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Sample records for helix aspersa snail

  1. Toxic effects of Cadmium on the garden snail (Helix aspersa)

    SciTech Connect

    Russell, L.K.; DeHaven, J.I.; Botts, R.P.

    1981-05-01

    Spreading treated municipal wastes on agricultural and forest lands is becoming an established method of disposal. However, there is concern about the deleterious effects of toxicants, particularly cadmium, in the sludges. Cadmium concentrations in sewage sludge have been reported as high as 1500 ppM. The work reported here is a part of a larger project to investigate the ecological effects of municipal wastes on forest lands. Snails, Helix aspersa, were chosen to examine the entrance of cadmium into terrestrial food chains. This experiment was designed to determine cadmium accumulation, acute toxicity, and behavioral, reproductive and growth responses with increasing levels of cadmium.

  2. Larval development of Angiostrongylus vasorum in the land snail Helix aspersa.

    PubMed

    Di Cesare, Angela; Crisi, Paolo Emidio; Bartolini, Roberto; Iorio, Raffaella; Talone, Tonino; Filippi, Laura; Traversa, Donato

    2015-10-01

    The metastrongyloid nematode Angiostrongylus vasorum affects the heart and pulmonary arteries of dogs and wild animals. Over the recent years, dog angiostrongylosis has gained great attention in the veterinary community for the expansion of its geographic range and for a rise in the number of clinical cases. Global warming, changes in phenology of mollusc intermediate hosts and movements of wild reservoirs have been evocated in the spreading of mollusc-borne parasites, including A. vasorum. The land snail Helix aspersa, a vector of other respiratory metastrongyloids, is endemic in most regions of the World, where it is a pest outside its native Mediterranean range. In the present study, the susceptibility and suitability of H. aspersa as an intermediate host of A. vasorum were investigated along with the characteristics of larval recovery and development following two different ways of inoculation, i.e. experimental (group A) vs natural infection (group B). After infections, the snails were kept at environmental conditions for 2 months. Five snails from groups A and B were randomly selected, digested and examined at 15-day intervals for 2 months. L1s, L2s and L3s were microscopically identified based on key morphological and morphometric characteristics and their identity was genetically confirmed. The results showed that A. vasorum may reach the infective stage in H. aspersa and that uptake of larvae and parasitic burden within the snails depend on the grazing capability of the molluscs. Biological and epidemiological implications are discussed.

  3. Larval development of Angiostrongylus vasorum in the land snail Helix aspersa.

    PubMed

    Di Cesare, Angela; Crisi, Paolo Emidio; Bartolini, Roberto; Iorio, Raffaella; Talone, Tonino; Filippi, Laura; Traversa, Donato

    2015-10-01

    The metastrongyloid nematode Angiostrongylus vasorum affects the heart and pulmonary arteries of dogs and wild animals. Over the recent years, dog angiostrongylosis has gained great attention in the veterinary community for the expansion of its geographic range and for a rise in the number of clinical cases. Global warming, changes in phenology of mollusc intermediate hosts and movements of wild reservoirs have been evocated in the spreading of mollusc-borne parasites, including A. vasorum. The land snail Helix aspersa, a vector of other respiratory metastrongyloids, is endemic in most regions of the World, where it is a pest outside its native Mediterranean range. In the present study, the susceptibility and suitability of H. aspersa as an intermediate host of A. vasorum were investigated along with the characteristics of larval recovery and development following two different ways of inoculation, i.e. experimental (group A) vs natural infection (group B). After infections, the snails were kept at environmental conditions for 2 months. Five snails from groups A and B were randomly selected, digested and examined at 15-day intervals for 2 months. L1s, L2s and L3s were microscopically identified based on key morphological and morphometric characteristics and their identity was genetically confirmed. The results showed that A. vasorum may reach the infective stage in H. aspersa and that uptake of larvae and parasitic burden within the snails depend on the grazing capability of the molluscs. Biological and epidemiological implications are discussed. PMID:26122991

  4. Effects and uptake of polycyclic aromatic compounds in snails (Helix aspersa).

    PubMed

    Sverdrup, Line Emilie; De Vaufleury, Annette; Hartnik, Thomas; Hagen, Snorre B; Loibner, Andreas Paul; Jensen, John

    2006-07-01

    The International Standardization Organization recently launched a soil toxicity test with snails (Helix aspersa). We assessed the sensitivity of this test for seven polycyclic aromatic compounds. Control animals had 100% survival and low variability for growth measurements. Maximum exposure concentrations of 2800 mg/kg (4000 mg/kg for acridine) had no effect on survival. Similarly, growth (biomass and shell size) was not affected by pyrene, fluoranthene, fluorene, carbazole, phenanthrene, or acridine, whereas dibenzothiophene gave a 10% effect concentration of 1600 mg/kg. Measured internal concentrations of carbazole, dibenzothiophene, and acridine increased with increasing soil concentrations, but biota-soil accumulation factors were low (0.002-0.1). Compared to previously tested organisms, with all being exposed in the same soil type and under similar test conditions, the H. aspersa test was relatively insensitive to all substances.

  5. 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)

  6. 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.)

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    Coal remains an important source of energy, although the fuel is a greater environmental pollutant. Coal is a mixture of several chemicals, especially inorganic elements and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). Many of these compounds have mutagenic and carcinogenic effects on organisms exposed to this mineral. In the town of Charqueadas (Brazil), the tailings from mining were used for landfill in the lower areas of the town, and the consequence is the formation of large deposits of this material. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the genotoxic potential of soil samples contaminated by coal waste in different sites at Charqueadas, using the land snail Helix aspersa as a biomonitor organism. Thirty terrestrial snails were exposed to different treatments: 20 were exposed to the soil from two different sites in Charqueadas (site 1 and 2; 10 in each group) and 10 non-exposed (control group). Hemolymph cells were collected after 24h, 5days and 7days of exposure and comet assay, micronucleus test, oxidative stress tests were performed. Furthermore, this study quantified the inorganic elements present in soil samples by the PIXE technique and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) by HPLC. This evaluation shows that, in general, soils from sites in Charqueadas, demonstrated a genotoxic effect associated with increased oxidative stress, inorganic and PAH content. These results demonstrate that the coal pyrite tailings from Charqueadas are potentially genotoxic and that H. aspersa is confirmed to be a sensitive instrument for risk assessment of environmental pollution. PMID:26295689

  8. 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.

  9. The shell matrix of the pulmonate land snail Helix aspersa maxima.

    PubMed

    Pavat, Céline; Zanella-Cléon, Isabelle; Becchi, Michel; Medakovic, Davorin; Luquet, Gilles; Guichard, Nathalie; Alcaraz, Gérard; Dommergues, Jean-Louis; Serpentini, Antoine; Lebel, Jean-Marc; Marin, Frédéric

    2012-04-01

    In mollusks, the shell mineralization process is controlled by an array of proteins, glycoproteins and polysaccharides that collectively constitute the shell matrix. In spite of numerous researches, the shell protein content of a limited number of model species has been investigated. This paper presents biochemical data on the common edible land snail Helix aspersa maxima, a model organism for ecotoxicological purposes, which has however been poorly investigated from a biomineralization viewpoint. The shell matrix of this species was extracted and analyzed biochemically for functional in vitro inhibition assay, for amino acid and monosaccharides compositions. The matrix was further analyzed on 1 and 2D gels and short partial protein sequences were obtained from 2D gel spots. Serological comparisons were established with a set of heterologous antibodies, two of which were subsequently used for subsequent immunogold localization of matrix components. Our data suggest that the shell matrix of Helix aspersa maxima may differ widely from the shell secretory repertoire of the marine mollusks studied so far, such as the gastropod Haliotis or the pearl oyster Pinctada. In particular, most of the biochemical properties generally attributed to soluble shell matrices, such as calcium-binding capability, or the capacity to interfere in vitro with the precipitation of calcium carbonate or to inhibit the precipitation of calcium carbonate, were not recorded with this matrix. This drastic change in the biochemical properties of the landsnail shell matrix puts into question the existence of a unique molecular model for molluscan shell formation, and may be related to terrestrialisation.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Evaluation of different methods for the experimental infection of the land snail Helix aspersa with Aelurostrongylus abstrusus lungworm.

    PubMed

    Napoli, Ettore; Falsone, Luigi; Gaglio, Gabriella; Colella, Vito; Otranto, Domenico; Giannetto, Salvatore; Brianti, Emanuele

    2016-07-30

    The laboratory maintenance of parasitic life cycles is crucial to support research in many fields of parasitology. The land snail Helix aspersa (syn. Cornu aspersum), an intermediate host of feline lungworms Aelurostrongylus abstrusus and Troglostrongylus brevior, is adopted to produce infective stages of those nematodes in laboratory condition. The aim of this study was to compare the most common methods of experimental infection of H. aspersa with first stage larvae (L1) of A. abstrusus (i.e., contact of the snail foot with the L1) with the injection of these larvae in the foot of the snail, instrumental to reduce the infection time and to maximize the output of third-stage larvae (L3). Three groups (i.e., A, B, C) of 15 H. aspersa snails were infected with L1 of A. abstrusus (n=250 for each snail), whereas a fourth group (group D) was not infected (control). Snails were individually placed for 48h on a microfilm containing L1 (group A), on a potato slice previously irrigated with a suspension of L1 (group B), or they were inoculated by injection of L1 in the posterior-ventral portion of the foot (group C). Eighteen days after the infection all snails were analyzed and tissues were digested to recover L3. No difference in mortality rate was recorded among snail groups and the mean number of retrieved L3 was significantly larger in group C (71.5±52.9) compared to group B (38.2±44.9; p=0.0161) and group A (19±23.3; p<0.0001). The injection of A. abstrusus L1 in the foot of H. aspersa proved to be a fast, easy to apply and effective method, resulting in the largest number of infective larvae retrieved. PMID:27369568

  13. Increased response to cadmium and Bacillus thuringiensis maize toxicity in the snail Helix aspersa infected by the nematode Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita.

    PubMed

    Kramarz, Paulina E; de Vaufleury, Annette; Zygmunt, Piotr M S; Verdun, Cyrille

    2007-01-01

    To determine the effect of nematode infection on the response of snails to selected toxins, we infected Helix aspersa with 0-, 0.25-, 1-, or 4-fold the recommended field dose of a commercial nematode application for agricultural use. In the first experiment, the snails also were exposed to cadmium via food and soil at concentrations of 0, 30, 60, 120, or 240 mg/kg in a full-factorial design. In the second experiment, snails were infected with nematodes and also fed either Bt (expressing Bacillus thuringiensis toxin) maize or non-Bt maize. The snails were weighed at the beginning and end (after four weeks) of the experiments, and mortality was checked daily. Neither exposure of snails to nematodes nor exposure of snails to cadmium or Bt toxin affected the survival rates of snails. The number of dead snails was highest for combinations of nematode treatments with cadmium concentrations of 120 and 240 mg/kg. In both experiments (Bt and cadmium), the growth rate decreased with increasing nematode dose. The Bt maize was not harmful to the snails in the absence of nematodes, but infected snails grew faster when fed non-Bt maize. The growth rate of snails exposed to cadmium decreased with exposure to increasing Cd concentrations and differed significantly between the no-nematode treatment and the treatments with nematode doses of one- and fourfold the recommended field dose. Snails treated with the highest dose of nematodes accumulated the highest cadmium concentrations.

  14. Natural selection reduces energy metabolism in the garden snail, helix aspersa (cornu aspersum).

    PubMed

    Artacho, Paulina; Nespolo, Roberto F

    2009-04-01

    Phenotypic selection is widely recognized as the primary cause of adaptive evolution in natural populations, a fact that has been documented frequently over the last few decades, mainly in morphological and life-history traits. The energetic definition of fitness predicts that natural selection will maximize the residual energy available for growth and reproduction, suggesting that energy metabolism could be a target of selection. To address this problem, we chose the garden snail, Helix aspersa (Cornu aspersum). We performed a seminatural experiment for measuring phenotypic selection on standard metabolic rate (SMR), the minimum cost of maintenance in ectotherm organisms. To discount selection on correlated traits, we included two additional whole-organism performance traits (mean speed and maximum force of dislodgement). We found a combination of linear (negative directional selection, beta=-0.106 +/- 0.06; P= 0.001) and quadratic (stabilizing selection, gamma=-0.012 +/- 0.033; P= 0.061) selection on SMR. Correlational selection was not significant for any possible pair of traits. This suggests that individuals with average-to-reduced SMRs were promoted by selection. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study showing significant directional selection on the obligatory cost of maintenance in an animal, providing support for the energetic definition of fitness.

  15. Changes in the reproductive system of the snail Helix aspersa caused by mucus from the love dart.

    PubMed

    Koene, J M; Chase, R

    1998-08-01

    The function of the love dart in certain species of terrestrial snails is unknown. In Helix aspersa, the dart is a sharp calcareous structure that is used to pierce the partner's skin during courtship. When expelled, the dart is covered with a thick mucus. The hypothesis tested here is that the mucus contains a biologically active substance. Extracts of the digitiform glands that produce this mucus were applied to parts of the reproductive system in vitro. The extracts triggered an initial reconfiguration of the copulatory canal that caused the bursa tract diverticulum to become more accessible to the spermatophore. The reconfiguration of the copulatory canal also closed off the tract leading to the bursa copulatrix, a sperm-digesting organ. A few minutes after the initial contraction, the peristaltic contractions in the diverticulum became significantly more frequent. This latter effect continued for at least 1 h, provided that the mucus extract remained in the saline bath. The minimum effective dosage was less than the 2.2 mg of mucus transferred with the dart. Sperm competition is expected in Helix aspersa since multiple matings occur before eggs are laid. By influencing the female organs involved in the processing of foreign sperm, the dart shooter may increase the chance that his sperm will fertilise eggs. PMID:9662502

  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. Scaling of metabolism in Helix aspersa snails: changes through ontogeny and response to selection for increased size.

    PubMed

    Czarnołeski, Marcin; Kozłowski, Jan; Dumiot, Guillaume; Bonnet, Jean-Claude; Mallard, Jacques; Dupont-Nivet, Mathilde

    2008-02-01

    Though many are convinced otherwise, variability of the size-scaling of metabolism is widespread in nature, and the factors driving that remain unknown. Here we test a hypothesis that the increased expenditure associated with faster growth increases metabolic scaling. We compare metabolic scaling in the fast- and slow-growth phases of ontogeny of Helix aspersa snails artificially selected or not selected for increased adult size. The selected line evolved larger egg and adult sizes and a faster size-specific growth rate, without a change in the developmental rate. Both lines had comparable food consumption but the selected snails grew more efficiently and had lower metabolism early in ontogeny. Attainment of lower metabolism was accompanied by decreased shell production, indicating that the increased growth was fuelled partly at the expense of shell production. As predicted, the scaling of oxygen consumption with body mass was isometric or nearly isometric in the fast-growing (early) ontogenetic stage, and it became negatively allometric in the slow-growing (late) stage; metabolic scaling tended to be steeper in selected (fast-growing) than in control (slow-growing) snails; this difference disappeared later in ontogeny. Differences in metabolic scaling were not related to shifts in the scaling of metabolically inert shell. Our results support the view that changes in metabolic scaling through ontogeny and the variability of metabolic scaling between organisms can be affected by differential growth rates. We stress that future approaches to this phenomenon should consider the metabolic effects of cell size changes which underlie shifts in the growth pattern.

  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. Genotoxicity of Nicotiana tabacum leaves on Helix aspersa.

    PubMed

    da Silva, Fernanda R; Erdtmann, Bernardo; Dalpiaz, Tiago; Nunes, Emilene; Ferraz, Alexandre; Martins, Tales L C; Dias, Johny F; da Rosa, Darlan P; Porawskie, Marilene; Bona, Silvia; da Silva, Juliana

    2013-07-01

    Tobacco farmers are routinely exposed to complex mixtures of inorganic and organic chemicals present in tobacco leaves. In this study, we examined the genotoxicity of tobacco leaves in the snail Helix aspersa as a measure of the risk to human health. DNA damage was evaluated using the micronucleus test and the Comet assay and the concentration of cytochrome P450 enzymes was estimated. Two groups of snails were studied: one fed on tobacco leaves and one fed on lettuce (Lactuca sativa L) leaves (control group). All of the snails received leaves (tobacco and lettuce leaves were the only food provided) and water ad libitum. Hemolymph cells were collected after 0, 24, 48 and 72 h. The Comet assay and micronucleus test showed that exposure to tobacco leaves for different periods of time caused significant DNA damage. Inhibition of cytochrome P450 enzymes occurred only in the tobacco group. Chemical analysis indicated the presence of the alkaloid nicotine, coumarins, saponins, flavonoids and various metals. These results show that tobacco leaves are genotoxic in H. aspersa and inhibit cytochrome P450 activity, probably through the action of the complex chemical mixture present in the plant. PMID:23885210

  1. Effects of low doses of caffeine on [Ca2+]i in voltage-clamped snail (Helix aspersa) neurones.

    PubMed Central

    Orkand, R K; Thomas, R C

    1995-01-01

    1. We have measured cytosolic free Ca2+ concentrations ([Ca2+]i) in voltage-clamped snail neurones using fura-2. Transient increases in [Ca2+]i were induced by depolarizing voltage steps of 20-60 mV for 0.1-10 s from a holding potential of -50 or -60 mV. 2. Low doses of caffeine, 0.2-1 mM, increased the size of the [Ca2+]i transients by both increasing the peak and producing an undershoot. 3. Ryanodine, an inhibitor of Ca2+ release from the intracellular Ca2+ stores, and cyclopiazonic acid (CPA), an inhibitor of the Ca(2+)-ATPase of the intracellular Ca2+ stores, both reduced the size of the [Ca2+]i transients and blocked the effects of caffeine on the transients. 4. The effects of caffeine and CPA were greater on transients produced by long, small, rather than short, large depolarizations. This suggests that calcium-induced calcium release (CICR) played a greater role in the [Ca2+]i increase resulting from longer, smaller depolarizations. 5. Increasing the extracellular pH from 7.5 to over 9, which inhibits the plasmalemmal Ca(2+)-H(+)-ATPase, increased the resting [Ca2+]i level. Depolarization-induced [Ca2+]i transients became much larger while the two effects of caffeine remained. CPA was ineffective at high pH. 6. In some experiments the increase in basal [Ca2+]i caused by alkaline pH was reduced by 0.2 or 0.5 mM caffeine. The increase in basal [Ca2+]i caused by maintained depolarization was reduced, after a transient increase, by 0.5 mM caffeine. Both reduction and increase were blocked by CPA. 7. We conclude that low doses of caffeine can increase uptake by intracellular Ca2+ stores. Caffeine could also release Ca2+ from ryanodine-insensitive Ca(2+)-ATPase-dependent stores as well as facilitating normal ryanodine-sensitive CICR. PMID:8583402

  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. Immunocytochemical distribution of neuropeptide F (NPF) in the gastropod mollusc, Helix aspersa, and in several other invertebrates.

    PubMed

    Leung, P S; Shaw, C; Johnston, C F; Irvine, G B

    1994-02-01

    The distribution of neuropeptide F (NPF) immunoreactivity in the snail, Helix aspersa, has been demonstrated by immunocytochemistry using 2 region-specific antisera. One, designated NPF3, was raised against a synthetic N-terminal fragment of Helix aspersa NPF; the other, designated PP221, was raised against the C-terminal hexapeptide amide of mammalian pancreatic polypeptide (PP) but cross-reacts fully with the analogous C-terminal region of Helix aspersa NPF. The distribution of NPF immunoreactivity has also been compared with that of FMRFamide using alternate serial sections of Helix aspersa ganglia. Results showed that NPF immunoreactivity was abundant and widespread in the central and peripheral nervous systems and the pattern of immunostaining obtained using both region-specific antisera was similar. Likewise, immunocytochemistry of neural tissues of a congeneric species, Helix pomatia, and 2 prosobranch gastropods, Buccinum undatum and Littorina littorea, produced similar staining patterns with both antisera. However, in the cephalopod mollusc, Loligo vulgaris, and the cestode, Moniezia expansa, positive immunostaining was only obtained with the C-terminal PP antiserum. Immunostaining of alternate serial sections of Helix aspersa ganglia with NPF3, and an antiserum raised to FMRFamide, showed that while a few neurones were immunoreactive with one antiserum only, in the majority, both immunoreactivities were co-localised. NPF thus appears to be an important neuropeptide of widespread distribution in Helix aspersa and the differential immunocytochemical staining obtained using the 2 region-specific antisera would suggest a high degree of primary structural conservation within the gastropod molluscs, but lack of conservation of the N-terminal region of the peptide in other invertebrate groups.

  4. Influence of egg cannibalism on growth, survival and feeding in hatchlings of the land snail Helix aspersa Müller (Gastropoda, Pulmonata, Stylommatophora).

    PubMed

    Desbuquois, C

    1997-01-01

    Under controlled conditions, growth, survivorship and several nutritional parameters (ingestion, egestion and assimilation) were measured weekly in hatchlings that either ate a conspecific egg after birth (cannibalistic) or not (non-cannibalistic) and in food-deprived individuals (control group). Subsequently, the snails were fed on Taraxacum officinale. After 4 days, cannibalistic snails were 1.3 times heavier than food-deprived snails and 100% survived (75.8% in the control group and 40% of the non-cannibalistic individuals). Mortality, particularly in smaller snails, might be a consequence of food deprivation. Nutritional and energetic gains of oophagy increased both future survivorship and growth. After 11 weeks, cannibalistic snails were 1.4 times heavier and had higher survival rates than food-deprived ones although ingestion, egestion rates and assimilation efficiency were similar in both groups. The larger wet weight of cannibalistic snails after 4 days induced a higher food consumption and thus a higher growth rate. The influence of oophagy on life-history traits is discussed in relation to costs and benefits.

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

    PubMed

    Arvanitoyannis, Ioannis S; Varzakas, Theodoros H

    2009-08-01

    Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) has been applied for the risk assessment of snails manufacturing. A tentative approach of FMEA application to the snails industry was attempted in conjunction with ISO 22000. Preliminary Hazard Analysis was used to analyze and predict the occurring failure modes in a food chain system (snails processing plant), based on the functions, characteristics, and/or interactions of the ingredients or the processes, upon which the system depends. Critical Control points have been identified and implemented in the cause and effect diagram (also known as Ishikawa, tree diagram, and fishbone diagram). In this work a comparison of ISO22000 analysis with HACCP is carried out over snails processing and packaging. However, the main emphasis was put on the quantification of risk assessment by determining the RPN per identified processing hazard. Sterilization of tins, bioaccumulation of heavy metals, packaging of shells and poisonous mushrooms, were the processes identified as the ones with the highest RPN (280, 240, 147, 144, respectively) and corrective actions were undertaken. Following the application of corrective actions, a second calculation of RPN values was carried out leading to considerably lower values (below the upper acceptable limit of 130). It is noteworthy that the application of Ishikawa (Cause and Effect or Tree diagram) led to converging results thus corroborating the validity of conclusions derived from risk assessment and FMEA. Therefore, the incorporation of FMEA analysis within the ISO22000 system of a snails processing industry is considered imperative. PMID:19582641

  6. 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.

  7. Larval development of the feline lungworm Aelurostrongylus abstrusus in Helix aspersa.

    PubMed

    Di Cesare, Angela; Crisi, Paolo Emidio; Di Giulio, Emanuela; Veronesi, Fabrizia; Frangipane di Regalbono, Antonio; Talone, Tonino; Traversa, Donato

    2013-09-01

    The cat lungworm Aelurostrongylus abstrusus affects the domestic cat and other felids all over the world. Feline aelurostrongylosis is of importance in clinical feline medicine and is gaining more and more attention for the present expansion in the geographical range of A. abstrusus. Global warming and changes in phenology of snail intermediate hosts have been incriminated in this spreading. Helix aspersa, a potential vector of A. abstrusus, is endemic in most regions of the world, where it has become recently a pest outside its native Mediterranean range. The present work evaluated key features of larval development of A. abstrusus in H. aspersa at two different temperature conditions. The results showed that A. abstrusus may reach the infective stage in muscular foot and viscera of H. aspersa and that environmental temperatures may influence the biological cycle of the cat lungworm. In particular, the higher the average temperature, the higher the rate of larval development, i.e., about 50% of larvae of A. abstrusus reached the infective stage between temperatures of 18.8-29.5 °C, while only 17.8% of larvae completed their development at temperatures of 6.7-22 °C. Biological and epidemiological implications are discussed.

  8. Brachylaima aspersae n. sp. (Digenea: Brachylaimidae) infecting farmed snails in NW Spain: morphology, life cycle, pathology, and implications for heliciculture.

    PubMed

    Segade, P; Crespo, C; García, N; García-Estévez, J M; Arias, C; Iglesias, R

    2011-02-10

    The life cycle of Brachylaima aspersae n. sp. (Trematoda: Brachylaimidae) in heliciculture farms is elucidated in light of field and experimental studies. Embryonated asymmetrical eggs (33.3 μm × 20.2 μm) are passed in the faeces of the definitive host, the domestic mouse (Mus musculus), and are ingested by its unique first intermediate host, the helicid snail Helix aspersa aspersa. After hatching, the miracidium develops into a highly branched sporocyst in the connective tissues of the digestive gland. Microcaudate cercariae emerging from this gastropod migrate up the ureter of the second intermediate host, the snails H. a. aspersa and H. a. maxima, and develop into non-encysted metacercariae in the kidney. Following predation of infected snails, the metacercariae develop into adults preferentially in the proximal portion of the duodenum of the definitive host. The strict oioxenic character for the first intermediate host, as well as the cercarial chaetotaxy (3 C(I)V+1 C(I)D, 10 C(II), 5 C(III)V, 14 C(III)L, 2 C(III)D, 16 H, 6 S(I), 6 S(II), 6 S(III), 2 A(I)L+1 A(I)V, 1 A(II)L, 3 ML, 1 P(I)L and 3 P(III)L), the distinct pars prostatica, the variable appearance of testes (rounded to irregular, with smooth or slightly to moderately lobulated margins), the size of eggs, the position of acetabulum (located somewhat posterior to the anterior third of body), and the microhabitat of the adult in the final host allow differentiation of B. aspersae from other well-known species in the genus. Massive infections with sporocysts or metacercariae of this brachylaimid may induce extensive pathological changes in the organs affected. Our results confirm that control of rodents in heliciculture farms is essential to minimize the potential health risks and morbimortality associated with this newly described species. PMID:21075524

  9. 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.

  10. Antimicrobial Activity of Molluscan Hemocyanins from Helix and Rapana Snails.

    PubMed

    Dolashka, Pavlina; Dolashki, Aleksander; Van Beeumen, Jozef; Floetenmeyer, Matthias; Velkova, Lyudmila; Stevanovic, Stefan; Voelter, Wolfgang

    2016-01-01

    For the first time the antimicrobial activities of hemocyanins from the molluscs Rapana venosa (RvH) and Helix aspersa (HaH) have been tested. From the hemolymph of the garden snail H. aspersa one structural subunit (βc-HaH ) and eight functional units (FUs, βc-HaH-a to βc-HaH-h) were isolated, and their N-terminal sequences and molecular weights, ranging between 45 and 65 kDa, determined. The antimicrobial test of the hemocyanins against different bacteria showed that only two FUs from Rapana, RvH1-b and RvH1-e, exhibit a low inhibition effect against Staphylococcus aureus. In contrast and surprisingly, the structural subunit βc-HaH of H. aspersa not only shows strong antimicrobial activities against S. aureus and the likewise Gram-positive Streptococcus epidermidis, but also against the Gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli. We suggest that this subunit therefore has the potential to become a substitute for the commonly used antibiotics against which bacterial resistance has gradually been developed. PMID:26343131

  11. Role of nociceptin/orphanin FQ and the pseudopeptide [Phe1Psi(CH2NH)Gly2]-nociceptin(1-13)-NH2 and their interaction with classic opioids in the modulation of thermonociception in the land snail Helix aspersa.

    PubMed

    Miller-Pérez, Carolina; Sánchez-Islas, Eduardo; Pellicer, Francisco; Rodríguez-Manzo, Gabriela; Cruz, Silvia L; León-Olea, Martha

    2008-02-26

    The role in nociception of nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ) and its receptor, the opioid receptor-like 1 (NOP), remains unclear because this peptide has been implicated in both suppression and enhancement of nociception. The present work characterises the effects of N/OFQ and the NOP receptor antagonist, the pseudopeptide [Phe(1)Psi(CH(2)NH)Gly(2)]-nociceptin(1-13)-NH(2) (Phe(1)Psi), on thermonociception in the snail Helix aspersa using the hot plate assay. Additionally, the possible interaction of each of these compounds with morphine or dynorphin A(1-17) and naloxone was studied. Compounds were administered into the hemocoel cavity of H. aspersa and the latency to the aversive withdrawal behaviour recorded. Dose-response and time course curves were done. N/OFQ and naloxone produced a similar dose-dependent pronociceptive effect; however, N/OFQ reached its peak effect earlier and was 30 times more potent than naloxone. [Phe(1)Psi(CH(2)NH)Gly(2)]-nociceptin(1-13)-NH(2) and the opioid agonists, morphine and dynorphin A(1-17) produced antinociception with a similar efficacy, but [Phe(1)Psi(CH(2)NH)Gly(2)]-nociceptin(1-13)-NH(2) reached its peak effect more rapidly and lasted longer than that of dynorphin A(1-17) and morphine. [Phe(1)Psi(CH(2)NH)Gly(2)]-nociceptin(1-13)-NH(2) was 50 times less potent than dynorphin A(1-17), but 30 times more potent than morphine. N/OFQ significantly reduced morphine and dynorphin A(1-17)-induced antinociception. Combined administration of low doses of [Phe(1)Psi(CH(2)NH)Gly(2)]-nociceptin(1-13)-NH(2) and morphine or dynorphin A(1-17) produced a potent antinociceptive effect. Sub-effective doses of naloxone and N/OFQ also synergised to produce pronociception. Data suggest that these two opioid classes regulate nociception through parallel systems. The H. aspersa model appears as a valuable experimental preparation to continue the study of these opioid receptor systems.

  12. Structural studies of Helix aspersa agglutinin complexed with GalNAc: A lectin that serves as a diagnostic tool.

    PubMed

    Pietrzyk, Agnieszka J; Bujacz, Anna; Mak, Paweł; Potempa, Barbara; Niedziela, Tomasz

    2015-11-01

    Lectins belong to a differentiated group of proteins known to possess sugar-binding properties. Due to this fact, they are interesting research targets in medical diagnostics. Helix aspersa agglutinin (HAA) is a lectin that recognizes the epitopes containing α-d-N-acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc), which is present at the surface of metastatic cancer cells. Although several reports have already described the use of HAA as a diagnostic tool, this protein was not characterized on the molecular level. Here, we present for the first time the structural information about lectin isolated from mucus of Helix aspersa (garden snail). The amino acid sequence of this agglutinin was determined by Edman degradation and tertiary as well as quaternary structure by X-ray crystallography. The high resolution crystal structure (1.38Å) and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry analysis provide the detailed information about a large part of the HAA natural glycan chain. The topology of the GalNAc binding cleft and interaction with lectin are very well defined in the structure and fully confirmed by STD HSQC NMR spectroscopy. Together, this provides structural clues regarding HAA specificity and opens possibilities to rational modifications of this important diagnostic tool.

  13. Epithelial cell types of the primary ureter of Helix aspersa: Ultrastructural and cytochemical characteristics.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Aguayo, I; Ballesteros, F; Hidalgo, J; López-Campos, J L

    1987-01-01

    The present study describes the morphological characteristics which determine the structural polarity of the principal and ciliated cells in the primary ureter epithelium of Helix aspersa. These characteristics are analysed on the basis of the function performed by both cell types. The presence of paniculate glycogen and the location of glycoconjugates associated with cell membranes of the epithelial cells is revealed by the method of Thiéry.

  14. Functional profile of the giant metacerebral neuron of Helix aspersa: temporal and spatial dynamics of electrical activity in situ

    PubMed Central

    Antic, Srdjan; Wuskell, Joseph P; Loew, Leslie; Zecevic, Dejan

    2000-01-01

    Understanding the biophysical properties of single neurons and how they process information is fundamental to understanding how the brain works. However, action potential initiation and the preceding integration of the synaptic signals in neuronal processes of individual cells are complex and difficult to understand in the absence of detailed, spatially resolved measurements. Multi-site optical recording with voltage-sensitive dyes from individual neurons in situ was used to provide these kinds of measurements. We analysed in detail the pattern of initiation and propagation of spikes evoked synaptically in an identified snail (Helix aspersa) neuron in situ. Two main spike trigger zones were identified. The trigger zones were activated selectively by different sets of synaptic inputs which also produced different spike propagation patterns. Synaptically evoked action potentials did not always invade all parts of the neuron. The conduction of the axonal spike was regularly blocked at particular locations on neuronal processes. The propagating spikes in some axonal branches consistently reversed direction at certain branch points, a phenomenon known as reflection. These experimental results, when linked to a computer model, could allow a new level of analysis of the electrical structure of single neurons. PMID:10944170

  15. Food allergy to Helix terrestre (snail).

    PubMed

    de la Cuesta, C G; García, B E; Córdoba, H; Diéguez, I; Oehling, A

    1989-01-01

    Among the rare foods capable of producing food allergies is the snail (Helix terrestre). The snail is a delicacy eaten in Spain, France and Portugal. This study presents the findings of an allergic study of 10 patients with this infrequent food allergy during the past 10 years. The shock organ in the majority (80%) of these patients was the bronchial tree. Six of them did not have any digestive or skin symptoms which are usually seen in cases of food allergy. All patients manifested the symptomatology after ingestion of Helix terrestre. Two also had reactions after eating Patella vulgata (limpet). The snail and the limpet are within the phylogenetic line of molluscs, i.e. of gastropods. All patients tolerated the ingestion of cephalopods and bivalves which belong to two other phylogenetic lines. Skin tests to seafoods (squids, prawns, lobsters and clams) were negative for all patients. This suggests that the sensitizing antigen is probably a protein found only in gastropod molluscs. Skin tests along with the histamine release test were valid diagnostic methods for this food allergy. The limited bibliography on this subject is probably due to the fact that the consumption of snails as well as limpets is limited to specific geographical areas.

