Science.gov

Sample records for pa-08-098 functional links

  1. Transfer functions for a single flexible link

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, D. ); Vidyasagar, M. )

    1991-10-01

    This article examines some issues in the transfer function modeling of a single flexible link. Using the assumed-modes approach to represent the elastic deformation, one can find the transfer function between the torque input and the net tip deflection. It is shown here that when the number of modes is increased for more accurate modeling, the relative degree of the transfer function becomes ill defined. This can greatly affect the performance of a controller designed using this model. It is then shown that this problem occurs regardless of the method used to represent the elastic deformation. An alternate modeling approach is proposed that used the rigid body deformations minus the elastic deformations as the output. This solves this problem and results in a transfer function with a well-defined relative degree of two. Simulation results are presented that illustrate the advantages of using the proposed alternate transfer function.

  2. Linking plant and ecosystem functional biogeography

    PubMed Central

    Reichstein, Markus; Bahn, Michael; Mahecha, Miguel D.; Kattge, Jens; Baldocchi, Dennis D.

    2014-01-01

    Classical biogeographical observations suggest that ecosystems are strongly shaped by climatic constraints in terms of their structure and function. On the other hand, vegetation function feeds back on the climate system via biosphere–atmosphere exchange of matter and energy. Ecosystem-level observations of this exchange reveal very large functional biogeographical variation of climate-relevant ecosystem functional properties related to carbon and water cycles. This variation is explained insufficiently by climate control and a classical plant functional type classification approach. For example, correlations between seasonal carbon-use efficiency and climate or environmental variables remain below 0.6, leaving almost 70% of variance unexplained. We suggest that a substantial part of this unexplained variation of ecosystem functional properties is related to variations in plant and microbial traits. Therefore, to progress with global functional biogeography, we should seek to understand the link between organismic traits and flux-derived ecosystem properties at ecosystem observation sites and the spatial variation of vegetation traits given geoecological covariates. This understanding can be fostered by synergistic use of both data-driven and theory-driven ecological as well as biophysical approaches. PMID:25225392

  3. Using ecological production functions to link ecological ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Ecological production functions (EPFs) link ecosystems, stressors, and management actions to ecosystem services (ES) production. Although EPFs are acknowledged as being essential to improve environmental management, their use in ecological risk assessment has received relatively little attention. Ecological production functions may be defined as usable expressions (i.e., models) of the processes by which ecosystems produce ES, often including external influences on those processes. We identify key attributes of EPFs and discuss both actual and idealized examples of their use to inform decision making. Whenever possible, EPFs should estimate final, rather than intermediate, ES. Although various types of EPFs have been developed, we suggest that EPFs are more useful for decision making if they quantify ES outcomes, respond to ecosystem condition, respond to stressor levels or management scenarios, reflect ecological complexity, rely on data with broad coverage, have performed well previously, are practical to use, and are open and transparent. In an example using pesticides, we illustrate how EPFs with these attributes could enable the inclusion of ES in ecological risk assessment. The biggest challenges to ES inclusion are limited data sets that are easily adapted for use in modeling EPFs and generally poor understanding of linkages among ecological components and the processes that ultimately deliver the ES. We conclude by advocating for the incorporation into E

  4. APP Function and Lipids: A Bidirectional Link

    PubMed Central

    Grimm, Marcus O. W.; Mett, Janine; Grimm, Heike S.; Hartmann, Tobias

    2017-01-01

    Extracellular neuritic plaques, composed of aggregated amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides, are one of the major histopathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a progressive, irreversible neurodegenerative disorder and the most common cause of dementia in the elderly. One of the most prominent risk factor for sporadic AD, carrying one or two aberrant copies of the apolipoprotein E (ApoE) ε4 alleles, closely links AD to lipids. Further, several lipid classes and fatty acids have been reported to be changed in the brain of AD-affected individuals. Interestingly, the observed lipid changes in the brain seem not only to be a consequence of the disease but also modulate Aβ generation. In line with these observations, protective lipids being able to decrease Aβ generation and also potential negative lipids in respect to AD were identified. Mechanistically, Aβ peptides are generated by sequential proteolytic processing of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) by β- and γ-secretase. The α-secretase appears to compete with β-secretase for the initial cleavage of APP, preventing Aβ production. All APP-cleaving secretases as well as APP are transmembrane proteins, further illustrating the impact of lipids on Aβ generation. Beside the pathological impact of Aβ, accumulating evidence suggests that Aβ and the APP intracellular domain (AICD) play an important role in regulating lipid homeostasis, either by direct effects or by affecting gene expression or protein stability of enzymes involved in the de novo synthesis of different lipid classes. This review summarizes the current literature addressing the complex bidirectional link between lipids and AD and APP processing including lipid alterations found in AD post mortem brains, lipids that alter APP processing and the physiological functions of Aβ and AICD in the regulation of several lipid metabolism pathways. PMID:28344547

  5. Small-Sample Equating Using a Synthetic Linking Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Sooyeon; von Davier, Alina A.; Haberman, Shelby

    2008-01-01

    This study addressed the sampling error and linking bias that occur with small samples in a nonequivalent groups anchor test design. We proposed a linking method called the synthetic function, which is a weighted average of the identity function and a traditional equating function (in this case, the chained linear equating function). Specifically,…

  6. Introduction: Links between Social Interaction and Executive Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lewis, Charlie; Carpendale, Jeremy I. M.

    2009-01-01

    The term executive function is used increasingly within developmental psychology and is often taken to refer to unfolding brain processes. We trace the origins of research on executive function to show that the link with social interaction has a long history. We suggest that a recent frenzy of research exploring methods for studying individual…

  7. Functional synergy of actin filament cross-linking proteins.

    PubMed

    Tseng, Yiider; Schafer, Benjamin W; Almo, Steven C; Wirtz, Denis

    2002-07-12

    The organization of filamentous actin (F-actin) in resilient networks is coordinated by various F-actin cross-linking proteins. The relative tolerance of cells to null mutations of genes that code for a single actin cross-linking protein suggests that the functions of those proteins are highly redundant. This apparent functional redundancy may, however, reflect the limited resolution of available assays in assessing the mechanical role of F-actin cross-linking/bundling proteins. Using reconstituted F-actin networks and rheological methods, we demonstrate how alpha-actinin and fascin, two F-actin cross-linking/bundling proteins that co-localize along stress fibers and in lamellipodia, could synergistically enhance the resilience of F-actin networks in vitro. These two proteins can generate microfilament arrays that "yield" at a strain amplitude that is much larger than each one of the proteins separately. F-actin/alpha-actinin/fascin networks display strain-induced hardening, whereby the network "stiffens" under shear deformations, a phenomenon that is non-existent in F-actin/fascin networks and much weaker in F-actin/alpha-actinin networks. Strain-hardening is further enhanced at high rates of deformation and high concentrations of actin cross-linking proteins. A simplified model suggests that the optimum results of the competition between the increased stiffness of bundles and their decreased density of cross-links. Our studies support a re-evaluation of the notion of functional redundancy among cytoskeletal regulatory proteins.

  8. Functional polymer laminates from hyperthermal hydrogen induced cross-linking.

    PubMed

    Thompson, David B; Trebicky, Tomas; Crewdson, Patrick; McEachran, Matthew J; Stojcevic, Goran; Arsenault, Gilles; Lau, Woon M; Gillies, Elizabeth R

    2011-12-20

    The use of a hyperthermal hydrogen induced cross-linking process to prepare laminates comprising polypropylene, poly(isobutylene-co-isoprene), and poly(vinyl acetate) is described. In this new, milder alternative to conventional plasma techniques, neutral molecular hydrogen projectiles were used to create carbon radicals on impacted surfaces by collision-induced dissociation of C-H bonds, and this process was used to cross-link polymers on a polypropylene surface. It was demonstrated that multiple layers of cross-linked materials could be added, creating polymer laminates with each layer introducing new functionalities and properties. In particular, the present work shows that the process is largely nondestructive toward ester functionalities. First, the esters were grafted to become nonleachable. Then, the esters were subsequently hydrolyzed to convert the surface from hydrophobic to hydrophilic. Afterward, the esters could be recovered by simple esterification demonstrating that further chemical transformations were possible.

  9. Integrative data-mining tools to link gene and function.

    PubMed

    El Yacoubi, Basma; de Crécy-Lagard, Valérie

    2014-01-01

    Information derived from genomic and post-genomic data can be efficiently used to link gene and function. Several web-based platforms have been developed to mine these types of data by integrating different tools. This method paper is designed to allow the user to navigate these platforms in order to make functional predictions. The main focus is on phylogenetic distribution and physical clustering tools, but other tools such as pathway reconstruction, gene fusions, and analysis of high-throughput experimental data are also surveyed.

  10. Linking biodiversity to ecosystem function: Implications for conservation ecology

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schwartz, M.W.; Brigham, C.A.; Hoeksema, J.D.; Lyons, K.G.; Mills, M.H.; van Mantgem, P.

    2000-01-01

    We evaluate the empirical and theoretical support for the hypothesis that a large proportion of native species richness is required to maximize ecosystem stability and sustain function. This assessment is important for conservation strategies because sustenance of ecosystem functions has been used as an argument for the conservation of species. If ecosystem functions are sustained at relatively low species richness, then arguing for the conservation of ecosystem function, no matter how important in its own right, does not strongly argue for the conservation of species. Additionally, for this to be a strong conservation argument the link between species diversity and ecosystem functions of value to the human community must be clear. We review the empirical literature to quantify the support for two hypotheses: (1) species richness is positively correlated with ecosystem function, and (2) ecosystem functions do not saturate at low species richness relative to the observed or experimental diversity. Few empirical studies demonstrate improved function at high levels of species richness. Second, we analyze recent theoretical models in order to estimate the level of species richness required to maintain ecosystem function. Again we find that, within a single trophic level, most mathematical models predict saturation of ecosystem function at a low proportion of local species richness. We also analyze a theoretical model linking species number to ecosystem stability. This model predicts that species richness beyond the first few species does not typically increase ecosystem stability. One reason that high species richness may not contribute significantly to function or stability is that most communities are characterized by strong dominance such that a few species provide the vast majority of the community biomass. Rapid turnover of species may rescue the concept that diversity leads to maximum function and stability. The role of turnover in ecosystem function and

  11. Linking biodiversity to ecosystem function: implications for conservation ecology.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, M W; Brigham, C A; Hoeksema, J D; Lyons, K G; Mills, M H; van Mantgem, P J

    2000-02-01

    We evaluate the empirical and theoretical support for the hypothesis that a large proportion of native species richness is required to maximize ecosystem stability and sustain function. This assessment is important for conservation strategies because sustenance of ecosystem functions has been used as an argument for the conservation of species. If ecosystem functions are sustained at relatively low species richness, then arguing for the conservation of ecosystem function, no matter how important in its own right, does not strongly argue for the conservation of species. Additionally, for this to be a strong conservation argument the link between species diversity and ecosystem functions of value to the human community must be clear. We review the empirical literature to quantify the support for two hypotheses: (1) species richness is positively correlated with ecosystem function, and (2) ecosystem functions do not saturate at low species richness relative to the observed or experimental diversity. Few empirical studies demonstrate improved function at high levels of species richness. Second, we analyze recent theoretical models in order to estimate the level of species richness required to maintain ecosystem function. Again we find that, within a single trophic level, most mathematical models predict saturation of ecosystem function at a low proportion of local species richness. We also analyze a theoretical model linking species number to ecosystem stability. This model predicts that species richness beyond the first few species does not typically increase ecosystem stability. One reason that high species richness may not contribute significantly to function or stability is that most communities are characterized by strong dominance such that a few species provide the vast majority of the community biomass. Rapid turnover of species may rescue the concept that diversity leads to maximum function and stability. The role of turnover in ecosystem function and

  12. Linking community size structure and ecosystem functioning using metabolic theory.

    PubMed

    Yvon-Durocher, Gabriel; Allen, Andrew P

    2012-11-05

    Understanding how biogeochemical cycles relate to the structure of ecological communities is a central research question in ecology. Here we approach this problem by focusing on body size, which is an easily measured species trait that has a pervasive influence on multiple aspects of community structure and ecosystem functioning. We test the predictions of a model derived from metabolic theory using data on ecosystem metabolism and community size structure. These data were collected as part of an aquatic mesocosm experiment that was designed to simulate future environmental warming. Our analyses demonstrate significant linkages between community size structure and ecosystem functioning, and the effects of warming on these links. Specifically, we show that carbon fluxes were significantly influenced by seasonal variation in temperature, and yielded activation energies remarkably similar to those predicted based on the temperature dependencies of individual-level photosynthesis and respiration. We also show that community size structure significantly influenced fluxes of ecosystem respiration and gross primary production, particularly at the annual time-scale. Assessing size structure and the factors that control it, both empirically and theoretically, therefore promises to aid in understanding links between individual organisms and biogeochemical cycles, and in predicting the responses of key ecosystem functions to future environmental change.

  13. Link prediction boosted psychiatry disorder classification for functional connectivity network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Weiwei; Mei, Xue; Wang, Hao; Zhou, Yu; Huang, Jiashuang

    2017-02-01

    Functional connectivity network (FCN) is an effective tool in psychiatry disorders classification, and represents cross-correlation of the regional blood oxygenation level dependent signal. However, FCN is often incomplete for suffering from missing and spurious edges. To accurate classify psychiatry disorders and health control with the incomplete FCN, we first `repair' the FCN with link prediction, and then exact the clustering coefficients as features to build a weak classifier for every FCN. Finally, we apply a boosting algorithm to combine these weak classifiers for improving classification accuracy. Our method tested by three datasets of psychiatry disorder, including Alzheimer's Disease, Schizophrenia and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The experimental results show our method not only significantly improves the classification accuracy, but also efficiently reconstructs the incomplete FCN.

  14. Spatial Colocalization and Functional Link of Purinosomes with Mitochondria

    PubMed Central

    French, Jarrod B.; Jones, Sara A.; Deng, Huayun; Pedley, Anthony M.; Kim, Doory; Chan, Chung Yu; Hu, Haibei; Pugh, Raymond J.; Zhao, Hong; Zhang, Youxin; Huang, Tony Jun; Fang, Ye; Zhuang, Xiaowei; Benkovic, Stephen J.

    2016-01-01

    Purine biosynthetic enzymes organize into dynamic cellular bodies called purinosomes. Little is known about the spatiotemporal control of these structures. Using super-resolution microscopy, we demonstrated that purinosomes colocalized with mitochondria, and these results were supported by isolation of purinosome enzymes with mitochondria. Moreover, the number of purinosome containing cells responded to dysregulation of mitochondrial function and metabolism. To explore the role of intracellular signaling, we performed a kinome screen using a label-free assay and identified that mTOR influenced purinosome assembly. mTOR inhibition disrupted purinosome-mitochondria colocalization and suppressed purinosome formation stimulated by mitochondria dysregulation. Collectively, our data suggests an mTOR-mediated link between purinosomes and mitochondria and suggests a general means by which mTOR regulates nucleotide metabolism by spatiotemporal control over protein association. PMID:26912862

  15. Improving nonlinear modeling capabilities of functional link adaptive filters.

    PubMed

    Comminiello, Danilo; Scarpiniti, Michele; Scardapane, Simone; Parisi, Raffaele; Uncini, Aurelio

    2015-09-01

    The functional link adaptive filter (FLAF) represents an effective solution for online nonlinear modeling problems. In this paper, we take into account a FLAF-based architecture, which separates the adaptation of linear and nonlinear elements, and we focus on the nonlinear branch to improve the modeling performance. In particular, we propose a new model that involves an adaptive combination of filters downstream of the nonlinear expansion. Such combination leads to a cooperative behavior of the whole architecture, thus yielding a performance improvement, particularly in the presence of strong nonlinearities. An advanced architecture is also proposed involving the adaptive combination of multiple filters on the nonlinear branch. The proposed models are assessed in different nonlinear modeling problems, in which their effectiveness and capabilities are shown.

  16. Linking biological soil crust diversity to ecological functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glaser, Karin; Borchhardt, Nadine; Schulz, Karoline; Mikhailyuk, Tatiana; Baumann, Karen; Leinweber, Peter; Ulf, Karsten

    2016-04-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are an association of different microorganisms and soil particles in the top millimeters of the soil. They are formed by algae, cyanobacteria, microfungi, bacteria, bryophytes and lichens in various compositions. Our aim was to determine and compare the biodiversity of all occurring organisms in biogeographically different habitats, ranging from polar (both Arctic and Antarctic), subpolar (Scandinavia), temperate (Germany) to dry regions (Chile). The combination of microscopy and molecular techniques (next-generation sequencing) revealed highly diverse crust communities, whose composition clustered by region and correlates with habitat characteristics such as water content. The BSC biodiversity was then linked to the ecological function of the crusts. The functional role of the BSCs in the biogeochemical cycles of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous is evaluated using an array of state of the art soil chemistry methods including Py-FIMS (pyrolysis field ionization mass spectrometry) and XANES (x-ray absorbance near edge structure). Total P as well as P fractions were quantified in all BSCs, adjacent soil underneath and comparable nearby soil of BSC-free areas revealing a remarkable accumulation of total phosphorous and a distinct pattern of P fractions in the crust. Further, we observed an indication of a different P-speciation composition in the crust compared with BSC-free soil. The data allow answering the question whether BSCs act as sink or source for these compounds, and how biodiversity controls the biogeochemical function of BSCs.

  17. Mitochondrial function in the brain links anxiety with social subordination.

    PubMed

    Hollis, Fiona; van der Kooij, Michael A; Zanoletti, Olivia; Lozano, Laura; Cantó, Carles; Sandi, Carmen

    2015-12-15

    Dominance hierarchies are integral aspects of social groups, yet whether personality traits may predispose individuals to a particular rank remains unclear. Here we show that trait anxiety directly influences social dominance in male outbred rats and identify an important mediating role for mitochondrial function in the nucleus accumbens. High-anxious animals that are prone to become subordinate during a social encounter with a low-anxious rat exhibit reduced mitochondrial complex I and II proteins and respiratory capacity as well as decreased ATP and increased ROS production in the nucleus accumbens. A causal link for these findings is indicated by pharmacological approaches. In a dyadic contest between anxiety-matched animals, microinfusion of specific mitochondrial complex I or II inhibitors into the nucleus accumbens reduced social rank, mimicking the low probability to become dominant observed in high-anxious animals. Conversely, intraaccumbal infusion of nicotinamide, an amide form of vitamin B3 known to enhance brain energy metabolism, prevented the development of a subordinate status in high-anxious individuals. We conclude that mitochondrial function in the nucleus accumbens is crucial for social hierarchy establishment and is critically involved in the low social competitiveness associated with high anxiety. Our findings highlight a key role for brain energy metabolism in social behavior and point to mitochondrial function in the nucleus accumbens as a potential marker and avenue of treatment for anxiety-related social disorders.

  18. Exploring the link between character, personality disorder, and neuropsychological function.

    PubMed

    Bergvall, A H; Nilsson, T; Hansen, S

    2003-11-01

    Personality deviations and deficits in cognitive executive function are common among forensic populations. The present study on incarcerated offenders explored whether there are links between the two domains. Personality was assessed using the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). Neuropsychological performance, including visual working memory, attentional set-shifting and planning, were tested with the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB). Subjects with personality disorders scored high on harm avoidance, and low on self-directedness and cooperativeness. Personality disordered offenders did not differ from the comparison groups (offenders without personality disorder, and non-criminal controls) with regard to CANTAB measures of visual working memory (delayed matching to sample, spatial working memory) and planning (Stockings of Cambridge), but they made a larger number of errors on the attentional set-shifting task. Dimensional analysis of the personality and neuropsychological variables revealed significant associations between self-directedness and cooperativeness on the one hand, and attentional set-shifting on the other. Intellectually disabled, non-criminal individuals (marginal mental retardation) who performed poorly on attentional set-shifting also scored low on self-directedness and cooperativeness. The results indicate that poor development of certain personality traits may be associated with deficits in neuropsychological functioning.

  19. Linking geophysics and soil function modelling - two examples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krüger, J.; Franko, U.; Werban, U.; Dietrich, P.; Behrens, T.; Schmidt, K.; Fank, J.; Kroulik, M.

    2011-12-01

    iSOIL - "Interactions between soil related sciences - Linking geophysics, soil science and digital soil mapping" is a Collaborative Project (Grant Agreement number 211386) co-funded by the Research DG of the European Commission within the RTD activities of the FP7 Thematic Priority Environment. The iSOIL project aims at reliable mapping of soil properties and soil functions with various methods including geophysical, spectroscopic and monitoring techniques. The general procedure contains three steps (i) geophysical monitoring, (ii) generation of soil property maps and (iii) process modelling. The objective of this work is to demonstrate the methodological procedure on two different examples. Example A focuses on the turnover conditions for soil organic matter (SOM) since many soil functions in a direct or indirect way depend on SOM and SOM depletion is amongst the worst soil threats. Example B deals with the dynamics of soil water and the direct influence on crop biomass production. The applied CANDY model (Franko et al. 1995) was developed to describe dynamics of soil organic matter and mineral nitrogen as well as soil water and temperature. The new module PLUS extends CANDY to simulate crop biomass production based on environmental influences (Krüger et al. 2011). The methodological procedure of example A illustrates a model application for a field site in the Czech Republic using generated soil maps from combined geophysical data. Modelling requires a complete set of soil parameters. Combining measured soil properties and data of geophysical measurements (electrical conductivity and gamma spectrometry) is the basis for digital soil mapping which provided data about clay, silt and sand as well as SOC content. With these data pedotransfer functions produce detailed soil input data (e.g. bulk and particle density, field capacity, wilting point, saturated conductivity) for the rooted soil profile. CANDY calculated different indicators for SOM and gave hints about

  20. Optimizing Linked Perceptual Class Formation and Transfer of Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fields, Lanny; Garruto, Michelle

    2009-01-01

    A linked perceptual class consists of two distinct perceptual classes, A' and B', the members of which have become related to each other. For example, a linked perceptual class might be composed of many pictures of a woman (one perceptual class) and the sounds of that woman's voice (the other perceptual class). In this case, any sound of the…

  1. Testing the link between functional diversity and ecosystem functioning in a Minnesota grassland experiment.

    PubMed

    Clark, Christopher M; Flynn, Dan F B; Butterfield, Bradley J; Reich, Peter B

    2012-01-01

    The functional diversity of a community can influence ecosystem functioning and reflects assembly processes. The large number of disparate metrics used to quantify functional diversity reflects the range of attributes underlying this concept, generally summarized as functional richness, functional evenness, and functional divergence. However, in practice, we know very little about which attributes drive which ecosystem functions, due to a lack of field-based tests. Here we test the association between eight leading functional diversity metrics (Rao's Q, FD, FDis, FEve, FDiv, convex hull volume, and species and functional group richness) that emphasize different attributes of functional diversity, plus 11 extensions of these existing metrics that incorporate heterogeneous species abundances and trait variation. We assess the relationships among these metrics and compare their performances for predicting three key ecosystem functions (above- and belowground biomass and light capture) within a long-term grassland biodiversity experiment. Many metrics were highly correlated, although unique information was captured in FEve, FDiv, and dendrogram-based measures (FD) that were adjusted by abundance. FD adjusted by abundance outperformed all other metrics in predicting both above- and belowground biomass, although several others also performed well (e.g. Rao's Q, FDis, FDiv). More generally, trait-based richness metrics and hybrid metrics incorporating multiple diversity attributes outperformed evenness metrics and single-attribute metrics, results that were not changed when combinations of metrics were explored. For light capture, species richness alone was the best predictor, suggesting that traits for canopy architecture would be necessary to improve predictions. Our study provides a comprehensive test linking different attributes of functional diversity with ecosystem function for a grassland system.

  2. Mentalizing functions provide a conceptual link of brain function and social cognition in major mental disorders.

    PubMed

    Schnell, Knut

    2014-01-01

    The review presents a research perspective that defines mentalizing functions as a very promising topic to bridge psychopathology and neurobiological foundations of mental disorders. However, the high diversity of existing observations in mentalizing research calls for a structured assessment of functional mentalizing subdomains. A notable problem is the overlap of functional systems involved in mentalizing and emotion processing. A proposed solution is to conceptualize mentalizing functions due to their content (visuospatial vs. emotional) perspective and substrates (cognitive or explicit signals). This conceptual organization is mirrored in functional imaging experiments dissociating anteromedial and posterolateral brain regions, especially the involvement of the medial prefrontal cortex in mentalizing emotions and the temporoparietal cortex in visuospatial perspective taking. The present state and perspectives of mentalizing research are demonstrated in two major fields of mental disorders, depression and schizophrenia. In depression the existent contradictory findings demand a control of cognitive impairments, which are frequently associated with depressive disorders. In schizophrenia there is already consistent evidence that defines mentalizing functions as promising endophenotype, which can possibly link psychopathology to its neurobiological foundations.

  3. Linking and Psychological Functioning in a Chinese Sample: The Multiple Mediation of Response to Positive Affect

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yang, Hongfei; Li, Juan

    2016-01-01

    The present study examined the associations between linking, response to positive affect, and psychological functioning in Chinese college students. The results of conducting multiple mediation analyses indicated that emotion- and self-focused positive rumination mediated the relationship between linking and psychological functioning, whereas…

  4. Linking structural dynamics and functional diversity in asymmetric catalysis.

    PubMed

    Nojiri, Akihiro; Kumagai, Naoya; Shibasaki, Masakatsu

    2009-03-18

    Proteins, the functional molecules in biological systems, are sophisticated chemical devices that have evolved over billions of years. Their function is intimately related to their three-dimensional structure and elegantly regulated by conformational changes through allosteric regulators and a number of reversible or unidirectional post-translational modifications. This functional diversification in response to external stimuli allows for an orderly and timely progression of intra- and extracellular events. In contrast, enantioselective catalysts generally exhibit limited conformational flexibility and thereby exert a single specific function. Exploiting the features of conformationally flexible asymmetric ligands and the variable coordination patterns of rare earth metals, we demonstrate dynamic structural and functional changes of a catalyst in asymmetric catalysis, leading to two distinct reaction outcomes in a single flask.

  5. Soil-borne microbiome: linking diversity to function.

    PubMed

    Mendes, Lucas W; Tsai, Siu M; Navarrete, Acácio A; de Hollander, Mattias; van Veen, Johannes A; Kuramae, Eiko E

    2015-07-01

    Soil microorganisms are sensitive to environment disturbances, and such alterations have consequences on microbial diversity and functions. Our hypothesis is that alpha diversity of microbial communities and functional diversity decrease from undisturbed to disturbed soils, with consequences for functional redundancy in the soil ecosystem. To test this hypothesis, we used soil DNA shotgun metagenomics approach to assess the soil microbiome in a chronosequence of land-use from a native tropical forest, followed by deforestation and cultivation of soybean croplands and pasture in different seasons. Agriculture and pasture soils were among the most diverse and presented higher functional redundancy, which is important to maintain the ecosystem functioning after the forest conversion. On the other hand, the ecosystem equilibrium in forest is maintained based on a lower alpha diversity but higher abundance of microorganisms. Our results indicate that land-use change alters the structure and composition of microbial communities; however, ecosystem functionality is overcome by different strategies based on the abundance and diversity of the communities.

  6. Linking stoichiometric homoeostasis with ecosystem structure, functioning and stability.

    PubMed

    Yu, Qiang; Chen, Quansheng; Elser, James J; He, Nianpeng; Wu, Honghui; Zhang, Guangming; Wu, Jianguo; Bai, Yongfei; Han, Xingguo

    2010-11-01

    Ecosystem structure, functioning and stability have been a focus of ecological and environmental sciences during the past two decades. The mechanisms underlying their relationship, however, are not well understood. Based on comprehensive studies in Inner Mongolia grassland, here we show that species-level stoichiometric homoeostasis was consistently positively correlated with dominance and stability on both 2-year and 27-year temporal scales and across a 1200-km spatial transect. At the community level, stoichiometric homoeostasis was also positively correlated with ecosystem function and stability in most cases. Thus, homoeostatic species tend to have high and stable biomass; and ecosystems dominated by more homoeostatic species have higher productivity and greater stability. By modulating organism responses to key environmental drivers, stoichiometric homoeostasis appears to be a major mechanism responsible for the structure, functioning and stability of grassland ecosystems.

  7. Morphology and behaviour: functional links in development and evolution

    PubMed Central

    Bertossa, Rinaldo C.

    2011-01-01

    Development and evolution of animal behaviour and morphology are frequently addressed independently, as reflected in the dichotomy of disciplines dedicated to their study distinguishing object of study (morphology versus behaviour) and perspective (ultimate versus proximate). Although traits are known to develop and evolve semi-independently, they are matched together in development and evolution to produce a unique functional phenotype. Here I highlight similarities shared by both traits, such as the decisive role played by the environment for their ontogeny. Considering the widespread developmental and functional entanglement between both traits, many cases of adaptive evolution are better understood when proximate and ultimate explanations are integrated. A field integrating these perspectives is evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo), which studies the developmental basis of phenotypic diversity. Ultimate aspects in evo-devo studies—which have mostly focused on morphological traits—could become more apparent when behaviour, ‘the integrator of form and function’, is integrated into the same framework of analysis. Integrating a trait such as behaviour at a different level in the biological hierarchy will help to better understand not only how behavioural diversity is produced, but also how levels are connected to produce functional phenotypes and how these evolve. A possible framework to accommodate and compare form and function at different levels of the biological hierarchy is outlined. At the end, some methodological issues are discussed. PMID:21690124

  8. Synthesis of chiral alpha-amino aldehydes linked by their amine function to solid support.

    PubMed

    Cantel, Sonia; Heitz, Annie; Martinez, Jean; Fehrentz, Jean-Alain

    2004-09-01

    The anchoring of an alpha-amino-acid derivative by its amine function on to a solid support allows some chemical reactions starting from the carboxylic acid function. This paper describes the preparation of alpha-amino aldehydes linked to the support by their amine function. This was performed by reduction with LiAlH4 of the corresponding Weinreb amide linked to the resin. The aldehydes obtained were then involved in Wittig or reductive amination reactions. In addition, the linked Weinreb amide was reacted with methylmagnesium bromide to yield the corresponding ketone. After cleavage from the support, the compounds were obtained in good to excellent yields and characterized.

  9. New link between conceptual density functional theory and electron delocalization.

    PubMed

    Matito, Eduard; Putz, Mihai V

    2011-11-17

    In this paper we give a new definition of the softness kernel based on the exchange-correlation density. This new kernel is shown to correspond to the change of electron fluctuation upon external perturbation, thus helping to bridge the gap between conceptual density functional theory and some tools describing electron localization in molecules. With the aid of a few computational calculations on diatomics we illustrate the performance of this new computational tool.

  10. Effects on Scale Linking of Different Definitions of Criterion Functions for the IRT Characteristic Curve Methods

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Seonghoon; Kolen, Michael J.

    2007-01-01

    Under item response theory, the characteristic curve methods (Haebara and Stocking-Lord methods) are used to link two ability scales from separate calibrations. The linking methods use their respective criterion functions that can be defined differently according to the symmetry- and distribution-related schemes. The symmetry-related scheme…

  11. Desmin Cytoskeleton Linked to Muscle Mitochondrial Distribution and Respiratory Function

    PubMed Central

    Milner, Derek J.; Mavroidis, Manolis; Weisleder, Noah; Capetanaki, Yassemi

    2000-01-01

    Ultrastructural studies have previously suggested potential association of intermediate filaments (IFs) with mitochondria. Thus, we have investigated mitochondrial distribution and function in muscle lacking the IF protein desmin. Immunostaining of skeletal muscle tissue sections, as well as histochemical staining for the mitochondrial marker enzymes cytochrome C oxidase and succinate dehydrogenase, demonstrate abnormal accumulation of subsarcolemmal clumps of mitochondria in predominantly slow twitch skeletal muscle of desmin-null mice. Ultrastructural observation of desmin-null cardiac muscle demonstrates in addition to clumping, extensive mitochondrial proliferation in a significant fraction of the myocytes, particularly after work overload. These alterations are frequently associated with swelling and degeneration of the mitochondrial matrix. Mitochondrial abnormalities can be detected very early, before other structural defects become obvious. To investigate related changes in mitochondrial function, we have analyzed ADP-stimulated respiration of isolated muscle mitochondria, and ADP-stimulated mitochondrial respiration in situ using saponin skinned muscle fibers. The in vitro maximal rates of respiration in isolated cardiac mitochondria from desmin-null and wild-type mice were similar. However, mitochondrial respiration in situ is significantly altered in desmin-null muscle. Both the maximal rate of ADP-stimulated oxygen consumption and the dissociation constant (Km) for ADP are significantly reduced in desmin-null cardiac and soleus muscle compared with controls. Respiratory parameters for desmin-null fast twitch gastrocnemius muscle were unaffected. Additionally, respiratory measurements in the presence of creatine indicate that coupling of creatine kinase and the adenine translocator is lost in desmin-null soleus muscle. This coupling is unaffected in cardiac muscle from desmin-null animals. All of these studies indicate that desmin IFs play a significant

  12. Lung morphometry: the link between structure and function.

    PubMed

    Weibel, Ewald R

    2017-03-01

    The study of the structural basis of gas exchange function in the lung depends on the availability of quantitative information that concerns the structures establishing contact between the air in the alveoli and the blood in the alveolar capillaries, which can be entered into physiological equations for predicting oxygen uptake. This information is provided by morphometric studies involving stereological methods and allows estimates of the pulmonary diffusing capacity of the human lung that agree, in experimental studies, with the maximal oxygen consumption. The basis for this "machine lung" structure lies in the complex design of the cells building an extensive air-blood barrier with minimal cell mass.

  13. Using ecological production functions to link ecological processes to ecosystem services.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological production functions (EPFs) link ecosystems, stressors, and management actions to ecosystem services (ES) production. Although EPFs are acknowledged as being essential to improve environmental management, their use in ecological risk assessment has received relatively ...

  14. Linking vegetation structure, function and physiology through spectroscopic remote sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serbin, S.; Singh, A.; Couture, J. J.; Shiklomanov, A. N.; Rogers, A.; Desai, A. R.; Kruger, E. L.; Townsend, P. A.

    2015-12-01

    Terrestrial ecosystem process models require detailed information on ecosystem states and canopy properties to properly simulate the fluxes of carbon (C), water and energy from the land to the atmosphere and assess the vulnerability of ecosystems to perturbations. Current models fail to adequately capture the magnitude, spatial variation, and seasonality of terrestrial C uptake and storage, leading to significant uncertainties in the size and fate of the terrestrial C sink. By and large, these parameter and process uncertainties arise from inadequate spatial and temporal representation of plant traits, vegetation structure, and functioning. With increases in computational power and changes to model architecture and approaches, it is now possible for models to leverage detailed, data rich and spatially explicit descriptions of ecosystems to inform parameter distributions and trait tradeoffs. In this regard, spectroscopy and imaging spectroscopy data have been shown to be invaluable observational datasets to capture broad-scale spatial and, eventually, temporal dynamics in important vegetation properties. We illustrate the linkage of plant traits and spectral observations to supply key data constraints for model parameterization. These constraints can come either in the form of the raw spectroscopic data (reflectance, absorbtance) or physiological traits derived from spectroscopy. In this presentation we highlight our ongoing work to build ecological scaling relationships between critical vegetation characteristics and optical properties across diverse and complex canopies, including temperate broadleaf and conifer forests, Mediterranean vegetation, Arctic systems, and agriculture. We focus on work at the leaf, stand, and landscape scales, illustrating the importance of capturing the underlying variability in a range of parameters (including vertical variation within canopies) to enable more efficient scaling of traits related to functional diversity of ecosystems.

  15. Functional analysis of RYR1 variants linked to malignant hyperthermia

    PubMed Central

    Stephens, Jeremy; Schiemann, Anja H.; Roesl, Cornelia; Miller, Dorota; Massey, Sean; Pollock, Neil; Bulger, Terasa; Stowell, Kathryn

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Malignant hyperthermia manifests as a rapid and sustained rise in temperature in response to pharmacological triggering agents, e.g. inhalational anesthetics and the muscle relaxant suxamethonium. Other clinical signs include an increase in end-tidal CO2, increased O2 consumption, as well as tachycardia, and if untreated a malignant hyperthermia episode can result in death. The metabolic changes are caused by dysregulation of skeletal muscle Ca2+ homeostasis, resulting from a defective ryanodine receptor Ca2+ channel, which resides in the sarcoplasmic reticulum and controls the flux of Ca2+ ions from intracellular stores to the cytoplasm. Most genetic variants associated with susceptibility to malignant hyperthermia occur in the RYR1 gene encoding the ryanodine receptor type 1. While malignant hyperthermia susceptibility can be diagnosed by in vitro contracture testing of skeletal muscle biopsy tissue, it is advantageous to use DNA testing. Currently only 35 of over 400 potential variants in RYR1 have been classed as functionally causative of malignant hyperthermia and thus can be used for DNA diagnostic tests. Here we describe functional analysis of 2 RYR1 variants (c. 7042_7044delCAG, p.ΔGlu2348 and c.641C>T, p.Thr214Met) that occur in the same malignant hyperthermia susceptible family. The p.Glu2348 deletion, causes hypersensitivity to ryanodine receptor agonists using in vitro analysis of cloned human RYR1 cDNA expressed in HEK293T cells, while the Thr214Met substitution, does not appear to significantly alter sensitivity to agonist in the same system. We suggest that the c. 7042_7044delCAG, p.ΔGlu2348 RYR1 variant could be added to the list of diagnostic mutations for susceptibility to malignant hyperthermia. PMID:27857962

  16. Glutamatergic Neurotransmission Links Sensitivity to Volatile Anesthetics with Mitochondrial Function.

    PubMed

    Zimin, Pavel I; Woods, Christian B; Quintana, Albert; Ramirez, Jan-Marino; Morgan, Philip G; Sedensky, Margaret M

    2016-08-22

    An enigma of modern medicine has persisted for over 150 years. The mechanisms by which volatile anesthetics (VAs) produce their effects (loss of consciousness, analgesia, amnesia, and immobility) remain an unsolved mystery. Many attractive putative molecular targets have failed to produce a significant effect when genetically tested in whole-animal models [1-3]. However, mitochondrial defects increase VA sensitivity in diverse organisms from nematodes to humans [4-6]. Ndufs4 knockout (KO) mice lack a subunit of mitochondrial complex I and are strikingly hypersensitive to VAs yet resistant to the intravenous anesthetic ketamine [7]. The change in VA sensitivity is the largest reported for a mammal. Limiting NDUFS4 loss to a subset of glutamatergic neurons recapitulates the VA hypersensitivity of Ndufs4(KO) mice, while loss in GABAergic or cholinergic neurons does not. Baseline electrophysiologic function of CA1 pyramidal neurons does not differ between Ndufs4(KO) and control mice. Isoflurane concentrations that anesthetize only Ndufs4(KO) mice (0.6%) decreased the frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs) only in Ndufs4(KO) CA1 neurons, while concentrations effective in control mice (1.2%) decreased sEPSC frequencies in both control and Ndufs4(KO) CA1 pyramidal cells. Spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents (sIPSCs) were not differentially affected between genotypes. The effects of isoflurane were similar on evoked field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) and paired pulse facilitation (PPF) in KO and control hippocampal slices. We propose that CA1 presynaptic excitatory neurotransmission is hypersensitive to isoflurane in Ndufs4(KO) mice due to the inhibition of pre-existing reduced complex I function, reaching a critical reduction that can no longer meet metabolic demands.

  17. Growth Points in Linking Representations of Function: A Research-Based Framework

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ronda, Erlina

    2015-01-01

    This paper describes five growth points in linking representations of function developed from a study of secondary school learners. Framed within the cognitivist perspective and process-object conception of function, the growth points were identified and described based on linear and quadratic function tasks learners can do and their strategies…

  18. Transceptors as a functional link of transporters and receptors

    PubMed Central

    Diallinas, George

    2017-01-01

    Cells need to communicate with their environment in order to obtain nutrients, grow, divide and respond to signals related to adaptation in changing physiological conditions or stress. A very basic question in biology is how cells, especially of those organisms living in rapidly changing habitats, sense their environment. Apparently, this question is of particular importance to all free-living microorganisms. The critical role of receptors, transporters and channels, transmembrane proteins located in the plasma membrane of all types of cells, in signaling environmental changes is well established. A relative newcomer in environment sensing are the so called transceptors, membrane proteins that possess both solute transport and receptor-like signaling activities. Now, the transceptor concept is further enlarged to include micronutrient sensing via the iron and zinc high-affinity transporters of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Interestingly, what seems to underline the transport and/or sensing function of receptors, transporters and transceptors is ligand-induced conformational alterations recognized by downstream intracellular effectors. PMID:28357392

  19. Assessment of protein function following cross-linking by alpha-dicarbonyls.

    PubMed

    Miller, Antonia G; Gerrard, Juliet A

    2005-06-01

    Protein cross-linking via the Maillard reaction with alpha-dicarbonyl compounds has been the subject of intense scrutiny in the literature. We report here a study of the impact of this cross-linking on enzyme function. Protein function following glycation was examined by treating ribonuclease A with methylglyoxal, glyoxal, and diacetyl, which cross-linked the enzyme and impaired its activity. The effects of two reported Maillard reaction inhibitors, aminoguanidine and 3,5-dimethylpyrazole-1-carboxamidine, on the cross-linking reaction were assessed, with a parallel measurement of the effect on enzyme activity. The results demonstrate that preventing protein cross-linking does not necessarily preserve enzyme activity. These results cast doubt on the likely efficacy of some purported antiaging compounds in vivo.

  20. Tyrosine-Selective Functionalization for Bio-Orthogonal Cross-Linking of Engineered Protein Hydrogels.

    PubMed

    Madl, Christopher M; Heilshorn, Sarah C

    2017-02-02

    Engineered protein hydrogels have shown promise as artificial extracellular matrix materials for the 3D culture of stem cells due to the ability to decouple hydrogel biochemistry and mechanics. The modular design of these proteins allows for incorporation of various bioactive sequences to regulate cellular behavior. However, the chemistry used to cross-link the proteins into hydrogels can limit what bioactive sequences can be incorporated, in order to prevent nonspecific cross-linking within the bioactive region. Bio-orthogonal cross-linking chemistries may allow for the incorporation of any arbitrary bioactive sequence, but site-selective and scalable incorporation of bio-orthogonal reactive groups such as azides that do not rely on commonly used amine-reactive chemistry is often challenging. In response, we have optimized the reaction of an azide-bearing 4-phenyl-1,2,4-triazoline-3,5-dione (PTAD) with engineered elastin-like proteins (ELPs) to selectively azide-functionalize tyrosine residues within the proteins. The PTAD-azide functionalized ELPs cross-link with bicyclononyne (BCN) functionalized ELPs via the strain-promoted azide-alkyne cycloaddition (SPAAC) reaction to form hydrogels. Human mesenchymal stem cells and murine neural progenitor cells encapsulated within these hydrogels remain highly viable and maintain their phenotypes in culture. Tyrosine-specific modification may expand the number of bioactive sequences that can be designed into protein-engineered materials by permitting incorporation of lysine-containing sequences without concern for nonspecific cross-linking.

  1. Ecosystem functions across trophic levels are linked to functional and phylogenetic diversity.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Patrick L; Davies, T Jonathan; Gonzalez, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    In experimental systems, it has been shown that biodiversity indices based on traits or phylogeny can outperform species richness as predictors of plant ecosystem function. However, it is unclear whether this pattern extends to the function of food webs in natural ecosystems. Here we tested whether zooplankton functional and phylogenetic diversity explains the functioning of 23 natural pond communities. We used two measures of ecosystem function: (1) zooplankton community biomass and (2) phytoplankton abundance (Chl a). We tested for diversity-ecosystem function relationships within and across trophic levels. We found a strong correlation between zooplankton diversity and ecosystem function, whereas local environmental conditions were less important. Further, the positive diversity-ecosystem function relationships were more pronounced for measures of functional and phylogenetic diversity than for species richness. Zooplankton and phytoplankton biomass were best predicted by different indices, suggesting that the two functions are dependent upon different aspects of diversity. Zooplankton community biomass was best predicted by zooplankton trait-based functional richness, while phytoplankton abundance was best predicted by zooplankton phylogenetic diversity. Our results suggest that the positive relationship between diversity and ecosystem function can extend across trophic levels in natural environments, and that greater insight into variation in ecosystem function can be gained by combining functional and phylogenetic diversity measures.

  2. Protein functional links in Trypanosoma brucei, identified by gene fusion analysis

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Domain or gene fusion analysis is a bioinformatics method for detecting gene fusions in one organism by comparing its genome to that of other organisms. The occurrence of gene fusions suggests that the two original genes that participated in the fusion are functionally linked, i.e. their gene products interact either as part of a multi-subunit protein complex, or in a metabolic pathway. Gene fusion analysis has been used to identify protein functional links in prokaryotes as well as in eukaryotic model organisms, such as yeast and Drosophila. Results In this study we have extended this approach to include a number of recently sequenced protists, four of which are pathogenic, to identify fusion linked proteins in Trypanosoma brucei, the causative agent of African sleeping sickness. We have also examined the evolution of the gene fusion events identified, to determine whether they can be attributed to fusion or fission, by looking at the conservation of the fused genes and of the individual component genes across the major eukaryotic and prokaryotic lineages. We find relatively limited occurrence of gene fusions/fissions within the protist lineages examined. Our results point to two trypanosome-specific gene fissions, which have recently been experimentally confirmed, one fusion involving proteins involved in the same metabolic pathway, as well as two novel putative functional links between fusion-linked protein pairs. Conclusions This is the first study of protein functional links in T. brucei identified by gene fusion analysis. We have used strict thresholds and only discuss results which are highly likely to be genuine and which either have already been or can be experimentally verified. We discuss the possible impact of the identification of these novel putative protein-protein interactions, to the development of new trypanosome therapeutic drugs. PMID:21729286

  3. The Link between Emotion Regulation, Social Functioning, and Depression in Boys with ASD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pouw, Lucinda B. C.; Rieffe, Carolien; Stockmann, Lex; Gadow, Kenneth D.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: Symptoms of depression are common in children and adolescents with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but information about underlying developmental factors is limited. Depression is often linked to aspects of emotional functioning such as coping strategies, but in children with ASD difficulties with social interactions are also a likely…

  4. Imbalanced Functional Link between Valuation Networks in Abstinent Heroin-Dependent Subjects

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Chunming; Shao, Yongcong; Ma, Lin; Zhai, Tianye; Ye, Enmao; Fu, Liping; Bi, Guohua; Chen, Gang; Cohen, Alex; Li, Wenjun; Chen, Guangyu; Yang, Zheng; Li, Shi-Jiang

    2015-01-01

    Using neuroeconomic approaches, our findings demonstrate that the underlying duality of the β-δ discounting networks that jointly influence valuation is impaired to a pathogenic state in abstinent heroin dependents. The imbalanced functional link between the β-δ networks for valuation may orchestrate the irrational choice in drug addiction. PMID:23207652

  5. Remission of Depression in Parents: Links to Healthy Functioning in Their Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garber, Judy; Ciesla, Jeff A.; McCauley, Elizabeth; Diamond, Guy; Schloredt, Kelly A.

    2011-01-01

    This study examined whether improvement in parents' depression was linked with changes in their children's depressive symptoms and functioning. Participants were 223 parents and children ranging in age from 7 to 17 years old (M = 12.13, SD = 2.31); 126 parents were in treatment for depression and 97 parents were nondepressed. Children were…

  6. Geochip: A high throughput genomic tool for linking community structure to functions

    SciTech Connect

    Van Nostrand, Joy D.; Liang, Yuting; He, Zhili; Li, Guanghe; Zhou, Jizhong

    2009-01-30

    GeoChip is a comprehensive functional gene array that targets key functional genes involved in the geochemical cycling of N, C, and P, sulfate reduction, metal resistance and reduction, and contaminant degradation. Studies have shown the GeoChip to be a sensitive, specific, and high-throughput tool for microbial community analysis that has the power to link geochemical processes with microbial community structure. However, several challenges remain regarding the development and applications of microarrays for microbial community analysis.

  7. Functional analysis of N-linking oligosaccharyl transferase enzymes encoded by deep-sea vent proteobacteria

    PubMed Central

    Mills, Dominic C.; Jervis, Adrian J.; Abouelhadid, Sherif; Yates, Laura E.; Cuccui, Jon; Linton, Dennis; Wren, Brendan W.

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial N-linking oligosaccharyl transferases (OTase enzymes) transfer lipid-linked glycans to selected proteins in the periplasm and were first described in the intestinal pathogen Campylobacter jejuni, a member of the ε-proteobacteria-subdivision of bacteria. More recently, orthologues from other ε-proteobacterial Campylobacter and Helicobacter species and a δ-proteobacterium, Desulfovibrio desulfuricans, have been described, suggesting that these two subdivisions of bacteria may be a source of further N-linked protein glycosylation systems. Whole-genome sequencing of both ε- and δ-proteobacteria from deep-sea vent habitats, a rich source of species from these subdivisions, revealed putative ORFs encoding OTase enzymes and associated adjacent glycosyltransferases similar to the C. jejuni N-linked glycosylation locus. We expressed putative OTase ORFs from the deep-sea vent species Nitratiruptor tergarcus, Sulfurovum lithotrophicum and Deferribacter desulfuricans in Escherichia coli and showed they were able to functionally complement the C. jejuni OTase, CjPglB . The enzymes were shown to possess relaxed glycan specificity, transferring diverse glycan structures and demonstrated different glycosylation sequon specificities. Additionally a permissive D. desulfuricans acceptor protein was identified, and we provide evidence that the N-linked glycan synthesised by N. tergarcus and S. lithotrophicum contains an acetylated sugar at the reducing end. This work demonstrates that deep-sea vent bacteria encode functional N-glycosylation machineries and are a potential source of biotechnologically important OTase enzymes. PMID:26610891

  8. Functional analysis of N-linking oligosaccharyl transferase enzymes encoded by deep-sea vent proteobacteria.

    PubMed

    Mills, Dominic C; Jervis, Adrian J; Abouelhadid, Sherif; Yates, Laura E; Cuccui, Jon; Linton, Dennis; Wren, Brendan W

    2016-04-01

    Bacterial N-linking oligosaccharyl transferases (OTase enzymes) transfer lipid-linked glycans to selected proteins in the periplasm and were first described in the intestinal pathogen Campylobacter jejuni, a member of the ε-proteobacteria-subdivision of bacteria. More recently, orthologues from other ε-proteobacterial Campylobacter and Helicobacter species and a δ-proteobacterium, Desulfovibrio desulfuricans, have been described, suggesting that these two subdivisions of bacteria may be a source of further N-linked protein glycosylation systems. Whole-genome sequencing of both ε- and δ-proteobacteria from deep-sea vent habitats, a rich source of species from these subdivisions, revealed putative ORFs encoding OTase enzymes and associated adjacent glycosyltransferases similar to the C. jejuni N-linked glycosylation locus. We expressed putative OTase ORFs from the deep-sea vent species Nitratiruptor tergarcus, Sulfurovum lithotrophicum and Deferribacter desulfuricans in Escherichia coli and showed that they were able to functionally complement the C. jejuni OTase, CjPglB. The enzymes were shown to possess relaxed glycan specificity, transferring diverse glycan structures and demonstrated different glycosylation sequon specificities. Additionally, a permissive D. desulfuricans acceptor protein was identified, and we provide evidence that the N-linked glycan synthesized by N. tergarcus and S. lithotrophicum contains an acetylated sugar at the reducing end. This work demonstrates that deep-sea vent bacteria encode functional N-glycosylation machineries and are a potential source of biotechnologically important OTase enzymes.

