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Sample records for helix aspersa snail

  1. "Central arousal" and sexual responsiveness in the snail, Helix aspersa.

    PubMed

    Adamo, S A; Chase, R

    1991-03-01

    In molluscs, a "central arousal" system is thought to positively modulate both an animal's level of activity and its behavioral responsiveness. This hypothesis is examined in Helix aspersa by testing the relationships between activity, feeding, and sexual behavior. Activity, feeding, and mating exhibit parallel daily rhythms. Snails are most active, and eat and mate most frequently, during scotophase and the first 3 h of photophase. Handling and injections of serotonin (5 x 10(-7) m/kg body wt) increase general activity. Inducing activity during late photophase increases food consumption, but it does not induce sexual activity. Moreover, serotonin and handling have no effect on sexual arousal; treated snails show no increase in genital eversion stage and require the same length of courtship as controls. If snails are sexually deprived, increasing activity in late photophase does increase copulation frequency, but snails do not copulate more frequently than do unhandled snails tested during early photophase. These results suggest that while manipulations thought to increase central arousal do increase activity and responsiveness to food stimuli, they do not directly affect sexual proclivity or sexual arousal. Moreover, the relationship between feeding and sexual behavior differs between Helix and Aplysia. This difference between the two species may be related to the differences in their reproductive strategies.

  2. Phenoloxidase activity of Helix aspersa maxima (garden snail, gastropod) hemocyanin.

    PubMed

    Raynova, Yuliana; Doumanova, Lyuba; Idakieva, Krassimira Nikolova

    2013-12-01

    The oxygen-transporting protein, hemocyanin (Hc), of the garden snail Helix aspersa maxima (HaH) was isolated and kinetically characterized. Kinetic parameters of the reaction of catalytic oxidation of catechol to quinone, catalyzed by native HaH were determined: the V max value amounted to 22 nmol min(-1) mg(-1), k cat to 1.1 min(-1). Data were compared to those reported for other molluscan Hcs and phenoloxidases (POs). The o-diphenoloxidase activity of the native HaH is about five times higher than the activity determined for the Hcs of the terrestrial snail Helix pomatia and of the marine snail Rapana thomasiana (k cat values of 0.22 and 0.25 min(-1), respectively). The K m values obtained for molluscan Hcs from different species are comparable to those for true POs, but the low catalytic efficiency of Hcs is probably related to inaccessibility of the active sites to potential substrates. Upon treatment of HaH with subtilisin DY, the enzyme activity against substrate catechol was considerably increased. The relatively high proteolytically induced o-diPO activity of HaH allowed using it for preparation of a biosensor for detection of catechol.

  3. Associative learning phenomena in the snail (Helix aspersa): conditioned inhibition.

    PubMed

    Acebes, Félix; Solar, Patricia; Moris, Joaquín; Loy, Ignacio

    2012-03-01

    Two experiments using garden snails (Helix aspersa) showed conditioned inhibition using both retardation and summation tests. Conditioned inhibition is a procedure by which a stimulus becomes a predictor of the absence of a relevant event--the unconditioned stimulus (US). Typically, conditioned inhibition consists of pairings between an initially neutral conditioned stimulus, CS(2), and an effective excitatory conditioned stimulus, CS(1), in the absence of the US. Retardation and summation tests are required in order to confirm that CS(2) has acquired inhibitory properties. Conditioned inhibition has previously been found in invertebrates; however, these demonstrations did not use the retardation and summation tests required for an unambiguous demonstration of inhibition, allowing for alternative explanations. The implications of our results for the fields of comparative cognition and invertebrate physiological models of learning are discussed.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-02-01

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

  8. 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)

  9. 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)

  10. Evidence for Genetic Control of Adult Weight Plasticity in the Snail Helix aspersa

    PubMed Central

    Ros, Mathieu; Sorensen, Daniel; Waagepetersen, Rasmus; Dupont-Nivet, Mathilde; SanCristobal, Magali; Bonnet, Jean-Claude; Mallard, Jacques

    2004-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity and canalization are important topics in quantitative genetics and evolution. Both concepts are related to environmental sensitivity. The latter can be modeled using a model with genetically structured environmental variance. This work reports the results of a genetic analysis of adult weight in the snail Helix aspersa. Several models of heterogeneous variance are fitted using a Bayesian, MCMC approach. Exploratory analyses using posterior predictive model checking and model comparisons based on the deviance information criterion favor a model postulating a genetically structured heterogeneous environmental variance. Our analysis provides a strong indication of a positive genetic correlation between additive genetic values affecting the mean and those affecting environmental variation of adult body weight. The possibility of manipulating environmental variance by selection is illustrated numerically using estimates of parameters derived from the snail data set. PMID:15611178

  11. 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.)

  12. 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.

  13. Imidacloprid induced alterations in enzyme activities and energy reserves of the land snail, Helix aspersa.

    PubMed

    Radwan, M A; Mohamed, M S

    2013-09-01

    The in vivo sublethal toxic effects (0.2 and 0.6 LD50) of topically applied imidacloprid on biochemical biomarkers in the land snail, Helix aspersa was examined. Biochemical perturbations were assessed by measuring the three enzymatic (Acetylcholinesterase, AChE; catalase, CAT and glutathione-S-transferase, GST) activities and three energy reserves (protein, glycogen and lipids) in the snails. Snail samples were taken from each sublethal dose and control groups at 1, 3 and 7 days after treatment. The results revealed that there were overall decrease in AChE activity as well as depletion of lipids and glycogen contents in the imidacloprid-treated snails compared to control groups. The CAT and GST activities of treated snails with the sublethal doses of imidacloprid were significantly higher than those of untreated controls along the three times of exposure. Moreover, an increase in the level of total proteins was observed in animals treated with 0.6 LD50 imidacloprid compared to control groups. The alterations in all tested biochemical perturbations were most pronounced with the 0.6 LD50 than 0.2 LD50. This study suggests that alterations of the enzyme activities and energy reserves in this species that could be useful as biomarkers of imidacloprid exposure in the evaluation of terrestrial impacts of this insecticide. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. FMRF-amide is a glucose-lowering hormone in the snail Helix aspersa.

    PubMed

    Rőszer, Tamás; Kiss-Tóth, Éva D

    2014-11-01

    Although glucose is metabolically the most important carbohydrate in almost all living organisms, still little is known about the evolution of the hormonal control of cellular glucose uptake. In this study, we identify Phe-Met-Arg-Phe-amide (FMRFa), also known as molluscan cardioexcitatory tetrapeptide, as a glucose-lowering hormone in the snail Helix aspersa. FMRFa belongs to an evolutionarily conserved neuropeptide family and is involved in the neuron-to-muscle signal transmission in the snail digestive system. This study shows that, beyond this function, FMRFa also has glucose-lowering activity. We found neuronal transcription of genes encoding FMRFa and its receptor and moreover the hemolymph FMRFa levels were peaking at metabolically active periods of the snails. In turn, hypometabolism of the dormant periods was associated with abolished FMRFa production. In the absence of FMRFa, the midintestinal gland ("hepatopancreas") cells were deficient in their glucose uptake, contributing to the development of glucose intolerance. Exogenous FMRFa restored the absorption of hemolymph glucose by the midintestinal gland cells and improved glucose tolerance in dormant snails. We show that FMRFa was released to the hemolymph in response to glucose challenge. FMRFa-containing nerve terminals reach the interstitial sinusoids between the chondroid cells in the artery walls. We propose that, in addition to the known sites of possible FMRFa secretion, these perivascular sinusoids serve as neurohemal organs and allow FMRFa release. This study suggests that in evolution, not only the insulin-like peptides have adopted the ability to increase cellular glucose uptake and can act as hypoglycemic hormones.

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

    PubMed

    Nowakowska, Anna; Caputa, Michał; Rogalska, Justyna

    2011-12-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-12-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-01-01

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

  5. The nociceptin/orphanin FQ-like opioid peptide in nervous periesophageal ganglia of land snail Helix aspersa.

    PubMed

    León-Olea, Martha; Miller-Pérez, Carolina; Sánchez-Islas, Eduardo; Mendoza-Sotelo, José; Garduño-Gutiérrez, René; de Gortari, Patricia; Amaya, María Isabel

    2013-04-10

    The neuropeptide nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ) and its receptor are members of the endogenous opioid peptide family. In mammals N/OFQ modulates a variety of biological functions such as nociception, food intake, endocrine, control of neurotransmitter release, among others. In the molluscs Cepea nemoralis and Helix aspersa the administration of N/OFQ produces a thermopronociceptive effect. However, little is known about its existence and anatomic distribution in invertebrates. The aim of this study was to provide a detailed anatomical distribution of N/OFQ like peptide immunoreactivity (N/OFQ-IL), to quantify the tissue content of this peptide, as well as to demostrate molecular evidence of N/OFQ mRNA in the nervous tissue of periesophageal ganglia of the land snail H. aspersa. Immunohistochemical, immunocytochemical, radioimmunoanalysis (RIA) and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) techniques were used. With regard to RT-PCR, the primers to detect expression of mRNA transcripts from H. aspersa were derived from the rat N/OFQ opioid peptide. We show a wide distribution of N/OFQ-IL in neurons and fibers in all perioesophageal ganglia, fibers of the neuropile, nerves, periganglionar connective tissue, aortic wall and neurohemal sinuses. The total amount of N/OFQ-IL in the perioesophageal ganglia (7.75 ± 1.75 pmol/g of tissue) quantified by RIA was similar to that found in mouse hypothalamus (10.1 ± 1.6 pmol/g of tissue). In this study, we present molecular evidence of N/OFQ mRNA expression. Some N/OFQ-IL neurons have been identified as neuroendocrine or involved in olfaction, hydro-electrolyte regulation, feeding, and thermonociception. Therefore, we suggest that N/OFQ may participate in these snail functions. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

  8. Use of the land snail Helix aspersa as sentinel organism for monitoring ecotoxicologic effects of urban pollution: an integrated approach.

    PubMed

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

    2006-01-01

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

  9. 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. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-08-01

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

  13. Intrapopulation variation in the standard metabolism of a terrestrial mollusc: repeatability of the CO2 production in the land snail Helix aspersa.

    PubMed

    Artacho, Paulina; Nespolo, Roberto F

    2009-01-01

    During the past 2 decades, interest in interindividual variation in performance traits has increased considerably among physiological ecologists. A great deal of this interest has focused on repeatability studies of physiological traits. One of the most important physiological traits in animals is whole-animal metabolism because it reflects several aspects of an organism's energy budget. However, in order to respond to natural selection (ultimately), this variable should be consistent over most of an individual's life history. We studied energy metabolism (CO2 production, (.-)V(CO2)) in two of the southernmost populations of Helix aspersa land snails, a cosmopolitan species that colonized most of the human-inhabited world. Our results show that H. aspersa exhibits a relatively lower than expected (.-)V(CO2) compared with that described in the few other published studies on this species and that there is no significant difference between populations (Valdivia (.-)V(CO2) = 0.21 +/- 0.01 mL CO2 h(-1); Concepción (.-)V(CO2) = 0.20 +/- 0.01 mL CO2 h(-1); mean body mass = 4.2 g). Repeatability of (.-)V(CO2) in land snails was significant and was not statistically different in both populations (Valdivia: tau = 0.42; Concepción: tau = 0.31). These results suggest that energy metabolism is repeatable and can eventually respond to selection in land snails. We argue that land snails are good, though underutilized, models for evolutionary physiology studies.

  14. Determination of oral uptake and biodistribution of platinum and chromium by the garden snail (Helix aspersa) employing nano-secondary ion mass-spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Eybe, Tanja; Audinot, Jean-Nicolas; Udelhoven, Thomas; Lentzen, Esther; El Adib, Brahime; Ziebel, Johanna; Hoffmann, Lucien; Bohn, Torsten

    2013-02-01

    Environmental heavy metal contamination is a case of concern for both animal and human health. Studying the fate of metals in plant or animal tissues may provide information on pollution. In the present study, we investigated the possibility to follow the biological fate of chromium and platinum uptake in common garden snails (Helix aspersa), typically accumulating high concentrations of metals from their environment. Chromium and platinum were administered orally to snails in 5 groups (n=25/group): control, food contaminated by ca. 2.5 μg g(-1) and 19 μg g(-1) chromium and 2.5 μg g(-1) and 25 μg g(-1) platinum, for 8 weeks. Following exposure, surviving snails were sacrificed, shell and remaining tissue investigated by ICP-MS, and shell, midgut gland and mantle by nano-secondary ion mass-spectrometry (Nano-SIMS). (12)C(14)N-normalized platinum and (40)Ca-normalized chromium measurements indicated highest enrichments in cellular vesicles of the midgut gland, and lower concentrations in mantle and shell, with significantly higher platinum and chromium concentrations in the 2 exposure groups vs. control (P<0.05), with somewhat differing distribution patterns for chromium and platinum. Comparable results were obtained by ICP-MS, with both chromium and platinum fed snails showing drastically elevated concentrations of metals in shell (up to 78 and 122 μg g(-1) dw platinum and chromium, respectively) and in other tissues (up to 200 and 1125 μg g(-1) dw platinum and chromium, respectively). Nano-SIMS allowed for semi-quantitative comparison of metal fate in snail tissues, making this an interesting technique for future studies in the area of environmental pollution. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Thomas, Roger C; Postma, Marten

    2007-04-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. [The influence of some trace elements on bioaccumulation in tissues and bioenergetic metabolism of the edible snail Helix aspersa maxima as determined by HPLC of purine derivatives].

    PubMed

    Rać, Monika Ewa

    2003-01-01

    The aim of this work was to determine the bioaccumulation of fluoride and some metals (Cu, Zn, Pb) in tissues of snails under strictly controlled conditions expecting with this approach to verify the hypothesis that snails are suitable for the monitoring of environmental hazards. Additionally, the toxicity of fluorides administered orally on the energy balance of the snail's foot was investigated basing on concentrations of nucleosides, nucleotides and their products measured with high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Two parallel snail cultures were started. The effect of dose on tissue levels of fluoride and metals was studied in the first part of the experiment. The second part served to study the effects of fluoride on energy metabolism of foot muscle (Tab. 1). Quantitation of fluoride and metal levels was done in soft tissues (foot, hepatopancreas) and shells of snails. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of purine compounds was performed in slices of foot. Fluoride concentrations in pulverized shells were measured using an ion-selective electrode. Gas chromatography served to determine fluoride concentrations in soft tissues (hepatopancreas and foot). Concentrations of metals were determined spectrophotometrically. Fluoride and metal content was calculated basing on weight of the pulverized sample. Purines were measured in foot muscle slices with high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Concentrations were adjusted for protein content of sample. Concentrations of the following nucleosides, nucleotides and their products were determined: ATP, ADP, AMP, Ado (adenosine), GTP, GDP, GMP, Guo (guanosine), Hyp (hypoxanthine), IMP, Ino (inosine), Xan (xanthine), Urd (uridine), UA (uric acid), NAD+, and NADP (Fig. 1.). Statistical analysis was done with non-parametric test of Kruskal-Wallis, Mann-Whitney U-test and Spearman Rank Correlation Coefficient. 1. Accumulation in the shell was significantly increased at the lowest concentration of fluoride

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Localization of connexins in neurons and glia cells of the Helix aspersa suboesophageal brain ganglia by immunocytochemistry.

    PubMed

    Azanza, M J; Pes, N; Pérez-Bruzón, R N; Aisa, J; Raso, M; Junquera, C; Lahoz, J M; Maestú, C; Martínez-Ciriano, C; Pérez-Castejón, C; Vera-Gil, A; Del Moral, A

    2007-05-01

    The aim of the present study was to examine the distribution of cells expressing connexin 26 (Cx26) in the suboesophageal visceral, left and right parietal and left and right pleural ganglia of the snail Helix aspersa by immunocytochemistry. Altogether we have found approximately 452 immunoreactive neurons which represent the 4.7% of the total neurons counted. The stained large neurons (measured diameter 55-140 microm) occurred mostly on the peripheral surface of the ganglia while the small immunostained cells (5-25 microm diameter) were observed in groups near the neuropil. The number of large neurons giving positive Cx26-like immunostaining was small in comparison with that for medium (30-50 microm diameter) and small sized cells. The expression of Cx26 was also observed in the processes of glia cells localized among neurons somata and in the neuropil showing that the antiserum recognized epitopes in both protoplasmic and fibrous glia cells of Helix aspersa. The neuropils of all ganglia showed fibers densely immunostained. While we have observed a good specificity for Cx26-antiserum in neurons, a lack of reaction for Cx43 antiserum was observed in neurons and glia cells. The reaction for enolase antiserum in neurons was light and non-specific and a lack of reaction in glia cells and processes for GFAP antiserum was observed. Although the percentage of positive neurons for Cx26 antiserum was low is suggested that in normal physiological conditions or under stimulation the expression of connexin could be increased. The observed results can be considered of interest in the interpretation of Helix aspersa elemental two neuron networks synchronizing activity, observed under applied extremely low frequency magnetic fields.

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

    PubMed Central

    Finkel, A S

    1983-01-01

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

  6. Calcium current inactivation in identified neurones of Helix aspersa.

    PubMed Central

    Plant, T D; Standen, N B

    1981-01-01

    1. A two-electrode voltage clamp method was used to study Ca inward currents in identified Helix aspersa neurones bathed in 25 mM-Ca, Na-free saline with TEA and 4-AP. 2. Inward currents were blocked by CdCl2. In Cd delayed outward currents appeared at +30 mV. When two identical depolarizations were separated by a gap inward current turned off to the same level during the two pulses up to +20 mV; above this potential the records cross over. 3. The turn-off of inward current at potentials up to +20 mV was not affected by 0.2 mM-quinine, which reduced outward currents at more depolarized potentials. Inward currents declined exponentially over the first 100 msec with a time constant around 60 msec at 0 mV. Double-pulse experiments gave the same time course of turn-off. 4. When Ca inward current was reduced by lowering [Ca]o or by partial block by Cd the rate and extent of turn-off was reduced. 5. The inactivation curve (obtained using a double pulse with gap method) was U-shaped. The curve was not significantly changed by addition of quinine (0.2 mM) or by changing test pulse size. 6. Recovery of inward currents after a depolarizing prepulse was a double-exponential process, with time constants of 120 msec and 9.4 sec at 10--11 degrees C. 7. Our results are discussed in terms of possible Ca-dependent Ca inactivation and in terms of the possibility of development of an outward Ca-dependent K current. PMID:7338811

  7. Evaluation of the genotoxic potential of the mineral coal tailings through the Helix aspersa (Müller, 1774).

    PubMed

    Leffa, Daniela Dimer; Damiani, Adriani Paganini; da Silva, Juliana; Zocche, Jairo José; dos Santos, Carla Eliete Iochims; Boufleur, Liana Appel; Dias, Johnny Ferraz; de Andrade, Vanessa Moraes

    2010-11-01

    Coal mining is an activity with a high potential for environmental pollution. Coal has been described as the most significant pollutant of all the fossil fuels, containing a heterogeneous mixture. Many elements present in coal byproducts as well as coal tailings are rich in potentially toxic and genotoxic metals, which ultimately lead to profound changes in cells, tissues, populations, and ecosystems. The purpose of this study was to assess the genotoxic potential of the mineral coal tailings using the land snail Helix aspersa. Animals were divided in three groups, clustered in plexiglass cages: control (animals fed with organic lettuce), coal tailings (animals living in a layer of pyrite tailings and fed with organic lettuce), and mine lettuce (animals fed with lettuce grown in an area located in a deposit of coal tailings). The hemolymph was collected at different exposure times (24 h, 48 h, 72 h, 96 h, 1 week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks, and 1 month) for comet assay analyses. Results showed that the animals of the coal tailings and mine lettuce groups presented higher levels of DNA damage in relation to the control group at all exposure times, but with a peak of DNA damage in 48 h and 96 h. These results demonstrate that the coal pyrite tailings are potentially genotoxic and that H. aspersa has proven to be a sensitive instrument for a better risk assessment of environmental pollution.

  8. Free calcium ions in neurones of Helix aspersa measured with ion-selective micro-electrodes.

    PubMed Central

    Alvarez-Leefmans, F J; Rink, T J; Tsien, R Y

    1981-01-01

    1. Intracellular free calcium concentration, [Ca2+]i, was measured in giant neurones of the sub-oesophageal ganglia of Helix aspersa, using Ca-selective micro-electrodes containing a PVC-gelled, neutral-ligand sensor. 2. In calibration solutions the electrodes had a virtually ideal, Nernstian, response down to 1 microM-Ca2+ in the presence of 0.125 M-K+, 18-24 mV from 1 to 0.1 microM-Ca2+ and 8-14 mV from 0.1 to 0.01 microM-Ca2+. Interference from H+ and Mg2+ was negligible. The small response to Na+ at sub-micromolar Ca2+ was taken into account, when necessary, in measurement of [Ca2+]i. 3. Measurements of basal [Ca2+]i were made in ganglia from animals kept only a few weeks in captivity, in a bathing solution equilibrated with air and containing 2 mM-Ca2+. In thirteen measurements from impalements which met stringent criteria for electrode performance and cell viability, the mean basal pCa (--log10[Ca2+]) was 6.77 +/- 0.07 (S.E.), corresponding to a mean free Ca2+ concentration of 0.17 microM. 4. The basal [Ca2+]i in neurones from a group of snails kept hibernating for several months was higher, mean pCa 6.15, for ganglia handled in 2 mM-Ca2+ solution. 5. Intracellular injections of Ca2+ or EGTA raised and lowered, respectively, the indicated basal [Ca2+]i, showing that the electrodes responded appropriately inside the cells and that unknown or untested components of cytoplasm were not significantly interfering with the Ca-sensor. 6. Altering the external Ca2+ concentration between 0.1 and 10 mM usually produced only small, +/- 0.1 pCa units, changes in basal [Ca2+]i of satisfactorily impaled, quiescent cells. 7. In cell 1F, which has repetitive spikes with a substantial Ca current, changes in Ca gradient or blockade of voltage-dependent Ca channels sometimes markedly altered [Ca2+]i, showing that Ca entry with the spikes was elevating [Ca2+]i. 8. Replacing external Na+ with Li+ or bis(2-hydroxyethyl)dimethylammonium had little effect on [Ca2+]i. 9. Elevating CO2

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-07-01

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

  11. Intracellular free magnesium in neurones of Helix aspersa measured with ion-selective micro-electrodes.

    PubMed Central

    Alvarez-Leefmans, F J; Gamiño, S M; Rink, T J

    1984-01-01

    Cytoplasmic free Mg2+ concentration, [Mg2+]i, was measured in identified neuronal cell bodies of the suboesophageal ganglia of Helix aspersa, using Mg2+-selective micro-electrodes. In calibration solutions, the electrodes showed significant interference from K+, but not from Na+, or Ca2+, at concentrations found intracellularly. Therefore, in order to calibrate the electrodes properly, it was necessary first to obtain an accurate value for intracellular free K+ concentration [( K+]i). The mean value for [K+]i was 91 mM (S.E. of the mean +/- 2.2 mM, n = 8), measured with K+-sensitive 'liquid ion exchanger micro-electrodes'. In seven experiments, which met stringent criteria for satisfactory impalement and electrode calibration, the mean [Mg2+]i was 0.66 mM (S.E. of the mean +/- 0.05 mM). The mean [Mg2+]i in cells that had spontaneous spike activity was not significantly different from that in quiescent cells. If Mg2+ was in electrochemical equilibrium, the ratio [Mg2+]i/[Mg2+]o would be about 55. Mg2+ is therefore not passively distributed across the neuronal membrane and an outwardly directed extrusion mechanism must exist to keep [Mg2+]i low and constant, even in cells undergoing spike activity. PMID:6481636

  12. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1992-01-01

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

  14. Potassium activation in Helix aspersa neurones under voltage clamp: a component mediated by calcium influx.

    PubMed

    Meech, R W; Standen, N B

    1975-07-01

    1. Helix aspersa neurones under voltage clamp generate prolonged outward currents (potassium currents) in response to depolarizing command pulses. 2. The potassium currents recorded from cell A were reversibly reduced 25-50% by 10 mM cobalt ions in the bathing medium; 1 mM lanthanum, 10(-6) g/ml. D-600 and 10(-6) g/ml. iproveratril had similar effects but were only partially reversible. 3. The relationship between the potassium currents and the membrane potential had an "n" shape in normal saline. In calcium-free saline (containing 25 mM magnesium) the potassium currents were reduced and the "n" shape was abolished. The effect of calcium-free saline was readily reversible. 4. The voltage-dependence of the calcium-sensitive potassium currents was similar to that of the "late" calcium channel in squid axons (Baker, Hodgkin & Ridgway, 1971). 5. When cell A was depolarents were made up of two exponentially declining components. The slower of the two components was reduced in calcium-free saline. 6. When cell A was depolarized by 150 mV for 10 msec and then repolarized the "tail" currents were made up of a single rapidly declining component. The reversal potential of this component changed by 58 mV for a tenfold change in the external potassium concentration as predicted by the Nernst equation. 7. The reversal potential of "tail" currents having both components was less sensitive to changes in the external potassium concentration. 8. Tetraethylammonium (TEA) ions blocked both calcium dependent and voltage sensitive potassium currents. Each receptor was found to bind a single molecule of TEA. The dissociaton constant was about 10 mM in each case. 9. The intracellular concentration of ionized calcium was estimated from the potential at which there was no apparent calcium influx (the null point). It was between 3 x 10(-8) M and 8 x 10(-8) M with 10(-2) M calcium in the bathing medium. 10. The null point changed 30 mV for a tenfold change in the external calcium

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-17

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. Seasonal changes in cryoprotectants concentrations in Helix pomatia snails.

    PubMed

    Nowakowska, A; Caputa, M; Rogalska, J

    2006-11-01

    Terrestrial snails are often exposed to freezing. Therefore, we investigated seasonal shifts in hemolymph concentrations of cryoprotectants such as glycerol and glucose. We also investigated whether summer acclimation to cold and short-day photoperiod induced synthesis of cryoprotectants in Helix pomatia snails. Concentrations of the both cryoprotectants were elevated in winter and reduced in summer. These changes, however, were not correlated with shifts in liver glycogen content. Summer acclimation to cold (5 degrees C) and short-day photoperiod evoked a selective increase in glycerol concentration. In conclusion, glycerol may play a role in adaptation of the snails to winter cold and glucose is rather unlikely to provide the cryoprotection.

