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Sample records for identify active grazers

  1. Use of stable isotope-labelled cells to identify active grazers of picocyanobacteria in ocean surface waters

    PubMed Central

    Frias-Lopez, Jorge; Thompson, Anne; Waldbauer, Jacob; Chisholm, Sallie W

    2009-01-01

    Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus are the two most abundant marine cyanobacteria. They represent a significant fraction of the total primary production of the world oceans and comprise a major fraction of the prey biomass available to phagotrophic protists. Despite relatively rapid growth rates, picocyanobacterial cell densities in open-ocean surface waters remain fairly constant, implying steady mortality due to viral infection and consumption by predators. There have been several studies on grazing by specific protists on Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus in culture, and of cell loss rates due to overall grazing in the field. However, the specific sources of mortality of these primary producers in the wild remain unknown. Here, we use a modification of the RNA stable isotope probing technique (RNA-SIP), which involves adding labelled cells to natural seawater, to identify active predators that are specifically consuming Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus in the surface waters of the Pacific Ocean. Four major groups were identified as having their 18S rRNA highly labelled: Prymnesiophyceae (Haptophyta), Dictyochophyceae (Stramenopiles), Bolidomonas (Stramenopiles) and Dinoflagellata (Alveolata). For the first three of these, the closest relative of the sequences identified was a photosynthetic organism, indicating the presence of mixotrophs among picocyanobacterial predators. We conclude that the use of RNA-SIP is a useful method to identity specific predators for picocyanobacteria in situ, and that the method could possibly be used to identify other bacterial predators important in the microbial food-web. PMID:19196281

  2. Use of stable isotope-labelled cells to identify active grazers of picocyanobacteria in ocean surface waters.

    PubMed

    Frias-Lopez, Jorge; Thompson, Anne; Waldbauer, Jacob; Chisholm, Sallie W

    2009-02-01

    Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus are the two most abundant marine cyanobacteria. They represent a significant fraction of the total primary production of the world oceans and comprise a major fraction of the prey biomass available to phagotrophic protists. Despite relatively rapid growth rates, picocyanobacterial cell densities in open-ocean surface waters remain fairly constant, implying steady mortality due to viral infection and consumption by predators. There have been several studies on grazing by specific protists on Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus in culture, and of cell loss rates due to overall grazing in the field. However, the specific sources of mortality of these primary producers in the wild remain unknown. Here, we use a modification of the RNA stable isotope probing technique (RNA-SIP), which involves adding labelled cells to natural seawater, to identify active predators that are specifically consuming Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus in the surface waters of the Pacific Ocean. Four major groups were identified as having their 18S rRNA highly labelled: Prymnesiophyceae (Haptophyta), Dictyochophyceae (Stramenopiles), Bolidomonas (Stramenopiles) and Dinoflagellata (Alveolata). For the first three of these, the closest relative of the sequences identified was a photosynthetic organism, indicating the presence of mixotrophs among picocyanobacterial predators. We conclude that the use of RNA-SIP is a useful method to identity specific predators for picocyanobacteria in situ, and that the method could possibly be used to identify other bacterial predators important in the microbial food-web.

  3. How do grazers affect periphyton heterogeneity in streams?

    PubMed

    Alvarez, Maruxa; Peckarsky, Barbara L

    2005-02-01

    The effects of grazing by stream invertebrates on algal biomass and spatial heterogeneity were tested experimentally in flow-through microcosms with natural substrates (rocks). One experiment tested the effects of fixed densities of three species of grazers (the caddisfly Allomyia sp. and two mayflies, Epeorus deceptivus and Baetis bicaudatus) on periphyton. Baetis was tested with and without chemical cues from fish predators, which reduced grazer foraging activity to levels similar to the less mobile mayfly (Epeorus). Mean algal biomass (chlorophyll a; chl a) was reduced in grazer treatments compared to ungrazed controls, but there were no differences among grazer treatments. Algal heterogeneity (Morisita index) increased with grazer mobility, with the highest heterogeneity occurring in the Baetis-no fish treatment (most mobile grazer) and the lowest in the caddisfly treatment (most sedentary grazer). A second experiment used a three factorial design, and tested whether initial resource distribution (homogeneous vs. heterogeneous), Baetis density (high vs. low) and fish odor (present vs. absent) affected grazer impact on algal resources. Abundances of Baetis and chl a on individual rocks were recorded to explore the mechanisms responsible for the observed distributions of algae. Initial resource heterogeneity was maintained despite being subjected to grazing. Mean chl a was highest in controls, as in experiment I, and effects of Baetis on algal biomass increased with grazer density. There were no fish effects on algal biomass and no effects of grazer density or fish on algal heterogeneity. At the scale of individual rocks Baetis was unselective when food was homogeneously distributed, but chose high-food rocks when it was heterogeneously distributed. Results of these mechanistic experiments showed that Baetis can track resources at the scale of single rocks; and at moderate densities mobile grazers could potentially maintain periphyton distributions observed in

  4. Identification of ciliate grazers of autotrophic bacteria in ammonia-oxidizing activated sludge by RNA stable isotope probing.

    PubMed

    Moreno, Ana Maria; Matz, Carsten; Kjelleberg, Staffan; Manefield, Mike

    2010-04-01

    It is well understood that protozoa play a major role in controlling bacterial biomass and regulating nutrient cycling in the environment. Little is known, however, about the movement of carbon from specific reduced substrates, through functional groups of bacteria, to particular clades of protozoa. In this study we first identified the active protozoan phylotypes present in activated sludge, via the construction of an rRNA-derived eukaryote clone library. Most of the sequences identified belonged to ciliates of the subclass Peritrichia and amoebae, confirming the dominance of surface-associated protozoa in the activated sludge environment. We then demonstrated that (13)C-labeled protozoan RNA can be retrieved from activated sludge amended with (13)C-labeled protozoa or (13)C-labeled Escherichia coli cells by using an RNA stable isotope probing (RNA-SIP) approach. Finally, we used RNA-SIP to track carbon from bicarbonate and acetate into protozoa under ammonia-oxidizing and denitrifying conditions, respectively. RNA-SIP analysis revealed that the peritrich ciliate Epistylis galea dominated the acquisition of carbon from bacteria with access to CO(2) under ammonia-oxidizing conditions, while there was no evidence of specific grazing on acetate consumers under denitrifying conditions.

  5. Invertebrate grazers affect metal/metalloid fixation during litter decomposition.

    PubMed

    Schaller, Jörg; Brackhage, Carsten

    2015-01-01

    Plant litter and organic sediments are main sinks for metals and metalloids in aquatic ecosystems. The effect of invertebrates as key species in aquatic litter decomposition on metal/metalloid fixation by organic matter is described only for shredders, but for grazers as another important animal group less is known. Consequently, a laboratory batch experiment was conducted to examine the effect of invertebrate grazers (Lymnaea stagnalis L.) on metal/metalloid fixation/remobilization during aquatic litter decomposition. It could be shown that invertebrate grazers facilitate significantly the formation of smaller sizes of particulate organic matter (POM), as shown previously for invertebrate shredders. The metal/metalloid binding capacity of these smaller particles of POM is higher compared to leaf litter residuals. But element enrichment is not as high as shown previously for the effect by invertebrate shredders. Invertebrate grazers enhance also the mobilization of selected elements to the water, in the range also proven for invertebrate shredders but different for the different elements. Nonetheless invertebrate grazers activity during aquatic litter decomposition leads to a metal/metalloid fixation into leaf litter as part of sediment organic matter. Hence, the effect of invertebrate grazers on metal/metalloid fixation/remobilization contrasts partly with former assessments revealing the possibility of an enhanced metal/metalloid fixation.

  6. Reconstructing Grazer Assemblages for Protected Area Restoration

    PubMed Central

    Venter, Jan A.; Prins, Herbert H. T.; Balfour, David A.; Slotow, Rob

    2014-01-01

    Protected area management agencies often struggle to reliably reconstruct grazer assemblages due to a lack of historical distribution data for their regions. Wrong predictions of grazing assemblages could potentially affect biodiversity negatively. The objective of the study was to determine how well grazing herbivores have become established since introduction to the Mkambati Nature Reserve, South Africa, how this was influenced by facilitation and competition, and how indigenous grazer assemblages can best be predicted for effective ecological restoration. Population trends of several grazing species were investigated in in order to determine how well they have become established since introduction. Five different conceivable grazing assemblages reflecting a range of approaches that are commonly encountered during conservation planning and management decision making were assessed. Species packing was used to predict whether facilitation, competition or co-existence were more likely to occur, and the species packing of the different assemblages were assessed using ANCOVA. Reconstructing a species assemblage using biogeographic and biological information provides the opportunity for a grazer assemblage that allows for facilitatory effects, which in turn leads to an ecosystem that is able to maintain its grazer assemblage structure. The strength of this approach lies in the ability to overcome the problem of depauperate grazer assemblages, resulting from a lack of historical data, by using biogeographical and biological processes, to assist in more effectively reconstructing grazer assemblages. Adaptive management of grazer assemblage restoration through reintroduction, using this approach would further mitigate management risks. PMID:24603663

  7. Interactions between planktonic microalgae and protozoan grazers.

    PubMed

    Tillmann, Urban

    2004-01-01

    For an algal bloom to develop, the growth rate of the bloom-forming species must exceed the sum of all loss processes. Among these loss processes, grazing is generally believed to be one of the more important factors. Based on numerous field studies, it is now recognized that microzooplankton are dominant consumers of phytoplankton in both open ocean and coastal waters. Heterotrophic protists, a major component of microzooplankton communities, constitute a vast complex of diverse feeding strategies and behavior which allow them access to even the larger phytoplankton species. A number of laboratory studies have shown the capability of different protistan species to feed and grow on bloom-forming algal species. Because of short generation times, their ability for fast reaction to short-term variation in food conditions enables phagotrophic protists to fulfill the function of a heterotrophic buffer, which might balance the flow of matter in case of phytoplankton blooms. The importance of grazing as a control of microalgae becomes most apparent by its failure; if community grazing controls initial stages of bloom development, there simply is no bloom. However, if a certain algal species is difficult to graze, e.g. due to specific defense mechanisms, reduced grazing pressure will certainly favor bloom development. The present contribution will provide a general overview on the interactions between planktonic microalgae and protozoan grazers with special emphasis on species-specific interactions and algal defense strategies against protozoan grazers.

  8. Hydrologic drivers and controls of stream biofilm-grazer interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ceola, S.; Bertuzzo, E.; Mari, L.; Botter, G.; Hödl, I.; Battin, T.; Rinaldo, A.

    2012-04-01

    Understanding the dynamics of fluvial ecosystems linked to hydrology is one of the most important challenges of ecohydrology. In fact, streamflow, which chiefly relies on rainfall, climate, land use and geomorphologic properties, plays a fundamental role in sustaining and regulating fluvial ecosystem integrity. To analyze possible implications of hydrological fluctuations on the biofilm-grazer interaction, an experimental campaign has been conducted between June and September 2011 at the Wasser Cluster Lunz, in Lunz am See (AU). 36 flumes have been used to perform biofilm growth and grazing activity under two distinct discharge conditions (i.e., constant and stochastic discharge regimes) and four different light regimes (from natural light conditions to nearly 70% attenuation). Experimental results concerning (i) dynamics of biofilm growth, (ii) grazing effect, and (iii) grazing rate will be presented. Results of performed statistical analysis for testing the effects of discharge treatment and light regime on the grazing rate will be also discussed.

  9. Monitoring and Modeling the Impact of Grazers Using Visual, Remote and Traditional Field Techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roadknight, C. M.; Marshall, I. W.; Rose, R. J.

    2009-04-01

    The relationship between wild and domestic animals and the landscape they graze upon is important to soil erosion studies because they are a strong influence on vegetation cover (a key control on the rate of overland flow runoff), and also because the grazers contribute directly to sediment transport via carriage and indirectly by exposing fresh soil by trampling and burrowing/excavating. Quantifying the impacts of these effects on soil erosion and their dependence on grazing intensity, in complex semi-natural habitats has proved difficult. This is due to lack of manpower to collect sufficient data and weak standardization of data collection between observers. The advent of cheaper and more sophisticated digital camera technology and GPS tracking devices has lead to an increase in the amount of habitat monitoring information that is being collected. We report on the use of automated trail cameras to continuously capture images of grazer (sheep, rabbits, deer) activity in a variety of habitats at the Moor House nature reserve in northern England. As well as grazer activity these cameras also give valuable information on key climatic soil erosion factors such as snow, rain and wind and plant growth and thus allow the importance of a range of grazer activities and the grazing intensity to be estimated. GPS collars and more well established survey methods (erosion monitoring, dung counting and vegetation surveys) are being used to generate a detailed representation of land usage and plan camera siting. This paper describes the data collection techniques, outlines the quantitative and qualitative data collected and proposes online and offline systems that can reduce the data processing time and increase focus on important subsets in the collected data. We also present a land usage model that estimates grazing intensity, grazer behaviours and their impact on soil coverage at sites where cameras have not been deployed, based on generalising from camera sites to other

  10. Identifying Crucial Parameter Correlations Maintaining Bursting Activity

    PubMed Central

    Doloc-Mihu, Anca; Calabrese, Ronald L.

    2014-01-01

    Recent experimental and computational studies suggest that linearly correlated sets of parameters (intrinsic and synaptic properties of neurons) allow central pattern-generating networks to produce and maintain their rhythmic activity regardless of changing internal and external conditions. To determine the role of correlated conductances in the robust maintenance of functional bursting activity, we used our existing database of half-center oscillator (HCO) model instances of the leech heartbeat CPG. From the database, we identified functional activity groups of burster (isolated neuron) and half-center oscillator model instances and realistic subgroups of each that showed burst characteristics (principally period and spike frequency) similar to the animal. To find linear correlations among the conductance parameters maintaining functional leech bursting activity, we applied Principal Component Analysis (PCA) to each of these four groups. PCA identified a set of three maximal conductances (leak current, Leak; a persistent K current, K2; and of a persistent Na+ current, P) that correlate linearly for the two groups of burster instances but not for the HCO groups. Visualizations of HCO instances in a reduced space suggested that there might be non-linear relationships between these parameters for these instances. Experimental studies have shown that period is a key attribute influenced by modulatory inputs and temperature variations in heart interneurons. Thus, we explored the sensitivity of period to changes in maximal conductances of Leak, K2, and P, and we found that for our realistic bursters the effect of these parameters on period could not be assessed because when varied individually bursting activity was not maintained. PMID:24945358

  11. Grazers, producer stoichiometry, and the light : nutrient hypothesis revisited.

    PubMed

    Hall, Spencer R; Leibold, Mathew A; Lytle, David A; Smith, Val H

    2007-05-01

    The stoichiometric light:nutrient hypothesis (LNH) links the relative supplies of key resources with the nutrient content of tissues of producers. This resource-driven variation in producer stoichiometry, in turn, can mediate the efficiency of grazing. Typically, discussions of the LNH attribute this resource-stoichiometry link to bottom-up effects of light and phosphorus, which are mediated through producer physiology. Emphasis on bottom-up effects implies that grazers must consume food of quality solely determined by resource supply to ecosystems (i.e., they eat what they are served). Here, we expand upon this largely bottom-up interpretation with evidence from pond surveys, a mesocosm experiment, and a model. Data from shallow ponds showed the "LNH pattern" (positive correlation of an index of light : phosphorus supply with algal carbon : phosphorus content). However, algal carbon : phosphorus content also declined as zooplankton biomass increased in the ponds. The experiment and model confirmed that this latter correlation was partially caused by the various bottom-up and top-down roles of grazers: the LNH pattern emerged only in treatments with crustacean grazers, not those without them. Furthermore, model and experiment clarified that another bottom-up factor, natural covariation of nitrogen : phosphorus ratios with light : phosphorus supply (as seen in ponds), does not likely contribute to the LNH pattern. Finally, the experiment produced correlations between shifts in species composition of algae, partially driven by grazing effects of crustaceans, and algal stoichiometry. These shifts in species composition might shape stoichiometric response of producer assemblages to resource supply and grazing, but their consequences remain largely unexplored. Thus, this study accentuated the importance of grazing for the LNH; de-emphasized a potentially confounding, bottom-up factor (covarying nitrogen : phosphorus supply); and highlighted an avenue for future research

  12. The impact of exploiting grazers (Scaridae) on the dynamics of Caribbean coral reefs.

    PubMed

    Mumby, Peter J

    2006-04-01

    Coral reefs provide a number of ecosystem services including coastal defense from storms, the generation of building materials, and fisheries. It is increasingly clear that the management of reef resources requires an ecosystem approach in which extractive activities are weighed against the needs of the ecosystem and its functions rather than solely those of the fishery. Here, I use a spatially explicit simulation model of a Caribbean coral reef to examine the ecosystem requirements for grazing which is primarily conducted by parrotfishes (Scaridae). The model allows the impact of fishing grazers to be assessed in the wider context of other ecosystem processes including coral-algal competition, hurricanes, and mass extinction of the herbivorous urchin Diadema antillarum. Using a new analytical model of scarid grazing, it is estimated that parrotfishes can only maintain between 10% and 30% of a structurally complex forereef in a grazed state. Predictions from this grazing model were then incorporated into a broader simulation model of the ecosystem. Simulations predict that scarid grazing is unable to maintain high levels of coral cover (> or = 30%) when severe hurricanes occur on a decadal basis, such as occurs in parts of the northern Caribbean. However, reefs can withstand such intense disturbance when grazing is undertaken by both scarids and the urchin Diadema. Scarid grazing is predicted to allow recovery from hurricanes when their incidence falls to 20 years or less (e.g., most of Central and South America). Sensitivity analyses revealed that scarid grazing had the most acute impact on model behavior, and depletion led to the emergence of a stable, algal-dominated community state. Under conditions of heavy grazer depletion, coral cover was predicted to decline rapidly from an initial level of 30% to less than 1% within 40 years, even when hurricane frequency was low at 60 years. Depleted grazers caused a population bottleneck in juvenile corals in which algal

  13. Dynamics of a producer-grazer model incorporating the effects of excess food nutrient content on grazer's growth.

    PubMed

    Peace, Angela; Wang, Hao; Kuang, Yang

    2014-09-01

    Modeling under the framework of ecological stoichiometric allows the investigation of the effects of food quality on food web population dynamics. Recent discoveries in ecological stoichiometry suggest that grazer dynamics are affected by insufficient food nutrient content (low phosphorus (P)/carbon (C) ratio) as well as excess food nutrient content (high P:C). This phenomenon is known as the "stoichiometric knife edge." While previous models have captured this phenomenon, they do not explicitly track P in the producer or in the media that supports the producer, which brings questions to the validity of their predictions. Here, we extend a Lotka-Volterra-type stoichiometric model by mechanistically deriving and tracking P in the producer and free P in the environment in order to investigate the growth response of Daphnia to algae of varying P:C ratios. Bifurcation analysis and numerical simulations of the full model, that explicitly tracks phosphorus, lead to quantitative different predictions than previous models that neglect to track free nutrients. The full model shows that the fate of the grazer population can be very sensitive to excess nutrient concentrations. Dynamical free nutrient pool seems to induce extreme grazer population density changes when total nutrient is in an intermediate range. PMID:25124765

  14. Identifying physical activity gender differences among youth

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Physical activity (PA) is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and reduces risk of certain chronic diseases. Many youth do not currently meet PA guidelines; evidence suggests that girls are less active than boys are at all ages. PA differences need to be understood, so that gender-specific inter...

  15. Grazer Effects on Stream Primary Production and Nitrate Utilization: Estimating Feedbacks Under Reduced Nitrate Levels at High-Temporal Resolutions from the Patch to Reach-Scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reijo, C. J.; Cohen, M. J.

    2015-12-01

    While nutrient enrichment is often identified as the leading cause for changes in stream gross primary production (GPP) and shifts in vegetative communities, other factors such as grazers influence overall stream structure and function. Evidence shows that grazers are a top-down control on algae in streams; however, the specific feedbacks between overall stream metabolism, grazer effects, and nutrient cycling have been variable and little is known about these interactions at nutrient levels below ambient. To further our understanding of these linkages, a nutrient depletion chamber was created and paired with high-resolution in situ sensors to estimate stream metabolism and characterize nitrate uptake (UNO3) pathways (i.e. plant uptake and denitrification). The Plexiglas chamber blocks flow and nutrient supply, inserts into upper sediments, allows light in and sediment-water-air interactions to occur. At Gum Slough Springs, FL, nitrate was reduced from ambient levels (1.40 mg N/L) to below regulatory thresholds (ca. 0.20 mg N/L) within one week. Paired chambers with and without the presence of snails (Elimia floridensis) were deployed across submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV; Vallisneria americana) and algae (Lyngbya) substrates. Results show that GPP and UNO3 were higher under SAV (70 g O2/m2/d and 300 mg NO3/m2/d, respectively) and a general lack of nutrient limitation even at low [NO3]. Grazer effects differed by vegetation type as it alleviated the reduction of NO3 levels and GPP under SAV but enhanced the decrease of algal GPP and NO3 levels over time. Continued work includes estimating grazer effects on denitrification, quantifying snail nutrient excretion contributions, and scaling up all estimates from the patch to reach level. Overall, this study will further our understanding of grazer-production-nutrient interactions within stream systems, making it possible to predict changes in feedbacks when one part of the biotic or abiotic ecosystem is altered.

  16. Identifying Diverse Means for Assessing Physical Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perlman, Dana J.; Pearson, Phil

    2012-01-01

    Physical inactivity is of concern for the majority of age groups within the United States. Limited engagement in physical activity (PA) has been linked with an increased risk for a host of health problems, including but not limited to heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Benefits of PA are widely documented and accepted yet many people, especially…

  17. Identifying Creative Activities in Preschool Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keily, Margaret Mary

    This study compared the creative self-direction, creative behavior, and creative activities of preschool children to determine if students and teachers trained in the creative process and in observation techniques can, with reliability, observe the creative potential of young children. Creative abilities of 155 children from four preschool centers…

  18. Dinosaur coprolites and the early evolution of grasses and grazers.

    PubMed

    Prasad, Vandana; Strömberg, Caroline A E; Alimohammadian, Habib; Sahni, Ashok

    2005-11-18

    Silicified plant tissues (phytoliths) preserved in Late Cretaceous coprolites from India show that at least five taxa from extant grass (Poaceae) subclades were present on the Indian subcontinent during the latest Cretaceous. This taxonomic diversity suggests that crown-group Poaceae had diversified and spread in Gondwana before India became geographically isolated. Other phytoliths extracted from the coprolites (from dicotyledons, conifers, and palms) suggest that the suspected dung producers (titanosaur sauropods) fed indiscriminately on a wide range of plants. These data also make plausible the hypothesis that gondwanatherian mammals with hypsodont cheek teeth were grazers. PMID:16293759

  19. Sublethal Ionic Liquid Concentrations Alter Grazer-Periphyton Interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans-White, M. A.; Lamberti, G. A.

    2005-05-01

    Ionic liquids (ILs) are non-volatile organic salts that are considered environmentally-friendly replacements for volatile organic compounds. While ILs will not pollute the atmosphere, they could enter aquatic ecosystems and negatively affect communities and ecosystem processes. To determine if the IL, 1-methyl-3-butylimidazolium bromide (bmimBr), affected grazer-periphyton interactions, we factorially crossed 4 levels of bmimBr (0, 1, 10, and 100 mg/L1) with the presence or absence of the snail, Physa acuta, in laboratory experiments. After 14 days, all bmimBr concentrations reduced chlorophyll a (chl a) abundance by 35-49% relative to controls lacking bmimBr. Algal biovolume also declined by 65-85% at 10 and 100 mg/L1 bmimBr relative to controls. When both bmimBr and snails were present, chl a abundance and algal biovolume were higher than expected if both factors acted additively, suggesting that snails were less efficient grazers in the presence of bmimBr. Furthermore, snail growth rates declined by 41-101% at 10 and 100 mg/L1 bmimBr relative to controls. At the ecosystem level, snails stimulated periphyton primary production in the absence of bmimBr, suggesting that bmimBr can indirectly alter ecosystem processes. Our research shows that sublethal levels of an IL can negatively impact aquatic communites and ecosystem processes via complex trophic interactions.

  20. Allometric scaling predicts preferences for burned patches in a guild of East African grazers.

    PubMed

    Sensenig, Ryan L; Demment, Montague W; Laca, Emilio A

    2010-10-01

    The high herbivore diversity in savanna systems has been attributed to the inherent spatial and temporal heterogeneity related to the quantity and quality of food resources. Allometric scaling predicts that smaller-bodied grazers rely on higher quality forage than larger-bodied grazers. We replicated burns at varying scales in an East African savanna and measured visitation by an entire guild of larger grazers ranging in size from hare to elephant. We found a strong negative relationship between burn preference and body mass with foregut fermenters preferring burns to a greater degree than hindgut fermenters. Burns with higher quality forage were preferred more than burns with lower quality forage by small-bodied grazers, while the opposite was true for large-bodied grazers. Our results represent some of the first experimental evidence demonstrating the importance of body size in predicting how large herbivores respond to fire-induced changes in plant quality and quantity.

  1. Interspecific competition for shelters in territorial and gregarious intertidal grazers: consequences for individual behaviour.

    PubMed

    Aguilera, Moisés A; Navarrete, Sergio A

    2012-01-01

    Experiments have shown that interspecific interactions within consumer guilds can alter patterns of distribution, abundance and size of species. Plastic behavioural responses can be modulated by agonistic interactions. In many cases, consumers compete for space and shelters, and these interactions change the manner in which they exploit food. This study investigates the consequences of competition in the spatial and temporal organization of behaviour of intertidal grazers, which share algal resources and the use of rock crevices while resting, but exhibit different body sizes, spatial behaviour and foraging modes. We evaluate interaction strength between small gregarious Siphonaria lessoni and the larger territorial keyhole limpet Fissurella crassa and between S. lessoni and the medium-size gregarious chiton Chiton granosus. Using field manipulations and artificial arenas in the laboratory, we tested whether the use of crevices, micro-spatial distribution and activity are modified by the density of conspecifics and the presence of heterospecifics. Our results show that small-scale spatial segregation observed in the field between S. lessoni and C. granosus result from species-specific differences in habitat use. In turn, we found evidence that spatial segregation between F. crassa and S. lessoni results from highly asymmetric interference competition in the use of shelters. The presence of F. crassa reduced the use of crevices and growth rates of S. lessoni. Effects on growth rates are assumed to result from exposure to harsh environmental conditions rather than food limitation. Thus, neither gregarious behaviour nor differences in activity were sufficient to prevent competition with the larger grazer. Our study illustrates the importance of competition for shelters, which results in behavioural changes of the smaller-sized species, and how these plastic responses can translate into differences in growth rates. Use of shelters can thus be modulated by environmental

  2. Interspecific Competition for Shelters in Territorial and Gregarious Intertidal Grazers: Consequences for Individual Behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Aguilera, Moisés A.; Navarrete, Sergio A.

    2012-01-01

    Experiments have shown that interspecific interactions within consumer guilds can alter patterns of distribution, abundance and size of species. Plastic behavioural responses can be modulated by agonistic interactions. In many cases, consumers compete for space and shelters, and these interactions change the manner in which they exploit food. This study investigates the consequences of competition in the spatial and temporal organization of behaviour of intertidal grazers, which share algal resources and the use of rock crevices while resting, but exhibit different body sizes, spatial behaviour and foraging modes. We evaluate interaction strength between small gregarious Siphonaria lessoni and the larger territorial keyhole limpet Fissurella crassa and between S. lessoni and the medium-size gregarious chiton Chiton granosus. Using field manipulations and artificial arenas in the laboratory, we tested whether the use of crevices, micro-spatial distribution and activity are modified by the density of conspecifics and the presence of heterospecifics. Our results show that small-scale spatial segregation observed in the field between S. lessoni and C. granosus result from species-specific differences in habitat use. In turn, we found evidence that spatial segregation between F. crassa and S. lessoni results from highly asymmetric interference competition in the use of shelters. The presence of F. crassa reduced the use of crevices and growth rates of S. lessoni. Effects on growth rates are assumed to result from exposure to harsh environmental conditions rather than food limitation. Thus, neither gregarious behaviour nor differences in activity were sufficient to prevent competition with the larger grazer. Our study illustrates the importance of competition for shelters, which results in behavioural changes of the smaller-sized species, and how these plastic responses can translate into differences in growth rates. Use of shelters can thus be modulated by environmental

  3. Interspecific competition for shelters in territorial and gregarious intertidal grazers: consequences for individual behaviour.

    PubMed

    Aguilera, Moisés A; Navarrete, Sergio A

    2012-01-01

    Experiments have shown that interspecific interactions within consumer guilds can alter patterns of distribution, abundance and size of species. Plastic behavioural responses can be modulated by agonistic interactions. In many cases, consumers compete for space and shelters, and these interactions change the manner in which they exploit food. This study investigates the consequences of competition in the spatial and temporal organization of behaviour of intertidal grazers, which share algal resources and the use of rock crevices while resting, but exhibit different body sizes, spatial behaviour and foraging modes. We evaluate interaction strength between small gregarious Siphonaria lessoni and the larger territorial keyhole limpet Fissurella crassa and between S. lessoni and the medium-size gregarious chiton Chiton granosus. Using field manipulations and artificial arenas in the laboratory, we tested whether the use of crevices, micro-spatial distribution and activity are modified by the density of conspecifics and the presence of heterospecifics. Our results show that small-scale spatial segregation observed in the field between S. lessoni and C. granosus result from species-specific differences in habitat use. In turn, we found evidence that spatial segregation between F. crassa and S. lessoni results from highly asymmetric interference competition in the use of shelters. The presence of F. crassa reduced the use of crevices and growth rates of S. lessoni. Effects on growth rates are assumed to result from exposure to harsh environmental conditions rather than food limitation. Thus, neither gregarious behaviour nor differences in activity were sufficient to prevent competition with the larger grazer. Our study illustrates the importance of competition for shelters, which results in behavioural changes of the smaller-sized species, and how these plastic responses can translate into differences in growth rates. Use of shelters can thus be modulated by environmental

  4. Experimental Removal and Recovery of Subtidal Grazers Highlights the Importance of Functional Redundancy and Temporal Context

    PubMed Central

    Elahi, Robin; Sebens, Kenneth P.

    2013-01-01

    The extent to which different grazers are functionally redundant has strong implications for the maintenance of community structure and function. Grazing by red urchins (Strongylocentrotus franciscanus) on temperate rocky reefs can initiate a switch from invertebrate or macroalgal dominance to an algal crust state, but can also cause increases in the density of molluscan mesograzers. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that red urchins and lined chitons (Tonicella spp.) are redundant in the maintenance of available space, defined as encrusting algae and bare rock. In a factorial field experiment replicated at three sites, we reduced the densities of urchins and chitons on subtidal rock walls for nine months. The effects of grazers were interpreted in the context of natural temporal variation by monitoring the benthic community one year before, during, and after grazer removal. The removal of each grazer in isolation had no effect on the epilithic community, but the removal of both grazers caused an increase in sessile invertebrates. The increase was due primarily to clonal ascidians, which displayed a large (∼75%) relative increase in response to the removal of both grazers. However, the observed non-additive responses to grazer removal were temporary and smaller than seasonal fluctuations. Our data demonstrate that urchins and chitons can be redundant in the maintenance of available space, and highlight the value of drawing conclusions from experimental manipulations within an extended temporal context. PMID:24250819

  5. Experimental removal and recovery of subtidal grazers highlights the importance of functional redundancy and temporal context.

    PubMed

    Elahi, Robin; Sebens, Kenneth P

    2013-01-01

    The extent to which different grazers are functionally redundant has strong implications for the maintenance of community structure and function. Grazing by red urchins (Strongylocentrotus franciscanus) on temperate rocky reefs can initiate a switch from invertebrate or macroalgal dominance to an algal crust state, but can also cause increases in the density of molluscan mesograzers. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that red urchins and lined chitons (Tonicella spp.) are redundant in the maintenance of available space, defined as encrusting algae and bare rock. In a factorial field experiment replicated at three sites, we reduced the densities of urchins and chitons on subtidal rock walls for nine months. The effects of grazers were interpreted in the context of natural temporal variation by monitoring the benthic community one year before, during, and after grazer removal. The removal of each grazer in isolation had no effect on the epilithic community, but the removal of both grazers caused an increase in sessile invertebrates. The increase was due primarily to clonal ascidians, which displayed a large (∼75%) relative increase in response to the removal of both grazers. However, the observed non-additive responses to grazer removal were temporary and smaller than seasonal fluctuations. Our data demonstrate that urchins and chitons can be redundant in the maintenance of available space, and highlight the value of drawing conclusions from experimental manipulations within an extended temporal context.

  6. Fungal secondary metabolite dynamics in fungus–grazer interactions: novel insights and unanswered questions

    PubMed Central

    Rohlfs, Marko

    2015-01-01

    In response to fungivore grazing fungi are assumed to have evolved secondary metabolite-based defense mechanisms that harm and repel grazers, and hence provide a benefit to the metabolite producer. However, since research into the ecological meaning of highly diverse fungal secondary metabolites is still in its infancy, many central questions still remain. Which components of the enormous metabolite diversity of fungi act as direct chemical defense mechanisms against grazers? Is the proposed chemical defense of fungi induced by grazer attack? Which role do volatile compounds play in communicating noxiousness to grazers? What is the relative impact of grazers and that of interactions with competing microbes on the evolution of fungal secondary metabolism? Here, I briefly summarize and discuss the results of the very few studies that have tried to tackle some of these questions by (i) using secondary metabolite mutant fungi in controlled experiments with grazers, and by (ii) investigating fungal secondary metabolism as a flexible means to adapt to grazer-rich niches. PMID:25628619

  7. Experimental removal and recovery of subtidal grazers highlights the importance of functional redundancy and temporal context.

    PubMed

    Elahi, Robin; Sebens, Kenneth P

    2013-01-01

    The extent to which different grazers are functionally redundant has strong implications for the maintenance of community structure and function. Grazing by red urchins (Strongylocentrotus franciscanus) on temperate rocky reefs can initiate a switch from invertebrate or macroalgal dominance to an algal crust state, but can also cause increases in the density of molluscan mesograzers. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that red urchins and lined chitons (Tonicella spp.) are redundant in the maintenance of available space, defined as encrusting algae and bare rock. In a factorial field experiment replicated at three sites, we reduced the densities of urchins and chitons on subtidal rock walls for nine months. The effects of grazers were interpreted in the context of natural temporal variation by monitoring the benthic community one year before, during, and after grazer removal. The removal of each grazer in isolation had no effect on the epilithic community, but the removal of both grazers caused an increase in sessile invertebrates. The increase was due primarily to clonal ascidians, which displayed a large (∼75%) relative increase in response to the removal of both grazers. However, the observed non-additive responses to grazer removal were temporary and smaller than seasonal fluctuations. Our data demonstrate that urchins and chitons can be redundant in the maintenance of available space, and highlight the value of drawing conclusions from experimental manipulations within an extended temporal context. PMID:24250819

  8. Stoichiometrically explicit competition between grazers: species replacement, coexistence, and priority effects along resource supply gradients.

    PubMed

    Hall, Spencer R

    2004-08-01

    Assuming key trade-offs among interactors, several models (resource ratio, keystone predation, intraguild predation) predict changes in species composition over resource supply gradients. Ecological stoichiometry could also predict compositional shifts of grazers over gradients of nutrient and light supply through a mechanism involving (mis)matches between elemental body composition of grazers and plants. This hypothesis is explored here using a suite of two-grazer, one-plant models that incorporate three key components: plant production depends on light and nutrients, nutrient content of plants can vary, and homeostatic grazers can be carbon or nutrient limited. The results from this suite closely resemble the classical resource ratio model describing plant competition for two resources. Here, the models predict shifts of grazer composition along resource supply gradients if species trade off competitive abilities for plant carbon and nutrients. Given this trade-off, superior nutrient competitors should dominate low nutrient environments, and superior carbon competitors should dominate high nutrient environments. At intermediate nutrient supply, species can coexist at a stable equilibrium, or alternative stable states emerge, depending on how grazers impact their resources. These results depend on food web architecture, however. For instance, predators can alter or reduce possibilities for stoichiometry-mediated coexistence of grazers.

  9. Omnivory and grazer functional composition moderate cascading trophic effects in experimental Fucus vesiculosus habitats.

    PubMed

    Eriksson, Britas Klemens; van Sluis, Christiaan; Sieben, Katrin; Kautsky, Lena; Råberg, Sonja

    2011-01-01

    We tested the relative strength of direct versus indirect effects of an aquatic omnivore depending on the functional composition of grazers by manipulating the presence of gastropod and amphipod grazers and omnivorous shrimp in outdoor mesocosms. By selectively preying upon amphipods and reducing their abundance by 70-80%, omnivorous shrimp favoured the dominance of gastropods. While gastropods were the main microalgal grazers, amphipods controlled macroalgal biomass in the experiment. However, strong predation on the amphipod by the shrimp had no significant indirect effects on macroalgal biomass, indicating that when amphipod abundances declined, complementary feeding by the omnivore on macroalgae may have suppressed a trophic cascade. Accordingly, in the absence of amphipods, the shrimp grazed significantly on green algae and thereby suppressed the diversity of the macroalgal community. Our experiment demonstrates direct consumer effects by an omnivore on both the grazer and producer trophic levels in an aquatic food web, regulated by prey availability.

  10. Hydrologic drivers and controls of stream biofilm-grazer interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ceola, S.; Bertuzzo, E.; Mari, L.; Botter, G.; Hödl, I.; Battin, T. J.; Rinaldo, A.

    2011-12-01

    Understanding the dynamics of fluvial ecosystems linked to hydrology is one of the most important challenges of ecohydrology. In fact, streamflow, which chiefly relies on rainfall, climate, land use and geomorphologic properties, plays a fundamental role in sustaining and regulating fluvial ecosystem integrity. To analyze possible implications of hydrological fluctuations on the biofilm-grazer interaction - a major driver for nutrient cycling and metabolism in streams - we experimented with 36 3-m-long flumes. In particular, two distinct discharge treatments (constant and stochastic discharge regimes) coupled with six different light regimes (from natural light conditions to nearly 70% attenuation) have been performed. To complement and analyze the experimental results, a dynamic model, based on the Rosenzweig-MacArthur predator-prey model, is presented. Several relations between the parameters of the aforementioned model and hydrologic and hydraulic properties, such as streamflow, water depth, flow velocity, shear stress, and light availability will be explored to explain ecohydrologic influences on the basic food-web dynamics.

  11. Climatic warming and the future of bison as grazers.

    PubMed

    Craine, Joseph M; Towne, E Gene; Miller, Mary; Fierer, Noah

    2015-01-01

    Climatic warming is likely to exacerbate nutritional stress and reduce weight gain in large mammalian herbivores by reducing plant nutritional quality. Yet accurate predictions of the effects of climatic warming on herbivores are limited by a poor understanding of how herbivore diet varies along climate gradients. We utilized DNA metabarcoding to reconstruct seasonal variation in the diet of North American bison (Bison bison) in two grasslands that differ in mean annual temperature by 6 °C. Here, we show that associated with greater nutritional stress in warmer climates, bison consistently consumed fewer graminoids and more shrubs and forbs, i.e. eudicots. Bison in the warmer grassland consumed a lower proportion of C3 grass, but not a greater proportion of C4 grass. Instead, bison diet in the warmer grassland had a greater proportion of N2-fixing eudicots, regularly comprising >60% of their protein intake in spring and fall. Although bison have been considered strict grazers, as climatic warming reduces grass protein concentrations, bison may have to attempt to compensate by grazing less and browsing more. Promotion of high-protein, palatable eudicots or increasing the protein concentrations of grasses will be critical to minimizing warming-imposed nutritional stress for bison and perhaps other large mammalian herbivores. PMID:26567987

  12. Climatic warming and the future of bison as grazers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Craine, Joseph M.; Towne, E. Gene; Miller, Mary; Fierer, Noah

    2015-11-01

    Climatic warming is likely to exacerbate nutritional stress and reduce weight gain in large mammalian herbivores by reducing plant nutritional quality. Yet accurate predictions of the effects of climatic warming on herbivores are limited by a poor understanding of how herbivore diet varies along climate gradients. We utilized DNA metabarcoding to reconstruct seasonal variation in the diet of North American bison (Bison bison) in two grasslands that differ in mean annual temperature by 6 °C. Here, we show that associated with greater nutritional stress in warmer climates, bison consistently consumed fewer graminoids and more shrubs and forbs, i.e. eudicots. Bison in the warmer grassland consumed a lower proportion of C3 grass, but not a greater proportion of C4 grass. Instead, bison diet in the warmer grassland had a greater proportion of N2-fixing eudicots, regularly comprising >60% of their protein intake in spring and fall. Although bison have been considered strict grazers, as climatic warming reduces grass protein concentrations, bison may have to attempt to compensate by grazing less and browsing more. Promotion of high-protein, palatable eudicots or increasing the protein concentrations of grasses will be critical to minimizing warming-imposed nutritional stress for bison and perhaps other large mammalian herbivores.

  13. Climatic warming and the future of bison as grazers.

    PubMed

    Craine, Joseph M; Towne, E Gene; Miller, Mary; Fierer, Noah

    2015-11-16

    Climatic warming is likely to exacerbate nutritional stress and reduce weight gain in large mammalian herbivores by reducing plant nutritional quality. Yet accurate predictions of the effects of climatic warming on herbivores are limited by a poor understanding of how herbivore diet varies along climate gradients. We utilized DNA metabarcoding to reconstruct seasonal variation in the diet of North American bison (Bison bison) in two grasslands that differ in mean annual temperature by 6 °C. Here, we show that associated with greater nutritional stress in warmer climates, bison consistently consumed fewer graminoids and more shrubs and forbs, i.e. eudicots. Bison in the warmer grassland consumed a lower proportion of C3 grass, but not a greater proportion of C4 grass. Instead, bison diet in the warmer grassland had a greater proportion of N2-fixing eudicots, regularly comprising >60% of their protein intake in spring and fall. Although bison have been considered strict grazers, as climatic warming reduces grass protein concentrations, bison may have to attempt to compensate by grazing less and browsing more. Promotion of high-protein, palatable eudicots or increasing the protein concentrations of grasses will be critical to minimizing warming-imposed nutritional stress for bison and perhaps other large mammalian herbivores.

  14. An efficient algorithm to identify coordinately activated transcription factors.

    PubMed

    Hu, Haiyan

    2010-03-01

    Identification of transcription factor (TF) activities associated with a certain physiological/experimental condition is one of the preliminary steps to reconstruct transcriptional regulatory networks and to identify signal transduction pathways. TF activities are often indicated by the activities of its target genes. Existing studies on identifying TF activities through target genes usually assume the equivalence between co-regulation and co-expression. However, genes with correlated expression profiles may not be co-regulated. In the mean time, although multiple TFs can be activated coordinately, there is a lack of efficient methods to identify coordinately activated TFs. In this paper, we propose an efficient algorithm embedding a dynamic programming procedure to identify a subset of TFs that are potentially coordinately activated under a given condition by utilizing ranked lists of differentially expressed target genes. Applying our algorithm to microarray expression data sets for a number of diseases, our approach found subsets of TFs that are highly likely associated with the given disease processes. PMID:20060041

  15. Effects of co-existing microalgae and grazers on the production of hemolytic toxins in Karenia mikimotoi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Weidong; Zhang, Naisheng; Cui, Weimin; Xu, Yanyan; Li, Hongye; Liu, Jiesheng

    2011-11-01

    Karenia mikimotoi (Miyake & Kominami ex Oda) Hansen & Moestrup is associated with harmful algal blooms in temperate and subtropical zones of the world. The hemolytic substances produced by K. mikimotoi are thought to cause mortality in fishes and invertebrates. We evaluated the composition of the hemolytic toxin produced by K. mikimotoi cultured in the laboratory using thin-layer chromatography. In addition, we evaluated the effect of co-occuring algae ( Prorocentrum donghaiense and Alexandrium tamarense) and the cladoceran grazer Moina mongolica on hemolytic toxin production in K. mikimotoi. The hemolytic toxins from K. mikimotoi were a mixture of 2 liposaccharides and 1 lipid. Waterborne clues from P. donghaiense and A. tamarense inhibited the growth of K. mikimotoi but increased the production of hemolytic toxins. Conversely, K. mikimotoi strongly inhibited the growth of caged P. donghaiense and A. tamarense. In addition, the ingestion of K. mikimotoi by M. mongolica induced the production of hemolytic toxins in K. mikimotoi. Taken together, our results suggest that the presence of other microalgae and grazers may be as important as environmental factors for controlling the production of hemolytic substances. K. mikimotoi secreted allelochemicals other than unstable fatty acids with hemolytic activity. The production of hemolytic toxins in dinoflagellates was not only dependent on resource availability, but also on the risk of predation. Hemolytic toxins likely play an important role as chemical deterrents secreted by K. mikimotoi.

  16. Ocean acidification and rising temperatures may increase biofilm primary productivity but decrease grazer consumption.

    PubMed

    Russell, Bayden D; Connell, Sean D; Findlay, Helen S; Tait, Karen; Widdicombe, Stephen; Mieszkowska, Nova

    2013-01-01

    Climate change may cause ecosystems to become trophically restructured as a result of primary producers and consumers responding differently to increasing CO2 and temperature. This study used an integrative approach using a controlled microcosm experiment to investigate the combined effects of CO2 and temperature on key components of the intertidal system in the UK, biofilms and their consumers (Littorina littorea). In addition, to identify whether pre-exposure to experimental conditions can alter experimental outcomes we explicitly tested for differential effects on L. littorea pre-exposed to experimental conditions for two weeks and five months. In contrast to predictions based on metabolic theory, the combination of elevated temperature and CO2 over a five-week period caused a decrease in the amount of primary productivity consumed by grazers, while the abundance of biofilms increased. However, long-term pre-exposure to experimental conditions (five months) altered this effect, with grazing rates in these animals being greater than in animals exposed only for two weeks. We suggest that the structure of future ecosystems may not be predictable using short-term laboratory experiments alone owing to potentially confounding effects of exposure time and effects of being held in an artificial environment over prolonged time periods. A combination of laboratory (physiology responses) and large, long-term experiments (ecosystem responses) may therefore be necessary to adequately predict the complex and interactive effects of climate change as organisms may acclimate to conditions over the longer term. PMID:23980241

  17. Effects of road deicer (NaCl) and amphibian grazers on detritus processing in pond mesocosms.

    PubMed

    Van Meter, Robin J; Swan, Christopher M; Trossen, Carrie A

    2012-10-01

    Road deicers have been identified as potential stressors in aquatic habitats throughout the United States, but we know little regarding associated impacts to ecosystem function. A critical component of ecosystem function that has not previously been evaluated with respect to freshwater salinization is the impact on organic matter breakdown. The purpose of this study was to evaluate cumulative effects of road deicers and tadpole grazers on leaf litter breakdown rate (g d(-1) ) and microbial respiration (mg O(2)  g leaf(-1) h(-1) ). To test this interaction, in May 2008 the authors added dry leaf litter (Quercus spp.) to forty 600-L pond mesocosms and inoculated each with algae and zooplankton. In a full-factorial design, they manipulated a realistic level of road salt (ambient or elevated at 645 mg L(-1) Cl(-) ) and tadpole (Hyla versicolor) presence or absence. The elevated chloride treatment reduced microbial respiration by 24% in the presence of tadpoles. The breakdown of leaf litter by tadpoles occurred 9.7% faster under ambient chloride conditions relative to the elevated chloride treatment. Results of the present study suggest that the microbial community is directly impacted by road deicers and heavy tadpole grazing under ambient conditions limits microbial capacity to process detritus. Road salts and tadpoles interact to limit microbial respiration, but to a lesser extent leaf mass loss rate, thereby potentially restricting energy flow from detrital sources in pond ecosystems. PMID:22821388

  18. Ocean acidification and rising temperatures may increase biofilm primary productivity but decrease grazer consumption

    PubMed Central

    Russell, Bayden D.; Connell, Sean D.; Findlay, Helen S.; Tait, Karen; Widdicombe, Stephen; Mieszkowska, Nova

    2013-01-01

    Climate change may cause ecosystems to become trophically restructured as a result of primary producers and consumers responding differently to increasing CO2 and temperature. This study used an integrative approach using a controlled microcosm experiment to investigate the combined effects of CO2 and temperature on key components of the intertidal system in the UK, biofilms and their consumers (Littorina littorea). In addition, to identify whether pre-exposure to experimental conditions can alter experimental outcomes we explicitly tested for differential effects on L. littorea pre-exposed to experimental conditions for two weeks and five months. In contrast to predictions based on metabolic theory, the combination of elevated temperature and CO2 over a five-week period caused a decrease in the amount of primary productivity consumed by grazers, while the abundance of biofilms increased. However, long-term pre-exposure to experimental conditions (five months) altered this effect, with grazing rates in these animals being greater than in animals exposed only for two weeks. We suggest that the structure of future ecosystems may not be predictable using short-term laboratory experiments alone owing to potentially confounding effects of exposure time and effects of being held in an artificial environment over prolonged time periods. A combination of laboratory (physiology responses) and large, long-term experiments (ecosystem responses) may therefore be necessary to adequately predict the complex and interactive effects of climate change as organisms may acclimate to conditions over the longer term. PMID:23980241

  19. Effects of road deicer (NaCl) and amphibian grazers on detritus processing in pond mesocosms.

    PubMed

    Van Meter, Robin J; Swan, Christopher M; Trossen, Carrie A

    2012-10-01

    Road deicers have been identified as potential stressors in aquatic habitats throughout the United States, but we know little regarding associated impacts to ecosystem function. A critical component of ecosystem function that has not previously been evaluated with respect to freshwater salinization is the impact on organic matter breakdown. The purpose of this study was to evaluate cumulative effects of road deicers and tadpole grazers on leaf litter breakdown rate (g d(-1) ) and microbial respiration (mg O(2)  g leaf(-1) h(-1) ). To test this interaction, in May 2008 the authors added dry leaf litter (Quercus spp.) to forty 600-L pond mesocosms and inoculated each with algae and zooplankton. In a full-factorial design, they manipulated a realistic level of road salt (ambient or elevated at 645 mg L(-1) Cl(-) ) and tadpole (Hyla versicolor) presence or absence. The elevated chloride treatment reduced microbial respiration by 24% in the presence of tadpoles. The breakdown of leaf litter by tadpoles occurred 9.7% faster under ambient chloride conditions relative to the elevated chloride treatment. Results of the present study suggest that the microbial community is directly impacted by road deicers and heavy tadpole grazing under ambient conditions limits microbial capacity to process detritus. Road salts and tadpoles interact to limit microbial respiration, but to a lesser extent leaf mass loss rate, thereby potentially restricting energy flow from detrital sources in pond ecosystems.

  20. A Focused Screen Identifies Antifolates with Activity on Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Anuradha; Guardia, Ana; Colmenarejo, Gonzalo; Pérez, Esther; Gonzalez, Ruben R; Torres, Pedro; Calvo, David; Gómez, Ruben M; Ortega, Fátima; Jiménez, Elena; Gabarro, Raquel C; Rullás, Joaquín; Ballell, Lluis; Sherman, David R

    2015-12-11

    Antifolates are widely used to treat several diseases but are not currently used in the first-line treatment of tuberculosis, despite evidence that some of these molecules can target Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) bacilli in vitro. To identify new antifolate candidates for animal-model efficacy studies of tuberculosis, we paired knowledge and tools developed in academia with the infrastructure and chemistry resources of a large pharmaceutical company. Together we curated a focused library of 2508 potential antifolates, which were then tested for activity against live Mtb. We identified 210 primary hits, confirmed the on-target activity of potent compounds, and now report the identification and characterization of 5 hit compounds, representative of 5 different chemical scaffolds. These antifolates have potent activity against Mtb and represent good starting points for improvement that could lead to in vivo efficacy studies. PMID:26771003

  1. Using ILP to Identify Pathway Activation Patterns in Systems Biology

    PubMed Central

    Neaves, Samuel R; Millard, Louise A C; Tsoka, Sophia

    2016-01-01

    We show a logical aggregation method that, combined with propositionalization methods, can construct novel structured biological features from gene expression data. We do this to gain understanding of pathway mechanisms, for instance, those associated with a particular disease. We illustrate this method on the task of distinguishing between two types of lung cancer; Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) and Adenocarcinoma (AC). We identify pathway activation patterns in pathways previously implicated in the development of cancers. Our method identified a model with comparable predictive performance to the winning algorithm of a recent challenge, while providing biologically relevant explanations that may be useful to a biologist. PMID:27478883

  2. Modeling substrate-bacteria-grazer interactions coupled to substrate transport in groundwater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bajracharya, Bijendra M.; Lu, Chuanhe; Cirpka, Olaf A.

    2014-05-01

    Models of microbial dynamics coupled to solute transport in aquifers typically require the introduction of a bacterial capacity term to prevent excessive microbial growth close to substrate-injection boundaries. The factors controlling this carrying capacity, however, are not fully understood. In this study, we propose that grazers or bacteriophages may control the density of bacterial biomass in continuously fed porous media. We conceptualize the flow-through porous medium as a series of retentostats, in which the dissolved substrate is advected with water flow whereas the biomasses of bacteria and grazers are considered essentially immobile. We first model a single retentostat with Monod kinetics of bacterial growth and a second-order grazing law, which shows that the system oscillates but approaches a stable steady state with nonzero concentrations of substrate, bacteria, and grazers. The steady state concentration of the bacteria biomass is independent of the substrate concentration in the inflow. When coupling several retentostats in a series to mimic a groundwater column, the steady state bacteria concentrations thus remain at a constant level over a significant travel distance. The one-dimensional reactive transport model also accounts for substrate dispersion and a random walk of grazers influenced by the bacteria concentration. These dispersive-diffusive terms affect the oscillations until steady state is reached, but hardly the steady state value itself. We conclude that grazing, or infection by bacteriophages, is a possible explanation of the maximum biomass concentration frequently needed in bioreactive transport models. Its value depends on parameters related to the grazers or bacteriophages and is independent of bacterial growth parameters or substrate concentration, provided that there is enough substrate to sustain bacteria and grazers.

  3. Trophic cascades result in large-scale coralline algae loss through differential grazer effects.

    PubMed

    O'Leary, Jennifer K; McClanahan, Timothy R

    2010-12-01

    Removal of predators can have strong indirect effects on primary producers through trophic cascades. Crustose coralline algae (CCA) are major primary producers worldwide that may be influenced by predator removal through changes in grazer composition and biomass. CCA have been most widely studied in Caribbean and temperate reefs, where cover increases with increasing grazer biomass due to removal of competitive fleshy algae. However, each of these systems has one dominant grazer type, herbivorous fishes or sea urchins, which may not be functionally equivalent. Where fishes and sea urchins co-occur, fishing can result in a phase shift in the grazing community with subsequent effects on CCA and other substrata. Kenyan reefs have herbivorous fishes and sea urchins, providing an opportunity to determine the relative impacts of each grazer type and evaluate potential human-induced trophic cascades. We hypothesized that fish benefit CCA, abundant sea urchins erode CCA, and that fishing indirectly reduces CCA cover by removing sea urchin predators. We used closures and fished reefs as a large-scale, long-term natural experiment to assess how fishing and resultant changes in communities affect CCA abundance. We used a short-term caging experiment to directly test the effects of grazing on CCA. CCA cover declined with increasing fish and sea urchin abundance, but the negative impact of sea urchin grazing was much stronger than that of fishes. Abundant sea urchins reduced the CCA growth rate to almost zero and prevented CCA accumulation. A warming event (El Niño Southern Oscillation, ENSO) occurred during the 18-year study and had a strong but short-term positive effect on CCA cover. However, the effect of the ENSO on CCA was lower in magnitude than the effect of sea urchin grazing. We compare our results with worldwide literature on bioerosion by fishes and sea urchins. Grazer influence depends on whether benefits of fleshy algae removal outweigh costs of grazer

  4. The role of grazers and shredders in the retention and downstream transport of a PCB in lotic environments

    SciTech Connect

    Sallenave, R.M. . Dept. of Environmental Biology); Day, K.E. ); Kreutzweiser, D.P. . Forest Pest Management Inst.)

    1994-11-01

    Field studies using flow-through artificial stream channels were conducted between May and October 1992 to study the role of the feeding activity of grazing and shredding invertebrates in promoting downstream transport of 2,2[prime],4,4[prime],5,5[prime]-hexachlorobiphenyl (HCBP). Plant material was labeled with [[sup 14]C]HCBP and fed to selected invertebrate species, and accrual of radioactivity by downstream collector species (Hydropsyche spp.) was measured. Downstream transport of HCBP was significantly increased by the presence of the grazer Elimia livescens in the upstream sections of the channels as demonstrated by significantly higher levels of radioactivity in hydropsychid larvae located downstream. Similarly, movement of HCBP downstream was significantly greater in channels containing the shredder Hydatophylax argus than in channels without shredders. These results suggest that the feeding processes of benthic invertebrates may play an important role in the downstream transport of particle-bound hydrophobic organic compounds.

  5. Rapid evolution of tolerance to toxic Microcystis in two cladoceran grazers

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Xiaodong; Gao, Han; Zhang, Lihua; Liang, Huishuang; Zhu, Xiao

    2016-01-01

    Evolutionary adaptation could assist organisms to cope with environmental changes, yet few experimental systems allow us to directly track evolutionary trajectory. Using experimental evolution, evolutionary tolerance to Microcystis aeruginosa was investigated in two cladocerans (Daphnia pulex and Simocephalus vetulus) to test the hypothesis that cladoceran grazers rapidly adapt to toxic cyanobacteria. After exposure for either three or six months, both grazers evolved a higher tolerance. The intrinsic rate of population increases in S. vetulus feeding on cyanobacteria was negatively correlated with that on green algae, which suggests that evolutionary adaptation in tolerance would carry a cost in the absence of cyanobacteria. However, the cyanobacterial selection resulted in a general increase in D. pulex when fed both cyanobacteria and green algae. Following a three-month relaxation of selection, S. vetulus in the selection line exhibited reverse evolution back to their original state when their diets were switched back to pure green algae. The present experimental evolution, both forwards and reverse, not only demonstrates the evolutionary responses of cladoceran grazers to toxic cyanobacterial cells in the laboratory, but also indicates that the grazer-cyanobacteria interaction would be an effective system to empirically study rapid evolution to environmental changes. PMID:27122137

  6. The effect of functional response on stability of a grazer population on a landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Basset, A.D.; DeAngelis, D.L.; Diffendorfer, J.E.

    1997-01-01

    The dynamics of interacting consumer and resource populations is one of the most thoroughly studied problems of theoretical population biology. Among the key results from the study of simple mathematical models of interacting populations is that the Holling Type 2 functional response tends to be unstable for a wide range of realistic parameters. Functional responses such as Holling Type 3, which might be thought of as implicitly incorporating the existence of consumer refuges, are more stable than the Type 2. We studied consumer—resource models with these different functional responses on a landscape level by modeling grazers that can disperse across a space of patchily distributed grass resources. For certain assumptions concerning the movement of grazers on the landscape, the effect of these functional responses on stability is reversed; the Holling Type 2 functional response confers greater stability. The reason for this apparently paradoxical result is that the Holling Type 2 functional response allows grazers to graze individual grass patches to lower levels than Type 3, as the energy balance remains favorable for grazing at lower grass biomasses. However, this local overexploitation leads the grazers to be slower in reaching areas of the landscape where resource densities are higher. It decreases the likelihood that the resource will be overexploited over the whole landscape simultaneously, which results in a stronger tendency towards system stability. It appears, then, that consumer overexploitation of resources locally may contribute to lower stability.

  7. NUTRIENTS, CANOPY COVER, AND GRAZERS: THEIR EFFECTS ON SUMMER PERIPHYTON IN SMALL MIDWESTERN STREAMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Numerous studies in artificial streams suggest the relationship between nurients and periphyton biomass (AFDM) and chlorophyll a in streams is affected by ambient light, which is influenced by canopy cover, and by grazer densities. To assess the relationships between nutrients a...

  8. Rapid evolution of tolerance to toxic Microcystis in two cladoceran grazers.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Xiaodong; Gao, Han; Zhang, Lihua; Liang, Huishuang; Zhu, Xiao

    2016-01-01

    Evolutionary adaptation could assist organisms to cope with environmental changes, yet few experimental systems allow us to directly track evolutionary trajectory. Using experimental evolution, evolutionary tolerance to Microcystis aeruginosa was investigated in two cladocerans (Daphnia pulex and Simocephalus vetulus) to test the hypothesis that cladoceran grazers rapidly adapt to toxic cyanobacteria. After exposure for either three or six months, both grazers evolved a higher tolerance. The intrinsic rate of population increases in S. vetulus feeding on cyanobacteria was negatively correlated with that on green algae, which suggests that evolutionary adaptation in tolerance would carry a cost in the absence of cyanobacteria. However, the cyanobacterial selection resulted in a general increase in D. pulex when fed both cyanobacteria and green algae. Following a three-month relaxation of selection, S. vetulus in the selection line exhibited reverse evolution back to their original state when their diets were switched back to pure green algae. The present experimental evolution, both forwards and reverse, not only demonstrates the evolutionary responses of cladoceran grazers to toxic cyanobacterial cells in the laboratory, but also indicates that the grazer-cyanobacteria interaction would be an effective system to empirically study rapid evolution to environmental changes. PMID:27122137

  9. Transient dynamics of pelagic producer-grazer systems in a gradient of nutrients and mixing depths.

    PubMed

    Jäger, Christoph G; Diehl, Sebastian; Matauschek, Christian; Klausmeier, Christopher A; Stibor, Herwig

    2008-05-01

    Phytoplankton-grazer dynamics are often characterized by long transients relative to the length of the growing season. Using a phytoplankton-grazer model parameterized for Daphnia pulex with either flexible or fixed algal carbon:nutrient stoichiometry, we explored how nutrient and light supply (the latter by varying depth of the mixed water column) affect the transient dynamics of the system starting from low densities. The system goes through an initial oscillation across nearly the entire light-nutrient supply space. With flexible (but not with fixed) algal stoichiometry, duration of the initial algal peak, timing and duration of the subsequent grazer peak, and timing of the algal minimum are consistently accelerated by nutrient enrichment but decelerated by light enrichment (decreasing mixing depth) over the range of intermediate to shallow mixing depths. These contrasting effects of nutrient vs. light enrichment are consequences of their opposing influences on food quality (algal nutrient content): algal productivity and food quality are positively related along a nutrient gradient but inversely related along a light gradient. Light enrichment therefore slows down grazer growth relative to algal growth, decelerating oscillatory dynamics; nutrient enrichment has opposite effects. We manipulated nutrient supply and mixing depth in a field enclosure experiment. The experimental results were qualitatively much more consistent with the flexible than with the fixed stoichiometry model. Nutrient enrichment increased Daphnia peak biomass, decreased algal minimum biomass, decreased the seston C:P ratio, and accelerated transient oscillatory dynamics. Light enrichment (decreasing mixing depth) produced the opposite patterns, except that Daphnia peak biomass increased monotonously with light enrichment, too. Thus, while the model predicts the possibility of the "paradox of energy enrichment" (a decrease in grazer biomass with light enrichment) at high light and low

  10. Body size and the division of niche space: food and predation differentially shape the distribution of Serengeti grazers.

    PubMed

    Hopcraft, J Grant C; Anderson, T Michael; Pérez-Vila, Saleta; Mayemba, Emilian; Olff, Han

    2012-01-01

    1. Theory predicts that small grazers are regulated by the digestive quality of grass, while large grazers extract sufficient nutrients from low-quality forage and are regulated by its abundance instead. In addition, predation potentially affects populations of small grazers more than large grazers, because predators have difficulty capturing and handling large prey. 2. We analyse the spatial distribution of five grazer species of different body size in relation to gradients of food availability and predation risk. Specifically, we investigate how the quality of grass, the abundance of grass biomass and the associated risks of predation affect the habitat use of small, intermediate and large savanna grazers at a landscape level. 3. Resource selection functions of five mammalian grazer species surveyed over a 21-year period in Serengeti are calculated using logistic regressions. Variables included in the analyses are grass nitrogen, rainfall, topographic wetness index, woody cover, drainage lines, landscape curvature, water and human habitation. Structural equation modelling (SEM) is used to aggregate predictor variables into 'composites' representing food quality, food abundance and predation risk. Subsequently, SEM is used to investigate species' habitat use, defined as their recurrence in 5 × 5 km cells across repeated censuses. 4. The distribution of small grazers is constrained by predation and food quality, whereas the distribution of large grazers is relatively unconstrained. The distribution of the largest grazer (African buffalo) is primarily associated with forage abundance but not predation risk, while the distributions of the smallest grazers (Thomson's gazelle and Grant's gazelle) are associated with high grass quality and negatively with the risk of predation. The distributions of intermediate sized grazers (Coke's hartebeest and topi) suggest they optimize access to grass biomass of sufficient quality in relatively predator-safe areas. 5. The results

  11. Body size and the division of niche space: food and predation differentially shape the distribution of Serengeti grazers.

    PubMed

    Hopcraft, J Grant C; Anderson, T Michael; Pérez-Vila, Saleta; Mayemba, Emilian; Olff, Han

    2012-01-01

    1. Theory predicts that small grazers are regulated by the digestive quality of grass, while large grazers extract sufficient nutrients from low-quality forage and are regulated by its abundance instead. In addition, predation potentially affects populations of small grazers more than large grazers, because predators have difficulty capturing and handling large prey. 2. We analyse the spatial distribution of five grazer species of different body size in relation to gradients of food availability and predation risk. Specifically, we investigate how the quality of grass, the abundance of grass biomass and the associated risks of predation affect the habitat use of small, intermediate and large savanna grazers at a landscape level. 3. Resource selection functions of five mammalian grazer species surveyed over a 21-year period in Serengeti are calculated using logistic regressions. Variables included in the analyses are grass nitrogen, rainfall, topographic wetness index, woody cover, drainage lines, landscape curvature, water and human habitation. Structural equation modelling (SEM) is used to aggregate predictor variables into 'composites' representing food quality, food abundance and predation risk. Subsequently, SEM is used to investigate species' habitat use, defined as their recurrence in 5 × 5 km cells across repeated censuses. 4. The distribution of small grazers is constrained by predation and food quality, whereas the distribution of large grazers is relatively unconstrained. The distribution of the largest grazer (African buffalo) is primarily associated with forage abundance but not predation risk, while the distributions of the smallest grazers (Thomson's gazelle and Grant's gazelle) are associated with high grass quality and negatively with the risk of predation. The distributions of intermediate sized grazers (Coke's hartebeest and topi) suggest they optimize access to grass biomass of sufficient quality in relatively predator-safe areas. 5. The results

  12. How can we identify ictal and interictal abnormal activity?

    PubMed

    Fisher, Robert S; Scharfman, Helen E; deCurtis, Marco

    2014-01-01

    The International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) defined a seizure as "a transient occurrence of signs and/or symptoms due to abnormal excessive or synchronous neuronal activity in the brain." This definition has been used since the era of Hughlings Jackson, and does not take into account subsequent advances made in epilepsy and neuroscience research. The clinical diagnosis of a seizure is empirical, based upon constellations of certain signs and symptoms, while simultaneously ruling out a list of potential imitators of seizures. Seizures should be delimited in time, but the borders of ictal (during a seizure), interictal (between seizures) and postictal (after a seizure) often are indistinct. EEG recording is potentially very helpful for confirmation, classification and localization. About a half-dozen common EEG patterns are encountered during seizures. Clinicians rely on researchers to answer such questions as why seizures start, spread and stop, whether seizures involve increased synchrony, the extent to which extra-cortical structures are involved, and how to identify the seizure network and at what points interventions are likely to be helpful. Basic scientists have different challenges in use of the word 'seizure,' such as distinguishing seizures from normal behavior, which would seem easy but can be very difficult because some rodents have EEG activity during normal behavior that resembles spike-wave discharge or bursts of rhythmic spiking. It is also important to define when a seizure begins and stops so that seizures can be quantified accurately for pre-clinical studies. When asking what causes seizures, the transition to a seizure and differentiating the pre-ictal, ictal and post-ictal state is also important because what occurs before a seizure could be causal and may warrant further investigation for that reason. These and other issues are discussed by three epilepsy researchers with clinical and basic science expertise.

  13. How Can We Identify Ictal and Interictal Abnormal Activity?

    PubMed Central

    Fisher, Robert S.; Scharfman, Helen E.; deCurtis, Marco

    2015-01-01

    The International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) defined a seizure as “a transient occurrence of signs and/or symptoms due to abnormal excessive or synchronous neuronal activity in the brain.” This definition has been used since the era of Hughlings Jackson, and does not take into account subsequent advances made in epilepsy and neuroscience research. The clinical diagnosis of a seizure is empirical, based upon constellations of certain signs and symptoms, while simultaneously ruling out a list of potential imitators of seizures. Seizures should be delimited in time, but the borders of ictal (during a seizure), interictal (between seizures) and postictal (after a seizure) often are indistinct. EEG recording is potentially very helpful for confirmation, classification and localization. About a half-dozen common EEG patterns are encountered during seizures. Clinicians rely on researchers to answer such questions as why seizures start, spread and stop, whether seizures involve increased synchrony, the extent to which extra-cortical structures are involved, and how to identify the seizure network and at what points interventions are likely to be helpful. Basic scientists have different challenges in use of the word ‘seizure,’ such as distinguishing seizures from normal behavior, which would seem easy but can be very difficult because some rodents have EEG activity during normal behavior that resembles spike-wave discharge or bursts of rhythmic spiking. It is also important to define when a seizure begins and stops so that seizures can be quantified accurately for pre-clinical studies. When asking what causes seizures, the transition to a seizure and differentiating the pre-ictal, ictal and post-ictal state is also important because what occurs before a seizure could be causal and may warrant further investigation for that reason. These and other issues are discussed by three epilepsy researchers with clinical and basic science expertise. PMID:25012363

  14. Diverse protist grazers select for virulence-related traits in Legionella.

    PubMed

    Amaro, Francisco; Wang, Wen; Gilbert, Jack A; Anderson, O Roger; Shuman, Howard A

    2015-07-01

    It is generally accepted that selection for resistance to grazing by protists has contributed to the evolution of Legionella pneumophila as a pathogen. Grazing resistance is becoming more generally recognized as having an important role in the ecology and evolution of bacterial pathogenesis. However, selection for grazing resistance presupposes the existence of protist grazers that provide the selective pressure. To determine whether there are protists that graze on pathogenic Legionella species, we investigated the existence of such organisms in a variety of environmental samples. We isolated and characterized diverse protists that graze on L. pneumophila and determined the effects of adding L. pneumophila on the protist community structures in microcosms made from these environmental samples. Several unrelated organisms were able to graze efficiently on L. pneumophila. The community structures of all samples were markedly altered by the addition of L. pneumophila. Surprisingly, some of the Legionella grazers were closely related to species that are known hosts for L. pneumophila, indicating the presence of unknown specificity determinants for this interaction. These results provide the first direct support for the hypothesis that protist grazers exert selective pressure on Legionella to acquire and retain adaptations that contribute to survival, and that these properties are relevant to the ability of the bacteria to cause disease in people. We also report a novel mechanism of killing of amoebae by one Legionella species that requires an intact Type IV secretion system but does not involve intracellular replication. We refer to this phenomenon as 'food poisoning'.

  15. Diverse protist grazers select for virulence-related traits in Legionella.

    PubMed

    Amaro, Francisco; Wang, Wen; Gilbert, Jack A; Anderson, O Roger; Shuman, Howard A

    2015-07-01

    It is generally accepted that selection for resistance to grazing by protists has contributed to the evolution of Legionella pneumophila as a pathogen. Grazing resistance is becoming more generally recognized as having an important role in the ecology and evolution of bacterial pathogenesis. However, selection for grazing resistance presupposes the existence of protist grazers that provide the selective pressure. To determine whether there are protists that graze on pathogenic Legionella species, we investigated the existence of such organisms in a variety of environmental samples. We isolated and characterized diverse protists that graze on L. pneumophila and determined the effects of adding L. pneumophila on the protist community structures in microcosms made from these environmental samples. Several unrelated organisms were able to graze efficiently on L. pneumophila. The community structures of all samples were markedly altered by the addition of L. pneumophila. Surprisingly, some of the Legionella grazers were closely related to species that are known hosts for L. pneumophila, indicating the presence of unknown specificity determinants for this interaction. These results provide the first direct support for the hypothesis that protist grazers exert selective pressure on Legionella to acquire and retain adaptations that contribute to survival, and that these properties are relevant to the ability of the bacteria to cause disease in people. We also report a novel mechanism of killing of amoebae by one Legionella species that requires an intact Type IV secretion system but does not involve intracellular replication. We refer to this phenomenon as 'food poisoning'. PMID:25575308

  16. Diverse protist grazers select for virulence-related traits in Legionella

    PubMed Central

    Amaro, Francisco; Wang, Wen; Gilbert, Jack A; Roger Anderson, O; Shuman, Howard A

    2015-01-01

    It is generally accepted that selection for resistance to grazing by protists has contributed to the evolution of Legionella pneumophila as a pathogen. Grazing resistance is becoming more generally recognized as having an important role in the ecology and evolution of bacterial pathogenesis. However, selection for grazing resistance presupposes the existence of protist grazers that provide the selective pressure. To determine whether there are protists that graze on pathogenic Legionella species, we investigated the existence of such organisms in a variety of environmental samples. We isolated and characterized diverse protists that graze on L. pneumophila and determined the effects of adding L. pneumophila on the protist community structures in microcosms made from these environmental samples. Several unrelated organisms were able to graze efficiently on L. pneumophila. The community structures of all samples were markedly altered by the addition of L. pneumophila. Surprisingly, some of the Legionella grazers were closely related to species that are known hosts for L. pneumophila, indicating the presence of unknown specificity determinants for this interaction. These results provide the first direct support for the hypothesis that protist grazers exert selective pressure on Legionella to acquire and retain adaptations that contribute to survival, and that these properties are relevant to the ability of the bacteria to cause disease in people. We also report a novel mechanism of killing of amoebae by one Legionella species that requires an intact Type IV secretion system but does not involve intracellular replication. We refer to this phenomenon as ‘food poisoning'. PMID:25575308

  17. Grazers and phytoplankton growth in the oceans: an experimental and evolutionary perspective.

    PubMed

    Ratti, Simona; Knoll, Andrew H; Giordano, Mario

    2013-01-01

    The taxonomic composition of phytoplankton responsible for primary production on continental shelves has changed episodically through Earth history. Geological correlations suggest that major changes in phytoplankton composition correspond in time to changes in grazing and seawater chemistry. Testing hypotheses that arise from these correlations requires experimentation, and so we carried out a series of experiments in which selected phytoplankton species were grown in treatments that differed with respect to the presence or absence of grazers as well as seawater chemistry. Both protistan (Euplotes sp.) and microarthropod (Acartia tonsa) grazers changed the growth dynamics and biochemical composition of the green alga Tetraselmis suecica, the diatom Thalassiosira weissflogii, and the cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp., increasing the specific growth rate and palatability of the eukaryotic algae, while decreasing or leaving unchanged both parameters in the cyanobacteria. Synechococcus (especially) and Thalassiosira produced toxins effective against the copepod, but ciliate growth was unaffected. Acartia induced a 4-6 fold increase of Si cell quota in the diatom, but Euplotes had no similar effect. The differential growth responses of the eukaryotic algae and cyanobacteria to ciliate grazing may help to explain the apparently coeval radiation of eukaryophagic protists and rise of eukaryotes to ecological prominence as primary producers in Neoproterozoic oceans. The experimental results suggest that phytoplankton responses to the later radiation of microarthropod grazers were clade-specific, and included changes in growth dynamics, toxin synthesis, encystment, and (in diatoms) enhanced Si uptake.

  18. Identifying and understanding Indigenous ways of evaluating physical activity programs.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Erica Blue; Butler Iii, James; Green, Kerry M; Chaudhary, Kaushal Raj

    2016-01-01

    Indigenous evaluation frameworks have not been investigated in the context of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) physical activity programs, an important area given the relationship between effective physical activity programs and quality of life among these populations. To address this gap, staff members of AI/AN physical activity programs were interviewed to explore their understanding of and experiences with evaluation. Findings suggest that Indigenous evaluation is perceived as narrative and holistic, Indigenous knowledge is used in program decision making, though it is not always acknowledged as evaluation, and there is not a universally desired way to evaluate AI/AN physical activity programs. PMID:27668593

  19. Sparse activity of identified dentate granule cells during spatial exploration

    PubMed Central

    Diamantaki, Maria; Frey, Markus; Berens, Philipp; Preston-Ferrer, Patricia; Burgalossi, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    In the dentate gyrus – a key component of spatial memory circuits – granule cells (GCs) are known to be morphologically diverse and to display heterogeneous activity profiles during behavior. To resolve structure–function relationships, we juxtacellularly recorded and labeled single GCs in freely moving rats. We found that the vast majority of neurons were silent during exploration. Most active GCs displayed a characteristic spike waveform, fired at low rates and showed spatial activity. Primary dendritic parameters were sufficient for classifying neurons as active or silent with high accuracy. Our data thus support a sparse coding scheme in the dentate gyrus and provide a possible link between structural and functional heterogeneity among the GC population. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.20252.001 PMID:27692065

  20. Using perturbations to identify the brain circuits underlying active vision

    PubMed Central

    Wurtz, Robert H.

    2015-01-01

    The visual and oculomotor systems in the brain have been studied extensively in the primate. Together, they can be regarded as a single brain system that underlies active vision—the normal vision that begins with visual processing in the retina and extends through the brain to the generation of eye movement by the brainstem. The system is probably one of the most thoroughly studied brain systems in the primate, and it offers an ideal opportunity to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of the series of perturbation techniques that have been used to study it. The perturbations have been critical in moving from correlations between neuronal activity and behaviour closer to a causal relation between neuronal activity and behaviour. The same perturbation techniques have also been used to tease out neuronal circuits that are related to active vision that in turn are driving behaviour. The evolution of perturbation techniques includes ablation of both cortical and subcortical targets, punctate chemical lesions, reversible inactivations, electrical stimulation, and finally the expanding optogenetic techniques. The evolution of perturbation techniques has supported progressively stronger conclusions about what neuronal circuits in the brain underlie active vision and how the circuits themselves might be organized. PMID:26240420

  1. Using perturbations to identify the brain circuits underlying active vision.

    PubMed

    Wurtz, Robert H

    2015-09-19

    The visual and oculomotor systems in the brain have been studied extensively in the primate. Together, they can be regarded as a single brain system that underlies active vision--the normal vision that begins with visual processing in the retina and extends through the brain to the generation of eye movement by the brainstem. The system is probably one of the most thoroughly studied brain systems in the primate, and it offers an ideal opportunity to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of the series of perturbation techniques that have been used to study it. The perturbations have been critical in moving from correlations between neuronal activity and behaviour closer to a causal relation between neuronal activity and behaviour. The same perturbation techniques have also been used to tease out neuronal circuits that are related to active vision that in turn are driving behaviour. The evolution of perturbation techniques includes ablation of both cortical and subcortical targets, punctate chemical lesions, reversible inactivations, electrical stimulation, and finally the expanding optogenetic techniques. The evolution of perturbation techniques has supported progressively stronger conclusions about what neuronal circuits in the brain underlie active vision and how the circuits themselves might be organized.