  9. Summary goodness-of-fit statistics for binary generalized linear models with noncanonical link functions.

    PubMed

    Canary, Jana D; Blizzard, Leigh; Barry, Ronald P; Hosmer, David W; Quinn, Stephen J

    2016-05-01

    Generalized linear models (GLM) with a canonical logit link function are the primary modeling technique used to relate a binary outcome to predictor variables. However, noncanonical links can offer more flexibility, producing convenient analytical quantities (e.g., probit GLMs in toxicology) and desired measures of effect (e.g., relative risk from log GLMs). Many summary goodness-of-fit (GOF) statistics exist for logistic GLM. Their properties make the development of GOF statistics relatively straightforward, but it can be more difficult under noncanonical links. Although GOF tests for logistic GLM with continuous covariates (GLMCC) have been applied to GLMCCs with log links, we know of no GOF tests in the literature specifically developed for GLMCCs that can be applied regardless of link function chosen. We generalize the Tsiatis GOF statistic originally developed for logistic GLMCCs, (TG), so that it can be applied under any link function. Further, we show that the algebraically related Hosmer-Lemeshow (HL) and Pigeon-Heyse (J(2) ) statistics can be applied directly. In a simulation study, TG, HL, and J(2) were used to evaluate the fit of probit, log-log, complementary log-log, and log models, all calculated with a common grouping method. The TG statistic consistently maintained Type I error rates, while those of HL and J(2) were often lower than expected if terms with little influence were included. Generally, the statistics had similar power to detect an incorrect model. An exception occurred when a log GLMCC was incorrectly fit to data generated from a logistic GLMCC. In this case, TG had more power than HL or J(2) .

  10. Linking Frailty Instruments to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health: A Systematic Review.

    PubMed

    Azzopardi, Roberta Vella; Vermeiren, Sofie; Gorus, Ellen; Habbig, Ann-Katrin; Petrovic, Mirko; Van Den Noortgate, Nele; De Vriendt, Patricia; Bautmans, Ivan; Beyer, Ingo

    2016-11-01

    To date, the major dilemma concerning frailty is the lack of a standardized language regarding its operationalization. Considering the demographic challenge that the world is facing, standardization of frailty identification is indeed the first step in tackling the burdensome consequences of frailty. To demonstrate this diversity in frailty assessment, the available frailty instruments have been linked to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF): a standardized and hierarchically coded language developed by World Health Organization regarding health conditions and their positive (functioning) and negative (disability) consequences. A systematic review on frailty instruments was carried out in PubMed, Web of Knowledge, and PsycINFO. The items of the identified frailty instruments were then linked to the ICF codes. 79 original or adapted frailty instruments were identified and categorized into single (n = 25) and multidomain (n = 54) groups. Only 5 frailty instruments (indexes) were linked to all 5 ICF components. Whereas the ICF components Body Functions and Activities and Participation were frequently linked to the frailty instruments, Body Structures, Environmental and Personal factors were sparingly represented mainly in the multidomain frailty instruments. This review highlights the heterogeneity in frailty operationalization. Environmental and personal factors should be given more thought in future frailty assessments. Being unambiguous, structured, and neutral, the ICF language allows comparing observations made with different frailty instruments. In conclusion, this systematic overview and ICF translation can be a cornerstone for future standardization of frailty assessment.

  11. Linking morphological and functional variability in hand movement and silent reading.

    PubMed

    Sun, Z Y; Pinel, P; Rivière, D; Moreno, A; Dehaene, S; Mangin, J-F

    2016-09-01

    It is generally accepted in neuroscience that anatomy and function go hand in hand. Accordingly, a local morphological variability could lead to a corresponding functional variability. In this study, we tested this hypothesis by linking the variability of the cortical folding pattern of 252 right-handed subjects to the localization or the pattern of functional activations induced by hand motion or silent reading. Three regions are selected: the central sulcus, the precentral sulcus and the superior temporal sulcus (STS). "Essential morphological variability traits" are identified using a method building upon multidimensional scaling. The link between variability in anatomy and function is confirmed by the perfect match between the central sulcus morphological "hand knob" and the corresponding motor activation: as the location of the hand knob moves more or less dorsally along the central sulcus, the motor hand activation moves accordingly. Furthermore, the size of the left hand activation in the right hemisphere is correlated with the knob location in the central sulcus. A new link between functional and morphological variability is discovered relative to the location of a premotor activation induced by silent reading. While this reading activation is located next to the wall of the central sulcus when the hand knob has a ventral positioning, it is pushed into a deep gyrus interrupting the precentral sulcus when the knob is more dorsal. Finally, it is shown that the size of the reading activation along the STS is larger when the posterior branches are less developed.

  12. Linking functional group richness and ecosystem functions of dung beetles: an experimental quantification.

    PubMed

    Milotić, Tanja; Quidé, Stijn; Van Loo, Thomas; Hoffmann, Maurice

    2017-01-01

    Dung beetles form an insect group that fulfils important functions in terrestrial ecosystems throughout the world. These include nutrient cycling through dung removal, soil bioturbation, plant growth, secondary seed dispersal and parasite control. We conducted field experiments at two sites in the northern hemisphere temperate region in which dung removal and secondary seed dispersal were assessed. Dung beetles were classified in three functional groups, depending on their size and dung manipulation method: dwellers, large and small tunnelers. Other soil inhabiting fauna were included as a fourth functional group. Dung removal and seed dispersal by each individual functional group and combinations thereof were estimated in exclusion experiments using different dung types. Dwellers were the most diverse and abundant group, but tunnelers were dominant in terms of biomass. All dung beetle functional groups had a clear preference for fresh dung. The ecosystem services in dung removal and secondary seed dispersal provided by dung beetles were significant and differed between functional groups. Although in absolute numbers more dwellers were found, large tunnelers were disproportionally important for dung burial and seed removal. In the absence of dung beetles, other soil inhabiting fauna, such as earthworms, partly took over the dung decomposing role of dung beetles while most dung was processed when all native functional groups were present. Our results, therefore, emphasize the need to conserve functionally complete dung ecosystems to maintain full ecosystem functioning.

  13. Giving meaning to measure: linking self-reported fatigue and function to performance of everyday activities.

    PubMed

    Mallinson, Trudy; Cella, David; Cashy, John; Holzner, Bernhard

    2006-03-01

    Fatigue, a common symptom of cancer patients, particularly those on active treatment, is generally evaluated using self-report methods, yet it remains unclear how self-reported fatigue scores relate to performance of daily activities. This study examines the relationships among self-reported and performance-based measures of function in patients receiving chemotherapy (CT) to link self-reported fatigue measures to self-report and performance-based measures of function. Self-reported fatigue using the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue (FACIT-F) and self-reported physical function using the physical function 10 subscale of the Short Form 36 (SF-36) (PF-10) were measured in 64 patients within 2 weeks of beginning CT (n=64) and after three cycles of CT (n=48). Motor and cognitive functions were captured using five self-reported and seven observed-performance measures at each time point. Significant correlations between self-reported and observed measures ranged from 0.30 to 0.71. Self-reported fatigue correlated (0.30-0.45) with performance-based function. FACIT-F scores in the range of 30 and below and PF-10 scores in the range of 50 and below were related to an increased difficulty performing everyday activities. Observed measures of physical performance correlate moderately with self-reported fatigue and self-reported physical function. These relationships enable one to begin linking fatigue scores directly to a person's ability to perform everyday activities.

  14. Trophic links between functional groups of arable plants and beetles are stable at a national scale.

    PubMed

    Brooks, David R; Storkey, Jonathan; Clark, Suzanne J; Firbank, Les G; Petit, Sandrine; Woiwod, Ian P

    2012-01-01

    1. There is an urgent need to accurately model how environmental change affects the wide-scale functioning of ecosystems, but advances are hindered by a lack of knowledge of how trophic levels are linked across space. It is unclear which theoretical approach to take to improve modelling of such interactions, but evidence is gathering that linking species responses to their functional traits can increase understanding of ecosystem dynamics. Currently, there are no quantitative studies testing how this approach might improve models of multiple, trophically interacting species, at wide spatial scales. 2. Arable weeds play a foundational role in linking food webs, providing resources for many taxa, including carabid beetles that feed on their seeds and weed-associated invertebrate prey. Here, we model associations between weeds and carabids across farmland in Great Britain (GB), to test the hypothesis that wide-scale trophic links between these groups are structured by their species functional traits. 3. A network of c. 250 arable fields, covering four crops and most lowland areas of GB, was sampled for weed, carabid and invertebrate taxa over 3 years. Data sets of these groups were closely matched in time and space, and each contained numerous species with a range of eco-physiological traits. The consistency of trophic linkages between multiple taxa sharing functional traits was tested within multivariate and log-linear models. 4. Robust links were established between the functional traits of taxa and their trophic interactions. Autumn-germinating, small-seeded weeds were associated with smaller, spring-breeding carabids, more specialised in seed feeding, whereas spring-germinating, large-seeded weeds were associated with a range of larger, autumn-breeding omnivorous carabids. These relationships were strong and dynamic, being independent of changes in invertebrate food resources and consistent across sample dates, crops and regions of GB. 5. We conclude that, in at

  15. Single proteins that serve linked functions in intracellular and extracellular microenvironments

    SciTech Connect

    Radisky, Derek C.; Stallings-Mann, Melody; Hirai, Yohei; Bissell, Mina J.

    2009-06-03

    Maintenance of organ homeostasis and control of appropriate response to environmental alterations requires intimate coordination of cellular function and tissue organization. An important component of this coordination may be provided by proteins that can serve distinct, but linked, functions on both sides of the plasma membrane. Here we present a novel hypothesis in which non-classical secretion can provide a mechanism through which single proteins can integrate complex tissue functions. Single genes can exert a complex, dynamic influence through a number of different processes that act to multiply the function of the gene product(s). Alternative splicing can create many different transcripts that encode proteins of diverse, even antagonistic, function from a single gene. Posttranslational modifications can alter the stability, activity, localization, and even basic function of proteins. A protein can exist in different subcellular localizations. More recently, it has become clear that single proteins can function both inside and outside the cell. These proteins often lack defined secretory signal sequences, and transit the plasma membrane by mechanisms separate from the classical ER/Golgi secretory process. When examples of such proteins are examined individually, the multifunctionality and lack of a signal sequence are puzzling - why should a protein with a well known function in one context function in such a distinct fashion in another? We propose that one reason for a single protein to perform intracellular and extracellular roles is to coordinate organization and maintenance of a global tissue function. Here, we describe in detail three specific examples of proteins that act in this fashion, outlining their specific functions in the extracellular space and in the intracellular space, and we discuss how these functions may be linked. We present epimorphin/syntaxin-2, which may coordinate morphogenesis of secretory organs (as epimorphin) with control of

  16. Docosahexaenoic acid and cognitive function: Is the link mediated by the autonomic nervous system?

    PubMed Central

    Gustafson, Kathleen M.; Colombo, John; Carlson, Susan E.

    2013-01-01

    Docosahexaenoic acid is a long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid that is found in large quantity in the brain and which has repeatedly been observed to be related in positive ways to both cognitive function and cardiovascular health. The mechanisms through which docosahexaenoic acid affects cognition are not well understood, but in this article, we propose a hypothesis that integrates the positive effects of docosahexaenoic acid in the cognitive and cardiovascular realms through the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is known to regulate vital functions such as heart rate and respiration, and has also been linked to basic cognitive components related to arousal and attention. We review the literature from this perspective, and delineate the predictions generated by the hypothesis. In addition, we provide new data showing a link between docosahexaenoic acid and fetal heart rate that is consistent with the hypothesis. PMID:18930644

  17. CRISPR/Cas9 Promotes Functional Study of Testis Specific X-Linked Gene In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Xue; Chen, Yuxi; Zhang, Zhen; Zhang, Xiya; Liang, Puping; Zhan, Shaoquan; Cao, Shanbo; Songyang, Zhou; Huang, Junjiu

    2015-01-01

    Mammalian spermatogenesis is a highly regulated multistage process of sperm generation. It is hard to uncover the real function of a testis specific gene in vitro since the in vitro model is not yet mature. With the development of the CRISPR/Cas9 (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats/CRISPR-associated 9) system, we can now rapidly generate knockout mouse models of testis specific genes to study the process of spermatogenesis in vivo. SYCP3-like X-linked 2 (SLX2) is a germ cell specific component, which contains a Cor1 domain and belongs to the XLR (X-linked, lymphocyte regulated) family. Previous studies suggested that SLX2 might play an important role in mouse spermatogenesis based on its subcellular localization and interacting proteins. However, the function of SLX2 in vivo is still elusive. Here, to investigate the functions of SLX2 in spermatogenesis, we disrupted the Slx2 gene by using the CRISPR/Cas9 system. Since Slx2 is a testis specific X-linked gene, we obtained knockout male mice in the first generation and accelerated the study process. Compared with wild-type mice, Slx2 knockout mice have normal testis and epididymis. Histological observation of testes sections showed that Slx2 knockout affected none of the three main stages of spermatogenesis: mitosis, meiosis and spermiogenesis. In addition, we further confirmed that disruption of Slx2 did not affect the number of spermatogonial stem cells, meiosis progression or XY body formation by immunofluorescence analysis. As spermatogenesis was normal in Slx2 knockout mice, these mice were fertile. Taken together, we showed that Slx2 itself is not an essential gene for mouse spermatogenesis and CRISPR/Cas9 technique could speed up the functional study of testis specific X-linked gene in vivo. PMID:26599493

  18. Link functions in multi-locus genetic models: implications for testing, prediction, and interpretation.

    PubMed

    Clayton, David

    2012-05-01

    "Complex" diseases are, by definition, influenced by multiple causes, both genetic and environmental, and statistical work on the joint action of multiple risk factors has, for more than 40 years, been dominated by the generalized linear model (GLM). In genetics, models for dichotomous traits have traditionally been approached via the model of an underlying, normally distributed, liability. This corresponds to the GLM with binomial errors and a probit link function. Elsewhere in epidemiology, however, the logistic regression model, a GLM with logit link function, has been the tool of choice, largely because of its convenient properties in case-control studies. The choice of link function has usually been dictated by mathematical convenience, but it has some important implications in (a) the choice of association test statistic in the presence of existing strong risk factors, (b) the ability to predict disease from genotype given its heritability, and (c) the definition, and interpretation of epistasis (or epistacy). These issues are reviewed, and a new association test proposed.

  19. Linking structure and function in food webs: maximization of different ecological functions generates distinct food web structures.

    PubMed

    Yen, Jian D L; Cabral, Reniel B; Cantor, Mauricio; Hatton, Ian; Kortsch, Susanne; Patrício, Joana; Yamamichi, Masato

    2016-03-01

    Trophic interactions are central to ecosystem functioning, but the link between food web structure and ecosystem functioning remains obscure. Regularities (i.e. consistent patterns) in food web structure suggest the possibility of regularities in ecosystem functioning, which might be used to relate structure to function. We introduce a novel, genetic algorithm approach to simulate food webs with maximized throughput (a proxy for ecosystem functioning) and compare the structure of these simulated food webs to real empirical food webs using common metrics of food web structure. We repeat this analysis using robustness to secondary extinctions (a proxy for ecosystem resilience) instead of throughput to determine the relative contributions of ecosystem functioning and ecosystem resilience to food web structure. Simulated food webs that maximized robustness were similar to real food webs when connectance (i.e. levels of interaction across the food web) was high, but this result did not extend to food webs with low connectance. Simulated food webs that maximized throughput or a combination of throughput and robustness were not similar to any real food webs. Simulated maximum-throughput food webs differed markedly from maximum-robustness food webs, which suggests that maximizing different ecological functions can generate distinct food web structures. Based on our results, food web structure would appear to have a stronger relationship with ecosystem resilience than with ecosystem throughput. Our genetic algorithm approach is general and is well suited to large, realistically complex food webs. Genetic algorithms can incorporate constraints on structure and can generate outputs that can be compared directly to empirical data. Our method can be used to explore a range of maximization or minimization hypotheses, providing new perspectives on the links between structure and function in ecological systems.

  20. Massively parallel sequencing of single cells by epicPCR links functional genes with phylogenetic markers.

    PubMed

    Spencer, Sarah J; Tamminen, Manu V; Preheim, Sarah P; Guo, Mira T; Briggs, Adrian W; Brito, Ilana L; A Weitz, David; Pitkänen, Leena K; Vigneault, Francois; Juhani Virta, Marko P; Alm, Eric J

    2016-02-01

    Many microbial communities are characterized by high genetic diversity. 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing can determine community members, and metagenomics can determine the functional diversity, but resolving the functional role of individual cells in high throughput remains an unsolved challenge. Here, we describe epicPCR (Emulsion, Paired Isolation and Concatenation PCR), a new technique that links functional genes and phylogenetic markers in uncultured single cells, providing a throughput of hundreds of thousands of cells with costs comparable to one genomic library preparation. We demonstrate the utility of our technique in a natural environment by profiling a sulfate-reducing community in a freshwater lake, revealing both known sulfate reducers and discovering new putative sulfate reducers. Our method is adaptable to any conserved genetic trait and translates genetic associations from diverse microbial samples into a sequencing library that answers targeted ecological questions. Potential applications include identifying functional community members, tracing horizontal gene transfer networks and mapping ecological interactions between microbial cells.

  1. Phylogenetic and functional potential links pH and N2O emissions in pasture soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samad, M. D. Sainur; Biswas, Ambarish; Bakken, Lars R.; Clough, Timothy J.; de Klein, Cecile A. M.; Richards, Karl G.; Lanigan, Gary J.; Morales, Sergio E.

    2016-10-01

    Denitrification is mediated by microbial, and physicochemical, processes leading to nitrogen loss via N2O and N2 emissions. Soil pH regulates the reduction of N2O to N2, however, it can also affect microbial community composition and functional potential. Here we simultaneously test the link between pH, community composition, and the N2O emission ratio (N2O/(NO + N2O + N2)) in 13 temperate pasture soils. Physicochemical analysis, gas kinetics, 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing, metagenomic and quantitative PCR (of denitrifier genes: nirS, nirK, nosZI and nosZII) analysis were carried out to characterize each soil. We found strong evidence linking pH to both N2O emission ratio and community changes. Soil pH was negatively associated with N2O emission ratio, while being positively associated with both community diversity and total denitrification gene (nir & nos) abundance. Abundance of nosZII was positively linked to pH, and negatively linked to N2O emissions. Our results confirm that pH imposes a general selective pressure on the entire community and that this results in changes in emission potential. Our data also support the general model that with increased microbial diversity efficiency increases, demonstrated in this study with lowered N2O emission ratio through more efficient conversion of N2O to N2.

  2. Phylogenetic and functional potential links pH and N2O emissions in pasture soils

    PubMed Central

    Samad, M. d. Sainur; Biswas, Ambarish; Bakken, Lars R.; Clough, Timothy J.; de Klein, Cecile A. M.; Richards, Karl G.; Lanigan, Gary J.; Morales, Sergio E.

    2016-01-01

    Denitrification is mediated by microbial, and physicochemical, processes leading to nitrogen loss via N2O and N2 emissions. Soil pH regulates the reduction of N2O to N2, however, it can also affect microbial community composition and functional potential. Here we simultaneously test the link between pH, community composition, and the N2O emission ratio (N2O/(NO + N2O + N2)) in 13 temperate pasture soils. Physicochemical analysis, gas kinetics, 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing, metagenomic and quantitative PCR (of denitrifier genes: nirS, nirK, nosZI and nosZII) analysis were carried out to characterize each soil. We found strong evidence linking pH to both N2O emission ratio and community changes. Soil pH was negatively associated with N2O emission ratio, while being positively associated with both community diversity and total denitrification gene (nir & nos) abundance. Abundance of nosZII was positively linked to pH, and negatively linked to N2O emissions. Our results confirm that pH imposes a general selective pressure on the entire community and that this results in changes in emission potential. Our data also support the general model that with increased microbial diversity efficiency increases, demonstrated in this study with lowered N2O emission ratio through more efficient conversion of N2O to N2. PMID:27782174

  3. Assessment of safety effects for widening urban roadways in developing crash modification functions using nonlinearizing link functions.

    PubMed

    Park, Juneyoung; Abdel-Aty, Mohamed; Wang, Jung-Han; Lee, Chris

    2015-06-01

    Since a crash modification factor (CMF) represents the overall safety performance of specific treatments in a single fixed value, there is a need to explore the variation of CMFs with different roadway characteristics among treated sites over time. Therefore, in this study, we (1) evaluate the safety performance of a sample of urban four-lane roadway segments that have been widened with one through lane in each direction and (2) determine the relationship between the safety effects and different roadway characteristics over time. Observational before-after analysis with the empirical Bayes (EB) method was assessed in this study to evaluate the safety effects of widening urban four-lane roadways to six-lanes. Moreover, the nonlinearizing link functions were utilized to achieve better performance of crash modification functions (CMFunctions). The CMFunctions were developed using a Bayesian regression method including the estimated nonlinearizing link function to incorporate the changes in safety effects of the treatment over time. Data was collected for urban arterials in Florida, and the Florida-specific full SPFs were developed and used for EB estimation. The results indicated that the conversion of four-lane roadways to six-lane roadways resulted in a crash reduction of 15 percent for total crashes, and 24 percent for injury crashes on urban roadways. The results show that the safety effects vary across the sites with different roadway characteristics. In particular, LOS changes, time changes, and shoulder widths are significant parameters that affect the variation of CMFs. Moreover, it was found that narrowing shoulder and median widths to make space for an extra through lane shows a negative safety impact. It was also found that including the nonlinearizing link functions in developing CMFunctions shows more reliable estimates, if the variation of CMFs with specific parameters has a nonlinear relationship. The findings provide insights into the selection of

  4. Linking Functional Connectivity and Structural Connectivity Quantitatively: A Comparison of Methods.

    PubMed

    Huang, Haiqing; Ding, Mingzhou

    2016-03-01

    Structural connectivity in the brain is the basis of functional connectivity. Quantitatively linking the two, however, remains a challenge. For a pair of regions of interest (ROIs), anatomical connections derived from diffusion-weighted imaging are often quantified by fractional anisotropy (FA) or edge weight, whereas functional connections, derived from resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging, can be characterized by non-time-series measures such as zero-lag cross correlation and partial correlation, as well as by time-series measures such as coherence and Granger causality. In this study, we addressed the question of linking structural connectivity and functional connectivity quantitatively by considering two pairs of ROIs, one from the default mode network (DMN) and the other from the central executive network (CEN), using two different data sets. Selecting (1) posterior cingulate cortex and medial prefrontal cortex of the DMN as the first pair of ROIs and (2) left dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex and left inferior parietal lobule of the CEN as the second pair of ROIs, we show that (1) zero-lag cross correlation, partial correlation, and pairwise Granger causality were not significantly correlated with either mean FA or edge weight and (2) conditional Granger causality (CGC) was significantly correlated with edge weight but not with mean FA. These results suggest that (1) edge weight may be a more appropriate measure to quantify the strength of the anatomical connection between ROIs and (2) CGC, which statistically removes common input and the indirect influences between a given ROI pair, may be a more appropriate measure to quantify the strength of the functional interaction enabled by the fibers linking the two ROIs.

  5. Crucial role of detailed function, task, timeline, link and human vulnerability analyses in HRA

    SciTech Connect

    Ryan, T.G.; Haney, L.N.; Ostrom, L.T.

    1992-10-01

    This paper addresses one major cause for large uncertainties in human reliability analysis (HRA) results, that is, an absence of detailed function, task, timeline, link and human vulnerability analyses. All too often this crucial step in the HRA process is done in a cursory fashion using word of mouth or written procedures which themselves may incompletely or inaccurately represent the human action sequences and human error vulnerabilities being analyzed. The paper examines the potential contributions these detailed analyses can make in achieving quantitative and qualitative HRA results which are: (1) creditable, that is, minimize uncertainty, (2) auditable, that is, systematically linking quantitative results and qualitative information from which the results are derived, (3) capable of supporting root cause analyses on human reliability factors determined to be major contributors to risk, and (4) capable of repeated measures and being combined with similar results from other analyses to examine HRA issues transcending individual systems and facilities. Based on experience analyzing test and commercial nuclear reactors, and medical applications of nuclear technology, an iterative process is suggested for doing detailed function, task, timeline, link and human vulnerability analyses using documentation reviews, open-ended and structured interviews, direct observations, and group techniques. Finally, the paper concludes that detailed analyses done in this manner by knowledgeable human factors practitioners, can contribute significantly to the credibility, auditability, causal factor analysis, and combining goals of the HRA.

  6. Pipelined chebyshev functional link artificial recurrent neural network for nonlinear adaptive filter.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Haiquan; Zhang, Jiashu

    2010-02-01

    A novel nonlinear adaptive filter with pipelined Chebyshev functional link artificial recurrent neural network (PCFLARNN) is presented in this paper, which uses a modification real-time recurrent learning algorithm. The PCFLARNN consists of a number of simple small-scale Chebyshev functional link artificial recurrent neural network (CFLARNN) modules. Compared to the standard recurrent neural network (RNN), those modules of PCFLARNN can simultaneously be performed in a pipelined parallelism fashion, and this would lead to a significant improvement in its total computational efficiency. Furthermore, contrasted with the architecture of a pipelined RNN (PRNN), each module of PCFLARNN is a CFLARNN whose nonlinearity is introduced by enhancing the input pattern with Chebyshev functional expansion, whereas the RNN of each module in PRNN utilizing linear input and first-order recurrent term only fails to utilize the high-order terms of inputs. Therefore, the performance of PCFLARNN can further be improved at the cost of a slightly increased computational complexity. In addition, due to the introduced nonlinear functional expansion of each module in PRNN, the number of input signals can be reduced. Computer simulations have demonstrated that the proposed filter performs better than PRNN and RNN for nonlinear colored signal prediction, nonstationary speech signal prediction, and chaotic time series prediction.

  7. What are the links between maternal social status, hippocampal function, and HPA axis function in children?

    PubMed

    Sheridan, Margaret A; How, Joan; Araujo, Melanie; Schamberg, Michelle A; Nelson, Charles A

    2013-09-01

    The association of parental social status with multiple health and achievement indicators in adulthood has driven researchers to attempt to identify mechanisms by which social experience in childhood could shift developmental trajectories. Some accounts for observed linkages between parental social status in childhood and health have hypothesized that early stress exposure could result in chronic disruptions in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activation, and that this activation could lead to long-term changes. A robust literature in adult animals has demonstrated that chronic HPA axis activation leads to changes in hippocampal structure and function. In the current study, consistent with studies in animals, we observe an association between both maternal self-rated social status and hippocampal activation in children and between maternal self-rated social status and salivary cortisol in children.

  8. Longitudinal links between childhood peer victimization, internalizing and externalizing problems, and academic functioning: developmental cascades.

    PubMed

    Vaillancourt, Tracy; Brittain, Heather L; McDougall, Patricia; Duku, Eric

    2013-11-01

    Developmental cascade models linking childhood peer victimization, internalizing and externalizing problems, and academic functioning were examined in a sample of 695 children assessed in Grade 3 (academic only) and Grades 5, 6, 7, and 8. Results revealed several complex patterns of associations in which poorer functioning in one domain influenced poorer outcomes in other areas. For example, a symptom driven pathway was consistently found with internalizing problems predicting future peer victimization. Support for an academic incompetence model was also found-- lower GPA in Grade 5, 6, and 7 was associated with more externalizing issues in the following year, and poor writing performance in Grade 3 predicted lower grades in Grade 5, which in turn predicted more externalizing problems in Grade 6. Results highlight the need to examine bidirectional influences and multifarious transactions that exist between peer victimization, mental health, and academic functioning over time.

  9. Links between adolescent sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system functioning and interpersonal behavior over time.

    PubMed

    Diamond, Lisa M; Cribbet, Matthew R

    2013-06-01

    Extensive research has investigated links between individual differences in youths' autonomic nervous system (ANS) functioning and psychological outcomes related to emotion regulation, yet little of this research has examined developmental change. The study tested whether individual differences in youths' tonic and stress-induced ANS functioning, assessed at age 14, and changes in ANS functioning from age 14 to 16 predicted corresponding changes in youths' behavioral warmth, as displayed during videotaped mother-child conflict interactions conducted at age 14 and 16. Increased behavioral warmth was predicted by increased baseline respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), increased SCL stress reactivity, decreased RSA stress reactivity (i.e., greater vagal suppression), and decreased baseline SCL. There was also an interaction between RSA stress reactivity at age 14 and changes in maternal warmth from age 14 to 16, such that increased maternal warmth was only associated with increased adolescent warmth for adolescents with lower RSA stress reactivity at age 14.

  10. Mining high-throughput experimental data to link gene and function

    PubMed Central

    Blaby-Haas, Crysten E.; de Crécy-Lagard, Valérie

    2011-01-01

    Nearly 2200 genomes encoding some 6 million proteins have now been sequenced. Around 40% of these proteins are of unknown function even when function is loosely and minimally defined as “belonging to a superfamily”. In addition to in silico methods, the swelling stream of high-throughput experimental data can give valuable clues for linking these “unknowns” with precise biological roles. The goal is to develop integrative data-mining platforms that allow the scientific community at large to access and utilize this rich source of experimental knowledge. To this end, we review recent advances in generating whole-genome experimental datasets, where this data can be accessed, and how it can be used to drive prediction of gene function. PMID:21310501

  11. Unconventional N-Linked Glycosylation Promotes Trimeric Autotransporter Function in Kingella kingae and Aggregatibacter aphrophilus

    PubMed Central

    Rempe, Katherine A.; Spruce, Lynn A.; Porsch, Eric A.; Seeholzer, Steven H.; Nørskov-Lauritsen, Niels

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Glycosylation is a widespread mechanism employed by both eukaryotes and bacteria to increase the functional diversity of their proteomes. The nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae glycosyltransferase HMW1C mediates unconventional N-linked glycosylation of the adhesive protein HMW1, which is encoded in a two-partner secretion system gene cluster that also encodes HMW1C. In this system, HMW1 is modified in the cytoplasm by sequential transfer of hexose residues. In the present study, we examined Kingella kingae and Aggregatibacter aphrophilus homologues of HMW1C that are not encoded near a gene encoding an obvious acceptor protein. We found both homologues to be functional glycosyltransferases and identified their substrates as the K. kingae Knh and the A. aphrophilus EmaA trimeric autotransporter proteins. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis revealed multiple sites of N-linked glycosylation on Knh and EmaA. Without glycosylation, Knh and EmaA failed to facilitate wild-type levels of bacterial autoaggregation or adherence to human epithelial cells, establishing that glycosylation is essential for proper protein function. PMID:26307167

  12. Sex differences in resting state brain function of cigarette smokers and links to nicotine dependence.

    PubMed

    Beltz, Adriene M; Berenbaum, Sheri A; Wilson, Stephen J

    2015-08-01

    Sex--a marker of biological and social individual differences--matters for drug use, particularly for cigarette smoking, which is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. More men than women smoke, but women are less likely than men to quit. Resting state brain function, or intrinsic brain activity that occurs in the absence of a goal-directed task, is important for understanding cigarette smoking, as it has been shown to differentiate between smokers and nonsmokers. But, it is unclear whether and how sex influences the link between resting state brain function and smoking behavior. In this study, the authors demonstrate that sex is indeed associated with resting state connectivity in cigarette smokers, and that sex moderates the link between resting state connectivity and self-reported nicotine dependence. Using functional MRI and behavioral data from 50 adult daily smokers (23 women), the authors found that women had greater connectivity than men within the default mode network, and that increased connectivity within the reward network was related to increased nicotine tolerance in women but to decreased nicotine tolerance in men. Findings highlight the importance of sex-related individual differences reflected in resting state connectivity for understanding the etiology and treatment of substance use problems.

  13. Adversity in childhood linked to elevated striatal dopamine function in adulthood.

    PubMed

    Egerton, Alice; Valmaggia, Lucia R; Howes, Oliver D; Day, Fern; Chaddock, Christopher A; Allen, Paul; Winton-Brown, Toby T; Bloomfield, Michael A P; Bhattacharyya, Sagnik; Chilcott, Jack; Lappin, Julia M; Murray, Robin M; McGuire, Philip

    2016-10-01

    Childhood adversity increases the risk of psychosis in adulthood. Theoretical and animal models suggest that this effect may be mediated by increased striatal dopamine neurotransmission. The primary objective of this study was to examine the relationship between adversity in childhood and striatal dopamine function in early adulthood. Secondary objectives were to compare exposure to childhood adversity and striatal dopamine function in young people at ultra high risk (UHR) of psychosis and healthy volunteers. Sixty-seven young adults, comprising 47 individuals at UHR for psychosis and 20 healthy volunteers were recruited from the same geographic area and were matched for age, gender and substance use. Presynaptic dopamine function in the associative striatum was assessed using 18F-DOPA positron emission tomography. Childhood adversity was assessed using the Childhood Experience of Care and Abuse questionnaire. Within the sample as a whole, both severe physical or sexual abuse (T63=2.92; P=0.005), and unstable family arrangements (T57=2.80; P=0.007) in childhood were associated with elevated dopamine function in the associative striatum in adulthood. Comparison of the UHR and volunteer subgroups revealed similar incidence of childhood adverse experiences, and there was no significant group difference in dopamine function. This study provides evidence that childhood adversity is linked to elevated striatal dopamine function in adulthood.

  14. Linked-cluster expansion for the Green's function of the infinite-U Hubbard model.

    PubMed

    Khatami, Ehsan; Perepelitsky, Edward; Rigol, Marcos; Shastry, B Sriram

    2014-06-01

    We implement a highly efficient strong-coupling expansion for the Green's function of the Hubbard model. In the limit of extreme correlations, where the onsite interaction is infinite, the evaluation of diagrams simplifies dramatically enabling us to carry out the expansion to the eighth order in powers of the hopping amplitude. We compute the finite-temperature Green's function analytically in the momentum and Matsubara frequency space as a function of the electron density. Employing Padé approximations, we study the equation of state, Kelvin thermopower, momentum distribution function, quasiparticle fraction, and quasiparticle lifetime of the system at temperatures lower than, or of the order of, the hopping amplitude. We also discuss several different approaches for obtaining the spectral functions through analytic continuation of the imaginary frequency Green's function, and show results for the system near half filling. We benchmark our results for the equation of state against those obtained from a numerical linked-cluster expansion carried out to the eleventh order.

  15. Linking Resting-State Networks in the Prefrontal Cortex to Executive Function: A Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy Study

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Jia; Liu, Jiangang; Jiang, Xin; Zhou, Guifei; Chen, Guowei; Ding, Xiao P.; Fu, Genyue; Lee, Kang

    2016-01-01

    Executive function (EF) plays vital roles in our everyday adaptation to the ever-changing environment. However, limited existing studies have linked EF to the resting-state brain activity. The functional connectivity in the resting state between the sub-regions of the brain can reveal the intrinsic neural mechanisms involved in cognitive processing of EF without disturbance from external stimuli. The present study investigated the relations between the behavioral executive function (EF) scores and the resting-state functional network topological properties in the Prefrontal Cortex (PFC). We constructed complex brain functional networks in the PFC from 90 healthy young adults using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). We calculated the correlations between the typical network topological properties (regional topological properties and global topological properties) and the scores of both the Total EF and components of EF measured by computer-based Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB). We found that the Total EF scores were positively correlated with regional properties in the right dorsal superior frontal gyrus (SFG), whereas the opposite pattern was found in the right triangular inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). Different EF components were related to different regional properties in various PFC areas, such as planning in the right middle frontal gyrus (MFG), working memory mainly in the right MFG and triangular IFG, short-term memory in the left dorsal SFG, and task switch in the right MFG. In contrast, there were no significant findings for global topological properties. Our findings suggested that the PFC plays an important role in individuals' behavioral performance in the executive function tasks. Further, the resting-state functional network can reveal the intrinsic neural mechanisms involved in behavioral EF abilities. PMID:27774047

  16. Linking Executive Function and Peer Problems from Early Childhood Through Middle Adolescence.

    PubMed

    Holmes, Christopher J; Kim-Spoon, Jungmeen; Deater-Deckard, Kirby

    2016-01-01

    Peer interactions and executive function play central roles in the development of healthy children, as peer problems have been indicative of lower cognitive competencies such as self-regulatory behavior and poor executive function has been indicative of problem behaviors and social dysfunction. However, few studies have focused on the relation between peer interactions and executive function and the underlying mechanisms that may create this link. Using a national sample (n = 1164, 48.6% female) from the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (SECCYD), we analyzed executive function and peer problems (including victimization and rejection) across three waves within each domain (executive function or peer problems), beginning in early childhood and ending in middle adolescence. Executive function was measured as a multi-method, multi-informant composite including reports from parents on the Children's Behavior Questionnaire and Child Behavior Checklist and child's performance on behavioral tasks including the Continuous Performance Task, Woodcock-Johnson, Tower of Hanoi, Operation Span Task, Stroop, and Tower of London. Peer problems were measured as a multi-informant composite including self, teacher, and afterschool caregiver reports on multiple peer-relationship scales. Using a cross-lagged design, our Structural Equation Modeling findings suggested that experiencing peer problems contributed to lower executive function later in childhood and better executive function reduced the likelihood of experiencing peer problems later in childhood and middle adolescence, although these relations weakened as a child moves into adolescence. The results highlight that peer relationships are involved in the development of strengths and deficits in executive function and vice versa.

  17. Linking Executive Function and Peer Problems from Early Childhood through Middle Adolescence

    PubMed Central

    Holmes, Christopher J.; Kim-Spoon, Jungmeen; Deater-Deckard, Kirby

    2015-01-01

    Peer interactions and executive function play central roles in the development of healthy children, as peer problems have been indicative of lower cognitive competencies such as self-regulatory behavior and poor executive function has been indicative of problem behaviors and social dysfunction. However, few studies have focused on the relation between peer interactions and executive function and the underlying mechanisms that may create this link. Using a national sample (n = 1,164, 48.6% female) from the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (SECCYD), we analyzed executive function and peer problems (including victimization and rejection) across three waves within each domain (executive function or peer problems), beginning in early childhood and ending in middle adolescence. Executive function was measured as a multi-method, multi-informant composite including reports from parents on the Children’s Behavior Questionnaire and Child Behavior Checklist and child’s performance on behavioral tasks including the Continuous Performance Task, Woodcock-Johnson, Tower of Hanoi, Operation Span Task, Stroop, and Tower of London. Peer problems were measured as a multi-informant composite including self, teacher, and after school caregiver reports on multiple peer-relationship scales. Using a cross-lagged design, our Structural Equation Modeling findings suggested that experiencing peer problems contributed to lower executive function later in childhood and better executive function reduced the likelihood of experiencing peer problems later in childhood and middle adolescence, although these relations weakened as a child moves into adolescence. The results highlight that peer relationships are involved in the development of strengths and deficits in executive function and vice versa. PMID:26096194

  18. Linking EEG signals, brain functions and mental operations: Advantages of the Laplacian transformation.

    PubMed

    Vidal, Franck; Burle, Boris; Spieser, Laure; Carbonnell, Laurence; Meckler, Cédric; Casini, Laurence; Hasbroucq, Thierry

    2015-09-01

    Electroencephalography (EEG) is a very popular technique for investigating brain functions and/or mental processes. To this aim, EEG activities must be interpreted in terms of brain and/or mental processes. EEG signals being a direct manifestation of neuronal activity it is often assumed that such interpretations are quite obvious or, at least, straightforward. However, they often rely on (explicit or even implicit) assumptions regarding the structures supposed to generate the EEG activities of interest. For these assumptions to be used appropriately, reliable links between EEG activities and the underlying brain structures must be established. Because of volume conduction effects and the mixture of activities they induce, these links are difficult to establish with scalp potential recordings. We present different examples showing how the Laplacian transformation, acting as an efficient source separation method, allowed to establish more reliable links between EEG activities and brain generators and, ultimately, with mental operations. The nature of those links depends on the depth of inferences that can vary from weak to strong. Along this continuum, we show that 1) while the effects of experimental manipulation can appear widely distributed with scalp potentials, Laplacian transformation allows to reveal several generators contributing (in different manners) to these modulations, 2) amplitude variations within the same set of generators can generate spurious differences in scalp potential topographies, often interpreted as reflecting different source configurations. In such a case, Laplacian transformation provides much more similar topographies, evidencing the same generator(s) set, and 3) using the LRP as an index of response activation most often produces ambiguous results, Laplacian-transformed response-locked ERPs obtained over motor areas allow resolving these ambiguities.

  19. Both α2,3- and α2,6-Linked Sialic Acids on O-Linked Glycoproteins Act as Functional Receptors for Porcine Sapovirus

    PubMed Central

    Alfajaro, Mia Madel; Kim, Ji-Yun; Park, Jun-Gyu; Son, Kyu-Yeol; Ryu, Eun-Hye; Sorgeloos, Frederic; Kwon, Hyung-Jun; Park, Su-Jin; Lee, Woo Song; Cho, Duck; Kwon, Joseph; Choi, Jong-Soon; Kang, Mun-Il; Goodfellow, Ian; Cho, Kyoung-Oh

    2014-01-01

    Sapovirus, a member of the Caliciviridae family, is an important cause of acute gastroenteritis in humans and pigs. Currently, the porcine sapovirus (PSaV) Cowden strain remains the only cultivable member of the Sapovirus genus. While some caliciviruses are known to utilize carbohydrate receptors for entry and infection, a functional receptor for sapovirus is unknown. To characterize the functional receptor of the Cowden strain of PSaV, we undertook a comprehensive series of protein-ligand biochemical assays in mock and PSaV-infected cell culture and/or piglet intestinal tissue sections. PSaV revealed neither hemagglutination activity with red blood cells from any species nor binding activity to synthetic histo-blood group antigens, indicating that PSaV does not use histo-blood group antigens as receptors. Attachment and infection of PSaV were markedly blocked by sialic acid and Vibrio cholerae neuraminidase (NA), suggesting a role for α2,3-linked, α2,6-linked or α2,8-linked sialic acid in virus attachment. However, viral attachment and infection were only partially inhibited by treatment of cells with sialidase S (SS) or Maackia amurensis lectin (MAL), both specific for α2,3-linked sialic acid, or Sambucus nigra lectin (SNL), specific for α2,6-linked sialic acid. These results indicated that PSaV recognizes both α2,3- and α2,6-linked sialic acids for viral attachment and infection. Treatment of cells with proteases or with benzyl 4-O-β-D-galactopyranosyl-β-D-glucopyranoside (benzylGalNAc), which inhibits O-linked glycosylation, also reduced virus binding and infection, whereas inhibition of glycolipd synthesis or N-linked glycosylation had no such effect on virus binding or infection. These data suggest PSaV binds to cellular receptors that consist of α2,3- and α2,6-linked sialic acids on glycoproteins attached via O-linked glycosylation. PMID:24901849

  20. A link between attentional function, effective eye movements, and driving ability.

    PubMed

    Mackenzie, Andrew K; Harris, Julie M

    2017-02-01

    The misallocation of driver visual attention has been suggested as a major contributing factor to vehicle accidents. One possible reason is that the relatively high cognitive demands of driving limit the ability to efficiently allocate gaze. We present an experiment that explores the relationship between attentional function and visual performance when driving. Drivers performed 2 variations of a multiple-object tracking task targeting aspects of cognition including sustained attention, dual-tasking, covert attention, and visuomotor skill. They also drove a number of courses in a driving simulator. Eye movements were recorded throughout. We found that individuals who performed better in the cognitive tasks exhibited more effective eye movement strategies when driving, such as scanning more of the road, and they also exhibited better driving performance. We discuss the potential link between an individual's attentional function, effective eye movements, and driving ability. We also discuss the use of a visuomotor task in assessing driving behavior. (PsycINFO Database Record

  1. Rhodopsin: the Functional Significance of Asn-Linked Glycosylation and Other Post-translational Modifications

    PubMed Central

    Murray, Anne R.; Fliesler, Steven J.; Al-Ubaidi, Muayyad R.

    2010-01-01

    Rhodopsin, the G-protein coupled receptor in retinal rod photoreceptors, is a highly conserved protein that undergoes several types of post-translational modifications. These modifications are essential to maintain the protein’s structure as well as its proper function in the visual transduction cycle. Rhodopsin is N-glycosylated at Asn-2 and Asn-15 in its extracellular N-terminal domain. Mutations within the glycosylation consensus sequences of rhodopsin cause autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa, a disease that leads to blindness. Several groups have studied the role of rhodopsin’s N-linked glycan chains in protein structure and function using a variety of approaches. These include the generation of a transgenic mouse model, study of a naturally occurring mutant animal model, in vivo pharmacological inhibition of glycosylation, and in vitro analyses using transfected COS-1 cells. These studies have provided insights into the possible role of rhodopsin glycosylation, but have yielded conflicting results. PMID:19941415

  2. A Link Between Attentional Function, Effective Eye Movements, and Driving Ability

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    The misallocation of driver visual attention has been suggested as a major contributing factor to vehicle accidents. One possible reason is that the relatively high cognitive demands of driving limit the ability to efficiently allocate gaze. We present an experiment that explores the relationship between attentional function and visual performance when driving. Drivers performed 2 variations of a multiple-object tracking task targeting aspects of cognition including sustained attention, dual-tasking, covert attention, and visuomotor skill. They also drove a number of courses in a driving simulator. Eye movements were recorded throughout. We found that individuals who performed better in the cognitive tasks exhibited more effective eye movement strategies when driving, such as scanning more of the road, and they also exhibited better driving performance. We discuss the potential link between an individual’s attentional function, effective eye movements, and driving ability. We also discuss the use of a visuomotor task in assessing driving behavior. PMID:27893270

  3. Current topics of functional links between primary cilia and cell cycle.

    PubMed

    Izawa, Ichiro; Goto, Hidemasa; Kasahara, Kousuke; Inagaki, Masaki

    2015-01-01

    Primary cilia, microtubule-based sensory structures, orchestrate various critical signals during development and tissue homeostasis. In view of the rising interest into the reciprocal link between ciliogenesis and cell cycle, we discuss here several recent advances to understand the molecular link between the individual step of ciliogenesis and cell cycle control. At the onset of ciliogenesis (the transition from centrosome to basal body), distal appendage proteins have been established as components indispensable for the docking of vesicles at the mother centriole. In the initial step of axonemal extension, CP110, Ofd1, and trichoplein, key negative regulators of ciliogenesis, are found to be removed by a kinase-dependent mechanism, autophagy, and ubiquitin-proteasome system, respectively. Of note, their disposal functions as a restriction point to decide that the axonemal nucleation and extension begin. In the elongation step, Nde1, a negative regulator of ciliary length, is revealed to be ubiquitylated and degraded by CDK5-SCF(Fbw7) in a cell cycle-dependent manner. With regard to ciliary length control, it has been uncovered in flagellar shortening of Chlamydomonas that cilia itself transmit a ciliary length signal to cytoplasm. At the ciliary resorption step upon cell cycle re-entry, cilia are found to be disassembled not only by Aurora A-HDAC6 pathway but also by Nek2-Kif24 and Plk1-Kif2A pathways through their microtubule-depolymerizing activity. On the other hand, it is becoming evident that the presence of primary cilia itself functions as a structural checkpoint for cell cycle re-entry. These data suggest that ciliogenesis and cell cycle intimately link each other, and further elucidation of these mechanisms will contribute to understanding the pathology of cilia-related disease including cancer and discovering targets of therapeutic interventions.

  4. Stable Isotope Probing: Linking Functional Activity to Specific Members of Microbial Communities

    SciTech Connect

    Kreuzer-Martin, Helen W.

    2007-03-12

    Abstract Linking organisms or groups of organisms to specific functions within natural environments is a fundamental challenge in microbial ecology. Advances in technology for manipulating and analyzing nucleic acids have made it possible to characterize the members of microbial communities without the intervention of laboratory culturing. Results from such studies have shown that the vast majority of soil organisms have never been cultured, highlighting the risks of culture-based approaches in community analysis. The development of culture-independent techniques for following the flow of substrates through microbial communities therefore represents an important advance. These techniques, collectively known as stable isotope probing (SIP), involve introducing a stable isotope-labeled substrate into a microbial community and following the fate of the substrate by detecting the appearance of the isotope in diagnostic molecules such as fatty acids and nucleic acids. The molecules in which the isotope label appears provide identifying information about the organism that incorporated the substrate. SIP allows direct observations of substrate assimilation in minimally disturbed communities, and thus represents an exciting new tool for linking microbial identity and function. The use of lipids or nucleic acids as the diagnostic molecule brings different strengths and weaknesses to the experimental approach, and necessitates the use of significantly different instrumentation and analytical techniques. This mini-review provides an overview of the lipid and nucleic acid approaches, discusses their strengths and weaknesses, gives examples of applications in various settings, and looks at prospects for the future of SIP technology.

