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Sample records for mammalian ancestor reconstruction

  1. Phylogenomic reconstruction indicates mitochondrial ancestor was an energy parasite.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhang; Wu, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Reconstruction of mitochondrial ancestor has great impact on our understanding of the origin of mitochondria. Previous studies have largely focused on reconstructing the last common ancestor of all contemporary mitochondria (proto-mitochondria), but not on the more informative pre-mitochondria (the last common ancestor of mitochondria and their alphaproteobacterial sister clade). Using a phylogenomic approach and leveraging on the increased taxonomic sampling of alphaproteobacterial and eukaryotic genomes, we reconstructed the metabolisms of both proto-mitochondria and pre-mitochondria. Our reconstruction depicts a more streamlined proto-mitochondrion than these predicted by previous studies, and revealed several novel insights into the mitochondria-derived eukaryotic metabolisms including the lipid metabolism. Most strikingly, pre-mitochondrion was predicted to possess a plastid/parasite type of ATP/ADP translocase that imports ATP from the host, which posits pre-mitochondrion as an energy parasite that directly contrasts with the current role of mitochondria as the cell's energy producer. In addition, pre-mitochondrion was predicted to encode a large number of flagellar genes and several cytochrome oxidases functioning under low oxygen level, strongly supporting the previous finding that the mitochondrial ancestor was likely motile and capable of oxidative phosphorylation under microoxic condition.

  2. Virtual ancestor reconstruction: Revealing the ancestor of modern humans and Neandertals.

    PubMed

    Mounier, Aurélien; Mirazón Lahr, Marta

    2016-02-01

    The timing and geographic origin of the common ancestor of modern humans and Neandertals remain controversial. A poor Pleistocene hominin fossil record and the evolutionary complexities introduced by dispersals and regionalisation of lineages have fuelled taxonomic uncertainty, while new ancient genomic data have raised completely new questions. Here, we use maximum likelihood and 3D geometric morphometric methods to predict possible morphologies of the last common ancestor of modern humans and Neandertals from a simplified, fully resolved phylogeny. We describe the fully rendered 3D shapes of the predicted ancestors of humans and Neandertals, and assess their similarity to individual fossils or populations of fossils of Pleistocene age. Our results support models of an Afro-European ancestral population in the Middle Pleistocene (Homo heidelbergensis sensu lato) and further predict an African origin for this ancestral population. PMID:26852813

  3. Phylogenetic reconstruction of parental-care systems in the ancestors of birds.

    PubMed Central

    Tullberg, Birgitta S; Ah-King, Malin; Temrin, Hans

    2002-01-01

    Due to the controversy surrounding incipient avian parental care, ancestral parental care systems were reconstructed in a phylogeny including major extant amniote lineages. Using two different resolutions for the basal avian branches, transitions between the states no care, female care, biparental care and male care were inferred for the most basal branches of the tree. Uniparental female care was inferred for the lineage to birds and crocodiles. Using a phylogeny where ratites and tinamous branch off early and an ordered character-state assumption, a transition to biparental care was inferred for the ancestor of birds. This ancestor could be any organism along the lineage leading from the crocodile-bird split up to modern birds, not necessarily the original bird. We discuss the support for alternative avian phylogenies and the homology in parental care between crocodiles and birds. We suggest that the phylogenetic pattern should be used as a starting point for a more detailed analysis of parental care systems in birds and their relatives. PMID:11958694

  4. On the origin and evolution of thermophily: reconstruction of functional precambrian enzymes from ancestors of Bacillus.

    PubMed

    Hobbs, Joanne K; Shepherd, Charis; Saul, David J; Demetras, Nicholas J; Haaning, Svend; Monk, Colin R; Daniel, Roy M; Arcus, Vickery L

    2012-02-01

    Thermophily is thought to be a primitive trait, characteristic of early forms of life on Earth, that has been gradually lost over evolutionary time. The genus Bacillus provides an ideal model for studying the evolution of thermophily as it is an ancient taxon and its contemporary species inhabit a range of thermal environments. The thermostability of reconstructed ancestral proteins has been used as a proxy for ancient thermal adaptation. The reconstruction of ancestral "enzymes" has the added advantages of demonstrable activity, which acts as an internal control for accurate inference, and providing insights into the evolution of enzymatic catalysis. Here, we report the reconstruction of the structurally complex core metabolic enzyme LeuB (3-isopropylmalate dehydrogenase, E. C. 1.1.1.85) from the last common ancestor (LCA) of Bacillus using both maximum likelihood (ML) and Bayesian inference. ML LeuB from the LCA of Bacillus shares only 76% sequence identity with its closest contemporary homolog, yet it is fully functional, thermophilic, and exhibits high values for k(cat), k(cat)/K(M), and ΔG(‡) for unfolding. The Bayesian version of this enzyme is also thermophilic but exhibits anomalous catalytic kinetics. We have determined the 3D structure of the ML enzyme and found that it is more closely aligned with LeuB from deeply branching bacteria, such as Thermotoga maritima, than contemporary Bacillus species. To investigate the evolution of thermophily, three descendents of LeuB from the LCA of Bacillus were also reconstructed. They reveal a fluctuating trend in thermal evolution, with a temporal adaptation toward mesophily followed by a more recent return to thermophily. Structural analysis suggests that the determinants of thermophily in LeuB from the LCA of Bacillus and the most recent ancestor are distinct and that thermophily has arisen in this genus at least twice via independent evolutionary paths. Our results add significant fluctuations to the broad

  5. On the origin and evolution of thermophily: reconstruction of functional precambrian enzymes from ancestors of Bacillus.

    PubMed

    Hobbs, Joanne K; Shepherd, Charis; Saul, David J; Demetras, Nicholas J; Haaning, Svend; Monk, Colin R; Daniel, Roy M; Arcus, Vickery L

    2012-02-01

    Thermophily is thought to be a primitive trait, characteristic of early forms of life on Earth, that has been gradually lost over evolutionary time. The genus Bacillus provides an ideal model for studying the evolution of thermophily as it is an ancient taxon and its contemporary species inhabit a range of thermal environments. The thermostability of reconstructed ancestral proteins has been used as a proxy for ancient thermal adaptation. The reconstruction of ancestral "enzymes" has the added advantages of demonstrable activity, which acts as an internal control for accurate inference, and providing insights into the evolution of enzymatic catalysis. Here, we report the reconstruction of the structurally complex core metabolic enzyme LeuB (3-isopropylmalate dehydrogenase, E. C. 1.1.1.85) from the last common ancestor (LCA) of Bacillus using both maximum likelihood (ML) and Bayesian inference. ML LeuB from the LCA of Bacillus shares only 76% sequence identity with its closest contemporary homolog, yet it is fully functional, thermophilic, and exhibits high values for k(cat), k(cat)/K(M), and ΔG(‡) for unfolding. The Bayesian version of this enzyme is also thermophilic but exhibits anomalous catalytic kinetics. We have determined the 3D structure of the ML enzyme and found that it is more closely aligned with LeuB from deeply branching bacteria, such as Thermotoga maritima, than contemporary Bacillus species. To investigate the evolution of thermophily, three descendents of LeuB from the LCA of Bacillus were also reconstructed. They reveal a fluctuating trend in thermal evolution, with a temporal adaptation toward mesophily followed by a more recent return to thermophily. Structural analysis suggests that the determinants of thermophily in LeuB from the LCA of Bacillus and the most recent ancestor are distinct and that thermophily has arisen in this genus at least twice via independent evolutionary paths. Our results add significant fluctuations to the broad

  6. Evolution of life history and behavior in Hominidae: towards phylogenetic reconstruction of the chimpanzee-human last common ancestor.

    PubMed

    Duda, Pavel; Zrzavý, Jan

    2013-10-01

    The origin of the fundamental behavioral differences between humans and our closest living relatives is one of the central issues of evolutionary anthropology. The prominent, chimpanzee-based referential model of early hominin behavior has recently been challenged on the basis of broad multispecies comparisons and newly discovered fossil evidence. Here, we argue that while behavioral data on extant great apes are extremely relevant for reconstruction of ancestral behaviors, these behaviors should be reconstructed trait by trait using formal phylogenetic methods. Using the widely accepted hominoid phylogenetic tree, we perform a series of character optimization analyses using 65 selected life-history and behavioral characters for all extant hominid species. This analysis allows us to reconstruct the character states of the last common ancestors of Hominoidea, Hominidae, and the chimpanzee-human last common ancestor. Our analyses demonstrate that many fundamental behavioral and life-history attributes of hominids (including humans) are evidently ancient and likely inherited from the common ancestor of all hominids. However, numerous behaviors present in extant great apes represent their own terminal autapomorphies (both uniquely derived and homoplastic). Any evolutionary model that uses a single extant species to explain behavioral evolution of early hominins is therefore of limited use. In contrast, phylogenetic reconstruction of ancestral states is able to provide a detailed suite of behavioral, ecological and life-history characters for each hypothetical ancestor. The living great apes therefore play an important role for the confident identification of the traits found in the chimpanzee-human last common ancestor, some of which are likely to represent behaviors of the fossil hominins.

  7. Whence genes in pieces: reconstruction of the exon-intron gene structures of the last eukaryotic common ancestor and other ancestral eukaryotes.

    PubMed

    Koonin, Eugene V; Csuros, Miklos; Rogozin, Igor B

    2013-01-01

    In eukaryotes, protein-coding sequences are interrupted by non-coding sequences known as introns. During mRNA maturation, introns are excised by the spliceosome and the coding regions, exons, are spliced to form the mature coding region. The intron densities widely differ between eukaryotic lineages, from 6 to 7 introns per kb of coding sequence in vertebrates, some invertebrates and green plants, to only a few introns across the entire genome in many unicellular eukaryotes. Evolutionary reconstructions using maximum likelihood methods suggest intron-rich ancestors for each major group of eukaryotes. For the last common ancestor of animals, the highest intron density of all extant and extinct eukaryotes was inferred, at 120-130% of the human intron density. Furthermore, an intron density within 53-74% of the human values was inferred for the last eukaryotic common ancestor. Accordingly, evolution of eukaryotic genes in all lines of descent involved primarily intron loss, with substantial gain only at the bases of several branches including plants and animals. These conclusions have substantial biological implications indicating that the common ancestor of all modern eukaryotes was a complex organism with a gene architecture resembling those in multicellular organisms. Alternative splicing most likely initially appeared as an inevitable result of splicing errors and only later was employed to generate structural and functional diversification of proteins.

  8. Reconstructed Ancestral Myo-Inositol-3-Phosphate Synthases Indicate That Ancestors of the Thermococcales and Thermotoga Species Were More Thermophilic than Their Descendants

    PubMed Central

    Butzin, Nicholas C.; Lapierre, Pascal; Green, Anna G.; Swithers, Kristen S.; Gogarten, J. Peter; Noll, Kenneth M.

    2013-01-01

    The bacterial genomes of Thermotoga species show evidence of significant interdomain horizontal gene transfer from the Archaea. Members of this genus acquired many genes from the Thermococcales, which grow at higher temperatures than Thermotoga species. In order to study the functional history of an interdomain horizontally acquired gene we used ancestral sequence reconstruction to examine the thermal characteristics of reconstructed ancestral proteins of the Thermotoga lineage and its archaeal donors. Several ancestral sequence reconstruction methods were used to determine the possible sequences of the ancestral Thermotoga and Archaea myo-inositol-3-phosphate synthase (MIPS). These sequences were predicted to be more thermostable than the extant proteins using an established sequence composition method. We verified these computational predictions by measuring the activities and thermostabilities of purified proteins from the Thermotoga and the Thermococcales species, and eight ancestral reconstructed proteins. We found that the ancestral proteins from both the archaeal donor and the Thermotoga most recent common ancestor recipient were more thermostable than their descendants. We show that there is a correlation between the thermostability of MIPS protein and the optimal growth temperature (OGT) of its host, which suggests that the OGT of the ancestors of these species of Archaea and the Thermotoga grew at higher OGTs than their descendants. PMID:24391933

  9. Algorithms for improved 3-D reconstruction of live mammalian embryo vasculature from optical coherence tomography data

    PubMed Central

    Kulkarni, Prathamesh M.; Rey-Villamizar, Nicolas; Merouane, Amine; Sudheendran, Narendran; Wang, Shang; Garcia, Monica; Larina, Irina V.; Roysam, Badrinath

    2015-01-01

    Background Robust reconstructions of the three-dimensional network of blood vessels in developing embryos imaged by optical coherence tomography (OCT) are needed for quantifying the longitudinal development of vascular networks in live mammalian embryos, in support of developmental cardiovascular research. Past computational methods [such as speckle variance (SV)] have demonstrated the feasibility of vascular reconstruction, but multiple challenges remain including: the presence of vessel structures at multiple spatial scales, thin blood vessels with weak flow, and artifacts resulting from bulk tissue motion (BTM). Methods In order to overcome these challenges, this paper introduces a robust and scalable reconstruction algorithm based on a combination of anomaly detection algorithms and a parametric dictionary based sparse representation of blood vessels from structural OCT data. Results Validation results using confocal data as the baseline demonstrate that the proposed method enables the detection of vessel segments that are either partially missed or weakly reconstructed using the SV method. Finally, quantitative measurements of vessel reconstruction quality indicate an overall higher quality of vessel reconstruction with the proposed method. Conclusions Results suggest that sparsity-integrated speckle anomaly detection (SSAD) is potentially a valuable tool for performing accurate quantification of the progression of vascular development in the mammalian embryonic yolk sac as imaged using OCT. PMID:25694962

  10. Ancestors of modern plant crops.

    PubMed

    Salse, Jérôme

    2016-04-01

    Recent accumulation of plant genomic resources offers the opportunity to compare modern genomes and model their evolutionary history from their reconstructed Most Recent Common Ancestors (MRCAs) that can be used as a guide to unveil the forces driving the evolutionary success of angiosperms and ultimately to perform applied translational research from models to crops. This article reviews the current state of art of recent structural comparative genomics studies through ancestral genome reconstruction, that is, the field of in silico paleogenomics.

  11. Identification of Teleost Skin CD8α+ Dendritic-like Cells, Representing a Potential Common Ancestor for Mammalian Cross-Presenting Dendritic Cells.

    PubMed

    Granja, Aitor G; Leal, Esther; Pignatelli, Jaime; Castro, Rosario; Abós, Beatriz; Kato, Goshi; Fischer, Uwe; Tafalla, Carolina

    2015-08-15

    Although fish constitute the most ancient animal group in which an acquired immune system is present, the presence of dendritic cells (DCs) in teleosts has been addressed only briefly, and the identification of a specific DC subset in teleosts remained elusive because of the lack of specific Abs. In mice, DCs expressing CD8α(+) in lymphoid tissues have the capacity to cross-present extracellular Ags to T cells through MHC I, similarly to tissue-derived CD103(+) DCs and the human CD141(+) DC population. In the current study, we identified a large and highly complex subpopulation of leukocytes coexpressing MHC class II and CD8α. This CD8α(+) MHC II(+) DC-like subpopulation constituted ∼1.2% of the total leukocyte population in the skin, showing phenotypical and functional characteristics of semimature DCs that seem to locally regulate mucosal immunity and tolerance in a species lacking lymph nodes. Furthermore, we identified trout homologs for CD141 and CD103 and demonstrated that, in trout, this skin CD8(+) DC-like subpopulation expresses both markers. To our knowledge, these results provide the first evidence of a specific DC-like subtype in nonimmune tissue in teleosts and support the hypothesis of a common origin for all mammalian cross-presenting DCs. PMID:26179908

  12. Identification of Teleost Skin CD8α+ Dendritic-like Cells, Representing a Potential Common Ancestor for Mammalian Cross-Presenting Dendritic Cells.

    PubMed

    Granja, Aitor G; Leal, Esther; Pignatelli, Jaime; Castro, Rosario; Abós, Beatriz; Kato, Goshi; Fischer, Uwe; Tafalla, Carolina

    2015-08-15

    Although fish constitute the most ancient animal group in which an acquired immune system is present, the presence of dendritic cells (DCs) in teleosts has been addressed only briefly, and the identification of a specific DC subset in teleosts remained elusive because of the lack of specific Abs. In mice, DCs expressing CD8α(+) in lymphoid tissues have the capacity to cross-present extracellular Ags to T cells through MHC I, similarly to tissue-derived CD103(+) DCs and the human CD141(+) DC population. In the current study, we identified a large and highly complex subpopulation of leukocytes coexpressing MHC class II and CD8α. This CD8α(+) MHC II(+) DC-like subpopulation constituted ∼1.2% of the total leukocyte population in the skin, showing phenotypical and functional characteristics of semimature DCs that seem to locally regulate mucosal immunity and tolerance in a species lacking lymph nodes. Furthermore, we identified trout homologs for CD141 and CD103 and demonstrated that, in trout, this skin CD8(+) DC-like subpopulation expresses both markers. To our knowledge, these results provide the first evidence of a specific DC-like subtype in nonimmune tissue in teleosts and support the hypothesis of a common origin for all mammalian cross-presenting DCs.

  13. The placentation of eulipotyphla-reconstructing a morphotype of the Mammalian placenta.

    PubMed

    Ferner, Kirsten; Siniza, Swetlana; Zeller, Ulrich

    2014-10-01

    Placentation determines the developmental status of the neonate, which can be considered as the most vulnerable stage in the mammalian life cycle. In this respect, the different evolutionary and ecological adaptations of marsupial and placental mammals have most likely been associated with the different reproductive strategies of the two therian clades. The morphotypes of marsupial and placental neonates, as well as the placental stem species pattern of Marsupialia, have already been reconstructed. To contribute to a better understanding of the evolution of Placentalia, a histological and ultrastructural investigation of the placenta in three representatives of Eulipotyphla, that is, core insectivores, has been carried out in this study. We studied the Musk shrew (Suncus murinus), the four-toed hedgehog (Atelerix albiventris), and the Iberian mole (Talpa occidentalis). As a result, a eulipotyphlan placental morphotype consisting of a compact and invasive placenta was reconstructed. This supports the widely accepted hypothesis that the stem lineage of Placentalia is characterized by an invasive, either endothelio- or hemochorial placenta. Evolutionary transformations toward a diffuse, noninvasive placenta occurred in the stem lineages of lower primates and cetartiodactyles and were associated with prolonged gestation and the production of few and highly precocial neonates. Compared to the choriovitelline placenta of Marsupialia, the chorioallantoic placenta of Placentalia allows for a more intimate contact and is associated with more advanced neonates.

  14. The last common bilaterian ancestor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Erwin, Douglas H.; Davidson, Eric H.

    2002-01-01

    Many regulatory genes appear to be utilized in at least superficially similar ways in the development of particular body parts in Drosophila and in chordates. These similarities have been widely interpreted as functional homologies, producing the conventional view of the last common protostome-deuterostome ancestor (PDA) as a complex organism that possessed some of the same body parts as modern bilaterians. Here we discuss an alternative view, in which the last common PDA had a less complex body plan than is frequently conceived. This reconstruction alters expectations for Neoproterozoic fossil remains that could illustrate the pathways of bilaterian evolution.

  15. The universal ancestor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woese, C.

    1998-01-01

    A genetic annealing model for the universal ancestor of all extant life is presented; the name of the model derives from its resemblance to physical annealing. The scenario pictured starts when "genetic temperatures" were very high, cellular entities (progenotes) were very simple, and information processing systems were inaccurate. Initially, both mutation rate and lateral gene transfer levels were elevated. The latter was pandemic and pervasive to the extent that it, not vertical inheritance, defined the evolutionary dynamic. As increasingly complex and precise biological structures and processes evolved, both the mutation rate and the scope and level of lateral gene transfer, i.e., evolutionary temperature, dropped, and the evolutionary dynamic gradually became that characteristic of modern cells. The various subsystems of the cell "crystallized," i.e., became refractory to lateral gene transfer, at different stages of "cooling," with the translation apparatus probably crystallizing first. Organismal lineages, and so organisms as we know them, did not exist at these early stages. The universal phylogenetic tree, therefore, is not an organismal tree at its base but gradually becomes one as its peripheral branchings emerge. The universal ancestor is not a discrete entity. It is, rather, a diverse community of cells that survives and evolves as a biological unit. This communal ancestor has a physical history but not a genealogical one. Over time, this ancestor refined into a smaller number of increasingly complex cell types with the ancestors of the three primary groupings of organisms arising as a result.

  16. Gazing Back: Communing with Our Ancestors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Osorio, Jonathan Kay Kamakawiwo'ole

    2004-01-01

    This article is a poignant commentary on the connection of the Native Hawaiian people with the past, the present, and the future. In this article, the author positions himself within the histories of his people. He talks about putting faces to his ancestors by linking them with the people of his day, and he talks about reconstructing the…

  17. Pleistocene paleoenvironmental reconstructions and mammalian evolution in South-East Asia: focus on fossil faunas from Thailand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tougard, C.; Montuire, S.

    2006-01-01

    Mammalian faunal studies have provided various clues for a better reconstruction of hominid Quaternary paleoenvironments. In this work, two methods were used: (1) the cenogram method, based on a graphical representation of the mammalian community structure, and (2) the species richness of murine rodents to estimate climatic parameters. These methods were applied to Middle and Late Pleistocene mammalian faunas of South-East Asia, from South China to Indonesia. Special emphasis was laid on a fauna from north-east Thailand dated back to approximately 170,000 years (i.e. a glacial period). This Thai fauna seems characteristic of a slightly open forested environment intermediate between those of present-day central Myanmar and the northern part of South China. In the Thai fauna, the occurrence of both cool-loving mammalian taxa, currently living further north, and species of larger body size than their living counterparts, indicates cooler and probably drier climatic conditions than present-day climates in Thailand. These results are quite consistent with Middle Pleistocene palynological records from South China and eastern Java. From other less well-documented Pleistocene faunas, taken into account in this work, humid climatic conditions of interglacial periods were revealed from large mammalian taxa.

  18. The deuterostome ancestor.

    PubMed

    Gerhart, John

    2006-12-01

    Hemichordates, the phylum of bilateral animals closest to chordates, can illuminate the evolutionary origins of various chordate traits to determine whether these were already present in a shared ancestor (the deuterostome ancestor) or were evolved within the chordate line. We find that an anteroposterior map of gene expression domains, representing 42 genes of neural patterning, is closely similar in hemichordates and chordates, though it is restricted to the neural ectoderm in chordates whereas in hemichordates, which have a diffuse nervous system, it encircles the whole body. This map allows an accurate alignment of the anterioposterior axes of members of the two groups. We propose that this map dates back at least to the deuterostome ancestor. The map of dorsoventral expression domains, organized along a Bmp-Chordin developmental axis, is also similar in the two groups in terms of many gene expression domains and for the placement of the gill slits, heart, and post-anal tail. The two groups, however, differ in two major respects along this axis. The nervous system and epidermis are not segregated into distinct territories in hemichordates, as they are in chordates, and furthermore, the mouth is on the Chordin side in hemichordates but the Bmp side in chordates. The dorsoventral dimension has undergone extensive modification in the chordate line, including centralization of the nervous system, segregation of epidermis, derivation of the notochord, perhaps from the gut midline, and relocation of the mouth. Based on the shared domain maps, speculations can be made for the remodeling of the body axis in the chordate line.

  19. The galaxy ancestor problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Disney, M. J.; Lang, R. H.

    2012-11-01

    The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) findsgalaxies whose Tolman dimming exceeds 10 mag. Could evolution alone explain these as our ancestor galaxies or could they be representatives of quite a different dynasty whose descendants are no longer prominent today? We explore the latter hypothesis and argue that surface brightness selection effects naturally bring into focus quite different dynasties from different redshifts. Thus, the HST z = 7 galaxies could be examples of galaxies whose descendants are both too small and too choked with dust to be recognizable in our neighbourhood easily today. Conversely, the ancestors of the Milky Way and its obvious neighbours would have completely sunk below the sky at z > 1.2, unless they were more luminous in the past, although their diffused light could account for the missing re-ionization flux. This Succeeding Prominent Dynasties Hypothesis (SPDH) fits the existing observations both naturally and well even without evolution, including the bizarre distributions of galaxy surface brightness found in deep fields, the angular size ˜(1 + z)-1 law, 'downsizing' which turns out to be an 'illusion' in the sense that it does not imply evolution, 'infant mortality', that is, the discrepancy between stars born and stars seen, the existence of 'red nuggets', and finally the recently discovered and unexpected excess of quasar absorption line damped Lyα systems at high redshift. If galaxies were not significantly brighter in the past and the SPDH were true, then a large proportion of galaxies could remain sunk from sight, possibly at all redshifts, and these sunken galaxies could supply the missing re-ionization flux. We show that fishing these sunken galaxies out of the sky by their optical emissions alone is practically impossible, even when they are nearby. More ingenious methods are needed to detect them. It follows that disentangling galaxy evolution through studying ever higher redshift galaxies may be a forlorn hope because one could

  20. On the Potential Origins of the High Stability of Reconstructed Ancestral Proteins.

    PubMed

    Trudeau, Devin L; Kaltenbach, Miriam; Tawfik, Dan S

    2016-10-01

    Ancestral reconstruction provides instrumental insights regarding the biochemical and biophysical characteristics of past proteins. A striking observation relates to the remarkably high thermostability of reconstructed ancestors. The latter has been linked to high environmental temperatures in the Precambrian era, the era relating to most reconstructed proteins. We found that inferred ancestors of the serum paraoxonase (PON) enzyme family, including the mammalian ancestor, exhibit dramatically increased thermostabilities compared with the extant, human enzyme (up to 30 °C higher melting temperature). However, the environmental temperature at the time of emergence of mammals is presumed to be similar to the present one. Additionally, the mammalian PON ancestor has superior folding properties (kinetic stability)-unlike the extant mammalian PONs, it expresses in E. coli in a soluble and functional form, and at a high yield. We discuss two potential origins of this unexpectedly high stability. First, ancestral stability may be overestimated by a "consensus effect," whereby replacing amino acids that are rare in contemporary sequences with the amino acid most common in the family increases protein stability. Comparison to other reconstructed ancestors indicates that the consensus effect may bias some but not all reconstructions. Second, we note that high stability may relate to factors other than high environmental temperature such as oxidative stress or high radiation levels. Foremost, intrinsic factors such as high rates of genetic mutations and/or of transcriptional and translational errors, and less efficient protein quality control systems, may underlie the high kinetic and thermodynamic stability of past proteins.

  1. On the Potential Origins of the High Stability of Reconstructed Ancestral Proteins.

    PubMed

    Trudeau, Devin L; Kaltenbach, Miriam; Tawfik, Dan S

    2016-10-01

    Ancestral reconstruction provides instrumental insights regarding the biochemical and biophysical characteristics of past proteins. A striking observation relates to the remarkably high thermostability of reconstructed ancestors. The latter has been linked to high environmental temperatures in the Precambrian era, the era relating to most reconstructed proteins. We found that inferred ancestors of the serum paraoxonase (PON) enzyme family, including the mammalian ancestor, exhibit dramatically increased thermostabilities compared with the extant, human enzyme (up to 30 °C higher melting temperature). However, the environmental temperature at the time of emergence of mammals is presumed to be similar to the present one. Additionally, the mammalian PON ancestor has superior folding properties (kinetic stability)-unlike the extant mammalian PONs, it expresses in E. coli in a soluble and functional form, and at a high yield. We discuss two potential origins of this unexpectedly high stability. First, ancestral stability may be overestimated by a "consensus effect," whereby replacing amino acids that are rare in contemporary sequences with the amino acid most common in the family increases protein stability. Comparison to other reconstructed ancestors indicates that the consensus effect may bias some but not all reconstructions. Second, we note that high stability may relate to factors other than high environmental temperature such as oxidative stress or high radiation levels. Foremost, intrinsic factors such as high rates of genetic mutations and/or of transcriptional and translational errors, and less efficient protein quality control systems, may underlie the high kinetic and thermodynamic stability of past proteins. PMID:27413048

  2. Redeeming the lost voice of the ancestors.

    PubMed

    Troudart, Michal

    2012-09-01

    The Holocaust of the Jews in World War II involved not only the murder of 6 million Jews but also the traumatic destruction and wipe-out of whole communities, with their rich culture and tradition which had existed for centuries. In places where no one survived, it was almost impossible to reconstruct the collective memory of those communities. The voice of the ancestors was lost. As a daughter of Holocaust survivors, I have always felt the strong presence of the loss, not only of the murdered family members but also of the ancient colourful world of Eastern European Jews. I have always felt compelled to link back to that lost world. In the past three years, my journey to the pre-war past has become more intense. This article describes the double role of my journey: it is both an attempt to reconstruct, redeem and preserve the memory of the lost ancestors, and a personal journey to the echoes of my ancestors' voices within my soul.

  3. The costs of breed reconstruction from cryopreserved material in mammalian livestock species

    PubMed Central

    Gandini, Gustavo; Pizzi, Flavia; Stella, Alessandra; Boettcher, Paul J

    2007-01-01

    The aim of this work was to compare costs, in the horse, cattle, sheep, swine, and rabbit species, for the creation of gene banks for reconstruction of an extinct breed, using different strategies: embryos-only, embryos in combination with semen, and semen-only. Three cost measures were used: time required for population reconstruction, cost for creation of the gene bank, number of years-keeping-female to reach reconstruction. Semen costs were estimated across four scenarios: the presence or absence of a commercial market for semen, purchase of semen donors, and semen extracted from the epididymus. The number of cells were doubled to take into account the creation of two storage sites. The strategy embryos-only required the shortest time to reach reconstruction. With the strategy embryos + semen, time increased with decreasing proportions of embryos. With semen-only, reconstruction time varied from 2 to 21 years. A high variation of costs was observed across species and strategies, from 360 Euros in the rabbit to 1 092 300 in the horse. In all species, the embryos-only strategy was about 10% more expensive than using 90% embryos + semen. Decreasing the percentage of embryos further diminished costs. The number of years-keeping-female ranged across strategies, from 2 in the rabbit, to a maximum of 12 878 in the horse. PMID:17612484

  4. Genomic evidence for large, long-lived ancestors to placental mammals.

    PubMed

    Romiguier, J; Ranwez, V; Douzery, E J P; Galtier, N

    2013-01-01

    It is widely assumed that our mammalian ancestors, which lived in the Cretaceous era, were tiny animals that survived massive asteroid impacts in shelters and evolved into modern forms after dinosaurs went extinct, 65 Ma. The small size of most Mesozoic mammalian fossils essentially supports this view. Paleontology, however, is not conclusive regarding the ancestry of extant mammals, because Cretaceous and Paleocene fossils are not easily linked to modern lineages. Here, we use full-genome data to estimate the longevity and body mass of early placental mammals. Analyzing 36 fully sequenced mammalian genomes, we reconstruct two aspects of the ancestral genome dynamics, namely GC-content evolution and nonsynonymous over synonymous rate ratio. Linking these molecular evolutionary processes to life-history traits in modern species, we estimate that early placental mammals had a life span above 25 years and a body mass above 1 kg. This is similar to current primates, cetartiodactyls, or carnivores, but markedly different from mice or shrews, challenging the dominant view about mammalian origin and evolution. Our results imply that long-lived mammals existed in the Cretaceous era and were the most successful in evolution, opening new perspectives about the conditions for survival to the Cretaceous-Tertiary crisis.

  5. Using Isotopes to Reconstruct Mammalian Diet, Migration and Paleoenvironment for Hominin Sites in Indonesia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wershow, H.; Janssen, R.; Vonhof, H.; Lubbe, J. V. D.; Joordens, J. J.; Koutamanis, D. S.; Puspaningrum, M. R.; de Vos, J.; Reijmer, J.

    2015-12-01

    Climate plays a prominent role in ecosystem development in the biodiversity hotspot Sundaland (Malaysia and western Indonesia) throughout the Quaternary. Recurrent isolation and connection of the islands to mainland Asia due to sea level fluctuations has enabled repeated biotic migrations and encouraged genetic speciation. These migration waves also brought Homo erectus to Java. Together with extensive and well-documented collections of other terrestrial species, these hominin fossils form faunal assemblages of which the paleoenvironmental and paleogeographical background is poorly known. Using carbon, oxygen and strontium isotopes, we have reconstructed the paleoenvironmental and paleoecological conditions of several Holocene and Pleistocene fossil sites on Sumatra and Java, Indonesia. Carbon (∂13C) and oxygen (∂18O) isotope analysis of well-preserved herbivore teeth enamel reveals a marked contrast between C3-dominated diets in warmer periods, and C4-dominated diets in cooler periods, reflecting the distinct changes in Sundaland vegetation cover between glacials and interglacials. These isotope patterns allow us to assign the appropriate climatic background to some of the older fossil assemblages from Java, for which dating uncertainty does not allow direct assignment to glacial or interglacial conditions. The stable isotope signatures of herbivores from Trinil and Sangiran, sites well-known for the fossil occurrence of Homo erectus, indicate glacial conditions. The isotope data of several H. erectus fossils from these sites seem to be in line with such an interpretation. Furthermore, we applied strontium (87Sr/86Sr) isotope analyses to a sample subset. The preliminary data show distinct Sr-isotope ratios for different sites, providing clues for the applicability of this isotope technique in detecting climate-related mobility of Sundaland fossil faunas.

  6. Assessing the prediction fidelity of ancestral reconstruction by a library approach.

    PubMed

    Bar-Rogovsky, Hagit; Stern, Adi; Penn, Osnat; Kobl, Iris; Pupko, Tal; Tawfik, Dan S

    2015-11-01

    Ancestral reconstruction is a powerful tool for studying protein evolution as well as for protein design and engineering. However, in many positions alternative predictions with relatively high marginal probabilities exist, and thus the prediction comprises an ensemble of near-ancestor sequences that relate to the historical ancestor. The ancestral phenotype should therefore be explored for the entire ensemble, rather than for the sequence comprising the most probable amino acid at all positions [the most probable ancestor (mpa)]. To this end, we constructed libraries that sample ensembles of near-ancestor sequences. Specifically, we identified positions where alternatively predicted amino acids are likely to affect the ancestor's structure and/or function. Using the serum paraoxonases (PONs) enzyme family as a test case, we constructed libraries that combinatorially sample these alternatives. We next characterized these libraries, reflecting the vertebrate and mammalian PON ancestors. We found that the mpa of vertebrate PONs represented only one out of many different enzymatic phenotypes displayed by its ensemble. The mammalian ancestral library, however, exhibited a homogeneous phenotype that was well represented by the mpa. Our library design strategy that samples near-ancestor ensembles at potentially critical positions therefore provides a systematic way of examining the robustness of inferred ancestral phenotypes.

  7. Non-Darwinian estimation: My ancestors, my genes' ancestors

    PubMed Central

    Weiss, Kenneth M.; Long, Jeffrey C.

    2009-01-01

    There is widespread interest in characterizing the organization of human genetic variation around the world from a population perspective. Related to this are attempts to describe the pattern of genetic variation in the human species generally, including “recreational” genomics, the genome-based estimation of the ancestry of individuals. These approaches rest on subtle concepts of variation, time, and ancestry that are perhaps not widely appreciated. They share the idea that there are, or were, discrete panmictic human populations such that every person is either a member of such a population or is an admixed descendant of them. Ancestry fraction estimation is biased by assumptions about past and present human population structure, as when we trace ancestry to hypothetical unmixed ancestral populations, or assign an individual's ancestry to continental populations that are indistinguishable from classical “races.” Attempts to identify even individuals' local subpopulations are less precise than most (geneticists included) expect, because that is usually based on a small portion of a person's ancestry, relative to the much larger pool of comparably related ancestors. It is easier to show that two people have some relationship than to show who or where the actual ancestor was. There is an important distinction between individuals' demographic ancestry and the ancestry of their genes. Despite superficial appearances, these interpretations of genetic data are often based on typological rather than Darwinian thinking, raising important issues about the questions that are actually being asked. PMID:19411595

  8. What did our ancestors eat?

    PubMed

    Garn, S M; Leonard, W R

    1989-11-01

    Over the millennia various hominoids and hominids have subsisted on very different dietaries, depending on climate, hunting proficiency, food-processing technology, and available foods. The Australopithecines were not browsers and fruit-eaters with very high intakes of vitamin C; rather they were scavengers of kills made by other animals. The hominids who followed did include some cold-climate hunters of large game, but the amount of animal protein decreased with the advent of grain-gathering and decreased further with the introduction of cereal agriculture, with a concomitant decrease in body size. From what we know about food adequacy, preparation, and storage, the notion that the postulated "primitive" diet was generally adequate, safe, and prudent can be rejected. Over evolutionary time, many of our ancestors ate poorly, especially during climate extremes, and they were often at risk for vitamin deficiencies, food-borne diseases, and neurotoxins. Until the advent of modern processing technologies, dirt, grit, and fiber constituted a large part of most early diets. PMID:2689923

  9. Technical comment on "The placental mammal ancestor and the post-K-Pg radiation of placentals".

    PubMed

    Springer, Mark S; Meredith, Robert W; Teeling, Emma C; Murphy, William J

    2013-08-01

    O'Leary et al. (Research Article, 8 February 2013, p. 662) examined mammalian relationships and divergence times and concluded that a single placental ancestor crossed the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary. This conclusion relies on phylogenetic analyses that fail to discriminate between homology and homoplasy and further implies virus-like rates of nucleotide substitution in early Paleocene placentals. PMID:23929967

  10. The Five Ancestors--Book 1: Tiger

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stone, Jeff

    2004-01-01

    Losing a job is an awfully low point--until it turns into the opportunity to pursue writing full time, and a book like "The Five Ancestors: Tiger" results. Jeff Stone looks back to his own experience as a young reader and taps that experience to help frame his own writing. An intriguing snapshot of his new book follows.

  11. Apparatus Named after Our Academic Ancestors, III

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greenslade, Thomas B., Jr.

    2014-01-01

    My academic ancestors in physics have called on me once more to tell you about the apparatus that they devised, and that many of you have used in your demonstrations and labs. This article is about apparatus named after François Arago, Heinrich Helmholtz, Leon Foucault, and James Watt.

  12. Apparatus Named After Our Academic Ancestors, III

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greenslade, Thomas B.

    2014-09-01

    My academic ancestors in physics have called on me once more to tell you about the apparatus that they devised, and that many of you have used in your demonstrations and labs. This article is about apparatus named after François Arago, Heinrich Helmholtz, Leon Foucault, and James Watt.

  13. Archaeal ancestors of eukaryotes: not so elusive any more.

    PubMed

    Koonin, Eugene V

    2015-01-01

    The origin of eukaryotes is one of the hardest problems in evolutionary biology and sometimes raises the ominous specter of irreducible complexity. Reconstruction of the gene repertoire of the last eukaryotic common ancestor (LECA) has revealed a highly complex organism with a variety of advanced features but no detectable evolutionary intermediates to explain their origin. Recently, however, genome analysis of diverse archaea led to the discovery of apparent ancestral versions of several signature eukaryotic systems, such as the actin cytoskeleton and the ubiquitin network, that are scattered among archaea. These findings inspired the hypothesis that the archaeal ancestor of eukaryotes was an unusually complex form with an elaborate intracellular organization. The latest striking discovery made by deep metagenomic sequencing vindicates this hypothesis by showing that in phylogenetic trees eukaryotes fall within a newly identified archaeal group, the Lokiarchaeota, which combine several eukaryotic signatures previously identified in different archaea. The discovery of complex archaea that are the closest living relatives of eukaryotes is most compatible with the symbiogenetic scenario for eukaryogenesis.

  14. Mammalian development in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ronca, April E.

    2003-01-01

    Life on Earth, and thus the reproductive and ontogenetic processes of all extant species and their ancestors, evolved under the constant influence of the Earth's l g gravitational field. These considerations raise important questions about the ability of mammals to reproduce and develop in space. In this chapter, I review the current state of our knowledge of spaceflight effects on developing mammals. Recent studies are revealing the first insights into how the space environment affects critical phases of mammalian reproduction and development, viz., those events surrounding fertilization, embryogenesis, pregnancy, birth, postnatal maturation and parental care. This review emphasizes fetal and early postnatal life, the developmental epochs for which the greatest amounts of mammalian spaceflight data have been amassed. The maternal-offspring system, the coordinated aggregate of mother and young comprising mammalian development, is of primary importance during these early, formative developmental phases. The existing research supports the view that biologically meaningful interactions between mothers and offspring are changed in the weightlessness of space. These changes may, in turn, cloud interpretations of spaceflight effects on developing offspring. Whereas studies of mid-pregnant rats in space have been extraordinarily successful, studies of young rat litters launched at 9 days of postnatal age or earlier, have been encumbered with problems related to the design of in-flight caging and compromised maternal-offspring interactions. Possibilities for mammalian birth in space, an event that has not yet transpired, are considered. In the aggregate, the results indicate a strong need for new studies of mammalian reproduction and development in space. Habitat development and systematic ground-based testing are important prerequisites to future research with young postnatal rodents in space. Together, the findings support the view that the environment within which young

  15. Markov-chain approach to the distribution of ancestors in species of biparental reproduction.

    PubMed

    Caruso, M; Jarne, C

    2014-08-01

    We studied how to obtain a distribution for the number of ancestors in species of sexual reproduction. Present models concentrate on the estimation of distributions repetitions of ancestors in genealogical trees. It has been shown that it is not possible to reconstruct the genealogical history of each species along all its generations by means of a geometric progression. This analysis demonstrates that it is possible to rebuild the tree of progenitors by modeling the problem with a Markov chain. For each generation, the maximum number of possible ancestors is different. This presents huge problems for the resolution. We found a solution through a dilation of the sample space, although the distribution defined there takes smaller values with respect to the initial problem. In order to correct the distribution for each generation, we introduced the invariance under a gauge (local) group of dilations. These ideas can be used to study the interaction of several processes and provide a new approach on the problem of the common ancestor. In the same direction, this model also provides some elements that can be used to improve models of animal reproduction.

  16. Markov-chain approach to the distribution of ancestors in species of biparental reproduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caruso, M.; Jarne, C.

    2014-08-01

    We studied how to obtain a distribution for the number of ancestors in species of sexual reproduction. Present models concentrate on the estimation of distributions repetitions of ancestors in genealogical trees. It has been shown that it is not possible to reconstruct the genealogical history of each species along all its generations by means of a geometric progression. This analysis demonstrates that it is possible to rebuild the tree of progenitors by modeling the problem with a Markov chain. For each generation, the maximum number of possible ancestors is different. This presents huge problems for the resolution. We found a solution through a dilation of the sample space, although the distribution defined there takes smaller values with respect to the initial problem. In order to correct the distribution for each generation, we introduced the invariance under a gauge (local) group of dilations. These ideas can be used to study the interaction of several processes and provide a new approach on the problem of the common ancestor. In the same direction, this model also provides some elements that can be used to improve models of animal reproduction.

  17. The physiology and habitat of the last universal common ancestor.

    PubMed

    Weiss, Madeline C; Sousa, Filipa L; Mrnjavac, Natalia; Neukirchen, Sinje; Roettger, Mayo; Nelson-Sathi, Shijulal; Martin, William F

    2016-01-01

    The concept of a last universal common ancestor of all cells (LUCA, or the progenote) is central to the study of early evolution and life's origin, yet information about how and where LUCA lived is lacking. We investigated all clusters and phylogenetic trees for 6.1 million protein coding genes from sequenced prokaryotic genomes in order to reconstruct the microbial ecology of LUCA. Among 286,514 protein clusters, we identified 355 protein families (∼0.1%) that trace to LUCA by phylogenetic criteria. Because these proteins are not universally distributed, they can shed light on LUCA's physiology. Their functions, properties and prosthetic groups depict LUCA as anaerobic, CO2-fixing, H2-dependent with a Wood-Ljungdahl pathway, N2-fixing and thermophilic. LUCA's biochemistry was replete with FeS clusters and radical reaction mechanisms. Its cofactors reveal dependence upon transition metals, flavins, S-adenosyl methionine, coenzyme A, ferredoxin, molybdopterin, corrins and selenium. Its genetic code required nucleoside modifications and S-adenosyl methionine-dependent methylations. The 355 phylogenies identify clostridia and methanogens, whose modern lifestyles resemble that of LUCA, as basal among their respective domains. LUCA inhabited a geochemically active environment rich in H2, CO2 and iron. The data support the theory of an autotrophic origin of life involving the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway in a hydrothermal setting. PMID:27562259

  18. The existence and abundance of ghost ancestors in biparental populations.

    PubMed

    Gravel, Simon; Steel, Mike

    2015-05-01

    In a randomly-mating biparental population of size N there are, with high probability, individuals who are genealogical ancestors of every extant individual within approximately log2(N) generations into the past. We use this result of J. Chang to prove a curious corollary under standard models of recombination: there exist, with high probability, individuals within a constant multiple of log2(N) generations into the past who are simultaneously (i) genealogical ancestors of each of the individuals at the present, and (ii) genetic ancestors to none of the individuals at the present. Such ancestral individuals-ancestors of everyone today that left no genetic trace-represent 'ghost' ancestors in a strong sense. In this short note, we use simple analytical argument and simulations to estimate how many such individuals exist in finite Wright-Fisher populations. PMID:25703300

  19. The Hunt for Dwarf Galaxies' Ancestors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-01-01

    Dwarf galaxies are typically very faint, and are therefore hard to find. Given that, what are our chances of finding their distant ancestors, located billions of light-years away? A recent study aims to find out.Ancient CounterpartsDwarf galaxies are a hot topic right now, especially as we discover more and more of them nearby. Besides being great places to investigate a variety of astrophysical processes, local group dwarf galaxies are also representative of the most common type of galaxy in the universe. For many of these dwarf galaxies, their low masses and typically old stellar populations suggest that most of their stars were formed early in the universes history, and further star formation was suppressed when the universe was reionized at redshifts of z ~ 610. If this is true, most dwarf galaxies are essentially fossils: theyve evolved little since that point.To test this theory, wed like to find counterparts to our local group dwarf galaxies at these higher redshifts of z = 6 or 7. But dwarf galaxies, since they dont exhibit lots of active star formation, have very low surface brightnesses making them very difficult to detect. What are the chances that current or future telescope sensitivities will allow us to detect these? Thats the question Anna Patej and Abraham Loeb, two theorists at Harvard University, have addressed in a recent study.Entering a New RegimeThe surface brightness vs. size for 73 local dwarf galaxies scaled back to redshifts of z=6 (top) and z=7 (bottom). So far weve been able to observe high-redshift galaxies within the boxed region of the parameter space. JWST will open the shaded region of the parameter space, which includes some of the dwarf galaxies. [Patej Loeb 2015]Starting from observational data for 87 Local-Group dwarf galaxies, Patej and Loeb used a stellar population synthesis code to evolve the galaxies backward in time to redshifts of z = 6 and 7. Next, they narrowed this sample to only those dwarfs for which most star

  20. Mammalian Pheromones

    PubMed Central

    Liberles, Stephen D.

    2015-01-01

    Mammalian pheromones control a myriad of innate social behaviors and acutely regulate hormone levels. Responses to pheromones are highly robust, reproducible, and stereotyped and likely involve developmentally predetermined neural circuits. Here, I review several facets of pheromone transduction in mammals, including (a) chemosensory receptors and signaling components of the main olfactory epithelium and vomeronasal organ involved in pheromone detection; (b) pheromone-activated neural circuits subject to sex-specific and state-dependent modulation; and (c) the striking chemical diversity of mammalian pheromones, which range from small, volatile molecules and sulfated steroids to large families of proteins. Finally, I review (d ) molecular mechanisms underlying various behavioral and endocrine responses, including modulation of puberty and estrous; control of reproduction, aggression, suckling, and parental behaviors; individual recognition; and distinguishing of own species from predators, competitors, and prey. Deconstruction of pheromone transduction mechanisms provides a critical foundation for understanding how odor response pathways generate instinctive behaviors. PMID:23988175

  1. The extended Price equation quantifies species selection on mammalian body size across the Palaeocene/Eocene Thermal Maximum.

    PubMed

    Rankin, Brian D; Fox, Jeremy W; Barrón-Ortiz, Christian R; Chew, Amy E; Holroyd, Patricia A; Ludtke, Joshua A; Yang, Xingkai; Theodor, Jessica M

    2015-08-01

    Species selection, covariation of species' traits with their net diversification rates, is an important component of macroevolution. Most studies have relied on indirect evidence for its operation and have not quantified its strength relative to other macroevolutionary forces. We use an extension of the Price equation to quantify the mechanisms of body size macroevolution in mammals from the latest Palaeocene and earliest Eocene of the Bighorn and Clarks Fork Basins of Wyoming. Dwarfing of mammalian taxa across the Palaeocene/Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), an intense, brief warming event that occurred at approximately 56 Ma, has been suggested to reflect anagenetic change and the immigration of small bodied-mammals, but might also be attributable to species selection. Using previously reconstructed ancestor-descendant relationships, we partitioned change in mean mammalian body size into three distinct mechanisms: species selection operating on resident mammals, anagenetic change within resident mammalian lineages and change due to immigrants. The remarkable decrease in mean body size across the warming event occurred through anagenetic change and immigration. Species selection also was strong across the PETM but, intriguingly, favoured larger-bodied species, implying some unknown mechanism(s) by which warming events affect macroevolution.

  2. The extended Price equation quantifies species selection on mammalian body size across the Palaeocene/Eocene Thermal Maximum.

    PubMed

    Rankin, Brian D; Fox, Jeremy W; Barrón-Ortiz, Christian R; Chew, Amy E; Holroyd, Patricia A; Ludtke, Joshua A; Yang, Xingkai; Theodor, Jessica M

    2015-08-01

    Species selection, covariation of species' traits with their net diversification rates, is an important component of macroevolution. Most studies have relied on indirect evidence for its operation and have not quantified its strength relative to other macroevolutionary forces. We use an extension of the Price equation to quantify the mechanisms of body size macroevolution in mammals from the latest Palaeocene and earliest Eocene of the Bighorn and Clarks Fork Basins of Wyoming. Dwarfing of mammalian taxa across the Palaeocene/Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), an intense, brief warming event that occurred at approximately 56 Ma, has been suggested to reflect anagenetic change and the immigration of small bodied-mammals, but might also be attributable to species selection. Using previously reconstructed ancestor-descendant relationships, we partitioned change in mean mammalian body size into three distinct mechanisms: species selection operating on resident mammals, anagenetic change within resident mammalian lineages and change due to immigrants. The remarkable decrease in mean body size across the warming event occurred through anagenetic change and immigration. Species selection also was strong across the PETM but, intriguingly, favoured larger-bodied species, implying some unknown mechanism(s) by which warming events affect macroevolution. PMID:26224712

  3. Proposed Ancestors of Phage Nucleic Acid Packaging Motors (and Cells)

    PubMed Central

    Serwer, Philip

    2011-01-01

    I present a hypothesis that begins with the proposal that abiotic ancestors of phage RNA and DNA packaging systems (and cells) include mobile shells with an internal, molecule-transporting cavity. The foundations of this hypothesis include the conjecture that current nucleic acid packaging systems have imprints from abiotic ancestors. The abiotic shells (1) initially imbibe and later also bind and transport organic molecules, thereby providing a means for producing molecular interactions that are links in the chain of events that produces ancestors to the first molecules that are both information carrying and enzymatically active, and (2) are subsequently scaffolds on which proteins assemble to form ancestors common to both shells of viral capsids and cell membranes. Emergence of cells occurs via aggregation and merger of shells and internal contents. The hypothesis continues by using proposed imprints of abiotic and biotic ancestors to deduce an ancestral thermal ratchet-based DNA packaging motor that subsequently evolves to integrate a DNA packaging ATPase that provides a power stroke. PMID:21994778

  4. Spatial Localization of Recent Ancestors for Admixed Individuals

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Wen-Yun; Platt, Alexander; Chiang, Charleston Wen-Kai; Eskin, Eleazar; Novembre, John; Pasaniuc, Bogdan

    2014-01-01

    Ancestry analysis from genetic data plays a critical role in studies of human disease and evolution. Recent work has introduced explicit models for the geographic distribution of genetic variation and has shown that such explicit models yield superior accuracy in ancestry inference over nonmodel-based methods. Here we extend such work to introduce a method that models admixture between ancestors from multiple sources across a geographic continuum. We devise efficient algorithms based on hidden Markov models to localize on a map the recent ancestors (e.g., grandparents) of admixed individuals, joint with assigning ancestry at each locus in the genome. We validate our methods by using empirical data from individuals with mixed European ancestry from the Population Reference Sample study and show that our approach is able to localize their recent ancestors within an average of 470 km of the reported locations of their grandparents. Furthermore, simulations from real Population Reference Sample genotype data show that our method attains high accuracy in localizing recent ancestors of admixed individuals in Europe (an average of 550 km from their true location for localization of two ancestries in Europe, four generations ago). We explore the limits of ancestry localization under our approach and find that performance decreases as the number of distinct ancestries and generations since admixture increases. Finally, we build a map of expected localization accuracy across admixed individuals according to the location of origin within Europe of their ancestors. PMID:25371484

  5. Mammalian sleep

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Staunton, Hugh

    2005-05-01

    This review examines the biological background to the development of ideas on rapid eye movement sleep (REM sleep), so-called paradoxical sleep (PS), and its relation to dreaming. Aspects of the phenomenon which are discussed include physiological changes and their anatomical location, the effects of total and selective sleep deprivation in the human and animal, and REM sleep behavior disorder, the latter with its clinical manifestations in the human. Although dreaming also occurs in other sleep phases (non-REM or NREM sleep), in the human, there is a contingent relation between REM sleep and dreaming. Thus, REM is taken as a marker for dreaming and as REM is distributed ubiquitously throughout the mammalian class, it is suggested that other mammals also dream. It is suggested that the overall function of REM sleep/dreaming is more important than the content of the individual dream; its function is to place the dreamer protagonist/observer on the topographical world. This has importance for the developing infant who needs to develop a sense of self and separateness from the world which it requires to navigate and from which it is separated for long periods in sleep. Dreaming may also serve to maintain a sense of ‘I’ness or “self” in the adult, in whom a fragility of this faculty is revealed in neurological disorders.

  6. Phylogeny: a non-hyperthermophilic ancestor for bacteria.

    PubMed

    Brochier, Céline; Philippe, Hervé

    2002-05-16

    The first phyla that emerge in the tree of life based on ribosomal RNA (rRNA) sequences are hyperthermophilic, which led to the hypothesis that the universal ancestor, and possibly the original living organism, was hyperthermophilic. Here we reanalyse the bacterial phylogeny based on rRNA using a more reliable approach, and find that hyperthermophilic bacteria (such as Aquificales and Thermotogales) do not emerge first, suggesting that the Bacteria had a non-hyperthermophilic ancestor. It seems that Planctomycetales, a phylum with numerous peculiarities, could be the first emerging bacterial group.

  7. Evolutionary paths to mammalian cochleae.

    PubMed

    Manley, Geoffrey A

    2012-12-01

    Evolution of the cochlea and high-frequency hearing (>20 kHz; ultrasonic to humans) in mammals has been a subject of research for many years. Recent advances in paleontological techniques, especially the use of micro-CT scans, now provide important new insights that are here reviewed. True mammals arose more than 200 million years (Ma) ago. Of these, three lineages survived into recent geological times. These animals uniquely developed three middle ear ossicles, but these ossicles were not initially freely suspended as in modern mammals. The earliest mammalian cochleae were only about 2 mm long and contained a lagena macula. In the multituberculate and monotreme mammalian lineages, the cochlea remained relatively short and did not coil, even in modern representatives. In the lineage leading to modern therians (placental and marsupial mammals), cochlear coiling did develop, but only after a period of at least 60 Ma. Even Late Jurassic mammals show only a 270 ° cochlear coil and a cochlear canal length of merely 3 mm. Comparisons of modern organisms, mammalian ancestors, and the state of the middle ear strongly suggest that high-frequency hearing (>20 kHz) was not realized until the early Cretaceous (~125 Ma). At that time, therian mammals arose and possessed a fully coiled cochlea. The evolution of modern features of the middle ear and cochlea in the many later lineages of therians was, however, a mosaic and different features arose at different times. In parallel with cochlear structural evolution, prestins in therian mammals evolved into effective components of a new motor system. Ultrasonic hearing developed quite late-the earliest bat cochleae (~60 Ma) did not show features characteristic of those of modern bats that are sensitive to high ultrasonic frequencies.

  8. Evolutionary paths to mammalian cochleae.

    PubMed

    Manley, Geoffrey A

    2012-12-01

    Evolution of the cochlea and high-frequency hearing (>20 kHz; ultrasonic to humans) in mammals has been a subject of research for many years. Recent advances in paleontological techniques, especially the use of micro-CT scans, now provide important new insights that are here reviewed. True mammals arose more than 200 million years (Ma) ago. Of these, three lineages survived into recent geological times. These animals uniquely developed three middle ear ossicles, but these ossicles were not initially freely suspended as in modern mammals. The earliest mammalian cochleae were only about 2 mm long and contained a lagena macula. In the multituberculate and monotreme mammalian lineages, the cochlea remained relatively short and did not coil, even in modern representatives. In the lineage leading to modern therians (placental and marsupial mammals), cochlear coiling did develop, but only after a period of at least 60 Ma. Even Late Jurassic mammals show only a 270 ° cochlear coil and a cochlear canal length of merely 3 mm. Comparisons of modern organisms, mammalian ancestors, and the state of the middle ear strongly suggest that high-frequency hearing (>20 kHz) was not realized until the early Cretaceous (~125 Ma). At that time, therian mammals arose and possessed a fully coiled cochlea. The evolution of modern features of the middle ear and cochlea in the many later lineages of therians was, however, a mosaic and different features arose at different times. In parallel with cochlear structural evolution, prestins in therian mammals evolved into effective components of a new motor system. Ultrasonic hearing developed quite late-the earliest bat cochleae (~60 Ma) did not show features characteristic of those of modern bats that are sensitive to high ultrasonic frequencies. PMID:22983571

  9. A proposal of the proteome before the last universal common ancestor (LUCA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Farias, Sávio Torres; Rêgo, Thais Gaudêncio; José, Marco V.

    2016-01-01

    The search for understanding the biological nature of the last universal common ancestor (LUCA) has been a theoretical challenge and has sparked intense debate in the scientific community. We reconstructed the ancestral sequences of tRNAs in order to test the hypothesis that these molecules originated the first genes. The results showed that the proteome before LUCA may have been composed of basal energy metabolism, namely, compounds with three carbons in the glycolytic pathway, which operated as a distribution centre of substrates for the development of metabolic pathways of nucleotides, lipids and amino acids. Thus, we present a proposal for metabolism in organisms before LUCA that was the initial core for the assembly of further metabolic pathways.

  10. A rock-inhabiting ancestor for mutualistic and pathogen-rich fungal lineages

    PubMed Central

    Gueidan, C.; Villaseñor, C. R.; de Hoog, G. S.; Gorbushina, A. A.; Untereiner, W. A.; Lutzoni, F.

    2008-01-01

    Rock surfaces are unique terrestrial habitats in which rapid changes in the intensity of radiation, temperature, water supply and nutrient availability challenge the survival of microbes. A specialised, but diverse group of free-living, melanised fungi are amongst the persistent settlers of bare rocks. Multigene phylogenetic analyses were used to study relationships of ascomycetes from a variety of substrates, with a dataset including a broad sampling of rock dwellers from different geographical locations. Rock-inhabiting fungi appear particularly diverse in the early diverging lineages of the orders Chaetothyriales and Verrucariales. Although these orders share a most recent common ancestor, their lifestyles are strikingly different. Verrucariales are mostly lichen-forming fungi, while Chaetothyriales, by contrast, are best known as opportunistic pathogens of vertebrates (e.g. Cladophialophora bantiana and Exophiala dermatitidis, both agents of fatal brain infections) and saprophytes. The rock-dwelling habit is shown here to be key to the evolution of these two ecologically disparate orders. The most recent common ancestor of Verrucariales and Chaetothyriales is reconstructed as a non-lichenised rock-inhabitant. Ancestral state reconstructions suggest Verrucariales as one of the independent ascomycetes group where lichenisation has evolved on a hostile rock surface that might have favored this shift to a symbiotic lifestyle. Rock-inhabiting fungi are also ancestral to opportunistic pathogens, as they are found in the early diverging lineages of Chaetothyriales. In Chaetothyriales and Verrucariales, specific morphological and physiological traits (here referred to as extremotolerance) evolved in response to stresses in extreme conditions prevailing on rock surfaces. These factors facilitated colonisation of various substrates including the brains of vertebrates by opportunistic fungal pathogens, as well as helped establishment of a stable lichen symbiosis. PMID

  11. Deciding Termination for Ancestor Match- Bounded String Rewriting Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Geser, Alfons; Hofbauer, Dieter; Waldmann, Johannes

    2005-01-01

    Termination of a string rewriting system can be characterized by termination on suitable recursively defined languages. This kind of termination criteria has been criticized for its lack of automation. In an earlier paper we have shown how to construct an automated termination criterion if the recursion is aligned with the rewrite relation. We have demonstrated the technique with Dershowitz's forward closure criterion. In this paper we show that a different approach is suitable when the recursion is aligned with the inverse of the rewrite relation. We apply this idea to Kurth's ancestor graphs and obtain ancestor match-bounded string rewriting systems. Termination is shown to be decidable for this class. The resulting method improves upon those based on match-boundedness or inverse match-boundedness.

  12. Diet and the evolution of the earliest human ancestors.

    PubMed

    Teaford, M F; Ungar, P S

    2000-12-01

    Over the past decade, discussions of the evolution of the earliest human ancestors have focused on the locomotion of the australopithecines. Recent discoveries in a broad range of disciplines have raised important questions about the influence of ecological factors in early human evolution. Here we trace the cranial and dental traits of the early australopithecines through time, to show that between 4.4 million and 2.3 million years ago, the dietary capabilities of the earliest hominids changed dramatically, leaving them well suited for life in a variety of habitats and able to cope with significant changes in resource availability associated with long-term and short-term climatic fluctuations.

  13. Fossil hominin shoulders support an African ape-like last common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees

    PubMed Central

    Young, Nathan M.; Capellini, Terence D.; Roach, Neil T.; Alemseged, Zeresenay

    2015-01-01

    Reconstructing the behavioral shifts that drove hominin evolution requires knowledge of the timing, magnitude, and direction of anatomical changes over the past ∼6–7 million years. These reconstructions depend on assumptions regarding the morphotype of the Homo–Pan last common ancestor (LCA). However, there is little consensus for the LCA, with proposed models ranging from African ape to orangutan or generalized Miocene ape-like. The ancestral state of the shoulder is of particular interest because it is functionally associated with important behavioral shifts in hominins, such as reduced arboreality, high-speed throwing, and tool use. However, previous morphometric analyses of both living and fossil taxa have yielded contradictory results. Here, we generated a 3D morphospace of ape and human scapular shape to plot evolutionary trajectories, predict ancestral morphologies, and directly test alternative evolutionary hypotheses using the hominin fossil evidence. We show that the most parsimonious model for the evolution of hominin shoulder shape starts with an African ape-like ancestral state. We propose that the shoulder evolved gradually along a single morphocline, achieving modern human-like configuration and function within the genus Homo. These data are consistent with a slow, progressive loss of arboreality and increased tool use throughout human evolution. PMID:26351685

  14. Origin and Evolution of Water Oxidation before the Last Common Ancestor of the Cyanobacteria.

    PubMed

    Cardona, Tanai; Murray, James W; Rutherford, A William

    2015-05-01

    Photosystem II, the water oxidizing enzyme, altered the course of evolution by filling the atmosphere with oxygen. Here, we reconstruct the origin and evolution of water oxidation at an unprecedented level of detail by studying the phylogeny of all D1 subunits, the main protein coordinating the water oxidizing cluster (Mn4CaO5) of Photosystem II. We show that D1 exists in several forms making well-defined clades, some of which could have evolved before the origin of water oxidation and presenting many atypical characteristics. The most ancient form is found in the genome of Gloeobacter kilaueensis JS-1 and this has a C-terminus with a higher sequence identity to D2 than to any other D1. Two other groups of early evolving D1 correspond to those expressed under prolonged far-red illumination and in darkness. These atypical D1 forms are characterized by a dramatically different Mn4CaO5 binding site and a Photosystem II containing such a site may assemble an unconventional metal cluster. The first D1 forms with a full set of ligands to the Mn4CaO5 cluster are grouped with D1 proteins expressed only under low oxygen concentrations and the latest evolving form is the dominant type of D1 found in all cyanobacteria and plastids. In addition, we show that the plastid ancestor had a D1 more similar to those in early branching Synechococcus. We suggest each one of these forms of D1 originated from transitional forms at different stages toward the innovation and optimization of water oxidation before the last common ancestor of all known cyanobacteria.

  15. Origin and Evolution of Water Oxidation before the Last Common Ancestor of the Cyanobacteria

    PubMed Central

    Cardona, Tanai; Murray, James W.; Rutherford, A. William

    2015-01-01

    Photosystem II, the water oxidizing enzyme, altered the course of evolution by filling the atmosphere with oxygen. Here, we reconstruct the origin and evolution of water oxidation at an unprecedented level of detail by studying the phylogeny of all D1 subunits, the main protein coordinating the water oxidizing cluster (Mn4CaO5) of Photosystem II. We show that D1 exists in several forms making well-defined clades, some of which could have evolved before the origin of water oxidation and presenting many atypical characteristics. The most ancient form is found in the genome of Gloeobacter kilaueensis JS-1 and this has a C-terminus with a higher sequence identity to D2 than to any other D1. Two other groups of early evolving D1 correspond to those expressed under prolonged far-red illumination and in darkness. These atypical D1 forms are characterized by a dramatically different Mn4CaO5 binding site and a Photosystem II containing such a site may assemble an unconventional metal cluster. The first D1 forms with a full set of ligands to the Mn4CaO5 cluster are grouped with D1 proteins expressed only under low oxygen concentrations and the latest evolving form is the dominant type of D1 found in all cyanobacteria and plastids. In addition, we show that the plastid ancestor had a D1 more similar to those in early branching Synechococcus. We suggest each one of these forms of D1 originated from transitional forms at different stages toward the innovation and optimization of water oxidation before the last common ancestor of all known cyanobacteria. PMID:25657330

  16. Hybrid origin of the Pliocene ancestor of wild goats.

    PubMed

    Ropiquet, Anne; Hassanin, Alexandre

    2006-11-01

    Recent theories on speciation suggest that interspecific hybridization is an important mechanism for explaining adaptive radiation. According to this view, hybridization can promote the rapid transfer of adaptations between different species; the hybrid population thus invades new habitats and diversifies into a variety of new species. Although hybridization is well accepted as a fairly common mechanism for diversification in plants, its role in the evolution of animals is more controversial, because reduced fitness would typically condemn animal hybrids to an evolutionary dead-end. Here, we examine DNA sequences of four mitochondrial and four nuclear genes selected for resolving phylogenetic relationships between goats, sheep, and their allies. Our analyses provide evidence of strong discordance for the position of Capra between mitochondrial and nuclear phylogenies. We suggest that the common ancestor of wild goats arose from interspecific hybridization, and that the mitochondrial genome of a species better adapted to life at high altitudes was transferred via this route into the common ancestor of Capra. We propose that the acquisition of more efficient mitochondria has conferred a selective advantage on goats, allowing their rapid adaptive radiation during the Plio-Pleistocene epoch. Our study therefore agrees with theories that predict an important role for interspecific hybridization in the evolution and diversification of animal species. PMID:16837213

  17. Mammalian phylogeny reveals recent diversification rate shifts.

    PubMed

    Stadler, Tanja

    2011-04-12

    Phylogenetic trees of present-day species allow investigation of the rate of evolution that led to the present-day diversity. A recent analysis of the mammalian phylogeny challenged the view of explosive mammalian evolution after the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K/T) boundary (65 Mya). However, due to lack of appropriate methods, the diversification (speciation minus extinction) rates in the more recent past of mammalian evolution could not be determined. In this paper, I provide a method that reveals that the tempo of mammalian evolution did not change until ∼ 33 Mya. This constant period was followed by a peak of diversification rates between 33 and 30 Mya. Thereafter, diversification rates remained high and constant until 8.55 Mya. Diversification rates declined significantly at 8.55 and 3.35 Mya. Investigation of mammalian subgroups (marsupials, placentals, and the six largest placental subgroups) reveals that the diversification rate peak at 33-30 Mya is mainly driven by rodents, cetartiodactyla, and marsupials. The recent diversification rate decrease is significant for all analyzed subgroups but eulipotyphla, cetartiodactyla, and primates. My likelihood approach is not limited to mammalian evolution. It provides a robust framework to infer diversification rate changes and mass extinction events in phylogenies, reconstructed from, e.g., present-day species or virus data. In particular, the method is very robust toward noise and uncertainty in the phylogeny and can account for incomplete taxon sampling. PMID:21444816

  18. Evolutionary tree reconstruction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cheeseman, Peter; Kanefsky, Bob

    1990-01-01

    It is described how Minimum Description Length (MDL) can be applied to the problem of DNA and protein evolutionary tree reconstruction. If there is a set of mutations that transform a common ancestor into a set of the known sequences, and this description is shorter than the information to encode the known sequences directly, then strong evidence for an evolutionary relationship has been found. A heuristic algorithm is described that searches for the simplest tree (smallest MDL) that finds close to optimal trees on the test data. Various ways of extending the MDL theory to more complex evolutionary relationships are discussed.

  19. Diet and the evolution of the earliest human ancestors.

    PubMed

    Teaford, M F; Ungar, P S

    2000-12-01

    Over the past decade, discussions of the evolution of the earliest human ancestors have focused on the locomotion of the australopithecines. Recent discoveries in a broad range of disciplines have raised important questions about the influence of ecological factors in early human evolution. Here we trace the cranial and dental traits of the early australopithecines through time, to show that between 4.4 million and 2.3 million years ago, the dietary capabilities of the earliest hominids changed dramatically, leaving them well suited for life in a variety of habitats and able to cope with significant changes in resource availability associated with long-term and short-term climatic fluctuations. PMID:11095758

  20. Ontogeny of the maxilla in Neanderthals and their ancestors.

    PubMed

    Lacruz, Rodrigo S; Bromage, Timothy G; O'Higgins, Paul; Arsuaga, Juan-Luis; Stringer, Chris; Godinho, Ricardo Miguel; Warshaw, Johanna; Martínez, Ignacio; Gracia-Tellez, Ana; de Castro, José María Bermúdez; Carbonell, Eudald

    2015-01-01

    Neanderthals had large and projecting (prognathic) faces similar to those of their putative ancestors from Sima de los Huesos (SH) and different from the retracted modern human face. When such differences arose during development and the morphogenetic modifications involved are unknown. We show that maxillary growth remodelling (bone formation and resorption) of the Devil's Tower (Gibraltar 2) and La Quina 18 Neanderthals and four SH hominins, all sub-adults, show extensive bone deposition, whereas in modern humans extensive osteoclastic bone resorption is found in the same regions. This morphogenetic difference is evident by ∼5 years of age. Modern human faces are distinct from those of the Neanderthal and SH fossils in part because their postnatal growth processes differ markedly. The growth remodelling identified in these fossil hominins is shared with Australopithecus and early Homo but not with modern humans suggesting that the modern human face is developmentally derived. PMID:26639346

  1. Palaeogenomics in cereals: modeling of ancestors for modern species improvement.

    PubMed

    Salse, Jérôme; Feuillet, Catherine

    2011-03-01

    During the last decade, technological improvements led to the development of large sets of plant genomic resources permitting the emergence of high-resolution comparative genomic studies. Synteny-based identification of seven shared duplications in cereals led to the modeling of a common ancestral genome structure of 33.6 Mb structured in five protochromosomes containing 9138 protogenes and provided new insights into the evolution of cereal genomes from their extinct ancestors. Recent palaeogenomic data indicate that whole genome duplications were a driving force in the evolutionary success of cereals over the last 50 to 70 millions years. Finally, detailed synteny and duplication relationships led to an improved representation of cereal genomes in concentric circles, thus providing a new reference tool for improved gene annotation and cross-genome markers development.

  2. Palaeogenomics of plants: synteny-based modelling of extinct ancestors.

    PubMed

    Abrouk, Michael; Murat, Florent; Pont, Caroline; Messing, Joachim; Jackson, Scott; Faraut, Thomas; Tannier, Eric; Plomion, Christophe; Cooke, Richard; Feuillet, Catherine; Salse, Jérôme

    2010-09-01

    In the past ten years, international initiatives have led to the development of large sets of genomic resources that allow comparative genomic studies between plant genomes at a high level of resolution. Comparison of map-based genomic sequences revealed shared intra-genomic duplications, providing new insights into the evolution of flowering plant genomes from common ancestors. Plant genomes can be presented as concentric circles, providing a new reference for plant chromosome evolutionary relationships and an efficient tool for gene annotation and cross-genome markers development. Recent palaeogenomic data demonstrate that whole-genome duplications have provided a motor for the evolutionary success of flowering plants over the last 50-70 million years.

  3. Ontogeny of the maxilla in Neanderthals and their ancestors

    PubMed Central

    Lacruz, Rodrigo S.; Bromage, Timothy G.; O'Higgins, Paul; Arsuaga, Juan-Luis; Stringer, Chris; Godinho, Ricardo Miguel; Warshaw, Johanna; Martínez, Ignacio; Gracia-Tellez, Ana; de Castro, José María Bermúdez; Carbonell, Eudald

    2015-01-01

    Neanderthals had large and projecting (prognathic) faces similar to those of their putative ancestors from Sima de los Huesos (SH) and different from the retracted modern human face. When such differences arose during development and the morphogenetic modifications involved are unknown. We show that maxillary growth remodelling (bone formation and resorption) of the Devil's Tower (Gibraltar 2) and La Quina 18 Neanderthals and four SH hominins, all sub-adults, show extensive bone deposition, whereas in modern humans extensive osteoclastic bone resorption is found in the same regions. This morphogenetic difference is evident by ∼5 years of age. Modern human faces are distinct from those of the Neanderthal and SH fossils in part because their postnatal growth processes differ markedly. The growth remodelling identified in these fossil hominins is shared with Australopithecus and early Homo but not with modern humans suggesting that the modern human face is developmentally derived. PMID:26639346

  4. The facial skeleton of the chimpanzee-human last common ancestor

    PubMed Central

    Cobb, Samuel N

    2008-01-01

    This review uses the current morphological evidence to evaluate the facial morphology of the hypothetical last common ancestor (LCA) of the chimpanzee/bonobo (panin) and human (hominin) lineages. Some of the problems involved in reconstructing ancestral morphologies so close to the formation of a lineage are discussed. These include the prevalence of homoplasy and poor phylogenetic resolution due to a lack of defining derived features. Consequently the list of hypothetical features expected in the face of the LCA is very limited beyond its hypothesized similarity to extant Pan. It is not possible to determine with any confidence whether the facial morphology of any of the current candidate LCA taxa (Ardipithecus kadabba, Ardipithecus ramidus, Orrorin tugenensis and Sahelanthropus tchadensis) is representative of the LCA, or a stem hominin, or a stem panin or, in some cases, a hominid predating the emergence of the hominin lineage. The major evolutionary trends in the hominin lineage subsequent to the LCA are discussed in relation to the dental arcade and dentition, subnasal morphology and the size, position and prognathism of the facial skeleton. PMID:18380866

  5. The facial skeleton of the chimpanzee-human last common ancestor.

    PubMed

    Cobb, Samuel N

    2008-04-01

    This review uses the current morphological evidence to evaluate the facial morphology of the hypothetical last common ancestor (LCA) of the chimpanzee/bonobo (panin) and human (hominin) lineages. Some of the problems involved in reconstructing ancestral morphologies so close to the formation of a lineage are discussed. These include the prevalence of homoplasy and poor phylogenetic resolution due to a lack of defining derived features. Consequently the list of hypothetical features expected in the face of the LCA is very limited beyond its hypothesized similarity to extant Pan. It is not possible to determine with any confidence whether the facial morphology of any of the current candidate LCA taxa (Ardipithecus kadabba, Ardipithecus ramidus, Orrorin tugenensis and Sahelanthropus tchadensis) is representative of the LCA, or a stem hominin, or a stem panin or, in some cases, a hominid predating the emergence of the hominin lineage. The major evolutionary trends in the hominin lineage subsequent to the LCA are discussed in relation to the dental arcade and dentition, subnasal morphology and the size, position and prognathism of the facial skeleton.

