by the snail embryo in the egg during the building of the shell could explain this depletion. The C 3 diet experiment gave the expected isotopic composition difference between the diet (lettuce) and the shells (average Δ 13C shell-lettuce=13.75‰±0.52). This result shows a clear diet effect on the isotopic composition of the snail shells. For the C 4 experiment, the difference in carbon isotope composition between the corn and the shell (Δ 13C shell-corn) yielded an average value of 4.89‰±0.87. The main result is that Δ 13C is not constant and appears to depend on the type of ingested food. Several hypotheses can arise from this study to explain the different fractionations: (a) differences in the quality of the two diets, (b) differences in turnover rate for C 3 and C 4 feeders. The groups regularly fed with mixed diet yielded δ 13C values showing a preferential use of C 3 food for most values. The C 3-C 4 mixed dietary alternation probably led snails to use mainly the lettuce instead of the corn powder.

  20. Study of the diet effect on d13C of shell carbonate of the land snail Helix aspersa in experimental conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Metref, S.; Rousseau, D. D.; Bentaleb, I.; Labonne, M.; Vianey-Liaud, M.

    2003-04-01

    This study aims to demonstrate the influence of the metabolic CO2 derived from the diet and of the atmospheric CO2 on the shell carbonate d13C of the pulmonate snail Helix aspersa maxima raised under controlled conditions. Adult snails were analyzed and compared with three hatching and one-day young snails stemming from the same breeding. One day after, the two-days old individuals were raised during one month. Three groups of gastropods were fed with fresh lettuce (C3 plant, d13C = -27.49 ppt), three groups with corn (C4 plant, d13C = -11.7 ppt), and three groups ate both (C3 + C4). The difference between the mean d13C values of the adult snails on one hand and the hatched and one-day snails on the other hand indicates a depletion of 2.47 ‰. Therefore, the isotopic parents offspring signal is not preserved. The depleted ingested albumen by the snail embryo in the egg during the built of the shell could explain this depletion. The C3 diet experiment gave the expected isotopic composition difference between the diet (lettuce) and the shells (mean D13Cshell-Lettuce = 13.75 ppt +- 0.52). This result shows a clear diet effect on the isotopic composition of the snail shells. For the C4 experiment, the difference in carbon isotope composition between the corn and the shell (D13Cshell-corn) yielded a mean value of 4.89 ppt +- 0.87. The main result is that D13C is not constant and appears to depend on the type of ingested food. Several hypothesis can raise from this study to explain the different fractionations : a) The differences in quality of the two diets seem to have placed the animals in different growth states, b) Differences in turnover rate for C3 and C4 feeders. The groups regularly fed with mixed diet yielded d13C values, showing a preferential use of C3 food for the most values. The C3-C4 mixed dietary alternation probably led snails to use mainly the lettuce instead of the corn powder.

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

    PubMed

    Thomas, Roger C; Postma, Marten

    2007-04-01

    We have used quartz Ca2+-sensitive microelectrodes (CASMs) in large voltage-clamped snail neurones to investigate the inward spread of Ca2+ after a brief depolarisation. Both steady state and [Ca2+]i transients changed with depth of penetration. When the CASM tip was within 20 microm of the far side of the cell the [Ca2+]i transient time to peak was 4.4+/-0.5s, rising to 14.7+/-0.7s at a distance of 80 microm. We estimate that the Ca2+ transients travelled centripetally at an average speed of 6 microm2 s(-1) and decreased in size by half over a distance of about 45 microm. Cyclopiazonic acid had little effect on the size and time to peak of Ca2+ transients but slowed their recovery significantly. This suggests that the endoplasmic reticulum curtails rather than reinforces the transients. Injecting the calcium buffer BAPTA made the Ca2+ transients more uniform in size and increased their times to peak and rates of recovery near the membrane. We have developed a computational model for the transients, which includes diffusion, uptake and Ca2+ extrusion. Good fits were obtained with a rather large apparent diffusion coefficient of about 90+/-20 microm2 s(-1). This may assist fast recovery by extrusion.

  2. Effects of L-glutamate on 1F Helix aspersa neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernal-Martínez, Juan; Ortega Soto, Arturo

    2004-09-01

    The aim of this work is to characterize the effect of L-glut and related compounds on the electrical properties of 1F identified neurons of the garden snail Helix aspersa. We used intracellular recording experiments with regular microelectrodes, in current clamp conditions. We report here that the putative L-glut receptor present in 1F Helix neurons has some similarities with the L-glut receptor present in vertebrates, regarding ionic permeability and biophysical properties. However, these responses show different pharmacological properties from those receptors found in vertebrates and mammals.

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

    PubMed

    Arvanitoyannis, Ioannis S; Varzakas, Theodoros H

    2009-08-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1987-06-01

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

  5. A cholinergic chloride conductance in neurones of Helix aspersa.

    PubMed Central

    Finkel, A S

    1983-01-01

    Inhibitory Cl- -mediated currents through cholinergic channels on the soma of identified neurones from the right parietal ganglion of Helix aspersa were studied under voltage clamp. Voltage-jump relaxation analysis showed that these currents decreased with hyperpolarization. In 3 microM-acetylcholine (ACh), the normalized fraction of channels in the open configuration (rho) decreased e-fold with each 191 mV of membrane hyperpolarization. The steady-state membrane conductance, G(infinity), decreased e-fold with each 128 mV of membrane hyperpolarization. The difference in the voltage sensitivities of rho and G(infinity) arose because of the voltage sensitivity of the instantaneous membrane conductance, G(0). G(0) rectified in the direction predicted by the Goldman-Hodgkin-Katz conductance model. The degree of rectification decreased when the internal Cl- concentration was raised. The relaxing currents were composed of two exponential components. At membrane potential (Vm) = -160 mV, 12 degrees C, the time constants of the two components were 4.1 ms and 21 ms in 3 microM-ACh, and 3.6 ms and 18 ms in 100 microM-tetramethylammonium (TMA). Fluctuation analysis in neurones loaded with Cl- yielded spectra which were composed of two Lorentzian components. In 3 microM-ACh the mean single-channel conductance (gamma) appeared to rise from a low value observed in cells with normal intracellular Cl- to 2.7 pS in cells whose internal Cl- concentration was raised four-fold. The voltage sensitivity of rho was attributed to the conformational change step of a gating mechanism having three kinetically distinguishable states. PMID:6317849

  6. In vivo downregulation of protein synthesis in the snail Helix apersa during estivation.

    PubMed

    Pakay, Julian L; Withers, Philip C; Hobbs, Andrew A; Guppy, Michael

    2002-07-01

    Protein synthesis is downregulated during metabolic depression in a number of systems where the metabolic depression is effected by obvious extrinsic cues. The metabolic depression of the estivating land snail Helix apersa occurs in the absence of any obvious physiological stress and has an intrinsic component independent of temperature, pH, O(2) status, or osmolality. We show that this metabolic depression is accompanied by a downregulation of protein synthesis in vivo. The rate of protein synthesis decreases in two major tissues during estivation: to 23% and 53% of the awake rate in hepatopancreas and foot muscle, respectively. We show from calculations of the theoretical contribution of protein synthesis to total O(2) consumption that the depression of protein synthesis must be a significant, obligate, in vivo component of metabolic depression in H. aspersa.

  7. Microbiological and Chemical Analysis of Land Snails Commercialised in Sicily

    PubMed Central

    Cicero, Antonello; Giangrosso, Giuseppe; Cammilleri, Gaetano; Macaluso, Andrea; Currò, Vittoria; Galuppo, Lucia; Vargetto, Daniela; Vicari, Domenico

    2015-01-01

    In this study 160 samples of snails belonging to the species Helix aspersa maxima and Helix aspersa muller were examined for chemical and microbiological analysis. Samples came from Greece and Poland. Results showed mean concentration of cadmium (0.35±0.036 mg/kg) and lead (0.05±0.013 mg/kg) much higher than the limit of detection. Mercury levels in both species were not detected. Microbiological analysis revealed the absence of Salmonella spp. and Clostridium spp. in both examined species. E. coli and K. oxytoca were observed in Helix aspersa maxima and Helix aspersa muller. Furthermore, one case of fungi positivity in samples of Helix aspersa muller was found. The reported investigations highlight the need to create and adopt a reference legislation to protect the health of consumers. PMID:27800385

  8. Cell volume changes upon sodium pump inhibition in Helix aspersa neurones.

    PubMed Central

    Alvarez-Leefmans, F J; Gamiño, S M; Reuss, L

    1992-01-01

    1. Identified neurones of the suboesophageal ganglia of Helix aspersa were loaded with tetramethylammonium (TMA+). Experimentally induced changes in cell water volume and membrane potential were measured continuously by monitoring changes in intracellular [TMA+] using ion-sensitive double-barrelled microelectrodes. The technique allowed measurements of cell water volume changes of less than 5%. 2. Exposure to hyperosmotic (up to +24%) or hyposmotic (up to about -10%) solutions caused reversible decreases and increases in cell water volume respectively, which agreed with near-ideal osmometric behaviour. Upon exposure to hyposmotic solutions whose osmolality was decreased by 30-40%, the cell water volume increased to maximum values below those expected for ideal osmometric behaviour and exhibited partial regulatory volume decrease. 3. The sodium pump was inhibited in twenty identified neurones by sustained exposure to 1 mM ouabain. In every case ouabain caused cell membrane depolarization, as expected for inhibition of an electrogenic sodium pump. 4. Upon pump inhibition most cells (n = 14) shrank by up to 13% of their initial water volume. In five of these cells, shrinkage was preceded by one or more short-lived swelling phases. In two other neurones short-lived swelling was followed by cell volume recovery without appreciable shrinkage. In four out of the twenty cells, there were no measurable volume changes. 5. The lack of an initial swelling phase in the cells that shrank, as well as the absence of detectable volume changes in some of the neurones, was not due to loss of ion-selective electrode sensitivity since predictable changes in cell volume elicited by osmotic challenges were monitored in the same cells. 6. It is concluded that neurones can be endowed with ouabain-insensitive mechanisms of volume control, whose activation following Na+ pump inhibition prevents them from short-term swelling and lysis. PMID:1338793

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-08-01

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

  10. Antioxidants and oxidative stress in Helix pomatia snails during estivation.

    PubMed

    Nowakowska, Anna; Swiderska-Kołacz, Grazyna; Rogalska, Justyna; Caputa, Michał

    2009-11-01

    Estivation enables land snails to survive a prolonged dryness but the return to active state imposes conditions of oxidative stress on internal organs due to a transient large increase in oxygen consumption, which augments mitochondrial production of reactive oxygen species. Therefore, activities of antioxidant enzymes, concentrations of reduced glutathione (GSH) and TBARS as an index of lipid peroxidation, were evaluated in Helix pomatia snails (i) during summer activity, (ii) during estivation, which was induced experimentally, (iii) at the start of arousal from estivation, and (iv) being aroused for 24 h. Estivation induced significant decreases in activity of catalase in the kidney and hepatopancreas and glutathione peroxidase in the kidney. Activity of glutathione reductase was unaffected by estivation/arousal cycle. Summer-active and estivating snails maintained high activity of glutathione transferase. Concentration of GSH was organ-dependent and was positively affected by estivation. Lack of increase in TBARS concentration during estivation/arousal cycle suggests that antioxidant defence system of H. pomatia snails is highly efficacious. In conclusion, permanent maintenance of relatively high activities of the antioxidant enzymes and the high concentration of GSH in H. pomatia snails indicate that they have well-developed strategy of defence against oxidative injury.

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

    PubMed

    Popova, Yekaterina; Boyle, Richard

    2015-07-01

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

  12. [Neurochemical mechanisms of food aversion conditioning consolidation in snail helix lucorum].

    PubMed

    Solntseva, S V; Nikitin, V P

    2008-08-01

    Effects of cycloheximide, protein synthesis inhibitor as well as serotonin receptor antagonist and NMDA receptor antagonist, on food aversion conditioning consolidation were studied in snail Helix lucorum. Food aversion conditioning was absent in snails after application of cycloheximide. Repeated training produced no food aversion conditioning for the same type of food in these snails without cycloheximide application. Food aversion conditioning was absent in snails after metiotepin, nonselective serotonin receptors antagonist, or after MK-801, NMDA glutamate receptors antagonist, applications. At the same time, repeated training produced facilitated food aversion conditioning for the same type of food in these snails. Our experiments were the first which showed that effect on different molecular mechanisms evoked reversible or irreversible disruption of long-term memory consolidation during the same learning. It was suggested that suppression of retrieval produced reversible effect whereas disruption of memory storage initiated irreversible effect on long-term memory consolidation.

  13. [Neurochemical mechanisms of food aversion conditioning consolidation in snail Helix lucorum].

    PubMed

    Solntseva, S V; Nikitin, v P

    2008-11-01

    Effects of cycloheximide, protein synthesis inhibitors, as well as serotonin receptor antagonist and NMDA receptor antagonist on food aversion conditioning consolidation were studied in snail Helix lucorum. Food aversion conditioning was absent in snails after application of cycloheximide. Repeated produced no food aversion conditioning for the same type of food in these snails without cycloheximide application. Food aversion conditioning was absent in snails after applications of metiotepin, nonselective serotonin receptors antagonist, or after MK-801, NMDA glutamate receptors antagonist. At the same time, repeated training produced facilitated food aversion conditioning for the same type of food in these snails. Our experiments were the first which showed that effect on different molecular mechanisms evoked reversible or irreversible disruption of long-term memory consolidation during the same learning. It was suggested that suppression of retrieval produced reversible effect, whereas disruption of memory storage initiated irreversible effect on long-term memory consolidation.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1998-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Hiripi, L.

    1998-01-01

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

  16. The potential role of CO2 in initiation and maintenance of estivation in the land snail Helix lucorum.

    PubMed

    Michaelidis, Basile; Vavoulidou, Dimitra; Rousou, Jenia; Pörtner, Hans O

    2007-01-01

    Elevated CO(2) levels are hypothesized to play a role in the initiation and maintenance of estivation in snails through disturbances of acid-base status. The aim of our study was to identify the ambient CO(2) threshold that induces disturbances in acid-base status in the air-breathing land snail Helix lucorum. Acid-base parameters were determined in the hemolymph of snails acclimated to 0.5%, 1%, 2%, 4%, and 8% CO(2) in air for 20 d. In addition, we evaluated the effects of long-term acclimation on metabolic rate and on levels of D-lactate dehydrogenase activity (D-LDH) and of D-lactate in snails after 20 d of exposure to increased CO(2) levels. Helix lucorum proved to be unable to compensate for a decrease in extracellular pH (pH(e)) when acclimated to levels higher than 1% CO(2) in air. The rate of oxygen consumption started to decrease when snails were acclimated to 0.5% CO(2) in air. However, there was no correlation between the drops in pH(e) and in metabolic rate. Long-term acclimation to elevated CO(2) levels induced an increase in the activity of D-LDH with a concomitant accumulation of D-lactate in tissues. This indicates that long-term acclimation to elevated ambient CO(2) levels could reduce the aerobic capacity of land snails and trigger expression of anaerobic pathways of ATP turnover. The threshold levels of ambient CO(2) that induce changes in acid-base status and elicit metabolic depression in adult land snails H. lucorum are higher than the future atmospheric levels that are expected to result from human use of fossil energy resources.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Snail

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Yadi

    2010-01-01

    Snail has moved into the fast lane of development and cancer biology with the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) emerging as one of the hottest topics in medical science within the past few years. Snail not only acts primarily as a key inducer of EMT but also plays an important role in cell survival, immune regulation and stem cell biology. This review focuses on the regulation of Snail and discusses the EMT-dependent and -independent functions of Snail in development and disease. Understanding the regulation and functional roles of Snail will shed new light on the mechanism of tumor progression and the development of novel cancer therapies. PMID:20168078

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  20. [Life history traits of the snail Helix aperta Born from Tunisia raised in a laboratory environment: influence of photoperiod].

    PubMed

    de Vaufleury, Annette; Gimbert, Frédéric

    2009-09-01

    The present work revealed that growth and reproduction of Helix aperta (syn. Cantareus apertus), sampled at the end of summer in the region of Bazina (Tunisia), are stimulated by short-day photoperiod (SD 8hL-16hD) and inhibited by long-day photoperiod (LD 18hL-6hD). Indeed, under SD at 20 degrees C, 80% humidity and ad libitum Helixal snail food, 2 generations (F1, F2) were obtained in 10 months with no refractory period. The effects of photoperiod on growth were found to be reversible and appeared after a time lag of 4 and 8 weeks for stimulation by SD and the inhibition by LD respectively.

  1. [Inhibition of protein synthesis during associative memory reactivation produces reversible or irreversible amnesia in the snail Helix lucorum].

    PubMed

    Solntseva, S V; Nikitin, V P; Kozyrev, S A; Shevelkin, A V; Lagutin, A V; Sherstnev, V V

    2006-09-01

    Effects of protein synthesis inhibitors on reactivation processes of food aversion conditioning were inverstigated in snail Helix lucorum. Protein synthesis inhibitor (PSI, anisomycin, 0.4 mg, or cycloheximede, 0.6 mg) was injected into snail body cavity 24 hours after 3-day training; then conditioned stimulus (banana) was presented and memory was tested. It was found that 2.5-3 hours after first reminding, associative food conditioning was suppressed, recovering of the conditioning was observed 4.5-5.5 hours after first reminding. In other group of snails, PSI injections were single (1.8 mg) or triple (0.6 mg with 2-hour interval). Reminding stimulus was presented after each injection. In this case, suppression of food aversion conditioning was also observed 2.5-3 hours after first reminding, while amnesia in this case lasted over 30 days. Repeated training of the group of snails recovered the food aversion conditioning only partially. In control snails (saline instead of PSI or 3 injections of PSI without reminding), foot aversion conditioning was detected 30 days after first training. Thus we found that PSI effects during reminding of food aversion conditioning produced two phases amnesia: (1) the easily suppressed by PSI transient phase lasted 2-3 hours, and (2) irreversible phase, its suppression by high doses of PSI-initiated amnesia lasting over 1 month. Second phase of amnesia was not recovered after repeated training. It was suggested that reminding induced reconsolidation of initial memory. Its suppression by protein synthesis inhibitors results in erasing of memory trace and disturbs repeated consolidation.

  2. Functional involvement of Ca(2+) and Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels in anethol-induced changes in Ca(2+) dependent excitability of F1 neurons in Helix aspersa.

    PubMed

    Ghasemi, Zahra; Hassanpour-Ezatti, Majid; Kamalinejad, Mohammad; Janahmadi, Mahyar

    2011-07-01

    The effects of anethol, the major component of anise oil, on the Ca(2+)-dependent excitability and afterhyperpolarization (AHP) in snail neurons were examined using intracellular recording. Anethol (0.5%) significantly broadened the spike, reduced the firing frequency and enhanced the AHP amplitude. In contrast, anethol (2%) significantly increased the firing frequency and decreased the AHP. Blockade of Ca(2+) channels after anethol application depolarized the membrane potential and significantly reduced the firing rate. Furthermore, in the presence of anethol (0.5%) a significant decrease in the AHP was observed by Ca(2+) channels blockage. Here, anethol-induced functional modification of Ca(2+) and Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels is suggested.

  3. Growing snails used as sentinels to evaluate terrestrial environment contamination by trace elements.

    PubMed

    Gomot de Vaufleury, A; Pihan, F

    2000-02-01

    Young garden snails (Helix aspersa) reared in standard conditions (aged two months, mean weight 4.6 +/- 0.5 g) set as sentinels in cages laid on the soil for four weeks, give data for biomonitoring the environmental impact of chemicals on soil ecosystems in the field. The survival and the growth of the snails are influenced by the nature of the biotope and the level of the pollutants. Assay of cadmium, copper, lead and zinc bioaccumulated in the tissues of the sentinel snails provides information on the bioavailability of metals in the environment. The encagement model, little used for terrestrial species, can be useful in monitoring (specific and global endpoints) metal pollution of the environment in reference to the trophic level of the primary consumers. Active biomonitoring is positively compared with the passive biomonitoring.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  5. Changes in fatty acid metabolism induced by varied micro-supplementation with zinc in snails Helix pomatia (Gastropoda Pulmonata).

    PubMed

    Kowalczyk-Pecka, Danuta; Pecka, Stanisław; Kowalczuk-Vasilev, Edyta

    2017-04-01

    We analyzed the changes in the profile of fatty acids (FA) in the foot tissues and hepatopancreas (HP) of snails Helix pomatia exposed to five microdoses of zinc (0.1, 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, or 1mg/l) administered in the form of a pure salt solution and in the form of EDTA and lysine chelates. Selection from a pool of 56 fatty acids analyzed in snail tissues yielded a set of 12 biomarker acids undergoing significant changes in contact with toxic substances. The selection criteria included the greatest percentage among the FA profile and their significant role in physiological processes. The proposed palette of acids of the biomarker FAs comprised C16:0; C18:0; C23:0; C18:1 n-9; C20:1 n-9; C18:2 n-6; C18:3 n-3; C20:2; C20:4 n-6; C20:5 n-3; C22:4 n-6; and C22:5 n-3, and saturated fatty acids (SFAs), monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), determined separately in the foot tissues and hepatopancreas. The significant (p=0.01) influence of the dose as well as the source of the zinc on its' concentration in the tissues and on changes in the fatty acid profiles. Among the three zinc forms administered to the snails, the highest bioaccumulation of zinc in both tissues was noted in the group receiving the Zn-EDTA chelate. The content of PUFAs increased as the supplementation with zinc increased up to 0.75mg/l, but at 1mg/l, the share of these FAs began to decrease. This trend was observed in both analyzed tissue types - foot and hepatopancreas. The dose of 1mg Zn/l might be considered as a threshold dose above which the saturation of FAs increases. The results proved that determination of FA profile in snails can be used in ecotoxicological research as a reliable test of the effect of trace doses of stressors. The micro-supplementation of the mollusks diet with zinc is an example of a non-routine approach to issues connected with both diet and toxicology.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  9. Supercooling ability in two populations of the land snail Helix pomatia (Gastropoda: Helicidae) and ice-nucleating activity of gut bacteria.

    PubMed

    Nicolai, Annegret; Vernon, Philippe; Lee, Marcia; Ansart, Armelle; Charrier, Maryvonne

    2005-02-01

    The land snail Helix pomatia (Gastropoda: Helicidae) is widely distributed in Northern and Central Europe where it may experience subzero temperatures during winter months. Its supercooling ability was studied in two populations of H. pomatia. One population originated from Southern Sweden (Gotaland) and the other from Central France (Auvergne). In the experimental design, they were acclimated, over 2 weeks, to artificial winter conditions (hibernation, T=5 degrees C). The Swedish snails showed a rather limited supercooling ability (temperature of crystallization, T(c)=-6.4+/-0.8 degrees C), significantly greater, however, than the supercooling capacity of the population from France (T(c)=-4.6+/-1.4 degrees C). In artificial spring conditions (3 months of hibernation followed by a progressive acclimation, over 2 weeks, to activity at T=20 degrees C), both populations exhibited a similar high T(c) (-2.0+/-1.0 degrees C). The lower T(c) of hibernating Swedish snails could be due to a greater loss of body water, accompanied by a higher concentration of solutes in the hemolymph. In both populations, the variation in hemolymph osmolality measured between hibernating (250-270 mOsm kg(-1)) and active (165-215 mOsm kg(-1)) snails may be explained by the variation in body water mass and did not suggest the production of colligative cryoprotectants. Moreover, the three bacterial strains, Buttiauxella sp., Kluyvera sp., and Tatumella sp. (Enterobacteriaceae) which were isolated from fed snails, but absent in starved snails, did not show any ice-nucleating activity at temperatures higher than -9 degrees C. Only the strain Kluyvera sp. initiated nucleation at -9 degrees C. This strain, therefore, is a weak, also termed a Type III or Class C ice-nucleating active bacterium, but with no influence on the supercooling ability of individual snails. In summary, fluctuations in body water mass of hibernating snail populations, triggering changes in osmolyte concentration, rather than

  10. Studies on the extra- and intracellular acid-base status and its role on metabolic depression in the land snail Helix lucorum (L.) during estivation.

    PubMed

    Michaelidis, B

    2002-05-01

    The aim of the present study was to examine the acid-base status of extra- and intracellular fluids and its possible role on the regulation of the metabolic rate of Helix lucorum during prolonged estivation. For this purpose, the rate of oxygen consumption for active and estivating snails was determined. The acid-base status was also examined in the hemolymph and tissues from active and estivating snails acclimated at 25 degrees C. In addition, the buffer values of hemolymph and tissues were determined in order to examine whether there is a change in the snails during estivation. The rate of oxygen consumption decreased significantly within the 1st 10 days of estivation from 122.51+/-10 microl.g(-1).h(-1) to 25.86+/-5.2 microl.g(-1).h(-1), indicating a marked decrease in metabolic rate. P(CO2)increased within the 1st 20 days of estivation from 13.52+/-0.68 mmHg to 25.09+/-2.05 mmHg, while the pH of hemolymph (pH(e)) decreased from 7.72+/-0.04 to 7.44+/-0.06. The level of bicarbonates decreased in the hemolymph of estivating snails, indicating a metabolic acidosis, which was moderate in extracellular fluids. In contrast to pH(e), the intracellular pH (pH(i)) was maintained in the tissues of estivating H. lucorum, indicating a regulation of pH(i) despite the developed hypercapnia. According to the results presented here, it seems that the timing of pH(e) changes does not correlate with the timing of metabolic rate reduction in estivating H. lucorum.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-01

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

  12. The reaction of nitrogen monoxide with the haemocyanins of the crayfish Astacus leptodactylus and the snail Helix pomatia.

    PubMed

    Tahon, J P; Gielens, C; Vinckier, C; Witters, R; De Ley, M; Préaux, G; Lontie, R

    1989-08-15

    The rate of the reaction of Astacus leptodactylus methaemocyanin with NO follows the Henderson-Hasselbalch equation with a pKa of 5.85, suggesting that one imidazole ligand of Cu was exchanged for NO. The reaction is blocked by F- as a bridging ligand. The same imidazole residue might be responsible for the decomposition of nitrosylhaemocyanin, [Cu1NO+CuII], with an unlocated binding site for NO, into methaemocyanin and NO, as the rate increase with pH. NO could react preferentially with CuA of Helix pomatia methaemocyanin, CuA'IICuBII, as it possibly has only two histidine ligands instead of the three of CuA in Astacus haemocyanin. This difference might explain the higher formation rate and the much greater stability of Helix nitrosylhaemocyanin. The fast reaction is governed by a pKa of 6.80, probably of a bridging mu-aquo ligand. With F- or a mu-hydroxo bridging ligand a low reaction rate was still observed, in contrast with Astacus methaemocyanin. Helix nitrosylhaemocyanin was transformed by N3- into methaemocyanin with the liberation of N2 and N2O. This methaemocyanin could almost quantitatively be regenerated with H2O2. Helix nitrosylhaemocyanin was only partially regenerated by a direct treatment with H2O2 and almost quantitatively by HONH2 in a similar fairly fast reaction, followed by a much slower one.

  13. Synergism between the potato glycoalkaloids alpha-chaconine and alpha-solanine in inhibition of snail feeding.

    PubMed

    Smith, D B; Roddick, J G; Jones, J L

    2001-05-01

    Snails (Helix aspersa L.) were fed filter paper treated with the potato glycoalkaloids, alpha-solanine and alpha-chaconine, singly or together. In pure form, both glycoalkaloids deterred feeding, with chaconine being the more active compound. In combination, authentic solanine and chaconine interacted synergistically in their inhibition of feeding. The antifeedant activities of methanolic extracts of tuber peel of the potato varieties Majestic and Sharpe's Express presented via filter paper discs did not differ significantly from those of authentic glycoalkaloid solutions of comparable concentration and ratio. In contrast, feeding inhibition by diluted tuber peel extracts of the variety Homeguard was greater than that elicited by comparable authentic glycoalkaloid solutions suggesting additional inhibitory compound(s) in the peel of this variety. Comparison of data from peel extracts of all three potato varieties and authentic glycoalkaloids indicated that the level of feeding inhibition by the extracts was, at least in part, a consequence of a synergism between solanine and chaconine.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors containing the α7-like subunit mediate contractions of muscles responsible for space positioning of the snail, Helix pomatia L. tentacle.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Evolution of digestion of carbohydrates in the separate parts of the digestive tract of the edible snail Helix lucorum (Gastropoda: Pulmonata: Stylommatophora) during a complete 24-hour cycle and the first days of starvation.

    PubMed

    Flari, V; Lazaridou-Dimitriadou, M

    1996-01-01

    In the present study we examined carbohydrase activities during a complete 24-h cycle and during the first days of starvation in both adult and juvenile snails. The results indicated the predominant role of the digestive gland in the secretions of the enzymes responsible for degradation of most of the carbohydrates tested. Salivary glands secreted some digestive enzymes but in amounts lower than secreted by digestive gland. Enzymatic activities fluctuated during the first hours of digestion and also after the digestive tract was empty. The relatively high enzymatic activities recorded 24 h after the intake of food and during starvation could be due to the circadian rhythm of this species and/or to the participation of an existing microflora in the digestive tract of Helix lucorum. The double origin (exogenous and endogenous) of some digestive enzymes such as cellulases is discussed.

  17. Snail Snooping.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Dorothy

    1993-01-01

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

  18. In vitro capsaicin-induced cytological changes and alteration in calcium distribution in giant serotonergic neurons of the snail Helix pomatia: a light- and electron-microscopic study.

    PubMed

    Hernádi, L; Erdélyi, L; Párducz, A; Szabadi, H; Such, G; Jancsó, G

    1995-12-01

    Morphological changes induced by capsaicin were studied in the serotonergic metacerebral giant neurons of the cerebral ganglia of Helix pomatia under in vitro conditions. Capsaicin at a concentration of 10(-4)M caused characteristic structural alterations in the giant serotonergic neurons but did not significantly influence serotonin immunoreactivity in the neurons. At the light-microscopic level, the most conspiciuous structural alterations were swelling of the cell bodies, which contained a swollen pale nucleus. Under the electron microscope, the nuclei, mitochondria and the cisternae of the endoplasmic reticulum were swollen in the capsaicin-affected metacerebral giant neurons. Electron-microscopic cytochemical techniques for calcium demonstration revealed electron-dense deposits in the swollen mitochondria and in the cisternae of the endoplasmic reticulum, suggesting an increased Ca2+ influx. The serotonergic metacerebral giant neurons could be labelled by cobalt (1mM) in the presence of capsaicin (10(-4)M) suggesting that capsaicin opens the cation chanels of the capsaicin-sensitive neuronal membrane. The morphological and cytochemical alterations induced by capsaicin in the serotonergic metacerebral giant neurons of Helix pomatia closely resemble those induced in sensory neurons of mammalian dorsal root ganglion.

  19. Helix coupling

    DOEpatents

    Ginell, William S.

    1989-04-25

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

  20. Helix coupling

    DOEpatents

    Ginell, W.S.

    1982-03-17

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

  1. Snail Trails

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Galus, Pamela

    2002-01-01

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

  2. Snails home

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  3. Biology of the invasive ascidian Ascidiella aspersa in its native habitat: Reproductive patterns and parasite load

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lynch, Sharon A.; Darmody, Grainne; O'Dwyer, Katie; Gallagher, Mary Catherine; Nolan, Sinead; McAllen, Rob; Culloty, Sarah C.

    2016-11-01

    The European sea squirt Ascidiella aspersa is a solitary tunicate native to the northeastern Atlantic, commonly found in shallow and sheltered marine ecosystems where it is capable of forming large clumps and outcompeting other invertebrate fauna at settlement. To date, there have been relatively few studies looking at the reproductive biology and health status of this invasive species. Between 2006 and 2010 sampling of a native population took place to investigate gametogenesis and reproductive cycle and to determine the impact of settlement depth on reproduction. In addition, parasite diversity and impact was assessed. A staging system to assess reproductive development was determined. The study highlighted that from year to year the tunicate could change its reproductive strategy from single sex to hermaphrodite, with spawning possible throughout the year. Depth did not impact on sex determination, however, gonad maturation and spawning occurred earlier in individuals in deeper waters compared to shallow depth and it also occurred later in A. aspersa at sites further away from the open sea. Four significant parasite groups including eugregarines, ciliates, trematodes and turbellarians were detected and prevalence of parasite infections increased in A. aspersa at sites with a reduced water flow rate. This study demonstrates the high biotic potential of this ascidian bioinvader to have a negative impact on native fauna in an introduced ecosystem, due to its highly efficient reproductive and resource allocation strategies. Artificial structures such as mooring lines can harbour large aggregations of A. aspersa, however, these manmade habitats may facilitate the colonisation and establishment of this invasive species in the benthos. Additionally, the parasite communities that A. aspersa harbour may also exacerbate its negative impact, both ecologically and economically, in an introduced area by possibly leading to the emergence of new disease in native species i

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

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

  5. Snail Shell Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Matthews, Catherine

    1992-01-01

    Presents three inquiry-based lessons to develop the science process skills of observation, identification, and classification. Activities use whelk eggs and snail shells as the focus of the students' inquiries. Provides a list of 19 facts about whelks and snails. (MDH)

  6. The Classroom Animal: Snails.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kramer, David S.

    1985-01-01

    Points out that snails are interesting and easily-managed classroom animals. One advantage of this animal is that it requires no special attention over weekends or holidays. Background information, anatomy, reproduction, and feeding are discussed, along with suggestions for housing aquatic and/or land snails. (DH)

  7. Modeling snail breeding in Bioregenerative Life Support System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  8. Molecular and morphological discrimination between an invasive ascidian, Ascidiella aspersa, and its congener A. scabra (Urochordata: Ascidiacea).

    PubMed

    Nishikawa, Teruaki; Oohara, Ichiro; Saitoh, Kenji; Shigenobu, Yuya; Hasegawa, Natsuki; Kanamori, Makoto; Baba, Katsuhisa; Turon, Xavier; Bishop, John D D

    2014-03-01

    The solitary ascidian Ascidiella aspersa (Müller, 1776) has sometimes been regarded as conspecific with A. scabra (Müller, 1776), although previous detailed morphological comparisons have indicated that the two are distinguishable by internal structures. Resolution of this taxonomic issue is important because A. aspersa has been known as a notoriously invasive ascidian, doing much damage to aquaculture e.g. in Hokkaido, Japan. We collected many specimens from European waters (including the Swedish coast, near the type localities of these two species) and Hokkaido, Japan (as an alien population) and made molecular phylogenetic analyses using the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene, and found that in terms of COI sequences all the analyzed specimens were clustered into two distinct groups, one of which is morphologically referable to A. aspersa and the other to A. scabra. Thus, these two species should be regarded as distinct from each other.

  9. Fertilization and normal development in Ascidiella aspersa (Tunicata) studied with Nomarski-optics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niermann-Kerkenberg, Eva; Hofmann, Dietrich Kurt

    1989-06-01

    Normal development of Ascidiella aspersa was studied over a period of approx. 24 h at 20°C from egg insemination through metamorphosis of the tadpole larva using Nomarski-optics. Records were made of spermatozoa attaching to and passing through the cellular envelopes and the chorion of the egg. Egg shape alterations upon entry of the fertilizing sperm, which reflect the early phase of ooplasmic segregation, were monitored in intact and dechorionated eggs. The time course of normal development was recorded, and prominent stages were photographed within or deprived of the egg envelopes. The present observations are compared with recent accounts on early development in other solitary ascidian species.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2005-01-01

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

  11. Supercooling ability is surprisingly invariable in eggs of the land snail Cantareus aspersus.

    PubMed

    Ansart, Armelle; Madec, Luc; Vernon, Philippe

    2007-02-01

    From an ontogenetic point of view, invertebrate eggs are generally the most freezing intolerant stage of a species. Development state, water content and acclimation may affect their supercooling ability. In this study, we measured fresh mass, water content and temperature of crystallisation (T(c)) of eggs of the edible land snail Cantareus aspersus, depending on its form ("aspersa"vs. "maxima"), incubation temperature (20, 12 and 7 degrees C) and physiological age (as part of the complete development). We also tested their tolerance to freezing. Despite a high number of individual observations (n=759) and significant differences of fresh mass and water content between both subspecies, no effect of origin, incubation temperature or development state has been found in this study. T(c) remained constant whatever the condition, with an overall mean of -5.40+/-0.24 degrees C (mean+/-SD). We suggest that fresh mass is important, a high water content and a constantly wet surface confer to land snail eggs a poor ability to supercool. Moreover, the presence of ice nucleating agents at the egg surface (microorganisms present in the soil, calcium carbonate crystals of the egg shell) might induce freezing. Thus, considering the present results, to delay hatching by cryopreservation of eggs does not seem possible.

  12. Lichen endozoochory by snails.

    PubMed

    Boch, Steffen; Prati, Daniel; Werth, Silke; Rüetschi, Jörg; Fischer, Markus

    2011-04-13

    Endozoochory plays a prominent role for the dispersal of seed plants. However, for most other plant taxa it is not known whether this mode of dispersal occurs at all. Among those other taxa, lichens as symbiotic associations of algae and fungi are peculiar as their successful dispersal requires movement of propagules that leaves the symbiosis functional. However, the potential for endozoochorous dispersal of lichen fragments has been completely overlooked. We fed sterile thalli of two foliose lichen species (Lobaria pulmonaria and Physcia adscendens) differing in habitat and air-quality requirements to nine snail species common in temperate Europe. We demonstrated morphologically that L. pulmonaria regenerated from 29.0% of all 379 fecal pellets, whereas P. adscendens regenerated from 40.9% of all 433 fecal pellets, showing that lichen fragments survived gut passage of all snail species. Moreover, molecular analysis of regenerated lichens confirmed the species identity for a subset of samples. Regeneration rates were higher for the generalist lichen species P. adscendens than for the specialist lichen species L. pulmonaria. Furthermore, lichen regeneration rates varied among snail species with higher rates after gut passage of heavier snail species. We suggest that gastropods generally grazing on lichen communities are important, but so far completely overlooked, as vectors for lichen dispersal. This opens new ecological perspectives and questions the traditional view of an entirely antagonistic relationship between gastropods and lichens.

  13. The Hubble Helix

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCullough, P. R.; Hubble Helix Team

    2002-12-01

    For the 14 hours of peak Leonid meteoroid flux in November 2002, the Hubble Space Telescope was pointed away from incoming meteoroids, and the solar arrays were oriented to minimize their cross-section. By coincidence, one of the most prominent planetary nebulae, the Helix Nebula, a.k.a. NGC 7293, was nearly opposite the incoming Leonids and could be observed. A ``Hubble Helix Team'' of volunteers led by M. Meixner (STScI) organized a nine-orbit campaign to observe the Helix with the ACS, WFPC2, NICMOS, and STIS. A contiguous 3 by 3 grid of 4kx4k-pixel ACS images covering much but not all of the Helix was exposed in two filters, Hα +[N II] (F658N) and [O III] (F502N). A few of the WFPC2 images observed in parallel also observed the nebula in [O I] (F631N) or He II 4686 (F469N) or Hα (F656N). NICMOS/NIC3 observations were obtained at two locations on the nebula and two off, in H2 (F212N) and Paschen-α (F187N). A few of the STIS parallel observations in [OII] (F28X0OII) were located on the nebula. The main purpose of this presentation is to advertise to all interested parties the availability of the non-proprietary data via the HST archive. Initial data analysis by the Hubble Helix Team will be presented in this poster.

  14. Super D-helix

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cho, Jin-Ho; Oh, Phillial

    2001-11-01

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

  15. Inquiry, Land Snails, and Environmental Factors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barrow, Lloyd H.; Krantz, Patrick D.

    2002-01-01

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

  16. Double-helix stellarator

    SciTech Connect

    Moroz, P.E.

    1997-09-01

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

  17. Double Helix Revisited.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Glickstein, Neil M.

    1995-01-01

    Describes the use of James Watson's book, "The Double Helix," as a multidisciplinary way of introducing students to actual science; the scientific method; dilemmas encountered in the world of research; and the rich setting of personalities, politics, and history in post-World War II Europe. (MKR)

  18. Feline lungworms unlock a novel mode of parasite transmission.

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-14

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

  19. Feline lungworms unlock a novel mode of parasite transmission

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  2. Cryptomphalus aspersa Mollusc Egg Extract Promotes Regenerative Effects in Human Dermal Papilla Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Alameda, María Teresa; Morel, Esther; Parrado, Concepción; González, Salvador; Juarranz, Ángeles

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this study was to test, by an in vitro approach, whether a natural extract derived from eggs of the mollusc Cryptomphalus aspersa (e-CAF) that seems to present regenerative properties, can enhance the mobilization of human hair dermal papilla cells (HHDPCs) and play a role on tissue repair and regeneration. We have tested HHDPCs proliferation by the 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium-bromide (MTT) assay; cell migration by using a wound healing assay, as well as the modulation of the expression of cytoskeletal (F-actin and vimentin) and cell adhesion to the extracellular matrix (ECM) (vinculin and P-FAK) proteins. We also explored whether e-CAF could lead HHDPCs to keratinocytes and/or fibroblasts by evaluating the expression of specific markers. We have compared these e-CAF effects with those induced by TGFβ1, implicated in regulation of cell proliferation and migration. e-CAF promotes proliferation and migration of HHDPCs cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner; it also increases the migratory behavior and the expression of adhesion molecules. These results support the fact that e-CAF could play a role on skin regeneration and be used for the prevention or repair of damaged tissue, either due to external causes or as a result of cutaneous aging. PMID:28230777

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    The terrestrial Roman snail Helix pomatia has successfully adapted to strongly fluctuating conditions in its natural soil habitat. Part of the snail's stress defense strategy is its ability to express Metallothioneins (MTs). These are multifunctional, cysteine-rich proteins that bind and inactivate transition metal ions (Cd(2+), Zn(2+), Cu(+)) with high affinity. In Helix pomatia a Cadmium (Cd)-selective, inducible Metallothionein Isoform (CdMT) is mainly involved in detoxification of this harmful metal. In addition, the snail CdMT has been shown to also respond to certain physiological stressors. The aim of the present study was to investigate the physiological and diurnal variability of CdMT gene expression in snails exposed to Cd and non-metallic stressors such as desiccation and oxygen depletion. CdMT gene expression was upregulated by Cd exposure and desiccation, whereas no significant impact on the expression of CdMT was measured due to oxygen depletion. Overall, Cd was clearly more effective as an inducer of the CdMT gene expression compared to the applied non-metallic stressors. In unexposed snails, diurnal rhythmicity of CdMT gene expression was observed with higher mRNA concentrations at night compared to daytime. This rhythmicity was severely disrupted in Cd-exposed snails which exhibited highest CdMT gene transcription rates in the morning. Apart from diurnal rhythmicity, feeding activity also had a strong impact on CdMT gene expression. Although underlying mechanisms are not completely understood, it is clear that factors increasing MT expression variability have to be considered when using MT mRNA quantification as a biomarker for environmental stressors.