  5. Removal of anionic azo dyes from aqueous solution by functional ionic liquid cross-linked polymer.

    PubMed

    Gao, Hejun; Kan, Taotao; Zhao, Siyuan; Qian, Yixia; Cheng, Xiyuan; Wu, Wenli; Wang, Xiaodong; Zheng, Liqiang

    2013-10-15

    A novel functional ionic liquid based cross-linked polymer (PDVB-IL) was synthesized from 1-aminoethyl-3-vinylimidazolium chloride and divinylbenzene for use as an adsorbent. The physicochemical properties of PDVB-IL were investigated by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy and thermogravimetric analysis. The adsorptive capacity was investigated using anionic azo dyes of orange II, sunset yellow FCF, and amaranth as adsorbates. The maximum adsorption capacity could reach 925.09, 734.62, and 547.17 mg/g for orange II, sunset yellow FCF and amaranth at 25°C, respectively, which are much better than most of the other adsorbents reported earlier. The effect of pH value was investigated in the range of 1-8. The result shows that a low pH value is found to favor the adsorption of those anionic azo dyes. The adsorption kinetics and isotherms are well fitted by a pseudo second-order model and Langmuir model, respectively. The adsorption process is found to be dominated by physisorption. The introduction of functional ionic liquid moieties into cross-linked poly(divinylbenzene) polymer constitutes a new and efficient kind of adsorbent.

  6. Regressive evolution of the arthropod tritocerebral segment linked to functional divergence of the Hox gene labial

    PubMed Central

    Pechmann, Matthias; Schwager, Evelyn E.; Turetzek, Natascha; Prpic, Nikola-Michael

    2015-01-01

    The intercalary segment is a limbless version of the tritocerebral segment and is present in the head of all insects, whereas other extant arthropods have retained limbs on their tritocerebral segment (e.g. the pedipalp limbs in spiders). The evolutionary origin of limb loss on the intercalary segment has puzzled zoologists for over a century. Here we show that an intercalary segment-like phenotype can be created in spiders by interfering with the function of the Hox gene labial. This links the origin of the intercalary segment to a functional change in labial. We show that in the spider Parasteatoda tepidariorum the labial gene has two functions: one function in head tissue maintenance that is conserved between spiders and insects, and a second function in pedipalp limb promotion and specification, which is only present in spiders. These results imply that labial was originally crucial for limb formation on the tritocerebral segment, but that it has lost this particular subfunction in the insect ancestor, resulting in limb loss on the intercalary segment. Such loss of a subfunction is a way to avoid adverse pleiotropic effects normally associated with mutations in developmental genes, and may thus be a common mechanism to accelerate regressive evolution. PMID:26311666

  7. Dopamine D2 receptor availability is linked to hippocampal–caudate functional connectivity and episodic memory

    PubMed Central

    Nyberg, Lars; Karalija, Nina; Salami, Alireza; Andersson, Micael; Wåhlin, Anders; Kaboovand, Neda; Köhncke, Ylva; Axelsson, Jan; Rieckmann, Anna; Papenberg, Goran; Garrett, Douglas D.; Riklund, Katrine; Lövdén, Martin; Bäckman, Lars

    2016-01-01

    D1 and D2 dopamine receptors (D1DRs and D2DRs) may contribute differently to various aspects of memory and cognition. The D1DR system has been linked to functions supported by the prefrontal cortex. By contrast, the role of the D2DR system is less clear, although it has been hypothesized that D2DRs make a specific contribution to hippocampus-based cognitive functions. Here we present results from 181 healthy adults between 64 and 68 y of age who underwent comprehensive assessment of episodic memory, working memory, and processing speed, along with MRI and D2DR assessment with [11C]raclopride and PET. Caudate D2DR availability was positively associated with episodic memory but not with working memory or speed. Whole-brain analyses further revealed a relation between hippocampal D2DR availability and episodic memory. Hippocampal and caudate D2DR availability were interrelated, and functional MRI-based resting-state functional connectivity between the ventral caudate and medial temporal cortex increased as a function of caudate D2DR availability. Collectively, these findings indicate that D2DRs make a specific contribution to hippocampus-based cognition by influencing striatal and hippocampal regions, and their interactions. PMID:27339132

  8. C2 Link Security for UAS: Technical Literature Study and Preliminary Functional Requirements. Version 0.9 (Working Draft)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    This document provides a study of the technical literature related to Command and Control (C2) link security for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) for operation in the National Airspace System (NAS). Included is a preliminary set of functional requirements for C2 link security.

  9. Allocating structure to function: the strong links between neuroplasticity and natural selection

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Michael L.; Finlay, Barbara L.

    2014-01-01

    A central question in brain evolution is how species-typical behaviors, and the neural function-structure mappings supporting them, can be acquired and inherited. Advocates of brain modularity, in its different incarnations across scientific subfields, argue that natural selection must target domain-dedicated, separately modifiable neural subsystems, resulting in genetically-specified functional modules. In such modular systems, specification of neuron number and functional connectivity are necessarily linked. Mounting evidence, however, from allometric, developmental, comparative, systems-physiological, neuroimaging and neurological studies suggests that brain elements are used and reused in multiple functional systems. This variable allocation can be seen in short-term neuromodulation, in neuroplasticity over the lifespan and in response to damage. We argue that the same processes are evident in brain evolution. Natural selection must preserve behavioral functions that may co-locate in variable amounts with other functions. In genetics, the uses and problems of pleiotropy, the re-use of genes in multiple networks have been much discussed, but this issue has been sidestepped in neural systems by the invocation of modules. Here we highlight the interaction between evolutionary and developmental mechanisms to produce distributed and overlapping functional architectures in the brain. These adaptive mechanisms must be robust to perturbations that might disrupt critical information processing and action selection, but must also recognize useful new sources of information arising from internal genetic or environmental variability, when those appear. These contrasting properties of “robustness” and “evolvability” have been discussed for the basic organization of body plan and fundamental cell physiology. Here we extend them to the evolution and development, “evo-devo,” of brain structure. PMID:24431995

  10. Ecological-network models link diversity, structure and function in the plankton food-web

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D’Alelio, Domenico; Libralato, Simone; Wyatt, Timothy; Ribera D’Alcalà, Maurizio

    2016-02-01

    A planktonic food-web model including sixty-three functional nodes (representing auto- mixo- and heterotrophs) was developed to integrate most trophic diversity present in the plankton. The model was implemented in two variants - which we named ‘green’ and ‘blue’ - characterized by opposite amounts of phytoplankton biomass and representing, respectively, bloom and non-bloom states of the system. Taxonomically disaggregated food-webs described herein allowed to shed light on how components of the plankton community changed their trophic behavior in the two different conditions, and modified the overall functioning of the plankton food web. The green and blue food-webs showed distinct organizations in terms of trophic roles of the nodes and carbon fluxes between them. Such re-organization stemmed from switches in selective grazing by both metazoan and protozoan consumers. Switches in food-web structure resulted in relatively small differences in the efficiency of material transfer towards higher trophic levels. For instance, from green to blue states, a seven-fold decrease in phytoplankton biomass translated into only a two-fold decrease in potential planktivorous fish biomass. By linking diversity, structure and function in the plankton food-web, we discuss the role of internal mechanisms, relying on species-specific functionalities, in driving the ‘adaptive’ responses of plankton communities to perturbations.

  11. Partition function and astronomical observation of interstellar isomers: Is there a link?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Etim, Emmanuel E.; Arunan, Elangannan

    2017-02-01

    The unsuccessful astronomical searches for some important astrophysical and astrobiological molecules have been linked to the large partition function of these molecules. This letter reports an extensive investigation of the relationship between partition function and astronomical observation of interstellar isomers using high level quantum chemical calculations. 120 molecules from 30 different isomeric groups have been considered. Partition function and thermodynamic stabilities are determined for each set of isomeric species. From the results, there is no direct correlation between partition function and astronomical observation of the same isomeric species. Though interstellar formations processes are generally controlled by factors like kinetics, thermodynamics, formation and destruction pathways. However, the observation of the isomers seems to correlate well with thermodynamics. For instance, in all the groups considered, the astronomically detected isomers are the thermodynamically most stable molecules in their respective isomeric groups. The implications of these results in accounting for the limited number of known cyclic interstellar molecules, unsuccessful searches for amino acid and the possible molecules for astronomical observations are discussed.

  12. Ecological-network models link diversity, structure and function in the plankton food-web

    PubMed Central

    D’Alelio, Domenico; Libralato, Simone; Wyatt, Timothy; Ribera d’Alcalà, Maurizio

    2016-01-01

    A planktonic food-web model including sixty-three functional nodes (representing auto- mixo- and heterotrophs) was developed to integrate most trophic diversity present in the plankton. The model was implemented in two variants - which we named ‘green’ and ‘blue’ - characterized by opposite amounts of phytoplankton biomass and representing, respectively, bloom and non-bloom states of the system. Taxonomically disaggregated food-webs described herein allowed to shed light on how components of the plankton community changed their trophic behavior in the two different conditions, and modified the overall functioning of the plankton food web. The green and blue food-webs showed distinct organizations in terms of trophic roles of the nodes and carbon fluxes between them. Such re-organization stemmed from switches in selective grazing by both metazoan and protozoan consumers. Switches in food-web structure resulted in relatively small differences in the efficiency of material transfer towards higher trophic levels. For instance, from green to blue states, a seven-fold decrease in phytoplankton biomass translated into only a two-fold decrease in potential planktivorous fish biomass. By linking diversity, structure and function in the plankton food-web, we discuss the role of internal mechanisms, relying on species-specific functionalities, in driving the ‘adaptive’ responses of plankton communities to perturbations. PMID:26883643

  13. Genomic islands link secondary metabolism to functional adaptation in marine Actinobacteria

    PubMed Central

    Penn, Kevin; Jenkins, Caroline; Nett, Markus; Udwary, Daniel W.; Gontang, Erin A.; McGlinchey, Ryan P.; Foster, Brian; Lapidus, Alla; Podell, Sheila; Allen, Eric E.; Moore, Bradley S.; Jensen, Paul R.

    2009-01-01

    Genomic islands have been shown to harbor functional traits that differentiate ecologically distinct populations of environmental bacteria. A comparative analysis of the complete genome sequences of the marine Actinobacteria Salinispora tropica and S. arenicola reveals that 75% of the species-specific genes are located in 21 genomic islands. These islands are enriched in genes associated with secondary metabolite biosynthesis providing evidence that secondary metabolism is linked to functional adaptation. Secondary metabolism accounts for 8.8% and 10.9% of the genes in the S. tropica and S. arenicola genomes, respectively, and represents the major functional category of annotated genes that differentiates the two species. Genomic islands harbor all 25 of the species-specific biosynthetic pathways, the majority of which occur in S. arenicola and may contribute to the cosmopolitan distribution of this species. Genome evolution is dominated by gene duplication and acquisition, which in the case of secondary metabolism provide immediate opportunities for the production of new bioactive products. Evidence that secondary metabolic pathways are exchanged horizontally, coupled with prior evidence for fixation among globally distributed populations, supports a functional role and suggests that the acquisition of natural product biosynthetic gene clusters represents a previously unrecognized force driving bacterial diversification. Species-specific differences observed in CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat) sequences suggest that S. arenicola may possess a higher level of phage immunity, while a highly duplicated family of polymorphic membrane proteins provides evidence of a new mechanism of marine adaptation in Gram-positive bacteria. PMID:19474814

  14. Ecological-network models link diversity, structure and function in the plankton food-web.

    PubMed

    D'Alelio, Domenico; Libralato, Simone; Wyatt, Timothy; Ribera d'Alcalà, Maurizio

    2016-02-17

    A planktonic food-web model including sixty-three functional nodes (representing auto- mixo- and heterotrophs) was developed to integrate most trophic diversity present in the plankton. The model was implemented in two variants - which we named 'green' and 'blue' - characterized by opposite amounts of phytoplankton biomass and representing, respectively, bloom and non-bloom states of the system. Taxonomically disaggregated food-webs described herein allowed to shed light on how components of the plankton community changed their trophic behavior in the two different conditions, and modified the overall functioning of the plankton food web. The green and blue food-webs showed distinct organizations in terms of trophic roles of the nodes and carbon fluxes between them. Such re-organization stemmed from switches in selective grazing by both metazoan and protozoan consumers. Switches in food-web structure resulted in relatively small differences in the efficiency of material transfer towards higher trophic levels. For instance, from green to blue states, a seven-fold decrease in phytoplankton biomass translated into only a two-fold decrease in potential planktivorous fish biomass. By linking diversity, structure and function in the plankton food-web, we discuss the role of internal mechanisms, relying on species-specific functionalities, in driving the 'adaptive' responses of plankton communities to perturbations.

  15. An Annotated Bibliography of Resources on Educational Linking Agents: Roles, Functions, and Training Materials.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barth, Rodney J., Comp.

    The resources cited in this selected annotated bibliography are intended for linking agents, trainers of linking agents, managers of linking agents and their support systems, and educational policy makers. These resources, which date from 1975 to the present, variously refer to linking agents, change agents, extension agents, field agents, field…

  16. Scorpion Potassium Channel-blocking Defensin Highlights a Functional Link with Neurotoxin.

    PubMed

    Meng, Lanxia; Xie, Zili; Zhang, Qian; Li, Yang; Yang, Fan; Chen, Zongyun; Li, Wenxin; Cao, Zhijian; Wu, Yingliang

    2016-03-25

    The structural similarity between defensins and scorpion neurotoxins suggests that they might have evolved from a common ancestor. However, there is no direct experimental evidence demonstrating a functional link between scorpion neurotoxins and defensins. The scorpion defensin BmKDfsin4 from Mesobuthus martensiiKarsch contains 37 amino acid residues and a conserved cystine-stabilized α/β structural fold. The recombinant BmKDfsin4, a classical defensin, has been found to have inhibitory activity against Gram-positive bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, and Micrococcus luteusas well as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus Interestingly, electrophysiological experiments showed that BmKDfsin4,like scorpion potassium channel neurotoxins, could effectively inhibit Kv1.1, Kv1.2, and Kv1.3 channel currents, and its IC50value for the Kv1.3 channel was 510.2 nm Similar to the structure-function relationships of classical scorpion potassium channel-blocking toxins, basic residues (Lys-13 and Arg-19) of BmKDfsin4 play critical roles in peptide-Kv1.3 channel interactions. Furthermore, mutagenesis and electrophysiological experiments demonstrated that the channel extracellular pore region is the binding site of BmKDfsin4, indicating that BmKDfsin4 adopts the same mechanism for blocking potassium channel currents as classical scorpion toxins. Taken together, our work identifies scorpion BmKDfsin4 as the first invertebrate defensin to block potassium channels. These findings not only demonstrate that defensins from invertebrate animals are a novel type of potassium channel blockers but also provide evidence of a functional link between defensins and neurotoxins.

  17. Adolescent emotionality and effortful control: Core latent constructs and links to psychopathology and functioning

    PubMed Central

    Snyder, Hannah R.; Gulley, Lauren D.; Bijttebier, Patricia; Hartman, Catharina A.; Oldehinkel, Albertine J.; Mezulis, Amy; Young, Jami F.; Hankin, Benjamin L.

    2015-01-01

    Temperament is associated with important outcomes in adolescence, including academic and interpersonal functioning and psychopathology. Rothbart’s temperament model is among the most well-studied and supported approaches to adolescent temperament, and contains three main components: positive emotionality (PE), negative emotionality (NE), and effortful control (EC). However, the latent factor structure of Rothbart’s temperament measure for adolescents, the Early Adolescent Temperament Questionnaire Revised (EATQ-R, Ellis & Rothbart, 2001) has not been definitively established. To address this problem and investigate links between adolescent temperament and functioning, we used confirmatory factor analysis to examine the latent constructs of the EATQ-R in a large combined sample. For EC and NE, bifactor models consisting of a common factor plus specific factors for some sub-facets of each component fit best, providing a more nuanced understanding of these temperament dimensions. The nature of the PE construct in the EATQ-R is less clear. Models replicated in a hold-out dataset. The common components of high NE and low EC where broadly associated with increased psychopathology symptoms, and poor interpersonal and school functioning, while specific components of NE were further associated with corresponding specific components of psychopathology. Further questioning the construct validity of PE as measured by the EATQ-R, PE factors did not correlate with construct validity measures in a way consistent with theories of PE. Bringing consistency to the way the EATQ-R is modeled and using purer latent variables has the potential to advance the field in understanding links between dimensions of temperament and important outcomes of adolescent development. PMID:26011660

  18. Scorpion Potassium Channel-blocking Defensin Highlights a Functional Link with Neurotoxin*

    PubMed Central

    Meng, Lanxia; Xie, Zili; Zhang, Qian; Li, Yang; Yang, Fan; Chen, Zongyun; Li, Wenxin; Cao, Zhijian; Wu, Yingliang

    2016-01-01

    The structural similarity between defensins and scorpion neurotoxins suggests that they might have evolved from a common ancestor. However, there is no direct experimental evidence demonstrating a functional link between scorpion neurotoxins and defensins. The scorpion defensin BmKDfsin4 from Mesobuthus martensii Karsch contains 37 amino acid residues and a conserved cystine-stabilized α/β structural fold. The recombinant BmKDfsin4, a classical defensin, has been found to have inhibitory activity against Gram-positive bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, and Micrococcus luteus as well as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Interestingly, electrophysiological experiments showed that BmKDfsin4,like scorpion potassium channel neurotoxins, could effectively inhibit Kv1.1, Kv1.2, and Kv1.3 channel currents, and its IC50 value for the Kv1.3 channel was 510.2 nm. Similar to the structure-function relationships of classical scorpion potassium channel-blocking toxins, basic residues (Lys-13 and Arg-19) of BmKDfsin4 play critical roles in peptide-Kv1.3 channel interactions. Furthermore, mutagenesis and electrophysiological experiments demonstrated that the channel extracellular pore region is the binding site of BmKDfsin4, indicating that BmKDfsin4adopts the same mechanism for blocking potassium channel currents as classical scorpion toxins. Taken together, our work identifies scorpion BmKDfsin4 as the first invertebrate defensin to block potassium channels. These findings not only demonstrate that defensins from invertebrate animals are a novel type of potassium channel blockers but also provide evidence of a functional link between defensins and neurotoxins. PMID:26817841

  19. Effect of colicin K on a membrane-associated, energy-linked function.

    PubMed Central

    Sabet, S F

    1976-01-01

    The purpose of this work was in investigate the capability of cell extracts of Escherichia coli and E. coli treated with colicin K to catalyze the following energy-dependent reverse transhydrogenase reaction: NADP + NADH + ATP in equilibrium NADPH + NAD +ADP + Pi. Under anaerobic conditions this reaction requires the presence of a specific portion of the electron transport chain, a functional energy coupling system, including an adenosine triphosphatase, enzyme, and ATP as energy source. The ATP-linked reaction was partially inhibited in French press extracts of E. coli K-12 C600 cells that had been pretreated with colicin K but not in extracts from similarly treated cells of a colicin-tolerant mutant. Ultracentrifugation of extracts yielded particulate fractions competent in catalyzing the reaction; this reaction is substantially inhibited in fractions from colicin-treated cells. The extent of inhibition increased with increasing concentration of colicin. Supernatants also supported ATP-linked formation of NADPH, but this reaction was insensitive to the colicin effect. A comparison between the requirement of the reaction in supernatant and particulate fractions suggests that the reaction in the supernatant is different from the one inhibited by colicin. The ATP-hydrolyzing ability of particulate fractions from the control or treated bacteria was identical. Likewise, the electron transport chain was not affected by colicin treatment, as evidenced from lack of effect on NADH oxidase, succinic dehydrogenase, and NADPH-NAD transhydrogenase. It is concluded that colicin K interferes with the coupling of ATP the utilization of the intermediate for the ATP-linked transdehydrogenase reaction. PMID:4429

  20. Consumer trophic diversity as a fundamental mechanism linking predation and ecosystem functioning.

    PubMed

    Hines, Jes; Gessner, Mark O

    2012-11-01

    1. Primary production and decomposition, two fundamental processes determining the functioning of ecosystems, may be sensitive to changes in biodiversity and food web interactions. 2. The impacts of food web interactions on ecosystem functioning are generally quantified by experimentally decoupling these linked processes and examining either primary production-based (green) or decomposition-based (brown) food webs in isolation. This decoupling may strongly limit our ability to assess the importance of food web interactions on ecosystem processes. 3. To evaluate how consumer trophic diversity mediates predator effects on ecosystem functioning, we conducted a mesocosm experiment and a field study using an assemblage of invertebrates that naturally co-occur on North Atlantic coastal saltmarshes. We measured the indirect impact of predation on primary production and leaf decomposition as a result of prey communities composed of herbivores alone, detritivores alone or both prey in combination. 4. We find that primary consumers can influence ecosystem process rates not only within, but also across green and brown sub-webs. Moreover, by feeding on a functionally diverse consumer assemblage comprised of both herbivores and detritivores, generalist predators can diffuse consumer effects on decomposition, primary production and feedbacks between the two processes. 5. These results indicate that maintaining functional diversity among primary consumers can alter the consequences of traditional trophic cascades, and they emphasize the role of the detritus-based sub-web when seeking key biotic drivers of plant production. Clearly, traditional compartmentalization of empirical food webs can limit our ability to predict the influence of food web interactions on ecosystem functioning.

  1. Familial Alzheimer disease–linked mutations specifically disrupt Ca2+ leak function of presenilin 1

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, Omar; Tu, Huiping; Lei, Tianhua; Bentahir, Mostafa; de Strooper, Bart; Bezprozvanny, Ilya

    2007-01-01

    Mutations in presenilins are responsible for approximately 40% of all early-onset familial Alzheimer disease (FAD) cases in which a genetic cause has been identified. In addition, a number of mutations in presenilin-1 (PS1) have been suggested to be associated with the occurrence of frontal temporal dementia (FTD). Presenilins are highly conserved transmembrane proteins that support cleavage of the amyloid precursor protein by γ-secretase. Recently, we discovered that presenilins also function as passive ER Ca2+ leak channels. Here we used planar lipid bilayer reconstitution assays and Ca2+ imaging experiments with presenilin-null mouse embryonic fibroblasts to analyze ER Ca2+ leak function of 6 FAD-linked PS1 mutants and 3 known FTD-associated PS1 mutants. We discovered that L166P, A246E, E273A, G384A, and P436Q FAD mutations in PS1 abolished ER Ca2+ leak function of PS1. In contrast, A79V FAD mutation or FTD-associated mutations (L113P, G183V, and Rins352) did not appear to affect ER Ca2+ leak function of PS1 in our experiments. We validated our findings in Ca2+ imaging experiments with primary fibroblasts obtained from an FAD patient possessing mutant PS1-A246E. Our results indicate that many FAD mutations in presenilins are loss-of-function mutations affecting ER Ca2+ leak activity. In contrast, none of the FTD-associated mutations affected ER Ca2+ leak function of PS1, indicating that the observed effects are disease specific. Our observations are consistent with the potential role of disturbed Ca2+ homeostasis in Alzheimer disease pathogenesis. PMID:17431506

  2. Modelling the multidimensional niche by linking functional traits to competitive performance

    PubMed Central

    Maynard, Daniel S.; Leonard, Kenneth E.; Drake, John M.; Hall, David W.; Crowther, Thomas W.; Bradford, Mark A.

    2015-01-01

    Linking competitive outcomes to environmental conditions is necessary for understanding species' distributions and responses to environmental change. Despite this importance, generalizable approaches for predicting competitive outcomes across abiotic gradients are lacking, driven largely by the highly complex and context-dependent nature of biotic interactions. Here, we present and empirically test a novel niche model that uses functional traits to model the niche space of organisms and predict competitive outcomes of co-occurring populations across multiple resource gradients. The model makes no assumptions about the underlying mode of competition and instead applies to those settings where relative competitive ability across environments correlates with a quantifiable performance metric. To test the model, a series of controlled microcosm experiments were conducted using genetically related strains of a widespread microbe. The model identified trait microevolution and performance differences among strains, with the predicted competitive ability of each organism mapped across a two-dimensional carbon and nitrogen resource space. Areas of coexistence and competitive dominance between strains were identified, and the predicted competitive outcomes were validated in approximately 95% of the pairings. By linking trait variation to competitive ability, our work demonstrates a generalizable approach for predicting and modelling competitive outcomes across changing environmental contexts. PMID:26136444

  3. Nopp140 Functions as a Molecular Link Between the Nucleolus and the Coiled Bodies

    PubMed Central

    Isaac, Cynthia; Yang, Yunfeng; Thomas Meier, U.

    1998-01-01

    Coiled bodies are small nuclear organelles that are highly enriched in small nuclear RNAs, and that have long been thought to be associated with the nucleolus. Here we use mutational analysis, transient transfections, and the yeast two-hybrid system to show that the nucleolar phosphoprotein Nopp140 functions as a molecular link between the two prominent nuclear organelles. Exogenous Nopp140 accumulated in the nucleolus rapidly, but only after a lag phase in coiled bodies, suggesting a pathway between the two organelles. The expression of partial Nopp140 constructs exerted dominant negative effects on the endogenous Nopp140 by chasing it and other antigens that were common to both organelles out of the nucleolus. The alternating positively and negatively charged repeat domain of Nopp140 was required for targeting to both organelles. In addition, partial Nopp140 constructs caused formation of novel structures in the nucleoplasm and, in the case of the conserved carboxy terminus, led to the dispersal of coiled bodies. As a final link, we identified the coiled body–specific protein p80 coilin in a yeast two-hybrid screen with Nopp140. The interaction of the two proteins was confirmed by coimmunoprecipitation. Taken together, Nopp140 appeared to shuttle between the nucleolus and the coiled bodies, and to chaperone the transport of other molecules. PMID:9679133

  4. Joining the dots: neurobiological links in a functional analysis of depression

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Depression is one of the major contributors to the Total Disease Burden and afflicts about one-sixth of Western populations. One of the most effective treatments for depression focuses upon analysis of causal chains in overt behaviour, but does not include brain-related phenomena as steps along these causal pathways. Recent research findings regarding the neurobiological concomitants of depressive behaviour suggest a sequence of structural and functional alterations to the brain which may also produce a beneficial outcome for the depressed individual--that of adaptive withdrawal from uncontrollable aversive stressors. Linking these brain-based explanations to models of observable contingencies for depressive behaviour can provide a comprehensive explanation of how depressive behaviour occurs and why it persists in many patients. PMID:21143991

  5. Remission of Depression in Parents: Links to Healthy Functioning in their Children

    PubMed Central

    Garber, Judy; Ciesla, Jeff A.; McCauley, Elizabeth; Diamond, Guy; Schloredt, Kelly A.

    2010-01-01

    This study examined whether improvement in parents’ depression was linked with changes in their children’s depressive symptoms and functioning. Participants were 223 parents and children ranging in age from 7–17 years old (Mean=12.13, SD=2.31); 126 parents were in treatment for depression and 97 parents were nondepressed. Children were evaluated six times over two years. Changes in parents’ depressive symptoms predicted changes in children’s depressive symptoms over and above the effect of time; children’s symptoms significantly predicted parents’ symptoms. Trajectories of children’s depressive symptoms differed significantly for children of remitted versus nonremitted depressed parents, and these differences were significantly predicted by their parents’ level of depression. The relation between parents’ and children’s depressive symptoms was partially mediated by parental acceptance. PMID:21291439

  6. Linking Cultural Competence to Functional Life Outcomes in Mental Health Care Settings.

    PubMed

    Michalopoulou, Georgia; Falzarano, Pamela; Butkus, Michael; Zeman, Lori; Vershave, Judy; Arfken, Cynthia

    2014-01-01

    Minorities in the United States have well-documented health disparities. Cultural barriers and biases by health care providers may contribute to lower quality of services which may contribute to these disparities. However, evidence linking cultural competency and health outcomes is lacking. This study, part of an ongoing quality improvement effort, tested the mediation hypothesis that patients' perception of provider cultural competency indirectly influences patients' health outcomes through process of care. Data were from patient satisfaction surveys collected in seven mental health clinics (n=94 minority patients). Consistent with our hypothesis, patients' perception of clinicians' cultural competency was indirectly associated with patients' self-reported improvements in social interactions, improvements in performance at work or school, and improvements in managing life problems through the patients' experience of respect, trust, and communication with the clinician. These findings indicate that process of care characteristics during the clinical encounter influence patients' perceptions of clinicians' cultural competency and affect functional outcomes.

  7. Structural Flexibility Allows the Functional Diversity of Potyvirus Genome-Linked Protein VPg▿ §

    PubMed Central

    Rantalainen, Kimmo I.; Eskelin, Katri; Tompa, Peter; Mäkinen, Kristiina

    2011-01-01

    Several viral genome-linked proteins (VPgs) of plant viruses are intrinsically disordered and undergo folding transitions in the presence of partners. This property has been postulated to be one of the factors that enable the functional diversity of the protein. We created a homology model of Potato virus A VPg and positioned the known functions and structural properties of potyviral VPgs on the novel structural model. The model suggests an elongated structure with a hydrophobic core composed of antiparallel β-sheets surrounded by helices and a positively charged contact surface where most of the known activities are localized. The model most probably represents the fold induced immediately after binding of VPg to a negatively charged lipid surface or to SDS. When the charge of the positive surface was lowered by lysine mutations, the efficiencies of in vitro NTP binding, uridylylation reaction, and unspecific RNA binding were reduced and in vivo the infectivity was debilitated. The most likely uridylylation site, Tyr63, locates to the positively charged surface. Surprisingly, a Tyr63Ala mutation did not prevent replication completely but blocked spreading of the virus. Based on the localization of Tyr119 in the model, it was hypothesized to serve as an alternative uridylylation site. Evidence to support the role of Tyr119 in replication was obtained which gives a positive example of the prediction power of the model. Taken together, our experimental data support the features presented in the model and the idea that the functional diversity is attributable to structural flexibility. PMID:21177813

  8. Direct link between RACK1 function and localization at the ribosome in vivo.

    PubMed

    Coyle, Scott M; Gilbert, Wendy V; Doudna, Jennifer A

    2009-03-01

    The receptor for activated C-kinase (RACK1), a conserved protein implicated in numerous signaling pathways, is a stoichiometric component of eukaryotic ribosomes located on the head of the 40S ribosomal subunit. To test the hypothesis that ribosome association is central to the function of RACK1 in vivo, we determined the 2.1-A crystal structure of RACK1 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Asc1p) and used it to design eight mutant versions of RACK1 to assess roles in ribosome binding and in vivo function. Conserved charged amino acids on one side of the beta-propeller structure were found to confer most of the 40S subunit binding affinity, whereas an adjacent conserved and structured loop had little effect on RACK1-ribosome association. Yeast mutations that confer moderate to strong defects in ribosome binding mimic some phenotypes of a RACK1 deletion strain, including increased sensitivity to drugs affecting cell wall biosynthesis and translation elongation. Furthermore, disruption of RACK1's position at the 40S ribosomal subunit results in the failure of the mRNA binding protein Scp160 to associate with actively translating ribosomes. These results provide the first direct evidence that RACK1 functions from the ribosome, implying a physical link between the eukaryotic ribosome and cell signaling pathways in vivo.

  9. Linking suspended sediment transport metrics with fish functional traits in the Northwestern Great Plains (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwartz, J. S.; Simon, A.; Klimetz, L.

    2009-12-01

    Loss of ecological integrity due to excessive suspended sediment in rivers and streams is a major cause of water quality impairment in the United States. Although 32 states have developed numeric criteria for turbidity or suspended solids, or both according to the USEPA (2006), criteria is typically written as a percent exceedance above background and what constitutes background is not well defined. Defining a background level is problematic considering suspended sediments and related turbidity levels change with flow stage and season, and limited scientific data exists on relationships between sediment exposure and biotic response. Current assessment protocols for development of sediment total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) lack a means to link temporally-variable sediment transport rates with specific losses of ecological functions as loads increase. This study, within the in Northwestern Great Plains Ecoregion, co-located 58 USGS gauging stations with existing flow and suspended sediment data, and fish data from federal and state agencies. Suspended sediment concentration (SSC) transport metrics were quantified into exceedance frequencies of a given magnitude, duration as the number of consecutive days a given concentration was equaled or exceeded, dosage as concentration x duration, and mean annual suspended sediment yields. A functional traits-based approach was used to correlate SSC transport metrics with site occurrences of 20 fish traits organized into four main groups: preferred rearing mesohabitat, trophic structure, feeding habits, and spawning behavior. Negative correlations between SSC metrics and trait occurrences were assumed to represent potential conditions for impairment, specifically identifying an ecological loss by functional trait. Potential impairment conditions were linked with presence of the following traits: habitat preferences for stream pool and river shallow waters; feeding generalists, omnivores, piscivores; and several spawning

  10. Assessing intervention efficacy on high-risk drinkers using generalized linear mixed models with a new class of link functions.

    PubMed

    Prates, Marcos O; Aseltine, Robert H; Dey, Dipak K; Yan, Jun

    2013-11-01

    Unhealthy alcohol use is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Brief interventions with high-risk drinkers during an emergency department (ED) visit are of great interest due to their possible efficacy and low cost. In a collaborative study with patients recruited at 14 academic ED across the United States, we examined the self-reported number of drinks per week by each patient following the exposure to a brief intervention. Count data with overdispersion have been mostly analyzed with generalized linear mixed models (GLMMs), of which only a limited number of link functions are available. Different choices of link function provide different fit and predictive power for a particular dataset. We propose a class of link functions from an alternative way to incorporate random effects in a GLMM, which encompasses many existing link functions as special cases. The methodology is naturally implemented in a Bayesian framework, with competing links selected with Bayesian model selection criteria such as the conditional predictive ordinate (CPO). In application to the ED intervention study, all models suggest that the intervention was effective in reducing the number of drinks, but some new models are found to significantly outperform the traditional model as measured by CPO. The validity of CPO in link selection is confirmed in a simulation study that shared the same characteristics as the count data from high-risk drinkers. The dataset and the source code for the best fitting model are available in Supporting Information.

  11. Linking Functional Domains of the Human Insulin Receptor with the Bacterial Aspartate Receptor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ellis, Leland; Morgan, David O.; Koshland, Daniel E.; Clauser, Eric; Moe, Gregory R.; Bollag, Gideon; Roth, Richard A.; Rutter, William J.

    1986-11-01

    A hybrid receptor has been constructed that is composed of the extracellular domain of the human insulin receptor fused to the transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains of the bacterial aspartate chemoreceptor. This hybrid protein can be expressed in rodent (CHO) cells and displays several functional features comparable to wild-type insulin receptor. It is localized to the cell surface, binds insulin with high affinity, forms oligomers, and is recognized by conformation-specific monoclonal antibodies. Although most of the expressed protein accumulates as a 180-kDa proreceptor, some processed 135-kDa receptor can be detected on the cell surface by covalent cross-linking. Expression of the hybrid receptor inhibits the insulin-activated uptake of 2-deoxyglucose by CHO cells. Thus, this hybrid is partially functional and can be processed; however, it is incapable of native transmembrane signaling. The results indicate that the intact domains of different types of receptors can retain some of the native features in a hybrid molecule but specific requirements will need to be satisfied for transmembrane signaling.

  12. Linking Microbial Community Structure to β-Glucosidic Function in Soil Aggregates

    SciTech Connect

    Bailey, Vanessa L.; Fansler, Sarah J.; Stegen, James C.; McCue, Lee Ann

    2013-10-01

    To link microbial community 16S structure to a measured function in a natural soil we have scaled both DNA and β-glucosidase assays down to a volume of soil that may approach a unique microbial community. β-glucosidase activity was assayed in 450 individual aggregates which were then sorted into classes of high or low activities, from which groups of 10 or 11 aggregates were identified and grouped for DNA extraction and pyrosequencing. Tandem assays of ATP were conducted for each aggregate in order to normalize these small groups of aggregates for biomass size. In spite of there being no significant differences in the richness or diversity of the microbial communities associated with high β-glucosidase activities compared with the communities associated with low β-glucosidase communities, several analyses of variance clearly show that the communities of these two groups differ. The separation of these groups is partially driven by the differential abundances of members of the Chitinophagaceae family. It may be that observed functional differences in otherwise similar soil aggregates can be largely attributed to differences in resource availability, rather than to presence or absence of particular taxonomic groups.

  13. A simple structure wavelet transform circuit employing function link neural networks and SI filters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mu, Li; Yigang, He

    2016-12-01

    Signal processing by means of analog circuits offers advantages from a power consumption viewpoint. Implementing wavelet transform (WT) using analog circuits is of great interest when low-power consumption becomes an important issue. In this article, a novel simple structure WT circuit in analog domain is presented by employing functional link neural network (FLNN) and switched-current (SI) filters. First, the wavelet base is approximated using FLNN algorithms for giving a filter transfer function that is suitable for simple structure WT circuit implementation. Next, the WT circuit is constructed with the wavelet filter bank, whose impulse response is the approximated wavelet and its dilations. The filter design that follows is based on a follow-the-leader feedback (FLF) structure with multiple output bilinear SI integrators and current mirrors as the main building blocks. SI filter is well suited for this application since the dilation constant across different scales of the transform can be precisely implemented and controlled by the clock frequency of the circuit with the same system architecture. Finally, to illustrate the design procedure, a seventh-order FLNN-approximated Gaussian wavelet is implemented as an example. Simulations have successfully verified that the designed simple structure WT circuit has low sensitivity, low-power consumption and litter effect to the imperfections.

  14. A neural network that links brain function, white-matter structure and risky behavior.

    PubMed

    Kohno, Milky; Morales, Angelica M; Guttman, Zoe; London, Edythe D

    2017-04-01

    The ability to evaluate the balance between risk and reward and to adjust behavior accordingly is fundamental to adaptive decision-making. Although brain-imaging studies consistently have shown involvement of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, anterior insula and striatum during risky decision-making, activation in a neural network formed by these regions has not been linked to structural connectivity. Therefore, in this study, white-matter connectivity was measured with diffusion-weighted imaging in 40 healthy research participants who performed the Balloon Analogue Risk Task, a test of risky decision-making, during fMRI. Fractional anisotropy within a network that includes white-matter pathways connecting four regions (the prefrontal cortex, insula and midbrain to the striatum) was positively correlated with the number of risky choices and total amount earned on the task, and with the parametric modulation of activation in regions within the network to the level of risk during choice selection. Furthermore, analysis using a mixed model demonstrated how relationships of the parametric modulation of activation in each of the four aforementioned regions are related to risk probabilities, and how previous trial outcomes and task progression influence the choice to take risk. The present findings provide the first direct evidence that white-matter integrity is linked to function within previously identified components of a network that is activated during risky decision-making, and demonstrate that the integrity of white-matter tracts is critical in consolidating and processing signals between cortical and striatal circuits during the decision-making process.

  15. Linking human brain local activity fluctuations to structural and functional network architectures

    PubMed Central

    Baria, A.T.; Mansour, A.; Huang, L.; Baliki, M.N.; Cecchi, G.A.; Mesulam, M.M.; Apkarian, A.V.

    2013-01-01

    Activity of cortical local neuronal populations fluctuates continuously, and a large proportion of these fluctuations are shared across populations of neurons. Here we seek organizational rules that link these two phenomena. Using neuronal activity, as identified by functional MRI (fMRI) and for a given voxel or brain region, we derive a single measure of full bandwidth brain-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) fluctuations by calculating the slope, α, for the log-linear power spectrum. For the same voxel or region, we also measure the temporal coherence of its fluctuations to other voxels or regions, based on exceeding a given threshold, Θ, for zero lag correlation, establishing functional connectivity between pairs of neuronal populations. From resting state fMRI, we calculated whole-brain group-averaged maps for α and for functional connectivity. Both maps showed similar spatial organization, with a correlation coefficient of 0.75 between the two parameters across all brain voxels, as well as variability with hodology. A computational model replicated the main results, suggesting that synaptic low-pass filtering can account for these interrelationships. We also investigated the relationship between α and structural connectivity, as determined by diffusion tensor imaging-based tractography. We observe that the correlation between α and connectivity depends on attentional state; specifically, α correlated more highly to structural connectivity during rest than while attending to a task. Overall, these results provide global rules for the dynamics between frequency characteristics of local brain activity and the architecture of underlying brain networks. PMID:23396160

  16. Sevoflurane Alters Spatiotemporal Functional Connectivity Motifs That Link Resting-State Networks during Wakefulness

    PubMed Central

    Kafashan, MohammadMehdi; Ching, ShiNung; Palanca, Ben J. A.

    2016-01-01

    Background: The spatiotemporal patterns of correlated neural activity during the transition from wakefulness to general anesthesia have not been fully characterized. Correlation analysis of blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) allows segmentation of the brain into resting-state networks (RSNs), with functional connectivity referring to the covarying activity that suggests shared functional specialization. We quantified the persistence of these correlations following the induction of general anesthesia in healthy volunteers and assessed for a dynamic nature over time. Methods: We analyzed human fMRI data acquired at 0 and 1.2% vol sevoflurane. The covariance in the correlated activity among different brain regions was calculated over time using bounded Kalman filtering. These time series were then clustered into eight orthogonal motifs using a K-means algorithm, where the structure of correlated activity throughout the brain at any time is the weighted sum of all motifs. Results: Across time scales and under anesthesia, the reorganization of interactions between RSNs is related to the strength of dynamic connections between member pairs. The covariance of correlated activity between RSNs persists compared to that linking individual member pairs of different RSNs. Conclusions: Accounting for the spatiotemporal structure of correlated BOLD signals, anesthetic-induced loss of consciousness is mainly associated with the disruption of motifs with intermediate strength within and between members of different RSNs. In contrast, motifs with higher strength of connections, predominantly with regions-pairs from within-RSN interactions, are conserved among states of wakefulness and sevoflurane general anesthesia. PMID:28082871

  17. Linking Carbonic Anhydrase Abundance and Diversity in Soils to Ecological Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pang, E.; Meredith, L. K.; Welander, P. V.

    2015-12-01

    Carbonic anhydrase (CA) is an ancient enzyme widespread among bacteria, archaea, and eukarya that catalyzes the following reaction: CO2 + H2O ⇌ HCO3- + H+. Its functions are critical for key cellular processes such as concentrating CO2 for autotrophic growth, pH regulation, and pathogen survival in hosts. Currently, there are six known CA classes (α, β, γ, δ, η, ζ) arising from several distinct evolutionary lineages. CA are widespread in sequenced genomes, with many organisms containing multiple classes of CA or multiple CA of the same class. Soils host rich microbial communities with diverse and important ecological functions, but the diversity and abundance of CA in soils has not been explored. CA appears to play an important, but poorly understood, role in some biogeochemical cycles such as those of CO2 and its oxygen isotope composition and also carbonyl sulfide (COS), which are potential tracers in predictive carbon cycle models. Recognizing the prevalence and functional significance of CA in soils, we used a combined bioinformatics and molecular biology approach to address fundamental questions regarding the abundance, diversity, and function of CA in soils. To characterize the abundance and diversity of the different CA classes in soils, we analyzed existing soil metagenomic and metatranscriptomic data from the DOE Joint Genome Institute databases. Out of the six classes of CA, we only found the α, β, and γ classes to be present in soils, with the β class being the most abundant. We also looked at genomes of sequenced soil microorganisms to learn what combination of CA classes they contain, from which we can begin to predict the physiological role of CA. To characterize the functional roles of the different CA classes in soils, we collected soil samples from a variety of biomes with diverse chemical and physical properties and quantified the rate of two CA-mediated processes: soil uptake of COS and acceleration of the oxygen isotope exchange

  18. Identification of new surfaces of cofilin that link mitochondrial function to the control of multi-drug resistance

    PubMed Central

    Kotiadis, Vassilios N.; Leadsham, Jane E.; Bastow, Emma L.; Gheeraert, Aline; Whybrew, Jennafer M.; Bard, Martin; Lappalainen, Pekka; Gourlay, Campbell W.

    2012-01-01

    ADF/cofilin family proteins are essential regulators of actin cytoskeletal dynamics. Recent evidence also implicates cofilin in the regulation of mitochondrial function. Here, we identify new functional surfaces of cofilin that are linked with mitochondrial function and stress responses in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Our data link surfaces of cofilin that are involved in separable activities of actin filament disassembly or stabilisation, to the regulation of mitochondrial morphology and the activation status of Ras, respectively. Importantly, charge alterations to conserved surfaces of cofilin that do not interfere with its actin regulatory activity lead to a dramatic increase in respiratory function that triggers a retrograde signal to upregulate a battery of ABC transporters and concurrent metabolic changes that support multi-drug resistance. We hypothesise that cofilin functions within a bio-sensing system that connects the cytoskeleton and mitochondrial function to environmental challenge. PMID:22344251

  19. Identification of new surfaces of cofilin that link mitochondrial function to the control of multi-drug resistance.

    PubMed

    Kotiadis, Vassilios N; Leadsham, Jane E; Bastow, Emma L; Gheeraert, Aline; Whybrew, Jennafer M; Bard, Martin; Lappalainen, Pekka; Gourlay, Campbell W

    2012-05-01

    ADF/cofilin family proteins are essential regulators of actin cytoskeletal dynamics. Recent evidence also implicates cofilin in the regulation of mitochondrial function. Here, we identify new functional surfaces of cofilin that are linked with mitochondrial function and stress responses in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Our data link surfaces of cofilin that are involved in separable activities of actin filament disassembly or stabilisation, to the regulation of mitochondrial morphology and the activation status of Ras, respectively. Importantly, charge alterations to conserved surfaces of cofilin that do not interfere with its actin regulatory activity lead to a dramatic increase in respiratory function that triggers a retrograde signal to upregulate a battery of ABC transporters and concurrent metabolic changes that support multi-drug resistance. We hypothesise that cofilin functions within a bio-sensing system that connects the cytoskeleton and mitochondrial function to environmental challenge.

  20. Framework of Consciousness from Semblance of Activity at Functionally LINKed Postsynaptic Membranes

    PubMed Central

    Vadakkan, Kunjumon I.

    2010-01-01

    Consciousness is seen as a difficult “binding” problem. Binding, a process where different sensations evoked by an item are associated in the nervous system, can be viewed as a process similar to associative learning. Several reports that consciousness is associated with some form of memory imply that different forms of memories have a common feature contributing to consciousness. Based on a proposed synaptic mechanism capable of explaining different forms of memory, we developed a framework for consciousness. It is based on the formation of semblance of sensory stimulus from (1) synaptic semblances when excitatory postsynaptic potentials arrive at functionally LINKed postsynaptic membranes, and (2) network semblances when these potentials summate to elicit action potential initiating activity in a network of neurons. It is then possible to derive a framework for consciousness as a multi-dimensional semblance. According to this framework, a continuum of semblances formed from background sensory stimuli and oscillating neuronal activities serve to maintain consciousness. Feasibility of this framework to explain various physiological and pathological states of consciousness, its subjective nature and qualia is examined. PMID:21833231

  1. Adaptively combined FIR and functional link artificial neural network equalizer for nonlinear communication channel.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Haiquan; Zhang, Jiashu

    2009-04-01

    This paper proposes a novel computational efficient adaptive nonlinear equalizer based on combination of finite impulse response (FIR) filter and functional link artificial neural network (CFFLANN) to compensate linear and nonlinear distortions in nonlinear communication channel. This convex nonlinear combination results in improving the speed while retaining the lower steady-state error. In addition, since the CFFLANN needs not the hidden layers, which exist in conventional neural-network-based equalizers, it exhibits a simpler structure than the traditional neural networks (NNs) and can require less computational burden during the training mode. Moreover, appropriate adaptation algorithm for the proposed equalizer is derived by the modified least mean square (MLMS). Results obtained from the simulations clearly show that the proposed equalizer using the MLMS algorithm can availably eliminate various intensity linear and nonlinear distortions, and be provided with better anti-jamming performance. Furthermore, comparisons of the mean squared error (MSE), the bit error rate (BER), and the effect of eigenvalue ratio (EVR) of input correlation matrix are presented.

  2. Possible functional links among brain- and skull-related genes selected in modern humans

    PubMed Central

    Benítez-Burraco, Antonio; Boeckx, Cedric

    2015-01-01

    The sequencing of the genomes from extinct hominins has revealed that changes in some brain-related genes have been selected after the split between anatomically-modern humans and Neanderthals/Denisovans. To date, no coherent view of these changes has been provided. Following a line of research we initiated in Boeckx and Benítez-Burraco (2014a), we hypothesize functional links among most of these genes and their products, based on the existing literature for each of the gene discussed. The genes we focus on are found mutated in different cognitive disorders affecting modern populations and their products are involved in skull and brain morphology, and neural connectivity. If our hypothesis turns out to be on the right track, it means that the changes affecting most of these proteins resulted in a more globular brain and ultimately brought about modern cognition, with its characteristic generativity and capacity to form and exploit cross-modular concepts, properties most clearly manifested in language. PMID:26136701

  3. Purification of a vesicle-vacuole fraction functionally linked to aflatoxin synthesis in Aspergillus parasiticus

    PubMed Central

    CHANDA, Anindya; ROZE, Ludmila; PASTOR, Alicia; FRAME, Melinda; LINZ, John E.

    2009-01-01

    Current studies in our laboratory demonstrate a functional link between vesicles, vacuoles and aflatoxin biosynthesis in the filamentous fungus, Aspergillus parasiticus. Under aflatoxin inducing conditions in liquid yeast-extract sucrose medium, A. parasiticus undergoes a shift from vacuole biogenesis to accumulation of an enhanced number of vesicles which exhibit significant heterogeneity in size and density. As a first step in conducting a detailed analysis of the role of these organelles in aflatoxin synthesis, we developed a novel method to purify the vesicle and vacuole fraction using protoplasts prepared from cells harvested during aflatoxin synthesis. The method includes the following steps: 1] preparation of protoplasts from mycelia grown for 36h under aflatoxin inducing conditions; 2] release of vesicles and vacuoles from purified protoplasts in the presence of Triton X-100; and 3] fractionation of the vesicles and vacuoles using a “one-step high density cushion”. The vesicle-vacuole fraction showed a 35 fold enrichment in alpha-mannosidase activity (vacuole marker) and non-detectable succinate dehydrogenase and lactate dehydrogenase activities (mitochondrial and cytoplasmic markers, respectively). Confocal laser scanning microscopy with the vacuole dyes MDY-64 and CMAC demonstrated that the fraction contained pure vesicles and vacuoles and was devoid of membranous debris. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) confirmed that no mitochondria or unbroken protoplasts contaminated the purified fraction. The purified organelles exhibited significant size heterogeneity with a range of sizes similar to that observed in whole cells and protoplasts. PMID:19358865

  4. Chromium functionalized diglyme plasma polymer coating enhances enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay performance.