  2. Mixotrophic haptophytes are key bacterial grazers in oligotrophic coastal waters

    PubMed Central

    Unrein, Fernando; Gasol, Josep M; Not, Fabrice; Forn, Irene; Massana, Ramon

    2014-01-01

    Grazing rate estimates indicate that approximately half of the bacterivory in oligotrophic oceans is due to mixotrophic flagellates (MFs). However, most estimations have considered algae as a single group. Here we aimed at opening the black-box of the phytoflagellates (PFs) <20 μm. Haptophytes, chlorophytes, cryptophytes and pigmented dinoflagellates were identified using fluorescent in situ hybridization or by standard 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole staining. Their fluctuations in abundance, cell size, biomass and bacterivory rates were measured through an annual cycle in an oligotrophic coastal system. On average, we were able to assign to these groups: 37% of the total pico-PFs and 65% of the nano-PFs composition. Chlorophytes were mostly picoplanktonic and they never ingested fluorescently labeled bacteria. About 50% of the PF <20 μm biomass was represented by mixotrophic algae. Pigmented dinoflagellates were the least abundant group with little impact on bacterioplankton. Cryptophytes were quantitatively important during the coldest periods and explained about 4% of total bacterivory. Haptophytes were the most important mixotrophic group: (i) they were mostly represented by cells 3–5 μm in size present year-round; (ii) cell-specific grazing rates were comparable to those of other bacterivorous non-photosynthetic organisms, regardless of the in situ nutrient availability conditions; (iii) these organisms could acquire a significant portion of their carbon by ingesting bacteria; and (iv) haptophytes explained on average 40% of the bacterivory exerted by MFs and were responsible for 9–27% of total bacterivory at this site. Our results, when considered alongside the widespread distribution of haptophytes in the ocean, indicate that they have a key role as bacterivores in marine ecosystems. PMID:23924785

  3. Functional and ecological consequences of saprotrophic fungus–grazer interactions

    PubMed Central

    Crowther, Thomas W; Boddy, Lynne; Hefin Jones, T

    2012-01-01

    Saprotrophic fungi are key regulators of nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. They are the primary agents of plant litter decomposition and their hyphal networks, which grow throughout the soil–litter interface, represent highly dynamic channels through which nutrients are readily distributed. By ingesting hyphae and dispersing spores, soil invertebrates, including Arthropoda, Oligochaetae and Nematoda, influence fungal-mediated nutrient distribution within soil. Fungal physiological responses to grazing include changes to hydrolytic enzyme production and respiration rates. These directly affect nutrient mineralisation and the flux of CO2 between terrestrial and atmospheric pools. Preferential grazing may also exert selective pressures on saprotrophic communities, driving shifts in fungal succession and community composition. These functional and ecological consequences of grazing are intrinsically linked, and influenced by invertebrate grazing intensity. High-intensity grazing often reduces fungal growth and activity, whereas low-intensity grazing can have stimulatory effects. Grazing intensity is directly related to invertebrate abundance, and varies dramatically between species and functional groups. Invertebrate diversity and community composition, therefore, represent key factors determining the functioning of saprotrophic fungal communities and the services they provide. PMID:22717883

  4. Grazers, browsers, and fire influence the extent and spatial pattern of tree cover in the Serengeti.

    PubMed

    Holdo, Ricardo M; Holt, Robert D; Fryxell, John M

    2009-01-01

    Vertebrate herbivores and fire are known to be important drivers of vegetation dynamics in African savannas. It is of particular importance to understand how changes in herbivore population density, especially of elephants, and fire frequency will affect the amount of tree cover in savanna ecosystems, given the critical importance of tree cover for biodiversity, ecosystem function, and human welfare. We developed a spatially realistic simulation model of vegetation, fire, and dominant herbivore dynamics, tailored to the Serengeti ecosystem of east Africa. The model includes key processes such as tree-grass competition, fire, and resource-based density dependence and adaptive movement by herbivores. We used the model to project the ecosystem 100 years into the future from its present state under different fire, browsing (determined by elephant population density), and grazing (with and without wildebeest present) regimes. The model produced the following key results: (1) elephants and fire exert synergistic negative effects on woody cover; when grazers are excluded, the impact of fire and the strength of the elephant-fire interaction increase; (2) at present population densities of 0.15 elephants/km2, the total amount of woody cover is predicted to remain stable in the absence of fire, but the mature tree population is predicted to decline regardless of the fire regime; without grazers present to mitigate the effects of fire, the size structure of the tree population will become dominated by seedlings and mature trees; (3) spatial heterogeneity in tree cover varies unimodally with elephant population density; fire increases heterogeneity in the presence of grazers and decreases it in their absence; (4) the marked rainfall gradient in the Serengeti directly affects the pattern of tree cover in the absence of fire; with fire, the woody cover is determined by the grazing patterns of the migratory wildebeest, which are partly rainfall driven. Our results show that, in

  5. Identifying the Main Driver of Active Region Outflows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baker, D.; van Driel-Gesztelyi, L.; Mandrini, C. H.; Démoulin, P.; Murray, M. J.

    2012-08-01

    Hinode's EUV Imaging Spectrometer (EIS) has discovered ubiquitous outflows of a few to 50 km s-1 from active regions (ARs). The characteristics of these outflows are very curious in that they are most prominent at the AR boundary and appear over monopolar magnetic areas. They are linked to strong non-thermal line broadening and are stronger in hotter EUV lines. The outflows persist for at least several days. Whereas red-shifted down flows observed in AR closed loops are well understood, to date there is no general consensus for the mechanism(s) driving blue-shifted AR-related outflows. We use Hinode EIS and X-Ray Telescope observations of AR 10942 coupled with magnetic modeling to demonstrate for the first time that the outflows originate from specific locations of the magnetic topology where field lines display strong gradients of magnetic connectivity, namely quasi-separatrix layers (QSLs), or in the limit of infinitely thin QSLs, separatrices. The strongest AR outflows were found to be in the vicinity of QSL sections located over areas of strong magnetic field. We argue that magnetic reconnection at QSLs, separating closed field lines of the AR and either large-scale externally connected or ‘open’ field lines, is a viable mechanism for driving AR outflows which are potentially sources of the slow solar wind. In fact, magnetic reconnection along QSLs (including separatricies) is the first theory to explain the most puzzling characteristics of the outflows, namely their occurrence over monopolar areas at the periphery of ARs and their longevity.

  6. Propagule supply controls grazer community structure and primary production in a benthic marine ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Sarah C.; Bruno, John F.

    2009-01-01

    Early theories of species diversity proposed that communities at equilibrium are saturated with species. However, experiments in plant communities suggest that many communities are unsaturated and species richness can be increased by adding propagules of new species. We experimentally tested for community saturation and measured the effects of propagule supply on community structure in a benthic marine system. We manipulated propagule supply (arrival of individuals of numerous species) of mobile grazers in experimental mesocosms over multiple generations and, unlike previous tests, we examined the cascading effects of propagule supply on prey (macroalgae) biomass. We found little evidence for saturation, despite the absence of processes such as disturbance and predation that are thought to alleviate saturation in nature. Increasing propagule supply increased the total number of species and made rare species more abundant. Perhaps surprisingly, given the strong effect of propagule supply on species richness, supply-related changes in body size and composition suggest that competitive interactions remained important. Grazer supply also had strong cascading effects on primary production, possibly because of dietary complementarity modified by territorial behavior. Our results indicate that propagule supply can directly influence the diversity and composition of communities of mobile animals. Furthermore, the supply of consumer propagules can have strong indirect effects on prey and fundamental ecosystem properties. PMID:19359487

  7. Multivariate statistical analysis of stream-sediment geochemistry in the Grazer Paläozoikum, Austria

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Weber, L.; Davis, J.C.

    1990-01-01

    The Austrian reconnaissance study of stream-sediment composition — more than 30000 clay-fraction samples collected over an area of 40000 km2 — is summarized in an atlas of regional maps that show the distributions of 35 elements. These maps, rich in information, reveal complicated patterns of element abundance that are difficult to compare on more than a small number of maps at one time. In such a study, multivariate procedures such as simultaneous R-Q mode components analysis may be helpful. They can compress a large number of variables into a much smaller number of independent linear combinations. These composite variables may be mapped and relationships sought between them and geological properties. As an example, R-Q mode components analysis is applied here to the Grazer Paläozoikum, a tectonic unit northeast of the city of Graz, which is composed of diverse lithologies and contains many mineral deposits.

  8. Blood feeding on large grazers affects the transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato by Ixodes ricinus.

    PubMed

    Pacilly, F C A; Benning, M E; Jacobs, F; Leidekker, J; Sprong, H; Van Wieren, S E; Takken, W

    2014-10-01

    The presence of Ixodes ricinus and their associated Borrelia infections on large grazers was investigated. Carcases of freshly shot red deer, mouflon and wild boar were examined for the presence of any stage of I. ricinus. Questing ticks were collected from locations where red deer and wild boar are known to occur. Presence of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. DNA was examined in a fraction of the collected ticks. Larvae, nymphs and adult ticks were found on the three large grazers. Red deer had the highest tick burden, with many of the nymphs and adult females attached for engorgement. Most larvae had not attached. The mean number of ticks on the animals varied from 13 to 67. Ticks were highly aggregated amongst the animals: some animals had no ticks, while others had high numbers. Larvae and nymphs were mostly found on the ears, while adult ticks were attached to the axillae. The Borrelia infection rate of questing nymphs was 8.5%. Unengorged wandering nymphs on deer had a Borrelia infection rate of 12.5%, while only 0.9% of feeding nymphs carried a Borrelia infection. The infection rate of unengorged adult male ticks was 4.5%, and that of feeding female ticks was 0.7%. The data suggest that ticks feeding on red deer and wild boar lose their Borrelia infections. The implications of the results are discussed with respect to Borrelia epidemiology and maintenance of a Borrelia reservoir as well as the role of reproductive hosts for Ixodes ricinus. PMID:25113977

  9. Using Indices of Fidelity to Intervention Core Components to Identify Program Active Ingredients

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abry, Tashia; Hulleman, Chris S.; Rimm-Kaufman, Sara E.

    2015-01-01

    Identifying the active ingredients of an intervention--intervention-specific components serving as key levers of change--is crucial for unpacking the intervention black box. Measures of intervention fidelity can be used to identify specific active ingredients, yet such applications are rare. We illustrate how fidelity measures can be used to…

  10. A modified reverse one-hybrid screen identifies transcriptional activation in Phyochrome-Interacting Factor 3

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Transcriptional activation domains (TAD) are difficult to predict and identify, since they are not conserved and have little consensus. Here, we describe a yeast-based screening method that is able to identify individual amino acid residues involved in transcriptional activation in a high throughput...

  11. Use of component analyses to identify active variables in treatment packages for children with feeding disorders.

    PubMed Central

    Cooper, L J; Wacker, D P; McComas, J J; Brown, K; Peck, S M; Richman, D; Drew, J; Frischmeyer, P; Millard, T

    1995-01-01

    We evaluated the separate components in treatment packages for food refusal of 4 young children. First, treatment packages were implemented until food acceptance improved. Next, a component analysis was conducted within a multielement or reversal design to identify the active components that facilitated food acceptance. The results indicated that escape extinction was always identified as an active variable when assessed; however, other variables, including positive reinforcement and noncontingent play, were also identified as active variables for 2 of the children. The results suggest that the component analysis was useful for identifying variables that affected food acceptance. PMID:7601802

  12. Functional Brain Activation Differences in Stuttering Identified with a Rapid fMRI Sequence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Loucks, Torrey; Kraft, Shelly Jo; Choo, Ai Leen; Sharma, Harish; Ambrose, Nicoline G.

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate whether brain activity related to the presence of stuttering can be identified with rapid functional MRI (fMRI) sequences that involved overt and covert speech processing tasks. The long-term goal is to develop sensitive fMRI approaches with developmentally appropriate tasks to identify deviant speech…

  13. A Clinical Drug Library Screen Identifies Tosufloxacin as Being Highly Active against Staphylococcus aureus Persisters

    PubMed Central

    Niu, Hongxia; Cui, Peng; Yee, Rebecca; Shi, Wanliang; Zhang, Shuo; Feng, Jie; Sullivan, David; Zhang, Wenhong; Zhu, Bingdong; Zhang, Ying

    2015-01-01

    To identify effective compounds that are active against Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) persisters, we screened a clinical drug library consisting of 1524 compounds and identified six drug candidates that had anti-persister activity: tosufloxacin, clinafloxacin, sarafloxacin, doxycycline, thiostrepton, and chlorosalicylanilide. Among them, tosufloxacin had the highest anti-persister activity, which could completely eradicate S. aureus persisters within 2 days in vitro. Clinafloxacin ranked the second with very few persisters surviving the drug exposure. Interestingly, we found that both tosufloxacin and trovafloxacin that had high activity against persisters contained at the N-1 position the 2,4-difluorophenyl group, which is absent in other less active quinolones and may be associated with the high anti-persister activity. Further studies are needed to evaluate tosufloxacin in animal models and to explain its unique activity against bacterial persisters. Our findings may have implications for improved treatment of persistent bacterial infections. PMID:27025627

  14. Viral and grazer regulation of prokaryotic growth efficiency in temperate freshwater pelagic environments.

    PubMed

    Pradeep Ram, A S; Colombet, Jonathan; Perriere, Fanny; Thouvenot, Antoine; Sime-Ngando, Telesphore

    2015-02-01

    In aquatic systems, limited data exists on the impact of mortality forces such as viral lysis and flagellate grazing when seeking to explain factors regulating prokaryotic metabolism. We explored the relative influence of top-down factors (viral lysis and heterotrophic nanoflagellate grazing) on prokaryotic mortality and their subsequent impact on their community metabolism in the euphotic zone of 21 temperate freshwater lakes located in the French Massif Central. Prokaryotic growth efficiency (PGE, index of prokaryotic community metabolism) determined from prokaryotic production and respiration measurements varied from 5 to 74% across the lakes. Viral and potential grazer-induced mortality of prokaryotes had contrasting impact on PGE. Potential flagellate grazing was found to enhance PGE whereas viral lysis had antagonistic impacts on PGE. The average PGE value in the grazing and viral lysis dominated lake water samples was 35.4% (±15.2%) and 17.2% (±8.1%), respectively. Selective viral lysis or flagellate grazing on prokaryotes together with the nature of contrasted substrates released through mortality processes can perhaps explain for the observed variation and differences in PGE among the studied lakes. The influences of such specific top-down processes on PGE can have strong implications on the carbon and nutrient fluxes in freshwater pelagic environments.

  15. Introduced grazers can restrict potential soil carbon sequestration through impacts on plant community composition.

    PubMed

    Bagchi, Sumanta; Ritchie, Mark E

    2010-08-01

    Grazing occurs over a third of the earth's land surface and may potentially influence the storage of 10(9) Mg year(-1) of greenhouse gases as soil C. Displacement of native herbivores by high densities of livestock has often led to overgrazing and soil C loss. However, it remains unknown whether matching livestock densities to those of native herbivores can yield equivalent soil C sequestration. In the Trans-Himalayas we found that, despite comparable grazing intensities, watersheds converted to pastoralism had 49% lower soil C than watersheds which retain native herbivores. Experimental grazer-exclusion within each watershed type, show that this difference appears to be driven by indirect effects of livestock diet selection, leading to vegetation shifts that lower plant production and reduce likely soil C inputs from vegetation by c. 25 gC m(-2) year(-1). Our results suggest that while accounting for direct impacts (stocking density) is a major step, managing indirect impacts on vegetation composition are equally important in influencing soil C sequestration in grazing ecosystems.

  16. Introduced grazers can restrict potential soil carbon sequestration through impacts on plant community composition.

    PubMed

    Bagchi, Sumanta; Ritchie, Mark E

    2010-08-01

    Grazing occurs over a third of the earth's land surface and may potentially influence the storage of 10(9) Mg year(-1) of greenhouse gases as soil C. Displacement of native herbivores by high densities of livestock has often led to overgrazing and soil C loss. However, it remains unknown whether matching livestock densities to those of native herbivores can yield equivalent soil C sequestration. In the Trans-Himalayas we found that, despite comparable grazing intensities, watersheds converted to pastoralism had 49% lower soil C than watersheds which retain native herbivores. Experimental grazer-exclusion within each watershed type, show that this difference appears to be driven by indirect effects of livestock diet selection, leading to vegetation shifts that lower plant production and reduce likely soil C inputs from vegetation by c. 25 gC m(-2) year(-1). Our results suggest that while accounting for direct impacts (stocking density) is a major step, managing indirect impacts on vegetation composition are equally important in influencing soil C sequestration in grazing ecosystems. PMID:20482575

  17. Grazer-induced morphological defense in Scenedesmus obliquus is affected by competition against Microcystis aeruginosa

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Xuexia; Wang, Jun; Lu, Yichun; Chen, Qinwen; Yang, Zhou

    2015-01-01

    The green alga Scenedesmus is known for its phenotypic plasticity in response to grazing risk. However, the benefits of colony formation induced by infochemicals from zooplankton should come with costs. That is, a tradeoff in benefit-to-cost ratios is likely under complex environmental conditions. In this study, we hypothesized that the coexistence of Scenedesmus and its competitors decreases the formation of anti-grazer colonies in Scenedesmus. Results demonstrated that the presence of a competitor Microcystis aeruginosa inhibited inducible defensive colony formation of Scenedesmus obliquus, and the established defensive colonies negatively affected the competitive ability of S. obliquus. The proportion of induced defensive colonies in cultures was dependent on the relative abundance of competitors. Under low competition intensity, large amount of eight-celled colonies were formed but at the cost of decreased competitive inhibition on M. aeruginosa. By contrast, defensive colony formation of S. obliquus slacked in the presence of high competition intensity to maintain a high displacement rate (competitive ability). In conclusion, S. obliquus exhibited different responses to potential grazing pressure under different intensities of competition, i.e., Scenedesmus morphological response to grazing infochemicals was affected by competition against Microcystis. PMID:26224387

  18. Serial depletion of marine invertebrates leads to the decline of a strongly interacting grazer.

    PubMed

    Salomon, Anne K; Tanape, Nick M; Huntington, Henry P

    2007-09-01

    We investigated the relative roles of natural factors and shoreline harvest leading to recent declines of the black leather chiton (Katharina tunicata) on the outer Kenai Peninsula, Alaska (U.S.A.). This intertidal mollusk is a strongly interacting grazer and a culturally important subsistence fishery for Sugpiaq (Chugach Alutiiq) natives. We took multiple approaches to determine causes of decline. Field surveys examined the significant predictors of Katharina density and biomass across 11 sites varying in harvest pressure, and an integrated analysis of archaeological faunal remains, historical records, traditional ecological knowledge, and contemporary subsistence invertebrate landings examined changes in subsistence practices through time. Strong evidence suggests that current spatial variation in Katharina density and biomass is driven by both human exploitation and sea otter (Enhydra lutris) predation. Traditional knowledge, calibrated by subsistence harvest data, further revealed that several benthic marine invertebrates (sea urchin, crab, clams, and cockles) have declined serially beginning in the 1960s, with reduced densities and sizes of Katharina being the most recent. The timing of these declines was coincident with changes in human behavior (from semi-nomadic to increasingly permanent settlement patterns, improved extractive technologies, regional commercial crustacean exploitation, the erosion of culturally based season and size restrictions) and with the reestablishment of sea otters. We propose that a spatial concentration in shoreline collection pressure through time, increased harvest efficiency, and the serial depletion of alternative marine invertebrate prey have led to intensified per capita predator impacts on Katharina and thus its recent localized decline. PMID:17913138

  19. Community context mediates the top-down vs. bottom-up effects of grazers on rocky shores.

    PubMed

    Bracken, Matthew E S; Dolecal, Renee E; Long, Jeremy D

    2014-06-01

    Interactions between grazers and autotrophs are complex, including both top-down consumptive and bottom-up facilitative effects of grazers. Thus, in addition to consuming autotrophs, herbivores can also enhance autotroph biomass by recycling limiting nutrients, thereby increasing nutrient availability. Here, we evaluated these consumptive and facilitative interactions between snails (Littorina littorea) and seaweeds (Fucus vesiculosus and Ulva lactuca) on a rocky shore. We partitioned herbivores' total effects on seaweeds into their consumptive and facilitative effects and evaluated how community context (the presence of another seaweed species) modified the effects of Littorina on a focal seaweed species. Ulva, the more palatable species, enhanced the facilitative effects of Littorina on Fucus. Ulva did not modify the consumptive effect of Littorina on Fucus. Taken together, the consumptive and facilitative effects of snails on Fucus in the presence of Ulva balanced each other, resulting in no net effect of Littorina on Fucus. In contrast, the only effect of Fucus on Ulva was to enhance consumptive effects of Littorina on Ulva. Our results highlight the necessity of considering both consumptive and facilitative effects of herbivores on multiple autotroph species in order to gain a mechanistic understanding of grazers' top-down and bottom-up roles in structuring communities. PMID:25039210

  20. Identifying Facilitators and Barriers to Physical Activity for Adults with Down Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mahy, J.; Shields, N.; Taylor, N. F.; Dodd, K. J.

    2010-01-01

    Background: Adults with Down syndrome are typically sedentary, and many do not participate in the recommended levels of physical activity per week. The aim of this study was to identify the facilitators and barriers to physical activity for this group. Method: Semi-structured interviews were conducted to elicit the views of adults with Down…

  1. Computational Approaches for Mining GRO-Seq Data to Identify and Characterize Active Enhancers.

    PubMed

    Nagari, Anusha; Murakami, Shino; Malladi, Venkat S; Kraus, W Lee

    2017-01-01

    Transcriptional enhancers are DNA regulatory elements that are bound by transcription factors and act to positively regulate the expression of nearby or distally located target genes. Enhancers have many features that have been discovered using genomic analyses. Recent studies have shown that active enhancers recruit RNA polymerase II (Pol II) and are transcribed, producing enhancer RNAs (eRNAs). GRO-seq, a method for identifying the location and orientation of all actively transcribing RNA polymerases across the genome, is a powerful approach for monitoring nascent enhancer transcription. Furthermore, the unique pattern of enhancer transcription can be used to identify enhancers in the absence of any information about the underlying transcription factors. Here, we describe the computational approaches required to identify and analyze active enhancers using GRO-seq data, including data pre-processing, alignment, and transcript calling. In addition, we describe protocols and computational pipelines for mining GRO-seq data to identify active enhancers, as well as known transcription factor binding sites that are transcribed. Furthermore, we discuss approaches for integrating GRO-seq-based enhancer data with other genomic data, including target gene expression and function. Finally, we describe molecular biology assays that can be used to confirm and explore further the function of enhancers that have been identified using genomic assays. Together, these approaches should allow the user to identify and explore the features and biological functions of new cell type-specific enhancers. PMID:27662874

  2. Can administrative data identify active diagnoses for long-term care resident assessment?

    PubMed

    Berlowitz, Dan R; Hickey, Elaine C; Saliba, Debra

    2010-01-01

    Many veterans receive rehabilitation services in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) nursing homes. Efficient methods for the identification of active diagnoses could facilitate care planning and outcomes assessment. We set out to determine whether diagnostic data from VA databases can be used to identify active diagnoses for Minimum Data Set (MDS) assessments. We evaluated diagnoses being considered for inclusion in MDS version 3.0 and present in at least 15% of a sample of VA nursing home residents. A research nurse following a standardized protocol identified active diagnoses from the medical records of 120 residents. A clinical nurse also identified active diagnoses in 58 of these patients. Inpatient and outpatient diagnoses from the VA National Patient Care Database were identified for the past year. We calculated kappa, sensitivity, and specificity values, considering the nurses' assessments the gold standard. We found that kappa values comparing research nurses and databases were generally poor, with only 8 of the 19 diagnoses having a value >0.60. Levels of agreement between the clinical nurse and administrative data were generally similar. We conclude that VA administrative data cannot be used to accurately identify active diagnoses for nursing home residents. How best to efficiently collect these important data remains uncertain.

  3. High Throughput Screening Identifies Novel Lead Compounds with Activity against Larval, Juvenile and Adult Schistosoma mansoni.

    PubMed

    Mansour, Nuha R; Paveley, Ross; Gardner, J Mark F; Bell, Andrew S; Parkinson, Tanya; Bickle, Quentin

    2016-04-01

    An estimated 600 million people are affected by the helminth disease schistosomiasis caused by parasites of the genus Schistosoma. There is currently only one drug recommended for treating schistosomiasis, praziquantel (PZQ), which is effective against adult worms but not against the juvenile stage. In an attempt to identify improved drugs for treating the disease, we have carried out high throughput screening of a number of small molecule libraries with the aim of identifying lead compounds with balanced activity against all life stages of Schistosoma. A total of almost 300,000 compounds were screened using a high throughput assay based on motility of worm larvae and image analysis of assay plates. Hits were screened against juvenile and adult worms to identify broadly active compounds and against a mammalian cell line to assess cytotoxicity. A number of compounds were identified as promising leads for further chemical optimization. PMID:27128493

  4. High Throughput Screening Identifies Novel Lead Compounds with Activity against Larval, Juvenile and Adult Schistosoma mansoni

    PubMed Central

    Gardner, J. Mark F.; Bell, Andrew S.; Parkinson, Tanya; Bickle, Quentin

    2016-01-01

    An estimated 600 million people are affected by the helminth disease schistosomiasis caused by parasites of the genus Schistosoma. There is currently only one drug recommended for treating schistosomiasis, praziquantel (PZQ), which is effective against adult worms but not against the juvenile stage. In an attempt to identify improved drugs for treating the disease, we have carried out high throughput screening of a number of small molecule libraries with the aim of identifying lead compounds with balanced activity against all life stages of Schistosoma. A total of almost 300,000 compounds were screened using a high throughput assay based on motility of worm larvae and image analysis of assay plates. Hits were screened against juvenile and adult worms to identify broadly active compounds and against a mammalian cell line to assess cytotoxicity. A number of compounds were identified as promising leads for further chemical optimization. PMID:27128493

  5. High Throughput Screening Identifies Novel Lead Compounds with Activity against Larval, Juvenile and Adult Schistosoma mansoni.

    PubMed

    Mansour, Nuha R; Paveley, Ross; Gardner, J Mark F; Bell, Andrew S; Parkinson, Tanya; Bickle, Quentin

    2016-04-01

    An estimated 600 million people are affected by the helminth disease schistosomiasis caused by parasites of the genus Schistosoma. There is currently only one drug recommended for treating schistosomiasis, praziquantel (PZQ), which is effective against adult worms but not against the juvenile stage. In an attempt to identify improved drugs for treating the disease, we have carried out high throughput screening of a number of small molecule libraries with the aim of identifying lead compounds with balanced activity against all life stages of Schistosoma. A total of almost 300,000 compounds were screened using a high throughput assay based on motility of worm larvae and image analysis of assay plates. Hits were screened against juvenile and adult worms to identify broadly active compounds and against a mammalian cell line to assess cytotoxicity. A number of compounds were identified as promising leads for further chemical optimization.

  6. Variable viral and grazer control of prokaryotic growth efficiency in temperate freshwater lakes (French Massif Central).

    PubMed

    Ram, A S Pradeep; Palesse, S; Colombet, J; Sabart, M; Perriere, F; Sime-Ngando, T

    2013-11-01

    The effects of viral lysis and heterotrophic nanoflagellate grazing (top down forces) on prokaryotic mortality and their subsequent impact on their metabolism were estimated in the upper euphotic and deeper aphotic depth of 11 freshwater lakes located in the French Massif Central. The standing stocks of viruses (VA) and heterotrophic nanoflagellate (HNF) varied significantly (p < 0.05) with sampled depth. VA was substantially (twofold on an average) and significantly higher (p < 0.03) at the aphotic compared to euphotic depth, whereas the reverse was true (p < 0.02) for HNF. Among the prokaryote subgroup, high nucleic acid content prokaryotes explained for significant variability in the total VA and served as principle host target for viral proliferation. Like standing stocks, flagellate grazing and viral infection rates also followed similar patterns. In the investigated lakes, the mechanism for regulating prokaryotic production varied with sampled depth from grazing control in the euphotic to control due to viral lysis in the aphotic. We also tested the hypothesis of top down control on prokaryotic growth efficiency (PGE, which we used as an index of prokaryotic physiological and energetic status at the community level) at both depths. Overall, among the studied lakes, PGE varied widely (4-51 %) with significantly (p < 0.05) lower values in the aphotic (mean = 18 ± 4 %) than euphotic depth (mean = 32 ± 9 %). Contrasting observations on the top down control of PGE between sampled depths were observed. The presence of grazers was found to stimulate PGE at the euphotic, whereas viruses through their lytic infection had a strong negative impact on PGE at the aphotic depth. Such observed differences in PGE and the mechanism controlling prokaryotic production with depth could eventually have strong implication on carbon and nutrient flux patterns in the studied lakes.

  7. Decoupling of nutrient and grazer impacts on a benthic estuarine diatom assemblage

    PubMed Central

    Armitage, Anna R.; Gonzalez, Vanessa L.; Fong, Peggy

    2014-01-01

    Strong interactions between top-down (consumptive) and bottom-up (resource supply) trophic factors occur in many aquatic communities, but these forces can act independently in some microphytobenthic communities. Within benthic estuarine diatom assemblages, the dynamics of these interactions and how they vary with abiotic environmental conditions are not well understood. We conducted a field experiment at two sites with varying habitat characteristics to investigate the interactive effects of grazers and nutrients on benthic estuarine diatoms. We crossed snail (Cerithidea californica) and nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) addition treatments in enclosures on a restored tidal sandflat and a reference tidal mudflat in Mugu Lagoon, southern California. We repeated the study in summer 2000 and spring 2001 to assess temporal variation in the interactions. Snails caused a large decrease in diatom relative abundance and biomass (estimated as surface area); nutrients increased diatom abundance but did not alter diatom biomass. Snails and nutrients both reduced average diatom length, although the nutrient effect was weaker and temporally variable, occurring in the reference mudflat in the spring. There were few interactions between snail and nutrient addition treatments, suggesting that links between top-down and bottom-up forces on the diatom community were weak. There were no consistent differences in diatom assemblage characteristics between the two study sites, despite marked differences in sediment grain size and other abiotic characteristics between the sites. The strong diatom response to herbivores and weaker responses to enrichment differed from the previous studies where cyanobacteria increased in response to nutrient enrichment, further dissolving the “black box” perception of microphytobenthic communities. PMID:25568503

  8. Plant Trait Assembly Affects Superiority of Grazer's Foraging Strategies in Species-Rich Grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Mládek, Jan; Mládková, Pavla; Hejcmanová, Pavla; Dvorský, Miroslav; Pavlu, Vilém; De Bello, Francesco; Duchoslav, Martin; Hejcman, Michal; Pakeman, Robin J.

    2013-01-01

    Background Current plant – herbivore interaction models and experiments with mammalian herbivores grazing plant monocultures show the superiority of a maximizing forage quality strategy (MFQ) over a maximizing intake strategy (MI). However, there is a lack of evidence whether grazers comply with the model predictions under field conditions. Methodology/Findings We assessed diet selection of sheep (Ovis aries) using plant functional traits in productive mesic vs. low-productivity dry species-rich grasslands dominated by resource-exploitative vs. resource-conservative species respectively. Each grassland type was studied in two replicates for two years. We investigated the first grazing cycle in a set of 288 plots with a diameter of 30 cm, i.e. the size of sheep feeding station. In mesic grasslands, high plot defoliation was associated with community weighted means of leaf traits referring to high forage quality, i.e. low leaf dry matter content (LDMC) and high specific leaf area (SLA), with a high proportion of legumes and the most with high community weighted mean of forage indicator value. In contrast in dry grasslands, high community weighted mean of canopy height, an estimate of forage quantity, was the best predictor of plot defoliation. Similar differences in selection on forage quality vs. quantity were detected within plots. Sheep selected plants with higher forage indicator values than the plot specific community weighted mean of forage indicator value in mesic grasslands whereas taller plants were selected in dry grasslands. However, at this scale sheep avoided legumes and plants with higher SLA, preferred plants with higher LDMC while grazing plants with higher forage indicator values in mesic grasslands. Conclusions Our findings indicate that MFQ appears superior over MI only in habitats with a predominance of resource-exploitative species. Furthermore, plant functional traits (LDMC, SLA, nitrogen fixer) seem to be helpful correlates of forage quality

  9. Grazer exclusion alters plant spatial organization at multiple scales, increasing diversity

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Hui; Gilbert, Benjamin; Wang, Wenbin; Liu, Junjie; Zhou, Shurong

    2013-01-01

    Grazing is one of the most important factors influencing community structure and productivity in natural grasslands. Understanding why and how grazing pressure changes species diversity is essential for the preservation and restoration of biodiversity in grasslands. We use heavily grazed subalpine meadows in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau to test the hypothesis that grazer exclusion alters plant diversity by changing inter- and intraspecific species distributions. Using recently developed spatial analyses combined with detailed ramet mapping of entire plant communities (91 species), we show striking differences between grazed and fenced areas that emerged at scales of just one meter. Species richness was similar at very small scales (0.0625 m2), but at larger scales diversity in grazed areas fell below 75% of corresponding fenced areas. These differences were explained by differences in spatial distributions; intra- and interspecific associations changed from aggregated at small scales to overdispersed in the fenced plots, but were consistently aggregated in the grazed ones. We conclude that grazing enhanced inter- and intraspecific aggregations and maintained high diversity at small scales, but caused decreased turnover in species at larger scales, resulting in lower species richness. Our study provides strong support to the theoretical prediction that inter- and intraspecific aggregation produces local spatial patterns that scale-up to affect species diversity in a community. It also demonstrates that the impacts of grazing can manifest through this mechanism, lowering diversity by reducing spatial turnover in species. Finally, it highlights the ecological and physiological plant processes that are likely responding to grazing and thereby altering aggregation patterns, providing new insights for monitoring, and mediating the impacts of grazing. PMID:24223294

  10. Gastropod grazers and nutrients, but not light, interact in determining periphytic algal diversity.

    PubMed

    Liess, Antonia; Kahlert, Maria

    2007-05-01

    The potential interactions of grazing, nutrients and light in influencing autotroph species diversity have not previously been considered. Earlier studies have shown that grazing and nutrients interact in determining autotroph species diversity, since grazing decreases species diversity when nutrients (i.e. N or P) limit autotroph growth, but increases it when nutrients are replete. We hypothesized that increased light intensities would intensify the interactions between grazing and nutrients on algal species diversity, resulting in even stronger reductions in algal species diversity through grazing under nutrient-poor conditions, and to even stronger increases of algal species diversity through grazing under nutrient-rich conditions. We studied the effects of grazing (absent, present), nutrients (ambient, N + P enriched) and light (low light, high light) on benthic algal diversity and periphyton C:nutrient ratios (which can indicate algal nutrient limitation) in a factorial laboratory experiment, using the gastropod grazer Viviparus viviparus. Grazing decreased algal biomass and algal diversity, but increased C:P and N:P ratios of periphyton. Grazing also affected periphyton species composition, by decreasing the proportion of Spirogyra sp. and increasing the proportion of species in the Chaetophorales. Grazing effects on diversity as well as on periphyton N:P ratios were weakened when nutrients were added (interaction between grazing and nutrients). Chlorophyll a (Chl a) per area increased with nutrient addition and decreased with high light intensities. Light did not increase the strength of the interaction between grazing and nutrients on periphytic algal diversity. This study shows that nutrient addition substantially reduced the negative effects of grazing on periphytic algal diversity, whereas light did not interact with grazing or nutrient enrichment in determining periphytic algal diversity. PMID:17285319

  11. Large grazers modify effects of aboveground-belowground interactions on small-scale plant community composition.

    PubMed

    Veen, G F Ciska; Geuverink, Elzemiek; Olff, Han

    2012-02-01

    Aboveground and belowground organisms influence plant community composition by local interactions, and their scale of impact may vary from millimeters belowground to kilometers aboveground. However, it still poorly understood how large grazers that select their forage on large spatial scales interact with small-scale aboveground-belowground interactions on plant community heterogeneity. Here, we investigate how cattle (Bos taurus) modify the effects of interactions between yellow meadow ants (Lasius flavus) and European brown hares (Lepus europaeus) on the formation of small-scale heterogeneity in vegetation composition. In the absence of cattle, hares selectively foraged on ant mounds, while under combined grazing by hares and cattle, vertebrate grazing pressure was similar on and off mounds. Ant mounds that were grazed by only hares had a different plant community composition compared to their surroundings: the cover of the grazing-intolerant grass Elytrigia atherica was reduced on ant mounds, whereas the relative cover of the more grazing-tolerant and palatable grass Festuca rubra was enhanced. Combined grazing by hares and cattle, resulted in homogenization of plant community composition on and off ant mounds, with high overall cover of F. rubra. We conclude that hares can respond to local ant-soil-vegetation interactions, because they are small, selective herbivores that make their foraging decisions on a local scale. This results in small-scale plant patches on mounds of yellow meadow ants. In the presence of cattle, which are less selective aboveground herbivores, local plant community patterns triggered by small-scale aboveground-belowground interactions can disappear. Therefore, cattle modify the consequences of aboveground-belowground interactions for small-scale plant community composition.

  12. Genome-wide quantitative enhancer activity maps identified by STARR-seq.

    PubMed

    Arnold, Cosmas D; Gerlach, Daniel; Stelzer, Christoph; Boryń, Łukasz M; Rath, Martina; Stark, Alexander

    2013-03-01

    Genomic enhancers are important regulators of gene expression, but their identification is a challenge, and methods depend on indirect measures of activity. We developed a method termed STARR-seq to directly and quantitatively assess enhancer activity for millions of candidates from arbitrary sources of DNA, which enables screens across entire genomes. When applied to the Drosophila genome, STARR-seq identifies thousands of cell type-specific enhancers across a broad continuum of strengths, links differential gene expression to differences in enhancer activity, and creates a genome-wide quantitative enhancer map. This map reveals the highly complex regulation of transcription, with several independent enhancers for both developmental regulators and ubiquitously expressed genes. STARR-seq can be used to identify and quantify enhancer activity in other eukaryotes, including humans.

  13. SABER: A computational method for identifying active sites for new reactions

    PubMed Central

    Nosrati, Geoffrey R; Houk, K N

    2012-01-01

    A software suite, SABER (Selection of Active/Binding sites for Enzyme Redesign), has been developed for the analysis of atomic geometries in protein structures, using a geometric hashing algorithm (Barker and Thornton, Bioinformatics 2003;19:1644–1649). SABER is used to explore the Protein Data Bank (PDB) to locate proteins with a specific 3D arrangement of catalytic groups to identify active sites that might be redesigned to catalyze new reactions. As a proof-of-principle test, SABER was used to identify enzymes that have the same catalytic group arrangement present in o-succinyl benzoate synthase (OSBS). Among the highest-scoring scaffolds identified by the SABER search for enzymes with the same catalytic group arrangement as OSBS were l-Ala d/l-Glu epimerase (AEE) and muconate lactonizing enzyme II (MLE), both of which have been redesigned to become effective OSBS catalysts, demonstrated by experiments. Next, we used SABER to search for naturally existing active sites in the PDB with catalytic groups similar to those present in the designed Kemp elimination enzyme KE07. From over 2000 geometric matches to the KE07 active site, SABER identified 23 matches that corresponded to residues from known active sites. The best of these matches, with a 0.28 Å catalytic atom RMSD to KE07, was then redesigned to be compatible with the Kemp elimination using RosettaDesign. We also used SABER to search for potential Kemp eliminases using a theozyme predicted to provide a greater rate acceleration than the active site of KE07, and used Rosetta to create a design based on the proteins identified. PMID:22492397

  14. SABER: a computational method for identifying active sites for new reactions.

    PubMed

    Nosrati, Geoffrey R; Houk, K N

    2012-05-01

    A software suite, SABER (Selection of Active/Binding sites for Enzyme Redesign), has been developed for the analysis of atomic geometries in protein structures, using a geometric hashing algorithm (Barker and Thornton, Bioinformatics 2003;19:1644-1649). SABER is used to explore the Protein Data Bank (PDB) to locate proteins with a specific 3D arrangement of catalytic groups to identify active sites that might be redesigned to catalyze new reactions. As a proof-of-principle test, SABER was used to identify enzymes that have the same catalytic group arrangement present in o-succinyl benzoate synthase (OSBS). Among the highest-scoring scaffolds identified by the SABER search for enzymes with the same catalytic group arrangement as OSBS were L-Ala D/L-Glu epimerase (AEE) and muconate lactonizing enzyme II (MLE), both of which have been redesigned to become effective OSBS catalysts, demonstrated by experiments. Next, we used SABER to search for naturally existing active sites in the PDB with catalytic groups similar to those present in the designed Kemp elimination enzyme KE07. From over 2000 geometric matches to the KE07 active site, SABER identified 23 matches that corresponded to residues from known active sites. The best of these matches, with a 0.28 Å catalytic atom RMSD to KE07, was then redesigned to be compatible with the Kemp elimination using RosettaDesign. We also used SABER to search for potential Kemp eliminases using a theozyme predicted to provide a greater rate acceleration than the active site of KE07, and used Rosetta to create a design based on the proteins identified. PMID:22492397

  15. Identifying the Common Characteristics of Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs in Louisiana

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Deslatte, Kyrie'; Carson, Russell L.

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this project was to (a) determine the common characteristics of current comprehensive school physical activity programs (CSPAP) in Louisiana and (b) identify strategies for implementing a CSPAP. Four individuals (i.e., one physical education teacher, one principal, and two classroom teachers) were recruited from three public schools…

  16. Whole-organism screening for gluconeogenesis identifies activators of fasting metabolism.

    PubMed

    Gut, Philipp; Baeza-Raja, Bernat; Andersson, Olov; Hasenkamp, Laura; Hsiao, Joseph; Hesselson, Daniel; Akassoglou, Katerina; Verdin, Eric; Hirschey, Matthew D; Stainier, Didier Y R

    2013-02-01

    Improving the control of energy homeostasis can lower cardiovascular risk in metabolically compromised individuals. To identify new regulators of whole-body energy control, we conducted a high-throughput screen in transgenic reporter zebrafish for small molecules that modulate the expression of the fasting-inducible gluconeogenic gene pck1. We show that this in vivo strategy identified several drugs that affect gluconeogenesis in humans as well as metabolically uncharacterized compounds. Most notably, we find that the translocator protein ligands PK 11195 and Ro5-4864 are glucose-lowering agents despite a strong inductive effect on pck1 expression. We show that these drugs are activators of a fasting-like energy state and, notably, that they protect high-fat diet-induced obese mice from hepatosteatosis and glucose intolerance, two pathological manifestations of metabolic dysregulation. Thus, using a whole-organism screening strategy, this study has identified new small-molecule activators of fasting metabolism.

  17. A virtual screening approach for identifying plants with anti H5N1 neuraminidase activity.

    PubMed

    Ikram, Nur Kusaira Khairul; Durrant, Jacob D; Muchtaridi, Muchtaridi; Zalaludin, Ayunni Salihah; Purwitasari, Neny; Mohamed, Nornisah; Rahim, Aisyah Saad Abdul; Lam, Chan Kit; Normi, Yahaya M; Rahman, Noorsaadah Abd; Amaro, Rommie E; Wahab, Habibah A

    2015-02-23

    Recent outbreaks of highly pathogenic and occasional drug-resistant influenza strains have highlighted the need to develop novel anti-influenza therapeutics. Here, we report computational and experimental efforts to identify influenza neuraminidase inhibitors from among the 3000 natural compounds in the Malaysian-Plants Natural-Product (NADI) database. These 3000 compounds were first docked into the neuraminidase active site. The five plants with the largest number of top predicted ligands were selected for experimental evaluation. Twelve specific compounds isolated from these five plants were shown to inhibit neuraminidase, including two compounds with IC50 values less than 92 μM. Furthermore, four of the 12 isolated compounds had also been identified in the top 100 compounds from the virtual screen. Together, these results suggest an effective new approach for identifying bioactive plant species that will further the identification of new pharmacologically active compounds from diverse natural-product resources. PMID:25555059

  18. A Virtual Screening Approach For Identifying Plants with Anti H5N1 Neuraminidase Activity

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Recent outbreaks of highly pathogenic and occasional drug-resistant influenza strains have highlighted the need to develop novel anti-influenza therapeutics. Here, we report computational and experimental efforts to identify influenza neuraminidase inhibitors from among the 3000 natural compounds in the Malaysian-Plants Natural-Product (NADI) database. These 3000 compounds were first docked into the neuraminidase active site. The five plants with the largest number of top predicted ligands were selected for experimental evaluation. Twelve specific compounds isolated from these five plants were shown to inhibit neuraminidase, including two compounds with IC50 values less than 92 μM. Furthermore, four of the 12 isolated compounds had also been identified in the top 100 compounds from the virtual screen. Together, these results suggest an effective new approach for identifying bioactive plant species that will further the identification of new pharmacologically active compounds from diverse natural-product resources. PMID:25555059

  19. Synthesis and Structure activity relationships of EGCG Analogues, A Recently Identified Hsp90 Inhibitor

    PubMed Central

    Khandelwal, Anuj; Hall, Jessica

    2014-01-01

    Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the principal polyphenol isolated from green tea, was recently shown to inhibit Hsp90, however structure-activity relationships for this natural product have not yet been produced. Herein, we report the synthesis and biological evaluation of EGCG analogues to establish structure-activity relationships between EGCG and Hsp90. All four rings as well as the linker connecting the C- and the D-rings were systematically investigated, which led to the discovery of compounds that inhibit Hs90 and display improvement in efficacy over EGCG. Anti-proliferative activity of all the analogues was determined against MCF-7 and SKBr3 cell lines and Hsp90 inhibitory activity of four most potent analogues was further evaluated by western blot analyses and degradation of Hsp90-dependent client proteins. Prenyl substituted aryl ester of 3,5-dihydroxychroman-3-ol ring system was identified as novel scaffold that exhibit Hsp90 inhibitory activity. PMID:23834230

  20. Synthesis and structure-activity relationships of EGCG analogues, a recently identified Hsp90 inhibitor.

    PubMed

    Khandelwal, Anuj; Hall, Jessica A; Blagg, Brian S J

    2013-08-16

    Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the principal polyphenol isolated from green tea, was recently shown to inhibit Hsp90; however, structure-activity relationships for this natural product have not yet been produced. Herein, we report the synthesis and biological evaluation of EGCG analogues to establish structure-activity relationships between EGCG and Hsp90. All four rings as well as the linker connecting the C- and the D-rings were systematically investigated, which led to the discovery of compounds that inhibit Hs90 and display improvement in efficacy over EGCG. Antiproliferative activity of all the analogues was determined against MCF-7 and SKBr3 cell lines and Hsp90 inhibitory activity of the four most potent analogues was further evaluated by Western blot analyses and degradation of Hsp90-dependent client proteins. The prenyl-substituted aryl ester of 3,5-dihydroxychroman-3-ol ring system was identified as a novel scaffold that exhibits Hsp90 inhibitory activity. PMID:23834230

  1. Bayesian Modeling of the Effects of Extreme Flooding and the Grazer Community on Algal Biomass Dynamics in a Monsoonal Taiwan Stream.

    PubMed

    Chiu, Ming-Chih; Kuo, Mei-Hwa; Chang, Hao-Yen; Lin, Hsing-Juh

    2016-08-01

    The effects of grazing and climate change on primary production have been studied widely, but seldom with mechanistic models. We used a Bayesian model to examine the effects of extreme weather and the invertebrate grazer community on epilithic algal biomass dynamics over 10 years (from January 2004 to August 2013). Algal biomass and the invertebrate grazer community were monitored in the upstream drainage of the Dajia River in Taiwan, where extreme floods have been becoming more frequent. The biomass of epilithic algae changed, both seasonally and annually, and extreme flooding changed the growth and resistance to flow detachment of the algae. Invertebrate grazing pressure changes with the structure of the invertebrate grazer community, which, in turn, is affected by the flow regime. Invertebrate grazer community structure and extreme flooding both affected the dynamics of epilithic algae, but in different ways. Awareness of the interactions between algal communities and grazers/abiotic factors can help with the design of future studies and could facilitate the development of management programs for stream ecosystems. PMID:27273089

  2. Bayesian Modeling of the Effects of Extreme Flooding and the Grazer Community on Algal Biomass Dynamics in a Monsoonal Taiwan Stream.

    PubMed

    Chiu, Ming-Chih; Kuo, Mei-Hwa; Chang, Hao-Yen; Lin, Hsing-Juh

    2016-08-01

    The effects of grazing and climate change on primary production have been studied widely, but seldom with mechanistic models. We used a Bayesian model to examine the effects of extreme weather and the invertebrate grazer community on epilithic algal biomass dynamics over 10 years (from January 2004 to August 2013). Algal biomass and the invertebrate grazer community were monitored in the upstream drainage of the Dajia River in Taiwan, where extreme floods have been becoming more frequent. The biomass of epilithic algae changed, both seasonally and annually, and extreme flooding changed the growth and resistance to flow detachment of the algae. Invertebrate grazing pressure changes with the structure of the invertebrate grazer community, which, in turn, is affected by the flow regime. Invertebrate grazer community structure and extreme flooding both affected the dynamics of epilithic algae, but in different ways. Awareness of the interactions between algal communities and grazers/abiotic factors can help with the design of future studies and could facilitate the development of management programs for stream ecosystems.

  3. A high-content screening assay in transgenic zebrafish identifies two novel activators of fgf signaling.

    PubMed

    Saydmohammed, Manush; Vollmer, Laura L; Onuoha, Ezenwa Obi; Vogt, Andreas; Tsang, Michael

    2011-09-01

    Zebrafish have become an invaluable vertebrate animal model to interrogate small molecule libraries for modulators of complex biological pathways and phenotypes. We have recently described the implementation of a quantitative, high-content imaging assay in multi-well plates to analyze the effects of small molecules on Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF) signaling in vivo. Here we have evaluated the capability of the assay to identify compounds that hyperactivate FGF signaling from a test cassette of agents with known biological activities. Using a transgenic zebrafish reporter line for FGF activity, we screened 1040 compounds from an annotated library of known bioactive agents, including FDA-approved drugs. The assay identified two molecules, 8-hydroxyquinoline sulfate and pyrithione zinc, that enhanced FGF signaling in specific areas of the brain. Subsequent studies revealed that both compounds specifically expanded FGF target gene expression. Furthermore, treatment of early stage embryos with either compound resulted in dorsalized phenotypes characteristic of hyperactivation of FGF signaling in early development. Documented activities for both agents included activation of extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK), consistent with FGF hyperactivation. To conclude, we demonstrate the power of automated quantitative high-content imaging to identify small molecule modulators of FGF. PMID:21932436

  4. Tracking heavy water (D2O) incorporation for identifying and sorting active microbial cells.

    PubMed

    Berry, David; Mader, Esther; Lee, Tae Kwon; Woebken, Dagmar; Wang, Yun; Zhu, Di; Palatinszky, Marton; Schintlmeister, Arno; Schmid, Markus C; Hanson, Buck T; Shterzer, Naama; Mizrahi, Itzhak; Rauch, Isabella; Decker, Thomas; Bocklitz, Thomas; Popp, Jürgen; Gibson, Christopher M; Fowler, Patrick W; Huang, Wei E; Wagner, Michael

    2015-01-13

    Microbial communities are essential to the function of virtually all ecosystems and eukaryotes, including humans. However, it is still a major challenge to identify microbial cells active under natural conditions in complex systems. In this study, we developed a new method to identify and sort active microbes on the single-cell level in complex samples using stable isotope probing with heavy water (D2O) combined with Raman microspectroscopy. Incorporation of D2O-derived D into the biomass of autotrophic and heterotrophic bacteria and archaea could be unambiguously detected via C-D signature peaks in single-cell Raman spectra, and the obtained labeling pattern was confirmed by nanoscale-resolution secondary ion MS. In fast-growing Escherichia coli cells, label detection was already possible after 20 min. For functional analyses of microbial communities, the detection of D incorporation from D2O in individual microbial cells via Raman microspectroscopy can be directly combined with FISH for the identification of active microbes. Applying this approach to mouse cecal microbiota revealed that the host-compound foragers Akkermansia muciniphila and Bacteroides acidifaciens exhibited distinctive response patterns to amendments of mucin and sugars. By Raman-based cell sorting of active (deuterated) cells with optical tweezers and subsequent multiple displacement amplification and DNA sequencing, novel cecal microbes stimulated by mucin and/or glucosamine were identified, demonstrating the potential of the nondestructive D2O-Raman approach for targeted sorting of microbial cells with defined functional properties for single-cell genomics.

  5. Machine learning models identify molecules active against the Ebola virus in vitro.

    PubMed

    Ekins, Sean; Freundlich, Joel S; Clark, Alex M; Anantpadma, Manu; Davey, Robert A; Madrid, Peter

    2015-01-01

    The search for small molecule inhibitors of Ebola virus (EBOV) has led to several high throughput screens over the past 3 years. These have identified a range of FDA-approved active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) with anti-EBOV activity in vitro and several of which are also active in a mouse infection model. There are millions of additional commercially-available molecules that could be screened for potential activities as anti-EBOV compounds. One way to prioritize compounds for testing is to generate computational models based on the high throughput screening data and then virtually screen compound libraries. In the current study, we have generated Bayesian machine learning models with viral pseudotype entry assay and the EBOV replication assay data. We have validated the models internally and externally. We have also used these models to computationally score the MicroSource library of drugs to select those likely to be potential inhibitors. Three of the highest scoring molecules that were not in the model training sets, quinacrine, pyronaridine and tilorone, were tested in vitro and had EC 50 values of 350, 420 and 230 nM, respectively. Pyronaridine is a component of a combination therapy for malaria that was recently approved by the European Medicines Agency, which may make it more readily accessible for clinical testing. Like other known antimalarial drugs active against EBOV, it shares the 4-aminoquinoline scaffold. Tilorone, is an investigational antiviral agent that has shown a broad array of biological activities including cell growth inhibition in cancer cells, antifibrotic properties, α7 nicotinic receptor agonist activity, radioprotective activity and activation of hypoxia inducible factor-1. Quinacrine is an antimalarial but also has use as an anthelmintic. Our results suggest data sets with less than 1,000 molecules can produce validated machine learning models that can in turn be utilized to identify novel EBOV inhibitors in vitro. PMID:26834994

  6. Machine learning models identify molecules active against the Ebola virus in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Ekins, Sean; Freundlich, Joel S.; Clark, Alex M.; Anantpadma, Manu; Davey, Robert A.; Madrid, Peter

    2016-01-01

    The search for small molecule inhibitors of Ebola virus (EBOV) has led to several high throughput screens over the past 3 years. These have identified a range of FDA-approved active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) with anti-EBOV activity in vitro and several of which are also active in a mouse infection model. There are millions of additional commercially-available molecules that could be screened for potential activities as anti-EBOV compounds. One way to prioritize compounds for testing is to generate computational models based on the high throughput screening data and then virtually screen compound libraries. In the current study, we have generated Bayesian machine learning models with viral pseudotype entry assay and the EBOV replication assay data. We have validated the models internally and externally. We have also used these models to computationally score the MicroSource library of drugs to select those likely to be potential inhibitors. Three of the highest scoring molecules that were not in the model training sets, quinacrine, pyronaridine and tilorone, were tested in vitro and had EC 50 values of 350, 420 and 230 nM, respectively. Pyronaridine is a component of a combination therapy for malaria that was recently approved by the European Medicines Agency, which may make it more readily accessible for clinical testing. Like other known antimalarial drugs active against EBOV, it shares the 4-aminoquinoline scaffold. Tilorone, is an investigational antiviral agent that has shown a broad array of biological activities including cell growth inhibition in cancer cells, antifibrotic properties, α7 nicotinic receptor agonist activity, radioprotective activity and activation of hypoxia inducible factor-1. Quinacrine is an antimalarial but also has use as an anthelmintic. Our results suggest data sets with less than 1,000 molecules can produce validated machine learning models that can in turn be utilized to identify novel EBOV inhibitors in vitro. PMID:26834994

  7. Pharmaceutical screen identifies novel target processes for activation of autophagy with a broad translational potential

    PubMed Central

    Chauhan, Santosh; Ahmed, Zahra; Bradfute, Steven B.; Arko-Mensah, John; Mandell, Michael A.; Won Choi, Seong; Kimura, Tomonori; Blanchet, Fabien; Waller, Anna; Mudd, Michal H.; Jiang, Shanya; Sklar, Larry; Timmins, Graham S.; Maphis, Nicole; Bhaskar, Kiran; Piguet, Vincent; Deretic, Vojo

    2015-01-01

    Autophagy is a conserved homeostatic process active in all human cells and affecting a spectrum of diseases. Here we use a pharmaceutical screen to discover new mechanisms for activation of autophagy. We identify a subset of pharmaceuticals inducing autophagic flux with effects in diverse cellular systems modelling specific stages of several human diseases such as HIV transmission and hyperphosphorylated tau accumulation in Alzheimer's disease. One drug, flubendazole, is a potent inducer of autophagy initiation and flux by affecting acetylated and dynamic microtubules in a reciprocal way. Disruption of dynamic microtubules by flubendazole results in mTOR deactivation and dissociation from lysosomes leading to TFEB (transcription factor EB) nuclear translocation and activation of autophagy. By inducing microtubule acetylation, flubendazole activates JNK1 leading to Bcl-2 phosphorylation, causing release of Beclin1 from Bcl-2-Beclin1 complexes for autophagy induction, thus uncovering a new approach to inducing autophagic flux that may be applicable in disease treatment. PMID:26503418

  8. Antihypertensive activity of peptides identified in the in vitro gastrointestinal digest of pork meat.

    PubMed

    Escudero, Elizabeth; Toldrá, Fidel; Sentandreu, Miguel Angel; Nishimura, Hitoshi; Arihara, Keizo

    2012-07-01

    This study investigated the in vivo antihypertensive activity of three novel peptides identified in the in vitro digest of pork meat. These peptides were RPR, KAPVA and PTPVP and all of them showed significant antihypertensive activity after oral administration to spontaneously hypertensive rats, RPR being the peptide with the greatest in vivo activity. To our knowledge, this is the first report showing the in vivo antihypertensive action of the three peptides from nebulin (RPR) and titin (KAPVA and PTPVP), thus confirming their reported in vitro angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory activity. These findings suggest that pork meat could constitute a source of bioactive constituents that could be utilized in functional foods or nutraceuticals.

  9. Identifying repeating motifs in the activation of synchronized bursts in cultured neuronal networks.

    PubMed

    Raichman, Nadav; Ben-Jacob, Eshel

    2008-05-15

    Cultured neuronal networks cultivated on micro-electrode arrays are a widely used tool for the investigation of network mechanisms, providing structural framework for long-term recordings of network electrical activity, as well as the network reaction to electrical or chemical stimulations. The typical activity pattern of the culture takes the form of synchronized bursting events (SBEs), in which a large fraction of the recorded neurons simultaneously fire trains of action potentials in short bursts of several hundreds of a millisecond. We developed a method that identifies clusters of bursts that share a similar activation motif throughout the culture based on the fact that the culture morphology remains relatively unchanged for an extended time interval and that neurons fire in a recognizable and precise manner during a burst initiation. Our method compares accuracies in time delays that occurred between the activation of spike-trains of different neurons. Three culture architectures were studied and analyzed: a large network of 2 million cells, a smaller network limited in size of 100,000 cells, and a large network divided into 4 clusters. In each of the morphologies we identified cultures that showed more than one activation motif. Clustered networks showed more motifs on average than uniform cultures. The algorithm was able to show high fidelity to artificial noise. We also compare the results of our method with another method based on a correlation measure.

  10. A novel pattern mining approach for identifying cognitive activity in EEG based functional brain networks.

    PubMed

    Thilaga, M; Vijayalakshmi, R; Nadarajan, R; Nandagopal, D

    2016-06-01

    The complex nature of neuronal interactions of the human brain has posed many challenges to the research community. To explore the underlying mechanisms of neuronal activity of cohesive brain regions during different cognitive activities, many innovative mathematical and computational models are required. This paper presents a novel Common Functional Pattern Mining approach to demonstrate the similar patterns of interactions due to common behavior of certain brain regions. The electrode sites of EEG-based functional brain network are modeled as a set of transactions and node-based complex network measures as itemsets. These itemsets are transformed into a graph data structure called Functional Pattern Graph. By mining this Functional Pattern Graph, the common functional patterns due to specific brain functioning can be identified. The empirical analyses show the efficiency of the proposed approach in identifying the extent to which the electrode sites (transactions) are similar during various cognitive load states. PMID:27401999

  11. A novel pattern mining approach for identifying cognitive activity in EEG based functional brain networks.

    PubMed

    Thilaga, M; Vijayalakshmi, R; Nadarajan, R; Nandagopal, D

    2016-06-01

    The complex nature of neuronal interactions of the human brain has posed many challenges to the research community. To explore the underlying mechanisms of neuronal activity of cohesive brain regions during different cognitive activities, many innovative mathematical and computational models are required. This paper presents a novel Common Functional Pattern Mining approach to demonstrate the similar patterns of interactions due to common behavior of certain brain regions. The electrode sites of EEG-based functional brain network are modeled as a set of transactions and node-based complex network measures as itemsets. These itemsets are transformed into a graph data structure called Functional Pattern Graph. By mining this Functional Pattern Graph, the common functional patterns due to specific brain functioning can be identified. The empirical analyses show the efficiency of the proposed approach in identifying the extent to which the electrode sites (transactions) are similar during various cognitive load states.

  12. Application of modified in vitro screening procedure for identifying herbals possessing sulfonylurea-like activity.

    PubMed

    Rotshteyn, Y; Zito, S W

    2004-08-01

    We describe here the application of a modified in vitro procedure for identifying herbs potentially possessing sulfonylurea-like activity. The procedure consists of the combination of an SUR1 receptor binding assay and an insulin secretion assay in cultures of HIT-T15 cells. This procedure could be used as an initial step in identifying new safe and efficacious agents for the management of Type II diabetes. The application of this screening procedure to a set of selected herbs produced results that were consistent with the previously reported properties of those herbs. The collected data suggest that the hypoglycemic properties of bitter melon (Momordica charantia, Linn. Family, Cucurbitacea), cerasse (Momordica charantia, Linn. wild variety, Family, Cucurbitacea) and American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius, Linn., Family Araliacea) are at least partially due to their sulfonylurea-like activity.

  13. Activity-based protein profiling identifies a host enzyme, carboxylesterase 1, which is differentially active during hepatitis C virus replication.

    PubMed

    Blais, David R; Lyn, Rodney K; Joyce, Michael A; Rouleau, Yanouchka; Steenbergen, Rineke; Barsby, Nicola; Zhu, Lin-Fu; Pegoraro, Adrian F; Stolow, Albert; Tyrrell, David L; Pezacki, John Paul

    2010-08-13

    Hepatitis C virus (HCV) relies on many interactions with host cell proteins for propagation. Successful HCV infection also requires enzymatic activity of host cell enzymes for key post-translational modifications. To identify such enzymes, we have applied activity-based protein profiling to examine the activity of serine hydrolases during HCV replication. Profiling of hydrolases in Huh7 cells replicating HCV identified CES1 (carboxylesterase 1) as a differentially active enzyme. CES1 is an endogenous liver protein involved in processing of triglycerides and cholesterol. We observe that CES1 expression and activity were altered in the presence of HCV. The knockdown of CES1 with siRNA resulted in lower levels of HCV replication, and up-regulation of CES1 was observed to favor HCV propagation, implying an important role for this host cell protein. Experiments in HCV JFH1-infected cells suggest that CES1 facilitates HCV release because less intracellular HCV core protein was observed, whereas HCV titers remained high. CES1 activity was observed to increase the size and density of lipid droplets, which are necessary for the maturation of very low density lipoproteins, one of the likely vehicles for HCV release. In transgenic mice containing human-mouse chimeric livers, HCV infection also correlates with higher levels of endogenous CES1, providing further evidence that CES1 has an important role in HCV propagation. PMID:20530478

  14. Emodin is identified as the active component of ether extracts from Rhizoma Polygoni Cuspidati, for anti-MRSA activity.

    PubMed

    Cao, Feng; Peng, Wei; Li, Xiaoli; Liu, Ming; Li, Bin; Qin, Rongxin; Jiang, Weiwei; Cen, Yanyan; Pan, Xichun; Yan, Zifei; Xiao, Kangkang; Zhou, Hong

    2015-06-01

    This study investigated the anti-methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (anti-MRSA) activity and chemical compositions of ether extracts from Rhizoma Polygoni Cuspidati (ET-RPC). Significant anti-MRSA activities of ET-RPC against MRSA252 and MRSA clinical strains were tested in in vitro antibacterial experiments, such as inhibition zone diameter test, minimal inhibitory concentration test, and dynamic bacterial growth assay. Subsequently, 7 major compounds of ET-RPC were purified and identified as polydatin, resveratrol-4-O-d-(6'-galloyl)-glucopyranoside, resveratrol, torachryson-8-O-glucoside, emodin-8-O-glucoside, 6-hydroxy-emodin, and emodin using liquid chromatography - electrospray ionization - tandem mass spectrometry. After investigation of anti-MRSA activities of the 7 major compounds, only emodin had significant anti-MRSA activity. Further, transmission electron microscopy was used to observe morphological changes in the cell wall of MRSA252, and the result revealed that emodin could damage the integrity of cell wall, leading to loss of intracellular components. In summary, our results showed ET-RPC could significantly inhibit bacterial growth of MRSA strains. Emodin was identified as the major compound with anti-MRSA activity; this activity was related to destruction of the integrity of the cell wall and cell membrane. PMID:25966789

  15. Validation of mercury tip-switch and accelerometer activity sensors for identifying resting and active behavior in bears

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jasmine Ware,; Rode, Karyn D.; Pagano, Anthony M.; Bromaghin, Jeffrey; Charles T Robbins,; Joy Erlenbach,; Shannon Jensen,; Amy Cutting,; Nicole Nicassio-Hiskey,; Amy Hash,; Owen, Megan A.; Heiko Jansen,

    2015-01-01

    Activity sensors are often included in wildlife transmitters and can provide information on the behavior and activity patterns of animals remotely. However, interpreting activity-sensor data relative to animal behavior can be difficult if animals cannot be continuously observed. In this study, we examined the performance of a mercury tip-switch and a tri-axial accelerometer housed in collars to determine whether sensor data can be accurately classified as resting and active behaviors and whether data are comparable for the 2 sensor types. Five captive bears (3 polar [Ursus maritimus] and 2 brown [U. arctos horribilis]) were fitted with a collar specially designed to internally house the sensors. The bears’ behaviors were recorded, classified, and then compared with sensor readings. A separate tri-axial accelerometer that sampled continuously at a higher frequency and provided raw acceleration values from 3 axes was also mounted on the collar to compare with the lower resolution sensors. Both accelerometers more accurately identified resting and active behaviors at time intervals ranging from 1 minute to 1 hour (≥91.1% accuracy) compared with the mercury tip-switch (range = 75.5–86.3%). However, mercury tip-switch accuracy improved when sampled at longer intervals (e.g., 30–60 min). Data from the lower resolution accelerometer, but not the mercury tip-switch, accurately predicted the percentage of time spent resting during an hour. Although the number of bears available for this study was small, our results suggest that these activity sensors can remotely identify resting versus active behaviors across most time intervals. We recommend that investigators consider both study objectives and the variation in accuracy of classifying resting and active behaviors reported here when determining sampling interval.

  16. CETSA screening identifies known and novel thymidylate synthase inhibitors and slow intracellular activation of 5-fluorouracil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Almqvist, Helena; Axelsson, Hanna; Jafari, Rozbeh; Dan, Chen; Mateus, André; Haraldsson, Martin; Larsson, Andreas; Molina, Daniel Martinez; Artursson, Per; Lundbäck, Thomas; Nordlund, Pär

    2016-03-01

    Target engagement is a critical factor for therapeutic efficacy. Assessment of compound binding to native target proteins in live cells is therefore highly desirable in all stages of drug discovery. We report here the first compound library screen based on biophysical measurements of intracellular target binding, exemplified by human thymidylate synthase (TS). The screen selected accurately for all the tested known drugs acting on TS. We also identified TS inhibitors with novel chemistry and marketed drugs that were not previously known to target TS, including the DNA methyltransferase inhibitor decitabine. By following the cellular uptake and enzymatic conversion of known drugs we correlated the appearance of active metabolites over time with intracellular target engagement. These data distinguished a much slower activation of 5-fluorouracil when compared with nucleoside-based drugs. The approach establishes efficient means to associate drug uptake and activation with target binding during drug discovery.

  17. CETSA screening identifies known and novel thymidylate synthase inhibitors and slow intracellular activation of 5-fluorouracil.

    PubMed

    Almqvist, Helena; Axelsson, Hanna; Jafari, Rozbeh; Dan, Chen; Mateus, André; Haraldsson, Martin; Larsson, Andreas; Martinez Molina, Daniel; Artursson, Per; Lundbäck, Thomas; Nordlund, Pär

    2016-01-01

    Target engagement is a critical factor for therapeutic efficacy. Assessment of compound binding to native target proteins in live cells is therefore highly desirable in all stages of drug discovery. We report here the first compound library screen based on biophysical measurements of intracellular target binding, exemplified by human thymidylate synthase (TS). The screen selected accurately for all the tested known drugs acting on TS. We also identified TS inhibitors with novel chemistry and marketed drugs that were not previously known to target TS, including the DNA methyltransferase inhibitor decitabine. By following the cellular uptake and enzymatic conversion of known drugs we correlated the appearance of active metabolites over time with intracellular target engagement. These data distinguished a much slower activation of 5-fluorouracil when compared with nucleoside-based drugs. The approach establishes efficient means to associate drug uptake and activation with target binding during drug discovery. PMID:27010513

  18. CETSA screening identifies known and novel thymidylate synthase inhibitors and slow intracellular activation of 5-fluorouracil

    PubMed Central

    Almqvist, Helena; Axelsson, Hanna; Jafari, Rozbeh; Dan, Chen; Mateus, André; Haraldsson, Martin; Larsson, Andreas; Molina, Daniel Martinez; Artursson, Per; Lundbäck, Thomas; Nordlund, Pär

    2016-01-01

    Target engagement is a critical factor for therapeutic efficacy. Assessment of compound binding to native target proteins in live cells is therefore highly desirable in all stages of drug discovery. We report here the first compound library screen based on biophysical measurements of intracellular target binding, exemplified by human thymidylate synthase (TS). The screen selected accurately for all the tested known drugs acting on TS. We also identified TS inhibitors with novel chemistry and marketed drugs that were not previously known to target TS, including the DNA methyltransferase inhibitor decitabine. By following the cellular uptake and enzymatic conversion of known drugs we correlated the appearance of active metabolites over time with intracellular target engagement. These data distinguished a much slower activation of 5-fluorouracil when compared with nucleoside-based drugs. The approach establishes efficient means to associate drug uptake and activation with target binding during drug discovery. PMID:27010513

  19. Tracking heavy water (D2O) incorporation for identifying and sorting active microbial cells

    PubMed Central

    Berry, David; Mader, Esther; Lee, Tae Kwon; Woebken, Dagmar; Wang, Yun; Zhu, Di; Palatinszky, Marton; Schintlmeister, Arno; Schmid, Markus C.; Hanson, Buck T.; Shterzer, Naama; Mizrahi, Itzhak; Rauch, Isabella; Decker, Thomas; Bocklitz, Thomas; Popp, Jürgen; Gibson, Christopher M.; Fowler, Patrick W.; Huang, Wei E.; Wagner, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Microbial communities are essential to the function of virtually all ecosystems and eukaryotes, including humans. However, it is still a major challenge to identify microbial cells active under natural conditions in complex systems. In this study, we developed a new method to identify and sort active microbes on the single-cell level in complex samples using stable isotope probing with heavy water (D2O) combined with Raman microspectroscopy. Incorporation of D2O-derived D into the biomass of autotrophic and heterotrophic bacteria and archaea could be unambiguously detected via C-D signature peaks in single-cell Raman spectra, and the obtained labeling pattern was confirmed by nanoscale-resolution secondary ion MS. In fast-growing Escherichia coli cells, label detection was already possible after 20 min. For functional analyses of microbial communities, the detection of D incorporation from D2O in individual microbial cells via Raman microspectroscopy can be directly combined with FISH for the identification of active microbes. Applying this approach to mouse cecal microbiota revealed that the host-compound foragers Akkermansia muciniphila and Bacteroides acidifaciens exhibited distinctive response patterns to amendments of mucin and sugars. By Raman-based cell sorting of active (deuterated) cells with optical tweezers and subsequent multiple displacement amplification and DNA sequencing, novel cecal microbes stimulated by mucin and/or glucosamine were identified, demonstrating the potential of the nondestructive D2O-Raman approach for targeted sorting of microbial cells with defined functional properties for single-cell genomics. PMID:25550518

  20. Calcium Imaging of Neuronal Activity in Drosophila Can Identify Anticonvulsive Compounds

    PubMed Central

    Streit, Anne K.; Fan, Yuen Ngan; Masullo, Laura; Baines, Richard A.

    2016-01-01

    Although there are now a number of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) available, approximately one-third of epilepsy patients respond poorly to drug intervention. The reasons for this are complex, but are probably reflective of the increasing number of identified mutations that predispose individuals to this disease. Thus, there is a clear requirement for the development of novel treatments to address this unmet clinical need. The existence of gene mutations that mimic a seizure-like behaviour in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, offers the possibility to exploit the powerful genetics of this insect to identify novel cellular targets to facilitate design of more effective AEDs. In this study we use neuronal expression of GCaMP, a potent calcium reporter, to image neuronal activity using a non-invasive and rapid method. Expression in motoneurons in the isolated CNS of third instar larvae shows waves of calcium-activity that pass between segments of the ventral nerve cord. Time between calcium peaks, in the same neurons, between adjacent segments usually show a temporal separation of greater than 200 ms. Exposure to proconvulsants (picrotoxin or 4-aminopyridine) reduces separation to below 200 ms showing increased synchrony of activity across adjacent segments. Increased synchrony, characteristic of epilepsy, is similarly observed in genetic seizure mutants: bangsenseless1 (bss1) and paralyticK1270T (paraK1270T). Exposure of bss1 to clinically-used antiepileptic drugs (phenytoin or gabapentin) significantly reduces synchrony. In this study we use the measure of synchronicity to evaluate the effectiveness of known and novel anticonvulsive compounds (antipain, isethionate, etopiside rapamycin and dipyramidole) to reduce seizure-like CNS activity. We further show that such compounds also reduce the Drosophila voltage-gated persistent Na+ current (INaP) in an identified motoneuron (aCC). Our combined assays provide a rapid and reliable method to screen unknown compounds

  1. Potent Plasmodium falciparum Gametocytocidal Activity of Diaminonaphthoquinones, Lead Antimalarial Chemotypes Identified in an Antimalarial Compound Screen

    PubMed Central

    Tanaka, Takeshi Q; Guiguemde, W. Armand; Barnett, David S.; Maron, Maxim I.; Min, Jaeki; Connelly, Michele C.; Suryadevara, Praveen Kumar; Guy, R. Kiplin

    2014-01-01

    Forty percent of the world's population is threatened by malaria, which is caused by Plasmodium parasites and results in an estimated 200 million clinical cases and 650,000 deaths each year. Drug resistance has been reported for all commonly used antimalarials and has prompted screens to identify new drug candidates. However, many of these new candidates have not been evaluated against the parasite stage responsible for transmission, gametocytes. If Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes are not eliminated, patients continue to spread malaria for weeks after asexual parasite clearance. Asymptomatic individuals can also harbor gametocyte burdens sufficient for transmission, and a safe, effective gametocytocidal agent could also be used in community-wide malaria control programs. Here, we identify 15 small molecules with nanomolar activity against late-stage gametocytes. Fourteen are diaminonaphthoquinones (DANQs), and one is a 2-imino-benzo[d]imidazole (IBI). One of the DANQs identified, SJ000030570, is a lead antimalarial candidate. In contrast, 94% of the 650 compounds tested are inactive against late-stage gametocytes. Consistent with the ineffectiveness of most approved antimalarials against gametocytes, of the 19 novel compounds with activity against known anti-asexual-stage targets, only 3 had any strong effect on gametocyte viability. These data demonstrate the distinct biology of the transmission stages and emphasize the importance of screening for gametocytocidal activity. The potent gametocytocidal activity of DANQ and IBI coupled with their efficacy against asexual parasites provides leads for the development of antimalarials with the potential to prevent both the symptoms and the spread of malaria. PMID:25512421

  2. Potent Plasmodium falciparum gametocytocidal activity of diaminonaphthoquinones, lead antimalarial chemotypes identified in an antimalarial compound screen.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Takeshi Q; Guiguemde, W Armand; Barnett, David S; Maron, Maxim I; Min, Jaeki; Connelly, Michele C; Suryadevara, Praveen Kumar; Guy, R Kiplin; Williamson, Kim C

    2015-03-01

    Forty percent of the world's population is threatened by malaria, which is caused by Plasmodium parasites and results in an estimated 200 million clinical cases and 650,000 deaths each year. Drug resistance has been reported for all commonly used antimalarials and has prompted screens to identify new drug candidates. However, many of these new candidates have not been evaluated against the parasite stage responsible for transmission, gametocytes. If Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes are not eliminated, patients continue to spread malaria for weeks after asexual parasite clearance. Asymptomatic individuals can also harbor gametocyte burdens sufficient for transmission, and a safe, effective gametocytocidal agent could also be used in community-wide malaria control programs. Here, we identify 15 small molecules with nanomolar activity against late-stage gametocytes. Fourteen are diaminonaphthoquinones (DANQs), and one is a 2-imino-benzo[d]imidazole (IBI). One of the DANQs identified, SJ000030570, is a lead antimalarial candidate. In contrast, 94% of the 650 compounds tested are inactive against late-stage gametocytes. Consistent with the ineffectiveness of most approved antimalarials against gametocytes, of the 19 novel compounds with activity against known anti-asexual-stage targets, only 3 had any strong effect on gametocyte viability. These data demonstrate the distinct biology of the transmission stages and emphasize the importance of screening for gametocytocidal activity. The potent gametocytocidal activity of DANQ and IBI coupled with their efficacy against asexual parasites provides leads for the development of antimalarials with the potential to prevent both the symptoms and the spread of malaria. PMID:25512421

  3. Identifying active methane-oxidizers in thawed Arctic permafrost by proteomics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lau, C. M.; Stackhouse, B. T.; Chourey, K.; Hettich, R. L.; Vishnivetskaya, T. A.; Pfiffner, S. M.; Layton, A. C.; Mykytczuk, N. C.; Whyte, L.; Onstott, T. C.