  6. Crops gone wild: evolution of weeds and invasives from domesticated ancestors

    PubMed Central

    Ellstrand, Norman C; Heredia, Sylvia M; Leak-Garcia, Janet A; Heraty, Joanne M; Burger, Jutta C; Yao, Li; Nohzadeh-Malakshah, Sahar; Ridley, Caroline E

    2010-01-01

    The evolution of problematic plants, both weeds and invasives, is a topic of increasing interest. Plants that have evolved from domesticated ancestors have certain advantages for study. Because of their economic importance, domesticated plants are generally well-characterized and readily available for ecogenetic comparison with their wild descendants. Thus, the evolutionary history of crop descendants has the potential to be reconstructed in some detail. Furthermore, growing crop progenitors with their problematic descendants in a common environment allows for the identification of significant evolutionary differences that correlate with weediness or invasiveness. We sought well-established examples of invasives and weeds for which genetic and/or ethnobotanical evidence has confirmed their evolution from domesticates. We found surprisingly few cases, only 13. We examine our list for generalizations and then some selected cases to reveal how plant pests have evolved from domesticates. Despite their potential utility, crop descendants remain underexploited for evolutionary study. Promising evolutionary research opportunities for these systems are abundant and worthy of pursuit. PMID:25567942

  7. Scapular shape of extant hominoids and the African ape/modern human last common ancestor.

    PubMed

    Green, David J; Spiewak, Ted A; Seitelman, Brielle; Gunz, Philipp

    2016-05-01

    Newly discovered early hominin fossil scapulae have bolstered investigations of scapular shape, which have long been used to interpret behavioral variation among primates. However, unexpected similarities between Pongo and Homo - particularly in scapular spine orientation - have raised questions about the functional utility of scapular morphology and its phylogenetic context in the hominin lineage. Not surprisingly, significant disagreement surrounds disparate morphological reconstructions of the modern human/African ape last common ancestor (LCA). Our study utilizes geometric morphometric (GM) approaches - two employing homologous, anatomical landmarks and a "spine-free" alternative using 98 sliding semilandmarks along the boundary of the subscapular fossa. The landmark-based "wireframe" GM analysis principally sorted groups by spine orientation: Homo and Pongo were similar to one another with more transversely-oriented spines as compared to Hylobates and the African apes. In contrast, Homo and Gorilla clustered together in our semilandmark analysis with superoinferiorly broad blades. Pan scapulae were similar, but had more mediolaterally compressed blades and laterally-positioned superior angles. Hylobates was superoinferiorly narrow, yet obliquely expanded relative to the vertebral border. Pongo scapulae were unique among hominoids in being nearly as broad as they were long. Previously documented 'convergence' of Homo and Pongo scapulae appears to be principally driven by similarities in spine orientation, rather than overall blade shape. Therefore, we contend that it is more parsimonious to reconstruct the African ape/Homo LCA scapula as being Gorilla-like, especially in light of similar characterizations of certain fossil hominin scapulae. Accordingly, the evolution of Pan (highly oblique spine and laterally-situated superior angle) and Homo (transversely-oriented spine) scapular morphology would have involved relatively minor shifts from this ancestral

  8. Scapular shape of extant hominoids and the African ape/modern human last common ancestor.

    PubMed

    Green, David J; Spiewak, Ted A; Seitelman, Brielle; Gunz, Philipp

    2016-05-01

    Newly discovered early hominin fossil scapulae have bolstered investigations of scapular shape, which have long been used to interpret behavioral variation among primates. However, unexpected similarities between Pongo and Homo - particularly in scapular spine orientation - have raised questions about the functional utility of scapular morphology and its phylogenetic context in the hominin lineage. Not surprisingly, significant disagreement surrounds disparate morphological reconstructions of the modern human/African ape last common ancestor (LCA). Our study utilizes geometric morphometric (GM) approaches - two employing homologous, anatomical landmarks and a "spine-free" alternative using 98 sliding semilandmarks along the boundary of the subscapular fossa. The landmark-based "wireframe" GM analysis principally sorted groups by spine orientation: Homo and Pongo were similar to one another with more transversely-oriented spines as compared to Hylobates and the African apes. In contrast, Homo and Gorilla clustered together in our semilandmark analysis with superoinferiorly broad blades. Pan scapulae were similar, but had more mediolaterally compressed blades and laterally-positioned superior angles. Hylobates was superoinferiorly narrow, yet obliquely expanded relative to the vertebral border. Pongo scapulae were unique among hominoids in being nearly as broad as they were long. Previously documented 'convergence' of Homo and Pongo scapulae appears to be principally driven by similarities in spine orientation, rather than overall blade shape. Therefore, we contend that it is more parsimonious to reconstruct the African ape/Homo LCA scapula as being Gorilla-like, especially in light of similar characterizations of certain fossil hominin scapulae. Accordingly, the evolution of Pan (highly oblique spine and laterally-situated superior angle) and Homo (transversely-oriented spine) scapular morphology would have involved relatively minor shifts from this ancestral

  9. Cassava genome from a wild ancestor to cultivated varieties.

    PubMed

    Wang, Wenquan; Feng, Binxiao; Xiao, Jingfa; Xia, Zhiqiang; Zhou, Xincheng; Li, Pinghua; Zhang, Weixiong; Wang, Ying; Møller, Birger Lindberg; Zhang, Peng; Luo, Ming-Cheng; Xiao, Gong; Liu, Jingxing; Yang, Jun; Chen, Songbi; Rabinowicz, Pablo D; Chen, Xin; Zhang, Hong-Bin; Ceballos, Henan; Lou, Qunfeng; Zou, Meiling; Carvalho, Luiz J C B; Zeng, Changying; Xia, Jing; Sun, Shixiang; Fu, Yuhua; Wang, Haiyan; Lu, Cheng; Ruan, Mengbin; Zhou, Shuigeng; Wu, Zhicheng; Liu, Hui; Kannangara, Rubini Maya; Jørgensen, Kirsten; Neale, Rebecca Louise; Bonde, Maya; Heinz, Nanna; Zhu, Wenli; Wang, Shujuan; Zhang, Yang; Pan, Kun; Wen, Mingfu; Ma, Ping-An; Li, Zhengxu; Hu, Meizhen; Liao, Wenbin; Hu, Wenbin; Zhang, Shengkui; Pei, Jinli; Guo, Anping; Guo, Jianchun; Zhang, Jiaming; Zhang, Zhengwen; Ye, Jianqiu; Ou, Wenjun; Ma, Yaqin; Liu, Xinyue; Tallon, Luke J; Galens, Kevin; Ott, Sandra; Huang, Jie; Xue, Jingjing; An, Feifei; Yao, Qingqun; Lu, Xiaojing; Fregene, Martin; López-Lavalle, L Augusto Becerra; Wu, Jiajie; You, Frank M; Chen, Meili; Hu, Songnian; Wu, Guojiang; Zhong, Silin; Ling, Peng; Chen, Yeyuan; Wang, Qinghuang; Liu, Guodao; Liu, Bin; Li, Kaimian; Peng, Ming

    2014-01-01

    Cassava is a major tropical food crop in the Euphorbiaceae family that has high carbohydrate production potential and adaptability to diverse environments. Here we present the draft genome sequences of a wild ancestor and a domesticated variety of cassava and comparative analyses with a partial inbred line. We identify 1,584 and 1,678 gene models specific to the wild and domesticated varieties, respectively, and discover high heterozygosity and millions of single-nucleotide variations. Our analyses reveal that genes involved in photosynthesis, starch accumulation and abiotic stresses have been positively selected, whereas those involved in cell wall biosynthesis and secondary metabolism, including cyanogenic glucoside formation, have been negatively selected in the cultivated varieties, reflecting the result of natural selection and domestication. Differences in microRNA genes and retrotransposon regulation could partly explain an increased carbon flux towards starch accumulation and reduced cyanogenic glucoside accumulation in domesticated cassava. These results may contribute to genetic improvement of cassava through better understanding of its biology. PMID:25300236

  10. Algal ancestor of land plants was preadapted for symbiosis.

    PubMed

    Delaux, Pierre-Marc; Radhakrishnan, Guru V; Jayaraman, Dhileepkumar; Cheema, Jitender; Malbreil, Mathilde; Volkening, Jeremy D; Sekimoto, Hiroyuki; Nishiyama, Tomoaki; Melkonian, Michael; Pokorny, Lisa; Rothfels, Carl J; Sederoff, Heike Winter; Stevenson, Dennis W; Surek, Barbara; Zhang, Yong; Sussman, Michael R; Dunand, Christophe; Morris, Richard J; Roux, Christophe; Wong, Gane Ka-Shu; Oldroyd, Giles E D; Ané, Jean-Michel

    2015-10-27

    Colonization of land by plants was a major transition on Earth, but the developmental and genetic innovations required for this transition remain unknown. Physiological studies and the fossil record strongly suggest that the ability of the first land plants to form symbiotic associations with beneficial fungi was one of these critical innovations. In angiosperms, genes required for the perception and transduction of diffusible fungal signals for root colonization and for nutrient exchange have been characterized. However, the origin of these genes and their potential correlation with land colonization remain elusive. A comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of 259 transcriptomes and 10 green algal and basal land plant genomes, coupled with the characterization of the evolutionary path leading to the appearance of a key regulator, a calcium- and calmodulin-dependent protein kinase, showed that the symbiotic signaling pathway predated the first land plants. In contrast, downstream genes required for root colonization and their specific expression pattern probably appeared subsequent to the colonization of land. We conclude that the most recent common ancestor of extant land plants and green algae was preadapted for symbiotic associations. Subsequent improvement of this precursor stage in early land plants through rounds of gene duplication led to the acquisition of additional pathways and the ability to form a fully functional arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis. PMID:26438870

  11. Cassava genome from a wild ancestor to cultivated varieties

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Wenquan; Feng, Binxiao; Xiao, Jingfa; Xia, Zhiqiang; Zhou, Xincheng; Li, Pinghua; Zhang, Weixiong; Wang, Ying; Møller, Birger Lindberg; Zhang, Peng; Luo, Ming-Cheng; Xiao, Gong; Liu, Jingxing; Yang, Jun; Chen, Songbi; Rabinowicz, Pablo D.; Chen, Xin; Zhang, Hong-Bin; Ceballos, Henan; Lou, Qunfeng; Zou, Meiling; Carvalho, Luiz J.C.B.; Zeng, Changying; Xia, Jing; Sun, Shixiang; Fu, Yuhua; Wang, Haiyan; Lu, Cheng; Ruan, Mengbin; Zhou, Shuigeng; Wu, Zhicheng; Liu, Hui; Kannangara, Rubini Maya; Jørgensen, Kirsten; Neale, Rebecca Louise; Bonde, Maya; Heinz, Nanna; Zhu, Wenli; Wang, Shujuan; Zhang, Yang; Pan, Kun; Wen, Mingfu; Ma, Ping-An; Li, Zhengxu; Hu, Meizhen; Liao, Wenbin; Hu, Wenbin; Zhang, Shengkui; Pei, Jinli; Guo, Anping; Guo, Jianchun; Zhang, Jiaming; Zhang, Zhengwen; Ye, Jianqiu; Ou, Wenjun; Ma, Yaqin; Liu, Xinyue; Tallon, Luke J.; Galens, Kevin; Ott, Sandra; Huang, Jie; Xue, Jingjing; An, Feifei; Yao, Qingqun; Lu, Xiaojing; Fregene, Martin; López-Lavalle, L. Augusto Becerra; Wu, Jiajie; You, Frank M.; Chen, Meili; Hu, Songnian; Wu, Guojiang; Zhong, Silin; Ling, Peng; Chen, Yeyuan; Wang, Qinghuang; Liu, Guodao; Liu, Bin; Li, Kaimian; Peng, Ming

    2014-01-01

    Cassava is a major tropical food crop in the Euphorbiaceae family that has high carbohydrate production potential and adaptability to diverse environments. Here we present the draft genome sequences of a wild ancestor and a domesticated variety of cassava and comparative analyses with a partial inbred line. We identify 1,584 and 1,678 gene models specific to the wild and domesticated varieties, respectively, and discover high heterozygosity and millions of single-nucleotide variations. Our analyses reveal that genes involved in photosynthesis, starch accumulation and abiotic stresses have been positively selected, whereas those involved in cell wall biosynthesis and secondary metabolism, including cyanogenic glucoside formation, have been negatively selected in the cultivated varieties, reflecting the result of natural selection and domestication. Differences in microRNA genes and retrotransposon regulation could partly explain an increased carbon flux towards starch accumulation and reduced cyanogenic glucoside accumulation in domesticated cassava. These results may contribute to genetic improvement of cassava through better understanding of its biology. PMID:25300236

  12. Mexican papita viroid: putative ancestor of crop viroids.

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Soriano, J P; Galindo-Alonso, J; Maroon, C J; Yucel, I; Smith, D R; Diener, T O

    1996-01-01

    The potato spindle tuber disease was first observed early in the 20th century in the northeastern United States and shown, in 1971, to be incited by a viroid, potato spindle tuber viroid (PSTVd). No wild-plant PSTVd reservoirs have been identified; thus, the initial source of PSTVd infecting potatoes has remained a mystery. Several variants of a novel viroid, designated Mexican papita viroid (MPVd), have now been isolated from Solanum cardiophyllum Lindl. (papita güera, cimantli) plants growing wild in the Mexican state of Aguascalientes. MPVd's nucleotide sequence is most closely related to those of the tomato planta macho viroid (TPMVd) and PSTVd. From TPMVd, MPVd may be distinguished on the basis of biological properties, such as replication and symptom formation in certain differential hosts. Phylogenetic and ecological data indicate that MPVd and certain viroids now affecting crop plants, such as TPMVd, PSTVd, and possibly others, have a common ancestor. We hypothesize that commercial potatoes grown in the United States have become viroid-infected by chance transfer of MPVd or a similar viroid from endemically infected wild solanaceous plants imported from Mexico as germplasm, conceivably from plants known to have been introduced from Mexico to the United States late in the 19th century in efforts to identify genetic resistance to the potato late blight fungus, Phytophthora infestans. Images Fig. 1 PMID:8790341

  13. Algal ancestor of land plants was preadapted for symbiosis

    PubMed Central

    Delaux, Pierre-Marc; Radhakrishnan, Guru V.; Jayaraman, Dhileepkumar; Cheema, Jitender; Malbreil, Mathilde; Volkening, Jeremy D.; Sekimoto, Hiroyuki; Nishiyama, Tomoaki; Melkonian, Michael; Pokorny, Lisa; Rothfels, Carl J.; Sederoff, Heike Winter; Stevenson, Dennis W.; Surek, Barbara; Zhang, Yong; Sussman, Michael R.; Dunand, Christophe; Morris, Richard J.; Roux, Christophe; Wong, Gane Ka-Shu; Oldroyd, Giles E. D.; Ané, Jean-Michel

    2015-01-01

    Colonization of land by plants was a major transition on Earth, but the developmental and genetic innovations required for this transition remain unknown. Physiological studies and the fossil record strongly suggest that the ability of the first land plants to form symbiotic associations with beneficial fungi was one of these critical innovations. In angiosperms, genes required for the perception and transduction of diffusible fungal signals for root colonization and for nutrient exchange have been characterized. However, the origin of these genes and their potential correlation with land colonization remain elusive. A comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of 259 transcriptomes and 10 green algal and basal land plant genomes, coupled with the characterization of the evolutionary path leading to the appearance of a key regulator, a calcium- and calmodulin-dependent protein kinase, showed that the symbiotic signaling pathway predated the first land plants. In contrast, downstream genes required for root colonization and their specific expression pattern probably appeared subsequent to the colonization of land. We conclude that the most recent common ancestor of extant land plants and green algae was preadapted for symbiotic associations. Subsequent improvement of this precursor stage in early land plants through rounds of gene duplication led to the acquisition of additional pathways and the ability to form a fully functional arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis. PMID:26438870

  14. Algal ancestor of land plants was preadapted for symbiosis.

    PubMed

    Delaux, Pierre-Marc; Radhakrishnan, Guru V; Jayaraman, Dhileepkumar; Cheema, Jitender; Malbreil, Mathilde; Volkening, Jeremy D; Sekimoto, Hiroyuki; Nishiyama, Tomoaki; Melkonian, Michael; Pokorny, Lisa; Rothfels, Carl J; Sederoff, Heike Winter; Stevenson, Dennis W; Surek, Barbara; Zhang, Yong; Sussman, Michael R; Dunand, Christophe; Morris, Richard J; Roux, Christophe; Wong, Gane Ka-Shu; Oldroyd, Giles E D; Ané, Jean-Michel

    2015-10-27

    Colonization of land by plants was a major transition on Earth, but the developmental and genetic innovations required for this transition remain unknown. Physiological studies and the fossil record strongly suggest that the ability of the first land plants to form symbiotic associations with beneficial fungi was one of these critical innovations. In angiosperms, genes required for the perception and transduction of diffusible fungal signals for root colonization and for nutrient exchange have been characterized. However, the origin of these genes and their potential correlation with land colonization remain elusive. A comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of 259 transcriptomes and 10 green algal and basal land plant genomes, coupled with the characterization of the evolutionary path leading to the appearance of a key regulator, a calcium- and calmodulin-dependent protein kinase, showed that the symbiotic signaling pathway predated the first land plants. In contrast, downstream genes required for root colonization and their specific expression pattern probably appeared subsequent to the colonization of land. We conclude that the most recent common ancestor of extant land plants and green algae was preadapted for symbiotic associations. Subsequent improvement of this precursor stage in early land plants through rounds of gene duplication led to the acquisition of additional pathways and the ability to form a fully functional arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis.

  15. Reconstructing the Auditory Apparatus of Therapsids by Means of Neutron Tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laaß, Michael; Schillinger, Burkhard

    The internal cranial structure of mammalian ancestors, i.e. the therapsids or "mammal-like reptiles", is crucial for understanding the early mammalian evolution. In the past therapsid skulls were investigated by mechanical sectioning or serial grinding, which was a very time-consuming and destructive process and could only be applied to non-valuable or poorly preserved specimens. As most therapsid skulls are embedded in terrestrial iron-rich sediments of Late Permian or Triassic age, i.e. so called "Red beds", a successful investigation with X-Rays is often not possible. We successfully investigated therapsid skulls by means of neutron tomography at the facility ANTARES at FRM II in Munich using cold neutron radiation. This kind of radiation is able to penetrate iron-rich substances in the range between 5 and 15 cm and produces a good contrast between matrix and bones, which enables segmentation of internal cranial structures such as bones, cavities and canals of nerves and blood vessels. In particular, neutron tomography combined with methods of 3D modeling was used here for the investigation and reconstruction of the auditory apparatus of therapsids.

  16. Accelerated Evolution of Enhancer Hotspots in the Mammal Ancestor

    PubMed Central

    Holloway, Alisha K.; Bruneau, Benoit G.; Sukonnik, Tatyana; Rubenstein, John L.; Pollard, Katherine S.

    2016-01-01

    Mammals have evolved remarkably different sensory, reproductive, metabolic, and skeletal systems. To explore the genetic basis for these differences, we developed a comparative genomics approach to scan whole-genome multiple sequence alignments to identify regions that evolved rapidly in an ancestral lineage but are conserved within extant species. This pattern suggests that ancestral changes in function were maintained in descendants. After applying this test to therian mammals, we identified 4,797 accelerated regions, many of which are noncoding and located near developmental transcription factors. We then used mouse transgenic reporter assays to test if noncoding accelerated regions are enhancers and to determine how therian-specific substitutions affect their activity in vivo. We discovered enhancers with expression specific to the therian version in brain regions involved in the hormonal control of milk ejection, uterine contractions, blood pressure, temperature, and visual processing. This work underscores the idea that changes in developmental gene expression are important for mammalian evolution, and it pinpoints candidate genes for unique aspects of mammalian biology. PMID:26715627

  17. Structure–Function Relationships of Glycoprotein Hormones and Their Subunits’ Ancestors

    PubMed Central

    Cahoreau, Claire; Klett, Danièle; Combarnous, Yves

    2015-01-01

    Glycoprotein hormones (GPHs) are the most complex molecules with hormonal activity. They exist only in vertebrates but the genes encoding their subunits’ ancestors are found in most vertebrate and invertebrate species although their roles are still unknown. In the present report, we review the available structural and functional data concerning GPHs and their subunits’ ancestors. PMID:25767463

  18. The Malthusian parameter of ascents: What prevents the exponential increase of one’s ancestors?

    PubMed Central

    Ohno, Susumu

    1996-01-01

    The reason that the indefinite exponential increase in the number of one’s ancestors does not take place is found in the law of sibling interference, which can be expressed by the following simple equation:\\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \\usepackage{amsmath} \\usepackage{wasysym} \\usepackage{amsfonts} \\usepackage{amssymb} \\usepackage{amsbsy} \\usepackage{mathrsfs} \\setlength{\\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \\begin{document} \\begin{equation*}\\begin{matrix}{\\mathit{N}}_{{\\mathit{n}}} \\enskip & \\\\ {\\mathit{{\\blacksquare}}} \\enskip & \\\\ {\\mathit{ASZ}} \\enskip & \\end{matrix} {\\mathrm{\\hspace{.167em}{\\times}\\hspace{.167em}2\\hspace{.167em}=\\hspace{.167em}}}{\\mathit{N_{n+1},}}\\end{equation*}\\end{document} where Nn is the number of ancestors in the nth generation, ASZ is the average sibling size of these ancestors, and Nn+1 is the number of ancestors in the next older generation (n + 1). Accordingly, the exponential increase in the number of one’s ancestors is an initial anomaly that occurs while ASZ remains at 1. Once ASZ begins to exceed 1, the rate of increase in the number of ancestors is progressively curtailed, falling further and further behind the exponential increase rate. Eventually, ASZ reaches 2, and at that point, the number of ancestors stops increasing for two generations. These two generations, named AN SA and AN SA + 1, are the most critical in the ancestry, for one’s ancestors at that point come to represent all the progeny-produced adults of the entire ancestral population. Thereafter, the fate of one’s ancestors becomes the fate of the entire population. If the population to which one belongs is a successful, slowly expanding one, the number of ancestors would slowly decline as you move toward the remote past. This is because ABZ would exceed 2. Only when ABZ is less than 2 would the number of ancestors increase beyond the AN SA and AN SA + 1 generations. Since the above is an indication of a failing population on the way to

  19. Bayesian inference of sampled ancestor trees for epidemiology and fossil calibration.

    PubMed

    Gavryushkina, Alexandra; Welch, David; Stadler, Tanja; Drummond, Alexei J

    2014-12-01

    Phylogenetic analyses which include fossils or molecular sequences that are sampled through time require models that allow one sample to be a direct ancestor of another sample. As previously available phylogenetic inference tools assume that all samples are tips, they do not allow for this possibility. We have developed and implemented a Bayesian Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithm to infer what we call sampled ancestor trees, that is, trees in which sampled individuals can be direct ancestors of other sampled individuals. We use a family of birth-death models where individuals may remain in the tree process after sampling, in particular we extend the birth-death skyline model [Stadler et al., 2013] to sampled ancestor trees. This method allows the detection of sampled ancestors as well as estimation of the probability that an individual will be removed from the process when it is sampled. We show that even if sampled ancestors are not of specific interest in an analysis, failing to account for them leads to significant bias in parameter estimates. We also show that sampled ancestor birth-death models where every sample comes from a different time point are non-identifiable and thus require one parameter to be known in order to infer other parameters. We apply our phylogenetic inference accounting for sampled ancestors to epidemiological data, where the possibility of sampled ancestors enables us to identify individuals that infected other individuals after being sampled and to infer fundamental epidemiological parameters. We also apply the method to infer divergence times and diversification rates when fossils are included along with extant species samples, so that fossilisation events are modelled as a part of the tree branching process. Such modelling has many advantages as argued in the literature. The sampler is available as an open-source BEAST2 package (https://github.com/CompEvol/sampled-ancestors). PMID:25474353

  20. Bayesian Inference of Sampled Ancestor Trees for Epidemiology and Fossil Calibration

    PubMed Central

    Gavryushkina, Alexandra; Welch, David; Stadler, Tanja; Drummond, Alexei J.

    2014-01-01

    Phylogenetic analyses which include fossils or molecular sequences that are sampled through time require models that allow one sample to be a direct ancestor of another sample. As previously available phylogenetic inference tools assume that all samples are tips, they do not allow for this possibility. We have developed and implemented a Bayesian Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithm to infer what we call sampled ancestor trees, that is, trees in which sampled individuals can be direct ancestors of other sampled individuals. We use a family of birth-death models where individuals may remain in the tree process after sampling, in particular we extend the birth-death skyline model [Stadler et al., 2013] to sampled ancestor trees. This method allows the detection of sampled ancestors as well as estimation of the probability that an individual will be removed from the process when it is sampled. We show that even if sampled ancestors are not of specific interest in an analysis, failing to account for them leads to significant bias in parameter estimates. We also show that sampled ancestor birth-death models where every sample comes from a different time point are non-identifiable and thus require one parameter to be known in order to infer other parameters. We apply our phylogenetic inference accounting for sampled ancestors to epidemiological data, where the possibility of sampled ancestors enables us to identify individuals that infected other individuals after being sampled and to infer fundamental epidemiological parameters. We also apply the method to infer divergence times and diversification rates when fossils are included along with extant species samples, so that fossilisation events are modelled as a part of the tree branching process. Such modelling has many advantages as argued in the literature. The sampler is available as an open-source BEAST2 package (https://github.com/CompEvol/sampled-ancestors). PMID:25474353

  1. Evolution and divergence of the mammalian SAMD9/SAMD9L gene family

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The physiological functions of the human Sterile Alpha Motif Domain-containing 9 (SAMD9) gene and its chromosomally adjacent paralogue, SAMD9-like (SAMD9L), currently remain unknown. However, the direct links between the deleterious mutations or deletions in these two genes and several human disorders, such as inherited inflammatory calcified tumors and acute myeloid leukemia, suggest their biological importance. SAMD9 and SAMD9L have also recently been shown to play key roles in the innate immune responses to stimuli such as viral infection. We were particularly interested in understanding the mammalian evolutionary history of these two genes. The phylogeny of SAMD9 and SAMD9L genes was reconstructed using the Maximum Likelihood method. Furthermore, six different methods were applied to detect SAMD9 and SAMD9L codons under selective pressure: the site-specific model M8 implemented in the codeml program in PAML software and five methods available on the Datamonkey web server, including the Single Likelihood Ancestor Counting method, the Fixed Effect Likelihood method, the Random Effect Likelihood method, the Mixed Effects Model of Evolution method and the Fast Unbiased Bayesian AppRoximation method. Additionally, the house mouse (Mus musculus) genome has lost the SAMD9 gene, while keeping SAMD9L intact, prompting us to investigate whether this loss is a unique event during evolution. Results Our evolutionary analyses suggest that SAMD9 and SAMD9L arose through an ancestral gene duplication event after the divergence of Marsupialia from Placentalia. Additionally, selection analyses demonstrated that both genes have been subjected to positive evolutionary selection. The absence of either SAMD9 or SAMD9L genes from some mammalian species supports a partial functional redundancy between the two genes. Conclusions To the best of our knowledge, this work is the first study on the evolutionary history of mammalian SAMD9 and SAMD9L genes. We conclude that

  2. Phylogenetic analysis of a newfound bat-borne hantavirus supports a laurasiatherian host association for ancestral mammalian hantaviruses.

    PubMed

    Witkowski, Peter T; Drexler, Jan F; Kallies, René; Ličková, Martina; Bokorová, Silvia; Mananga, Gael D; Szemes, Tomáš; Leroy, Eric M; Krüger, Detlev H; Drosten, Christian; Klempa, Boris

    2016-07-01

    Until recently, hantaviruses (family Bunyaviridae) were believed to originate from rodent reservoirs. However, genetically distinct hantaviruses were lately found in shrews and moles, as well as in bats from Africa and Asia. Bats (order Chiroptera) are considered important reservoir hosts for emerging human pathogens. Here, we report on the identification of a novel hantavirus, provisionally named Makokou virus (MAKV), in Noack's Roundleaf Bat (Hipposideros ruber) in Gabon, Central Africa. Phylogenetic analysis of the genomic l-segment showed that MAKV was the most closely related to other bat-borne hantaviruses and shared a most recent common ancestor with the Asian hantaviruses Xuan Son and Laibin. Breakdown of the virus load in a bat animal showed that MAKV resembles rodent-borne hantaviruses in its organ distribution in that it predominantly occurred in the spleen and kidney; this provides a first insight into the infection pattern of bat-borne hantaviruses. Ancestral state reconstruction based on a tree of l gene sequences of all relevant hantavirus lineages was combined with phylogenetic fossil host hypothesis testing, leading to a statistically significant rejection of the mammalian superorder Euarchontoglires (including rodents) but not the superorder Laurasiatheria (including shrews, moles, and bats) as potential hosts of ancestral hantaviruses at most basal tree nodes. Our data supports the emerging concept of bats as previously overlooked hantavirus reservoir hosts.

  3. Phylogenetic analysis of a newfound bat-borne hantavirus supports a laurasiatherian host association for ancestral mammalian hantaviruses.

    PubMed

    Witkowski, Peter T; Drexler, Jan F; Kallies, René; Ličková, Martina; Bokorová, Silvia; Mananga, Gael D; Szemes, Tomáš; Leroy, Eric M; Krüger, Detlev H; Drosten, Christian; Klempa, Boris

    2016-07-01

    Until recently, hantaviruses (family Bunyaviridae) were believed to originate from rodent reservoirs. However, genetically distinct hantaviruses were lately found in shrews and moles, as well as in bats from Africa and Asia. Bats (order Chiroptera) are considered important reservoir hosts for emerging human pathogens. Here, we report on the identification of a novel hantavirus, provisionally named Makokou virus (MAKV), in Noack's Roundleaf Bat (Hipposideros ruber) in Gabon, Central Africa. Phylogenetic analysis of the genomic l-segment showed that MAKV was the most closely related to other bat-borne hantaviruses and shared a most recent common ancestor with the Asian hantaviruses Xuan Son and Laibin. Breakdown of the virus load in a bat animal showed that MAKV resembles rodent-borne hantaviruses in its organ distribution in that it predominantly occurred in the spleen and kidney; this provides a first insight into the infection pattern of bat-borne hantaviruses. Ancestral state reconstruction based on a tree of l gene sequences of all relevant hantavirus lineages was combined with phylogenetic fossil host hypothesis testing, leading to a statistically significant rejection of the mammalian superorder Euarchontoglires (including rodents) but not the superorder Laurasiatheria (including shrews, moles, and bats) as potential hosts of ancestral hantaviruses at most basal tree nodes. Our data supports the emerging concept of bats as previously overlooked hantavirus reservoir hosts. PMID:27051047

  4. The last eukaryotic common ancestor (LECA): Acquisition of cytoskeletal motility from aerotolerant spirochetes in the Proterozoic Eon

    PubMed Central

    Margulis, Lynn; Chapman, Michael; Guerrero, Ricardo; Hall, John

    2006-01-01

    We develop a symbiogenetic concept of the origin of eukaryotic intracellular motility systems from anaerobic but aerotolerant spirochetes in sulfide-rich environments. The last eukaryotic common ancestors (LECAs) have extant archaeprotist descendants: motile nucleated cells with Embden-Meyerhof glycolysis and substrate-level phosphorylation that lack the α-proteobacterial symbiont that became the mitochondrion. Swimming and regulated O2-tolerance via sulfide oxidation already had been acquired by sulfidogenic wall-less archaebacteria (thermoplasmas) after aerotolerant cytoplasmic-tubule-containing spirochetes (eubacteria) attached to them. Increasing stability of sulfide-oxidizing/sulfur-reducing consortia analogous to extant sulfur syntrophies (Thiodendron) led to fusion. The eubacteria–archaebacteria symbiosis became permanent as the nucleus evolved by prokaryotic recombination with membrane hypertrophy, analogous to Gemmata obscuriglobus and other δ-proteobacteria with membrane-bounded nucleoids. Histone-coated DNA, protein-synthetic RNAs, amino-acylating, and other enzymes were contributed by the sulfidogen whereas most intracellular motility derives from the spirochete. From this redox syntrophy in anoxic and microoxic Proterozoic habitats LECA evolved. The nucleus originated by recombination of eu- and archaebacterial DNA that remained attached to eubacterial motility structures and became the microtubular cytoskeleton, including the mitotic apparatus. Direct LECA descendants include free-living archaeprotists in anoxic environments: archamoebae, metamonads, parabasalids, and some mammalian symbionts with mitosomes. LECA later acquired the fully aerobic Krebs cycle-oxidative phosphorylation-mitochondrial metabolism by integration of the protomitochondrion, a third α-proteobacterial symbiont from which the ancestors to most protoctists, all fungi, plants, and animals evolved. Secondarily anaerobic eukaryotes descended from LECA after integration of this

  5. Spectral shifts of mammalian ultraviolet-sensitive pigments (short wavelength-sensitive opsin 1) are associated with eye length and photic niche evolution.

    PubMed

    Emerling, Christopher A; Huynh, Hieu T; Nguyen, Minh A; Meredith, Robert W; Springer, Mark S

    2015-11-22

    Retinal opsin photopigments initiate mammalian vision when stimulated by light. Most mammals possess a short wavelength-sensitive opsin 1 (SWS1) pigment that is primarily sensitive to either ultraviolet or violet light, leading to variation in colour perception across species. Despite knowledge of both ultraviolet- and violet-sensitive SWS1 classes in mammals for 25 years, the adaptive significance of this variation has not been subjected to hypothesis testing, resulting in minimal understanding of the basis for mammalian SWS1 spectral tuning evolution. Here, we gathered data on SWS1 for 403 mammal species, including novel SWS1 sequences for 97 species. Ancestral sequence reconstructions suggest that the most recent common ancestor of Theria possessed an ultraviolet SWS1 pigment, and that violet-sensitive pigments evolved at least 12 times in mammalian history. We also observed that ultraviolet pigments, previously considered to be a rarity, are common in mammals. We then used phylogenetic comparative methods to test the hypotheses that the evolution of violet-sensitive SWS1 is associated with increased light exposure, extended longevity and longer eye length. We discovered that diurnal mammals and species with longer eyes are more likely to have violet-sensitive pigments and less likely to possess UV-sensitive pigments. We hypothesize that (i) as mammals evolved larger body sizes, they evolved longer eyes, which limited transmittance of ultraviolet light to the retina due to an increase in Rayleigh scattering, and (ii) as mammals began to invade diurnal temporal niches, they evolved lenses with low UV transmittance to reduce chromatic aberration and/or photo-oxidative damage. PMID:26582021

  6. Spectral shifts of mammalian ultraviolet-sensitive pigments (short wavelength-sensitive opsin 1) are associated with eye length and photic niche evolution.

    PubMed

    Emerling, Christopher A; Huynh, Hieu T; Nguyen, Minh A; Meredith, Robert W; Springer, Mark S

    2015-11-22

    Retinal opsin photopigments initiate mammalian vision when stimulated by light. Most mammals possess a short wavelength-sensitive opsin 1 (SWS1) pigment that is primarily sensitive to either ultraviolet or violet light, leading to variation in colour perception across species. Despite knowledge of both ultraviolet- and violet-sensitive SWS1 classes in mammals for 25 years, the adaptive significance of this variation has not been subjected to hypothesis testing, resulting in minimal understanding of the basis for mammalian SWS1 spectral tuning evolution. Here, we gathered data on SWS1 for 403 mammal species, including novel SWS1 sequences for 97 species. Ancestral sequence reconstructions suggest that the most recent common ancestor of Theria possessed an ultraviolet SWS1 pigment, and that violet-sensitive pigments evolved at least 12 times in mammalian history. We also observed that ultraviolet pigments, previously considered to be a rarity, are common in mammals. We then used phylogenetic comparative methods to test the hypotheses that the evolution of violet-sensitive SWS1 is associated with increased light exposure, extended longevity and longer eye length. We discovered that diurnal mammals and species with longer eyes are more likely to have violet-sensitive pigments and less likely to possess UV-sensitive pigments. We hypothesize that (i) as mammals evolved larger body sizes, they evolved longer eyes, which limited transmittance of ultraviolet light to the retina due to an increase in Rayleigh scattering, and (ii) as mammals began to invade diurnal temporal niches, they evolved lenses with low UV transmittance to reduce chromatic aberration and/or photo-oxidative damage.

  7. Molecular paleontology and complexity in the last eukaryotic common ancestor.

    PubMed

    Koumandou, V Lila; Wickstead, Bill; Ginger, Michael L; van der Giezen, Mark; Dacks, Joel B; Field, Mark C

    2013-01-01

    Eukaryogenesis, the origin of the eukaryotic cell, represents one of the fundamental evolutionary transitions in the history of life on earth. This event, which is estimated to have occurred over one billion years ago, remains rather poorly understood. While some well-validated examples of fossil microbial eukaryotes for this time frame have been described, these can provide only basic morphology and the molecular machinery present in these organisms has remained unknown. Complete and partial genomic information has begun to fill this gap, and is being used to trace proteins and cellular traits to their roots and to provide unprecedented levels of resolution of structures, metabolic pathways and capabilities of organisms at these earliest points within the eukaryotic lineage. This is essentially allowing a molecular paleontology. What has emerged from these studies is spectacular cellular complexity prior to expansion of the eukaryotic lineages. Multiple reconstructed cellular systems indicate a very sophisticated biology, which by implication arose following the initial eukaryogenesis event but prior to eukaryotic radiation and provides a challenge in terms of explaining how these early eukaryotes arose and in understanding how they lived. Here, we provide brief overviews of several cellular systems and the major emerging conclusions, together with predictions for subsequent directions in evolution leading to extant taxa. We also consider what these reconstructions suggest about the life styles and capabilities of these earliest eukaryotes and the period of evolution between the radiation of eukaryotes and the eukaryogenesis event itself.

  8. Molecular paleontology and complexity in the last eukaryotic common ancestor

    PubMed Central

    Koumandou, V. Lila; Wickstead, Bill; Ginger, Michael L.; van der Giezen, Mark; Dacks, Joel B.

    2013-01-01

    Eukaryogenesis, the origin of the eukaryotic cell, represents one of the fundamental evolutionary transitions in the history of life on earth. This event, which is estimated to have occurred over one billion years ago, remains rather poorly understood. While some well-validated examples of fossil microbial eukaryotes for this time frame have been described, these can provide only basic morphology and the molecular machinery present in these organisms has remained unknown. Complete and partial genomic information has begun to fill this gap, and is being used to trace proteins and cellular traits to their roots and to provide unprecedented levels of resolution of structures, metabolic pathways and capabilities of organisms at these earliest points within the eukaryotic lineage. This is essentially allowing a molecular paleontology. What has emerged from these studies is spectacular cellular complexity prior to expansion of the eukaryotic lineages. Multiple reconstructed cellular systems indicate a very sophisticated biology, which by implication arose following the initial eukaryogenesis event but prior to eukaryotic radiation and provides a challenge in terms of explaining how these early eukaryotes arose and in understanding how they lived. Here, we provide brief overviews of several cellular systems and the major emerging conclusions, together with predictions for subsequent directions in evolution leading to extant taxa. We also consider what these reconstructions suggest about the life styles and capabilities of these earliest eukaryotes and the period of evolution between the radiation of eukaryotes and the eukaryogenesis event itself. PMID:23895660

  9. The proteomic complexity and rise of the primordial ancestor of diversified life

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The last universal common ancestor represents the primordial cellular organism from which diversified life was derived. This urancestor accumulated genetic information before the rise of organismal lineages and is considered to be either a simple 'progenote' organism with a rudimentary translational apparatus or a more complex 'cenancestor' with almost all essential biological processes. Recent comparative genomic studies support the latter model and propose that the urancestor was similar to modern organisms in terms of gene content. However, most of these studies were based on molecular sequences, which are fast evolving and of limited value for deep evolutionary explorations. Results Here we engage in a phylogenomic study of protein domain structure in the proteomes of 420 free-living fully sequenced organisms. Domains were defined at the highly conserved fold superfamily (FSF) level of structural classification and an iterative phylogenomic approach was used to reconstruct max_set and min_set FSF repertoires as upper and lower bounds of the urancestral proteome. While the functional make up of the urancestral sets was complex, they represent only 5-11% of the 1,420 FSFs of extant proteomes and their make up and reuse was at least 5 and 3 times smaller than proteomes of free-living organisms, repectively. Trees of proteomes reconstructed directly from FSFs or from molecular functions, which included the max_set and min_set as articial taxa, showed that urancestors were always placed at their base and rooted the tree of life in Archaea. Finally, a molecular clock of FSFs suggests the min_set reflects urancestral genetic make up more reliably and confirms diversified life emerged about 2.9 billion years ago during the start of planet oxygenation. Conclusions The minimum urancestral FSF set reveals the urancestor had advanced metabolic capabilities, was especially rich in nucleotide metabolism enzymes, had pathways for the biosynthesis of membrane sn1

  10. Mammalian airborne allergens.

    PubMed

    Aalberse, Rob C

    2014-01-01

    Historically, horse dandruff was a favorite allergen source material. Today, however, allergic symptoms due to airborne mammalian allergens are mostly a result of indoor exposure, be it at home, at work or even at school. The relevance of mammalian allergens in relation to the allergenic activity of house dust extract is briefly discussed in the historical context of two other proposed sources of house dust allergenic activity: mites and Maillard-type lysine-sugar conjugates. Mammalian proteins involved in allergic reactions to airborne dust are largely found in only 2 protein families: lipocalins and secretoglobins (Fel d 1-like proteins), with a relatively minor contribution of serum albumins, cystatins and latherins. Both the lipocalin and the secretoglobin family are very complex. In some instances this results in a blurred separation between important and less important allergenic family members. The past 50 years have provided us with much detailed information on the genomic organization and protein structure of many of these allergens. However, the complex family relations, combined with the wide range of post-translational enzymatic and non-enzymatic modifications, make a proper qualitative and quantitative description of the important mammalian indoor airborne allergens still a significant proteomic challenge. PMID:24925404

  11. Mammalian genes induce partially reprogrammed pluripotent stem cells in non-mammalian vertebrate and invertebrate species

    PubMed Central

    Rosselló, Ricardo Antonio; Chen, Chun-Chun; Dai, Rui; Howard, Jason T; Hochgeschwender, Ute; Jarvis, Erich D

    2013-01-01

    Cells are fundamental units of life, but little is known about evolution of cell states. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are once differentiated cells that have been re-programmed to an embryonic stem cell-like state, providing a powerful platform for biology and medicine. However, they have been limited to a few mammalian species. Here we found that a set of four mammalian transcription factor genes used to generate iPSCs in mouse and humans can induce a partially reprogrammed pluripotent stem cell (PRPSCs) state in vertebrate and invertebrate model organisms, in mammals, birds, fish, and fly, which span 550 million years from a common ancestor. These findings are one of the first to show cross-lineage stem cell-like induction, and to generate pluripotent-like cells for several of these species with in vivo chimeras. We suggest that the stem-cell state may be highly conserved across a wide phylogenetic range. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00036.001 PMID:24015354

  12. The dispersed archaeal eukaryome and the complex archaeal ancestor of eukaryotes.

    PubMed

    Koonin, Eugene V; Yutin, Natalya

    2014-04-01

    The ancestral set of eukaryotic genes is a chimera composed of genes of archaeal and bacterial origins thanks to the endosymbiosis event that gave rise to the mitochondria and apparently antedated the last common ancestor of the extant eukaryotes. The proto-mitochondrial endosymbiont is confidently identified as an α-proteobacterium. In contrast, the archaeal ancestor of eukaryotes remains elusive, although evidence is accumulating that it could have belonged to a deep lineage within the TACK (Thaumarchaeota, Aigarchaeota, Crenarchaeota, Korarchaeota) superphylum of the Archaea. Recent surveys of archaeal genomes show that the apparent ancestors of several key functional systems of eukaryotes, the components of the archaeal "eukaryome," such as ubiquitin signaling, RNA interference, and actin-based and tubulin-based cytoskeleton structures, are identifiable in different archaeal groups. We suggest that the archaeal ancestor of eukaryotes was a complex form, rooted deeply within the TACK superphylum, that already possessed some quintessential eukaryotic features, in particular, a cytoskeleton, and perhaps was capable of a primitive form of phagocytosis that would facilitate the engulfment of potential symbionts. This putative group of Archaea could have existed for a relatively short time before going extinct or undergoing genome streamlining, resulting in the dispersion of the eukaryome. This scenario might explain the difficulty with the identification of the archaeal ancestor of eukaryotes despite the straightforward detection of apparent ancestors to many signature eukaryotic functional systems.

  13. The Dispersed Archaeal Eukaryome and the Complex Archaeal Ancestor of Eukaryotes

    PubMed Central

    Koonin, Eugene V.; Yutin, Natalya

    2014-01-01

    The ancestral set of eukaryotic genes is a chimera composed of genes of archaeal and bacterial origins thanks to the endosymbiosis event that gave rise to the mitochondria and apparently antedated the last common ancestor of the extant eukaryotes. The proto-mitochondrial endosymbiont is confidently identified as an α-proteobacterium. In contrast, the archaeal ancestor of eukaryotes remains elusive, although evidence is accumulating that it could have belonged to a deep lineage within the TACK (Thaumarchaeota, Aigarchaeota, Crenarchaeota, Korarchaeota) superphylum of the Archaea. Recent surveys of archaeal genomes show that the apparent ancestors of several key functional systems of eukaryotes, the components of the archaeal “eukaryome,” such as ubiquitin signaling, RNA interference, and actin-based and tubulin-based cytoskeleton structures, are identifiable in different archaeal groups. We suggest that the archaeal ancestor of eukaryotes was a complex form, rooted deeply within the TACK superphylum, that already possessed some quintessential eukaryotic features, in particular, a cytoskeleton, and perhaps was capable of a primitive form of phagocytosis that would facilitate the engulfment of potential symbionts. This putative group of Archaea could have existed for a relatively short time before going extinct or undergoing genome streamlining, resulting in the dispersion of the eukaryome. This scenario might explain the difficulty with the identification of the archaeal ancestor of eukaryotes despite the straightforward detection of apparent ancestors to many signature eukaryotic functional systems. PMID:24691961

  14. Mammalian touch catches up

    PubMed Central

    Walsh, Carolyn M.; Bautista, Diana M.; Lumpkin, Ellen A.

    2015-01-01

    An assortment of touch receptors innervate the skin and encode different tactile features of the environment. Compared with invertebrate touch and other sensory systems, our understanding of the molecular and cellular underpinnings of mammalian touch lags behind. Two recent breakthroughs have accelerated progress. First, an arsenal of cell-type-specific molecular markers allowed the functional and anatomical properties of sensory neurons to be matched, thereby unraveling a cellular code for touch. Such markers have also revealed key roles of non-neuronal cell types, such as Merkel cells and keratinocytes, in touch reception. Second, the discovery of Piezo genes as a new family of mechanically activated channels has fueled the discovery of molecular mechanisms that mediate and mechanotransduction in mammalian touch receptors. PMID:26100741

  15. Rheotaxis guides mammalian sperm

    PubMed Central

    Miki, Kiyoshi; Clapham, David E

    2013-01-01

    Background In sea urchins, spermatozoan motility is altered by chemotactic peptides, giving rise to the assumption that mammalian eggs also emit chemotactic agents that guide spermatozoa through the female reproductive tract to the mature oocyte. Mammalian spermatozoa indeed undergo complex adaptations within the female (the process of capacitation) that are initiated by agents ranging from pH to progesterone, but these factors are not necessarily taxic. Currently, chemotaxis, thermotaxis, and rheotaxis have not been definitively established in mammals. Results Here, we show that positive rheotaxis, the ability of organisms to orient and swim against the flow of surrounding fluid, is a major taxic factor for mouse and human sperm. This flow is generated within 4 hours of sexual stimulation and coitus in female mice; prolactin-triggered oviductal fluid secretion clears the oviduct of debris, lowers viscosity, and generates the stream that guides sperm migration in the oviduct. Rheotaxic movement is demonstrated in capacitated and uncapacitated spermatozoa in low and high viscosity medium. Finally, we show that a unique sperm motion we quantify using the sperm head's rolling rate reflects sperm rotation that generates essential force for positioning the sperm in the stream. Rotation requires CatSper channels, presumably by enabling Ca2+ influx. Conclusions We propose that rheotaxis is a major determinant of sperm guidance over long distances in the mammalian female reproductive tract. Coitus induces fluid flow to guide sperm in the oviduct. Sperm rheotaxis requires rotational motion during CatSper channel-dependent hyperactivated motility. PMID:23453951

  16. Comparative analysis of the primate X-inactivation center region and reconstruction of the ancestral primate XIST locus

    PubMed Central

    Horvath, Julie E.; Sheedy, Christina B.; Merrett, Stephanie L.; Diallo, Abdoulaye Banire; Swofford, David L.; NISC Comparative Sequencing Program; Green, Eric D.; Willard, Huntington F.

    2011-01-01

    Here we provide a detailed comparative analysis across the candidate X-Inactivation Center (XIC) region and the XIST locus in the genomes of six primates and three mammalian outgroup species. Since lemurs and other strepsirrhine primates represent the sister lineage to all other primates, this analysis focuses on lemurs to reconstruct the ancestral primate sequences and to gain insight into the evolution of this region and the genes within it. This comparative evolutionary genomics approach reveals significant expansion in genomic size across the XIC region in higher primates, with minimal size alterations across the XIST locus itself. Reconstructed primate ancestral XIC sequences show that the most dramatic changes during the past 80 million years occurred between the ancestral primate and the lineage leading to Old World monkeys. In contrast, the XIST locus compared between human and the primate ancestor does not indicate any dramatic changes to exons or XIST-specific repeats; rather, evolution of this locus reflects small incremental changes in overall sequence identity and short repeat insertions. While this comparative analysis reinforces that the region around XIST has been subject to significant genomic change, even among primates, our data suggest that evolution of the XIST sequences themselves represents only small lineage-specific changes across the past 80 million years. PMID:21518738

  17. Inbreeding, Pedigree Size, and the Most Recent Common Ancestor of Humanity

    PubMed Central

    Lachance, Joseph

    2009-01-01

    How many generations ago did the common ancestor of all present-day individuals live, and how does inbreeding affect this estimate? The number of ancestors within family trees determines the timing of the most recent common ancestor of humanity. However, mating is often non-random and inbreeding is ubiquitous in natural populations. Rates of pedigree growth are found for multiple types of inbreeding. This data is then combined with models of global population structure to estimate biparental coalescence times. When pedigrees for regular systems of mating are constructed, the growth rates of inbred populations contain Fibonacci n-step constants. The timing of the most recent common ancestor depends on global population structure, the mean rate of pedigree growth, mean fitness, and current population size. Inbreeding reduces the number of ancestors in a pedigree, pushing back global common ancestry times. These results are consistent with the remarkable findings of previous studies: all humanity shares common ancestry in the recent past. PMID:19679139

  18. Oxygen isotope partitioning between phosphate and carbonate in mammalian apatite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daniel Bryant, J.; Koch, Paul L.; Froelich, Philip N.; Showers, William J.; Genna, Bernard J.

    1996-12-01

    The oxygen isotope compositions of phosphate and structural carbonate in mammalian enamel and bone apatite are linked to that of body water at constant body temperature near 37°C, but the isotope systematics of oxygen in structural carbonate are not well understood. Using coupled measurements of the oxygen isotope composition of structural carbonate and phosphate from horse tooth enamel, the apparent oxygen isotope fractionation factor between structural carbonate and body water is estimated to be 1.0263 ± 0.0014. These estimates provide a quantitative basis for using the oxygen isotope composition of structural carbonate in mammalian biogenic apatite for ecological, climatological, and physiological reconstruction.

  19. Mammalian Evolution May not Be Strictly Bifurcating

    PubMed Central

    Hallström, Björn M.; Janke, Axel

    2010-01-01

    The massive amount of genomic sequence data that is now available for analyzing evolutionary relationships among 31 placental mammals reduces the stochastic error in phylogenetic analyses to virtually zero. One would expect that this would make it possible to finally resolve controversial branches in the placental mammalian tree. We analyzed a 2,863,797 nucleotide-long alignment (3,364 genes) from 31 placental mammals for reconstructing their evolution. Most placental mammalian relationships were resolved, and a consensus of their evolution is emerging. However, certain branches remain difficult or virtually impossible to resolve. These branches are characterized by short divergence times in the order of 1–4 million years. Computer simulations based on parameters from the real data show that as little as about 12,500 amino acid sites could be sufficient to confidently resolve short branches as old as about 90 million years ago (Ma). Thus, the amount of sequence data should no longer be a limiting factor in resolving the relationships among placental mammals. The timing of the early radiation of placental mammals coincides with a period of climate warming some 100–80 Ma and with continental fragmentation. These global processes may have triggered the rapid diversification of placental mammals. However, the rapid radiations of certain mammalian groups complicate phylogenetic analyses, possibly due to incomplete lineage sorting and introgression. These speciation-related processes led to a mosaic genome and conflicting phylogenetic signals. Split network methods are ideal for visualizing these problematic branches and can therefore depict data conflict and possibly the true evolutionary history better than strictly bifurcating trees. Given the timing of tectonics, of placental mammalian divergences, and the fossil record, a Laurasian rather than Gondwanan origin of placental mammals seems the most parsimonious explanation. PMID:20591845

  20. Mammalian evolution may not be strictly bifurcating.

    PubMed

    Hallström, Björn M; Janke, Axel

    2010-12-01

    The massive amount of genomic sequence data that is now available for analyzing evolutionary relationships among 31 placental mammals reduces the stochastic error in phylogenetic analyses to virtually zero. One would expect that this would make it possible to finally resolve controversial branches in the placental mammalian tree. We analyzed a 2,863,797 nucleotide-long alignment (3,364 genes) from 31 placental mammals for reconstructing their evolution. Most placental mammalian relationships were resolved, and a consensus of their evolution is emerging. However, certain branches remain difficult or virtually impossible to resolve. These branches are characterized by short divergence times in the order of 1-4 million years. Computer simulations based on parameters from the real data show that as little as about 12,500 amino acid sites could be sufficient to confidently resolve short branches as old as about 90 million years ago (Ma). Thus, the amount of sequence data should no longer be a limiting factor in resolving the relationships among placental mammals. The timing of the early radiation of placental mammals coincides with a period of climate warming some 100-80 Ma and with continental fragmentation. These global processes may have triggered the rapid diversification of placental mammals. However, the rapid radiations of certain mammalian groups complicate phylogenetic analyses, possibly due to incomplete lineage sorting and introgression. These speciation-related processes led to a mosaic genome and conflicting phylogenetic signals. Split network methods are ideal for visualizing these problematic branches and can therefore depict data conflict and possibly the true evolutionary history better than strictly bifurcating trees. Given the timing of tectonics, of placental mammalian divergences, and the fossil record, a Laurasian rather than Gondwanan origin of placental mammals seems the most parsimonious explanation.

  1. Mammalian glycosylation in immunity

    PubMed Central

    Marth, Jamey D.; Grewal, Prabhjit K.

    2009-01-01

    Glycosylation produces a diverse and abundant repertoire of glycans, which are collectively known as the glycome. Glycans are one of the four fundamental macromolecular components of all cells, and are highly regulated in the immune system. Their diversity reflects their multiple biological functions that encompass ligands for proteinaceous of receptors known as lectins. Since the discovery that selectins and their glycan ligands are important for the regulation of leukocyte trafficking, it has been shown that additional features of the vertebrate immune system are also controlled by endogenous cellular glycosylation. This Review focuses on the emerging immunological roles of the mammalian glycome. PMID:18846099

  2. Local duplication of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) receptor before two rounds of whole genome duplication and origin of the mammalian GnRH receptor.

    PubMed

    Sefideh, Fatemeh Ameri; Moon, Mi Jin; Yun, Seongsik; Hong, Sung In; Hwang, Jong-Ik; Seong, Jae Young

    2014-01-01

    Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and the GnRH receptor (GnRHR) play an important role in vertebrate reproduction. Although many GnRHR genes have been identified in a large variety of vertebrate species, the evolutionary history of GnRHR in vertebrates is unclear. To trace the evolutionary origin of GnRHR we examined the conserved synteny of chromosomes harboring GnRHR genes and matched the genes to linkage groups of reconstructed vertebrate ancestor chromosomes. Consistent with the phylogenetic tree, three pairs of GnRHR subtypes were identified in three paralogous linkage groups, indicating that an ancestral pair emerged through local duplication before two rounds of whole genome duplication (2R). The 2R then led to the generation of six subtypes of GnRHR. Some subtypes were lost during vertebrate evolution after the divergence of teleosts and tetrapods. One subtype includes mammalian GnRHR and a coelacanth GnRHR that showed the greatest response to GnRH1 among the three types of GnRH. This study provides new insight into the evolutionary relationship of vertebrate GnRHRs.

  3. Mitochondria and mammalian reproduction.

    PubMed

    Ramalho-Santos, João; Amaral, Sandra

    2013-10-15

    Mitochondria are cellular organelles with crucial roles in ATP synthesis, metabolic integration, reactive oxygen species (ROS) synthesis and management, the regulation of apoptosis (namely via the intrinsic pathway), among many others. Additionally, mitochondria in different organs or cell types may have distinct properties that can decisively influence functional analysis. In terms of the importance of mitochondria in mammalian reproduction, and although there are species-specific differences, these aspects involve both energetic considerations for gametogenesis and fertilization, control of apoptosis to ensure the proper production of viable gametes, and ROS signaling, as well as other emerging aspects. Crucially, mitochondria are the starting point for steroid hormone biosynthesis, given that the conversion of cholesterol to pregnenolone (a common precursor for all steroid hormones) takes place via the activity of the cytochrome P450 side-chain cleavage enzyme (P450scc) on the inner mitochondrial membrane. Furthermore, mitochondrial activity in reproduction has to be considered in accordance with the very distinct strategies for gamete production in the male and female. These include distinct gonad morpho-physiologies, different types of steroids that are more prevalent (testosterone, estrogens, progesterone), and, importantly, the very particular timings of gametogenesis. While spermatogenesis is complete and continuous since puberty, producing a seemingly inexhaustible pool of gametes in a fixed environment; oogenesis involves the episodic production of very few gametes in an environment that changes cyclically. These aspects have always to be taken into account when considering the roles of any common element in mammalian reproduction.

  4. Common circuit design in fly and mammalian motion vision.

    PubMed

    Borst, Alexander; Helmstaedter, Moritz

    2015-08-01

    Motion-sensitive neurons have long been studied in both the mammalian retina and the insect optic lobe, yet striking similarities have become obvious only recently. Detailed studies at the circuit level revealed that, in both systems, (i) motion information is extracted from primary visual information in parallel ON and OFF pathways; (ii) in each pathway, the process of elementary motion detection involves the correlation of signals with different temporal dynamics; and (iii) primary motion information from both pathways converges at the next synapse, resulting in four groups of ON-OFF neurons, selective for the four cardinal directions. Given that the last common ancestor of insects and mammals lived about 550 million years ago, this general strategy seems to be a robust solution for how to compute the direction of visual motion with neural hardware.

  5. Common circuit design in fly and mammalian motion vision.

    PubMed

    Borst, Alexander; Helmstaedter, Moritz

    2015-08-01

    Motion-sensitive neurons have long been studied in both the mammalian retina and the insect optic lobe, yet striking similarities have become obvious only recently. Detailed studies at the circuit level revealed that, in both systems, (i) motion information is extracted from primary visual information in parallel ON and OFF pathways; (ii) in each pathway, the process of elementary motion detection involves the correlation of signals with different temporal dynamics; and (iii) primary motion information from both pathways converges at the next synapse, resulting in four groups of ON-OFF neurons, selective for the four cardinal directions. Given that the last common ancestor of insects and mammals lived about 550 million years ago, this general strategy seems to be a robust solution for how to compute the direction of visual motion with neural hardware. PMID:26120965

  6. No known hominin species matches the expected dental morphology of the last common ancestor of Neanderthals and modern humans

    PubMed Central

    Gómez-Robles, Aida; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Arsuaga, Juan-Luis; Carbonell, Eudald; Polly, P. David

    2013-01-01

    A central problem in paleoanthropology is the identity of the last common ancestor of Neanderthals and modern humans ([N-MH]LCA). Recently developed analytical techniques now allow this problem to be addressed using a probabilistic morphological framework. This study provides a quantitative reconstruction of the expected dental morphology of the [N-MH]LCA and an assessment of whether known fossil species are compatible with this ancestral position. We show that no known fossil species is a suitable candidate for being the [N-MH]LCA and that all late Early and Middle Pleistocene taxa from Europe have Neanderthal dental affinities, pointing to the existence of a European clade originated around 1 Ma. These results are incongruent with younger molecular divergence estimates and suggest at least one of the following must be true: (i) European fossils and the [N-MH]LCA selectively retained primitive dental traits; (ii) molecular estimates of the divergence between Neanderthals and modern humans are underestimated; or (iii) phenotypic divergence and speciation between both species were decoupled such that phenotypic differentiation, at least in dental morphology, predated speciation. PMID:24145426

  7. A minimal estimate for the gene content of the last universal common ancestor--exobiology from a terrestrial perspective.

    PubMed

    Ouzounis, Christos A; Kunin, Victor; Darzentas, Nikos; Goldovsky, Leon

    2006-01-01

    Using an algorithm for ancestral state inference of gene content, given a large number of extant genome sequences and a phylogenetic tree, we aim to reconstruct the gene content of the last universal common ancestor (LUCA), a hypothetical life form that presumably was the progenitor of the three domains of life. The method allows for gene loss, previously found to be a major factor in shaping gene content, and thus the estimate of LUCA's gene content appears to be substantially higher than that proposed previously, with a typical number of over 1000 gene families, of which more than 90% are also functionally characterized. More precisely, when only prokaryotes are considered, the number varies between 1006 and 1189 gene families while when eukaryotes are also included, this number increases to between 1344 and 1529 families depending on the underlying phylogenetic tree. Therefore, the common belief that the hypothetical genome of LUCA should resemble those of the smallest extant genomes of obligate parasites is not supported by recent advances in computational genomics. Instead, a fairly complex genome similar to those of free-living prokaryotes, with a variety of functional capabilities including metabolic transformation, information processing, membrane/transport proteins and complex regulation, shared between the three domains of life, emerges as the most likely progenitor of life on Earth, with profound repercussions for planetary exploration and exobiology.

  8. The mammalian blastocyst.

    PubMed

    Frankenberg, Stephen R; de Barros, Flavia R O; Rossant, Janet; Renfree, Marilyn B

    2016-01-01

    The blastocyst is a mammalian invention that carries the embryo from cleavage to gastrulation. For such a simple structure, it exhibits remarkable diversity in its mode of formation, morphology, longevity, and intimacy with the uterine endometrium. This review explores this diversity in the light of the evolution of viviparity, comparing the three main groups of mammals: monotremes, marsupials, and eutherians. The principal drivers in blastocyst evolution were loss of yolk coupled with evolution of the placenta. An important outcome of blastocyst development is differentiation of two extraembryonic lineages (trophoblast and hypoblast) that contribute to the placenta. While in many species trophoblast segregation is often coupled with blastocyst formation, in marsupials and at least some Afrotherians, these events do not coincide. Thus, many questions regarding the conservation of molecular mechanisms controlling these events are of great interest but currently unresolved. For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. PMID:26799266

  9. Combining information from ancestors and personal experiences to predict individual differences in developmental trajectories.

    PubMed

    Stamps, Judy A; Krishnan, V V

    2014-11-01

    A persistent question in biology is how information from ancestors combines with personal experiences over the lifetime to affect the developmental trajectories of phenotypic traits. We address this question by modeling individual differences in behavioral developmental trajectories on the basis of two assumptions: (1) differences among individuals in the behavior expressed at birth or hatching are based on information from their ancestors (via genes, epigenes, and prenatal maternal effects), and (2) information from ancestors is combined with information from personal experiences over ontogeny via Bayesian updating. The model predicts relationships between the means and the variability of the behavior expressed by neonates and the subsequent developmental trajectories of their behavior when every individual is reared under the same environmental conditions. Several predictions of the model are supported by data from previous studies of behavioral development, for example, that the temporal stability of personality will increase with age and that the intercepts and slopes of developmental trajectories for boldness will be negatively correlated across individuals or genotypes when subjects are raised in safe environments. We describe how other specific predictions of the model can be used to test the hypothesis that information from ancestors and information from personal experiences are combined via nonadditive, Bayesian-like processes. PMID:25325748

  10. Integration of Morphological Data into Molecular Phylogenetic Analysis: Toward the Identikit of the Stylasterid Ancestor.

    PubMed

    Puce, Stefania; Pica, Daniela; Schiaparelli, Stefano; Negrisolo, Enrico

    2016-01-01

    Stylasteridae is a hydroid family including 29 worldwide-distributed genera, all provided with a calcareous skeleton. They are abundant in shallow and deep waters and represent an important component of marine communities. In the present paper, we studied the evolution of ten morphological characters, currently used in stylasterid taxonomy, using a phylogenetic approach. Our results indicate that stylasterid morphology is highly plastic and that many events of independent evolution and reversion have occurred. Our analysis also allows sketching a possible identikit of the stylasterid ancestor. It had calcareous skeleton, reticulate-granular coenosteal texture, polyps randomly arranged, gastrostyle, and dactylopore spines, while lacking a gastropore lip and dactylostyles. If the ancestor had single or double/multiple chambered gastropore tube is uncertain. These data suggest that the ancestor was similar to the extant genera Cyclohelia and Stellapora. Our investigation is the first attempt to integrate molecular and morphological information to clarify the stylasterid evolutionary scenario and represents the first step to infer the stylasterid ancestor morphology. PMID:27537333

  11. Analyzing the Rate at Which Languages Lose the Influence of a Common Ancestor

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rafferty, Anna N.; Griffiths, Thomas L.; Klein, Dan

    2014-01-01

    Analyzing the rate at which languages change can clarify whether similarities across languages are solely the result of cognitive biases or might be partially due to descent from a common ancestor. To demonstrate this approach, we use a simple model of language evolution to mathematically determine how long it should take for the distribution over…

  12. Genome sequence and annotation of Trichoderma parareesei, the ancestor of the cellulase producer Trichoderma reesei

    DOE PAGES

    Yang, Dongqing; Pomraning, Kyle; Kopchinskiy, Alexey; Karimi, Aghcheh Razieh; Atanasova, Lea; Chenthamara, Komal; Baker, Scott E.; Zhang, Ruifu; Shen, Qirong; Freitag, Michael; et al

    2015-08-13

    The filamentous fungus Trichoderma parareesei is the asexually reproducing ancestor of Trichoderma reesei, the holomorphic industrial producer of cellulase and hemicellulase. Here, we present the genome sequence of the T. parareesei type strain CBS 125925, which contains genes for 9,318 proteins.

  13. The compact Brachypodium genome conserves centromeric regions of a common ancestor with wheat and rice

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The evolution of five chromosomes of Brachypodium distachyon from a 12-chromosome ancestor of all grasses by dysploidy raises an interesting question about the fate of redundant centromeres. Three independent but complementary approaches were pursued to study centromeric region homologies among the ...

  14. Integration of Morphological Data into Molecular Phylogenetic Analysis: Toward the Identikit of the Stylasterid Ancestor

    PubMed Central

    Puce, Stefania; Pica, Daniela; Schiaparelli, Stefano; Negrisolo, Enrico

    2016-01-01

    Stylasteridae is a hydroid family including 29 worldwide-distributed genera, all provided with a calcareous skeleton. They are abundant in shallow and deep waters and represent an important component of marine communities. In the present paper, we studied the evolution of ten morphological characters, currently used in stylasterid taxonomy, using a phylogenetic approach. Our results indicate that stylasterid morphology is highly plastic and that many events of independent evolution and reversion have occurred. Our analysis also allows sketching a possible identikit of the stylasterid ancestor. It had calcareous skeleton, reticulate-granular coenosteal texture, polyps randomly arranged, gastrostyle, and dactylopore spines, while lacking a gastropore lip and dactylostyles. If the ancestor had single or double/multiple chambered gastropore tube is uncertain. These data suggest that the ancestor was similar to the extant genera Cyclohelia and Stellapora. Our investigation is the first attempt to integrate molecular and morphological information to clarify the stylasterid evolutionary scenario and represents the first step to infer the stylasterid ancestor morphology. PMID:27537333

  15. Effect of reference population size and available ancestor genotypes on imputation of Mexican Holstein genotypes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The effects of reference population size and the availability of information from genotyped ancestors on the accuracy of imputation of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were investigated for Mexican Holstein cattle. Three scenarios for reference population size were examined: (1) a local popula...

  16. Combining information from ancestors and personal experiences to predict individual differences in developmental trajectories.

    PubMed

    Stamps, Judy A; Krishnan, V V

    2014-11-01

    A persistent question in biology is how information from ancestors combines with personal experiences over the lifetime to affect the developmental trajectories of phenotypic traits. We address this question by modeling individual differences in behavioral developmental trajectories on the basis of two assumptions: (1) differences among individuals in the behavior expressed at birth or hatching are based on information from their ancestors (via genes, epigenes, and prenatal maternal effects), and (2) information from ancestors is combined with information from personal experiences over ontogeny via Bayesian updating. The model predicts relationships between the means and the variability of the behavior expressed by neonates and the subsequent developmental trajectories of their behavior when every individual is reared under the same environmental conditions. Several predictions of the model are supported by data from previous studies of behavioral development, for example, that the temporal stability of personality will increase with age and that the intercepts and slopes of developmental trajectories for boldness will be negatively correlated across individuals or genotypes when subjects are raised in safe environments. We describe how other specific predictions of the model can be used to test the hypothesis that information from ancestors and information from personal experiences are combined via nonadditive, Bayesian-like processes.

  17. Strategies to discover regulatory circuits of the mammalian immune system.

    PubMed

    Amit, Ido; Regev, Aviv; Hacohen, Nir

    2011-12-01

    Recent advances in technologies for genome- and proteome-scale measurements and perturbations promise to accelerate discovery in every aspect of biology and medicine. Although such rapid technological progress provides a tremendous opportunity, it also demands that we learn how to use these tools effectively. One application with great potential to enhance our understanding of biological systems is the unbiased reconstruction of genetic and molecular networks. Cells of the immune system provide a particularly useful model for developing and applying such approaches. Here, we review approaches for the reconstruction of signalling and transcriptional networks, with a focus on applications in the mammalian innate immune system.

  18. The evolution and development of mammalian flight.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Lisa Noelle; Cretekos, Chris J; Sears, Karen E

    2012-01-01

    Mammals have evolved a stunning diversity of limb morphologies (e.g., wings, flippers, hands, and paws) that allowed access to a wide range of habitats. Over 50 million years ago, bats (Order Chiroptera) evolved a wing (composed of a thin membrane encasing long digits) and thereby achieved powered flight. Unfortunately, the fossil record currently lacks any transitional fossils between a rodent-like ancestor and a winged bat. To reconstruct how this important evolutionary transition occurred, researchers have begun to employ an evolutionary developmental approach. This approach has revealed some of the embryological and molecular changes that have contributed to the evolution of the bat wing. For example, bat and mouse forelimb morphologies are similar during earliest limb development. Despite this, some key signaling centers for limb development are already divergent in bat and mouse at these early stages. Bat and mouse limb development continues to diverge, such that at later stages many differences are apparent. For example, at these later stages bats redeploy expression of toolkit genes (i.e., Fgf, Shh, Bmp, Grem) in a novel expression domain to inhibit apoptosis of the interdigital tissues. When results are taken together, a broad picture of the developmental changes that drove the transition from a hand to a wing over 50 million years ago is beginning to take shape. Moreover, studies seem to suggest that small changes in gene regulation during organogenesis can generate large evolutionary changes in phenotype.