  16. 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

  17. Microbiological and Chemical Evaluation of Helix Spp. Snails from Local and Non-EU Markets, Utilised as Food in Sardinia

    PubMed Central

    Corda, Arianna; Mara, Laura; Virgilio, Sebastiano; Pisanu, Margherita; Chessa, Giannina; Parisi, Antonio

    2014-01-01

    With this study, 28 pools of snails of the genus Helix, respectively Helix aspersa (n=24) and Helix vermiculata (n=4) were analysed. They were taken from snail farming and stores. The snails were from Sardinia, other regions of Italy, and from abroad. All the samples were examined as pool looking for these microbiological target: Salmonella spp., Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli O157, Clostridium perfringens, Norovirus and Hepatitis A Virus (HAV). In the same pools, the concentration of cadmium and lead by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry was also determined. The levels of these heavy metals were quite high, especially for cadmium. Two samples were positive for Salmonella spp., while no sample was positive for Escherichia coli O157, HAV and Norovirus. Two samples were positive for Clostridium perfringens and 8 for Listeria monocytogenes. The microrganisms related to Listeria monocytogenes were identified using biochemical techniques, then serotyped and gene sequenced by multiple loci sequence typing technique. Furthermore, antimicrobial restistence was tested on the same samples. PMID:27800346

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-08-01

    The present study examines the potential of Urtica dioica as an ecologically relevant species for use in ecotoxicological testing. It is prevalent in degraded ecosystems and is a food source for invertebrates. Urtica dioica grown in hydroponic solutions containing from less than 0.003 to 5.7 mg Cd/L or from 0.02 to 41.9 mg Zn/L accumulated metals resulting in leaf tissue concentrations in the range of 0.10 to 24.9 mg Cd/kg or 22.5 to 2,772.0 mg Zn/kg. No toxicological effects were apparent except at the highest concentrations tested, suggesting that this species may be an important pathway for transfer of metals to primary plant consumers. Helix aspersa and Lumbricus terrestris were fed the Cd- and Zn-rich leaves of U. dioica for six and four weeks, respectively. Cadmium and Zn body load increased with increasing metal concentration in the leaves (p < 0.001). Ratios of invertebrate metal concentration to leaf metal concentration were in the range of 1:0.03 to 1:1.4 for Cd and 1:0.2 to 1:2.8 for Zn in H. aspersa and 1:0.002 to 1:3.9 for Cd and 1:0.2 to 1:8.8 for Zn in L. terrestris. Helix aspersa Cd and Zn tissue concentrations (15.5 and 1,220.2 mg/kg, respectively) were approximately threefold those in L. terrestris when both species were fed nettle leaves with concentrations of approximately 23 mg Cd/kg and 3,400 mg Zn/kg. Models demonstrate that L. terrestris Cd tissue concentrations (r2 = 0.74, p < 0.001) and H. aspersa Zn tissue concentrations (r(2) = 0.69, p < 0.001) can be estimated from concentrations of Cd and Zn within the leaves of U. dioica and suggest that reasonably reproducible results can be obtained using these species for ecotoxicological testing. PMID:19292567

  19. 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".

  20. Effect of 2450 MHz microwave radiation on the ultrastructure of snail neurons

    SciTech Connect

    Arber, S.L.; Neilly, J.P.; Lin, J.C.; Kriho, V.

    1986-01-01

    An electron microscopical study of snail neurons was undertaken to verify whether any ultrastructural alterations accompany microwave-induced electrophysiological changes observed in these neurons. Subesophageal ganglia from Helix aspersa snails were exposed to 2450 MHz microwave radiation in vitro at SAR 12.9 mW/g for 60 minutes. It was found that exposure at 21 degrees C causes minor changes in Golgi complexes and slight swelling of the endoplasmic reticulum.

  1. Stipe wall extension of Flammulina velutipes could be induced by an expansin-like protein from Helix aspersa.

    PubMed

    Fang, Hejian; Zhang, Wenming; Niu, Xin; Liu, Zhonghua; Lu, Changmei; Wei, Hua; Yuan, Sheng

    2014-01-01

    Expansin proteins extend plant cell walls by a hydrolysis-free process that disrupts hydrogen bonding between cell wall polysaccharides. However, it is unknown if this mechanism is operative in mushrooms. Herein we report that the native wall extension activity was located exclusively in the 10 mm apical region of 30 mm Flammulina velutipes stipes. The elongation growth was restricted also to the 9 mm apical region of the stipes where the elongation growth of the 1st millimetre was 40-fold greater than that of the 5th millimetre. Therefore, the wall extension activity represents elongation growth of the stipe. The low concentration of expansin-like protein in F. velutipes stipes prevented its isolation. However, we purified an expansin-like protein from snail stomach juice which reconstituted heat-inactivated stipe wall extension without hydrolytic activity. So the previous hypotheses that stipe wall extension was resulted from hydrolysis of wall polymers by enzymes or disruption of hydrogen bonding of wall polymers exclusively by turgor pressure are challenged. We suggest that stipe wall extension may be mediated by endogenous expansin-like proteins that facilitate cell wall polymer slippage by disrupting noncovalent bonding between glucan chains or chitin chains.

  2. Stipe wall extension of Flammulina velutipes could be induced by an expansin-like protein from Helix aspersa.

    PubMed

    Fang, Hejian; Zhang, Wenming; Niu, Xin; Liu, Zhonghua; Lu, Changmei; Wei, Hua; Yuan, Sheng

    2014-01-01

    Expansin proteins extend plant cell walls by a hydrolysis-free process that disrupts hydrogen bonding between cell wall polysaccharides. However, it is unknown if this mechanism is operative in mushrooms. Herein we report that the native wall extension activity was located exclusively in the 10 mm apical region of 30 mm Flammulina velutipes stipes. The elongation growth was restricted also to the 9 mm apical region of the stipes where the elongation growth of the 1st millimetre was 40-fold greater than that of the 5th millimetre. Therefore, the wall extension activity represents elongation growth of the stipe. The low concentration of expansin-like protein in F. velutipes stipes prevented its isolation. However, we purified an expansin-like protein from snail stomach juice which reconstituted heat-inactivated stipe wall extension without hydrolytic activity. So the previous hypotheses that stipe wall extension was resulted from hydrolysis of wall polymers by enzymes or disruption of hydrogen bonding of wall polymers exclusively by turgor pressure are challenged. We suggest that stipe wall extension may be mediated by endogenous expansin-like proteins that facilitate cell wall polymer slippage by disrupting noncovalent bonding between glucan chains or chitin chains. PMID:24433673

  3. [Neuronal mechanisms of associative food aversion conditioning reconsolidation in snail Helix lucorum].

    PubMed

    Kozyrev, S A; Nikitin, V P

    2009-06-01

    We have previously showed that reactivation of long-term memory during protin synthesis inhibitor application initiated disruption of memory recalling in snails Helix lucorum with food aversion conditioning reflex. In present work cellular mechanisms of memory reactivation were studied in snail LP11 and RP11 command neurons of defense behavior. In first trial experiments mechanisms of amnesia induction were investigated in semiintact preparations 24 hours after aversion conditioning with single type of food. It was found that application of conditioned food stimulus on snail lip during CNS perfusion with cycloheximide (protein synthesis inhibitor) initiated depression of synaptic response evoked by conditioned stimulus 2.5 hours after reminding. In second tria experiments neuronal mechanisms of amnesia development were studied. Snails were conditioned with two types of food. Cycloheximide was injected into mantle cavity and conditioned stimulus of one type of food was presented 24 hours after snail learning. Semiintact preparations were prepared 1,3, 7 and 15 days after cycloheximide injection + reminding procedure. It was found that neural responses evoked by conditioned food stimulus which was used as reminding stimulus gradually decreased during 1, 3 and 7 days. Neural responses evoked by the conditioned stimulus at 7 and 15 days were not significantly differed from control differentiated food stimulus and were significantly weaker then neural responses evoked by second conditioned food stimulus which was not used as a reminding stimulus. It was suggested that specific and protein synthesis-dependent changes in synaptic connections effectiveness in LP11 and RP11 neurons is one of the cellular mechanisms of amnesia obtained after disruption of long-term memory reconsolidation in snail.

  4. 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.

  5. Intracellular pH regulation in isolated hepatopancreas cells from the Roman snail (Helix pomatia).

    PubMed

    Manzl, Claudia; Krumschnabel, Gerhard; Schwarzbaum, Pablo J; Chabicovsky, Monika; Dallinger, Reinhard

    2004-01-01

    The mechanisms of intracellular pH (pHi) regulation were studied in isolated hepatopancreas cells from the Roman snail, Helix pomatia. The relationship between intracellular and extracellular pH indicated that pHi is actively regulated in these cells. At least three pHi-regulatory ion transporters were found to be present in these cells and to be responsible for the maintenance of pHi: an amiloride-sensitive Na+/H+ exchanger, a 4-acetamido-4'-isothiocyanostilbene-2,2'disulfonic acid (SITS)-sensitive, presumably Na(+)-dependent, Cl-/HCO3-exchanger, and a bafilomycin-sensitive H(+)-pump. Inhibition of one of these transporters alone did not affect steady state pHi, whereas incubation with amiloride and SITS in combination resulted in a significant intracellular acidification. Following the induction of intracellular acidosis by addition of the weak acid Na+propionate, the Na+/H+ exchanger was immediately activated leading to a rapid recovery of pHi towards the baseline level. Both the SITS-sensitive mechanism and the H(+)-pump responded more slowly, but were of similar importance for pHi recovery. Measurement of pHi recovery from acidification in the three discernible types of hepatopancreas cells with a video fluorescence image system revealed slightly differing response patterns, the physiological significance of which remains to be determined. PMID:14695690

  6. How terrestrial snails can be used in risk assessment of soils.

    PubMed

    de Vaufleury, Annette; Coeurdassier, Michaël; Pandard, Pascal; Scheifler, Renaud; Lovy, Christiane; Crini, Nadia; Badot, Pierre-Marie

    2006-03-01

    Among soil invertebrates, terrestrial snails are herbivorous and detritivorous organisms exposed to polluted soils by both digestive and cutaneous routes. Using laboratory-reared snails (Helix aspersa aspersa), we describe how the effects of contaminants on survival and growth of snails can be evaluated in laboratory bioassays. A national ring test was performed to assess the effect of Cd added to the soil or to the food. The ecotoxicity of sewage sludge also was evaluated. The present results demonstrate that toxicity depends on both the pollutants and the exposure route. Cadmium was sixfold more toxic for snails exposed via food contamination (median effective concentration [EC50], 68-139 microg/g) than via soil contamination (EC50, 534-877 microg/g), whereas the opposite occurred with the sewage sludge (EC50, 55% of sludge in the food and 10% of waste in the soil). A logistic relationship linked growth inhibition and internal Cd concentrations, which can reach 2,000 microg/g in the viscera of snails exposed to 626 microg/g in the food. No clear trend was found between Cu, Zn, Pb, Cr, and Ni concentrations in the sludge and in snail tissues. These data enabled the development of an international standard, which should enhance the use of terrestrial gastropods for both fundamental research and routine risk assessment in the terrestrial environment.

  7. 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

  8. [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. PMID:17290873

  9. 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

  10. Feeding behaviour of juvenile snails ( Helix pomatia) to four plant species grown at elevated atmospheric CO 2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ledergerber, S.; Leadley, P. W.; Stöcklin, J.; Baur, Bruno

    1998-02-01

    The feeding behaviour of juveniles of the land snail Helix pomatia was examined in model plant communities consisting of Trifolium repens, Hieracium pilosella, Bromus erectus and Prunella vulgaris that are common species in extensively managed calcareous grasslands in the Swiss Jura mountains. The plant communities were grown either at ambient (350 ppm) or elevated (600 ppm) CO 2 concentrations. Leaves of T. repens and P. vulgaris grown in elevated atmospheric CO 2 had a lower specific leaf area, and leaves of T. repens had lower percentage N on a dry weight basis than leaves grown under ambient CO 2 concentration. Snails fed on all four plant species, but showed a overwhelming preference for T. repens (percentages of total biomass consumed were 91.9% at 350 ppm and 97.6% at 600 ppm). The species-specific feeding intensity of juvenile H. pomatia did not differ between the two treatments. The total dry weight of T. repens consumed by the snails was marginally greater ( P = 0.06) at elevated CO 2, but there were no significant differences in leaf N or leaf area eaten. These findings are similar to numerous other studies showing that invertebrates increase their consumption of plant material to balance reductions in plant N concentrations at elevated CO 2. The leaf biomass, leaf area and amount of nitrogen consumed of the other three plant species did not differ significantly between the two CO 2 treatments. Helix pomatia that fed on plants grown at elevated CO 2 atmosphere showed a larger increase in relative wet weight than those that fed on plants from ambient CO 2 conditions. However, the weight gain of H. pomatia was poorly correlated with amount of plant tissue consumed, so we suggest that the effect of CO 2 on weight gain in H. pomatia was due to a change in the quality of T. repens leaves.

  11. 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.

  12. Terrestrial gastropods (Helix spp) as sentinels of primary DNA damage for biomonitoring purposes: a validation study.

    PubMed

    Angeletti, Dario; Sebbio, Claudia; Carere, Claudio; Cimmaruta, Roberta; Nascetti, Giuseppe; Pepe, Gaetano; Mosesso, Pasquale

    2013-04-01

    We validated the alkaline comet assay in two species of land snail (Helix aspersa and Helix vermiculata) to test their suitability as sentinels for primary DNA damage in polluted environments. The study was conducted under the framework of a biomonitoring program for a power station in Central Italy that had recently been converted from oil to coal-fired plant. After optimizing test conditions, the comet assay was used to measure the % Tail DNA induced by in vitro exposure of hemocytes to different concentrations of a reactive oxygen species (H2 O2 ). The treatment induced significant increases in this parameter with a concentration effect, indicating the effectiveness of the assay in snail hemocytes. After evaluating possible differences between the two species, we sampled them in three field sites at different distances from the power station, and in two reference sites assumed to have low or no levels of pollution. No species differences emerged. Percent Tail DNA values in snails from the sites near the power station were higher than those from control sites. An inverse correlation emerged between % Tail DNA and distance from the power station, suggesting that the primary DNA damage decreased as distance increased away from the pollution source. Detection of a gradient of heavy metal concentration in snail tissues suggests that these pollutants are a potential cause of the observed pattern. The comet assay appears to be a suitable assay and Helix spp. populations suitable sentinels to detect the genotoxic impact of pollutants. PMID:23444166

  13. Terrestrial gastropods (Helix spp) as sentinels of primary DNA damage for biomonitoring purposes: a validation study.

    PubMed

    Angeletti, Dario; Sebbio, Claudia; Carere, Claudio; Cimmaruta, Roberta; Nascetti, Giuseppe; Pepe, Gaetano; Mosesso, Pasquale

    2013-04-01

    We validated the alkaline comet assay in two species of land snail (Helix aspersa and Helix vermiculata) to test their suitability as sentinels for primary DNA damage in polluted environments. The study was conducted under the framework of a biomonitoring program for a power station in Central Italy that had recently been converted from oil to coal-fired plant. After optimizing test conditions, the comet assay was used to measure the % Tail DNA induced by in vitro exposure of hemocytes to different concentrations of a reactive oxygen species (H2 O2 ). The treatment induced significant increases in this parameter with a concentration effect, indicating the effectiveness of the assay in snail hemocytes. After evaluating possible differences between the two species, we sampled them in three field sites at different distances from the power station, and in two reference sites assumed to have low or no levels of pollution. No species differences emerged. Percent Tail DNA values in snails from the sites near the power station were higher than those from control sites. An inverse correlation emerged between % Tail DNA and distance from the power station, suggesting that the primary DNA damage decreased as distance increased away from the pollution source. Detection of a gradient of heavy metal concentration in snail tissues suggests that these pollutants are a potential cause of the observed pattern. The comet assay appears to be a suitable assay and Helix spp. populations suitable sentinels to detect the genotoxic impact of pollutants.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Stress activated protein kinases, JNKs and p38 MAPK, are differentially activated in ganglia and heart of land snail Helix lucorum (L.) during seasonal hibernation and arousal.

    PubMed

    Michaelidis, Basile; Hatzikamari, Maria; Antoniou, Vassiliki; Anestis, Andreas; Lazou, Antigone

    2009-06-01

    The present work aimed to investigate the phosphorylation and hence activation of stress activated protein kinases, p38 MAPK and JNKs in the tissues of the snail Helix lucorum during seasonal hibernation. Snails were put in large glass boxes, which were placed outdoors so that they were exposed to natural conditions of light and temperature. Phosphorylation and hence activation of JNKs and p38 MAPK was determined in both heart and ganglia. Deep hibernation caused significant increases in the levels of the phosphorylated form of JNK and p38-MAPK in both heart and ganglia. Phosphorylation of JNK remained elevated in the ganglia or increased after a transient drop in the heart, when the snails were prepared for arousal. In addition, phosphorylation of p38-MAPK was further increased in the heart during this period. These data support the conclusion that MAPK signalling cascade might contribute in the physiological and biochemical remodelling in the tissues of land snails during hibernation and upon preparation for arousal.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. [Effects of heavy metals on snail development. Use of snails as bio-indicators of heavy metal pollution for the preservation of human health].

    PubMed

    Gomot, A

    1997-01-01

    The use of snails as biological indicators is particularly appropriate for metals, which they accumulate in their organs. The aim of the present experiment was to carry out a rigorous experimentation in the laboratory and in the wild in order to develop a methodology for the use of snails at a known stage of growth that would give precise information on the toxicity of heavy metals for different concentrations and durations of exposure. We have developed a test of toxicity based on the effects of a noxious and carcinogenic element, cadmium, on the land-snail Helix aspersa aspersa (H.a.a) of one month of age. Five concentrations (50 to 800 micrograms/g), were selected to estimate the concentrations causing 50% inhibition of growth (EC 50) at 14 days: 190 micrograms/g and at 28 days: 180 micrograms/g. A soil matrix contaminated with metals (soil including 800 micrograms/g Cr, 20 micrograms/g Cd, 800 micrograms/g Pb and 2000 micrograms/g Zn) was incorporated into the food at 50 and 75%, it too inhibited the growth of juvenile snails compared to incorporation of control soil. An accurate and rapid (2 to 4 weeks) method is therefore available for the evaluation of the toxicity of pollutants by ingestion. The first trials of this method in the wild consisted of placing batches of 2-month-old snails, identical to those used in the first lab tests, in locations that were either polluted or not. Differences in growth were observed depending on the locations; analysis of the levels of metal in the organs of the snails should enable us to check if there is a correlation between these levels and the growth rates. The results obtained with cadmium compared to those of other authors working with earthworms and soil arthropods show that snails give responses to concentrations comparable to those of earthworms and much more rapidly and with more sensitivity than those of collembolla for example. The ease of handling snails and the perfect control of their breeding are essential

  2. Control of the delayed outward potassium currents in bursting pace-maker neurones of the snail, Helix pomatia.

    PubMed Central

    Heyer, C B; Lux, H D

    1976-01-01

    The net outward current in bursting pace-maker neurones of the snail (Helix pomatia) during sustained and repeated voltage clamp pulses was studied. The properties of currents remaining in cobalt-Ringer or after TEA injection were compared with those in untreated cells. 2. With sustained voltage clamp depolarizations the net outward current first increases to a maximum at 150 msec and then declines to 60% or less of its peak intensity. This depression, which is greater during repetition of short pulses (e.g. 100 msec pulses at 0-5 sec intervals), represents a true decrease in the outward flow of K (designated IK) and is not due to a decreased driving force resulting from extracellular K accumulation. The steady-state current-voltage (I-V) relationship for IK is N-shaped (Heyer & Lux, 1976). 3. A component of IK persists when Ca and Mg in the medium are replaced by Co (ICo-res). With voltage clamp depolarizations ICo-res increases rapidly to a maximum and then partially inactivates with voltage dependent time constants of hundredths or tenths of seconds. Repolarization removes the inactivation. Thus, repeated stimulation with short pulses does not increase the depression of ICo-res-ICo-res (e.g. measured during voltage steps from holding potentials of -50 to near 0 mV) is smaller in test pulses preceded by depolarization and larger in pulses preceded by hyperpolarization. The steady state I-V relationship is not N-shaped. ICo-res is blocked by intracellular injection of tetraethylammonium (TEA). 4. Repeated voltage clamp depolarization to near 0 mV with 100 msec pulses for neurones with large Ca currents in normal Ringer produces a long-term depression which is maximal with 300-400 msec repolarizations (to -50 mV) between pulses. This corresponds with stimulus parameters for the maximum Ca current (Heyer & Lux, 1976). Intracellular injection of Ca2+ (also Ba2+ and Co2+) likewise reduces the total net outward current and especially the delayed outward current under

  3. Biotic interactions modify the transfer of cesium-137 in a soil-earthworm-plant-snail food web.

    PubMed

    Fritsch, Clémentine; Scheifler, Renaud; Beaugelin-Seiller, Karine; Hubert, Philippe; Coeurdassier, Michaël; de Vaufleury, Annette; Badot, Pierre-Marie

    2008-08-01

    The present study investigated the possible influence of the earthworm Aporrectodea tuberculata on the transfer of cesium-137 ((137)Cs) from a contaminated (130 Bq/kg) deciduous forest soil to the lettuce Lactuca sativa and to the snail Cantareus aspersus (formerly Helix aspersa) in two laboratory experiments. In the first experiment, the International Organization for Standardization 15952 test was used to expose snails for five weeks to contaminated soil with or without earthworms. In these conditions, the presence of earthworms caused a two- to threefold increase in (137)Cs concentrations in snails. Transfer was low in earthworms as well as in snails, with transfer factors (TFs) lower than 3.7 x 10(-2). Activity concentrations were higher in earthworms (2.8- 4.8 Bq/kg dry mass) than in snails (<1.5 Bq/kg). In the second experiment, microcosms were used to determine the contribution of soil and lettuce in the accumulation of (137)Cs in snails. Results suggest that the contribution of lettuce and soil is 80 and 20%, respectively. Microcosms also were used to study the influence of earthworms on (137)Cs accumulation in snail tissues in the most ecologically relevant treatment (soil-earthworm-plant-snail food web). In this case, soil-to-plant transfer was high, with a TF of 0.8, and was not significantly modified by earthworms. Conversely, soil-to-snail transfer was lower (TF, approximately 0.1) but was significantly increased in presence of earthworms. Dose rates were determined in the microcosm study with the EDEN (elementary dose evaluation for natural environment) model. Dose rates were lower than 5.5 x 10(-4) mGy/d, far from values considered to have effects on terrestrial organisms (1 mGy/d).

  4. Cold hardiness abilities vary with the size of the land snail Cornu aspersum.

    PubMed

    Ansart, Armelle; Vernon, Philippe

    2004-10-01

    The land snail Cornu aspersum (syn. Helix aspersa) living in Brittany (France) can be considered partially freezing tolerant as it possesses a low ability to supercool and a limited capacity to bear freezing of its body tissues. The absence of a marked cold hardiness strategy permits the emphasis of the role of parameters such as individual size or water mass (W(M)) contained by the organism. Adult snails (shell diameter 30-32 mm) had a supercooling ability, about 1-1.5 degrees C lower than that of immatures (shell diameter 12-20 mm) and survived longer to an exposure to -5 degrees C, with an Lt(50) comprised between 6.0 and 9.8 h against 2.6 to 4.2 h for immature snails. This better ability to bear freezing was explained by the faster dynamic of body ice formation observed in small individuals, which attained ice lethal quantity more rapidly. At the species level, large snails will then tend to be more tolerant to freezing and small ones to be freezing avoidant, a statement also observable at the phylum level.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1989-01-01

    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. PMID:2818567

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Noise-modulated-microwave-induced response in snail neurons

    SciTech Connect

    Lin, J.C.; Arber, S.L.

    1983-01-01

    Helix aspersa neurons were irradiated with noise-amplitude-modulated microwaves (carrier frequency 2450 MHz, 20% AM, 0-20 kHz, specific absorption rate 6.8 and 14.4 mW/g). It was found that such an exposure caused an appearance of high frequency bursts and a rise in membrane resistance.

  9. Direct deamination of AMP, ADP, ATP and NADH by non-specific adenylate deaminase in the foot muscle of the snail Helix pomatia.

    PubMed Central

    Stankiewicz, A J

    1983-01-01

    Homogeneous adenylate deaminase from snail foot muscle deaminated 5'-AMP, 5'-ADP, 5'-ATP and NADH with similar velocity and affinity to all substrates. At millimolar concentration NAD+ was also deaminated to a comparable extent, but NADP+, NADPH and FAD were not substrates for the snail enzyme. The amount of deaminase activity per g of fresh tissue is 5-10 times greater than in the muscle of any other species studied. The activity of the snail deaminase is regulated by pH, KCl and buffer concentrations, and Pi; however, regulation seems to be very poor in comparison with that of muscle deaminases from other species, specific to 5'-AMP. Snail enzyme appears as the first animal deaminase so far described that has such characteristics. It offers also some opportunities as an analytical tool as a consequence of its very high affinity toward adenylates. PMID:6626180

  10. 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)

  11. Terrestrial edible land snails as vectors for geographic dissemination of Brachylaima species.

    PubMed

    Gállego, L; González-Moreno, O; Gracenea, M

    2014-10-01

    Cornu aspersum (= syn. Helix aspersa ) snails imported into NE Spain from Algeria and South Africa, and intended for human consumption via sale in public markets, were analyzed to assess their contribution to geographic dissemination of Brachylaima species. Prevalence and viability studies of metacercariae were performed on Algerian and South African Brachylaima adults. Morphometric studies were performed by measuring 16 variables in metacercariae and 18 variables in adults. Principal component analyses (PCA) were performed to assess the contribution of each variable in the separation of the different groups. A MANOVA test performed on morphometric data from Brachylaima llobregatensis and Brachylaima mascomai Algerian and South African adults, revealed a significant multivariate main effect (P < 0.001) and univariate effects in 13 variables (P ≤ 0.001). Pairwise comparisons revealed significant differences in 13 variables between B. mascomai and Algerian adults, as opposed to 3 variables (testis I width, testis II width, and egg width) when compared with B. llobregatensis. South African adults had significant differences in 5 variables (body length, oral sucker length, oral sucker width, egg length, and egg width) when compared with B. llobregatensis, as opposed to 1 variable (testis II width) when compared with B. mascomai. Results from PCA showed 2 different groups: B. llobregatensis/Algerian adults (overlapped) and B. mascomai/South African adults (overlapped). Imported edible C. aspersum specimens can contribute significantly to the geographic spread of Brachylaima species by harboring infective metacercariae which could easily infect animals, given their heteroxenous character. Brachylaima llobregatensis has previously been detected in NE Spain only, and now this species appears to be parasitizing C. aspersum in Algeria (North Africa). This geographic dispersion could be favored by commerce in terrestrial snails such as C. aspersum.

  12. Helix coupling

    DOEpatents

    Ginell, W.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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. Olfactory selection of Plantago lanceolata by snails declines with seedling age

    PubMed Central

    Hanley, M. E.; Girling, R. D.; Felix, A. E.; Olliff, E. D.; Newland, P. L.; Poppy, G. M.

    2013-01-01

    Background and Aims Despite recent recognition that (1) plant–herbivore interactions during the establishment phase, (2) ontogenetic shifts in resource allocation and (3) herbivore response to plant volatile release are each pivotal to a comprehensive understanding of plant defence, no study has examined how herbivore olfactory response varies during seedling ontogeny. Methods Using a Y-tube olfactometer we examined snail (Helix aspersa) olfactory response to pellets derived from macerated Plantago lanceolata plants harvested at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8 weeks of age to test the hypothesis that olfactory selection of plants by a generalist herbivore varies with plant age. Plant volatiles were collected for 10 min using solid-phase microextraction technique on 1- and 8-week-old P. lanceolata pellets and analysed by gas chromatography coupled with a mass spectrometer. Key Results Selection of P. lanceolata was strongly negatively correlated with increasing age; pellets derived from 1-week-old seedlings were three times more likely to be selected as those from 8-week-old plants. Comparison of plant selection experiments with plant volatile profiles from GC/MS suggests that patterns of olfactory selection may be linked to ontogenetic shifts in concentrations of green leaf volatiles and ethanol (and its hydrolysis derivatives). Conclusions Although confirmatory of predictions made by contemporary plant defence theory, this is the first study to elucidate a link between seedling age and olfactory selection by herbivores. As a consequence, this study provides a new perspective on the ontogenetic expression of seedling defence, and the role of seedling herbivores, particularly terrestrial molluscs, as selective agents in temperate plant communities. PMID:23380239

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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)

  20. 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)

  1. 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

  2. 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…

  3. Revisting the Double Helix

    SciTech Connect

    Ha, Taekjip

    2010-12-08

    Properties of DNA double helix have been studied for over 60 years. Yet as more sensitive tools become available, fundamental assumptions in our understanding of these properties are being challenged. One such question is over the flexibility of DNA. Looping or bending of DNA on short length scales is essential for many cellular processes but it is highly controversial exactly how flexible the DNA is. Using a new, single-molecule based method, we found that DNA of lengths as short as 50 base pairs can form a circle more than 108 times faster than theoretical predictions. Another question concerns the physical principles governing the reversible, helix-coil transitions of DNA between the double helix and single strands. Using porous nanocontainers, we found that the rate of double helix formation shows an abrupt 100 fold change depending on whether there are 7 or more contiguous base pairs or not.

  4. 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.

  5. Involvement of Na,K-pump in SEPYLRFamide-mediated reduction of cholinosensitivity in Helix neurons

    PubMed Central

    Pivovarov, Arkady S.; Foreman, Richard C.; Walker, Robert J.

    2007-01-01

    SEPYLRFamide acts as an inhibitory modulator of acetylcholine (ACh) receptors in Helix lucorum neurones. Ouabain, a specific inhibitor of Na,K-pump, (0.1 mM, bath application) decreased the ACh-induced inward current (ACh-current) and increased the leak current. Ouabain decreased the modulatory SEPYLRFamide effect on the ACh-current. There was a correlation between the effects of ouabain on the amplitude of the ACh-current and on the modulatory peptide effect. Ouabain and SEPYLRFamide inhibited the activity of Helix aspersa brain Na,K-ATPase. Activation of Na,K-pump by intracellular injection of 3 M Na acetate or 3 M NaCl reduced the modulatory peptide effect on the ACh-current. An inhibitor of Na/Ca-exchange, benzamil (25 μM, bath application), and an inhibitor of Ca2+-pump in the endoplasmic reticulum, thapsigargin (TG, applied intracellularly), both prevented the effect of ouabain on SEPYLRFamide-mediated modulatory effect. Another inhibitor of Ca2+-pump in the endoplasmic reticulum, cyclopiazonic acid (applied intracellularly), did not prevent the effect of ouabain on SEPYLRFamide-mediated modulatory effect. These results indicate that Na,K-pump is responsible for the SEPYLRFamide-mediated inhibition of ACh receptors in Helix neurons. Na/Ca-exchange and intracellular Ca2+ released from internal pools containing TG-sensitive Ca2+-pump are involved in the Na,K-pump pathway for the SEPYLRFamide-mediated inhibition of ACh receptors. PMID:17049630

  6. 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.

  7. 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)

  8. [The helix of life].

    PubMed

    Kahn, Axel

    2003-04-01

    The discovery of DNA's double helix 50 years ago was the founding event of molecular biology. It was also the moment that forged the reputation of two of biology's most compelling figures, no doubt in perpetuity. However, Jim Watson and Francis Crick were not the only players of this outstanding fest whose certain circumstances remain today rather singular.

  9. 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)

  10. Bioaccumulative and conchological assessment of heavy metal transfer in a soil-plant-snail food chain

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), cadmium (Cd), and lead (Pb) can pose serious threats to environmental health because they tend to bioaccumulate in terrestrial ecosystems. We investigated under field conditions the transfer of these heavy metals in a soil-plant-snail food chain in Banat area, Romania. The main goal of this paper was to assess the Roman snail (Helix pomatia) usefulness in environmental monitoring as bioindicator of heavy metal accumulation. Eight sampling sites, selected by different history of heavy metal (HM) exposure, were chosen to be sampled for soil, nettle leaves, and newly matured snails. This study also aimed to identify the putative effects of HM accumulation in the environment on phenotypic variability in selected shell features, which included shell height (SH), relative shell height (RSH), and whorl number (WN). Results Significantly higher amounts of HMs were accumulated in snail hepatopancreas and not in foot. Cu, Zn, and Cd have biomagnified in the snail body, particularly in the hepatopancreas. In contrast, Pb decreased when going up into the food chain. Zn, Cd, and Pb correlated highly with each other at all levels of the investigated food chain. Zn and Pb exhibited an effective soil–plant transfer, whereas in the snail body only foot Cu concentration was correlated with that in soil. There were significant differences among sampling sites for WN, SH, and RSH when compared with reference snails. WN was strongly correlated with Cd and Pb concentrations in nettle leaves but not with Cu and Zn. SH was independent of HM concentrations in soil, snail hepatopancreas, and foot. However, SH correlated negatively with nettle leaves concentrations for each HM except Cu. In contrast, RSH correlated significantly only with Pb concentration in hepatopancreas. Conclusions The snail hepatopancreas accumulates high amounts of HMs, and therefore, this organ can function as a reliable biomarker for tracking HM bioavailability in soil. Long

  11. Studying snails and stream health

    SciTech Connect

    Krause, C.

