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Sample records for identify active grazers

  1. Grazer Impacts on Synechococcus Populations in the Coastal Gulf of Maine; Identifying Specific Microbial Interactions to Understand Bloom Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Countway, P. D.; Poulton, N.; Sieracki, M.; Hoeglund, A.; Anderson, S.; Burns, W. G.

    2016-02-01

    Protistan grazers help to shape the diversity, abundance, and composition of bacterial and phytoplankton communities, yet very little is known about the specific interactions between grazers and their prey. Grazers play key roles in the demise of phytoplankton blooms, with the abundance of grazers often increasing dramatically as prey-species decline. The timing and fate of Synechococcus blooms was investigated over a two-year period in Booth Bay, Maine (USA). The Synechococcus bloom in this region is characterized by several peaks in cell abundance, followed by periods of rapid decline. Two clades of Synechococcus (rpoC1 gene clades I and IV) were detected at our study site, with clade I typically present at higher abundance than clade IV. Modified grazing experiments were conducted at different stages of the Synechococcus bloom in which the natural plankton community was diluted with either 0.45 µm (grazer-free) or 30 kDa (grazer- and virus-free) filtered seawater. In general, the impact of grazers on Synechococcus populations was greater than the impact due to encounters with viruses during 24-hour in situ incubations. Interactions between grazers and Synechococcus were investigated using Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting (FACS) combined with single-cell genomics to identify specific associations between sorted-grazers and their prey. Single-cell sequencing revealed a diverse array of heterotrophic protists on sampling dates that occurred after periods of rapid decrease in the abundance of Synechococcus. Cultures of Synechococcus were added to natural plankton communities to stimulate grazers, which were subsequently cell-sorted in bulk mode and sequenced. These experiments revealed similar taxonomic affiliations of putative grazer types (e.g., Cercozoa) that responded to the presence of Synechococcus prey. Protistan grazers appear to exert a strong degree of control on the abundance and duration of the annual Synechococcus bloom in the coastal Gulf of Maine.

  2. Cosmopolitan heterotrophic microeukaryotes are active bacterial grazers in experimental oil-polluted systems.

    PubMed

    Dalby, Andrew P; Kormas, Konstantinos Ar; Christaki, Urania; Karayanni, Hera

    2008-01-01

    We investigated the population dynamics and prevailing 18S rDNA phylotypes of microeukaryotes (grazers of bacteria and as such their dynamics should be taken into account in bioremediation practices in situ.

  3. News of earth grazers. VII

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Combes, Michel-Alain; Meeus, Jean

    1988-05-01

    Data and designations for earth grazers discovered in the 1985-1987 period are presented, and a new system for calculating the magnitudes of minor planets is proposed. The new system involves the determination of both the absolute visual magnitude of the object and the parameter G, which describes the decrease in magnitude with the phase angle (with the phase angle defined as the earth-sun angular distance as seen from the minor planet). Data on orbit, diameter, and real and possible approaches to the earth are given in tabular form for the 29 objects considered. One-hundred-sixteen known asteroids, identified up to the end of 1987, are classified as three types of earth grazers, Aten, Apollo, and Amor.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. The role of grazer predation strategies in the dynamics of consumer-resource based ecological models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cropp, Roger; Moroz, Irene; Norbury, John

    2017-07-01

    We analyse a simple plankton system to provide a heuristic for more complex models such as Dynamic Green Ocean Models (DGOMs). Zooplankton foraging is either by generalist grazers that consume whatever they bump into or specialist grazers that actively seek particular prey. The zooplankton may further be classified as either facultative grazers that can survive on any of their prey or obligate grazers that depend on the presence of specific prey. A key result is that different prey dependencies can result in dramatically different impacts of grazing strategies on system outcomes. The grazing strategy can determine whether a system with obligate grazers will be stable, have regular, predictable cycles or be chaotic. Conversely, whether facultative zooplankton functioned as specialist or generalist grazers makes no qualitative difference to the dynamics of the system. These results demonstrate that the effect of different grazing strategies can be critically dependent on the grazer's dependency on specific prey. Great care must be taken when choosing functional forms for population interactions in DGOMs, particularly in scenarios such as climate change where parameters such as mortality and growth coefficients may change. A robust theoretical framework supporting model development and analysis is key to understanding how such choices can affect model properties and hence predictions.

  7. Short-term disturbance of a grazer has long-term effects on bacterial communities--relevance of trophic interactions for recovery from pesticide effects.

    PubMed

    Foit, Kaarina; Chatzinotas, Antonis; Liess, Matthias

    2010-08-15

    Little is known about the transfer of pesticide effects from higher trophic levels to bacterial communities by grazing. We investigated the effects of pulse exposure to the pyrethroid Fenvalerate on a grazer-prey system that comprised populations of Daphnia magna and bacterial communities. We observed the abundance and population size structure of D. magna by image analysis. Aquatic bacteria were monitored with regard to abundance (by cell staining) and community structure (by a 16S ribosomal RNA fingerprinting method). Shortly after exposure (2 days), the abundance of D. magna decreased. In contrast, the abundance of bacteria increased; in particular fast-growing bacteria proliferated, which changed the bacterial community structure. Long after pulse exposure (26 days), the size structure of D. magna was still affected and dominated by a cohort of small individuals. This cohort of small D. magna grazed actively on bacteria, which resulted in low bacterial abundance and low percentage of fast-growing bacteria. We identified grazing pressure as an important mediator for translating long-term pesticide effects from a grazer population on its prey. Hence, bacterial communities are potentially affected throughout the period that their grazers show pesticide effects concerning abundance or population size structure. Owing to interspecific interactions, the recovery of one species can only be assessed by considering its community context.

  8. Grazer identity changes the spatial distribution of cascading trophic effects in stream pools.

    PubMed

    Gelwick, F P

    2000-12-01

    Non-lethal effects of predators on prey behavior can mediate trophic cascades, but the extent of effects depends on habitat characteristics and risk sensitivity of prey. Furthermore, predation risk for stream organisms varies along the depth gradient and strongly influences their behavior. Grazing minnows (Campostoma anomalum) and crayfish (Orconectes virilis) are both prey for largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) in streams, but differ in their predator-avoidance behavior. This study contrasts the effects and mechanisms of non-lethal trophic cascades on the spatial distribution of filamentous green algae among stream pools and along a depth gradient within pools. Presence/absence of a largemouth bass was crossed with four combinations of the two grazer species (0 grazers, 30 minnows, 30 crayfish, and 15 each) in outdoor, experimental streams. Grazer densities were maintained by restocking. I used geostatistics to quantify spatial patterns of predator and grazer habitat use, height of filamentous algae in the water column, and spatial covariation of water depth with algal height, and depth with grazer habitat use. In streams with only minnows, bass were sedentary, and hid within tall algae in a single "bass pool". In pools with grazed algae, bass actively pursued prey within and among pools and used deeper water. This set up a hierarchy of risk to grazers along the depth gradient from bass in deep water to potential risk from terrestrial predators in shallow water. Thus, minnows were more sensitive than crayfish to predation risk from bass, but less sensitive than crayfish to risk from terrestrial predators. Minnows mediated cascades at the scale of whole pools by avoiding "bass pools", but only if crayfish were absent. Crayfish avoided potential interactions both with terrestrial predators and bass by grazing and burrowing in deeper water at night (when bass were inactive), and by hiding in burrows during daytime. Crayfish without burrows avoided bass and

  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. β-cyclocitral, a grazer defence signal unique to the cyanobacterium Microcystis.

    PubMed

    Jüttner, Friedrich; Watson, Susan B; von Elert, Eric; Köster, Oliver

    2010-12-01

    β-Cyclocitral is often present in eutrophic waters and is a well known source of airborne and drinking water malodor, but its production and functional ecology are unresolved. This volatile organic compound (VOC) is derived from the catalytic breakdown of β-carotene, and evidence indicates that it is produced by the activation of a specific carotene oxygenase by all species of the bloom-forming cyanobacterium Microcystis. Previous work has shown that β-cyclocitral affects grazer behavior, but the nature of this interaction and its influence on predator-prey dynamics was unresolved. The present study combined analytical and behavioral studies to evaluate this interaction by using Microcystis NRC-1 and Daphnia magna. Results showed that β-cyclocitral was undetectable in live Microcystis cells, or present only at extremely low concentrations (2.6 amol /cell). In contrast, cell rupture activated a rapid carotene oxygenase reaction, which produced high amounts (77 ± 5.5 amol β-cyclocitral/cell), corresponding to a calculated maximum intracellular concentration of 2.2 mM. The behavioral response of Daphnia magna to β-cyclocitral was evaluated in a bbe© Daphnia toximeter, where β-cyclocitral treatments induced a marked increase in swimming velocity. Acclimation took place within a few minutes, when Daphnia returned to normal swimming velocity while still exposed to β-cyclocitral. The minimum VOC concentration (odor threshold) that elicited a significant grazer response was 750 nM β-cyclocitral, some 2,900 times lower than the per capita yield of a growing Microcystis cell after activation. Under natural conditions, initial grazer-related or other mode of cell rupture would lead to the development of a robust β-cyclocitral microzone around Microcystis colonies, thus acting as both a powerful repellent and signal of poor quality food to grazers.

  11. Early detection of protozoan grazers in algal biofuel cultures.

    PubMed

    Day, John G; Thomas, Naomi J; Achilles-Day, Undine E M; Leakey, Raymond J G

    2012-06-01

    Future micro-algal biofuels will most likely be derived from open-pond production systems. These are by definition open to "invasion" by grazers, which could devastate micro-algal mass-cultures. There is an urgent requirement for methodologies capable of early detection and control of grazers in dense algal cultures. In this study a model system employing the marine alga Nannochloropsis oculata was challenged by grazers including ciliates, amoebae and a heterotrophic dinoflagellate. A FlowCAM flow-cytometer was used to detect all grazers investigated (size range <20->80 μm in length) in the presence of algae. Detection limits were <10 cells ml(-1) for both "large" and "small" model grazers, Euplotes vannus (80 × 45 μm) and an unidentified holotrichous ciliate (~18 × 8 μm) respectively. Furthermore, the system can distinguish the presence of ciliates in N. oculata cultures with biotechnologically relevant cell densities; i.e. >1.4 × 10(8) cells ml(-1) (>0.5 g l(-1) dry wt.). Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Grazer cues induce stealth behavior in marine dinoflagellates

    PubMed Central

    Selander, Erik; Jakobsen, Hans H.; Lombard, Fabien; Kiørboe, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Chain formation is common among phytoplankton organisms but the underlying reasons and consequences are poorly understood. Here we show that chain formation is strongly impaired by waterborne cues from copepod grazers in the dinoflagellate Alexandrium tamarense. Chains of Alexandrium cells exposed to copepod cues responded by splitting into single cells or shorter chains. Motion analysis revealed significantly lower swimming velocities for single cells compared with chains, with two- to fivefold higher simulated predator encounter rates for two- and four-cell chains, respectively. In addition, the few remaining two-cell chains in grazed treatments were swimming at approximately half the speed of two-cell chains in treatments without grazers, which reduced encounter rates with grazers to values similar to that of single cells. Chain length plasticity and swimming behavior constitute unique mechanisms to reduce encounters with grazers. We argue that dinoflagellates can regulate the balance between motility and predator avoidance by adjusting chain length. The high predator encounter rate for motile chains may have contributed to the low prevalence of chain formation in motile phytoplankton compared with in nonmotile phytoplankton where chain formation is more common. PMID:21368128

  13. Professional Development: Identifying Effective Instructional Coaching Activities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mannino, Gina

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to identify the instructional coaching activities most used by instructional coaches in southeast Texas school districts and to test if there was a relationship between the use of instructional coaching and perceived improvement in the instructional practices of teachers and student achievement. The participants for…

  14. Professional Development: Identifying Effective Instructional Coaching Activities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mannino, Gina

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to identify the instructional coaching activities most used by instructional coaches in southeast Texas school districts and to test if there was a relationship between the use of instructional coaching and perceived improvement in the instructional practices of teachers and student achievement. The participants for…

  15. Identifying Metabolically Active Chemicals Using a Consensus ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are abundant throughout the environment and can alter neurodevelopment, behavior, and reproductive success of humans and other species by perturbing signaling pathways related to the estrogen receptor (ER). A recent study compared results across 18 ER-related assays in the ToxCast™ in vitro screening program to predict the likelihood of a chemical exhibiting in vivo estrogenic activity, with the purpose of eliminating chemicals that may produce a false signal by interfering with the technological attributes of an individual assay. However, flaws in in vitro assay design can also prevent induction of signal activity by EDCs. Another reason for not observing activity for some EDCs in in vitro assays is that metabolic activation is required to perturb ER-related pathways. In the current study, 1,024 chemicals were identified as lacking ER activity after establishing a consensus across each of the 18 ER-related in vitro assays, and nearly 2,000 primary and 3,700 secondary unique metabolites were predicted for these chemicals. The ER binding activity for each metabolite was then predicted using an existing ER activity quantitative structure activity relationship (QSAR) consensus model. Binding activity was predicted for 2-3% of the metabolites within each generation. Of the inactive parent compounds generating at least one metabolite predicted to have ER-binding activity, nearly 30% were found to have metabolites from both gene

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Effect of grazers and viruses on bacterial community structure and production in two contrasting trophic lakes

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Over the last 30 years, extensive studies have revealed the crucial roles played by microbes in aquatic ecosystems. It has been shown that bacteria, viruses and protozoan grazers are dominant in terms of abundance and biomass. The frequent interactions between these microbiological compartments are responsible for strong trophic links from dissolved organic matter to higher trophic levels, via heterotrophic bacteria, which form the basis for the important biogeochemical roles of microbial food webs in aquatic ecosystems. To gain a better understanding of the interactions between bacteria, viruses and flagellates in lacustrine ecosystems, we investigated the effect of protistan bacterivory on bacterial abundance, production and structure [determined by 16S rRNA PCR-DGGE], and viral abundance and activity of two lakes of contrasting trophic status. Four experiments were conducted in the oligotrophic Lake Annecy and the mesotrophic Lake Bourget over two seasons (early spring vs. summer) using a fractionation approach. In situ dark vs. light incubations were performed to consider the effects of the different treatments in the presence and absence of phototrophic activity. Results The presence of grazers (i.e. < 5-μm small eukaryotes) affected viral production positively in all experiments, and the stimulation of viral production (compared to the treatment with no eukaryotic predators) was more variable between lakes than between seasons, with the highest value having been recorded in the mesotrophic lake (+30%). Viral lysis and grazing activities acted additively to sustain high bacterial production in all experiments. Nevertheless, the stimulation of bacterial production was more variable between seasons than between lakes, with the highest values obtained in summer (+33.5% and +37.5% in Lakes Bourget and Annecy, respectively). The presence of both predators (nanoflagellates and viruses) did not seem to have a clear influence upon bacterial community

  2. Stream grazers determine their crawling direction on the basis of chemical and particulate microalgal cues.

    PubMed

    Katano, Izumi; Doi, Hideyuki

    2014-01-01

    This study aimed to determine the association between herbivore behavior and cues from producers. We used stream grazer Glossosoma larvae and determined their crawling direction in relation to chemical and visual cues from microalgae. The experimental treatments included control (no cue), particulate (chemical and particulate cues), and dissolved (chemical cue) cues from microalgae. The experimental water samples were randomly placed into either arm of a Y-shaped channel, and the crawling direction of the grazers was determined. Although the grazers crawled toward the arm containing either particulate or dissolved cues, they preferred the arm with particulate cues. This suggested that grazers responded well to both particulate (i.e., drifting algal cells) and chemical (algal smell) cues, and that particulate cues were more important for foraging. In natural habitats, grazers detect cues from producers and change their behaviors to maintain a balance between top-down and bottom-up cues.

  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. 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

  5. Identifying physical activity gender differences among youth

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  6. 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.

  7. Effects of grazer presence on genetic structure of a phenotypically diverse diatom population.

    PubMed

    Sjöqvist, C; Kremp, A; Lindehoff, E; Båmstedt, U; Egardt, J; Gross, S; Jönsson, M; Larsson, H; Pohnert, G; Richter, H; Selander, E; Godhe, A

    2014-01-01

    Studies of predator-prey systems in both aquatic and terrestrial environments have shown that grazers structure the intraspecific diversity of prey species, given that the prey populations are phenotypically variable. Populations of phytoplankton have traditionally considered comprising only low intraspecific variation, hence selective grazing as a potentially structuring factor of both genetic and phenotypic diversity has not been comprehensively studied. In this study, we compared strain specific growth rates, production of polyunsaturated aldehydes, and chain length of the marine diatom Skeletonema marinoi in both grazer and non-grazer conditions by conducting monoclonal experiments. Additionally, a mesocosm experiment was performed with multiclonal experimental S. marinoi populations exposed to grazers at different levels of copepod concentration to test effects of grazer presence on diatom diversity in close to natural conditions. Our results show that distinct genotypes of a geographically restricted population exhibit variable phenotypic traits relevant to grazing interactions such as chain length and growth rates. Grazer presence affected clonal richness and evenness of multiclonal Skeletonema populations in the mesocosms, likely in conjunction with intrinsic interactions among the diatom strains. Only the production of polyunsaturated aldehydes was not affected by grazer presence. Our findings suggest that grazing can be an important factor structuring diatom population diversity in the sea and emphasize the importance of considering clonal differences when characterizing species and their role in nature.

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. Identifying Metabolically Active Chemicals Using a Consensus ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Traditional toxicity testing provides insight into the mechanisms underlying toxicological responses but requires a high investment in a large number of resources. The new paradigm of testing approaches involves rapid screening studies able to evaluate thousands of chemicals across hundreds of biological targets through use of in vitro assays. Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are of concern due to their ability to alter neurodevelopment, behavior, and reproductive success of humans and other species. A recent integrated computational model examined results across 18 ER-related assays in the ToxCast in vitro screening program to eliminate chemicals that produce a false signal by possibly interfering with the technological attributes of an individual assay. However, in vitro assays can also lead to false negatives when the complex metabolic processes that render a chemical bioactive in a living system might be unable to be replicated in an in vitro environment. In the current study, the influence of metabolism was examined for over 1,400 chemicals considered inactive using the integrated computational model. Over 2,000 first-generation and over 4,000 second-generation metabolites were generated for the inactive chemicals using in silico techniques. Next, a consensus model comprised of individual structure activity relationship (SAR) models was used to predict ER-binding activity for each of the metabolites. Binding activity was predicted for 8-10% of the meta

  11. Climatic warming and the future of bison as grazers

    PubMed Central

    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. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Toxigenic effects of diatoms on grazers, phytoplankton and other microbes: a review.

    PubMed

    Ianora, Adrianna; Miralto, Antonio

    2010-03-01

    Traditionally, diatoms have been regarded as providing the bulk of the food that sustains the marine food chain and important fisheries. However, this view was challenged almost two decades ago on the basis of laboratory and field studies showing that when copepods, the principal predators of diatoms, feed on certain diatom diets, they produce abnormal eggs that either fail to develop to hatching or hatch into malformed (i.e. teratogenic) nauplii that die soon afterwards. Over the years, many explanations have been advanced to explain the causes for reproductive failure in copepods and other marine and freshwater invertebrates including diatom toxicity, or nutritional deficiency and poor assimilation of essential compounds in the animal gut. Here we review the literature concerning the first possibility, that diatoms produce cytotoxic compounds responsible for growth inhibition and teratogenic activity, potentially sabotaging future generations of grazers by inducing poor recruitment. The cytotoxic compounds responsible for these effects are short chain polyunsaturated aldehydes (PUAs) and other oxygenated fatty acid degradation products such as hydroxides, oxo-acids, and epoxyalcohols (collectively termed oxylipins) that are cleaved from fatty acid precursors by enzymes activated within seconds after crushing of cells. Such toxins are suggested to have multiple simultaneous functions in that they not only deter herbivore feeding but some also act as allelopathic agents against other phytoplankton cells, thereby affecting the growth of competitors, and also signalling population-level cell death and termination of blooms, with possible consequences for food web structure and community composition. Some oxylipins also play a role in driving marine bacterial community diversity, with neutral, positive or negative interactions depending on the species, thereby shaping the structure of bacterial communities during diatom blooms. Several reviews have already been

  16. 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.

  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. Copyright © 2012 SETAC.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. The newly described heterotrophic dinoflagellate Gyrodinium moestrupii, an effective protistan grazer of toxic dinoflagellates.

    PubMed

    Yoo, Yeong Du; Yoon, Eun Young; Jeong, Hae Jin; Lee, Kyung Ha; Hwang, Yeong Jong; Seong, Kyeong Ah; Kim, Jae Seong; Park, Jae Yeon

    2013-01-01

    Few protistan grazers feed on toxic dinoflagellates, and low grazing pressure on toxic dinoflagellates allows these dinoflagellates to form red-tide patches. We explored the feeding ecology of the newly described heterotrophic dinoflagellate Gyrodinium moestrupii when it fed on toxic strains of Alexandrium minutum, Alexandrium tamarense, and Karenia brevis and on nontoxic strains of A. tamarense, Prorocentrum minimum, and Scrippsiella trochoidea. Specific growth rates of G. moestrupii feeding on each of these dinoflagellates either increased continuously or became saturated with increasing mean prey concentration. The maximum specific growth rate of G. moestrupii feeding on toxic A. minutum (1.60/d) was higher than that when feeding on nontoxic S. trochoidea (1.50/d) or P. minimum (1.07/d). In addition, the maximum growth rate of G. moestrupii feeding on the toxic strain of A. tamarense (0.68/d) was similar to that when feeding on the nontoxic strain of A. tamarense (0.71/d). Furthermore, the maximum ingestion rate of G. moestrupii on A. minutum (2.6 ng C/grazer/d) was comparable to that of S. trochoidea (3.0 ng C/grazer/d). Additionally, the maximum ingestion rate of G. moestrupii on the toxic strain of A. tamarense (2.1 ng C/grazer/d) was higher than that when feeding on the nontoxic strain of A. tamarense (1.3 ng C/grazer/d). Thus, feeding by G. moestrupii is not suppressed by toxic dinoflagellate prey, suggesting that it is an effective protistan grazer of toxic dinoflagellates. © 2012 The Author(s) Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology © 2012 International Society of Protistologists.

  2. Long-Term Climate Sensitivity of Grazer Performance: A Cross-Site Study

    PubMed Central

    Craine, Joseph M.

    2013-01-01

    Climate change will affect grasslands in a number of ways, but the consequences of a warmer, drier world for grazers is uncertain. Predicting future grazer performance is complex since climate change affects both the quantity and quality of forage through a combination of processes that occur over a range of time scales. To better predict the consequences of climate change for grazer performance, a dataset was compiled of over a quarter million bison weights distributed across 22 US herds that span a large range of climates. Patterns of bison body mass among sites, age classes, and sexes were analyzed with respect to differences in geographic patterns of climate and interannual variation in climate. While short-term effects of climate variability are likely to depend on the magnitude and timing of precipitation during the year, grazers will be negatively affected by sustained hotter, drier conditions most likely associated with reductions in forage quality. Short-term, little effect of high temperatures on bison performance is observed, which suggests that the long-term effects of higher temperatures are likely to accrue over time as nitrogen availability in grasslands is reduced and forage quality declines. If relationships observed for bison are general for cattle, the economic consequences of higher temperatures due to decreased weight gain in US cattle could be on the order of US$1B per 1°C increase in temperature. Long-term monitoring of forage quality as well as native and domesticated grazer performance is recommended to better understand climate change effects on grazers. PMID:23840584

  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. 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...

  5. Endemic grazers control benthic microalgal growth in a eutrophic tropical brackish ecosystem

    Treesearch

    T.S. Sakihara; B.D. Dudley; R.A. MacKenzie; J.P. Beets

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic changes to nutrient supply, numbers and behavior of grazers and interactions of these factors are known to change epilithon composition and biomass. In brackish waters, these changes occur across wide-ranging abiotic conditions (e.g. nutrient concentrations and salinity), which may alter their relative impacts on microphytobenthic communities. Such...

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. Interaction strength between different grazers and macroalgae mediated by ocean acidification over warming gradients.

    PubMed

    Sampaio, E; Rodil, I F; Vaz-Pinto, F; Fernández, A; Arenas, F

    2017-04-01

    Since the past century, rising CO2 levels have led to global changes (ocean warming and acidification) with subsequent effects on marine ecosystems and organisms. Macroalgae-herbivore interactions have a main role in the regulation of marine community structure (top-down control). Gradients of warming prompt complex non-linear effects on organism metabolism, cascading into altered trophic interactions and community dynamics. However, not much is known on how will acidification and grazer assemblage composition shape these effects. Within this context, we aimed to assess the combined effects of warming gradients and acidification on macroalgae-herbivore interactions, using three cosmopolitan species, abundant in the Iberian Peninsula and closely associated in nature: the amphipod Melita palmata, the gastropod Gibbula umbilicalis, and the green macroalga Ulva rigida. Under two CO2 treatments (ΔCO2 ≃ 450 μatm) across a temperature gradient (13.5, 16.6, 19.9 and 22.1 °C), two mesocosm experiments were performed to assess grazer consumption rates and macroalgae-herbivore interaction, respectively. Warming (Experiment I and II) and acidification (Experiment II) prompted negative effects in grazer's survival and species-specific differences in consumption rates. M. palmata was shown to be the stronger grazer per biomass (but not per capita), and also the most affected by climate stressors. Macroalgae-herbivore interaction strength was markedly shaped by the temperature gradient, while simultaneous acidification lowered thermal optimal threshold. In the near future, warming and acidification are likely to strengthen top-down control, but further increases in disturbances may lead to bottom-up regulated communities. Finally, our results suggest that grazer assemblage composition may modulate future macroalgae-herbivore interactions.

  9. Identifying Emotions on the Basis of Neural Activation

    PubMed Central

    Kassam, Karim S.; Markey, Amanda R.; Cherkassky, Vladimir L.; Loewenstein, George; Just, Marcel Adam

    2013-01-01

    We attempt to determine the discriminability and organization of neural activation corresponding to the experience of specific emotions. Method actors were asked to self-induce nine emotional states (anger, disgust, envy, fear, happiness, lust, pride, sadness, and shame) while in an fMRI scanner. Using a Gaussian Naïve Bayes pooled variance classifier, we demonstrate the ability to identify specific emotions experienced by an individual at well over chance accuracy on the basis of: 1) neural activation of the same individual in other trials, 2) neural activation of other individuals who experienced similar trials, and 3) neural activation of the same individual to a qualitatively different type of emotion induction. Factor analysis identified valence, arousal, sociality, and lust as dimensions underlying the activation patterns. These results suggest a structure for neural representations of emotion and inform theories of emotional processing. PMID:23840392

  10. Identifying Emotions on the Basis of Neural Activation.

    PubMed

    Kassam, Karim S; Markey, Amanda R; Cherkassky, Vladimir L; Loewenstein, George; Just, Marcel Adam

    2013-01-01

    We attempt to determine the discriminability and organization of neural activation corresponding to the experience of specific emotions. Method actors were asked to self-induce nine emotional states (anger, disgust, envy, fear, happiness, lust, pride, sadness, and shame) while in an fMRI scanner. Using a Gaussian Naïve Bayes pooled variance classifier, we demonstrate the ability to identify specific emotions experienced by an individual at well over chance accuracy on the basis of: 1) neural activation of the same individual in other trials, 2) neural activation of other individuals who experienced similar trials, and 3) neural activation of the same individual to a qualitatively different type of emotion induction. Factor analysis identified valence, arousal, sociality, and lust as dimensions underlying the activation patterns. These results suggest a structure for neural representations of emotion and inform theories of emotional processing.

  11. Identifying Activity Cliff Generators of PPAR Ligands Using SAS Maps.

    PubMed

    Méndez-Lucio, Oscar; Pérez-Villanueva, Jaime; Castillo, Rafael; Medina-Franco, José L

    2012-12-01

    Structure-activity relationships (SAR) of compound databases play a key role in hit identification and lead optimization. In particular, activity cliffs, defined as a pair of structurally similar molecules that present large changes in potency, provide valuable SAR information. Herein, we introduce the concept of activity cliff generator, defined as a molecular structure that has a high probability to form activity cliffs with molecules tested in the same biological assay. To illustrate this concept, we discuss a case study where Structure-Activity Similarity maps were used to systematically identify and analyze activity cliff generators present in a dataset of 168 compounds tested against three peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) subtypes. Single-target and dual-target activity cliff generators for PPARα and δ were identified. In addition, docking calculations of compounds that were classified as cliff generators helped to suggest a hot spot in the target protein responsible of activity cliffs and to analyze its implication in ligand-enzyme interaction. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Anuradha; 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

    2015-01-01

    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

  14. Recycling and uptake of Si(OH)4 when protozoan grazers feed on diatoms.

    PubMed

    Schultes, Sabine; Lambert, Christophe; Pondaven, Philippe; Corvaisier, Rudolph; Jansen, Sandra; Ragueneau, Olivier

    2010-04-01

    Herbivory of microzooplankton is an emerging key factor of diatom mortality in the ocean. As part of the microbial loop, protozoan grazers also feed on bacteria that accelerate the degradation of diatom detritus. The potentially pivotal effect of microzooplankton grazing on Si(OH)(4) recycling was investigated with cultures of single-celled diatoms, Thalassiosira pseudonana and Chaetoceros gracilis, and heterotrophic protozoans, the dinoflagellate Oxyrrhis marina and the ciliate Strombidium sp. Both grazers ingested diatoms and the bacteria in the non-axenic cultures. C. gracilis, whose frustule is "armed" with setae, was less suitable as a prey than T. pseudonana. Ingestion rates of T. pseudonana were comparable for O. marina and Strombidium, but the dinoflagellate produced two orders of magnitude more detrital bSiO(2) than the ciliate, due to the higher abundance reached by O. marina. Total net release of Si(OH)(4) was lower in the grazing treatments compared to the control possibly due to the reduced bacterial growth by microzooplankton bacterivory, and to the transient protection of detrital bSiO(2) in discarded feeding vacuoles. Over the first 24h, microzooplankton grazing even led to enhanced uptake of Si(OH)(4) by diatoms, confirming the potential of grazing to influence the silicification of diatom frustules. Subsequently however, the Si dynamics in bottles with grazers turned rapidly from net uptake to net Si(OH)(4) release. Protozoan grazers hence tie Si(OH)(4) recycling into the microbial loop by producing detrital bSiO(2). Copyright 2009 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  15. Weak top-down control of grazers and periphyton by slimy sculpins in a coldwater stream

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ruetz, C. R.; Vondracek, B.; Newman, R.M.

    2004-01-01

    We conducted an enclosure/exclosure experiment during summer 1998 and 1999 to test the strength of top-down control by slimy sculpins (Cottus cognatus) on benthic macroinvertebrates and periphyton. We used 1-m2 cages to manipulate slimy sculpin density within 6 riffles in Valley Creek, Minnesota. Each riffle contained an enclosure stocked with 3 slimy sculpins, a fishless exclosure, and an open control cage. In 1998, densities of total invertebrates and grazers on clay tiles were significantly higher in exclosures than enclosures and control cages; however, densities of individual grazer taxa (Glossosoma and Baetis) on tiles did not differ significantly among treatments. Fish had no significant effect on invertebrates inhabiting gravel substrate. In 1999, densities of total invertebrates and grazers on tiles and inhabiting gravel substrate did not differ significantly among treatments. Slimy sculpins did not have a detectable effect on the drift propensity of invertebrates during either year. Regardless of the effect of fish on grazers in either year, periphyton biomass did not differ significantly among the fish treatments even though there was a strong, negative correlation between Glossosoma density and periphyton biomass. Periphyton biomass was significantly higher on tiles with a barrier that excluded Glossosoma larvae from the surface, indicating that Glossosoma limited periphyton biomass. We conclude that the strength of top-down control by slimy sculpins on invertebrates was weak. We did not detect an algae-based trophic cascade during either year because Glossosoma larvae were relatively invulnerable to fish predation and did not alter their behavior in the presence of fish.

  16. Phenotypic Approaches to Identify Inhibitors of B Cell Activation

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Suzie; Wiener, Jake; Rao, Navin L.; Milla, Marcos E.; DiSepio, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    An EPIC label-free phenotypic platform was developed to explore B cell receptor (BCR) and CD40R-mediated B cell activation. The phenotypic assay measured the association of RL non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma B cells expressing lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1 (LFA-1) to intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1)-coated EPIC plates. Anti-IgM (immunoglobulin M) mediated BCR activation elicited a response that was blocked by LFA-1/ICAM-1 specific inhibitors and a panel of Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitors. LFA-1/ICAM-1 association was further increased on coapplication of anti-IgM and mega CD40L when compared to individual application of either. Anti-IgM, mega CD40L, or the combination of both displayed distinct kinetic profiles that were inhibited by treatment with a BTK inhibitor. We also established a FLIPR-based assay to measure B cell activation in Ramos Burkitt’s lymphoma B cells and an RL cell line. Anti-IgM-mediated BCR activation elicited a robust calcium response that was inhibited by a panel of BTK inhibitors. Conversely, CD40R activation did not elicit a calcium response in the FLIPR assay. Compared to the FLIPR, the EPIC assay has the propensity to identify inhibitors of both BCR and CD40R-mediated B cell activation and may provide more pharmacological depth or novel mechanisms of action for inhibition of B cell activation. PMID:25948491

  17. Short-term effects of increased temperature and lowered pH on a temperate grazer-seaweed interaction (Littorina obtusata/Ascophyllum nodosum)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardoso, Patricia G.; Grilo, Tiago F.; Dionísio, Gisela; Aurélio, Maria; Lopes, Ana R.; Pereira, Ricardo; Pacheco, Mário; Rosa, Rui

    2017-10-01

    There has been a significant increase in the literature regarding the effects of warming and acidification on the marine ecosystem. To our knowledge, there is very little information on the potential effects of both combined stressors on marine grazer-seaweed interactions. Here, we evaluated, for the first time several phenotypic responses (e.g periwinkle survival, condition index, consumption rates, seaweed photosynthetic activity and oxidative stress) of the temperate periwinkle Littorina obtusata (grazer) and the brown seaweed Ascophyllum nodosum (prey) to such climate change-related variables, for 15 days. Increased temperature (22 °C, pH 8.0) elicited a significant lethal effect on the periwinkle within a short-term period (mortality rate > 90%). Acidification condition (18 °C, pH 7.6) was the one that showed lower mortality rates (≈20%), reflected by lower impact on periwinkle fitness and consumption rates. Under a scenario of increased temperature and lowered pH the antioxidant defences of L. obtusata seemed to be supressed increasing the risk of peroxidative damage. The seaweed evidenced signs of cellular damage under such conditions. These results suggest that: i) lower pH per se seems to benefit the interaction between grazer and seaweed while, ii) a combined scenario of increased temperature and lowered pH may be negative for the interaction, due to the unbalance between periwinkle mortality rates and consumption rates. But most importantly, since grazing often plays an important role on structuring natural communities, such predator-prey disturbances can elicit cascading effects on the remaining community structure and functioning of the temperate rocky-shore ecosystems.

  18. 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.

  19. Grazers and Phytoplankton Growth in the Oceans: an Experimental and Evolutionary Perspective

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24204815

  20. Biomass and composition of protistan grazers and heterotrophic bacteria in the Costa Rica Dome during summer 2010

    PubMed Central

    Freibott, Alexandra; Taylor, Andrew G.; Selph, Karen E.; Liu, Hongbin; Zhang, Wuchang; Landry, Michael R.

    2016-01-01

    We investigated biomass and composition of heterotrophic microbes in the Costa Rica Dome during June–July 2010 as part of a broader study of plankton trophic dynamics. Because picophytoplankton (<2 μm) are known to dominate in this unique upwelling region, we hypothesized tight biomass relationships between size-determined predator–prey pairs (i.e. picoplankton–nano-grazers, nanoplankton–micro-grazers) within the microbial community. Integrated biomass of heterotrophic bacteria ranged from 180 to 487 mg C m−2 and was significantly correlated with total autotrophic carbon. Heterotrophic protist (H-protist) biomass ranged more narrowly from 488 to 545 mg C m−2, and was comprised of 60% dinoflagellates, 30% other flagellates and 11% ciliates. Nano-sized (<20 μm) protists accounted for the majority (57%) of grazer biomass and were positively correlated with picoplankton, partially supporting our hypothesis, but nanoplankton and micro-grazers (>20 μm) were not significantly correlated. The relative constancy of H-protist biomass among locations despite clear changes in integrated autotrophic biomass, Chl a, and primary production suggests that mesozooplankton may exert a tight top-down control on micro-grazers. Biomass-specific consumption rates of phytoplankton by protistan grazers suggest an instantaneous growth rate of 0.52 day−1 for H-protists, similar to the growth rate of phytoplankton and consistent with a trophically balanced ecosystem dominated by pico-nanoplankton interactions. PMID:27275027

  1. Nitrogen processing by grazers in a headwater stream: riparian connections

    SciTech Connect

    Hill, Walter R.; Griffiths, Natalie A.

    2016-10-19

    Primary consumers play important roles in the cycling of nutrients in headwater streams, storing assimilated nutrients in growing tissue and recycling them through excretion. Though environmental conditions in most headwater streams and their surrounding terrestrial ecosystems vary considerably over the course of a year, relatively little is known about the effects of seasonality on consumer nutrient recycling these streams. Here, we measured nitrogen accumulated through growth and excreted by the grazing snail Elimia clavaeformis (Pleuroceridae) over the course of 12 months in Walker Branch, identifying close connections between in-stream nitrogen processing and seasonal changes in the surrounding forest.

  2. The OPTX Project. V. Identifying Distant Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trouille, L.; Barger, A. J.; Tremonti, C.

    2011-11-01

    The Baldwin, Phillips, and Terlevich emission-line ratio diagnostic ([O III]/Hβ versus [N II]/Hα, hereafter BPT diagram) efficiently separates galaxies whose signal is dominated by star formation (BPT-SF) from those dominated by active galactic nucleus (AGN) activity (BPT-AGN). Yet this BPT diagram is limited to z < 0.5, the redshift at which [N II]λ6584 leaves the optical spectral window. Using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), we construct a new diagnostic, or TBT diagram, that is based on rest-frame g - z color, [Ne III]λ3869, and [O II]λλ3726 + 3729 and can be used for galaxies out to z < 1.4. The TBT diagram identifies 98.7% of the SDSS BPT-AGN as TBT-AGN and 97% of the SDSS BPT-SF as TBT-SF. Furthermore, it identifies 97% of the OPTX Chandra X-ray-selected AGNs as TBT-AGN. This is in contrast to the BPT diagram, which misidentifies 20% of X-ray-selected AGNs as BPT-SF. We use the Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey North and Lockman Hole galaxy samples, with their accompanying deep Chandra imaging, to perform X-ray and infrared stacking analyses to further validate our TBT-AGN and TBT-SF selections; that is, we verify the dominance of AGN activity in the former and star formation activity in the latter. Finally, we address the inclusion of the majority of the BPT-comp (sources lying between the BPT-SF and BPT-AGN regimes) in our TBT-AGN regime. We find that the stacked BPT-comp source is X-ray hard (langΓeffrang = 1.0+0.4 -0.4) and has a high X-ray luminosity to total infrared luminosity ratio. This suggests that, on average, the X-ray signal in BPT-comp is dominated by obscured or low accretion rate AGN activity rather than by star formation, supporting their inclusion in the TBT-AGN regime. Some of the data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  3. Physical Activity in an Underserved Population: Identifying Technology Preferences.

    PubMed

    Medairos, Robert; Kang, Vicky; Aboubakare, Carissa; Kramer, Matthew; Dugan, Sheila Ann

    2017-01-01

    This study aims to identify patterns of use and preferences related to technology platforms that could support physical activity (PA) programs in an underserved population. A 29-item questionnaire was administered at 5 health and wellness sites targeting low income communities in Chicago. Frequency tables were generated for Internet, cell phone, and social media use and preferences. Chi-squared analysis was used to evaluate differences across age and income groups. A total of 291 individuals participated and were predominantly female (69.0%). Majority reported incomes less than $30,000 (72.9%) and identified as African American/Black/Caribbean (49.3%) or Mexican/Mexican American (34.3%). Most participants regularly used smartphones (63.2%) and the Internet (75.9%). Respondents frequently used Facebook (84.8%), and less commonly used Instagram (43.6%), and Twitter (20.0%). Free Internet-based exercise programs were the most preferred method to increase PA levels (31.6%), while some respondents (21.0%) thought none of the surveyed technology applications would help. Cell phone, Internet, and social media use is common among the surveyed underserved population. Technology preferences to increase PA levels varied, with a considerable number of respondents not preferring the surveyed technology platforms. Creating educational opportunities to increase awareness may maximize the effectiveness of technology-based PA interventions.

  4. How to Identify Success Among Networks That Promote Active Living

    PubMed Central

    Litt, Jill; Varda, Danielle; Reed, Hannah; Retrum, Jessica; Tabak, Rachel; Gustat, Jeanette; Tompkins, Nancy O’Hara

    2017-01-01

    Objectives We evaluated organization- and network-level factors that influence organizations’ perceived success. This is important for managing interorganizational networks, which can mobilize communities to address complex health issues such as physical activity, and for achieving change. Methods In 2011, we used structured interview and network survey data from 22 states in the United States to estimate multilevel random-intercept models to understand organization- and network-level factors that explain perceived network success. Results A total of 53 of 59 “whole networks” met the criteria for inclusion in the analysis (89.8%). Coordinators identified 559 organizations, with 3 to 12 organizations from each network taking the online survey (response rate: 69.7%; range: 33%–100%). Occupying a leadership position (P < .01), the amount of time with the network (P < .05), and support from community leaders (P < .05) emerged as correlates of perceived success. Conclusions Organizations’ perceptions of success can influence decisions about continuing involvement and investment in networks designed to promote environment and policy change for active living. Understanding these factors can help leaders manage complex networks that involve diverse memberships, varied interests, and competing community-level priorities. PMID:26378863

  5. How to Identify Success Among Networks That Promote Active Living.

    PubMed

    Litt, Jill; Varda, Danielle; Reed, Hannah; Retrum, Jessica; Tabak, Rachel; Gustat, Jeanette; O'Hara Tompkins, Nancy

    2015-11-01

    We evaluated organization- and network-level factors that influence organizations' perceived success. This is important for managing interorganizational networks, which can mobilize communities to address complex health issues such as physical activity, and for achieving change. In 2011, we used structured interview and network survey data from 22 states in the United States to estimate multilevel random-intercept models to understand organization- and network-level factors that explain perceived network success. A total of 53 of 59 "whole networks" met the criteria for inclusion in the analysis (89.8%). Coordinators identified 559 organizations, with 3 to 12 organizations from each network taking the online survey (response rate = 69.7%; range = 33%-100%). Occupying a leadership position (P < .01), the amount of time with the network (P < .05), and support from community leaders (P < .05) emerged as correlates of perceived success. Organizations' perceptions of success can influence decisions about continuing involvement and investment in networks designed to promote environment and policy change for active living. Understanding these factors can help leaders manage complex networks that involve diverse memberships, varied interests, and competing community-level priorities.