  19. The evolutionary history of the hominin hand since the last common ancestor of Pan and Homo.

    PubMed

    Tocheri, Matthew W; Orr, Caley M; Jacofsky, Marc C; Marzke, Mary W

    2008-04-01

    Molecular evidence indicates that the last common ancestor of the genus Pan and the hominin clade existed between 8 and 4 million years ago (Ma). The current fossil record indicates the Pan-Homo last common ancestor existed at least 5 Ma and most likely between 6 and 7 Ma. Together, the molecular and fossil evidence has important consequences for interpreting the evolutionary history of the hand within the tribe Hominini (hominins). Firstly, parsimony supports the hypothesis that the hand of the last common ancestor most likely resembled that of an extant great ape overall (Pan, Gorilla, and Pongo), and that of an African ape in particular. Second, it provides a context for interpreting the derived changes to the hand that have evolved in various hominins. For example, the Australopithecus afarensis hand is likely derived in comparison with that of the Pan-Homo last common ancestor in having shorter fingers relative to thumb length and more proximo-distally oriented joints between its capitate, second metacarpal, and trapezium. This evidence suggests that these derived features evolved prior to the intensification of stone tool-related hominin behaviors beginning around 2.5 Ma. However, a majority of primitive features most likely present in the Pan-Homo last common ancestor are retained in the hands of Australopithecus, Paranthropus/early Homo, and Homo floresiensis. This evidence suggests that further derived changes to the hands of other hominins such as modern humans and Neandertals did not evolve until after 2.5 Ma and possibly even later than 1.5 Ma, which is currently the earliest evidence of Acheulian technology. The derived hands of modern humans and Neandertals may indicate a morphological commitment to tool-related manipulative behaviors beyond that observed in other hominins, including those (e.g. H. floresiensis) which may be descended from earlier tool-making species. PMID:18380869

  20. One ancestor for two codes viewed from the perspective of two complementary modes of tRNA aminoacylation

    PubMed Central

    Rodin, Andrei S; Szathmáry, Eörs; Rodin, Sergei N

    2009-01-01

    Background The genetic code is brought into action by 20 aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases. These enzymes are evenly divided into two classes (I and II) that recognize tRNAs from the minor and major groove sides of the acceptor stem, respectively. We have reported recently that: (1) ribozymic precursors of the synthetases seem to have used the same two sterically mirror modes of tRNA recognition, (2) having these two modes might have helped in preventing erroneous aminoacylation of ancestral tRNAs with complementary anticodons, yet (3) the risk of confusion for the presumably earliest pairs of complementarily encoded amino acids had little to do with anticodons. Accordingly, in this communication we focus on the acceptor stem. Results Our main result is the emergence of a palindrome structure for the acceptor stem's common ancestor, reconstructed from the phylogenetic trees of Bacteria, Archaea and Eukarya. In parallel, for pairs of ancestral tRNAs with complementary anticodons, we present updated evidence of concerted complementarity of the second bases in the acceptor stems. These two results suggest that the first pairs of "complementary" amino acids that were engaged in primordial coding, such as Gly and Ala, could have avoided erroneous aminoacylation if and only if the acceptor stems of their adaptors were recognized from the same, major groove, side. The class II protein synthetases then inherited this "primary preference" from isofunctional ribozymes. Conclusion Taken together, our results support the hypothesis that the genetic code per se (the one associated with the anticodons) and the operational code of aminoacylation (associated with the acceptor) diverged from a common ancestor that probably began developing before translation. The primordial advantage of linking some amino acids (most likely glycine and alanine) to the ancestral acceptor stem may have been selective retention in a protocell surrounded by a leaky membrane for use in nucleotide and coenzyme

  1. Mammalian Wax Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Jeffrey B.; Russell, David W.

    2009-01-01

    Wax monoesters are synthesized by the esterification of fatty alcohols and fatty acids. A mammalian enzyme that catalyzes this reaction has not been isolated. We used expression cloning to identify cDNAs encoding a wax synthase in the mouse preputial gland. The wax synthase gene is located on the X chromosome and encodes a member of the acyltransferase family of enzymes that synthesize neutral lipids. Expression of wax synthase in cultured cells led to the formation of wax monoesters from straight chain saturated, unsaturated, and polyunsaturated fatty alcohols and acids. Polyisoprenols also were incorporated into wax monoesters by the enzyme. The wax synthase had little or no ability to synthesize cholesteryl esters, diacylglycerols, or triacylglycerols, whereas other acyltransferases, including the acyl-CoA:monoacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 and 2 enzymes and the acyl-CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 and 2 enzymes, exhibited modest wax monoester synthesis activities. Confocal light microscopy indicated that the wax synthase was localized in membranes of the endoplasmic reticulum. Wax synthase mRNA was abundant in tissues rich in sebaceous glands such as the preputial gland and eyelid and was present at lower levels in other tissues. Coexpression of cDNAs specifying fatty acyl-CoA reductase 1 and wax synthase led to the synthesis of wax monoesters. The data suggest that wax monoester synthesis in mammals involves a two step biosynthetic pathway catalyzed by fatty acyl-CoA reductase and wax synthase enzymes. PMID:15220349

  2. Mammalian Wax Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Jeffrey B.; Russell, David W.

    2009-01-01

    The conversion of fatty acids to fatty alcohols is required for the synthesis of wax monoesters and ether lipids. The mammalian enzymes that synthesize fatty alcohols have not been identified. Here, an in silico approach was used to discern two putative reductase enzymes designated FAR1 and FAR2. Expression studies in intact cells showed that FAR1 and FAR2 cDNAs encoded isozymes that reduced fatty acids to fatty alcohols. Fatty acyl-CoA esters were the substrate of FAR1, and the enzyme required NADPH as a cofactor. FAR1 preferred saturated and unsaturated fatty acids of 16 or 18 carbons as substrates, whereas FAR2 preferred saturated fatty acids of 16 or 18 carbons. Confocal light microscopy indicated that FAR1 and FAR2 were localized in the peroxisome. The FAR1 mRNA was detected in many mouse tissues with the highest level found in the preputial gland, a modified sebaceous gland. The FAR2 mRNA was more restricted in distribution and most abundant in the eyelid, which contains wax-laden meibomian glands. Both FAR mRNAs were present in the brain, a tissue rich in ether lipids. The data suggest that fatty alcohol synthesis in mammals is accomplished by two fatty acyl-CoA reductase isozymes that are expressed at high levels in tissues known to synthesize wax monoesters and ether lipids. PMID:15220348

  3. Mammalian Gut Immunity

    PubMed Central

    Chassaing, Benoit; Kumar, Manish; Baker, Mark T.; Singh, Vishal; Vijay-Kumar, Matam

    2016-01-01

    The mammalian intestinal tract is the largest immune organ in the body and comprises cells from non-hemopoietic (epithelia, Paneth cells, goblet cells) and hemopoietic (macrophages, dendritic cells, T-cells) origin, and is also a dwelling for trillions of microbes collectively known as the microbiota. The homeostasis of this large microbial biomass is prerequisite to maintain host health by maximizing beneficial symbiotic relationships and minimizing the risks of living in such close proximity. Both microbiota and host immune system communicate with each other to mutually maintain homeostasis in what could be called a “love–hate relationship.” Further, the host innate and adaptive immune arms of the immune system cooperate and compensate each other to maintain the equilibrium of a highly complex gut ecosystem in a stable and stringent fashion. Any imbalance due to innate or adaptive immune deficiency or aberrant immune response may lead to dysbiosis and low-grade to robust gut inflammation, finally resulting in metabolic diseases. PMID:25163502

  4. Stem Cells in Mammalian Gonads.

    PubMed

    Wu, Ji; Ding, Xinbao; Wang, Jian

    2016-01-01

    Stem cells have great value in clinical application because of their ability to self-renew and their potential to differentiate into many different cell types. Mammalian gonads, including testes for males and ovaries for females, are composed of germline and somatic cells. In male mammals, spermatogonial stem cells maintain spermatogenesis which occurs continuously in adult testis. Likewise, a growing body of evidence demonstrated that female germline stem cells could be found in mammalian ovaries. Meanwhile, prior studies have shown that somatic stem cells exist in both testes and ovaries. In this chapter, we focus on mammalian gonad stem cells and discuss their characteristics as well as differentiation potentials.

  5. Karyotype and gene order evolution from reconstructed extinct ancestors highlight contrasts in genome plasticity of modern rosid crops.

    PubMed

    Murat, Florent; Zhang, Rongzhi; Guizard, Sébastien; Gavranović, Haris; Flores, Raphael; Steinbach, Delphine; Quesneville, Hadi; Tannier, Eric; Salse, Jérôme

    2015-01-29

    We used nine complete genome sequences, from grape, poplar, Arabidopsis, soybean, lotus, apple, strawberry, cacao, and papaya, to investigate the paleohistory of rosid crops. We characterized an ancestral rosid karyotype, structured into 7/21 protochomosomes, with a minimal set of 6,250 ordered protogenes and a minimum physical coding gene space of 50 megabases. We also proposed ancestral karyotypes for the Caricaceae, Brassicaceae, Malvaceae, Fabaceae, Rosaceae, Salicaceae, and Vitaceae families with 9, 8, 10, 6, 12, 9, 12, and 19 protochromosomes, respectively. On the basis of these ancestral karyotypes and present-day species comparisons, we proposed a two-step evolutionary scenario based on allohexaploidization involving the newly characterized A, B, and C diploid progenitors leading to dominant (stable) and sensitive (plastic) genomic compartments in any modern rosid crops. Finally, a new user-friendly online tool, "DicotSyntenyViewer" (available from http://urgi.versailles.inra.fr/synteny-dicot), has been made available for accurate translational genomics in rosids.

  6. A Jurassic mammaliaform and the earliest mammalian evolutionary adaptations.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Chang-Fu; Wu, Shaoyuan; Martin, Thomas; Luo, Zhe-Xi

    2013-08-01

    The earliest evolution of mammals and origins of mammalian features can be traced to the mammaliaforms of the Triassic and Jurassic periods that are extinct relatives to living mammals. Here we describe a new fossil from the Middle Jurassic that has a mandibular middle ear, a gradational transition of thoracolumbar vertebrae and primitive ankle features, but highly derived molars with a high crown and multiple roots that are partially fused. The upper molars have longitudinal cusp rows that occlude alternately with those of the lower molars. This specialization for masticating plants indicates that herbivory evolved among mammaliaforms, before the rise of crown mammals. The new species shares the distinctive dental features of the eleutherodontid clade, previously represented only by isolated teeth despite its extensive geographic distribution during the Jurassic. This eleutherodontid was terrestrial and had ambulatory gaits, analogous to extant terrestrial mammals such as armadillos or rock hyrax. Its fur corroborates that mammalian integument had originated well before the common ancestor of living mammals. PMID:23925238

  7. Evolutionary history and metabolic insights of ancient mammalian uricases

    PubMed Central

    Kratzer, James T.; Lanaspa, Miguel A.; Murphy, Michael N.; Cicerchi, Christina; Graves, Christina L.; Tipton, Peter A.; Ortlund, Eric A.; Johnson, Richard J.; Gaucher, Eric A.

    2014-01-01

    Uricase is an enzyme involved in purine catabolism and is found in all three domains of life. Curiously, uricase is not functional in some organisms despite its role in converting highly insoluble uric acid into 5-hydroxyisourate. Of particular interest is the observation that apes, including humans, cannot oxidize uric acid, and it appears that multiple, independent evolutionary events led to the silencing or pseudogenization of the uricase gene in ancestral apes. Various arguments have been made to suggest why natural selection would allow the accumulation of uric acid despite the physiological consequences of crystallized monosodium urate acutely causing liver/kidney damage or chronically causing gout. We have applied evolutionary models to understand the history of primate uricases by resurrecting ancestral mammalian intermediates before the pseudogenization events of this gene family. Resurrected proteins reveal that ancestral uricases have steadily decreased in activity since the last common ancestor of mammals gave rise to descendent primate lineages. We were also able to determine the 3D distribution of amino acid replacements as they accumulated during evolutionary history by crystallizing a mammalian uricase protein. Further, ancient and modern uricases were stably transfected into HepG2 liver cells to test one hypothesis that uricase pseudogenization allowed ancient frugivorous apes to rapidly convert fructose into fat. Finally, pharmacokinetics of an ancient uricase injected in rodents suggest that our integrated approach provides the foundation for an evolutionarily-engineered enzyme capable of treating gout and preventing tumor lysis syndrome in human patients. PMID:24550457

  8. Mammalian DNA Repair. Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    2003-01-24

    The Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Mammalian DNA Repair was held at Harbortown Resort, Ventura Beach, CA. Emphasis was placed on current unpublished research and discussion of the future target areas in this field.

  9. Polysome analysis of mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    He, Shan L; Green, Rachel

    2013-01-01

    To assess the global translational level of mammalian cells (see similar protocols for bacteria and yeast on Analysis of polysomes from bacteria, Polysome Profile Analysis - Yeast and Polysome analysis for determining mRNA and ribosome association in Saccharomyces cerevisiae).

  10. Maturation of the mammalian secretome

    PubMed Central

    Simpson, Jeremy C; Mateos, Alvaro; Pepperkok, Rainer

    2007-01-01

    A recent use of quantitative proteomics to determine the constituents of the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi complex is discussed in the light of other available methodologies for cataloging the proteins associated with the mammalian secretory pathway. PMID:17472737

  11. A Comparative Study of Airflow and Odorant Deposition in the Mammalian Nasal Cavity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richter, Joseph; Rumple, Christopher; Ranslow, Allison; Quigley, Andrew; Pang, Benison; Neuberger, Thomas; Krane, Michael; van Valkenburgh, Blaire; Craven, Brent

    2013-11-01

    The complex structure of the mammalian nasal cavity provides a tortuous airflow path and a large surface area for respiratory air conditioning, filtering of inspired contaminants, and olfaction. Due to the small and contorted structure of the nasal turbinals, nasal anatomy and function remains poorly understood in most mammals. Here, we utilize high-resolution MRI scans to reconstruct anatomically-accurate models of the mammalian nasal cavity. These data are used to compare the form and function of the mammalian nose. High-fidelity computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations of nasal airflow and odorant deposition are presented and used to compare olfactory function across species (primate, rodent, canine, feline, ungulate).

  12. Actin phylogeny identifies Mesostigma viride as a flagellate ancestor of the land plants.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharya, D; Weber, K; An, S S; Berning-Koch, W

    1998-11-01

    Green algae and land plants trace their evolutionary history to a unique common ancestor. This "green lineage" is phylogenetically subdivided into two distinct assemblages, the Chlorophyta and the Streptophyta. The Chlorophyta includes the Chlorophyceae, Trebouxiophyceae, Ulvophyceae, and Prasinopohyceae, whereas the Streptophyta includes the Charophyceae plus the bryophytes, ferns, and all other multicellular land plants (Embryophyta). The Prasinophyceae is believed to contain the earliest divergences within the green lineage. Phylogenetic analyses using rDNA sequences identify the prasinophytes as a paraphyletic taxon that diverges at the base of the Chlorophyta. rDNA analyses, however, provide ambiguous results regarding the identity of the flagellate ancestor of the Streptophyta. We have sequenced the actin-encoding cDNAs from Scherffelia dubia (Prasinophyceae), Coleochaete scutata, Spirogyra sp. (Charophyceae), and the single-copy actin gene from Mesostigma viride (Prasinophyceae). Phylogenetic analyses show Mesostigma to be the earliest divergence within the Streptophyta and provide direct evidence for a scaly, biflagellate, unicellular ancestor for this lineage. This result is supported by the existence of two conserved actin-coding region introns (positions 20-3, 152-1), and one intron in the 5'-untranslated region of the actin gene shared by Mesostigma and the embryophytes.

  13. The great divides: Ardipithecus ramidus reveals the postcrania of our last common ancestors with African apes.

    PubMed

    Lovejoy, C Owen; Suwa, Gen; Simpson, Scott W; Matternes, Jay H; White, Tim D

    2009-10-01

    Genomic comparisons have established the chimpanzee and bonobo as our closest living relatives. However, the intricacies of gene regulation and expression caution against the use of these extant apes in deducing the anatomical structure of the last common ancestor that we shared with them. Evidence for this structure must therefore be sought from the fossil record. Until now, that record has provided few relevant data because available fossils were too recent or too incomplete. Evidence from Ardipithecus ramidus now suggests that the last common ancestor lacked the hand, foot, pelvic, vertebral, and limb structures and proportions specialized for suspension, vertical climbing, and knuckle-walking among extant African apes. If this hypothesis is correct, each extant African ape genus must have independently acquired these specializations from more generalized ancestors who still practiced careful arboreal climbing and bridging. African apes and hominids acquired advanced orthogrady in parallel. Hominoid spinal invagination is an embryogenetic mechanism that reoriented the shoulder girdle more laterally. It was unaccompanied by substantial lumbar spine abbreviation, an adaptation restricted to vertical climbing and/or suspension. The specialized locomotor anatomies and behaviors of chimpanzees and gorillas therefore constitute poor models for the origin and evolution of human bipedality.

  14. The Common Ancestor of Archaea and Eukarya Was Not an Archaeon

    PubMed Central

    Forterre, Patrick

    2013-01-01

    It is often assumed that eukarya originated from archaea. This view has been recently supported by phylogenetic analyses in which eukarya are nested within archaea. Here, I argue that these analyses are not reliable, and I critically discuss archaeal ancestor scenarios, as well as fusion scenarios for the origin of eukaryotes. Based on recognized evolutionary trends toward reduction in archaea and toward complexity in eukarya, I suggest that their last common ancestor was more complex than modern archaea but simpler than modern eukaryotes (the bug in-between scenario). I propose that the ancestors of archaea (and bacteria) escaped protoeukaryotic predators by invading high temperature biotopes, triggering their reductive evolution toward the “prokaryotic” phenotype (the thermoreduction hypothesis). Intriguingly, whereas archaea and eukarya share many basic features at the molecular level, the archaeal mobilome resembles more the bacterial than the eukaryotic one. I suggest that selection of different parts of the ancestral virosphere at the onset of the three domains played a critical role in shaping their respective biology. Eukarya probably evolved toward complexity with the help of retroviruses and large DNA viruses, whereas similar selection pressure (thermoreduction) could explain why the archaeal and bacterial mobilomes somehow resemble each other. PMID:24348094

  15. Heterokont Predator Develorapax marinus gen. et sp. nov. – A Model of the Ochrophyte Ancestor

    PubMed Central

    Aleoshin, Vladimir V.; Mylnikov, Alexander P.; Mirzaeva, Gulnara S.; Mikhailov, Kirill V.; Karpov, Sergey A.

    2016-01-01

    Heterotrophic lineages of Heterokonta (or stramenopiles), in contrast to a single monophyletic group of autotrophs, Ochrophyta, form several clades that independently branch off the heterokont stem lineage. The nearest neighbors of Ochrophyta in the phylogenetic tree appear to be almost exclusively bacterivorous, whereas the hypothesis of plastid acquisition by the ancestors of the ochrophyte lineage suggests an ability to engulf eukaryotic alga. In line with this hypothesis, the heterotrophic predator at the base of the ochrophyte lineage may be regarded as a model for the ochrophyte ancestor. Here, we present a new genus and species of marine free-living heterotrophic heterokont Develorapax marinus, which falls into an isolated heterokont cluster, along with the marine flagellate Developayella elegans, and is able to engulf eukaryotic cells. Together with environmental sequences D. marinus and D. elegans form a class-level clade Developea nom. nov. represented by species adapted to different environmental conditions and with a wide geographical distribution. The position of Developea among Heterokonta in large-scale phylogenetic tree is discussed. We propose that members of the Developea clade represent a model for transition from bacterivory to a predatory feeding mode by selection for larger prey. Presumably, such transition in the grazing strategy is possible in the presence of bacterial biofilms or aggregates expected in eutrophic environment, and has likely occurred in the ochrophyte ancestor. PMID:27536283

  16. The common ancestor of archaea and eukarya was not an archaeon.

    PubMed

    Forterre, Patrick

    2013-01-01

    It is often assumed that eukarya originated from archaea. This view has been recently supported by phylogenetic analyses in which eukarya are nested within archaea. Here, I argue that these analyses are not reliable, and I critically discuss archaeal ancestor scenarios, as well as fusion scenarios for the origin of eukaryotes. Based on recognized evolutionary trends toward reduction in archaea and toward complexity in eukarya, I suggest that their last common ancestor was more complex than modern archaea but simpler than modern eukaryotes (the bug in-between scenario). I propose that the ancestors of archaea (and bacteria) escaped protoeukaryotic predators by invading high temperature biotopes, triggering their reductive evolution toward the "prokaryotic" phenotype (the thermoreduction hypothesis). Intriguingly, whereas archaea and eukarya share many basic features at the molecular level, the archaeal mobilome resembles more the bacterial than the eukaryotic one. I suggest that selection of different parts of the ancestral virosphere at the onset of the three domains played a critical role in shaping their respective biology. Eukarya probably evolved toward complexity with the help of retroviruses and large DNA viruses, whereas similar selection pressure (thermoreduction) could explain why the archaeal and bacterial mobilomes somehow resemble each other.

  17. Heterokont Predator Develorapax marinus gen. et sp. nov. - A Model of the Ochrophyte Ancestor.

    PubMed

    Aleoshin, Vladimir V; Mylnikov, Alexander P; Mirzaeva, Gulnara S; Mikhailov, Kirill V; Karpov, Sergey A

    2016-01-01

    Heterotrophic lineages of Heterokonta (or stramenopiles), in contrast to a single monophyletic group of autotrophs, Ochrophyta, form several clades that independently branch off the heterokont stem lineage. The nearest neighbors of Ochrophyta in the phylogenetic tree appear to be almost exclusively bacterivorous, whereas the hypothesis of plastid acquisition by the ancestors of the ochrophyte lineage suggests an ability to engulf eukaryotic alga. In line with this hypothesis, the heterotrophic predator at the base of the ochrophyte lineage may be regarded as a model for the ochrophyte ancestor. Here, we present a new genus and species of marine free-living heterotrophic heterokont Develorapax marinus, which falls into an isolated heterokont cluster, along with the marine flagellate Developayella elegans, and is able to engulf eukaryotic cells. Together with environmental sequences D. marinus and D. elegans form a class-level clade Developea nom. nov. represented by species adapted to different environmental conditions and with a wide geographical distribution. The position of Developea among Heterokonta in large-scale phylogenetic tree is discussed. We propose that members of the Developea clade represent a model for transition from bacterivory to a predatory feeding mode by selection for larger prey. Presumably, such transition in the grazing strategy is possible in the presence of bacterial biofilms or aggregates expected in eutrophic environment, and has likely occurred in the ochrophyte ancestor. PMID:27536283

  18. Structure of mammalian metallothionein.

    PubMed Central

    Kägi, J H; Vasák, M; Lerch, K; Gilg, D E; Hunziker, P; Bernhard, W R; Good, M

    1984-01-01

    All mammalian metallothioneins characterized contain a single polypeptide chain of 61 amino acid residues, among them 20 cysteines providing the ligands for seven metal-binding sites. Native metallothioneins are usually heterogeneous in metal composition, with Zn, Cd, and Cu occurring in varying proportions. However, forms containing only a single metal species, i.e., Zn, Cd, Ni, Co, Hg, Pb, Bi, have now been prepared by in vitro reconstitution from the metal-free apoprotein. By spectroscopic analysis of such derivatives it was established that all cysteine residues participate in metal binding, that each metal ion is bound to four thiolate ligands, and that the symmetry of each complex is close to that of a tetrahedron. To satisfy the requirements of the overall Me7(Cys-)20 stoichiometry, the complexes must be combined to form metal-thiolate cluster structures. Experimental proof for the occurrence of such clusters comes from the demonstration of metal-metal interactions by spectroscopic and magnetic means. Thus, in Co(II)7-metallothionein, the Co(II)-specific ESR signals are effectively suppressed by antiferromagnetic coupling of juxtaposed paramagnetic metal ions. By monitoring changes in ESR signal size occurring on stepwise incorporation of Co(II) into the protein, it is possible to follow the building up of the clusters. This process is biphasic. Up to binding of four equivalents of Co(II), the ESR amplitude increases in proportion to the metal content, indicating generation of magnetically noninteracting high-spin complexes. However, upon addition of the remaining three equivalents of Co(II), these features are progressively suppressed, signaling the formation of clusters. The same mode of cluster formation has also been documented for Cd and Hg. The actual spatial organization of the clusters and the polypeptide chain remains to be established. An attractive possibility is the arrangement of the tetrahedral metal-thiolates in adamantane-like structures

  19. Mitochondria, the Cell Cycle, and the Origin of Sex via a Syncytial Eukaryote Common Ancestor.

    PubMed

    Garg, Sriram G; Martin, William F

    2016-01-01

    Theories for the origin of sex traditionally start with an asexual mitosing cell and add recombination, thereby deriving meiosis from mitosis. Though sex was clearly present in the eukaryote common ancestor, the order of events linking the origin of sex and the origin of mitosis is unknown. Here, we present an evolutionary inference for the origin of sex starting with a bacterial ancestor of mitochondria in the cytosol of its archaeal host. We posit that symbiotic association led to the origin of mitochondria and gene transfer to host's genome, generating a nucleus and a dedicated translational compartment, the eukaryotic cytosol, in which-by virtue of mitochondria-metabolic energy was not limiting. Spontaneous protein aggregation (monomer polymerization) and Adenosine Tri-phosphate (ATP)-dependent macromolecular movement in the cytosol thereby became selectable, giving rise to continuous microtubule-dependent chromosome separation (reduction division). We propose that eukaryotic chromosome division arose in a filamentous, syncytial, multinucleated ancestor, in which nuclei with insufficient chromosome numbers could complement each other through mRNA in the cytosol and generate new chromosome combinations through karyogamy. A syncytial (or coenocytic, a synonym) eukaryote ancestor, or Coeca, would account for the observation that the process of eukaryotic chromosome separation is more conserved than the process of eukaryotic cell division. The first progeny of such a syncytial ancestor were likely equivalent to meiospores, released into the environment by the host's vesicle secretion machinery. The natural ability of archaea (the host) to fuse and recombine brought forth reciprocal recombination among fusing (syngamy and karyogamy) progeny-sex-in an ancestrally meiotic cell cycle, from which the simpler haploid and diploid mitotic cell cycles arose. The origin of eukaryotes was the origin of vertical lineage inheritance, and sex was required to keep vertically

  20. Mitochondria, the Cell Cycle, and the Origin of Sex via a Syncytial Eukaryote Common Ancestor.

    PubMed

    Garg, Sriram G; Martin, William F

    2016-07-02

    Theories for the origin of sex traditionally start with an asexual mitosing cell and add recombination, thereby deriving meiosis from mitosis. Though sex was clearly present in the eukaryote common ancestor, the order of events linking the origin of sex and the origin of mitosis is unknown. Here, we present an evolutionary inference for the origin of sex starting with a bacterial ancestor of mitochondria in the cytosol of its archaeal host. We posit that symbiotic association led to the origin of mitochondria and gene transfer to host's genome, generating a nucleus and a dedicated translational compartment, the eukaryotic cytosol, in which-by virtue of mitochondria-metabolic energy was not limiting. Spontaneous protein aggregation (monomer polymerization) and Adenosine Tri-phosphate (ATP)-dependent macromolecular movement in the cytosol thereby became selectable, giving rise to continuous microtubule-dependent chromosome separation (reduction division). We propose that eukaryotic chromosome division arose in a filamentous, syncytial, multinucleated ancestor, in which nuclei with insufficient chromosome numbers could complement each other through mRNA in the cytosol and generate new chromosome combinations through karyogamy. A syncytial (or coenocytic, a synonym) eukaryote ancestor, or Coeca, would account for the observation that the process of eukaryotic chromosome separation is more conserved than the process of eukaryotic cell division. The first progeny of such a syncytial ancestor were likely equivalent to meiospores, released into the environment by the host's vesicle secretion machinery. The natural ability of archaea (the host) to fuse and recombine brought forth reciprocal recombination among fusing (syngamy and karyogamy) progeny-sex-in an ancestrally meiotic cell cycle, from which the simpler haploid and diploid mitotic cell cycles arose. The origin of eukaryotes was the origin of vertical lineage inheritance, and sex was required to keep vertically

  1. Lung development of monotremes: evidence for the mammalian morphotype.

    PubMed

    Ferner, Kirsten; Zeller, Ulrich; Renfree, Marilyn B

    2009-02-01

    The reproductive strategies and the extent of development of neonates differ markedly between the three extant mammalian groups: the Monotremata, Marsupialia, and Eutheria. Monotremes and marsupials produce highly altricial offspring whereas the neonates of eutherian mammals range from altricial to precocial. The ability of the newborn mammal to leave the environment in which it developed depends highly on the degree of maturation of the cardio-respiratory system at the time of birth. The lung structure is thus a reflection of the metabolic capacity of neonates. The lung development in monotremes (Ornithorhynchus anatinus, Tachyglossus aculeatus), in one marsupial (Monodelphis domestica), and one altricial eutherian (Suncus murinus) species was examined. The results and additional data from the literature were integrated into a morphotype reconstruction of the lung structure of the mammalian neonate. The lung parenchyma of monotremes and marsupials was at the early terminal air sac stage at birth, with large terminal air sacs. The lung developed slowly. In contrast, altricial eutherian neonates had more advanced lungs at the late terminal air sac stage and postnatally, lung maturation proceeded rapidly. The mammalian lung is highly conserved in many respects between monotreme, marsupial, and eutherian species and the structural differences in the neonatal lungs can be explained mainly by different developmental rates. The lung structure of newborn marsupials and monotremes thus resembles the ancestral condition of the mammalian lung at birth, whereas the eutherian newborns have a more mature lung structure.

  2. Electroporation into Cultured Mammalian Embryos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nomura, Tadashi; Takahashi, Masanori; Osumi, Noriko

    Over the last century, mammalian embryos have been used extensively as a common animal model to investigate fundamental questions in the field of developmental biology. More recently, the establishment of transgenic and gene-targeting systems in laboratory mice has enabled researchers to unveil the genetic mechanisms under lying complex developmental processes (Mak, 2007). However, our understanding of cell—cell interactions and their molecular basis in the early stages of mammalian embryogenesis is still very fragmentary. One of the major problems is the difficulty of precise manipulation and limited accessibility to mammalian embryos via uterus wall. Unfortunately, existing tissue and organotypic culture systems per se do not fully recapitulate three-dimensional, dynamic processes of organogenesis observed in vivo. Although transgenic animal technology and virus-mediated gene delivery are useful to manipulate gene expression, these techniques take much time and financial costs, which limit their use.

  3. Comparing salt tolerance of beet cultivars and their halophytic ancestor: consequences of domestication and breeding programmes.

    PubMed

    Rozema, Jelte; Cornelisse, Danny; Zhang, Yuancheng; Li, Hongxiu; Bruning, Bas; Katschnig, Diana; Broekman, Rob; Ji, Bin; van Bodegom, Peter

    2014-12-09

    Salt tolerance of higher plants is determined by a complex set of traits, the timing and rate of evolution of which are largely unknown. We compared the salt tolerance of cultivars of sugar beet and their ancestor, sea beet, in hydroponic studies and evaluated whether traditional domestication and more recent breeding have changed salt tolerance of the cultivars relative to their ancestor. Our comparison of salt tolerance of crop cultivars is based on values of the relative growth rate (RGR) of the entire plant at various salinity levels. We found considerable salt tolerance of the sea beet and slightly, but significantly, reduced salt tolerance of the sugar beet cultivars. This indicates that traditional domestication by selection for morphological traits such as leaf size, beet shape and size, enhanced productivity, sugar content and palatability slightly affected salt tolerance of sugar beet cultivars. Salt tolerance among four sugar beet cultivars, three of which have been claimed to be salt tolerant, did not differ. We analysed the components of RGR to understand the mechanism of salt tolerance at the whole-plant level. The growth rate reduction at higher salinity was linked with reduced leaf area at the whole-plant level (leaf area ratio) and at the individual leaf level (specific leaf area). The leaf weight fraction was not affected by increased salinity. On the other hand, succulence and leaf thickness and the net assimilation per unit of leaf area (unit leaf rate) increased in response to salt treatment, thus partially counteracting reduced capture of light by lower leaf area. This compensatory mechanism may form part of the salt tolerance mechanism of sea beet and the four studied sugar beet cultivars. Together, our results indicate that domestication of the halophytic ancestor sea beet slightly reduced salt tolerance and that breeding for improved salt tolerance of sugar beet cultivars has not been effective.

  4. Comparing salt tolerance of beet cultivars and their halophytic ancestor: consequences of domestication and breeding programmes

    PubMed Central

    Rozema, Jelte; Cornelisse, Danny; Zhang, Yuancheng; Li, Hongxiu; Bruning, Bas; Katschnig, Diana; Broekman, Rob; Ji, Bin; van Bodegom, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Salt tolerance of higher plants is determined by a complex set of traits, the timing and rate of evolution of which are largely unknown. We compared the salt tolerance of cultivars of sugar beet and their ancestor, sea beet, in hydroponic studies and evaluated whether traditional domestication and more recent breeding have changed salt tolerance of the cultivars relative to their ancestor. Our comparison of salt tolerance of crop cultivars is based on values of the relative growth rate (RGR) of the entire plant at various salinity levels. We found considerable salt tolerance of the sea beet and slightly, but significantly, reduced salt tolerance of the sugar beet cultivars. This indicates that traditional domestication by selection for morphological traits such as leaf size, beet shape and size, enhanced productivity, sugar content and palatability slightly affected salt tolerance of sugar beet cultivars. Salt tolerance among four sugar beet cultivars, three of which have been claimed to be salt tolerant, did not differ. We analysed the components of RGR to understand the mechanism of salt tolerance at the whole-plant level. The growth rate reduction at higher salinity was linked with reduced leaf area at the whole-plant level (leaf area ratio) and at the individual leaf level (specific leaf area). The leaf weight fraction was not affected by increased salinity. On the other hand, succulence and leaf thickness and the net assimilation per unit of leaf area (unit leaf rate) increased in response to salt treatment, thus partially counteracting reduced capture of light by lower leaf area. This compensatory mechanism may form part of the salt tolerance mechanism of sea beet and the four studied sugar beet cultivars. Together, our results indicate that domestication of the halophytic ancestor sea beet slightly reduced salt tolerance and that breeding for improved salt tolerance of sugar beet cultivars has not been effective. PMID:25492122

  5. Ether-à-go-go family voltage-gated K+ channels evolved in an ancestral metazoan and functionally diversified in a cnidarian–bilaterian ancestor

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xiaofan; Martinson, Alexandra S.; Layden, Michael J.; Diatta, Fortunay H.; Sberna, Anna P.; Simmons, David K.; Martindale, Mark Q.; Jegla, Timothy J.

    2015-01-01

    We examined the evolutionary origins of the ether-à-go-go (EAG) family of voltage-gated K+ channels, which have a strong influence on the excitability of neurons. The bilaterian EAG family comprises three gene subfamilies (Eag, Erg and Elk) distinguished by sequence conservation and functional properties. Searches of genome sequence indicate that EAG channels are metazoan specific, appearing first in ctenophores. However, phylogenetic analysis including two EAG family channels from the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi indicates that the diversification of the Eag, Erg and Elk gene subfamilies occurred in a cnidarian/bilaterian ancestor after divergence from ctenophores. Erg channel function is highly conserved between cnidarians and mammals. Here we show that Eag and Elk channels from the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis (NvEag and NvElk) also share high functional conservation with mammalian channels. NvEag, like bilaterian Eag channels, has rapid kinetics, whereas NvElk activates at extremely hyperpolarized voltages, which is characteristic of Elk channels. Potent inhibition of voltage activation by extracellular protons is conserved between mammalian and Nematostella EAG channels. However, characteristic inhibition of voltage activation by Mg2+ in Eag channels and Ca2+ in Erg channels is reduced in Nematostella because of mutation of a highly conserved aspartate residue in the voltage sensor. This mutation may preserve sub-threshold activation of Nematostella Eag and Erg channels in a high divalent cation environment. mRNA in situ hybridization of EAG channels in Nematostella suggests that they are differentially expressed in distinct cell types. Most notable is the expression of NvEag in cnidocytes, a cnidarian-specific stinging cell thought to be a neuronal subtype. PMID:25696816

  6. Mammalian development does not recapitulate suspected key transformations in the evolutionary detachment of the mammalian middle ear.

    PubMed

    Ramírez-Chaves, Héctor E; Wroe, Stephen W; Selwood, Lynne; Hinds, Lyn A; Leigh, Chris; Koyabu, Daisuke; Kardjilov, Nikolay; Weisbecker, Vera

    2016-01-13

    The ectotympanic, malleus and incus of the developing mammalian middle ear (ME) are initially attached to the dentary via Meckel's cartilage, betraying their origins from the primary jaw joint of land vertebrates. This recapitulation has prompted mostly unquantified suggestions that several suspected--but similarly unquantified--key evolutionary transformations leading to the mammalian ME are recapitulated in development, through negative allometry and posterior/medial displacement of ME bones relative to the jaw joint. Here we show, using µCT reconstructions, that neither allometric nor topological change is quantifiable in the pre-detachment ME development of six marsupials and two monotremes. Also, differential ME positioning in the two monotreme species is not recapitulated. This challenges the developmental prerequisites of widely cited evolutionary scenarios of definitive mammalian middle ear (DMME) evolution, highlighting the requirement for further fossil evidence to test these hypotheses. Possible association between rear molar eruption, full ME ossification and ME detachment in marsupials suggests functional divergence between dentary and ME as a trigger for developmental, and possibly also evolutionary, ME detachment. The stable positioning of the dentary and ME supports suggestions that a 'partial mammalian middle ear' as found in many mammaliaforms--probably with a cartilaginous Meckel's cartilage--represents the only developmentally plausible evolutionary DMME precursor.

  7. Mammalian development does not recapitulate suspected key transformations in the evolutionary detachment of the mammalian middle ear.

    PubMed

    Ramírez-Chaves, Héctor E; Wroe, Stephen W; Selwood, Lynne; Hinds, Lyn A; Leigh, Chris; Koyabu, Daisuke; Kardjilov, Nikolay; Weisbecker, Vera

    2016-01-13

    The ectotympanic, malleus and incus of the developing mammalian middle ear (ME) are initially attached to the dentary via Meckel's cartilage, betraying their origins from the primary jaw joint of land vertebrates. This recapitulation has prompted mostly unquantified suggestions that several suspected--but similarly unquantified--key evolutionary transformations leading to the mammalian ME are recapitulated in development, through negative allometry and posterior/medial displacement of ME bones relative to the jaw joint. Here we show, using µCT reconstructions, that neither allometric nor topological change is quantifiable in the pre-detachment ME development of six marsupials and two monotremes. Also, differential ME positioning in the two monotreme species is not recapitulated. This challenges the developmental prerequisites of widely cited evolutionary scenarios of definitive mammalian middle ear (DMME) evolution, highlighting the requirement for further fossil evidence to test these hypotheses. Possible association between rear molar eruption, full ME ossification and ME detachment in marsupials suggests functional divergence between dentary and ME as a trigger for developmental, and possibly also evolutionary, ME detachment. The stable positioning of the dentary and ME supports suggestions that a 'partial mammalian middle ear' as found in many mammaliaforms--probably with a cartilaginous Meckel's cartilage--represents the only developmentally plausible evolutionary DMME precursor. PMID:26763693

  8. Ancestor-descendant relationships in evolution: origin of the extant pygmy right whale, Caperea marginata.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Cheng-Hsiu; Fordyce, R Ewan

    2015-01-01

    Ancestor-descendant relationships (ADRs), involving descent with modification, are the fundamental concept in evolution, but are usually difficult to recognize. We examined the cladistic relationship between the only reported fossil pygmy right whale, †Miocaperea pulchra, and its sole living relative, the enigmatic pygmy right whale Caperea marginata, the latter represented by both adult and juvenile specimens. †Miocaperea is phylogenetically bracketed between juvenile and adult Caperea marginata in morphologically based analyses, thus suggesting a possible ADR-the first so far identified within baleen whales (Cetacea: Mysticeti). The †Miocaperea-Caperea lineage may show long-term morphological stasis and, in turn, punctuated equilibrium.

  9. Life cycle evolution: was the eumetazoan ancestor a holopelagic, planktotrophic gastraea?

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Two theories for the origin of animal life cycles with planktotrophic larvae are now discussed seriously: The terminal addition theory proposes a holopelagic, planktotrophic gastraea as the ancestor of the eumetazoans with addition of benthic adult stages and retention of the planktotrophic stages as larvae, i.e. the ancestral life cycles were indirect. The intercalation theory now proposes a benthic, deposit-feeding gastraea as the bilaterian ancestor with a direct development, and with planktotrophic larvae evolving independently in numerous lineages through specializations of juveniles. Results Information from the fossil record, from mapping of developmental types onto known phylogenies, from occurrence of apical organs, and from genetics gives no direct information about the ancestral eumetazoan life cycle; however, there are plenty of examples of evolution from an indirect development to direct development, and no unequivocal example of evolution in the opposite direction. Analyses of scenarios for the two types of evolution are highly informative. The evolution of the indirect spiralian life cycle with a trochophora larva from a planktotrophic gastraea is explained by the trochophora theory as a continuous series of ancestors, where each evolutionary step had an adaptational advantage. The loss of ciliated larvae in the ecdysozoans is associated with the loss of outer ciliated epithelia. A scenario for the intercalation theory shows the origin of the planktotrophic larvae of the spiralians through a series of specializations of the general ciliation of the juvenile. The early steps associated with the enhancement of swimming seem probable, but the following steps which should lead to the complicated downstream-collecting ciliary system are without any advantage, or even seem disadvantageous, until the whole structure is functional. None of the theories account for the origin of the ancestral deuterostome (ambulacrarian) life cycle. Conclusions All

  10. Did Viruses Evolve As a Distinct Supergroup from Common Ancestors of Cells?

    PubMed Central

    Harish, Ajith; Abroi, Aare; Gough, Julian; Kurland, Charles

    2016-01-01

    The evolutionary origins of viruses according to marker gene phylogenies, as well as their relationships to the ancestors of host cells remains unclear. In a recent article Nasir and Caetano-Anollés reported that their genome-scale phylogenetic analyses based on genomic composition of protein structural-domains identify an ancient origin of the “viral supergroup” (Nasir et al. 2015. A phylogenomic data-driven exploration of viral origins and evolution. Sci Adv. 1(8):e1500527.). It suggests that viruses and host cells evolved independently from a universal common ancestor. Examination of their data and phylogenetic methods indicates that systematic errors likely affected the results. Reanalysis of the data with additional tests shows that small-genome attraction artifacts distort their phylogenomic analyses, particularly the location of the root of the phylogenetic tree of life that is central to their conclusions. These new results indicate that their suggestion of a distinct ancestry of the viral supergroup is not well supported by the evidence. PMID:27497315

  11. Pseudogenization of the tooth gene enamelysin (MMP20) in the common ancestor of extant baleen whales.

    PubMed

    Meredith, Robert W; Gatesy, John; Cheng, Joyce; Springer, Mark S

    2011-04-01

    Whales in the suborder Mysticeti are filter feeders that use baleen to sift zooplankton and small fish from ocean waters. Adult mysticetes lack teeth, although tooth buds are present in foetal stages. Cladistic analyses suggest that functional teeth were lost in the common ancestor of crown-group Mysticeti. DNA sequences for the tooth-specific genes, ameloblastin (AMBN), enamelin (ENAM) and amelogenin (AMEL), have frameshift mutations and/or stop codons in this taxon, but none of these molecular cavities are shared by all extant mysticetes. Here, we provide the first evidence for pseudogenization of a tooth gene, enamelysin (MMP20), in the common ancestor of living baleen whales. Specifically, pseudogenization resulted from the insertion of a CHR-2 SINE retroposon in exon 2 of MMP20. Genomic and palaeontological data now provide congruent support for the loss of enamel-capped teeth on the common ancestral branch of crown-group mysticetes. The new data for MMP20 also document a polymorphic stop codon in exon 2 of the pygmy sperm whale (Kogia breviceps), which has enamel-less teeth. These results, in conjunction with the evidence for pseudogenization of MMP20 in Hoffmann's two-toed sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni), another enamel-less species, support the hypothesis that the only unique, non-overlapping function of the MMP20 gene is in enamel formation.

  12. Evidence of duplicated Hox genes in the most recent common ancestor of extant scorpions.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Prashant P; Santiago, Marc A; González-Santillán, Edmundo; Monod, Lionel; Wheeler, Ward C

    2015-01-01

    Scorpions (order Scorpiones) are unusual among arthropods, both for the extreme heteronomy of their bauplan and for the high gene family turnover exhibited in their genomes. These phenomena appear to be correlated, as two scorpion species have been shown to possess nearly twice the number of Hox genes present in most arthropods. Segmentally offset anterior expression boundaries of a subset of Hox paralogs have been shown to correspond to transitions in segmental identities in the scorpion posterior tagmata, suggesting that posterior heteronomy in scorpions may have been achieved by neofunctionalization of Hox paralogs. However, both the first scorpion genome sequenced and the developmental genetic data are based on exemplars of Buthidae, one of 19 families of scorpions. It is therefore not known whether Hox paralogy is limited to Buthidae or widespread among scorpions. We surveyed 24 high throughput transcriptomes and the single whole genome available for scorpions, in order to test the prediction that Hox gene duplications are common to the order. We used gene tree parsimony to infer whether the paralogy was consistent with a duplication event in the scorpion common ancestor. Here we show that duplicated Hox genes in non-buthid scorpions occur in six of the ten Hox classes. Gene tree topologies and parsimony-based reconciliation of the gene trees are consistent with a duplication event in the most recent common ancestor of scorpions. These results suggest that a Hox paralogy, and by extension the model of posterior patterning established in a buthid, can be extended to non-Buthidae scorpions.

  13. A primitive fish close to the common ancestor of tetrapods and lungfish.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Min; Yu, Xiaobo

    2002-08-15

    The relationship of the three living groups of sarcopterygians or lobe-finned fish (tetrapods, lungfish and coelacanths) has been a matter of debate. Although opinions still differ, most recent phylogenies suggest that tetrapods are more closely related to lungfish than to coelacanths. However, no previously known fossil taxon exhibits a concrete character combination approximating the condition expected in the last common ancestor of tetrapods and lungfish -- and it is still poorly understood how early sarcopterygians diverged into the tetrapod lineage (Tetrapodomorpha) and the lungfish lineage (Dipnomorpha). Here we describe a fossil sarcopterygian fish, Styloichthys changae gen. et sp. nov., that possesses an eyestalk and which exhibits the character combination expected in a stem group close to the last common ancestor of tetrapods and lungfish. Styloichthys from the Lower Devonian of China bridges the morphological gap between stem-group sarcopterygians (Psarolepis and Achoania) and basal tetrapodomorphs/basal dipnomorphs. It provides information that will help in the study of the relationship of early sarcopterygians, and which will also help to resolve the tetrapod-lungfish divergence into a documented sequence of character acquisition.

  14. Did Viruses Evolve As a Distinct Supergroup from Common Ancestors of Cells?

    PubMed

    Harish, Ajith; Abroi, Aare; Gough, Julian; Kurland, Charles

    2016-01-01

    The evolutionary origins of viruses according to marker gene phylogenies, as well as their relationships to the ancestors of host cells remains unclear. In a recent article Nasir and Caetano-Anollés reported that their genome-scale phylogenetic analyses based on genomic composition of protein structural-domains identify an ancient origin of the "viral supergroup" (Nasir et al. 2015. A phylogenomic data-driven exploration of viral origins and evolution. Sci Adv. 1(8):e1500527.). It suggests that viruses and host cells evolved independently from a universal common ancestor. Examination of their data and phylogenetic methods indicates that systematic errors likely affected the results. Reanalysis of the data with additional tests shows that small-genome attraction artifacts distort their phylogenomic analyses, particularly the location of the root of the phylogenetic tree of life that is central to their conclusions. These new results indicate that their suggestion of a distinct ancestry of the viral supergroup is not well supported by the evidence.

  15. Pseudogenization of the tooth gene enamelysin (MMP20) in the common ancestor of extant baleen whales

    PubMed Central

    Meredith, Robert W.; Gatesy, John; Cheng, Joyce; Springer, Mark S.

    2011-01-01

    Whales in the suborder Mysticeti are filter feeders that use baleen to sift zooplankton and small fish from ocean waters. Adult mysticetes lack teeth, although tooth buds are present in foetal stages. Cladistic analyses suggest that functional teeth were lost in the common ancestor of crown-group Mysticeti. DNA sequences for the tooth-specific genes, ameloblastin (AMBN), enamelin (ENAM) and amelogenin (AMEL), have frameshift mutations and/or stop codons in this taxon, but none of these molecular cavities are shared by all extant mysticetes. Here, we provide the first evidence for pseudogenization of a tooth gene, enamelysin (MMP20), in the common ancestor of living baleen whales. Specifically, pseudogenization resulted from the insertion of a CHR-2 SINE retroposon in exon 2 of MMP20. Genomic and palaeontological data now provide congruent support for the loss of enamel-capped teeth on the common ancestral branch of crown-group mysticetes. The new data for MMP20 also document a polymorphic stop codon in exon 2 of the pygmy sperm whale (Kogia breviceps), which has enamel-less teeth. These results, in conjunction with the evidence for pseudogenization of MMP20 in Hoffmann's two-toed sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni), another enamel-less species, support the hypothesis that the only unique, non-overlapping function of the MMP20 gene is in enamel formation. PMID:20861053

  16. How difficult is inference of mammalian causal gene regulatory networks?

    PubMed

    Djordjevic, Djordje; Yang, Andrian; Zadoorian, Armella; Rungrugeecharoen, Kevin; Ho, Joshua W K

    2014-01-01

    Gene regulatory networks (GRNs) play a central role in systems biology, especially in the study of mammalian organ development. One key question remains largely unanswered: Is it possible to infer mammalian causal GRNs using observable gene co-expression patterns alone? We assembled two mouse GRN datasets (embryonic tooth and heart) and matching microarray gene expression profiles to systematically investigate the difficulties of mammalian causal GRN inference. The GRNs were assembled based on > 2,000 pieces of experimental genetic perturbation evidence from manually reading > 150 primary research articles. Each piece of perturbation evidence records the qualitative change of the expression of one gene following knock-down or over-expression of another gene. Our data have thorough annotation of tissue types and embryonic stages, as well as the type of regulation (activation, inhibition and no effect), which uniquely allows us to estimate both sensitivity and specificity of the inference of tissue specific causal GRN edges. Using these unprecedented datasets, we found that gene co-expression does not reliably distinguish true positive from false positive interactions, making inference of GRN in mammalian development very difficult. Nonetheless, if we have expression profiling data from genetic or molecular perturbation experiments, such as gene knock-out or signalling stimulation, it is possible to use the set of differentially expressed genes to recover causal regulatory relationships with good sensitivity and specificity. Our result supports the importance of using perturbation experimental data in causal network reconstruction. Furthermore, we showed that causal gene regulatory relationship can be highly cell type or developmental stage specific, suggesting the importance of employing expression profiles from homogeneous cell populations. This study provides essential datasets and empirical evidence to guide the development of new GRN inference methods for

  17. Project Reconstruct.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Helisek, Harriet; Pratt, Donald

    1994-01-01

    Presents a project in which students monitor their use of trash, input and analyze information via a database and computerized graphs, and "reconstruct" extinct or endangered animals from recyclable materials. The activity was done with second-grade students over a period of three to four weeks. (PR)

  18. Vaginal reconstruction

    SciTech Connect

    Lesavoy, M.A.

    1985-05-01

    Vaginal reconstruction can be an uncomplicated and straightforward procedure when attention to detail is maintained. The Abbe-McIndoe procedure of lining the neovaginal canal with split-thickness skin grafts has become standard. The use of the inflatable Heyer-Schulte vaginal stent provides comfort to the patient and ease to the surgeon in maintaining approximation of the skin graft. For large vaginal and perineal defects, myocutaneous flaps such as the gracilis island have been extremely useful for correction of radiation-damaged tissue of the perineum or for the reconstruction of large ablative defects. Minimal morbidity and scarring ensue because the donor site can be closed primarily. With all vaginal reconstruction, a compliant patient is a necessity. The patient must wear a vaginal obturator for a minimum of 3 to 6 months postoperatively and is encouraged to use intercourse as an excellent obturator. In general, vaginal reconstruction can be an extremely gratifying procedure for both the functional and emotional well-being of patients.

  19. Evolution of mammalian sensorimotor cortex: thalamic projections to parietal cortical areas in Monodelphis domestica

    PubMed Central

    Dooley, James C.; Franca, João G.; Seelke, Adele M. H.; Cooke, Dylan F.; Krubitzer, Leah A.

    2015-01-01

    The current experiments build upon previous studies designed to reveal the network of parietal cortical areas present in the common mammalian ancestor. Understanding this ancestral network is essential for highlighting the basic somatosensory circuitry present in all mammals, and how this basic plan was modified to generate species specific behaviors. Our animal model, the short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica), is a South American marsupial that has been proposed to have a similar ecological niche and morphology to the earliest common mammalian ancestor. In this investigation, we injected retrograde neuroanatomical tracers into the face and body representations of primary somatosensory cortex (S1), the rostral and caudal somatosensory fields (SR and SC), as well as a multimodal region (MM). Projections from different architectonically defined thalamic nuclei were then quantified. Our results provide further evidence to support the hypothesized basic mammalian plan of thalamic projections to S1, with the lateral and medial ventral posterior thalamic nuclei (VPl and VPm) projecting to S1 body and S1 face, respectively. Additional strong projections are from the medial division of posterior nucleus (Pom). SR receives projections from several midline nuclei, including the medial dorsal, ventral medial nucleus, and Pom. SC and MM show similar patterns of connectivity, with projections from the ventral anterior and ventral lateral nuclei, VPm and VPl, and the entire posterior nucleus (medial and lateral). Notably, MM is distinguished from SC by relatively dense projections from the dorsal division of the lateral geniculate nucleus and pulvinar. We discuss the finding that S1 of the short-tailed opossum has a similar pattern of projections as other marsupials and mammals, but also some distinct projections not present in other mammals. Further we provide additional support for a primitive posterior parietal cortex which receives input from multiple modalities. PMID

  20. Mechanisms of mammalian iron homeostasis.

    PubMed

    Pantopoulos, Kostas; Porwal, Suheel Kumar; Tartakoff, Alan; Devireddy, L

    2012-07-24

    Iron is vital for almost all organisms because of its ability to donate and accept electrons with relative ease. It serves as a cofactor for many proteins and enzymes necessary for oxygen and energy metabolism, as well as for several other essential processes. Mammalian cells utilize multiple mechanisms to acquire iron. Disruption of iron homeostasis is associated with various human diseases: iron deficiency resulting from defects in the acquisition or distribution of the metal causes anemia, whereas iron surfeit resulting from excessive iron absorption or defective utilization causes abnormal tissue iron deposition, leading to oxidative damage. Mammals utilize distinct mechanisms to regulate iron homeostasis at the systemic and cellular levels. These involve the hormone hepcidin and iron regulatory proteins, which collectively ensure iron balance. This review outlines recent advances in iron regulatory pathways as well as in mechanisms underlying intracellular iron trafficking, an important but less studied area of mammalian iron homeostasis.

  1. Olfactory sensitivity in mammalian species.

    PubMed

    Wackermannová, M; Pinc, L; Jebavý, L

    2016-07-18

    Olfaction enables most mammalian species to detect and discriminate vast numbers of chemical structures called odorants and pheromones. The perception of such chemical compounds is mediated via two major olfactory systems, the main olfactory system and the vomeronasal system, as well as minor systems, such as the septal organ and the Grueneberg ganglion. Distinct differences exist not only among species but also among individuals in terms of their olfactory sensitivity; however, little is known about the mechanisms that determine these differences. In research on the olfactory sensitivity of mammals, scientists thus depend in most cases on behavioral testing. In this article, we reviewed scientific studies performed on various mammalian species using different methodologies and target chemical substances. Human and non-human primates as well as rodents and dogs are the most frequently studied species. Olfactory threshold studies on other species do not exist with the exception of domestic pigs. Olfactory testing performed on seals, elephants, and bats focused more on discriminative abilities than on sensitivity. An overview of olfactory sensitivity studies as well as olfactory detection ability in most studied mammalian species is presented here, focusing on comparable olfactory detection thresholds. The basics of olfactory perception and olfactory sensitivity factors are also described. PMID:27070753

  2. Aberrant Time to Most Recent Common Ancestor as a Signature of Natural Selection.

    PubMed

    Hunter-Zinck, Haley; Clark, Andrew G

    2015-10-01

    Natural selection inference methods often target one mode of selection of a particular age and strength. However, detecting multiple modes simultaneously, or with atypical representations, would be advantageous for understanding a population's evolutionary history. We have developed an anomaly detection algorithm using distributions of pairwise time to most recent common ancestor (TMRCA) to simultaneously detect multiple modes of natural selection in whole-genome sequences. As natural selection distorts local genealogies in distinct ways, the method uses pairwise TMRCA distributions, which approximate genealogies at a nonrecombining locus, to detect distortions without targeting a specific mode of selection. We evaluate the performance of our method, TSel, for both positive and balancing selection over different time-scales and selection strengths and compare TSel's performance with that of other methods. We then apply TSel to the Complete Genomics diversity panel, a set of human whole-genome sequences, and recover loci previously inferred to be under positive or balancing selection.

  3. Age of the last common ancestor of extant Plasmodium parasite lineages.

    PubMed

    Hayakawa, Toshiyuki; Tachibana, Shin-Ichiro; Hikosaka, Kenji; Arisue, Nobuko; Matsui, Atsushi; Horii, Toshihiro; Tanabe, Kazuyuki

    2012-07-01

    Parasites of the genus Plasmodium infect all classes of amniotes (mammals, birds and reptiles) and display host specificity in their infections. It is therefore generally believed that Plasmodium parasites co-evolved intimately with their hosts. Here, we report that based on an evolutionary analysis using 22 genes in the nuclear genome, extant lineages of Plasmodium parasites originated roughly in the Oligocene epoch after the emergence of their hosts. This timing on the age of the common ancestor of extant Plasmodium parasites suggest the importance of host switches and lends support to the evolutionary scenario of a "malaria big bang" that was proposed based on the evolutionary analysis using the mitochondrial genome. PMID:22555021

  4. The genome sequences of Arachis duranensis and Arachis ipaensis, the diploid ancestors of cultivated peanut.

    PubMed

    Bertioli, David John; Cannon, Steven B; Froenicke, Lutz; Huang, Guodong; Farmer, Andrew D; Cannon, Ethalinda K S; Liu, Xin; Gao, Dongying; Clevenger, Josh; Dash, Sudhansu; Ren, Longhui; Moretzsohn, Márcio C; Shirasawa, Kenta; Huang, Wei; Vidigal, Bruna; Abernathy, Brian; Chu, Ye; Niederhuth, Chad E; Umale, Pooja; Araújo, Ana Cláudia G; Kozik, Alexander; Kim, Kyung Do; Burow, Mark D; Varshney, Rajeev K; Wang, Xingjun; Zhang, Xinyou; Barkley, Noelle; Guimarães, Patrícia M; Isobe, Sachiko; Guo, Baozhu; Liao, Boshou; Stalker, H Thomas; Schmitz, Robert J; Scheffler, Brian E; Leal-Bertioli, Soraya C M; Xun, Xu; Jackson, Scott A; Michelmore, Richard; Ozias-Akins, Peggy

    2016-04-01

    Cultivated peanut (Arachis hypogaea) is an allotetraploid with closely related subgenomes of a total size of ∼2.7 Gb. This makes the assembly of chromosomal pseudomolecules very challenging. As a foundation to understanding the genome of cultivated peanut, we report the genome sequences of its diploid ancestors (Arachis duranensis and Arachis ipaensis). We show that these genomes are similar to cultivated peanut's A and B subgenomes and use them to identify candidate disease resistance genes, to guide tetraploid transcript assemblies and to detect genetic exchange between cultivated peanut's subgenomes. On the basis of remarkably high DNA identity of the A. ipaensis genome and the B subgenome of cultivated peanut and biogeographic evidence, we conclude that A. ipaensis may be a direct descendant of the same population that contributed the B subgenome to cultivated peanut. PMID:26901068

  5. The genome sequences of Arachis duranensis and Arachis ipaensis, the diploid ancestors of cultivated peanut.

    PubMed

    Bertioli, David John; Cannon, Steven B; Froenicke, Lutz; Huang, Guodong; Farmer, Andrew D; Cannon, Ethalinda K S; Liu, Xin; Gao, Dongying; Clevenger, Josh; Dash, Sudhansu; Ren, Longhui; Moretzsohn, Márcio C; Shirasawa, Kenta; Huang, Wei; Vidigal, Bruna; Abernathy, Brian; Chu, Ye; Niederhuth, Chad E; Umale, Pooja; Araújo, Ana Cláudia G; Kozik, Alexander; Kim, Kyung Do; Burow, Mark D; Varshney, Rajeev K; Wang, Xingjun; Zhang, Xinyou; Barkley, Noelle; Guimarães, Patrícia M; Isobe, Sachiko; Guo, Baozhu; Liao, Boshou; Stalker, H Thomas; Schmitz, Robert J; Scheffler, Brian E; Leal-Bertioli, Soraya C M; Xun, Xu; Jackson, Scott A; Michelmore, Richard; Ozias-Akins, Peggy

    2016-04-01

    Cultivated peanut (Arachis hypogaea) is an allotetraploid with closely related subgenomes of a total size of ∼2.7 Gb. This makes the assembly of chromosomal pseudomolecules very challenging. As a foundation to understanding the genome of cultivated peanut, we report the genome sequences of its diploid ancestors (Arachis duranensis and Arachis ipaensis). We show that these genomes are similar to cultivated peanut's A and B subgenomes and use them to identify candidate disease resistance genes, to guide tetraploid transcript assemblies and to detect genetic exchange between cultivated peanut's subgenomes. On the basis of remarkably high DNA identity of the A. ipaensis genome and the B subgenome of cultivated peanut and biogeographic evidence, we conclude that A. ipaensis may be a direct descendant of the same population that contributed the B subgenome to cultivated peanut.

  6. Amplification of an ancestral mammalian L1 family of long interspersed repeated DNA occurred just before the murine radiation

    SciTech Connect

    Pascale, E.; Valle, E.; Furano, A.V. )

    1990-12-01

    Each mammalian genus examined so far contains 50,000-100,000 members of an L1 (LINE 1) family of long interspersed repeated DNA elements. Current knowledge on the evolution of L1 families presents a paradox because, although L1 families have been in mammalian genomes since before the mammalian radiation {approximately}80 million years ago, most members of the L1 families are only a few million years old. Accordingly it has been suggested either that the extensive amplification that characterizes present-day L1 families did not occur in the past or that old members were removed as new one were generated. However, the authors show here that an ancestral rodent L1 family was extensively amplified {approximately}10 million years ago and that the relics of this amplification have persisted in modern murine genomes. This amplification occurred just before the divergence of modern murine genera from their common ancestor and identifies the murine node in the lineage of modern muroid rodents The results suggest that repeated amplification of L1 elements is a feature of the evaluation of mammalian genomes and that ancestral amplification events could provide a useful tool for determining mammalian lineages.

  7. Evidence of duplicated Hox genes in the most recent common ancestor of extant scorpions.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Prashant P; Santiago, Marc A; González-Santillán, Edmundo; Monod, Lionel; Wheeler, Ward C

    2015-01-01

    Scorpions (order Scorpiones) are unusual among arthropods, both for the extreme heteronomy of their bauplan and for the high gene family turnover exhibited in their genomes. These phenomena appear to be correlated, as two scorpion species have been shown to possess nearly twice the number of Hox genes present in most arthropods. Segmentally offset anterior expression boundaries of a subset of Hox paralogs have been shown to correspond to transitions in segmental identities in the scorpion posterior tagmata, suggesting that posterior heteronomy in scorpions may have been achieved by neofunctionalization of Hox paralogs. However, both the first scorpion genome sequenced and the developmental genetic data are based on exemplars of Buthidae, one of 19 families of scorpions. It is therefore not known whether Hox paralogy is limited to Buthidae or widespread among scorpions. We surveyed 24 high throughput transcriptomes and the single whole genome available for scorpions, in order to test the prediction that Hox gene duplications are common to the order. We used gene tree parsimony to infer whether the paralogy was consistent with a duplication event in the scorpion common ancestor. Here we show that duplicated Hox genes in non-buthid scorpions occur in six of the ten Hox classes. Gene tree topologies and parsimony-based reconciliation of the gene trees are consistent with a duplication event in the most recent common ancestor of scorpions. These results suggest that a Hox paralogy, and by extension the model of posterior patterning established in a buthid, can be extended to non-Buthidae scorpions. PMID:26492826

  8. Reconstruction and function of ancestral center-of-tree human immunodeficiency virus type 1 proteins.

    PubMed

    Rolland, Morgane; Jensen, Mark A; Nickle, David C; Yan, Jian; Learn, Gerald H; Heath, Laura; Weiner, David; Mullins, James I

    2007-08-01

    The extensive diversity of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and its capacity to mutate and escape host immune responses are major challenges for AIDS vaccine development. Ancestral sequences, which minimize the genetic distance to circulating strains, provide an opportunity to design immunogens with the potential to elicit broad recognition of HIV epitopes. We developed a phylogenetics-informed algorithm to reconstruct ancestral HIV sequences, called Center of Tree (COT). COT sequences have potentially significant benefits over isolate-based strategies, as they minimize the evolutionary distances to circulating strains. COT sequences are designed to surmount the potential pitfalls stemming from sampling bias with the consensus method and outlier bias with the most-recent-common-ancestor approach. We computationally derived COT sequences from circulating HIV-1 subtype B sequences for the genes encoding the major viral structural protein (Gag) and two regulatory proteins, Tat and Nef. COT genes were synthesized de novo and expressed in mammalian cells, and the proteins were characterized. COT Gag was shown to generate virus-like particles, while COT Tat transactivated gene expression from the HIV-1 long terminal repeat and COT Nef mediated downregulation of cell surface major histocompatibility complex class I. Thus, retrodicted ancestral COT proteins can retain the biological functions of extant HIV-1 proteins. Additionally, COT proteins were immunogenic, as they elicited antigen-specific cytotoxic T-lymphocyte responses in mice. These data support the utility of the COT approach to create novel and biologically active ancestral proteins as a starting point for studies of the structure, function, and biological fitness of highly variable genes, as well as for the rational design of globally relevant vaccine candidates.

  9. Locomotion and posture from the common hominoid ancestor to fully modern hominins, with special reference to the last common panin/hominin ancestor.

    PubMed

    Crompton, R H; Vereecke, E E; Thorpe, S K S

    2008-04-01

    Based on our knowledge of locomotor biomechanics and ecology we predict the locomotion and posture of the last common ancestors of (a) great and lesser apes and their close fossil relatives (hominoids); (b) chimpanzees, bonobos and modern humans (hominines); and (c) modern humans and their fossil relatives (hominins). We evaluate our propositions against the fossil record in the context of a broader review of evolution of the locomotor system from the earliest hominoids of modern aspect (crown hominoids) to early modern Homo sapiens. While some early East African stem hominoids were pronograde, it appears that the adaptations which best characterize the crown hominoids are orthogrady and an ability to abduct the arm above the shoulder - rather than, as is often thought, manual suspension sensu stricto. At 7-9 Ma (not much earlier than the likely 4-8 Ma divergence date for panins and hominins, see Bradley, 2008) there were crown hominoids in southern Europe which were adapted to moving in an orthograde posture, supported primarily on the hindlimb, in an arboreal, and possibly for Oreopithecus, a terrestrial context. By 7 Ma, Sahelanthropus provides evidence of a Central African hominin, panin or possibly gorilline adapted to orthogrady, and both orthogrady and habitually highly extended postures of the hip are evident in the arboreal East African protohominin Orrorin at 6 Ma. If the traditional idea that hominins passed through a terrestrial 'knuckle-walking' phase is correct, not only does it have to be explained how a quadrupedal gait typified by flexed postures of the hindlimb could have preadapted the body for the hominin acquisition of straight-legged erect bipedality, but we would have to accept a transition from stem-hominoid pronogrady to crown hominoid orthogrady, back again to pronogrady in the African apes and then back to orthogrady in hominins. Hand-assisted arboreal bipedality, which is part of a continuum of orthograde behaviours, is used by modern

  10. Locomotion and posture from the common hominoid ancestor to fully modern hominins, with special reference to the last common panin/hominin ancestor

    PubMed Central

    Crompton, R H; Vereecke, E E; Thorpe, S K S

    2008-01-01

    Based on our knowledge of locomotor biomechanics and ecology we predict the locomotion and posture of the last common ancestors of (a) great and lesser apes and their close fossil relatives (hominoids); (b) chimpanzees, bonobos and modern humans (hominines); and (c) modern humans and their fossil relatives (hominins). We evaluate our propositions against the fossil record in the context of a broader review of evolution of the locomotor system from the earliest hominoids of modern aspect (crown hominoids) to early modern Homo sapiens. While some early East African stem hominoids were pronograde, it appears that the adaptations which best characterize the crown hominoids are orthogrady and an ability to abduct the arm above the shoulder – rather than, as is often thought, manual suspension sensu stricto. At 7–9 Ma (not much earlier than the likely 4–8 Ma divergence date for panins and hominins, see Bradley, 2008) there were crown hominoids in southern Europe which were adapted to moving in an orthograde posture, supported primarily on the hindlimb, in an arboreal, and possibly for Oreopithecus, a terrestrial context. By 7 Ma, Sahelanthropus provides evidence of a Central African hominin, panin or possibly gorilline adapted to orthogrady, and both orthogrady and habitually highly extended postures of the hip are evident in the arboreal East African protohominin Orrorin at 6 Ma. If the traditional idea that hominins passed through a terrestrial ‘knuckle-walking’ phase is correct, not only does it have to be explained how a quadrupedal gait typified by flexed postures of the hindlimb could have preadapted the body for the hominin acquisition of straight-legged erect bipedality, but we would have to accept a transition from stem-hominoid pronogrady to crown hominoid orthogrady, back again to pronogrady in the African apes and then back to orthogrady in hominins. Hand-assisted arboreal bipedality, which is part of a continuum of orthograde behaviours, is used by

  11. Micro-optical coherence tomography of the mammalian cochlea.

    PubMed

    Iyer, Janani S; Batts, Shelley A; Chu, Kengyeh K; Sahin, Mehmet I; Leung, Hui Min; Tearney, Guillermo J; Stankovic, Konstantina M

    2016-01-01

    The mammalian cochlea has historically resisted attempts at high-resolution, non-invasive imaging due to its small size, complex three-dimensional structure, and embedded location within the temporal bone. As a result, little is known about the relationship between an individual's cochlear pathology and hearing function, and otologists must rely on physiological testing and imaging methods that offer limited resolution to obtain information about the inner ear prior to performing surgery. Micro-optical coherence tomography (μOCT) is a non-invasive, low-coherence interferometric imaging technique capable of resolving cellular-level anatomic structures. To determine whether μOCT is capable of resolving mammalian intracochlear anatomy, fixed guinea pig inner ears were imaged as whole temporal bones with cochlea in situ. Anatomical structures such as the tunnel of Corti, space of Nuel, modiolus, scalae, and cell groupings were visualized, in addition to individual cell types such as neuronal fibers, hair cells, and supporting cells. Visualization of these structures, via volumetrically-reconstructed image stacks and endoscopic perspective videos, represents an improvement over previous efforts using conventional OCT. These are the first μOCT images of mammalian cochlear anatomy, and they demonstrate μOCT's potential utility as an imaging tool in otology research. PMID:27633610

  12. Progress Towards Mammalian Whole-Brain Cellular Connectomics.

    PubMed

    Mikula, Shawn

    2016-01-01

    Neurons are the fundamental structural units of the nervous system-i.e., the Neuron Doctrine-as the pioneering work of Santiago Ramón y Cajal in the 1880's clearly demonstrated through careful observation of Golgi-stained neuronal morphologies. However, at that time sample preparation, imaging methods and computational tools were either nonexistent or insufficiently developed to permit the precise mapping of an entire brain with all of its neurons and their connections. Some measure of the "mesoscopic" connectional organization of the mammalian brain has been obtained over the past decade by alignment of sparse subsets of labeled neurons onto a reference atlas or via MRI-based diffusion tensor imaging. Neither method, however, provides data on the complete connectivity of all neurons comprising an individual brain. Fortunately, whole-brain cellular connectomics now appears within reach due to recent advances in whole-brain sample preparation and high-throughput electron microscopy (EM), though substantial obstacles remain with respect to large volume electron microscopic acquisitions and automated neurite reconstructions. This perspective examines the current status and problems associated with generating a mammalian whole-brain cellular connectome and argues that the time is right to launch a concerted connectomic attack on a small mammalian whole-brain. PMID:27445704

  13. Micro-optical coherence tomography of the mammalian cochlea

    PubMed Central

    Iyer, Janani S.; Batts, Shelley A.; Chu, Kengyeh K.; Sahin, Mehmet I.; Leung, Hui Min; Tearney, Guillermo J.; Stankovic, Konstantina M.

    2016-01-01

    The mammalian cochlea has historically resisted attempts at high-resolution, non-invasive imaging due to its small size, complex three-dimensional structure, and embedded location within the temporal bone. As a result, little is known about the relationship between an individual’s cochlear pathology and hearing function, and otologists must rely on physiological testing and imaging methods that offer limited resolution to obtain information about the inner ear prior to performing surgery. Micro-optical coherence tomography (μOCT) is a non-invasive, low-coherence interferometric imaging technique capable of resolving cellular-level anatomic structures. To determine whether μOCT is capable of resolving mammalian intracochlear anatomy, fixed guinea pig inner ears were imaged as whole temporal bones with cochlea in situ. Anatomical structures such as the tunnel of Corti, space of Nuel, modiolus, scalae, and cell groupings were visualized, in addition to individual cell types such as neuronal fibers, hair cells, and supporting cells. Visualization of these structures, via volumetrically-reconstructed image stacks and endoscopic perspective videos, represents an improvement over previous efforts using conventional OCT. These are the first μOCT images of mammalian cochlear anatomy, and they demonstrate μOCT’s potential utility as an imaging tool in otology research. PMID:27633610

  14. Progress Towards Mammalian Whole-Brain Cellular Connectomics

    PubMed Central

    Mikula, Shawn

    2016-01-01

    Neurons are the fundamental structural units of the nervous system—i.e., the Neuron Doctrine—as the pioneering work of Santiago Ramón y Cajal in the 1880’s clearly demonstrated through careful observation of Golgi-stained neuronal morphologies. However, at that time sample preparation, imaging methods and computational tools were either nonexistent or insufficiently developed to permit the precise mapping of an entire brain with all of its neurons and their connections. Some measure of the “mesoscopic” connectional organization of the mammalian brain has been obtained over the past decade by alignment of sparse subsets of labeled neurons onto a reference atlas or via MRI-based diffusion tensor imaging. Neither method, however, provides data on the complete connectivity of all neurons comprising an individual brain. Fortunately, whole-brain cellular connectomics now appears within reach due to recent advances in whole-brain sample preparation and high-throughput electron microscopy (EM), though substantial obstacles remain with respect to large volume electron microscopic acquisitions and automated neurite reconstructions. This perspective examines the current status and problems associated with generating a mammalian whole-brain cellular connectome and argues that the time is right to launch a concerted connectomic attack on a small mammalian whole-brain. PMID:27445704

  15. Cell lineage analysis of the mammalian female germline.

    PubMed

    Reizel, Yitzhak; Itzkovitz, Shalev; Adar, Rivka; Elbaz, Judith; Jinich, Adrian; Chapal-Ilani, Noa; Maruvka, Yosef E; Nevo, Nava; Marx, Zipora; Horovitz, Inna; Wasserstrom, Adam; Mayo, Avi; Shur, Irena; Benayahu, Dafna; Skorecki, Karl; Segal, Eran; Dekel, Nava; Shapiro, Ehud

    2012-01-01

    Fundamental aspects of embryonic and post-natal development, including maintenance of the mammalian female germline, are largely unknown. Here we employ a retrospective, phylogenetic-based method for reconstructing cell lineage trees utilizing somatic mutations accumulated in microsatellites, to study female germline dynamics in mice. Reconstructed cell lineage trees can be used to estimate lineage relationships between different cell types, as well as cell depth (number of cell divisions since the zygote). We show that, in the reconstructed mouse cell lineage trees, oocytes form clusters that are separate from hematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cells, both in young and old mice, indicating that these populations belong to distinct lineages. Furthermore, while cumulus cells sampled from different ovarian follicles are distinctly clustered on the reconstructed trees, oocytes from the left and right ovaries are not, suggesting a mixing of their progenitor pools. We also observed an increase in oocyte depth with mouse age, which can be explained either by depth-guided selection of oocytes for ovulation or by post-natal renewal. Overall, our study sheds light on substantial novel aspects of female germline preservation and development.