  4. Measuring the Double Helix

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-05-26

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

  5. Ion-mediated nucleic acid helix-helix interactions.

    PubMed

    Tan, Zhi-Jie; Chen, Shi-Jie

    2006-07-15

    Salt ions are essential for the folding of nucleic acids. We use the tightly bound ion (TBI) model, which can account for the correlations and fluctuations for the ions bound to the nucleic acids, to investigate the electrostatic free-energy landscape for two parallel nucleic acid helices in the solution of added salt. The theory is based on realistic atomic structures of the helices. In monovalent salt, the helices are predicted to repel each other. For divalent salt, while the mean-field Poisson-Boltzmann theory predicts only the repulsion, the TBI theory predicts an effective attraction between the helices. The helices are predicted to be stabilized at an interhelix distance approximately 26-36 A, and the strength of the attractive force can reach -0.37 k(B)T/bp for helix length in the range of 9-12 bp. Both the stable helix-helix distance and the strength of the attraction are strongly dependent on the salt concentration and ion size. With the increase of the salt concentration, the helix-helix attraction becomes stronger and the most stable helix-helix separation distance becomes smaller. For divalent ions, at very high ion concentration, further addition of ions leads to the weakening of the attraction. Smaller ion size causes stronger helix-helix attraction and stabilizes the helices at a shorter distance. In addition, the TBI model shows that a decrease in the solvent dielectric constant would enhance the ion-mediated attraction. The theoretical findings from the TBI theory agree with the experimental measurements on the osmotic pressure of DNA array as well as the results from the computer simulations.

  6. Small Molecules in the Cone Snail Arsenal.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-16

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Effects of the fruit essential oil of Cuminum cyminum Linn. (Apiaceae) on pentylenetetrazol-induced epileptiform activity in F1 neurones of Helix aspersa.

    PubMed

    Janahmadi, Mahyar; Niazi, Farshad; Danyali, Samira; Kamalinejad, Mohammad

    2006-03-08

    The effect of the fruit essential oil of Cuminum cyminum Linn. (Apiaceae) (syn. Cuminum odorum Salisb) on the epileptiform activity induced by pentylenetetrazol (PTZ) was evaluated, using intracellular technique. The results demonstrated that extracellular application of the essential oil of Cuminum cyminum (1% and 3%) dramatically decreased the frequency of spontaneous activity induced by PTZ in a time and concentration dependent manner. In addition it showed protection against pentylenetetrazol-induced epileptic activity by increasing the duration, decreasing the amplitude of after hyperpolarization potential (AHP) following the action potential, the peak of action potential, and inhibition of the firing rate. These membrane effects suggest cellular mechanisms by which the essential oil of Cuminum cyminum can inhibit the PTZ-induced epileptic activity.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Triple helix purification and sequencing

    DOEpatents

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

    1995-01-01

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

  11. Triple helix purification and sequencing

    DOEpatents

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

    1995-03-28

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

  12. Status of the HELIX Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wakely, Scott; Helix Collaboration

    2017-01-01

    HELIX, the High-Energy Light Isotope eXperiment, is a new balloon-borne superconducting magnet spectrometer designed to make detailed measurements of cosmic-ray chemical and isotopic abundances. Measurements of this kind, in particular of the ratio of radioactive 10Be to 9Be at energies to 3 GeV/nuc, can provide profound insights into cosmic-ray propagation processes and confinement timescales. HELIX is scheduled to make its first flight during the 2019/2020 Antarctic campaign. In this talk, we will discuss the goals and design of the instrument and describe the status of the program.

  13. Non-Periodic Helix TWT Study.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1980-05-01

    IA-A087 413 LITTON SYSTEMS INC SAN CARLOS CA ELECTRON TUBE DIV F/6 9/1 NON-PERIODIC HELIX TWT STUDY.(U) MAY 80 N00173-76C-014 UNCLASSIFIED ML...IEEEEEEmhEEI U-80 - ’l////////,, 11111 128 25 L1. = *""L 1- 1.8 MICROCOPY RESOLUTION TEST CHART ’IT-, ( (NO-PERIODIC HELIX WTSTUDY0 I EXTENSION OF CONTRACT... Helix Circuit 4 - 2 Non-Periodic Helix Structure 7 3 Unwound Tape for Non-Periodic Helix 8 4 Typical Helix Assembly 10 5 Typical Ladder Assembly 11 6

  14. Snail modulates cell metabolism in MDCK cells

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-03-22

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

  15. Common fold in helix-hairpin-helix proteins.

    PubMed

    Shao, X; Grishin, N V

    2000-07-15

    Helix-hairpin-helix (HhH) is a widespread motif involved in non-sequence-specific DNA binding. The majority of HhH motifs function as DNA-binding modules, however, some of them are used to mediate protein-protein interactions or have acquired enzymatic activity by incorporating catalytic residues (DNA glycosylases). From sequence and structural analysis of HhH-containing proteins we conclude that most HhH motifs are integrated as a part of a five-helical domain, termed (HhH)(2) domain here. It typically consists of two consecutive HhH motifs that are linked by a connector helix and displays pseudo-2-fold symmetry. (HhH)(2) domains show clear structural integrity and a conserved hydrophobic core composed of seven residues, one residue from each alpha-helix and each hairpin, and deserves recognition as a distinct protein fold. In addition to known HhH in the structures of RuvA, RadA, MutY and DNA-polymerases, we have detected new HhH motifs in sterile alpha motif and barrier-to-autointegration factor domains, the alpha-subunit of Escherichia coli RNA-polymerase, DNA-helicase PcrA and DNA glycosylases. Statistically significant sequence similarity of HhH motifs and pronounced structural conservation argue for homology between (HhH)(2) domains in different protein families. Our analysis helps to clarify how non-symmetric protein motifs bind to the double helix of DNA through the formation of a pseudo-2-fold symmetric (HhH)(2) functional unit.

  16. Celss nutrition system utilizing snails

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  17. CELSS nutrition system utilizing snails.

    PubMed

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

    1993-08-01

    At the 40th IAF Congress in Malaga, a nutrition system for a lunar base CELSS was presented. A lunar base with a total of eight crew members was envisaged. In this paper, four species of plants--rice, soybean, lettuce and strawberry--were introduced to the system. These plants were sufficient to satisfy fundamental nutritional needs of the crew members. The supply of nutrition from plants and the human nutritional requirements could almost be balanced. Our study revealed that the necessary plant cultivation area per crew member would be nearly 40 m3 in the lunar base. The sources of nutrition considered in the study were energy, sugar, fat, amino acids, inorganic salt and vitamins; however, calcium, vitamin B2, vitamin A and sodium were found to be lacking. Therefore, a subsystem to supply these elements is of considerable value. In this paper, we report on a study for breeding snails and utilizing meat as food. Nutrients supplied from snails are shown to compensate for the above mentioned lacking elements. We evaluate the snail breeder and the associated food supply system as a subsystem of closed ecological life support system.

  18. Fungal farming in a snail

    PubMed Central

    Silliman, Brian R.; Newell, Steven Y.

    2003-01-01

    Mutualisms between fungi and fungus-growing animals are model systems for studying coevolution and complex interactions between species. Fungal growing behavior has enabled cultivating animals to rise to major ecological importance, but evolution of farming symbioses is thought to be restricted to three terrestrial insect lineages. Surveys along 2,000 km of North America's Atlantic coast documented that the marine snail Littoraria irrorata grazes fungus-infected wounds on live marsh grass throughout its range. Field experiments demonstrate a facultative, farming mutualism between Littoraria and intertidal fungi. Snails graze live grass primarily not to feed but to prepare substrate for fungal growth and consume invasive fungi. Fungal removal experiments show that snails and fungi act synergistically to suppress marsh grass production. These results provide a case of fungus farming in the marine environment and outside the class Insecta and reveal a previously undemonstrated ecological mechanism (i.e., facilitation of fungal invasion) by which grazers can exert top-down control of marine plant production. PMID:14657360

  19. Comparative evaluation of haemagglutination potential of haemolymph from two species of giant African land snails (Archachatina marginata and Achatina achatina).

    PubMed

    Abiona, John Adesanya; Akinduti, Paul Akinniyi; Oyekunle, Mufutao Atanda; Osinowo, Olusegun Ayodeji; Onagbesan, A Okanlawon Mohammed

    2014-05-01

    A comparative study was conducted to evaluate haemagglutination potential in the haemolymph of two species of giant African land snails (Archachatina marginata and Achatina achatina). Three liveweight groups of snails (<100 g, 101-150 g and >150 g) were used with 4 replicates per liveweight per species for haemagglutination assay (HA). The effect of aestivation on haemagglutination potential was also evaluated. Erythrocytes (2%) from cattle, sheep, goat and chicken were used for HA assay. Results showed that agglutinin-like substances that agglutinate erythrocytes of sheep, goat, cattle and chicken were present in the haemolymph of the two species of giant African land snails. Effect of species was found to be significant (P < 0.001) on haemagglutination titre. Haemolymph of A. marginata, had higher haemagglutination titre than that of A. achatina across the three liveweight groups used in this study. Snail liveweight had no significant effect (P > 0.05) on agglutinin content of the haemolymph in both species. Agglutination level depended on the source of erythrocyte used. Sheep erythrocyte recorded the highest haemagglutination titre, followed by goat, cattle, and chicken in that order. To our knowledge, this is the first evidence that Giant African land snails (GALS) haemolymph contain agglutinins as previously reported for Helix species. This evidence may be the basis for its survivability in the wild and thus establish the use of GALS for African herbal medicinal applications.

  20. Ionic differences between somatic and axonal action potentials in snail giant neurones

    PubMed Central

    Wald, Flora

    1972-01-01

    1. The ionic requirements of the somatic and axonal action potentials of `H' neurones of the snail Cryptomphallus aspersa were studied using intracellular micro-electrodes. 2. The overshoot of the somatic action potential increased by 10 mV for a tenfold increase in [Ca2+]o. In calcium-free media the action potential decreased gradually to values of 50 to 90% of the control and they could be completely eliminated with 2 mM-EGTA. The maximum rate of rise also varied with [Ca2+]o. 3. After 2 hr in sodium-free solution the somatic action potential decreased 6% in overshoot and 24% in rate of rise. 4. The somatic action potential was not affected by TTX, 5 × 10-6 g/ml. Procaine, 18 mM, reduced its rate of rise but did not eliminate it whereas 30 mM-CoCl2 did. 5. The size of the axonal action potential increased with increased [Na+]o, but decreased with an increase in [Ca2+]o. 6. Procaine, 18 mM, abolished the axonal action potential whereas it was not affected by TTX, 5 × 10-6 g/ml., nor, usually, by 30 mM-CoCl2. 7. The results obtained by studying the compound action potential of the nerves were similar to those from axonal action potentials. 8. The possibility that the somatic action potential is mainly calcium dependent while the axonal action potential is mainly produced by sodium is discussed. PMID:5014099

  1. Production of apple snail for space diet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  2. Inquiry, Land Snails, and Environmental Factors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barrow, Lloyd H.; Krantz, Patrick D.

    2005-01-01

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

  3. Modeling apple snail population dynamics on the Everglades landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. A secretion of the mollusc Cryptomphalus aspersa promotes proliferation, migration and survival of keratinocytes and dermal fibroblasts in vitro.

    PubMed

    Cruz, M C Iglesias-de la; Sanz-Rodríguez, F; Zamarrón, A; Reyes, E; Carrasco, E; González, S; Juarranz, A

    2012-04-01

    Regenerative properties of skin decrease with age, and thus, the search for substances that minimize cutaneous ageing has increased in the last few years. The secretion of the mollusc Cryptomphalus Aspersa (SCA) is a natural product that bears regenerative properties when applied topically. The purpose of this work is to study the in vitro effects of SCA on cell proliferation and migration, as well as on cell-cell (E-cadherin and β-catenin) and cell-substrate (vinculin and β1-integrin) adhesion proteins expression, using a human keratinocyte cell line (HaCaT cells) and primary dermal fibroblasts (HF). We tested the effects of SCA on cell proliferation using a colorimetric assay. In addition, SCA-induced changes on cell migration were studied by wound-healing assays. Besides, Western blot and immunofluorescence microscopy were carried out to test the expression of different cell adhesion proteins. We found that SCA promotes proliferation and migration of HaCaT cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Moreover, treatment with SCA increases the migratory behaviour and the expression of adhesion molecules in both HaCaT and HF. Finally, SCA also improves cell survival and promotes phosphorylation of FAK and nuclear localization of β-catenin. These results shed light on the molecular mechanisms underlying the regenerative properties of SCA, based on its promoting effect on skin cell migration, proliferation and survival. Moreover, these results support future clinical uses of SCA in the regeneration of wounded tissues.

  5. Influence of Membrane Receptor Lateral Diffusion on the Short-Term Depression of Acetylcholine-Induced Current in Helix Neurons.

    PubMed

    Vasilyeva, Natalia A; Murzina, Galina B; Kireev, Igor I; Pivovarov, Arkady S

    2017-02-24

    We have studied how various drugs increasing the rate of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) lateral diffusion affect the depression of ACh-induced current in land snail Helix lucorum neurons responsible for defensive behavior. The acetylcholine (ACh) iontophoretic application protocol imitated the behavioral habituation protocol for the intact animal. We found that the drugs decreasing cholesterol level in cell membranes as methyl-β-cyclodextrin 1 mM and Ro 48-8071 2 µM, and polyclonal antibodies to actin-binding proteins as spectrin 5 µg/ml and merlin 2.5 µg/ml have changed the dynamic of ACh-current depression. The nAChRs lateral diffusion coefficient was obtained by fluorescence recovery after photobleaching. A curve fitting model specially created for analysis of short-term choline sensitivity depression in snail neurons helped us evaluate separately the contribution of nAChRs lateral diffusion, their endocytosis and exocytosis to observed effects during electrophysiological experiments. Taken together, we hypothesize that nAChRs lateral diffusion plays an important role in the cellular correlate of habituation in land snail Helix lucorum neurons.

  6. Mathematical simulation of an aquatic snail population*

    PubMed Central

    Jobin, W. R.; Michelson, E. H.

    1967-01-01

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

  7. Molecular structure of the collagen triple helix.

    PubMed

    Brodsky, Barbara; Persikov, Anton V

    2005-01-01

    The molecular conformation of the collagen triple helix confers strict amino acid sequence constraints, requiring a (Gly-X-Y)(n) repeating pattern and a high content of imino acids. The increasing family of collagens and proteins with collagenous domains shows the collagen triple helix to be a basic motif adaptable to a range of proteins and functions. Its rodlike domain has the potential for various modes of self-association and the capacity to bind receptors, other proteins, GAGs, and nucleic acids. High-resolution crystal structures obtained for collagen model peptides confirm the supercoiled triple helix conformation, and provide new information on hydrogen bonding patterns, hydration, sidechain interactions, and ligand binding. For several peptides, the helix twist was found to be sequence dependent, and such variation in helix twist may serve as recognition features or to orient the triple helix for binding. Mutations in the collagen triple-helix domain lead to a variety of human disorders. The most common mutations are single-base substitutions that lead to the replacement of one Gly residue, breaking the Gly-X-Y repeating pattern. A single Gly substitution destabilizes the triple helix through a local disruption in hydrogen bonding and produces a discontinuity in the register of the helix. Molecular information about the collagen triple helix and the effect of mutations will lead to a better understanding of function and pathology.

  8. Effect of static and dynamic influences on receptors of equilibrium organ of Helix lucorum after 163-day orbital flight in "Mir" station.

    PubMed

    Gorgiladze, G I; Kozyrev, S A; Nosovskii, A M

    2002-02-01

    A 163-day orbital flight increased the baseline impulse activity of statocyst receptor cells in terrestrial pulmonata snail Helix lucorum. The maximum of reaction to step static stimuli (changes in body position in the range from 0 to 180 degrees) was significantly shifted by 30 degrees from gravitational vertical, while the reaction to dynamic stimuli (dumped sinusoidal oscillations) faded more rapidly than in control animals.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-06-01

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

  10. Cercarial Dermatitis Transmitted by Exotic Marine Snail

    PubMed Central

    Cohen, Andrew N.; James, David; Hui, Lucia; Hom, Albert; Loker, Eric S.

    2010-01-01

    Cercarial dermatitis (swimmer’s itch) is caused by the penetration of human skin by cercariae of schistosome parasites that develop in and are released from snail hosts. Cercarial dermatitis is frequently acquired in freshwater habitats, and less commonly in marine or estuarine waters. To investigate reports of a dermatitis outbreak in San Francisco Bay, California, we surveyed local snails for schistosome infections during 2005–2008. We found schistosomes only in Haminoea japonica, an Asian snail first reported in San Francisco Bay in 1999. Genetic markers place this schistosome within a large clade of avian schistosomes, but do not match any species for which there are genetic data. It is the second known schistosome species to cause dermatitis in western North American coastal waters; these species are transmitted by exotic snails. Introduction of exotic hosts can support unexpected emergence of an unknown parasite with serious medical or veterinary implications. PMID:20735918

  11. Deciphering late Quaternary land snail shell δ18O and δ13C from Franchthi Cave (Argolid, Greece)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colonese, André C.; Zanchetta, Giovanni; Perlès, Catherine; Drysdale, Russell N.; Manganelli, Giuseppe; Baneschi, Ilaria; Dotsika, Elissavet; Valladas, Hélène

    2013-07-01

    This paper investigates the stable isotopic composition from late Pleistocene-Holocene (~ 13 to ~ 10.5 cal ka BP) shells of the land snail Helix figulina, from Franchthi Cave (Greece). It explores the palaeoclimatic and palaeoenvironmental implications of the isotope palaeoecology of archaeological shells at the time of human occupation of the cave. Modern shells from around the cave were also analysed and their isotopic signatures compared with those of the archaeological shells. The carbon isotope composition of modern shells depicts the consumption of C3 vegetation. Shell oxygen isotopic values are consistent with other Mediterranean snail shells from coastal areas. Combining empirical linear regression and an evaporative model, the δ18Os suggest that modern snails in the study area are active during periods of higher relative humidity and lower rainfall δ18O, probably at night. Late glacial and early Holocene δ18Os show lower values compared to modern ones. Early Holocene δ18Os values likely track enhanced moisture and isotopic changes in the precipitation source. By contrast, lower late glacial δ18O could reflect lower temperatures and δ18Op, compared to the present day. Shell carbon isotope values indicate the presence of C3 vegetation as main source of carbon to late glacial and early Holocene snails.

  12. Ichthyotoxicity caused by marine cone snail venoms?

    PubMed

    Mebs, Dietrich; Kauferstein, Silke

    2005-09-01

    Ten venoms from marine cone snails were tested for ichthyotoxic effects on zebra fish (Brachydanio rerio) when added to the water. Only two venoms, from Conus capitaneus and Conus episcopatus, produced lethal effects at high concentrations (50-300 microg/ml) within 20-90 min. No sedative or hypnotic symptoms were observed. The experiments confirm that Conus venoms exert a quick and prompt activity only by parenteral injection into the prey as it is performed by the snail.

  13. Schistosomes and snails: a molecular encounter

    PubMed Central

    Knight, Matty; Arican-Goktas, Halime D.; Ittiprasert, Wannaporn; Odoemelam, Edwin C.; Miller, André N.; Bridger, Joanna M.

    2014-01-01

    Biomphalaria glabrata snails play an integral role in the transmission of Schistosoma mansoni, the causative agent for human schistosomiasis in the Western hemisphere. For the past two decades, tremendous advances have been made in research aimed at elucidating the molecular basis of the snail/parasite interaction. The growing concern that there is no vaccine to prevent schistosomiasis and only one effective drug in existence provides the impetus to develop new control strategies based on eliminating schistosomes at the snail-stage of the life cycle. To elucidate why a given snail is not always compatible to each and every schistosome it encounters, B. glabrata that are either resistant or susceptible to a given strain of S. mansoni have been employed to track molecular mechanisms governing the snail/schistosome relationship. With such snails, genetic markers for resistance and susceptibility were identified. Additionally, differential gene expression studies have led to the identification of genes that underlie these phenotypes. Lately, the role of schistosomes in mediating non-random relocation of gene loci has been identified for the first time, making B. glabrata a model organism where chromatin regulation by changes in nuclear architecture, known as spatial epigenetics, orchestrated by a major human parasite can now be investigated. This review will highlight the progress that has been made in using molecular approaches to describe snail/schistosome compatibility issues. Uncovering the signaling networks triggered by schistosomes that provide the impulse to turn genes on and off in the snail host, thereby controlling the outcome of infection, could also yield new insights into anti-parasite mechanism(s) that operate in the human host as well. PMID:25101114

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tiwari, Farindra; Singh, D. K.

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

  15. Calcium-activated potassium conductance noise in snail neurons.

    PubMed

    Westerfield, M; Lux, H D

    1982-11-01

    Current fluctuations were measured in small, 3-6 micrometers-diameter patches of soma membrane in bursting neurons of the snail, Helix pomatia. The fluctuations dramatically increased in magnitude with depolarization of the membrane potential under voltage clamp conditions. Two components of conductance noise were identified in the power spectra calculated from the membrane currents. One component had a corner frequency which increased with depolarization. This component was blocked by intracellular injection of TEA and was relatively insensitive to extracellular calcium levels (as long as the total number of effective divalent cations remained constant). It was identified as fluctuations of the voltage-dependent component of delayed outward current. The second component of conductance noise had a corner frequency which decreased with depolarization. It was relatively unaffected by TEA injection and was reversibly blocked by substitution of extracellular calcium with magnesium, cobalt, or nickel. This second component of noise was identified as fluctuations of the calcium-dependent potassium current. The results suggest that the two components of delayed outward current are conducted through physically distinct channels.

  16. Thioamides in the collagen triple helix.

    PubMed

    Newberry, Robert W; VanVeller, Brett; Raines, Ronald T

    2015-06-14

    To probe noncovalent interactions within the collagen triple helix, backbone amides were replaced with a thioamide isostere. This subtle substitution is the first in the collagen backbone that does not compromise thermostability. A triple helix with a thioamide as a hydrogen bond donor was found to be more stable than triple helices assembled from isomeric thiopeptides.

  17. [The interplay between schistosome and its snail host: a review].

    PubMed

    Wang, Fei; Dai, Jian-Rong

    2012-12-01

    As the only intermediate host of Schistosoma japonicum, the control of Oncomelania snails serves as a major part in schistosomiasis control. This review mainly demonstrates the following aspects: the invasion of schistosome miracidium into snails, the mechanism of resistance to miracidia, and the factors influencing this process. With a view to explore the methods of interrupting every phase during miracidium infection, this article focuses on the possibility for safeguarding human health through protecting snails, namely, achieving snails harmlessness.

  18. The Snail-Induced Sulfonation Pathway in Breast Cancer Metastasis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-07-01

    1 AD_________________ Award Number: W81XWH-11-1-0494 TITLE: The Snail -Induced Sulfonation...REPORT TYPE Annual 3. DATES COVERED 1 July 2012 - 30 June 2013 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER W81XWH-11-1-0494 The Snail -induced...support: 1. Further characterization of Tetracycline inducible WT Snail and mutant Snail vectors and cell lines. 2. Demonstration that the PAPSS2

  19. Eosinophilic meningitis risk associated with raw Ampullarium canaliculatus snails consumption.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jiun-Jye; Chung, Li-Yu; Lin, Rong-Jyh; Lee, June-Der; Lin, Chaio-Wen; Yen, Chuan-Min

    2011-05-01

    In Taiwan, Angiostrongylus cantonensis infection has been reported in foreign laborers who had consumed raw Ampullarium canaliculatus snails. This study analyzed three foreign laborers who had contracted enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay-confirmed A cantonensis infection while working in Taiwan. All three workers had consumed either roasted snails or raw snails flavored with seasoning while drinking wine. This study investigated possible risk factors for A cantonensis, including naturally occurring A cantonensis in A canaliculatus snails, viability of third-stage A cantonensis larvae in raw seasoned snails and in roasted snails, infectivity of larvae, and effects of alcohol while consuming snails. Positive infection rates in snails from five different irrigation canals in south Taiwan ranged from 12.3% to 29.4% and the average number of motile larvae per infected snail ranged from 36 to 65. The number of motile and coiled larvae in snail meat after 120 minutes seasoning was 93 (27.7%) and 233 (69.3%), respectively. After 20 minutes of roasting, most larvae in the snail meat were dead. The infectivities of motile and coiled larvae from snail meat after 60 minutes seasoning were 53.2% and 33.2%, respectively, and those from snail meat after 5 minutes roasting were 33.2% and 7.0%, respectively. Eating Taiwan A canaliculatus snails raw is extremely risky given their high infection rates and infection intensities. Even after 120 minutes seasoning or after 20 minutes roasting, snail meat should be considered unsafe for human consumption. Finally, experimental rodent studies indicated that consuming alcohol while ingesting larvae does not significantly reduced infectivity.

  20. Unfolding four-helix bundles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gray, Harry B.; Winkler, Jay R.; Kozak, John J.

    2011-03-01

    A geometrical model has been developed to describe the early stages of unfolding of cytochromes c‧ and c-b562 . Calculations are based on a step-wise extension of the polypeptide chain subject to the constraint that the spatial relationship among the residues of each triplet is fixed by the native-state crystallographic data. The response of each protein to these structural perturbations allows the evolution of each of the four helices in these two proteins to be differentiated. It is found that the two external helices in c‧ unfold before its two internal helices, whereas exactly the opposite behaviour is demonstrated by c-b562 . Each of these cytochromes has an extended, internal, non-helical ('turning') region that initially lags behind the most labile helix but then, at a certain stage (identified for each cytochrome), unravels before any of the four helices present in the native structure. It is believed that these predictions will be useful in guiding future experimental studies on the unfolding of these two cytochromes.

  1. Aquatic snails, passive hosts of Mycobacterium ulcerans.

    PubMed

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

    2004-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Wada, Shinichiro; Chiba, Satoshi

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Modeling snail breeding in a bioregenerative life support system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  4. Helix packing in polytopic membrane proteins: role of glycine in transmembrane helix association.

    PubMed Central

    Javadpour, M M; Eilers, M; Groesbeek, M; Smith, S O

    1999-01-01

    The nature and distribution of amino acids in the helix interfaces of four polytopic membrane proteins (cytochrome c oxidase, bacteriorhodopsin, the photosynthetic reaction center of Rhodobacter sphaeroides, and the potassium channel of Streptomyces lividans) are studied to address the role of glycine in transmembrane helix packing. In contrast to soluble proteins where glycine is a noted helix breaker, the backbone dihedral angles of glycine in transmembrane helices largely fall in the standard alpha-helical region of a Ramachandran plot. An analysis of helix packing reveals that glycine residues in the transmembrane region of these proteins are predominantly oriented toward helix-helix interfaces and have a high occurrence at helix crossing points. Moreover, packing voids are generally not formed at the position of glycine in folded protein structures. This suggests that transmembrane glycine residues mediate helix-helix interactions in polytopic membrane proteins in a fashion similar to that seen in oligomers of membrane proteins with single membrane-spanning helices. The picture that emerges is one where glycine residues serve as molecular notches for orienting multiple helices in a folded protein complex. PMID:10465772

  5. Snail promotes an invasive phenotype in lung carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

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

  7. Novel pharmacological targets from Indian cone snails.

    PubMed

    Ramasamy, M Santhana; Manikandan, S

    2011-02-01

    The oceans are a source of combinatorial library of unique natural products, 'not found in the terrestrial environment'. Marine invertebrates such as sponges, molluscs, bryozoans, tunicates (Urochordata) and their associated microorganisms are the major representatives of promising bioactive compounds. Among these, the predatory molluscan cone snails have evolved with highly structured small and complex array of peptides (more than 50,000) linked to their prey capture and defence. These peptides have become a valuable source of neuro pharmacological targets as many of them selectively modulate ion channels and transporters. A group of scientists from United States, Europe, Australia, Israel and China have been characterized drugs for neuropathic pain and pharmacological targets from the peptides of a few cone snail species. Several are now in Clinical and preclinical development. Less than 1% of the cono peptides are pharmacologically characterized. India has a diversity of 20-30% of total cone snail species distributed worldwide. A group of Indian Scientists have made promising drug discovery programs from Conus peptides. This review will focus on the Conus peptides from Indian cone snails species, their neuro pharmacological targets and future directions.

  8. Vector snail control in Qalyub, Egypt

    PubMed Central

    van der Schalie, Henry

    1958-01-01

    The author describes a pilot study in vector snail control carried out in 1953-54 by the Bilharziasis Control Project in Qalyub, Egypt. After giving a brief description of the site chosen for the Project—an area of some 5000 acres (2000 hectares) under perennial irrigation—he presents a detailed account of the various snail surveys of the irrigation canals and drains and of the molluscicidal treatment of infested channels. He points out that despite the thoroughness of the surveying and treatment the snails were not completely eliminated from the area and stresses that the high cost of the molluscicide used (copper sulfate) would prohibit its widespread and continual use. He considers, however, that pending the perfection of such long-term bilharziasis control measures as improved sanitation, better treatment facilities, and health education of the public, snail control is of the first importance and determined efforts should be made to find more efficient and cheaper methods of effecting it. PMID:13585074

  9. Mate desertion in the snail kite

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1988-01-01

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

  10. Biochemical and structural analysis of Helix pomatia agglutinin. A hexameric lectin with a novel fold.

    PubMed

    Sanchez, Jean-Frederic; Lescar, Julien; Chazalet, Valérie; Audfray, Aymeric; Gagnon, Jean; Alvarez, Richard; Breton, Christelle; Imberty, Anne; Mitchell, Edward P

    2006-07-21

    Helix pomatia agglutinin (HPA) is a N-acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc) binding lectin found in the albumen gland of the roman snail. As a constituent of perivitelline fluid, HPA protects fertilized eggs from bacteria and is part of the innate immunity system of the snail. The peptide sequence deduced from gene cloning demonstrates that HPA belongs to a family of carbohydrate-binding proteins recently identified in several invertebrates. This domain is also present in discoidin from the slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum. Investigation of the lectin specificity was performed with the use of glycan arrays, demonstrating that several GalNAc-containing oligosaccharides are bound and rationalizing the use of this lectin as a cancer marker. Titration microcalorimetry performed on the interaction between HPA and GalNAc indicates an affinity in the 10(-4) M range with an enthalpy-driven binding mechanism. The crystal structure of HPA demonstrates the occurrence of a new beta-sandwich lectin fold. The hexameric quaternary state was never observed previously for a lectin. The high resolution structure complex of HPA with GalNAc characterizes a new carbohydrate binding site and rationalizes the observed preference for alphaGalNAc-containing oligosaccharides.

  11. The collagen triple-helix structure.

    PubMed

    Brodsky, B; Ramshaw, J A

    1997-03-01

    Recent advances, principally through the study of peptide models, have led to an enhanced understanding of the structure and function of the collagen triple helix. In particular, the first crystal structure has clearly shown the highly ordered hydration network critical for stabilizing both the molecular conformation and the interactions between triple helices. The sequence dependent nature of the conformational features is also under active investigation by NMR and other techniques. The triple-helix motif has now been identified in proteins other than collagens, and it has been established as being important in many specific biological interactions as well as being a structural element. The nature of recognition and the degree of specificity for interactions involving triple helices may differ from globular proteins. Triple-helix binding domains consist of linear sequences along the helix, making them amenable to characterization by simple model peptides. The application of structural techniques to such model peptides can serve to clarify the interactions involved in triple-helix recognition and binding and can help explain the varying impact of different structural alterations found in mutant collagens in diseased states.

  12. Optical Recording of Odor-Evoked Responses in the Olfactory Brain of the Naïve and Aversively Trained Terrestrial Snails

    PubMed Central

    Nikitin, Eugeny S.; Balaban, Pavel M.

    2000-01-01

    Regular spontaneous oscillations were recorded both electro- and optophysiologically using a voltage-sensitive absorption dye in the olfactory part of the brain (procerebral lobe of the cerebral ganglia) of the gastropod mollusk Helix lucorum. Odor application caused transient changes in procerebral oscillations, and an odor-evoked potential was recorded in the procerebrum (PC). The wave of evoked potential originated near the place of olfactory nerve entrance into the PC and propagated via the procerebral neuropile toward the cell body layer. The spread of the odor-evoked potential corresponded roughly to the neuropile area, whereas the spontaneous oscillations were recorded in the cell body layer of the PC and were not observed in the neuropile. Evoked potential did not produce additional events intercalated into the ongoing spontaneous oscillations. Changes in parameters of spontaneous oscillations to the repeated presentations of the same odor were variable. To estimate the role of spontaneous oscillations in odor encoding, we trained the snail to avoid cineole, using paired presentations of cineole and electric shock. Elaboration of conditioned aversion to cineole applications resulted in distinct pairing-specific changes in behavior of the snails and procerebral activity. Responses to odor (cineole) applications were not different in amplitude or frequency of spontaneous oscillations in control and trained snails, whereas ratio of amplitudes of the same oscillation wave in proximal and distal regions of the procerebrum was significantly different in control and aversively trained snails, reflecting changes in neural firing in certain areas of the olfactory lobe. PMID:11112801

  13. The Snail-Induced Sulfonation Pathway in Breast Cancer Metastasis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-01

    AD_________________ Award Number: W81XWH-11-1-0494   TITLE: The Snail -Induced Sulfonation... Snail -Induced Sulfonation Pathway in Breast Cancer Metastasis 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH-11-1-0494 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) Dr...provided funding for a 3-year project that has resulted in fundamental new insights into how the transcription factor Snail can control gene

  14. The effects of the herbicide atrazine on freshwater snails.

    PubMed

    Gustafson, Kyle D; Belden, Jason B; Bolek, Matthew G

    2015-07-01

    Atrazine has been shown to affect freshwater snails from the subcellular to community level. However, most studies have used different snail species, methods, endpoints, and atrazine exposure concentrations, resulting in some conflicting results and limiting our understanding. The goal of this study was to address these concerns by (1) investigating the acute and chronic effects of atrazine on four species of freshwater snails (Biomphalaria glabrata, Helisoma trivolvis, Physa acuta, and Stagnicola elodes) using the same methods, endpoints, and concentrations, and (2) summarizing the current literature pertaining to the effects of atrazine on freshwater snails. We conducted a 48 h acute toxicity test with an atrazine concentration higher than what typically occurs in aquatic environments (1000 µg/L). Additionally, we exposed snails to environmentally relevant atrazine concentrations (0, 0.3, 3, and 30 µg/L) for 28 days and assessed snail survival, growth, and reproduction. We also summarized all known literature pertaining to atrazine effects on freshwater snails. The literature summary suggests snails are often affected by environmentally relevant atrazine concentrations at the subcellular and cellular levels. These effects are typically not transitive to effects on survival, growth, or reproduction at the same concentrations. Our acute exposures corroborate the general trend of no direct effect on snail populations as atrazine did not directly affect the survival of any of the four snail species. Similarly, environmentally relevant concentrations did not significantly affect the survival, growth, or reproduction of any snail species. These results indicate that, in the absence of other possible stressors, the direct effects of environmentally relevant atrazine concentrations may not be realized at the snail population level.

  15. Biogeography: molecular trails from hitch-hiking snails.

    PubMed

    Gittenberger, Edmund; Groenenberg, Dick S J; Kokshoorn, Bas; Preece, Richard C

    2006-01-26

    Darwin was fascinated by the transportation of land snails across great swathes of open ocean by birds--he even immersed snails in sea water to see how long they would survive. Here we follow a molecular phylogenetic trail that reveals the incredible transequatorial dispersal of the land snail Balea from Europe to the Azores and the Tristan da Cunha islands, and back again. This long-distance dispersal is unexpected for what are proverbially considered the most pedestrian of creatures.

  16. Epicyclic Twin-Helix Ionization Cooling Simulations

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-04-01

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

  17. Biological studies on the snail, Bulinus truncatus, in central Iraq*

    PubMed Central

    Najarian, H. H.

    1961-01-01

    This paper presents some results of field and laboratory studies on Bulinus truncatus, the snail intermediate host of urinary bilharziasis in Iraq, made in 1958 as part of the work of the WHO Bilharziasis Control Project in that country. Observations on the linear distribution and size composition of Bulinus populations in the canals of central Iraq indicate that molluscicides might most suitably be applied in May before the entire snail population reaches breeding size, or early in November when most snails are juveniles. However, laboratory experiments appear to show that isolation of individual bulinid snails does not diminish, but may actually increase, their egg-laying capacity in comparison with that of grouped snails; this suggests that, even if the snail population were drastically reduced by treatment of the canals and all further importation of snails rendered impossible, the snail population would nevertheless soon renew itself from the few individuals remaining. Results are also given of laboratory experiments on egg masses, hatching and growth of B. truncatus and on the egg-laying of random populations of that snail. PMID:14478049

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Into the Eye of the Helix

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2009-02-01

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

  20. Chirality-specific lift forces of helix under shear flows: Helix perpendicular to shear plane.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qi-Yi

    2017-02-01

    Chiral objects in shear flow experience a chirality-specific lift force. Shear flows past helices in a low Reynolds number regime were studied using slender-body theory. The chirality-specific lift forces in the vorticity direction experienced by helices are dominated by a set of helix geometry parameters: helix radius, pitch length, number of turns, and helix phase angle. Its analytical formula is given. The chirality-specific forces are the physical reasons for the chiral separation of helices in shear flow. Our results are well supported by the latest experimental observations.

  1. Contamination of deconjugation enzymes derived from Helix pomatia with the plant bioactive compounds 3,3'-diindolylmethane, 5-methoxypsoralen, and 8-methoxypsoralen.

    PubMed

    Ainslie-Waldman, Cheryl E; Simpkins, Scott W; Upadhyaya, Pramod; Carmella, Steven G; Hecht, Stephen S; Trudo, Sabrina P

    2013-12-01

    Bioactive compounds from plant foods are intensely investigated for effects on disease prevention. β-Glucuronidase/arylsulfatase from Helix pomatia (snail) is commonly used when quantifying exposure to metabolized dietary components. However, we describe here the contamination of multiple formulations of this enzyme preparation with 3,3'-diindolylmethane (DIM), 8-methoxypsoralen (8-MOP), and 5-methoxypsoralen (5-MOP), bioactives from cruciferous and apiaceous vegetables under investigation as putative cancer chemopreventive agents. We identified an Escherichia coli preparation of β-glucuronidase as free from contamination with any of the compounds tested. These results demonstrate the importance of selecting appropriate enzyme preparations when quantifying naturally occurring, trace level compounds in biological fluids.

  2. A triple helix-loop-helix/basic helix-loop-helix cascade controls cell elongation downstream of multiple hormonal and environmental signaling pathways in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Bai, Ming-Yi; Fan, Min; Oh, Eunkyoo; Wang, Zhi-Yong

    2012-12-01

    Environmental and endogenous signals, including light, temperature, brassinosteroid (BR), and gibberellin (GA), regulate cell elongation largely by influencing the expression of the paclobutrazol-resistant (PRE) family helix-loop-helix (HLH) factors, which promote cell elongation by interacting antagonistically with another HLH factor, IBH1. However, the molecular mechanism by which PREs and IBH1 regulate gene expression has remained unknown. Here, we show that IBH1 interacts with and inhibits a DNA binding basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) protein, HBI1, in Arabidopsis thaliana. Overexpression of HBI1 increased hypocotyl and petiole elongation, whereas dominant inactivation of HBI1 and its homologs caused a dwarf phenotype, indicating that HBI1 is a positive regulator of cell elongation. In vitro and in vivo experiments showed that HBI1 directly bound to the promoters and activated two EXPANSIN genes encoding cell wall-loosening enzymes; HBI1's DNA binding and transcriptional activities were inhibited by IBH1, but the inhibitory effects of IBH1 were abolished by PRE1. The results indicate that PREs activate the DNA binding bHLH factor HBI1 by sequestering its inhibitor IBH1. Altering each of the three factors affected plant sensitivities to BR, GA, temperature, and light. Our study demonstrates that PREs, IBH1, and HBI1 form a chain of antagonistic switches that regulates cell elongation downstream of multiple external and endogenous signals.

  3. New triple-helix DNA stabilizing agents.

    PubMed

    Strekowski, Lucjan; Hojjat, Maryam; Wolinska, Ewa; Parker, Alesia N; Paliakov, Ekaterina; Gorecki, Tadeusz; Tanious, Farial A; Wilson, W David

    2005-02-15

    Several substituted quinolin-4-amines and heteroaromatic analogs were synthesized and evaluated for interaction with triplex polydA.2polydT and duplex polydA.polydT by using UV-thermal melting experiments. Excellent triple-helix DNA ligands with high affinity toward T.A.T triplets and triple/duplex selectivity were designed through a rational approach.

  4. Characterization of a helix-loop-helix (EF hand) motif of silver hake parvalbumin isoform B.

    PubMed

    Revett, S P; King, G; Shabanowitz, J; Hunt, D F; Hartman, K L; Laue, T M; Nelson, D J

    1997-11-01

    Parvalbumins are a class of calcium-binding proteins characterized by the presence of several helix-loop-helix (EF-hand) motifs. It is suspected that these proteins evolved via intragene duplication from a single EF-hand. Silver hake parvalbumin (SHPV) consists of three EF-type helix-loop-helix regions, two of which have the ability to bind calcium. The three helix-loop-helix motifs are designated AB, CD, and EF, respectively. In this study, native silver hake parvalbumin isoform B (SHPV-B) has been sequenced by mass spectrometry. The sequence indicates that this parvalbumin is a beta-lineage parvalbumin. SHPV-B was cleaved into two major fragments, consisting of the ABCD and EF regions of the native protein. The 33-amino acid EF fragment (residues 76-108), containing one of the calcium ion binding sites in native SHPV-B, has been isolated and studied for its structural characteristics, ability to bind divalent and trivalent cations, and for its propensity to undergo metal ion-induced self-association. The presence of Ca2+ does not induce significant secondary structure in the EF fragment. However, NMR and CD results indicate significant secondary structure promotion in the EF fragment in the presence of the higher charge-density trivalent cations. Sedimentation equilibrium analysis results show that the EF fragment exists in a monomer-dimer equilibrium when complexed with La3+.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stewart, Arthur J.; Ryon, Michael G.