    1992-01-01

    A type of snail (Elimia) that is abundant in most streams in east Tennessee is noticeably absent in contaminated Oak Ridge streams, indicating a significant level of pollution. Such a snail could serve as a sensitive indicator of and contributor to improved water quality in Oak Ridge streams as remediation programs take effect.

  12. Polymorphism in pleistocene land snails.

    PubMed

    Owen, D F

    1966-04-01

    Under suitable conditions the colors and patterns of the shells of land snails may be preserved for thousands of years. In a late Pleistocene population of Limicolaria martensiana all the major color forms that occur in modern living snails may be distinguished, and the basic polymorphism is at least 8,000 to 10,000 year old. PMID:17830234

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Helix Capping in RNA Structure

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Jung C.; Gutell, Robin R.

    2014-01-01

    Helices are an essential element in defining the three-dimensional architecture of structured RNAs. While internal basepairs in a canonical helix stack on both sides, the ends of the helix stack on only one side and are exposed to the loop side, thus susceptible to fraying unless they are protected. While coaxial stacking has long been known to stabilize helix ends by directly stacking two canonical helices coaxially, based on analysis of helix-loop junctions in RNA crystal structures, herein we describe helix capping, topological stacking of a helix end with a basepair or an unpaired nucleotide from the loop side, which in turn protects helix ends. Beyond the topological protection of helix ends against fraying, helix capping should confer greater stability onto the resulting composite helices. Our analysis also reveals that this general motif is associated with the formation of tertiary structure interactions. Greater knowledge about the dynamics at the helix-junctions in the secondary structure should enhance the prediction of RNA secondary structure with a richer set of energetic rules and help better understand the folding of a secondary structure into its three-dimensional structure. These together suggest that helix capping likely play a fundamental role in driving RNA folding. PMID:24691270

  16. Differences in predatory pressure on terrestrial snails by birds and mammals.

    PubMed

    Rosin, Zuzanna M; Olborska, Paulina; Surmacki, Adrian; Tryjanowski, Piotr

    2011-09-01

    The evolution of shell polymorphism in terrestrial snails is a classic textbook example of the effect of natural selection in which avian and mammalian predation represents an important selective force on gene frequency. However, many questions about predation remain unclear, especially in the case of mammals. We collected 2000 specimens from eight terrestrial gastropod species to investigate the predation pressure exerted by birds and mice on snails. We found evidence of avian and mammalian predation in 26.5% and 36.8% of the shells. Both birds and mammals were selective with respect to snail species, size and morphs. Birds preferred the brown-lipped banded snail Cepaea nemoralis (L.) and mice preferred the burgundy snail Helix pomatia L. Mice avoided pink mid-banded C. nemoralis and preferred brown mid-banded morphs, which were neglected by birds. In contrast to mice, birds chose larger individuals. Significant differences in their predatory pressure can influence the evolution and maintenance of shell size and polymorphism of shell colouration in snails.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Dose-dependent effects of dietary Pb and Zn on feeding and growth rates of the landsnail Helix engaddensis.

    PubMed

    Swaileh, K M; Ezzughayyar, A

    2001-09-01

    Dose-dependent effects of dietary lead and zinc on feeding and growth rates of adult Helix engaddensis snails were studied over a 1-month period followed by a 2-week recovery period. Snails were fed on an artificial diet containing the following lead or zinc concentrations= 0, 20, 100, 500, 2500, and 12,500 microg/g dry food. At the end of the 6 weeks, mortality rate among snails fed on Pb-contaminated diet was 18.3% (11/60) and the respective value for Zn-contaminated diet was 50% (30/60). Both metals significantly reduced growth and feeding rates. Snails were found to be sensitive to zinc but tolerant to lead. During the recovery period, snails fed on Zn-contaminated diet failed completely to feed or grow normally, whereas snails fed on Pb-contaminated diet showed signs of slow improvement in terms of feeding and growth rates. The NOEC and LOEC for lead were 100 and 500 microg/g (-1), respectively, while the respective concentrations for zinc were 20 and 100 microg/g (-1).

  20. 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

  1. 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

    2006-03-01

    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.

  2. Analysis of snail genes in the crustacean Parhyale hawaiensis: insight into snail gene family evolution.

    PubMed

    Hannibal, Roberta L; Price, Alivia L; Parchem, Ronald J; Patel, Nipam H

    2012-05-01

    The transcriptional repressor snail was first discovered in Drosophila melanogaster, where it initially plays a role in gastrulation and mesoderm formation, and later plays a role in neurogenesis. Among arthropods, this role of snail appears to be conserved in the insects Tribolium and Anopheles gambiae, but not in the chelicerates Cupiennius salei and Achaearanea tepidariorum, the myriapod Glomeris marginata, or the Branchiopod crustacean Daphnia magna. These data imply that within arthropoda, snail acquired its role in gastrulation and mesoderm formation in the insect lineage. However, crustaceans are a diverse group with several major taxa, making analysis of more crustaceans necessary to potentially understand the ancestral role of snail in Pancrustacea (crustaceans + insects) and thus in the ancestor of insects as well. To address these questions, we examined the snail family in the Malacostracan crustacean Parhyale hawaiensis. We found three snail homologs, Ph-snail1, Ph-snail2 and Ph-snail3, and one scratch homolog, Ph-scratch. Parhyale snail genes are expressed after gastrulation, during germband formation and elongation. Ph-snail1, Ph-snail2, and Ph-snail3 are expressed in distinct patterns in the neuroectoderm. Ph-snail1 is the only Parhyale snail gene expressed in the mesoderm, where its expression cycles in the mesodermal stem cells, called mesoteloblasts. The mesoteloblasts go through a series of cycles, where each cycle is composed of a migration phase and a division phase. Ph-snail1 is expressed during the migration phase, but not during the division phase. We found that as each mesoteloblast division produces one segment's worth of mesoderm, Ph-snail1 expression is linked to both the cell cycle and the segmental production of mesoderm.

  3. Helix unfolding in unsolvated peptides.

    PubMed

    Kinnear, B S; Hartings, M R; Jarrold, M F

    2001-06-20

    The conformations of unsolvated Ac-K(AGG)(5)+H(+) and Ac-(AGG)(5)K+H(+) peptides (Ac = acetyl, A = alanine, G = glycine, and K = lysine) have been examined by ion mobility measurements over a wide temperature range (150-410 K). The Ac-K(AGG)(5)+H(+) peptide remains a globule (a compact, roughly spherical structure) over the entire temperature range, while both an alpha-helix and a globule are found for Ac-(AGG)(5)K+H(+) at low temperature. As the temperature is raised the alpha-helix unfolds. Rate constants for loss of the helix (on a millisecond time scale) have been determined as a function of temperature and yield an Arrhenius activation energy and preexponential factor of 38.2 +/- 1.0 kJ mol(-1) and 6.5 +/- 3.7 x 10(9) s(-1), respectively. The alpha-helix apparently does not unfold directly into the globule, but first converts into a long-lived intermediate which survives to a significantly higher temperature before converting. According to molecular dynamics simulations, there is a partially untwisted helical conformation that has both a low energy and a well-defined geometry. This special structure lies between the helix and globule and may be the long-lived intermediate. PMID:11403597

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. [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.

  7. A novel basic helix-loop-helix protein is expressed in muscle attachment sites of the Drosophila epidermis.

    PubMed Central

    Armand, P; Knapp, A C; Hirsch, A J; Wieschaus, E F; Cole, M D

    1994-01-01

    We have found that a novel basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) protein is expressed almost exclusively in the epidermal attachments sites for the somatic muscles of Drosophila melanogaster. A Drosophila cDNA library was screened with radioactively labeled E12 protein, which can dimerize with many HLH proteins. One clone that emerged from this screen encoded a previously unknown protein of 360 amino acids, named delilah, that contains both basic and HLH domains, similar to a group of cellular transcription factors implicated in cell type determination. Delilah protein formed heterodimers with E12 that bind to the muscle creatine kinase promoter. In situ hybridization with the delilah cDNA localized the expression of the gene to a subset of cells in the epidermis which form a distinct pattern involving both the segmental boundaries and intrasegmental clusters. This pattern was coincident with the known sites of attachment of the somatic muscles to tendon cells in the epidermis. delilah expression persists in snail mutant embryos which lack mesoderm, indicating that expression of the gene was not induced by attachment of the underlying muscles. The similarity of this gene to other bHLH genes suggests that it plays an important role in the differentiation of epidermal cells into muscle attachment sites. Images PMID:8196652

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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…

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Bacterial flora of the schistosome vector snail Biomphalaria glabrata.

    PubMed

    Ducklow, H W; Boyle, P J; Maugel, P W; Strong, C; Mitchell, R

    1979-10-01

    The aerobic heterotrophic bacterial flora in over 200 individuals from 10 wild populations and 3 laboratory colonies of the schistosome vector snail Biomphalaria glabrata was examined. Internal bacterial densities were inversely proportional to snail size and were higher in stressed and laboratory-reared snails. The numerically predominant bacterial genera in individual snails included Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, Aeromonas, Vibrio, and several members of the Enterobacteriaceae. Enterobacteriaceae seldom predominated in laboratory colonies. Our data suggest that Vibrio extorquens and a Pasteurella sp. tend to predominate in high-bacterial-density snails. These snails may be compromised and may harbor opportunistic snail pathogens. PMID:539821

  17. Mathematical simulation of an aquatic snail population.

    PubMed

    Jobin, W R; Michelson, E H

    1967-01-01

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

  18. Nitric oxide is necessary for labilization of a consolidated context memory during reconsolidation in terrestrial snails.

    PubMed

    Balaban, Pavel M; Roshchin, Matvey; Timoshenko, Alia K; Gainutdinov, Khalil L; Bogodvid, Tatiana K; Muranova, Lyudmila N; Zuzina, Alena B; Korshunova, Tatiana A

    2014-09-01

    Nitric oxide (NO) is known to be involved in associative memory formation. We investigated the influence of blocking NO function on the reconsolidation of context memory in terrestrial snails (Helix lucorum L.). After a 10 day session of electric shocks in one context only, context memory in snails was observed in test sessions as the significant difference of amplitudes of withdrawal responses to tactile stimuli in two different contexts. After a 1 day rest, a session of 'reminding' was performed, preceded by injection in different groups of the snails with either vehicle or combination of the protein synthesis blocker anisomycin (ANI) with one of the following drugs: the NO scavenger carboxy-PTIO, the NO-synthase inhibitors N-omega-nitro-L-arginin, nitroindazole and NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester hydrochloride, or the NO donor S-nitroso-N-acetyl-DL-penicillamine. Testing the context memory at different time intervals after the reminder under ANI injection showed that the context memory was impaired at 24 h and later, whereas the reminder under combined injection of ANI and each of the NO-synthase inhibitors used or the NO scavenger showed no impairment of long-term context memory. Injection of the NO donor S-nitroso-N-acetyl-DL-penicillamine with or without reminder had no effect on context memory. The results obtained demonstrated that NO is necessary for labilization of a consolidated context memory.

  19. 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.

  20. Freshwater snail consumption and angiostrongyliasis in Malaya.

    PubMed

    Liat, L B; Fong, Y L; Krishnansamy, M; Ramachandran, P; Mansor, S

    1978-06-01

    A survey of the freshwater snails, Pila scutata and Bellamyia ingallsiana, as food consumed by the local population was carried out in Peninsular Malaysia. Of these two species the first is preferred; the sizes favoured are between 25--40 mm. Pila snails were found to be consumed by the three communities, viz. Malay, Chinese and Indian, in different ways. The various methods of preparing the snails for consumption are described. P. scutata is an intermediate host of the rat-lung worm, Angiostrongylus malaysiensis. As this worm presumably is the causative agent of human eosinophilic meningoencephalitis, the eating habits of the three races in consuming the snail in relation to the epidemiology of the disease was also discussed. PMID:726037

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Lightweight S-band helix antenna

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cribb, H. E.

    1970-01-01

    Pyrotechnically operated S-band helical antenna is developed in which helix is deployed subsequent to antenna placement. Antenna is small, lightweight, and novel in that deployable helix is used in place of fixed dish or horn. It can be designed to cover L- and X-band frequencies.

  4. Multiwalled ice helixes and ice nanotubes

    PubMed Central

    Bai, Jaeil; Wang, Jun; Zeng, X. C.

    2006-01-01

    We report six phases of high-density nano-ice predicted to form within carbon nanotubes (CNTs) at high pressure. High-density nano-ice self-assembled within smaller-diameter CNT (17,0) exhibits a double-walled helical structure where the outer wall consists of four double-stranded helixes, which resemble a DNA double helix, and the inner wall is a quadruple-stranded helix. Four other double-walled nano-ices, self-assembled respectively in two larger-diameter CNTs (20,0 and 22,0), display tubular structure. Within CNT (24,0), the confined water can freeze spontaneously into a triple-walled helical nano-ice where the outer wall is an 18-stranded helix and the middle and inner walls are hextuple-stranded helixes. PMID:17170136

  5. [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. PMID:23593849

  6. Helix-packing motifs in membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Walters, R F S; DeGrado, W F

    2006-09-12

    The fold of a helical membrane protein is largely determined by interactions between membrane-imbedded helices. To elucidate recurring helix-helix interaction motifs, we dissected the crystallographic structures of membrane proteins into a library of interacting helical pairs. The pairs were clustered according to their three-dimensional similarity (rmsd helix-helix packing. Thus, the universe of common transmembrane helix-pairing motifs is relatively simple. The largest cluster, which comprises 29% of the library members, consists of an antiparallel motif with left-handed packing angles, and it is frequently stabilized by packing of small side chains occurring every seven residues in the sequence. Right-handed parallel and antiparallel structures show a similar tendency to segregate small residues to the helix-helix interface but spaced at four-residue intervals. Position-specific sequence propensities were derived for the most populated motifs. These structural and sequential motifs should be quite useful for the design and structural prediction of membrane proteins.

  7. Histopathological effects of copper on selected epithelial tissues of snails

    SciTech Connect

    Wolmarans, C.T.; van Aardt, W.J.; Coetzee, J.

    1986-06-01

    The exposure of freshwater snails to copper sulfate has several harmful effects on the snails. These effects include several physiological disturbances as well as certain behavioral and histological changes. On the strength of these findings it was decided to investigate, by means of transmission electron microscopy, whether histological changes occur in the surface epithelium of the snail Bulinus tropicus after exposure to copper sulfate.

  8. Transmembrane helix: simple or complex.

    PubMed

    Wong, Wing-Cheong; Maurer-Stroh, Sebastian; Schneider, Georg; Eisenhaber, Frank

    2012-07-01

    Transmembrane helical segments (TMs) can be classified into two groups of so-called 'simple' and 'complex' TMs. Whereas the first group represents mere hydrophobic anchors with an overrepresentation of aliphatic hydrophobic residues that are likely attributed to convergent evolution in many cases, the complex ones embody ancestral information and tend to have structural and functional roles beyond just membrane immersion. Hence, the sequence homology concept is not applicable on simple TMs. In practice, these simple TMs can attract statistically significant but evolutionarily unrelated hits during similarity searches (whether through BLAST- or HMM-based approaches). This is especially problematic for membrane proteins that contain both globular segments and TMs. As such, we have developed the transmembrane helix: simple or complex (TMSOC) webserver for the identification of simple and complex TMs. By masking simple TM segments in seed sequences prior to sequence similarity searches, the false-discovery rate decreases without sacrificing sensitivity. Therefore, TMSOC is a novel and necessary sequence analytic tool for both the experimentalists and the computational biology community working on membrane proteins. It is freely accessible at http://tmsoc.bii.a-star.edu.sg or available for download.

  9. Web-spinning caterpillar stalks snails.

    PubMed

    Rubinoff, Daniel; Haines, William P

    2005-07-22

    Moths and butterflies compose one of the most diverse insect orders, but they are overwhelmingly herbivorous. Less than 0.2% are specialized predators, indicating that lepidopteran feeding habits are highly constrained. We report a Hawaiian caterpillar that specializes on snails, a unique food source requiring an unusual feeding strategy. The caterpillar uses silk to restrain live prey. All caterpillars have silk glands, but none are known to use silk in this spiderlike fashion. Considering the canalization of caterpillar diets, evolution to attack and feed on snails is an anomaly. Hawaii s isolation and consequently disharmonic biota likely promote evolutionary experiments that occur nowhere else.

  10. Id-1 is induced in MDCK epithelial cells by activated Erk/MAPK pathway in response to expression of the Snail and E47 transcription factors

    SciTech Connect

    Jorda, Mireia; Vinyals, Antonia; Marazuela, Anna; Cubillo, Eva; Olmeda, David; Valero, Eva; Cano, Amparo; Fabra, Angels . E-mail: afabra@idibell.org

    2007-07-01

    Id-1, a member of the helix-loop-helix transcription factor family has been shown to be involved in cell proliferation, angiogenesis and invasion of many types of human cancers. We have previously shown that stable expression of E47 and Snail repressors of the E-cadherin promoter in MDCK epithelial cell line triggers epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) concomitantly with changes in gene expression. We show here that both factors activate the Id-1 gene promoter and induce Id-1 mRNA and protein. The upregulation of the Id-1 gene occurs through the transactivation of the promoter by the Erk/MAPK signaling pathway. Moreover, oncogenic Ras is also able to activate Id-1 promoter in MDCK cells in the absence of both E47 and Snail transcription factors. Several transcriptionally active regulatory elements have been identified in the proximal promoter, including AP-1, Sp1 and four putative E-boxes. By EMSA, we only detected an increased binding to Sp1 and AP-1 elements in E47- and Snail-expressing cells. Binding is affected by the treatment of cells with PD 98059 MEK inhibitor, suggesting that MAPK/Erk contributes to the recruitment or assembly of proteins to Id-1 promoter. Small interfering RNA directed against Sp1 reduced Id-1 expression and the upregulation of the promoter, indicating that Sp1 is required for Id-1 induction in E47- and Snail-expressing cells. Our results provide new insights into how some target genes are activated during and/or as a consequence of the EMT triggered by both E47 and Snail transcription factors.

  11. Helix promotion in polypeptides by polyols.

    PubMed

    Bello, J

    1993-03-01

    The helix content of [L-Lys(Me3)]n.ClO4 and [L-Lys(Me3)50,L-Ala50]n.ClO4 in water is markedly increased by the presence of sucrose and glycerol. For [L-Lys(Me3)]n.ClO4 the ellipticity at 222 nm changes from +2 x 10(3) deg cm2 dmole-1 in water to -44 x 10(3) in 50% glycerol. Sucrose does not promote helix formation in melittin at pH 7.2, but glycerol does. At pH 5.5 sucrose and, more so, glycerol, induce helix in melittin. Glycerol induces some helix in methylated melittin, but less than in melittin. The results are discussed in relation to excluded volume effects, delta G of transfer of peptide and hydrophobic groups from water to mixed solvents, electrostatic effects, and preferential hydration.

  12. A Helix Replacement Mechanism Directs Metavinculin Functions

    SciTech Connect

    Rangarajan, Erumbi S.; Lee, Jun Hyuck; Yogesha, S.D.; Izard, Tina

    2010-10-11

    Cells require distinct adhesion complexes to form contacts with their neighbors or the extracellular matrix, and vinculin links these complexes to the actin cytoskeleton. Metavinculin, an isoform of vinculin that harbors a unique 68-residue insert in its tail domain, has distinct actin bundling and oligomerization properties and plays essential roles in muscle development and homeostasis. Moreover, patients with sporadic or familial mutations in the metavinculin-specific insert invariably develop fatal cardiomyopathies. Here we report the high resolution crystal structure of the metavinculin tail domain, as well as the crystal structures of full-length human native metavinculin (1,134 residues) and of the full-length cardiomyopathy-associated {Delta}Leu954 metavinculin deletion mutant. These structures reveal that an {alpha}-helix (H1{prime}) and extended coil of the metavinculin insert replace {alpha}-helix H1 and its preceding extended coil found in the N-terminal region of the vinculin tail domain to form a new five-helix bundle tail domain. Further, biochemical analyses demonstrate that this helix replacement directs the distinct actin bundling and oligomerization properties of metavinculin. Finally, the cardiomyopathy associated {Delta}Leu954 and Arg975Trp metavinculin mutants reside on the replaced extended coil and the H1{prime} {alpha}-helix, respectively. Thus, a helix replacement mechanism directs metavinculin's unique functions.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Larval stages of Brachylaima fuscatum in the terrestrial snail Limicolaria aurora from southern Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Awharitoma, A O; Okaka, C E; Obaze, S E

    2003-03-01

    Of 150 specimens of the gastropod snail Limicolaria aurora examined from the Edo and Delta states of Nigeria, 63.4% were infected with larval digeneans comprising mother sporocysts (12.1%) daughter sporocysts (20.4%) cercariae (43.1%) and metacercariae (24.5%). Attempts to experimentally infect three 14-day-old chicks (Gallus domesticus) and two laboratory-bred 4-month-old mice (Mus musculus) by oral feeding and peritoneal injection with cercariae were negative, although experimental infections of chicks via a cloacal drop yielded 62 immature and 37 mature worms from the intestinal caeca and ileum. The worms were identified as Brachylaima fuscatum (Trematoda: Brachylaimidae). The study also revealed that L. aurora acts as an intermediate host for B. fuscatum, in addition to Eulota sp., Helix sp., Helicella sp., Oxychilus sp. and Agrolimax sp. PMID:12590656

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    Statocyst epithelial lining of terrestrial pulmonary snail Helix lucorum is a spatially arranged structure consisting of 13 cell ensembles. Each ensemble has a sensory cell surrounded by companion cells. The sensory cell on the anterior statocyst pole is star-shaped due to multiple protoplasmatic protrusions on its body. The remaining 12 polygon-shaped cells form 3 tires along the statocyst internal perimeter: anterior, middle or equatorial and posterior. There are 4 cells in each tire. Topography of every sensory cell on the statocyst internal surface was described as well as cell nuclei size and form, nucleoli number and patterns of cytoplasm vacuolization. Space free of sensory cells is occupied by supporting or intercalary cells. Exposure to space microgravity over 40, 43, 102 and 135 days aboard the orbital station MIR affected morphology of the sensory cells. Specifically, this appeared as reductions in cell height and, consequently, extension of the statocyst cavity internal diameter and volume in the space-flown snails. PMID:24490279

  18. Nonlinear analysis of helix traveling wave tubes

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-10-01

    A time-dependent nonlinear formulation of the interaction in the helix traveling wave tube is presented for a configuration in which an electron beam propagates through a sheath helix surrounded by a conducting wall. In order to describe both the variation in the wave dispersion and in the transverse inhomogeneity of the electromagnetic field with wave number, the field is represented as a superposition of waves in a vacuum sheath helix. An overall explicit sinusoidal variation of the form exp({ital ikz}{minus}{ital i}{omega}{ital t}) is assumed (where {omega} denotes the angular frequency corresponding to the wave number {ital k} in the vacuum sheath helix), and the polarization and radial variation of each wave is determined by the boundary conditions in a vacuum sheath helix. Thus, while the field is three-dimensional in nature, it is azimuthally symmetric. The propagation of each wave {ital in} {ital vacuo} as well as the interaction of each wave with the electron beam is included by allowing the amplitudes of the waves to vary in {ital z} and {ital t}. A dynamical equation for the field amplitudes is derived analogously to Poynting`s equation, and solved in conjunction with the three-dimensional Lorentz force equations for an ensemble of electrons. Numerical examples are presented corresponding to both single- and multiwave interactions. {copyright} {ital 1995} {ital American} {ital Institute} {ital of} {ital Physics}.

  19. Recognition of galactose-deficient O-glycans in the hinge region of IgA1 by N-acetylgalactosamine-specific snail lectins: a comparative binding study.

    PubMed

    Gomes, Michelle M; Suzuki, Hitoshi; Brooks, Monica T; Tomana, Milan; Moldoveanu, Zina; Mestecky, Jiri; Julian, Bruce A; Novak, Jan; Herr, Andrew B

    2010-07-13

    Aberrancies in IgA1 glycosylation have been linked to the pathogenesis of IgA nephropathy (IgAN), a kidney disease characterized by deposits of IgA1-containing immune complexes in the glomerular mesangium. IgA1 from IgAN patients is characterized by the presence of galactose (Gal)-deficient O-glycans in the hinge region that can act as epitopes for anti-glycan IgG or IgA1 antibodies. The resulting circulating immune complexes are trapped in the glomerular mesangium of the kidney where they trigger localized inflammatory responses by activating mesangial cells. Certain lectins recognize the terminal N-acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc)-containing O-glycans on Gal-deficient IgA1 and can be potentially used as diagnostic tools. To improve our understanding of GalNAc recognition by these lectins, we have conducted binding studies to assess the interaction of Helix aspersa agglutinin (HAA) and Helix pomatia agglutinin (HPA) with Gal-deficient IgA1. Surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy revealed that both HAA and HPA bind to a Gal-deficient synthetic hinge region glycopeptide (HR-GalNAc) as well as various aberrantly glycosylated IgA1 myeloma proteins. Despite having six binding sites, both HAA and HPA bind IgA1 in a functionally bivalent manner, with the apparent affinity for IgA1 related to the number of exposed GalNAc groups in the IgA1 hinge. Finally, HAA and HPA were shown to discriminate very effectively between the IgA1 secreted by cell lines derived from peripheral blood cells of patients with IgAN and that from cells of healthy controls. These studies provide insight into lectin recognition of the Gal-deficient IgA1 hinge region and lay the groundwork for the development of reliable diagnostic tools for IgAN.

  20. 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.

  1. Relativistic helix traveling wave tube amplifiers

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-07-01

    A relativistic field theory of a helix traveling wave tube (TWT) is described for the case in which a thin annular beam propagates through a sheath helix enclosed within a loss-free wall. The theory is applied to the study of a TWT with an intense relativistic electron beam. The analysis implicitly includes beam space-charge effects and is valid for arbitrary azimuthal mode number, and the coupled-wave Pierce theory is recovered in the [ital near]-[ital resonant] limit. The results indicate that impressive gains and efficiencies are possible in this regime. In addition, the interaction is relatively insensitive to the effects of a beam energy spread.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Nonlinear analysis of helix traveling wave tubes

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-12-31

    A nonlinear formulation of the interaction in a helix traveling wave tube (TWT) is presented. The formulation is intended to treat a wide class of helix TWTs including both emission-gated and multi-tone operation. The essential feature of each of these configurations is that multiple waves must be included in the formulation. As a result, a fully time-dependent analysis is required. The numerical procedure for this in a helix TWT is complicated by the fact that the radial profile of the field varies with frequency. This contrasts, for example, with the case of a smooth bore waveguide in which the radial profile for each TE{sub ln} or TM{sub ln} mode is invariant in frequency. Because of this, a complete self-consistent particle-in-cell (PIC) formulation must be three-dimensional. In order to circumvent the computational expense of a 3D PIC formulation, the authors adopt an approach in which the electromagnetic field is represented as a superposition of azimuthally symmetric modes in a vacuum sheath helix. The specific electron distributions are chosen to model either a continuous beam for the multi-tone TWT and a pulsed beam for the emission-gated TWT. Numerical results of the simulation for examples of interest to an emission-gated TWT experiment at NRL will be presented.

  6. A Triple Helix-Loop-Helix/Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Cascade Controls Cell Elongation Downstream of Multiple Hormonal and Environmental Signaling Pathways in Arabidopsis[C][W

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:23221598

  7. The convoluted evolution of snail chirality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schilthuizen, M.; Davison, A.

    2005-11-01

    The direction that a snail (Mollusca: Gastropoda) coils, whether dextral (right-handed) or sinistral (left-handed), originates in early development but is most easily observed in the shell form of the adult. Here, we review recent progress in understanding snail chirality from genetic, developmental and ecological perspectives. In the few species that have been characterized, chirality is determined by a single genetic locus with delayed inheritance, which means that the genotype is expressed in the mother's offspring. Although research lags behind the studies of asymmetry in the mouse and nematode, attempts to isolate the loci involved in snail chirality have begun, with the final aim of understanding how the axis of left-right asymmetry is established. In nature, most snail taxa (>90%) are dextral, but sinistrality is known from mutant individuals, populations within dextral species, entirely sinistral species, genera and even families. Ordinarily, it is expected that strong frequency-dependent selection should act against the establishment of new chiral types because the chiral minority have difficulty finding a suitable mating partner (their genitalia are on the ‘wrong’ side). Mixed populations should therefore not persist. Intriguingly, however, a very few land snail species, notably the subgenus Amphidromus sensu stricto, not only appear to mate randomly between different chiral types, but also have a stable, within-population chiral dimorphism, which suggests the involvement of a balancing factor. At the other end of the spectrum, in many species, different chiral types are unable to mate and so could be reproductively isolated from one another. However, while empirical data, models and simulations have indicated that chiral reversal must sometimes occur, it is rarely likely to lead to so-called ‘single-gene’ speciation. Nevertheless, chiral reversal could still be a contributing factor to speciation (or to divergence after speciation) when

  8. Thermodynamics of helix-coil transitions studied by multicanonical algorithms

    SciTech Connect

    Okamoto, Yuko; Hansmann, U.H.E.

    1995-07-13

    Thermodynamics of helix-coil transitions in amino acid homo-oligomers are studied by the recently proposed multicanonical algorithms. Homo-oligomers of length 10 are considered for three characteristic amino acids, alanine (helix former), valine (helix indifferent), and glycine (helix breaker). For alanine other lengths (15 and 20) are also considered in order to examine the length dependence. From one multicanonical production run with completely random initial conformations, we have obtained the lowest-energy conformations and various thermodynamic quantities (average helicity, Zimm-Bragg s and {sigma} parameters, free energy differences between helix and coil states, etc.) as functions of temperature. The results confirm the fact that alanine is helix-forming, valine is helix-indifferent, and glycine is helix-breaking. 36 refs., 10 figs., 5 tabs.

  9. An Id-related helix-loop-helix protein encoded by a growth factor-inducible gene.

    PubMed Central

    Christy, B A; Sanders, L K; Lau, L F; Copeland, N G; Jenkins, N A; Nathans, D

    1991-01-01

    An mRNA encoding a helix-loop-helix protein that we have named HLH462 is induced in mouse 3T3 cells as part of the immediate early transcriptional response to growth factors and other signaling agents. The RNA is present in a number of mouse tissues and in the developing mouse fetus. The HLH462 gene has been mapped by interspecific backcross analysis to the distal region of mouse chromosome 4. In its helix-loop-helix region HLH462 is closely related to the Id protein and the Drosophila emc protein. Like Id, HLH462 lacks a basic region required for DNA binding, and it inhibits the DNA-binding activities of other helix-loop-helix proteins. On the basis of its structural and functional similarity to Id, we suggest that HLH462 may inhibit the activities of helix-loop-helix transcription factors during the cellular growth response and during development. Images PMID:2000388

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Road facilitation of trematode infections in snails of northern Alaska.

    PubMed

    Urban, Mark C

    2006-08-01

    Road disturbances can influence wildlife health by spreading disease agents and hosts or by generating environmental conditions that sustain these agent and host populations. I evaluated field patterns of trematode infections in snails inhabiting ponds at varying distances from the Dalton Highway, a wilderness road that intersects northern Alaska. I also assessed the relationships between trematode infections and snail densities and six environmental variables: calcium concentration, aquatic vegetative cover canopy cover temperature, pond size, and community structure. Presence of trematode infections and snail density were negatively correlated with distance from the highway. Of the pond characteristics measured, only calcium concentration and vegetation density declined with distance from road. However neither variable was positively associated with snail density or trematode presence. One potential explanation for observed patterns is that vehicles, road maintenance, or vertebrate vectors attracted to the highway facilitate colonization of snails or trematodes. Emerging disease threats to biological diversity in northern ecosystems highlight the importance of understanding how roads affect disease transmission.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. The double helix and the 'wronged heroine'.

    PubMed

    Maddox, Brenda

    2003-01-23

    In 1962, James Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins received the Nobel prize for the discovery of the structure of DNA. Notably absent from the podium was Rosalind Franklin, whose X-ray photographs of DNA contributed directly to the discovery of the double helix. Franklin's premature death, combined with misogynist treatment by the male scientific establishment, cast her as a feminist icon. This myth overshadowed her intellectual strength and independence both as a scientist and as an individual. PMID:12540909

  18. The double helix and the 'wronged heroine'.

    PubMed

    Maddox, Brenda

    2003-01-23

    In 1962, James Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins received the Nobel prize for the discovery of the structure of DNA. Notably absent from the podium was Rosalind Franklin, whose X-ray photographs of DNA contributed directly to the discovery of the double helix. Franklin's premature death, combined with misogynist treatment by the male scientific establishment, cast her as a feminist icon. This myth overshadowed her intellectual strength and independence both as a scientist and as an individual.

  19. How parasitism, stream substrate, and movement patterns mediate response to disturbance in the snail Elimia flava

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tomba, A. M.; Feminella, J. W.