  6. Grazer diversity interacts with biogenic habitat heterogeneity to accelerate intertidal algal succession.

    PubMed

    Whalen, Matthew A; Aquilino, Kristin M; Stachowicz, John J

    2016-08-01

    Environmental heterogeneity contributes to coexistence by allowing species with different traits to persist when different species perform best at different times or places. This interaction between niche differences and environmental variability may also help explain relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, but few data are available to rigorously evaluate this hypothesis. We assessed how a biologically relevant aspect of environmental heterogeneity interacts with species diversity to determine ecosystem processes in a natural rocky intertidal community. We used field removals to factorially manipulate biogenic habitat heterogeneity (barnacles, bare rock, and plots that were 50/50 mixes of the two habitat types) and gastropod grazer species richness and then tracked algal community succession and recovery over the course of 1 yr. We found that herbivore diversity, substrate heterogeneity, and their interaction played unique roles in the peak abundance and timing of occurrence of different algal functional groups. Early successional microalgae were most heavily grazed in diverse herbivore assemblages and those with barnacles present, which was likely due to complementary feeding strategies among all three grazers. In contrast, late successional macroalgae were strongly influenced by the presence of a habitat generalist limpet. In this herbivore's absence, heterogeneous habitats (i.e., mixtures of bare rock and barnacles) experienced the greatest algal accumulation, which was partly a result of complementary habitat use by the remaining herbivores. The complex way habitat identity and heterogeneity altered grazer-algal interactions in our study suggests species' differences and environmental heterogeneity both separately and interactively contribute to the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functions. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Grazers and vitamins shape chain formation in a bloom-forming dinoflagellate, Cochlodinium polykrikoides.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Xiaodong; Lonsdale, Darcy J; Gobler, Christopher J

    2010-10-01

    Predators influence the phenotype of prey through both natural selection and induction. We investigated the effects of grazers and nutrients on chain formation in a dinoflagellate, Cochlodinium polykrikoides, which forms dense blooms and has deleterious effects on marine ecosystems around the world. Field populations of C. polykrikoides formed longer chains than laboratory cultures without grazers. In the field, chain length of C. polykrikoides was positively correlated with the abundance of the copepod Acartia tonsa. Chain length of C. polykrikoides increased when exposed to live females of A. tonsa or its fresh (<24 h post-isolation) exudates for 48 h. These results suggest that dissolved chemical cues released by A. tonsa induce chain formation in C. polykrikoides. Ingestion rate of A. tonsa on four-cell chains of C. polykrikoides was lower than on single cells, suggesting that chain formation may be an effective anti-grazing defense. Finally, nutrient amendment experiments demonstrated that vitamins (B(1), B(7), and B(12)) increased the chain length of C. polykrikoides both singly and collectively, while trace metals and inorganic nutrients did not, showing that vitamins may also influence chain formation in this species.

  11. Loss of a large grazer impacts savanna grassland plant communities similarly in North America and South Africa.

    PubMed

    Eby, Stephanie; Burkepile, Deron E; Fynn, Richard W S; Burns, Catherine E; Govender, Navashni; Hagenah, Nicole; Koerner, Sally E; Matchett, Katherine J; Thompson, Dave I; Wilcox, Kevin R; Collins, Scott L; Kirkman, Kevin P; Knapp, Alan K; Smith, Melinda D

    2014-05-01

    Large herbivore grazing is a widespread disturbance in mesic savanna grasslands which increases herbaceous plant community richness and diversity. However, humans are modifying the impacts of grazing on these ecosystems by removing grazers. A more general understanding of how grazer loss will impact these ecosystems is hampered by differences in the diversity of large herbivore assemblages among savanna grasslands, which can affect the way that grazing influences plant communities. To avoid this we used two unique enclosures each containing a single, functionally similar large herbivore species. Specifically, we studied a bison (Bos bison) enclosure at Konza Prairie Biological Station, USA and an African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) enclosure in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Within these enclosures we erected exclosures in annually burned and unburned sites to determine how grazer loss would impact herbaceous plant communities, while controlling for potential fire-grazing interactions. At both sites, removal of the only grazer decreased grass and forb richness, evenness and diversity, over time. However, in Kruger these changes only occurred with burning. At both sites, changes in plant communities were driven by increased dominance with herbivore exclusion. At Konza, this was caused by increased abundance of one grass species, Andropogon gerardii, while at Kruger, three grasses, Themeda triandra, Panicum coloratum, and Digitaria eriantha increased in abundance.

  12. Identifying healthcare activities using a real-time location system.

    PubMed

    Cagle, Rick; Darling, Erika; Kim, Bo

    2014-01-01

    This article discusses human resource allocation in a Veterans Health Administration audiology clinic as a model for clinics facing similar challenges in maximizing quality, safety, and effectiveness of care. A framework is proposed combining automatic identification technology with simulation and visualization software, asserting a relationship between location of staff within the facility and clinical activity, focusing healthcare staff on high-value activities to deliver safe, quality care. This enables "what-if" analyses of potential resource allocation scenarios, correlating location information from radiofrequency identification tags worn by clinicians and technicians in the clinic as part of a real-time location system, then inferring probable activity from the data. Once the baseline "as-is" can be established, the model will be refined to supply predictive analyses of resource allocation and management. Simulations of activities in specialized spaces saves time managing resources, which means more time can be spent on patient safety and increased satisfaction.

  13. 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

  14. Genotype × genotype interactions between the toxic cyanobacterium Microcystis and its grazer, the waterflea Daphnia

    PubMed Central

    Lemaire, Veerle; Brusciotti, Silvia; van Gremberghe, Ineke; Vyverman, Wim; Vanoverbeke, Joost; De Meester, Luc

    2012-01-01

    Toxic algal blooms are an important problem worldwide. The literature on toxic cyanobacteria blooms in inland waters reports widely divergent results on whether zooplankton can control cyanobacteria blooms or cyanobacteria suppress zooplankton by their toxins. Here we test whether this may be due to genotype × genotype interactions, in which interactions between the large-bodied and efficient grazer Daphnia and the widespread cyanobacterium Microcystis are not only dependent on Microcystis strain or Daphnia genotype but are specific to genotype × genotype combinations. We show that genotype × genotype interactions are important in explaining mortality in short-time exposures of Daphnia to Microcystis. These genotype × genotype interactions may result in local coadaptation and a geographic mosaic of coevolution. Genotype × genotype interactions can explain why the literature on zooplankton–cyanobacteria interactions is seemingly inconsistent, and provide hope that zooplankton can contribute to the suppression of cyanobacteria blooms in restoration projects. PMID:25568039

  15. MEG identifies dorsal medial brain activations during sleep.

    PubMed

    Ioannides, Andreas A; Kostopoulos, George K; Liu, Lichan; Fenwick, Peter B C

    2009-01-15

    All sleep stages contain epochs with high-amplitude electrophysiological phasic events, alternating with quieter "core periods." High-amplitude and core state properties cannot be disentangled with PET and fMRI. Here from high temporal resolution magnetoencephalography data, regional changes in neuronal activity were extracted during core periods in different frequency bands for each sleep stage and waking. We found that gamma-band activity increases in precuneus during light sleep (stages 1/2) and in the left dorso-medial prefrontal cortex (L-DMPFC) during deep sleep (stages 3/4). The L-DMPFC activated area expands laterally during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, into a volume of about 5 cm(3) bounded by regions attributed to Theory of Mind (ToM) and default systems, both involved in introspection. Gamma band activity in this area was higher during REM sleep than other sleep stages and active wakefulness. There is a tantalizing correspondence between increased wide-band activity (dominated by low frequencies) in early non-REM (NREM) sleep stages and increases in gamma-band activity in late NREM and REM periods that we attribute to a lateral disinhibition mechanism. The results provide a description of regional electrophysiological changes in awake state, light and deep sleep, and REM sleep. These changes are most pronounced in the L-DMPFC and the other areas around the dorsal midline that are close to, but do not overlap with areas of the default and ToM systems, suggesting that the DMPFC, particularly in the left hemisphere, plays an important role in late NREM stages, in REM and possibly in dreaming.

  16. 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.

  17. Basophil Activation Test identifies the patients with Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria suffering the most active disease

    PubMed Central

    Curto‐Barredo, Laia; Yelamos, Jose; Gimeno, Ramon; Mojal, Sergi; Pujol, Ramon M.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Introduction The basophil activation test showing CD63 up regulation could be a specific and sensitive in vitro complementary text to the in vivo autologous serum skin test for the activity assessment of the patients suffering autoimmune chronic spontaneous urticaria. The aim of this study is to define the basophil activation test as a useful tool in clinical practice in order to identify those patients with more active disease. Methods We screened 139 patients (96 women) diagnosed of chronic spontaneous urticaria using simultaneously autologous serum skin test and basophil activation test and their relationship with disease activity. Results Positive autologous serum skin test was found in 56.8%; from them, 31.6% were basophil activation test positive. Negative autologous serum skin test result was found in the 43.2% of the sample that showed negative CD63 expression results in all cases, except one. Patients with positive autologous serum skin test and positive CD63 by basophil activation test showed significant higher Urticaria Activity Score of 7 days (P = 0.004) and of 3 weeks (P = 0.001) than patients with positive autologous serum skin test and negative CD63 (mean ± standard deviation [SD] 26.57 ± 10.56 versus 18.40 ± 12.05 for the Urticaria Activity Score of 7 days and 56.47 ± 23.78 versus 39.88 ± 25.44 for the Urticaria Activity Score of 3 weeks). Conclusions The CD63 expression on basophils appears as a reliable in vitro marker, useful in clinical practice in combination with autologous serum skin test to define chronic spontaneous urticaria patients with the highest urticaria activity that impairs a normal life. PMID:27980778

  18. Chromatin profiling of Drosophila CNS subpopulations identifies active transcriptional enhancers.

    PubMed

    Pearson, Joseph C; McKay, Daniel J; Lieb, Jason D; Crews, Stephen T

    2016-10-15

    One of the key issues in studying transcriptional regulation during development is how to employ genome-wide assays that reveals sites of open chromatin and transcription factor binding to efficiently identify biologically relevant genes and enhancers. Analysis of Drosophila CNS midline cell development provides a useful system for studying transcriptional regulation at the genomic level due to a large, well-characterized set of midline-expressed genes and in vivo validated enhancers. In this study, FAIRE-seq on FACS-purified midline cells was performed and the midline FAIRE data were compared with whole-embryo FAIRE data. We find that regions of the genome with a strong midline FAIRE peak and weak whole-embryo FAIRE peak overlap with known midline enhancers and provide a useful predictive tool for enhancer identification. In a complementary analysis, we compared a large dataset of fragments that drive midline expression in vivo with the FAIRE data. Midline enhancer fragments with a midline FAIRE peak tend to be near midline-expressed genes, whereas midline enhancers without a midline FAIRE peak were often distant from midline-expressed genes and unlikely to drive midline transcription in vivo.

  19. Using Social Media Activity to Identify Personality Characteristics of Navy Personnel

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-03-01

    NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA THESIS USING SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVITY TO IDENTIFY PERSONALITY CHARACTERISTICS OF NAVY PERSONNEL by Leslie...SUBTITLE USING SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVITY TO IDENTIFY PERSONALITY CHARACTER- ISTICS OF NAVY PERSONNEL 5. FUNDING NUMBERS 6. AUTHOR(S) Leslie Ward 7...THIS PAGE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK ii Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited USING SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVITY TO IDENTIFY PERSONALITY

  20. Grazer traits, competition, and carbon sources to a headwater-stream food web.

    PubMed

    McNeely, Camille; Finlay, Jacques C; Power, Mary E

    2007-02-01

    We investigated the effect of grazing by a dominant invertebrate grazer (the caddisfly Glossosoma penitum) on the energy sources used by other consumers in a headwater-stream food web. Stable isotope studies in small, forested streams in northern California have shown that G. penitum larvae derive most of their carbon from algae, despite low algal standing crops. We hypothesized that the caddisfly competes with other primary consumers (including mayflies) for algal food and increases their reliance on terrestrial detritus. Because Glossosoma are abundant and defended from predators by stone cases, their consumption of algal energy may reduce its transfer up the food chain. We removed Glossosoma (natural densities >1000 caddisflies/m2) from five approximately 4 m2) stream sections during the summer of 2000 and measured responses of algae, invertebrate primary consumers, and invertebrate predators. The treatment reduced Glossosoma biomass by 80-90%. We observed a doubling in chlorophyll a per area in sections with reduced Glossosoma abundance and aggregative increases in the biomass of undefended primary consumers. Heptageniid mayfly larvae consumed more algae (as measured by stable carbon isotope ratios and gut content analysis) in caddisfly removal plots at the end of the 60-day experiment, although not after one month. We did not see isotopic evidence of increased algal carbon in invertebrate predators, however. Patterns of caddisfly and mayfly diets in the surrounding watershed suggested that mayfly diets are variable and include algae and detrital carbon in variable proportions, but scraping caddisflies consume primarily algae. Caddisfly and mayfly diets are more similar in larger, more productive streams where the mayflies assimilate more algae. Isotopic analysis, in combination with measurements of macroinvertebrate abundance and biomass in unmanipulated plots, suggested that a substantial portion of the invertebrate community (>50% of biomass) was supported

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... the activity initiates an event or series of events where coastal effects are reasonably foreseeable... 15 Commerce and Foreign Trade 3 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Identifying Federal agency activities... MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS Consistency for Federal Agency Activities § 930.33 Identifying Federal agency activities...

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Resource partitioning among savanna grazers mediated by local heterogeneity: an experimental approach.

    PubMed

    Cromsigt, Joris P G M; Olff, Han

    2006-06-01

    Recent theoretical studies predict that body size-related interspecific differences in spatial scale of perception and resource use may contribute to coexistence of species that compete for the same class of resources. These studies provide a new theoretical framework for explaining resource partitioning patterns among African ungulates that coexist in spatially heterogeneous savanna grasslands. According to these studies, different-sized ungulates can coexist because larger species forage at a coarser scale but can tolerate lower quality food, whereas smaller species need higher quality food but forage at a finer scale. To test this hypothesis in an African savanna, we created an experimental mosaic with variation in grain (spatial detail) and quality of short-grass patches and directly observed the visitation of naturally occurring grazers to this mosaic over a two-year period (total of 903 observation hours). Of the seven species that visited our experiment, warthog, impala, zebra, and white rhino visited long enough to allow data analysis. We showed that warthog and impala avoided plots with a finer grain of short grass and that warthog preferred fertilized plots to unfertilized plots. Zebra and white rhino did not avoid the finer grain plots. Our results suggest that differences in grain and quality of a resource might indeed contribute to partitioning of this resource by savanna ungulates. Although four focal species is unusually high for an experimental study on resource partitioning among naturally occurring savanna ungulates, this number is too low to evaluate the allometric basis of our hypothesis. Our results, however, encourage wider experimental testing of the role of spatial heterogeneity in facilitating the coexistence of potentially competing savanna herbivores.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-09-20

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Amino Acid Isotopic Trophic Enrichment in Mesozooplankton: Is Alanine a Better Predictor of Protistan Grazer Steps?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Decima, M.; Landry, M. R.; Bradley, C. J.; Fogel, M. L.

    2016-02-01

    Food-web studies within marine environments are increasingly reliant upon results from compound-specific isotope analysis of amino acids (CSIA-AA). The approach is advantageous because it allows consumer trophic positions to be estimated without sampling the dynamic primary producers. The baseline signal in the source AA phenylalanine is preserved, and a constant enrichment in glutamic acid at each trophic step is assumed, regardless of consumer type or diet. However, a number of recent studies challenge the assumption of universal and invariant isotopic fractionation of glutamic acid for all trophic levels, as well as its specific applicability to the main grazers in the ocean: the protistan microzooplankton. We present results from both laboratory and field studies that further explore this issue. Experiments include six 2-stage chemostats, using two different microzooplankton-phytoplankton pairs and one copepod-phytoplankton pair, and one 3-stage experiment using a copepod-microzooplankton-phytoplankton chain. We confirm previous observations of negligible fractionation of glutamic acid in protistan consumers when nutrients are limiting. In contrast, a consistent trophic enrichment effect was observed for alanine, with increasing δ15N values by trophic level for both metazoan and protistan consumers. A re-analysis of published CSIA-AA data of zooplankton species show that an index using alanine and phenylalanine gives trophic level estimates closer to expected given current understanding of the linkages within microbial food webs. Our results examine the details of isotopic fractionation of alanine within defined food chains and generally support its potential use as a trophic level indicator that includes the protistan contribution to mesozooplankton diet.

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  15. 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.

  16. Natural selection for grazer resistance to toxic cyanobacteria: evolution of phenotypic plasticity?

    PubMed

    Hairston, N G; Holtmeier, C L; Lampert, W; Weider, L J; Post, D M; Fischer, J M; Cáceres, C E; Fox, J A; Gaedke, U

    2001-11-11

    We studied the selection response of the freshwater grazing zooplankter, Daphnia galeata, to increased abundance of cyanobacteria in its environment. Cyanobacteria are a poor-quality and often toxic food. Distinct genotypes of D. galeata were hatched from diapausing eggs extracted from three time horizons in the sediments of Lake Constance, Europe, covering the period 1962 to 1997, a time of change in both the prevalence of planktonic cyanobacteria and levels of phosphorus pollution. We assessed whether the grazers evolved to become more resistant to dietary cyanobacteria by exposing genetically distinct clones to two diets, one composed only of the nutritious green alga, Scenedesmus obliquus (good food), and the other a mixture of S. obliquus and the toxic cyanobacterium Microcvstis aeruginosa (poor food). Genotype performance was measured as the specific rate of weight gain from neonate to maturity (gj). We evaluated evolutionary change in the Daphnia population using an analysis of reaction norms based on relative (log-transformed) changes in gj. Log(gj) is a measure of the proportional effect of dietary cyanobacteria on other fitness components of the Daphnia phenotype. For comparison, we also analyze absolute (i.e., nontransformed) changes in gj and discuss the interpretations of the two approaches. Statistical results using a general linear model demonstrate a significant effect of genotype (showing differences in gj among genotypes), a significant genotype x food-type interaction (showing differences in phenotypic plasticity among genotypes), and, in the case of log-transformed data, a significant sediment-genotype-age x food-type interaction. The latter shows that phenotypic plasticity evolved over the period studied. Two constraints act on response to selection in the D. galeata-Lake Constance system. First, gj on a diet containing poor food is highly correlated with gj on a diet of good food, thus evolving resistance also meant evolving an increase in gj

  17. Vertical distribution and in situ feeding of marine particle-grazers in relation to their food, the microplankton

    SciTech Connect

    Napp, J.M.

    1986-01-01

    A cruise was completed to measure the vertical distributions of plant biomass, growth, size and species composition, nutritional content and the zooplankton biomass and species composition. There were no consistent differences in the size spectra of particles between the regions of highest plant biomass and highest growth rates. Species known to be noxious or distasteful to the zooplankton were not members of either assemblage. The nutritional content of the particulate matter was greatest at the plant biomass maximum. Thus there was no evidence that the region of higher plant growth rates was a better place for zooplankton to feed. The diurnal distribution of zooplankton biomass was not consistently related to the vertical distributions of plant biomass, primary productivity, or productivity/chlorophyll. At night, the vertical distribution of zooplankton biomass was consistently related to the vertical distribution of plant biomass. There were species whose vertical distributions were consistently related to either the vertical distribution of plant biomass or productivity/chlorophyll a but not primary productivity, contrary to the observations of others. The total grazing pressure, measured in situ with a new design of grazing chamber and an isotopic carrier which labels the particulate matter day and night, indicated that the daily production of plant carbon was much greater than its rate of removal by the grazers. Thus, it is not necessary for the grazer biomass maximum to be located above the chlorophyll a maximum in order for that feature to persist.

  18. Distribution and drift dispersal dynamics of a caddisfly grazer in response to resource abundance and its ontogeny.

    PubMed

    Katano, Izumi; Mitsuhashi, Hiromune; Doi, Hideyuki; Isobe, Yu; Oishi, Tadashi

    2017-01-01

    Stream grazers have a major impact on food web structure and the productivity of stream ecosystems; however, studies on the longitudinal (upstream versus downstream) and temporal changes in their drift dynamics and resulting distributions remain limited. Here, we investigated the longitudinal and temporal distributions and drift propensity of a trichopteran grazer, the caddisfly, Micrasema quadriloba, during its life cycle in a Japanese stream. The distribution of larvae significantly shifted downstream during the fifth instar larval stage during late winter; with periphyton abundance (i.e. their food source) showing similar shifts downstream. Therefore, our results show that the drift dispersal the caddisfly occurs in response to decline in available food resources (i.e. food-resource scarcity) and an increase in food requirements by growing individuals. Furthermore, our results show that this observed longitudinal shift in larval distribution varies through their life cycle, because the drift dispersal of fifth instar larvae was greater than that of immature larvae. The correlation between periphyton abundance and drift propensity of fourth instar larvae was not statistically significant, whereas that of fifth instar larvae was significantly negative. In conclusion, we detected an ontogenetic shift in drift propensity, which might explain the longitudinal and temporal distributions of this species.

  19. Distribution and drift dispersal dynamics of a caddisfly grazer in response to resource abundance and its ontogeny

    PubMed Central

    Mitsuhashi, Hiromune; Doi, Hideyuki; Isobe, Yu; Oishi, Tadashi

    2017-01-01

    Stream grazers have a major impact on food web structure and the productivity of stream ecosystems; however, studies on the longitudinal (upstream versus downstream) and temporal changes in their drift dynamics and resulting distributions remain limited. Here, we investigated the longitudinal and temporal distributions and drift propensity of a trichopteran grazer, the caddisfly, Micrasema quadriloba, during its life cycle in a Japanese stream. The distribution of larvae significantly shifted downstream during the fifth instar larval stage during late winter; with periphyton abundance (i.e. their food source) showing similar shifts downstream. Therefore, our results show that the drift dispersal the caddisfly occurs in response to decline in available food resources (i.e. food-resource scarcity) and an increase in food requirements by growing individuals. Furthermore, our results show that this observed longitudinal shift in larval distribution varies through their life cycle, because the drift dispersal of fifth instar larvae was greater than that of immature larvae. The correlation between periphyton abundance and drift propensity of fourth instar larvae was not statistically significant, whereas that of fifth instar larvae was significantly negative. In conclusion, we detected an ontogenetic shift in drift propensity, which might explain the longitudinal and temporal distributions of this species. PMID:28280576

  20. Identifying and Activating Receptive Vocabulary by an Online Vocabulary Survey and an Online Writing Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lin, Ivy Chuhui; Kawai, Goh

    2016-01-01

    Seeking to identify and activate the Receptive Vocabulary (RV) of English Language Learners (ELLs), we designed (1) an online five category multiple-choice vocabulary survey that more quickly measures vocabulary knowledge, and (2) an online creative writing task where ELLs chose RV items identified in step (1). While RV items of highly proficient…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. Using wearable cameras to categorise type and context of accelerometer-identified episodes of physical activity

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Accelerometers can identify certain physical activity behaviours, but not the context in which they take place. This study investigates the feasibility of wearable cameras to objectively categorise the behaviour type and context of participants’ accelerometer-identified episodes of activity. Methods Adults were given an Actical hip-mounted accelerometer and a SenseCam wearable camera (worn via lanyard). The onboard clocks on both devices were time-synchronised. Participants engaged in free-living activities for 3 days. Actical data were cleaned and episodes of sedentary, lifestyle-light, lifestyle-moderate, and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) were identified. Actical episodes were categorised according to their social and environmental context and Physical Activity (PA) compendium category as identified from time-matched SenseCam images. Results There were 212 days considered from 49 participants from whom SenseCam images and associated Actical data were captured. Using SenseCam images, behaviour type and context attributes were annotated for 386 (out of 3017) randomly selected episodes (such as walking/transportation, social/not-social, domestic/leisure). Across the episodes, 12 categories that aligned with the PA Compendium were identified, and 114 subcategory types were identified. Nineteen percent of episodes could not have their behaviour type and context categorized; 59% were outdoors versus 39% indoors; 33% of episodes were recorded as leisure time activities, with 33% transport, 18% domestic, and 15% occupational. 33% of the randomly selected episodes contained direct social interaction and 22% were in social situations where the participant wasn’t involved in direct engagement. Conclusion Wearable camera images offer an objective method to capture a spectrum of activity behaviour types and context across 81% of accelerometer-identified episodes of activity. Wearable cameras represent the best objective method currently

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Custom active RFId solution for children tracking and identifying in a resuscitation ward.

    PubMed

    Iadanza, Ernesto; Dori, Fabrizio

    2009-01-01

    In this work is discussed an active RFId system to track and identify patients in a children's critical care ward. The technical solutions may be very different according to the patients type, age and cognitive conditions and according to the hospital shapes. The proposed system to track and identify patients has been developed taking into account all the constraints induced by the particular environment. The system is composed of five different hardware devices and a tracking software, purposely designed and realized.

  9. From Grazer Control to Carbon Export: Contrasting the Role of Synechococcus and Prochlorococcus in the Sargasso Sea.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Martini, F.; Neuer, S.

    2016-02-01

    The picocyanobacteria Synechococcus and Prochlorococcus dominate the primary production in the Sargasso Sea, with Synechococcus being more abundant in the winter, and Prochlorococcus more abundant in the summer. With the ultimate goal of finding a link between the trophic dynamics and the role in carbon export of these cyanobacteria, we determined their growth and grazing rates using dilution experiments and their relative and absolute contribution to the particulate organic carbon (POC) export using DNA-based techniques (454 pyrosequencing targeting 16S rDNA V4 region, and quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction targeting 23-16 rDNA internally transcribed spacer region) in winter/spring and summer of 2012 in the Sargasso Sea. Our main hypothesis was that in a system where cyanobacteria are not tightly controlled by micro-grazers (e.g., growth exceeding grazing), their carbon export would be higher compared to a scenario where they are tightly controlled by micro-grazers, because more of their primary production would be available for direct mesozooplankton grazing and/or export via aggregate formation and sinking. We found indeed that during summer when Synechococcus was tightly controlled by microzoooplankton grazing, its contribution to the total carbon export was lower (2%) compared to spring 2012 when its growth far exceeded grazing rates and Synechococcus contributed between 10 and 14% to the total POC export. On the other hand, Prochlorococcus' growth and grazing rates were closely matched during both seasons, and these cyanobacteria contributed to the export of carbon less than 1%. The results of our study establish for the first time a clear link between the microbial trophic dynamics in the euphotic zone and the export of these cyanobacteria in oligotrophic oceans.

  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. A Systematic Approach to Identify Markers of Distinctly Activated Human Macrophages

    PubMed Central

    Sudan, Bayan; Wacker, Mark A.; Wilson, Mary E.; Graff, Joel W.

    2015-01-01

    Polarization has been a useful concept for describing activated macrophage phenotypes and gene expression profiles. However, macrophage activation status within tumors and other settings are often inferred based on only a few markers. Complicating matters for relevance to human biology, many macrophage activation markers have been best characterized in mice and sometimes are not similarly regulated in human macrophages. To identify novel markers of activated human macrophages, gene expression profiles for human macrophages of a single donor subjected to 33 distinct activating conditions were obtained and a set of putative activation markers were subsequently evaluated in macrophages from multiple donors using integrated fluidic circuit (IFC)-based RT-PCR. Using unsupervised hierarchical clustering of the microarray screen, highly altered transcripts (>4-fold change in expression) sorted the macrophage transcription profiles into two major and 13 minor clusters. Among the 1874 highly altered transcripts, over 100 were uniquely altered in one major or two related minor clusters. IFC PCR-derived data confirmed the microarray results and determined the kinetics of expression of potential macrophage activation markers. Transcripts encoding chemokines, cytokines, and cell surface were prominent in our analyses. The activation markers identified by this study could be used to better characterize tumor-associated macrophages from biopsies as well as other macrophage populations collected from human clinical samples. PMID:26074920

  12. Identifying the barriers and facilitators to participation in physical activity for children with Down syndrome.

    PubMed

    Barr, M; Shields, N

    2011-11-01

    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. Eighteen in-depth interviews were conducted with 20 parents (16 mothers, 4 fathers) of children with Down syndrome aged between 2 and 17 years to examine what factors facilitate physical activity and what factors are barriers to activity for their children. The participants were recruited through a community disability organisation that advocates for people with Down syndrome and their families. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and independently coded and analysed by two researchers using thematic analysis. Four themes on facilitators of physical activity were identified: (1) the positive role of the family; (2) opportunity for social interaction with peers; (3) structured accessible programmes that make adaptations for children with Down syndrome; and (4) children who were determined to succeed and physically skilled. Four themes on the barriers to physical activity were also identified: (1) characteristics commonly associated with Down syndrome; (2) competing family responsibilities; (3) reduced physical or behavioural skills; and (4) a lack of accessible programmes. The results highlight the important role of families in determining how much physical activity children with Down syndrome undertake and the effect that common characteristics associated with Down syndrome can have on maintaining an active lifestyle. Future research needs to concentrate on successful methods of encouraging physical activity, such as ensuring social interaction is part of the activity, and eliminating barriers to physical activity such as the a lack of appropriate programmes for children with Down syndrome. Implementing these strategies may encourage children with Down syndrome to participate more frequently in a physically active lifestyle. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of

  13. Ecological Congruence Assessment for Classroom Activities and Routines: Identifying Goals and Intervention Practices in Childcare.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wolery, Mark; Brashers, Margaret Sigalove; Neitzel, Jennifer C.

    2002-01-01

    This article explains how educators can use the ecological congruence assessment process for identifying functional goals for young children with disabilities. Process steps include: teacher collects information about functioning in usual classroom activities, routines, and transitions; summarizes the collected information; and shares the…

  14. Identifying Strategies Programs Adopt to Meet Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Standards in Afterschool Programs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weaver, Robert G.; Moore, Justin B.; Turner-McGrievy, Brie; Saunders, Ruth; Beighle, Aaron; Khan, M. Mahmud; Chandler, Jessica; Brazendale, Keith; Randell, Allison; Webster, Collin; Beets, Michael W.

    2017-01-01

    Background: The YMCA of USA has adopted Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) Standards for its afterschool programs (ASPs). Little is known about strategies YMCA ASPs are implementing to achieve Standards and these strategies' effectiveness. Aims: (1) Identify strategies implemented in YMCA ASPs and (2) evaluate the relationship between…

  15. Model-Eliciting Activities as a Tool to Develop and Identify Creatively Gifted Mathematicians

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chamberlin, Scott A.; Moon, Sidney M.

    2005-01-01

    This article addresses the use of Model-Eliciting Activities (MEAs) as a (curricular) tool to develop mathematical creativity and identify students who are creatively gifted in mathematics. The thesis of this article is that by using MEAs, gifted educators can: (a) provide students with opportunities to develop creative and applied mathematical…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    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 impact gluconeogenesis in humans, as well as metabolically uncharacterized compounds. Most notably, we find that the Translocator Protein (TSPO) 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 importantly 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. PMID:23201900

  17. Using Active Learning to Identify Health Information Technology Related Patient Safety Events.

    PubMed

    Fong, Allan; Howe, Jessica L; Adams, Katharine T; Ratwani, Raj M

    2017-01-18

    The widespread adoption of health information technology (HIT) has led to new patient safety hazards that are often difficult to identify. Patient safety event reports, which are self-reported descriptions of safety hazards, provide one view of potential HIT-related safety events. However, identifying HIT-related reports can be challenging as they are often categorized under other more predominate clinical categories. This challenge of identifying HIT-related reports is exacerbated by the increasing number and complexity of reports which pose challenges to human annotators that must manually review reports. In this paper, we apply active learning techniques to support classification of patient safety event reports as HIT-related. We evaluated different strategies and demonstrated a 30% increase in average precision of a confirmatory sampling strategy over a baseline no active learning approach after 10 learning iterations.

  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. 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.

  20. Identifying factors hampering physical activity in longstanding rheumatoid arthritis: what is the role of glucocorticoid therapy?

    PubMed

    van der Goes, M C; Hoes, J N; Cramer, M J; van der Veen, M J; van der Werf, J H; Bijlsma, J W J; Jacobs, J W G

    2014-01-01

    To identify factors hampering the level of physical activity in longstanding rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, and to evaluate the effects of glucocorticoid therapy on physical activity. Patient characteristics, disease characteristics and cardiovascular parameters were recorded in 170 patients, who participated in a study about glucose metabolism in longstanding RA treated with or without glucocorticoids. Disease activity scores (DAS28) were calculated and x-rays of hands and feet were taken and scored according to the Sharp van der Heijde score (SHS). Participants completed the health assessment questionnaire and short questionnaire to assess health-enhancing physical activity (SQUASH), which reflect physical disability and physical activity, respectively. Adherence rates to recommendations on physical activity were calculated, and patients were categorised as fully adhering, insufficiently adhering (adherence on less than the recommended number of days per week) or inactive (adherence on none of the days). Forty-four percent of the patients showed adherence to the recommended minimum level of physical activity, and 22% were classified as inactive. Higher DAS28 and SHS, glucocorticoid therapy, and presence of cardiovascular risk factors were associated with lower total SQUASH physical activity scores univariately. In a multivariate model, higher age, higher body mass index (BMI), higher DAS28, and higher SHS negatively influenced the score significantly; cardiovascular risk factors and glucocorticoid therapy were no longer significantly influencing physical activity. Physical activity in longstanding RA is hampered by higher age, higher BMI, higher disease activity, and more radiographic joint damage. Glucocorticoid therapy was not identified as independent risk factor in multivariate analyses.

  1. Functional brain activation differences in stuttering identified with a rapid fMRI sequence

    PubMed Central

    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 motor and auditory brain activity in children who stutter closer to the age at which recovery from stuttering is documented. Rapid sequences may be preferred for individuals or populations who do not tolerate long scanning sessions. In this report, we document the application of a picture naming and phoneme monitoring task in three minute fMRI sequences with adults who stutter (AWS). If relevant brain differences are found in AWS with these approaches that conform to previous reports, then these approaches can be extended to younger populations. Pairwise contrasts of brain BOLD activity between AWS and normally fluent adults indicated the AWS showed higher BOLD activity in the right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), right temporal lobe and sensorimotor cortices during picture naming and and higher activity in the right IFG during phoneme monitoring. The right lateralized pattern of BOLD activity together with higher activity in sensorimotor cortices is consistent with previous reports, which indicates rapid fMRI sequences can be considered for investigating stuttering in younger participants. PMID:22133409

  2. Identifying Activation Centers with Spatial Cox Point Processes Using fMRI Data.

    PubMed

    Ray, Meredith; Kang, Jian; Zhang, Hongmei

    2016-01-01

    We developed a Bayesian clustering method to identify significant regions of brain activation. Coordinate-based meta data originating from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) were of primary interest. Individual fMRI has the ability to measure the intensity of blood flow and oxygen to a location within the brain that was activated by a given thought or emotion. The proposed method performed clustering on two levels, latent foci center and study activation center, with a spatial Cox point process utilizing the Dirichlet process to describe the distribution of foci. Intensity was modeled as a function of distance between the focus and the center of the cluster of foci using a Gaussian kernel. Simulation studies were conducted to evaluate the sensitivity and robustness of the method with respect to cluster identification and underlying data distributions. We applied the method to a meta data set to identify emotion foci centers.

  3. 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

  4. Identifying the functional contribution of the defatty-acylase activity of SIRT6

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiaoyu; Khan, Saba; Jiang, Hong; Antonyak, Marc A.; Chen, Xiao; Spiegelman, Nicole A.; Shrimp, Jonathan H.; Cerione, Richard A.; Lin, Hening

    2016-01-01

    Mammalian sirtuin 6 (SIRT6) exhibits many pivotal functions and multiple enzymatic activities, but the contribution of each activity to the various functions is unclear. We identified a SIRT6 G60A mutant that possesses efficient defatty-acylase activity, but has significantly decreased deacetylase activity in vitro and no detectable deacetylase activity in cells. The G60A mutant has decreased ability to bind NAD+, but the presence of fatty-acyl lysine peptides restores NAD+ binding, explaining the retention of the defatty-acylase activity. Using this mutant, we found that SIRT6’s defatty-acylase activity regulates the secretion of numerous proteins. Interestingly, many ribosomal proteins were secreted via exosomes from Sirt6 KO mouse embryonic fibroblasts, and these exosomes increased NIH 3T3 cell proliferation compared with control exosomes. Our data supports that distinct activities of SIRT6 regulate different pathways, and that the G60A mutant is a useful tool to study the contribution of the defatty-acylase activity to SIRT6’s various functions. PMID:27322069

  5. Identifying physical activity type in manual wheelchair users with spinal cord injury by means of accelerometers.

    PubMed

    García-Massó, X; Serra-Añó, P; Gonzalez, L M; Ye-Lin, Y; Prats-Boluda, G; Garcia-Casado, J

    2015-10-01

    This was a cross-sectional study. The main objective of this study was to develop and test classification algorithms based on machine learning using accelerometers to identify the activity type performed by manual wheelchair users with spinal cord injury (SCI). The study was conducted in the Physical Therapy department and the Physical Education and Sports department of the University of Valencia. A total of 20 volunteers were asked to perform 10 physical activities, lying down, body transfers, moving items, mopping, working on a computer, watching TV, arm-ergometer exercises, passive propulsion, slow propulsion and fast propulsion, while fitted with four accelerometers placed on both wrists, chest and waist. The activities were grouped into five categories: sedentary, locomotion, housework, body transfers and moderate physical activity. Different machine learning algorithms were used to develop individual and group activity classifiers from the acceleration data for different combinations of number and position of the accelerometers. We found that although the accuracy of the classifiers for individual activities was moderate (55-72%), with higher values for a greater number of accelerometers, grouped activities were correctly classified in a high percentage of cases (83.2-93.6%). With only two accelerometers and the quadratic discriminant analysis algorithm we achieved a reasonably accurate group activity recognition system (>90%). Such a system with the minimum of intervention would be a valuable tool for studying physical activity in individuals with SCI.

  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. 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.

  8. Removal of novel antiandrogens identified in biological effluents of domestic wastewater by activated carbon.

    PubMed

    Ma, Dehua; Chen, Lujun; Liu, Rui

    2017-04-10

    Environmental antiandrogenic (AA) contaminants in effluents from wastewater treatment plants have the potential for negative impacts on wildlife and human health. The aim of our study was to identify chemical contaminants with likely AA activity in the biological effluents and evaluate the removal of these antiandrogens (AAs) during advanced treatment comprising adsorption onto granular activated carbon (GAC). In this study, profiling of AA contaminants in biological effluents and tertiary effluents was conducted using effect-directed analysis (EDA) including high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) fractionation, a recombinant yeast screen containing androgen receptor (YAS), in combination with mass spectrometry analyses. Analysis of a wastewater secondary effluent from a membrane bioreactor revealed complex profiles of AA activity comprising 14 HPLC fractions and simpler profiles of GAC effluents with only 2 to 4 moderately polar HPLC fractions depending on GAC treatment conditions. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-nanospray mass spectrometry analyses of AA fractions in the secondary effluent resulted in detection of over 10 chemical contaminants, which showed inhibition of YAS activity and were potential AAs. The putative AAs included biocides, food additives, flame retardants, pharmaceuticals and industrial contaminants. To our knowledge, it is the first time that the AA properties of N-ethyl-2-isopropyl-5-methylcyclohexanecarboxamide (WS3), cetirizine, and oxcarbazepine are reported. The EDA used in this study was proven to be a powerful tool to identify novel chemical structures with AA activity in the complex aquatic environment. The adsorption process to GAC of all the identified antiandrogens, except WS3 and triclosan, fit well with the pseudo-second order kinetics models. Adsorption to GAC could further remove most of the AAs identified in the biological effluents with high efficiencies.

  9. Extensive mutagenesis of a transcriptional activation domain identifies single hydrophobic and acidic amino acids important for activation in vivo.

    PubMed Central

    Sainz, M B; Goff, S A; Chandler, V L

    1997-01-01

    C1 is a transcriptional activator of genes encoding biosynthetic enzymes of the maize anthocyanin pigment pathway. C1 has an amino terminus homologous to Myb DNA-binding domains and an acidic carboxyl terminus that is a transcriptional activation domain in maize and yeast cells. To identify amino acids critical for transcriptional activation, an extensive random mutagenesis of the C1 carboxyl terminus was done. The C1 activation domain is remarkably tolerant of amino acid substitutions, as changes at 34 residues had little or no effect on transcriptional activity. These changes include introduction of helix-incompatible amino acids throughout the C1 activation domain and alteration of most single acidic amino acids, suggesting that a previously postulated amphipathic alpha-helix is not required for activation. Substitutions at two positions revealed amino acids important for transcriptional activation. Replacement of leucine 253 with a proline or glutamine resulted in approximately 10% of wild-type transcriptional activation. Leucine 253 is in a region of C1 in which several hydrophobic residues align with residues important for transcriptional activation by the herpes simplex virus VP16 protein. However, changes at all other hydrophobic residues in C1 indicate that none are critical for C1 transcriptional activation. The other important amino acid in C1 is aspartate 262, as a change to valine resulted in only 24% of wild-type transcriptional activation. Comparison of our C1 results with those from VP16 reveal substantial differences in which amino acids are required for transcriptional activation in vivo by these two acidic activation domains. PMID:8972191

  10. 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.

  11. Identifying the structure-activity relationship of leelamine necessary for inhibiting intracellular cholesterol transport

    PubMed Central

    Gowda, Raghavendra; Inamdar, Gajanan S.; Kuzu, Omer; Dinavahi, Saketh S.; Krzeminski, Jacek; Battu, Madhu Babu; Voleti, Sreedhara R.; Amin, Shantu; Robertson, Gavin P.

    2017-01-01

    Leelamine is an anticancer chemotherapeutic agent inhibiting intracellular cholesterol transport. Cell death mediated by leelamine occurs due to the lysosomotropic property of the compound, its accumulation in the lysosome, and inhibition of cholesterol transport leading to lack of availability for key processes required for functioning of cancer cells. The present study dissects the structure-activity-relationship of leelamine using synthesized derivatives of leelamine and abietic acid, a structurally similar compound, to identify the moiety responsible for anti-cancer activity. Similar to leelamine, all active derivatives had an amino group or a similar moiety that confers a lysosomotropic property to the compound enabling its accumulation in the lysosome. Active derivatives inhibited intracellular cholesterol transport and hindered xenografted melanoma tumor development without obvious systemic toxicity. In silico studies suggested that active derivatives accumulating in lysosomes bound to NPC1, a protein responsible for cholesterol export from the lysosome, to inhibit its activity that then caused accumulation, and lack of cholesterol availability for other key cellular activities. Thus, active derivatives of leelamine or abietic acid maintained lysosomotropic properties, bound to NPC1, and disrupted cellular cholesterol transport as well as availability to retard tumor development. PMID:28423677

  12. 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.