    PubMed

    Welch, Nicholas G; Madiona, Robert M T; Easton, Christopher D; Scoble, Judith A; Jones, Robert T; Muir, Benjamin W; Pigram, Paul J

    2016-11-10

    Ensuring the optimum orientation, conformation, and density of substrate-bound antibodies is critical for the success of sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs). In this work, the authors utilize a diethylene glycol dimethyl ether plasma polymer (DGpp) coating, functionalized with chromium within a 96 well plate for the enhanced immobilization of a capture antibody. For an equivalent amount of bound antibody, a tenfold improvement in the ELISA signal intensity is obtained on the DGpp after incubation with chromium, indicative of improved orientation on this surface. Time-of-flight secondary-ion-mass-spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) and principal component analysis were used to probe the molecular species at the surface and showed ion fragments related to lysine, methionine, histidine, and arginine coupled to chromium indicating candidate antibody binding sites. A combined x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and ToF-SIMS analysis provided a surface molecular characterization that demonstrates antibody binding via the chromium complex. The DGpp+Cr surface treatment holds great promise for improving the efficacy of ELISAs.

  5. Uncoupling of Energy-Linked Functions of Corn Mitochondria by Linoleic Acid and Monomethyldecenylsuccinic Acid 1

    PubMed Central

    Baddeley, M. Susan; Hanson, J. B.

    1967-01-01

    Linoleic acid and monomethyldecenylsuccinic acid were tested as uncoupling agents for energy linked functions of corn mitochondria. 2,4-dinitrophenol was used as a standard for comparison. Both compounds uncoupled oxidative phosphorylation, released oligomycin-blocked respiration, and accelerated adenosine triphosphatase. Linoleic acid uncoupled calcium-activated phosphate accumulation and the increase in light scattering that accompanies the accumulation. Unlike dinitrophenol, linoleic acid at 0.1 mm had a destructive effect on membrane semipermeability. Kinetic studies indicated that dinitrophenol and linoleic acid compete with phosphate for active sites in oxidative phosphorylation. Some linoleic acid is taken up by respiring mitochondria and a major share of the uptake is incorporated into phospholipids. Calcium ion and oligomycin promote the uptake, but coenzyme A does not. It is deduced that fatty acid probably attacks the non-phosphorylated intermediate, I∼X, producing X∼acyl. Uncoupling results from breakdown of X∼acyl, but sufficient X∼acyl is maintained to serve as a source of activated fatty acid. PMID:16656708

  6. Linking lung function and inflammatory responses in ventilator-induced lung injury.

    PubMed

    Cannizzaro, Vincenzo; Hantos, Zoltan; Sly, Peter D; Zosky, Graeme R

    2011-01-01

    Despite decades of research, the mechanisms of ventilator-induced lung injury are poorly understood. We used strain-dependent responses to mechanical ventilation in mice to identify associations between mechanical and inflammatory responses in the lung. BALB/c, C57BL/6, and 129/Sv mice were ventilated using a protective [low tidal volume and moderate positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) and recruitment maneuvers] or injurious (high tidal volume and zero PEEP) ventilation strategy. Lung mechanics and lung volume were monitored using the forced oscillation technique and plethysmography, respectively. Inflammation was assessed by measuring numbers of inflammatory cells, cytokine (IL-6, IL-1β, and TNF-α) levels, and protein content of the BAL. Principal components factor analysis was used to identify independent associations between lung function and inflammation. Mechanical and inflammatory responses in the lung were dependent on ventilation strategy and mouse strain. Three factors were identified linking 1) pulmonary edema, protein leak, and macrophages, 2) atelectasis, IL-6, and TNF-α, and 3) IL-1β and neutrophils, which were independent of responses in lung mechanics. This approach has allowed us to identify specific inflammatory responses that are independently associated with overstretch of the lung parenchyma and loss of lung volume. These data provide critical insight into the mechanical responses in the lung that drive local inflammation in ventilator-induced lung injury and the basis for future mechanistic studies in this field.

  7. Application of Radial Basis Functional Link Networks to Exploration for Proterozoic Mineral Deposits in Central Iran

    SciTech Connect

    Behnia, Pouran

    2007-06-15

    The metallogeny of Central Iran is characterized mainly by the presence of several iron, apatite, and uranium deposits of Proterozoic age. Radial Basis Function Link Networks (RBFLN) were used as a data-driven method for GIS-based predictive mapping of Proterozoic mineralization in this area. To generate the input data for RBFLN, the evidential maps comprising stratigraphic, structural, geophysical, and geochemical data were used. Fifty-eight deposits and 58 'nondeposits' were used to train the network. The operations for the application of neural networks employed in this study involve both multiclass and binary representation of evidential maps. Running RBFLN on different input data showed that an increase in the number of evidential maps and classes leads to a larger classification sum of squared error (SSE). As a whole, an increase in the number of iterations resulted in the improvement of training SSE. The results of applying RBFLN showed that a successful classification depends on the existence of spatially well distributed deposits and nondeposits throughout the study area.

  8. Non-random distribution of homo-repeats: links with biological functions and human diseases

    PubMed Central

    Lobanov, Michail Yu.; Klus, Petr; Sokolovsky, Igor V.; Tartaglia, Gian Gaetano; Galzitskaya, Oxana V.

    2016-01-01

    The biological function of multiple repetitions of single amino acids, or homo-repeats, is largely unknown, but their occurrence in proteins has been associated with more than 20 hereditary diseases. Analysing 122 bacterial and eukaryotic genomes, we observed that the number of proteins containing homo-repeats is significantly larger than expected from theoretical estimates. Analysis of statistical significance indicates that the minimal size of homo-repeats varies with amino acid type and proteome. In an attempt to characterize proteins harbouring long homo-repeats, we found that those containing polar or small amino acids S, P, H, E, D, K, Q and N are enriched in structural disorder as well as protein- and RNA-interactions. We observed that E, S, Q, G, L, P, D, A and H homo-repeats are strongly linked with occurrence in human diseases. Moreover, S, E, P, A, Q, D and T homo-repeats are significantly enriched in neuronal proteins associated with autism and other disorders. We release a webserver for further exploration of homo-repeats occurrence in human pathology at http://bioinfo.protres.ru/hradis/. PMID:27256590

  9. Linking magnetite in the abdomen of honey bees to a magnetoreceptive function.

    PubMed

    Lambinet, Veronika; Hayden, Michael E; Reigl, Katharina; Gomis, Surath; Gries, Gerhard

    2017-03-29

    Previous studies of magnetoreception in honey bees, Apis mellifera, focused on the identification of magnetic material, its formation, the location of the receptor and potential underlying sensory mechanisms, but never directly linked magnetic material to a magnetoreceptive function. In our study, we demonstrate that ferromagnetic material consistent with magnetite plays an integral role in the bees' magnetoreceptor. Subjecting lyophilized and pelletized bee tagmata to analyses by a superconducting quantum interference device generated a distinct hysteresis loop for the abdomen but not for the thorax or the head of bees, indicating the presence of ferromagnetic material in the bee abdomen. Magnetic remanence of abdomen pellets produced from bees that were, or were not, exposed to the 2.2-kOe field of a magnet while alive differed, indicating that magnet exposure altered the magnetization of this magnetite in live bees. In behavioural two-choice field experiments, bees briefly exposed to the same magnet, but not sham-treated control bees, failed to sense a custom-generated magnetic anomaly, indicating that magnet exposure had rendered the bees' magnetoreceptor dysfunctional. Our data support the conclusion that honey bees possess a magnetite-based magnetoreceptor located in the abdomen.

  10. Functional Characterization of Bacterial Oligosaccharyltransferases Involved in O-Linked Protein Glycosylation▿

    PubMed Central

    Faridmoayer, Amirreza; Fentabil, Messele A.; Mills, Dominic C.; Klassen, John S.; Feldman, Mario F.

    2007-01-01

    Protein glycosylation is an important posttranslational modification that occurs in all domains of life. Pilins, the structural components of type IV pili, are O glycosylated in Neisseria meningitidis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and some strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In this work, we characterized the P. aeruginosa 1244 and N. meningitidis MC58 O glycosylation systems in Escherichia coli. In both cases, sugars are transferred en bloc by an oligosaccharyltransferase (OTase) named PglL in N. meningitidis and PilO in P. aeruginosa. We show that, like PilO, PglL has relaxed glycan specificity. Both OTases are sufficient for glycosylation, but they require translocation of the undecaprenol-pyrophosphate-linked oligosaccharide substrates into the periplasm for activity. Whereas PilO activity is restricted to short oligosaccharides, PglL is able to transfer diverse oligo- and polysaccharides. This functional characterization supports the concept that despite their low sequence similarity, PilO and PglL belong to a new family of “O-OTases” that transfer oligosaccharides from lipid carriers to hydroxylated amino acids in proteins. To date, such activity has not been identified for eukaryotes. To our knowledge, this is the first report describing recombinant O glycoproteins synthesized in E. coli. PMID:17890310

  11. Linking magnetite in the abdomen of honey bees to a magnetoreceptive function

    PubMed Central

    Lambinet, Veronika; Hayden, Michael E.; Reigl, Katharina; Gomis, Surath

    2017-01-01

    Previous studies of magnetoreception in honey bees, Apis mellifera, focused on the identification of magnetic material, its formation, the location of the receptor and potential underlying sensory mechanisms, but never directly linked magnetic material to a magnetoreceptive function. In our study, we demonstrate that ferromagnetic material consistent with magnetite plays an integral role in the bees' magnetoreceptor. Subjecting lyophilized and pelletized bee tagmata to analyses by a superconducting quantum interference device generated a distinct hysteresis loop for the abdomen but not for the thorax or the head of bees, indicating the presence of ferromagnetic material in the bee abdomen. Magnetic remanence of abdomen pellets produced from bees that were, or were not, exposed to the 2.2-kOe field of a magnet while alive differed, indicating that magnet exposure altered the magnetization of this magnetite in live bees. In behavioural two-choice field experiments, bees briefly exposed to the same magnet, but not sham-treated control bees, failed to sense a custom-generated magnetic anomaly, indicating that magnet exposure had rendered the bees' magnetoreceptor dysfunctional. Our data support the conclusion that honey bees possess a magnetite-based magnetoreceptor located in the abdomen. PMID:28330921

  12. Facile chemical functionalization of proteins through intein-linked yeast display.

    PubMed

    Marshall, Carrie J; Agarwal, Nitin; Kalia, Jeet; Grosskopf, Vanessa A; McGrath, Nicholas A; Abbott, Nicholas L; Raines, Ronald T; Shusta, Eric V

    2013-09-18

    Intein-mediated expressed protein ligation (EPL) permits the site-specific chemical customization of proteins. While traditional techniques have used purified, soluble proteins, we have extended these methods to release and modify intein fusion proteins expressed on the yeast surface, thereby eliminating the need for soluble protein expression and purification. To this end, we sought to simultaneously release yeast surface-displayed proteins and selectively conjugate with chemical functionalities compatible with EPL and click chemistry. Single-chain antibodies (scFv) and green fluorescent protein (GFP) were displayed on the yeast surface as fusions to the N-terminus of the Mxe GyrA intein. ScFv and GFP were released from the yeast surface with either a sulfur nucleophile (MESNA) or a nitrogen nucleophile (hydrazine) linked to an azido group. The hydrazine azide permitted the simultaneous release and azido functionalization of displayed proteins, but nonspecific reactions with other yeast proteins were detected, and cleavage efficiency was limited. In contrast, MESNA released significantly more protein from the yeast surface while also generating a unique thioester at the carboxy-terminus of the released protein. These protein thioesters were subsequently reacted with a cysteine alkyne in an EPL reaction and then employed in an azide-alkyne cycloaddition to immobilize the scFv and GFP on an azide-decorated surface with >90% site-specificity. Importantly, the immobilized proteins retained their activity. Since yeast surface display is also a protein engineering platform, these approaches provide a particularly powerful tool for the rapid assessment of engineered proteins.

  13. Translational informatics approach for identifying the functional molecular communicators linking coronary artery disease, infection and inflammation.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Ankit; Ghatge, Madankumar; Mundkur, Lakshmi; Vangala, Rajani Kanth

    2016-05-01

    Translational informatics approaches are required for the integration of diverse and accumulating data to enable the administration of effective translational medicine specifically in complex diseases such as coronary artery disease (CAD). In the current study, a novel approach for elucidating the association between infection, inflammation and CAD was used. Genes for CAD were collected from the CAD‑gene database and those for infection and inflammation were collected from the UniProt database. The cytomegalovirus (CMV)‑induced genes were identified from the literature and the CAD‑associated clinical phenotypes were obtained from the Unified Medical Language System. A total of 55 gene ontologies (GO) termed functional communicator ontologies were identified in the gene sets linking clinical phenotypes in the diseasome network. The network topology analysis suggested that important functions including viral entry, cell adhesion, apoptosis, inflammatory and immune responses networked with clinical phenotypes. Microarray data was extracted from the Gene Expression Omnibus (dataset: GSE48060) for highly networked disease myocardial infarction. Further analysis of differentially expressed genes and their GO terms suggested that CMV infection may trigger a xenobiotic response, oxidative stress, inflammation and immune modulation. Notably, the current study identified γ‑glutamyl transferase (GGT)‑5 as a potential biomarker with an odds ratio of 1.947, which increased to 2.561 following the addition of CMV and CMV‑neutralizing antibody (CMV‑NA) titers. The C‑statistics increased from 0.530 for conventional risk factors (CRFs) to 0.711 for GGT in combination with the above mentioned infections and CRFs. Therefore, the translational informatics approach used in the current study identified a potential molecular mechanism for CMV infection in CAD, and a potential biomarker for risk prediction.

  14. Pathway analysis supports association of nonsyndromic cryptorchidism with genetic loci linked to cytoskeleton-dependent functions

    PubMed Central

    Barthold, Julia Spencer; Wang, Yanping; Kolon, Thomas F.; Kollin, Claude; Nordenskjöld, Agneta; Olivant Fisher, Alicia; Figueroa, T. Ernesto; BaniHani, Ahmad H.; Hagerty, Jennifer A.; Gonzaléz, Ricardo; Noh, Paul H.; Chiavacci, Rosetta M.; Harden, Kisha R.; Abrams, Debra J.; Kim, Cecilia E.; Li, Jin; Hakonarson, Hakon; Devoto, Marcella

    2015-01-01

    STUDY QUESTION What are the genetic loci that increase susceptibility to nonsyndromic cryptorchidism, or undescended testis? SUMMARY ANSWER A genome-wide association study (GWAS) suggests that susceptibility to cryptorchidism is heterogeneous, with a subset of suggestive signals linked to cytoskeleton-dependent functions and syndromic forms of the disease. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY Population studies suggest moderate genetic risk of cryptorchidism and possible maternal and environmental contributions to risk. Previous candidate gene analyses have failed to identify a major associated locus, although variants in insulin-like 3 (INSL3), relaxin/insulin-like family peptide receptor 2 (RXFP2) and other hormonal pathway genes may increase risk in a small percentage of patients. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION This is a case–control GWAS of 844 boys with nonsyndromic cryptorchidism and 2718 control subjects without syndromes or genital anomalies, all of European ancestry. PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS All boys with cryptorchidism were diagnosed and treated by a pediatric specialist. In the discovery phase, DNA was extracted from tissue or blood samples and genotyping performed using the Illumina HumanHap550 and Human610-Quad (Group 1) or OmniExpress (Group 2) platform. We imputed genotypes genome-wide, and combined single marker association results in meta-analyses for all cases and for secondary subphenotype analyses based on testis position, laterality and age, and defined genome-wide significance as P = 7 × 10−9 to correct for multiple testing. Selected markers were genotyped in an independent replication group of European cases (n = 298) and controls (n = 324). We used several bioinformatics tools to analyze top (P < 10−5) and suggestive (P < 10−3) signals for significant enrichment of signaling pathways, cellular functions and custom gene lists after multiple testing correction. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE In the full analysis, we identified 20

  15. The Integral Membrane Protein Snl1p Is Genetically Linked to Yeast Nuclear Pore Complex Function

    PubMed Central

    Ho, Albert K.; Raczniak, Gregory A.; Ives, Eric B.; Wente, Susan R.

    1998-01-01

    Integral membrane proteins are predicted to play key roles in the biogenesis and function of nuclear pore complexes (NPCs). Revealing how the transport apparatus is assembled will be critical for understanding the mechanism of nucleocytoplasmic transport. We observed that expression of the carboxyl-terminal 200 amino acids of the nucleoporin Nup116p had no effect on wild-type yeast cells, but it rendered the nup116 null strain inviable at all temperatures and coincidentally resulted in the formation of nuclear membrane herniations at 23°C. To identify factors related to NPC function, a genetic screen for high-copy suppressors of this lethal nup116-C phenotype was conducted. One gene (designated SNL1 for suppressor of nup116-C lethal) was identified whose expression was necessary and sufficient for rescuing growth. Snl1p has a predicted molecular mass of 18.3 kDa, a putative transmembrane domain, and limited sequence similarity to Pom152p, the only previously identified yeast NPC-associated integral membrane protein. By both indirect immunofluorescence microscopy and subcellular fractionation studies, Snl1p was localized to both the nuclear envelope and the endoplasmic reticulum. Membrane extraction and topology assays suggested that Snl1p was an integral membrane protein, with its carboxyl-terminal region exposed to the cytosol. With regard to genetic specificity, the nup116-C lethality was also suppressed by high-copy GLE2 and NIC96. Moreover, high-copy SNL1 suppressed the temperature sensitivity of gle2–1 and nic96-G3 mutant cells. The nic96-G3 allele was identified in a synthetic lethal genetic screen with a null allele of the closely related nucleoporin nup100. Gle2p physically associated with Nup116p in vitro, and the interaction required the N-terminal region of Nup116p. Therefore, genetic links between the role of Snl1p and at least three NPC-associated proteins were established. We suggest that Snl1p plays a stabilizing role in NPC structure and function

  16. Non-parametric estimation of the odds ratios for continuous exposures using generalized additive models with an unknown link function.

    PubMed

    Cadarso-Suárez, Carmen; Roca-Pardiñas, Javier; Figueiras, Adolfo; González-Manteiga, Wenceslao

    2005-04-30

    The generalized additive, model (GAM) is a powerful and widely used tool that allows researchers to fit, non-parametrically, the effect of continuous predictors on a transformation of the mean response variable. Such a transformation is given by a so-called link function, and in GAMs this link function is assumed to be known. Nevertheless, if an incorrect choice is made for the link, the resulting GAM is misspecified and the results obtained may be misleading. In this paper, we propose a modified version of the local scoring algorithm that allows for the non-parametric estimation of the link function, by using local linear kernel smoothers. To better understand the effect that each covariate produces on the outcome, results are expressed in terms of the non-parametric odds ratio (OR) curves. Bootstrap techniques were used to correct the bias in the OR estimation and to construct point-wise confidence intervals. A simulation study was carried out to assess the behaviour of the resulting estimates. The proposed methodology was illustrated using data from the AIDS Register of Galicia (NW Spain), with a view to assessing the effect of the CD4 lymphocyte count on the probability of being AIDS-diagnosed via Tuberculosis (TB). This application shows how the link's flexibility makes it possible to obtain OR curve estimates that are less sensitive to the presence of outliers and unusual values that are often present in the extremes of the covariate distributions.

  17. Dependence of Invadopodia Function on Collagen Fiber Spacing and Cross-Linking: Computational Modeling and Experimental Evidence

    PubMed Central

    Enderling, Heiko; Alexander, Nelson R.; Clark, Emily S.; Branch, Kevin M.; Estrada, Lourdes; Crooke, Cornelia; Jourquin, Jérôme; Lobdell, Nichole; Zaman, Muhammad H.; Guelcher, Scott A.; Anderson, Alexander R. A.; Weaver, Alissa M.

    2008-01-01

    Invadopodia are subcellular organelles thought to be critical for extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation and the movement of cells through tissues. Here we examine invadopodia generation, turnover, and function in relation to two structural aspects of the ECM substrates they degrade: cross-linking and fiber density. We set up a cellular automaton computational model that simulates ECM penetration and degradation by invadopodia. Experiments with denatured collagen (gelatin) were used to calibrate the model and demonstrate the inhibitory effect of ECM cross-linking on invadopodia degradation and penetration. Incorporation of dynamic invadopodia behavior into the model amplified the effect of cross-linking on ECM degradation, and was used to model feedback from the ECM. When the model was parameterized with spatial fibrillar dimensions that closely matched the organization, in real life, of native ECM collagen into triple-helical monomers, microfibrils, and macrofibrils, little or no inhibition of invadopodia penetration was observed in simulations of sparse collagen gels, no matter how high the degree of cross-linking. Experimental validation, using live-cell imaging of invadopodia in cells plated on cross-linked gelatin, was consistent with simulations in which ECM cross-linking led to higher rates of both invadopodia retraction and formation. Analyses of invadopodia function from cells plated on cross-linked gelatin and collagen gels under standard concentrations were consistent with simulation results in which sparse collagen gels provided a weak barrier to invadopodia. These results suggest that the organization of collagen, as it may occur in stroma or in vitro collagen gels, forms gaps large enough so as to have little impact on invadopodia penetration/degradation. By contrast, dense ECM, such as gelatin or possibly basement membranes, is an effective obstacle to invadopodia penetration and degradation, particularly when cross-linked. These results provide a

  18. STRESS REGULATION AS A LINK BETWEEN EXECUTIVE FUNCTION AND PRE-FRAILTY IN OLDER ADULTS

    PubMed Central

    Roiland, R.A.; Lin, F.; Phelan, C.; Chapman, B.P.

    2017-01-01

    Objectives Both pre-frailty and frailty are linked with impaired executive function (EF) but the mechanism underlying this relationship is not known. Williams and colleagues’ model posits EF affects health outcomes via stress regulation. This model was utlized to test indicators of stress regulation as mediators of the relationship between EF and pre-frailty in older adults. Design Cross-sectional. Setting Academic general clinical research centers. Participants 690 community-dwelling older adults ≥ 50 years of age. Measurements Pre-frailty was measured using a modified form of the Fried Frailty measure. EF was assessed via telephone-based neurocognitive assessments. Indicators of stress regulation included: stress exposure (measured by perceived stress), reactivity and recovery (measured by heart rate) and restoration (measured by serum interleukin-6 and sleep quality). Results 396 individuals were classified as non-frail, 277 as pre-frail, and 17 as frail. Pre-frail and non-frail individuals were included in data analyses. Compared to non-frail individuals, prefrail were older and exhibited poorer EF, higher levels of stress exposure and poorer stress restoration. Poorer EF was associated with greater stress exposure, less stress reactivity, longer stress recovery and poorer stress restoration. The total effect of the relationship between EF and pre-frailty was significant with significant indirect effects supporting stress exposure and restoration as mediators of the relationship. Conclusion Stress exposure and restoration appear to mediate the relationship between EF and pre-frailty. Longitudinal studies are needed to clarify the direction of causality and determine whether stress regulation processes are appropriate targets for interventions aiming to prevent declines in EF and the development of pre-frailty. PMID:26412287

  19. Mechanistic links between gut microbial community dynamics, microbial functions and metabolic health

    PubMed Central

    Ha, Connie WY; Lam, Yan Y; Holmes, Andrew J

    2014-01-01

    Gut microbes comprise a high density, biologically active community that lies at the interface of an animal with its nutritional environment. Consequently their activity profoundly influences many aspects of the physiology and metabolism of the host animal. A range of microbial structural components and metabolites directly interact with host intestinal cells and tissues to influence nutrient uptake and epithelial health. Endocrine, neuronal and lymphoid cells in the gut also integrate signals from these microbial factors to influence systemic responses. Dysregulation of these host-microbe interactions is now recognised as a major risk factor in the development of metabolic dysfunction. This is a two-way process and understanding the factors that tip host-microbiome homeostasis over to dysbiosis requires greater appreciation of the host feedbacks that contribute to regulation of microbial community composition. To date, numerous studies have employed taxonomic profiling approaches to explore the links between microbial composition and host outcomes (especially obesity and its comorbidities), but inconsistent host-microbe associations have been reported. Available data indicates multiple factors have contributed to discrepancies between studies. These include the high level of functional redundancy in host-microbiome interactions combined with individual variation in microbiome composition; differences in study design, diet composition and host system between studies; and inherent limitations to the resolution of rRNA-based community profiling. Accounting for these factors allows for recognition of the common microbial and host factors driving community composition and development of dysbiosis on high fat diets. New therapeutic intervention options are now emerging. PMID:25469018

  20. The Swine Plasma Metabolome Chronicles "Many Days" Biological Timing and Functions Linked to Growth

    PubMed Central

    Bromage, Timothy G.; Idaghdour, Youssef; Lacruz, Rodrigo S.; Crenshaw, Thomas D.; Ovsiy, Olexandra; Rotter, Björn; Hoffmeier, Klaus; Schrenk, Friedemann

    2016-01-01

    The paradigm of chronobiology is based almost wholly upon the daily biological clock, or circadian rhythm, which has been the focus of intense molecular, cellular, pharmacological, and behavioral, research. However, the circadian rhythm does not explain biological timings related to fundamental aspects of life history such as rates of tissue/organ/body size development and control of the timing of life stages such as gestation length, age at maturity, and lifespan. This suggests that another biological timing mechanism is at work. Here we focus on a "many days" (multidien) chronobiological period first observed as enigmatic recurring growth lines in developing mammalian tooth enamel that is strongly associate with all adult tissue, organ, and body masses as well as life history attributes such as gestation length, age at maturity, weaning, and lifespan, particularly among the well studied primates. Yet, knowledge of the biological factors regulating the patterning of mammalian life, such as the development of body size and life history structure, does not exist. To identify underlying molecular mechanisms we performed metabolome and genome analyses from blood plasma in domestic pigs. We show that blood plasma metabolites and small non-coding RNA (sncRNA) drawn from 33 domestic pigs over a two-week period strongly oscillate on a 5-day multidien rhythm, as does the pig enamel rhythm. Metabolomics and genomics pathway analyses actually reveal two 5-day rhythms, one related to growth in which biological functions include cell proliferation, apoptosis, and transcription regulation/protein synthesis, and another 5-day rhythm related to degradative pathways that follows three days later. Our results provide experimental confirmation of a 5-day multidien rhythm in the domestic pig linking the periodic growth of enamel with oscillations of the metabolome and genome. This association reveals a new class of chronobiological rhythm and a snapshot of the biological bases that

  1. Keratoconus, cross-link-induction, comparison between fitting exponential function and a fitting equation obtained by a mathematical model.

    PubMed

    Albanese, A; Urso, R; Bianciardi, L; Rigato, M; Battisti, E

    2009-11-01

    With reference to experimental data in the literature, we present a model consisting of two elastic elements, conceived to simulate resistance to stretching, at constant velocity of elongation, of corneal tissue affected by keratoconus, treated with riboflavin and ultraviolet irradiation to induce cross-linking. The function describing model behaviour adapted to stress and strain values. It was found that the Young's moduli of the two elastic elements increased in cross-linked tissues and that cross-linking treatment therefore increased corneal rigidity. It is recognized that this observation is substantially in line with the conclusion reported in the literature, obtained using an exponential fitting function. It is observed, however, that the latter function implies a condition of non-zero stresses without strain, and does not provide interpretative insights for lack of any biomechanical basis. Above all, the function fits a singular trend, inexplicably claimed to be viscoelastic, with surprising perfection. In any case, using the reported data, the study demonstrates that a fitting equation obtained by a modelling approach not only shows the evident efficacy of the treatment, but also provides orientations for studying modifications induced in cross-linked fibres.

  2. Specifying Links between Executive Functioning and Theory of Mind during Middle Childhood: Cognitive Flexibility Predicts Social Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bock, Allison M.; Gallaway, Kristin C.; Hund, Alycia M.

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to specify the development of and links between executive functioning and theory of mind during middle childhood. One hundred four 7- to 12-year-old children completed a battery of age-appropriate tasks measuring working memory, inhibition, flexibility, theory of mind, and vocabulary. As expected, spatial working…

  3. The Broader Context of Relational Aggression in Adolescent Romantic Relationships: Predictions from Peer Pressure and Links to Psychosocial Functioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schad, Megan M.; Szwedo, David E.; Antonishak, Jill; Hare, Amanda; Allen, Joseph P.

    2008-01-01

    The broader context of relational aggression in adolescent romantic relationships was assessed by considering the ways such aggression emerged from prior experiences of peer pressure and was linked to concurrent difficulties in psychosocial functioning. Longitudinal, multi-reporter data were obtained from 97 adolescents and their best friends at…

  4. Executive Function as a Mediator in the Link between Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Social Problems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tseng, Wan-Ling; Gau, Susan Shur-Fen

    2013-01-01

    Background: Cognitive processes and mechanisms underlying the strong link between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and social problems remain unclear. Limited knowledge also exists regarding a subgroup of youth with ADHD who do not have social problems. This study investigated the extent to which executive function (EF) mediated the…

  5. Exogenous collagen cross-linking recovers tendon functional integrity in an experimental model of partial tear.

    PubMed

    Fessel, Gion; Wernli, Jeremy; Li, Yufei; Gerber, Christian; Snedeker, Jess G

    2012-06-01

    We investigated the hypothesis that exogenous collagen cross-linking can augment intact regions of tendon to mitigate mechanical propagation of partial tears. We first screened the low toxicity collagen cross-linkers genipin, methylglyoxal and ultra-violet (UV) light for their ability to augment tendon stiffness and failure load in rat tail tendon fascicles (RTTF). We then investigated cross-linking effects in load bearing equine superficial digital flexor tendons (SDFT). Data indicated that all three cross-linking agents augmented RTTF mechanical properties but reduced native viscoelasticity. In contrast to effects observed in fascicles, methylglyoxal treatment of SDFT detrimentally affected tendon mechanical integrity, and in the case of UV did not alter tendon mechanics. As in the RTTF experiments, genipin cross-linking of SDFT resulted in increased stiffness, higher failure loads and reduced viscoelasticity. Based on this result we assessed the efficacy of genipin in arresting tendon tear propagation in cyclic loading to failure. Genipin cross-linking secondary to a mid-substance biopsy-punch significantly reduced tissue strains, increased elastic modulus and increased resistance to fatigue failure. We conclude that genipin cross-linking of injured tendons holds potential for arresting tendon tear progression, and that implications of the treatment on matrix remodeling in living tendons should now be investigated.

  6. Assembly, cross-linking and encapsulation using functionalized nanoparticles at liquid interfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tangirala, Ravisubhash

    The assembly of nanoparticles at the interface of immiscible fluids holds promise for the preparation of new materials that benefit from both the physical properties of the nanoparticles and the chemistry associated with the ligands. Shaking nanoparticle solutions in organic solvents with water, results in the formation of nanoparticle-coated droplets that range in size from 10 microm to 200 microm. A strategy to control the size of these emulsions is described, by passing the droplets through commercial track-etch membranes with known pore sizes. Extrusion reduces the droplet size by breaking the droplets while passing theough the membrane pores, and reforming in the presence of excess nanoparticles in solution to form droplets as small as 1-5 microm. Crosslinking of nanoparticles at a liquid interface lends greater stability to the interfacial assembly, leading to ultrathin nanoparticle-based capsules, which possess mechanical integrity even after removal of the interface. Two approaches towards crosslinking are used in this thesis. Norbornene-functionalized CdSe/ZnS are used to afford facile capsule visualization by fluorescence confocal microscopy, as well as ease of crosslinking in mild conditions by means of ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP). The crosslinked capsules can be used to encapsulate materials, and display size-selective retention capability, governed by the interstitial spaces between the nanoparticles. In a second approach to making hybrid capsules and sheets, horse spleen ferritin bionanoparticles and aldehyde-functionalized CdSe quantum dots are co-assembled at an oil-water interface. The cross-linked materials formed by reaction of the aldehyde functionality on the quantum dots with the surface-available amines on the ferritin bionanoparticles can be disrupted by addition of acid, thus leading to pH-degradable capsules and sheets. The driving force for assembly of nanoparticles at liquid interfaces is the reduction of the

  7. Bridging Multiple Lines Of Evidence To Quantify Plant Phenology And Assess Links To Dryland Ecosystem Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Browning, D. M.; Tweedie, C. E.; Vivoni, E. R.; Maynard, J. J.; Karl, J.

    2015-12-01

    The clear and pressing need to reliably identify and predict shifts in plant phenology at landscape scales requires a critical link between mechanistic understanding of climate drivers and broad scale forecasts of plant responses to climate change. A multi-scale phenology study co-located with two eddy covariance towers was initiated on the Jornada Basin LTER in New Mexico in 2010 to bridge phenology patterns at the plant level with those representing aggregated signals at the landscape level. The study integrates phenology observations collected in the field along with those collected via remotely using imagery from phenocams, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and satellite sensors along with estimates of carbon flux. We applied the Breaks for Additive Seasonal and Trend (BFAST) time series algorithm to MODIS 250-m NDVI greenness index values to partition the NDVI signal into components representing the long-term trend, seasonal periodicity, and residuals and identified significant shifts in the NDVI signal (i.e., "breaks"). Previous work verified breaks representing significant deviations from the BFAST seasonal and trend models using field-estimated plant biomass collected between 2000 and 2014. We subsequently examine estimates of fractional cover by functional group derived from UAV images acquired 2010 through 2015. At a mixed grassland site, the BFAST algorithm detected four breaks in the trend model denoting significant increases in NDVI in May 2004, July 2006, and March 2010 and a significant decrease in May 2012. The 2004 and 2006 breaks corresponded to herbaceous vegetation responses to rainfall following prolonged periods of drought. The 2012 decrease in NDVI corresponded to the marked reduction of herbaceous biomass following an exceptionally dry period in late 2010-2011. Seasonal breaks representing changes in the timing and magnitude of NDVI identified in July 2006 and September 2008 coincide with rapid increases in production of annual species in

  8. Three Brachypodium distachyon Uev1s Promote Ubc13-Mediated Lys63-Linked Polyubiquitination and Confer Different Functions

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Huiping; Wen, Rui; Wang, Qianqian; Datla, Raju; Xiao, Wei

    2016-01-01

    In this study, we report the identification and functional characterization of three Brachypodium distachyon UEV genes. All three BdUev1s form heterodimers with BdUbc13s, which are capable of catalyzing Lys63-linked polyubiquitination in vitro. The three BdUEV1 genes are also able to functionally complement the budding yeast mms2 mutant defective in DNA-damage tolerance. BdUev1A differs from the other two BdUev1s in that it contains an 18-amino acid tail, which appears to compromise its function in yeast, as deletion of this tail restores full function. BdUev1A is excluded from the nucleus, whereas BdUev1B, BdUev1C and the C-terminally truncated BdUev1A are mainly found in the nucleus. These and the BdUEV1 gene expression analysis allow us to speculate that although all three BdUev1s function by promoting Lys63-linked polyubiquitination, BdUev1B and BdUev1C are involved in DNA-damage response and possibly other nuclear functions, while BdUev1A is required for non-nuclear function(s). PMID:27803708

  9. Linking Remotely Sensed Functional Diversity of Structural Traits to the Radiative Regime of a Temperate Mixed Forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, F. D.; Morsdorf, F.; Furrer, R.; Schmid, B.; Schaepman, M. E.

    2015-12-01

    Patterns of functional diversity reflect the inter- and intraspecific variability of plant traits and are linked to other aspects of biodiversity, environmental factors and ecosystem function. To study the patterns at plot and stand level, spatially continuous trait measurements are required. Remote sensing methods based on airborne observations can offer such continuous high-resolution measurements, resolving individual trees of a forest at a regional extent. The study was performed at the Laegern forest, a temperate mixed forest dominated by deciduous and coniferous trees (Fagus sylvatica, Picea abies; 47°28'42.0" N, 8°21'51.8" E, 682 m asl; Switzerland). Canopy height, plant area index and foliage height diversity were derived from full-waveform airborne laser scanning data. These structural traits were used to calculate functional richness, functional evenness and functional divergence at a range of scales. A Bayesian multiresolution scale analysis was used to infer the scales at which functional diversity patterns occur. The radiative regime of the forest was simulated using the 3D radiative transfer model DART. Using a voxel-based forest reconstruction allowed us to derive top of canopy, bottom of canopy and absorbed photosynthetically active radiation. The results of this study will provide new insights on linking forest canopy structure to the radiative regime of the forest. Light availability is a critical factor determining plant growth and competition. Within canopy light scattering is mainly driven by the arrangement of leaves and their leaf optical properties. Therefore, we expect a link between the structural complexity of the forest as encompassed by functional diversity and the light availability within and below the canopy. Ultimately, this information can be used in dynamic ecosystem models such as ED2, allowing us to predict the influence of functional diversity and radiative properties on ecosystem functioning under current conditions and

  10. Neisseria gonorrhoeae O-linked pilin glycosylation: functional analyses define both the biosynthetic pathway and glycan structure

    PubMed Central

    Aas, Finn Erik; Vik, Åshild; Vedde, John; Koomey, Michael; Egge-Jacobsen, Wolfgang

    2007-01-01

    Neisseria gonorrhoeae expresses an O-linked protein glycosylation pathway that targets PilE, the major pilin subunit protein of the Type IV pilus colonization factor. Efforts to define glycan structure and thus the functions of pilin glycosylation (Pgl) components at the molecular level have been hindered by the lack of sensitive methodologies. Here, we utilized a ‘top-down’ mass spectrometric approach to characterize glycan status using intact pilin protein from isogenic mutants. These structural data enabled us to directly infer the function of six components required for pilin glycosylation and to define the glycan repertoire of strain N400. Additionally, we found that the N. gonorrhoeae pilin glycan is O-acetylated, and identified an enzyme essential for this unique modification. We also identified the N. gonorrhoeae pilin oligosaccharyltransferase using bioinformatics and confirmed its role in pilin glycosylation by directed mutagenesis. Finally, we examined the effects of expressing the PglA glycosyltransferase from the Campylobacter jejuni N-linked glycosylation system that adds N-acetylgalactosamine onto undecaprenylpyrophosphate-linked bacillosamine. The results indicate that the C. jejuni and N. gonorrhoeae pathways can interact in the synthesis of O-linked di- and trisaccharides, and therefore provide the first experimental evidence that biosynthesis of the N. gonorrhoeae pilin glycan involves a lipid-linked oligosaccharide precursor. Together, these findings underpin more detailed studies of pilin glycosylation biology in both N. gonorrhoeae and N. meningitidis, and demonstrate how components of bacterial O- and N-linked pathways can be combined in novel glycoengineering strategies. PMID:17608667

  11. Sleep and Cognition in Preschool Years: Specific Links to Executive Functioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bernier, Annie; Beauchamp, Miriam H.; Bouvette-Turcot, Andrée-Anne; Carlson, Stephanie M.; Carrier, Julie

    2013-01-01

    This study investigated the prospective links between sleep in infancy and preschoolers' cognitive performance. Mothers of 65 infants completed a sleep diary when infants were aged 1 year, and children completed two subscales of the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence at 4 years, indexing general cognitive ability and complex…

  12. The Extent to Which Collaborative Teams of Educators Link the Results of Functional Assessment to Function-Based Interventions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    de Courcy-Bower, Laurie

    2010-01-01

    A promising approach to addressing challenging behavior in schools is to develop and implement "function-based interventions" (Dunlap et al., 2006; Hanley, Iwata, & McCord, 2003). Function-based interventions are individualized interventions in which five key outcomes of functional assessment (i.e., identification of challenging behavior,…

  13. Hydroxy-functionalized hyper-cross-linked ultra-microporous organic polymers for selective CO2 capture at room temperature.

    PubMed

    Samanta, Partha; Chandra, Priyanshu; Ghosh, Sujit K

    2016-01-01

    Two hydroxy-functionalized hyper-cross-linked ultra-microporous compounds have been synthesized by Friedel-Crafts alkylation reaction and characterised with different spectroscopic techniques. Both compounds exhibit an efficient carbon dioxide uptake over other gases like N2, H2 and O2 at room temperature. A high isosteric heat of adsorption (Qst) has been obtained for both materials because of strong interactions between polar -OH groups and CO2 molecules.

  14. Hydroxy-functionalized hyper-cross-linked ultra-microporous organic polymers for selective CO2 capture at room temperature

    PubMed Central

    Samanta, Partha; Chandra, Priyanshu

    2016-01-01

    Summary Two hydroxy-functionalized hyper-cross-linked ultra-microporous compounds have been synthesized by Friedel–Crafts alkylation reaction and characterised with different spectroscopic techniques. Both compounds exhibit an efficient carbon dioxide uptake over other gases like N2, H2 and O2 at room temperature. A high isosteric heat of adsorption (Q st) has been obtained for both materials because of strong interactions between polar –OH groups and CO2 molecules. PMID:27829902

  15. The Role of Representations in Executive Function: Investigating a Developmental Link between Flexibility and Abstraction

    PubMed Central

    Kharitonova, Maria; Munakata, Yuko

    2011-01-01

    Young children often perseverate, engaging in previously correct, but no longer appropriate behaviors. One account posits that such perseveration results from the use of stimulus-specific representations of a situation, which are distinct from abstract, generalizable representations that support flexible behavior. Previous findings supported this account, demonstrating that only children who flexibly switch between rules could generalize their behavior to novel stimuli. However, this link between flexibility and generalization might reflect general cognitive abilities, or depend upon similarities across the measures or their temporal order. The current work examined these issues by testing the specificity and generality of this link. In two experiments with 3-year-old children, flexibility was measured in terms of switching between rules in a card-sorting task, while abstraction was measured in terms of selecting which stimulus did not belong in an odd-one-out task. The link between flexibility and abstraction was general across (1) abstraction dimensions similar to or different from those in the card-sorting task and (2) abstraction tasks that preceded or followed the switching task. Good performance on abstraction and flexibility measures did not extend to all cognitive tasks, including an IQ measure, and dissociated from children’s ability to gaze at the correct stimulus in the odd-one-out task, suggesting that the link between flexibility and abstraction is specific to such measures, rather than reflecting general abilities that affect all tasks. We interpret these results in terms of the role that developing prefrontal cortical regions play in processes such as working memory, which can support both flexibility and abstraction. PMID:22144971

  16. Linking Brief Functional Analysis to Intervention Design in General Education Settings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ishuin, Tifanie

    2009-01-01

    This study focused on the utility and applicability of brief functional analysis in general education settings. The purpose of the study was to first identify the environmental variables maintaining noncompliance through a brief functional analysis, and then to design and implement a functionally equivalent intervention. The participant exhibited…

  17. The use of controlled microbial cenoses in producers' link to increase steady functioning of artificial ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Somova, Lydia; Mikheeva, Galina; Somova, Lydia

    The life support systems (LSS) for long-term missions are to use cycling-recycling systems, including biological recycling. Simple ecosystems include 3 links: producers (plants), consumers (man, animals) and reducers (microorganisms). Microorganisms are substantial component of every link of LSS. Higher plants are the traditional regenerator of air and producer of food. They should be used in many successive generations of their reproduction in LSS. Controlled microbiocenoses can increase productivity of producer's link and protect plants from infections. The goal of this work was development of methodological bases of formation of stable, controlled microbiocenoses, intended for increase of productivity of plants and for obtaining ecologically pure production of plants. Main results of our investigations: 1. Experimental microbiocenoses, has been produced in view of the developed methodology on the basis of natural association of microorganisms by long cultivation on specially developed medium. Dominating groups are bacteria of genera: Lactobacillus, Streptococcus, Leuconostoc, Bifidobacterium, Rhodopseudomonas and yeast of genera: Kluyveromyces, Saccharomyces, Torulopsis. 2. Optimal parameters of microbiocenosis cultivation (t, pH, light exposure, biogenic elements concentrations) were experimentally established. Conditions of cultivation on which domination of different groups of microbiocenosis have been found. 3. It was shown, that processing of seeds of wheat, oats, bulbs and plants Allium cepa L. (an onions) with microbial association raised energy of germination of seeds and bulbs and promoted the increase (on 20-30 %) of growth green biomass and root system of plants in comparison with the control. This work is supported by grant, Yenissey , 07-04-96806

  18. Physicochemical, in vitro digestibility and functional properties of carboxymethyl rice starch cross-linked with epichlorohydrin.

    PubMed

    Kittipongpatana, Ornanong S; Kittipongpatana, Nisit

    2013-11-15

    Cross-linked carboxymethyl rice starches (CL-CMRSs) were prepared from reactions between native rice starch and varied concentrations (0.1-15%w/w, M-0.1 to M-15) of epichlorohydrin (ECH) in a simultaneous carboxymethylation-crosslinking reaction setup using methanol as the solvent. The degree of carboxymethyl substitution was between 0.24 and 0.28, while apparent amylose contents were lowered due to modification. SEM images showed minor change on the granule surface, while XRD profiles indicated slight loss of crystallinity. DSC thermograms revealed no transition peak in all treated samples. The water uptake (WU), swelling volume (SV) and free swelling capacity (FSC) of CL-CMRSs increased significantly as a result of the modification, while swelling of CMRSs cross-linked with 2% (M-2) and 3% (M-3) ECH yielded FSC values and WU values that were much greater than those of native starches and were comparable to that of Explotab®. All modified starch samples showed increased amount of rapidly digestible starch (RDS), while cross-linking with 5-7.5% ECH raised the resistant starch (RS) content, compared to native starch. M-2 also showed promising results in tablet disintegration test. ECH-CL-CMRSs could potentially be used as an excipient in pharmaceutical and food/food supplement products.

  19. Improving the Understanding of the Link between Cognition and Functional Capacity in Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Moore, Raeanne C.; Harmell, Alexandrea L.; Harvey, Philip D.; Bowie, Christopher R.; Depp, Colin A.; Pulver, Ann E.; McGrath, John A; Patterson, Thomas L.; Cardenas, Veronica; Wolyniec, Paula; Thornquist, Mary H.; Luke, James R.; Palmer, Barton W.; Jeste, Dilip V.; Mausbach, Brent T.

    2015-01-01

    OBJECTIVE Deficits in cognitive functioning are related to functional disability in people with serious mental illness. Measures of functional capacity are commonly used as a proxy for functional disabilities for cognitive remediation programs, and robust linear relationships between functional capacity and cognitive deficits are frequently observed. This study aimed to determine whether a curvilinear relationship better approximates the association between cognitive functioning and functional capacity. METHOD Two independent samples were studied. Study 1: Participants with schizophrenia (n=435) and bipolar disorder (n=390) aged 18–83 completed a neuropsychological battery and a performance-based measure of functional capacity. Study 2: 205 participants with schizophrenia (age range=39–72) completed a brief neuropsychological screening battery and a performance-based measure of functional capacity. For both studies, linear and quadratic curve estimations were conducted with cognitive performance predicting functional capacity scores. RESULTS Significant linear and quadratic trends were observed for both studies. Study 1: In both the schizophrenia and bipolar participants, when cognitive composite z-scores were >0 (indicating normal to above normal performance), cognition was not related to functional capacity. Study 2: When neuropsychological screening battery z-scores were >−1 (indicating low average to average performance), cognition was not related to functional capacity. CONCLUSIONS These results illustrate that in cognitively normal adults with serious mental illness, the relationship between cognitive function and functional capacity is relatively weak. These findings may aid clinicians and researchers determine who may optimally benefit from cognitive remediation programs, with greater benefits possibly being achieved for individuals with cognitive deficits relative to individuals with normal cognition. PMID:26427917

  20. Crucial role of detailed function, task, timeline, link and human vulnerability analyses in HRA. [Human Reliability Analysis (HRA)

    SciTech Connect

    Ryan, T.G.; Haney, L.N.; Ostrom, L.T.

    1992-01-01

    This paper addresses one major cause for large uncertainties in human reliability analysis (HRA) results, that is, an absence of detailed function, task, timeline, link and human vulnerability analyses. All too often this crucial step in the HRA process is done in a cursory fashion using word of mouth or written procedures which themselves may incompletely or inaccurately represent the human action sequences and human error vulnerabilities being analyzed. The paper examines the potential contributions these detailed analyses can make in achieving quantitative and qualitative HRA results which are: (1) creditable, that is, minimize uncertainty, (2) auditable, that is, systematically linking quantitative results and qualitative information from which the results are derived, (3) capable of supporting root cause analyses on human reliability factors determined to be major contributors to risk, and (4) capable of repeated measures and being combined with similar results from other analyses to examine HRA issues transcending individual systems and facilities. Based on experience analyzing test and commercial nuclear reactors, and medical applications of nuclear technology, an iterative process is suggested for doing detailed function, task, timeline, link and human vulnerability analyses using documentation reviews, open-ended and structured interviews, direct observations, and group techniques. Finally, the paper concludes that detailed analyses done in this manner by knowledgeable human factors practitioners, can contribute significantly to the credibility, auditability, causal factor analysis, and combining goals of the HRA.

  1. School Functioning in Early Adolescence: Gender-Linked Responses to Peer Victimization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hoglund, Wendy L. G.

    2007-01-01

    Research indicates that peer victimization contributes to poor school functioning in childhood and adolescence, yet the processes by which victimization interferes with school functioning are unclear. This study examined internalizing and externalizing problems as domain-specific mediators of the association between subtypes of peer victimization…

  2. N-linked glycosylation in Archaea: a structural, functional, and genetic analysis.

    PubMed

    Jarrell, Ken F; Ding, Yan; Meyer, Benjamin H; Albers, Sonja-Verena; Kaminski, Lina; Eichler, Jerry

    2014-06-01

    N-glycosylation of proteins is one of the most prevalent posttranslational modifications in nature. Accordingly, a pathway with shared commonalities is found in all three domains of life. While excellent model systems have been developed for studying N-glycosylation in both Eukarya and Bacteria, an understanding of this process in Archaea was hampered until recently by a lack of effective molecular tools. However, within the last decade, impressive advances in the study of the archaeal version of this important pathway have been made for halophiles, methanogens, and thermoacidophiles, combining glycan structural information obtained by mass spectrometry with bioinformatic, genetic, biochemical, and enzymatic data. These studies reveal both features shared with the eukaryal and bacterial domains and novel archaeon-specific aspects. Unique features of N-glycosylation in Archaea include the presence of unusual dolichol lipid carriers, the use of a variety of linking sugars that connect the glycan to proteins, the presence of novel sugars as glycan constituents, the presence of two very different N-linked glycans attached to the same protein, and the ability to vary the N-glycan composition under different growth conditions. These advances are the focus of this review, with an emphasis on N-glycosylation pathways in Haloferax, Methanococcus, and Sulfolobus.