  18. Snail mucus - glandular origin and composition in Helix pomatia.

    PubMed

    Greistorfer, Sophie; Klepal, Waltraud; Cyran, Norbert; Gugumuck, Andreas; Rudoll, Livia; Suppan, Johannes; von Byern, Janek

    2017-06-01

    Apart from their well-known culinary use, gastropod species such as Helix, which have a hydrogel-like mucus, are increasingly being exploited for cosmetic, bioengineering and medical applications. However, not only are the origin and composition of these "sticky" secretions far from being fully characterized, the number and morphology of the mucus glands involved is also uncertain. This study aims to characterize in detail the cutaneous glands of the Helix pomatia foot on morphological, histochemical and immunohistochemical levels. Hereby the focus is on the gland position and appearance on the foot sole as well as on the chemical nature of the different gland secretions. At least five different gland types can be distinguished by their microanatomy; three are located on the dorsal side and two on the ventral side of the foot sole. Most glands are reactive for acidic proteins and sugars such as mannose and fucose, indicating the presence of acidic glycosaminoglycans. One dorsal gland type shows high reactivity for acidic proteins only. The isolated mucus includes a certain amount of the elements chlorine, potassium and calcium; evidence for lipids was also confirmed in the isolated mucus. The present results for Helix pomatia show a clear difference in the number of glands compared to the related species Helix aspersa (only four mucus glands); histochemically, the glands of both species similarly produce acidic proteins as well as acidic glycosaminoglycans. While calcium ions are known to play a role in mucus formation, the presence and function of other ions such as potassium still need to be clarified. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-11-01

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

  20. 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".

  1. Trifluoperazine enhancement of Ca2+-dependent inactivation of L-type Ca2+ currents in Helix aspersa neurons.

    PubMed

    Cruzblanca, H; Gamiño, S M; Bernal, J; Alvarez-Leefmans, F J

    1998-03-01

    The effects of trifluoperazine hydrochloride (TFP), a calmodulin antagonist, on L-type Ca2+ currents (L-type ICa2+) and their Ca(2+)-dependent inactivation, were studied in identified Helix aspersa neurons, using two microelectrode voltage clamp. Changes in [Ca2+]i were measured in unclamped fura-2 loaded neurons. Bath applied TFP produced a reversible and dose-dependent reduction in amplitude of L-type ICa2+ (IC50 = 28 microM). Using a double-pulse protocol, we found that TFP enhances the efficacy of Ca(2+)-dependent inactivation of L-type ICa2+. Trifluoperazine sulfoxide (50 microM), a TFP derivative with low calmodulin-antagonist activity, did not have any effects on either amplitude or inactivation of L-type ICa2+. TFP (20 microM) increased basal [Ca2+]i from 147 +/- 37 nM to 650 +/- 40 nM (N = 7). The increase in [Ca2+]i was prevented by removal of external Ca2+ and curtailed by depletion of caffeine-sensitive intracellular Ca2+ stores. Since TFP may also block protein kinase C (PKC), we tested the effect of a PKC activator (12-C-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-acetate) on L-type Ca2+ currents. This compound produced an increase in L-type ICa2+ without enhancing Ca(2+)-dependent inactivation. The results show that 1) TFP reduces L-type ICa2+ while enhancing the efficacy of Ca(2+)-dependent inactivation. 2) TFP produces an increase in basal [Ca2+]i which may contribute to the enhancement of Ca(2+)-dependent inactivation. 3) PKC up-regulates L-type ICa2+ without altering the efficacy of Ca(2+)-dependent inactivation. 4) The TFP effects cannot be attributed to its action as PKC blocker.

  2. Helix aspersa gelatin as an emulsifier and emulsion stabilizer: functional properties and effects on pancreatic lipolysis.

    PubMed

    Zarai, Zied; Balti, Rafik; Sila, Assaâd; Ben Ali, Yassine; Gargouri, Youssef

    2016-01-01

    Emulsions are widely used in food and pharmaceutical applications for the encapsulation, solubilization, entrapment, and controlled delivery of active ingredients. In order to fulfill the increasing demand for clean label excipients, natural polymers could be used to replace the potentially irritative synthetic surfactants used in emulsion formulation. In the present study, we have studied the properties of oil-in-water emulsions prepared with land snail gelatin (LSG) as the sole emulsifying agent, extracted and described for the first time. LSG was evaluated in terms of proximate composition, oil and water holding capacity, emulsifying and foaming properties, color and amino acid composition. Emulsions of trioctanoylglycerol (TC8) and olive oil were made at different gelatin/oil ratios and changes in droplet-size distribution were determined. The superior emulsifying properties of LSG, the susceptibility of gelatin protein emulsions increasing flocculation on storage, and the coalescence of gelatin emulsions following centrifugation were demonstrated. Furthermore, the effect of LSG on the activity of turkey pancreatic lipase (TPL) was evaluated through the pH-stat methodology with TC8 and olive oil emulsions. The LSG affected the TPL activity in a concentration-dependent way. Our results showed that LSG, comparably to gum arabic, increases the pancreatic lipase activity and improves its stability at the oil-water interface.

  3. Genotoxic effect of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the metropolitan area of Porto Alegre, Brazil, evaluated by Helix aspersa (Müller, 1774).

    PubMed

    Ianistcki, M; Dallarosa, J; Sauer, C; Teixeira, C E; da Silva, J

    2009-07-01

    The purpose of this study was to biomonitor metropolitan areas of Porto Alegre (Brazil) for PAHs associated with atmospheric particles and check their effects on the DNA of the land mollusk Helix aspersa. The sampling sites are located in an urban area with heavy traffic: (i) Canoas, (ii) Sapucaia do Sul, and (iii) FIERGS/Porto Alegre. The samples were collected during a continuous period of 24 hours during 15 days using Stacked Filter Units (SFU) on polycarbonate filters (two separated size fractions: PM(10-2.5) and PM(< 2.5)). The concentrations of 16 major PAHs were determined according to EPA. Comet assay on H. aspersa hemolymph cells was chosen for genotoxicity evaluation. This evaluation shows that, in general, the smaller PM-size fractions (PM(< 2.5)) have the highest genotoxicity and contain higher concentrations of extractable organic matter. In addition, associations between chemical characteristics and PM carcinogenicity tend to be stronger for the smaller PM-size fractions.

  4. Helix and Drugs: Snails for Western Health Care From Antiquity to the Present

    PubMed Central

    2005-01-01

    The land helix, or snail, has been used in medicine since antiquity and prepared according to several formulations. This historical report traces the understanding of their properties from the time of Hippocrates, who proposed the use of snail mucus against protoccle and Pliny who thought that the snail increased the speed of delivery and was “a sovereign remedy to treat pain related to burns, abscesses and other wounds”, Galien recommended snails against hydrops foetails. In the 18th century, various snail “preparations” were also recommended for external use with dermatological disorders and internally for symptoms associated with tuberculosis and nephritis. Surprisingly, the 19th century saw a renewed interest in the pharmaceutical and medical use of snails with numerous indications for snail preparations. This interest in snails did not stop at the end of the 19th century. The 1945 edition of Dorvault devotes an entire paragraph to snails, indicating that the therapeutic usage of snails was still alive at that time. Recently the FDA has also shown an interest in snails. Ziconotide (SNXIII), a synthetic peptide coming from snail venom, has been under FDA review since 1999. Pre-clinical and clinical studies of this new drug are promising. PMID:15841274

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

    PubMed

    Solntseva, S V; Nikitin, V P

    2008-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Solntseva, S V; Nikitin, v P

    2008-11-01

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

  7. Properties of lectins from snails of the genus Helix probed by monoclonal antibodies.

    PubMed

    Schneider, H A

    1985-01-01

    Monoclonal antibodies were raised against the lectin of Helix pomatia (HPL). Besides antibodies bearing the more common gamma and kappa chains, antibodies with alpha, mu and lambda 2 chains were elicited. The anti-HPL antibodies are expected to be useful in studies on HPL biogenesis and HPL substructure and in studies concerned with the binding of HPL to cell surfaces. Binding of carbohydrates to HPL impaired the binding of anti-HPL antibodies. One to 3 mM GalNAc inhibited HPL-binding in two out of nine antibodies. None of the antibodies bound in the presence of micrograms per ml of the polyvalent blood group A-substance from hog stomach. Similarly, all anti-HPL antibodies were prevented from binding if non-inhibitory concentrations of A-substance were supplemented with GalNAc. Lectins from Helix aspersa (HAL) and Helix lucorum (HLL) differed from HPL in antigenic properties. Only one anti-HPL antibody each bound these lectins as well as HPL. Binding of lectins of Cepaea and Rapana was scarcely detectable. Most of the anti-HPL antibodies and the multivalent HPL-antigens formed precipitation lines in double diffusion tests. At least two antibodies (IgMs) did so with HLL but none with HAL. The possibility that antibodies were selected because of unknown interactions between HPL and the carbohydrate moieties of certain fractions of antibodies was excluded by raising the antibodies in the presence of tunicamycin to inhibit N-glycosylation.

  8. [Helix and drugs: snails for health care from Antiquity to these days].

    PubMed

    Bonnemain, Bruno

    2003-01-01

    Land helix, so called snails, have been used in medicine since Antiquity. We find them until today in pharmaceutical specialties and it is the subject of several studies. Why this gastropod has much interested and what products were used, based on this unique active ingredient? Some famous pharmacists like Mure, Figuier and Barin-Barthélémy, made specialties that were well known along the 19th century as proven by the Dorvault reference book in 1877. But the history of snails in medicine continued during the 20th century with hélicidine, commercialized in France in 1957, and with HPA (HElix Pomatia Lectin) that is fixed by metastatic tissues.

  9. Adjustment of metabolite composition in the haemolymph to seasonal variations in the land snail Helix pomatia.

    PubMed

    Nicolai, Annegret; Filser, Juliane; Lenz, Roman; Bertrand, Carole; Charrier, Maryvonne

    2011-05-01

    In temperate regions, land snails are subjected to subzero temperatures in winter and hot temperatures often associated to drought in summer. The response to these environmental factors is usually a state of inactivity, hibernation and aestivation, respectively, in a temperature and humidity buffered refuge, accompanied by physiological adjustments to resist cold or heat stress. We investigated how environmental factors in the microhabitat and body condition influence the metabolite composition of haemolymph of the endangered species Helix pomatia. We used UPLC and GC-MS techniques and analyzed annual biochemical variations in a multivariate model. Hibernation and activity months differed in metabolite composition. Snails used photoperiod as cue for seasonal climatic variations to initiate a physiological state and were also highly sensitive to temperature variations, therefore constantly adjusting their physiological processes. Galactose levels gave evidence for the persistence of metabolic activity with energy expenditure during hibernation and for high reproductive activity in June. Triglycerides accumulated prior to hibernation might act as cryoprotectants or energy reserves. During the last month of hibernation snails activated physiological processes related to arousal. During activity, protein metabolism was reflected by high amino acid level. An exceptional aestivation period was observed in April giving evidence for heat stress responses, like the protection of cells from dehydration by polyols and saccharides, the membrane stabilization by cholesterol and enhanced metabolism using the anaerobic succinic acid pathway to sustain costly stress responses. In conclusion, physiological adjustments to environmental variations in Helix pomatia involve water loss regulation, cryoprotectant or heatprotectant accumulation.

  10. [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.

  11. Mass spectrometric analysis of activity-dependent changes of neuropeptide profile in the snail, Helix pomatia.

    PubMed

    Pirger, Z; Lubics, A; Reglodi, D; Laszlo, Z; Mark, L; Kiss, T

    2010-12-01

    Terrestrial snails are able to transform themselves into inactivity ceasing their behavioral activity under unfavorable environmental conditions. In the present study, we report on the activity-dependent changes of the peptide and/or polypeptide profile in the brain and hemolymph of the snail, Helix pomatia, using MALDI TOF and quadrupole mass spectrometry. The present data indicate that the snails respond to low temperature by increasing or decreasing the output of selected peptides. Average mass spectra of the brain and hemolymph revealed numerous peaks predominantly present during the active state (19 and 10 peptides/polypeptides, respectively), while others were observed only during hibernation (11 and 13). However, there were peptides and/or polypeptides or their fragments present irrespective of the activity states (49 and 18). The intensity of fourteen peaks that correspond to previously identified neuropeptides varied in the brain of active snails compared to those of hibernating animals. Among those the intensity of eight peptides increased significantly in active animals while in hibernated animals the intensity of another six peptides increased significantly. A new peptide or peptide fragment at m/z 1110.7 was identified in a brain of the snail with the following suggested amino acid sequence: GSGASGSMPATTS. This peptide was found to be more abundant in active animals because the intensity of the peptide was significantly higher compared to hibernating animals. In summary, our results revealed substantial differences in the peptide/polypeptide profile of the brain and hemolymph of active and hibernating snails suggesting a possible contribution of peptides in the process of hibernation. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Potassium channels in the central nervous system of the snail, Helix pomatia: localization and functional characterization.

    PubMed

    Battonyai, I; Krajcs, N; Serfőző, Z; Kiss, T; Elekes, K

    2014-05-30

    The distribution and functional presence of three voltage-dependent potassium channels, Kv2.1, Kv3.4, Kv4.3, respectively, were studied in the central nervous system of the snail Helix pomatia by immunohistochemical and electrophysiological methods. Cell clusters displaying immunoreactivity for the different channels were observed in all parts of the CNS, although their localization and number partly varied. Differences were also found in their intracellular, perikaryonal and axonal localization, as well as in their presence in non-neuronal tissues nearby the CNS, such as the perineurium and the aorta wall. At ultrastructural level Kv4.3 channel immunolabeling was observed in axon profiles containing large 80-100nm granular vesicles. Blotting analyses revealed specific signals for the Kv2.1, Kv3.4 and Kv4.3 channels, confirming the presence of the channels in the Helix CNS. Voltage-clamp recordings proved that outward currents obtained from neurons displaying Kv3.4 or Kv4.3 immunoreactivity contained transient components while Kv2.1 immunoreactive cells were characterized by delayed currents. The distribution of the K(+)-channels containing neurons suggests specific roles in intercellular signaling processes in the Helix CNS, most probably related to well-defined, partly local events. The cellular localization of the K(+)-channels studied supports their involvement in both pre- and postsynaptic events at perikaryonal and axonal levels. Copyright © 2014 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Analgetic effects of non-thermal GSM-1900 radiofrequency electromagnetic fields in the land snail Helix pomatia.

    PubMed

    Nittby, Henrietta; Moghadam, Mehri Kaviani; Sun, Wenjun; Malmgren, Lars; Eberhardt, Jacob; Persson, Bertil R; Salford, Leif G

    2012-03-01

    To investigate whether mobile phone radiation might affect snail nociception, employing radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields (EMF) which, to our knowledge, have hitherto not been studied in a snail model. Exposure to extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic fields has however been shown to significantly affect nociceptive responses. In the present study, we exposed 29 land snails of the strain Helix pomatia to global system for mobile communications (GSM) EMF at 1900 MHz at the non-thermal level 48 mW/kg for 1 hour each and 29 snails were sham controls. The experiments took place during the onset of summer, with all snails being well out of hibernation. Before and after GSM or sham exposure, the snails were subjected to thermal pain by being placed on a hot plate. The reaction time for retraction from the hot plate was measured by two blinded observers. Comparing the reaction pattern of each snail before and after exposure, the GSM-exposed snails were less sensitive to thermal pain as compared to the sham controls, indicating that RF exposure induces a significant analgesia (Mann-Whitney p < 0.001). This study might support earlier findings, describing beneficial effects of EMF exposure upon nociception.

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

    PubMed Central

    Hiripi, L.

    1998-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-01

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

  18. Morphological and molecular characterization of renal ciliates infecting farmed snails in Spain.

    PubMed

    Segade, P; Kher, C P; Lynn, D H; Iglesias, R

    2009-06-01

    Renal infections by parasitic ciliates were studied in adult snails of Helix aspersa aspersa and Helix aspersa maxima collected from 2 mixed rearing system-based heliciculture farms located in Galicia (NW Spain). The occurrence of ciliates was also examined in slugs (Deroceras reticulatum) invading the greenhouses where first growing and fattening of snails is carried out. Histological examinations revealed a severe destruction of the renal epithelium in heavily infected hosts. Three ciliate isolates, one from each host species, were obtained and grown in axenic cultures. Cultured and parasitic ciliates were characterized morphologically and morphometrically. In addition, the encystment behaviour, the occurrence of autogamy, and the sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome-c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) and the small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA) genes were also studied in the 3 isolates. A polymorphic life cycle involving resting and reproductive cysts, together with the morphological and morphometrical characteristics and the confirmation that autogamy occurs within cysts, demonstrate that our ciliates belong to the species Tetrahymena rostrata (Kahl, 1926) Corliss, 1952. The 3 isolates formed a well-supported clade using both genetic markers, and were clearly separate from the strain ATCC(R) 30770, which has been identified as Tetrahymena rostrata. We argue that our Spanish isolates should be regarded as Tetrahymena rostrata, and that the ATCC isolate should be regarded as a misidentification as neither cytological nor cytogenetical support for its identity has been presented.

  19. Snail

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Yadi

    2010-01-01

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

  20. Palatability of Thlaspi caerulescens for snails: influence of zinc and glucosinolates.

    PubMed

    Noret, N; Meerts, P; Tolrà, R; Poschenrieder, C; Barceló, J; Escarre, J

    2005-03-01

    * The hypothesis that zinc (Zn) hyperaccumulation defends Thlaspi caerulescens against herbivores is tested with the snail Helix aspersa. We investigated the effects of leaf zinc, cadmium, glucosinolate, nitrogen and dry matter concentrations on the feeding preferences of snails. * Four T. caerulescens populations from southern France (two from metalliferous and two from normal soils) were grown on low- and high-Zn soils to obtain contrasting leaf Zn concentrations. Plants were also collected in the field, and binary feeding choices involving low- and high-Zn leaves were conducted. * Foliar Zn, Cd, N and dry matter concentrations did not affect the feeding choices of snails, whereas glucosinolate had a significant negative effect on herbivore preferences. Compared with metallicolous plants, nonmetallicolous ones appeared to be better protected against snails, whatever their Zn concentration. * These results do not support the defence hypothesis, as glucosinolates appear to decrease the degree of herbivory when Zn does not.

  1. 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

  2. Release of lungworm larvae from snails in the environment: potential for alternative transmission pathways.

    PubMed

    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

    2015-04-01

    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. 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. Results of this study indicate that A

  3. The cDNA sequence of three hemocyanin subunits from the garden snail Helix lucorum.

    PubMed

    De Smet, Lina; Dimitrov, Ivan; Debyser, Griet; Dolashka-Angelova, Pavlina; Dolashki, Aleksandar; Van Beeumen, Jozef; Devreese, Bart

    2011-11-10

    Hemocyanins are blue copper containing respiratory proteins residing in the hemolymph of many molluscs and arthropods. They can have different molecular masses and quaternary structures. Moreover, several molluscan hemocyanins are isolated with one, two or three isoforms occurring as decameric, didecameric, multidecameric or tubule aggregates. We could recently isolate three different hemocyanin isopolypeptides from the hemolymph of the garden snail Helix lucorum (HlH). These three structural subunits were named α(D)-HlH, α(N)-HlH and β-HlH. We have cloned and sequenced their cDNA which is the first result ever reported for three isoforms of a molluscan hemocyanin. Whereas the complete gene sequence of α(D)-HlH and β-HlH was obtained, including the 5' and 3' UTR, 180bp of the 5' end and around 900bp at the 3' end are missing for the third subunit. The subunits α(D)-HlH and β-HlH comprise a signal sequence of 19 amino acids plus a polypeptide of 3409 and 3414 amino acids, respectively. We could determine 3031 residues of the α(N)-HLH subunit. Sequence comparison with other molluscan hemocyanins shows that α(D)-HlH is more related to Aplysia californicum hemocyanin than to each of its own isopolypeptides. The structural subunits comprise 8 different functional units (FUs: a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h) and each functional unit possesses a highly conserved copper-A and copper-B site for reversible oxygen binding. Potential N-glycosylation sites are present in all three structural subunits. We confirmed that all three different isoforms are effectively produced and secreted in the hemolymph of H. lucorum by analyzing a tryptic digest of the purified native hemocyanin by MALDI-TOF and LC-FTICR mass spectrometry. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Novel types of bistability in a model of a bursting pacemaker neuron RPa1 from the snail, Helix pomatia.

    PubMed

    Shirahata, T

    2013-03-01

    The RPa1 neuron identified in the snail, Helix pomatia, produced a variety of electrical activities (e.g. bursting and spiking). A previously developed mathematical model, which described these activities, revealed bistability between bursting and chaotic spiking, where chaotic spiking was transformed into bursting by a short-lasting external stimulus, and vice versa. The present study used this model to detect other types of bistability, i.e. bistability between bursting and period-2 spiking and between bursting and period-4 spiking (period-2 and -4 spiking are generated by period-doubling bifurcation). This contributes to our understanding of the electrophysiological properties of RPa1.

  5. Functional changes in the snail statocyst system elicited by microgravity.

    PubMed

    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

    2011-03-29

    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. 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. 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 simple animal model offers the possibility to describe general

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

    de Vaufleury, Annette; Gimbert, Frédéric

    2009-09-01

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

  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.

  9. Dopamine and serotonin receptors mediating contractions of the snail, Helix pomatia, salivary duct.

    PubMed

    Kiss, T; Hiripi, L; Papp, N; Elekes, K

    2003-01-01

    The combination of high performance liquid chromatography, bioassay and immunocytochemistry was applied to study the regulation of the salivary duct muscle of the snail, Helix pomatia. The major function of the duct appears to be to propel the saliva toward the buccal cavity during feeding. It has been established that serotonin and dopamine applied exogenously mimic the effect on the duct exerted by the stimulation of the salivary nerve. Immunohistochemistry revealed the presence of serotonin, but not dopaminergic nerve elements in the nerve and along the duct surface. However, both serotonin (14.9-15.5 pmol/mg) and dopamine (0.38-0.58 pmol/mg), as well as the synthesizing enzymes (tyrozine hydroxylase 0.28 pmol/mg tissue/h and DOPA 0.32 nmol synthesized DA/mg tissue/h) could regularly be assayed in the salivary duct by high performance liquid chromatography. When released following the stimulation of the salivary nerve, both monoamines were shown to interact with distinct membrane receptors. Dopamine elicited a sustained increase of the muscle tone in concentration-dependent manner (K(d)=1.5 microM). Mammalian D(1) receptor antagonist flupenthixol and fluphenazine attenuated, whereas the D(1) receptor agonist SKF-38393 mimicked the effect elicited by exogenous dopamine. Serotonin had a double effect on the salivary duct: a relaxing and a contracting one with different K(d) values 76 nM and 2.4 microM, respectively. 5-HT(2) receptor antagonist ritanserin and ketanserin attenuated the serotonin-induced relaxation. In contrast 5-HT(3) antagonist metoclopramide and MDL2222 decreased and 5-HT(3) receptor agonist 1-(m-chlorophenyl)-biguanide mimicked the serotonin-induced contraction, suggesting that serotonin exerted its action on two different receptor subtypes. The release of radiolabeled serotonin and dopamine upon nerve stimulation was found to be Ca-dependent. Furthermore, the increase in serotonin concentration induced a decrease of the potency of dopamine to

  10. Properties of a facilitating calcium current in pace-maker neurones of the snail, Helix pomatia.

    PubMed Central

    Heyer, C B; Lux, H D

    1976-01-01

    1. Simultaneous measurements of local voltage clamp currents from patches of soma membrane and K activity at the soma surface were used to analyse the time and voltage dependence of the slow inward current in bursting pace-maker neurones of the snail (Helix pomatia). 2. At low levels of depolarization (less than or equal to mV) a net inward current is recorded simultaneously with an efflux of K ions from the cell. 3. With larger depolarizations (20-170 mV from holding potential of -50 mV) the deficit in net outward charge transfer compared with K efflux and the appearance of inward-going tail currents following repolarization, reveal a persistent inward-going current also under these conditions. This inward current is carried primarily by Ca ions, as demonstrated by its voltage dependence (a minimum at about + 115 mV) and its disappearance in Co-Ringer. It is identified with the slow inward Ca current Iin slow (Eckert & Lux, 1976). 4. The inward current predicted from comparisons of current trajectories reaches a maximum at 15-20 msec (for depolarizations from -50 to 0 mV) and gradually declines with sustained depolarization. 5. Partial inactivation is removed by repolarization to -50 mV and the Ca dependent deficit is greater in the sum of repeated voltage clamp pulses than during sustained depolarization. It is largest for pulses of 25-100 msec duration, decreasing as pulse duration increases. 6. Responses to repeated activation with 100 msec pulses with different repolarization intervals reveal a minimum Iin slow at short intervals (e.g. 20 msec) due to failure to remove partial inactivation. At intermediate intervals (e.g. 200-400 msec) Iin slow shows facilitation. This is revealed in calculations of the net charge transfer and current deficits and is also shown in the tail currents following repolarization. The deficit increases progressively with repetitive stimulation. With longer intervals (e.g. 800-1000 msec) defacilitation during repeated stimulation

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-07-01

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

  12. Quantitative assessment of hemolymph metabolites in two physiological states and two populations of the land snail Helix pomatia.

    PubMed

    Nicolai, Annegret; Filser, Juliane; Lenz, Roman; Bertrand, Carole; Charrier, Maryvonne

    2012-01-01

    Hemolymph metabolite composition in ectothermic species is mainly constrained by trophic and climatic habitat conditions. In temperate regions, ectothermic species have to face subzero temperatures in winter, to which they typically respond with a state of inactivity. With use of ultra-performance liquid chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry techniques, we investigated the hemolymph metabolite composition of the land snail Helix pomatia with respect to physiological states (activity and hibernation) in a mountain population (800 m above sea level) and a valley population (150 m above sea level) in Germany. The dry masses of active snails as well as the saccharide and amino acid concentrations in active snails were higher in the mountain population than in the valley population. These differences between populations might reflect differences in microhabitat conditions, such as climate and vegetal food, and consequent differences in metabolic activity. Galactose was the most abundant component in hemolymph besides glucose. Both saccharides might indicate glycolytic activity, which could provide energy for locomotion and foraging. In hibernation, glutamate, α-alanine, glycine, aspartate, serine, homoserine, hydroxyproline, glycerol, and triglycerides were accumulated in both populations. The concentrations were correlated with a decrease in body supercooling point. Therefore, these metabolites might have a role in the cold hardiness of H. pomatia that should be further investigated in a functional study.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Gomot de Vaufleury, A; Pihan, F

    2000-02-01

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

  16. Immunodetection and localization of nitric oxide synthase in the olfactory center of the terrestrial snail, Helix pomatia.