  13. Use of ultrasound to identify chronic Achilles tendinosis in an active asymptomatic population.

    PubMed

    Nicol, A M; McCurdie, I; Etherington, J

    2006-12-01

    The aim of the study was to identify the prevalence of degenerative change in the Achilles tendons of currently asymptomatic individuals and correlate it with their degree of physical activity. We recruited 126 healthy subjects, mean age 33.1, range 20 - 50 (78 males and 48 females). Their levels of physical activity were assessed by a questionnaire and scored using the Allied Dunbar Fitness Survey criteria, modified to exclude non-weight bearing activity. One investigator, who was blinded to the activity levels, ultrasound scanned all 252 tendons. Tendons were examined for evidence of hypoechoic regions, localised fusiform thickening, and the cross-sectional diameter of each was measured. Overall 59% (149) of tendons had ultrasound evidence of hypoechoic regions. In 50 tendons (in 31 patients) there was a history of previous Achilles pain and 84% of these had hypoechoic regions. Thirty three percent of subjects in the lowest quartile of activity had evidence of hypoechoic regions compared to 72.6% in the most active quartile (Pearson Chi2 p < 0.01). Only 5.6% of all Achilles tendons had ultrasound evidence of localised fusiform thickening, with none in the inactive group compared to 6.4% in the very active group (Pearson Chi2 p = 0.03). Degenerative changes, identified by ultrasound, are common in the Achilles tendon and are often asymptomatic. There is a direct relationship between these changes and levels of current and lifetime activity. The natural history of asymptomatic chronic Achilles tendinosis and their relationship to future pain or tendon pathology is unknown.

  14. Stacked Bayesian general Lomb-Scargle periodogram: Identifying stellar activity signals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mortier, A.; Collier Cameron, A.

    2017-05-01

    Context. Distinguishing between a signal induced by either stellar activity or a planet is currently the main challenge in radial velocity searches for low-mass exoplanets. Even when the presence of a transiting planet and hence its period are known, stellar activity can be the main barrier to measuring the correct amplitude of the radial velocity signal. Several tools are being used to help understand which signals come from stellar activity in the data. Aims: We aim to present a new tool that can be used for the purpose of identifying periodicities caused by stellar activity, and show how it can be used to track the signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) of the detection over time. The tool is based on the principle that stellar activity signals are variable and incoherent. Methods: We calculate the Bayesian general Lomb-Scargle periodogram for subsets of data and by adding one extra data point we track what happens to the presence and significance of periodicities in the data. Publicly available datasets from HARPS and HARPS-N were used for this purpose. Additionally, we analysed a synthetic dataset that we created with SOAP2.0 to simulate pure stellar activity and a mixture of stellar activity and a planet. Results: We find that this tool can easily be used to identify unstable and incoherent signals, such as those introduced by stellar activity. The S/N of the detection grows approximately as the square root of the number of data points, in the case of a stable signal. This can then be used to make decisions on whether it is useful to keep observing a specific object. The tool is relatively fast and easy to use, and thus lends itself perfectly to a quick analysis of the data.

  15. Identifying novel phenotypes of vulnerability and resistance to activity-based anorexia in adolescent female rats.

    PubMed

    Barbarich-Marsteller, Nicole C; Underwood, Mark D; Foltin, Richard W; Myers, Michael M; Walsh, B Timothy; Barrett, Jeffrey S; Marsteller, Douglas A

    2013-11-01

    Activity-based anorexia is a translational rodent model that results in severe weight loss, hyperactivity, and voluntary self-starvation. The goal of our investigation was to identify vulnerable and resistant phenotypes of activity-based anorexia in adolescent female rats. Sprague-Dawley rats were maintained under conditions of restricted access to food (N = 64; or unlimited access, N = 16) until experimental exit, predefined as a target weight loss of 30-35% or meeting predefined criteria for animal health. Nonlinear mixed effects statistical modeling was used to describe wheel running behavior, time to event analysis was used to assess experimental exit, and a regressive partitioning algorithm was used to classify phenotypes. Objective criteria were identified for distinguishing novel phenotypes of activity-based anorexia, including a vulnerable phenotype that conferred maximal hyperactivity, minimal food intake, and the shortest time to experimental exit, and a resistant phenotype that conferred minimal activity and the longest time to experimental exit. The identification of objective criteria for defining vulnerable and resistant phenotypes of activity-based anorexia in adolescent female rats provides an important framework for studying the neural mechanisms that promote vulnerability to or protection against the development of self-starvation and hyperactivity during adolescence. Ultimately, future studies using these novel phenotypes may provide important translational insights into the mechanisms that promote these maladaptive behaviors characteristic of anorexia nervosa. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Identifying relationships between unrelated pharmaceutical target proteins on the basis of shared active compounds.

    PubMed

    Miljković, Filip; Kunimoto, Ryo; Bajorath, Jürgen

    2017-08-01

    Computational exploration of small-molecule-based relationships between target proteins from different families. Target annotations of drugs and other bioactive compounds were systematically analyzed on the basis of high-confidence activity data. A total of 286 novel chemical links were established between distantly related or unrelated target proteins. These relationships involved a total of 1859 bioactive compounds including 147 drugs and 141 targets. Computational analysis of large amounts of compounds and activity data has revealed unexpected relationships between diverse target proteins on the basis of compounds they share. These relationships are relevant for drug discovery efforts. Target pairs that we have identified and associated compound information are made freely available.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Identifying Activity Levels and Steps in People with Stroke using a Novel Shoe-Based Sensor

    PubMed Central

    Fulk, George D.; Edgar, S. Ryan; Bierwirth, Rebecca; Hart, Phil; Lopez-Meyer, Paulo; Sazonov, Edward

    2012-01-01

    Background/Purpose Advances in sensory technologies provides a method to accurately assess activity levels of people with stroke in their community. This information could be used to determine the effectiveness of rehabilitation interventions as well as provide behavioral enhancing feedback. The purpose of this study was to assess the accuracy of a novel shoe-based sensor system (SmartShoe) to identify different functional postures and steps in people with stroke. The SmartShoe system consists of five force sensitive resistors built into a flexible insole and an accelerometer on the back of the shoe. Pressure and acceleration data are sent via Bluetooth to a smart phone. Methods Participants with stroke wore the SmartShoe while they performed activities of daily living (ADL) in sitting, standing and walking. Data from four participants were used to develop a multi-layer perceptron artificial neural network (ANN) to identify sitting, standing, and walking. A signal-processing algorithm used data from the pressure sensors to estimate number of steps taken while walking. The accuracy, precision and recall of the ANN for identifying the three functional postures were calculated using data from a different set of participants. Agreement between steps identified by SmartShoe and actual steps taken was analyzed using the Bland Altman method. Results The SmartShoe was able to accurately identify sitting, standing and walking. Accuracy, precision and recall were all greater than 95%. The mean difference between steps identified by SmartShoe and actual steps was less than 1 step. Discussion The SmartShoe was able to accurately identify different functional postures using a unique combination of pressure and acceleration data in people with stroke as they performed different ADLs. There was a strong level of agreement between actual steps taken and steps identified using the SmartShoe. Further study is needed to determine if the SmartShoe could be used to provide valid

  20. 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.

  1. Functional and Evolutionary Analyses Identify Proteolysis as a General Mechanism for NLRP1 Inflammasome Activation

    PubMed Central

    Chavarría-Smith, Joseph; Mitchell, Patrick S.

    2016-01-01

    Inflammasomes are cytosolic multi-protein complexes that initiate immune responses to infection by recruiting and activating the Caspase-1 protease. Human NLRP1 was the first protein shown to form an inflammasome, but its physiological mechanism of activation remains unknown. Recently, specific variants of mouse and rat NLRP1 were found to be activated upon N-terminal cleavage by the anthrax lethal factor protease. However, agonists for other NLRP1 variants, including human NLRP1, are not known, and it remains unclear if they are also activated by proteolysis. Here we demonstrate that two mouse NLRP1 paralogs (NLRP1AB6 and NLRP1BB6) are also activated by N-terminal proteolytic cleavage. We also demonstrate that proteolysis within a specific N-terminal linker region is sufficient to activate human NLRP1. Evolutionary analysis of primate NLRP1 shows the linker/cleavage region has evolved under positive selection, indicative of pathogen-induced selective pressure. Collectively, these results identify proteolysis as a general mechanism of NLRP1 inflammasome activation that appears to be contributing to the rapid evolution of NLRP1 in rodents and primates. PMID:27926929

  2. Identifying knowledge activism in worker health and safety representation: A cluster analysis.

    PubMed

    Hall, Alan; Oudyk, John; King, Andrew; Naqvi, Syed; Lewchuk, Wayne

    2016-01-01

    Although worker representation in OHS has been widely recognized as contributing to health and safety improvements at work, few studies have examined the role that worker representatives play in this process. Using a large quantitative sample, this paper seeks to confirm findings from an earlier exploratory qualitative study that worker representatives can be differentiated by the knowledge intensive tactics and strategies that they use to achieve changes in their workplace. Just under 900 worker health and safety representatives in Ontario completed surveys which asked them to report on the amount of time they devoted to different types of representation activities (i.e., technical activities such as inspections and report writing vs. political activities such as mobilizing workers to build support), the kinds of conditions or hazards they tried to address through their representation (e.g., housekeeping vs. modifications in ventilation systems), and their reported success in making positive improvements. A cluster analysis was used to determine whether the worker representatives could be distinguished in terms of the relative time devoted to different activities and the clusters were then compared with reference to types of intervention efforts and outcomes. The cluster analysis identified three distinct groupings of representatives with significant differences in reported types of interventions and in their level of reported impact. Two of the clusters were consistent with the findings in the exploratory study, identified as knowledge activism for greater emphasis on knowledge based political activity and technical-legal representation for greater emphasis on formalized technical oriented procedures and legal regulations. Knowledge activists were more likely to take on challenging interventions and they reported more impact across the full range of interventions. This paper provides further support for the concepts of knowledge activism and technical

  3. People who perceive themselves as active cannot identify the intensity recommended by the international physical activity guidelines

    PubMed Central

    Prokop, Neal W; Hrubeniuk, Travis JR; Sénéchal, Martin; Bouchard, Danielle R

    2014-01-01

    Background Many national and international organizations recommend that adults achieve at least 150 minutes of aerobic physical activity (PA) weekly, at a minimum moderate intensity to optimize health benefits. It is unknown if people who consider themselves as active have the ability to identify what is considered moderate intensity. Methods Fifty-one participants who reported achieving a minimum 150 minutes per week at a minimum of moderate intensity PA were recruited through a local fitness facility. All participants underwent a single assessment involving questionnaires, clinical measures, and a treadmill test to measure the ability to perceive moderate intensity. Following the visit, participants’ PA level was evaluated by heart rate monitor, while exercising, for 7 consecutive days. Results Eighty percent of participants overestimated moderate intensity on the treadmill test; they were at vigorous intensity compared to what is considered moderate. Only 11.8% of participants accurately identified moderate intensity; all of them were women (P=0.03), had a high level of education (P=0.04), and knew that moderate intensity was the minimum intensity recommended by health organizations (P<0.01). Only 69.2% of participants reached the aerobic component of the International Physical Activity Guidelines with no significant advantage for those correctly identifying moderate intensity. Conclusion Most people who perceive themselves as active are exercising at vigorous intensity while believing they are at moderate intensity. In addition, in this active sample, one-third of the participants were not reaching the aerobic component of the International Physical Activity Guidelines. PMID:25378959

  4. Significant Centers of Tectonic Activity as Identified by Wrinkle Ridges for the Western Hemisphere of Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, R.C.; Haldemann, A. F. C.; Golombek, M. P.; Franklin, B. J.; Dohm, J. M.; Lias, J.

    2000-01-01

    The western hemisphere region of Mars has been the site of numerous scientific investigations regarding its tectonic evolution. For this region of Mars, the dominant tectonic region is the Tharsis province. Tharsis is characterized by an enormous system of radiating grabens and a circumferential system of wrinkle ridges. Past investigations of grabens associated with Tharsis have identified specific centers of tectonic activity. A recent structural analysis of the western hemisphere region of Mars which includes the Tharsis region, utilized 25,000 structures to determine the history of local and regional centers of tectonic activity based primarily on the spatial and temporal relationships of extensional features. This investigation revealed that Tharsis is more structurally complex (heterogeneous) than has been previously identified: it consists of numerous regional and local centers of tectonic activity (some are more dominant and/or more long lived than others). Here we use the same approach as Anderson et al. to determine whether the centers of tectonic activity that formed the extensional features also contributed to wrinkle ridge (compressional) formation.

  5. ModuleBlast: identifying activated sub-networks within and across species.

    PubMed

    Zinman, Guy E; Naiman, Shoshana; O'Dee, Dawn M; Kumar, Nishant; Nau, Gerard J; Cohen, Haim Y; Bar-Joseph, Ziv

    2015-02-18

    Identifying conserved and divergent response patterns in gene networks is becoming increasingly important. A common approach is integrating expression information with gene association networks in order to find groups of connected genes that are activated or repressed. In many cases, researchers are also interested in comparisons across species (or conditions). Finding an active sub-network is a hard problem and applying it across species requires further considerations (e.g. orthology information, expression data and networks from different sources). To address these challenges we devised ModuleBlast, which uses both expression and network topology to search for highly relevant sub-networks. We have applied ModuleBlast to expression and interaction data from mouse, macaque and human to study immune response and aging. The immune response analysis identified several relevant modules, consistent with recent findings on apoptosis and NFκB activation following infection. Temporal analysis of these data revealed cascades of modules that are dynamically activated within and across species. We have experimentally validated some of the novel hypotheses resulting from the analysis of the ModuleBlast results leading to new insights into the mechanisms used by a key mammalian aging protein.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Accelerometer tags: detecting and identifying activities in fish and the effect of sampling frequency.

    PubMed

    Broell, Franziska; Noda, Takuji; Wright, Serena; Domenici, Paolo; Steffensen, John Fleng; Auclair, Jean-Pierre; Taggart, Christopher T

    2013-04-01

    Monitoring and measuring the behaviour and movement of aquatic animals in the wild is typically challenging, though micro-accelerometer (archival or telemetry) tags now provide the means to remotely identify and quantify behavioural states and rates such as resting, swimming and migrating, and to estimate activity and energy budgets. Most studies use low-frequency (≤32 Hz) accelerometer sampling because of battery and data-archiving constraints. In this study we assessed the effect of sampling frequency (aliasing) on activity detection probability using the great sculpin (Myoxocephalus polyacanthoceaphalus) as a model species. Feeding strikes and escape responses (fast-start activities) and spontaneous movements among seven different great sculpin were triggered, observed and recorded using video records and a tri-axial accelerometer sampling at 100 Hz. We demonstrate that multiple parameters in the time and probability domains can statistically differentiate between activities with high detection (90%) and identification (80%) probabilities. Detection probability for feeding and escape activities decreased by 50% when sampling at <10 Hz. Our analyses illustrate additional problems associated with aliasing and how activity and energy-budget estimates can be compromised and misinterpreted. We recommend that high-frequency (>30 Hz) accelerometer sampling be used in similar laboratory and field studies. If battery and/or data storage is limited, we also recommend archiving the events via an on-board algorithm that determines the highest likelihood and subsequent archiving of the various event classes of interest.

  10. Relationships between the Firing of Identified Striatal Interneurons and Spontaneous and Driven Cortical Activities In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Sharott, Andrew; Doig, Natalie M.; Mallet, Nicolas; Magill, Peter J.

    2014-01-01

    The striatum is comprised of medium-sized spiny projection neurons (MSNs) and several types of interneuron, and receives massive glutamatergic input from the cerebral cortex. Understanding of striatal function requires definition of the electrophysiological properties of neurochemically identified interneurons sampled in the same context of ongoing cortical activity in vivo. To address this, we recorded the firing of cholinergic interneurons (expressing choline acetyltransferase; ChAT) and GABAergic interneurons expressing parvalbumin (PV) or nitric oxide synthase (NOS), as well as MSNs, in anesthetized rats during cortically defined brain states. Depending on the cortical state, these interneurons were partly distinguished from each other, and MSNs, on the basis of firing rate and/or pattern. During slow-wave activity (SWA), ChAT+ interneurons, and some PV+ and NOS+ interneurons, were tonically active; NOS+ interneurons fired prominent bursts but, contrary to investigations in vitro, these were not typical low-threshold spike bursts. Identified MSNs, and other PV+ and NOS+ interneurons, were phasically active. Contrasting with ChAT+ interneurons, whose firing showed poor brain state dependency, PV+ and NOS+ interneurons displayed robust firing increases and decreases, respectively, upon spontaneous or driven transitions from SWA to cortical activation. The firing of most neurons was phase locked to cortical slow oscillations, but only PV+ and ChAT+ interneurons also fired in time with cortical spindle and gamma oscillations. Complementing this diverse temporal coupling, each interneuron type exhibited distinct responses to cortical stimulation. Thus, these striatal interneuron types have distinct temporal signatures in vivo, including relationships to spontaneous and driven cortical activities, which likely underpin their specialized contributions to striatal microcircuit function. PMID:22993438

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

    DOE PAGES

    Berry, David; Mader, Esther; Lee, Tae Kwon; ...

    2014-12-30

    Here, 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. Here 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 wasmore » 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.« less

  12. 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

  13. 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. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

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

    PubMed

    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

  15. 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

  16. High-content screen using zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos identifies a novel kinase activator and inhibitor.

    PubMed

    Geldenhuys, Werner J; Bergeron, Sadie A; Mullins, Jackie E; Aljammal, Rowaa; Gaasch, Briah L; Chen, Wei-Chi; Yun, June; Hazlehurst, Lori A

    2017-02-28

    In this report we utilized zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos in a phenotypical high-content screen (HCS) to identify novel leads in a cancer drug discovery program. We initially validated our HCS model using the flavin adenosine dinucleotide (FAD) containing endoplasmic reticulum (ER) enzyme, endoplasmic reticulum oxidoreductase (ERO1) inhibitor EN460. EN460 showed a dose response effect on the embryos with a dose of 10μM being significantly lethal during early embryonic development. The HCS campaign which employed a small library identified a promising lead compound, a naphthyl-benzoic acid derivative coined compound 1 which had significant dosage and temporally dependent effects on notochord and muscle development in zebrafish embryos. Screening a 369 kinase member panel we show that compound 1 is a PIM3 kinase inhibitor (IC50=4.078μM) and surprisingly a DAPK1 kinase agonist/activator (EC50=39.525μM). To our knowledge this is the first example of a small molecule activating DAPK1 kinase. We provide a putative model for increased phosphate transfer in the ATP binding domain when compound 1 is virtually docked with DAPK1. Our data indicate that observable phenotypical changes can be used in future zebrafish screens to identify compounds acting via similar molecular signaling pathways.

  17. Identifying induced seismicity in active tectonic regions: A case study of the San Joaquin Basin, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aminzadeh, F.; Göbel, T.

    2013-12-01

    Understanding the connection between petroleum-industry activities, and seismic event occurrences is essential to monitor, quantify, and mitigate seismic risk. While many studies identified anthropogenically-induced seismicity in intraplate regions where background seismicity rates are generally low, little is known about how to distinguish naturally occurring from induced seismicity in active tectonic regions. Further, it is not clear how different oil and gas operational parameters impact the frequency and magnitude of the induced seismic events. Here, we examine variations in frequency-size and spatial distributions of seismicity within the Southern Joaquin basin, an area of both active petroleum production and active fault systems. We analyze a newly available, high-quality, relocated earthquake catalog (Hauksson et al. 2012). This catalog includes many seismic events with magnitudes up to M = 4.5 within the study area. We start by analyzing the overall quality and consistence of the seismic catalog, focusing on temporal variations in seismicity rates and catalog completeness which could indicate variations in network sensitivity. This catalog provides relatively homogeneous earthquake recordings after 1981, enabling us to compare seismicity rates before and after the beginning of more pervasive petroleum-industry activities, for example, hydraulic-fracturing and waste-water disposals. We conduct a limited study of waste-water disposal wells to establish a correlation between seismicity statistics (i.e. rate changes, fractal dimension, b-value) within specific regions and anthropogenic influences. We then perform a regional study, to investigate spatial variations in seismicity statistics which are then correlated to oil field locations and well densities. In order to distinguish, predominantly natural seismicity from induced seismicity, we perform a spatial mapping of b-values and fractal dimensions of earthquake hypocenters. Seismic events in the proximity to

  18. 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.

  19. Differential activation of an identified motor neuron and neuromodulation provide Aplysia's retractor muscle an additional function.

    PubMed

    McManus, Jeffrey M; Lu, Hui; Cullins, Miranda J; Chiel, Hillel J

    2014-08-15

    To survive, animals must use the same peripheral structures to perform a variety of tasks. How does a nervous system employ one muscle to perform multiple functions? We addressed this question through work on the I3 jaw muscle of the marine mollusk Aplysia californica's feeding system. This muscle mediates retraction of Aplysia's food grasper in multiple feeding responses and is innervated by a pool of identified neurons that activate different muscle regions. One I3 motor neuron, B38, is active in the protraction phase, rather than the retraction phase, suggesting the muscle has an additional function. We used intracellular, extracellular, and muscle force recordings in several in vitro preparations as well as recordings of nerve and muscle activity from intact, behaving animals to characterize B38's activation of the muscle and its activity in different behavior types. We show that B38 specifically activates the anterior region of I3 and is specifically recruited during one behavior, swallowing. The function of this protraction-phase jaw muscle contraction is to hold food; thus the I3 muscle has an additional function beyond mediating retraction. We additionally show that B38's typical activity during in vivo swallowing is insufficient to generate force in an unmodulated muscle and that intrinsic and extrinsic modulation shift the force-frequency relationship to allow contraction. Using methods that traverse levels from individual neuron to muscle to intact animal, we show how regional muscle activation, differential motor neuron recruitment, and neuromodulation are key components in Aplysia's generation of multifunctionality.

  20. Mutagenesis and behavioral screening for altered circadian activity identifies the mouse mutant, Wheels.

    PubMed

    Pickard, G E; Sollars, P J; Rinchik, E M; Nolan, P M; Bucan, M

    1995-12-24

    The molecular processes underlying the generation of circadian behavior in mammals are virtually unknown. To identify genes that regulate or alter circadian activity rhythms, a mouse mutagenesis program was initiated in conjunction with behavioral screening for alterations in circadian period (tau), a fundamental property of the biological clock. Male mice of the inbred BALB/c strain, treated with the potent mutagen N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea were mated with wild-type hybrids. Wheel-running activity of approximately 300 male progeny was monitored for 6-10 weeks under constant dark (DD) conditions. The tau DD of a single mouse (#187) was longer than the population mean by more than three standard deviations (24.20 vs. 23.32 +/- 0.02 h; mean +/- S.E.M.; n = 277). In addition, mouse #187 exhibited other abnormal phenotypes, including hyperactive bi-directional circling/spinning activity and an abnormal response to light. Heterozygous progeny of the founder mouse, generated from outcrossings with wild-type C57BL/6J mice, displayed lengthened tau DD although approximately 20% of the animals showed no wheel-running activity despite being quite active. Under light:dark conditions, all animals displaying circling behavior that ran in the activity wheels exhibited robust wheel-running activity at lights-ON and these animals also showed enhanced wheel-running activity in constant light conditions. The genetic dissection of the complex behavior associated with this mutation was facilitated by the previously described genetic mapping of the mutant locus causing circling behavior, designated Wheels (Whl), to the subcentromeric portion of mouse chromosome 4. In this report, the same locus is shown to be responsible for the abnormal responses to light and presumably for the altered circadian behavior. Characterization of the gene altered in the novel Whl mutation will contribute to understanding the molecular elements involved in mammalian circadian regulation.

  1. Transposon activation mutagenesis as a screening tool for identifying resistance to cancer therapeutics

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The development of resistance to chemotherapies represents a significant barrier to successful cancer treatment. Resistance mechanisms are complex, can involve diverse and often unexpected cellular processes, and can vary with both the underlying genetic lesion and the origin or type of tumor. For these reasons developing experimental strategies that could be used to understand, identify and predict mechanisms of resistance in different malignant cells would be a major advance. Methods Here we describe a gain-of-function forward genetic approach for identifying mechanisms of resistance. This approach uses a modified piggyBac transposon to generate libraries of mutagenized cells, each containing transposon insertions that randomly activate nearby gene expression. Genes of interest are identified using next-gen high-throughput sequencing and barcode multiplexing is used to reduce experimental cost. Results Using this approach we successfully identify genes involved in paclitaxel resistance in a variety of cancer cell lines, including the multidrug transporter ABCB1, a previously identified major paclitaxel resistance gene. Analysis of co-occurring transposons integration sites in single cell clone allows for the identification of genes that might act cooperatively to produce drug resistance a level of information not accessible using RNAi or ORF expression screening approaches. Conclusion We have developed a powerful pipeline to systematically discover drug resistance in mammalian cells in vitro. This cost-effective approach can be readily applied to different cell lines, to identify canonical or context specific resistance mechanisms. Its ability to probe complex genetic context and non-coding genomic elements as well as cooperative resistance events makes it a good complement to RNAi or ORF expression based screens. PMID:23442791

  2. 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

  3. Ectopic Activation of Germline and Placental Genes Identifies Aggressive Metastasis-Prone Lung Cancers

    PubMed Central

    Rousseaux, Sophie; Debernardi, Alexandra; Jacquiau, Baptiste; Vitte, Anne-Laure; Vesin, Aurélien; Nagy-Mignotte, Hélène; Moro-Sibilot, Denis; Brichon, Pierre-Yves; Lantuejoul, Sylvie; Hainaut, Pierre; Laffaire, Julien; de Reyniès, Aurélien; Beer, David G.; Timsit, Jean-François; Brambilla, Christian; Brambilla, Elisabeth; Khochbin, Saadi

    2016-01-01

    Activation of normally silent tissue-specific genes and the resulting cell “identity crisis” are the unexplored consequences of malignant epigenetic reprogramming. We designed a strategy for investigating this reprogramming, which consisted of identifying a large number of tissue-restricted genes that are epigenetically silenced in normal somatic cells and then detecting their expression in cancer. This approach led to the demonstration that large-scale “off-context” gene activations systematically occur in a variety of cancer types. In our series of 293 lung tumors, we identified an ectopic gene expression signature associated with a subset of highly aggressive tumors, which predicted poor prognosis independently of the TNM (tumor size, node positivity, and metastasis) stage or histological subtype. The ability to isolate these tumors allowed us to reveal their common molecular features characterized by the acquisition of embryonic stem cell/germ cell gene expression profiles and the down-regulation of immune response genes. The methodical recognition of ectopic gene activations in cancer cells could serve as a basis for gene signature–guided tumor stratification, as well as for the discovery of oncogenic mechanisms, and expand the understanding of the biology of very aggressive tumors. PMID:23698379

  4. Methods for Identifying and Averaging Variable Molecular Conformations in Tomograms of Actively Contracting Insect Flight Muscle

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Shenping; Liu, Jun; Reedy, Mary C.; Winkler, Hanspeter; Reedy, Michael K.; Taylor, Kenneth A.

    2009-01-01

    During active muscle contraction, tension is generated through many simultaneous, independent interactions between the molecular motor myosin and the actin filaments. The ensemble of myosin motors displays heterogeneous conformations reflecting different kinetic steps of the ATPase pathway. We used electron tomography of actively contracting insect flight muscle fast-frozen, freeze-substituted, Araldite embedded, thin sectioned and stained, to obtain 3-D snapshots of the multiplicity of actin-attached myosin structures. We describe procedures for alignment of the repeating lattice of sub-volumes (38.7 nm cross-bridge repeats bounded by troponin) and multivariate data analysis to identify self-similar repeats for computing class averages. Improvements in alignment and classification of repeat sub-volumes reveals (for the first time in active muscle images) the helix of actin subunits in the thin filament and the troponin density with sufficient clarity that a quasiatomic model of the thin filament can be built into the class averages independent of the myosin cross-bridges. We show how quasiatomic model building can identify both strong and weak myosin attachments to actin. We evaluate the accuracy of image classification to enumerate the different types of actin-myosin attachments. PMID:19698791

  5. Air-cathode microbial fuel cell array: a device for identifying and characterizing electrochemically active microbes.

    PubMed

    Hou, Huijie; Li, Lei; de Figueiredo, Paul; Han, Arum

    2011-01-15

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) have generated excitement in environmental and bioenergy communities due to their potential for coupling wastewater treatment with energy generation and powering diverse devices. The pursuit of strategies such as improving microbial cultivation practices and optimizing MFC devices has increased power generating capacities of MFCs. However, surprisingly few microbial species with electrochemical activity in MFCs have been identified because current devices do not support parallel analyses or high throughput screening. We have recently demonstrated the feasibility of using advanced microfabrication methods to fabricate an MFC microarray. Here, we extend these studies by demonstrating a microfabricated air-cathode MFC array system. The system contains 24 individual air-cathode MFCs integrated onto a single chip. The device enables the direct and parallel comparison of different microbes loaded onto the array. Environmental samples were used to validate the utility of the air-cathode MFC array system and two previously identified isolates, 7Ca (Shewanella sp.) and 3C (Arthrobacter sp.), were shown to display enhanced electrochemical activities of 2.69 mW/m(2) and 1.86 mW/m(2), respectively. Experiments using a large scale conventional air-cathode MFC validated these findings. The parallel air-cathode MFC array system demonstrated here is expected to promote and accelerate the discovery and characterization of electrochemically active microbes.

  6. A Novel Heptapeptide with Tyrosinase Inhibitory Activity Identified from a Phage Display Library.

    PubMed

    Nie, Huali; Liu, Lin; Yang, Huiqin; Guo, Hongzhen; Liu, Xiang; Tan, Yuanhao; Wang, Wen; Quan, Jing; Zhu, Limin

    2017-01-01

    Peptidic inhibition of the enzyme tyrosinase, responsible for skin pigmentation and food browning, would be extremely useful for the food, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical industries. In order to identify novel inhibitory peptides, a library of short sequence oligopeptides was screened to reveal direct interaction with the tyrosinase. A phage displaying heptapeptide (IQSPHFF) was found to bind most strongly to tyrosinase. The inhibitory activity of the heptapeptide was evaluated using mushroom tyrosinase. The results showed that the peptide inhibited both the monophenolase and diphenolase activities of mushroom tyrosinase with IC50 values of 1.7 and 4.0 mM, respectively. The heptapeptide is thought to be a reversible competitive inhibitor of diphenolase with the inhibition constants (Ki) of 0.765 mM. To further investigate how the heptapeptide exerts its inhibitory effect, a docking study between tyrosinase and heptapeptide was performed. The simulation showed that the heptapeptide binds in the active site of the enzyme near the catalytically active Cu ions and forms hydrogen bonds with five histidine residues on the active site. Phage display technology is thus a useful approach for the screening of potential tyrosinase inhibitors and could be widely applicable to a much wider range of enzymes.

  7. Newly identified active faults in the Pollino seismic gap, southern Italy, and their seismotectonic significance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brozzetti, Francesco; Cirillo, Daniele; de Nardis, Rita; Cardinali, Mauro; Lavecchia, Giusy; Orecchio, Barbara; Presti, Debora; Totaro, Cristina

    2017-01-01

    The following is a geological study of a Quaternary and active normal fault-system, which crops out in the Pollino area, a seismogenic sector of the Southern Apennines, Italy. From 2010 to 2014, this area was affected by long lasting seismic activity characterized by three major events which occurred in May 2012 (Mw 4.3), in October 2012 (Mw 5.2) and in June 2014 (Mw 4.0). The integration of structural-geological data with morpho-structural and remote sensing analyses, led to define the geometry, the kinematics, the cross-cutting relationships and the slip rates of the inferred active fault segments within and near the epicentral area. We reconstructed an asymmetric extensional pattern characterized by low-angle, E and NNE-dipping faults, and by antithetic, high-angle, SW- to WSW-dipping faults. The geometry of the faults at depth was constrained using high-resolution hypocenter distributions. The overall system fits well with the deformation field obtained from focal mechanisms and geodetic data. Comparing the fault pattern with the time-space evolution of the Pollino seismic activity, we identified the seismogenic sources in two, near-parallel, WSW-dipping faults, whose seismogenic potential were assessed. The peculiar perpendicular-to-fault-strike evolution of the seismic activity, is discussed in the frame of the reconstructed seismotectonic model.

  8. 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.

  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. A Fluorescence-Based Thermal Shift Assay Identifies Inhibitors of Mitogen Activated Protein Kinase Kinase 4

    PubMed Central

    Krishna, Sankar N.; Luan, Chi-Hao; Mishra, Rama K.; Xu, Li; Scheidt, Karl A.; Anderson, Wayne F.; Bergan, Raymond C.

    2013-01-01

    Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second highest cause of cancer death in United States males. If the metastatic movement of PCa cells could be inhibited, then mortality from PCa could be greatly reduced. Mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 4 (MAP2K4) has previously been shown to activate pro-invasion signaling pathways in human PCa. Recognizing that MAP2K4 represents a novel and validated therapeutic target, we sought to develop and characterize an efficient process for the identification of small molecules that target MAP2K4. Using a fluorescence-based thermal shift assay (FTS) assay, we first evaluated an 80 compound library of known kinase inhibitors, thereby identifying 8 hits that thermally stabilized MAP2K4 in a concentration dependent manner. We then developed an in vitro MAP2K4 kinase assay employing the biologically relevant downstream substrates, JNK1 and p38 MAPK, to evaluate kinase inhibitory function. In this manner, we validated the performance of our initial FTS screen. We next applied this approach to a 2000 compound chemically diverse library, identified 7 hits, and confirmed them in the in vitro kinase assay. Finally, by coupling our structure-activity relationship data to MAP2K4's crystal structure, we constructed a model for ligand binding. It predicts binding of our identified inhibitory compounds to the ATP binding pocket. Herein we report the creation of a robust inhibitor-screening platform with the ability to inform the discovery and design of new and potent MAP2K4 inhibitors. PMID:24339940

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Spontaneous activity of morphologically identified ganglion cells in the developing ferret retina.

    PubMed

    Liets, Lauren C; Olshausen, Bruno A; Wang, Guo-Yong; Chalupa, Leo M

    2003-08-13

    Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were made from morphologically identified ganglion cells in the intact retina of developing ferrets. As early as 3 d after birth, all ganglion cells exhibited bursts of spontaneous activity, with the interval between bursts gradually decreasing with maturity. By 2 weeks after birth, ganglion cells could be morphologically differentiated into three major classes (alpha, beta, and gamma), and at this time each cell class was characterized by a distinct pattern of spontaneous activity. Dual patch-clamp recordings from pairs of neighboring cells revealed that cells of all morphological classes burst in a coordinated manner, regardless of cell type. These observations suggest that a common mechanism underlies the bursting patterns exhibited by all ganglion cell classes, and that class-specific firing patterns emerge coincident with retinal ganglion cell morphological differentiation.

  14. Novel Active Learning Experiences for Students to Identify Barriers to Independent Living for People with Disabilities.

    PubMed

    McArthur, Polly; Burch, Lillian; Moore, Katherine; Hodges, Mary Sue

    2016-07-01

    This article describes interactive learning about independent living for people with disabilities and features the partnership of the College of Nursing and a Center for Independent Living (CIL). Using qualitative descriptive approach, students' written reflections were analyzed. Through "Xtreme Challenge," 82 undergraduate nursing students participated in aspects of independent living as well as identifying barriers. Students were engaged and learned to consider the person before the disability. Moreover, students valued the activity leaders' openness, which facilitated understanding the point of view of a person with disability. The value of partnership was evident as it allowed students to participate in active learning, which led to growth in the affective domain. Students became aware of potential education resources through the CIL. This article will guide educators in designing experiences that teach nursing care at the individual, family, and community level for people living with disabilities. © 2015 Association of Rehabilitation Nurses.

  15. Carbohydrate-active enzymes identified by metagenomic analysis of deep-sea sediment bacteria.

    PubMed

    Klippel, Barbara; Sahm, Kerstin; Basner, Alexander; Wiebusch, Sigrid; John, Patrick; Lorenz, Ute; Peters, Anke; Abe, Fumiyoshi; Takahashi, Kyoma; Kaiser, Olaf; Goesmann, Alexander; Jaenicke, Sebastian; Grote, Ralf; Horikoshi, Koki; Antranikian, Garabed

    2014-09-01

    Subseafloor sediment samples derived from a sediment core of 60 m length were used to enrich psychrophilic aerobic bacteria on cellulose, xylan, chitin, and starch. A variety of species belonging to Alpha- and Gammaproteobacteria and to Flavobacteria were isolated from sediment depths between 12 and 42 mbsf. Metagenomic DNA purified from the pooled enrichments was sequenced and analyzed for phylogenetic composition and presence of genes encoding carbohydrate-active enzymes. More than 200 open reading frames coding for glycoside hydrolases were identified, and more than 60 of them relevant for enzymatic degradation of lignocellulose. Four genes encoding β-glucosidases with less than 52% identities to characterized enzymes were chosen for recombinant expression in Escherichia coli. In addition one endomannanase, two endoxylanases, and three β-xylosidases were produced recombinantly. All genes could be actively expressed. Functional analysis revealed discrepancies and additional variability for the recombinant enzymes as compared to the sequence-based predictions.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-26

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Chemical Constituents Identified from Fruit Body of Cordyceps bassiana and Their Anti-Inflammatory Activity.

    PubMed

    Suh, Wonse; Nam, Gyeongsug; Yang, Woo Seok; Sung, Gi-Ho; Shim, Sang Hee; Cho, Jae Youl

    2017-03-01

    Cordyceps bassiana is one of Cordyceps species with anti-oxidative, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-obesity, anti-angiogenic, and anti-nociceptive activities. This mushroom has recently demonstrated to have an ability to reduce 2,4-dinitrofluorobenzene-induced atopic dermatitis symptoms in NC/Nga mice. In this study, we further examined phytochemical properties of this mushroom by column chromatography and HPLC analysis. By chromatographic separation and spectroscopic analysis, 8 compounds, such as 1,9-dimethylguanine (1), adenosine (2), uridine (3), nicotinamide (4), 3-methyluracil (5), 1,7-dimethylxanthine (6), nudifloric acid (7), and mannitol (8) were identified from 6 different fractions and 4 more subfractions. Through evaluation of their anti-inflammatory activities using reporter gene assay and mRNA analysis, compound 1 was found to block luciferase activity induced by NF-κB and AP-1, suppress the mRNA levels of cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α. Therefore, our data strongly suggests that compound 1 acts as one of major principles in Cordyceps bassiana with anti-inflammatory and anti-atopic dermatitis activities.

  2. Chemical Constituents Identified from Fruit Body of Cordyceps bassiana and Their Anti-Inflammatory Activity

    PubMed Central

    Suh, Wonse; Nam, Gyeongsug; Yang, Woo Seok; Sung, Gi-Ho; Shim, Sang Hee; Cho, Jae Youl

    2017-01-01

    Cordyceps bassiana is one of Cordyceps species with anti-oxidative, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-obesity, anti-angiogenic, and anti-nociceptive activities. This mushroom has recently demonstrated to have an ability to reduce 2,4-dinitrofluorobenzene-induced atopic dermatitis symptoms in NC/Nga mice. In this study, we further examined phytochemical properties of this mushroom by column chromatography and HPLC analysis. By chromatographic separation and spectroscopic analysis, 8 compounds, such as 1,9-dimethylguanine (1), adenosine (2), uridine (3), nicotinamide (4), 3-methyluracil (5), 1,7-dimethylxanthine (6), nudifloric acid (7), and mannitol (8) were identified from 6 different fractions and 4 more subfractions. Through evaluation of their anti-inflammatory activities using reporter gene assay and mRNA analysis, compound 1 was found to block luciferase activity induced by NF-κB and AP-1, suppress the mRNA levels of cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α. Therefore, our data strongly suggests that compound 1 acts as one of major principles in Cordyceps bassiana with anti-inflammatory and anti-atopic dermatitis activities. PMID:27530115

  3. 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.

  4. Evaluation of neural networks to identify types of activity using accelerometers.

    PubMed

    De Vries, Sanne I; Garre, Francisca Galindo; Engbers, Luuk H; Hildebrandt, Vincent H; Van Buuren, Stef

    2011-01-01

    To develop and evaluate two artificial neural network (ANN) models based on single-sensor accelerometer data and an ANN model based on the data of two accelerometers for the identification of types of physical activity in adults. Forty-nine subjects (21 men and 28 women; age range = 22-62 yr) performed a controlled sequence of activities: sitting, standing, using the stairs, and walking and cycling at two self-paced speeds. All subjects wore an ActiGraph accelerometer on the hip and the ankle. In the ANN models, the following accelerometer signal characteristics were used: 10th, 25th, 75th, and 90th percentiles, absolute deviation, coefficient of variability, and lag-one autocorrelation. The model based on the hip accelerometer data and the model based on the ankle accelerometer data correctly classified the five activities 80.4% and 77.7% of the time, respectively, whereas the model based on the data from both sensors achieved a percentage of 83.0%. The hip model produced a better classification of the activities cycling, using the stairs, and sitting, whereas the ankle model was better able to correctly classify the activities walking and standing still. All three models often misclassified using the stairs and standing still. The accuracy of the models significantly decreased when a distinction was made between regular versus brisk walking or cycling and between going up and going down the stairs. Relatively simple ANN models perform well in identifying the type but not the speed of the activity of adults from accelerometer data.

  5. Development of a QPatch automated electrophysiology assay for identifying KCa3.1 inhibitors and activators.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    The intermediate-conductance Ca(2+)-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 Ca(2+) sensitivity of KCa3.1 was studied using varying intracellular Ca(2+) concentrations. A free Ca(2+) concentration of 1 μM was chosen to optimally test inhibitors. To identify activators, which generally act as positive gating modulators, a lower Ca(2+) 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Time-driven activity-based costing to identify opportunities for cost reduction in pediatric appendectomy.