    2005-05-01

    Snails in the genus Elimia are abundant in southeastern USA streams, and also serve as intermediate hosts to parasitic trematodes. Previous work indicated that high-flows decrease snail abundance and trematode prevalence, and others have shown substrate type and snail size affect likelihood of snail dislodgement. To investigate how parasitism, size, substrate, and snail behavior influenced dislodgement, we placed Elimia flava in artificial streams containing tile or gravel substrates, and then exposed them to progressively increasing flow velocities ( ~10, 40, 90 cm/s) for 5 minutes each. We recorded snail behavior and time to dislodgement, and then preserved snails to quantify their size and parasite load. Snails on tile dislodged significantly faster than snails on gravel, and snails with high parasite loads also dislodged faster than snails without parasites. Parasitism also appeared to affect movement patterns: snails showing predominantly downstream movement had higher parasite loads than those that did not. Behavior also affected dislodgement probability, as snails moving upstream or to the waterline remained on the substrate longer than snails not showing those behaviors. Parasitism, substrate composition, and snail movement are useful predictors of the likelihood of dislodgement, and parasitism and substrate may both increase snail vulnerability to flow disturbance.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. What can be learnt from a snail?

    PubMed

    Johannesson, Kerstin

    2016-01-01

    The marine snail Littorina saxatilis is a common inhabitant of intertidal shores of the north Atlantic. It is amazingly polymorphic and forms reproductively isolated ecotypes in microhabitats where crabs are either present and wave action is less furious, or where waves are strong and crabs are absent. Decades of research have unveiled much of the ecological and demographic context of the formation of crab- and wave-ecotype snails showing important phenotypic differences being inherited, differential selection being strong over adjacent microhabitats, local dispersal being restricted, and long-distance transports of individuals being rare. In addition, strong assortative mating of ecotypes has been shown to include a component of male mate preference based on female size. Several studies support ecotypes being diverged locally and under gene flow in a parallel and highly replicated fashion. The high level of replication at various levels of independence (from local to pan-European scale) provides excellent opportunities to investigate the detailed mechanisms of microevolution, including the formation of barriers to gene flow. Current investigations benefit from a draft reference genome and an integration of genomic approaches, modelling and experiments to unveil molecular and ecological components of speciation and their interactions. PMID:27087845

  3. Spatial mosaic evolution of snail defensive traits

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Steven G; Hulsey, C Darrin; de León, Francisco J García

    2007-01-01

    Background Recent models suggest that escalating reciprocal selection among antagonistically interacting species is predicted to occur in areas of higher resource productivity. In a putatively coevolved interaction between a freshwater snail (Mexipyrgus churinceanus) and a molluscivorous cichlid (Herichthys minckleyi), we examined three components of this interaction: 1) spatial variation in two putative defensive traits, crushing resistance and shell pigmentation; 2) whether abiotic variables or frequency of molariform cichlids are associated with spatial patterns of crushing resistance and shell pigmentation and 3) whether variation in primary productivity accounted for small-scale variation in these defensive traits. Results Using spatial autocorrelation to account for genetic and geographic divergence among populations, we found no autocorrelation among populations at small geographic and genetic distances for the two defensive traits. There was also no correlation between abiotic variables (temperature and conductivity) and snail defensive traits. However, crushing resistance and frequency of pigmented shells were negatively correlated with molariform frequency. Crushing resistance and levels of pigmentation were significantly higher in habitats dominated by aquatic macrophytes, and both traits are phenotypically correlated. Conclusion Crushing resistance and pigmentation of M. churinceanus exhibit striking variation at small spatial scales often associated with differences in primary productivity, substrate coloration and the frequency of molariform cichlids. These local geographic differences may result from among-habitat variation in how resource productivity interacts to promote escalation in prey defenses. PMID:17397540

  4. 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.

  5. Digenetic larvae in Schistosome snails from El Fayoum, Egypt with detection of Schistosoma mansoni in the snail by PCR.

    PubMed

    Aboelhadid, Shawky M; Thabet, Marwa; El-Basel, Dayhoum; Taha, Ragaa

    2016-09-01

    The present study aims to detect the digenetic larvae infections in Bulinus truncatus and Biomphalaria alexandrina snails and also PCR detection of Schistosoma mansoni infection. The snails were collected from different branches of Yousef canal and their derivatives in El Fayoum Governorate. The snails were investigated for infection through induction of cercarial shedding by exposure to light and crushing of the snails. The shed cercariae were S. mansoni, Pharyngeate longifurcate type I and Pharyngeate longifurcate type II from B. alexandrina, while that found in B. truncatus were Schitosoma haematobium and Xiphidiocercaria species cercariae. The seasonal prevalence of infection was discussed. Polymerase chain reaction was used for the detection of S. mansoni in the DNA from field collected infected and non infected snails. The results of PCR showed that the pool of B. alexandrina snails which shed S. mansoni cercariae in the laboratory, gave positive reaction in the samples. Pooled samples of field collected B. alexandrina that showed negative microscopic shedding of cercariae gave negative and positive PCR in a consecutive manner. Accordingly, a latent infection in the snail (negative microscopic) could be detected by using PCR. PMID:27605774

  6. Assessment of the potential of competitor snails and African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) as biocontrol agents against snail hosts transmitting schistosomiasis.

    PubMed

    Gashaw, Fikru; Erko, Berhanu; Teklehaymanot, Tilahun; Habtesellasie, Redeat

    2008-08-01

    The objective of this study was to assess the potential of the snails Physa acuta and Melanoides tuberculata and the African catfish Clarias gariepinus as biological control agents against the Schistosoma mansoni intermediate host Biomphalaria pfeifferi under laboratory conditions. Groups of five target and five competitor snails were raised together in experimental aquaria and same number in separate aquaria as controls. Shell size, number of eggs and mortality rate were recorded for twelve consecutive weeks. The stocking density for C. gariepinus was one fish per aquarium. Fish were provided with adequate or inadequate supplementary food and fifteen B. pfeifferi were added to each aquarium. The snails and their eggs were counted daily. Significant differences in shell growth and fecundity were noted between B. pfeifferi and M. tuberculata. Physa acuta was noted to be voracious in food consumption. Snail consumption was faster by fish provided with inadequate supplementary food. Based on the present findings, it is suggested that the two competitor snails and African catfish could be used as biological control agents against B. pfeifferi. Nevertheless, the susceptibility of the competitor snails to other trematodes in Ethiopia must first be ruled out before introducing these snails into new habitats. Follow-up field observation and rigorous laboratory studies remain areas for further research.

  7. A Classification of Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors of Soybean

    PubMed Central

    Hudson, Karen A.; Hudson, Matthew E.

    2015-01-01

    The complete genome sequence of soybean allows an unprecedented opportunity for the discovery of the genes controlling important traits. In particular, the potential functions of regulatory genes are a priority for analysis. The basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) family of transcription factors is known to be involved in controlling a wide range of systems critical for crop adaptation and quality, including photosynthesis, light signalling, pigment biosynthesis, and seed pod development. Using a hidden Markov model search algorithm, 319 genes with basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor domains were identified within the soybean genome sequence. These were classified with respect to their predicted DNA binding potential, intron/exon structure, and the phylogeny of the bHLH domain. Evidence is presented that the vast majority (281) of these 319 soybean bHLH genes are expressed at the mRNA level. Of these soybean bHLH genes, 67% were found to exist in two or more homeologous copies. This dataset provides a framework for future studies on bHLH gene function in soybean. The challenge for future research remains to define functions for the bHLH factors encoded in the soybean genome, which may allow greater flexibility for genetic selection of growth and environmental adaptation in this widely grown crop. PMID:25763382

  8. Site-specific unfolding thermodynamics of a helix-turn-helix protein.

    PubMed

    Amunson, Krista E; Ackels, Loren; Kubelka, Jan

    2008-07-01

    The thermal unfolding of a 40-residue helix-turn-helix subdomain of the P22 viral coat protein was investigated using circular dichroism (CD) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) with site-specific 13C isotopic labeling. Helix-turn-helix is the simplest alpha-helical structural motif that combines both secondary and tertiary structural elements. The CD of individual helical fragments reveals that the P22 subdomain is stabilized by tertiary interhelical interactions. Overall the temperature-dependent CD and FTIR data can be described by a three-state process with a partially folded intermediate. However, the analysis of the site-specific 13C IR signals reveals distinct unfolding thermodynamics for each of the labeled sites. The thermodynamic parameters of the thermal unfolding of each of the labeled segments were obtained using singular value decomposition in combination with target transformation and global fitting. The P22 subdomain unfolds from the N-terminus toward the helical segments near the turn. Our results show that as few as two 13C labeled residues can be detected in a 40 residue protein and provide local, site-specific structural information about protein unfolding, which is not resolved by standard, nonsite-specific spectroscopic probes.

  9. A helix-turn-helix structure unit in human centromere protein B (CENP-B).

    PubMed Central

    Iwahara, J; Kigawa, T; Kitagawa, K; Masumoto, H; Okazaki, T; Yokoyama, S

    1998-01-01

    CENP-B has been suggested to organize arrays of centromere satellite DNA into a higher order structure which then directs centromere formation and kinetochore assembly in mammalian chromosomes. The N-terminal portion of CENP-B is a 15 kDa DNA binding domain (DBD) consisting of two repeating units, RP1 and RP2. The DBD specifically binds to the CENP-B box sequence (17 bp) in centromere DNA. We determined the solution structure of human CENP-B DBD RP1 by multi-dimensional 1H, 13C and 15N NMR methods. The CENP-B DBD RP1 structure consists of four helices and has a helix-turn-helix structure. The overall folding is similar to those of some other eukaryotic DBDs, although significant sequence homology with these proteins was not found. The DBD of yeast RAP1, a telomere binding protein, is most similar to CENP-B DBD RP1. We studied the interaction between CENP-B DBD RP1 and the CENP-B box by the use of NMR chemical shift perturbation. The results suggest that CENP-B DBD RP1 interacts with one of the essential regions of the CENP-B box DNA, mainly at the N-terminal basic region, the N-terminal portion of helix 2 and helix 3. PMID:9451007

  10. Chemical mediation of egg capsule deposition by mud snails.

    PubMed

    Rittschof, Dan; Sawardecker, Prasad; Petry, Caroline

    2002-11-01

    Mud snails (Ilyanassa obsoleta = Nassarius obsoletus = Nassa obsoleta) deposit eggs in protective capsules on hard substrata in soft bottom environments. We studied sites of egg capsule deposition and snail movement responses to odors to determine if chemoreception plays a role in deposition site selection. From results of field surveys, laboratory experiments, and field experiments, we conclude that mud snails use chemoreception for capsule deposition. Attractive odors originate from mud snail and whelk egg capsules and from living bivalves. Evidence for attractive odors from conspecifics is equivocal. Capsules are deposited on living odor sources and nearby hard substrates. We hypothesize that deposition of capsules on living substrates increases the likelihood that embryos will survive by decreasing the chance of smothering of embryos by sediments. PMID:12523566

  11. Range limits and parasite prevalence in a freshwater snail.

    PubMed Central

    Briers, Robert A

    2003-01-01

    Geographical range limits are thought to be set by species' physiological or ecological adaptation to abiotic factors, but the importance of biotic factors such as parasitism in determining range limits has not been well explored. In this study the prevalence of trematode parasitism in populations of a freshwater gastropod snail, Lymnaea stagnalis, increased sharply as this species approached its western UK range limit. The likelihood of trematode infection increased with snail size, but high prevalence at the range edge was not a result of interpopulation variation in snail size. Changes in population growth rates resulting from high rates of parasitism at the range edge could contribute to range limitation. The mechanism driving high rates of parasitism at the range edge is not clear, but changes in abiotic factors towards the range limit may influence snail life history and immune response to trematode infection, indirectly altering the prevalence of parasites in marginal host populations. PMID:14667375

  12. Energy saving through trail following in a marine snail.

    PubMed

    Davies, Mark S; Blackwell, Janine

    2007-05-01

    Most snails and slugs locomote over a layer of mucus and although the resultant mucus trail is expensive to produce, we show that this expense can be reduced by trail following. When tracking over fresh conspecific trails, the marine intertidal snail Littorina littorea (L.) produced only approximately 27% of the mucus laid by marker snails. When tracking over weathered trails, snails adjusted their mucus production to recreate a convex trail profile of similar shape and thickness to the trail as originally laid. Maximum energy saving occurs when following recently laid trails which are little weathered. Many and diverse ecological roles for trail following have been proposed. Energy saving is the only role that applies across the Gastropoda and so may help to explain why trail following is such a well-established behaviour. PMID:17327203

  13. METHODS FOR EXCLUDING SLUGS AND SNAILS ON EXPORTED HORTICULTURAL COMMODITIES

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increasingly, slugs and snails (mollusks) are recognized as important quarantine pests threatening agriculture, export markets and the environment. This increased awareness results from the rapid spread of damaging species concurrent with higher levels of international trade of horticultural commodi...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. HELIX: The High Energy Light Isotope Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarle, Gregory

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

  17. 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.

  18. Orbital dynamics in the Tevatron double helix

    SciTech Connect

    Michelotti, L.; Saritepe, S.

    1989-03-01

    A key feature of the Tevatron upgrade is the placement of proton and anti-proton bunches on the branches of a double helix which winds around the current closed orbit. Electrostatic separators will transfer the bunches on and off the double helix so that they experience head-on collisions only at the experimental areas, BO and DO, all other encounters occurring at large transverse separation. In this way the number of bunches, and the luminosity, can be increased without a proportional growth in the beam-beam tune shift. The scenario raises a number of beam dynamics issues, especially the consequences of sampling magnetic fields far from the magnets' center lines, and the effects of the long-range beam-beam interaction. This report presents the results of (admittedly incomplete) calculations and simulations done to date to explore: a Fermilab team have been studying, both experimentally and theoretically, but we shall not review those efforts here. The constraint of a page limit has forced us to bound this discussion rather stringently, but a more complete paper will be available as a Fermilab Technical Memo. 7 refs., 7 figs.

  19. [Quaternion-based Characterization of Protein α Helix].

    PubMed

    Xu, Yonghong; Chu, Zefei

    2016-02-01

    This paper proposes a method based on quaternion for characterization a helix of proteins. The method defines the parameter called Quaternion Helix Axis Spherical Distance (QHASD) on the basis of mapping protein Cα frames' helical axis onto a unit sphere, and uses QHASD to characterize the a helix of the protein secondary structure. Application of this method has been verified based on the PDBselect database, with an a helix characterization accuracy of 91.7%. This method possesses significant advantages of high detection accuracy, low computation and clear geometric significance. PMID:27382757

  20. 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

  1. Long-term sensitization and environmental conditioning in terrestrial snails.

    PubMed

    Balaban, P; Bravarenko, N

    1993-01-01

    The hypothesis that a long-term increase of behavioural responses in snails (over a period of days) might be due to environmental conditioning was examined. Training consisted of delivering electric shocks non-contingently with test stimuli twice per day for 5 days to freely moving snails on a ball floating in water. After training, a significant difference in amplitude of a withdrawal reaction to tactile test stimulation appeared between shocked and control snails. Responses were significantly facilitated in shocked animals for up to 12 days after training, but only if the animals were tested in the environment used for training. Testing of the same groups of animals crawling freely on the glass lid of a tank in which they lived between experimental sessions revealed no difference in responses to the same stimuli between shocked and control snails. Injection of the neurotoxin 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine, which selectively impairs serotonergic cells, eliminated the differences between shocked and control animals. Changing the pH of the water in which the ball floated, by addition of citric acid, led to a significant selective increase of responsiveness in snails sensitized in this environment relative to the responsiveness of the same snails with normal water in the tank. The results suggest that the long-term sensitization of withdrawal reactions observed is at least in part a manifestation of an associative process, namely environmental conditioning.

  2. Antioxidant defenses and metabolic depression in a pulmonate land snail.

    PubMed

    Hermes-Lima, M; Storey, K B

    1995-06-01

    During arousal from estivation oxygen consumption by land snails (Otala lactea) increases severalfold. To determine whether snails prepared for an accompanying rise in the rates of oxyradical generation by altering their antioxidant defense mechanisms, changes in the activities of antioxidant enzymes and lipid peroxidation products were quantified in foot and hepatopancreas of control, 30-day estivating, and aroused snails. Compared with controls, estivating O. lactea showed significant increases in the activities of foot muscle superoxide dismutase (SOD) (increasing by 56-67%), catalase (51-72%), and glutathione S-transferase (79-108%), whereas, in hepatopancreas, SOD (57-78%) and glutathione peroxidase (93-144%) increased. Within 40 min after arousal began, hepatopancreas glutathione peroxidase activity had returned to control values, but SOD showed a further 70% increase in activity but then returned to control levels by 80 min. Estivation had no effect on total glutathione (GSH + 2 GSSG) concentrations in tissues, but GSSG content had increased about twofold in both organs of 30-day dormant snails. Lipid peoxidation (quantified as thiobarbituric acid reactive substances) was significantly enhanced at the onset of arousal from dormancy, indicating that oxidative stress and tissue damage occurred at this time. The data suggest that antioxidant defenses in snail organs are increased while snails are in the hypometabolic state as a preparation for oxidative stress during arousal.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-14

    For a model deca-alanine peptide the cavity (ideal hydrophobic) contribution to hydration favors the helix state over extended states and the paired helix bundle in the assembly of two helices. The energetic contributions of attractive protein-solvent interactions are separated into quasi-chemical components consisting of a short-range part arising from interactions with solvent in the first hydration shell and the remaining long-range part that is well described by a Gaussian. In the helix-coil transition, short-range attractive protein-solvent interactions outweigh hydrophobic hydration and favor the extended coil states. Analysis of enthalpic effects shows that it is the favorable hydration of the peptide backbone that favors the unfolded state. Protein intramolecular interactions favor the helix state and are decisive in favoring folding. In the pairing of two helices, the cavity contribution outweighs the short-range attractive protein-water interactions. However, long-range, protein-solvent attractive interactions can either enhance or reverse this trend depending on the mutual orientation of the helices. In helix-helix assembly, change in enthalpy arising from change in attractive protein-solvent interactions favors disassembly. In helix pairing as well, favorable protein intramolecular interactions are found to be as important as hydration effects. Overall, hydrophilic protein-solvent interactions and protein intramolecular interactions are found to play a significant role in the thermodynamics of folding and assembly in the system studied. PMID:26649757

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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. PMID:20578482

  7. The Hypoxia-controlled FBXL14 Ubiquitin Ligase Targets SNAIL1 for Proteasome Degradation*

    PubMed Central

    Viñas-Castells, Rosa; Beltran, Manuel; Valls, Gabriela; Gómez, Irene; García, José Miguel; Montserrat-Sentís, Bàrbara; Baulida, Josep; Bonilla, Félix; de Herreros, Antonio García; Díaz, Víctor M.

    2010-01-01

    The transcription factor SNAIL1 is a master regulator of epithelial to mesenchymal transition. SNAIL1 is a very unstable protein, and its levels are regulated by the E3 ubiquitin ligase β-TrCP1 that interacts with SNAIL1 upon its phosphorylation by GSK-3β. Here we show that SNAIL1 polyubiquitylation and degradation may occur in conditions precluding SNAIL1 phosphorylation by GSK-3β, suggesting that additional E3 ligases participate in the control of SNAIL1 protein stability. In particular, we demonstrate that the F-box E3 ubiquitin ligase FBXl14 interacts with SNAIL1 and promotes its ubiquitylation and proteasome degradation independently of phosphorylation by GSK-3β. In vivo, inhibition of FBXl14 using short hairpin RNA stabilizes both ectopically expressed and endogenous SNAIL1. Moreover, the expression of FBXl14 is potently down-regulated during hypoxia, a condition that increases the levels of SNAIL1 protein but not SNAIL1 mRNA. FBXL14 mRNA is decreased in tumors with a high expression of two proteins up-regulated in hypoxia, carbonic anhydrase 9 and TWIST1. In addition, Twist1 small interfering RNA prevents hypoxia-induced Fbxl14 down-regulation and SNAIL1 stabilization in NMuMG cells. Altogether, these results demonstrate the existence of an alternative mechanism controlling SNAIL1 protein levels relevant for the induction of SNAIL1 during hypoxia. PMID:19955572

  8. 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

  9. The DNA double helix fifty years on.

    PubMed

    Macgregor, Robert B; Poon, Gregory M K

    2003-10-01

    This year marks the 50th anniversary of the proposal of a double helical structure for DNA by James Watson and Francis Crick. The place of this proposal in the history and development of molecular biology is discussed. Several other discoveries that occurred in the middle of the twentieth century were perhaps equally important to our understanding of cellular processes; however, none of these captured the attention and imagination of the public to the same extent as the double helix. The existence of multiple forms of DNA and the uses of DNA in biological technologies is presented. DNA is also finding increasing use as a material due to its rather unusual structural and physical characteristics as well as its ready availability.

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. E Proteins and ID Proteins: Helix-Loop-Helix Partners in Development and Disease.

    PubMed

    Wang, Lan-Hsin; Baker, Nicholas E

    2015-11-01

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

  13. Hexa Helix: Modified Quad Helix Appliance to Correct Anterior and Posterior Crossbites in Mixed Dentition

    PubMed Central

    Yaseen, Syed Mohammed; Acharya, Ravindranath

    2012-01-01

    Among the commonly encountered dental irregularities which constitute developing malocclusion is the crossbite. During primary and mixed dentition phase, the crossbite is seen very often and if left untreated during these phases then a simple problem may be transformed into a more complex problem. Different techniques have been used to correct anterior and posterior crossbites in mixed dentition. This case report describes the use of hexa helix, a modified version of quad helix for the management of anterior crossbite and bilateral posterior crossbite in early mixed dentition. Correction was achieved within 15 weeks with no damage to the tooth or the marginal periodontal tissue. The procedure is a simple and effective method for treating anterior and bilateral posterior crossbites simultaneously. PMID:23119188

  14. Basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors and epidermal cell fate determination in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Hongtao; Li, Xia; Ma, Ligeng

    2012-01-01

    Cell fate determination is an important process in multicellular organisms. Plant epidermis is a readily-accessible, well-used model for the study of cell fate determination. Our knowledge of cell fate determination is growing steadily due to genetic and molecular analyses of root hairs, trichomes, and stomata, which are derived from the epidermal cells of roots and aerial tissues. Studies have shown that a large number of factors are involved in the establishment of these cell types, especially members of the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) superfamily, which is an important family of transcription factors. In this mini-review, we focus on the role of bHLH transcription factors in cell fate determination in Arabidopsis. PMID:23073001

  15. Thymocyte selection is regulated by the helix-loop-helix inhibitor protein, Id3.

    PubMed

    Rivera, R R; Johns, C P; Quan, J; Johnson, R S; Murre, C

    2000-01-01

    E2A, HEB, E2-2, and daughterless are basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) proteins that play key roles in multiple developmental pathways. The DNA binding activity of E2A, HEB, and E2-2 is regulated by a distinct class of inhibitor HLH proteins, the Id gene products. Here, we show that Id3 is required for major histocompatability (MHC) class I- and class II-restricted thymocyte positive selection. Additionally, H-Y TCR-mediated negative selection is severely perturbed in Id3 null mutant mice. Finally, we show that E2A and Id3 interact genetically to regulate thymocyte development. These observations identify the HLH inhibitory protein Id3 as an essential component required for proper thymocyte maturation.

  16. The membrane- and soluble-protein helix-helix interactome: similar geometry via different interactions.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shao-Qing; Kulp, Daniel W; Schramm, Chaim A; Mravic, Marco; Samish, Ilan; DeGrado, William F

    2015-03-01

    α Helices are a basic unit of protein secondary structure and therefore the interaction between helices is crucial to understanding tertiary and higher-order folds. Comparing subtle variations in the structural and sequence motifs between membrane and soluble proteins sheds light on the different constraints faced by each environment and elucidates the complex puzzle of membrane protein folding. Here, we demonstrate that membrane and water-soluble helix pairs share a small number of similar folds with various interhelical distances. The composition of the residues that pack at the interface between corresponding motifs shows that hydrophobic residues tend to be more enriched in the water-soluble class of structures and small residues in the transmembrane class. The latter group facilitates packing via sidechain- and backbone-mediated hydrogen bonds within the low-dielectric membrane milieu. The helix-helix interactome space, with its associated sequence preferences and accompanying hydrogen-bonding patterns, should be useful for engineering, prediction, and design of protein structure.

  17. The membrane- and soluble-protein helix-helix interactome: similar geometry via different interactions.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shao-Qing; Kulp, Daniel W; Schramm, Chaim A; Mravic, Marco; Samish, Ilan; DeGrado, William F

    2015-03-01

    α Helices are a basic unit of protein secondary structure and therefore the interaction between helices is crucial to understanding tertiary and higher-order folds. Comparing subtle variations in the structural and sequence motifs between membrane and soluble proteins sheds light on the different constraints faced by each environment and elucidates the complex puzzle of membrane protein folding. Here, we demonstrate that membrane and water-soluble helix pairs share a small number of similar folds with various interhelical distances. The composition of the residues that pack at the interface between corresponding motifs shows that hydrophobic residues tend to be more enriched in the water-soluble class of structures and small residues in the transmembrane class. The latter group facilitates packing via sidechain- and backbone-mediated hydrogen bonds within the low-dielectric membrane milieu. The helix-helix interactome space, with its associated sequence preferences and accompanying hydrogen-bonding patterns, should be useful for engineering, prediction, and design of protein structure. PMID:25703378

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Loss of Snail2 favors skin tumor progression by promoting the recruitment of myeloid progenitors

    PubMed Central

    Villarejo, Ana; Molina-Ortiz, Patricia; Montenegro, Yenny; Moreno-Bueno, Gema; Morales, Saleta; Santos, Vanesa; Gridley, Tom; Pérez-Moreno, Mirna A.; Peinado, Héctor; Portillo, Francisco; Calés, Carmela; Cano, Amparo

    2015-01-01

    Snail2 is a zinc finger transcription factor involved in driving epithelial to mesenchymal transitions. Snail2 null mice are viable, but display defects in melanogenesis, gametogenesis and hematopoiesis, and are markedly radiosensitive. Here, using mouse genetics, we have studied the contributions of Snail2 to epidermal homeostasis and skin carcinogenesis. Snail2 −/− mice presented a defective epidermal terminal differentiation and, unexpectedly, an increase in number, size and malignancy of tumor lesions when subjected to the two-stage mouse skin chemical carcinogenesis protocol, compared with controls. Additionally, tumor lesions from Snail2 −/− mice presented a high inflammatory component with an elevated percentage of myeloid precursors in tumor lesions that was further increased in the presence of the anti-inflammatory agent dexamethasone. In vitro studies in Snail2 null keratinocytes showed that loss of Snail2 leads to a decrease in proliferation indicating a non-cell autonomous role for Snail2 in the skin carcinogenic response observed in vivo. Bone marrow (BM) cross-reconstitution assays between Snail2 wild-type and null mice showed that Snail2 absence in the hematopoietic system fully reproduces the tumor behavior of the Snail2 null mice and triggers the accumulation of myeloid precursors in the BM, blood and tumor lesions. These results indicate a new role for Snail2 in preventing myeloid precursors recruitment impairing skin chemical carcinogenesis progression. PMID:25784375

  1. Ecology of bacterial communities in the schistosomiasis vector snailBiomphalaria glabrata.

    PubMed

    Ducklow, H W; Clausen, K; Mitchell, R

    1981-09-01

    The internal colony-forming bacterial flora of the schistosome intermediate host snailBiomphalaria glabrata (Say) has been characterized in ca. 500 individual snails from Puerto Rico, Guadeloupe, and St. Lucia, and from laboratory aquaria. Freshly captured wild snails harbor 2-40×10(6) CFU·g(-1), and healthy aquarium snails harbor 4-16×10(7) CFU·g(-1), whereas moribund individuals have 4-10 times as many bacteria as healthy individuals from the same habitats.Pseudomonas spp. are the most common predominant bacteria in normal snails, whereasAcinetobacter, Aeromonas, andMoraxella spp. predominate in moribund snails. External bacterial populations in water appear to have little effect on the composition and size of the flora in any snail. In addition to normal (healthy) and moribund snails, a third group of snails has been distinguished on the basis of internal bacterial density and predominating genera. These "high-density" snails may have undergone stresses and may harbor opportunistic pathogens. The microfloras of wild and laboratory-reared snails can be altered and stimulated to increase in density by crowding the snails or treating them with antibiotics. PMID:24227500

  2. 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...

  3. 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

  4. Plasma effect in tape helix traveling-wave tube

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saviz, S.; Salehizadeh, F.

    2014-05-01

    A linearized relativistic field theory of a plasma-loaded helix traveling-wave tube is presented for a configuration where a solid electron beam propagate through a sheath helix enclosed within a loss-free wall in which the gap between the helix and the outer wall is filled with a dielectric. Numerical study of the effect of plasma density on the phase velocity and growth rate has been done. Numerical results show that the plasma have different behaviors in different density limits.

  5. 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.

  6. 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)

  7. A supramolecular helix that disregards chirality.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    The functions of complex crystalline systems derived from supramolecular biological and non-biological assemblies typically emerge from homochiral programmed primary structures via first principles involving secondary, tertiary and quaternary structures. In contrast, heterochiral and racemic compounds yield disordered crystals, amorphous solids or liquids. Here, we report the self-assembly of perylene bisimide derivatives in a supramolecular helix that in turn self-organizes in columnar hexagonal crystalline domains regardless of the enantiomeric purity of the perylene bisimide. We show that both homochiral and racemic perylene bisimide compounds, including a mixture of 21 diastereomers that cannot be deracemized at the molecular level, self-organize to form single-handed helical assemblies with identical single-crystal-like order. We propose that this high crystalline order is generated via a cogwheel mechanism that disregards the chirality of the self-assembling building blocks. We anticipate that this mechanism will facilitate access to previously inaccessible complex crystalline systems from racemic and homochiral building blocks. PMID:26673268

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 6th Golden Helix Pharmacogenomics Day: pharmacogenomics and individualized therapy.

    PubMed

    Stojiljkovic, Maja; Fazlagic, Amira; Dokmanovic-Krivokapic, Lidija; Nikcevic, Gordana; Patrinos, George P; Pavlovic, Sonja; Zukic, Branka

    2012-09-25

    The Golden Helix Pharmacogenomics Days are international scientific meetings aiming to educate healthcare professionals and biomedical scientists about pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine. In this meeting report, we provide an overview of the scientific lectures and the topics discussed during the 6th Golden Helix Pharmacogenomics Day that was held in Belgrade, Serbia last June 5, 2012. The scientific program included lectures by the local and international speakers from Europe and the United States.

  14. Misplaced helix slows down ultrafast pressure-jump protein folding.

    PubMed

    Prigozhin, Maxim B; Liu, Yanxin; Wirth, Anna Jean; Kapoor, Shobhna; Winter, Roland; Schulten, Klaus; Gruebele, Martin

    2013-05-14

    Using a newly developed microsecond pressure-jump apparatus, we monitor the refolding kinetics of the helix-stabilized five-helix bundle protein λ*YA, the Y22W/Q33Y/G46,48A mutant of λ-repressor fragment 6-85, from 3 μs to 5 ms after a 1,200-bar P-drop. In addition to a microsecond phase, we observe a slower 1.4-ms phase during refolding to the native state. Unlike temperature denaturation, pressure denaturation produces a highly reversible helix-coil-rich state. This difference highlights the importance of the denatured initial condition in folding experiments and leads us to assign a compact nonnative helical trap as the reason for slower P-jump-induced refolding. To complement the experiments, we performed over 50 μs of all-atom molecular dynamics P-drop refolding simulations with four different force fields. Two of the force fields yield compact nonnative states with misplaced α-helix content within a few microseconds of the P-drop. Our overall conclusion from experiment and simulation is that the pressure-denatured state of λ*YA contains mainly residual helix and little β-sheet; following a fast P-drop, at least some λ*YA forms misplaced helical structure within microseconds. We hypothesize that nonnative helix at helix-turn interfaces traps the protein in compact nonnative conformations. These traps delay the folding of at least some of the population for 1.4 ms en route to the native state. Based on molecular dynamics, we predict specific mutations at the helix-turn interfaces that should speed up refolding from the pressure-denatured state, if this hypothesis is correct. PMID:23620522

  15. Nanoparticle biofabrication using English ivy (Hedera helix)

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background English ivy (Hedera helix) is well known for its adhesive properties and climbing ability. Essential to its ability to adhere to vertical surfaces is the secretion of a nanocomposite adhesive containing spherical nanoparticles, 60–85 nm in diameter, produced exclusively by root hairs present on adventitious roots. These organic nanoparticles have shown promise in biomedical and cosmetic applications, and represent a safer alternative to metal oxide nanoparticles currently available. Results It was discovered that the maximum adventitious root production was achieved by a 4 h application of 1 mg/ml indole-3 butyric acid (IBA) to juvenile English ivy shoot segments cultured in custom vessels. After incubation of the shoots under continuous light at 83 μmol/m2 s at 20°C for 2 weeks, the adventitious roots were harvested from the culture system and it was possible to isolate 90 mg of dry weight nanoparticles per 12 g of roots. The nanoparticle morphology was characterized by atomic force microscopy, and found to be similar to previous studies. Conclusions An enhanced system for the production of English ivy adventitious roots and their nanoparticles by modifying GA7 Magenta boxes and identifying the optimal concentration of IBA for adventitious root growth was developed. This system is the first such platform for growing and harvesting organic nanoparticles from plants, and represents an important step in the development of plant-based nanomanufacturing. It is a significant improvement on the exploitation of plant systems for the formation of metallic nanoparticles, and represents a pathway for the generation of bulk ivy nanoparticles for translation into biomedical applications. PMID:23095780

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-12

    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.