  16. Cell Lineage Analysis of the Mammalian Female Germline

    PubMed Central

    Elbaz, Judith; Jinich, Adrian; Chapal-Ilani, Noa; Maruvka, Yosef E.; Nevo, Nava; Marx, Zipora; Horovitz, Inna; Wasserstrom, Adam; Mayo, Avi; Shur, Irena; Benayahu, Dafna; Skorecki, Karl; Segal, Eran; Dekel, Nava; Shapiro, Ehud

    2012-01-01

    Fundamental aspects of embryonic and post-natal development, including maintenance of the mammalian female germline, are largely unknown. Here we employ a retrospective, phylogenetic-based method for reconstructing cell lineage trees utilizing somatic mutations accumulated in microsatellites, to study female germline dynamics in mice. Reconstructed cell lineage trees can be used to estimate lineage relationships between different cell types, as well as cell depth (number of cell divisions since the zygote). We show that, in the reconstructed mouse cell lineage trees, oocytes form clusters that are separate from hematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cells, both in young and old mice, indicating that these populations belong to distinct lineages. Furthermore, while cumulus cells sampled from different ovarian follicles are distinctly clustered on the reconstructed trees, oocytes from the left and right ovaries are not, suggesting a mixing of their progenitor pools. We also observed an increase in oocyte depth with mouse age, which can be explained either by depth-guided selection of oocytes for ovulation or by post-natal renewal. Overall, our study sheds light on substantial novel aspects of female germline preservation and development. PMID:22383887

  17. A Francisella-like endosymbiont in the Gulf Coast tick evolved from a mammalian pathogen

    PubMed Central

    Gerhart, Jonathan G.; Moses, Abraham S.; Raghavan, Rahul

    2016-01-01

    Ticks (order Ixodida) vector pathogenic bacteria that cause diseases in humans and other mammals. They also contain bacteria that are closely related to pathogens but function as endosymbionts that provide nutrients that are missing from mammalian blood—their sole food source. For instance, mammalian pathogens such as Coxiella burnetii and Francisella tularensis, as well as Coxiella-like and Francisella-like endosymbionts (CLEs and FLEs, respectively) occur in ticks worldwide. However, it is not clear whether the pathogens evolved from symbionts or symbionts from pathogens. Recent studies have indicated that C. burnetii likely originated from a tick-associated ancestor, but the origins of FLEs are not clear. In this study, we sequenced the genome of an FLE, termed FLE-Am, present in the Gulf Coast tick, Amblyomma maculatum. We show that FLE-Am likely evolved from a pathogenic strain of Francisella, indicating that tick endosymbionts can evolve from mammalian pathogens. Although the genome of FLE-Am is almost the same size as the genomes of pathogenic Francisella strains, about one-third of its protein-coding genes contain inactivating mutations. The relatively low coding capacity and extensive metabolic capabilities indicate that FLE-Am transitioned recently to its current endosymbiotic lifestyle and likely replaced an ancient endosymbiont with degraded functionality. PMID:27645766

  18. Patterning of the mammalian cochlea

    PubMed Central

    Cantos, Raquel; Cole, Laura K.; Acampora, Dario; Simeone, Antonio; Wu, Doris K.

    2000-01-01

    The mammalian cochlea is sophisticated in its function and highly organized in its structure. Although the anatomy of this sense organ has been well documented, the molecular mechanisms underlying its development have remained elusive. Information generated from mutant and knockout mice in recent years has increased our understanding of cochlear development and physiology. This article discusses factors important for the development of the inner ear and summarizes cochlear phenotypes of mutant and knockout mice, particularly Otx and Otx2. We also present data on gross development of the mouse cochlea. PMID:11050199

  19. Putrescine catabolism in mammalian brain

    PubMed Central

    Seiler, N.; Al-Therib, M. J.

    1974-01-01

    In contrast with putrescine (1,4-diaminobutane), which is a substrate of diamine oxidase, monoacetylputrescine is oxidatively deaminated both in vitro and in vivo by monoamine oxidase. The product of this reaction is N-acetyl-γ-aminobutyrate. The existence of a degradative pathway in mammalian brain for putrescine is shown, which comprises acetylation of putrescine, oxidative deamination of monoacetylputrescine to N-acetyl-γ-aminobutyrate, transformation of N-acetyl-γ-aminobutyrate to γ-aminobutyrate and degradation of γ-aminobutyrate to CO2 via the tricarboxylic acid cycle. PMID:4156831

  20. Multiple origins of Heliozoa from flagellate ancestors: New cryptist subphylum Corbihelia, superclass Corbistoma, and monophyly of Haptista, Cryptista, Hacrobia and Chromista.

    PubMed

    Cavalier-Smith, Thomas; Chao, Ema E; Lewis, Rhodri

    2015-12-01

    Heliozoan protists have radiating cell projections (axopodia) supported by microtubular axonemes nucleated by the centrosome and bearing granule-like extrusomes for catching prey. To clarify previously confused heliozoan phylogeny we sequenced partial transcriptomes of two tiny naked heliozoa, the endohelean Microheliella maris and centrohelid Oxnerella marina, and the cercozoan pseudoheliozoan Minimassisteria diva. Phylogenetic analysis of 187 genes confirms that all are chromists; but centrohelids (microtubules arranged as hexagons and triangles) are not sisters to Endohelea having axonemes in transnuclear cytoplasmic channels (triangular or square microtubular arrays). Centrohelids are strongly sister to haptophytes (together phylum Haptista); we explain the common origins of their axopodia and haptonema. Microheliella is sister to new superclass Corbistoma (zooflagellate Telonemea and Picomonadea, with asymmetric microfilamentous pharyngeal basket), showing that these axopodial protists evolved independently from zooflagellate ancestors. We group Corbistoma and Endohelea as new cryptist subphylum Corbihelia with dense fibrillar interorganellar connections; endohelean axopodia and Telonema cortex are ultrastructurally related. Differently sampled trees clarify why corticate multigene eukaryote phylogeny is problematic: long-branch artefacts probably distort deep multigene phylogeny of corticates (Plantae, Chromista); basal radiations may be contradictorily reconstructed because of their extreme closeness and the Bayesian star-tree paradox. Haptista and Hacrobia are holophyletic, and Chromista probably are.

  1. The Last Universal Common Ancestor: emergence, constitution and genetic legacy of an elusive forerunner

    PubMed Central

    Glansdorff, Nicolas; Xu, Ying; Labedan, Bernard

    2008-01-01

    Background Since the reclassification of all life forms in three Domains (Archaea, Bacteria, Eukarya), the identity of their alleged forerunner (Last Universal Common Ancestor or LUCA) has been the subject of extensive controversies: progenote or already complex organism, prokaryote or protoeukaryote, thermophile or mesophile, product of a protracted progression from simple replicators to complex cells or born in the cradle of "catalytically closed" entities? We present a critical survey of the topic and suggest a scenario. Results LUCA does not appear to have been a simple, primitive, hyperthermophilic prokaryote but rather a complex community of protoeukaryotes with a RNA genome, adapted to a broad range of moderate temperatures, genetically redundant, morphologically and metabolically diverse. LUCA's genetic redundancy predicts loss of paralogous gene copies in divergent lineages to be a significant source of phylogenetic anomalies, i.e. instances where a protein tree departs from the SSU-rRNA genealogy; consequently, horizontal gene transfer may not have the rampant character assumed by many. Examining membrane lipids suggest LUCA had sn1,2 ester fatty acid lipids from which Archaea emerged from the outset as thermophilic by "thermoreduction," with a new type of membrane, composed of sn2,3 ether isoprenoid lipids; this occurred without major enzymatic reconversion. Bacteria emerged by reductive evolution from LUCA and some lineages further acquired extreme thermophily by convergent evolution. This scenario is compatible with the hypothesis that the RNA to DNA transition resulted from different viral invasions as proposed by Forterre. Beyond the controversy opposing "replication first" to metabolism first", the predictive arguments of theories on "catalytic closure" or "compositional heredity" heavily weigh in favour of LUCA's ancestors having emerged as complex, self-replicating entities from which a genetic code arose under natural selection. Conclusion Life

  2. Strong gender differences in reproductive success variance, and the times to the most recent common ancestors.

    PubMed

    Favre, Maroussia; Sornette, Didier

    2012-10-01

    The Time to the Most Recent Common Ancestor (TMRCA) based on human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is estimated to be twice that based on the non-recombining part of the Y chromosome (NRY). These TMRCAs have special demographic implications because mtDNA is transmitted only from mother to child, while NRY is passed along from father to son. Therefore, the former locus reflects female history, and the latter, male history. To investigate what caused the two-to-one female-male TMRCA ratio r(F/M)=T(F)/T(M) in humans, we develop a forward-looking agent-based model (ABM) with overlapping generations. Our ABM simulates agents with individual life cycles, including life events such as reaching maturity or menopause. We implemented two main mating systems: polygynandry and polygyny with different degrees in between. In each mating system, the male population can be either homogeneous or heterogeneous. In the latter case, some males are 'alphas' and others are 'betas', which reflects the extent to which they are favored by female mates. A heterogeneous male population implies a competition among males with the purpose of signaling as alpha males. The introduction of a heterogeneous male population is found to reduce by a factor 2 the probability of finding equal female and male TMRCAs and shifts the distribution of r(F/M) to higher values. In order to account for the empirical observation of the factor 2, a high level of heterogeneity in the male population is needed: less than half the males can be alphas and betas can have at most half the fitness of alphas for the TMRCA ratio to depart significantly from 1. In addition, we find that, in the modes that maximize the probability of having 1.5ancestors. We also tested the effect of sex-biased migration and sex-specific death rates and found that these are unlikely to explain alone the sex-biased TMRCA ratio observed in humans. Our results support the view

  3. Single, ancient origin of a plastid metabolite translocator family in Plantae from an endomembrane-derived ancestor.

    PubMed

    Weber, Andreas P M; Linka, Marc; Bhattacharya, Debashish

    2006-03-01

    Phylogenetic analyses show the single origin of a plastid metabolite translocator family in the Plantae from a gene encoding an existing endomembrane-derived protein. Red algal secondary endosymbiosis has spread a translocator gene into the ancestor of the "chromalveolate" protists, where it has diversified into a novel clade of proteins.

  4. Clamping down on mammalian meiosis

    PubMed Central

    Lyndaker, Amy M; Vasileva, Ana; Wolgemuth, Debra J; Weiss, Robert S; Lieberman, Howard B

    2013-01-01

    The RAD9A-RAD1-HUS1 (9-1-1) complex is a PCNA-like heterotrimeric clamp that binds damaged DNA to promote cell cycle checkpoint signaling and DNA repair. While various 9-1-1 functions in mammalian somatic cells have been established, mounting evidence from lower eukaryotes predicts critical roles in meiotic germ cells as well. This was investigated in 2 recent studies in which the 9-1-1 complex was disrupted specifically in the mouse male germline through conditional deletion of Rad9a or Hus1. Loss of these clamp subunits led to severely impaired fertility and meiotic defects, including faulty DNA double-strand break repair. While 9-1-1 is critical for ATR kinase activation in somatic cells, these studies did not reveal major defects in ATR checkpoint pathway signaling in meiotic cells. Intriguingly, this new work identified separable roles for 9-1-1 subunits, namely RAD9A- and HUS1-independent roles for RAD1. Based on these studies and the high-level expression of the paralogous proteins RAD9B and HUS1B in testis, we propose a model in which multiple alternative 9-1-1 clamps function during mammalian meiosis to ensure genome maintenance in the germline. PMID:24013428

  5. DNA modifications in the mammalian brain

    PubMed Central

    Shin, Jaehoon; Ming, Guo-li; Song, Hongjun

    2014-01-01

    DNA methylation is a crucial epigenetic mark in mammalian development, genomic imprinting, X-inactivation, chromosomal stability and suppressing parasitic DNA elements. DNA methylation in neurons has also been suggested to play important roles for mammalian neuronal functions, and learning and memory. In this review, we first summarize recent discoveries and fundamental principles of DNA modifications in the general epigenetics field. We then describe the profiles of different DNA modifications in the mammalian brain genome. Finally, we discuss roles of DNA modifications in mammalian brain development and function. PMID:25135973

  6. Polyploids with different origins and ancestors form a single sexual polyploid species.

    PubMed

    Holloway, Alisha K; Cannatella, David C; Gerhardt, H Carl; Hillis, David M

    2006-04-01

    Polyploidization is one of the few mechanisms that can produce instantaneous speciation. Multiple origins of tetraploid lineages from the same two diploid progenitors are common, but here we report the first known instance of a single tetraploid species that originated repeatedly from at least three diploid ancestors. Parallel evolution of advertisement calls in tetraploid lineages of gray tree frogs has allowed these lineages to interbreed, resulting in a single sexually interacting polyploid species despite the separate origins of polyploids from different diploids. Speciation by polyploidization in these frogs has been the source of considerable debate, but the various published hypotheses have assumed that polyploids arose through either autopolyploidy or allopolyploidy of extant diploid species. We utilized molecular markers and advertisement calls to infer the origins of tetraploid gray tree frogs. Previous hypotheses did not sufficiently account for the observed data. Instead, we found that tetraploids originated multiple times from extant diploid gray tree frogs and two other, apparently extinct, lineages of tree frogs. Tetraploid lineages then merged through interbreeding to result in a single species. Thus, polyploid species may have complex origins, especially in systems in which isolating mechanisms (such as advertisement calls) are affected directly through hybridization and polyploidy. PMID:16670990

  7. How Old Is the Most Recent Ancestor of Two Copies of an Allele?

    PubMed Central

    Patterson, Nick J.

    2005-01-01

    An important clue to the evolutionary history of an allele is the structure of the neighboring region of the genome, which we term the genomic background of the allele. Consider two copies of the allele. How similar we expect their genomic background to be is strongly influenced by the age of their most recent common ancestor (MRCA). We apply diffusion theory, first used by Motoo Kimura as a tool for predicting the changes in allele frequencies over time and developed by him in many articles in this journal, to prove a variety of new results on the age of the MRCA under the simplest demographic assumptions. In particular, we show that the expected age of the MRCA of two copies of an allele with population frequency f is just 2Nf generations, where N is the effective population size. Our results are a first step in running exact coalescent simulations, where we also simulate the history of the population frequency of an allele. PMID:15520271

  8. Punctuated emergences of genetic and phenotypic innovations in eumetazoan, bilaterian, euteleostome, and hominidae ancestors.

    PubMed

    Wenger, Yvan; Galliot, Brigitte

    2013-01-01

    Phenotypic traits derive from the selective recruitment of genetic materials over macroevolutionary times, and protein-coding genes constitute an essential component of these materials. We took advantage of the recent production of genomic scale data from sponges and cnidarians, sister groups from eumetazoans and bilaterians, respectively, to date the emergence of human proteins and to infer the timing of acquisition of novel traits through metazoan evolution. Comparing the proteomes of 23 eukaryotes, we find that 33% human proteins have an ortholog in nonmetazoan species. This premetazoan proteome associates with 43% of all annotated human biological processes. Subsequently, four major waves of innovations can be inferred in the last common ancestors of eumetazoans, bilaterians, euteleostomi (bony vertebrates), and hominidae, largely specific to each epoch, whereas early branching deuterostome and chordate phyla show very few innovations. Interestingly, groups of proteins that act together in their modern human functions often originated concomitantly, although the corresponding human phenotypes frequently emerged later. For example, the three cnidarians Acropora, Nematostella, and Hydra express a highly similar protein inventory, and their protein innovations can be affiliated either to traits shared by all eumetazoans (gut differentiation, neurogenesis); or to bilaterian traits present in only some cnidarians (eyes, striated muscle); or to traits not identified yet in this phylum (mesodermal layer, endocrine glands). The variable correspondence between phenotypes predicted from protein enrichments and observed phenotypes suggests that a parallel mechanism repeatedly produce similar phenotypes, thanks to novel regulatory events that independently tie preexisting conserved genetic modules.

  9. Structural Similarities between Thiamin-Binding Protein and Thiaminase-I Suggest a Common Ancestor

    SciTech Connect

    Soriano, Erika V.; Rajashankar, Kanagalaghatta R.; Hanes, Jeremiah W.; Bale, Shridhar; Begley, Tadhg P.; Ealick, Steven E.

    2008-06-30

    ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters are responsible for the transport of a wide variety of water-soluble molecules and ions into prokaryotic cells. In Gram-negative bacteria, periplasmic-binding proteins deliver ions or molecules such as thiamin to the membrane-bound ABC transporter. The gene for the thiamin-binding protein tbpA has been identified in both Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium. Here we report the crystal structure of TbpA from E. coli with bound thiamin monophosphate. The structure was determined at 2.25 {angstrom} resolution using single-wavelength anomalous diffraction experiments, despite the presence of nonmerohedral twinning. The crystal structure shows that TbpA belongs to the group II periplasmic-binding protein family. Equilibrium binding measurements showed similar dissociation constants for thiamin, thiamin monophosphate, and thiamin pyrophosphate. Analysis of the binding site by molecular modeling demonstrated how TbpA binds all three forms of thiamin. A comparison of TbpA and thiaminase-I, a thiamin-degrading enzyme, revealed structural similarity between the two proteins, especially in domain 1, suggesting that the two proteins evolved from a common ancestor.

  10. Structural similarities between thiamin-binding protein and thiaminase-I suggest a common ancestor.

    PubMed

    Soriano, Erika V; Rajashankar, Kanagalaghatta R; Hanes, Jeremiah W; Bale, Shridhar; Begley, Tadhg P; Ealick, Steven E

    2008-02-01

    ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters are responsible for the transport of a wide variety of water-soluble molecules and ions into prokaryotic cells. In Gram-negative bacteria, periplasmic-binding proteins deliver ions or molecules such as thiamin to the membrane-bound ABC transporter. The gene for the thiamin-binding protein tbpA has been identified in both Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium. Here we report the crystal structure of TbpA from E. coli with bound thiamin monophosphate. The structure was determined at 2.25 A resolution using single-wavelength anomalous diffraction experiments, despite the presence of nonmerohedral twinning. The crystal structure shows that TbpA belongs to the group II periplasmic-binding protein family. Equilibrium binding measurements showed similar dissociation constants for thiamin, thiamin monophosphate, and thiamin pyrophosphate. Analysis of the binding site by molecular modeling demonstrated how TbpA binds all three forms of thiamin. A comparison of TbpA and thiaminase-I, a thiamin-degrading enzyme, revealed structural similarity between the two proteins, especially in domain 1, suggesting that the two proteins evolved from a common ancestor.

  11. The Time to Most Recent Common Ancestor Does Not (Usually) Approximate the Date of Divergence.

    PubMed

    Pettengill, James B

    2015-01-01

    With the advent of more sophisticated models and increase in computational power, an ever-growing amount of information can be extracted from DNA sequence data. In particular, recent advances have allowed researchers to estimate the date of historical events for a group of interest including time to most recent common ancestor (TMRCA), dates of specific nodes in a phylogeny, and the date of divergence or speciation date. Here I use coalescent simulations and re-analyze an empirical dataset to illustrate the importance of taxon sampling, in particular, on correctly estimating such dates. I show that TMRCA of representatives of a single taxon is often not the same as divergence date due to issues such as incomplete lineage sorting. Of critical importance is when estimating divergence or speciation dates a representative from a different taxonomic lineage must be included in the analysis. Without considering these issues, studies may incorrectly estimate the times at which historical events occurred, which has profound impacts within both research and applied (e.g., those related to public health) settings.

  12. Hybrid apomicts trapped in the ecological niches of their sexual ancestors

    PubMed Central

    Mau, Martin; Lovell, John T.; Corral, José M.; Kiefer, Christiane; Koch, Marcus A.; Aliyu, Olawale M.; Sharbel, Timothy F.

    2015-01-01

    Asexual reproduction is expected to reduce the adaptive potential to novel or changing environmental conditions, restricting or altering the ecological niche of asexual lineages. Asexual lineages of plants and animals are typically polyploid, an attribute that may influence their genetic variation, plasticity, adaptive potential, and niche breadth. The genus Boechera (Brassicaceae) represents an ideal model to test the relative ecological and biogeographic impacts of reproductive mode and ploidy because it is composed of diploid sexual and both diploid and polyploid asexual (i.e., apomictic) lineages. Here, we demonstrate a strong association between a transcriptionally conserved allele and apomictic seed formation. We then use this allele as a proxy apomixis marker in 1,649 accessions to demonstrate that apomixis is likely to be a common feature across the Boechera phylogeny. Phylogeographic analyses of these data demonstrate (i) species-specific niche differentiation in sexuals, (ii) extensive niche conservation between differing reproductive modes of the same species, (iii) ploidy-specific niche differentiation within and among species, and (iv) occasional niche drift between apomicts and their sexual ancestors. We conclude that ploidy is a substantially stronger and more common driver of niche divergence within and across Boechera species although variation in both traits may not necessarily lead to niche evolution on the species scale. PMID:25902513

  13. An early modern human from Romania with a recent Neanderthal ancestor

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Qiaomei; Hajdinjak, Mateja; Moldovan, Oana Teodora; Constantin, Silviu; Mallick, Swapan; Skoglund, Pontus; Patterson, Nick; Rohland, Nadin; Lazaridis, Iosif; Nickel, Birgit; Viola, Bence; Prüfer, Kay; Meyer, Matthias; Kelso, Janet; Reich, David; Pääbo, Svante

    2015-01-01

    Neanderthals are thought to have disappeared in Europe ~39,000–41,000 years ago but they have contributed one to three percent of the DNA of present-day people in Eurasia1. Here, we analyze DNA from a 37,000–42,000-year-old2 modern human from Peştera cu Oase, Romania. Although the specimen contains small amounts of human DNA, we use an enrichment strategy to isolate sites that are informative about its relationship to Neanderthals and present-day humans. We find that on the order of six to nine percent of the genome of the Oase individual is derived from Neanderthals, more than any other modern human sequenced to date. Three chromosomal segments of Neanderthal ancestry are over 50 centimorgans in size, indicating that this individual had a Neanderthal ancestor as recently as four to six generations back. However, the Oase individual does not share more alleles with later Europeans than with East Asians, suggesting that the Oase population did not contribute substantially to later humans in Europe. PMID:26098372

  14. Ascomatal morphogenesis in Myxotrichum arcticum supports the derivation of the Myxotrichaceae from a discomycetous ancestor.

    PubMed

    Tsuneda, A; Currah, R S

    2004-01-01

    Electron microscopy shows that ascomata of Myxotricum arcticum bear a striking resemblance to discocarps in morphogenesis and in previously overlooked aspects of gross morphology. Although mature ascomata of M. arcticum superficially resemble reticuloperidial cleistothecia common in the Onygenales, the bramble-like aggregation of thick-walled hyphae, previously considered to represent a closed peridium, forms a basket-like apothecium that overarches a distinct hymenium of stipitate, protunicate asci interspersed with paraphyses. There is no evidence of asci developing in chains and at different levels as is characteristic of the centrum of many Eurotiomycetes. Instead, more or less globose, stipitate and evanescent asci arise individually from penultimate cells of croziers and develop almost synchronously across a distinct hymenial layer derived from a richly branched network of crozier-bearing hyphae. After dissolution of the ascus wall, ascospores adhere to a membranous sheath that underlies the hymenium. These observations provide strong support for prior suggestions based on molecular phylogenetic comparisons that the Myxotrichaceae recently are derived from a helotialean ancestor. Observations of conidiogenesis show that the typical Oidiodendron anamorph is accompanied by a second conidiogenous form with ampullae and botryose clusters of blastic conidia. PMID:21148882

  15. Wild mallards have more "goose-like" bills than their ancestors: a case of anthropogenic influence?

    PubMed

    Söderquist, Pär; Norrström, Joanna; Elmberg, Johan; Guillemain, Matthieu; Gunnarsson, Gunnar

    2014-01-01

    Wild populations of the world's most common dabbling duck, the mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), run the risk of genetic introgression by farmed conspecifics released for hunting purposes. We tested whether bill morphology of free-living birds has changed since large-scale releases of farmed mallards started. Three groups of mallards from Sweden, Norway and Finland were compared: historical wild (before large-scale releases started), present-day wild, and present-day farmed. Higher density of bill lamellae was observed in historical wild mallards (only males). Farmed mallards had wider bills than present-day and historical wild ones. Present-day wild and farmed mallards also had higher and shorter bills than historical wild mallards. Present-day mallards thus tend to have more "goose-like" bills (wider, higher, and shorter) than their ancestors. Our study suggests that surviving released mallards affect morphological traits in wild population by introgression. We discuss how such anthropogenic impact may lead to a maladapted and genetically compromised wild mallard population. Our study system has bearing on other taxa where large-scale releases of conspecifics with 'alien genes' may cause a cryptic invasive process that nevertheless has fitness consequences for individual birds. PMID:25514789

  16. Punctuated Emergences of Genetic and Phenotypic Innovations in Eumetazoan, Bilaterian, Euteleostome, and Hominidae Ancestors

    PubMed Central

    Wenger, Yvan; Galliot, Brigitte

    2013-01-01

    Phenotypic traits derive from the selective recruitment of genetic materials over macroevolutionary times, and protein-coding genes constitute an essential component of these materials. We took advantage of the recent production of genomic scale data from sponges and cnidarians, sister groups from eumetazoans and bilaterians, respectively, to date the emergence of human proteins and to infer the timing of acquisition of novel traits through metazoan evolution. Comparing the proteomes of 23 eukaryotes, we find that 33% human proteins have an ortholog in nonmetazoan species. This premetazoan proteome associates with 43% of all annotated human biological processes. Subsequently, four major waves of innovations can be inferred in the last common ancestors of eumetazoans, bilaterians, euteleostomi (bony vertebrates), and hominidae, largely specific to each epoch, whereas early branching deuterostome and chordate phyla show very few innovations. Interestingly, groups of proteins that act together in their modern human functions often originated concomitantly, although the corresponding human phenotypes frequently emerged later. For example, the three cnidarians Acropora, Nematostella, and Hydra express a highly similar protein inventory, and their protein innovations can be affiliated either to traits shared by all eumetazoans (gut differentiation, neurogenesis); or to bilaterian traits present in only some cnidarians (eyes, striated muscle); or to traits not identified yet in this phylum (mesodermal layer, endocrine glands). The variable correspondence between phenotypes predicted from protein enrichments and observed phenotypes suggests that a parallel mechanism repeatedly produce similar phenotypes, thanks to novel regulatory events that independently tie preexisting conserved genetic modules. PMID:24065732

  17. Convergent evolution of Hawaiian and Australo-Pacific honeyeaters from distant songbird ancestors.

    PubMed

    Fleischer, Robert C; James, Helen F; Olson, Storrs L

    2008-12-23

    The Hawaiian "honeyeaters," five endemic species of recently extinct, nectar-feeding songbirds in the genera Moho and Chaetoptila, looked and acted like Australasian honeyeaters (Meliphagidae), and no taxonomist since their discovery on James Cook's third voyage has classified them as anything else. We obtained DNA sequences from museum specimens of Moho and Chaetoptila collected in Hawaii 115-158 years ago. Phylogenetic analysis of these sequences supports monophyly of the two Hawaiian genera but, surprisingly, reveals that neither taxon is a meliphagid honeyeater, nor even in the same part of the songbird radiation as meliphagids. Instead, the Hawaiian species are divergent members of a passeridan group that includes deceptively dissimilar families of songbirds (Holarctic waxwings, neotropical silky flycatchers, and palm chats). Here we designate them as a new family, the Mohoidae. A nuclear-DNA rate calibration suggests that mohoids diverged from their closest living ancestor 14-17 mya, coincident with the estimated earliest arrival in Hawaii of a bird-pollinated plant lineage. Convergent evolution, the evolution of similar traits in distantly related taxa because of common selective pressures, is illustrated well by nectar-feeding birds, but the morphological, behavioral, and ecological similarity of the mohoids to the Australasian honeyeaters makes them a particularly striking example of the phenomenon.

  18. Convergent evolution of Hawaiian and Australo-Pacific honeyeaters from distant songbird ancestors.

    PubMed

    Fleischer, Robert C; James, Helen F; Olson, Storrs L

    2008-12-23

    The Hawaiian "honeyeaters," five endemic species of recently extinct, nectar-feeding songbirds in the genera Moho and Chaetoptila, looked and acted like Australasian honeyeaters (Meliphagidae), and no taxonomist since their discovery on James Cook's third voyage has classified them as anything else. We obtained DNA sequences from museum specimens of Moho and Chaetoptila collected in Hawaii 115-158 years ago. Phylogenetic analysis of these sequences supports monophyly of the two Hawaiian genera but, surprisingly, reveals that neither taxon is a meliphagid honeyeater, nor even in the same part of the songbird radiation as meliphagids. Instead, the Hawaiian species are divergent members of a passeridan group that includes deceptively dissimilar families of songbirds (Holarctic waxwings, neotropical silky flycatchers, and palm chats). Here we designate them as a new family, the Mohoidae. A nuclear-DNA rate calibration suggests that mohoids diverged from their closest living ancestor 14-17 mya, coincident with the estimated earliest arrival in Hawaii of a bird-pollinated plant lineage. Convergent evolution, the evolution of similar traits in distantly related taxa because of common selective pressures, is illustrated well by nectar-feeding birds, but the morphological, behavioral, and ecological similarity of the mohoids to the Australasian honeyeaters makes them a particularly striking example of the phenomenon. PMID:19084408

  19. Mechanism of photoprotection in the cyanobacterial ancestor of plant antenna proteins.

    PubMed

    Staleva, Hristina; Komenda, Josef; Shukla, Mahendra K; Šlouf, Václav; Kaňa, Radek; Polívka, Tomáš; Sobotka, Roman

    2015-04-01

    Plants collect light for photosynthesis using light-harvesting complexes (LHCs)-an array of chlorophyll proteins that are able to reversibly switch from harvesting to energy-dissipation mode to prevent damage of the photosynthetic apparatus. LHC antennae as well as other members of the LHC superfamily evolved from cyanobacterial ancestors called high light-inducible proteins (Hlips). Here, we characterized a purified Hlip family member HliD isolated from the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. We found that the HliD binds chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) and β-carotene and exhibits an energy-dissipative conformation. Using femtosecond spectroscopy, we demonstrated that the energy dissipation is achieved via direct energy transfer from a Chl-a Qy state to the β-carotene S1 state. We did not detect any cation of β-carotene that would accompany Chl-a quenching. These results provide proof of principle that this quenching mechanism operates in the LHC superfamily and also shed light on the photoprotective role of Hlips and the evolution of LHC antennae.

  20. Hybrid apomicts trapped in the ecological niches of their sexual ancestors.

    PubMed

    Mau, Martin; Lovell, John T; Corral, José M; Kiefer, Christiane; Koch, Marcus A; Aliyu, Olawale M; Sharbel, Timothy F

    2015-05-01

    Asexual reproduction is expected to reduce the adaptive potential to novel or changing environmental conditions, restricting or altering the ecological niche of asexual lineages. Asexual lineages of plants and animals are typically polyploid, an attribute that may influence their genetic variation, plasticity, adaptive potential, and niche breadth. The genus Boechera (Brassicaceae) represents an ideal model to test the relative ecological and biogeographic impacts of reproductive mode and ploidy because it is composed of diploid sexual and both diploid and polyploid asexual (i.e., apomictic) lineages. Here, we demonstrate a strong association between a transcriptionally conserved allele and apomictic seed formation. We then use this allele as a proxy apomixis marker in 1,649 accessions to demonstrate that apomixis is likely to be a common feature across the Boechera phylogeny. Phylogeographic analyses of these data demonstrate (i) species-specific niche differentiation in sexuals, (ii) extensive niche conservation between differing reproductive modes of the same species, (iii) ploidy-specific niche differentiation within and among species, and (iv) occasional niche drift between apomicts and their sexual ancestors. We conclude that ploidy is a substantially stronger and more common driver of niche divergence within and across Boechera species although variation in both traits may not necessarily lead to niche evolution on the species scale.

  1. CloudLCA: finding the lowest common ancestor in metagenome analysis using cloud computing.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Guoguang; Bu, Dechao; Liu, Changning; Li, Jing; Yang, Jian; Liu, Zhiyong; Zhao, Yi; Chen, Runsheng

    2012-02-01

    Estimating taxonomic content constitutes a key problem in metagenomic sequencing data analysis. However, extracting such content from high-throughput data of next-generation sequencing is very time-consuming with the currently available software. Here, we present CloudLCA, a parallel LCA algorithm that significantly improves the efficiency of determining taxonomic composition in metagenomic data analysis. Results show that CloudLCA (1) has a running time nearly linear with the increase of dataset magnitude, (2) displays linear speedup as the number of processors grows, especially for large datasets, and (3) reaches a speed of nearly 215 million reads each minute on a cluster with ten thin nodes. In comparison with MEGAN, a well-known metagenome analyzer, the speed of CloudLCA is up to 5 more times faster, and its peak memory usage is approximately 18.5% that of MEGAN, running on a fat node. CloudLCA can be run on one multiprocessor node or a cluster. It is expected to be part of MEGAN to accelerate analyzing reads, with the same output generated as MEGAN, which can be import into MEGAN in a direct way to finish the following analysis. Moreover, CloudLCA is a universal solution for finding the lowest common ancestor, and it can be applied in other fields requiring an LCA algorithm. PMID:22426983

  2. The evolution of air resonance power efficiency in the violin and its ancestors

    PubMed Central

    Nia, Hadi T.; Jain, Ankita D.; Liu, Yuming; Alam, Mohammad-Reza; Barnas, Roman; Makris, Nicholas C.

    2015-01-01

    The fact that acoustic radiation from a violin at air-cavity resonance is monopolar and can be determined by pure volume change is used to help explain related aspects of violin design evolution. By determining the acoustic conductance of arbitrarily shaped sound holes, it is found that air flow at the perimeter rather than the broader sound-hole area dominates acoustic conductance, and coupling between compressible air within the violin and its elastic structure lowers the Helmholtz resonance frequency from that found for a corresponding rigid instrument by roughly a semitone. As a result of the former, it is found that as sound-hole geometry of the violin's ancestors slowly evolved over centuries from simple circles to complex f-holes, the ratio of inefficient, acoustically inactive to total sound-hole area was decimated, roughly doubling air-resonance power efficiency. F-hole length then slowly increased by roughly 30% across two centuries in the renowned workshops of Amati, Stradivari and Guarneri, favouring instruments with higher air-resonance power, through a corresponding power increase of roughly 60%. By evolution-rate analysis, these changes are found to be consistent with mutations arising within the range of accidental replication fluctuations from craftsmanship limitations with subsequent selection favouring instruments with higher air-resonance power. PMID:25792964

  3. In search of the last common ancestor: new findings on wild chimpanzees

    PubMed Central

    McGrew, W. C.

    2010-01-01

    Modelling the behaviour of extinct hominins is essential in order to devise useful hypotheses of our species' evolutionary origins for testing in the palaeontological and archaeological records. One approach is to model the last common ancestor (LCA) of living apes and humans, based on current ethological and ecological knowledge of our closest living relations. Such referential modelling is based on rigorous, ongoing field studies of the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and the bonobo (Pan paniscus). This paper reviews recent findings from nature, focusing on those with direct implications for hominin evolution, e.g. apes, using elementary technology to access basic resources such as food and water, or sheltering in caves or bathing as thermoregulatory adaptations. I give preference to studies that directly address key issues, such as whether stone artefacts are detectible before the Oldowan, based on the percussive technology of hammer and anvil use by living apes. Detailed comparative studies of chimpanzees living in varied habitats, from rainforest to savannah, reveal that some behavioural patterns are universal (e.g. shelter construction), while others show marked (e.g. extractive foraging) or nuanced (e.g. courtship) cross-populational variation. These findings allow us to distinguish between retained, primitive traits of the LCA versus derived ones in the human lineage. PMID:20855301

  4. Hybrid apomicts trapped in the ecological niches of their sexual ancestors.

    PubMed

    Mau, Martin; Lovell, John T; Corral, José M; Kiefer, Christiane; Koch, Marcus A; Aliyu, Olawale M; Sharbel, Timothy F

    2015-05-01

    Asexual reproduction is expected to reduce the adaptive potential to novel or changing environmental conditions, restricting or altering the ecological niche of asexual lineages. Asexual lineages of plants and animals are typically polyploid, an attribute that may influence their genetic variation, plasticity, adaptive potential, and niche breadth. The genus Boechera (Brassicaceae) represents an ideal model to test the relative ecological and biogeographic impacts of reproductive mode and ploidy because it is composed of diploid sexual and both diploid and polyploid asexual (i.e., apomictic) lineages. Here, we demonstrate a strong association between a transcriptionally conserved allele and apomictic seed formation. We then use this allele as a proxy apomixis marker in 1,649 accessions to demonstrate that apomixis is likely to be a common feature across the Boechera phylogeny. Phylogeographic analyses of these data demonstrate (i) species-specific niche differentiation in sexuals, (ii) extensive niche conservation between differing reproductive modes of the same species, (iii) ploidy-specific niche differentiation within and among species, and (iv) occasional niche drift between apomicts and their sexual ancestors. We conclude that ploidy is a substantially stronger and more common driver of niche divergence within and across Boechera species although variation in both traits may not necessarily lead to niche evolution on the species scale. PMID:25902513

  5. Genome sequence of the brown Norway rat yields insights into mammalian evolution

    SciTech Connect

    Gibbs, Richard A.; Weinstock, George M.; Metzker, Michael L.; Muzny, Donna M.; Sodergren, Erica J.; Scherer, Steven; Scott, Graham; Steffen, David; Worley, Kim C.; Burch, Paula E.; Okwuonu, Geoffrey; Hines, Sandra; Lewis, Lora; DeRamo, Christine; Delgado, Oliver; Dugan-Rocha, Shannon; Miner, George; Morgan, Margaret; Hawes, Alicia; Gill, Rachel; Holt, Robert A.; Adams, Mark D.; Amanatides, Peter G.; Baden-Tillson, Holly; Barnstead, Mary; Chin, Soo; Evans, Cheryl A.; Ferriera, Steven; Fosler, Carl; Glodek, Anna; Gu, Zhiping; Jennings, Don; Kraft, Cheryl L.; Nguyen, Trixie; Pfannkoch, Cynthia M.; Sitter, Cynthia; Sutton, Granger G.; Venter, J. Craig; Woodage, Trevor; Smith, Douglas; Lee, Hong-Maei; Gustafson, Erik; Cahill, Patrick; Kana, Arnold; Doucette-Stamm, Lynn; Weinstock, Keith; Fechtel, Kim; Weiss, Robert B.; Dunn, Diane M.; Green, Eric D.; Blakesley, Robert W.; Bouffard, Gerard G.; de Jong, Pieter J.; Osoegawa, Kazutoyo; Zhu, Baoli; Marra, Marco; Schein, Jacqueline; Bosdet, Ian; Fjell, Chris; Jones, Steven; Krzywinski, Martin; Mathewson, Carrie; Siddiqui, Asim; Wye, Natasja; McPherson, John; Zhao, Shaying; Fraser, Claire M.; Shetty, Jyoti; Shatsman, Sofiya; Geer, Keita; Chen, Yixin; Abramzon, Sofyia; Nierman, William C.; Havlak, Paul H.; Chen, Rui; Durbin, K. James; Egan, Amy; Ren, Yanru; Song, Xing-Zhi; Li, Bingshan; Liu, Yue; Qin, Xiang; Cawley, Simon; Cooney, A.J.; D'Souza, Lisa M.; Martin, Kirt; Wu, Jia Qian; Gonzalez-Garay, Manuel L.; Jackson, Andrew R.; Kalafus, Kenneth J.; McLeod, Michael P.; Milosavljevic, Aleksandar; Virk, Davinder; Volkov, Andrei; Wheeler, David A.; Zhang, Zhengdong; Bailey, Jeffrey A.; Eichler, Evan E.; Tuzun, Eray; Birney, Ewan; Mongin, Emmanuel; Ureta-Vidal, Abel; Woodwark, Cara; Zdobnov, Evgeny; Bork, Peer; Suyama, Mikita; Torrents, David; Alexandersson, Marina; Trask, Barbara J.; Young, Janet M.; et al.

    2004-02-02

    The laboratory rat (Rattus norvegicus) is an indispensable tool in experimental medicine and drug development, having made inestimable contributions to human health. We report here the genome sequence of the Brown Norway (BN) rat strain. The sequence represents a high-quality 'draft' covering over 90 percent of the genome. The BN rat sequence is the third complete mammalian genome to be deciphered, and three-way comparisons with the human and mouse genomes resolve details of mammalian evolution. This first comprehensive analysis includes genes and proteins and their relation to human disease, repeated sequences, comparative genome-wide studies of mammalian orthologous chromosomal regions and rearrangement breakpoints, reconstruction of ancestral karyotypes and the events leading to existing species, rates of variation, and lineage-specific and lineage-independent evolutionary events such as expansion of gene families, orthology relations and protein evolution.

  6. Mammalian eusociality: a family affair.

    PubMed

    Jarvis, J U; O'Riain, M J; Bennett, N C; Sherman, P W

    1994-02-01

    Comparative studies of two species of mole-rat are helping to clarify the ecological correlates of mammalian eusociality. Both species live in social groups composed of close kin, within which breeding is restricted to one female and one to three males. They inhabit xeric areas with dispersed, patchy food and unpredictable rainfall. During droughts, they can neither expand their tunnel systems nor disperse. In brief periods after rain the animals must cooperate and dig furiously to locate rich food patches. By living in groups, arid-zone mole-rats can take full advantage of windows of opportunity when conditions are right for burrowing. Thus, ecological factors and kin selection have apparently interacted in the evolution of eusociality in these species. PMID:21236765

  7. Body Size in Mammalian Paleobiology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Damuth, John; MacFadden, Bruce J.

    1990-11-01

    This valuable collection of essays presents and evaluates techniques of body-mass estimation and reviews current and potential applications of body-size estimates in paleobiology. Papers discuss explicitly the errors and biases of various regression techniques and predictor variables, and the identification of functionally similar groups of species for improving the accuracy of estimates. At the same time other chapters review and discuss the physiological, ecological, and behavioral correlates of body size in extant mammals; the significance of body-mass distributions in mammalian faunas; and the ecology and evolution of body size in particular paleofaunas. Coverage is particularly detailed for carnivores, primates, and ungulates, but information is also presented on marsupials, rodents, and proboscideans.

  8. Producing Newborn Synchronous Mammalian Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gonda, Steve R.; Helmstetter, Charles E.; Thornton, Maureen

    2008-01-01

    A method and bioreactor for the continuous production of synchronous (same age) population of mammalian cells have been invented. The invention involves the attachment and growth of cells on an adhesive-coated porous membrane immersed in a perfused liquid culture medium in a microgravity analog bioreactor. When cells attach to the surface divide, newborn cells are released into the flowing culture medium. The released cells, consisting of a uniform population of synchronous cells are then collected from the effluent culture medium. This invention could be of interest to researchers investigating the effects of the geneotoxic effects of the space environment (microgravity, radiation, chemicals, gases) and to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies involved in research on aging and cancer, and in new drug development and testing.

  9. Determinants of Mammalian Nucleolar Architecture

    PubMed Central

    Farley, Katherine I.; Surovtseva, Yulia; Merkel, Janie; Baserga, Susan J.

    2015-01-01

    The nucleolus is responsible for the production of ribosomes, essential machines which synthesize all proteins needed by the cell. The structure of human nucleoli is highly dynamic and is directly related to its functions in ribosome biogenesis. Despite the importance of this organelle, the intricate relationship between nucleolar structure and function remains largely unexplored. How do cells control nucleolar formation and function? What are the minimal requirements for making a functional nucleolus? Here we review what is currently known regarding mammalian nucleolar formation at nucleolar organizer regions (NORs), which can be studied by observing the dissolution and reformation of the nucleolus during each cell division. Additionally, the nucleolus can be examined by analyzing how alterations in nucleolar function manifest in differences in nucleolar architecture. Furthermore, changes in nucleolar structure and function are correlated with cancer, highlighting the importance of studying the determinants of nucleolar formation. PMID:25670395

  10. Suspension culture of mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Birch, J R; Arathoon, R

    1990-01-01

    Mammalian cell suspension culture systems are being used increasingly in the biotechnology industry. This is due to their many advantages including simplicity and homogeneity of culture. Suspension systems are very adaptable (e.g., for microcarrier, microencapsulation, or other methods of culture). Their engineering is thoroughly understood and standardized at large scale, and automation and cleaning procedures are well established. Suspension systems offer the possibility of quick implementation of production protocols due to their ability to be scaled easily once the basic culture parameters are understood. The only main disadvantage of the suspension culture systems to date is their inapplicability for the production of human vaccines from either primary cell lines or from normal human diploid cell lines (Hayflick et al., 1987 and references therein). One of the great advantages of suspension culture is the opportunity it provides to study interactions of metabolic and production phenomena in chemostat or turbidostat steady-state systems. Furthermore, in suspension culture systems from which cell number and cell mass measurements are easy to obtain, rigorous and quantitative estimations of the effects of growth conditions or perturbations of metabolic homeostasis can be made. Such studies can speed up the development of optimal processes. With our increasing understanding of factors influencing expression in mammalian cells (Cohen and Levinson, 1988; Santoro et al., 1988) and the direct application of new methods in suspension culture (Rhodes and Birch, 1988), its usefulness and importance is likely to increase in the future. In this chapter, we have described some of the potential uses of the various suspension culture systems and have covered most of the established technology and literature. Due to the rapid developments and needs in the biotechnology industry and the versatility of suspension culture systems, it is probable that many more variations on this

  11. Conserved microRNA editing in mammalian evolution, development and disease

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Mammalian microRNAs (miRNAs) are sometimes subject to adenosine-to-inosine RNA editing, which can lead to dramatic changes in miRNA target specificity or expression levels. However, although a few miRNAs are known to be edited at identical positions in human and mouse, the evolution of miRNA editing has not been investigated in detail. In this study, we identify conserved miRNA editing events in a range of mammalian and non-mammalian species. Results We demonstrate deep conservation of several site-specific miRNA editing events, including two that date back to the common ancestor of mammals and bony fishes some 450 million years ago. We also find evidence of a recent expansion of an edited miRNA family in placental mammals and show that editing of these miRNAs is associated with changes in target mRNA expression during primate development and aging. While global patterns of miRNA editing tend to be conserved across species, we observe substantial variation in editing frequencies depending on tissue, age and disease state: editing is more frequent in neural tissues compared to heart, kidney and testis; in older compared to younger individuals; and in samples from healthy tissues compared to tumors, which together suggests that miRNA editing might be associated with a reduced rate of cell proliferation. Conclusions Our results show that site-specific miRNA editing is an evolutionarily conserved mechanism, which increases the functional diversity of mammalian miRNA transcriptomes. Furthermore, we find that although miRNA editing is rare compared to editing of long RNAs, miRNAs are greatly overrepresented among conserved editing targets. PMID:24964909

  12. Evolutionary history of mammalian sucking lice (Phthiraptera: Anoplura)

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Sucking lice (Phthiraptera: Anoplura) are obligate, permanent ectoparasites of eutherian mammals, parasitizing members of 12 of the 29 recognized mammalian orders and approximately 20% of all mammalian species. These host specific, blood-sucking insects are morphologically adapted for life on mammals: they are wingless, dorso-ventrally flattened, possess tibio-tarsal claws for clinging to host hair, and have piercing mouthparts for feeding. Although there are more than 540 described species of Anoplura and despite the potential economical and medical implications of sucking louse infestations, this study represents the first attempt to examine higher-level anopluran relationships using molecular data. In this study, we use molecular data to reconstruct the evolutionary history of 65 sucking louse taxa with phylogenetic analyses and compare the results to findings based on morphological data. We also estimate divergence times among anopluran taxa and compare our results to host (mammal) relationships. Results This study represents the first phylogenetic hypothesis of sucking louse relationships using molecular data and we find significant conflict between phylogenies constructed using molecular and morphological data. We also find that multiple families and genera of sucking lice are not monophyletic and that extensive taxonomic revision will be necessary for this group. Based on our divergence dating analyses, sucking lice diversified in the late Cretaceous, approximately 77 Ma, and soon after the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary (ca. 65 Ma) these lice proliferated rapidly to parasitize multiple mammalian orders and families. Conclusions The diversification time of sucking lice approximately 77 Ma is in agreement with mammalian evolutionary history: all modern mammal orders are hypothesized to have diverged by 75 Ma thus providing suitable habitat for the colonization and radiation of sucking lice. Despite the concordant timing of diversification events

  13. The eukaryotic ancestor had a complex ubiquitin signaling system of archaeal origin.

    PubMed

    Grau-Bové, Xavier; Sebé-Pedrós, Arnau; Ruiz-Trillo, Iñaki

    2015-03-01

    The origin of the eukaryotic cell is one of the most important transitions in the history of life. However, the emergence and early evolution of eukaryotes remains poorly understood. Recent data have shown that the last eukaryotic common ancestor (LECA) was much more complex than previously thought. The LECA already had the genetic machinery encoding the endomembrane apparatus, spliceosome, nuclear pore, and myosin and kinesin cytoskeletal motors. It is unclear, however, when the functional regulation of these cellular components evolved. Here, we address this question by analyzing the origin and evolution of the ubiquitin (Ub) signaling system, one of the most important regulatory layers in eukaryotes. We delineated the evolution of the whole Ub, Small-Ub-related MOdifier (SUMO), and Ub-fold modifier 1 (Ufm1) signaling networks by analyzing representatives from all major eukaryotic, bacterial, and archaeal lineages. We found that the Ub toolkit had a pre-eukaryotic origin and is present in three extant archaeal groups. The pre-eukaryotic Ub toolkit greatly expanded during eukaryogenesis, through massive gene innovation and diversification of protein domain architectures. This resulted in a LECA with essentially all of the Ub-related genes, including the SUMO and Ufm1 Ub-like systems. Ub and SUMO signaling further expanded during eukaryotic evolution, especially labeling and delabeling enzymes responsible for substrate selection. Additionally, we analyzed protein domain architecture evolution and found that multicellular lineages have the most complex Ub systems in terms of domain architectures. Together, we demonstrate that the Ub system predates the origin of eukaryotes and that a burst of innovation during eukaryogenesis led to a LECA with complex posttranslational regulation.

  14. The compact Brachypodium genome conserves centromeric regions of a common ancestor with wheat and rice.

    PubMed

    Qi, Lili; Friebe, Bernd; Wu, Jiajie; Gu, Yongqiang; Qian, Chen; Gill, Bikram S

    2010-11-01

    The evolution of five chromosomes of Brachypodium distachyon from a 12-chromosome ancestor of all grasses by dysploidy raises an interesting question about the fate of redundant centromeres. Three independent but complementary approaches were pursued to study centromeric region homologies among the chromosomes of Brachypodium, wheat, and rice. The genes present in pericentromeres of the basic set of seven chromosomes of wheat and the Triticeae, and the 80 rice centromeric genes spanning the CENH3 binding domain of centromeres 3, 4, 5, 7, and 8 were used as "anchor" markers to identify centromere locations in the B. distachyon chromosomes. A total of 53 B. distachyon bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones anchored by wheat pericentromeric expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were used as probes for BAC-fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis of B. distachyon mitotic chromosomes. Integrated sequence alignment and BAC-FISH data were used to determine the approximate positions of active and inactive centromeres in the five B. distachyon chromosomes. The following syntenic relationships of the centromeres for Brachypodium (Bd), rice (R), and wheat (W) were evident: Bd1-R6, Bd2-R5-W1, Bd3-R10, Bd4-R11-W4, and Bd5-R4. Six rice centromeres syntenic to five wheat centromeres were inactive in Brachypodium chromosomes. The conservation of centromere gene synteny among several sets of homologous centromeres of three species indicates that active genes can persist in ancient centromeres with more than 40 million years of shared evolutionary history. Annotation of a BAC contig spanning an inactive centromere in chromosome Bd3 which is syntenic to rice Cen8 and W7 pericentromeres, along with BAC FISH data from inactive centromeres revealed that the centromere inactivation was accompanied by the loss of centromeric retrotransposons and turnover of centromere-specific satellites during Bd chromosome evolution.

  15. Evidence of a chimeric genome in the cyanobacterial ancestor of plastids

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is a vexing fact of life for microbial phylogeneticists. Given the substantial rates of HGT observed in modern-day bacterial chromosomes, it is envisaged that ancient prokaryotic genomes must have been similarly chimeric. But where can one find an ancient prokaryotic genome that has maintained its ancestral condition to address this issue? An excellent candidate is the cyanobacterial endosymbiont that was harnessed over a billion years ago by a heterotrophic protist, giving rise to the plastid. Genetic remnants of the endosymbiont are still preserved in plastids as a highly reduced chromosome encoding 54 – 264 genes. These data provide an ideal target to assess genome chimericism in an ancient cyanobacterial lineage. Results Here we demonstrate that the origin of the plastid-encoded gene cluster for menaquinone/phylloquinone biosynthesis in the extremophilic red algae Cyanidiales contradicts a cyanobacterial genealogy. These genes are relics of an ancestral cluster related to homologs in Chlorobi/Gammaproteobacteria that we hypothesize was established by HGT in the progenitor of plastids, thus providing a 'footprint' of genome chimericism in ancient cyanobacteria. In addition to menB, four components of the original gene cluster (menF, menD, menC, and menH) are now encoded in the nuclear genome of the majority of non-Cyanidiales algae and plants as the unique tetra-gene fusion named PHYLLO. These genes are monophyletic in Plantae and chromalveolates, indicating that loci introduced by HGT into the ancestral cyanobacterium were moved over time into the host nucleus. Conclusion Our study provides unambiguous evidence for the existence of genome chimericism in ancient cyanobacteria. In addition we show genes that originated via HGT in the cyanobacterial ancestor of the plastid made their way to the host nucleus via endosymbiotic gene transfer (EGT). PMID:18433492

  16. Molecular Epidemiology of Helicobacter pylori Infection in Nepal: Specific Ancestor Root

    PubMed Central

    Miftahussurur, Muhammad; Sharma, Rabi Prakash; Shrestha, Pradeep Krishna; Suzuki, Rumiko; Uchida, Tomohisa; Yamaoka, Yoshio

    2015-01-01

    Prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection in Nepal, a low-risk country for gastric cancer, is debatable. To our knowledge, no studies have examined H. pylori virulence factors in Nepal. We determined the prevalence of H. pylori infection by using three different tests, and the genotypes of virulence factors were determined by PCR followed by sequencing. Multilocus sequence typing was used to analyze the population structure of the Nepalese strains. The prevalence of H. pylori infection in dyspeptic patients was 38.4% (56/146), and was significantly related with source of drinking water. In total, 51 strains were isolated and all were cagA-positive. Western-type-cagA (94.1%), cagA pre-EPIYA type with no deletion (92.2%), vacA s1a (74.5%), and m1c (54.9%) were the predominant genotypes. Antral mucosal atrophy levels were significantly higher in patients infected with vacA s1 than in those infected with s2 genotypes (P = 0.03). Several Nepalese strains were H. pylori recombinants with genetic features of South Asian and East Asian genotypes. These included all East-Asian-type-cagA strains, with significantly lesser activity and inflammation in the corpus than the strains of the specific South Asian genotype (P = 0.03 and P = 0.005, respectively). Although the population structure confirmed that most Nepalese strains belonged to the hpAsia2 population, some strains shared hpEurope- and Nepalese-specific components. Nepalese patients infected with strains belonging to hpEurope showed higher inflammation in the antrum than strains from the Nepalese specific population (P = 0.05). These results support that ancestor roots of Kathmandu`s people not only connected with India alone. PMID:26226153

  17. Isozymatic variation and phylogenetic relationships between henequen (Agave fourcroydes) and its wild ancestor A. angustifolia (Agavaceae).

    PubMed

    Colunga-Garcíamarín, P; Coello-Coello, J; Eguiarte, L E; Piñero, D

    1999-01-01

    Isozymatic variation and phylogenetic relationships among extant henequén (Agave fourcroydes) germplasm and wild populations of its ancestor A. angustifolia in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico were analyzed. Analysis of three isozyme systems using starch gel electrophoresis indicated that while A. angustifolia populations have relatively high levels of variation, within each henequén cultivar all individuals were identical. This result corresponds to previous ethnobotanical and morphological analyses, which indicated severe loss of genetic variation of this domesticated plant as a consequence of the promotion by means of asexual propagation of only one cultivar since the middle of the last century. The three extant cultivars of henequén were distinct from each other. Two of them, Sac Ki (SK) and Yaax Ki (YK), could be matched within the progenitor, but Kitam Ki (KK) has a MDH electrophenotype not found in any of the plants growing inside the Yucatan Peninsula, but found in some A. angustifolia plants growing in the Mexican states of Oaxaca and Veracruz. A parsimony analysis of the morphological data indicated two lineages: that of SK and YK, cultivated cordage plants selected for stronger and longer fibers, whose sister group is the Tropical subdeciduous forest ecotype (SF), and that of all the other wild populations, which also included KK, the cultivated textile plants selected for finer fibers and nearly extinct in Yucatan. These results support the hypothesis of the yucatecan origin of SK and YK from the SF ecotype, as well as the hypothesis of a recent introduction of KK to the Yucatan Peninsula in a domestication trend that probably included also Chelem White (its cultivation being abandoned later).

  18. The ancestor of extant Japanese fancy mice contributed to the mosaic genomes of classical inbred strains.

    PubMed

    Takada, Toyoyuki; Ebata, Toshinobu; Noguchi, Hideki; Keane, Thomas M; Adams, David J; Narita, Takanori; Shin-I, Tadasu; Fujisawa, Hironori; Toyoda, Atsushi; Abe, Kuniya; Obata, Yuichi; Sakaki, Yoshiyuki; Moriwaki, Kazuo; Fujiyama, Asao; Kohara, Yuji; Shiroishi, Toshihiko

    2013-08-01

    Commonly used classical inbred mouse strains have mosaic genomes with sequences from different subspecific origins. Their genomes are derived predominantly from the Western European subspecies Mus musculus domesticus, with the remaining sequences derived mostly from the Japanese subspecies Mus musculus molossinus. However, it remains unknown how this intersubspecific genome introgression occurred during the establishment of classical inbred strains. In this study, we resequenced the genomes of two M. m. molossinus-derived inbred strains, MSM/Ms and JF1/Ms. MSM/Ms originated from Japanese wild mice, and the ancestry of JF1/Ms was originally found in Europe and then transferred to Japan. We compared the characteristics of these sequences to those of the C57BL/6J reference sequence and the recent data sets from the resequencing of 17 inbred strains in the Mouse Genome Project (MGP), and the results unequivocally show that genome introgression from M. m. molossinus into M. m. domesticus provided the primary framework for the mosaic genomes of classical inbred strains. Furthermore, the genomes of C57BL/6J and other classical inbred strains have long consecutive segments with extremely high similarity (>99.998%) to the JF1/Ms strain. In the early 20th century, Japanese waltzing mice with a morphological phenotype resembling that of JF1/Ms mice were often crossed with European fancy mice for early studies of "Mendelism," which suggests that the ancestor of the extant JF1/Ms strain provided the origin of the M. m. molossinus genome in classical inbred strains and largely contributed to its intersubspecific genome diversity.

  19. Photodynamic Inactivation of Mammalian Viruses and Bacteriophages

    PubMed Central

    Costa, Liliana; Faustino, Maria Amparo F.; Neves, Maria Graça P. M. S.; Cunha, Ângela; Almeida, Adelaide

    2012-01-01

    Photodynamic inactivation (PDI) has been used to inactivate microorganisms through the use of photosensitizers. The inactivation of mammalian viruses and bacteriophages by photosensitization has been applied with success since the first decades of the last century. Due to the fact that mammalian viruses are known to pose a threat to public health and that bacteriophages are frequently used as models of mammalian viruses, it is important to know and understand the mechanisms and photodynamic procedures involved in their photoinactivation. The aim of this review is to (i) summarize the main approaches developed until now for the photodynamic inactivation of bacteriophages and mammalian viruses and, (ii) discuss and compare the present state of the art of mammalian viruses PDI with phage photoinactivation, with special focus on the most relevant mechanisms, molecular targets and factors affecting the viral inactivation process. PMID:22852040

  20. Photodynamic inactivation of mammalian viruses and bacteriophages.

    PubMed

    Costa, Liliana; Faustino, Maria Amparo F; Neves, Maria Graça P M S; Cunha, Angela; Almeida, Adelaide

    2012-07-01

    Photodynamic inactivation (PDI) has been used to inactivate microorganisms through the use of photosensitizers. The inactivation of mammalian viruses and bacteriophages by photosensitization has been applied with success since the first decades of the last century. Due to the fact that mammalian viruses are known to pose a threat to public health and that bacteriophages are frequently used as models of mammalian viruses, it is important to know and understand the mechanisms and photodynamic procedures involved in their photoinactivation. The aim of this review is to (i) summarize the main approaches developed until now for the photodynamic inactivation of bacteriophages and mammalian viruses and, (ii) discuss and compare the present state of the art of mammalian viruses PDI with phage photoinactivation, with special focus on the most relevant mechanisms, molecular targets and factors affecting the viral inactivation process.

  1. Recent advances in mammalian protein production

    PubMed Central

    Bandaranayake, Ashok D.; Almo, Steven C.

    2014-01-01

    Mammalian protein production platforms have had a profound impact in many areas of basic and applied research, and an increasing number of blockbuster drugs are recombinant mammalian proteins. With global sales of these drugs exceeding US$120 billion per year, both industry and academic research groups continue to develop cost effective methods for producing mammalian proteins to support preclinical and clinical evaluations of potential therapeutics. While a wide range of platforms have been successfully exploited for laboratory use, the bulk of recent biologics have been produced in mammalian cell lines due to the requirement for post translational modification and the biosynthetic complexity of the target proteins. In this review we highlight the range of mammalian expression platforms available for recombinant protein production, as well as advances in technologies for the rapid and efficient selection of highly productive clones. PMID:24316512

  2. Dynamic Ising model: reconstruction of evolutionary trees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Oliveira, P. M. C.

    2013-09-01

    An evolutionary tree is a cascade of bifurcations starting from a single common root, generating a growing set of daughter species as time goes by. ‘Species’ here is a general denomination for biological species, spoken languages or any other entity which evolves through heredity. From the N currently alive species within a clade, distances are measured through pairwise comparisons made by geneticists, linguists, etc. The larger is such a distance that, for a pair of species, the older is their last common ancestor. The aim is to reconstruct the previously unknown bifurcations, i.e. the whole clade, from knowledge of the N(N - 1)/2 quoted distances, which are taken for granted. A mechanical method is presented and its applicability is discussed.

  3. Mammalian biodiversity on Madagascar controlled by ocean currents.

    PubMed

    Ali, Jason R; Huber, Matthew

    2010-02-01

    Madagascar hosts one of the world's most unusual, endemic, diverse and threatened concentrations of fauna. To explain its unique, imbalanced biological diversity, G. G. Simpson proposed the 'sweepstakes hypothesis', according to which the ancestors of Madagascar's present-day mammal stock rafted there from Africa. This is an important hypothesis in biogeography and evolutionary theory for how animals colonize new frontiers, but its validity is questioned. Studies suggest that currents were inconsistent with rafting to Madagascar and that land bridges provided the migrants' passage. Here we show that currents could have transported the animals to the island and highlight evidence inconsistent with the land-bridge hypothesis. Using palaeogeographic reconstructions and palaeo-oceanographic modelling, we find that strong surface currents flowed from northeast Mozambique and Tanzania eastward towards Madagascar during the Palaeogene period, exactly as required by the 'sweepstakes process'. Subsequently, Madagascar advanced north towards the equatorial gyre and the regional current system evolved into its modern configuration with flows westward from Madagascar to Africa. This may explain why no fully non-aquatic land mammals have colonized Madagascar since the arrival of the rodents and carnivorans during the early-Miocene epoch. One implication is that rafting may be the dominant means of overseas dispersal in the Cenozoic era when palaeocurrent directions are properly considered.

  4. [The saga of aspirin: centuries-old ancestors of an old lady who doesn't deserve to die].

    PubMed

    Queneau, P

    2001-01-01

    Where do analgics come from? If their ancestors are many centuries old, we observe that the four main drugs of modern analgesia, morphine (1816), codeine (1832), paracetamol (1893) and aspirin (1897) were discovered during the 19th century. And through what 'sagas'! The first known prescriptions, written on earthenware shelves in Mesopotamia 3 centuries BC, already mentioned medications derived from willow to cure headaches. The Greeks dedicated to Asclepios, god of therapeutics, a statue carved in a willow trunk as a symbol! Thus, before becoming a drug, aspirin was born from the willow, which grows with its feet in water 'without suffering', as the ancestors put it. But before it walked on the moon with Neil Armstrong in 1969, the discovery of aspirin as a drug was the consequence of the filial love of a young researcher, Felix Hoffmann, who wanted to decrease the resistant pain of his rheumatic old father. PMID:11878097

  5. [The saga of aspirin: centuries-old ancestors of an old lady who doesn't deserve to die].

    PubMed

    Queneau, P

    2001-01-01

    Where do analgics come from? If their ancestors are many centuries old, we observe that the four main drugs of modern analgesia, morphine (1816), codeine (1832), paracetamol (1893) and aspirin (1897) were discovered during the 19th century. And through what 'sagas'! The first known prescriptions, written on earthenware shelves in Mesopotamia 3 centuries BC, already mentioned medications derived from willow to cure headaches. The Greeks dedicated to Asclepios, god of therapeutics, a statue carved in a willow trunk as a symbol! Thus, before becoming a drug, aspirin was born from the willow, which grows with its feet in water 'without suffering', as the ancestors put it. But before it walked on the moon with Neil Armstrong in 1969, the discovery of aspirin as a drug was the consequence of the filial love of a young researcher, Felix Hoffmann, who wanted to decrease the resistant pain of his rheumatic old father.

  6. The origin of life and the last universal common ancestor: do we need a change of perspective?

    PubMed

    Glansdorff, Nicolas; Xu, Ying; Labedan, Bernard

    2009-09-01

    A complete tree with roots, trunk and crown remains an appropriate model to represent all steps of life's development, from the emergence of a unique genetic code up to the last universal common ancestor and its further radiation. Catalytic closure of a mixture of prebiotic polymers is a heuristic alternative to the RNA world. Conjectures about emergence of life in an infinite multiverse should not confuse probability with possibility. PMID:19524037

  7. Mammalian cell cultivation in space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gmünder, Felix K.; Suter, Robert N.; Kiess, M.; Urfer, R.; Nordau, C.-G.; Cogoli, A.

    Equipment used in space for the cultivation of mammalian cells does not meet the usual standard of earth bound bioreactors. Thus, the development of a space worthy bioreactor is mandatory for two reasons: First, to investigate the effect on single cells of the space environment in general and microgravity conditions in particular, and second, to provide researchers on long term missions and the Space Station with cell material. However, expertise for this venture is not at hand. A small and simple device for animal cell culture experiments aboard Spacelab (Dynamic Cell Culture System; DCCS) was developed. It provides 2 cell culture chambers, one is operated as a batch system, the other one as a perfusion system. The cell chambers have a volume of 200 μl. Medium exchange is achieved with an automatic osmotic pump. The system is neither mechanically stirred nor equipped with sensors. Oxygen for cell growth is provided by a gas chamber that is adjacent to the cell chambers. The oxygen gradient produced by the growing cells serves to maintain the oxygen influx by diffusion. Hamster kidney cells growing on microcarriers were used to test the biological performance of the DCCS. On ground tests suggest that this system is feasible.

  8. Autophagosome formation in mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Burman, Chloe; Ktistakis, Nicholas T

    2010-12-01

    Autophagy is a fundamental intracellular trafficking pathway conserved from yeast to mammals. It is generally thought to play a pro-survival role, and it can be up regulated in response to both external and intracellular factors, including amino acid starvation, growth factor withdrawal, low cellular energy levels, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, hypoxia, oxidative stress, pathogen infection, and organelle damage. During autophagy initiation a portion of the cytosol is surrounded by a flat membrane sheet known as the isolation membrane or phagophore. The isolation membrane then elongates and seals itself to form an autophagosome. The autophagosome fuses with normal endocytic traffic to mature into a late autophagosome, before fusing with lysosomes. The molecular machinery that enables formation of an autophagosome in response to the various autophagy stimuli is almost completely identified in yeast and-thanks to the observed conservation-is also being rapidly elucidated in higher eukaryotes including mammals. What are less clear and currently under intense investigation are the mechanism by which these various autophagy components co-ordinate in order to generate autophagosomes. In this review, we will discuss briefly the fundamental importance of autophagy in various pathophysiological states and we will then review in detail the various players in early autophagy. Our main thesis will be that a conserved group of heteromeric protein complexes and a relatively simple signalling lipid are responsible for the formation of autophagosomes in mammalian cells.

  9. Phylogenomic reconstruction supports supercontinent origins for Leishmania.

    PubMed

    Harkins, Kelly M; Schwartz, Rachel S; Cartwright, Reed A; Stone, Anne C

    2016-03-01

    Leishmania, a genus of parasites transmitted to human hosts and mammalian/reptilian reservoirs by an insect vector, is the causative agent of the human disease complex leishmaniasis. The evolutionary relationships within the genus Leishmania and its origins are the source of ongoing debate, reflected in conflicting phylogenetic and biogeographic reconstructions. This study employs a recently described bioinformatics method, SISRS, to identify over 200,000 informative sites across the genome from newly sequenced and publicly available Leishmania data. This dataset is used to reconstruct the evolutionary relationships of this genus. Additionally, we constructed a large multi-gene dataset, using it to reconstruct the phylogeny and estimate divergence dates for species. We conclude that the genus Leishmania evolved at least 90-100 million years ago, supporting a modified version of the Multiple Origins hypothesis that we call the Supercontinent hypothesis. According to this scenario, separate Leishmania clades emerged prior to, and during, the breakup of Gondwana. Additionally, we confirm that reptile-infecting Leishmania are derived from mammalian forms and that the species that infect porcupines and sloths form a clade long separated from other species. Finally, we firmly place the guinea-pig infecting species, Leishmaniaenriettii, the globally dispersed Leishmaniasiamensis, and the newly identified Australian species from a kangaroo, as sibling species whose distribution arises from the ancient connection between Australia, Antarctica, and South America. PMID:26708057

  10. Ghrelin Receptors in Non-Mammalian Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Kaiya, Hiroyuki; Kangawa, Kenji; Miyazato, Mikiya

    2012-01-01

    The growth hormone secretagogue-receptor (GHS-R) was discovered in humans and pigs in 1996. The endogenous ligand, ghrelin, was discovered 3 years later, in 1999, and our understanding of the physiological significance of the ghrelin system in vertebrates has grown steadily since then. Although the ghrelin system in non-mammalian vertebrates is a subject of great interest, protein sequence data for the receptor in non-mammalian vertebrates has been limited until recently, and related biological information has not been well organized. In this review, we summarize current information related to the ghrelin receptor in non-mammalian vertebrates. PMID:23882259

  11. Modularity in the mammalian dentition: Mice and monkeys share a common dental genetic architecture

    PubMed Central

    Hlusko, Leslea J.; Sage, Richard D.; Mahaney, Michael C.

    2010-01-01

    The concept of modularity provides a useful tool for exploring the relationship between genotype and phenotype. Here, we use quantitative genetics to identify modularity within the mammalian dentition, connecting the genetics of organogenesis to the genetics of population-level variation for a phenotype well represented in the fossil record. We estimated the correlations between dental traits due to the shared additive effects of genes (pleiotropy) and compared the pleiotropic relationships among homologous traits in two evolutionary distant taxa – mice and baboons. We find that in both mice and baboons, who shared a common ancestor >60 Ma, incisor size variation is genetically independent of molar size variation. Furthermore, baboon premolars show independent genetic variation from incisors, suggesting that a modular architecture separates incisors from these posterior teeth as well. Such genetic independence between modules provides an explanation for the extensive diversity of incisor size variation seen throughout mammalian evolution--variation uncorrelated with equivalent levels of postcanine tooth size variation. The modularity identified here is supported by the odontogenic homeobox code proposed for the patterning of the rodent dentition. The baboon postcanine pattern of incomplete pleiotropy is also consistent with predictions from the morphogenetic field model. PMID:20922775

  12. Chemosignals, Hormones and Mammalian Reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Petrulis, Aras

    2013-01-01

    Many mammalian species use chemosignals to coordinate reproduction by altering the physiology and behavior of both sexes. Chemosignals prime reproductive physiology so that individuals become sexually mature and active at times when mating is most probable and suppress it when it is not. Once in reproductive condition, odors produced and deposited by both males and females are used to find and select individuals for mating. The production, dissemination and appropriate responses to these cues are modulated heavily by organizational and activational effects of gonadal sex steroids and thereby intrinsically link chemical communication to the broader reproductive context. Many compounds have been identified as “pheromones” but very few have met the expectations of that term: a unitary, species-typical substance that is both necessary and sufficient for an experience-independent behavioral or physiological response. In contrast, most responses to chemosignals are dependent or heavily modulated by experience, either in adulthood or during development. Mechanistically, chemosignals are perceived by both main and accessory (vomeronasal) olfactory systems with the importance of each system tied strongly to the nature of the stimulus rather than to the response. In the central nervous system, the vast majority of responses to chemosignals are mediated by cortical and medial amygdala connections with hypothalamic and other forebrain structures. Despite the importance of chemosignals in mammals, many details of chemical communication differ even among closely related species and defy clear categorization. Although generating much research and public interest, strong evidence for the existence of a robust chemical communication among humans is lacking. PMID:23545474

  13. Baculovirus Stimulates Antiviral Effects in Mammalian Cells

    PubMed Central

    Gronowski, Ann M.; Hilbert, David M.; Sheehan, Kathleen C. F.; Garotta, Gianni; Schreiber, Robert D.

    1999-01-01

    Herein, we report that Autographa californica nucleopolyhedrovirus, a member of the Baculoviridae family, is capable of stimulating antiviral activity in mammalian cells. Baculoviruses are not pathogenic to mammalian cells. Nevertheless, live baculovirus is shown here to induce interferons (IFN) from murine and human cell lines and induces in vivo protection of mice from encephalomyocarditis virus infection. Monoclonal antibodies specific for the baculovirus envelope gp67 neutralize baculovirus-dependent IFN production. Moreover, UV treatment of baculovirus eliminates both infectivity and IFN-inducing activity. In contrast, the IFN-inducing activity of the baculovirus was unaffected by DNase or RNase treatment. These data demonstrate that IFN production can be induced in mammalian cells by baculovirus even though the cells fail to serve as a natural host for an active viral infection. Baculoviruses, therefore, provide a novel model in which to study at least one alternative mechanism for IFN induction in mammalian cells. PMID:10559307

  14. Mammalian synthetic biology: emerging medical applications

    PubMed Central

    Kis, Zoltán; Pereira, Hugo Sant'Ana; Homma, Takayuki; Pedrigi, Ryan M.; Krams, Rob

    2015-01-01

    In this review, we discuss new emerging medical applications of the rapidly evolving field of mammalian synthetic biology. We start with simple mammalian synthetic biological components and move towards more complex and therapy-oriented gene circuits. A comprehensive list of ON–OFF switches, categorized into transcriptional, post-transcriptional, translational and post-translational, is presented in the first sections. Subsequently, Boolean logic gates, synthetic mammalian oscillators and toggle switches will be described. Several synthetic gene networks are further reviewed in the medical applications section, including cancer therapy gene circuits, immuno-regulatory networks, among others. The final sections focus on the applicability of synthetic gene networks to drug discovery, drug delivery, receptor-activating gene circuits and mammalian biomanufacturing processes. PMID:25808341

  15. Mammalian synthetic biology: emerging medical applications.

    PubMed

    Kis, Zoltán; Pereira, Hugo Sant'Ana; Homma, Takayuki; Pedrigi, Ryan M; Krams, Rob

    2015-05-01

    In this review, we discuss new emerging medical applications of the rapidly evolving field of mammalian synthetic biology. We start with simple mammalian synthetic biological components and move towards more complex and therapy-oriented gene circuits. A comprehensive list of ON-OFF switches, categorized into transcriptional, post-transcriptional, translational and post-translational, is presented in the first sections. Subsequently, Boolean logic gates, synthetic mammalian oscillators and toggle switches will be described. Several synthetic gene networks are further reviewed in the medical applications section, including cancer therapy gene circuits, immuno-regulatory networks, among others. The final sections focus on the applicability of synthetic gene networks to drug discovery, drug delivery, receptor-activating gene circuits and mammalian biomanufacturing processes.