    PubMed

    Yu, Yangyang R; Abbas, Paulette I; Smith, Carolyn M; Carberry, Kathleen E; Ren, Hui; Patel, Binita; Nuchtern, Jed G; Lopez, Monica E

    2016-12-01

    As reimbursement programs shift to value-based payment models emphasizing quality and efficient healthcare delivery, there exists a need to better understand process management to unearth true costs of patient care. We sought to identify cost-reduction opportunities in simple appendicitis management by applying a time-driven activity-based costing (TDABC) methodology to this high-volume surgical condition. Process maps were created using medical record time stamps. Labor capacity cost rates were calculated using national median physician salaries, weighted nurse-patient ratios, and hospital cost data. Consumable costs for supplies, pharmacy, laboratory, and food were derived from the hospital general ledger. Time-driven activity-based costing resulted in precise per-minute calculation of personnel costs. Highest costs were in the operating room ($747.07), hospital floor ($388.20), and emergency department ($296.21). Major contributors to length of stay were emergency department evaluation (270min), operating room availability (395min), and post-operative monitoring (1128min). The TDABC model led to $1712.16 in personnel costs and $1041.23 in consumable costs for a total appendicitis cost of $2753.39. Inefficiencies in healthcare delivery can be identified through TDABC. Triage-based standing delegation orders, advanced practice providers, and same day discharge protocols are proposed cost-reducing interventions to optimize value-based care for simple appendicitis. II. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. 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.

  10. Research resource: modulators of glucocorticoid receptor activity identified by a new high-throughput screening assay.

    PubMed

    Blackford, John A; Brimacombe, Kyle R; Dougherty, Edward J; Pradhan, Madhumita; Shen, Min; Li, Zhuyin; Auld, Douglas S; Chow, Carson C; Austin, Christopher P; Simons, S Stoney

    2014-07-01

    Glucocorticoid steroids affect almost every type of tissue and thus are widely used to treat a variety of human pathological conditions. However, the severity of numerous side effects limits the frequency and duration of glucocorticoid treatments. Of the numerous approaches to control off-target responses to glucocorticoids, small molecules and pharmaceuticals offer several advantages. Here we describe a new, extended high-throughput screen in intact cells to identify small molecule modulators of dexamethasone-induced glucocorticoid receptor (GR) transcriptional activity. The novelty of this assay is that it monitors changes in both GR maximal activity (A(max)) and EC(50) (the position of the dexamethasone dose-response curve). Upon screening 1280 chemicals, 10 with the greatest changes in the absolute value of A(max) or EC(50) were selected for further examination. Qualitatively identical behaviors for 60% to 90% of the chemicals were observed in a completely different system, suggesting that other systems will be similarly affected by these chemicals. Additional analysis of the 10 chemicals in a recently described competition assay determined their kinetically defined mechanism and site of action. Some chemicals had similar mechanisms of action despite divergent effects on the level of the GR-induced product. These combined assays offer a straightforward method of identifying numerous new pharmaceuticals that can alter GR transactivation in ways that could be clinically useful.

  11. Systematic Repurposing Screening in Xenograft Models Identifies Approved Drugs with Novel Anti-Cancer Activity

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25093583

  12. Repurposing of the Open Access Malaria Box for Kinetoplastid Diseases Identifies Novel Active Scaffolds against Trypanosomatids.

    PubMed

    Kaiser, Marcel; Maes, Louis; Tadoori, Leela Pavan; Spangenberg, Thomas; Ioset, Jean-Robert

    2015-06-01

    Phenotypic screening had successfully been used for hit generation, especially in the field of neglected diseases, in which feeding the drug pipeline with new chemotypes remains a constant challenge. Here, we catalyze drug discovery research using a publicly available screening tool to boost drug discovery. The Malaria Box, assembled by the Medicines for Malaria Venture, is a structurally diverse set of 200 druglike and 200 probelike compounds distilled from more than 20,000 antimalarial hits from corporate and academic libraries. Repurposing such compounds has already identified new scaffolds against cryptosporidiosis and schistosomiasis. In addition to initiating new hit-to-lead activities, screening the Malaria Box against a plethora of other parasites would enable the community to better understand the similarities and differences between them. We describe the screening of the Malaria Box and triaging of the identified hits against kinetoplastids responsible for human African trypanosomiasis (Trypanosoma brucei), Chagas disease (Trypanosoma cruzi), and visceral leishmaniasis (Leishmania donovani and Leishmania infantum). The in vitro and in vivo profiling of the most promising active compounds with respect to efficacy, toxicity, pharmacokinetics, and complementary druggable properties are presented and a collaborative model used as a way to accelerate the discovery process discussed. © 2015 Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening.

  13. Identifying transcription start sites and active enhancer elements using BruUV-seq.

    PubMed

    Magnuson, Brian; Veloso, Artur; Kirkconnell, Killeen S; de Andrade Lima, Leonardo Carmo; Paulsen, Michelle T; Ljungman, Emily A; Bedi, Karan; Prasad, Jayendra; Wilson, Thomas E; Ljungman, Mats

    2015-12-11

    BruUV-seq utilizes UV light to introduce transcription-blocking DNA lesions randomly in the genome prior to bromouridine-labeling and deep sequencing of nascent RNA. By inhibiting transcription elongation, but not initiation, pre-treatment with UV light leads to a redistribution of transcription reads resulting in the enhancement of nascent RNA signal towards the 5'-end of genes promoting the identification of transcription start sites (TSSs). Furthermore, transcripts associated with arrested RNA polymerases are protected from 3'-5' degradation and thus, unstable transcripts such as putative enhancer RNA (eRNA) are dramatically increased. Validation of BruUV-seq against GRO-cap that identifies capped run-on transcripts showed that most BruUV-seq peaks overlapped with GRO-cap signal over both TSSs and enhancer elements. Finally, BruUV-seq identified putative enhancer elements induced by tumor necrosis factor (TNF) treatment concomitant with expression of nearby TNF-induced genes. Taken together, BruUV-seq is a powerful new approach for identifying TSSs and active enhancer elements genome-wide in intact cells.

  14. Identifying transcription start sites and active enhancer elements using BruUV-seq

    PubMed Central

    Magnuson, Brian; Veloso, Artur; Kirkconnell, Killeen S.; Lima, Leonardo Carmo de Andrade; Paulsen, Michelle T.; Ljungman, Emily A.; Bedi, Karan; Prasad, Jayendra; Wilson, Thomas E.; Ljungman, Mats

    2015-01-01

    BruUV-seq utilizes UV light to introduce transcription-blocking DNA lesions randomly in the genome prior to bromouridine-labeling and deep sequencing of nascent RNA. By inhibiting transcription elongation, but not initiation, pre-treatment with UV light leads to a redistribution of transcription reads resulting in the enhancement of nascent RNA signal towards the 5′-end of genes promoting the identification of transcription start sites (TSSs). Furthermore, transcripts associated with arrested RNA polymerases are protected from 3′–5′ degradation and thus, unstable transcripts such as putative enhancer RNA (eRNA) are dramatically increased. Validation of BruUV-seq against GRO-cap that identifies capped run-on transcripts showed that most BruUV-seq peaks overlapped with GRO-cap signal over both TSSs and enhancer elements. Finally, BruUV-seq identified putative enhancer elements induced by tumor necrosis factor (TNF) treatment concomitant with expression of nearby TNF-induced genes. Taken together, BruUV-seq is a powerful new approach for identifying TSSs and active enhancer elements genome-wide in intact cells. PMID:26656874

  15. Balancing protein stability and activity in cancer: a new approach for identifying driver mutations affecting CBL ubiquitin ligase activation

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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 provide 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 did random non-cancer 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

  16. High-throughput screening and whole genome sequencing identifies an antimicrobially active inhibitor of Vibrio cholerae

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Pathogenic serotypes of Vibrio cholerae cause the life-threatening diarrheal disease cholera. The increasing development of bacterial resistances against the known antibiotics necessitates the search for new antimicrobial compounds and targets for this pathogen. Results A high-throughput screening assay with a Vibrio cholerae reporter strain constitutively expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) was developed and applied in the investigation of the growth inhibitory effect of approximately 28,300 structurally diverse natural compounds and synthetic small molecules. Several compounds with activities in the low micromolar concentration range were identified. The most active structure, designated vz0825, displayed a minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 1.6 μM and a minimal bactericidal concentration (MBC) of 3.2 μM against several strains of V. cholerae and was specific for this pathogen. Mutants with reduced sensitivity against vz0825 were generated and whole genome sequencing of 15 pooled mutants was carried out. Comparison with the genome of the wild type strain identified the gene VC_A0531 (GenBank: AE003853.1) as the major site of single nucleotide polymorphisms in the resistant mutants. VC_A0531 is located on the small chromosome of V. cholerae and encodes the osmosensitive K+-channel sensor histidine kinase (KdpD). Nucleotide exchange of the major mutation site in the wild type strain confirmed the sensitive phenotype. Conclusion The reporter strain MO10 pG13 was successfully used for the identification of new antibacterial compounds against V. cholerae. Generation of resistant mutants and whole genome sequencing was carried out to identify the histidine kinase KdpD as a novel antimicrobial target. PMID:24568688

  17. High-throughput screening and whole genome sequencing identifies an antimicrobially active inhibitor of Vibrio cholerae.

    PubMed

    Sergeev, Galina; Roy, Sambit; Jarek, Michael; Zapolskii, Viktor; Kaufmann, Dieter E; Nandy, Ranjan K; Tegge, Werner

    2014-02-26

    Pathogenic serotypes of Vibrio cholerae cause the life-threatening diarrheal disease cholera. The increasing development of bacterial resistances against the known antibiotics necessitates the search for new antimicrobial compounds and targets for this pathogen. A high-throughput screening assay with a Vibrio cholerae reporter strain constitutively expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) was developed and applied in the investigation of the growth inhibitory effect of approximately 28,300 structurally diverse natural compounds and synthetic small molecules. Several compounds with activities in the low micromolar concentration range were identified. The most active structure, designated vz0825, displayed a minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 1.6 μM and a minimal bactericidal concentration (MBC) of 3.2 μM against several strains of V. cholerae and was specific for this pathogen. Mutants with reduced sensitivity against vz0825 were generated and whole genome sequencing of 15 pooled mutants was carried out. Comparison with the genome of the wild type strain identified the gene VC_A0531 (GenBank: AE003853.1) as the major site of single nucleotide polymorphisms in the resistant mutants. VC_A0531 is located on the small chromosome of V. cholerae and encodes the osmosensitive K+-channel sensor histidine kinase (KdpD). Nucleotide exchange of the major mutation site in the wild type strain confirmed the sensitive phenotype. The reporter strain MO10 pG13 was successfully used for the identification of new antibacterial compounds against V. cholerae. Generation of resistant mutants and whole genome sequencing was carried out to identify the histidine kinase KdpD as a novel antimicrobial target.

  18. Systems analysis of dynamic transcription factor activity identifies targets for treatment in Olaparib resistant cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Decker, Joseph T; Hobson, Eric C; Zhang, Yining; Shin, Seungjin; Thomas, Alexandra L; Jeruss, Jacqueline S; Arnold, Kelly B; Shea, Lonnie D

    2017-09-01

    The development of resistance to targeted therapeutics is a challenging issue for the treatment of cancer. Cancers that have mutations in BRCA, a DNA repair protein, have been treated with poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors, which target a second DNA repair mechanism with the aim of inducing synthetic lethality. While these inhibitors have shown promise clinically, the development of resistance can limit their effectiveness as a therapy. This study investigated mechanisms of resistance in BRCA-mutated cancer cells (HCC1937) to Olaparib (AZD2281) using TRACER, a technique for measuring dynamics of transcription factor (TF) activity in living cells. TF activity was monitored in the parental HCC1937 cell line and two distinct resistant cell lines, one with restored wild-type BRCA1 and one with acquired resistance independent of BRCA1 for 48 h during treatment with Olaparib. Partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLSDA) was used to categorize the three cell types based on TF activity, and network analysis was used to investigate the mechanism of early response to Olaparib in the study cells. NOTCH signaling was identified as a common pathway linked to resistance in both Olaparib-resistant cell types. Western blotting confirmed upregulation of NOTCH protein, and sensitivity to Olaparib was restored through co-treatment with a gamma secretase inhibitor. The identification of NOTCH signaling as a common pathway contributing to PARP inhibitor resistance by TRACER indicates the efficacy of transcription factor dynamics in identifying targets for intervention in treatment-resistant cancer and provides a new method for determining effective strategies for directed chemotherapy. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2017;114: 2085-2095. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. 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

  20. Topographical Subcomponents of Electrical Brain Activity Allow to Identify Semantic Learning.

    PubMed

    Skrandies, Wolfgang; Shinoda, Haruo

    2017-03-03

    We investigated the change of event-related brain activity elicited by reading meaningful or meaningless Japanese symbols in 20 healthy German adults. In a learning phase of about 20 min, subjects acquired the meaning of 20 Kanji characters. As control stimuli 20 different Kanji characters were presented. Electrical brain activity was obtained before and after learning, The mean learning performance of all subjects was 92.5% correct responses. EEG was measured simultaneously from 30 channels, artifacts were removed offline, and the data before and after learning were compared. We found five spatial principal components that accounted for 83.8% of the variance. A significant interaction between training time (before/after learning) and stimulus (learning/control) illustrates a significant relation between successful learning and topographical changes of brain activity elicited by Kanji characters. Effects that were induced by learning were seen at short latencies in the order of 100 ms. In addition, we present evidence that differences in the weighted combination of spatial components allow to identify experimental conditions successfully by linear discriminant analysis using topographical ERP data of a single time point. In conclusion, semantic meaning can be aquired rapidly and it is associated with specific changes of ERP components.

  1. Magnetic resonance image features identify glioblastoma phenotypic subtypes with distinct molecular pathway activities

    PubMed Central

    Itakura, Haruka; Achrol, Achal S.; Mitchell, Lex A.; Loya, Joshua J.; Liu, Tiffany; Westbroek, Erick M.; Feroze, Abdullah H.; Rodriguez, Scott; Echegaray, Sebastian; Azad, Tej D.; Yeom, Kristen W.; Napel, Sandy; Rubin, Daniel L.; Chang, Steven D.; Harsh, Griffith R.; Gevaert, Olivier

    2015-01-01

    Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common and highly lethal primary malignant brain tumor in adults. There is a dire need for easily accessible, noninvasive biomarkers that can delineate underlying molecular activities and predict response to therapy. To this end, we sought to identify subtypes of GBM, differentiated solely by quantitative MR imaging features, that could be used for better management of GBM patients. Quantitative image features capturing the shape, texture, and edge sharpness of each lesion were extracted from MR images of 121 patients with de novo, solitary, unilateral GBM. Three distinct phenotypic “clusters” emerged in the development cohort using consensus clustering with 10,000 iterations on these image features. These three clusters—pre-multifocal, spherical, and rim-enhancing, names reflecting their image features—were validated in an independent cohort consisting of 144 multi-institution patients with similar tumor characteristics from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). Each cluster mapped to a unique set of molecular signaling pathways using pathway activity estimates derived from analysis of TCGA tumor copy number and gene expression data with the PARADIGM algorithm. Distinct pathways, such as c-Kit and FOXA, were enriched in each cluster, indicating differential molecular activities as determined by image features. Each cluster also demonstrated differential probabilities of survival, indicating prognostic importance. Our imaging method offers a noninvasive approach to stratify GBM patients and also provides unique sets of molecular signatures to inform targeted therapy and personalized treatment of GBM. PMID:26333934

  2. 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

  3. Identifying minimal hepatic encephalopathy in cirrhotic patients by measuring spontaneous brain activity.

    PubMed

    Chen, Hua-Jun; Zhang, Ling; Jiang, Long-Feng; Chen, Qiu-Feng; Li, Jun; Shi, Hai-Bin

    2016-08-01

    It has been demonstrated that minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE) is associated with aberrant regional intrinsic brain activity in cirrhotic patients. However, few studies have investigated whether altered intrinsic brain activity can be used as a biomarker of MHE among cirrhotic patients. In this study, 36 cirrhotic patients (with MHE, n = 16; without MHE [NHE], n = 20) underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Spontaneous brain activity was measured by examining the amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (ALFF) in the fMRI signal. MHE was diagnosed based on the Psychometric Hepatic Encephalopathy Score (PHES). A two-sample t-test was used to determine the regions of interest (ROIs) in which ALFF differed significantly between the two groups; then, ALFF values within ROIs were selected as classification features. A linear discriminative analysis was used to differentiate MHE patients from NHE patients. The leave-one-out cross-validation method was used to estimate the performance of the classifier. The classification analysis was 80.6 % accurate (81.3 % sensitivity and 80.0 % specificity) in terms of distinguishing between the two groups. Six ROIs were identified as the most discriminative features, including the bilateral medial frontal cortex/anterior cingulate cortex, posterior cingulate cortex/precuneus, left precentral and postcentral gyrus, right lingual gyrus, middle frontal gyrus, and inferior/superior parietal lobule. The ALFF values within ROIs were correlated with PHES in cirrhotic patients. Our findings suggest that altered regional brain spontaneous activity is a useful biomarker for MHE detection among cirrhotic patients.

  4. Genome-Wide Expression Profiling Identifies Type 1 Interferon Response Pathways in Active Tuberculosis

    PubMed Central

    Ottenhoff, Tom H. M.; Zhang, Mingzi M.; Wong, Hazel E. E.; Sahiratmadja, Edhyana; Khor, Chiea Chuen; Alisjahbana, Bachti; van Crevel, Reinout; Marzuki, Sangkot; Seielstad, Mark; van de Vosse, Esther; Hibberd, Martin L.

    2012-01-01

    Tuberculosis (TB), caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb), remains the leading cause of mortality from a single infectious agent. Each year around 9 million individuals newly develop active TB disease, and over 2 billion individuals are latently infected with M.tb worldwide, thus being at risk of developing TB reactivation disease later in life. The underlying mechanisms and pathways of protection against TB in humans, as well as the dynamics of the host response to M.tb infection, are incompletely understood. We carried out whole-genome expression profiling on a cohort of TB patients longitudinally sampled along 3 time-points: during active infection, during treatment, and after completion of curative treatment. We identified molecular signatures involving the upregulation of type-1 interferon (α/β) mediated signaling and chronic inflammation during active TB disease in an Indonesian population, in line with results from two recent studies in ethnically and epidemiologically different populations in Europe and South Africa. Expression profiles were captured in neutrophil-depleted blood samples, indicating a major contribution of lymphocytes and myeloid cells. Expression of type-1 interferon (α/β) genes mediated was also upregulated in the lungs of M.tb infected mice and in infected human macrophages. In patients, the regulated gene expression-signature normalized during treatment, including the type-1 interferon mediated signaling and a concurrent opposite regulation of interferon-gamma. Further analysis revealed IL15RA, UBE2L6 and GBP4 as molecules involved in the type-I interferon response in all three experimental models. Our data is highly suggestive that the innate immune type-I interferon signaling cascade could be used as a quantitative tool for monitoring active TB disease, and provide evidence that components of the patient’s blood gene expression signature bear similarities to the pulmonary and macrophage response to mycobacterial infection

  5. Antimicrobial activity of the scolopendrasin V peptide identified from the centipede, Scolopendra subspinipes mutilans.

    PubMed

    Lee, Joon Ha; Kim, In-Woo; Kim, Mi-Ae; Ahn, Mi-Young; Yun, Eun-Young; Hwang, Jae Sam

    2016-10-25

    In a previous study, we analyzed the transcriptome of Scolopendra subspinipes mutilans using next generation sequencing technology and identified several antimicrobial peptide candidates. One of peptides, scolopendrasin V, was selected based on the physicochemical properties of antimicrobial peptides using a bioinformatics strategy. In this study, we assessed the antimicrobial activities of scolopendrasin V by using radial diffusion assay and colony count assay. We also investigated the mode of action of scolopendrasin V using flow cytometry. We found that scolopendrasin V's mechanism of action involved binding to the surface of microorganisms via a specific interaction with lipopolysaccharides, lipoteichoic acid, and peptidoglycans, which are components of the bacterial membrane. These results provide a basis for developing peptide antibiotics.

  6. Active Learning with Rationales for Identifying Operationally Significant Anomalies in Aviation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sharma, Manali; Das, Kamalika; Bilgic, Mustafa; Matthews, Bryan; Nielsen, David Lynn; Oza, Nikunj C.

    2016-01-01

    A major focus of the commercial aviation community is discovery of unknown safety events in flight operations data. Data-driven unsupervised anomaly detection methods are better at capturing unknown safety events compared to rule-based methods which only look for known violations. However, not all statistical anomalies that are discovered by these unsupervised anomaly detection methods are operationally significant (e.g., represent a safety concern). Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) have to spend significant time reviewing these statistical anomalies individually to identify a few operationally significant ones. In this paper we propose an active learning algorithm that incorporates SME feedback in the form of rationales to build a classifier that can distinguish between uninteresting and operationally significant anomalies. Experimental evaluation on real aviation data shows that our approach improves detection of operationally significant events by as much as 75% compared to the state-of-the-art. The learnt classifier also generalizes well to additional validation data sets.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Revealing divergent evolution, identifying circular permutations and detecting active-sites by protein structure comparison.

    PubMed

    Chen, Luonan; Wu, Ling-Yun; Wang, Yong; Zhang, Shihua; Zhang, Xiang-Sun

    2006-09-02

    Protein structure comparison is one of the most important problems in computational biology and plays a key role in protein structure prediction, fold family classification, motif finding, phylogenetic tree reconstruction and protein docking. We propose a novel method to compare the protein structures in an accurate and efficient manner. Such a method can be used to not only reveal divergent evolution, but also identify circular permutations and further detect active-sites. Specifically, we define the structure alignment as a multi-objective optimization problem, i.e., maximizing the number of aligned atoms and minimizing their root mean square distance. By controlling a single distance-related parameter, theoretically we can obtain a variety of optimal alignments corresponding to different optimal matching patterns, i.e., from a large matching portion to a small matching portion. The number of variables in our algorithm increases with the number of atoms of protein pairs in almost a linear manner. In addition to solid theoretical background, numerical experiments demonstrated significant improvement of our approach over the existing methods in terms of quality and efficiency. In particular, we show that divergent evolution, circular permutations and active-sites (or structural motifs) can be identified by our method. The software SAMO is available upon request from the authors, or from http://zhangroup.aporc.org/bioinfo/samo/ and http://intelligent.eic.osaka-sandai.ac.jp/chenen/samo.htm. A novel formulation is proposed to accurately align protein structures in the framework of multi-objective optimization, based on a sequence order-independent strategy. A fast and accurate algorithm based on the bipartite matching algorithm is developed by exploiting the special features. Convergence of computation is shown in experiments and is also theoretically proven.

  10. Functional measures developed for clinical populations identified impairment among active workers with upper extremity disorders

    PubMed Central

    Gardner, Bethany T.; Dale, Ann Marie; Buckner-Petty, Skye; Rachford, Robert; Strickland, Jaime; Kaskutas, Vicki; Evanoff, Bradley

    2017-01-01

    Purpose Few studies have explored measures of function across a range of health outcomes in a general working population. Using four upper extremity (UE) case definitions from the scientific literature, we described the performance of functional measures of work, activities of daily living, and overall health. Methods A sample of 573 workers completed several functional measures: modified recall versions of the QuickDASH, Levine Functional Status Scale (FSS), DASH Work module (DASH-W), and standard SF-8 physical component score. We determined case status based on four UE case definitions: 1) UE symptoms, 2) UE musculoskeletal disorders (MSD), 3) carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), and 4) work limitations due to UE symptoms. We calculated effect sizes for each case definition to show the magnitude of the differences that were detected between cases and non-cases for each case definition on each functional measure. Sensitivity and specificity analyses showed how well each measure identified functional impairments across the UE case definitions. Results All measures discriminated between cases and non-cases for each case definition with the largest effect sizes for CTS and work limitations, particularly for the modified FSS and DASH-W measures. Specificity was high and sensitivity was low for outcomes of UE symptoms and UE MSD in all measures. Sensitivity was high for CTS and work limitations. Conclusions Functional measures developed specifically for use in clinical, treatment-seeking populations may identify mild levels of impairment in relatively healthy, active working populations, but measures performed better among workers with CTS or those reporting limitations at work. PMID:26091980

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Identifying non-point sources of endocrine active compounds and their biological impacts in freshwater lakes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baker, Beth H.; Martinovic-Weigelt, Dalma; Ferrey, Mark L.; Barber, Larry B.; Writer, Jeffrey H.; Rosenberry, Donald O.; Kiesling, Richard L.; Lundy, James R.; Schoenfuss, Heiko L.

    2014-01-01

    Contaminants of emerging concern, particularly endocrine active compounds (EACs), have been identified as a threat to aquatic wildlife. However, little is known about the impact of EACs on lakes through groundwater from onsite wastewater treatment systems (OWTS). This study aims to identify specific contributions of OWTS to Sullivan Lake, Minnesota, USA. Lake hydrology, water chemistry, caged bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus), and larval fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) exposures were used to assess whether EACs entered the lake through OWTS inflow and the resultant biological impact on fish. Study areas included two OWTS-influenced near-shore sites with native bluegill spawning habitats and two in-lake control sites without nearby EAC sources. Caged bluegill sunfish were analyzed for plasma vitellogenin concentrations, organosomatic indices, and histological pathologies. Surface and porewater was collected from each site and analyzed for EACs. Porewater was also collected for laboratory exposure of larval fathead minnow, before analysis of predator escape performance and gene expression profiles. Chemical analysis showed EACs present at low concentrations at each study site, whereas discrete variations were reported between sites and between summer and fall samplings. Body condition index and liver vacuolization of sunfish were found to differ among study sites as did gene expression in exposed larval fathead minnows. Interestingly, biological exposure data and water chemistry did not match. Therefore, although results highlight the potential impacts of seepage from OWTS, further investigation of mixture effects and life history factor as well as chemical fate is warranted.

  14. 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

  15. NG2 expression in glioblastoma identifies an actively proliferating population with an aggressive molecular signature

    PubMed Central

    Al-Mayhani, M. Talal F.; Grenfell, Richard; Narita, Masashi; Piccirillo, Sara; Kenney-Herbert, Emma; Fawcett, James W.; Collins, V. Peter; Ichimura, Koichi; Watts, Colin

    2011-01-01

    Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common type of primary brain tumor and a highly malignant and heterogeneous cancer. Current conventional therapies fail to eradicate or curb GBM cell growth. Hence, exploring the cellular and molecular basis of GBM cell growth is vital to develop novel therapeutic approaches. Neuroglia (NG)-2 is a transmembrane proteoglycan expressed by NG2+ progenitors and is strongly linked to cell proliferation in the normal brain. By using NG2 as a biomarker we identify a GBM cell population (GBM NG2+ cells) with robust proliferative, clonogenic, and tumorigenic capacity. We show that a significant proportion (mean 83%) of cells proliferating in the tumor mass express NG2 and that over 50% of GBM NG2+ cells are proliferating. Compared with the GBM NG2− cells from the same tumor, the GBM of NG2+ cells overexpress genes associated with aggressive tumorigenicity, including overexpression of Mitosis and Cell Cycling Module genes (e.g., MELK, CDC, MCM, E2F), which have been previously shown to correlate with poor survival in GBM. We also show that the coexpression pattern of NG2 with other glial progenitor markers in GBM does not recapitulate that described in the normal brain. The expression of NG2 by such an aggressive and actively cycling GBM population combined with its location on the cell surface identifies this cell population as a potential therapeutic target in a subset of patients with GBM. PMID:21798846

  16. 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

  17. Notch reporter activity in breast cancer cell lines identifies a subset of cells with stem cell activity.

    PubMed

    D'Angelo, Rosemarie C; Ouzounova, Maria; Davis, April; Choi, Daejin; Tchuenkam, Stevie M; Kim, Gwangil; Luther, Tahra; Quraishi, Ahmed A; Senbabaoglu, Yasin; Conley, Sarah J; Clouthier, Shawn G; Hassan, Khaled A; Wicha, Max S; Korkaya, Hasan

    2015-03-01

    Developmental pathways such as Notch play a pivotal role in tissue-specific stem cell self-renewal as well as in tumor development. However, the role of Notch signaling in breast cancer stem cells (CSC) remains to be determined. We utilized a lentiviral Notch reporter system to identify a subset of cells with a higher Notch activity (Notch(+)) or reduced activity (Notch(-)) in multiple breast cancer cell lines. Using in vitro and mouse xenotransplantation assays, we investigated the role of the Notch pathway in breast CSC regulation. Breast cancer cells with increased Notch activity displayed increased sphere formation as well as expression of breast CSC markers. Interestingly Notch(+) cells displayed higher Notch4 expression in both basal and luminal breast cancer cell lines. Moreover, Notch(+) cells demonstrated tumor initiation capacity at serial dilutions in mouse xenografts, whereas Notch(-) cells failed to generate tumors. γ-Secretase inhibitor (GSI), a Notch blocker but not a chemotherapeutic agent, effectively targets these Notch(+) cells in vitro and in mouse xenografts. Furthermore, elevated Notch4 and Hey1 expression in primary patient samples correlated with poor patient survival. Our study revealed a molecular mechanism for the role of Notch-mediated regulation of breast CSCs and provided a compelling rationale for CSC-targeted therapeutics.

  18. Notch reporter activity in breast cancer cell lines identifies a subset of cells with stem cell activity

    PubMed Central

    Davis, April; Choi, Daejin; Tchuenkam, Stevie M.; Kim, Gwangil; Luther, Tahra; Quraishi, Ahmed A.; Senbabaoglu, Yasin; Conley, Sarah J.; Clouthier, Shawn G.; Hassan, Khaled A.; Wicha, Max S.; Korkaya, Hasan

    2015-01-01

    Developmental pathways such as Notch play a pivotal role in tissue specific stem cell self-renewal as well as in tumor development. However, the role of Notch signaling in breast cancer stem cells (CSC) remains to be determined. We utilized a lentiviral Notch reporter system to identify a subset of cells with a higher Notch activity (Notch+) or reduced activity (Notch-) in multiple breast cancer cell lines. Using in vitro and mouse xenotransplantation assays we investigated the role of Notch pathway in breast CSC regulation. Breast cancer cells with increased Notch activity displayed increased sphere formation as well as expression of breast CSC markers. Interestingly Notch+ cells displayed higher Notch4 expression in both basal and luminal breast cancer cell lines. Moreover, Notch+ cells demonstrated tumor initiation capacity at serial dilutions in mouse xenografts while Notch- cells failed to generate tumors. Gamma-secretase inhibitor (GSI), a Notch blocker but not a chemotherapeutic agent effectively targets these Notch+ cells in vitro and in mouse xenografts. Furthermore, elevated Notch4 and Hey1 expression in primary patient samples correlated with poor patient survival. Our studies reveal molecular mechanism for the role of Notch mediated regulation of breast CSCs and provide a compelling rationale for CSC targeted therapeutics. PMID:25673823

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

    PubMed

    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.

  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. Exome and genome sequencing of nasopharynx cancer identifies NF-κB pathway activating mutations

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yvonne Y; Chung, Grace T. Y.; Lui, Vivian W. Y.; To, Ka-Fai; Ma, Brigette B. Y.; Chow, Chit; Woo, John K, S.; Yip, Kevin Y.; Seo, Jeongsun; Hui, Edwin P.; Mak, Michael K. F.; Rusan, Maria; Chau, Nicole G.; Or, Yvonne Y. Y.; Law, Marcus H. N.; Law, Peggy P. Y.; Liu, Zoey W. Y.; Ngan, Hoi-Lam; Hau, Pok-Man; Verhoeft, Krista R.; Poon, Peony H. Y.; Yoo, Seong-Keun; Shin, Jong-Yeon; Lee, Sau-Dan; Lun, Samantha W. M.; Jia, Lin; Chan, Anthony W. H.; Chan, Jason Y. K.; Lai, Paul B. S.; Fung, Choi-Yi; Hung, Suet-Ting; Wang, Lin; Chang, Ann Margaret V.; Chiosea, Simion I.; Hedberg, Matthew L.; Tsao, Sai-Wah; van Hasselt, Andrew C.; Chan, Anthony T. C.; Grandis, Jennifer R.; Hammerman, Peter S.; Lo, Kwok-Wai

    2017-01-01

    Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is an aggressive head and neck cancer characterized by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection and dense lymphocyte infiltration. The scarcity of NPC genomic data hinders the understanding of NPC biology, disease progression and rational therapy design. Here we performed whole-exome sequencing (WES) on 111 micro-dissected EBV-positive NPCs, with 15 cases subjected to further whole-genome sequencing (WGS), to determine its mutational landscape. We identified enrichment for genomic aberrations of multiple negative regulators of the NF-κB pathway, including CYLD, TRAF3, NFKBIA and NLRC5, in a total of 41% of cases. Functional analysis confirmed inactivating CYLD mutations as drivers for NPC cell growth. The EBV oncoprotein latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) functions to constitutively activate NF-κB signalling, and we observed mutual exclusivity among tumours with somatic NF-κB pathway aberrations and LMP1-overexpression, suggesting that NF-κB activation is selected for by both somatic and viral events during NPC pathogenesis. PMID:28098136

  2. Ubiquitination and regulation of AURKA identifies a hypoxia-independent E3 ligase activity of VHL.

    PubMed

    Hasanov, E; Chen, G; Chowdhury, P; Weldon, J; Ding, Z; Jonasch, E; Sen, S; Walker, C L; Dere, R

    2017-01-23

    The hypoxia-regulated tumor-suppressor von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) is an E3 ligase that recognizes its substrates as part of an oxygen-dependent prolyl hydroxylase (PHD) reaction, with hypoxia-inducible factor α (HIFα) being its most notable substrate. Here we report that VHL has an equally important function distinct from its hypoxia-regulated activity. We find that Aurora kinase A (AURKA) is a novel, hypoxia-independent target for VHL ubiquitination. In contrast to its hypoxia-regulated activity, VHL mono-, rather than poly-ubiquitinates AURKA, in a PHD-independent reaction targeting AURKA for degradation in quiescent cells, where degradation of AURKA is required to maintain the primary cilium. Tumor-associated variants of VHL differentiate between these two functions, as a pathogenic VHL mutant that retains intrinsic ability to ubiquitinate HIFα is unable to ubiquitinate AURKA. Together, these data identify VHL as an E3 ligase with important cellular functions under both normoxic and hypoxic conditions.Oncogene advance online publication, 23 January 2017; doi:10.1038/onc.2016.495.

  3. 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

  4. 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 activities...

  5. Risk assessment of endocrine active chemicals: identifying chemicals of regulatory concern.

    PubMed

    Bars, Remi; Fegert, Ivana; Gross, Melanie; Lewis, Dick; Weltje, Lennart; Weyers, Arnd; Wheeler, James R; Galay-Burgos, Malyka

    2012-10-01

    The European regulation on plant protection products (1107/2009) (EC, 2009a), the revisions to the biocides Directive (COM[2009]267) (EC, 2009b), and the regulation concerning chemicals (Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006 'REACH') (EC.2006) only support the marketing and use of chemical products on the basis that they do not induce endocrine disruption in humans or wildlife species. In the absence of agreed guidance on how to identify and evaluate endocrine activity and disruption within these pieces of legislation a European Centre for Ecotoxicology and Toxicology of Chemicals (ECETOC) task force was formed to provide scientific criteria that may be used within the context of these three legislative documents. The resulting ECETOC technical report (ECETOC, 2009a) and the associated workshop (ECETOC, 2009b) presented a science-based concept on how to identify endocrine activity and disrupting properties of chemicals for both human health and the environment. The synthesis of the technical report and the workshop report was published by the ECETOC task force (Bars et al., 2011a,b). Specific scientific criteria for the determination of endocrine activity and disrupting properties that integrate information from both regulatory (eco)toxicity studies and mechanistic/screening studies were proposed. These criteria combined the nature of the adverse effects detected in studies which give concern for endocrine toxicity with an understanding of the mode of action of toxicity so that adverse effects can be explained scientifically. A key element in the data evaluation is the consideration of all available information in a weight-of-evidence approach. However, to be able to discriminate chemicals with endocrine properties of low concern from those of higher concern (for regulatory purposes), the task force recognised that the concept needed further refinement. Following a discussion of the key factors at a second workshop of invited regulatory, academic and industry scientists

  6. Identifying active faults in Switzerland using relocated earthquake catalogs and optimal anisotropic dynamic clustering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagner, M.; Wang, Y.; Husen, S.; Woessner, J.; Kissling, E. H.; Ouillon, G.; Giardini, D.; Sornette, D.

    2010-12-01

    Active fault zones are the causal locations of most earthquakes, which release tectonic stresses. Yet, identification and association of faults and earthquakes is not straightforward. On the one hand, many earthquakes occur on faults that are unknown. On the other hand, systematic biases and uncertainties in earthquake locations hamper the association of earthquakes and known faults. We tackle the problem of linking earthquakes to faults by relocating them in a non-linear probabilistic manner and by applying a three-dimensional optimal anisotropic dynamic clustering approach to the relocated events to map fault networks. Non-linear probabilistic earthquake location allows to compute probability density functions that provide the complete probabilistic solution to the earthquake hypocenter location problem, including improved information on location uncertainties. To improve absolute earthquake locations we use a newly developed combined controlled-source seismology and local earthquake tomography model, which allows the use of secondary phases, such as PmP. Dynamic clustering is a very general image processing technique that allows partitioning a set of data points. Our improved optimal anisotropic dynamic clustering technique accounts for uncertainties in earthquake locations by the use of probability density functions, as provided by non-linear probabilistic earthquake location. Hence, number and size of the reconstructed faults is controlled by earthquake location uncertainty. We apply our approach to seismicity in Switzerland to identify active faults in the region. Relocated earthquake catalogs and associated fault networks will be compared to already existing information on faults, such as geological and seismotectonic maps, to derive a more complete picture of active faulting in Switzerland.

  7. Comparison of Insect Kinin Analogs With cis-Peptide Bond Motif 4-Aminopyroglutamate Identifies Optimal Stereochemistry for Diuretic Activity

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-01-01

    Comparison of Insect Kinin Analogs With cis-Peptide Bond Motif 4-Aminopyroglutamate Identifies Optimal Stereochemistry for Diuretic Activity...the other three variants, which may explain its greater potency. The work identifies the optimal stereochemistry for the APy scaffold with which to...Comparison of Insect Kinin Analogs With cis-Peptide Bond Motif 4-Aminopyroglutamate Identifies Optimal Stereochemistry for Diuretic Activity Correspondence to

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Gametocytocidal Screen Identifies Novel Chemical Classes with Plasmodium falciparum Transmission Blocking Activity

    PubMed Central

    Sanders, Natalie G.; Sullivan, David J.; Mlambo, Godfree; Dimopoulos, George; Tripathi, Abhai K.

    2014-01-01

    Discovery of transmission blocking compounds is an important intervention strategy necessary to eliminate and eradicate malaria. To date only a small number of drugs that inhibit gametocyte development and thereby transmission from the mosquito to the human host exist. This limitation is largely due to a lack of screening assays easily adaptable to high throughput because of multiple incubation steps or the requirement for high gametocytemia. Here we report the discovery of new compounds with gametocytocidal activity using a simple and robust SYBR Green I- based DNA assay. Our assay utilizes the exflagellation step in male gametocytes and a background suppressor, which masks the staining of dead cells to achieve healthy signal to noise ratio by increasing signal of viable parasites and subtracting signal from dead parasites. By determining the contribution of exflagellation to fluorescent signal and using appropriate cutoff values, we were able to screen for gametocytocidal compounds. After assay validation and optimization, we screened an FDA approved drug library of approximately 1500 compounds, as well as the 400 compound MMV malaria box and identified 44 gametocytocidal compounds with sub to low micromolar IC50s. Major classes of compounds with gametocytocidal activity included quaternary ammonium compounds with structural similarity to choline, acridine-like compounds similar to quinacrine and pyronaridine, as well as antidepressant, antineoplastic, and anthelminthic compounds. Top drug candidates showed near complete transmission blocking in membrane feeding assays. This assay is simple, reproducible and demonstrated robust Z-factor values at low gametocytemia levels, making it amenable to HTS for identification of novel and potent gametocytocidal compounds. PMID:25157792

  11. Novel genotoxicity assays identify norethindrone to activate p53 and phosphorylate H2AX.

    PubMed

    Gallmeier, Eike; Winter, Jordan M; Cunningham, Steven C; Kahn, Saeed R; Kern, Scott E

    2005-10-01

    Norethindrone is a commonly used drug for contraception and hormone replacement therapy, whose carcinogenic potential is still controversial. We applied a novel and particularly sensitive method to screen for DNA damage with special attention to double-strand breaks (DSBs) and identified norethindrone to be likely genotoxic and therefore potentially mutagenic: a p53-reporter assay served as a first, high-throughput screening method and was followed by the immunofluorescent detection of phosphorylated H2AX as a sensitive assay for the presence of DSBs. Norethindrone at concentrations of 2-100 microg/ml activated p53 and phosphorylated H2AX specifically and in a dose-dependent manner. No p53 activation or H2AX phosphorylation was detected using a panel of structurally/functionally related drugs. The overall amount of DNA damage induced by norethindrone was low as compared with etoposide and ionizing radiation. Consistently, norethindrone treatment did not cause a cell cycle arrest. DSBs were not detected with the neutral comet assay, a less sensitive method for DSB assessment than H2AX phosphorylation. Our findings in the p53-reporter and gamma-H2AX assays could not be ascribed to common DSB-causing artifacts in standard genotoxicity screening, including drug precipitation, high cytotoxicity levels and increased apoptosis. Therefore, our study suggests that norethindrone induces DSBs in our experimental setting, both complementing and adding a new aspect to the existing literature on the genotoxic potential of norethindrone. As the effective concentrations of norethindrone used in our assays were approximately 100- to 1000-fold higher than therapeutical doses, the significance of these findings with regard to human exposure still remains to be determined.

  12. Identifying a Selective Substrate and Inhibitor Pair for the Evaluation of CYP2J2 Activity

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    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 (IC50 = 77 nM) and O-demethylation of astemizole (Ki = 20 nM), and inhibition was mostly competitive. Danazol inhibited CYP2C9, CYP2C8, and CYP2D6 with IC50 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

  13. 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.