    2012-12-01

    The rate of CH4 release from thawing permafrost in the Arctic has been regarded as one of the determining factors on future global climate. It is uncertain how indigenous microorganisms would interact with such changing environmental conditions and hence their impact on the fate of carbon compounds that are sequestered in the cryosol. Multitudinous studies of pristine surface cryosol (top 5 cm) and microcosm experiments have provided growing evidence of effective methanotrophy. Cryosol samples corresponding to active layer were sampled from a sparsely vegetated, ice-wedge polygon at the McGill Arctic Research Station at Axel Heiberg Island, Nunavut, Canada (N79°24, W90°45) before the onset of annual thaw. Pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene indicated the occurrence of methanotroph-containing bacterial families as minor components (~5%) in pristine cryosol including Bradyrhizobiaceae, Methylobacteriaceae and Methylocystaceae within alpha-Proteobacteria, and Methylacidiphilaceae within Verrucomicrobia. The potential of methanotrophy is supported by preliminary analysis of metagenome data, which indicated putative methane monooxygenase gene sequences relating to Bradyrhizobium sp. and Pseudonocardia sp. are present. Proteome profiling in general yielded minute traces of proteins, which likely hints at dormant nature of the soil microbial consortia. The lack of specific protein database for permafrost posted additional challenge to protein identification. Only 35 proteins could be identified in the pristine cryosol and of which 60% belonged to Shewanella sp. Most of the identified proteins are known to be involved in energy metabolism or post-translational modification of proteins. Microcosms amended with sodium acetate exhibited a net methane consumption of ~65 ngC-CH4 per gram (fresh weight) of soil over 16 days of aerobic incubation at room temperature. The pH in microcosm materials remained acidic (decreased from initial 4.7 to 4.5). Protein extraction and

  4. A yeast-based assay identifies drugs active against human mitochondrial disorders.

    PubMed

    Couplan, Elodie; Aiyar, Raeka S; Kucharczyk, Roza; Kabala, Anna; Ezkurdia, Nahia; Gagneur, Julien; St Onge, Robert P; Salin, Bénédicte; Soubigou, Flavie; Le Cann, Marie; Steinmetz, Lars M; di Rago, Jean-Paul; Blondel, Marc

    2011-07-19

    Due to the lack of relevant animal models, development of effective treatments for human mitochondrial diseases has been limited. Here we establish a rapid, yeast-based assay to screen for drugs active against human inherited mitochondrial diseases affecting ATP synthase, in particular NARP (neuropathy, ataxia, and retinitis pigmentosa) syndrome. This method is based on the conservation of mitochondrial function from yeast to human, on the unique ability of yeast to survive without production of ATP by oxidative phosphorylation, and on the amenability of the yeast mitochondrial genome to site-directed mutagenesis. Our method identifies chlorhexidine by screening a chemical library and oleate through a candidate approach. We show that these molecules rescue a number of phenotypes resulting from mutations affecting ATP synthase in yeast. These compounds are also active on human cybrid cells derived from NARP patients. These results validate our method as an effective high-throughput screening approach to identify drugs active in the treatment of human ATP synthase disorders and suggest that this type of method could be applied to other mitochondrial diseases.

  5. A yeast-based assay identifies drugs active against human mitochondrial disorders

    PubMed Central

    Couplan, Elodie; Aiyar, Raeka S.; Kucharczyk, Roza; Kabala, Anna; Ezkurdia, Nahia; Gagneur, Julien; St. Onge, Robert P.; Salin, Bénédicte; Soubigou, Flavie; Le Cann, Marie; Steinmetz, Lars M.; di Rago, Jean-Paul; Blondel, Marc

    2011-01-01

    Due to the lack of relevant animal models, development of effective treatments for human mitochondrial diseases has been limited. Here we establish a rapid, yeast-based assay to screen for drugs active against human inherited mitochondrial diseases affecting ATP synthase, in particular NARP (neuropathy, ataxia, and retinitis pigmentosa) syndrome. This method is based on the conservation of mitochondrial function from yeast to human, on the unique ability of yeast to survive without production of ATP by oxidative phosphorylation, and on the amenability of the yeast mitochondrial genome to site-directed mutagenesis. Our method identifies chlorhexidine by screening a chemical library and oleate through a candidate approach. We show that these molecules rescue a number of phenotypes resulting from mutations affecting ATP synthase in yeast. These compounds are also active on human cybrid cells derived from NARP patients. These results validate our method as an effective high-throughput screening approach to identify drugs active in the treatment of human ATP synthase disorders and suggest that this type of method could be applied to other mitochondrial diseases. PMID:21715656

  6. Identifying Functional Co-activation Patterns in Neuroimaging Studies via Poisson Graphical Models

    PubMed Central

    Xue, Wenqiong; Kang, Jian; Bowman, F. DuBois; Wager, Tor D.; Guo, Jian

    2014-01-01

    Summary Studying the interactions between different brain regions is essential to achieve a more complete understanding of brain function. In this paper, we focus on identifying functional co-activation patterns and undirected functional networks in neuroimaging studies. We build a functional brain network, using a sparse covariance matrix, with elements representing associations between region-level peak activations. We adopt a penalized likelihood approach to impose sparsity on the covariance matrix based on an extended multivariate Poisson model. We obtain penalized maximum likelihood estimates via the expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm and optimize an associated tuning parameter by maximizing the predictive log-likelihood. Permutation tests on the brain co-activation patterns provide region pair and network-level inference. Simulations suggest that the proposed approach has minimal biases and provides a coverage rate close to 95% of covariance estimations. Conducting a meta-analysis of 162 functional neuroimaging studies on emotions, our model identifies a functional network that consists of connected regions within the basal ganglia, limbic system, and other emotion-related brain regions. We characterize this network through statistical inference on region-pair connections as well as by graph measures. PMID:25147001

  7. Comprehensive profiling analysis of actively resorbing osteoclasts identifies critical signaling pathways regulated by bone substrate

    PubMed Central

    Purdue, P. Edward; Crotti, Tania N.; Shen, Zhenxin; Swantek, Jennifer; Li, Jun; Hill, Jonathan; Hanidu, Adedayo; Dimock, Janice; Nabozny, Gerald; Goldring, Steven R.; McHugh, Kevin P.

    2014-01-01

    As the only cells capable of efficiently resorbing bone, osteoclasts are central mediators of both normal bone remodeling and pathologies associates with excessive bone resorption. However, despite the clear evidence of interplay between osteoclasts and the bone surface in vivo, the role of the bone substrate in regulating osteoclast differentiation and activation at a molecular level has not been fully defined. Here, we present the first comprehensive expression profiles of osteoclasts differentiated on authentic resorbable bone substrates. This analysis has identified numerous critical pathways coordinately regulated by osteoclastogenic cytokines and bone substrate, including the transition from proliferation to differentiation, and sphingosine-1-phosphate signaling. Whilst, as expected, much of this program is dependent upon integrin beta 3, the pre-eminent mediator of osteoclast-bone interaction, a surprisingly significant portion of the bone substrate regulated expression signature is independent of this receptor. Together, these findings identify an important hitherto underappreciated role for bone substrate in osteoclastogenesis. PMID:25534583

  8. An identified glutamatergic interneuron patterns feeding motor activity via both excitation and inhibition.

    PubMed

    Quinlan, E M; Gregory, K; Murphy, A D

    1995-03-01

    1. Previously we demonstrated that glutamate is an important neurotransmitter in the CNS of Helisoma. Exogenous glutamate applied to the buccal ganglia mimicked both the excitatory and inhibitory effects of subunit 2 (S2) of the tripartite central pattern generator (CPG) on S2 postsynaptic motor neurons. Here we identify buccal interneuron B2 as an S2 interneuron by utilizing a combination of electrophysiology, pharmacology, and intracellular staining. In addition, neurons that were electrophysiologically and morphologically characterized as neuron B2 demonstrated antiglutamate immunoreactivity, suggesting that neuron B2 is a source of endogenous glutamate in the buccal ganglia. 2. Depolarization of neuron B2 evoked excitatory postsynaptic potentials in motor neurons excited by S2. The excitatory effects of B2 depolarization and S2 activation were reversibly antagonized by the ionotropic glutamate receptor antagonist 6-cyano-7-nitro-quinoxaline-2,3-dione, similar to the antagonism shown previously for application of exogenous glutamate. Depolarization of neuron B2 also evoked inhibitory postsynaptic potentials in motor neurons inhibited by S2. When such motor neurons were maintained in isolated cell culture, application of exogenous glutamate produced a direct hyperpolarization of the membrane potential. 3. The activity of neuron B2 is necessary for the production of the standard pattern of buccal motor neuron activity, which underlies functional feeding movements. The subunits of the tripartite buccal CPG must be active in the temporal sequence S1-S2-S3 to produce the standard feeding pattern. Rhythmic inhibition from neuron B2 terminated activity in S1 postsynaptic motor neurons and entrained the frequency of activity in S3 postsynaptic motor neurons. Hyperpolarization of neuron B2 disrupted the production of the standard motor pattern by eliminating S2 postsynaptic potentials in identified buccal motor neurons, thereby prolonging S1 activity and disrupting S3

  9. Screening of Pharmacologically Active Small Molecule Compounds Identifies Antifungal Agents Against Candida Biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Watamoto, Takao; Egusa, Hiroshi; Sawase, Takashi; Yatani, Hirofumi

    2015-01-01

    Candida species have emerged as important and common opportunistic human pathogens, particularly in immunocompromised individuals. The current antifungal therapies either have toxic side effects or are insufficiently effect. The aim of this study is develop new small-molecule antifungal compounds by library screening methods using Candida albicans, and to evaluate their antifungal effects on Candida biofilms and cytotoxic effects on human cells. Wild-type C. albicans strain SC5314 was used in library screening. To identify antifungal compounds, we screened a small-molecule library of 1,280 pharmacologically active compounds (LOPAC1280TM) using an antifungal susceptibility test (AST). To investigate the antifungal effects of the hit compounds, ASTs were conducted using Candida strains in various growth modes, including biofilms. We tested the cytotoxicity of the hit compounds using human gingival fibroblast (hGF) cells to evaluate their clinical safety. Only 35 compounds were identified by screening, which inhibited the metabolic activity of C. albicans by >50%. Of these, 26 compounds had fungistatic effects and nine compounds had fungicidal effects on C. albicans. Five compounds, BAY11-7082, BAY11-7085, sanguinarine chloride hydrate, ellipticine and CV-3988, had strong fungicidal effects and could inhibit the metabolic activity of Candida biofilms. However, BAY11-7082, BAY11-7085, sanguinarine chloride hydrate and ellipticine were cytotoxic to hGF cells at low concentrations. CV-3988 showed no cytotoxicity at a fungicidal concentration. Four of the compounds identified, BAY11-7082, BAY11-7085, sanguinarine chloride hydrate and ellipticine, had toxic effects on Candida strains and hGF cells. In contrast, CV-3988 had fungicidal effects on Candida strains, but low cytotoxic effects on hGF cells. Therefore, this screening reveals agent, CV-3988 that was previously unknown to be antifungal agent, which could be a novel therapies for superficial mucosal candidiasis. PMID

  10. Individual Human Brain Areas Can Be Identified from Their Characteristic Spectral Activation Fingerprints

    PubMed Central

    Keitel, Anne; Gross, Joachim

    2016-01-01

    The human brain can be parcellated into diverse anatomical areas. We investigated whether rhythmic brain activity in these areas is characteristic and can be used for automatic classification. To this end, resting-state MEG data of 22 healthy adults was analysed. Power spectra of 1-s long data segments for atlas-defined brain areas were clustered into spectral profiles (“fingerprints”), using k-means and Gaussian mixture (GM) modelling. We demonstrate that individual areas can be identified from these spectral profiles with high accuracy. Our results suggest that each brain area engages in different spectral modes that are characteristic for individual areas. Clustering of brain areas according to similarity of spectral profiles reveals well-known brain networks. Furthermore, we demonstrate task-specific modulations of auditory spectral profiles during auditory processing. These findings have important implications for the classification of regional spectral activity and allow for novel approaches in neuroimaging and neurostimulation in health and disease. PMID:27355236

  11. Using time-driven activity-based costing to identify value improvement opportunities in healthcare.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Robert S; Witkowski, Mary; Abbott, Megan; Guzman, Alexis Barboza; Higgins, Laurence D; Meara, John G; Padden, Erin; Shah, Apurva S; Waters, Peter; Weidemeier, Marco; Wertheimer, Sam; Feeley, Thomas W

    2014-01-01

    As healthcare providers cope with pricing pressures and increased accountability for performance, they should be rededicating themselves to improving the value they deliver to their patients: better outcomes and lower costs. Time-driven activity-based costing offers the potential for clinicians to redesign their care processes toward that end. This costing approach, however, is new to healthcare and has not yet been systematically implemented and evaluated. This article describes early time-driven activity-based costing work at several leading healthcare organizations in the United States and Europe. It identifies the opportunities they found to improve value for patients and demonstrates how this costing method can serve as the foundation for new bundled payment reimbursement approaches. PMID:25647962

  12. Individual Human Brain Areas Can Be Identified from Their Characteristic Spectral Activation Fingerprints.

    PubMed

    Keitel, Anne; Gross, Joachim

    2016-06-01

    The human brain can be parcellated into diverse anatomical areas. We investigated whether rhythmic brain activity in these areas is characteristic and can be used for automatic classification. To this end, resting-state MEG data of 22 healthy adults was analysed. Power spectra of 1-s long data segments for atlas-defined brain areas were clustered into spectral profiles ("fingerprints"), using k-means and Gaussian mixture (GM) modelling. We demonstrate that individual areas can be identified from these spectral profiles with high accuracy. Our results suggest that each brain area engages in different spectral modes that are characteristic for individual areas. Clustering of brain areas according to similarity of spectral profiles reveals well-known brain networks. Furthermore, we demonstrate task-specific modulations of auditory spectral profiles during auditory processing. These findings have important implications for the classification of regional spectral activity and allow for novel approaches in neuroimaging and neurostimulation in health and disease. PMID:27355236

  13. Using time-driven activity-based costing to identify value improvement opportunities in healthcare.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Robert S; Witkowski, Mary; Abbott, Megan; Guzman, Alexis Barboza; Higgins, Laurence D; Meara, John G; Padden, Erin; Shah, Apurva S; Waters, Peter; Weidemeier, Marco; Wertheimer, Sam; Feeley, Thomas W

    2014-01-01

    As healthcare providers cope with pricing pressures and increased accountability for performance, they should be rededicating themselves to improving the value they deliver to their patients: better outcomes and lower costs. Time-driven activity-based costing offers the potential for clinicians to redesign their care processes toward that end. This costing approach, however, is new to healthcare and has not yet been systematically implemented and evaluated. This article describes early time-driven activity-based costing work at several leading healthcare organizations in the United States and Europe. It identifies the opportunities they found to improve value for patients and demonstrates how this costing method can serve as the foundation for new bundled payment reimbursement approaches.

  14. Default-Mode Network Activity Identified by Group Independent Component Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Conghui; Zhuang, Jie; Peng, Danling; Yu, Guoliang; Yang, Yanhui

    Default-mode network activity refers to some regional increase in blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signal during baseline than cognitive tasks. Recent functional imaging studies have found co-activation in a distributed network of cortical regions, including ventral anterior cingulate cortex (vACC) and posterior cingulate cortex (PPC) that characterize the default mode of human brain. In this study, general linear model and group independent component analysis (ICA) were utilized to analyze the fMRI data obtained from two language tasks. Both methods yielded similar, but not identical results and detected a resting deactivation network at some midline regions including anterior and posterior cingulate cortex and precuneus. Particularly, the group ICA method segregated functional elements into two separate maps and identified ventral cingulate component and fronto-parietal component. These results suggest that these two components might be linked to different mental function during "resting" baseline.

  15. Evaluating digestion efficiency in full-scale anaerobic digesters by identifying active microbial populations through the lens of microbial activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mei, Ran; Narihiro, Takashi; Nobu, Masaru K.; Kuroda, Kyohei; Liu, Wen-Tso

    2016-09-01

    Anaerobic digestion is a common technology to biologically stabilize wasted solids produced in municipal wastewater treatment. Its efficiency is usually evaluated by calculating the reduction in volatile solids, which assumes no biomass growth associated with digestion. To determine whether this assumption is valid and further evaluate digestion efficiency, this study sampled 35 digester sludge from different reactors at multiple time points together with the feed biomass in a full-scale water reclamation plant at Chicago, Illinois. The microbial communities were characterized using Illumina sequencing technology based on 16S rRNA and 16S rRNA gene (rDNA). 74 core microbial populations were identified and represented 58.7% of the entire digester community. Among them, active populations were first identified using the ratio of 16S rRNA and 16S rDNA (rRNA/rDNA) for individual populations, but this approach failed to generate consistent results. Subsequently, a recently proposed mass balance model was applied to calculate the specific growth rate (μ), and this approach successfully identified active microbial populations in digester (positive μ) that could play important roles than those with negative μ. It was further estimated that 82% of microbial populations in the feed sludge were digested in comparison with less than 50% calculated using current equations.

  16. Evaluating digestion efficiency in full-scale anaerobic digesters by identifying active microbial populations through the lens of microbial activity

    PubMed Central

    Mei, Ran; Narihiro, Takashi; Nobu, Masaru K.; Kuroda, Kyohei; Liu, Wen-Tso

    2016-01-01

    Anaerobic digestion is a common technology to biologically stabilize wasted solids produced in municipal wastewater treatment. Its efficiency is usually evaluated by calculating the reduction in volatile solids, which assumes no biomass growth associated with digestion. To determine whether this assumption is valid and further evaluate digestion efficiency, this study sampled 35 digester sludge from different reactors at multiple time points together with the feed biomass in a full-scale water reclamation plant at Chicago, Illinois. The microbial communities were characterized using Illumina sequencing technology based on 16S rRNA and 16S rRNA gene (rDNA). 74 core microbial populations were identified and represented 58.7% of the entire digester community. Among them, active populations were first identified using the ratio of 16S rRNA and 16S rDNA (rRNA/rDNA) for individual populations, but this approach failed to generate consistent results. Subsequently, a recently proposed mass balance model was applied to calculate the specific growth rate (μ), and this approach successfully identified active microbial populations in digester (positive μ) that could play important roles than those with negative μ. It was further estimated that 82% of microbial populations in the feed sludge were digested in comparison with less than 50% calculated using current equations. PMID:27666090

  17. Identifying hazard parameter to develop quantitative and dynamic hazard map of an active volcano in Indonesia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suminar, Wulan; Saepuloh, Asep; Meilano, Irwan

    2016-05-01

    Analysis of hazard assessment to active volcanoes is crucial for risk management. The hazard map of volcano provides information to decision makers and communities before, during, and after volcanic crisis. The rapid and accurate hazard assessment, especially to an active volcano is necessary to be developed for better mitigation on the time of volcanic crises in Indonesia. In this paper, we identified the hazard parameters to develop quantitative and dynamic hazard map of an active volcano. The Guntur volcano in Garut Region, West Java, Indonesia was selected as study area due population are resided adjacent to active volcanoes. The development of infrastructures, especially related to tourism at the eastern flank from the Summit, are growing rapidly. The remote sensing and field investigation approaches were used to obtain hazard parameters spatially. We developed a quantitative and dynamic algorithm to map spatially hazard potential of volcano based on index overlay technique. There were identified five volcano hazard parameters based on Landsat 8 and ASTER imageries: volcanic products including pyroclastic fallout, pyroclastic flows, lava and lahar, slope topography, surface brightness temperature, and vegetation density. Following this proposed technique, the hazard parameters were extracted, indexed, and calculated to produce spatial hazard values at and around Guntur Volcano. Based on this method, the hazard potential of low vegetation density is higher than high vegetation density. Furthermore, the slope topography, surface brightness temperature, and fragmental volcanic product such as pyroclastics influenced to the spatial hazard value significantly. Further study to this proposed approach will be aimed for effective and efficient analyses of volcano risk assessment.

  18. Functional analysis of TPM domain containing Rv2345 of Mycobacterium tuberculosis identifies its phosphatase activity.

    PubMed

    Sinha, Avni; Eniyan, Kandasamy; Sinha, Swati; Lynn, Andrew Michael; Bajpai, Urmi

    2015-07-01

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) is the causal agent of tuberculosis, the second largest infectious disease. With the rise of multi-drug resistant strains of M. tuberculosis, serious challenge lies ahead of us in treating the disease. The availability of complete genome sequence of Mtb has improved the scope for identifying new proteins that would not only further our understanding of biology of the organism but could also serve to discover new drug targets. In this study, Rv2345, a hypothetical membrane protein of M. tuberculosis H37Rv, which is reported to be a putative ortholog of ZipA cell division protein has been assigned function through functional annotation using bioinformatics tools followed by experimental validation. Sequence analysis showed Rv2345 to have a TPM domain at its N-terminal region and predicted it to have phosphatase activity. The TPM domain containing region of Rv2345 was cloned and expressed using pET28a vector in Escherichia coli and purified by Nickel affinity chromatography. The purified TPM domain was tested in vitro and our results confirmed it to have phosphatase activity. The enzyme activity was first checked and optimized with pNPP as substrate, followed by using ATP, which was also found to be used as substrate by the purified protein. Hence sequence analysis followed by in vitro studies characterizes TPM domain of Rv2345 to contain phosphatase activity.

  19. Spiperone, identified through compound screening, activates calcium-dependent chloride secretion in the airway

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Lihua; MacDonald, Kelvin; Schwiebert, Erik M.; Zeitlin, Pamela L.; Guggino, William B.

    2009-01-01

    Cystic fibrosis (CF) is caused by mutations in the gene producing the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR). CFTR functions as a Cl− channel. Its dysfunction limits Cl− secretion and enhances Na+ absorption, leading to viscous mucus in the airway. Ca2+-activated Cl− channels (CaCCs) are coexpressed with CFTR in the airway surface epithelia. Increases in cytosolic Ca2+ activate the epithelial CaCCs, which provides an alternative Cl− secretory pathway in CF. We developed a screening assay and screened a library for compounds that could enhance cytoplasmic Ca2+, activate the CaCC, and increase Cl− secretion. We found that spiperone, a known antipsychotic drug, is a potent intracellular Ca2+ enhancer and demonstrated that it stimulates intracellular Ca2+, not by acting in its well-known role as an antagonist of serotonin 5-HT2 or dopamine D2 receptors, but through a protein tyrosine kinase-coupled phospholipase C-dependent pathway. Spiperone activates CaCCs, which stimulates Cl− secretion in polarized human non-CF and CF airway epithelial cell monolayers in vitro and in CFTR-knockout mice in vivo. In conclusion, we have identified spiperone as a new therapeutic platform for correction of defective Cl− secretion in CF via a pathway independent of CFTR. PMID:18987251

  20. Development of a QPatch Automated Electrophysiology Assay for Identifying KCa3.1 Inhibitors and Activators

    PubMed Central

    Jenkins, David Paul; Yu, Weifeng; Brown, Brandon M.; Løjkner, Lars Damgaard

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The intermediate-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channel KCa3.1 (also known as KCNN4, IK1, or the Gárdos channel) plays an important role in the activation of T and B cells, mast cells, macrophages, and microglia by regulating membrane potential, cellular volume, and calcium signaling. KCa3.1 is further involved in the proliferation of dedifferentiated vascular smooth muscle cells and fibroblast and endothelium-derived hyperpolarization responses in the vascular endothelium. Accordingly, KCa3.1 inhibitors are therapeutically interesting as immunosuppressants and for the treatment of a wide range of fibroproliferative disorders, whereas KCa3.1 activators constitute a potential new class of endothelial function preserving antihypertensives. Here, we report the development of QPatch assays for both KCa3.1 inhibitors and activators. During assay optimization, the Ca2+ sensitivity of KCa3.1 was studied using varying intracellular Ca2+ concentrations. A free Ca2+ concentration of 1 μM was chosen to optimally test inhibitors. To identify activators, which generally act as positive gating modulators, a lower Ca2+ concentration (∼200 nM) was used. The QPatch results were benchmarked against manual patch-clamp electrophysiology by determining the potency of several commonly used KCa3.1 inhibitors (TRAM-34, NS6180, ChTX) and activators (EBIO, riluzole, SKA-31). Collectively, our results demonstrate that the QPatch provides a comparable but much faster approach to study compound interactions with KCa3.1 channels in a robust and reliable assay. PMID:24351043

  1. An experimental method to identify neurogenic and myogenic active mechanical states of intestinal motility

    PubMed Central

    Costa, Marcello; Wiklendt, Lukasz; Arkwright, John W.; Spencer, Nicholas J.; Omari, Taher; Brookes, Simon J. H.; Dinning, Phil G.

    2013-01-01

    Excitatory and inhibitory enteric neural input to intestinal muscle acting on ongoing myogenic activity determines the rich repertoire of motor patterns involved in digestive function. The enteric neural activity cannot yet be established during movement of intact intestine in vivo or in vitro. We propose the hypothesis that is possible to deduce indirectly, but reliably, the state of activation of the enteric neural input to the muscle from measurements of the mechanical state of the intestinal muscle. The fundamental biomechanical model on which our hypothesis is based is the “three-element model” proposed by Hill. Our strategy is based on simultaneous video recording of changes in diameters and intraluminal pressure with a fiber-optic manometry in isolated segments of rabbit colon. We created a composite spatiotemporal map (DPMap) from diameter (DMap) and pressure changes (PMaps). In this composite map rhythmic myogenic motor patterns can readily be distinguished from the distension induced neural peristaltic contractions. Plotting the diameter changes against corresponding pressure changes at each location of the segment, generates “orbits” that represent the state of the muscle according to its ability to contract or relax actively or undergoing passive changes. With a software developed in MatLab, we identified twelve possible discrete mechanical states and plotted them showing where the intestine actively contracted and relaxed isometrically, auxotonically or isotonically, as well as where passive changes occurred or was quiescent. Clustering all discrete active contractions and relaxations states generated for the first time a spatio-temporal map of where enteric excitatory and inhibitory neural input to the muscle occurs during physiological movements. Recording internal diameter by an impedance probe proved equivalent to measuring external diameter, making possible to further develop similar strategy in vivo and humans. PMID:23596400

  2. Systematic repurposing screening in xenograft models identifies approved drugs with novel anti-cancer activity.

    PubMed

    Roix, Jeffrey J; Harrison, S D; Rainbolt, Elizabeth A; Meshaw, Kathryn R; McMurry, Avery S; Cheung, Peter; Saha, Saurabh

    2014-01-01

    Approved drugs target approximately 400 different mechanisms of action, of which as few as 60 are currently used as anti-cancer therapies. Given that on average it takes 10-15 years for a new cancer therapeutic to be approved, and the recent success of drug repurposing for agents such as thalidomide, we hypothesized that effective, safe cancer treatments may be found by testing approved drugs in new therapeutic settings. Here, we report in-vivo testing of a broad compound collection in cancer xenograft models. Using 182 compounds that target 125 unique target mechanisms, we identified 3 drugs that displayed reproducible activity in combination with the chemotherapeutic temozolomide. Candidate drugs appear effective at dose equivalents that exceed current prescription levels, suggesting that additional pre-clinical efforts will be needed before these drugs can be tested for efficacy in clinical trials. In total, we suggest drug repurposing is a relatively resource-intensive method that can identify approved medicines with a narrow margin of anti-cancer activity.

  3. Aldehyde Dehydrogenase Activity Identifies a Population of Human Skeletal Muscle Cells With High Myogenic Capacities

    PubMed Central

    Vauchez, Karine; Marolleau, Jean-Pierre; Schmid, Michel; Khattar, Patricia; Chapel, Alain; Catelain, Cyril; Lecourt, Séverine; Larghéro, Jérôme; Fiszman, Marc; Vilquin, Jean-Thomas

    2009-01-01

    Aldehyde dehydrogenase 1A1 (ALDH) activity is one hallmark of human bone marrow (BM), umbilical cord blood (UCB), and peripheral blood (PB) primitive progenitors presenting high reconstitution capacities in vivo. In this study, we have identified ALDH+ cells within human skeletal muscles, and have analyzed their phenotypical and functional characteristics. Immunohistofluorescence analysis of human muscle tissue sections revealed rare endomysial cells. Flow cytometry analysis using the fluorescent substrate of ALDH, Aldefluor, identified brightly stained (ALDHbr) cells with low side scatter (SSClo), in enzymatically dissociated muscle biopsies, thereafter abbreviated as SMALD+ (for skeletal muscle ALDH+) cells. Phenotypical analysis discriminated two sub-populations according to CD34 expression: SMALD+/CD34− and SMALD+/CD34+ cells. These sub-populations did not initially express endothelial (CD31), hematopoietic (CD45), and myogenic (CD56) markers. Upon sorting, however, whereas SMALD+/CD34+ cells developed in vitro as a heterogeneous population of CD56− cells able to differentiate in adipoblasts, the SMALD+/CD34− fraction developed in vitro as a highly enriched population of CD56+ myoblasts able to form myotubes. Moreover, only the SMALD+/CD34− population maintained a strong myogenic potential in vivo upon intramuscular transplantation. Our results suggest that ALDH activity is a novel marker for a population of new human skeletal muscle progenitors presenting a potential for cell biology and cell therapy. PMID:19738599

  4. An Active Type I-E CRISPR-Cas System Identified in Streptomyces avermitilis

    PubMed Central

    Qiu, Yi; Wang, Shiwei; Chen, Zhi; Guo, Yajie; Song, Yuan

    2016-01-01

    CRISPR-Cas systems, the small RNA-dependent immune systems, are widely distributed in prokaryotes. However, only a small proportion of CRISPR-Cas systems have been identified to be active in bacteria. In this work, a naturally active type I-E CRISPR-Cas system was found in Streptomyces avermitilis. The system shares many common genetic features with the type I-E system of Escherichia coli, and meanwhile shows unique characteristics. It not only degrades plasmid DNA with target protospacers, but also acquires new spacers from the target plasmid DNA. The naive features of spacer acquisition in the type I-E system of S. avermitilis were investigated and a completely conserved PAM 5’-AAG-3’ was identified. Spacer acquisition displayed differential strand bias upstream and downstream of the priming spacer, and irregular integrations of new spacers were observed. In addition, introduction of this system into host conferred phage resistance to some extent. This study will give new insights into adaptation mechanism of the type I-E systems in vivo, and meanwhile provide theoretical foundation for applying this system on the genetic modification of S. avermitilis. PMID:26901661

  5. A molecular approach to identify active microbes in environmental eukaryote clone libraries.

    PubMed

    Stoeck, Thorsten; Zuendorf, Alexandra; Breiner, Hans-Werner; Behnke, Anke

    2007-02-01

    A rapid method for the simultaneous extraction of RNA and DNA from eukaryote plankton samples was developed in order to discriminate between indigenous active cells and signals from inactive or even dead organisms. The method was tested using samples from below the chemocline of an anoxic Danish fjord. The simple protocol yielded RNA and DNA of a purity suitable for amplification by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and PCR, respectively. We constructed an rRNA-derived and an rDNA-derived clone library to assess the composition of the microeukaryote assemblage under study and to identify physiologically active constituents of the community. We retrieved nearly 600 protistan target clones, which grouped into 84 different phylotypes (98% sequence similarity). Of these phylotypes, 27% occurred in both libraries, 25% exclusively in the rRNA library, and 48% exclusively in the rDNA library. Both libraries revealed good correspondence of the general community composition in terms of higher taxonomic ranks. They were dominated by anaerobic ciliates and heterotrophic stramenopile flagellates thriving below the fjord's chemocline. The high abundance of these bacterivore organisms points out their role as a major trophic link in anoxic marine systems. A comparison of the two libraries identified phototrophic dinoflagellates, "uncultured marine alveolates group I," and different parasites, which were exclusively detected with the rDNA-derived library, as nonindigenous members of the anoxic microeukaryote community under study.

  6. Ubiquitin-Activated Interaction Traps (UBAITs) identify E3 ligase binding partners.

    PubMed

    O'Connor, Hazel F; Lyon, Nancy; Leung, Justin W; Agarwal, Poonam; Swaim, Caleb D; Miller, Kyle M; Huibregtse, Jon M

    2015-12-01

    We describe a new class of reagents for identifying substrates, adaptors, and regulators of HECT and RING E3s. UBAITs (Ubiquitin-Activated Interaction Traps) are E3-ubiquitin fusion proteins and, in an E1- and E2-dependent manner, the C-terminal ubiquitin moiety forms an amide linkage to proteins that interact with the E3, enabling covalent co-purification of the E3 with partner proteins. We designed UBAITs for both HECT (Rsp5, Itch) and RING (Psh1, RNF126, RNF168) E3s. For HECT E3s, trapping of interacting proteins occurred in vitro either through an E3 thioester-linked lariat intermediate or through an E2 thioester intermediate, and both WT and active-site mutant UBAITs trapped known interacting proteins in yeast and human cells. Yeast Psh1 and human RNF126 and RNF168 UBAITs also trapped known interacting proteins when expressed in cells. Human RNF168 is a key mediator of ubiquitin signaling that promotes DNA double-strand break repair. Using the RNF168 UBAIT, we identify H2AZ--a histone protein involved in DNA repair--as a new target of this E3 ligase. These results demonstrate that UBAITs represent powerful tools for profiling a wide range of ubiquitin ligases.

  7. Identifying patterns of eating and physical activity in children: a latent class analysis of obesity risk.

    PubMed

    Huh, Jimi; Riggs, Nathaniel R; Spruijt-Metz, Donna; Chou, Chih-Ping; Huang, Zhaoqing; Pentz, Maryann

    2011-03-01

    We used latent class analysis (LCA) to identify heterogeneous subgroups with respect to behavioral obesity risk factors in a sample of 4th grade children (n = 997) residing in Southern California. Multiple dimensions assessing physical activity, eating and sedentary behavior, and weight perceptions were explored. A set of 11 latent class indicators were used in the analysis. The final model yielded a five-class solution: "High-sedentary, high-fat/high-sugar (HF/HS) snacks, not weight conscious," "dieting without exercise, weight conscious," "high-sedentary, HF/HS snacks, weight conscious," "active, healthy eating," and "low healthy, snack food, inactive, not weight conscious." The results suggested distinct subtypes of children with respect to obesity-related risk behaviors. Ethnicity, gender, and a socioeconomic status proxy variable significantly predicted the above latent classes. Overweight or obese weight status was determined based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention BMI (kg/m²)-for-age-and-sex percentile (overweight, 85th percentile ≤ BMI < 95th percentile; obese, 95th percentile ≤ BMI). The identified latent subgroup membership, in turn, was associated with the children's weight categories. The results suggest that intervention programs could be refined or targeted based on children's characteristics to promote effective pediatric obesity interventions.

  8. Balancing Protein Stability and Activity in Cancer: A New Approach for Identifying Driver Mutations Affecting CBL Ubiquitin Ligase Activation.

    PubMed

    Li, Minghui; Kales, Stephen C; Ma, Ke; Shoemaker, Benjamin A; Crespo-Barreto, Juan; Cangelosi, Andrew L; Lipkowitz, Stanley; Panchenko, Anna R

    2016-02-01

    Oncogenic mutations in the monomeric Casitas B-lineage lymphoma (Cbl) gene have been found in many tumors, but their significance remains largely unknown. Several human c-Cbl (CBL) structures have recently been solved, depicting the protein at different stages of its activation cycle and thus providing mechanistic insight underlying how stability-activity tradeoffs in cancer-related proteins-may influence disease onset and progression. In this study, we computationally modeled the effects of missense cancer mutations on structures representing four stages of the CBL activation cycle to identify driver mutations that affect CBL stability, binding, and activity. We found that recurrent, homozygous, and leukemia-specific mutations had greater destabilizing effects on CBL states than random noncancer mutations. We further tested the ability of these computational models, assessing the changes in CBL stability and its binding to ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme E2, by performing blind CBL-mediated EGFR ubiquitination assays in cells. Experimental CBL ubiquitin ligase activity was in agreement with the predicted changes in CBL stability and, to a lesser extent, with CBL-E2 binding affinity. Two thirds of all experimentally tested mutations affected the ubiquitin ligase activity by either destabilizing CBL or disrupting CBL-E2 binding, whereas about one-third of tested mutations were found to be neutral. Collectively, our findings demonstrate that computational methods incorporating multiple protein conformations and stability and binding affinity evaluations can successfully predict the functional consequences of cancer mutations on protein activity, and provide a proof of concept for mutations in CBL. PMID:26676746

  9. Cluster Analysis of Tumor Suppressor Genes in Canine Leukocytes Identifies Activation State

    PubMed Central

    Daly, Julie-Anne; Mortlock, Sally-Anne; Taylor, Rosanne M.; Williamson, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Cells of the immune system undergo activation and subsequent proliferation in the normal course of an immune response. Infrequently, the molecular and cellular events that underlie the mechanisms of proliferation are dysregulated and may lead to oncogenesis, leading to tumor formation. The most common forms of immunological cancers are lymphomas, which in dogs account for 8%–20% of all cancers, affecting up to 1.2% of the dog population. Key genes involved in negatively regulating proliferation of lymphocytes include a group classified as tumor suppressor genes (TSGs). These genes are also known to be associated with progression of lymphoma in humans, mice, and dogs and are potential candidates for pathological grading and diagnosis. The aim of the present study was to analyze TSG profiles in stimulated leukocytes from dogs to identify genes that discriminate an activated phenotype. A total of 554 TSGs and three gene set collections were analyzed from microarray data. Cluster analysis of three subsets of genes discriminated between stimulated and unstimulated cells. These included 20 most upregulated and downregulated TSGs, TSG in hallmark gene sets significantly enriched in active cells, and a selection of candidate TSGs, p15 (CDKN2B), p18 (CDKN2C), p19 (CDKN1A), p21 (CDKN2A), p27 (CDKN1B), and p53 (TP53) in the third set. Analysis of two subsets suggested that these genes or a subset of these genes may be used as a specialized PCR set for additional analysis. PMID:27478369

  10. Multiscale responses of soil stability and invasive plants to removal of non-native grazers from an arid conservation reserve

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beever, E.A.; Huso, M.; Pyke, D.A.

    2006-01-01

    Disturbances and ecosystem recovery from disturbance both involve numerous processes that operate on multiple spatial and temporal scales. Few studies have investigated how gradients of disturbance intensity and ecosystem responses are distributed across multiple spatial resolutions and also how this relationship changes through time during recovery. We investigated how cover of non-native species and soil-aggregate stability (a measure of vulnerability to erosion by water) in surface and subsurface soils varied spatially during grazing by burros and cattle and whether patterns in these variables changed after grazer removal from Mojave National Preserve, California, USA. We compared distance from water and number of ungulate defecations - metrics of longer-term and recent grazing intensity, respectively, - as predictors of our response variables. We used information-theoretic analyses to compare hierarchical linear models that accounted for important covariates and allowed for interannual variation in the disturbance-response relationship at local and landscape scales. Soil stability was greater under perennial vegetation than in bare interspaces, and surface soil stability decreased with increasing numbers of ungulate defecations. Stability of surface samples was more affected by time since removal of grazers than was stability of subsurface samples, and subsurface soil stability in bare spaces was not related to grazing intensity, time since removal, or any of our other predictors. In the high rainfall year (2003) after cattle had been removed for 1-2 years, cover of all non-native plants averaged nine times higher than in the low-rainfall year (2002). Given the heterogeneity in distribution of large-herbivore impacts that we observed at several resolutions, hierarchical analyses provided a more complete understanding of the spatial and temporal complexities of disturbance and recovery processes in arid ecosystems. ?? 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  11. Circuits constructed from identified Aplysia neurons exhibit multiple patterns of persistent activity.

    PubMed Central

    Kleinfeld, D; Raccuia-Behling, F; Chiel, H J

    1990-01-01

    We have used identified neurons from the abdominal ganglion of the mollusc Aplysia to construct and analyze two circuits in vitro. Each of these circuits was capable of producing two patterns of persistent activity; that is, they had bistable output states. The output could be switched between the stable states by a brief, external input. One circuit consisted of cocultured L10 and left upper quadrant (LUQ) neurons that formed reciprocal, inhibitory connections. In one stable state L10 was active and the LUQ was quiescent, whereas in the other stable state L10 was quiescent and the LUQ was active. A second circuit consisted of co-cultured L7 and L12 neurons that formed reciprocal, excitatory connections. In this circuit, both cells were quiescent in one stable state and both cells fired continuously in the other state. Bistable output in both circuits resulted from the nonlinear firing characteristics of each neuron and the feedback between the two neurons. We explored how the stability of the neuronal output could be controlled by the background currents injected into each neuron. We observed a relatively well-defined range of currents for which bistability occurred, consistent with the values expected from the measured strengths of the connections and a simple model. Outside of the range, the output was stable in only a single state. These results suggest how stable patterns of output are produced by some in vivo circuits and how command neurons from higher neural centers may control the activity of these circuits. The criteria that guided us in forming our circuits in culture were derived from theoretical studies on the properties of certain neuronal network models (e.g., Hopfield, J. J. 1984. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 81:3088-3092). Our results show that circuits consisting of only two co-cultured neurons can exhibit bistable output states of the form hypothesized to occur in populations of neurons. Images FIGURE 3 PMID:2344460

  12. Tetrandrine identified in a small molecule screen to activate mesenchymal stem cells for enhanced immunomodulation.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zijiang; Concannon, John; Ng, Kelvin S; Seyb, Kathleen; Mortensen, Luke J; Ranganath, Sudhir; Gu, Fangqi; Levy, Oren; Tong, Zhixiang; Martyn, Keir; Zhao, Weian; Lin, Charles P; Glicksman, Marcie A; Karp, Jeffrey M

    2016-07-26

    Pre-treatment or priming of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) prior to transplantation can significantly augment the immunosuppressive effect of MSC-based therapies. In this study, we screened a library of 1402 FDA-approved bioactive compounds to prime MSC. We identified tetrandrine as a potential hit that activates the secretion of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), a potent immunosuppressive agent, by MSC. Tetrandrine increased MSC PGE2 secretion through the NF-κB/COX-2 signaling pathway. When co-cultured with mouse macrophages (RAW264.7), tetrandrine-primed MSC attenuated the level of TNF-α secreted by RAW264.7. Furthermore, systemic transplantation of primed MSC into a mouse ear skin inflammation model significantly reduced the level of TNF-α in the inflamed ear, compared to unprimed cells. Screening of small molecules to pre-condition cells prior to transplantation represents a promising strategy to boost the therapeutic potential of cell therapy.

  13. Tetrandrine identified in a small molecule screen to activate mesenchymal stem cells for enhanced immunomodulation

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Zijiang; Concannon, John; Ng, Kelvin S.; Seyb, Kathleen; Mortensen, Luke J.; Ranganath, Sudhir; Gu, Fangqi; Levy, Oren; Tong, Zhixiang; Martyn, Keir; Zhao, Weian; Lin, Charles P.; Glicksman, Marcie A.; Karp, Jeffrey M.

    2016-01-01

    Pre-treatment or priming of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) prior to transplantation can significantly augment the immunosuppressive effect of MSC-based therapies. In this study, we screened a library of 1402 FDA-approved bioactive compounds to prime MSC. We identified tetrandrine as a potential hit that activates the secretion of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), a potent immunosuppressive agent, by MSC. Tetrandrine increased MSC PGE2 secretion through the NF-κB/COX-2 signaling pathway. When co-cultured with mouse macrophages (RAW264.7), tetrandrine-primed MSC attenuated the level of TNF-α secreted by RAW264.7. Furthermore, systemic transplantation of primed MSC into a mouse ear skin inflammation model significantly reduced the level of TNF-α in the inflamed ear, compared to unprimed cells. Screening of small molecules to pre-condition cells prior to transplantation represents a promising strategy to boost the therapeutic potential of cell therapy. PMID:27457881

  14. Tetrandrine identified in a small molecule screen to activate mesenchymal stem cells for enhanced immunomodulation.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zijiang; Concannon, John; Ng, Kelvin S; Seyb, Kathleen; Mortensen, Luke J; Ranganath, Sudhir; Gu, Fangqi; Levy, Oren; Tong, Zhixiang; Martyn, Keir; Zhao, Weian; Lin, Charles P; Glicksman, Marcie A; Karp, Jeffrey M

    2016-01-01

    Pre-treatment or priming of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) prior to transplantation can significantly augment the immunosuppressive effect of MSC-based therapies. In this study, we screened a library of 1402 FDA-approved bioactive compounds to prime MSC. We identified tetrandrine as a potential hit that activates the secretion of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), a potent immunosuppressive agent, by MSC. Tetrandrine increased MSC PGE2 secretion through the NF-κB/COX-2 signaling pathway. When co-cultured with mouse macrophages (RAW264.7), tetrandrine-primed MSC attenuated the level of TNF-α secreted by RAW264.7. Furthermore, systemic transplantation of primed MSC into a mouse ear skin inflammation model significantly reduced the level of TNF-α in the inflamed ear, compared to unprimed cells. Screening of small molecules to pre-condition cells prior to transplantation represents a promising strategy to boost the therapeutic potential of cell therapy. PMID:27457881

  15. Past Strategies and Future Directions for Identifying AMP-Activated Protein Kinase (AMPK) Modulators

    PubMed Central

    Sinnett, Sarah E.; Brenman, Jay E.

    2014-01-01

    AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a promising therapeutic target for cancer, type II diabetes, and other illnesses characterized by abnormal energy utilization. During the last decade, numerous labs have published a range of methods for identifying novel AMPK modulators. The current understanding of AMPK structure and regulation, however, has propelled a paradigm shift in which many researchers now consider ADP to be an additional regulatory nucleotide of AMPK. How can the AMPK community apply this new understanding of AMPK signaling to translational research? Recent insights into AMPK structure, regulation, and holoenzyme-sensitive signaling may provide the hindsight needed to clearly evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of past AMPK drug discovery efforts. Improving future strategies for AMPK drug discovery will require pairing the current understanding of AMPK signaling with improved experimental designs. PMID:24583089

  16. Using Light-at-Night (LAN) Satellite Data for Identifying Clusters of Economic Activities in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rybnikova, N. A.; Portnov, B. A.

    2015-04-01

    Enterprises organized in clusters are often efficient in stimulating urban development, productivity and profit outflows. Identifying clusters of economic activities (EAs) thus becomes an important step in devising regional development policies, aimed at facilitating regional economic development. However, a major problem with cluster identification stems from limited reporting of specific EAs by individual countries and administrative entities. Even Eurostat, which maintains most advances regional databases, provides data for less than 50% of all regional subdivisions of the 3rd tier of the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS3). Such poor reporting impedes identification of EA clusters and economic forces behind them. In this study, we test a possibility that missing data on geographic concentrations of EAs can be reconstructed using Light-at-Night (LAN) satellite measurements, and that such reconstructed data can then be used for the identification of EA clusters. As we hypothesize, LAN, captured by satellite sensors, is characterized by different intensity, depending on its source - production facilities, services, etc., - and this information can be used for EA identification. The study was carried out in three stages. First, using nighttime satellite images, we determined what types of EAs can be identified, with a sufficient degree of accuracy, by LAN they emit. Second, we calculated multivariate statistical models, linking EAs concentrations with LAN intensities and several locational and development attributes of NUTS3 regions in Europe. Next, using the obtained statistical models, we restored missing data on EAs across NUTS3 regions in Europe and identified clusters of EAs, using spatial analysis tools.

  17. Identifying Feasible Physical Activity Programs for Long-Term Care Homes in the Ontario Context

    PubMed Central

    Shakeel, Saad; Newhouse, Ian; Malik, Ali; Heckman, George

    2015-01-01

    Background Structured exercise programs for frail institutionalized seniors have shown improvement in physical, functional, and psychological health of this population. However, the ‘feasibility’ of implementation of such programs in real settings is seldom discussed. The purpose of this systematic review was to gauge feasibility of exercise and falls prevention programs from the perspective of long-term care homes in Ontario, given the recent changes in funding for publically funded physiotherapy services. Method Six electronic databases were searched by two independent researchers for randomized controlled trials that targeted long-term care residents and included exercise as an independent component of the intervention. Results A total of 39 studies were included in this review. A majority of these interventions were led by physiotherapist(s), carried out three times per week for 30–45 minutes per session. However, a few group-based interventions that were led by long-term care staff, volunteers, or trained non-exercise specialists were identified that also required minimal equipment. Conclusion This systematic review has identified ‘feasible’ physical activity and falls prevention programs that required minimal investment in staff and equipment, and demonstrated positive outcomes. Implementation of such programs represents cost-effective means of providing long-term care residents with meaningful gains in physical, psychological, and social health. PMID:26180563

  18. A High-Throughput Screen Identifies a New Natural Product with Broad-Spectrum Antibacterial Activity

    PubMed Central

    Ymele-Leki, Patrick; Cao, Shugeng; Sharp, Jared; Lambert, Kathleen G.; McAdam, Alexander J.; Husson, Robert N.; Tamayo, Giselle; Clardy, Jon; Watnick, Paula I.

    2012-01-01

    Due to the inexorable invasion of our hospitals and communities by drug-resistant bacteria, there is a pressing need for novel antibacterial agents. Here we report the development of a sensitive and robust but low-tech and inexpensive high-throughput metabolic screen for novel antibiotics. This screen is based on a colorimetric assay of pH that identifies inhibitors of bacterial sugar fermentation. After validation of the method, we screened over 39,000 crude extracts derived from organisms that grow in the diverse ecosystems of Costa Rica and identified 49 with reproducible antibacterial effects. An extract from an endophytic fungus was further characterized, and this led to the discovery of three novel natural products. One of these, which we named mirandamycin, has broad-spectrum antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Vibrio cholerae, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This demonstrates the power of simple high throughput screens for rapid identification of new antibacterial agents from environmental samples. PMID:22359585

  19. Molecular profiling of activated olfactory neurons identifies odorant receptors for odors in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Yue; Gong, Naihua Natalie; Hu, Xiaoyang Serene; Ni, Mengjue Jessica; Pasi, Radhika

    2015-01-01

    The mammalian olfactory system uses a large family of odorant receptors to detect and discriminate amongst a myriad of volatile odor molecules. Understanding odor coding requires comprehensive mapping between odorant receptors and corresponding odors. Here we present high–throughput in vivo identification of odorant receptor repertoires responding to odorants, using phosphorylated ribosome immunoprecipitation of mRNA from olfactory epithelium of odor–stimulated mice followed by RNA–Seq. This approach screens the endogenously expressed odorant receptors against an odor in one set of experiments, using awake and freely behaving mice. In combination with validations in a heterologous system, we identify sets of odorant receptors for two odorants, acetophenone and 2,5–dihydro–2,4,5–trimethylthiazoline (TMT), encompassing 69 odorant receptor–odorant pairs. We also identified shared amino acid residues specific to the acetophenone or TMT receptors, and developed models to predict receptor activation by acetophenone. This study provides a means to understand the combinatorial coding of odors in vivo. PMID:26322927

  20. Disease Combinations Associated with Physical Activity Identified: The SMILE Cohort Study

    PubMed Central

    Dörenkamp, Sarah; Mesters, Ilse; Schepers, Jan; Vos, Rein; van den Akker, Marjan; Teijink, Joep; de Bie, Rob

    2016-01-01

    In the search of predictors of inadequate physical activity, an investigation was conducted into the association between multimorbidity and physical activity (PA). So far the sum of diseases used as a measure of multimorbidity reveals an inverse association. How specific combinations of chronic diseases are associated with PA remains unclear. The objective of this study is to identify clusters of multimorbidity that are associated with PA. Cross-sectional data of 3,386 patients from the 2003 wave of the Dutch cohort study SMILE were used. Ward's agglomerative hierarchical clustering was executed to establish multimorbidity clusters. Chi-square statistics were used to assess the association between clusters of chronic diseases and PA, measured in compliance with the Dutch PA guideline. The highest rate of PA guideline compliance was found in patients the majority of whom suffer from liver disease, back problems, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and inflammatory joint disease (62.4%). The lowest rate of PA guideline compliance was reported in patients with heart disease, respiratory disease, and diabetes mellitus (55.8%). Within the group of people with multimorbidity, those suffering from heart disease, respiratory disease, and/or diabetes mellitus may constitute a priority population as PA has proven to be effective in the prevention and cure of all three disorders. PMID:26881231

  1. Grazer removal and nutrient enrichment as recovery enhancers for overexploited rocky subtidal habitats.

    PubMed

    Guarnieri, Giuseppe; Bevilacqua, Stanislao; Vignes, Fabio; Fraschetti, Simonetta

    2014-07-01

    Increasing anthropogenic pressures are causing long-lasting regime shifts from high-diversity ecosystems to low-diversity degraded ones. Understanding the effects of multiple threats on ecosystems, and identifying processes allowing for the recovery of biodiversity, are the current major challenges in ecology. In several temperate marine areas, large parts of rocky subtidal habitats characterised by high diversity have been completely degraded to barren grounds by overfishing, including illegal date mussel fishing. Bare areas are characterized by the dominance of sea urchins whose grazing perpetuates the impact of overfishing. We investigated experimentally the separate and combined effects of nutrient enrichment and sea urchin exclusion on the recovery of barren grounds. Our results indicate that the two factors have a synergistic effect leading to the re-establishment of erect macroalgal canopies, enhancing the structural complexity of subtidal assemblages. In particular, in the overfished system considered here, the recovery of disturbed assemblages could occur only if sea urchins are removed. However, the recolonization of barren grounds by erect macroalgae is further enhanced under enriched conditions. This study demonstrates that the recovery of dramatically depleted marine habitats is possible, and provides useful indications for specific management actions, which at present are totally lacking, to achieve the restoration of barren grounds caused by human activity. PMID:24748204

  2. Grazer removal and nutrient enrichment as recovery enhancers for overexploited rocky subtidal habitats.

    PubMed

    Guarnieri, Giuseppe; Bevilacqua, Stanislao; Vignes, Fabio; Fraschetti, Simonetta

    2014-07-01

    Increasing anthropogenic pressures are causing long-lasting regime shifts from high-diversity ecosystems to low-diversity degraded ones. Understanding the effects of multiple threats on ecosystems, and identifying processes allowing for the recovery of biodiversity, are the current major challenges in ecology. In several temperate marine areas, large parts of rocky subtidal habitats characterised by high diversity have been completely degraded to barren grounds by overfishing, including illegal date mussel fishing. Bare areas are characterized by the dominance of sea urchins whose grazing perpetuates the impact of overfishing. We investigated experimentally the separate and combined effects of nutrient enrichment and sea urchin exclusion on the recovery of barren grounds. Our results indicate that the two factors have a synergistic effect leading to the re-establishment of erect macroalgal canopies, enhancing the structural complexity of subtidal assemblages. In particular, in the overfished system considered here, the recovery of disturbed assemblages could occur only if sea urchins are removed. However, the recolonization of barren grounds by erect macroalgae is further enhanced under enriched conditions. This study demonstrates that the recovery of dramatically depleted marine habitats is possible, and provides useful indications for specific management actions, which at present are totally lacking, to achieve the restoration of barren grounds caused by human activity.

  3. Immunoproteomics of the active degradome to identify biomarkers for Trichomonas vaginalis.

    PubMed

    Ramón-Luing, Lucero A; Rendón-Gandarilla, Francisco J; Cárdenas-Guerra, Rosa E; Rodríguez-Cabrera, Norma A; Ortega-López, Jaime; Avila-González, Leticia; Angel-Ortiz, Claudia; Herrera-Sánchez, Carmen N; Mendoza-García, Manuela; Arroyo, Rossana

    2010-02-01

    Trichomonas vaginalis, a sexually transmitted parasite, has many cysteine proteinases (CPs); some are involved in trichomonal pathogenesis, express during infection, and antibodies against CPs have been detected in patient sera. The goal of this study was to identify the antigenic proteinases of T. vaginalis as potential biomarkers for trichomonosis. The proteases detected when T. vaginalis protein extracts are incubated without protease inhibitors, the trichomonad-active degradome, and the immunoproteome were obtained by using 2-DE, 2-D-zymograms, 2-D-Western blot (WB) assays with trichomonosis patient sera, and MS analysis. Forty-nine silver-stained spots were detected in the region of 200-21 kDa of parasite protease-resistant extracts. A similar proteolytic pattern was observed in the 2-D zymograms. Nine CPs were identified in the 30 kDa region (TvCP1, TvCP2, TvCP3, TvCP4, TvCP4-like, TvCP12, TvCPT, TvLEGU-1, and another legumain-like CP). The major reactive spots to T. vaginalis-positive patient sera by 2-D-WB corresponded to four papain-like (TvCP2, TvCP4, TvCP4-like, TvCPT), and one legumain-like (TvLEGU-1) CPs. The genes of TvCP4, TvCPT, and TvLEGU-1 were cloned, sequenced, and expressed in Escherichia coli. Purified recombinant CPs were recognized by culture-positive patient sera in 1-D-WB assays. These data show that some CPs could be potential biomarkers for serodiagnosis of trichomonosis. PMID:19957290

  4. Immunoproteomics of the active degradome to identify biomarkers for Trichomonas vaginalis.

    PubMed

    Ramón-Luing, Lucero A; Rendón-Gandarilla, Francisco J; Cárdenas-Guerra, Rosa E; Rodríguez-Cabrera, Norma A; Ortega-López, Jaime; Avila-González, Leticia; Angel-Ortiz, Claudia; Herrera-Sánchez, Carmen N; Mendoza-García, Manuela; Arroyo, Rossana

    2010-02-01

    Trichomonas vaginalis, a sexually transmitted parasite, has many cysteine proteinases (CPs); some are involved in trichomonal pathogenesis, express during infection, and antibodies against CPs have been detected in patient sera. The goal of this study was to identify the antigenic proteinases of T. vaginalis as potential biomarkers for trichomonosis. The proteases detected when T. vaginalis protein extracts are incubated without protease inhibitors, the trichomonad-active degradome, and the immunoproteome were obtained by using 2-DE, 2-D-zymograms, 2-D-Western blot (WB) assays with trichomonosis patient sera, and MS analysis. Forty-nine silver-stained spots were detected in the region of 200-21 kDa of parasite protease-resistant extracts. A similar proteolytic pattern was observed in the 2-D zymograms. Nine CPs were identified in the 30 kDa region (TvCP1, TvCP2, TvCP3, TvCP4, TvCP4-like, TvCP12, TvCPT, TvLEGU-1, and another legumain-like CP). The major reactive spots to T. vaginalis-positive patient sera by 2-D-WB corresponded to four papain-like (TvCP2, TvCP4, TvCP4-like, TvCPT), and one legumain-like (TvLEGU-1) CPs. The genes of TvCP4, TvCPT, and TvLEGU-1 were cloned, sequenced, and expressed in Escherichia coli. Purified recombinant CPs were recognized by culture-positive patient sera in 1-D-WB assays. These data show that some CPs could be potential biomarkers for serodiagnosis of trichomonosis.

  5. Quantitative High-Throughput Screening Identifies 8-Hydroxyquinolines as Cell-Active Histone Demethylase Inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Kawamura, Akane; Rose, Nathan R.; Ng, Stanley S.; Quinn, Amy M.; Rai, Ganesha; Mott, Bryan T.; Beswick, Paul; Klose, Robert J.; Oppermann, Udo; Jadhav, Ajit; Heightman, Tom D.; Maloney, David J.; Schofield, Christopher J.; Simeonov, Anton

    2010-01-01

    Background Small molecule modulators of epigenetic processes are currently sought as basic probes for biochemical mechanisms, and as starting points for development of therapeutic agents. Nε-Methylation of lysine residues on histone tails is one of a number of post-translational modifications that together enable transcriptional regulation. Histone lysine demethylases antagonize the action of histone methyltransferases in a site- and methylation state-specific manner. Nε-Methyllysine demethylases that use 2-oxoglutarate as co-factor are associated with diverse human diseases, including cancer, inflammation and X-linked mental retardation; they are proposed as targets for the therapeutic modulation of transcription. There are few reports on the identification of templates that are amenable to development as potent inhibitors in vivo and large diverse collections have yet to be exploited for the discovery of demethylase inhibitors. Principal Findings High-throughput screening of a ∼236,000-member collection of diverse molecules arrayed as dilution series was used to identify inhibitors of the JMJD2 (KDM4) family of 2-oxoglutarate-dependent histone demethylases. Initial screening hits were prioritized by a combination of cheminformatics, counterscreening using a coupled assay enzyme, and orthogonal confirmatory detection of inhibition by mass spectrometric assays. Follow-up studies were carried out on one of the series identified, 8-hydroxyquinolines, which were shown by crystallographic analyses to inhibit by binding to the active site Fe(II) and to modulate demethylation at the H3K9 locus in a cell-based assay. Conclusions These studies demonstrate that diverse compound screening can yield novel inhibitors of 2OG dependent histone demethylases and provide starting points for the development of potent and selective agents to interrogate epigenetic regulation. PMID:21124847

  6. Yeast-Based High-Throughput Screens to Identify Novel Compounds Active against Brugia malayi

    PubMed Central

    Bilsland, Elizabeth; Bean, Daniel M.; Devaney, Eileen; Oliver, Stephen G.

    2016-01-01

    Background Lymphatic filariasis is caused by the parasitic worms Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi or B. timori, which are transmitted via the bites from infected mosquitoes. Once in the human body, the parasites develop into adult worms in the lymphatic vessels, causing severe damage and swelling of the affected tissues. According to the World Health Organization, over 1.2 billion people in 58 countries are at risk of contracting lymphatic filariasis. Very few drugs are available to treat patients infected with these parasites, and these have low efficacy against the adult stages of the worms, which can live for 7–15 years in the human body. The requirement for annual treatment increases the risk of drug-resistant worms emerging, making it imperative to develop new drugs against these devastating diseases. Methodology/Principal Findings We have developed a yeast-based, high-throughput screening system whereby essential yeast genes are replaced with their filarial or human counterparts. These strains are labeled with different fluorescent proteins to allow the simultaneous monitoring of strains with parasite or human genes in competition, and hence the identification of compounds that inhibit the parasite target without affecting its human ortholog. We constructed yeast strains expressing eight different Brugia malayi drug targets (as well as seven of their human counterparts), and performed medium-throughput drug screens for compounds that specifically inhibit the parasite enzymes. Using the Malaria Box collection (400 compounds), we identified nine filarial specific inhibitors and confirmed the antifilarial activity of five of these using in vitro assays against Brugia pahangi. Conclusions/Significance We were able to functionally complement yeast deletions with eight different Brugia malayi enzymes that represent potential drug targets. We demonstrated that our yeast-based screening platform is efficient in identifying compounds that can discriminate between

  7. Identifying a selective substrate and inhibitor pair for the evaluation of CYP2J2 activity.

    PubMed

    Lee, Caroline A; Jones, J P; Katayama, Jonathan; Kaspera, Rüdiger; Jiang, Ying; Freiwald, Sascha; Smith, Evan; Walker, Gregory S; Totah, Rheem A

    2012-05-01

    CYP2J2, an arachidonic acid epoxygenase, is recognized for its role in the first-pass metabolism of astemizole and ebastine. To fully assess the role of CYP2J2 in drug metabolism, a selective substrate and potent specific chemical inhibitor are essential. In this study, we report amiodarone 4-hydoxylation as a specific CYP2J2-catalyzed reaction with no CYP3A4, or other drug-metabolizing enzyme, involvement. Amiodarone 4-hydroxylation enabled the determination of liver relative activity factor and intersystem extrapolation factor for CYP2J2. Amiodarone 4-hydroxylation correlated with astemizole O-demethylation but not with CYP2J2 protein content in a sample of human liver microsomes. To identify a specific CYP2J2 inhibitor, 138 drugs were screened using terfenadine and astemizole as probe substrates with recombinant CYP2J2. Forty-two drugs inhibited CYP2J2 activity by ≥50% at 30 μM, but inhibition was substrate-dependent. Of these, danazol was a potent inhibitor of both hydroxylation of terfenadine (IC(50) = 77 nM) and O-demethylation of astemizole (K(i) = 20 nM), and inhibition was mostly competitive. Danazol inhibited CYP2C9, CYP2C8, and CYP2D6 with IC(50) values of 1.44, 1.95, and 2.74 μM, respectively. Amiodarone or astemizole were included in a seven-probe cocktail for cytochrome P450 (P450) drug-interaction screening potential, and astemizole demonstrated a better profile because it did not appreciably interact with other P450 probes. Thus, danazol, amiodarone, and astemizole will facilitate the ability to determine the metabolic role of CYP2J2 in hepatic and extrahepatic tissues. PMID:22328583

  8. Loop substitution as a tool to identify active sites of interleukin-1 beta.

    PubMed

    Palla, E; Bensi, G; Solito, E; Buonamassa, D T; Fassina, G; Raugei, G; Spano, F; Galeotti, C; Mora, M; Domenighini, M

    1993-06-25

    By computer analysis of the amino acid sequence of human interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta) and of the human type I IL-1 receptor (IL-1RI), we have identified two hydropathically complementary peptides (Fassina, G., Roller, P. P., Olson, A. D., Thorgeirsson, S. S., and Omichinski, J. G. (1989) J. Biol. Chem. 264, 11252-11257) capable of binding to each other. The sequence of the IL-1 beta peptide corresponds to that of residues 88-99 (loop 7 of the crystal structure of mature IL-1 beta) of mature IL-1 beta, one of the exposed and highly charged regions of the molecule. The substitution of this loop with an amino acid sequence of the same length but different hydropathic profile generates a mutant with drastically reduced binding activity to IL-1RI. In contrast, the binding affinity to the type II IL-1R (IL-1RII) is the same as that of wild type IL-1 beta. The results show that 1) loop 7 is part of the binding site of IL-1 beta to IL-1RI, but not to IL-1RII. 2) The structure of the mutant protein is not grossly altered except locally at the position of the substituted loop. 3) The substitution of amino acids by site-directed mutagenesis of the loop 7 region generates mutants with binding affinity constants slightly lower than that of wild type IL-1 beta and not comparable to that of the loop substitution analogue. 4. All mutants analyzed, including the loop substitutions, are biologically active, confirming the structural integrity of the proteins. We propose a binding site in which the cooperation of several low energy bonds extended over a wide area results in a high affinity complex between IL-1 and the type I receptor. PMID:7685764

  9. Host Protein Biomarkers Identify Active Tuberculosis in HIV Uninfected and Co-infected Individuals

    PubMed Central

    Achkar, Jacqueline M.; Cortes, Laetitia; Croteau, Pascal; Yanofsky, Corey; Mentinova, Marija; Rajotte, Isabelle; Schirm, Michael; Zhou, Yiyong; Junqueira-Kipnis, Ana Paula; Kasprowicz, Victoria O.; Larsen, Michelle; Allard, René; Hunter, Joanna; Paramithiotis, Eustache

    2015-01-01

    Biomarkers for active tuberculosis (TB) are urgently needed to improve rapid TB diagnosis. The objective of this study was to identify serum protein expression changes associated with TB but not latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection (LTBI), uninfected states, or respiratory diseases other than TB (ORD). Serum samples from 209 HIV uninfected (HIV−) and co-infected (HIV+) individuals were studied. In the discovery phase samples were analyzed via liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry, and in the verification phase biologically independent samples were analyzed via a multiplex multiple reaction monitoring mass spectrometry (MRM-MS) assay. Compared to LTBI and ORD, host proteins were significantly differentially expressed in TB, and involved in the immune response, tissue repair, and lipid metabolism. Biomarker panels whose composition differed according to HIV status, and consisted of 8 host proteins in HIV− individuals (CD14, SEPP1, SELL, TNXB, LUM, PEPD, QSOX1, COMP, APOC1), or 10 host proteins in HIV+ individuals (CD14, SEPP1, PGLYRP2, PFN1, VASN, CPN2, TAGLN2, IGFBP6), respectively, distinguished TB from ORD with excellent accuracy (AUC = 0.96 for HIV− TB, 0.95 for HIV+ TB). These results warrant validation in larger studies but provide promise that host protein biomarkers could be the basis for a rapid, blood-based test for TB. PMID:26501113

  10. Host Protein Biomarkers Identify Active Tuberculosis in HIV Uninfected and Co-infected Individuals.

    PubMed

    Achkar, Jacqueline M; Cortes, Laetitia; Croteau, Pascal; Yanofsky, Corey; Mentinova, Marija; Rajotte, Isabelle; Schirm, Michael; Zhou, Yiyong; Junqueira-Kipnis, Ana Paula; Kasprowicz, Victoria O; Larsen, Michelle; Allard, René; Hunter, Joanna; Paramithiotis, Eustache

    2015-09-01

    Biomarkers for active tuberculosis (TB) are urgently needed to improve rapid TB diagnosis. The objective of this study was to identify serum protein expression changes associated with TB but not latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection (LTBI), uninfected states, or respiratory diseases other than TB (ORD). Serum samples from 209 HIV uninfected (HIV(-)) and co-infected (HIV(+)) individuals were studied. In the discovery phase samples were analyzed via liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry, and in the verification phase biologically independent samples were analyzed via a multiplex multiple reaction monitoring mass spectrometry (MRM-MS) assay. Compared to LTBI and ORD, host proteins were significantly differentially expressed in TB, and involved in the immune response, tissue repair, and lipid metabolism. Biomarker panels whose composition differed according to HIV status, and consisted of 8 host proteins in HIV(-) individuals (CD14, SEPP1, SELL, TNXB, LUM, PEPD, QSOX1, COMP, APOC1), or 10 host proteins in HIV(+) individuals (CD14, SEPP1, PGLYRP2, PFN1, VASN, CPN2, TAGLN2, IGFBP6), respectively, distinguished TB from ORD with excellent accuracy (AUC = 0.96 for HIV(-) TB, 0.95 for HIV(+) TB). These results warrant validation in larger studies but provide promise that host protein biomarkers could be the basis for a rapid, blood-based test for TB. PMID:26501113

  11. CD45 Isoform Profile Identifies Natural Killer (NK) Subsets with Differential Activity

    PubMed Central

    Krzywinska, Ewelina; Cornillon, Amelie; Allende-Vega, Nerea; Vo, Dang-Nghiem; Rene, Celine; Lu, Zhao-Yang; Pasero, Christine; Olive, Daniel; Fegueux, Nathalie; Ceballos, Patrick; Hicheri, Yosr; Sobecki, Michal; Rossi, Jean-François; Cartron, Guillaume; Villalba, Martin

    2016-01-01

    The leucocyte-specific phosphatase CD45 is present in two main isoforms: the large CD45RA and the short CD45RO. We have recently shown that distinctive expression of these isoforms distinguishes natural killer (NK) populations. For example, co-expression of both isoforms identifies in vivo the anti tumor NK cells in hematological cancer patients. Here we show that low CD45 expression associates with less mature, CD56bright, NK cells. Most NK cells in healthy human donors are CD45RA+CD45RO-. The CD45RA-RO+ phenotype, CD45RO cells, is extremely uncommon in B or NK cells, in contrast to T cells. However, healthy donors possess CD45RAdimRO- (CD45RAdim cells), which show immature markers and are largely expanded in hematopoietic stem cell transplant patients. Blood borne cancer patients also have more CD45RAdim cells that carry several features of immature NK cells. However, and in opposition to their association to NK cell progenitors, they do not proliferate and show low expression of the transferrin receptor protein 1/CD71, suggesting low metabolic activity. Moreover, CD45RAdim cells properly respond to in vitro encounter with target cells by degranulating or gaining CD69 expression. In summary, they are quiescent NK cells, with low metabolic status that can, however, respond after encounter with target cells. PMID:27100180

  12. Identifying different regimes in eruptive activity: An application to Etna volcano

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mulargia, F.; Gasperini, P.; Tinti, S.

    1987-12-01

    The objective identification of different regimes in the eruptive time-history of a volcano is crucial to the understanding of its physics. While a problem well-known in statistical literature under the name of change-point or scan-point problem, no method of general applicability exists for the identification of different regimes in a time-series. In particular, the available techniques seem unsuitable to the volcanological case. We developed an original procedure based on two-sample Kolmogorov-Smirnov statistics which offers satisfactory accuracy in a broad range of conditions with a minimum of assumptions and is expressly tailored to the study of geophysical phenomena. Our procedure requires neither the a priori knowledge of the number of regimes nor of the statistical distributions governing the whole process, which can be of different type. The parent distribution of each regime is inferred through a goodness-of-fit test, and this in turn allows the confidence intervals for each of the change-points identified to be estimated by numerical simulation. This procedure is applied to the eruptive history of Mount Etna volcano. Available data allow the analysis of flank eruptions in the period 1600-1980, while the total output (summit and flank activity) can be studied only in the period 1971-1981. Information on eruptive history can be therefore obtained at two different timescales. Since no univocally accepted catalog exists except for the last few decades, we use two different sets of data, which practically exhaust all the available information. The results are interpreted by a stability analysis, and only stable results are retained. Our analysis yields that: - The inter-event times of flank eruptions in the period 1600-1980 follow two regimes before and after year 1865, while the eruptive activity in the period 1971-1981 follows four different regimes. In each regime eruptions occur according to a Poisson process and Etna behaves as a random nonstationary

  13. Using Electronic Health Record Data to Identify Prostate Cancer Patients That May Qualify for Active Surveillance

    PubMed Central

    Knighton, Andrew J.; Belnap, Tom; Brunisholz, Kim; Huynh, Kelly; Bishoff, Jay T.

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: The introduction of the protein-specific antigen (PSA) test in care means that prostate cancer (PCa) is being detected earlier and more frequently. The result of increased screening using PSA, digital rectal examination and awareness of prostate was an increase in the number of men with low risk cancers. Active surveillance has become a viable alternative to immediate treatment with surgery, radiation and other forms of localized treatment. Evidence suggests that there is no significant difference in mortality rates between AS and surgery. In addition, patients may potentially delay other complications associated with surgery, radiation or deprivation therapy. Methods: This quality improvement study using a delivery system science framework describes the electronic identification of AS candidates given an evidence-based identification criteria based upon national guidelines and clinical judgement. The study population (n=649) was drawn from health records of all patients who received a prostate biopsy (n=1731) at Intermountain Healthcare from 1/1/2013 to 12/31/2014. Automated and manual abstraction was performed. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was used to compare AS-eligible patients to the actual treatment received to identify potential care improvement opportunities. Among those with complete data, 24.7% of this population (n=160) met “AS-eligible” criteria. 39.1% of the population had not received surgery, radiation or androgen deprivation therapy and were considered as being treated using an AS approach. 9% of AS-eligible patients did not receive AS; 27% of patients who did not meet AS-eligible criteria received AS. Estimated guideline adherence measured using area under the curve was 0.70 (95% CI: 0.66–0.73). Modest variation in criteria parameters for identifying AS-eligible patients did not significantly change estimated adherence levels. Conclusion: Implementation of evidence-based criteria for detection of AS

  14. Using Electronic Health Record Data to Identify Prostate Cancer Patients That May Qualify for Active Surveillance

    PubMed Central

    Knighton, Andrew J.; Belnap, Tom; Brunisholz, Kim; Huynh, Kelly; Bishoff, Jay T.

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: The introduction of the protein-specific antigen (PSA) test in care means that prostate cancer (PCa) is being detected earlier and more frequently. The result of increased screening using PSA, digital rectal examination and awareness of prostate was an increase in the number of men with low risk cancers. Active surveillance has become a viable alternative to immediate treatment with surgery, radiation and other forms of localized treatment. Evidence suggests that there is no significant difference in mortality rates between AS and surgery. In addition, patients may potentially delay other complications associated with surgery, radiation or deprivation therapy. Methods: This quality improvement study using a delivery system science framework describes the electronic identification of AS candidates given an evidence-based identification criteria based upon national guidelines and clinical judgement. The study population (n=649) was drawn from health records of all patients who received a prostate biopsy (n=1731) at Intermountain Healthcare from 1/1/2013 to 12/31/2014. Automated and manual abstraction was performed. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was used to compare AS-eligible patients to the actual treatment received to identify potential care improvement opportunities. Among those with complete data, 24.7% of this population (n=160) met “AS-eligible” criteria. 39.1% of the population had not received surgery, radiation or androgen deprivation therapy and were considered as being treated using an AS approach. 9% of AS-eligible patients did not receive AS; 27% of patients who did not meet AS-eligible criteria received AS. Estimated guideline adherence measured using area under the curve was 0.70 (95% CI: 0.66–0.73). Modest variation in criteria parameters for identifying AS-eligible patients did not significantly change estimated adherence levels. Conclusion: Implementation of evidence-based criteria for detection of AS

  15. Structure-activity relationship study around guanabenz identifies two derivatives retaining antiprion activity but having lost α2-adrenergic receptor agonistic activity.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Phu Hai; Hammoud, Hassan; Halliez, Sophie; Pang, Yanhong; Evrard, Justine; Schmitt, Martine; Oumata, Nassima; Bourguignon, Jean-Jacques; Sanyal, Suparna; Beringue, Vincent; Blondel, Marc; Bihel, Frédéric; Voisset, Cécile

    2014-10-15

    Guanabenz (GA) is an orally active α2-adrenergic agonist that has been used for many years for the treatment of hypertension. We recently described that GA is also active against both yeast and mammalian prions in an α2-adrenergic receptor-independent manner. These data suggest that this side-activity of GA could be explored for the treatment of prion-based diseases and other amyloid-based disorders. In this perspective, the potent antihypertensive activity of GA happens to be an annoying side-effect that could limit its use. In order to get rid of GA agonist activity at α2-adrenergic receptors, we performed a structure-activity relationship study around GA based on changes of the chlorine positions on the benzene moiety and then on the modifications of the guanidine group. Hence, we identified the two derivatives 6 and 7 that still possess a potent antiprion activity but were totally devoid of any agonist activity at α2-adrenergic receptors. Similarly to GA, 6 and 7 were also able to inhibit the protein folding activity of the ribosome (PFAR) which has been suggested to be involved in prion appearance/maintenance. Therefore, these two GA derivatives are worth being considered as drug candidates. PMID:25244284

  16. Prostate Cancer: Can Multiparametric MR Imaging Help Identify Patients Who Are Candidates for Active Surveillance?

    PubMed Central

    Turkbey, Baris; Mani, Haresh; Aras, Omer; Ho, Jennifer; Hoang, Anthony; Rastinehad, Ardeshir R.; Agarwal, Harsh; Shah, Vijay; Bernardo, Marcelino; Pang, Yuxi; Daar, Dagane; McKinney, Yolanda L.; Linehan, W. Marston; Kaushal, Aradhana; Merino, Maria J.; Wood, Bradford J.; Pinto, Peter A.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: To determine whether multiparametric magnetic resonance (MR) imaging can help identify patients with prostate cancer who would most appropriately be candidates for active surveillance (AS) according to current guidelines and to compare the results with those of conventional clinical assessment scoring systems, including the D’Amico, Epstein, and Cancer of the Prostate Risk Assessment (CAPRA) systems, on the basis of findings at prostatectomy. Materials and Methods: This institutional review board–approved HIPAA-compliant retrospectively designed study included 133 patients (mean age, 59.3 years) with a mean prostate-specific antigen level of 6.73 ng/mL (median, 4.39 ng/mL) who underwent multiparametric MR imaging at 3.0 T before radical prostatectomy. Informed consent was obtained from all patients. Patients were then retrospectively classified as to whether they would have met AS eligibility criteria or were better served by surgery. AS eligibility criteria for prostatectomy specimens were a dominant tumor smaller than 0.5 mL without Gleason 4 or 5 patterns or extracapsular or seminal vesicle invasion. Conventional clinical assessment scores (the D’Amico, Epstein, and CAPRA scoring systems) were compared with multiparametric MR imaging findings for predicting AS candidates. The level of significance of difference between scoring systems was determined by using the χ2 test for categoric variables with the level of significance set at P < .05. Results: Among 133 patients, 14 were eligible for AS on the basis of prostatectomy results. The sensitivity, positive predictive value (PPV), and overall accuracy, respectively, were 93%, 25%, and 70% for the D’Amico system, 64%, 45%, and 88% for the Epstein criteria, and 93%, 20%, and 59% for the CAPRA scoring system for predicting AS candidates (P < .005 for all, χ2 test), while multiparametric MR imaging had a sensitivity of 93%, a PPV of 57%, and an overall accuracy of 92% (P < .005). Conclusion

  17. Identifying the controls of wildfire activity in Namibia using multivariate statistics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayr, Manuel; Le Roux, Johan; Samimi, Cyrus

    2015-04-01

    Despite large areas of Namibia being unaffected by fires due to aridity, substantial burning in the northern and north-eastern parts of the country is observed every year. Within the fire-affected regions, a strong spatial and inter-annual variability characterizes the dry-season fire situation. In order to understand these patterns, it appears critical to identify the causative factors behind fire occurrence and to examine their interactions in detail. Furthermore, most studies dealing with causative factor examination focus either on the local or the regional scale. However, these scales seem to be inappropriate from a management perspective, as fire-related strategic action plans are most often set up nationwide. Here, we will present an examination of the fire regimes of Namibia based on a dataset conducted by Le Roux (2011). A decade-spanning fire record (1994-2003) derived from NOAA's Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) imagery was used to generate four fire regime metrics (Burned Area, Fire Season Length, Month of Peak Fire Season, and Fire Return Period) and quantitative information on vegetation and phenology derived from Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) time series. Further variables contained by this dataset are related to climate, biodiversity, and human activities. Le Roux (2011) analyzed the correlations between the fire metrics mentioned above and the predictor variables. We hypothesize that linear correlations (as estimated by correlation coefficients) simplify the interactions between response and predictor variables. For instance, moderate population densities could induce the highest number of fires, whereas the complete absence of humans lacks one major source of ignition. Around highly populated areas, in contrary, fuels are usually reduced and space is more fragmented - thus, the initiation and spread of a potential fire could as well be inhibited. From a total of over 40 explanatory variables, we will initially use

  18. A Modified Reverse One-Hybrid Screen Identifies Transcriptional Activation Domains in PHYTOCHROME-INTERACTING FACTOR 3

    PubMed Central

    Dalton, Jutta C.; Bätz, Ulrike; Liu, Jason; Curie, Gemma L.; Quail, Peter H.