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Phenotypic plasticity of the introduced New Zealand mud snail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum, compared to sympatric native snails.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Solem, Alan; Yochelson, Ellis Leon

    1979-01-01

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

  9. Microhabitats within venomous cone snails contain diverse actinobacteria.

    PubMed

    Peraud, Olivier; Biggs, Jason S; Hughen, Ronald W; Light, Alan R; Concepcion, Gisela P; Olivera, Baldomero M; Schmidt, Eric W

    2009-11-01

    Actinomycetes can be symbionts in diverse organisms, including both plants and animals. Some actinomycetes benefit their host by producing small molecule secondary metabolites; the resulting symbioses are often developmentally complex. Actinomycetes associated with three cone snails were studied. Cone snails are venomous tropical marine gastropods which have been extensively examined because of their production of peptide-based neurological toxins, but no microbiological studies have been reported on these organisms. A microhabitat approach was used in which dissected tissue from each snail was treated as an individual sample in order to explore bacteria in the tissues separately. Our results revealed a diverse, novel, and highly culturable cone snail-associated actinomycete community, with some isolates showing promising bioactivity in a neurological assay. This suggests that cone snails may represent an underexplored reservoir of novel actinomycetes of potential interest for drug discovery.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Microhabitats within Venomous Cone Snails Contain Diverse Actinobacteria▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Peraud, Olivier; Biggs, Jason S.; Hughen, Ronald W.; Light, Alan R.; Concepcion, Gisela P.; Olivera, Baldomero M.; Schmidt, Eric W.

    2009-01-01

    Actinomycetes can be symbionts in diverse organisms, including both plants and animals. Some actinomycetes benefit their host by producing small molecule secondary metabolites; the resulting symbioses are often developmentally complex. Actinomycetes associated with three cone snails were studied. Cone snails are venomous tropical marine gastropods which have been extensively examined because of their production of peptide-based neurological toxins, but no microbiological studies have been reported on these organisms. A microhabitat approach was used in which dissected tissue from each snail was treated as an individual sample in order to explore bacteria in the tissues separately. Our results revealed a diverse, novel, and highly culturable cone snail-associated actinomycete community, with some isolates showing promising bioactivity in a neurological assay. This suggests that cone snails may represent an underexplored reservoir of novel actinomycetes of potential interest for drug discovery. PMID:19749071

  12. The mitochondrial genome of the venomous cone snail Conus consors.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. An evaluation of techniques used in estimating snail populations

    PubMed Central

    Hairston, Nelson G.; Hubendick, Bengt; Watson, John M.; Olivier, Louis J.

    1958-01-01

    No uniform method, applicable to all situations, can be developed for the quantitative study of bilharziasis vector snail populations. The selection of survey technique and sampling device depends on the objectives of the study, the circumstances in which the work is carried out, the nature of the habitat and the resources available. The various techniques used in obtaining snail-population estimates are divided into two categories—direct methods and indirect methods. The former involve the collection of snails from a specified habitat or for a specified period of time, while the latter include techniques, such as snail marking and palm-leaf traps, in which the snails are not obtained through the efforts of a collector. Each method and device is described in detail, and its suitability under various conditions is discussed. PMID:13596889

  14. Comparative study of boundary conditions with helix

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pillay, Shamini; Kumar, Deepak; Phua, Y. N.

    2016-11-01

    This paper presents a comparative study of dispersion characteristics of the circular waveguide with helical windings. Our waveguide is doubly unconventional in the choice of reverse boundary condition, in the choice of normal boundary condition and further with the presence of sheath helix between the core and cladding parameters. Two methods of winding the helix between the core and cladding are considered namely from right to left and left to right. Through mathematical analysis using field components and boundary conditions the modal characteristics are derived for both conditions. Normal boundary condition and reverse boundary conditions are used respectively to represent the helical windings. Here the characteristic equation is obtained in the form of Bessel and modified Bessel for both waveguides. Using the modal characteristic equation the dispersion curves are plotted for numerous angles and wavelengths. We find that the method of wrapping the helical material has significant effect on the dispersion properties with regards to the way the modes propagate.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  16. Mixed FE analysis of viscoelastic cylindrical helixes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arıbaş, Ü. N.; Omurtag, M. H.

    2012-09-01

    In this study, analysis of viscoelastic cylindrical helixes with circular and square cross section is investigated by using the mixed FEM based on Timoshenko beam theory. The Kelvin model is used for the viscoelastic behavior. The analysis is performed in the Laplace domain and the results are transformed back to time domain numerically by Modified Durbin algorithm. The outcome is quite satisfactory besides the necessary engineering precision.

  17. Selective modulation of chemical and electrical synapses of Helix neuronal networks during in vitro development

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background A large number of invertebrate models, including the snail Helix, emerged as particularly suitable tools for investigating the formation of synapses and the specificity of neuronal connectivity. Helix neurons can be individually identified and isolated in cell culture, showing well-conserved size, position, biophysical properties, synaptic connections, and physiological functions. Although we previously showed the potential usefulness of Helix polysynaptic circuits, a full characterization of synaptic connectivity and its dynamics during network development has not been performed. Results In this paper, we systematically investigated the in vitro formation of polysynaptic circuits, among Helix B2 and the serotonergic C1 neurons, from a morphological and functional point of view. Since these cells are generally silent in culture, networks were chemically stimulated with either high extracellular potassium concentrations or, alternatively, serotonin. Potassium induced a transient depolarization of all neurons. On the other hand, we found prolonged firing activity, selectively maintained following the first serotonin application. Statistical analysis revealed no significant changes in neuronal dynamics during network development. Moreover, we demonstrated that the cell-selective effect of serotonin was also responsible for short-lasting alterations in C1 excitability, without long-term rebounds. Estimation of the functional connections by means of cross-correlation analysis revealed that networks under elevated KCl concentrations exhibited strongly correlated signals with short latencies (about 5 ms), typical of electrically coupled cells. Conversely, neurons treated with serotonin were weakly connected with longer latencies (exceeding 20 ms) between the interacting neurons. Finally, we clearly demonstrated that these two types of correlations (in terms of strength/latency) were effectively related to the presence of electrical or chemical connections, by

  18. Molecular Content of the Helix Nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zack, L. N.; Zeigler, N. R.; Ziurys, L. M.

    2012-06-01

    Multiple transitions of H_2CO, HCO^+, and CO were detected at nine positions across the planetary nebula NGC 7293, the Helix Nebula, using the 12m telescope and the Submillimeter Telescope (SMT) of the Arizona Radio Observatory (ARO). A complete map of the nebula has also been made in the J = 1 → 0 transition of HCO^+ at 89 GHz. HCO^+ emission was found to be widespread across the Helix, and is coincident with the ionized gas as traced in optical images. A complex velocity structure is apparent in the HCO^+ spectra, as well. The CO and H_2CO data (J = 1 → 0, 2 → 1, and 3 → 2) were modeled using a radiative transfer code at the nine positions observed in the Helix. Kinetic temperatures were typically found to be in the range Tkin ≈ 20 - 45 K and the gas density on the order of n(H_2) ≈ 105 cm-3 at these positions. The column densities for CO, H_2CO, and HCO^+ were determined to be 1015, 1012, and 1011 cm-2 respectively, corresponding to fractional abundances, relative to H_2, of f ≈ 10-4, 10-7, and 10-8. The extended distribution of HCO^+ suggests that dense clumps may exist throughout the nebula. Hence, the chemistry of evolved planetary nebulae may be more active than previously thought.

  19. Role of gamma-carboxyglutamic acid in the calcium-induced structural transition of conantokin G, a conotoxin from the marine snail Conus geographus.

    PubMed

    Rigby, A C; Baleja, J D; Li, L; Pedersen, L G; Furie, B C; Furie, B

    1997-12-16

    Conantokin G is a gamma-carboxyglutamic acid- (Gla-) containing conotoxin isolated from the venom of the marine cone snail Conus geographus. This 17-residue polypeptide, which contains five gamma-carboxyglutamic acid residues, is a N-methyl-d-aspartate- (NMDA-) type glutamate receptor antagonist. To investigate the role of gamma-carboxyglutamic acid in the calcium-induced structural transition of conantokin G, we determined the three-dimensional structure of the conantokin G/Ca2+ complex by two-dimensional 1H NMR spectroscopy and compared it to the high-resolution structure of conantokin G in the absence of metal ions [Rigby et al. (1997) Biochemistry 36, 6906]. Complete resonance assignments were made by two dimensional 1H NMR spectroscopy at pH 5.6 in the presence of saturating amounts of Ca2+. Distance geometry and simulated annealing methods were used to derive 23 convergent structures from a set of 302 interproton distance restraints and two torsion angle measurements. A high-resolution structure, with the backbone root mean square deviation to the geometric average of the 23 structures of 0.6 +/- 0.1 A, contains a linear alpha-helix from Gla 3 to Lys 15. Gla residues 3, 7, 10, and 14 are aligned in a linear array on one face of the helix. A genetic algorithm was applied to determine the calcium positions in conantokin G, and the conantokin G/Ca2+ complex refined by molecular simulation. Upon binding of Ca2+ to gamma-carboxyglutamic acid, conantokin G undergoes a conformational transition from a distorted curvilinear 310 helix to a linear alpha-helix. Occupancy of the metal binding sites, defined by gamma-carboxyglutamic acids, results in formation of a calcium-carboxylate network that linearizes the helix and exposes the hydrophobic amino acids on the opposite face of the helix.

  20. Improving prediction of helix-helix packing in membrane proteins using predicted contact numbers as restraints.

    PubMed

    Li, Bian; Mendenhall, Jeffrey; Nguyen, Elizabeth Dong; Weiner, Brian E; Fischer, Axel W; Meiler, Jens

    2017-03-06

    One of the challenging problems in tertiary structure prediction of helical membrane proteins (HMPs) is the determination of rotation of α-helices around the helix normal. Incorrect prediction of helix rotations substantially disrupts native residue-residue contacts while inducing only a relatively small effect on the overall fold. We previously developed a method for predicting residue contact numbers (CNs), which measure the local packing density of residues within the protein tertiary structure. In this study, we tested the idea of incorporating predicted CNs as restraints to guide the sampling of helix rotation. For a benchmark set of 15 HMPs with simple to rather complicated folds, the average contact recovery (CR) of best-sampled models was improved for all targets, the likelihood of sampling models with CR greater than 20% was increased for 13 targets, and the average RMSD100 of best-sampled models was improved for 12 targets. This study demonstrated that explicit incorporation of CNs as restraints improves the prediction of helix-helix packing. Proteins 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Thermal stability of collagen triple helix.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yujia

    2009-01-01

    Chief among the challenges of characterizing the thermal stability of the collagen triple helix are the lack of the reversibility of the thermal transition and the presence of multiple folding-unfolding steps during the thermal transition which rarely follows the simple two-state, all-or-none mechanism. Despite of the difficulties inherited in the quantitative depiction of the thermal transition of collagen, biophysical studies combined with proteolysis and mutagenesis approaches using full-chain collagens, short synthetic peptides, and recombinant collagen fragments have revealed molecular features of the thermal unfolding of the subdomains of collagen and led to a better understanding of the diverse biological functions of this versatile protein. The subdomain of collagen generally refers to a segment of the long, rope-like triple helical molecule that can unfold cooperatively as an independent unit whose properties (their size, location, and thermal stability) are considered essential for the molecular recognition during the self-assembly of collagen and during the interactions of collagen with other macromolecules. While the unfolding of segments of the triple helix at temperatures below the apparent melting temperature of the molecule has been used to interpret much of the features of the thermal unfolding of full-chain collagens, the thermal studies of short, synthetic peptides have firmly established the molecular basis of the subdomains by clearly demonstrating the close dependence of the thermal stability of a triple helix on the constituent amino acid residues at the X and the Y positions of the characteristic Gly-X-Y repeating sequence patterns of the triple helix. Studies using recombinant collagen fragments further revealed that in the context of the long, linear molecule, the stability of a segment of the triple helix is also modulated by long-range impact of the local interactions such as the interchain salt bridges. Together, the combined approaches

  2. Intoxication and biochemical responses of freshwater snail Bellamya aeruginosa to ethylbenzene.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Shimei; Zhou, Qixing

    2017-01-01

    No acute toxic data of ethylbenzene on gastropod is available in literature. In the present study, the acute toxicity of ethylbenzene was assessed on a freshwater snail Bellamya aeruginosa, which was exposed to ethylbenzene concentration from 1 to 100 mg/L for 96 h. No mortality occurred, but a manifestation of intoxication (distress syndrome) was observed in part of exposed snails, and meanwhile, another part was moved normally. The distress syndrome showed clear dose- and time-dependent effects, and the 96-h EC50 value for distress syndrome was 13.3 mg/L in snail. The biochemical responses induced by ethylbenzene to the snail, including acetylcholinesterase (AChE) in the whole body and superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione S-transferases (GST), and reduced glutathione (GSH) in the hepatopancreas, were evaluated both for distressed snail and moved snail. The AChE activity of distressed snail was all inhibited more than 45 %, and the inhibition of AChE activity in the moved snail was all less than 30 % and more than 20 %, demonstrating that ethylbenzene exerted nervous toxicity to both distressed snail and moved snail. Meanwhile, the difference for AChE activity between the two different response snails was significant. Among the antioxidant biomarkers (SOD, CAT, GST, and GSH), only GST displayed significant difference between the distressed snail and moved snail. However, the activities of enzymes (SOD, CAT, and GST) in the moved snail were greater than those in the distressed snail, no matter significantly or insignificantly, which indicated that the ability of antioxidant defense in the distressed snail was weaker than that in the moved snail. The findings here reported manifest that ethylbenzene exerted nervous toxicity to snail, and the snail with intoxication response (distress syndrome) presented larger inhibition on AChE activity and weaker antioxidant ability in comparison with the moved snail.

  3. Crawling beneath the free surface: Water snail locomotion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Sungyon; Bush, John W. M.; Hosoi, A. E.; Lauga, Eric

    2008-08-01

    Land snails move via adhesive locomotion. Through muscular contraction and expansion of their foot, they transmit waves of shear stress through a thin layer of mucus onto a solid substrate. Since a free surface cannot support shear stress, adhesive locomotion is not a viable propulsion mechanism for water snails that travel inverted beneath the free surface. Nevertheless, the motion of the freshwater snail, Sorbeoconcha physidae, is reminiscent of that of its terrestrial counterparts, being generated by the undulation of the snail foot that is separated from the free surface by a thin layer of mucus. Here, a lubrication model is used to describe the mucus flow in the limit of small-amplitude interfacial deformations. By assuming the shape of the snail foot to be a traveling sine wave and the mucus to be Newtonian, an evolution equation for the interface shape is obtained and the resulting propulsive force on the snail is calculated. This propulsive force is found to be nonzero for moderate values of the capillary number but vanishes in the limits of high and low capillary number. Physically, this force arises because the snail's foot deforms the free surface, thereby generating curvature pressures and lubrication flows inside the mucus layer that couple to the topography of the foot.

  4. Excitatory neurotransmitters in the tentacle flexor muscles responsible for space positioning of the snail olfactory organ.

    PubMed

    Krajcs, N; Hernádi, L; Elekes, K; Kimura, S; Kiss, T

    2014-03-01

    Recently, three novel flexor muscles (M1, M2 and M3) in the posterior tentacles of the snail have been described, which are responsible for the patterned movements of the tentacles of the snail, Helix pomatia. In this study, we have demonstrated that the muscles received a complex innervation pattern via the peritentacular and olfactory nerves originating from different clusters of motoneurons of the cerebral ganglia. The innervating axons displayed a number of varicosities and established neuromuscular contacts of different ultrastructural forms. Contractions evoked by nerve stimulation could be mimicked by external acetylcholine (ACh) and glutamate (Glu), suggesting that ACh and Glu are excitatory transmitters at the neuromuscular contacts. Choline acetyltransferase and vesicular glutamate transporter immunolabeled axons innervating flexor muscles were demonstrated by immunohistochemistry and in Western blot experiments. Nerve- and transmitter-evoked contractions were similarly attenuated by cholinergic and glutamatergic antagonists supporting the dual excitatory innervation. Dopamine (DA, 10⁻⁵ M) oppositely modulated thin (M1/M2) and thick (M3) muscle responses evoked by stimulation of the olfactory nerve, decreasing the contractions of the M1/M2 and increasing those of M3. In both cases, the modulation site was presynaptic. Serotonin (5-HT) at high concentration (10⁻⁵ M) increased the amplitude of both the nerve- and the ACh-evoked contractions in all muscles. The relaxation rate was facilitated suggesting pre- and postsynaptic site of action. Our data provided evidence for a DAergic and 5-HTergic modulation of cholinergic nerves innervating flexor muscles of the tentacles as well as the muscles itself. These effects of DA and 5-HT may contribute to the regulation of sophisticated movements of tentacle muscles lacking inhibitory innervation.

  5. Control of Collagen Triple Helix Stability by Phosphorylation.

    PubMed

    Acevedo-Jake, Amanda M; Ngo, Daniel H; Hartgerink, Jeffrey D

    2017-03-10

    The phosphorylation of the collagen triple helix plays an important role in collagen synthesis, assembly, signaling, and immune response, although no reports detailing the effect this modification has on the structure and stability of the triple helix exist. Here we investigate the changes in stability and structure resulting from the phosphorylation of collagen. Additionally, the formation of pairwise interactions between phosphorylated residues and lysine is examined. In all tested cases, phosphorylation increases helix stability. When charged-pair interactions are possible, stabilization via phosphorylation can play a very large role, resulting inasmuch as a 13.0 °C increase in triple helix stability. Two-dimensional NMR and molecular modeling are used to study the local structure of the triple helix. Our results suggest a mechanism of action for phosphorylation in the regulation of collagen and also expand upon our understanding of pairwise amino acid stabilization of the collagen triple helix.

  6. Dub3 inhibition suppresses breast cancer invasion and metastasis by promoting Snail1 degradation.

    PubMed

    Wu, Yadi; Wang, Yu; Lin, Yiwei; Liu, Yajuan; Wang, Yifan; Jia, Jianhang; Singh, Puja; Chi, Young-In; Wang, Chi; Dong, Chenfang; Li, Wei; Tao, Min; Napier, Dana; Shi, Qiuying; Deng, Jiong; Mark Evers, B; Zhou, Binhua P

    2017-02-15

    Snail1, a key transcription factor of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), is subjected to ubiquitination and degradation, but the mechanism by which Snail1 is stabilized in tumours remains unclear. We identify Dub3 as a bona fide Snail1 deubiquitinase, which interacts with and stabilizes Snail1. Dub3 is overexpressed in breast cancer; knockdown of Dub3 resulted in Snail1 destabilization, suppressed EMT and decreased tumour cell migration, invasion, and metastasis. These effects are rescued by ectopic Snail1 expression. IL-6 also stabilizes Snail1 by inducing Dub3 expression, the specific inhibitor WP1130 binds to Dub3 and inhibits the Dub3-mediating Snail1 stabilization in vitro and in vivo. Our study reveals a critical Dub3-Snail1 signalling axis in EMT and metastasis, and provides an effective therapeutic approach against breast cancer.

  7. Dub3 inhibition suppresses breast cancer invasion and metastasis by promoting Snail1 degradation

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Yadi; Wang, Yu; Lin, Yiwei; Liu, Yajuan; Wang, Yifan; Jia, Jianhang; Singh, Puja; Chi, Young-In; Wang, Chi; Dong, Chenfang; Li, Wei; Tao, Min; Napier, Dana; Shi, Qiuying; Deng, Jiong; Mark Evers, B; Zhou, Binhua P.

    2017-01-01

    Snail1, a key transcription factor of epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT), is subjected to ubiquitination and degradation, but the mechanism by which Snail1 is stabilized in tumours remains unclear. We identify Dub3 as a bona fide Snail1 deubiquitinase, which interacts with and stabilizes Snail1. Dub3 is overexpressed in breast cancer; knockdown of Dub3 resulted in Snail1 destabilization, suppressed EMT and decreased tumour cell migration, invasion, and metastasis. These effects are rescued by ectopic Snail1 expression. IL-6 also stabilizes Snail1 by inducing Dub3 expression, the specific inhibitor WP1130 binds to Dub3 and inhibits the Dub3-mediating Snail1 stabilization in vitro and in vivo. Our study reveals a critical Dub3–Snail1 signalling axis in EMT and metastasis, and provides an effective therapeutic approach against breast cancer. PMID:28198361

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1972-01-01

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

  9. Some aspects of snail ecology in South Africa

    PubMed Central

    de Meillon, B.; Frank, G. H.; Allanson, B. R.

    1958-01-01

    In this paper, the authors present the preliminary results of a recent ecological survey of some rivers in the Transvaal, Union of South Africa. Representative samples of the molluscan fauna of the rivers were collected and chemical analyses of the river waters were carried out. In addition, such characteristics as current speed, temperature, turbidity, biochemical oxygen demand, and amount of oxygen absorbed from potassium permanganate were determined. No evidence was obtained to show that the chemical composition of natural, unpolluted waters plays any part in determining vector snail habitats. Current speed was found to have some effect, bilharzia vector snails not being found in fast-flowing waters. Of the other factors, turbidity was shown to be of some importance, probably because it affects the growth of the algae on which certain snails seem to depend for their proper development, and severe pollution with sewage and industrial wastes also appeared to have an adverse affect on the snail population. PMID:13573112

  10. Snails, stable iostopes, and southwestern desert paleoclimates

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Belgiovine, Cristina; Chiesa, Giulio; Chiodi, Ilaria; Frapolli, Roberta; Bonezzi, Katiuscia; Taraboletti, Giulia; D'Incalci, Maurizio; Mondello, Chiara

    2016-07-01

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

  13. Reproductive Ecology of the Giant African Snail in South Florida: Implications for Eradication Programs

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Giant African snail (Achatina fulica (Bowdich, 1822)), an important invasive snail, was recently found in South Florida, USA. An extensive eradication effort was initiated consisting of pesticide applications, debris removal and hand collections. We studied the reproduction capacity and population dynamics of snails collected from 22 populations for two years to help evaluate the likely success of the eradication program. A total of 23,890 snails, ranging from 25–131 mm, were measured, dissected and the number of eggs in each snail counted. Gravid snails ranged from 48–128 mm. Only 5% of snails had eggs, which were found year round. As the snails increased in size, they were more likely to include reproducing individuals. However, the percentage of gravid snails peaked when snails were approximately 90 mm. Although more prevalent, small (<65 mm) adults contributed fewer eggs to the population than the larger snails. We evaluated the effect of control measures on six populations having >1000 adult snails and used data from the two largest populations to investigate how environmental factors (temperature, humidity, and rainfall) interacted with population dynamics and control measures. More snails were collected in weeks with high humidity and more gravid snails were collected when the temperature was higher. The addition of metaldehyde pesticides had the greatest impact on population dynamics by reducing snail numbers. In populations with fewer snails, their numbers were already declining before the use of metaldehyde, although the new treatment accelerated the process. As a consequence of the eradication program, egg-producing snails were no longer collected from most populations by the end of the study. The aggressive and persistent control efforts apparently lead to reduced populations of egg producing snails, eventually resulting in local extinctions of this important pest. PMID:27861504

  14. Reproductive Ecology of the Giant African Snail in South Florida: Implications for Eradication Programs.

    PubMed

    Roda, Amy; Nachman, Gösta; Weihman, Scott; Yong Cong, Mary; Zimmerman, Fredrick

    2016-01-01

    Giant African snail (Achatina fulica (Bowdich, 1822)), an important invasive snail, was recently found in South Florida, USA. An extensive eradication effort was initiated consisting of pesticide applications, debris removal and hand collections. We studied the reproduction capacity and population dynamics of snails collected from 22 populations for two years to help evaluate the likely success of the eradication program. A total of 23,890 snails, ranging from 25-131 mm, were measured, dissected and the number of eggs in each snail counted. Gravid snails ranged from 48-128 mm. Only 5% of snails had eggs, which were found year round. As the snails increased in size, they were more likely to include reproducing individuals. However, the percentage of gravid snails peaked when snails were approximately 90 mm. Although more prevalent, small (<65 mm) adults contributed fewer eggs to the population than the larger snails. We evaluated the effect of control measures on six populations having >1000 adult snails and used data from the two largest populations to investigate how environmental factors (temperature, humidity, and rainfall) interacted with population dynamics and control measures. More snails were collected in weeks with high humidity and more gravid snails were collected when the temperature was higher. The addition of metaldehyde pesticides had the greatest impact on population dynamics by reducing snail numbers. In populations with fewer snails, their numbers were already declining before the use of metaldehyde, although the new treatment accelerated the process. As a consequence of the eradication program, egg-producing snails were no longer collected from most populations by the end of the study. The aggressive and persistent control efforts apparently lead to reduced populations of egg producing snails, eventually resulting in local extinctions of this important pest.

  15. Mechanical performance of PPy helix tube microactuator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bahrami Samani, Mehrdad; Spinks, Geoffrey M.; Cook, Christopher

    2004-02-01

    Conducting polymer actuators with favourable properties such as linearity, high power density and compliance are of increasing demand in micro applications. These materials generate forces over two times larger than produced by mammalian skeletal muscles. They operate to convert electro chemical energy to mechanical stress and strain. On the other hand, the application of conducting polymers is limited by the lack of a full description of the relation between four essential parameters: stress, strain, voltage and current. In this paper, polypyrrole helix tube micro actuator mechanical characteristics are investigated. The electrolyte is propylene carbonate and the dopant is TBA. PF6. The experiments are both in isotonic and isometric conditions and the input parameters are both electrical and mechanical. A dual mode force and length control and potentiostat / galvanostat are utilized for this purpose. Ultimately, the viscoelastic behaviour of the actuator is presented in this paper by a standard stress relaxation test. The effect of electrical stimulus on mechanical parameters is also explored by cyclic voltametry at different scan rates to obtain the best understanding of the actuation mechanism. The results demonstrate that the linear viscoelastic model, which performed well on conducting polymer film actuators, has to be modified to explain the mechanical behaviour of PPy helix tube fibre micro actuators. Secondly, the changes in mechanical properties of PPy need to be considered when modelling electromechanical behaviour.

  16. HELIX: The High Energy Light Isotope Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Musser, Jim

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-14

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1995-10-01

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

  19. Comets Kick up Dust in Helix Nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

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

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

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

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

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

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

    This image

  20. Snails and trematode infection after Indian Ocean tsunami in Phang-Nga Province, southern Thailand.

    PubMed

    Sri-Aroon, Pusadee; Chusongsang, Phiraphol; Chusongsang, Yupa; Pornpimol, Surinthwong; Butraporn, Piyarat; Lohachit, Chantima

    2010-01-01

    The tsunami and non-tsunami affected areas of Takua Pa District, Phang-Nga Province were investigated for fresh- and brackish-water snails that transmit human parasitic diseases during 2006 and 2007. Among 46 snail species found, 17 species of 8 families were freshwater snails, 28 species of another 7 families were brackish-water snails, and 1 species was a land snail. Of these species, 11 freshwater snails, 4 brackish-water snails and 1 land snail were of medical importance. The fresh-water snails were Pomacea canaliculata, Pila angelica, P. gracilis, P. polita, Filopaludina (S.) martensi, F. (F.) s. polygramma, Melanoides tuberculata, Indoplanorbis exuxtus, Radix rubiginosa, Helicorbis umbilicalis, Gyraulus convexiusculus. Four brackish-water snails were Cerithidea cingulata, C. djadjarensis, C. alata, Sermyla riqueti and Achatina fulica was the land snail. I. exutus, M. tuberculata and F. (F.) s. polygramma harbored Xiphidio, Microcercus, Furocercus, Echinostome cercariae, and cercaria without eyespots or tail with hair. Three species of brackish-water snails, Cerithidia cingulata, C. djadjariensis, and C. alata presented with 6 types of trematode cercariae and rediae. Knowledge of medically important snails and their parasitic diseases, and prevention were given to Takua Pa people by poster, pamphlets and broadcasting through community radio.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Todeva, Emanuela; Danson, Mike

    2016-01-01

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

  3. "Special Issue": Regional Dimensions of the Triple Helix Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Todeva, Emanuela; Danson, Mike

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Government and Governance of Regional Triple Helix Interactions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Danson, Mike; Todeva, Emanuela

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Time-programmed helix inversion in phototunable liquid crystals.

    PubMed

    Asshoff, Sarah J; Iamsaard, Supitchaya; Bosco, Alessandro; Cornelissen, Jeroen J L M; Feringa, Ben L; Katsonis, Nathalie

    2013-05-14

    Doping cholesteric liquid crystals with photo-responsive molecules enables controlling the colour and polarisation of the light they reflect. However, accelerating the rate of relaxation of these photo-controllable liquid crystals remains challenging. Here we show that the relaxation rate of the cholesteric helix is fully determined by helix inversion of the molecular dopants.

  6. PS--a program for the analysis of helix geometry.

    PubMed

    Smith, Brian J

    2012-03-01

    The structure of helices within proteins is often distorted from the ideal linear topology. Curvature of the helix axis can be measured by determining the radius of a circle fit to the axis. Described here is a method of defining a curved path that places backbone atoms (usually Cα) equidistantly from the path. The variance in the distance of backbone atoms from the helix axis is minimised to produce the parametric equations that describe the intersection of a sphere and a plane. The geometric properties of the helix (including helix radius, radius of curvature, and pitch) can be readily obtained from these equations. The approach is applicable to any form of helix, can use any atom in the peptide to determine the axis, can be applied to any polypeptide including mixed α/β peptides, and does not rely on a regular spacing of peptide monomers in the polypeptide chain.

  7. Mitochondrial Proteins Containing Coiled-Coil-Helix-Coiled-Coil-Helix (CHCH) Domains in Health and Disease.

    PubMed

    Modjtahedi, Nazanine; Tokatlidis, Kostas; Dessen, Philippe; Kroemer, Guido

    2016-03-01

    Members of the coiled-coil-helix-coiled-coil-helix (CHCH) domain-containing protein family that carry (CX9C) type motifs are imported into the mitochondrion with the help of the disulfide relay-dependent MIA import pathway. These evolutionarily conserved proteins are emerging as new cellular factors that control mitochondrial respiration, redox regulation, lipid homeostasis, and membrane ultrastructure and dynamics. We discuss recent insights on the activity of known (CX9C) motif-carrying proteins in mammals and review current data implicating the Mia40/CHCHD4 import machinery in the regulation of their mitochondrial import. Recent findings and the identification of disease-associated mutations in specific (CX9C) motif-carrying proteins have highlighted members of this family of proteins as potential therapeutic targets in a variety of human disorders.

  8. E-proteins and ID-proteins: Helix-loop-helix partners in development and disease

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Lan-Hsin; Baker, Nicholas E.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-07-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  11. The feeding habits of the snail kite in Florida, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sykes, P.W.

    1987-01-01

    The feeding habits of the Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis) were observed intermittently from 1967-1980 in Florida, USA. Approximately 97% of all observed foraging bouts were over marshes having sparse emergent vegetation. The visually-hunting kite was unable to forage over floating mats of exotic water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes). Male kites had shorter hunting bouts than females. For still-hunting, the birds' perches ranged from 0.15-4.6 m high and captures occurred an average of 5.8 m from perches. Females were significantly more successful (70%) for course-hunting than males (48%), but I found no difference for still-hunting. Birds tended to forage throughout the day, except for occasional inactive periods by some individuals during midday. On cooler days, foraging commenced slightly later in the morning than on warmer days. Kites probably capture freshwater apple snails (Pomacea paludosa) as deep as 16 cm. Capture rates for adults generally ranged from 1.7-3.4 snails per hour. Kites usually foraged over a common hunting area, and defense of foraging sites was rare. Handling of snails, from the kite's arrival at the feeding perch unit consumption, averaged 2.7 min, with no significant difference between sexes. However, adult females were more efficient at the extraction portion of this process than were adult males. Snails were usually extracted before being brought to the nest, except in the latter part of the nestling period when some snails were extracted at or near the nest and some were brought intact. Adults feed small chicks bill to bill, and both parents generally shared equally in care of the young, except at two nests where the females did 67% or more of the feeding. Mean length of snails taken by kites was 42.8 mm (range 25.2-71.3 n=697) and mean diameter was 45.8 mm (range 27.4-82.4, n=697). The most common size classes tkaen were 30-60 mm in length and diameter. Nutritional and gross energy values were determined for apple snails. Female

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Parallel evolution of passive and active defence in land snails

    PubMed Central

    Morii, Yuta; Prozorova, Larisa; Chiba, Satoshi

    2016-01-01

    Predator-prey interactions are major processes promoting phenotypic evolution. However, it remains unclear how predation causes morphological and behavioural diversity in prey species and how it might lead to speciation. Here, we show that substantial divergence in the phenotypic traits of prey species has occurred among closely related land snails as a result of adaptation to predator attacks. This caused the divergence of defensive strategies into two alternatives: passive defence and active defence. Phenotypic traits of the subarctic Karaftohelix land snail have undergone radiation in northeast Asia, and distinctive morphotypes generally coexist in the same regions. In these land snails, we documented two alternative defence behaviours against predation by malacophagous beetles. Furthermore, the behaviours are potentially associated with differences in shell morphology. In addition, molecular phylogenetic analyses indicated that these alternative strategies against predation arose independently on the islands and on the continent suggesting that anti-predator adaptation is a major cause of phenotypic diversity in these snails. Finally, we suggest the potential speciation of Karaftohelix snails as a result of the divergence of defensive strategies into passive and active behaviours and the possibility of species radiation due to anti-predatory adaptations. PMID:27833102

  14. 75 FR 35424 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed Reclassification of the Tulotoma Snail...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-06-22

    ...; Proposed Reclassification of the Tulotoma Snail From Endangered to Threatened AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife...), propose to reclassify the tulotoma snail (Tulotoma magnifica) from endangered to threatened, under the... no longer correctly reflects the status of this snail. We have documented a substantial...

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Rapid transcription fosters coordinate snail expression in the Drosophila embryo.

    PubMed

    Boettiger, Alistair Nicol; Levine, Michael

    2013-01-31

    Transcription is commonly held to be a highly stochastic process, resulting in considerable heterogeneity of gene expression among the different cells in a population. Here, we employ quantitative in situ hybridization methods coupled with high-resolution imaging assays to measure the expression of snail, a developmental patterning gene necessary for coordinating the invagination of the mesoderm during gastrulation of the Drosophila embryo. Our measurements of steady-state mRNAs suggest that there is very little variation in snail expression across the different cells that make up the mesoderm and that synthesis approaches the kinetic limits of Pol II processivity. We propose that rapid transcription kinetics and negative autoregulation are responsible for the remarkable homogeneity of snail expression and the coordination of mesoderm invagination.

  18. MTA3 regulates CGB5 and Snail genes in trophoblast

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-04-19

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

  19. Slime-trail tracking in the predatory snail, Euglandina rosea.

    PubMed

    Clifford, Kavan T; Gross, Liaini; Johnson, Kwame; Martin, Khalil J; Shaheen, Nagma; Harrington, Melissa A

    2003-10-01

    Euglandina rosea, a predatory land snail, tracks prey and mates by following slime trails. Euglandina follow slime trails more than 80% of the time, following trails of their own species, but not those of prey snails, in the direction that they were laid. The attractive elements of prey slime are small, water-soluble compounds detected by specialized lip extensions. Although olfaction plays no role in trail following, strong odors disrupt tracking. Inhibition of nitric oxide synthase also disrupts slime trail following, suggesting a role for nitric oxide in neural processing of slime trail stimuli. Euglandina can be conditioned to follow novel trails of glutamate or arginine paired with feeding on prey snails. These experiments demonstrate that slime-trail tracking in Euglandina is a robust, easily measured behavior that makes a good model system for studying sensory processing and learning in a novel modality.

  20. Concentration-temperature superposition of helix folding rates in gelatin.

    PubMed

    Gornall, J L; Terentjev, E M

    2007-07-13

    Using optical rotation as the primary technique, we have characterized the kinetics of helix renaturation in water solutions of gelatin. By covering a wide range of solution concentrations we identify a universal exponential dependence of folding rate on concentration and quench temperature. We demonstrate a new concentration-temperature superposition of data at all temperatures and concentrations, and build the corresponding master curve. The normalized rate constant is consistent with helix lengthening. Nucleation of the triple helix occurs rapidly and contributes less to the helical onset than previously thought.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  2. Prioritized phenotypic responses to combined predators in a marine snail.

    PubMed

    Bourdeau, Paul E

    2009-06-01

    Although many species face numerous predators in nature, the combined impact of multiple predators on the inducible defenses of prey has rarely been studied. Prey may respond with an intermediate phenotype that balances the risk from several sources or may simply respond to the most dangerous predator. I examined the separate and combined effects of the presence of shell-breaking (crabs, Cancer productus) and shell-entry (seastars, Pisaster ochraceus) predators fed conspecific snails on the defensive shell morphology and antipredator behavior of a marine snail (Nucella lamellosa). When exposed to each feeding predator separately, snails responded with a combination of morphological defenses that reflect the attack mode of the predator and a generalized behavioral response. Snails responded to feeding crabs by increasing refuge use and producing a thick, rotund shell. Snails responded to feeding seastars with increased refuge use but produced elongate shells with high spires that allowed for greater retraction of the soft tissue. Seastar-induced phenotypes reduced susceptibility to seastars relative to crab-induced phenotypes, but crab-induced phenotypes did not significantly reduce susceptibility to crabs, indicating an asymmetrical functional trade-off. When feeding predators were combined, snails produced a morphological phenotype similar to that expressed in the presence of the predator that imposed the highest mortality at the population level, suggesting that predator-induced morphology was prioritized according to predation risk. These results suggest that prioritizing conflicting defenses according to predator danger may be a common strategy for prey responding to combined predators, particularly in conjunction with generalized behavioral responses that reduce overall risk in multiple-predator environments.

  3. Natural parasitic infection of the golden apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata.

    PubMed

    Keawjam, R S; Poonswad, P; Upatham, E S; Banpavichit, S

    1993-03-01

    Golden apple snails, Pomacea canaliculata, were collected once a month during a year to search for their natural parasites. The collections were made at two localities having different ecological environments. Of 576 collected snails from a canal, 176 individuals (30.6%) were infected by three groups of metacercariae. These parasites were amphistome, distome and echinostome metacercariae, which had prevalences of 23.5, 19.5 and 0.5%, respectively. The incidence of infection was highest (68.4% in October) when the snail population was composed of the old, juvenile and young Pomacea. Amphistome metacercariae were found most frequently and echinostome metacercariae the least frequently; both parasites were localized in the foot muscle of the snails and had a Shannon index of zero. The range of amphistomes was 1 to 115 with the mean +/- SD of 1 +/- 2 and 95% CL of 1, 2. Distome metacercariae were found primarily in the heart (range: 1-13), and also in the foot muscle (range: 1-5) and kidney (range: 1-14), with a Shannon index of 0.4. The means +/- SD (with 95% CL) were 3 +/- 4 (95% CL = 1, 5), 3 +/- 4 (95% CL = 2, 4) and 2 +/- 1 (95% CL = 1, 2) for the foot muscle, heart and kidney, respectively. The snails from a pond, another locality, had a low proportion of infected individuals. Of 605 snails, only 24 individuals (4.0%) were infected, with the prevalence of amphistomes, distomes and echinostomes being 0.8, 1.8 and 2.1%, respectively. The incidence of infection for each month was zero or less than 10%, except in May when it was 30.2%.

  4. Effects of trematode parasitism on the shell morphology of snails from flow and nonflow environments.

    PubMed

    Gustafson, Kyle D; Bolek, Matthew G

    2016-03-01

    The primary function of the gastropod shell is protection. However, shells that function well in one environment may be maladaptive in another. Upon infection, the snail shell protects internal parasites and it is to the parasite's advantage to optimize, or not interfere with, shell functionality. However, parasites, particularly trematodes, are often pathogenic and it is not clear if parasitism will induce environment-dependent or -independent changes to gastropod shells. We conducted a field study and a complementary laboratory experiment to examine the effects of trematode parasitism on shell characteristics (shape, size, and crush resistance) of Physa acuta snails in flow and nonflow environments using geometric morphometrics and crush assays. Field results indicate wetland (nonflow) snails had large, crush resistant shells with narrow apertures and tall spires. In contrast, stream (flow) snails had small, weak shells with wide apertures and short spires. Parasitism had no apparent effect on the crush resistance of wetland snails but significantly reduced the crush resistance of stream snails. Parasitism had no significant effect on overall shell shape in stream or wetland snails. Similar to the results of our field study, nonflow tank snails had significantly more crush resistant shells than flow tank snails. Additionally, the shapes of flow and nonflow tank snails significantly differed where nonflow tank snails resembled wetland snails and flow tank snails resembled stream snails. For laboratory snails, parasitism reduced crush resistance regardless of flow/nonflow treatment. Our results demonstrate that habitat and/or flow treatment was the primary factor affecting P. acuta shell morphology and that trematode parasitism played a secondary role.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. 78 FR 12346 - Jennings Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Morro Shoulderband Snail, Community of Los...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-02-22

    ... Snail, Community of Los Osos, San Luis Obispo County, CA AGENCY: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service...'' of the federally endangered Morro shoulderband snail (= banded dune snail; Helminthoglypta walkeriana... mitigate project activities that are likely to result in take of the Morro shoulderband snail as...

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-12-31

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

  9. Silver conical helix broadband plasmonic nanoantenna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sobhkhiz, Nader; Moshaii, Ahmad

    2014-01-01

    The discrete dipole approximation method is used to investigate the optical extinction spectra and the electric field enhancement of Ag conical helix (CH) nanostructures. Based on an expected similarity between the radio frequency response of the antenna with the infrared and the visible response of the nanoantenna, the Ag CH nanostructures were designed as a broadband nanoantenna. It is shown that with engineering the structure parameters of the CH nanostructure the plasmonic response of the nanostructure can be designed for a desirable application. In addition, the change of the substrate material for the nanohelix growth is shown to have infinitesimal effect on the resonance peaks of the conical nanohelix. However, varying the surrounding medium can lead to considerable red-shifting of the plasmonic resonance peaks (up to 230 nm). Calculations of the near field around the helical nanoantenna show that the smaller and the larger sides of the CH are related to the plasmonic resonance peaks at low and high wavelengths, respectively. The calculation result for the extinction spectrum has also been compared with similar experimental data for a 2-pitch Ag conical nanohelix and a relatively good agreement between the numerical calculation and the experiment has been obtained.