  14. Anomaly detection driven active learning for identifying suspicious tracks and events in WAMI video

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, David J.; Natraj, Aditya; Hockenbury, Ryler; Dunn, Katherine; Sheffler, Michael; Sullivan, Kevin

    2012-06-01

    We describe a comprehensive system for learning to identify suspicious vehicle tracks from wide-area motion (WAMI) video. First, since the road network for the scene of interest is assumed unknown, agglomerative hierarchical clustering is applied to all spatial vehicle measurements, resulting in spatial cells that largely capture individual road segments. Next, for each track, both at the cell (speed, acceleration, azimuth) and track (range, total distance, duration) levels, extreme value feature statistics are both computed and aggregated, to form summary (p-value based) anomaly statistics for each track. Here, to fairly evaluate tracks that travel across different numbers of spatial cells, for each cell-level feature type, a single (most extreme) statistic is chosen, over all cells traveled. Finally, a novel active learning paradigm, applied to a (logistic regression) track classifier, is invoked to learn to distinguish suspicious from merely anomalous tracks, starting from anomaly-ranked track prioritization, with ground-truth labeling by a human operator. This system has been applied to WAMI video data (ARGUS), with the tracks automatically extracted by a system developed in-house at Toyon Research Corporation. Our system gives promising preliminary results in highly ranking as suspicious aerial vehicles, dismounts, and traffic violators, and in learning which features are most indicative of suspicious tracks.

  15. Orthogonal ubiquitin transfer identifies ubiquitination substrates under differential control by the two ubiquitin activating enzymes

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xianpeng; Zhao, Bo; Sun, Limin; Bhuripanyo, Karan; Wang, Yiyang; Bi, Yingtao; Davuluri, Ramana V.; Duong, Duc M.; Nanavati, Dhaval; Yin, Jun; Kiyokawa, Hiroaki

    2017-01-01

    Protein ubiquitination is mediated sequentially by ubiquitin activating enzyme E1, ubiquitin conjugating enzyme E2 and ubiquitin ligase E3. Uba1 was thought to be the only E1 until the recent identification of Uba6. To differentiate the biological functions of Uba1 and Uba6, we applied an orthogonal ubiquitin transfer (OUT) technology to profile their ubiquitination targets in mammalian cells. By expressing pairs of an engineered ubiquitin and engineered Uba1 or Uba6 that were generated for exclusive interactions, we identified 697 potential Uba6 targets and 527 potential Uba1 targets with 258 overlaps. Bioinformatics analysis reveals substantial differences in pathways involving Uba1- and Uba6-specific targets. We demonstrate that polyubiquitination and proteasomal degradation of ezrin and CUGBP1 require Uba6, but not Uba1, and that Uba6 is involved in the control of ezrin localization and epithelial morphogenesis. These data suggest that distinctive substrate pools exist for Uba1 and Uba6 that reflect non-redundant biological roles for Uba6. PMID:28134249

  16. Orthogonal ubiquitin transfer identifies ubiquitination substrates under differential control by the two ubiquitin activating enzymes.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xianpeng; Zhao, Bo; Sun, Limin; Bhuripanyo, Karan; Wang, Yiyang; Bi, Yingtao; Davuluri, Ramana V; Duong, Duc M; Nanavati, Dhaval; Yin, Jun; Kiyokawa, Hiroaki

    2017-01-30

    Protein ubiquitination is mediated sequentially by ubiquitin activating enzyme E1, ubiquitin conjugating enzyme E2 and ubiquitin ligase E3. Uba1 was thought to be the only E1 until the recent identification of Uba6. To differentiate the biological functions of Uba1 and Uba6, we applied an orthogonal ubiquitin transfer (OUT) technology to profile their ubiquitination targets in mammalian cells. By expressing pairs of an engineered ubiquitin and engineered Uba1 or Uba6 that were generated for exclusive interactions, we identified 697 potential Uba6 targets and 527 potential Uba1 targets with 258 overlaps. Bioinformatics analysis reveals substantial differences in pathways involving Uba1- and Uba6-specific targets. We demonstrate that polyubiquitination and proteasomal degradation of ezrin and CUGBP1 require Uba6, but not Uba1, and that Uba6 is involved in the control of ezrin localization and epithelial morphogenesis. These data suggest that distinctive substrate pools exist for Uba1 and Uba6 that reflect non-redundant biological roles for Uba6.

  17. 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

  18. Identifying active vascular microcalcification by 18F-sodium fluoride positron emission tomography

    PubMed Central

    Irkle, Agnese; Vesey, Alex T.; Lewis, David Y.; Skepper, Jeremy N.; Bird, Joseph L. E.; Dweck, Marc R.; Joshi, Francis R.; Gallagher, Ferdia A.; Warburton, Elizabeth A.; Bennett, Martin R.; Brindle, Kevin M.; Newby, David E.; Rudd, James H.; Davenport, Anthony P.

    2015-01-01

    Vascular calcification is a complex biological process that is a hallmark of atherosclerosis. While macrocalcification confers plaque stability, microcalcification is a key feature of high-risk atheroma and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Positron emission tomography and X-ray computed tomography (PET/CT) imaging of atherosclerosis using 18F-sodium fluoride (18F-NaF) has the potential to identify pathologically high-risk nascent microcalcification. However, the precise molecular mechanism of 18F-NaF vascular uptake is still unknown. Here we use electron microscopy, autoradiography, histology and preclinical and clinical PET/CT to analyse 18F-NaF binding. We show that 18F-NaF adsorbs to calcified deposits within plaque with high affinity and is selective and specific. 18F-NaF PET/CT imaging can distinguish between areas of macro- and microcalcification. This is the only currently available clinical imaging platform that can non-invasively detect microcalcification in active unstable atherosclerosis. The use of 18F-NaF may foster new approaches to developing treatments for vascular calcification. PMID:26151378

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

    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. Baltic Sea and northern Europe. 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. 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. 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 and I. chelipes into the distribution area of

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Identifying Luminous Active Galactic Nuclei in Deep Surveys: Revised IRAC Selection Criteria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    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 2-10 keV(erg s-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 H (cm-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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2008-01-01

    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

  8. 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

  9. Diversity through phosphine catalysis identifies octahydro-1,6-naphthyridin-4-ones as activators of endothelium-driven immunity

    PubMed Central

    Cruz, Daniel; Wang, Zhiming; Kibbie, Jon; Modlin, Robert; Kwon, Ohyun

    2011-01-01

    The endothelium plays a critical role in promoting inflammation in cardiovascular disease and other chronic inflammatory conditions, and many small-molecule screens have sought to identify agents that prevent endothelial cell activation. Conversely, an augmented immune response can be protective against microbial pathogens and in cancer immunotherapy. Yet, small-molecule screens to identify agents that induce endothelial cell activation have not been reported. In this regard, a bioassay was developed that identifies activated endothelium by its capacity to trigger macrophage inflammatory protein 1 beta from primary monocytes. Subsequently, a 642-compound library of 39 distinctive scaffolds generated by a diversity-oriented synthesis based on the nucleophilic phosphine catalysis was screened for small molecules that activated the endothelium. Among the active compounds identified, the major classes were synthesized through the sequence of phosphine-catalyzed annulation, Tebbe reaction, Diels–Alder reaction, and in some cases, hydrolysis. Ninety-six analogs of one particular class of compounds, octahydro-1,6-naphthyridin-4-ones, were efficiently prepared by a solid-phase split-and-pool technique and by solution phase analog synthesis. Structure-function analysis combined with transcriptional profiling of active and inactive octahydro-1,6-naphthyridin-4-one analogs identified inflammatory gene networks induced exclusively by the active compound. The identification of a family of chemical probes that augment innate immunity through endothelial cell activation provides a framework for understanding gene networks involved in endothelial inflammation as well as the development of novel endothelium-driven immunotherapeutic agents. PMID:21383121

  10. 41 CFR 102-75.340 - Where hazardous substance activity has been identified on property proposed for disposal, what...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... official in the Report of Excess Real Property, that all remedial actions necessary to protect human health... substance activity has been identified on property proposed for disposal, what information must the disposal... identified on property proposed for disposal, what information must the disposal agency incorporate into the...

  11. 41 CFR 102-75.340 - Where hazardous substance activity has been identified on property proposed for disposal, what...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... official in the Report of Excess Real Property, that all remedial actions necessary to protect human health... substance activity has been identified on property proposed for disposal, what information must the disposal... identified on property proposed for disposal, what information must the disposal agency incorporate into the...

  12. 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 or...

  13. 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

    ... 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, BOEM finds that essential fish habitat or...

  14. 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

    ... 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, BOEM finds that essential fish habitat or...

  15. 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

    ... 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, BOEM finds that essential fish habitat or...

  16. Using Model-Eliciting Activities as a Tool to Identify and Develop Mathematically Creative Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coxbill, Emmy; Chamberlin, Scott A.; Weatherford, Jennifer

    2013-01-01

    Traditional classroom methods for identifying mathematically creative students have been inadequate. Identifying students who could potentially be mathematically creative is instrumental in the development of students and in meeting their affective and educational needs. One prospective identification tool is the use of model-eliciting activities…

  17. Involvement in Extracurricular Activities: Identifying Differences in Perceptions of School Climate

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martinez, Andrew; Coker, Crystal; McMahon, Susan D.; Cohen, Jonathan; Thapa, Amrit

    2016-01-01

    Many youth participate in extracurricular activities, and research has linked activity participation with school engagement and academic success. Social-ecological theory suggests that the social contexts of different types of extracurricular activities may differentially affect student outcomes. Yet, there is scant research examining the relation…

  18. Differences in EEG Alpha Activity between Gifted and Non-Identified Individuals: Insights into Problem Solving.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jausovec, Norbert

    1997-01-01

    This study examined differences in electroencephalography (EEG) alpha activity between gifted and nongifted Slovenian student-teachers (N=17 each). Gifted students showed greater left hemisphere activation than nongifted subjects in relaxed states, but lower activation during problem solving. The same pattern was observed in overall hemispheric…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. Involvement in Extracurricular Activities: Identifying Differences in Perceptions of School Climate

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martinez, Andrew; Coker, Crystal; McMahon, Susan D.; Cohen, Jonathan; Thapa, Amrit

    2016-01-01

    Many youth participate in extracurricular activities, and research has linked activity participation with school engagement and academic success. Social-ecological theory suggests that the social contexts of different types of extracurricular activities may differentially affect student outcomes. Yet, there is scant research examining the relation…

  2. Identifying physical activity information needs and preferred methods of delivery of people with multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Sweet, Shane N; Perrier, Marie-Josée; Podzyhun, Christine; Latimer-Cheung, Amy E

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the preferred sources and methods for acquiring physical activity information of individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) using the Comprehensive Model of Information Seeking. A secondary objective was to explore the barriers and facilitators to physical activity information seeking. Twenty-one participants diagnosed with MS participated in focus groups or telephone interviews. A direct content analysis of the transcripts revealed that individuals appeared to generally prefer receiving physical activity information during period of relapse and remission. Participants also had positive beliefs toward physical activity and a clear preference for a time when physical activity messages would be relevant. Receiving physical activity information from credible sources such as the MS Society of Canada, healthcare professionals and peers with MS was also deemed important. The Internet was a preferred source to receive information due to its accessibility, but it often was considered to lack credibility. The lack of physical activity information specific to MS is the greatest barrier for individuals with MS to learn about physical activity. Healthcare professionals, National MS Societies, and peers should work together to deliver specific and relevant physical activity messages the MS population. People with MS want more physical activity information from credible sources. Multiple vehicles of physical activity information delivery (i.e. healthcare providers, peers, MS Society) should be utilized. Physical activity information should be tailored to the individual with MS.

  3. Identifying factors of activities of daily living important for cost and caregiver outcomes in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Reed, Catherine; Belger, Mark; Vellas, Bruno; Andrews, Jeffrey Scott; Argimon, Josep M; Bruno, Giuseppe; Dodel, Richard; Jones, Roy W; Wimo, Anders; Haro, Josep Maria

    2016-02-01

    We aimed to obtain a better understanding of how different aspects of patient functioning affect key cost and caregiver outcomes in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Baseline data from a prospective observational study of community-living AD patients (GERAS) were used. Functioning was assessed using the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study-Activities of Daily Living Scale. Generalized linear models were conducted to analyze the relationship between scores for total activities of daily living (ADL), basic ADL (BADL), instrumental ADL (IADL), ADL subdomains (confirmed through factor analysis) and individual ADL questions, and total societal costs, patient healthcare and social care costs, total and supervision caregiver time, and caregiver burden. Four distinct ADL subdomains were confirmed: basic activities, domestic/household activities, communication, and outside activities. Higher total societal costs were associated with impairments in all aspects of ADL, including all subdomains; patient costs were associated with total ADL and BADL, and basic activities subdomain scores. Both total and supervision caregiver hours were associated with total ADL and IADL scores, and domestic/household and outside activities subdomain scores (greater hours associated with greater functional impairments). There was no association between caregiver burden and BADL or basic activities subdomain scores. The relationship between total ADL, IADL, and the outside activities subdomain and outcomes differed between patients with mild and moderate-to-severe AD. Identification of ADL subdomains may lead to a better understanding of the association between patient function and costs and caregiver outcomes at different stages of AD, in particular the outside activities subdomain within mild AD.

  4. Postural Transitions during Activities of Daily Living Could Identify Frailty Status: Application of Wearable Technology to Identify Frailty during Unsupervised Condition.

    PubMed

    Parvaneh, Saman; Mohler, Jane; Toosizadeh, Nima; Grewal, Gurtej Singh; Najafi, Bijan

    2017-01-01

    Impairment of physical function is a major indicator of frailty. Functional performance tests have been shown to be useful for identification of frailty in older adults. However, these tests are often not translatable into unsupervised and remote monitoring of frailty status at home and/or community settings. In this study, we explored daily postural transition quantified using a chest-worn wearable technology to identify frailty in community-dwelling older adults. Spontaneous daily physical activity was monitored over 24 h in 120 community-dwelling elderly (age: 78 ± 8 years) using an unobtrusive wearable sensor (PAMSys™, BioSensics LLC, Watertown, MA, USA). Participants were classified as non-frail and pre-frail/frail using Fried's criteria. A validated software package was used to identify body postures and postural transition between each independent postural activity such as sit-to-stand, stand-to-sit, stand-to-walk, and walk-to-stand. The transition from walking to sitting was further classified as quick sitting and cautious sitting based on presence/absence of a standing posture pause between sitting and walking. A general linear model univariate test was used for between-group comparison. Pearson's correlation was used to determine the association between sensor-derived parameters and age. Logistic regression model was used to identify independent predictors of frailty. According to Fried's criteria, 63% of participants were pre-frail/frail. The total number of postural transitions, stand-to-walk, and walk-to-stand were, respectively, 25.2, 30.2, and 30.6% lower in the pre-frail/frail group when compared to the non-frail group (p < 0.05, Cohen's d = 0.73-0.79). Furthermore, the ratio of cautious sitting was significantly higher by 6.2% in pre-frail/frail compared to non-frail (p = 0.025, Cohen's d = 0.22). Total number of postural transitions and the ratio of cautious sitting also showed significant negative and positive correlations with age

  5. 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

  6. 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…

  7. FACS identifies unique cocaine-induced gene regulation in selectively activated adult striatal neurons

    PubMed Central

    Guez-Barber, Danielle; Fanous, Sanya; Golden, Sam A.; Schrama, Regina; Koya, Eisuke; Stern, Anna L.; Bossert, Jennifer M.; Harvey, Brandon K.; Picciotto, Marina R.; Hope, Bruce T.

    2011-01-01

    Numerous studies with the neural activity marker Fos indicate that cocaine activates only a small proportion of sparsely distributed striatal neurons. Until now, efficient methods were not available to assess neuroadaptations induced specifically within these activated neurons. We used fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) to purify striatal neurons activated during cocaine-induced locomotion in naïve and cocaine-sensitized cfos-lacZ transgenic rats. Activated neurons were labeled with an antibody against β-galactosidase, the protein product of the lacZ gene. Cocaine induced a unique gene expression profile selectively in the small proportion of activated neurons that was not observed in the non-activated majority of neurons. These genes included altered levels of the immediate early genes arc, fosB, and nr4a3, as well as genes involved in p38 MAPK signaling and cell-type specificity. We propose that this FACS method can be used to study molecular neuroadaptations in specific neurons encoding the behavioral effects of abused drugs and other learned behaviors. PMID:21411666

  8. Identifying the Active Surfaces of Electrochemically Tuned LiCoO2 for Oxygen Evolution Reaction

    DOE PAGES

    Lu, Zhiyi; Chen, Guangxu; Li, Yanbin; ...

    2017-04-18

    Identification of active sites for catalytic processes has both fundamental and technological implications for rational design of future catalysts. Herein, we study the active surfaces of layered lithium cobalt oxide (LCO) for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) using the enhancement effect of electrochemical delithiation (De-LCO). Our theoretical results indicate that the most stable (0001) surface has a very large overpotential for OER independent of lithium content. In contrast, edge sites such as the nonpolar (112̅0) and polar (011̅2) surfaces are predicted to be highly active and dependent on (de)lithiation. The effect of lithium extraction from LCO on the surfaces andmore » their OER activities can be understood by the increase of Co4+ sites relative to Co3+ and by the shift of active oxygen 2p states. Experimentally, it is demonstrated that LCO nanosheets, which dominantly expose the (0001) surface show negligible OER enhancement upon delithiation. However, a noticeable increase in OER activity (~0.1 V in overpotential shift at 10 mA cm–2) is observed for the LCO nanoparticles, where the basal plane is greatly diminished to expose the edge sites, consistent with the theoretical simulations. In addition, we find that the OER activity of De-LCO nanosheets can be improved if we adopt an acid etching method on LCO to create more active edge sites, which in turn provides a strong evidence for the theoretical indication.« less

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. [Creation and validation of an instrument to identify nursing activities in pediatric wards: information for determining workload].

    PubMed

    Santos, Nanci Cristiano; Fugulin, Fernanda Maria Togeiro

    2013-10-01

    The aim of this study was to develop and validate an instrument for identifying nursing activities performed in a pediatric ward and to provide a basis for defining the workload of these units. The instrument was developed by selecting the activities relevant to pediatric nursing from the Nursing Intervention Classification and then submitting them to a panel of judges for validation. The panel considered the selected activities relevant and representative of pediatric nursing practice. Now that representative activities for the nursing workload have been identified, we envision new studies to verify their usefulness in practice. Determining the amount of time each activity takes to perform will help to develop a system for measuring the workloads of nursing teams in pediatric wards.

  17. Identifying important factors for older adults' physical activity participation across individual/group, structured/unstructured contexts.

    PubMed

    Beck, Katie L; Weeks, Lori E; Montelpare, William J; MacDonald, Dany J

    2016-09-01

    Most Canadian older adults do not meet physical activity recommendations. Researchers have investigated participation barriers and facilitators, with little consideration given to how specific factors influence activity participation for older adults. The purpose of this study was to identify unique factors that influence older adults' activity selection and to determine in which type of setting they are preferred. Using a two-phase methodology, identification of 25 factors affecting participation was followed by 45 older adults ranking the factors within four categories of activities: individual unstructured, group unstructured, individual structured, and group structured. Phase 1 analysis ranked each factor within each category. Further analysis found that there was a statistical difference between categories, indicating that older adults found different factors important, depending on the category of physical activity in question. This led to phase 2 analyses which identified three levels of factor groupings including the following factors: level A: fun, satisfaction, commitment, and energize; level B: safety, learning, awareness, internal motivation, and productive; and level C: meaningful contribution, intensity, and motivation. Additionally, some factors which were not identified in all categories were identified as unique to certain categories. These included creativity, hobbies, meaningful contribution, spiritual, competence, interaction casual, regularly scheduled, competition, self-efficacy physical, and team. This information can be used by individuals as well as program providers to nurture these factors within physical activity programs, which may lead to increased participation in this age cohort.

  18. Identifying Active Travel Behaviors in Challenging Environments Using GPS, Accelerometers, and Machine Learning Algorithms

    PubMed Central

    Ellis, Katherine; Godbole, Suneeta; Marshall, Simon; Lanckriet, Gert; Staudenmayer, John; Kerr, Jacqueline

    2014-01-01

    Background: Active travel is an important area in physical activity research, but objective measurement of active travel is still difficult. Automated methods to measure travel behaviors will improve research in this area. In this paper, we present a supervised machine learning method for transportation mode prediction from global positioning system (GPS) and accelerometer data. Methods: We collected a dataset of about 150 h of GPS and accelerometer data from two research assistants following a protocol of prescribed trips consisting of five activities: bicycling, riding in a vehicle, walking, sitting, and standing. We extracted 49 features from 1-min windows of this data. We compared the performance of several machine learning algorithms and chose a random forest algorithm to classify the transportation mode. We used a moving average output filter to smooth the output predictions over time. Results: The random forest algorithm achieved 89.8% cross-validated accuracy on this dataset. Adding the moving average filter to smooth output predictions increased the cross-validated accuracy to 91.9%. Conclusion: Machine learning methods are a viable approach for automating measurement of active travel, particularly for measuring travel activities that traditional accelerometer data processing methods misclassify, such as bicycling and vehicle travel. PMID:24795875

  19. Identifying typical physical activity on smartphone with varying positions and orientations.

    PubMed

    Miao, Fen; He, Yi; Liu, Jinlei; Li, Ye; Ayoola, Idowu

    2015-04-13

    Traditional activity recognition solutions are not widely applicable due to a high cost and inconvenience to use with numerous sensors. This paper aims to automatically recognize physical activity with the help of the built-in sensors of the widespread smartphone without any limitation of firm attachment to the human body. By introducing a method to judge whether the phone is in a pocket, we investigated the data collected from six positions of seven subjects, chose five signals that are insensitive to orientation for activity classification. Decision trees (J48), Naive Bayes and Sequential minimal optimization (SMO) were employed to recognize five activities: static, walking, running, walking upstairs and walking downstairs. The experimental results based on 8,097 activity data demonstrated that the J48 classifier produced the best performance with an average recognition accuracy of 89.6% during the three classifiers, and thus would serve as the optimal online classifier. The utilization of the built-in sensors of the smartphone to recognize typical physical activities without any limitation of firm attachment is feasible.

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

    DOE PAGES

    Hatzenpichler, Roland; Connon, Stephanie A.; Goudeau, Danielle; ...

    2016-06-28

    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 probemore » 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.« less

  1. 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

  2. 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. Copyright © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  3. Raman spectroscopy applied to identify metabolites in urine of physically active subjects.

    PubMed

    Moreira, Letícia Parada; Silveira, Landulfo; da Silva, Alexandre Galvão; Fernandes, Adriana Barrinha; Pacheco, Marcos Tadeu Tavares; Rocco, Débora Dias Ferraretto Moura

    2017-09-22

    Raman spectroscopy is a rapid and non-destructive technique suitable for biological fluids analysis. In this work, dispersive Raman spectroscopy has been employed as a rapid and nondestructive technique to detect the metabolites in urine of physically active subjects before and after vigorous 30min pedaling or running compared to sedentary subjects. For so, urine samples from 9 subjects were obtained before and immediately after physical activities and submitted to Raman spectroscopy (830nm excitation, 250mW laser power, 20s integration time) and compared to urine from 5 sedentary subjects. The Raman spectra of urine from sedentary showed peaks related to urea, creatinine, ketone bodies, phosphate and other nitrogenous compounds. These metabolic biomarkers presented peaks with different intensities in the urine of physically active individuals after exercises compared to before, measured by the intensity of selected peaks the Raman spectra, which means different concentrations after training. These peaks presented different intensity values for each subject before physical activity, also behaving differently compared to the post-training: some subjects presented increase while others decrease the intensity. Raman spectroscopy may allow the development of a rapid and non-destructive test for metabolic evaluation of the physical training in active and trained subjects using urine samples, allowing nutrition adjustment with the sport's performance. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  4. Use of cells expressing gamma subunit variants to identify diverse mechanisms of AMPK activation.

    PubMed

    Hawley, Simon A; Ross, Fiona A; Chevtzoff, Cyrille; Green, Kevin A; Evans, Ashleigh; Fogarty, Sarah; Towler, Mhairi C; Brown, Laura J; Ogunbayo, Oluseye A; Evans, A Mark; Hardie, D Grahame

    2010-06-09

    A wide variety of agents activate AMPK, but in many cases the mechanisms remain unclear. We generated isogenic cell lines stably expressing AMPK complexes containing AMP-sensitive (wild-type, WT) or AMP-insensitive (R531G) gamma2 variants. Mitochondrial poisons such as oligomycin and dinitrophenol only activated AMPK in WT cells, as did AICAR, 2-deoxyglucose, hydrogen peroxide, metformin, phenformin, galegine, troglitazone, phenobarbital, resveratrol, and berberine. Excluding AICAR, all of these also inhibited cellular energy metabolism, shown by increases in ADP:ATP ratio and/or by decreases in cellular oxygen uptake measured using an extracellular flux analyzer. By contrast, A769662, the Ca(2+) ionophore, A23187, osmotic stress, and quercetin activated both variants to varying extents. A23187 and osmotic stress also increased cytoplasmic Ca(2+), and their effects were inhibited by STO609, a CaMKK inhibitor. Our approaches distinguish at least six different mechanisms for AMPK activation and confirm that the widely used antidiabetic drug metformin activates AMPK by inhibiting mitochondrial respiration.

  5. 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

  6. Vectorcardiographic QRS area identifies delayed left ventricular lateral wall activation determined by electroanatomic mapping in candidates for cardiac resynchronization therapy.

    PubMed

    Mafi Rad, Masih; Wijntjens, Gilbert W M; Engels, Elien B; Blaauw, Yuri; Luermans, Justin G L M; Pison, Laurent; Crijns, Harry J; Prinzen, Frits W; Vernooy, Kevin

    2016-01-01

    Delayed left ventricular (LV) lateral wall (LVLW) activation is considered the electrical substrate underlying LV dysfunction amenable to cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). The purpose of this study was to assess LVLW activation in CRT candidates using coronary venous electroanatomic mapping (EAM) and to investigate whether the QRS area (QRSAREA) on the vectorcardiogram (VCG) can identify delayed LVLW activation. Fifty-one consecutive CRT candidates (29 left bundle branch block [LBBB], 15 intraventricular conduction delay [IVCD], 7 right bundle branch block [RBBB]) underwent intraprocedural coronary venous EAM using EnSite NavX. VCGs were constructed from preprocedural digital 12-lead ECGs using the Kors method. QRSAREA was assessed and compared to QRS duration and 5 different LBBB definitions. Delayed LVLW activation (activation time >75% of QRS duration) occurred in 38 of 51 patients (29/29 LBBB, 8/15 IVCD, 1/7 RBBB). QRSAREA was larger in patients with than in patients without delayed LVLW activation (108 ± 42 µVs vs 51 ± 27 µVs, P < .001), and identified delayed LVLW activation better than QRS duration (area under the curve 0.89 [95% confidence interval 0.79-0.99] vs 0.49 [95% confidence interval 0.33-0.65]). QRSAREA >69 µVs diagnosed delayed LVLW activation with a higher sum of sensitivity (87%) and specificity (92%) than any of the LBBB definitions. Of the different LBBB definitions, the European Society of Cardiology textbook definition performed best with sensitivity of 76% and specificity of 100%. Coronary venous EAM can be used during CRT implantation to determine the presence of delayed LVLW activation. QRSAREA is a noninvasive alternative for intracardiac measurements of electrical activation, which identifies delayed LVLW activation better than QRS duration and LBBB morphology. Copyright © 2016 Heart Rhythm Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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...

  14. Transcriptome analysis of Pseudomonas syringae identifies new genes, ncRNAs, and antisense activity

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    To fully understand how bacteria respond to their environment, it is essential to assess genome-wide transcriptional activity. New high throughput sequencing technologies make it possible to query the transcriptome of an organism in an efficient unbiased manner. We applied a strand-specific method t...

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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.

  18. Combinatorial diffusion assay used to identify topically active melanocyte-stimulating hormone receptor antagonists.

    PubMed Central

    Quillan, J M; Jayawickreme, C K; Lerner, M R

    1995-01-01

    alpha-Melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) is implicated in pigmentation, central nervous system and immune system functions, growth, mitogenesis, and melanoma. Evaluation of these roles has been hindered by the lack of alpha-MSH antagonists. A combinatorial chemistry-based diffusion assay is used to find random tripeptides that antagonize normal frog and human melanoma MSH receptors and to identify pharmacological groups responsible for receptor interaction. The alpha-MSH antagonist D-Trp-Arg-Leu-NH2 is used to demonstrate directly the contribution of MSH to normal skin tone in frogs following injection or topical application. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 6 PMID:7708744

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-18

    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.

  1. Identifying key areas for active interprofessional learning partnerships: A facilitated dialogue.

    PubMed

    Steven, Kathryn; Angus, Allyson; Breckenridge, Jenna; Davey, Peter; Tully, Vicki; Muir, Fiona

    2016-11-01

    Student and service user involvement is recognised as an important factor in creating interprofessional education (IPE) opportunities. We used a team-based learning approach to bring together undergraduate health professional students, early career professionals (ECPs), public partners, volunteers, and carers to explore learning partnerships. Influenced by evaluative inquiry, this qualitative study used a free text response to allow participants to give their own opinion. A total of 153 participants (50 public partners and 103 students and professionals representing 11 healthcare professions) took part. Participants were divided into mixed groups of six (n = 25) and asked to identify areas where students, professionals, and public could work together to improve health professional education. Each group documented their discussions by summarising agreed areas and next steps. Responses were collected and transcribed for inductive content analysis. Seven key themes (areas for joint working) were identified: communication, public as partners, standards of conduct, IPE, quality improvement, education, and learning environments. The team-based learning format enabled undergraduate and postgraduate health professionals to achieve consensus with public partners on areas for IPE and collaboration. Some of our results may be context-specific but the approach is generalisable to other areas.

  2. 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

  3. THIAZOLIDINONE CFTR INHIBITORS WITH IMPROVED WATER SOLUBILITY IDENTIFIED BY STRUCTURE-ACTIVITY ANALYSIS

    PubMed Central

    Sonawane, N.D.; Verkman, A.S.

    2008-01-01

    The thiazolidinone 3-[(3-trifluoromethyl)phenyl]-5-[(4-carboxyphenyl)methylene]-2-thioxo-4-thiazolidinone (CFTRinh-172) inhibits cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) chloride channel conductance with submicromolar affinity and blocks cholera toxin-induced intestinal fluid secretion. Fifty-eight CFTRinh-172 analogs were synthesized to identify CFTR inhibitors with improved water solubility, exploring modifications in its two phenyl rings, thiazolidinone core, and core-phenyl connectors. Greatest CFTR inhibition potency was found for 3-CF3 and polar group-substituted-phenyl rings, and a thiazolidinone core. Two compounds with ~1 μM CFTR inhibition potency and solubility >180 μM (>10-fold more than CFTRinh-172) were identified: Tetrazolo-172, containing 4-tetrazolophenyl in place of 4-carboxyphenyl, and Oxo-172, containing thiazolidinedione in place of the thiazolidinone core. These water soluble thiazolidinone analogs had low cellular toxicity. The improved water solubility of Tetrazolo- and Oxo-172 make them potential lead candidates for therapy of secretory diarrheas and polycystic kidney disease. PMID:18691893

  4. Proteomics-Identified Bvg-Activated Autotransporters Protect against Bordetella pertussis in a Mouse Model

    PubMed Central

    de Gouw, Daan; 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. PMID:25133400

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Impaired antigen presentation and potent phagocytic activity identifying tumor-tolerant human monocytes.

    PubMed

    Soares-Schanoski, Alessandra; Jurado, Teresa; Córdoba, Raúl; Siliceo, María; Fresno, Carlos Del; Gómez-Piña, Vanesa; Toledano, Victor; Vallejo-Cremades, Maria T; Alfonso-Iñiguez, Sergio; Carballo-Palos, Arkaitz; Fernández-Ruiz, Irene; Cubillas-Zapata, Carolina; Biswas, Subhra K; Arnalich, Francisco; García-Río, Francisco; López-Collazo, Eduardo

    2012-06-29

    Monocyte exposure to tumor cells induces a transient state in which these cells are refractory to further exposure to cancer. This phenomenon, termed "tumor tolerance", is characterized by a decreased production of proinflammatory cytokines in response to tumors. In the past, we found that this effect comprises IRAK-M up regulation and TLR4 and CD44 activation. Herein we have established a human model of tumor tolerance and have observed a marked down-regulation of MHCII molecules as well as the MHCII master regulator, CIITA, in monocytes/macrophages. These cells combine an impaired capability for antigen presentation with potent phagocytic activity and exhibit an M2-like phenotype. In addition circulating monocytes isolated from Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia patients exhibited the same profile as tumor tolerant cells after tumor ex vivo exposition.

  8. Active root-inhabiting microbes identified by rapid incorporation of plant-derived carbon into RNA

    PubMed Central

    Vandenkoornhuyse, Philippe; Mahé, Stéphane; Ineson, Philip; Staddon, Phil; Ostle, Nick; Cliquet, Jean-Bernard; Francez, André-Jean; Fitter, Alastair H.; Young, J. Peter W.

    2007-01-01

    Plant roots harbor a large diversity of microorganisms that have an essential role in ecosystem functioning. To better understand the level of intimacy of root-inhabiting microbes such as arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and bacteria, we provided 13CO2 to plants at atmospheric concentration during a 5-h pulse. We expected microbes dependent on a carbon flux from their host plant to become rapidly labeled. We showed that a wide variety of microbes occurred in roots, mostly previously unknown. Strikingly, the greatest part of this unsuspected diversity corresponded to active primary consumers. We found 17 bacterial phylotypes co-occurring within roots of a single plant, including five potentially new phylotypes. Fourteen phylotypes were heavily labeled with the 13C. Eight were phylogenetically close to Burkholderiales, which encompass known symbionts; the others were potentially new bacterial root symbionts. By analyzing unlabeled and 13C-enriched RNAs, we demonstrated differential activity in C consumption among these root-inhabiting microbes. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal RNAs were heavily labeled, confirming the high carbon flux from the plant to the fungal compartment, but some of the fungi present appeared to be much more active than others. The results presented here reveal the possibility of uncharacterized root symbioses. PMID:17939995

  9. Temporal selectivity in midbrain electrosensory neurons identified by modal variation in active sensing.

    PubMed

    Pluta, Scott R; Kawasaki, Masashi

    2010-07-01

    Mormyrid weakly electric fish actively sense their surroundings by continuously emitting discrete pulses of electricity separated by varying intervals of silence. The temporal pattern of this pulsing behavior is related to context. While resting in the absence of an overt stimulus, baseline interpulse intervals (IPIs) mostly range 200-450 ms, and sequential variation is relatively high. Spontaneously, or following the presentation of a novel stimulus, IPIs transiently shorten during the performance of an electromotor "burst" display. We made intracellular whole cell recordings in vivo from neurons in the lateral nucleus of the torus semicircularis while the fish's dynamic pulsing behavior modified the temporal pattern of stimulation. Stimulation was designed to simulate the spatial patterns of AM that occur during the electrolocation of a resistive object. We discovered that toral neurons selectively respond to stimulation during a particular mode of electromotor activity. Two types of temporally selective neurons were discovered: baseline-selective neurons that displayed significantly higher postsynaptic potential (PSP) amplitude and spike count per electric organ discharge (EOD) during baseline electromotor activity and burst-selective neurons that displayed significantly higher PSP amplitude and spike count per EOD during electromotor burst displays. Interval-dependent changes in the strength of excitation and inhibition contributed to their selectivity.

  10. Suitability of assessment methods for identifying active and passive zones in reinforced concrete

    SciTech Connect

    Gonzalez, J.A.; Benito, M.; Feliu, S. ); Rodriguez, P. ); Andrade, C. )

    1995-02-01

    The ability of various electrochemical techniques to differentiate between areas of reinforcing steel (rebar) with high and low corrosion activity and to define the boundary between such areas was studied. These techniques are based on determining the corrosion potential (E[sub corr]), the galvanic current between an external stainless steel (SS) sensor and the bar (I[sub g]), the apparent polarization resistance (R[sub p][sup ap]), or the polarization resistance (R[sub p]) under electric confinement conditions. Values of E[sub corr] and I[sub g] (the current flowing between a SS counter electrode [CE] and the rebars) were shown to distinguish active areas from passive ones very well when the areas were isolated electrically, but with difficulty when the areas were in electric contact, which is usually the case. Values of R[sub p][sup ap] or i[sub corr] (both calculated using the Stern-Geary equation) were shown to define areas of high corrosion rates in a structure where passivity prevailed much better. However, excessive i[sub corr] values were estimated because the polarized area of the rebar (especially with passive rebars) was much greater than the CE area. Finally, the confinement of signal distribution permitted definition of the exact boundary between active and passive areas, regardless of whether they were isolated or interconnected. In addition, i[sub corr] values obtained with this technique were shown to provide a reliable quantitative index of the damage rate in reinforced concrete structures.

  11. An activation antigen on a subpopulation of B lymphocytes identified by the monoclonal antibody CMRF-17.

    PubMed Central

    Peach, S F; Davidson, S E; McKenzie, J L; Nimmo, J C; Hart, D N

    1989-01-01

    The identification of membrane molecules expressed on subpopulations of B lymphocytes is of potential significance because these molecules may be candidates for regulating the activation, proliferation and differentiation of B cells. A new monoclonal antibody, CMRF-17, which reacts with a subpopulation of tonsil B lymphocytes has been produced. The antibody did not react with T lymphocytes in tonsil or peripheral blood nor most peripheral blood B lymphocytes but did label erythrocytes and some platelets. In tonsil, the germinal centre cells, cells in the interfollicular region and endothelial cells were positive, but mantle zone B cells were negative. Double labelling experiments showed that CMRF-17 reacted with activated tonsillar lymphocytes. The antigen recognized by CMRF-17 was heat stable, resistant to treatment with proteolytic enzymes and neuraminidase and was shown to be a carbohydrate determinant on one or more glycolipids. These characteristics of the antigen recognized by CMRF-17 and its pattern of reactivity distinguish this antibody from other monoclonal antibodies recognizing B-cell activation markers. It was notable that of the B-lymphoid malignancies tested to date, including those of probable follicular origin, few stained with CMRF-17. Images Figure 1 Figure 3 PMID:2474491

  12. SAFE-Tools: a Web-based application for identifying active faults

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atakan, K.; Sebrier, M.; Camelbeeck, T.; Siame, L.; Valensise, G.; Winter, T.

    2003-04-01

    Recognition of active faults, particularly in low seismicity regions such as Western Europe, has been a subject puzzling seismologists for many years. These regions are generally characterized by low-hazard but high-risk, due to the concentration of human and material properties with high-vulnerability. Detecting tectonic deformations that may lead to destructive earthquakes in such areas requires innovative research strategies that suit climate, slowly deforming fault, and heavily human-modified areas. The variety and amount of information involved in the characterization of slowly deforming faults are in general disseminated in several institutions with no easy access to. This information should be gathered, parameterized and stored in a way that make them feasible to be used in seismic hazard studies. In this sense, within the framework of the European project SAFE (Slow Active Faults in Europe; EVG1-2000-22005) a Web-based application (SAFE-Tools) for diagnosing slow active faults is developed. The basic design of the SAFE-Tools (SAFE-T) is based on server-client architecture, with data communication and visualization occurring through the Internet. The system is developed using the Java programming language and operates through an Internet browser. SAFE-T handles both parametric and graphical (image) data with a display and manipulation capability of pre-prepared data sets from a relational database with an interactive processing capacity all conducted through applets. A distributed database structure is developed opening a possibility for a network of interconnected servers. Layers of graphical data (e.g. geological maps, DEM images etc.) and sets of parametric data (e.g. historical or instrumental earthquake catalogues) are entered to the system either through an interactive process using HTML-forms, or as a bulk entry. Data are stored as geographical co-ordinate points with different attributes in the relational database. For identification of active faults

  13. RNA interference (RNAi) screening approach identifies agents that enhance paclitaxel activity in breast cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Introduction Paclitaxel is a widely used drug in the treatment of patients with locally advanced and metastatic breast cancer. However, only a small portion of patients have a complete response to paclitaxel-based chemotherapy, and many patients are resistant. Strategies that increase sensitivity and limit resistance to paclitaxel would be of clinical use, especially for patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). Methods We generated a gene set from overlay of the druggable genome and a collection of genomically deregulated gene transcripts in breast cancer. We used loss-of-function RNA interference (RNAi) to identify gene products in this set that, when targeted, increase paclitaxel sensitivity. Pharmacological agents that targeted the top scoring hits/genes from our RNAi screens were used in combination with paclitaxel, and the effects on the growth of various breast cancer cell lines were determined. Results RNAi screens performed herein were validated by identification of genes in pathways that, when previously targeted, enhanced paclitaxel sensitivity in the pre-clinical and clinical settings. When chemical inhibitors, CCT007093 and mithramycin, against two top hits in our screen, PPMID and SP1, respectively, were used in combination with paclitaxel, we observed synergistic growth inhibition in both 2D and 3D breast cancer cell cultures. The transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ) receptor inhibitor, LY2109761, that targets the signaling pathway of another top scoring hit, TGFβ1, was synergistic with paclitaxel when used in combination on select breast cancer cell lines grown in 3D culture. We also determined the relative paclitaxel sensitivity of 22 TNBC cell lines and identified 18 drug-sensitive and four drug-resistant cell lines. Of significance, we found that both CCT007093 and mithramycin, when used in combination with paclitaxel, resulted in synergistic inhibition of the four paclitaxel-resistant TNBC cell lines. Conclusions RNAi screening can

  14. Newly identified essential amino acid residues affecting ^8-sphingolipid desaturase activity revealed by site-directed mutagenesis

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    In order to identify amino acid residues crucial for the enzymatic activity of ^8-sphingolipid desaturases, a sequence comparison was performed among ^8-sphingolipid desaturases and ^6-fatty acid desaturase from various plants. In addition to the known conserved cytb5 (cytochrome b5) HPGG motif and...