  19. Macrocyclization and labeling of helix-loop-helix peptide with intramolecular bis-thioether linkage.

    PubMed

    Nishihara, Toshio; Kitada, Hidekazu; Fujiwara, Daisuke; Fujii, Ikuo

    2016-11-01

    Conformationally constrained peptides have been developed as an inhibitor for protein-protein interactions (PPIs), and we have de novo designed cyclized helix-loop-helix (cHLH) peptide with a disulfide bond consisting of 40 amino acids to generate molecular-targeting peptides. However, synthesis of long peptides has sometimes resulted in low yield according to the respective amino acid sequences. Here we developed a method for efficient synthesis and labeling for cHLH peptides. First, we synthesized two peptide fragments and connected them by the copper-mediated alkyne and azide cycloaddition (CuAAC) reaction. Cyclization was performed by bis-thioether linkage using 1,3-dibromomethyl-5-propargyloxybenzene, and subsequently, the cHLH peptide was labeled with an azide-labeled probe. Finally, we designed and synthesized a peptide inhibitor for the p53-HDM2 interaction using a structure-guided design and successfully labeled it with a fluorescent probe or a functional peptide, respectively, by click chemistry. This macrocyclization and labeling method for cHLH peptide would facilitate the discovery of de novo bioactive ligands and therapeutic leads. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Biopolymers (Pept Sci) 106: 415-421, 2016. PMID:26917088

  20. Origin and Diversification of Basic-Helix-Loop-Helix Proteins in Plants

    PubMed Central

    Pires, Nuno; Dolan, Liam

    2010-01-01

    Basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) proteins are a class of transcription factors found throughout eukaryotic organisms. Classification of the complete sets of bHLH proteins in the sequenced genomes of Arabidopsis thaliana and Oryza sativa (rice) has defined the diversity of these proteins among flowering plants. However, the evolutionary relationships of different plant bHLH groups and the diversity of bHLH proteins in more ancestral groups of plants are currently unknown. In this study, we use whole-genome sequences from nine species of land plants and algae to define the relationships between these proteins in plants. We show that few (less than 5) bHLH proteins are encoded in the genomes of chlorophytes and red algae. In contrast, many bHLH proteins (100–170) are encoded in the genomes of land plants (embryophytes). Phylogenetic analyses suggest that plant bHLH proteins are monophyletic and constitute 26 subfamilies. Twenty of these subfamilies existed in the common ancestors of extant mosses and vascular plants, whereas six further subfamilies evolved among the vascular plants. In addition to the conserved bHLH domains, most subfamilies are characterized by the presence of highly conserved short amino acid motifs. We conclude that much of the diversity of plant bHLH proteins was established in early land plants, over 440 million years ago. PMID:19942615

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Transcriptional Activation by ETS and Leucine Zipper-Containing Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Gang; Erman, Batu; Ishii, Haruhiko; Gangopadhyay, Samudra S.; Sen, Ranjan

    1999-01-01

    The immunoglobulin μ heavy-chain gene enhancer contains closely juxtaposed binding sites for ETS and leucine zipper-containing basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH-zip) proteins. To understand the μ enhancer function, we have investigated transcription activation by the combination of ETS and bHLH-zip proteins. The bHLH-zip protein TFE3, but not USF, cooperated with the ETS domain proteins PU.1 and Ets-1 to activate a tripartite domain of this enhancer. Deletion mutants were used to identify the domains of the proteins involved. Both TFE3 and USF enhanced Ets-1 DNA binding in vitro by relieving the influence of an autoinhibitory domain in Ets-1 by direct protein-protein associations. Several regions of Ets-1 were found to be necessary, whereas the bHLH-zip domain was sufficient for this effect. Our studies define novel interactions between ETS and bHLH-zip proteins that may regulate combinatorial transcription activation by these protein families. PMID:10082562

  4. An exploration of alternative visualisations of the basic helix-loop-helix protein interaction network

    PubMed Central

    Holden, Brian J; Pinney, John W; Lovell, Simon C; Amoutzias, Grigoris D; Robertson, David L

    2007-01-01

    Background Alternative representations of biochemical networks emphasise different aspects of the data and contribute to the understanding of complex biological systems. In this study we present a variety of automated methods for visualisation of a protein-protein interaction network, using the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) family of transcription factors as an example. Results Network representations that arrange nodes (proteins) according to either continuous or discrete information are investigated, revealing the existence of protein sub-families and the retention of interactions following gene duplication events. Methods of network visualisation in conjunction with a phylogenetic tree are presented, highlighting the evolutionary relationships between proteins, and clarifying the context of network hubs and interaction clusters. Finally, an optimisation technique is used to create a three-dimensional layout of the phylogenetic tree upon which the protein-protein interactions may be projected. Conclusion We show that by incorporating secondary genomic, functional or phylogenetic information into network visualisation, it is possible to move beyond simple layout algorithms based on network topology towards more biologically meaningful representations. These new visualisations can give structure to complex networks and will greatly help in interpreting their evolutionary origins and functional implications. Three open source software packages (InterView, TVi and OptiMage) implementing our methods are available. PMID:17683601

  5. The basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor Hand1 regulates mouse development as a homodimer.

    PubMed

    Hu, Dong; Scott, Ian C; Snider, Fran; Geary-Joo, Colleen; Zhao, Xiang; Simmons, David G; Cross, James C

    2013-10-15

    Hand1 is a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor that is essential for development of the placenta, yolk sac and heart during mouse development. While Hand1 is essential for trophoblast giant cell (TGC) differentiation, its potential heterodimer partners are not co-expressed in TGCs. To test the hypothesis that Hand1 functions as homodimer, we generated knock-in mice in which the Hand1 gene was altered to encode a tethered homodimer (TH). Some Hand1(TH/-) conceptuses in which the only form of Hand1 is Hand1(TH) are viable and fertile, indicating that homodimer Hand1 is sufficient for mouse survival. ~2/3 of Hand1(TH/-) and all Hand1(TH/TH) mice died in utero and displayed severe placental defects and variable cardial and cranial-facial abnormalities, indicating a dosage-dependent effect of Hand1(TH). Meanwhile, expression of the Hand1(TH) protein did not have negative effects on viability or fertility in all Hand1(TH/+) mice. These data imply that Hand1 homodimer plays a dominant role during development and its expression dosage is critical for survival, whereas Hand1 heterodimers can be either dispensable or play a regulatory role to modulate the activity of Hand1 homodimer in vivo.

  6. Gene replacement strategies to test the functional redundancy of basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor.

    PubMed

    Firulli, Anthony B; Firulli, Beth A; Wang, Jian; Rogers, Rhonda H; Conway, Simon J

    2010-04-01

    Basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factors control developmental decisions for a wide range of embryonic cell types. Hand1 and Hand2 are closely related bHLH proteins that control cardiac, craniofacial, and limb development. Within the developing heart, Hand1 expression becomes restricted predominantly to the left ventricle, whereas Hand2 becomes restricted predominantly to the left ventricle, for which findings have shown each Hand factor to be necessary for normal chamber formation. Forced overexpression of Hand1 throughout the early developing heart induces abnormal interventricular septal development, with resulting pathogenesis of congenital heart defects. To investigate the potential transcriptional mechanisms involved in heart morphogenesis by Hand2, this study used a replacement targeting approach to knock Hand2 into the Hand1 locus and ectopically express one copy of Hand2 within the endogenous Hand1 expression domain in the developing hearts of transgenic mice. The findings show that high-percentage Hand1 ( Hand2 ) chimeras die at birth and exhibit a range of congenital heart defects. These findings suggest that Hand factors may act via unique transcriptional mechanisms mediated by bHLH factor partner choice, supporting the notion that alterations of Hand factor stoichiometry may be as deleterious to normal heart morphogenesis as Hand factor loss of function.

  7. Helix-loop-helix transcription factors mediate activation and repression of the p75LNGFR gene.

    PubMed Central

    Chiaramello, A; Neuman, K; Palm, K; Metsis, M; Neuman, T

    1995-01-01

    Sequence analysis of rat and human low-affinity nerve growth factor receptor p75LNGFR gene promoter regions revealed a single E-box cis-acting element, located upstream of the major transcription start sites. Deletion analysis of the E-box sequence demonstrated that it significantly contributes to p75LNGFR promoter activity. This E box has a dual function; it mediates either activation or repression of the p75LNGFR promoter activity, depending on the interacting transcription factors. We showed that the two isoforms of the class A basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor ME1 (ME1a and ME1b), the murine homolog of the human HEB transcription factor, specifically repress p75LNGFR promoter activity. This repression can be released by coexpression of the HLH Id2 transcriptional regulator. In vitro analyses demonstrated that ME1a forms a stable complex with the p75LNGFR E box and likely competes with activating E-box-binding proteins. By using ME1a-overexpressing PC12 cells, we showed that the endogenous p75LNGFR gene is a target of ME1a repression. Together, these data demonstrate that the p75LNGFR E box and the interacting bHLH transcription factors are involved in the regulation of p75LNGFR gene expression. These results also show that class A bHLH transcription factors can repress and Id-like negative regulators can stimulate gene expression. PMID:7565756

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

    PubMed Central

    Hsu, H L; Huang, L; Tsan, J T; Funk, W; Wright, W E; Hu, J S; Kingston, R E; Baer, R

    1994-01-01

    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. Images PMID:8289805

  9. 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.

  10. Translocation of α-helix chains through a nanopore

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Zhiyong; Li, Shiben; Zhang, Linxi; ur Rehman, Ateeq; Liang, Haojun

    2010-10-01

    The translocation of α-helix chains through a nanopore is studied through Langevin dynamics simulations. The α-helix chains exhibit several different characteristics about their average translocation times and the α-helix structures when they transport through the nanopores under the driving forces. First, the relationship between average translocation times τ and the chain length N satisfies the scaling law, τ ˜Nα, and the scaling exponent α depends on the driving force f for the small forces while it is close to the Flory exponent (ν) in the other force regions. For the chains with given chain lengths, it is observed that the dependence of the average translocation times can be expressed as τ ˜f-1/2 for the small forces while can be described as τ ˜f in the large force regions. Second, for the large driving force, the average number of α-helix structures Nh decreases first and then increases in the translocation process. The average waiting time of each bead, especially of the first bead, is also dependent on the driving forces. Furthermore, an elasticity spring model is presented to reasonably explain the change of the α-helix number during the translocation and its elasticity can be locally damaged by the large driving forces. Our results demonstrate the unique behaviors of α-helix chains transporting through the pores, which can enrich our insights into and knowledge on biopolymers transporting through membranes.

  11. The helix-turn-helix motif of sigma 54 is involved in recognition of the -13 promoter region.

    PubMed Central

    Merrick, M; Chambers, S

    1992-01-01

    Residue Arg-383 in the proposed helix-turn-helix motif of the novel RNA polymerase sigma factor sigma 54 has been changed by site-directed mutagenesis to all possible alternative amino acids. Only two mutants, RK383 and RH383, are active in promoting transcription from either the glnAp2 promoter or the nifL promoter. We constructed a set of mutant derivatives of glnAp2 such that each base in the conserved GG and GC doublets at -24 and -12 was changed to all possible alternatives. All 12 mutant glnAp2 promoters showed a marked promoter-down phenotype with wild-type sigma 54, but RK383 suppressed changes of both G to C and G to T at -13. This result suggests that the sigma 54 helix-turn-helix is involved in recognition of the -13 region of sigma 54-dependent promoters. Images PMID:1429447

  12. Shell colouration and parasite tolerance in two helicoid snail species.

    PubMed

    Scheil, Alexandra E; Hilsmann, Stefanie; Triebskorn, Rita; Köhler, Heinz-R

    2014-03-01

    The polymorphism of shell colouration in helicoid snails is a well-known phenomenon attributed to different factors such as predation and climatic effects. Another aspect contributing to this polymorphism could be the interplay of melanin production and phenoloxidase-related immunity. Therefore, in this study we aimed at answering the questions whether there is a differential sensitivity of different snail shell colour morphs to nematode infection, and whether this can be related to differences in phenoloxidase (PO) activity levels using the two helicoid, polymorphic snail species Cepaea hortensis and Cernuella virgata. Snails of both species were artificially infected with the parasitic nematode Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita, and analysed for mortality and PO activity levels. We found C. virgata to be more severely affected by P. hermaphrodita infection than C. hortensis, and the dark C. virgata morphs to be more resistant to lethal effects of this infection than pale morphs. However, these differences in sensitivity to the parasite could not clearly be related to different PO activity levels.

  13. 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…

  14. The maintenance of hybrids by parasitism in a freshwater snail.

    PubMed

    Guttel, Yonathan; Ben-Ami, Frida

    2014-11-01

    Hybrids have often been labelled evolutionary dead-ends due to their lower fertility and viability. However, there is growing awareness that hybridisation between different species may play a constructive role in animal evolution as a means to create variability. Thus, hybridisation and introgression may contribute to adaptive evolution, for example with regards to natural antagonists (parasites, predators, competitors) and adaptation to local environmental conditions. Here we investigated whether parasite intensity contributes to the continuous recreation of hybrids in 74 natural populations of Melanopsis, a complex of freshwater snails with three species. We also examined, under laboratory conditions, whether hybrids and their parental taxa differ in their tolerance of low and high temperatures and salinity levels. Infections were consistently less prevalent in males than in females, and lower in snails from deeper habitats. Infection prevalence in hybrids was significantly lower than in the parental taxa. Low hybrid infection rates could not be explained by sediment type, snail density or geographic distribution of the sampling sites. Interestingly, infected hybrid snails did not show signs of parasite-induced gigantism, whereas all parental taxa did. We found that hybrids mostly coped with extreme temperatures and salinity levels as well as their parental taxa did. Taken together, our results suggest that Melanopsis hybrids perform better in the presence of parasites and environmental stress. This may explain the widespread and long-term occurrence of Melanopsis hybrids as evidenced by paleontological and biogeographic data. Hybridisation may be an adaptive host strategy, reducing infection rates and resisting gigantism. PMID:25173837

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. SNAILs promote G1 phase in selected cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Wu, Ya-Lan; Xue, Jian-Xin; Zhou, Lin; Deng, Lei; Shang, Yan-Na; Liu, Fang; Mo, Xian-Ming; Lu, You

    2015-11-01

    Cells can acquire a stem-like cell phenotype through epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). However, it is not known which of the stem-like cancer cells are generated by these phenotype transitions. We studied the EMT-inducing roles of SNAILs (the key inducers for the onset of EMT) in selected cancer cells (lung cancer cell line with relatively stable genome), in order to provide more implications for the investigation of EMT-related phenotype transitions in cancer. However, SNAILs fail to induce completed EMT. In addition, we proved that Snail accelerates the early G1 phase whereas Slug accelerates the late G1 phase. Blocking G1 phase is one of the basic conditions for the onset of EMT-related phenotype transitions (e.g., metastasis, acquiring stemness). The discovery of this unexpected phenomenon (promoting G1 phase) typically reveals the heterogeneity of cancer cells. The onset of EMT-related phenotype transitions in cancer needs not only the induction and activation of SNAILs, but also some particular heredity alterations (genetic or epigenetic alterations, which cause heterogeneity). The new connection between heredity alteration (heterogeneity) and phenotype transition suggests a novel treatment strategy, the heredity alteration-directed specific target therapy. Further investigations need to be conducted to study the relevant heredity alterations.

  18. A snail-eating snake recognizes prey handedness.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Environmental adaptations of the African snail Limicolaria festiva Martens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El Rayah, El Amin; Constantinou, C.; Cloudsley-Thompson, J. L.

    1984-12-01

    L. festiva is able to exist in the hot, arid, Sahel savanna regions of Africa in consequence of its nocturnal circadian rhythm of locomotory activity, and its low rate of water loss during periods of inactivity when an epiphragm has been secreted and while the snail is aestivating.

  20. Sequestration of lichen compounds by three species of terrestrial snails.

    PubMed

    Hesbacher, S; Baur, B; Baur, A; Proksch, P

    1995-02-01

    Three species of lichen-grazing snails,Balea perversa, Chondria clienta, andHelicigona lapicida, all from the Swedish island of Öland, were found to sequester lichen compounds when feeding on the crustous lichen speciesAspicila calcarea, Caloplaca flavovirescens, Lecanora muralis, Physcia adscendens, Tephromela atra, andXanthoria parietina. The lichen compounds detected in the soft bodies of the snail species analyzed included the anthraquinone parietin, the depside atranorin, as well as a presumable degradation product of the latter. Other lichen compounds such as (+)-usnic acid or α-collatolic acid were not found in the soft bodies but were only detected in the feces, suggesting selective uptake of lichen compounds by the snails. In individuals ofC. clienta initially fed on the lichenX. parietina, the amount of sequestered parietin decreased over time on a parietin-free diet but was still detectable in the soft bodies after 28 days. In the ovoviviparous land snail,B. perversa, sequestered parietin was transferred from the mother to the eggs in the reproductive tract. PMID:24234022

  1. The maintenance of hybrids by parasitism in a freshwater snail.

    PubMed

    Guttel, Yonathan; Ben-Ami, Frida

    2014-11-01

    Hybrids have often been labelled evolutionary dead-ends due to their lower fertility and viability. However, there is growing awareness that hybridisation between different species may play a constructive role in animal evolution as a means to create variability. Thus, hybridisation and introgression may contribute to adaptive evolution, for example with regards to natural antagonists (parasites, predators, competitors) and adaptation to local environmental conditions. Here we investigated whether parasite intensity contributes to the continuous recreation of hybrids in 74 natural populations of Melanopsis, a complex of freshwater snails with three species. We also examined, under laboratory conditions, whether hybrids and their parental taxa differ in their tolerance of low and high temperatures and salinity levels. Infections were consistently less prevalent in males than in females, and lower in snails from deeper habitats. Infection prevalence in hybrids was significantly lower than in the parental taxa. Low hybrid infection rates could not be explained by sediment type, snail density or geographic distribution of the sampling sites. Interestingly, infected hybrid snails did not show signs of parasite-induced gigantism, whereas all parental taxa did. We found that hybrids mostly coped with extreme temperatures and salinity levels as well as their parental taxa did. Taken together, our results suggest that Melanopsis hybrids perform better in the presence of parasites and environmental stress. This may explain the widespread and long-term occurrence of Melanopsis hybrids as evidenced by paleontological and biogeographic data. Hybridisation may be an adaptive host strategy, reducing infection rates and resisting gigantism.

  2. A longitudinal study of schistosome vector snail populations in Liberia.

    PubMed

    Sodeman, W A

    1979-05-01

    Seasonal changes in populations of Biomphalaria pfeifferi and Bulinus globosus were observed at 62 locations in Liberia, West Africa. All varieties of water in both urban and rural locations were sampled. A wet season decrease and dry season increase of B. globosus populations in both urban and rural locations, similar to that reported elsewhere in West Africa, was observed. Similar fluctuations of B. pfeifferi populations were noted. The prevalence of schistosome infected vector snails varied markedly between rural and urban locations. At rural sites parasite prevalence followed the appropriate vector snail prevalence. At urban sites a portion of the vector snail population appeared relatively unaffected by seasonal changes. This stable population harbors a reservoir of infected snails that sustain year round transmission. Human infection was sampled in school children in the study area and prevalence of approximately 50% was found for both Schistosoma mansoni and S. haematobium. Added to the malacologic information this suggests less than hyperendemic transmission. The data suggest that urban environments should receive priorities for control programs.

  3. Peptide mimics of the M13 coat protein transmembrane segment. Retention of helix-helix interaction motifs.

    PubMed

    Wang, C; Deber, C M

    2000-05-26

    Sequence-specific noncovalent helix-helix interactions between transmembrane (TM) segments in proteins are investigated by incorporating selected TM sequences into synthetic peptides using the construct CKKK-TM-KKK. The peptides are of suitable hydrophobicity for spontaneous membrane insertion, whereas formation of an N-terminal S-S bond can bring pairs of TM helices into proximity and promote their parallel orientation. Using the propensity of the protein to undergo thermally induced alpha-helix --> beta-sheet transitions as a parameter for helix stability, we compared the wild type and mutant (V29A and V31A) bacteriophage M13 coat proteins with their corresponding TM peptide constructs (M13 residues 24-42). Our results demonstrated that the relevant helix-helix tertiary contacts found in the intact proteins persist in the peptide mimics. Molecular dynamics simulations support the tight "two in-two out" dimerization motif for V31A consistent with mutagenesis data. The overall results reinforce the notion of TM segments as autonomous folding domains and suggest that the generic peptide construct provides a viable reductionist system for membrane protein structural and computational analysis.

  4. Tunable Control of Polyproline Helix (PPII) Structure via Aromatic Electronic Effects: An Electronic Switch of Polyproline Helix

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Aromatic rings exhibit defined interactions via the unique aromatic π face. Aromatic amino acids interact favorably with proline residues via both the hydrophobic effect and aromatic–proline interactions, C−H/π interactions between the aromatic π face and proline ring C–H bonds. The canonical aromatic amino acids Trp, Tyr, and Phe strongly disfavor a polyproline helix (PPII) when they are present in proline-rich sequences because of the large populations of cis amide bonds induced by favorable aromatic–proline interactions (aromatic–cis-proline and proline–cis-proline–aromatic interactions). We demonstrate the ability to tune polyproline helix conformation and cis–trans isomerism in proline-rich sequences using aromatic electronic effects. Electron-rich aromatic residues strongly disfavor polyproline helix and exhibit large populations of cis amide bonds, while electron-poor aromatic residues exhibit small populations of cis amide bonds and favor polyproline helix. 4-Aminophenylalanine is a pH-dependent electronic switch of polyproline helix, with cis amide bonds favored as the electron-donating amine, but trans amide bonds and polyproline helix preferred as the electron-withdrawing ammonium. Peptides with block proline–aromatic PPXPPXPPXPP sequences exhibited electronically switchable pH-dependent structures. Electron-poor aromatic amino acids provide special capabilities to integrate aromatic residues into polyproline helices and to serve as the basis of aromatic electronic switches to change structure. PMID:25075447

  5. Isoform-specific quantification of metallothionein in the terrestrial gastropod Helix pomatia. II. A differential biomarker approach under laboratory and field conditions.

    PubMed

    Dallinger, Reinhard; Chabicovsky, Monika; Lagg, Bernhard; Schipflinger, Rouven; Weirich, Harald G; Berger, Burkhard

    2004-04-01

    The two function-specific metallothionein (MT) isoforms characterized from the midgut gland and mantle tissue of Helix pomatia differ substantially in their metal-binding preferences, as well as molecular and biochemical features. These differences make them potential candidates for biomarker studies based on a differential, isoform-specific approach. To prove this hypothesis, induction experiments with two metals (Cd and Cu) that are normally bound by the two isoforms were compared with a range of organic chemicals and physical stressors under laboratory conditions to test the responsiveness of the two isoforms to the stressors applied. In addition, field studies were conducted with Roman snails and substrate samples collected from different metal-contaminated sites in Austria to test the suitability of the two isoforms as biomarkers under field conditions. The results of these combined laboratory and field studies confirmed the validity of the biomarker approach with the two metal- and tissue-specific isoforms. It is demonstrated that the Cd-binding MT specifically and exclusively responds to Cd exposure by increasing concentrations, whereas the Cu-binding MT isoform decreases in its concentration upon exposure to physical stress (X-ray irradiation and cold). This suggests researchers should adopt, under certain preconditions, a dual biomarker approach by combining the simultaneous quantification of Cd-MT concentrations in the midgut gland as a biomarker for Cd pollution and of Cu-MT concentration in the mantle as a biomarker for the impairment of snails by additional physical stressors.

  6. Structure, stability and folding of the alpha-helix.

    PubMed

    Doig, A J; Andrew, C D; Cochran, D A; Hughes, E; Penel, S; Sun, J K; Stapley, B J; Clarke, D T; Jones, G R

    2001-01-01

    Pauling first described the alpha-helix nearly 50 years ago, yet new features of its structure continue to be discovered, using peptide model systems, site-directed mutagenesis, advances in theory, the expansion of the Protein Data Bank and new experimental techniques. Helical peptides in solution form a vast number of structures, including fully helical, fully coiled and partly helical. To interpret peptide results quantitatively it is essential to use a helix/coil model that includes the stabilities of all these conformations. Our models now include terms for helix interiors, capping, side-chain interactions, N-termini and 3(10)-helices. The first three amino acids in a helix (N1, N2 and N3) and the preceding N-cap are unique, as their amide NH groups do not participate in backbone hydrogen bonding. We surveyed their structures in proteins and measured their amino acid preferences. The results are predominantly rationalized by hydrogen bonding to the free NH groups. Stabilizing side-chain-side-chain energies, including hydrophobic interactions, hydrogen bonding and polar/non-polar interactions, were measured accurately in helical peptides. Helices in proteins show a preference for having approximately an integral number of turns so that their N- and C-caps lie on the same side. There are also strong periodic trends in the likelihood of terminating a helix with a Schellman or alpha L C-cap motif. The kinetics of alpha-helix folding have been studied with stopped-flow deep ultraviolet circular dichroism using synchrotron radiation as the light source; this gives a far superior signal-to-noise ratio than a conventional instrument. We find that poly(Glu), poly(Lys) and alanine-based peptides fold in milliseconds, with longer peptides showing a transient overshoot in helix content.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

    Snails are used as biological indicators of the environment pollution for heavy metals. Living snail samples were collected from different sites at the city of Irbid-Jordan and classified according to their morphological features including Helix pelasga, Eobania vermiculata, Xeropicta derbentina, Oychilus, Xerocrassa seetzenii, Xerocrassa simulata, and Pila. Zn, Cd, As, Cu, Pb, and Fe levels were measured by inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy. Results indicated that metal concentrations in all snail shell samples were with an average and range for Zn 22.4 (6.5-105.5) μg g(-1), Cd 7.8 (0.4-48.1) μg g(-1), As 25.9 (0.7-248.5) μg g(-1), Cu 15.1 (1.6-69.0) μg g(-1), Pb 0.4 (0.2-1.7) μg g(-1), and Fe 119.6 (14.0-1102.0) μg g(-1), whereas, in soil samples, the average and range for Zn 204.0 (12.0-709.0) μg g(-1), Cd 5.7 (0.2-39.5) μg g(-1), As 3.2 (1.8-5.2) μg g(-1), Cu 22.1 (2.3-77.4) μg g(-1), Pb 0.2 (0.1-0.3) μg g(-1), and Fe 242.4 (25.0-680.0) μg g(-1). PMID:27026544

  8. [Activation of cardiac contractivity of the edible snail H. pomatia under effect of thrombin. Study of role of cAMP].

    PubMed

    Solomonova, V G; Avdonin, P P; Vinichenko, E S; Sukhanova, I F; Avdonin, P V

    2007-01-01

    Thrombin acts on mammalian cells through specific, the so-called protease-activated receptors (PARs). The thrombin action is mediated via three out of four known types of these receptors PAR(1, 3, 4). Mammalian thrombin receptors, apart from performance of other functions, control cardiac and vascular contractility. It is not known whether receptors of such kind exist in invertebrate animals. In the present work we have showed for the first time that thrombin in the concentration range of 0.01-1 units/ml increases amplitude of contractions of the isolated heart ventricle of the edible snail Helix pomatia. Its effect is reproduced by peptide ligands of receptors PAR1 and PAR4 that have sequences Ser-Phe-Leu-Leu-Arg-Asn (SFLLRN) and Glu-Tyr-Pro-Gly-Lys-Phe (QYPGKF), respectively. A potent activati of cardiac contractivity of H. pomatia is serotonin. A comparative study of mechanisms of action of serotonin and thrombin on the edible snail heart was carried out. cAMP participates in transduction of signal from serotonin receptors. On the membrane preparation from the H. pomatia heart, it was shown that thrombin and peptide ligands PAR(1, 4), unlike serotonin, did not increase adenylyl cyclase activity. Thus, mechanism of activation of cardiac contractivity of H. pomatia by thrombin differs from the action mechanism of serotonin. It is suggested that molluscs have receptors homologous to protease activated mammalian receptors. PMID:17408090

  9. Effect of three dormant oils on schistosomiasis and fascioliasis vector snails and its relation with some non-target snails.

    PubMed

    Mostafa, Bayaumy B

    2006-12-01

    Three oils were tested for their molluscicidal activity, Caple-2, Kemasol and Super-max. Super-max had the strongest toxic effect on B. alexandrina and other snail species. Its LC50 was 0.53 ppm, meanwhile LC50 of Kemasol 3.2 ppm and 4.21 ppm for Caple 2. The LC50 & LC90 of the oils were lower in Lymneae natalensis as compared to B. alexandrina. The LC50 & LC90 of the oils against non-target snails (Physa acuta, Helisoma duryi, Planorbis planorbis and Melanoides tuberculata) were higher as compared to B. alexandrina. Hatchability of snails' eggs exposed to Super-max (3.0 & 5.0 ppm) was stopped completely and l.0 ppm showed the lower percent of egg hatchability 22.7 %. Caple 2 and Kemasol did not affect eggs hatchability. Supermax had the strongest harmful effect on both miracidia and cercariae of S. mansoni. 100% mortality values were obtained for both larval stages after 8 & 9 minutes respectively when maintained at LC50. 100% mortality of miracidia occurred after 35 & 155 minutes when maintained at LC50 of Kemasol & Caple 2 respectively. The infection rate of B. alexandrina with S. mansoni miracidia was greatly reduced by the sublethal concentrations of the oils. The reduction of infection rate was higher in snails treated with Supermax (42.9%). A highly significant reduction of total cercarial production per snail was in the experimental groups as compared with controls. The prepatent period of treated snails was prolonged compared to control. Moreover, Total protein content and enzyme activities of snails treated with LC10 of oils showed a significant reduction as compared with control in haemolymyph. There was an increase of protein contents in the tissue. AlkP enzyme activity was slightly increased in haemolymph of experimental groups than controls and was significantly higher in the tissues as compared to control. ALT enzyme activity in haemolymph of experimental groups was higher than control, but lower in tissue. AST enzyme activity was higher in

  10. Snail Recruits Ring1B to Mediate Transcriptional Repression and Cell Migration in Pancreatic Cancer Cells

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Jiangzhi; Xu, Hong; Zou, Xiuqun; Wang, Jiamin; Zhu, Yi; Chen, Hao; Shen, Baiyong; Deng, Xiaxing; Zhou, Aiwu; Chin, Y. Eugene; Rauscher, Frank J.; Peng, Chenghong; Hou, Zhaoyuan

    2014-01-01

    Transcriptional repressor Snail is a master regulator of epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT), yet the epigenetic mechanism governing Snail to induce EMT is not well understood. Here, we report that in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), elevated levels of the ubiquitin E3 ligase Ring1B and Snail, along with elevated monoubiquitination of H2A at K119 (H2AK119Ub1), are highly correlated with poor survival. Mechanistic investigations identified Ring1B as a Snail-interacting protein and showed that the carboxyl zinc fingers of Snail recruit Ring1B and its paralog Ring1A to repress its target promoters. Simultaneous depletion of Ring1A and Ring1B in pancreatic cancer cells decreased Snail binding to the target chromatin, abolished H2AK119Ub1 modification, and thereby compromised Snail-mediated transcriptional repression and cell migration. We found that Ring1B and the SNAG-associated chromatin modifier EZH2 formed distinct protein complexes with Snail and that EZH2 was required for Snail-Ring1A/B recruitment to the target promoter. Collectively, our results unravel an epigenetic mechanism underlying transcriptional repression by Snail, suggest Ring1A/B as a candidate therapeutic target, and identify H2AK119Ub1 as a potential biomarker for PDAC diagnosis and prognosis. Cancer Res; 74(16); 4353-63. ©2014 AACR PMID:24903147

  11. Pseudosuccinea columella: age resistance to Calicophoron daubneyi infection in two snail populations

    PubMed Central

    Dar, Yasser; Rondelaud, Daniel; Vignoles, Philippe; Dreyfuss, Gilles

    2015-01-01

    Individual infections of Egyptian and French Pseudosuccinea columella with five miracidia of Calicophoron daubneyi were carried out to determine whether this lymnaeid was capable of sustaining larval development of this parasite. On day 42 post-exposure (at 23 °C), infected snails were only noted in groups of individuals measuring 1 or 2 mm in height at miracidial exposure. Snail survival in the 2-mm groups was significantly higher than that noted in the 1-mm snails, whatever the geographic origin of snail population. In contrast, prevalence of C. daubneyi infection was significantly greater in the 1-mm groups (15–20% versus 3.4–4.0% in the 2-mm snails). Low values were noted for the mean shell growth of infected snails at their death (3.1–4.0 mm) and the mean number of cercariae (<9 in the 1-mm groups, <19 in the 2-mm snails). No significant differences between snail populations and snails groups were noted for these last two parameters. Most infected snails died after a single cercarial shedding wave. Both populations of P. columella showed an age resistance to C. daubneyi infection and only juveniles measuring 2 mm or less in shell height at exposure can ensure larval development of this digenean up to cercarial shedding. PMID:25664810

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. YY1 regulates the expression of snail through a distal enhancer

    PubMed Central

    Palmer, Matthew B.; Majumder, Parimal; Cooper, John C.; Yoon, Hyesuk; Wade, Paul A.; Boss, Jeremy M.