  10. A supramolecular helix that disregards chirality.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. The sliding-helix voltage sensor

    PubMed Central

    Peyser, Alexander; Nonner, Wolfgang

    2012-01-01

    The voltage sensor (VS) domain of voltage-gated ion channels underlies electrical excitability of living cells. We simulate a mesoscale model of the VS domain to determine the functional consequences of some of its physical elements. Our mesoscale model is based on VS charges, linear dielectrics and whole-body motion, applied to an S4 ‘sliding helix’. The electrostatics under voltage-clamped boundary conditions are solved consistently using a boundary element method. Based on electrostatic configurational energy, statistical-mechanical expectations of the experimentally observable relation between displaced charge and membrane voltage are predicted. Consequences of the model are investigated for variations of: S4 configuration (α- and 310-helical), countercharge alignment with S4 charges, protein polarizability, geometry of the gating canal, screening of S4 charges by the baths, and fixed charges located at the bath interfaces. The sliding helix VS domain has an inherent electrostatic stability in the explored parameter space: countercharges present in the region of weak dielectric always retain an equivalent S4 charge in that region but allow sliding movements displacing 3 to 4 e0. That movement is sensitive to small energy variations (< 2kT) along the path dependent on a number of electrostatic parameters tested in our simulations. These simulations show how the slope of the relation between displaced charge and voltage could be tuned in a channel. PMID:22907204

  12. Effects of radiation on DNA's double helix

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

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

  13. Ivermectin efficacy against Biomphalaria, intermediate host snail vectors of Schistosomiasis.

    PubMed

    Katz, Naftale; Araújo, Neusa; Coelho, Paulo Marcos Zech; Morel, Carlos Medicis; Linde-Arias, Ana Rosa; Yamada, Takeshi; Horimatsu, Yuki; Suzuki, Koh; Sunazuka, Toshiaki; Ōmura, Satoshi

    2017-03-15

    The impact of ivermectin on adult snails of the genus Biomphalaria (B. glabrata, B. tenagophila and B. straminea), B. glabrata infected with Schistosoma mansoni, snail egg-masses cercariae and miracidia, as well as on guppy fish (Poecilia reticulata) was examined and evaluated. Biomphalaria snails, egg-masses, parasite stages and guppies were all exposed to different concentrations of ivermectin for 24 h, followed by regular observations of mortality. The calculated lethal doses of ivermectin were around an LD50 of 0.03 μg ml(-1), and an LD90 of 0.3 μg ml(-1) for the three species of snails. Specimens of B. glabrata actually shedding parasite cercariae all died when exposed to ivermectin at a concentration of a mere 0.01 μg ml(-1). Ivermectin B1a, the major (80%) component of commercially available ivermectin, proved to be inactive, and it was the minor (20%) component, ivermectin B1b, which caused snail death. Snail egg-masses were not affected, even at the highest concentration of 100 μg ml(-1). With respect to S. mansoni parasite stages, 0.2 μg ml(-1) ivermectin killed 50% of cercariae and miracidia within five minutes, rising to 90% after 30 min. Mortality of guppy fish within 24 h of exposure to ivermectin at concentrations of 0.5 μg ml(-1) and 0.01 μg ml(-1), were 100% and 30%, respectively. The concentration of 0.01 μg ml(-1) that killed Schistosoma mansoni-infected snails only caused 30% mortality in guppy fish. Ivermectin can be considered a promising molluscicide, especially as it is more potent against infected snails than uninfected ones, although it has no impact on egg-masses. Ivermectin and its derivatives could be explored in the search for a new agent to help control schistosomiasis transmission.The Journal of Antibiotics advance online publication, 15 March 2017; doi:10.1038/ja.2017.31.

  14. Cone snail venomics: from novel biology to novel therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Prashanth, Jutty Rajan; Brust, Andreas; Jin, Ai-Hua; Alewood, Paul F; Dutertre, Sébastien; Lewis, Richard J

    2014-10-01

    Peptide neurotoxins from cone snails called conotoxins are renowned for their therapeutic potential to treat pain and several neurodegenerative diseases. Inefficient assay-guided discovery methods have been replaced by high-throughput bioassays integrated with advanced MS and next-generation sequencing, ushering in the era of 'venomics'. In this review, we focus on the impact of venomics on the understanding of cone snail biology as well as the application of venomics to accelerate the discovery of new conotoxins. We also discuss the continued importance of medicinal chemistry approaches to optimize conotoxins for clinical use, with a descriptive case study of MrIA featured.

  15. One-trial reward learning in the snail Lymnea stagnalis.

    PubMed

    Alexander, J; Audesirk, T E; Audesirk, G J

    1984-01-01

    We present evidence that the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis is capable of aquisition and extensive retention of an appetitively reinforced feeding response after only a single training trial. Food-deprived snails presented with a single pairing of a phagostimulant (a mixture of sucrose and casein digest) and a novel, non-food chemostimulus (amyl acetate) subsequently made feeding responses to the amyl acetate and retained the association for at least 19 days. This demonstration of one-trial, non-aversive classical conditioning enhances the utility of Lymnaea stagnalis as a model system for the detailed analysis of neural mechanisms underlying plasticity.

  16. Structural alignment of RNA with triple helix structure.

    PubMed

    Wong, Thomas K F; Yiu, S M

    2012-04-01

    Structural alignment is useful in identifying members of ncRNAs. Existing tools are all based on the secondary structures of the molecules. There is evidence showing that tertiary interactions (the interaction between a single-stranded nucleotide and a base-pair) in triple helix structures are critical in some functions of ncRNAs. In this article, we address the problem of structural alignment of RNAs with the triple helix. We provide a formal definition to capture a simplified model of a triple helix structure, then develop an algorithm of O(mn(3)) time to align a query sequence (of length m) with known triple helix structure with a target sequence (of length n) with an unknown structure. The resulting algorithm is shown to be useful in identifying ncRNA members in a simulated genome.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. A protocol for geographically randomized snail surveys in schistosomiasis fieldwork using the global positioning system.

    PubMed

    Seto, E; Liang, S; Qiu, D; Gu, X; Spear, R C

    2001-01-01

    A protocol was created for performing geographically randomized snail surveys for schistosomiasis research using the global positioning system (GPS). This protocol differs from traditional surveys in its ability to accurately map and measure the spatial distribution of snail habitat. The protocol was used to map irrigation ditches, the primary habitat for Oncomelania hupensis, in two residence areas in Sichuan Province, China. From the 7,450 meters of mapped ditches, snail surveys were performed at 203 random sites along the ditch network. Of these, 116 (57.1%) sites had snails. The total number of living snails captured was 2,014, resulting in an average snail density of 0.27 snails per linear meter of potential habitat.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-12-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. The helix-loop-helix Id-1 inhibits PSA expression in prostate cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Zielinski, Anne J; Fong, Sylvia; Allison, Juanita; Kawahara, Misako; Coppe, Jean-Philippe; Feiler, Heidi; Lee, Nancy M; Desprez, Pierre-Yves

    2010-05-15

    The inhibitor of basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors, Id-1, is an important gene whose expression increases during prostate cancer progression and that upregulates proliferation, migration and invasion. We used microarray analysis to identify the downstream genes whose transcriptional expression is modulated by Id-1 protein. We compared gene expression in control LNCaP cells and Id-1-transduced LNCaP cells, which become significantly more aggressive after Id-1 overexpression, thus mimicking the high levels of Id-1 detected in metastatic cell lines. We used the Affy HTA U133A Expression Arrays with 45,000 probe sets representing more than 39,000 transcripts. We found that one of the most significantly downregulated genes on Id-1 expression was kallikrein 3 [also called prostate specific antigen (PSA)], the most commonly used biomarker of prostate cancer. Here, we show that the reduction in PSA mRNA and protein expression associated with high-grade prostate cancers, which generally express high levels of Id-1, could be the consequence of Id-1 overexpression.

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

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Lan-Hsin; Baker, Nicholas E.

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Challenges in Targeting a Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factor with Hydrocarbon-Stapled Peptides.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Amanda L; Meijer, Dimphna H; Guerra, Rachel M; Molenaar, Remco J; Alberta, John A; Bernal, Federico; Bird, Gregory H; Stiles, Charles D; Walensky, Loren D

    2016-11-18

    Basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factors play critical roles in organism development and disease by regulating cell proliferation and differentiation. Transcriptional activity, whether by bHLH homo- or heterodimerization, is dependent on protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions mediated by α-helices. Thus, α-helical decoys have been proposed as potential targeted therapies for pathologic bHLH transcription. Here, we developed a library of stabilized α-helices of OLIG2 (SAH-OLIG2) to test the capacity of hydrocarbon-stapled peptides to disrupt OLIG2 homodimerization, which drives the development and chemoresistance of glioblastoma multiforme, one of the deadliest forms of human brain cancer. Although stapling successfully reinforced the α-helical structure of bHLH constructs of varying length, sequence-specific dissociation of OLIG2 dimers from DNA was not achieved. Re-evaluation of the binding determinants for OLIG2 self-association and stability revealed an unanticipated role of the C-terminal domain. These data highlight potential pitfalls in peptide-based targeting of bHLH transcription factors given the liabilities of their positively charged amino acid sequences and multifactorial binding determinants.

  6. Identification and Bioinformatics Analyses of the Basic Helix-loop-helix Transcription Factors in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Liu, Wuyi; Li, Fengmei

    2015-04-01

    Xenopus laevis is a long established model organism for developmental, behavioral and neurological studies. Herein, an updated genome-wide survey was conducted using the ongoing genome project of Xenopus laevis and 106 non-redundant Basic Helix-Loop-Helix (bHLH) genes were identified in the Xenopus laevis genome databases. Gene Ontology (GO) enrichment statistics showed 51 significant GO annotations of biological processes and molecular functions and 5 significant KEGG pathways and a number of Xenopus laevis bHLH genes play significant role in specific development or special physiology processes like the development processes of muscle and eye and other organs. Furthermore, each sub-group of the bHLH family has its special gene functions except for the common GO term categories. Molecular phylogenetic analyses revealed that among these identified bHLH proteins, 105 sequences could classified into 39 families with 46, 25, 10, 5, 16 and 3 members in the corresponding high-order groups A, B, C, D, E and F, respectively with an addition bHLH member categorized as an orphan. The present study provides much useful information for further researches on Xenopus laevis.

  7. Phylogenetic analysis of the human basic helix-loop-helix proteins

    PubMed Central

    2002-01-01

    Background The basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) proteins are a large and complex multigene family of transcription factors with important roles in animal development, including that of fruitflies, nematodes and vertebrates. The identification of orthologous relationships among the bHLH genes from these widely divergent taxa allows reconstruction of the putative complement of bHLH genes present in the genome of their last common ancestor. Results We identified 39 different bHLH genes in the worm Caenorhabditis elegans, 58 in the fly Drosophila melanogaster and 125 in human (Homo sapiens). We defined 44 orthologous families that include most of these bHLH genes. Of these, 43 include both human and fly and/or worm genes, indicating that genes from these families were already present in the last common ancestor of worm, fly and human. Only two families contain both yeast and animal genes, and no family contains both plant and animal bHLH genes. We suggest that the diversification of bHLH genes is directly linked to the acquisition of multicellularity, and that important diversification of the bHLH repertoire occurred independently in animals and plants. Conclusions As the last common ancestor of worm, fly and human is also that of all bilaterian animals, our analysis indicates that this ancient ancestor must have possessed at least 43 different types of bHLH, highlighting its genomic complexity. PMID:12093377

  8. The Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Protein Family: Comparative Genomics and Phylogenetic Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Ledent, Valérie; Vervoort, Michel

    2001-01-01

    The basic Helix-Loop-Helix (bHLH) proteins are transcription factors that play important roles during the development of various metazoans including fly, nematode, and vertebrates. They are also involved in human diseases, particularly in cancerogenesis. We made an extensive search for bHLH sequences in the completely sequenced genomes of Caenorhabditis elegans and of Drosophila melanogaster. We found 35 and 56 different genes, respectively, which may represent the complete set of bHLH of these organisms. A phylogenetic analysis of these genes, together with a large number (>350) of bHLH from other sources, led us to define 44 orthologous families among which 36 include bHLH from animals only, and two have representatives in both yeasts and animals. In addition, we identified two bHLH motifs present only in yeast, and four that are present only in plants; however, the latter number is certainly an underestimate. Most animal families (35/38) comprise fly, nematode, and vertebrate genes, suggesting that their common ancestor, which lived in pre-Cambrian times (600 million years ago) already owned as many as 35 different bHLH genes. PMID:11337472

  9. Possible roles of basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors in adaptation to drought.

    PubMed

    Castilhos, Graciela; Lazzarotto, Fernanda; Spagnolo-Fonini, Leila; Bodanese-Zanettini, Maria Helena; Margis-Pinheiro, Márcia

    2014-06-01

    Water deficiency decreases plant growth and productivity. Several mechanisms are activated in response to dehydration that allows plants to cope with stress, including factors controlling stomatal aperture and ramified root system development. In addition, ABA metabolism is also implicated in the regulation of drought responses. The basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) proteins, a large family of conserved transcription factors that regulates many cellular processes in eukaryotic organisms, are also involved in several responses that are important for plants to cope with drought stress. This review discusses distinct mechanisms related to drought-adaptive responses, especially the possible involvement of the bHLH transcription factors such as MUTE, implicated in stomatal development; RD22, [corrected] an ABA-responsive gene; EGL3 and GL3, involved in thichome and root hair development; and SPT, which play roles in repressing leaf expansion. Transcription factors are potential targets for new strategies to increase the tolerance of cultivars to drought stress. Recognition of gene regulatory networks in crops is challenging, and the manipulation of bHLH genes as well as components that mediate bHLH transcription factor responses in different pathways could be essential to achieve abiotic stress tolerance in plants through genetic manipulation.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-29

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Transcriptional regulation of the Sex-lethal gene by helix-loop-helix proteins.

    PubMed

    Hoshijima, K; Kohyama, A; Watakabe, I; Inoue, K; Sakamoto, H; Shimura, Y

    1995-09-11

    Somatic sex determination in Drosophila depends on the expression of Sex-lethal (Sxl), whose level is determined by the relative number of X chromosomes and sets of autosomes (X:A ratio). The first step in regulation of Sxl expression is transcriptional control from its early promoter and several genes encoding transcription factors of the helix-loop-helix (HLH) family such as daughterless (da), sisterless-b (sis-b), deadpan (dpn) and extramacrochaetae (emc) have been implicated. By the use of transfection assays and in vitro binding experiments, here we show that da/sis-b heterodimers bind several sites on the Sxl early promoter with different affinities and consequently tune the level of active transcription from this promoter. Interestingly, our data indicate that repression by the dpn product of da/sis-b dependent activation results from specific binding of dpn protein to a unique site within the promoter. This contrasts with the mode of emc repression, which inhibits the formation of the da/sis-b heterodimers. These results reveal the molecular mechanisms by which Sxl gene transcription is positively or negatively regulated to control somatic sex determination.

  14. BuD, a helix-loop-helix DNA-binding domain for genome modification.

    PubMed

    Stella, Stefano; Molina, Rafael; López-Méndez, Blanca; Juillerat, Alexandre; Bertonati, Claudia; Daboussi, Fayza; Campos-Olivas, Ramon; Duchateau, Phillippe; Montoya, Guillermo

    2014-07-01

    DNA editing offers new possibilities in synthetic biology and biomedicine for modulation or modification of cellular functions to organisms. However, inaccuracy in this process may lead to genome damage. To address this important problem, a strategy allowing specific gene modification has been achieved through the addition, removal or exchange of DNA sequences using customized proteins and the endogenous DNA-repair machinery. Therefore, the engineering of specific protein-DNA interactions in protein scaffolds is key to providing `toolkits' for precise genome modification or regulation of gene expression. In a search for putative DNA-binding domains, BurrH, a protein that recognizes a 19 bp DNA target, was identified. Here, its apo and DNA-bound crystal structures are reported, revealing a central region containing 19 repeats of a helix-loop-helix modular domain (BurrH domain; BuD), which identifies the DNA target by a single residue-to-nucleotide code, thus facilitating its redesign for gene targeting. New DNA-binding specificities have been engineered in this template, showing that BuD-derived nucleases (BuDNs) induce high levels of gene targeting in a locus of the human haemoglobin β (HBB) gene close to mutations responsible for sickle-cell anaemia. Hence, the unique combination of high efficiency and specificity of the BuD arrays can push forward diverse genome-modification approaches for cell or organism redesign, opening new avenues for gene editing.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-06-01

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

  17. A genome-wide survey on basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors in giant panda.

    PubMed

    Dang, Chunwang; Wang, Yong; Zhang, Debao; Yao, Qin; Chen, Keping

    2011-01-01

    The giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) is a critically endangered mammalian species. Studies on functions of regulatory proteins involved in developmental processes would facilitate understanding of specific behavior in giant panda. The basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) proteins play essential roles in a wide range of developmental processes in higher organisms. bHLH family members have been identified in over 20 organisms, including fruit fly, zebrafish, mouse and human. Our present study identified 107 bHLH family members being encoded in giant panda genome. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that they belong to 44 bHLH families with 46, 25, 15, 4, 11 and 3 members in group A, B, C, D, E and F, respectively, while the remaining 3 members were assigned into "orphan". Compared to mouse, the giant panda does not encode seven bHLH proteins namely Beta3a, Mesp2, Sclerax, S-Myc, Hes5 (or Hes6), EBF4 and Orphan 1. These results provide useful background information for future studies on structure and function of bHLH proteins in the regulation of giant panda development.

  18. Dermatitis from common ivy (Hedera helix L. subsp. helix) in Europe: past, present, and future.

    PubMed

    Paulsen, Evy; Christensen, Lars P; Andersen, Klaus E

    2010-04-01

    Common ivy (Hedera helix subsp. helix) is a well-known native and ornamental plant in Europe. Reports on contact dermatitis from ivy have regularly appeared since 1899. Recently, it has been suggested that allergic contact dermatitis from the plant may be under-diagnosed, partly due to lack of commercial patch test allergens. The objective of the article is to present the results of aimed patch testing with the main common ivy allergen, falcarinol, during a 16-year period and review the newer literature. Consecutive patients tested with falcarinol 0.03% petrolatum from May 1993 to May 2009 were included. Cases published since 1987 were retrieved from the PubMed database. One hundred and twenty-seven Danish patients were tested with falcarinol and 10 (7.9%) tested positive. Seven were occupationally sensitized. Between 1994 and 2009, 28 new cases of contact dermatitis from ivy were reported, 2 of which were occupational. Only 11 of the 28 patients were tested with pure allergens. Falcarinol is not only widely distributed in the ivy family, but also in the closely related Apiaceae. Sensitization may occur in childhood or in adults pruning ivy plants or handling them in an occupational setting. In view of the ubiquity of falcarinol-containing plants and the relatively high prevalence of positive reactions in aimed patch testing, falcarinol should be the next plant allergen to be commercially available and included in the plant series worldwide.

  19. Flying shells: historical dispersal of marine snails across Central America

    PubMed Central

    Miura, Osamu; Torchin, Mark E.; Bermingham, Eldredge; Jacobs, David K.; Hechinger, Ryan F.

    2012-01-01

    The geological rise of the Central American Isthmus separated the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans about 3 Ma, creating a formidable barrier to dispersal for marine species. However, similar to Simpson's proposal that terrestrial species can ‘win sweepstakes routes’—whereby highly improbable dispersal events result in colonization across geographical barriers—marine species may also breach land barriers given enough time. To test this hypothesis, we asked whether intertidal marine snails have crossed Central America to successfully establish in new ocean basins. We used a mitochondrial DNA genetic comparison of sister snails (Cerithideopsis spp.) separated by the rise of the Isthmus. Genetic variation in these snails revealed evidence of at least two successful dispersal events between the Pacific and the Atlantic after the final closure of the Isthmus. A combination of ancestral area analyses and molecular dating techniques indicated that dispersal from the Pacific to the Atlantic occurred about 750 000 years ago and that dispersal in the opposite direction occurred about 72 000 years ago. The geographical distribution of haplotypes and published field evidence further suggest that migratory shorebirds transported the snails across Central America at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in southern Mexico. Migratory birds could disperse other intertidal invertebrates this way, suggesting the Central American Isthmus may not be as impassable for marine species as previously assumed. PMID:21920976

  20. A snail-eating snake recognizes prey handedness

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Arsenic speciation in freshwater snails and its life cycle variation.

    PubMed

    Lai, Vivian W-M; Kanaki, Katerina; Pergantis, Spiros A; Cullen, William R; Reimer, Kenneth J

    2012-03-01

    Terrestrial snails are consumed by humans occasionally and they are an important food source for many creatures including fish and birds. Little is known about arsenic speciation in these gastropods, let alone life cycle variations. Here we report on the arsenic speciation in freshwater snails from Pender Island and Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada, which was determined on methanol/water extracts (43-59% extraction efficiency) by using high performance liquid chromatography-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (HPLC-ICP-MS) and HPLC-electrospray tandem mass spectrometry. The tetramethylarsonium ion, oxo-arsenosugars and thio-arsenosugars are the main arsenic species encountered. Arsenobetaine, which is commonly found in the marine environment, is minor. Live bearing snails Viviparidae sp. from Pender Island were maintained in aquaria and the arsenic speciation in the unborn, newly born, and adult animals was monitored. Oxo-arsenosugars predominate in the adults, whereas thio-arsenosugars seem to predominate in juveniles, suggesting that these arsenicals are snail metabolites.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  3. Snail Shells in a Practical Application of Statistical Procedures

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Banks, Stephen W.; Shepherd, Deborah K.; Williams-Hart, Tara; Gossett, Dalton R.; Crnkovic, Amanda C.

    2007-01-01

    This paper is based upon a laboratory exercise designed for biology students in secondary schools or those taking introductory biology laboratory courses in colleges and universities. This exercise requires a set of calipers, a calculator and populations of snail shells collected either from the wild or obtained from a biological supply house. The…

  4. Molluscicidal effect of Eomecon chionantha alkaloids against Oncomelania hupensis snails.

    PubMed

    Peng, Fei; Liu, Ming; Huang, Qiongyao; Liu, Nianmeng; Yang, Huazhong; Sun, Hui; Hu, Qi; Feng, Fang; Jiang, Chonghe

    2011-03-01

    The molluscicidal effects of Eomecon chionantha alkaloids (ECA) against Oncomelania hupensis snails were determined by immersion method. The molluscicidal effect was positively related to ECA concentration, immersion time and temperature of the immersion solution. The mortality of the snails reached 100% by 72 hours in ECA at a concentration of 2.5 mg/l at 25 degrees C. The alanine aminotransferase (ALT) level of liver cells treated with ECA was higher than controls at 24 and 36 hours (57.7 and 60.3 U/l versus 39.2 and 49.2 U/1, respectively) but the level decreased at 48-72 hours after treatment. The decrease points to the toxic effect of ECA against liver cells. After ECA treatment, the liver cells were edematous with swollen or disintegrating nuclei; they were enlarged and had vacuolated rER; they had dilated and vesiculated mitochondria with broken crests further indicating a hepatotoxic effect of ECA in O. hupensis snails. ECA has a molluscicidal effect that may be of practical use in the field to control O. hupensis snails.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  6. Myc/Max and other helix-loop-helix/leucine zipper proteins bend DNA toward the minor groove.

    PubMed Central

    Fisher, D E; Parent, L A; Sharp, P A

    1992-01-01

    A distinct family of DNA-binding proteins is characterized by the presence of adjacent "basic," helix-loop-helix, and leucine zipper domains. Members of this family include the Myc oncoproteins, their binding partner Max, and the mammalian transcription factors USF, TFE3, and TFEB. Consistent with their homologous domains, these proteins bind to DNA containing the same core hexanucleotide sequence CACGTG. Analysis of the conformation of DNA in protein-DNA complexes has been undertaken with a circular permutation assay. Large mobility anomalies were detected for all basic/helix-loop-helix/leucine zipper proteins tested, suggesting that each protein induced a similar degree of bending. Phasing analysis revealed that basic/helix-loop-helix/leucine zipper proteins orient the DNA bend toward the minor groove. The presence of in-phase spacing between adjacent binding sites for this family of proteins in the immunoglobulin heavy-chain enhancer suggests the possible formation of an unusual triple-bended structure and may have implications for the activities of Myc. Images PMID:1465398

  7. Satellite glial cell responses to neuronal firing in the nervous system of Helix pomatia.

    PubMed

    Gommerat, I; Gola, M

    1994-03-01

    Patch clamp experiments were conducted on satellite glial cells attached to the cell body of neurons in place within the nervous system of the snail Helix pomatia. The glial cells were studied using cell-attached and whole-cell patch clamp configurations while the underlying neurons were under current or voltage clamp control. The resting potential of the glial cells (-69 mV) was more negative than that of the underlying neurons (-53 mV), due to their high K+ selectivity. Densely packed K+ channels were present, some of which were active at the cell resting potential. Neuronal firing elicited a cumulative depolarization of the glial cells. Large K+ currents flowing from V-clamped neurons depolarized the glial layer by up to 30 mV. The glial depolarization was directly correlated with the size of the neuronal K+ current. The glial cells recovered their resting potential within 2-5 sec. The neuronal depolarization induced a delayed (20-30 sec) and persistent (3-4 min) increase in the glial K+ channel opening probability. Likewise, pulses of K+ (20-50 mM)-rich saline activated the glial channels, unless the underlying neuron was held hyperpolarized. In low Ca(2+)-high Mg2+ saline, neuron depolarization and K(+)-rich saline did not activate the glial K+ channels. These data indicate that a calcium-dependent signal released from the neuronal cell body was involved in glial channel regulation. Neuron-induced channel opening may help eliminate the K+ ions flowing from active neurons.

  8. Molecular phylogeny and evolution of the cone snails (Gastropoda, Conoidea).

    PubMed

    Puillandre, N; Bouchet, P; Duda, T F; Kauferstein, S; Kohn, A J; Olivera, B M; Watkins, M; Meyer, C

    2014-09-01

    We present a large-scale molecular phylogeny that includes 320 of the 761 recognized valid species of the cone snails (Conus), one of the most diverse groups of marine molluscs, based on three mitochondrial genes (COI, 16S rDNA and 12S rDNA). This is the first phylogeny of the taxon to employ concatenated sequences of several genes, and it includes more than twice as many species as the last published molecular phylogeny of the entire group nearly a decade ago. Most of the numerous molecular phylogenies published during the last 15years are limited to rather small fractions of its species diversity. Bayesian and maximum likelihood analyses are mostly congruent and confirm the presence of three previously reported highly divergent lineages among cone snails, and one identified here using molecular data. About 85% of the species cluster in the single Large Major Clade; the others are divided between the Small Major Clade (∼12%), the Conus californicus lineage (one species), and a newly defined clade (∼3%). We also define several subclades within the Large and Small major clades, but most of their relationships remain poorly supported. To illustrate the usefulness of molecular phylogenies in addressing specific evolutionary questions, we analyse the evolution of the diet, the biogeography and the toxins of cone snails. All cone snails whose feeding biology is known inject venom into large prey animals and swallow them whole. Predation on polychaete worms is inferred as the ancestral state, and diet shifts to molluscs and fishes occurred rarely. The ancestor of cone snails probably originated from the Indo-Pacific; rather few colonisations of other biogeographic provinces have probably occurred. A new classification of the Conidae, based on the molecular phylogeny, is published in an accompanying paper.

  9. Optimal diet theory: behavior of a starved predatory snail.

    PubMed

    Perry, D M

    1987-06-01

    The tenets of optimal foraging theory are used to contrast the behavior of the predatory snail Acantina spirata when feeding on the barnacles Balanus glandula and Chthamalus fissus under conditions of satiation and starvation. As predicted in optimal diet models, A. spirata is less selective (ratio of attack frequency on a prey species to number of individuals available) when the higher ranking prey has low abundance. When given a choice, starved snails attack both barnacle species equally, whereas satiated individuals preferentially attack B. glandula, the more profitable prey (ash-free dry weight of barnacles ingested per unit handling time). Under starvation conditions, equal attack frequency does not result in equal prey species consumption because Acanthina spirata is more successful at attacking C. fissus than B. glandula.The assumption of constant prey encounter rates in optimal diet models is not met when A. spirata goes from a state of satiation to starvation. The encounter rate on B. glandula is lowered due to a decrease in attack success. A loss of feeding skills in starved A. spirata is responsible for the greater difficulty snails have in gaining access through the opercular plates of B. glandula.Behavioral changes in A. spirata as snails pass from satiation to hunger translate into an energetic disadvantage during feeding for hungry snails for two reasons. First, higher prey handling times result in a decreased rate of biomass intake. Second, alteration in the relative attack frequency between barnacle species, combined with a decrease in attack success on the more profitable prey leads to more frequent ingestion of the less profitable prey.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  11. Polyproline and triple helix motifs in host-pathogen recognition.

    PubMed

    Berisio, Rita; Vitagliano, Luigi

    2012-12-01

    Secondary structure elements often mediate protein-protein interactions. Despite their low abundance in folded proteins, polyproline II (PPII) and its variant, the triple helix, are frequently involved in protein-protein interactions, likely due to their peculiar propensity to be solvent-exposed. We here review the role of PPII and triple helix in mediating hostpathogen interactions, with a particular emphasis to the structural aspects of these processes. After a brief description of the basic structural features of these elements, examples of host-pathogen interactions involving these motifs are illustrated. Literature data suggest that the role played by PPII motif in these processes is twofold. Indeed, PPII regions may directly mediate interactions between proteins of the host and the pathogen. Alternatively, PPII may act as structural spacers needed for the correct positioning of the elements needed for adhesion and infectivity. Recent investigations have highlighted that collagen triple helix is also a common target for bacterial adhesins. Although structural data on complexes between adhesins and collagen models are rather limited, experimental and theoretical studies have unveiled some interesting clues of the recognition process. Interestingly, very recent data show that not only is the triple helix used by pathogens as a target in the host-pathogen interaction but it may also act as a bait in these processes since bacterial proteins containing triple helix regions have been shown to interact with host proteins. As both PPII and triple helix expose several main chain non-satisfied hydrogen bond acceptors and donors, both elements are highly solvated. The preservation of the solvation state of both PPII and triple helix upon protein-protein interaction is an emerging aspect that will be here thoroughly discussed.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Lymnaea glabra: progressive increase in susceptibility to Fasciola hepatica through successive generations of experimentally infected snails.

    PubMed

    Rondelaud, D; Teukeng, F F Djuikwo; Vignoles, P; Dreyfuss, G

    2015-07-01

    Experimental infections of Lymnaea glabra (two populations) with Fasciola hepatica were carried out during seven successive snail generations, to determine if prevalence and intensity of snail infection increased over time through descendants of snails already infected with F. hepatica. Controls were descendants coming from uninfected parents and infected according to the same protocol. No larval forms were found in the bodies of control snails coming from uninfected parents. In contrast, prevalence and intensity of F. hepatica infection in snails originating from infected parents progressively increased from the F2 or F3 to the F6 generation of L. glabra. In another experiment carried out with the F7 generations of L. glabra and a single generation of Galba truncatula (as controls), the prevalence of F. hepatica infection and the total number of cercariae were lower in L. glabra (without significant differences between both populations). If the number of cercariae shed by infected snails was compared to overall cercarial production noted in snails containing cercariae but dying without emission, the percentage was greater in G. truncatula (69% instead of 52-54% in L. glabra). Even if most characteristics of F. hepatica infection were lower in L. glabra, prevalence and intensity of parasite infection increased with snail generation when tested snails came from infected parents. This mode of snail infection with F. hepatica suggests an explanation for cases of fasciolosis occurring in cattle-breeding farms where paramphistomosis is lacking and G. truncatula is absent.

  14. Snail as a key regulator of PRL-3 gene in colorectal cancer.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Ping; Meng, Hui-Min; Gao, Wei-Zhe; Chen, Lin; Liu, Xun-Hua; Xiao, Zheng-Quan; Liu, Yong-Xia; Sui, Hong-Mei; Zhou, Jun; Liu, Yu-Hong; Li, Jian-Ming

    2011-10-15

    The regulators of a key metastasis gene PRL-3 in colorectal cancer (CRC) are still largely unknown. We found three potential binding sites of Snail, a key transcriptional factor involved in the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), in the region of PRL-3 promoter (located at -642 to -383). Moreover, our results showed that one of the Snail binding sites (located at -624 to -619) was the key element to maintain promoter activity of human PRL-3 gene. The transcriptional activity of PRL-3 promoter was abolished after the Snail binding site (located at -624 to -619) was mutated. Both promoter activity and protein expression of PRL-3 in CRC cell lines could be regulated by Snail. In clinical samples of CRC and metastatic lymph node of CRC, expression of PRL-3 protein was correlated with expression of Snail protein. Functional studies using gene over-expression and knockdown methods indicated that Snail promoted proliferation, cell adhesion and migration of human CRC cells. In SW480 cells with PRL-3 stable knockdown, cell proliferation increased after Snail was up-regulated. Our data first reveal transcriptional factor Snail as a key regulator of PRL-3 in CRC. The link between Snail and PRL-3 suggests a new potential mechanism of Snail contributing to progression and metastasis of CRC.

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

    PubMed

    Aguirre-Macedo, María Leopoldina; Vidal-Martínez, Victor M; Lafferty, Kevin D

    2011-11-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  17. Reversing the resistance phenotype of the Biomphalaria glabrata snail host Schistosoma mansoni infection by temperature modulation.

    PubMed

    Ittiprasert, Wannaporn; Knight, Matty

    2012-01-01

    Biomphalaria glabrata snails that display either resistant or susceptible phenotypes to the parasitic trematode, Schistosoma mansoni provide an invaluable resource towards elucidating the molecular basis of the snail-host/schistosome relationship. Previously, we showed that induction of stress genes either after heat-shock or parasite infection was a major feature distinguishing juvenile susceptible snails from their resistant counterparts. In order to examine this apparent association between heat stress and snail susceptibility, we investigated the effect of temperature modulation in the resistant snail stock, BS-90. Here, we show that, incubated for up to 4 hrs at 32°C prior to infection, these resistant snails became susceptible to infection, i.e. shedding cercariae at 5 weeks post exposure (PE) while unstressed resistant snails, as expected, remained resistant. This suggests that susceptibility to infection by this resistant snail phenotype is temperature-sensitive (ts). Additionally, resistant snails treated with the Hsp 90 specific inhibitor, geldanamycin (GA) after heat stress, were no longer susceptible to infection, retaining their resistant phenotype. Consistently, susceptible snail phenotypes treated with 100 mM GA before parasite exposure also remained uninfected. These results provide direct evidence for the induction of stress genes (heat shock proteins; Hsp 70, Hsp 90 and the reverse transcriptase [RT] domain of the nimbus non-LTR retrotransposon) in B. glabrata susceptibility to S. mansoni infection and characterize the resistant BS-90 snails as a temperature-sensitive phenotype. This study of reversing snail susceptibility phenotypes to S. mansoni provides an opportunity to directly track molecular pathway(s) that underlie the B. glabrata snail's ability to either sustain or destroy the S. mansoni parasite.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-03-28

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. An evolutionary analysis of the helix-hairpin-helix superfamily of DNA repair glycosylases.

    PubMed

    Denver, Dee R; Swenson, Stephanie L; Lynch, Michael

    2003-10-01

    The helix-hairpin-helix (HhH) superfamily of base excision repair DNA glycosylases is composed of multiple phylogenetically diverse enzymes that are capable of excising varying spectra of oxidatively and methyl-damaged bases. Although these DNA repair glycosylases have been widely studied through genetic, biochemical, and biophysical approaches, the evolutionary relationships of different HhH homologs and the extent to which they are conserved across phylogeny remain enigmatic. We provide an evolutionary framework for this pervasive and versatile superfamily of DNA glycosylases. Six HhH gene families (named AlkA: alkyladenine glycosylase; MpgII: N-methylpurine glycosylase II; MutY/Mig: A/G-specific adenine glycosylase/mismatch glycosylase; Nth: endonuclease III; OggI: 8-oxoguanine glycosylase I; and OggII: 8-oxoguanine glycosylase II) are identified through phylogenetic analysis of 234 homologs found in 94 genomes (16 archaea, 64 bacteria, and 14 eukaryotes). The number of homologs in each gene family varies from 117 in the Nth family (nearly every genome surveyed harbors at least one Nth homolog) to only five in the divergent OggII family (all from archaeal genomes). Sequences from all three domains of life are included in four of the six gene families, suggesting that the HhH superfamily diversified very early in evolution. The phylogeny provides evidence for multiple lineage-specific gene duplication events, most of which involve eukaryotic homologs in the Nth and AlkA gene families. We observe extensive variation in the number of HhH superfamily glycosylase genes present in different genomes, possibly reflecting major differences among species in the mechanisms and pathways by which damaged bases are repaired and/or disparities in the basic rates and spectra of mutation experienced by different genomes.

  1. Helix-hairpin-helix motifs confer salt resistance and processivity on chimeric DNA polymerases.

    PubMed

    Pavlov, Andrey R; Belova, Galina I; Kozyavkin, Sergei A; Slesarev, Alexei I

    2002-10-15

    Helix-hairpin-helix (HhH) is a widespread motif involved in sequence-nonspecific DNA binding. The majority of HhH motifs function as DNA-binding modules with typical occurrence of one HhH motif or one or two (HhH)(2) domains in proteins. We recently identified 24 HhH motifs in DNA topoisomerase V (Topo V). Although these motifs are dispensable for the topoisomerase activity of Topo V, their removal narrows the salt concentration range for topoisomerase activity tenfold. Here, we demonstrate the utility of Topo V's HhH motifs for modulating DNA-binding properties of the Stoffel fragment of TaqDNA polymerase and Pfu DNA polymerase. Different HhH cassettes fused with either NH(2) terminus or COOH terminus of DNA polymerases broaden the salt concentration range of the polymerase activity significantly (up to 0.5 M NaCl or 1.8 M potassium glutamate). We found that anions play a major role in the inhibition of DNA polymerase activity. The resistance of initial extension rates and the processivity of chimeric polymerases to salts depend on the structure of added HhH motifs. Regardless of the type of the construct, the thermal stability of chimeric Taq polymerases increases under the optimal ionic conditions, as compared with that of TaqDNA polymerase or its Stoffel fragment. Our approach to raise the salt tolerance, processivity, and thermostability of Taq and Pfu DNA polymerases may be applied to all pol1- and polB-type polymerases, as well as to other DNA processing enzymes.

  2. Preferred sequences for DNA recognition by the TAL1 helix-loop-helix proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Hai-Ling Hsu; Lan Huang; Julia Tsou Tsan

    1994-02-01

    Tumor-specific activation of the TAL1 gene is the most common genetic alteration seen in patients with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The TAL1 gene products contain the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) domain, a protein dimerization and DNA-binding motif common to several known transcription factors. A binding-site selection procedure has now been used to evaluate the DNA recognition properties of TAL1. These studies demonstrate that TAL1 polypeptides do not have intrinsic DNA-binding activity, presumably because of their inability to form bHLH homodimers. However, TAL1 readily interacts with any of the known class A bHLH proteins (E12, E47, E2-2, and HEB) to form heterodimers that bind DNA in a sequence-specific manner. The TAL1 heterodimers preferentially recognize a subset of E-box elements (CANNTG) that can be represented by the consensus sequence AACAGATGGT. This consensus is composed of half-sites for recognition by the participating class A bHLH polypeptide (AACAG) and the TAL1 polypeptide (ATGGT). TAL1 heterodimers with DNA-binding activity are readily detected in nuclear extracts of Jurkat, a leukemic cell line derived from a patient with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Hence, TAL1 is likely to bind and regulate the transcription of a unique subset of subordinate target genes, some of which may mediate the malignant function of TAL1 during T-cell leukemogenesis. 48 refs., 10 figs.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hancock, Robert D.; Tarbet, Bryon J.

    2000-08-01

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

  4. The helix bundle: A reversible lipid binding motif

    PubMed Central

    Narayanaswami, Vasanthy; Kiss, Robert S.; Weers, Paul M.M.

    2009-01-01

    Apolipoproteins are the protein components of lipoproteins that have the innate ability to inter convert between a lipid-free and a lipid-bound form in a facile manner, a remarkable property conferred by the helix bundle motif. Composed of a series of four or five amphipathic α-helices that fold to form a helix bundle, this motif allows the en face orientation of the hydrophobic faces of the α-helices in the protein interior in the lipid-free state. A conformational switch then permits helix-helix interactions to be substituted by helix-lipid interactions upon lipid binding interaction. This review compares the apolipoprotein high resolution structures and the factors that trigger this switch in insect apolipophorin III and the mammalian apolipoproteins, apolipoprotein E and apolipoprotein A-I, pointing out the commonalities and key differences in the mode of lipid interaction. Further insights into the lipid bound conformation of apolipoproteins are required to fully understand their functional role under physiological conditions. PMID:19770066

  5. Metabolic acceleration in the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  6. Snail/Slug-YAP/TAZ Complexes Control Skeletal Stem Cell Self-Renewal and Differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Yi; Feinberg, Tamar; Keller, Evan T.; Li, Xiao-Yan; Weiss, Stephen J.

    2016-01-01

    Bone marrow-derived skeletal stem/stromal cell (SSC) self-renewal and function are critical to skeletal development, homeostasis and repair. Nevertheless, the mechanisms controlling SSC behavior, particularly bone formation, remain ill-defined. Using knockout mouse models that target the zinc-finger transcription factors, Snail, Slug or Snail and Slug combined, a regulatory axis has been uncovered wherein Snail and Slug cooperatively control SSC self-renewal, osteoblastogenesis and bone formation. Mechanistically, Snail/Slug regulate SSC function by forming complexes with the transcriptional co-activators, YAP and TAZ, in tandem with the inhibition of the Hippo pathway-dependent regulation of YAP/TAZ signaling cascades. In turn, the Snail/Slug-YAP/TAZ axis activates a series of YAP/TAZ/TEAD and Runx2 downstream targets that control SSC homeostasis and osteogenesis. Together, these results demonstrate that SSCs mobilize Snail/Slug-YAP/TAZ complexes to control stem cell function. PMID:27479603

  7. A speciation gene for left-right reversal in snails results in anti-predator adaptation.

    PubMed

    Hoso, Masaki; Kameda, Yuichi; Wu, Shu-Ping; Asami, Takahiro; Kato, Makoto; Hori, Michio

    2010-01-01

    How speciation genes can spread in a population is poorly understood. In land snails, a single gene for left-right reversal could be responsible for instant speciation, because dextral and sinistral snails have difficulty in mating. However, the traditional two-locus speciation model predicts that a mating disadvantage for the reversal should counteract this speciation. In this study, we show that specialized snake predation of the dextral majority drives prey speciation by reversal. Our experiments demonstrate that sinistral Satsuma snails (Stylommatophora: Camaenidae) survive predation by Pareas iwasakii (Colubroidea: Pareatidae). Worldwide biogeography reveals that stylommatophoran snail speciation by reversal has been accelerated in the range of pareatid snakes, especially in snails that gain stronger anti-snake defense and reproductive isolation from dextrals by sinistrality. Molecular phylogeny of Satsuma snails further provides intriguing evidence of repetitive speciation under snake predation. Our study demonstrates that a speciation gene can be fixed in populations by positive pleiotropic effects on survival.