  15. 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.…

  16. 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.…

  17. Identifying the role of historical anthropogenic activities on urban soils: geochemical impact and city scale mapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Guern, Cecile; Baudouin, Vivien; Conil, Pierre

    2017-04-01

    Recently, European cities have faced several changes including deindustrialization and population increase. To limit urban sprawl, urban densification is preferred. It conducts to (re)develop available areas such as brownfields. Although these areas can be attractive for housing due to their location (in proximity to the city centre or to a riverside), their soils and subsoils are often contaminated. They are therefore potentially harmful for human health and the environment, and potentially costly to remediate. Currently, in case of contamination suspicion, depth geochemical characterization of urban soil and subsoil are carried out at site scale. Nevertheless, large redevelopment project occur at quarter to city scale. It appears therefore useful to acquire the preliminary knowledge on the structure and quality of soil and subsoils, as well as on the potential sources of contamination at quarter to city scale. In the frame of the Ile de Nantes (France) redevelopment project, we considered more particularly anthropogenic deposits and former industrial activities as main sources of contamination linked to human activities. To face the low traceability of the use of anthropogenic deposits and the lack of synthesis of former industrial activities, we carried out a historical study, synthetizing the information spread in numerous archive documents to spatialize the extent of the deposits and of the former activities. In addition we developed a typology of made grounds according to their contamination potential to build a 3D geological model with a geochemical coherence. In this frame, we valorized existing borehole descriptions coming mainly from pollution diagnosis and geotechnical studies. We also developed a methodology to define urban baseline compatibility levels using the existing analytical data at depth from pollution diagnosis. These data were previously gathered in a local geodatabase towards with borehole descriptions (more than 2000 borehole descriptions

  18. Investigating the antiplasmodial activity of primary sulfonamide compounds identified in open source malaria data.

    PubMed

    Fisher, Gillian M; Bua, Silvia; Del Prete, Sonia; Arnold, Megan S J; Capasso, Clemente; Supuran, Claudiu T; Andrews, Katherine T; Poulsen, Sally-Ann

    2017-04-01

    In the past decade there has been a significant reduction in deaths due to malaria, in part due to the success of the gold standard antimalarial treatment - artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs). However the potential threat of ACT failure and the lack of a broadly effective malaria vaccine are driving efforts to discover new chemical entities (NCEs) to target this disease. The primary sulfonamide (PS) moiety is a component of several clinical drugs, including those for treatment of kidney disease, glaucoma and epilepsy, however this chemotype has not yet been exploited for malaria. In this study 31 PS compounds sourced from the GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Tres Cantos antimalarial set (TCAMS) were investigated for their ability to selectively inhibit the in vitro growth of Plasmodium falciparum asexual stage malaria parasites. Of these, 14 compounds were found to have submicromolar activity (IC50 0.16-0.89 μM) and a modest selectivity index (SI) for the parasite versus human cells (SI > 12 to >43). As the PS moiety is known to inhibit carbonic anhydrase (CA) enzymes from many organisms, the PS compounds were assessed for recombinant P. falciparum CA (PfCA) mediated inhibition of CO2 hydration. The PfCA inhibition activity did not correlate with antiplasmodial potency. Furthermore, no significant difference in IC50 was observed for P. falciparum versus P. knowlesi (P > 0.05), a Plasmodium species that is not known to contain an annotated PfCA gene. Together these data suggest that the asexual intraerythrocytic stage antiplasmodial activity of the PS compounds examined in this study is likely unrelated to PfCA inhibition.

  19. Structure-function analysis of human sucrase-isomaltase identifies key residues required for catalytic activity.

    PubMed

    Gericke, Birthe; Schecker, Natalie; Amiri, Mahdi; Naim, Hassan Y

    2017-06-30

    Sucrase-isomaltase (SI) is an intestinal membrane-associated α-glucosidase that breaks down di- and oligosaccharides to absorbable monosaccharides. SI has two homologous functional subunits (sucrase and isomaltase) that both belong to the glycoside hydrolase family 31 (GH31) and differ in substrate specificity. All GH31 enzymes share a consensus sequence harboring an aspartic acid residue as a catalytic nucleophile. Moreover, crystallographic structural analysis of isomaltase predicts that another aspartic acid residue functions as a proton donor in hydrolysis. Here, we mutagenized the predicted proton donor residues and the nucleophilic catalyst residues in each SI subunit. We expressed these SI variants in COS-1 cells and analyzed their structural, transport, and functional characteristics. All of the mutants revealed expression levels and maturation rates comparable with those of the wild-type species and the corresponding nonmutated subunits were functionally active. Thereby we determined rate and substrate specificity for each single subunit without influence from the other subunit. This approach provides a model for functional analysis of the single subunits within a multidomain protein, achieved without the necessity to express the individual subunits separately. Of note, we also found that glucose product inhibition regulates the activities of both SI subunits. We experimentally confirmed the catalytic function of the predicted proton donor residues, and sequence analysis suggested that these residues are located in a consensus region in many GH31 family members. In summary, these findings reveal the kinetic features specific for each human SI subunit and demonstrate that the activities of these subunits are regulated via product inhibition. © 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  20. Comparative genomic hybridization and telomerase activity analysis identify two biologically different groups of 4s neuroblastomas.

    PubMed Central

    Brinkschmidt, C.; Poremba, C.; Christiansen, H.; Simon, R.; Schäfer, K. L.; Terpe, H. J.; Lampert, F.; Boecker, W.; Dockhorn-Dworniczak, B.

    1998-01-01

    Chromosomal aberrations of 20 stage 4s neuroblastomas were analysed by comparative genomic hybridization (CGH). In a subset of 13/20 tumours, telomerase activity was evaluated by the telomeric repeat amplification protocol (TRAP). The CGH data were compared with the CGH results of ten stage 1 and 2 (stage 1/2) and 22 stage 3 and 4 (stage 3/4) neuroblastomas. A total of 17/20 stage 4s neuroblastomas did not progress clinically, whereas tumour progression with lethal outcome occurred in 3/20 cases. The CGH data of clinically non-progressing stage 4s tumours revealed a high rate of whole-chromosome aberrations (73.4%) with an overrepresentation of mainly chromosomes 2, 6, 7, 12, 13, 17, 18 and an underrepresentation of mainly chromosomes 3, 4, 11, 14. MYCN amplification or 1p deletion was observed in only 1/27 or 2/17 clinically non-progressing stage 4s tumours respectively, whereas all three progressive stage 4s neuroblastomas showed MYCN amplification, 1p deletion and, in 2/3 cases, distal 17q gains. Except for one case, telomerase activity was not observed in non-progressing stage 4s neuroblastomas. In contrast, 4s tumours with lethal outcome revealed elevated telomerase activity levels. Our data suggest that stage 4s neuroblastomas belong to two biologically different groups, one of which displays the genetic features of localized stage 1/2 tumours, whereas the other mimics advanced stage 3/4 neuroblastomas. Images Figure 3 PMID:9649137

  1. Fumigant activity of (E)-anethole identified in Illicium verum fruit against Blattella germanica.

    PubMed

    Chang, Kyu-Sik; Ahn, Young-Joon

    2002-02-01

    The insecticidal activities of materials derived from the fruit of star anise, Illicium verum, against adults of Blattella germanica were examined by direct contact application and fumigation methods, and compared with those of DDVP, deltamethrin and hydramethylnon. The biologically active constituent of the Illicium fruit was characterized as the phenylpropene, (E)-anethole, by spectroscopic analysis. In a filter paper diffusion test with females, (E)-anethole caused 80.3% mortality at 0.159 mg cm-2 at 1 and 3 days after treatment (DAT), whereas 16.7% mortality at 3 DAT was achieved at 0.079 mg cm-2. DDVP and deltamethrin gave > 90% mortality at 0.019 mg cm-2 at 1 DAT. At 0.009 mg cm-2, DDVP and deltamethrin showed 73.3 and 60% mortality at 1 DAT, respectively, but 93.3 and 76.7% mortality at 3 DAT. Hydramethylnon exhibited 0 and 93.3% mortality at 0.159 mg cm-2 at 1 and 3 DAT, respectively, whereas 6.7% mortality at 3 DAT was observed at 0.079 mg cm-2. In a fumigation test with females, (E)-anethole was much more effective in closed cups than in open ones, indicating that the insecticidal activity of the compound was largely attributable to fumigant action. (E)-Anethole and DDVP caused 100% mortality at 0.398 and 0.051 mg cm-2 4 and 1 h after treatment, respectively. (E)-Anethole showed 46.7% mortality at 0.199 mg cm-2 at 3 DAT, whereas deltamethrin and hydramethylnon at 0.796 mg cm-2 was ineffective for 3-day period. As naturally occurring insect-control agents, the I verum fruit-derived materials described could be useful for managing populations of B germanica.

  2. Repurposing Approach Identifies Auranofin with Broad Spectrum Antifungal Activity That Targets Mia40-Erv1 Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Thangamani, Shankar; Maland, Matthew; Mohammad, Haroon; Pascuzzi, Pete E.; Avramova, Larisa; Koehler, Carla M.; Hazbun, Tony R.; Seleem, Mohamed N.

    2017-01-01

    Current antifungal therapies have limited effectiveness in treating invasive fungal infections. Furthermore, the development of new antifungal is currently unable to keep pace with the urgent demand for safe and effective new drugs. Auranofin, an FDA-approved drug for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, inhibits growth of a diverse array of clinical isolates of fungi and represents a new antifungal agent with a previously unexploited mechanism of action. In addition to auranofin's potent antifungal activity against planktonic fungi, this drug significantly reduces the metabolic activity of Candida cells encased in a biofilm. Unbiased chemogenomic profiling, using heterozygous S. cerevisiae deletion strains, combined with growth assays revealed three probable targets for auranofin's antifungal activity—mia40, acn9, and coa4. Mia40 is of particular interest given its essential role in oxidation of cysteine rich proteins imported into the mitochondria. Biochemical analysis confirmed auranofin targets the Mia40-Erv1 pathway as the drug inhibited Mia40 from interacting with its substrate, Cmc1, in a dose-dependent manner similar to the control, MB-7. Furthermore, yeast mitochondria overexpressing Erv1 were shown to exhibit resistance to auranofin as an increase in Cmc1 import was observed compared to wild-type yeast. Further in vivo antifungal activity of auranofin was examined in a Caenorhabditis elegans animal model of Cryptococcus neoformans infection. Auranofin significantly reduced the fungal load in infected C. elegans. Collectively, the present study provides valuable evidence that auranofin has significant promise to be repurposed as a novel antifungal agent and may offer a safe, effective, and quick supplement to current approaches for treating fungal infections. PMID:28149831

  3. High Aldehyde Dehydrogenase Activity Identifies a Subset of Human Mesenchymal Stromal Cells with Vascular Regenerative Potential.

    PubMed

    Sherman, Stephen E; Kuljanin, Miljan; Cooper, Tyler T; Putman, David M; Lajoie, Gilles A; Hess, David A

    2017-03-15

    During culture expansion, multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) differentially express aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), an intracellular detoxification enzyme that protects long-lived cells against oxidative stress. Thus, MSC selection based on ALDH-activity may be used to reduce heterogeneity and distinguish MSC subsets with improved regenerative potency. After expansion of human bone marrow-derived MSCs, cell progeny was purified based on low versus high ALDH-activity (ALDH(hi) ) by fluorescence-activated cell sorting, and each subset was compared for multipotent stromal and provascular regenerative functions. Both ALDH(l) ° and ALDH(hi) MSC subsets demonstrated similar expression of stromal cell (>95% CD73(+) , CD90(+) , CD105(+) ) and pericyte (>95% CD146(+) ) surface markers and showed multipotent differentiation into bone, cartilage, and adipose cells in vitro. Conditioned media (CDM) generated by ALDH(hi) MSCs demonstrated a potent proliferative and prosurvival effect on human microvascular endothelial cells (HMVECs) under serum-free conditions and augmented HMVEC tube-forming capacity in growth factor-reduced matrices. After subcutaneous transplantation within directed in vivo angiogenesis assay implants into immunodeficient mice, ALDH(hi) MSC or CDM produced by ALDH(hi) MSC significantly augmented murine vascular cell recruitment and perfused vessel infiltration compared with ALDH(l) ° MSC. Although both subsets demonstrated strikingly similar mRNA expression patterns, quantitative proteomic analyses performed on subset-specific CDM revealed the ALDH(hi) MSC subset uniquely secreted multiple proangiogenic cytokines (vascular endothelial growth factor beta, platelet derived growth factor alpha, and angiogenin) and actively produced multiple factors with chemoattractant (transforming growth factor-β, C-X-C motif chemokine ligand 1, 2, and 3 (GRO), C-C motif chemokine ligand 5 (RANTES), monocyte chemotactic protein 1 (MCP-1), interleukin [IL]-6, IL-8

  4. Functional dissection of the mouse tyrosinase locus control region identifies a new putative boundary activity

    PubMed Central

    Giraldo, Patricia; Martínez, Antonio; Regales, Lucía; Lavado, Alfonso; García-Díaz, Angel; Alonso, Ángel; Busturia, Ana; Montoliu, Lluís

    2003-01-01

    Locus control regions (LCRs) are complex high-order chromatin structures harbouring several regulatory elements, including enhancers and boundaries. We have analysed the mouse tyrosinase LCR functions, in vitro, in cell lines and, in vivo, in transgenic mice and flies. The LCR-core (2.1 kb), located at –15 kb and carrying a previously described tissue-specific DNase I hypersensitive site, operates as a transcriptional enhancer that efficiently transactivates heterologous promoters in a cell-specific orientation-independent manner. Furthermore, we have investigated the boundary activity of these sequences in transgenic animals and cells. In mice, the LCR fragment (3.7 kb) rescued a weakly expressed reference construct that displays position effects. In Drosophila, the LCR fragment and its core insulated the expression of a white minigene reporter construct from chromosomal position effects. In cells, sequences located 5′ from the LCR-core displayed putative boundary activities. We have obtained genomic sequences surrounding the LCR fragment and found a LINE1 repeated element at 5′. In B16 melanoma and L929 fibroblast mouse cells, this element was found heavily methylated, supporting the existence of putative boundary elements that could prevent the spreading of condensed chromatin from the LINE1 sequences into the LCR fragment, experimentally shown to be in an open chromatin structure. PMID:14576318

  5. Functional dissection of the mouse tyrosinase locus control region identifies a new putative boundary activity.

    PubMed

    Giraldo, Patricia; Martínez, Antonio; Regales, Lucía; Lavado, Alfonso; García-Díaz, Angel; Alonso, Angel; Busturia, Ana; Montoliu, Lluís

    2003-11-01

    Locus control regions (LCRs) are complex high-order chromatin structures harbouring several regulatory elements, including enhancers and boundaries. We have analysed the mouse tyrosinase LCR functions, in vitro, in cell lines and, in vivo, in transgenic mice and flies. The LCR-core (2.1 kb), located at -15 kb and carrying a previously described tissue-specific DNase I hypersensitive site, operates as a transcriptional enhancer that efficiently transactivates heterologous promoters in a cell-specific orientation-independent manner. Furthermore, we have investigated the boundary activity of these sequences in transgenic animals and cells. In mice, the LCR fragment (3.7 kb) rescued a weakly expressed reference construct that displays position effects. In Drosophila, the LCR fragment and its core insulated the expression of a white minigene reporter construct from chromosomal position effects. In cells, sequences located 5' from the LCR-core displayed putative boundary activities. We have obtained genomic sequences surrounding the LCR fragment and found a LINE1 repeated element at 5'. In B16 melanoma and L929 fibroblast mouse cells, this element was found heavily methylated, supporting the existence of putative boundary elements that could prevent the spreading of condensed chromatin from the LINE1 sequences into the LCR fragment, experimentally shown to be in an open chromatin structure.

  6. Do classic blood biomarkers of JSLE identify active lupus nephritis? Evidence from the UK JSLE Cohort Study.

    PubMed

    Smith, E M D; Jorgensen, A L; Beresford, M W

    2017-10-01

    Background Lupus nephritis (LN) affects up to 80% of juvenile-onset systemic lupus erythematosus (JSLE) patients. The value of commonly available biomarkers, such as anti-dsDNA antibodies, complement (C3/C4), ESR and full blood count parameters in the identification of active LN remains uncertain. Methods Participants from the UK JSLE Cohort Study, aged <16 years at diagnosis, were categorized as having active or inactive LN according to the renal domain of the British Isles Lupus Assessment Group score. Classic biomarkers: anti-dsDNA, C3, C4, ESR, CRP, haemoglobin, total white cells, neutrophils, lymphocytes, platelets and immunoglobulins were assessed for their ability to identify active LN using binary logistic regression modeling, with stepAIC function applied to select a final model. Receiver-operating curve analysis was used to assess diagnostic accuracy. Results A total of 370 patients were recruited; 191 (52%) had active LN and 179 (48%) had inactive LN. Binary logistic regression modeling demonstrated a combination of ESR, C3, white cell count, neutrophils, lymphocytes and IgG to be best for the identification of active LN (area under the curve 0.724). Conclusions At best, combining common classic blood biomarkers of lupus activity using multivariate analysis provides a 'fair' ability to identify active LN. Urine biomarkers were not included in these analyses. These results add to the concern that classic blood biomarkers are limited in monitoring discrete JSLE manifestations such as LN.

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

    PubMed

    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

    2013-12-17

    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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Pathways to obesity: identifying local, modifiable determinants of physical activity and diet.

    PubMed

    Stafford, Mai; Cummins, Steven; Ellaway, Anne; Sacker, Amanda; Wiggins, Richard D; Macintyre, Sally

    2007-11-01

    Many studies document small area inequalities in morbidity and mortality and show associations between area deprivation and health. However, few studies unpack the "black box" of area deprivation to show which specific local social and physical environmental characteristics impact upon health, and might be amenable to modification. We theorised a model of the potential causal pathways to obesity and employed path analysis using a rich data set from national studies in England and Scotland to test the model empirically. Significant associations between obesity and neighbourhood disorder and access to local high street facilities (local shops, financial services and health-related stores found in a typical small UK town) were found. There was a tendency for lower levels of obesity in areas with more swimming pools and supermarkets. In turn, policing levels, physical dereliction and recorded violent crime were associated with neighbourhood disorder. The analysis identifies several factors that are associated with (and are probably determinants of) obesity and which are outside the standard remit of the healthcare sector. They highlight the role that public and private sector organisations have in promoting the nation's health. Public health professionals should seek to work alongside or within these organisations to capitalise on opportunities to improve health.

  11. A substrate-bound structure of cyanobacterial biliverdin reductase identifies stacked substrates as critical for activity

    PubMed Central

    Takao, Haruna; Hirabayashi, Kei; Nishigaya, Yuki; Kouriki, Haruna; Nakaniwa, Tetsuko; Hagiwara, Yoshinori; Harada, Jiro; Sato, Hideaki; Yamazaki, Toshimasa; Sakakibara, Yoichi; Suiko, Masahito; Asada, Yujiro; Takahashi, Yasuhiro; Yamamoto, Ken; Fukuyama, Keiichi; Sugishima, Masakazu; Wada, Kei

    2017-01-01

    Biliverdin reductase catalyses the last step in haem degradation and produces the major lipophilic antioxidant bilirubin via reduction of biliverdin, using NAD(P)H as a cofactor. Despite the importance of biliverdin reductase in maintaining the redox balance, the molecular details of the reaction it catalyses remain unknown. Here we present the crystal structure of biliverdin reductase in complex with biliverdin and NADP+. Unexpectedly, two biliverdin molecules, which we designated the proximal and distal biliverdins, bind with stacked geometry in the active site. The nicotinamide ring of the NADP+ is located close to the reaction site on the proximal biliverdin, supporting that the hydride directly attacks this position of the proximal biliverdin. The results of mutagenesis studies suggest that a conserved Arg185 is essential for the catalysis. The distal biliverdin probably acts as a conduit to deliver the proton from Arg185 to the proximal biliverdin, thus yielding bilirubin. PMID:28169272

  12. Peptide binding identifies an ERalpha conformation that generates selective activity in multiple in vitro assays.

    PubMed

    Larson, Christopher J; Osburn, Deborah L; Schmitz, Katherine; Giampa, Leslie; Mong, Shau-Ming; Marschke, Keith; Seidel, H Martin; Rosen, Jonathan; Negro-Vilar, Andrés

    2005-09-01

    Drugs such as tamoxifen, which act at the estrogen receptor (ER), have very different in vitro and in vivo effects from those of the native hormone. Previous research has established that different ligands induce distinct conformational changes in the ER, thus affecting the interactions of the receptor with cell-specific co-activating or co-repressing proteins (cofactors) and estrogen response elements (EREs), thus potentially driving differing biological effects. Affinity-selected peptides have been used to probe the conformational changes that occur within the ER upon binding various ligands. In this study, the authors characterize the ability of several peptides to be recruited to liganded ER under cellular conditions. Approximating ER conformation via recruitment of this peptide to the ER is concluded to be a better predictor of the agonist nature of an ER ligand under these different cellular contexts than is a canonical cotransfection transactivation assay.

  13. The Xenopus dorsalizing factor Gremlin identifies a novel family of secreted proteins that antagonize BMP activities.

    PubMed

    Hsu, D R; Economides, A N; Wang, X; Eimon, P M; Harland, R M

    1998-04-01

    Using a Xenopus expression-cloning screen, we have isolated Gremlin, a novel antagonist of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling that is expressed in the neural crest. Gremlin belongs to a novel gene family that includes the head-inducing factor Cerberus and the tumor suppressor DAN. We show that all family members are secreted proteins and that they act as BMP antagonists in embryonic explants. We also provide support for the model that Gremlin, Cerberus, and DAN block BMP signaling by binding BMPs, preventing them from interacting with their receptors. In addition, Cerberus alone blocks signaling by Activin- and Nodal-like members of the TGF beta superfamily. Therefore, we propose that Gremlin, Cerberus, and DAN control diverse processes in growth and development by selectively antagonizing the activities of different subsets of the TGF beta ligands.

  14. Tissue microarray methodology identifies complement pathway activation and dysregulation in progressive multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Loveless, Sam; Neal, James W; Howell, Owain W; Harding, Katharine E; Sarkies, Patrick; Evans, Rhian; Bevan, Ryan J; Hakobyan, Svetlana; Harris, Claire L; Robertson, Neil P; Morgan, Bryan Paul

    2017-07-14

    The complement pathway has potential contributions to both white (WM) and grey matter (GM) pathology in Multiple Sclerosis (MS). A quantitative assessment of complement involvement is lacking. Here we describe the use of Tissue MicroArray (TMA) methodology in conjunction with immunohistochemistry to investigate the localization of complement pathway proteins in progressive MS cortical GM and subcortical WM. Antibodies targeting complement proteins C1q, C3b, regulatory proteins C1 inhibitor (C1INH, complement receptor 1 (CR1), clusterin, factor H (FH) and the C5a anaphylatoxin receptor (C5aR) were utilised alongside standard markers of tissue pathology. All stained slides were digitised for quantitative analysis. We found that numbers of cells immunolabelled for HLA-DR, GFAP, C5aR, C1q and C3b were increased in WM lesions (WML) and GM lesions (GML) compared to normal appearing WM (NAWM) and GM (NAGM), respectively. The complement regulators C1INH, CR1, FH and clusterin were more abundant in WM lesions, while the number of C1q+ neurons were increased and the number of C1INH+, clusterin+, FH+ and CR1+ neurons decreased in GM lesions. The number of complement component positive cells (C1q, C3b) correlated with complement regulator expression in WM, but there was no statistical association between complement activation and regulator expression in the GM. We conclude that TMA methodology and quantitative analysis provides evidence of complement dysregulation in MS GML, including an association of the numerical density of C1q+ cells with tissue lesions. Our work confirms that complement activation and dysregulation occur in all cases of progressive MS and suggest that complement may provide potential biomarkers of the disease. © 2017 International Society of Neuropathology.

  15. Predictive models for identifying the binding activity of structurally diverse chemicals to human pregnane X receptor.

    PubMed

    Yin, Cen; Yang, Xianhai; Wei, Mengbi; Liu, Huihui

    2017-07-12

    Toxic chemicals entered into human body would undergo a series of metabolism, transport and excretion, and the key roles played in there processes were metabolizing enzymes, which was regulated by the pregnane X receptor (PXR). However, some chemicals in environment could activate or antagonize human pregnane X receptor, thereby leading to a disturbance of normal physiological systems. In this study, based on a larger number of 2724 structurally diverse chemicals, we developed qualitative classification models by the k-nearest neighbor method. Moreover, the logarithm of 20 and 50% effective concentrations (log EC 20 and log EC 50) was used to establish quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) models. With the classification model, two descriptors were enough to establish acceptable models, with the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy being larger than 0.7, highlighting a high classification performance of the models. With two QSAR models, the statistics parameters with the correlation coefficient (R (2)) of 0.702-0.749 and the cross-validation and external validation coefficient (Q (2)) of 0.643-0.712, this indicated that the models complied with the criteria proposed in previous studies, i.e., R (2) > 0.6, Q (2) > 0.5. The small root mean square error (RMSE) of 0.254-0.414 and the good consistency between observed and predicted values proved satisfactory goodness of fit, robustness, and predictive ability of the developed QSAR models. Additionally, the applicability domains were characterized by the Euclidean distance-based approach and Williams plot, and results indicated that the current models had a wide applicability domain, which especially included a few classes of environmental contaminant, those that were not included in the previous models.

  16. Assessment of the in vitro antimicrobial activity of Lactobacillus species for identifying new potential antibiotics.

    PubMed

    Dubourg, Grégory; Elsawi, Ziena; Raoult, Didier

    2015-11-01

    The bacteriocin-mediated antimicrobial properties of Lactobacillus spp. have been widely studied, leading to the use of these micro-organisms in the food industry as preservative agents against foodborne pathogens. In an era in which antibiotic resistance is becoming a public health issue, the antimicrobial activity of Lactobacillus spp. could be used for the discovery of new potential antibiotics. Thus, it is essential to have an accurate method of screening the production of antimicrobial agents by prokaryotes. Many in vitro assays have been published to date, largely concerning but not limited to Lactobacillus spp. However, these methods mainly use the spot-on-the-lawn method, which is prone to contamination during the overlay stage, with protocols using methanol vapours or the reverse side agar technique being applied to avoid such contamination. In this study, a method combining the spot-on-the-lawn and well diffusion methods was tested, permitting clear identification of inhibition zones from eight Lactobacillus spp. towards clinical isolates of 12 species (11 bacteria and 1 yeast) commonly found in human pathology. Lactobacillus plantarum CIP 106786 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus CSUR P567 exhibited the widest antimicrobial activity, whereas Lactobacillus acidophilus strain DSM 20079 was relatively inactive. In addition, the putative MIC(50) of L. rhamnosus against Proteus mirabilis was estimated at 1.1×10(9)CFU/mL using culture broth dilution. In conclusion, considering the increasing cultivable bacterial human repertoire, these findings open the way of an effective method to screen in vitro for the production of potential antimicrobial compounds.

  17. 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

  18. Mind the Noise When Identifying Computational Models of Cognition from Brain Activity.

    PubMed

    Kolossa, Antonio; Kopp, Bruno

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to analyze how measurement error affects the validity of modeling studies in computational neuroscience. A synthetic validity test was created using simulated P300 event-related potentials as an example. The model space comprised four computational models of single-trial P300 amplitude fluctuations which differed in terms of complexity and dependency. The single-trial fluctuation of simulated P300 amplitudes was computed on the basis of one of the models, at various levels of measurement error and at various numbers of data points. Bayesian model selection was performed based on exceedance probabilities. At very low numbers of data points, the least complex model generally outperformed the data-generating model. Invalid model identification also occurred at low levels of data quality and under low numbers of data points if the winning model's predictors were closely correlated with the predictors from the data-generating model. Given sufficient data quality and numbers of data points, the data-generating model could be correctly identified, even against models which were very similar to the data-generating model. Thus, a number of variables affects the validity of computational modeling studies, and data quality and numbers of data points are among the main factors relevant to the issue. Further, the nature of the model space (i.e., model complexity, model dependency) should not be neglected. This study provided quantitative results which show the importance of ensuring the validity of computational modeling via adequately prepared studies. The accomplishment of synthetic validity tests is recommended for future applications. Beyond that, we propose to render the demonstration of sufficient validity via adequate simulations mandatory to computational modeling studies.

  19. Mind the Noise When Identifying Computational Models of Cognition from Brain Activity

    PubMed Central

    Kolossa, Antonio; Kopp, Bruno

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to analyze how measurement error affects the validity of modeling studies in computational neuroscience. A synthetic validity test was created using simulated P300 event-related potentials as an example. The model space comprised four computational models of single-trial P300 amplitude fluctuations which differed in terms of complexity and dependency. The single-trial fluctuation of simulated P300 amplitudes was computed on the basis of one of the models, at various levels of measurement error and at various numbers of data points. Bayesian model selection was performed based on exceedance probabilities. At very low numbers of data points, the least complex model generally outperformed the data-generating model. Invalid model identification also occurred at low levels of data quality and under low numbers of data points if the winning model's predictors were closely correlated with the predictors from the data-generating model. Given sufficient data quality and numbers of data points, the data-generating model could be correctly identified, even against models which were very similar to the data-generating model. Thus, a number of variables affects the validity of computational modeling studies, and data quality and numbers of data points are among the main factors relevant to the issue. Further, the nature of the model space (i.e., model complexity, model dependency) should not be neglected. This study provided quantitative results which show the importance of ensuring the validity of computational modeling via adequately prepared studies. The accomplishment of synthetic validity tests is recommended for future applications. Beyond that, we propose to render the demonstration of sufficient validity via adequate simulations mandatory to computational modeling studies. PMID:28082857

  20. Thermal Field Indicator for Identifying Active Faults and its Instability From Laboratory Experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, J.; Liu, L.; Liu, P.; Ma, S.

    2007-12-01

    The relationship between the thermal filed and strain field during deformation of faults is the physical basis to clarify whether satellite infrared information and the ground temperature field can be used to study fault activity. This study attempts to discuss these problems by experiments in the laboratory. The two-direction servo-control system was used to load on the samples with compressional and extensional en echelon faults. An infrared thermal image system and a contact-type thermometer recorded synchronously variations of the bright temperature field of infrared radiation and temperature field during deformation of the rock specimens. A digital CCD camera and a soft ware based on the digital speckle correlation method (DSCM) was utilized to capture images and to analyze them, yielding processes of displacement and strain fields. The experimental result shows as follows: 1 The temperature is highest at the jog area of the compressional en echelon faults, whereas that is lowest at the extensional en echelon faults prior to failure of the jog area. The record by DSCM displays that the mean strain of the jog area is largest for the compressional en echelon faults, while that is smallest for the extensional en echelon faults. These mean that the temperature field has clear responses to the opposite stress states at the jog areas of two kinds of en echelon faults, providing an indicator for determining whether the fault segment has slid. 2 The en echelon faults experience two deformation stages from stress building up and fault propagating at the jog area to unstable sliding along the fault. Correspondingly the mechanism of heating-up is turned from strain heating into frictional heating. Three kinds of phenomena have been observed at the jog area and its vicinity during the stage of transformation. They are temperature drop, fast fluctuation of temperature, and pulses of temperature rising, respectively. Mechanism of these phenomena is discussed. 3 These

  1. Antibiotic discovery throughout the Small World Initiative: A molecular strategy to identify biosynthetic gene clusters involved in antagonistic activity.

    PubMed

    Davis, Elizabeth; Sloan, Tyler; Aurelius, Krista; Barbour, Angela; Bodey, Elijah; Clark, Brigette; Dennis, Celeste; Drown, Rachel; Fleming, Megan; Humbert, Allison; Glasgo, Elizabeth; Kerns, Trent; Lingro, Kelly; McMillin, MacKenzie; Meyer, Aaron; Pope, Breanna; Stalevicz, April; Steffen, Brittney; Steindl, Austin; Williams, Carolyn; Wimberley, Carmen; Zenas, Robert; Butela, Kristen; Wildschutte, Hans

    2017-01-22

    The emergence of bacterial pathogens resistant to all known antibiotics is a global health crisis. Adding to this problem is that major pharmaceutical companies have shifted away from antibiotic discovery due to low profitability. As a result, the pipeline of new antibiotics is essentially dry and many bacteria now resist the effects of most commonly used drugs. To address this global health concern, citizen science through the Small World Initiative (SWI) was formed in 2012. As part of SWI, students isolate bacteria from their local environments, characterize the strains, and assay for antibiotic production. During the 2015 fall semester at Bowling Green State University, students isolated 77 soil-derived bacteria and genetically characterized strains using the 16S rRNA gene, identified strains exhibiting antagonistic activity, and performed an expanded SWI workflow using transposon mutagenesis to identify a biosynthetic gene cluster involved in toxigenic compound production. We identified one mutant with loss of antagonistic activity and through subsequent whole-genome sequencing and linker-mediated PCR identified a 24.9 kb biosynthetic gene locus likely involved in inhibitory activity in that mutant. Further assessment against human pathogens demonstrated the inhibition of Bacillus cereus, Listeria monocytogenes, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in the presence of this compound, thus supporting our molecular strategy as an effective research pipeline for SWI antibiotic discovery and genetic characterization.

  2. 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

    2015-06-03

    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. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Signature Motifs Identify an Acinetobacter Cif Virulence Factor with Epoxide Hydrolase Activity*

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2014-01-01

    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

  6. Substitution scanning identifies a novel, catalytically active ibrutinib-resistant BTK cysteine 481 to threonine (C481T) variant.

    PubMed

    Hamasy, A; Wang, Q; Blomberg, K E M; Mohammad, D K; Yu, L; Vihinen, M; Berglöf, A; Smith, C I E

    2017-01-01

    Irreversible Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitors, ibrutinib and acalabrutinib have demonstrated remarkable clinical responses in multiple B-cell malignancies. Acquired resistance has been identified in a sub-population of patients in which mutations affecting BTK predominantly substitute cysteine 481 in the kinase domain for catalytically active serine, thereby ablating covalent binding of inhibitors. Activating substitutions in the BTK substrate phospholipase Cγ2 (PLCγ2) instead confers resistance independent of BTK. Herein, we generated all six possible amino acid substitutions due to single nucleotide alterations for the cysteine 481 codon, in addition to threonine, requiring two nucleotide substitutions, and performed functional analysis. Replacement by arginine, phenylalanine, tryptophan or tyrosine completely inactivated the catalytic activity, whereas substitution with glycine caused severe impairment. BTK with threonine replacement was catalytically active, similar to substitution with serine. We identify three potential ibrutinib resistance scenarios for cysteine 481 replacement: (1) Serine, being catalytically active and therefore predominating among patients. (2) Threonine, also being catalytically active, but predicted to be scarce, because two nucleotide changes are needed. (3) As BTK variants replaced with other residues are catalytically inactive, they presumably need compensatory mutations, therefore being very scarce. Glycine and tryptophan variants were not yet reported but likely also provide resistance.

  7. Substitution scanning identifies a novel, catalytically active ibrutinib-resistant BTK cysteine 481 to threonine (C481T) variant

    PubMed Central

    Hamasy, A; Wang, Q; Blomberg, K E M; Mohammad, D K; Yu, L; Vihinen, M; Berglöf, A; Smith, C I E

    2017-01-01

    Irreversible Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitors, ibrutinib and acalabrutinib have demonstrated remarkable clinical responses in multiple B-cell malignancies. Acquired resistance has been identified in a sub-population of patients in which mutations affecting BTK predominantly substitute cysteine 481 in the kinase domain for catalytically active serine, thereby ablating covalent binding of inhibitors. Activating substitutions in the BTK substrate phospholipase Cγ2 (PLCγ2) instead confers resistance independent of BTK. Herein, we generated all six possible amino acid substitutions due to single nucleotide alterations for the cysteine 481 codon, in addition to threonine, requiring two nucleotide substitutions, and performed functional analysis. Replacement by arginine, phenylalanine, tryptophan or tyrosine completely inactivated the catalytic activity, whereas substitution with glycine caused severe impairment. BTK with threonine replacement was catalytically active, similar to substitution with serine. We identify three potential ibrutinib resistance scenarios for cysteine 481 replacement: (1) Serine, being catalytically active and therefore predominating among patients. (2) Threonine, also being catalytically active, but predicted to be scarce, because two nucleotide changes are needed. (3) As BTK variants replaced with other residues are catalytically inactive, they presumably need compensatory mutations, therefore being very scarce. Glycine and tryptophan variants were not yet reported but likely also provide resistance. PMID:27282255

  8. 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

  9. Childhood primary angiitis of the central nervous system: identifying disease trajectories and early risk factors for persistently higher disease activity.

    PubMed

    Cellucci, Tania; Tyrrell, Pascal N; Sheikh, Shehla; Benseler, Susanne M

    2012-05-01

    To compare clinical, laboratory, and imaging characteristics of childhood primary angiitis of the central nervous system (PACNS) subtypes at diagnosis and during followup; to characterize disease activity trajectories in childhood PACNS subtypes; and to identify early risk factors for higher disease activity. We performed a single-center cohort study of consecutive children diagnosed as having childhood PACNS. Demographic, clinical, laboratory, and imaging data were collected at diagnosis and during standardized clinic visits. Outcome measures included disease activity measured by physician's global assessment. Descriptive statistics were used to assess characteristics of the study cohort, and longitudinal data were analyzed using linear mixed-effects regression. The study cohort consisted of 45 patients with childhood PACNS; 26 had angiography-negative childhood PACNS and 19 had angiography-positive childhood PACNS. There were 24 females, the median age at diagnosis was 9.8 years, and the median followup period was 1.8 years. Patients with angiography-negative childhood PACNS were more likely to be female and to present with seizures, cognitive dysfunction, vision abnormalities, high levels of inflammatory markers, and bilateral findings on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Motor deficits and ischemic MRI lesions were more common in angiography-positive disease. Disease activity decreased significantly after treatment in all patients. Distinct trajectories of disease activity over time were identified for both childhood PACNS subtypes. Patients with angiography-negative childhood PACNS had persistently higher disease activity. Seizures at presentation also predicted higher disease activity over time. Distinct subtypes of childhood PACNS have unique disease activity trajectories. Patients with angiography-negative disease and seizures at presentation experience higher disease activity. Early recognition of this high-risk cohort may enable the treating physician to

  10. Understanding low levels of physical activity in people with intellectual disabilities: A systematic review to identify barriers and facilitators.

    PubMed

    Bossink, L W M; van der Putten, Annette Aj; Vlaskamp, Carla

    2017-09-01

    People with intellectual disabilities (ID) undertake extremely low levels of physical activity. To enhance understanding concerning low levels of physical activity in people with ID, this study has three aims: (1) to identify barriers to and facilitators of physical activity in people with ID; (2) to examine differences in barriers and facilitators between levels of ID (mild, moderate, severe, and profound); (3) to examine differences in barriers and facilitators between various stakeholder groups. A systematic search was performed using the following databases from the year 1990: MEDLINE, ERIC, and PsycINFO. The studies included were peer reviewed, available as full text, and written in English, addressing barriers to and facilitators of physical activity in people with ID. The quality of the studies was assessed using existing critical review forms. All studies were subjected to qualitative synthesis to identify and compare barriers and facilitators. In all, 24 studies were retrieved, describing 14 personal and 23 environmental barriers and/or facilitators. The quality of the studies varied, particularly for qualitative studies. Only two studies included people with severe or profound ID. Stakeholder groups tend to identify barriers outside their own responsibility. Results reveal a broad range of barriers and facilitators, but not for people with more severe ID. Further research should also examine these factors among stakeholders responsible for providing support. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Use of the ICF in identifying factors that impact participation in physical activity/rehabilitation among people with disabilities.

    PubMed

    Rimmer, James H

    2006-09-15

    Many health professionals have expressed difficulty finding ways to keep people with disabilities engaged in community-based physical activity/rehabilitation programs. A major reason for this low adherence may be that the recommended intervention plan does not match well with the specific needs of the individual. Various personal and/or environmental factors along with the person's level of functioning can impede participation in healthful physical activity/rehabilitation. The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) can be a useful tool for identifying key factors associated with participation in community-based physical activity/rehabilitation. The ICF allows health professionals to identify the level of functioning at the body, person and societal level, as well as understand the person-environment contextual factors that may impede or enhance participation. This paper describes how the ICF can assist health professionals in identifying a broader constellation of factors when prescribing physical activity/rehabilitation programs for persons with varying levels of disability.

  12. Active gelatinase B is identified by histozymography in the cartilage resorption sites of developing long bones.

    PubMed

    Lee, E R; Murphy, G; El-Alfy, M; Davoli, M A; Lamplugh, L; Docherty, A J; Leblond, C P

    1999-07-01

    In order to determine which proteinases mediate the resorption of endochondral cartilage in the course of long bone development, a novel assay called "histozymography" has been developed. In this assay, frozen sections of tibial head from 21-day-old rats are placed for 4 hr at room temperature on light-exposed photographic emulsion (composed of silver grains embedded in gelatin). We report a localized but complete digestion of emulsion gelatin facing two tissue sites which are, therefore, presumed to contain an active proteinase. One of the sites is localized at the growth plate surface forming the epiphysis/metaphysis interface. The other consists of small patches located within the epiphysis at the edge of the marrow space. Both sites are engaged in the resorption of endochondral cartilage. In both sites, inhibitor tests have established that the involved proteinase is a gelatinase. Furthermore, the use of neutralizing antibodies against gelatinase A or B have demonstrated that only those that are specific for the latter block the reaction. That gelatinase B is present in the two sites has been confirmed by light microscopic immunohistochemistry. Finally, when immunoelectron microscopy is used for fine localization of the cartilage structures that form the epiphysis/metaphysis interface, the enzyme is detected within the 0.5-microm thick edge of the cartilage, and outside the cartilage, it is present in debris composed of type II collagen-rich fibrils in various states of digestion. It is concluded that gelatinase B attacks the edge of an endochondral cartilage and helps to solubilize the type II-collagen-rich fibrillar framework, which is then released as debris for further digestion. This final step opens the way to invasion by capillaries, thereby making possible the replacement of cartilage by bone. Dev Dyn 1999;215:190-205.

  13. Using Hydrothermal Plumes and Their Chemical Composition to Identify and Understand Hydrothermal Activity at Explorer Ridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Resing, J.; Lebon, G.; Baker, E.; Walker, S.; Nakamura, K.; Silvers, B.

    2002-12-01

    During June and July, 2002, an extensive survey of the hydrothermal systems of the Explorer Ridge was made aboard the R/V Thomas Thompson. This survey employed hydrocasts and the Autonomous Benthic Explorer (ABE) to locate and map hydrothermal vent fields. A total of 28 hydrocasts (17 verticals and 11 tow-yos) were used to search for hydrothermal activity from 49.5°N to 50.3°N on the Explorer Ridge. During the hydrocasts continuous measurements were made of conductivity, temperature, pressure, light backscatter, eH, Fe, Mn, and pH. Discrete samples were collected for total dissolved Fe and Mn, methane, pH, total CO2, and particulate matter. Most of the strong hydrothermal venting was near the Magic Mountain area of the Explorer Ridge at ~49.76° N, 130.26° W, where strong particulate backscatter signals (~0.130 NTUs) and moderate temperature anomalies (~ 0.05 °C) were detected. The particulate matter causing the backscatter was made up primarily of volatile particulate sulfur (PS) with little to no hydrothermal PFe. PS:PFe ratios exceeded 25 in the areas of most intense venting, . These PFe and PS data suggest that the hydrothermal Fe, if any, is deposited as sulfide minerals beneath the sea floor and that S is far in excess of Fe in the hydrothermal fluids. In the most intense plumes,total dissolvable Fe and Mn were between 20 and 30 nM, pH anomalies exceeded 0.025 pH units (indicating an increase of ~10uM CO2), and methane reached 16nM. These results suggest that the fluids exiting the sea floor are metal-poor and moderately gas-rich.

  14. 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

  15. 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

    2016-03-18

    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.