  16. Bats and Rodents Shape Mammalian Retroviral Phylogeny

    PubMed Central

    Cui, Jie; Tachedjian, Gilda; Wang, Lin-Fa

    2015-01-01

    Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) represent past retroviral infections and accordingly can provide an ideal framework to infer virus-host interaction over their evolutionary history. In this study, we target high quality Pol sequences from 7,994 Class I and 8,119 Class II ERVs from 69 mammalian genomes and surprisingly find that retroviruses harbored by bats and rodents combined occupy the major phylogenetic diversity of both classes. By analyzing transmission patterns of 30 well-defined ERV clades, we corroborate the previously published observation that rodents are more competent as originators of mammalian retroviruses and reveal that bats are more capable of receiving retroviruses from non-bat mammalian origins. The powerful retroviral hosting ability of bats is further supported by a detailed analysis revealing that the novel bat gammaretrovirus, Rhinolophus ferrumequinum retrovirus, likely originated from tree shrews. Taken together, this study advances our understanding of host-shaped mammalian retroviral evolution in general. PMID:26548564

  17. Hacking the genetic code of mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Schwarzer, Dirk

    2009-07-01

    A genetic shuttle: The highlighted article, which was recently published by Schultz, Geierstanger and co-workers, describes a straightforward scheme for enlarging the genetic code of mammalian cells. An orthogonal tRNA/aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase pair specific for a new amino acid can be evolved in E. coli and subsequently transferred into mammalian cells. The feasibility of this approach was demonstrated by adding a photocaged lysine derivative to the genetic repertoire of a human cell line. PMID:19533721

  18. Hacking the genetic code of mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Schwarzer, Dirk

    2009-07-01

    A genetic shuttle: The highlighted article, which was recently published by Schultz, Geierstanger and co-workers, describes a straightforward scheme for enlarging the genetic code of mammalian cells. An orthogonal tRNA/aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase pair specific for a new amino acid can be evolved in E. coli and subsequently transferred into mammalian cells. The feasibility of this approach was demonstrated by adding a photocaged lysine derivative to the genetic repertoire of a human cell line.

  19. Simplified Bioreactor For Growing Mammalian Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spaulding, Glenn F.

    1995-01-01

    Improved bioreactor for growing mammalian cell cultures developed. Designed to support growth of dense volumes of mammalian cells by providing ample, well-distributed flows of nutrient solution with minimal turbulence. Cells relatively delicate and, unlike bacteria, cannot withstand shear forces present in turbulent flows. Bioreactor vessel readily made in larger sizes to accommodate greater cell production quantities. Molding equipment presently used makes cylinders up to 30 centimeters long. Alternative sintered plastic techniques used to vary pore size and quantity, as necessary.

  20. The evolution of mammalian body temperature: the Cenozoic supraendothermic pulses.

    PubMed

    Lovegrove, Barry G

    2012-05-01

    In this study, I investigated the source(s) of variation in the body temperatures of mammals. I also attempted to reconstruct ancestral normothermic rest-phase body temperature states using a maximum parsimony approach. Body temperature at the familial level is not correlated with body mass. For small mammals, except the Macroscelidae, previously identified correlates, such as climate adaptation and zoogeography explained some, but not all, T(b) apomorphies. At the species level in large cursorial mammals, there was a significant correlation between body temperature and the ratio between metatarsal length and femur length, the proxy for stride length and cursoriality. With the exception of two primate families, all supraendothermic (T(b) > 37.9°C) mammals are cursorial, including Artiodactyla, Lagomorpha, some large Rodentia, and Carnivora. The ruminant supraendothermic cursorial pulse is putatively associated with global cooling and vegetation changes following the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. Reconstructed ancestral body temperatures were highly unrealistic deep within the mammalian phylogeny because of the lack of fossil T(b) data that effectively creates ghost lineages. However, it is anticipated that the method of estimating body temperature from the abundance of ¹³C-¹⁸O bonds in the carbonate component of tooth bioapatite in both extant and extinct animals may be a very promising tool for estimating the T(b) of extinct mammals. Fossil T(b) data are essential for discerning derived T(b) reversals from ancestral states, and verifying the dates of supraendothermic pulses.

  1. The society of our “out of Africa” ancestors (I)

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    The “out of Africa” hypothesis proposes that a small group of Homo sapiens left Africa 80,000 years ago, spreading the mitochondrial haplotype L3 throughout the Earth.1–10 Little effort has been made to try to reconstruct the society and culture of the tribe that left Africa to populate the rest of the world.1 Here, I find that hunter-gatherers that belong to mitochondrial haplotypes L0, L1 and L2 do not have a culture of ritualized fights. In contrast to this, almost all L3 derived hunter-gatherers have a more belligerent culture that includes ritualized fights such as wrestling, stick fights or headhunting expeditions. This appears to be independent of their environment because ritualized fights occur in all climates, from the tropics to the arctic. There is also a correlation between mitochondrial haplotypes and warfare propensity or the use of murder and suicide to resolve conflicts. The data implicate that the original human population outside Africa is descended from only two closely related sub-branches that practiced ritual fighting and had a higher propensity towards warfare and the use of murder for conflict resolution. This warfare culture may have given the out of Africa migrants a competitive advantage to colonize the world. But it could also have crucially influenced the subsequent history of The Earth. In the future, it would be interesting to see how we could further reconstruct the society and culture of the “Out of Africa Tribe.” PMID:21655430

  2. Neuromagnetic source reconstruction

    SciTech Connect

    Lewis, P.S.; Mosher, J.C.; Leahy, R.M.

    1994-12-31

    In neuromagnetic source reconstruction, a functional map of neural activity is constructed from noninvasive magnetoencephalographic (MEG) measurements. The overall reconstruction problem is under-determined, so some form of source modeling must be applied. We review the two main classes of reconstruction techniques-parametric current dipole models and nonparametric distributed source reconstructions. Current dipole reconstructions use a physically plausible source model, but are limited to cases in which the neural currents are expected to be highly sparse and localized. Distributed source reconstructions can be applied to a wider variety of cases, but must incorporate an implicit source, model in order to arrive at a single reconstruction. We examine distributed source reconstruction in a Bayesian framework to highlight the implicit nonphysical Gaussian assumptions of minimum norm based reconstruction algorithms. We conclude with a brief discussion of alternative non-Gaussian approachs.

  3. Mammalian cloning: possibilities and threats.

    PubMed

    Mitalipov, S M; Wolf, D P

    2000-10-01

    The cloning of mammals originated with the production of limited numbers of genetically identical offspring by blastomere separation or embryo splitting. In the past few years, remarkable progress has been reported in cloning by nuclear transfer (NT) with donor nuclei recovered from embryonic, fetal or adult cells. Factors that contribute to the successful reprogramming of the transferred nucleus and the normal term development of the newly reconstructed embryo include the cell cycle stage of both the donor nucleus and recipient cytoplast, the timing of fusion and cytoplast activation, and the source of donor nuclei. The possibility of producing live offspring by somatic cell NT carries potential applications in animal husbandry, biotechnology, transgenic and pharmaceutical production, biomedical research, and the preservation of endangered species. However, the low efficiencies of cloning by NT coupled with high embryonic, fetal and neonatal losses may restrict immediate commercial applications in agriculture. These limitations notwithstanding, the greatest benefits and practical implications of this new technology could be in transplantation medicine and therapeutic cloning.

  4. Bats host major mammalian paramyxoviruses

    PubMed Central

    Drexler, Jan Felix; Corman, Victor Max; Müller, Marcel Alexander; Maganga, Gael Darren; Vallo, Peter; Binger, Tabea; Gloza-Rausch, Florian; Rasche, Andrea; Yordanov, Stoian; Seebens, Antje; Oppong, Samuel; Sarkodie, Yaw Adu; Pongombo, Célestin; Lukashev, Alexander N.; Schmidt-Chanasit, Jonas; Stöcker, Andreas; Carneiro, Aroldo José Borges; Erbar, Stephanie; Maisner, Andrea; Fronhoffs, Florian; Buettner, Reinhard; Kalko, Elisabeth K.V.; Kruppa, Thomas; Franke, Carlos Roberto; Kallies, René; Yandoko, Emmanuel R.N.; Herrler, Georg; Reusken, Chantal; Hassanin, Alexandre; Krüger, Detlev H.; Matthee, Sonja; Ulrich, Rainer G.; Leroy, Eric M.; Drosten, Christian

    2012-01-01

    The large virus family Paramyxoviridae includes some of the most significant human and livestock viruses, such as measles-, distemper-, mumps-, parainfluenza-, Newcastle disease-, respiratory syncytial virus and metapneumoviruses. Here we identify an estimated 66 new paramyxoviruses in a worldwide sample of 119 bat and rodent species (9,278 individuals). Major discoveries include evidence of an origin of Hendra- and Nipah virus in Africa, identification of a bat virus conspecific with the human mumps virus, detection of close relatives of respiratory syncytial virus, mouse pneumonia- and canine distemper virus in bats, as well as direct evidence of Sendai virus in rodents. Phylogenetic reconstruction of host associations suggests a predominance of host switches from bats to other mammals and birds. Hypothesis tests in a maximum likelihood framework permit the phylogenetic placement of bats as tentative hosts at ancestral nodes to both the major Paramyxoviridae subfamilies (Paramyxovirinae and Pneumovirinae). Future attempts to predict the emergence of novel paramyxoviruses in humans and livestock will have to rely fundamentally on these data. PMID:22531181

  5. Hermit to king, or hermit to all: multiple transitions to crab-like forms from hermit crab ancestors.

    PubMed

    Tsang, Ling Ming; Chan, Tin-Yam; Ahyong, Shane T; Chu, Ka Hou

    2011-10-01

    The Anomura presents the greatest degree of morphological disparity in the decapod Crustacea, with body forms ranging from the symmetrical and asymmetrical hermit crabs to squat lobsters and king crabs. The phylogeny of the anomurans has been fraught with controversy. Recent debate has focused primarily on the phenomenon of carcinization, the evolution of crab-like form from a non-crab-like ancestor, focused chiefly on derivation of king crabs from asymmetrical hermit crabs--the "hermit to king" hypothesis. We show by phylogenetic analysis of five nuclear protein-coding gene sequences that hermit crabs have a single origin, but surprisingly, that almost all other major clades and body forms within the Anomura, are derived from within the hermit crabs. The crab-like form and squat lobster form have each evolved at least twice from separate symmetrical hermit crab ancestors. In each case, a carcinization trend can be posited via a transition series from the initial symmetrical long-tailed hermit crab form, through the intermediate squat lobster or asymmetrical hermit crab form, to the final crab-like form. Adaptation to dextral shell habitation evolved at least twice, once in an exclusively deep-water clade and once in the common ancestor of all other asymmetrical hermit crabs (from which king crabs are derived). These remarkable cases of parallelism suggest considerable phenotypic flexibility within the hermit crab ground plan, with a general tendency toward carcinization. Rather than having a separate origin from other major clades, hermit crabs have given rise to most other major anomuran body types.

  6. An Evolutionary Network of Genes Present in the Eukaryote Common Ancestor Polls Genomes on Eukaryotic and Mitochondrial Origin

    PubMed Central

    Thiergart, Thorsten; Landan, Giddy; Schenk, Marc; Dagan, Tal; Martin, William F.

    2012-01-01

    To test the predictions of competing and mutually exclusive hypotheses for the origin of eukaryotes, we identified from a sample of 27 sequenced eukaryotic and 994 sequenced prokaryotic genomes 571 genes that were present in the eukaryote common ancestor and that have homologues among eubacterial and archaebacterial genomes. Maximum-likelihood trees identified the prokaryotic genomes that most frequently contained genes branching as the sister to the eukaryotic nuclear homologues. Among the archaebacteria, euryarchaeote genomes most frequently harbored the sister to the eukaryotic nuclear gene, whereas among eubacteria, the α-proteobacteria were most frequently represented within the sister group. Only 3 genes out of 571 gave a 3-domain tree. Homologues from α-proteobacterial genomes that branched as the sister to nuclear genes were found more frequently in genomes of facultatively anaerobic members of the rhiozobiales and rhodospirilliales than in obligate intracellular ricketttsial parasites. Following α-proteobacteria, the most frequent eubacterial sister lineages were γ-proteobacteria, δ-proteobacteria, and firmicutes, which were also the prokaryote genomes least frequently found as monophyletic groups in our trees. Although all 22 higher prokaryotic taxa sampled (crenarchaeotes, γ-proteobacteria, spirochaetes, chlamydias, etc.) harbor genes that branch as the sister to homologues present in the eukaryotic common ancestor, that is not evidence of 22 different prokaryotic cells participating at eukaryote origins because prokaryotic “lineages” have laterally acquired genes for more than 1.5 billion years since eukaryote origins. The data underscore the archaebacterial (host) nature of the eukaryotic informational genes and the eubacterial (mitochondrial) nature of eukaryotic energy metabolism. The network linking genes of the eukaryote ancestor to contemporary homologues distributed across prokaryotic genomes elucidates eukaryote gene origins in a

  7. Nipple and areola reconstruction.

    PubMed

    Hutcheson, H A; Bostwick, J

    1989-01-01

    Nipple-areola reconstruction is an integral part of breast reconstruction. Optimum results are usually obtained when nipple-areola reconstruction is staged after the breast mound has attained its final shape and is well vascularized. The use of intradermal tattoo allows the use of a variety of nonpigmented donor sites. Women report that reconstruction of the nipple-areola enhances their overall satisfaction with breast reconstruction. The knowledgeable and skilled nurse is a valuable member of the professional team during this final phase of breast reconstruction. PMID:2479039

  8. Archetype, adaptation and the mammalian heart.

    PubMed

    Meijler, F L; Meijler, T D

    2011-03-01

    Forty years ago, we started our quest for 'The Holy Grail' of understanding ventricular rate control and rhythm in atrial fibrillation (AF). We therefore studied the morphology and function of a wide range of mammalian hearts. From mouse to whale, we found that all hearts show similar structural and functional characteristics. This suggests that the mammalian heart remained well conserved during evolution and in this aspect it differs from other organs and parts of the mammalian body. The archetype of the mammalian heart was apparently so successful that adaptation by natural selection (evolution) caused by varying habitat demands, as occurred in other organs and many other aspects of mammalian anatomy, bypassed the heart. The structure and function of the heart of placental mammals have thus been strikingly conserved throughout evolution. The changes in the mammalian heart that did take place were mostly adjustments (scaling), to compensate for variations in body size and shape. A remarkable scaling effect is, for instance, the difference in atrioventricular (AV) conduction time, which is vital for optimal cardiac function in all mammals, small and large. Scaling of AV conduction takes place in the AV node (AVN), but its substrate is unknown. This sheds new light on the vital role of the AVN in health and disease. The AVN is master and servant of the heart at the same time and is of salient importance for our understanding of supraventricular arrhythmias in humans, especially AF. In Information Technology a software infra-structure called 'enterprise service bus' (ESB) may provide understanding of the mammalian heart's conservation during evolution. The ESB is quite unspecific (and thus general) when compared with the specialised components it has to support. For instance, one of the functions of an ESB is the routing of messages between system nodes. This routing is independent and unaware of the content of the messages. The function of the heart is likewise

  9. Acanthodes and shark-like conditions in the last common ancestor of modern gnathostomes.

    PubMed

    Davis, Samuel P; Finarelli, John A; Coates, Michael I

    2012-06-14

    Acanthodians, an exclusively Palaeozoic group of fish, are central to a renewed debate on the origin of modern gnathostomes: jawed vertebrates comprising Chondrichthyes (sharks, rays and ratfish) and Osteichthyes (bony fishes and tetrapods). Acanthodian internal anatomy is primarily understood from Acanthodes bronni because it remains the only example preserved in substantial detail, central to which is an ostensibly osteichthyan braincase. For this reason, Acanthodes has become an indispensible component in early gnathostome phylogenies. Here we present a new description of the Acanthodes braincase, yielding new details of external and internal morphology, notably the regions surrounding and within the ear capsule and neurocranial roof. These data contribute to a new reconstruction that, unexpectedly, resembles early chondrichthyan crania. Principal coordinates analysis of a character-taxon matrix including these new data confirms this impression: Acanthodes is quantifiably closer to chondrichthyans than to osteichthyans. However, phylogenetic analysis places Acanthodes on the osteichthyan stem, as part of a well-resolved tree that also recovers acanthodians as stem chondrichthyans and stem gnathostomes. As such, perceived chondrichthyan features of the Acanthodes cranium represent shared primitive conditions for crown group gnathostomes. Moreover, this increasingly detailed picture of early gnathostome evolution highlights ongoing and profound anatomical reorganization of vertebrate crania after the origin of jaws but before the divergence of living clades. PMID:22699617

  10. Breast Reconstruction after Mastectomy

    PubMed Central

    Schmauss, Daniel; Machens, Hans-Günther; Harder, Yves

    2016-01-01

    Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in women worldwide. Its surgical approach has become less and less mutilating in the last decades. However, the overall number of breast reconstructions has significantly increased lately. Nowadays, breast reconstruction should be individualized at its best, first of all taking into consideration not only the oncological aspects of the tumor, neo-/adjuvant treatment, and genetic predisposition, but also its timing (immediate versus delayed breast reconstruction), as well as the patient’s condition and wish. This article gives an overview over the various possibilities of breast reconstruction, including implant- and expander-based reconstruction, flap-based reconstruction (vascularized autologous tissue), the combination of implant and flap, reconstruction using non-vascularized autologous fat, as well as refinement surgery after breast reconstruction. PMID:26835456

  11. Ancient wolf genome reveals an early divergence of domestic dog ancestors and admixture into high-latitude breeds.

    PubMed

    Skoglund, Pontus; Ersmark, Erik; Palkopoulou, Eleftheria; Dalén, Love

    2015-06-01

    The origin of domestic dogs is poorly understood [1-15], with suggested evidence of dog-like features in fossils that predate the Last Glacial Maximum [6, 9, 10, 14, 16] conflicting with genetic estimates of a more recent divergence between dogs and worldwide wolf populations [13, 15, 17-19]. Here, we present a draft genome sequence from a 35,000-year-old wolf from the Taimyr Peninsula in northern Siberia. We find that this individual belonged to a population that diverged from the common ancestor of present-day wolves and dogs very close in time to the appearance of the domestic dog lineage. We use the directly dated ancient wolf genome to recalibrate the molecular timescale of wolves and dogs and find that the mutation rate is substantially slower than assumed by most previous studies, suggesting that the ancestors of dogs were separated from present-day wolves before the Last Glacial Maximum. We also find evidence of introgression from the archaic Taimyr wolf lineage into present-day dog breeds from northeast Siberia and Greenland, contributing between 1.4% and 27.3% of their ancestry. This demonstrates that the ancestry of present-day dogs is derived from multiple regional wolf populations. PMID:26004765

  12. Genetic diversity and adaptedness in tetraploid Avena barbata and its diploid ancestors Avena hirtula and Avena wiestii.

    PubMed Central

    García, P; Morris, M I; Sáenz-de-Miera, L E; Allard, R W; Pérez de la Vega, M; Ladizinsky, G

    1991-01-01

    Avena barbata, a tetraploid grass, is much more widely adapted and successful in forming dense stands than its diploid ancestors. The success of such polyploids has often been attributed to heterosis associated with ability to breed true for a highly heterozygous state in which allelic differences between the parents are fixed in the polyploid by chromosome doubling. We have examined the relationship between genetic diversity and adaptedness for 14 allozyme loci in A. barbata and its diploid ancestors in samples collected from diverse habitats in Israel and Spain. The relationship varied from locus to locus: superior adaptedness was associated with genetic uniformity for five loci, in part with genetic uniformity and in part with genetic diversity (monomorphism for a single heteroallelic quadriplex) for one locus, and with allelic diversity in the form of heteroallelic quadriplexes combined with genotypic diversity in the form of complex polymorphisms among different homoallelic and/or heteroallelic quadriplexes for the eight remaining loci. These results indicate that allelic diversity fixed in nonsegregating form through chromosome doubling was an important factor in the evolution of adaptedness in A. barbata. However, it is unlikely that heterosis associated with heterozygosity contributed significantly to superior adaptedness in either the diploids or the tetraploid because virtually all loci (approximately 99%) were homozygous in the Avena diploids and tetraploid. PMID:1996323

  13. Ancient wolf genome reveals an early divergence of domestic dog ancestors and admixture into high-latitude breeds.

    PubMed

    Skoglund, Pontus; Ersmark, Erik; Palkopoulou, Eleftheria; Dalén, Love

    2015-06-01

    The origin of domestic dogs is poorly understood [1-15], with suggested evidence of dog-like features in fossils that predate the Last Glacial Maximum [6, 9, 10, 14, 16] conflicting with genetic estimates of a more recent divergence between dogs and worldwide wolf populations [13, 15, 17-19]. Here, we present a draft genome sequence from a 35,000-year-old wolf from the Taimyr Peninsula in northern Siberia. We find that this individual belonged to a population that diverged from the common ancestor of present-day wolves and dogs very close in time to the appearance of the domestic dog lineage. We use the directly dated ancient wolf genome to recalibrate the molecular timescale of wolves and dogs and find that the mutation rate is substantially slower than assumed by most previous studies, suggesting that the ancestors of dogs were separated from present-day wolves before the Last Glacial Maximum. We also find evidence of introgression from the archaic Taimyr wolf lineage into present-day dog breeds from northeast Siberia and Greenland, contributing between 1.4% and 27.3% of their ancestry. This demonstrates that the ancestry of present-day dogs is derived from multiple regional wolf populations.

  14. Clonal Species Trichoderma parareesei sp. nov. Likely Resembles the Ancestor of the Cellulase Producer Hypocrea jecorina/T. reesei▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Atanasova, Lea; Jaklitsch, Walter M.; Komoń-Zelazowska, Monika; Kubicek, Christian P.; Druzhinina, Irina S.

    2010-01-01

    We have previously reported that the prominent industrial enzyme producer Trichoderma reesei (teleomorph Hypocrea jecorina; Hypocreales, Ascomycota, Dikarya) has a genetically isolated, sympatric sister species devoid of sexual reproduction and which is constituted by the majority of anamorphic strains previously attributed to H. jecorina/T. reesei. In this paper we present the formal taxonomic description of this new species, T. parareesei, complemented by multivariate phenotype profiling and molecular evolutionary examination. A phylogenetic analysis of relatively conserved loci, such as coding fragments of the RNA polymerase B subunit II (rpb2) and GH18 chitinase (chi18-5), showed that T. parareesei is genetically invariable and likely resembles the ancestor which gave raise to H. jecorina. This and the fact that at least one mating type gene of T. parareesei has previously been found to be essentially altered compared to the sequence of H. jecorina/T. reesei indicate that divergence probably occurred due to the impaired functionality of the mating system in the hypothetical ancestor of both species. In contrast, we show that the sexually reproducing and correspondingly more polymorphic H. jecorina/T. reesei is essentially evolutionarily derived. Phenotype microarray analyses performed at seven temperature regimens support our previous speculations that T. parareesei possesses a relatively high opportunistic potential, which probably ensured the survival of this species in ancient and sustainable environment such as tropical forests. PMID:20817800

  15. Reoperative midface reconstruction.

    PubMed

    Acero, Julio; García, Eloy

    2011-02-01

    Reoperative reconstruction of the midface is a challenging issue because of the complexity of this region and the severity of the aesthetic and functional sequela related to the absence or failure of a primary reconstruction. The different situations that can lead to the indication of a reoperative reconstructive procedure after previous oncologic ablative procedures in the midface are reviewed. Surgical techniques, anatomic problems, and limitations affecting the reoperative reconstruction in this region of the head and neck are discussed.

  16. Effect of Microgravity on Mammalian Lymphocytes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Banerjee, H.; Blackshear, M.; Mahaffey, K.; Knight, C.; Khan, A. A.; Delucas, L.

    2004-01-01

    The effect of microgravity on mammalian system is an important and interesting topic for scientific investigation, since NASA s objective is to send manned flights to planets like Mars and eventual human colonization.The Astronauts will be exposed to microgravity environment for a long duration of time during these flights.Our objective of research is to conduct in vitro studies for the effect of microgravity on mammalian immune system.We did our preliminary investigations by exposing mammalian lymphocytes to a microgravity simulator cell bioreactor designed by NASA and manufactured at Synthecon Inc (USA).Our initial results showed no significant change in cytokine expression in these cells for a time period of forty eight hours exposure.Our future experiments will involve exposure for a longer period of time.

  17. Effect of Microgravity on Mammalian Lymphocytes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Banerjee, H.; Blackshear, M.; Mahaffey, K.; Khan, A. A.; Delucas, L.

    2004-01-01

    The effect of microgravity on mammalian system is an important and interesting topic for scientific investigation, since NASA s objective is to send manned flights to planets like Mars and eventual human colonization. The Astronauts will be exposed to microgravity environment for a long duration of time during these flights. Our objective of research is to conduct in vitro studies for the effect of microgravity on mammalian immune system and nervous system. We did our preliminary investigations by exposing mammalian lymphocytes and astrocyte cells to a microgravity simulator cell bioreactor designed by NASA and manufactured at Synthecon, Inc. (USA).Our initial results showed no significant change in cytokine expression in these cells up to a time period of 120 hours exposure. Our future experiments will involve exposure for a longer period of time.

  18. Synthetic therapeutic gene circuits in mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Ye, Haifeng; Fussenegger, Martin

    2014-08-01

    In the emerging field of synthetic biology, scientists are focusing on designing and creating functional devices, systems, and organisms with novel functions by engineering and assembling standardised biological building blocks. The progress of synthetic biology has significantly advanced the design of functional gene networks that can reprogram metabolic activities in mammalian cells and provide new therapeutic opportunities for future gene- and cell-based therapies. In this review, we describe the most recent advances in synthetic mammalian gene networks designed for biomedical applications, including how these synthetic therapeutic gene circuits can be assembled to control signalling networks and applied to treat metabolic disorders, cancer, and immune diseases. We conclude by discussing the various challenges and future prospects of using synthetic mammalian gene networks for disease therapy.

  19. Mammalian diversity: gametes, embryos and reproduction.

    PubMed

    Behringer, Richard R; Eakin, Guy S; Renfree, Marilyn B

    2006-01-01

    The class Mammalia is composed of approximately 4800 extant species. These mammalian species are divided into three subclasses that include the monotremes, marsupials and eutherians. Monotremes are remarkable because these mammals are born from eggs laid outside of the mother's body. Marsupial mammals have relatively short gestation periods and give birth to highly altricial young that continue a significant amount of 'fetal' development after birth, supported by a highly sophisticated lactation. Less than 10% of mammalian species are monotremes or marsupials, so the great majority of mammals are grouped into the subclass Eutheria, including mouse and human. Mammals exhibit great variety in morphology, physiology and reproduction. In the present article, we highlight some of this remarkable diversity relative to the mouse, one of the most widely used mammalian model organisms, and human. This diversity creates challenges and opportunities for gamete and embryo collection, culture and transfer technologies.

  20. Synthetic mammalian gene circuits for biomedical applications.

    PubMed

    Ye, Haifeng; Aubel, Dominique; Fussenegger, Martin

    2013-12-01

    Synthetic biology is the science of reassembling cataloged and standardized biological items in a systematic and rational manner to create and engineer functional biological designer devices, systems and organisms with novel and useful, preferably therapeutic functions. Synthetic biology has significantly advanced the design of complex genetic networks that can reprogram metabolic activities in mammalian cells and provide novel therapeutic strategies for future gene-based and cell-based therapies. Synthetic biology-inspired therapeutic strategies provide new opportunities for improving human health in the 21st century. This review covers the most recent synthetic mammalian circuits designed for therapy of diseases such as metabolic disorders, cancer, and immune disorders. We conclude by discussing current challenges and future perspectives for biomedical applications of synthetic mammalian gene networks.

  1. Involvement of opsins in mammalian sperm thermotaxis

    PubMed Central

    Pérez-Cerezales, Serafín; Boryshpolets, Sergii; Afanzar, Oshri; Brandis, Alexander; Nevo, Reinat; Kiss, Vladimir; Eisenbach, Michael

    2015-01-01

    A unique characteristic of mammalian sperm thermotaxis is extreme temperature sensitivity, manifested by the capacity of spermatozoa to respond to temperature changes of <0.0006 °C as they swim their body-length distance. The identity of the sensing system that confers this exceptional sensitivity on spermatozoa is not known. Here we show that the temperature-sensing system of mammalian spermatozoa involves opsins, known to be G-protein-coupled receptors that act as photosensors in vision. We demonstrate by molecular, immunological, and functional approaches that opsins are present in human and mouse spermatozoa at specific sites, which depend on the species and the opsin type, and that they are involved in sperm thermotaxis via two signalling pathways—the phospholipase C and the cyclic-nucleotide pathways. Our results suggest that, depending on the context and the tissue, mammalian opsins act not only as photosensors but also as thermosensors. PMID:26537127

  2. Odor Coding by a Mammalian Receptor Repertoire

    PubMed Central

    Saito, Harumi; Chi, Qiuyi; Zhuang, Hanyi; Matsunami, Hiro; Mainland, Joel D.

    2009-01-01

    Deciphering olfactory encoding requires a thorough description of the ligands that activate each odorant receptor (OR). In mammalian systems, however, ligands are known for fewer than 50 of over 1400 human and mouse ORs, greatly limiting our understanding of olfactory coding. We performed high-throughput screening of 93 odorants against 464 ORs expressed in heterologous cells and identified agonists for 52 mouse and 10 human ORs. We used the resulting interaction profiles to develop a predictive model relating physicochemical odorant properties, OR sequences, and their interactions. Our results provide a basis for translating odorants into receptor neuron responses and unraveling mammalian odor coding. PMID:19261596

  3. Autofluorescence of viable cultured mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Aubin, J E

    1979-01-01

    The autofluorescence other than intrinsic protein emission of viable cultured mammalian cells has been investigated. The fluorescence was found to originate in discrete cytoplasmic vesicle-like regions and to be absent from the nucleus. Excitation and emission spectra of viable cells revealed at least two distinct fluorescent species. Comparison of cell spectra with spectra of known cellular metabolites suggested that most, if not all, of the fluorescence arises from intracellular nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) and riboflavin and flavin coenzymes. Various changes in culture conditions did not affect the observed autofluorescence intensity. A multiparameter flow system (MACCS) was used to compare the fluorescence intensities of numerous cultured mammalian cells.

  4. The mammalian blastema: regeneration at our fingertips

    PubMed Central

    Simkin, Jennifer; Sammarco, Mimi C.; Dawson, Lindsay A.; Schanes, Paula P.; Yu, Ling

    2015-01-01

    Abstract In the mouse, digit tip regeneration progresses through a series of discrete stages that include inflammation, histolysis, epidermal closure, blastema formation, and redifferentiation. Recent studies reveal how each regenerative stage influences subsequent stages to establish a blastema that directs the successful regeneration of a complex mammalian structure. The focus of this review is on early events of healing and how an amputation wound transitions into a functional blastema. The stepwise formation of a mammalian blastema is proposed to provide a model for how specific targeted treatments can enhance regenerative performance in humans. PMID:27499871

  5. Building mammalian signalling pathways with RNAi screens.

    PubMed

    Moffat, Jason; Sabatini, David M

    2006-03-01

    Technological advances in mammalian systems are providing new tools to identify the molecular components of signalling pathways. Foremost among these tools is the ability to knock down gene function through the use of RNA interference (RNAi). The fact that RNAi can be scaled up for use in high-throughput techniques has motivated the creation of genome-wide RNAi reagents. We are now at the brink of being able to harness the power of RNAi for large-scale functional discovery in mammalian cells.

  6. Particle Image Velocimetry Measurements in an Anatomically-Accurate Scaled Model of the Mammalian Nasal Cavity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rumple, Christopher; Krane, Michael; Richter, Joseph; Craven, Brent

    2013-11-01

    The mammalian nose is a multi-purpose organ that houses a convoluted airway labyrinth responsible for respiratory air conditioning, filtering of environmental contaminants, and chemical sensing. Because of the complexity of the nasal cavity, the anatomy and function of these upper airways remain poorly understood in most mammals. However, recent advances in high-resolution medical imaging, computational modeling, and experimental flow measurement techniques are now permitting the study of respiratory airflow and olfactory transport phenomena in anatomically-accurate reconstructions of the nasal cavity. Here, we focus on efforts to manufacture an anatomically-accurate transparent model for stereoscopic particle image velocimetry (SPIV) measurements. Challenges in the design and manufacture of an index-matched anatomical model are addressed. PIV measurements are presented, which are used to validate concurrent computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations of mammalian nasal airflow. Supported by the National Science Foundation.

  7. [Breast reconstruction after mastectomy].

    PubMed

    Ho Quoc, C; Delay, E

    2013-02-01

    The mutilating surgery for breast cancer causes deep somatic and psychological sequelae. Breast reconstruction can mitigate these effects and permit the patient to help rebuild their lives. The purpose of this paper is to focus on breast reconstruction techniques and on factors involved in breast reconstruction. The methods of breast reconstruction are presented: objectives, indications, different techniques, operative risks, and long-term monitoring. Many different techniques can now allow breast reconstruction in most patients. Clinical cases are also presented in order to understand the results we expect from a breast reconstruction. Breast reconstruction provides many benefits for patients in terms of rehabilitation, wellness, and quality of life. In our mind, breast reconstruction should be considered more as an opportunity and a positive choice (the patient can decide to do it), than as an obligation (that the patient would suffer). The consultation with the surgeon who will perform the reconstruction is an important step to give all necessary informations. It is really important that the patient could speak again with him before undergoing reconstruction, if she has any doubt. The quality of information given by medical doctors is essential to the success of psychological intervention. This article was written in a simple, and understandable way to help gynecologists giving the best information to their patients. It is maybe also possible to let them a copy of this article, which would enable them to have a written support and would facilitate future consultation with the surgeon who will perform the reconstruction.

  8. Medical and experimental mammalian genetics: A perspective

    SciTech Connect

    McKusick, V.A.; Roderick, T.H.; Mori, J.; Paul, N.W.

    1987-01-01

    This book contains 14 papers. Some of the titles are: Structure and Organization of Mammalian Chromosomes: Normal and Abnormal; Globin Gene Structure and the Nature of Mutation; Retroviral DNA Content of the Mouse Genome; Maternal Genes: Mitochondrial Diseases; Human Evolution; and Prospects for Gene Replacement Therapy.

  9. Ticks Take Cues from Mammalian Interferon.

    PubMed

    de Silva, Aravinda M

    2016-07-13

    Interferons are considered a first line of immune defense restricted to vertebrates. In this issue of Cell Host & Microbe, Smith et al. (2016) demonstrate that mammalian interferon γ activates an antimicrobial response within ticks feeding on blood. The study suggests that arthropods have a parallel interferon-like defense system. PMID:27414493

  10. Cultured normal mammalian tissue and process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goodwin, Thomas J. (Inventor); Prewett, Tacey L. (Inventor); Wolf, David A. (Inventor); Spaulding, Glenn F. (Inventor)

    1993-01-01

    Normal mammalian tissue and the culturing process has been developed for the three groups of organ, structural and blood tissue. The cells are grown in vitro under microgravity culture conditions and form three dimensional cell aggregates with normal cell function. The microgravity culture conditions may be microgravity or simulated microgravity created in a horizontal rotating wall culture vessel.

  11. Structure of mammalian respiratory complex I.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Jiapeng; Vinothkumar, Kutti R; Hirst, Judy

    2016-08-18

    Complex I (NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase), one of the largest membrane-bound enzymes in the cell, powers ATP synthesis in mammalian mitochondria by using the reducing potential of NADH to drive protons across the inner mitochondrial membrane. Mammalian complex I (ref. 1) contains 45 subunits, comprising 14 core subunits that house the catalytic machinery (and are conserved from bacteria to humans) and a mammalian-specific cohort of 31 supernumerary subunits. Knowledge of the structures and functions of the supernumerary subunits is fragmentary. Here we describe a 4.2-Å resolution single-particle electron cryomicroscopy structure of complex I from Bos taurus. We have located and modelled all 45 subunits, including the 31 supernumerary subunits, to provide the entire structure of the mammalian complex. Computational sorting of the particles identified different structural classes, related by subtle domain movements, which reveal conformationally dynamic regions and match biochemical descriptions of the 'active-to-de-active' enzyme transition that occurs during hypoxia. Our structures therefore provide a foundation for understanding complex I assembly and the effects of mutations that cause clinically relevant complex I dysfunctions, give insights into the structural and functional roles of the supernumerary subunits and reveal new information on the mechanism and regulation of catalysis. PMID:27509854

  12. Genomics in mammalian cell culture bioprocessing

    PubMed Central

    Wuest, Diane M.; Harcum, Sarah W.; Lee, Kelvin H.

    2013-01-01

    Explicitly identifying the genome of a host organism including sequencing, mapping, and annotating its genetic code has become a priority in the field of biotechnology with aims at improving the efficiency and understanding of cell culture bioprocessing. Recombinant protein therapeutics, primarily produced in mammalian cells, constitute a $108 billion global market. The most common mammalian cell line used in biologic production processes is the Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell line, and although great improvements have been made in titer production over the past 25 years, the underlying molecular and physiological factors are not well understood. Confident understanding of CHO bioprocessing elements (e.g. cell line selection, protein production, and reproducibility of process performance and product specifications) would significantly improve with a well understood genome. This review describes mammalian cell culture use in bioprocessing, the importance of obtaining CHO cell line genetic sequences, and the current status of sequencing efforts. Furthermore, transcriptomic techniques and gene expression tools are presented, and case studies exploring genomic techniques and applications aimed to improve mammalian bioprocess performance are reviewed. Finally, future implications of genomic advances are surmised. PMID:22079893

  13. [Placental developmental defects in cloned mammalian animals].

    PubMed

    Ao, Zheng; Liu, Dewu; Cai, Gengyuan; Wu, Zhenfang; Li, Zicong

    2016-05-01

    The cloning technique, also called somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), has been successfully established and gradually applied to various mammalian species. However, the developmental rate of SCNT mammalian embryos is very low, usually at 1% to 5%, which limits the application of SCNT. Placental developmental defects are considered as the main cause of SCNT embryo development inhibition. Almost all of SCNT-derived mammalian placentas exhibit various abnormalities, such as placental hyperplasia, vascular defects and umbilical cord malformation. Mechanistically, these abnormalities result from failure of establishment of correct epigenetic modification in the trophectoderm genome, which leads to erroneous expression of important genes for placenta development-related, particularly imprinted genes. Consequently, aberrant imprinted gene expression gives rise to placental morphologic abnormalities and functional defects, therefore decreases developmental competence of cloned embryos. Currently, although numerous methods that can improve the developmental ability of SCNT-derived embryos have been reported, most of them are unable to substantially enhance the success rate of SCNT due to failure to eliminate the placental development defects. In this review, we summarize placental abnormalities and imprinted gene expression in mammalian cloning, and propose directions for the future research aiming to improve the cloning efficiency. PMID:27232488

  14. Erythropoietin binding protein from mammalian serum

    DOEpatents

    Clemons, G.K.

    1997-04-29

    Purified mammalian erythropoietin binding-protein is disclosed, and its isolation, identification, characterization, purification, and immunoassay are described. The erythropoietin binding protein can be used for regulation of erythropoiesis by regulating levels and half-life of erythropoietin. A diagnostic kit for determination of level of erythropoietin binding protein is also described. 11 figs.

  15. A promoter-level mammalian expression atlas

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Regulated transcription controls the diversity, developmental pathways and spatial organization of the hundreds of cell types that make up a mammal. Using single-molecule cDNA sequencing, we mapped transcription start sites (TSSs) and their usage in human and mouse primary cells, cell lines and tissues to produce a comprehensive overview of mammalian gene expression across the human body. We find that few genes are truly ‘housekeeping’, whereas many mammalian promoters are composite entities composed of several closely separated TSSs, with independent cell-type-specific expression profiles. TSSs specific to different cell types evolve at different rates, whereas promoters of broadly expressed genes are the most conserved. Promoter-based expression analysis reveals key transcription factors defining cell states and links them to binding-site motifs. The functions of identified novel transcripts can be predicted by coexpression and sample ontology enrichment analyses. The functional annotation of the mammalian genome 5 (FANTOM5) project provides comprehensive expression profiles and functional annotation of mammalian cell-type-specific transcriptomes with wide applications in biomedical research. PMID:24670764

  16. Erythropoietin binding protein from mammalian serum

    DOEpatents

    Clemons, Gisela K.

    1997-01-01

    Purified mammalian erythropoietin binding-protein is disclosed, and its isolation, identification, characterization, purification, and immunoassay are described. The erythropoietin binding protein can be used for regulation of erythropoiesis by regulating levels and half-life of erythropoietin. A diagnostic kit for determination of level of erythropoietin binding protein is also described.

  17. Newcastle Disease Virus in Madagascar: Identification of an Original Genotype Possibly Deriving from a Died Out Ancestor of Genotype IV

    PubMed Central

    Maminiaina, Olivier F.; Gil, Patricia; Briand, François-Xavier; Albina, Emmanuel; Keita, Djénéba; Andriamanivo, Harentsoaniaina Rasamoelina; Chevalier, Véronique; Lancelot, Renaud; Martinez, Dominique; Rakotondravao, R.; Rajaonarison, Jean-Joseph; Koko, M.; Andriantsimahavandy, Abel A.; Jestin, Véronique; Servan de Almeida, Renata

    2010-01-01

    In Madagascar, Newcastle disease (ND) has become enzootic after the first documented epizootics in 1946, with recurrent annual outbreaks causing mortality up to 40%. Four ND viruses recently isolated in Madagascar were genotypically and pathotypically characterised. By phylogenetic inference based on the F and HN genes, and also full-genome sequence analyses, the NDV Malagasy isolates form a cluster distant enough to constitute a new genotype hereby proposed as genotype XI. This new genotype is presumably deriving from an ancestor close to genotype IV introduced in the island probably more than 50 years ago. Our data show also that all the previously described neutralising epitopes are conserved between Malagasy and vaccine strains. However, the potential implication in vaccination failures of specific amino acid substitutions predominantly found on surface-exposed epitopes of F and HN proteins is discussed. PMID:21085573

  18. Ancestors of two-spirits: Historical depictions of Native North American gender-crossing women through critical discourse analysis.

    PubMed

    Hemmilä, Anita

    2016-01-01

    Letters written by Christian men of European origin during the sixteenth-nineteenth centuries contain brief descriptions of gender-crossing individuals among indigenous Americans. Although now considered ethnocentrically biased because of the etic positioning of their authors, these historical sources are invaluable because they offer a glimpse of the ancestors of modern-day two-spirits. An application of critical discourse analysis to three depictions of gender-crossing females from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries demonstrates that such women were favorably portrayed. These results differ dramatically from those obtained from my similar analysis of depictions of gender-crossing males. It also became evident that the three descriptions of gender-crossing women were not based on actual observations, but only on hearsay, which makes their use as primary sources questionable. PMID:27254764

  19. A molecular palaeobiological hypothesis for the origin of aplacophoran molluscs and their derivation from chiton-like ancestors

    PubMed Central

    Vinther, Jakob; Sperling, Erik A.; Briggs, Derek E. G.; Peterson, Kevin J.

    2012-01-01

    Aplacophorans have long been argued to be basal molluscs. We present a molecular phylogeny, including the aplacophorans Neomeniomorpha (Solenogastres) and Chaetodermomorpha (Caudofoveata), which recovered instead the clade Aculifera (Aplacophora + Polyplacophora). Our relaxed Bayesian molecular clock estimates an Early Ordovician appearance of the aculiferan crown group consistent with the presence of chiton-like molluscs with seven or eight dorsal shell plates by the Late Cambrian (approx. 501–490 Ma). Molecular, embryological and palaeontological data indicate that aplacophorans, as well as chitons, evolved from a paraphyletic assemblage of chiton-like ancestors. The recovery of cephalopods as a sister group to aculiferans suggests that the plesiomorphic condition in molluscs might be a morphology similar to that found in monoplacophorans. PMID:21976685

  20. Ancestors of two-spirits: Historical depictions of Native North American gender-crossing women through critical discourse analysis.

    PubMed

    Hemmilä, Anita

    2016-01-01

    Letters written by Christian men of European origin during the sixteenth-nineteenth centuries contain brief descriptions of gender-crossing individuals among indigenous Americans. Although now considered ethnocentrically biased because of the etic positioning of their authors, these historical sources are invaluable because they offer a glimpse of the ancestors of modern-day two-spirits. An application of critical discourse analysis to three depictions of gender-crossing females from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries demonstrates that such women were favorably portrayed. These results differ dramatically from those obtained from my similar analysis of depictions of gender-crossing males. It also became evident that the three descriptions of gender-crossing women were not based on actual observations, but only on hearsay, which makes their use as primary sources questionable.

  1. A molecular palaeobiological hypothesis for the origin of aplacophoran molluscs and their derivation from chiton-like ancestors.

    PubMed

    Vinther, Jakob; Sperling, Erik A; Briggs, Derek E G; Peterson, Kevin J

    2012-04-01

    Aplacophorans have long been argued to be basal molluscs. We present a molecular phylogeny, including the aplacophorans Neomeniomorpha (Solenogastres) and Chaetodermomorpha (Caudofoveata), which recovered instead the clade Aculifera (Aplacophora + Polyplacophora). Our relaxed Bayesian molecular clock estimates an Early Ordovician appearance of the aculiferan crown group consistent with the presence of chiton-like molluscs with seven or eight dorsal shell plates by the Late Cambrian (approx. 501-490 Ma). Molecular, embryological and palaeontological data indicate that aplacophorans, as well as chitons, evolved from a paraphyletic assemblage of chiton-like ancestors. The recovery of cephalopods as a sister group to aculiferans suggests that the plesiomorphic condition in molluscs might be a morphology similar to that found in monoplacophorans.

  2. A molecular palaeobiological hypothesis for the origin of aplacophoran molluscs and their derivation from chiton-like ancestors.

    PubMed

    Vinther, Jakob; Sperling, Erik A; Briggs, Derek E G; Peterson, Kevin J

    2012-04-01

    Aplacophorans have long been argued to be basal molluscs. We present a molecular phylogeny, including the aplacophorans Neomeniomorpha (Solenogastres) and Chaetodermomorpha (Caudofoveata), which recovered instead the clade Aculifera (Aplacophora + Polyplacophora). Our relaxed Bayesian molecular clock estimates an Early Ordovician appearance of the aculiferan crown group consistent with the presence of chiton-like molluscs with seven or eight dorsal shell plates by the Late Cambrian (approx. 501-490 Ma). Molecular, embryological and palaeontological data indicate that aplacophorans, as well as chitons, evolved from a paraphyletic assemblage of chiton-like ancestors. The recovery of cephalopods as a sister group to aculiferans suggests that the plesiomorphic condition in molluscs might be a morphology similar to that found in monoplacophorans. PMID:21976685

  3. The life history of retrocopies illuminates the evolution of new mammalian genes.

    PubMed

    Carelli, Francesco Nicola; Hayakawa, Takashi; Go, Yasuhiro; Imai, Hiroo; Warnefors, Maria; Kaessmann, Henrik

    2016-03-01

    New genes contribute substantially to adaptive evolutionary innovation, but the functional evolution of new mammalian genes has been little explored at a broad scale. Previous work established mRNA-derived gene duplicates, known as retrocopies, as models for the study of new gene origination. Here we combine mammalian transcriptomic and epigenomic data to unveil the processes underlying the evolution of stripped-down retrocopies into complex new genes. We show that although some robustly expressed retrocopies are transcribed from preexisting promoters, most evolved new promoters from scratch or recruited proto-promoters in their genomic vicinity. In particular, many retrocopy promoters emerged from ancestral enhancers (or bivalent regulatory elements) or are located in CpG islands not associated with other genes. We detected 88-280 selectively preserved retrocopies per mammalian species, illustrating that these mechanisms facilitated the birth of many functional retrogenes during mammalian evolution. The regulatory evolution of originally monoexonic retrocopies was frequently accompanied by exon gain, which facilitated co-option of distant promoters and allowed expression of alternative isoforms. While young retrogenes are often initially expressed in the testis, increased regulatory and structural complexities allowed retrogenes to functionally diversify and evolve somatic organ functions, sometimes as complex as those of their parents. Thus, some retrogenes evolved the capacity to temporarily substitute for their parents during the process of male meiotic X inactivation, while others rendered parental functions superfluous, allowing for parental gene loss. Overall, our reconstruction of the "life history" of mammalian retrogenes highlights retroposition as a general model for understanding new gene birth and functional evolution. PMID:26728716

  4. The life history of retrocopies illuminates the evolution of new mammalian genes

    PubMed Central

    Carelli, Francesco Nicola; Hayakawa, Takashi; Go, Yasuhiro; Imai, Hiroo; Warnefors, Maria; Kaessmann, Henrik

    2016-01-01

    New genes contribute substantially to adaptive evolutionary innovation, but the functional evolution of new mammalian genes has been little explored at a broad scale. Previous work established mRNA-derived gene duplicates, known as retrocopies, as models for the study of new gene origination. Here we combine mammalian transcriptomic and epigenomic data to unveil the processes underlying the evolution of stripped-down retrocopies into complex new genes. We show that although some robustly expressed retrocopies are transcribed from preexisting promoters, most evolved new promoters from scratch or recruited proto-promoters in their genomic vicinity. In particular, many retrocopy promoters emerged from ancestral enhancers (or bivalent regulatory elements) or are located in CpG islands not associated with other genes. We detected 88–280 selectively preserved retrocopies per mammalian species, illustrating that these mechanisms facilitated the birth of many functional retrogenes during mammalian evolution. The regulatory evolution of originally monoexonic retrocopies was frequently accompanied by exon gain, which facilitated co-option of distant promoters and allowed expression of alternative isoforms. While young retrogenes are often initially expressed in the testis, increased regulatory and structural complexities allowed retrogenes to functionally diversify and evolve somatic organ functions, sometimes as complex as those of their parents. Thus, some retrogenes evolved the capacity to temporarily substitute for their parents during the process of male meiotic X inactivation, while others rendered parental functions superfluous, allowing for parental gene loss. Overall, our reconstruction of the “life history” of mammalian retrogenes highlights retroposition as a general model for understanding new gene birth and functional evolution. PMID:26728716

  5. Buds from the tree of life: linking compartmentalized prokaryotes and eukaryotes by a non-hyperthermophile common ancestor and implications for understanding Archaean microbial communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fuerst, John A.; Nisbet, Euan G.

    2004-07-01

    The origin of the first nucleated eukaryote and the nature of the last common ancestor of the three domains of life are major questions in the evolutionary biology of cellular life on Earth, the solutions to which may be linked. Planctomycetes are unusual compartmentalized bacteria that include a membrane-bounded nucleoid. The possibility that they constitute a very deep branch of the domain Bacteria suggests a model for the evolution of the three domains of life from a last common ancestor that was a mesophile or moderate thermophile with a compartmentalized eukaryote-like cell plan. Planctomycetes and some members of the domain Archaea may have retained cell compartmentalization present in an original eukaryote-like last common ancestor of the three domains of life. The implications of this model for possible habitats of the early evolution of domains of cellular life and for interpretation of geological evidence relating to those habitats and the early emergence of life are examined here.

  6. Helium Ion Microscopy Visualizes Lipid Nanodomains in Mammalian Cells.

    PubMed

    Schürmann, Matthias; Frese, Natalie; Beyer, André; Heimann, Peter; Widera, Darius; Mönkemöller, Viola; Huser, Thomas; Kaltschmidt, Barbara; Kaltschmidt, Christian; Gölzhäuser, Armin

    2015-11-18

    Cell membranes are composed of 2D bilayers of amphipathic lipids, which allow a lateral movement of the respective membrane components. These components are arranged in an inhomogeneous manner as transient micro- and nanodomains, which are believed to be crucially involved in the regulation of signal transduction pathways in mammalian cells. Because of their small size (diameter 10-200 nm), membrane nanodomains cannot be directly imaged using conventional light microscopy. Here, direct visualization of cell membrane nanodomains by helium ion microscopy (HIM) is presented. It is shown that HIM is capable to image biological specimens without any conductive coating and that HIM images clearly allow the identification of nanodomains in the ultrastructure of membranes with 1.5 nm resolution. The shape of these nanodomains is preserved by fixation of the surrounding unsaturated fatty acids while saturated fatty acids inside the nanodomains are selectively removed. Atomic force microscopy, fluorescence microscopy, 3D structured illumination microscopy, and direct stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy provide additional evidence that the structures in the HIM images of cell membranes originate from membrane nanodomains. The nanodomains observed by HIM have an average diameter of 20 nm and are densely arranged with a minimal nearest neighbor distance of ≈ 15 nm.

  7. Helium Ion Microscopy Visualizes Lipid Nanodomains in Mammalian Cells.

    PubMed

    Schürmann, Matthias; Frese, Natalie; Beyer, André; Heimann, Peter; Widera, Darius; Mönkemöller, Viola; Huser, Thomas; Kaltschmidt, Barbara; Kaltschmidt, Christian; Gölzhäuser, Armin

    2015-11-18

    Cell membranes are composed of 2D bilayers of amphipathic lipids, which allow a lateral movement of the respective membrane components. These components are arranged in an inhomogeneous manner as transient micro- and nanodomains, which are believed to be crucially involved in the regulation of signal transduction pathways in mammalian cells. Because of their small size (diameter 10-200 nm), membrane nanodomains cannot be directly imaged using conventional light microscopy. Here, direct visualization of cell membrane nanodomains by helium ion microscopy (HIM) is presented. It is shown that HIM is capable to image biological specimens without any conductive coating and that HIM images clearly allow the identification of nanodomains in the ultrastructure of membranes with 1.5 nm resolution. The shape of these nanodomains is preserved by fixation of the surrounding unsaturated fatty acids while saturated fatty acids inside the nanodomains are selectively removed. Atomic force microscopy, fluorescence microscopy, 3D structured illumination microscopy, and direct stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy provide additional evidence that the structures in the HIM images of cell membranes originate from membrane nanodomains. The nanodomains observed by HIM have an average diameter of 20 nm and are densely arranged with a minimal nearest neighbor distance of ≈ 15 nm. PMID:26436577

  8. Firefly luciferase gene: structure and expression in mammalian cells.

    PubMed Central

    de Wet, J R; Wood, K V; DeLuca, M; Helinski, D R; Subramani, S

    1987-01-01

    The nucleotide sequence of the luciferase gene from the firefly Photinus pyralis was determined from the analysis of cDNA and genomic clones. The gene contains six introns, all less than 60 bases in length. The 5' end of the luciferase mRNA was determined by both S1 nuclease analysis and primer extension. Although the luciferase cDNA clone lacked the six N-terminal codons of the open reading frame, we were able to reconstruct the equivalent of a full-length cDNA using the genomic clone as a source of the missing 5' sequence. The full-length, intronless luciferase gene was inserted into mammalian expression vectors and introduced into monkey (CV-1) cells in which enzymatically active firefly luciferase was transiently expressed. In addition, cell lines stably expressing firefly luciferase were isolated. Deleting a portion of the 5'-untranslated region of the luciferase gene removed an upstream initiation (AUG) codon and resulted in a twofold increase in the level of luciferase expression. The ability of the full-length luciferase gene to activate cryptic or enhancerless promoters was also greatly reduced or eliminated by this 5' deletion. Assaying the expression of luciferase provides a rapid and inexpensive method for monitoring promoter activity. Depending on the instrumentation employed to detect luciferase activity, we estimate this assay to be from 30- to 1,000-fold more sensitive than assaying chloramphenicol acetyltransferase expression. Images PMID:3821727

  9. Head and neck reconstruction

    PubMed Central

    Yadav, Prabha

    2013-01-01

    Whatever is excisable, is reconstructable! “You excise, we will reconstruct” are the confident words of reconstructive surgeons today. Reconstruction with multiple flaps has become routine. Radial artery (FRAF), Antero lateral thigh (ALT) and Fibula osteo cutaneous flap (FFOCF) are three most popular free flaps which can reconstruct any defect with excellent asthetics and performance. Radial Artery provides thin, pliable innervated skin; ALT large amount of skin & bulk; and FFOCF strong 22 to 25 centimetres of bone and reliable skin paddle. Free flap survival has gone to 98% in most of the renouned institutes and is an established escalator in management of defects. PMID:24501464

  10. Flexor pulley reconstruction.

    PubMed

    Dy, Christopher J; Daluiski, Aaron

    2013-05-01

    Flexor pulley reconstruction is a challenging surgery. Injuries often occur after traumatic lacerations or forceful extension applied to an acutely flexed finger. Surgical treatment is reserved for patients with multiple closed pulley ruptures, persistent pain, or dysfunction after attempted nonoperative management of a single pulley rupture, or during concurrent or staged flexor tendon repair or reconstruction. If the pulley cannot be repaired primarily, pulley reconstruction can be performed using graft woven into remnant pulley rim or looping graft around the phalanx. Regardless of the reconstructive technique, the surgeon should emulate the length, tension, and glide of the native pulley. PMID:23660059

  11. DNA replication and transcription in mammalian mitochondria.

    PubMed

    Falkenberg, Maria; Larsson, Nils-Göran; Gustafsson, Claes M

    2007-01-01

    The mitochondrion was originally a free-living prokaryotic organism, which explains the presence of a compact mammalian mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in contemporary mammalian cells. The genome encodes for key subunits of the electron transport chain and RNA components needed for mitochondrial translation. Nuclear genes encode the enzyme systems responsible for mtDNA replication and transcription. Several of the key components of these systems are related to proteins replicating and transcribing DNA in bacteriophages. This observation has led to the proposition that some genes required for DNA replication and transcription were acquired together from a phage early in the evolution of the eukaryotic cell, already at the time of the mitochondrial endosymbiosis. Recent years have seen a rapid development in our molecular understanding of these machineries, but many aspects still remain unknown.

  12. Synthesis of phycocyanobilin in mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Müller, Konrad; Engesser, Raphael; Timmer, Jens; Nagy, Ferenc; Zurbriggen, Matias D; Weber, Wilfried

    2013-10-11

    The chromophore 3-Z phycocyanobilin (PCB, (2R,3Z)-8,12-bis(2-carboxyethyl)-18-ethyl-3-ethylidene-2,7,13,17-tetramethyl-2,3-dihydrobilin-1,19(21H,24H)-dione) mediates red and far-red light perception in natural and synthetic biological systems. Here we describe a PCB synthesis strategy in mammalian cells. We optimize the production by co-localizing the biocatalysts to the substrate source, by coordinating the availability of the biocatalysts and by reducing the degradation of the reaction product. We show that the resulting PCB levels of 2 μM are sufficient to sustain the functionality of red light-responsive optogenetic tools suitable for the light-inducible control of gene expression in mammalian cells. PMID:23963496

  13. Freezing mammalian cells for production of biopharmaceuticals.

    PubMed

    Seth, Gargi

    2012-03-01

    Cryopreservation techniques utilize very low temperatures to preserve the structure and function of living cells. Various strategies have been developed for freezing mammalian cells of biological and medical significance. This paper highlights the importance and application of cryopreservation for recombinant mammalian cells used in the biopharmaceutical industry to produce high-value protein therapeutics. It is a primer that aims to give insight into the basic principles of cell freezing for the benefit of biopharmaceutical researchers with limited or no prior experience in cryobiology. For the more familiar researchers, key cell banking parameters such as the cell density and hold conditions have been reviewed to possibly help optimize their specific cell freezing protocols. It is important to understand the mechanisms underlying the freezing of complex and sensitive cellular entities as we implement best practices around the techniques and strategies used for cryopreservation. PMID:22226818

  14. Mammalian lipoxygenases and their biological relevance

    PubMed Central

    Kuhn, Hartmut; Banthiya, Swathi; van Leyen, Klaus

    2015-01-01

    Lipoxygenases (LOXs) form a heterogeneous class of lipid peroxidizing enzymes, which have been implicated in cell proliferation and differentiation but also in the pathogenesis of various diseases with major public health relevance. As other fatty acid dioxygenases LOX oxidize polyunsaturated fatty acids to their corresponding hydroperoxy derivatives, which are further transformed to bioactive lipid mediators (eicosanoids and related substances). On the other hand, lipoxygenases are key players in regulation of the cellular redox homeostasis, which is an important element in gene expression regulation. Although the first mammalian lipoxygenases were discovered 40 years ago and although the enzymes have been well characterized with respect to their structural and functional properties the biological roles of the different lipoxygenase isoforms are not completely understood. This review is aimed at summarizing the current knowledge on the physiological roles of different mammalian LOX-isoforms and their patho-physiological function in inflammatory, metabolic, hyperproliferative, neurodegenerative and infectious disorders. PMID:25316652

  15. Mammalian Sirtuins: Biological Insights and Disease Relevance

    PubMed Central

    Haigis, Marcia C.; Sinclair, David A.

    2010-01-01

    Aging is accompanied by a decline in the healthy function of multiple organ systems, leading to increased incidence and mortality from diseases such as type II diabetes mellitus, neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Historically, researchers have focused on investigating individual pathways in isolated organs as a strategy to identify the root cause of a disease, with hopes of designing better drugs. Studies of aging in yeast led to the discovery of a family of conserved enzymes known as the sirtuins, which affect multiple pathways that increase the life span and the overall health of organisms. Since the discovery of the first known mammalian sirtuin, SIRT1, 10 years ago, there have been major advances in our understanding of the enzymology of sirtuins, their regulation, and their ability to broadly improve mammalian physiology and health span. This review summarizes and discusses the advances of the past decade and the challenges that will confront the field in the coming years. PMID:20078221

  16. Mammalian Sperm Motility: Observation and Theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaffney, E. A.; Gadêlha, H.; Smith, D. J.; Blake, J. R.; Kirkman-Brown, J. C.

    2011-01-01

    Mammalian spermatozoa motility is a subject of growing importance because of rising human infertility and the possibility of improving animal breeding. We highlight opportunities for fluid and continuum dynamics to provide novel insights concerning the mechanics of these specialized cells, especially during their remarkable journey to the egg. The biological structure of the motile sperm appendage, the flagellum, is described and placed in the context of the mechanics underlying the migration of mammalian sperm through the numerous environments of the female reproductive tract. This process demands certain specific changes to flagellar movement and motility for which further mechanical insight would be valuable, although this requires improved modeling capabilities, particularly to increase our understanding of sperm progression in vivo. We summarize current theoretical studies, highlighting the synergistic combination of imaging and theory in exploring sperm motility, and discuss the challenges for future observational and theoretical studies in understanding the underlying mechanics.

  17. Cell-surface remodelling during mammalian erythropoiesis.

    PubMed

    Wraith, D C; Chesterton, C J

    1982-10-15

    Current evidence suggests that the major cell-surface modification occurring during mammalian erythropoiesis could be generated by two separate mechanisms: either selective loss of membrane proteins during enucleation or endocytosis at the subsequent reticulocyte and erythrocyte stages. The former idea was tested by collecting developing rabbit erythroid cells before and after the enucleation step and comparing their cell-surface protein composition via radiolabelling and electrophoresis. Few changes were observed. Our data thus lend support to the endocytosis mechanism.

  18. Basic techniques in mammalian cell tissue culture.

    PubMed

    Phelan, Katy; May, Kristin M

    2015-03-02

    Cultured mammalian cells are used extensively in cell biology studies. It requires a number of special skills in order to be able to preserve the structure, function, behavior, and biology of the cells in culture. This unit describes the basic skills required to maintain and preserve cell cultures: maintaining aseptic technique, preparing media with the appropriate characteristics, passaging, freezing and storage, recovering frozen stocks, and counting viable cells.

  19. [Telomere Recombination in Normal Mammalian Cells].

    PubMed

    Zhdanova, N S; Rubtsov, N B

    2016-01-01

    Two mechanisms of telomere length maintenance are known to date. The first includes the use of a special enzymatic telomerase complex to solve the problems that arise during the replication of linear DNA in a normal diploid and part of tumor cells. Alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT), which is based on the homologous recombination of telomere DNA, represents the second mechanism. Until recently, ALT was assumed to be expressed only in 15-20% of tumors lacking active telomerase and, together with telomerase reactivation represented one of two possibilities to overcome the replicative senescence observed in somatic mammalian cells due to aging or during cell culturing in vitro. Previously described sporadic cases of combinations of the two mechanisms of telomere length maintenance in several cell lines in vitro were attributed to the experimental design rather than to a real biological phenomenon, since active cellular division without active telomerase was considered to be the "gold standard" of ALT. The present review describes the morphological and functional reorganizations of mammalian telomeres observed with ALT activation, as well as recently observed,and well-documented cases of combinations between ALT-like and telomerase-dependent mechanisms in mammalian cells. The possible role of telomere recombination in telomerase-dependent cells is discussed.

  20. Inkjet printing of viable mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Xu, Tao; Jin, Joyce; Gregory, Cassie; Hickman, J J James J; Boland, Thomas

    2005-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to explore the use of a commercial thermal printer to deposit Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) and embryonic motoneuron cells into pre-defined patterns. These experiments were undertaken to verify the biocompatibility of thermal inkjet printing of mammalian cells and the ability to assemble them into viable constructs. Using a modified Hewlett Packard (HP) 550C computer printer and an HP 51626a ink cartridge, CHO cells and rat embryonic motoneurons were suspended separately in a concentrated phosphate buffered saline solution (3 x). The cells were subsequently printed as a kind of "ink" onto several "bio-papers" made from soy agar and collagen gel. The appearance of the CHO cells and motoneurons on the bio-papers indicated an healthy cell morphology. Furthermore, the analyses of the CHO cell viability showed that less than 8% of the cells were lysed during printing. These data indicate that mammalian cells can be effectively delivered by a modified thermal inkjet printer onto biological substrates and that they retain their ability to function. The computer-aided inkjet printing of viable mammalian cells holds potential for creating living tissue analogs, and may eventually lead to the construction of engineered human organs.

  1. Plate tectonics of virus shell assembly and reorganization in phage φ8, a distant relative of mammalian reoviruses.

    PubMed

    El Omari, Kamel; Sutton, Geoff; Ravantti, Janne J; Zhang, Hanwen; Walter, Thomas S; Grimes, Jonathan M; Bamford, Dennis H; Stuart, David I; Mancini, Erika J

    2013-08-01

    The hallmark of a virus is its capsid, which harbors the viral genome and is formed from protein subunits, which assemble following precise geometric rules. dsRNA viruses use an unusual protein multiplicity (120 copies) to form their closed capsids. We have determined the atomic structure of the capsid protein (P1) from the dsRNA cystovirus Φ8. In the crystal P1 forms pentamers, very similar in shape to facets of empty procapsids, suggesting an unexpected assembly pathway that proceeds via a pentameric intermediate. Unlike the elongated proteins used by dsRNA mammalian reoviruses, P1 has a compact trapezoid-like shape and a distinct arrangement in the shell, with two near-identical conformers in nonequivalent structural environments. Nevertheless, structural similarity with the analogous protein from the mammalian viruses suggests a common ancestor. The unusual shape of the molecule may facilitate dramatic capsid expansion during phage maturation, allowing P1 to switch interaction interfaces to provide capsid plasticity. PMID:23891291

  2. Plate tectonics of virus shell assembly and reorganization in phage φ8, a distant relative of mammalian reoviruses.

    PubMed

    El Omari, Kamel; Sutton, Geoff; Ravantti, Janne J; Zhang, Hanwen; Walter, Thomas S; Grimes, Jonathan M; Bamford, Dennis H; Stuart, David I; Mancini, Erika J

    2013-08-01

    The hallmark of a virus is its capsid, which harbors the viral genome and is formed from protein subunits, which assemble following precise geometric rules. dsRNA viruses use an unusual protein multiplicity (120 copies) to form their closed capsids. We have determined the atomic structure of the capsid protein (P1) from the dsRNA cystovirus Φ8. In the crystal P1 forms pentamers, very similar in shape to facets of empty procapsids, suggesting an unexpected assembly pathway that proceeds via a pentameric intermediate. Unlike the elongated proteins used by dsRNA mammalian reoviruses, P1 has a compact trapezoid-like shape and a distinct arrangement in the shell, with two near-identical conformers in nonequivalent structural environments. Nevertheless, structural similarity with the analogous protein from the mammalian viruses suggests a common ancestor. The unusual shape of the molecule may facilitate dramatic capsid expansion during phage maturation, allowing P1 to switch interaction interfaces to provide capsid plasticity.

  3. A New Exon Derived from a Mammalian Apparent LTR Retrotransposon of the SUPT16H Gene

    PubMed Central

    Bae, Min-In; Kim, Yun-Ji; Lee, Ja-Rang; Jung, Yi-Deun; Kim, Heui-Soo

    2013-01-01

    The SUPT16H gene known as FACTP140 is required for the transcription of other genes. For transcription, genes need to be complexed with accessory factors, including transcription factors and RNA polymerase II. One such factor, FACT, interacts with histones H2A/H2B for nucleosome disassembly and transcription elongation. The SUPT16H gene has a transcript and many expressed sequence tags (ESTs). We were especially interested in an MaLR-derived transcript (EST, BX333035) that included a new exon introduced by a transposable element, a mammalian apparent LTR retrotransposon (MaLR). The MaLR was detected ranging from humans to galagos, indicating the MaLR in the SUPT16H gene is integrated into the primate ancestor genome. A new exon was created by alternative donor site provided by the MaLR. The original transcript and the MaLR-derived transcript were expressed in various human, rhesus monkey, and other primate tissues. Additionally, we identified a new alternative transcript that included the MaLR, but there was no significant difference in the expression of the original transcript and the MaLR-derived transcript. Interestingly, the new alternative transcript and the MaLR-derived transcript had the MaLR sequence in the new exon, but they had different structures by adopting different 3′ splice sites. From this study, we verified transposable elements that contributed to transcriptome diversity. PMID:23671841

  4. Education for Reconstruction.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phillips, David; And Others

    This report describes the main questions that various international agencies must address in order to reconstruct education in countries that have experienced crisis. "Crisis" is defined as war, natural disaster, and extreme political and economic upheaval. Many of the problems of educational reconstruction with which the Allies contended in…

  5. Reconstruction of ancestral genomic sequences using likelihood.

    PubMed

    Elias, Isaac; Tuller, Tamir

    2007-03-01

    A challenging task in computational biology is the reconstruction of genomic sequences of extinct ancestors, given the phylogenetic tree and the sequences at the leafs. This task is best solved by calculating the most likely estimate of the ancestral sequences, along with the most likely edge lengths. We deal with this problem and also the variant in which the phylogenetic tree in addition to the ancestral sequences need to be estimated. The latter problem is known to be NP-hard, while the computational complexity of the former is unknown. Currently, all algorithms for solving these problems are heuristics without performance guarantees. The biological importance of these problems calls for developing better algorithms with guarantees of finding either optimal or approximate solutions. We develop approximation, fix parameter tractable (FPT), and fast heuristic algorithms for two variants of the problem; when the phylogenetic tree is known and when it is unknown. The approximation algorithm guarantees a solution with a log-likelihood ratio of 2 relative to the optimal solution. The FPT has a running time which is polynomial in the length of the sequences and exponential in the number of taxa. This makes it useful for calculating the optimal solution for small trees. Moreover, we combine the approximation algorithm and the FPT into an algorithm with arbitrary good approximation guarantee (PTAS). We tested our algorithms on both synthetic and biological data. In particular, we used the FPT for computing the most likely ancestral mitochondrial genomes of hominidae (the great apes), thereby answering an interesting biological question. Moreover, we show how the approximation algorithms find good solutions for reconstructing the ancestral genomes for a set of lentiviruses (relatives of HIV). Supplementary material of this work is available at www.nada.kth.se/~isaac/publications/aml/aml.html.

  6. Posterolateral knee reconstruction.

    PubMed

    Djian, P

    2015-02-01

    Injury to the cruciate ligaments of the knee commonly occurs in association with posterolateral instability, which can cause severe functional disability including varus, posterior translation, and external rotational instability. Failure to diagnose and treat an injury of the posterolateral corner in a patient who has a tear of the cruciate ligament can also result in the failure of the reconstructed cruciate ligament. There seems to be a consensus of opinion that injury to the posterolateral corner, whether isolated or combined, is best treated by reconstructing the posterolateral corner along with the coexisting cruciate ligament injury, if combined. Commonly proposed methods of reconstructing the posterolateral corner have focused on the reconstruction of the popliteus, the popliteofibular ligament, and the lateral collateral ligament. The aim of this conference is to describe the posterolateral corner reconstruction technique and to provide an algorithm of treatment. PMID:25596981

  7. Effects of Global Warming on Ancient Mammalian Communities and Their Environments

    PubMed Central

    DeSantis, Larisa R. G.; Feranec, Robert S.; MacFadden, Bruce J.

    2009-01-01

    Background Current global warming affects the composition and dynamics of mammalian communities and can increase extinction risk; however, long-term effects of warming on mammals are less understood. Dietary reconstructions inferred from stable isotopes of fossil herbivorous mammalian tooth enamel document environmental and climatic changes in ancient ecosystems, including C3/C4 transitions and relative seasonality. Methodology/Principal Findings Here, we use stable carbon and oxygen isotopes preserved in fossil teeth to document the magnitude of mammalian dietary shifts and ancient floral change during geologically documented glacial and interglacial periods during the Pliocene (∼1.9 million years ago) and Pleistocene (∼1.3 million years ago) in Florida. Stable isotope data demonstrate increased aridity, increased C4 grass consumption, inter-faunal dietary partitioning, increased isotopic niche breadth of mixed feeders, niche partitioning of phylogenetically similar taxa, and differences in relative seasonality with warming. Conclusion/Significance Our data show that global warming resulted in dramatic vegetation and dietary changes even at lower latitudes (∼28°N). Our results also question the use of models that predict the long term decline and extinction of species based on the assumption that niches are conserved over time. These findings have immediate relevance to clarifying possible biotic responses to current global warming in modern ecosystems. PMID:19492043

  8. Particle Image Velocimetry Measurements in Anatomically-Accurate Models of the Mammalian Nasal Cavity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rumple, C.; Richter, J.; Craven, B. A.; Krane, M.