  8. First report of Toxocara cati in the domestic land snail Rumina decollata.

    PubMed

    Cardillo, Natalia; Prous, Cintia Gonzalez; Krivokapich, Silvio; Pittaro, Mariana; Ercole, Mariano; Perez, Matías; Pasqualetti, Mariana; Fariña, Fernando; Rosa, Adriana; Gatti, Graciana; Ribicich, Mabel

    The prospective role of the land snail Rumina decollata as a potential paratenic host of Toxocara cati for domestic cats was studied. R. decollata specimens and cats' feces were collected from the open spaces of a Buenos Aires city hospital. Cats' feces were analyzed and snails were digested to identify T. cati stages, by morphological and molecular analyses. T. cati larval eggs were recovered from 23.5% (4/17) of the sampled feces. Twenty percent of snail pools (5/25) were confirmed to be positive for Toxocara spp. third larval stage (L3) by PCR. The mean value of total larvae recovered per gram of snail in all positive pools was 5.1, with a maximum 33 L3/pool. This is the first report of T. cati infective larvae in R. decollata domestic snail as a paratenic host, since the relationship between infection in snails and in cats' feces could be demonstrated in a common environment.

  9. Effects of Snail Density on Growth, Reproduction and Survival of Biomphalaria alexandrina Exposed to Schistosoma mansoni

    PubMed Central

    Mangal, T. D.; Paterson, S.; Fenton, A.

    2010-01-01

    The effects of snail density on Biomphalaria alexandrina parasitized with Schistosoma mansoni were investigated. Laboratory experiments were used to quantify the impact of high density on snail growth, fecundity, and survival. Density-dependent birth rates of snails were determined to inform mathematical models, which, until now, have assumed a linear relationship between density and fecundity. The experiments show that the rate of egg-laying followed a negative exponential distribution with increasing density and this was significantly affected by exposure to parasitic infection. High density also affected the weight of snails and survival to a greater degree than exposure to parasitic infection. Although snail growth rates were initially constrained by high density, they retained the potential for growth suggesting a reversible density-dependent mechanism. These experimental data can be used to parameterise models and confirm that snail populations are regulated by nonlinear density-dependent mechanisms. PMID:20700427

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Al-Daihan, Sooad

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Universal kinetics of helix-coil transition in gelatin.

    PubMed

    Gornall, J L; Terentjev, E M

    2008-03-01

    By covering a much wider concentration range than previous studies we find a very unusual exponential dependence of the rate of helix formation on concentration of gelatin in water and ethylene glycol solutions. By applying a procedure of concentration-temperature superposition we build a master curve describing the initial renaturation rates in both solvents. The growth of the normalized helical fraction chi(t) is a first-order process, with a rate constant consistent with cis-trans isomerization, in most situations. We propose that association of three separate chains to form a triple helical nucleus occurs rapidly and contributes less to the helical onset than previously thought. The measured helix content is a result of lengthening of the triple helix after nucleation, by zipping from the associated nuclei.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Kundu, Sourav Karmakar, S. N.

    2015-10-15

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

  15. Ca2(+)-activated K+ current involvement in neuronal function revealed by in situ single-channel analysis in Helix neurones.

    PubMed Central

    Gola, M; Ducreux, C; Chagneux, H

    1990-01-01

    1. The properties of single calcium-activated potassium channels (or C-channels) were studied in cell-attached patches using the patch-clamp technique. Experiments were performed on identified Ca2(+)-dependent U cells in juvenile specimens (1-2 months old) of Helix aspersa. 2. The criteria used to identify C-channels were based on comparison between macroscopic C-currents and currents reconstructed from unitary recordings. Both currents had a slow activation rate at large positive potentials which turned into fast activation after large Ca2+ entries. Both currents were blocked by intracellularly injected EGTA. 3. The unitary conductance in normal (5 mM) or reduced (0.5 mM) [K+]o ranged from 24 to 65 pS (mean +/- S.D., 48 +/- 13; n = 64). With 85-110 mM [K+]o, which is approximately equal to the internal [K+], the conductance was 64 pS and the reversal potential was approximately 0 mV. 4. C-channels in U cells were distributed in clusters of three to ten channels (mean 5.05 channels in seventy-five patches). Calcium channels were present in patches containing clustered C-channels. C-channels within clusters behaved independently. 5. With patch electrode containing 8 mM-calcium, C-channels opened transiently upon patch depolarization. Reopenings in quiescent depolarized patches were induced by whole-cell spikes triggered by current pulses applied to an intracellular electrode. Apparent inactivation of C-channels in depolarized patches was in fact due to a decrease in [Ca2+]i resulting from inactivation of Ca2+ channels. 6. Calcium-free saline solutions in the patch electrodes prevented C-channels from opening upon patch depolarization. Entry of calcium through the surrounding membrane induced delayed openings in the patch. Peak opening probability Po occurred 330 +/- 30 ms after a brief Ca2+ entry with a lag period of 50-80 ms. With patch electrodes filled with Ca2(+)-containing saline solutions and under conditions which maximized C-channel opening, peak Po was

  16. Changes in apparent free energy of helix-helix dimerization in a biological membrane due to point mutations

    PubMed Central

    Duong, Mylinh T.; Jaszewski, Todd M.; Fleming, Karen G.; MacKenzie, Kevin R.

    2009-01-01

    Summary We present an implementation of the TOXCAT membrane protein self-association assay that measures the change in apparent free energy of transmembrane helix dimerization caused by point mutations. Quantifying the reporter gene expression from cells carrying wild type and mutant constructs shows that single point mutations that disrupt dimerization of the transmembrane domain of glycophorin A reproducibly lower the TOXCAT signal more than one hundred-fold. Replicate cultures can show up to three-fold changes in the level of expression of the membrane bound fusion construct, and correcting for these variations improves the precision of the calculated apparent free energy change. The remarkably good agreement between our TOXCAT apparent free energy scale and free energy differences from sedimentation equilibrium studies for point mutants of the glycophorin A transmembrane domain dimer indicate that sequence changes usually affect membrane helix-helix interactions quite similarly in these two very different environments. However, the effects of point mutations at threonine 87 suggest that intermonomer polar contacts by this side chain contribute significantly to dimer stability in membranes but not in detergents. Our findings demonstrate that a comparison of quantitative measurements of helix-helix interactions in biological membranes and genuine thermodynamic data from biophysical measurements on purified proteins can elucidate how changes in the lipidic environment modulate membrane protein stability. PMID:17570394

  17. A statistically derived parameterization for the collagen triple-helix.

    PubMed

    Rainey, Jan K; Goh, M Cynthia

    2002-11-01

    The triple-helix is a unique secondary structural motif found primarily within the collagens. In collagen, it is a homo- or hetero-tripeptide with a repeating primary sequence of (Gly-X-Y)(n), displaying characteristic peptide backbone dihedral angles. Studies of bulk collagen fibrils indicate that the triple-helix must be a highly repetitive secondary structure, with very specific constraints. Primary sequence analysis shows that most collagen molecules are primarily triple-helical; however, no high-resolution structure of any entire protein is yet available. Given the drastic morphological differences in self-assembled collagen structures with subtle changes in assembly conditions, a detailed knowledge of the relative locations of charged and sterically bulky residues in collagen is desirable. Its repetitive primary sequence and highly conserved secondary structure make collagen, and the triple-helix in general, an ideal candidate for a general parameterization for prediction of residue locations and for the use of a helical wheel in the prediction of residue orientation. Herein, a statistical analysis of the currently available high-resolution X-ray crystal structures of model triple-helical peptides is performed to produce an experimentally based parameter set for predicting peptide backbone and C(beta) atom locations for the triple-helix. Unlike existing homology models, this allows easy prediction of an entire triple-helix structure based on all existing high-resolution triple-helix structures, rather than only on a single structure or on idealized parameters. Furthermore, regional differences based on the helical propensity of residues may be readily incorporated. The parameter set is validated in terms of the predicted bond lengths, backbone dihedral angles, and interchain hydrogen bonding.

  18. BHC80 is Critical in Suppression of Snail-LSD1 Interaction and Breast Cancer Metastasis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-01-01

    inhibitors combined with the DNA alkylating agent Temozolomide are under investigation in several clinical trials. Due to the variance in cell...indicating that PARP1 becomes activated in response to DNA -damaging agent and promotes the interaction of Snail/LSD1 with PTEN promoter. Also as expected...by inhibiting PARG could enhance Snail-LSD1 interaction . In addition, we found that Snail could undergo poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation on DNA damage

  19. Co-expression and clinical utility of Snail and N-cadherin in papillary thyroid carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xiangshan; Shi, Ranran; Zhang, Jing

    2016-01-01

    Papillary thyroid carcinoma is one of the most common subtypes of thyroid cancer and portends a good prognosis. N-cadherin (neural cadherin) is a member of the classical cadherin family and is often overexpressed in many types of cancers. Snail, a kind of zinc finger protein, is a transcriptional repressor which has been intensively studied in mammals. We investigate the immunohistochemical expression of Snail and N-cadherin in papillary thyroid carcinoma tissues and cells and then discuss the clinical value of Snail and N-cadherin expression. Immunohistochemical technique was performed to detect Snail and N-cadherin in 60 cases of papillary thyroid carcinoma and analyzed the relationship between the expression of Snail, N-cadherin, and clinicopathological indicators. Western blot was used to investigate the constitutive and inducible expression of Snail and N-cadherin. In our study, the expression rate of Snail and N-cadherin was 85.0 % (51/60) and 78.3 % (47/60), respectively, in papillary thyroid carcinoma. The expression rate of Snail and N-cadherin in thyroid papillary carcinoma with metastatic lymph nodes was 93.3 and 86.7 %, respectively, while in papillary thyroid carcinoma tissue without lymph node metastasis, the expression rate was 60.0 and 53.3 %, respectively. The positive correlation of Snail and N-cadherin was observed (r = 0.721, p < 0.01). In addition, Western blot further identified the constitutive and inducible expression of Snail and N-cadherin in papillary thyroid carcinoma tissues and cell lines. In conclusion, Snail and N-cadherin are constitutively and inducibly expressed in papillary thyroid carcinoma and may play important roles in the development and metastasis of papillary thyroid carcinoma. Snail and N-cadherin may be used as an effective indicator.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Creosote compounds in snails obtained from Pensacola Bay, Florida, near an onshore hazardous-waste site

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rostad, C.E.; Pereira, W.E.

    1987-01-01

    Snails, Thais haemostoma, were collected from two areas offshore in Pensacola Bay, Florida, near an onshore hazardous-waste site. Tissue from the snails was extracted to isolate the lipophilic compounds and analyzed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Along with naturally occurring compounds, the snail tissue contained large concentrations of polycyclic aromatic compounds, such as phenanthrene, acridine, dibenzothiophene, dibenzofuran, and benzo[a]pyrene. Many of these compounds were characteristic of creosote contamination associated with the onshore hazardous-waste site.

  2. BHC80 is Critical in Suppression of Snail-LSD1 Interaction and Breast Cancer Metastasis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-04-01

    1-0078 TITLE: BHC80 is Critical in Suppression of Snail -LSD1 Interaction and Breast Cancer Metastasis PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Yiwei...COVERED (From - To) 1 Jan 2011 - 31 Dec 2013 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE BHC80 is critical in suppression of Snail -LSD1 interaction and 5a...distribution unlimited 13. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES 14. ABSTRACT By using a tandem affinity-mass spectrometry coupled analysis, we identified Snail

  3. Storage excretion in the Indian apple snail, Pila globosa (Swainson), during aestivation.

    PubMed

    Athawale, Madhura S; Reddy, S Raghupathi Rami

    2002-11-01

    Uric acid accumulates in several tissues of the Indian apple snail, P. globosa, during aestivation. This accumulation is particularly high in the foot muscle and reproductive organs. Since the kidney, a tiny organ in the snail, has only a limited capacity to store uric acid, extrarenal tissues are used as storage depots of uric acid during aestivation. It is suggested that the aestivating snail, faced with a cleidoic situation, resorts to storage excretion, a phenomenon well documented in insects.

  4. Primary structure of a copper-binding metallothionein from mantle tissue of the terrestrial gastropod Helix pomatia L.

    PubMed Central

    Berger, B; Dallinger, R; Gehrig, P; Hunziker, P E

    1997-01-01

    A novel copper-binding metallothionein (MT) has been purified from mantle tissue of the terrestrial snail Helix pomatia using gel-permeation chromatography, ion-exchange chromatography and reverse-phase HPLC. Copper was removed from the thionein by addition of ammonium tetrathiomolybdate. The resulting apothionein (molecular mass 6247 Da) was S-methylated and digested with trypsin, endoproteinase Arg-C and endoproteinase Lys-C. Amino acid sequences of the resulting peptides were determined by collision-induced dissociation tandem MS. The protein is acetylated at its N-terminus, and consists of 64 amino acids, 18 of which are cysteine residues. A comparison with the cadmium-binding MT isolated from the midgut gland of the same species shows an identical arrangement of the cysteines, but an unexpectedly high variability in the other amino acids. The two MT isoforms differ in total length and at 26 positions of their peptide chains. We suggest that the copper-binding MT isoform from the mantle of H. pomatia is responsible for regulatory functions in favour of copper, probably in connection with the metabolism of the copper-bearing protein, haemocyanin. PMID:9359856

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Multiple paternity in the freshwater snail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum

    PubMed Central

    Soper, Deanna M; Delph, Lynda F; Lively, Curt M

    2012-01-01

    Mating multiply may incur costs, such as exposure to predators and to sexually transmitted diseases. Nevertheless, it may be favored, in spite of these costs, as a way to increase the genetic diversity of offspring through fertilization by multiple males. Here, we tested for multiple paternity in a freshwater snail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum), which is host to several species of sterilizing trematode worms. Using microsatellites markers, we found multiple paternity in two different snail populations, with as many as seven males fertilizing a single female. In addition, high evenness of sire fertilization was found within individual broods. Multiple paternity can occur for a variety of reasons; however, given that these populations experience high risk of infection by a sterilizing trematode, one potential explanation may be that multiple paternity and high evenness of sire fertilizations increase the chances of the production of parasite-resistant offspring. PMID:23301182

  7. Multiple paternity in the freshwater snail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum.

    PubMed

    Soper, Deanna M; Delph, Lynda F; Lively, Curt M

    2012-12-01

    Mating multiply may incur costs, such as exposure to predators and to sexually transmitted diseases. Nevertheless, it may be favored, in spite of these costs, as a way to increase the genetic diversity of offspring through fertilization by multiple males. Here, we tested for multiple paternity in a freshwater snail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum), which is host to several species of sterilizing trematode worms. Using microsatellites markers, we found multiple paternity in two different snail populations, with as many as seven males fertilizing a single female. In addition, high evenness of sire fertilization was found within individual broods. Multiple paternity can occur for a variety of reasons; however, given that these populations experience high risk of infection by a sterilizing trematode, one potential explanation may be that multiple paternity and high evenness of sire fertilizations increase the chances of the production of parasite-resistant offspring.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1997-05-01

    Mercury concentrations in the sediments of south Florida wetlands have increased three fold in the last century. Because south Florida is home to many endemic and endangered species, it is important to understand the potential impacts of mercury in this ecosystem`s food web. Recent research by Malley et al. has shown mollusks to be sensitive indicators of methyl mercury which can reflect small differences in background methyl mercury concentrations. In this study, we attempted to determine if the apple snail (Pomacea paludosa) or its eggs are good indicators of bioavailable mercury. Then, using the apple snail as an indicator, we attempted to determine geographic differences in the concentrations of mercury in south Florida. 12 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab.

  9. Structure of mega-hemocyanin reveals protein origami in snails.

    PubMed

    Gatsogiannis, Christos; Hofnagel, Oliver; Markl, Jürgen; Raunser, Stefan

    2015-01-06

    Mega-hemocyanin is a 13.5 MDa oxygen transporter found in the hemolymph of some snails. Similar to typical gastropod hemocyanins, it is composed of 400 kDa building blocks but has additional 550 kDa subunits. Together, they form a large, completely filled cylinder. The structural basis for this highly complex protein packing is not known so far. Here, we report the electron cryomicroscopy (cryo-EM) structure of mega-hemocyanin complexes from two different snail species. The structures reveal that mega-hemocyanin is composed of flexible building blocks that differ in their conformation, but not in their primary structure. Like a protein origami, these flexible blocks are optimally packed, implementing different local symmetries and pseudosymmetries. A comparison between the two structures suggests a surprisingly simple evolutionary mechanism leading to these large oxygen transporters.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-09-01

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

  11. Factors determining the direction of ecological specialization in snail-feeding carabid beetles.

    PubMed

    Konuma, Junji; Nagata, Nobuaki; Sota, Teiji

    2011-02-01

    A stout-slender dimorphism in body shape is observed among carabid beetles of the subtribe Carabina, which feed on land snails. We hypothesized that this dimorphism has resulted from divergent ecological specialization for feeding on different-sized land snails. Therefore, we examined whether the geographic variation in the body shape of Damaster blaptoides, a representative snail-feeding species in Japan, is correlated with the size of Euhadra, a genus of land snails frequently consumed by D. blaptoides. An analysis of beetle specimens from the whole distribution area of D. blaptoides determined that more slender beetle populations occurred in localities harboring larger snails, whereas more stout beetles inhabited localities harboring smaller snails. This pattern could be adaptive because slender beetles exhibit high feeding performance for large snails by inserting their heads into the shells, whereas stout beetles do so for small snails by crushing the shells. The D. blaptoides populations showed a clear genetic isolation-by-distance pattern, which could be effective in promoting such local adaptation. Thus, food resources as well as geographic isolation may have promoted adaptive divergence of external morphology in the snail-feeding carabid beetles.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Effects of an invasive ant on land snails in the Ogasawara Islands.

    PubMed

    Uchida, Shota; Mori, Hideaki; Kojima, Tsubasa; Hayama, Kayo; Sakairi, Yuko; Chiba, Satoshi

    2016-12-01

    We investigated how Pheidole megacephala has affected endemic achatinellid snails because these snails are excellent indicators of the impact of ants and they have high conservation value in Ogasawara. In 2015 we surveyed the Minamizaki area of Hahajima Island of Ogasawara, designated a core zone of the World Heritage Site, for P. megacephala. In Minamizaki, we determined the distribution and density of achatinellid snails in 2015 and compared these data with their distribution and density in 2005. Land cover in the survey area was entirely forest. We also tested whether P. megacephala preyed on achatinellid snails in the laboratory. P. megacephala was present in the forested areas of Minamizaki. Achatinellid snails were absent in 19 of 39 sites where P. megacephala was present, whereas in other areas densities of the snails ranged from 2 to 228 individuals/site. In the laboratory, P. megacephala carried 6 of 7 achatinellid snails and a broken shell was found. Snail distribution and density comparisons and results of the feeding experiments suggest that the presence of P. megacephala has contributed to the decline of achatinellid snails in forests in the survey area. Yet, P. megacephala is not on the official list of invasive non-native species. Stakeholders using the list of invasive species to develop conservation programs should recognize that invasiveness of non-native species differs depending on the ecosystem and that official lists may not be complete.

  14. Copper uptake and depuration by juvenile and adult Florida apple snails (Pomacea paludosa).

    PubMed

    Hoang, Tham C; Rogevich, Emily C; Rand, Gary M; Frakes, Robert A

    2008-10-01

    The present study characterized copper (Cu) uptake and depuration by juvenile and adult Florida apple snails (Pomacea paludosa) from water, soil, and diet. During a 28-day uptake period, juvenile apple snails were exposed to aqueous Cu and adult apple snails were exposed to Cu-contaminated soil, water, and food. In the follow-up 14-day depuration period, both juvenile and adult apple snails were held in laboratory freshwater with background Cu concentrations<4 microg/l. For juvenile apple snails, whole body Cu concentrations increased with time and reached a plateau after 14 days. The data followed Michaelis-Menten kinetics rather than a one compartment first order kinetics model. The mean Cu bioconcentration factor (BCF) for juvenile apple snails was 1493 and the depuration half-life was 10.5-13.8 days. For adult snails, dietary uptake of Cu resulted in higher bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) compared to uptake from soil. Most of the accumulated Cu was located in soft tissue (about 60% in the viscera and 40% in the foot). The shell contained <1% of the total accumulated copper. Soft tissue is usually consumed by predators of the apple snail. Therefore, the results of the present study show that Cu transfer through the food chain to the apple snail may lead to potential risk to its predators.

  15. Differential expression of transcriptional repressor snail gene at implantation site in mouse uterus.

    PubMed

    Ma, Xing-Hong; Hu, Shi-Jun; Yu, Hao; Xu, Li-Bin; Yang, Zeng-Ming

    2006-02-01

    The snail superfamily of zinc-finger transcription factors is involved in pronounced cell movements during both embryonic development and tumor progression. This study was to examine snail expression in mouse uterus during early pregnancy and its regulation under pseudopregnancy, delayed implantation, steroid hormone treatment, and artificial decidualization by in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry. There was a low level of snail mRNA signal and immunostaining in mouse uteri on day 1-4 of pregnancy. When embryo implanted on day 5, both snail mRNA signal and immunostaining were strongly detected in the subluminal stroma immediately surrounding the implanting blastocyst, but not detected in the inter-implantation sites. Under delayed implantation, there was no detectable snail expression. After delayed implantation was terminated by estrogen treatment and embryo implanted, there was a strong level of snail mRNA and immunostaining in the subluminal stroma surrounding the implanting blastocyst, which was similar to that on day 5 of pregnancy. Furthermore, there was no detectable snail expression in mouse uterus on day 5 of pseudopregnancy. From day 6-8 of pregnancy, both snail mRNA signal and immunostaining were detected in the decidua. Our data suggest that snail may play an important role during mouse embryo implantation.

  16. Action of SNAIL1 in Cardiac Myofibroblasts Is Important for Cardiac Fibrosis following Hypoxic Injury

    PubMed Central

    Biswas, Hirak; Longmore, Gregory D.

    2016-01-01

    Hypoxic injury to the heart results in cardiac fibrosis that leads to cardiac dysfunction and heart failure. SNAIL1 is a zinc finger transcription factor implicated in fibrosis following organ injury and cancer. To determine if the action of SNAIL1 contributed to cardiac fibrosis following hypoxic injury, we used an endogenous SNAIL1 bioluminescence reporter mice, and SNAIL1 knockout mouse models. Here we report that SNAIL1 expression is upregulated in the infarcted heart, especially in the myofibroblasts. Utilizing primary cardiac fibroblasts in ex vivo cultures we find that pro-fibrotic factors and collagen I increase SNAIL1 protein level. SNAIL1 is required in cardiac fibroblasts for the adoption of myofibroblast fate, collagen I expression and expression of fibrosis-related genes. Taken together this data suggests that SNAIL1 expression is induced in the cardiac fibroblasts after hypoxic injury and contributes to myofibroblast phenotype and a fibrotic scar formation. Resultant collagen deposition in the scar can maintain elevated SNAIL1 expression in the myofibroblasts and help propagate fibrosis. PMID:27706205

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Fasciola hepatica in snails collected from water-dropwort fields using PCR.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  19. Activity of the mangrove snail Cerithidea decollata (Gastropoda: Potamididae) in a warm temperate South African estuary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hodgson, Alan N.; Dickens, John

    2012-08-01

    A population of Cerithidea decollata, an intertidal marine gastropod usually found within mangroves, was studied within an area of Juncus kraussii in the upper reaches of the warm temperate Knysna estuary, which is at the southern-most limit of the recorded distribution of this snail. Activity (migratory and homing behaviour, distances travelled during foraging) of the snails was monitored over spring and neap tides in four seasons. Migratory patterns of the snails were affected by season, time of low tide (day vs night), tidal magnitude (spring vs neap) and zonation. In the summer and spring, a greater proportion of snails migrated from J. kraussii leaves onto the mud during the day at spring low tide. During neap tides in these two seasons, most snails did not climb J. kraussii leaves and remained on the mud, which was nearly always exposed. In autumn a few snails only were active and in winter snails were almost completely inactive, probably due to low air temperatures. Snails travelled greater distances on the mud on spring tides, during the diurnal low tides, and in the summer. No snails were found to home to individual J. kraussii leaves; however, homing behaviour was recorded to wooden poles within the Juncus wetland.

  20. Morphological Variation in the New Zealand Mud Snail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrow, S.; Holomuzki, J. R.; Brunkow, P. E.

    2005-05-01

    The New Zealand mud snail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum) is a morphologically diverse species, showing variation in body shape and spine ornamentation. Native to New Zealand, the snail is highly invasive in the United States and Europe. As part of a broader study examining the role of morphological variation in hydrodynamic performance, we sought to quantify shell variation in snails from four different populations in New Zealand. Shells were mounted and photographed, and four characters (shell length and width, and aperture length and width) were digitized. Shell length differed significantly among populations. Sheared PCA revealed that shell shape, defined in terms of overall robustness (PC1) as well as the ratio between shell width and aperture width (PC2), also differed significantly among populations. Spined shells differed significantly from smooth shells with respect to shell shape (PC1 and PC2), with spined shells being generally more robust with larger apertures for their length. Shell shape differed significantly between spined and smooth shells in the two lotic habitats but not in the lentic habitats, suggesting a possible interaction between shell shape, presence of spines, and hydrodynamic environment. Further research will attempt to relate shell morphology and spine ornamentation to hydrodynamic drag and lift forces.

  1. Piscivorous behavior of a temperate cone snail, Conus californicus.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Julia; Gilly, William F

    2005-10-01

    Most of the more than 500 species of predatory marine snails in the genus Conus are tropical or semitropical, and nearly all are thought to be highly selective regarding type of prey. Conus californicus Hinds, 1844, is unusual in that it is endemic to the North American Pacific coast and preys on a large variety of benthic organisms, primarily worms and other molluscs, and also scavenges. We studied the feeding behavior of C. californicus in captivity and found that it regularly killed and consumed live prickleback fishes (Cebidichthys violaceus and Xiphister spp.). Predation involved two behavioral methods similar to those employed by strictly piscivorous relatives. One method utilized stings delivered by radular teeth; the other involved engulfing the prey without stinging. Both methods were commonly used in combination, and individual snails sometimes employed multiple stings to subdue a fish. During the course of the study, snails became aroused by the presence of live fish more quickly, as evidenced by more rapid initiation of hunting behavior. Despite this apparent adaptation, details of prey-capture techniques and effectiveness of stings remained similar over the same period.

  2. Impact of cigarette butt leachate on tidepool snails.

    PubMed

    Booth, David J; Gribben, Paul; Parkinson, Kerryn

    2015-06-15

    In urban areas, cigarette butts are the most common discarded refuse articles. In marine intertidal zones, they often fall into tidepools. We tested how common intertidal molluscs were affected by butt leachate in a laboratory experiment, where snails were exposed to various leachate concentrations. Mortality was very high, with all species showing 100% mortality at the full leachate concentration (5 butts per litre and 2h soak time) after 8days. However, Austrocochlea porcata showed higher mortality than the other 2 species at lower concentrations (10%, 25%) which may affect the relative abundance of the 3 snails under different concentrations of leachate pollution. Also, sublethal effects of leachate on snail activity were observed, with greater activity of Nerita atramentosa than the other 2 species at higher concentrations, suggesting it is more resilient than the other 2 species. While human health concerns predominate with respect to smoking, we show strong lethal and sublethal (via behavioural modifications) impacts of discarded butts on intertidal organisms, with even closely-related taxa responding differently.

  3. Type VIa β-turn-fused helix N-termini: A novel helix N-cap motif containing cis proline.

    PubMed

    Dasgupta, Rubin; Ganguly, Himal K; Modugula, E K; Basu, Gautam

    2017-01-01

    Helix N-capping motifs often form hydrogen bonds with terminal amide groups which otherwise would be free. Also, without an amide hydrogen, proline (trans) is over-represented at helix N-termini (N1 position) because this naturally removes the need to hydrogen bond one terminal amide. However, the preference of cisPro, vis-à-vis helix N-termini, is not known. We show that cisPro (αR or PPII ) often appears at the N-cap position (N0) of helices. The N-cap cisPro(αR ) is associated with a six-residue sequence motif - X(-2) -X(-1) -cisPro-X(1) -X(2) -X(3) - with preference for Glu/Gln at X(-1) , Phe/Tyr/Trp at X(1) and Ser/Thr at X(3) . The motif, formed by the fusion of a helix and a type VIa β-turn, contains a hydrogen bond between the side chain of X(-1) and the side chain/backbone of X(3) , a α-helical hydrogen bond between X(-2) and X(2) and stacking interaction between cisPro and an aromatic residue at X(1) . NMR experiments on peptides containing the motif and its variants showed that local interactions associated with the motif, as found in folded proteins, were not enough to significantly tilt the cis/trans equilibrium towards cisPro. This suggests that some other evolutionary pressure must select the cisPro motif (over transPro) at helix N-termini. Database analysis showed that >C = O of the pre-cisPro(αR ) residue at the helix N-cap, directed opposite to the N→C helical axis, participates in long-range interactions. We hypothesize that the cisPro(αR ) motif is preferred at helix N-termini because it allows the helix to participate in long-range interactions that may be structurally and functionally important.

  4. Biological studies on the snail intermediate hosts of schistosomiasis with a special emphasis on using larval echinostomes as biocontrol agent against larval schistosomes and snails.

    PubMed

    Rashed, A A

    2002-12-01

    The present investigation deals with the infectivity of the two snail intermediate hosts of schistosomiasis, Biomphalaria alexandrina and Bulinus truncatus collected from nine drains in Sharkia Governorate, Egypt. The rate of infection among the snails was general low being 0% in many drains. Regarding B. alexandrina, the rate of infection ranged from 4-16%, and in B. truncatus ranged from 4-8%. Infection with larval echinostomes was dominant over larval schistosomes in the two snail vectors. The distribution of larval schistosomes was restricted to the hepatopancreas of the two snail vectors, while larval echinostomes were distributed in head, foot, kidney, haemocoelic cavity, hepatopancreas...etc. The predation of larval schistosomes by larval echinostomes and the severe histopathological effects induced by larval ecbinostomes strongly enhances using them as biocontrol agent. The physico-chemical parameters and pollution condition in the drains seem to have no effect on the process of snails infectivity. It is concluded that larval echinostomes can resist the polluting conditions in the drain. The two snail vectors exhibit very minimal or rare host response against larval echinostomes. Probably, the toxicants and pollutants in the drain may act as stressor that makes the snails much more susceptible to infection by larval trematodes.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  6. Organizing product innovation: hierarchy, market or triple-helix networks?

    PubMed

    Fitjar, Rune Dahl; Gjelsvik, Martin; Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés

    This paper assesses the extent to which the organization of the innovation effort in firms, as well as the geographical scale at which this effort is pursued, affects the capacity to benefit from product innovations. Three alternative modes of organization are studied: hierarchy, market and triple-helix-type networks. Furthermore, we consider triple-helix networks at three geographical scales: local, national and international. These relationships are tested on a random sample of 763 firms located in five urban regions of Norway which reported having introduced new products or services during the preceding 3 years. The analysis shows that firms exploiting internal hierarchy or triple-helix networks with a wide range of partners managed to derive a significantly higher share of their income from new products, compared to those that mainly relied on outsourcing within the market. In addition, the analysis shows that the geographical scale of cooperation in networks, as well as the type of partner used, matters for the capacity of firms to benefit from product innovation. In particular, firms that collaborate in international triple-helix-type networks involving suppliers, customers and R&D institutions extract a higher share of their income from product innovations, regardless of whether they organize the processes internally or through the network.

  7. A single peptide loop in an alpha-Helix

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Collagen model peptides: Sequence dependence of triple-helix stability.

    PubMed

    Persikov, A V; Ramshaw, J A; Brodsky, B

    2000-01-01

    The triple helix is a specialized protein motif, found in all collagens as well as in noncollagenous proteins involved in host defense. Peptides will adopt a triple-helical conformation if the sequence contains its characteristic features of Gly as every third residue and a high content of Pro and Hyp residues. Such model peptides have proved amenable to structural studies by x-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy, suitable for thermodynamic and kinetic analysis, and a valuable tool in characterizing the binding activities of the collagen triple helix. A systematic approach to understanding the amino acid sequence dependence of the collagen triple helix has been initiated, based on a set of host-guest peptides of the form, (Gly-Pro-Hyp)(3)-Gly-X-Y-(Gly-Pro-Hyp)(4). Comparison of their thermal stabilities has led to a propensity scale for the X and Y positions, and the additivity of contributions of individual residues is now under investigation. The local and global stability of the collagen triple helix is normally modulated by the residues in the X and Y positions, with every third position occupied by Gly in fibril-forming collagens. However, in collagen diseases, such as osteogenesis imperfecta, a single Gly may be substituted by another residue. Host-guest studies where the Gly is replaced by various amino acids suggest that the identity of the residue in the Gly position affects the degree of destabilization and the clinical severity of the disease.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. A catastrophe theory model of the conflict helix, with tests.

    PubMed

    Rummel, R J

    1987-10-01

    Macro social field theory has undergone extensive development and testing since the 1960s. One of these has been the articulation of an appropriate conceptual micro model--called the conflict helix--for understanding the process from conflict to cooperation and vice versa. Conflict and cooperation are viewed as distinct equilibria of forces in a social field; the movement between these equilibria is a jump, energized by a gap between social expectations and power, and triggered by some minor event. Quite independently, there also has been much recent application of catastrophe theory to social behavior, but usually without a clear substantive theory and lacking empirical testing. This paper uses catastrophe theory--namely, the butterfly model--mathematically to structure the conflict helix. The social field framework and helix provide the substantive interpretation for the catastrophe theory; and catastrophe theory provides a suitable mathematical model for the conflict helix. The model is tested on the annual conflict and cooperation between India and Pakistan, 1948 to 1973. The results are generally positive and encouraging.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  13. Snails from heavy-metal polluted environments have reduced sensitivity to carbon dioxide-induced acidity.

    PubMed

    Lefcort, Hugh; Cleary, David A; Marble, Aaron M; Phillips, Morgan V; Stoddard, Timothy J; Tuthill, Lara M; Winslow, James R

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic atmospheric CO2 reacts with water to form carbonic acid (H2CO3) which increases water acidity. While marine acidification has received recent consideration, less attention has been paid to the effects of atmospheric carbon dioxide on freshwater systems-systems that often have low buffering potential. Since many aquatic systems are already impacted by pollutants such as heavy metals, we wondered about the added effect of rising atmospheric CO2 on freshwater organisms. We studied aquatic pulmonate snails (Physella columbiana) from both a heavy-metal polluted watershed and snails from a reference watershed that has not experienced mining pollution. We used gaseous CO2 to increase water acidity and we then measured changes in antipredatory behavior and also survival. We predicted a simple negative additive effect of low pH. We hypothesized that snails from metal-polluted environments would be physiologically stressed and impaired due to defense responses against heavy metals. Instead, snails from populations that acclimated or evolved in the presence of heavy metal mining pollution were more robust to acidic conditions than were snails from reference habitats. Snails from mining polluted sites seemed to be preadapted to a low pH environment. Their short-term survival in acidic conditions was better than snails from reference sites that lacked metal pollution. In fact, the 48 h survival of snails from polluted sites was so high that it did not significantly differ from the 24 h survival of snails from control sites. This suggests that the response of organisms to a world with rising anthropogenic carbon dioxide levels may be complex and difficult to predict. Snails had a weaker behavioral response to stressful stimuli if kept for 1 month at a pH that differed from their lake of origin. We found that snails raised at a pH of 5.5 had a weaker response (less of a decrease in activity) to concentrated heavy metals than did snails raised at their natal pH of

  14. Residential yards as designer ecosystems: effects of yard management on land snail species composition.

    PubMed

    Bergey, Elizabeth A; Figueroa, Laura L

    2016-12-01

    Residential yards comprise the majority of green space in urban landscapes, yet are an understudied system because of access issues and because yards may be considered biologically depauperate. Yards are purposely created and managed and, hence, qualify as designer ecosystems, a term borrowed from restoration ecology. We investigated whether yard management (watering regime, mulching, and chemical use) or dog presence affected land snail assemblage composition and described the pattern of native vs. nonnative species among yards. Land snails form an appropriate model system for yard-scale studies because snails are speciose, common, and have limited mobility. We found 32 land snail species in our survey of 61 yards in Norman, Oklahoma, USA (population size of 118,000). Snail richness in individual yards averaged nine species, with a range of three to 14 species. Native snails were found in all yards and nonnative snails were found in all but one yard. Although some of the nine nonnative species were rare, the most frequently encountered species was the nonnative Triodopsis hopetonensis. All encountered nonnative species also occur in Oklahoma plant nurseries, indicating possible introduction through the plant trade. Yard-scale watering regime and the presence of dogs were associated with differences in snail species composition but not species richness. Pesticide use and mulch type had little, if any, association with snail composition. Effects may have been diluted by treating yards as units, whereas snails were concentrated in specific microhabitats, such as under shrubs. Soil type also influenced snail assemblages and acted at a scale larger than individual yards. Considering yards as designer ecosystems facilitates investigation of how local variation in management affects biota within yards and across the residential landscape, and highlights the importance of variation among residential yards in understanding patterns of urban biodiversity.

  15. Heavy metal concentrations in the freshwater snail Biomphalaria alexandrina uninfected or infected with cercariae of Schistosoma mansoni and/or Echinostoma liei in Egypt: the potential use of this snail as a bioindicator of pollution.

    PubMed

    Mostafa, O M S; Mossa, A-T H; El Einin, H M A

    2014-12-01

    In spite of using aquatic snails as bioindicators for water pollution, little attention has been paid to the effect of parasitism upon the concentration of heavy metals (Al, Cd, Cu, Fe, Mn, Pb and Zn) in these organisms. The present study therefore aimed to compare the concentrations of heavy metals in trematode-infected Biomphalaria alexandrina collected from Kafer Alsheikh and Menofia provinces, Egypt, with uninfected snails from the same sites, in order to assess the effect of parasitism on the use of these snails as bioindicators. The concentrations of heavy metals in the soft parts and shells of snails were measured by flame atomic absorption spectrometry. The results showed that the heavy metal profile in snails infected with Echinostoma liei was very different from that in snails infected with Schistosoma mansoni. The total concentration of heavy metals in E. liei-infected snails collected from Kafer Alsheikh or Menofia province was greater than in uninfected snails. In contrast, the total concentration of heavy metals in S. mansoni-infected snails was reduced compared with uninfected snails. In conclusion, the status of snails with respect to parasitic infection must be taken into consideration when these snails are used as bioindicators.

  16. Helix O modulates voltage dependency of CLC-1.

    PubMed

    Seong, Ju Yong; Ha, Kotdaji; Hong, Chansik; Myeong, Jongyun; Lim, Hyun-Ho; Yang, Dongki; So, Insuk

    2017-02-01

    The chloride channel (CLC) family of proteins consists of channels and transporters that share similarities in architecture and play essential roles in physiological functions. Among the CLC family, CLC-1 channels have the representative homodimeric double-barreled structure carrying two gating processes. One is protopore gating that acts on each pore independently by glutamate residue (Eext). The other is common gating that closes both pores simultaneously in association with large conformational changes across each subunit. In skeletal muscle, CLC-1 is associated with maintaining normal sarcolemmal excitability, and a number of myotonic mutants were reported to modify the channel gating of CLC-1. In this study, we characterized highly conserved helix O as a key determinant of structural stability in CLC-1. Supporting this hypothesis, myotonic mutant (G523D) at N-terminal of helix O showed the activation at hyperpolarizing membrane potentials with a reversed voltage dependency. However, introducing glutamate at serine residue (S537) at the C-terminal of the helix O on G523D restored WT-like voltage dependency of the common gate and showed proton insensitive voltage dependency. To further validate this significant site, site-specific mutagenesis experiments was performed on V292 that is highly conserved as glutamate in antiporter and closely located to S537 and showed that this area is essential for channel function. Taken together, the results of our study suggest the importance of helix O as the main contributor for stable structure of evolutionary conserved CLC proteins and its key role in voltage dependency of the CLC-1. Furthermore, the C-terminal of the helix O can offer a clue for possible proton involvement in CLC-1 channel.

  17. Iron-binding E3 ligase mediates iron response in plants by targeting basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors.

    PubMed

    Selote, Devarshi; Samira, Rozalynne; Matthiadis, Anna; Gillikin, Jeffrey W; Long, Terri A

    2015-01-01

    Iron uptake and metabolism are tightly regulated in both plants and animals. In Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), BRUTUS (BTS), which contains three hemerythrin (HHE) domains and a Really Interesting New Gene (RING) domain, interacts with basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors that are capable of forming heterodimers with POPEYE (PYE), a positive regulator of the iron deficiency response. BTS has been shown to have E3 ligase capacity and to play a role in root growth, rhizosphere acidification, and iron reductase activity in response to iron deprivation. To further characterize the function of this protein, we examined the expression pattern of recombinant ProBTS::β-GLUCURONIDASE and found that it is expressed in developing embryos and other reproductive tissues, corresponding with its apparent role in reproductive growth and development. Our findings also indicate that the interactions between BTS and PYE-like (PYEL) basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors occur within the nucleus and are dependent on the presence of the RING domain. We provide evidence that BTS facilitates 26S proteasome-mediated degradation of PYEL proteins in the absence of iron. We also determined that, upon binding iron at the HHE domains, BTS is destabilized and that this destabilization relies on specific residues within the HHE domains. This study reveals an important and unique mechanism for plant iron homeostasis whereby an E3 ubiquitin ligase may posttranslationally control components of the transcriptional regulatory network involved in the iron deficiency response.