    2016-01-01

    Transcriptional activation domains (TADs) are difficult to predict and identify, since they are not conserved and have little consensus. Here, we describe a yeast-based screening method that is able to identify individual amino acid residues involved in transcriptional activation in a high throughput manner. A plant transcriptional activator, PIF3 (phytochrome interacting factor 3), was fused to the yeast GAL4-DNA-binding Domain (BD), driving expression of the URA3 (Orotidine 5′-phosphate decarboxylase) reporter, and used for negative selection on 5-fluroorotic acid (5FOA). Randomly mutagenized variants of PIF3 were then selected for a loss or reduction in transcriptional activation activity by survival on FOA. In the process, we developed a strategy to eliminate false positives from negative selection that can be used for both reverse-1- and 2-hybrid screens. With this method we were able to identify two distinct regions in PIF3 with transcriptional activation activity, both of which are functionally conserved in PIF1, PIF4, and PIF5. Both are collectively necessary for full PIF3 transcriptional activity, but neither is sufficient to induce transcription autonomously. We also found that the TAD appear to overlap physically with other PIF3 functions, such as phyB binding activity and consequent phosphorylation. Our protocol should provide a valuable tool for identifying, analyzing and characterizing novel TADs in eukaryotic transcription factors, and thus potentially contribute to the unraveling of the mechanism underlying transcriptional activation. PMID:27379152

  19. A Modified Reverse One-Hybrid Screen Identifies Transcriptional Activation Domains in PHYTOCHROME-INTERACTING FACTOR 3.

    PubMed

    Dalton, Jutta C; Bätz, Ulrike; Liu, Jason; Curie, Gemma L; Quail, Peter H

    2016-01-01

    Transcriptional activation domains (TADs) are difficult to predict and identify, since they are not conserved and have little consensus. Here, we describe a yeast-based screening method that is able to identify individual amino acid residues involved in transcriptional activation in a high throughput manner. A plant transcriptional activator, PIF3 (phytochrome interacting factor 3), was fused to the yeast GAL4-DNA-binding Domain (BD), driving expression of the URA3 (Orotidine 5'-phosphate decarboxylase) reporter, and used for negative selection on 5-fluroorotic acid (5FOA). Randomly mutagenized variants of PIF3 were then selected for a loss or reduction in transcriptional activation activity by survival on FOA. In the process, we developed a strategy to eliminate false positives from negative selection that can be used for both reverse-1- and 2-hybrid screens. With this method we were able to identify two distinct regions in PIF3 with transcriptional activation activity, both of which are functionally conserved in PIF1, PIF4, and PIF5. Both are collectively necessary for full PIF3 transcriptional activity, but neither is sufficient to induce transcription autonomously. We also found that the TAD appear to overlap physically with other PIF3 functions, such as phyB binding activity and consequent phosphorylation. Our protocol should provide a valuable tool for identifying, analyzing and characterizing novel TADs in eukaryotic transcription factors, and thus potentially contribute to the unraveling of the mechanism underlying transcriptional activation. PMID:27379152

  20. A Modified Reverse One-Hybrid Screen Identifies Transcriptional Activation Domains in PHYTOCHROME-INTERACTING FACTOR 3.

    PubMed

    Dalton, Jutta C; Bätz, Ulrike; Liu, Jason; Curie, Gemma L; Quail, Peter H

    2016-01-01

    Transcriptional activation domains (TADs) are difficult to predict and identify, since they are not conserved and have little consensus. Here, we describe a yeast-based screening method that is able to identify individual amino acid residues involved in transcriptional activation in a high throughput manner. A plant transcriptional activator, PIF3 (phytochrome interacting factor 3), was fused to the yeast GAL4-DNA-binding Domain (BD), driving expression of the URA3 (Orotidine 5'-phosphate decarboxylase) reporter, and used for negative selection on 5-fluroorotic acid (5FOA). Randomly mutagenized variants of PIF3 were then selected for a loss or reduction in transcriptional activation activity by survival on FOA. In the process, we developed a strategy to eliminate false positives from negative selection that can be used for both reverse-1- and 2-hybrid screens. With this method we were able to identify two distinct regions in PIF3 with transcriptional activation activity, both of which are functionally conserved in PIF1, PIF4, and PIF5. Both are collectively necessary for full PIF3 transcriptional activity, but neither is sufficient to induce transcription autonomously. We also found that the TAD appear to overlap physically with other PIF3 functions, such as phyB binding activity and consequent phosphorylation. Our protocol should provide a valuable tool for identifying, analyzing and characterizing novel TADs in eukaryotic transcription factors, and thus potentially contribute to the unraveling of the mechanism underlying transcriptional activation.

  1. In silico identified CCR4 antagonists target regulatory T cells and exert adjuvant activity in vaccination.

    PubMed

    Bayry, Jagadeesh; Tchilian, Elma Z; Davies, Matthew N; Forbes, Emily K; Draper, Simon J; Kaveri, Srini V; Hill, Adrian V S; Kazatchkine, Michel D; Beverley, Peter C L; Flower, Darren R; Tough, David F

    2008-07-22

    Adjuvants are substances that enhance immune responses and thus improve the efficacy of vaccination. Few adjuvants are available for use in humans, and the one that is most commonly used (alum) often induces suboptimal immunity for protection against many pathogens. There is thus an obvious need to develop new and improved adjuvants. We have therefore taken an approach to adjuvant discovery that uses in silico modeling and structure-based drug-design. As proof-of-principle we chose to target the interaction of the chemokines CCL22 and CCL17 with their receptor CCR4. CCR4 was posited as an adjuvant target based on its expression on CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells (Tregs), which negatively regulate immune responses induced by dendritic cells (DC), whereas CCL17 and CCL22 are chemotactic agents produced by DC, which are crucial in promoting contact between DC and CCR4(+) T cells. Molecules identified by virtual screening and molecular docking as CCR4 antagonists were able to block CCL22- and CCL17-mediated recruitment of human Tregs and Th2 cells. Furthermore, CCR4 antagonists enhanced DC-mediated human CD4(+) T cell proliferation in an in vitro immune response model and amplified cellular and humoral immune responses in vivo in experimental models when injected in combination with either Modified Vaccinia Ankara expressing Ag85A from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MVA85A) or recombinant hepatitis B virus surface antigen (rHBsAg) vaccines. The significant adjuvant activity observed provides good evidence supporting our hypothesis that CCR4 is a viable target for rational adjuvant design. PMID:18621704

  2. IDENTIFYING LUMINOUS ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI IN DEEP SURVEYS: REVISED IRAC SELECTION CRITERIA

    SciTech Connect

    Donley, J. L.; Koekemoer, A. M.; Brusa, M.; Salvato, M.; Capak, P.; Cardamone, C. N.; Civano, F.; Ilbert, O.; Impey, C. D.; Kartaltepe, J. S.; Miyaji, T.; Sanders, D. B.; Trump, J. R.

    2012-04-01

    Spitzer/IRAC selection is a powerful tool for identifying luminous active galactic nuclei (AGNs). For deep IRAC data, however, the AGN selection wedges currently in use are heavily contaminated by star-forming galaxies, especially at high redshift. Using the large samples of luminous AGNs and high-redshift star-forming galaxies in COSMOS, we redefine the AGN selection criteria for use in deep IRAC surveys. The new IRAC criteria are designed to be both highly complete and reliable, and incorporate the best aspects of the current AGN selection wedges and of infrared power-law selection while excluding high-redshift star-forming galaxies selected via the BzK, distant red galaxy, Lyman-break galaxy, and submillimeter galaxy criteria. At QSO luminosities of log L{sub 2-10keV}(erg s{sup -1}) {>=}44, the new IRAC criteria recover 75% of the hard X-ray and IRAC-detected XMM-COSMOS sample, yet only 38% of the IRAC AGN candidates have X-ray counterparts, a fraction that rises to 52% in regions with Chandra exposures of 50-160 ks. X-ray stacking of the individually X-ray non-detected AGN candidates leads to a hard X-ray signal indicative of heavily obscured to mildly Compton-thick obscuration (log N{sub H} (cm{sup -2}) = 23.5 {+-} 0.4). While IRAC selection recovers a substantial fraction of luminous unobscured and obscured AGNs, it is incomplete to low-luminosity and host-dominated AGNs.

  3. 30 CFR 285.803 - How must I conduct my approved activities to protect essential fish habitats identified and...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... protect essential fish habitats identified and described under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation... activities to protect essential fish habitats identified and described under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery... essential fish habitat or habitat areas of particular concern may be adversely affected by your...

  4. 30 CFR 285.803 - How must I conduct my approved activities to protect essential fish habitats identified and...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... protect essential fish habitats identified and described under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation... fish habitats identified and described under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act? (a) If, during the conduct of your approved activities, MMS finds that essential fish habitat...

  5. Temporal population dynamics of dinoflagellate Prorocentrum minimum in a semi-enclosed mariculture pond and its relationship to environmental factors and protozoan grazers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Henglong; Min, Gi-Sik; Choi, Joong-Ki; Zhu, Mingzhuang; Jiang, Yong; Al-Rasheid, Khaled A. S.

    2010-01-01

    The ecological processes and interrelationships between protists, either autotrophic or heterotrophic, and environmental factors in mariculture ponds are largely unknown. This study investigated the temporal dynamics of potentially harmful dinoflagellate, Prorocentrum minimum (Pavillard) Schiller, and its relationship to physico-chemical factors and protozoan grazers over a complete cycle in a semi-enclosed shrimp-farming pond near Qingdao, Northern China. P. minimum occurred frequently in low numbers from June to August, followed by a sharp increase from the middle of August, reaching a single maximum peak value of 2.2×105 cells L-1 in October. Temporal variation in abundance was positively correlated with dissolved nitrogen, but showed a significant inverse relationship to abundance of the dominant ciliates, Tintinnopsis lohmanni and Askenasia stellaris. The results provide statistical evidence that the number of P. minimum increased with increasing nitrogen, and the suppression or shortening of algal bloom may be associated with protozoan grazers, such as Tintinnopsis lohmanni, in mariculture ponds.

  6. Feeding by the heterotrophic dinoflagellate Oxyrrhis marina on the red-tide raphidophyte Heterosigma akashiwo: a potential biological method to control red tides using mass-cultured grazers.

    PubMed

    Jeong, Hae Jin; Kim, Jae Seong; Yoo, Yeong Du; Kim, Seong Taek; Kim, Tae Hoon; Park, Myung Gil; Lee, Chang Hoon; Seong, Kyeong Ah; Kang, Nam Seon; Shim, Jae Hyung

    2003-01-01

    As part of the development of a method to control the outbreak and persistence of red tides using mass-cultured heterotrophic protist grazers, we measured the growth and ingestion rates of cultured Oxyrrhis marina (a heterotrophic dinoflagellate) on cultured Heterosigma akashiwo (a raphidophyte) in bottles in the laboratory and in mesocosms (ca. 60 liter) in nature, and those of the cultured grazer on natural populations of the red-tide organism in mesocosms set up in nature. In the bottle incubation, specific growth rates of O. marina increased rapidly with increasing concentration of cultured prey up to ca. 950 ng C ml(-1) (equivalent to 9,500 cells ml(-1)), but were saturated at higher concentrations. Maximum specific growth rate (mumax), KGR (prey concentration sustaining 0.5 mumax) and threshold prey concentration of O. marina on H. akashiwo were 1.43 d(-1), 104 ng C ml(-1), and 8.0 ng C ml(-1), respectively. Maximum ingestion and clearance rates of O. marina were 1.27 ng C grazer(-1) d(-1) and 0.3 microl grazer(-1) h(-1), respectively. Cultured O. marina grew well effectively reducing cultured and natural populations of H. akashiwo down to a very low concentration within 3 d in the mesocosms. The growth and ingestion rates of cultured O. marina on natural populations of H. akashiwo in the mesocosms were 39% and 40%, respectively, of those calculated based on the results from the bottle incubation in the laboratory, while growth and ingestion rates of cultured O. marina on cultured H. akashiwo in the mesocosms were 55% and 36%, respectively. Calculated grazing impact by O. marina on natural populations of H. akashiwo suggests that O. marina cultured on a large scale could be used for controlling red tides by H. akashiwo near aquaculture farms that are located in small ponds, lagoons, semi-enclosed bays, and large land-aqua tanks to which fresh seawater should be frequently supplied. PMID:15132171

  7. Identifying Key Features of Effective Active Learning: The Effects of Writing and Peer Discussion

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Linton, Debra L.; Pangle, Wiline M.; Wyatt, Kevin H.; Powell, Karli N.; Sherwood, Rachel E.

    2014-01-01

    We investigated some of the key features of effective active learning by comparing the outcomes of three different methods of implementing active-learning exercises in a majors introductory biology course. Students completed activities in one of three treatments: discussion, writing, and discussion + writing. Treatments were rotated weekly between…

  8. Forskolin activation of an identified peptide-sensitive motoneurone in Aplysia.

    PubMed Central

    Ram, J. L.

    1983-01-01

    Activation of a physiological response by the adenylate cyclase activator, forskolin, has been suggested as a new criterion for testing the role of cyclic AMP. In Aplysia, motoneurone B16, which innervates muscle 15, is activated by the peptide egg-laying hormone (ELH). In high magnesium-low calcium medium, used to block synaptic activity, forskolin produced a similar response to ELH. Forskolin, at a concentration of 100 microM, consistently activated the ELH-sensitive neurone; vehicle produced no response while 30 microM forskolin usually produced lower levels of activity than 100 microM. The data are consistent with cyclic AMP mediation of the ELH response. PMID:6317117

  9. A Path Analysis to Identify the Psychosocial Factors Influencing Physical Activity and Bone Health in Middle-School Girls

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Shreela V.; Hoelscher, Deanna M.; Kelder, Steven H.; Diamond, Pamela M.; Day, R. Sue; Hergenroeder, Albert C.

    2011-01-01

    Background The purpose of this study was to identify pathways used by psychosocial factors to influence physical activity and bone health in middle-school girls. Methods Baseline data from the Incorporating More Physical Activity and Calcium in Teens (IMPACT) study collected in 2001 to 2003 were used. IMPACT was a 1 1/2 years nutrition and physical activity intervention study designed to improve bone density in 717 middle-school girls in Texas. Structural Equations Modeling was used to examine the interrelationships and identify the direct and indirect pathways used by various psychosocial and environmental factors to influence physical activity and bone health. Results Results show that physical activity self-efficacy and social support (friend, family engagement, and encouragement in physical activity) had a significant direct and indirect influence on physical activity with participation in sports teams as the mediator. Participation in sports teams had a direct effect on both physical activity (β= 0.20, P < .05) and bone health and (β=0.13, P < .05). Conclusion The current study identified several direct and indirect pathways that psychosocial factors use to influence physical activity and bone health among adolescent girls. These findings are critical for the development of effective interventions for promoting bone health in this population. PMID:19953837

  10. What Do I Like to Do?: 101 Activities to Identify Interests and Plan Careers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wall, Janet E.

    2005-01-01

    This book assists school counselors, career development professionals, and counselor educators in the measurement of a student's interests and provides reproducible activities for immediate use. Short checklists and hands-on practical activities help students understand themselves, and begin to plan for the achievement of educational and career…

  11. Identifying High School Physical Education Physical Activity Patterns after High School

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barney, David; Pleban, Francis T.; Wilkinson, Carol; Prusak, Keven A.

    2015-01-01

    National standards for physical education (PE) encompass five principles for the purpose of defining what high school students should recognize and be able to perform as a result of a quality PE program. The expectation is that youth will develop an active, healthy lifestyle into adulthood from activities and skills taught in PE. Researchers from…

  12. Identifying the Barriers and Facilitators to Participation in Physical Activity for Children with Down Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barr, M.; Shields, N.

    2011-01-01

    Background: Many children with Down syndrome do not undertake the recommended amount of daily physical activity. The aim of this study was to explore the barriers and facilitators to physical activity for this group. Methods: Eighteen in-depth interviews were conducted with 20 parents (16 mothers, 4 fathers) of children with Down syndrome aged…

  13. Noncanonical PAR3 activation by factor Xa identifies a novel pathway for Tie2 activation and stabilization of vascular integrity

    PubMed Central

    Stavenuiter, Fabian

    2014-01-01

    Endothelial barrier protective effects of activated protein C (APC) require the endothelial protein C receptor (EPCR), protease-activated receptor (PAR) 1, and PAR3. In contrast, PAR1 and PAR3 activation by thrombin results in barrier disruption. Noncanonical PAR1 and PAR3 activation by APC vs canonical activation by thrombin provides an explanation for the functional selectivity of these proteases. Here we found that factor Xa (FXa) activated PAR1 at canonical Arg41 similar to thrombin but cleaved PAR3 at noncanonical Arg41 similar to APC. This unique PAR1-PAR3 activation profile permitted the identification of noncanonical PAR3 activation as a novel activation pathway for barrier protective tunica intima endothelial receptor tyrosine kinase 2 (Tie2). APC, FXa, and the noncanonical PAR3 tethered-ligand peptide induced prolonged activation of Tie2, whereas thrombin and the canonical PAR3 tethered-ligand peptide did not. Tie2 activation by FXa required PAR3 and EPCR. FXa and the noncanonical PAR3 tethered-ligand peptide induced Tie2- and PAR3-dependent upregulation of tight-junction-associated protein zona occludens 1 (ZO-1), translocation of ZO-1 to cell-cell borders, and the formation of typical ZO-1 honeycomb patterns that are indicative of tight-junction stabilization. These data provide intriguing novel insights into the diversification of functional selectivity of protease signaling achievable by canonical and noncanonical PAR activation, such as the activation of vascular-protective Tie2 by noncanonical PAR3 activation. PMID:25320242

  14. PM2: a partitioning-mining-measuring method for identifying progressive changes in older adults' sleeping activity.

    PubMed

    Lin, Qiang; Zhang, Daqing; Connelly, Kay; Zhou, Xingshe; Ni, Hongbo

    2014-01-01

    As people age, their health typically declines, resulting in difficulty in performing daily activities. Sleep-related problems are common issues with older adults, including shifts in circadian rhythms. A detection method is proposed to identify progressive changes in sleeping activity using a three-step process: partitioning, mining, and measuring. Specifically, the original spatiotemporal representation of each sleeping activity instance was first transformed into a sequence of equal-sized segments, or symbols, via a partitioning process. A data-mining-based algorithm was proposed to find symbols that are not present in all instances of a sleeping activity. Finally, a measuring process was responsible for evaluating the changes in these symbols. Experimental evaluation conducted on a group of datasets of older adults showed that the proposed method is able to identify progressive changes in sleeping activity.

  15. Identifying Key Features of Effective Active Learning: The Effects of Writing and Peer Discussion

    PubMed Central

    Pangle, Wiline M.; Wyatt, Kevin H.; Powell, Karli N.; Sherwood, Rachel E.

    2014-01-01

    We investigated some of the key features of effective active learning by comparing the outcomes of three different methods of implementing active-learning exercises in a majors introductory biology course. Students completed activities in one of three treatments: discussion, writing, and discussion + writing. Treatments were rotated weekly between three sections taught by three different instructors in a full factorial design. The data set was analyzed by generalized linear mixed-effect models with three independent variables: student aptitude, treatment, and instructor, and three dependent (assessment) variables: change in score on pre- and postactivity clicker questions, and coding scores on in-class writing and exam essays. All independent variables had significant effects on student performance for at least one of the dependent variables. Students with higher aptitude scored higher on all assessments. Student scores were higher on exam essay questions when the activity was implemented with a writing component compared with peer discussion only. There was a significant effect of instructor, with instructors showing different degrees of effectiveness with active-learning techniques. We suggest that individual writing should be implemented as part of active learning whenever possible and that instructors may need training and practice to become effective with active learning. PMID:25185230

  16. Identifying key features of effective active learning: the effects of writing and peer discussion.

    PubMed

    Linton, Debra L; Pangle, Wiline M; Wyatt, Kevin H; Powell, Karli N; Sherwood, Rachel E

    2014-01-01

    We investigated some of the key features of effective active learning by comparing the outcomes of three different methods of implementing active-learning exercises in a majors introductory biology course. Students completed activities in one of three treatments: discussion, writing, and discussion + writing. Treatments were rotated weekly between three sections taught by three different instructors in a full factorial design. The data set was analyzed by generalized linear mixed-effect models with three independent variables: student aptitude, treatment, and instructor, and three dependent (assessment) variables: change in score on pre- and postactivity clicker questions, and coding scores on in-class writing and exam essays. All independent variables had significant effects on student performance for at least one of the dependent variables. Students with higher aptitude scored higher on all assessments. Student scores were higher on exam essay questions when the activity was implemented with a writing component compared with peer discussion only. There was a significant effect of instructor, with instructors showing different degrees of effectiveness with active-learning techniques. We suggest that individual writing should be implemented as part of active learning whenever possible and that instructors may need training and practice to become effective with active learning.

  17. Critical narrative review to identify educational strategies promoting physical activity in preschool.

    PubMed

    Kreichauf, S; Wildgruber, A; Krombholz, H; Gibson, E L; Vögele, C; Nixon, C A; Douthwaite, W; Moore, H J; Manios, Y; Summerbell, C D

    2012-03-01

    The aim of this narrative review is critically to evaluate educational strategies promoting physical activity that are used in the preschool setting in the context of obesity prevention programmes. Literature search was conducted between April and August 2010 in English and German databases (PubMED, PsychINFO, PSYNDEX, ERIC, FIS Bildung). Outcomes considered were time and intensity of physical activity, motor skills or measures of body composition. A total of 19 studies were included. Ten studies added physical activity lessons into their curriculum, one study provided more time for free play, eight studies focused on the social and play environment. Studies reporting positive outcomes implemented physical activity sessions that lasted at least 30 min d(-1). Several studies showed that children are most active in the first 10-15 min. The existence or installation of playground markings or fixed play equipment had no effect, whereas the presence or addition of portable play equipment was positively correlated with moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Teacher training may be a key element for successful interventions. To overcome time constraints, a suggested solution is to integrate physical activity into daily routines and other areas of the preschool curriculum.

  18. Combination of MS protein identification and bioassay of chromatographic fractions to identify biologically active substances from complex protein sources.

    PubMed

    Kuromitsu, Sadao; Yokota, Hiroyuki; Hiramoto, Masashi; Yuri, Masatoshi; Naitou, Masanori; Nakamura, Naoto; Kawabata, Shigeki; Kobori, Masato; Katoh, Masao; Furuchi, Kiyoshi; Mita, Haruhisa; Yamada, Tetsuo

    2009-06-01

    Purification of biologically active proteins from complex biological sources is a difficult task, usually requiring large amounts of sample and many separation steps. We found an active substance in a serum response element-dependent luciferase reporter gene bioassay in interstitial cystitis urine that we attempted to purify with column chromatography and the bioassay. With anion-exchange Mono Q and C4 reversed-phase columns, apparently sharp active peaks were obtained. However, more than 20 kinds of proteins were identified from the active fractions with MS, indicating that the purification was not complete. As further purification was difficult, we chose a candidate molecule by means of studying the correlation between MS protein identification scores and bioassay responses of chromatographic fractions near the active peaks. As a result, epidermal growth factor (EGF) was nominated as a candidate molecule among the identified proteins because the elution profile of EGF was consistent with that of the bioassay, and the correlation coefficient of EGF between MS protein identification scores and bioassay responses was the highest among all the identified proteins. With recombinant EGF and anti-EGF and anti-EGF receptor antibodies, EGF was confirmed to be the desired substance in interstitial cystitis urine. This approach required only 20 ml of urine sample and two column chromatographic steps. The combination of MS protein identification and bioassay of chromatographic fractions may be useful for identifying biologically active substances from complex protein sources.

  19. 15 CFR 930.33 - Identifying Federal agency activities affecting any coastal use or resource.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... which has minimal or no environmental effects may still have effects on a coastal use (e.g., effects on public access and recreational opportunities, protection of historic property) or a coastal resource, if... 15 Commerce and Foreign Trade 3 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Identifying Federal agency...

  20. 15 CFR 930.33 - Identifying Federal agency activities affecting any coastal use or resource.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... which has minimal or no environmental effects may still have effects on a coastal use (e.g., effects on public access and recreational opportunities, protection of historic property) or a coastal resource, if... 15 Commerce and Foreign Trade 3 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Identifying Federal agency...

  1. 15 CFR 930.33 - Identifying Federal agency activities affecting any coastal use or resource.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... which has minimal or no environmental effects may still have effects on a coastal use (e.g., effects on public access and recreational opportunities, protection of historic property) or a coastal resource, if... 15 Commerce and Foreign Trade 3 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Identifying Federal agency...

  2. 15 CFR 930.33 - Identifying Federal agency activities affecting any coastal use or resource.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... which has minimal or no environmental effects may still have effects on a coastal use (e.g., effects on public access and recreational opportunities, protection of historic property) or a coastal resource, if... 15 Commerce and Foreign Trade 3 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Identifying Federal agency...

  3. 15 CFR 930.33 - Identifying Federal agency activities affecting any coastal use or resource.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... which has minimal or no environmental effects may still have effects on a coastal use (e.g., effects on public access and recreational opportunities, protection of historic property) or a coastal resource, if... 15 Commerce and Foreign Trade 3 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Identifying Federal agency...

  4. Identifying functional subdivisions in the human brain using meta-analytic activation modeling-based parcellation.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yong; Fan, Lingzhong; Chu, Congying; Zhuo, Junjie; Wang, Jiaojian; Fox, Peter T; Eickhoff, Simon B; Jiang, Tianzi

    2016-01-01

    Parcellation of the human brain into fine-grained units by grouping voxels into distinct clusters has been an effective approach for delineating specific brain regions and their subregions. Published neuroimaging studies employing coordinate-based meta-analyses have shown that the activation foci and their corresponding behavioral categories may contain useful information about the anatomical-functional organization of brain regions. Inspired by these developments, we proposed a new parcellation scheme called meta-analytic activation modeling-based parcellation (MAMP) that uses meta-analytically obtained information. The raw meta data, including the experiments and the reported activation coordinates related to a brain region of interest, were acquired from the Brainmap database. Using this data, we first obtained the "modeled activation" pattern by modeling the voxel-wise activation probability given spatial uncertainty for each experiment that featured at least one focus within the region of interest. Then, we processed these "modeled activation" patterns across the experiments with a K-means clustering algorithm to group the voxels into different subregions. In order to verify the reliability of the method, we employed our method to parcellate the amygdala and the left Brodmann area 44 (BA44). The parcellation results were quite consistent with previous cytoarchitectonic and in vivo neuroimaging findings. Therefore, the MAMP proposed in the current study could be a useful complement to other methods for uncovering the functional organization of the human brain.

  5. Multiple types of control by identified interneurons in a sensory-activated rhythmic motor pattern.

    PubMed

    Kemenes, G; Staras, K; Benjamin, P R

    2001-04-15

    Modulatory interneurons that can drive central pattern generators (CPGs) are considered as good candidates for decision-making roles in rhythmic behaviors. Although the mechanisms by which such neurons activate their target CPGs are known in detail in many systems, their role in the sensory activation of CPG-driven behaviors is poorly understood. In the feeding system of the mollusc Lymnaea, one of the best-studied rhythmical networks, intracellular stimulation of either of two types of neuron, the cerebral ventral 1a (CV1a) and the slow oscillator (SO) cells, leads to robust CPG-driven fictive feeding patterns, suggesting that they might make an important contribution to natural food-activated behavior. In this paper we investigated this contribution using a lip-CNS preparation in which feeding was elicited with a natural chemostimulant rather than intracellular stimulation. We found that despite their CPG-driving capabilities, neither CV1a nor SO were involved in the initial activation of sucrose-evoked fictive feeding, whereas a CPG interneuron, N1M, was active first in almost all preparations. Instead, the two interneurons play important and distinct roles in determining the characteristics of the rhythmic motor output; CV1a by modulating motoneuron burst duration and SO by setting the frequency of the ongoing rhythm. This is an example of a distributed system in which (1) interneurons that drive similar motor patterns when activated artificially contribute differently to the shaping of the motor output when it is evoked by the relevant sensory input, and (2) a CPG rather than a modulatory interneuron type plays the most critical role in initiation of sensory-evoked rhythmic activity.

  6. Visualizing in situ translational activity for identifying and sorting slow-growing archaeal−bacterial consortia

    PubMed Central

    Hatzenpichler, Roland; Connon, Stephanie A.; Goudeau, Danielle; Malmstrom, Rex R.; Woyke, Tanja; Orphan, Victoria J.

    2016-01-01

    To understand the biogeochemical roles of microorganisms in the environment, it is important to determine when and under which conditions they are metabolically active. Bioorthogonal noncanonical amino acid tagging (BONCAT) can reveal active cells by tracking the incorporation of synthetic amino acids into newly synthesized proteins. The phylogenetic identity of translationally active cells can be determined by combining BONCAT with rRNA-targeted fluorescence in situ hybridization (BONCAT-FISH). In theory, BONCAT-labeled cells could be isolated with fluorescence-activated cell sorting (BONCAT-FACS) for subsequent genetic analyses. Here, in the first application, to our knowledge, of BONCAT-FISH and BONCAT-FACS within an environmental context, we probe the translational activity of microbial consortia catalyzing the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM), a dominant sink of methane in the ocean. These consortia, which typically are composed of anaerobic methane-oxidizing archaea (ANME) and sulfate-reducing bacteria, have been difficult to study due to their slow in situ growth rates, and fundamental questions remain about their ecology and diversity of interactions occurring between ANME and associated partners. Our activity-correlated analyses of >16,400 microbial aggregates provide the first evidence, to our knowledge, that AOM consortia affiliated with all five major ANME clades are concurrently active under controlled conditions. Surprisingly, sorting of individual BONCAT-labeled consortia followed by whole-genome amplification and 16S rRNA gene sequencing revealed previously unrecognized interactions of ANME with members of the poorly understood phylum Verrucomicrobia. This finding, together with our observation that ANME-associated Verrucomicrobia are found in a variety of geographically distinct methane seep environments, suggests a broader range of symbiotic relationships within AOM consortia than previously thought. PMID:27357680

  7. Visualizing in situ translational activity for identifying and sorting slow-growing archaeal-bacterial consortia.

    PubMed

    Hatzenpichler, Roland; Connon, Stephanie A; Goudeau, Danielle; Malmstrom, Rex R; Woyke, Tanja; Orphan, Victoria J

    2016-07-12

    To understand the biogeochemical roles of microorganisms in the environment, it is important to determine when and under which conditions they are metabolically active. Bioorthogonal noncanonical amino acid tagging (BONCAT) can reveal active cells by tracking the incorporation of synthetic amino acids into newly synthesized proteins. The phylogenetic identity of translationally active cells can be determined by combining BONCAT with rRNA-targeted fluorescence in situ hybridization (BONCAT-FISH). In theory, BONCAT-labeled cells could be isolated with fluorescence-activated cell sorting (BONCAT-FACS) for subsequent genetic analyses. Here, in the first application, to our knowledge, of BONCAT-FISH and BONCAT-FACS within an environmental context, we probe the translational activity of microbial consortia catalyzing the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM), a dominant sink of methane in the ocean. These consortia, which typically are composed of anaerobic methane-oxidizing archaea (ANME) and sulfate-reducing bacteria, have been difficult to study due to their slow in situ growth rates, and fundamental questions remain about their ecology and diversity of interactions occurring between ANME and associated partners. Our activity-correlated analyses of >16,400 microbial aggregates provide the first evidence, to our knowledge, that AOM consortia affiliated with all five major ANME clades are concurrently active under controlled conditions. Surprisingly, sorting of individual BONCAT-labeled consortia followed by whole-genome amplification and 16S rRNA gene sequencing revealed previously unrecognized interactions of ANME with members of the poorly understood phylum Verrucomicrobia This finding, together with our observation that ANME-associated Verrucomicrobia are found in a variety of geographically distinct methane seep environments, suggests a broader range of symbiotic relationships within AOM consortia than previously thought. PMID:27357680

  8. Using C. elegans Forward and Reverse Genetics to Identify New Compounds with Anthelmintic Activity

    PubMed Central

    Mathew, Mark D.; Mathew, Neal D.; Miller, Angela; Simpson, Mike; Au, Vinci; Garland, Stephanie; Gestin, Marie; Edgley, Mark L.; Flibotte, Stephane; Balgi, Aruna; Chiang, Jennifer; Giaever, Guri; Dean, Pamela; Tung, Audrey; Roberge, Michel; Roskelley, Calvin; Forge, Tom; Nislow, Corey; Moerman, Donald

    2016-01-01

    Background The lack of new anthelmintic agents is of growing concern because it affects human health and our food supply, as both livestock and plants are affected. Two principal factors contribute to this problem. First, nematode resistance to anthelmintic drugs is increasing worldwide and second, many effective nematicides pose environmental hazards. In this paper we address this problem by deploying a high throughput screening platform for anthelmintic drug discovery using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a surrogate for infectious nematodes. This method offers the possibility of identifying new anthelmintics in a cost-effective and timely manner. Methods/Principal findings Using our high throughput screening platform we have identified 14 new potential anthelmintics by screening more than 26,000 compounds from the Chembridge and Maybridge chemical libraries. Using phylogenetic profiling we identified a subset of the 14 compounds as potential anthelmintics based on the relative sensitivity of C. elegans when compared to yeast and mammalian cells in culture. We showed that a subset of these compounds might employ mechanisms distinct from currently used anthelmintics by testing diverse drug resistant strains of C. elegans. One of these newly identified compounds targets mitochondrial complex II, and we used structural analysis of the target to suggest how differential binding of this compound may account for its different effects in nematodes versus mammalian cells. Conclusions/Significance The challenge of anthelmintic drug discovery is exacerbated by several factors; including, 1) the biochemical similarity between host and parasite genomes, 2) the geographic location of parasitic nematodes and 3) the rapid development of resistance. Accordingly, an approach that can screen large compound collections rapidly is required. C. elegans as a surrogate parasite offers the ability to screen compounds rapidly and, equally importantly, with specificity, thus

  9. Identifying active functionalities on few-layered graphene catalysts for oxidative dehydrogenation of isobutane.

    PubMed

    Dathar, Gopi Krishna Phani; Tsai, Yu-Tung; Gierszal, Kamil; Xu, Ye; Liang, Chengdu; Rondinone, Adam J; Overbury, Steven H; Schwartz, Viviane

    2014-02-01

    The general consensus in the studies of nanostructured carbon catalysts for oxidative dehydrogenation (ODH) of alkanes to olefins is that the oxygen functionalities generated during synthesis and reaction are responsible for the catalytic activity of these nanostructured carbons. Identification of the highly active oxygen functionalities would enable engineering of nanocarbons for ODH of alkanes. Few-layered graphenes were used as model catalysts in experiments to synthesize reduced graphene oxide samples with varying oxygen concentrations, to characterize oxygen functionalities, and to measure the activation energies for ODH of isobutane. Periodic density functional theory calculations were performed on graphene nanoribbon models with a variety of oxygen functionalities at the edges to calculate their thermal stability and to model reaction mechanisms for ODH of isobutane. Comparing measured and calculated thermal stability and activation energies leads to the conclusion that dicarbonyls at the zigzag edges and quinones at armchair edges are appropriately balanced for high activity, relative to other model functionalities considered herein. In the ODH of isobutane, both dehydrogenation and regeneration of catalytic sites are relevant at the dicarbonyls, whereas regeneration is facile compared with dehydrogenation at quinones. The catalytic mechanism involves weakly adsorbed isobutane reducing functional oxygen and leaving as isobutene, and O2 in the feed, weakly adsorbed on the hydrogenated functionality, reacting with that hydrogen and regenerating the catalytic sites.

  10. Combined rational design and a high throughput screening platform for identifying chemical inhibitors of a Ras-activating enzyme.

    PubMed

    Evelyn, Chris R; Biesiada, Jacek; Duan, Xin; Tang, Hong; Shang, Xun; Papoian, Ruben; Seibel, William L; Nelson, Sandra; Meller, Jaroslaw; Zheng, Yi

    2015-05-15

    The Ras family small GTPases regulate multiple cellular processes, including cell growth, survival, movement, and gene expression, and are intimately involved in cancer pathogenesis. Activation of these small GTPases is catalyzed by a special class of enzymes, termed guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs). Herein, we developed a small molecule screening platform for identifying lead hits targeting a Ras GEF enzyme, SOS1. We employed an ensemble structure-based virtual screening approach in combination with a multiple tier high throughput experimental screen utilizing two complementary fluorescent guanine nucleotide exchange assays to identify small molecule inhibitors of GEF catalytic activity toward Ras. From a library of 350,000 compounds, we selected a set of 418 candidate compounds predicted to disrupt the GEF-Ras interaction, of which dual wavelength GDP dissociation and GTP-loading experimental screening identified two chemically distinct small molecule inhibitors. Subsequent biochemical validations indicate that they are capable of dose-dependently inhibiting GEF catalytic activity, binding to SOS1 with micromolar affinity, and disrupting GEF-Ras interaction. Mutagenesis studies in conjunction with structure-activity relationship studies mapped both compounds to different sites in the catalytic pocket, and both inhibited Ras signaling in cells. The unique screening platform established here for targeting Ras GEF enzymes could be broadly useful for identifying lead inhibitors for a variety of small GTPase-activating GEF reactions.

  11. Combined Rational Design and a High Throughput Screening Platform for Identifying Chemical Inhibitors of a Ras-activating Enzyme*

    PubMed Central

    Evelyn, Chris R.; Biesiada, Jacek; Duan, Xin; Tang, Hong; Shang, Xun; Papoian, Ruben; Seibel, William L.; Nelson, Sandra; Meller, Jaroslaw; Zheng, Yi

    2015-01-01

    The Ras family small GTPases regulate multiple cellular processes, including cell growth, survival, movement, and gene expression, and are intimately involved in cancer pathogenesis. Activation of these small GTPases is catalyzed by a special class of enzymes, termed guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs). Herein, we developed a small molecule screening platform for identifying lead hits targeting a Ras GEF enzyme, SOS1. We employed an ensemble structure-based virtual screening approach in combination with a multiple tier high throughput experimental screen utilizing two complementary fluorescent guanine nucleotide exchange assays to identify small molecule inhibitors of GEF catalytic activity toward Ras. From a library of 350,000 compounds, we selected a set of 418 candidate compounds predicted to disrupt the GEF-Ras interaction, of which dual wavelength GDP dissociation and GTP-loading experimental screening identified two chemically distinct small molecule inhibitors. Subsequent biochemical validations indicate that they are capable of dose-dependently inhibiting GEF catalytic activity, binding to SOS1 with micromolar affinity, and disrupting GEF-Ras interaction. Mutagenesis studies in conjunction with structure-activity relationship studies mapped both compounds to different sites in the catalytic pocket, and both inhibited Ras signaling in cells. The unique screening platform established here for targeting Ras GEF enzymes could be broadly useful for identifying lead inhibitors for a variety of small GTPase-activating GEF reactions. PMID:25825487

  12. Repellent activity of constituents identified in Foeniculum vulgare fruit against Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae).

    PubMed

    Kim, Do-Hyoung; Kim, Soon-Il; Chang, Kyu-Sik; Ahn, Young-Joon

    2002-11-20

    The repellent activity of materials derived from the methanol extract of fruits from Foeniculum vulgareagainst hungry Aedes aegypti females was examined using skin and patch tests and compared with that of the commercial N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide (deet) and (Z)-9-octadecenoic acid. The biologically active constituents of the Foeniculum fruits were characterized as (+)-fenchone and (E)-9-octadecenoic acid by spectroscopic analyses. Responses varied according to compound, dose, and exposure time. In a skin test with female mosquitoes, at a dose of 0.4 mg/cm(2), (+)-fenchone and (Z)-9-octadecenoic acid exhibited moderate repellent activity at 30 min after treatment, whereas deet provided >1 h of protection against adult mosquitoes at 0.2 mg/cm(2). (Z)-9-Octadecenoic acid was a more potent repellent agent than (E)-9-octadecenoic acid. (+)-Fenchone and (E)-9-octadecenoic acid merit further study as potential mosquito repellent agents or as lead compounds. PMID:12428949

  13. Canopy-Forming Seaweeds in Urchin-Dominated Systems in Eastern Canada: Structuring Forces or Simple Prey for Keystone Grazers?

    PubMed Central

    Blain, Caitlin; Gagnon, Patrick

    2014-01-01

    Models of benthic community dynamics for the extensively studied, shallow rocky ecosystems in eastern Canada emphasize kelp-urchin interactions. These models may bias the perception of factors and processes that structure communities, for they largely overlook the possible contribution of other seaweeds to ecosystem resilience. We examined the persistence of the annual, acidic (H2SO4), brown seaweed Desmarestia viridis in urchin barrens at two sites in Newfoundland (Canada) throughout an entire growth season (February to October). We also compared changes in epifaunal assemblages in D. viridis and other conspicuous canopy-forming seaweeds, the non-acidic conspecific Desmarestia aculeata and kelp Agarum clathratum. We show that D. viridis can form large canopies within the 2-to-8 m depth range that represent a transient community state termed “Desmarestia bed”. The annual resurgence of Desmarestia beds and continuous occurrence of D. aculeata and A. clathratum, create biological structure for major recruitment pulses in invertebrate and fish assemblages (e.g. from quasi-absent gastropods to >150 000 recruits kg−1 D. viridis). Many of these pulses phase with temperature-driven mass release of acid to the environment and die-off in D. viridis. We demonstrate experimentally that the chemical makeup of D. viridis and A. clathratum helps retard urchin grazing compared to D. aculeata and the highly consumed kelp Alaria esculenta. In light of our findings and related studies, we propose fundamental changes to the study of community shifts in shallow, rocky ecosystems in eastern Canada. In particular, we advocate the need to regard certain canopy-forming seaweeds as structuring forces interfering with top-down processes, rather than simple prey for keystone grazers. We also propose a novel, empirical model of ecological interactions for D. viridis. Overall, our study underscores the importance of studying organisms together with cross-scale environmental variability

  14. Canopy-forming seaweeds in urchin-dominated systems in eastern Canada: structuring forces or simple prey for keystone grazers?

    PubMed

    Blain, Caitlin; Gagnon, Patrick

    2014-01-01

    Models of benthic community dynamics for the extensively studied, shallow rocky ecosystems in eastern Canada emphasize kelp-urchin interactions. These models may bias the perception of factors and processes that structure communities, for they largely overlook the possible contribution of other seaweeds to ecosystem resilience. We examined the persistence of the annual, acidic (H2SO4), brown seaweed Desmarestia viridis in urchin barrens at two sites in Newfoundland (Canada) throughout an entire growth season (February to October). We also compared changes in epifaunal assemblages in D. viridis and other conspicuous canopy-forming seaweeds, the non-acidic conspecific Desmarestia aculeata and kelp Agarum clathratum. We show that D. viridis can form large canopies within the 2-to-8 m depth range that represent a transient community state termed "Desmarestia bed". The annual resurgence of Desmarestia beds and continuous occurrence of D. aculeata and A. clathratum, create biological structure for major recruitment pulses in invertebrate and fish assemblages (e.g. from quasi-absent gastropods to >150,000 recruits kg(-1) D. viridis). Many of these pulses phase with temperature-driven mass release of acid to the environment and die-off in D. viridis. We demonstrate experimentally that the chemical makeup of D. viridis and A. clathratum helps retard urchin grazing compared to D. aculeata and the highly consumed kelp Alaria esculenta. In light of our findings and related studies, we propose fundamental changes to the study of community shifts in shallow, rocky ecosystems in eastern Canada. In particular, we advocate the need to regard certain canopy-forming seaweeds as structuring forces interfering with top-down processes, rather than simple prey for keystone grazers. We also propose a novel, empirical model of ecological interactions for D. viridis. Overall, our study underscores the importance of studying organisms together with cross-scale environmental variability to

  15. Triterpenoid resinous metabolites from the genus Boswellia: pharmacological activities and potential species-identifying properties

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    The resinous metabolites commonly known as frankincense or olibanum are produced by trees of the genus Boswellia and have attracted increasing popularity in Western countries in the last decade for their various pharmacological activities. This review described the pharmacological specific details mainly on anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, anti-bacterial and apoptosis-regulating activities of individual triterpenoid together with the relevant mechanism. In addition, species-characterizing triterpenic markers with the methods for their detection, bioavailability, safety and other significant properties were reviewed for further research. PMID:24028654

  16. Activation of two forms of locomotion by a previously identified trigger interneuron for swimming in the medicinal leech.

    PubMed

    Brodfuehrer, Peter D; McCormick, Kathryn; Tapyrik, Lauren; Albano, Alfonso M; Graybeal, Carolyn

    2008-03-01

    Higher-order projection interneurons that function in more than one behavior have been identified in a number of preparations. In this study, we document that stimulation of cell Tr1, a previously identified trigger interneuron for swimming in the medicinal leech, can also elicit the motor program for crawling in isolated nerve cords. We also show that motor choice is independent of the firing frequency of Tr1 and amount of spiking activity recorded extracellularly at three locations along the ventral nerve cord prior to Tr1 stimulation. On the other hand, during Tr1 stimulation there is a significant difference in the amount of activity elicited in the ventral nerve cord that correlates with the motor program activated. On average, Tr1 stimulation trials that lead to crawling elicit greater amounts of activity than in trials that lead to swimming.

  17. IDENTIFYING RECENT SURFACE MINING ACTIVITIES USING A NORMALIZED DIFFERENCE VEGETATION INDEX (NDVI) CHANGE DETECTION METHOD

    EPA Science Inventory



    Coal mining is a major resource extraction activity on the Appalachian Mountains. The increased size and frequency of a specific type of surface mining, known as mountain top removal-valley fill, has in recent years raised various environmental concerns. During mountainto...

  18. 3D Printing in Instructional Settings: Identifying a Curricular Hierarchy of Activities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Abbie

    2015-01-01

    A report of a year-long study in which the author engaged in 3D printing activity in order to determine how to facilitate and support skill building, concept attainment, and increased confidence with its use among teachers. Use of 3D printing tools and their applications in instructional settings are discussed. A hierarchy of 3D printing…

  19. Using Activity Systems Analysis to Identify Inner Contradictions in Teacher Professional Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yamagata-Lynch, Lisa C.; Haudenschild, Michael T.

    2009-01-01

    This study took place in the United States and explored teacher perspectives on the situational factors that influence their professional development using Engestrom's (Engestrom, Y. (1987). "Learning by expanding: An activity-theoretical approach to developmental research". Helsinki: Orienta-Konsultit Oy) four levels of inner contradictions in…

  20. Using Concept Mapping to Identify Action Steps for Physical Activity Promotion in Cancer Treatment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fitzpatrick, Sean Joseph; Zizzi, Sam J.

    2014-01-01

    Background: The benefits of exercise during and after cancer treatment represent research areas that have received increased attention throughout the past 2 decades. Numerous benefits have been observed for cancer survivors who are physically active, yet oncologists have been slow to incorporate exercise counseling into practice. Purpose: The…

  1. Identifying active foraminifera in the Sea of Japan using metatranscriptomic approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lejzerowicz, Franck; Voltsky, Ivan; Pawlowski, Jan

    2013-02-01

    Metagenetics represents an efficient and rapid tool to describe environmental diversity patterns of microbial eukaryotes based on ribosomal DNA sequences. However, the results of metagenetic studies are often biased by the presence of extracellular DNA molecules that are persistent in the environment, especially in deep-sea sediment. As an alternative, short-lived RNA molecules constitute a good proxy for the detection of active species. Here, we used a metatranscriptomic approach based on RNA-derived (cDNA) sequences to study the diversity of the deep-sea benthic foraminifera and compared it to the metagenetic approach. We analyzed 257 ribosomal DNA and cDNA sequences obtained from seven sediments samples collected in the Sea of Japan at depths ranging from 486 to 3665 m. The DNA and RNA-based approaches gave a similar view of the taxonomic composition of foraminiferal assemblage, but differed in some important points. First, the cDNA dataset was dominated by sequences of rotaliids and robertiniids, suggesting that these calcareous species, some of which have been observed in Rose Bengal stained samples, are the most active component of foraminiferal community. Second, the richness of monothalamous (single-chambered) foraminifera was particularly high in DNA extracts from the deepest samples, confirming that this group of foraminifera is abundant but not necessarily very active in the deep-sea sediments. Finally, the high divergence of undetermined sequences in cDNA dataset indicate the limits of our database and lack of knowledge about some active but possibly rare species. Our study demonstrates the capability of the metatranscriptomic approach to detect active foraminiferal species and prompt its use in future high-throughput sequencing-based environmental surveys.

  2. Can the vector space model be used to identify biological entity activities?

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Biological systems are commonly described as networks of entity interactions. Some interactions are already known and integrate the current knowledge in life sciences. Others remain unknown for long periods of time and are frequently discovered by chance. In this work we present a model to predict these unknown interactions from a textual collection using the vector space model (VSM), a well known and established information retrieval model. We have extended the VSM ability to retrieve information using a transitive closure approach. Our objective is to use the VSM to identify the known interactions from the literature and construct a network. Based on interactions established in the network our model applies the transitive closure in order to predict and rank new interactions. Results We have tested and validated our model using a collection of patent claims issued from 1976 to 2005. From 266,528 possible interactions in our network, the model identified 1,027 known interactions and predicted 3,195 new interactions. Iterating the model according to patent issue dates, interactions found in a given past year were often confirmed by patent claims not in the collection and issued in more recent years. Most confirmation patent claims were found at the top 100 new interactions obtained from each subnetwork. We have also found papers on the Web which confirm new inferred interactions. For instance, the best new interaction inferred by our model relates the interaction between the adrenaline neurotransmitter and the androgen receptor gene. We have found a paper that reports the partial dependence of the antiapoptotic effect of adrenaline on androgen receptor. Conclusions The VSM extended with a transitive closure approach provides a good way to identify biological interactions from textual collections. Specifically for the context of literature-based discovery, the extended VSM contributes to identify and rank relevant new interactions even if these

  3. Proteomics-identified Bvg-activated autotransporters protect against bordetella pertussis in a mouse model.

    PubMed

    de Gouw, Daan; Gouw, Daan de; de Jonge, Marien I; Jonge, Marien I de; Hermans, Peter W M; Wessels, Hans J C T; Zomer, Aldert; Berends, Alinda; Pratt, Catherine; Berbers, Guy A; Mooi, Frits R; Diavatopoulos, Dimitri A

    2014-01-01

    Pertussis is a highly infectious respiratory disease of humans caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. Despite high vaccination coverage, pertussis has re-emerged globally. Causes for the re-emergence of pertussis include limited duration of protection conferred by acellular pertussis vaccines (aP) and pathogen adaptation. Pathogen adaptations involve antigenic divergence with vaccine strains, the emergence of strains which show enhanced in vitro expression of a number of virulence-associated genes and of strains that do not express pertactin, an important aP component. Clearly, the identification of more effective B. pertussis vaccine antigens is of utmost importance. To identify novel antigens, we used proteomics to identify B. pertussis proteins regulated by the master virulence regulatory system BvgAS in vitro. Five candidates proteins were selected and it was confirmed that they were also expressed in the lungs of naïve mice seven days after infection. The five proteins were expressed in recombinant form, adjuvanted with alum and used to immunize mice as stand-alone antigens. Subsequent respiratory challenge showed that immunization with the autotransporters Vag8 and SphB1 significantly reduced bacterial load in the lungs. Whilst these antigens induced strong opsonizing antibody responses, we found that none of the tested alum-adjuvanted vaccines - including a three-component aP - reduced bacterial load in the nasopharynx, suggesting that alternative immunological responses may be required for efficient bacterial clearance from the nasopharynx.

  4. High-content screening identifies kinase inhibitors that overcome venetoclax resistance in activated CLL cells

    PubMed Central

    Oppermann, Sina; Ylanko, Jarkko; Shi, Yonghong; Hariharan, Santosh; Oakes, Christopher C.; Brauer, Patrick M.; Zúñiga-Pflücker, Juan C.; Leber, Brian; Spaner, David E.

    2016-01-01

    Novel agents such as the Bcl-2 inhibitor venetoclax (ABT-199) are changing treatment paradigms for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) but important problems remain. Although some patients exhibit deep and durable responses to venetoclax as a single agent, other patients harbor subpopulations of resistant leukemia cells that mediate disease recurrence. One hypothesis for the origin of resistance to venetoclax is by kinase-mediated survival signals encountered in proliferation centers that may be unique for individual patients. An in vitro microenvironment model was developed with primary CLL cells that could be incorporated into an automated high-content microscopy-based screen of kinase inhibitors (KIs) to identify agents that may improve venetoclax therapy in a personalized manner. Marked interpatient variability was noted for which KIs were effective; nevertheless, sunitinib was identified as the most common clinically available KI effective in overcoming venetoclax resistance. Examination of the underlying mechanisms indicated that venetoclax resistance may be induced by microenvironmental signals that upregulate antiapoptotic Bcl-xl, Mcl-1, and A1, which can be counteracted more efficiently by sunitinib than by ibrutinib or idelalisib. Although patient-specific drug responses are common, for many patients, combination therapy with sunitinib may significantly improve the therapeutic efficacy of venetoclax. PMID:27297795

  5. Active-passive correlation spectroscopy - A new technique for identifying ocean color algorithm spectral regions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoge, F. E.; Swift, R. N.

    1986-01-01

    A new active-passive airborne data correlation technique has been developed which allows the validation of existing in-water oceoan color algorithms and the rapid search, identification, and evaluation of new sensor band locations and algorithm wavelength intervals. Thus far, applied only in conjunction with the spectral curvature algorithm (SCA), the active-passive correlation spectroscopy (APCS) technique shows that (1) the usual 490-nm (center-band) chlorophyll SCA could satisfactorily be placed anywhere within the nominal 460-510-nm interval, and (2) two other spectral regions, 645-660 and 680-695 nm, show considerable promise for chlorophyll pigment measurement. Additionally, the APCS method reveals potentially useful wavelength regions (at 600 and about 670 nm) of very low chlorophyll-in-water spectral curvature into which accessory pigment algorithms for phycoerythrin might be carefully positioned. In combination, the APCS and SCA methods strongly suggest that significant information content resides within the seemingly featureless ocean color spectrum.

  6. Alternate protein kinase A activity identifies a unique population of stromal cells in adult bone.

    PubMed

    Tsang, Kit Man; Starost, Matthew F; Nesterova, Maria; Boikos, Sosipatros A; Watkins, Tonya; Almeida, Madson Q; Harran, Michelle; Li, Andrew; Collins, Michael T; Cheadle, Christopher; Mertz, Edward L; Leikin, Sergey; Kirschner, Lawrence S; Robey, Pamela; Stratakis, Constantine A

    2010-05-11

    A population of stromal cells that retains osteogenic capacity in adult bone (adult bone stromal cells or aBSCs) exists and is under intense investigation. Mice heterozygous for a null allele of prkar1a (Prkar1a(+/-)), the primary receptor for cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and regulator of protein kinase A (PKA) activity, developed bone lesions that were derived from cAMP-responsive osteogenic cells and resembled fibrous dysplasia (FD). Prkar1a(+/-) mice were crossed with mice that were heterozygous for catalytic subunit Calpha (Prkaca(+/-)), the main PKA activity-mediating molecule, to generate a mouse model with double heterozygosity for prkar1a and prkaca (Prkar1a(+/-)Prkaca(+/-)). Unexpectedly, Prkar1a(+/-)Prkaca(+/-) mice developed a greater number of osseous lesions starting at 3 months of age that varied from the rare chondromas in the long bones and the ubiquitous osteochondrodysplasia of vertebral bodies to the occasional sarcoma in older animals. Cells from these lesions originated from an area proximal to the growth plate, expressed osteogenic cell markers, and showed higher PKA activity that was mostly type II (PKA-II) mediated by an alternate pattern of catalytic subunit expression. Gene expression profiling confirmed a preosteoblastic nature for these cells but also showed a signature that was indicative of mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition and increased Wnt signaling. These studies show that a specific subpopulation of aBSCs can be stimulated in adult bone by alternate PKA and catalytic subunit activity; abnormal proliferation of these cells leads to skeletal lesions that have similarities to human FD and bone tumors. PMID:20421483

  7. Genetic Screening in C. Elegans Identifies Rho-GTPAse Activating Protein 6 as Novel HERG Regulator

    PubMed Central

    Potet, Franck; Petersen, Christina I.; Boutaud, Olivier; Shuai, Wen; Stepanovic, Svetlana Z.; Balser, Jeffrey R.; Kupershmidt, Sabina

    2009-01-01

    The human ether-a-go-go related gene (HERG) constitutes the pore forming subunit of IKr, a K+ current involved in repolarization of the cardiac action potential. While mutations in HERG predispose patients to cardiac arrhythmias (Long QT syndrome; LQTS), altered function of HERG regulators are undoubtedly LQTS risk factors. We have combined RNA interference with behavioral screening in Caenorhabditis elegans to detect genes that influence function of the HERG homolog, UNC-103. One such gene encodes the worm ortholog of the rho-GTPase activating protein 6 (ARHGAP6). In addition to its GAP function, ARHGAP6 induces cytoskeletal rearrangements and activates phospholipase C (PLC). Here we show that IKr recorded in cells co-expressing HERG and ARHGAP6 was decreased by 43% compared to HERG alone. Biochemical measurements of cell-surface associated HERG revealed that ARHGAP6 reduced membrane expression of HERG by 35%, which correlates well with the reduction in current. In an atrial myocyte cell line, suppression of endogenous ARHGAP6 by virally transduced shRNA led to a 53 % enhancement of IKr. ARHGAP6 effects were maintained when we introduced a dominant negative rho-GTPase, or ARHGAP6 devoid of rhoGAP function, indicating ARHGAP6 regulation of HERG is independent of rho activation. However, ARHGAP6 lost effectiveness when PLC was inhibited. We further determined that ARHGAP6 effects are mediated by a consensus SH3 binding domain within the C-terminus of HERG, although stable ARHGAP6-HERG complexes were not observed. These data link a rhoGAP-activated PLC pathway to HERG membrane expression and implicate this family of proteins as candidate genes in disorders involving HERG. PMID:19038263

  8. Selective activity of deguelin identifies therapeutic targets for androgen receptor-positive breast cancer.

    PubMed

    Robles, Andrew J; Cai, Shengxin; Cichewicz, Robert H; Mooberry, Susan L

    2016-06-01

    Triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC) are aggressive malignancies with no effective targeted therapies. Recent gene expression profiling of these heterogeneous cancers and the classification of cell line models now allows for the identification of compounds with selective activities against molecular subtypes of TNBC. The natural product deguelin was found to have selective activity against MDA-MB-453 and SUM-185PE cell lines, which both model the luminal androgen receptor (LAR) subtype of TNBC. Deguelin potently inhibited proliferation of these cells with GI50 values of 30 and 61 nM, in MDA-MB-453 and SUM-185PE cells, respectively. Deguelin had exceptionally high selectivity, 197 to 566-fold, for these cell lines compared to cell lines representing other TNBC subtypes. Deguelin's mechanisms of action were investigated to determine how it produced these potent and selective effects. Our results show that deguelin has dual activities, inhibiting PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling, and decreasing androgen receptor levels and nuclear localization. Based on these data, we hypothesized that the combination of the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin and the antiandrogen enzalutamide would have efficacy in LAR models. Rapamycin and enzalutamide showed additive effects in MDA-MB-453 cells, and both drugs had potent antitumor efficacy in a LAR xenograft model. These results suggest that the combination of antiandrogens and mTOR inhibitors might be an effective strategy for the treatment of androgen receptor-expressing TNBC. PMID:27255535

  9. Identifying and Enhancing the Strengths of Gifted Learners, K-8: Easy-to-Use Activities and Lessons

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maccagnano, Ann Marie

    2007-01-01

    Educators can identify children's strengths early on and gain insight into each student's unique abilities by using the numerous ideas and informal assessments in this exciting guide. Gifted and talented specialist Ann Maccagnano offers K-8 teachers challenging activities and engaging lessons to develop and nurture gifted learners' talents.…

  10. 30 CFR 585.803 - How must I conduct my approved activities to protect essential fish habitats identified and...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 2 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false How must I conduct my approved activities to protect essential fish habitats identified and described under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act? 585.803 Section 585.803 Mineral Resources BUREAU OF OCEAN ENERGY MANAGEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR OFFSHORE...

  11. 30 CFR 585.803 - How must I conduct my approved activities to protect essential fish habitats identified and...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 2 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false How must I conduct my approved activities to protect essential fish habitats identified and described under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act? 585.803 Section 585.803 Mineral Resources BUREAU OF OCEAN ENERGY MANAGEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR OFFSHORE...

  12. 30 CFR 585.803 - How must I conduct my approved activities to protect essential fish habitats identified and...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 2 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false How must I conduct my approved activities to protect essential fish habitats identified and described under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act? 585.803 Section 585.803 Mineral Resources BUREAU OF OCEAN ENERGY MANAGEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR OFFSHORE...

  13. The promoter competition assay (PCA): a new approach to identify motifs involved in the transcriptional activity of reporter genes.

    PubMed

    Hube, Florent; Myal, Yvonne; Leygue, Etienne

    2006-05-01

    Identifying particular motifs responsible for promoter activity is a crucial step toward the development of new gene-based preventive and therapeutic strategies. However, to date, experimental methods to study promoter activity remain limited. We present in this report a promoter competition assay designed to identify, within a given promoter region, motifs critical for its activity. This assay consists in co-transfecting the promoter to be analyzed and double-stranded oligonucleotides which will compete for the binding of transcription factors. Using the recently characterized SBEM promoter as model, we first delineated the feasibility of the method and optimized the experimental conditions. We then identified, within an 87-bp region responsible for a strong expression of the reporter gene, an octamer-binding site essential for its transcriptional regulation. The importance of this motif has been confirmed by site-directed mutagenesis. The promoter competition assay appears to be a fast and efficient approach to identify, within a given promoter sequence, sites critical for its activity.

  14. 2007 fireball activity imaged by the Spanish Fireball Network: identifying meteorite delivery sources.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trigo-Rodríguez, J. M.; Madiedo, J. M.; Castro-Tirado, A. J.; Llorca, J.; Troughton, B.

    2008-09-01

    The Spanish Meteor and Fireball Network (SPMN) is an interdisciplinary join approach with the main aim to study interplanetary matter. Our network started operation on a continuous basis on 2004. Sky monitoring was achieved on the basis of the development of the first all-sky CCD camera capable of obtaining almost full sky coverage with an astrometric accuracy of about 1 arcmin [1] (see e.g. Fig. 1). The successful testing of this prototype for meteor and fireball detections [2] has been followed by the development of other detection techniques as e.g. high sensitivity video detectors [3], and forward scatter meteor detection. The SPMN is already developing and testing new instruments and software with the main goal of creating a new concept of fireball monitoring: an instantaneous patrol of the day and night. In fact, since 2005 SPMN video and CCD detectors are providing online information on meteor and fireball activity. Control software is able to inform us on the appearance of unusual activity in order to perform additional experiments, and for quickly alerting the astronomical community about these outbursts. This is interesting to increase the data coverage of encounters with cometary dust trails [4, 5].

  15. Quantitative high-throughput screening: A titration-based approach that efficiently identifies biological activities in large chemical libraries

    PubMed Central

    Inglese, James; Auld, Douglas S.; Jadhav, Ajit; Johnson, Ronald L.; Simeonov, Anton; Yasgar, Adam; Zheng, Wei; Austin, Christopher P.

    2006-01-01

    High-throughput screening (HTS) of chemical compounds to identify modulators of molecular targets is a mainstay of pharmaceutical development. Increasingly, HTS is being used to identify chemical probes of gene, pathway, and cell functions, with the ultimate goal of comprehensively delineating relationships between chemical structures and biological activities. Achieving this goal will require methodologies that efficiently generate pharmacological data from the primary screen and reliably profile the range of biological activities associated with large chemical libraries. Traditional HTS, which tests compounds at a single concentration, is not suited to this task, because HTS is burdened by frequent false positives and false negatives and requires extensive follow-up testing. We have developed a paradigm, quantitative HTS (qHTS), tested with the enzyme pyruvate kinase, to generate concentration–response curves for >60,000 compounds in a single experiment. We show that this method is precise, refractory to variations in sample preparation, and identifies compounds with a wide range of activities. Concentration–response curves were classified to rapidly identify pyruvate kinase activators and inhibitors with a variety of potencies and efficacies and elucidate structure–activity relationships directly from the primary screen. Comparison of qHTS with traditional single-concentration HTS revealed a high prevalence of false negatives in the single-point screen. This study demonstrates the feasibility of qHTS for accurately profiling every compound in large chemical libraries (>105 compounds). qHTS produces rich data sets that can be immediately mined for reliable biological activities, thereby providing a platform for chemical genomics and accelerating the identification of leads for drug discovery. PMID:16864780

  16. A screen of approved drugs and molecular probes identifies therapeutics with anti-Ebola virus activity.

    PubMed

    Johansen, Lisa M; DeWald, Lisa Evans; Shoemaker, Charles J; Hoffstrom, Benjamin G; Lear-Rooney, Calli M; Stossel, Andrea; Nelson, Elizabeth; Delos, Sue E; Simmons, James A; Grenier, Jill M; Pierce, Laura T; Pajouhesh, Hassan; Lehár, Joseph; Hensley, Lisa E; Glass, Pamela J; White, Judith M; Olinger, Gene G

    2015-06-01

    Currently, no approved therapeutics exist to treat or prevent infections induced by Ebola viruses, and recent events have demonstrated an urgent need for rapid discovery of new treatments. Repurposing approved drugs for emerging infections remains a critical resource for potential antiviral therapies. We tested ~2600 approved drugs and molecular probes in an in vitro infection assay using the type species, Zaire ebolavirus. Selective antiviral activity was found for 80 U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs spanning multiple mechanistic classes, including selective estrogen receptor modulators, antihistamines, calcium channel blockers, and antidepressants. Results using an in vivo murine Ebola virus infection model confirmed the protective ability of several drugs, such as bepridil and sertraline. Viral entry assays indicated that most of these antiviral drugs block a late stage of viral entry. By nature of their approved status, these drugs have the potential to be rapidly advanced to clinical settings and used as therapeutic countermeasures for Ebola virus infections. PMID:26041706

  17. Signature motifs identify an Acinetobacter Cif virulence factor with epoxide hydrolase activity.

    PubMed

    Bahl, Christopher D; Hvorecny, Kelli L; Bridges, Andrew A; Ballok, Alicia E; Bomberger, Jennifer M; Cady, Kyle C; O'Toole, George A; Madden, Dean R

    2014-03-14

    Endocytic recycling of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) is blocked by the CFTR inhibitory factor (Cif). Originally discovered in Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Cif is a secreted epoxide hydrolase that is transcriptionally regulated by CifR, an epoxide-sensitive repressor. In this report, we investigate a homologous protein found in strains of the emerging nosocomial pathogens Acinetobacter nosocomialis and Acinetobacter baumannii ("aCif"). Like Cif, aCif is an epoxide hydrolase that carries an N-terminal secretion signal and can be purified from culture supernatants. When applied directly to polarized airway epithelial cells, mature aCif triggers a reduction in CFTR abundance at the apical membrane. Biochemical and crystallographic studies reveal a dimeric assembly with a stereochemically conserved active site, confirming our motif-based identification of candidate Cif-like pathogenic EH sequences. Furthermore, cif expression is transcriptionally repressed by a CifR homolog ("aCifR") and is induced in the presence of epoxides. Overall, this Acinetobacter protein recapitulates the essential attributes of the Pseudomonas Cif system and thus may facilitate airway colonization in nosocomial lung infections. PMID:24474692

  18. Identifying Place Histories from Activity Traces with an Eye to Parameter Impact.

    PubMed

    Andrienko, Gennady; Andrienko, Natalia; Mladenov, Martin; Mock, Michael; Pölitz, Christian

    2012-05-01

    Events that happened in the past are important for understanding the ongoing processes, predicting future developments, and making informed decisions. Important and/or interesting events tend to attract many people. Some people leave traces of their attendance in the form of computer-processable data, such as records in the databases of mobile phone operators or photos on photo sharing web sites. We developed a suite of visual analytics methods for reconstructing past events from these activity traces. Our tools combine geocomputations, interactive geovisualizations, and statistical methods to enable integrated analysis of the spatial, temporal, and thematic components of the data, including numeric attributes and texts.We also support interactive investigation of the sensitivity of the analysis results to the parameters used in the computations. For this purpose, statistical summaries of computation results obtained with different combinations of parameter values are visualized in a way facilitating comparisons. We demonstrate the utility of our approach on two large real data sets, mobile phone calls in Milano during 9 days and flickr photos made on British Isles during 5 years.

  19. Mitochondrial impairment by PPAR agonists and statins identified via immunocaptured OXPHOS complex activities and respiration

    SciTech Connect

    Nadanaciva, Sashi; Dykens, James A.; Bernal, Autumn; Capaldi, Roderick A.; Will, Yvonne

    2007-09-15

    Mitochondrial impairment is increasingly implicated in the etiology of toxicity caused by some thiazolidinediones, fibrates, and statins. We examined the effects of members of these drug classes on respiration of isolated rat liver mitochondria using a phosphorescent oxygen sensitive probe and on the activity of individual oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) complexes using a recently developed immunocapture technique. Of the six thiazolidinediones examined, ciglitazone, troglitazone, and darglitazone potently disrupted mitochondrial respiration. In accord with these data, ciglitazone and troglitazone were also potent inhibitors of Complexes II + III, IV, and V, while darglitazone predominantly inhibited Complex IV. Of the six statins evaluated, lovastatin, simvastatin, and cerivastatin impaired mitochondrial respiration the most, with simvastatin and lovastatin impairing multiple OXPHOS Complexes. Within the class of fibrates, gemfibrozil more potently impaired respiration than fenofibrate, clofibrate, or ciprofibrate. Gemfibrozil only modestly inhibited Complex I, fenofibrate inhibited Complexes I, II + III, and V, and clofibrate inhibited Complex V. Our findings with the two complementary methods indicate that (1) some members of each class impair mitochondrial respiration, whereas others have little or no effect, and (2) the rank order of mitochondrial impairment accords with clinical adverse events observed with these drugs. Since the statins are frequently co-prescribed with the fibrates or thiazolidinediones, various combinations of these three drug classes were also analyzed for their mitochondrial effects. In several cases, the combination additively uncoupled or inhibited respiration, suggesting that some combinations are more likely to yield clinically relevant drug-induced mitochondrial side effects than others.

  20. Dual activators of Protein Kinase R (PKR) and Protein Kinase R Like Kinase (PERK) Identify Common and Divergent Catalytic Targets

    PubMed Central

    Ming, Jie; Sun, Hong; Cao, Peng; Fusco, Dahlene N.; Chung, Raymond T.; Chorev, Michael; Jin, Qi; Aktas, Bertal H.

    2013-01-01

    Chemical genetics has evolved into a powerful tool for studying gene function in normal- and patho-biology. PKR and PERK, two eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 alpha (eIF2α) kinases, play critical roles in maintenance of cellular hemostasis, metabolic stability, and anti-viral defenses. Both kinases interact with and phosphorylate additional substrates including tumor suppressor p53 and nuclear protein 90. Loss of function of both kinases has been studied by reverse genetics and recently identified inhibitors. In contrast, activating probes for studying the role of catalytic activity of these kinases are not available. We identified a 3-(2,3-dihydrobenzo[b][1,4]dioxin-6-yl)-5,7-dihydroxy-4H-chromen-4-one (DHBDC) as specific dual activator of PKR and PERK by screening a chemical library of 20,000 small molecules in a dual luciferase surrogate eIF2α phosphorylation assay. We present here extensive biological characterization and preliminary structure-activity relationship of DHBDC, which phosphorylate eIF2α by activating PKR and PERK but no other eIF2α kinases. These agents also activate downstream effectors of eIF2α phosphorylation; inducing CHOP and suppressing cyclin D1 expression and inhibiting cancer cell proliferation, all in a manner dependent on PKR and PERK. Consistent with the role of eIF2α phosphorylation in viral infection, DHBDC inhibits proliferation of human hepatitis C virus. Finally, DHBDC induces phosphorylation of Ikβα, and activates NF-κB pathway. Surprisingly, activation of NF-κB pathway is dependent on PERK but independent of PKR activity. These data indicate that DHBDC is an invaluable probe for elucidating the role of PKR and PERK in normal- and patho-biology. PMID:23784735

  1. Mapping present and future potential distribution patterns for a meso-grazer guild in the Baltic Sea

    PubMed Central

    Leidenberger, Sonja; De Giovanni, Renato; Kulawik, Robert; Williams, Alan R; Bourlat, Sarah J; Maggs, Christine

    2015-01-01

    Aim The Baltic Sea is one of the world's largest semi-enclosed brackish water bodies characterized by many special features, including endemic species that may be particularly threatened by climate change. We mapped potential distribution patterns under present and future conditions for a community with three trophic levels. We analysed climate-induced changes in the species' distribution patterns and examined possible consequences for the chosen food web. Location Baltic Sea and northern Europe. Methods We developed two open-source workflow-based analytical tools: one for ecological niche modelling and another for raster layer comparison to compute the extent and intensity of change in species' potential distributions. Individual ecological niche models were generated under present conditions and then projected into a future climate change scenario (2050) for a food web consisting of a guild of meso-grazers (Idotea spp.), their host algae (Fucus vesiculosus and Fucus radicans) and their fish predator (Gasterosteus aculeatus). We used occurrence data from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), literature and museum collections, together with five environmental layers at a resolution of 5 and 30 arc-minutes. Results Habitat suitability for Idotea balthica and Idotea chelipes in the Baltic Sea seems to be mostly determined by temperature and ice cover rather than by salinity. 2050 predictions for all modelled species show a northern/north-eastern shift in the Baltic Sea. The distribution ranges for Idotea granulosa and G. aculeatus are predicted to become patchier in the Baltic than in the rest of northern Europe, where the species will gain more suitable habitats. Main conclusions For the Baltic Sea, climate-induced changes resulted in a gain of suitable habitats for F. vesiculosus,I. chelipes and I. balthica, whereas lower habitat suitability was predicted for I. granulosa,F. radicans and G. aculeatus. The predicted north-eastern shift of I. balthica

  2. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a tool to predict chemical activity on mammalian development and identify mechanisms influencing toxicological outcome.

    PubMed

    Harlow, Philippa H; Perry, Simon J; Widdison, Stephanie; Daniels, Shannon; Bondo, Eddie; Lamberth, Clemens; Currie, Richard A; Flemming, Anthony J

    2016-01-01

    To determine whether a C. elegans bioassay could predict mammalian developmental activity, we selected diverse compounds known and known not to elicit such activity and measured their effect on C. elegans egg viability. 89% of compounds that reduced C. elegans egg viability also had mammalian developmental activity. Conversely only 25% of compounds found not to reduce egg viability in C. elegans were also inactive in mammals. We conclude that the C. elegans egg viability assay is an accurate positive predictor, but an inaccurate negative predictor, of mammalian developmental activity. We then evaluated C. elegans as a tool to identify mechanisms affecting toxicological outcomes among related compounds. The difference in developmental activity of structurally related fungicides in C. elegans correlated with their rate of metabolism. Knockdown of the cytochrome P450s cyp-35A3 and cyp-35A4 increased the toxicity to C. elegans of the least developmentally active compounds to the level of the most developmentally active. This indicated that these P450s were involved in the greater rate of metabolism of the less toxic of these compounds. We conclude that C. elegans based approaches can predict mammalian developmental activity and can yield plausible hypotheses for factors affecting the biological potency of compounds in mammals.

  3. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a tool to predict chemical activity on mammalian development and identify mechanisms influencing toxicological outcome

    PubMed Central

    Harlow, Philippa H.; Perry, Simon J.; Widdison, Stephanie; Daniels, Shannon; Bondo, Eddie; Lamberth, Clemens; Currie, Richard A.; Flemming, Anthony J.