  16. 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

  17. Aldehyde dehydrogenase activity identifies a subpopulation of canine adipose-derived stem cells with higher differentiation potential.

    PubMed

    Itoh, Harumichi; Nishikawa, Shimpei; Haraguchi, Tomoya; Arikawa, Yu; Hiyama, Masato; Eto, Shotaro; Iseri, Toshie; Itoh, Yoshiki; Tani, Kenji; Nakaichi, Munekazu; Taura, Yasuho; Itamoto, Kazuhito

    2017-09-12

    Adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) are abundant and readily obtained, and have been studied for their clinical applicability in regenerative medicine. Some surface antigens have been identified as markers of different ADSC subpopulations in mice and humans. However, it is unclear whether functionally distinct subpopulations exist in dogs. To address this issue, we evaluated aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) activity-a widely used stem cell marker in mice and humans-by flow cytometry. Approximately 20% of bulk ADSCs showed high ALDH activity. Compared to cells with low activity (ALDH(Lo)), the high-activity (ALDH(Hi)) subpopulation exhibited a higher capacity for adipogenic and osteogenic differentiation. This is the first report of distinct ADSC subpopulations in dogs that differ in terms of adipogenic and osteogenic differentiation potential.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

    2016-05-03

    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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Synthetic Lethality Screen Identifies RPS6KA2 as Modifier of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Activity in Pancreatic Cancer12

    PubMed Central

    Milosevic, Nada; Kühnemuth, Benjamin; Mühlberg, Leonie; Ripka, Stefanie; Griesmann, Heidi; Lölkes, Carolin; Buchholz, Malte; Aust, Daniela; Pilarsky, Christian; Krug, Sebastian; Gress, Thomas; Michl, Patrick

    2013-01-01

    Pancreatic cancer is characterized by a high degree of resistance to chemotherapy. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibition using the small-molecule inhibitor erlotinib was shown to provide a small survival benefit in a subgroup of patients. To identify kinases whose inhibition acts synergistically with erlotinib, we employed a kinome-wide small-interfering RNA (siRNA)-based loss-of-function screen in the presence of erlotinib. Of 779 tested kinases, we identified several targets whose inhibition acted synergistically lethal with EGFR inhibition by erlotinib, among them the S6 kinase ribosomal protein S6 kinase 2 (RPS6KA2)/ribosomal S6 kinase 3. Activated RPS6KA2 was expressed in approximately 40% of 123 human pancreatic cancer tissues. RPS6KA2 was shown to act downstream of EGFR/RAS/mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK)/extracellular-signal regulated kinase (ERK) signaling and was activated by EGF independently of the presence of KRAS mutations. Knockdown of RPS6KA2 by siRNA led to increased apoptosis only in the presence of erlotinib, whereas RPS6KA2 activation or overexpression rescued from erlotinib- and gemcitabine-induced apoptosis. This effect was at least in part mediated by downstream activation of ribosomal protein S6. Genetic as well as pharmacological inhibition of RPS6KA2 by the inhibitor BI-D1870 acted synergistically with erlotinib. By applying this synergistic lethality screen using a kinome-wide RNA interference-library approach, we identified RPS6KA2 as potential drug target whose inhibition synergistically enhanced the effect of erlotinib on tumor cell survival. This kinase therefore represents a promising drug candidate suitable for the development of novel inhibitors for pancreatic cancer therapy. PMID:24403857

  4. 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

  5. Comparative evaluation of features and techniques for identifying activity type and estimating energy cost from accelerometer data.

    PubMed

    Kate, Rohit J; Swartz, Ann M; Welch, Whitney A; Strath, Scott J

    2016-03-01

    Wearable accelerometers can be used to objectively assess physical activity. However, the accuracy of this assessment depends on the underlying method used to process the time series data obtained from accelerometers. Several methods have been proposed that use this data to identify the type of physical activity and estimate its energy cost. Most of the newer methods employ some machine learning technique along with suitable features to represent the time series data. This paper experimentally compares several of these techniques and features on a large dataset of 146 subjects doing eight different physical activities wearing an accelerometer on the hip. Besides features based on statistics, distance based features and simple discrete features straight from the time series were also evaluated. On the physical activity type identification task, the results show that using more features significantly improve results. Choice of machine learning technique was also found to be important. However, on the energy cost estimation task, choice of features and machine learning technique were found to be less influential. On that task, separate energy cost estimation models trained specifically for each type of physical activity were found to be more accurate than a single model trained for all types of physical activities.

  6. Comparative evaluation of features and techniques for identifying activity type and estimating energy cost from accelerometer data

    PubMed Central

    Kate, Rohit J.; Swartz, Ann M.; Welch, Whitney A.; Strath, Scott J.

    2016-01-01

    Wearable accelerometers can be used to objectively assess physical activity. However, the accuracy of this assessment depends on the underlying method used to process the time series data obtained from accelerometers. Several methods have been proposed that use this data to identify the type of physical activity and estimate its energy cost. Most of the newer methods employ some machine learning technique along with suitable features to represent the time series data. This paper experimentally compares several of these techniques and features on a large dataset of 146 subjects doing eight different physical activities wearing an accelerometer on the hip. Besides features based on statistics, distance based features and simple discrete features straight from the time series were also evaluated. On the physical activity type identification task, the results show that using more features significantly improve results. Choice of machine learning technique was also found to be important. However, on the energy cost estimation task, choice of features and machine learning technique were found to be less influential. On that task, separate energy cost estimation models trained specifically for each type of physical activity were found to be more accurate than a single model trained for all types of physical activities. PMID:26862679

  7. Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS)-Activated ATM-Dependent Phosphorylation of Cytoplasmic Substrates Identified by Large-Scale Phosphoproteomics Screen.

    PubMed

    Kozlov, Sergei V; Waardenberg, Ashley J; Engholm-Keller, Kasper; Arthur, Jonathan W; Graham, Mark E; Lavin, Martin

    2016-03-01

    Ataxia-telangiectasia, mutated (ATM) protein plays a central role in phosphorylating a network of proteins in response to DNA damage. These proteins function in signaling pathways designed to maintain the stability of the genome and minimize the risk of disease by controlling cell cycle checkpoints, initiating DNA repair, and regulating gene expression. ATM kinase can be activated by a variety of stimuli, including oxidative stress. Here, we confirmed activation of cytoplasmic ATM by autophosphorylation at multiple sites. Then we employed a global quantitative phosphoproteomics approach to identify cytoplasmic proteins altered in their phosphorylation state in control and ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T) cells in response to oxidative damage. We demonstrated that ATM was activated by oxidative damage in the cytoplasm as well as in the nucleus and identified a total of 9,833 phosphorylation sites, including 6,686 high-confidence sites mapping to 2,536 unique proteins. A total of 62 differentially phosphorylated peptides were identified; of these, 43 were phosphorylated in control but not in A-T cells, and 19 varied in their level of phosphorylation. Motif enrichment analysis of phosphopeptides revealed that consensus ATM serine glutamine sites were overrepresented. When considering phosphorylation events, only observed in control cells (not observed in A-T cells), with predicted ATM sites phosphoSerine/phosphoThreonine glutamine, we narrowed this list to 11 candidate ATM-dependent cytoplasmic proteins. Two of these 11 were previously described as ATM substrates (HMGA1 and UIMCI/RAP80), another five were identified in a whole cell extract phosphoproteomic screens, and the remaining four proteins had not been identified previously in DNA damage response screens. We validated the phosphorylation of three of these proteins (oxidative stress responsive 1 (OSR1), HDGF, and ccdc82) as ATM dependent after H2O2 exposure, and another protein (S100A11) demonstrated ATM

  8. Identifying profiles of actual and perceived motor competence among adolescents: associations with motivation, physical activity, and sports participation.

    PubMed

    De Meester, An; Maes, Jolien; Stodden, David; Cardon, Greet; Goodway, Jacqueline; Lenoir, Matthieu; Haerens, Leen

    2016-11-01

    The present study identified adolescents' motor competence (MC)-based profiles (e.g., high actual and low perceived MC), and accordingly investigated differences in motivation for physical education (PE), physical activity (PA) levels, and sports participation between profiles by using regression analyses. Actual MC was measured with the Körperkoordinationstest für Kinder. Adolescents (n = 215; 66.0% boys; mean age = 13.64 ± .58 years) completed validated questionnaires to assess perceived MC, motivation for PE, PA-levels, and sports participation. Actual and perceived MC were only moderately correlated and cluster analyses identified four groups. Two groups of overestimators (low - overestimation, average - overestimation) were identified (51%), who particularly displayed better motivation for PE when compared to their peers who accurately estimated themselves (low - accurate, average - accurate). Moreover, adolescents with low actual MC, but high perceived MC were significantly more active than adolescents with low actual MC who accurately estimated themselves. Results pointed in the same direction for organised sports participation. Underestimators were not found in the current sample, which is positive as underestimation might negatively influence adolescents' motivation to achieve and persist in PA and sports. In conclusion, results emphasise that developing perceived MC, especially among adolescents with low levels of actual MC, seems crucial to stimulate motivation for PE, and engagement in PA and sports.

  9. Mapping of transcription factor motifs in active chromatin identifies IRF5 as key regulator in classical Hodgkin lymphoma.

    PubMed

    Kreher, Stephan; Bouhlel, M Amine; Cauchy, Pierre; Lamprecht, Björn; Li, Shuang; Grau, Michael; Hummel, Franziska; Köchert, Karl; Anagnostopoulos, Ioannis; Jöhrens, Korinna; Hummel, Michael; Hiscott, John; Wenzel, Sören-Sebastian; Lenz, Peter; Schneider, Markus; Küppers, Ralf; Scheidereit, Claus; Giefing, Maciej; Siebert, Reiner; Rajewsky, Klaus; Lenz, Georg; Cockerill, Peter N; Janz, Martin; Dörken, Bernd; Bonifer, Constanze; Mathas, Stephan

    2014-10-21

    Deregulated transcription factor (TF) activities are commonly observed in hematopoietic malignancies. Understanding tumorigenesis therefore requires determining the function and hierarchical role of individual TFs. To identify TFs central to lymphomagenesis, we identified lymphoma type-specific accessible chromatin by global mapping of DNaseI hypersensitive sites and analyzed enriched TF-binding motifs in these regions. Applying this unbiased approach to classical Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), a common B-cell-derived lymphoma with a complex pattern of deregulated TFs, we discovered interferon regulatory factor (IRF) sites among the top enriched motifs. High-level expression of the proinflammatory TF IRF5 was specific to HL cells and crucial for their survival. Furthermore, IRF5 initiated a regulatory cascade in human non-Hodgkin B-cell lines and primary murine B cells by inducing the TF AP-1 and cooperating with NF-κB to activate essential characteristic features of HL. Our strategy efficiently identified a lymphoma type-specific key regulator and uncovered a tumor promoting role of IRF5.

  10. Mapping of transcription factor motifs in active chromatin identifies IRF5 as key regulator in classical Hodgkin lymphoma

    PubMed Central

    Kreher, Stephan; Bouhlel, M. Amine; Cauchy, Pierre; Lamprecht, Björn; Li, Shuang; Grau, Michael; Hummel, Franziska; Köchert, Karl; Anagnostopoulos, Ioannis; Jöhrens, Korinna; Hummel, Michael; Hiscott, John; Wenzel, Sören-Sebastian; Lenz, Peter; Schneider, Markus; Küppers, Ralf; Scheidereit, Claus; Giefing, Maciej; Siebert, Reiner; Rajewsky, Klaus; Lenz, Georg; Cockerill, Peter N.; Janz, Martin; Dörken, Bernd; Bonifer, Constanze; Mathas, Stephan

    2014-01-01

    Deregulated transcription factor (TF) activities are commonly observed in hematopoietic malignancies. Understanding tumorigenesis therefore requires determining the function and hierarchical role of individual TFs. To identify TFs central to lymphomagenesis, we identified lymphoma type-specific accessible chromatin by global mapping of DNaseI hypersensitive sites and analyzed enriched TF-binding motifs in these regions. Applying this unbiased approach to classical Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), a common B-cell–derived lymphoma with a complex pattern of deregulated TFs, we discovered interferon regulatory factor (IRF) sites among the top enriched motifs. High-level expression of the proinflammatory TF IRF5 was specific to HL cells and crucial for their survival. Furthermore, IRF5 initiated a regulatory cascade in human non-Hodgkin B-cell lines and primary murine B cells by inducing the TF AP-1 and cooperating with NF-κB to activate essential characteristic features of HL. Our strategy efficiently identified a lymphoma type-specific key regulator and uncovered a tumor promoting role of IRF5. PMID:25288773

  11. A targeted siRNA screen identifies regulators of Cdc42 activity at the natural killer cell immunological synapse.

    PubMed

    Carlin, Leo M; Evans, Rachel; Milewicz, Hanna; Fernandes, Luis; Matthews, Daniel R; Perani, Michela; Levitt, James; Keppler, Melanie D; Monypenny, James; Coolen, Ton; Barber, Paul R; Vojnovic, Borivoj; Suhling, Klaus; Fraternali, Franca; Ameer-Beg, Simon; Parker, Peter J; Thomas, N Shaun B; Ng, Tony

    2011-11-29

    Natural killer (NK) cells kill tumor cells and virally infected cells, and an effective NK cell response requires processes, such as motility, recognition, and directional secretion, that rely on cytoskeletal rearrangement. The Rho guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase) Cdc42 coordinates cytoskeletal reorganization downstream of many receptors. The Rho-related GTPase from plants 1 (ROP1) exhibits oscillatory activation behavior at the apical plasma membrane of growing pollen tubes; however, a similar oscillation in Rho GTPase activity has so far not been demonstrated in mammalian cells. We hypothesized that oscillations in Cdc42 activity might occur within NK cells as they interact with target cells. Through fluorescence lifetime imaging of a Cdc42 biosensor, we observed that in live NK cells forming immunological synapses with target cells, Cdc42 activity oscillated after exhibiting an initial increase. We used protein-protein interaction networks and structural databases to identify candidate proteins that controlled Cdc42 activity, leading to the design of a targeted short interfering RNA screen. The guanine nucleotide exchange factors RhoGEF6 and RhoGEF7 were necessary for Cdc42 activation within the NK cell immunological synapse. In addition, the kinase Akt and the p85α subunit of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) were required for Cdc42 activation, the periodicity of the oscillation in Cdc42 activity, and the subsequent polarization of cytotoxic vesicles toward target cells. Given that PI3Ks are targets of tumor therapies, our findings suggest the need to monitor innate immune function during the course of targeted therapy against these enzymes.

  12. Identifying New Drug Targets for Potent Phospholipase D Inhibitors: Combining Sequence Alignment, Molecular Docking, and Enzyme Activity/Binding Assays.

    PubMed

    Djakpa, Helene; Kulkarni, Aditya; Barrows-Murphy, Scheneque; Miller, Greg; Zhou, Weihong; Cho, Hyejin; Török, Béla; Stieglitz, Kimberly

    2016-05-01

    Phospholipase D enzymes cleave phospholipid substrates generating choline and phosphatidic acid. Phospholipase D from Streptomyces chromofuscus is a non-HKD (histidine, lysine, and aspartic acid) phospholipase D as the enzyme is more similar to members of the diverse family of metallo-phosphodiesterase/phosphatase enzymes than phospholipase D enzymes with active site HKD repeats. A highly efficient library of phospholipase D inhibitors based on 1,3-disubstituted-4-amino-pyrazolopyrimidine core structure was utilized to evaluate the inhibition of purified S. chromofuscus phospholipase D. The molecules exhibited inhibition of phospholipase D activity (IC50 ) in the nanomolar range with monomeric substrate diC4 PC and micromolar range with phospholipid micelles and vesicles. Binding studies with vesicle substrate and phospholipase D strongly indicate that these inhibitors directly block enzyme vesicle binding. Following these compelling results as a starting point, sequence searches and alignments with S. chromofuscus phospholipase D have identified potential new drug targets. Using AutoDock, inhibitors were docked into the enzymes selected from sequence searches and alignments (when 3D co-ordinates were available) and results analyzed to develop next-generation inhibitors for new targets. In vitro enzyme activity assays with several human phosphatases demonstrated that the predictive protocol was accurate. The strategy of combining sequence comparison, docking, and high-throughput screening assays has helped to identify new drug targets and provided some insight into how to make potential inhibitors more specific to desired targets.

  13. The Animadora Project: identifying factors related to the promotion of physical activity among Mexican Americans with diabetes.

    PubMed

    Ingram, Maia; Ruiz, Maricruz; Mayorga, Maria Theresa; Rosales, Cecilia

    2009-01-01

    There is a dearth of information about factors related to physical activity among Mexican-Americans with diabetes. Self-efficacy and social support are associated with physical activity; however, little is known about their roles within different cultural groups. Focus groups were used to identify factors that motivated walking. Two Mexican-American communities located in Tucson, Arizona. Individuals who attended diabetes education. A community-based provider organized walking groups with people who previously attended diabetes classes. Walkers participated in focus groups exploring themes related to their experiences. Self-efficacy, social support, and collective efficacy. Grounded theory was used to analyze focus group results using two rounds of analysis; the first identified references to self-efficacy and social support, and the second added collective efficacy as a theoretic basis for walking. Among 43 eligible participants, 20 participated in focus groups. Social support was expressed as commitment and companionship. Walkers demonstrated a high level of self-efficacy for walking. Development of group identity/social cohesion was also a motivator to walk. Collective efficacy emerged as an applicable theoretic model encompassing these themes and their interrelationship. Collective efficacy, or the belief that the group can improve their lives through collective effort, is a viable theoretic construct in the development of physical activity interventions targeting Mexican-Americans with diabetes.

  14. The Animadora Project: Identifying factors related to the promotion of physical activity among Mexican Americans with diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Ingram, Maia; Ruis, Maricruz; Mayorga, Maria Theresa; Rosales, Cecilia

    2015-01-01

    Purpose There is a dearth of information about factors related to physical activity among Mexican Americans with diabetes. Self efficacy and social support are associated with physical activity, however little is known about their role within different cultural groups. Design Focus groups were used to identify factors that motivate walking. Setting Two Mexican American communities located in Tucson, Arizona. Subjects Individuals who attended diabetes education. Intervention A community-based provider organized walking groups with people who previously attended diabetes classes. Walkers participated in focus groups exploring themes related to their experience. Measures Self efficacy, social support, and collective efficacy. Grounded theory was used to analyze focus group results using two rounds of analysis; the first identifying references to self efficacy and social support and the second adding collective efficacy as a theoretical basis for walking. Results Among 43 eligible participants, 20 participated in focus groups. Social support was expressed as commitment and companionship. Walkers demonstrated a high level of self efficacy for walking. Development of group identity/social cohesion was also a motivator to walk. Collective efficacy emerged as an applicable theoretical model encompassing these themes and their interrelationship. Conclusion Collective efficacy, or the belief that the group can improve their lives through collective effort, is a viable theoretical construct in the development of physical activity interventions targeting Mexican Americans with diabetes. PMID:19601479

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Tartrazine and sunset yellow are xenoestrogens in a new screening assay to identify modulators of human oestrogen receptor transcriptional activity.

    PubMed

    Axon, Andrew; May, Felicity E B; Gaughan, Luke E; Williams, Faith M; Blain, Peter G; Wright, Matthew C

    2012-08-16

    Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is a cholestatic liver disease of unknown cause that occurs most frequently in post-menopausal women. Since the female sex hormone oestrogen can be cholestatic, we hypothesised that PBC may be triggered in part by chronic exposure to xenoestrogens (which may be more active on a background of low endogenous oestrogen levels seen in post-menopausal women). A reporter gene construct employing a synthetic oestrogen response element predicted to specifically interact with oestrogen receptors (ER) was constructed. Co-transfection of this reporter into an ER null cell line with a variety of nuclear receptor expression constructs indicated that the reporter gene was trans-activated by ERα and ERβ, but not by the androgen, thyroid, progesterone, glucocorticoid or vitamin D receptors. Chemicals linked to PBC were then screened for xenoestrogen activity in the human ERα-positive MCF-7 breast cancer cell line. Using this assay, the coal-derived food and cosmetic colourings--sunset yellow and tartrazine--were identified as novel human ERα activators, activating the human ER with an EC(50%) concentration of 220 and 160 nM, respectively.

  19. Constitutive activation of the shh-ptc1 pathway by a patched1 mutation identified in BCC.

    PubMed

    Barnes, Elizabeth A; Heidtman, Keely J; Donoghue, Daniel J

    2005-01-27

    Mutations in the transmembrane receptor patched1 (ptc1) are responsible for the majority of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) cases. Many of these mutations, including ptc1-Q688X, result in premature truncation of the ptc1 protein. ptc1-Q688X has been identified in patients with both BCC and nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome, an inheritable disorder causing a predisposition to cancer susceptibility. Here we describe a mechanism by which ptc1-Q688X causes constitutive cellular signaling. Cells expressing ptc1-Q688X demonstrate an increase in cell cycle progression and induce cell transformation. The ptc1-Q688X mutant enhances Gli1 activity, a downstream reporter of sonic hedgehog (shh)-ptc1 signaling, independent of shh stimulation. In contrast to wild-type ptc1, ptc1-Q688X fails to associate with endogenous cyclin B1. Expression of nuclear-targeted cyclin B1 derivatives promotes Gli1-dependent transcription, which correlates temporally with cyclin B1-cdk1 kinase activity. Coexpression of wild-type ptc1 with a nuclear-targeted cyclin B1 derivative, mutated to mimic constitutive phosphorylation, dramatically decreases Gli1 activity. In addition, the coexpression of this constitutively nuclear cyclin B1 derivative with ptc1-Q688X substantially enhances foci formation. These studies therefore describe a molecular mechanism for the aberrant activity of ptc1-Q688X that includes the premature activation of the transcription factor Gli1.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Development of a screen to identify selective small molecules active against patient-derived metastatic and chemoresistant breast cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Introduction High failure rates of new investigational drugs have impaired the development of breast cancer therapies. One challenge is that excellent activity in preclinical models, such as established cancer cell lines, does not always translate into improved clinical outcomes for patients. New preclinical models, which better replicate clinically-relevant attributes of cancer, such as chemoresistance, metastasis and cellular heterogeneity, may identify novel anti-cancer mechanisms and increase the success of drug development. Methods Metastatic breast cancer cells were obtained from pleural effusions of consented patients whose disease had progressed. Normal primary human breast cells were collected from a reduction mammoplasty and immortalized with human telomerase. The patient-derived cells were characterized to determine their cellular heterogeneity and proliferation rate by flow cytometry, while dose response curves were performed for chemotherapies to assess resistance. A screen was developed to measure the differential activity of small molecules on the growth and survival of patient-derived normal breast and metastatic, chemoresistant tumor cells to identify selective anti-cancer compounds. Several hits were identified and validated in dose response assays. One compound, C-6, was further characterized for its effect on cell cycle and cell death in cancer cells. Results Patient-derived cells were found to be more heterogeneous, with reduced proliferation rates and enhanced resistance to chemotherapy compared to established cell lines. A screen was subsequently developed that utilized both tumor and normal patient-derived cells. Several compounds were identified, which selectively targeted tumor cells, but not normal cells. Compound C-6 was found to inhibit proliferation and induce cell death in tumor cells via a caspase-independent mechanism. Conclusions Short-term culture of patient-derived cells retained more clinically relevant features of breast cancer

  4. Highly Active Nickel Catalysts for C-H Functionalization Identified through Analysis of Off-Cycle Intermediates.

    PubMed

    Nett, Alex J; Zhao, Wanxiang; Zimmerman, Paul M; Montgomery, John

    2015-06-24

    An inhibitory role of 1,5-cyclooctadiene (COD) in nickel-catalyzed C-H functionalization processes was identified and studied. The bound COD participates in C-H activation by capturing the hydride, leading to a stable off-cycle π-allyl complex that greatly diminished overall catalytic efficiency. Computational studies elucidated the origin of the effect and enabled identification of a 1,5-hexadiene-derived pre-catalyst that avoids the off-cycle intermediate and provides catalytic efficiencies that are superior to those of catalysts derived from Ni(COD)2.

  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. Deep Phospho- and Phosphotyrosine Proteomics Identified Active Kinases and Phosphorylation Networks in Colorectal Cancer Cell Lines Resistant to Cetuximab.

    PubMed

    Abe, Yuichi; Nagano, Maiko; Kuga, Takahisa; Tada, Asa; Isoyama, Junko; Adachi, Jun; Tomonaga, Takeshi

    2017-09-05

    Abnormality in cellular phosphorylation is closely related to oncogenesis. Thus, kinase inhibitors, especially tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), have been developed as anti-cancer drugs. Genomic analyses have been used in research on TKI sensitivity, but some types of TKI resistance have been unclassifiable by genomic data. Therefore, global proteomic analysis, especially phosphotyrosine (pY) proteomic analysis, could contribute to predict TKI sensitivity and overcome TKI-resistant cancer. In this study, we conducted deep phosphoproteomic analysis to select active kinase candidates in colorectal cancer intrinsically resistant to Cetuximab. The deep phosphoproteomic data were obtained by performing immobilized metal-ion affinity chromatography-based phosphoproteomic and highly sensitive pY proteomic analyses. Comparison between sensitive (LIM1215 and DLD1) and resistant cell lines (HCT116 and HT29) revealed active kinase candidates in the latter, most of which were identified by pY proteomic analysis. Remarkably, genomic mutations were not assigned in most of these kinases. Phosphorylation-based signaling network analysis of the active kinase candidates indicated that SRC-PRKCD cascade was constitutively activated in HCT116 cells. Treatment with an SRC inhibitor significantly inhibited proliferation of HCT116 cells. In summary, our results based on deep phosphoproteomic data led us to propose novel therapeutic targets against cetuximab resistance and showed the potential for anti-cancer therapy.

  7. The ATP hydrolyzing transcription activator phage shock protein F of Escherichia coli: identifying a surface that binds sigma 54.

    PubMed

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

    2003-03-04

    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 sigma(54)-RNA polymerase. Closed promoter complexes formed by the sigma(54)-RNA polymerase are substrates for the action of PspF. By using a protein fragmentation approach, we identify here at least one sigma(54)-binding surface in the PspF AAA(+) domain. Results suggest that ATP hydrolysis by PspF is coupled to the exposure of at least one sigma(54)-binding surface. This nucleotide hydrolysis-dependent presentation of a substrate binding surface can explain why complexes that form between sigma(54) and PspF are transient and could be part of a mechanism used generally by other AAA(+) proteins to regulate activity.

  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. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26803470

  12. 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.

  13. Identifying Grade/Stage-Related Active Modules in Human Co-regulatory Networks: A Case Study for Breast Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Chenchen; Li, Wan; Wang, Hong; Zhang, Liangcai; Jia, Xu; Miao, Zhengqiang; Qu, Xiaoli; Li, Weiguo; He, Weiming

    2012-01-01

    Abstract The histological grade/stage of tumor is widely acknowledged as an important clinical prognostic factor for cancer progression. Recent experimental studies have explored the following two topics at the molecular level: (1) whether or not gene expression levels vary by different degrees among different tumor grades/stages, and (2) whether some well-defined modules could distinguish one grade/stage from another. In this article, using breast cancer as an example, we investigated this topic and identified grade/stage-related active modules under the framework of a weighted network integrated from a human protein interaction network and a transcriptional regulatory network. Our results enabled us to draw the conclusion that the gene expression profile could provide more clues about tumor grade, but reveals less evidence about tumor stage. In addition, we found that our modular biomarker method had additional advantages in identifying some tumor grade/stage-related genes with slightly altered expression. According to our case study, the framework we introduced could be used for other cancers to identify their modules during grading or staging. PMID:23215806

  14. Genome-Wide CRISPR Screen Identifies Regulators of Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase as Suppressors of Liver Tumors in Mice.

    PubMed

    Song, Chun-Qing; Li, Yingxiang; Mou, Haiwei; Moore, Jill; Park, Angela; Pomyen, Yotsawat; Hough, Soren; Kennedy, Zachary; Fischer, Andrew; Yin, Hao; Anderson, Daniel G; Conte, Darryl; Zender, Lars; Wang, Xin Wei; Thorgeirsson, Snorri; Weng, Zhiping; Xue, Wen

    2017-04-01

    suppressor genes not previously associated with liver cancer (Nf1, Plxnb1, Flrt2, and B9d1). CRISPR-mediated knockout of Nf1, a negative regulator of RAS, accelerated liver tumor formation in mice. Loss of Nf1 or activation of RAS up-regulated the liver progenitor cell markers HMGA2 and SOX9. RAS pathway inhibitors suppressed the activation of the Hmga2 and Sox9 genes that resulted from loss of Nf1 or oncogenic activation of RAS. Knockdown of HMGA2 delayed formation of xenograft tumors from cells that expressed oncogenic RAS. In human HCCs, low levels of NF1 messenger RNA or high levels of HMGA2 messenger RNA were associated with shorter patient survival time. Liver cancer cells with inactivation of Plxnb1, Flrt2, and B9d1 formed more tumors in mice and had increased levels of mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphorylation. Using a CRISPR-based strategy, we identified Nf1, Plxnb1, Flrt2, and B9d1 as suppressors of liver tumor formation. We validated the observation that RAS signaling, via mitogen-activated protein kinase, contributes to formation of liver tumors in mice. We associated decreased levels of NF1 and increased levels of its downstream protein HMGA2 with survival times of patients with HCC. Strategies to inhibit or reduce HMGA2 might be developed to treat patients with liver cancer. Copyright © 2017 AGA Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. DRUG-REPOSITIONING SCREENING IDENTIFIED PIPERLONGUMINE AS A DIRECT STAT3 INHIBITOR WITH POTENT ACTIVITY AGAINST BREAST CANCER

    PubMed Central

    Bharadwaj, Uddalak; Eckols, T. Kris; Kolosov, Mikhail; Kasembeli, Moses M.; Adam, Abel; Torres, David; Zhang, Xiaomei; Dobrolecki, Lacey E.; Wei, Wei; Lewis, Michael T.; Dave, Bhuvanesh; Chang, Jenny C.; Landis, Melissa D.; Creighton, Chad J.; Mancini, Michael A.; Tweardy, David J.

    2014-01-01

    Signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) 3 regulates many cardinal features of cancer including cancer cell growth, apoptosis resistance, DNA damage response, metastasis, immune escape, tumor angiogenesis, the Warburg effect, and oncogene addiction and has been validated as a drug target for cancer therapy. Several strategies have been employed to identify agents that target Stat3 in breast cancer but none has yet entered into clinical use. We used a high-throughput fluorescence microscopy search strategy to identify compounds in a drug-repositioning library (Prestwick library) that block ligand-induced nuclear translocation of Stat3 and identified piperlongumine (PL), a natural product isolated from the fruit of the pepper Piper longum. Piperlongumine inhibited Stat3 nuclear translocation, inhibited ligand-induced and constitutive Stat3 phosphorylation, and modulated expression of multiple Stat3-regulated genes. Surface plasmon resonance assay revealed that piperlongumine directly inhibited binding of Stat3 to its phosphotyrosyl (pY) peptide ligand. Phosphoprotein antibody array analysis revealed that PL does not modulate kinases known to activate Stat3 such as JAKs, Src kinase family members, or RTKs. PL inhibited anchorage-independent and anchorage-dependent growth of multiple breast cancer cell lines having increased pStat3 or total Stat3, and induced apoptosis. PL also inhibited mammosphere formation by tumor cells from patient derived xenografts (PDX). PL’s anti-tumorigenic function was causally linked to its Stat3-inhibitory effect. PL was non-toxic in mice up to a dose of 30 mg/Kg/day for 14 days and caused regression of breast cancer cell line xenografts in nude mice. Thus, PL represents a promising new agent for rapid entry into the clinic for use in treating breast cancer, as well as other cancers in which Stat3 plays a role. PMID:24681959

  16. Drug-repositioning screening identified piperlongumine as a direct STAT3 inhibitor with potent activity against breast cancer.

    PubMed

    Bharadwaj, U; Eckols, T K; Kolosov, M; Kasembeli, M M; Adam, A; Torres, D; Zhang, X; Dobrolecki, L E; Wei, W; Lewis, M T; Dave, B; Chang, J C; Landis, M D; Creighton, C J; Mancini, M A; Tweardy, D J

    2015-03-12

    Signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) 3 regulates many cardinal features of cancer including cancer cell growth, apoptosis resistance, DNA damage response, metastasis, immune escape, tumor angiogenesis, the Warburg effect and oncogene addiction and has been validated as a drug target for cancer therapy. Several strategies have been used to identify agents that target Stat3 in breast cancer but none has yet entered into clinical use. We used a high-throughput fluorescence microscopy search strategy to identify compounds in a drug-repositioning library (Prestwick library) that block ligand-induced nuclear translocation of Stat3 and identified piperlongumine (PL), a natural product isolated from the fruit of the pepper Piper longum. PL inhibited Stat3 nuclear translocation, inhibited ligand-induced and constitutive Stat3 phosphorylation, and modulated expression of multiple Stat3-regulated genes. Surface plasmon resonance assay revealed that PL directly inhibited binding of Stat3 to its phosphotyrosyl peptide ligand. Phosphoprotein antibody array analysis revealed that PL does not modulate kinases known to activate Stat3 such as Janus kinases, Src kinase family members or receptor tyrosine kinases. PL inhibited anchorage-independent and anchorage-dependent growth of multiple breast cancer cell lines having increased pStat3 or total Stat3, and induced apoptosis. PL also inhibited mammosphere formation by tumor cells from patient-derived xenografts. PL's antitumorigenic function was causally linked to its Stat3-inhibitory effect. PL was non-toxic in mice up to a dose of 30 mg/kg/day for 14 days and caused regression of breast cancer cell line xenografts in nude mice. Thus, PL represents a promising new agent for rapid entry into the clinic for use in treating breast cancer, as well as other cancers in which Stat3 has a role.

  17. 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.

  18. Dietary Uptake of Cu Sorbed to Hydrous Iron Oxide is Linked to Cellular Toxicity and Feeding Inhibition in a Benthic Grazer.

    PubMed

    Cain, Daniel J; Croteau, Marie-Noële; Fuller, Christopher C; Ringwood, Amy H

    2016-02-02

    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 10(4) 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Anti-inflammatory activity of aqueous extract and bioactive compounds identified from the fruits of Hancornia speciosa Gomes (Apocynaceae).

    PubMed

    Torres-Rêgo, Manoela; Furtado, Allanny Alves; Bitencourt, Mariana Angélica Oliveira; Lima, Maira Conceição Jerônimo de Souza; Andrade, Rafael Caetano Lisbôa Castro de; Azevedo, Eduardo Pereira de; Soares, Thaciane da Cunha; Tomaz, José Carlos; Lopes, Norberto Peporine; da Silva-Júnior, Arnóbio Antônio; Zucolotto, Silvana Maria; Fernandes-Pedrosa, Matheus de Freitas

    2016-08-05

    Hancornia speciosa Gomes (Apocynaceae), popularly known as "mangabeira," has been used in folk medicine to treat inflammatory disorders, hypertension, dermatitis, diabetes, liver diseases and gastric disorders. Although the ethnobotany indicates that its fruits can be used for the treatment of ulcers and inflammatory disorders, only few studies have been conducted to prove such biological activities. This study investigated the anti-inflammatory properties of the aqueous extract of the fruits of H. speciosa Gomes as well as its bioactive compounds using in vivo experimental models. The bioactive compounds were identified by High Performance Liquid Chromatography coupled with diode array detector (HPLC-DAD) and Liquid Chromatography coupled with Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS). The anti-inflammatory properties were investigated through in vivo tests, which comprised xylene-induced ear edema, carrageenan-induced peritonitis and zymosan-induced air pouch. The levels of IL-1β, IL-6, IL-12 and TNF-α were determined using ELISA. Rutin and chlorogenic acid were identified in the extract as the main secondary metabolites. In addition, the extract as well as rutin and chlorogenic acid significantly inhibited the xilol-induced ear edema and also reduced the cell migration in both carrageenan-induced peritonitis and zymosan-induced air pouch models. Reduced levels of cytokines were also observed. This is the first study that demonstrated the anti-inflammatory activity of the extract of H. speciosa fruits against different inflammatory agents in animal models, suggesting that its bioactive molecules, especially rutin and chlorogenic acid are, at least in part, responsible for such activity. These findings support the widespread use of Hancornia speciosa in popular medicine and demonstrate that its aqueous extract has therapeutical potential for the development of herbal drugs with anti-inflammatory properties.

  1. De Novo Sequencing of Hypericum perforatum Transcriptome to Identify Potential Genes Involved in the Biosynthesis of Active Metabolites

    PubMed Central

    He, Miao; Wang, Ying; Hua, Wenping; Zhang, Yuan; Wang, Zhezhi

    2012-01-01

    Background Hypericum perforatum L. (St. John’s wort) is a medicinal plant with pharmacological properties that are antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-cancer, and antibacterial. Its major active metabolites are hypericins, hyperforins, and melatonin. However, little genetic information is available for this species, especially that concerning the biosynthetic pathways for active ingredients. Methodology/Principal Findings Using de novo transcriptome analysis, we obtained 59,184 unigenes covering the entire life cycle of these plants. In all, 40,813 unigenes (68.86%) were annotated and 2,359 were assigned to secondary metabolic pathways. Among them, 260 unigenes are involved in the production of hypericin, hyperforin, and melatonin. Another 2,291 unigenes are classified as potential Type III polyketide synthase. Our BlastX search against the AGRIS database reveals 1,772 unigenes that are homologous to 47 known Arabidopsis transcription factor families. Further analysis shows that 10.61% (6,277) of these unigenes contain 7,643 SSRs. Conclusion We have identified a set of putative genes involved in several secondary metabolism pathways, especially those related to the synthesis of its active ingredients. Our results will serve as an important platform for public information about gene expression, genomics, and functional genomics in H. perforatum. PMID:22860059

  2. De novo sequencing of Hypericum perforatum transcriptome to identify potential genes involved in the biosynthesis of active metabolites.

    PubMed

    He, Miao; Wang, Ying; Hua, Wenping; Zhang, Yuan; Wang, Zhezhi

    2012-01-01

    Hypericum perforatum L. (St. John's wort) is a medicinal plant with pharmacological properties that are antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-cancer, and antibacterial. Its major active metabolites are hypericins, hyperforins, and melatonin. However, little genetic information is available for this species, especially that concerning the biosynthetic pathways for active ingredients. Using de novo transcriptome analysis, we obtained 59,184 unigenes covering the entire life cycle of these plants. In all, 40,813 unigenes (68.86%) were annotated and 2,359 were assigned to secondary metabolic pathways. Among them, 260 unigenes are involved in the production of hypericin, hyperforin, and melatonin. Another 2,291 unigenes are classified as potential Type III polyketide synthase. Our BlastX search against the AGRIS database reveals 1,772 unigenes that are homologous to 47 known Arabidopsis transcription factor families. Further analysis shows that 10.61% (6,277) of these unigenes contain 7,643 SSRs. We have identified a set of putative genes involved in several secondary metabolism pathways, especially those related to the synthesis of its active ingredients. Our results will serve as an important platform for public information about gene expression, genomics, and functional genomics in H. perforatum.

  3. Activation-tagging in indica rice identifies a novel transcription factor subunit, NF-YC13 associated with salt tolerance.

    PubMed

    Manimaran, P; Venkata Reddy, S; Moin, Mazahar; Raghurami Reddy, M; Yugandhar, Poli; Mohanraj, S S; Balachandran, S M; Kirti, P B

    2017-08-24

    Nuclear factor Y (NF-Y) is a heterotrimeric transcription factor with three distinct NF-YA, NF-YB and NF-YC subunits. It plays important roles in plant growth, development and stress responses. We have reported earlier on development of gain-of-function mutants in an indica rice cultivar, BPT-5204. Now, we screened 927 seeds from 70 Ac/Ds plants for salinity tolerance and identified one activation-tagged salt tolerant DS plant (DS-16, T3 generation) that showed enhanced expression of a novel 'histone-like transcription factor' belonging to rice NF-Y subfamily C and was named as OsNF-YC13. Localization studies using GFP-fusion showed that the protein is localized to nucleus and cytoplasm. Real time expression analysis confirmed upregulation of transcript levels of OsNF-YC13 during salt treatment in a tissue specific manner. Biochemical and physiological characterization of the DS-16 revealed enhanced K(+)/Na(+) ratio, proline content, chlorophyll content, enzymes with antioxidant activity etc. DS-16 also showed transcriptional up-regulation of genes that are involved in salinity tolerance. In-silico analysis of OsNF-YC13 promoter region evidenced the presence of various key stress-responsive cis-regulatory elements. OsNF-YC13 subunit alone does not appear to have the capacity for direct transcription activation, but appears to interact with the B- subunits in the process of transactivation.

  4. Free-energy computations identify the mutations required to confer trans-sialidase activity into Trypanosoma rangeli sialidase.

    PubMed

    Pierdominici-Sottile, Gustavo; Palma, Juliana; Roitberg, Adrian E

    2014-03-01

    Trypanosoma rangeli's sialidase (TrSA) and Trypanosoma cruzi's trans-sialidase (TcTS) are members of the glycoside hydrolase family 33 (GH-33). They share 70% of sequence identity and their crystallographic Cα RMSD is 0.59 Å. Despite these similarities they catalyze different reactions. TcTS transfers sialic acid between glycoconjugates while TrSA can only cleave sialic acid from sialyl-glyconjugates. Significant effort has been invested into unraveling the differences between TrSA and TcTS, and into conferring TrSA with trans-sialidase activity through appropriate point mutations. Recently, we calculated the free-energy change for the formation of the covalent intermediate (CI) in TcTS and performed an energy decomposition analysis of that process. In this article we present a similar study for the formation of the CI in TrSA, as well as in a quintuple mutant (TrSA5mut), which has faint trans-sialidase activity. The comparison of these new results with those previously obtained for TcTS allowed identifying five extra mutations to be introduced in TrSA5mut that should create a mutant (TrSA10mut ) with high trans-sialidase activity.

  5. A three-dimensional human model of the fibroblast activation that accompanies bronchopulmonary dysplasia identifies Notch-mediated pathophysiology.