    2012-11-01

    A summary of the research being carried out by our multidisciplinary team to better understand the form and function of the nose in different mammalian species that include humans, carnivores, ungulates, rodents, and marine animals will be presented. The mammalian nose houses a convoluted airway labyrinth, where two hallmark features of mammals occur, endothermy and olfaction. Because of the complexity of the nasal cavity, the anatomy and function of these upper airways remain poorly understood in most mammals. However, recent advances in high-resolution medical imaging, computational modeling, and experimental flow measurement techniques are now permitting the study of airflow and respiratory and olfactory transport phenomena in anatomically-accurate reconstructions of the nasal cavity. Here, we focus on efforts to manufacture transparent, anatomically-accurate models for stereo particle image velocimetry (SPIV) measurements of nasal airflow. Challenges in the design and manufacture of index-matched anatomical models are addressed and preliminary SPIV measurements are presented. Such measurements will constitute a validation database for concurrent computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations of mammalian respiration and olfaction. Supported by the National Science Foundation.

  9. Genome sequence and annotation of Trichoderma parareesei, the ancestor of the cellulase producer Trichoderma reesei

    SciTech Connect

    Yang, Dongqing; Pomraning, Kyle; Kopchinskiy, Alexey; Karimi, Aghcheh Razieh; Atanasova, Lea; Chenthamara, Komal; Baker, Scott E.; Zhang, Ruifu; Shen, Qirong; Freitag, Michael; Kubicek, Christian P.; Druzhinina, Irina S.

    2015-08-13

    The filamentous fungus Trichoderma parareesei is the asexually reproducing ancestor of Trichoderma reesei, the holomorphic industrial producer of cellulase and hemicellulase. Here, we present the genome sequence of the T. parareesei type strain CBS 125925, which contains genes for 9,318 proteins.

  10. Genetic diversity in morphological characters and phenolic acids content resulting from an interspecific cross between eggplant (Solanum melongena) and its wild ancestor (S. incanum)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Solanum incanum, the wild ancestor of eggplant (S. melongena) has been considered as a source of variation for high phenolic acids content in breeding programs aimed at improving the functional quality of eggplant. We have evaluated the morphological and phenolic acids content in an interspecific fa...

  11. Phylogenomic and biogeographic reconstruction of the Trichinella complex.

    PubMed

    Korhonen, Pasi K; Pozio, Edoardo; La Rosa, Giuseppe; Chang, Bill C H; Koehler, Anson V; Hoberg, Eric P; Boag, Peter R; Tan, Patrick; Jex, Aaron R; Hofmann, Andreas; Sternberg, Paul W; Young, Neil D; Gasser, Robin B

    2016-01-01

    Trichinellosis is a globally important food-borne parasitic disease of humans caused by roundworms of the Trichinella complex. Extensive biological diversity is reflected in substantial ecological and genetic variability within and among Trichinella taxa, and major controversy surrounds the systematics of this complex. Here we report the sequencing and assembly of 16 draft genomes representing all 12 recognized Trichinella species and genotypes, define protein-coding gene sets and assess genetic differences among these taxa. Using thousands of shared single-copy orthologous gene sequences, we fully reconstruct, for the first time, a phylogeny and biogeography for the Trichinella complex, and show that encapsulated and non-encapsulated Trichinella taxa diverged from their most recent common ancestor ∼21 million years ago (mya), with taxon diversifications commencing ∼10-7 mya. PMID:26830005

  12. Phylogenomic and biogeographic reconstruction of the Trichinella complex

    PubMed Central

    Korhonen, Pasi K.; Pozio, Edoardo; La Rosa, Giuseppe; Chang, Bill C. H.; Koehler, Anson V.; Hoberg, Eric P.; Boag, Peter R.; Tan, Patrick; Jex, Aaron R.; Hofmann, Andreas; Sternberg, Paul W.; Young, Neil D.; Gasser, Robin B.

    2016-01-01

    Trichinellosis is a globally important food-borne parasitic disease of humans caused by roundworms of the Trichinella complex. Extensive biological diversity is reflected in substantial ecological and genetic variability within and among Trichinella taxa, and major controversy surrounds the systematics of this complex. Here we report the sequencing and assembly of 16 draft genomes representing all 12 recognized Trichinella species and genotypes, define protein-coding gene sets and assess genetic differences among these taxa. Using thousands of shared single-copy orthologous gene sequences, we fully reconstruct, for the first time, a phylogeny and biogeography for the Trichinella complex, and show that encapsulated and non-encapsulated Trichinella taxa diverged from their most recent common ancestor ∼21 million years ago (mya), with taxon diversifications commencing ∼10−7 mya. PMID:26830005

  13. Studies in Historical Replication in Psychology VII: The Relative Utility of ``Ancestor Analysis'' from Scientific and Educational Vantages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ranney, Michael Andrew

    2008-05-01

    This article discusses, from various vantages, Ryan Tweney’s (this issue) pedagogical technique of employing historical replications of psychological experiments with graduate students in psychology. A prima facie perspective suggests great promise for this sort of academic “ancestor analysis,” particularly given the enthusiasm and skill represented in the activities that culminated in the replicators’ articles. It is suggested that such activities might be enhanced by requiring a contextualization that makes contact with more modern psychological research—particularly regarding expositions of the replications. From a scientific/cognitive methods perspective, the original experimenters’ inexplicit, ambiguous, descriptions provide both challenges and opportunities for students seeking to improve their understandings of their field. Three practical questions are posed herein regarding the general utility of this—or any—proposed instructional intervention. Ultimately, determining and integrating the diverse objectives that essential stakeholders have in graduate psychological training represent critical prerequisites in comprehensively assessing the relative advantages of such historical replications with respect to alternative experiences.

  14. Inheritance and diversification of symbiotic trichonymphid flagellates from a common ancestor of termites and the cockroach Cryptocercus.

    PubMed

    Ohkuma, Moriya; Noda, Satoko; Hongoh, Yuichi; Nalepa, Christine A; Inoue, Tetsushi

    2009-01-22

    Cryptocercus cockroaches and lower termites harbour obligate, diverse and unique symbiotic cellulolytic flagellates in their hindgut that are considered critical in the development of social behaviour in their hosts. However, there has been controversy concerning the origin of these symbiotic flagellates. Here, molecular sequences encoding small subunit rRNA and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase were identified in the symbiotic flagellates of the order Trichonymphida (phylum Parabasalia) in the gut of Cryptocercus punctulatus and compared phylogenetically to the corresponding species in termites. In each of the monophyletic lineages that represent family-level groups in Trichonymphida, the symbionts of Cryptocercus were robustly sister to those of termites. Together with the recent evidence for the sister-group relationship of the host insects, this first comprehensive study comparing symbiont molecular phylogeny strongly suggests that a set of symbiotic flagellates representative of extant diversity was already established in an ancestor common to Cryptocercus and termites, was vertically transmitted to their offspring, and subsequently became diversified to distinct levels, depending on both the host and the symbiont lineages.

  15. The cult of amphioxus in German Darwinism; or, our gelatinous ancestors in Naples' blue and balmy bay.

    PubMed

    Hopwood, Nick

    2015-01-01

    Biologists having rediscovered amphioxus, also known as the lancelet or Branchiostoma, it is time to reassess its place in early Darwinist debates over vertebrate origins. While the advent of the ascidian-amphioxus theory and challenges from various competitors have been, documented, this article offers a richer account of the public appeal of amphioxus as a primitive ancestor. The focus is on how the 'German Darwin' Ernst Haeckel persuaded general magazine and newspaper readers to revere this "flesh of our flesh and blood of our blood", and especially on Das neue Laienbrevier des Haeckelismus (The new lay breviary of Haeckelism) by Moritz Reymond with cartoons by Fritz Steub. From the late 1870s these successful little books of verse introduced the Neapolitan discoveries that made the animal's name and satirized Haeckel's rise as high priest of its cult. One song is reproduced and translated here, with a contemporary "imitation" by the Canadian palaeontologist Edward John Chapman, and extracts from others. Predating the American "It's a long way from amphioxus" by decades, these rhymes dramatize neglected 'species politics' of Darwinism and highlight the roles of humour in negotiating evolution.

  16. RSL Class I Genes Controlled the Development of Epidermal Structures in the Common Ancestor of Land Plants.

    PubMed

    Proust, Hélène; Honkanen, Suvi; Jones, Victor A S; Morieri, Giulia; Prescott, Helen; Kelly, Steve; Ishizaki, Kimitsune; Kohchi, Takayuki; Dolan, Liam

    2016-01-11

    The colonization of the land by plants, sometime before 470 million years ago, was accompanied by the evolution tissue systems [1-3]. Specialized structures with diverse functions-from nutrient acquisition to reproduction-derived from single cells in the outermost layer (epidermis) were important sources of morphological innovation at this time [2, 4, 5]. In extant plants, these structures may be unicellular extensions, such as root hairs or rhizoids [6-9], or multicellular structures, such as asexual propagules or secretory hairs (papillae) [10-12]. Here, we show that a ROOTHAIR DEFECTIVE SIX-LIKE (RSL) class I basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor positively regulates the development of the unicellular and multicellular structures that develop from individual cells that expand out of the epidermal plane of the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha; mutants that lack MpRSL1 function do not develop rhizoids, slime papillae, mucilage papillae, or gemmae. Furthermore, we discovered that RSL class I genes are also required for the development of multicellular axillary hairs on the gametophyte of the moss Physcomitrella patens. Because class I RSL proteins also control the development of rhizoids in mosses and root hairs in angiosperms [13, 14], these data demonstrate that the function of RSL class I genes was to control the development of structures derived from single epidermal cells in the common ancestor of the land plants. Class I RSL genes therefore controlled the generation of adaptive morphological diversity as plants colonized the land from the water. PMID:26725198

  17. Sulfated polysaccharides from marine sponges (Porifera): an ancestor cell-cell adhesion event based on the carbohydrate-carbohydrate interaction.

    PubMed

    Vilanova, Eduardo; Coutinho, Cristiano C; Mourão, Paulo A S

    2009-08-01

    Marine sponges (Porifera) are ancient and simple eumetazoans. They constitute key organisms in the evolution from unicellular to multicellular animals. We now demonstrated that pure sulfated polysaccharides from marine sponges are responsible for the species-specific cell-cell interaction in these invertebrates. This conclusion was based on the following observations: (1) each species of marine sponge has a single population of sulfated polysaccharide, which differ among the species in their sugar composition and sulfate content; (2) sulfated polysaccharides from sponge interact with each other in a species-specific way, as indicated by an affinity chromatography assay, and this interaction requires calcium; (3) homologous, but not heterologous, sulfated polysaccharide inhibits aggregation of dissociated sponge cells; (4) we also observed a parallel between synthesis of the sulfated polysaccharide and formation of large aggregates of sponge cells, known as primmorphs. Once aggregation reached a plateau, the demand for the de novo synthesis of sulfated polysaccharides ceased. Heparin can mimic the homologous sulfated polysaccharide on the in vitro interaction and also as an inhibitor of aggregation of the dissociated sponge cells. However, this observation is not relevant for the biology of the sponge since heparin is not found in the invertebrate. In conclusion, marine sponges display an ancestor event of cell-cell adhesion, based on the calcium-dependent carbohydrate-carbohydrate interaction.

  18. Formal Comment to Pettengill: The Time to Most Recent Common Ancestor Does Not (Usually) Approximate the Date of Divergence.

    PubMed

    Achtman, Mark; Zhou, Zhemin; Didelot, Xavier

    2015-01-01

    In 2013 Zhou et al. concluded that Salmonella enterica serovar Agona represents a genetically monomorphic lineage of recent ancestry, whose most recent common ancestor existed in 1932, or earlier. The Abstract stated 'Agona consists of three lineages with minimal mutational diversity: only 846 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have accumulated in the non-repetitive, core genome since Agona evolved in 1932 and subsequently underwent a major population expansion in the 1960s.' These conclusions have now been criticized by Pettengill, who claims that the evolutionary models used to date Agona may not have been appropriate, the dating estimates were inaccurate, and the age of emergence of Agona should have been qualified by an upper limit reflecting the date of its divergence from an outgroup, serovar Soerenga. We dispute these claims. Firstly, Pettengill's analysis of Agona is not justifiable on technical grounds. Secondly, an upper limit for divergence from an outgroup would only be meaningful if the outgroup were closely related to Agona, but close relatives of Agona are yet to be identified. Thirdly, it is not possible to reliably date the time of divergence between Agona and Soerenga. We conclude that Pettengill's criticism is comparable to a tempest in a teapot. PMID:26274924

  19. Genealogical correspondence of a forebrain centre implies an executive brain in the protostome-deuterostome bilaterian ancestor.

    PubMed

    Wolff, Gabriella H; Strausfeld, Nicholas J

    2016-01-01

    Orthologous genes involved in the formation of proteins associated with memory acquisition are similarly expressed in forebrain centres that exhibit similar cognitive properties. These proteins include cAMP-dependent protein kinase A catalytic subunit (PKA-Cα) and phosphorylated Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (pCaMKII), both required for long-term memory formation which is enriched in rodent hippocampus and insect mushroom bodies, both implicated in allocentric memory and both possessing corresponding neuronal architectures. Antibodies against these proteins resolve forebrain centres, or their equivalents, having the same ground pattern of neuronal organization in species across five phyla. The ground pattern is defined by olfactory or chemosensory afferents supplying systems of parallel fibres of intrinsic neurons intersected by orthogonal domains of afferent and efferent arborizations with local interneurons providing feedback loops. The totality of shared characters implies a deep origin in the protostome-deuterostome bilaterian ancestor of elements of a learning and memory circuit. Proxies for such an ancestral taxon are simple extant bilaterians, particularly acoels that express PKA-Cα and pCaMKII in discrete anterior domains that can be properly referred to as brains. PMID:26598732

  20. Strong Selective Sweeps on the X Chromosome in the Human-Chimpanzee Ancestor Explain Its Low Divergence.

    PubMed

    Dutheil, Julien Y; Munch, Kasper; Nam, Kiwoong; Mailund, Thomas; Schierup, Mikkel H

    2015-08-01

    The human and chimpanzee X chromosomes are less divergent than expected based on autosomal divergence. We study incomplete lineage sorting patterns between humans, chimpanzees and gorillas to show that this low divergence can be entirely explained by megabase-sized regions comprising one-third of the X chromosome, where polymorphism in the human-chimpanzee ancestral species was severely reduced. We show that background selection can explain at most 10% of this reduction of diversity in the ancestor. Instead, we show that several strong selective sweeps in the ancestral species can explain it. We also report evidence of population specific sweeps in extant humans that overlap the regions of low diversity in the ancestral species. These regions further correspond to chromosomal sections shown to be devoid of Neanderthal introgression into modern humans. This suggests that the same X-linked regions that undergo selective sweeps are among the first to form reproductive barriers between diverging species. We hypothesize that meiotic drive is the underlying mechanism causing these two observations. PMID:26274919

  1. Comparative genomic de-convolution of the cotton genome revealed a decaploid ancestor and widespread chromosomal fractionation.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiyin; Guo, Hui; Wang, Jinpeng; Lei, Tianyu; Liu, Tao; Wang, Zhenyi; Li, Yuxian; Lee, Tae-Ho; Li, Jingping; Tang, Haibao; Jin, Dianchuan; Paterson, Andrew H

    2016-02-01

    The 'apparently' simple genomes of many angiosperms mask complex evolutionary histories. The reference genome sequence for cotton (Gossypium spp.) revealed a ploidy change of a complexity unprecedented to date, indeed that could not be distinguished as to its exact dosage. Herein, by developing several comparative, computational and statistical approaches, we revealed a 5× multiplication in the cotton lineage of an ancestral genome common to cotton and cacao, and proposed evolutionary models to show how such a decaploid ancestor formed. The c. 70% gene loss necessary to bring the ancestral decaploid to its current gene count appears to fit an approximate geometrical model; that is, although many genes may be lost by single-gene deletion events, some may be lost in groups of consecutive genes. Gene loss following cotton decaploidy has largely just reduced gene copy numbers of some homologous groups. We designed a novel approach to deconvolute layers of chromosome homology, providing definitive information on gene orthology and paralogy across broad evolutionary distances, both of fundamental value and serving as an important platform to support further studies in and beyond cotton and genomics communities. PMID:26756535

  2. Gene Replacement of Fructose-1,6-Bisphosphate Aldolase Supports the Hypothesis of a Single Photosynthetic Ancestor of Chromalveolates†

    PubMed Central

    Patron, Nicola J.; Rogers, Matthew B.; Keeling, Patrick J.

    2004-01-01

    Plastids (photosynthetic organelles of plants and algae) are known to have spread between eukaryotic lineages by secondary endosymbiosis, that is, by the uptake of a eukaryotic alga by another eukaryote. But the number of times this has taken place is controversial. This is particularly so in the case of eukaryotes with plastids derived from red algae, which are numerous and diverse. Despite their diversity, it has been suggested that all these eukaryotes share a recent common ancestor and that their plastids originated in a single endosymbiosis, the so-called “chromalveolate hypothesis.” Here we describe a novel molecular character that supports the chromalveolate hypothesis. Fructose-1,6-bisphosphate aldolase (FBA) is a glycolytic and Calvin cycle enzyme that exists as two nonhomologous types, class I and class II. Red algal plastid-targeted FBA is a class I enzyme related to homologues from plants and green algae, and it would be predicted that the plastid-targeted FBA from algae with red algal secondary endosymbionts should be related to this class I enzyme. However, we show that plastid-targeted FBA of heterokonts, cryptomonads, haptophytes, and dinoflagellates (all photosynthetic chromalveolates) are class II plastid-targeted enzymes, completely unlike those of red algal plastids. The chromalveolate enzymes form a strongly supported group in FBA phylogeny, and their common possession of this unexpected plastid characteristic provides new evidence for their close relationship and a common origin for their plastids. PMID:15470245

  3. Formal Comment to Pettengill: The Time to Most Recent Common Ancestor Does Not (Usually) Approximate the Date of Divergence

    PubMed Central

    Achtman, Mark; Zhou, Zhemin; Didelot, Xavier

    2015-01-01

    In 2013 Zhou et al. concluded that Salmonella enterica serovar Agona represents a genetically monomorphic lineage of recent ancestry, whose most recent common ancestor existed in 1932, or earlier. The Abstract stated ‘Agona consists of three lineages with minimal mutational diversity: only 846 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have accumulated in the non-repetitive, core genome since Agona evolved in 1932 and subsequently underwent a major population expansion in the 1960s.’ These conclusions have now been criticized by Pettengill, who claims that the evolutionary models used to date Agona may not have been appropriate, the dating estimates were inaccurate, and the age of emergence of Agona should have been qualified by an upper limit reflecting the date of its divergence from an outgroup, serovar Soerenga. We dispute these claims. Firstly, Pettengill’s analysis of Agona is not justifiable on technical grounds. Secondly, an upper limit for divergence from an outgroup would only be meaningful if the outgroup were closely related to Agona, but close relatives of Agona are yet to be identified. Thirdly, it is not possible to reliably date the time of divergence between Agona and Soerenga. We conclude that Pettengill’s criticism is comparable to a tempest in a teapot. PMID:26274924

  4. The cult of amphioxus in German Darwinism; or, our gelatinous ancestors in Naples' blue and balmy bay.

    PubMed

    Hopwood, Nick

    2015-01-01

    Biologists having rediscovered amphioxus, also known as the lancelet or Branchiostoma, it is time to reassess its place in early Darwinist debates over vertebrate origins. While the advent of the ascidian-amphioxus theory and challenges from various competitors have been, documented, this article offers a richer account of the public appeal of amphioxus as a primitive ancestor. The focus is on how the 'German Darwin' Ernst Haeckel persuaded general magazine and newspaper readers to revere this "flesh of our flesh and blood of our blood", and especially on Das neue Laienbrevier des Haeckelismus (The new lay breviary of Haeckelism) by Moritz Reymond with cartoons by Fritz Steub. From the late 1870s these successful little books of verse introduced the Neapolitan discoveries that made the animal's name and satirized Haeckel's rise as high priest of its cult. One song is reproduced and translated here, with a contemporary "imitation" by the Canadian palaeontologist Edward John Chapman, and extracts from others. Predating the American "It's a long way from amphioxus" by decades, these rhymes dramatize neglected 'species politics' of Darwinism and highlight the roles of humour in negotiating evolution. PMID:26013195

  5. RSL Class I Genes Controlled the Development of Epidermal Structures in the Common Ancestor of Land Plants

    PubMed Central

    Proust, Hélène; Honkanen, Suvi; Jones, Victor A.S.; Morieri, Giulia; Prescott, Helen; Kelly, Steve; Ishizaki, Kimitsune; Kohchi, Takayuki; Dolan, Liam

    2016-01-01

    Summary The colonization of the land by plants, sometime before 470 million years ago, was accompanied by the evolution tissue systems [1, 2, 3]. Specialized structures with diverse functions—from nutrient acquisition to reproduction—derived from single cells in the outermost layer (epidermis) were important sources of morphological innovation at this time [2, 4, 5]. In extant plants, these structures may be unicellular extensions, such as root hairs or rhizoids [6, 7, 8, 9], or multicellular structures, such as asexual propagules or secretory hairs (papillae) [10, 11, 12]. Here, we show that a ROOTHAIR DEFECTIVE SIX-LIKE (RSL) class I basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor positively regulates the development of the unicellular and multicellular structures that develop from individual cells that expand out of the epidermal plane of the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha; mutants that lack MpRSL1 function do not develop rhizoids, slime papillae, mucilage papillae, or gemmae. Furthermore, we discovered that RSL class I genes are also required for the development of multicellular axillary hairs on the gametophyte of the moss Physcomitrella patens. Because class I RSL proteins also control the development of rhizoids in mosses and root hairs in angiosperms [13, 14], these data demonstrate that the function of RSL class I genes was to control the development of structures derived from single epidermal cells in the common ancestor of the land plants. Class I RSL genes therefore controlled the generation of adaptive morphological diversity as plants colonized the land from the water. PMID:26725198

  6. Responses of parasitoids to volatiles induced by Chilo partellus oviposition on teosinte, a wild ancestor of maize.

    PubMed

    Mutyambai, Daniel M; Bruce, Toby J A; Midega, Charles A O; Woodcock, Christine M; Caulfield, John C; Van Den Berg, Johnnie; Pickett, John A; Khan, Zeyaur R

    2015-04-01

    Maize, a genetically diverse crop, is the domesticated descendent of its wild ancestor, teosinte. Recently, we have shown that certain maize landraces possess a valuable indirect defense trait not present in commercial hybrids. Plants of these landraces release herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) that attract both egg [Trichogramma bournieri Pintureau & Babault (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae)] and larval [Cotesia sesamiae Cameron (Hymenoptera: Braconidae)] parasitoids in response to stemborer egg deposition. In this study, we tested whether this trait also exists in the germplasm of wild Zea species. Headspace samples were collected from plants exposed to egg deposition by Chilo partellus Swinhoe (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) moths and unexposed control plants. Four-arm olfactometer bioassays with parasitic wasps, T. bournieri and C. sesamiae, indicated that both egg and larval parasitoids preferred HIPVs from plants with eggs in four of the five teosinte species sampled. Headspace samples from oviposited plants released higher amounts of EAG-active compounds such as (E)-4,8-dimethyl-1,3,7-nonatriene. In oviposition choice bioassays, plants without eggs were significantly preferred for subsequent oviposition by moths compared to plants with prior oviposition. These results suggest that this induced indirect defence trait is not limited to landraces but occurs in wild Zea species and appears to be an ancestral trait. Hence, these species possess a valuable trait that could be introgressed into domesticated maize lines to provide indirect defense mechanisms against stemborers.

  7. Wild Mallards Have More “Goose-Like” Bills Than Their Ancestors: A Case of Anthropogenic Influence?

    PubMed Central

    Söderquist, Pär; Norrström, Joanna; Elmberg, Johan; Guillemain, Matthieu; Gunnarsson, Gunnar

    2014-01-01

    Wild populations of the world’s most common dabbling duck, the mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), run the risk of genetic introgression by farmed conspecifics released for hunting purposes. We tested whether bill morphology of free-living birds has changed since large-scale releases of farmed mallards started. Three groups of mallards from Sweden, Norway and Finland were compared: historical wild (before large-scale releases started), present-day wild, and present-day farmed. Higher density of bill lamellae was observed in historical wild mallards (only males). Farmed mallards had wider bills than present-day and historical wild ones. Present-day wild and farmed mallards also had higher and shorter bills than historical wild mallards. Present-day mallards thus tend to have more “goose-like” bills (wider, higher, and shorter) than their ancestors. Our study suggests that surviving released mallards affect morphological traits in wild population by introgression. We discuss how such anthropogenic impact may lead to a maladapted and genetically compromised wild mallard population. Our study system has bearing on other taxa where large-scale releases of conspecifics with ‘alien genes’ may cause a cryptic invasive process that nevertheless has fitness consequences for individual birds. PMID:25514789

  8. RSL Class I Genes Controlled the Development of Epidermal Structures in the Common Ancestor of Land Plants.

    PubMed

    Proust, Hélène; Honkanen, Suvi; Jones, Victor A S; Morieri, Giulia; Prescott, Helen; Kelly, Steve; Ishizaki, Kimitsune; Kohchi, Takayuki; Dolan, Liam

    2016-01-11

    The colonization of the land by plants, sometime before 470 million years ago, was accompanied by the evolution tissue systems [1-3]. Specialized structures with diverse functions-from nutrient acquisition to reproduction-derived from single cells in the outermost layer (epidermis) were important sources of morphological innovation at this time [2, 4, 5]. In extant plants, these structures may be unicellular extensions, such as root hairs or rhizoids [6-9], or multicellular structures, such as asexual propagules or secretory hairs (papillae) [10-12]. Here, we show that a ROOTHAIR DEFECTIVE SIX-LIKE (RSL) class I basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor positively regulates the development of the unicellular and multicellular structures that develop from individual cells that expand out of the epidermal plane of the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha; mutants that lack MpRSL1 function do not develop rhizoids, slime papillae, mucilage papillae, or gemmae. Furthermore, we discovered that RSL class I genes are also required for the development of multicellular axillary hairs on the gametophyte of the moss Physcomitrella patens. Because class I RSL proteins also control the development of rhizoids in mosses and root hairs in angiosperms [13, 14], these data demonstrate that the function of RSL class I genes was to control the development of structures derived from single epidermal cells in the common ancestor of the land plants. Class I RSL genes therefore controlled the generation of adaptive morphological diversity as plants colonized the land from the water.

  9. Strong Selective Sweeps on the X Chromosome in the Human-Chimpanzee Ancestor Explain Its Low Divergence

    PubMed Central

    Dutheil, Julien Y.; Munch, Kasper; Nam, Kiwoong; Mailund, Thomas; Schierup, Mikkel H.

    2015-01-01

    The human and chimpanzee X chromosomes are less divergent than expected based on autosomal divergence. We study incomplete lineage sorting patterns between humans, chimpanzees and gorillas to show that this low divergence can be entirely explained by megabase-sized regions comprising one-third of the X chromosome, where polymorphism in the human-chimpanzee ancestral species was severely reduced. We show that background selection can explain at most 10% of this reduction of diversity in the ancestor. Instead, we show that several strong selective sweeps in the ancestral species can explain it. We also report evidence of population specific sweeps in extant humans that overlap the regions of low diversity in the ancestral species. These regions further correspond to chromosomal sections shown to be devoid of Neanderthal introgression into modern humans. This suggests that the same X-linked regions that undergo selective sweeps are among the first to form reproductive barriers between diverging species. We hypothesize that meiotic drive is the underlying mechanism causing these two observations. PMID:26274919

  10. Morphological and molecular convergences in mammalian phylogenetics

    PubMed Central

    Zou, Zhengting; Zhang, Jianzhi

    2016-01-01

    Phylogenetic trees reconstructed from molecular sequences are often considered more reliable than those reconstructed from morphological characters, in part because convergent evolution, which confounds phylogenetic reconstruction, is believed to be rarer for molecular sequences than for morphologies. However, neither the validity of this belief nor its underlying cause is known. Here comparing thousands of characters of each type that have been used for inferring the phylogeny of mammals, we find that on average morphological characters indeed experience much more convergences than amino acid sites, but this disparity is explained by fewer states per character rather than an intrinsically higher susceptibility to convergence for morphologies than sequences. We show by computer simulation and actual data analysis that a simple method for identifying and removing convergence-prone characters improves phylogenetic accuracy, potentially enabling, when necessary, the inclusion of morphologies and hence fossils for reliable tree inference. PMID:27585543

  11. Morphological and molecular convergences in mammalian phylogenetics.

    PubMed

    Zou, Zhengting; Zhang, Jianzhi

    2016-01-01

    Phylogenetic trees reconstructed from molecular sequences are often considered more reliable than those reconstructed from morphological characters, in part because convergent evolution, which confounds phylogenetic reconstruction, is believed to be rarer for molecular sequences than for morphologies. However, neither the validity of this belief nor its underlying cause is known. Here comparing thousands of characters of each type that have been used for inferring the phylogeny of mammals, we find that on average morphological characters indeed experience much more convergences than amino acid sites, but this disparity is explained by fewer states per character rather than an intrinsically higher susceptibility to convergence for morphologies than sequences. We show by computer simulation and actual data analysis that a simple method for identifying and removing convergence-prone characters improves phylogenetic accuracy, potentially enabling, when necessary, the inclusion of morphologies and hence fossils for reliable tree inference. PMID:27585543

  12. Keyhole Flap Nipple Reconstruction.

    PubMed

    Chen, Joseph I; Cash, Camille G; Iman, Al-Haj; Spiegel, Aldona J; Cronin, Ernest D

    2016-05-01

    Nipple-areola reconstruction is often one of the final but most challenging aspects of breast reconstruction. However, it is an integral and important component of breast reconstruction because it transforms the mound into a breast. We performed 133 nipple-areola reconstructions during a period of 4 years. Of these reconstructions, 76 of 133 nipple-areola complexes were reconstructed using the keyhole flap technique. The tissue used for the keyhole dermoadipose flap technique include transverse rectus abdominus myocutaneous flaps (60/76), latissimus dorsi flaps (15/76), or mastectomy skin flaps after tissue expanders (1/76). The average patient follow-up was 17 months. The design of the flap is based on a keyhole configuration. The base of the flap determines the width of the future nipple, whereas the length of the flap determines the projection. We try to match the projection of the contralateral nipple if present. The keyhole flap is simple to construct yet reliable. It provides good symmetry and projection and avoids the creation of new scars. The areola is then tattooed approximately 3 months after the nipple reconstruction. PMID:27579228

  13. Back Cover: Four-dimensional live imaging of hemodynamics in mammalian embryonic heart with Doppler optical coherence tomography (J. Biophotonics 8/2016).

    PubMed

    Wang, Shang; Lakomy, David S; Garcia, Monica D; Lopez, Andrew L; Larin, Kirill V; Larina, Irina V

    2016-08-01

    Detailed volumetric measurement of hemodynamics in early developing mammalian heart can provide great insights for improved understanding of normal cardiogenesis and management of congenital cardiac disease. In this study, Doppler optical coherence tomography is performed in live mouse embryo culture to obtain the first four-dimensional high-resolution reconstruction and quantitative analysis of hemodynamic features in the mouse embryonic heart. This provides a powerful approach to investigate biomechanical regulation of early mammalian cardiogenesis. Further details can be found in the article by Shang Wang et al. on pp. 837-847. PMID:27480645

  14. Acromioclavicular Joint Reconstruction.

    PubMed

    Scillia, Anthony J; Cain, E Lyle

    2015-12-01

    Our technique for acromioclavicular joint reconstruction provides a variation on coracoclavicular ligament reconstruction to also include acromioclavicular ligament reconstruction. An oblique acromial tunnel is drilled, and the medial limb of the gracilis graft, after being crossed and passed beneath the coracoid and through the clavicle, is passed through this acromial tunnel and sutured to the trapezoid graft limb after appropriate tensioning. Tenodesis screws are not placed in the bone tunnels to avoid graft fraying, and initial forces on the graft are offloaded with braided absorbable sutures passed around the clavicle. PMID:27284528

  15. Flow cytometric sexing of mammalian sperm.

    PubMed

    Garner, Duane L

    2006-03-15

    This review reexamines parameters needed for optimization of flow cytometric sexing mammalian sperm and updates the current status of sperm sexing for various species where this technology is currently being applied. Differences in DNA content have provided both a method to differentiate between these sex-determining gametes and a method to sort them that can be used for predetermining sex in mammals. Although the DNA content of all cells for each mammalian species is highly conserved, slight but measurable DNA content differences of sperm occur within species even among cattle breeds due to different sizes of Y-chromosomes. Most mammals produce flattened, oval-headed sperm that can be oriented within a sorter using hydrodynamic forces. Multiplying the percentage the difference in DNA content of the X- or Y-chromosome bearing sperm times the area of the flat profile of the sperm head gives a simple sorting index that suggests that bull and boar sperm are well suited for separation in a flow sorter. Successful sperm sexing of various species must take into account the relative susceptibilities of gametes to the stresses that occur during sexing. Sorting conditions must be optimized for each species to achieve acceptable sperm sexing efficiency, usually at 90% accuracy. In the commercial application of sperm sexing to cattle, fertility of sex-sorted bull sperm at 2 x 10(6)/dose remains at 70-80% of unsexed sperm at normal doses of 10 to 20 x 10(6) sperm. DNA content measurements have been used to identify the sex-chromosome bearing sperm populations with good accuracy in semen from at least 23 mammalian species, and normal-appearing offspring have been produced from sexed sperm of at least seven species. PMID:16242764

  16. Mammalian niche conservation through deep time.

    PubMed

    DeSantis, Larisa R G; Beavins Tracy, Rachel A; Koontz, Cassandra S; Roseberry, John C; Velasco, Matthew C

    2012-01-01

    Climate change alters species distributions, causing plants and animals to move north or to higher elevations with current warming. Bioclimatic models predict species distributions based on extant realized niches and assume niche conservation. Here, we evaluate if proxies for niches (i.e., range areas) are conserved at the family level through deep time, from the Eocene to the Pleistocene. We analyze the occurrence of all mammalian families in the continental USA, calculating range area, percent range area occupied, range area rank, and range polygon centroids during each epoch. Percent range area occupied significantly increases from the Oligocene to the Miocene and again from the Pliocene to the Pleistocene; however, mammalian families maintain statistical concordance between rank orders across time. Families with greater taxonomic diversity occupy a greater percent of available range area during each epoch and net changes in taxonomic diversity are significantly positively related to changes in percent range area occupied from the Eocene to the Pleistocene. Furthermore, gains and losses in generic and species diversity are remarkably consistent with ~2.3 species gained per generic increase. Centroids demonstrate southeastern shifts from the Eocene through the Pleistocene that may correspond to major environmental events and/or climate changes during the Cenozoic. These results demonstrate range conservation at the family level and support the idea that niche conservation at higher taxonomic levels operates over deep time and may be controlled by life history traits. Furthermore, families containing megafauna and/or terminal Pleistocene extinction victims do not incur significantly greater declines in range area rank than families containing only smaller taxa and/or only survivors, from the Pliocene to Pleistocene. Collectively, these data evince the resilience of families to climate and/or environmental change in deep time, the absence of terminal Pleistocene

  17. Aping our ancestors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ennos, Roland

    2014-08-01

    Roland Ennos argues that the abilities of the great apes to cope in the dangerous mechanical environment of the forest canopy are part of the human species' intellectual inheritance and are intimately connected with our abilities as physicists.

  18. An Ode to Ancestors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kallanian, Susanne

    2005-01-01

    The Fon live in the southern part of the People's Republic of Benin. They inhabit an area about the size of Connecticut. To this day, many Fon are farmers. They plant yams, corn, and cotton, and cultivate palm trees that produce palm oil. Ancient beliefs in spirits and natural powers (called vodun) that govern the world and provide a spiritual…

  19. Supermassive black hole ancestors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petri, A.; Ferrara, A.; Salvaterra, R.

    2012-05-01

    In the attempt to alleviate the difficulties created by their early formation, we study a model in which supermassive black holes (SMBHs) can grow by the combined action of gas accretion on heavy seeds and mergers of both heavy ? and light ? seeds. The former results from the direct collapse of gas in ? K, H2-free haloes; the latter are the end product of a standard H2-based star formation process. The H2-free condition is attained by exposing haloes to a strong (J21≳ 103) Lyman-Werner ultraviolet (UV) background produced by both accreting BHs and stars, thus establishing a self-regulated growth regime. We find that this condition is met already at z˜ 18 in the highly biased regions in which quasars are born. The key parameter allowing the formation of SMBHs by z= 6-7 is the fraction of haloes that can form heavy seeds: the minimum requirement is that fheavy≳ 0.001; SMBH as large as 2 × 1010 M⊙ can be obtained when fheavy approaches unity. Independently of fheavy, the model produces a high-z stellar bulge-BH mass relation which is steeper than the local one, implying that SMBHs formed before their bulge was in place. The formation of heavy seeds, allowed by the Lyman-Werner radiative feedback in the quasar-forming environment, is crucial to achieve a fast growth of the SMBH by merger events in the early phases of its evolution, i.e. z≳ 7. The UV photon production is largely dominated by stars in galaxies, i.e. BH accretion radiation is subdominant. Interestingly, we find that the final mass of light BHs and of the SMBH in the quasar is roughly equal by z= 6; by the same time, only 19 per cent of the initial baryon content has been converted into stars. The SMBH growth is dominated at all epochs z > 7.2 by mergers (exceeding accretion by a factor of 2-50); at later times, accretion becomes by far the most important growth channel. We finally discuss possible shortcomings of the model.

  20. Commemorating the Ancestors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mack, Stevie; Williams, Kathleen

    2010-01-01

    The festivals of Mexico are renowned for their colorful decorations, energetic music, exuberant parades, and cultural significance. "Los Dias de los Muertos," the Days of the Dead, is no exception. Often misunderstood by those who live elsewhere, this festival commemorating the dead is one of Mexico's most important holidays. As Americans prepare…

  1. Evolution of Mitochondria Reconstructed from the Energy Metabolism of Living Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Degli Esposti, Mauro; Chouaia, Bessem; Comandatore, Francesco; Crotti, Elena; Sassera, Davide; Lievens, Patricia Marie-Jeanne; Daffonchio, Daniele; Bandi, Claudio

    2014-01-01

    The ancestors of mitochondria, or proto-mitochondria, played a crucial role in the evolution of eukaryotic cells and derived from symbiotic α-proteobacteria which merged with other microorganisms - the basis of the widely accepted endosymbiotic theory. However, the identity and relatives of proto-mitochondria remain elusive. Here we show that methylotrophic α-proteobacteria could be the closest living models for mitochondrial ancestors. We reached this conclusion after reconstructing the possible evolutionary pathways of the bioenergy systems of proto-mitochondria with a genomic survey of extant α-proteobacteria. Results obtained with complementary molecular and genetic analyses of diverse bioenergetic proteins converge in indicating the pathway stemming from methylotrophic bacteria as the most probable route of mitochondrial evolution. Contrary to other α-proteobacteria, methylotrophs show transition forms for the bioenergetic systems analysed. Our approach of focusing on these bioenergetic systems overcomes the phylogenetic impasse that has previously complicated the search for mitochondrial ancestors. Moreover, our results provide a new perspective for experimentally re-evolving mitochondria from extant bacteria and in the future produce synthetic mitochondria. PMID:24804722

  2. Stochastic resonance in mammalian neuronal networks

    SciTech Connect

    Gluckman, B.J.; So, P.; Netoff, T.I.; Spano, M.L.; Schiff, S.J. |

    1998-09-01

    We present stochastic resonance observed in the dynamics of neuronal networks from mammalian brain. Both sinusoidal signals and random noise were superimposed into an applied electric field. As the amplitude of the noise component was increased, an optimization (increase then decrease) in the signal-to-noise ratio of the network response to the sinusoidal signal was observed. The relationship between the measures used to characterize the dynamics is discussed. Finally, a computational model of these neuronal networks that includes the neuronal interactions with the electric field is presented to illustrate the physics behind the essential features of the experiment. {copyright} {ital 1998 American Institute of Physics.}

  3. Derivation of the mammalian skull vault

    PubMed Central

    MORRISS-KAY, GILLIAN M.

    2001-01-01

    This review describes the evolutionary history of the mammalian skull vault as a basis for understanding its complex structure. Current information on the developmental tissue origins of the skull vault bones (mesoderm and neural crest) is assessed for mammals and other tetrapods. This information is discussed in the context of evolutionary changes in the proportions of the skull vault bones at the sarcopterygian-tetrapod transition. The dual tissue origin of the skull vault is considered in relation to the molecular mechanisms underlying osteogenic cell proliferation and differentiation in the sutural growth centres and in the proportionate contributions of different sutures to skull growth. PMID:11523816

  4. Site of Mammalian Sperm Acrosome Reaction.

    PubMed

    Hirohashi, Noritaka

    2016-01-01

    Until recently, no special attention has been paid to the question of the site of mammalian sperm acrosome reaction (AR) in the female reproductive tract. Because AR is an essential process that enables the spermatozoon to fertilize, it is generally believed that it occurs at a specific step during sperm-egg interaction. It is generally thought that "the site of action coincides with the site of commitment." Thus, understanding the roles of AR and acrosomal substances is needed to gain insight into the site of the sperm commitment to undergo AR. PMID:27194354

  5. Mammalian Gravity Receptors: Structure and Metabolism

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ross, M. D.

    1985-01-01

    Calcium metabolism in mammalian gravity receptors is examined. To accomplish this objective it is necessary to study both the mineral deposits of the receptors, the otoconia, and the sensory areas themselves, the saccular and utricular maculas. The main focus was to elucidate the natures of the organic and inorganic phases of the crystalline masses, first in rat otoconia but more recently in otoliths and otoconia of a comparative series of vertebrates. Some of the ultrastructural findings in rat maculas, however, have prompted a more thorough study of the organization of the hair cells and innervation patterns in graviceptors.

  6. Structure-strength relations in mammalian tendon.

    PubMed Central

    Lanir, Y

    1978-01-01

    The stress-strain relations in mammalian tendon are analyzed in terms of the structure and mechanics of its constituents. The model considers the tensile and bending strength of the collagen fibers, the tensile strength of the elastin fibers, and the interaction between the matrix and the collagen fibers. The stress-strain relations are solved through variational considerations by assuming that the fibermaxtrix interactions can be modeled as beam on elastic foundation. The tissue thus modeled is a hyperelastic material. It is further shown that on the basis of the model, the dominant parameters to the tendon's behavior can be evaluated from simple tensile tests. PMID:728528

  7. Mammalian developmental genetics in the twentieth century.

    PubMed

    Artzt, Karen

    2012-12-01

    This Perspectives is a review of the breathtaking history of mammalian genetics in the past century and, in particular, of the ways in which genetic thinking has illuminated aspects of mouse development. To illustrate the power of that thinking, selected hypothesis-driven experiments and technical advances are discussed. Also included in this account are the beginnings of mouse genetics at the Bussey Institute, Columbia University, and The Jackson Laboratory and a retrospective discussion of one of the classic problems in developmental genetics, the T/t complex and its genetic enigmas.

  8. Tension tests on mammalian collagen fibrils.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yehe; Ballarini, Roberto; Eppell, Steven J

    2016-02-01

    A brief overview of isolated collagen fibril mechanics testing is followed by presentation of the first results testing fibrils isolated from load-bearing mammalian tendons using a microelectromechanical systems platform. The in vitro modulus (326 ± 112 MPa) and fracture stress (71 ± 23 MPa) are shown to be lower than previously measured on fibrils extracted from sea cucumber dermis and tested with the same technique. Scanning electron microscope images show the fibrils can fail with a mechanism that involves circumferential rupture, whereas the core of the fibril stays at least partially intact. PMID:26855757

  9. Optogenetics for gene expression in mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Müller, Konrad; Naumann, Sebastian; Weber, Wilfried; Zurbriggen, Matias D

    2015-02-01

    Molecular switches that are controlled by chemicals have evolved as central research instruments in mammalian cell biology. However, these tools are limited in terms of their spatiotemporal resolution due to freely diffusing inducers. These limitations have recently been addressed by the development of optogenetic, genetically encoded, and light-responsive tools that can be controlled with the unprecedented spatiotemporal precision of light. In this article, we first provide a brief overview of currently available optogenetic tools that have been designed to control diverse cellular processes. Then, we focus on recent developments in light-controlled gene expression technologies and provide the reader with a guideline for choosing the most suitable gene expression system.

  10. Chlorpromazine inhibits mitosis of mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Boder, G B; Paul, D C; Williams, D C

    1983-09-01

    Chlorpromazine (CPZ) at minimally effective concentrations accumulates mammalian cells in mitosis without lethal effects on the cells. Star-metaphase morphology similar to effects seen with classical antimitotic compounds probably results from the preferential action of CPZ on a specific class of microtubules--the pole-to-pole microtubules of the mitotic spindle. At CPZ concentrations of 8 X 10(-6) M, flow cytometry indicates no effect of CPZ on the progress of cells through phases of the cell cycle other than mitosis (M). These results suggest a possible mechanism for toxic side effects of CPZ in man such as granulocytopenia and light sensitization.

  11. The virome in mammalian physiology and disease

    PubMed Central

    Virgin, Herbert W.

    2014-01-01

    The virome contains the most abundant and fastest-mutating genetic elements on Earth. The mammalian virome is constituted of viruses that infect host cells, virus-derived elements in our chromosomes, and viruses that infect the broad array of other types of organisms that inhabit us. Virome interactions with the host cannot be encompassed by a monotheistic view of viruses as pathogens. Instead, the genetic and transcriptional identity of mammals is defined in part by our co-evolved virome, a concept with profound implications for understanding health and disease. PMID:24679532

  12. Mammalian Developmental Genetics in the Twentieth Century

    PubMed Central

    Artzt, Karen

    2012-01-01

    This Perspectives is a review of the breathtaking history of mammalian genetics in the past century and, in particular, of the ways in which genetic thinking has illuminated aspects of mouse development. To illustrate the power of that thinking, selected hypothesis-driven experiments and technical advances are discussed. Also included in this account are the beginnings of mouse genetics at the Bussey Institute, Columbia University, and The Jackson Laboratory and a retrospective discussion of one of the classic problems in developmental genetics, the T/t complex and its genetic enigmas. PMID:23212897

  13. Advances in Tracheal Reconstruction

    PubMed Central

    Salna, Michael; Waddell, Thomas K.; Hofer, Stefan O.

    2014-01-01

    Summary: A recent revival of global interest for reconstruction of long-segment tracheal defects, which represents one of the most interesting and complex problems in head and neck and thoracic reconstructive surgery, has been witnessed. The trachea functions as a conduit for air, and its subunits including the epithelial layer, hyaline cartilage, and segmental blood supply make it particularly challenging to reconstruct. A myriad of attempts at replacing the trachea have been described. These along with the anatomy, indications, and approaches including microsurgical tracheal reconstruction will be reviewed. Novel techniques such as tissue-engineering approaches will also be discussed. Multiple attempts at replacing the trachea with synthetic scaffolds have been met with failure. The main lesson learned from such failures is that the trachea must not be treated as a “simple tube.” Understanding the anatomy, developmental biology, physiology, and diseases affecting the trachea are required for solving this problem. PMID:25426361

  14. Overview of Image Reconstruction

    SciTech Connect

    Marr, R. B.

    1980-04-01

    Image reconstruction (or computerized tomography, etc.) is any process whereby a function, f, on Rn is estimated from empirical data pertaining to its integrals, ∫f(x) dx, for some collection of hyperplanes of dimension k < n. The paper begins with background information on how image reconstruction problems have arisen in practice, and describes some of the application areas of past or current interest; these include radioastronomy, optics, radiology and nuclear medicine, electron microscopy, acoustical imaging, geophysical tomography, nondestructive testing, and NMR zeugmatography. Then the various reconstruction algorithms are discussed in five classes: summation, or simple back-projection; convolution, or filtered back-projection; Fourier and other functional transforms; orthogonal function series expansion; and iterative methods. Certain more technical mathematical aspects of image reconstruction are considered from the standpoint of uniqueness, consistency, and stability of solution. The paper concludes by presenting certain open problems. 73 references. (RWR)

  15. Breast Reconstruction After Mastectomy

    MedlinePlus

    ... Women who have autologous tissue reconstruction may need physical therapy to help them make up for weakness experienced ... 127(1):15–22. [PubMed Abstract] Monteiro M. Physical therapy implications following the TRAM procedure. Physical Therapy. 1997; ...

  16. Reconstruction of Mandibular Defects

    PubMed Central

    Chim, Harvey; Salgado, Christopher J.; Mardini, Samir; Chen, Hung-Chi

    2010-01-01

    Defects requiring reconstruction in the mandible are commonly encountered and may result from resection of benign or malignant lesions, trauma, or osteoradionecrosis. Mandibular defects can be classified according to location and extent, as well as involvement of mucosa, skin, and tongue. Vascularized bone flaps, in general, provide the best functional and aesthetic outcome, with the fibula flap remaining the gold standard for mandible reconstruction. In this review, we discuss classification and approach to reconstruction of mandibular defects. We also elaborate upon four commonly used free osteocutaneous flaps, inclusive of fibula, iliac crest, scapula, and radial forearm. Finally, we discuss indications and use of osseointegrated implants as well as recent advances in mandibular reconstruction. PMID:22550439

  17. Breast Reconstruction and Prosthesis

    MedlinePlus

    ... feel of the breast after a mastectomy. A plastic surgeon can do it at the same time ... want breast reconstruction. • Have you talked with your plastic surgeon about your options? You may not be ...

  18. 3D Reconstruction of the Glycocalyx Structure in Mammalian Capillaries using Electron Tomography

    PubMed Central

    Arkill, KP; Neal, CR; Mantell, JM; Michel, CC; Qvortrup, K; Bates, DO; Knupp, C; Squire, JM

    2013-01-01

    Visualising the molecular strands making up the glycocalyx in the lumen of small blood vessels has proved to be difficult using conventional transmission electron microscopy techniques. Images obtained from tissue stained in a variety of ways have revealed a regularity in the organisation of the proteoglycan components of the glycocalyx layer (fundamental spacing about 20 nm), but require a large sample number. Attempts to visualise the glycocalyx face-on (i.e. in a direction perpendicular to the endothelial cell layer in the lumen and directly applicable for permeability modelling) has had limited success (e.g. freeze fracture). A new approach is therefore needed. Here we demonstrate the effectiveness of using the relatively novel electron microscopy technique of 3D electron tomography on two differently stained preparations to reveal details of the architecture of the glycocalyx just above the endothelial cell layer. One preparation uses the novel staining technique using Lanthanum Dysprosium Glycosamino Glycan adhesion (the LaDy GAGa method). PMID:22324320

  19. Drosophila grim induces apoptosis in mammalian cells.

    PubMed Central

    Clavería, C; Albar, J P; Serrano, A; Buesa, J M; Barbero, J L; Martínez-A, C; Torres, M

    1998-01-01

    Genetic studies have shown that grim is a central genetic switch of programmed cell death in Drosophila; however, homologous genes have not been described in other species, nor has its mechanism of action been defined. We show here that grim expression induces apoptosis in mouse fibroblasts. Cell death induced by grim in mammalian cells involves membrane blebbing, cytoplasmic loss and nuclear DNA fragmentation. Grim-induced apoptosis is blocked by both natural and synthetic caspase inhibitors. We found that grim itself shows caspase-dependent proteolytic processing of its C-terminus in vitro. Grim-induced death is antagonized by bcl-2 in a dose-dependent manner, and neither Fas signalling nor p53 are required for grim pro-apoptotic activity. Grim protein localizes both in the cytosol and in the mitochondria of mouse fibroblasts, the latter location becoming predominant as apoptosis progresses. These results show that Drosophila grim induces death in mammalian cells by specifically acting on mitochondrial apoptotic pathways executed by endogenous caspases. These findings advance our knowledge of the mechanism by which grim induces apoptosis and show the conservation through evolution of this crucial programmed cell death pathway. PMID:9857177

  20. The mammalian ovary from genesis to revelation.

    PubMed

    Edson, Mark A; Nagaraja, Ankur K; Matzuk, Martin M

    2009-10-01

    Two major functions of the mammalian ovary are the production of germ cells (oocytes), which allow continuation of the species, and the generation of bioactive molecules, primarily steroids (mainly estrogens and progestins) and peptide growth factors, which are critical for ovarian function, regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, and development of secondary sex characteristics. The female germline is created during embryogenesis when the precursors of primordial germ cells differentiate from somatic lineages of the embryo and take a unique route to reach the urogenital ridge. This undifferentiated gonad will differentiate along a female pathway, and the newly formed oocytes will proliferate and subsequently enter meiosis. At this point, the oocyte has two alternative fates: die, a common destiny of millions of oocytes, or be fertilized, a fate of at most approximately 100 oocytes, depending on the species. At every step from germline development and ovary formation to oogenesis and ovarian development and differentiation, there are coordinated interactions of hundreds of proteins and small RNAs. These studies have helped reproductive biologists to understand not only the normal functioning of the ovary but also the pathophysiology and genetics of diseases such as infertility and ovarian cancer. Over the last two decades, parallel progress has been made in the assisted reproductive technology clinic including better hormonal preparations, prenatal genetic testing, and optimal oocyte and embryo analysis and cryopreservation. Clearly, we have learned much about the mammalian ovary and manipulating its most important cargo, the oocyte, since the birth of Louise Brown over 30 yr ago.

  1. Catabolic flexibility of mammalian-associated lactobacilli

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Metabolic flexibility may be generally defined as “the capacity for the organism to adapt fuel oxidation to fuel availability”. The metabolic diversification strategies used by individual bacteria vary greatly from the use of novel or acquired enzymes to the use of plasmid-localised genes and transporters. In this review, we describe the ability of lactobacilli to utilise a variety of carbon sources from their current or new environments in order to grow and survive. The genus Lactobacillus now includes more than 150 species, many with adaptive capabilities, broad metabolic capacity and species/strain variance. They are therefore, an informative example of a cell factory capable of adapting to new niches with differing nutritional landscapes. Indeed, lactobacilli naturally colonise and grow in a wide variety of environmental niches which include the roots and foliage of plants, silage, various fermented foods and beverages, the human vagina and the mammalian gastrointestinal tract (GIT; including the mouth, stomach, small intestine and large intestine). Here we primarily describe the metabolic flexibility of some lactobacilli isolated from the mammalian gastrointestinal tract, and we also describe some of the food-associated species with a proven ability to adapt to the GIT. As examples this review concentrates on the following species - Lb. plantarum, Lb. acidophilus, Lb. ruminis, Lb. salivarius, Lb. reuteri and Lb. sakei, to highlight the diversity and inter-relationships between the catabolic nature of species within the genus. PMID:23680304

  2. Focusing on RISC assembly in mammalian cells

    SciTech Connect

    Hong Junmei; Wei Na; Chalk, Alistair; Wang Jue; Song, Yutong; Yi Fan; Qiao Renping; Sonnhammer, Erik L.L.; Wahlestedt, Claes; Liang Zicai Du, Quan

    2008-04-11

    RISC (RNA-induced silencing complex) is a central protein complex in RNAi, into which a siRNA strand is assembled to become effective in gene silencing. By using an in vitro RNAi reaction based on Drosophila embryo extract, an asymmetric model was recently proposed for RISC assembly of siRNA strands, suggesting that the strand that is more loosely paired at its 5' end is selectively assembled into RISC and results in target gene silencing. However, in the present study, we were unable to establish such a correlation in cell-based RNAi assays, as well as in large-scale RNAi data analyses. This suggests that the thermodynamic stability of siRNA is not a major determinant of gene silencing in mammalian cells. Further studies on fork siRNAs showed that mismatch at the 5' end of the siRNA sense strand decreased RISC assembly of the antisense strand, but surprisingly did not increase RISC assembly of the sense strand. More interestingly, measurements of melting temperature showed that the terminal stability of fork siRNAs correlated with the positions of the mismatches, but not gene silencing efficacy. In summary, our data demonstrate that there is no definite correlation between siRNA stability and gene silencing in mammalian cells, which suggests that instead of thermodynamic stability, other features of the siRNA duplex contribute to RISC assembly in RNAi.

  3. An Adaptive Threshold in Mammalian Neocortical Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Kalinka, Alex T.; Tomancak, Pavel; Huttner, Wieland B.

    2014-01-01

    Expansion of the neocortex is a hallmark of human evolution. However, determining which adaptive mechanisms facilitated its expansion remains an open question. Here we show, using the gyrencephaly index (GI) and other physiological and life-history data for 102 mammalian species, that gyrencephaly is an ancestral mammalian trait. We find that variation in GI does not evolve linearly across species, but that mammals constitute two principal groups above and below a GI threshold value of 1.5, approximately equal to 109 neurons, which may be characterized by distinct constellations of physiological and life-history traits. By integrating data on neurogenic period, neuroepithelial founder pool size, cell-cycle length, progenitor-type abundances, and cortical neuron number into discrete mathematical models, we identify symmetric proliferative divisions of basal progenitors in the subventricular zone of the developing neocortex as evolutionarily necessary for generating a 14-fold increase in daily prenatal neuron production, traversal of the GI threshold, and thus establishment of two principal groups. We conclude that, despite considerable neuroanatomical differences, changes in the length of the neurogenic period alone, rather than any novel neurogenic progenitor lineage, are sufficient to explain differences in neuron number and neocortical size between species within the same principal group. PMID:25405475

  4. Calcium Signaling in Mammalian Eggs at Fertilization.

    PubMed

    Shirakawa, Hideki; Kikuchi, Takashi; Ito, Masahiko

    2016-01-01

    The innovation and development of live-cell fluorescence imaging methods have revealed the dynamic aspects of intracellular Ca2+ in a wide variety of cells. The fertilized egg, the very first cell to be a new individual, has long been under extensive investigations utilizing Ca2+ imaging since its early days, and spatiotemporal Ca2+ dynamics and underlying mechanisms of Ca2+ mobilization, as well as physiological roles of Ca2+ at fertilization, have become more or less evident in various animal species. In this article, we illustrate characteristic patterns of Ca2+ dynamics in mammalian gametes and molecular basis for Ca2+ release from intracellular stores leading to the elevation in cytoplasmic Ca2+ concentration, and describe the identity and properties of sperm-borne egg-activating factor in relation to the induction of Ca2+ waves and Ca2+ oscillations, referring to its potential use in artificial egg activation as infertility treatment. In addition, a possible Ca2+ influx-driven mechanism for slow and long-lasting Ca2+ oscillations characteristic of mammalian eggs is proposed, based on the recent experimental findings and mathematical modeling. Cumulative knowledge about the roles of Ca2+ in the egg activation leading to early embryogenesis is summarized, to emphasize the diversity of functions that Ca2+ can perform in a single type of cell.

  5. Dual roles for cholesterol in mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Xu, Fang; Rychnovsky, Scott D; Belani, Jitendra D; Hobbs, Helen H; Cohen, Jonathan C; Rawson, Robert B

    2005-10-11

    The structural features of sterols required to support mammalian cell growth have not been fully defined. Here, we use mutant CHO cells that synthesize only small amounts of cholesterol to test the capacity of various sterols to support growth. Sterols with minor modifications of the side chain (e.g., campesterol, beta-sitosterol, and desmosterol) supported long-term growth of mutant cells, but sterols with more complex modifications of the side chain, the sterol nucleus, or the 3-hydroxy group did not. After 60 days in culture, the exogenous sterol comprised >90% of cellular sterols. Inactivation of residual endogenous synthesis with the squalene epoxidase inhibitor NB-598 prevented growth in beta-sitosterol and greatly reduced growth in campesterol. Growth of cells cultured in beta-sitosterol and NB-598 was restored by adding small amounts of cholesterol to the medium. Surprisingly, enantiomeric cholesterol also supported cell growth, even in the presence of NB-598. Thus, sterols fulfill two roles in mammalian cells: (i) a bulk membrane requirement in which phytosterols can substitute for cholesterol and (ii) other processes that specifically require small amounts of cholesterol but are not enantioselective. PMID:16199524

  6. The cellular code for mammalian thermosensation.

    PubMed

    Pogorzala, Leah A; Mishra, Santosh K; Hoon, Mark A

    2013-03-27

    Mammalian somatosenory neurons respond to thermal stimuli and allow animals to reliably discriminate hot from cold and to select their preferred environments. Previously, we generated mice that are completely insensitive to temperatures from noxious cold to painful heat (-5 to 55°C) by ablating several different classes of nociceptor early in development. In the present study, we have adopted a selective ablation strategy in adult mice to study this phenotype and have demonstrated that separate populations of molecularly defined neurons respond to hot and cold. TRPV1-expressing neurons are responsible for all behavioral responses to temperatures between 40 and 50°C, whereas TRPM8 neurons are required for cold aversion. We also show that more extreme cold and heat activate additional populations of nociceptors, including cells expressing Mrgprd. Therefore, although eliminating Mrgprd neurons alone does not affect behavioral responses to temperature, when combined with ablation of TRPV1 or TRPM8 cells, it significantly decreases responses to extreme heat and cold, respectively. Ablation of TRPM8 neurons distorts responses to preferred temperatures, suggesting that the pleasant thermal sensation of warmth may in fact just reflect reduced aversive input from TRPM8 and TRPV1 neurons. As predicted by this hypothesis, mice lacking both classes of thermosensor exhibited neither aversive nor attractive responses to temperatures between 10 and 50°C. Our results provide a simple cellular basis for mammalian thermosensation whereby two molecularly defined classes of sensory neurons detect and encode both attractive and aversive cues. PMID:23536068

  7. The Mammalian Ovary from Genesis to Revelation

    PubMed Central

    Edson, Mark A.; Nagaraja, Ankur K.; Matzuk, Martin M.

    2009-01-01

    Two major functions of the mammalian ovary are the production of germ cells (oocytes), which allow continuation of the species, and the generation of bioactive molecules, primarily steroids (mainly estrogens and progestins) and peptide growth factors, which are critical for ovarian function, regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, and development of secondary sex characteristics. The female germline is created during embryogenesis when the precursors of primordial germ cells differentiate from somatic lineages of the embryo and take a unique route to reach the urogenital ridge. This undifferentiated gonad will differentiate along a female pathway, and the newly formed oocytes will proliferate and subsequently enter meiosis. At this point, the oocyte has two alternative fates: die, a common destiny of millions of oocytes, or be fertilized, a fate of at most approximately 100 oocytes, depending on the species. At every step from germline development and ovary formation to oogenesis and ovarian development and differentiation, there are coordinated interactions of hundreds of proteins and small RNAs. These studies have helped reproductive biologists to understand not only the normal functioning of the ovary but also the pathophysiology and genetics of diseases such as infertility and ovarian cancer. Over the last two decades, parallel progress has been made in the assisted reproductive technology clinic including better hormonal preparations, prenatal genetic testing, and optimal oocyte and embryo analysis and cryopreservation. Clearly, we have learned much about the mammalian ovary and manipulating its most important cargo, the oocyte, since the birth of Louise Brown over 30 yr ago. PMID:19776209

  8. Mammalian septin function in hemostasis and beyond.

    PubMed

    Martinez, Constantino; Ware, Jerry

    2004-12-01

    Interest in the biology of mammalian septin proteins has undergone a birth in recent years. Originally identified as critical for yeast budding throughout the 1970s, the septin family is now recognized to extend from yeast to humans and is associated with a variety of events ranging from cytokinesis to vesicle trafficking. An emerging theme for septins is their presence at sites where active membrane or cytoplasmic partitioning is occurring. Here, we briefly review the mammalian septin protein family and focus on a prototypic human and mouse septin, termed SEPT5, that is expressed in the brain, heart, and megakaryocytes. Work from neurobiology laboratories has linked SEPT5 to the exocytic complex of neurons, with implications that SEPT5 regulates neurotransmitter release. Striking similarities exist between neurotransmitter release and the platelet-release reaction, which is a critical step in platelet response to vascular injury. Work from our laboratory has characterized the platelet phenotype from mice containing a targeted deletion of SEPT5. Most strikingly, platelets from SEPT5(null) animals aggregate and release granular contents in response to subthreshold levels of agonists. Thus, the characterization of a SEPT5-deficient mouse has linked SEPT5 to the platelet exocytic process and, as such, illustrates it as an important protein for regulating platelet function. Recent data suggest that platelets contain a wide repertoire of different septin proteins and assemble to form macromolecular septin complexes. The mouse platelet provides an experimental framework to define septin function in hemostasis, with implications for neurobiology and beyond.

  9. Production of small RNAs by mammalian Dicer.

    PubMed

    Svobodova, Eliska; Kubikova, Jana; Svoboda, Petr

    2016-06-01

    MicroRNA (miRNA) and RNA interference (RNAi) pathways employ RNase III Dicer for the biogenesis of small RNAs guiding post-transcriptional repression. Requirements for Dicer activity differ in the two pathways. The biogenesis of miRNAs requires a single Dicer cleavage of a short hairpin precursor to produce a small RNA with a precisely defined sequence, while small RNAs in RNAi come from a processive cleavage of a long double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) into a pool of small RNAs with different sequences. While Dicer is generally conserved among eukaryotes, its substrate recognition, cleavage, and biological roles differ. In Metazoa, a single Dicer can function as a universal factor for RNAi and miRNA pathways or as a factor adapted specifically for one of the pathways. In this review, we focus on the structure, function, and evolution of mammalian Dicer. We discuss key structural features of Dicer and other factors defining Dicer substrate repertoire and biological functions in mammals in comparison with invertebrate models. The key for adaptation of Dicer for miRNA or RNAi pathways is the N-terminal helicase, a dynamically evolving Dicer domain. Its functionality differs between mammals and invertebrates: the mammalian Dicer is well adapted to produce miRNAs while its ability to support RNAi is limited. PMID:27048428

  10. Redox regulation of mammalian sperm capacitation

    PubMed Central

    O’Flaherty, Cristian

    2015-01-01

    Capacitation is a series of morphological and metabolic changes necessary for the spermatozoon to achieve fertilizing ability. One of the earlier happenings during mammalian sperm capacitation is the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that will trigger and regulate a series of events including protein phosphorylation, in a time-dependent fashion. The identity of the sperm oxidase responsible for the production of ROS involved in capacitation is still elusive, and several candidates are discussed in this review. Interestingly, ROS-induced ROS formation has been described during human sperm capacitation. Redox signaling during capacitation is associated with changes in thiol groups of proteins located on the plasma membrane and subcellular compartments of the spermatozoon. Both, oxidation of thiols forming disulfide bridges and the increase on thiol content are necessary to regulate different sperm proteins associated with capacitation. Reducing equivalents such as NADH and NADPH are necessary to support capacitation in many species including humans. Lactate dehydrogenase, glucose-6-phospohate dehydrogenase, and isocitrate dehydrogenase are responsible in supplying NAD (P) H for sperm capacitation. Peroxiredoxins (PRDXs) are newly described enzymes with antioxidant properties that can protect mammalian spermatozoa; however, they are also candidates for assuring the regulation of redox signaling required for sperm capacitation. The dysregulation of PRDXs and of enzymes needed for their reactivation such as thioredoxin/thioredoxin reductase system and glutathione-S-transferases impairs sperm motility, capacitation, and promotes DNA damage in spermatozoa leading to male infertility. PMID:25926608

  11. Ecology and evolution of mammalian biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Kate E.; Safi, Kamran

    2011-01-01

    Mammals have incredible biological diversity, showing extreme flexibility in eco-morphology, physiology, life history and behaviour across their evolutionary history. Undoubtedly, mammals play an important role in ecosystems by providing essential services such as regulating insect populations, seed dispersal and pollination and act as indicators of general ecosystem health. However, the macroecological and macroevolutionary processes underpinning past and present biodiversity patterns are only beginning to be explored on a global scale. It is also particularly important, in the face of the global extinction crisis, to understand these processes in order to be able to use this knowledge to prevent future biodiversity loss and loss of ecosystem services. Unfortunately, efforts to understand mammalian biodiversity have been hampered by a lack of data. New data compilations on current species' distributions, ecologies and evolutionary histories now allow an integrated approach to understand this biodiversity. We review and synthesize these new studies, exploring the past and present ecology and evolution of mammalian biodiversity, and use these findings to speculate about the mammals of our future. PMID:21807728

  12. Evolution of mammalian genome organization inferred from comparative gene mapping

    PubMed Central

    Murphy, William J; Stanyon, Roscoe; O'Brien, Stephen J

    2001-01-01

    Comparative genome analyses, including chromosome painting in over 40 diverse mammalian species, ordered gene maps from several representatives of different mammalian and vertebrate orders, and large-scale sequencing of the human and mouse genomes are beginning to provide insight into the rates and patterns of chromosomal evolution on a whole-genome scale, as well as into the forces that have sculpted the genomes of extant mammalian species. PMID:11423011

  13. Full-length enriched cDNA libraries and ORFeome analysis of sugarcane hybrid and ancestor genotypes.

    PubMed

    Nishiyama, Milton Yutaka; Ferreira, Savio Siqueira; Tang, Pei-Zhong; Becker, Scott; Pörtner-Taliana, Antje; Souza, Glaucia Mendes

    2014-01-01

    Sugarcane is a major crop used for food and bioenergy production. Modern cultivars are hybrids derived from crosses between Saccharum officinarum and Saccharum spontaneum. Hybrid cultivars combine favorable characteristics from ancestral species and contain a genome that is highly polyploid and aneuploid, containing 100-130 chromosomes. These complex genomes represent a huge challenge for molecular studies and for the development of biotechnological tools that can facilitate sugarcane improvement. Here, we describe full-length enriched cDNA libraries for Saccharum officinarum, Saccharum spontaneum, and one hybrid genotype (SP803280) and analyze the set of open reading frames (ORFs) in their genomes (i.e., their ORFeomes). We found 38,195 (19%) sugarcane-specific transcripts that did not match transcripts from other databases. Less than 1.6% of all transcripts were ancestor-specific (i.e., not expressed in SP803280). We also found 78,008 putative new sugarcane transcripts that were absent in the largest sugarcane expressed sequence tag database (SUCEST). Functional annotation showed a high frequency of protein kinases and stress-related proteins. We also detected natural antisense transcript expression, which mapped to 94% of all plant KEGG pathways; however, each genotype showed different pathways enriched in antisense transcripts. Our data appeared to cover 53.2% (17,563 genes) and 46.8% (937 transcription factors) of all sugarcane full-length genes and transcription factors, respectively. This work represents a significant advancement in defining the sugarcane ORFeome and will be useful for protein characterization, single nucleotide polymorphism and splicing variant identification, evolutionary and comparative studies, and sugarcane genome assembly and annotation.

  14. Full-Length Enriched cDNA Libraries and ORFeome Analysis of Sugarcane Hybrid and Ancestor Genotypes

    PubMed Central

    Becker, Scott; Pörtner-Taliana, Antje; Souza, Glaucia Mendes

    2014-01-01

    Sugarcane is a major crop used for food and bioenergy production. Modern cultivars are hybrids derived from crosses between Saccharum officinarum and Saccharum spontaneum. Hybrid cultivars combine favorable characteristics from ancestral species and contain a genome that is highly polyploid and aneuploid, containing 100–130 chromosomes. These complex genomes represent a huge challenge for molecular studies and for the development of biotechnological tools that can facilitate sugarcane improvement. Here, we describe full-length enriched cDNA libraries for Saccharum officinarum, Saccharum spontaneum, and one hybrid genotype (SP803280) and analyze the set of open reading frames (ORFs) in their genomes (i.e., their ORFeomes). We found 38,195 (19%) sugarcane-specific transcripts that did not match transcripts from other databases. Less than 1.6% of all transcripts were ancestor-specific (i.e., not expressed in SP803280). We also found 78,008 putative new sugarcane transcripts that were absent in the largest sugarcane expressed sequence tag database (SUCEST). Functional annotation showed a high frequency of protein kinases and stress-related proteins. We also detected natural antisense transcript expression, which mapped to 94% of all plant KEGG pathways; however, each genotype showed different pathways enriched in antisense transcripts. Our data appeared to cover 53.2% (17,563 genes) and 46.8% (937 transcription factors) of all sugarcane full-length genes and transcription factors, respectively. This work represents a significant advancement in defining the sugarcane ORFeome and will be useful for protein characterization, single nucleotide polymorphism and splicing variant identification, evolutionary and comparative studies, and sugarcane genome assembly and annotation. PMID:25222706

  15. Bacterial Tubulin Distinct Loop Sequences and Primitive Assembly Properties Support Its Origin from a Eukaryotic Tubulin Ancestor*

    PubMed Central

    Martin-Galiano, Antonio J.; Oliva, María A.; Sanz, Laura; Bhattacharyya, Anamitra; Serna, Marina; Yebenes, Hugo; Valpuesta, Jose M.; Andreu, Jose M.

    2011-01-01

    The structure of the unique bacterial tubulin BtubA/B from Prosthecobacter is very similar to eukaryotic αβ-tubulin but, strikingly, BtubA/B fold without eukaryotic chaperones. Our sequence comparisons indicate that BtubA and BtubB do not really correspond to either α- or β-tubulin but have mosaic sequences with intertwining features from both. Their nucleotide-binding loops are more conserved, and their more divergent sequences correspond to discrete surface zones of tubulin involved in microtubule assembly and binding to eukaryotic cytosolic chaperonin, which is absent from the Prosthecobacter dejongeii draft genome. BtubA/B cooperatively assembles over a wider range of conditions than αβ-tubulin, forming pairs of protofilaments that coalesce into bundles instead of microtubules, and it lacks the ability to differentially interact with divalent cations and bind typical tubulin drugs. Assembled BtubA/B contain close to one bound GTP and GDP. Both BtubA and BtubB subunits hydrolyze GTP, leading to disassembly. The mutant BtubA/B-S144G in the tubulin signature motif GGG(T/S)G(S/T)G has strongly inhibited GTPase, but BtubA-T147G/B does not, suggesting that BtubB is a more active GTPase, like β-tubulin. BtubA/B chimera bearing the β-tubulin loops M, H1-S2, and S9-S10 in BtubB fold, assemble, and have reduced GTPase activity. However, introduction of the α-tubulin loop S9-S10 with its unique eight-residue insertion impaired folding. From the sequence analyses, its primitive assembly features, and the properties of the chimeras, we propose that BtubA/B were acquired shortly after duplication of a spontaneously folding α- and β-tubulin ancestor, possibly by horizontal gene transfer from a primitive eukaryotic cell, followed by divergent evolution. PMID:21467045

  16. Horizontal transfer of a subtilisin gene from plants into an ancestor of the plant pathogenic fungal genus Colletotrichum.