  18. Effects of pollution on land snail abundance, size and diversity as resources for pied flycatcher, Ficedula hypoleuca.

    PubMed

    Eeva, Tapio; Rainio, Kalle; Suominen, Otso

    2010-09-01

    Passerine birds need extra calcium during their breeding for developing egg shells and proper growth of nestling skeleton. Land snails are an important calcium source for many passerines and human-induced changes in snail populations may pose a severe problem for breeding birds. We studied from the bird's viewpoint how air pollution affects the shell mass, abundance and diversity of land snail communities along a pollution gradient of a copper smelter. We sampled remnant snail shells from the nests of an insectivorous passerine, the pied flycatcher, Ficedula hypoleuca, to find out how the availability of land snails varies along the pollution gradient. The total snail shell mass increased towards the pollution source but declined abruptly in the vicinity of the smelter. This spatial variation in shell mass was evident also within a single snail species and could not be wholly explained by spatially varying snail numbers or species composition. Instead, the total shell mass was related to their shell size, individuals being largest at the moderately polluted areas. Smaller shell size suggests inferior growth of snails in the most heavily polluted area. Our study shows that pollution affects the diversity, abundance (available shell mass) and individual quality of land snails, posing reproductive problems for birds that rely on snails as calcium sources during breeding. There are probably both direct pollution-related (heavy metal and calcium levels) and indirect (habitat change) effects behind the observed changes in snail populations.

  19. 77 FR 54605 - Longworth Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Morro Shoulderband Snail, Community of Los...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-09-05

    ... for the Morro Shoulderband Snail, Community of Los Osos, San Luis Obispo County, CA AGENCY: Fish and... addresses the potential for ``take'' of the federally endangered Morro shoulderband snail that is likely to... project activities that are likely to result in take of the Morro shoulderband snail as described in...

  20. 76 FR 41811 - Kellaway Proposed Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Morro Shoulderband Snail, San Luis...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-07-15

    ... Shoulderband Snail, San Luis Obispo County, CA AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of... ``take'' of the Federally endangered Morro shoulderband snail (Helminthoglypta walkeriana) incidental to..., which includes the Kellaway Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Morro Shoulderband Snail...

  1. 78 FR 14587 - Kelley-McDonough Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Morro Shoulderband Snail, Community...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-03-06

    ... Shoulderband Snail, Community of Los Osos, San Luis Obispo County, California AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service... potential for ``take'' of the federally endangered Morro shoulderband snail that is likely to occur... that are likely to result in take of the Morro shoulderband snail as described in their plan. We...

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stewart, Timothy W.

    2007-01-01

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

  3. Single- or mixed-sex Schistosoma japonicum infections of intermediate host snails in hilly areas of Anhui, China.

    PubMed

    Shi, Hui-Ping; Lu, Da-Bing; Shen, Lei; Shi, Tan; Gu, Jian

    2014-02-01

    Schistosomiasis japonicum is one of the most serious communicable diseases, and the transmission of the parasite is dependent of its complex life cycle on which many factors can have an impact. Multiple infections comprising both male and female schistosome within snail intermediate hosts, for example, would facilitate parasite transmission. However, no research on Schistosoma japonicum communities in field-collected Oncomelania hupensis hupensis in relation to schistosome sex has been reported. Therefore, snail survey was performed in a hilly region of Anhui, China, and single- or mixed-sex schistosome infections of snails were detected with final host mouse infection. A total of 8,563 snails were sampled in the field, and 67 were identified with schistosome infections. Of these infected snails, 46 were selected for final host infection. From this, 21 snails were infected with female schistosome, 23 with males and 2 with both males and females. More worms were recovered for snails with mixed-sex infections than with single-sex infection and for snails with male schistosome infection than with female infection (P<0.001). The observed frequency of mixed-sex infections of snails was significantly higher than would be expected if randomly distributed (P<0.01). The ratio male/female of schistosome infections in snails was nearly equal and up to 95.65 % (44/46) of infected snails were single-sex infection. Schistosome infections in snails collected from the hilly area of Anhui Province were not randomly distributed but over-dispersed.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  5. 75 FR 52272 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removal of the Utah (Desert) Valvata Snail From...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-08-25

    ... Wildlife and Plants; Removal of the Utah (Desert) Valvata Snail From the Federal List of Endangered and... (Service), are removing the Utah (desert) valvata snail (Valvata utahensis) from the Federal List of... commercial data, we determined that the Utah valvata snail is more widespread and occurs in a greater...

  6. 76 FR 41810 - Francis Proposed Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Morro Shoulderband Snail, Los Osos...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-07-15

    ... Shoulderband Snail, Los Osos, San Luis Obispo County, CA AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION... the potential for ``take'' of the Federally endangered Morro shoulderband snail (Helminthoglypta... includes the Francis Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Morro Shoulderband Snail (HCP) that...

  7. Structural and functional aspects of winged-helix domains at the core of transcription initiation complexes.

    PubMed

    Teichmann, Martin; Dumay-Odelot, Hélène; Fribourg, Sébastien

    2012-01-01

    The winged helix (WH) domain is found in core components of transcription systems in eukaryotes and prokaryotes. It represents a sub-class of the helix-turn-helix motif. The WH domain participates in establishing protein-DNA and protein-protein-interactions. Here, we discuss possible explanations for the enrichment of this motif in transcription systems.

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

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

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

  9. Sex ratio and susceptibility of the golden apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata.

    PubMed

    Banpavichit, S; Keawjam, R S; Upatham, E S

    1994-06-01

    Golden apple snails, Pomacea canaliculata, were collected at two localities having different ecological environments. In both canal and pond, P. canaliculata males were found more than females during the dry season (summer and winter). In the canal, the male snails were highest in number (86.67%) in May. When rain started, they began decreasing and were lowest at 33.33% in August. Of 575 snails collected, 30.6% were infected by one or more of the three groups of amphistome, distome and echinostome metacercariae. There were two high peaks of infection in April and October, as 60.7% and 68.4%, respectively, during which there were more males than females. The average number of parasites per snail which was highest at 54 was found in the medium-sized males (25 out of 35 males) in October. The number of parasites per snail was significantly correlated with the collected males (p < 0.01), but such relationship was not occurred with the females. Of the females, only the large-sized individuals were infected. In the pond, the female snails were present in much greater numbers than the males during the reproductive time (June-September). The females were highest (94.23%) in August. Only 24 (4.0%) of 605 snails were infected; most of the infected snails were large.

  10. 50 CFR 17.45 - Special rules-snails and clams. [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

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

  11. 50 CFR 17.45 - Special rules-snails and clams. [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

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

  12. 50 CFR 17.45 - Special rules-snails and clams. [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

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

  13. 50 CFR 17.45 - Special rules-snails and clams. [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mooij, Wolf M.; Martin, Julien; Kitchens, Wiley M.; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Bissonette, John A.; Storch, Ilse

    2007-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

  17. 50 CFR 17.45 - Special rules-snails and clams. [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  19. Enhanced complexity and catalytic efficiency in the hydrolysis of phosphate diesters by rationally designed helix-loop-helix motifs.

    PubMed

    Razkin, Jesus; Lindgren, Johan; Nilsson, Helena; Baltzer, Lars

    2008-08-11

    HJ1, a 42-residue peptide that folds into a helix-loop-helix motif and dimerizes to form a four-helix bundle, successfully catalyzes the cleavage of "early stage" DNA model substrates in an aqueous solution at pH 7.0, with a rate enhancement in the hydrolysis of heptyl 4-nitrophenyl phosphate of over three orders of magnitude over that of the imidazole-catalyzed reaction, k(2)(HJ1)/k(2)(Im) = 3135. The second-order rate constant, k(2)(HJ1) was determined to be 1.58x10(-4) M(-1) s(-1). The catalyst successfully assembles residues that in a single elementary reaction step are capable of general-acid and general-base catalysis as well as transition state stabilization and proximity effects. The reactivity achieved with the HJ1 polypeptide, rationally designed to catalyze the hydrolysis of phosphodiesters, is based on two histidine residues flanked by four arginines and two adjacent tyrosine residues, all located on the surface of a helix-loop-helix motif. The introduction of Tyr residues close to the catalytic site improves efficiency, in the cleavage of activated aryl alkyl phosphates as well as less activated dialkyl phosphates. HJ1 is also effective in the cleavage of an RNA-mimic substrate, uridine-3'-2,2,2-trichloroethyl phosphate (leaving group pK(a) = 12.3) with a second-order rate constant of 8.23x10(-4) M(-1) s(-1) in aqueous solution at pH 7.0, some 500 times faster than the reaction catalyzed by imidazole, k(2)(HJ1)/k(2)(Im) = 496.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-12-10

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

  1. Prostaglandin E₂ receptor EP2 mediates Snail expression in hepatocellular carcinoma cells.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Shan-Yu; Zhang, Hai; Zhang, Min; Xia, Shu-Kai; Bai, Xiao-Ming; Zhang, Li; Ma, Juan; Rong, Rong; Wang, Yi-Pin; Du, Ming-Zhan; Wang, Jie; Chen, Meng; Shi, Feng; Yang, Qin-Yi; Leng, Jing

    2014-05-01

    Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) has been shown to influence cell invasion and metastasis in several types of cancer, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). however, the molecular mechanisms underlying it remain to be further elucidated. Snail, as one of key inducers of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), plays pivotal roles in HCC invasion and metastasis. The present study was designed to evaluate the possible signaling pathways through which PGE2 regulates Snail protein expression in HCC cell lines. PGE2 markedly enhanced Huh-7 cell invasion and migration ability by upregulating the expression level of Snail protein, and EP2 receptor played an important role in this process. Src, EGFR, Akt and mTOR were all activated and involved in the regulation of snail protein expression. Our findings suggest that PGE2 could upregulate the expression level of Snail protein through the EP2/Src/EGFR/Akt/mTOR pathway in Huh-7 cells, which promotes HCC cell invasion and migration.

  2. Cercarial infection in Paludomus petrosus, freshwater snail in Pa La-U Waterfall.

    PubMed

    Krailas, Duangduen; Dechruksa, Wivitchuta; Ukong, Suluck; Janecharut, Tuenta

    2003-06-01

    Paludomus petrosus, the freshwater snails found in Pa La-U Waterfall, were examined for cercarial infection of trematodes. The snails were collected every other month from April, 2001 to February, 2002. Collections were taken from two sampling stations. The counts per unit of time' method was used for collection of the snails. The density of snails was highest in June 2001, and the highest of parasite infection rate was in February 2002. Four types of cercariae were found in the snails: Xiphidiocercariae, Amphistome, Furcocercous cercariae type I, and Furcocercous cercariae type II. Xiphidiocercariae were found in April 2001 to February 2002. Amphistome, Furcocercous cercariae type I and Furcocercous cercariae type II were found in February 2002.

  3. Juveniles of Lymnaea 'smart' snails do not perseverate and have the capacity to form LTM.

    PubMed

    Shymansky, Tamila; Protheroe, Amy; Hughes, Emily; Swinton, Cayley; Swinton, Erin; Lukowiak, Kai S; Phillips, Iain; Lukowiak, Ken

    2017-02-01

    Previously, it was concluded that the nervous systems of juvenile snails were not capable of mediating long-term memory (LTM). However, exposure and training of those juvenile snails in the presence of a predator cue significantly altered their ability to learn and form LTM. In addition, there are some strains of Lymnaea which have been identified as 'smart'. These snails form LTM significantly better than the lab-bred strain. Here, we show that juveniles of two smart snail strains not only are capable of associative learning but also have the capacity to form LTM following a single 0.5 h training session. We also show that freshly collected 'wild' 'average' juveniles are also not able to form LTM. Thus, the smart snail phenotype in these strains is expressed in juveniles.

  4. Phenotypic plasticity in the common garden snail: big guts and heavier mucus glands compete in snails faced with the dual challenge of poor diet and coarse substrate.

    PubMed

    Munn, Adam J; Treloar, Marguerite

    2016-12-26

    Phenotypic plasticity allows animals to manage environmental challenges. Studies aimed at quantifying plasticity often focus on one challenge, such as diet, and one organ system, such the gastrointestinal tract, but this approach may not adequately reflect how plasticity could buffer multiple challenges. Thus, we investigated the outcomes of a dual challenge experiment that fed land snails either a high-fibre (low quality) or a low-fibre (high quality) diet, and simultaneously exercised them daily over 1.2 m on either a smooth surface of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or a rough sandpaper. By the end of 20 days, snails fed the poor quality diet had a longer crop and oesophagus and a heavier intestine and rectum than those offered a low-fibre diet. Additionally, high-fibre fed snails had a smaller spermoviduct and oviduct. When also exercised on sandpaper, high-fibre fed snails had a smaller digestive gland, a main energy store, than those exercised on PVC. All snails exercised on sandpaper had a heavier pedal mucus gland, used a loping gait and used less mucus than those on PVC plastic, but there was no difference in the average speed of snails on either surface, supporting the conclusion that loping is a mucus conserving gait. Notably, snails faced with both a diet and substrate challenge had a smaller kidney, which could directly effect fecundity. This demonstrates that our dual challenge approach has potential for evaluating the costs and limits of the plasticity necessary to fully appreciate the evolutionary significance of plasticity in snails and other species.

  5. Interactions between relay helix and Src homology 1 (SH1) domain helix drive the converter domain rotation during the recovery stroke of myosin II.

    PubMed

    Baumketner, Andrij

    2012-06-01

    Myosin motor protein exists in two alternative conformations, prerecovery state M* and postrecovery state M**, on adenosine triphosphate binding. The details of the M*-to-M** transition, known as the recovery stroke to reflect its role as the functional opposite of the force-generating power stroke, remain elusive. The defining feature of the postrecovery state is a kink in the relay helix, a key part of the protein involved in force generation. In this article, we determine the interactions that are responsible for the appearance of the kink. We design a series of computational models that contain three other segments, relay loop, converter domain, and Src homology 1 (SH1) domain helix, with which relay helix interacts and determine their structure in accurate replica exchange molecular dynamics simulations in explicit solvent. By conducting an exhaustive combinatorial search among different models, we find that: (1) the converter domain must be attached to the relay helix during the transition, so it does not interfere with other parts of the protein and (2) the structure of the relay helix is controlled by SH1 helix. The kink is strongly coupled to the position of SH1 helix. It arises as a result of direct interactions between SH1 and the relay helix and leads to a rotation of the C-terminal part of the relay helix, which is subsequently transmitted to the converter domain.

  6. Snail controls the mesenchymal phenotype and drives erlotinib resistance in Oral epithelial and HNSCC cells

    PubMed Central

    Dennis, Miranda; Wang, Guanyu; Luo, Jie; Lin, Yuan; Dohadwala, Mariam; Sidell, Douglas; DeConde, Adam; Abemayor, Elliot; Elashoff, David A.; Sharma, Sherven; Dubinett, Steven M.; St John, Maie A.

    2014-01-01

    PURPOSE The presence of regional metastases in HNSCC patients is a common and adverse event associated with poor prognosis. Understanding the molecular mechanisms that mediate HNSCC metastasis may enable identification of novel therapeutic targets. Our recent work on human HNSCC tissues underlies Snail’s role as a molecular prognostic marker for HNSCC. Snail positivity is significantly predictive of poorly differentiated, lymphovascular invasive, as well as regionally metastatic tumors. We recently reported the role of Snail in the inflammation-induced promotion of EMT in HNSCC. However, other important Snail-dependent malignant phenotypes have not been fully explored. Here, we investigate the capacity of Snail to drive EMT in human oral epithelial cell lines, and its ability to confer drug resistance. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN Snail was overexpressed HNSCC and oral epithelial cell lines. AIG assays, wound healing assays, invasion & migration assays, spheroid modeling, and cell survival assays were performed. RESULTS The overexpression of Snail in human HNSCC and oral epithelial cell lines drives EMT. The sole transfection of Snail confers the expression of a mesenchymal molecular signature including down-regulation of the epithelial adherens, such as E-cadherin and β-catenin, and induction of mesenchymal markers, Snail overexpressing cell lines demonstrate rapid growth in Anchorage-independent growth assays; a decreased capacity to form tight spheroids; increased resistance to erlotinib; and have an increased capacity for invasion. CONCLUSION Snail controls the mesenchymal phenotype and drives erlotinib resistance in HNSCC cells. Snail may prove to be a useful marker in predicting EGFR inhibitor responsiveness. PMID:22568942

  7. Snail family members and cell survival in physiological and pathological cleft palates.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Alvarez, Concepción; Blanco, María J; Pérez, Raquel; Rabadán, M Angeles; Aparicio, Marta; Resel, Eva; Martínez, Tamara; Nieto, M Angela

    2004-01-01

    Palate fusion is a complex process that involves the coordination of a series of cellular changes including cell death and epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). Since members of the Snail family of zinc-finger regulators are involved in both triggering of the EMT and cell survival, we decided to study their putative role in palatal fusion. Furthermore, Snail genes are induced by transforming growth factor beta gene (TGF-beta) superfamily members, and TGF-beta(3) null mutant mice (TGF-beta(3)-/-) show a cleft palate phenotype. Here we show that in the wild-type mouse at the time of fusion, Snail is expressed in a few cells of the midline epithelial seam (MES), compatible with a role in triggering of the EMT in a small subpopulation of the MES. We also find an intriguing relationship between the expression of Snail family members and cell survival associated to the cleft palate condition. Indeed, Snail is expressed in the medial edge epithelial (MEE) cells in TGF-beta(3)-/-mouse embryo palates, where it is activated by the aberrant expression of its inducer, TGF-beta(1), in the underlying mesenchyme. In contrast to Snail-deficient wild-type pre-adhesion MEE cells, Snail-expressing TGF-beta(3) mutant MEE cells survive as they do their counterparts in the chick embryo. Interestingly, Slug is the Snail family member expressed in the chick MEE, providing another example of interchange of Snail and Slug expression between avian and mammalian embryos. We propose that in the absence of TGF-beta(3), TGF-beta(1) is upregulated in the mesenchyme, and that in both physiological (avian) and pathological (TGF-beta(3)-/-mammalian) cleft palates, it induces the expression of Snail genes promoting the survival of the MEE cells and permitting their subsequent differentiation into keratinized stratified epithelium.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

  10. A flavonol present in cocoa [(-)epicatechin] enhances snail memory.

    PubMed

    Fruson, Lee; Dalesman, Sarah; Lukowiak, Ken

    2012-10-15

    Dietary consumption of flavonoids (plant phytochemicals) may improve memory and neuro-cognitive performance, though the mechanism is poorly understood. Previous work has assessed cognitive effects in vertebrates; here we assess the suitability of Lymnaea stagnalis as an invertebrate model to elucidate the effects of flavonoids on cognition. (-)Epicatechin (epi) is a flavonoid present in cocoa, green tea and red wine. We studied its effects on basic snail behaviours (aerial respiration and locomotion), long-term memory (LTM) formation and memory extinction of operantly conditioned aerial respiratory behaviour. We found no significant effect of epi exposure (15 mg l(-1)) on either locomotion or aerial respiration. However, when snails were operantly conditioned in epi for a single 0.5 h training session, which typically results in memory lasting ~3 h, they formed LTM lasting at least 24 h. Snails exposed to epi also showed significantly increased resistance to extinction, consistent with the hypothesis that epi induces a more persistent LTM. Thus training in epi facilitates LTM formation and results in a more persistent and stronger memory. Previous work has indicated that memory-enhancing stressors (predator kairomones and KCl) act via sensory input from the osphradium and are dependent on a serotonergic (5-HT) signalling pathway. Here we found that the effects of epi on LTM were independent of osphradial input and 5-HT, demonstrating that an alternative mechanism of memory enhancement exists in L. stagnalis. Our data are consistent with the notion that dietary sources of epi can improve cognitive abilities, and that L. stagnalis is a suitable model with which to elucidate neuronal mechanisms.

  11. Cisplatin promotes mesenchymal-like characteristics in osteosarcoma through Snail

    PubMed Central

    Fang, Shuo; Yu, Ling; Mei, Hongjun; Yang, Jian; Gao, Tian; Cheng, Anyuan; Guo, Weichun; Xia, Kezhou; Liu, Gaiwei

    2016-01-01

    More than 30% of patients with osteosarcoma succumb to pulmonary metastases. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a biological process by which tumor cells gain an increased capacity for invasiveness and metastasis. A previous study confirmed the phenomenon of EMT in osteosarcoma, a mesenchymal-derived tumor. However, whether chemotherapy affects EMT remains to be elucidated. In the present study, the osteosarcoma cells were exposed to a sublethal dose of cisplatin, and any surviving cells were assumed to be more resistant to cisplatin. In addition, these cells exhibited a more mesenchymal phenotype. Immunofluorescence analysis revealed that the cisplatin treated cells had an increased long/short axis ratio and increased expression of N-cadherin compared with control cells. A panel of EMT-associated genes was subsequently assessed by quantitative PCR and western blot analysis, and they were observed to be significantly upregulated in the cisplatin treated cells. The in vitro wound healing and Transwell assay indicated that the cisplatin treated cells were more prone to migrate and invade. An in vivo assay showed that the cisplatin-treated xenograft had increased expression of EMT-associated genes, and exhibited increased pulmonary lesions compared with the control, which indicated an elevated capacity to metastasize. The expression of Snail was knocked down by specific small interfering RNA, and it was observed that Snail inhibition promoted cisplatin sensitivity, and cisplatin-induced EMT was significantly blocked. Taken together, the results of the present study supported that idea that Snail participates in cisplatin-induced EMT in osteosarcoma cells, and targeting EMT-transcription factors may offer promise for the therapeutics of osteosarcoma. PMID:28105207

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

    PubMed

    Gommerat, I; Gola, M

    1996-09-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Gommerat, I; Gola, M

    1996-01-01

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

  14. Selective and universal primers for trematode barcoding in freshwater snails.

    PubMed

    Routtu, J; Grunberg, D; Izhar, R; Dagan, Y; Guttel, Y; Ucko, M; Ben-Ami, F

    2014-07-01

    Trematodes are significant pathogens of high medical, veterinary, and environmental importance. They are hard to isolate from their intermediate hosts, and their early life stages are difficult to identify morphologically. Therefore, primers were developed for trematodes to create a species barcoding system and allow selective PCR amplification in mixed samples. The specific oligonucleotide primer was universal for trematodes that infected several freshwater snail species in Israel. The diagnostic tool is based on the 18S rDNA gene. In contrast to morphological identification, trematode barcoding is rapid as it is based on a sequence of only 800 bp, and it classifies species accurately due to high polymorphism between conserved areas.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  16. Xanthine oxidase and xanthine dehydrogenase from an estivating land snail.

    PubMed

    Hermes-Lima, M; Storey, K B

    1995-01-01

    During arousal from estivation in land snails, Otala lactea, active metabolic functions are restored within minutes and oxygen consumption increases dramatically. During the transition from the hypoxic conditions of estivation to normoxia it is possible that xanthine oxidase (XO) in hepatopancreas contributes to the observed lipid peroxidation. Using a fluorometric assay that is based on the oxidation of pterin, the activities and some properties of XO and XO+XDH (sum of XO and xanthine dehydrogenase activities) were measured in hepatopancreas extracts. Km values for pterin for XO and XO+XDH were 9 and 6 microM, respectively, and the Km of XDH for methylene blue was 5 microM. Both XO+XDH and XO activities were inhibited by allopurinol (I50 = 2 microM), pre-incubation at 40 degrees C, and by 5 min H2O2 pre-exposure. Inclusion of azide in the reaction promoted a rise of approximately 70-fold in the inactivation power of H2O2 due to inhibition of high endogenous catalase activity. The I50 for H2O2 of XO+XDH and XO activities in the presence of azide was 0.04 and 0.11 mM, respectively. Unlike the situation for mammalian XO, a previous reduction of O. lactea XO (by pterin) was not necessary to make the enzyme susceptible to H2O2 effects. Interestingly, methylene blue partially prevented both heat- and H2O2-induced inactivation of XO+XDH activity. These data indicate that the formation of an enzyme-methylene blue complex induces protection against heat and oxidative damage at the FAD-active site. Both XO and XO+XDH activites were significantly higher in snails after 35 days of estivation compared with active snails 24 h after arousal from dormancy. The ratio of XO/(XO+XDH) activities was also slightly increased in estivating O. lactea (from 0.07 to 0.09; P < 0.025). XO activity was 0.03 nmol.min-1.mg protein-1 in estivating snails. Compared with hepatopancreas catalase, XO activity is probably too low to contribute significantly to the net generation of oxyradicals, and

  17. Toxicity of botanical insecticides on golden apple snail (Pomacea canaliculata).

    PubMed

    Ruamthum, W; Visetson, S; Milne, J R; Bullangpoti, V

    2010-01-01

    The molluscicidal activity of crude extracts from five highly potential plants, Annona squamosa seed, Nerium indicum Leaves, Stemona tuberose root, Cyperus rotundus corm and Derris elliptica root was assessed to Pomacea canaliculata. D. elliptica root and C. rotundus corm extracts showed the highest toxicity against 3-month old snails which have LC50 as 23.68 +/- 2.96 mg/l and 133.20 +/- 7.94 mg/l, respectively. The C. rotundus corm extracts were chosen for detoxification enzyme in vivo assay which shows esterase and glutathione S-transferase activity in stomach, intestinal tracts and digestive glands of survival treated P. canaliculata were inhibited.

  18. Exposure to parasites increases promiscuity in a freshwater snail

    PubMed Central

    Soper, D. M.; King, K. C.; Vergara, D.; Lively, C. M.

    2014-01-01

    Under the Red Queen hypothesis, outcrossing can produce genetically variable progeny, which may be more resistant, on average, to locally adapted parasites. Mating with multiple partners may enhance this resistance by further increasing the genetic variation among offspring. We exposed Potamopyrgus antipodarum to the eggs of a sterilizing, trematode parasite and tested whether this altered mating behaviour. We found that exposure to parasites increased the number of snail mating pairs and the total number of different mating partners for both males and females. Thus, our results suggest that, in host populations under parasite-mediated selection, exposure to infective propagules increases the rate of mating and the number of mates. PMID:24759366

  19. Therapeutic potential of cone snail venom peptides (conopeptides).

    PubMed

    Vetter, Irina; Lewis, Richard J

    2012-01-01

    Cone snails have evolved many 1000s of small, structurally stable venom peptides (conopeptides) for prey capture and defense. Whilst < 0.1% have been pharmacologically characterised, those with known function typically target membrane proteins of therapeutic importance, including ion channels, transporters and GPCRs. Several conopeptides reduce pain in animals models, with one in clinical development (χ-conopeptide analogue Xen2174) and one marketed (ω- conotoxin MVIIA or Prialt) for the treatment of severe pain. In addition to their therapeutic potential, conopeptides have been valuable probes for studying the role of a number of key membrane proteins in normal and disease physiology.

  20. Triple Helix Formation in a Topologically Controlled DNA Nanosystem.

    PubMed

    Yamagata, Yutaro; Emura, Tomoko; Hidaka, Kumi; Sugiyama, Hiroshi; Endo, Masayuki

    2016-04-11

    In the present study, we demonstrate single-molecule imaging of triple helix formation in DNA nanostructures. The binding of the single-molecule third strand to double-stranded DNA in a DNA origami frame was examined using two different types of triplet base pairs. The target DNA strand and the third strand were incorporated into the DNA frame, and the binding of the third strand was controlled by the formation of Watson-Crick base pairing. Triple helix formation was monitored by observing the structural changes in the incorporated DNA strands. It was also examined using a photocaged third strand wherein the binding of the third strand was directly observed using high-speed atomic force microscopy during photoirradiation. We found that the binding of the third strand could be controlled by regulating duplex formation and the uncaging of the photocaged strands in the designed nanospace.

  1. Dual circular polarization gaps in helix photonic metamaterials.

    PubMed

    Kao, Tzu-Hung; Chien, Lung-Yu Chang; Hung, Yu-Chueh

    2015-09-21

    Chiral structures exhibit strong interactions with circularly polarized light, and have been demonstrated to show many polarization-dependent properties. Various chiral structures exhibit some level of circular dichroism, where right-handed and left-handed circularly polarized waves experience different transmission. In this study, we use a dielectric helix array as a model system to examine the interactions of circularly polarized light with helical structures. Our results show that circular polarization band gaps can be formed in a dielectric helix array not only by light having the same handedness with the structure but also by light with the opposite handedness, resulting from additional chiral motifs induced by the arrangement of helices. Dual polarization band gaps can thus be tailored by varying the geometrical parameters, and circular-polarization dependent properties can be manipulated for optoelectronic devices and applications.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  3. Rational design of a triple helix-specific intercalating ligand.

    PubMed

    Escudé, C; Nguyen, C H; Kukreti, S; Janin, Y; Sun, J S; Bisagni, E; Garestier, T; Hélène, C

    1998-03-31

    DNA triple helices offer new perspectives toward oligonucleotide-directed gene regulation. However, the poor stability of some of these structures might limit their use under physiological conditions. Specific ligands can intercalate into DNA triple helices and stabilize them. Molecular modeling and thermal denaturation experiments suggest that benzo[f]pyrido[3, 4-b]quinoxaline derivatives intercalate into triple helices by stacking preferentially with the Hoogsteen-paired bases. Based on this model, it was predicted that a benzo[f]quino[3,4-b]quinoxaline derivative, which possesses an additional aromatic ring, could engage additional stacking interactions with the pyrimidine strand of the Watson-Crick double helix upon binding of this pentacyclic ligand to a triplex structure. This compound was synthesized. Thermal denaturation experiments and inhibition of restriction enzyme cleavage show that this new compound can indeed stabilize triple helices with great efficiency and specificity and/or induce triple helix formation under physiological conditions.

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

    PubMed

    Orrock, John L

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Soliton solutions for Davydov solitons in α-helix proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taghizadeh, N.; Zhou, Qin; Ekici, M.; Mirzazadeh, M.

    2017-02-01

    The propagation equation for describing Davydov solitons in α-helix proteins has been investigated analytically. There are seven integration tools to extract analytical soliton solutions. They are the Ricatti equation expansion approach, ansatz scheme, improved extended tanh-equation method, the extend exp(-Ψ(τ)) -expansion method, the extended Jacobi elliptic function expansion method, the extended trial equation method and the extended G ' / G - expansion method.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  7. Unambiguous demonstration of triple-helix-directed gene modification.

    PubMed

    Barre, F X; Ait-Si-Ali, S; Giovannangeli, C; Luis, R; Robin, P; Pritchard, L L; Helene, C; Harel-Bellan, A

    2000-03-28

    Triple-helix-forming oligonucleotides (TFOs), which can potentially modify target genes irreversibly, represent promising tools for antiviral therapies. However, their effectiveness on endogenous genes has yet to be unambiguously demonstrated. To monitor endogenous gene modification by TFOs in a yeast model, we inactivated an auxotrophic marker gene by inserting target sequences of interest into its coding region. The genetically engineered yeast cells then were treated with psoralen-linked TFOs followed by UV irradiation, thus generating highly mutagenic covalent crosslinks at the target site whose repair could restore gene function; the number of revertants and spectrum of mutations generated were quantified. Results showed that a phosphoramidate TFO indeed reaches its target sequence, forms crosslinks, and generates mutations at the expected site via a triplex-mediated mechanism: (i) under identical conditions, no mutations were generated by the same TFO at two other loci in the target strain, nor in an isogenic control strain carrying a modified target sequence incapable of supporting triple-helix formation; (ii) for a given target sequence, whether the triplex was formed in vivo on an endogenous gene or in vitro on an exogenous plasmid, the nature of the mutations generated was identical, and consistent with the repair of a psoralen crosslink at the target site. Although the mutation efficiency was probably too low for therapeutic applications, our results confirm the validity of the triple-helix approach and provide a means of evaluating the effectiveness of new chemically modified TFOs and analogs.

  8. CCR7 pathway induces epithelial-mesenchymal transition through up-regulation of Snail signaling in gastric cancer.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jianping; Zhou, Yunzhe; Yang, Yonggang

    2015-02-01

    The chemokine receptor 7 (CCR7) and Snail signaling have been linked to various types of cancers. The associations between these signalings and the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) are not clear in gastric cancer. Here, the expression of CCR7 and Snail was detected in gastric cancer by immunohistochemistry and Western blot. Meanwhile, gastric cancer cells were subjected to CCL19, si-control, and si-Snail treatment. Cell cycle, migration, and invasion were also analyzed. The expression patterns of CCR7 and Snail were similar in either gastric cancer tissues or cells. The increased expression of CCR7 was closely associated with the increased Snail expression, which both were closely correlated with metastasis, stage and differentiation, and poor prognosis. The increased p-ERK, p-AKT, Snail, and MMP9 expression and the decreased E-cadherin were confirmed in MGC803 cells in a dose-dependent manner in response to CCL19 treatment. However, the blockade of Snail abrogated the up-regulation of MMP9 and down-regulation of E-cadherin. CCR7-induced ERK and PI3K pathway regulated Snail signaling. Besides si-Snail treatment led to MGC803 cell cycle arrest and affected the migration and invasion. In conclusion, our study suggested that CCR7 promotes Snail expression to induce the EMT, resulting in cell cycle progression, migration, and invasion in gastric cancer. CCR7-Snail pathway provided more potential regimens for cancer therapy.

  9. Specific Protein-Protein Interaction between Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors and Homeoproteins of the Pitx Family

    PubMed Central

    Poulin, Gino; Lebel, Mélanie; Chamberland, Michel; Paradis, Francois W.; Drouin, Jacques

    2000-01-01

    Homeoproteins and basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factors are known for their critical role in development and cellular differentiation. The pituitary pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) gene is a target for factors of both families. Indeed, pituitary-specific transcription of POMC depends on the action of the homeodomain-containing transcription factor Pitx1 and of bHLH heterodimers containing NeuroD1. We now show lineage-restricted expression of NeuroD1 in pituitary corticotroph cells and a direct physical interaction between bHLH heterodimers and Pitx1 that results in transcriptional synergism. The interaction between the bHLH and homeodomains is restricted to ubiquitous (class A) bHLH and to the Pitx subfamily. Since bHLH heterodimers interact with Pitx factors through their ubiquitous moiety, this mechanism may be implicated in other developmental processes involving bHLH factors, such as neurogenesis and myogenesis. PMID:10848608

  10. Seven Genes of the Enhancer of Split Complex of Drosophila Melanogaster Encode Helix-Loop-Helix Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Knust, E.; Schrons, H.; Grawe, F.; Campos-Ortega, J. A.

    1992-01-01

    Enhancer of split [E(spl)] is one of the neurogenic loci of Drosophila and, as such, is required for normal segregation of neural and epidermal cell progenitors. Genetic observations indicate that the E(spl) locus is in fact a gene complex comprising a cluster of related genes and that other genes of the region are also required for normal early neurogenesis. Three of the genes of the complex were known to encode helix-loop-helix (HLH) proteins and to be transcribed in nearly identical patterns. Here, we show that four other genes in the vicinity also encode HLH proteins and, during neuroblast segregation, three of them are expressed in the same pattern. We show by germ-line transformation that these three genes are also necessary to allow epidermal development of the neuroectodermal cells. PMID:1427040

  11. Diaphanous gene mutation affects spiral cleavage and chirality in snails

    PubMed Central

    Kuroda, Reiko; Fujikura, Kohei; Abe, Masanori; Hosoiri, Yuji; Asakawa, Shuichi; Shimizu, Miho; Umeda, Shin; Ichikawa, Futaba; Takahashi, Hiromi

    2016-01-01

    L-R (left and right) symmetry breaking during embryogenesis and the establishment of asymmetric body plan are key issues in developmental biology, but the onset including the handedness-determining gene locus still remains unknown. Using pure dextral (DD) and sinistral (dd) strains of the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis as well as its F2 through to F10 backcrossed lines, the single handedness-determining-gene locus was mapped by genetic linkage analysis, BAC cloning and chromosome walking. We have identified the actin-related diaphanous gene Lsdia1 as the strongest candidate. Although the cDNA and derived amino acid sequences of the tandemly duplicated Lsdia1 and Lsdia2 genes are very similar, we could discriminate the two genes/proteins in our molecular biology experiments. The Lsdia1 gene of the sinistral strain carries a frameshift mutation that abrogates full-length LsDia1 protein expression. In the dextral strain, it is already translated prior to oviposition. Expression of Lsdia1 (only in the dextral strain) and Lsdia2 (in both chirality) decreases after the 1-cell stage, with no asymmetric localization throughout. The evolutionary relationships among body handedness, SD/SI (spiral deformation/spindle inclination) at the third cleavage, and expression of diaphanous proteins are discussed in comparison with three other pond snails (L. peregra, Physa acuta and Indoplanorbis exustus). PMID:27708420

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Imposex in the golden apple snail Pomacea canaliculata in Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Liu, Wen-Hui; Chiu, Yuh-Wen; Huang, Da-Ji; Liu, Ming-Yie; Lee, Ching-Chang; Liu, Li-Lian

    2006-12-01

    The golden apple snail Pomacea canaliculata (Lamarck, 1822) was introduced into Taiwan intentionally in the early 1980s and has become a recurring pest that seriously threatens aquatic crops. In this study, a field description of imposex with a developed penis sheath and penis in female golden apple snails from crop/domestic wastewater drainage sites and a six-order river is presented for the first time. Based on the five field collections and the aquarium group, the vas deferens sequence (VDS) of P. canaliculata in imposex development was categorized into four stages, i.e., stage 0: without male genital system; stage 1: with rudimentary penis; stage 2: with rudimentary penis and penis sheath; and stage 3: the rudimentary penis developing into penis pouch and penis. The VDS indices varied between 1.07 and 2.82 and were lowest in the aquarium group and Yuanlin2. Regarding the severity of imposex, the aquarium group was less pronounced, as illustrated by the length of penis sheath and penis length, than the field collections (p<0.05). In respect of the penis length, males of the most imposex-affected site were up to 15% shorter than that of the aquarium group. Negative correlations between male penis length and female imposex characters (i.e., penis length and penis sheath length) were also observed.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  15. Extremely high secondary production of introduced snails in rivers.

    PubMed

    Hall, Robert O; Dybdahl, Mark F; VanderLoop, Maria C

    2006-06-01

    The functional importance of invasive animals may be measured as the degree to which they dominate secondary production, relative to native animals. We used this approach to examine dominance of invertebrate secondary production by invasive New Zealand mudsnails (Potamopyrgus antipodarum) in rivers. We measured secondary production of mudsnails and native invertebrates in three rivers in the Greater Yellowstone Area (Wyoming, USA): Gibbon River, Firehole River, and Polecat Creek. Potamopyrgus production was estimated by measuring in situ growth rates and multiplying by monthly biomass; native invertebrate production was estimated using size frequency and instantaneous growth methods. Mudsnail growth rates were high (up to 0.06 d(-1)) for juvenile snails and much lower for adult females (0.003 d(-1)). Potamopyrgus production in Polecat Creek (194 g x m(-2) x yr(-1)) was one of the highest values ever reported for a stream invertebrate. Native invertebrate production ranged from 4.4 to 51 g x m(-2) x yr(-1). Potamopyrgus was the most productive taxon and constituted 65-92% of total invertebrate productivity. Native invertebrate production was low in all streams. Based on a survey of production measures from uninvaded rivers, the distribution of secondary production across taxa was much more highly skewed toward the invasive dominant Potamopyrgus in the three rivers. We suggest that this invasive herbivorous snail is sequestering a large fraction of the carbon available for invertebrate production and altering food web function.

  16. Nicotinic acid inhibits glioma invasion by facilitating Snail1 degradation

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jiejing; Qu, Jiagui; Shi, Yu; Perfetto, Mark; Ping, Zhuxian; Christian, Laura; Niu, Hua; Mei, Shuting; Zhang, Qin; Yang, Xiangcai; Wei, Shuo

    2017-01-01

    Malignant glioma is a formidable disease that commonly leads to death, mainly due to the invasion of tumor cells into neighboring tissues. Therefore, inhibition of tumor cell invasion may provide an effective therapy for malignant glioma. Here we report that nicotinic acid (NA), an essential vitamin, inhibits glioma cell invasion in vitro and in vivo. Treatment of the U251 glioma cells with NA in vitro results in reduced invasion, which is accompanied by a loss of mesenchymal phenotype and an increase in cell-cell adhesion. At the molecular level, transcription of the adherens junction protein E-cadherin is upregulated, leading to accumulation of E-cadherin protein at the cell-cell boundary. This can be attributed to NA’s ability to facilitate the ubiquitination and degradation of Snail1, a transcription factor that represses E-cadherin expression. Similarly, NA transiently inhibits neural crest migration in Xenopus embryos in a Snail1-dependent manner, indicating that the mechanism of action for NA in cell migration is evolutionarily conserved. We further show that NA injection blocks the infiltration of tumor cells into the adjacent brain tissues and improves animal survival in a rat model of glioma. These results suggest that NA treatment may be developed into a potential therapy for malignant glioma. PMID:28256591

  17. Snail Family Transcription Factors Are Implicated in Thyroid Carcinogenesis

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1989-01-01

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

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

    DOE PAGES

    AlQuraishi, Mohammed; Tang, Shengdong; Xia, Xide

    2015-11-19

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    AlQuraishi, Mohammed; Tang, Shengdong; Xia, Xide

    2015-11-19

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

  1. Molecular consequences of Ds insertion into and excision from the helix-loop-helix domain of the maize R gene.

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Y; Wang, L; Kermicle, J L; Wessler, S R

    1998-01-01

    The R and B proteins of maize are required to activate the transcription of several genes in the anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway. To determine the structural requirements for R function in vivo, we are exploiting its sensitive mutant phenotype to identify transposon (Ds) insertions that disrupt critical domains. Here we report that the ability of the r-m1 allele to activate transcription of at least three structural genes is reduced to only 2% of wild-type activity because of a 396-bp Ds element in helix 2 of the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) motif. Residual activity likely results from the synthesis of a mutant protein that contains seven additional amino acids in helix 2. This protein is encoded by a transcript where most of the Ds sequence has been spliced from pre-mRNA. Two phenotypic classes of stable derivative alleles, very pale and extremely pale, condition <1% of wild-type activity as a result of the presence of two- and three-amino-acid insertions, respectively, at the site of Ds excision. Localization of these mutant proteins to the nucleus indicates a requirement for an intact bHLH domain after nuclear import. The fact that deletion of the entire bHLH domain has only a minor effect on R protein activity while these small insertions virtually abolish activity suggests that deletion of the bHLH domain may bypass a requirement for bHLH-mediated protein-protein interactions in the activation of the structural genes in the anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway. PMID:9832539

  2. The snail hosts of schistosomiasis: some evolutionary and ecological perspectives in relation to control.

    PubMed

    Thomas, J D

    1995-01-01

    Despite opportunities for radiation provided by spatio-temporal isolation, the basic morphological plan of pulmonate snails has remained conservative. In consequence of the resulting dearth of morphological characters and their plasticity, there is a case for using biochemical characters such as exogenous chemicals released by the snails (e.g. amino acids) and their chemoreception niche as taxonomic aids to classify snails of medical importance. As these same chemicals are used by snails to distinguish conspecifics they could also be used as "environmental antibodies" in controlled release formulations (CRF's) designed to remove target snails in a specific, cost-effective and ecologically acceptable manner. The snails, surface-living bacteria, algae and macrophytic plants are considered as co-evolved, interactive modular systems with strong mutualistic elements. Recently, anthropogenic perturbations such as deforestation, and damming of flowing waters, have benefited these modules whereas others such as river canalization, acid deposition, accumulation of pesticide residues and eutrophication have harmed them. Research is needed to elucidate the factors which limit the growth of snails in primitive habitats, uninfluenced by man, as well as in those subject to harmful anthropogenic factors. The understanding thus gained could be applied to develop cost-effective primary health care strategies to reduce or prevent transmission of schistosomiasis and other water related diseases.