    PubMed

    Nacsa, K; Elekes, K; Serfőző, Z

    2012-01-01

    The procerebrum of stylommatophoran snails produces nitric oxide (NO)-modulated oscillatory local field potentials which are considered the basis of olfactory information processing. Although the function of NO is well characterized in the PC, the identification and distribution of NO synthase (NOS) has not known completely. In the present study, applying a mammalian anti-NOS antibody, a 170 kDa molecular weight NOS-like protein was demonstrated in the procerebrum homogenate of Helix pomatia. NOS-like immunolabeling of the globuli cells, the internal and terminal neuropils displayed an identical distribution compared to that of NADPH-diaphorase reactive material, confirming the specificity of immunohistochemistry. The detailed characteristics of the immunostaining (different intensity of the neural perikarya, a gradual appearance in the terminal neuropil and in the axon bundles of the tentacular nerve, as well as an intense, homogeneous distribution of NOS-like immunoreactivity in the internal neuropil) suggest that NOS is expressed constitutively, maintaining a high level of the enzyme in neuropil areas. NOS accumulation in the internal neuropil suggests that NO plays an important role in delivering olfactory signals extrinsic to the procerebrum, and integrating them with other sensory modalities, respectively. Our results are the first, demonstrating unequivocally the presence of NOS and resolving its differential distribution in the Helix procerebrum.

  17. Heart rate and hemocyte number as stress indicators in disturbed hibernating vineyard snails, Helix pomatia.

    PubMed

    Renwrantz, Lothar; Spielvogel, Frank

    2011-12-01

    In humans and other vertebrates, mental or physical stressors may trigger a variety of symptoms generally referred to as the fight/flight response (Cannon 1929). The processes also include variability of the heart frequency as well as leukocytosis. We monitored both body responses in disturbed hibernating vineyard snails, H. pomatia, to obtain information on the stress sensitivity of these "sleeping" invertebrates. The first mild stressor, a 100 meter transport of hibernating snails from the cold room to the laboratory, caused cardiac arrhythmia in the animals. This reaction could have been provoked by mechanical disturbances and/or by raising the body temperature to room temperature. But a change in the ambient temperature did not trigger an abnormal heart rhythm. Different from this observation, we recorded instant heart rate changes in response to knocking on the shell and a very irregular heartbeat occurred when a hole was punched in the shell. With a short time delay upon damaging the shell, a large increase in the number of circulating cells also occurred. This was not observed after knocking on the shell or when snails were adapted to different temperatures for each 48 h. Thus, hibernating snails sense environmental variations which cause an immediate change of the heart frequency and an elevated stimulus level initiates in addition leukocytosis which occurs at a post-stimulus latency. This disparity could indicate the activity of two different stress regulation pathways. Furthermore, the assays demonstrate an increasing linear relation between rising temperature and frequency of heart pulsations (y=1.01x-2.1); but the results do not indicate a correlation between heartbeat frequency and the number of cells in circulation. Consequently, neither temperature nor heart frequency seems to influence the number of circulating cells in hibernating H. pomatia. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Development of the first polymorphic microsatellite markers for the Roman snail Helix pomatia L., 1758 (Helicidae) and cross-species amplification within the genus Helix.

    PubMed

    Krapal, A M; Popa, O P; Iorgu, E I; Cojocaru, L B; Popa, A F; Popa, L O

    2016-09-19

    The terrestrial snail Helix pomatia (Gastropoda: Stylommatophora: Helicidae) is one of the largest gastropod species in Europe. This species is strictly protected in some European Union countries; however, at the same time, it is also farmed and commercialized for human consumption. Here, we describe 11 microsatellite markers that are very useful in population genetic studies for assessing the status of both wild and farmed populations of this species of community interest. The microsatellites were isolated using 454 pyrosequencing technologies and 11 primer pairs were selected and used for genotyping an H. pomatia population and also checked for cross-species amplification on H. lucorum and H. lutescens specimens. The number of alleles per locus ranged from 3 to 13 and observed heterozygosity was between 0.458 and 0.917. Seven of these loci were polymorphic in H. lucorum, and four in H. lutescens. This set of nuclear markers provides a powerful tool for population genetic studies of this species of community interest, and also for closely related species. The described microsatellite markers should also facilitate the identification of populations of conservation concern.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-04-01

    We analyzed the changes in the profile of fatty acids (FA) in the foot tissues and hepatopancreas (HP) of snails Helix pomatia exposed to five microdoses of zinc (0.1, 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, or 1mg/l) administered in the form of a pure salt solution and in the form of EDTA and lysine chelates. Selection from a pool of 56 fatty acids analyzed in snail tissues yielded a set of 12 biomarker acids undergoing significant changes in contact with toxic substances. The selection criteria included the greatest percentage among the FA profile and their significant role in physiological processes. The proposed palette of acids of the biomarker FAs comprised C16:0; C18:0; C23:0; C18:1 n-9; C20:1 n-9; C18:2 n-6; C18:3 n-3; C20:2; C20:4 n-6; C20:5 n-3; C22:4 n-6; and C22:5 n-3, and saturated fatty acids (SFAs), monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), determined separately in the foot tissues and hepatopancreas. The significant (p=0.01) influence of the dose as well as the source of the zinc on its' concentration in the tissues and on changes in the fatty acid profiles. Among the three zinc forms administered to the snails, the highest bioaccumulation of zinc in both tissues was noted in the group receiving the Zn-EDTA chelate. The content of PUFAs increased as the supplementation with zinc increased up to 0.75mg/l, but at 1mg/l, the share of these FAs began to decrease. This trend was observed in both analyzed tissue types - foot and hepatopancreas. The dose of 1mg Zn/l might be considered as a threshold dose above which the saturation of FAs increases. The results proved that determination of FA profile in snails can be used in ecotoxicological research as a reliable test of the effect of trace doses of stressors. The micro-supplementation of the mollusks diet with zinc is an example of a non-routine approach to issues connected with both diet and toxicology. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. 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. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Whole body static magnetic field exposure increases thermal nociceptive threshold in the snail, Helix pomatia.

    PubMed

    László, J F; Hernádi, L

    2012-12-01

    We investigated the effect of homogeneous and inhomogeneous static magnetic field (SMF) exposure on the thermal nociceptive threshold of snail in the hot plate test (43 °C). Both homogeneous (hSMF) and inhomogeneous (iSMF) SMF increased the thermo-nociceptive threshold: 40.2%, 29.2%, or 41.7% after an exposure of 20, 30, or 40 min hSMF by p < 0.001, p < 0.0001, or p < 0.001, and 32.7% or 46.2% after an exposure of 20 or 40 min iSMF by p < 0.05 or p < 0.0001. These results suggest that SMF has an antinociceptive effect in snail. On the other hand, naloxone as an atypical opioid antagonist in an amount of 1 μg/g was found to significantly decrease the thermo-nociceptive threshold (41.9% by p < 0.002), which could be antagonized by hSMF exposure implying that hSMF exerts its antinociceptive effect partly via opioid receptors.

  2. Homolog of protein kinase Mζ maintains context aversive memory and underlying long-term facilitation in terrestrial snail Helix.

    PubMed

    Balaban, Pavel M; Roshchin, Matvey; Timoshenko, Alia Kh; Zuzina, Alena B; Lemak, Maria; Ierusalimsky, Victor N; Aseyev, Nikolay A; Malyshev, Aleksey Y

    2015-01-01

    It has been shown that a variety of long-term memories in different regions of the brain and in different species are quickly erased by local inhibition of protein kinase Mζ (PKMζ), a persistently active protein kinase. Using antibodies to mammalian PKMζ, we describe in the present study the localization of immunoreactive molecules in the nervous system of the terrestrial snail Helix lucorum. Presence of a homolog of PKMζ was confirmed with transcriptomics. We have demonstrated in behavioral experiments that contextual fear memory disappeared under a blockade of PKMζ with a selective peptide blocker of PKMζ zeta inhibitory peptide (ZIP), but not with scrambled ZIP. If ZIP was combined with a "reminder" (20 min in noxious context), no impairment of the long-term contextual memory was observed. In electrophysiological experiments we investigated whether PKMζ takes part in the maintenance of long-term facilitation (LTF) in the neural circuit mediating tentacle withdrawal. LTF of excitatory synaptic inputs to premotor interneurons was induced by high-frequency nerve stimulation combined with serotonin bath applications and lasted at least 4 h. We found that bath application of 2 × 10(-6) M ZIP at the 90th min after the tetanization reduced the EPSP amplitude to the non-tetanized EPSP values. Applications of the scrambled ZIP peptide at a similar time and concentration didn't affect the EPSP amplitudes. In order to test whether effects of ZIP are specific to the synapses, we performed experiments with LTF of somatic membrane responses to local glutamate applications. It was shown earlier that serotonin application in such an "artificial synapse" condition elicits LTF of responses to glutamate. It was found that ZIP had no effect on LTF in these conditions, which may be explained by the very low concentration of PKMζ molecules in somata of these identified neurons, as evidenced by immunochemistry. Obtained results suggest that the Helix homolog of PKMζ might be

  3. Homolog of protein kinase Mζ maintains context aversive memory and underlying long-term facilitation in terrestrial snail Helix

    PubMed Central

    Balaban, Pavel M.; Roshchin, Matvey; Timoshenko, Alia Kh.; Zuzina, Alena B.; Lemak, Maria; Ierusalimsky, Victor N.; Aseyev, Nikolay A.; Malyshev, Aleksey Y.

    2015-01-01

    It has been shown that a variety of long-term memories in different regions of the brain and in different species are quickly erased by local inhibition of protein kinase Mζ (PKMζ), a persistently active protein kinase. Using antibodies to mammalian PKMζ, we describe in the present study the localization of immunoreactive molecules in the nervous system of the terrestrial snail Helix lucorum. Presence of a homolog of PKMζ was confirmed with transcriptomics. We have demonstrated in behavioral experiments that contextual fear memory disappeared under a blockade of PKMζ with a selective peptide blocker of PKMζ zeta inhibitory peptide (ZIP), but not with scrambled ZIP. If ZIP was combined with a “reminder” (20 min in noxious context), no impairment of the long-term contextual memory was observed. In electrophysiological experiments we investigated whether PKMζ takes part in the maintenance of long-term facilitation (LTF) in the neural circuit mediating tentacle withdrawal. LTF of excitatory synaptic inputs to premotor interneurons was induced by high-frequency nerve stimulation combined with serotonin bath applications and lasted at least 4 h. We found that bath application of 2 × 10−6 M ZIP at the 90th min after the tetanization reduced the EPSP amplitude to the non-tetanized EPSP values. Applications of the scrambled ZIP peptide at a similar time and concentration didn’t affect the EPSP amplitudes. In order to test whether effects of ZIP are specific to the synapses, we performed experiments with LTF of somatic membrane responses to local glutamate applications. It was shown earlier that serotonin application in such an “artificial synapse” condition elicits LTF of responses to glutamate. It was found that ZIP had no effect on LTF in these conditions, which may be explained by the very low concentration of PKMζ molecules in somata of these identified neurons, as evidenced by immunochemistry. Obtained results suggest that the Helix homolog of PKM

  4. The influx of tryptamine into snail (Helix pomatia) ganglia: comparison with 5-hydroxytryptamine.

    PubMed

    Schröder, H U; Neuhoff, V; Priggemeier, E; Osborne, N N

    1979-01-01

    Isolated ganglia possess the ability to concentrate tryptamine from an external medium by a process which is temperature sensitive and independent of sodium and other cations. Kinetic analysis of the accumulation process showed the influx of tryptamine to be a single mechanism with Km and Vmax values of 1.4 X 10(-4)M and 5 X 10(-8) mole/g/min. The influx of tryptamine is an unspecific process and is insensitive to a number of metabolic inhibitors and various analogues. The process of tryptamine influx is thus similar in principle to the low affinity uptake mechanism for 5-HT (see Osborne et al., 1975). The present data, which include some experiments on the release of 5-HT and tryptamine, are discussed from the point of view of a functional role for 5-HT and tryptamine in the snail CNS.

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    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. 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. 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. 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 molecules detected by the olfactory system.

  7. Novel triplet of flexor muscles in the posterior tentacles of the snail, Helix pomatia.

    PubMed

    Hernádi, L; Teyke, T

    2012-01-01

    The anatomy of three novel flexor muscles in the posterior tentacles of Helix pomatia is described. The muscles originate from the ventral side of the sensory pad and are anchored at different sites in the base of the tentacle stem. The muscles span the tentacle and always take the length of the stem which depends on the rate of tentacle protrusion indicating that the muscles are both contractile and extremely stretchable. The three anchoring points at the base of the stem determine three space axes along which the contraction of a muscle or the synchronous contraction of the muscles can move the tentacle in space.

  8. 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

  9. Selected fatty acids as biomarkers of exposure to microdoses of molluscicides in snails Helix pomatia (Gastropoda Pulmonata).

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-01

    Two stages of selection from a pool of 56 fatty acids analyzed in Helix pomatia yielded a set of 12 biomarker acids undergoing significant changes in contact with three microdoses of toxic substances, i.e. three molluscicides containing metaldehyde, methiocarb, and potassium chloride (PC). The proposed palette of acids, including saturated fatty acids (SFA), monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), determined separately in the foot tissues and hepatopancreas of Gastropoda, can be used in ecotoxicological research as a reliable test of the effect of trace doses of stressors. The final set of the biomarker FA comprised C16:0; C18:0; C23:0; C18:1 n-9; C20:1 n-9; C18:2 n-6; C18:3 n-3; C20:2; C20:4 n-6; C20:5 n-3; C22:4 n-6; and C22:5 n-3. A clear physiological response manifested as changes in the content of fatty acids (FA) was observed in the snails even in the case of the lowest doses of the pollutants. All experimental factors analyzed, i.e., the dose (5, 10, or 15 μl 0.01% w/v concentration) and the type of preparation (metaldehyde, methiocarb or PC), had a significant (p ≤ 0.01) impact on the FA composition of the foot and hepatopancreas. Limitation of the analysis to a narrow pool of reactive FA meets the requirements of parameters of biomarkers of exposure and facilitates and accelerates visualization of the bioindicator organism's response to the presence of the stressor in the environment. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Peptidergic modulation of serotonin and nerve elicited responses of the salivary duct muscle in the snail, Helix pomatia.

    PubMed

    Kiss, T; Hernádi, L; László, Z; Fekete, Zs N; Elekes, K

    2010-06-01

    In the present study, the ability of a range of endogenous neuropeptides to modulate neuromuscular transmission was examined in the salivary duct neuromuscular preparation of the terrestrial snail, Helix pomatia. Immunohistochemical and physiological techniques were used to localize the neuropeptides (GSPYFVamide, CARP, FMRFamide and APGWamide) and to investigate whether contractions elicited by the stimulation of the salivary nerve or by exogenously applied 5-HT are subject to peptidergic modulation. All of the neuropeptides studied decreased the tonus by a direct action on the muscle fibers in a concentration dependent manner in a range of 10(-9) to 10(-6)M. Neuropeptides distinctly affected the 5-HT evoked contraction or relaxation and GSPYFVa and APGWa decreased also the amplitude of contractions elicited by the stimulation of the salivary nerve. All four neuropeptides facilitated the relaxation phase providing further evidence for the postsynaptic action of neuropeptides. Low Ca(2+)/high Mg(2+) saline abolished the nerve-elicited contractions, however the denervated muscle retained the ability to contract due to the mobilization of the Ca(2+) from intracellular stores. It was concluded, that peptides belonging to different peptide families exerted their effects through pre- and postsynaptic mechanisms. The modulatory effect of neuropeptides can be assigned to the partial co-localization of 5-HT and neuropeptides in the nerves innervating muscles of the salivary duct, as it was demonstrated by double-labeling immunohistochemistry. A double origin of the 5-HTergic innervation was demonstrated, including efferents originating from both the cerebral and visceral ganglia. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Accumulation of cadmium in and its effect on the midgut gland of terrestrial snail Helix pomatia L. from urban areas in Poland.

    PubMed

    Włostowski, Tadeusz; Kozłowski, Paweł; Laszkiewicz-Tiszczenko, Barbara; Oleńska, Ewa; Aleksandrowicz, Olgierd

    2014-11-01

    The objectives of this study were (1) to determine cadmium (Cd) accumulation in the midgut gland of a land snail Helix pomatia L. inhabiting residential areas of the 14 largest cities in Poland, and (2) to examine whether the accumulated Cd exerted any toxic effects. The average accumulation of Cd in the midgut gland of snails, weighing 16-18 g, ranged from 7.00 to 87.3 µg/g dry weight (0.06-0.77 µmol/g) and differed significantly among animals from the various urban areas. This difference in Cd accumulation was not related to city population, but was associated with the topsoil Cd (R(2) = 0.868, p < 0.0001). The tissue Cd was not found to produce toxicity (histopathology, programmed cell death, lipofuscin formation or lipid peroxidation), probably due to the induction of sufficiently high quantities of metallothionein and glutathione, well-known protective molecules.

  14. [Electrophysiological characteristics of the statocyst receptor cells in snails Helix lucorum following exposure to microgravity in unmanned spacecraft "Foton" and piloted space station "Mir"].

    PubMed

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

    2002-01-01

    Following 16-, 53-, 73- and 163-d orbiting, the background pulsation of the statocyst receptor cells (statoreceptors), the equilibrium organ in land pulmonary snails Helix lucorum, was found increased. Alteration of the body spatial position (2-min tilt at 90 degrees toward the upsilateral side) in the space-flown snails was noted to occur with delayed dying away of the pulsation rate. During stepwise (30 degrees) tilts in the range from 0 to 180 degrees, the maximum of the reaction was shifted by 30 degrees from the gravitational vertical; during dynamic tilting (sine decaying oscillations) the reaction subsides more rapidly as compared with the control animals. Absence of changes in pulsation of receptor cells in statocysts deprived of feedback with the nervous centers may be suggestive of inactivation of the efferent innervation in consequence of exposure to microgravity.

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

    Michaelidis, B

    2002-05-01

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

  17. Snails as indicators of pesticide drift, deposit, transfer and effects in the vineyard.

    PubMed

    Druart, Coline; Millet, Maurice; Scheifler, Renaud; Delhomme, Olivier; Raeppel, Caroline; de Vaufleury, Annette

    2011-09-15

    This paper presents a field-study of real pesticide application conditions in a vineyard. The objective was to measure the exposure, the transfer and the effects of pesticides on a non-target soil invertebrate, the land snail Helix aspersa. There was no drift of the herbicides (glyphosate and glufosinate) whereas the fungicides (cymoxanil, folpet, tebuconazole and pyraclostrobin) were detected up to 20 m from the treated area. For folpet and particularly tebuconazole, spray deposits on soil (corresponding to losses for the intended target i.e. the vine leaves) were high (41.1% and 88.8% loss of applied dose, respectively). For herbicides, the target was the soil and losses (percentage of compounds which did not reach the soil) were of 22% for glufosinate and 52% for glyphosate. In the study plot, glyphosate was transferred to and accumulated in snail tissues (4 mg kg(-1) dry weight, dw), as was its metabolite AMPA (8 mg kg(-1) dw) which could be in relation with the reduced growth observed in snails. No effects on snail survival or growth were found after exposure to the other organic compounds or to copper and sulphur-fungicides, although transfer of tebuconazole, pyraclostrobin and copper occurred. This study brings original field data on the fate of pesticides in a vineyard agro-ecosystem under real conditions of application and shows that transfer and effects of pesticides to a non-target organism occurred. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-01

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

  19. A novel Snail-related transcription factor Smuc regulates basic helix–loop–helix transcription factor activities via specific E-box motifs

    PubMed Central

    Kataoka, Hiroshi; Murayama, Toshinori; Yokode, Masayuki; Mori, Seiichi; Sano, Hideto; Ozaki, Harunobu; Yokota, Yoshifumi; Nishikawa, Shin-Ichi; Kita, Toru

    2000-01-01

    Snail family proteins are zinc finger transcriptional regulators first identified in Drosophila which play critical roles in cell fate determination. We identified a novel Snail-related gene from murine skeletal muscle cells designated Smuc. Northern blot analysis showed that Smuc was highly expressed in skeletal muscle and thymus. Smuc contains five putative DNA-binding zinc finger domains in its C-terminal half. In electrophoretic mobility shift assays, recombinant zinc finger domains of Smuc specifically bound to CAGGTG and CACCTG E-box motifs (CANNTG). Because basic helix–loop–helix transcription factors (bHLH) bind to the same E-box sequences, we examined whether Smuc competes with the myogenic bHLH factor MyoD for DNA binding. Smuc inhibited the binding of a MyoD–E12 complex to the CACCTG E-box sequence in a dose-dependent manner and suppressed the transcriptional activity of MyoD–E12. When heterologously targeted to the thymidine kinase promoter as fusion proteins with the GAL4 DNA-binding domain, the non-zinc finger domain of Smuc acted as a transcriptional repressor. Furthermore, overexpression of Smuc in myoblasts repressed transactivation of muscle differentiation marker Troponin T. Thus, Smuc might regulate bHLH transcription factors by zinc finger domains competing for E-box binding, and non-zinc finger repressor domains might also confer transcriptional repression to control differentiation processes. PMID:10606664

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

    PubMed

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

    1989-08-15

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

  1. 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.

  2. Putative new groups of invertebrate water channels based on the snail Helix pomatia L. (Helicidae) MIP protein identification and phylogenetic analysis.

    PubMed

    Kosicka, Ewa; Grobys, Daria; Kmita, Hanna; Lesicki, Andrzej; Pieńkowska, Joanna R

    2016-12-01

    Water channel proteins, classified as a family of Membrane Intrinsic Proteins (MIPs) superfamily, enable rapid movement of water and small uncharged molecules through biological membranes. Although water channel proteins are required in several important processes characteristic for the animals, such as osmoregulation, mucus secretion, or defense against desiccation, molluscs, until now, have been very poorly explored in this aspect. Therefore, we decided to study MIPs in Helix pomatia L. applied as a model in studies on terrestrial snail physiology. Our studies consisted in: the snail organ transcriptome sequencing and consecutive bioinformatic analysis of the predicted protein, estimation of the encoding transcript expression (qPCR), investigation of the predicted protein function in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells, and the phylogenetic analysis. We identified six water channel proteins, named HpAQP1 to HpAQP6. All of them were proven to transport water, two of them (HpAQP3 and HpAQP4) were also shown to be able to transport glycerol, and other two (HpAQP5 and HpAQP6) to transport H2O2. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the proteins either fell into aquaporins (HpAQP1, HpAQP2 and HpAQP5) or formed new groups of invertebrate water channel proteins, not described until now, that we suggest to term malacoglyceroporins (HpAQP3 and HpAQP4) and malacoaquaporins (HpAQP6). Thus, the classification of animal water channels based on the vertebrate proteins and including aquaporin, aquaglyceroporin, S-aquaporin and AQP8-type grades does not reflect diversity of these proteins in invertebrates. The obtained results provide important data concerning diversity of water channel protein repertoire in aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates and should also contribute to the improvement of animal water channel classification system. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  3. Pharmacological analysis of response latency in the hot plate test following whole-body static magnetic field-exposure in the snail Helix pomatia.

    PubMed

    Hernádi, László; László, János F

    2014-07-01

    To study the effect of single, 30-min long, whole-body, homogeneous static magnetic field (SMF)-exposure of magnetic induction 147 ± 3 mT on the response latency of the snail Helix pomatia. The response was investigated using the hot plate test. The effect caused by exposure to SMF was compared to sham-exposure and resulted in significant differences (up to 47.1%, p < 0.001). The response latency depended on the day-night cycle; response latency was higher by 51.2% (p < 0.001) during the night. This trend also held for SMF-exposure (28.6%, p < 0.001). Serotonin alone increased response latency (55.7%, p < 0.001), whereas serotonin antagonist tryptamine decreased it (- 97.8%, p < 0.001). Using naloxone, response latency decreased (- 52.5%, p < 0.001); however both SMF-exposure and serotonin in combination with naloxone rose it back to above the control level (116.9%, p < 0.001 or 150.2%, p < 0.001, respectively). This study provides evidence that SMF-exposure mediates peripheral thermal nociceptive threshold by affecting the serotonerg as well as the opioiderg system.

  4. Topographic organization of serotonergic and dopaminergic neurons in the cerebral ganglia and their peripheral projection patterns in the head areas of the snail Helix pomatia.

    PubMed

    Hernádi, L; Elekes, K

    1999-08-23

    The distribution of monoaminergic neurons within the cerebral ganglia was investigated in the pulmonate snail Helix pomatia. Simultaneous serotonin and tyrosine hydroxylase double immunostaining revealed that the immunoreactive cell groups are concentrated in a putative monoaminergic center on the ventral surface of the cerebral ganglia. Simultaneous cobalt (Co)- and nickel (Ni)-lysine backfills of cerebral nerves were combined with 5, 6-dihydroxytryptamine pigment-labelling of serotonergic neurons, or with fluorescence immunocytochemistry of dopaminergic neurons. This showed that the serotonergic and dopaminergic cell groups can be divided into smaller subgroups on the basis of their axonal projections into different cerebral nerves. These subgroups show a topographic organization within the serotonergic and dopaminergic neuronal clusters. In the serotonergic system, the different regions of the head are represented in a rostrocaudal direction, whereas a caudorostral organization is characteristic for the dopaminergic system. No serotonin- or dopamine-immunoreative cell bodies but numerous fibers were observed in the head areas, indicating that these are innervated by cerebral monoaminergic neurons and show different innervation patterns. Serotonin-immunoreactive fibers mostly innervate muscle fibers, whereas dopamine-immunoreactive processes do not innervate effector cells, but terminate within the nerve branches of the head areas. On the basis of their innervation pattern, we suggest that dopaminergic neurons may take part in en route modulation of sensory afferent and efferent processes in an as yet unknown manner. The serotonergic neurons, on the other hand, may play a direct role in the modulation of muscle function. Copyright 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  5. Processing of mechano- and chemosensory information in the lip nerve and cerebral ganglia of the snail Helix pomatia L.