    2016-01-01

    To determine whether a C. elegans bioassay could predict mammalian developmental activity, we selected diverse compounds known and known not to elicit such activity and measured their effect on C. elegans egg viability. 89% of compounds that reduced C. elegans egg viability also had mammalian developmental activity. Conversely only 25% of compounds found not to reduce egg viability in C. elegans were also inactive in mammals. We conclude that the C. elegans egg viability assay is an accurate positive predictor, but an inaccurate negative predictor, of mammalian developmental activity. We then evaluated C. elegans as a tool to identify mechanisms affecting toxicological outcomes among related compounds. The difference in developmental activity of structurally related fungicides in C. elegans correlated with their rate of metabolism. Knockdown of the cytochrome P450s cyp-35A3 and cyp-35A4 increased the toxicity to C. elegans of the least developmentally active compounds to the level of the most developmentally active. This indicated that these P450s were involved in the greater rate of metabolism of the less toxic of these compounds. We conclude that C. elegans based approaches can predict mammalian developmental activity and can yield plausible hypotheses for factors affecting the biological potency of compounds in mammals. PMID:26987796

  4. A liquid phase based C. elegans behavioral analysis system identifies motor activity loss in a nematode Parkinson's disease model.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Maohua; Gorelenkova, Olga; Yang, Jiong; Feng, Zhaoyang

    2012-03-15

    Motor activity of Caenorhabditis elegans is widely used to study the mechanisms ranging from basic neuronal functions to human neurodegenerative diseases. It may also serve as a paradigm to screen for potential therapeutic reagents treating these diseases. Here, we developed an automated, 96-well plate and liquid phase based system that quantifies nematode motor activity in real time. Using this system, we identified an adult-onset, ageing-associated motor activity loss in a transgenic nematode line expressing human pathogenic G2019S mutant LRRK2 (leucine-rich repeat kinase 2), the leading genetic cause of Parkinson's disease characterized by dopaminergic neurodegeneration associated motor deficient mainly in elder citizens. Thus, our system may be used as a platform to screen for potential therapeutic drugs treating Parkinson's disease. It can also be used to monitor motor activity of nematodes in liquid phase at similar scenario.

  5. Teachers' instructional goals for science practice: Identifying knowledge gaps using cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farrar, Cynthia Hamen

    In AP Biology, the course goal, with respect to scientific acts and reasoning, has recently shifted toward a reform goal of science practice, where the goal is for students to have a scientific perspective that views science as a practice of a community rather than a body of knowledge. Given this recent shift, this study is interested in the gaps that may exist between an individual teacher's instructional goal and the goals of the AP Biology course. A Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) methodology and perspective is used to analyze four teachers' knowledge, practice, and learning. Teachers have content knowledge for teaching, a form of knowledge that is unique for teaching called specialized content knowledge. This specialized content knowledge (SCK) defines their instructional goals, the student outcomes they ultimately aim to achieve with their students. The study employs a cultural-historical continuum of scientific acts and reasoning, which represents the development of the AP Biology goal over time, to study gaps in their instructional goal. The study also analyzes the contradictions within their teaching practice and how teachers address those contradictions to shift their instructional practice and learn. The findings suggest that teachers have different interpretations of the AP Biology goals of science practice, placing their instructional goal at different points along the continuum. Based on the location of their instructional goal, different micro-communities of teachers exist along the continuum, comprised of teachers with a shared goal, language, and culture of their AP Biology teaching. The in-depth study of one teacher's AP Biology teaching, using a CHAT perspective, provides a means for studying the mechanisms that connect SCK to classroom actions and ultimately to instructional practice. CHAT also reveals the nature and importance of contradictions or cognitive dissonance in teacher learning and the types of support teachers need to

  6. A Newly Identified Extrinsic Input Triggers a Distinct Gastric Mill Rhythm via Activation of Modulatory Projection Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Blitz, Dawn M.; White, Rachel S.; Saideman, Shari R.; Cook, Aaron; Christie, Andrew E.; Nadim, Farzan; Nusbaum, Michael P.

    2008-01-01

    Neuronal network flexibility enables animals to respond appropriately to changes in their internal and external states. We are using the isolated crab stomatogastric nervous system to determine how extrinsic inputs contribute to network flexibility. The stomatogastric system includes the well-characterized gastric mill (chewing) and pyloric (filtering of chewed food) motor circuits in the stomatogastric ganglion. Projection neurons with somata in the commissural ganglia (CoGs) regulate these rhythms. Previous work characterized a unique gastric mill rhythm that occurred spontaneously in some preparations, but whose origin remained undetermined. This rhythm includes a distinct protractor phase activity pattern, during which all active gastric mill circuit and projection neurons fire in a pyloric rhythm-timed activity pattern instead of the tonic firing pattern exhibited by these neurons during previously studied gastric mill rhythms. Here we identify a new extrinsic input, the post-oesophageal commissure (POC) neurons, relatively brief stimulation (30 sec) of which triggers a long-lasting (tens of minutes) activation of this novel gastric mill rhythm at least in part via its lasting activation of CoG projection neurons, including the previously identified MCN1 and CPN2. Immunocytochemical and electrophysiological data suggest that the POC neurons excite MCN1 and CPN2 by release of the neuropeptide Cancer borealis tachykinin-related peptide Ia (CabTRP Ia). These data further suggest that the CoG arborization of the POC neurons comprises the previously identified anterior commissural organ (ACO), a CabTRP Ia-containing neurohemal organ. This endocrine pathway thus appears to also have paracrine actions that include activation of a novel and lasting gastric mill rhythm. PMID:18310125

  7. Battle between influenza A virus and a newly identified antiviral activity of the PARP-containing ZAPL protein

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Chien-Hung; Zhou, Ligang; Chen, Guifang; Krug, Robert M.

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies showed that ZAPL (PARP-13.1) exerts its antiviral activity via its N-terminal zinc fingers that bind the mRNAs of some viruses, leading to mRNA degradation. Here we identify a different antiviral activity of ZAPL that is directed against influenza A virus. This ZAPL antiviral activity involves its C-terminal PARP domain, which binds the viral PB2 and PA polymerase proteins, leading to their proteasomal degradation. After the PB2 and PA proteins are poly(ADP-ribosylated), they are associated with the region of ZAPL that includes both the PARP domain and the adjacent WWE domain that is known to bind poly(ADP-ribose) chains. These ZAPL-associated PB2 and PA proteins are then ubiquitinated, followed by proteasomal degradation. This antiviral activity is counteracted by the viral PB1 polymerase protein, which binds close to the PARP domain and causes PB2 and PA to dissociate from ZAPL and escape degradation, explaining why ZAPL only moderately inhibits influenza A virus replication. Hence influenza A virus has partially won the battle against this newly identified ZAPL antiviral activity. Eliminating PB1 binding to ZAPL would be expected to substantially increase the inhibition of influenza A virus replication, so that the PB1 interface with ZAPL is a potential target for antiviral development. PMID:26504237

  8. A high-content EMT screen identifies multiple receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors with activity on TGFβ receptor.

    PubMed

    Lotz-Jenne, Carina; Lüthi, Urs; Ackerknecht, Sabine; Lehembre, François; Fink, Tobias; Stritt, Manuel; Wirth, Matthias; Pavan, Simona; Bill, Ruben; Regenass, Urs; Christofori, Gerhard; Meyer-Schaller, Nathalie

    2016-05-01

    An epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) enables epithelial tumor cells to break out of the primary tumor mass and to metastasize. Understanding the molecular mechanisms driving EMT in more detail will provide important tools to interfere with the metastatic process. To identify pharmacological modulators and druggable targets of EMT, we have established a novel multi-parameter, high-content, microscopy-based assay and screened chemical compounds with activities against known targets. Out of 3423 compounds, we have identified 19 drugs that block transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ)-induced EMT in normal murine mammary gland epithelial cells (NMuMG). The active compounds include inhibitors against TGFβ receptors (TGFBR), Rho-associated protein kinases (ROCK), myosin II, SRC kinase and uridine analogues. Among the EMT-repressing compounds, we identified a group of inhibitors targeting multiple receptor tyrosine kinases, and biochemical profiling of these multi-kinase inhibitors reveals TGFBR as a thus far unknown target of their inhibitory spectrum. These findings demonstrate the feasibility of a multi-parameter, high-content microscopy screen to identify modulators and druggable targets of EMT. Moreover, the newly discovered "off-target" effects of several receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors have important consequences for in vitro and in vivo studies and might beneficially contribute to the therapeutic effects observed in vivo. PMID:27036020

  9. Diagnostic Utility of the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Checklist for Identifying Full and Partial PTSD in Active-Duty Military.

    PubMed

    Dickstein, Benjamin D; Weathers, Frank W; Angkaw, Abigail C; Nievergelt, Caroline M; Yurgil, Kate; Nash, William P; Baker, Dewleen G; Litz, Brett T

    2015-06-01

    The aim of this study was to determine optimally efficient cutoff scores on the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist (PCL) for identifying full posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and partial PTSD (P-PTSD) in active-duty Marines and Sailors. Participants were 1,016 Marines and Sailors who were administered the PCL and Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) 3 months after returning from Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. PCL cutoffs were tested against three CAPS-based classifications: full PTSD, stringent P-PTSD, and lenient P-PTSD. A PCL score of 39 was found to be optimally efficient for identifying full PTSD. Scores of 38 and 33 were found to be optimally efficient for identifying stringent and lenient P-PTSD, respectively. Findings suggest that the PCL cutoff that is optimally efficient for detecting PTSD in active-duty Marines and Sailors is substantially lower than the score of 50 commonly used by researchers. In addition, findings provide scores useful for identifying P-PTSD in returning service members.

  10. A high-content EMT screen identifies multiple receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors with activity on TGFβ receptor

    PubMed Central

    Ackerknecht, Sabine; Lehembre, François; Fink, Tobias; Stritt, Manuel; Wirth, Matthias; Pavan, Simona; Bill, Ruben; Regenass, Urs; Christofori, Gerhard; Meyer-Schaller, Nathalie

    2016-01-01

    An epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) enables epithelial tumor cells to break out of the primary tumor mass and to metastasize. Understanding the molecular mechanisms driving EMT in more detail will provide important tools to interfere with the metastatic process. To identify pharmacological modulators and druggable targets of EMT, we have established a novel multi-parameter, high-content, microscopy-based assay and screened chemical compounds with activities against known targets. Out of 3423 compounds, we have identified 19 drugs that block transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ)-induced EMT in normal murine mammary gland epithelial cells (NMuMG). The active compounds include inhibitors against TGFβ receptors (TGFBR), Rho-associated protein kinases (ROCK), myosin II, SRC kinase and uridine analogues. Among the EMT-repressing compounds, we identified a group of inhibitors targeting multiple receptor tyrosine kinases, and biochemical profiling of these multi-kinase inhibitors reveals TGFBR as a thus far unknown target of their inhibitory spectrum. These findings demonstrate the feasibility of a multi-parameter, high-content microscopy screen to identify modulators and druggable targets of EMT. Moreover, the newly discovered “off-target” effects of several receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors have important consequences for in vitro and in vivo studies and might beneficially contribute to the therapeutic effects observed in vivo. PMID:27036020

  11. Structural Dissection of the Active Site of Thermotoga maritima β-Galactosidase Identifies Key Residues for Transglycosylating Activity.

    PubMed

    Talens-Perales, David; Polaina, Julio; Marín-Navarro, Julia

    2016-04-13

    Glycoside hydrolases, specifically β-galactosidases, can be used to synthesize galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) due to the transglycosylating (secondary) activity of these enzymes. Site-directed mutagenesis of a thermoresistant β-galactosidase from Thermotoga maritima has been carried out to study the structural basis of transgalactosylation and to obtain enzymatic variants with better performance for GOS biosynthesis. Rational design of mutations was based on homologous sequence analysis and structural modeling. Analysis of mutant enzymes indicated that residue W959, or an alternative aromatic residue at this position, is critical for the synthesis of β-3'-galactosyl-lactose, the major GOS obtained with the wild-type enzyme. Mutants W959A and W959C, but not W959F, showed an 80% reduced synthesis of this GOS. Other substitutions, N574S, N574A, and F571L, increased the synthesis of β-3'-galactosyl-lactose about 40%. Double mutants F571L/N574S and F571L/N574A showed an increase of about 2-fold.

  12. Larvicidal activity of medicinal plant extracts and lignan identified in Phryma leptostachya var. asiatica roots against housefly (Musca domestica L.).

    PubMed

    Seo, Seon-Mi; Park, Il-Kwon

    2012-05-01

    Medicinal plant extracts from 27 plant species in 20 families were tested for their larvicidal activity against housefly, Musca domestica (L.). Responses varied with plant material and concentration. Among plant species tested, Phryma leptostachya var. asiatica showed 100% larvicidal activity against M. domestica at 10 mg/g concentration. Larvicidal activities of Atractylodes japonica, Saussurea lappa, Asiasarum sieboldi, and Gleditsia japonica var. koraiensis were 89.3%, 85.3%, 93.3%, and 96.6% at 10 mg/g concentration, respectively. Extracts of Prunus persica, Curcuma longa, and Paeonia moutan produced moderate activity. Larvicidal activity of other plant extracts was less than 50%. Among test plant species, P. leptostachya var. asiatica showed the most potent larvicidal activity. The active constituent of P. leptostachya var. asiatica roots was identified as the leptostachyol acetate by spectroscopic analysis. The LC(50) values of leptostachyol acetate against M. domestica larvae were 0.039 mg/g. Naturally occurring medicinal plant extracts and P. leptostachya var. asiatica root-derived compounds merit further study as potential housefly larval control agents or lead compounds.

  13. Sleeping Beauty transposon screen identifies signaling modules that cooperate with STAT5 activation to induce B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia

    PubMed Central

    Heltemes-Harris, Lynn M.; Larson, Jon D.; Starr, Timothy K.; Hubbard, Gregory K.; Sarver, Aaron L.; Largaespada, David A.; Farrar, Michael A.

    2015-01-01

    STAT5 activation occurs frequently in human progenitor B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL). To identify gene alterations that cooperate with STAT5 activation to initiate leukemia we crossed mice expressing a constitutively active form of STAT5 (Stat5b-CA) to mice in which a mutagenic Sleeping Beauty transposon (T2/Onc) was mobilized only in B cells. Stat5b-CA mice typically do not develop B-ALL (<2% penetrance); in contrast, 89% of Stat5b–CA mice in which the T2/Onc transposon had been mobilized died of B-ALL by 3 months of age. High-throughput sequencing approaches were used to identify genes frequently targeted by the T2/Onc transposon; these included Sos1 (74%), Kdm2a (35%), Jak1 (26%), Bmi1 (19%), Prdm14 or Ncoa2 (13%), Cdkn2a (10%), Ikzf1 (8%), Caap1 (6%) and Klf3 (6%). Collectively, these mutations target three major cellular processes: (i) the JAK/STAT5 pathway (ii) progenitor B cell differentiation and (iii) the CDKN2A tumor suppressor pathway. Transposon insertions typically resulted in altered expression of these genes, as well as downstream pathways including STAT5, ERK and p38. Importantly, expression of Sos1 and Kdm2a, and activation of p38, correlated with survival, further underscoring the role these genes and associated pathways play in B-ALL. PMID:26500062

  14. Morphological and physiological responses of seagrasses (Alismatales) to grazers (Testudines: Cheloniidae) and the role of these responses as grazing patch abandonment cues.

    PubMed

    Lacey, Elizabeth A; Collado-Vides, Ligia; Fourqurean, James W

    2014-12-01

    Green sea turtles, Chelonia mydas, are grazers influencing the distribution of seagrass within shallow coastal ecosystems, yet the drivers behind C. mydas patch use within seagrass beds are largely unknown. Current theories center on food quality (nutrient content) as the plant responds to grazing disturbances; however, no study has monitored these parameters in a natural setting without grazer manipulation. To determine the morphological and physiological responses potentially influencing seagrass recovery from grazing disturbances, seagrasses were monitored for one year under three different grazing scenarios (turtle grazed, fish grazed and ungrazed) in a tropical ecosystem in Akumal Bay, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Significantly less soluble carbohydrates and increased nitrogen and phosphorus content in Thalassia testudinum were indicative of the stresses placed on seagrasses during herbivory. To determine if these physiological responses were the drivers of the heterogeneous grazing behavior by C. mydas recorded in Akumal Bay, patches were mapped and monitored over a six-month interval. The abandoned patches had the lowest standing crop rather than leaf nutrient or rhi- zome soluble carbohydrate content. This suggests a modified Giving Up Density (GUD) behavior: the critical threshold where cost of continued grazing does not provide minimum nutrients, therefore, new patches must be utilized, explains resource abandonment and mechanism behind C. mydas grazing. This study is the first to apply GUD theory, often applied in terrestrial literature, to explain marine herbivore grazing behavior. PMID:25720186

  15. High-throughput screening identifies novel inhibitors of the acetyltransferase activity of Escherichia coli GlmU.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Mark P; Blanchard, Jan E; Murphy, Cecilia; Roderick, Steven L; Brown, Eric D

    2009-06-01

    The bifunctional GlmU protein catalyzes the formation of UDP-N-acetylglucosamine in a two-step reaction using the substrates glucosamine-1-phosphate, acetyl coenzyme A, and UTP. This metabolite is a common precursor to the synthesis of bacterial cell surface carbohydrate polymers, such as peptidoglycan, lipopolysaccharide, and wall teichoic acid that are involved in the maintenance of cell shape, permeability, and virulence. The C-terminal acetyltransferase domain of GlmU exhibits structural and mechanistic features unique to bacterial UDP-N-acetylglucosamine synthases, making it an excellent target for antibacterial design. In the work described here, we have developed an absorbance-based assay to screen diverse chemical libraries in high throughput for inhibitors to the acetyltransferase reaction of Escherichia coli GlmU. The primary screen of 50,000 drug-like small molecules identified 63 hits, 37 of which were specific to acetyltransferase activity of GlmU. Secondary screening and mode-of-inhibition studies identified potent inhibitors where compound binding within the acetyltransferase active site was requisite on the presence of glucosamine-1-phosphate and were competitive with the substrate acetyl coenzyme A. These molecules may represent novel chemical scaffolds for future antimicrobial drug discovery. In addition, this work outlines the utility of catalytic variants in targeting specific activities of bifunctional enzymes in high-throughput screens.

  16. High-resolution water column survey to identify active sublacustrine hydrothermal discharge zones within Lake Rotomahana, North Island, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, Sharon L.; de Ronde, Cornel E. J.; Fornari, Daniel; Tivey, Maurice A.; Stucker, Valerie K.

    2016-03-01

    Autonomous underwater vehicles were used to conduct a high-resolution water column survey of Lake Rotomahana using temperature, pH, turbidity, and oxidation-reduction potential (ORP) to identify active hydrothermal discharge zones within the lake. Five areas with active sublacustrine venting were identified: (1) the area of the historic Pink Terraces; (2) adjacent to the western shoreline subaerial "Steaming Cliffs," boiling springs and geyser; (3) along the northern shoreline to the east of the Pink Terrace site; (4) the newly discovered Patiti hydrothermal system along the south margin of the 1886 Tarawera eruption rift zone; and (5) a location in the east basin (northeast of Patiti Island). The Pink Terrace hydrothermal system was active prior to the 1886 eruption of Mount Tarawera, but venting along the western shoreline, in the east basin, and the Patiti hydrothermal system appear to have been initiated in the aftermath of the eruption, similar to Waimangu Valley to the southwest. Different combinations of turbidity, pH anomalies (both positive and negative), and ORP responses suggest vent fluid compositions vary over short distances within the lake. The seasonal period of stratification limits vertical transport of heat to the surface layer and the hypolimnion temperature of Lake Rotomahana consequently increases with an average warming rate of ~ 0.010 °C/day due to both convective hydrothermal discharge and conductive geothermal heating. A sudden temperature increase occurred during our 2011 survey and was likely the response to an earthquake swarm just 11 days prior.

  17. Optimization of ligand and lipophilic efficiency to identify an in vivo active furano-pyrimidine Aurora kinase inhibitor.

    PubMed

    Shiao, Hui-Yi; Coumar, Mohane Selvaraj; Chang, Chun-Wei; Ke, Yi-Yu; Chi, Ya-Hui; Chu, Chang-Ying; Sun, Hsu-Yi; Chen, Chun-Hwa; Lin, Wen-Hsing; Fung, Ka-Shu; Kuo, Po-Chu; Huang, Chin-Ting; Chang, Kai-Yen; Lu, Cheng-Tai; Hsu, John T A; Chen, Chiung-Tong; Jiaang, Weir-Torn; Chao, Yu-Sheng; Hsieh, Hsing-Pang

    2013-07-11

    Ligand efficiency (LE) and lipophilic efficiency (LipE) are two important indicators of "drug-likeness", which are dependent on the molecule's activity and physicochemical properties. We recently reported a furano-pyrimidine Aurora kinase inhibitor 4 (LE = 0.25; LipE = 1.75), with potent activity in vitro; however, 4 was inactive in vivo. On the basis of insights obtained from the X-ray co-crystal structure of the lead 4, various solubilizing functional groups were introduced to optimize both the activity and physicochemical properties. Emphasis was placed on identifying potential leads with improved activity as well as better LE and LipE by exercising tight control over the molecular weight and lipophilicity of the molecules. Rational optimization has led to the identification of Aurora kinase inhibitor 27 (IBPR001; LE = 0.26; LipE = 4.78), with improved in vitro potency and physicochemical properties, resulting in an in vivo active (HCT-116 colon cancer xenograft mouse model) anticancer agent. PMID:23808327

  18. Functional analysis and molecular docking identify two active short-chain prenyltransferases in the green peach aphid, Myzus persicae.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yong-Lei; Li, Zheng-Xi

    2012-10-01

    Short-chain prenyltransferases are responsible for biosynthesis of the C(10)-C(20) precursors of a variety of isoprenoids. We previously isolated two different short-chain prenyltransferases from the green peach aphid, Myzus persicae (MpIPPS1 and MpIPPS2). In this study, the activity of the two aphid prenyltransferases was analyzed in vitro. Kinetic analysis using recombinant enzymes showed that both prenyltransferases could efficiently catalyze the formation of C(10) geranyl diphosphate (GPP) and C(15) farnesyl diphosphate (FPP) from the C(5) substrates isopentenyl diphosphate (IPP) and dimethylallyl diphosphate (DMAPP), and MpIPPS2 had higher catalytic activity than MpIPPS1. Product analysis by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry demonstrated that FPP was generated as the major product, but GPP could be detected at low enzyme concentrations. Molecular docking revealed that MpIPPS2 had higher binding affinity with the substrates DMAPP, IPP, and GPP than MpIPPS1, which supported the experimentally determined kinetic parameters. Molecular docking also identified an amino acid residue (K266) critical to the catalytic activity of both MpIPPS1 and MpIPPS2. This prediction was subsequently confirmed by site-directed mutagenesis, in which a point mutation (K266I) abolished the activity of both MpIPPS1 and MpIPPS2. Our data illustrate that both aphid short-chain prenyltransferases are active forms, which is in contrast to the previously reported results.

  19. Combined single channel and single molecule detection identifies subunit composition of STIM1-activated transient receptor potential canonical (TRPC) channels.

    PubMed

    Asanov, Alexander; Sampieri, Alicia; Moreno, Claudia; Pacheco, Jonathan; Salgado, Alfonso; Sherry, Ryan; Vaca, Luis

    2015-01-01

    Depletion of intracellular calcium ion stores initiates a rapid cascade of events culminating with the activation of the so-called Store-Operated Channels (SOC) at the plasma membrane. Calcium influx via SOC is essential in the initiation of calcium-dependent intracellular signaling and for the refilling of internal calcium stores, ensuring the regeneration of the signaling cascade. In spite of the significance of this evolutionary conserved mechanism, the molecular identity of SOC has been the center of a heated controversy spanning over the last 20 years. Initial studies positioned some members of the transient receptor potential canonical (TRPC) channel superfamily of channels (with the more robust evidence pointing to TRPC1) as a putative SOC. Recent evidence indicates that Stromal Interacting Molecule 1 (STIM1) activates some members from the TRPC family of channels. However, the exact subunit composition of TRPC channels remains undetermined to this date. To identify the subunit composition of STIM1-activated TRPC channels, we developed novel method, which combines single channel electrophysiological measurements based on the patch clamp technique with single molecule fluorescence imaging. We termed this method Single ion Channel Single Molecule Detection technique (SC-SMD). Using SC-SMD method, we have obtained direct evidence of the subunit composition of TRPC channels activated by STIM1. Furthermore, our electrophysiological-imaging SC-SMD method provides evidence at the molecular level of the mechanism by which STIM1 and calmodulin antagonize to modulate TRPC channel activity.

  20. An In Vivo Selection Identifies Listeria monocytogenes Genes Required to Sense the Intracellular Environment and Activate Virulence Factor Expression.

    PubMed

    Reniere, Michelle L; Whiteley, Aaron T; Portnoy, Daniel A

    2016-07-01

    Listeria monocytogenes is an environmental saprophyte and facultative intracellular bacterial pathogen with a well-defined life-cycle that involves escape from a phagosome, rapid cytosolic growth, and ActA-dependent cell-to-cell spread, all of which are dependent on the master transcriptional regulator PrfA. The environmental cues that lead to temporal and spatial control of L. monocytogenes virulence gene expression are poorly understood. In this study, we took advantage of the robust up-regulation of ActA that occurs intracellularly and expressed Cre recombinase from the actA promoter and 5' untranslated region in a strain in which loxP sites flanked essential genes, so that activation of actA led to bacterial death. Upon screening for transposon mutants that survived intracellularly, six genes were identified as necessary for ActA expression. Strikingly, most of the genes, including gshF, spxA1, yjbH, and ohrA, are predicted to play important roles in bacterial redox regulation. The mutants identified in the genetic selection fell into three broad categories: (1) those that failed to reach the cytosolic compartment; (2) mutants that entered the cytosol, but failed to activate the master virulence regulator PrfA; and (3) mutants that entered the cytosol and activated transcription of actA, but failed to synthesize it. The identification of mutants defective in vacuolar escape suggests that up-regulation of ActA occurs in the host cytosol and not the vacuole. Moreover, these results provide evidence for two non-redundant cytosolic cues; the first results in allosteric activation of PrfA via increased glutathione levels and transcriptional activation of actA while the second results in translational activation of actA and requires yjbH. Although the precise host cues have not yet been identified, we suggest that intracellular redox stress occurs as a consequence of both host and pathogen remodeling their metabolism upon infection. PMID:27414028

  1. An In Vivo Selection Identifies Listeria monocytogenes Genes Required to Sense the Intracellular Environment and Activate Virulence Factor Expression

    PubMed Central

    Portnoy, Daniel A.

    2016-01-01

    Listeria monocytogenes is an environmental saprophyte and facultative intracellular bacterial pathogen with a well-defined life-cycle that involves escape from a phagosome, rapid cytosolic growth, and ActA-dependent cell-to-cell spread, all of which are dependent on the master transcriptional regulator PrfA. The environmental cues that lead to temporal and spatial control of L. monocytogenes virulence gene expression are poorly understood. In this study, we took advantage of the robust up-regulation of ActA that occurs intracellularly and expressed Cre recombinase from the actA promoter and 5’ untranslated region in a strain in which loxP sites flanked essential genes, so that activation of actA led to bacterial death. Upon screening for transposon mutants that survived intracellularly, six genes were identified as necessary for ActA expression. Strikingly, most of the genes, including gshF, spxA1, yjbH, and ohrA, are predicted to play important roles in bacterial redox regulation. The mutants identified in the genetic selection fell into three broad categories: (1) those that failed to reach the cytosolic compartment; (2) mutants that entered the cytosol, but failed to activate the master virulence regulator PrfA; and (3) mutants that entered the cytosol and activated transcription of actA, but failed to synthesize it. The identification of mutants defective in vacuolar escape suggests that up-regulation of ActA occurs in the host cytosol and not the vacuole. Moreover, these results provide evidence for two non-redundant cytosolic cues; the first results in allosteric activation of PrfA via increased glutathione levels and transcriptional activation of actA while the second results in translational activation of actA and requires yjbH. Although the precise host cues have not yet been identified, we suggest that intracellular redox stress occurs as a consequence of both host and pathogen remodeling their metabolism upon infection. PMID:27414028

  2. An Action Research Inquiry into the Relationship Among Aerobic Activities, Memory, and Stress with Students Identified as Gifted

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ford, Denise Marie

    Students identified as gifted come from varying socio-economic strata and nationalities with a range of talents and temperaments comprising a diverse community. They may experience stress for a variety of reasons. Although a certain amount of stress can enhance the learning process, too much stress can impede learning, especially memory. Strategies have been offered for relieving stress, yet the benefits of physical activities as stress reducers for the gifted have frequently been overlooked. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship among aerobic activity, stress, and memory ability in students in an elementary school gifted program. An exceptional aspect of this research was that the students were an integral part of their own study. As co-researchers they had a vested interest in what they were doing, enhancing the significance of the experience and heightening learning. This action research project conducted in a mid-western school district with fourth and fifth grade students examined the impact of aerobic movement on physical indicators of stress and memory. The study lasted twelve weeks with data collected on physical indicators of stress, memory test scores, parent observations, interviews with students, a parent focus group session, observational data, student comments, and investigator/teacher journal. By infusing regular exercise into curricula, stress levels in students identified as gifted were examined. Students' scores on declarative memory tasks conducted with and without an accompanying aerobic activity were documented. Students learned of the delicate relationship between stress and memory as they studied the physiology of the brain. Twenty-four hour retention rates of declarative memory items were higher when a 20-minute aerobic activity intervention preceded the memory activity. Perceived stress levels were lowered for 14 of the 16 co-researchers. Students indicated a positive attitude toward physical activity and its

  3. Newly identified essential amino acid residues affecting Δ8-sphingolipid desaturase activity revealed by site-directed mutagenesis.

    PubMed

    Li, Shu-Fen; Song, Li-Ying; Zhang, Guo-Jun; Yin, Wei-Bo; Chen, Yu-Hong; Wang, Richard R-C; Hu, Zan-Min

    2011-12-01

    In order to identify amino acid residues crucial for the enzymatic activity of Δ(8)-sphingolipid desaturases, a sequence comparison was performed among Δ(8)-sphingolipid desaturases and Δ(6)-fatty acid desaturases from various plants. In addition to the known conserved cytb(5) (cytochrome b(5)) HPGG motif and three conserved histidine boxes, they share additional 15 completely conserved residues. A series of site-directed mutants were generated using our previously isolated Δ(8)-sphingolipid desaturase gene from Brassica rapa to evaluate the importance of these residues to the enzyme function. The mutants were functionally characterized by heterologous expression in yeast, allowing the identification of the products of the enzymes. The results revealed that residues H63, N203, D208, D210, and G368 were obligatorily required for the enzymatic activity, and substitution of the residues F59, W190, W345, L369 and Q372 markedly decreased the enzyme activity. Among them, replacement of the residues W190, L369 and Q372 also has significant influence on the ratio of the two enzyme products. Information obtained in this work provides the molecular basis for the Δ(8)-sphingolipid desaturase activity and aids in our understanding of the structure-function relationships of the membrane-bound desaturases.

  4. The ATP hydrolyzing transcription activator phage shock protein F of Escherichia coli: Identifying a surface that binds σ54

    PubMed Central

    Bordes, Patricia; Wigneshweraraj, Siva R.; Schumacher, Jörg; Zhang, Xiaodong; Chaney, Matthew; Buck, Martin

    2003-01-01

    Members of the protein family called ATPases associated with various cellular activities (AAA+) play a crucial role in transforming chemical energy into biological events. AAA+ proteins are complex molecular machines and typically form ring-shaped oligomeric complexes that are crucial for ATPase activity and mechanism of action. The Escherichia coli transcription activator phage shock protein F (PspF) is an AAA+ mechanochemical enzyme that functions to sense and relay the energy derived from nucleoside triphosphate hydrolysis to catalyze transcription by the σ54-RNA polymerase. Closed promoter complexes formed by the σ54-RNA polymerase are substrates for the action of PspF. By using a protein fragmentation approach, we identify here at least one σ54-binding surface in the PspF AAA+ domain. Results suggest that ATP hydrolysis by PspF is coupled to the exposure of at least one σ54-binding surface. This nucleotide hydrolysis-dependent presentation of a substrate binding surface can explain why complexes that form between σ54 and PspF are transient and could be part of a mechanism used generally by other AAA+ proteins to regulate activity. PMID:12601152

  5. Identifying activating mutations in the EGFR gene: prognostic and therapeutic implications in non-small cell lung cancer *

    PubMed Central

    Lopes, Gabriel Lima; Vattimo, Edoardo Filippo de Queiroz; de Castro, Gilberto

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Promising new therapies have recently emerged from the development of molecular targeted drugs; particularly promising are those blocking the signal transduction machinery of cancer cells. One of the most widely studied cell signaling pathways is that of EGFR, which leads to uncontrolled cell proliferation, increased cell angiogenesis, and greater cell invasiveness. Activating mutations in the EGFR gene (deletions in exon 19 and mutation L858R in exon 21), first described in 2004, have been detected in approximately 10% of all non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients in Western countries and are the most important predictors of a response to EGFR tyrosine-kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs). Studies of the EGFR-TKIs gefitinib, erlotinib, and afatinib, in comparison with platinum-based regimens, as first-line treatments in chemotherapy-naïve patients have shown that the EGFR-TKIs produce gains in progression-free survival and overall response rates, although only in patients whose tumors harbor activating mutations in the EGFR gene. Clinical trials have also shown EGFR-TKIs to be effective as second- and third-line therapies in advanced NSCLC. Here, we review the main aspects of EGFR pathway activation in NSCLC, underscore the importance of correctly identifying activating mutations in the EGFR gene, and discuss the main outcomes of EGFR-TKI treatment in NSCLC. PMID:26398757

  6. Proteomic profiling of patient-derived glioblastoma xenografts identifies a subset with activated EGFR: implications for drug development.

    PubMed

    Brown, Kristine E; Chagoya, Gustavo; Kwatra, Shawn G; Yen, Timothy; Keir, Stephen T; Cooter, Mary; Hoadley, Katherine A; Rasheed, Ahmed; Lipp, Eric S; Mclendon, Roger; Ali-Osman, Francis; Bigner, Darell D; Sampson, John H; Kwatra, Madan M

    2015-06-01

    The development of drugs to inhibit glioblastoma (GBM) growth requires reliable pre-clinical models. To date, proteomic level validation of widely used patient-derived glioblastoma xenografts (PDGX) has not been performed. In the present study, we characterized 20 PDGX models according to subtype classification based on The Cancer Genome Atlas criteria, TP53, PTEN, IDH 1/2, and TERT promoter genetic analysis, EGFR amplification status, and examined their proteomic profiles against those of their parent tumors. The 20 PDGXs belonged to three of four The Cancer Genome Atlas subtypes: eight classical, eight mesenchymal, and four proneural; none neural. Amplification of EGFR gene was observed in 9 of 20 xenografts, and of these, 3 harbored the EGFRvIII mutation. We then performed proteomic profiling of PDGX, analyzing expression/activity of several proteins including EGFR. Levels of EGFR phosphorylated at Y1068 vary considerably between PDGX samples, and this pattern was also seen in primary GBM. Partitioning of 20 PDGX into high (n = 5) and low (n = 15) groups identified a panel of proteins associated with high EGFR activity. Thus, PDGX with high EGFR activity represent an excellent pre-clinical model to develop therapies for a subset of GBM patients whose tumors are characterized by high EGFR activity. Further, the proteins found to be associated with high EGFR activity can be monitored to assess the effectiveness of targeting EGFR. The development of drugs to inhibit glioblastoma (GBM) growth requires reliable pre-clinical models. We validated proteomic profiles using patient-derived glioblastoma xenografts (PDGX), characterizing 20 PDGX models according to subtype classification based on The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) criteria, TP53, PTEN, IDH 1/2, and TERT promoter genetic analysis, EGFR amplification status, and examined their proteomic profiles against those of their parent tumors. Proteins found to be associated with high EGFR activity represent potential

  7. A high throughput Cre-lox activated viral membrane fusion assay identifies pharmacological inhibitors of HIV entry.

    PubMed

    Esposito, Anthony M; Cheung, Pamela; Swartz, Talia H; Li, Hongru; Tsibane, Tshidi; Durham, Natasha D; Basler, Christopher F; Felsenfeld, Dan P; Chen, Benjamin K

    2016-03-01

    Enveloped virus entry occurs when viral and cellular membranes fuse releasing particle contents into the target cell. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) entry occurs by cell-free virus or virus transferred between infected and uninfected cells through structures called virological synapses. We developed a high-throughput cell-based assay to identify small molecule inhibitors of cell-free or virological synapse-mediated entry. An HIV clone carrying Cre recombinase as a Gag-internal gene fusion releases active Cre into cells upon viral entry activating a recombinatorial gene switch changing dsRed to GFP-expression. A screen of a 1998 known-biological profile small molecule library identified pharmacological HIV entry inhibitors that block both cell-free and cell-to-cell infection. Many top hits were noted as HIV inhibitors in prior studies, but not previously recognized as entry antagonists. Modest therapeutic indices for simvastatin and nigericin were observed in confirmatory HIV infection assays. This robust assay is adaptable to study HIV and heterologous viral pseudotypes.

  8. A combined methodology of multiplet and composite focal mechanism techniques for identifying seismologically active zones in Syria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdul-Wahed, Mohamad; Asfahani, Jamal; Al-Tahhan, Ibrahim

    2011-10-01

    This contribution is an attempt to enlarge the current knowledge about the focal mechanisms as well as the seismotectonic settings in Syria. The seismologically active zones have been identified by applying an appropriate methodology to the events recorded during the period 1995-2003 by the Syrian National Seismological Network (SNSN). The recorded events in Syria were classified as weak during the research period. It was extremely important to propose and apply an appropriate methodology to identify the focal mechanisms generating this seismic activity. The proposed methodology consists of applying a combination of two techniques: the multiplet and the composite focal mechanisms. The combination of many events in one composite focal mechanism was realized by a multiplet technique using the spectral coherence of the events as a measure of similarity. The application of the proposed methodology allows a data set of composite fault plane solutions to be obtained. Most of the composite fault plane solutions had strike-slip mechanisms which are in agreement with the configuration of seismogenic belts in Syria.

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

    PubMed

    Duren, Zhana; Wang, Yong

    2016-01-01

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

  10. In Silico Repositioning-Chemogenomics Strategy Identifies New Drugs with Potential Activity against Multiple Life Stages of Schistosoma mansoni

    PubMed Central

    Neves, Bruno J.; Braga, Rodolpho C.; Bezerra, José C. B.; Cravo, Pedro V. L.; Andrade, Carolina H.

    2015-01-01

    Morbidity and mortality caused by schistosomiasis are serious public health problems in developing countries. Because praziquantel is the only drug in therapeutic use, the risk of drug resistance is a concern. In the search for new schistosomicidal drugs, we performed a target-based chemogenomics screen of a dataset of 2,114 proteins to identify drugs that are approved for clinical use in humans that may be active against multiple life stages of Schistosoma mansoni. Each of these proteins was treated as a potential drug target, and its amino acid sequence was used to interrogate three databases: Therapeutic Target Database (TTD), DrugBank and STITCH. Predicted drug-target interactions were refined using a combination of approaches, including pairwise alignment, conservation state of functional regions and chemical space analysis. To validate our strategy, several drugs previously shown to be active against Schistosoma species were correctly predicted, such as clonazepam, auranofin, nifedipine, and artesunate. We were also able to identify 115 drugs that have not yet been experimentally tested against schistosomes and that require further assessment. Some examples are aprindine, gentamicin, clotrimazole, tetrabenazine, griseofulvin, and cinnarizine. In conclusion, we have developed a systematic and focused computer-aided approach to propose approved drugs that may warrant testing and/or serve as lead compounds for the design of new drugs against schistosomes. PMID:25569258

  11. In silico repositioning-chemogenomics strategy identifies new drugs with potential activity against multiple life stages of Schistosoma mansoni.

    PubMed

    Neves, Bruno J; Braga, Rodolpho C; Bezerra, José C B; Cravo, Pedro V L; Andrade, Carolina H

    2015-01-01

    Morbidity and mortality caused by schistosomiasis are serious public health problems in developing countries. Because praziquantel is the only drug in therapeutic use, the risk of drug resistance is a concern. In the search for new schistosomicidal drugs, we performed a target-based chemogenomics screen of a dataset of 2,114 proteins to identify drugs that are approved for clinical use in humans that may be active against multiple life stages of Schistosoma mansoni. Each of these proteins was treated as a potential drug target, and its amino acid sequence was used to interrogate three databases: Therapeutic Target Database (TTD), DrugBank and STITCH. Predicted drug-target interactions were refined using a combination of approaches, including pairwise alignment, conservation state of functional regions and chemical space analysis. To validate our strategy, several drugs previously shown to be active against Schistosoma species were correctly predicted, such as clonazepam, auranofin, nifedipine, and artesunate. We were also able to identify 115 drugs that have not yet been experimentally tested against schistosomes and that require further assessment. Some examples are aprindine, gentamicin, clotrimazole, tetrabenazine, griseofulvin, and cinnarizine. In conclusion, we have developed a systematic and focused computer-aided approach to propose approved drugs that may warrant testing and/or serve as lead compounds for the design of new drugs against schistosomes.

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

    PubMed Central

    Duren, Zhana; Wang, Yong

    2016-01-01

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

  13. A high-content, multiplexed screen in human breast cancer cells identifies profilin-1 inducers with anti-migratory activities.

    PubMed

    Joy, Marion E; Vollmer, Laura L; Hulkower, Keren; Stern, Andrew M; Peterson, Cameron K; Boltz, R C Dutch; Roy, Partha; Vogt, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    Profilin-1 (Pfn-1) is a ubiquitously expressed actin-binding protein that is essential for normal cell proliferation and migration. In breast cancer and several other adenocarcinomas, Pfn-1 expression is downregulated when compared to normal tissues. Previous studies from our laboratory have shown that genetically modulating Pfn-1 expression significantly impacts proliferation, migration, and invasion of breast cancer cells in vitro, and mammary tumor growth, dissemination, and metastatic colonization in vivo. Therefore, small molecules that can modulate Pfn-1 expression could have therapeutic potential in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer. The overall goal of this study was to perform a multiplexed phenotypic screen to identify compounds that inhibit cell motility through upregulation of Pfn-1. Screening of a test cassette of 1280 compounds with known biological activities on an Oris™ Pro 384 cell migration platform identified several agents that increased Pfn-1 expression greater than two-fold over vehicle controls and exerted anti-migratory effects in the absence of overt cytotoxicity in MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells. Concentration-response confirmation and orthogonal follow-up assays identified two bona fide inducers of Pfn-1, purvalanol and tyrphostin A9, that confirmed in single-cell motility assays and Western blot analyses. SiRNA-mediated knockdown of Pfn-1 abrogated the inhibitory effect of tyrphostin A9 on cell migration, suggesting Pfn-1 is mechanistically linked to tyrphostin A9's anti-migratory activity. The data illustrate the utility of the high-content cell motility assay to discover novel targeted anti-migratory agents by integrating functional phenotypic analyses with target-specific readouts in a single assay platform. PMID:24520372

  14. Summing Up Hours of Any Type of Practice Versus Identifying Optimal Practice Activities: Commentary on Macnamara, Moreau, & Hambrick (2016).

    PubMed

    Ericsson, K Anders

    2016-05-01

    In their original article, Ericsson, Krampe, and Tesch-Römer (1993) reviewed the evidence concerning the conditions of optimal learning and found that individualized practice with training tasks (selected by a supervising teacher) with a clear performance goal and immediate informative feedback was associated with marked improvement. We found that this type of deliberate practice was prevalent when advanced musicians practice alone and found its accumulated duration related to attained music performance. In contrast, Macnamara, Moreau, and Hambrick's (2016, this issue) main meta-analysis examines the use of the term deliberate practice to refer to a much broader and less defined concept including virtually any type of sport-specific activity, such as group activities, watching games on television, and even play and competitions. Summing up every hour of any type of practice during an individual's career implies that the impact of all types of practice activity on performance is equal-an assumption that I show is inconsistent with the evidence. Future research should collect objective measures of representative performance with a longitudinal description of all the changes in different aspects of the performance so that any proximal conditions of deliberate practice related to effective improvements can be identified and analyzed experimentally. PMID:27217247

  15. NRIP is newly identified as a Z-disc protein, activating calmodulin signaling for skeletal muscle contraction and regeneration.

    PubMed

    Chen, Hsin-Hsiung; Chen, Wen-Pin; Yan, Wan-Lun; Huang, Yuan-Chun; Chang, Szu-Wei; Fu, Wen-Mei; Su, Ming-Jai; Yu, I-Shing; Tsai, Tzung-Chieh; Yan, Yu-Ting; Tsao, Yeou-Ping; Chen, Show-Li

    2015-11-15

    Nuclear receptor interaction protein (NRIP, also known as DCAF6 and IQWD1) is a Ca(2+)-dependent calmodulin-binding protein. In this study, we newly identify NRIP as a Z-disc protein in skeletal muscle. NRIP-knockout mice were generated and found to have reduced muscle strength, susceptibility to fatigue and impaired adaptive exercise performance. The mechanisms of NRIP-regulated muscle contraction depend on NRIP being downstream of Ca(2+) signaling, where it stimulates activation of both 'calcineurin-nuclear factor of activated T-cells, cytoplasmic 1' (CaN-NFATc1; also known as NFATC1) and calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) through interaction with calmodulin (CaM), resulting in the induction of mitochondrial activity and the expression of genes encoding the slow class of myosin, and in the regulation of Ca(2+) homeostasis through the internal Ca(2+) stores of the sarcoplasmic reticulum. Moreover, NRIP-knockout mice have a delayed regenerative capacity. The amount of NRIP can be enhanced after muscle injury and is responsible for muscle regeneration, which is associated with the increased expression of myogenin, desmin and embryonic myosin heavy chain during myogenesis, as well as for myotube formation. In conclusion, NRIP is a novel Z-disc protein that is important for skeletal muscle strength and regenerative capacity.

  16. Activity of identified wrist-related pallidal neurons during step and ramp wrist movements in the monkey.

    PubMed

    Hamada, I; DeLong, M R; Mano, N

    1990-12-01

    1. The activity of globus pallidus (GP) neurons (n = 1,117) was studied in two monkeys to reexamine the relation of neuronal activity to movement type (slow vs. fast) while they performed both a visually guided step and ramp wrist tracking task. To select neurons specifically related to wrist movements, we employed both a somatosensory examination of individual body parts and a statistical analysis of the strength of temporal coupling of neuronal discharges to active wrist movement. 2. Neuronal responses to somatosensory stimulation were studied in 1,000 high-frequency GP neurons, of which 686 exhibited clear responses to manipulation of body parts. Of the latter, 336 responded to passive manipulation of forelimb joints and 58 selectively to passive flexion or extension of the wrist. 3. In the external segment of GP (GPe), most neurons responding to passive wrist movement were found to be clustered in four to five adjacent, closely positioned (separated by 200 microns) tracks in single coronal planes. The clusters were irregular in shape with a maximal width of 800-1,000 microns. Separate clusters of neurons responsive to passive wrist movement were identified in planes 3 mm apart in one monkey and in planes 500 microns apart in the other. Multiple clusters of neurons were also found for neurons responsive to joints other than the wrist. These findings suggest a more discrete and complex representation of individual joints in the primate GP than previously conceived. 4. During the performance of the wrist flexion and extension task, 92 neurons showed clear and consistent changes in activity. For these neurons we measured, with a statistical method on a trial-by-trial basis, the strength of temporal coupling between the onset of active wrist movement and the onset of change in neuronal discharge rate. Fifteen neurons showed changes in activity time-locked to the onset of active wrist movement. 5. Twelve pallidal neurons were classified as "wrist-related" based on

  17. Thick-shelled, grazer-protected diatoms decouple ocean carbon and silicon cycles in the iron-limited Antarctic Circumpolar Current

    PubMed Central

    Assmy, Philipp; Smetacek, Victor; Montresor, Marina; Klaas, Christine; Henjes, Joachim; Strass, Volker H.; Arrieta, Jesús M.; Bathmann, Ulrich; Berg, Gry M.; Breitbarth, Eike; Cisewski, Boris; Friedrichs, Lars; Fuchs, Nike; Herndl, Gerhard J.; Jansen, Sandra; Krägefsky, Sören; Latasa, Mikel; Peeken, Ilka; Röttgers, Rüdiger; Scharek, Renate; Schüller, Susanne E.; Steigenberger, Sebastian; Webb, Adrian; Wolf-Gladrow, Dieter

    2013-01-01

    Diatoms of the iron-replete continental margins and North Atlantic are key exporters of organic carbon. In contrast, diatoms of the iron-limited Antarctic Circumpolar Current sequester silicon, but comparatively little carbon, in the underlying deep ocean and sediments. Because the Southern Ocean is the major hub of oceanic nutrient distribution, selective silicon sequestration there limits diatom blooms elsewhere and consequently the biotic carbon sequestration potential of the entire ocean. We investigated this paradox in an in situ iron fertilization experiment by comparing accumulation and sinking of diatom populations inside and outside the iron-fertilized patch over 5 wk. A bloom comprising various thin- and thick-shelled diatom species developed inside the patch despite the presence of large grazer populations. After the third week, most of the thinner-shelled diatom species underwent mass mortality, formed large, mucous aggregates, and sank out en masse (carbon sinkers). In contrast, thicker-shelled species, in particular Fragilariopsis kerguelensis, persisted in the surface layers, sank mainly empty shells continuously, and reduced silicate concentrations to similar levels both inside and outside the patch (silica sinkers). These patterns imply that thick-shelled, hence grazer-protected, diatom species evolved in response to heavy copepod grazing pressure in the presence of an abundant silicate supply. The ecology of these silica-sinking species decouples silicon and carbon cycles in the iron-limited Southern Ocean, whereas carbon-sinking species, when stimulated by iron fertilization, export more carbon per silicon. Our results suggest that large-scale iron fertilization of the silicate-rich Southern Ocean will not change silicon sequestration but will add carbon to the sinking silica flux. PMID:24248337

  18. Multi-scale responses of soil stability and invasive plants to removal of non-native grazers from an arid conservation reserve

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beever, E.A.; Huso, M.; Pyke, D.A.

    2006-01-01

    Disturbances and ecosystem recovery from disturbance both involve numerous processes that operate on multiple spatial and temporal scales. Few studies have investigated how gradients of disturbance intensity and ecosystem responses are distributed across multiple spatial resolutions and also how this relationship changes through time during recovery. We investigated how cover of non-native species and soil-aggregate stability (a measure of vulnerability to erosion by water) in surface and subsurface soils varied spatially during grazing by burros and cattle and whether patterns in these variables changed after grazer removal from Mojave National Preserve, California, USA. We compared distance from water and number of ungulate defecations — metrics of longer-term and recent grazing intensity, respectively, — as predictors of our response variables. We used information-theoretic analyses to compare hierarchical linear models that accounted for important covariates and allowed for interannual variation in the disturbance–response relationship at local and landscape scales. Soil stability was greater under perennial vegetation than in bare interspaces, and surface soil stability decreased with increasing numbers of ungulate defecations. Stability of surface samples was more affected by time since removal of grazers than was stability of subsurface samples, and subsurface soil stability in bare spaces was not related to grazing intensity, time since removal, or any of our other predictors. In the high rainfall year (2003) after cattle had been removed for 1–2 years, cover of all non-native plants averaged nine times higher than in the low-rainfall year (2002). Given the heterogeneity in distribution of large-herbivore impacts that we observed at several resolutions, hierarchical analyses provided a more complete understanding of the spatial and temporal complexities of disturbance and recovery processes in arid ecosystems.

  19. Gap-junctional channel and hemichannel activity of two recently identified connexin 26 mutants associated with deafness.

    PubMed

    Dalamon, Viviana; Fiori, Mariana C; Figueroa, Vania A; Oliva, Carolina A; Del Rio, Rodrigo; Gonzalez, Wendy; Canan, Jonathan; Elgoyhen, Ana B; Altenberg, Guillermo A; Retamal, Mauricio A

    2016-05-01

    Gap-junction channels (GJCs) are formed by head-to-head association of two hemichannels (HCs, connexin hexamers). HCs and GJCs are permeable to ions and hydrophilic molecules of up to Mr ~1 kDa. Hearing impairment of genetic origin is common, and mutations of connexin 26 (Cx26) are its major cause. We recently identified two novel Cx26 mutations in hearing-impaired subjects, L10P and G109V. L10P forms functional GJCs with slightly altered voltage dependence and HCs with decrease ATP/cationic dye selectivity. G109V does not form functional GJCs, but forms functional HCs with enhanced extracellular Ca(2+) sensitivity and subtle alterations in voltage dependence and ATP/cationic dye selectivity. Deafness associated with G109V could result from decreased GJCs activity, whereas deafness associated to L10P may have a more complex mechanism that involves changes in HC permeability. PMID:26769242

  20. Gap-junctional channel and hemichannel activity of two recently identified connexin 26 mutants associated with deafness.

    PubMed

    Dalamon, Viviana; Fiori, Mariana C; Figueroa, Vania A; Oliva, Carolina A; Del Rio, Rodrigo; Gonzalez, Wendy; Canan, Jonathan; Elgoyhen, Ana B; Altenberg, Guillermo A; Retamal, Mauricio A

    2016-05-01

    Gap-junction channels (GJCs) are formed by head-to-head association of two hemichannels (HCs, connexin hexamers). HCs and GJCs are permeable to ions and hydrophilic molecules of up to Mr ~1 kDa. Hearing impairment of genetic origin is common, and mutations of connexin 26 (Cx26) are its major cause. We recently identified two novel Cx26 mutations in hearing-impaired subjects, L10P and G109V. L10P forms functional GJCs with slightly altered voltage dependence and HCs with decrease ATP/cationic dye selectivity. G109V does not form functional GJCs, but forms functional HCs with enhanced extracellular Ca(2+) sensitivity and subtle alterations in voltage dependence and ATP/cationic dye selectivity. Deafness associated with G109V could result from decreased GJCs activity, whereas deafness associated to L10P may have a more complex mechanism that involves changes in HC permeability.

  1. Identifying state-level policy and provision domains for physical education and physical activity in high school

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background It is important to quickly and efficiently identify policies that are effective at changing behavior; therefore, we must be able to quantify and evaluate the effect of those policies and of changes to those policies. The purpose of this study was to develop state-level physical education (PE) and physical activity (PA) policy domain scores at the high-school level. Policy domain scores were developed with a focus on measuring policy change. Methods Exploratory factor analysis was used to group items from the state-level School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS) into policy domains. Items that related to PA or PE at the High School level were identified from the 7 SHPPS health program surveys. Data from 2000 and 2006 were used in the factor analysis. RESULTS: From the 98 items identified, 17 policy domains were extracted. Average policy domain change scores were positive for 12 policy domains, with the largest increases for “Discouraging PA as Punishment”, “Collaboration”, and “Staff Development Opportunities”. On average, states increased scores in 4.94 ± 2.76 policy domains, decreased in 3.53 ± 2.03, and had no change in 7.69 ± 2.09 policy domains. Significant correlations were found between several policy domain scores. Conclusions Quantifying policy change and its impact is integral to the policy making and revision process. Our results build on previous research offering a way to examine changes in state-level policies related to PE and PA of high-school students and the faculty and staff who serve them. This work provides methods for combining state-level policies relevant to PE or PA in youth for studies of their impact. PMID:23815860

  2. Screening of an OBOC combinatorial library for beta-actin identifies molecules active toward Ramos B-lymphoma cells

    PubMed Central

    Miyamoto, Suzanne; Liu, Ruiwu; Hung, Susan; Wang, Xiaobing; Lam, Kit S.

    2009-01-01

    The search for small molecules that specifically recognize protein targets is a laborious process if conducted in a one protein – one compound manner. A high throughput antibody based screening of "one-bead one-compound" (OBOC) combinatorial small molecule libraries is described here, whereby libraries contain thousands of different small molecule ligands are synthesized on individual TentaGel beads and simultaneously screened for protein binding to individual beads, each with a different compound. The use of "OBOC" libraries greatly facilitates this simultaneous screening of thousands of compounds. Now, through the use of monoclonal or affinity purified antibodies, we identified small molecules that bind a particular protein contained in a complex mixture of biological molecules. This method identified small molecule ligands that bound beta-actin present in cytoplasmic cell extracts of Ramos B-lymphoma cells. These small molecule ligands were resynthesized in immobilized and soluble forms and tested for binding of beta-actin present in Ramos B-cell extracts and for activity against Ramos lymphoma cells. This high throughput screening immunoassay method has great promise for improving our ability to find relevant, bioactive small molecules that target a specific native protein in a complex protein mixture without purification of the protein. PMID:18023409

  3. Combining proteomics and transcriptome sequencing to identify active plant-cell-wall-degrading enzymes in a leaf beetle

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The primary plant cell wall is a complex mixture of polysaccharides and proteins encasing living plant cells. Among these polysaccharides, cellulose is the most abundant and useful biopolymer present on earth. These polysaccharides also represent a rich source of energy for organisms which have evolved the ability to degrade them. A growing body of evidence suggests that phytophagous beetles, mainly species from the superfamilies Chrysomeloidea and Curculionoidea, possess endogenous genes encoding complex and diverse families of so-called plant cell wall degrading enzymes (PCWDEs). The presence of these genes in phytophagous beetles may have been a key element in their success as herbivores. Here, we combined a proteomics approach and transcriptome sequencing to identify PCWDEs present in larval gut contents of the mustard leaf beetle, Phaedon cochleariae. Results Using a two-dimensional proteomics approach, we recovered 11 protein bands, isolated using activity assays targeting cellulose-, pectin- and xylan-degrading enzymes. After mass spectrometry analyses, a total of 13 proteins putatively responsible for degrading plant cell wall polysaccharides were identified; these proteins belong to three glycoside hydrolase (GH) families: GH11 (xylanases), GH28 (polygalacturonases or pectinases), and GH45 (β-1,4-glucanases or cellulases). Additionally, highly stable and proteolysis-resistant host plant-derived proteins from various pathogenesis-related protein (PRs) families as well as polygalacturonase-inhibiting proteins (PGIPs) were also identified from the gut contents proteome. In parallel, transcriptome sequencing revealed the presence of at least 19 putative PCWDE transcripts encoded by the P. cochleariae genome. All of these were specifically expressed in the insect gut rather than the rest of the body, and in adults as well as larvae. The discrepancy observed in the number of putative PCWDEs between transcriptome and proteome analyses could be

  4. Two types of antiprogestins identified by their differential action in transcriptionally active extracts from T47D cells.

    PubMed Central

    Klein-Hitpass, L; Cato, A C; Henderson, D; Ryffel, G U

    1991-01-01

    Transcriptionally active nuclear extracts from human breast carcinoma cells (T47D) were used to compare the action of progestins and several antiprogestins of the 11 beta-aryl substituted steroid series on the DNA-binding properties and the trans-activating potential of progesterone receptor (PR) in vitro. Using the gel-shift assay we identified a novel type of antiprogestin (ZK98299, type I), which in contrast to type II antiprogestins, including RU486, does not induce binding of PR to progesterone response elements (PREs). In competition experiments excess of type I antiprogestin inhibits induction of DNA binding of PR by progestins and type II antiprogestins suggesting that its binding to PR interferes with the formation of stable receptor dimers. Moreover, we demonstrate that the antagonistic action of ZK98299 can be fully mimicked in vitro by using cell-free nuclear extracts from T47D cells and a 'simple' test promoter. In contrast, type II antiprogestins known to induce certain promoters in vivo exert strong agonistic effects on in vitro transcription of the test template used. Images PMID:2030942

  5. Small molecule inhibitor screen identifies synergistic activity of the bromodomain inhibitor CPI203 and bortezomib in drug resistant myeloma

    PubMed Central

    Siegel, Matthew B.; Liu, Selina Qiuying; Davare, Monika A.; Spurgeon, Stephen E.; Loriaux, Marc M.; Druker, Brian J.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Despite significant therapeutic progress in multiple myeloma, drug resistance is uniformly inevitable and new treatments are needed. Our aim was to identify novel, efficacious small-molecule combinations for use in drug resistant multiple myeloma. Experimental Design A panel of 116 small molecule inhibitors was used to screen resistant myeloma cell lines for potential therapeutic targets. Agents found to have enhanced activity in the bortezomib or melphalan resistant myeloma cell lines were investigated further in combination. Synergistic combinations of interest were evaluated in primary patient cells. Results The overall single-agent drug sensitivity profiles were dramatically different between melphalan and bortezomib resistant cells, however, the bromodomain inhibitor, CPI203, was observed to have enhanced activity in both the bortezomib and melphalan resistant lines compared to their wild-type counterparts. The combination of bortezomib and CPI203 was found to be synergistic in both the bortezomib and melphalan resistant cell lines as well as in a primary multiple myeloma sample from a patient refractory to recent proteasome inhibitor treatment. The CPI203-bortezomib combination led to enhanced apoptosis and anti-proliferative effects. Finally, in contrast to prior reports of synergy between bortezomib and other epigenetic modifying agents, which implicated MYC downregulation or NOXA induction, our analyses suggest that CPI203-bortezomib synergy is independent of these events. Conclusion Our preclinical data supports a role for the clinical investigation of the bromodomain inhibitor CPI203 combined with bortezomib or alkylating agents in resistant multiple myeloma. PMID:26254279

  6. MDC1 functionally identified as an androgen receptor co-activator participates in suppression of prostate cancer

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Chunyu; Sun, Hongmiao; Zou, Renlong; Zhou, Tingting; Wang, Shengli; Sun, Shiying; Tong, Changci; Luo, Hao; Li, Yanshu; Li, Zhenhua; Wang, Enhua; Chen, Yuhua; Cao, Liu; Li, Feng; Zhao, Yue

    2015-01-01

    Mediator of DNA damage checkpoint protein 1 (MDC1) is essential for DNA damage response. However, the role of MDC1 in modulating gene transcription independently of DNA damage and the underlying mechanisms have not been fully defined. Androgen receptor (AR) is the central signaling pathway in prostate cancer (PCa) and its target genes are involved in both promotion and suppression of PCa. Here, we functionally identified MDC1 as a co-activator of AR. We demonstrate that MDC1 facilitates the association between AR and histone acetyltransferase GCN5, thereby increasing histone H3 acetylation level on cis-regulatory elements of AR target genes. MDC1 knockdown promotes PCa cells growth and migration. Moreover, depletion of MDC1 results in decreased expression of a subset of the endogenous androgen-induced target genes, including cell cycle negative regulator p21 and PCa metastasis inhibitor Vinculin, in AR positive PCa cell lines. Finally, the expression of MDC1 and p21 correlates negatively with aggressive phenotype of clinical PCa. These studies suggest that MDC1 as an epigenetic modifier regulates AR transcriptional activity and MDC1 may function as a tumor suppressor of PCa, and provide new insight into co-factor-AR-signaling pathway mechanism and a better understanding of the function of MDC1 on PCa. PMID:25934801

  7. Variomics screen identifies the re-entrant loop of the calcium-activated chloride channel ANO1 that facilitates channel activation.

    PubMed

    Bill, Anke; Popa, M Oana; van Diepen, Michiel T; Gutierrez, Abraham; Lilley, Sarah; Velkova, Maria; Acheson, Kathryn; Choudhury, Hedaythul; Renaud, Nicole A; Auld, Douglas S; Gosling, Martin; Groot-Kormelink, Paul J; Gaither, L Alex

    2015-01-01

    The calcium-activated chloride channel ANO1 regulates multiple physiological processes. However, little is known about the mechanism of channel gating and regulation of ANO1 activity. Using a high-throughput, random mutagenesis-based variomics screen, we generated and functionally characterized ∼6000 ANO1 mutants and identified novel mutations that affected channel activity, intracellular trafficking, or localization of ANO1. Mutations such as S741T increased ANO1 calcium sensitivity and rendered ANO1 calcium gating voltage-independent, demonstrating a critical role of the re-entrant loop in coupling calcium and voltage sensitivity of ANO1 and hence in regulating ANO1 activation. Our data present the first unbiased and comprehensive study of the structure-function relationship of ANO1. The novel ANO1 mutants reported have diverse functional characteristics, providing new tools to study ANO1 function in biological systems, paving the path for a better understanding of the function of ANO1 and its role in health and diseases.

  8. Variomics Screen Identifies the Re-entrant Loop of the Calcium-activated Chloride Channel ANO1 That Facilitates Channel Activation*

    PubMed Central

    Bill, Anke; Popa, M. Oana; van Diepen, Michiel T.; Gutierrez, Abraham; Lilley, Sarah; Velkova, Maria; Acheson, Kathryn; Choudhury, Hedaythul; Renaud, Nicole A.; Auld, Douglas S.; Gosling, Martin; Groot-Kormelink, Paul J.; Gaither, L. Alex

    2015-01-01

    The calcium-activated chloride channel ANO1 regulates multiple physiological processes. However, little is known about the mechanism of channel gating and regulation of ANO1 activity. Using a high-throughput, random mutagenesis-based variomics screen, we generated and functionally characterized ∼6000 ANO1 mutants and identified novel mutations that affected channel activity, intracellular trafficking, or localization of ANO1. Mutations such as S741T increased ANO1 calcium sensitivity and rendered ANO1 calcium gating voltage-independent, demonstrating a critical role of the re-entrant loop in coupling calcium and voltage sensitivity of ANO1 and hence in regulating ANO1 activation. Our data present the first unbiased and comprehensive study of the structure-function relationship of ANO1. The novel ANO1 mutants reported have diverse functional characteristics, providing new tools to study ANO1 function in biological systems, paving the path for a better understanding of the function of ANO1 and its role in health and diseases. PMID:25425649

  9. Regions of Yersinia pestis V antigen that contribute to protection against plague identified by passive and active immunization.

    PubMed Central

    Hill, J; Leary, S E; Griffin, K F; Williamson, E D; Titball, R W

    1997-01-01

    V antigen of Yersinia pestis is a multifunctional protein that has been implicated as a protective antigen, a virulence factor, and a regulatory protein. A series of V-antigen truncates expressed as glutathione S-transferase (GST) fusion proteins (GST-V truncates) have been cloned and purified to support immunogenicity and functionality studies of V antigen. Immunization studies with GST-V truncates have identified two regions of V antigen that confer protection against Y. pestis 9B (a fully virulent human pneumonic plague isolate) in a mouse model for plague. A minor protective region is located from amino acids 2 to 135 (region I), and a major protective region is found between amino acids 135 and 275 (region II). In addition, analysis of IgG titers following immunization suggested that the major antigenic region of V antigen is located between amino acids 135 and 245. A panel of monoclonal antibodies raised against recombinant V antigen was characterized by Western blotting against GST-V truncates, and epitopes of most of the monoclonal antibodies were mapped to region I or II. Monoclonal antibody 7.3, which recognizes an epitope in region II, passively protected mice against challenge with 12 median lethal doses of Y. pestis GB, indicating that region II encodes a protective epitope. This is the first report of a V-antigen-specific monoclonal antibody that will protect mice against a fully virulent strain of Y. pestis. The combined approach of passive and active immunization has therefore confirmed the importance of the central region of the protein for protection and also identified a previously unknown protective region at the N terminus of V antigen. PMID:9353022

  10. Identifying solutions to increase participation in physical activity interventions within a socio-economically disadvantaged community: a qualitative study

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background There is an urgent need to increase population levels of physical activity, particularly amongst those who are socio-economically disadvantaged. Multiple factors influence physical activity behaviour but the generalisability of current evidence to such ‘hard-to-reach’ population subgroups is limited by difficulties in recruiting them into studies. Also, rigorous qualitative studies of lay perceptions and perceptions of community leaders about public health efforts to increase physical activity are sparse. We sought to explore, within a socio-economically disadvantaged community, residents’ and community leaders’ perceptions of physical activity (PA) interventions and issues regarding their implementation, in order to improve understanding of needs, expectations, and social/environmental factors relevant to future interventions. Methods Within an ongoing regeneration project (Connswater Community Greenway), in a socio-economically disadvantaged community in Belfast, we collaborated with a Community Development Agency to purposively sample leaders from public- and voluntary-sector community groups and residents. Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 leaders. Residents (n = 113), of both genders and a range of ages (14 to 86 years) participated in focus groups (n = 14) in local facilities. Interviews and focus groups were recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using a thematic framework. Results Three main themes were identified: awareness of PA interventions; factors contributing to intervention effectiveness; and barriers to participation in PA interventions. Participants reported awareness only of interventions in which they were involved directly, highlighting a need for better communications, both inter- and intra-sectoral, and with residents. Meaningful engagement of residents in planning/organisation, tailoring to local context, supporting volunteers, providing relevant resources and an ‘exit strategy

  11. A newly identified anti-lipopolysaccharide factor from the swimming crab Portunus trituberculatus with broad spectrum antimicrobial activity.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yuan; Cui, Zhaoxia; Li, Xihong; Song, Chengwen; Shi, Guohui

    2013-02-01

    Anti-lipopolysaccharide factors (ALFs), exhibiting binding and neutralizing activities to lipopolysaccharide (LPS), are the potent antimicrobial peptides of innate immunity in crustaceans. In this study, a unique isoform of ALF (PtALF6) was identified from eyestalk cDNA library of the swimming crab Portunus trituberculatus. The full-length cDNA of PtALF6 was 669 bp encoding 115 amino acids, relatively short to other known ALFs. The deduced peptide of PtALF6 was conserved; it contained the signal peptide and LPS-binding domain, especially the two conserved cysteine residues at both ends of the domain. Predicted tertiary structures of PtALF6 containing four β-strands and three α-helices were similar to that described in Limulus polyphemus. The genomic fragment of PtALF6 contained three exons separated by two introns. Unlike most ALFs expressed in hemocytes, PtALF6 transcript was predominantly detected in gill with 14.05-fold higher than that in hemocytes. After challenge with Vibrio alginolyticus, the temporal expression level of PtALF6 transcript in hemocytes showed a clear time-dependent response expression pattern with two significant peaks at 12 h and 32 h post-injection. The recombinant PtALF6 protein revealed antimicrobial activity against the test Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, but did not inhibit the growth of fungus Pichia pastoris. These results together indicate that PtALF6 is a potential antimicrobial protein against Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria infection, and may play an important role in innate immune response of P. trituberculatus. PMID:23257203

  12. Identifying Active Faults in Northeast North America Using Hypocenters and Multiscale Edge Wavelet Analyses of Potential Fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carpenter, K.; Horowitz, F.; Ebinger, C. J.; Navarrete, L. C.; Diaz-Etchevehere, D.

    2015-12-01

    Multiscale edge Poisson wavelet analyses of potential field data ("worms") have a physical interpretation as the locations of lateral boundaries in a source distribution that exactly generates the observed field. The worm technique is therefore well-suited to analyses of crustal-scale stuctures that could be reactivated by tectonic stress or by fluid injection processes, providing new tools to analyze existing continental-scale data sets. Northeastern North America (US, Canada) hosts potentially damaging intraplate earthquakes, yet many of the Proterozoic structures are covered by thick sedimentary sequences or dense vegetation, and crustal structure is relatively poorly known.For the purpose of extending basement structure beneath the Appalachian basin and establishing a consistent regional basis for comparison, we use worms to identify steeply dipping structures in compiled gravity and magnetic anomaly data sets. We compare results to intraplate earthquake locations to assess seismic hazards. Clearly, not all locations of lateral boundaries are faults, and we do not expect all faults to have shown activity in the ~50 years of seismic records available. However, proximity statistics between hypocenters and worms are of interest since they assist in the identification and location of a subset of potentially active faults. We compare structures of lateral mass-density or magnetization contrast with locations of earthquake hypocenters cataloged from the ISC, the NEIC, and the ANF from the EarthScope Transportable Array. We develop a GIS based method for calculating hypocenter/worm proximity, and we will show statistics and maps from this method for the region at the meeting.

  13. Epirubicin, Identified Using a Novel Luciferase Reporter Assay for Foxp3 Inhibitors, Inhibits Regulatory T Cell Activity

    PubMed Central

    Kashima, Hajime; Momose, Fumiyasu; Umehara, Hiroshi; Miyoshi, Nao; Ogo, Naohisa; Muraoka, Daisuke; Shiku, Hiroshi; Harada, Naozumi; Asai, Akira

    2016-01-01

    Forkhead box protein p3 (Foxp3) is crucial to the development and suppressor function of regulatory T cells (Tregs) that have a significant role in tumor-associated immune suppression. Development of small molecule inhibitors of Foxp3 function is therefore considered a promising strategy to enhance anti-tumor immunity. In this study, we developed a novel cell-based assay system in which the NF-κB luciferase reporter signal is suppressed by the co-expressed Foxp3 protein. Using this system, we screened our chemical library consisting of approximately 2,100 compounds and discovered that a cancer chemotherapeutic drug epirubicin restored the Foxp3-inhibited NF-κB activity in a concentration-dependent manner without influencing cell viability. Using immunoprecipitation assay in a Treg-like cell line Karpas-299, we found that epirubicin inhibited the interaction between Foxp3 and p65. In addition, epirubicin inhibited the suppressor function of murine Tregs and thereby improved effector T cell stimulation in vitro. Administration of low dose epirubicin into tumor-bearing mice modulated the function of immune cells at the tumor site and promoted their IFN-γ production without direct cytotoxicity. In summary, we identified the novel action of epirubicin as a Foxp3 inhibitor using a newly established luciferase-based cellular screen. Our work also demonstrated our screen system is useful in accelerating discovery of Foxp3 inhibitors. PMID:27284967

  14. Preferential activation of the hedgehog pathway by epigenetic modulations in HPV negative HNSCC identified with meta-pathway analysis.

    PubMed

    Fertig, Elana J; Markovic, Ana; Danilova, Ludmila V; Gaykalova, Daria A; Cope, Leslie; Chung, Christine H; Ochs, Michael F; Califano, Joseph A

    2013-01-01

    Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is largely divided into two groups based on their etiology, human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive and -negative. Global DNA methylation changes are known to drive oncogene and tumor suppressor expression in primary HNSCC of both types. However, significant heterogeneity in DNA methylation within the groups results in different transcriptional profiles and clinical outcomes. We applied a meta-pathway analysis to link gene expression changes to DNA methylation in distinguishing HNSCC subtypes. This approach isolated specific epigenetic changes controlling expression in HPV- HNSCC that distinguish it from HPV+ HNSCC. Analysis of genes identified Hedgehog pathway activation specific to HPV- HNSCC. We confirmed that GLI1, the primary Hedgehog target, showed higher expression in tumors compared to normal samples with HPV- tumors having the highest GLI1 expression, suggesting that increased expression of GLI1 is a potential driver in HPV- HNSCC. Our algorithm for integration of DNA methylation and gene expression can infer biologically significant molecular pathways that may be exploited as therapeutics targets. Our results suggest that therapeutics targeting the Hedgehog pathway may be of benefit in HPV- HNSCC. Similar integrative analysis of high-throughput coupled DNA methylation and expression datasets may yield novel insights into deregulated pathways in other cancers.

  15. Activated iron-containing microglia in the human hippocampus identified by magnetic resonance imaging in Alzheimer disease

    PubMed Central

    Zeineh, Michael M.; Chen, Yuanxin; Kitzler, Hagen H.; Hammond, Robert; Vogel, Hannes; Rutt, Brian K.

    2016-01-01

    Although amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary pathology play important roles in Alzheimer disease (AD), our understanding of AD is incomplete, and the contribution of microglia and iron to neurodegeneration is unknown. High-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is exquisitely sensitive to microscopic iron. To explore iron-associated neuroinflammatory AD pathology, we studied AD and control human brain specimens by (1) performing ultra-high resolution ex vivo 7 Tesla MRI, (2) coregistering the MRI with successive histologic staining for iron, microglia, amyloid beta, and tau, and (3) quantifying the relationship between magnetic resonance signal intensity and histological staining. In AD, we identified numerous small MR hypointensities primarily within the subiculum that were best explained by the combination of microscopic iron and activated microglia (p = 0.025), in contradistinction to the relatively lesser contribution of tau or amyloid. Neuropathologically, this suggests that microglial-mediated neurodegeneration may occur in the hippocampal formation in AD and is detectable by ultra-high resolution MRI. PMID:26190634

  16. A continuous active monitoring approach to identify cross-connections between potable water and effluent distribution systems.

    PubMed

    Friedler, E; Alfiya, Y; Shaviv, A; Gilboa, Y; Harussi, Y; Raize, O

    2015-03-01

    A continuous active monitoring approach was developed for identification of cross-connections between potable water supply systems and treated wastewater effluent reuse distribution systems. The approach is based on monitoring the oxidation reduction potential (ORP) at the potable water system while injecting sulfite (a reducing agent) into the effluent line. A sharp decrease in the ORP of the potable water would indicate a cross-connection event. The approach was tested in batch experiments on treated municipal wastewater effluent of varying degree of treatment, and at dilution ratios of up to 1:100 (effluent/potable). The approach was then examined under continuous flow conditions, which simulated cross-connection events at various dilution ratios (up to 1:100). In the continuous runs, differences between the potable water ORP and the effluent-potable water mixture (containing sulfite as sodium bisulfite (SBS)) ORP were 450-630 mV. This suggests high potential for identifying a cross-connection event. Implementation of the approach includes adding sulfite to effluent used for agricultural irrigation; hence, possible effects on soil and on crops were studied in soil columns and pots planted with basil (Ocimum basilicum) as a model plant. No negative effects of sulfite addition to the irrigation effluent were observed in the irrigated soils and plants, and therefore, it could be safely implemented also in agricultural applications. PMID:25701471

  17. A continuous active monitoring approach to identify cross-connections between potable water and effluent distribution systems.

    PubMed

    Friedler, E; Alfiya, Y; Shaviv, A; Gilboa, Y; Harussi, Y; Raize, O

    2015-03-01

    A continuous active monitoring approach was developed for identification of cross-connections between potable water supply systems and treated wastewater effluent reuse distribution systems. The approach is based on monitoring the oxidation reduction potential (ORP) at the potable water system while injecting sulfite (a reducing agent) into the effluent line. A sharp decrease in the ORP of the potable water would indicate a cross-connection event. The approach was tested in batch experiments on treated municipal wastewater effluent of varying degree of treatment, and at dilution ratios of up to 1:100 (effluent/potable). The approach was then examined under continuous flow conditions, which simulated cross-connection events at various dilution ratios (up to 1:100). In the continuous runs, differences between the potable water ORP and the effluent-potable water mixture (containing sulfite as sodium bisulfite (SBS)) ORP were 450-630 mV. This suggests high potential for identifying a cross-connection event. Implementation of the approach includes adding sulfite to effluent used for agricultural irrigation; hence, possible effects on soil and on crops were studied in soil columns and pots planted with basil (Ocimum basilicum) as a model plant. No negative effects of sulfite addition to the irrigation effluent were observed in the irrigated soils and plants, and therefore, it could be safely implemented also in agricultural applications.

  18. Identifying the Influence of Variable Ice Types on Passive and Active Microwave Measurements for the Purpose of SWE Retrieval

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gunn, G. E.; Duguay, C. R.; Derksen, C.

    2010-12-01

    ) over freshwater ice (Sitidgi Lake) with the highest R coefficient noticed in the H pol for 6.9 and 19 GHz emissions (R = 0.84 and 0.58 respectively). In brackish water, 6.9 and 19 GHz PM Tbs exhibited a negative relationship as a result of a high concentration of bubbles at the ice/water interface, and the incorporation of lossy brine pockets into the ice medium. This study identifies congruency between passive and active microwave measurements over lake ice for the purpose of improving SWE retrieval algorithms. Further quantification of passive microwave emission is needed for unique ice types, however it has been established that cross-polarised X-band backscatter can be utilized as a priori information for spaceborne PM algorithms, providing information on ice type, characteristics (floating, frozen to bed), and the presence of bubbles at the ice/water interface.