  3. Nrf2 inhibits epithelial-mesenchymal transition by suppressing snail expression during pulmonary fibrosis

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Wencheng; Mo, Xiaoting; Cui, Wenhui; Zhang, Zhihui; Li, Delin; Li, Liucheng; Xu, Liang; Yao, Hongwei; Gao, Jian

    2016-01-01

    Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a phenotype conversion that plays a critical role in the development of pulmonary fibrosis (PF). It is known that snail could regulate the progression of EMT. Nuclear factor erythroid 2 related factor 2 (Nrf2), a key regulator of antioxidant defense system, protects cells against oxidative stress. However, it is not known whether Nrf2 regulates snail thereby modulating the development of PF. Here, bleomycin (BLM) was intratracheally injected into both Nrf2-knockout (Nrf2−/−) and wild-type mice to compare the development of PF. Rat type II alveolar epithelial cells (RLE-6TN) were treated with a specific Nrf2 activator sulforaphane, or transfected with Nrf2 and snail siRNAs to determine their effects on transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1)-induced EMT. We found that BLM-induced EMT and lung fibrosis were more severe in Nrf2−/− mice compared to wild-type mice. In vitro, sulforaphane treatment attenuated TGF-β1-induced EMT, accompanied by the down-regulation of snail. Inversely, silencing Nrf2 by siRNA enhanced TGF-β1-induced EMT along with increased expression of snail. Interestingly, when snail was silenced by siRNA, sulforaphane treatment was unable to reduce the progression of EMT in RLE-6TN cells. These findings suggest that Nrf2 attenuates EMT and fibrosis process by regulating the expression of snail in PF. PMID:27982105

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Snail up-regulates pro-inflammatory mediators and inhibits differentiation in oral keratinocytes

    PubMed Central

    Lyons, J. Guy; Patel, Vyomesh; Roue, Naomi C.; Fok, Sandra Y.; Soon, Lilian L.; Halliday, Gary M.; Gutkind, J. Silvio

    2008-01-01

    The transcriptional repressor, Snail2, is over-expressed in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCCs) relative to non-malignant head and neck mucosal epithelium, and in locally recurrent relative to non-recurrent HNSCCs. We investigated the mechanisms by which Snails might contribute to the pathogenesis of HNSCCs using cell biological and molecular analyses. Oral keratinocytes that expressed Snails acquired an enhanced ability to attract monocytes and to invade a dense interstitial collagen matrix. They were also found to up-regulate production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2), which have previously been shown to correlate with malignancy. Induction of nuclear factor-kappa B transcriptional activity by Snails was weak and not sufficient to account for the elevated levels of COX2, interleukin-6, interleukin-8 or CXCL1. In addition, expression of Snails in oral keratinocytes impaired desquamation in vitro and strongly repressed expression of both ELF3 and matriptase-1, which play important roles in the terminal differentiation of keratinocytes. Re-expression of matriptase-1 in Snail-expressing cells partially rescued desquamation. This implicates Snails as contributing to malignancy both at the early stages, by impeding terminal differentiation, and at later stages, when invasion and inflammation are important. PMID:18559496

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    O'Dwyer, Katie; Poulin, Robert

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-07-18

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

  10. Genetic algorithms as a tool for helix design - computational and experimental studies on prion protein helix 1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ziegler, Jan; Schwarzinger, Stephan

    2006-01-01

    Evolutionary computing is a general optimization mechanism successfully implemented for a variety of numeric problems in a variety of fields, including structural biology. We here present an evolutionary approach to optimize helix stability in peptides and proteins employing the AGADIR energy function for helix stability as scoring function. With the ability to apply masks determining positions, which are to remain constant or fixed to a certain class of amino acids, our algorithm is capable of developing stable helical scaffolds containing a wide variety of structural and functional amino acid patterns. The algorithm showed good convergence behaviour in all tested cases and can be parameterized in a wide variety of ways. We have applied our algorithm for the optimization of the stability of prion protein helix 1, a structural element of the prion protein which is thought to play a crucial role in the conformational transition from the cellular to the pathogenic form of the prion protein, and which therefore poses an interesting target for pharmacological as well as genetic engineering approaches to counter the as of yet uncurable prion diseases. NMR spectroscopic investigations of selected stabilizing and destabilizing mutations found by our algorithm could demonstrate its ability to create stabilized variants of secondary structure elements.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taguchi, Tetsuya; Kondo, Yohan

    2016-08-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  13. Combinatorial peptide libraries in drug design: lessons from venomous cone snails.

    PubMed

    Olivera, B M; Hillyard, D R; Marsh, M; Yoshikami, D

    1995-10-01

    Many present-day drugs are derived from compounds that are natural products, a traditional source of which is fermentation broths of microorganisms. The venoms of cone snails are a new natural resource of peptides that may have a pharmaceutical potential equivalent to those from traditional sources, particularly for developing drugs that target cell-surface receptors or ion channels. In effect, cone snails have used a combinatorial library strategy to evolve their small, highly bioactive venom peptides. The methods by which the snails have generated thousands of peptides with remarkable specificity and high affinity for their targets may provide important lessons in designing combinatorial libraries for drug development.

  14. Multiple infection of amber Succinea putris snails with sporocysts of Leucochloridium spp. (Trematoda).

    PubMed

    Ataev, G L; Zhukova, A A; Tokmakova, А S; Prokhorova, Е E

    2016-08-01

    Amber Succinea putris snails were collected in the Leningrad Region (Russia). Some of them were infected with trematodes Leucochloridium paradoxum, Leucochloridium perturbatum and Leucochloridium vogtianum. One snail had triple infection with all these species. Genotyping of sporocysts by ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 nucleotide sequences of ribosomal DNA (rDNA) and phylogenetic analysis were performed. The results confirmed the species identification of sporocysts of Leucochloridium based on the shape and colour of mature broodsacs. Sporocyst broodsacs could leave the host snail on their own, remaining viable in the environment for up to an hour. This ability of sporocysts may prevent the excessive infection of the molluscan host.

  15. Comparison of helix interactions in membrane and soluble alpha-bundle proteins.

    PubMed Central

    Eilers, Markus; Patel, Ashish B; Liu, Wei; Smith, Steven O

    2002-01-01

    Helix-helix interactions are important for the folding, stability, and function of membrane proteins. Here, two independent and complementary methods are used to investigate the nature and distribution of amino acids that mediate helix-helix interactions in membrane and soluble alpha-bundle proteins. The first method characterizes the packing density of individual amino acids in helical proteins based on the van der Waals surface area occluded by surrounding atoms. We have recently used this method to show that transmembrane helices pack more tightly, on average, than helices in soluble proteins. These studies are extended here to characterize the packing of interfacial and noninterfacial amino acids and the packing of amino acids in the interfaces of helices that have either right- or left-handed crossing angles, and either parallel or antiparallel orientations. We show that the most abundant tightly packed interfacial residues in membrane proteins are Gly, Ala, and Ser, and that helices with left-handed crossing angles are more tightly packed on average than helices with right-handed crossing angles. The second method used to characterize helix-helix interactions involves the use of helix contact plots. We find that helices in membrane proteins exhibit a broader distribution of interhelical contacts than helices in soluble proteins. Both helical membrane and soluble proteins make use of a general motif for helix interactions that relies mainly on four residues (Leu, Ala, Ile, Val) to mediate helix interactions in a fashion characteristic of left-handed helical coiled coils. However, a second motif for mediating helix interactions is revealed by the high occurrence and high average packing values of small and polar residues (Ala, Gly, Ser, Thr) in the helix interfaces of membrane proteins. Finally, we show that there is a strong linear correlation between the occurrence of residues in helix-helix interfaces and their packing values, and discuss these results with

  16. Fossil land snails of East Africa and their palaeoecological significance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pickford, Martin

    1995-04-01

    This study deals with the Neogene and extant land snails of tropical East Africa and their implications for interpreting the paleoenvironments of the numerous localities at which they have been found. Of major significance to the study is the intimate association between the terrestrial molluscs and the rich mammalian faunas, hominoids included, of East Africa. Thus, palaeoecological reconstructions based on land snails are directly applicable to the mammalian faunas. Palaeoecological reconstructions are proposed for most of the Lower and Middle Miocene hominoids, including Proconsul, Rangwapithecus, Limnopithecus, Micropithecus, Nyanzapithecus, Kenyapithecus and others, and for the mid-Pliocene Australopithecus from Laetoli, Tanzania. The departure point for the palaeoecological reconstructions is a comprehensive study of extant terrestrial molluscs of East Africa, the habitat preferences of which are well documented. All the fossil gastropods studied comprise extant genera and even species, so the usual problems regarding the application of actualism to fossil assemblages is avoided. Furthermore, the fossil gastropod assemblages resemble extant ones, confirming their utility for such reconstructions. Among the parameters examined are rainfall, altitude, vegetation cover and type and zoogeography. A further point of interest is that the samples are more than adequate for the purposes of the study, many of the fossil localities having yielded several thousand specimens. Finally, more than 40% of the extant genera of East Africa have now been recognized in the fossil state. The molluscs are thus, by far, the best represented biological group known in the fossil record of Africa and as such hold great potential for understanding the past. This study ends with reconstructions of the palaeoecology of numerous fossiliferous localities in East Africa which have yielded molluscs and mammals. Changes through the geological column are documented and the habitat preferences

  17. Modification of glial response in hibernation: a patch-clamp study on glial cells acutely isolated from hibernating land snail.

    PubMed

    Nikolic, Ljiljana; Bataveljic, Danijela; Andjus, Pavle R; Moldovan, Ivana; Nedeljkovic, Miodrag; Petkovic, Branka

    2014-12-01

    Hibernation is a dormant state of some animal species that enables them to survive harsh environmental conditions during the winter seasons. In the hibernating state, preservation of neuronal rhythmic activity at a low level is necessary for maintenance of suspended forms of behavior. As glial cells support rhythmic activity of neurons, preservation of brain function in the hibernating state implies accompanying modification of glial activity. A supportive role of glia in regulating neuronal activity is reflected through the activity of inwardly rectifying K+ channels (Kir). Therefore, we examined electrophysiological response, particularly Kir current response, of glial cells in mixture with neurons acutely isolated from active and hibernating land snail Helix pomatia. Our data show that hibernated glia have significantly lower inward current density, specific membrane conductance, and conductance density compared with active glia. The observed reduction could be attributed to the Kir currents, since the Ba2+-sensitive Kir current density was significantly lower in hibernated glia. Accordingly, a significant positive shift of the current reversal potential indicated a more depolarized state of hibernated glia. Data obtained show that modification of glial current response could be regulated by serotonin (5-HT) through an increase of cGMP as a secondary messenger, since extracellular addition of 5-HT or intracellular administration of cGMP to active glia induced a significant reduction of inward current density and thus mimicked the reduced response of hibernated glia. Lower Kir current density of hibernated glia accompanied the lower electrical activity of hibernated neurons, as revealed by a decrease in neuronal fast inward Na+ current density. Our findings reveal that glial response is reduced in the hibernating state and suggest seasonal modulation of glial activity. Maintenance of low glial activity in hibernation could be important for preservation of brain

  18. Suppression of SCARA5 by Snail1 is essential for EMT-associated cell migration of A549 cells

    PubMed Central

    Liu, J; Hu, G; Chen, D; Gong, A-Y; Soori, G S; Dobleman, T J; Chen, X-M

    2013-01-01

    Accumulating evidence indicates that epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) might be a key event for cancer progression. The upregulation of Snail1, one of the most extensively studied EMT regulators, has been implicated in cancer metastasis, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. This study aims to identify that Snail1 targets regulating EMT-associated cancer cell migration. Human lung carcinoma A549 cells were treated with transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1), and EMT-associated phenotypic and functional alterations were monitored. TGF-β1 induced typical EMT-like morphological changes, ‘cadherin switching' and cell migration in A549 cells. TGF-β1 stimulation induced rapid and persistent upregulation of Snail1. Moreover, Snail1 upregulation was required for EMT-associated cell migration. Several metastasis suppressors with putative Snail1-binding sites in their promoters were dramatically repressed in A549 cells during TGF-β1-induced EMT. Gain- and loss-of Snail1 function experiments demonstrated that scavenger receptor class A member 5 (SCARA5) was negatively regulated by Snail1. Importantly, SCARA5 downregulation was essential for EMT-induced migration in A549 cells. The chromatin immunoprecipitation assay revealed that Snail1 could bind to the E-box elements in SCARA5 promoter, implying that SCARA5 is a direct Snail1 target modulating cancer cell mobility during EMT. In addition, we showed that DNA methyltransferase 1 was physically associated with Snail1 to silence SCARA5 expression with an unidentified DNA methylation-independent mechanism, suggesting the complexity of Snail1-mediated epigenetic regulation. Collectively, our data demonstrated that EMT-regulator Snail1 suppresses the expression of SCARA5 to promote cancer progression, highlighting the possibility to target Snail1 and SCARA5 for cancer treatment. PMID:24061576

  19. Suppression of SCARA5 by Snail1 is essential for EMT-associated cell migration of A549 cells.

    PubMed

    Liu, J; Hu, G; Chen, D; Gong, A-Y; Soori, G S; Dobleman, T J; Chen, X-M

    2013-09-23

    Accumulating evidence indicates that epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) might be a key event for cancer progression. The upregulation of Snail1, one of the most extensively studied EMT regulators, has been implicated in cancer metastasis, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. This study aims to identify that Snail1 targets regulating EMT-associated cancer cell migration. Human lung carcinoma A549 cells were treated with transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1), and EMT-associated phenotypic and functional alterations were monitored. TGF-β1 induced typical EMT-like morphological changes, 'cadherin switching' and cell migration in A549 cells. TGF-β1 stimulation induced rapid and persistent upregulation of Snail1. Moreover, Snail1 upregulation was required for EMT-associated cell migration. Several metastasis suppressors with putative Snail1-binding sites in their promoters were dramatically repressed in A549 cells during TGF-β1-induced EMT. Gain- and loss-of Snail1 function experiments demonstrated that scavenger receptor class A member 5 (SCARA5) was negatively regulated by Snail1. Importantly, SCARA5 downregulation was essential for EMT-induced migration in A549 cells. The chromatin immunoprecipitation assay revealed that Snail1 could bind to the E-box elements in SCARA5 promoter, implying that SCARA5 is a direct Snail1 target modulating cancer cell mobility during EMT. In addition, we showed that DNA methyltransferase 1 was physically associated with Snail1 to silence SCARA5 expression with an unidentified DNA methylation-independent mechanism, suggesting the complexity of Snail1-mediated epigenetic regulation. Collectively, our data demonstrated that EMT-regulator Snail1 suppresses the expression of SCARA5 to promote cancer progression, highlighting the possibility to target Snail1 and SCARA5 for cancer treatment.

  20. Central role of Snail1 in the regulation of EMT and resistance in cancer: a target for therapeutic intervention

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Snail1 is the founding member of the Snail superfamily of zinc-finger transcription factors, which also includes Snail2 (Slug) and Snail3 (Smuc). The superfamily is involved in cell differentiation and survival, two processes central in cancer research. Encoded by the SNAI1 gene located on human chromosome 20q13.2, Snail1 is composed of 264 amino acids and usually acts as a transcriptional repressor. Phosphorylation and nuclear localization of Snail1, governed by PI3K and Wnt signaling pathways crosstalk, are critical in Snail1’s regulation. Snail1 has a pivotal role in the regulation of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), the process by which epithelial cells acquire a migratory, mesenchymal phenotype, as a result of its repression of E-cadherin. Snail1-induced EMT involves the loss of E-cadherin and claudins with concomitant upregulation of vimentin and fibronectin, among other biomarkers. While essential to normal developmental processes such as gastrulation, EMT is associated with metastasis, the cancer stem cell phenotype, and the regulation of chemo and immune resistance in cancer. Snail1 expression is a common sign of poor prognosis in metastatic cancer, and tumors with elevated Snail1 expression are disproportionately difficult to eradicate by current therapeutic treatments. The significance of Snail1 as a prognostic indicator, its involvement in the regulation of EMT and metastasis, and its roles in both drug and immune resistance point out that Snail1 is an attractive target for tumor growth inhibition and a target for sensitization to cytotoxic drugs. PMID:25084828

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frank-Kamenetskii, Maxim D.; Prakash, Shikha

    2014-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  3. Mechanically induced helix-coil transition in biopolymer networks.

    PubMed

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

    2006-02-01

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

  4. Thermodynamics of Helix-Coil Transitions of Polyalanine in Open Carbon Nanotubes.

    PubMed

    Suvlu, Dylan; Samaratunga, Seneviratne; Thirumalai, D; Rasaiah, Jayendran C

    2017-01-19

    Understanding structure formation in polypeptide chains and synthetic polymers encapsulated in pores is important in biology and nanotechnology. We present replica exchange molecular dynamics studies of the phase diagram for α-helix formation of capped polyalanine in nanotubes (NT) open to a water reservoir as a function of the NT diameter and hydrophobicity. A helix forms only in a narrow range of diameters, which surprisingly is comparable to the width of the ribosome tunnel. Increasing the hydrophobicity enhances helicity in the NT. Helix formation in polyalanine is driven by a small negative enthalpy and a positive entropy change at ≈300 K, in contrast to the large negative entropy change that destabilizes the helix and favors the coiled state in bulk water. There is an anticorrelation between water density inside the nanotube and structure formation. Confinement-induced helix formation depends on amino acid sequence. There is complete absence of helix in polyglutamine and polyserine confined to a open carbon nanotube.

  5. Snail reprograms glucose metabolism by repressing phosphofructokinase PFKP allowing cancer cell survival under metabolic stress.

    PubMed

    Kim, Nam Hee; Cha, Yong Hoon; Lee, Jueun; Lee, Seon-Hyeong; Yang, Ji Hye; Yun, Jun Seop; Cho, Eunae Sandra; Zhang, Xianglan; Nam, Miso; Kim, Nami; Yuk, Young-Su; Cha, So Young; Lee, Yoonmi; Ryu, Joo Kyung; Park, Sunghyouk; Cheong, Jae-Ho; Kang, Sang Won; Kim, Soo-Youl; Hwang, Geum-Sook; Yook, Jong In; Kim, Hyun Sil

    2017-02-08

    Dynamic regulation of glucose flux between aerobic glycolysis and the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) during epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is not well-understood. Here we show that Snail (SNAI1), a key transcriptional repressor of EMT, regulates glucose flux toward PPP, allowing cancer cell survival under metabolic stress. Mechanistically, Snail regulates glycolytic activity via repression of phosphofructokinase, platelet (PFKP), a major isoform of cancer-specific phosphofructokinase-1 (PFK-1), an enzyme involving the first rate-limiting step of glycolysis. The suppression of PFKP switches the glucose flux towards PPP, generating NADPH with increased metabolites of oxidative PPP. Functionally, dynamic regulation of PFKP significantly potentiates cancer cell survival under metabolic stress and increases metastatic capacities in vivo. Further, knockdown of PFKP rescues metabolic reprogramming and cell death induced by loss of Snail. Thus, the Snail-PFKP axis plays an important role in cancer cell survival via regulation of glucose flux between glycolysis and PPP.

  6. Palatability and chemical defense of Phragmites australis to the marsh periwinkle snail Littoraria irrorata.

    PubMed

    Hendricks, Lindsey G; Mossop, Hannah E; Kicklighter, Cynthia E

    2011-08-01

    Coastal marsh habitats are impacted by many disturbances, including habitat destruction, pollution, and the introduction of invasive species. The common reed, Phragmites australis, has been particularly invasive in the mesohaline regions of the Chesapeake Bay, but few studies have investigated its role in trophic interactions with North American marsh consumers. The marsh periwinkle snail Littoraria irrorata is a common grazer in marshes and grazes on the native grass Spartina alterniflora. Whether this snail grazes on Phragmites has not been addressed. We found Spartina leaves to be tougher than those of Phragmites, but despite this, snails consumed significantly more Spartina than Phragmites. Subsequent experiments demonstrated that Phragmites is chemically deterrent to snails by an unknown, moderately polar, compound. Further studies are required to more fully understand the interactions between Phragmites, herbivores, and Spartina, and how they may impact marsh ecosystems.

  7. Specificity of Mechanisms of Memory Reconsolidation in Snails Trained for Rejection of Two Types of Food.

    PubMed

    Nikitin, V P; Kozyrev, S A; Solntseva, S V

    2017-01-01

    Specificity of behavioral and neuronal mechanisms of impairment of long-term memory reconsolidation was studied in edible snails trained for associative skill of rejection of two types of food: raw carrots (conditioned stimulus 1) and apple (conditioned stimulus 2). In 2 days after training, the snails received protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide and a reminder (conditioned stimulus 1 or 2). In 3 and 14 days after cycloheximide/reminder, we observed the absence of aversive responses to the conditioned stimulus used as the reminder and preserved responses to the conditioned stimulus not used as the reminder. Moreover, we observed specific suppression of synaptic responses of command neurons of snail defensive behavior induced by the conditioned stimulus used as the reminder after cycloheximide injection and preserved synaptic responses of neurons to the other conditioned stimulus. It was hypothesized that protein synthesis-dependent synapse-specific plasticity of command neurons can be a mechanism of selective preservation of conditioned food aversion memory in snails.

  8. Susceptibility of Iraqi fresh water snails to infection with Schistosoma haematobium and Schistosoma mansoni Egyptian strains.

    PubMed

    Wajdi, N A; Hussain, W I; El-Hawary, M F

    1979-01-01

    A great number of Egyptian workers and farmers are seeking settlement in Iraq and some of them proved to have either Schistosoma Haematobium (S.h.) or Schistosoma mansoni (S.m) or even mixed infection. Besides, there is the possibility that some of the Iraqi fresh water snails may prove to be susceptible to infection by one or both of the Schistosoma Egyptian strains. The present study deals with investigations on the susceptibility of Iraqi B. truncatus, Gyranaulus ehrenbergi, Physa c.f. fontinalis, Lymnea lagetis, Melanoides tuberculata and Melanopsis nodes by these parasites. Egyptian S. haematobium but not Egyptian S. mansoni infect Iraqi B. truncatus and both proved to be unable to infect any of the other snails included in the study. Yet, the number of cercariae shedded by B. truncatus snails infected with the Egyptian S. haematobium strain, was much less that the number of cercariae shedded by these snails when infected with the Iraqi S. Haematobium strain.

  9. Behavioural responses of the snail Lymnaea acuminata to carbohydrates and amino acids in bait pellets.

    PubMed

    Agrahari, P; Singh, D K

    2010-12-01

    Snail control could play an important role in programmes against fascioliasis, especially if the methods used for molluscicide delivery could be improved, such as by the development of bait formulations containing both an effective attractant and a molluscicide, to ensure good levels of contact between the molluscicide and the target snail populations. In a recent study, the attractiveness to Lymnaea acuminata (an intermediate host of the digenean trematode Fasciola gigantica) of potential components of snail-attractant pellets was investigated. Carbohydrates (glucose, maltose, sucrose or starch, each at 10 mM) and amino acids (citrulline, tryptophan, proline or serine, each at 20 mM), were tested in aquaria, with the snails initially placed 22.5, 30 or 45 cm from an agar pellet containing the component under test. Under these conditions, starch and proline emerged as the strongest attractants for L. acuminata, followed by maltose and serine.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Gastropod-Borne Helminths: A Look at the Snail-Parasite Interplay.

    PubMed

    Giannelli, Alessio; Cantacessi, Cinzia; Colella, Vito; Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Otranto, Domenico

    2016-03-01

    More than 300 million people suffer from a range of diseases caused by gastropod-borne helminths, predominantly flatworms and roundworms, whose life cycles are characterized by a diversified ecology and epidemiology. Despite the plethora of data on these parasites, very little is known of the fundamental biology of their gastropod intermediate hosts, or of the interactions occurring at the snail-helminth interface. In this article, we focus on schistosomes and metastrongylids of human and animal significance, and review current knowledge of snail-parasite interplay. Future efforts aimed at elucidating key elements of the biology and ecology of the snail intermediate hosts, together with an improved understanding of snail-parasite interactions, will aid to identify, plan, and develop new strategies for disease control focused on gastropod intermediate hosts.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Deheyn, Dimitri D.; Wilson, Nerida G.

    2011-01-01

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

  14. Snail reprograms glucose metabolism by repressing phosphofructokinase PFKP allowing cancer cell survival under metabolic stress

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Nam Hee; Cha, Yong Hoon; Lee, Jueun; Lee, Seon-Hyeong; Yang, Ji Hye; Yun, Jun Seop; Cho, Eunae Sandra; Zhang, Xianglan; Nam, Miso; Kim, Nami; Yuk, Young-Su; Cha, So Young; Lee, Yoonmi; Ryu, Joo Kyung; Park, Sunghyouk; Cheong, Jae-Ho; Kang, Sang Won; Kim, Soo-Youl; Hwang, Geum-Sook; Yook, Jong In; Kim, Hyun Sil

    2017-01-01

    Dynamic regulation of glucose flux between aerobic glycolysis and the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) during epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) is not well-understood. Here we show that Snail (SNAI1), a key transcriptional repressor of EMT, regulates glucose flux toward PPP, allowing cancer cell survival under metabolic stress. Mechanistically, Snail regulates glycolytic activity via repression of phosphofructokinase, platelet (PFKP), a major isoform of cancer-specific phosphofructokinase-1 (PFK-1), an enzyme involving the first rate-limiting step of glycolysis. The suppression of PFKP switches the glucose flux towards PPP, generating NADPH with increased metabolites of oxidative PPP. Functionally, dynamic regulation of PFKP significantly potentiates cancer cell survival under metabolic stress and increases metastatic capacities in vivo. Further, knockdown of PFKP rescues metabolic reprogramming and cell death induced by loss of Snail. Thus, the Snail-PFKP axis plays an important role in cancer cell survival via regulation of glucose flux between glycolysis and PPP. PMID:28176759

  15. Solar radio-transmitters on snail kites in Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1989-01-01

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

  16. HSP70 expression in Biomphalaria glabrata snails exposed to cadmium.

    PubMed

    da Silva Cantinha, Rebeca; Borrely, Sueli Ivone; Oguiura, Nancy; de Bragança Pereira, Carlos Alberto; Rigolon, Marcela M; Nakano, Eliana

    2017-06-01

    In this study, the effects of the heavy metal cadmium on the stress protein HSP70 are investigated in freshwater mollusks Biomphalaria glabrata. Adult snails were exposed for 96h to CdCl2 at concentrations ranging from 0.09 to 0.7mgL(-1) (LC50/96h=0.34 (0.30-0.37). Time and concentration-dependent increases in the expression of HSP70 were observed at sub-lethal levels in the immunoblotting assay. Further, an increased survival to a lethal heat shock was observed in animals pre-exposed to a nonlethal concentration of cadmium, evidencing the induction of acquired tolerance. The present study demonstrated the inducibility of B. glabrata HSP70 by cadmium, a relevant environmental contaminant, at non-lethal levels, providing evidences that the assessment of HSP70 in B. glabrata can be regarded as a suitable biomarker for ecotoxicological studies.

  17. Evening roosts of the snail kite in Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sykes, P.W.

    1985-01-01

    A total of 36 roost sites of the Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis) were studied in southern Florida, of which four (11%) were used regularly for 6 or more years. Major roosts were also used as nesting sites. All roosts were in flooded marshes and 33 (91.6%) were in stands of coastal-plain willow. Population increase and the number of roosts were strongly correlated. The number of kites arriving at roosts before sunset was smaller than arriving after sunset (37.8:62.2%), and gray birds (adult and subadult males) generally went to roost earlier than brown birds (all females and immature males). Rites tended to go to roost earlier on cloudy days. Morning departure from roosts was over a much shorter time than arrivals in the afternoon. Ninety-two percent of the kite roosts were also used by other species of birds for roosting, 8 1% of which were eight species of herons.

  18. Pesticide concentrations in snail kite eggs and nestlings in Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sykes, P.W.

    1985-01-01

    From 1970-1977, unhatched snail kite eggs and young that were found dead at nests in Florida were analyzed by gas chromatography for residues of organochlorine pollutants. The 1970 and 1974 material showed measurable amounts of p,p'-DDE, p,p'-DDD, p,p'-DDT, and dieldrin. Dieldrin and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) residues were less than 0.1 ppm in the eggs and were detected in only one sample of muscle tissue at 0.11 ppm. Concentrations in ppm wet weight of p,p'-DDE, p,p' DDD, p,p'-DDT, dieldrin, and PCB for two samples of muscle and three of brain tissue (all 1977 material) were not detected at the limit of quantification (0.05 ppm).

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1987-07-01

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

  20. Optimal designs of mollusk shells from bivalves to snails

    PubMed Central

    Okabe, Takuya; Yoshimura, Jin

    2017-01-01

    Bivalve, ammonite and snail shells are described by a small number of geometrical parameters. Raup noted that the vast majority of theoretically possible shell forms do not occur in nature. The constraint factors that regulate the biased distribution of natural form have long since been an open problem in evolution. The problem of whether natural shell form is a result of optimization remains unsolved despite previous attempts. Here we solve this problem by considering the scaling exponent of shell thickness as a morphological parameter. The scaling exponent has a drastic effect on the optimal design of shell shapes. The observed characteristic shapes of natural shells are explained in a unified manner as a result of optimal utilization of shell material resources, while isometric growth in thickness leads to impossibly tight coiling. PMID:28186171

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

    PubMed

    Becker, Stefan; Terlau, Heinrich

    2008-05-01

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

  2. Trematode parasites infect or die in snail hosts

    PubMed Central

    King, Kayla C.; Jokela, Jukka; Lively, Curtis M.

    2011-01-01

    The Red Queen hypothesis is based on the assumption that parasites must genetically match their hosts to infect them successfully. If the parasites fail, they are assumed to be killed by the host's immune system. Here, we tested this using sympatric (mostly susceptible) and allopatric (mostly resistant) populations of a freshwater snail and its trematode parasite. We determined whether parasites which do not infect are either killed or passed through the host's digestive tract and remain infectious. Our results show that parasites do not get a second chance: they either infect or are killed by the host. The results suggest strong selection against parasites that are not adapted to local host genotypes. PMID:20961880

  3. Diversity increases biomass production for trematode parasites in snails

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hechinger, Ryan F.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Kuris, Armand M.

    2008-01-01

    Increasing species diversity typically increases biomass in experimental assemblages. But there is uncertainty concerning the mechanisms of diversity effects and whether experimental findings are relevant to ecological process in nature. Hosts for parasites provide natural, discrete replicates of parasite assemblages. We considered how diversity affects standing-stock biomass for a highly interactive parasite guild: trematode parasitic castrators in snails. In 185 naturally occurring habitat replicates (individual hosts), diverse parasite assemblages had greater biomass than single-species assemblages, including those of their most productive species. Additionally, positive diversity effects strengthened as species segregated along a secondary niche axis (space). The most subordinate species—also the most productive when alone—altered the general positive effect, and was associated with negative diversity effects on biomass. These findings, on a previously unstudied consumer class, extend previous research to illustrate that functional diversity and species identity may generally both explain how diversity influences biomass production in natural assemblages of competing species.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Kory, C.L.

    1996-08-01

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

  5. Prion protein helix1 promotes aggregation but is not converted into beta-sheet.

    PubMed

    Watzlawik, Jens; Skora, Lukasz; Frense, Dieter; Griesinger, Christian; Zweckstetter, Markus; Schulz-Schaeffer, Walter J; Kramer, Michael L

    2006-10-06

    Prion diseases are caused by the aggregation of the native alpha-helical prion protein PrP(C) into its pathological beta-sheet-rich isoform PrP(Sc). In current models of PrP(Sc), helix1 is assumed to be preferentially converted into beta-sheet during aggregation of PrP(C). This was supported by the NMR structure of PrP(C) since, in contrast to the isolated helix1, helix2 and helix3 are connected by a small loop and are additionally stabilized by an interhelical disulfide bond. However, helix1 is extremely hydrophilic and has a high helix propensity. This prompted us to investigate the role of helix1 in prion aggregation using humPrP(23-159) including helix1 (144-156) compared with the C-terminal-truncated isoform humPrP(23-144) corresponding to the pathological human stop mutations Q160Stop and Y145Stop, respectively. Most unexpectedly, humPrP(23-159) aggregated significantly faster compared with the truncated fragment humPrP(23-144), clearly demonstrating that helix1 is involved in the aggregation process. However, helix1 is not resistant to digestion with proteinase K in fibrillar humPrP(23-159), suggesting that helix1 is not converted to beta-sheet. This is confirmed by Fourier transformation infrared spectroscopy since there is almost no difference in beta-sheet content of humPrP(23-159) fibrils compared with humPrP(23-144). In conclusion, we provide strong direct evidence that in contrast to earlier assumptions helix1 is not converted into beta-sheet during aggregation of PrP(C) to PrP(Sc).

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Deterministic assembly of land snail communities according to species size and diet.

    PubMed

    Schamp, Brandon; Horsák, Michal; Hájek, Michal

    2010-07-01

    1. We investigated whether coexisting snail species in 145 treeless fen communities in the Western Carpathian Mountains differed more in size and diet than would be expected by chance, as predicted for traits commonly associated with competition and differential resource acquisition under limiting similarity theory. 2. Contrary to expectations, coexisting snail species were no more different in body size than expected by chance under a null model. However, variation in body size played a significant role in structuring snail communities: coexisting snail species were significantly more similar with respect to body size. 3. We developed two new test statistics to expand our investigation of limiting similarity to include diet, a nominal trait. We tested whether communities of snails were characterized by a greater richness of diet, and whether different diets were represented more or less evenly within communities. Communities of snails were significantly less evenly distributed than expected by chance, with detritivores being over-represented relative to predatory strategies. 4. We also examined the effect of water pH and conductivity, herbaceous cover, and bryophyte and vascular plant richness, on these trends by examining how the effect size of our tests varied across these gradients. Convergence in species size increased with increasing habitat pH. Specifically, smaller snail species were over-represented in fen communities in general, and this effect was accentuated in increasingly calcareous fens. 5. Theory predicts that traits related strongly to environmental conditions are more likely to be convergent. Our findings support this suggestion, as small snail species have an advantage in tolerating freezing conditions over winter when refuges are limited. 6. These results add to the growing body of literature demonstrating that variation in body size and diet play a strong role in structuring communities, although frequently in ways not predicted by limiting

  9. Shading decreases the abundance of the herbivorous California horn snail, Cerithidea californica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lorda, Julio; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2012-01-01

    Most of the intertidal zone in estuaries of California, USA and Baja California, Mexico is covered with vascular vegetation. Shading by these vascular plants influences abiotic and biotic processes that shape benthic community assemblages. We present data on the effects of shading on the California horn snail, Cerithidea californica. This species is important because it is the most common benthic macrofaunal species in these systems and acts as an obligate intermediate host of several species of rematode parasites that infect several other species. Using observational and experimental studies, we found a negative effect of shade on the distribution and abundance of the California horn snail. We hypothesized that shading reduces the abundance of the epipelic diatoms that the snails feeds on, causing snails to leave haded areas. We observed a negative relationship between vascular plant cover, sub-canopy light levels, and snail density in Mugu Lagoon. Then we experimentally manipulated light regimes, by clipping vegetation and adding shade structures, and found higher snail densities at higher light levels. In Goleta Slough, we isolated the effect of shade from vegetation by documenting a negative relationship between the shade created by two bridges and diatom and snail densities. We also found that snails moved the greatest distances over shaded channel banks compared to unshaded channel banks. Further, we documented the effect of water depth and channel bank orientation on shading in this system. An additional effect of shading is the reduction of temperature, providing an alternative explanation for some of our results. These results broaden our knowledge of how variation in the light environment influences the ecology of estuarine ecosystems.

  10. Cytokines and mother sporocysts in susceptible and resistant Bulinus truncatus snails infected with Schistosoma haematobium.

    PubMed

    El-Din, Abdel Hakim Saad; Gawish, Fathiya Ali; Abu El Einin, Hanaa Mohamed; Mansour, Shereen Mahfouz

    2014-08-01

    The presence of immunoreactive interleukin (IL-2), interferon gamma (IFN-γ) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) in addition to the citation of mother sporscytes in cephalopodal musculature in the susceptible and resistance Bulinus truncatus the specific intermediate host for the trematode Schistosoma haematobium were investigated,. Using ELISA tests, Results indicated that the concentration of IL-2-like activity in the susceptible and resistant snails decreased significantly after infection then persisted at low levels until the 4th week post exposure (WPE) in susceptible snails, while in resistant snails elevated during the second WPE, and returned to initial level at 3 and 4 WPE. Susceptible snails had low detectable levels of TNF-α and INF-γ like-activity after infection. However, the resistant snails had significant low levels of TNF-α and INF-γ like-activity from 3 WPE until the 4th WPE without any sign of normalization. Histological sections in the head- foot region of susceptible and resistance B. truncatus infected with S. haematobium, mother sporocysts exists from 1 to 7(day post exposure) DPE, in the susceptible snail the mother sporocysts were found as single, multiple and mature types. No mother sporocysts were appear in the lip and mantle of the snail on 2, 5, 7 DPE and on 1-3, 6 DPE respectively. In the resistant snails few mother sporocysts were found in the lip, mantle and tentacles. The results showed that schistosome-resistant Bulinus can be an alternative strategy for the control of schistosomiasis.

  11. Effects of exposure of aquatic snails to sublethal concentrations of waste drilling fluid.

    PubMed

    Ekundayo, J A; Benka-Coker, M O

    1994-05-01

    Static bioassays were carried out using two aquatic snails (Pilia sp. and Lanistes sp.) as test organisms in soft natural dilution water, with waste drilling fluid as the test material, at 28±2°C. Comparison of results for the control and different concentrations of the waste drilling fluid were made by means of the F-statistic method. The waste drilling fluid was practically non-toxic to the two aquatic snails.

  12. Dysregulated expression of Snail and E-cadherin correlates with gastrointestinal stromal tumor metastasis.

    PubMed

    Liu, Sheng; Liao, Guoqing; Ding, Jie; Ye, Ke; Zhang, Yi; Zeng, Liang; Chen, Senlin

    2014-09-01

    Snail, a zinc finger structure transcription inhibitory factor, has been reported to play an important role in the metastatic progression of several types of cancer. The aim of the study was to identify potential biomarkers for metastasis in gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) by examining the expression levels of Snail, E-cadherin, and Vimentin in GISTs and investigate their clinical significance. The protein expression of Snail, E-cadherin, and Vimentin in 74 GIST specimens was detected by immunohistochemical analysis, and the correlation between expression levels and clinicopathological data was analyzed. Snail, E-cadherin, and Vimentin were positively expressed in 51.4% (38/74), 32.4% (24/74), and 68.9% (51/74) of GIST tissue samples, respectively. Snail protein expression was significantly higher in GISTs with distant metastasis compared with GISTs without distant metastasis (P<0.05). E-cadherin expression level was significantly lower in cases of GIST with distant metastasis compared with those without distant metastasis (P<0.05), whereas the expression level of Vimentin did not significantly change according to clinical and pathological characteristics (all P>0.05). Snail expression was significantly negatively correlated with E-cadherin expression (r's=-0.276, P=0.017) but not with Vimentin expression (r's=0.041, P=0.728) in GISTs. High Snail expression and low E-cadherin expression were significantly correlated with metastasis in GISTs, and Snail, because of positive correlation, is potentially a biomarker of GIST with distant metastasis.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verbitskaya, Olga; Manukovsky, Nickolay; Kovalev, Vladimir

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

  14. Malacological survey and geographical distribution of vector snails for schistosomiasis within informal settlements of Kisumu City, western Kenya

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Although schistosomiasis is generally considered a rural phenomenon, infections have been reported within urban settings. Based on observations of high prevalence of Schistosoma mansoni infection in schools within the informal settlements of Kisumu City, a follow-up malacological survey incorporating 81 sites within 6 informal settlements of the City was conducted to determine the presence of intermediate host snails and ascertain whether active transmission was occurring within these areas. Methods Surveyed sites were mapped using a geographical information system. Cercaria shedding was determined from snails and species of snails identified based on shell morphology. Vegetation cover and presence of algal mass at the sites was recorded, and the physico-chemical characteristics of the water including pH and temperature were determined using a pH meter with a glass electrode and a temperature probe. Results Out of 1,059 snails collected, 407 (38.4%) were putatively identified as Biomphalaria sudanica, 425 (40.1%) as Biomphalaria pfeifferi and 227 (21.5%) as Bulinus globosus. The spatial distribution of snails was clustered, with few sites accounting for most of the snails. The highest snail abundance was recorded in Nyamasaria (543 snails) followed by Nyalenda B (313 snails). As expected, the mean snail abundance was higher along the lakeshore (18 ± 12 snails) compared to inland sites (dams, rivers and springs) (11 ± 32 snails) (F1, 79 = 38.8, P < 0.0001). Overall, 19 (1.8%) of the snails collected shed schistosome cercariae. Interestingly, the proportion of infected Biomphalaria snails was higher in the inland (2.7%) compared to the lakeshore sites (0.3%) (P = 0.0109). B. sudanica was more abundant in sites along the lakeshore whereas B. pfeifferi and B. globosus were more abundant in the inland sites. Biomphalaria and Bulinus snails were found at 16 and 11 out of the 56 inland sites, respectively. Conclusions The high abundance of Biomphalaria and

  15. A direct comparison of helix propensity in proteins and peptides

    PubMed Central

    Myers, Jeffrey K.; Pace, C. Nick; Scholtz, J. Martin

    1997-01-01

    α-Helical secondary structure occurs widely in globular proteins and its formation is a key step in their folding. As a consequence, understanding the energetics of helix formation is crucial to understanding protein folding and stability. We have measured the helix propensities of the nonpolar amino acids for an α-helix in an intact protein, ribonuclease T1, and for a 17-residue peptide with a sequence identical to that of the α-helix in the protein. The helix propensities are in excellent agreement. This shows that when compared in the same sequence context, the helix propensities of the nonpolar amino acids are identical in helical peptides and intact proteins, and that conclusions based on studies of the helix-to-coil transitions of peptides may, in favorable cases, be directly applicable to proteins. Our helix propensities based on ribonuclease T1 are in good agreement with those from similar studies of barnase and T4 lysozyme. In contrast, our helix propensities differ substantially from those derived from studies of alanine-stabilized or salt bridge-stabilized model α-helical peptides. PMID:9096306

  16. Integrating nonindigenous aquatic plant control with protection of snail kite nests in Florida.

    PubMed

    Rodgers, J A; Smith, H T; Thayer, D D

    2001-07-01

    The endangered snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis) feeds primarily on the freshwater apple snail (Pomacea paludosa) in Florida. The nonindigenous, floating water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) and water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes) impede kites from finding snails. Effective control of these aquatic plants in the littoral zone of central and south Florida lakes benefits kites by maintaining open foraging habitat. However, incidental herbicide spraying of nesting substrates result in nest collapse when kites breed in nonwoody, emergent plants [cattail (Typha spp.) and giant bulrush (Scirpus validus)] in the outer littoral zone during lower lake levels. Many endangered species recovery plans and their implementation have experienced problems due to inaction and/or noncooperation by various governmental agencies and their personnel. Herein, we describe the development and implementation of a buffer zone strategy to prevent secondary impacts from an aquatic plant control program to snail kites nesting on lakes in central and south Florida. A strategy was jointly developed by personnel of five state and federal agencies to control herbicide application near kite nesting areas during the normal breeding season. Although requiring various modifications during its implementation, this cooperative effort successfully integrated aquatic plant control objectives with snail kite conservation on Lake Okeechobee during 1988. The program was expanded the following year to lakes Kissimmee and Tohopekaliga. Since the implementation of the snail kite impact preclusion program, no nest loss was attributed to incidental herbicide applications on lakes Okeechobee, Kissimmee, and Tohopekaliga.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  18. Unraveling the peptidome of the South African cone snails Conus pictus and Conus natalis.