    PubMed

    Kemenes, G

    1994-01-01

    Neurophysiologists have long been seeking simple model systems in which to analyze the neuronal mechanisms underlying the organization of behavior. The feeding behavior of molluscs has proved to be one of the most useful simple systems for the analysis of cyclical motor patterns, the interactions of central pattern generating interneurons, and the role of sensory inputs in the initiation and maintenance of the behavior. Considerable progress has been made in one or both of the first two aspects of this research in Lymnaea, Helisoma, Limax, Planorbarius, Pleurobranchaea, and Tritonia (for reviews see [3, 7, 8, 15]), and more recently, in Aplysia [39] and Planorbis [1]. The role of mechano- and chemosensory inputs in the organization of the feeding behavior was studied in at least twenty molluscan species (for a review see [3]). However, in only less than half of them was the analysis extended to the effect of tactile and chemical inputs on identified neurons in the buccal and cerebral ganglia which contain the feeding circuitry (Aplysia: [12, 22, 36, 41]; Pleurobranchaea: [9, 16, 17]; Tritonia: [2]; Helisona: [21]; Limax: [11, 14, 35]: Helix: [6, 19, 24-26, 32, 38]). In the present work I would like to review our earlier findings on the processing of mechano and chemosensory information in the lip nerves and cerebral ganglia of Helix pomatia L. These findings were published in a series of papers between 1982 and 1987 [19, 20, 24-26]. The results reviewed here prepared the way for the development of new lines of research in our laboratory on the plasticity and serotonergic modulation of feeding in this widely used experimental animal [27, 40].

  6. Processing of mechano- and chemosensory information in the lip nerve and cerebral ganglia of the snail Helix pomatia L.

    PubMed

    Kemenes, G

    1992-01-01

    Neurophysiologists have long been seeking out simple model systems in which to analyse the neuronal mechanisms underlying the organisation of behaviour. The feeding behaviour of molluscs has proved to be one of the most useful simple systems for the analysis of cyclical motor patterns, the interactions of central pattern generating interneurones and the role of sensory inputs in the initiation and maintenance of the behaviour. Considerable progress has been made in one or both of the first two aspects of this research in Lymnaea, Helisoma, Limax, Planorbarius, Pleurobranchaea and Tritonia (for reviews see [3, 7, 8, 15]) and more recently, in Aplysia [39] and Planorbis [1]. The role of mechano- and chemosensory inputs in the organisation of the feeding behaviour was studied in at least twenty molluscan species (for a review see [3]). However, in only less than half of them was the analysis extended to the effect of tactile and chemical inputs on identified neurones in the buccal and cerebral ganglia which contain the feeding circuitry (Aplysia: [12, 22, 36, 41]; Pleurobranchaea: [9, 16, 17]; Tritonia: [2]; Helisona: [21]; Limax: [11, 14, 35]; Helix: [6, 19, 24-26, 32, 38]). In present chapter I would like to review our earlier findings on the processing of mechano- and chemosensory information in the lip nerves and cerebral ganglia of Helix pomatia L. These findings were published in a series of papers between 1982 and 1987 [19, 20, 24-26]. The results reviewed here prepared the way for the development of new lines of research in our laboratory on the plasticity and serotonergic modulation of feeding in this widely used experimental animal [27, 40].

  7. Investigations of responses to metal pollution in land snail populations (Cantareus aspersus and Cepaea nemoralis) from a smelter-impacted area.

    PubMed

    Fritsch, Clémentine; Coeurdassier, Michaël; Gimbert, Frédéric; Crini, Nadia; Scheifler, Renaud; de Vaufleury, Annette

    2011-06-01

    A cross-transplantation field experiment was performed to investigate about possible adaptation/acclimatization to metal pollution in common garden snail Cantareus aspersus (ex-Helix aspersa) and brown-lipped grove snail Cepaea nemoralis populations. Adults were collected from an area surrounding a former smelter (ME), highly polluted by trace metals (TMs) for decades, and from an unpolluted site (BE). Subadults of first generation (F1) were exposed in microcosms in a 28-day kinetic study. Four exposure sites were chosen around the smelter along a soil pollution gradient (vegetation and soil otherwise comparable). Bioaccumulation in snail soft tissues globally increased with soil contamination, with Cd, Pb and Zn concentrations reaching 271, 187, 5527 μg g(-1), respectively. Accumulation kinetic patterns were similar between snail species but C. nemoralis showed greater TM levels than C. aspersus. Some inter-population differences were revealed in TM accumulation (bioaccumulation factors, accumulation kinetics) but did not suggest consistent adaptive responses. We did not detect negative effects of TM exposure on snail condition (body weight, shell size, shell weight). ME C. aspersus snails produced heavier shells than BE snails under exposure to TMs at the highest level, suggesting an adaptive response. The protocol used in this study, however, did not allow unambiguously distinguishing whether this response was due to genetic adaptation or to maternal effects. Abnormal but reversible shell development of adult ME C. nemoralis suggested physiological acclimatization. Differences in responses to TMs between populations are observed for conchological parameters, not for bioaccumulation, with different strategies according to the species (acclimatization or adaptation/maternal effects).

  8. Diet Effect Study On Terrestrial Snail Body Tissues and Shell Carbonates In Experimental Conditions: Applications To Paleoenvironments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    The isotopic analysis of different materials yielded original elements to understanding the ecosystems and the paleoenvironments. Although most of the studies on fossil material was interpreted through the modern conditions at the vicinity of the fossil record, no precise analysis of the impact of the diet and precipitation was carried out in order to justify such assumptions. Here we present the results of the influence of diet and water on the carbone and oxygen isotope compositions of the body tissues and shell aragonite of terrestrial mollusk shells, a particularly accurate climate indicator. Our experiment consists of individuals from hatched eggs of Helix aspersa raised in our laboratory. Three groups of snails were fed on lettuce (C3 plant), corn (C4 plant) and mixed diet (C3+C4). They were sprayed at the same time with 3 different water in order to estimate the influence of continental effect. To estimate the paleotemperature changes, the hatched snails groups were placed in three rooms adjusted automatically to different temperatures. The experimental results indicate that the d13C of the shells is a good record of the isotopic composition of the snail body tissue, and therefore a good record of diet, and the d18O a good record of precipitations in relation with temperature change.

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. eSnail: a transcriptome-based molecular resource of the central nervous system for terrestrial gastropods.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Min; Wang, Tianfang; Stewart, Michael J; Bose, Utpal; Suwansa-Ard, Saowaros; Storey, Kenneth B; Cummins, Scott F

    2017-09-28

    To expand on emerging terrestrial gastropod molecular resources, we have undertaken transcriptome-based sequencing of the central nervous system (CNS) from six ecologically invasive terrestrial gastropods. Focusing on snail species Cochlicella acuta and Helix aspersa, and reticulated slugs Deroceras invadens, Deroceras reticulatum, Lehmannia nyctelia, and Milax gagates, we obtained a total of 367,869,636 high quality reads and compared them with existing CNS transcript resources for the invasive Mediterranean snail, Theba pisana. In total we obtained, 419,289 unique transcripts (unigenes) from 1,410,569 assembled contigs, with BLAST search analysis of multiple protein databases leading to the annotation of 124,268 unigenes, of which 92,544 mapped to NCBI non-redundant protein databases. We found that these transcriptomes have representatives in most biological functions, based on comparison of gene ontology, KEGG pathway, and protein family contents, demonstrating a high range of transcripts responsible for regulating metabolic activities and molecular functions occurring within the CNS. To provide an accessible genetic resource, we also demonstrate the presence of 66,687 microsatellites and 304,693 single nucleotide variants, which can be used for the design of potentially thousands of unique primers for functional screening. An online 'eSnail' database with a user-friendly web interface was implemented to query all the information obtained herein (http://soft.bioinfo-minzhao.org/esnail). We demonstrate the usefulness of the database through the mining of molluscan neuropeptides. As the most comprehensive CNS transcriptome resource for terrestrial gastropods, eSnail may serve as a useful gateway for researchers to explore gastropod CNS function for multiple purposes, including for the development of biocontrol approaches. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    Flari, V; Lazaridou-Dimitriadou, M

    1996-01-01

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

  13. 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)

  14. 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)

  15. O-Glycosylation of snails.

    PubMed

    Stepan, Herwig; Pabst, Martin; Altmann, Friedrich; Geyer, Hildegard; Geyer, Rudolf; Staudacher, Erika

    2012-05-01

    The glycosylation abilities of snails deserve attention, because snail species serve as intermediate hosts in the developmental cycles of some human and cattle parasites. In analogy to many other host-pathogen relations, the glycosylation of snail proteins may likewise contribute to these host-parasite interactions. Here we present an overview on the O-glycan structures of 8 different snails (land and water snails, with or without shell): Arion lusitanicus, Achatina fulica, Biomphalaria glabrata, Cepaea hortensis, Clea helena, Helix pomatia, Limax maximus and Planorbarius corneus. The O-glycans were released from the purified snail proteins by β-elimination. Further analysis was carried out by liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray ionization mass spectrometry and - for the main structures - by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Snail O-glycans are built from the four monosaccharide constituents: N-acetylgalactosamine, galactose, mannose and fucose. An additional modification is a methylation of the hexoses. The common trisaccharide core structure was determined in Arion lusitanicus to be N-acetylgalactosamine linked to the protein elongated by two 4-O-methylated galactose residues. Further elongations by methylated and unmethylated galactose and mannose residues and/or fucose are present. The typical snail O-glycan structures are different to those so far described. Similar to snail N-glycan structures they display methylated hexose residues.

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    1995-12-01

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

  18. Effects of 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine on an identified 5-hydroxytryptamine-containing neurone in the central nervous sytem of the snail Helix pomatia.

    PubMed

    Osborne, N N; Pentreath, V W

    1976-01-01

    1. The effect of 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine (5,7-DHT) on an identified 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)-containing neurone in the CNS of the snail was studied by histochemical, biochemical and electrophysiological methods. 2. Low concentrations of 5,7-DHT decreased the endogenous 5-HT content of the neurone without affecting the amino acids, while relatively large amounts of the drug proportionately lowered 5-HT and in addition slightly decreased the tryptophan and methionine content of the cell. 3. 5,7-DHT blocked the uptake of [3H]-5-HT into the neurone; the close analogue 5,6-DHT was more potent. 4. As well as slightly influencing the accumulation of [3H]-tryptophan by the neurone 5,7-DHT inhibited the metabolism of this amino acid to form 5-HT, probably by affecting the enzyme tryptophan-hydroxylase. 5. 5,7-DHT produced a postsynaptic blockade of transmission from the neurone by blocking the 5-HT receptors of the follower neurones. This effect appeared to be specific for 5-HT receptors. 6. The data support the idea that 5,7-DHT is neurotoxic for indoleamine-containing neurones.

  19. Effects of 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine on an identified 5-hydroxytryptamine-containing neurone in the central nervous sytem of the snail Helix pomatia.

    PubMed Central

    Osborne, N N; Pentreath, V W

    1976-01-01

    1. The effect of 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine (5,7-DHT) on an identified 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)-containing neurone in the CNS of the snail was studied by histochemical, biochemical and electrophysiological methods. 2. Low concentrations of 5,7-DHT decreased the endogenous 5-HT content of the neurone without affecting the amino acids, while relatively large amounts of the drug proportionately lowered 5-HT and in addition slightly decreased the tryptophan and methionine content of the cell. 3. 5,7-DHT blocked the uptake of [3H]-5-HT into the neurone; the close analogue 5,6-DHT was more potent. 4. As well as slightly influencing the accumulation of [3H]-tryptophan by the neurone 5,7-DHT inhibited the metabolism of this amino acid to form 5-HT, probably by affecting the enzyme tryptophan-hydroxylase. 5. 5,7-DHT produced a postsynaptic blockade of transmission from the neurone by blocking the 5-HT receptors of the follower neurones. This effect appeared to be specific for 5-HT receptors. 6. The data support the idea that 5,7-DHT is neurotoxic for indoleamine-containing neurones. Images Figure 1 Figure 3 PMID:1252663

  20. cGMP-dependent protein kinase enhances Ca2+ current and potentiates the serotonin-induced Ca2+ current increase in snail neurones.

    PubMed

    Paupardin-Tritsch, D; Hammond, C; Gerschenfeld, H M; Nairn, A C; Greengard, P

    Protein phosphorylation catalysed by cyclic AMP-dependent, Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent and Ca2+/diacylglycerol-dependent protein kinases is important both in the modulation of synaptic transmission and in the regulation of neuronal membrane permeability (for reviews see refs 5-7). However, there has previously been no evidence for the involvement of cyclic GMP-dependent protein kinase (cGMP-PK) in the regulation of neuronal function. Serotonin induces an increase of Ca2+ current in a group of identified ventral neurones of the snail Helix aspersa. This effect is probably mediated by cGMP because it is mimicked by the intracellular injection of cGMP or the application of zaprinast, an inhibitor of cGMP-dependent phosphodiesterase. We have now found that the effect of either serotonin or zaprinast on the Ca2+ current is potentiated by the intracellular injection of cGMP-PK. Moreover, the intracellular injection of activated cGMP-PK (cGMP-PK + 1 microM cGMP) greatly enhances the Ca2+ current of the identified ventral neurones seen in the absence of serotonin. These results indicate that cGMP-PK has a physiological role in the control of the membrane permeability of these neurones.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Helix coupling

    DOEpatents

    Ginell, William S.

    1989-04-25

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

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

    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. 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. 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). 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Coping with cadmium exposure in various ways: the two helicid snails Helix pomatia and Cantareus aspersus share the metal transcription factor-2, but differ in promoter organization and transcription of their Cd-metallothionein genes.

    PubMed

    Höckner, M; Stefanon, K; Schuler, D; Fantur, R; de Vaufleury, A; Dallinger, R

    2009-12-01

    Gastropods are able to withstand fluctuating availabilities of nonessential trace elements such as cadmium by induction of Cd-specific metallothionein isoform (Cd-MT) expression. As in other species, the induction mechanism involves the binding of metal-regulatory transcription factors (MTF-1 or MTF-2) to metal responsive elements (MREs) in the MT promoter regions. Cd-dependent transcription of Cd-MT genes was assessed by quantitative real time PCR in two helicid gastropods, Helix pomatia and Cantareus aspersus, over a period of eight days. The promoter regions of the Cd-MT genes of the two species were sequenced and compared regarding the position of MREs and other relevant potential transcription factor binding sites (TFBs). Cd-MT gene transcription is induced after Cd exposure in Helix pomatia and Cantareus aspersus, showing a transient peak in Helix pomatia, contrasting with a persistent induction rate in Cantareus aspersus. Since the existence of MTF-2 was verified in both species, differing transcription patterns of Cd-MT genes must be due to functional differences in their metal-responsive promoter regions. Both promoters contain a proximal cluster of three MREs overlapping with TFBs for the transcriptional regulator Sp1. In contrast to Cantareus aspersus, however, the Cd-MT gene of Helix pomatia hosts an additional distal MRE overlapping with a Sp1 binding site and a CACCC box. Inhibitory effects of MRE overlapping Sp1 binding sites were observed in other MT genes. We therefore suggest that transient Cd-MT transcription upon Cd(2+) exposure in Helix pomatia may be the result of an inhibitory action of the distal MRE cluster.

  9. [The effect of a decrease in the mobilization of Ca+ and its chemo-controlled intake into the cytoplasm on the modulation of cholinoreceptor neuronal plasticity in Helix lucorum snails by 15-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid].

    PubMed

    Pivovarov, A S; Egido-Villareal, W

    1993-11-01

    The effects of extracellular solution without Ca2+ and inhibitors of Ca2+ mobilization dependent of Ca2+ (tetracaine) and inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate (TMB-8) on the modulation of cholinoreceptor (ChR) plasticity of identified Helix lucorum RPa3 and LPa3 neurons by 15(S)-hydroxy-(5Z,8Z,11Z,13E)-eicosatetraenoic acid (15-HETE) were investigated. Using the double-electrode voltage-clamp technique, the inward current, induced by local ionophoretic acetylcholine application (ACh-current), was recorded. ChR plasticity was evaluated by extinction of ACh-current developed in a process of rhythmic ACh applications on the soma with an interval 60-240 s. Tetracaine and TMB-8 disturbed long-latent modulatory effect of 15-HETE and did not influence short-latent one. Extraction of Ca2+ from extracellular solution did not affect the modulatory effect of 15-HETE. It was concluded that one of the molecular mechanisms of ChR plasticity deepening due 15-HETE (in long-latent phase) induces potentiation of Ca(2+)- and inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate-dependent Ca2+ mobilization evoked by 5-lipoxygenase eicosanoids.

  10. Activation of vertebrate complement by Helix pomatia haemolymph.

    PubMed

    Koch, C; Nielsen, H E

    1984-01-01

    Haemolymph plasma from the pulmonate snail Helix pomatia contains a constituent, not yet identified, which causes activation of vertebrate complement via the alternative complement pathway in fluid phase. The activation of vertebrate complement by snail plasma is closely analogous to the activation caused by cobra venom factor (CVF), the snake's C3b, with one notable exception; the snail factor requires vertebrate C3 for the formation of C3 convertase which cobra venom factor does not. Our results do not allow any definite conclusion on the exact mechanism but we favour the idea that the haemolymph contains a complement-like protein which functions as an opsonin in the snail, and which can interact with vertebrate alternative complement pathway components.

  11. 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

  12. Microbiological quality of raw and processed wild and cultured edible snails.

    PubMed

    Parlapani, Foteini F; Neofitou, Christos; Boziaris, Ioannis S

    2014-03-15

    An increasing interest in snail farming in Greece and other European countries has been observed. Despite the fact that edible snails have been involved with problems of Salmonella spp. contamination, there are to our knowledge only limited studies regarding microbiological safety and hygiene of such products. Enumeration of microbial populations and presence/absence of Salmonella spp. in snail meat and intestines of wild Cornu aspersum, Helix lucorum and cultured Cornu aspersum snails from indoor/outdoor type farms was conducted. Furthermore, snail-processing steps were simulated in the laboratory and the population reduction in snail meat was determined. Microbial populations were higher in intestines than snail meat in almost all cases. Escherichia coli/coliforms and Enterococcus spp. populations were lower in the intestines and snail meat of cultured C. aspersum. Salmonella spp. were detected in the intestines and snail meat of wild snails only. The high levels of bacterial populations were considerably reduced after the appropriate processing. The lower populations of E. coli/coliforms, Enterococcus spp. and especially the absence of Salmonella spp. in cultured snails show that the controlled conditions decrease the possibility of pathogen presence and contribute to food safety and public health. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry.

  13. 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

  14. 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)

  15. 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)

  16. 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)

  17. 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)

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niermann-Kerkenberg, Eva; Hofmann, Dietrich Kurt

    1989-06-01

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

  1. 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…

  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. Helix Tool Introduction Laboratories

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-01-01

    REPORT Helix Tool Introduction Laboratories 14. ABSTRACT 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: Computer forensics has become its own area of scientific...expertise, with accompanying coursework and certification. For someone who would like to get started practicing computer forensics it might be a little...Rev 8/98) Prescribed by ANSI Std. Z39.18 - Helix Tool Introduction Laboratories Report Title ABSTRACT Computer forensics has become its own area of

  5. 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.

  6. Tryptophan metabolism in characterized neurones of Helix

    PubMed Central

    Osborne, N. N.

    1973-01-01

    [14C]-Tryptophan perfused through the central nervous system of the snail Helix pomatia is taken up by both 5-hydroxytryptamine-containing (GSC) and non-5-hydroxytryptamine-containing cells. Only the GSCs have the capacity to metabolize [14C]-tryptophan to form some 5-hydroxytryptophan and slightly more 5-hydroxytryptamine. Electrical stimulation of the GSCs, strong enough to elicit a firing of spikes, resulted in more 5-hydroxytryptamine being produced, though there was also a slight increase in the amount of labelled tryptophan and 5-hydroxytryptophan. Doubling the length of stimulation and the amount of [14C]-tryptophan perfused through the central nervous system had no great influence on the content of radioactive substances found in the GSC. Pretreatment of snails with p-chlorophenylalanine, though not interfering with the uptake of tryptophan into the GSCs, almost completely prevented the formation of 5-hydroxytryptophan. As well as showing that the enzyme tryptophanhydroxylase is only present in cells containing 5-hydroxytryptamine, these experiments demonstrate the possibility of studying the metabolism of 5-hydroxytryptamine in characterized neurones. ImagesFIG. 1 PMID:4271756

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

    PubMed

    Ansart, Armelle; Madec, Luc; Vernon, Philippe

    2007-02-01

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

  8. 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

  9. Helix mimetics: Recent developments.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Andrew J

    2015-10-01

    The development of protein-protein interaction (PPIs) inhibitors represents a challenging goal in chemical biology and drug discovery. PPIs are problematic targets because they involve large surfaces with less well defined features and recognition motifs that are less amenable to conventional experimental and computational ligand discovery methodologies. α-Helix mediated PPIs represent a sub group with a clearly defined interface and thus may be more amenable to the development of generic ligand discovery methods. Indeed, this is borne out in numerous studies using peptides covalently constrained into a helical conformation resulting in improvement of myriad biophysical and cellular properties. It is however desirable to have small molecule alternatives: a helix mimetic (proteomimetic) is a generic small molecule scaffold that projects functional groups in a similar spatial orientation so as to mimic the presentation of key amino acid side chains from the helix that mediates the PPI. The first true example of a helix mimetic was described over a decade ago however this approach has not yet been elaborated to the extent that it receives similar levels of attention to constrained peptides. This review explores recent significant developments in the area of small molecule α-helix mimetics and provides a critical overview of success stories, potential limitations of the approach, and areas for future development. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. The Hubble Helix

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCullough, P. R.; Hubble Helix Team

    2002-12-01

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

  11. 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)

  12. 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)

  13. 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.

  14. Laboratory studies on the thermal tolerance and response of enzymes of intermediate metabolism in different land snail species.

    PubMed

    Staikou, Alexandra; Kesidou, Evagelia; Garefalaki, Marina-Elena; Michaelidis, Basile

    2017-01-01

    Land snails species occur in a range of habitats from humid to semi-arid and arid ones and seasonal variations in their physiology and biochemical composition have been linked to annual cycles of photoperiod, temperature, humidity and water availability. In an effort to understand the thermal tolerance and the impact of temperature elevation on tissue metabolism of land snails we determined the mortality, heamolymph PO2 and the activities of enzymes of intermediary metabolism in three land snail species (Helix lucorum, Helix pomatia and Cornu aspersum) differing in their geographical distribution and inhabiting areas with different climatic characteristics. No mortality was observed in both population of Cornu aspersum, while Helix pomatia exhibited higher mortality than Helix lucorum. PO2 dropped within the first 10days of exposure to elevated temperature in all species, although in Cornu aspersum this decrease was significantly lower. No significant reduction in the enzymatic activities of all glycolytic enzymes studied, as well as of citrate synthase (CS) and 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase (HOAD) was observed in the more thermal tolerant species C. aspersum from both populations studied. Significant reductions of enzymatic activity of the glycolytic enzymes phosphofructokinase (PFK), pyruvate kinase (PK) and d-Lactate dehydrogenase (d-LDH) was observed in Helix lucorum and Helix pomatia. The observed inter-specific differences seem to be in accordance with the life cycle characteristics of each species and may be attributed to climatic differences among habitats within their distribution range. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Double-helix stellarator

    SciTech Connect

    Moroz, P.E.

    1997-09-01

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

  16. 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

  17. Double Helix Revisited.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Glickstein, Neil M.

    1995-01-01

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

  18. 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)

  19. Feline lungworms unlock a novel mode of parasite transmission

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-14

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

  1. 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.

  2. [Selective disturbance of associative memory reactivation by serotonin or NMDA glutamate receptor antagonists in snail].

    PubMed

    Solntseva, S V; Nikitin, V P

    2007-10-01

    Effects of serotonin or glutamate receptors antagonists on reactivation of food aversion conditioning were studied in snail Helix lucorum. Metiotepin (nonselective serotonin receptor antagonist, 0.1 mg/snail) or MK-801 (NMDA glutamate receptor antagonist, 0.005 mg/snail) were injected 24 hours after 3 days of food aversion conditioning, then reminding stimulus (banana, "conditioned" food) was presented and food aversion conditioning was tested. Long-term impairing (more then 2 weeks) of food aversion conditioning was found 3 hours after concurrent reminding and inhibitors injection. Injection of receptor antagonists without reminding stimulus did not influence on food aversion conditioning retrieval. Besides, in snails with amnesia after metiotepin/reminder, facilitation of repeated elaboration aversion conditioning on banana is revealed. The repeated training of snails with amnesia caused by MK-801/reminder did not result in food aversion conditioning. It is was suggested that 5-HT5,6,7 serotonin receptors are involved in mechanisms of memory "trace" extraction of food aversion conditioning, whereas NMDA glutamate receptor - in processes of its storage in snail.

  3. 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.

  4. Entropically Driven Helix Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snir, Yehuda; Kamien, Randall

    2004-03-01

    We model the entropically driven self-assembly of a long polymer chain in the presence of non interacting spherical colloids. The polymer is forced to bend due to the thermodynamic interaction with the colloids. We model the polymer as a long bendable tube and find the equilibrium position by minimizing the depletion volume of this tube. We find that the minimal position of the tube is a helix of radius and pitch that depends only on the size of the spherical colloids.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-21

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Helix control in polymers

    PubMed Central

    Totsingan, Filbert; Jain, Vipul; Green, Mark M.