    PubMed

    Armijos Jaramillo, Vinicio Danilo; Vargas, Walter Alberto; Sukno, Serenella Ana; Thon, Michael R

    2013-01-01

    The genus Colletotrichum contains a large number of phytopathogenic fungi that produce enormous economic losses around the world. The effect of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) has not been studied yet in these organisms. Inter-Kingdom HGT into fungal genomes has been reported in the past but knowledge about the HGT between plants and fungi is particularly limited. We describe a gene in the genome of several species of the genus Colletotrichum with a strong resemblance to subtilisins typically found in plant genomes. Subtilisins are an important group of serine proteases, widely distributed in all of the kingdoms of life. Our hypothesis is that the gene was acquired by Colletotrichum spp. through (HGT) from plants to a Colletotrichum ancestor. We provide evidence to support this hypothesis in the form of phylogenetic analyses as well as a characterization of the similarity of the subtilisin at the primary, secondary and tertiary structural levels. The remarkable level of structural conservation of Colletotrichum plant-like subtilisin (CPLS) with plant subtilisins and the differences with the rest of Colletotrichum subtilisins suggests the possibility of molecular mimicry. Our phylogenetic analysis indicates that the HGT event would have occurred approximately 150-155 million years ago, after the divergence of the Colletotrichum lineage from other fungi. Gene expression analysis shows that the gene is modulated during the infection of maize by C. graminicola suggesting that it has a role in plant disease. Furthermore, the upregulation of the CPLS coincides with the downregulation of several plant genes encoding subtilisins. Based on the known roles of subtilisins in plant pathogenic fungi and the gene expression pattern that we observed, we postulate that the CPLSs have an important role in plant infection.

  17. Larger Mammalian Body Size Leads to Lower Retroviral Activity

    PubMed Central

    Katzourakis, Aris; Magiorkinis, Gkikas; Lim, Aaron G.; Gupta, Sunetra; Belshaw, Robert; Gifford, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Retroviruses have been infecting mammals for at least 100 million years, leaving descendants in host genomes known as endogenous retroviruses (ERVs). The abundance of ERVs is partly determined by their mode of replication, but it has also been suggested that host life history traits could enhance or suppress their activity. We show that larger bodied species have lower levels of ERV activity by reconstructing the rate of ERV integration across 38 mammalian species. Body size explains 37% of the variance in ERV integration rate over the last 10 million years, controlling for the effect of confounding due to other life history traits. Furthermore, 68% of the variance in the mean age of ERVs per genome can also be explained by body size. These results indicate that body size limits the number of recently replicating ERVs due to their detrimental effects on their host. To comprehend the possible mechanistic links between body size and ERV integration we built a mathematical model, which shows that ERV abundance is favored by lower body size and higher horizontal transmission rates. We argue that because retroviral integration is tumorigenic, the negative correlation between body size and ERV numbers results from the necessity to reduce the risk of cancer, under the assumption that this risk scales positively with body size. Our model also fits the empirical observation that the lifetime risk of cancer is relatively invariant among mammals regardless of their body size, known as Peto's paradox, and indicates that larger bodied mammals may have evolved mechanisms to limit ERV activity. PMID:25033295

  18. PARTIAL REPRODUCTIVE ISOLATION OF A RECENTLY DERIVED RESIDENT-FRESHWATER POPULATION OF THREESPINE STICKLEBACK (GASTEROSTEUS ACULEATUS) FROM ITS PUTATIVE ANADROMOUS ANCESTOR

    PubMed Central

    Furin, Christoff G.; Von Hippel, Frank A.; Bell, Michael A.

    2012-01-01

    We used no-choice mating trials to test for assortative mating between a newly derived resident-freshwater population (8 – 22 generations since founding) of threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) in Loberg Lake, Alaska and its putative anadromous ancestor as well as a morphologically convergent but distantly related resident-freshwater population. Partial reproductive isolation has evolved between the Loberg Lake population and its ancestor within a remarkably short time period. However, Loberg stickleback readily mate with morphologically similar, but distantly related resident-freshwater stickleback. Partial pre-mating isolation is asymmetrical; anadromous females and smaller, resident-freshwater males from Loberg Lake readily mate, but the anadromous males and smaller Loberg females do not. Our results indicate that pre-mating isolation can begin to evolve in allopatry within a few generations after isolation as a correlated effect of evolution of reduced body size. PMID:23025615

  19. The effective population sizes of the anthropoid ancestors of the human-chimpanzee lineage provide insights on the historical biogeography of the great apes.

    PubMed

    Schrago, Carlos G

    2014-01-01

    The recent development of methods that apply coalescent theory to phylogenetic problems has enabled the study of the population-level phenomena that drove the diversification of anthropoid primates. Effective population size, Ne, is one of the main parameters that constitute the theoretical underpinning of these new analytical approaches. For this reason, the ancestral N(e) of selected primate lineages has been thoroughly investigated. However, for some of these lineages, the estimates of ancestral N(e) reported in several studies present significant variation. This is the case for the common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees. Moreover, several ancestral anthropoid lineages have been ignored in the studies conducted so far. Because N(e) is fundamental to understand historic species demography, it is a crucial component of a complete description of the historical scenario of primate evolution. It also provides information that is helpful for differentiating between competing biogeographical hypotheses. In this study, the effective population sizes of the anthropoid ancestors of the human-chimp lineage are inferred using data sets of coding and noncoding sequences. A general pattern of a serial decline of population sizes is found between the ancestral lineage of Anthropoidea and that of Homo and Pan. When the theoretical distribution of gene trees was derived from the parametric estimates obtained, it closely corresponded to the empirical frequency of inferred gene trees along the genome. The most abrupt decrease of N(e) was found between the ancestors of all great apes and those of the African great apes alone. This suggests the occurrence of a genetic bottleneck during the evolution of Homininae, which corroborates the origin of African apes from a Eurasian ancestor.

  20. Independent evolution of knuckle-walking in African apes shows that humans did not evolve from a knuckle-walking ancestor.

    PubMed

    Kivell, Tracy L; Schmitt, Daniel

    2009-08-25

    Despite decades of debate, it remains unclear whether human bipedalism evolved from a terrestrial knuckle-walking ancestor or from a more generalized, arboreal ape ancestor. Proponents of the knuckle-walking hypothesis focused on the wrist and hand to find morphological evidence of this behavior in the human fossil record. These studies, however, have not examined variation or development of purported knuckle-walking features in apes or other primates, data that are critical to resolution of this long-standing debate. Here we present novel data on the frequency and development of putative knuckle-walking features of the wrist in apes and monkeys. We use these data to test the hypothesis that all knuckle-walking apes share similar anatomical features and that these features can be used to reliably infer locomotor behavior in our extinct ancestors. Contrary to previous expectations, features long-assumed to indicate knuckle-walking behavior are not found in all African apes, show different developmental patterns across species, and are found in nonknuckle-walking primates as well. However, variation among African ape wrist morphology can be clearly explained if we accept the likely independent evolution of 2 fundamentally different biomechanical modes of knuckle-walking: an extended wrist posture in an arboreal environment (Pan) versus a neutral, columnar hand posture in a terrestrial environment (Gorilla). The presence of purported knuckle-walking features in the hominin wrist can thus be viewed as evidence of arboreality, not terrestriality, and provide evidence that human bipedalism evolved from a more arboreal ancestor occupying the ecological niche common to all living apes.

  1. Using digital inline holographic microscopy and quantitative phase contrast imaging to assess viability of cultured mammalian cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Missan, Sergey; Hrytsenko, Olga

    2015-03-01

    Digital inline holographic microscopy was used to record holograms of mammalian cells (HEK293, B16, and E0771) in culture. The holograms have been reconstructed using Octopus software (4Deep inwater imaging) and phase shift maps were unwrapped using the FFT-based phase unwrapping algorithm. The unwrapped phase shifts were used to determine the maximum phase shifts in individual cells. Addition of 0.5 mM H2O2 to cell media produced rapid rounding of cultured cells, followed by cell membrane rupture. The cell morphology changes and cell membrane ruptures were detected in real time and were apparent in the unwrapped phase shift images. The results indicate that quantitative phase contrast imaging produced by the digital inline holographic microscope can be used for the label-free real time automated determination of cell viability and confluence in mammalian cell cultures.

  2. Coracoclavicular Ligament Reconstruction

    PubMed Central

    Li, Qi; Hsueh, Pei-ling; Chen, Yun-feng

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Operative intervention is recommended for complete acromioclavicular (AC) joint dislocation to restore AC stability, but the best operative technique is still controversial. Twelve fresh-frozen male cadaveric shoulders (average age, 62.8 ± 7.8 years) were equally divided into endobutton versus the modified Weaver-Dunn groups. Each potted scapula and clavicle was fixed in a custom made jig to allow translation and load to failure testing using a Zwick BZ2.5/TS1S material testing machine (Zwick/Roell Co, Germany). A systematic review of 21 studies evaluating reconstructive methods for coracoclavicular or AC joints using a cadaveric model was also performed. From our biomechanical study, after ligament reconstruction, the triple endobutton technique demonstrated superior, anterior, and posterior displacements similar to that of the intact state (P > 0.05). In the modified Weaver-Dunn reconstruction group, however, there was significantly greater anterior (P < 0.001) and posterior (P = 0.003) translation after ligament reconstruction. In addition, there was no significant difference after reconstruction between failure load of the triple endobutton group and that of the intact state (686.88 vs 684.9 N, P > 0.05), whereas the failure load after the modified Weaver-Dunn reconstruction was decreased compared with the intact state (171.64 vs 640.86 N, P < 0.001). From our systematic review of 21 studies, which involved comparison of the modified Weaver-Dunn technique with other methods, the majority showed that the modified Weaver-Dunn procedure had significantly (P < .05) greater laxity than other methods including the endobutton technique. The triple endobutton reconstruction proved superior to the modified Weaver-Dunn technique in restoration of AC joint stability and strength. Triple endobutton reconstruction of the coracoclavicular ligament is superior to the modified Weaver-Dunn reconstruction in controlling both superior and

  3. Augmented Likelihood Image Reconstruction.

    PubMed

    Stille, Maik; Kleine, Matthias; Hägele, Julian; Barkhausen, Jörg; Buzug, Thorsten M

    2016-01-01

    The presence of high-density objects remains an open problem in medical CT imaging. Data of projections passing through objects of high density, such as metal implants, are dominated by noise and are highly affected by beam hardening and scatter. Reconstructed images become less diagnostically conclusive because of pronounced artifacts that manifest as dark and bright streaks. A new reconstruction algorithm is proposed with the aim to reduce these artifacts by incorporating information about shape and known attenuation coefficients of a metal implant. Image reconstruction is considered as a variational optimization problem. The afore-mentioned prior knowledge is introduced in terms of equality constraints. An augmented Lagrangian approach is adapted in order to minimize the associated log-likelihood function for transmission CT. During iterations, temporally appearing artifacts are reduced with a bilateral filter and new projection values are calculated, which are used later on for the reconstruction. A detailed evaluation in cooperation with radiologists is performed on software and hardware phantoms, as well as on clinically relevant patient data of subjects with various metal implants. Results show that the proposed reconstruction algorithm is able to outperform contemporary metal artifact reduction methods such as normalized metal artifact reduction.

  4. Reconstruction in Warfare Injuries.

    PubMed

    Langer, V

    2010-10-01

    Traumatic injuries, especially in the combat setting, stress the surgical team that may be sited in a remote forward area, battling against paucity of time, resources and infrastructure. The lone surgeon may be faced with the arduous challenge of saving life. There is seldom thought given to reconstruction in this high-pressure situation. If the patient survives, morbidity for want of reconstruction can be severe and quality of life can suffer significantly. Reconstruction after 3 to 5 days is fraught with complications and usually does compromise outcome in the post-operative phase. The reconstructive surgeon should be involved early in the management as he can provide coverage for large soft tissue defects after aggressive debridement with panache. If the patient is haemodynamically stable, he should be transferred urgently, preferrably by air, to a higher centre with multi-specialty care, especially being equipped with an orthopaedic and trauma reconstructive surgeon. It has been proved beyond doubt that the healing improves significantly and there is marked decrease in morbidity if coverage of wounds is provided early, before colonized wounds get infected. PMID:27365741

  5. Crystal structure of mammalian acid sphingomyelinase

    PubMed Central

    Gorelik, Alexei; Illes, Katalin; Heinz, Leonhard X.; Superti-Furga, Giulio; Nagar, Bhushan

    2016-01-01

    Acid sphingomyelinase (ASMase, ASM, SMPD1) converts sphingomyelin into ceramide, modulating membrane properties and signal transduction. Inactivating mutations in ASMase cause Niemann–Pick disease, and its inhibition is also beneficial in models of depression and cancer. To gain a better understanding of this critical therapeutic target, we determined crystal structures of mammalian ASMase in various conformations. The catalytic domain adopts a calcineurin-like fold with two zinc ions and a hydrophobic track leading to the active site. Strikingly, the membrane interacting saposin domain assumes either a closed globular conformation independent from the catalytic domain, or an open conformation, which establishes an interface with the catalytic domain essential for activity. Structural mapping of Niemann–Pick mutations reveals that most of them likely destabilize the protein's fold. This study sheds light on the molecular mechanism of ASMase function, and provides a platform for the rational development of ASMase inhibitors and therapeutic use of recombinant ASMase. PMID:27435900

  6. Crystal structure of mammalian acid sphingomyelinase.

    PubMed

    Gorelik, Alexei; Illes, Katalin; Heinz, Leonhard X; Superti-Furga, Giulio; Nagar, Bhushan

    2016-01-01

    Acid sphingomyelinase (ASMase, ASM, SMPD1) converts sphingomyelin into ceramide, modulating membrane properties and signal transduction. Inactivating mutations in ASMase cause Niemann-Pick disease, and its inhibition is also beneficial in models of depression and cancer. To gain a better understanding of this critical therapeutic target, we determined crystal structures of mammalian ASMase in various conformations. The catalytic domain adopts a calcineurin-like fold with two zinc ions and a hydrophobic track leading to the active site. Strikingly, the membrane interacting saposin domain assumes either a closed globular conformation independent from the catalytic domain, or an open conformation, which establishes an interface with the catalytic domain essential for activity. Structural mapping of Niemann-Pick mutations reveals that most of them likely destabilize the protein's fold. This study sheds light on the molecular mechanism of ASMase function, and provides a platform for the rational development of ASMase inhibitors and therapeutic use of recombinant ASMase. PMID:27435900

  7. Micromotion of mammalian cells measured electrically.

    PubMed Central

    Giaever, I; Keese, C R

    1991-01-01

    Motility is a fundamental property of mammalian cells that normally is observed in tissue culture by time lapse microscopy where resolution is limited by the wavelength of light. This paper examines a powerful electrical technique by which cell motion is quantitatively measured at the nanometer level. In this method, the cells are cultured on small evaporated gold electrodes carrying weak ac currents. A large change in the measured electrical impedance of the electrodes is observed when cells attach and spread on these electrodes. When the impedance is tracked as a function of time, fluctuations are observed that are a direct measure of cell motion. Surprisingly, these fluctuations continue even when the cell layer becomes confluent. By comparing the measured impedance with a theoretical model, it is clear that under these circumstances the average motions of the cell layer of 1 nm can be inferred from the measurements. We refer to this aspect of cell motility as micromotion. PMID:1881923

  8. Nuclear transfer technology in mammalian cloning.

    PubMed

    Wolf, D P; Mitalipov, S; Norgren, R B

    2001-01-01

    The past several years have witnessed remarkable progress in mammalian cloning using nuclear transfer (NT). Until 1997 and the announcement of the successful cloning of sheep from adult mammary gland or fetal fibroblast cells, our working assumption was that cloning by NT could only be accomplished with relatively undifferentiated embryonic cells. Indeed, live offspring were first produced by NT over 15 years ago from totipotent, embryonic blastomeres derived from early cleavage-stage embryos. However, once begun, the progression to somatic cell cloning or NT employing differentiated cells as the source of donor nuclei was meteoric, initially involving differentiated embryonic cell cultures in sheep in 1996 and quickly thereafter, fetal or adult somatic cells in sheep, cow, mouse, goat, and pig. Several recent reviews provide a background for and discussion of these successes. Here we will focus on the potential uses of reproductive cloning along with recent activities in the field and a discussion concerning current interests in human reproductive and therapeutic cloning.

  9. Endocrinology of the mammalian fetal testis.

    PubMed

    O'Shaughnessy, Peter J; Fowler, Paul A

    2011-01-01

    The testes are essential endocrine regulators of fetal masculinization and male development and are, themselves, subject to hormonal regulation during gestation. This review focuses, primarily, on this latter control of testicular function. Data available suggest that, in most mammalian species, the testis goes through a period of independent function before the fetal hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis develops at around 50% of gestation. This pituitary-independent phase coincides with the most critical period of fetal masculinization. Thereafter, the fetal testes appear to become pituitary hormone-dependent, concurrent with declining Leydig cell function, but increasing Sertoli cell numbers. The two orders of mammals most commonly used for these types of studies (rodents and primates) appear to represent special cases within this general hypothesis. In terms of testicular function, rodents are born 'early' before the pituitary-dependent phase of fetal development, while the primate testis is dependent upon placental gonadotropin released during the pituitary-independent phase of development.

  10. Fundamentals of Expression in Mammalian Cells.

    PubMed

    Dyson, Michael R

    2016-01-01

    Expression of proteins in mammalian cells is a key technology important for many functional studies on human and higher eukaryotic genes. Studies include the mapping of protein interactions, solving protein structure by crystallization and X-ray diffraction or solution phase NMR and the generation of antibodies to enable a range of studies to be performed including protein detection in vivo. In addition the production of therapeutic proteins and antibodies, now a multi billion dollar industry, has driven major advances in cell line engineering for the production of grams per liter of active proteins and antibodies. Here the key factors that need to be considered for successful expression in HEK293 and CHO cells are reviewed including host cells, expression vector design, transient transfection methods, stable cell line generation and cultivation conditions. PMID:27165328

  11. Mammalian telomeres and their partnership with lamins

    PubMed Central

    Burla, Romina; La Torre, Mattia; Saggio, Isabella

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Chromosome ends are complex structures, which require a panel of factors for their elongation, replication, and protection. We describe here the mechanics of mammalian telomeres, dynamics and maintainance in relation to lamins. Multiple biochemical connections, including association of telomeres to the nuclear envelope and matrix, of telomeric proteins to lamins, and of lamin-associated proteins to chromosome ends, underline the interplay between lamins and telomeres. Paths toward senescence, such as defective telomere replication, altered heterochromatin organization, and impaired DNA repair, are common to lamins' and telomeres' dysfunction. The convergence of phenotypes can be interpreted through a model of dynamic, lamin-controlled functional platforms dedicated to the function of telomeres as fragile sites. The features of telomeropathies and laminopathies, and of animal models underline further overlapping aspects, including the alteration of stem cell compartments. We expect that future studies of basic biology and on aging will benefit from the analysis of this telomere-lamina interplay. PMID:27116558

  12. Actin dynamics in living mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Ballestrem, C; Wehrle-Haller, B; Imhof, B A

    1998-06-01

    The actin cytoskeleton maintains the cellular architecture and mediates cell movements. To explore actin cytoskeletal dynamics, the enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) was fused to human &bgr ;-actin. The fusion protein was incorporated into actin fibers which became depolymerized upon cytochalasin B treatment. This functional EGFP-actin construct enabled observation of the actin cytoskeleton in living cells by time lapse fluorescence microscopy. Stable expression of the construct was obtained in mammalian cell lines of different tissue origins. In stationary cells, actin rich, ring-like structured 'actin clouds' were observed in addition to stress fibers. These ruffle-like structures were found to be involved in the reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton. In migratory cells, EGFP-actin was found in the advancing lamellipodium. Immobile actin spots developed in the lamellipodium and thin actin fibers formed parallel to the leading edge. Thus EGFP-actin expressed in living cells unveiled structures involved in the dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton.

  13. Cenozoic climate change influences mammalian evolutionary dynamics.

    PubMed

    Figueirido, Borja; Janis, Christine M; Pérez-Claros, Juan A; De Renzi, Miquel; Palmqvist, Paul

    2012-01-17

    Global climate change is having profound impacts on the natural world. However, climate influence on faunal dynamics at macroevolutionary scales remains poorly understood. In this paper we investigate the influence of climate over deep time on the diversity patterns of Cenozoic North American mammals. We use factor analysis to identify temporally correlated assemblages of taxa, or major evolutionary faunas that we can then study in relation to climatic change over the past 65 million years. These taxa can be grouped into six consecutive faunal associations that show some correspondence with the qualitative mammalian chronofaunas of previous workers. We also show that the diversity pattern of most of these chronofaunas can be correlated with the stacked deep-sea benthic foraminiferal oxygen isotope (δ(18)O) curve, which strongly suggests climatic forcing of faunal dynamics over a large macroevolutionary timescale. This study demonstrates the profound influence of climate on the diversity patterns of North American terrestrial mammals over the Cenozoic.

  14. Origins and impacts of new mammalian exons

    PubMed Central

    Merkin, Jason; Chen, Ping; Alexis, Maria; Hautaniemi, Sampsa; Burge, Christopher B.

    2016-01-01

    Summary Mammalian genes are composed of exons, but the evolutionary origins and functions of new internal exons are poorly understood. Here, we analyzed patterns of exon gain using deep cDNA sequencing data from five mammals and one bird, identifying thousands of species- and lineage-specific exons. Most new exons derived from unique rather than repetitive intronic sequence. Unlike exons conserved across mammals, species-specific internal exons were mostly located in 5' untranslated regions and alternatively spliced. They were associated with upstream intronic deletions, increased nucleosome occupancy, and RNA polymerase II pausing. Genes containing new internal exons had increased gene expression, but only in tissues where the exon was included. Increased expression correlated with level of exon inclusion, promoter proximity, and signatures of cotranscriptional splicing. Together these findings suggest that splicing at the 5' ends of genes enhances expression and that changes in 5' end splicing alter gene expression between tissues and between species. PMID:25801031

  15. Regulation of Rap GTPases in mammalian neurons.

    PubMed

    Shah, Bhavin; Püschel, Andreas W

    2016-10-01

    Small GTPases are central regulators of many cellular processes. The highly conserved Rap GTPases perform essential functions in the mammalian nervous system during development and in mature neurons. During neocortical development, Rap1 is required to regulate cadherin- and integrin-mediated adhesion. In the adult nervous system Rap1 and Rap2 regulate the maturation and plasticity of dendritic spine and synapses. Although genetic studies have revealed important roles of Rap GTPases in neurons, their regulation by guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) that activate them and GTPase activating proteins (GAPs) that inactivate them by stimulating their intrinsic GTPase activity is just beginning to be explored in vivo. Here we review how GEFs and GAPs regulate Rap GTPases in the nervous system with a focus on their in vivo function.

  16. Nomenclature for mammalian soluble glutathione transferases.

    PubMed

    Mannervik, Bengt; Board, Philip G; Hayes, John D; Listowsky, Irving; Pearson, William R

    2005-01-01

    The nomenclature for human soluble glutathione transferases (GSTs) is extended to include new members of the GST superfamily that have been discovered, sequenced, and shown to be expressed. The GST nomenclature is based on primary structure similarities and the division of GSTs into classes of more closely related sequences. The classes are designated by the names of the Greek letters: Alpha, Mu, Pi, etc., abbreviated in Roman capitals: A, M, P, and so on. (The Greek characters should not be used.) Class members are distinguished by Arabic numerals and the native dimeric protein structures are named according to their subunit composition (e.g., GST A1-2 is the enzyme composed of subunits 1 and 2 in the Alpha class). Soluble GSTs from other mammalian species can be classified in the same manner as the human enzymes, and this chapter presents the application of the nomenclature to the rat and mouse GSTs. PMID:16399376

  17. Cenozoic climate change influences mammalian evolutionary dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Figueirido, Borja; Janis, Christine M.; Pérez-Claros, Juan A.; De Renzi, Miquel; Palmqvist, Paul

    2012-01-01

    Global climate change is having profound impacts on the natural world. However, climate influence on faunal dynamics at macroevolutionary scales remains poorly understood. In this paper we investigate the influence of climate over deep time on the diversity patterns of Cenozoic North American mammals. We use factor analysis to identify temporally correlated assemblages of taxa, or major evolutionary faunas that we can then study in relation to climatic change over the past 65 million years. These taxa can be grouped into six consecutive faunal associations that show some correspondence with the qualitative mammalian chronofaunas of previous workers. We also show that the diversity pattern of most of these chronofaunas can be correlated with the stacked deep-sea benthic foraminiferal oxygen isotope (δ18O) curve, which strongly suggests climatic forcing of faunal dynamics over a large macroevolutionary timescale. This study demonstrates the profound influence of climate on the diversity patterns of North American terrestrial mammals over the Cenozoic. PMID:22203974

  18. A history of mammalian embryological research.

    PubMed

    Alexandre, H

    2001-01-01

    Although Reinier DE GRAAF (1641-1673) can be considered the founder of modern reproductive biology, scientific knowledge of mammalian development did not progress significantly until the XlXth century. Determining contributions to this progress were the discovery of the ovum by Karl von BAER (1792-1876), his meticulous observations of the stages of embryogenesis, and, half a century later, the remarkable descriptions made by Edouard VAN BENEDEN (1845-1910) of egg development in rabbits and bats. Yet mammalian embryology remained a purely descriptive discipline until the second half of the XXth century, when a handful of exceptional scientists (notably including John D. BIGGERS, Ralph BRINSTER, Anne McLAREN, and W. WHITTEN) managed to obtain reproducibly the development of mouse eggs in a chemically defined medium and to transfer the eggs to the uterine horns of pseudopregnant females. Around the same time (1959), M.C. CHANG was the first to obtain a mammal (a rabbit) by in vitro fertilisation, thus opening the way to assisted procreation. This was achieved in our species in 1978, by Robert EDWARDS and Patrick STEPTOE. With these feats, mammalian embryology could at last become causal, as A. BRACHET already in 1912 had hoped it would. New concepts soon emerged from the delicate manipulations performed on mouse eggs by scientists such as A. TARKOWSKI, B. MINTZ, J. MULNARD, and R. GARDNER, concepts such as the oustside-inside hypothesis proposed to explain the determination of the ICM and trophectoderm or the clonal theory of cell determination during development. These new ideas were soon to become the focus of intense study. Other investigators, interested in the synthesis and roles of macromolecules, contributed in the late 1960's most of our knowledge on global trends in gene expression during the first stages of development. As for the many unfruitful attempts to obtain artificial parthenogenetic development in mice, these would lead to the discovery of parental

  19. Regulation of Rap GTPases in mammalian neurons.

    PubMed

    Shah, Bhavin; Püschel, Andreas W

    2016-10-01

    Small GTPases are central regulators of many cellular processes. The highly conserved Rap GTPases perform essential functions in the mammalian nervous system during development and in mature neurons. During neocortical development, Rap1 is required to regulate cadherin- and integrin-mediated adhesion. In the adult nervous system Rap1 and Rap2 regulate the maturation and plasticity of dendritic spine and synapses. Although genetic studies have revealed important roles of Rap GTPases in neurons, their regulation by guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) that activate them and GTPase activating proteins (GAPs) that inactivate them by stimulating their intrinsic GTPase activity is just beginning to be explored in vivo. Here we review how GEFs and GAPs regulate Rap GTPases in the nervous system with a focus on their in vivo function. PMID:27186679

  20. Mammalian Metallothionein-2A and Oxidative Stress

    PubMed Central

    Ling, Xue-Bin; Wei, Hong-Wei; Wang, Jun; Kong, Yue-Qiong; Wu, Yu-You; Guo, Jun-Li; Li, Tian-Fa; Li, Ji-Ke

    2016-01-01

    Mammalian metallothionein-2A (MT2A) has received considerable attention in recent years due to its crucial pathophysiological role in anti-oxidant, anti-apoptosis, detoxification and anti-inflammation. For many years, most studies evaluating the effects of MT2A have focused on reactive oxygen species (ROS), as second messengers that lead to oxidative stress injury of cells and tissues. Recent studies have highlighted that oxidative stress could activate mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), and MT2A, as a mediator of MAPKs, to regulate the pathogenesis of various diseases. However, the molecule mechanism of MT2A remains elusive. A deeper understanding of the functional, biochemical and molecular characteristics of MT2A would be identified, in order to bring new opportunities for oxidative stress therapy. PMID:27608012

  1. Nomenclature for mammalian soluble glutathione transferases.

    PubMed

    Mannervik, Bengt; Board, Philip G; Hayes, John D; Listowsky, Irving; Pearson, William R

    2005-01-01

    The nomenclature for human soluble glutathione transferases (GSTs) is extended to include new members of the GST superfamily that have been discovered, sequenced, and shown to be expressed. The GST nomenclature is based on primary structure similarities and the division of GSTs into classes of more closely related sequences. The classes are designated by the names of the Greek letters: Alpha, Mu, Pi, etc., abbreviated in Roman capitals: A, M, P, and so on. (The Greek characters should not be used.) Class members are distinguished by Arabic numerals and the native dimeric protein structures are named according to their subunit composition (e.g., GST A1-2 is the enzyme composed of subunits 1 and 2 in the Alpha class). Soluble GSTs from other mammalian species can be classified in the same manner as the human enzymes, and this chapter presents the application of the nomenclature to the rat and mouse GSTs.

  2. Mammalian cell cryopreservation by using liquid marbles.

    PubMed

    Serrano, M Concepción; Nardecchia, Stefania; Gutiérrez, María C; Ferrer, M Luisa; del Monte, Francisco

    2015-02-18

    Liquid marbles (LMs) are nonsticky droplets covered by micro- or nanometrically scaled particles and obtained by simply rolling small amounts of a liquid in a very hydrophobic powder. Since pioneer work by Aussillous and Quéré, a wide palette of hydrophobic materials for the preparation of LMs, as well as potential applications, have been reported. Because of the bioinspired origin of this concept, the applicability of LMs in biomedicine is gaining increasing attention, with remarkable advances in their use as microbioreactors for blood typing, drug screening, and tumor growth, among others. Herein, we explore the novel use of LMs as a biotechnological tool for the cryopreservation of mammalian cells as an alternative to conventional methods, which typically require the use of cryopreservant agents that commonly associate with some degree of cell toxicity. Murine L929 fibroblasts, a reference cell line for cytotoxicity studies, and poly(tetrafluoroethylene), a hydrophobic polymer widely used in cardiovascular surgery, were selected for the preparation of the cell-containing LMs. Our results reveal that there is a safe range of droplet volumes and cell densities that can be successfully used to cryopreserve mammalian cell lines and recover them after thawing without significantly affecting major cellular parameters such as adhesion, morphology, viability, proliferation, and cell cycle. We envision that progress in the exploration of cell-containing LMs could also open their impact as microreactors for the miniaturization of cytotoxicity procedures of drugs and materials in which powerful tools for cell evaluation such as flow cytometry could be used because of the elevated amount of cells handled.

  3. Engineered Trehalose Permeable to Mammalian Cells

    PubMed Central

    Abazari, Alireza; Meimetis, Labros G.; Budin, Ghyslain; Bale, Shyam Sundhar; Weissleder, Ralph; Toner, Mehmet

    2015-01-01

    Trehalose is a naturally occurring disaccharide which is associated with extraordinary stress-tolerance capacity in certain species of unicellular and multicellular organisms. In mammalian cells, presence of intra- and extracellular trehalose has been shown to confer improved tolerance against freezing and desiccation. Since mammalian cells do not synthesize nor import trehalose, the development of novel methods for efficient intracellular delivery of trehalose has been an ongoing investigation. Herein, we studied the membrane permeability of engineered lipophilic derivatives of trehalose. Trehalose conjugated with 6 acetyl groups (trehalose hexaacetate or 6-O-Ac-Tre) demonstrated superior permeability in rat hepatocytes compared with regular trehalose, trehalose diacetate (2-O-Ac-Tre) and trehalose tetraacetate (4-O-Ac-Tre). Once in the cell, intracellular esterases hydrolyzed the 6-O-Ac-Tre molecules, releasing free trehalose into the cytoplasm. The total concentration of intracellular trehalose (plus acetylated variants) reached as high as 10 fold the extracellular concentration of 6-O-Ac-Tre, attaining concentrations suitable for applications in biopreservation. To describe this accumulation phenomenon, a diffusion-reaction model was proposed and the permeability and reaction kinetics of 6-O-Ac-Tre were determined by fitting to experimental data. Further studies suggested that the impact of the loading and the presence of intracellular trehalose on cellular viability and function were negligible. Engineering of trehalose chemical structure rather than manipulating the cell, is an innocuous, cell-friendly method for trehalose delivery, with demonstrated potential for trehalose loading in different types of cells and cell lines, and can facilitate the wide-spread application of trehalose as an intracellular protective agent in biopreservation studies. PMID:26115179

  4. Signal transduction in mammalian oocytes during fertilization.

    PubMed

    Machaty, Zoltan

    2016-01-01

    Mammalian embryo development begins when the fertilizing sperm triggers a series of elevations in the oocyte's intracellular free Ca(2+) concentration. The elevations are the result of repeated release and re-uptake of Ca(2+) stored in the smooth endoplasmic reticulum. Ca(2+) release is primarily mediated by the phosphoinositide signaling system of the oocyte. The system is stimulated when the sperm causes the hydrolysis of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) into inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) and diacylglycerol (DAG); IP3 then binds its receptor on the surface of the endoplasmic reticulum that induces Ca(2+) release. The manner in which the sperm generates IP3, the Ca(2+) mobilizing second messenger, has been the subject of extensive research for a long time. The sperm factor hypothesis has eventually gained general acceptance, according to which it is a molecule from the sperm that diffuses into the ooplasm and stimulates the phosphoinositide cascade. Much evidence now indicates that the sperm-derived factor is phospholipase C-zeta (PLCζ) that cleaves PIP2 and generates IP3, eventually leading to oocyte activation. A recent addition to the candidate sperm factor list is the post-acrosomal sheath WW domain-binding protein (PAWP), whose role at fertilization is currently under debate. Ca(2+) influx across the plasma membrane is also important as, in the absence of extracellular Ca(2+), the oscillations run down prematurely. In pig oocytes, the influx that sustains the oscillations seems to be regulated by the filling status of the stores, whereas in the mouse other mechanisms might be involved. This work summarizes the current understanding of Ca(2+) signaling in mammalian oocytes.

  5. Roles for learning in mammalian chemosensory responses.

    PubMed

    Griffiths, Philip R; Brennan, Peter A

    2015-02-01

    This article is part of a Special Issue "Chemosignals and Reproduction". A rich variety of chemosignals have been identified that influence mammalian behaviour, including peptides, proteins and volatiles. Many of these elicit innate effects acting either as pheromones within species or allelochemicals between species. However, even innate pheromonal responses in mammals are not as hard-wired as the original definition of the term would suggest. Many, if not most mammalian pheromonal responses are only elicited in certain behavioural or physiological contexts. Furthermore, certain pheromones are themselves rewarding and act as unconditioned stimuli to link non-pheromonal stimuli to the pheromonal response, via associative learning. The medial amygdala, has emerged as a potential site for this convergence by which learned chemosensory input is able to gain control over innately-driven output circuits. The medial amygdala is also an important site for associating social chemosensory information that enables recognition of conspecifics and heterospecifics by association of their complex chemosensory signatures both within and across olfactory chemosensory systems. Learning can also influence pheromonal responses more directly to adapt them to changing physiological and behavioural context. Neuromodulators such as noradrenaline and oxytocin can plasticise neural circuits to gate transmission of chemosensory information. More recent evidence points to a role for neurogenesis in this adaptation, both at the peripheral level of the sensory neurons and via the incorporation of new neurons into existing olfactory bulb circuits. The emerging picture is of integrated and flexible responses to chemosignals that adapt them to the environmental and physiological context in which they occur. PMID:25200200

  6. Specific mutations in the HEXA gene among Iraqi Jewish Tay-Sachs disease carriers: dating of founder ancestor.

    PubMed

    Karpati, Mazal; Gazit, Ephraim; Goldman, Boleslaw; Frisch, Amos; Colombo, Roberto; Peleg, Leah

    2004-02-01

    The incidence of Tay-Sachs disease (TSD) carriers, as defined by enzyme assay, is 1:29 among Ashkenazi Jews and 1:110 among Moroccan Jews. An elevated carrier frequency of 1:140 was also observed in the Iraqi Jews (IJ), while in other Israeli populations the world's pan-ethnic frequency of approximately 1:280 has been found. Recently a novel mutation, G749T, has been reported in 38.7% of the IJ carriers (24/62). Here we report a second novel HEXA mutation specific to the IJ TDS carriers: a substitution of cytosine 1351 by guanosine (C1351G), resulting in the change of leucine to valine in position 451. This mutation was found in 33.9% (21/62) of the carriers and in none of 100 non-carrier IJ. In addition to the two specific mutations, 14.5% (9/62) of the IJ carriers bear a known "Jewish" mutation (Ashkenazi or Moroccan) and 11.3% (7/62) carry a known "non-Jewish" mutation. In 1 DNA sample no mutation has yet been detected. To investigate the genetic history of the IJ-specific mutations (C1351G and G749T), the allelic distribution of four polymorphic markers (D15S131, D15S1025, D15S981, D15S1050) was analyzed in IJ heterozygotes and ethnically matched controls. Based on linkage disequilibrium, recombination factor (theta) between the markers and mutated loci, and the population growth correction, we deduced that G749T occurred in a founder ancestor 44.8 +/- 14.2 generations (g) ago [95% confidence interval (CI) 17.0-72.6 g] and C1351G arose 80.4 +/- 35.9 g ago (95% CI 44.5-116.3 g). Thus, the estimated dates for introduction of mutations are: 626 +/- 426 A.D. (200-1052 A.D.) for G749T and 442 +/- 1077 B.C. (1519 B.C. to 635 A.D.) for C1351G. PMID:14648242

  7. Adult Neurogenesis in the Mammalian Hippocampus: Why the Dentate Gyrus?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Drew, Liam J.; Fusi, Stefano; Hen, René

    2013-01-01

    In the adult mammalian brain, newly generated neurons are continuously incorporated into two networks: interneurons born in the subventricular zone migrate to the olfactory bulb, whereas the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus integrates locally born principal neurons. That the rest of the mammalian brain loses significant neurogenic capacity…

  8. Lateral Abdominal Wall Reconstruction

    PubMed Central

    Baumann, Donald P.; Butler, Charles E.

    2012-01-01

    Lateral abdominal wall (LAW) defects can manifest as a flank hernias, myofascial laxity/bulges, or full-thickness defects. These defects are quite different from those in the anterior abdominal wall defects and the complexity and limited surgical options make repairing the LAW a challenge for the reconstructive surgeon. LAW reconstruction requires an understanding of the anatomy, physiologic forces, and the impact of deinnervation injury to design and perform successful reconstructions of hernia, bulge, and full-thickness defects. Reconstructive strategies must be tailored to address the inguinal ligament, retroperitoneum, chest wall, and diaphragm. Operative technique must focus on stabilization of the LAW to nonyielding points of fixation at the anatomic borders of the LAW far beyond the musculofascial borders of the defect itself. Thus, hernias, bulges, and full-thickness defects are approached in a similar fashion. Mesh reinforcement is uniformly required in lateral abdominal wall reconstruction. Inlay mesh placement with overlying myofascial coverage is preferred as a first-line option as is the case in anterior abdominal wall reconstruction. However, interposition bridging repairs are often performed as the surrounding myofascial tissue precludes a dual layered closure. The decision to place bioprosthetic or prosthetic mesh depends on surgeon preference, patient comorbidities, and clinical factors of the repair. Regardless of mesh type, the overlying soft tissue must provide stable cutaneous coverage and obliteration of dead space. In cases where the fasciocutaneous flaps surrounding the defect are inadequate for closure, regional pedicled flaps or free flaps are recruited to achieve stable soft tissue coverage. PMID:23372458

  9. Adaptive iterative reconstruction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bruder, H.; Raupach, R.; Sunnegardh, J.; Sedlmair, M.; Stierstorfer, K.; Flohr, T.

    2011-03-01

    It is well known that, in CT reconstruction, Maximum A Posteriori (MAP) reconstruction based on a Poisson noise model can be well approximated by Penalized Weighted Least Square (PWLS) minimization based on a data dependent Gaussian noise model. We study minimization of the PWLS objective function using the Gradient Descent (GD) method, and show that if an exact inverse of the forward projector exists, the PWLS GD update equation can be translated into an update equation which entirely operates in the image domain. In case of non-linear regularization and arbitrary noise model this means that a non-linear image filter must exist which solves the optimization problem. In the general case of non-linear regularization and arbitrary noise model, the analytical computation is not trivial and might lead to image filters which are computationally very expensive. We introduce a new iteration scheme in image space, based on a regularization filter with an anisotropic noise model. Basically, this approximates the statistical data weighting and regularization in PWLS reconstruction. If needed, e.g. for compensation of the non-exactness of backprojector, the image-based regularization loop can be preceded by a raw data based loop without regularization and statistical data weighting. We call this combined iterative reconstruction scheme Adaptive Iterative Reconstruction (AIR). It will be shown that in terms of low-contrast visibility, sharpness-to-noise and contrast-to-noise ratio, PWLS and AIR reconstruction are similar to a high degree of accuracy. In clinical images the noise texture of AIR is also superior to the more artificial texture of PWLS.

  10. Anatomic Posterolateral Corner Reconstruction.

    PubMed

    Serra Cruz, Raphael; Mitchell, Justin J; Dean, Chase S; Chahla, Jorge; Moatshe, Gilbert; LaPrade, Robert F

    2016-06-01

    Posterolateral corner injuries represent a complex injury pattern, with damage to important coronal and rotatory stabilizers of the knee. These lesions commonly occur in association with other ligament injuries, making decisions regarding treatment challenging. Grade III posterolateral corner injuries result in significant instability and have poor outcomes when treated nonoperatively. As a result, reconstruction is advocated. A thorough knowledge of the anatomy is essential for surgical treatment of this pathology. The following technical note provides a diagnostic approach, postoperative management, and details of a technique for anatomic reconstruction of the 3 main static stabilizers of the posterolateral corner of the knee. PMID:27656379

  11. Dental microwear textures: reconstructing diets of fossil mammals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeSantis, Larisa R. G.

    2016-06-01

    Dietary information of fossil mammals can be revealed via the analysis of tooth morphology, tooth wear, tooth geochemistry, and the microscopic wear patterns on tooth surfaces resulting from food processing. Although dental microwear has long been used by anthropologists and paleontologists to clarify diets in a diversity of mammals, until recently these methods focused on the counting of wear features (e.g., pits and scratches) from two-dimensional surfaces (typically via scanning electron microscopes or low-magnification light microscopes). The analysis of dental microwear textures can instead reveal dietary information in a broad range of herbivorous, omnivorous, and carnivorous mammals by characterizing microscopic tooth surfaces in three-dimensions, without the counting of individual surface features. To date, dental microwear textures in ungulates, xenarthrans, marsupials, carnivorans, and primates (including humans and their ancestors) are correlated with known dietary behavior in extant taxa and reconstruct ancient diets in a diversity of prehistoric mammals. For example, tough versus hard object feeding can be characterized across disparate phylogenetic groups and can distinguish grazers, folivorous, and flesh consumers (tougher food consumers) from woody browsers, frugivores, and bone consumers (harder object feeders). This paper reviews how dental microwear textures can be useful to reconstructing diets in a broad array of living and extinct mammals, with commentary on areas of future research.

  12. Reconstructed Ancestral Enzymes Impose a Fitness Cost upon Modern Bacteria Despite Exhibiting Favourable Biochemical Properties.

    PubMed

    Hobbs, Joanne K; Prentice, Erica J; Groussin, Mathieu; Arcus, Vickery L

    2015-10-01

    Ancestral sequence reconstruction has been widely used to study historical enzyme evolution, both from biochemical and cellular perspectives. Two properties of reconstructed ancestral proteins/enzymes are commonly reported--high thermostability and high catalytic activity--compared with their contemporaries. Increased protein stability is associated with lower aggregation rates, higher soluble protein abundance and a greater capacity to evolve, and therefore, these proteins could be considered "superior" to their contemporary counterparts. In this study, we investigate the relationship between the favourable in vitro biochemical properties of reconstructed ancestral enzymes and the organismal fitness they confer in vivo. We have previously reconstructed several ancestors of the enzyme LeuB, which is essential for leucine biosynthesis. Our initial fitness experiments revealed that overexpression of ANC4, a reconstructed LeuB that exhibits high stability and activity, was only able to partially rescue the growth of a ΔleuB strain, and that a strain complemented with this enzyme was outcompeted by strains carrying one of its descendants. When we expanded our study to include five reconstructed LeuBs and one contemporary, we found that neither in vitro protein stability nor the catalytic rate was correlated with fitness. Instead, fitness showed a strong, negative correlation with estimated evolutionary age (based on phylogenetic relationships). Our findings suggest that, for reconstructed ancestral enzymes, superior in vitro properties do not translate into organismal fitness in vivo. The molecular basis of the relationship between fitness and the inferred age of ancestral LeuB enzymes is unknown, but may be related to the reconstruction process. We also hypothesise that the ancestral enzymes may be incompatible with the other, contemporary enzymes of the metabolic network. PMID:26349578

  13. Reconstruction of the trachea

    PubMed Central

    Grillo, Hermes C.

    1973-01-01

    Grillo, H. C. (1973).Thorax, 28, 667-679. Reconstruction of the trachea. Experience in 100 consecutive cases. Anatomic mobilization of the trachea permits resection of one-half or more with primary anastomosis. An anterior approach by a cervical or cervicomediastinal route utilizes cervical flexion to devolve the larynx and tracheal mobilization with preservation of the lateral blood supply. The transthoracic route is employed for lower tracheal lesions. Over 100 tracheal resections have been done using these methods of direct reconstruction. Eighty-four patients suffered from benign strictures, 79 resulting from intubation injuries. Eleven primary tracheal tumours and five secondary tumours are included. The majority of lesions following intubation occurred at the level of the cuff. It was possible to repair 78 of the 84 stenotic lesions through a cervical or cervicomediastinal approach. Seventy-three of the 84 patients with inflammatory lesions obtained an excellent or good functional and anatomic result. Nine of 11 patients with primary neoplasms who underwent reconstruction are alive and without known disease. There were five early postoperative deaths in these 100 consecutive patients who underwent tracheal reconstruction. Images PMID:4362789

  14. Breast reconstruction - natural tissue

    MedlinePlus

    ... muscle flap; TRAM; Latissimus muscle flap with a breast implant; DIEP flap; DIEAP flap; Gluteal free flap; ... If you are having breast reconstruction at the same time as mastectomy, the surgeon may do either of the following: Skin-sparing mastectomy. This means ...

  15. Reconstructing Community History

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shields, Amy

    2004-01-01

    History is alive and well in Lebanon, Missouri. Students in this small town in the southwest region of the state went above and beyond the community's expectations on this special project. This article describes this historical journey which began when students in a summer mural class reconstructed a mural that was originally created by a…

  16. No Evidence for a Second Evolutionary Stratum during the Early Evolution of Mammalian Sex Chromosomes

    PubMed Central

    Katsura, Yukako; Satta, Yoko

    2012-01-01

    Mammalian sex chromosomes originated from a pair of autosomes, and homologous genes on the sex chromosomes (gametologs) differentiated through recombination arrest between the chromosomes. It was hypothesized that this differentiation in eutherians took place in a stepwise fashion and left a footprint on the X chromosome termed “evolutionary strata.” The evolutionary stratum hypothesis claims that strata 1 and 2 (which correspond to the first two steps of chromosomal differentiation) were generated in the stem lineage of Theria or before the divergence between eutherians and marsupials. However, this prediction relied solely on the molecular clock hypothesis between pairs of human gametologs, and molecular evolution of marsupial sex chromosomal genes has not yet been investigated. In this study, we analyzed the following 7 pairs of marsupial gametologs, together with their eutherian orthologs that reside in stratum 1 or 2: SOX3/SRY, RBMX/Y, RPS4X/Y, HSFX/Y, XKRX/Y, SMCX/Y (KDM5C/D, JARID1C/D), and UBE1X/Y (UBA1/UBA1Y). Phylogenetic analyses and estimated divergence time of these gametologs reveal that they all differentiated at the same time in the therian ancestor. We have also provided strong evidence for gene conversion that occurred in the 3′ region of the eutherian stratum 2 genes (SMCX/Y and UBE1X/Y). The results of the present study show that (1) there is no compelling evidence for the second stratum in the stem lineage of Theria; (2) gene conversion, which may have occurred between SMCX/Y and UBE1X/Y in the eutherian lineage, potentially accounts for their apparently lower degree of overall divergence. PMID:23094017

  17. Cionin, a protochordean hybrid of cholecystokinin and gastrin: biological activity in mammalian systems.

    PubMed

    Schjoldager, B; Park, J; Johnsen, A H; Yamada, T; Rehfeld, J F

    1991-06-01

    The protochordean octapeptide cionin is structurally a hybrid of mammalian cholecystokinin (CCK) and gastrin, and thus their possible common ancestor. To determine whether cionin behaves like CCK or gastrin, we examined its effect on canine fundic somatostatin cells and on porcine and bovine gallbladder muscles. Cionin released somatostatin with a potency (ED50 0.15 nM) and efficacy (14.8% of cell content) similar to that of CCK-8 (ED50 0.12 nM, efficacy 16.7%). The efficacies but not the potencies of CCK-8 and cionin differed from those of sulfated gastrin (0.12 nM, 9.7%), nonsulfated gastrin (0.20 nM, 9.4%), and nonsulfated CCK-8 (0.30 nM, 10.4%). CCK and gastrin stimulated contractions of porcine gallbladder muscle strips in a concentration-dependent manner with no differences in efficacy but with characteristic differences in potency. CCK-8 and cionin displayed similar potencies of ED50 2.0 and 2.6 nM; both were significantly different from the ED50 of 0.4 microM for sulfated gastrin and 2.3 microM for nonsulfated gastrin. CCK radioligand binding to membrane-enriched preparations of porcine and bovine gallbladder muscularis was specific and of high affinity. The equilibrium data revealed that binding of CCK and gastrin peptides best fit a single site. CCK-8 and cionin displayed similar affinities [Kd 0.5 nM (porcine), 0.5 nM (bovine, CCK) vs. Kd 0.8 and 0.9 nM (cionin), respectively]. These differed again significantly from Kd 0.6 and 1.5 microM (sulfated gastrin) and 0.7 and 0.2 microM (nonsulfated gastrin). The results show that cionin behaves like CCK rather than gastrin in mammals.

  18. Mammalian genome evolution: new clues from comparisons of eutherians, marsupials and monotremes.

    PubMed

    Graves, J A

    1991-01-01

    1. Comparisons of chromosomes and gene maps of different mammals are yielding a big picture of the evolution of mammalian genome form and function. It has been particularly instructive to compare gene arrangements on the sex chromosomes between the three major groups of mammals. Eutheria (so-called placental mammals). Metatheria (marsupials) and Prototheria (monotremes), which diverged 150 and 170 Myr BP respectively. 2. A region amounting to 3% of the haploid genome is located on the X chromosome in all three groups, implying that this region must have been part of the original X in a common ancestor. This region comprises the long arm of the human X. 3. A region represented by the short arm of the human X is common to the X in all eutherians, but is autosomal in marsupials and monotremes; thus it was not a part of the original X, and must have been acquired by the X early in the eutherian radiation. 4. This recently acquired region was probably translocated to a pseudoautosomal region shared by the eutherian X and Y. Thus it was originally paired and exempt from X chromosome inactivation; stepwise deletion of this region from the Y and recruitment of the newly unpaired region of the X into the inactivation system could account for some of the peculiarities of this region of the human X. 5. The sex-determining gene TDF must lie on the Y in all mammals in which the Y is male determining. The autosomal location of the candidate gene ZFY in marsupials and monotremes eliminates it from consideration. The recently described candidate gene SRY has yet to pass the "marsupial test".

  19. A compact light-sheet microscope for the study of the mammalian central nervous system

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Zhengyi; Haslehurst, Peter; Scott, Suzanne; Emptage, Nigel; Dholakia, Kishan

    2016-01-01

    Investigation of the transient processes integral to neuronal function demands rapid and high-resolution imaging techniques over a large field of view, which cannot be achieved with conventional scanning microscopes. Here we describe a compact light sheet fluorescence microscope, featuring a 45° inverted geometry and an integrated photolysis laser, that is optimized for applications in neuroscience, in particular fast imaging of sub-neuronal structures in mammalian brain slices. We demonstrate the utility of this design for three-dimensional morphological reconstruction, activation of a single synapse with localized photolysis, and fast imaging of neuronal Ca2+ signalling across a large field of view. The developed system opens up a host of novel applications for the neuroscience community. PMID:27215692

  20. A compact light-sheet microscope for the study of the mammalian central nervous system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Zhengyi; Haslehurst, Peter; Scott, Suzanne; Emptage, Nigel; Dholakia, Kishan

    2016-05-01

    Investigation of the transient processes integral to neuronal function demands rapid and high-resolution imaging techniques over a large field of view, which cannot be achieved with conventional scanning microscopes. Here we describe a compact light sheet fluorescence microscope, featuring a 45° inverted geometry and an integrated photolysis laser, that is optimized for applications in neuroscience, in particular fast imaging of sub-neuronal structures in mammalian brain slices. We demonstrate the utility of this design for three-dimensional morphological reconstruction, activation of a single synapse with localized photolysis, and fast imaging of neuronal Ca2+ signalling across a large field of view. The developed system opens up a host of novel applications for the neuroscience community.

  1. The pattern of mammalian evolution and the relative rate of molecular evolution

    SciTech Connect

    Easteal, S. )

    1990-01-01

    The rates of nucleotide substitution at four genes in four orders of eutherian mammals are compared in relative rate tests using marsupial orthologs for reference. There is no evidence of systematic variation in evolutionary rate among the orders. The sequences are used to reconstruct the phylogeny of the orders using maximum likelihood, parsimony and compatibility methods. A branching order of rodent then ungulate then primate and lagomorph is overwhelmingly indicated. The nodes of the nucleotide based cladograms are widely separated in relation to the total lengths of the branches. The assumption of a star phylogeny that underlies Kimura's test for molecular evolutionary rate variation is shown to be invalid for eutherian mammals. Excess variance in nucleotide or amino acid differences between mammalian orders, above that predicted by neutral theory is explained better by variation in divergence time than by variation in evolutionary rate.

  2. A compact light-sheet microscope for the study of the mammalian central nervous system.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zhengyi; Haslehurst, Peter; Scott, Suzanne; Emptage, Nigel; Dholakia, Kishan

    2016-01-01

    Investigation of the transient processes integral to neuronal function demands rapid and high-resolution imaging techniques over a large field of view, which cannot be achieved with conventional scanning microscopes. Here we describe a compact light sheet fluorescence microscope, featuring a 45° inverted geometry and an integrated photolysis laser, that is optimized for applications in neuroscience, in particular fast imaging of sub-neuronal structures in mammalian brain slices. We demonstrate the utility of this design for three-dimensional morphological reconstruction, activation of a single synapse with localized photolysis, and fast imaging of neuronal Ca(2+) signalling across a large field of view. The developed system opens up a host of novel applications for the neuroscience community. PMID:27215692

  3. Preparing for Breast Reconstruction Surgery

    MedlinePlus

    ... after breast reconstruction surgery Preparing for breast reconstruction surgery Your surgeon can help you know what to ... The plan for follow-up Costs Understanding your surgery costs Health insurance policies often cover most or ...

  4. Channeled spectropolarimetry using iterative reconstruction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Dennis J.; LaCasse, Charles F.; Craven, Julia M.

    2016-05-01

    Channeled spectropolarimeters (CSP) measure the polarization state of light as a function of wavelength. Conventional Fourier reconstruction suffers from noise, assumes the channels are band-limited, and requires uniformly spaced samples. To address these problems, we propose an iterative reconstruction algorithm. We develop a mathematical model of CSP measurements and minimize a cost function based on this model. We simulate a measured spectrum using example Stokes parameters, from which we compare conventional Fourier reconstruction and iterative reconstruction. Importantly, our iterative approach can reconstruct signals that contain more bandwidth, an advancement over Fourier reconstruction. Our results also show that iterative reconstruction mitigates noise effects, processes non-uniformly spaced samples without interpolation, and more faithfully recovers the ground truth Stokes parameters. This work offers a significant improvement to Fourier reconstruction for channeled spectropolarimetry.

  5. Positive Selection Linked with Generation of Novel Mammalian Dentition Patterns.

    PubMed

    Machado, João Paulo; Philip, Siby; Maldonado, Emanuel; O'Brien, Stephen J; Johnson, Warren E; Antunes, Agostinho

    2016-01-01

    A diverse group of genes are involved in the tooth development of mammals. Several studies, focused mainly on mice and rats, have provided a detailed depiction of the processes coordinating tooth formation and shape. Here we surveyed 236 tooth-associated genes in 39 mammalian genomes and tested for signatures of selection to assess patterns of molecular adaptation in genes regulating mammalian dentition. Of the 236 genes, 31 (∼13.1%) showed strong signatures of positive selection that may be responsible for the phenotypic diversity observed in mammalian dentition. Mammalian-specific tooth-associated genes had accelerated mutation rates compared with older genes found across all vertebrates. More recently evolved genes had fewer interactions (either genetic or physical), were associated with fewer Gene Ontology terms and had faster evolutionary rates compared with older genes. The introns of these positively selected genes also exhibited accelerated evolutionary rates, which may reflect additional adaptive pressure in the intronic regions that are associated with regulatory processes that influence tooth-gene networks. The positively selected genes were mainly involved in processes like mineralization and structural organization of tooth specific tissues such as enamel and dentin. Of the 236 analyzed genes, 12 mammalian-specific genes (younger genes) provided insights on diversification of mammalian teeth as they have higher evolutionary rates and exhibit different expression profiles compared with older genes. Our results suggest that the evolution and development of mammalian dentition occurred in part through positive selection acting on genes that previously had other functions. PMID:27613398

  6. Positive Selection Linked with Generation of Novel Mammalian Dentition Patterns.

    PubMed

    Machado, João Paulo; Philip, Siby; Maldonado, Emanuel; O'Brien, Stephen J; Johnson, Warren E; Antunes, Agostinho

    2016-09-11

    A diverse group of genes are involved in the tooth development of mammals. Several studies, focused mainly on mice and rats, have provided a detailed depiction of the processes coordinating tooth formation and shape. Here we surveyed 236 tooth-associated genes in 39 mammalian genomes and tested for signatures of selection to assess patterns of molecular adaptation in genes regulating mammalian dentition. Of the 236 genes, 31 (∼13.1%) showed strong signatures of positive selection that may be responsible for the phenotypic diversity observed in mammalian dentition. Mammalian-specific tooth-associated genes had accelerated mutation rates compared with older genes found across all vertebrates. More recently evolved genes had fewer interactions (either genetic or physical), were associated with fewer Gene Ontology terms and had faster evolutionary rates compared with older genes. The introns of these positively selected genes also exhibited accelerated evolutionary rates, which may reflect additional adaptive pressure in the intronic regions that are associated with regulatory processes that influence tooth-gene networks. The positively selected genes were mainly involved in processes like mineralization and structural organization of tooth specific tissues such as enamel and dentin. Of the 236 analyzed genes, 12 mammalian-specific genes (younger genes) provided insights on diversification of mammalian teeth as they have higher evolutionary rates and exhibit different expression profiles compared with older genes. Our results suggest that the evolution and development of mammalian dentition occurred in part through positive selection acting on genes that previously had other functions.

  7. Desiccation response of mammalian cells: anhydrosignaling.

    PubMed

    Huang, Zebo; Tunnacliffe, Alan

    2007-01-01

    Dehydration through evaporation, or air drying, is expected to have both similarities and differences to osmostress. Both stresses involve water loss, but the degree of dehydration will ultimately be more severe during desiccation. Despite the severity of desiccation stress, there are examples of organisms that can survive almost complete water loss, including resurrection plants and plant seeds, certain invertebrates among the nematodes, brine shrimps, tardigrades and bdelloid rotifers, and many microorganisms, including bakers' yeast. During desiccation, these organisms enter a state of suspended animation, a process known as anhydrobiosis ("life without water"). For other organisms, desiccation is lethal, but there is considerable interest in using what is known about anhydrobiosis to confer desiccation tolerance on sensitive cell types, such as mammalian cells. Success with this approach, which we have termed anhydrobiotic engineering, will require a more complete knowledge of the mechanisms of desiccation tolerance and the sensing and response of nontolerant organisms to extreme dehydration. With this goal in mind, we have attempted to characterize the response of human tissue culture cells to desiccation and to compare this response with osmotic upshift. This chapter describes some of the methods used to begin to uncover the response to evaporative water loss in human cell cultures.

  8. Evidence for compartmentalization of mammalian carotenoid metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Palczewski, Grzegorz; Amengual, Jaume; Hoppel, Charles L.; von Lintig, Johannes

    2014-01-01

    The critical role of retinoids (vitamin A and its derivatives) for vision, reproduction, and survival has been well established. Vitamin A is produced from dietary carotenoids such as β-carotene by centric cleavage via the enzyme BCO1. The biochemical and molecular identification of a second structurally related β-carotene metabolizing enzyme, BCO2, has led to a prolonged debate about its relevance in vitamin A biology. While BCO1 cleaves provitamin A carotenoids, BCO2 is more promiscuous and also metabolizes nonprovitamin A carotenoids such as zeaxanthin into long-chain apo-carotenoids. Herein we demonstrate, in cell lines, that human BCO2 is associated with the inner mitochondrial membrane. Different human BCO2 isoforms possess cleavable N-terminal leader sequences critical for mitochondrial import. Subfractionation of murine hepatic mitochondria confirmed the localization of BCO2 to the inner mitochondrial membrane. Studies in BCO2-knockout mice revealed that zeaxanthin accumulates in the inner mitochondrial membrane; in contrast, β-carotene is retained predominantly in the cytoplasm. Thus, we provide evidence for a compartmentalization of carotenoid metabolism that prevents competition between BCO1 and BCO2 for the provitamin and the production of noncanonical β-carotene metabolites.—Palczewski, G., Amengual, J., Hoppel, C. L., von Lintig, J. Evidence for compartmentalization of mammalian carotenoid metabolism. PMID:25002123

  9. An evolutionary link for developing mammalian lungs.

    PubMed

    Maloney, J E; Darian-Smith, C; Russell, B; Varghese, M; Cooper, J; Limpus, C J

    1989-09-01

    Lungs of the human infant and those of other mammals are filled with fluid immediately prior to birth. Studies of the ionic composition of this fluid indicate that active ionic transport processes occur in the epithelial cells of the potential airspaces. The purpose of this study was to see if these active ion pumps were present in developing species other than mammals thus providing a possible evolutionary link to mammals. A series of samples of lung liquid, amniotic fluid, and plasma were taken from embryonic marine turtles gathered from clutches incubating in the beach at Mon Repos, Queensland, Australia during the summer of 1986-87. The concentrations of sodium, potassium and chloride ions and protein measured in these liquids indicated that active pumping processes similar to that seen in the mammalian lung were present in the developing lungs of these marine reptiles and further, circumstantial evidence was gathered to suggest that this liquid was partially reabsorbed prior to hatching. The results support the notion that processes responsible for the normal development of the human lung and lungs of other mammals are also present in the hollow lungs of marine turtles. Thus there is an evolutionary counterpart controlling lung development in more ancient species. It may be possible to generalize this observation to the development of hollow lungs of other species.

  10. From Immunity and Vaccines to Mammalian Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Heber-Katz, Ellen

    2015-01-01

    Our current understanding of major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-mediated antigen presentation in self and nonself immune recognition was derived from immunological studies of autoimmunity and virus-host interactions, respectively. The trimolecular complex of the MHC molecule, antigen, and T-cell receptor accounts for the phenomena of immunodominance and MHC degeneracy in both types of responses and constrains vaccine development. Out of such considerations, we developed a simple peptide vaccine construct that obviates immunodominance, resulting in a broadly protective T-cell response in the absence of antibody. In the course of autoimmunity studies, we identified the MRL mouse strain as a mammalian model of amphibian-like regeneration. A significant level of DNA damage in the cells from this mouse pointed to the role of the cell cycle checkpoint gene CDKN1a, or p21cip1/waf1. The MRL mouse has highly reduced levels of this molecule, and a genetic knockout of this single gene in otherwise nonregenerating strains led to an MRL-type regenerative response, indicating that the ability to regenerate has not been lost during evolution. PMID:26116734

  11. Editing DNA Methylation in the Mammalian Genome.

    PubMed

    Liu, X Shawn; Wu, Hao; Ji, Xiong; Stelzer, Yonatan; Wu, Xuebing; Czauderna, Szymon; Shu, Jian; Dadon, Daniel; Young, Richard A; Jaenisch, Rudolf

    2016-09-22

    Mammalian DNA methylation is a critical epigenetic mechanism orchestrating gene expression networks in many biological processes. However, investigation of the functions of specific methylation events remains challenging. Here, we demonstrate that fusion of Tet1 or Dnmt3a with a catalytically inactive Cas9 (dCas9) enables targeted DNA methylation editing. Targeting of the dCas9-Tet1 or -Dnmt3a fusion protein to methylated or unmethylated promoter sequences caused activation or silencing, respectively, of an endogenous reporter. Targeted demethylation of the BDNF promoter IV or the MyoD distal enhancer by dCas9-Tet1 induced BDNF expression in post-mitotic neurons or activated MyoD facilitating reprogramming of fibroblasts into myoblasts, respectively. Targeted de novo methylation of a CTCF loop anchor site by dCas9-Dnmt3a blocked CTCF binding and interfered with DNA looping, causing altered gene expression in the neighboring loop. Finally, we show that these tools can edit DNA methylation in mice, demonstrating their wide utility for functional studies of epigenetic regulation. PMID:27662091

  12. Myocardial ischemic protection in natural mammalian hibernation.

    PubMed

    Yan, Lin; Kudej, Raymond K; Vatner, Dorothy E; Vatner, Stephen F

    2015-03-01

    Hibernating myocardium is an important clinical syndrome protecting the heart with chronic myocardial ischemia, named for its assumed resemblance to hibernating mammals in winter. However, the effects of myocardial ischemic protection have never been studied in true mammalian hibernation, which is a unique strategy for surviving extreme winter environmental stress. The goal of this investigation was to test the hypothesis that ischemic stress may also be protected in woodchucks as they hibernate in winter. Myocardial infarction was induced by coronary occlusion followed by reperfusion in naturally hibernating woodchucks in winter with and without hibernation and in summer, when not hibernating. The ischemic area at risk was similar among groups. Myocardial infarction was significantly less in woodchucks in winter, whether hibernating or not, compared with summer, and was similar to that resulting after ischemic preconditioning. Whereas several genes were up or downregulated in both hibernating woodchuck and with ischemic preconditioning, one mechanism was unique to hibernation, i.e., activation of cAMP-response element binding protein (CREB). When CREB was upregulated in summer, it induced protection similar to that observed in the woodchuck heart in winter. The cardioprotection in hibernation was also mediated by endothelial nitric oxide synthase, rather than inducible nitric oxide synthase. Thus, the hibernating woodchuck heart is a novel model to study cardioprotection for two major reasons: (1) powerful cardioprotection occurs naturally in winter months in the absence of any preconditioning stimuli, and (2) it resembles ischemic preconditioning, but with novel mechanisms, making this model potentially useful for clinical translation.

  13. Myocardial ischemic protection in natural mammalian hibernation.

    PubMed

    Yan, Lin; Kudej, Raymond K; Vatner, Dorothy E; Vatner, Stephen F

    2015-03-01

    Hibernating myocardium is an important clinical syndrome protecting the heart with chronic myocardial ischemia, named for its assumed resemblance to hibernating mammals in winter. However, the effects of myocardial ischemic protection have never been studied in true mammalian hibernation, which is a unique strategy for surviving extreme winter environmental stress. The goal of this investigation was to test the hypothesis that ischemic stress may also be protected in woodchucks as they hibernate in winter. Myocardial infarction was induced by coronary occlusion followed by reperfusion in naturally hibernating woodchucks in winter with and without hibernation and in summer, when not hibernating. The ischemic area at risk was similar among groups. Myocardial infarction was significantly less in woodchucks in winter, whether hibernating or not, compared with summer, and was similar to that resulting after ischemic preconditioning. Whereas several genes were up or downregulated in both hibernating woodchuck and with ischemic preconditioning, one mechanism was unique to hibernation, i.e., activation of cAMP-response element binding protein (CREB). When CREB was upregulated in summer, it induced protection similar to that observed in the woodchuck heart in winter. The cardioprotection in hibernation was also mediated by endothelial nitric oxide synthase, rather than inducible nitric oxide synthase. Thus, the hibernating woodchuck heart is a novel model to study cardioprotection for two major reasons: (1) powerful cardioprotection occurs naturally in winter months in the absence of any preconditioning stimuli, and (2) it resembles ischemic preconditioning, but with novel mechanisms, making this model potentially useful for clinical translation. PMID:25613166

  14. Ion channels, phosphorylation and mammalian sperm capacitation.

    PubMed

    Visconti, Pablo E; Krapf, Dario; de la Vega-Beltrán, José Luis; Acevedo, Juan José; Darszon, Alberto

    2011-05-01

    Sexually reproducing animals require an orchestrated communication between spermatozoa and the egg to generate a new individual. Capacitation, a maturational complex phenomenon that occurs in the female reproductive tract, renders spermatozoa capable of binding and fusing with the oocyte, and it is a requirement for mammalian fertilization. Capacitation encompasses plasma membrane reorganization, ion permeability regulation, cholesterol loss and changes in the phosphorylation state of many proteins. Novel tools to study sperm ion channels, image intracellular ionic changes and proteins with better spatial and temporal resolution, are unraveling how modifications in sperm ion transport and phosphorylation states lead to capacitation. Recent evidence indicates that two parallel pathways regulate phosphorylation events leading to capacitation, one of them requiring activation of protein kinase A and the second one involving inactivation of ser/thr phosphatases. This review examines the involvement of ion transporters and phosphorylation signaling processes needed for spermatozoa to achieve capacitation. Understanding the molecular mechanisms leading to fertilization is central for societies to deal with rising male infertility rates, to develop safe male gamete-based contraceptives and to preserve biodiversity through better assisted fertilization strategies.

  15. Programmed cell senescence during mammalian embryonic development.

    PubMed

    Muñoz-Espín, Daniel; Cañamero, Marta; Maraver, Antonio; Gómez-López, Gonzalo; Contreras, Julio; Murillo-Cuesta, Silvia; Rodríguez-Baeza, Alfonso; Varela-Nieto, Isabel; Ruberte, Jesús; Collado, Manuel; Serrano, Manuel

    2013-11-21

    Cellular senescence disables proliferation in damaged cells, and it is relevant for cancer and aging. Here, we show that senescence occurs during mammalian embryonic development at multiple locations, including the mesonephros and the endolymphatic sac of the inner ear, which we have analyzed in detail. Mechanistically, senescence in both structures is strictly dependent on p21, but independent of DNA damage, p53, or other cell-cycle inhibitors, and it is regulated by the TGF-β/SMAD and PI3K/FOXO pathways. Developmentally programmed senescence is followed by macrophage infiltration, clearance of senescent cells, and tissue remodeling. Loss of senescence due to the absence of p21 is partially compensated by apoptosis but still results in detectable developmental abnormalities. Importantly, the mesonephros and endolymphatic sac of human embryos also show evidence of senescence. We conclude that the role of developmentally programmed senescence is to promote tissue remodeling and propose that this is the evolutionary origin of damage-induced senescence.

  16. From Immunity and Vaccines to Mammalian Regeneration.

    PubMed

    Heber-Katz, Ellen

    2015-07-15

    Our current understanding of major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-mediated antigen presentation in self and nonself immune recognition was derived from immunological studies of autoimmunity and virus-host interactions, respectively. The trimolecular complex of the MHC molecule, antigen, and T-cell receptor accounts for the phenomena of immunodominance and MHC degeneracy in both types of responses and constrains vaccine development. Out of such considerations, we developed a simple peptide vaccine construct that obviates immunodominance, resulting in a broadly protective T-cell response in the absence of antibody. In the course of autoimmunity studies, we identified the MRL mouse strain as a mammalian model of amphibian-like regeneration. A significant level of DNA damage in the cells from this mouse pointed to the role of the cell cycle checkpoint gene CDKN1a, or p21(cip1/waf1). The MRL mouse has highly reduced levels of this molecule, and a genetic knockout of this single gene in otherwise nonregenerating strains led to an MRL-type regenerative response, indicating that the ability to regenerate has not been lost during evolution. PMID:26116734

  17. Sources of Error in Mammalian Genetic Screens.

    PubMed

    Sack, Laura Magill; Davoli, Teresa; Xu, Qikai; Li, Mamie Z; Elledge, Stephen J

    2016-01-01

    Genetic screens are invaluable tools for dissection of biological phenomena. Optimization of such screens to enhance discovery of candidate genes and minimize false positives is thus a critical aim. Here, we report several sources of error common to pooled genetic screening techniques used in mammalian cell culture systems, and demonstrate methods to eliminate these errors. We find that reverse transcriptase-mediated recombination during retroviral replication can lead to uncoupling of molecular tags, such as DNA barcodes (BCs), from their associated library elements, leading to chimeric proviral genomes in which BCs are paired to incorrect ORFs, shRNAs, etc This effect depends on the length of homologous sequence between unique elements, and can be minimized with careful vector design. Furthermore, we report that residual plasmid DNA from viral packaging procedures can contaminate transduced cells. These plasmids serve as additional copies of the PCR template during library amplification, resulting in substantial inaccuracies in measurement of initial reference populations for screen normalization. The overabundance of template in some samples causes an imbalance between PCR cycles of contaminated and uncontaminated samples, which results in a systematic artifactual depletion of GC-rich library elements. Elimination of contaminating plasmid DNA using the bacterial endonuclease Benzonase can restore faithful measurements of template abundance and minimize GC bias. PMID:27402361

  18. Mitochondrial dynamics in mammalian health and disease.

    PubMed

    Liesa, Marc; Palacín, Manuel; Zorzano, Antonio

    2009-07-01

    The meaning of the word mitochondrion (from the Greek mitos, meaning thread, and chondros, grain) illustrates that the heterogeneity of mitochondrial morphology has been known since the first descriptions of this organelle. Such a heterogeneous morphology is explained by the dynamic nature of mitochondria. Mitochondrial dynamics is a concept that includes the movement of mitochondria along the cytoskeleton, the regulation of mitochondrial architecture (morphology and distribution), and connectivity mediated by tethering and fusion/fission events. The relevance of these events in mitochondrial and cell physiology has been partially unraveled after the identification of the genes responsible for mitochondrial fusion and fission. Furthermore, during the last decade, it has been identified that mutations in two mitochondrial fusion genes (MFN2 and OPA1) cause prevalent neurodegenerative diseases (Charcot-Marie Tooth type 2A and Kjer disease/autosomal dominant optic atrophy). In addition, other diseases such as type 2 diabetes or vascular proliferative disorders show impaired MFN2 expression. Altogether, these findings have established mitochondrial dynamics as a consolidated area in cellular physiology. Here we review the most significant findings in the field of mitochondrial dynamics in mammalian cells and their implication in human pathologies.