    PubMed

    Peigneur, Steve; Van Der Haegen, Annelies; Möller, Carolina; Waelkens, Etienne; Diego-García, Elia; Marí, Frank; Naudé, Ryno; Tytgat, Jan

    2013-03-01

    Venoms from cone snails (genus Conus) can be seen as an untapped cocktail of biologically active compounds, being increasingly recognized as an emerging source of peptide-based therapeutics. Cone snails are considered to be specialized predators that have evolved the most sophisticated peptide chemistry and neuropharmacology system for their own biological purposes by producing venoms which contains a structural and functional diversity of neurotoxins. These neurotoxins or conotoxins are often small cysteine-rich peptides which have shown to be highly selective ligands for a wide range of ion channels and receptors. Local habitat conditions have constituted barriers preventing the spreading of Conus species occurring along the coast of South Africa. Due to their scarceness, these species remain, therefore, extremely poorly studied. In this work, the venoms of two South African cone snails, Conus pictus, a vermivorous snail and Conus natalis, a molluscivorous snail, have been characterized in depth. In total, 26 novel peptides were identified. Comparing the venoms of both snails, interesting differences were observed regarding venom composition and molecular characteristics of these components.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Spatial distribution of Biomphalaria spp., the intermediate host snails of Schistosoma mansoni, in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Scholte, Ronaldo G C; Carvalho, Omar S; Malone, John B; Utzinger, Jürg; Vounatsou, Penelope

    2012-09-01

    Schistosomiasis mansoni remains an important parasitic disease of man, endemic in large parts of sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, South America and the Caribbean. The aetiological agent is the trematode Schistosoma mansoni, whereas aquatic snails of the genus Biomphalaria act as intermediate hosts in the parasite life cycle. In Brazil, the distribution of Biomphalaria spp. is closely associated with the occurrence of schistosomiasis. The purpose of this study was to map and predict the spatial distribution of the intermediate host snails of S. mansoni across Brazil. We assembled snail "presenceonly" data and used a maximum entropy approach, along with climatic and environmental variables to produce predictive risk maps. We identified a series of risk factors that govern the distribution of Biomphalaria snails. We find that high-risk areas for B. glabrata are concentrated in the regions of Northeast and Southeast and the northern part of the South region. B. straminea are found in the Northeast and Southeast regions, and B. tenagophila are concentrated in the Southeast and South regions. Our findings confirm that the presence of the intermediate host snails is correlated with the occurrence of schistosomiasis mansoni. The generated risk maps of intermediate host snails might assist the national control programme for spatial targeting of control interventions and to ultimately move towards schistosomiasis elimination in Brazil.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Are Sick Individuals Weak Competitors? Competitive Ability of Snails Parasitized by a Gigantism-Inducing Trematode

    PubMed Central

    Seppälä, Otto; Karvonen, Anssi; Kuosa, Marja; Haataja, Maarit; Jokela, Jukka

    2013-01-01

    Parasitized individuals are often expected to be poor competitors because they are weakened by infections. Many trematode species, however, although extensively exploiting their mollusc hosts, also induce gigantism (increased host size) by diverting host resources towards growth instead of reproduction. In such systems, alternatively to reduced competitive ability due to negative effects of parasitism on host performance, larger size could allow more efficient resource acquisition and thus increase the relative competitive ability of host individuals. We addressed this hypothesis by testing the effect of a trematode parasite Diplostomum pseudospathaceum on the competitive ability of its snail host Lymnaea stagnalis. We experimentally examined the growth of snails kept in pairs in relation to their infection status and intensity of resource competition (i.e. food availability). We found that parasitized snails grew faster and their reproduction was reduced compared to unparasitized individuals indicating parasite-induced gigantism. However, growth of the snails was faster when competing with parasitized individuals compared to unparasitized snails indicating reduced competitive ability due to parasitism. The latter effect, however, was relatively weak suggesting that the effects of the parasite on snail physiology may partly override each other in determining competitive ability. PMID:24205383

  4. Seasonal variation in abiotic factors and ferulic acid toxicity in snail-attractant pellets against the intermediate host snail Lymnaea acuminata.

    PubMed

    Agrahari, P; Singh, D K

    2013-11-01

    Laboratory evaluation was made to access the seasonal variations in abiotic environmental factors temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, carbon dioxide, electrical conductivity and ferulic acid toxicity in snail-attractant pellets (SAP) against the intermediate host snail Lymnaea acuminata in each month of the years 2010 and 2011. On the basis of a 24-h toxicity assay, it was noted that lethal concentration values of 4.03, 3.73% and 4.45% in SAP containing starch and 4.16, 4.23% and 4.29% in SAP containing proline during the months of May, June and September, respectively, were most effective in killing the snails, while SAP containing starch/proline + ferulic acid was least effective in the month of January/February (24-h lethal concentration value was 7.67%/7.63% in SAP). There was a significant positive correlation between lethal concentration value of ferulic acid containing SAP and levels of dissolved O2 /pH of water in corresponding months. On the contrary, a negative correlation was observed between lethal concentration value and dissolved CO2 /temperature of test water in the same months. To ascertain that such a relationship between toxicity and abiotic factors is not co-incidental, the nervous tissue of treated (40% and 80% of 24-h lethal concentration value) and control group of snails was assayed for the activity of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) in each of the 12 months of the same year. There was a maximum inhibition of 58.43% of AChE, in snails exposed to 80% of the 24-h lethal concentration value of ferulic acid + starch in the month of May. This work shows conclusively that the best time to control snail population with SAP containing ferulic acid is during the months of May, June and September.

  5. HelixFlex: bioinspired maneuverable instrument for skull base surgery.

    PubMed

    Gerboni, Giada; Henselmans, Paul W J; Arkenbout, Ewout A; van Furth, Wouter R; Breedveld, Paul

    2015-12-01

    Endoscopic endonasal surgery is currently regarded as the 'gold standard' for operating on pituitary gland tumors, and is becoming more and more accepted for treatment of other skull base lesions. However, endoscopic surgical treatment of most skull base pathologies, including certain pituitary tumors, is severely impaired by current instruments lack of maneuverability. Especially, gaining access to, and visibility of, difficult-to-reach anatomical corners without interference with surrounding neurovascular structures or other instruments, is a challenge. In this context there is the need for instruments that are able to provide a stable shaft position, while both the orientation and the position of the end-effector can be independently controlled. Current instruments that allow for this level of maneuverability are usually mechanically complex, and hence less suitable for mass production. This study therefore focuses on the development of a new actuation technique that allows for the required maneuverability while reducing the construction complexity. This actuation technique, referred to as multi-actuation, integrates multiple cable routings into a single steerable structure. Multi-actuation has been successfully integrated and tested in a handheld prototype instrument called HelixFlex. HelixFlex contains a 4 degrees of freedom maneuverable 5.8 mm (diameter) tip and shows promising results concerning its maneuverability and potential rigidity.

  6. Biophysical studies of matrix metalloproteinase/triple-helix complexes.

    PubMed

    Fields, Gregg B

    2014-01-01

    Several members of the zinc-dependent matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) family catalyze collagen degradation. The structures of MMPs, in solution and solid state and in the presence and absence of triple-helical collagen models, have been assessed by NMR spectroscopy, small-angle X-ray scattering, and X-ray crystallography. Structures observed in solution exhibit flexibility between the MMP catalytic (CAT) and hemopexin-like (HPX) domains, while solid-state structures are relatively compact. Evaluation of the maximum occurrence (MO) of MMP-1 conformations in solution found that, for all the high MO conformations, the CAT and HPX domains are not in tight contact, and the residues of the HPX domain reported to be responsible for the binding to the collagen triple-helix are solvent exposed. A mechanism for collagenolysis has been developed based on analysis of MMP solution structures. Information obtained from solid-state structures has proven valuable for analyzing specific contacts between MMPs and the collagen triple-helix.

  7. Tuning RNA Flexibility with Helix Length and Junction Sequence

    PubMed Central

    Sutton, Julie L.; Pollack, Lois

    2015-01-01

    The increasing awareness of RNA’s central role in biology calls for a new understanding of how RNAs, like proteins, recognize biological partners. Because RNA is inherently flexible, it assumes a variety of conformations. This conformational flexibility can be a critical aspect of how RNA attracts and binds molecular partners. Structurally, RNA consists of rigid basepaired duplexes, separated by flexible non-basepaired regions. Here, using an RNA system consisting of two short helices, connected by a single-stranded (non-basepaired) junction, we explore the role of helix length and junction sequence in determining the range of conformations available to a model RNA. Single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer reports on the RNA conformation as a function of either mono- or divalent ion concentration. Electrostatic repulsion between helices dominates at low salt concentration, whereas junction sequence effects determine the conformations at high salt concentration. Near physiological salt concentrations, RNA conformation is sensitive to both helix length and junction sequence, suggesting a means for sensitively tuning RNA conformations. PMID:26682821

  8. Conformational preferences of substituted prolines in the collagen triple helix.

    PubMed

    Mooney, Sean D; Kollman, Peter A; Klein, Teri E

    2002-07-05

    Researchers have recently questioned the role hydroxylated prolines play in stabilizing the collagen triple helix. To address these issues, we have developed new molecular mechanics parameters for the simulation of peptides containing 4(R)-fluoroproline (Flp), 4(R)-hydroxyproline (Hyp), and 4(R)-aminoproline (Amp). Simulations of peptides based on these parameters can be used to determine the components that stabilize hydroxyproline over proline in the triple helix. The dihedrals F-C-C-N, O-C-C-N, and N-C-C-N were built using a N-beta-ethyl amide model. One nanosecond simulations were performed on the trimers [(Pro-Pro-Gly)(10)](3), [(Pro-Hyp-Gly)(10)](3), [(Pro-Amp-Gly)(10)](3), [(Pro-Amp(1+)-Gly)(10)](3), and [(Pro-Flp-Gly)(10)](3) in explicit solvent. The results of our simulations suggest that pyrrolidine ring conformation is mediated by the strength of the gauche effect and classical electrostatic interactions.

  9. A closer look into the α-helix basin

    PubMed Central

    Haimov, Boris; Srebnik, Simcha

    2016-01-01

    α-Helices are the most abundant structures found within proteins and play an important role in the determination of the global structure of proteins and their function. Representation of α-helical structures with the common (φ, ψ) dihedrals, as in Ramachandran maps, does not provide informative details regarding the helical structure apart for the abstract geometric meaning of the dihedrals. We present an alternative coordinate system that describes helical conformations in terms of residues per turn (ρ) and angle (ϑ) between backbone carbonyls relative to the helix direction through an approximate linear transformation between the two coordinates system (φ, ψ and ρ, ϑ). In this way, valuable information on the helical structure becomes directly available. Analysis of α-helical conformations acquired from the Protein Data Bank (PDB) demonstrates that a conformational energy function of the α-helix backbone can be harmonically approximated on the (ρ, ϑ) space, which is not applicable to the (φ, ψ) space due to the diagonal distribution of the conformations. The observed trends of helical conformations obtained from the PDB are captured by four conceptual simulations that theoretically examine the effects of residue bulkiness, external electric field, and externally applied mechanical forces. Flory’s isolated pair hypothesis is shown to be partially correct for α-helical conformations. PMID:27917894

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  12. The biocide tributyltin reduces the accumulation of testosterone as fatty acid esters in the mud snail (Ilyanassa obsoleta).

    PubMed Central

    Gooding, Meredith P; Wilson, Vickie S; Folmar, Leroy C; Marcovich, Dragoslav T; LeBlanc, Gerald A

    2003-01-01

    Imposex, the development of male sex characteristics by female gonochoristic snails, has been documented globally and is causally associated with exposure to the ubiquitous environmental contaminant tributyltin (TBT). Elevated testosterone levels in snails also are associated with TBT, and direct exposure to testosterone has been shown to cause imposex. We discovered previously that the mud snail (Ilyanassa obsoleta)biotransforms and retains excess testosterone primarily as fatty acid esters. The purpose of this study was to determine whether TBT interferes with the esterification of testosterone, resulting in the elevated free (unesterified) testosterone levels associated with imposex. Exposure of snails to environmentally relevant concentrations of TBT (> or = 1.0 ng/L as tin) significantly increased the incidence of imposex. Total (free + esterified) testosterone levels in snails were not altered by TBT; however, free testosterone levels increased with increasing exposure concentration of TBT. TBT-exposed snails were given [14C

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Knockdown of Collagen Triple Helix Repeat Containing 1 (CTHRC1) Inhibits Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition and Cellular Migration in Glioblastoma Cells.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jianpeng; Li, Wei; Liu, Shunshun; Zheng, Xu; Shi, Lin; Zhang, Weitao; Yang, Hongfa

    2017-01-26

    Collagen triple helix repeat containing 1 (CTHRC1), an extracellular matrix-related protein, has been found to be upregulated in many solid tumors and contributes to tumorigenesis. We found that CTHRC1 is overexpressed in glioblastoma tissues and cells. By using the technique of RNA interference, the expression of CTHRC1 in the human glioblastoma U-87MG cell line was downregulated, and the proliferation and migration of U-87MG cells were examined. The results showed that the knockdown of CTHRC1 exerts inhibitory effects on the proliferation and migration ability of U-87MG cells. Knockdown of CTHRC1 expression in U-87MG cells resulted in upregulation in the expression of E-cadherin and downregulation in the expression of N-cadherin, SNAIL, and Slug, suggesting that CTHRC1 inhibits glioblastoma cell migration by suppressing epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Knockdown of CTHRC1 led to remarkably decreased β-catenin protein levels in the nucleus. These results indicate that CTHRC1 might play an important role in the development of glioblastoma and offer a candidate molecular target for glioblastoma prevention and therapy.

  15. Helix 69 of E. coli 23S ribosomal RNA as a peptide nucleic acid target.

    PubMed

    Kulik, Marta; Markowska-Zagrajek, Agnieszka; Wojciechowska, Monika; Grzela, Renata; Wituła, Tomasz; Trylska, Joanna

    2017-04-07

    A fragment of 23S ribosomal RNA (nucleotides 1906-1924 in E. coli), termed Helix 69, forms a hairpin that is essential for ribosome function. Helix 69 forms a conformationally flexible inter-subunit connection with helix 44 of 16S ribosomal RNA, and the nucleotide A1913 of Helix 69 influences decoding accuracy. Nucleotides U1911 and U1917 are post-transcriptionally modified with pseudouridines () and U1915 with 3-methyl-. We investigated Helix 69 as a target for a complementary synthetic oligonucleotide - peptide nucleic acid (PNA). We determined thermodynamic properties of Helix 69 and its complexes with PNA. We also verified the performance of PNA targeted at Helix 69 in inhibiting translation in cell-free extracts and growth of E. coli cells. First, we examined the interactions of a PNA oligomer complementary to the G1907-A1919 fragment of Helix 69 with the sequences corresponding to human and bacterial species (with or without pseudouridine modifications). PNA invades the Helix 69 hairpin creating stable complexes and PNA binding to the pseudouridylated bacterial sequence is stronger than to Helix 69 without any modifications. Second, we confirmed the binding of PNA to 23S rRNA and 70S ribosomes. Third, we verified the efficiency of translation inhibition of these PNA oligomers in the cell-free translation/transcription E. coli system, which turned out to be in a similar range as tetracycline. Next, we confirmed that PNA conjugated to the (KFF)3K transporter peptide inhibited E. coli growth in micromolar concentrations. Overall, targeting Helix 69 with PNA or other sequence-specific oligomers could be a promising way to inhibit bacterial translation.

  16. Basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor TCF21 is a downstream target of the male sex determining gene SRY.

    PubMed

    Bhandari, Ramji K; Sadler-Riggleman, Ingrid; Clement, Tracy M; Skinner, Michael K

    2011-01-01

    The cascade of molecular events involved in mammalian sex determination has been shown to involve the SRY gene, but specific downstream events have eluded researchers for decades. The current study identifies one of the first direct downstream targets of the male sex determining factor SRY as the basic-helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor TCF21. SRY was found to bind to the Tcf21 promoter and activate gene expression. Mutagenesis of SRY/SOX9 response elements in the Tcf21 promoter eliminated the actions of SRY. SRY was found to directly associate with the Tcf21 promoter SRY/SOX9 response elements in vivo during fetal rat testis development. TCF21 was found to promote an in vitro sex reversal of embryonic ovarian cells to induce precursor Sertoli cell differentiation. TCF21 and SRY had similar effects on the in vitro sex reversal gonadal cell transcriptomes. Therefore, SRY acts directly on the Tcf21 promoter to in part initiate a cascade of events associated with Sertoli cell differentiation and embryonic testis development.

  17. Caught red-handed: Rc encodes a basic helix-loop-helix protein conditioning red pericarp in rice.

    PubMed

    Sweeney, Megan T; Thomson, Michael J; Pfeil, Bernard E; McCouch, Susan

    2006-02-01

    Rc is a domestication-related gene required for red pericarp in rice (Oryza sativa). The red grain color is ubiquitous among the wild ancestors of O. sativa, in which it is closely associated with seed shattering and dormancy. Rc encodes a basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) protein that was fine-mapped to an 18.5-kb region on rice chromosome 7 using a cross between Oryza rufipogon (red pericarp) and O. sativa cv Jefferson (white pericarp). Sequencing of the alleles from both mapping parents as well as from two independent genetic stocks of Rc revealed that the dominant red allele differed from the recessive white allele by a 14-bp deletion within exon 6 that knocked out the bHLH domain of the protein. A premature stop codon was identified in the second mutant stock that had a light red pericarp. RT-PCR experiments confirmed that the Rc gene was expressed in both red- and white-grained rice but that a shortened transcript was present in white varieties. Phylogenetic analysis, supported by comparative mapping in rice and maize (Zea mays), showed that Rc, a positive regulator of proanthocyanidin, is orthologous with INTENSIFIER1, a negative regulator of anthocyanin production in maize, and is not in the same clade as rice bHLH anthocyanin regulators.

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

    PubMed Central

    Ohashi, Yohei; Kato, Mariko; Tsuge, Tomohiko; Aoyama, Takashi

    2015-01-01

    The Arabidopsis thaliana GLABRA2 (GL2) gene encodes a transcription factor involved in the cell differentiation of various epidermal tissues. During root hair pattern formation, GL2 suppresses root hair development in non-hair cells, acting as a node between the gene regulatory networks for cell fate determination and cell differentiation. Despite the importance of GL2 function, its molecular basis remains obscure because the GL2 target genes leading to the network for cell differentiation are unknown. We identified five basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor genes (ROOT HAIR DEFECTIVE6 [RHD6], RHD6-LIKE1 [RSL1], RSL2, Lj-RHL1-LIKE1 [LRL1], and LRL2) as GL2 direct targets using transcriptional and posttranslational induction systems. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis confirmed GL2 binding to upstream regions of these genes in planta. Reporter gene analyses showed that these genes are expressed in various stages of root hair development and are suppressed by GL2 in non-hair cells. GL2 promoter-driven GFP fusions of LRL1 and LRL2, but not those of the other bHLH proteins, conferred root hair development on non-hair cells. These results indicate that GL2 directly suppresses bHLH genes with diverse functions in root hair development. PMID:26486447

  19. In vivo analysis of the helix-turn-helix motif of the fushi tarazu homeo domain of Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Furukubo-Tokunaga, K; Müller, M; Affolter, M; Pick, L; Kloter, U; Gehring, W J

    1992-06-01

    We report a systematic mutational analysis of the helix-turn-helix motif (HTH) of the fushi tarazu (ftz) homeo domain (HD) of Drosophila. We started out by testing the function of chimeric ftz proteins containing either a part of the Sex combs reduced (Scr) or the muscle segment homeobox (msh) HDs. By complementation tests in transgenic flies, cotransfection assays in cultured Drosophila cells and in vitro DNA-binding assays, we have found that the ftz activity is retained in the ftz-Scr chimera but is lost in the ftz-msh chimera, which is defective in binding to an Antennapedia (Antp)-class target site. Further studies with a series of back-mutants of the ftz-msh chimera have revealed that a set of class-specific DNA backbone-contacting residues in the HTH, particularly Arg-28 and Arg-43, are required for efficient target site recognition and, hence, full ftz activity both in vitro and in vivo.

  20. The basic helix-loop-helix leucine zipper transcription factor Mitf is conserved in Drosophila and functions in eye development.

    PubMed Central

    Hallsson, Jón H; Haflidadóttir, Benedikta S; Stivers, Chad; Odenwald, Ward; Arnheiter, Heinz; Pignoni, Francesca; Steingrímsson, Eiríkur

    2004-01-01

    The MITF protein is a member of the MYC family of basic helix-loop-helix leucine zipper (bHLH-Zip) transcription factors and is most closely related to the TFE3, TFEC, and TFEB proteins. In the mouse, MITF is required for the development of several different cell types, including the retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells of the eye. In Mitf mutant mice, the presumptive RPE cells hyperproliferate, abnormally express the retinal transcriptional regulator Pax6, and form an ectopic neural retina. Here we report the structure of the Mitf gene in Drosophila and demonstrate expression during embryonic development and in the eye-antennal imaginal disc. In vitro, transcriptional regulation by Drosophila Mitf, like its mouse counterpart, is modified by the Eyeless (Drosophila Pax6) transcription factor. In vivo, targeted expression of wild-type or dominant-negative Drosophila Mitf results in developmental abnormalities reminiscent of Mitf function in mouse eye development. Our results suggest that the Mitf gene is the original member of the Mitf-Tfe subfamily of bHLH-Zip proteins and that its developmental function is at least partially conserved between vertebrates and invertebrates. These findings further support the common origin of the vertebrate and invertebrate eyes. PMID:15166150

  1. Structure of bacteriophage phi29 head fibers has a supercoiled triple repeating helix-turn-helix motif.

    PubMed

    Xiang, Ye; Rossmann, Michael G

    2011-03-22

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

  2. Neuronal basic helix-loop-helix proteins Neurod2/6 regulate cortical commissure formation before midline interactions.

    PubMed

    Bormuth, Ingo; Yan, Kuo; Yonemasu, Tomoko; Gummert, Maike; Zhang, Mingyue; Wichert, Sven; Grishina, Olga; Pieper, Alexander; Zhang, Weiqi; Goebbels, Sandra; Tarabykin, Victor; Nave, Klaus-Armin; Schwab, Markus H

    2013-01-09

    Establishment of long-range fiber tracts by neocortical projection neurons is fundamental for higher brain functions. The molecular control of axon tract formation, however, is still poorly understood. Here, we have identified basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factors Neurod2 and Neurod6 as key regulators of fasciculation and targeted axogenesis in the mouse neocortex. In Neurod2/6 double-mutant mice, callosal axons lack expression of the cell adhesion molecule Contactin2, defasciculate in the subventricular zone, and fail to grow toward the midline without forming Probst bundles. Instead, mutant axons overexpress Robo1 and follow random trajectories into the ipsilateral cortex. In contrast to long-range axogenesis, generation and maintenance of pyramidal neurons and initial axon outgrowth are grossly normal, suggesting that these processes are under distinct transcriptional control. Our findings define a new stage in corpus callosum development and demonstrate that neocortical projection neurons require transcriptional specification by neuronal bHLH proteins to execute an intrinsic program of remote connectivity.

  3. A genome-wide survey on basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors in rat and mouse.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Xiaodong; Zheng, X; Wang, Yong; Wang, Y; Yao, Qin; Yao, Q; Yang, Zhe; Yang, Z; Chen, Keping; Chen, K

    2009-04-01

    The basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) proteins play essential roles in a wide range of developmental processes in higher organisms. bHLH family members have been identified in over 20 organisms, including nematode, fruit fly, and human. Our study identified 114 rat and 14 additional mouse bHLH members in rat and mouse genomes, respectively. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that both rat and mouse had 49, 26, 15, 4, 12, and 4 bHLH members in groups A, B, C, D, E, and F, respectively. Only the rat Mxi1 gene has two copies in the genome. All other rat bHLH genes and all mouse bHLH genes are single-copy genes. The chromosomal distribution pattern of mouse, rat, and human bHLH genes suggests the emergence of some bHLH genes through gene duplication, which probably happened at least before the divergence of vertebrates from invertebrates. The present study provides useful information for future studies using rat as a model animal for mammalian development.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Xiang, Ye; Rossmann, Michael G.

    2011-12-22

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

  5. Phylogenetic analysis of basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors in the genome of a typical human-disease vector

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Meng-Yun; Dong, Ying; Chang, Rui-Xue; Ang, Qian-Qian; Zhang, Ran; Wu, Yan-Yan; Xu, Yi-Hui; Lu, Wen-Sheng; Zheng, Xiao-Dong

    2016-01-01

    Ixodes scapularis, the black-legged tick, is one of the most common human-disease vectors and transmits Borrelia species, such as B. burgdorferi, as well as Theileria microti, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, etc. As basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factors have been recognized for many years as important regulators of various developmental processes, we performed phylogenetic analysis of the black-legged tick genome in order to identify the number and family of bHLH transcription factors. Because bHLH family members have been identified in many organisms, including silkworm and fruit fly, we were able to conduct this survey and identify 58 putative bHLH transcription factors. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the black-legged tick has 26, 10, 9, 1, 9, and 1 member in groups A, B, C, D, E, and F, respectively, whereas two were orphan genes. This analysis also revealed that unlike silkworm and fruit fly, the black-legged tick has no Mesp, Mlx, or TF4 family members, but has one more MyoRb family member. The present study provides useful background information for future studies of the black-legged tick as a disease vector with the goal of prevention and treatment. PMID:27904685

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. The Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factor NEUROG3 Is Required for Development of the Human Endocrine Pancreas

    PubMed Central

    McGrath, Patrick S.; Watson, Carey L.; Ingram, Cameron; Helmrath, Michael A.

    2015-01-01

    Neurogenin3 (NEUROG3) is a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor required for development of the endocrine pancreas in mice. In contrast, humans with NEUROG3 mutations are born with endocrine pancreas function, calling into question whether NEUROG3 is required for human endocrine pancreas development. To test this directly, we generated human embryonic stem cell (hESC) lines where both alleles of NEUROG3 were disrupted using CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene targeting. NEUROG3−/− hESC lines efficiently formed pancreatic progenitors but lacked detectible NEUROG3 protein and did not form endocrine cells in vitro. Moreover, NEUROG3−/− hESC lines were unable to form mature pancreatic endocrine cells after engraftment of PDX1+/NKX6.1+ pancreatic progenitors into mice. In contrast, a 75–90% knockdown of NEUROG3 caused a reduction, but not a loss, of pancreatic endocrine cell development. We conclude that NEUROG3 is essential for endocrine pancreas development in humans and that as little as 10% NEUROG3 is sufficient for formation of pancreatic endocrine cells. PMID:25650326

  8. The grape berry-specific basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor VvCEB1 affects cell size.

    PubMed

    Nicolas, Philippe; Lecourieux, David; Gomès, Eric; Delrot, Serge; Lecourieux, Fatma

    2013-02-01

    The development of fleshy fruits involves complex physiological and biochemical changes. After fertilization, fruit growth usually begins with cell division, continues with both cell division and expansion, allowing fruit set to occur, and ends with cell expansion only. In spite of the economical importance of grapevine, the molecular mechanisms controlling berry growth are not fully understood. The present work identified and characterized Vitis vinifera cell elongation bHLH protein (VvCEB1), a basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor controlling cell expansion in grape. VvCEB1 was expressed specifically in berry-expanding tissues with a maximum around veraison. The study of VvCEB1 promoter activity in tomato confirmed its specific fruit expression during the expansion phase. Overexpression of VvCEB1 in grape embryos showed that this protein stimulates cell expansion and affects the expression of genes involved in cell expansion, including genes of auxin metabolism and signalling. Taken together, these data show that VvCEB1 is a fruit-specific bHLH transcription factor involved in grape berry development.

  9. Transcriptional synergy between LIM-homeodomain proteins and basic helix-loop-helix proteins: the LIM2 domain determines specificity.

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, J D; Zhang, W; Rudnick, A; Rutter, W J; German, M S

    1997-01-01

    LIM-homeodomain proteins direct cellular differentiation by activating transcription of cell-type-specific genes, but this activation requires cooperation with other nuclear factors. The LIM-homeodomain protein Lmx1 cooperates with the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) protein E47/Pan-1 to activate the insulin promoter in transfected fibroblasts. In this study, we show that two proteins originally called Lmx1 are the closely related products of two distinct vertebrate genes, Lmx1.1 and Lmx1.2. We have used yeast genetic systems to delineate the functional domains of the Lmx1 proteins and to characterize the physical interactions between Lmx1 proteins and E47/Pan-1 that produce synergistic transcriptional activation. The LIM domains of the Lmx1 proteins, and particularly the second LIM domain, mediate both specific physical interactions and transcriptional synergy with E47/Pan-1. The LIM domains of the LIM-homeodomain protein Isl-1, which cannot mediate transcriptional synergy with E47/Pan-1, do not interact with E47/Pan-1. In vitro studies demonstrate that the Lmx1.1 LIM2 domain interacts specifically with the bHLH domain of E47/Pan-1. These studies provide the basis for a model of the assembly of LIM-homeodomain-containing complexes on DNA elements that direct cell-type-restricted transcription in differentiated tissues. PMID:9199284

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1988-06-01

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

  11. Snail-Induced Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition Enhances P-gp-Mediated Multi Drug Resistance in HCC827 Cells.

    PubMed

    Tomono, Takumi; Yano, Kentaro; Ogihara, Takuo

    2017-03-17

    Overexpression and/or activation of P-glycoprotein (P-gp), which mediates efflux transport of various anti-cancer drugs in cancer cells, are associated with multi-drug resistance (MDR). On the other hand, malignant cancer cells frequently undergo epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), thereby acquiring high migratory mobility and invasive ability. Snail is a transcriptional factor that represses multiple other factors, and its overexpression is a trigger of EMT. Since both P-gp and Snail are involved in malignant evolution of cancer, in this work, we evaluated whether or not EMT induced by overexpression of Snail influences P-gp expression and/or activity. Snail-overexpressing cells showed downregulation of epithelial markers, E-cadherin, occludin and claudin-1, and upregulation of mesenchymal markers, vimenin and ZEB1. Although Western blot analysis showed that P-gp expression levels were similar in Mock and Snail-overexpressing cells, the results of P-gp functional assays with P-gp substrates rhodamine123 and paclitaxel indicated that P-gp is activated in Snail-overexpressing cells. Indeed, Snail-overexpressing cells showed greater viability than Mock cells in the presence of paclitaxel. We observed caveolin-1 dephosphorylation and decreased GRB2 expression in Snail-overexpressing cells. These findings suggest a novel pathway leading to cancer MDR, in which Snail induces EMT concomitantly with a decrease of GRB2-mediated caveolin-1 phosphorylation, resulting in activation of P-gp.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-28

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

  13. Influence of copper on the feeding rate, growth and reproduction of the golden apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata Lamarck.

    PubMed

    Peña, Silvia C; Pocsidio, Glorina N

    2007-12-01

    The influence of copper on feeding rate, growth, and reproduction of Pomacea canaliculata Lamarck was evaluated. Ten days of exposure to copper of relatively high concentration (67.5 microg/L) reduced the snails' feeding rate and retarded their growth. Exposure to 20 microg/L after 36 days increased feeding rate to 28%. After 20 days of exposure at 30 microg/L, snail's growth was significant but thereafter declined. Growth of all snails including control was negligible by day 50 when snails were in the reproductive state. Copper did not affect reproduction.

  14. Adaptive Radiation in the Larval Feeding Habits of the Snail-Killing Fly Genus Tetanocera (Diptera: Sciomyzidae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foote, B. A.

    2005-05-01

    The genus Tetanocera consists of 29 species in North America. The genus is unusual in that its larvae occupy five of the 17 feeding groups recognized in the family, as most other genera of the family occupy only one or two trophic guilds. Seven species have larvae that attack pulmonate aquatic snails, three species attack pulmonate snails stranded on shorelines, four species attack amber snails of the family Succineidae, three species attack slugs, and two species are predators of terrestrial snails. The larval feeding behavior of representative species of each of the five trophic guilds will be described and illustrated.

  15. Effects of Washing Produce Contaminated with the Snail and Slug Hosts of Angiostrongylus cantonensis with Three Common Household Solutions

    PubMed Central

    Yeung, Norine W; Hayes, Kenneth A

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Investigations into the mechanism of lead toxicity to the freshwater pulmonate snail, Lymnaea stagnalis.

    PubMed

    Brix, Kevin V; Esbaugh, Andrew J; Munley, Kathleen M; Grosell, Martin

    2012-01-15

    The freshwater pulmonate snail, Lymnaea stagnalis, is the most sensitive aquatic organism tested to date for Pb with an estimated EC20 for juvenile snail growth of 3 μg l⁻¹. A previous study supported the hypothesis that this hypersensitivity to Pb was due to an extremely high Ca²⁺ uptake rate needed to support shell formation. The current study sought to build upon this working hypothesis and develop a mechanistic predictive model for inhibition of snail growth as a function of Pb exposure. Initial experiments confirmed previous predictions that juvenile snails have net Ca²⁺ uptake rates of 7000-8000 nmol g⁻¹ h⁻¹, approximately 100-fold higher than observed in a typical freshwater fish. However, an initial time course study revealed that the onset of growth inhibition occurs at least 4d prior to inhibition of net Ca²⁺ flux in Pb-exposed snails indicating the latter is not the primary mechanism of action. Qualitative observations during this experiment indicated snail feeding was inhibited in a dose-dependent manner. A subsequent experiment demonstrated that when food is withheld from snails for even 24 h, net Ca²⁺ uptake is significantly (∼50%) reduced. A second time course study demonstrated quantitatively that snail feeding is inhibited by Pb exposure by up to 98% at relatively high Pb concentrations (57 μg l⁻¹) but no inhibition was observed at ≤ 10 μg l⁻¹ Pb indicating feeding inhibition is not causing observed growth effects at concentrations approximating the EC20 of 3 μg l⁻¹ Pb. A final experiment testing whether Pb-induced growth effects are related to inhibition of carbonic anhydrase activity in the snail mantle also failed to demonstrate an effect. We conclude that while both feeding and net Ca²⁺ uptake in snails are affected by Pb exposure, they appear to be secondary effects. The primary mechanism of action explaining L. stagnalis hypersensitivity to Pb remains to be identified.

  19. Distribution of trematodes in snails in ponds at integrated small-scale aquaculture farms.

    PubMed

    Boerlage, Annette S; Graat, Elisabeth A M; Verreth, Johan A; de Jong, Mart C M

    2013-03-01

    In integrated small-scale aquaculture farming, animal and human excreta maybe used as fish feed and pond fertilizer, thereby enhancing transmission of fish-borne zoonotic trematodes (FZTs) from final hosts, like humans, pigs and chickens, to snails. Areas within a pond could vary in trematode egg-load due to the immediate bordering land, and this might provide implications for control of these trematodes or sampling in field studies measuring FZT prevalence in snails. We therefore estimated the effect of bordering land use on prevalence and FZT burden in snails in different areas within small-scale aquaculture ponds. Nine sampling areas within a pond were assigned in six ponds. For each sampling area, about 120 Melanoides tuberculata snails were collected. Based on land use bordering a sampling area, these were categorized in 5 risk-categories: low-risk (road, rice planted in pond, agriculture, or middle of pond), human access point to pond, livestock sty (pigs or poultry), both human access point and livestock sty, and water connection to canal. In total, 5392 snails were collected. Percentages of snails with parapleurolophocercous cercariae varied between 6% in areas categorized as low-risk and areas with livestock sty only to 15% in areas with both human access point and livestock sty; only this 15% was significantly different from the prevalence in the low-risk category. Percentages of snails with xiphidio cercariae did not differ between risk-categories and varied between 5% and 10%. Mean snail size was 15.2mm, and was significantly associated with both the probability of infection as well as parasite burden. Very small differences in parasite burden were found at different land use areas; the maximum difference was about 11 cercariae. This study demonstrated only small differences between areas surrounding a pond on risk of snails to be infected with fish-borne trematodes within different pond areas. In field studies on FZTs in M. tuberculata snails in ponds

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Doppler velocimetry of a current driven spin helix

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Luyi

    2012-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1994-01-01

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

  4. Structural basis of DNA recognition by PCG2 reveals a novel DNA binding mode for winged helix-turn-helix domains

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Junfeng; Huang, Jinguang; Zhao, Yanxiang; Liu, Huaian; Wang, Dawei; Yang, Jun; Zhao, Wensheng; Taylor, Ian A.; Peng, You-Liang

    2015-01-01

    The MBP1 family proteins are the DNA binding subunits of MBF cell-cycle transcription factor complexes and contain an N terminal winged helix-turn-helix (wHTH) DNA binding domain (DBD). Although the DNA binding mechanism of MBP1 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been extensively studied, the structural framework and the DNA binding mode of other MBP1 family proteins remains to be disclosed. Here, we determined the crystal structure of the DBD of PCG2, the Magnaporthe oryzae orthologue of MBP1, bound to MCB–DNA. The structure revealed that the wing, the 20-loop, helix A and helix B in PCG2–DBD are important elements for DNA binding. Unlike previously characterized wHTH proteins, PCG2–DBD utilizes the wing and helix-B to bind the minor groove and the major groove of the MCB–DNA whilst the 20-loop and helix A interact non-specifically with DNA. Notably, two glutamines Q89 and Q82 within the wing were found to recognize the MCB core CGCG sequence through making hydrogen bond interactions. Further in vitro assays confirmed essential roles of Q89 and Q82 in the DNA binding. These data together indicate that the MBP1 homologue PCG2 employs an unusual mode of binding to target DNA and demonstrate the versatility of wHTH domains. PMID:25550425

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  9. Triple helix conformation-specific blinking of Cy3 in DNA.

    PubMed

    Kawai, Kiyohiko; Maruyama, Atsushi

    2015-03-21

    We report that Cy3 undergoes triple helix conformation-specific blinking in DNA. Blinking patterns were affected by the stabilization of the Hoogsteen base-pair, suggesting that not only the presence but also the fluctuating behaviour of the triple helix can be monitored by the changes in the Cy3 blinking patterns.

  10. A salt bridge stabilizes the helix formed by isolated C-peptide of RNase A.

    PubMed Central

    Bierzynski, A; Kim, P S; Baldwin, R L

    1982-01-01

    C-peptide, which contains the 13 NH2-terminal residues of RNase A, shows partial helix formation in water at low temperature (1 degree C, pH 5, 0.1 M NaCl), as judged by CD spectra; the helix is formed intramolecularly [Brown, J. E. & Klee, W. A. (1971) Biochemistry 10, 470-476]. We find that helix stability depends strongly on pH: both a protonated histidine (residue 12) and a deprotonated glutamate (residue 9 or 2 or both) are required for optimal stability. This information, together with model building, suggests that the salt bridge Glu-9- ... His-12+ stabilizes the helix. Formation of the helix is enthalpy driven [van't Hoff delta H, - 16Kcal/mol (1 cal = 4.18 J)] and the helix is not observed above 30 degrees C. Proton NMR data indicate that several side chains adopt specific conformations as the helix is formed. These results have two implications for the mechanism of protein folding. First, they indicate that short alpha-helices, stabilized by specific side-chain interactions within the helix, can be stable enough in water to function as folding intermediates. Second, they suggest that similar experiments with peptides of controlled amino acid sequence could be used to catalogue the intrahelix interactions that stabilize or destabilize alpha-helices in aqueous solution. These data might provide the code relating amino acid sequence to the locations of alpha-helices in proteins. PMID:6283528

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ranga, Marina; Etzkowitz, Henry

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-06-01

    Curdlan and other beta-1,3-D-glucans form right-handed triple helices, and it has been believed that the intermolecular H-bond is present at the center of the helix to maintain the structure. In this H-bond model, three secondary OH groups form an inequilateral hexagonal shape perpendicular to the helix a