  3. OTUB1 co-opts Lys48-linked ubiquitin recognition to suppress E2 enzyme function

    PubMed Central

    Juang, Yu-Chi; Landry, Marie-Claude; Sanches, Mario; Vittal, Vinayak; Leung, Charles; Ceccarelli, Derek F.; Mateo, Abigail-Rachele F.; Pruneda, Jonathan N.; Mao, Dan; Szilard, Rachel K.; Orlicky, Stephen; Munro, Meagan; Brzovic, Peter S.; Klevit, Rachel E.; Sicheri, Frank; Durocher, Daniel

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY Ubiquitylation entails the concerted action of E1, E2 and E3 enzymes. We recently reported that OTUB1, a deubiquitylase, inhibits the DNA damage response independently of its isopeptidase activity. OTUB1 does so by blocking ubiquitin transfer by UBC13, the cognate E2 enzyme for RNF168. OTUB1 also inhibits E2s of the UBE2D and UBE2E families. Here we elucidate the structural mechanism by which OTUB1 binds E2s to inhibit ubiquitin transfer. OTUB1 recognizes ubiquitin-charged E2s through contacts with both donor ubiquitin and the E2 enzyme. Surprisingly, free ubiquitin associates with the canonical distal ubiquitin-binding site on OTUB1 to promote formation of the inhibited E2 complex. Lys48 of donor ubiquitin lies near the OTUB1 catalytic site and the C-terminus of free ubiquitin, a configuration that mimics the products of Lys48-linked ubiquitin chain cleavage. OTUB1 therefore co-opts Lys48-linked ubiquitin chain recognition to suppress ubiquitin conjugation and the DNA damage response. PMID:22325355

  4. Prm1 Functions as a Disulfide-linked Complex in Yeast Mating*

    PubMed Central

    Olmo, Valerie N.; Grote, Eric

    2010-01-01

    Prm1 is a pheromone-induced membrane glycoprotein that promotes plasma membrane fusion in yeast mating pairs. HA-Prm1 migrates at twice its expected molecular weight on non-reducing SDS-PAGE gels and coprecipitates with Prm1-TAP, indicating that Prm1 is a disulfide-linked homodimer. The N terminus of a plasma membrane-localized GFP-Prm1 endocytic mutant projects into the cytoplasm, where it is protected from low pH quenching in live cells and from external protease in spheroplasts. In a revised topological map, Prm1 has four transmembrane domains and two large extracellular loops. Mutation of all four cysteines in the extracellular loops blocked disulfide bond formation and destabilized the Prm1 homodimer without preventing Prm1 transport to contact sites in mating pairs. Cys120 in loop 1 and Cys545 in loop 2 form disulfide cross-links in the Prm1 homodimer and are required for fusion activity. Cys120 lies between a hydrophobic segment formerly thought to be a transmembrane domain and an amphipathic helix. An interaction between either of these regions and the opposing membrane could promote fusion. PMID:19933274

  5. N-Linked Glycosylation in Archaea: a Structural, Functional, and Genetic Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Yan; Meyer, Benjamin H.; Albers, Sonja-Verena; Kaminski, Lina; Eichler, Jerry

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY N-glycosylation of proteins is one of the most prevalent posttranslational modifications in nature. Accordingly, a pathway with shared commonalities is found in all three domains of life. While excellent model systems have been developed for studying N-glycosylation in both Eukarya and Bacteria, an understanding of this process in Archaea was hampered until recently by a lack of effective molecular tools. However, within the last decade, impressive advances in the study of the archaeal version of this important pathway have been made for halophiles, methanogens, and thermoacidophiles, combining glycan structural information obtained by mass spectrometry with bioinformatic, genetic, biochemical, and enzymatic data. These studies reveal both features shared with the eukaryal and bacterial domains and novel archaeon-specific aspects. Unique features of N-glycosylation in Archaea include the presence of unusual dolichol lipid carriers, the use of a variety of linking sugars that connect the glycan to proteins, the presence of novel sugars as glycan constituents, the presence of two very different N-linked glycans attached to the same protein, and the ability to vary the N-glycan composition under different growth conditions. These advances are the focus of this review, with an emphasis on N-glycosylation pathways in Haloferax, Methanococcus, and Sulfolobus. PMID:24847024

  6. OTUB1 Co-opts Lys48-Linked Ubiquitin Recognition to Suppress E2 Enzyme Function

    SciTech Connect

    Juang, Yu-Chi; Landry, Marie-Claude; Sanches, Mario; Vittal, Vinayak; Leung, Charles C.Y.; Ceccarelli, Derek F.; Mateo, Abigail-Rachele F.; Pruneda, Jonathan N.; Mao, Daniel Y.L.; Szilard, Rachel K.; Orlicky, Stephen; Munro, Meagan; Brzovic, Peter S.; Klevit, Rachel E.; Sicheri, Frank; Durocher, Daniel

    2012-03-26

    Ubiquitylation entails the concerted action of E1, E2, and E3 enzymes. We recently reported that OTUB1, a deubiquitylase, inhibits the DNA damage response independently of its isopeptidase activity. OTUB1 does so by blocking ubiquitin transfer by UBC13, the cognate E2 enzyme for RNF168. OTUB1 also inhibits E2s of the UBE2D and UBE2E families. Here we elucidate the structural mechanism by which OTUB1 binds E2s to inhibit ubiquitin transfer. OTUB1 recognizes ubiquitin-charged E2s through contacts with both donor ubiquitin and the E2 enzyme. Surprisingly, free ubiquitin associates with the canonical distal ubiquitin-binding site on OTUB1 to promote formation of the inhibited E2 complex. Lys48 of donor ubiquitin lies near the OTUB1 catalytic site and the C terminus of free ubiquitin, a configuration that mimics the products of Lys48-linked ubiquitin chain cleavage. OTUB1 therefore co-opts Lys48-linked ubiquitin chain recognition to suppress ubiquitin conjugation and the DNA damage response.

  7. Growth inhibition of MCF-7 tumor cell line by phenylacetate linked to functionalized dextran.

    PubMed

    Frank, L; Avramoglou, T; Sainte-Catherine, O; Jozefonvicz, J; Kraemer, M

    2004-01-01

    We investigated the antiproliferative effect of phenylacetate covalently linked to dextran derivatives (DMCBPA conjugates) on human breast cancer MCF-7 cells. We show that free sodium phenylacetate (NaPA) inhibits the cell growth (IC50 = 14 mM), while an important inhibitory effect is observed for DMCBPA conjugates. The IC50 dose of these conjugates is as low as 1.0 mg/ml, corresponding to 1.3 mM of phenylacetate. The precursors, dextran substituted with methylcarboxylate and benzylamide groups, did not affect the growth of MCF-7 tumor cells. We have observed that MCF-7 cell growth inhibition depends on amount of phenylacetate linked to the conjugate. The data indicated that an optimum antiproliferative effect is more significant when the amount of phenylacetate groups present on the dextran backbone is high. Analysis of doubling time by growth kinetics study shows that conjugates have more time-sustained effect than free NaPA. It is noteworthy that the inhibitory effect is observed at non-toxic concentration. Theses conjugates could be considered as acceptable derivatives to prevent tumor progression.

  8. Integrin-linked kinase mediates force transduction in cardiomyocytes by modulating SERCA2a/PLN function.

    PubMed

    Traister, Alexandra; Li, Mark; Aafaqi, Shabana; Lu, Mingliang; Arab, Sara; Radisic, Milica; Gross, Gil; Guido, Fiorella; Sherret, John; Verma, Subodh; Slorach, Cameron; Mertens, Luc; Hui, Wei; Roy, Anna; Delgado-Olguín, Paul; Hannigan, Gregory; Maynes, Jason T; Coles, John G

    2014-09-11

    Human dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) manifests as a profound reduction in biventricular cardiac function that typically progresses to death or cardiac transplantation. There is no effective mechanism-based therapy currently available for DCM, in part because the transduction of mechanical load into dynamic changes in cardiac contractility (termed mechanotransduction) remains an incompletely understood process during both normal cardiac function and in disease states. Here we show that the mechanoreceptor protein integrin-linked kinase (ILK) mediates cardiomyocyte force transduction through regulation of the key calcium regulatory protein sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+)ATPase isoform 2a (SERCA-2a) and phosphorylation of phospholamban (PLN) in the human heart. A non-oncogenic ILK mutation with a synthetic point mutation in the pleckstrin homology-like domain (ILK(R211A)) is shown to enhance global cardiac function through SERCA-2a/PLN. Thus, ILK serves to link mechanoreception to the dynamic modulation of cardiac contractility through a previously undiscovered interaction with the functional SERCA-2a/PLN module that can be exploited to rescue impaired mechanotransduction in DCM.

  9. Converging genetic and functional brain imaging evidence links neuronal excitability to working memory, psychiatric disease, and brain activity.

    PubMed

    Heck, Angela; Fastenrath, Matthias; Ackermann, Sandra; Auschra, Bianca; Bickel, Horst; Coynel, David; Gschwind, Leo; Jessen, Frank; Kaduszkiewicz, Hanna; Maier, Wolfgang; Milnik, Annette; Pentzek, Michael; Riedel-Heller, Steffi G; Ripke, Stephan; Spalek, Klara; Sullivan, Patrick; Vogler, Christian; Wagner, Michael; Weyerer, Siegfried; Wolfsgruber, Steffen; de Quervain, Dominique J-F; Papassotiropoulos, Andreas

    2014-03-05

    Working memory, the capacity of actively maintaining task-relevant information during a cognitive task, is a heritable trait. Working memory deficits are characteristic for many psychiatric disorders. We performed genome-wide gene set enrichment analyses in multiple independent data sets of young and aged cognitively healthy subjects (n = 2,824) and in a large schizophrenia case-control sample (n = 32,143). The voltage-gated cation channel activity gene set, consisting of genes related to neuronal excitability, was robustly linked to performance in working memory-related tasks across ages and to schizophrenia. Functional brain imaging in 707 healthy participants linked this gene set also to working memory-related activity in the parietal cortex and the cerebellum. Gene set analyses may help to dissect the molecular underpinnings of cognitive dimensions, brain activity, and psychopathology.

  10. Fast solid-phase extraction of N-linked glycopeptides by amine-functionalized mesoporous silica nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Miao, Weili; Zhang, Cheng; Cai, Yan; Zhang, Ying; Lu, Haojie

    2016-04-21

    Selective enrichment is a crucial step before the mass spectrometric analysis of glycoproteins. A new approach using 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES)-functionalized mesoporous silica materials (SBA-15) was reported to enrich the glycoproteins. Selective extraction of glycopeptides was achieved through coupling the oxidized glycan chains on the glycopeptides with the amine groups on SBA-15 through a reductive amination reaction, then the captured glycopeptides were detached from the SBA-15 for the following MS analysis using the enzyme PNGase F. Because the mesoporous material has a confinement effect, the efficiency of enrichment and enzymatic deglycosylation was improved dramatically. The coupling time was shortened from 4 hours to 1 hour, and the deglycosylation time was greatly shortened from 6 hours to 3 hours. This approach was successfully applied to profile the N-glycoproteome of human colorectal cancer serum. 84 N-linked glycosylation sites from 56 N-linked glycoproteins were identified from as little as 5 μL serum.

  11. A three-way parallel ICA approach to analyze links among genetics, brain structure and brain function.

    PubMed

    Vergara, Victor M; Ulloa, Alvaro; Calhoun, Vince D; Boutte, David; Chen, Jiayu; Liu, Jingyu

    2014-09-01

    Multi-modal data analysis techniques, such as the Parallel Independent Component Analysis (pICA), are essential in neuroscience, medical imaging and genetic studies. The pICA algorithm allows the simultaneous decomposition of up to two data modalities achieving better performance than separate ICA decompositions and enabling the discovery of links between modalities. However, advances in data acquisition techniques facilitate the collection of more than two data modalities from each subject. Examples of commonly measured modalities include genetic information, structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and functional MRI. In order to take full advantage of the available data, this work extends the pICA approach to incorporate three modalities in one comprehensive analysis. Simulations demonstrate the three-way pICA performance in identifying pairwise links between modalities and estimating independent components which more closely resemble the true sources than components found by pICA or separate ICA analyses. In addition, the three-way pICA algorithm is applied to real experimental data obtained from a study that investigate genetic effects on alcohol dependence. Considered data modalities include functional MRI (contrast images during alcohol exposure paradigm), gray matter concentration images from structural MRI and genetic single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP). The three-way pICA approach identified links between a SNP component (pointing to brain function and mental disorder associated genes, including BDNF, GRIN2B and NRG1), a functional component related to increased activation in the precuneus area, and a gray matter component comprising part of the default mode network and the caudate. Although such findings need further verification, the simulation and in-vivo results validate the three-way pICA algorithm presented here as a useful tool in biomedical data fusion applications.

  12. Linking multidimensional functional diversity to quantitative methods: a graphical hypothesis--evaluation framework.

    PubMed

    Boersma, Kate S; Dee, Laura E; Miller, Steve J; Bogan, Michael T; Lytle, David A; Gitelman, Alix I

    2016-03-01

    Functional trait analysis is an appealing approach to study differences among biological communities because traits determine species' responses to the environment and their impacts on ecosystem functioning. Despite a rapidly expanding quantitative literature, it remains challenging to conceptualize concurrent changes in multiple trait dimensions ("trait space") and select quantitative functional diversity methods to test hypotheses prior to analysis. To address this need, we present a widely applicable framework for visualizing ecological phenomena in trait space to guide the selection, application, and interpretation of quantitative functional diversity methods. We describe five hypotheses that represent general patterns of responses to disturbance in functional community ecology and then apply a formal decision process to determine appropriate quantitative methods to test ecological hypotheses. As a part of this process, we devise a new statistical approach to test for functional turnover among communities. Our combination of hypotheses and metrics can be applied broadly to address ecological questions across a range of systems and study designs. We illustrate the framework with a case study of disturbance in freshwater communities. This hypothesis-driven approach will increase the rigor and transparency of applied functional trait studies.

  13. Linking Changes in Management and Riparian Physical Functionality to Water Quality and Aquatic Habitat

    EPA Science Inventory

    Wildlife and aquatic habitats are dependent on the development of riparian area management strategies. Land management strategies consider certain basic ecological and economic relationships. These relationships are functions of riparian and te rrestrial ecosystems, which include...

  14. Linking variability in brain chemistry and circuit function through multimodal human neuroimaging.

    PubMed

    Fisher, P M; Hariri, A R

    2012-08-01

    Identifying neurobiological mechanisms mediating the emergence of individual differences in behavior is critical for advancing our understanding of relative risk for psychopathology. Neuroreceptor positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) can be used to assay in vivo regional brain chemistry and function, respectively. Typically, these neuroimaging modalities are implemented independently despite the capacity for integrated data sets to offer unique insight into molecular mechanisms associated with brain function. Through examples from the serotonin and dopamine system and its effects on threat- and reward-related brain function, we review evidence for how such a multimodal neuroimaging strategy can be successfully implemented. Furthermore, we discuss how multimodal PET-fMRI can be integrated with techniques such as imaging genetics, pharmacological challenge paradigms and gene-environment interaction models to more completely map biological pathways mediating individual differences in behavior and related risk for psychopathology and inform the development of novel therapeutic targets.

  15. Extending CATH: increasing coverage of the protein structure universe and linking structure with function.

    PubMed

    Cuff, Alison L; Sillitoe, Ian; Lewis, Tony; Clegg, Andrew B; Rentzsch, Robert; Furnham, Nicholas; Pellegrini-Calace, Marialuisa; Jones, David; Thornton, Janet; Orengo, Christine A

    2011-01-01

    CATH version 3.3 (class, architecture, topology, homology) contains 128,688 domains, 2386 homologous superfamilies and 1233 fold groups, and reflects a major focus on classifying structural genomics (SG) structures and transmembrane proteins, both of which are likely to add structural novelty to the database and therefore increase the coverage of protein fold space within CATH. For CATH version 3.4 we have significantly improved the presentation of sequence information and associated functional information for CATH superfamilies. The CATH superfamily pages now reflect both the functional and structural diversity within the superfamily and include structural alignments of close and distant relatives within the superfamily, annotated with functional information and details of conserved residues. A significantly more efficient search function for CATH has been established by implementing the search server Solr (http://lucene.apache.org/solr/). The CATH v3.4 webpages have been built using the Catalyst web framework.

  16. Linking plat traits at ecosystem scale to ecosystem functions as observed by eddy covariance measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sadat Musavi, Talie; Kattge, Jens; Mahecha, Miguel; Reichstein, Markus; Van de Weg, Marjan; Van Bodegom, Peter; Bahn, Michael

    2013-04-01

    In this study we analyze the correlation structure among plant traits, ecosystem functional properties, characteristics of climate, soil and vegetation at 253 FLUXNET sites. This correlation structure may provide a basis for assessing vegetation functioning and its vulnerability under climate change. Until now, analyses of the FLUXNET dataset have shown that much of the observed spatial and temporal variation of ecosystem fluxes can be explained and scaled by information on soil, climate and vegetation structure, without considering the variation in the functional characteristics of the vegetation occurring at the FLUXNET sites. Instead, these studies have used plant functional types (PFT) as a parameter representing the vegetation influence on fluxes. However, provided the variability in traits that exists within an individual PFT at different sites, we analyze in this study how traits additionally influence ecosystem functional properties. We use community mean trait values to understand how vegetation characteristics relate to ecosystem functional properties, like maximum GPP at light saturation, or photosynthetic water use efficiency. These functional properties are derived from the combination of ecosystem level flux observation and information of spatial meteorology and vegetation remote sensing covariates. In addition, we investigate whether vegetation characteristics have an influence on ecosystem fluxes when combined with climate and soil information. So far analyses of this kind were impossible due to a lack of plant trait information. But the plant trait dataset TRY has been growing for years and in combination with novel methods in machine learning. We now have the opportunity to predict plant trait values for individual sites. We will present first results focusing on the relationship of ecosystem functional properties to leaf traits like specific leaf area and leaf carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus concentration scaled to canopy level.

  17. Application of the Principle of Linked Functions to ATP-Driven Ion Pumps: Kinetics of Activation by ATP

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reynolds, Jacqueline A.; Johnson, Edward A.; Tanford, Charles

    1985-06-01

    If a ligand binds with unequal affinity to two distinct states of a protein, then the equilibrium between the two states becomes a function of the concentration of the ligand. A necessary consequence is that the ligand must also affect the forward and/or reverse rate constants for transition between the two states. For an enzyme or transport protein with such a transition as a slow step in the catalytic cycle, the overall rate also becomes a function of ligand concentration. These conclusions are independent of whether or not the ligand is a direct participant in the reaction. If it is a direct partitipant, then the kinetic effect arising from the principle of linked functions is distinct from the direct catalytic effect. These principles suffice to account for the biphasic response of the hydrolytic activity of ATP-driven ion pumps to the concentration of ATP, without the need to invoke more than one ATP binding site per catalytic center.

  18. Rice DB: an Oryza Information Portal linking annotation, subcellular location, function, expression, regulation, and evolutionary information for rice and Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Narsai, Reena; Devenish, James; Castleden, Ian; Narsai, Kabir; Xu, Lin; Shou, Huixia; Whelan, James

    2013-12-01

    Omics research in Oryza sativa (rice) relies on the use of multiple databases to obtain different types of information to define gene function. We present Rice DB, an Oryza information portal that is a functional genomics database, linking gene loci to comprehensive annotations, expression data and the subcellular location of encoded proteins. Rice DB has been designed to integrate the direct comparison of rice with Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), based on orthology or 'expressology', thus using and combining available information from two pre-eminent plant models. To establish Rice DB, gene identifiers (more than 40 types) and annotations from a variety of sources were compiled, functional information based on large-scale and individual studies was manually collated, hundreds of microarrays were analysed to generate expression annotations, and the occurrences of potential functional regulatory motifs in promoter regions were calculated. A range of computational subcellular localization predictions were also run for all putative proteins encoded in the rice genome, and experimentally confirmed protein localizations have been collated, curated and linked to functional studies in rice. A single search box allows anything from gene identifiers (for rice and/or Arabidopsis), motif sequences, subcellular location, to keyword searches to be entered, with the capability of Boolean searches (such as AND/OR). To demonstrate the utility of Rice DB, several examples are presented including a rice mitochondrial proteome, which draws on a variety of sources for subcellular location data within Rice DB. Comparisons of subcellular location, functional annotations, as well as transcript expression in parallel with Arabidopsis reveals examples of conservation between rice and Arabidopsis, using Rice DB (http://ricedb.plantenergy.uwa.edu.au).

  19. Rice DB: an Oryza Information Portal linking annotation, subcellular location, function, expression, regulation, and evolutionary information for rice and Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    Narsai, Reena; Devenish, James; Castleden, Ian; Narsai, Kabir; Xu, Lin; Shou, Huixia; Whelan, James

    2013-01-01

    Omics research in Oryza sativa (rice) relies on the use of multiple databases to obtain different types of information to define gene function. We present Rice DB, an Oryza information portal that is a functional genomics database, linking gene loci to comprehensive annotations, expression data and the subcellular location of encoded proteins. Rice DB has been designed to integrate the direct comparison of rice with Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), based on orthology or ‘expressology’, thus using and combining available information from two pre-eminent plant models. To establish Rice DB, gene identifiers (more than 40 types) and annotations from a variety of sources were compiled, functional information based on large-scale and individual studies was manually collated, hundreds of microarrays were analysed to generate expression annotations, and the occurrences of potential functional regulatory motifs in promoter regions were calculated. A range of computational subcellular localization predictions were also run for all putative proteins encoded in the rice genome, and experimentally confirmed protein localizations have been collated, curated and linked to functional studies in rice. A single search box allows anything from gene identifiers (for rice and/or Arabidopsis), motif sequences, subcellular location, to keyword searches to be entered, with the capability of Boolean searches (such as AND/OR). To demonstrate the utility of Rice DB, several examples are presented including a rice mitochondrial proteome, which draws on a variety of sources for subcellular location data within Rice DB. Comparisons of subcellular location, functional annotations, as well as transcript expression in parallel with Arabidopsis reveals examples of conservation between rice and Arabidopsis, using Rice DB (http://ricedb.plantenergy.uwa.edu.au). PMID:24147765

  20. Highly stable pyridinium-functionalized cross-linked anion exchange membranes for all vanadium redox flow batteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeng, L.; Zhao, T. S.; Wei, L.; Zeng, Y. K.; Zhang, Z. H.

    2016-11-01

    It has recently been demonstrated that the use of anion exchange membranes (AEMs) in vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFBs) can reduce the migration of vanadium ions through the membrane due to the Donnan exclusion effect among the positively charged functional groups and vanadium ions. However, AEMs are plagued by low chemical stability in harsh chemical environments. Here we propose and fabricate a pyridinium-functionalized cross-linked AEM for VRFBs. The pyridinium-functionalized bromomethylated poly (2,6-dimethyl-1,4-phenylene oxide) exhibits a superior chemical stability as a result of the strengthened internal cross-linking networks and the chemical inertness of the polymer backbone. Therefore, the membrane exhibits littler decay in a harsh environment for 20 days during the course of an ex situ immersion test. A cycling test also demonstrates that the VRFB assembled with the membrane enable to retain 80% of the initial discharge capacity over 537 cycles with a capacity decay rate of 0.037% cycle-1. Meanwhile, the membrane also shows a low vanadium permeability and a reasonably high conductivity in supporting electrolytes. Hence, all the measurements and performance tests reported in this work suggest that the membrane is a promising AEM for redox flow batteries to achieve excellent cycling stability and superior cell performance.

  1. Psychological symptoms linking exposure to community violence and academic functioning in African American adolescents.

    PubMed

    Busby, Danielle R; Lambert, Sharon F; Ialongo, Nicholas S

    2013-02-01

    African American adolescents are exposed disproportionately to community violence, increasing their risk for emotional and behavioral symptoms that can detract from learning and undermine academic outcomes. The present study examined whether aggressive behavior and depressive and anxious symptoms mediated the association between exposure to community violence and academic functioning, and if the indirect effects of community violence on academic functioning differed for boys and girls, in a community sample of urban African American adolescents (N = 491; 46.6 % female). Structural equation modeling was used to examine the indirect effect of exposure to community violence in grade 6 on grade 8 academic functioning. Results revealed that aggression in grade 7 mediated the association between grade 6 exposure to community violence and grade 8 academic functioning. There were no indirect effects through depressive and anxious symptoms, and gender did not moderate the indirect effect. Findings highlight the importance of targeting aggressive behavior for youth exposed to community violence to not only improve their behavioral adjustment but also their academic functioning. Implications for future research are discussed.

  2. Neuroligins and neurexins: linking cell adhesion, synapse formation and cognitive function.

    PubMed

    Dean, Camin; Dresbach, Thomas

    2006-01-01

    Cell adhesion represents the most direct way of coordinating synaptic connectivity in the brain. Recent evidence highlights the importance of a trans-synaptic interaction between postsynaptic neuroligins and presynaptic neurexins. These transmembrane molecules bind each other extracellularly to promote adhesion between dendrites and axons. This signals the recruitment of presynaptic and postsynaptic molecules to form a functional synapse. Remarkably, neuroligins alone can induce the formation of fully functional presynaptic terminals in contacting axons. Conversely, neurexins alone can induce postsynaptic differentiation and clustering of receptors in dendrites. Therefore, the neuroligin-neurexin interaction has the unique ability to act as a bi-directional trigger of synapse formation. Here, we review several recent studies that offer clues as to how these proteins form synapses and how they might function in the brain to establish and modify neuronal network properties and cognition.

  3. Functional deregulation of KIT: link to mast cell proliferative diseases and other neoplasms.

    PubMed

    Cruse, Glenn; Metcalfe, Dean D; Olivera, Ana

    2014-05-01

    In this review, the authors discuss common gain-of-function mutations in the stem cell factor receptor KIT found in mast cell proliferation disorders and summarize the current understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which these transforming mutations may affect KIT structure and function leading to altered downstream signaling and cellular transformation. Drugs targeting KIT have shown mixed success in the treatment of mastocytosis and other hyperproliferative diseases. A brief overview of the most common KIT inhibitors currently used, the reasons for the varied clinical results of such inhibitors and a discussion of potential new strategies are provided.

  4. Callosal Function in Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury Linked to Disrupted White Matter Integrity

    PubMed Central

    Dennis, Emily L.; Ellis, Monica U.; Marion, Sarah D.; Jin, Yan; Moran, Lisa; Olsen, Alexander; Kernan, Claudia; Babikian, Talin; Mink, Richard; Babbitt, Christopher; Johnson, Jeffrey; Giza, Christopher C.; Asarnow, Robert F.

    2015-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) often results in traumatic axonal injury and white matter (WM) damage, particularly to the corpus callosum (CC). Damage to the CC can lead to impaired performance on neurocognitive tasks, but there is a high degree of heterogeneity in impairment following TBI. Here we examined the relation between CC microstructure and function in pediatric TBI. We used high angular resolution diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) to evaluate the structural integrity of the CC in humans following brain injury in a sample of 32 children (23 males and 9 females) with moderate-to-severe TBI (msTBI) at 1–5 months postinjury, compared with well matched healthy control children. We assessed CC function through interhemispheric transfer time (IHTT) as measured using event-related potentials (ERPs), and related this to DWI measures of WM integrity. Finally, the relation between DWI and IHTT results was supported by additional results of neurocognitive performance assessed using a single composite performance scale. Half of the msTBI participants (16 participants) had significantly slower IHTTs than the control group. This slow IHTT group demonstrated lower CC integrity (lower fractional anisotropy and higher mean diffusivity) and poorer neurocognitive functioning than both the control group and the msTBI group with normal IHTTs. Lower fractional anisotropy—a common sign of impaired WM—and slower IHTTs also predicted poor neurocognitive function. This study reveals that there is a subset of pediatric msTBI patients during the post-acute phase of injury who have markedly impaired CC functioning and structural integrity that is associated with poor neurocognitive functioning. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the primary cause of death and disability in children and adolescents. There is considerable heterogeneity in postinjury outcome, which is only partially explained by injury severity. Imaging biomarkers may help explain some of this

  5. The proton-linked monocarboxylate transporter (MCT) family: structure, function and regulation.

    PubMed Central

    Halestrap, A P; Price, N T

    1999-01-01

    Monocarboxylates such as lactate and pyruvate play a central role in cellular metabolism and metabolic communication between tissues. Essential to these roles is their rapid transport across the plasma membrane, which is catalysed by a recently identified family of proton-linked monocarboxylate transporters (MCTs). Nine MCT-related sequences have so far been identified in mammals, each having a different tissue distribution, whereas six related proteins can be recognized in Caenorhabditis elegans and 4 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Direct demonstration of proton-linked lactate and pyruvate transport has been demonstrated for mammalian MCT1-MCT4, but only for MCT1 and MCT2 have detailed analyses of substrate and inhibitor kinetics been described following heterologous expression in Xenopus oocytes. MCT1 is ubiquitously expressed, but is especially prominent in heart and red muscle, where it is up-regulated in response to increased work, suggesting a special role in lactic acid oxidation. By contrast, MCT4 is most evident in white muscle and other cells with a high glycolytic rate, such as tumour cells and white blood cells, suggesting it is expressed where lactic acid efflux predominates. MCT2 has a ten-fold higher affinity for substrates than MCT1 and MCT4 and is found in cells where rapid uptake at low substrate concentrations may be required, including the proximal kidney tubules, neurons and sperm tails. MCT3 is uniquely expressed in the retinal pigment epithelium. The mechanisms involved in regulating the expression of different MCT isoforms remain to be established. However, there is evidence for alternative splicing of the 5'- and 3'-untranslated regions and the use of alternative promoters for some isoforms. In addition, MCT1 and MCT4 have been shown to interact specifically with OX-47 (CD147), a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily with a single transmembrane helix. This interaction appears to assist MCT expression at the cell surface. There is still

  6. Polysiloxane Functionalized Carbon Dots and Their Cross-Linked Flexible Silicone Rubbers for Color Conversion and Encapsulation of White LEDs.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yunfeng; Yin, Zhengmao; Xie, Zheng; Zhao, Xinxin; Zhou, Chuanjian; Zhou, Shuyun; Chen, Ping

    2016-04-20

    In this work, aminopropylmethylpolysiloxane (AMS) functionalized luminescent carbon dots (AMS-CDs) were prepared via a one-step solvothermal method. AMS-CDs could be self- or co-cross-linking with AMS to form 3D flexible transparent silicone rubbers (SRs) where CDs acted as cross-linking points, so the loading fraction of AMS-CDs could be adjusted from 10 to 100 wt %, thus modulating fluorescence properties and flexibility of silicone rubbers. Because of the self-curing property and high thermal stability, AMS-CDs were also studied in white LEDs (WLEDs), serving as a color conversion and encapsulation layer of GaN based blue LEDs simultaneously that would avoid the traditional problem of poor compatibility between emitting and packaging materials. And the color coordinate of AMS-CDs based WLEDs (0.33, 0.28) was very close to the pure white light. In addition, the obtained CDs cross-linked SRs had good transparency (T > 80%) at 510-1400 nm and high refractive indexes (1.33-1.54) that could meet the need of commercial packaging materials and optical application. AMS-CDs were also promising to be used in the UV LEDs based WLEDs according to their wide wavelength emission and flexible optoelectronic device.

  7. Ogt-dependent X-chromosome-linked protein glycosylation is a requisite modification in somatic cell function and embryo viability.

    PubMed

    O'Donnell, Niall; Zachara, Natasha E; Hart, Gerald W; Marth, Jamey D

    2004-02-01

    The Ogt gene encodes a glycosyltransferase that links N-acetylglucosamine to serine and threonine residues (O-GlcNAc) on nuclear and cytosolic proteins. Efforts to study a mammalian model of Ogt deficiency have been hindered by the requirement for this X-linked gene in embryonic stem cell viability, necessitating the use of conditional mutagenesis in vivo. We have extended these observations by segregating Ogt mutation to distinct somatic cell types, including neurons, thymocytes, and fibroblasts, the latter by an approach developed for inducible Ogt mutagenesis. We show that Ogt mutation results in the loss of O-GlcNAc and causes T-cell apoptosis, neuronal tau hyperphosphorylation, and fibroblast growth arrest with altered expression of c-Fos, c-Jun, c-Myc, Sp1, and p27. We further segregated the mutant Ogt allele to parental gametes by oocyte- and spermatid-specific Cre-loxP mutagenesis. By this we established an in vivo genetic approach that supports the ontogeny of female heterozygotes bearing mutant X-linked genes required during embryogenesis. Successful production and characterization of such female heterozygotes further indicates that mammalian cells commonly require a functional Ogt allele. We find that O-GlcNAc modulates protein phosphorylation and expression among essential and conserved cell signaling pathways.

  8. Biomechanical variation of silk links spinning plasticity to spider web function.

    PubMed

    Boutry, Cecilia; Blackledge, Todd A

    2009-01-01

    Spider silk is renowned for its high tensile strength, extensibility and toughness. However, the variability of these material properties has largely been ignored, especially at the intra-specific level. Yet, this variation could help us understand the function of spider webs. It may also point to the mechanisms used by spiders to control their silk production, which could be exploited to expand the potential range of applications for silk. In this study, we focus on variation of silk properties within different regions of cobwebs spun by the common house spider, Achaearanea tepidariorum. The cobweb is composed of supporting threads that function to maintain the web shape and hold spiders and prey, and of sticky gumfooted threads that adhere to insects during prey capture. Overall, structural properties, especially thread diameter, are more variable than intrinsic material properties, which may reflect past directional selection on certain silk performance. Supporting threads are thicker and able to bear higher loads, both before deforming permanently and before breaking, compared with sticky gumfooted threads. This may facilitate the function of supporting threads through sustained periods of time. In contrast, sticky gumfooted threads are more elastic, which may reduce the forces that prey apply to webs and allow them to contact multiple sticky capture threads. Therefore, our study suggests that spiders actively modify silk material properties during spinning in ways that enhance web function.

  9. Linking Ecosystem Services Benefit Transfer Databases and Ecosystem Services Production Function Libraries

    EPA Science Inventory

    The quantification or estimation of the economic and non-economic values of ecosystem services can be done from a number of distinct approaches. For example, practitioners may use ecosystem services production function models (ESPFMs) for a particular location, or alternatively, ...

  10. The speed of sound in silk: linking material performance to biological function.

    PubMed

    Mortimer, Beth; Gordon, Shira D; Holland, Chris; Siviour, Clive R; Vollrath, Fritz; Windmill, James F C

    2014-08-13

    Sonic properties of spider silks are measured independent of the web using laser vibrometry and ballistic impact providing insights into Nature's design of functionalized high-performance materials. Through comparison to cocoon silk and other industrial fibers, we find that major ampullate silk has the largest wavespeed range of any known material.

  11. “Bad Romance”: Links between Psychological and Physical Aggression and Relationship Functioning in Adolescent Couples

    PubMed Central

    Seiffge-Krenke, Inge; Burk, William J.

    2015-01-01

    Assortative mating is an important issue in explaining antisocial, aggressive behavior. It is yet unclear, whether the similarity paradigm fully explains frequent displays of aggression in adolescents’ romantic relationships. In a sample of 194 romantic partner dyads, differences between female and male partners’ reports of aggression (psychological and physical) and different measures of relationship functioning (e.g., jealousy, conflicts, and the affiliative and romantic quality of the relationship) were assessed. A hierarchical cluster analysis identified five distinct subgroups of dyads based on male and female reports of psychological and physical aggression: nonaggressive couples, couples with higher perceived aggressiveness (both physical and psychological) by females, couples with higher aggressiveness perceived by males and mutually aggressive couples. A substantial number of non-aggressive dyads emerged. Of note was the high number of females showing one-sided aggression, which was, however, not countered by their partner. The mutually aggressive couples showed the least adaptive relationship functioning, with a lack of supportive, trusting relationship qualities, high conflict rates and high jealousy. The discussion focuses on the different functions of aggression in these early romantic relations, and the aggravating impact of mutual aggression on relationship functioning and its potential antisocial outcomes. PMID:26067515

  12. Sex Differences in Mental Ability: A Proposed Means to Link Them to Brain Structure and Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Wendy; Bouchard, Thomas J., Jr.

    2007-01-01

    Recent work with the 42 mental ability tests administered to participants of the Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart (MISTRA) has suggested that there are important dimensions of mental ability that function independently of "g". Two of these dimensions, rotation-verbal and focus-diffusion, appear to involve trade-offs: greater…

  13. "Bad Romance": Links between Psychological and Physical Aggression and Relationship Functioning in Adolescent Couples.

    PubMed

    Seiffge-Krenke, Inge; Burk, William J

    2015-06-09

    Assortative mating is an important issue in explaining antisocial, aggressive behavior. It is yet unclear, whether the similarity paradigm fully explains frequent displays of aggression in adolescents' romantic relationships. In a sample of 194 romantic partner dyads, differences between female and male partners' reports of aggression (psychological and physical) and different measures of relationship functioning (e.g., jealousy, conflicts, and the affiliative and romantic quality of the relationship) were assessed. A hierarchical cluster analysis identified five distinct subgroups of dyads based on male and female reports of psychological and physical aggression: nonaggressive couples, couples with higher perceived aggressiveness (both physical and psychological) by females, couples with higher aggressiveness perceived by males and mutually aggressive couples. A substantial number of non-aggressive dyads emerged. Of note was the high number of females showing one-sided aggression, which was, however, not countered by their partner. The mutually aggressive couples showed the least adaptive relationship functioning, with a lack of supportive, trusting relationship qualities, high conflict rates and high jealousy. The discussion focuses on the different functions of aggression in these early romantic relations, and the aggravating impact of mutual aggression on relationship functioning and its potential antisocial outcomes.

  14. Stability and Change in Kindergartners' Friendships: Examination of Links with Social Functioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Proulx, Marie-France; Poulin, Francois

    2013-01-01

    Stability and change in kindergartners' friendships were examined based on a typology of profiles (stable, fluid, loss, gain, friendless). Our purpose was to determine whether children belonging to the five profiles differed in their social functioning. The sample was composed of 2353 kindergartners. Reciprocal friendships and social functioning…

  15. Does cognitive self-consciousness link older adults' cognitive functioning to obsessive-compulsive symptoms?

    PubMed

    Prouvost, Caroline; Calamari, John E; Woodard, John L

    2016-10-01

    To elucidate how obsessional symptoms might develop or intensify in late-life, we tested a risk model. We posited that cognitive self-consciousness (CSC), a tendency to be aware of and monitor thinking, would increase reactivity to aging-related cognitive changes and mediate the relationship between cognitive functioning and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) symptoms. Older adults (Mage = 76.7 years) completed the Dementia Rating Scale-2 (DRS-2), a CSC measure, and an OCD symptom measure up to four times over 18 months. A model that included DRS-2 age and education adjusted total score as the indicator of cognitive functioning fit the data well, and CSC score change mediated the relationship between initial cognitive functioning and changes in OCD symptoms. In tests of a model that included DRS-2 Initiation/Perseveration (I/P) and Conceptualization subscale scores, the model again fit the data well. Conceptualization scores, but not I/P scores, were related to later OCD symptoms, and change in CSC scores again mediated the relationship. Lower scores on initial cognitive functioning measures predicted increases in CSC scores over time, which in turn predicted increases in OCD symptoms over the 18 months of the study. Implications for understanding late-life obsessional problems are discussed.

  16. IKKbeta suppression of TSC1 function links the mTOR pathway with insulin resistance.

    PubMed

    Lee, Dung-Fang; Kuo, Hsu-Ping; Chen, Chun-Te; Wei, Yongkun; Chou, Chao-Kai; Hung, Jen-Yu; Yen, Chia-Jui; Hung, Mien-Chie

    2008-11-01

    The proinflammatory cytokine TNFalpha is one of the factors that links obesity-derived chronic inflammation with insulin resistance. Activation of mTOR signaling pathway has been found to suppress insulin sensitivity through serine phosphorylation and the inhibition of IRS1 by mTOR and its downstream effector, S6K1. It remains elusive that whether the mTOR pathway has a role in TNFalpha-mediated insulin resistance. In the present study, we demonstrated that TNFalpha-IKKbeta-mediated inactivation of TSC1 resulted in increasing phosphorylation of IRS1 serine 307 and serine 636/639, impaired insulin-induced glucose uptake, tyrosine phosphorylation of IRS1, and the association between IRS1 and PI3K p85. Furthermore, a higher expression of pIKKbeta (S181), pTSC1(S511), and pS6(S240/244) was found in livers obtained from both C57BL/6J mice on a high-fat diet and B6.V-Lepob/J mice. Collectively, dysregulation of the TSC1/ TSC2/mTOR signaling pathway by IKKbeta is a common molecular switch for both cancer pathogenesis and diet- and obesity-induced insulin resistance.

  17. Genetic and Environmental Models of Circadian Disruption Link SRC-2 Function to Hepatic Pathology.

    PubMed

    Fleet, Tiffany; Stashi, Erin; Zhu, Bokai; Rajapakshe, Kimal; Marcelo, Kathrina L; Kettner, Nicole M; Gorman, Blythe K; Coarfa, Cristian; Fu, Loning; O'Malley, Bert W; York, Brian

    2016-10-01

    Circadian rhythmicity is a fundamental process that synchronizes behavioral cues with metabolic homeostasis. Disruption of daily cycles due to jet lag or shift work results in severe physiological consequences including advanced aging, metabolic syndrome, and even cancer. Our understanding of the molecular clock, which is regulated by intricate positive feedforward and negative feedback loops, has expanded to include an important metabolic transcriptional coregulator, Steroid Receptor Coactivator-2 (SRC-2), that regulates both the central clock of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) and peripheral clocks including the liver. We hypothesized that an environmental uncoupling of the light-dark phases, termed chronic circadian disruption (CCD), would lead to pathology similar to the genetic circadian disruption observed with loss of SRC-2 We found that CCD and ablation of SRC-2 in mice led to a common comorbidity of metabolic syndrome also found in humans with circadian disruption, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The combination of SRC-2(-/-) and CCD results in a more robust phenotype that correlates with human non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) gene signatures. Either CCD or SRC-2 ablation produces an advanced aging phenotype leading to increased mortality consistent with other circadian mutant mouse models. Collectively, our studies demonstrate that SRC-2 provides an essential link between the behavioral activities influenced by light cues and the metabolic homeostasis maintained by the liver.

  18. Physical soil architectural traits are functionally linked to carbon decomposition and bacterial diversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rabbi, S. M. F.; Daniel, H.; Lockwood, P. V.; MacDonald, C.; Pereg, L.; Tighe, M.; Wilson, B. R.; Young, I. M.

    2016-09-01

    Aggregates play a key role in protecting soil organic carbon (SOC) from microbial decomposition. The objectives of this study were to investigate the influence of pore geometry on the organic carbon decomposition rate and bacterial diversity in both macro- (250–2000 μm) and micro-aggregates (53–250 μm) using field samples. Four sites of contrasting land use on Alfisols (i.e. native pasture, crop/pasture rotation, woodland) were investigated. 3D Pore geometry of the micro-aggregates and macro-aggregates were examined by X-ray computed tomography (μCT). The occluded particulate organic carbon (oPOC) of aggregates was measured by size and density fractionation methods. Micro-aggregates had 54% less μCT observed porosity but 64% more oPOC compared with macro-aggregates. In addition, the pore connectivity in micro-aggregates was lower than macro-aggregates. Despite both lower μCT observed porosity and pore connectivity in micro-aggregates, the organic carbon decomposition rate constant (Ksoc) was similar in both aggregate size ranges. Structural equation modelling showed a strong positive relationship of the concentration of oPOC with bacterial diversity in aggregates. We use these findings to propose a conceptual model that illustrates the dynamic links between substrate, bacterial diversity, and pore geometry that suggests a structural explanation for differences in bacterial diversity across aggregate sizes.

  19. A functional link between Wnt signaling and SKP2-independent p27 turnover in mammary tumors

    PubMed Central

    Miranda-Carboni, Gustavo A.; Krum, Susan A.; Yee, Kathleen; Nava, Miguel; Deng, Qiming E.; Pervin, Shehla; Collado-Hidalgo, Alicia; Galić, Zoran; Zack, Jerome A.; Nakayama, Keiko; Nakayama, Keiichi I.; Lane, Timothy F.

    2008-01-01

    Loss of the CDK inhibitor p27KIP1 is widely linked with poor prognosis in human cancer. In Wnt10b-expressing mammary tumors, levels of p27KIP1 were extremely low; conversely, Wnt10b-null mammary cells expressed high levels of this protein, suggesting Wnt-dependent regulation of p27KIP1. Interestingly we found that Wnt-induced turnover of p27KIP1 was independent from classical SCFSKP2-mediated degradation in both mouse and human cells. Instead, turnover required Cullin 4A and Cullin 4B, components of an alternative E3 ubiquitin ligase induced in response to active Wnt signaling. We found that CUL4A was a novel Wnt target gene in both mouse and human cells and that CUL4A physically interacted with p27KIP1 in Wnt-responding cells. We further demonstrated that both Cul4A and Cul4B were required for Wnt-induced p27KIP1 degradation and S-phase progression. CUL4A and CUL4B are therefore components of a conserved Wnt-induced proteasome targeting (WIPT) complex that regulates p27KIP1 levels and cell cycle progression in mammalian cells. PMID:19056892

  20. Physical soil architectural traits are functionally linked to carbon decomposition and bacterial diversity

    PubMed Central

    Rabbi, S. M. F.; Daniel, H.; Lockwood, P. V.; Macdonald, C.; Pereg, L.; Tighe, M.; Wilson, B. R.; Young, I. M.

    2016-01-01

    Aggregates play a key role in protecting soil organic carbon (SOC) from microbial decomposition. The objectives of this study were to investigate the influence of pore geometry on the organic carbon decomposition rate and bacterial diversity in both macro- (250–2000 μm) and micro-aggregates (53–250 μm) using field samples. Four sites of contrasting land use on Alfisols (i.e. native pasture, crop/pasture rotation, woodland) were investigated. 3D Pore geometry of the micro-aggregates and macro-aggregates were examined by X-ray computed tomography (μCT). The occluded particulate organic carbon (oPOC) of aggregates was measured by size and density fractionation methods. Micro-aggregates had 54% less μCT observed porosity but 64% more oPOC compared with macro-aggregates. In addition, the pore connectivity in micro-aggregates was lower than macro-aggregates. Despite both lower μCT observed porosity and pore connectivity in micro-aggregates, the organic carbon decomposition rate constant (Ksoc) was similar in both aggregate size ranges. Structural equation modelling showed a strong positive relationship of the concentration of oPOC with bacterial diversity in aggregates. We use these findings to propose a conceptual model that illustrates the dynamic links between substrate, bacterial diversity, and pore geometry that suggests a structural explanation for differences in bacterial diversity across aggregate sizes. PMID:27615807

  1. Linking hydrology, ecosystem function, and livelihood sustainability in African papyrus wetlands using a Bayesian Network Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Dam, A.; Gettel, G. M.; Kipkemboi, J.; Rahman, M. M.

    2011-12-01

    Papyrus wetlands in East Africa provide ecosystem services supporting the livelihoods of millions but are rapidly degrading due to economic development. For ecosystem conservation, an integrated understanding of the natural and social processes driving ecosystem change is needed. This research focuses on integrating the causal relationships between hydrology, ecosystem function, and livelihood sustainability in Nyando wetland, western Kenya. Livelihood sustainability is based on ecosystem services that include plant and animal harvest for building material and food, conversion of wetlands to crop and grazing land, water supply, and water quality regulation. Specific objectives were: to integrate studies of hydrology, ecology, and livelihood activities using a Bayesian Network (BN) model and include stakeholder involvement in model development. The BN model (Netica 4.16) had 35 nodes with seven decision nodes describing demography, economy, papyrus market, and rainfall, and two target nodes describing ecosystem function (defined by groundwater recharge, nutrient and sediment retention, and biodiversity) and livelihood sustainability (drinking water supply, crop production, livestock production, and papyrus yield). The conditional probability tables were populated using results of ecohydrological and socio-economic field work and consultations with stakeholders. The model was evaluated for an average year with decision node probabilities set according to data from research, expert opinion, and stakeholders' views. Then, scenarios for dry and wet seasons and for economic development (low population growth and unemployment) and policy development (more awareness of wetland value) were evaluated. In an average year, the probability for maintaining a "good" level of sediment and nutrient retention functions, groundwater recharge, and biodiversity was about 60%. ("Good" is defined by expert opinion based on ongoing field research.) In the dry season, the probability was

  2. LINKING LUNG AIRWAY STRUCTURE TO PULMONARY FUNCTION VIA COMPOSITE BRIDGE REGRESSION

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Kun; Hoffman, Eric A.; Seetharaman, Indu; Jiao, Feiran; Lin, Ching-Long; Chan, Kung-Sik

    2017-01-01

    The human lung airway is a complex inverted tree-like structure. Detailed airway measurements can be extracted from MDCT-scanned lung images, such as segmental wall thickness, airway diameter, parent-child branch angles, etc. The wealth of lung airway data provides a unique opportunity for advancing our understanding of the fundamental structure-function relationships within the lung. An important problem is to construct and identify important lung airway features in normal subjects and connect these to standardized pulmonary function test results such as FEV1%. Among other things, the problem is complicated by the fact that a particular airway feature may be an important (relevant) predictor only when it pertains to segments of certain generations. Thus, the key is an efficient, consistent method for simultaneously conducting group selection (lung airway feature types) and within-group variable selection (airway generations), i.e., bi-level selection. Here we streamline a comprehensive procedure to process the lung airway data via imputation, normalization, transformation and groupwise principal component analysis, and then adopt a new composite penalized regression approach for conducting bi-level feature selection. As a prototype of composite penalization, the proposed composite bridge regression method is shown to admit an efficient algorithm, enjoy bi-level oracle properties, and outperform several existing methods. We analyze the MDCT lung image data from a cohort of 132 subjects with normal lung function. Our results show that, lung function in terms of FEV1% is promoted by having a less dense and more homogeneous lung comprising an airway whose segments enjoy more heterogeneity in wall thicknesses, larger mean diameters, lumen areas and branch angles. These data hold the potential of defining more accurately the “normal” subject population with borderline atypical lung functions that are clearly influenced by many genetic and environmental factors. PMID

  3. Analysis of gene order conservation in eukaryotes identifies transcriptionally and functionally linked genes.

    PubMed

    Dávila López, Marcela; Martínez Guerra, Juan José; Samuelsson, Tore

    2010-05-14

    The order of genes in eukaryotes is not entirely random. Studies of gene order conservation are important to understand genome evolution and to reveal mechanisms why certain neighboring genes are more difficult to separate during evolution. Here, genome-wide gene order information was compiled for 64 species, representing a wide variety of eukaryotic phyla. This information is presented in a browser where gene order may be displayed and compared between species. Factors related to non-random gene order in eukaryotes were examined by considering pairs of neighboring genes. The evolutionary conservation of gene pairs was studied with respect to relative transcriptional direction, intergenic distance and functional relationship as inferred by gene ontology. The results show that among gene pairs that are conserved the divergently and co-directionally transcribed genes are much more common than those that are convergently transcribed. Furthermore, highly conserved pairs, in particular those of fungi, are characterized by a short intergenic distance. Finally, gene pairs of metazoa and fungi that are evolutionary conserved and that are divergently transcribed are much more likely to be related by function as compared to poorly conserved gene pairs. One example is the ribosomal protein gene pair L13/S16, which is unusual as it occurs both in fungi and alveolates. A specific functional relationship between these two proteins is also suggested by the fact that they are part of the same operon in both eubacteria and archaea. In conclusion, factors associated with non-random gene order in eukaryotes include relative gene orientation, intergenic distance and functional relationships. It seems likely that certain pairs of genes are conserved because the genes involved have a transcriptional and/or functional relationship. The results also indicate that studies of gene order conservation aid in identifying genes that are related in terms of transcriptional control.