    PubMed

    Sucre, Jennifer M S; Wilkinson, Dan; Vijayaraj, Preethi; Paul, Manash; Dunn, Bruce; Alva-Ornelas, Jackelyn A; Gomperts, Brigitte N

    2016-05-15

    Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a leading complication of premature birth and occurs primarily in infants delivered during the saccular stage of lung development. Histopathology shows decreased alveolarization and a pattern of fibroblast proliferation and differentiation to the myofibroblast phenotype. Little is known about the molecular pathways and cellular mechanisms that define BPD pathophysiology and progression. We have developed a novel three-dimensional human model of the fibroblast activation associated with BPD, and using this model we have identified the Notch pathway as a key driver of fibroblast activation and proliferation in response to changes in oxygen. Fetal lung fibroblasts were cultured on sodium alginate beads to generate lung organoids. After exposure to alternating hypoxia and hyperoxia, the organoids developed a phenotypic response characterized by increased α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) expression and other genes known to be upregulated in BPD and also demonstrated increased expression of downstream effectors of the Notch pathway. Inhibition of Notch with a γ-secretase inhibitor prevented the development of the pattern of cellular proliferation and α-SMA expression in our model. Analysis of human autopsy tissue from the lungs of infants who expired with BPD demonstrated evidence of Notch activation within fibrotic areas of the alveolar septae, suggesting that Notch may be a key driver of BPD pathophysiology.

  6. Semiochemicals released from five bacteria identified from animal wounds infested by primary screwworms and their effects on fly behavioral activity.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Junwei J; Chaudhury, Muhammad F; Durso, Lisa M; Sagel, Agustin; Skoda, Steven R; Jelvez-Serra, Nadia S; Santanab, Euzebio Goulart

    2017-01-01

    The Primary screwworm, Cochliomyia hominivorax (Coquerel), is a serious pest feeding on living flesh of any warm-blooded animal, including humans. It was eradicated from the United States in the early 1980s using the sterile male technique. However, it was recently detected in populations of wild deer and pets in the Florida Keys of the US. For monitoring purposes, screwworm flies are normally trapped using attractant bait with liver. However, there has been little effort to develop an efficient monitoring system for detection of screwworm flies using a specific synthetic attractant blend. Several studies have shown that odors from animal wound fluids attract screwworm adults, particularly gravid females. Bacteria associated with animal wounds have been identified that act as a major source for this attraction. To understand what volatiles attract screwworms we inoculated bovine blood with previously identified bacteria. We identified volatile chemicals released from the inoculated blood and other selected media over time and assessed the effect of those chemicals on behavioral activity of adult screwworm flies. A total of 7 volatile compounds were collected from bacteria incubated in either broth or blood using solid-phase microextraction, and their chemical structures were identified by their characteristic mass spectrum fragments and confirmed by retention times in comparison to those of synthetic standards via gas chromatograph combined mass spectrometry analyses. Five major volatiles including dimethyl disulfide, dimethyl trisulfide, phenol, p-cresol and indole were detected from a mixture of 5 bacteria incubated in blood. The ratios of volatiles released differed among different incubation media, time and individual bacteria. A synthetic mixture containing the five compounds was demonstrated to be attractive to adult screwworm flies both in laboratory assays and field trapping trials. The results obtained from this study may assist in developing an efficient

  7. Phenanthrene Metabolism in Smokers: Use of a Two-Step Diagnostic Plot Approach to Identify Subjects with Extensive Metabolic Activation

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jing; Zhong, Yan; Carmella, Steven G.; Hochalter, J. Bradley; Rauch, Diane; Oliver, Andrew; Jensen, Joni; Hatsukami, Dorothy K.; Upadhyaya, Pramod; Hecht, Stephen S.

    2012-01-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in cigarette smoke are among the most likely causes of lung cancer. PAHs require metabolic activation to initiate the carcinogenic process. Phenanthrene (Phe), a noncarcinogenic PAH, was used as a surrogate of benzo[α]pyrene and related PAHs to study the metabolic activation of PAHs in smokers. A dose of 10 μg of deuterated Phe ([D10]Phe) was administered to 25 healthy smokers in a crossover design, either as an oral solution or by smoking cigarettes containing [D10]Phe. Phe was deuterated to avoid interference from environmental Phe. Intensive blood and urine sampling was performed to quantitate the formation of deuterated r-1,t-2,3,c-4-tetrahydroxy-1,2,3,4-tetrahydrophenanthrene ([D10]PheT), a biomarker of the diol epoxide metabolic activation pathway. In both the oral and smoking arms approximately 6% of the dose was metabolically converted to diol epoxides, with a large intersubject variability in the formation of [D10]PheT observed. Two diagnostic plots were developed to identify subjects with large systemic exposure and significant lung contribution to metabolic activation. The combination of the two plots led to the identification of subjects with substantial local exposure. These subjects produced, in one single pass of [D10]Phe through the lung, a [D10]PheT exposure equivalent to the systemic exposure of a typical subject and may be an indicator of lung cancer susceptibility. Polymorphisms in PAH-metabolizing genes of the 25 subjects were also investigated. The integration of phenotyping and genotyping results indicated that GSTM1-null subjects produced approximately 2-fold more [D10]PheT than did GSTM1-positive subjects. PMID:22674470

  8. Molecular and Functional Analyses of a Maize Autoactive NB-LRR Protein Identify Precise Structural Requirements for Activity

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Guan-Feng; Ji, Jiabing; EI-Kasmi, Farid; Dangl, Jeffery L.; Johal, Guri; Balint-Kurti, Peter J.

    2015-01-01

    Plant disease resistance is often mediated by nucleotide binding-leucine rich repeat (NLR) proteins which remain auto-inhibited until recognition of specific pathogen-derived molecules causes their activation, triggering a rapid, localized cell death called a hypersensitive response (HR). Three domains are recognized in one of the major classes of NLR proteins: a coiled-coil (CC), a nucleotide binding (NB-ARC) and a leucine rich repeat (LRR) domains. The maize NLR gene Rp1-D21 derives from an intergenic recombination event between two NLR genes, Rp1-D and Rp1-dp2 and confers an autoactive HR. We report systematic structural and functional analyses of Rp1 proteins in maize and N. benthamiana to characterize the molecular mechanism of NLR activation/auto-inhibition. We derive a model comprising the following three main features: Rp1 proteins appear to self-associate to become competent for activity. The CC domain is signaling-competent and is sufficient to induce HR. This can be suppressed by the NB-ARC domain through direct interaction. In autoactive proteins, the interaction of the LRR domain with the NB-ARC domain causes de-repression and thus disrupts the inhibition of HR. Further, we identify specific amino acids and combinations thereof that are important for the auto-inhibition/activity of Rp1 proteins. We also provide evidence for the function of MHD2, a previously uncharacterized, though widely conserved NLR motif. This work reports several novel insights into the precise structural requirement for NLR function and informs efforts towards utilizing these proteins for engineering disease resistance. PMID:25719542

  9. Identifying and characterising PPE7 (Rv0354c) high activity binding peptides and their role in inhibiting cell invasion.

    PubMed

    Díaz, Diana P; Ocampo, Marisol; Varela, Yahson; Curtidor, Hernando; Patarroyo, Manuel A; Patarroyo, Manuel E

    2017-02-15

    This study was aimed at characterising the PPE7 protein from the PE/PPE protein family. The presence and transcription of the rv0354c gene in the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex was determined and the subcellular localisation of the PPE7 protein on mycobacterial membrane was confirmed by immunoelectron microscope. Two peptides were identified as having high binding activity (HABPs) and were tested in vitro regarding the invasion of Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv. HABP 39224 inhibited invasion in A549 epithelial cells and U937 macrophages by more than 50%, whilst HABP 39225 inhibited invasion by 40% in U937 cells. HABP 39224, located in the protein's C-terminal region, has a completely conserved amino acid sequence in M. tuberculosis complex species and could be selected as a base peptide when designing a subunit-based, anti-tuberculosis vaccine.

  10. An Antifungal Combination Matrix Identifies a Rich Pool of Adjuvant Molecules that Enhance Drug Activity Against Diverse Fungal Pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Robbins, Nicole; Spitzer, Michaela; Yu, Tennison; Cerone, Robert P.; Averette, Anna K.; Bahn, Yong-Sun; Heitman, Joseph; Sheppard, Donald C.; Tyers, Mike; Wright, Gerard D.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY There is an urgent need to identify new treatments for fungal infections. By combining sub-lethal concentrations of the known antifungals fluconazole, caspofungin, amphotericin B, terbinafine, benomyl and cyprodinil with ~3600 compounds in diverse fungal species, we generated a deep reservoir of chemical-chemical interactions termed the Antifungal Combinations Matrix (ACM). Follow-up susceptibility testing against a fluconazole resistant isolate of C. albicans unveiled ACM combinations capable of potentiating fluconazole in this clinical strain. We used chemical genetics to elucidate the mode-of-action of the antimycobacterial drug clofazimine, a compound with unreported antifungal activity that synergized with several antifungals. Clofazimine induces a cell membrane stress for which the Pkc1 signaling pathway is required for tolerance. Further tests against additional fungal pathogens, including Aspergillus fumigatus, highlighted that clofazimine exhibits efficacy as a combination agent against multiple fungi. Thus, the ACM is a rich reservoir of chemical combinations with therapeutic potential against diverse fungal pathogens. PMID:26549450

  11. 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.

  12. Conserved valproic-acid-induced lipid droplet formation in Dictyostelium and human hepatocytes identifies structurally active compounds.

    PubMed

    Elphick, Lucy M; Pawolleck, Nadine; Guschina, Irina A; Chaieb, Leila; Eikel, Daniel; Nau, Heinz; Harwood, John L; Plant, Nick J; Williams, Robin S B

    2012-03-01

    Lipid droplet formation and subsequent steatosis (the abnormal retention of lipids within a cell) has been reported to contribute to hepatotoxicity and is an adverse effect of many pharmacological agents including the antiepileptic drug valproic acid (VPA). In this study, we have developed a simple model system (Dictyostelium discoideum) to investigate the effects of VPA and related compounds in lipid droplet formation. In mammalian hepatocytes, VPA increases lipid droplet accumulation over a 24-hour period, giving rise to liver cell damage, and we show a similar effect in Dictyostelium following 30 minutes of VPA treatment. Using (3)H-labelled polyunsaturated (arachidonic) or saturated (palmitic) fatty acids, we shown that VPA treatment of Dictyostelium gives rise to an increased accumulation of both types of fatty acids in phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine and non-polar lipids in this time period, with a similar trend observed in human hepatocytes (Huh7 cells) labelled with [(3)H]arachidonic acid. In addition, pharmacological inhibition of β-oxidation in Dictyostelium phenocopies fatty acid accumulation, in agreement with data reported in mammalian systems. Using Dictyostelium, we then screened a range of VPA-related compounds to identify those with high and low lipid-accumulation potential, and validated these activities for effects on lipid droplet formation by using human hepatocytes. Structure-activity relationships for these VPA-related compounds suggest that lipid accumulation is independent of VPA-catalysed teratogenicity and inositol depletion. These results suggest that Dictyostelium could provide both a novel model system for the analysis of lipid droplet formation in human hepatocytes and a rapid method for identifying VPA-related compounds that show liver toxicology.

  13. Linking Transcriptional Changes over Time in Stimulated Dendritic Cells to Identify Gene Networks Activated during the Innate Immune Response

    PubMed Central

    Patil, Ashwini; Kumagai, Yutaro; Liang, Kuo-ching; Suzuki, Yutaka; Nakai, Kenta

    2013-01-01

    The innate immune response is primarily mediated by the Toll-like receptors functioning through the MyD88-dependent and TRIF-dependent pathways. Despite being widely studied, it is not yet completely understood and systems-level analyses have been lacking. In this study, we identified a high-probability network of genes activated during the innate immune response using a novel approach to analyze time-course gene expression profiles of activated immune cells in combination with a large gene regulatory and protein-protein interaction network. We classified the immune response into three consecutive time-dependent stages and identified the most probable paths between genes showing a significant change in expression at each stage. The resultant network contained several novel and known regulators of the innate immune response, many of which did not show any observable change in expression at the sampled time points. The response network shows the dominance of genes from specific functional classes during different stages of the immune response. It also suggests a role for the protein phosphatase 2a catalytic subunit α in the regulation of the immunoproteasome during the late phase of the response. In order to clarify the differences between the MyD88-dependent and TRIF-dependent pathways in the innate immune response, time-course gene expression profiles from MyD88-knockout and TRIF-knockout dendritic cells were analyzed. Their response networks suggest the dominance of the MyD88-dependent pathway in the innate immune response, and an association of the circadian regulators and immunoproteasomal degradation with the TRIF-dependent pathway. The response network presented here provides the most probable associations between genes expressed in the early and the late phases of the innate immune response, while taking into account the intermediate regulators. We propose that the method described here can also be used in the identification of time-dependent gene sub

  14. Linking transcriptional changes over time in stimulated dendritic cells to identify gene networks activated during the innate immune response.

    PubMed

    Patil, Ashwini; Kumagai, Yutaro; Liang, Kuo-Ching; Suzuki, Yutaka; Nakai, Kenta

    2013-01-01

    The innate immune response is primarily mediated by the Toll-like receptors functioning through the MyD88-dependent and TRIF-dependent pathways. Despite being widely studied, it is not yet completely understood and systems-level analyses have been lacking. In this study, we identified a high-probability network of genes activated during the innate immune response using a novel approach to analyze time-course gene expression profiles of activated immune cells in combination with a large gene regulatory and protein-protein interaction network. We classified the immune response into three consecutive time-dependent stages and identified the most probable paths between genes showing a significant change in expression at each stage. The resultant network contained several novel and known regulators of the innate immune response, many of which did not show any observable change in expression at the sampled time points. The response network shows the dominance of genes from specific functional classes during different stages of the immune response. It also suggests a role for the protein phosphatase 2a catalytic subunit α in the regulation of the immunoproteasome during the late phase of the response. In order to clarify the differences between the MyD88-dependent and TRIF-dependent pathways in the innate immune response, time-course gene expression profiles from MyD88-knockout and TRIF-knockout dendritic cells were analyzed. Their response networks suggest the dominance of the MyD88-dependent pathway in the innate immune response, and an association of the circadian regulators and immunoproteasomal degradation with the TRIF-dependent pathway. The response network presented here provides the most probable associations between genes expressed in the early and the late phases of the innate immune response, while taking into account the intermediate regulators. We propose that the method described here can also be used in the identification of time-dependent gene sub

  15. Transcript and protein profiling identifies signaling, growth arrest, apoptosis, and NF-κB survival signatures following GNRH receptor activation

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Colette; Sims, Andrew H; Morgan, Kevin; Harrison, Beth; Muir, Morwenna; Bai, Jianing; Faratian, Dana; Millar, Robert P; Langdon, Simon P

    2013-01-01

    GNRH significantly inhibits proliferation of a proportion of cancer cell lines by activating GNRH receptor (GNRHR)-G protein signaling. Therefore, manipulation of GNRHR signaling may have an under-utilized role in treating certain breast and ovarian cancers. However, the precise signaling pathways necessary for the effect and the features of cellular responses remain poorly defined. We used transcriptomic and proteomic profiling approaches to characterize the effects of GNRHR activation in sensitive cells (HEK293-GNRHR, SCL60) in vitro and in vivo, compared to unresponsive HEK293. Analyses of gene expression demonstrated a dynamic response to the GNRH superagonist Triptorelin. Early and mid-phase changes (0.5–1.0 h) comprised mainly transcription factors. Later changes (8–24 h) included a GNRH target gene, CGA, and up- or downregulation of transcripts encoding signaling and cell division machinery. Pathway analysis identified altered MAPK and cell cycle pathways, consistent with occurrence of G2/M arrest and apoptosis. Nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) pathway gene transcripts were differentially expressed between control and Triptorelin-treated SCL60 cultures. Reverse-phase protein and phospho-proteomic array analyses profiled responses in cultured cells and SCL60 xenografts in vivo during Triptorelin anti-proliferation. Increased phosphorylated NF-κB (p65) occurred in SCL60 in vitro, and p-NF-κB and IκBϵ were higher in treated xenografts than controls after 4 days Triptorelin. NF-κB inhibition enhanced the anti-proliferative effect of Triptorelin in SCL60 cultures. This study reveals details of pathways interacting with intense GNRHR signaling, identifies potential anti-proliferative target genes, and implicates the NF-κB survival pathway as a node for enhancing GNRH agonist-induced anti-proliferation. PMID:23202794

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-03-15

    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. - Highlights: • Cre recombinase viral fusion assay screens cell-free or cell–cell entry inhibitors. • This Gag-iCre based assay is specific for the entry step of HIV replication. • Screened a library of known pharmacologic compounds for HIV fusion antagonists. • Many top hits were previously noted as HIV inhibitors, but here are classified as entry antagonists. Many top hits were previously noted as HIV inhibitors, but not as entry antagonists. • The assay is compatible with pseudotyping with HIV and heterologous viruses.

  17. Conserved valproic-acid-induced lipid droplet formation in Dictyostelium and human hepatocytes identifies structurally active compounds

    PubMed Central

    Elphick, Lucy M.; Pawolleck, Nadine; Guschina, Irina A.; Chaieb, Leila; Eikel, Daniel; Nau, Heinz; Harwood, John L.; Plant, Nick J.; Williams, Robin S. B.

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY Lipid droplet formation and subsequent steatosis (the abnormal retention of lipids within a cell) has been reported to contribute to hepatotoxicity and is an adverse effect of many pharmacological agents including the antiepileptic drug valproic acid (VPA). In this study, we have developed a simple model system (Dictyostelium discoideum) to investigate the effects of VPA and related compounds in lipid droplet formation. In mammalian hepatocytes, VPA increases lipid droplet accumulation over a 24-hour period, giving rise to liver cell damage, and we show a similar effect in Dictyostelium following 30 minutes of VPA treatment. Using 3H-labelled polyunsaturated (arachidonic) or saturated (palmitic) fatty acids, we shown that VPA treatment of Dictyostelium gives rise to an increased accumulation of both types of fatty acids in phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine and non-polar lipids in this time period, with a similar trend observed in human hepatocytes (Huh7 cells) labelled with [3H]arachidonic acid. In addition, pharmacological inhibition of β-oxidation in Dictyostelium phenocopies fatty acid accumulation, in agreement with data reported in mammalian systems. Using Dictyostelium, we then screened a range of VPA-related compounds to identify those with high and low lipid-accumulation potential, and validated these activities for effects on lipid droplet formation by using human hepatocytes. Structure-activity relationships for these VPA-related compounds suggest that lipid accumulation is independent of VPA-catalysed teratogenicity and inositol depletion. These results suggest that Dictyostelium could provide both a novel model system for the analysis of lipid droplet formation in human hepatocytes and a rapid method for identifying VPA-related compounds that show liver toxicology. PMID:22003123

  18. TCR repertoire sequencing identifies synovial Treg cell clonotypes in the bloodstream during active inflammation in human arthritis

    PubMed Central

    Spreafico, Roberto; Consolaro, Alessandro; Leong, Jing Yao; Chua, Camillus; Massa, Margherita; Saidin, Suzan; Magni-Manzoni, Silvia; Arkachaisri, Thaschawee; Wallace, Carol A; Gattorno, Marco; Martini, Alberto; Lovell, Daniel J; Albani, Salvatore

    2017-01-01

    Objectives The imbalance between effector and regulatory T (Treg) cells is crucial in the pathogenesis of autoimmune arthritis. Immune responses are often investigated in the blood because of its accessibility, but circulating lymphocytes are not representative of those found in inflamed tissues. This disconnect hinders our understanding of the mechanisms underlying disease. Our goal was to identify Treg cells implicated in autoimmunity at the inflamed joints, and also readily detectable in the blood upon recirculation. Methods We compared Treg cells of patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis responding or not to therapy by using: (i) T cell receptor (TCR) sequencing, to identify clonotypes shared between blood and synovial fluid; (ii) FOXP3 Treg cell-specific demethylated region DNA methylation assays, to investigate their stability and (iii) flow cytometry and suppression assays to probe their tolerogenic functions. Results We found a subset of synovial Treg cells that recirculated into the bloodstream of patients with juvenile idiopathic and adult rheumatoid arthritis. These inflammation-associated (ia)Treg cells, but not other blood Treg cells, expanded during active disease and proliferated in response to their cognate antigens. Despite the typical inflammatory-skewed balance of immune mechanisms in arthritis, iaTreg cells were stably committed to the regulatory lineage and fully suppressive. A fraction of iaTreg clonotypes were in common with pathogenic effector T cells. Conclusions Using an innovative antigen-agnostic approach, we uncovered a population of bona fide synovial Treg cells readily accessible from the blood and selectively expanding during active disease, paving the way to non-invasive diagnostics and better understanding of the pathogenesis of autoimmunity. PMID:27311837

  19. 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

  20. Use of Microarray Datasets to generate Caco-2-dedicated Networks and to identify Reporter Genes of Specific Pathway Activity.

    PubMed

    Venkatasubramanian, Prashanna Balaji; Toydemir, Gamze; de Wit, Nicole; Saccenti, Edoardo; Martins Dos Santos, Vitor A P; van Baarlen, Peter; Wells, Jerry M; Suarez-Diez, Maria; Mes, Jurriaan J

    2017-07-28

    Intestinal epithelial cells, like Caco-2, are commonly used to study the interaction between food, other luminal factors and the host, often supported by microarray analysis to study the changes in gene expression as a result of the exposure. However, no compiled dataset for Caco-2 has ever been initiated and Caco-2-dedicated gene expression networks are barely available. Here, 341 Caco-2-specific microarray samples were collected from public databases and from in-house experiments pertaining to Caco-2 cells exposed to pathogens, probiotics and several food compounds. Using these datasets, a gene functional association network specific for Caco-2 was generated containing 8937 nodes 129711 edges. Two in silico methods, a modified version of biclustering and the new Differential Expression Correlation Analysis, were developed to identify Caco-2-specific gene targets within a pathway of interest. These methods were subsequently applied to the AhR and Nrf2 signalling pathways and altered expression of the predicted target genes was validated by qPCR in Caco-2 cells exposed to coffee extracts, known to activate both AhR and Nrf2 pathways. The datasets and in silico method(s) to identify and predict responsive target genes can be used to more efficiently design experiments to study Caco-2/intestinal epithelial-relevant biological processes.

  1. Linkage disequilibrium mapping identifies a 390 kb region associated with CYP2D6 poor drug metabolising activity.

    PubMed

    Hosking, L K; Boyd, P R; Xu, C F; Nissum, M; Cantone, K; Purvis, I J; Khakhar, R; Barnes, M R; Liberwirth, U; Hagen-Mann, K; Ehm, M G; Riley, J H

    2002-01-01

    The cytochrome p450 enzyme, CYP2D6, metabolises approximately 20% of marketed drugs. CYP2D6 multiple variants are associated with altered enzyme activities. Genotyping 1018 Caucasians for CYP2D6 polymorphisms (G1846A, delT1707, delA2549 and A2935C), known to result in the recessive CYP2D6 poor drug metaboliser (PM) phenotype, identified 41 individuals with predicted PM phenotype. These 41 individuals were classified as 'cases'. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) mapping within an 880 kb region flanking CYP2D6, were identified to evaluate potential association between genetic variation and the CYP2D6 PM phenotype. The 41 PM cases and 977 controls were genotyped and analysed for 27 SNPs. Associations were observed across a 390 kb region between 14 SNPs and the PM phenotype (P values from 6.20 x 10(-4) to 4.54 x 10(-35)). Haplotype analysis revealed more significant levels of association (P = 3.54 x 10(-56)). Strong (D' > 0.7) linkage disequilibrium (LD) between SNPs was observed across the same 390 kb region associated with the CYP2D6 phenotype. The observed phenotype:genotype association reached genome-wide levels of significance, and supports the strategy for potential application of LD mapping and whole genome association scans to pharmacogenetic studies.

  2. Using a behaviour change techniques taxonomy to identify active ingredients within trials of implementation interventions for diabetes care.

    PubMed

    Presseau, Justin; Ivers, Noah M; Newham, James J; Knittle, Keegan; Danko, Kristin J; Grimshaw, Jeremy M

    2015-04-23

    Methodological guidelines for intervention reporting emphasise describing intervention content in detail. Despite this, systematic reviews of quality improvement (QI) implementation interventions continue to be limited by a lack of clarity and detail regarding the intervention content being evaluated. We aimed to apply the recently developed Behaviour Change Techniques Taxonomy version 1 (BCTTv1) to trials of implementation interventions for managing diabetes to assess the capacity and utility of this taxonomy for characterising active ingredients. Three psychologists independently coded a random sample of 23 trials of healthcare system, provider- and/or patient-focused implementation interventions from a systematic review that included 142 such studies. Intervention content was coded using the BCTTv1, which describes 93 behaviour change techniques (BCTs) grouped within 16 categories. We supplemented the generic coding instructions within the BCTTv1 with decision rules and examples from this literature. Less than a quarter of possible BCTs within the BCTTv1 were identified. For implementation interventions targeting providers, the most commonly identified BCTs included the following: adding objects to the environment, prompts/cues, instruction on how to perform the behaviour, credible source, goal setting (outcome), feedback on outcome of behaviour, and social support (practical). For implementation interventions also targeting patients, the most commonly identified BCTs included the following: prompts/cues, instruction on how to perform the behaviour, information about health consequences, restructuring the social environment, adding objects to the environment, social support (practical), and goal setting (behaviour). The BCTTv1 mapped well onto implementation interventions directly targeting clinicians and patients and could also be used to examine the impact of system-level interventions on clinician and patient behaviour. The BCTTv1 can be used to characterise

  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. Activity-guided purification identifies lupeol, a pentacyclic triterpene, as a therapeutic agent multiple pathogenic factors of acne.

    PubMed

    Kwon, Hyuck Hoon; Yoon, Ji Young; Park, Seon Yong; Min, Seonguk; Kim, Yong-Il; Park, Ji Yong; Lee, Yun-Sang; Thiboutot, Diane M; Suh, Dae Hun

    2015-06-01

    Acne vulgaris is a nearly universal cutaneous disease characterized by multifactorial pathogenic processes. Because current acne medications have various side effects, investigating new pharmacologically active molecules is important for treating acne. As natural products generally provide various classes of relatively safe compounds with medicinal potentials, we performed activity-guided purification after a series of screenings from the extracts of five medicinal plants to explore alternative acne medications. Lupeol, a pentacyclic triterpene, from the hexane extract of Solanum melongena L. (SM) was identified after instrumental analysis. Lupeol targeted most of the major pathogenic features of acne with desired physicochemical traits. It strongly suppressed lipogenesis by modulating the IGF-1R/phosphatidylinositide 3 kinase (PI3K)/Akt/sterol response element-binding protein-1 (SREBP-1) signaling pathway in SEB-1 sebocytes, and reduced inflammation by suppressing the NF-κB pathway in SEB-1 sebocytes and HaCaT keratinocytes. Lupeol exhibited a marginal effect on cell viability and may have modulated dyskeratosis of the epidermis. Subsequently, histopathological analysis of human patients' acne tissues after applying lupeol for 4 weeks demonstrated that lupeol markedly attenuated the levels of both the number of infiltrated cells and major pathogenic proteins examined in vitro around comedones or sebaceous glands, providing solid evidence for suggested therapeutic mechanisms. These results demonstrate the clinical feasibility of applying lupeol for the treatment of acne.

  5. Bactericidal activity identified in 2S Albumin from sesame seeds and in silico studies of structure-function relations.

    PubMed

    Maria-Neto, Simone; Honorato, Rodrigo V; Costa, Fábio T; Almeida, Renato G; Amaro, Daniel S; Oliveira, José T A; Vasconcelos, Ilka M; Franco, Octávio L

    2011-06-01

    Pathogenic bacteria constitute an important cause of hospital-acquired infections. However, the misuse of available bactericidal agents has led to the appearance of antibiotic-resistant strains. Thus, efforts to seek new antimicrobials with different action mechanisms would have an enormous impact. Here, a novel antimicrobial protein (SiAMP2) belonging to the 2S albumin family was isolated from Sesamum indicum kernels and evaluated against several bacteria and fungi. Furthermore, in silico analysis was conducted in order to identify conserved residues through other 2S albumin antimicrobial proteins (2S-AMPs). SiAMP2 specifically inhibited Klebsiella sp. Specific regions in the molecule surface where cationic (RR/RRRK) and hydrophobic (MEYWPR) residues are exposed and conserved were proposed as being involved in antimicrobial activity. This study reinforces the hypothesis that plant storage proteins might also play as pathogen protection providing an insight into the mechanism of action for this novel 2S-AMP and evolutionary relations between antimicrobial activity and 2S albumins.

  6. Managing Challenging Behaviors of Dementia in Veterans: Identifying and Changing Activators and Consequences Using STAR-VA.

    PubMed

    Curyto, Kim J; McCurry, Sue M; Luci, Katherine; Karlin, Bradley E; Teri, Linda; Karel, Michele J

    2017-02-01

    One of the most challenging clinical issues for long-term care staff is the management of dementia-related behavioral symptoms. STAR-VA is an interdisciplinary intervention for managing challenging behaviors of Veterans with dementia in Community Living Centers (CLCs) within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The goals of the current article are to delineate categories of challenging behaviors found in CLCs, the context in which behaviors occurred, and the interventions used by CLC clinical teams when implementing STAR-VA. In 2013, 17 CLC teams completed STAR-VA training, enrolling 71 Veteran participants. Four independent raters identified common assessment and intervention themes for six behavior categories, coding activators, consequences, goal behaviors, and care plans for each category. Successful care plans included staff changes in communication approaches, incorporation of pleasant events into care, and individualized environmental modifications. Findings illustrate the range of interventions that CLC teams may apply as a result of systematic behavioral assessment informing an understanding of activators and consequences of dementia-related behaviors. [Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 43(2), 33-43.].

  7. Multiplex image-based autophagy RNAi screening identifies SMCR8 as ULK1 kinase activity and gene expression regulator

    PubMed Central

    Jung, Jennifer; Nayak, Arnab; Schaeffer, Véronique; Starzetz, Tatjana; Kirsch, Achim K; Müller, Stefan; Dikic, Ivan; Mittelbronn, Michel; Behrends, Christian

    2017-01-01

    Autophagy is an intracellular recycling and degradation pathway that depends on membrane trafficking. Rab GTPases are central for autophagy but their regulation especially through the activity of Rab GEFs remains largely elusive. We employed a RNAi screen simultaneously monitoring different populations of autophagosomes and identified 34 out of 186 Rab GTPase, GAP and GEF family members as potential autophagy regulators, amongst them SMCR8. SMCR8 uses overlapping binding regions to associate with C9ORF72 or with a C9ORF72-ULK1 kinase complex holo-assembly, which function in maturation and formation of autophagosomes, respectively. While focusing on the role of SMCR8 during autophagy initiation, we found that kinase activity and gene expression of ULK1 are increased upon SMCR8 depletion. The latter phenotype involved association of SMCR8 with the ULK1 gene locus. Global mRNA expression analysis revealed that SMCR8 regulates transcription of several other autophagy genes including WIPI2. Collectively, we established SMCR8 as multifaceted negative autophagy regulator. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.23063.001 PMID:28195531

  8. A bioassay-guided fractionation system to identify endogenous small molecules that activate plasma membrane H+-ATPase activity in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Han, Xiuli; Yang, Yongqing; Wu, Yujiao; Liu, Xiaohui; Lei, Xiaoguang; Guo, Yan

    2017-05-17

    Plasma membrane (PM) H+-ATPase is essential for plant growth and development. Various environmental stimuli regulate its activity, a process that involves many protein cofactors. However, whether endogenous small molecules play a role in this regulation remains unknown. Here, we describe a bio-guided isolation method to identify endogenous small molecules that regulate PM H+-ATPase activity. We obtained crude extracts from Arabidopsis seedlings with or without salt treatment and then purified them into fractions based on polarity and molecular mass by repeated column chromatography. By evaluating the effect of each fraction on PM H+-ATPase activity, we found that fractions containing the endogenous, free unsaturated fatty acids oleic acid (C18:1), linoleic acid (C18:2), and linolenic acid (C18:3) extracted from salt-treated seedlings stimulate PM H+-ATPase activity. These results were further confirmed by the addition of exogenous C18:1, C18:2, or C18:3 in the activity assay. The ssi2 mutant, with reduced levels of C18:1, C18:2, and C18:3, displayed reduced PM H+-ATPase activity. Furthermore, C18:1, C18:2, and C18:3 directly bound to the C-terminus of the PM H+-ATPase AHA2. Collectively, our results demonstrate that the binding of free unsaturated fatty acids to the C-terminus of PM H+-ATPase is required for its activation under salt stress. The bio-guided isolation model described in this study could enable the identification of new endogenous small molecules that modulate essential protein functions, as well as signal transduction, in plants. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology.

  9. 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

    2015-01-09

    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.

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

    Cleland, Claire L; Hunter, Ruth F; Tully, Mark A; Scott, David; Kee, Frank; Donnelly, Michael; Prior, Lindsay; Cupples, Margaret E

    2014-05-23

    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. 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. 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' were perceived as important factors

  12. 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

  13. Re‐constructing nutritional history of Serengeti wildebeest from stable isotopes in tail hair: seasonal starvation patterns in an obligate grazer

    PubMed Central

    Rysava, K.; McGill, R. A. R.; Matthiopoulos, J.

    2016-01-01

    Rationale Nutritional bottlenecks often limit the abundance of animal populations and alter individual behaviours; however, establishing animal condition over extended periods of time using non‐invasive techniques has been a major limitation in population ecology. We test if the sequential measurement of δ15N values in a continually growing tissue, such as hair, can be used as a natural bio‐logger akin to tree rings or ice cores to provide insights into nutritional stress. Methods Nitrogen stable isotope ratios were measured by continuous‐flow isotope‐ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) from 20 sequential segments along the tail hairs of 15 migratory wildebeest. Generalized Linear Models were used to test for variation between concurrent segments of hair from the same individual, and to compare the δ15N values of starved and non‐starved animals. Correlations between δ15N values in the hair and periods of above‐average energy demand during the annual cycle were tested using Generalized Additive Mixed Models. Results The time series of nitrogen isotope ratios in the tail hair are comparable between strands from the same individual. The most likely explanation for the pattern of 15N enrichment between individuals is determined by life phase, and especially the energetic demands associated with reproduction. The mean δ15N value of starved animals was greater than that of non‐starved animals, suggesting that higher δ15N values correlate with periods of nutritional stress. Conclusions High δ15N values in the tail hair of wildebeest are correlated with periods of negative energy balance, suggesting they may be used as a reliable indicator of the animal's nutritional history. This technique might be applicable to other obligate grazers. Most importantly, the sequential isotopic analysis of hair offers a continuous record of the chronic condition of wildebeest (effectively converting point data into time series) and allows researchers to establish the animal

  14. Re-constructing nutritional history of Serengeti wildebeest from stable isotopes in tail hair: seasonal starvation patterns in an obligate grazer.

    PubMed

    Rysava, K; McGill, R A R; Matthiopoulos, J; Hopcraft, J G C

    2016-07-15

    Nutritional bottlenecks often limit the abundance of animal populations and alter individual behaviours; however, establishing animal condition over extended periods of time using non-invasive techniques has been a major limitation in population ecology. We test if the sequential measurement of δ(15) N values in a continually growing tissue, such as hair, can be used as a natural bio-logger akin to tree rings or ice cores to provide insights into nutritional stress. Nitrogen stable isotope ratios were measured by continuous-flow isotope-ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) from 20 sequential segments along the tail hairs of 15 migratory wildebeest. Generalized Linear Models were used to test for variation between concurrent segments of hair from the same individual, and to compare the δ(15) N values of starved and non-starved animals. Correlations between δ(15) N values in the hair and periods of above-average energy demand during the annual cycle were tested using Generalized Additive Mixed Models. The time series of nitrogen isotope ratios in the tail hair are comparable between strands from the same individual. The most likely explanation for the pattern of (15) N enrichment between individuals is determined by life phase, and especially the energetic demands associated with reproduction. The mean δ(15) N value of starved animals was greater than that of non-starved animals, suggesting that higher δ(15) N values correlate with periods of nutritional stress. High δ(15) N values in the tail hair of wildebeest are correlated with periods of negative energy balance, suggesting they may be used as a reliable indicator of the animal's nutritional history. This technique might be applicable to other obligate grazers. Most importantly, the sequential isotopic analysis of hair offers a continuous record of the chronic condition of wildebeest (effectively converting point data into time series) and allows researchers to establish the animal's nutritional diary. © 2016

  15. 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.

  16. Functional Analysis of the Integrator Subunit 12 Identifies a Microdomain That Mediates Activation of the Drosophila Integrator Complex*

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Jiandong; Waltenspiel, Bernhard; Warren, William D.; Wagner, Eric J.

    2013-01-01

    The Drosophila integrator complex consists of 14 subunits that associate with the C terminus of Rpb1 and catalyze the endonucleolytic cleavage of nascent snRNAs near their 3′ ends. Although disruption of almost any integrator subunit causes snRNA misprocessing, very little is known about the role of the individual subunits or the network of structural and functional interactions that exist within the complex. Here we developed an RNAi rescue assay in Drosophila S2 cells to identify functional domains within integrator subunit 12 (IntS12) required for snRNA 3′ end formation. Surprisingly, the defining feature of the Ints12 protein, a highly conserved and centrally located plant homeodomain finger domain, is not required for reporter snRNA 3′ end cleavage. Rather, we find a small, 45-amino acid N-terminal microdomain to be both necessary and nearly sufficient for snRNA biogenesis in cells depleted of endogenous IntS12 protein. This IntS12 microdomain can function autonomously, restoring full integrator processing activity when introduced into a heterologous protein. Moreover, mutations within the microdomain not only disrupt IntS12 function but also abolish binding to other integrator subunits. Finally, the IntS12 microdomain is sufficient to interact and stabilize the putative scaffold integrator subunit, IntS1. Collectively, these results identify an unexpected interaction between the largest and smallest integrator subunits that is essential for the 3′ end formation of Drosophila snRNA. PMID:23288851

  17. Implementation of a physiologically identified PD feedback controller for regulating the active ankle torque during quiet stance.

    PubMed

    Vette, Albert H; Masani, Kei; Popovic, Milos R

    2007-06-01

    Our studies have recently demonstrated that a proportional and derivative (PD) feedback controller, which takes advantage of the body's position and velocity information to regulate balance during quiet standing, can compensate for long neurological time delays and generate a control command that precedes body sway by 100-200 ms. Furthermore, PD gain pairs were identified that ensure a robust system behavior and at the same time generate dynamic responses as observed in quiet standing experiments with able-bodied subjects. The purpose of the present study was to experimentally verify that the PD controller identified in our previous study can: 1) regulate the active ankle torque to stabilize the body during quiet standing in spite of long neurological time delays and 2) generate system dynamics, i.e., a motor command and body sway fluctuation, that successfully mimic those of the physiologic system of quiet standing. Our real-time closed-loop feedback circuit consisted of a center of mass position sensor and a functional electrical stimulator that elicited contractions of the plantar flexors as determined by the aforementioned PD controller. The control system regulated upright stance of a subject who was partially de-afferented and de-efferented due to a neurological disorder called von Hippel-Lindau Syndrome (McCormick Grade III). While the subject was able to generate a motor command for the ankle joints, he could not regulate the resulting torque sufficiently due to a lack of sensory feedback and motor control. It is important to mention that a time delay was included in the closed-loop circuit of the PD controller to mimic the actual neurological time delay observed in able-bodied individuals. The experimental results of this case study suggest that the proposed PD controller in combination with a functional electrical stimulation system can regulate the active ankle torque during quiet stance and generate the same system dynamics as observed in healthy

  18. Characterization of regulatory T cells identified as CD4+CD25highCD39+ in patients with active tuberculosis

    PubMed Central

    Chiacchio, T; Casetti, R; Butera, O; Vanini, V; Carrara, S; Girardi, E; Di Mitri, D; Battistini, L; Martini, F; Borsellino, G; Goletti, D

    2009-01-01

    Forkhead box P3 (FoxP3) is a transcription factor whose expression characterizes regulatory T cells (Treg), but it is also present on activated T cells, thus hindering correct Treg identification. Using classical markers for Treg recognition, discordant results were found in terms of Treg expansion during active tuberculosis (TB) disease. Recently CD39 has been shown to be an accurate marker for Treg detection. The objectives of this study were: (i) to identify Treg expressing CD39 in patients with TB and to compare the results with those obtained by the standard phenotypic markers; (ii) to evaluate if Treg are expanded in vitro by exogenous interleukin (IL)-2 or by antigen-specific stimulation; and (iii) to characterize Treg function on the modulation of antigen-specific responses. We enrolled 13 patients with pulmonary TB and 12 healthy controls. Treg were evaluated by flow cytometry ex vivo and after antigen-specific in vitro stimulation using CD25, FoxP3, CD127 and CD39 markers. Results indicate that CD39+ cells within the CD4+CD25high cells have Treg properties (absence of interferon-γ production and transforming growth factor-β1 release upon stimulation). Ex vivo analysis did not show significant differences between TB patients and controls of Treg by classical or novel markers. In contrast, a significantly higher percentage of Treg was found in TB patients after antigen-specific stimulation both in the presence or absence of IL-2. Depletion of CD39+ Treg increased RD1-specific responses significantly. In conclusion, CD39 is an appropriate marker for Treg identification in TB. These results can be useful for future studies to monitor Mycobacterium tuberculosis-specific response during TB. PMID:19438599

  19. Screening of the 'Pathogen Box' identifies an approved pesticide with major anthelmintic activity against the barber's pole worm.

    PubMed

    Preston, Sarah; Jiao, Yaqing; Jabbar, Abdul; McGee, Sean L; Laleu, Benoît; Willis, Paul; Wells, Timothy N C; Gasser, Robin B

    2016-12-01

    There is a substantial need to develop new medicines against parasitic diseases via public-private partnerships. Based on high throughput phenotypic screens of largely protozoal pathogens and bacteria, the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) has recently assembled an open-access 'Pathogen Box' containing 400 well-curated chemical compounds. In the present study, we tested these compounds for activity against parasitic stages of the nematode Haemonchus contortus (barber's pole worm). In an optimised, whole-organism screening assay, using exsheathed third-stage (xL3) and fourth-stage (L4) larvae, we measured the inhibition of larval motility, growth and development of H. contortus. We also studied the effect of the 'hit' compound on mitochondrial function by measuring oxygen consumption. Among the 400 Pathogen Box compounds, we identified one chemical, called tolfenpyrad (compound identification code: MMV688934) that reproducibly inhibits xL3 motility as well as L4 motility, growth and development, with IC50 values ranging between 0.02 and 3 μM. An assessment of mitochondrial function showed that xL3s treated with tolfenpyrad consumed significantly less oxygen than untreated xL3s, which was consistent with specific inhibition of complex I of the respiratory electron transport chain in arthropods. Given that tolfenpyrad was developed as a pesticide and has already been tested for absorption, distribution, excretion, biotransformation, toxicity and metabolism, it shows considerable promise for hit-to-lead optimisation and/or repurposing for use against H. contortus and other parasitic nematodes. Future work should assess its activity against hookworms and other pathogens that cause neglected tropical diseases.