    2010-01-01

    Expression of the snail gene is required for the epithelial-mesenchymal transitions that accompany mammalian gastrulation, neural crest migration, and organ formation. Pathological expression of snail contributes to the migratory capacity of invasive tumors, including melanomas. To investigate the mechanism of snail up regulation in human melanoma cells, a conserved enhancer located 3’ of the snail gene was analyzed. An overlapping Ets and YY1 consensus sequence, in addition to a SOX consensus sequence, were required for full enhancer activity. Proteins specifically binding these sequences were detected by EMSA. The Ets/YY1 binding activity was purified by DNA affinity chromatography and identified as YY1. Although ubiquitously expressed, YY1 was bound at the snail 3’ enhancer in vivo in snail-expressing cells but not in cells that did not express snail. Knockdown of YY1 in A375 cells led to decreased snail expression. These results identify a role for YY1 in regulating transcription of snail in melanoma cells through binding to the snail 3’ enhancer. PMID:19208738

  15. 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.

  16. Suppression of Chondrogenesis by Id Helix-Loop-Helix Proteins in Murine Embryonic Orofacial Tissue

    PubMed Central

    Mukhopadhyay, Partha; Rezzoug, Francine; Webb, Cynthia L.; Pisano, M. Michele; Greene, Robert M.

    2009-01-01

    Inhibitors of differentiation (Id) proteins are helix-loop-helix (HLH) transcription factors lacking a DNA binding domain. Id proteins modulate cell proliferation, apoptosis, and differentiation in embryonic/fetal tissue. Perturbation of any of these processes in cells of the developing orofacial region results in orofacial anomalies. Chondrogenesis, a process integral to normal orofacial ontogenesis, is known to be modulated, in part, by Id proteins. In the present study, the mRNA and protein expression patterns of Id1, Id2, Id3 and Id4 were examined in developing murine orofacial tissue in vivo, as well as in murine embryonic maxillary mesenchymal cells in vitro. The functional role of Ids during chondrogenesis was also explored in vitro. Results reveal that cells derived from developing murine orofacial tissue: (1) express Id1, Id2, Id3 and Id4 mRNAs and proteins on each of gestational days 12-14, (2) express all four Id proteins in a developmentally regulated manner, (3) undergo chondrogenesis and express genes encoding various chondrogenic marker proteins (e.g. Runx2, Type X collagen, Sox9) when cultured under micromass conditions, and (4) can have their chondrogenic potential regulated via alteration of Id protein function through overexpression of a basic HLH factor. In summary, results from the current report reveal for the first time, the expression of all four Id proteins in cells derived from developing murine orofacial tissue, and demonstrate a functional role for the Ids in regulating the ability of these cells to undergo chondrogenesis. PMID:19349107

  17. Regulation of Arabidopsis Brassinosteroid Signaling by Atypical Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Proteins[C][W

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Hao; Zhu, Yongyou; Fujioka, Shozo; Asami, Tadao; Li, Jiayang; Li, Jianming

    2009-01-01

    Basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) proteins are highly conserved transcription factors critical for cell proliferation and differentiation. Recent studies have implicated bHLH proteins in many plant signaling processes, including brassinosteroid (BR) signaling. Here, we report identification of two families of atypical bHLH proteins capable of modulating BR signaling. We found that activation-tagged bri1 suppressor 1-Dominant (atbs1-D), previously identified as a dominant suppressor of a weak BR receptor mutant bri1-301, was caused by overexpression of a 93–amino acid atypical bHLH protein lacking amino acids critical for DNA binding. Interestingly, atbs1-D only suppresses weak BR mutants, while overexpression of a truncated ATBS1 lacking the basic motif also rescues bri1-301, suggesting that ATBS1 likely stimulates BR signaling by sequestering negative BR signaling components. A yeast two-hybrid screen using ATBS1 as bait discovered four ATBS1-Interacting Factors (AIFs) that are members of another atypical bHLH protein subfamily. AIF1 exhibits an overlapping expression pattern with ATBS1 and its homologs and interacts with ATBS1 in vitro and in vivo. AIF1 overexpression nullifies the suppressive effect of atbs1-D on bri1-301 and results in dwarf transgenic plants resembling BR mutants. By contrast, silencing of AIF1 partially suppressed the bri1-301 phenotype. Our results suggested that plants use these atypical bHLH proteins to regulate BR signaling. PMID:20023194

  18. The HAND1 basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor regulates trophoblast differentiation via multiple mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Scott, I C; Anson-Cartwright, L; Riley, P; Reda, D; Cross, J C

    2000-01-01

    The basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor genes Hand1 and Mash2 are essential for placental development in mice. Hand1 promotes differentiation of trophoblast giant cells, whereas Mash2 is required for the maintenance of giant cell precursors, and its overexpression prevents giant cell differentiation. We found that Hand1 expression and Mash2 expression overlap in the ectoplacental cone and spongiotrophoblast, layers of the placenta that contain the giant cell precursors, indicating that the antagonistic activities of Hand1 and Mash2 must be coordinated. MASH2 and HAND1 both heterodimerize with E factors, bHLH proteins that are the DNA-binding partners for most class B bHLH factors and which are also expressed in the ectoplacental cone and spongiotrophoblast. In vitro, HAND1 could antagonize MASH2 function by competing for E-factor binding. However, the Hand1 mutant phenotype cannot be solely explained by ectopic activity of MASH2, as the Hand1 mutant phenotype was not altered by further mutation of Mash2. Interestingly, expression of E-factor genes (ITF2 and ALF1) was down-regulated in the trophoblast lineage prior to giant cell differentiation. Therefore, suppression of MASH2 function, required to allow giant cell differentiation, may occur in vivo by loss of its E-factor partner due to loss of its expression and/or competition from HAND1. In giant cells, where E-factor expression was not detected, HAND1 presumably associates with a different bHLH partner. This may account for the distinct functions of HAND1 in giant cells and their precursors. We conclude that development of the trophoblast lineage is regulated by the interacting functions of HAND1, MASH2, and their cofactors.

  19. 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.

  20. Reversing the Resistance Phenotype of the Biomphalaria glabrata Snail Host Schistosoma mansoni Infection by Temperature Modulation

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:22577362

  1. Elucidation of the aggregation pathways of helix-turn-helix peptides: Stabilization at the turn region is critical for fibril formation

    PubMed Central

    Do, Thanh D.; Chamas, Ali; Zheng, Xueyun; Barnes, Aaron; Chang, Dayna; Veldstra, Tjitske; Takhar, Harmeet; Dressler, Nicolette; Trapp, Benjamin; Miller, Kylie; McMahon, Audrene; Meredith, Stephen C.; Shea, Joan-Emma; Cantrell, Kristi Lazar; Bowers, Michael T.

    2015-01-01

    Aggregation of proteins to fiber-like aggregates often involves a transformation of native monomers to β-sheet-rich oligomers. This general observation underestimates the importance of α-helical segments in the aggregation cascade. Here, using a combination of experimental techniques and accelerated molecular dynamics simulations, we investigate the aggregation of a 43-residue, apolipoprotein A-I mimetic peptide and its E21Q and D26N mutants. Our study indicates a strong propensity of helical segments not to adopt cross-β fibrils. The helix-turn-helix monomeric conformation of the peptides is preserved in the mature fibrils. Furthermore, we reveal opposite effects of mutations on and near the turn region in the self-assembly of these peptides. We show that the E21-R24 salt bridge is a major contributor to helix-turn-helix folding, subsequently leading to abundant fibril formation. On the other hand, the K19-D26 interaction is not required to fold the native helix-turn-helix. However, removal of the charged D26 residue decreases the stability of helix-turn-helix monomer, and consequently reduces aggregation. Finally, we provide a more refined assembly model for the helix-turn-helix peptides from apolipoprotein A-I based on the parallel stacking of helix-turn-helix dimers. PMID:26070092

  2. Elucidation of the Aggregation Pathways of Helix-Turn-Helix Peptides: Stabilization at the Turn Region Is Critical for Fibril Formation.

    PubMed

    Do, Thanh D; Chamas, Ali; Zheng, Xueyun; Barnes, Aaron; Chang, Dayna; Veldstra, Tjitske; Takhar, Harmeet; Dressler, Nicolette; Trapp, Benjamin; Miller, Kylie; McMahon, Audrene; Meredith, Stephen C; Shea, Joan-Emma; Lazar Cantrell, Kristi; Bowers, Michael T

    2015-07-01

    Aggregation of proteins to fiberlike aggregates often involves a transformation of native monomers to β-sheet-rich oligomers. This general observation underestimates the importance of α-helical segments in the aggregation cascade. Here, using a combination of experimental techniques and accelerated molecular dynamics simulations, we investigate the aggregation of a 43-residue, apolipoprotein A-I mimetic peptide and its E21Q and D26N mutants. Our study indicates a strong propensity of helical segments not to adopt cross-β-fibrils. The helix-turn-helix monomeric conformation of the peptides is preserved in the mature fibrils. Furthermore, we reveal opposite effects of mutations on and near the turn region in the self-assembly of these peptides. We show that the E21-R24 salt bridge is a major contributor to helix-turn-helix folding, subsequently leading to abundant fibril formation. On the other hand, the K19-D26 interaction is not required to fold the native helix-turn-helix peptide. However, removal of the charged D26 residue decreases the stability of the helix-turn-helix monomer and consequently reduces the level of aggregation. Finally, we provide a more refined assembly model for the helix-turn-helix peptides from apolipoprotein A-I based on the parallel stacking of helix-turn-helix dimers.

  3. MTA3 regulates CGB5 and Snail genes in trophoblast.

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-19

    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 occupied the proximal promoter regions of both Snail and hCG within BeWo cells. Furthermore, we examined MTA3 expression in placental trophoblast by immunohistochemistry and found that MTA3 expression was higher in villous cytotrophoblasts versus

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Evaluation of Doxorubicin-loaded 3-Helix Micelles as Nanocarriers

    PubMed Central

    Dube, Nikhil; Shu, Jessica Y.; Dong, He; Seo, Jai W.; Ingham, Elizabeth; Kheirolomoom, Azadeh; Chen, Pin-Yuan; Forsayeth, John; Bankiewicz, Krystof; Ferrara, Katherine W.; Xu, Ting

    2013-01-01

    Designing stable drug nanocarriers, 10-30 nm in size, would have significant impact on their transport in circulation, tumor penetration and therapeutic efficacy. In the present study, biological properties of 3-helix micelles loaded with 8 wt% doxorubicin (DOX), ~15 nm in size, were characterized to validate their potential as a nanocarrier platform. DOX-loaded micelles exhibited high stability in terms of size and drug retention in concentrated protein environments similar to conditions after intravenous injections. DOX-loaded micelles were cytotoxic to PPC-1 and 4T1 cancer cells at levels comparable to free DOX. 3-helix micelles can be disassembled by proteolytic degradation of peptide shell to enable drug release and clearance to minimize long-term accumulation. Local administration to normal rat striatum by convection enhanced delivery (CED) showed greater extent of drug distribution and reduced toxicity relative to free drug. Intravenous administration of DOX-loaded 3-helix micelles demonstrated improved tumor half-life and reduced toxicity to healthy tissues in comparison to free DOX. In vivo delivery of DOX-loaded 3-helix micelles through two different routes clearly indicates the potential of 3-helix micelles as safe and effective nanocarriers for cancer therapeutics. PMID:24050265

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Switching on-off Snail: LOXL2 versus GSK3beta.

    PubMed

    Peinado, Héctor; Portillo, Francisco; Cano, Amparo

    2005-12-01

    Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is considered as an essential determinant of carcinoma progression. The transcription factor Snail controls EMT by repressing E-cadherin gene expression and other epithelial genes. Snail protein stability and cellular localization is finely controlled by GSK3beta-dependent phosphorylation and subsequent ubiquitination. GSK3beta phosphorylates Snail at two different motifs which induce its nuclear export and association with beta-Trcp thus leading to Snail degradation. Recently, Snail was found to interact physical and functionally with LOXL2, a member of the lysyl oxidase gene family. Interestingly, LOXL2 seems to attenuate the GSK3beta-dependent Snail degradation. Here, we discuss the relevance of this new potential mechanism of regulation and the role of LOXL2 during carcinoma progression.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. The Collagen Receptor Discoidin Domain Receptor 2 Stabilizes Snail1 Protein to Facilitate Breast Cancer Metastasis

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Kun; Corsa, Callie A.; Ponik, Suzanne M.; Prior, Julie L.; Piwnica-Worms, David; Eliceiri, Kevin W.; Keely, Patricia J.; Longmore, Gregory D.

    2013-01-01

    Increased stromal collagen deposition in human breast tumours correlates with metastases. We show that activation of the collagen I receptor DDR2 regulates Snail1 protein stability by stimulating ERK2 activity, in a Src-dependent manner. Activated ERK2 directly phosphorylates Snail1, leading to Snail1 nuclear accumulation, reduced ubiquitination, and increased protein half-life. DDR2-mediated stabilization of Snail1 promotes breast cancer cell invasion and migration in vitro, and metastasis in vivo. DDR2 expression was observed in the majority of human invasive ductal breast carcinomas studied, and was associated with nuclear Snail1 and absence of E-cadherin expression. We propose that DDR2 maintains Snail1 protein level and activity in tumor cells that have undergone EMT, thereby facilitating continued tumor cell invasion through collagen I-rich ECM by sustaining the EMT phenotype. As such, DDR2 could be an RTK target for the treatment of breast cancer metastasis. PMID:23644467

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Phenotypic plasticity in two marine snails: constraints superseding life history.

    PubMed

    Hollander, J; Collyer, M L; Adams, D C; Johannesson, K

    2006-11-01

    In organisms encountering predictable environments, fixed development is expected, whereas in organisms that cannot predict their future environment, phenotypic plasticity would be optimal to increase local adaptation. To test this prediction we experimentally compared phenotypic plasticity in two rocky-shore snail species; Littorina saxatilis releasing miniature snails on the shore, and Littorina littorea releasing drifting larvae settling on various shores, expecting L. littorea to show more phenotypic plasticity than L. saxatilis. We compared magnitude and direction of vectors of phenotypic difference in juvenile shell traits after 3 months exposure to different stimuli simulating sheltered and crab-rich shores, or wave-exposed and crab-free shores. Both species showed similar direction and magnitude of vectors of phenotypic difference with minor differences only between ecotypes of the nondispersing species, indicating that plasticity is an evolving trait in L. saxatilis. The lack of a strong plastic response in L. littorea might be explained by limits rather than costs to plasticity. PMID:17040383

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25482543

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-11

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

  5. The Arabidopsis Basic/Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factor FamilyW⃞

    PubMed Central

    Toledo-Ortiz, Gabriela; Huq, Enamul; Quail, Peter H.

    2003-01-01

    The basic/helix-loop-helix (bHLH) proteins are a superfamily of transcription factors that bind as dimers to specific DNA target sites and that have been well characterized in nonplant eukaryotes as important regulatory components in diverse biological processes. Based on evidence that the bHLH protein PIF3 is a direct phytochrome reaction partner in the photoreceptor's signaling network, we have undertaken a comprehensive computational analysis of the Arabidopsis genome sequence databases to define the scope and features of the bHLH family. Using a set of criteria derived from a previously defined consensus motif, we identified 147 bHLH protein–encoding genes, making this one of the largest transcription factor families in Arabidopsis. Phylogenetic analysis of the bHLH domain sequences permits classification of these genes into 21 subfamilies. The evolutionary and potential functional relationships implied by this analysis are supported by other criteria, including the chromosomal distribution of these genes relative to duplicated genome segments, the conservation of variant exon/intron structural patterns, and the predicted DNA binding activities within subfamilies. Considerable diversity in DNA binding site specificity among family members is predicted, and marked divergence in protein sequence outside of the conserved bHLH domain is observed. Together with the established propensity of bHLH factors to engage in varying degrees of homodimerization and heterodimerization, these observations suggest that the Arabidopsis bHLH proteins have the potential to participate in an extensive set of combinatorial interactions, endowing them with the capacity to be involved in the regulation of a multiplicity of transcriptional programs. We provide evidence from yeast two-hybrid and in vitro binding assays that two related phytochrome-interacting members in the Arabidopsis family, PIF3 and PIF4, can form both homodimers and heterodimers and that all three dimeric

  6. Ajuba LIM proteins are Snail/Slug corepressors required for neural crest development in Xenopus

    PubMed Central

    Langer, Ellen M.; Feng, Yunfeng; Zhaoyuan, Hou; Rauscher, Frank J.; Kroll, Kristen L.; Longmore, Gregory D.

    2008-01-01

    Snail family transcriptional repressors regulate epithelial mesenchymal transitions during physiological and pathological processes. A conserved SNAG repression domain present in all vertebrate Snail proteins is necessary for repressor complex assembly. Here, we identify the Ajuba family of LIM proteins as functional corepressors of the Snail family via an interaction with the SNAG domain. Ajuba LIM proteins interact with Snail in the nucleus on endogenous E-cadherin promoters and contribute to Snail-dependent repression of E-cadherin. Using Xenopus neural crest as a model of in vivo Snail- or Slug-induced EMT, we demonstrate that Ajuba LIM proteins contribute to neural crest development as Snail/Slug corepressors and are required for in vivo Snail/Slug function. Because Ajuba LIM proteins are also components of adherens junction and contribute to their assembly or stability, their functional interaction with Snail proteins in the nucleus suggests that Ajuba LIM proteins are important regulators of epithelia dynamics communicating surface events with nuclear responses. PMID:18331720

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Snail Is a Critical Mediator of Invadosome Formation and Joint Degradation in Arthritis.

    PubMed

    Lauzier, Annie; Lavoie, Roxane R; Charbonneau, Martine; Gouin-Boisvert, Béatrice; Harper, Kelly; Dubois, Claire M

    2016-02-01

    Progressive cartilage destruction, mediated by invasive fibroblast-like synoviocytes, is a central feature in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Members of the Snail family of transcription factors are required for cell migration and invasion, but their role in joint destruction remains unknown. Herein, we demonstrate that Snail is essential for the formation of extracellular matrix-degrading invadosomal structures by synovial cells from collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) rats and RA patients. Mechanistically, Snail induces extracellular matrix degradation in synovial cells by repressing PTEN, resulting in increased phosphorylation of platelet-derived growth factor receptor and activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/AKT pathway. Of significance, Snail is overexpressed in synovial cells and tissues of CIA rats and RA patients, whereas knockdown of Snail in CIA joints prevents cartilage invasion and joint damage. Furthermore, Snail expression is associated with an epithelial-mesenchymal transition gene signature characteristic of transglutaminase 2/transforming growth factor-β activation. Transforming growth factor-β and transglutaminase 2 stimulate Snail-dependent invadosome formation in rat and human synoviocytes. Our results identify the Snail-PTEN platelet-derived growth factor receptor/phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase axis as a novel regulator of the prodestructive invadosome-forming phenotype of synovial cells. New therapies for RA target inflammation, and are only partly effective in preventing joint damage. Blocking Snail and/or its associated gene expression program may provide an additional tool to improve the efficacy of treatments to prevent joint destruction. PMID:26704941

  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. TREMATODE INFECTION OF FRESHWATER SNAIL, FAMILY BITHYNIIDAE IN THAILAND.

    PubMed

    Kulsantiwong, Jutharat; Prasopdee, Sattrachai; Piratae, Supawadee; Khampoosa, Panita; Thammasiri, Chalida; Suwannatrai, Apiporn; Boonmars, Thidarut; Viyanant, Vithoon; Ruangsitichai, Jiraporn; Tarbsripair, Pairat; Tesana, Smarn

    2015-05-01

    Opisthorchis viverrini is restricted to and requires for its aquatic life cycle only Bithynia snail as first intermediate host but many species of cyprinid fish as second intermediate hosts. A survey in Thailand of trematode infection in freshwater snails of the family Bithyniidae carried out during October 2008 - July 2009 found a total of 5,492 snails, classified into ten species distributed in various geographic areas. Bithyniafuniculata and Gabbia pygmaea were localized to the north, B. s. goniomphalos, Wattebledia siamensis and W. crosseana to northeast and B. s. siamensis, Hydrobioides nassa and G. wykoffi to central region. W. baschi and G. erawanensis was found only in the south and Erawan waterfall, Kanchanaburi Province, respectively. Trematode infection rate was 3.15%. Cercariae were identified as belonging to six types, namely, amartae , monostome, mutabile, O. viverrini, virgulate, and unknown. The prevalence of cercarial infection in B. s. goniomphalos of amartae, mutabile, O. viverrini, virgulate, and unknown type cercaria was 0.55%, 0.74%, 1.07%, 2.87%, and 0.37%, respectively, and in B. s. siamensis monostome (1.10%) and virgulate (0.55%). Only virgulate cercariae were shed from W. crosseana (3.85%) and W. siamensis (5.19%). Cercariae of the unknown type were found in G. wykoffi (1.69%). No infection of O. viverrini cercariae was detected in the other species. PMID:26521513

  14. 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.

  15. A single peptide loop in an alpha-Helix

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  16. 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…

  17. 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

  18. Three-dimensional simulation of helix traveling wave tubes

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-12-31

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

  19. 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-05-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Characteristics of snail farming in Edo South Agricultural Zone of Edo State, Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Chah, Jane Mbolle; Inegbedion, Grace

    2013-02-01

    The study was carried out to determine the characteristics of snail farming in Edo South Agricultural Zone of Edo State Nigeria. The interview schedule was used to collect data from 60 snail farmers randomly selected from six cells in the study area. Information on the socioeconomic status of the farmers, production system, management practices and production constraints in the snail farms were elicited. The constraints were determined using a four-point Likert-type scale; a mean score of ≥ 2.5 was considered as a production constraint. Majority (85.0 %) of the respondents were part-time snail farmers. The major species of snails reared were Achatina achatina and Archachatina marginata, reared by 43.3 and 26.7 % of the farmers, respectively. Semi-intensive system of production was practised by 40.0 % of the farmers. Majority (78.0 %) of the respondents used car tyres to house their snails. About 56 % of the respondents kept their snails for 1-2 years before sale. Up to 51.7 % of the respondents separated their snails into different pens according to their size/age. The most commonly used feeds were vegetables (71.2 %), plant leaves (67.8 %) and kitchen waste (59.3 %). Records of snail production activities were kept by 75.0 % of respondents. The major constraints identified were lack of capital (3.31), inability to get good laying stock (3.00), lack of formulated feed to buy (2.98) and slow growth rate of snails (2.52). The potentials of snail farming in the study area have not been fully exploited as farmers produced at subsistence level.

  4. Snail transcription factors in keratinocytes: Enough to make your skin crawl.

    PubMed

    Sou, Paul W; Delic, Naomi C; Halliday, Gary M; Lyons, J Guy

    2010-12-01

    Keratinocytes are the cells in vertebrates that form the frontline barrier to the environment, and are also the most common origin of human cancer. They normally retain tight cell-cell adhesion and low motility, allowing them to terminally differentiate as they stratify. However, they must be able to respond to tissue damage by migrating into and across wounds. This requires reduced mutual adhesion, suppressed terminal differentiation and increased motility, processes driven by the Snail family of transcriptional repressors. The quantity, location and activity of Snail proteins are regulated by growth factors and cytokines to mediate these responses and invoke an inflammatory response. Subversion of these same pathways can promote carcinoma invasion and metastasis. Signaling network facts: • Snail1 and Snail2 in keratinocytes are important in promoting migration, inflammation and carcinogenesis, and suppressing terminal differentiation. • Extracellular stimuli, including TGFR and EGFR ligands, regulate Snails transcriptionally, via SMAD and MAPK pathways, and post-translationally, by modulating GSK3 and PAK1 activity, which determine Snail stability and intracellular location. • Snails directly repress transcription of genes important for cell-cell adhesion and cornified envelope formation. • Down-regulation of epithelial cadherins by Snails allows LIMDPs to relocate from adherens junctions to the cytoplasm, where they stimulate MAPK pathways, and to the nucleus, where they bind directly to Snails and act as corepressors. • Snail2 is essential for re-epithelialization of healing wounds and can be up-regulated in the keratinocytes at wound margins by p38, ERK1/2 and ERK5 MAPKs, and the arylhydrocarbon receptor. • Further information on signaling related to Snail proteins can be found online at KEGG: http://www.genome.jp/kegg-bin/show pathway?hsa04520 http://www.genome.jp/kegg-bin/show_pathway?hsa04350 http://www.genome.jp/kegg-bin/show pathway?hsa04012

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  8. 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...

  9. 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…

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

    PubMed Central

    Dreyfuss, G.; Vignoles, P.; Rondelaud, D.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

  13. 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....

  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. 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....

  16. 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....

  17. 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....

  18. Larval stages of digenetic trematodes in Melanopsis praemorsa snails from freshwater bodies in Palestine

    PubMed Central

    Bdir, Sami; Adwan, Ghaleb

    2011-01-01

    Objective To detect the species of larval trematodes (cercariae) in Melanopsis praemorsa snails from 5 different fresh water bodies in Palestine. Methods A total of 1 880 Melanopsis praemorsa snails were collected from different fresh water bodies in Palestine from October, 2008 to November, 2010. Cercariae in Melanopsis praemorsa snails were obtained by lighting and crushing methods. The behavior of cercariae was observed using a dissecting microscope. Results Three different species of larval trematodes were identified from Melanopsis praemorsa snails collected only from Al-Bathan fresh water body, while snails from other water bodies were not infected. These species were microcercous cercaria, xiphidiocercaria and brevifurcate lophocercous cercaria. These cercariae called Cercaria melanopsi palestinia I, Cercaria melanopsi palestinia II and Cercaria melanopsi palestinia III have not been described before from this snail in Palestine. The infection rate of Melanopsis praemorsa collected from Al-Bathan fresh water body was 5.7%, while the overall infection rate of snails collected from all fresh water bodies was 4.3%. Details are presented on the morphology and behavior of the cercariae as well as their development within the snail. Conclusions These results have been recorded for the first time and these cercariae may be of medical and veterinary importance. PMID:23569759

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Fratini, S; Cannicci, S; Vannini, M

    2001-07-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-04-01

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

  9. Crab scars reveal survival advantage of left-handed snails.

    PubMed

    Dietl, Gregory P; Hendricks, Jonathan R

    2006-09-22

    Biological asymmetries are important elements of the structure and function of many living organisms. Using the Plio-Pleistocene fossil record of crab predation on morphologically similar pairs of right- and left-handed snail species, we show here for the first time, contrary to traditional wisdom, that rare left-handed coiling promotes survival from attacks by right-handed crabs. This frequency-dependent result influences the balance of selection processes that maintain left-handedness at the species level and parallels some social interactions in human cultures, such as sports that involve dual contests between opponents of opposite handedness.

  10. Crab scars reveal survival advantage of left-handed snails

    PubMed Central

    Dietl, Gregory P; Hendricks, Jonathan R

    2006-01-01

    Biological asymmetries are important elements of the structure and function of many living organisms. Using the Plio–Pleistocene fossil record of crab predation on morphologically similar pairs of right- and left-handed snail species, we show here for the first time, contrary to traditional wisdom, that rare left-handed coiling promotes survival from attacks by right-handed crabs. This frequency-dependent result influences the balance of selection processes that maintain left-handedness at the species level and parallels some social interactions in human cultures, such as sports that involve dual contests between opponents of opposite handedness. PMID:17148425

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. Bent helix formation between RNA hairpins with complementary loops.

    PubMed

    Marino, J P; Gregorian, R S; Csankovszki, G; Crothers, D M

    1995-06-01

    The initial interaction between the ColE1 plasmid specific transcripts RNA I and RNA II, which function as antisense regulators of plasmid replication, comprises a transient complex between complementary loops found within the RNA secondary structures. Multidimensional heteronuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy was used to characterize complexes formed between model RNA hairpins having seven nucleotide complementary loops. Seven base pairs are formed in the loop-loop helix, with continuous helical stacking of the loop residues on the 3' side of their helical stems. A sharp bend in the loop-loop helix, documented by gel electrophoresis, narrows the major groove and allows bridging of the phosphodiester backbones across the major groove in order to close the hairpin loops at their 5'-ends. The bend is further enhanced by the binding of Rom, a ColE1 encoded protein that regulates replication. PMID:7539549

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1982-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Nonlinear time-dependent simulation of helix traveling wave tubes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peng, Wei-Feng; Yang, Zhong-Hai; Hu, Yu-Lu; Li, Jian-Qing; Lu, Qi-Ru; Li, Bin

    2011-07-01

    A one-dimensional nonlinear time-dependent theory for helix traveling wave tubes is studied. A generalized electromagnetic field is applied to the expression of the radio frequency field. To simulate the variations of the high frequency structure, such as the pitch taper and the effect of harmonics, the spatial average over a wavelength is substituted by a time average over a wave period in the equation of the radio frequency field. Under this assumption, the space charge field of the electron beam can be treated by a space charge wave model along with the space charge coefficient. The effects of the radio frequency and the space charge fields on the electrons are presented by the equations of the electron energy and the electron phase. The time-dependent simulation is compared with the frequency-domain simulation for a helix TWT, which validates the availability of this theory.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-27

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

  18. Bent helix formation between RNA hairpins with complementary loops.

    PubMed

    Marino, J P; Gregorian, R S; Csankovszki, G; Crothers, D M

    1995-06-01

    The initial interaction between the ColE1 plasmid specific transcripts RNA I and RNA II, which function as antisense regulators of plasmid replication, comprises a transient complex between complementary loops found within the RNA secondary structures. Multidimensional heteronuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy was used to characterize complexes formed between model RNA hairpins having seven nucleotide complementary loops. Seven base pairs are formed in the loop-loop helix, with continuous helical stacking of the loop residues on the 3' side of their helical stems. A sharp bend in the loop-loop helix, documented by gel electrophoresis, narrows the major groove and allows bridging of the phosphodiester backbones across the major groove in order to close the hairpin loops at their 5'-ends. The bend is further enhanced by the binding of Rom, a ColE1 encoded protein that regulates replication.

  19. Transmembrane helix dimerization: beyond the search for sequence motifs.

    PubMed

    Li, Edwin; Wimley, William C; Hristova, Kalina

    2012-02-01

    Studies of the dimerization of transmembrane (TM) helices have been ongoing for many years now, and have provided clues to the fundamental principles behind membrane protein (MP) folding. Our understanding of TM helix dimerization has been dominated by the idea that sequence motifs, simple recognizable amino acid sequences that drive lateral interaction, can be used to explain and predict the lateral interactions between TM helices in membrane proteins. But as more and more unique interacting helices are characterized, it is becoming clear that the sequence motif paradigm is incomplete. Experimental evidence suggests that the search for sequence motifs, as mediators of TM helix dimerization, cannot solve the membrane protein folding problem alone. Here we review the current understanding in the field, as it has evolved from the paradigm of sequence motifs into a view in which the interactions between TM helices are much more complex. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Membrane protein structure and function.

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

    PubMed

    Moskvitin, A A; Pivovarov, A S

    2003-01-01

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

  1. Highly twisted double-helix carbon nanotube yarns.

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-26

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1983-01-01

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

  3. Field analysis of helix traveling wave tube interaction

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-12-31

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

  4. Standard use conditions of terrestrial gastropods in active biomonitoring of soil contamination.

    PubMed

    Viard, Bénédicte; Maul, Armand; Pihan, Jean-Claude

    2004-02-01

    The rehabilitation of contaminated sites is becoming a rising preoccupation which requires the knowledge of their past before realization of a suitable remediation. Physicochemical analysis must be realized jointly with the use of bioindicator organisms, which, owing to their bioaccumulation capacities, will reveal the bioavailability of metals in soils. Among terrestrial invertebrates, gastropods like Helix aspersa aspersa possess an important organotropism for metals in their digestive gland and they can be used in active biomonitoring. During in situ monitoring, two parameters are tested: growth and accumulation of Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, Cd, Ni, Pb, and Cr in viscera of snails. Environmental conditions, like humidity or autochthonous vegetation, are able to modify growth or bioaccumulation. In order to remove the variation of these factors, microcosms previously used must be improved: they were equipped with porous candles, which continually humidify soil. Concerning vegetation, an experimental plan was realized to determine the combination of food with the best compromise between growth and bioaccumulation: the combination clover-snail feed was chosen. Thus, in situ, the experimental environment will be repeated in all investigated sites and used to allow follow up of their contamination levels and intercomparison between different sites. PMID:14760452

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Food induced esterase phenocopies in the snail Cepaea nemoralis.

    PubMed

    Oxford, G S

    1975-12-01

    Hepatopancreatic extracts from the snail Cepaea nemoralis, assayed straight from the field, often contain three or four heavily staining esterase zones which migrate to the cathodal end of polyacrylamide disc gels during electrophoresis. Previous breeding results showed that the heavily straining zones appeared allelic but to incorporate these multibanded phenotypes, a super gene of five closely linked loci was tentatively proposed. Further breeding work again failed to demonstrate multiple zones in parents or offspring and so experiments were conducted to see whether the multi-zoned phenotypes in the wild were produced by secondary modification of single primary products. Wild snails yielding extracts containing more than two heavily staining zones were shown to possess only two such zones after three months under laboratory conditions. Also, the ingestion of nettle (Urtica dioica L.) has been demonstrated to induce extra esterase zones in laboratory-reared animals. Some of the secondarily induced zones appear identical in physical, biochemical and electrophoretic properties to the primary products of other alleles, and thus appear to be electrophoretic phenocopies. A model is suggested which could account for this phenomenon. PMID:1061709

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Design and synthesis of peptides with hybrid helix-turn-helix (HTH) motif and their conformational study.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Gangavaram V M; Thodupunuri, Prashanth; Sirisha, Katukuri; Basha, Shaik Jeelani; Gurava Reddy, Pottireddygari; Sarma, Akella V S

    2014-09-19

    The present study is aimed at the design and synthesis of peptides with hybrid helix-turn-helix (HTH) motif and their conformational analysis (NMR, MD, and CD studies). The requisite peptides with heterogeneous backbones were prepared from β-, γ-, and δ-amino acids with carbohydrate side chains and α-amino acid, L-Ala. The α/β-peptides were prepared from (S)-β-Caa(l) (C-linked carbo-β-amino acid with D-lyxo furanoside side chain) and L-Ala with a 1:1 alternation. The α/β-peptides with "helix-turn" motif displayed a 11/9-helix nucleating a 13-atom H-bonding turn. The α/β-octapeptides showed the presence of HTH structures with bifurcated 11/15-H-bonded turn. Further, the α/β-hexapeptide with HT motif, independently on coupling with γ/α/γ/α- and δ/α/δ/α-tetrapeptides at the C-terminus provided access to the decapeptides with "hybrid HTH" motifs. The decapeptide ("α-β-α-β-α-β-γ-α-γ-α") showed a hybrid HTH with "11/9/11/9/11/16/9/12/10" H-bonding, while the decapeptide ("α-β-α-β-α-β-δ-α-δ-α") revealed the presence of a "11/9/11/9/11/17/9/13/11" helical pattern. The above peptides thus have shown compatibility between different types of helices and serendipitous bifurcated 11/16- and 11/17-turns. The present study thus provided the first opportunity for the design and study of "hybrid HTH" motifs with more than one kind of helical structures in them.