  4. Analysis of Gene Order Conservation in Eukaryotes Identifies Transcriptionally and Functionally Linked Genes

    PubMed Central

    Dávila López, Marcela; Martínez Guerra, Juan José; Samuelsson, Tore

    2010-01-01

    The order of genes in eukaryotes is not entirely random. Studies of gene order conservation are important to understand genome evolution and to reveal mechanisms why certain neighboring genes are more difficult to separate during evolution. Here, genome-wide gene order information was compiled for 64 species, representing a wide variety of eukaryotic phyla. This information is presented in a browser where gene order may be displayed and compared between species. Factors related to non-random gene order in eukaryotes were examined by considering pairs of neighboring genes. The evolutionary conservation of gene pairs was studied with respect to relative transcriptional direction, intergenic distance and functional relationship as inferred by gene ontology. The results show that among gene pairs that are conserved the divergently and co-directionally transcribed genes are much more common than those that are convergently transcribed. Furthermore, highly conserved pairs, in particular those of fungi, are characterized by a short intergenic distance. Finally, gene pairs of metazoa and fungi that are evolutionary conserved and that are divergently transcribed are much more likely to be related by function as compared to poorly conserved gene pairs. One example is the ribosomal protein gene pair L13/S16, which is unusual as it occurs both in fungi and alveolates. A specific functional relationship between these two proteins is also suggested by the fact that they are part of the same operon in both eubacteria and archaea. In conclusion, factors associated with non-random gene order in eukaryotes include relative gene orientation, intergenic distance and functional relationships. It seems likely that certain pairs of genes are conserved because the genes involved have a transcriptional and/or functional relationship. The results also indicate that studies of gene order conservation aid in identifying genes that are related in terms of transcriptional control. PMID:20498846

  5. Functional connectivity of the striatum links motivation to action control in humans.

    PubMed

    Harsay, Helga A; Cohen, Michael X; Oosterhof, Nikolaas N; Forstmann, Birte U; Mars, Rogier B; Ridderinkhof, K Richard

    2011-07-20

    Motivation improves the efficiency of intentional behavior, but how this performance modulation is instantiated in the human brain remains unclear. We used a reward-cued antisaccade paradigm to investigate how motivational goals (the expectation of a reward for good performance) modulate patterns of neural activation and functional connectivity to improve preparation for antisaccade performance. Behaviorally, subjects performed better (faster and more accurate antisaccades) when they knew they would be rewarded for good performance. Reward anticipation was associated with increased activation in the ventral and dorsal striatum, and cortical oculomotor regions. Functional connectivity between the caudate nucleus and cortical oculomotor control structures predicted individual differences in the behavioral benefit of reward anticipation. We conclude that although both dorsal and ventral striatal circuitry are involved in the anticipation of reward, only the dorsal striatum and its connected cortical network is involved in the direct modulation of oculomotor behavior by motivational incentive.

  6. Linking the biology and physics of multifunctional grasses and soil hydrological function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacLeod, C. J. A.; Binley, A.; Haygarth, P. M.; Humphreys, M. W.; Joynes, A.; Papadopoulos, A.; Skot, L.; Turner, L. B.; Watts, C.; Whalley, W. R.

    2009-04-01

    Sustainable grassland systems need to function during periods of water deficit and excess. Traditionally, forage grasses have been bred for drought resistance and winter hardiness traits. There is a need to select for and grow grass cultivars under drought and water logged conditions, whilst delivering environmental services. A limited number of studies have been carried out on inter-species variability of plant water status and growth during periods of water deficit. However, little is known about how different grasses influence soil profile hydraulic properties. We have established and monitored the influence of grass type on soil hydrological properties and rainfall-runoff relationships. Changes in soil hydrological properties have been monitored using a range of soil physical and geophysical methods. In this paper we report on a large interdisciplinary project that is advancing our understanding of how grass selection may benefit soil hydraulic functioning during periods of water excess.

  7. An improved hypergeometric probability method for identification of functionally linked proteins using phylogenetic profiles.

    PubMed

    Kotaru, Appala Raju; Shameer, Khader; Sundaramurthy, Pandurangan; Joshi, Ramesh Chandra

    2013-01-01

    Predicting functions of proteins and alternatively spliced isoforms encoded in a genome is one of the important applications of bioinformatics in the post-genome era. Due to the practical limitation of experimental characterization of all proteins encoded in a genome using biochemical studies, bioinformatics methods provide powerful tools for function annotation and prediction. These methods also help minimize the growing sequence-to-function gap. Phylogenetic profiling is a bioinformatics approach to identify the influence of a trait across species and can be employed to infer the evolutionary history of proteins encoded in genomes. Here we propose an improved phylogenetic profile-based method which considers the co-evolution of the reference genome to derive the basic similarity measure, the background phylogeny of target genomes for profile generation and assigning weights to target genomes. The ordering of genomes and the runs of consecutive matches between the proteins were used to define phylogenetic relationships in the approach. We used Escherichia coli K12 genome as the reference genome and its 4195 proteins were used in the current analysis. We compared our approach with two existing methods and our initial results show that the predictions have outperformed two of the existing approaches. In addition, we have validated our method using a targeted protein-protein interaction network derived from protein-protein interaction database STRING. Our preliminary results indicates that improvement in function prediction can be attained by using coevolution-based similarity measures and the runs on to the same scale instead of computing them in different scales. Our method can be applied at the whole-genome level for annotating hypothetical proteins from prokaryotic genomes.

  8. An improved hypergeometric probability method for identification of functionally linked proteins using phylogenetic profiles

    PubMed Central

    Kotaru, Appala Raju; Shameer, Khader; Sundaramurthy, Pandurangan; Joshi, Ramesh Chandra

    2013-01-01

    Predicting functions of proteins and alternatively spliced isoforms encoded in a genome is one of the important applications of bioinformatics in the post-genome era. Due to the practical limitation of experimental characterization of all proteins encoded in a genome using biochemical studies, bioinformatics methods provide powerful tools for function annotation and prediction. These methods also help minimize the growing sequence-to-function gap. Phylogenetic profiling is a bioinformatics approach to identify the influence of a trait across species and can be employed to infer the evolutionary history of proteins encoded in genomes. Here we propose an improved phylogenetic profile-based method which considers the co-evolution of the reference genome to derive the basic similarity measure, the background phylogeny of target genomes for profile generation and assigning weights to target genomes. The ordering of genomes and the runs of consecutive matches between the proteins were used to define phylogenetic relationships in the approach. We used Escherichia coli K12 genome as the reference genome and its 4195 proteins were used in the current analysis. We compared our approach with two existing methods and our initial results show that the predictions have outperformed two of the existing approaches. In addition, we have validated our method using a targeted protein-protein interaction network derived from protein-protein interaction database STRING. Our preliminary results indicates that improvement in function prediction can be attained by using coevolution-based similarity measures and the runs on to the same scale instead of computing them in different scales. Our method can be applied at the whole-genome level for annotating hypothetical proteins from prokaryotic genomes. PMID:23750082

  9. Functional consequences of microbial shifts in the human gastrointestinal tract linked to antibiotic treatment and obesity.

    PubMed

    Hernández, Ester; Bargiela, Rafael; Diez, María Suárez; Friedrichs, Anette; Pérez-Cobas, Ana Elena; Gosalbes, María José; Knecht, Henrik; Martínez-Martínez, Mónica; Seifert, Jana; von Bergen, Martin; Artacho, Alejandro; Ruiz, Alicia; Campoy, Cristina; Latorre, Amparo; Ott, Stephan J; Moya, Andrés; Suárez, Antonio; Martins dos Santos, Vitor A P; Ferrer, Manuel

    2013-01-01

    The microbiomes in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) of individuals receiving antibiotics and those in obese subjects undergo compositional shifts, the metabolic effects and linkages of which are not clearly understood. Herein, we set to gain insight into these effects, particularly with regard to carbohydrate metabolism, and to contribute to unravel the underlying mechanisms and consequences for health conditions. We measured the activity level of GIT carbohydrate-active enzymes toward 23 distinct sugars in adults patients (n = 2) receiving 14-d β-lactam therapy and in obese (n = 7) and lean (n = 5) adolescents. We observed that both 14 d antibiotic-treated and obese subjects showed higher and less balanced sugar anabolic capacities, with 40% carbohydrates being preferentially processed as compared with non-treated and lean patients. Metaproteome-wide metabolic reconstructions confirmed that the impaired utilization of sugars propagated throughout the pentose phosphate metabolism, which had adverse consequences for the metabolic status of the GIT microbiota. The results point to an age-independent positive association between GIT glycosidase activity and the body mass index, fasting blood glucose and insulin resistance (r ( 2) ≥ 0.95). Moreover, antibiotics altered the active fraction of enzymes controlling the thickness, composition and consistency of the mucin glycans. Our data and analyses provide biochemical insights into the effects of antibiotic usage on the dynamics of the GIT microbiota and pin-point presumptive links to obesity. The knowledge and the hypotheses generated herein lay a foundation for subsequent, systematic research that will be paramount for the design of "smart" dietary and therapeutic interventions to modulate host-microbe metabolic co-regulation in intestinal homeostasis.

  10. Soil restoration with organic amendments: linking cellular functionality and ecosystem processes.

    PubMed

    Bastida, F; Selevsek, N; Torres, I F; Hernández, T; García, C

    2015-10-27

    A hot topic in recent decades, the application of organic amendments to arid-degraded soils has been shown to benefit microbially-mediated processes. However, despite the importance of soils for global sustainability, a gap has not been addressed yet in soil science: is there any connection between ecosystem-community processes, cellular functionality, and microbial lifestyles (i.e. oligotrophy-copiotrophy) in restored soils? Together with classical ecosystem indicators (fatty-acids, extracellular-enzyme activities, basal respiration), state-of-the-art metaproteomics was applied to fill this gap in a model-restoration experiment initiated 10-years ago by the addition of sewage-sludge and compost. Organic amendment strongly impacted ecosystem processes. Furthermore, the type of material used induced differences in the cellular functionalities through variations in the percentages of proteins involved in translation, transcription, energy production and C-fixation. We conclude that the long-term impact of organic restoration goes beyond ecosystem processes and affects cellular functionalities and phyla-lifestyles coupled with differences in microbial-community structures.

  11. Rab6-interacting protein 1 links Rab6 and Rab11 function.

    PubMed

    Miserey-Lenkei, Stéphanie; Waharte, François; Boulet, Annick; Cuif, Marie-Hélène; Tenza, Danielle; El Marjou, Amed; Raposo, Graça; Salamero, Jean; Héliot, Laurent; Goud, Bruno; Monier, Solange

    2007-10-01

    Rab11 and Rab6 guanosine triphosphatases are associated with membranes of the recycling endosomes (REs) and Golgi complex, respectively. Evidence indicates that they sequentially regulate a retrograde transport pathway between these two compartments, suggesting the existence of proteins that must co-ordinate their functions. Here, we report the characterization of two isoforms of a protein, Rab6-interacting protein 1 (R6IP1), originally identified as a Rab6-binding protein. R6IP1 also binds to Rab11A in its GTP-bound conformation. In interphase cells, R6IP1 is targeted to the Golgi in a Rab6-dependent manner but can associate with Rab11-positive compartments when the level of Rab11A is increased within the cells. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer analysis using fluorescence lifetime imaging shows that the overexpression of R6IP1 promotes an interaction between Rab11A and Rab6 in living cells. Accordingly, the REs marked by Rab11 and transferrin receptor are depleted from the cell periphery and accumulate in the pericentriolar area. However, endosomal and Golgi membranes do not appear to fuse with each other. We also show that R6IP1 function is required during metaphase and cytokinesis, two mitotic steps in which a role of Rab6 and Rab11 has been previously documented. We propose that R6IP1 may couple Rab6 and Rab11 function throughout the cell cycle.

  12. Soil restoration with organic amendments: linking cellular functionality and ecosystem processes

    PubMed Central

    Bastida, F.; Selevsek, N.; Torres, I. F.; Hernández, T.; García, C.

    2015-01-01

    A hot topic in recent decades, the application of organic amendments to arid-degraded soils has been shown to benefit microbially-mediated processes. However, despite the importance of soils for global sustainability, a gap has not been addressed yet in soil science: is there any connection between ecosystem-community processes, cellular functionality, and microbial lifestyles (i.e. oligotrophy-copiotrophy) in restored soils? Together with classical ecosystem indicators (fatty-acids, extracellular-enzyme activities, basal respiration), state-of-the-art metaproteomics was applied to fill this gap in a model-restoration experiment initiated 10-years ago by the addition of sewage-sludge and compost. Organic amendment strongly impacted ecosystem processes. Furthermore, the type of material used induced differences in the cellular functionalities through variations in the percentages of proteins involved in translation, transcription, energy production and C-fixation. We conclude that the long-term impact of organic restoration goes beyond ecosystem processes and affects cellular functionalities and phyla-lifestyles coupled with differences in microbial-community structures. PMID:26503516

  13. Soil restoration with organic amendments: linking cellular functionality and ecosystem processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bastida, F.; Selevsek, N.; Torres, I. F.; Hernández, T.; García, C.

    2015-10-01

    A hot topic in recent decades, the application of organic amendments to arid-degraded soils has been shown to benefit microbially-mediated processes. However, despite the importance of soils for global sustainability, a gap has not been addressed yet in soil science: is there any connection between ecosystem-community processes, cellular functionality, and microbial lifestyles (i.e. oligotrophy-copiotrophy) in restored soils? Together with classical ecosystem indicators (fatty-acids, extracellular-enzyme activities, basal respiration), state-of-the-art metaproteomics was applied to fill this gap in a model-restoration experiment initiated 10-years ago by the addition of sewage-sludge and compost. Organic amendment strongly impacted ecosystem processes. Furthermore, the type of material used induced differences in the cellular functionalities through variations in the percentages of proteins involved in translation, transcription, energy production and C-fixation. We conclude that the long-term impact of organic restoration goes beyond ecosystem processes and affects cellular functionalities and phyla-lifestyles coupled with differences in microbial-community structures.

  14. Linking functional and relational service quality to customer satisfaction and loyalty: differences between men and women.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Hernández, Rosa M; Martínez-Tur, Vicente; Peiró, José M; Moliner, Carolina

    2010-04-01

    This study assessed differences between men and women in the association of perceptions of service quality with customer evaluations. Functional (efficiency with which the service is delivered) and relational (customers' emotional benefits, beyond the core performance, related to the social interaction of customers with employees) dimensions of service quality were measured as well as customer satisfaction and loyalty. The sample of 277 customers (191 men, 86 women), surveyed in 29 Mexican hotels, had a mean age of 38.1 yr. (SD=9.7) for men and 34.5 yr. (SD=11.0) for women. To be eligible for survey, customers had to have spent at least one night in the hotel in question. Analysis indicated that the women and men differed in the association of functional and relational dimensions of service quality with their satisfaction and loyalty. Functional service quality was higher for the men than the women, while relational service quality showed greater predictive power for women than for men, although these accounted for only 4% of the customers' satisfaction variance and 6% of the loyalty variance.

  15. Linking carbon storage with functional diversity in tropical rainforest in the central Congo Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verbeeck, Hans; Kearsley, Elizabeth; Bauters, Marijn; Beeckman, Hans; Huygens, Dries; Steppe, Kathy; Boeckx, Pascal

    2015-04-01

    This presentation will show an overview of results of the COBIMFO project (Congo basin integrated monitoring for forest carbon mitigation and biodiversity). In the framework of this project we have established 21 permanent 1 ha sampling plots in different forest types in the Yangambi reserve. This UNESCO Man and Biosphere reserve has an area of more than 6000 km² and is located in the heart of the Congo Basin near the Yangambi research station (DR Congo). Analysis of the inventory data of these plots revealed that carbon stocks in mature forests in this area of the Congo Basin are significantly lower (24%) than stocks recorded in the outer regions of the basin. These lower stocks are attributed to a lower maximal tree height (Kearsley et al. 2013). In addition to the carbon inventories we collected leaf and wood samples on all species within 95% basal area of each of the Yangambi plots. A total of 995 individuals were sampled, covering 123 tree species. On the samples we measured 15 traits related to leaf and wood morphology and functioning. In the presented study, relationships between the observed functional diversity and biomass are analysed. One of the remarkable results of our analysis is that species with a high functional distinctiveness have a low contribution to the basal area and the carbon stocks. In contrast, species with a high contribution to the carbon stock have a low contribution to the functional diversity. Similar patterns have been observed elsewhere (e.g. Amazon basin), but are now for the first time confirmed for central African rainforest. Finally, we also present the first results of an analysis of carbons stocks and functional diversity in tropical plantations from a unique 70-years old tree diversity experiment that was established during the colonial period at the Yangambi research station. Kearsley, E., de Haulleville, T., Hufkens, K., Kidimbu, A., Toirambe, B., Baert, G., Huygens, D., Kebede, Y., Defourny, P., Bogaert, J., Beeckman, H

  16. Aliphatic polycarbonates based on carbon dioxide, furfuryl glycidyl ether, and glycidyl methyl ether: reversible functionalization and cross-linking.

    PubMed

    Hilf, Jeannette; Scharfenberg, Markus; Poon, Jeffrey; Moers, Christian; Frey, Holger

    2015-01-01

    Well-defined poly((furfuryl glycidyl ether)-co-(glycidyl methyl ether) carbonate) (P((FGE-co-GME)C)) copolymers with varying furfuryl glycidyl ether (FGE) content in the range of 26% to 100% are prepared directly from CO2 and the respective epoxides in a solvent-free synthesis. All materials are characterized by size-exclusion chromatography (SEC), (1)H NMR spectroscopy, and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The furfuryl-functional samples exhibit monomodal molecular weight distributions with Mw/Mn in the range of 1.16 to 1.43 and molecular weights (Mn) between 2300 and 4300 g mol(-1). Thermal properties reflect the amorphous structure of the polymers. Both post-functionalization and cross-linking are performed via Diels-Alder chemistry using maleimide derivatives, leading to reversible network formation. This transformation is shown to be thermally reversible at 110 °C.

  17. A functional comparison of cardiac troponin C from representatives of three vertebrate taxa: Linking phylogeny and protein function.

    PubMed

    Sears, Elizabeth J; Gillis, Todd E

    2016-12-01

    The Ca(2+) affinity of cardiac troponin C (cTnC) from rainbow trout is significantly greater than that of cTnC from mammalian species. This high affinity is thought to enable cardiac function in trout at low physiological temperatures and is due to residues Asn(2), Ile(28), Gln(29), and Asp(30) (Gillis et al., 2005, Physiol Genomics, 22, 1-7). Interestingly, the cTnC of the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis (frog cTnC) contains Gln(29) and Asp(30) but the residues at positions 2 and 28 are those found in all mammalian cTnC isoforms (Asp(2) and Val(28)). The purpose of this study was to determine the Ca(2+) affinity of frog cTnC, and to determine how these three protein orthologs influence the function of complete troponin complexes. Measurements of Ca(2+) affinity and the rate of Ca(2+) dissociation from the cTnC isoforms and cTn complexes were made by monitoring the fluorescence of anilinonapthalenesulfote iodoacetamide (IAANS) engineered into the cTnC isoforms to report changes in protein conformation. The results demonstrate that the Ca(2+) affinity of frog cTnC is greater than that of trout cTnC and human cTnC. We also found that replacing human cTnC with frog cTnC in a mammalian cTn complex increased the Ca(2+) affinity of the complex by 5-fold, which is also greater than complexes containing trout cTnC. Together these results suggest that frog cTnC has the potential to increase the Ca(2+) sensitivity of force generation by the mammalian heart.

  18. pH effects on the binding of oxygen to non-vertebrate monomeric hemoglobins. A linked function model.

    PubMed

    Saroff, Harry A

    2004-07-07

    Monomeric invertabrate hemoglobins with high oxygen affinity usually contain a tyrosine in the distal region of the heme. This feature has stimulated investigations revealing that one of the properties resulting from the presence of the distal tyrosines is a decreased off rate on the binding of oxygen, thus developing the high affinity. Despite that fact that the pK value of the tyrosine group differs significantly from the groups it replaces little attention has been paid to the pH dependence of the binding of oxygen to the high affinity hemoglobins. Such a pH dependence has been reported on two of the monomeric hemoglobins with relatively low oxygen affinity and one monomeric hemoglobin of intermediate affinity. The pH data of these hemoglobins has been analysed with a linked function model involving the hydrogen ion. pK values required for the low-affinity hemoglobins vary from 4.5 to 7.5. When applied to the high-affinity hemoglobins, the linked function model provides reasonable values for the binding parameters. These pK values vary from 3.0 to 9.0.

  19. Raf-1 Physically Interacts with Rb and Regulates Its Function: a Link between Mitogenic Signaling and Cell Cycle Regulation

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Sheng; Ghosh, Richik N.; Chellappan, Srikumar P.

    1998-01-01

    Cells initiate proliferation in response to growth factor stimulation, but the biochemical mechanisms linking signals received at the cell surface receptors to the cell cycle regulatory molecules are not yet clear. In this study, we show that the signaling molecule Raf-1 can physically interact with Rb and p130 proteins in vitro and in vivo and that this interaction can be detected in mammalian cells without overexpressing any component. The binding of Raf-1 to Rb occurs subsequent to mitogen stimulation, and this interaction can be detected only in proliferating cells. Raf-1 can inactivate Rb function and can reverse Rb-mediated repression of E2F1 transcription and cell proliferation efficiently. The region of Raf-1 involved in Rb binding spanned residues 1 to 28 at the N terminus, and functional inactivation of Rb required a direct interaction. Serum stimulation of quiescent human fibroblast HSF8 cells led to a partial translocation of Raf-1 into the nucleus, where it colocalized with Rb. Further, Raf-1 was able to phosphorylate Rb in vitro quite efficiently. We believe that the physical interaction of Raf-1 with Rb is a vital step in the growth factor-mediated induction of cell proliferation and that Raf-1 acts as a direct link between cell surface signaling cascades and the cell cycle machinery. PMID:9819434

  20. Imbalanced functional link between reward circuits and the cognitive control system in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

    PubMed

    Xie, Chunming; Ma, Lisha; Jiang, Nan; Huang, Ruyan; Li, Li; Gong, Liang; He, Cancan; Xiao, Chaoyong; Liu, Wen; Xu, Shu; Zhang, Zhijun

    2016-08-23

    Altered reward processing and cognitive deficits are often observed in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD); however, whether the imbalance in activity between reward circuits and the cognitive control (CC) system is associated with compulsive behavior remains unknown. Sixty-eight OCD patients and 33 cognitively normal (CN) healthy subjects participated in this resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging study. Alterations in the functional connectivity between reward circuits and the CC system were quantitatively assessed and compared between the groups. A Granger causality analysis was used to determine the causal informational influence between and within reward circuits and the CC system across all subjects. OCD patients showed a dichotomous pattern of enhanced functional coupling in their reward circuits and a weakened functional coupling in their CC system when compared to CN subjects. Neural correlates of compulsive behavior were primarily located in the reward circuits and CC system in OCD patients. Importantly, the CC system exerted a reduced interregional causal influence over the reward system in OCD patients relative to its effect in CN subjects. The limitations of this study are that it was a cross-sectional study and the potential effects of environmental and genetic factors were not explored. OCD patients showed an imbalance in the functional link between reward circuits and the CC system at rest. This bias toward a loss of control may define a pathological state in which subjects are more vulnerable to engaging in compulsive behaviors.

  1. The Final Link: Tapping the Power of Chemical Genetics to Connect the Molecular and Biologic Functions of Mitotic Protein Kinases

    PubMed Central

    Lera, Robert F.; Burkard, Mark E.

    2013-01-01

    During mitosis, protein kinases coordinate cellular reorganization and chromosome segregation to ensure accurate distribution of genetic information into daughter cells. Multiple protein kinases contribute to mitotic regulation, modulating molecular signaling more rapidly than possible with gene expression. However, a comprehensive understanding of how kinases regulate mitotic progression remains elusive. The challenge arises from multiple functions and substrates, a large number of “bystander” phosphorylation events, and the brief window in which all mitotic events transpire. Analog-sensitive alleles of protein kinases are powerful chemical genetic tools for rapid and specific interrogation of kinase function. Moreover, combining these tools with advanced proteomics and substrate labeling has identified phosphorylation sites on numerous protein targets. Here, we review the chemical genetic tools available to study kinase function and identify substrates. We describe how chemical genetics can also be used to link kinase function with cognate phosphorylation events to provide mechanistic detail. This can be accomplished by dissecting subsets of kinase functions and chemical genetic complementation. We believe a complete “chemical genetic toolbox” will ultimately allow a comprehensive understanding of how protein kinases regulate mitosis. PMID:23075814

  2. Functional analysis of seven genes linked to body mass index and adiposity by genome-wide association studies: a review.

    PubMed

    Speakman, John R

    2013-01-01

    Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified a total of about 40 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that show significant linkage to body mass index, a widely utilised surrogate measure of adiposity. However, only 8 of these associations have been confirmed by follow-up GWAS using more sophisticated measures of adiposity (computed tomography). Among these 8, there is a SNP close to the gene FTO which has been the subject of considerable work to diagnose its function. The remaining 7 SNPs are adjacent to, or within, the genes NEGR1, TMEM18, ETV5, FLJ35779, LINGO2, SH2B1 and GIPR, most of which are less well studied than FTO, particularly in the context of obesity. This article reviews the available data on the functions of these genes, including information gleaned from studies in humans and animal models. At present, we have virtually no information on the putative mechanism associating the genes FLJ35779 and LINGO2 to obesity. All of these genes are expressed in the brain, and for 2 of them (SH2B1 and GIPR), a direct link to the appetite regulation system is known. SH2B1 is an enhancer of intracellular signalling in the JAK-STAT pathway, and GIPR is the receptor for an appetite-linked hormone (GIP) produced by the alimentary tract. NEGR1, ETV5 and SH2B1 all have suggested roles in neurite outgrowth, and hence SNPs adjacent to these genes may affect development of the energy balance circuitry. Although the genes have central patterns of gene expression, implying a central neuronal connection to energy balance, for at least 4 of them (NEGR1, TMEM18, SH2B1 and GIPR), there are also significant peripheral functions related to adipose tissue biology. These functions may contribute to their effects on the obese phenotype.

  3. Linking Microbial Enzymatic Activities and Functional Diversity of Soil around Earthworm Burrows and Casts.

    PubMed

    Lipiec, Jerzy; Frąc, Magdalena; Brzezińska, Małgorzata; Turski, Marcin; Oszust, Karolina

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this work was to evaluate the effect of earthworms (Lumbricidae) on the enzymatic activity and microbial functional diversity in the burrow system [burrow wall (BW) 0-3 mm, transitional zone (TZ) 3-7 mm, bulk soil (BS) > 20 mm from the BW] and cast aggregates of a loess soil under a pear orchard. The dehydrogenase, β-glucosidase, protease, alkaline phosphomonoesterase, and acid phosphomonoesterase enzymes were assessed using standard methods. The functional diversity (catabolic potential) was assessed using the Average Well Color Development and Richness Index following the community level physiological profiling from Biolog Eco Plates. All measurements were done using soil from each compartment immediately after in situ sampling in spring. The enzymatic activites including dehydrogenase, protease, β-glucosidase and alkaline phosphomonoesterase were appreciably greater in the BW or casts than in BS and TZ. Conversely, acid phosphomonoesterase had the largest value in the BS. Average Well Color Development in both the TZ and the BS (0.98-0.94 A590 nm) were more than eight times higher than in the BWs and casts. The lowest richness index in the BS (15 utilized substrates) increased by 86-113% in all the other compartments. The PC1 in principal component analysis mainly differentiated the BWs and the TZ. Utilization of all substrate categories was the lowest in the BS. The PC2 differentiated the casts from the other compartments. The enhanced activity of a majority of the enzymes and increased microbial functional diversity in most earthworm-influenced compartments make the soils less vulnerable to degradation and thus increases the stability of ecologically relevant processes in the orchard ecosystem.

  4. Linking Microbial Enzymatic Activities and Functional Diversity of Soil around Earthworm Burrows and Casts

    PubMed Central

    Lipiec, Jerzy; Frąc, Magdalena; Brzezińska, Małgorzata; Turski, Marcin; Oszust, Karolina

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this work was to evaluate the effect of earthworms (Lumbricidae) on the enzymatic activity and microbial functional diversity in the burrow system [burrow wall (BW) 0–3 mm, transitional zone (TZ) 3–7 mm, bulk soil (BS) > 20 mm from the BW] and cast aggregates of a loess soil under a pear orchard. The dehydrogenase, β-glucosidase, protease, alkaline phosphomonoesterase, and acid phosphomonoesterase enzymes were assessed using standard methods. The functional diversity (catabolic potential) was assessed using the Average Well Color Development and Richness Index following the community level physiological profiling from Biolog Eco Plates. All measurements were done using soil from each compartment immediately after in situ sampling in spring. The enzymatic activites including dehydrogenase, protease, β-glucosidase and alkaline phosphomonoesterase were appreciably greater in the BW or casts than in BS and TZ. Conversely, acid phosphomonoesterase had the largest value in the BS. Average Well Color Development in both the TZ and the BS (0.98–0.94 A590 nm) were more than eight times higher than in the BWs and casts. The lowest richness index in the BS (15 utilized substrates) increased by 86–113% in all the other compartments. The PC1 in principal component analysis mainly differentiated the BWs and the TZ. Utilization of all substrate categories was the lowest in the BS. The PC2 differentiated the casts from the other compartments. The enhanced activity of a majority of the enzymes and increased microbial functional diversity in most earthworm-influenced compartments make the soils less vulnerable to degradation and thus increases the stability of ecologically relevant processes in the orchard ecosystem. PMID:27625645

  5. Alanine scan of core positions in ubiquitin reveals links between dynamics, stability, and function.

    PubMed

    Lee, Shirley Y; Pullen, Lester; Virgil, Daniel J; Castañeda, Carlos A; Abeykoon, Dulith; Bolon, Daniel N A; Fushman, David

    2014-04-03

    Mutations at solvent-inaccessible core positions in proteins can impact function through many biophysical mechanisms including alterations to thermodynamic stability and protein dynamics. As these properties of proteins are difficult to investigate, the impacts of core mutations on protein function are poorly understood for most systems. Here, we determined the effects of alanine mutations at all 15 core positions in ubiquitin on function in yeast. The majority (13 of 15) of alanine substitutions supported yeast growth as the sole ubiquitin. Both the two null mutants (I30A and L43A) were less stable to temperature-induced unfolding in vitro than wild type (WT) but were well folded at physiological temperatures. Heteronuclear NMR studies indicated that the L43A mutation reduces temperature stability while retaining a ground-state structure similar to WT. This structure enables L43A to bind to common ubiquitin receptors in vitro. Many of the core alanine ubiquitin mutants, including one of the null variants (I30A), exhibited an increased accumulation of high-molecular-weight species, suggesting that these mutants caused a defect in the processing of ubiquitin-substrate conjugates. In contrast, L43A exhibited a unique accumulation pattern with reduced levels of high-molecular-weight species and undetectable levels of free ubiquitin. When conjugation to other proteins was blocked, L43A ubiquitin accumulated as free ubiquitin in yeast. Based on these findings, we speculate that ubiquitin's stability to unfolding may be required for efficient recycling during proteasome-mediated substrate degradation.

  6. Linking plant functional traits and forest carbon stocks in the Congo Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kearsley, Elizabeth; Verbeeck, Hans; Hufkens, Koen; Lewis, Simon; Huygens, Dries; Beeckman, Hans; Steppe, Kathy; Boeckx, Pascal

    2013-04-01

    Accurate estimates of the amount of carbon stored in tropical forests represent crucial baseline data for recent climate change mitigation policies. Such data are needed to quantify possible emissions due to deforestation and forest degradation, and to evaluate the potential of these forests to act as carbon sinks. Currently, only rough estimates of the carbon stocks for Central African tropical forests are available due to a lack of field data, and little is known about the response of these stocks to climate change. We present the first ground-based carbon stock data for the central Congo Basin in Yangambi, D. R. Congo, based on data of 20 inventory plots of 1 ha covering different forest types. We found an average aboveground carbon stock of 163 ± 19 Mg C ha-1 for intact old-growth forest, which is significantly lower than the stocks recorded in the outer regions of the Congo Basin. Commonly studied drivers for variations of carbon stocks include climatic and edaphic factors, but detailed trait-based studies are lacking. We identified a significant difference in height-diameter relations across the Congo Basin as a driver for spatial differences in carbon stocks. The study of a more detailed interaction of the environment and the available tree species pool as drivers for differences in carbon storage could have large implications. The effect of the species pool on carbon storage can be large since species differ in their ability to sequester carbon, and the collective functional characteristics of plant communities could be a major driver of carbon accumulation. The use of a trait-based approach shows high potential for identifying and quantifying carbon stocks as an ecosystem service. We test for associations between functional trait values and carbon storage across multiple regrowth and old-growth forests types in the Yangambi study area, with soil properties and climate similar for all plots. A selection of traits associated with carbon dynamics is made

  7. [The effect of normobaric hypoxia on the functioning of links in the endocrine system].

    PubMed

    Shakhtarin, V V; Kiriachkov, Iu Iu; Palyga, G F; Khmelevskiĭ, Ia M; Sloventantor, V Iu; Simakova, G M; Kruglikov, A P

    1990-01-01

    The paper is concerned with the data on change in the blood level of ACTH, STH, TSH, cortisol, T3, insulin, C-peptide during a 25-minute session of respiration using a gaseous hypoxic mixture with 10% oxygen (GHM-10). The investigation was performed in 23 healthy volunteers. Change in the hormonal status, characteristic of a moderate stress-reaction, was observed in 60% of the examinees. It was found out that during a GHM-10 session a degree of change in function of the studied factors of the endocrine system showed correlation with change in the activity of the autonomic nervous system.

  8. The Diabetes-Linked Transcription Factor PAX4: From Gene to Functional Consequences

    PubMed Central

    Lorenzo, Petra I.; Juárez-Vicente, Francisco; Cobo-Vuilleumier, Nadia; García-Domínguez, Mario; Gauthier, Benoit R.

    2017-01-01

    Paired box 4 (PAX4) is a key factor in the generation of insulin producing β-cells during embryonic development. In adult islets, PAX4 expression is sequestered to a subset of β-cells that are prone to proliferation and more resistant to stress-induced apoptosis. The importance of this transcription factor for adequate pancreatic islets functionality has been manifested by the association of mutations in PAX4 with the development of diabetes, independently of its etiology. Overexpression of this factor in adult islets stimulates β-cell proliferation and increases their resistance to apoptosis. Additionally, in an experimental model of autoimmune diabetes, a novel immunomodulatory function for this factor has been suggested. Altogether these data pinpoint at PAX4 as an important target for novel regenerative therapies for diabetes treatment, aiming at the preservation of the remaining β-cells in parallel to the stimulation of their proliferation to replenish the β-cell mass lost during the progression of the disease. However, the adequate development of such therapies requires the knowledge of the molecular mechanisms controlling the expression of PAX4 as well as the downstream effectors that could account for PAX4 action. PMID:28282933

  9. MELAS syndrome and cardiomyopathy: linking mitochondrial function to heart failure pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Ying-Han R; Yogasundaram, Haran; Parajuli, Nirmal; Valtuille, Lucas; Sergi, Consolato; Oudit, Gavin Y

    2016-01-01

    Heart failure remains an important clinical burden, and mitochondrial dysfunction plays a key role in its pathogenesis. The heart has a high metabolic demand, and mitochondrial function is a key determinant of myocardial performance. In mitochondrial disorders, hypertrophic remodeling is the early pattern of cardiomyopathy with progression to dilated cardiomyopathy, conduction defects and ventricular pre-excitation occurring in a significant proportion of patients. Cardiac dysfunction occurs in approximately a third of patients with mitochondrial myopathy, encephalopathy, lactic acidosis and stroke-like episodes (MELAS) syndrome, a stereotypical example of a mitochondrial disorder leading to a cardiomyopathy. We performed unique comparative ultrastructural and gene expression in a MELAS heart compared with non-failing controls. Our results showed a remarkable increase in mitochondrial inclusions and increased abnormal mitochondria in MELAS cardiomyopathy coupled with variable sarcomere thickening, heterogeneous distribution of affected cardiomyocytes and a greater elevation in the expression of disease markers. Investigation and management of patients with mitochondrial cardiomyopathy should follow the well-described contemporary heart failure clinical practice guidelines and include an important role of medical and device therapies. Directed metabolic therapy is lacking, but current research strategies are dedicated toward improving mitochondrial function in patients with mitochondrial disorders.

  10. SIRT7 is a histone desuccinylase that functionally links to chromatin compaction and genome stability

    PubMed Central

    Li, Lei; Shi, Lan; Yang, Shangda; Yan, Ruorong; Zhang, Di; Yang, Jianguo; He, Lin; Li, Wanjin; Yi, Xia; Sun, Luyang; Liang, Jing; Cheng, Zhongyi; Shi, Lei; Shang, Yongfeng; Yu, Wenhua

    2016-01-01

    Although SIRT7 is a member of sirtuin family proteins that are described as NAD+-dependent class III histone deacetylases, the intrinsic enzymatic activity of this sirtuin protein remains to be investigated and the cellular function of SIRT7 remains to be explored. Here we report that SIRT7 is an NAD+-dependent histone desuccinylase. We show that SIRT7 is recruited to DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) in a PARP1-dependent manner and catalyses desuccinylation of H3K122 therein, thereby promoting chromatin condensation and DSB repair. We demonstrate that depletion of SIRT7 impairs chromatin compaction during DNA-damage response and sensitizes cells to genotoxic stresses. Our study indicates SIRT7 is a histone desuccinylase, providing a molecular basis for the understanding of epigenetic regulation by this sirtuin protein. Our experiments reveal that SIRT7-catalysed H3K122 desuccinylation is critically implemented in DNA-damage response and cell survival, providing a mechanistic insight into the cellular function of SIRT7. PMID:27436229

  11. Microbial response to simulated global change is phylogenetically conserved and linked with functional potential.

    PubMed

    Amend, Anthony S; Martiny, Adam C; Allison, Steven D; Berlemont, Renaud; Goulden, Michael L; Lu, Ying; Treseder, Kathleen K; Weihe, Claudia; Martiny, Jennifer B H

    2016-01-01

    The high diversity of microbial communities hampers predictions about their responses to global change. Here we investigate the potential for using a phylogenetic, trait-based framework to capture the response of bacteria and fungi to global change manipulations. Replicated grassland plots were subjected to 3+ years of drought and nitrogen fertilization. The responses of leaf litter bacteria and fungi to these simulated changes were significantly phylogenetically conserved. Proportional changes in abundance were highly correlated among related organisms, such that relatives with approximately 5% ribosomal DNA genetic distance showed similar responses to the treatments. A microbe's change in relative abundance was significantly correlated between the treatments, suggesting a compromise between numerical abundance in undisturbed environments and resistance to change in general, independent of disturbance type. Lineages in which at least 90% of the microbes shared the same response were circumscribed at a modest phylogenetic depth (τD 0.014-0.021), but significantly larger than randomized simulations predict. In several clades, phylogenetic depth of trait consensus was higher. Fungal response to drought was more conserved than was response to nitrogen fertilization, whereas bacteria responded equally to both treatments. Finally, we show that a bacterium's response to the manipulations is correlated with its potential functional traits (measured here as the number of glycoside hydrolase genes encoding the capacity to degrade different types of carbohydrates). Together, these results suggest that a phylogenetic, trait-based framework may be useful for predicting shifts in microbial composition and functioning in the face of global change.

  12. Health as normal function: a weak link in Daniels's theory of just health distribution.

    PubMed

    Krag, Erik

    2014-10-01

    Drawing on Christopher Boorse's Biostatistical Theory (BST), Norman Daniels contends that a genuine health need is one which is necessary to restore normal functioning - a supposedly objective notion which he believes can be read from the natural world without reference to potentially controversial normative categories. But despite his claims to the contrary, this conception of health harbors arbitrary evaluative judgments which make room for intractable disagreement as to which conditions should count as genuine health needs and therefore which needs should be met. I begin by offering a brief summary of Boorse's BST, the theory to which Daniels appeals for providing the conception of health as normal functioning upon which his overall distributive scheme rests. Next, I consider what I call practical objections to Daniels's use of Boorse's theory. Finally I recount Elseljin Kingma's theoretical objection to Boorse's BST and discuss its impact on Daniels's overall theory. Though I conclude that Boorse's view, so weakened, will no longer be able to sustain the judgments which Daniels's theory uses it to reach, in the end, I offer Daniels an olive branch by briefly sketching an alternative strategy for reaching suitably objective conclusions regarding the health and/or disease status of various conditions.

  13. Balanced translocation linked to psychiatric disorder, glutamate, and cortical structure/function

    PubMed Central

    Thomson, Pippa A; Duff, Barbara; Blackwood, Douglas H R; Romaniuk, Liana; Watson, Andrew; Whalley, Heather C; Li, Xiang; Dauvermann, Maria R; Moorhead, T William J; Bois, Catherine; Ryan, Niamh M; Redpath, Holly; Hall, Lynsey; Morris, Stewart W; van Beek, Edwin J R; Roberts, Neil; Porteous, David J; St. Clair, David; Whitcher, Brandon; Dunlop, John; Brandon, Nicholas J; Hughes, Zoë A; Hall, Jeremy; McIntosh, Andrew; Lawrie, Stephen M

    2016-01-01

    Rare genetic variants of large effect can help elucidate the pathophysiology of brain disorders. Here we expand the clinical and genetic analyses of a family with a (1;11)(q42;q14.3) translocation multiply affected by major psychiatric illness and test the effect of the translocation on the structure and function of prefrontal, and temporal brain regions. The translocation showed significant linkage (LOD score 6.1) with a clinical phenotype that included schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, and recurrent major depressive disorder. Translocation carriers showed reduced cortical thickness in the left temporal lobe, which correlated with general psychopathology and positive psychotic symptom severity. They showed reduced gyrification in prefrontal cortex, which correlated with general psychopathology severity. Translocation carriers also showed significantly increased activation in the caudate nucleus on increasing verbal working memory load, as well as statistically significant reductions in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex glutamate concentrations. These findings confirm that the t(1;11) translocation is associated with a significantly increased risk of major psychiatric disorder and suggest a general vulnerability to psychopathology through altered cortical structure and function, and decreased glutamate levels. PMID:27602385

  14. The Structural and Functional Implications of Linked SNARE Motifs in SNAP25

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Li; Bittner, Mary A.; Axelrod, Daniel

    2008-01-01

    We investigated the functional and structural implications of SNAP25 having two SNARE motifs (SN1 and SN2). A membrane-bound, intramolecular FRET probe was constructed to report on the folding of N-terminal SN1 and C-terminal SN2 in living cells. Membrane-bound constructs containing either or both SNARE motifs were also singly labeled with donor or acceptor fluorophores. Interaction of probes with other SNAREs was monitored by the formation of SDS-resistant complexes and by changes in FRET measured in vitro using spectroscopy and in the plasma membrane of living cells using TIRF microscopy. The probes formed the predicted SDS-resistant SNARE complexes. FRET measurements revealed that syntaxin induced a close association of the N-termini of SN1 and SN2. This association required that the SNARE motifs reside in the same molecule. Unexpectedly, the syntaxin-induced FRET was prevented by VAMP. Both full-length SNAP25 constructs and the combination of its separated, membrane-bound constituent chains supported secretion in permeabilized chromaffin cells that had been allowed to rundown. However, only full-length SNAP25 constructs enabled robust secretion from intact cells or permeabilized cells before rundown. The experiments suggest that the bidentate structure permits specific conformations in complexes with syntaxin and VAMP and facilitates the function of SN1 and SN2 in exocytosis. PMID:18596234

  15. The functional genetic link of NLGN4X knockdown and neurodevelopment in neural stem cells.

    PubMed

    Shi, Lingling; Chang, Xiao; Zhang, Peilin; Coba, Marcelo P; Lu, Wange; Wang, Kai

    2013-09-15

    Genetic mutations in NLGN4X (neuroligin 4), including point mutations and copy number variants (CNVs), have been associated with susceptibility to autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). However, it is unclear how mutations in NLGN4X result in neurodevelopmental defects. Here, we used neural stem cells (NSCs) as in vitro models to explore the impacts of NLGN4X knockdown on neurodevelopment. Using two shRNAmir-based vectors targeting NLGN4X and one control shRNAmir vector, we modulated NLGN4X expression and differentiated these NSCs into mature neurons. We monitored the neurodevelopmental process at Weeks 0, 0.5, 1, 2, 4 and 6, based on morphological analysis and whole-genome gene expression profiling. At the cellular level, in NSCs with NLGN4X knockdown, we observed increasingly delayed neuronal development and compromised neurite formation, starting from Week 2 through Week 6 post differentiation. At the molecular level, we identified multiple pathways, such as neurogenesis, neuron differentiation and muscle development, which are increasingly disturbed in cells with NLGN4X knockdown. Notably, several postsynaptic genes, including DLG4, NLGN1 and NLGN3, also have decreased expression. Based on in vitro models, NLGN4X knockdown directly impacts neurodevelopmental process during the formation of neurons and their connections. Our functional genomics study highlights the utility of NSCs models in understanding the functional roles of CNVs in affecting neurodevelopment and conferring susceptibility to neurodevelopmental diseases.

  16. [Potential protective role of nitric oxide and Hsp70 linked to functional foods in the atherosclerosis].

    PubMed

    Camargo, Alejandra B; Manucha, Walter

    Atherosclerosis, one of the main pathologic entities considered epidemic and a worldwide public health problem, is currently under constant review as regards its basic determining mechanisms and therapeutic possibilities. In this regard, all patients afflicted with the disease exhibit mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress and inflammation. Interestingly, nitric oxide - a known vasoactive messenger gas - has been closely related to the inflammatory, oxidative and mitochondrial dysfunctional process that characterizes atherosclerosis. In addition, it has recently been demonstrated that alterations in the bioavailability of nitric oxide would induce the expression of heat shock proteins. This agrees with the use of functional foods as a strategy to prevent both vascular aging and the development of atherosclerosis. Finally, a greater knowledge regarding the mechanisms implied in the development of atherosclerosis will enable proposing new and possible hygiene, health and therapeutic interventions.

  17. From Early Childhood to Adolescence: Linking Family Functioning and School Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Vanessa K.

    2010-01-01

    The present study uses observational assessment of 66 two-parent families working and playing together when their eldest child is in kindergarten and again in 9th grade to identify distinct patterns of family functioning derived from structural family systems theory. Whereas concurrent assessment of the relationship between family type and adolescents' school behavior were not significant, significant prospective longitudinal relationships between family type assessed in early childhood and 9th grade school behavior were indicated. Kindergarteners whose families were primarily characterized by a strong mother-child alliance were less academically competent, more aggressive/inattentive, and more anxious/depressed/withdrawn at school nine years later when they were in 9th grade, than their peers in more cohesive or father-child allied families. PMID:21258653

  18. Incorporating Data Link Messaging into a Multi-function Display for General Aviation Aircraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Adams, Catherine A.; Murdoch, Jennifer L.

    2006-01-01

    One objective of the Small Aircraft Transportation System (SATS) Project is to increase the capacity and utilization of small non-towered, non-radar equipped airports by transferring traffic management activities to an automated system and separation responsibilities to general aviation (GA) pilots. This paper describes the development of a research multi-function display (MFD) to support the interaction between pilots and an automated Airport Management Module (AMM). Preliminary results of simulation and flight tests indicate that adding the responsibility of monitoring other traffic for self-separation does not increase pilots subjective workload levels. Pilots preferred using the enhanced MFD to execute flight procedures, reporting improved situation awareness over conventional instrument flight rules (IFR) procedures.

  19. Identical expression profiling of human and murine TIPE3 protein reveals links to its functions.

    PubMed

    Cui, Jian; Hao, Chunyan; Zhang, Wenqian; Shao, Jie; Zhang, Na; Zhang, Guizhong; Liu, Suxia

    2015-03-01

    Tumor necrosis factor-alpha-induced protein-8 like-3 (TNFAIP8L3, TIPE3) is a newly discovered member of TNFAIP8 family and regarded as a lipid second messenger transfer protein that promotes cancer. Yet the nature of the cells and tissues that express TIPE3 protein has not been determined. In this study, we examined TIPE3 expression in various murine and human tissues by immunohistochemistry and quantitative PCR. We found that TIPE3 expression was almost identical in most organs from human and mice. TIPE3 is a cytoplasmic protein expressed preferentially in epithelial-derived cells with secretory functions. Furthermore, TIPE3 protein is highly expressed in most human carcinoma cell lines. These results suggest that TIPE3 may play important roles in carcinogenesis and cell secretion.