  19. Nitric oxide negatively regulates mammalian adult neurogenesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Packer, Michael A.; Stasiv, Yuri; Benraiss, Abdellatif; Chmielnicki, Eva; Grinberg, Alexander; Westphal, Heiner; Goldman, Steven A.; Enikolopov, Grigori

    2003-08-01

    Neural progenitor cells are widespread throughout the adult central nervous system but only give rise to neurons in specific loci. Negative regulators of neurogenesis have therefore been postulated, but none have yet been identified as subserving a significant role in the adult brain. Here we report that nitric oxide (NO) acts as an important negative regulator of cell proliferation in the adult mammalian brain. We used two independent approaches to examine the function of NO in adult neurogenesis. In a pharmacological approach, we suppressed NO production in the rat brain by intraventricular infusion of an NO synthase inhibitor. In a genetic approach, we generated a null mutant neuronal NO synthase knockout mouse line by targeting the exon encoding active center of the enzyme. In both models, the number of new cells generated in neurogenic areas of the adult brain, the olfactory subependyma and the dentate gyrus, was strongly augmented, which indicates that division of neural stem cells in the adult brain is controlled by NO and suggests a strategy for enhancing neurogenesis in the adult central nervous system.

  20. Evolution of the mammalian dentate gyrus.

    PubMed

    Hevner, Robert F

    2016-02-15

    The dentate gyrus (DG), a part of the hippocampal formation, has important functions in learning, memory, and adult neurogenesis. Compared with homologous areas in sauropsids (birds and reptiles), the mammalian DG is larger and exhibits qualitatively different phenotypes: 1) folded (C- or V-shaped) granule neuron layer, concave toward the hilus and delimited by a hippocampal fissure; 2) nonperiventricular adult neurogenesis; and 3) prolonged ontogeny, involving extensive abventricular (basal) migration and proliferation of neural stem and progenitor cells (NSPCs). Although gaps remain, available data indicate that these DG traits are present in all orders of mammals, including monotremes and marsupials. The exception is Cetacea (whales, dolphins, and porpoises), in which DG size, convolution, and adult neurogenesis have undergone evolutionary regression. Parsimony suggests that increased growth and convolution of the DG arose in stem mammals concurrently with nonperiventricular adult hippocampal neurogenesis and basal migration of NSPCs during development. These traits could all result from an evolutionary change that enhanced radial migration of NSPCs out of the periventricular zones, possibly by epithelial-mesenchymal transition, to colonize and maintain nonperiventricular proliferative niches. In turn, increased NSPC migration and clonal expansion might be a consequence of growth in the cortical hem (medial patterning center), which produces morphogens such as Wnt3a, generates Cajal-Retzius neurons, and is regulated by Lhx2. Finally, correlations between DG convolution and neocortical gyrification (or capacity for gyrification) suggest that enhanced abventricular migration and proliferation of NSPCs played a transformative role in growth and folding of neocortex as well as archicortex.

  1. Late Quaternary mammalian zoogeography of eastern Washington

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyman, R. Lee; Livingston, Stephanie D.

    1983-11-01

    The late Quaternary mammalian zoogeographic history of eastern Washington as revealed by archaeological and paleontological research conforms to a set of past environmental conditions inferred from botanical data. During the relatively cool and moist late Pleistocene and early Holocene, Cervus cf. elaphus, Ovis canadensis, Vulpes vulpes, Martes americana, Alopex lagopus, and perhaps Rangifer sp., taxa with ecological preferences for mesic steppe habitats, were present in the now xeric Columbia Basin. As the climate became progressively warmer and drier during the late Pleistocene and early Holocene, Antilocapra americana, Onychomys leucogaster, Spermophilus townsendii, and Neotoma cinerea, taxa with ecological preferences for xeric steppe habitats, appear in the Columbia Basin. Bison sp. and Taxidea taxus may have been present in eastern Washington for the last 20,000 yr. Middle and late Holocene records for Oreamnos americanus, Spermophilus columbianus, S. townsendii, Lagurus curtatus, and Urocyon cinereoargenteus in central eastern Washington suggest fluctuations in the ranges of these taxa that conform to a middle Holocene period of less effective precipitation and a ca. 3500-yr-old period of more effective precipitation before essentially modern environmental conditions prevailed.

  2. Mammalian cells defective in DNA mismatch correction

    SciTech Connect

    Branch, P.; Aquilina, G.; Hess, P.

    1994-12-31

    Mammalian cells counteract the cytotoxicity of methylating agents, including some used in antitumor chemotherapy, by removing the methylated base, O{sup 6}-methylguanine (O{sup 6}-meG) from their DNA. This removal is normally effected by a specific DNA repair enzyme (O{sup 6}-meG-DNA methyltransferase) that is expressed constitutively. In addition, an alternative type of resistance to methylating agents can be acquired after exposure of cells to the drug. This acquired resistance is highly specific for O{sup 6}-meG and is unusual in that alkylation of DNA is normal and there is no increase in the rate of repair of O{sup 6}-meG or any other damaged base. Instead, the cell is able to tolerate the presence of the usually cytotoxic O{sup 6}-meG and to replicate its DNA normally. The ambiguity of base pairing by O{sup 6}-meG and the observation that tolerant cells are also cross-resistant to the structurally similar 6-thioguanine in DNA has led to the suggestion that the cytotoxicity of O{sup 6}-meG (and 6-thioguanine) arises from ineffective attempts at DNA mismatch correction. This model postulates that tolerance arises as a consequence of loss of this important pathway.

  3. Signal processing at mammalian carotid body chemoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Nurse, Colin A; Piskuric, Nikol A

    2013-01-01

    Mammalian carotid bodies are richly vascularized chemosensory organs that sense blood levels of O(2), CO(2)/H(+), and glucose and maintain homeostatic regulation of these levels via the reflex control of ventilation. Carotid bodies consist of innervated clusters of type I (or glomus) cells in intimate association with glial-like type II cells. Carotid bodies make afferent connections with fibers from sensory neurons in the petrosal ganglia and receive efferent inhibitory innervation from parasympathetic neurons located in the carotid sinus and glossopharyngeal nerves. There are synapses between type I (chemosensory) cells and petrosal afferent terminals, as well as between neighboring type I cells. There is a broad array of neurotransmitters and neuromodulators and their ionotropic and metabotropic receptors in the carotid body. This allows for complex processing of sensory stimuli (e.g., hypoxia and acid hypercapnia) involving both autocrine and paracrine signaling pathways. This review summarizes and evaluates current knowledge of these pathways and presents an integrated working model on information processing in carotid bodies. Included in this model is a novel hypothesis for a potential role of type II cells as an amplifier for the release of a key excitatory carotid body neurotransmitter, ATP, via P2Y purinoceptors and pannexin-1 channels.

  4. Hibernation and daily torpor minimize mammalian extinctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geiser, Fritz; Turbill, Christopher

    2009-10-01

    Small mammals appear to be less vulnerable to extinction than large species, but the underlying reasons are poorly understood. Here, we provide evidence that almost all (93.5%) of 61 recently extinct mammal species were homeothermic, maintaining a constant high body temperature and thus energy expenditure, which demands a high intake of food, long foraging times, and thus exposure to predators. In contrast, only 6.5% of extinct mammals were likely heterothermic and employed multi-day torpor (hibernation) or daily torpor, even though torpor is widespread within more than half of all mammalian orders. Torpor is characterized by substantial reductions of body temperature and energy expenditure and enhances survival during adverse conditions by minimizing food and water requirements, and consequently reduces foraging requirements and exposure to predators. Moreover, because life span is generally longer in heterothermic mammals than in related homeotherms, heterotherms can employ a ‘sit-and-wait’ strategy to withstand adverse periods and then repopulate when circumstances improve. Thus, torpor is a crucial but hitherto unappreciated attribute of small mammals for avoiding extinction. Many opportunistic heterothermic species, because of their plastic energetic requirements, may also stand a better chance of future survival than homeothermic species in the face of greater climatic extremes and changes in environmental conditions caused by global warming.

  5. Repair of radiation damage in mammalian cells

    SciTech Connect

    Setlow, R.B.

    1981-01-01

    The responses, such as survival, mutation, and carcinogenesis, of mammalian cells and tissues to radiation are dependent not only on the magnitude of the damage to macromolecular structures - DNA, RNA, protein, and membranes - but on the rates of macromolecular syntheses of cells relative to the half-lives of the damages. Cells possess a number of mechanisms for repairing damage to DNA. If the repair systems are rapid and error free, cells can tolerate much larger doses than if repair is slow or error prone. It is important to understand the effects of radiation and the repair of radiation damage because there exist reasonable amounts of epidemiological data that permits the construction of dose-response curves for humans. The shapes of such curves or the magnitude of the response will depend on repair. Radiation damage is emphasized because: (a) radiation dosimetry, with all its uncertainties for populations, is excellent compared to chemical dosimetry; (b) a number of cancer-prone diseases are known in which there are defects in DNA repair and radiation results in more chromosomal damage in cells from such individuals than in cells from normal individuals; (c) in some cases, specific radiation products in DNA have been correlated with biological effects, and (d) many chemical effects seem to mimic radiation effects. A further reason for emphasizing damage to DNA is the wealth of experimental evidence indicating that damages to DNA can be initiating events in carcinogenesis.

  6. Centrifugal innervation of the mammalian olfactory bulb.

    PubMed

    Matsutani, Shinji; Yamamoto, Noboru

    2008-12-01

    Although it has been known for decades that the mammalian olfactory bulb receives a substantial number of centrifugal inputs from other regions of the brain, relatively few data have been available on the function of the centrifugal olfactory system. Knowing the role of the centrifugal projection and how it works is of critical importance to fully understanding olfaction. The centrifugal fibers can be classified into two groups, a group that release neuromodulators, such as noradrenaline, serotonin, or acetylcholine, and a group originating in the olfactory cortex. Accumulating evidence suggests that centrifugal neuromodulatory inputs are associated with acquisition of odor memory. Because the distribution of the terminals on these fibers is diffuse and widespread, the neuromodulatory inputs must affect diverse subsets of bulbar neurons at the same time. In contrast, knowledge of the role of centrifugal fibers from the olfactory cortical areas is limited. Judging from recent morphological evidence, these fibers may modify the activity of neurons located in sparse and discrete loci in the olfactory bulb. Given the modular organization of the olfactory bulb, centrifugal fibers from the olfactory cortex may help coordinate the activities of restricted subsets of neurons belonging to distinct functional modules in an odor-specific manner. Because the olfactory cortex receives inputs from limbic and neocortical areas in addition to inputs from the bulb, the centrifugal inputs from the cortex can modulate odor processing in the bulb in response to non-olfactory as well as olfactory cues.

  7. Supramolecular organization of the mammalian translation system.

    PubMed Central

    Negrutskii, B S; Stapulionis, R; Deutscher, M P

    1994-01-01

    Although evidence suggests that the protein synthetic machinery is organized within cells, this point has been difficult to prove because any organization that might exist is lost upon preparation of the cell-free systems usually used to study translation in vitro. To examine this process under conditions more representative of the intact cell, we have developed an active protein-synthesizing system using Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells permeabilized with the plant glycoside saponin. This procedure renders cells permeable to trypan blue and exogenous tRNA, but there is little release of endogenous macromolecules. Protein synthesis in this system proceeds at the same rate as that in intact cells and is about 40-fold faster than that in a cell-free system prepared from the same cells. Active protein synthesis in this system requires the addition of only Mg2+, K+, and creatine phosphate, with a small further stimulation by ATP and an amino acid mixture; no exogenous macromolecules are necessary. The proteins synthesized in this system are indistinguishable from those made by the intact cell, and the channeling of aminoacyl-tRNA observed in vivo is maintained. Our data suggest that the permeabilized cell system retains the protein-synthesizing capabilities of the intact cell and presumably its internal structure as well. Studies with this system demonstrate that the protein-synthesizing apparatus is highly organized and that its macromolecular components are not freely diffusible in mammalian cells. Images PMID:8302874

  8. Comparative analysis of mammalian sperm motility.

    PubMed

    Phillips, D M

    1972-05-01

    Spermatozoa of several mammalian species were studied by means of high-speed cinematography and electron microscopy. Three types of motile patterns were observed in mouse spermatozoa. The first type involved an asymmetrical beat which seemed to propel the sperm in circular paths. The second type involved rotation of the sperm and appeared to allow them to maintain straight paths. In the third type of pattern, the sperm appeared to move by crawling on surfaces in a snakelike manner. Spermatozoa of rabbit and Chinese hamster also had an asymmetrical beat which sometimes caused them to swim in circles. In spite of the asymmetry of the beat, these spermatozoa were also able to swim in straight paths by rotating around a central axis as they swam. Spermatozoa of some species appeared very flexible; their flagella formed arcs with a very small radius of curvature as they beat. Spermatozoa of other species appeared very stiff, and their flagella formed arcs with a very large radius of curvature. The stiffness of the spermatozoan appeared to correlate positively with the cross-sectional area of the dense fibers. This suggests that the dense fibers may be stiff elastic elements. Opossum sperm become paired as they pass through the epididymis. Pairs of opossum spermatozoa beat in a coordinated, alternating manner.

  9. Ion channels, phosphorylation and mammalian sperm capacitation

    PubMed Central

    Visconti, Pablo E; Krapf, Dario; de la Vega-Beltrán, José Luis; Acevedo, Juan José; Darszon, Alberto

    2011-01-01

    Sexually reproducing animals require an orchestrated communication between spermatozoa and the egg to generate a new individual. Capacitation, a maturational complex phenomenon that occurs in the female reproductive tract, renders spermatozoa capable of binding and fusing with the oocyte, and it is a requirement for mammalian fertilization. Capacitation encompasses plasma membrane reorganization, ion permeability regulation, cholesterol loss and changes in the phosphorylation state of many proteins. Novel tools to study sperm ion channels, image intracellular ionic changes and proteins with better spatial and temporal resolution, are unraveling how modifications in sperm ion transport and phosphorylation states lead to capacitation. Recent evidence indicates that two parallel pathways regulate phosphorylation events leading to capacitation, one of them requiring activation of protein kinase A and the second one involving inactivation of ser/thr phosphatases. This review examines the involvement of ion transporters and phosphorylation signaling processes needed for spermatozoa to achieve capacitation. Understanding the molecular mechanisms leading to fertilization is central for societies to deal with rising male infertility rates, to develop safe male gamete-based contraceptives and to preserve biodiversity through better assisted fertilization strategies. PMID:21540868

  10. Sources of Error in Mammalian Genetic Screens

    PubMed Central

    Sack, Laura Magill; Davoli, Teresa; Xu, Qikai; Li, Mamie Z.; Elledge, Stephen J.

    2016-01-01

    Genetic screens are invaluable tools for dissection of biological phenomena. Optimization of such screens to enhance discovery of candidate genes and minimize false positives is thus a critical aim. Here, we report several sources of error common to pooled genetic screening techniques used in mammalian cell culture systems, and demonstrate methods to eliminate these errors. We find that reverse transcriptase-mediated recombination during retroviral replication can lead to uncoupling of molecular tags, such as DNA barcodes (BCs), from their associated library elements, leading to chimeric proviral genomes in which BCs are paired to incorrect ORFs, shRNAs, etc. This effect depends on the length of homologous sequence between unique elements, and can be minimized with careful vector design. Furthermore, we report that residual plasmid DNA from viral packaging procedures can contaminate transduced cells. These plasmids serve as additional copies of the PCR template during library amplification, resulting in substantial inaccuracies in measurement of initial reference populations for screen normalization. The overabundance of template in some samples causes an imbalance between PCR cycles of contaminated and uncontaminated samples, which results in a systematic artifactual depletion of GC-rich library elements. Elimination of contaminating plasmid DNA using the bacterial endonuclease Benzonase can restore faithful measurements of template abundance and minimize GC bias. PMID:27402361

  11. Functions of miRNAs during Mammalian Heart Development

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Shun; Jiao, Kai

    2016-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play essential roles during mammalian heart development and have emerged as attractive therapeutic targets for cardiovascular diseases. The mammalian embryonic heart is mainly derived from four major cell types during development. These include cardiomyocytes, endocardial cells, epicardial cells, and neural crest cells. Recent data have identified various miRNAs as critical regulators of the proper differentiation, proliferation, and survival of these cell types. In this review, we briefly introduce the contemporary understanding of mammalian cardiac development. We also focus on recent developments in the field of cardiac miRNAs and their functions during the development of different cell types. PMID:27213371

  12. Stochastic reconstruction of sandstones

    PubMed

    Manwart; Torquato; Hilfer

    2000-07-01

    A simulated annealing algorithm is employed to generate a stochastic model for a Berea sandstone and a Fontainebleau sandstone, with each a prescribed two-point probability function, lineal-path function, and "pore size" distribution function, respectively. We find that the temperature decrease of the annealing has to be rather quick to yield isotropic and percolating configurations. A comparison of simple morphological quantities indicates good agreement between the reconstructions and the original sandstones. Also, the mean survival time of a random walker in the pore space is reproduced with good accuracy. However, a more detailed investigation by means of local porosity theory shows that there may be significant differences of the geometrical connectivity between the reconstructed and the experimental samples.

  13. Sequence Evolution and Expression of the Androgen Receptor and Other Pathway-Related Genes in a Unisexual Fish, the Amazon Molly, Poecilia formosa, and Its Bisexual Ancestors

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Fangjun; Schlupp, Ingo; Tiedemann, Ralph

    2016-01-01

    The all-female Amazon molly (Poecilia formosa) originated from a single hybridization of two bisexual ancestors, Atlantic molly (Poecilia mexicana) and sailfin molly (Poecilia latipinna). As a gynogenetic species, the Amazon molly needs to copulate with a heterospecific male, but the genetic information of the sperm-donor does not contribute to the next generation, as the sperm only acts as the trigger for the diploid eggs’ embryogenesis. Here, we study the sequence evolution and gene expression of the duplicated genes coding for androgen receptors (ars) and other pathway-related genes, i.e., the estrogen receptors (ers) and cytochrome P450, family19, subfamily A, aromatase genes (cyp19as), in the Amazon molly, in comparison to its bisexual ancestors. Mollies possess–as most other teleost fish—two copies of the ar, er, and cyp19a genes, i.e., arα/arβ, erα/erβ1, and cyp19a1 (also referred as cyp19a1a)/cyp19a2 (also referred to as cyp19a1b), respectively. Non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) among the ancestral bisexual species were generally predicted not to alter protein function. Some derived substitutions in the P. mexicana and one in P. formosa are predicted to impact protein function. We also describe the gene expression pattern of the ars and pathway-related genes in various tissues (i.e., brain, gill, and ovary) and provide SNP markers for allele specific expression research. As a general tendency, the levels of gene expression were lowest in gill and highest in ovarian tissues, while expression levels in the brain were intermediate in most cases. Expression levels in P. formosa were conserved where expression did not differ between the two bisexual ancestors. In those cases where gene expression levels significantly differed between the bisexual species, P. formosa expression was always comparable to the higher expression level among the two ancestors. Interestingly, erβ1 was expressed neither in brain nor in gill in the analyzed

  14. LOFAR sparse image reconstruction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garsden, H.; Girard, J. N.; Starck, J. L.; Corbel, S.; Tasse, C.; Woiselle, A.; McKean, J. P.; van Amesfoort, A. S.; Anderson, J.; Avruch, I. M.; Beck, R.; Bentum, M. J.; Best, P.; Breitling, F.; Broderick, J.; Brüggen, M.; Butcher, H. R.; Ciardi, B.; de Gasperin, F.; de Geus, E.; de Vos, M.; Duscha, S.; Eislöffel, J.; Engels, D.; Falcke, H.; Fallows, R. A.; Fender, R.; Ferrari, C.; Frieswijk, W.; Garrett, M. A.; Grießmeier, J.; Gunst, A. W.; Hassall, T. E.; Heald, G.; Hoeft, M.; Hörandel, J.; van der Horst, A.; Juette, E.; Karastergiou, A.; Kondratiev, V. I.; Kramer, M.; Kuniyoshi, M.; Kuper, G.; Mann, G.; Markoff, S.; McFadden, R.; McKay-Bukowski, D.; Mulcahy, D. D.; Munk, H.; Norden, M. J.; Orru, E.; Paas, H.; Pandey-Pommier, M.; Pandey, V. N.; Pietka, G.; Pizzo, R.; Polatidis, A. G.; Renting, A.; Röttgering, H.; Rowlinson, A.; Schwarz, D.; Sluman, J.; Smirnov, O.; Stappers, B. W.; Steinmetz, M.; Stewart, A.; Swinbank, J.; Tagger, M.; Tang, Y.; Tasse, C.; Thoudam, S.; Toribio, C.; Vermeulen, R.; Vocks, C.; van Weeren, R. J.; Wijnholds, S. J.; Wise, M. W.; Wucknitz, O.; Yatawatta, S.; Zarka, P.; Zensus, A.

    2015-03-01

    Context. The LOw Frequency ARray (LOFAR) radio telescope is a giant digital phased array interferometer with multiple antennas distributed in Europe. It provides discrete sets of Fourier components of the sky brightness. Recovering the original brightness distribution with aperture synthesis forms an inverse problem that can be solved by various deconvolution and minimization methods. Aims: Recent papers have established a clear link between the discrete nature of radio interferometry measurement and the "compressed sensing" (CS) theory, which supports sparse reconstruction methods to form an image from the measured visibilities. Empowered by proximal theory, CS offers a sound framework for efficient global minimization and sparse data representation using fast algorithms. Combined with instrumental direction-dependent effects (DDE) in the scope of a real instrument, we developed and validated a new method based on this framework. Methods: We implemented a sparse reconstruction method in the standard LOFAR imaging tool and compared the photometric and resolution performance of this new imager with that of CLEAN-based methods (CLEAN and MS-CLEAN) with simulated and real LOFAR data. Results: We show that i) sparse reconstruction performs as well as CLEAN in recovering the flux of point sources; ii) performs much better on extended objects (the root mean square error is reduced by a factor of up to 10); and iii) provides a solution with an effective angular resolution 2-3 times better than the CLEAN images. Conclusions: Sparse recovery gives a correct photometry on high dynamic and wide-field images and improved realistic structures of extended sources (of simulated and real LOFAR datasets). This sparse reconstruction method is compatible with modern interferometric imagers that handle DDE corrections (A- and W-projections) required for current and future instruments such as LOFAR and SKA.

  15. Kinky tomographic reconstruction

    SciTech Connect

    Hanson, K.M.; Cunningham, G.S.; Bilisoly, R.L.

    1996-05-01

    We address the issue of how to make decisions about the degree of smoothness demanded of a flexible contour used to model the boundary of a 2D object. We demonstrate the use of a Bayesian approach to set the strength of the smoothness prior for a tomographic reconstruction problem. The Akaike Information Criterion is used to determine whether to allow a kink in the contour.

  16. Genome exposure and regulation in mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Puck, T T; Webb, P; Johnson, R

    1998-09-01

    A method of measurement of exposed DNA (i.e. hypersensitive to DNase I hydrolysis) as opposed to sequestered (hydrolysis resistant) DNA in isolated nuclei of mammalian cells is described. While cell cultures exhibit some differences in behavior from day to day, the general pattern of exposed and sequestered DNA is satisfactorily reproducible and agrees with results previously obtained by other methods. The general pattern of DNA hydrolysis exhibited by all cells tested consists of a curve which at first rises sharply with increasing DNase I, and then becomes almost horizontal, indicating that roughly about half of the nuclear DNA is highly sequestered. In 4 cases where transformed cells (Raszip6, CHO, HL60 and PC12) were compared, each with its more normal homolog (3T3, and the reverse transformed versions of CHO, HL60 and PC12, achieved by dibutyryl cyclic AMP [DBcAMP], retinoic acid, and nerve growth factor [NGF] respectively), the transformed form displayed less genome exposure than the nontransformed form at every DNase I dose tested. When Ca++ was excluded from the hydrolysis medium in both the Raszip6-3T3 and the CHO-DBcAMP systems, the normal cell forms lost their increased exposure reverting to that of the transformed forms. Therefore Ca++ appears necessary for maintenance of the DNA in the more highly exposed state characteristic of the nontransformed phenotype. LiCl increases the DNA exposure of all transformed cells tested. Dextran sulfate and heparin each can increase the DNA exposure of several different cancers. Colcemid prevents the increase of exposure of CHO by DBcAMP but it must be administered before or simultaneously with the latter compound. Measurements on mouse biopsies reveal large differences in exposure in different normal tissues. Thus, the exposure from adult liver cells was greater than that of adult brain, but both fetal liver and fetal brain had significantly greater exposure than their adult counterparts. Exposure in normal human

  17. Assays for mammalian tyrosinase: a comparative study

    SciTech Connect

    Jara, J.R.; Solano, F.; Lozano, J.A.

    1988-01-01

    This work describes a comparative study of the tyrosinase activity determined using three methods which are the most extensively employed; two radiometric assays using L-tyrosine as substrate (tyrosine hydroxylase and melanin formation activities) and one spectrophotometric assay using L-dopa (dopa oxidase activity). The three methods were simultaneously employed to measure the activities of the soluble, melanosomal, and microsomal tyrosinase isozymes from Harding-Passey mouse melanoma through their purification processes. The aim of this study was to find any correlation among the tyrosinase activities measured by the three different assays and to determine whether that correlation varied with the isozyme and its degree of purification. The results show that mammalian tyrosinase has a greater turnover number for L-dopa than for L-tyrosine. Thus, enzyme activity, expressed as mumol of substrate transformed per min, is higher in assays using L-dopa as substrate than those using L-tyrosine. Moreover, the percentage of hydroxylated L-tyrosine that is converted into melanin is low and is affected by several factors, apparently decreasing the tyrosinase activity measured by the melanin formation assay. Bearing these considerations in mind, average interassay factors are proposed. Their values are 10 to transform melanin formation into tyrosine hydroxylase activity, 100 to transform tyrosine hydroxylase into dopa oxidase activity, and 1,000 to transform melanin formation into dopa oxidase activity. Variations in these values due to the presence in the tyrosinase preparations of either inhibitors or regulatory factors in melanogenesis independent of tyrosinase are also discussed.

  18. Mammalian reoviruses contain a myristoylated structural protein.

    PubMed Central

    Nibert, M L; Schiff, L A; Fields, B N

    1991-01-01

    The structural protein mu 1 of mammalian reoviruses was noted to have a potential N-myristoylation sequence at the amino terminus of its deduced amino acid sequence. Virions labeled with [3H]myristic acid were used to demonstrate that mu 1 is modified by an amide-linked myristoyl group. A myristoylated peptide having a relative molecular weight (Mr) of approximately 4,000 was also shown to be a structural component of virions and was concluded to represent the 4.2-kDa amino-terminal fragment of mu 1 which is generated by the same proteolytic cleavage that yields the carboxy-terminal fragment and major outer capsid protein mu 1C. The myristoylated 4,000-Mr peptide was found to be present in reovirus intermediate subviral particles but to be absent from cores, indicating that it is a component of the outer capsid. A distinct large myristoylated fragment of the intact mu 1 protein was also identified in intermediate subviral particles, but no myristoylated mu-region proteins were identified in cores, consistent with the location of mu 1 in the outer capsid. Similarities between amino-terminal regions of the reovirus mu 1 protein and the poliovirus capsid polyprotein were noted. By analogy with other viruses that contain N-myristoylated structural proteins (particularly picornaviruses), we suggest that the myristoyl group attached to mu 1 and its amino-terminal fragments has an essential role in the assembly and structure of the reovirus outer capsid and in the process of reovirus entry into cells. Images PMID:2002551

  19. Ontogenetic development of the mammalian circadian system.

    PubMed

    Weinert, Dietmar

    2005-01-01

    This review summarizes the current knowledge about the ontogenetic development of the circadian system in mammals. The developmental changes of overt rhythms are discussed, although the main focus of the review is the underlying neuronal and molecular mechanisms. In addition, the review describes ontogenetic development, not only as a process of morpho-functional maturation. The need of repeated adaptations and readaptations due to changing developmental stage and environmental conditions is also considered. The review analyzes mainly rodent data, obtained from the literature and from the author's own studies. Results from other species, including humans, are presented to demonstrate common features and species-dependent differences. The review first describes the development of the suprachiasmatic nuclei as the central pacemaker system and shows that intrinsic circadian rhythms are already generated in the mammalian fetus. As in adult organisms, the period length is different from 24 h and needs continuous correction by environmental periodicities, or zeitgebers. The investigation of the ontogenetic development of the mechanisms of entrainment reveals that, at prenatal and early postnatal stages, non-photic cues deriving from the mother are effective. Light-dark entrainment develops later. At a certain age, both photic and non-photic zeitgebers may act in parallel, even though the respective time information is 12 h out of phase. That leads to a temporary internal desynchronization. Because rhythmic information needs to be transferred to effector organs, the corresponding neural and humoral signalling pathways are also briefly described. Finally, to be able to transform a rhythmic signal into an overt rhythm, the corresponding effector organs must be functionally mature. As many of these organs are able to generate their own intrinsic rhythms, another aspect of the review is dedicated to the development of peripheral oscillators and mechanisms of their entrainment

  20. Evolution of the mammalian dentate gyrus.

    PubMed

    Hevner, Robert F

    2016-02-15

    The dentate gyrus (DG), a part of the hippocampal formation, has important functions in learning, memory, and adult neurogenesis. Compared with homologous areas in sauropsids (birds and reptiles), the mammalian DG is larger and exhibits qualitatively different phenotypes: 1) folded (C- or V-shaped) granule neuron layer, concave toward the hilus and delimited by a hippocampal fissure; 2) nonperiventricular adult neurogenesis; and 3) prolonged ontogeny, involving extensive abventricular (basal) migration and proliferation of neural stem and progenitor cells (NSPCs). Although gaps remain, available data indicate that these DG traits are present in all orders of mammals, including monotremes and marsupials. The exception is Cetacea (whales, dolphins, and porpoises), in which DG size, convolution, and adult neurogenesis have undergone evolutionary regression. Parsimony suggests that increased growth and convolution of the DG arose in stem mammals concurrently with nonperiventricular adult hippocampal neurogenesis and basal migration of NSPCs during development. These traits could all result from an evolutionary change that enhanced radial migration of NSPCs out of the periventricular zones, possibly by epithelial-mesenchymal transition, to colonize and maintain nonperiventricular proliferative niches. In turn, increased NSPC migration and clonal expansion might be a consequence of growth in the cortical hem (medial patterning center), which produces morphogens such as Wnt3a, generates Cajal-Retzius neurons, and is regulated by Lhx2. Finally, correlations between DG convolution and neocortical gyrification (or capacity for gyrification) suggest that enhanced abventricular migration and proliferation of NSPCs played a transformative role in growth and folding of neocortex as well as archicortex. PMID:26179319

  1. Profiling Signaling Peptides in Single Mammalian Cells Using Mass Spectrometry

    PubMed Central

    Rubakhin, Stanislav S.; Churchill, James D.; Greenough, William T.; Sweedler, Jonathan V.

    2008-01-01

    The peptide content of individual mammalian cells is profiled using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Both enzymatic and non-enzymatic procedures, including a glycerol cell stabilization method, are reported for the isolation of individual mammalian cells in a manner compatible with MALDI MS measurements. Guided microdeposition of MALDI matrix allows samples to be created with suitable analyte-to-matrix ratios. More than fifteen peptides are observed in individual rat intermediate pituitary cells. The combination of accurate mass data, expected cleavages by proteolytic enzymes, and post-source decay sequencing allows identification of fourteen of these peptides as pro-opiomelanocortin prohormone-derived molecules. These protocols permit the classification of individual mammalian cells by peptide profile, the elucidation of cell-specific prohormone processing, and the discovery of new signaling peptides on a cell-to-cell basis in a wide variety of mammalian cell types. PMID:17037931

  2. High-Frequency Power Gain in the Mammalian Cochlea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maoiléidigh, Dáibhid Ó.; Hudspeth, A. J.

    2011-11-01

    Amplification in the mammalian inner ear is thought to result from a nonlinear active process known as the cochlear amplifier. Although there is much evidence that outer hair cells (OHCs) play a central role in the cochlear amplifier, the mechanism of amplification remains uncertain. In non-mammalian ears hair bundles can perform mechanical work and account for the active process in vitro, yet in the mammalian cochlea membrane-based electromotility is required for amplification in vivo. A key issue is how OHCs conduct mechanical power amplification at high frequencies. We present a physical model of a segment of the mammalian cochlea that can amplify the power of external signals. In this representation both electromotility and active hair-bundle motility are required for mechanical power gain at high frequencies. We demonstrate how the endocochlear potential, the OHC resting potential, Ca2+ gradients, and ATP-fueled myosin motors serve as the energy sources underlying mechanical power gain in the cochlear amplifier.

  3. Effective isotope labeling of proteins in a mammalian expression system.

    PubMed

    Sastry, Mallika; Bewley, Carole A; Kwong, Peter D

    2015-01-01

    Isotope labeling of biologically interesting proteins is a prerequisite for structural and dynamics studies by NMR spectroscopy. Many of these proteins require mammalian cofactors, chaperons, or posttranslational modifications such as myristoylation, glypiation, disulfide bond formation, or N- or O-linked glycosylation; and mammalian cells have the necessary machinery to produce them in their functional forms. Here, we describe recent advances in mammalian expression, including an efficient adenoviral vector-based system, for the production of isotopically labeled proteins. This system enables expression of mammalian proteins and their complexes, including proteins that require posttranslational modifications. We describe a roadmap to produce isotopically labeled (15)N and (13)C posttranslationally modified proteins, such as the outer domain of HIV-1 gp120, which has four disulfide bonds and 15 potential sites of N-linked glycosylation. These methods should allow NMR spectroscopic analysis of the structure and function of posttranslationally modified and secreted, cytoplasmic, or membrane-bound proteins.

  4. Mammalian Tribbles Homologs at the Crossroads of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress and Mammalian Target of Rapamycin Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Cunard, Robyn

    2013-01-01

    In 2000, investigators discovered Tribbles, a Drosophila protein that coordinates morphogenesis by inhibiting mitosis. Further work has delineated Xenopus (Xtrb2), Nematode (Nipi-3), and mammalian homologs of Drosophila tribbles, which include TRB1, TRB2, and TRB3. The sequences of tribbles homologs are highly conserved, and despite their protein kinase structure, to date they have not been shown to have kinase activity. TRB family members play a role in the differentiation of macrophages, lymphocytes, muscle cells, adipocytes, and osteoblasts. TRB isoforms also coordinate a number of critical cellular processes including glucose and lipid metabolism, inflammation, cellular stress, survival, apoptosis, and tumorigenesis. TRB family members modulate multiple complex signaling networks including mitogen activated protein kinase cascades, protein kinase B/AKT signaling, mammalian target of rapamycin, and inflammatory pathways. The following review will discuss metazoan homologs of Drosophila tribbles, their structure, expression patterns, and functions. In particular, we will focus on TRB3 function in the kidney in podocytes. This review will also discuss the key signaling pathways with which tribbles proteins interact and provide a rationale for developing novel therapeutics that exploit these interactions to provide better treatment options for both acute and chronic kidney disease. PMID:24490110

  5. Multi-cellular, three-dimensional living mammalian tissue

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goodwin, Thomas J. (Inventor); Wolf, David A. (Inventor)

    1994-01-01

    The present invention relates to a multicellular, three-dimensional, living mammalian tissue. The tissue is produced by a co-culture process wherein two distinct types of mammalian cells are co-cultured in a rotating bioreactor which is completely filled with culture media and cell attachment substrates. As the size of the tissue assemblies formed on the attachment substrates changes, the rotation of the bioreactor is adjusted accordingly.

  6. Hypergravity signal transduction and gene expression in cultured mammalian cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kumei, Y.; Whitson, P. A.

    1994-01-01

    A number of studies have been conducted during space flight and with clinostats and centrifuges, suggesting that gravity effects the proliferation and differentiation of mammalian cells in vitro. However, little is known about the mechanisms by which mammalian cells respond to changes in gravitational stress. This paper summarizes studies designed to clarify the effects of hypergravity on the cultured human HeLa cells and to investigate the mechanism of hypergravity signal transduction in these cells.

  7. The extended Price equation quantifies species selection on mammalian body size across the Palaeocene/Eocene Thermal Maximum

    PubMed Central

    Rankin, Brian D.; Fox, Jeremy W.; Barrón-Ortiz, Christian R.; Chew, Amy E.; Holroyd, Patricia A.; Ludtke, Joshua A.; Yang, Xingkai; Theodor, Jessica M.

    2015-01-01

    Species selection, covariation of species’ traits with their net diversification rates, is an important component of macroevolution. Most studies have relied on indirect evidence for its operation and have not quantified its strength relative to other macroevolutionary forces. We use an extension of the Price equation to quantify the mechanisms of body size macroevolution in mammals from the latest Palaeocene and earliest Eocene of the Bighorn and Clarks Fork Basins of Wyoming. Dwarfing of mammalian taxa across the Palaeocene/Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), an intense, brief warming event that occurred at approximately 56 Ma, has been suggested to reflect anagenetic change and the immigration of small bodied-mammals, but might also be attributable to species selection. Using previously reconstructed ancestor–descendant relationships, we partitioned change in mean mammalian body size into three distinct mechanisms: species selection operating on resident mammals, anagenetic change within resident mammalian lineages and change due to immigrants. The remarkable decrease in mean body size across the warming event occurred through anagenetic change and immigration. Species selection also was strong across the PETM but, intriguingly, favoured larger-bodied species, implying some unknown mechanism(s) by which warming events affect macroevolution. PMID:26224712

  8. Incorporation of mammalian actin into microfilaments in plant cell nucleus

    PubMed Central

    Paves, Heiti; Truve, Erkki

    2004-01-01

    Background Actin is an ancient molecule that shows more than 90% amino acid homology between mammalian and plant actins. The regions of the actin molecule that are involved in F-actin assembly are largely conserved, and it is likely that mammalian actin is able to incorporate into microfilaments in plant cells but there is no experimental evidence until now. Results Visualization of microfilaments in onion bulb scale epidermis cells by different techniques revealed that rhodamine-phalloidin stained F-actin besides cytoplasm also in the nuclei whereas GFP-mouse talin hybrid protein did not enter the nuclei. Microinjection of fluorescently labeled actin was applied to study the presence of nuclear microfilaments in plant cells. Ratio imaging of injected fluorescent rabbit skeletal muscle actin and phalloidin staining of the microinjected cells showed that mammalian actin was able to incorporate into plant F-actin. The incorporation occurred preferentially in the nucleus and in the perinuclear region of plant cells whereas part of plant microfilaments, mostly in the periphery of cytoplasm, did not incorporate mammalian actin. Conclusions Microinjected mammalian actin is able to enter plant cell's nucleus, whereas incorporation of mammalian actin into plant F-actin occurs preferentially in the nucleus and perinuclear area. PMID:15102327

  9. Hominin life history: reconstruction and evolution

    PubMed Central

    Robson, Shannen L; Wood, Bernard

    2008-01-01

    In this review we attempt to reconstruct the evolutionary history of hominin life history from extant and fossil evidence. We utilize demographic life history theory and distinguish life history variables, traits such as weaning, age at sexual maturity, and life span, from life history-related variables such as body mass, brain growth, and dental development. The latter are either linked with, or can be used to make inferences about, life history, thus providing an opportunity for estimating life history parameters in fossil taxa. We compare the life history variables of modern great apes and identify traits that are likely to be shared by the last common ancestor of Pan-Homo and those likely to be derived in hominins. All great apes exhibit slow life histories and we infer this to be true of the last common ancestor of Pan-Homo and the stem hominin. Modern human life histories are even slower, exhibiting distinctively long post-menopausal life spans and later ages at maturity, pointing to a reduction in adult mortality since the Pan-Homo split. We suggest that lower adult mortality, distinctively short interbirth intervals, and early weaning characteristic of modern humans are derived features resulting from cooperative breeding. We evaluate the fidelity of three life history-related variables, body mass, brain growth and dental development, with the life history parameters of living great apes. We found that body mass is the best predictor of great ape life history events. Brain growth trajectories and dental development and eruption are weakly related proxies and inferences from them should be made with caution. We evaluate the evidence of life history-related variables available for extinct species and find that prior to the transitional hominins there is no evidence of any hominin taxon possessing a body size, brain size or aspects of dental development much different from what we assume to be the primitive life history pattern for the Pan-Homo clade. Data for

  10. Hominin life history: reconstruction and evolution.

    PubMed

    Robson, Shannen L; Wood, Bernard

    2008-04-01

    In this review we attempt to reconstruct the evolutionary history of hominin life history from extant and fossil evidence. We utilize demographic life history theory and distinguish life history variables, traits such as weaning, age at sexual maturity, and life span, from life history-related variables such as body mass, brain growth, and dental development. The latter are either linked with, or can be used to make inferences about, life history, thus providing an opportunity for estimating life history parameters in fossil taxa. We compare the life history variables of modern great apes and identify traits that are likely to be shared by the last common ancestor of Pan-Homo and those likely to be derived in hominins. All great apes exhibit slow life histories and we infer this to be true of the last common ancestor of Pan-Homo and the stem hominin. Modern human life histories are even slower, exhibiting distinctively long post-menopausal life spans and later ages at maturity, pointing to a reduction in adult mortality since the Pan-Homo split. We suggest that lower adult mortality, distinctively short interbirth intervals, and early weaning characteristic of modern humans are derived features resulting from cooperative breeding. We evaluate the fidelity of three life history-related variables, body mass, brain growth and dental development, with the life history parameters of living great apes. We found that body mass is the best predictor of great ape life history events. Brain growth trajectories and dental development and eruption are weakly related proxies and inferences from them should be made with caution. We evaluate the evidence of life history-related variables available for extinct species and find that prior to the transitional hominins there is no evidence of any hominin taxon possessing a body size, brain size or aspects of dental development much different from what we assume to be the primitive life history pattern for the Pan-Homo clade. Data for

  11. Reconstruction of an ancestral Yersinia pestis genome and comparison with an ancient sequence

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Background We propose the computational reconstruction of a whole bacterial ancestral genome at the nucleotide scale, and its validation by a sequence of ancient DNA. This rare possibility is offered by an ancient sequence of the late middle ages plague agent. It has been hypothesized to be ancestral to extant Yersinia pestis strains based on the pattern of nucleotide substitutions. But the dynamics of indels, duplications, insertion sequences and rearrangements has impacted all genomes much more than the substitution process, which makes the ancestral reconstruction task challenging. Results We use a set of gene families from 13 Yersinia species, construct reconciled phylogenies for all of them, and determine gene orders in ancestral species. Gene trees integrate information from the sequence, the species tree and gene order. We reconstruct ancestral sequences for ancestral genic and intergenic regions, providing nearly a complete genome sequence for the ancestor, containing a chromosome and three plasmids. Conclusion The comparison of the ancestral and ancient sequences provides a unique opportunity to assess the quality of ancestral genome reconstruction methods. But the quality of the sequencing and assembly of the ancient sequence can also be questioned by this comparison. PMID:26450112

  12. On the tool use behavior of the bonobo-chimpanzee last common ancestor, and the origins of hominine stone tool use.

    PubMed

    Haslam, Michael

    2014-10-01

    The last common ancestor (LCA) shared by chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and bonobos (P. paniscus) was an Early Pleistocene African ape, which, based on the behavior of modern chimpanzees, may be assumed to be a tool-using animal. However, the character of tool use in the Pan lineage prior to the 20th century is largely unknown. Here, I use available data on wild bonobo tool use and emerging molecular estimates of demography during Pan evolution to hypothesise the plausible tool use behavior of the bonobo-chimpanzee LCA (or "Pancestor") at the start of the Pleistocene, over 2 million years ago. This method indicates that the common ancestor of living Pan apes likely used plant tools for probing, sponging, and display, but it did not use stone tools. Instead, stone tool use appears to have been independently invented by Western African chimpanzees (P. t. verus) during the Middle Pleistocene in the region of modern Liberia-Ivory Coast-Guinea, possibly as recently as 200,000-150,000 years ago. If this is the case, then the LCA of humans and chimpanzees likely also did not use stone tools, and this trait probably first emerged among hominins in Pliocene East Africa. This review also suggests that the consistently higher population sizes of Central African chimpanzees (P. t. troglodytes) over the past million years may have contributed to the increased complexity of wild tool use seen in this sub-species today.

  13. Analytical framework for reconstructing heterogeneous environmental variables from mammal community structure.

    PubMed

    Louys, Julien; Meloro, Carlo; Elton, Sarah; Ditchfield, Peter; Bishop, Laura C

    2015-01-01

    We test the performance of two models that use mammalian communities to reconstruct multivariate palaeoenvironments. While both models exploit the correlation between mammal communities (defined in terms of functional groups) and arboreal heterogeneity, the first uses a multiple multivariate regression of community structure and arboreal heterogeneity, while the second uses a linear regression of the principal components of each ecospace. The success of these methods means the palaeoenvironment of a particular locality can be reconstructed in terms of the proportions of heavy, moderate, light, and absent tree canopy cover. The linear regression is less biased, and more precisely and accurately reconstructs heavy tree canopy cover than the multiple multivariate model. However, the multiple multivariate model performs better than the linear regression for all other canopy cover categories. Both models consistently perform better than randomly generated reconstructions. We apply both models to the palaeocommunity of the Upper Laetolil Beds, Tanzania. Our reconstructions indicate that there was very little heavy tree cover at this site (likely less than 10%), with the palaeo-landscape instead comprising a mixture of light and absent tree cover. These reconstructions help resolve the previous conflicting palaeoecological reconstructions made for this site.

  14. Optimal Protective Hypothermia in Arrested Mammalian Hearts

    PubMed Central

    Villet, Outi M.; Ge, Ming; Sekhar, Laigam N.; Corson, Marshall A.; Tylee, Tracy S.; Fan, Lu-Ping; Yao, Lin; Zhu, Chun; Olson, Aaron K.; Buroker, Norman E.; Xu, Cheng-Su; Anderson, David L.; Soh, Yong-Kian; Wang, Elise; Chen, Shi-Han; Portman, Michael A.

    2015-01-01

    Many therapeutic hypothermia recommendations have been reported, but the information supporting them is sparse, and reveals a need for the data of target therapeutic hypothermia (TTH) from well-controlled experiments. The core temperature ≤35°C is considered as hypothermia, and 29°C is a cooling injury threshold in pig heart in vivo. Thus, an optimal protective hypothermia (OPH) should be in the range 29–35°C. This study was conducted with a pig cardiopulmonary bypass preparation to decrease the core temperature to 29–35°C range at 20 minutes before and 60 minutes during heart arrest. The left ventricular (LV) developed pressure, maximum of the first derivative of LV (dP/dtmax), cardiac power, heart rate, cardiac output, and myocardial velocity (Vmax) were recorded continuously via an LV pressure catheter and an aortic flow probe. At 20 minutes of off-pump during reperfusion after 60 minutes arrest, 17 hypothermic hearts showed that the recovery of Vmax and dP/dtmax established sigmoid curves that consisted of two plateaus: a good recovery plateau at 29–30.5°C, the function recovered to baseline level (BL) (Vmax=118.4%±3.9% of BL, LV dP/dtmax=120.7%±3.1% of BL, n=6); another poor recovery plateau at 34–35°C (Vmax=60.2%±2.8% of BL, LV dP/dtmax=28.0%±5.9% of BL, p<0.05, n=6; ), which are similar to the four normothermia arrest (37°C) hearts (Vmax=55.9%±4.8% of BL, LV dP/dtmax=24.5%±2.1% of BL, n=4). The 32–32.5°C arrest hearts showed moderate recovery (n=5). A point of inflection (around 30.5–31°C) existed at the edge of a good recovery plateau followed by a steep slope. The point presented an OPH that should be the TTH. The results are concordant with data in the mammalian hearts, suggesting that the TTH should be initiated to cool core temperature at 31°C. PMID:25514569

  15. Distinct annexin subfamilies in plants and protists diverged prior to animal annexins and from a common ancestor.

    PubMed

    Morgan, R O; Pilar Fernandez, M

    1997-02-01

    Annexin homologues in the kingdoms of Planta and Protista were characterized by molecular sequence analysis to determine their phylogenetic and structural relationship with annexins of Animalia. Sequence fragments from 19 plant annexins were identified in sequence databases and composite sequences were also assembled from expressed sequence tags for Arabidopsis thaliana. Length differences in protein aminotermini and evidence for unique exon splice sites indicated that plant annexins were distinct from those of animals. A third annexin gene of Giardia lamblia (Anx21-Gla) was identified as a distant relative to other protist annexins and to those of higher eukaryotes, thus providing a suitable outgroup for evolutionary reconstruction of the family tree. Rooted evolutionary trees portrayed protist, plant, and Dictyostelium annexins as early, monophyletic ramifications prior to the appearance of closely related animal annexin XIII. Molecular phylogenetic analyses of DNA and protein sequence alignments revealed at least seven separate plant subfamilies, represented by Anx18 (alfalfa, previously classified), Anx22 (thale cress), Anx23 (thale cress, cotton, rape and cabbage), Anx24 (bell pepper and tomato p34), Anx25 (strawberry, horseradish, pea, soybean, and castor bean), Anx26-Zma, and Anx27-Zma (maize). Other unique subfamilies may exist for rice, tomato p35, apple, and celery annexins. Consensus sequences compiled for each eukaryotic kingdom showed some breakdown of the "annexin-fold" motif in repeats 2 and 3 of protist and plant annexins and a conserved codon deletion in repeat 3 of plants. The characterization of distinct annexin genes in plants and protists reflects their comparable diversity among animal species and offers alternative models for the comparative study of structure-function relationships within this important gene family.

  16. Reconstructing the Antikythera Mechanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freeth, Tony

    The Antikythera Mechanism is a geared astronomical calculating machine from ancient Greece. The extraordinary nature of this device has become even more apparent in recent years as a result of research under the aegis of the Antikythera Mechanism Research Project (AMRP) - an international collaboration of scientists, historians, museum staff, engineers, and imaging specialists. Though many questions still remain, we may now be close to reconstructing the complete machine. As a technological artifact, it is unique in the ancient world. Its brilliant design conception means that it is a landmark in the history of science and technology.

  17. Photometric Lunar Surface Reconstruction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nefian, Ara V.; Alexandrov, Oleg; Morattlo, Zachary; Kim, Taemin; Beyer, Ross A.

    2013-01-01

    Accurate photometric reconstruction of the Lunar surface is important in the context of upcoming NASA robotic missions to the Moon and in giving a more accurate understanding of the Lunar soil composition. This paper describes a novel approach for joint estimation of Lunar albedo, camera exposure time, and photometric parameters that utilizes an accurate Lunar-Lambertian reflectance model and previously derived Lunar topography of the area visualized during the Apollo missions. The method introduced here is used in creating the largest Lunar albedo map (16% of the Lunar surface) at the resolution of 10 meters/pixel.

  18. Biomaterials for craniofacial reconstruction

    PubMed Central

    Neumann, Andreas; Kevenhoerster, Kevin

    2011-01-01

    Biomaterials for reconstruction of bony defects of the skull comprise of osteosynthetic materials applied after osteotomies or traumatic fractures and materials to fill bony defects which result from malformation, trauma or tumor resections. Other applications concern functional augmentations for dental implants or aesthetic augmentations in the facial region. For ostheosynthesis, mini- and microplates made from titanium alloys provide major advantages concerning biocompatibility, stability and individual fitting to the implant bed. The necessity of removing asymptomatic plates and screws after fracture healing is still a controversial issue. Risks and costs of secondary surgery for removal face a low rate of complications (due to corrosion products) when the material remains in situ. Resorbable osteosynthesis systems have similar mechanical stability and are especially useful in the growing skull. The huge variety of biomaterials for the reconstruction of bony defects makes it difficult to decide which material is adequate for which indication and for which site. The optimal biomaterial that meets every requirement (e.g. biocompatibility, stability, intraoperative fitting, product safety, low costs etc.) does not exist. The different material types are (autogenic) bone and many alloplastics such as metals (mainly titanium), ceramics, plastics and composites. Future developments aim to improve physical and biological properties, especially regarding surface interactions. To date, tissue engineered bone is far from routine clinical application. PMID:22073101

  19. Parallel ptychographic reconstruction

    PubMed Central

    Nashed, Youssef S. G.; Vine, David J.; Peterka, Tom; Deng, Junjing; Ross, Rob; Jacobsen, Chris

    2014-01-01

    Ptychography is an imaging method whereby a coherent beam is scanned across an object, and an image is obtained by iterative phasing of the set of diffraction patterns. It is able to be used to image extended objects at a resolution limited by scattering strength of the object and detector geometry, rather than at an optics-imposed limit. As technical advances allow larger fields to be imaged, computational challenges arise for reconstructing the correspondingly larger data volumes, yet at the same time there is also a need to deliver reconstructed images immediately so that one can evaluate the next steps to take in an experiment. Here we present a parallel method for real-time ptychographic phase retrieval. It uses a hybrid parallel strategy to divide the computation between multiple graphics processing units (GPUs) and then employs novel techniques to merge sub-datasets into a single complex phase and amplitude image. Results are shown on a simulated specimen and a real dataset from an X-ray experiment conducted at a synchrotron light source. PMID:25607174

  20. Synchronized dynamic dose reconstruction

    SciTech Connect

    Litzenberg, Dale W.; Hadley, Scott W.; Tyagi, Neelam; Balter, James M.; Ten Haken, Randall K.; Chetty, Indrin J.

    2007-01-15

    Variations in target volume position between and during treatment fractions can lead to measurable differences in the dose distribution delivered to each patient. Current methods to estimate the ongoing cumulative delivered dose distribution make idealized assumptions about individual patient motion based on average motions observed in a population of patients. In the delivery of intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) with a multi-leaf collimator (MLC), errors are introduced in both the implementation and delivery processes. In addition, target motion and MLC motion can lead to dosimetric errors from interplay effects. All of these effects may be of clinical importance. Here we present a method to compute delivered dose distributions for each treatment beam and fraction, which explicitly incorporates synchronized real-time patient motion data and real-time fluence and machine configuration data. This synchronized dynamic dose reconstruction method properly accounts for the two primary classes of errors that arise from delivering IMRT with an MLC: (a) Interplay errors between target volume motion and MLC motion, and (b) Implementation errors, such as dropped segments, dose over/under shoot, faulty leaf motors, tongue-and-groove effect, rounded leaf ends, and communications delays. These reconstructed dose fractions can then be combined to produce high-quality determinations of the dose distribution actually received to date, from which individualized adaptive treatment strategies can be determined.

  1. Stereoscopic liver surface reconstruction

    PubMed Central

    Karwan, Adam; Rudnicki, Jerzy; Wróblewski, Tadeusz

    2012-01-01

    The paper presents a practical approach to measuring liver motion, both respiratory and laparoscopic, with a tool guided in the operating room. The presented method is based on standard operating room equipment, i.e. rigid laparoscopic cameras and a single incision laparoscopic surgery trocar. The triangulation algorithm is used and stereo correspondence points are marked manually by two independent experts. To calibrate the cameras two perpendicular chessboards, a pinhole camera model and a Tsai algorithm are used. The data set consists of twelve real liver surgery video sequences: ten open surgery and two laparoscopic, gathered from different patients. The setup equipment and methodology are presented. The proposed evaluation method based on both calibration points of the chessboard reconstruction and measurements made by the Polaris Vicra tracking system are used as a reference system. In the analysis stage we focused on two specific goals, measuring respiration and laparoscopic tool guided liver motions. We have presented separate examples for left and right liver lobes. It is possible to reconstruct liver motion using the SILS trocar. Our approach was made without additional position or movement sensors. Diffusion of cameras and laser for distance measurement seems to be less practical for in vivo laparoscopic data, but we do not exclude exploring such sensors in further research. PMID:23256023

  2. Reconstruction in Fourier space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burden, A.; Percival, W. J.; Howlett, C.

    2015-10-01

    We present a fast iterative fast Fourier transform (FFT) based reconstruction algorithm that allows for non-parallel redshift-space distortions (RSDs). We test our algorithm on both N-body dark matter simulations and mock distributions of galaxies designed to replicate galaxy survey conditions. We compare solenoidal and irrotational components of the redshift distortion and show that an approximation of this distortion leads to a better estimate of the real-space potential (and therefore faster convergence) than ignoring the RSD when estimating the displacement field. Our iterative reconstruction scheme converges in two iterations for the mock samples corresponding to Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey CMASS Data Release 11 when we start with an approximation of the RSD. The scheme takes six iterations when the initial estimate, measured from the redshift-space overdensity, has no RSD correction. Slower convergence would be expected for surveys covering a larger angle on the sky. We show that this FFT based method provides a better estimate of the real-space displacement field than a configuration space method that uses finite difference routines to compute the potential for the same grid resolution. Finally, we show that a lognormal transform of the overdensity, used as a proxy for the linear overdensity, is beneficial in estimating the full displacement field from a dense sample of tracers. However, the lognormal transform of the overdensity does not perform well when estimating the displacements from sparser simulations with a more realistic galaxy density.

  3. Exercises in PET Image Reconstruction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nix, Oliver

    These exercises are complementary to the theoretical lectures about positron emission tomography (PET) image reconstruction. They aim at providing some hands on experience in PET image reconstruction and focus on demonstrating the different data preprocessing steps and reconstruction algorithms needed to obtain high quality PET images. Normalisation, geometric-, attenuation- and scatter correction are introduced. To explain the necessity of those some basics about PET scanner hardware, data acquisition and organisation are reviewed. During the course the students use a software application based on the STIR (software for tomographic image reconstruction) library 1,2 which allows them to dynamically select or deselect corrections and reconstruction methods as well as to modify their most important parameters. Following the guided tutorial, the students get an impression on the effect the individual data precorrections have on image quality and what happens if they are forgotten. Several data sets in sinogram format are provided, such as line source data, Jaszczak phantom data sets with high and low statistics and NEMA whole body phantom data. The two most frequently used reconstruction algorithms in PET image reconstruction, filtered back projection (FBP) and the iterative OSEM (ordered subset expectation maximation) approach are used to reconstruct images. The exercise should help the students gaining an understanding what the reasons for inferior image quality and artefacts are and how to improve quality by a clever choice of reconstruction parameters.

  4. Cis-Suppression to Arrest Protein Aggregation in Mammalian Cells

    PubMed Central

    Gregoire, Simpson; Zhang, Shaojie; Costanzo, Joseph; Wilson, Kelly; Fernandez, Erik J.; Kwon, Inchan

    2015-01-01

    Protein misfolding and aggregation are implicated in numerous human diseases and significantly lower production yield of proteins expressed in mammalian cells. Despite the importance of understanding and suppressing protein aggregation in mammalian cells, a protein design and selection strategy to modulate protein misfolding/aggregation in mammalian cells has not yet been reported. In this work, we address the particular challenge presented by mutation-induced protein aggregation in mammalian cells. We hypothesize that an additional mutation(s) can be introduced in an aggregation-prone protein variant, spatially near the original mutation, to suppress misfolding and aggregation (cis-suppression). As a model protein, we chose human copper, zinc superoxide dismutase mutant (SOD1A4V) containing an alanine to valine mutation at residue 4, associated with the familial form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. We used the program RosettaDesign to identify Phe20 in SOD1A4V as a key residue responsible for SOD1A4V conformational destabilization. This information was used to rationally develop a pool of candidate mutations at the Phe20 site. After two rounds of mammalian-cell based screening of the variants, three novel SOD1A4V variants with a significantly reduced aggregation propensity inside cells were selected. The enhanced stability and reduced aggregation propensity of the three novel SOD1A4V variants were verified using cell fractionation and in vitro stability assays. PMID:24114411

  5. Amino acids in the cultivation of mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Salazar, Andrew; Keusgen, Michael; von Hagen, Jörg

    2016-05-01

    Amino acids are crucial for the cultivation of mammalian cells. This importance of amino acids was realized soon after the development of the first cell lines, and a solution of a mixture of amino acids has been supplied to cultured cells ever since. The importance of amino acids is further pronounced in chemically defined mammalian cell culture media, making the consideration of their biological and chemical properties necessary. Amino acids concentrations have been traditionally adjusted to their cellular consumption rates. However, since changes in the metabolic equilibrium of amino acids can be caused by changes in extracellular concentrations, metabolomics in conjunction with flux balance analysis is being used in the development of culture media. The study of amino acid transporters is also gaining importance since they control the intracellular concentrations of these molecules and are influenced by conditions in cell culture media. A better understanding of the solubility, stability, dissolution kinetics, and interactions of these molecules is needed for an exploitation of these properties in the development of dry powdered chemically defined media for mammalian cells. Due to the complexity of these mixtures however, this has proven to be challenging. Studying amino acids in mammalian cell culture media will help provide a better understanding of how mammalian cells in culture interact with their environment. It would also provide insight into the chemical behavior of these molecules in solutions of complex mixtures, which is important in the understanding of the contribution of individual amino acids to protein structure. PMID:26832172

  6. Optimizing transient recombinant protein expression in mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Hopkins, Ralph F; Wall, Vanessa E; Esposito, Dominic

    2012-01-01

    Transient gene expression (TGE) in mammalian cells has become a routine process for expressing recombinant proteins in cell lines such as human embryonic kidney 293 and Chinese hamster ovary cells. The rapidly increasing need for recombinant proteins requires further improvements in TGE technology. While a great deal of focus has been directed toward optimizing the secretion of antibodies and other naturally secreted targets, much less work has been done on ways to improve cytoplasmic expression in mammalian cells. The benefits to protein production in mammalian cells, particularly for eukaryotic proteins, should be very significant - glycosylation and other posttranslational modifications will likely be native or near-native, solubility and protein folding would likely improve overexpression in heterologous hosts, and expression of proteins in their proper intracellular compartments is much more likely to occur. Improvements in this area have been slow, however, due to limited development of the cell culture processes needed for low-cost, higher-throughput expression in mammalian cells, and the relatively low diversity of DNA vectors for protein production in these systems. Here, we describe how the use of recombinational cloning, coupled with improvements in transfection protocols which increase speed and lower cost, can be combined to make mammalian cells much more amenable for routine recombinant protein expression. PMID:21987258

  7. Amino acids in the cultivation of mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Salazar, Andrew; Keusgen, Michael; von Hagen, Jörg

    2016-05-01

    Amino acids are crucial for the cultivation of mammalian cells. This importance of amino acids was realized soon after the development of the first cell lines, and a solution of a mixture of amino acids has been supplied to cultured cells ever since. The importance of amino acids is further pronounced in chemically defined mammalian cell culture media, making the consideration of their biological and chemical properties necessary. Amino acids concentrations have been traditionally adjusted to their cellular consumption rates. However, since changes in the metabolic equilibrium of amino acids can be caused by changes in extracellular concentrations, metabolomics in conjunction with flux balance analysis is being used in the development of culture media. The study of amino acid transporters is also gaining importance since they control the intracellular concentrations of these molecules and are influenced by conditions in cell culture media. A better understanding of the solubility, stability, dissolution kinetics, and interactions of these molecules is needed for an exploitation of these properties in the development of dry powdered chemically defined media for mammalian cells. Due to the complexity of these mixtures however, this has proven to be challenging. Studying amino acids in mammalian cell culture media will help provide a better understanding of how mammalian cells in culture interact with their environment. It would also provide insight into the chemical behavior of these molecules in solutions of complex mixtures, which is important in the understanding of the contribution of individual amino acids to protein structure.

  8. New Members of the Mammalian Glycerophosphodiester Phosphodiesterase Family

    PubMed Central

    Ohshima, Noriyasu; Kudo, Takahiro; Yamashita, Yosuke; Mariggiò, Stefania; Araki, Mari; Honda, Ayako; Nagano, Tomomi; Isaji, Chiaki; Kato, Norihisa; Corda, Daniela; Izumi, Takashi; Yanaka, Noriyuki

    2015-01-01

    The known mammalian glycerophosphodiester phosphodiesterases (GP-PDEs) hydrolyze glycerophosphodiesters. In this study, two novel members of the mammalian GP-PDE family, GDE4 and GDE7, were isolated, and the molecular basis of mammalian GP-PDEs was further explored. The GDE4 and GDE7 sequences are highly homologous and evolutionarily close. GDE4 is expressed in intestinal epithelial cells, spermatids, and macrophages, whereas GDE7 is particularly expressed in gastro-esophageal epithelial cells. Unlike other mammalian GP-PDEs, GDE4 and GDE7 cannot hydrolyze either glycerophosphoinositol or glycerophosphocholine. Unexpectedly, both GDE4 and GDE7 show a lysophospholipase D activity toward lysophosphatidylcholine (lyso-PC). We purified the recombinant GDE4 and GDE7 proteins and show that these enzymes can hydrolyze lyso-PC to produce lysophosphatidic acid (LPA). Further characterization of purified recombinant GDE4 showed that it can also convert lyso-platelet-activating factor (1-O-alkyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine; lyso-PAF) to alkyl-LPA. These data contribute to our current understanding of mammalian GP-PDEs and of their physiological roles via the control of lyso-PC and lyso-PAF metabolism in gastrointestinal epithelial cells and macrophages. PMID:25528375

  9. RECONSTRUCTING IMMUNE PHYLOGENY: NEW PERSPECTIVES

    PubMed Central

    Litman, Gary W.; Cannon, John P.; Dishaw, Larry J.

    2013-01-01

    Numerous studies of the mammalian immune system have begun to uncover profound interrelationships, as well as fundamental differences, between the adaptive and innate systems of immune recognition. Coincident with these investigations, the increasing experimental accessibility of non-mammalian jawed vertebrates, jawless vertebrates, protochordates and invertebrates has provided intriguing new information regarding the likely patterns of emergence of immune-related molecules during metazoan phylogeny, as well as the evolution of alternative mechanisms for receptor diversification. Such findings blur traditional distinctions between adaptive and innate immunity and emphasize that, throughout evolution, the immune system has used a remarkably extensive variety of solutions to meet fundamentally similar requirements for host protection. PMID:16261174

  10. A platform for brain-wide imaging and reconstruction of individual neurons

    PubMed Central

    Economo, Michael N; Clack, Nathan G; Lavis, Luke D; Gerfen, Charles R; Svoboda, Karel

    2016-01-01

    The structure of axonal arbors controls how signals from individual neurons are routed within the mammalian brain. However, the arbors of very few long-range projection neurons have been reconstructed in their entirety, as axons with diameters as small as 100 nm arborize in target regions dispersed over many millimeters of tissue. We introduce a platform for high-resolution, three-dimensional fluorescence imaging of complete tissue volumes that enables the visualization and reconstruction of long-range axonal arbors. This platform relies on a high-speed two-photon microscope integrated with a tissue vibratome and a suite of computational tools for large-scale image data. We demonstrate the power of this approach by reconstructing the axonal arbors of multiple neurons in the motor cortex across a single mouse brain. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.10566.001 PMID:26796534

  11. Metrological digital audio reconstruction

    DOEpatents

    Fadeyev; Vitaliy , Haber; Carl

    2004-02-19

    Audio information stored in the undulations of grooves in a medium such as a phonograph record may be reconstructed, with little or no contact, by measuring the groove shape using precision metrology methods coupled with digital image processing and numerical analysis. The effects of damage, wear, and contamination may be compensated, in many cases, through image processing and analysis methods. The speed and data handling capacity of available computing hardware make this approach practical. Two examples used a general purpose optical metrology system to study a 50 year old 78 r.p.m. phonograph record and a commercial confocal scanning probe to study a 1920's celluloid Edison cylinder. Comparisons are presented with stylus playback of the samples and with a digitally re-mastered version of an original magnetic recording. There is also a more extensive implementation of this approach, with dedicated hardware and software.

  12. Analysis of the coding-complete genomic sequence of groundnut ringspot virus suggests a common ancestor with tomato chlorotic spot virus.

    PubMed

    de Breuil, Soledad; Cañizares, Joaquín; Blanca, José Miguel; Bejerman, Nicolás; Trucco, Verónica; Giolitti, Fabián; Ziarsolo, Peio; Lenardon, Sergio

    2016-08-01

    Groundnut ringspot virus (GRSV) and tomato chlorotic spot virus (TCSV) share biological and serological properties, so their identification is carried out by molecular methods. Their genomes consist of three segmented RNAs: L, M and S. The finding of a reassortant between these two viruses may complicate correct virus identification and requires the characterization of the complete genome. Therefore, we present for the first time the complete sequences of all the genes encoded by a GRSV isolate. The high level of sequence similarity between GRSV and TCSV (over 90 % identity) observed in the genes and proteins encoded in the M RNA support previous results indicating that these viruses probably have a common ancestor. PMID:27260536

  13. [[The apothecaries of the district of Les Halles in Paris in the 17th century. Molière's ancestors in Les Halles].

    PubMed

    Warolin, Christian

    2016-03-01

    Les Halles were created by King Louis VI at the begining of the 12th century as a central market for food and trade. Apothecaries conducted their trade there from that time. In the 17th century, eleven apothecaries were established in this district, bordered on the south by the rue Saint-Honoré, on the east by the rue Saint-Denis, on the west by the rue de la Tonnellerie, and the north by the rue Montmartre. Their biographies have been analysed, and the data that has been collected has enabled their précise location to be fixed on a map of 1700. Molière's ancestors, both maternal (the Cressé family) and paternal (the Pocquelin's), lived in this district. Details of their relationships with their apothecary neighbours have been revealed.

  14. [[The apothecaries of the district of Les Halles in Paris in the 17th century. Molière's ancestors in Les Halles].

    PubMed

    Warolin, Christian

    2016-03-01

    Les Halles were created by King Louis VI at the begining of the 12th century as a central market for food and trade. Apothecaries conducted their trade there from that time. In the 17th century, eleven apothecaries were established in this district, bordered on the south by the rue Saint-Honoré, on the east by the rue Saint-Denis, on the west by the rue de la Tonnellerie, and the north by the rue Montmartre. Their biographies have been analysed, and the data that has been collected has enabled their précise location to be fixed on a map of 1700. Molière's ancestors, both maternal (the Cressé family) and paternal (the Pocquelin's), lived in this district. Details of their relationships with their apothecary neighbours have been revealed. PMID:27281935

  15. Structure and Function of Mammalian Carbohydrate-Lectin Interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Kevin; Evers, David; Rice, Kevin G.

    Over the past three decades the field of glycobiology has expanded beyond a basic understanding of the structure and biosynthesis of glycoprotein, proteoglycans, and glycolipids toward a more detailed picture of how these molecules afford communication through binding to mammalian lectins. Although the number of different mammalian lectin domains appears to be finite and even much smaller than early estimates predicated based on the diversity of glycan structures, nature appears capable of using these in numerous combinations to fine tune specificity. The following provides an overview of the major classes of mammalian lectins and discusses their glycan binding specificity. The review provides a snapshot of the field of glycobiology that continues to grow providing an increasing number of examples of biological processes that rely upon glycan-lectin binding.

  16. Regulation of mammalian transcription and splicing by Nuclear RNAi.

    PubMed

    Kalantari, Roya; Chiang, Cheng-Ming; Corey, David R

    2016-01-29

    RNA interference (RNAi) is well known as a mechanism for controlling mammalian mRNA translation in the cytoplasm, but what would be the consequences if it also functions in cell nuclei? Although RNAi has also been found in nuclei of plants, yeast, and other organisms, there has been relatively little progress towards understanding the potential involvement of mammalian RNAi factors in nuclear processes including transcription and splicing. This review summarizes evidence for mammalian RNAi factors in cell nuclei and mechanisms that might contribute to the control of gene expression. When RNAi factors bind small RNAs, they form ribonucleoprotein complexes that can be selective for target sequences within different classes of nuclear RNA substrates. The versatility of nuclear RNAi may supply a previously underappreciated layer of regulation to transcription, splicing, and other nuclear processes.

  17. Mammalian opiate alkaloid synthesis: lessons derived from plant biochemistry.

    PubMed

    Meijerink, W J; Molina, P E; Abumrad, N N

    1999-09-01

    The presence of opiate receptors in mammalian tissues has stimulated the search for endogenous ligands to these receptors and has led to the discovery and characterization of endogenous opioid peptides. However, recent studies have provided evidence for the presence of opiate alkaloids in mammalian tissues and for their endogenous synthesis. The study of their origin and synthetic pathway has been significantly influenced by the early classical biochemical studies performed in plants. This review is a historical account of the use and abuse of opiates, the elucidation of morphine's synthetic pathway in the poppy plant, and the subsequent characterization of its presence in mammalian tissues. Clearly, our understanding of its synthetic pathway and regulation is a reflection of observations originally made in plant biochemistry.

  18. Retinal Attachment Instability Is Diversified among Mammalian Melanopsins.

    PubMed

    Tsukamoto, Hisao; Kubo, Yoshihiro; Farrens, David L; Koyanagi, Mitsumasa; Terakita, Akihisa; Furutani, Yuji

    2015-11-01

    Melanopsins play a key role in non-visual photoreception in mammals. Their close phylogenetic relationship to the photopigments in invertebrate visual cells suggests they have evolved to acquire molecular characteristics that are more suited for their non-visual functions. Here we set out to identify such characteristics by comparing the molecular properties of mammalian melanopsin to those of invertebrate melanopsin and visual pigment. Our data show that the Schiff base linking the chromophore retinal to the protein is more susceptive to spontaneous cleavage in mammalian melanopsins. We also find this stability is highly diversified between mammalian species, being particularly unstable for human melanopsin. Through mutagenesis analyses, we find that this diversified stability is mainly due to parallel amino acid substitutions in extracellular regions. We propose that the different stability of the retinal attachment in melanopsins may contribute to functional tuning of non-visual photoreception in mammals.

  19. Regulation of mammalian transcription and splicing by Nuclear RNAi

    PubMed Central

    Kalantari, Roya; Chiang, Cheng-Ming; Corey, David R.

    2016-01-01

    RNA interference (RNAi) is well known as a mechanism for controlling mammalian mRNA translation in the cytoplasm, but what would be the consequences if it also functions in cell nuclei? Although RNAi has also been found in nuclei of plants, yeast, and other organisms, there has been relatively little progress towards understanding the potential involvement of mammalian RNAi factors in nuclear processes including transcription and splicing. This review summarizes evidence for mammalian RNAi factors in cell nuclei and mechanisms that might contribute to the control of gene expression. When RNAi factors bind small RNAs, they form ribonucleoprotein complexes that can be selective for target sequences within different classes of nuclear RNA substrates. The versatility of nuclear RNAi may supply a previously underappreciated layer of regulation to transcription, splicing, and other nuclear processes. PMID:26612865

  20. Where hearing starts: The development of the mammalian cochlea

    PubMed Central

    Basch, Martin L.; Brown, Rogers M.; Jen, Hsin-I; Groves, Andrew K.

    2016-01-01

    The mammalian cochlea is a remarkable sensory organ, capable of perceiving sound over a range of 1012 in pressure and discriminating both infrasonic and ultrasonic frequencies in different species. The sensory hair cells of the mammalian cochlea are exquisitely sensitive, responding to atomic-level deflections at speeds on the order of tens of microseconds. The number and placement of hair cells are precisely determined during inner ear development, and a large number of developmental processes sculpt the shape, size and morphology of these cells along the length of the cochlear duct to make them optimally responsive to different sound frequencies. In this review, we briefly discuss the evolutionary origins of the mammalian cochlea, and then describe the successive developmental processes that lead to its induction, cell cycle exit, cellular patterning and the establishment of topologically distinct frequency responses along its length. PMID:26052920