    2012-01-01

    The helix is a critical conformation exhibited by biological macromolecules and plays a key role in fundamental biological processes. Biological helical polymers exist in a single helical sense arising from the chiral effect of their primary units—for example, DNA and proteins adopt predominantly a right-handed helix conformation in response to the asymmetric conformational propensity of D-sugars and L-amino acids, respectively. In using these homochiral systems, nature blocks our observations of some fascinating aspects of the cooperativity in helical systems, although when useful for a specific purpose, “wrong” enantiomers may be incorporated in specific places. In synthetic helical systems, on the contrary, incorporation of non-racemic chirality is an additional burden, and the findings discussed in this review show that this burden may be considerably alleviated by taking advantage of the amplification of chirality, in which small chiral influences lead to large consequences. Peptide nucleic acid (PNA), which is a non-chiral synthetic DNA mimic, shows a cooperative response to a small chiral effect induced by a chiral amino acid, which is limited, however, due to the highly flexible nature of this oligomeric chimera. The lack of internal stereochemical bias is an important factor which makes PNA an ideal system to understand some cooperative features that are not directly accessible from DNA. PMID:22772039

  11. NGC 7293, the Helix Nebula

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-05-16

    NGC 7293, better known as the Helix nebula, displays its ultraviolet glow courtesy of NASA GALEX. The Helix is the nearest example of a planetary nebula, which is the eventual fate of a star, like our own Sun, as it approaches the end of its life.

  12. 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.

  13. Remeasuring the double helix

    SciTech Connect

    Mathew-Fenn, Rebecca S.; Das, Rhiju; Harbury, Pehr A.B.

    2008-10-20

    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.

  14. The Infrared Helix

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    The Helix nebula exhibits complex structure on the smallest visible scales. It is composed of gaseous shells and disks puffed out by a dying sun-like star.

    In this new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, 'cometary knots' show blue-green heads caused by excitation of their molecular material from shocks or ultraviolet radiation. The tails of the cometary knots appear redder due to being shielded from the central star's ultraviolet radiation and wind by the heads of the knots.

    This image was captured by the telescope's infrared array camera. The false color composite depicts wavelengths of 3.6 microns (blue), 4.5 microns (green), and 8.0 microns (red). The color saturation has been increased to intensify hues.

  15. The snail (Biomphalaria glabrata) genome project.

    PubMed

    Raghavan, Nithya; Knight, Matty

    2006-04-01

    In 2001, ideas for a snail genome project were discussed at the American Society of Parasitologists meeting (New Mexico) and a snail genome consortium was subsequently established (the first consortium meeting was held in 2005). A proposal for sequencing the snail genome was submitted to the National Human Genome Research Institute, and Biomphalaria glabrata was prioritized as a non-mammalian sequencing target in 2004. The sequencing of the genome of this medically important snail is now underway.

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

    PubMed

    Tan, Zhi-Jie; Chen, Shi-Jie

    2006-07-15

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

  17. Small Molecules in the Cone Snail Arsenal.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-16

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

  18. 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

  19. The physiological role and toxicological significance of the non-metal-selective cadmium/copper-metallothionein isoform differ between embryonic and adult helicid snails.

    PubMed

    Pedrini-Martha, Veronika; Schnegg, Raimund; Baurand, Pierre-Emmanuel; deVaufleury, Annette; Dallinger, Reinhard

    2017-09-01

    Metal regulation is essential for terrestrial gastropods to survive. In helicid snails, two metal-selective metallothionein (MT) isoforms with different functions are expressed. A cadmium-selective isoform (CdMT) plays a major role in Cd(2+) detoxification and stress response, whereas a copper-selective MT (CuMT) is involved in Cu homeostasis and hemocyanin synthesis. A third, non-metal-selective isoform, called Cd/CuMT, was first characterized in Cantareus aspersus. The aim of this study was to quantify the transcriptional activity of all three MT genes in unexposed and metal-exposed (Cd, Cu) embryonic Roman snails. In addition, the complete Cd/CuMT mRNA of the Roman snail (Helix pomatia) was characterized, and its expression quantified in unexposed and Cd-treated adult individuals. In embryos of Helix pomatia, the Cd/CuMT gene was induced upon Cu exposure. Its transcription levels were many times higher than that of the other two MT genes, and also exceeded by far the Cd/CuMT mRNA concentrations of adult snails. In the hepatopancreas of adult Roman snails, no Cd/CuMT could be detected at the protein level, irrespective of whether the snails had been exposed to Cd or not. This contrasts with the situation in the near relative, Cantareus aspersus. It appeared that the 3'-UTR of the Cd/CuMT mRNA differed largely between Cantareus aspersus and Helix pomatia, being larger in the latter species, with a number of putative binding sites for proteins and miRNAs known to inhibit mRNA translation. We suggest this as a possible mechanism responsible for the lack of Cd/CuMT protein expression in adult Roman snails. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Multiple actions of a molluscan cardioexcitatory neuropeptide and related peptides on identified Helix neurones.

    PubMed Central

    Cottrell, G A; Davies, N W; Green, K A

    1984-01-01

    The effects of the molluscan neuropeptide Phe-Met-Arg-Phe-NH2 (FMRF amide) and related peptides (Price & Greenberg, 1977) were tested on Helix aspersa neurones. Ionophoretic application of FMRFamide depolarized and excited some neurones, but hyperpolarized and inhibited others. In some neurones the sign of the response was dependent on the membrane potential. Two responses resulted from an increase in membrane conductance, a depolarizing response mediated mainly by an increase in Na+ ion permeability, and a hyperpolarizing response mediated by an increase in K+ ion permeability. In the C1 neurone a voltage-dependent response was observed, which only occurred when the neurone was depolarized from its resting level. This response was recorded as an inward current during voltage clamp and resulted from a decrease in K current(s), possibly Ca-activated K current. More than one response may occur in a single neurone. In the C1 neurone, the K-mediated hyperpolarization occurred as well as the voltage-dependent response, while the depolarization seen in the F2 neurone was a combination of an increase in Na conductance and an increase in K conductance. PMID:6097674

  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

    2006-03-08

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

  2. [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.

  3. 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.

  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. Status of the HELIX Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wakely, Scott; Helix Collaboration

    2017-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. Non-Periodic Helix TWT Study.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1980-05-01

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

  8. An Algorithm for Protein Helix Assignment Using Helix Geometry

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Chen; Xu, Shutan; Wang, Lincong

    2015-01-01

    Helices are one of the most common and were among the earliest recognized secondary structure elements in proteins. The assignment of helices in a protein underlies the analysis of its structure and function. Though the mathematical expression for a helical curve is simple, no previous assignment programs have used a genuine helical curve as a model for helix assignment. In this paper we present a two-step assignment algorithm. The first step searches for a series of bona fide helical curves each one best fits the coordinates of four successive backbone Cα atoms. The second step uses the best fit helical curves as input to make helix assignment. The application to the protein structures in the PDB (protein data bank) proves that the algorithm is able to assign accurately not only regular α-helix but also 310 and π helices as well as their left-handed versions. One salient feature of the algorithm is that the assigned helices are structurally more uniform than those by the previous programs. The structural uniformity should be useful for protein structure classification and prediction while the accurate assignment of a helix to a particular type underlies structure-function relationship in proteins. PMID:26132394

  9. An Algorithm for Protein Helix Assignment Using Helix Geometry.

    PubMed

    Cao, Chen; Xu, Shutan; Wang, Lincong

    2015-01-01

    Helices are one of the most common and were among the earliest recognized secondary structure elements in proteins. The assignment of helices in a protein underlies the analysis of its structure and function. Though the mathematical expression for a helical curve is simple, no previous assignment programs have used a genuine helical curve as a model for helix assignment. In this paper we present a two-step assignment algorithm. The first step searches for a series of bona fide helical curves each one best fits the coordinates of four successive backbone Cα atoms. The second step uses the best fit helical curves as input to make helix assignment. The application to the protein structures in the PDB (protein data bank) proves that the algorithm is able to assign accurately not only regular α-helix but also 310 and π helices as well as their left-handed versions. One salient feature of the algorithm is that the assigned helices are structurally more uniform than those by the previous programs. The structural uniformity should be useful for protein structure classification and prediction while the accurate assignment of a helix to a particular type underlies structure-function relationship in proteins.

  10. Fungal farming in a snail

    PubMed Central

    Silliman, Brian R.; Newell, Steven Y.

    2003-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Shao, X; Grishin, N V

    2000-07-15

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

  15. 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

  16. Snail modulates cell metabolism in MDCK cells.

    PubMed

    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

    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(+)-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 key enzymes. This results in enhanced glucose dependency and leads to cell death under low-glucose conditions. On the other hand, the reduced requirements for oxygen and nutrients from the surrounding environment, might confer the resistance to cell death induced by hypoxia and malnutrition. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. 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

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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.

  1. Seasonal feeding specialization on snails by river darters (Percina shumardi) with a review of snail feeding by other darter species

    Treesearch

    Wendell R. Haag; Melvin L. Warren

    2006-01-01

    We report food habits of River Darters (Percina shumardi) in Brushy Creek and the Sipsey Fork Black Warrior River, Alabama. River Darters preyed heavily on pleurocerid snails in both streams. Snail feeding varied widely among sample dates and was highest in October when snails represented nearly 100% of darter food items. Snail feeding declined...

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-24

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

  4. Mathematical simulation of an aquatic snail population*

    PubMed Central

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

    1967-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-02-01

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

  6. Molecular structure of the collagen triple helix.

    PubMed

    Brodsky, Barbara; Persikov, Anton V

    2005-01-01

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

  7. 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. © 2014 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Reconsolidation of a context long-term memory in the terrestrial snail requires protein synthesis

    PubMed Central

    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 difference of behavioral response amplitudes in two contexts. On the day following testing of context learning, a session of “reminding” was performed, immediately after which the snails were injected with anisomycin or vehicle. Testing of long-term context memory has shown that only anisomycin injections impaired the context conditioning. In control series, the snails were injected after the training session with anisomycin/saline without reminding, and no impairment of the long-term context memory was observed, while injection of anisomycin during the training session completely abolished the long-term memory. No effects of anisomycin on the short-term memory were observed. Surprisingly, injection of anisomycin after the reminding combined with reinforcing stimuli elicited no effect on the context memory. Differences between single-trial and multisession learning are discussed. PMID:16322364

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-06-01

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

  10. Modeling freshwater snail habitat suitability and areas of potential snail-borne disease transmission in Uganda.

    PubMed

    Stensgaard, A S; Jørgensen, A; Kabatereine, N B; Rahbek, C; Kristensen, T K

    2006-11-01

    Geographic information system (GIS-based modeling of an intermediate host snail species environmental requirements using known occurrence records can provide estimates of its spatial distribution. When other data are lacking, this can be used as a rough spatial prediction of potential snail-borne disease transmission areas. Furthermore, knowledge of abiotic factors affecting intra-molluscan parasitic development can be used to make "masks" based on remotely sensed climatic data, and these can in turn be used to refine these predictions. We used data from a recent freshwater snail survey from Uganda, environmental data and the genetic algorithm for rule-set prediction (GARP) to map the potential distribution of snail species known to act as intermediate hosts of several human and animal parasites. The results suggest that large areas of Uganda are suitable habitats for many of these snail species, indicating a large potential for disease transmission. The lack of parasitological data still makes it difficult to determine the magnitude of actual disease transmission, but the predicted snail distributions might be used as indicators of potential present and future risk areas. Some of the predicted snail distribution maps were furthermore combined with temperature masks delineating suitable temperature regimes of the parasites they host. This revealed the coinciding suitable areas for snail and parasite, but also areas suitable for host snails, but apparently not for the parasites. Assuming that the developed models correctly reflect areas suitable for transmission, the applied approach could prove useful for targeting control interventions.

  11. Reassembly of wall domains of Roman-snail (Helix pomatia) beta-haemocyanin.

    PubMed

    Torensma, R; van der Laan, J M; Zantinge, A G; van Bruggen, E F

    1981-04-01

    beta-Haemocyanin molecules consist of 20 very large polypeptide chains. These chains are composed of eight structural domains. So-called 'collar' domains can be removed by trypsinolysis of the native cylindrical molecule, resulting in an association of the remaining hollow cylinders into large tubular polymers. Dissociation of the tubular polymers gives one single- and four multi-domain fragments. The role of these fragments in the reassembly process of these tubular polymers was investigated. The two-domain fragment could form tubular polymers. The other domain fragments were not able to form tubular polymers unless in the presence of the two-domain fragment. Tubular polymers with enlarged diameter and ribbon-like structures were observed in the reassembly products when the one-domain fragment was omitted.

  12. Cercarial Dermatitis Transmitted by Exotic Marine Snail

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Ichthyotoxicity caused by marine cone snail venoms?

    PubMed

    Mebs, Dietrich; Kauferstein, Silke

    2005-09-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Westerfield, M; Lux, H D

    1982-11-01

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

  17. Thioamides in the collagen triple helix.

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-14

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

  18. Recovery of Pasteurella multocida from experimentally-exposed freshwater snails.

    PubMed

    Miller, S L; Botzler, R G

    1995-07-01

    We determined how long Pasteurella multocida could survive in experimentally-exposed freshwater snails. Physa virginea were collected from the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, Glenn County, California (USA), an enzootic site for avian cholera. Exposure to water containing up to 10(7) P. multocida per ml did not produce observable changes or mortality in snails. A minimum of 84 P. multocida per snail was necessary for detection among the normal snail bacterial flora. When snails were exposed to P. multocida in vials containing 10(7) bacteria per ml, P. multocida was detected for up to 72 hours in snails. When uninoculated snails were placed in aquaria containing 10(6) P. multocida per ml, P. multocida was not detected within the snails; further, P. multocida was detected in the water for only 24 hours at this level. Based on these results, we propose that P. virginea is not an effective reservoir for P. multocida.

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-07-01

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

  20. [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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-05-01

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

  4. Aquatic snails, passive hosts of Mycobacterium ulcerans.

    PubMed

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

    2004-10-01

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

  5. Modulation of calcium-activated non-specific cation currents by cyclic AMP-dependent phosphorylation in neurones of Helix.

    PubMed Central

    Partridge, L D; Swandulla, D; Müller, T H

    1990-01-01

    1. Currents through calcium-activated non-specific cation (CAN) channels were studied in the fast burster neurone of Helix aspersa and Helix pomatia. CAN currents were activated by reproducible intracellular injections of small quantities of Ca2+ utilizing a fast, quantitative pressure injection technique. 2. External application of forskolin (10-25 microM), an activator of adenylate cyclase, caused the endogenous bursting activity of the cells to be replaced by beating activity. These same concentrations of forskolin reduced CAN currents reversibly to about 50%. 3. External application of IBMX (3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine, 100 microM), an inhibitor of phosphodiesterase, the enzyme which breaks down cyclic AMP, reduced CAN currents reversibly to about 40%. 4. External application of the membrane-permeable cyclic AMP analogues 8-bromo-cyclic AMP and dibutyryl-cyclic AMP (100 microM) caused almost complete block of the CAN current. A marked reduction in the CAN current was also observed following quantitative injections of cyclic AMP (internal concentrations up to 50 microM) directly into the cells from a second pressure injection pipette. 5. Similar results were obtained with quantitative injections of the catalytic subunit (C-subunit) of the cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase (internal concentrations 10(-4) units of enzyme) directly into the cells from a second pressure injection pipette. 6. Injection of the non-hydrolysable GTP analogue, GTP-gamma-S (internal concentrations 100 microM), which stimulates G-proteins, produced a prolonged increase in CAN current amplitude by as much as 300%. 7. External application of serotonin (100-200 microM) caused a transition from bursting to beating activity of the neurones and mimicked cyclic AMP's effects on CAN currents. Two other neurotransmitters, dopamine and acetylcholine, were not significantly effective in reducing CAN currents. 8. Injection of a peptide inhibitor of cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase suppressed

  6. Unfolding four-helix bundles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Wada, Shinichiro; Chiba, Satoshi

    2013-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Modeling snail breeding in a bioregenerative life support system.

    PubMed

    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. Copyright © 2015 The Committee on Space Research (COSPAR). Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Rosalind Franklin and the Double Helix

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elkin, Lynne Osman

    2003-03-01

    Although she made essential contributions toward elucidating the structure of DNA, Rosalind Franklin is known to many only as seen through the distorting lens of James Watson's book, The Double Helix.

  11. Snail promotes an invasive phenotype in lung carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1999-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Vector snail control in Qalyub, Egypt

    PubMed Central

    van der Schalie, Henry

    1958-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Novel pharmacological targets from Indian cone snails.

    PubMed

    Ramasamy, M Santhana; Manikandan, S

    2011-02-01

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

  18. [The prevalence of Dicrocoeliid (Trematoda: Digenea) larval stages in Helix lucorum Linneus 1758 (Mollusca: Pulmonata) in the vicinity of Kastamonu].

    PubMed

    Gürelli, Gözde; Alay, Mehtap; Koymalı, Sevilay

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of Dicrocoeliid larval stages in Helix lucorum Linnaeus, 1758 (Mollusca: Pulmonata) living in the vicinity of Kastamonu. Snails were collected in the vicinity of Taşköprü, Kastamonu in March, April, May 2013. They were dissected while alive and their hepatopankreas were removed and placed on clean glass slide with a drop of 0.6% NaCl solution. The hepatopankreas were incised with a mounted needle and a thin film of the hepatopankreas fluid was drown out on a slide for examination of live parasites. After examination, larval stages fixed in %70 alcohol, formaldehyde-ethyl alcohol, 10% formalin and bouin. H. lucorum which is a land snail species has been reported for the first time being an intermediate host in the life cycle of Dicrocoeliid (Trematoda: Digenea) species with the prevalence of 27.6% from our country. Morphological and histological features of larval stages were determined. H. lucorum is an intermediate host in the life cycle of Dicrocoeliid species. The prevalence of infection was highest in April. This land snail species is important for the health of animal and human.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-07-21

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

  20. Interaction between water and polar groups of the helix backbone: An important determinant of helix propensities

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Peizhi; Baldwin, Robert L.

    1999-01-01

    We report an enthalpic factor involved in determining helix propensities of nonpolar amino acids. Thermal unfolding curves of the five 13-residue peptides, Ac-KA4XA4KGY-NH2 (X = Ala, Leu, Ile, Val, Gly), have been measured by using CD in water/trifluoroethanol (TFE) mixtures. The peptide helix contents show that the rank order of helix propensities changes with temperature: although Ala has the highest helix propensity at 0°C in all TFE concentrations, it is lower than Leu, Ile, and Val at 50°C in 20% TFE. This change is attributed to shielding by nonpolar side chains of the interaction between water and polar groups in the helix backbone for the following reasons. (i) Helix content is directly related to helix propensity for these designed peptides because side-chain–side-chain interactions are absent. (ii) The change in rank order with temperature is enthalpic in origin: in water, the apparent enthalpy of helix formation calculated from the thermal unfolding curves varies widely among the five peptides and has the same rank order as the helix propensities at 0°C. The rank order does not result from burial of nonpolar surface area because the calculated heat capacity change (ΔCp) on helix formation is opposite in sign from the expected ΔCp. (iii) A nonpolar side chain can exclude water from interacting with helix polar groups, according to calculations of water-accessible surface area, and the polar interaction between water and peptide polar groups is entirely enthalpic, as shown by amide transfer data. PMID:10220396

  1. Helix-Sheet Packing in Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Chengcheng; Koehl, Patrice

    2010-01-01

    The three-dimensional structure of a protein is organized around the packing of its secondary structure elements. While much is known about the packing geometry observed between α-helices and between β-sheets, there has been little progress on characterizing helix-sheet interactions. We present an analysis of the conformation of αβ2 motifs in proteins, corresponding to all occurrences of helices in contact with two strands that are hydrogen-bonded. The geometry of the αβ2 motif is characterized by the azimuthal angle θ between the helix axis and an average vector representing the two strands, the elevation angle ψ between the helix axis and the plane containing the two strands, and the distance D between the helix and the strands. We observe that the helix tends to align to the two strands, with a preference for an antiparallel orientation if the two strands are parallel; this preference is diminished for other topologies of the β-sheet. Sidechain packing at the interface between the helix and the strands is mostly hydrophobic, with a preference for aliphatic amino acids in the strand and aromatic amino acids in the helix. From the knowledge of the geometry and amino acid propensities of αβ2 motifs in proteins, we have derived different statistical potentials that are shown to be efficient in picking native-like conformations among a set of non-native conformations in well-known decoy datasets. The information on the geometry of αβ2 motifs as well as the related statistical potentials has applications in the field of protein structure prediction. PMID:20186972

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    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 better understand GalNAc recognition by these lectins, we have carried out 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 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. PMID:20507092

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

    PubMed Central

    Nikitin, Eugeny S.; Balaban, Pavel M.

    2000-01-01

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

  4. Prokaryotic transcription regulators: more than just the helix-turn-helix motif.

    PubMed

    Huffman, Joy L; Brennan, Richard G

    2002-02-01

    Over the past two years, the structures of many prokaryotic transcriptional regulators have been solved, and several of them have revealed the structural mechanism of gene regulation. The crystal structure of BmrR-TPP-DNA reveals a novel mechanism of transcription activation, whereby the drug-bound protein activates the bmr promoter by local DNA unwinding and base pair disruption. Myristoyl-CoA induces FadR by a three-helix pushing mechanism, whereas TetR employs a helical pendulum motion to regulate expression. The structures of AbrB, and DNA complexes of Rob and MuR unveil a novel DNA-binding motif, 'the looped-hinge helix', and new uses of the helix-turn-helix and winged helix motifs in DNA binding.

  5. An enzymatic mechanism for calcium current inactivation in dialysed Helix neurones.

    PubMed Central

    Chad, J E; Eckert, R

    1986-01-01

    'Wash-out' and inactivation of the Ca current were examined in dialysed, voltage-clamped neurones of Helix aspersa under conditions that isolate the Ca current virtually free of other currents. EGTA or other internal Ca2+ chelators were routinely omitted from the dialysate. The time-dependent loss, or wash-out, of Ca current was slowed by addition to the dialysing solution of agents, such as dibutyryl adenosine 3'-5'-cyclic monophosphate (dibutyryl cyclic AMP), Mg adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP) and the catalytic subunit of cyclic-AMP-dependent protein kinase, that promote protein phosphorylation and by EGTA. However, neither the phosphorylation-promoting agents nor internal EGTA prevented wash-out entirely, nor did they significantly restore previously 'washed-out' current. With phosphorylating agents in the dialysing solution, the irreversible development of wash-out was greatly reduced by introduction of leupeptin, an inhibitor of protease activity. Thus, the irreversible component of wash-out appears to result from a Ca-dependent proteolytic process. In the presence of leupeptin alone, Ca current amplitude continued to decline: however, the current could be largely or fully restored with addition of catalytic subunit, dibutyryl cyclic AMP, and Mg ATP to the dialysing solution. Thus, inhibition of proteolysis revealed a reversible component of wash-out that appears to result from dephosphorylation. During perfusion with leupeptin, Mg ATP, dibutyryl cyclic AMP and catalytic subunit the Ca current remained stable for up to several hours without addition of internal Ca2+ buffer. The rate of inactivation of the current that occurs during a depolarizing step showed only a very gradual decline during this time. Under these conditions, perfusion with calcineurin, a Ca-calmodulin-dependent phosphatase, caused a significant increase in the rate of Ca current inactivation. This inactivation was virtually eliminated by introduction of EGTA or by replacement of external Ca2

  6. Voltage-dependent activation of potassium current in Helix neurones by endogenous cellular calcium.

    PubMed Central

    Akaike, N; Brown, A M; Dahl, G; Higashi, H; Isenberg, G; Tsuda, Y; Yatani, A

    1983-01-01

    1. The effect of endogenous Ca on potential-dependent K current IKD, was examined in identifiable neurones of Helix aspersa. The suction pipette method of internal perfusion was used along with a combined voltage-clamp method in which the membrane potential was measured by a separate glass micro-electrode and the current was passed by the suction pipette. Activation of the potential-dependent A current, IA, was prevented by using holding potentials of -40 mV where IA is inactivated and by the addition of the A-current blocker 4-aminopyridine. Activation of K currents by transmembrane Ca current, IKCa, was suppressed by Co substitution for Ca ion extracellularly. 2. Under these conditions, IKD rose to a peak value and then subsided to a steady level. The current-voltage (I-V) relationship for peak IKD had an upward bump at about +50 mV that gave it an S-shape. The I-V curve for steady IKD rose continuously. Peak and steady IKD were reduced by perfusing with EGTA or F ions intracellularly. The EGTA effect occurred at intracellular Ca activity levels below 10(-7) M. Increases in the concentration of EGTAi at constant Cai had no additional effect; however, recovery experiments do not allow us to rule out some direct action of EGTA on IKD. 3. Prolonged extracellular perfusion with Co-substituted solutions also reduced IKD and the effects occurred more quickly when the solutions were made hypertonic or caffeine was added to them. The peak transient was abolished, and the small remaining steady IKD (about 5-10% of normal peak IKD) was blocked by tetraethylammonium. IKD could be restored by the temporary reintroduction of Ca in the extracellular solution. 4. The S-shape of the peak I-V relationship for IKD may be due to Ca released from an endogenous site by membrane depolarization. The reduction of steady and peak IKD to very low values by Ca chelators or prolonged perfusion with Ca-free solutions indicates that Cai is important for activation of these K channels. 5

  7. The collagen triple-helix structure.

    PubMed

    Brodsky, B; Ramshaw, J A

    1997-03-01

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

  8. Ultrastructural localization of NADPH diaphorase and nitric oxide synthase in the neuropils of the snail CNS.

    PubMed

    Nacsa, Kálmán; Elekes, Károly; Serfőző, Zoltán

    2015-08-01

    Comparative studies on the nervous system revealed that nitric oxide (NO) retains its function through the evolution. In vertebrates NO can act in different ways: it is released solely or as a co-transmitter, released from presynaptic or postsynaptic site, spreads as a volumetric signal or targets synaptic proteins. In invertebrates, however, the possible sites of NO release have not yet been identified. Therefore, in the present study, the subcellular distribution of the NO synthase (NOS) was examined in the central nervous system (CNS) of two gastropod species, the terrestrial snail, Helix pomatia and the pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis, which are model species in comparative neurobiology. For the visualization of NOS NADPH-diaphorase histochemistry and an immunohistochemical procedure using a universal anti-NOS antibody were applied. At light microscopic level both techniques labeled identical structures in sensory tracts ramifying in the neuropils of central ganglia and cell bodies of the Lymnaea and Helix CNS. At ultrastructural level NADPH-d reactive/NOS-immunoreactive materials were localized on the nuclear envelope and membrane segments of the rough and smooth endoplasmic reticulum, as well as the cell membrane and axolemma of positive perikarya. NADPH-d reactive and NOS-immunoreactive varicosities connected to neighboring neurons with both unspecialized and specialized synaptic contacts. In the varicosities, the majority of the NADPH-d reactive/NOS-immunoreactive membrane segments were detected in round and pleomorph agranular vesicles of small size (50-200 nm). However, only a small portion (16%) of the vesicles displayed the NADPH-d reactivity/NOS-immunoreactivity. No evidence for the postsynaptic location of NOS was found. Our results suggest that the localization of NADPH-diaphorase and NOS is identical in the snail nervous system. In contrast to vertebrates, however, NO seems to act exclusively in an anterograde way possibly released from membrane

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-01

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

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-01-26

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

  12. Computer Models of Helix-Coil Transitions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneller, William J.

    1995-01-01

    A quantitative understanding of helix-coil dynamics will help to explain their role in protein folding and in folded proteins. As a contribution to this understanding, two methods are used to study the equilibrium and dynamical aspects of the helix-coil transition in small polypeptide chains. In the first method, each amino acid residue is treated as a single quasiparticle in an effective potential that approximates the potential of mean force in solution. The equilibrium properties examined include the helix-coil transition and its dependence on chain position and well -depth at the coil-helix interface. A stochastic simulation of the Brownian motion of the chain in its solvent surroundings has been used to investigate dynamical properties. Time histories of the dihedral angles have been used to study the behavior of the helical structure. Auto and cross correlation functions have been calculated from the time histories and from the state (helix or coil) functions of the residues with relaxation times of tens to hundreds of picoseconds. Helix-coil rate constants of tens of ns ^{-1} were found for both directions of the transition. As the second method, the Electrostatic Multipole Representation is introduced. Appropriate energy functions for non-bonded interactions are developed. The multipole description and the energy functions are tested by calculation of steric maps for different amino acid side-chain groups. Results from dynamics simulations of helical chains of polyglycine, polyalanine and polyvaline are included to demonstrate the efficiency of the algorithm. It is argued that this description of the polypeptide chain is both simple and complete and will allow for the rapid simulation of chain dynamics without loss of essential information about the chain. The main features of this description are the retrievability of the full atomic representation and the ability to calculate energetically stable structures.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Najarian, H. H.