  20. Identical Expression Profiling of Human and Murine TIPE3 Protein Reveals Links to Its Functions

    PubMed Central

    Cui, Jian; Hao, Chunyan; Zhang, Wenqian; Shao, Jie; Zhang, Na; Zhang, Guizhong

    2015-01-01

    Tumor necrosis factor-alpha-induced protein-8 like-3 (TNFAIP8L3, TIPE3) is a newly discovered member of TNFAIP8 family and regarded as a lipid second messenger transfer protein that promotes cancer. Yet the nature of the cells and tissues that express TIPE3 protein has not been determined. In this study, we examined TIPE3 expression in various murine and human tissues by immunohistochemistry and quantitative PCR. We found that TIPE3 expression was almost identical in most organs from human and mice. TIPE3 is a cytoplasmic protein expressed preferentially in epithelial-derived cells with secretory functions. Furthermore, TIPE3 protein is highly expressed in most human carcinoma cell lines. These results suggest that TIPE3 may play important roles in carcinogenesis and cell secretion. PMID:25479791

  1. Gamma oscillations in the midbrain spatial attention network: linking circuits to function.

    PubMed

    Sridharan, Devarajan; Knudsen, Eric I

    2015-04-01

    Gamma-band (25-140Hz) oscillations are ubiquitous in mammalian forebrain structures involved in sensory processing, attention, learning and memory. The optic tectum (OT) is the central structure in a midbrain network that participates critically in controlling spatial attention. In this review, we summarize recent advances in characterizing a neural circuit in this midbrain network that generates large amplitude, space-specific, gamma oscillations in the avian OT, both in vivo and in vitro. We describe key physiological and pharmacological mechanisms that produce and regulate the structure of these oscillations. The extensive similarities between midbrain gamma oscillations in birds and those in the neocortex and hippocampus of mammals, offer important insights into the functional significance of a midbrain gamma oscillatory code.

  2. Chromatographic isolation of the functionally active MutS protein covalently linked to deoxyribonucleic acid.

    PubMed

    Monakhova, Mayya; Ryazanova, Alexandra; Hentschel, Andreas; Viryasov, Mikhail; Oretskaya, Tatiana; Friedhoff, Peter; Kubareva, Elena

    2015-04-10

    DNA metabolism is based on formation of different DNA-protein complexes which can adopt various conformations. To characterize functioning of such complexes, one needs a solution-based technique which allows fixing a complex in a certain transient conformation. The crosslinking approach is a popular tool for such studies. However, it is under debate if the protein components retain their natural activities in the resulting crosslinked complexes. In the present work we demonstrate the possibility of obtaining pure DNA conjugate with functionally active protein using as example MutS protein from Escherichia coli mismatch repair system. A conjugate of a chemically modified mismatch-containing DNA duplex with MutS is fixed by thiol-disulfide exchange reaction. To perform a reliable test of the protein activity in the conjugate, such conjugate must be thoroughly separated from the uncrosslinked protein and DNA prior to the test. In the present work, we employ anion exchange chromatography for this purpose for the first time and demonstrate this technique to be optimal for the conjugate purification. The activity test is a FRET-based detection of DNA unbending. We show experimentally that MutS in the conjugate retains its ability to unbend DNA in response to ATP addition and find out for the first time that the DNA unbending rate increases with increasing ATP concentration. Since the crosslinked complexes contain active MutS protein, they can be used in further experiments to investigate MutS interactions with other proteins of the mismatch repair system.

  3. Antimicrobial Protegrin-1 Forms Amyloid-Like Fibrils with Rapid Kinetics Suggesting a Functional Link

    PubMed Central

    Jang, Hyunbum; Arce, Fernando Teran; Mustata, Mirela; Ramachandran, Srinivasan; Capone, Ricardo; Nussinov, Ruth; Lal, Ratnesh

    2011-01-01

    Protegrin-1 (PG-1) is an 18 residues long, cysteine-rich β-sheet antimicrobial peptide (AMP). PG-1 induces strong cytotoxic activities on cell membrane and acts as a potent antibiotic agent. Earlier we reported that its cytotoxicity is mediated by its channel-forming ability. In this study, we have examined the amyloidogenic fibril formation properties of PG-1 in comparison with a well-defined amyloid, the amyloid-β (Aβ1–42) peptide. We have used atomic force microscopy (AFM) and thioflavin-T staining to investigate the kinetics of PG-1 fibrils growth and molecular dynamics simulations to elucidate the underlying mechanism. AFM images of PG-1 on a highly hydrophilic surface (mica) show fibrils with morphological similarities to Aβ1–42 fibrils. Real-time AFM imaging of fibril growth suggests that PG-1 fibril growth follows a relatively fast kinetics compared to the Aβ1–42 fibrils. The AFM results are in close agreement with results from thioflavin-T staining data. Furthermore, the results indicate that PG-1 forms fibrils in solution. Significantly, in contrast, we do not detect fibrillar structures of PG-1 on an anionic lipid bilayer 2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phospho-L-serine/1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine; only small PG-1 oligomers can be observed. Molecular dynamics simulations are able to identify the presence of these small oligomers on the membrane bilayer. Thus, our current results show that cytotoxic AMP PG-1 is amyloidogenic and capable of forming fibrils. Overall, comparing β-rich AMPs and amyloids such as Aβ, in addition to cytotoxicity and amyloidogenicity, they share a common structural motif, and are channel forming. These combined properties support a functional relationship between amyloidogenic peptides and β-sheet-rich cytolytic AMPs, suggesting that amyloids channels may have an antimicrobial function. PMID:21463591

  4. Microbial response to simulated global change is phylogenetically conserved and linked with functional potential

    PubMed Central

    Amend, Anthony S; Martiny, Adam C; Allison, Steven D; Berlemont, Renaud; Goulden, Michael L; Lu, Ying; Treseder, Kathleen K; Weihe, Claudia; Martiny, Jennifer B H

    2016-01-01

    The high diversity of microbial communities hampers predictions about their responses to global change. Here we investigate the potential for using a phylogenetic, trait-based framework to capture the response of bacteria and fungi to global change manipulations. Replicated grassland plots were subjected to 3+ years of drought and nitrogen fertilization. The responses of leaf litter bacteria and fungi to these simulated changes were significantly phylogenetically conserved. Proportional changes in abundance were highly correlated among related organisms, such that relatives with approximately 5% ribosomal DNA genetic distance showed similar responses to the treatments. A microbe's change in relative abundance was significantly correlated between the treatments, suggesting a compromise between numerical abundance in undisturbed environments and resistance to change in general, independent of disturbance type. Lineages in which at least 90% of the microbes shared the same response were circumscribed at a modest phylogenetic depth (τD 0.014–0.021), but significantly larger than randomized simulations predict. In several clades, phylogenetic depth of trait consensus was higher. Fungal response to drought was more conserved than was response to nitrogen fertilization, whereas bacteria responded equally to both treatments. Finally, we show that a bacterium's response to the manipulations is correlated with its potential functional traits (measured here as the number of glycoside hydrolase genes encoding the capacity to degrade different types of carbohydrates). Together, these results suggest that a phylogenetic, trait-based framework may be useful for predicting shifts in microbial composition and functioning in the face of global change. PMID:26046258

  5. Functional coupling analysis suggests link between the obesity gene FTO and the BDNF-NTRK2 signaling pathway

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The Fat mass and obesity gene (FTO) has been identified through genome wide association studies as an important genetic factor contributing to a higher body mass index (BMI). However, the molecular context in which this effect is mediated has yet to be determined. We investigated the potential molecular network for FTO by analyzing co-expression and protein-protein interaction databases, Coxpresdb and IntAct, as well as the functional coupling predicting multi-source database, FunCoup. Hypothalamic expression of FTO-linked genes defined with this bioinformatics approach was subsequently studied using quantitative real time-PCR in mouse feeding models known to affect FTO expression. Results We identified several candidate genes for functional coupling to FTO through database studies and selected nine for further study in animal models. We observed hypothalamic expression of Profilin 2 (Pfn2), cAMP-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit beta (Prkacb), Brain derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf), neurotrophic tyrosine kinase, receptor, type 2 (Ntrk2), Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (Stat3), and Btbd12 to be co-regulated in concert with Fto. Pfn2 and Prkacb have previously not been linked to feeding regulation. Conclusions Gene expression studies validate several candidates generated through database studies of possible FTO-interactors. We speculate about a wider functional role for FTO in the context of current and recent findings, such as in extracellular ligand-induced neuronal plasticity via NTRK2/BDNF, possibly via interaction with the transcription factor CCAAT/enhancer binding protein β (C/EBPβ). PMID:22087873

  6. Cholera Toxin B Subunit Linked to Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase Suppresses Dendritic Cell Maturation and Function

    PubMed Central

    Odumosu, Oludare; Nicholas, Dequina; Payne, Kimberly; Langridge, William

    2012-01-01

    Dendritic cells are the largest population of antigen presenting cells in the body. One of their main functions is to regulate the delicate balance between immunity and tolerance responsible for maintenance of immunological homeostasis. Disruption of this delicate balance often results in chronic inflammation responsible for initiation of organ specific autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and type I diabetes. The cholera toxin B subunit (CTB) is a weak mucosal adjuvant known for its ability to stimulate immunity to antigenic proteins. However, conjugation of CTB to many autoantigens can induce immunological tolerance resulting in suppression of autoimmunity. In this study, we examined whether linkage of CTB to a 5 kDa C-terminal protein fragment of the major diabetes autoantigen glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD35), can block dendritic cell (DC) functions such as biosynthesis of co-stimulatory factor proteins CD86, CD83, CD80 and CD40 and secretion of inflammatory cytokines. The results of human umbilical cord blood monocyte-derived DC - GAD35 autoantigen incubation experiments showed that inoculation of immature DCs (iDCs), with CTB-GAD35 protein dramatically suppressed levels of CD86, CD83, CD80 and CD40 co-stimulatory factor protein biosynthesis in comparison with GAD35 alone inoculated iDCs. Surprisingly, incubation of iDCs in the presence of the CTB-autoantigen and the strong immunostimulatory molecules PMA and Ionomycin revealed that CTB-GAD35 was capable of arresting PMA + Ionomycin induced DC maturation. Consistant with this finding, CTB-GAD35 mediated suppression of DC maturation was accompanied by a dramatic decrease in the secretion of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-12/23p40 and IL-6 and a significant increase in secretion of the immunosuppressive cytokine IL-10. Taken together, our experimental data suggest that linkage of the weak adjuvant CTB to the dominant type 1 diabetes autoantigen GAD strongly inhibits DC

  7. Trip report: pilot studies of factors linking watershed function and coastal ecosystem health in American Samoa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Atkinson, Carter T.; Medeiros, Arthur C.

    2010-01-01

    Coral reef resources in the territory of American Samoa face significant problems from overfishing, non-point source pollution, global warming, and continuing population growth and development. The islands are still relatively isolated relative to other parts of the Pacific and have managed to avoid some of the more devastating invasive species that have reached other archipelagoes. As a result, there are opportunities for collaborative and integrative research and monitoring programs to help restore and maintain biodiversity and functioning natural ecosystem in the archipelago. We found that the 'Ridge to Reef' paradigm already exists in American Samoa, with a high degree of interagency cooperation and efficient use of limited resources already taking place in the Territory. USGS may be able to make contributions as a partner organization in the Coral Reef Advisory Group (CRAG) through deployment of sediment monitoring instrumentation to supplement stream monitoring by the American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency, by providing high resolution vegetation and land-use maps of main islands, by providing additional support to the American Samoa Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources and the National Park Service for monitoring of invasive species, by working with members of CRAG to initiate sediment transport studies on Samoan reefs, and by developing new projects on the effects of bacterial contamination and pollutants on coral reef physiology and demography.

  8. Links between tree species, symbiotic fungal diversity and ecosystem functioning in simplified tropical ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Lovelock, Catherine E; Ewel, John J

    2005-07-01

    We studied the relationships among plant and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal diversity, and their effects on ecosystem function, in a series of replicate tropical forestry plots in the La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica. Forestry plots were 12 yr old and were either monocultures of three tree species, or polycultures of the tree species with two additional understory species. Relationships among the AM fungal spore community, host species, plant community diversity and ecosystem phosphorus-use efficiency (PUE) and net primary productivity (NPP) were assessed. Analysis of the relative abundance of AM fungal spores found that host tree species had a significant effect on the AM fungal community, as did host plant community diversity (monocultures vs polycultures). The Shannon diversity index of the AM fungal spore community differed significantly among the three host tree species, but was not significantly different between monoculture and polyculture plots. Over all the plots, significant positive relationships were found between AM fungal diversity and ecosystem NPP, and between AM fungal community evenness and PUE. Relative abundance of two of the dominant AM fungal species also showed significant correlations with NPP and PUE. We conclude that the AM fungal community composition in tropical forests is sensitive to host species, and provide evidence supporting the hypothesis that the diversity of AM fungi in tropical forests and ecosystem NPP covaries.

  9. Kinetics study of invertase covalently linked to a new functional nanogel.

    PubMed

    Raj, Lok; Chauhan, Ghanshyam S; Azmi, Wamik; Ahn, J-H; Manuel, James

    2011-02-01

    Nanogels are promising materials as supports for enzyme immobilization. A new hydrogel comprising of methacrylic acid (MAAc) and N-vinyl pyrrolidone (N-VP) and ethyleneglycol dimethacrylate (EGDMA) was synthesized and converted to nanogel by an emulsification method. Nanogel was further functionalized by Curtius azide reaction for use as support for the covalent immobilization of invertase (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). As-prepared or invertase-immobilized nanogel was characterized by FTIR, XRD, TEM and nitrogen analysis. The characterization of both free and the immobilized-invertase were performed using a spectrophotometric method at 540 nm. The values of V(max), maximum reaction rate, (0.123 unit/mg), k(m), Michaelis constant (7.429 mol/L) and E(a), energy of activation (3.511 kj/mol) for the immobilized-invertase are comparable with those of the free invertase at optimum conditions (time 70 min, pH 6.0 and temperature 45°C). The covalent immobilization enhanced the pH and thermal stability of invertase. The immobilized biocatalyst was efficiently reused up to eight cycles.

  10. Functional Characterization of IPSC-Derived Brain Cells as a Model for X-Linked Adrenoleukodystrophy.

    PubMed

    Baarine, Mauhamad; Khan, Mushfiquddin; Singh, Avtar; Singh, Inderjit

    2015-01-01

    X-ALD is an inherited neurodegenerative disorder where mutations in the ABCD1 gene result in clinically diverse phenotypes: the fatal disorder of cerebral childhood ALD (cALD) or a milder disorder of adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN). The various models used to study the pathobiology of X-ALD disease lack the appropriate presentation for different phenotypes of cALD vs AMN. This study demonstrates that induced pluripotent stem cells (IPSC) derived brain cells astrocytes (Ast), neurons and oligodendrocytes (OLs) express morphological and functional activities of the respective brain cell types. The excessive accumulation of saturated VLCFA, a "hallmark" of X-ALD, was observed in both AMN OLs and cALD OLs with higher levels observed in cALD OLs than AMN OLs. The levels of ELOVL1 (ELOVL Fatty Acid Elongase 1) mRNA parallel the VLCFA load in AMN and cALD OLs. Furthermore, cALD Ast expressed higher levels of proinflammatory cytokines than AMN Ast and control Ast with or without stimulation with lipopolysaccharide. These results document that IPSC-derived Ast and OLs from cALD and AMN fibroblasts mimic the respective biochemical disease phenotypes and thus provide an ideal platform to investigate the mechanism of VLCFA load in cALD OLs and VLCFA-induced inflammatory disease mechanisms of cALD Ast and thus for testing of new therapeutics for AMN and cALD disease of X-ALD.

  11. Daily Parental Knowledge of Youth Activities Is Linked to Youth Physical Symptoms and HPA functioning

    PubMed Central

    Lippold, Melissa A.; Davis, Kelly D.; McHale, Susan M.; Almeida, David M.

    2015-01-01

    Considerable evidence documents linkages between parental knowledge of youth activities and youth risky behavior. We extended this research to determine whether parental knowledge was associated with youth physical health, including reports of physical symptoms (e.g., headaches, stomachaches) and a biomarker of hypothalamic pituitary adrenocortical (HPA) axis functioning (i.e., salivary cortisol levels). Participants were children of employees in the Information Technology division of a Fortune 500 company (N = 132, Mean Age Youth = 13.39 years, 55% female) who participated in a daily diary study. Data were collected via telephone calls on eight consecutive evenings. On four study days, cortisol samples were collected at 4 time points (waking, 30 min after waking, before dinner, bedtime). Multi-level models revealed that, at the between-person level, youth whose parents had higher average knowledge about their activities, exhibited lower bedtime cortisol levels. Furthermore, at the within-person level, on days when parents displayed more knowledge than usual (relative to their own eight-day average), youth had lower before-dinner cortisol than usual. Linkages between average parental knowledge and physical health symptoms were moderated by youth age: Younger but not older adolescents whose parents were more knowledgeable had fewer physical health symptoms, on average. A next step is to identify the processes that underlie these associations. PMID:26751757

  12. In Vivo Evaluation of Vena Caval Filters: Can Function Be Linked to Design Characteristics?

    SciTech Connect

    Proctor, Mary C.; Cho, Kyung J.; Greenfield, Lazar J.

    2000-11-15

    Purpose: To compare the five vena caval filters marketed in the United States and one investigational vena caval filter and to determine whether there is an association between their design and their in vivo function.Methods: Four of each type of filter-Simon Nitinol (SN), Bird's Nest (BN), Vena Tech (VT), Greenfield stainless steel (PSGF), Greenfield titanium (TGF), and the investigational stent cone filter (NGF)-were studied for 60 days in 12 sheep. Radiographic and pathologic outcomes to be assessed included clot capture and resolution, vena caval penetration, position of the filter, thrombogenicity, and vessel wall reaction.Results: Filters differed with respect to the number of clot-trapping levels and the interdependence of the legs. All devices were successfully placed. Intentionally embolized clot was captured. One VT and two SN filters migrated in response to clot capture. Resolution of thrombus was variable, and related to the design of the device. Fibrin webbing was widely present with the VT, BN, and SN filters but limited in the others. The VT and NGF filters demonstrated the most stable filter base diameter.Conclusions: The performance of vena caval filters differs with respect to clot resolution and mechanical stability. Interdependent filter limbs and single-stage conical capture sites appear to result in more favorable performance in in vivo studies.

  13. Microplastic moves pollutants and additives to worms, reducing functions linked to health and biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Browne, Mark Anthony; Niven, Stewart J; Galloway, Tamara S; Rowland, Steve J; Thompson, Richard C

    2013-12-02

    Inadequate products, waste management, and policy are struggling to prevent plastic waste from infiltrating ecosystems [1, 2]. Disintegration into smaller pieces means that the abundance of micrometer-sized plastic (microplastic) in habitats has increased [3] and outnumbers larger debris [2, 4]. When ingested by animals, plastic provides a feasible pathway to transfer attached pollutants and additive chemicals into their tissues [5-15]. Despite positive correlations between concentrations of ingested plastic and pollutants in tissues of animals, few, if any, controlled experiments have examined whether ingested plastic transfers pollutants and additives to animals. We exposed lugworms (Arenicola marina) to sand with 5% microplastic that was presorbed with pollutants (nonylphenol and phenanthrene) and additive chemicals (Triclosan and PBDE-47). Microplastic transferred pollutants and additive chemicals into gut tissues of lugworms, causing some biological effects, although clean sand transferred larger concentrations of pollutants into their tissues. Uptake of nonylphenol from PVC or sand reduced the ability of coelomocytes to remove pathogenic bacteria by >60%. Uptake of Triclosan from PVC diminished the ability of worms to engineer sediments and caused mortality, each by >55%, while PVC alone made worms >30% more susceptible to oxidative stress. As global microplastic contamination accelerates, our findings indicate that large concentrations of microplastic and additives can harm ecophysiological functions performed by organisms.

  14. A bioinformatics expert system linking functional data to anatomical outcomes in limb regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Lobo, Daniel; Feldman, Erica B.; Shah, Michelle; Malone, Taylor J.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Amphibians and molting arthropods have the remarkable capacity to regenerate amputated limbs, as described by an extensive literature of experimental cuts, amputations, grafts, and molecular techniques. Despite a rich history of experimental effort, no comprehensive mechanistic model exists that can account for the pattern regulation observed in these experiments. While bioinformatics algorithms have revolutionized the study of signaling pathways, no such tools have heretofore been available to assist scientists in formulating testable models of large‐scale morphogenesis that match published data in the limb regeneration field. Major barriers to preventing an algorithmic approach are the lack of formal descriptions for experimental regenerative information and a repository to centralize storage and mining of functional data on limb regeneration. Establishing a new bioinformatics of shape would significantly accelerate the discovery of key insights into the mechanisms that implement complex regeneration. Here, we describe a novel mathematical ontology for limb regeneration to unambiguously encode phenotype, manipulation, and experiment data. Based on this formalism, we present the first centralized formal database of published limb regeneration experiments together with a user‐friendly expert system tool to facilitate its access and mining. These resources are freely available for the community and will assist both human biologists and artificial intelligence systems to discover testable, mechanistic models of limb regeneration. PMID:25729585

  15. Genetic analysis demonstrates a direct link between rho signaling and nonmuscle myosin function during Drosophila morphogenesis.

    PubMed Central

    Halsell, S R; Chu, B I; Kiehart, D P

    2000-01-01

    A dynamic actomyosin cytoskeleton drives many morphogenetic events. Conventional nonmuscle myosin-II (myosin) is a key chemomechanical motor that drives contraction of the actin cytoskeleton. We have explored the regulation of myosin activity by performing genetic screens to identify gene products that collaborate with myosin during Drosophila morphogenesis. Specifically, we screened for second-site noncomplementors of a mutation in the zipper gene that encodes the nonmuscle myosin-II heavy chain. We determined that a single missense mutation in the zipper(Ebr) allele gives rise to its sensitivity to second-site noncomplementation. We then identify the Rho signal transduction pathway as necessary for proper myosin function. First we show that a lethal P-element insertion interacts genetically with zipper. Subsequently we show that this second-site noncomplementing mutation disrupts the RhoGEF2 locus. Next, we show that two EMS-induced mutations, previously shown to interact genetically with zipper(Ebr), disrupt the RhoA locus. Further, we have identified their molecular lesions and determined that disruption of the carboxyl-terminal CaaX box gives rise to their mutant phenotype. Finally, we show that RhoA mutations themselves can be utilized in genetic screens. Biochemical and cell culture analyses suggest that Rho signal transduction regulates the activity of myosin. Our studies provide direct genetic proof of the biological relevance of regulation of myosin by Rho signal transduction in an intact metazoan. PMID:10880486

  16. Accelerating Nanoscale Research with Neutron Total Scattering: Linking Structure and Function in Finite Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Page, Katharine

    2012-10-01

    h -abstract-pard In contrast to bulk materials, nanomaterials and nanoparticles, comprised of a few hundred to tens of thousands of atoms, require every atom's position to be located in order to understand their structure-property relationships. New behavior can arise with a constricted, expanded, or distorted lattice, variation in surface termination structure, ligand capping or stabilization, or with the increasingly diverse set of shapes and architectures appearing in nanoscience literature today: tubes, pyramids, stars, core-shell and matrix-confined particles, multilayer films, etc. Pair distribution function (PDF) analysis, based on spallation neutron or synchrotron x-ray total scattering data, has emerged as a very promising characterization method for nanomaterials in recent years. Total scattering methods provide information about every pair of atoms probed in a diffraction experiment and thus contain an unexploited wealth of information for finite systems. In this contribution we will present our work establishing the influence of particle size and shape on the nature and correlation of local atomic dipoles in finite ferroelectric systems. We also review current data-driven modeling capabilities and outline the need for evolution of robust computational tools to follow other complex nanoscale phenomena with scattering data. pard-/abstract-

  17. Functional responses of human neonatal B lymphocytes to antigen receptor cross-linking and CpG DNA

    PubMed Central

    TASKER, L; MARSHALL-CLARKE, S

    2003-01-01

    Human neonates are immunologically immature and consequently are highly susceptible to infection. The cellular basis for the dysfunctional immune responses of neonates is not clear, but is likely to reflect the immaturity of both B and T cell populations. Here we have examined the ability of human cord blood B cells to respond to antigen receptor cross-linking and also to CpG containing oligodeoxynucleotides (ODN), and compared their responses with those of adult peripheral blood B cells. Antigen receptor cross-linking with soluble F(ab′)2 anti-IgM antibodies, induced HLA-DR and CD86 up-regulation and proliferation to a similar extent in adult and cord blood B cells. Both interleukin (IL)-2 and IL-4 co-stimulated anti-IgM-induced proliferation, but cord blood B cells were less sensitive than adult B cells to the co-stimulatory effects of IL-2. Antigen receptor cross-linking induced secretion of the chemokines macrophage inflammatory protein-1α (MIP-1α) and MIP-1β in adult and cord blood B cells, and secretion was enhanced by IL-2 or IL-4. CpG-ODN induced up-regulation of HLA-DR and CD86 expression and proliferation of adult and cord blood B cells, and anti-IgM and CPG-ODN synergized in the induction of proliferation. CpG-ODN also induced MIP-1α and MIP-1α secretion in adult and cord blood B cells. In addition to functional studies we examined the expression of CD62L (l-selectin), CCR7 and CXCR5. Our data show that surface expression of CD62L and CCR7 is lower on cord blood B cells than on adult B cells, suggesting that human cord blood B cells may exhibit homing defects. PMID:14632745

  18. Fabrication of homogeneously cross-linked, functional alginate microcapsules validated by NMR-, CLSM- and AFM-imaging.

    PubMed

    Zimmermann, H; Hillgärtner, M; Manz, B; Feilen, P; Brunnenmeier, F; Leinfelder, U; Weber, M; Cramer, H; Schneider, S; Hendrich, C; Volke, F; Zimmermann, U

    2003-05-01

    Cross-linked alginate microcapsules of sufficient mechanical strength can immunoisolate cells for the long-term treatment of hormone and other deficiency diseases in human beings. However, gelation of alginate by external Ba(2+) (or other divalent cations) produces non-homogeneous cross-linking of the polymeric mannuronic (M) and guluronic (G) acid chains. The stability of such microcapsules is rather limited. Here, we show that homogeneous cross-linking can be achieved by injecting BaCl(2) crystals into alginate droplets before they come into contact with external BaCl(2). The high effectiveness of this crystal gun method is demonstrated by confocal laser scanning microscopy and by advanced nuclear magnetic resonance imaging. Both techniques gave clear-cut evidence that homogeneous cross-linkage throughout the microcapsule is only obtained with simultaneous internal and external gelation. Atomic force microscopy showed a very smooth surface topography for microcapsules made by the crystal gun method, provided that excess Ba(2+) ions were removed immediately after gelation. In vitro experiments showed greatly suppressed swelling for crystal gun microcapsules. Even alginate extracted from Lessonia nigrescens (highly biocompatible) yielded microcapsules with long-term mechanical stability not hitherto possible. Encapsulation of rat islets, human monoclonal antibodies secreting hybridoma cells and murine mesenchymal stem cells transfected with cDNA encoding for bone morphogenetic protein (BMP-4) revealed that injection of BaCl(2) crystals has no adverse side effects on cell viability and function. However, the release of low-molecular weight factors (such as insulin) may be delayed when using alginate concentrations in the usual range.

  19. Physical and functional links between anion exchanger-1 and sodium pump.

    PubMed

    Su, Ya; Al-Lamki, Rafia S; Blake-Palmer, Katherine G; Best, Alison; Golder, Zoe J; Zhou, Aiwu; Karet Frankl, Fiona E

    2015-02-01

    Anion exchanger-1 (AE1) mediates chloride-bicarbonate exchange across the plasma membranes of erythrocytes and, via a slightly shorter transcript, kidney epithelial cells. On an omnivorous human diet, kidney AE1 is mainly active basolaterally in α-intercalated cells of the collecting duct, where it is functionally coupled with apical proton pumps to maintain normal acid-base homeostasis. The C-terminal tail of AE1 has an important role in its polarized membrane residency. We have identified the β1 subunit of Na(+),K(+)-ATPase (sodium pump) as a binding partner for AE1 in the human kidney. Kidney AE1 and β1 colocalized in renal α-intercalated cells and coimmunoprecipitated (together with the catalytic α1 subunit of the sodium pump) from human kidney membrane fractions. ELISA and fluorescence titration assays confirmed that AE1 and β1 interact directly, with a Kd value of 0.81 μM. GST-AE1 pull-down assays using human kidney membrane proteins showed that the last 11 residues of AE1 are important for β1 binding. siRNA-induced knockdown of β1 in cell culture resulted in a significant reduction in kidney AE1 levels at the cell membrane, whereas overexpression of kidney AE1 increased cell surface sodium pump levels. Notably, membrane staining of β1 was reduced throughout collecting ducts of AE1-null mouse kidney, where increased fractional excretion of sodium has been reported. These data suggest a requirement of β1 for proper kidney AE1 membrane residency, and that activities of AE1 and the sodium pump are coregulated in kidney.

  20. Linking Gene Expression and Functional Network Data in Human Heart Failure

    PubMed Central

    Camargo, Anyela; Azuaje, Francisco

    2007-01-01

    Background Gene expression profiling and the analysis of protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks may support the identification of disease bio-markers and potential drug targets. Thus, a step forward in the development of systems approaches to medicine is the integrative analysis of these data sources in specific pathological conditions. We report such an integrative bioinformatics analysis in human heart failure (HF). A global PPI network in HF was assembled, which by itself represents a useful compendium of the current status of human HF-relevant interactions. This provided the basis for the analysis of interaction connectivity patterns in relation to a HF gene expression data set. Results Relationships between the significance of the differentiation of gene expression and connectivity degrees in the PPI network were established. In addition, relationships between gene co-expression and PPI network connectivity were analysed. Highly-connected proteins are not necessarily encoded by genes significantly differentially expressed. Genes that are not significantly differentially expressed may encode proteins that exhibit diverse network connectivity patterns. Furthermore, genes that were not defined as significantly differentially expressed may encode proteins with many interacting partners. Genes encoding network hubs may exhibit weak co-expression with the genes encoding their interacting protein partners. We also found that hubs and superhubs display a significant diversity of co-expression patterns in comparison to peripheral nodes. Gene Ontology (GO) analysis established that highly-connected proteins are likely to be engaged in higher level GO biological process terms, while low-connectivity proteins tend to be engaged in more specific disease-related processes. Conclusion This investigation supports the hypothesis that the integrative analysis of differential gene expression and PPI network analysis may facilitate a better understanding of functional roles

  1. Hyperosmolality-mediated peritoneal microvascular vasodilation is linked to aquaporin function.

    PubMed

    Zakaria, El Rasheid; Althani, Asma; Fawzi, Ashraf A; Fituri, Omar M

    2014-01-01

    Glucose-based peritoneal dialysis (PD) solutions dilate the parietal and visceral peritoneal microvasculature by endothelium-dependent mechanisms that primarily involve hyperosmolality. This PD-mediated dilation occurs by active intracellular glucose uptake and adenosine Al receptor activation, and by hyperosmolality-stimulated glibenclamide-sensitive potassium channels. Both pathways invoke NO as a second messenger for vasodilation. We hypothesized that during crystalloid-induced osmosis, the osmotic water flux through the transendothelial water-exclusive aquaporin 1 (AQP1) channels is the primary mechanism whereby the endothelium is being stimulated to instigate hyperosmolality-driven vasodilation. Four microvascular levels (diameters in the range 6 - 100 microm) were visualized by intravital videomicroscopy of the terminal ileum in anesthetized rats. Microvascular diameters and flow were measured after topical exposure to a 5% hypertonic mannitol or 2.5% glucose-based PD solution, at baseline and after brief tissue pre-treatment (with 0.1% glutaraldehyde for 10 seconds) or after combined tissue pre-treatment and pharmacologic blockade of AQP1 with HgCl2 (100 micromol/L). Vascular endothelial integrity was verified by the response to acetylcholine (10(-4) mol/L) and sodium nitroprusside (10(-4) mol/L). The hyperosmolar solutions both caused rapid and sustained vasodilation at all microvascular levels, which was not altered by tissue pre-treatment. Inhibition of AQP1 completely abolished the mannitol-induced vasodilation and markedly attenuated the PD fluid-mediated vasodilation. Neither glutaraldehyde pre-treatment nor HgCl2 affected tissue integrity or endothelial cell function. We conclude that the peritoneal microvascular vasodilation caused by hyperosmolar PD fluid is instigated by the osmotic water flux through AQP1. Clinical PD solutions have components other than hyperosmolality that can induce endothelium-dependent peritoneal microvascular vasodilation

  2. Identification and functional characterization of three novel alleles for the serotonin transporter-linked polymorphic region.

    PubMed

    Ehli, E A; Hu, Y; Lengyel-Nelson, T; Hudziak, J J; Davies, G E

    2012-02-01

    A promoter polymorphism in the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR) has been reported to confer relative risk for phenotypes (depression/anxiety) and endophenotypes (amygdala reactivity). In this report, we identify and characterize three rare 5-HTTLPR alleles not previously described in the human literature. The three novel alleles were identified while genotyping 5-HTTLPR in a family-based attention deficit hyperactivity disorder clinical population. Two of the novel alleles are longer than the common 16-repeat long (L) allele (17 and 18 repeats) and the third is significantly smaller than the 14-repeat short (S) allele (11 repeats). The sequence and genetic architecture of each novel allele is described in detail. We report a significant decrease in the expression between the XL₁₇ (17r) allele and the L(A) (16r) allele. The XS₁₁ (11r) allele showed similar expression with the S (14r) allele. A 1.8-fold increase in expression was observed with the L(A)(16r) allele compared with the L(G) (16r) allele, which replicates results from earlier 5-HTTLPR expression experiments. In addition, transcription factor binding site (TFBS) analysis was performed using MatInspector (Genomatix) that showed the presence or absence of different putative TFBSs between the novel alleles and the common L (16r) and S (14r) alleles. The identification of rare variants and elucidation of their functional impact could potentially lead to understanding the contribution that the rare variant may have on the inheritance/susceptibility of multifactorial common diseases.

  3. CNA web server: rigidity theory-based thermal unfolding simulations of proteins for linking structure, (thermo-)stability, and function

    PubMed Central

    Krüger, Dennis M.; Rathi, Prakash Chandra; Pfleger, Christopher; Gohlke, Holger

    2013-01-01

    The Constraint Network Analysis (CNA) web server provides a user-friendly interface to the CNA approach developed in our laboratory for linking results from rigidity analyses to biologically relevant characteristics of a biomolecular structure. The CNA web server provides a refined modeling of thermal unfolding simulations that considers the temperature dependence of hydrophobic tethers and computes a set of global and local indices for quantifying biomacromolecular stability. From the global indices, phase transition points are identified where the structure switches from a rigid to a floppy state; these phase transition points can be related to a protein’s (thermo-)stability. Structural weak spots (unfolding nuclei) are automatically identified, too; this knowledge can be exploited in data-driven protein engineering. The local indices are useful in linking flexibility and function and to understand the impact of ligand binding on protein flexibility. The CNA web server robustly handles small-molecule ligands in general. To overcome issues of sensitivity with respect to the input structure, the CNA web server allows performing two ensemble-based variants of thermal unfolding simulations. The web server output is provided as raw data, plots and/or Jmol representations. The CNA web server, accessible at http://cpclab.uni-duesseldorf.de/cna or http://www.cnanalysis.de, is free and open to all users with no login requirement. PMID:23609541

  4. Establishing a Functional Link Between African Dust and Region-wide Coral Reef Decline

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayes, M. L.; Barber, R. T.

    2003-12-01

    For nearly thirty years, coral reefs in the Western Atlantic and Caribbean basin have experienced historically unprecedented declines. Algal blooms, mass coral bleaching, disease outbreaks and shifts in the dominance of benthic coral-competitors were first documented in the 1970s and have increased in frequency, intensity, variety and range over the past two decades. Recent studies of decreasing coral cover document regional losses averaging nearly 80% over this period. Here, we provide experimental evidence that increased supplies of iron-rich eolian dust from Africa to typically iron-poor marine environments throughout the region could have played a key role in these profound changes. Atmospheric inputs of "new" micronutrients, especially iron, have the potential to overcome limitations to the growth of opportunistic coral-competitors and the virulence of coral pathogens. Microcosm and mesocosm experiments with a putative bacterial pathogen of stony corals, Aurantimonas coralicida, and a temperate stony coral, Oculina arbuscula, provide a means to test the functional relationship between iron availability, microbial growth and coral health. Iron limitation of A. coralicida growth rates is readily induced by the addition of synthetic chelators such as 2,2' Dipyridyl to bacterial cultures at relatively low concentrations (e.g. 10 μ M). This growth limitation is reversed by 100 nM over-enrichments of pure reagent-grade iron as well as iron-rich "synthetic dust" derived from African lake-bed sediments. The Chrome-azurol S assay demonstrates that A. coralicida also synthesizes high-affinity iron-capture mechanisms (i.e. siderophores) that may serve as critical determinants of virulence. Finally, our experimental mesocosms are based on oligotrophic Mediterranean seawater and permit controlled experimentation under relatively low iron ( ˜5 nM) conditions. Using this system, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis of PCR-amplified ribosomal DNA

  5. Loss of FANCC function is associated with failure to inhibit late firing replication origins after DNA cross-linking

    SciTech Connect

    Phelps, Randall A.; Gingras, Helene; Hockenbery, David M. . E-mail: dhockenb@fhcrc.org

    2007-07-01

    Fanconi anemia (FA) cells are abnormally sensitive to DNA cross-linking agents with increased levels of apoptosis and chromosomal instability. Defects in eight FA complementation groups inhibit monoubiquitination of FANCD2, and subsequent recruitment of FANCD2 to DNA damage and S-phase-associated nuclear foci. The specific functional defect in repair or response to DNA damage in FA cells remains unknown. Damage-resistant DNA synthesis is present 2.5-5 h after cross-linker treatment of FANCC, FANCA and FANCD2-deficient cells. Analysis of the size distribution of labeled DNA replication strands revealed that diepoxybutane treatment suppressed labeling of early but not late-firing replicons in FANCC-deficient cells. In contrast, normal responses to ionizing radiation were observed in FANCC-deficient cells. Absence of this late S-phase response in FANCC-deficient cells leads to activation of secondary checkpoint responses.

  6. Caenorhabditis elegans POLQ-1 and HEL-308 function in two distinct DNA interstrand cross-link repair pathways.

    PubMed

    Muzzini, Diego M; Plevani, Paolo; Boulton, Simon J; Cassata, Giuseppe; Marini, Federica

    2008-06-01

    DNA interstrand cross-links (ICLs) are highly cytotoxic DNA lesions hindering DNA replication and transcription. Whereas in bacteria and yeast the molecular mechanisms involved in ICL repair are genetically well dissected, the scenario in multicellular organisms remains unclear. Here, we report that the two new mus308 genes, polq-1 and hel-308 are involved in ICL repair in Caenorhabditis elegans. After treatment with ICL agents, a decrease in survival and an increase in checkpoint-induced cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis of germ cells is observed in mutants of both genes. Although sensitive to ICL agents and to a minor extent to IR, cytological and epistatic analyses suggest that polq-1 and hel-308 are involved in different DNA repair pathways. While hel-308 functions in a Fanconi anemia-dependent pathway, polq-1 has a role in a novel distinct and brc-1 (CeBRCA1)-dependent ICL repair process in metazoans.

  7. The Broader Context of Relational Aggression in Adolescent Romantic Relationships: Predictions from Peer Pressure and Links to Psychosocial Functioning.

    PubMed

    Schad, Megan M; Szwedo, David E; Antonishak, Jill; Hare, Amanda; Allen, Joseph P

    2008-03-01

    The broader context of relational aggression in adolescent romantic relationships was assessed by considering the ways such aggression emerged from prior experiences of peer pressure and was linked to concurrent difficulties in psychosocial functioning. Longitudinal, multi-reporter data were obtained from 97 adolescents and their best friends at age 15 and from adolescents and their romantic partners at age 18. Teens' relational aggression and romantic partners' victimization were predicted from levels of best friends' pressuring behaviors toward teens in an observed interaction as well as from best friends' ratings of how much pressure teens experienced from their peer group. Romantic partner relational aggression and teen victimization were predicted by pressure from teens' peer group only. Adolescents' romantic relational aggression and victimization were also associated with elevated levels of depressive symptoms and increased alcohol use. Results are discussed in terms of the connection of relational aggression in romantic relationships to the broader task of establishing autonomy with peers in psychosocial development.

  8. Generation of Functional Neutrophils from a Mouse Model of X-Linked Chronic Granulomatous Disorder Using Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Mukherjee, Sayandip; Santilli, Giorgia; Blundell, Michael P.; Navarro, Susana; Bueren, Juan A.; Thrasher, Adrian J.

    2011-01-01

    Murine models of human genetic disorders provide a valuable tool for investigating the scope for application of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC). Here we present a proof-of-concept study to demonstrate generation of iPSC from a mouse model of X-linked chronic granulomatous disease (X-CGD), and their successful differentiation into haematopoietic progenitors of the myeloid lineage. We further demonstrate that additive gene transfer using lentiviral vectors encoding gp91phox is capable of restoring NADPH-oxidase activity in mature neutrophils derived from X-CGD iPSC. In the longer term, correction of iPSC from human patients with CGD has therapeutic potential not only through generation of transplantable haematopoietic stem cells, but also through production of large numbers of autologous functional neutrophils. PMID:21408614

  9. Altered fronto-striatal functions in the Gdi1-null mouse model of X-linked Intellectual Disability.

    PubMed

    Morè, Lorenzo; Künnecke, Basil; Yekhlef, Latefa; Bruns, Andreas; Marte, Antonella; Fedele, Ernesto; Bianchi, Veronica; Taverna, Stefano; Gatti, Silvia; D'Adamo, Patrizia

    2017-03-06

    RAB-GDP dissociation inhibitor 1 (GDI1) loss-of-function mutations are responsible for a form of non-specific X-linked Intellectual Disability (XLID) where the only clinical feature is cognitive impairment. GDI1 patients are impaired in specific aspects of executive functions and conditioned response, which are controlled by fronto-striatal circuitries. Previous molecular and behavioral characterization of the Gdi1-null mouse revealed alterations in the total number/distribution of hippocampal and cortical synaptic vesicles as well as hippocampal short-term synaptic plasticity, and memory deficits. In this study, we employed cognitive protocols with high translational validity to human condition that target the functionality of cortico-striatal circuitry such as attention and stimulus selection ability with progressive degree of complexity. We previously showed that Gdi1-null mice are impaired in some hippocampus-dependent forms of associative learning assessed by aversive procedures. Here, using appetitive-conditioning procedures we further investigated associative learning deficits sustained by the fronto-striatal system. We report that Gdi1-null mice are impaired in attention and associative learning processes, which are a key part of the cognitive impairment observed in XLID patients.

  10. An apomixis-linked ORC3-like pseudogene is associated with silencing of its functional homolog in apomictic Paspalum simplex.

    PubMed

    Siena, Lorena A; Ortiz, Juan Pablo A; Calderini, Ornella; Paolocci, Francesco; Cáceres, Maria E; Kaushal, Pankaj; Grisan, Simone; Pessino, Silvina C; Pupilli, Fulvio

    2016-03-01

    Apomixis in plants consists of asexual reproduction by seeds. Here we characterized at structural and functional levels an apomixis-linked sequence of Paspalum simplex homologous to subunit 3 of the ORIGIN RECOGNITION COMPLEX (ORC3). ORC is a multiprotein complex which controls DNA replication and cell differentiation in eukaryotes. Three PsORC3 copies were identified, each one characterized by a specific expression profile. Of these, PsORC3a, specific for apomictic genotypes, is a pseudogene that was poorly and constitutively expressed in all developmental stages of apomictic flowers, whereas PsORC3b, the putative functional gene in sexual flowers, showed a precise time-related regulation. Sense transcripts of PsORC3 were expressed in the female cell lineage of both apomictic and sexual reproductive phenotypes, and in aposporous initials. Although strong expression was detected in sexual early endosperm, no expression was present in the apomictic endosperm. Antisense PsORC3 transcripts were revealed exclusively in apomictic germ cell lineages. Defective orc3 mutants of rice and Arabidopsis showed normal female gametophytes although the embryo and endosperm were arrested at early phases of development. We hypothesize that PsORC3a is associated with the down-regulation of its functional homolog and with the development of apomictic endosperm which deviates from the canonical 2(maternal):1(paternal) genome ratio.

  11. Impact of physicochemical environment on the super disintegrant functionality of cross-linked carboxymethyl sodium starch: insight on formulation precautions.

    PubMed

    Delalonde, Michèle; Fitouri, Raja; Ruiz, Emilie; Bataille, Bernard; Sharkawi, Tahmer

    2015-04-01

    The aim of this work is to improve the understanding of the physicochemical mechanisms involved in the functionality of cross-linked carboxymethyl sodium starch (CCSS) as a tablet super disintegrant (SD). The behavior and properties of this SD (medium uptake, disintegration times, particle size, and rheology) was investigated in a wetting medium of different physicochemical properties. In particular, the relative permittivity (dielectric constant) of these media was intentionally modified for evaluating its effect on CCSS properties. Results showed different swelling behaviors of CCSS particles according to the relative permittivity of the tested media and allow to propose two underlying mechanisms that explain CCSS functionality. Both the intra-particular swelling and the inter-particular repulsion are affected by the relative permittivity of the media. Finally, disintegration test performed on tablets specially formulated with mannitol (used commonly as an excipient and known to modify relative permittivity) confirmed that the functionality of CCSS and therefore the disintegration of the tablet can be altered according to the mannitol content.

  12. Constraint Network Analysis (CNA): a Python software package for efficiently linking biomacromolecular structure, flexibility, (thermo-)stability, and function.

    PubMed

    Pfleger, Christopher; Rathi, Prakash Chandra; Klein, Doris L; Radestock, Sebastian; Gohlke, Holger

    2013-04-22

    For deriving maximal advantage from information on biomacromolecular flexibility and rigidity, results from rigidity analyses must be linked to biologically relevant characteristics of a structure. Here, we describe the Python-based software package Constraint Network Analysis (CNA) developed for this task. CNA functions as a front- and backend to the graph-based rigidity analysis software FIRST. CNA goes beyond the mere identification of flexible and rigid regions in a biomacromolecule in that it (I) provides a refined modeling of thermal unfolding simulations that also considers the temperature-dependence of hydrophobic tethers, (II) allows performing rigidity analyses on ensembles of network topologies, either generated from structural ensembles or by using the concept of fuzzy noncovalent constraints, and (III) computes a set of global and local indices for quantifying biomacromolecular stability. This leads to more robust results from rigidity analyses and extends the application domain of rigidity analyses in that phase transition points ("melting points") and unfolding nuclei ("structural weak spots") are determined automatically. Furthermore, CNA robustly handles small-molecule ligands in general. Such advancements are important for applying rigidity analysis to data-driven protein engineering and for estimating the influence of ligand molecules on biomacromolecular stability. CNA maintains the efficiency of FIRST such that the analysis of a single protein structure takes a few seconds for systems of several hundred residues on a single core. These features make CNA an interesting tool for linking biomacromolecular structure, flexibility, (thermo-)stability, and function. CNA is available from http://cpclab.uni-duesseldorf.de/software for nonprofit organizations.

  13. Linking functional diversity and social actor strategies in a framework for interdisciplinary analysis of nature's benefits to society.

    PubMed

    Díaz, Sandra; Quétier, Fabien; Cáceres, Daniel M; Trainor, Sarah F; Pérez-Harguindeguy, Natalia; Bret-Harte, M Syndonia; Finegan, Bryan; Peña-Claros, Marielos; Poorter, Lourens

    2011-01-18

    The crucial role of biodiversity in the links between ecosystems and societies has been repeatedly highlighted both as source of wellbeing and as a target of human actions, but not all aspects of biodiversity are equally important to different ecosystem services. Similarly, different social actors have different perceptions of and access to ecosystem services, and therefore, they have different wants and capacities to select directly or indirectly for particular biodiversity and ecosystem characteristics. Their choices feed back onto the ecosystem services provided to all parties involved and in turn, affect future decisions. Despite this recognition, the research communities addressing biodiversity, ecosystem services, and human outcomes have yet to develop frameworks that adequately treat the multiple dimensions and interactions in the relationship. Here, we present an interdisciplinary framework for the analysis of relationships between functional diversity, ecosystem services, and human actions that is applicable to specific social environmental systems at local scales. We connect the mechanistic understanding of the ecological role of diversity with its social relevance: ecosystem services. The framework permits connections between functional diversity components and priorities of social actors using land use decisions and ecosystem services as the main links between these ecological and social components. We propose a matrix-based method that provides a transparent and flexible platform for quantifying and integrating social and ecological information and negotiating potentially conflicting land uses among multiple social actors. We illustrate the applicability of our framework by way of land use examples from temperate to subtropical South America, an area of rapid social and ecological change.

  14. Linking functional diversity and social actor strategies in a framework for interdisciplinary analysis of nature's benefits to society

    PubMed Central

    Díaz, Sandra; Cáceres, Daniel M.; Trainor, Sarah F.; Pérez-Harguindeguy, Natalia; Bret-Harte, M. Syndonia; Finegan, Bryan; Peña-Claros, Marielos; Poorter, Lourens

    2011-01-01

    The crucial role of biodiversity in the links between ecosystems and societies has been repeatedly highlighted both as source of wellbeing and as a target of human actions, but not all aspects of biodiversity are equally important to different ecosystem services. Similarly, different social actors have different perceptions of and access to ecosystem services, and therefore, they have different wants and capacities to select directly or indirectly for particular biodiversity and ecosystem characteristics. Their choices feed back onto the ecosystem services provided to all parties involved and in turn, affect future decisions. Despite this recognition, the research communities addressing biodiversity, ecosystem services, and human outcomes have yet to develop frameworks that adequately treat the multiple dimensions and interactions in the relationship. Here, we present an interdisciplinary framework for the analysis of relationships between functional diversity, ecosystem services, and human actions that is applicable to specific social environmental systems at local scales. We connect the mechanistic understanding of the ecological role of diversity with its social relevance: ecosystem services. The framework permits connections between functional diversity components and priorities of social actors using land use decisions and ecosystem services as the main links between these ecological and social components. We propose a matrix-based method that provides a transparent and flexible platform for quantifying and integrating social and ecological information and negotiating potentially conflicting land uses among multiple social actors. We illustrate the applicability of our framework by way of land use examples from temperate to subtropical South America, an area of rapid social and ecological change. PMID:21220325

  15. An Improved Ensemble of Random Vector Functional Link Networks Based on Particle Swarm Optimization with Double Optimization Strategy.