  19. A cell-based screening identifies compounds from the stem of Momordica charantia that overcome insulin resistance and activate AMP-activated protein kinase.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Hsueh-Ling; Huang, Hsin-Kai; Chang, Chi-I; Tsai, Chung-Pao; Chou, Chang-Hung

    2008-08-27

    Treatment of insulin resistance is a critical strategy in the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes. The crude extracts from all parts of Momordica charantia L. have been reported by many studies for the effective treatment of diabetes and related complications. However, the exact ingredients responsible for the hypoglycemic effect and the underlying mechanism of their actions have not been well characterized because of the lack of a proper assay and screening system. A new cell-based, nonradioactive, and nonfluorescent screening method was demonstrated in this study to screen for natural products from the stem of M. charantia, aiming to identify hypoglycemic components that can overcome cellular insulin resistance. The results suggest triterpenoids being potential hypoglycemic components of the plant and the mechanism underlying their action involving AMP-activated protein kinase.

  20. Identifying Effective Strategies for Climate Change Education: The Coastal Areas Climate Change Education (CACCE) Partnership Audiences and Activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryan, J. G.; Feldman, A.; Muller-Karger, F. E.; Gilbes, F.; Stone, D.; Plank, L.; Reynolds, C. J.

    2011-12-01

    Many past educational initiatives focused on global climate change have foundered on public skepticism and disbelief. Some key reasons for these past failures can be drawn directly from recognized best practices in STEM education - specifically, the necessity to help learners connect new knowledge with their own experiences and perspectives, and the need to create linkages with issues or concerns that are both important for and relevant to the audiences to be educated. The Coastal Areas Climate Change Education (CACCE) partnership has sought to follow these tenets as guiding principles in identifying critical audiences and developing new strategies for educating the public living in the low-lying coastal areas of Florida and the Caribbean on the realities, risks, and adaptation and mitigation strategies for dealing with the regional impacts of global climate change. CACCE is currently focused on three key learner audiences: a) The formal education spectrum, targeting K-12 curricula through middle school marine science courses, and student and educator audiences through coursework and participatory research strategies engaging participants in a range of climate-related investigations. b) Informal science educators and outlets, in particular aquaria and nature centers, as an avenue toward K-12 teacher professional development as well as for public education. c) Regional planning, regulatory and business professionals focused on the built environment along the coasts, many of whom require continuing education to maintain licensing and/or other professional certifications. Our current activities are focused on bringing together an effective set of educational, public- and private-sector partners to target the varied needs of these audiences in Florida and the U.S. Caribbean, and tailoring an educational plan aimed at these stakeholder audiences that starts with the regionally and topically relevant impacts of climate change, and strategies for effective adaptation and

  1. Sub-arctic Wetland Greenhouse Gases (CO2, CH4 & N2O) Emissions are Driven by Interactions of Environmental Controls and Herbivore Grazers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelsey, K.; Leffler, A. J.; Beard, K. H.; Choi, R. T.; Welker, J. M.

    2015-12-01

    Climate change is increasing temperatures, altering precipitation regimes and causing earlier growing seasons, particularly at northern latitudes. Such changes in local environmental conditions have the potential to affect biogeochemical cycling including the exchange of greenhouses gases between the atmosphere and the terrestrial biosphere. In addition to the effects of these environmental controls, animals such as migratory geese also influence biogeochemical cycles through grazing, trampling and delivering nutrient-rich fecal matter. In this work we aimed to quantify how local environmental conditions and the presence of grazing interact as drivers of emissions of three key greenhouse gases, CO2, CH4 and N2O, in coastal wetlands of the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta. We explored the magnitude of emissions across gradients of soil temperature and water table depth, and across vegetation types related to the presence of grazing, ranging from no vegetation through grazed and ungrazed vegetation. We also investigated emissions from grazed areas using experimental manipulations of the timing of grazing and advancement of the growing season. We found that local environmental conditions and use by grazers exert interacting controls on emissions of CO2, CH4 and N2O. Emissions of CO2 and CH4 were positively related to soil temperature and CH4 emissions were inversely related to water table depth, but the relationship varied by vegetation type. Net emissions of CO2 were greatest in ungrazed vegetation types (6.62 umols CO2 m-2 sec-1; p=0.0007) whereas CH4 emissions were greatest in the grazed vegetation (122.56 nmols CH4 m-2 sec-1; p=0.037). Flux of N2O was less than 1 nmol N2O m-2 sec-1 across all landscape positions under typical grazing and temperature conditions, but emissions were stimulated to over 10 nmols m-2 sec-1 when grazing occurred early relative to a typical season. Our results indicate that environmental conditions and the presence of migratory herbivores are both

  2. What Would You Like? Identifying the Required Characteristics of an Industry-Wide Incident Reporting and Learning System for the Led Outdoor Activity Sector

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goode, Natassia; Finch, Caroline F.; Cassell, Erin; Lenne, Michael G.; Salmon, Paul M.

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to identify the characteristics that led outdoor activity providers agree are necessary for the development of a new industry-wide incident reporting and learning system (UPLOADS). The study involved: 1) a literature review to identify a set of characteristics that are considered to be hallmarks of successful reporting…

  3. Mechanism-Based Screen for G1/S Checkpoint Activators Identifies a Selective Activator of EIF2AK3/PERK Signalling

    PubMed Central

    Barrie, S. Elaine; Zoumpoulidou, Georgia; te Poele, Robert H.; Aherne, G. Wynne; Wilson, Stuart C.; Sheldrake, Peter; McDonald, Edward; Venet, Mathilde; Soudy, Christelle; Elustondo, Frédéric; Rigoreau, Laurent; Blagg, Julian; Workman, Paul; Garrett, Michelle D.; Mittnacht, Sibylle

    2012-01-01

    Human cancers often contain genetic alterations that disable G1/S checkpoint control and loss of this checkpoint is thought to critically contribute to cancer generation by permitting inappropriate proliferation and distorting fate-driven cell cycle exit. The identification of cell permeable small molecules that activate the G1/S checkpoint may therefore represent a broadly applicable and clinically effective strategy for the treatment of cancer. Here we describe the identification of several novel small molecules that trigger G1/S checkpoint activation and characterise the mechanism of action for one, CCT020312, in detail. Transcriptional profiling by cDNA microarray combined with reverse genetics revealed phosphorylation of the eukaryotic initiation factor 2-alpha (EIF2A) through the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2-alpha kinase 3 (EIF2AK3/PERK) as the mechanism of action of this compound. While EIF2AK3/PERK activation classically follows endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress signalling that sets off a range of different cellular responses, CCT020312 does not trigger these other cellular responses but instead selectively elicits EIF2AK3/PERK signalling. Phosphorylation of EIF2A by EIF2A kinases is a known means to block protein translation and hence restriction point transit in G1, but further supports apoptosis in specific contexts. Significantly, EIF2AK3/PERK signalling has previously been linked to the resistance of cancer cells to multiple anticancer chemotherapeutic agents, including drugs that target the ubiquitin/proteasome pathway and taxanes. Consistent with such findings CCT020312 sensitizes cancer cells with defective taxane-induced EIF2A phosphorylation to paclitaxel treatment. Our work therefore identifies CCT020312 as a novel small molecule chemical tool for the selective activation of EIF2A-mediated translation control with utility for proof-of-concept applications in EIF2A-centered therapeutic approaches, and as a chemical starting point for

  4. Tooth wear in captive giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis): mesowear analysis classifies free-ranging specimens as browsers but captive ones as grazers.

    PubMed

    Clauss, Marcus; Franz-Odendaal, Tamara A; Brasch, Juliane; Castell, Johanna C; Kaiser, Thomas

    2007-09-01

    Captive giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) mostly do not attain the longevity possible for this species and frequently have problems associated with low energy intake and fat storage mobilization. Abnormal tooth wear has been among the causes suggested as an underlying problem. This study utilizes a tooth wear scoring method ("mesowear") primarily used in paleobiology. This scoring method was applied to museum specimens of free-ranging (n=20) and captive (n=41) giraffes. The scoring system allows for the differentiation between attrition--(typical for browsers, as browse contains little abrasive silica) and abrasion--(typical for grazers, as grass contains abrasive silica) dominated tooth wear. The dental wear pattern of the free-ranging population is dominated by attrition, resembles that previously published for free-ranging giraffe, and clusters within browsing herbivores in comparative analysis. In contrast, the wear pattern of the captive population is dominated by abrasion and clusters among grazing herbivores in comparative analyses. A potential explanation for this difference in tooth wear is likely related to the content of abrasive elements in zoo diets. Silica content (measured as acid insoluble ash) is low in browse and alfalfa. However, grass hay and the majority of pelleted compound feeds contain higher amounts of silica. It can be speculated that the abnormal wear pattern in captivity compromises tooth function in captive giraffe, with deleterious long-term consequences.

  5. Dietary uptake of Cu sorbed to hydrous iron oxide is linked to cellular toxicity and feeding inhibition in a benthic grazer

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cain, Daniel J.; Croteau, Marie-Noele; Fuller, Christopher C.; Ringwood, Amy H.

    2016-01-01

    Whereas feeding inhibition caused by exposure to contaminants has been extensively documented, the underlying mechanism(s) are less well understood. For this study, the behavior of several key feeding processes, including ingestion rate and assimilation efficiency, that affect the dietary uptake of Cu were evaluated in the benthic grazer Lymnaea stagnalis following 4–5 h exposures to Cu adsorbed to synthetic hydrous ferric oxide (Cu–HFO). The particles were mixed with a cultured alga to create algal mats with Cu exposures spanning nearly 3 orders of magnitude at variable or constant Fe concentrations, thereby allowing first order and interactive effects of Cu and Fe to be evaluated. Results showed that Cu influx rates and ingestion rates decreased as Cu exposures of the algal mat mixture exceeded 104 nmol/g. Ingestion rate appeared to exert primary control on the Cu influx rate. Lysosomal destabilization rates increased directly with Cu influx rates. At the highest Cu exposure where the incidence of lysosomal membrane damage was greatest (51%), the ingestion rate was suppressed 80%. The findings suggested that feeding inhibition was a stress response emanating from excessive uptake of dietary Cu and cellular toxicity.

  6. Community-identified strategies to increase physical activity during elementary school recess on an American Indian reservation: A pilot study

    PubMed Central

    Grant, Vernon; Brown, Blakely; Swaney, Gyda; Hollist, Dusten; Harris, Kari Jo; Noonan, Curtis W.; Gaskill, Steve

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the effect of an 8-week recess intervention on physical activity levels in children attending elementary school on an American Indian reservation during fall 2013. Physical activity was measured with direct observation in three zones on the playground. Lines were painted on existing pavement in zone 1. Zone 2 had permanent playground equipment and was unchanged. Zone 3 contained fields where bi-weekly facilitators led activities and provided equipment. Pre- to post-changes during recess in sedentary, moderate physical activity, moderate-to-vigorous, and vigorous physical activities were compared within zones. Females physical activity increased in Zone 1 (moderate: 100% increase; moderate-to-vigorous: 83%; vigorous: 74%, p < 0.01 for all) and Zone 3 (moderate: 54% increase, p < 0.01; moderate-to-vigorous: 48%, p < 0.01; vigorous: 40%, p < 0.05). Male sedentary activity decreased in Zone 2 (161%, p < 0.01). Physical activity changes in Zone 3 were not dependent upon the presence of a facilitator. Simple and low-cost strategies were effective at increasing recess physical activity in females. The findings also suggest that providing children games that are led by a facilitator is not necessary to increase physical activity as long as proper equipment is provided. PMID:26844133

  7. Community-identified strategies to increase physical activity during elementary school recess on an American Indian reservation: A pilot study.

    PubMed

    Grant, Vernon; Brown, Blakely; Swaney, Gyda; Hollist, Dusten; Harris, Kari Jo; Noonan, Curtis W; Gaskill, Steve

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the effect of an 8-week recess intervention on physical activity levels in children attending elementary school on an American Indian reservation during fall 2013. Physical activity was measured with direct observation in three zones on the playground. Lines were painted on existing pavement in zone 1. Zone 2 had permanent playground equipment and was unchanged. Zone 3 contained fields where bi-weekly facilitators led activities and provided equipment. Pre- to post-changes during recess in sedentary, moderate physical activity, moderate-to-vigorous, and vigorous physical activities were compared within zones. Females physical activity increased in Zone 1 (moderate: 100% increase; moderate-to-vigorous: 83%; vigorous: 74%, p < 0.01 for all) and Zone 3 (moderate: 54% increase, p < 0.01; moderate-to-vigorous: 48%, p < 0.01; vigorous: 40%, p < 0.05). Male sedentary activity decreased in Zone 2 (161%, p < 0.01). Physical activity changes in Zone 3 were not dependent upon the presence of a facilitator. Simple and low-cost strategies were effective at increasing recess physical activity in females. The findings also suggest that providing children games that are led by a facilitator is not necessary to increase physical activity as long as proper equipment is provided. PMID:26844133

  8. In Vitro Activity of Ceftolozane-Tazobactam against Anaerobic Organisms Identified during the ASPECT-cIAI Study.

    PubMed

    Armstrong, Eliana S; Farrell, David J; Palchak, Melissa; Steenbergen, Judith N

    2016-01-01

    The in vitro activities of ceftolozane-tazobactam, meropenem, and metronidazole were determined against anaerobic organisms isolated from patients with complicated intraabdominal infections (cIAI) in global phase III studies. Ceftolozane-tazobactam activity was highly variable among different species of the Bacteroides fragilis group, with MIC90 values ranging from 2 to 64 μg/ml. More-potent in vitro activity was observed against selected Gram-positive anaerobic organisms; however, small numbers of isolates were available, and, therefore, the clinical significance of these results is unknown. Variable activity of ceftolozane-tazobactam against anaerobic organisms necessitates use in combination with metronidazole for the treatment of cIAI. PMID:26552971

  9. In Vitro Activity of Ceftolozane-Tazobactam against Anaerobic Organisms Identified during the ASPECT-cIAI Study

    PubMed Central

    Farrell, David J.; Palchak, Melissa; Steenbergen, Judith N.

    2015-01-01

    The in vitro activities of ceftolozane-tazobactam, meropenem, and metronidazole were determined against anaerobic organisms isolated from patients with complicated intraabdominal infections (cIAI) in global phase III studies. Ceftolozane-tazobactam activity was highly variable among different species of the Bacteroides fragilis group, with MIC90 values ranging from 2 to 64 μg/ml. More-potent in vitro activity was observed against selected Gram-positive anaerobic organisms; however, small numbers of isolates were available, and, therefore, the clinical significance of these results is unknown. Variable activity of ceftolozane-tazobactam against anaerobic organisms necessitates use in combination with metronidazole for the treatment of cIAI. PMID:26552971

  10. Novel spinal pathways identified by neuronal c-Fos expression after urethrogenital reflex activation in female guinea pigs.

    PubMed

    Yuan, S Y; Vilimas, P I; Zagorodnyuk, V P; Gibbins, I L

    2015-03-12

    Pudendal nerve-spinal pathways are involved in urethrogenital sensation, pain and sexual activity. However, details of these pathways and their modulation are unclear. We examined spinal pathways activated by the urethrogenital reflex (UGR) and visualized by c-Fos immunoreactivity in reflexly activated neurons within spinal cord. In anesthetized female guinea pigs, a balloon was inserted into the urethra and inflated with short-repeat or long-continuous distension to activate the UGR. A second balloon recorded reflex contractions of the vagina and uterus. Two control groups had either no balloon or a vaginal balloon (VB) only. Ninety minutes after UGR activation, c-Fos immunoreactivity in L3 and S2 spinal segments was examined. Reflex activated c-Fos immunoreactivity also was investigated in some animals with acute spinal transections at either L4 or T12 levels. There was no significant difference in spinal c-Fos expression between the control groups. Short-repeat distension reliably induced a UGR and a two- to threefold increase in c-Fos-expressing neurons throughout dorsal, intermediate and lateral spinal gray matter at S2 and about twofold increase in superficial dorsal horn at L3. T12 transection had little effect on c-Fos expression at either spinal level. However, after L4 transection, UGR generation was associated with a four- to sixfold increase in c-Fos-expressing neurons in lateral horn (LH) and central canal areas at S2, and but only 20-30% increase at L3. Thus, UGR activates preganglionic neurons projecting to pelvic viscera in both sacral and lumbar spinal cord. The reflex also must activate ascending and descending spinal inhibitory circuits that suppress c-Fos-expression in neurons at both sacral and lumbar spinal levels.

  11. Identifying the role of N-heteroatom location in the activity of metal catalysts for alcohol oxidation

    SciTech Connect

    Chan-Thaw, Carine E.; Veith, Gabriel M.; Villa, Alberto; Prati, Laura

    2015-04-02

    Here, this work focuses on understanding how the bonding of nitrogen heteroatoms contained on/in a activated carbon support influence the stability and reactivity of a supported Pd catalyst for the oxidation of alcohols in solution. The results show that simply adding N groups via solution chemistry is insufficient to improve catalytic properties. Instead a strongly bound N moiety is required to activate the catalyst and stabilize the metal particles.

  12. De novo sequencing transcriptome of endemic Gentiana straminea (Gentianaceae) to identify genes involved in the biosynthesis of active ingredients.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Dangwei; Gao, Shan; Wang, Huan; Lei, Tianxiang; Shen, Jianwei; Gao, Jie; Chen, Shilong; Yin, Jia; Liu, Jianquan

    2016-01-01

    Gentiana straminea is a popular Tibetan medicine that has been used for thousands of years in China to treat various diseases and conditions. Although it has multiple pharmaceutical purposes and important economic plant resource in China, transcriptome and molecular base still known limited. In flowering season, samples were collected from different tissues, using the NGS Illumina. Solexa platform, about 58.85 million sequencing reads were generated and assembled de novo, yielding 78,764 high quality unigenes with an average length of 1090bp. Gene Ontology (GO), KEGG pathway mapping showed that 49,033 of these were identified as putative homologs of annotated sequences in the protein databases. Among them, candidate genes associated with iridoid, flavonoid and anthocyanin were identified. Further the key enzymes involved to iridoid and flavonoid synthesis pathway were analyzed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) on different tissues, the flower and root had the higher expression than leaves. In addition, 7591 SSR markers were identified from the unigenes of the G. straminea transcriptome. The foundation of G. straminea provided the important resource for facilitating to study molecular and functional genomics of it and related this species on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

  13. The covariation of independent and dependant variables in neurofeedback: a proposal framework to identify cognitive processes and brain activity variables.

    PubMed

    Micoulaud-Franchi, Jean-Arthur; Quiles, Clélia; Fond, Guillaume; Cermolacce, Michel; Vion-Dury, Jean

    2014-05-01

    This methodological article proposes a framework for analysing the relationship between cognitive processes and brain activity using variables measured by neurofeedback (NF) carried out by functional Magnetic Resonance Imagery (fMRI NF). Cognitive processes and brain activity variables can be analysed as either the dependant variable or the independent variable. Firstly, we propose two traditional approaches, defined in the article as the "neuropsychological" approach (NP) and the "psychophysiology" approach (PP), to extract dependent and independent variables in NF protocols. Secondly, we suggest that NF can be inspired by the style of inquiry used in neurophenomenology. fMRI NF allows participants to experiment with his or her own cognitive processes and their effects on brain region of interest (ROI) activations simultaneously. Thus, we suggest that fMRI NF could be improved by implementing "the elicitation interview method", which allows the investigator to gather relevant verbatim from participants' introspection on subjective experiences.

  14. Response to dietary tannin challenges in view of the browser/grazer dichotomy in an Ethiopian setting: Bonga sheep versus Kaffa goats.

    PubMed

    Yisehak, Kechero; Kibreab, Yoseph; Taye, Tolemariam; Lourenço, Marta Ribeiro Alves; Janssens, Geert Paul Jules

    2016-01-01

    It has been suggested that goats (typical browser) are better adapted to digest tannin-rich diets than sheep (typical grazer). To evaluate this, Bonga sheep and Kaffa goats were used in a 2 × 3 randomized crossover design with two species, three diets, and three periods (15-day adaptation + 7-day collection). The dietary treatments consisted of grass-based hay only (tannin-free diet = FT), a high-tannin diet (36% Albizia schimperiana (AS) + 9% Ficus elastica (FE) + 55% FT (HT)), and HT + polyethylene glycol 6000 (PEG). Animals were individually fed at 50 g dry matter (DM)/kg body weight (BW) and had free access to clean drinking water and mineralized salt licks. Nutrient intake, apparent nutrient digestibility, nutrient conversion ratios, and live weight changes were determined. Condensed tannin concentrations in AS and FE were 110 and 191 g/kg DM, respectively. Both sheep and goats ate 47% more of HT than FT, and dry matter intake further increased by 9% when PEG was added, with clear difference in effect size between goats and sheep (P < 0.001). The effects of the tannin-rich diet and PEG addition were similarly positive for DM digestibility between sheep and goats, but crude protein (CP) digestibility was higher in HT + PEG-fed goats than in sheep fed the same diet. However, PEG addition induced a larger improvement in growth performance and feed efficiency ratio in sheep than in goat (P < 0.001). The addition of PEG as a tannin binder improved digestion and performance in both species, but with the highest effect size in sheep.

  15. Identifying the trigger of c-IAPs: structural and functional characterization of CARD-mediated modulation of ubiquitin ligase activity.

    PubMed

    Oetjen, Karolyn A; Duckett, Colin S

    2011-06-10

    In this issue of Molecular Cell, Lopez et al. (2011) examine the caspase-recruitment domain (CARD) of c-IAP1 to reveal an intriguing mechanism in which conformational changes of the CARD determine c-IAP1's ubiquitin ligase activity, with implications for regulation of cell proliferation and survival by the IAPs.

  16. In vivo modulation of vagal-identified dorsal medullary neurones by activation of different 5-Hydroxytryptamine2 receptors in rats

    PubMed Central

    Sévoz-Couche, Caroline; Spyer, K Michael; Jordan, David

    2000-01-01

    In in vivo experiments, DOI (a 5-HT2 receptor agonist), MK-212 (a 5-HT2C receptor agonist), and BW-723C86 (a 5-HT2B receptor agonist) were applied by ionophoresis to neurones in the rat nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) receiving vagal afferent input. The majority of the putative ‘monosynaptically' vagal activated cells were inhibited by both MK-212 (4/6) and DOI (2/4), but unaffected by BW-723C86 (12/14). In contrast, ‘polysynaptically' activated NTS cells were excited by both BW-723C86 (13/19) and DOI (9/10). Inactive ‘intermediate' cells were inhibited by BW-723C86 (9/12), MK-212 (5/6) and DOI (3/4), whilst active cells of this group were excited by BW-723C86 (7/13) and DOI (5/5). The selective 5-HT2B receptor antagonist LY-202715 significantly reduced the excitatory actions of BW-723C86 on ‘intermediate' and ‘polysynaptic' cells (13/13), but not the inhibitory effects observed on inactive Group 2 cells (n=5) whereas the selective 5-HT2C receptor antagonist RS-102221 reversed the inhibitory effects of MK-212 and DOI on ‘monosynaptic and ‘intermediate' neurones. Cardio-pulmonary afferent stimulation inhibited two of four putative ‘monosynaptically' activated calls and all four inactive intermediate cells. These were also inhibited by DOI and MK-212. In contrast, cardio-pulmonary afferents excited all five active intermediate cells and all six putative ‘polysynaptically' activated NTS cells, while all were also previously excited by BW-723C86 and/or DOI. In conclusion, these data demonstrate that neurones in the NTS are affected differently by 5-HT2 receptor ligands, in regard of their vagal postsynaptic location, the type of cardio-pulmonary afferent they receive and the different 5-HT2 receptors activated. PMID:11090119

  17. Identifying Drug (Cocaine) Intake Events from Acute Physiological Response in the Presence of Free-living Physical Activity

    PubMed Central

    Hossain, Syed Monowar; Ali, Amin Ahsan; Rahman, Mahbubur; Ertin, Emre; Epstein, David; Kennedy, Ashley; Preston, Kenzie; Umbricht, Annie; Chen, Yixin; Kumar, Santosh

    2014-01-01

    A variety of health and behavioral states can potentially be inferred from physiological measurements that can now be collected in the natural free-living environment. The major challenge, however, is to develop computational models for automated detection of health events that can work reliably in the natural field environment. In this paper, we develop a physiologically-informed model to automatically detect drug (cocaine) use events in the free-living environment of participants from their electrocardiogram (ECG) measurements. The key to reliably detecting drug use events in the field is to incorporate the knowledge of autonomic nervous system (ANS) behavior in the model development so as to decompose the activation effect of cocaine from the natural recovery behavior of the parasympathetic nervous system (after an episode of physical activity). We collect 89 days of data from 9 active drug users in two residential lab environments and 922 days of data from 42 active drug users in the field environment, for a total of 11,283 hours. We develop a model that tracks the natural recovery by the parasympathetic nervous system and then estimates the dampening caused to the recovery by the activation of the sympathetic nervous system due to cocaine. We develop efficient methods to screen and clean the ECG time series data and extract candidate windows to assess for potential drug use. We then apply our model on the recovery segments from these windows. Our model achieves 100% true positive rate while keeping the false positive rate to 0.87/day over (9+ hours/day of) lab data and to 1.13/day over (11+ hours/day of) field data. PMID:25531010

  18. Using videography to quantify landscape-level availability of habitat for grazers: An example with emperor geese in western Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lake, B.C.; Lindberg, M.S.; Schmutz, J.A.; Anthony, R.M.; Broerman, F.J.

    2006-01-01

    We present a videography approach to estimating large-scale availability of grazing lawns, an important food resource used by broods of emperor geese (Chen canagica) on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska. Sampling was conducted in 1999, 2003, and 2004 at six locations that encompassed ???40% of the North American population of breeding emperor geese. We conducted ground truthing in 2003 and 2004 to estimate how accurately grazing lawn was classified. Overall, classification accuracy for grazing lawn and non-grazing lawn habitat was greater than 91%. Availability of grazing lawns was stable among years, but varied both among and within locations. Some locations have up to three times as much available grazing lawn, which in combination with densities of geese, likely represents dramatic variation in per capita food availability. Our results suggest that videography is a useful way to sample quickly across a large region and accurately identify fine-scale habitats. We present its use for estimating the availability of a preferred food resource for emperor geese, but the method could be applied to many other cases.

  19. A Repurposing Approach Identifies Off-Patent Drugs with Fungicidal Cryptococcal Activity, a Common Structural Chemotype, and Pharmacological Properties Relevant to the Treatment of Cryptococcosis

    PubMed Central

    Butts, Arielle; DiDone, Louis; Koselny, Kristy; Baxter, Bonnie K.; Chabrier-Rosello, Yeissa; Wellington, Melanie

    2013-01-01

    New, more accessible therapies for cryptococcosis represent an unmet clinical need of global importance. We took a repurposing approach to identify previously developed drugs with fungicidal activity toward Cryptococcus neoformans, using a high-throughput screening assay designed to detect drugs that directly kill fungi. From a set of 1,120 off-patent medications and bioactive molecules, we identified 31 drugs/molecules with fungicidal activity, including 15 drugs for which direct antifungal activity had not previously been reported. A significant portion of the drugs are orally bioavailable and cross the blood-brain barrier, features key to the development of a widely applicable anticryptococcal agent. Structural analysis of this set revealed a common chemotype consisting of a hydrophobic moiety linked to a basic amine, features that are common to drugs that cross the blood-brain barrier and access the phagolysosome, two important niches of C. neoformans. Consistent with their fungicidal activity, the set contains eight drugs that are either additive or synergistic in combination with fluconazole. Importantly, we identified two drugs, amiodarone and thioridazine, with activity against intraphagocytic C. neoformans. Finally, the set of drugs is also enriched for molecules that inhibit calmodulin, and we have confirmed that seven drugs directly bind C. neoformans calmodulin, providing a molecular target that may contribute to the mechanism of antifungal activity. Taken together, these studies provide a foundation for the optimization of the antifungal properties of a set of pharmacologically attractive scaffolds for the development of novel anticryptococcal therapies. PMID:23243064

  20. Characterization of RAB-like4, the first identified RAB-like protein from Trypanosoma cruzi with GTPase activity.

    PubMed

    Ramos, Fabiane Pereira; Araripe, Júlia Rolão; Urményi, Turán Péter; Silva, Rosane; Cunha e Silva, Narcisa Leal; Leite Fontes, Carlos Frederico; da Silveira, José Franco; Rondinelli, Edson

    2005-08-01

    RAB proteins, which belong to the RAS superfamily, regulate exocytic and endocytic pathways of eukaryotic cells, controlling vesicle docking and fusion. Few RAB proteins have been identified in parasites. Molecular markers for cellular compartments are important to studies concerning about the protein traffic in Trypanosoma cruzi, the causal agent of Chagas disease. In this work, we describe the characterization of TcRABL4, the first RAB-like gene identified in T. cruzi (GenBank Accession No.: ), present as a single-copy gene. TcRABL4 contains all five consensus RAB motifs but lacks cysteine residues at the C terminus, which are essential to isoprenylation, an absolute prerequisite for membrane association of these proteins. TcRABL4 is a functional GTPase that is able to bind and hydrolyze GTP, and its gene is transcribed as a single 1.2 kb mRNA in epimastigotes. TcRABL4 appears to be differentially regulated in the three cell forms of the parasite, and the protein is not associated to membranes, unlike other RAB proteins. It is possible that TcRABL4 may be a member of a novel family of small GTPases.

  1. Native and domestic browsers and grazers reduce fuels, fire temperatures, and acacia ant mortality in an African savanna.

    PubMed

    Kimuyu, Duncan M; Sensenig, Ryan L; Riginos, Corinna; Veblen, Kari E; Young, Truman P

    2014-06-01

    Despite the importance of fire and herbivory in structuring savanna systems, few replicated experiments have examined the interactive effects of herbivory and fire on plant dynamics. In addition, the effects of fire on associated ant-tree mutualisms have been largely unexplored. We carried out small controlled burns in each of 18 herbivore treatment plots of the Kenya Long-term Exclosure Experiment (KLEE), where experimentally excluding elephants has resulted in 42% greater tree densities. The KLEE design includes six different herbivore treatments that allowed us to examine how different combinations of megaherbivore wildlife, mesoherbivore wildlife, and cattle affect fire temperatures and subsequent loss of ant symbionts from Acacia trees. Before burning, we quantified herbaceous fuel loads and plant community composition. We tagged all trees, measured their height and basal diameter, and identified the resident ant species on each. We recorded weather conditions during the burns and used ceramic tiles painted with fire-sensitive paints to estimate fire temperatures at different heights and in different microsites (under vs. between trees). Across all treatments, fire temperatures were highest at 0-50 cm off the ground and hotter in the grass under trees than in the grassy areas between trees. Plots with more trees burned hotter than plots with fewer trees, perhaps because of greater fine woody debris. Plots grazed by wildlife and by cattle prior to burning had lower herbaceous fuel loads and experienced lower burn temperatures than ungrazed plots. Many trees lost their ant colonies during the burns. Ant survivorship differed by ant species and at the plot level was positively associated with previous herbivory (and lower fire temperatures). Across all treatments, ant colonies on taller trees were more likely to survive, but even some of the tallest trees lost their ant colonies. Our study marks a significant step in understanding the mechanisms that underlie the

  2. Identifying types of physical activity with a single accelerometer: evaluating laboratory-trained algorithms in daily life.

    PubMed

    Gyllensten, Illapha Cuba; Bonomi, Alberto G

    2011-09-01

    Accurate identification of physical activity types has been achieved in laboratory conditions using single-site accelerometers and classification algorithms. This methodology is then applied to free-living subjects to determine activity behavior. This study is aimed at analyzing the reproducibility of the accuracy of laboratory-trained classification algorithms in free-living subjects during daily life. A support vector machine (SVM), a feed-forward neural network (NN), and a decision tree (DT) were trained with data collected by a waist-mounted accelerometer during a laboratory trial. The reproducibility of the classification performance was tested on data collected in daily life using a multiple-site accelerometer augmented with an activity diary for 20 healthy subjects (age: 30 ± 9; BMI: 23.0 ± 2.6 kg/m(2)). Leave-one-subject-out cross validation of the training data showed accuracies of 95.1 ± 4.3%, 91.4 ± 6.7%, and 92.2 ± 6.6% for the SVM, NN, and DT, respectively. All algorithms showed a significantly decreased accuracy in daily life as compared to the reference truth represented by the IDEEA and diary classifications (75.6 ± 10.4%, 74.8 ± 9.7%, and 72.2 ± 10.3%; p < 0.05). In conclusion, cross validation of training data overestimates the accuracy of the classification algorithms in daily life.

  3. Using community-based participatory research to identify potential interventions to overcome barriers to adolescents’ healthy eating and physical activity

    PubMed Central

    Goh, Ying-Ying; Sipple-Asher, Bessie Ko; Uyeda, Kimberly; Hawes-Dawson, Jennifer; Olarita-Dhungana, Josephina; Ryan, Gery W.; Schuster, Mark A.

    2010-01-01

    Using a community-based participatory research approach, we explored adolescent, parent, and community stakeholder perspectives on barriers to healthy eating and physical activity, and intervention ideas to address adolescent obesity. We conducted 14 adolescent focus groups (n = 119), 8 parent focus groups (n = 63), and 28 interviews with community members (i.e., local experts knowledgeable about youth nutrition and physical activity). Participants described ecological and psychosocial barriers in neighborhoods (e.g., lack of accessible nutritious food), in schools (e.g., poor quality of physical education), at home (e.g., sedentary lifestyle), and at the individual level (e.g., lack of nutrition knowledge). Participants proposed interventions such as nutrition classes for families, addition of healthy school food options that appeal to students, and non-competitive physical education activities. Participants supported health education delivered by students. Findings demonstrate that community-based participatory research is useful for revealing potentially feasible interventions that are acceptable to community members. PMID:19544091

  4. Identifying the active site in nitrogen-doped graphene for the VO2+/VO2(+) redox reaction.

    PubMed

    Jin, Jutao; Fu, Xiaogang; Liu, Qiao; Liu, Yanru; Wei, Zhiyang; Niu, Kexing; Zhang, Junyan

    2013-06-25

    Nitrogen-doped graphene sheets (NGS), synthesized by annealing graphite oxide (GO) with urea at 700-1050 °C, were studied as positive electrodes in a vanadium redox flow battery. The NGS, in particular annealed at 900 °C, exhibited excellent catalytic performance in terms of electron transfer (ET) resistance (4.74 ± 0.51 and 7.27 ± 0.42 Ω for the anodic process and cathodic process, respectively) and reversibility (ΔE = 100 mV, Ipa/Ipc = 1.38 at a scan rate of 50 mV s(-1)). Detailed research confirms that not the nitrogen doping level but the nitrogen type in the graphene sheets determines the catalytic activity. Among four types of nitrogen species doped into the graphene lattice including pyridinic-N, pyrrolic-N, quaternary nitrogen, and oxidic-N, quaternary nitrogen is verified as a catalytic active center for the [VO](2+)/[VO2](+) couple reaction. A mechanism is proposed to explain the electrocatalytic performance of NGS for the [VO](2+)/[VO2](+) couple reaction. The possible formation of a N-V transitional bonding state, which facilitates the ET between the outer electrode and reactant ions, is a key step for its high catalytic activity.

  5. Global transcriptome analysis identifies regulated transcripts and pathways activated during oogenesis and early embryogenesis in atlantic cod

    PubMed Central

    Kleppe, Lene; Edvardsen, Rolf Brudvik; Furmanek, Tomasz; Taranger, Geir Lasse; Wargelius, Anna

    2014-01-01

    The molecular mechanisms underlying oogenesis and maternally controlled embryogenesis in fish are not fully understood, especially in marine species. Our aim was to study the egg and embryo transcriptome during oogenesis and early embryogenesis in Atlantic cod. Follicles from oogenesis stages (pre-, early-, and late-vitellogenic), ovulated eggs, and two embryonic stages (blastula, gastrula) were collected from broodstock fish and fertilized eggs. Gene expression profiles were measured in a 44 K oligo microarray consisting of 23,000 cod genes. Hundreds of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified in the follicle stages investigated, implicating a continuous accumulation and degradation of polyadenylated transcripts throughout oogenesis. Very few DEGs were identified from ovulated egg to blastula, showing a more stable maternal RNA pool in early embryonic stages. The highest induction of expression was observed between blastula and gastrula, signifying the onset of zygotic transcription. During early vitellogenesis, several of the most upregulated genes are linked to nervous system signaling, suggesting increasing requirements for ovarian synaptic signaling to stimulate the rapid growth of oocytes. Highly upregulated genes during late vitellogenesis are linked to protein processing, fat metabolism, osmoregulation, and arrested meiosis. One of the genes with the highest upregulation in the ovulated egg is involved in oxidative phosphorylation, reflecting increased energy requirements during fertilization and the first rapid cell divisions of early embryogenesis. In conclusion, this study provides a large-scale presentation of the Atlantic cod's maternally controlled transcriptome in ovarian follicles through oogenesis, ovulated eggs, and early embryos. Mol. Reprod. Dev. 81: 619–635, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:24687555

  6. Ruminal fermentation and fill change with season in an arctic grazer: responses to hyperphagia and hypophagia in muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus).

    PubMed

    Barboza, Perry S; Peltier, Tim C; Forster, Robert J

    2006-01-01

    We studied castrated adult muskoxen fed a standard diet of grass hay and supplement throughout the year to determine seasonal changes in digesta passage, fill, and fermentation without the confounding effects of reproductive demands or changes in food quality. Although food intake increased by 74% between spring and autumn, mean retention times of fluid and particulate digesta markers were maintained between seasons in both the rumen (9-13 h) and the intestines (27-37 h). The rumen contained 84.5% of digesta and accounted for 79% of dry matter digestion in the whole digestive tract. Ruminal fluid space and whole-gut digesta fill increased by 31%-34%, while ruminal rates of in situ degradation increased by more than 100% between spring and autumn for cellulose and hemicellulose. Hyperphagia in autumn was accompanied by increased bacterial counts in ruminal fluid (30%), declines in ruminal pH, and increases in the concentration of fermentation acids (16%) when compared with spring hypophagia. Consumption of fresh hay and supplement increased the concentrations of acids most markedly during winter and spring when bacterial counts were low. Low food intakes in winter and spring may limit the microbial population, whereas hyperphagia in autumn may foster a much more active microflora that requires consistent supplies of substrate. Plasticity of fill and fermentation in muskoxen minimizes winter costs and maximizes nutrients and energy gained from coarse forages in small home ranges throughout the year.

  7. Estimating cotinine associations and a saliva cotinine level to identify active cigarette smoking in alaska native pregnant women.

    PubMed

    Smith, Julia J; Robinson, Renee F; Khan, Burhan A; Sosnoff, Connie S; Dillard, Denise A

    2014-01-01

    Studies indicate nicotine metabolism varies by race and can change during pregnancy. Given high rates of tobacco use and limited studies among Alaska Native (AN) women, we estimated associations of saliva cotinine levels with cigarette use and second-hand smoke (SHS) exposure and estimated a saliva cotinine cutoff to distinguish smoking from non-smoking pregnant AN women. Using questionnaire data and saliva cotinine, we utilized multi-variable linear regression (n = 370) to estimate cotinine associations with tobacco use, SHS exposure, demographic, and pregnancy-related factors. Additionally, we estimated an optimal saliva cotinine cutoff for indication of active cigarette use in AN pregnant women using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis (n = 377). Saliva cotinine significantly decreased with maternal age and significantly increased with cigarettes smoked per day, SHS exposure, and number of previous full term pregnancies. Using self-reported cigarette use in the past 7 days as indication of active smoking, the area under the ROC curve was 0.975 (95 % CI: 0.960-0.990). The point closest to 100 % specificity and sensitivity occurred with a cotinine concentration of 1.07 ng/mL, which corresponded to sensitivity of 94 % and specificity of 94 %. We recommend using a saliva cotinine cutoff of 1 ng/mL to distinguish active smoking in pregnant AN women. This cutoff is lower than used in other studies with pregnant women, most likely due to high prevalence of light or intermittent smoking in the AN population. Continued study of cotinine levels in diverse populations is needed.

  8. Estimating cotinine associations and a saliva cotinine level to identify active cigarette smoking in alaska native pregnant women.

    PubMed

    Smith, Julia J; Robinson, Renee F; Khan, Burhan A; Sosnoff, Connie S; Dillard, Denise A

    2014-01-01

    Studies indicate nicotine metabolism varies by race and can change during pregnancy. Given high rates of tobacco use and limited studies among Alaska Native (AN) women, we estimated associations of saliva cotinine levels with cigarette use and second-hand smoke (SHS) exposure and estimated a saliva cotinine cutoff to distinguish smoking from non-smoking pregnant AN women. Using questionnaire data and saliva cotinine, we utilized multi-variable linear regression (n = 370) to estimate cotinine associations with tobacco use, SHS exposure, demographic, and pregnancy-related factors. Additionally, we estimated an optimal saliva cotinine cutoff for indication of active cigarette use in AN pregnant women using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis (n = 377). Saliva cotinine significantly decreased with maternal age and significantly increased with cigarettes smoked per day, SHS exposure, and number of previous full term pregnancies. Using self-reported cigarette use in the past 7 days as indication of active smoking, the area under the ROC curve was 0.975 (95 % CI: 0.960-0.990). The point closest to 100 % specificity and sensitivity occurred with a cotinine concentration of 1.07 ng/mL, which corresponded to sensitivity of 94 % and specificity of 94 %. We recommend using a saliva cotinine cutoff of 1 ng/mL to distinguish active smoking in pregnant AN women. This cutoff is lower than used in other studies with pregnant women, most likely due to high prevalence of light or intermittent smoking in the AN population. Continued study of cotinine levels in diverse populations is needed. PMID:23423858

  9. A postmenopause-like model of ovariectomized Wistar rats to identify active principles of Erythrina lysistemon (Fabaceae).

    PubMed

    Mvondo, M A; Njamen, D; Fomum, S Tanee; Wandji, J; Vollmer, Günter

    2011-10-01

    To determine whether the two major compounds of Erythrina lysistemon are active principles accounting for Erythrina estrogenic effects, we used a postmenopause-like model of ovariectomized Wistar rats to evaluate their effects on some menopausal problems. Ovariectomized rats were orally treated either with compound 1 or compound 2 at 1 and 10 mg/kg BW for 28 days. Estradiol valerate served as the reference substance. As results, compounds 1 and 2 displayed estrogen-like effects on the uterus and the vagina, and reduced atherogenic risks by decreasing the two assessed atherogenic parameters, the total cholesterol/HDL-cholesterol ratio and the atherogenic index of plasma.

  10. Identifying Effective Enzyme Activity Targets for Recombinant Class I and Class II Collagenase for Successful Human Islet Isolation

    PubMed Central

    Balamurugan, Appakalai N.; Green, Michael L.; Breite, Andrew G.; Loganathan, Gopalakrishnan; Wilhelm, Joshua J.; Tweed, Benjamin; Vargova, Lenka; Lockridge, Amber; Kuriti, Manikya; Hughes, Michael G.; Williams, Stuart K.; Hering, Bernhard J.; Dwulet, Francis E.; McCarthy, Robert C.

    2016-01-01

    Background Isolation following a good manufacturing practice-compliant, human islet product requires development of a robust islet isolation procedure where effective limits of key reagents are known. The enzymes used for islet isolation are critical but little is known about the doses of class I and class II collagenase required for successful islet isolation. Methods We used a factorial approach to evaluate the effect of high and low target activities of recombinant class I (rC1) and class II (rC2) collagenase on human islet yield. Consequently, 4 different enzyme formulations with divergent C1:C2 collagenase mass ratios were assessed, each supplemented with the same dose of neutral protease. Both split pancreas and whole pancreas models were used to test enzyme targets (n = 20). Islet yield/g pancreas was compared with historical enzymes (n = 42). Results Varying the Wunsch (rC2) and collagen degradation activity (CDA, rC1) target dose, and consequently the C1:C2 mass ratio, had no significant effect on tissue digestion. Digestions using higher doses of Wunsch and CDA resulted in comparable islet yields to those obtained with 60% and 50% of those activities, respectively. Factorial analysis revealed no significant main effect of Wunsch activity or CDA for any parameter measured. Aggregate results from 4 different collagenase formulations gave 44% higher islet yield (>5000 islet equivalents/g) in the body/tail of the pancreas (n = 12) when compared with those from the same segment using a standard natural collagenase/protease mixture (n = 6). Additionally, islet yields greater than 5000 islet equivalents/g pancreas were also obtained in whole human pancreas. Conclusions A broader C1:C2 ratio can be used for human islet isolation than has been used in the past. Recombinant collagenase is an effective replacement for the natural enzyme and we have determined that high islet yield can be obtained even with low doses of rC1:rC2, which is beneficial for the survival

  11. HCS Campaign to Identify Selective Inhibitors of IL-6-Induced STAT3 Pathway Activation in Head and Neck Cancer Cell Lines

    PubMed Central

    Sen, Malabika; Hua, Yun; Camarco, Daniel P.; Shun, Tong Ying; Lazo, John S.; Wilson, Gabriela Mustata; Resnick, Lynn O.; LaPorte, Matthew G.; Wipf, Peter; Huryn, Donna M.; Grandis, Jennifer R.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Signal transducer and activator of transcription factor 3 (STAT3) is hyperactivated in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC). Cumulative evidence indicates that IL-6 production by HNSCC cells and/or stromal cells in the tumor microenvironment activates STAT3 and contributes to tumor progression and drug resistance. A library of 94,491 compounds from the Molecular Library Screening Center Network (MLSCN) was screened for the ability to inhibit interleukin-6 (IL-6)-induced pSTAT3 activation. For contractual reasons, the primary high-content screening (HCS) campaign was conducted over several months in 3 distinct phases; 1,068 (1.1%) primary HCS actives remained after cytotoxic or fluorescent outliers were eliminated. One thousand one hundred eighty-seven compounds were cherry-picked for confirmation; actives identified in the primary HCS and compounds selected by a structural similarity search of the remaining MLSCN library using hits identified in phases I and II of the screen. Actives were confirmed in pSTAT3 IC50 assays, and an IFNγ-induced pSTAT1 activation assay was used to prioritize selective inhibitors of STAT3 activation that would not inhibit STAT1 tumor suppressor functions. Two hundred three concentration-dependent inhibitors of IL-6-induced pSTAT3 activation were identified and 89 of these also produced IC50s against IFN-γ-induced pSTAT1 activation. Forty-nine compounds met our hit criteria: they reproducibly inhibited IL-6-induced pSTAT3 activation by ≥70% at 20 μM; their pSTAT3 activation IC50s were ≤25 μM; they were ≥2-fold selective for pSTAT3 inhibition over pSTAT1 inhibition; a cross target query of PubChem indicated that they were not biologically promiscuous; and they were ≥90% pure. Twenty-six chemically tractable hits that passed filters for nuisance compounds and had acceptable drug-like and ADME-Tox properties by computational evaluation were purchased for characterization. The hit structures were distributed

  12. Relevance of macrozoobenthic grazers to understand the dynamic behaviour of sediment erodibility and microphytobenthos resuspension in sunny summer conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orvain, Francis; Guizien, Katell; Lefebvre, Sébastien; Bréret, Martine; Dupuy, Christine

    2014-09-01

    The quantification of overall microphytobenthos productivity should include the export of biomass from the intertidal zone during high tides, which implies refined estimates and concepts of erosion parameters. For the first time, the export of microphytobenthic cells was assessed over an intertidal mudflat in the Marennes-Oléron Bay, France, during a complete spring/neap tide modulation. In the summer of 2008, resuspension rates of chl-a exported only reached 2.5% of the standing stock of benthic diatoms on each day. Sedimentary factors failed to explain any variation regarding bed and microphytobenthos erodibility. During the early fluff layer erosion phase, there were negative effects of grazing activities exerted by motile infauna (Peringia ulvae) on erosion fluxes of chl-a, while there was a related positive correlation with pheopigment proportion. The erosion process plays an important role in this vegetal-herbivore interaction by reinforcing the decline of the microphytobenthic biomass and provoking a catastrophic shift to mass erosion after a sequence of several days of co-occurring intense grazing by snails and chl-a decline. During mass erosion, the biofilm decline explained the variations of sediment erodibility, with a marked negative correlation between bound extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) proteins and critical threshold for bed erosion, in contrast with the commonly observed positive influence of EPS secretion on bed resistance. The complex nature of the effects of EPS by microphytobenthos must be further investigated to unravel their complex role in bioengineering sediments. The increase of protein proportion in EPS could provide specific properties related to hydrophilic features. Nevertheless, the level of grazing pressure by P. ulvae should be so intense that the top-down control must explain this original finding, since there was a positive correlation of proteins in EPS and snail density that could be related to mucus secretion (as a

  13. Antioxidants and α-glucosidase inhibitors from Ipomoea batatas leaves identified by bioassay-guided approach and structure-activity relationships.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lu; Tu, Zong-Cai; Yuan, Tao; Wang, Hui; Xie, Xing; Fu, Zhi-Feng

    2016-10-01

    Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) leaf (SPL) is an underused commercial vegetable with considerable bio-activities. By means of DPPH scavenging ability and α-glucosidase inhibitory oriented isolation, 9 and 7 compounds were isolated and identified, respectively. Among them, trans-N-(p-coumaroyl)tyramine (1), trans-N-feruloyltyramine (2), cis-N-feruloyltyramine (3), 4,5-feruloylcourmaoylquinic acid (8), caffeic acid ethyl ester (10), 7-hydroxy-5-methoxycoumarin (11), 7,3'-dimethylquercetin (13) and indole-3-carboxaldehyde (15), were firstly identified from SPL, and four of them (1, 2, 3 and 10) were firstly identified from genus Ipomoea. Phenethyl cinnamides and 3,4,5-triCQA exhibited the strongest α-glucosidase inhibition, while 3,4,5-triCQA and diCQAs were the dominant antioxidants. Structure-activity relationship revealed that higher caffeoylation of quinic acid and lower methoxylation of flavonols resulted in stronger antioxidant activity, and methylation and cis-configuration structure of phenethyl cinnamides weaken the α-glucosidase inhibition. Aforementioned results could help to explain the antioxidant activity and anti-diabetic activity of SPL, and provide theoretical basis for its further application. PMID:27132824

  14. Development and application of a sensitive, phenotypic, high-throughput image-based assay to identify compound activity against Trypanosoma cruzi amastigotes

    PubMed Central

    Sykes, Melissa L.; Avery, Vicky M.

    2015-01-01

    We have developed a high content 384-well, image-based assay to estimate the effect of compound treatment on Trypanosoma cruzi amastigotes in 3T3 fibroblasts. In the same well, the effect of compound activity on host cells can also be determined, as an initial indicator of cytotoxicity. This assay has been used to identify active compounds from an in-house library of compounds with either known biological activity or that are FDA approved, and separately, from the Medicines for Malaria Venture Malaria Box collection. Active compounds were screened against T. cruzi trypomastigotes, utilising an assay developed with the viability dye resazurin. Twelve compounds with reconfirmed solid sample activity, with IC50 values of less than 10 μM and selectivity indices to T. cruzi amastigotes over 3T3 host cells of between >22 and 319 times were identified from these libraries. As 3T3 cells are contact inhibited, with limited proliferation in the assay, selective compounds of interest were profiled in a separate assay to estimate the viability of compound treated, replicating HEK293 cells. Selective compounds that were not previously reported in the literature were further profiled by extending the incubation time against amastigote infected 3T3 cells to determine if there were residual amastigotes post-treatment, important for the consideration of the exposure time required for further biological characterisation. The assay development process and the suitability of identified compounds as hit molecules for Chagas disease research are discussed. PMID:27120069

  15. Comparative epigenomics in distantly related teleost species identifies conserved cis-regulatory nodes active during the vertebrate phylotypic period.

    PubMed

    Tena, Juan J; González-Aguilera, Cristina; Fernández-Miñán, Ana; Vázquez-Marín, Javier; Parra-Acero, Helena; Cross, Joe W; Rigby, Peter W J; Carvajal, Jaime J; Wittbrodt, Joachim; Gómez-Skarmeta, José L; Martínez-Morales, Juan R

    2014-07-01

    The complex relationship between ontogeny and phylogeny has been the subject of attention and controversy since von Baer's formulations in the 19th century. The classic concept that embryogenesis progresses from clade general features to species-specific characters has often been revisited. It has become accepted that embryos from a clade show maximum morphological similarity at the so-called phylotypic period (i.e., during mid-embryogenesis). According to the hourglass model, body plan conservation would depend on constrained molecular mechanisms operating at this period. More recently, comparative transcriptomic analyses have provided conclusive evidence that such molecular constraints exist. Examining cis-regulatory architecture during the phylotypic period is essential to understand the evolutionary source of body plan stability. Here we compare transcriptomes and key epigenetic marks (H3K4me3 and H3K27ac) from medaka (Oryzias latipes) and zebrafish (Danio rerio), two distantly related teleosts separated by an evolutionary distance of 115-200 Myr. We show that comparison of transcriptome profiles correlates with anatomical similarities and heterochronies observed at the phylotypic stage. Through comparative epigenomics, we uncover a pool of conserved regulatory regions (≈700), which are active during the vertebrate phylotypic period in both species. Moreover, we show that their neighboring genes encode mainly transcription factors with fundamental roles in tissue specification. We postulate that these regulatory regions, active in both teleost genomes, represent key constrained nodes of the gene networks that sustain the vertebrate body plan.

  16. Phased control of expansin activity during leaf development identifies a sensitivity window for expansin-mediated induction of leaf growth.

    PubMed

    Sloan, Jennifer; Backhaus, Andreas; Malinowski, Robert; McQueen-Mason, Simon; Fleming, Andrew J

    2009-12-01

    Expansins are cell wall proteins associated with the process of plant growth. However, investigations in which expansin gene expression has been manipulated throughout the plant have often led to inconclusive results. In this article, we report on a series of experiments in which overexpression of expansin was targeted to specific phases of leaf growth using an inducible promoter system. The data indicate that there is a restricted window of sensitivity when increased expansin gene expression leads to increased endogenous expansin activity and an increase in leaf growth. This phase of maximum expansin efficacy corresponds to the mid phase of leaf growth. We propose that the effectiveness of expansin action depends on the presence of other modulating factors in the leaf and we suggest that it is the control of expression of these factors (in conjunction with expansin gene expression) that defines the extent of leaf growth. These data help to explain some of the previously observed variation in growth response following manipulation of expansin gene expression and highlight a potential linkage of the expression of modifiers of expansin activity with the process of exit from cell division.

  17. Genomic analysis of diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas identifies three molecular subgroups and recurrent activating ACVR1 mutations.

    PubMed

    Buczkowicz, Pawel; Hoeman, Christine; Rakopoulos, Patricia; Pajovic, Sanja; Letourneau, Louis; Dzamba, Misko; Morrison, Andrew; Lewis, Peter; Bouffet, Eric; Bartels, Ute; Zuccaro, Jennifer; Agnihotri, Sameer; Ryall, Scott; Barszczyk, Mark; Chornenkyy, Yevgen; Bourgey, Mathieu; Bourque, Guillaume; Montpetit, Alexandre; Cordero, Francisco; Castelo-Branco, Pedro; Mangerel, Joshua; Tabori, Uri; Ho, King Ching; Huang, Annie; Taylor, Kathryn R; Mackay, Alan; Bendel, Anne E; Nazarian, Javad; Fangusaro, Jason R; Karajannis, Matthias A; Zagzag, David; Foreman, Nicholas K; Donson, Andrew; Hegert, Julia V; Smith, Amy; Chan, Jennifer; Lafay-Cousin, Lucy; Dunn, Sandra; Hukin, Juliette; Dunham, Chris; Scheinemann, Katrin; Michaud, Jean; Zelcer, Shayna; Ramsay, David; Cain, Jason; Brennan, Cameron; Souweidane, Mark M; Jones, Chris; Allis, C David; Brudno, Michael; Becher, Oren; Hawkins, Cynthia

    2014-05-01

    Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is a fatal brain cancer that arises in the brainstem of children, with no effective treatment and near 100% fatality. The failure of most therapies can be attributed to the delicate location of these tumors and to the selection of therapies on the basis of assumptions that DIPGs are molecularly similar to adult disease. Recent studies have unraveled the unique genetic makeup of this brain cancer, with nearly 80% found to harbor a p.Lys27Met histone H3.3 or p.Lys27Met histone H3.1 alteration. However, DIPGs are still thought of as one disease, with limited understanding of the genetic drivers of these tumors. To understand what drives DIPGs, we integrated whole-genome sequencing with methylation, expression and copy number profiling, discovering that DIPGs comprise three molecularly distinct subgroups (H3-K27M, silent and MYCN) and uncovering a new recurrent activating mutation affecting the activin receptor gene ACVR1 in 20% of DIPGs. Mutations in ACVR1 were constitutively activating, leading to SMAD phosphorylation and increased expression of the downstream activin signaling targets ID1 and ID2. Our results highlight distinct molecular subgroups and novel therapeutic targets for this incurable pediatric cancer. PMID:24705254

  18. Comparative epigenomics in distantly related teleost species identifies conserved cis-regulatory nodes active during the vertebrate phylotypic period

    PubMed Central

    Tena, Juan J.; González-Aguilera, Cristina; Fernández-Miñán, Ana; Vázquez-Marín, Javier; Parra-Acero, Helena; Cross, Joe W.; Rigby, Peter W.J.; Carvajal, Jaime J.; Wittbrodt, Joachim; Gómez-Skarmeta, José L.; Martínez-Morales, Juan R.

    2014-01-01

    The complex relationship between ontogeny and phylogeny has been the subject of attention and controversy since von Baer’s formulations in the 19th century. The classic concept that embryogenesis progresses from clade general features to species-specific characters has often been revisited. It has become accepted that embryos from a clade show maximum morphological similarity at the so-called phylotypic period (i.e., during mid-embryogenesis). According to the hourglass model, body plan conservation would depend on constrained molecular mechanisms operating at this period. More recently, comparative transcriptomic analyses have provided conclusive evidence that such molecular constraints exist. Examining cis-regulatory architecture during the phylotypic period is essential to understand the evolutionary source of body plan stability. Here we compare transcriptomes and key epigenetic marks (H3K4me3 and H3K27ac) from medaka (Oryzias latipes) and zebrafish (Danio rerio), two distantly related teleosts separated by an evolutionary distance of 115–200 Myr. We show that comparison of transcriptome profiles correlates with anatomical similarities and heterochronies observed at the phylotypic stage. Through comparative epigenomics, we uncover a pool of conserved regulatory regions (≈700), which are active during the vertebrate phylotypic period in both species. Moreover, we show that their neighboring genes encode mainly transcription factors with fundamental roles in tissue specification. We postulate that these regulatory regions, active in both teleost genomes, represent key constrained nodes of the gene networks that sustain the vertebrate body plan. PMID:24709821

  19. Persistent Associative Plasticity at an Identified Synapse Underlying Classical Conditioning Becomes Labile with Short-Term Homosynaptic Activation

    PubMed Central

    Schacher, Samuel

    2015-01-01

    Synapses express different forms of plasticity that contribute to different forms of memory, and both memory and plasticity can become labile after reactivation. We previously reported that a persistent form of nonassociative long-term facilitation (PNA-LTF) of the sensorimotor synapses in Aplysia californica, a cellular analog of long-term sensitization, became labile with short-term heterosynaptic reactivation and reversed when the reactivation was followed by incubation with the protein synthesis inhibitor rapamycin. Here we examined the reciprocal impact of different forms of short-term plasticity (reactivations) on a persistent form of associative long-term facilitation (PA-LTF), a cellular analog of classical conditioning, which was expressed at Aplysia sensorimotor synapses when a tetanic stimulation of the sensory neurons was paired with a brief application of serotonin on 2 consecutive days. The expression of short-term homosynaptic plasticity [post-tetanic potentiation or homosynaptic depression (HSD)], or short-term heterosynaptic plasticity [serotonin-induced facilitation or neuropeptide Phe-Met-Arg-Phe-NH2 (FMRFa)-induced depression], at synapses expressing PA-LTF did not affect the maintenance of PA-LTF. The kinetics of HSD was attenuated at synapses expressing PA-LTF, which required activation of protein kinase C (PKC). Both PA-LTF and the attenuated kinetics of HSD were reversed by either a transient blockade of PKC activity or a homosynaptic, but not heterosynaptic, reactivation when paired with rapamycin. These results indicate that two different forms of persistent synaptic plasticity, PA-LTF and PNA-LTF, expressed at the same synapse become labile when reactivated by different stimuli. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Activity-dependent changes in neural circuits mediate long-term memories. Some forms of long-term memories become labile and can be reversed with specific types of reactivations, but the mechanism is complex. At the cellular level

  20. In Vitro Activities of Tigecycline and Eight Other Antimicrobials against Different Nocardia Species Identified by Molecular Methods▿

    PubMed Central

    Cercenado, Emilia; Marín, Mercedes; Sánchez-Martínez, Mónica; Cuevas, Oscar; Martínez-Alarcón, José; Bouza, Emilio

    2007-01-01

    The in vitro activities of tigecycline and other antimicrobials against 51 isolates of Nocardia spp. were evaluated. MIC90s and MIC ranges were as follows: tigecycline, 4 and ≤0.06 to 8 mg/liter, respectively; minocycline, 2 and ≤0.06 to 2 mg/liter, respectively; linezolid, 1 and ≤0.06 to 2 mg/liter, respectively; moxifloxacin, 2 and ≤0.06 to >64 mg/liter, respectively; ertapenem, 32 and ≤0.06->64 mg/liter, respectively; imipenem, 2 and ≤0.06 to >64 mg/liter, respectively; meropenem, 8 and ≤0.06 to >64 mg/liter, respectively; amikacin, 1 and ≤0.06 to 32 mg/liter, respectively; and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, 1/19 and ≤0.5/9.5 to >2/38 mg/liter, respectively. PMID:17194827

  1. Biological activities of some Acacia spp. (Fabaceae) against new clinical isolates identified by ribosomal RNA gene-based phylogenetic analysis.

    PubMed

    Mahmoud, Mahmoud Fawzy; Alrumman, Sulaiman Abdullah; Hesham, Abd El-Latif

    2016-01-01

    Nowadays,most of the pathogenic bacteria become resistant to antibiotics. Therefore,the pharmaceutical properties of the natural plant extracts have become of interest to researchers as alternative antimicrobial agents. In this study,antibacterial activities of extract gained from Acacia etbaica, Acacia laeta, Acacia origena and Acacia pycnantha have been evaluated against isolated pathogenic bacteria (Strains MFM-01, MFM-10 and AH-09) using agar well diffusion methods.The bacterial strains were isolated from infected individuals,and their exact identification was detected on the basis of 16S rRNA gene amplification and sequence determination. Alignment results and the comparison of 16 SrRN A gene sequences of the isolates to 16 SrRN A gene sequences available in Gen Bank data base as well as the phylogenetic analysis confirmed the accurate position of the isolates as Klebsiella oxytoca strain MFM-01, Staphylococcus aureus strain MFM-10 and Klebsiella pneumoniae strain AH-09. Except for cold water, all tested solvents (Chloroform, petroleum ether, methanol, diethyl ether, and acetone) showed variation in their activity against studied bacteria. GC-MS analysis of ethanol extracts showed that four investigated Acacia species have different phyto components. Eight important pharmaceutical components were found in the legume of Acacia etbaica, seven in the legume of Acacia laeta, fifteen in the legume of Acacia origena and nine in the leaves of Acacia pycnantha. A dendrogram was constructed based on chemical composition, revealed that Acacia laeta is more closely related to Acacia etbaica forming on eclade, whereas Acacia origena less similar to other species. Our results demonstrated that, investigated plants and chemical compounds present could be used as promising antibacterial agents.

  2. Structure dissection of human progranulin identifies well-folded granulin/epithelin modules with unique functional activities

    PubMed Central

    Tolkatchev, Dmitri; Malik, Suneil; Vinogradova, Anna; Wang, Ping; Chen, Zhigang; Xu, Ping; Bennett, Hugh P.J.; Bateman, Andrew; Ni, Feng

    2008-01-01

    Progranulin is a secreted protein with important functions in several physiological and pathological processes, such as embryonic development, host defense, and wound repair. Autosomal dominant mutations in the progranulin gene cause frontotemporal dementia, while overexpression of progranulin promotes the invasive progression of a range of tumors, including those of the breast and the brain. Structurally, progranulin consists of seven-and-a-half tandem repeats of the granulin/epithelin module (GEM), several of which have been isolated as discrete 6-kDa GEM peptides. We have expressed all seven human GEMs using recombinant DNA in Escherichia coli. High-resolution NMR showed that only the three GEMs, hGrnA, hGrnC, and hGrnF, contain relatively well-defined three-dimensional structures in solution, while others are mainly mixtures of poorly structured disulfide isomers. The three-dimensional structures of hGrnA, hGrnC, and hGrnF contain a stable stack of two β-hairpins in their N-terminal subdomains, but showed a more flexible C-terminal subdomain. Interestingly, of the well-structured GEMs, hGrnA demonstrated potent growth inhibition of a breast cancer cell line, while hGrnF was stimulatory. Poorly folded peptides were either weakly inhibitory or without activity. The functionally active and structurally well-characterized human hGrnA offers a unique opportunity for detailed structure–function studies of these important GEM proteins as novel members of mammalian growth factors. PMID:18359860

  3. Biological activities of some Acacia spp. (Fabaceae) against new clinical isolates identified by ribosomal RNA gene-based phylogenetic analysis.

    PubMed

    Mahmoud, Mahmoud Fawzy; Alrumman, Sulaiman Abdullah; Hesham, Abd El-Latif

    2016-01-01

    Nowadays,most of the pathogenic bacteria become resistant to antibiotics. Therefore,the pharmaceutical properties of the natural plant extracts have become of interest to researchers as alternative antimicrobial agents. In this study,antibacterial activities of extract gained from Acacia etbaica, Acacia laeta, Acacia origena and Acacia pycnantha have been evaluated against isolated pathogenic bacteria (Strains MFM-01, MFM-10 and AH-09) using agar well diffusion methods.The bacterial strains were isolated from infected individuals,and their exact identification was detected on the basis of 16S rRNA gene amplification and sequence determination. Alignment results and the comparison of 16 SrRN A gene sequences of the isolates to 16 SrRN A gene sequences available in Gen Bank data base as well as the phylogenetic analysis confirmed the accurate position of the isolates as Klebsiella oxytoca strain MFM-01, Staphylococcus aureus strain MFM-10 and Klebsiella pneumoniae strain AH-09. Except for cold water, all tested solvents (Chloroform, petroleum ether, methanol, diethyl ether, and acetone) showed variation in their activity against studied bacteria. GC-MS analysis of ethanol extracts showed that four investigated Acacia species have different phyto components. Eight important pharmaceutical components were found in the legume of Acacia etbaica, seven in the legume of Acacia laeta, fifteen in the legume of Acacia origena and nine in the leaves of Acacia pycnantha. A dendrogram was constructed based on chemical composition, revealed that Acacia laeta is more closely related to Acacia etbaica forming on eclade, whereas Acacia origena less similar to other species. Our results demonstrated that, investigated plants and chemical compounds present could be used as promising antibacterial agents. PMID:26826814

  4. Laboratory and field experiments used to identify Canis lupus var. familiaris active odor signature chemicals from drugs, explosives, and humans.

    PubMed

    Lorenzo, Norma; Wan, TianLang; Harper, Ross J; Hsu, Ya-Li; Chow, Michael; Rose, Stefan; Furton, Kenneth G

    2003-08-01

    This paper describes the use of headspace solid-phase microextraction (SPME) combined with gas chromatography to identify the signature odors that law enforcement-certified detector dogs alert to when searching for drugs, explosives, and humans. Background information is provided on the many types of detector dog available and specific samples highlighted in this paper are the drugs cocaine and 3,4-methylenedioxy- N-methylamphetamine (MDMA or Ecstasy), the explosives TNT and C4, and human remains. Studies include the analysis and identification of the headspace "fingerprint" of a variety of samples, followed by completion of double-blind dog trials of the individual components in an attempt to isolate and understand the target compounds that dogs alert to. SPME-GC/MS has been demonstrated to have a unique capability for the extraction of volatiles from the headspace of forensic specimens including drugs and explosives and shows great potential to aid in the investigation and understanding of the complicated process of canine odor detection. Major variables evaluated for the headspace SPME included fiber chemistry and a variety of sampling times ranging from several hours to several seconds and the resultant effect on ratios of isolated volatile components. For the drug odor studies, the CW/DVB and PDMS SPME fibers proved to be the optimal fiber types. For explosives, the results demonstrated that the best fibers in field and laboratory applications were PDMS and CW/DVB, respectively. Gas chromatography with electron capture detector (GC/ECD) and mass spectrometry (GC/MS) was better for analysis of nitromethane and TNT odors, and C-4 odors, respectively. Field studies with detector dogs have demonstrated possible candidates for new pseudo scents as well as the potential use of controlled permeation devices as non-hazardous training aids providing consistent permeation of target odors.

  5. Improvement of RNA-SIP by pyrosequencing to identify putative 4-n-nonylphenol degraders in activated sludge.

    PubMed

    Zemb, O; Lee, M; Gutierrez-Zamora, M L; Hamelin, J; Coupland, K; Hazrin-Chong, N H; Taleb, I; Manefield, M

    2012-03-01

    Nonylphenols (NP) have estrogenic potential because of their phenolic ring, but the organisms involved in the degradation of this alkylated phenol remain unidentified. Using 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA)-based stable isotope probing (SIP) and a new method based on pyrosequencing, we identified the bacteria involved in the degradation of the aromatic ring of [U-ring-(13)C] 4-n-NP in aerobic sludge. The first order degradation rate of 4-n-NP was 5.5d(-1). Single strand conformation polymorphism of density-separated labeled and unlabeled 16S rRNA showed significant differences and enabled selection of four representative fractions for pyrosequencing. Nineteen phylotypes showed a significant enrichment in the heavy fraction in the labeled pulse. The relative abundances of these phylotypes were combined with the RNA concentration of each fraction to yield a simple model of the distribution of each phylotype across the gradient. This model was used to estimate the percentage of labeling for each phylotype. The sequences showing the highest labeling (11%) were closely related to Afipia sp. but represented only 2 % of the RNA in the heavy fraction of the labeled pulse. The sequences representing the largest proportion of the RNA in the heavy fraction were related to Propionibacterium acnes and Frateuria aurantia, which are known to possess enzymes for phenol degradation. The model shows that despite Afipia having the highest (13)C enrichment, other species encoding phenol degradation pathways are responsible for more (13)C incorporation. Last, we showed that some species represent 12% of the total RNA but contain only 1% (13)C above natural abundance.

  6. A novel ranacyclin-like peptide with anti-platelet activity identified from skin secretions of the frog Amolops loloensis.

    PubMed

    Hao, Xue; Tang, Xiaopeng; Luo, Lei; Wang, Yuming; Lai, Ren; Lu, Qiumin

    2016-01-15

    Albeit many bioactive peptides have been reported from amphibian skins, no anti-platelet peptide has been identified till to date. Here, an anti-platelet peptide, namely Zongdian platelet inhibitor (ZDPI), with the molecular weight of 1798.6 Da, was purified and characterized from skin secretions of the frog, Amolops loloensis. The amino acid sequence of ZDPI was determined as FRGCWLKNYSPRGCL-NH2 by combination methods of Edman degradation, mass spectrometry analysis and carboxypeptidase Y treatment revealing that it is composed of 15 amino acid residues with two cysteines formed an intra-molecular disulfide bridge and C-terminal amidation. cDNA encoding ZDPI precursor was cloned from skin cDNA library of A. loloensis. The precursor is composed of 63 amino acid (aa) residues including the predicted signal peptide (22 aa), an acidic spacer peptide (19 aa), and mature ZDPI. BLAST search indicates that ZDPI belongs to antimicrobial peptide family of ranacyclin, peptide leucine arginine or odorranain. It was found to inhibit ADP-induced platelet aggregation in a dose-dependent manner. At the concentration of 32 μg/ml, ZDPI completely inhibited platelet aggregation induced by ADP. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report about an anti-platelet peptide from amphibian skin secretions. Considering its strong inhibitory ability on platelets and simple structure, ZDPI might be an excellent candidate or template to develop anti-thrombosis agent. In addition, the discovery of anti-platelet peptide in the frog skin increases biological function spectrum of amphibian skin peptides.

  7. A Drug Combination Screen Identifies Drugs Active against Amoxicillin-Induced Round Bodies of In Vitro Borrelia burgdorferi Persisters from an FDA Drug Library

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Jie; Shi, Wanliang; Zhang, Shuo; Sullivan, David; Auwaerter, Paul G.; Zhang, Ying

    2016-01-01

    Although currently recommended antibiotics for Lyme disease such as doxycycline or amoxicillin cure the majority of the patients, about 10–20% of patients treated for Lyme disease may experience lingering symptoms including fatigue, pain, or joint and muscle aches. Under experimental stress conditions such as starvation or antibiotic exposure, Borrelia burgdorferi can develop round body forms, which are a type of persister bacteria that appear resistant in vitro to customary first-line antibiotics for Lyme disease. To identify more effective drugs with activity against the round body form of B. burgdorferi, we established a round body persister model induced by exposure to amoxicillin (50 μg/ml) and then screened the Food and Drug Administration drug library consisting of 1581 drug compounds and also 22 drug combinations using the SYBR Green I/propidium iodide viability assay. We identified 23 drug candidates that have higher activity against the round bodies of B. burgdorferi than either amoxicillin or doxycycline. Eleven individual drugs scored better than metronidazole and tinidazole which have been previously described to be active against round bodies. In this amoxicillin-induced round body model, some drug candidates such as daptomycin and clofazimine also displayed enhanced activity which was similar to a previous screen against stationary phase B. burgdorferi persisters not exposure to amoxicillin. Additional candidate drugs active against round bodies identified include artemisinin, ciprofloxacin, nifuroxime, fosfomycin, chlortetracycline, sulfacetamide, sulfamethoxypyridazine and sulfathiozole. Two triple drug combinations had the highest activity against amoxicillin-induced round bodies and stationary phase B. burgdorferi persisters: artemisinin/cefoperazone/doxycycline and sulfachlorpyridazine/daptomycin/doxycycline. These findings confirm and extend previous findings that certain drug combinations have superior activity against B. burgdorferi

  8. Antiviral Activity and Possible Mechanism of Action of Constituents Identified in Paeonia lactiflora Root toward Human Rhinoviruses

    PubMed Central

    Ngan, Luong Thi My; Jang, Myeong Jin; Kwon, Min Jung; Ahn, Young Joon

    2015-01-01

    Human rhinoviruses (HRVs) are responsible for more than half of all cases of the common cold and cost billions of USD annually in medical visits and missed school and work. An assessment was made of the antiviral activities and mechanisms of action of paeonol (PA) and 1,2,3,4,6-penta-O-galloyl-β-D-glucopyranose (PGG) from Paeonia lactiflora root toward HRV-2 and HRV-4 in MRC5 cells using a tetrazolium method and real-time quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results were compared with those of a reference control ribavirin. Based on 50% inhibitory concentration values, PGG was 13.4 and 18.0 times more active toward HRV-2 (17.89 μM) and HRV-4 (17.33 μM) in MRC5 cells, respectively, than ribavirin. The constituents had relatively high selective index values (3.3–>8.5). The 100 μg/mL PA and 20 μg/mL PGG did not interact with the HRV-4 particles. These constituents inhibited HRV-4 infection only when they were added during the virus inoculation (0 h), the adsorption period of HRVs, but not after 1 h or later. Moreover, the RNA replication levels of HRVs were remarkably reduced in the MRC5 cultures treated with these constituents. These findings suggest that PGG and PA may block or reduce the entry of the viruses into the cells to protect the cells from the virus destruction and abate virus replication, which may play an important role in interfering with expressions of rhinovirus receptors (intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and low-density lipoprotein receptor), inflammatory cytokines (interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, tumor necrosis factor, interferon beta, and IL-1β), and Toll-like receptor, which resulted in diminishing symptoms induced by HRV. Global efforts to reduce the level of synthetic drugs justify further studies on P. lactiflora root-derived materials as potential anti-HRV products or lead molecules for the prevention or treatment of HRV. PMID:25860871

  9. Antiviral activity and possible mechanism of action of constituents identified in Paeonia lactiflora root toward human rhinoviruses.

    PubMed

    Ngan, Luong Thi My; Jang, Myeong Jin; Kwon, Min Jung; Ahn, Young Joon

    2015-01-01

    Human rhinoviruses (HRVs) are responsible for more than half of all cases of the common cold and cost billions of USD annually in medical visits and missed school and work. An assessment was made of the antiviral activities and mechanisms of action of paeonol (PA) and 1,2,3,4,6-penta-O-galloyl-β-D-glucopyranose (PGG) from Paeonia lactiflora root toward HRV-2 and HRV-4 in MRC5 cells using a tetrazolium method and real-time quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results were compared with those of a reference control ribavirin. Based on 50% inhibitory concentration values, PGG was 13.4 and 18.0 times more active toward HRV-2 (17.89 μM) and HRV-4 (17.33 μM) in MRC5 cells, respectively, than ribavirin. The constituents had relatively high selective index values (3.3->8.5). The 100 μg/mL PA and 20 μg/mL PGG did not interact with the HRV-4 particles. These constituents inhibited HRV-4 infection only when they were added during the virus inoculation (0 h), the adsorption period of HRVs, but not after 1 h or later. Moreover, the RNA replication levels of HRVs were remarkably reduced in the MRC5 cultures treated with these constituents. These findings suggest that PGG and PA may block or reduce the entry of the viruses into the cells to protect the cells from the virus destruction and abate virus replication, which may play an important role in interfering with expressions of rhinovirus receptors (intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and low-density lipoprotein receptor), inflammatory cytokines (interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, tumor necrosis factor, interferon beta, and IL-1β), and Toll-like receptor, which resulted in diminishing symptoms induced by HRV. Global efforts to reduce the level of synthetic drugs justify further studies on P. lactiflora root-derived materials as potential anti-HRV products or lead molecules for the prevention or treatment of HRV. PMID:25860871

  10. An HSV-based library screen identifies PP1α as a negative TRPV1 regulator with analgesic activity in models of pain

    PubMed Central

    Reinhart, Bonnie; Goins, William F; Harel, Asaff; Chaudhry, Suchita; Goss, James R; Yoshimura, Naoki; de Groat, William C; Cohen, Justus B; Glorioso, Joseph C

    2016-01-01

    Transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) is a pronociceptive cation channel involved in persistent inflammatory and neuropathic pain. Herpes simplex virus (HSV) vector expression of TRPV1 causes cell death in the presence of capsaicin, thereby completely blocking virus replication. Here we describe a selection system for negative regulators of TRPV1 based on rescue of virus replication. HSV-based coexpression of TRPV1 and a PC12 cell-derived cDNA library identified protein phosphatase 1α (PP1α) as a negative regulator of TRPV1, mimicking the activity of “poreless” (PL), a dominant-negative mutant of TRPV1. Vectors expressing PP1α or PL reduced thermal sensitivity following virus injection into rat footpads, but failed to reduce the nocifensive responses to menthol/icilin-activated cold pain or formalin, demonstrating that the activity identified in vitro is functional in vivo with a degree of specificity. This system should prove powerful for identifying other cellular factors that can inhibit ion channel activity. PMID:27382601

  11. A high-content biosensor-based screen identifies cell-permeable activators and inhibitors of EGFR function: implications in drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Antczak, Christophe; Mahida, Jeni P; Bhinder, Bhavneet; Calder, Paul A; Djaballah, Hakim

    2012-08-01

    Early success of kinase inhibitors has validated their use as drugs. However, discovery efforts have also suffered from high attrition rates due to lack of cellular activity. We reasoned that screening for such candidates in live cells would identify novel cell-permeable modulators for development. For this purpose, we have used our recently optimized epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) biosensor assay to screen for modulators of EGFR activity. Here, we report on its validation under high-throughput screening (HTS) conditions displaying a signal-to-noise ratio of 21 and a Z' value of 0.56-attributes of a robust cell-based assay. We performed a pilot screen against a library of 6912 compounds demonstrating good reproducibility and identifying 82 inhibitors and 66 activators with initial hit rates of 1.2% and 0.95%, respectively. Follow-up dose-response studies revealed that 12 of the 13 known EGFR inhibitors in the library were confirmed as hits. ZM-306416, a vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) antagonist, was identified as a potent inhibitor of EGFR function. Flurandrenolide, beclomethasone, and ebastine were confirmed as activators of EGFR function. Taken together, our results validate this novel approach and demonstrate its utility in the discovery of novel kinase modulators with potential use in the clinic.