    1961-01-01

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

  15. Effect of non target snails on some biological of Lymnaea natalensis snails and their infection to Fasciola gigantica.

    PubMed

    Bakry, Fayez A; Hamdi, Salwa A H

    2006-12-01

    The influence of non-target freshwater snails (Melanoides tuberculata and Planorbis planorbis) on the capacity of Fasciola egg production F. gigantica miracidia to infect Lymnaea natalensis and their effect on mortality and growth rates showed that the snails exhibited a competitive ability against L. natalensis. The mortality rate existed in mixed cultures with snails was greatly increased, and increased with increase of snails number. The egg production and growth rate were negatively affected by the presence of M. tuberculata and P. planorbis which was more pronounced when snails were at higher ratio lL: 10D. Also, the snails showed significant degree of reduction in infection rate of L. natalensis with F. gigantica miracidia.

  16. Epicyclic Twin-Helix Ionization Cooling Simulations

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-04-01

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

  17. Evolutionary analysis of the segment from helix 3 through helix 5 in vertebrate progesterone receptors.

    PubMed

    Baker, Michael E; Uh, Kayla Y

    2012-10-01

    The interaction between helix 3 and helix 5 in the human mineralocorticoid receptor [MR], progesterone receptor [PR] and glucocorticoid receptor [GR] influences their response to steroids. For the human PR, mutations at Gly-722 on helix 3 and Met-759 on helix 5 alter responses to progesterone. We analyzed the evolution of these two sites and the rest of a 59 residue segment containing helices 3, 4 and 5 in vertebrate PRs and found that a glycine corresponding to Gly-722 on helix 3 in human PR first appears in platypus, a monotreme. In lamprey, skates, fish, amphibians and birds, cysteine is found at this position in helix 3. This suggests that the cysteine to glycine replacement in helix 3 in the PR was important in the evolution of mammals. Interestingly, our analysis of the rest of the 59 residue segment finds 100% sequence conservation in almost all mammal PRs, substantial conservation in reptile and amphibian PRs and divergence of land vertebrate PR sequences from the fish PR sequences. The differences between fish and land vertebrate PRs may be important in the evolution of different biological progestins in fish and mammalian PR, as well as differences in susceptibility to environmental chemicals that disrupt PR-mediated physiology. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Nitric oxide is necessary for long-term facilitation of synaptic responses and for development of context memory in terrestrial snails.

    PubMed

    Korshunova, T A; Balaban, P M

    2014-04-25

    Correlated electrophysiological and behavioral experiments in the snail Helix lucorum were conducted to investigate the contribution of nitric oxide (NO) to synaptic plasticity during withdrawal reflex and aversive context memory development. Time, stimulation frequency and number of tetani/electrical shocks were determined in vitro and in vivo. In isolated brain preparations, nerve tetanization accompanied by bath application of serotonin induced long-term facilitation (LTF) of the excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) in withdrawal interneurons. Bathing with either the NO-synthase inhibitor N-omega-nitro-L-arginin (L-NNA) or the NO-scavenger 2-phenyl-4,4,5,5-tetramethyl-imidazoline-1-oxyl 3-oxide (PTIO) before the tetanization prevented tetanus-induced long-term increase of EPSP. Withdrawal interneurons are key elements in the network underlying aversive behavior, with LTF considered the basis for aversive learning. We hypothesized that L-NNA injections in free-behaving snails could influence aversive learning. Snails were trained for 1 or 5days to remember the context in which they were shocked. In one-day training experiments, the snails received 5 electrical shocks in one context. Different groups of snails were sham-injected or L-NNA-injected before or after training. After training, the sham-injected groups demonstrated a significant increase in behavioral responses compared to the L-NNA-injected groups. On the following day, only sham-injected snails demonstrated altered behavioral responses, but no associative context differences were observed. These results correlated with the electrophysiological results. In another series of experiments, the snails received electrical shocks for 5days. Testing on the second day after training demonstrated that the sham-injected group maintained selective aversive context memory, whereas the L-NNA-injected snails were not different between the two contexts. Together these results demonstrated that inhibition of NO

  19. Into the Eye of the Helix

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2009-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qi-Yi

    2017-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

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

  2. 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

  3. New triple-helix DNA stabilizing agents.

    PubMed

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

    2005-02-15

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

  4. The Helix Nebula: Unraveling at the Seams

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-10-03

    This image from NASA Spitzer and GALEX shows the Helix nebula, a dying star throwing a cosmic tantrum. In death, the star dusty outer layers are unraveling into space, glowing from the intense UV radiation being pumped out by the hot stellar core.

  5. Double helix quinine-based supergelator.

    PubMed

    Roszak, Kinga; Piasecka, Monika; Katrusiak, Andrzej; Kacprzak, Karol

    2016-02-07

    10,11-Didehydroquinine is a simple, low molecular weight supergelator which forms, in nonpolar media, stable chiral organogels composed of unique double-helix nano-sized fibers. A novel gelation mechanism involves a hydrogen bonding network formed by an acidic alkyne proton of the Cinchona gelator and the carbonyl group of ethyl acetate used as a solvent.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1997-01-01

    Parvalbumins are a class of calcium-binding proteins characterized by the presence of several helix-loop-helix (EF-hand) motifs. It is suspected that these proteins evolved via intragene duplication from a single EF-hand. Silver hake parvalbumin (SHPV) consists of three EF-type helix-loop-helix regions, two of which have the ability to bind calcium. The three helix-loop-helix motifs are designated AB, CD, and EF, respectively. In this study, native silver hake parvalbumin isoform B (SHPV-B) has been sequenced by mass spectrometry. The sequence indicates that this parvalbumin is a beta-lineage parvalbumin. SHPV-B was cleaved into two major fragments, consisting of the ABCD and EF regions of the native protein. The 33-amino acid EF fragment (residues 76-108), containing one of the calcium ion binding sites in native SHPV-B, has been isolated and studied for its structural characteristics, ability to bind divalent and trivalent cations, and for its propensity to undergo metal ion-induced self-association. The presence of Ca2+ does not induce significant secondary structure in the EF fragment. However, NMR and CD results indicate significant secondary structure promotion in the EF fragment in the presence of the higher charge-density trivalent cations. Sedimentation equilibrium analysis results show that the EF fragment exists in a monomer-dimer equilibrium when complexed with La3+. PMID:9385642

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

    PubMed

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

    1997-11-01

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

  9. Changes in the expression and current of the Na+/K+ pump in the snail nervous system after exposure to a static magnetic field.

    PubMed

    Nikolić, Ljiljana; Bataveljić, Danijela; Andjus, Pavle R; Nedeljković, Miodrag; Todorović, Dajana; Janać, Branka

    2013-09-15

    Compelling evidence supports the use of a moderate static magnetic field (SMF) for therapeutic purposes. In order to provide insight into the mechanisms underlying SMF treatment, it is essential to examine the cellular responses elicited by therapeutically applied SMF, especially in the nervous system. The Na(+)/K(+) pump, by creating and maintaining the gradient of Na(+) and K(+) ions across the plasma membrane, regulates the physiological properties of neurons. In this study, we examined the expression of the Na(+)/K(+) pump in the isolated brain-subesophageal ganglion complex of the garden snail Helix pomatia, along with the immunoreactivity and current of the Na(+)/K(+) pump in isolated snail neurons after 15 min exposure to a moderate (10 mT) SMF. Western blot and immunofluorescence analysis revealed that 10 mT SMF did not significantly change the expression of the Na(+)/K(+) pump α-subunit in the snail brain and the neuronal cell body. However, our immunofluorescence data showed that SMF treatment induced a significant increase in the Na(+)/K(+) pump α-subunit expression in the neuronal plasma membrane area. This change in Na(+)/K(+) pump expression was reflected in pump activity as demonstrated by the pump current measurements. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from isolated snail neurons revealed that Na(+)/K(+) pump current density was significantly increased after the 10 mT SMF treatment. The SMF-induced increase was different in the two groups of control snail neurons, as defined by the pump current level. The results obtained could represent a physiologically important response of neurons to 10 mT SMF comparable in strength to therapeutic applications.

  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. 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…

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  15. An evaluation of techniques used in estimating snail populations

    PubMed Central

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

    1958-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Whole genome analysis of a schistosomiasis-transmitting freshwater snail.

    PubMed

    Adema, Coen M; Hillier, LaDeana W; Jones, Catherine S; Loker, Eric S; Knight, Matty; Minx, Patrick; Oliveira, Guilherme; Raghavan, Nithya; Shedlock, Andrew; do Amaral, Laurence Rodrigues; Arican-Goktas, Halime D; Assis, Juliana G; Baba, Elio Hideo; Baron, Olga L; Bayne, Christopher J; Bickham-Wright, Utibe; Biggar, Kyle K; Blouin, Michael; Bonning, Bryony C; Botka, Chris; Bridger, Joanna M; Buckley, Katherine M; Buddenborg, Sarah K; Lima Caldeira, Roberta; Carleton, Julia; Carvalho, Omar S; Castillo, Maria G; Chalmers, Iain W; Christensens, Mikkel; Clifton, Sandra; Cosseau, Celine; Coustau, Christine; Cripps, Richard M; Cuesta-Astroz, Yesid; Cummins, Scott F; di Stephano, Leon; Dinguirard, Nathalie; Duval, David; Emrich, Scott; Feschotte, Cédric; Feyereisen, Rene; FitzGerald, Peter; Fronick, Catrina; Fulton, Lucinda; Galinier, Richard; Gava, Sandra G; Geusz, Michael; Geyer, Kathrin K; Giraldo-Calderón, Gloria I; de Souza Gomes, Matheus; Gordy, Michelle A; Gourbal, Benjamin; Grunau, Christoph; Hanington, Patrick C; Hoffmann, Karl F; Hughes, Daniel; Humphries, Judith; Jackson, Daniel J; Jannotti-Passos, Liana K; de Jesus Jeremias, Wander; Jobling, Susan; Kamel, Bishoy; Kapusta, Aurélie; Kaur, Satwant; Koene, Joris M; Kohn, Andrea B; Lawson, Dan; Lawton, Scott P; Liang, Di; Limpanont, Yanin; Liu, Sijun; Lockyer, Anne E; Lovato, TyAnna L; Ludolf, Fernanda; Magrini, Vince; McManus, Donald P; Medina, Monica; Misra, Milind; Mitta, Guillaume; Mkoji, Gerald M; Montague, Michael J; Montelongo, Cesar; Moroz, Leonid L; Munoz-Torres, Monica C; Niazi, Umar; Noble, Leslie R; Oliveira, Francislon S; Pais, Fabiano S; Papenfuss, Anthony T; Peace, Rob; Pena, Janeth J; Pila, Emmanuel A; Quelais, Titouan; Raney, Brian J; Rast, Jonathan P; Rollinson, David; Rosse, Izinara C; Rotgans, Bronwyn; Routledge, Edwin J; Ryan, Kathryn M; Scholte, Larissa L S; Storey, Kenneth B; Swain, Martin; Tennessen, Jacob A; Tomlinson, Chad; Trujillo, Damian L; Volpi, Emanuela V; Walker, Anthony J; Wang, Tianfang; Wannaporn, Ittiprasert; Warren, Wesley C; Wu, Xiao-Jun; Yoshino, Timothy P; Yusuf, Mohammed; Zhang, Si-Ming; Zhao, Min; Wilson, Richard K

    2017-05-16

    Biomphalaria snails are instrumental in transmission of the human blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni. With the World Health Organization's goal to eliminate schistosomiasis as a global health problem by 2025, there is now renewed emphasis on snail control. Here, we characterize the genome of Biomphalaria glabrata, a lophotrochozoan protostome, and provide timely and important information on snail biology. We describe aspects of phero-perception, stress responses, immune function and regulation of gene expression that support the persistence of B. glabrata in the field and may define this species as a suitable snail host for S. mansoni. We identify several potential targets for developing novel control measures aimed at reducing snail-mediated transmission of schistosomiasis.

  20. Whole genome analysis of a schistosomiasis-transmitting freshwater snail

    PubMed Central

    Adema, Coen M.; Hillier, LaDeana W.; Jones, Catherine S.; Loker, Eric S.; Knight, Matty; Minx, Patrick; Oliveira, Guilherme; Raghavan, Nithya; Shedlock, Andrew; do Amaral, Laurence Rodrigues; Arican-Goktas, Halime D.; Assis, Juliana G.; Baba, Elio Hideo; Baron, Olga L.; Bayne, Christopher J.; Bickham-Wright, Utibe; Biggar, Kyle K.; Blouin, Michael; Bonning, Bryony C.; Botka, Chris; Bridger, Joanna M.; Buckley, Katherine M.; Buddenborg, Sarah K.; Lima Caldeira, Roberta; Carleton, Julia; Carvalho, Omar S.; Castillo, Maria G.; Chalmers, Iain W.; Christensens, Mikkel; Clifton, Sandra; Cosseau, Celine; Coustau, Christine; Cripps, Richard M.; Cuesta-Astroz, Yesid; Cummins, Scott F.; di Stefano, Leon; Dinguirard, Nathalie; Duval, David; Emrich, Scott; Feschotte, Cédric; Feyereisen, Rene; FitzGerald, Peter; Fronick, Catrina; Fulton, Lucinda; Galinier, Richard; Gava, Sandra G.; Geusz, Michael; Geyer, Kathrin K.; Giraldo-Calderón, Gloria I.; de Souza Gomes, Matheus; Gordy, Michelle A.; Gourbal, Benjamin; Grunau, Christoph; Hanington, Patrick C.; Hoffmann, Karl F.; Hughes, Daniel; Humphries, Judith; Jackson, Daniel J.; Jannotti-Passos, Liana K.; de Jesus Jeremias, Wander; Jobling, Susan; Kamel, Bishoy; Kapusta, Aurélie; Kaur, Satwant; Koene, Joris M.; Kohn, Andrea B.; Lawson, Dan; Lawton, Scott P; Liang, Di; Limpanont, Yanin; Liu, Sijun; Lockyer, Anne E.; Lovato, TyAnna L.; Ludolf, Fernanda; Magrini, Vince; McManus, Donald P.; Medina, Monica; Misra, Milind; Mitta, Guillaume; Mkoji, Gerald M.; Montague, Michael J.; Montelongo, Cesar; Moroz, Leonid L.; Munoz-Torres, Monica C.; Niazi, Umar; Noble, Leslie R.; Oliveira, Francislon S.; Pais, Fabiano S.; Papenfuss, Anthony T.; Peace, Rob; Pena, Janeth J.; Pila, Emmanuel A.; Quelais, Titouan; Raney, Brian J.; Rast, Jonathan P.; Rollinson, David; Rosse, Izinara C.; Rotgans, Bronwyn; Routledge, Edwin J.; Ryan, Kathryn M.; Scholte, Larissa L. S.; Storey, Kenneth B.; Swain, Martin; Tennessen, Jacob A.; Tomlinson, Chad; Trujillo, Damian L.; Volpi, Emanuela V.; Walker, Anthony J.; Wang, Tianfang; Wannaporn, Ittiprasert; Warren, Wesley C.; Wu, Xiao-Jun; Yoshino, Timothy P.; Yusuf, Mohammed; Zhang, Si-Ming; Zhao, Min; Wilson, Richard K.

    2017-01-01

    Biomphalaria snails are instrumental in transmission of the human blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni. With the World Health Organization's goal to eliminate schistosomiasis as a global health problem by 2025, there is now renewed emphasis on snail control. Here, we characterize the genome of Biomphalaria glabrata, a lophotrochozoan protostome, and provide timely and important information on snail biology. We describe aspects of phero-perception, stress responses, immune function and regulation of gene expression that support the persistence of B. glabrata in the field and may define this species as a suitable snail host for S. mansoni. We identify several potential targets for developing novel control measures aimed at reducing snail-mediated transmission of schistosomiasis. PMID:28508897

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Relationship between snail population density and infection status of snails and fish with zoonotic trematodes in Vietnamese carp nurseries.

    PubMed

    Clausen, Jesper Hedegaard; Madsen, Henry; Murrell, K Darwin; Phan Thi, Van; Nguyen Manh, Hung; Viet, Khue Nguyen; Dalsgaard, Anders

    2012-01-01

    Fish-borne zoonotic trematodes (FZT) are a food safety and health concern in Vietnam. Humans and other final hosts acquire these parasites from eating raw or under-cooked fish with FZT metacercariae. Fish raised in ponds are exposed to cercariae shed by snail hosts that are common in fish farm ponds. Previous risk assessment on FZT transmission in the Red River Delta of Vietnam identified carp nursery ponds as major sites of transmission. In this study, we analyzed the association between snail population density and heterophyid trematode infection in snails with the rate of FZT transmission to juvenile fish raised in carp nurseries. Snail population density and prevalence of trematode (Heterophyidae) infections were determined in 48 carp nurseries producing Rohu juveniles, (Labeo rohita) in the Red River Delta area. Fish samples were examined at 3, 6 and 9 weeks after the juvenile fish were introduced into the ponds. There was a significant positive correlation between prevalence of FZT metacercariae in juvenile fish and density of infected snails. Thus, the odds of infection in juvenile fish were 4.36 and 11.32 times higher for ponds with medium and high density of snails, respectively, compared to ponds where no infected snails were found. Further, the intensity of fish FZT infections increased with the density of infected snails. Interestingly, however, some ponds with no or few infected snails were collected also had high prevalence and intensity of FZT in juvenile fish. This may be due to immigration of cercariae into the pond from external water sources. The total number and density of potential host snails and density of host snails infected with heterophyid trematodes in the aquaculture pond is a useful predictor for infections in juvenile fish, although infection levels in juvenile fish can occur despite low density or absence infected snails. This suggests that intervention programs to control FZT infection of fish should include not only intra

  4. 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.

  5. Comparative study of boundary conditions with helix

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  6. [Simulation experiment of survival and reproduction of artificially imported Oncomelania snails in Qingpu District, Shanghai].

    PubMed

    Tian, Jian-Guo; Li, Gui-Fu; Li, Jun; Zhang, Xiao-Ping; Jin, Yan-Jun; Cai, Li; Peng, Li-Xia; Xu, Hai-Yan; Xu, Rui-Fang

    2013-06-01

    To understand the survival of imported Oncomelania snails in new environments with different densities in waterway net region, Qingpu District, Shanghai. The snails collected from Guichi, Anhui Province were put into the ponds of 4 square meters and each had 25, 50, 100, 200, 400 and 800 pairs of snails, respectively. During the next 2 years, the temperature, humidity, the activities of snails and their second birth snails were investigated each day. All the data were analyzed statistically. The highest number of snails appeared from May to June on the surface of soils in different densities. The average numbers of snails were 2.0%-12.7% of whole put in snails, and the numbers of offspring were less than 2% of the whole put in snails. The survival and reproduction of artificially imported Oncomelania snails from Guichi, Anhui Province is not good in Qingpu District, Shanghai.

  7. Interactions between freshwater snails and tadpoles: competition and facilitation.

    PubMed

    Brönmark, Christer; Rundle, Simon D; Erlandsson, Ann

    1991-06-01

    Freshwater snails and anuran tadpoles have been suggested to have their highest population densities in ponds of intermediate size where abiotic disturbance (e.g. desiccation) is low and large predators absent. Both snails and tadpoles feed on periphytic algae and, thus, there should be a large potential for competitive interactions to occur between these two distantly related taxa. In a field experiment we examined the relative strength of competition between two closely related snail species, Lymnaea stagnalis and L. peregra, and between L. stagnalis and tadpoles of the common frog, Rana temporaria. Snail growth and egg production and tadpole size at and time to metamorphosis were determined. Effects on the common food source, periphyton, were monitored with the aid of artificial substrates. Periphyton dry weight was dramatically reduced in the presence of snails and/or tadpoles. There were no competitive effects on growth or egg production of the two snail species when they were coexisting. Mortality of L. peregra was high (95%) after reproduction, but independent of treatment. Growth of L. stagnalis was reduced only at the highest tadpole densities, whereas egg production was reduced both by intraspecific competition and by competition with tadpoles. Differences in egg production were retained after tadpole metamorphosis. Tadpole larval period increased, weight of metamorphosing frogs decreased and growth rate was reduced as a function of increasing tadpole density. However, contrary to expectation, snails had a positive effect on tadpole larval period, weight and growth rate. Further, in experimental containers without snails there was a dense growth of the filamentous green alga Cladophora sp. We suggest that the facilitative effects of snails on tadpoles are due to an "indirect mutualistic" mechanism, involving competition between food sources of different quality (microalgae and Cladophora sp.) and tadpoles being competitively dominant over snails for the

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

    PubMed

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

    1997-12-16

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

  9. Mixed FE analysis of viscoelastic cylindrical helixes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arıbaş, Ü. N.; Omurtag, M. H.

    2012-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Strong bending of the DNA double helix

    PubMed Central

    Vologodskii, Alexander; D. Frank-Kamenetskii, Maxim

    2013-01-01

    During the past decade, the issue of strong bending of the double helix has attracted a lot of attention. Here, we overview the major experimental and theoretical developments in the field sorting out reliably established facts from speculations and unsubstantiated claims. Theoretical analysis shows that sharp bends or kinks have to facilitate strong bending of the double helix. It remains to be determined what is the critical curvature of DNA that prompts the appearance of the kinks. Different experimental and computational approaches to the problem are analyzed. We conclude that there is no reliable evidence that any anomalous behavior of the double helix happens when DNA fragments in the range of 100 bp are circularized without torsional stress. The anomaly starts at the fragment length of about 70 bp when sharp bends or kinks emerge in essentially every molecule. Experimental data and theoretical analysis suggest that kinks may represent openings of isolated base pairs, which had been experimentally detected in linear DNA molecules. The calculation suggests that although the probability of these openings in unstressed DNA is close to 10−5, it increases sharply in small DNA circles reaching 1 open bp per circle of 70 bp. PMID:23677618

  12. 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.

  13. Strong bending of the DNA double helix.

    PubMed

    Vologodskii, Alexander; Frank-Kamenetskii, Maxim D

    2013-08-01

    During the past decade, the issue of strong bending of the double helix has attracted a lot of attention. Here, we overview the major experimental and theoretical developments in the field sorting out reliably established facts from speculations and unsubstantiated claims. Theoretical analysis shows that sharp bends or kinks have to facilitate strong bending of the double helix. It remains to be determined what is the critical curvature of DNA that prompts the appearance of the kinks. Different experimental and computational approaches to the problem are analyzed. We conclude that there is no reliable evidence that any anomalous behavior of the double helix happens when DNA fragments in the range of 100 bp are circularized without torsional stress. The anomaly starts at the fragment length of about 70 bp when sharp bends or kinks emerge in essentially every molecule. Experimental data and theoretical analysis suggest that kinks may represent openings of isolated base pairs, which had been experimentally detected in linear DNA molecules. The calculation suggests that although the probability of these openings in unstressed DNA is close to 10(-5), it increases sharply in small DNA circles reaching 1 open bp per circle of 70 bp.

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

    PubMed

    Zheng, Shimei; Zhou, Qixing

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-06

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

  16. 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.

  17. Helix propensities of the amino acids measured in alanine-based peptides without helix-stabilizing side-chain interactions.

    PubMed Central

    Chakrabartty, A.; Kortemme, T.; Baldwin, R. L.