  12. Design and synthesis of peptides with hybrid helix-turn-helix (HTH) motif and their conformational study.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Gangavaram V M; Thodupunuri, Prashanth; Sirisha, Katukuri; Basha, Shaik Jeelani; Gurava Reddy, Pottireddygari; Sarma, Akella V S

    2014-09-19

    The present study is aimed at the design and synthesis of peptides with hybrid helix-turn-helix (HTH) motif and their conformational analysis (NMR, MD, and CD studies). The requisite peptides with heterogeneous backbones were prepared from β-, γ-, and δ-amino acids with carbohydrate side chains and α-amino acid, L-Ala. The α/β-peptides were prepared from (S)-β-Caa(l) (C-linked carbo-β-amino acid with D-lyxo furanoside side chain) and L-Ala with a 1:1 alternation. The α/β-peptides with "helix-turn" motif displayed a 11/9-helix nucleating a 13-atom H-bonding turn. The α/β-octapeptides showed the presence of HTH structures with bifurcated 11/15-H-bonded turn. Further, the α/β-hexapeptide with HT motif, independently on coupling with γ/α/γ/α- and δ/α/δ/α-tetrapeptides at the C-terminus provided access to the decapeptides with "hybrid HTH" motifs. The decapeptide ("α-β-α-β-α-β-γ-α-γ-α") showed a hybrid HTH with "11/9/11/9/11/16/9/12/10" H-bonding, while the decapeptide ("α-β-α-β-α-β-δ-α-δ-α") revealed the presence of a "11/9/11/9/11/17/9/13/11" helical pattern. The above peptides thus have shown compatibility between different types of helices and serendipitous bifurcated 11/16- and 11/17-turns. The present study thus provided the first opportunity for the design and study of "hybrid HTH" motifs with more than one kind of helical structures in them. PMID:25180942

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    O'Dwyer, Katie; Poulin, Robert

    2015-12-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Acute combined exposure to heavy metals (Zn, Cd) blocks memory formation in a freshwater snail.

    PubMed

    Byzitter, Jovita; Lukowiak, Ken; Karnik, Vikram; Dalesman, Sarah

    2012-04-01

    The effect of heavy metals on species survival is well documented; however, sublethal effects on behaviour and physiology are receiving growing attention. Measurements of changes in activity and respiration are more sensitive to pollutants, and therefore a better early indicator of potentially harmful ecological impacts. We assessed the effect of acute exposure (48 h) to two heavy metals at concentrations below those allowable in municipal drinking water (Zn: 1,100 μg/l; Cd: 3 μg/l) on locomotion and respiration using the freshwater snail, Lymnaea stagnalis. In addition we used a novel assessment method, testing the ability of the snail to form memory in the presence of heavy metals in both intact snails, and also snails that had the osphradial nerve severed which connects a chemosensory organ, the osphradium, to the central nervous system. Aerial respiration and locomotion remained unchanged by acute exposure to heavy metals. There was also no effect on memory formation of these metals when administered alone. However, when snails were exposed to these metals in combination memory formation was blocked. Severing the osphradial nerve prevented the memory blocking effect of Zn and Cd, indicating that the snails are sensing these metals in their environment via the osphradium and responding to them as a stressor. Therefore, assessing the ability of this species to form memory is a more sensitive measure of heavy metal pollution than measures of activity, and indicates that the snails' ability to demonstrate behavioural plasticity may be compromised by the presence of these pollutants.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Snail1 is involved in the renal epithelial-mesenchymal transition

    SciTech Connect

    Yoshino, Jun; Monkawa, Toshiaki Tsuji, Mihoko; Inukai, Mai; Itoh, Hiroshi; Hayashi, Matsuhiko

    2007-10-12

    The pathological significance of the tubular epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in kidney diseases is becoming increasingly recognized, and the transcription factor Snail1 plays a critical role in EMT. The results of this study show that Snail1 mRNA and protein were upregulated in the tubular epithelial cells of the obstructed kidneys in a rat model of unilateral ureteral obstruction and in human proximal tubule HKC-8 cells treated with TGF-{beta}1. Glycogen synthase kinase-3{beta} (GSK-3{beta}) regulates the Snail1 level by degrading Snail1 protein. The level of the phosphorylated inactive form of GSK-3{beta} was increased in the tubular epithelial cells of the obstructed kidney. TGF-{beta}1 increased the phosphorylated form of GSK-3{beta} in HKC-8 cells, and inhibition of GSK-3{beta} by the selective inhibitors lithium and TDZD-8 caused Snail1 protein to accumulate. This study demonstrated that Snail1 is involved in renal tubular EMT and that TGF-{beta}1 regulates Snail1 at the transcription and protein degradation levels.

  2. Epidemiology of cercarial stage of trematodes in freshwater snails from Chiang Mai province, Thailand

    PubMed Central

    Chontananarth, Thapana; Wongsawad, Chalobol

    2013-01-01

    Objective To investigate the epidemiological situation of cercarial trematodes infection in freshwater snails from different water resources in Chiang Mai province, Thailand. Methods The snail specimens were collected from 13 districts of Chiang Mai province during April 2008 to February 2012. The prevalence of cercarial infection in snails was investigated using the crushing method. The drawing was done with the help of a camera lucida for the morphological study. Results A total of 2 479 snail individuals were collected and classified into 7 families, 11 genera, and 14 species, Among them, 8 snails species were found to be infected with an overall prevalence of 17.27% (428/2 479), which infected with nine groups of cercariae; gymnocephalous cercaria, strigea cercaria, megalurous cercaria, monostome cercaria, parapleurolophocercous cercaria (Haplorchis cercaria), pleurolophocercous cercaria, furcocercous cercaria (Transversotrema cercaria), xiphidiocercaria, and virgulate cercaria. The parapleurolophocercous cercaria was found to be the dominant type among the cercarial infection in the snails (64.25%). Conclusions The various species of snails found in the research location act as the intermediate hosts for the high prevalence of parasitic infection of many species of mammals. This work will provide new information on both the distribution and first intermediate host of trematodes. PMID:23620846

  3. 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...

  4. On the interpretation of age-prevalence curves for schistosome infections of host snails.

    PubMed

    Woolhouse, M E

    1989-08-01

    The prevalence of schistosome infections in intermediate host snails varies with snail age. The relationship between age and prevalence, the age-prevalence curve, is complex and may vary in space and time, and among parasite-host species. Field studies show that the shape of the age-prevalence curve may be seasonally variable, and that at some times there may be a decline in prevalence among older snails. This paper attempts to explain these observations in terms of the underlying epidemiological processes. A discrete-time version of Muench's catalytic model for age-dependent infection is developed. Model simulations were carried out using life-history and epidemiological parameters derived from studies of Schistosoma haematobium-Bulinus globusus in Zimbabwe. Analysis of model behaviour identifies aspects of the schistosome-snail interaction that affect the shape of the age-prevalence curve. The following features can result in a decline in prevalence among older snails. (1) A decrease in the survival rate of patent infected snails with age. (2) A decrease in the force of infection with age. (3) A high rate of loss of infection. (4) A heterogeneity in the snail population such that the probability of infection is correlated with snail fecundity. (This would occur if there existed a spatial correlation between force of infection and fecundity, or if there were a correlation between fecundity and susceptibility.) The evidence for the occurrence of these features in the field is assessed. Survival rate is related more closely to the duration of patent infection than to age per se. The evidence for age-dependent force of infection is equivocal. Significant loss-of-infection rates have yet to be demonstrated. Heterogeneities in force of infection and fecundity have been reported and, for the Zimbabwe data, this mechanism can explain seasonality in the age-prevalence curve as a function of known seasonal variation in the force of infection and snail fecundity.

  5. Snail promotes epithelial-mesenchymal transition and invasiveness in human ovarian cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yu-Lou; Zhao, Xue-Min; Shuai, Zhi-Feng; Li, Chun-Yan; Bai, Qing-Yang; Yu, Xiu-Wen; Wen, Qiu-Ting

    2015-01-01

    There are limited reports with respect to the study on the epithelium-mesenchymal transformation (EMT) mediated by Snail in the ovarian cancer. This study detected the expression of Snail and related EMT markers in the ovarian cancer tissues, and explored the possible molecular mechanism of EMT mediated by Snail in the metastasis of ovarian cancer. The patients diagnosed with ovarian cancer according to the pathology were recruited in this study during 2010-2014. The carcinoma tissue and normal tissue adjacent to carcinoma were surgically obtained from patients. The genes of E-cadherin, β-catenin, Fibronectin and N-cadherin were detected using the RT-PCR. The 64 patients were recruited and diagnosed as ovarian cancer by pathological examination. The expression levels of Snail, Fibronectin and N-cadherin in the stage III and IV were higher than those in the stage I and II, respectively (all P < 0.05). However, the expression levels of E-cadherin and β-catenin decreased along with the stage developed (trend test, both P < 0.05), respectively. The expression of Snail was positively correlated with the expression of Fibronectin, N-cadherin, but negatively correlated with the expression of E-cadherin and β-catenin. The number of A2780 cells entering into the lower compartment in the group of carcinoma tissue were significantly higher than that in the group of normal tissue after transfected with Snail expression vector. While, the invasion ability of A2780 significantly reduced after RNAi-Snail. The correlation between Snail and invasion and metastasis of ovarian cancer and epithelial-mesenchymal transition based on tissue and cell levels, and to some extent explored the molecular mechanism of the EMT process mediated by Snail. PMID:26221280

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Orrock, John L

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Lead toxicity, locomotion and feeding in the freshwater snail, Lymnaea stagnalis (L.).

    PubMed

    Pyatt, A J; Pyatt, F B; Pentreath, V W

    2002-04-01

    The effects of lead (5 or 10 ppm) on the survival of the freshwater snail Lymnaea stagnalis (L.) collected from lead contaminated or uncontaminated environments were evaluated under controlled laboratory conditions. The animals from the contaminated environment had significantly greater survivability than those from the unpolluted environment to subsequent acute (up to 24 days) exposure to lead. Acute (72 h) exposure to lead inhibited several behavioural activities including locomotion, feeding, tentacle extension and emergence from the shell. Lead bioaccumulated in the snail tissues, especially the buccal mass and stomach. The freshwater snail provides a valuable system for studying the bioaccumulation and development of tolerance to environmental lead.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-24

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

  10. Expression of a chimeric helix-loop-helix gene, Id-SCL, in K562 human leukemic cells is associated with nuclear segmentation.

    PubMed Central

    Goldfarb, A. N.; Wolf, M. L.; Greenberg, J. M.

    1992-01-01

    We have designed a chimeric gene, Id-SCL, in which the 3' helix-loop-helix encoding portion of the presumptive oncogene SCL/tal is joined to the 5' coding portion of Id, an inhibitory helix-loop-helix gene. The predicted protein product of this chimeric gene contains the helix-loop-helix dimerization domain of SCL/tal, but, lacking a basic DNA binding domain, is predicted to have the inhibitory function of the Id product. Expression of the Id-SCL fusion gene in stably transfected K562 cells reproducibly resulted in nuclear segmentation and depressed growth rates; both of these phenotypic effects demonstrated a dosage dependence on the levels of Id-SCL mRNA and protein expressed in the various clones. Electron microscopy of cells expressing high levels of Id-SCL mRNA showed a significant increase in cytoplasmic perinuclear thin filaments and diminution of marginal heterochromatin in the nuclei. No other changes in hematopoietic differentiation status were observed in association with Id-SCL expression. Expression of intact Id and SCL/tal genes, as well as deletion mutants of Id and SCL/tal, independently transfected into K562 cells, indicated that the nuclear segmentation effect is dependent on the presence of a protein possessing a helix-loop-helix domain but lacking a basic domain. Our studies suggest that the balance of transcriptional inhibitory and stimulatory helix-loop-helix proteins in cells may be important determinants of proliferation and of structural organization within cells. Images Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6 Figure 8 Figure 11 PMID:1443047

  11. 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

  12. Designing Covalently Linked Heterodimeric Four-Helix Bundles.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Stretched versus compressed exponential kinetics in α-helix folding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamm, Peter; Helbing, Jan; Bredenbeck, Jens

    2006-03-01

    In a recent paper (J. Bredenbeck, J. Helbing, J.R. Kumita, G.A. Woolley, P. Hamm, α-helix formation in a photoswitchable peptide tracked from picoseconds to microseconds by time resolved IR spectroscopy, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci USA 102 (2005) 2379), we have investigated the folding of a photo-switchable α-helix with a kinetics that could be fit by a stretched exponential function exp(-( t/ τ) β). The stretching factor β became smaller as the temperature was lowered, a result which has been interpreted in terms of activated diffusion on a rugged energy surface. In the present paper, we discuss under which conditions diffusion problems occur with stretched exponential kinetics ( β < 1) and under which compressed exponential kinetics is obtained ( β > 1). We show that diffusion problems do have a strong tendency to yield stretched exponential kinetics, yet, that there are conditions (strong perturbation from equilibrium, performing the experiment in the folding direction) under which compressed exponential kinetics would be expected instead. We discuss the kinetics on free energy surfaces predicted by simple initiation-propagation models (zipper models) of α-helix folding, as well as by folding funnel models. We show that our recent experiment has been performed under condition for which models with strong downhill driving force, such as the zipper model, would predict compressed, rather than stretched exponential kinetics, in disagreement with the experimental observation. We therefore propose that the free energy surface along a reaction coordinate that governs the folding kinetics must be relatively flat and has a shape similar to a 1D golf course. We discuss how this conclusion can be unified with the thermodynamically well established zipper model by introducing an additional kinetic reaction coordinate.

  15. 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

  16. Direct imaging of DNA fibers: the visage of double helix.

    PubMed

    Gentile, Francesco; Moretti, Manola; Limongi, Tania; Falqui, Andrea; Bertoni, Giovanni; Scarpellini, Alice; Santoriello, Stefania; Maragliano, Luca; Proietti Zaccaria, Remo; di Fabrizio, Enzo

    2012-12-12

    Direct imaging becomes important when the knowledge at few/single molecule level is requested and where the diffraction does not allow to get structural and functional information. Here we report on the direct imaging of double stranded (ds) λ-DNA in the A conformation, obtained by combining a novel sample preparation method based on super hydrophobic DNA molecules self-aggregation process with transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The experimental breakthrough is the production of robust and highly ordered paired DNA nanofibers that allowed its direct TEM imaging and the double helix structure revealing.

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

    PubMed

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

    1987-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hofrichter, James

    1998-03-01

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

  19. The redial and cercarial production of a digenean in the snail host is lower when no cercarial shedding occurs.

    PubMed

    Dreyfuss, G; Vignoles, P; Rondelaud, D

    2009-12-01

    Single- and double-miracidium exposures of Galba truncatula with Fasciola hepatica (two groups) or with Paramphistomum daubneyi (two groups) were carried out under laboratory conditions to compare parasite production in cercaria-shedding snails (CS snails) with that found in snails without emission (NCS snails). Free rediae and cercariae were thus counted in snails from both categories after their dissection at regular intervals (at 24 degrees C). In the four groups, the numbers of free rediae and free cercariae found at day 75 post-exposure (F. hepatica) or at day 85 (P. daubneyi) were significantly greater in CS snails than in NCS ones. The number of cercariae in NCS subgroups did not show any significant variation from day 45 p.e. to day 75 (F. hepatica, the two groups) or from day 55 to day 85 (P. daubneyi, single-miracidium infections), while it significantly decreased with increasing time of infection in the double-miracidium infections with P. daubneyi. In NCS snails, the presence of too numerous free cercariae within the snail's body (the volume of the body allows development only of a given number of rediae) might rapidly block out redial development and intraredial differentiation of other cercariae. The numerical diminution of P. daubneyi cercariae in the NCS snails (double-miracidium group) might probably be due to the lysis of new cercariae just formed, probably in reason of a lack of nutrients available for these larvae within the snail. PMID:20092063

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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).

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

    PubMed

    Becker, Stefan; Terlau, Heinrich

    2008-05-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Deheyn, Dimitri D.; Wilson, Nerida G.

    2011-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Detection of micronuclei in haemocytes of zebra mussel and great ramshorn snail exposed to pentachlorophenol.

    PubMed

    Pavlica, M; Klobucar, G I; Vetma, N; Erben, R; Papes, D

    2000-02-16

    The frequency of micronuclei (MN) induced by pentachlorophenol (PCP) in haemocytes of zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha Pall. and great ramshorn snail, Planorbarius corneus L. was determined over a 14 days of exposure (sampling after 4, 7 and 14 days) under laboratory conditions. PCP doses for zebra mussel ranged from 10 to 150 microg/l, and for ramshorn snail from 10 to 450 microg/l. Micronuclei were detected after bisbenzimide fluorescent staining. Positive responses were observed in both species. The mean MN frequencies in treated mussels ranged between 0.69 and 7.50 per thousand, and between 2.07 and 13.80 per thousand in treated snails. The spontaneous MN levels in mussels averaged from 0.5 to 2.75 per thousand, and in snails from 1.56 to 2.00 per thousand. Our results suggest that haemolymph of both species represent an appropriate test tissue in environmental genotoxicity assessment.

  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. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-10

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  16. Enzootic Angiostrongylus cantonensis in Rats and Snails after an Outbreak of Human Eosinophilic Meningitis, Jamaica

    PubMed Central

    Lindo, John F.; Waugh, Cecilia; Hall, John; Cunningham-Myrie, Colette; Ashley, Deanna; Sullivan, James J.; Bishop, Henry S.; Robinson, David G.; Holtz, Timothy; Robinson, Ralph D.

    2002-01-01

    After an outbreak in 2000 of eosinophilic meningitis in tourists to Jamaica, we looked for Angiostrongylus cantonensis in rats and snails on the island. Overall, 22% (24/109) of rats harbored adult worms, and 8% (4/48) of snails harbored A. cantonensis larvae. This report is the first of enzootic A. cantonensis infection in Jamaica, providing evidence that this parasite is likely to cause human cases of eosinophilic meningitis. PMID:11927033

  17. 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.

  18. Differences in snail ecology lead to infection pattern variation of Echinostoma spp. larval stages.

    PubMed

    Zimmermann, Michael R; Luth, Kyle E; Esch, Gerald W

    2014-09-01

    The infection patterns of parasites are often tied to host behavior. Although most studies have investigated definitive hosts and their parasites, intermediate host behavior may play a role in shaping the distribution and accumulation of parasites, particularly the larval stages. In an attempt to answer this question, more than 4,500 pulmonate snails were collected from 11 states in the mid-Atlantic and Midwestern United States in the summer of 2012. These snails were necropsied and echinostome metecercariae were commonly observed infecting the snails as 2(nd) intermediate hosts (20.0%). The snails included species of 3 genera with distinct differences in the infection patterns of Echinostoma spp. metacercariae among them. Physa spp. (comprising of P. acuta and P. gyrina) snails exhibited a significantly higher prevalence of infection (23.5%) than both Lymnaea columella (11.6%) and Helisoma spp. (comprising of H. anceps and H. trivolvis) (14.2%; P < 0.05), with no difference in prevalence observed between the latter 2 genera (P > 0.05). The intensity of metacercariae within the snail hosts was significantly different between the 3 genera (P < 0.05), with L. columella having the highest intensity (24.3 ± 5.6), followed by Physa spp. (15.2 ± 1.5) and Helisoma spp. (5.0 ± 0.9). Differences in prevalence and intensity were also observed when the different snail families co-habited the same body of water. The disparities in infection patterns are likely due to distinct differences in the behavioral and feeding ecology of the snail hosts.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Owen, D F

    1963-05-10

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

  2. Short-term climate change and the extinction of the snail Rhachistia aldabrae (Gastropoda: Pulmonata).

    PubMed

    Gerlach, Justin

    2007-10-22

    The only known population of the Aldabra banded snail Rhachistia aldabrae declined through the late twentieth century, leading to its extinction in the late 1990s. This occurred within a stable habitat and its extinction is attributable to decreasing rainfall on Aldabra atoll, associated with regional changes in rainfall patterns in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century. It is proposed that the extinction of this species is a direct result of decreasing rainfall leading to increased mortality of juvenile snails.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

    Izawa, Genya; Kobayashi, Wakako; Haraguchi, Misako; Sudo, Akiharu; Ozawa, Masayuki

    2015-07-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Genes and the physics of the DNA double-helix.

    PubMed

    Yeramian, E

    2000-09-19

    The processing of the genetic information stored in the double-helical DNA implies the separation of the two strands, the physics of which is described by the helix-coil transition model. Is there a relationship between genetic maps and DNA physical stability maps that plot the sequence-specific propensity for the thermal disruption of the double-helix? Here, with appropriate methodological formulations, such maps are derived for a large set of sequences, including complete genomes. The superposition of the two maps leads to a contrasted picture with correlations ranging between two extremes: from almost perfect (with the genes precisely delineated as stable regions) to more or less complete unrelatedness. The simplest explanation for the results is that the observed striking correlations correspond to the relics of a primeval organisation of the genetic message, with the physics of DNA playing a role in the delimitation of coding regions. In order to trace the evolutionary fate of this signal further, a detailed study of the yeast complete genome is performed. In this study, the superposition of the genetic and physical stability maps is examined in the light of information concerning gene duplication. On the basis of this analysis it is concluded that the 'signature' associated with the supposed archaic signal is in the process of being erased, most probably because the underlying feature is no longer under selective pressure. There are many evolutionary implications for the results presented and for their proposed interpretations, notably concerning models of mutational dynamics in relation to erasure processes.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  11. Are sick individuals weak competitors? Competitive ability of snails parasitized by a gigantism-inducing trematode.

    PubMed

    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

  12. 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.

  13. Bacterial diversity in different regions of gastrointestinal tract of Giant African snail (Achatina fulica).

    PubMed

    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

    2012-12-01

    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.

  14. Are sick individuals weak competitors? Competitive ability of snails parasitized by a gigantism-inducing trematode.

    PubMed

    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.

  15. 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. PMID:23032289

  16. 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.

  17. NF2 blocks Snail-mediated p53 suppression in mesothelioma

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-05-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. The occurrence of the snail Lymnaea columella on grazing areas in New South Wales and studies on its susceptibility to Fasciola hepatica.

    PubMed

    Boray, J C; Fraser, G C; Williams, J D; Wilson, J M

    1985-01-01

    Field surveys were carried out in the Lismore and Casino area for the presence of fresh water snails potentially responsible for the transmission of trematodes in ruminants. Although the North American snail, Lymnaea columella has previously only been reported from metropolitan areas, large populations of the snail were found east of Lismore. Natural infection with F. hepatica was detected in some of the snails and laboratory studies showed that this snail species was highly susceptible to infection with miracidia of F. hepatica and produced viable metacercariae. Three species of planorbid snails, Helicorbis australiensis, Pygmanisus pelorius and Gyraulus gilberti were also found. The first 2 planorbid species were infected with paramphistomid cercariae.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Antigens of Euparipha pisana (snail). I. Identification of allergens by means of in vivo and in vitro analysis.

    PubMed

    Amoroso, S; Cocchiara, R; Locorotondo, G; Parlato, A; Lampiasi, N; Albeggiani, G; Falagiani, P; Geraci, D

    1988-01-01

    The data obtained in this study suggest that eating Euparipha pisana (snail), a common food in Mediterranean countries, could give serious allergic reaction such as asthma. We describe here the identification and partial characterization of allergenic molecules form this new source. An aqueous extract of snail was obtained by homogenization in distilled water, centrifugation, dialysis and defatting with ethyl ether. Skin prick test (SPT) performed with the snail extract on 70 subjects allergic to the more common allergens of the Mediterranean area gave a SPT positivity in 61% of the subjects tested, with a mean value of histamine-equivalent prick (HEP) equal to 0.81 +/- 0.25 (n = 43), while no SPT-snail-positive reactions were obtained by using the same extract on 30 not allergic subjects. To ascertain if such a sensitivity was IgE-mediated, sera from SPT-snail-positive subjects were analyzed by RAST, coupling the snail extract to polystyrene balls and to paper discs. 19% of the sera tested were RAST-positive, mean value of binding 4.8 +/- 2.8% (n = 13), while when using sera from SPT-snail-negative subjects, the RAST mean value was 0.49 +/- 0.18% (n = 27). Histamine release (HR) was also performed. Basophils prepared from SPT-snail-positive subjects were incubated with a snail extract. All of the SPT-snail-positive subjects gave a significant value of HR, mean value 21.8 +/- 7% using 1 micrograms of snail extract (n = 16), while 1.41 +/- 1.1% (n = 10) was the mean value obtained when SPT-snail-negative subjects were analyzed.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  8. Genome-wide identification and analysis of basic helix-loop-helix domains in dog, Canis lupus familiaris.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xu-Hua; Wang, Yong; Liu, A-Ke; Liu, Xiao-Ting; Zhou, Yang; Yao, Qin; Chen, Ke-Ping

    2015-04-01

    The basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) domain is a highly conserved amino acid motif that defines a group of DNA-binding transcription factors. bHLH proteins play essential regulatory roles in a variety of biological processes in animal, plant, and fungus. The domestic dog, Canis lupus familiaris, is a good model organism for genetic, physiological, and behavioral studies. In this study, we identified 115 putative bHLH genes in the dog genome. Based on a phylogenetic analysis, 51, 26, 14, 4, 12, and 4 dog bHLH genes were assigned to six separate groups (A-F); four bHLH genes were categorized as ''orphans''. Within-group evolutionary relationships inferred from the phylogenetic analysis were consistent with positional conservation, other conserved domains flanking the bHLH motif, and highly conserved intron/exon patterns in other vertebrates. Our analytical results confirmed the GenBank annotations of 89 dog bHLH proteins and provided information that could be used to update the annotations of the remaining 26 dog bHLH proteins. These data will provide good references for further studies on the structures and regulatory functions of bHLH proteins in the growth and development of dogs, which may help in understanding the mechanisms that underlie the physical and behavioral differences between dogs and wolves. PMID:25403511

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Akt regulates basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor-coactivator complex formation and activity during neuronal differentiation.

    PubMed

    Vojtek, Anne B; Taylor, Jennifer; DeRuiter, Stacy L; Yu, Jenn-Yah; Figueroa, Claudia; Kwok, Roland P S; Turner, David L

    2003-07-01

    Neural basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factors regulate neurogenesis in vertebrates. Signaling by peptide growth factors also plays critical roles in regulating neuronal differentiation and survival. Many peptide growth factors activate phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and subsequently the Akt kinases, raising the possibility that Akt may impact bHLH protein function during neurogenesis. Here we demonstrate that reducing expression of endogenous Akt1 and Akt2 by RNA interference (RNAi) reduces neuron generation in P19 cells transfected with a neural bHLH expression vector. The reduction in neuron generation from decreased Akt expression is not solely due to decreased cell survival, since addition of the caspase inhibitor z-VAD-FMK rescues cell death associated with loss of Akt function but does not restore neuron formation. This result indicates that Akt1 and Akt2 have additional functions during neuronal differentiation that are separable from neuronal survival. We show that activated Akt1 enhances complex formation between bHLH proteins and the transcriptional coactivator p300. Activated Akt1 also significantly augments the transcriptional activity of the bHLH protein neurogenin 3 in complex with the coactivators p300 or CBP. In addition, inhibition of endogenous Akt activity by the PI3K/Akt inhibitor LY294002 abolishes transcriptional cooperativity between the bHLH proteins and p300. We propose that Akt regulates the assembly and activity of bHLH-coactivator complexes to promote neuronal differentiation.

  12. 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.

  13. Characterization of ABF-1, a novel basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor expressed in activated B lymphocytes.

    PubMed

    Massari, M E; Rivera, R R; Voland, J R; Quong, M W; Breit, T M; van Dongen, J J; de Smit, O; Murre, C

    1998-06-01

    Proteins of the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) family are required for a number of different developmental pathways, including neurogenesis, lymphopoiesis, myogenesis, and sex determination. Using a yeast two-hybrid screen, we have identified a new bHLH transcription factor, ABF-1, from a human B-cell cDNA library. Within the bHLH region, ABF-1 shows a remarkable conservation with other HLH proteins, including tal-1, NeuroD, and paraxis. Its expression pattern is restricted to a subset of lymphoid tissues, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-transformed lymphoblastoid cell lines, and activated human B cells. ABF-1 is capable of binding an E-box element either as a homodimer or as a heterodimer with E2A. Furthermore, a heterodimeric complex containing ABF-1 and E2A can be detected in EBV-immortalized lymphoblastoid cell lines. ABF-1 contains a transcriptional repression domain and is capable of inhibiting the transactivation capability of E47 in mammalian cells. ABF-1 represents the first example of a B-cell-restricted bHLH protein, and its expression pattern suggests that ABF-1 may play a role in regulating antigen-dependent B-cell differentiation.

  14. Genome-wide identification and analysis of basic helix-loop-helix domains in dog, Canis lupus familiaris.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xu-Hua; Wang, Yong; Liu, A-Ke; Liu, Xiao-Ting; Zhou, Yang; Yao, Qin; Chen, Ke-Ping

    2015-04-01

    The basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) domain is a highly conserved amino acid motif that defines a group of DNA-binding transcription factors. bHLH proteins play essential regulatory roles in a variety of biological processes in animal, plant, and fungus. The domestic dog, Canis lupus familiaris, is a good model organism for genetic, physiological, and behavioral studies. In this study, we identified 115 putative bHLH genes in the dog genome. Based on a phylogenetic analysis, 51, 26, 14, 4, 12, and 4 dog bHLH genes were assigned to six separate groups (A-F); four bHLH genes were categorized as ''orphans''. Within-group evolutionary relationships inferred from the phylogenetic analysis were consistent with positional conservation, other conserved domains flanking the bHLH motif, and highly conserved intron/exon patterns in other vertebrates. Our analytical results confirmed the GenBank annotations of 89 dog bHLH proteins and provided information that could be used to update the annotations of the remaining 26 dog bHLH proteins. These data will provide good references for further studies on the structures and regulatory functions of bHLH proteins in the growth and development of dogs, which may help in understanding the mechanisms that underlie the physical and behavioral differences between dogs and wolves.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1995-01-01

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

  16. A DNA glycosylase from Pyrobaculum aerophilum with an 8-oxoguanine binding mode and a noncanonical helix-hairpin-helix structure.

    PubMed

    Lingaraju, Gondichatnahalli M; Sartori, Alessandro A; Kostrewa, Dirk; Prota, Andrea E; Jiricny, Josef; Winkler, Fritz K

    2005-01-01

    Studies of DNA base excision repair (BER) pathways in the hyperthermophilic crenarchaeon Pyrobaculum aerophilum identified an 8-oxoguanine-DNA glycosylase, Pa-AGOG (archaeal GO glycosylase), with distinct functional characteristics. Here, we describe its crystal structure and that of its complex with 8-oxoguanosine at 1.0 and 1.7 A resolution, respectively. Characteristic structural features are identified that confirm Pa-AGOG to be the founding member of a functional class within the helix-hairpin-helix (HhH) superfamily of DNA repair enzymes. Its hairpin structure differs substantially from that of other proteins containing an HhH motif, and we predict that it interacts with the DNA backbone in a distinct manner. Furthermore, the mode of 8-oxoguanine recognition, which involves several hydrogen-bonding and pi-stacking interactions, is unlike that observed in human OGG1, the prototypic 8-oxoguanine HhH-type DNA glycosylase. Despite these differences, the predicted kinked conformation of bound DNA and the catalytic mechanism are likely to resemble those of human OGG1. PMID:15642264

  17. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

  19. A basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor DvIVS determines flower color intensity in cyanic dahlia cultivars.