  12. Identifying the redox activity of cation-disordered Li-Fe-V-Ti oxide cathodes for Li-ion batteries.

    PubMed

    Chen, Ruiyong; Witte, Ralf; Heinzmann, Ralf; Ren, Shuhua; Mangold, Stefan; Hahn, Horst; Hempelmann, Rolf; Ehrenberg, Helmut; Indris, Sylvio

    2016-03-21

    Cation-disordered oxides have recently shown promising properties on the way to explore high-performance intercalation cathode materials for rechargeable Li-ion batteries. Here, stoichiometric cation-disordered Li2FeVyTi1-yO4 (y = 0, 0.2, 0.5) nanoparticles are studied. The substitution of V for Ti in Li2FeVyTi1-yO4 increases the content of active transition metals (Fe and V) and accordingly the amount of Li(+) (about (1 + y)Li(+) capacity per formula unit) that can be reversibly intercalated. It is found that Fe(3+)/Fe(2+) and V(4+)/V(3+) redox couples contribute to the overall capacity performance, whereas Ti(4+) remains mainly inert. There is no evidence for the presence of Fe(4+) species after charging to 4.8 V, as confirmed from the ex situ(57)Fe Mössbauer spectroscopy and the Fe K-edge absorption spectra. The redox couple reactions for iron and vanadium are examined by performing in situ synchrotron X-ray absorption spectroscopy. During charging/discharging, the spectral evolution of the K-edges for Fe and V confirms the reversible Fe(3+)/Fe(2+) and V(4+)/V(3+) redox reactions during cycling between 1.5 and 4.8 V.

  13. Peptidomic analysis of skin secretions from the bullfrog Lithobates catesbeianus (Ranidae) identifies multiple peptides with potent insulin-releasing activity.

    PubMed

    Mechkarska, Milena; Ojo, Opeolu O; Meetani, Mohammed A; Coquet, Laurent; Jouenne, Thierry; Abdel-Wahab, Yasser H A; Flatt, Peter R; King, Jay D; Conlon, J Michael

    2011-02-01

    Using a combination of reversed-phase HPLC and electrospray mass spectrometry, peptidomic analysis of norepinephrine-stimulated skin secretions of the American bullfrog Lithobates catesbeianus Shaw, 1802 led to the identification and characterization of five newly described peptides (ranatuerin-1CBb, ranatuerin-2CBc, and -CBd, palustrin-2CBa, and temporin-CBf) together with seven peptides previously isolated on the basis of their antimicrobial activity (ranatuerin-1CBa, ranatuerin-2CBa, brevinin-1CBa, and -1CBb, temporin-CBa, -CBb, and -CBd). The abilities of the most abundant of the purified peptides to stimulate the release of insulin from the rat BRIN-BD11 clonal β cell line were evaluated. Ranatuerin-2CBd (GFLDIIKNLGKTFAGHMLDKIRCTIGTCPPSP) was the most potent peptide producing a significant stimulation of insulin release (119% of basal rate, P<0.01) from BRIN-BD11 cells at a concentration of 30nM, with a maximum response (236% of basal rate, P<0.001) at a concentration of 3μM. Ranatuerin-2CBd did not stimulate release of the cytosolic enzyme, lactate dehydrogenase at concentrations up to 3μM, indicating that the integrity of the plasma membrane had been preserved. Brevinin-1CBb (FLPFIARLAAKVFPSIICSVTKKC) produced the maximum stimulation of insulin release (285% of basal rate, P<0.001 at 3μM) but the peptide was cytotoxic at this concentration. PMID:21087647

  14. Use of Ground Penetrating Radar and Gradiometry in Identifying Domestic Activity Areas Within the Kolomoki Mounds Archaeological Site, Georgia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serman, N.

    2005-05-01

    The Kolomoki Mounds archaeological site (9ER1) in southwest Georgia appears to be one of the most important Woodland Period (ca. 1000 B.C. - A.D. 900) centers in southeastern United States. The site originally had at least eight mounds, exquisite ceramics and, seemingly, a year-round occupation. Due to an early archaeological misinterpretation, Kolomoki was, until recently, all but ignored in archaeological research. Consequently, the site and its occupation are not well understood. Today, the site is included in the National Register of Historic Places, and is not available for standard archaeological investigation, that is, extensive excavation. Therefore, non-destructive geophysical exploration provides an ideal means for investigating protected sites, such as Kolomoki, to obtain archaeologically relevant information. I will present the results of the first two geophysical surveys I conducted within the Kolomoki Mounds archaeological site in 2001. These surveys are part of my ongoing geophysical research with the purpose of better understanding intra-site settlement patterns at the Kolomoki Mounds archaeological site. The results of the ground-penetrating radar and gradiometry surveys indicate different activity areas at the site. There is a pronounced difference in appearance and density of anomalies between at least two areas, with one of these areas being a part of the habitation area.

  15. Identifying Model Inaccuracies and Solution Uncertainties in Non-Invasive Activation-Based Imaging of Cardiac Excitation using Convex Relaxation

    PubMed Central

    Erem, Burak; van Dam, Peter M.; Brooks, Dana H.

    2014-01-01

    Noninvasive imaging of cardiac electrical function has begun to move towards clinical adoption. Here we consider one common formulation of the problem, in which the goal is to estimate the spatial distribution of electrical activation times during a cardiac cycle. We address the challenge of understanding the robustness and uncertainty of solutions to this formulation. This formulation poses a non-convex, non-linear least squares optimization problem. We show that it can be relaxed to be convex, at the cost of some degree of physiological realism of the solution set, and that this relaxation can be used as a framework to study model inaccuracy and solution uncertainty. We present two examples, one using data from a healthy human subject and the other synthesized with the ECGSIM software package. In the first case, we consider uncertainty in the initial guess and regularization parameter. In the second case, we mimic the presence of an ischemic zone in the heart in a way which violates a model assumption. We show that the convex relaxation allows understanding of spatial distribution of parameter sensitivity in the first case, and identification of model violation in the second. PMID:24710159

  16. Identifying the Atomic-Level Effects of Metal Composition on the Structure and Catalytic Activity of Peptide-Templated Materials.

    PubMed

    Merrill, Nicholas A; McKee, Erik M; Merino, Kyle C; Drummy, Lawrence F; Lee, Sungsik; Reinhart, Benjamin; Ren, Yang; Frenkel, Anatoly I; Naik, Rajesh R; Bedford, Nicholas M; Knecht, Marc R

    2015-12-22

    Bioinspired approaches for the formation of metallic nanomaterials have been extensively employed for a diverse range of applications including diagnostics and catalysis. These materials can often be used under sustainable conditions; however, it is challenging to control the material size, morphology, and composition simultaneously. Here we have employed the R5 peptide, which forms a 3D scaffold to direct the size and linear shape of bimetallic PdAu nanomaterials for catalysis. The materials were prepared at varying Pd:Au ratios to probe optimal compositions to achieve maximal catalytic efficiency. These materials were extensively characterized at the atomic level using transmission electron microscopy, extended X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy, and atomic pair distribution function analysis derived from high-energy X-ray diffraction patterns to provide highly resolved structural information. The results confirmed PdAu alloy formation, but also demonstrated that significant surface structural disorder was present. The catalytic activity of the materials was studied for olefin hydrogenation, which demonstrated enhanced reactivity from the bimetallic structures. These results present a pathway to the bioinspired production of multimetallic materials with enhanced properties, which can be assessed via a suite of characterization methods to fully ascertain structure/function relationships.

  17. High ALDH Activity Identifies Chemotherapy-Resistant Ewing's Sarcoma Stem Cells That Retain Sensitivity to EWS-FLI1 Inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Gul, Naheed; Katuri, Varalakshmi; O'Neill, Alison; Kong, Yali; Brown, Milton L.; Toretsky, Jeffrey A.; Loeb, David M.

    2010-01-01

    Background Cancer stem cells are a chemotherapy-resistant population capable of self-renewal and of regenerating the bulk tumor, thereby causing relapse and patient death. Ewing's sarcoma, the second most common form of bone tumor in adolescents and young adults, follows a clinical pattern consistent with the Cancer Stem Cell model – remission is easily achieved, even for patients with metastatic disease, but relapse remains frequent and is usually fatal. Methodology/Principal Findings We have isolated a subpopulation of Ewing's sarcoma cells, from both human cell lines and human xenografts grown in immune deficient mice, which express high aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDHhigh) activity and are enriched for clonogenicity, sphere-formation, and tumor initiation. The ALDHhigh cells are resistant to chemotherapy in vitro, but this can be overcome by the ATP binding cassette transport protein inhibitor, verapamil. Importantly, these cells are not resistant to YK-4-279, a small molecule inhibitor of EWS-FLI1 that is selectively toxic to Ewing's sarcoma cells both in vitro and in vivo. Conclusions/Significance Ewing's sarcoma contains an ALDHhigh stem-like population of chemotherapy-resistant cells that retain sensitivity to EWS-FLI1 inhibition. Inhibiting the EWS-FLI1 oncoprotein may prove to be an effective means of improving patient outcomes by targeting Ewing's sarcoma stem cells that survive standard chemotherapy. PMID:21085683

  18. A Parkinson's disease gene regulatory network identifies the signaling protein RGS2 as a modulator of LRRK2 activity and neuronal toxicity

    PubMed Central

    Dusonchet, Julien; Li, Hu; Guillily, Maria; Liu, Min; Stafa, Klodjan; Derada Troletti, Claudio; Boon, Joon Y.; Saha, Shamol; Glauser, Liliane; Mamais, Adamantios; Citro, Allison; Youmans, Katherine L.; Liu, LiQun; Schneider, Bernard L.; Aebischer, Patrick; Yue, Zhenyu; Bandopadhyay, Rina; Glicksman, Marcie A.; Moore, Darren J.; Collins, James J.; Wolozin, Benjamin

    2014-01-01

    Mutations in LRRK2 are one of the primary genetic causes of Parkinson's disease (PD). LRRK2 contains a kinase and a GTPase domain, and familial PD mutations affect both enzymatic activities. However, the signaling mechanisms regulating LRRK2 and the pathogenic effects of familial mutations remain unknown. Identifying the signaling proteins that regulate LRRK2 function and toxicity remains a critical goal for the development of effective therapeutic strategies. In this study, we apply systems biology tools to human PD brain and blood transcriptomes to reverse-engineer a LRRK2-centered gene regulatory network. This network identifies several putative master regulators of LRRK2 function. In particular, the signaling gene RGS2, which encodes for a GTPase-activating protein (GAP), is a key regulatory hub connecting the familial PD-associated genes DJ-1 and PINK1 with LRRK2 in the network. RGS2 expression levels are reduced in the striata of LRRK2 and sporadic PD patients. We identify RGS2 as a novel interacting partner of LRRK2 in vivo. RGS2 regulates both the GTPase and kinase activities of LRRK2. We show in mammalian neurons that RGS2 regulates LRRK2 function in the control of neuronal process length. RGS2 is also protective against neuronal toxicity of the most prevalent mutation in LRRK2, G2019S. We find that RGS2 regulates LRRK2 function and neuronal toxicity through its effects on kinase activity and independently of GTPase activity, which reveals a novel mode of action for GAP proteins. This work identifies RGS2 as a promising target for interfering with neurodegeneration due to LRRK2 mutations in PD patients. PMID:24794857

  19. Water-Borne Cues of a Non-Indigenous Seaweed Mediate Grazer-Deterrent Responses in Native Seaweeds, but Not Vice Versa

    PubMed Central

    Yun, Hee Young; Engelen, Aschwin H.; Santos, Rui O.; Molis, Markus

    2012-01-01

    Plants optimise their resistance to herbivores by regulating deterrent responses on demand. Induction of anti-herbivory defences can occur directly in grazed plants or from emission of risk cues to the environment, which modifies interactions of adjacent plants with, for instance, their consumers. This study confirmed the induction of anti-herbivory responses by water-borne risk cues between adjoining con-specific seaweeds and firstly examined whether plant-plant signalling also exists among adjacent hetero-specific seaweeds. Furthermore, differential abilities and geographic variation in plant-plant signalling by a non-indigenous seaweed as well as native seaweeds were assessed. Twelve-day induction experiments using the non-indigenous seaweed Sargassum muticum were conducted in the laboratory in Portugal and Germany with one local con-familiar (Portugal: Cystoseira humilis, Germany: Halidrys siliquosa) and hetero-familiar native species (Portugal: Fucus spiralis, Germany: F. vesiculosus). All seaweeds were grazed by a local isopod species (Portugal: Stenosoma nadejda, Germany: Idotea baltica) and were positioned upstream of con- and hetero-specific seaweeds. Grazing-induced modification in seaweed traits were tested in three-day feeding assays between cue-exposed and cue-free ( = control) pieces of both fresh and reconstituted seaweeds. Both Fucus species reduced their palatability when positioned downstream of isopod-grazed con-specifics. Yet, the palatability of non-indigenous S. muticum remained constant in the presence of upstream grazed con-specifics and native hetero-specifics. In contrast, both con-familiar (but neither hetero-familiar) native species reduced palatability when located downstream of grazed S. muticum. Similar patterns of grazer-deterrent responses to water-borne cues were observed on both European shores, and were almost identical between assays using fresh and reconstituted seaweeds. Hence, seaweeds may use plant-plant signalling to

  20. Water-borne cues of a non-indigenous seaweed mediate grazer-deterrent responses in native seaweeds, but not vice versa.

    PubMed

    Yun, Hee Young; Engelen, Aschwin H; Santos, Rui O; Molis, Markus

    2012-01-01

    Plants optimise their resistance to herbivores by regulating deterrent responses on demand. Induction of anti-herbivory defences can occur directly in grazed plants or from emission of risk cues to the environment, which modifies interactions of adjacent plants with, for instance, their consumers. This study confirmed the induction of anti-herbivory responses by water-borne risk cues between adjoining con-specific seaweeds and firstly examined whether plant-plant signalling also exists among adjacent hetero-specific seaweeds. Furthermore, differential abilities and geographic variation in plant-plant signalling by a non-indigenous seaweed as well as native seaweeds were assessed. Twelve-day induction experiments using the non-indigenous seaweed Sargassum muticum were conducted in the laboratory in Portugal and Germany with one local con-familiar (Portugal: Cystoseira humilis, Germany: Halidrys siliquosa) and hetero-familiar native species (Portugal: Fucus spiralis, Germany: F. vesiculosus). All seaweeds were grazed by a local isopod species (Portugal: Stenosoma nadejda, Germany: Idotea baltica) and were positioned upstream of con- and hetero-specific seaweeds. Grazing-induced modification in seaweed traits were tested in three-day feeding assays between cue-exposed and cue-free ( = control) pieces of both fresh and reconstituted seaweeds. Both Fucus species reduced their palatability when positioned downstream of isopod-grazed con-specifics. Yet, the palatability of non-indigenous S. muticum remained constant in the presence of upstream grazed con-specifics and native hetero-specifics. In contrast, both con-familiar (but neither hetero-familiar) native species reduced palatability when located downstream of grazed S. muticum. Similar patterns of grazer-deterrent responses to water-borne cues were observed on both European shores, and were almost identical between assays using fresh and reconstituted seaweeds. Hence, seaweeds may use plant-plant signalling to

  1. Twitter as a Potential Disaster Risk Reduction Tool. Part II: Descriptive Analysis of Identified Twitter Activity during the 2013 Hattiesburg F4 Tornado

    PubMed Central

    Cooper, Guy Paul; Yeager, Violet; Burkle, Frederick M.; Subbarao, Italo

    2015-01-01

    Background: This article describes a novel triangulation methodological approach for identifying twitter activity of regional active twitter users during the 2013 Hattiesburg EF-4 Tornado. Methodology: A data extraction and geographically centered filtration approach was utilized to generate Twitter data for 48 hrs pre- and post-Tornado. The data was further validated using six sigma approach utilizing GPS data. Results: The regional analysis revealed a total of 81,441 tweets, 10,646 Twitter users, 27,309 retweets and 2637 tweets with GPS coordinates. Conclusions: Twitter tweet activity increased 5 fold during the response to the Hattiesburg Tornado.  Retweeting activity increased 2.2 fold. Tweets with a hashtag increased 1.4 fold. Twitter was an effective disaster risk reduction tool for the Hattiesburg EF-4 Tornado 2013.  PMID:26203396

  2. Antiviral activity and possible mode of action of ellagic acid identified in Lagerstroemia speciosa leaves toward human rhinoviruses

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Human rhinoviruses (HRVs) are responsible for more than half of all cases of the common cold and cause billions of USD annually in medical visits and school and work absenteeism. An assessment was made of the cytotoxic and antiviral activities and possible mode of action of the tannin ellagic acid from the leaves of Lagerstroemia speciosa toward HeLa cells and three rhinoviruses, HRV-2, -3, and -4. Methods The antiviral property and mechanism of action of ellagic acid were evaluated using a sulforhodamine B assay and real-time reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) with SYBR Green dye. Results were compared with those of the currently used broad-spectrum antiviral agent, ribavirin. Results As judged by 50% inhibitory concentration values, natural ellagic acid was 1.8, 2.3, and 2.2 times more toxic toward HRV-2 (38 μg/mL), HRV-3 (31 μg/mL), and HRV-4 (29 μg/mL) than ribavirin, respectively. The inhibition rate of preincubation with 50 μg/mL ellagic acid was 17%, whereas continuous presence of ellagic acid during infection led to a significant increase in the inhibition (70%). Treatment with 50 μg/mL ellagic acid considerably suppressed HRV-4 infection only when added just after the virus inoculation (0 h) (87% inhibition), but not before -1 h or after 1 h or later (<20% inhibition). These findings suggest that ellagic acid does not interact with the HRV-4 particles and may directly interact with the human cells in the early stage of HRV infections to protect the cells from the virus destruction. Furthermore, RT-PCR analysis revealed that 50 μg/mL ellagic acid strongly inhibited the RNA replication of HRV-4 in HeLa cells, suggesting that ellagic acid inhibits virus replication by targeting on cellular molecules, rather than virus molecules. Conclusions Global efforts to reduce the level of antibiotics justify further studies on L. speciosa leaf-derived materials containing ellagic acid as potential anti-HRV products or a lead molecule for the

  3. Identifying qualitative effects of different grazing types on below-ground communities and function in a long-term field experiment.

    PubMed

    Macdonald, Catriona A; Crawley, Michael J; Wright, Denis J; Kuczynski, Justin; Robinson, Lucinda; Knight, Rob; Al-Soud, Waleed Abu; Sørensen, Søren J; Deng, Ye; Zhou, Jizhong; Singh, Brajesh K

    2015-03-01

    Herbivory is an important modulator of plant biodiversity and productivity in grasslands, but our understanding of herbivore-induced changes on below-ground processes and communities is limited. Using a long-term (17 years) experimental site, we evaluated impacts of rabbit and invertebrate grazers on some soil functions involved in carbon cycling, microbial diversity, structure and functional composition. Both rabbit and invertebrate grazing impacted soil functions and microbial community structure. All functional community measures (functions, biogeochemical cycling genes, network association between different taxa) were more strongly affected by invertebrate grazers than rabbits. Furthermore, our results suggest that exclusion of invertebrate grazers decreases both microbial biomass and abundance of genes associated with key biogeochemical cycles, and could thus have long-term consequences for ecosystem functions. The mechanism behind these impacts are likely to be driven by both direct effects of grazing altering the pattern of nutrient inputs and by indirect effects through changes in plant species composition. However, we could not entirely discount that the pesticide used to exclude invertebrates may have affected some microbial community measures. Nevertheless, our work illustrates that human activity that affects grazing intensity may affect ecosystem functioning and sustainability, as regulated by multi-trophic interactions between above- and below-ground communities.

  4. Application of Quantitative Structure–Activity Relationship Models of 5-HT1A Receptor Binding to Virtual Screening Identifies Novel and Potent 5-HT1A Ligands

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The 5-hydroxytryptamine 1A (5-HT1A) serotonin receptor has been an attractive target for treating mood and anxiety disorders such as schizophrenia. We have developed binary classification quantitative structure–activity relationship (QSAR) models of 5-HT1A receptor binding activity using data retrieved from the PDSP Ki database. The prediction accuracy of these models was estimated by external 5-fold cross-validation as well as using an additional validation set comprising 66 structurally distinct compounds from the World of Molecular Bioactivity database. These validated models were then used to mine three major types of chemical screening libraries, i.e., drug-like libraries, GPCR targeted libraries, and diversity libraries, to identify novel computational hits. The five best hits from each class of libraries were chosen for further experimental testing in radioligand binding assays, and nine of the 15 hits were confirmed to be active experimentally with binding affinity better than 10 μM. The most active compound, Lysergol, from the diversity library showed very high binding affinity (Ki) of 2.3 nM against 5-HT1A receptor. The novel 5-HT1A actives identified with the QSAR-based virtual screening approach could be potentially developed as novel anxiolytics or potential antischizophrenic drugs. PMID:24410373

  5. Application of quantitative structure-activity relationship models of 5-HT1A receptor binding to virtual screening identifies novel and potent 5-HT1A ligands.

    PubMed

    Luo, Man; Wang, Xiang Simon; Roth, Bryan L; Golbraikh, Alexander; Tropsha, Alexander

    2014-02-24

    The 5-hydroxytryptamine 1A (5-HT1A) serotonin receptor has been an attractive target for treating mood and anxiety disorders such as schizophrenia. We have developed binary classification quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) models of 5-HT1A receptor binding activity using data retrieved from the PDSP Ki database. The prediction accuracy of these models was estimated by external 5-fold cross-validation as well as using an additional validation set comprising 66 structurally distinct compounds from the World of Molecular Bioactivity database. These validated models were then used to mine three major types of chemical screening libraries, i.e., drug-like libraries, GPCR targeted libraries, and diversity libraries, to identify novel computational hits. The five best hits from each class of libraries were chosen for further experimental testing in radioligand binding assays, and nine of the 15 hits were confirmed to be active experimentally with binding affinity better than 10 μM. The most active compound, Lysergol, from the diversity library showed very high binding affinity (Ki) of 2.3 nM against 5-HT1A receptor. The novel 5-HT1A actives identified with the QSAR-based virtual screening approach could be potentially developed as novel anxiolytics or potential antischizophrenic drugs.

  6. Systematic synthesis and anti-inflammatory activity of ω-carboxylated menaquinone derivatives--Investigations on identified and putative vitamin K₂ metabolites.

    PubMed

    Fujii, Shinya; Shimizu, Akitaka; Takeda, Noriaki; Oguchi, Kazuki; Katsurai, Tomoko; Shirakawa, Hitoshi; Komai, Michio; Kagechika, Hiroyuki

    2015-05-15

    Vitamin K is an essential nutrient for blood coagulation and bone homeostasis, and also functions in many physiological processes including inflammation and cancer progression. However, the nature and activities of its metabolites remain unclear. We report here systematic synthesis of ω-carboxylated derivatives of menaquinone (vitamin K2), including previously identified metabolites 5, K acid I (10), and K acid II (12), and evaluation of their inhibitory activity toward LPS-stimulated induction of inflammatory cytokines. These results should contribute to an improved understanding of the biochemistry and pharmacology of vitamin K.

  7. A genome-wide RNA interference screen identifies a differential role of the mediator CDK8 module subunits for GATA/ RUNX-activated transcription in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Gobert, Vanessa; Osman, Dani; Bras, Stéphanie; Augé, Benoit; Boube, Muriel; Bourbon, Henri-Marc; Horn, Thomas; Boutros, Michael; Haenlin, Marc; Waltzer, Lucas

    2010-06-01

    Transcription factors of the RUNX and GATA families play key roles in the control of cell fate choice and differentiation, notably in the hematopoietic system. During Drosophila hematopoiesis, the RUNX factor Lozenge and the GATA factor Serpent cooperate to induce crystal cell differentiation. We used Serpent/Lozenge-activated transcription as a paradigm to identify modulators of GATA/RUNX activity by a genome-wide RNA interference screen in cultured Drosophila blood cells. Among the 129 factors identified, several belong to the Mediator complex. Mediator is organized in three modules plus a regulatory "CDK8 module," composed of Med12, Med13, CycC, and Cdk8, which has long been thought to behave as a single functional entity. Interestingly, our data demonstrate that Med12 and Med13 but not CycC or Cdk8 are essential for Serpent/Lozenge-induced transactivation in cell culture. Furthermore, our in vivo analysis of crystal cell development show that, while the four CDK8 module subunits control the emergence and the proliferation of this lineage, only Med12 and Med13 regulate its differentiation. We thus propose that Med12/Med13 acts as a coactivator for Serpent/Lozenge during crystal cell differentiation independently of CycC/Cdk8. More generally, we suggest that the set of conserved factors identified herein may regulate GATA/RUNX activity in mammals. PMID:20368357

  8. Novel anti-Cryptosporidium activity of known drugs identified by high-throughput screening against parasite fatty acyl-CoA binding protein (ACBP)

    PubMed Central

    Fritzler, Jason M.; Zhu, Guan

    2012-01-01

    Background Cryptosporidium parvum causes an opportunistic infection in AIDS patients, and no effective treatments are yet available. This parasite possesses a single fatty acyl-CoA binding protein (CpACBP1) that is localized to the unique parasitophorous vacuole membrane (PVM). The major goal of this study was to identify inhibitors from known drugs against CpACBP1 as potential new anti-Cryptosporidium agents. Methods A fluorescence assay was developed to detect CpACBP1 activity and to identify inhibitors by screening known drugs. Efficacies of top CpACBP1 inhibitors against Cryptosporidium growth in vitro were evaluated using a quantitative RT–PCR assay. Results Nitrobenzoxadiazole-labelled palmitoyl-CoA significantly increased the fluorescent emission upon binding to CpACBP1 (excitation/emission 460/538 nm), which was quantified to determine the CpACBP1 activity and binding kinetics. The fluorescence assay was used to screen a collection of 1040 compounds containing mostly known drugs, and identified the 28 most active compounds that could inhibit CpACBP1 activity with sub-micromolar IC50 values. Among them, four compounds displayed efficacies against parasite growth in vitro with low micromolar IC50 values. The effective compounds were broxyquinoline (IC50 64.9 μM), cloxyquin (IC50 25.1 μM), cloxacillin sodium (IC50 36.2 μM) and sodium dehydrocholate (IC50 53.2 μM). Conclusions The fluorescence ACBP assay can be effectively used to screen known drugs or other compound libraries. Novel anti-Cryptosporidium activity was observed in four top CpACBP1 inhibitors, which may be further investigated for their potential to be repurposed to treat cryptosporidiosis and to serve as leads for drug development. PMID:22167242

  9. pSer40 tyrosine hydroxylase immunohistochemistry identifies the anatomical location of C1 neurons in rat RVLM that are activated by hypotension.

    PubMed

    Nedoboy, P E; Mohammed, S; Kapoor, K; Bhandare, A M; Farnham, M M J; Pilowsky, P M

    2016-03-11

    Identification of neurons, and their phenotype, that are activated in response to specific stimuli is a critical step in understanding how neural networks integrate inputs to produce specific outputs. Here, we developed novel mouse monoclonal antibodies of different IgG isotypes that are specific to tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), and to tyrosine hydroxylase activated at its serine 40 position (pSer40TH), in order to assess changes in the activity of phenotypically identified cardiovascular neurons using fluorescence immunohistochemistry. We find that the proportion of C1 pSer40TH-positive neurons in the central and medial region of the rat rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM) increases dramatically following hydralazine treatment, whereas phenylephrine treatment does not significantly change the pSer40TH/TH ratio in these regions compared to control. This finding suggests that there is a mediolateral topology associated with the activation of C1 neurons following baroreceptor loading or unloading. Overall, we conclude first, that our newly characterized monoclonal antibodies are specific, and selective, against TH and pSer40TH. Secondly, that they can be used to label TH and pSer40TH immunoreactive neurons simultaneously, and thirdly that that they can be used to identify the activation state of catecholamine synthetizing neurons after physiological stimuli. Finally, we find that there is basal level of activation of TH neurons in the lateral, central and medial regions (∼ 70%, 30% and 45%, respectively) of the C1 area, but that following unloading of the baroreceptors there is a marked increase in activation of central (∼ 80%) and medial (∼ 90%) C1 neurons in the RVLM.

  10. Identifying buried segments of active faults in the northern Rio Grande Rift using aeromagnetic, LiDAR,and gravity data, south-central Colorado, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ruleman, Cal; Grauch, V. J.

    2013-01-01

    Combined interpretation of aeromagnetic and LiDAR data builds on the strength of the aeromagnetic method to locate normal faults with significant offset under cover and the strength of LiDAR interpretation to identify the age and sense of motion of faults. Each data set helps resolve ambiguities in interpreting the other. In addition, gravity data can be used to infer the sense of motion for totally buried faults inferred solely from aeromagnetic data. Combined interpretation to identify active faults at the northern end of the San Luis Basin of the northern Rio Grande rift has confirmed general aspects of previous geologic mapping but has also provided significant improvements. The interpretation revises and extends mapped fault traces, confirms tectonic versus fluvial origins of steep stream banks, and gains additional information on the nature of active and potentially active partially and totally buried faults. Detailed morphology of surfaces mapped from the LiDAR data helps constrain ages of the faults that displace the deposits. The aeromagnetic data provide additional information about their extents in between discontinuous scarps and suggest that several totally buried, potentially active faults are present on both sides of the valley.

  11. Transcriptome Profiling Identifies Multiplexin as a Target of SAGA Deubiquitinase Activity in Glia Required for Precise Axon Guidance During Drosophila Visual Development

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Jingqun; Brennan, Kaelan J.; D’Aloia, Mitch R.; Pascuzzi, Pete E.; Weake, Vikki M.

    2016-01-01

    The Spt-Ada-Gcn5 Acetyltransferase (SAGA) complex is a transcriptional coactivator with histone acetylase and deubiquitinase activities that plays an important role in visual development and function. In Drosophila melanogaster, four SAGA subunits are required for the deubiquitination of monoubiquitinated histone H2B (ubH2B): Nonstop, Sgf11, E(y)2, and Ataxin 7. Mutations that disrupt SAGA deubiquitinase activity cause defects in neuronal connectivity in the developing Drosophila visual system. In addition, mutations in SAGA result in the human progressive visual disorder spinocerebellar ataxia type 7 (SCA7). Glial cells play a crucial role in both the neuronal connectivity defect in nonstop and sgf11 flies, and in the retinal degeneration observed in SCA7 patients. Thus, we sought to identify the gene targets of SAGA deubiquitinase activity in glia in the Drosophila larval central nervous system. To do this, we enriched glia from wild-type, nonstop, and sgf11 larval optic lobes using affinity-purification of KASH-GFP tagged nuclei, and then examined each transcriptome using RNA-seq. Our analysis showed that SAGA deubiquitinase activity is required for proper expression of 16% of actively transcribed genes in glia, especially genes involved in proteasome function, protein folding and axon guidance. We further show that the SAGA deubiquitinase-activated gene Multiplexin (Mp) is required in glia for proper photoreceptor axon targeting. Mutations in the human ortholog of Mp, COL18A1, have been identified in a family with a SCA7-like progressive visual disorder, suggesting that defects in the expression of this gene in SCA7 patients could play a role in the retinal degeneration that is unique to this ataxia. PMID:27261002

  12. Transcriptome Profiling Identifies Multiplexin as a Target of SAGA Deubiquitinase Activity in Glia Required for Precise Axon Guidance During Drosophila Visual Development.

    PubMed

    Ma, Jingqun; Brennan, Kaelan J; D'Aloia, Mitch R; Pascuzzi, Pete E; Weake, Vikki M

    2016-01-01

    The Spt-Ada-Gcn5 Acetyltransferase (SAGA) complex is a transcriptional coactivator with histone acetylase and deubiquitinase activities that plays an important role in visual development and function. In Drosophila melanogaster, four SAGA subunits are required for the deubiquitination of monoubiquitinated histone H2B (ubH2B): Nonstop, Sgf11, E(y)2, and Ataxin 7. Mutations that disrupt SAGA deubiquitinase activity cause defects in neuronal connectivity in the developing Drosophila visual system. In addition, mutations in SAGA result in the human progressive visual disorder spinocerebellar ataxia type 7 (SCA7). Glial cells play a crucial role in both the neuronal connectivity defect in nonstop and sgf11 flies, and in the retinal degeneration observed in SCA7 patients. Thus, we sought to identify the gene targets of SAGA deubiquitinase activity in glia in the Drosophila larval central nervous system. To do this, we enriched glia from wild-type, nonstop, and sgf11 larval optic lobes using affinity-purification of KASH-GFP tagged nuclei, and then examined each transcriptome using RNA-seq. Our analysis showed that SAGA deubiquitinase activity is required for proper expression of 16% of actively transcribed genes in glia, especially genes involved in proteasome function, protein folding and axon guidance. We further show that the SAGA deubiquitinase-activated gene Multiplexin (Mp) is required in glia for proper photoreceptor axon targeting. Mutations in the human ortholog of Mp, COL18A1, have been identified in a family with a SCA7-like progressive visual disorder, suggesting that defects in the expression of this gene in SCA7 patients could play a role in the retinal degeneration that is unique to this ataxia. PMID:27261002

  13. A Newly Identified CG301269 Improves Lipid and Glucose Metabolism Without Body Weight Gain Through Activation of Peroxisome Proliferator–Activated Receptor α and γ

    PubMed Central

    Jeong, Hyun Woo; Lee, Joo-Won; Kim, Woo Sik; Choe, Sung Sik; Kim, Kyung-Hee; Park, Ho Seon; Shin, Hyun Jung; Lee, Gha Young; Shin, Dongkyu; Lee, Hanjae; Lee, Jun Hee; Choi, Eun Bok; Lee, Hyeon Kyu; Chung, Heekyoung; Park, Seung Bum; Park, Kyong Soo; Kim, Hyo-Soo; Ro, Seonggu; Kim, Jae Bum

    2011-01-01

    OBJECTIVE Peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor (PPAR)-α/γ dual agonists have been developed to alleviate metabolic disorders. However, several PPARα/γ dual agonists are accompanied with unwanted side effects, including body weight gain, edema, and tissue failure. This study investigated the effects of a novel PPARα/γ dual agonist, CG301269, on metabolic disorders both in vitro and in vivo. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Function of CG301269 as a PPARα/γ dual agonist was assessed in vitro by luciferase reporter assay, mammalian one-hybrid assay, and analyses of PPAR target genes. In vitro profiles on fatty acid oxidation and inflammatory responses were acquired by fatty acid oxidation assay and quantitative (q)RT-PCR of proinflammatory genes. In vivo effect of CG301269 was examined in db/db mice. Total body weight and various tissue weights were measured, and hepatic lipid profiles were analyzed. Systemic glucose and insulin tolerance were measured, and the in vivo effect of CG301269 on metabolic genes and proinflammatory genes was examined by qRT-PCR. RESULTS CG301269 selectively stimulated the transcriptional activities of PPARα and PPARγ. CG301269 enhanced fatty acid oxidation in vitro and ameliorated insulin resistance and hyperlipidemia in vivo. In db/db mice, CG301269 reduced inflammatory responses and fatty liver, without body weight gain. CONCLUSIONS We demonstrate that CG301269 exhibits beneficial effects on glucose and lipid metabolism by simultaneous activation of both PPARα and PPARγ. Our data suggest that CG301269 would be a potential lead compound against obesity and related metabolic disorders. PMID:21270261

  14. Whole genome sequencing in Drosophila virilis identifies Polyphemus, a recently activated Tc1-like transposon with a possible role in hybrid dysgenesis

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Hybrid dysgenic syndromes in Drosophila have been critical for characterizing host mechanisms of transposable element (TE) regulation. This is because a common feature of hybrid dysgenesis is germline TE mobilization that occurs when paternally inherited TEs are not matched with a maternal pool of silencing RNAs that maintain transgenerational TE control. In the face of this imbalance TEs become activated in the germline and can cause F1 sterility. The syndrome of hybrid dysgenesis in Drosophila virilis was the first to show that the mobilization of one dominant TE, the Penelope retrotransposon, may lead to the mobilization of other unrelated elements. However, it is not known how many different elements contribute and no exhaustive search has been performed to identify additional ones. To identify additional TEs that may contribute to hybrid dysgenesis in Drosophila virilis, I analyzed repeat content in genome sequences of inducer and non-inducer lines. Results Here I describe Polyphemus, a novel Tc1-like DNA transposon, which is abundant in the inducer strain of D. virilis but highly degraded in the non-inducer strain. Polyphemus expression is also increased in the germline of progeny of the dysgenic cross relative to reciprocal progeny. Interestingly, like the Penelope element, it has experienced recent re-activation within the D. virilis lineage. Conclusions Here I present the results of a comprehensive search to identify additional factors that may cause hybrid dysgenesis in D. virilis. Polyphemus, a novel Tc1-like DNA transposon, has recently become re-activated in Drosophila virilis and likely contributes to the hybrid dysgenesis syndrome. It has been previously shown that the Penelope element has also been re-activated in the inducer strain. This suggests that TE co-reactivation within species may synergistically contribute to syndromes of hybrid dysgenesis. PMID:24555450

  15. Investigating mitochondrial metabolism in contracting HL-1 cardiomyocytes following hypoxia and pharmacological HIF activation identifies HIF-dependent and independent mechanisms of regulation.

    PubMed

    Ambrose, Lucy J A; Abd-Jamil, Amira H; Gomes, Renata S M; Carter, Emma E; Carr, Carolyn A; Clarke, Kieran; Heather, Lisa C

    2014-11-01

    Hypoxia is a consequence of cardiac disease and downregulates mitochondrial metabolism, yet the molecular mechanisms through which this occurs in the heart are incompletely characterized. Therefore, we aimed to use a contracting HL-1 cardiomyocyte model to investigate the effects of hypoxia on mitochondrial metabolism. Cells were exposed to hypoxia (2% O2) for 6, 12, 24, and 48 hours to characterize the metabolic response. Cells were subsequently treated with the hypoxia inducible factor (HIF)-activating compound, dimethyloxalylglycine (DMOG), to determine whether hypoxia-induced mitochondrial changes were HIF dependent or independent, and to assess the suitability of this cultured cardiac cell line for cardiovascular pharmacological studies. Hypoxic cells had increased glycolysis after 24 hours, with glucose transporter 1 and lactate levels increased 5-fold and 15-fold, respectively. After 24 hours of hypoxia, mitochondrial networks were more fragmented but there was no change in citrate synthase activity, indicating that mitochondrial content was unchanged. Cellular oxygen consumption was 30% lower, accompanied by decreases in the enzymatic activities of electron transport chain (ETC) complexes I and IV, and aconitase by 81%, 96%, and 72%, relative to controls. Pharmacological HIF activation with DMOG decreased cellular oxygen consumption by 43%, coincident with decreases in the activities of aconitase and complex I by 26% and 30%, indicating that these adaptations were HIF mediated. In contrast, the hypoxia-mediated decrease in complex IV activity was not replicated by DMOG treatment, suggesting HIF-independent regulation of this complex. In conclusion, 24 hours of hypoxia increased anaerobic glycolysis and decreased mitochondrial respiration, which was associated with changes in ETC and tricarboxylic acid cycle enzyme activities in contracting HL-1 cells. Pharmacological HIF activation in this cardiac cell line allowed both HIF-dependent and independent

  16. Identifying panaxynol, a natural activator of nuclear factor erythroid-2 related factor 2 (Nrf2) from American ginseng as a suppressor of inflamed macrophage-induced cardiomyocyte hypertrophy

    PubMed Central

    Qu, Chen; Li, Bin; Lai, Yimu; Li, Hechu; Windust, Anthony; Hofseth, Lorne J.; Nagarkatti, Mitzi; Nagarkatti, Prakash; Wang, Xing Li; Tang, Dongqi; Janicki, Joseph S.; Tian, Xingsong; Cui, Taixing

    2015-01-01

    Ethnopharmacological relevance American ginseng is capable of ameliorating cardiac dysfunction and activating Nrf2, a master regulator of antioxidant defense, in the heart. This study was designed to isolate compounds from American ginseng and to determine those responsible for the Nrf2-mediated resolution of inflamed macrophage-induced cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. Materials and methods A standardized crude extract of American ginseng was supplied by the National Research Council of Canada, Institute for National Measurement Standards. A bioassay-based fractionization of American ginseng was performed to identify the putative substances which could activate Nrf2-mediated suppression of pro-inflammatory cytokine expression in macrophages and macrophage-mediated pro-hypertrophic growth in cardiomyocytes. Results A hexane fraction of an anti-inflammatory crude extract of American ginseng was found to be most effective in suppressing the inflammatory responses in macrophages. Preparative, reverse-phase HPLC and a comparative analysis by analytical scale LC–UV/MS revealed the hexane fraction contains predominantly C17 polyacetylenes and linolenic acid. Panaxynol, one of the major polyacetylenes, was found to be a potent Nrf2 activator. Panaxynol posttranscriptionally activated Nrf2 by inhibiting Kelch-like ECH-associated protein (Keap) 1-mediated degradation without affecting the binding of Keap1 and Nrf2. Moreover, panaxynol suppressed a selected set of cytokine expression via the activation of Nrf2 while minimally regulating nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB)-mediated cytokine expression in macrophages. It also dramatically inhibited the inflamed macrophage-mediated cardiomyocyte death and hypertrophy by activating Nrf2 in macrophages. Conclusions These results demonstrate that American ginseng-derived panaxynol is a specific Nrf2 activator and panaxynol-activated Nrf2 signaling is at least partly responsible for American ginseng-induced health benefit in the heart. PMID

  17. Proteomic analysis of beta-catenin activation in mouse liver by DIGE analysis identifies glucose metabolism as a new target of the Wnt pathway.

    PubMed

    Chafey, Philippe; Finzi, Laetitia; Boisgard, Raphael; Caüzac, Michèle; Clary, Guillem; Broussard, Cédric; Pégorier, Jean-Paul; Guillonneau, François; Mayeux, Patrick; Camoin, Luc; Tavitian, Bertrand; Colnot, Sabine; Perret, Christine

    2009-08-01

    The Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway has been increasingly implicated in liver development and physiology. Aberrant activation of this pathway is one of the major genetic events observed during the process of human HCC development. To gain insight into the mechanism underlying beta-catenin action in the liver, we conducted a quantitative differential proteomic analysis using 2-D DIGE combined with MS, in mice with liver-specific deletion of Apc resulting in acute activation of beta-catenin signaling (Apc(KOliv) mice). We identified 94 protein spots showing differential expression between mutant Apc(KOliv) and control mice, corresponding to 56 individual proteins. Most of the proteins identified were associated with metabolic pathways, such as ammonia and glucose metabolism. Our analysis showed an increase in lactate dehydrogenase activity together with a downregulation of two mitochondrial ATPase subunits (ATP5a1 and ATP5b). These observations indicate that beta-catenin signaling may induce a shift in the glucose metabolism from oxidative phosphorylation to glycolysis, known as the "Warburg effect". Imaging with (18)F-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose-positron emission tomography suggests that the specific metabolic reprogramming induced by beta-catenin in the liver does not imply the first step of glycolysis. This observation may explain why some HCCs are difficult to assess by fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose-positron emission tomography imaging.

  18. Sleeping Beauty transposon screen identifies signaling modules that cooperate with STAT5 activation to induce B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

    PubMed

    Heltemes-Harris, L M; Larson, J D; Starr, T K; Hubbard, G K; Sarver, A L; Largaespada, D A; Farrar, M A

    2016-06-30

    Signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 (STAT5) activation occurs frequently in human progenitor B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL). To identify gene alterations that cooperate with STAT5 activation to initiate leukemia, we crossed mice expressing a constitutively active form of STAT5 (Stat5b-CA) with mice in which a mutagenic Sleeping Beauty transposon (T2/Onc) was mobilized only in B cells. Stat5b-CA mice typically do not develop B-ALL (<2% penetrance); in contrast, 89% of Stat5b-CA mice in which the T2/Onc transposon had been mobilized died of B-ALL by 3 months of age. High-throughput sequencing approaches were used to identify genes frequently targeted by the T2/Onc transposon; these included Sos1 (74%), Kdm2a (35%), Jak1 (26%), Bmi1 (19%), Prdm14 or Ncoa2 (13%), Cdkn2a (10%), Ikzf1 (8%), Caap1 (6%) and Klf3 (6%). Collectively, these mutations target three major cellular processes: (i) the Janus kinase/STAT5 pathway (ii) progenitor B-cell differentiation and (iii) the CDKN2A tumor-suppressor pathway. Transposon insertions typically resulted in altered expression of these genes, as well as downstream pathways including STAT5, extracellular signal-regulated kinase (Erk) and p38. Importantly, expression of Sos1 and Kdm2a, and activation of p38, correlated with survival, further underscoring the role these genes and associated pathways have in B-ALL.

  19. Sleeping Beauty transposon screen identifies signaling modules that cooperate with STAT5 activation to induce B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

    PubMed

    Heltemes-Harris, L M; Larson, J D; Starr, T K; Hubbard, G K; Sarver, A L; Largaespada, D A; Farrar, M A

    2016-06-30

    Signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 (STAT5) activation occurs frequently in human progenitor B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL). To identify gene alterations that cooperate with STAT5 activation to initiate leukemia, we crossed mice expressing a constitutively active form of STAT5 (Stat5b-CA) with mice in which a mutagenic Sleeping Beauty transposon (T2/Onc) was mobilized only in B cells. Stat5b-CA mice typically do not develop B-ALL (<2% penetrance); in contrast, 89% of Stat5b-CA mice in which the T2/Onc transposon had been mobilized died of B-ALL by 3 months of age. High-throughput sequencing approaches were used to identify genes frequently targeted by the T2/Onc transposon; these included Sos1 (74%), Kdm2a (35%), Jak1 (26%), Bmi1 (19%), Prdm14 or Ncoa2 (13%), Cdkn2a (10%), Ikzf1 (8%), Caap1 (6%) and Klf3 (6%). Collectively, these mutations target three major cellular processes: (i) the Janus kinase/STAT5 pathway (ii) progenitor B-cell differentiation and (iii) the CDKN2A tumor-suppressor pathway. Transposon insertions typically resulted in altered expression of these genes, as well as downstream pathways including STAT5, extracellular signal-regulated kinase (Erk) and p38. Importantly, expression of Sos1 and Kdm2a, and activation of p38, correlated with survival, further underscoring the role these genes and associated pathways have in B-ALL. PMID:26500062

  20. ALK1 signalling analysis identifies angiogenesis related genes and reveals disparity between TGF-β and constitutively active receptor induced gene expression

    PubMed Central

    Lux, Andreas; Salway, Fiona; Dressman, Holly K; Kröner-Lux, Gabriele; Hafner, Mathias; Day, Philip JR; Marchuk, Douglas A; Garland, John

    2006-01-01

    Background TGF-β1 is an important angiogenic factor involved in the different aspects of angiogenesis and vessel maintenance. TGF-β signalling is mediated by the TβRII/ALK5 receptor complex activating the Smad2/Smad3 pathway. In endothelial cells TGF-β utilizes a second type I receptor, ALK1, activating the Smad1/Smad5 pathway. Consequently, a perturbance of ALK1, ALK5 or TβRII activity leads to vascular defects. Mutations in ALK1 cause the vascular disorder hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT). Methods The identification of ALK1 and not ALK5 regulated genes in endothelial cells, might help to better understand the development of HHT. Therefore, the human microvascular endothelial cell line HMEC-1 was infected with a recombinant constitutively active ALK1 adenovirus, and gene expression was studied by using gene arrays and quantitative real-time PCR analysis. Results After 24 hours, 34 genes were identified to be up-regulated by ALK1 signalling. Analysing ALK1 regulated gene expression after 4 hours revealed 13 genes to be up- and 2 to be down-regulated. Several of these genes, including IL-8, ET-1, ID1, HPTPη and TEAD4 are reported to be involved in angiogenesis. Evaluation of ALK1 regulated gene expression in different human endothelial cell types was not in complete agreement. Further on, disparity between constitutively active ALK1 and TGF-β1 induced gene expression in HMEC-1 cells and primary HUVECs was observed. Conclusion Gene array analysis identified 49 genes to be regulated by ALK1 signalling and at least 14 genes are reported to be involved in angiogenesis. There was substantial agreement between the gene array and quantitative real-time PCR data. The angiogenesis related genes might be potential HHT modifier genes. In addition, the results suggest endothelial cell type specific ALK1 and TGF-β signalling. PMID:16594992

  1. Screen of FDA-approved drug library identifies maprotiline, an antibiofilm and antivirulence compound with QseC sensor-kinase dependent activity in Francisella novicida.

    PubMed

    Dean, Scott N; van Hoek, Monique L

    2015-01-01

    Development of new therapeutics against Select Agents such as Francisella is critical preparation in the event of bioterrorism. Testing FDA-approved drugs for this purpose may yield new activities unrelated to their intended purpose and may hasten the discovery of new therapeutics. A library of 420 FDA-approved drugs was screened for antibiofilm activity against a model organism for human tularemia, Francisella (F.) novicida, excluding drugs that significantly inhibited growth. The initial screen was based on the 2-component system (TCS) dependent biofilm effect, thus, the QseC dependence of maprotiline anti-biofilm action was demonstrated. By comparing their FDA-approved uses, chemical structures, and other properties of active drugs, toremifene and polycyclic antidepressants maprotiline and chlorpromazine were identified as being highly active against F. novicida biofilm formation. Further down-selection excluded toremifene for its membrane active activity and chlorpromazine for its high antimicrobial activity. The mode of action of maprotiline against F. novicida was sought. It was demonstrated that maprotiline was able to significantly down-regulate the expression of the virulence factor IglC, encoded on the Francisella Pathogenicity Island (FPI), suggesting that maprotiline is exerting an effect on bacterial virulence. Further studies showed that maprotiline significantly rescued F. novicida infected wax worm larvae. In vivo studies demonstrated that maprotiline treatment could prolong time to disease onset and survival in F. novicida infected mice. These results suggest that an FDA-approved drug such as maprotiline has the potential to combat Francisella infection as an antivirulence agent, and may have utility in combination with antibiotics. PMID:26155740

  2. Screen of FDA-approved drug library identifies maprotiline, an antibiofilm and antivirulence compound with QseC sensor-kinase dependent activity in Francisella novicida

    PubMed Central

    Dean, Scott N; van Hoek, Monique L

    2015-01-01

    Development of new therapeutics against Select Agents such as Francisella is critical preparation in the event of bioterrorism. Testing FDA-approved drugs for this purpose may yield new activities unrelated to their intended purpose and may hasten the discovery of new therapeutics. A library of 420 FDA-approved drugs was screened for antibiofilm activity against a model organism for human tularemia, Francisella (F.) novicida, excluding drugs that significantly inhibited growth. The initial screen was based on the 2-component system (TCS) dependent biofilm effect, thus, the QseC dependence of maprotiline anti-biofilm action was demonstrated. By comparing their FDA-approved uses, chemical structures, and other properties of active drugs, toremifene and polycyclic antidepressants maprotiline and chlorpromazine were identified as being highly active against F. novicida biofilm formation. Further down-selection excluded toremifene for its membrane active activity and chlorpromazine for its high antimicrobial activity. The mode of action of maprotiline against F. novicida was sought. It was demonstrated that maprotiline was able to significantly down-regulate the expression of the virulence factor IglC, encoded on the Francisella Pathogenicity Island (FPI), suggesting that maprotiline is exerting an effect on bacterial virulence. Further studies showed that maprotiline significantly rescued F. novicida infected wax worm larvae. In vivo studies demonstrated that maprotiline treatment could prolong time to disease onset and survival in F. novicida infected mice. These results suggest that an FDA-approved drug such as maprotiline has the potential to combat Francisella infection as an antivirulence agent, and may have utility in combination with antibiotics. PMID:26155740

  3. Identifying and applying a highly selective probe to simultaneously determine the O-glucuronidation activity of human UGT1A3 and UGT1A4.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Li; Liang, Si-Cheng; Wang, Chao; Ge, Guang-Bo; Huo, Xiao-Kui; Qi, Xiao-Yi; Deng, Sa; Liu, Ke-Xin; Ma, Xiao-Chi

    2015-01-01

    Glucuronidation mediated by uridine 5'-diphospho (UDP)-glucuronosyltransferase is an important detoxification pathway. However, identifying a selective probe of UDP- glucuronosyltransferase is complicated because of the significant overlapping substrate specificity displayed by the enzyme. In this paper, desacetylcinobufagin (DACB) 3-O- and 16-O-glucuronidation were found to be isoform-specific probe reactions for UGT1A4 and UGT1A3, respectively. DACB was well characterized as a probe for simultaneously determining the catalytic activities of O-glucuronidation mediated by UGT1A3 and UGT1A4 from various enzyme sources, through a sensitive analysis method. PMID:25884245

  4. Artemisinin activity-based probes identify multiple molecular targets within the asexual stage of the malaria parasites Plasmodium falciparum 3D7

    PubMed Central

    Ismail, Hanafy M.; Barton, Victoria; Phanchana, Matthew; Charoensutthivarakul, Sitthivut; Wong, Michael H. L.; Hemingway, Janet; Biagini, Giancarlo A.; O’Neill, Paul M.; Ward, Stephen A.

    2016-01-01

    The artemisinin (ART)-based antimalarials have contributed significantly to reducing global malaria deaths over the past decade, but we still do not know how they kill parasites. To gain greater insight into the potential mechanisms of ART drug action, we developed a suite of ART activity-based protein profiling probes to identify parasite protein drug targets in situ. Probes were designed to retain biological activity and alkylate the molecular target(s) of Plasmodium falciparum 3D7 parasites in situ. Proteins tagged with the ART probe can then be isolated using click chemistry before identification by liquid chromatography–MS/MS. Using these probes, we define an ART proteome that shows alkylated targets in the glycolytic, hemoglobin degradation, antioxidant defense, and protein synthesis pathways, processes essential for parasite survival. This work reveals the pleiotropic nature of the biological functions targeted by this important class of antimalarial drugs. PMID:26858419

  5. Artemisinin activity-based probes identify multiple molecular targets within the asexual stage of the malaria parasites Plasmodium falciparum 3D7.

    PubMed

    Ismail, Hanafy M; Barton, Victoria; Phanchana, Matthew; Charoensutthivarakul, Sitthivut; Wong, Michael H L; Hemingway, Janet; Biagini, Giancarlo A; O'Neill, Paul M; Ward, Stephen A

    2016-02-23

    The artemisinin (ART)-based antimalarials have contributed significantly to reducing global malaria deaths over the past decade, but we still do not know how they kill parasites. To gain greater insight into the potential mechanisms of ART drug action, we developed a suite of ART activity-based protein profiling probes to identify parasite protein drug targets in situ. Probes were designed to retain biological activity and alkylate the molecular target(s) of Plasmodium falciparum 3D7 parasites in situ. Proteins tagged with the ART probe can then be isolated using click chemistry before identification by liquid chromatography-MS/MS. Using these probes, we define an ART proteome that shows alkylated targets in the glycolytic, hemoglobin degradation, antioxidant defense, and protein synthesis pathways, processes essential for parasite survival. This work reveals the pleiotropic nature of the biological functions targeted by this important class of antimalarial drugs. PMID:26858419

  6. Identifying active surface phases for metal oxide electrocatalysts: a study of manganese oxide bi-functional catalysts for oxygen reduction and water oxidation catalysis.

    PubMed

    Su, Hai-Yan; Gorlin, Yelena; Man, Isabela C; Calle-Vallejo, Federico; Nørskov, Jens K; Jaramillo, Thomas F; Rossmeisl, Jan

    2012-10-28

    Progress in the field of electrocatalysis is often hampered by the difficulty in identifying the active site on an electrode surface. Herein we combine theoretical analysis and electrochemical methods to identify the active surfaces in a manganese oxide bi-functional catalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and the oxygen evolution reaction (OER). First, we electrochemically characterize the nanostructured α-Mn(2)O(3) and find that it undergoes oxidation in two potential regions: initially, between 0.5 V and 0.8 V, a potential region relevant to the ORR and, subsequently, between 0.8 V and 1.0 V, a potential region between the ORR and the OER relevant conditions. Next, we perform density function theory (DFT) calculations to understand the changes in the MnO(x) surface as a function of potential and to elucidate reaction mechanisms that lead to high activities observed in the experiments. Using DFT, we construct surface Pourbaix and free energy diagrams of three different MnO(x) surfaces and identify 1/2 ML HO* covered Mn(2)O(3) and O* covered MnO(2), as the active surfaces for the ORR and the OER, respectively. Additionally, we find that the ORR occurs through an associative mechanism and that its overpotential is highly dependent on the stabilization of intermediates through hydrogen bonds with water molecules. We also determine that OER occurs through direct recombination mechanism and that its major source of overpotential is the scaling relationship between HOO* and HO* surface intermediates. Using a previously developed Sabatier model we show that the theoretical predictions of catalytic activities match the experimentally determined onset potentials for the ORR and the OER, both qualitatively and quantitatively. Consequently, the combination of first-principles theoretical analysis and experimental methods offers an understanding of manganese oxide oxygen electrocatalysis at the atomic level, achieving fundamental insight that can potentially be

  7. Use of DEAD-box polypeptide-4 (Ddx4) gene promoter-driven fluorescent reporter mice to identify mitotically active germ cells in post-natal mouse ovaries.

    PubMed

    Park, Eun-Sil; Tilly, Jonathan L

    2015-01-01

    Several laboratories have independently isolated mitotically active germ cells, termed female germline stem cells or oogonial stem cells (OSCs), from adult mouse ovaries. However, a recent study using Ddx4-Cre;Rosa26 reporter mice concluded that such germ cells do not exist. Given the disparity in conclusions drawn in this study compared with others, we felt it was important to re-assess the utility of Ddx4-Cre;Rosa26 reporter mice for identification of OSCs in adult mouse ovaries. Transgenic Ddx4-Cre mice were crossed with Rosa26(tdTm/tdTm) mice to drive restricted tomato red (tdTm) gene expression in cells in which the Ddx4 gene promoter has been activated. Crude dispersion of ovaries from recombined offspring generated cell fractions containing tdTm-positive immature oocytes, which are incapable of proliferation and thus probably represent the uncharacterized reporter-positive ovarian cells identified in the paper Zhang et al. (2012) as being mitotically inactive. Dispersed ovaries further subjected to fluorescence-activated cell sorting yielded a large population of non-germline tdTm-positive cells, indicative of promoter 'leakiness' in the Ddx4-Cre mouse line. Nonetheless, a small percentage of these tdTm-positive cells exhibited externalized (extracellular, ec) expression of Ddx4 protein (ecDdx4-positive), expressed markers of primitive germ cells but not of oocytes, and actively proliferated in culture, all of which are characteristic features of OSCs. Thus, crude dispersion of ovaries collected from Ddx4 gene promoter-driven reporter mice is not, by itself, a reliable approach to identify OSCs, whereas the same ovarian dispersates further subjected to cell sorting strategies yield purified OSCs that can be expanded in culture.

  8. Use of DEAD-box polypeptide-4 (Ddx4) gene promoter-driven fluorescent reporter mice to identify mitotically active germ cells in post-natal mouse ovaries.

    PubMed

    Park, Eun-Sil; Tilly, Jonathan L

    2015-01-01

    Several laboratories have independently isolated mitotically active germ cells, termed female germline stem cells or oogonial stem cells (OSCs), from adult mouse ovaries. However, a recent study using Ddx4-Cre;Rosa26 reporter mice concluded that such germ cells do not exist. Given the disparity in conclusions drawn in this study compared with others, we felt it was important to re-assess the utility of Ddx4-Cre;Rosa26 reporter mice for identification of OSCs in adult mouse ovaries. Transgenic Ddx4-Cre mice were crossed with Rosa26(tdTm/tdTm) mice to drive restricted tomato red (tdTm) gene expression in cells in which the Ddx4 gene promoter has been activated. Crude dispersion of ovaries from recombined offspring generated cell fractions containing tdTm-positive immature oocytes, which are incapable of proliferation and thus probably represent the uncharacterized reporter-positive ovarian cells identified in the paper Zhang et al. (2012) as being mitotically inactive. Dispersed ovaries further subjected to fluorescence-activated cell sorting yielded a large population of non-germline tdTm-positive cells, indicative of promoter 'leakiness' in the Ddx4-Cre mouse line. Nonetheless, a small percentage of these tdTm-positive cells exhibited externalized (extracellular, ec) expression of Ddx4 protein (ecDdx4-positive), expressed markers of primitive germ cells but not of oocytes, and actively proliferated in culture, all of which are characteristic features of OSCs. Thus, crude dispersion of ovaries collected from Ddx4 gene promoter-driven reporter mice is not, by itself, a reliable approach to identify OSCs, whereas the same ovarian dispersates further subjected to cell sorting strategies yield purified OSCs that can be expanded in culture. PMID:25147160

  9. Reduction in hepatic drug metabolizing CYP3A4 activities caused by P450 oxidoreductase mutations identified in patients with disordered steroid metabolism

    SciTech Connect

    Flueck, Christa E.; Mullis, Primus E.; Pandey, Amit V.

    2010-10-08

    Research highlights: {yields} Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4), metabolizes 50% of drugs in clinical use and requires NADPH-P450 reductase (POR). {yields} Mutations in human POR cause congenital adrenal hyperplasia from diminished activities of steroid metabolizing P450s. {yields} We are reporting that mutations in POR may reduce CYP3A4 activity. {yields} POR mutants Y181D, A457H, Y459H, V492E and R616X lost 99%, while A287P, C569Y and V608F lost 60-85% CYP3A4 activity. {yields} Reduction of CYP3A4 activity may cause increased risk of drug toxicities/adverse drug reactions in patients with POR mutations. -- Abstract: Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4), the major P450 present in human liver metabolizes approximately half the drugs in clinical use and requires electrons supplied from NADPH through NADPH-P450 reductase (POR, CPR). Mutations in human POR cause a rare form of congenital adrenal hyperplasia from diminished activities of steroid metabolizing P450s. In this study we examined the effect of mutations in POR on CYP3A4 activity. We used purified preparations of wild type and mutant human POR and in vitro reconstitution with purified CYP3A4 to perform kinetic studies. We are reporting that mutations in POR identified in patients with disordered steroidogenesis/Antley-Bixler syndrome (ABS) may reduce CYP3A4 activity, potentially affecting drug metabolism in individuals carrying mutant POR alleles. POR mutants Y181D, A457H, Y459H, V492E and R616X had more than 99% loss of CYP3A4 activity, while POR mutations A287P, C569Y and V608F lost 60-85% activity. Loss of CYP3A4 activity may result in increased risk of drug toxicities and adverse drug reactions in patients with POR mutations.

  10. Proof-of-principle results for identifying the composition of dust particles and volcanic ash samples through the technique of photon activation analysis at the IAC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mamtimin, Mayir; Cole, Philip L.; Segebade, Christian

    2013-04-01

    Instrumental analytical methods are preferable in studying sub-milligram quantities of airborne particulates collected in dust filters. The multi-step analytical procedure used in treating samples through chemical separation can be quite complicated. Further, due to the minute masses of the airborne particulates collected on filters, such chemical treatment can easily lead to significant levels of contamination. Radio-analytical techniques, and in particular, activation analysis methods offer a far cleaner alternative. Activation methods require minimal sample preparation and provide sufficient sensitivity for detecting the vast majority of the elements throughout the periodic table. In this paper, we will give a general overview of the technique of photon activation analysis. We will show that by activating dust particles with 10- to 30-MeV bremsstrahlung photons, we can ascertain their elemental composition. The samples are embedded in dust-collection filters and are irradiated "as is" by these photons. The radioactivity of the photonuclear reaction products is measured with appropriate spectrometers and the respective analytes are quantified using multi-component calibration materials. We shall provide specific examples of identifying the elemental components of airborne dust particles and volcanic ash by making use of bremsstrahlung photons from an electron linear accelerator at the Idaho Accelerator Center in Pocatello, Idaho.

  11. A proposed approach to systematically identify and monitor the corporate political activity of the food industry with respect to public health using publicly available information.

    PubMed

    Mialon, M; Swinburn, B; Sacks, G

    2015-07-01

    Unhealthy diets represent one of the major risk factors for non-communicable diseases. There is currently a risk that the political influence of the food industry results in public health policies that do not adequately balance public and commercial interests. This paper aims to develop a framework for categorizing the corporate political activity of the food industry with respect to public health and proposes an approach to systematically identify and monitor it. The proposed framework includes six strategies used by the food industry to influence public health policies and outcomes: information and messaging; financial incentive; constituency building; legal; policy substitution; opposition fragmentation and destabilization. The corporate political activity of the food industry could be identified and monitored through publicly available data sourced from the industry itself, governments, the media and other sources. Steps for country-level monitoring include identification of key food industry actors and related sources of information, followed by systematic data collection and analysis of relevant documents, using the proposed framework as a basis for classification of results. The proposed monitoring approach should be pilot tested in different countries as part of efforts to increase the transparency and accountability of the food industry. This approach has the potential to help redress any imbalance of interests and thereby contribute to the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases. PMID:25988272

  12. Novel Inducers of Fetal Globin Identified through High Throughput Screening (HTS) Are Active In Vivo in Anemic Baboons and Transgenic Mice

    PubMed Central

    Boosalis, Michael S.; Sangerman, Jose I.; White, Gary L.; Wolf, Roman F.; Shen, Ling; Dai, Yan; White, Emily; Makala, Levi H.; Li, Biaoru; Pace, Betty S.; Nouraie, Mehdi; Faller, Douglas V.; Perrine, Susan P.

    2015-01-01

    High-level fetal (γ) globin expression ameliorates clinical severity of the beta (β) hemoglobinopathies, and safe, orally-bioavailable γ-globin inducing agents would benefit many patients. We adapted a LCR-γ-globin promoter-GFP reporter assay to a high-throughput robotic system to evaluate five diverse chemical libraries for this activity. Multiple structurally- and functionally-diverse compounds were identified which activate the γ-globin gene promoter at nanomolar concentrations, including some therapeutics approved for other conditions. Three candidates with established safety profiles were further evaluated in erythroid progenitors, anemic baboons and transgenic mice, with significant induction of γ-globin expression observed in vivo. A lead candidate, Benserazide, emerged which demonstrated > 20-fold induction of γ-globin mRNA expression in anemic baboons and increased F-cell proportions by 3.5-fold in transgenic mice. Benserazide has been used chronically to inhibit amino acid decarboxylase to enhance plasma levels of L-dopa. These studies confirm the utility of high-throughput screening and identify previously unrecognized fetal globin inducing candidates which can be developed expediently for treatment of hemoglobinopathies. PMID:26713848

  13. Peptide array on cellulose support--a screening tool to identify peptides with dipeptidyl-peptidase IV inhibitory activity within the sequence of α-lactalbumin.

    PubMed

    Lacroix, Isabelle M E; Li-Chan, Eunice C Y

    2014-11-13

    The inhibition of the enzyme dipeptidyl-peptidase IV (DPP-IV) is an effective pharmacotherapeutic approach for the management of type 2 diabetes. Recent findings have suggested that dietary proteins, including bovine α-lactalbumin, could be precursors of peptides able to inhibit DPP-IV. However, information on the location of active peptide sequences within the proteins is far from being comprehensive. Moreover, the traditional approach to identify bioactive peptides from foods can be tedious and long. Therefore, the objective of this study was to use peptide arrays to screen α-lactalbumin-derived peptides for their interaction with DPP-IV. Deca-peptides spanning the entire α-lactalbumin sequence, with a frame shift of 1 amino acid between successive sequences, were synthesized on cellulose membranes using "SPOT" technology, and their binding to and inhibition of DPP-IV was studied. Among the 114 α-lactalbumin-derived decamers investigated, the peptides 60WCKDDQNPHS69 (αK(i) = 76 µM), 105LAHKALCSEK114 (K(i) = 217 µM) and 110LCSEKLDQWL119 (K(i) = 217 µM) were among the strongest DPP-IV inhibitors. While the SPOT- and traditionally-synthesized peptides showed consistent trends in DPP-IV inhibitory activity, the cellulose-bound peptides' binding behavior was not correlated to their ability to inhibit the enzyme. This research showed, for the first time, that peptide arrays are useful screening tools to identify DPP-IV inhibitory peptides from dietary proteins.

  14. Novel Inducers of Fetal Globin Identified through High Throughput Screening (HTS) Are Active In Vivo in Anemic Baboons and Transgenic Mice.

    PubMed

    Boosalis, Michael S; Sangerman, Jose I; White, Gary L; Wolf, Roman F; Shen, Ling; Dai, Yan; White, Emily; Makala, Levi H; Li, Biaoru; Pace, Betty S; Nouraie, Mehdi; Faller, Douglas V; Perrine, Susan P

    2015-01-01

    High-level fetal (γ) globin expression ameliorates clinical severity of the beta (β) hemoglobinopathies, and safe, orally-bioavailable γ-globin inducing agents would benefit many patients. We adapted a LCR-γ-globin promoter-GFP reporter assay to a high-throughput robotic system to evaluate five diverse chemical libraries for this activity. Multiple structurally- and functionally-diverse compounds were identified which activate the γ-globin gene promoter at nanomolar concentrations, including some therapeutics approved for other conditions. Three candidates with established safety profiles were further evaluated in erythroid progenitors, anemic baboons and transgenic mice, with significant induction of γ-globin expression observed in vivo. A lead candidate, Benserazide, emerged which demonstrated > 20-fold induction of γ-globin mRNA expression in anemic baboons and increased F-cell proportions by 3.5-fold in transgenic mice. Benserazide has been used chronically to inhibit amino acid decarboxylase to enhance plasma levels of L-dopa. These studies confirm the utility of high-throughput screening and identify previously unrecognized fetal globin inducing candidates which can be developed expediently for treatment of hemoglobinopathies.

  15. A proposed approach to systematically identify and monitor the corporate political activity of the food industry with respect to public health using publicly available information.

    PubMed

    Mialon, M; Swinburn, B; Sacks, G

    2015-07-01

    Unhealthy diets represent one of the major risk factors for non-communicable diseases. There is currently a risk that the political influence of the food industry results in public health policies that do not adequately balance public and commercial interests. This paper aims to develop a framework for categorizing the corporate political activity of the food industry with respect to public health and proposes an approach to systematically identify and monitor it. The proposed framework includes six strategies used by the food industry to influence public health policies and outcomes: information and messaging; financial incentive; constituency building; legal; policy substitution; opposition fragmentation and destabilization. The corporate political activity of the food industry could be identified and monitored through publicly available data sourced from the industry itself, governments, the media and other sources. Steps for country-level monitoring include identification of key food industry actors and related sources of information, followed by systematic data collection and analysis of relevant documents, using the proposed framework as a basis for classification of results. The proposed monitoring approach should be pilot tested in different countries as part of efforts to increase the transparency and accountability of the food industry. This approach has the potential to help redress any imbalance of interests and thereby contribute to the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases.

  16. A High-Throughput Cell-Based Screen Identified a 2-[(E)-2-Phenylvinyl]-8-Quinolinol Core Structure That Activates p53.

    PubMed

    Bechill, John; Zhong, Rong; Zhang, Chen; Solomaha, Elena; Spiotto, Michael T

    2016-01-01

    p53 function is frequently inhibited in cancer either through mutations or by increased degradation via MDM2 and/or E6AP E3-ubiquitin ligases. Most agents that restore p53 expression act by binding MDM2 or E6AP to prevent p53 degradation. However, fewer compounds directly bind to and activate p53. Here, we identified compounds that shared a core structure that bound p53, caused nuclear localization of p53 and caused cell death. To identify these compounds, we developed a novel cell-based screen to redirect p53 degradation to the Skip-Cullin-F-box (SCF) ubiquitin ligase complex in cells expressing high levels of p53. In a multiplexed assay, we coupled p53 targeted degradation with Rb1 targeted degradation in order to identify compounds that prevented p53 degradation while not inhibiting degradation through the SCF complex or other proteolytic machinery. High-throughput screening identified several leads that shared a common 2-[(E)-2-phenylvinyl]-8-quinolinol core structure that stabilized p53. Surface plasmon resonance analysis indicated that these compounds bound p53 with a KD of 200 ± 52 nM. Furthermore, these compounds increased p53 nuclear localization and transcription of the p53 target genes PUMA, BAX, p21 and FAS in cancer cells. Although p53-null cells had a 2.5±0.5-fold greater viability compared to p53 wild type cells after treatment with core compounds, loss of p53 did not completely rescue cell viability suggesting that compounds may target both p53-dependent and p53-independent pathways to inhibit cell proliferation. Thus, we present a novel, cell-based high-throughput screen to identify a 2-[(E)-2-phenylvinyl]-8-quinolinol core structure that bound to p53 and increased p53 activity in cancer cells. These compounds may serve as anti-neoplastic agents in part by targeting p53 as well as other potential pathways.

  17. A High-Throughput Cell-Based Screen Identified a 2-[(E)-2-Phenylvinyl]-8-Quinolinol Core Structure That Activates p53

    PubMed Central

    Bechill, John; Zhong, Rong; Zhang, Chen; Solomaha, Elena

    2016-01-01

    p53 function is frequently inhibited in cancer either through mutations or by increased degradation via MDM2 and/or E6AP E3-ubiquitin ligases. Most agents that restore p53 expression act by binding MDM2 or E6AP to prevent p53 degradation. However, fewer compounds directly bind to and activate p53. Here, we identified compounds that shared a core structure that bound p53, caused nuclear localization of p53 and caused cell death. To identify these compounds, we developed a novel cell-based screen to redirect p53 degradation to the Skip-Cullin-F-box (SCF) ubiquitin ligase complex in cells expressing high levels of p53. In a multiplexed assay, we coupled p53 targeted degradation with Rb1 targeted degradation in order to identify compounds that prevented p53 degradation while not inhibiting degradation through the SCF complex or other proteolytic machinery. High-throughput screening identified several leads that shared a common 2-[(E)-2-phenylvinyl]-8-quinolinol core structure that stabilized p53. Surface plasmon resonance analysis indicated that these compounds bound p53 with a KD of 200 ± 52 nM. Furthermore, these compounds increased p53 nuclear localization and transcription of the p53 target genes PUMA, BAX, p21 and FAS in cancer cells. Although p53-null cells had a 2.5±0.5-fold greater viability compared to p53 wild type cells after treatment with core compounds, loss of p53 did not completely rescue cell viability suggesting that compounds may target both p53-dependent and p53-independent pathways to inhibit cell proliferation. Thus, we present a novel, cell-based high-throughput screen to identify a 2-[(E)-2-phenylvinyl]-8-quinolinol core structure that bound to p53 and increased p53 activity in cancer cells. These compounds may serve as anti-neoplastic agents in part by targeting p53 as well as other potential pathways. PMID:27124407

  18. A High-Throughput Cell-Based Screen Identified a 2-[(E)-2-Phenylvinyl]-8-Quinolinol Core Structure That Activates p53.

    PubMed

    Bechill, John; Zhong, Rong; Zhang, Chen; Solomaha, Elena; Spiotto, Michael T

    2016-01-01

    p53 function is frequently inhibited in cancer either through mutations or by increased degradation via MDM2 and/or E6AP E3-ubiquitin ligases. Most agents that restore p53 expression act by binding MDM2 or E6AP to prevent p53 degradation. However, fewer compounds directly bind to and activate p53. Here, we identified compounds that shared a core structure that bound p53, caused nuclear localization of p53 and caused cell death. To identify these compounds, we developed a novel cell-based screen to redirect p53 degradation to the Skip-Cullin-F-box (SCF) ubiquitin ligase complex in cells expressing high levels of p53. In a multiplexed assay, we coupled p53 targeted degradation with Rb1 targeted degradation in order to identify compounds that prevented p53 degradation while not inhibiting degradation through the SCF complex or other proteolytic machinery. High-throughput screening identified several leads that shared a common 2-[(E)-2-phenylvinyl]-8-quinolinol core structure that stabilized p53. Surface plasmon resonance analysis indicated that these compounds bound p53 with a KD of 200 ± 52 nM. Furthermore, these compounds increased p53 nuclear localization and transcription of the p53 target genes PUMA, BAX, p21 and FAS in cancer cells. Although p53-null cells had a 2.5±0.5-fold greater viability compared to p53 wild type cells after treatment with core compounds, loss of p53 did not completely rescue cell viability suggesting that compounds may target both p53-dependent and p53-independent pathways to inhibit cell proliferation. Thus, we present a novel, cell-based high-throughput screen to identify a 2-[(E)-2-phenylvinyl]-8-quinolinol core structure that bound to p53 and increased p53 activity in cancer cells. These compounds may serve as anti-neoplastic agents in part by targeting p53 as well as other potential pathways. PMID:27124407

  19. Characterization of a newly identified mycobacterial tautomerase with promiscuous dehalogenase and hydratase activities reveals a functional link to a recently diverged cis-3-chloroacrylic acid dehalogenase.

    PubMed

    Baas, Bert-Jan; Zandvoort, Ellen; Wasiel, Anna A; Quax, Wim J; Poelarends, Gerrit J

    2011-04-12

    The enzyme cis-3-chloroacrylic acid dehalogenase (cis-CaaD) is found in a bacterial pathway that degrades a synthetic nematocide, cis-1,3-dichloropropene, introduced in the 20th century. The previously determined crystal structure of cis-CaaD and its promiscuous phenylpyruvate tautomerase (PPT) activity link this dehalogenase to the tautomerase superfamily, a group of homologous proteins that are characterized by a catalytic amino-terminal proline and a β-α-β structural fold. The low-level PPT activity of cis-CaaD, which may be a vestige of the function of its progenitor, prompted us to search the databases for a homologue of cis-CaaD that was annotated as a putative tautomerase and test both its PPT and cis-CaaD activity. We identified a mycobacterial cis-CaaD homologue (designated MsCCH2) that shares key sequence and active site features with cis-CaaD. Kinetic and 1H NMR spectroscopic studies show that MsCCH2 functions as an efficient PPT and exhibits low-level promiscuous dehalogenase activity, processing both cis- and trans-3-chloroacrylic acid. To further probe the active site of MsCCH2, the enzyme was incubated with 2-oxo-3-pentynoate (2-OP). At pH 8.5, MsCCH2 is inactivated by 2-OP due to the covalent modification of Pro-1, suggesting that Pro-1 functions as a nucleophile at pH 8.5 and attacks 2-OP in a Michael-type reaction. At pH 6.5, however, MsCCH2 exhibits hydratase activity and converts 2-OP to acetopyruvate, which implies that Pro-1 is cationic at pH 6.5 and not functioning as a nucleophile. At pH 7.5, the hydratase and inactivation reactions occur simultaneously. From these results, it can be inferred that Pro-1 of MsCCH2 has a pKa value that lies in between that of a typical tautomerase (pKa of Pro-1∼6) and that of cis-CaaD (pKa of Pro-1∼9). The shared activities and structural features, coupled with the intermediate pKa of Pro-1, suggest that MsCCH2 could be characteristic of an evolutionary intermediate along the past route for the

  20. A Genome-wide CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) Screen Identifies NEK7 as an Essential Component of NLRP3 Inflammasome Activation.