    1994-01-01

    Helix propensities of the amino acids have been measured in alanine-based peptides in the absence of helix-stabilizing side-chain interactions. Fifty-eight peptides have been studied. A modified form of the Lifson-Roig theory for the helix-coil transition, which includes helix capping (Doig AJ, Chakrabartty A, Klingler TM, Baldwin RL, 1994, Biochemistry 33:3396-3403), was used to analyze the results. Substitutions were made at various positions of homologous helical peptides. Helix-capping interactions were found to contribute to helix stability, even when the substitution site was not at the end of the peptide. Analysis of our data with the original Lifson-Roig theory, which neglects capping effects, does not produce as good a fit to the experimental data as does analysis with the modified Lifson-Roig theory. At 0 degrees C, Ala is a strong helix former, Leu and Arg are helix-indifferent, and all other amino acids are helix breakers of varying severity. Because Ala has a small side chain that cannot interact significantly with other side chains, helix formation by Ala is stabilized predominantly by the backbone ("peptide H-bonds"). The implication for protein folding is that formation of peptide H-bonds can largely offset the unfavorable entropy change caused by fixing the peptide backbone. The helix propensities of most amino acids oppose folding; consequently, the majority of isolated helices derived from proteins are unstable, unless specific side-chain interactions stabilize them. PMID:8061613

  18. Thermal stability of collagen triple helix.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yujia

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

  20. Prototyping nanorod control: A DNA double helix sheathed within a DNA six-helix bundle.

    PubMed

    Wang, Risheng; Liu, Wenyan; Seeman, Nadrian C

    2009-08-28

    The control of the structure of matter is a key goal of nanoscience. DNA is an exciting molecule for control because it forms programmable intermolecular interactions. Stiff DNA structures, such as the double crossover motif, the tensegrity triangle, and the six-helix bundle (6HB) have been used to produce periodic arrays of DNA components. The 6HB motif consists of six DNA double helices flanking an inner cavity whose diameter is similar to that of a double helix. This motif appears to be an excellent candidate to sheathe and control nanorods by inserting them into the cavity, and then to control the placement and orientation of the rod by controlling the DNA sheath. Here, we prototype this kind of control by using a seventh DNA double helix as the nanorod and fixing it inside the 6HB motif.

  1. Laboratory experiments on snail predation by Sargochromis codringtoni, a candidate for biological control of the snails that transmit schistosomiasis.

    PubMed

    Chimbari, M J; Madsen, H; Ndamba, J

    1997-01-01

    The potential efficacy of Sargochromis codringtoni, a species of cichlid fish, in the biological control of snails carrying the Schistosoma spp. infecting man has long been recognized. A laboratory study to produce much-needed data on the malacophagous characteristics of this fish was conducted, to see if field studies on its possible role as a biological agent for snail control in Zimbabwe were likely to be worthwhile. The fish can consume large numbers of snails within a short period: a single fish, provided with trout pellets as an alternative food, not only chose to eat the snails but also consumed > 800 within 3 weeks. Addition of macrophytes to the aquaria used appeared to offer the snails no protection from predation. For fish measuring 15-18 cm in length, there was no size preference among snails measuring up to 12 mm in shell height nor was any species preference observed in experiments involving Bulinus globosus, B. tropicus and Melanoides tuberculata. The fish crushed B. globosus which were > 3.0 mm in shell height in their pharynges but swallowed smaller snails of this species whole. Before field trials are conducted, further laboratory studies, in which field conditions are simulated, should be carried out.

  2. Antibodies to calcium-binding S100B protein block the conditioning of long-term sensitization in the terrestrial snail.

    PubMed

    Andrianov, Vyatcheslav V; Epstein, Oleg I; Gainutdinova, Tatiana Kh; Shtark, Mark B; Timoshenko, Aliya Kh; Gainutdinov, Khalil L

    2009-11-01

    The effects of antibodies to calcium-binding S100B protein diluted to 10(-12) (LAS100B) on the long-term sensitization in the Helix lucorum snail (neurobiological model of the anxious-depressive state) were evaluated. The administration of LAS100B prior to conditioning of long-term sensitization in the terrestrial snail 10 min prior to the first electric stimulus) prevents strengthening of the defensive reaction of withdrawing the ommatophores (eye tentacles) and the defensive reaction of closing the pneumostome. This effect is termed "protective", as it prevents the conditioning of long-term sensitization. At the same time, snails given an injection of saline developed long-term sensitization with a significant strengthening of the defensive reactions of withdrawing the ommatophores and closing the pneumostome. When LAS100B was administered before long-term sensitization in advance, the membrane and threshold potentials of premotor interneurons, which regulate defensive behaviour, decreased to a significantly lesser extent compared to the long-term sensitization arm. It is possible that the "protective" effect is linked to the mechanisms of maintaining the membrane potential and changes in extra- and intracellular balance of calcium-binding S100B protein.

  3. [Immunohistochemical detection of transcription factors CREB and c-Fos activation in the land snail nervous system induced by pentylenetetrazole].

    PubMed

    Efimova, O I; Ierusalimskiĭ, V N; Anokhin, K V; Balaban, P M

    2006-01-01

    Phosphorylation of transcription factor CREB and expression of immediate early gene c-fos play a key role in molecular mechanisms of long-term neuronal plasticity in the vertebrate brain. Here, we have defined the procedure of immunohistochemical detection of pCREB and c-Fos in the nervous system of the land snail Helix lucorum (Pulmonata: Stylommatophora) and have shown its activation after the convulsant pentylenetetrazole injection. Baseline pCREB1 and c-Fos levels in the intact snail nervous system appeared to be low. In contrast, injection of pentylenetetrazole (600 mg/kg) produced a rapid induction of CREB phosphorylation and c-Fos expression in a wide range of neurons including a number of identified cells. Double immunofluorescence for pCREB and c-Fos showed that c-Fos was always colocalized with pCREB-immunoreactivity, although the latter had a broader pattern. The results suggest that transcription factors CREB and c-Fos can be used as molecular markers for mapping long-term neuronal plasticity in molluscan nervous system.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Some aspects of snail ecology in South Africa

    PubMed Central

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

    1958-01-01

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

  8. Energy saving through trail following in a marine snail

    PubMed Central

    Davies, Mark S; Blackwell, Janine

    2007-01-01

    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

  9. Control of Collagen Triple Helix Stability by Phosphorylation.

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-10

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

  10. Snails, stable iostopes, and southwestern desert paleoclimates

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-09-01

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

  11. Parasitized snails take the heat: a case of host manipulation?

    PubMed

    Bates, A E; Leiterer, F; Wiedeback, M L; Poulin, R

    2011-11-01

    Infection-induced changes in a host's thermal physiology can represent (1) a generalized host response to infection, (2) a pathological side-effect of infection, or (3), provided the parasite's development is temperature-dependent, a subtle case of host manipulation. This study investigates parasite-induced changes in the thermal biology of a first intermediate host infected by two castrating trematodes (genera Maritrema and Philophthalmus) using laboratory experiments and field surveys. The heat tolerance and temperatures selected by the snail, Zeacumantus subcarinatus, displayed alterations upon infection that differed between the two trematodes. Upon heating, snails infected by Maritrema sustained activity for longer durations than uninfected snails, followed by a more rapid recovery, and selected higher temperatures in a thermal gradient. These snails were also relatively abundant in high shore localities in the summer only, corresponding with seasonal elevated microhabitat temperatures. By contrast, Philophthalmus-infected snails fell rapidly into a coma upon heating and did not display altered thermal preferences. The respective heat tolerance of each trematode corresponded with the thermal responses induced in the snail: Maritrema survived exposure to 40°C, while Philophthalmus was less heat tolerant. Although both trematodes infect the same tissues, Philophthalmus leads to a reduction in the host's thermal tolerance, a response consistent with a pathological side effect. By contrast, Maritrema induces heat tolerance in the snail and withstood exposure to high heat. As the developmental rate and infectivity of Maritrema increase with temperature up to 25°C, one adaptive explanation for our findings is that Maritrema manipulates the snail's thermal responses to exploit warm microhabitats.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Modulation of defensive reflex conditioning in snails by serotonin

    PubMed Central

    Andrianov, Vyatcheslav V.; Bogodvid, Tatiana K.; Deryabina, Irina B.; Golovchenko, Aleksandra N.; Muranova, Lyudmila N.; Tagirova, Roza R.; Vinarskaya, Aliya K.; Gainutdinov, Khalil L.

    2015-01-01

    Highlights Daily injection of serotonin before a training session accelerated defensive reflex conditioning in snails.Daily injection of 5-hydroxytryptophan before a training session in snails with a deficiency of serotonin induced by the “neurotoxic” analog of serotonin 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine, restored the ability of snails to learn.After injection of the “neurotoxic” analogs of serotonin 5,6- and 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine as well as serotonin, depolarization of the membrane and decrease of the threshold potential of premotor interneurons was observed. We studied the role of serotonin in the mechanisms of learning in terrestrial snails. To produce a serotonin deficit, the “neurotoxic” analogs of serotonin, 5,6- or 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine (5,6/5,7-DHT) were used. Injection of 5,6/5,7-DHT was found to disrupt defensive reflex conditioning. Within 2 weeks of neurotoxin application, the ability to learn had recovered. Daily injection of serotonin before a training session accelerated defensive reflex conditioning and daily injections of 5-HTP in snails with a deficiency of serotonin induced by 5,7-DHT restored the snail's ability to learn. We discovered that injections of the neurotoxins 5,6/5,7-DHT as well as serotonin, caused a decrease in the resting and threshold potentials of the premotor interneurons LPa3 and RPa3. PMID:26557063

  17. Correlation between snails and fish in fish ponds of World Fish Center (ICLARM) with special reference to snail vectors of schistosomiasis and fascioliasis.

    PubMed

    Ismail, Nahed M M; El Gamal, Abd El Rahman A

    2003-08-01

    The abundance of snail species in earthen fish ponds, irrigation and drainage canals at World Fish Center (ICLARM) in descending order was Bellamya unicolor (50.89%) > Physa acuta (18.94%) > Cleopatra bulimoides (7.6%) > Lanistes carinatus (6.73%) > Bulinus truncatus (5.19%) > Melanoides tuberculata (4.83%) > Lymnaea natalensis (3.14%) > Gabbiella senaariensis (0.9%) > Biomphalaria alexandrina (0.55%) > Lym naea truncatula (0.4%) > Planorbis planorbis and Succinea cleopatra (0.33%) > Ferrissia isseli (0.18%). Dead snails constituted about 5.19% of all the collected specimens. There were dramatic decrease in the total number of pulmonates in fish ponds which contained only Tilapia sp., and a very small number of cat fish, whereas the numbers of prosobranchia snails were much higher in these ponds. In fish ponds which accommodated a variety of fish species, the most dominant snail was B. unicolor followed by L. carinatus. However, pulmonate snails were absent in these ponds. B. truncatus was the only snail species found in concrete tank which contained only young tilapias with a very small size (5-8 cm in standard length). In irrigation canals, the number of snails and diversity was much higher than those in fish ponds. Out of 191 snails collected from inlet irrigation canal, 71 were dead, but in the outside irrigation canals, seven out of 564 snails were dead. P. acuta was absent in all examined fish ponds, but it was alive and in a high number (497 snails) in the outside irrigation canals. The number of snails collected from Bahnasawy drain was remarkably low (128 snails), however the diversity of snails was much higher compared to those in fish ponds and irrigation canals. Snail populations were stable with constant recruitment of young to adult snails for all the studied species.

  18. HELIX: The High Energy Light Isotope Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Musser, Jim

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

  19. HELIX: The High Energy Light Isotope Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wakely, Scott

    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

  20. 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.

  1. Failure of long-term memory formation in juvenile snails is determined by acetylation status of histone H3 and can be improved by NaB treatment.

    PubMed

    Danilova, Alexandra B; Grinkevich, Larisa N

    2012-01-01

    Animals' capacities for different forms of learning do not mature simultaneously during ontogenesis but the molecular mechanisms behind the delayed development of specific types of memory are not fully understood. Mollusks are considered to be among the best models to study memory formation at the molecular level. Chromatin remodeling in developmental processes, as well as in long-term memory formation, was recently shown to play a major role. Histone acetylation is a key process in the chromatin remodeling and is regulated through the signaling cascades, for example MAPK/ERK. Previously, we found that MAPK/ERK is a key pathway in the formation of the food aversion reflex in Helix. Pretreatment with upstream ERK kinase inhibitor PD98059 prevented food avoidance learning in adult Helix. In contrast to adult snails, juveniles possess immature plasticity mechanisms of the avoidance reflex until the age of 2-3 months while the MAPK/ERK cascade is not activated after aversive learning. In the present study, we focused on the potential MAPK/ERK target--histone H3. Here we found that a significant increase in histone H3 acetylation occurs in adult animals after learning, whereas no corresponding increase was observed in juveniles. The acetylation of histone H3 is regulated by ERK kinase, since the upstream ERK kinase inhibitor PD98059 prevented the increase of histone H3 acetylation upon learning. We found that the injection of histone deacetylase inhibitor sodium butyrate (NaB) prior to training led to induction in histone H3 acetylation and significantly ameliorated long-term memory formation in juvenile snails. Thus, MAPK/ERK-dependent histone H3 acetylation plays an essential role in the formation of food aversion in Helix. Dysfunction of the MAPK/ERK dependent histone H3 acetylation might determine the deficiency of avoidance behavior and long-term plasticity in juvenile animals. Stimulation of histone H3 acetylation in juvenile animals by NaB promoted avoidance

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    1995-10-01

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

  4. Elementary and compound postsynaptic potentials in the defensive command neurons of Helix lucorum.

    PubMed

    Sokolov, E N; Palikhova, T A

    1999-01-01

    The present communication concerns with the analysis of elementary and the compound excitatory postsynaptic potentials (eEPSPs and cEPSPs) recorded by intracellular microelectrode from an identified defensive command neuron of the snail Helix lucorum. The eEPSPs were evoked by single presynaptic action potentials (APs) elicited by cationic current injection into one of the identified sensory neurons synapsing on the respective command neuron. The cEPSPs were elicited by local brief tactile stimuli on the skin or internal organs. It was shown that the cEPSPs amplitudes depend mainly on the number of activated sensory neurons. Compound EPSPs depend also on frequency and the number of APs in the bursts occurring in a single neuron. Presynaptic APs having frequency 2-10 Hz evoke high frequency depression of that eEPSPs after an interval is followed by post-tetanic potentiation of single eEPSPs. Preceding stimulation of a pneumostom area facilitates the cEPSPs elicited by repeated stimulation of viscera. The eEPSPs from the same visceral area demonstrate no heterosynaptic facilitation in experiments with double parallel intracellular recording from responsive sensory and command neurons. The different types of the eEPSPs plasticity are discussed according to their contribution cEPSPs plastic changes.

  5. Mechanisms of up-regulation of single calcium channels by serotonin in Helix pomatia neurons.

    PubMed

    Lukyanetz, E A; Sotkis, A V; Kostyuk, P G

    2002-04-26

    Action of serotonin (5-HT) on single Ca(2+) channel activity was studied in identified neurons of snail Helix pomatia. Only one type of Ca(2+) channels of 5 pS unitary conductance was determined under patch-clamp cell-attached mode. Kinetic analysis have shown a monotonically declining distribution of channel open times (OT) with mean time constant of 0.2 ms. The distribution of channel closed times (CT) could be fitted by double-exponential curve with time constants 1 and 12 ms. We established that 5-HT acts on Ca(2+) channel activity indirectly via cytoplasm. 5-HT prolonged the OT (up to 0.3 ms) and shortened the CT proportionally for both constants to 0.4 and 6 ms correspondingly. A conclusion is made that enhancement of Ca(2+) macro-current by 5-HT is determined by kinetic changes, increase of the number of active channels, and increase of the probability of OT. At the same time the transmitter did not affect the unitary channel conductance.

  6. Structure and in vitro cytocompatibility of the gastropod shell of Helix pomatia.

    PubMed

    Bächle, M; Hübner, U; Kohal, R J; Han, J S; Wiedmann-Al-Ahmad, M

    2006-10-01

    Distinguishing features of biological constructions are high stability and adaptation to their environment. Beside biocompatibility, nontoxicity and degradability these characteristics are demanded for new biomaterials in the field of tissue engineering. This study investigated the chemical composition, the organization and the in vitro osteoconductive potential of the terrestrial gastropod shell (Helix pomatia) on CAL72 and human osteoblast-like cells. Chemical composition of the biomaterial was examined by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was performed to analyze the architecture of the snail shell and the morphology of the seeded cells. A double staining procedure (FDA/PI) and a proliferation test (EZ4U) assessed the viability of the cells. Microscopical images showed the multilayered architecture of the aragonite shell with hexagonal crystals on the inner side. The cells spread well on the biomaterial and the highest proliferation rate could be measured with CAL72 cells on the inner shell surface. The osteoconductive effects of this natural biomaterial could encourage further experiments in the field of tissue engineering.

  7. The enthalpy of the alanine peptide helix measured by isothermal titration calorimetry using metal-binding to induce helix formation.

    PubMed

    Lopez, Maria M; Chin, Der-Hang; Baldwin, Robert L; Makhatadze, George I

    2002-02-05

    The goal of this study is to use the model system described earlier to make direct measurements of the enthalpy of helix formation at different temperatures. For this we studied model alanine peptides in which helix formation can be triggered by metal (La(3+)) binding. The heat of La(3+) interaction with the peptides at different temperatures is measured by isothermal titration calorimetry. Circular dichroism spectroscopy is used to follow helix formation. Peptides of increasing length (12-, 16-, and 19-aa residues) that contain a La(3+)-binding loop followed by helices of increasing length, are used to separate the heat of metal binding from the enthalpy of helix formation. We demonstrate that (i) the enthalpy of helix formation is -0.9 +/- 0.1 kcal/mol; (ii) the enthalpy of helix formation is independent of the peptide length; (iii) the enthalpy of helix formation does not depend significantly on temperature in the range from 5 to 45 degrees C, suggesting that the heat capacity change on helix formation is very small. Thus, the use of metal binding to induce helix formation has an enormous potential for measuring various thermodynamic properties of alpha-helices.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-14

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Todeva, Emanuela; Danson, Mike

    2016-01-01

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

  15. 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…

  16. Kinetics of Helix Reversion and Physical Gelation of Gelatin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colby, Ralph H.; Guo, Liang; Lusignan, Charles P.

    2003-03-01

    The helix reversion of gelatin is monitored using optical rotation following a temperature quench. We find that the helix reversion has a combination of first-order and second-order kinetics. This makes the critical nucleus a two-stranded helix. A simple kinetics model allows estimation of the temperature dependence of the stable helix length. Rheo-optics is then used to study the gelation that results from helix reversion. Viscosity data below the gel point are used to evaluate the gel point and the viscosity exponent of percolation theory. Above the gel point, creep-recovery experiments are used to measure the shear modulus and determine the percolation modulus exponent. During gelation, the time-dependent optical rotation shows an initial rapid growth region where new helices are formed, followed by a slower growth region involving helix lengthening. For cases where the gel point occurs before the helix reversion slows appreciably, the viscosity and modulus exponents are found to depend on gelatin concentration, but not on temperature. However, anomalous exponents are measured using the same methods at higher temperatures, where the helix reversion slows appreciably below the gel point. These results suggest that extreme caution must be used in evaluating exponents from any physical gelation process. The observed concentration dependences of the percolation exponents are discussed in terms of chain overlap and entanglement. For gelatin gelation, the plethora of different reported percolation exponents in the literature are rationalized.

  17. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Todeva, Emanuela; Danson, Mike

    2016-01-01

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

  19. 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…

  20. Iridescent Glory of Nearby Helix Nebula

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-04-04

    This composite picture is a seamless blend of ultra-sharp NASA Hubble Space Telescope (HST) images combined with the wide view of the Mosaic Camera on the National Science Foundation's 0.9-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory, part of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, near Tucson, Ariz. Astronomers at the Space Telescope Science Institute assembled these images into a mosaic. The mosaic was then blended with a wider photograph taken by the Mosaic Camera. The image shows a fine web of filamentary "bicycle-spoke" features embedded in the colorful red and blue gas ring, which is one of the nearest planetary nebulae to Earth. Because the nebula is nearby, it appears as nearly one-half the diameter of the full Moon. This required HST astronomers to take several exposures with the Advanced Camera for Surveys to capture most of the Helix. HST views were then blended with a wider photo taken by the Mosaic Camera. The portrait offers a dizzying look down what is actually a trillion-mile-long tunnel of glowing gases. The fluorescing tube is pointed nearly directly at Earth, so it looks more like a bubble than a cylinder. A forest of thousands of comet-like filaments, embedded along the inner rim of the nebula, points back toward the central star, which is a small, super-hot white dwarf. The tentacles formed when a hot "stellar wind" of gas plowed into colder shells of dust and gas ejected previously by the doomed star. Ground-based telescopes have seen these comet-like filaments for decades, but never before in such detail. The filaments may actually lie in a disk encircling the hot star, like a collar. The radiant tie-die colors correspond to glowing oxygen (blue) and hydrogen and nitrogen (red). Valuable Hubble observing time became available during the November 2002 Leonid meteor storm. To protect the spacecraft, including HST's precise mirror, controllers turned the aft end into the direction of the meteor stream for about half a day. Fortunately

  1. Energetic Frustration of Apomyoglobin Folding: Role of the B Helix

    PubMed Central

    Nishimura, Chiaki; Dyson, H. Jane; Wright, Peter E.

    2010-01-01

    Apomyoglobin folds by a sequential mechanism in which the A, G, and H helix regions undergo rapid collapse to form a compact intermediate onto which the central portion of the B helix subsequently docks. To investigate the factors that frustrate folding, we have made mutations in the N-terminus of the B helix to stabilize helical structure (in the mutant G23A/G25A) and to promote native-like hydrophobic packing interactions with helix G (in the mutant H24L/H119F). The kinetic and equilibrium intermediates of G23A/G25A and H24L/H119F were studied by hydrogen exchange pulse labeling and interrupted hydrogen/deuterium exchange combined with NMR. For both mutants, stabilization of helical structure in the N-terminal region of the B-helix is confirmed by increased exchange protection in the equilibrium molten globule states near pH 4. Increased protection is also observed in the G-H turn region in the G23A/G25A mutant, suggesting that stabilization of the B-helix facilitates native-like interactions with the C-terminal region of helix G. These interactions are further enhanced in H24L/H119F. The kinetic burst phase intermediates of both mutants show increased protection, relative to wild type protein, of amides in the N-terminus of the B helix and in part of the E helix. Stabilization of the E helix in the intermediate is attributed to direct interactions between E helix residues and the newly stabilized N-terminus of helix B. Stabilization of native packing between the B and G helices in H24L/H119F also favors formation of native-like interactions in the GH turn and between the G and H helices in the ensemble of burst phase intermediates. We conclude that instability at the N-terminus of the B helix of apomyoglobin contributes to the energetic frustration of folding by preventing docking and stabilization of the E helix. PMID:20043917

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

    PubMed

    Smith, Brian J

    2012-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Lan-Hsin; Baker, Nicholas E.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-07-01

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

  6. 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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  8. [Effect of plant glycosides on snail neurons].

    PubMed

    Kostiuchenko, O V; Hryshkovets', V I; Koreniuk, I I

    2001-01-01

    The effect of the plant triterpene saponins on Helix pomatia neurons is investigated. It was found that monodesmosidic saponins being perfused to the extracellular solution at concentrations 2[symbol: see text] 10(-3)-10(-4) M induced persistent hyperpolarization of the neurons. By using the patch-clamp technique it was obtained that these substances increased the amplitude of the outward potassium current. At lower concentrations (10(-5)-10(-7) M) saponins either led to the transient reversible oppression of the impulse activity, or didn't change the background activity. The influence of saponins is unspecific and develops during 1-2 min. It was supposed that the effect of triterpene saponins at high concentrations was related with the appearance of nonselective holes in neuron membrane.

  9. The use of land snail shells in paleoenvironmental reconstruction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goodfriend, Glenn A.

    Fossil land snail shells constitute a valuable source of paleoenvironmental information for the Quaternary. They can be dated by a variety of methods, including radiocarbon, amino acid racemization and epimerization, and perhaps also {Th}/{U} and ESR. The vast majority of paleoenvironmental studies based on land snail shells have examined the faunal composition of fossil assemblages, from which a variety of paleoenvironmental characteristics such as biome, temperature, and moisture conditions have been reconstructed. Still, there are a number of problems involved in using this approach and these are discussed. Shell morphology has occasionally been used to reconstruct such factors as rainfall and temperature. Stable isotope studies on Quaternary land snails include: analysis of δ18O values of organic matter in the shells, to reconstruct C 4 plant distributions from which rainfall amounts can be inferred, and analysis of δ18O values of shell carbonate, from which trends in the oxygen isotope composition of rainfall can be reconstructed. Stable carbon isotopes of shell carbonate have also been studied but their interpretation is not clear. Amino acid epimerization analysis ( {dalloisoleucine }/{l-isoleucine } ratios) of land snail shells has been used for estimation of paleotemperatures. Some potential uses of land snail shells for paleoenvironmental reconstruction include the study of stable isotopes of H and N, periodic growth lines, and deposits of pedogenic carbonates on the shells.