    PubMed

    Ohno, Sho; Deguchi, Ayumi; Hosokawa, Munetaka; Tatsuzawa, Fumi; Doi, Motoaki

    2013-08-01

    The study was aimed to identify the factors that regulate the intensity of flower color in cyanic dahlia (Dahlia variabilis), using fifteen cultivars with different color intensities in their petals. The cultivars were classified into three groups based on their flavonoid composition: ivory white cultivars with flavones; purple and pink cultivars with flavones and anthocyanins; and red cultivars with flavones, anthocyanins, and chalcones. Among the purple, pink, and ivory white cultivars, an inverse relationship was detected between lightness, which was used as an indicator for color intensity and anthocyanin content. A positive correlation was detected between anthocyanin contents and the expression of some structural genes in the anthocyanin synthesis pathway that are regulated by DvIVS, a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor. A positive correlation between anthocyanin content and expression of DvIVS was also found. The promoter region of DvIVS was classified into three types, with cultivars carrying Type 1 promoter exhibited deep coloring, those carrying Type 2 and/or Type 3 exhibited pale coloring, and those carrying Type 1 and Type 2 and/or Type 3 exhibited medium coloring. The transcripts of the genes from these promoters encoded full-length predicted proteins. These results suggested that the genotype of the promoter region in DvIVS is one of the key factors determining the flower color intensity. PMID:23689377

  20. 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

  1. Isolation and characterization of an alpha-macroglobulin from the gastropod mollusc Helix pomatia with tetrameric structure and preserved activity after methylamine treatment.

    PubMed

    Yigzaw, Y; Gielens, C; Préaux, G

    2001-02-01

    A proteinase inhibitor with M(r) 697000 and 20.3% (w/w) carbohydrate was isolated from the haemolymph of the snail Helix pomatia and characterized. It was shown to have a tetrameric structure with subunits disulphide linked by two. It inhibited the activity of several types of proteinases against large substrates but not that of trypsin against N-alpha-benzoyl-DL-arginine-4-nitroanilide. This indicated a nonspecific and steric hindrance mode of inhibition. The ratio of trypsin molecules inactivated per inhibitor amounted to 1.5. This interaction led to a cleavage of the subunits into two equal fragments and to a slow to fast conformational change of the whole molecules. Experiments with 125I-labelled trypsin indicated that the proteinase had become covalently linked to one of the fragments. Heating of the inhibitor led to autolytic cleavage products but not when methylamine treated. Thiol titration after trypsin or methylamine treatment indicated the presence of one thiol ester bond per subunit. These facts are all indicative of an alpha-macroglobulin type of inhibitor. However, unlike for most of them the methylamine treatment did not induce a conformational change nor suppress its proteinase inhibitory activity. Moreover, invertebrate alpha-macroglobulins are mostly dimeric in structure but tetramers likewise do occur in Biomphalaria glabrata. PMID:11342036

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

  8. Inhibition of Snail1-DNA-PKcs protein-protein interface sensitizes cancer cells and inhibits tumor metastasis.

    PubMed

    Kang, Ga-Young; Pyun, Bo-Jeong; Seo, Haeng Ran; Jin, Yeung Bae; Lee, Hae-June; Lee, Yoon-Jin; Lee, Yun-Sil

    2013-11-01

    Our previous study suggested that the DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs) interacts with Snail1, which affects genomic instability, sensitivity to DNA-damaging agents, and migration of tumor cells by reciprocal regulation between DNA-PKcs and Snail1. Here, we further investigate that a peptide containing 7-amino acid sequences (amino acids 15-21) of Snail1 (KPNYSEL, SP) inhibits the endogenous interaction between DNA-PKcs and Snail1 through primary interaction with DNA-PKcs. SP restored the inhibited DNA-PKcs repair activity and downstream pathways. On the other hand, DNA-PKcs-mediated phosphorylation of Snail1 was inhibited by SP, which resulted in decreased Snail1 stability and Snail1 functions. However, these phenomena were only shown in p53 wild-type cells, not in p53-defective cells. From these results, it is suggested that interfering with the protein interaction between DNA-PKcs and Snail1 might be an effective strategy for sensitizing cancer cells and inhibiting tumor migration, especially in both Snail1-overexpressing and DNA-PKcs-overexpressing cancer cells with functional p53.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Helix versus sheet formation in a small peptide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peng, Yong; Hansmann, Ulrich H.

    2003-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Helix Bundle Quaternary Structure from [alpha]/[beta]-Peptide Foldamers

    SciTech Connect

    Horne, W. Seth; Price, Joshua L.; Keck, James L.; Gellman, Samuel H.

    2008-11-18

    The function of a protein generally depends on adoption of a specific folding pattern, which in turn is determined by the side chain sequence along the polypeptide backbone. Here we show that the sequence-encoded structural information in peptides derived from yeast transcriptional activator GCN4 can be used to prepare hybrid {alpha}/{beta}-peptide foldamers that adopt helix bundle quaternary structures. Crystal structures of two hybrid {alpha}/{beta}-peptides are reported along with detailed structural comparison to {alpha}-peptides of analogous side chain sequence. There is considerable homology between {alpha}- and {alpha}/{beta}-peptides at the level of helical secondary structure, with modest but significant differences in the association geometry of helices in the quaternary structure.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  2. The Nature of Cometary Knots in the Helix Nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burkert, A.; O'dell, C. R.

    1996-12-01

    Recent HST observations have revealed heretofore unseen fine scale structure in the Helix Nebula. Thousands of well resolved neutral dark cores have been detected in extinction against the background emission of the nebula. These Cometary Knots (CK) have a remarkably uniform appearance with photoionized cusps and tails trailing away from the cusps on almost radial lines. The total mass of the CK is similar to the total mass of the ionized diffuse gas in the ring which means that they represent an important component of the nebula. We discuss the origin and future of the CK in the Helix. It has been suggested that the CK result from Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities arising at the ionization front of the nebula (Capriotti 1973, 1996). Our hydrodynamical simulations indicate that indeed Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities could lead to filamentary structures within planetary nebulae. The substructure of these fingers differs, however, from the observations in important ways. The observed CK therefore must have a different origin. The knots might represent local density fluctuations which remained behind and were compressed as the main ionization front advanced into the neutral material. Another formation scenario is a thin shell instability which results from the interaction of the nebula with a fast stellar wind. Although no stellar wind features have been detected so far, the brightness distribution of the ionized cusps of the knots indicates that this gas is in pressure equilibrium with a high-temperature surrounding gas which could be generated by a shocked stellar wind. If such a wind would have high velocities and low densities it could fall beneath the threshold for spectroscopic detection although it could be important for understanding the formation and structure of the CK. Detailed high-resolution numerical simulations which take into account a fast wind phase as well as the time variation of the Central Star's UV photon flux are presented.

  3. Detection and Genetic Analysis of Noroviruses and Sapoviruses in Sea Snail.

    PubMed

    Ozawa, Hiroki; Kumazaki, Makoto; Ueki, Satoshi; Morita, Masahiro; Usuku, Shuzo

    2015-12-01

    An outbreak of acute gastroenteritis occurred at a restaurant in Yokohama in December 2011. Because many of the customers had consumed raw sea snail, sea snail was suspected to be the source of this outbreak. To determine whether sea snail contains Norovirus (NoV) or Sapovirus (SaV), we analyzed 27 sea snail samples collected over 5 months (May, June, August, October, and December 2012) and 59.3% were positive for NoV and/or SaV. The levels of NoV ranged from 1.5 × 10(3) to 1.5 × 10(5) copies/g tissue, and those of SaV from 1.5 × 10(2) to 1.3 × 10(3) copies/g tissue. The highest levels were observed in sea snails collected in December. A phylogenetic analysis of the NoVs showed that the viral strains were NoV genotypes GI.4, GI.6, GII.4, GII.12, GII.13, and GII.14, and the SaV strains were genotypes GI.2 and GI.3. The NoV GII.4 Sydney 2012 variants were only detected in December. This variant was a major source of gastroenteritis in Japan in the winter of 2012/2013. In contrast, the NoV GII.4 strains detected in May and June 2012 were not the Sydney 2012 variant. This study demonstrates that sea snail contains multiple genogroups and genotypes of NoV and SaV strains. We conclude that the sea snail presents a risk of gastroenteritis when consumed raw.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-01

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

  5. Detection and Genetic Analysis of Noroviruses and Sapoviruses in Sea Snail.

    PubMed

    Ozawa, Hiroki; Kumazaki, Makoto; Ueki, Satoshi; Morita, Masahiro; Usuku, Shuzo

    2015-12-01

    An outbreak of acute gastroenteritis occurred at a restaurant in Yokohama in December 2011. Because many of the customers had consumed raw sea snail, sea snail was suspected to be the source of this outbreak. To determine whether sea snail contains Norovirus (NoV) or Sapovirus (SaV), we analyzed 27 sea snail samples collected over 5 months (May, June, August, October, and December 2012) and 59.3% were positive for NoV and/or SaV. The levels of NoV ranged from 1.5 × 10(3) to 1.5 × 10(5) copies/g tissue, and those of SaV from 1.5 × 10(2) to 1.3 × 10(3) copies/g tissue. The highest levels were observed in sea snails collected in December. A phylogenetic analysis of the NoVs showed that the viral strains were NoV genotypes GI.4, GI.6, GII.4, GII.12, GII.13, and GII.14, and the SaV strains were genotypes GI.2 and GI.3. The NoV GII.4 Sydney 2012 variants were only detected in December. This variant was a major source of gastroenteritis in Japan in the winter of 2012/2013. In contrast, the NoV GII.4 strains detected in May and June 2012 were not the Sydney 2012 variant. This study demonstrates that sea snail contains multiple genogroups and genotypes of NoV and SaV strains. We conclude that the sea snail presents a risk of gastroenteritis when consumed raw. PMID:26100718

  6. Antipredatory behavior as an index of heavy-metal pollution? A test using snails and caddisflies.

    PubMed

    Lefcort, H; Ammann, E; Eiger, S M

    2000-04-01

    The loss of behaviors that organisms use to avoid predation may serve as a sensitive indicator of pollution. We tested the hypothesis that a correlation exists in the field between heavy metal levels and antipredator behaviors. We examined the antipredator behavior of aquatic caddisfly larvae and snails at sites in the Coeur d'Alene basin of Northern Idaho which varied in their levels of heavy metals. We tested the antipredator response of Physella columbiana snails at 10 polluted lakes downstream from the Bunker Hill Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund cleanup site. We then compared their behavior to snails at 14 reference lakes. We placed the snails in a plastic testing apparatus, exposed them to an extract of crushed snail, and then monitored their movements to a normally preferred shaded area. We also tested the behavior of caddisfly larvae from 36 sites from a total of 6 streams/rivers adjacent to the Superfund site. Sites were located upstream and downstream of abandoned mines. We located active larvae of four genera, simulated predation by grasping the animals between thumb and forefinger (the larvae respond to being grasped by withdrawing into their case), lifted them from the water for 3 s, and then placed them in an adjacent, slower section of the stream. We then recorded how long it took each larvae to partially emerge from its case and attempt to move away. Unlike reference site snails, snails from heavy metal-polluted environments failed to exhibit antipredator behaviors in response to crushed conspecifics. These results are consistent with previous laboratory studies. We found no effect of heavy metals on the antipredatory behavior of caddisfly larvae.

  7. Acute combined exposure to heavy metals (Zn, Cd) blocks memory formation in a freshwater snail.

    PubMed

    Byzitter, Jovita; Lukowiak, Ken; Karnik, Vikram; Dalesman, Sarah

    2012-04-01

    The effect of heavy metals on species survival is well documented; however, sublethal effects on behaviour and physiology are receiving growing attention. Measurements of changes in activity and respiration are more sensitive to pollutants, and therefore a better early indicator of potentially harmful ecological impacts. We assessed the effect of acute exposure (48 h) to two heavy metals at concentrations below those allowable in municipal drinking water (Zn: 1,100 μg/l; Cd: 3 μg/l) on locomotion and respiration using the freshwater snail, Lymnaea stagnalis. In addition we used a novel assessment method, testing the ability of the snail to form memory in the presence of heavy metals in both intact snails, and also snails that had the osphradial nerve severed which connects a chemosensory organ, the osphradium, to the central nervous system. Aerial respiration and locomotion remained unchanged by acute exposure to heavy metals. There was also no effect on memory formation of these metals when administered alone. However, when snails were exposed to these metals in combination memory formation was blocked. Severing the osphradial nerve prevented the memory blocking effect of Zn and Cd, indicating that the snails are sensing these metals in their environment via the osphradium and responding to them as a stressor. Therefore, assessing the ability of this species to form memory is a more sensitive measure of heavy metal pollution than measures of activity, and indicates that the snails' ability to demonstrate behavioural plasticity may be compromised by the presence of these pollutants. PMID:22218978

  8. Influence of water quality on zinc toxicity to the Florida apple snail (Pomacea paludosa) and sensitivity of freshwater snails to zinc.

    PubMed

    Hoang, Tham C; Tong, Xin

    2015-03-01

    The present study characterized the influence of water-quality characteristics on zinc (Zn) toxicity to the Florida apple snail (Pomacea paludosa) and the sensitivity of freshwater snails to Zn. Standard 96-h renewal acute toxicity tests were conducted with Zn and juvenile P. paludosa under 3 conditions of pH and alkalinity, water hardness, and dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Median lethal effect concentrations (96-h LC50s), no-observed- effect concentrations, lowest-observed-effect concentrations, LC10s, and LC20s were determined for each test. The results showed that Zn toxicity to P. paludosa decreased linearly with increasing hardness, pH, and DOC. A multiple linear regression model based on pH, hardness, and DOC was able to explain 99% of the observed variability in LC50s. These results are useful for the development of a biotic ligand model (BLM) for P. paludosa and Zn. Zinc acute toxicity data were collected from the literature for 12 freshwater snail species in a wide range of water-quality characteristics for species sensitivity distribution analysis. The results showed that P. paludosa is the second most sensitive to Zn. The present study also suggested that aqueous ZnCO3 and ZnHCO3 (-) can be bioavailable to P. paludosa. Therefore, bioavailability models (e.g., BLM) should take these Zn species into consideration for bioavailability when applied to snails.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  10. Design of Tip Loss Profile on Support Rod for a Helix TWT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alaria, Mukesh Kumar; Sinha, A. K.; Srivastava, V.

    2009-07-01

    This paper describes the design of tip loss profile on support rod for a high gain, high efficiency helix TWT. The tip loss profile at sever ends for the input and the output section of the helix slow wave structure has been designed for return loss at severs ends better than -20 dB. The experimental results have been carried out in the input and the output section of the helix assemblies for the high gain helix TWT to find the return loss in the region of carbon coated tip loss on the support rods. The experimental result has been compared with the simulated performance for the return loss at the sever ends. The design of tip loss profile on the support rod for helix TWT has been carried out in real situation using Ansoft HFSS. A good agreement has been found in the simulated and experimental results.

  11. Analysis of Helix Slow Wave Structure for High Efficiency Space TWT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alaria, Mukesh Kumar; Bera, A.; Sinha, A. K.; Srivastava, V.

    2009-03-01

    This paper describes the analysis of helix slow-wave structure (SWS) for a high efficiency space traveling wave tube that is carried out using Ansoft HFSS and CST microwave studio, which is a 3D electromagnetic field simulators. Two approaches of simulating the dispersion and impedance characteristics of the helix slow wave structure have been discussed and compared with measured results. The dispersion characteristic gives the information about axial propagation constant (Beta). Which in turn yields the phase velocity at a particular frequency. The dispersion and impedance characteristics can be used in finding the pertinent design parameters of the helix slow-wave structure. Therefore a new trend has been initiated at CEERI to use Ansoft HFSS code to analysis of the helix slow wave structure in its real environment. The analysis of the helix SWS for Ku-band 140W space TWT has been carried out and compared with experimental results, and found is close agreement.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Mori, Takaharu; Okamoto, Yuko

    2009-10-28

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mori, Takaharu; Okamoto, Yuko

    2009-10-01

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

  15. Effects of trematode parasitism on the behaviour and ecology of a common marine snail (Littorina littorea (L.)).

    PubMed

    Davies, M S.; Knowles, A J.

    2001-06-01

    Cryptocotyle lingua (Creplin) is a digenean trematode parasite of the littoral prosobranch gastropod Littorina littorea (L.). The literature suggests the snails become infected by grazing guano of the final host, the herring gull, Larus argentatus Pontoppidan. The parasite emerges from the snail as free-swimming cercariae. Interactions between the snail and the parasite at cellular and life-history levels are well established, but little is known of the influences the interaction has on the behaviour and the ecology of the snail. We tested the response of the snail to encounters with cercariae, examined the longevity of the guano on-shore and tested the responses of the snail to encounters with guano. Over half the L. littorea tested were able to detect both cercariae and a filtered homogenate of cercariae in conspecific mucus trails, approximately one-third of animals refusing to cross the treatments. Chemoreception by the mouth or foot is considered the most likely means of detection. Guano samples (mean weight 3.22 g) naturally deposited at approximately mid-tide level were completely washed away by one tidal inundation. We consider this period too brief to allow for ingestion of eggs in guano by the snail. Further, snails would not cross guano placed in conspecific trails. Most snails would not cross guano diluted by 10(3)x(10 mg ml(-1)) and some snails could still detect guano diluted by 10(6)x(10 &mgr;g ml(-1)), though all were prepared to cross it. Detection of guano is again believed to be by chemoreception by the mouth or foot. These results are discussed in terms of the mating and aggregating behaviour of L. littorea. Ingestion of the parasite by L. littorea is likely to take place once the guano has washed away as the eggs are negatively buoyant in seawater and may adhere to rock (biofilm) or algal fronds which may be grazed by the snail. PMID:11358576

  16. Accelerated mutation accumulation in asexual lineages of a freshwater snail.

    PubMed

    Neiman, Maurine; Hehman, Gery; Miller, Joseph T; Logsdon, John M; Taylor, Douglas R

    2010-04-01

    Sexual reproduction is both extremely costly and widespread relative to asexual reproduction, meaning that it must also confer profound advantages in order to persist. One theorized benefit of sex is that it facilitates the clearance of harmful mutations, which would accumulate more rapidly in the absence of recombination. The extent to which ineffective purifying selection and mutation accumulation are direct consequences of asexuality and whether the accelerated buildup of harmful mutations in asexuals can occur rapidly enough to maintain sex within natural populations, however, remain as open questions. We addressed key components of these questions by estimating the rate of mutation accumulation in the mitochondrial genomes of multiple sexual and asexual representatives of Potamopyrgus antipodarum, a New Zealand snail characterized by mixed sexual/asexual populations. We found that increased mutation accumulation is associated with asexuality and occurs rapidly enough to be detected in recently derived asexual lineages of P. antipodarum. Our results demonstrate that increased mutation accumulation in asexuals can differentially affect coexisting and ecologically similar sexual and asexual lineages. The accelerated rate of mutation accumulation observed in asexual P. antipodarum provides some of the most direct evidence to date for a link between asexuality and mutation accumulation and implies that mutational buildup could be rapid enough to contribute to the short-term evolutionary mechanisms that favor sexual reproduction.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2001-01-01

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

  18. Apolipoprotein A-I mimetic peptide helix number and helix linker influence potentially anti-atherogenic properties

    PubMed Central

    Wool, Geoffrey D.; Reardon, Catherine A.; Getz, Godfrey S.

    2008-01-01

    We hypothesize that apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) mimetic peptides better mimicking the punctuated α-helical repeats of full-length apoA-I are more anti-inflammatory and anti-atherogenic. This study compares a monomeric apoA-I mimetic helix to three different tandem helix peptides in vitro: 4F (18 mer), 4F-proline-4F (37 mer, Pro), 4F-alanine-4F (37 mer, Ala), and 4F-KVEPLRA-4F [the human apoA-I 4/5 interhelical sequence (IHS), 43 mer]. All peptides cleared turbid lipid suspensions, with 4F being most effective. In contrast to lipid clearance, tandem peptides were more effective at remodeling mouse HDL. All four peptides displaced apoA-I and apoE from the HDL, leaving a larger particle containing apoA-II and peptide. Peptide-remodeled HDL particles show no deficit in ABCG1 cholesterol efflux despite the loss of the majority of apoA-I. Tandem peptides show greater ability to efflux cholesterol from lipid-loaded murine macrophages, compared with 4F. Although 4F inhibited oxidation of purified mouse LDL, the Ala tandem peptide increased oxidation. We compared several tandem 4F-based peptides with monomeric 4F in assays that correlated with suggested anti-inflammatory/anti-atherogenic pathways. Tandem 4F-based peptides, which better mimic full-length apoA-I, exceed monomeric 4F in HDL remodeling and cholesterol efflux but not LDL oxidation protection. In addition, apoA-I mimetic peptides may increase reverse cholesterol transport through both ABCA1 as well as ABCG1 pathways. PMID:18323574

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. ZmZHOUPI, an endosperm-specific basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor involved in maize seed development.

    PubMed

    Grimault, Aurélie; Gendrot, Ghislaine; Chamot, Sophy; Widiez, Thomas; Rabillé, Hervé; Gérentes, Marie-France; Creff, Audrey; Thévenin, Johanne; Dubreucq, Bertrand; Ingram, Gwyneth C; Rogowsky, Peter M; Depège-Fargeix, Nathalie

    2015-11-01

    In angiosperm seeds the embryo is embedded within the endosperm, which is in turn enveloped by the seed coat, making inter-compartmental communication essential for coordinated seed growth. In this context the basic helix-loop-helix domain transcription factor AtZHOUPI (AtZOU) fulfils a key role in both the lysis of the transient endosperm and in embryo cuticle formation in Arabidopsis thaliana. In maize (Zea mays), a cereal with a persistent endosperm, a single gene, ZmZOU, falls into the same phylogenetic clade as AtZOU. Its expression is limited to the endosperm where it peaks during the filling stage. In ZmZOU-RNA interference knock-down lines embryo size is slightly reduced and the embryonic suspensor and the adjacent embryo surrounding region show retarded breakdown. Ectopic expression of ZmZOU reduces stomatal number, possibly due to inappropriate protein interactions. ZmZOU forms functional heterodimers with AtICE/AtSCREAM and the closely related maize proteins ZmICEb and ZmICEc, but its interaction is more efficient with the ZmICEa protein, which shows sequence divergence and only has close homologues in other monocotyledonous species. Consistent with the observation that these complexes can trans-activate target gene promoters from Arabidopsis, ZmZOU partially complements the Atzou-4 mutant. However, structural, trans-activation and gene expression data support the hypothesis that ZmZOU and ZmICEa may have coevolved to form a functional complex unique to monocot seeds. This divergence may explain the reduced functionality of ZmZOU in Arabidopsis, and reflect functional specificities which are unique to the monocotyledon lineage. PMID:26361885

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  2. Local adaptation along a continuous coastline: prey recruitment drives differentiation in a predatory snail.

    PubMed

    Sanford, Eric; Worth, David J

    2010-03-01

    Recent work demonstrates that nearshore oceanography can generate strong variation in the delivery of resources (nutrients and larvae) to benthic marine communities over spatial scales of tens to hundreds of kilometers. Moreover, variation in the strength of these bottom-up inputs is often spatially consistent, linked to regional centers of upwelling, coastal topography, and other stable features of the coastline. Whereas the ecological effects of these oceanographic links are increasingly clear, the possibility that these same bottom-up forces might impose spatially varying selection on consumers has not been addressed. Here, we test the hypothesis that a carnivorous snail (Nucella canaliculata) with direct development is locally adapted to persistent differences in prey recruitment within two adjacent oceanographic regions (northern California and Oregon, USA). Previous laboratory studies demonstrated that snails from Oregon rarely drilled the thick-shelled mussel Mytilus californianus, whereas snails from California readily drilled this prey. To test whether these differences reflect local adaptation, snails from two populations in each region were raised through two laboratory generations to minimize the potential influence of nongenetic effects. We then reciprocally outplanted these F2 generation snails to field enclosures at each of the four sites and monitored their growth for 11 months. Recruitment and availability of preferred prey (the acorn barnacle Balanus glandula and blue mussel Mytilus trossulus) at the experimental sites were 1-3 orders of magnitude lower in California than in Oregon. At the California sites, snails that originated from Oregon sources failed to drill larger M. californianus, encountered few alternative prey, and showed almost no growth. In contrast, snails from California drilled M. californianus and showed substantial growth. These results strongly suggest that the capacity of California snails to drill M. californianus allows

  3. Methamphetamine enhances memory of operantly conditioned respiratory behavior in the snail Lymnaea stagnalis.

    PubMed

    Kennedy, Colin D; Houmes, Stephen W; Wyrick, Katherine L; Kammerzell, Samuel M; Lukowiak, Ken; Sorg, Barbara A

    2010-06-15

    Amphetamines have been used as cognitive enhancers to promote learning and memory. Amphetamines are also drugs of abuse that may promote the initiation of strong memories that ultimately lead to addiction. To understand how methamphetamine (Meth) may be augmenting learning and memory, we chose a relatively simple system, the pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis. We studied the effects of Meth exposure on the long-term memory (LTM), extinction and reinstatement of operantly conditioned aerial respiratory behavior in Lymnaea. We first determined doses of Meth that would acutely alter respiratory behavior. Next, we measured the impact of training snails in Meth solution or water (control group) using a training procedure that produces LTM (>6 h) in control conditions. Meth exposure impaired the expression of LTM 21 h after two training sessions, but this appeared to be a context-dependent effect only. However, snails exposed to 3.3 mumol l(-1) Meth during training had a decreased rate of extinction of the operantly conditioned memory. We then tested whether this decreased ability of snails to extinguish memory was due to enhanced LTM or impaired extinction of that memory. Snails were operantly conditioned in water and exposed to Meth 16 h after their last trial but 4-5 h prior to extinction. Meth produced an increase rather than a decrease in extinction rate. Thus, Meth impaired extinction only when snails were exposed to Meth during training. Last, we tested the effect of Meth on the ability to form LTM using a single training procedure that is suboptimal for LTM formation. Control snails did not demonstrate LTM, as expected, but pre-exposure of snails to 3.3 micromol l(-1) Meth 24 h prior to the single training session produced LTM 24 h later, indicating that Meth pre-exposure primed snails for LTM formation. Taken together, our studies suggest that LTM is strengthened by Meth such that extinction training is less effective. Lymnaea provides a simple and useful model

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  5. Transmission of Angiostrongylus cantonensis through the giant African snail Achatina fulica: an experimental study.

    PubMed

    Sithithaworn, P; Brockelman, W Y; Brockelman, C

    1991-12-01

    Observations on transmission of the rat lung worm, Angiostrongylus cantonensis, from rats to the snail intermediate host. Achatina fulica, in a vacant lot in Bangkok are described. The prevalence of A. cantonensis increased with snail age until 200 days of age when it attained a plateau of 50-60%. The overall prevalence was 53%. The worm burden slowly rose with age until 200 days of age beyond which it remained relatively constant. The highest mean worm burden of 5,478 was observed in the oldest age group. The parasite distribution in the snail population was highly aggregated both within each age class and in the overall population. Experiments on susceptibility of snails to laboratory infection revealed that worm recovery was dependent on dose of first stage larval infection but was independent of snail size in the range of 4-8 cm. The percent worm recovery of third stage larvae was negatively correlated with dose of infection, and no density-dependent effects of worm burden on worm size were observed.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-11-22

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Characterisation of Reproduction-Associated Genes and Peptides in the Pest Land Snail, Theba pisana

    PubMed Central

    Stewart, Michael J.; Wang, Tianfang; Harding, Bradley I.; Bose, U.; Wyeth, Russell C.; Storey, Kenneth B.; Cummins, Scott F.

    2016-01-01

    Increased understanding of the molecular components involved in reproduction may assist in understanding the evolutionary adaptations used by animals, including hermaphrodites, to produce offspring and retain a continuation of their lineage. In this study, we focus on the Mediterranean snail, Theba pisana, a hermaphroditic land snail that has become a highly invasive pest species within agricultural areas throughout the world. Our analysis of T. pisana CNS tissue has revealed gene transcripts encoding molluscan reproduction-associated proteins including APGWamide, gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and an egg-laying hormone (ELH). ELH isoform 1 (ELH1) is known to be a potent reproductive peptide hormone involved in ovulation and egg-laying in some aquatic molluscs. Two other non-CNS ELH isoforms were also present in T. pisana (Tpi-ELH2 and Tpi-ELH3) within the snail dart sac and mucous glands. Bioactivity of a synthetic ELH1 on sexually mature T. pisana was confirmed through bioassay, with snails showing ELH1-induced egg-laying behaviours, including soil burrowing and oviposition. In summary, this study presents a detailed molecular analysis of reproductive neuropeptide genes in a land snail and provides a foundation for understanding ELH function. PMID:27706146

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Myosin-dependent remodeling of adherens junctions protects junctions from Snail-dependent disassembly

    PubMed Central

    Weng, Mo

    2016-01-01

    Although Snail is essential for disassembly of adherens junctions during epithelial–mesenchymal transitions (EMTs), loss of adherens junctions in Drosophila melanogaster gastrula is delayed until mesoderm is internalized, despite the early expression of Snail in that primordium. By combining live imaging and quantitative image analysis, we track the behavior of E-cadherin–rich junction clusters, demonstrating that in the early stages of gastrulation most subapical clusters in mesoderm not only persist, but move apically and enhance in density and total intensity. All three phenomena depend on myosin II and are temporally correlated with the pulses of actomyosin accumulation that drive initial cell shape changes during gastrulation. When contractile myosin is absent, the normal Snail expression in mesoderm, or ectopic Snail expression in ectoderm, is sufficient to drive early disassembly of junctions. In both cases, junctional disassembly can be blocked by simultaneous induction of myosin contractility. Our findings provide in vivo evidence for mechanosensitivity of cell–cell junctions and imply that myosin-mediated tension can prevent Snail-driven EMT. PMID:26754645

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

    PubMed Central

    Sunita, Kumari; Singh, D. K.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Seppälä, Otto; Langeloh, Laura

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Fong, Peter P; Molnar, Nikolett

    2013-03-01

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

  15. Do ice nucleating agents limit the supercooling ability of the land snail Cornu aspersum?

    PubMed

    Ansart, A; Nicolai, A; Vernon, P; Madec, L

    2010-01-01

    The supercooling ability of adults and eggs of the partially freezing tolerant land snail Cornu aspersum remains limited to high subzero temperatures (ca. -5 degree C) whatever the conditions, suggesting the presence of ice nucleating agents (INAs). In this study, we investigated the nucleation activity of the digestive tract of adult snails, eggs and their direct environment: food, faeces and soil. The mucous ribbon always present in the distal intestine of adults exhibited a heat-sensitive (i.e. organic) nucleation activity, close to that of the entire snails during dormant states (aestivation and hibernation). However, a microbial nature of these INAs could not be established in inactive snails. The food provided to active snails contained ice nucleating bacteria, which followed the digestive tract to be found in the intestine and in the faeces, but with a decreasing concentration along the transit. Eggshells also presented a heat-sensitive nucleation activity, which could be related to its structure. Moreover, eggs are laid directly in the soil which contained both organic and mineral INAs. This study is the first to demonstrate the implication of organic INAs in the cold hardiness of a terrestrial gastropod. PMID:20818461

  16. Do ice nucleating agents limit the supercooling ability of the land snail Cornu aspersum?

    PubMed

    Ansart, A; Nicolai, A; Vernon, P; Madec, L

    2010-01-01

    The supercooling ability of adults and eggs of the partially freezing tolerant land snail Cornu aspersum remains limited to high subzero temperatures (ca. -5 degree C) whatever the conditions, suggesting the presence of ice nucleating agents (INAs). In this study, we investigated the nucleation activity of the digestive tract of adult snails, eggs and their direct environment: food, faeces and soil. The mucous ribbon always present in the distal intestine of adults exhibited a heat-sensitive (i.e. organic) nucleation activity, close to that of the entire snails during dormant states (aestivation and hibernation). However, a microbial nature of these INAs could not be established in inactive snails. The food provided to active snails contained ice nucleating bacteria, which followed the digestive tract to be found in the intestine and in the faeces, but with a decreasing concentration along the transit. Eggshells also presented a heat-sensitive nucleation activity, which could be related to its structure. Moreover, eggs are laid directly in the soil which contained both organic and mineral INAs. This study is the first to demonstrate the implication of organic INAs in the cold hardiness of a terrestrial gastropod.

  17. Seasonal dynamics of two mortality-related trematodes using an introduced snail.

    PubMed

    Herrmann, Kristin K; Sorensen, Robert E

    2009-08-01

    Seasonal dynamics of 2 trematode species, Cyathocotyle bushiensis and Sphaeridiotrema globulus, were assessed in relation to life history traits of the parasites and their hosts, as well as abundance of host species and abundance of infective stages. Both of these trematodes are associated with recurrent mortality of migrating waterbirds on the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. An invasive snail species, Bithynia tentaculata, serves as intermediate host for both trematode species. In total, 2,970 snails were collected at 2 study sites. Prevalence and mean abundance of the 2 trematode species varied among dates and was attributed to several factors, including migration patterns of definitive hosts, snail population dynamics, and seasonal changes in temperature. The surge of new infections of both parasites seems to be due to avian hosts foraging at this site during spring migration. The high prevalence and abundance of metacercariae among the snail population promote mortality among molluscivorous birds by increasing the probability of ingestion of a lethal dose. Additionally, mortality of non-molluscivorous birds can be explained by accidental ingestion of a couple of highly infected snails resulting in a lethal dose.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-11-22

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-10

    More than 100 species of venomous cone snails (genus Conus) are highly effective predators of fish. The vast majority of venom components identified and functionally characterized to date are neurotoxins specifically targeted to receptors, ion channels, and transporters in the nervous system of prey, predators, or competitors. Here we describe a venom component targeting energy metabolism, a radically different mechanism. Two fish-hunting cone snails, Conus geographus and Conus tulipa, have evolved specialized insulins that are expressed as major components of their venoms. These insulins are distinctive in having much greater similarity to fish insulins than to the molluscan hormone and are unique in that posttranslational modifications characteristic of conotoxins (hydroxyproline, γ-carboxyglutamate) are present. When injected into fish, the venom insulin elicits hypoglycemic shock, a condition characterized by da