    PubMed

    Schmid-Burgk, Jonathan L; Chauhan, Dhruv; Schmidt, Tobias; Ebert, Thomas S; Reinhardt, Julia; Endl, Elmar; Hornung, Veit

    2016-01-01

    Inflammasomes are high molecular weight protein complexes that assemble in the cytosol upon pathogen encounter. This results in caspase-1-dependent pro-inflammatory cytokine maturation, as well as a special type of cell death, known as pyroptosis. The Nlrp3 inflammasome plays a pivotal role in pathogen defense, but at the same time, its activity has also been implicated in many common sterile inflammatory conditions. To this effect, several studies have identified Nlrp3 inflammasome engagement in a number of common human diseases such as atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer disease, or gout. Although it has been shown that known Nlrp3 stimuli converge on potassium ion efflux upstream of Nlrp3 activation, the exact molecular mechanism of Nlrp3 activation remains elusive. Here, we describe a genome-wide CRISPR/Cas9 screen in immortalized mouse macrophages aiming at the unbiased identification of gene products involved in Nlrp3 inflammasome activation. We employed a FACS-based screen for Nlrp3-dependent cell death, using the ionophoric compound nigericin as a potassium efflux-inducing stimulus. Using a genome-wide guide RNA (gRNA) library, we found that targeting Nek7 rescued macrophages from nigericin-induced lethality. Subsequent studies revealed that murine macrophages deficient in Nek7 displayed a largely blunted Nlrp3 inflammasome response, whereas Aim2-mediated inflammasome activation proved to be fully intact. Although the mechanism of Nek7 functioning upstream of Nlrp3 yet remains elusive, these studies provide a first genetic handle of a component that specifically functions upstream of Nlrp3.

  1. Regional mutagenesis of the gene encoding the phage Mu late gene activator C identifies two separate regions important for DNA binding

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Yide; Howe, Martha M.

    2008-01-01

    Lytic development of bacteriophage Mu is controlled by a regulatory cascade and involves three phases of transcription: early, middle and late. Late transcription requires the host RNA polymerase holoenzyme and a 16.5-kDa Mu-encoded activator protein C. Consistent with these requirements, the four late promoters Plys, PI, PP and Pmom have recognizable −10 hexamers but lack typical −35 hexamers. The C protein binds to a 16-bp imperfect dyad-symmetrical sequence element centered at −43.5 and overlapping the −35 region. Based on the crystal structure of the closely related Mor protein, the activator of Mu middle transcription, we predict that two regions of C are involved in DNA binding: a helix-turn-helix region and a β-strand region linking the dimerization and helix-turn-helix domains. To test this hypothesis, we carried out mutagenesis of the corresponding regions of the C gene by degenerate oligonucleotide-directed PCR and screened the resulting mutants for their ability to activate a Plys-galK fusion. Analysis of the mutant proteins by gel mobility shift, β-galactosidase and polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis assays identified a number of amino acid residues important for C DNA binding in both regions. PMID:18838393

  2. Profound Activity of the Anti-cancer Drug Bortezomib against Echinococcus multilocularis Metacestodes Identifies the Proteasome as a Novel Drug Target for Cestodes

    PubMed Central

    Stadelmann, Britta; Aeschbacher, Denise; Huber, Cristina; Spiliotis, Markus; Müller, Joachim; Hemphill, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    A library of 426 FDA-approved drugs was screened for in vitro activity against E. multilocularis metacestodes employing the phosphoglucose isomerase (PGI) assay. Initial screening at 20 µM revealed that 7 drugs induced considerable metacestode damage, and further dose-response studies revealed that bortezomib (BTZ), a proteasome inhibitor developed for the chemotherapy of myeloma, displayed high anti-metacestodal activity with an EC50 of 0.6 µM. BTZ treatment of E. multilocularis metacestodes led to an accumulation of ubiquinated proteins and unequivocally parasite death. In-gel zymography assays using E. multilocularis extracts demonstrated BTZ-mediated inhibition of protease activity in a band of approximately 23 kDa, the same size at which the proteasome subunit beta 5 of E. multilocularis could be detected by Western blot. Balb/c mice experimentally infected with E. multilocularis metacestodes were used to assess BTZ treatment, starting at 6 weeks post-infection by intraperitoneal injection of BTZ. This treatment led to reduced parasite weight, but to a degree that was not statistically significant, and it induced adverse effects such as diarrhea and neurological symptoms. In conclusion, the proteasome was identified as a drug target in E. multilocularis metacestodes that can be efficiently inhibited by BTZ in vitro. However, translation of these findings into in vivo efficacy requires further adjustments of treatment regimens using BTZ, or possibly other proteasome inhibitors. PMID:25474446

  3. Bioisosteric transformations and permutations in the triazolopyrimidine scaffold to identify the minimum pharmacophore required for inhibitory activity against Plasmodium falciparum dihydroorotate dehydrogenase

    PubMed Central

    Marwaha, Alka; White, John; El_Mazouni, Farah; Creason, Sharon A; Kokkonda, Sreekanth; Buckner, Frederick S.; Charman, Susan A.; Phillips, Margaret A.; Rathod, Pradipsinh K.

    2012-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum causes approximately 1 million deaths annually. However increasing resistance imposes a continuous threat to existing drug therapies. We previously reported a number of potent and selective triazolopyrimidine-based inhibitors of Plasmodium falciparum dihydroorotate dehydrogenase that inhibit parasite in vitro growth with similar activity. Lead optimization of this series led to the recent identification of a preclinical candidate, showing good activity against P. falciparum in mice. As part of a backup program around this scaffold, we explored heteroatom rearrangement and substitution in the triazolopyrimidine ring and have identified several other ring configurations that are active as PfDHODH inhibitors. The imidazo[1,2-α]pyrimidines were shown to bind somewhat more potently than the triazolopyrimidines depending on the nature of the amino aniline substitution. DSM151, the best candidate in this series, binds with 4-fold better affinity (PfDHODH IC50 = 0.077 μM) than the equivalent triazolopyrimidine and suppresses parasites in vivo in the P. berghei model. PMID:22877245

  4. The Inhibition of Mast Cell Activation of Radix Paeoniae alba Extraction Identified by TCRP Based and Conventional Cell Function Assay Systems

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Huiying; Cheng, Hongqiang; Cao, Gang; Zhang, Xingde; Tu, Jue; Sun, Mingjiao; Mou, Xiaozhou; Shou, Qiyang; Ke, Yuehai

    2016-01-01

    Chinese herbs have long been used to treat allergic disease, but recently the development was greatly impeded by the lack of good methods to explore the mechanism of action. Here, we showed the effects of Chinese herb Radix Paeoniae alba were identified and characterized by a mast cell activation assay that involves electronic impedance readouts for dynamic monitoring of cellular responses to produce time-dependent cell responding profiles (TCRPs), and the anti-allergic activities were further confirmed with various conventional molecular and cell biology tools. We found Radix P. alba can dose-dependently inhibit TCPRs, and have anti-allergic function in vitro and in vivo. Radix P. alba suppressed mast cell degranulation not only inhibiting the translocation of granules to the plasma membrane, but also blocking membrane fusion and exocytosis; and that there may be other anti-allergic components in addition to paeoniflorin. Our results suggest that Radix P. alba regulated mast cell activation with multiple targets, and this approach is also suitable for discovering other mast cell degranulation-targeting Chinese herbs and their potential multi-target mechanisms. PMID:27195739

  5. Identifying Factors Associated With Dropout During Prerandomization Run-in Period From an mHealth Physical Activity Education Study: The mPED Trial

    PubMed Central

    Gay, Caryl; Haskell, William; Arai, Shoshana; Vittinghoff, Eric

    2015-01-01

    Background The mobile phone-based physical activity education (mPED) trial is a randomized controlled trial (RCT) evaluating a mobile phone-delivered physical activity intervention for women. The study includes a run-in period to maximize the internal validity of the intervention trial, but little is known about factors related to successful run-in completion, and thus about potential threats to external validity. Objective Objectives of this study are (1) to determine the timing of dropout during the run-in period, reasons for dropout, optimum run-in duration, and relevant run-in components, and (2) to identify predictors of failure to complete the run-in period. Methods A total of 318 physically inactive women met preliminary eligibility criteria and were enrolled in the study between May 2011 and April 2014. A 3-week run-in period was required prior to randomization and included using a mobile phone app and wearing a pedometer. Cross-sectional analysis identified predictors of dropout. Results Out of 318 participants, 108 (34.0%) dropped out prior to randomization, with poor adherence using the study equipment being the most common reason. Median failure time was 17 days into the run-in period. In univariate analyses, nonrandomized participants were younger, had lower income, were less likely to drive regularly, were less likely to have used a pedometer prior to the study, were generally less healthy, had less self-efficacy for physical activity, and reported more depressive symptoms than randomized participants. In multivariate competing risks models, not driving regularly in the past month and not having used a pedometer prior to the study were significantly associated with failure to be randomized (P=.04 and .006, respectively), controlling for age, race/ethnicity, education, shift work, and use of a study-provided mobile phone. Conclusions Regular driving and past pedometer use were associated with reduced dropout during the prerandomization run-in period

  6. Tracer (18O, 3H, 3H/3He, CFC and SF6) and hydrochemistry to elucidate processes and mean residence times in porous aquifers in the South-East of Austria (Grazer and Leibnitzer Feld)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kralik, M.; Humer, F.; Darling, G.; Sültenfuß, J.; Wyhlidal, S.

    2012-04-01

    The European Water Framework Directive requires the surface and groundwater bodies in the EU to be back to good quality conditions by 2015. To elucidate the mean residence time (MRT), the recharge area and the potential source of contaminations in particular monitoring wells a combination of several tracers has to be applied at least over one year to answer these questions with confidence. For the implementation of this goal it is necessary that any measures to improve groundwater quality show an impact depending on the MRT. The two groundwater bodies "Grazer Feld" and "Leibnitzer Feld" in the southern part of Styria, Austria stretch out along the river Mur in the N - S direction and covers an area of 166 and 103 km2. The porous aquifer of 10 - 20 m (Grazer Feld) of 6 - 10 m (Leibnitzer Feld) thickness consists of sandy gravel and boulders. In both groundwater bodies are about 2/3 of the aquifer is covered by loam of variable thickness. The depth to water varies between 2 - 20 and 2 - 8 m, respectively. The mean precipitation rate is 900 mm/a. The groundwater runs more or less along the river Mur with a small gradient. The northern part of the Grazer Feld groundwater body is dominated by the urban structure of the city of Graz. The southern part and the groundwater body Leibnitzer Feld is impacted intensively by agricultural use. Due to the extensive agricultural use it contains high concentrations of nitrate and pesticides and shows other hydrochemical changes caused by urbanisation and industrial use. In 33 monitoring wells delta oxygen-18 was analysed four times during one year within the framework of the Austrian hydrochemical groundwater monitoring system. During one campaign 3H, 3H/3He, CFCs and SF6 was analysed in all wells. In addition, the same methods were applied on depth-resolved groundwater samples at selected wells (Kralik et al. 2011). The results of the 3H-input and 3H/3He-models support in both groundwater bodies the rapid water circulation (<5

  7. How Can We Identify the Elimination of Infectious Diseases? Experience From an Active Measles Laboratory Surveillance System in the Republic of Korea.

    PubMed

    Yang, Tae Un; Kang, Hae Ji; Eom, Hye Eun; Park, Young-Joon; Park, Ok; Kim, Su Jin; Nam, Jeong-Gu; Kim, Sung Soon; Jeong, Eun Kyeong

    2015-11-01

    Global efforts have markedly decreased the disease burden of vaccine-preventable diseases. Many countries have made considerable progress toward the elimination of measles. As elimination is approached, the very low incidence achieved by high vaccination coverage has underscored the need for a sensitive and timely surveillance system. In the Republic of Korea, an active laboratory surveillance system (ALSS) was implemented to supplement the existing passive surveillance system in 2006. The ALSS connects 5 major commercial laboratories and the national measles reference laboratory, where referred samples with positive or equivocal results are retested. Annually, from 2009 to 2013, 3714 suspected cases were detected through the ALSS, an expansion of 8- to 57-fold, compared with only the passive surveillance system. The ALSS, with its sensitivity and timeliness, is a reasonable strategy to supplement the existing measles surveillance system and to help identify the elimination of measles.

  8. Nbs1 ChIP-Seq Identifies Off-Target DNA Double-Strand Breaks Induced by AID in Activated Splenic B Cells.

    PubMed

    Khair, Lyne; Baker, Richard E; Linehan, Erin K; Schrader, Carol E; Stavnezer, Janet

    2015-08-01

    Activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) is required for initiation of Ig class switch recombination (CSR) and somatic hypermutation (SHM) of antibody genes during immune responses. AID has also been shown to induce chromosomal translocations, mutations, and DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) involving non-Ig genes in activated B cells. To determine what makes a DNA site a target for AID-induced DSBs, we identify off-target DSBs induced by AID by performing chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) for Nbs1, a protein that binds DSBs, followed by deep sequencing (ChIP-Seq). We detect and characterize hundreds of off-target AID-dependent DSBs. Two types of tandem repeats are highly enriched within the Nbs1-binding sites: long CA repeats, which can form Z-DNA, and tandem pentamers containing the AID target hotspot WGCW. These tandem repeats are not nearly as enriched at AID-independent DSBs, which we also identified. Msh2, a component of the mismatch repair pathway and important for genome stability, increases off-target DSBs, similar to its effect on Ig switch region DSBs, which are required intermediates during CSR. Most of the off-target DSBs are two-ended, consistent with generation during G1 phase, similar to DSBs in Ig switch regions. However, a minority are one-ended, presumably due to conversion of single-strand breaks to DSBs during replication. One-ended DSBs are repaired by processes involving homologous recombination, including break-induced replication repair, which can lead to genome instability. Off-target DSBs, especially those present during S phase, can lead to chromosomal translocations, deletions and gene amplifications, resulting in the high frequency of B cell lymphomas derived from cells that express or have expressed AID.

  9. A genomic region encompassing a newly identified exon provides enhancing activity sufficient for normal myo7aa expression in zebrafish sensory hair cells.

    PubMed

    Ernest, Sylvain; Rosa, Frédéric M

    2015-09-01

    MYO7A is an unconventional myosin involved in the structural organization of hair bundles at the apex of sensory hair cells (SHCs) where it serves mechanotransduction in the process of hearing and balance. Mutations of MYO7A are responsible for abnormal shaping of hair bundles, resulting in human deafness and murine deafness/circling behavior. Myo7aa, expressed in SHCs of the inner ear and lateral line of zebrafish, causes circling behavior and abnormal hair cell function when deficient in mariner mutant. This work identifies a new hair cell-specific enhancer, highly conserved between species, located within Intron 2-3 of zebrafish myosin 7a (myo7aa) gene. This enhancer is contained within a 761-bp DNA fragment that encompasses a newly identified Exon of myo7aa and whose activity does not depend on orientation. Compensation of mariner mutation by expression of mCherry-Myo7aa fusion protein under the control of this 761-bp DNA fragment results in recovery of balance, normal hair bundle shape and restored hair cell function. Two smaller adjacent fragments (344-bp and 431-bp), extracted from the 761-bp fragment, both show hair cell-specific enhancing activity, with apparently reduced intensity and coverage. These data should help understand the role of Myo7aa in sensory hair cell differentiation and function. They provide tools to decipher how myo7aa gene is expressed and regulated in SHCs by allowing the identification of potential transcription factors involved in this process. The discovered enhancer could represent a new target for the identification of deafness-causing mutations affecting human MYO7A.

  10. A genomic region encompassing a newly identified exon provides enhancing activity sufficient for normal myo7aa expression in zebrafish sensory hair cells.

    PubMed

    Ernest, Sylvain; Rosa, Frédéric M

    2015-09-01

    MYO7A is an unconventional myosin involved in the structural organization of hair bundles at the apex of sensory hair cells (SHCs) where it serves mechanotransduction in the process of hearing and balance. Mutations of MYO7A are responsible for abnormal shaping of hair bundles, resulting in human deafness and murine deafness/circling behavior. Myo7aa, expressed in SHCs of the inner ear and lateral line of zebrafish, causes circling behavior and abnormal hair cell function when deficient in mariner mutant. This work identifies a new hair cell-specific enhancer, highly conserved between species, located within Intron 2-3 of zebrafish myosin 7a (myo7aa) gene. This enhancer is contained within a 761-bp DNA fragment that encompasses a newly identified Exon of myo7aa and whose activity does not depend on orientation. Compensation of mariner mutation by expression of mCherry-Myo7aa fusion protein under the control of this 761-bp DNA fragment results in recovery of balance, normal hair bundle shape and restored hair cell function. Two smaller adjacent fragments (344-bp and 431-bp), extracted from the 761-bp fragment, both show hair cell-specific enhancing activity, with apparently reduced intensity and coverage. These data should help understand the role of Myo7aa in sensory hair cell differentiation and function. They provide tools to decipher how myo7aa gene is expressed and regulated in SHCs by allowing the identification of potential transcription factors involved in this process. The discovered enhancer could represent a new target for the identification of deafness-causing mutations affecting human MYO7A. PMID:25556989

  11. Integrated genomic analyses identify KDM1A's role in cell proliferation via modulating E2F signaling activity and associate with poor clinical outcome in oral cancer.

    PubMed

    Narayanan, Sathiya Pandi; Singh, Smriti; Gupta, Amit; Yadav, Sandhya; Singh, Shree Ram; Shukla, Sanjeev

    2015-10-28

    The histone demethylase KDM1A specifically demethylates lysine residues and its deregulation has been implicated in the initiation and progression of various cancers. However, KDM1A's molecular role and its pathological consequences, and prognostic significance in oral cancer remain less understood. In the present study, we sought to investigate the expression of KDM1A and its downstream role in oral cancer pathogenesis. By comparing mRNA expression profiles, we identified an elevated KDM1A expression in oral tumors when compared to normal oral tissues. In silico pathway prediction identified the association between KDM1A and E2F1 signaling in oral cancer. Pathway scanning, functional annotation analysis and In vitro assays showed the KDM1A's involvement in oral cancer cell proliferation and the cell cycle. Moreover, real time PCR and luciferase assays confirmed KDM1A's role in regulation of E2F1 signaling activity in oral cancer. Elevated KDM1A expression is associated with poor clinical outcome in oral cancer. Our data indicate that deregulated KDM1A expression is positively associated with proliferative phenotype of oral cancer and confers poor clinical outcome. These cumulative data suggest that KDM1A might be a potential diagnostic and therapeutic target for oral cancer. PMID:26225839

  12. Application of structure-based drug design and parallel chemistry to identify selective, brain penetrant, in vivo active phosphodiesterase 9A inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Claffey, Michelle M; Helal, Christopher J; Verhoest, Patrick R; Kang, Zhijun; Fors, Kristina S; Jung, Stanley; Zhong, Jiaying; Bundesmann, Mark W; Hou, Xinjun; Lui, Shenping; Kleiman, Robin J; Vanase-Frawley, Michelle; Schmidt, Anne W; Menniti, Frank; Schmidt, Christopher J; Hoffman, William E; Hajos, Mihaly; McDowell, Laura; O'Connor, Rebecca E; Macdougall-Murphy, Mary; Fonseca, Kari R; Becker, Stacey L; Nelson, Frederick R; Liras, Spiros

    2012-11-01

    Phosphodiesterase 9A inhibitors have shown activity in preclinical models of cognition with potential application as novel therapies for treating Alzheimer's disease. Our clinical candidate, PF-04447943 (2), demonstrated acceptable CNS permeability in rats with modest asymmetry between central and peripheral compartments (free brain/free plasma = 0.32; CSF/free plasma = 0.19) yet had physicochemical properties outside the range associated with traditional CNS drugs. To address the potential risk of restricted CNS penetration with 2 in human clinical trials, we sought to identify a preclinical candidate with no asymmetry in rat brain penetration and that could advance into development. Merging the medicinal chemistry strategies of structure-based design with parallel chemistry, a novel series of PDE9A inhibitors was identified that showed improved selectivity over PDE1C. Optimization afforded preclinical candidate 19 that demonstrated free brain/free plasma ≥ 1 in rat and reduced microsomal clearance along with the ability to increase cyclic guanosine monophosphosphate levels in rat CSF. PMID:23025719

  13. High-throughput combinatorial screening identifies drugs that cooperate with ibrutinib to kill activated B-cell–like diffuse large B-cell lymphoma cells

    PubMed Central

    Mathews Griner, Lesley A.; Guha, Rajarshi; Shinn, Paul; Young, Ryan M.; Keller, Jonathan M.; Liu, Dongbo; Goldlust, Ian S.; Yasgar, Adam; McKnight, Crystal; Boxer, Matthew B.; Duveau, Damien Y.; Jiang, Jian-Kang; Michael, Sam; Mierzwa, Tim; Huang, Wenwei; Walsh, Martin J.; Mott, Bryan T.; Patel, Paresma; Leister, William; Maloney, David J.; Leclair, Christopher A.; Rai, Ganesha; Jadhav, Ajit; Peyser, Brian D.; Austin, Christopher P.; Martin, Scott E.; Simeonov, Anton; Ferrer, Marc; Staudt, Louis M.; Thomas, Craig J.

    2014-01-01

    The clinical development of drug combinations is typically achieved through trial-and-error or via insight gained through a detailed molecular understanding of dysregulated signaling pathways in a specific cancer type. Unbiased small-molecule combination (matrix) screening represents a high-throughput means to explore hundreds and even thousands of drug–drug pairs for potential investigation and translation. Here, we describe a high-throughput screening platform capable of testing compounds in pairwise matrix blocks for the rapid and systematic identification of synergistic, additive, and antagonistic drug combinations. We use this platform to define potential therapeutic combinations for the activated B-cell–like subtype (ABC) of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). We identify drugs with synergy, additivity, and antagonism with the Bruton’s tyrosine kinase inhibitor ibrutinib, which targets the chronic active B-cell receptor signaling that characterizes ABC DLBCL. Ibrutinib interacted favorably with a wide range of compounds, including inhibitors of the PI3K-AKT-mammalian target of rapamycin signaling cascade, other B-cell receptor pathway inhibitors, Bcl-2 family inhibitors, and several components of chemotherapy that is the standard of care for DLBCL. PMID:24469833

  14. Identifying the computational requirements of an integrated top-down-bottom-up model for overt visual attention within an active vision system.

    PubMed

    McBride, Sebastian; Huelse, Martin; Lee, Mark

    2013-01-01

    Computational visual attention systems have been constructed in order for robots and other devices to detect and locate regions of interest in their visual world. Such systems often attempt to take account of what is known of the human visual system and employ concepts, such as 'active vision', to gain various perceived advantages. However, despite the potential for gaining insights from such experiments, the computational requirements for visual attention processing are often not clearly presented from a biological perspective. This was the primary objective of this study, attained through two specific phases of investigation: 1) conceptual modeling of a top-down-bottom-up framework through critical analysis of the psychophysical and neurophysiological literature, 2) implementation and validation of the model into robotic hardware (as a representative of an active vision system). Seven computational requirements were identified: 1) transformation of retinotopic to egocentric mappings, 2) spatial memory for the purposes of medium-term inhibition of return, 3) synchronization of 'where' and 'what' information from the two visual streams, 4) convergence of top-down and bottom-up information to a centralized point of information processing, 5) a threshold function to elicit saccade action, 6) a function to represent task relevance as a ratio of excitation and inhibition, and 7) derivation of excitation and inhibition values from object-associated feature classes. The model provides further insight into the nature of data representation and transfer between brain regions associated with the vertebrate 'active' visual attention system. In particular, the model lends strong support to the functional role of the lateral intraparietal region of the brain as a primary area of information consolidation that directs putative action through the use of a 'priority map'.

  15. Cell-Based Screening Identifies the Active Ingredients from Traditional Chinese Medicine Formula Shixiao San as the Inhibitors of Atherosclerotic Endothelial Dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiaofan; Zhang, Ruowen; Gu, Liqiang; Zhang, Yuanyuan; Zhao, Xu; Bi, Kaishun; Chen, Xiaohui

    2015-01-01

    In this study, we performed a phenotypic screening in human endothelial cells exposed to oxidized low density lipoprotein (an in vitro model of atherosclerotic endothelial dysfunction) to identify the effective compounds in Shixiao San. After investigating the suitability and reliability of the cell-based screening method using atorvastatin as the positive control drug, this method was applied in screening Shixiao San and its extracts. The treatment of n-butanol fraction on endothelial cells exhibited stronger healing effects against oxidized low density lipoprotein-induced insult when compared with other fractions. Cell viability, the level of nitric oxide, endothelial nitric oxide synthase and endothelin-1 were measured, respectively. The assays revealed n-butanol fraction significantly elevated the survival ratio of impaired cells in culture. In parallel, n-butanol fraction exhibited the highest inhibition of inflammation. The generation of prostaglandin-2 and adhesion molecule (soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1) was obviously declined. Furthermore, n-butanol fraction suppressed the production of reactive oxygen species and malondialdehyde, and restored the activity of superoxide dismutase. Compounds identification of the n-butanol fraction was carried out by ultra high liquid chromatography coupled to quadrupole time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry. The active ingredients including quercetin-3-O-(2G-α-l-rhamnosyl)-rutinoside, quercetin-3-O-neohesperidoside, isorhamnetin-3-O-neohesperidoside and isorhamnetin-3-O-rutinoside revealed the ability of anti-atherosclerosis after exposing on endothelial cells. The current work illustrated the pharmacology effect of Shixiao San and clearly indicated the major active components in Shixiao San. More importantly, the proposed cell-based screening method might be particularly suitable for fast evaluating the anti-atherosclerosis efficacy of Traditional Chinese Medicines and screening out the interesting

  16. Disulfide-Trapping Identifies a New, Effective Chemical Probe for Activating the Nuclear Receptor Human LRH-1 (NR5A2)

    PubMed Central

    de Jesus Cortez, Felipe; Suzawa, Miyuki; Irvy, Sam; Bruning, John M.; Sablin, Elena; Jacobson, Matthew P.; Fletterick, Robert J.; Ingraham, Holly A.

    2016-01-01

    Conventional efforts relying on high-throughput physical and virtual screening of large compound libraries have failed to yield high-efficiency chemical probes for many of the 48 human nuclear receptors. Here, we investigated whether disulfide-trapping, an approach new to nuclear receptors, would provide effective lead compounds targeting human liver receptor homolog 1 (hLRH-1, NR5A2). Despite the fact that hLRH-1 contains a large ligand binding pocket and binds phospholipids with high affinity, existing synthetic hLRH-1 ligands are of limited utility due to poor solubility, low efficacy or significant off-target effects. Using disulfide-trapping, we identified a lead compound that conjugates with remarkably high-efficiency to a native cysteine residue (Cys346) lining the hydrophobic cavity in the ligand binding domain of hLRH-1. Guided by computational modeling and cellular assays, the lead compound was elaborated into ligands PME8 and PME9 that bind hLRH-1 reversibly (no cysteine reactivity) and increase hLRH-1 activity in cells. When compared with the existing hLRH-1 synthetic agonist RJW100, both PME8 and PME9 showed comparable induction of the LRH-1 dependent target gene CYP24A1 in human HepG2 cells, beginning as early as 3 h after drug treatment. The induction is specific as siRNA-mediated knock-down of hLRH-1 renders both PME8 and PME9 ineffective. These data show that PME8 and PME9 are potent activators of hLRH-1 and suggest that with further development this lead series may yield useful chemical probes for manipulating LRH-1 activity in vivo. PMID:27467220

  17. Cell-based screening identifies the active ingredients from Traditional Chinese Medicine formula Shixiao San as the inhibitors of atherosclerotic endothelial dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaofan; Zhang, Ruowen; Gu, Liqiang; Zhang, Yuanyuan; Zhao, Xu; Bi, Kaishun; Chen, Xiaohui

    2015-01-01

    In this study, we performed a phenotypic screening in human endothelial cells exposed to oxidized low density lipoprotein (an in vitro model of atherosclerotic endothelial dysfunction) to identify the effective compounds in Shixiao San. After investigating the suitability and reliability of the cell-based screening method using atorvastatin as the positive control drug, this method was applied in screening Shixiao San and its extracts. The treatment of n-butanol fraction on endothelial cells exhibited stronger healing effects against oxidized low density lipoprotein-induced insult when compared with other fractions. Cell viability, the level of nitric oxide, endothelial nitric oxide synthase and endothelin-1 were measured, respectively. The assays revealed n-butanol fraction significantly elevated the survival ratio of impaired cells in culture. In parallel, n-butanol fraction exhibited the highest inhibition of inflammation. The generation of prostaglandin-2 and adhesion molecule (soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1) was obviously declined. Furthermore, n-butanol fraction suppressed the production of reactive oxygen species and malondialdehyde, and restored the activity of superoxide dismutase. Compounds identification of the n-butanol fraction was carried out by ultra high liquid chromatography coupled to quadrupole time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry. The active ingredients including quercetin-3-O-(2G-α-l-rhamnosyl)-rutinoside, quercetin-3-O-neohesperidoside, isorhamnetin-3-O-neohesperidoside and isorhamnetin-3-O-rutinoside revealed the ability of anti-atherosclerosis after exposing on endothelial cells. The current work illustrated the pharmacology effect of Shixiao San and clearly indicated the major active components in Shixiao San. More importantly, the proposed cell-based screening method might be particularly suitable for fast evaluating the anti-atherosclerosis efficacy of Traditional Chinese Medicines and screening out the interesting

  18. Evaluation of Changes in Ghanaian Students' Attitudes Towards Science Following Neuroscience Outreach Activities: A Means to Identify Effective Ways to Inspire Interest in Science Careers.

    PubMed

    Yawson, Nat Ato; Amankwaa, Aaron Opoku; Tali, Bernice; Shang, Velma Owusua; Batu, Emmanuella Nsenbah; Asiemoah, Kwame; Fuseini, Ahmed Denkeri; Tene, Louis Nana; Angaandi, Leticia; Blewusi, Isaac; Borbi, Makafui; Aduku, Linda Nana Esi; Badu, Pheonah; Abbey, Henrietta; Karikari, Thomas K

    2016-01-01

    The scientific capacity in many African countries is low. Ghana, for example, is estimated to have approximately twenty-three researchers per a million inhabitants. In order to improve interest in science among future professionals, appropriate techniques should be developed and employed to identify barriers and correlates of science education among pre-university students. Young students' attitudes towards science may affect their future career choices. However, these attitudes may change with new experiences. It is, therefore, important to evaluate potential changes in students' attitudes towards science after their exposure to experiences such as science outreach activities. Through this, more effective means of inspiring and mentoring young students to choose science subjects can be developed. This approach would be particularly beneficial in countries such as Ghana, where: (i) documented impacts of outreach activities are lacking; and (ii) effective means to develop scientist-school educational partnerships are needed. We have established an outreach scheme, aimed at helping to improve interaction between scientists and pre-university students (and their teachers). Outreach activities are designed and implemented by undergraduate students and graduate teaching assistants, with support from faculty members and technical staff. Through this, we aim to build a team of trainee scientists and graduates who will become ambassadors of science in their future professional endeavors. Here, we describe an approach for assessing changes in junior high school students' attitudes towards science following classroom neuroscience outreach activities. We show that while students tended to agree more with questions concerning their perceptions about science learning after the delivery of outreach activities, significant improvements were obtained for only two questions, namely "I enjoy science lessons" and "I want to be a scientist in the future." Furthermore, there was a

  19. Evaluation of Changes in Ghanaian Students’ Attitudes Towards Science Following Neuroscience Outreach Activities: A Means to Identify Effective Ways to Inspire Interest in Science Careers

    PubMed Central

    Yawson, Nat Ato; Amankwaa, Aaron Opoku; Tali, Bernice; Shang, Velma Owusua; Batu, Emmanuella Nsenbah; Asiemoah, Kwame; Fuseini, Ahmed Denkeri; Tene, Louis Nana; Angaandi, Leticia; Blewusi, Isaac; Borbi, Makafui; Aduku, Linda Nana Esi; Badu, Pheonah; Abbey, Henrietta; Karikari, Thomas K.

    2016-01-01

    The scientific capacity in many African countries is low. Ghana, for example, is estimated to have approximately twenty-three researchers per a million inhabitants. In order to improve interest in science among future professionals, appropriate techniques should be developed and employed to identify barriers and correlates of science education among pre-university students. Young students’ attitudes towards science may affect their future career choices. However, these attitudes may change with new experiences. It is, therefore, important to evaluate potential changes in students’ attitudes towards science after their exposure to experiences such as science outreach activities. Through this, more effective means of inspiring and mentoring young students to choose science subjects can be developed. This approach would be particularly beneficial in countries such as Ghana, where: (i) documented impacts of outreach activities are lacking; and (ii) effective means to develop scientist-school educational partnerships are needed. We have established an outreach scheme, aimed at helping to improve interaction between scientists and pre-university students (and their teachers). Outreach activities are designed and implemented by undergraduate students and graduate teaching assistants, with support from faculty members and technical staff. Through this, we aim to build a team of trainee scientists and graduates who will become ambassadors of science in their future professional endeavors. Here, we describe an approach for assessing changes in junior high school students’ attitudes towards science following classroom neuroscience outreach activities. We show that while students tended to agree more with questions concerning their perceptions about science learning after the delivery of outreach activities, significant improvements were obtained for only two questions, namely “I enjoy science lessons” and “I want to be a scientist in the future.” Furthermore

  20. Evaluation of Changes in Ghanaian Students' Attitudes Towards Science Following Neuroscience Outreach Activities: A Means to Identify Effective Ways to Inspire Interest in Science Careers.

    PubMed

    Yawson, Nat Ato; Amankwaa, Aaron Opoku; Tali, Bernice; Shang, Velma Owusua; Batu, Emmanuella Nsenbah; Asiemoah, Kwame; Fuseini, Ahmed Denkeri; Tene, Louis Nana; Angaandi, Leticia; Blewusi, Isaac; Borbi, Makafui; Aduku, Linda Nana Esi; Badu, Pheonah; Abbey, Henrietta; Karikari, Thomas K

    2016-01-01

    The scientific capacity in many African countries is low. Ghana, for example, is estimated to have approximately twenty-three researchers per a million inhabitants. In order to improve interest in science among future professionals, appropriate techniques should be developed and employed to identify barriers and correlates of science education among pre-university students. Young students' attitudes towards science may affect their future career choices. However, these attitudes may change with new experiences. It is, therefore, important to evaluate potential changes in students' attitudes towards science after their exposure to experiences such as science outreach activities. Through this, more effective means of inspiring and mentoring young students to choose science subjects can be developed. This approach would be particularly beneficial in countries such as Ghana, where: (i) documented impacts of outreach activities are lacking; and (ii) effective means to develop scientist-school educational partnerships are needed. We have established an outreach scheme, aimed at helping to improve interaction between scientists and pre-university students (and their teachers). Outreach activities are designed and implemented by undergraduate students and graduate teaching assistants, with support from faculty members and technical staff. Through this, we aim to build a team of trainee scientists and graduates who will become ambassadors of science in their future professional endeavors. Here, we describe an approach for assessing changes in junior high school students' attitudes towards science following classroom neuroscience outreach activities. We show that while students tended to agree more with questions concerning their perceptions about science learning after the delivery of outreach activities, significant improvements were obtained for only two questions, namely "I enjoy science lessons" and "I want to be a scientist in the future." Furthermore, there was a

  1. Genome-wide DNA methylation identifies trophoblast invasion-related genes: Claudin-4 and Fucosyltransferase IV control mobility via altering matrix metalloproteinase activity.

    PubMed

    Hu, Yuxiang; Blair, John D; Yuen, Ryan K C; Robinson, Wendy P; von Dadelszen, Peter

    2015-05-01

    Previously we showed that extravillous cytotrophoblast (EVT) outgrowth and migration on a collagen gel explant model were affected by exposure to decidual natural killer cells (dNK). This study investigates the molecular causes behind this phenomenon. Genome wide DNA methylation of exposed and unexposed EVT was assessed using the Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip array (450 K array). We identified 444 differentially methylated CpG loci in dNK-treated EVT compared with medium control (P < 0.05). The genes associated with these loci had critical biological roles in cellular development, cellular growth and proliferation, cell signaling, cellular assembly and organization by Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA). Furthermore, 23 mobility-related genes were identified by IPA from dNK-treated EVT. Among these genes, CLDN4 (encoding claudin-4) and FUT4 (encoding fucosyltransferase IV) were chosen for follow-up studies because of their biological relevance from research on tumor cells. The results showed that the mRNA and protein expressions of both CLDN4 and FUT4 in dNK-treated EVT were significantly reduced compared with control (P < 0.01 for both CLDN4 and FUT4 mRNA expression; P < 0.001 for CLDN4 and P < 0.01 for FUT4 protein expression), and were inversely correlated with DNA methylation. Knocking down CLDN4 and FUT4 by small interfering RNA reduced trophoblast invasion, possibly through the altered matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and/or MMP-9 expression and activity. Taken together, dNK alter EVT mobility at least partially in association with an alteration of DNA methylation profile. Hypermethylation of CLDN4 and FUT4 reduces protein expression. CLDN4 and FUT4 are representative genes that participate in modulating trophoblast mobility. PMID:25697377

  2. Genome-wide DNA methylation identifies trophoblast invasion-related genes: Claudin-4 and Fucosyltransferase IV control mobility via altering matrix metalloproteinase activity

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Yuxiang; Blair, John D.; Yuen, Ryan K.C.; Robinson, Wendy P.; von Dadelszen, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Previously we showed that extravillous cytotrophoblast (EVT) outgrowth and migration on a collagen gel explant model were affected by exposure to decidual natural killer cells (dNK). This study investigates the molecular causes behind this phenomenon. Genome wide DNA methylation of exposed and unexposed EVT was assessed using the Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip array (450 K array). We identified 444 differentially methylated CpG loci in dNK-treated EVT compared with medium control (P < 0.05). The genes associated with these loci had critical biological roles in cellular development, cellular growth and proliferation, cell signaling, cellular assembly and organization by Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA). Furthermore, 23 mobility-related genes were identified by IPA from dNK-treated EVT. Among these genes, CLDN4 (encoding claudin-4) and FUT4 (encoding fucosyltransferase IV) were chosen for follow-up studies because of their biological relevance from research on tumor cells. The results showed that the mRNA and protein expressions of both CLDN4 and FUT4 in dNK-treated EVT were significantly reduced compared with control (P < 0.01 for both CLDN4 and FUT4 mRNA expression; P < 0.001 for CLDN4 and P < 0.01 for FUT4 protein expression), and were inversely correlated with DNA methylation. Knocking down CLDN4 and FUT4 by small interfering RNA reduced trophoblast invasion, possibly through the altered matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and/or MMP-9 expression and activity. Taken together, dNK alter EVT mobility at least partially in association with an alteration of DNA methylation profile. Hypermethylation of CLDN4 and FUT4 reduces protein expression. CLDN4 and FUT4 are representative genes that participate in modulating trophoblast mobility. PMID:25697377

  3. Genome-wide DNA methylation identifies trophoblast invasion-related genes: Claudin-4 and Fucosyltransferase IV control mobility via altering matrix metalloproteinase activity.

    PubMed

    Hu, Yuxiang; Blair, John D; Yuen, Ryan K C; Robinson, Wendy P; von Dadelszen, Peter

    2015-05-01

    Previously we showed that extravillous cytotrophoblast (EVT) outgrowth and migration on a collagen gel explant model were affected by exposure to decidual natural killer cells (dNK). This study investigates the molecular causes behind this phenomenon. Genome wide DNA methylation of exposed and unexposed EVT was assessed using the Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip array (450 K array). We identified 444 differentially methylated CpG loci in dNK-treated EVT compared with medium control (P < 0.05). The genes associated with these loci had critical biological roles in cellular development, cellular growth and proliferation, cell signaling, cellular assembly and organization by Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA). Furthermore, 23 mobility-related genes were identified by IPA from dNK-treated EVT. Among these genes, CLDN4 (encoding claudin-4) and FUT4 (encoding fucosyltransferase IV) were chosen for follow-up studies because of their biological relevance from research on tumor cells. The results showed that the mRNA and protein expressions of both CLDN4 and FUT4 in dNK-treated EVT were significantly reduced compared with control (P < 0.01 for both CLDN4 and FUT4 mRNA expression; P < 0.001 for CLDN4 and P < 0.01 for FUT4 protein expression), and were inversely correlated with DNA methylation. Knocking down CLDN4 and FUT4 by small interfering RNA reduced trophoblast invasion, possibly through the altered matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and/or MMP-9 expression and activity. Taken together, dNK alter EVT mobility at least partially in association with an alteration of DNA methylation profile. Hypermethylation of CLDN4 and FUT4 reduces protein expression. CLDN4 and FUT4 are representative genes that participate in modulating trophoblast mobility.

  4. Screening for Inhibition of Vibrio cholerae VipA-VipB Interaction Identifies Small-Molecule Compounds Active against Type VI Secretion

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Kun; Bröms, Jeanette; Lavander, Moa; Gurram, Bharat Kumar; Enquist, Per-Anders; Andersson, C. David; Elofsson, Mikael

    2014-01-01

    The type VI secretion system (T6SS) is the most prevalent bacterial secretion system and an important virulence mechanism utilized by Gram-negative bacteria, either to target eukaryotic cells or to combat other microbes. The components show much variability, but some appear essential for the function, and two homologues, denoted VipA and VipB in Vibrio cholerae, have been identified in all T6SSs described so far. Secretion is dependent on binding of an α-helical region of VipA to VipB, and in the absence of this binding, both components are degraded within minutes and secretion is ceased. The aim of the study was to investigate if this interaction could be blocked, and we hypothesized that such inhibition would lead to abrogation of T6S. A library of 9,600 small-molecule compounds was screened for their ability to block the binding of VipA-VipB in a bacterial two-hybrid system (B2H). After excluding compounds that showed cytotoxicity toward eukaryotic cells, that inhibited growth of Vibrio, or that inhibited an unrelated B2H interaction, 34 compounds were further investigated for effects on the T6SS-dependent secretion of hemolysin-coregulated protein (Hcp) or of phospholipase A1 activity. Two compounds, KS100 and KS200, showed intermediate or strong effects in both assays. Analogues were obtained, and compounds with potent inhibitory effects in the assays and desirable physicochemical properties as predicted by in silico analysis were identified. Since the compounds specifically target a virulence mechanism without affecting bacterial replication, they have the potential to mitigate the virulence with minimal risk for development of resistance. PMID:24798289

  5. SpALF4: a newly identified anti-lipopolysaccharide factor from the mud crab Scylla paramamosain with broad spectrum antimicrobial activity.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Lei; Lan, Jiang-Feng; Huang, Yan-Qing; Zhang, Chao; Zhou, Jun-Fang; Fang, Wen-Hong; Yao, Xiao-Juan; Wang, Hao; Li, Xin-Cang

    2014-01-01

    Anti-lipopolysaccharide factors (ALFs) are antimicrobial peptides with binding and neutralizing activities to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in crustaceans. This study identified and characterized a novel ALF homolog (SpALF4) from the mud crab Scylla paramamosain. The complete cDNA of SpALF4 had 756 bp with a 381 bp open reading frame encoding a protein with 126 aa. The deduced protein contained a signal peptide and a LPS-binding domain. SpALF4 shared the highest identity with PtALF5 at amino acid level but exhibited low similarity with most of other crustacean ALFs. Furthermore, different from the previously identified three SpALF homologs and most of other ALFs, SpALF4 had a low isoelectric point (pI) for the mature peptide and the LPS-binding domain with the values of 6.93 and 6.74, respectively. These results indicate that SpALF4 may be a unique ALF homolog with special biological function in the mud crab. Similar to the spatial structure of ALFPm3, SpALF4 contains three α-helices packed against a four-strand β-sheet, and an amphipathic loop formed by a disulphide bond between two conserved cysteine residues in LPS-binding domain. SpALF4, mainly distributed in hemocytes, could be upregulated by Vibrio harveyi, Staphylococcus aureus, or white spot syndrome virus. Recombinant SpALF4 could inhibit the growth of Gram-negative bacteria (V. harveyi, Vibrio anguillarum, Vibrio alginolyticus, Aeromonas hydrophila, Pseudomonas putida), Gram-positive bacteria (S. aureus and Bacillus megaterium), and a fungus Candida albicans to varying degrees. Further study showed that it could also bind to all the aforementioned microorganisms except S. aureus. These results demonstrate that SpALF4 is a unique ALF homolog with potent antimicrobial activity against bacteria and fungi. This characteristic suggests SpALF4 plays an essential function in immune defense against pathogen invasion in mud crab. PMID:24239582

  6. Can We Identify the Active Ingredients of Behaviour Change Interventions for Coronary Heart Disease Patients? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Goodwin, Laura; Ostuzzi, Giovanni; Khan, Nadia; Hotopf, Matthew H.; Moss-Morris, Rona

    2016-01-01

    Background The main behaviour change intervention available for coronary heart disease (CHD) patients is cardiac rehabilitation. There is little recognition of what the active ingredients of behavioural interventions for CHD might be. Using a behaviour change technique (BCT) framework to code existing interventions may help to identify this. The objectives of this systematic review are to determine the effectiveness of CHD behaviour change interventions and how this may be explained by BCT content and structure. Methods and Findings A systematic search of Medline, EMBASE and PsycInfo electronic databases was conducted over a twelve year period (2003–2015) to identify studies which reported on behaviour change interventions for CHD patients. The content of the behaviour change interventions was coded using the Coventry Aberdeen and London—Refined (CALO-RE) taxonomy. Meta-regression analyses examined the BCT content as a predictor of mortality. Twenty two papers met the criteria for this review, reporting data on 16,766 participants. The most commonly included BCTs were providing information, and goal setting. There was a small but significant effect of the interventions on smoking (risk ratio (RR) = 0.89, 95% CI 0.81–0.97). The interventions did not reduce the risk of CHD events (RR = 0.86, 95% CI 0.68, 1.09), but significantly reduced the risk of mortality (RR = 0.82, 95% CI 0.69, 0.97). Sensitivity analyses did not find that any of the BCT variables predicted mortality and the number of BCTs included in an intervention was not associated with mortality (β = -0.02, 95% CI -0.06–0.03). Conclusions Behaviour change interventions for CHD patients appear to have a positive impact on a number of outcomes. Using an existing BCT taxonomy to code the interventions helped us to understand which were the most commonly used techniques, providing information and goal setting, but not the active components of these complex interventions. PMID:27105435

  7. Gene-centric approach identifies new and known loci for FVIII activity and VWF antigen levels in European Americans and African Americans.

    PubMed

    Tang, Weihong; Cushman, Mary; Green, David; Rich, Stephen S; Lange, Leslie A; Yang, Qiong; Tracy, Russell P; Tofler, Geoffrey H; Basu, Saonli; Wilson, James G; Keating, Brendan J; Weng, Lu-Chen; Taylor, Herman A; Jacobs, David R; Delaney, Joseph A; Palmer, Cameron D; Young, Taylor; Pankow, James S; O'Donnell, Christopher J; Smith, Nicholas L; Reiner, Alexander P; Folsom, Aaron R

    2015-06-01

    Coagulation factor VIII and von Willebrand factor (VWF) are key proteins in procoagulant activation. Higher FVIII coagulant activity (FVIII :C) and VWF antigen (VWF :Ag) are risk factors for cardiovascular disease and venous thromboembolism. Beyond associations with ABO blood group, genetic determinants of FVIII and VWF are not well understood, especially in non European-American populations. We performed a genetic association study of FVIII :C and VWF:Ag that assessed 50,000 gene-centric single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 18,556 European Americans (EAs) and 5,047 African Americans (AAs) from five population-based cohorts. Previously unreported associations for FVIII :C were identified in both AAs and EAs with KNG1 (most significantly associated SNP rs710446, Ile581Thr, Ile581Thr, P = 5.10 × 10(-7) in EAs and P = 3.88 × 10(-3) in AAs) and VWF rs7962217 (Gly2705Arg,P = 6.30 × 10(-9) in EAs and P = 2.98 × 10(-2) in AAs. Significant associations for FVIII :C were also observed with F8/TMLHE region SNP rs12557310 in EAs (P = 8.02 × 10(-10) ), with VWF rs1800380 in AAs (P = 5.62 × 10(-11) ), and with MAT1A rs2236568 in AAs (P51.69 × 10(-6) ). We replicated previously reported associations of FVIII :C and VWF :Ag with the ABO blood group, VWF rs1063856(Thr789Ala), rs216321 (Ala852Gln), and VWF rs2229446 (Arg2185Gln). Findings from this study expand our understanding of genetic influences for FVIII :C and VWF :Ag in both EAs and AAs.

  8. Crystal structures of two monomeric triosephosphate isomerase variants identified via a directed-evolution protocol selecting for L-arabinose isomerase activity.

    PubMed

    Krause, Mirja; Kiema, Tiila Riikka; Neubauer, Peter; Wierenga, Rik K

    2016-06-01

    The crystal structures are described of two variants of A-TIM: Ma18 (2.7 Å resolution) and Ma21 (1.55 Å resolution). A-TIM is a monomeric loop-deletion variant of triosephosphate isomerase (TIM) which has lost the TIM catalytic properties. Ma18 and Ma21 were identified after extensive directed-evolution selection experiments using an Escherichia coli L-arabinose isomerase knockout strain expressing a randomly mutated A-TIM gene. These variants facilitate better growth of the Escherichia coli selection strain in medium supplemented with 40 mM L-arabinose. Ma18 and Ma21 differ from A-TIM by four and one point mutations, respectively. Ma18 and Ma21 are more stable proteins than A-TIM, as judged from CD melting experiments. Like A-TIM, both proteins are monomeric in solution. In the Ma18 crystal structure loop 6 is open and in the Ma21 crystal structure loop 6 is closed, being stabilized by a bound glycolate molecule. The crystal structures show only small differences in the active site compared with A-TIM. In the case of Ma21 it is observed that the point mutation (Q65L) contributes to small structural rearrangements near Asn11 of loop 1, which correlate with different ligand-binding properties such as a loss of citrate binding in the active site. The Ma21 structure also shows that its Leu65 side chain is involved in van der Waals interactions with neighbouring hydrophobic side-chain moieties, correlating with its increased stability. The experimental data suggest that the increased stability and solubility properties of Ma21 and Ma18 compared with A-TIM cause better growth of the selection strain when coexpressing Ma21 and Ma18 instead of A-TIM. PMID:27303904

  9. Time-driven activity-based costing of multivessel coronary artery bypass grafting across national boundaries to identify improvement opportunities: study protocol

    PubMed Central

    Erhun, F; Mistry, B; Platchek, T; Milstein, A; Narayanan, V G; Kaplan, R S

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery is a well-established, commonly performed treatment for coronary artery disease—a disease that affects over 10% of US adults and is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. In 2005, the mean cost for a CABG procedure among Medicare beneficiaries in the USA was $32 201±$23 059. The same operation reportedly costs less than $2000 to produce in India. The goals of the proposed study are to (1) identify the difference in the costs incurred to perform CABG surgery by three Joint Commission accredited hospitals with reputations for high quality and efficiency and (2) characterise the opportunity to reduce the cost of performing CABG surgery. Methods and analysis We use time-driven activity-based costing (TDABC) to quantify the hospitals’ costs of producing elective, multivessel CABG. TDABC estimates the costs of a given clinical service by combining information about the process of patient care delivery (specifically, the time and quantity of labour and non-labour resources utilised to perform each activity) with the unit cost of each resource used to provide the care. Resource utilisation was estimated by constructing CABG process maps for each site based on observation of care and staff interviews. Unit costs were calculated as a capacity cost rate, measured as a $/min, for each resource consumed in CABG production. Multiplying together the unit costs and resource quantities and summing across all resources used will produce the average cost of CABG production at each site. We will conclude by conducting a variance analysis of labour costs to reveal opportunities to bend the cost curve for CABG production in the USA. Ethics and dissemination All our methods were exempted from review by the Stanford Institutional Review Board. Results will be published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at scientific meetings. PMID:26307621

  10. Crystal structures of two monomeric triosephosphate isomerase variants identified via a directed-evolution protocol selecting for L-arabinose isomerase activity.

    PubMed

    Krause, Mirja; Kiema, Tiila Riikka; Neubauer, Peter; Wierenga, Rik K

    2016-06-01

    The crystal structures are described of two variants of A-TIM: Ma18 (2.7 Å resolution) and Ma21 (1.55 Å resolution). A-TIM is a monomeric loop-deletion variant of triosephosphate isomerase (TIM) which has lost the TIM catalytic properties. Ma18 and Ma21 were identified after extensive directed-evolution selection experiments using an Escherichia coli L-arabinose isomerase knockout strain expressing a randomly mutated A-TIM gene. These variants facilitate better growth of the Escherichia coli selection strain in medium supplemented with 40 mM L-arabinose. Ma18 and Ma21 differ from A-TIM by four and one point mutations, respectively. Ma18 and Ma21 are more stable proteins than A-TIM, as judged from CD melting experiments. Like A-TIM, both proteins are monomeric in solution. In the Ma18 crystal structure loop 6 is open and in the Ma21 crystal structure loop 6 is closed, being stabilized by a bound glycolate molecule. The crystal structures show only small differences in the active site compared with A-TIM. In the case of Ma21 it is observed that the point mutation (Q65L) contributes to small structural rearrangements near Asn11 of loop 1, which correlate with different ligand-binding properties such as a loss of citrate binding in the active site. The Ma21 structure also shows that its Leu65 side chain is involved in van der Waals interactions with neighbouring hydrophobic side-chain moieties, correlating with its increased stability. The experimental data suggest that the increased stability and solubility properties of Ma21 and Ma18 compared with A-TIM cause better growth of the selection strain when coexpressing Ma21 and Ma18 instead of A-TIM.

  11. Identifying the Computational Requirements of an Integrated Top-Down-Bottom-Up Model for Overt Visual Attention within an Active Vision System

    PubMed Central

    McBride, Sebastian; Huelse, Martin; Lee, Mark

    2013-01-01

    Computational visual attention systems have been constructed in order for robots and other devices to detect and locate regions of interest in their visual world. Such systems often attempt to take account of what is known of the human visual system and employ concepts, such as ‘active vision’, to gain various perceived advantages. However, despite the potential for gaining insights from such experiments, the computational requirements for visual attention processing are often not clearly presented from a biological perspective. This was the primary objective of this study, attained through two specific phases of investigation: 1) conceptual modeling of a top-down-bottom-up framework through critical analysis of the psychophysical and neurophysiological literature, 2) implementation and validation of the model into robotic hardware (as a representative of an active vision system). Seven computational requirements were identified: 1) transformation of retinotopic to egocentric mappings, 2) spatial memory for the purposes of medium-term inhibition of return, 3) synchronization of ‘where’ and ‘what’ information from the two visual streams, 4) convergence of top-down and bottom-up information to a centralized point of information processing, 5) a threshold function to elicit saccade action, 6) a function to represent task relevance as a ratio of excitation and inhibition, and 7) derivation of excitation and inhibition values from object-associated feature classes. The model provides further insight into the nature of data representation and transfer between brain regions associated with the vertebrate ‘active’ visual attention system. In particular, the model lends strong support to the functional role of the lateral intraparietal region of the brain as a primary area of information consolidation that directs putative action through the use of a ‘priority map’. PMID:23437044

  12. RNA-seq-mediated transcriptome analysis of actively growing and winter dormant shoots identifies non-deciduous habit of evergreen tree tea during winters.

    PubMed

    Paul, Asosii; Jha, Ashwani; Bhardwaj, Shruti; Singh, Sewa; Shankar, Ravi; Kumar, Sanjay

    2014-08-04

    Tea [Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze] is a perennial tree which undergoes winter dormancy and unlike deciduous trees, the species does not shed its leaves during winters. The present work dissected the molecular processes operating in the leaves during the period of active growth and winter dormancy through transcriptome analysis to understand a long-standing question: why should tea be a non-deciduous species? Analyses of 24,700 unigenes obtained from 57,767 primarily assembled transcripts showed (i) operation of mechanisms of winter tolerance, (ii) down-regulation of genes involved in growth, development, protein synthesis and cell division, and (iii) inhibition of leaf abscission due to modulation of senescence related processes during winter dormancy in tea. These senescence related processes exhibited modulation to favour leaf abscission (i) in deciduous Populus tremula during winters, and (ii) also in tea but under osmotic stress during which leaves also abscise. These results validated the relevance of the identified senescence related processes for leaf abscission and suggested their operation when in need in tea.

  13. RNA-seq-mediated transcriptome analysis of actively growing and winter dormant shoots identifies non-deciduous habit of evergreen tree tea during winters

    PubMed Central

    Paul, Asosii; Jha, Ashwani; Bhardwaj, Shruti; Singh, Sewa; Shankar, Ravi; Kumar, Sanjay

    2014-01-01

    Tea [Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze] is a perennial tree which undergoes winter dormancy and unlike deciduous trees, the species does not shed its leaves during winters. The present work dissected the molecular processes operating in the leaves during the period of active growth and winter dormancy through transcriptome analysis to understand a long-standing question: why should tea be a non-deciduous species? Analyses of 24,700 unigenes obtained from 57,767 primarily assembled transcripts showed (i) operation of mechanisms of winter tolerance, (ii) down-regulation of genes involved in growth, development, protein synthesis and cell division, and (iii) inhibition of leaf abscission due to modulation of senescence related processes during winter dormancy in tea. These senescence related processes exhibited modulation to favour leaf abscission (i) in deciduous Populus tremula during winters, and (ii) also in tea but under osmotic stress during which leaves also abscise. These results validated the relevance of the identified senescence related processes for leaf abscission and suggested their operation when in need in tea. PMID:25090269

  14. Global Expression Analysis Identified a Preferentially Nerve Growth Factor-induced Transcriptional Program Regulated by Sustained Mitogen-activated Protein Kinase/Extracellular Signal-regulated Kinase (ERK) and AP-1 Protein Activation during PC12 Cell Differentiation*

    PubMed Central

    Mullenbrock, Steven; Shah, Janki; Cooper, Geoffrey M.

    2011-01-01

    Neuronal differentiation of PC12 cells in response to NGF is a prototypical model in which signal duration determines a biological response. Sustained ERK activity induced by NGF, as compared with transient activity induced by EGF, is critical to the differentiation of these cells. To characterize the transcriptional program activated preferentially by NGF, we compared global gene expression profiles between cells treated with NGF and EGF for 2–4 h, when sustained ERK signaling in response to NGF is most distinct from the transient signal elicited by EGF. This analysis identified 69 genes that were preferentially up-regulated in response to NGF. As expected, up-regulation of these genes was mediated by sustained ERK signaling. In addition, they were up-regulated in response to other neuritogenic treatments (pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide and 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate plus dbcAMP) and were enriched for genes related to neuronal differentiation/function. Computational analysis and chromatin immunoprecipitation identified binding of CREB and AP-1 family members (Fos, FosB, Fra1, JunB, JunD) upstream of >30 and 50%, respectively, of the preferentially NGF-induced genes. Expression of several AP-1 family members was induced by both EGF and NGF, but their induction was more robust and sustained in response to NGF. The binding of Fos family members to their target genes was similarly sustained in response to NGF and was reduced upon MEK inhibition, suggesting that AP-1 contributes significantly to the NGF transcriptional program. Interestingly, Fra1 as well as two other NGF-induced AP-1 targets (HB-EGF and miR-21) function in positive feedback loops that may contribute to sustained AP-1 activity. PMID:22065583

  15. A National Case-Control Study Identifies Human Socio-Economic Status and Activities as Risk Factors for Tick-Borne Encephalitis in Poland

    PubMed Central

    Stefanoff, Pawel; Rosinska, Magdalena; Samuels, Steven; White, Dennis J.; Morse, Dale L.; Randolph, Sarah E.

    2012-01-01

    Background Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is endemic to Europe and medically highly significant. This study, focused on Poland, investigated individual risk factors for TBE symptomatic infection. Methods and Findings In a nation-wide population-based case-control study, of the 351 TBE cases reported to local health departments in Poland in 2009, 178 were included in the analysis. For controls, of 2704 subjects (matched to cases by age, sex, district of residence) selected at random from the national population register, two were interviewed for each case and a total of 327 were suitable for the analysis. Questionnaires yielded information on potential exposure to ticks during the six weeks (maximum incubation period) preceding disease onset in each case. Independent associations between disease and socio-economic factors and occupational or recreational exposure were assessed by conditional logistic regression, stratified according to residence in known endemic and non-endemic areas. Adjusted population attributable fractions (PAF) were computed for significant variables. In endemic areas, highest TBE risk was associated with spending ≥10 hours/week in mixed forests and harvesting forest foods (adjusted odds ratio 19.19 [95% CI: 1.72–214.32]; PAF 0.127 [0.064–0.193]), being unemployed (11.51 [2.84–46.59]; 0.109 [0.046–0.174]), or employed as a forester (8.96 [1.58–50.77]; 0.053 [0.011–0.100]) or non-specialized worker (5.39 [2.21–13.16]; 0.202 [0.090–0.282]). Other activities (swimming, camping and travel to non-endemic regions) reduced risk. Outside TBE endemic areas, risk was greater for those who spent ≥10 hours/week on recreation in mixed forests (7.18 [1.90–27.08]; 0.191 [0.065–0.304]) and visited known TBE endemic areas (4.65 [0.59–36.50]; 0.058 [−0.007–0.144]), while travel to other non-endemic areas reduced risk. Conclusions These socio-economic factors and associated human activities identified as risk factors for symptomatic

  16. A Bioinformatics Approach Identifies Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription-3 and Checkpoint Kinase 1 as Upstream Regulators of Kidney Injury Molecule-1 after Kidney Injury

    PubMed Central

    Ajay, Amrendra Kumar; Kim, Tae-Min; Ramirez-Gonzalez, Victoria; Park, Peter J.; Frank, David A.

    2014-01-01

    Kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1)/T cell Ig and mucin domain-containing protein-1 (TIM-1) is upregulated more than other proteins after AKI, and it is highly expressed in renal damage of various etiologies. In this capacity, KIM-1/TIM-1 acts as a phosphatidylserine receptor on the surface of injured proximal tubular epithelial cells, mediating phagocytosis of apoptotic cells, and it may also act as a costimulatory molecule for immune cells. Despite recognition of KIM-1 as an important therapeutic target for kidney disease, the regulators of KIM-1 transcription in the kidney remain unknown. Using a bioinformatics approach, we identified upstream regulators of KIM-1 after AKI. In response to tubular injury in rat and human kidneys or oxidant stress in human proximal tubular epithelial cells (HPTECs), KIM-1 expression increased significantly in a manner that corresponded temporally and regionally with increased phosphorylation of checkpoint kinase 1 (Chk1) and STAT3. Both ischemic and oxidant stress resulted in a dramatic increase in reactive oxygen species that phosphorylated and activated Chk1, which subsequently bound to STAT3, phosphorylating it at S727. Furthermore, STAT3 bound to the KIM-1 promoter after ischemic and oxidant stress, and pharmacological or genetic induction of STAT3 in HPTECs increased KIM-1 mRNA and protein levels. Conversely, inhibition of STAT3 using siRNAs or dominant negative mutants reduced KIM-1 expression in a kidney cancer cell line (769-P) that expresses high basal levels of KIM-1. These observations highlight Chk1 and STAT3 as critical upstream regulators of KIM-1 expression after AKI and may suggest novel approaches for therapeutic intervention. PMID:24158981

  17. Metabolomic Assessment of Induced and Activated Chemical Defence in the Invasive Red Alga Gracilaria vermiculophylla

    PubMed Central

    Nylund, Göran M.; Weinberger, Florian; Rempt, Martin; Pohnert, Georg

    2011-01-01

    In comparison with terrestrial plants the mechanistic knowledge of chemical defences is poor for marine macroalgae. This restricts our understanding in the chemically mediated interactions that take place between algae and other organisms. Technical advances such as metabolomics, however, enable new approaches towards the characterisation of the chemically mediated interactions of organisms with their environment. We address defence responses in the red alga Gracilaria vermiculophylla using mass spectrometry based metabolomics in combination with bioassays. Being invasive in the north Atlantic this alga is likely to possess chemical defences according to the prediction that well-defended exotics are most likely to become successful invaders in systems dominated by generalist grazers, such as marine macroalgal communities. We investigated the effect of intense herbivore feeding and simulated herbivory by mechanical wounding of the algae. Both processes led to similar changes in the metabolic profile. Feeding experiments with the generalist isopod grazer Idotea baltica showed that mechanical wounding caused a significant increase in grazer resistance. Structure elucidation of the metabolites of which some were up-regulated more than 100 times in the wounded tissue, revealed known and novel eicosanoids as major components. Among these were prostaglandins, hydroxylated fatty acids and arachidonic acid derived conjugated lactones. Bioassays with pure metabolites showed that these eicosanoids are part of the innate defence system of macroalgae, similarly to animal systems. In accordance with an induced defence mechanism application of extracts from wounded tissue caused a significant increase in grazer resistance and the up-regulation of other pathways than in the activated defence. Thus, this study suggests that G. vermiculophylla chemically deters herbivory by two lines of defence, a rapid wound-activated process followed by a slower inducible defence. By unravelling

  18. Metabolomic assessment of induced and activated chemical defence in the invasive red alga Gracilaria vermiculophylla.

    PubMed

    Nylund, Göran M; Weinberger, Florian; Rempt, Martin; Pohnert, Georg

    2011-01-01

    In comparison with terrestrial plants the mechanistic knowledge of chemical defences is poor for marine macroalgae. This restricts our understanding in the chemically mediated interactions that take place between algae and other organisms. Technical advances such as metabolomics, however, enable new approaches towards the characterisation of the chemically mediated interactions of organisms with their environment. We address defence responses in the red alga Gracilaria vermiculophylla using mass spectrometry based metabolomics in combination with bioassays. Being invasive in the north Atlantic this alga is likely to possess chemical defences according to the prediction that well-defended exotics are most likely to become successful invaders in systems dominated by generalist grazers, such as marine macroalgal communities. We investigated the effect of intense herbivore feeding and simulated herbivory by mechanical wounding of the algae. Both processes led to similar changes in the metabolic profile. Feeding experiments with the generalist isopod grazer Idotea baltica showed that mechanical wounding caused a significant increase in grazer resistance. Structure elucidation of the metabolites of which some were up-regulated more than 100 times in the wounded tissue, revealed known and novel eicosanoids as major components. Among these were prostaglandins, hydroxylated fatty acids and arachidonic acid derived conjugated lactones. Bioassays with pure metabolites showed that these eicosanoids are part of the innate defence system of macroalgae, similarly to animal systems. In accordance with an induced defence mechanism application of extracts from wounded tissue caused a significant increase in grazer resistance and the up-regulation of other pathways than in the activated defence. Thus, this study suggests that G. vermiculophylla chemically deters herbivory by two lines of defence, a rapid wound-activated process followed by a slower inducible defence. By unravelling

  19. A Global Genomic and Genetic Strategy to Identify, Validate and Use Gene Signatures of Xenobiotic-Responsive Transcription Factors in Prediction of Pathway Activation in the Mouse Liver

    EPA Science Inventory

    Many drugs and environmentally-relevant chemicals activate xenobiotic-responsive transcription factors. Identification of target genes of these factors would be useful in predicting pathway activation in in vitro chemical screening as well as their involvement in disease states. ...

  20. Identifying the activation motif in the N-terminal of rainbow trout and zebrafish melanocortin-2 receptor accessory protein 1 (MRAP1) orthologs.

    PubMed

    Dores, Robert M; Liang, Liang; Hollmann, Rebecca E; Sandhu, Navdeep; Vijayan, Mathilakath M

    2016-08-01

    The activation of mammalian melanocortin-2 receptor (MC2R) orthologs is dependent on a four-amino acid activation motif (LDYL/I) located in the N-terminal of mammalian MRAP1 (melanocortin-2 receptor accessory protein). Previous alanine substitution analysis had shown that the Y residue in this motif appears to be the most important for mediating the activation of mammalian MC2R orthologs. Similar, but not identical amino acid motifs were detected in rainbow trout MRAP1 (YDYL) and zebrafish MRAP1 (YDYV). To determine the importance of these residues in the putative activation motifs, rainbow trout and zebrafish MRAP1 orthologs were individually co-expressed in CHO cells with rainbow trout MC2R, and the activation of this receptor with either the wild-type MRAP1 ortholog or alanine-substituted analogs of the two teleost MRAP1s was analyzed. Alanine substitutions at all four amino acid positions in rainbow trout MRAP1 blocked activation of the rainbow trout MC2R. Single alanine substitutions of the D and Y residues in rainbow trout and zebrafish MRAP1 indicate that these two residues play a significant role in the activation of rainbow trout MC2R. These observations indicate that there are subtle differences in the way that teleost and mammalian MRAPs are involved in the activation of their corresponding MC2R orthologs.

  1. Identifying Barriers, Perceptions and Motivations Related to Healthy Eating and Physical Activity among 6th to 8th Grade, Rural, Limited-Resource Adolescents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kumar, Janavi; Adhikari, Koushik; Li, Yijing; Lindshield, Erika; Muturi, Nancy; Kidd, Tandalayo

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to enable community members to discuss their perceptions of eating habits and physical activity in relation to sixth, seventh, and eighth graders, and reveal facilitators and barriers to healthy eating behavior and physical activity engagement. Design/methodology/approach: Nine focus groups, which included six…

  2. Development and validation of a high-throughput cell-based screen to identify activators of a bacterial two-component signal transduction system.

    PubMed

    van Rensburg, Julia J; Fortney, Kate R; Chen, Lan; Krieger, Andrew J; Lima, Bruno P; Wolfe, Alan J; Katz, Barry P; Zhang, Zhong-Yin; Spinola, Stanley M

    2015-07-01

    CpxRA is a two-component signal transduction system (2CSTS) found in many drug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria. In response to periplasmic stress, CpxA autophosphorylates and donates a phosphoryl group to its cognate response regulator, CpxR. Phosphorylated CpxR (CpxR-P) upregulates genes involved in membrane repair and downregulates multiple genes that encode virulence factors, which are trafficked across the cell membrane. Mutants that constitutively activate CpxRA in Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium and Haemophilus ducreyi are avirulent in mice and humans, respectively. Thus, the activation of CpxRA has high potential as a novel antimicrobial/antivirulence strategy. Using a series of Escherichia coli strains containing a CpxR-P-responsive lacZ reporter and deletions in genes encoding CpxRA system components, we developed and validated a novel cell-based high-throughput screen (HTS) for CpxRA activators. A screen of 36,000 compounds yielded one hit compound that increased reporter activity in wild-type cells. This is the first report of a compound that activates, rather than inhibits, a 2CSTS. The activity profile of the compound against CpxRA pathway mutants in the presence of glucose suggested that the compound inhibits CpxA phosphatase activity. We confirmed that the compound induced the accumulation of CpxR-P in treated cells. Although the hit compound contained a nitro group, a derivative lacking this group retained activity in serum and had lower cytotoxicity than that of the initial hit. This HTS is amenable for the screening of larger libraries to find compounds that activate CpxRA by other mechanisms, and it could be adapted to find activators of other two-component systems.

  3. Electrocardiographic method for identifying drug-induced repolarization abnormalities associated with a reduction of the rapidly activating delayed rectifier potassium current.

    PubMed

    Couderc, J P; Vaglio, M; Xia, X; McNitt, S; Hyrien, O

    2006-01-01

    Several important non-cardiac drugs have been removed from the market after revealing harmful effect that was not identified during prior safety-assessment studies. We developed a new technique for the measurements of repolarization abnormalities from surface ECGs; this method improves sensitivity and specificity of the current technique used to identify the presence of abnormal ion current kinetics in the myocardial cells namely a prolongation of the QT interval on the surface ECG signal. We described in this paper the method and preliminary results, revealing the superiority of our technique that may play a role in the future of drug-safety assessment.

  4. Functional genomics analysis of big data identifies novel peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor gamma target single nucleotide polymorphisms showing association with cardiometabolic outcomes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Background Cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus represent overlapping diseases where a large portion of the variation attributable to genetics remains unexplained. An important player in their pathogenesis is peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma) that is involve...

  5. Systematic screening of glycosylation- and trafficking-associated gene knockouts in Saccharomyces cerevisiae identifies mutants with improved heterologous exocellulase activity and host secretion

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background As a strong fermentator, Saccharomyces cerevisiae has the potential to be an excellent host for ethanol production by consolidated bioprocessing. For this purpose, it is necessary to transform cellulose genes into the yeast genome because it contains no cellulose genes. However, heterologous protein expression in S. cerevisiae often suffers from hyper-glycosylation and/or poor secretion. Thus, there is a need to genetically engineer the yeast to reduce its glycosylation strength and to increase its secretion ability. Results Saccharomyces cerevisiae gene-knockout strains were screened for improved extracellular activity of a recombinant exocellulase (PCX) from the cellulose digesting fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium. Knockout mutants of 47 glycosylation-related genes and 10 protein-trafficking-related genes were transformed with a PCX expression construct and screened for extracellular cellulase activity. Twelve of the screened mutants were found to have a more than 2-fold increase in extracellular PCX activity in comparison with the wild type. The extracellular PCX activities in the glycosylation-related mnn10 and pmt5 null mutants were, respectively, 6 and 4 times higher than that of the wild type; and the extracellular PCX activities in 9 protein-trafficking-related mutants, especially in the chc1, clc1 and vps21 null mutants, were at least 1.5 times higher than the parental strains. Site-directed mutagenesis studies further revealed that the degree of N-glycosylation also plays an important role in heterologous cellulase activity in S. cerevisiae. Conclusions Systematic screening of knockout mutants of glycosylation- and protein trafficking-associated genes in S. cerevisiae revealed that: (1) blocking Golgi-to-endosome transport may force S. cerevisiae to export cellulases; and (2) both over- and under-glycosylation may alter the enzyme activity of cellulases. This systematic gene-knockout screening approach may serve as a convenient means for

  6. Ecto-alkaline phosphatase activity identified at physiological pH range on intact P19 and HL-60 cells is induced by retinoic acid.

    PubMed

    Scheibe, R J; Kuehl, H; Krautwald, S; Meissner, J D; Mueller, W H

    2000-01-01

    The activity of membrane-bound alkaline phosphatase (ALP) expressed on the external surface of cultured murine P19 teratocarcinoma and human HL-60 myeloblastic leukemia cells was studied at physiological pH using p-nitrophenylphosphate (pNPP) as substrate. The rate of substrate hydrolysis catalyzed by intact viable cells remained constant for eight successive incubations of 30 min and was optimal at micromolar substrate concentrations over the pH range 7.4-8.5. The value of apparent K(m) for pNPP in P19 and HL-60 cells was 120 microM. Hydrolytic activity of the ecto-enzyme at physiological pH decreased by the addition of levamisole, a specific and noncompetitive inhibitor of ALP (K(i) P19 = 57 microM; K(i) HL-60 = 50 microM). Inhibition of hydrolysis was reversed by removal of levamisole within 30 min. Retinoic acid (RA), which promotes the differentiation of P19 and HL-60 cells, induced levamisole-sensitive ecto-phosphohydrolase activity at pH 7.4. After its autophosphorylation by ecto-kinase activity, a 98-kDa membrane protein in P19 cells was found to be sensitive to ecto-ALP, and protein dephosphorylation increased after incubation of cells with RA for 24 h and 48 h. Orthovanadate, an inhibitor of all phosphatase activities, blocked the levamisole-sensitive dephosphorylation of the membrane phosphoproteins, while (R)-(-)-epinephrine reversed the effect by complexation of the inhibitor. The results demonstrate that the levamisole-sensitive phosphohydrolase activity on the cell surface is consistent with ecto-ALP activity degrading both physiological concentrations of exogenously added substrate and endogenous surface phosphoproteins under physiological pH conditions. The dephosphorylating properties of ecto-ALP are induced by RA, suggesting a specific function in differentiating P19 teratocarcinoma and HL-60 myeloblastic leukemia cells. PMID:10649440

  7. Flip flops, dress clothes, and no coat: clothing barriers to children's physical activity in child-care centers identified from a qualitative study

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Three-quarters of 3-6 year-old children in the U.S. spend time in childcare; many spend most of their waking hours in these settings. Daily physical activity offers numerous health benefits, but activity levels vary widely across centers. This study was undertaken to explore reasons why physical activity levels may vary. The purpose of this paper is to summarize an unexpected finding that child-care providers cited was a key barrier to children's physical activity. Methods Nine focus groups with 49 child-care providers (55% black) from 34 centers (including inner-city, suburban, Head Start and Montessori) were conducted in Cincinnati, OH. Three independent raters analyzed verbatim transcripts for themes. Several techniques were used to increase credibility of findings, including interviews with 13 caregivers. Results Two major themes about clothing were: 1) children's clothing was a barrier to children's physical activity in child-care, and 2) clothing choices were a significant source of conflict between parents and child-care providers. Inappropriate clothing items included: no coat/hat/gloves in the wintertime, flip flops or sandals, dress/expensive clothes, jewelry, and clothes that were either too loose or too tight. Child-care providers explained that unless there were enough extra coats at the center, a single child without a coat could prevent the entire class from going outside. Caregivers suggested several reasons why parents may dress their child inappropriately, including forgetfulness, a rushed morning routine, limited income to buy clothes, a child's preference for a favorite item, and parents not understanding the importance of outdoor play. Several child-care providers favored specific policies prohibiting inappropriate clothing, as many reported limited success with verbal or written reminders to bring appropriate clothing. Conclusion Inappropriate clothing may be an important barrier to children's physical activity in child

  8. The Thief With a Thousand Faces and the Victim With None: Identifying Determinants for Online Identity Theft Victimization With Routine Activity Theory.

    PubMed

    Reyns, Bradford W; Henson, Billy

    2016-08-01

    Available evidence suggests that identity theft is a growing problem that has significant consequences for victims, not the least of which is billions of dollars in financial losses. However, very little is known about the correlates or causes of identity theft victimization. Utilizing a nationally representative sample of individuals from the Canadian General Social Survey, the current study attempts to address this deficiency by examining the link between victims' online routine activities and their online identity theft victimization. It was found that certain routine activities directly influence the likelihood of experiencing identity theft. Potential research and policy implications also are discussed.

  9. Fluoro-Jade B staining as useful t