  10. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Morii, Yuta; Prozorova, Larisa; Chiba, Satoshi

    2016-01-01

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

  12. 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...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-10-01

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

  17. Hitchhiking behaviour in the obligatory upstream migration of amphidromous snails

    PubMed Central

    Kano, Yasunori

    2009-01-01

    Migratory animals endure high stress during long-distance travel in order to benefit from spatio-temporally fluctuating resources, including food and shelter or from colonization of unoccupied habitats. Along with some fishes and shrimps, nerite snails in tropical to temperate freshwater systems are examples of amphidromous animals that migrate upstream for growth and reproduction after a marine larval phase. Here I report, to my knowledge, the first example of ‘hitchhiking’ behaviour in the obligatory migration of animals: the nerite snail Neritina asperulata appears to travel several kilometres as minute juveniles by firmly attaching to the shells of congeneric, subadult snails in streams of Melanesian Islands, presumably to increase the success rate of migration. PMID:19411267

  18. MTA3 regulates CGB5 and Snail genes in trophoblast

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-04-19

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

  19. Silicosis Caused by Chronic Inhalation of Snail Shell Powder

    PubMed Central

    Jung, Jae Woo; Lee, Byung Ook; Lee, Jae Hee; Park, Sung Woon; Kim, Bo Min; Choi, Jae Chol; Shin, Jong Wook; Park, In Won; Choi, Byoung Whui

    2012-01-01

    A 70-yr-old woman visited our hospital for shortness of breath. Chest CT showed ground glass opacity and traction bronchiectasis at right middle, lower lobe and left lingular division. Video-assisted thoracic surgical biopsy at right lower lobe and pathologic examination revealed mixed dust pneumoconiosis. Polarized optical microscopy showed lung lesions were consisted of silica and carbon materials. She was a housewife and never been exposed to silica dusts occupationally. She has taken freshwater snails as a health-promoting food for 40 yr and ground shell powder was piled up on her backyard where she spent day-time. Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy of snail shell and scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy of lung lesion revealed that silica occupies important portion. Herein, we report the first known case of silicosis due to chronic inhalation of shell powder of freshwater snail. PMID:22219621

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

    PubMed

    Boettiger, Alistair Nicol; Levine, Michael

    2013-01-31

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

  1. Effect of Hedera helix on lung histopathology in chronic asthma.

    PubMed

    Hocaoglu, Arzu Babayigit; Karaman, Ozkan; Erge, Duygu Olmez; Erbil, Guven; Yilmaz, Osman; Kivcak, Bijen; Bagriyanik, H Alper; Uzuner, Nevin

    2012-12-01

    Hedera helix is widely used to treat bronchial asthma for many years. However, effects of this herb on lung histopathology is still far from clear. We aimed to determine the effect of oral administration of Hedera helix on lung histopathology in a murine model of chronic asthma.BALB/c mice were divided into four groups; I (Placebo), II (Hedera helix), III (Dexamethasone) and IV (Control). All mice except controls were sensitized and challenged with ovalbumin. Then, mice in group I received saline, group II 100 mg/kg Hedera helix and group III 1 mg/kg dexamethasone via orogastic gavage once daily for one week. Airway histopathology was evaluated by using light and electron microscopy in all groups.Goblet cell numbers and thicknesses of basement membrane were found significantly lower in group II, but there was no statistically significant difference in terms of number of mast cells, thicknesses of epithelium and subepithelial smooth muscle layers between group I and II. When Hedera helix and dexamethasone groups were compared with each other, thickness of epithelium, subepithelial muscle layers, number of mast cells and goblet cells of group III were significantly ameliorated when compared with the group II. Although Hedera helix administration reduced only goblet cell counts and the thicknesses of basement membrane in the asthmatic airways, dexamethasone ameliorated all histopathologic parameters except thickness of basement membrane better than Hedera helix.

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

    PubMed

    Gustafson, Kyle D; Bolek, Matthew G

    2016-03-01

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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    1993-03-01

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

  5. Diagnostic utility of snail in metaplastic breast carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Metaplastic breast carcinoma (MBC) is a rare subtype of breast cancer characterized by coexistence of carcinomatous and sarcomatous components. Snail is a nuclear transcription factor incriminated in the transition of epithelial to mesenchymal differentiation of breast cancer. Aberrant Snail expression results in lost expression of the cell adhesion molecule E-cadherin, an event associated with changes in epithelial architecture and invasive growth. We aimed to identify the utility of Snail, and of traditional immunohistochemical markers, in accurate MBC classification and to evaluate clinicopathologic characteristics and outcome. We retrospectively reviewed 34 MBC cases from January 1997 to September 2007. The control group contained 26 spindle cell lesions. Immunohistochemistry used Snail, p63, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), OSCAR, and wide spectrum cytokeratin (WS-KER). Negative was a score less than 1%. We found that Snail and EGFR are sensitive (100%) markers with low specificity (3.8% and 19.2%) for detecting MBC. p63 and WS-KER are specific (100%), with moderate sensitivity (67.6% and 76.5%); OSCAR is sensitive (85.3%) and specific (92.3%). A combination of any 2 of the p63, OSCAR, and WS-KER markers increased sensitivity and specificity. MBCs tended to be high-grade (77%), triple negative (negative for estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and HER2) [27/33; 81.8%], and carcinomas with low incidence of axillary lymph node involvement (15%), and decreased disease-free [71% (95%CI: 54%, 94%) at 3 yrs.) and overall survival. A combination of p63, OSCAR and WS-KER are useful in its work-up. On the other hand, Snail is neither a diagnostic nor a prognostic marker for MBC. PMID:21110878

  6. Diagnostic utility of snail in metaplastic breast carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Nassar, Aziza; Sookhan, Nicole; Santisteban, Marta; Bryant, Sandra C; Boughey, Judy C; Giorgadze, Tamar; Degnim, Amy

    2010-11-26

    Metaplastic breast carcinoma (MBC) is a rare subtype of breast cancer characterized by coexistence of carcinomatous and sarcomatous components. Snail is a nuclear transcription factor incriminated in the transition of epithelial to mesenchymal differentiation of breast cancer. Aberrant Snail expression results in lost expression of the cell adhesion molecule E-cadherin, an event associated with changes in epithelial architecture and invasive growth. We aimed to identify the utility of Snail, and of traditional immunohistochemical markers, in accurate MBC classification and to evaluate clinicopathologic characteristics and outcome.We retrospectively reviewed 34 MBC cases from January 1997 to September 2007. The control group contained 26 spindle cell lesions. Immunohistochemistry used Snail, p63, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), OSCAR, and wide spectrum cytokeratin (WS-KER). Negative was a score less than 1%. We found that Snail and EGFR are sensitive (100%) markers with low specificity (3.8% and 19.2%) for detecting MBC. p63 and WS-KER are specific (100%), with moderate sensitivity (67.6% and 76.5%); OSCAR is sensitive (85.3%) and specific (92.3%). A combination of any 2 of the p63, OSCAR, and WS-KER markers increased sensitivity and specificity. MBCs tended to be high-grade (77%), triple negative (negative for estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and HER2) [27/33; 81.8%], and carcinomas with low incidence of axillary lymph node involvement (15%), and decreased disease-free [71% (95%CI: 54%, 94%) at 3 yrs.) and overall survival. A combination of p63, OSCAR and WS-KER are useful in its work-up. On the other hand, Snail is neither a diagnostic nor a prognostic marker for MBC.

  7. 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.

  8. 78 FR 12346 - Jennings Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Morro Shoulderband Snail, Community of Los...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-02-22

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

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1984-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Silver conical helix broadband plasmonic nanoantenna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sobhkhiz, Nader; Moshaii, Ahmad

    2014-01-01

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

  16. 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)

  17. 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.

  18. Pulling and pushing the DNA double helix

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olson, Wilma K.; Kosikov, Konstantin M.; Colasanti, Andrew; Gorin, Andrey A.; Zhurkin, Victor B.

    1999-10-01

    Systematic, computer-simulated elongation of A- and B-DNA double helices beyond the range of normal room temperature fluctuations provides new insights into recent physical manipulations of single DNA molecules. The calculations include unusual states that are energetically disfavored under equilibrium conditions but that become favored as the DNA is highly stretched or compressed. The variation of potential energy vs. stretching provides a detailed picture of cooperative conformational change that points to the possible role played by the non-canonical states. Dramatic structural changes take place as the energies of different conformers approach one another. In particular, large-scale, concerted changes in base pair inclination, brought about by changes in backbone and glycosyl torsions, offer a model of the observed sharp increase in force required to stretch single DNA molecules more than 1.6 times their canonical extension. Small degrees of over- and under-twisting have limited effects on the over-stretching transition, but influence local "melting" of the double helix. The energy landscapes of the systems evaluated here reveal the energetically economical pathways for molecular deformations operative in DNA processing, such as recombination and transcription.

  19. 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)

  20. The sliding-helix voltage sensor

    PubMed Central

    Peyser, Alexander; Nonner, Wolfgang

    2012-01-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. The mesoderm determinant snail collaborates with related zinc-finger proteins to control Drosophila neurogenesis.

    PubMed

    Ashraf, S I; Hu, X; Roote, J; Ip, Y T

    1999-11-15

    The Snail protein functions as a transcriptional regulator to establish early mesodermal cell fate. Later, in germ band-extended embryos, Snail is also expressed in most neuroblasts. Here we present evidence that this expression of Snail is required for central nervous system (CNS) development. The neural function of snail is masked by two closely linked genes, escargot and worniu. Both Escargot and Worniu contain zinc-finger domains that are highly homologous to that of Snail. Although not affecting expression of early neuroblast markers, the deletion of the region containing all three genes correlates with loss of expression of CNS determinants including fushi tarazu, pdm-2 and even-skipped. Transgenic expression of each of the three Snail family proteins can rescue efficiently the fushi tarazu defects, and partially the pdm-2 and even-skipped CNS patterns. These results demonstrate that the Snail family proteins have essential functions during embryonic CNS development, around the time of ganglion mother cell formation.

  6. Structural alignment of RNA with triple helix structure.

    PubMed

    Wong, Thomas K F; Yiu, S M

    2012-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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

  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. Molecular diversity of avian schistosomes in Danish freshwater snails.

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  11. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-03-01

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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  18. 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

  19. Modulation of basic helix-loop-helix transcription complex formation by Id proteins during neuronal differentiation.

    PubMed

    Jögi, Annika; Persson, Paula; Grynfeld, Anna; Påhlman, Sven; Axelson, Håkan

    2002-03-15

    It is assumed that the Id helix-loop-helix (HLH) proteins act by associating with ubiquitously expressed basic HLH (bHLH) transcription factors, such as E47 and E2-2, which prevents these factors from forming functional hetero- or homodimeric DNA binding complexes. Several tissue-specific bHLH proteins, including HASH-1, dHAND, and HES-1, are important for development of the nervous system. Neuroblastoma tumors are derived from the sympathetic nervous system and exhibit neural crest features. In differentiating neuroblastoma cells, HASH-1 is down-regulated, and there is coincident up-regulation of the transcriptional repressor HES-1, which is known to bind the HASH-1 promoter. We found that the three Id proteins expressed in neuroblastoma cells (Id1, Id2, and Id3) were down-regulated during induced differentiation, indicating that Id proteins help keep the tumor cells in an undifferentiated state. Studying interactions, we noted that all four Id proteins could dimerize with E47 or E2-2, but not with HASH-1 or dHAND. However, the Id proteins did complex with HES-1, and increased levels of Id2 reduced the DNA binding activity of HES-1. Furthermore, HES-1 interfered with Id2/E2-2 complex formation. The ability of Id proteins to affect HES-1 activity is of particular interest in neuronal cells, where regulation of HES-1 is essential for the timing of neuronal differentiation.

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-04

    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. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2002-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Ledent, Valérie; Vervoort, Michel

    2001-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-18

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1995-09-11

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-29

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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Liu, Wuyi; Li, Fengmei

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

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

  15. Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factor Gene Family Phylogenetics and Nomenclature

    PubMed Central

    Skinner, Michael K.; Rawls, Alan; Wilson-Rawls, Jeanne; Roalson, Eric H.

    2010-01-01

    A phylogenetic analysis of the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) gene superfamily was performed using seven different species (human, mouse, rat, worm, fly, yeast, and plant Arabidopsis) and involving over 600 bHLH genes [1]. All bHLH genes were identified in the genomes of the various species, including expressed sequence tags, and the entire coding sequence was used in the analysis. Nearly 15% of the gene family has been updated or added since the original publication. A super-tree involving six clades and all structural relationships was established and is now presented for four of the species. The wealth of functional data available for members of the bHLH gene superfamily provides us with the opportunity to use this exhaustive phylogenetic tree to predict potential functions of uncharacterized members of the family. This phylogenetic and genomic analysis of the bHLH gene family has revealed unique elements of the evolution and functional relationships of the different genes in the bHLH gene family. PMID:20219281

  16. Id Helix-Loop-Helix Proteins Antagonize Pax Transcription Factor Activity by Inhibiting DNA Binding

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, E. Claire; Deed, Richard W.; Inoue, Toshiaki; Norton, John D.; Sharrocks, Andrew D.

    2001-01-01

    The Id subfamily of helix-loop-helix (HLH) proteins plays a fundamental role in the regulation of cellular proliferation and differentiation. The major mechanism by which Id proteins are thought to inhibit differentiation is through interaction with other HLH proteins and inhibition of their DNA-binding activity. However, Id proteins have also been shown to interact with other proteins involved in regulating cellular proliferation and differentiation, suggesting a more widespread regulatory function. In this study we demonstrate functional interactions between Id proteins and members of the Pax-2/-5/-8 subfamily of paired-domain transcription factors. Members of the Pax transcription factor family have key functions in regulating several developmental processes exemplified by B lymphopoiesis, in which Pax-5 plays an essential role. Id proteins bind to Pax proteins in vitro and in vivo. Binding occurs through the paired DNA-binding domain of the Pax proteins and results in the disruption of DNA-bound complexes containing Pax-2, Pax-5, and Pax-8. In vivo, Id proteins modulate the transcriptional activity mediated by Pax-5 complexes on the B-cell-specific mb-1 promoter. Our results therefore demonstrate a novel facet of Id function in regulating cellular differentiation by functionally antagonizing the action of members of the Pax transcription factor family. PMID:11134340

  17. Nanoparticle biofabrication using English ivy (Hedera helix).

    PubMed

    Burris, Jason N; Lenaghan, Scott C; Zhang, Mingjun; Stewart, C Neal

    2012-10-24

    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. 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. 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.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

    We present a large-scale molecular phylogeny that includes 320 of the 761 recognized valid species of the cone snails (Conus), one of the most diverse groups of marine molluscs, based on three mitochondrial genes (COI, 16S rDNA and 12S rDNA). This is the first phylogeny of the taxon to employ concatenated sequences of several genes, and it includes more than twice as many species as the last published molecular phylogeny of the entire group nearly a decade ago. Most of the numerous molecular phylogenies published during the last 15years are limited to rather small fractions of its species diversity. Bayesian and maximum likelihood analyses are mostly congruent and confirm the presence of three previously reported highly divergent lineages among cone snails, and one identified here using molecular data. About 85% of the species cluster in the single Large Major Clade; the others are divided between the Small Major Clade (∼12%), the Conus californicus lineage (one species), and a newly defined clade (∼3%). We also define several subclades within the Large and Small major clades, but most of their relationships remain poorly supported. To illustrate the usefulness of molecular phylogenies in addressing specific evolutionary questions, we analyse the evolution of the diet, the biogeography and the toxins of cone snails. All cone snails whose feeding biology is known inject venom into large prey animals and swallow them whole. Predation on polychaete worms is inferred as the ancestral state, and diet shifts to molluscs and fishes occurred rarely. The ancestor of cone snails probably originated from the Indo-Pacific; rather few colonisations of other biogeographic provinces have probably occurred. A new classification of the Conidae, based on the molecular phylogeny, is published in an accompanying paper. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Snail heterogeneity in clear cell renal cell carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Zaldumbide, Laura; Erramuzpe, Asier; Guarch, Rosa; Pulido, Rafael; Cortés, Jesús M; López, José I

    2016-03-08

    Intratumor heterogeneity may be responsible of the unpredictable aggressive clinical behavior that some clear cell renal cell carcinomas display. This clinical uncertainty may be caused by insufficient sampling, leaving out of histological analysis foci of high grade tumor areas. Although molecular approaches are providing important information on renal intratumor heterogeneity, a focus on this topic from the practicing pathologist' perspective is still pending. Four distant tumor areas of 40 organ-confined clear cell renal cell carcinomas were selected for histopathological and immunohistochemical evaluation. Tumor size, cell type (clear/granular), Fuhrman's grade, Staging, as well as immunostaining with Snail, ZEB1, Twist, Vimentin, E-cadherin, β-catenin, PTEN, p-Akt, p110α, and SETD2, were analyzed for intratumor heterogeneity using a classification and regression tree algorithm. Cell type and Fuhrman's grade were heterogeneous in 12.5 and 60 % of the tumors, respectively. If cell type was homogeneous (clear cell) then the tumors were low-grade in 88.57 % of cases. Immunostaining heterogeneity was significant in the series and oscillated between 15 % for p110α and 80 % for Snail. When Snail immunostaining was homogeneous the tumor was histologically homogeneous in 100 % of cases. If Snail was heterogeneous, the tumor was heterogeneous in 75 % of the cases. Average tumor diameter was 4.3 cm. Tumors larger than 3.7 cm were heterogeneous for Vimentin immunostaining in 72.5 % of cases. Tumors displaying negative immunostaining for both ZEB1 and Twist were low grade in 100 % of the cases. Intratumor heterogeneity is a common event in clear cell renal cell carcinoma, which can be monitored by immunohistochemistry in routine practice. Snail seems to be particularly useful in the identification of intratumor heterogeneity. The suitability of current sampling protocols in renal cancer is discussed.

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

    PubMed

    Perry, D M

    1987-06-01

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

  3. 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).

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1992-01-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Gommerat, I; Gola, M

    1994-03-01

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

  7. Na+ and Ca2+ cooperatively down regulate the A-type potassium currents in Helix neurons.

    PubMed

    Erdélyi, L

    1995-01-01

    Modulatory actions of Na+, Tris+, Li+ and Ca2+ on A-type potassium currents were investigated in identified neurons of the snail, Helix pomatia L. A-currents were isolated under spike threshold voltages by use of the double pulse method in combination with computer techniques. To estimate the action of Na+ on A-type potassium currents the normal physiological solution was changed to Na-free (mannitol) medium which increased the amplitude of the A-currents at -30 mV membrane potential by 20.5% without significant modulation of the time-dependent inactivation. When Tris-HCl or LiCl substituted for NaCl, the amplitude of the A-currents decreased by 27.5 or 32.5%, respectively. Li+ did not modify the time constant of decay of the A-currents, but Tris+ decreased it by 15.8%. There was an increase of the amplitude of the A-currents in the Na-, Ca-free (Tris) medium relative to the Na-free (Tris) solution by 27.7% and a decrease of the time constant of decay by 25.3%. It is concluded that A-currents are down regulated by Na+ and Ca2+ under physiological circumstances, but the modulatory action of Ca2+ is more complex and influences the amplitude, time-dependent inactivation and potential-dependent inactivation characteristics of IA. Among monovalent cations, the A-current attenuation increases in the sequence of Na+ < Tris+ < Li+. All identified neurons react in a similar way but with different sensitivities.

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-10-15

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

  10. 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.

  11. [Effect of schistosomiasis control projects in Hexi Reservoir on Oncomelania snail control].

    PubMed

    Xu, Feng-Ming; Zhang, Liu-Hong; Lu, Hong-Mei; Qin, Jia-Sheng; Cao, Wei-Min; Xie, Guang-Ping

    2014-02-01

    To evaluate the effect of schistosomiasis control projects in Hexi Reservoir on Oncomelania hupensis snail control. The canal hardening + main water system widening + the overflow dam project, the concrete slope protection, the banking and reclamation + concrete slope protection project, the environment reform project, and the comprehensive treatment were implemented in the tail area, the hydro-fluctuation belt, the rainwater harvesting zoon of the upstream area, the dam area, and the downstream area of the reservoir, respectively. The changes of the snail situation were investigated before and after the construction of the reservoir, and the snail control effects of the schistosomiasis control projects in different parts of the reservoir were analyzed. There were no Oncomelania snails found 3 years in the bottom area, dam area, hydro-fluctuation belt, tail region and downstream of the dam after the construction and storage of the reservoir and the implementation of the schistosomiasis control projects. In the rainwater harvesting zoon of the upstream area, the density of living snails decreased from 0.620 4 snails/0.1 m2 in 2009 to 0.113 2 snails/0.1 m2 in 2013, but the snail area still remained. The schistosomiasis control projects in Hexi Reservoir have effectively prevented the diffusion of Oncomelania snails from the rainwater harvesting zone of the upstream area to the dam area, and they are effective in the snail control.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ittiprasert, Wannaporn; Knight, Matty

    2012-01-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Berisio, Rita; Vitagliano, Luigi

    2012-12-01

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

  17. Polyproline and Triple Helix Motifs in Host-Pathogen Recognition

    PubMed Central

    Berisio, Rita; Vitagliano, Luigi

    2012-01-01

    Secondary structure elements often mediate protein-protein interactions. Despite their low abundance in folded proteins, polyproline II (PPII) and its variant, the triple helix, are frequently involved in protein-protein interactions, likely due to their peculiar propensity to be solvent-exposed. We here review the role of PPII and triple helix in mediating host-pathogen interactions, with a particular emphasis to the structural aspects of these processes. After a brief description of the basic structural features of these elements, examples of host-pathogen interactions involving these motifs are illustrated. Literature data suggest that the role played by PPII motif in these processes is twofold. Indeed, PPII regions may directly mediate interactions between proteins of the host and the pathogen. Alternatively, PPII may act as structural spacers needed for the correct positioning of the elements needed for adhesion and infectivity. Recent investigations have highlighted that collagen triple helix is also a common target for bacterial adhesins. Although structural data on complexes between adhesins and collagen models are rather limited, experimental and theoretical studies have unveiled some interesting clues of the recognition process. Interestingly, very recent data show that not only is the triple helix used by pathogens as a target in the host-pathogen interaction but it may also act as a bait in these processes since bacterial proteins containing triple helix regions have been shown to interact with host proteins. As both PPII and triple helix expose several main chain non-satisfied hydrogen bond acceptors and donors, both elements are highly solvated. The preservation of the solvation state of both PPII and triple helix upon protein-protein interaction is an emerging aspect that will be here thoroughly discussed. PMID:23305370

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-10-15

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

  1. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Hai-Ling Hsu; Lan Huang; Julia Tsou Tsan

    1994-02-01

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

  3. 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

  4. The helix bundle: A reversible lipid binding motif

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  5. 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. IFITM3 requires an amphipathic helix for antiviral activity.

    PubMed

    Chesarino, Nicholas M; Compton, Alex A; McMichael, Temet M; Kenney, Adam D; Zhang, Lizhi; Soewarna, Victoria; Davis, Matthew; Schwartz, Olivier; Yount, Jacob S

    2017-10-01

    Interferon-induced transmembrane protein 3 (IFITM3) is a cellular factor that blocks virus fusion with cell membranes. IFITM3 has been suggested to alter membrane curvature and fluidity, though its exact mechanism of action is unclear. Using a bioinformatic approach, we predict IFITM3 secondary structures and identify a highly conserved, short amphipathic helix within a hydrophobic region of IFITM3 previously thought to be a transmembrane domain. Consistent with the known ability of amphipathic helices to alter membrane properties, we show that this helix and its amphipathicity are required for the IFITM3-dependent inhibition of influenza virus, Zika virus, vesicular stomatitis virus, Ebola virus, and human immunodeficiency virus infections. The homologous amphipathic helix within IFITM1 is also required for the inhibition of infection, indicating that IFITM proteins possess a conserved mechanism of antiviral action. We further demonstrate that the amphipathic helix of IFITM3 is required to block influenza virus hemagglutinin-mediated membrane fusion. Overall, our results provide evidence that IFITM proteins utilize an amphipathic helix for inhibiting virus fusion. © 2017 The Authors.

  7. Residue-Specific α-Helix Propensities from Molecular Simulation

    PubMed Central

    Best, Robert B.; de Sancho, David; Mittal, Jeetain

    2012-01-01

    Formation of α-helices is a fundamental process in protein folding and assembly. By studying helix formation in molecular simulations of a series of alanine-based peptides, we obtain the temperature-dependent α-helix propensities of all 20 naturally occurring residues with two recent additive force fields, Amber ff03w and Amber ff99SB∗. Encouragingly, we find that the overall helix propensity of many residues is captured well by both energy functions, with Amber ff99SB∗ being more accurate. Nonetheless, there are some residues that deviate considerably from experiment, which can be attributed to two aspects of the energy function: i), variations of the charge model used to determine the atomic partial charges, with residues whose backbone charges differ most from alanine tending to have the largest error; ii), side-chain torsion potentials, as illustrated by the effect of modifications to the torsion angles of I, L, D, N. We find that constrained refitting of residue charges for charged residues in Amber ff99SB∗ significantly improves their helix propensity. The resulting parameters should more faithfully reproduce helix propensities in simulations of protein folding and disordered proteins. PMID:22455930

  8. Sample Extraction Bsaed on Helix Scattering for Polarimetric SAR Calibratio

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Y.; Yang, J.; Li, P.; Zhao, L.; Shi, L.

    2017-09-01

    Polarimetric calibration (PolCAL) of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images is a significant preprocessing for further applications. Since the reflection symmetry property of distributed objects can provide stable constraints for PolCAL. It is reasonable to extract these reference samples before calibration. The helix scattering generally appears in complex urban area and disappears for a natural scatterer, making it a good measure to extract distributed objects. In this paper, a novel technique that extracts reflecting symmetry samples is proposed by using helix scattering. The helix scattering information is calculated by Yamaguchi four-component decomposition algorithm. An adaptive threshold selection algorithm based on generalized Gaussian distribution is also utilized to scale the helix scattering components automatically, getting rid of the problem of various numerical range. The extracting results will be taken as PolCAL reference samples and the Quegan method are utilized to calibrate these PolSAR images. A C-band airborne PolSAR data was taken as examples to evaluate its ability in improving calibration precision. Traditional method i.e. extracting samples with span power was also evaluated as contrast experiment. The results showed that the samples extracting method based on helix scattering can improve the Polcal precision preferably.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Arsenic transfer and impacts on snails exposed to stabilized and untreated As-contaminated soils.

    PubMed

    Coeurdassier, M; Scheifler, R; Mench, M; Crini, N; Vangronsveld, J; de Vaufleury, A

    2010-06-01

    An As-contaminated soil (Unt) was amended with either iron grit (Z), a coal fly ash (beringite, B) or B + Z (BZ) and placed in lysimeters in 1997. An uncontaminated soil (R) was also studied. In summer and autumn 2003, lettuces were cultivated in the lysimeters and snails were caged for one month. Lettuce As concentrations were higher during the summer, while no differences occurred in snails between seasons. Snail As concentrations (microg g(-1) DW) ranged from 2.5 to 7.0 in B, Z and BZ, and peaked at 17.5 in Unt. In summer, snail survival was affected in Unt and Z compared to R and B while no mortality was noticed in autumn. Snail growth decreased only in B, BZ and Unt in autumn. Snail As concentrations suggest a risk for their predators even on the remediated soils. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-04-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Yang, Xiangshan; Shi, Ranran; Zhang, Jing

    2016-01-01

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

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-01-01

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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

    Athawale, Madhura S; Reddy, S Raghupathi Rami

    2002-11-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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