    PubMed

    Ling, Qing-Hua; Song, Yu-Qing; Han, Fei; Yang, Dan; Huang, De-Shuang

    2016-01-01

    For ensemble learning, how to select and combine the candidate classifiers are two key issues which influence the performance of the ensemble system dramatically. Random vector functional link networks (RVFL) without direct input-to-output links is one of suitable base-classifiers for ensemble systems because of its fast learning speed, simple structure and good generalization performance. In this paper, to obtain a more compact ensemble system with improved convergence performance, an improved ensemble of RVFL based on attractive and repulsive particle swarm optimization (ARPSO) with double optimization strategy is proposed. In the proposed method, ARPSO is applied to select and combine the candidate RVFL. As for using ARPSO to select the optimal base RVFL, ARPSO considers both the convergence accuracy on the validation data and the diversity of the candidate ensemble system to build the RVFL ensembles. In the process of combining RVFL, the ensemble weights corresponding to the base RVFL are initialized by the minimum norm least-square method and then further optimized by ARPSO. Finally, a few redundant RVFL is pruned, and thus the more compact ensemble of RVFL is obtained. Moreover, in this paper, theoretical analysis and justification on how to prune the base classifiers on classification problem is presented, and a simple and practically feasible strategy for pruning redundant base classifiers on both classification and regression problems is proposed. Since the double optimization is performed on the basis of the single optimization, the ensemble of RVFL built by the proposed method outperforms that built by some single optimization methods. Experiment results on function approximation and classification problems verify that the proposed method could improve its convergence accuracy as well as reduce the complexity of the ensemble system.

  16. An Improved Ensemble of Random Vector Functional Link Networks Based on Particle Swarm Optimization with Double Optimization Strategy

    PubMed Central

    Ling, Qing-Hua; Song, Yu-Qing; Han, Fei; Yang, Dan; Huang, De-Shuang

    2016-01-01

    For ensemble learning, how to select and combine the candidate classifiers are two key issues which influence the performance of the ensemble system dramatically. Random vector functional link networks (RVFL) without direct input-to-output links is one of suitable base-classifiers for ensemble systems because of its fast learning speed, simple structure and good generalization performance. In this paper, to obtain a more compact ensemble system with improved convergence performance, an improved ensemble of RVFL based on attractive and repulsive particle swarm optimization (ARPSO) with double optimization strategy is proposed. In the proposed method, ARPSO is applied to select and combine the candidate RVFL. As for using ARPSO to select the optimal base RVFL, ARPSO considers both the convergence accuracy on the validation data and the diversity of the candidate ensemble system to build the RVFL ensembles. In the process of combining RVFL, the ensemble weights corresponding to the base RVFL are initialized by the minimum norm least-square method and then further optimized by ARPSO. Finally, a few redundant RVFL is pruned, and thus the more compact ensemble of RVFL is obtained. Moreover, in this paper, theoretical analysis and justification on how to prune the base classifiers on classification problem is presented, and a simple and practically feasible strategy for pruning redundant base classifiers on both classification and regression problems is proposed. Since the double optimization is performed on the basis of the single optimization, the ensemble of RVFL built by the proposed method outperforms that built by some single optimization methods. Experiment results on function approximation and classification problems verify that the proposed method could improve its convergence accuracy as well as reduce the complexity of the ensemble system. PMID:27835638

  17. Mutational and functional analysis of N-linked glycosylation of envelope fusion protein F of Helicoverpa armigera nucleopolyhedrovirus.

    PubMed

    Shen, Shu; Wang, Manli; Li, Xin; Li, Shufen; van Oers, Monique M; Vlak, Just M; Braakman, Ineke; Hu, Zhihong; Deng, Fei; Wang, Hualin

    2016-04-01

    The envelope fusion (F) protein of baculoviruses is a heavily N-glycosylated protein that plays a significant role in the virus infection cycle. N-Linked glycosylation of virus envelope glycoprotein is important for virus envelope glycoprotein folding and its function in general. There are six predicted N-glycosylation sites in the F (HaF) protein of Helicoverpa armigera nucleopolyhedrovirus (HearNPV). The N-glycosylation site located in the F(2) subunit (N104) of HaF has been identified and functionally characterized previously (Long et al., 2007). In this study, the other five potential N-glycosylation sites located in the HaF1 subunit, namely, N293, N361, N526, N571 and N595, were analysed extensively to examine their N-glycosylation and relative importance to the function of HaF. The results showed that four of these five potential glycosylation sites in the F(1) subunit, N293, N361, N526 and N571, were N-glycosylated in F proteins of mature HearNPV budded viruses (BVs) but that N595 was not. In general, the conserved site N526 was critical to the functioning of HaF, as absence of N-glycosylation of N526 reduced the efficiency of HaF folding and trafficking, consequently decreased fusogenicity and modified the subcellular localization of HaF proteins, and thus impaired virus production and infectivity. The absence of N-glycosylation at other individual sites was found to have different effects on the fusogenicity and subcelluar distribution of HaF proteins in HzAM1 cells. In summary, N-glycosylation plays comprehensive roles in HaF function and virus infectivity, which is further discussed.

  18. Dissociable deficits of executive function caused by gestational adversity are linked to specific transcriptional changes in the prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Grissom, Nicola M; Herdt, Christopher T; Desilets, Jeffery; Lidsky-Everson, Jordan; Reyes, Teresa M

    2015-05-01

    Poor-quality maternal diet during pregnancy, and subsequent gestational growth disturbances in the offspring, have been implicated in the etiology of multiple neurodevelopmental disorders, including ADHD, schizophrenia, and autism. These disorders are characterized, in part, by abnormalities in responses to reward and errors of executive function. Here, we demonstrate dissociable deficits in reward processing and executive function in male and female mice, solely due to maternal malnutrition via high-fat or low-protein diets. Gestational exposure to a high-fat diet delayed acquisition of a fixed ratio response, and decreased motivation as assessed by progressive ratio. In contrast, offspring of a low-protein diet displayed no deficits in operant learning, but were more prone to assign salience to a cue that predicts reward (sign-tracking) in a Pavlovian-conditioned approach task. In the 5-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT), gestational exposure to a high-fat diet promoted impulsivity, whereas exposure to a low-protein diet led to marked inattention. These dissociable executive function deficits are known to be mediated by the medial prefrontal cortex (PFC), which displays markers of epigenetic dysregulation in neurodevelopmental disorders. Following behavioral characterization, we assayed PFC gene expression using a targeted PCR array and found that both maternal diets increased overall transcription in PFC. Cluster analysis of the relationships between individual transcripts and behavioral outcomes revealed a cluster of primarily epigenetic modulators, whose overexpression was linked to executive function deficits. The overexpression of four genes, DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1), δ-opioid receptor (OPRD1), cannabinoid receptor 1 (CNR1), and catechol-o-methyltransferase (COMT), was strongly associated with overall poor performance. All 5-CSRTT deficits were associated with DNMT1 upregulation, whereas impulsive behavior could be dissociated from

  19. Buckling analysis of defective cross-linked functionalized single- and double-walled carbon nanotubes with polyethylene chains using molecular dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Ajori, S; Ansari, R; Parsapour, H

    2016-12-01

    Functionalized carbon nanotubes (CNTs) can be used for improving the mechanical properties and load transfer in nanocomposites. In this research, the buckling behavior of perfect and defective cross-linked functionalized CNTs with polyethylene (PE) chains is studied employing molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Two different configurations with the consideration of vacancy defects, namely mapped and wrapped, are selected. According to the results, critical buckling force of cross-linked functionalized CNTs with PE chains increases as compared to pure CNTs, especially in the case of double-walled carbon nanotubes (DWCNTs). By contrast, it is demonstrated that critical strain of cross-linked functionalized CNTs decreases as compared to that of pristine CNTs. Also, it is observed that increasing the weight percentage leads to the higher increase and the decrease in critical buckling force and strain of cross-linked functionalized CNTs, respectively. Moreover, the presence of defect considerably reduces both critical buckling force and strain of cross-linked functionalized CNTs. Finally, it is shown that the critical buckling strain is more sensitive to the presence of defects as compared to critical buckling force.

  20. Increased Motor Activity During REM Sleep Is Linked with Dopamine Function in Idiopathic REM Sleep Behavior Disorder and Parkinson Disease

    PubMed Central

    Zoetmulder, Marielle; Nikolic, Miki; Biernat, Heidi; Korbo, Lise; Friberg, Lars; Jennum, Poul

    2016-01-01

    Study Objectives: Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder (RBD) is a parasomnia characterized by impaired motor inhibition during REM sleep, and dream-enacting behavior. RBD is especially associated with α-synucleinopathies, such as Parkinson disease (PD). Follow-up studies have shown that patients with idiopathic RBD (iRBD) have an increased risk of developing an α-synucleinopathy in later life. Although abundant studies have shown that degeneration of the nigrostriatal dopaminergic system is associated with daytime motor function in Parkinson disease, only few studies have investigated the relation between this system and electromyographic (EMG) activity during sleep. The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between the nigrostriatal dopamine system and muscle activity during sleep in iRBD and PD. Methods: 10 iRBD patients, 10 PD patients with PD, 10 PD patients without RBD, and 10 healthy controls were included and assessed with (123)I-N-omega-fluoropropyl-2-beta-carboxymethoxy-3beta-(4-iodophenyl) nortropane ((123)I-FP-CIT) Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scanning (123I-FP-CIT SPECT), neurological examination, and polysomnography. Results: iRBD patients and PD patients with RBD had increased EMG-activity compared to healthy controls. 123I-FP-CIT uptake in the putamen-region was highest in controls, followed by iRBD patients, and lowest in PD patients. In iRBD patients, EMG-activity in the mentalis muscle was correlated to 123I-FP-CIT uptake in the putamen. In PD patients, EMG-activity was correlated to anti-Parkinson medication. Conclusions: Our results support the hypothesis that increased EMG-activity during REM sleep is at least partly linked to the nigrostriatal dopamine system in iRBD, and with dopamine function in PD. Citation: Zoetmulder M, Nikolic M, Biernat H, Korbo L, Friberg L, Jennum P. Increased motor activity during rem sleep is linked with dopamine function in idiopathic REM sleep behavior

  1. Different neural pathways linking personality traits and eudaimonic well-being: a resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging study.

    PubMed

    Kong, Feng; Liu, Ling; Wang, Xu; Hu, Siyuan; Song, Yiying; Liu, Jia

    2015-06-01

    Eudaimonic well-being (EWB) is the fulfillment of human potential and a meaningful life. Previous studies have shown that personality traits, especially extraversion, neuroticism, and conscientiousness, significantly contribute to EWB. However, the neurobiological pathways linking personality and EWB are not understood. Here, we used resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) to investigate this issue. Specifically, we correlated individuals' EWB scores with the regional fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (fALFF) of the brain, and then examined how personality traits predicted EWB-related spontaneous brain activity. We found that EWB was positively correlated with the fALFF in the right posterior superior temporal gyrus (pSTG) and thalamus, and negatively correlated with the strength of the thalamic-insular connectivity. More importantly, we found that personality traits influenced EWB in different ways. At the regional level, the fALFF in the pSTG and thalamus mediated the effects of neuroticism and extraversion on EWB, whereas the thalamus mediated the effect of conscientiousness on EWB. At the functional connectivity level, the thalamic-insular connectivity only mediated the effect of neuroticism on EWB. Taken together, our study provides the first evidence that EWB is associated with personality traits through different neural substrates.

  2. Pleiotropic functions of embryonic sonic hedgehog expression link jaw and taste bud amplification with eye loss during cavefish evolution.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Yoshiyuki; Byerly, Mardi S; Jackman, William R; Jeffery, William R

    2009-06-01

    This study addresses the role of sonic hedgehog (shh) in increasing oral-pharyngeal constructive traits (jaws and taste buds) at the expense of eyes in the blind cavefish Astyanax mexicanus. In cavefish embryos, eye primordia degenerate under the influence of hyperactive Shh signaling. In concert, cavefish show amplified jaw size and taste bud numbers as part of a change in feeding behavior. To determine whether pleiotropic effects of hyperactive Shh signaling link these regressive and constructive traits, shh expression was compared during late development of the surface-dwelling (surface fish) and cave-dwelling (cavefish) forms of Astyanax. After an initial expansion along the midline of early embryos, shh was elevated in the oral-pharyngeal region in cavefish and later was confined to taste buds. The results of shh inhibition and overexpression experiments indicate that Shh signaling has an important role in oral and taste bud development. Conditional overexpression of an injected shh transgene at specific times in development showed that taste bud amplification and eye degeneration are sensitive to shh overexpression during the same early developmental period, although taste buds are not formed until much later. Genetic crosses between cavefish and surface fish revealed an inverse relationship between eye size and jaw size/taste bud number, supporting a link between oral-pharyngeal constructive traits and eye degeneration. The results suggest that hyperactive Shh signaling increases oral and taste bud amplification in cavefish at the expense of eyes. Therefore, selection for constructive oral-pharyngeal traits may be responsible for eye loss during cavefish evolution via pleiotropic function of the Shh signaling pathway.

  3. Efficient, dual-stimuli responsive cytosolic gene delivery using a RGD modified disulfide-linked polyethylenimine functionalized gold nanorod.

    PubMed

    Wang, Feihu; Shen, Yuanyuan; Zhang, Wenjun; Li, Min; Wang, Yun; Zhou, Dejian; Guo, Shengrong

    2014-12-28

    Controlled-release systems capable of responding to external stimuli and/or unique internal environments have received great interests in site-specific gene and/or drug delivery. In this work, a functionalized gene nanocarrier for dual-stimuli triggered cytosolic gene delivery is developed and showing high gene delivery efficacy with low cytotoxicity. The nanocarrier is prepared by conjugating gold nanorod (GNR) with multiple disulfide cross-linked short PEIs to harness the advantageous properties of GNR based near infrared (NIR) laser induced photothermal heating and intracellular stimuli-triggered degradability of disulfide cross-linked short PEIs (DSPEI). The DSPEI is further grafted with a poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) section to afford high carrier stability in cell cultures and a terminal RGD peptide for specific targeting of cancer cells. The nanocarrier is found to effectively condense plasmid DNA to form a highly stable GNR-DSPEI-PEG-RGD/DNA complex with tumor cell-targeting ability that can be efficiently uptaken by cancer cells. Moreover, the loaded genes can be effectively released from the complex triggered by the high intracellular glutathione content and/or by photothermal effect of NIR irradiation at 808 nm. Interestingly, the GNRs-based complex can easily escape from intracellular endo-/lyso-somal compartments and release the gene load into the cytosol upon exposure to NIR irradiation, resulting in significantly improved gene transfection efficiency. Our new gene carrier exhibits high gene transfection efficiency, comparable to or even better than that of high MW PEIs, but with a much lower cytotoxicity. Additionally, neither the GNR-based carrier nor the laser treatment shows any significant evidence of cytotoxicity. This work demonstrates a promising strategy for intracellular stimuli triggered, photothermal controllable gene delivery system, which can be further applied to many other nanomedicine fields.

  4. Midbrain functional connectivity and ventral striatal dopamine D2-type receptors: Link to impulsivity in methamphetamine users

    PubMed Central

    Kohno, Milky; Okita, Kyoji; Morales, Angelica M.; Robertson, Chelsea; Dean, Andy C.; Ghahremani, Dara G.; Sabb, Fred; Mandelkern, Mark A.; Bilder, Robert M.; London, Edythe D.

    2015-01-01

    Stimulant use disorders are associated with deficits in striatal dopamine receptor availability, abnormalities in mesocorticolimbic resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC), and impulsivity. In methamphetamine-dependent research participants, impulsivity is correlated negatively with striatal D2-type receptor availability, and mesocorticolimbic RSFC is stronger than in controls. The extent to which these features of methamphetamine dependence are interrelated, however, is unknown. This question was addressed in two studies. In Study 1, 19 methamphetamine-dependent and 26 healthy control subjects underwent [18F]fallypride positron emission tomography to measure ventral striatal dopamine D2-type receptor availability, indexed by binding potential (BPND), and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to assess mesocorticolimbic RSFC, using a midbrain seed. In Study 2, an independent sample of 20 methamphetamine-dependent and 18 control subjects completed the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale in addition to fMRI. Study 1 showed a significant group by ventral striatal BPND interaction effect on RSFC, reflecting a negative relationship between ventral striatal BPND and RSFC between midbrain and striatum, orbitofrontal cortex, and insula in methamphetamine-dependent participants but a positive relationship in the control group. In Study 2, an interaction of group with RSFC on impulsivity was observed. Methamphetamine-dependent participants users exhibited a positive relationship of midbrain RSFC to the left ventral striatum with cognitive impulsivity, whereas a negative relationship was observed in healthy controls. The results indicate that ventral striatal D2-type receptor signaling may affect system-level activity within the mesocorticolimbic system, providing a functional link that may help explain high impulsivity in methamphetamine-dependent individuals. PMID:26830141

  5. The structural and functional effects of the familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy-linked cardiac troponin C mutation, L29Q.

    PubMed

    Robertson, Ian M; Sevrieva, Ivanka; Li, Monica X; Irving, Malcolm; Sun, Yin-Biao; Sykes, Brian D

    2015-10-01

    Familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (FHC) is characterized by severe abnormal cardiac muscle growth. The traditional view of disease progression in FHC is that an increase in the Ca(2+)-sensitivity of cardiac muscle contraction ultimately leads to pathogenic myocardial remodeling, though recent studies suggest this may be an oversimplification. For example, FHC may be developed through altered signaling that prevents downstream regulation of contraction. The mutation L29Q, found in the Ca(2+)-binding regulatory protein in heart muscle, cardiac troponin C (cTnC), has been linked to cardiac hypertrophy. However, reports on the functional effects of this mutation are conflicting, and our goal was to combine in vitro and in situ structural and functional data to elucidate its mechanism of action. We used nuclear magnetic resonance and circular dichroism to solve the structure and characterize the backbone dynamics and stability of the regulatory domain of cTnC with the L29Q mutation. The overall structure and dynamics of cTnC were unperturbed, although a slight rearrangement of site 1, an increase in backbone flexibility, and a small decrease in protein stability were observed. The structure and function of cTnC was also assessed in demembranated ventricular trabeculae using fluorescence for in situ structure. L29Q reduced the cooperativity of the Ca(2+)-dependent structural change in cTnC in trabeculae under basal conditions and abolished the effect of force-generating myosin cross-bridges on this structural change. These effects could contribute to the pathogenesis of this mutation.

  6. X-ray Structural and Functional Studies of the Three Tandemly Linked Domains of Non-structural Protein 3 (nsp3) from Murine Hepatitis Virus Reveal Conserved Functions*

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yafang; Savinov, Sergey N.; Mielech, Anna M.; Cao, Thu; Baker, Susan C.; Mesecar, Andrew D.

    2015-01-01

    Murine hepatitis virus (MHV) has long served as a model system for the study of coronaviruses. Non-structural protein 3 (nsp3) is the largest nsp in the coronavirus genome, and it contains multiple functional domains that are required for coronavirus replication. Despite the numerous functional studies on MHV and its nsp3 domain, the structure of only one domain in nsp3, the small ubiquitin-like domain 1 (Ubl1), has been determined. We report here the x-ray structure of three tandemly linked domains of MHV nsp3, including the papain-like protease 2 (PLP2) catalytic domain, the ubiquitin-like domain 2 (Ubl2), and a third domain that we call the DPUP (domain preceding Ubl2 and PLP2) domain. DPUP has close structural similarity to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus unique domain C (SUD-C), suggesting that this domain may not be unique to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus. The PLP2 catalytic domain was found to have both deubiquitinating and deISGylating isopeptidase activities in addition to proteolytic activity. A computationally derived model of MHV PLP2 bound to ubiquitin was generated, and the potential interactions between ubiquitin and PLP2 were probed by site-directed mutagenesis. These studies extend substantially our structural knowledge of MHV nsp3, providing a platform for further investigation of the role of nsp3 domains in MHV viral replication. PMID:26296883

  7. Tapping linked to function and structure in premanifest and symptomatic Huntington disease(e–Pub ahead of print)

    PubMed Central

    Bechtel, N.; Scahill, R.I.; Rosas, H.D.; Acharya, T.; van den Bogaard, S.J.A.; Jauffret, C.; Say, M.J.; Sturrock, A.; Johnson, H.; Onorato, C.E.; Salat, D.H.; Durr, A.; Leavitt, B.R.; Roos, R.A.C.; Landwehrmeyer, G.B.; Langbehn, D.R.; Stout, J.C.; Tabrizi, S.J.; Reilmann, R.

    2010-01-01

    Objective: Motor signs are functionally disabling features of Huntington disease. Characteristic motor signs define disease manifestation. Their severity and onset are assessed by the Total Motor Score of the Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale, a categorical scale limited by interrater variability and insensitivity in premanifest subjects. More objective, reliable, and precise measures are needed which permit clinical trials in premanifest populations. We hypothesized that motor deficits can be objectively quantified by force-transducer-based tapping and correlate with disease burden and brain atrophy. Methods: A total of 123 controls, 120 premanifest, and 123 early symptomatic gene carriers performed a speeded and a metronome tapping task in the multicenter study TRACK-HD. Total Motor Score, CAG repeat length, and MRIs were obtained. The premanifest group was subdivided into A and B, based on the proximity to estimated disease onset, the manifest group into stages 1 and 2, according to their Total Functional Capacity scores. Analyses were performed centrally and blinded. Results: Tapping variability distinguished between all groups and subgroups in both tasks and correlated with 1) disease burden, 2) clinical motor phenotype, 3) gray and white matter atrophy, and 4) cortical thinning. Speeded tapping was more sensitive to the detection of early changes. Conclusion: Tapping deficits are evident throughout manifest and premanifest stages. Deficits are more pronounced in later stages and correlate with clinical scores as well as regional brain atrophy, which implies a link between structure and function. The ability to track motor phenotype progression with force-transducer-based tapping measures will be tested prospectively in the TRACK-HD study. GLOSSARY CoV = coefficient of variation; DBS = disease burden score; Freq = frequency; HD = Huntington disease; ICV = intracranial volume; IOI = interonset interval; ΔIOI = deviation from interonset interval; IPI

  8. Function and structure in social brain regions can link oxytocin-receptor genes with autistic social behavior.

    PubMed

    Yamasue, Hidenori

    2013-02-01

    Difficulties in appropriate social and communicative behaviors are the most prevalent and core symptoms of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Although recent intensive research has focused on the neurobiological background of these difficulties, many aspects of them were not yet elucidated. Recent studies have employed multimodal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) indices as intermediate phenotypes of this behavioral phenotype to link candidate genes with the autistic social difficulty. As MRI indices, functional MRI (fMRI), structural MRI, and MR-spectroscopy have been examined in subjects with autism spectrum disorders. As candidate genes, this mini-review has much interest in oxytocin-receptor genes (OXTR), since recent studies have repeatedly reported their associations with normal variations in social cognition and behavior as well as with their extremes, autistic social dysfunction. Through previous increasing studies, medial prefrontal cortex, hypothalamus and amygdala have repeatedly been revealed as neural correlates of autistic social behavior by MRI multimodalities and their relationship to OXTR. For further development of this research area, this mini-review integrates recent accumulating evidence about human behavioral and neural correlates of OXTR.

  9. SAP gene transfer restores cellular and humoral immune function in a murine model of X-linked lymphoproliferative disease.

    PubMed

    Rivat, Christine; Booth, Claire; Alonso-Ferrero, Maria; Blundell, Michael; Sebire, Neil J; Thrasher, Adrian J; Gaspar, H Bobby

    2013-02-14

    X-linked lymphoproliferative disease (XLP1) arises from mutations in the gene encoding SLAM-associated protein (SAP) and leads to abnormalities of NKT-cell development, NK-cell cytotoxicity, and T-dependent humoral function. Curative treatment is limited to allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplantation. We tested whether HSC gene therapy could correct the multilineage defects seen in SAP(-/-) mice. SAP(-/-) murine HSCs were transduced with lentiviral vectors containing either SAP or reporter gene before transplantation into irradiated recipients. NKT-cell development was significantly higher and NK-cell cytotoxicity restored to wild-type levels in mice receiving the SAP vector in comparison to control mice. Baseline immunoglobulin levels were significantly increased and T-dependent humoral responses to NP-CGG, including germinal center formation, were restored in SAP-transduced mice.We demonstrate for the first time that HSC gene transfer corrects the cellular and humoral defects in SAP(-/-) mice providing proof of concept for gene therapy in XLP1.

  10. A single transcription factor regulates evolutionarily diverse but functionally linked metabolic pathways in response to nutrient availability.

    PubMed

    Schmid, Amy K; Reiss, David J; Pan, Min; Koide, Tie; Baliga, Nitin S

    2009-01-01

    During evolution, enzyme-coding genes are acquired and/or replaced through lateral gene transfer and compiled into metabolic pathways. Gene regulatory networks evolve to fine tune biochemical fluxes through such metabolic pathways, enabling organisms to acclimate to nutrient fluctuations in a competitive environment. Here, we demonstrate that a single TrmB family transcription factor in Halobacterium salinarum NRC-1 globally coordinates functionally linked enzymes of diverse phylogeny in response to changes in carbon source availability. Specifically, during nutritional limitation, TrmB binds a cis-regulatory element to activate or repress 113 promoters of genes encoding enzymes in diverse metabolic pathways. By this mechanism, TrmB coordinates the expression of glycolysis, TCA cycle, and amino-acid biosynthesis pathways with the biosynthesis of their cognate cofactors (e.g. purine and thiamine). Notably, the TrmB-regulated metabolic network includes enzyme-coding genes that are uniquely archaeal as well as those that are conserved across all three domains of life. Simultaneous analysis of metabolic and gene regulatory network architectures suggests an ongoing process of co-evolution in which TrmB integrates the expression of metabolic enzyme-coding genes of diverse origins.

  11. Enzymatically Regulated Peptide Pairing and Catalysis for the Bioanalysis of Extracellular Prometastatic Activities of Functionally Linked Enzymes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Hao; Huang, Yue; Yu, Yue; Li, Tianqi; Li, Genxi; Anzai, Jun-Ichi

    2016-05-01

    Diseases such as cancer arise from systematical reconfiguration of interactions of exceedingly large numbers of proteins in cell signaling. The study of such complicated molecular mechanisms requires multiplexed detection of the inter-connected activities of several proteins in a disease-associated context. However, the existing methods are generally not well-equipped for this kind of application. Here a method for analyzing functionally linked protein activities is developed based on enzyme controlled pairing between complementary peptide helix strands, which simultaneously enables elaborate regulation of catalytic activity of the paired peptides. This method has been used to detect three different types of protein modification enzymes that participate in the modification of extracellular matrix and the formation of invasion front in tumour. In detecting breast cancer tissue samples using this method, up-regulated activity can be observed for two of the assessed enzymes, while the third enzyme is found to have a subtle fluctuation of activity. These results may point to the application of this method in evaluating prometastatic activities of proteins in tumour.

  12. Functional hydrophilic polystyrene beads with uniformly size and high cross-linking degree facilitated rapid separation of exenatide.

    PubMed

    Li, Qiang; Zhao, Lan; Zhang, Rongyue; Huang, Yongdong; Zhang, Yan; Zhang, Kun; Wu, Xuexing; Zhang, Zhigang; Gong, Fangling; Su, Zhiguo; Ma, Guanghui

    2016-04-01

    A high cross-linking polystyrene(PSt)-based anion-exchange material with uniformly size, high ion exchange capacity, and high hydrophilicity was synthesized by a novel surface functionalization approach in this study. Uniformly sized PSt microspheres were prepared by the membrane emulsion polymerization strategy, and then modified by (1) conversing resid ual surface vinyl groups to epoxy groups followed by quaternization, and (2) decorating aromatic ring matrix including nitration, reduction and attachment of glycidyltrimethylammonium chloride. The 3-D morphology and porous features of microspheres were observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). The surface of the modified PSt became roughness but the particle size remained same. Meanwhile, FT-IR spectra and laser scanning confocal microscope (LCSM) indicated that the modification groups had been successfully covalently coated onto the PSt microspheres. Modified PSt microspheres showed greatly improved hydrophilicity and biocompatibility with 0.387mmol/mL ion exchange capacity (IEC). In the application evaluation procedure, exenatide can be purified from 42.9% (peptide crudes) to 88.6% by modified PSt column with 97.1% recovery yield. This modified PSt microspheres had a large potential in application for efficient separation of peptides.

  13. Structure-Function Studies Link Class II Viral Fusogens with the Ancestral Gamete Fusion Protein HAP2.

    PubMed

    Pinello, Jennifer Fricke; Lai, Alex L; Millet, Jean K; Cassidy-Hanley, Donna; Freed, Jack H; Clark, Theodore G

    2017-03-06

    The conserved transmembrane protein, HAP2/GCS1, has been linked to fertility in a wide range of taxa and is hypothesized to be an ancient gamete fusogen. Using template-based structural homology modeling, we now show that the ectodomain of HAP2 orthologs from Tetrahymena thermophila and other species adopt a protein fold remarkably similar to the dengue virus E glycoprotein and related class II viral fusogens. To test the functional significance of this predicted structure, we developed a flow-cytometry-based assay that measures cytosolic exchange across the conjugation junction to rapidly probe the effects of HAP2 mutations in the Tetrahymena system. Using this assay, alterations to a region in and around a predicted "fusion loop" in T. thermophila HAP2 were found to abrogate membrane pore formation in mating cells. Consistent with this, a synthetic peptide corresponding to the HAP2 fusion loop was found to interact directly with model membranes in a variety of biophysical assays. These results raise interesting questions regarding the evolutionary relationships of class II membrane fusogens and harken back to a long-held argument that eukaryotic sex arose as the byproduct of selection for the horizontal transfer of a "selfish" genetic element from cell to cell via membrane fusion.

  14. Enzymatically Regulated Peptide Pairing and Catalysis for the Bioanalysis of Extracellular Prometastatic Activities of Functionally Linked Enzymes

    PubMed Central

    Li, Hao; Huang, Yue; Yu, Yue; Li, Tianqi; Li, Genxi; Anzai, Jun-ichi

    2016-01-01

    Diseases such as cancer arise from systematical reconfiguration of interactions of exceedingly large numbers of proteins in cell signaling. The study of such complicated molecular mechanisms requires multiplexed detection of the inter-connected activities of several proteins in a disease-associated context. However, the existing methods are generally not well-equipped for this kind of application. Here a method for analyzing functionally linked protein activities is developed based on enzyme controlled pairing between complementary peptide helix strands, which simultaneously enables elaborate regulation of catalytic activity of the paired peptides. This method has been used to detect three different types of protein modification enzymes that participate in the modification of extracellular matrix and the formation of invasion front in tumour. In detecting breast cancer tissue samples using this method, up-regulated activity can be observed for two of the assessed enzymes, while the third enzyme is found to have a subtle fluctuation of activity. These results may point to the application of this method in evaluating prometastatic activities of proteins in tumour. PMID:27140831

  15. The Florence Nightingale Effect: Organizational Identification Explains the Peculiar Link Between Others’ Suffering and Workplace Functioning in the Homelessness Sector

    PubMed Central

    Ferris, Laura J.; Jetten, Jolanda; Johnstone, Melissa; Girdham, Elise; Parsell, Cameron; Walter, Zoe C.

    2016-01-01

    Frontline employees in the helping professions often perform their duties against a difficult backdrop, including a complex client base and ongoing themes of crisis, suffering, and distress. These factors combine to create an environment in which workers are vulnerable to workplace stress and burnout. The present study tested two models to understand how frontline workers in the homelessness sector deal with the suffering of their clients. First, we examined whether relationships between suffering and workplace functioning (job satisfaction and burnout) would be mediated by organizational identification. Second, we examined whether emotional distance from clients (i.e., infrahumanization, measured as reduced attribution of secondary emotions) would predict improved workplace functioning (less burnout and greater job satisfaction), particularly when client contact is high. The study involved a mixed-methods design comprising interview (N = 26) and cross-sectional survey data (N = 60) with a sample of frontline staff working in the homelessness sector. Participants were asked to rate the level of client suffering and attribute emotions in a hypothetical client task, and to complete questionnaire measures of burnout, job satisfaction, and organizational identification. We found no relationships between secondary emotion attribution and burnout or satisfaction. Instead, we found that perceiving higher client suffering was linked with higher job satisfaction and lower burnout. Mediation analyses revealed a mediating role for identification, such that recognizing suffering predicted greater identification with the organization, which fully mediated the relationship between suffering and job satisfaction, and also between suffering and burnout. Qualitative analysis of interview data also resonated with this conceptualization. We introduce this novel finding as the ‘Florence Nightingale effect’. With this sample drawn from the homelessness sector, we provide

  16. Targeted gene editing restores regulated CD40L function in X-linked hyper-IgM syndrome.

    PubMed

    Hubbard, Nicholas; Hagin, David; Sommer, Karen; Song, Yumei; Khan, Iram; Clough, Courtnee; Ochs, Hans D; Rawlings, David J; Scharenberg, Andrew M; Torgerson, Troy R

    2016-05-26

    Loss of CD40 ligand (CD40L) expression or function results in X-linked hyper-immunoglobulin (Ig)M syndrome (X-HIGM), characterized by recurrent infections due to impaired immunoglobulin class-switching and somatic hypermutation. Previous attempts using retroviral gene transfer to correct murine CD40L expression restored immune function; however, treated mice developed lymphoproliferative disease, likely due to viral-promoter-dependent constitutive CD40L expression. These observations highlight the importance of preserving endogenous gene regulation in order to safely correct this disorder. Here, we report efficient, on-target, homology-directed repair (HDR) editing of the CD40LG locus in primary human T cells using a combination of a transcription activator-like effector nuclease-induced double-strand break and a donor template delivered by recombinant adeno-associated virus. HDR-mediated insertion of a coding sequence (green fluorescent protein or CD40L) upstream of the translation start site within exon 1 allowed transgene expression to be regulated by endogenous CD40LG promoter/enhancer elements. Additionally, inclusion of the CD40LG 3'-untranslated region in the transgene preserved posttranscriptional regulation. Expression kinetics of the transgene paralleled that of endogenous CD40L in unedited T cells, both at rest and in response to T-cell stimulation. The use of this method to edit X-HIGM patient T cells restored normal expression of CD40L and CD40-murine IgG Fc fusion protein (CD40-muIg) binding, and rescued IgG class switching of naive B cells in vitro. These results demonstrate the feasibility of engineered nuclease-directed gene repair to restore endogenously regulated CD40L, and the potential for its use in T-cell therapy for X-HIGM syndrome.

  17. Nuclear α Spectrin Differentially Affects Monoubiquitinated Versus Non-Ubiquitinated FANCD2 Function After DNA Interstrand Cross-Link Damage.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Pan; Sridharan, Deepa; Lambert, Muriel W

    2016-03-01

    Nonerythroid α spectrin (αIISp) and the Fanconi anemia (FA) protein, FANCD2, play critical roles in DNA interstrand cross-link (ICL) repair during S phase. Both are needed for recruitment of repair proteins, such as XPF, to sites of damage and repair of ICLs. However, the relationship between them in ICL repair and whether αIISp is involved in FANCD2's function in repair is unclear. The present studies show that, after ICL formation, FANCD2 disassociates from αIISp and localizes, before αIISp, at sites of damage in nuclear foci. αIISp and FANCD2 foci do not co-localize, in contrast to our previous finding that αIISp and the ICL repair protein, XPF, co-localize and follow a similar time course for formation. Knock-down of αIISp has no effect on monoubiquitination of FANCD2 (FANCD2-Ub) or its localization to chromatin or foci, though it leads to decreased ICL repair. Studies using cells from FA patients, defective in ICL repair and αIISp, have elucidated an important role for αIISp in the function of non-Ub FANCD2. In FA complementation group A (FA-A) cells, in which FANCD2 is not monoubiquitinated and does not form damage-induced foci, we demonstrate that restoration of αIISp levels to normal, by knocking down the protease μ-calpain, leads to formation of non-Ub FANCD2 foci after ICL damage. Since restoration of αIISp levels in FA-A cells restores DNA repair and cell survival, we propose that αIISp is critical for recruitment of non-Ub FANCD2 to sites of damage, which has an important role in the repair response and ICL repair.

  18. Comparison of four functionalization methods of gold nanoparticles for enhancing the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)

    PubMed Central

    Ciaurriz, Paula; Fernández, Fátima; Tellechea, Edurne; Moran, Jose F

    2017-01-01

    The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) technique is based on the specific recognition ability of the molecular structure of an antigen (epitope) by an antibody and is likely the most important diagnostic technique used today in bioscience. With this methodology, it is possible to diagnose illness, allergies, alimentary fraud, and even to detect small molecules such as toxins, pesticides, heavy metals, etc. For this reason, any procedures that improve the detection limit, sensitivity or reduce the analysis time could have an important impact in several fields. In this respect, many methods have been developed for improving the technique, ranging from fluorescence substrates to methods for increasing the number of enzyme molecules involved in the detection such as the biotin–streptavidin method. In this context, nanotechnology has offered a significant number of proposed solutions, mainly based on the functionalization of nanoparticles from gold to carbon which could be used as antibody carriers as well as reporter enzymes like peroxidase. However, few works have focused on the study of best practices for nanoparticle functionalization for ELISA enhancement. In this work, we use 20 nm gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) as a vehicle for secondary antibodies and peroxidase (HRP). The design of experiments technique (DOE) and four different methods for biomolecule loading were compared using a rabbit IgG/goat anti-rabbit IgG ELISA model (adsorption, directional, covalent and a combination thereof). As a result, AuNP probes prepared by direct adsorption were the most effective method. AuNPs probes were then used to detect gliadin, one of the main components of wheat gluten, the protein composite that causes celiac disease. With this optimized approach, our data showed a sensitivity increase of at least five times and a lower detection limit with respect to a standard ELISA of at least three times. Additionally, the assay time was remarkably decreased. PMID:28243563

  19. The Florence Nightingale Effect: Organizational Identification Explains the Peculiar Link Between Others' Suffering and Workplace Functioning in the Homelessness Sector.

    PubMed

    Ferris, Laura J; Jetten, Jolanda; Johnstone, Melissa; Girdham, Elise; Parsell, Cameron; Walter, Zoe C

    2016-01-01

    Frontline employees in the helping professions often perform their duties against a difficult backdrop, including a complex client base and ongoing themes of crisis, suffering, and distress. These factors combine to create an environment in which workers are vulnerable to workplace stress and burnout. The present study tested two models to understand how frontline workers in the homelessness sector deal with the suffering of their clients. First, we examined whether relationships between suffering and workplace functioning (job satisfaction and burnout) would be mediated by organizational identification. Second, we examined whether emotional distance from clients (i.e., infrahumanization, measured as reduced attribution of secondary emotions) would predict improved workplace functioning (less burnout and greater job satisfaction), particularly when client contact is high. The study involved a mixed-methods design comprising interview (N = 26) and cross-sectional survey data (N = 60) with a sample of frontline staff working in the homelessness sector. Participants were asked to rate the level of client suffering and attribute emotions in a hypothetical client task, and to complete questionnaire measures of burnout, job satisfaction, and organizational identification. We found no relationships between secondary emotion attribution and burnout or satisfaction. Instead, we found that perceiving higher client suffering was linked with higher job satisfaction and lower burnout. Mediation analyses revealed a mediating role for identification, such that recognizing suffering predicted greater identification with the organization, which fully mediated the relationship between suffering and job satisfaction, and also between suffering and burnout. Qualitative analysis of interview data also resonated with this conceptualization. We introduce this novel finding as the 'Florence Nightingale effect'. With this sample drawn from the homelessness sector, we provide preliminary

  20. Linking Tropical Forest Function to Hydraulic Traits in a Size-Structured and Trait-Based Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christoffersen, B. O.; Gloor, E. U.; Fauset, S.; Fyllas, N.; Galbraith, D.; Baker, T. R.; Rowland, L.; Fisher, R.; Binks, O.; Mencuccini, M.; Malhi, Y.; Stahl, C.; Wagner, F. H.; Bonal, D.; da Costa, A. C. L.; Ferreira, L.; Meir, P.

    2014-12-01

    A major weakness of forest ecosystem models applied to Amazonia is their inability to capture the diversity of responses to changes in water availability commonly observed within and across forest communities, severely hampering efforts to predict the fate of Amazon forests under climate change. Such models often prescribe moisture sensitivity using heuristic response functions which are uniform across all individuals and lack important knowledge about trade-offs in hydraulic traits. We address this weakness by implementing a process representation of plant hydraulics into an individual- and trait-based model (Trait Forest Simulator; TFS) intended for application at discrete sites across Amazonia. The model represents a trade-off in the safety and efficiency of water conduction in xylem tissue through hydraulic traits, which then lead to variation in plant water use and growth dynamics. The model accounts for the buffering effects of leaf and stem capacitance on leaf water potential at short time scales, and cavitation-induced reductions in whole-plant conductance over longer periods of water stress. We explore multiple possible links between this hydraulic trait spectrum and other whole-plant traits, such as maximum photosynthetic capacity and wood density. The model is shown to greatly improve the diversity of tree response to seasonal changes in water availability as well as response to drought, as determined by comparison with sap flux and stem dendrometry measurements. Importantly, this individual- and trait-based framework provides a testbed for identifying both critical processes and functional traits needed for inclusion in coarse-scale Dynamic Global Vegetation Models, which will lead to reduced uncertainty in the future state of Amazon tropical forests.

  1. 5-HTTLPR/rs25531 polymorphism and neuroticism are linked by resting state functional connectivity of amygdala and fusiform gyrus.

    PubMed

    Kruschwitz, J D; Walter, M; Varikuti, D; Jensen, J; Plichta, M M; Haddad, L; Grimm, O; Mohnke, S; Pöhland, L; Schott, B; Wold, A; Mühleisen, T W; Heinz, A; Erk, S; Romanczuk-Seiferth, N; Witt, S H; Nöthen, M M; Rietschel, M; Meyer-Lindenberg, A; Walter, H

    2015-07-01

    The s/s-genotype of the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism and the personality trait of neuroticism have both been associated with experiences of negative affect, anxiety and mood disorders, as well as an emotional processing bias towards negative facial emotions. On a neural level, this bias can be characterized by altered amygdala and fusiform gyrus (FFG) activity during perception of negative facial expressions. Using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging in a multi-center-sample of 178 healthy subjects of European descent, this study investigated the association of 5-HTTLPR (short s- and long l-allele) including the genotype of the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs25531 (A/G) within this region polymorphism, and trait neuroticism on resting-state functional connectivity (rs-FC) between amygdala and the FFG. Moreover, we aimed to identify additional brain regions with associations of 5-HTTLPR/rs25531 (combined according to its expression; low: s/s; high: l(A)/l(A); intermediate: s/l(A), s/l(G), l(G)/l(G), l(A)/l(G)) and trait neuroticism to amygdala rs-FC. Separate analyses for 5-HTTLPR/rs25531 and neuroticism (controlling for age, gender, handedness, and research site) revealed that s/s-homozygotes and individuals high in neuroticism obtained altered amygdala rs-FC in the right occipital face area, which is considered to be a "core component" of the face processing system. Importantly, effects of neuroticism were replicated across three independent research sites. Additionally, associations of 5-HTTLPR/rs25531 genotype and amygdala rs-FC were observed in the anterior and posterior cingulate cortex, whereas neuroticism was not related to rs-FC in these areas. The presented data implies that 5-HTTLPR/rs25531 variants and neuroticism are linked by resting state functional connectivity of amygdala and fusiform gyrus and suggests that variants of 5-HTTLPR/rs25531 genotype and different levels of neuroticism may partly account for altered processing of

  2. Dietary patterns: a novel approach to examine the link between nutrition and cognitive function in older individuals.

    PubMed

    Allès, B; Samieri, C; Féart, C; Jutand, M-A; Laurin, D; Barberger-Gateau, P

    2012-12-01

    Cognitive decline may lead to dementia whose most frequent cause is Alzheimer's disease (AD). Among the many potential risk factors of cognitive decline and AD, diet raises increasing interest. Most studies considered diet in the frame of a single nutrient approach with inconsistent results. A novel approach to examine the link between nutrition and cognitive function is the use of dietary patterns. The aim of the present review was to update and complete the body of knowledge about dietary patterns in relationship with various cognitive outcomes in the elderly. Two approaches can be used: a priori and a posteriori patterns. A priori patterns are defined by the adhesion to a pre-defined healthy diet using a score such as the Mediterranean diet (MeDi) score, the Healthy Eating Index, the Canadian Healthy Eating Index, the French National Nutrition and Health Programme (Programme National Nutrition Santé) Guideline Score (PNNS-GS), the Recommended Food Score (RFS) and Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH). MeDi score, RFS, PNNS-GS and DASH have been associated with lower risks of cognitive impairment, cognitive decline, and dementia or AD. Principal components analysis, reduced rank regression and clustering methods allow the identification of 'healthy' patterns associated with lower risk of cognitive decline. However, some studies did not report any associations with cognitive outcomes and results are discordant especially regarding MeDi and the risk of dementia. Several methodological challenges should be overcome to provide a higher level of evidence supporting the development of nutritional policies to prevent cognitive decline and AD.

  3. Molecular mechanisms linking diabetes mellitus and Alzheimer disease: beta-amyloid peptide, insulin signaling, and neuronal function.

    PubMed

    Takeda, Shuko; Sato, Naoyuki; Rakugi, Hiromi; Morishita, Ryuichi

    2011-06-01

    The incidence of Alzheimer disease (AD) and diabetes mellitus (DM) is increasing at an alarming rate and has become a major public health concern worldwide. Recent epidemiological studies have provided direct evidence that DM is a strong risk factor for AD; this finding is now attracting attention. However, the underlying mechanisms for this association remain largely unknown. Previous in vitro and in vivo studies reported that diabetic conditions could cause an increase in the beta-amyloid peptide (Aβ) levels, which exhibits neurotoxic properties and plays a causative role in AD. However, unexpectedly, recent clinicopathological studies have shown no evidence that the pathological hallmarks of AD, including amyloid plaque, were increased in the brains of diabetic patients, suggesting that DM could affect the pathogenesis of AD through mechanisms other than modulation of Aβ metabolism. One possible mechanism is the alteration in brain insulin signaling. It has been shown that insulin signaling is involved in a variety of neuronal functions, and that it also plays a significant role in the pathophysiology of AD. Thus, the modification of neuronal insulin signaling by diabetic conditions may contribute to AD progression. Another possible mechanism is cerebrovascular alteration, a common pathological change observed in both diseases. Accumulating evidence has suggested the importance of Aβ-induced cerebrovascular dysfunction in AD, and indicated that pathological interactions between the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) and Aβ peptides may play a role in this dysfunction. Our study has provided a further understanding of the potential underlying mechanisms linking DM and AD by establishing novel mouse models showing pathological manifestations of both diseases. The current review summarizes the results from recent studies on the pathological relationship between DM and AD while focusing on brain insulin signaling and cerebrovascular alteration

  4. The GIP/GIPR axis is functionally linked to GH-secretion increase in a significant proportion of gsp(-) somatotropinomas.

    PubMed

    Regazzo, Daniela; Losa, Marco; Albiger, Nora; Terreni, Maria Rosa; Vazza, Giovanni; Ceccato, Filippo; Emanuelli, Enzo; Denaro, Luca; Scaroni, Carla; Occhi, Gianluca

    2017-02-08

    Objective: Glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide receptor (GIPR) overexpression has been recently described in a proportion of gsp(-) somatotropinomas and suggested to be associated with the paradoxical increase of GH (GH-PI) during an oral glucose load. Design and Methods: This study was aimed at linking the GIP/GIPR pathway to GH secretion in 25 somatotropinomas-derived primary cultures and correlating molecular with clinical features in acromegalic patients. Given the impairment of the GIPR/GIPR axis in acromegaly, an additional aim was to assess the effect of GH/IGF-1 stimulation on GIP expression in the enteroendocrine cell line STC-1. Results: nearly 80% of GIPR-expressing somatotropinomas, all of them negative for gsp mutations, show increased GH secretion upon GIP stimulation, higher sensitivity to forskolin but not to somatostatin analogues. Beside increased frequency of GH-PI, GIPR overexpression does not appear to affect acromegalic patients' clinical features. In STC-1 cells transfected with GIP promoter-driven luciferase vector, IGF-1 but not GH induced dose-dependent increase in luciferase activity. Conclusions: we demonstrate that GIPR mediates the GH-PI in a significant proportion of gsp(-) acromegalic patients. In these cases the stimulatory effect of IGF-I on GIP promoter support the hypothesis of a functional GH-IGF1-GIP axis. Further studies based on larger cohorts and the development of a stable transgenic model with inducible GIPR overexpression targeted to pituitary somatotroph lineage will be mandatory to establish the real role of GIPR in the pathogenesis of somatotropinomas.

  5. Muscle beta1D integrin reinforces the cytoskeleton-matrix link: modulation of integrin adhesive function by alternative splicing.

    PubMed

    Belkin, A M; Retta, S F; Pletjushkina, O Y; Balzac, F; Silengo, L; Fassler, R; Koteliansky, V E; Burridge, K; Tarone, G

    1997-12-15

    Expression of muscle-specific beta1D integrin with an alternatively spliced cytoplasmic domain in CHO and GD25, beta1 integrin-minus cells leads to their phenotypic conversion. beta1D-transfected nonmuscle cells display rounded morphology, lack of pseudopodial activity, retarded spreading, reduced migration, and significantly enhanced contractility compared with their beta1A-expressing counterparts. The transfected beta1D is targeted to focal adhesions and efficiently displaces the endogenous beta1A and alphavbeta3 integrins from the sites of cell-matrix contact. This displacement is observed on several types of extracellular matrix substrata and leads to elevated stability of focal adhesions in beta1D transfectants. Whereas a significant part of cellular beta1A integrin is extractable in digitonin, the majority of the transfected beta1D is digitonin-insoluble and is strongly associated with the detergent-insoluble cytoskeleton. Increased interaction of beta1D integrin with the actin cytoskeleton is consistent with and might be mediated by its enhanced binding to talin. In contrast, beta1A interacts more strongly with alpha-actinin, than beta1D. Inside-out driven activation of the beta1D ectodomain increases ligand binding and fibronectin matrix assembly by beta1D transfectants. Phenotypic effects of beta1D integrin expression in nonmuscle cells are due to its enhanced interactions with both cytoskeletal and extracellular ligands. They parallel the transitions that muscle cells undergo during differentiation. Modulation of beta1 integrin adhesive function by alternative splicing serves as a physiological mechanism reinforcing the cytoskeleton- matrix link in muscle cells. This reflects the major role for beta1D integrin in muscle, where extremely stable association is required for contraction.

  6. Muscle β1D Integrin Reinforces the Cytoskeleton–Matrix Link: Modulation of Integrin Adhesive Function by Alternative Splicing

    PubMed Central

    Belkin, Alexey M.; Retta, S. Francesco; Pletjushkina, Olga Y.; Balzac, Fiorella; Silengo, Lorenzo; Fassler, Reinhard; Koteliansky, Victor E.; Burridge, Keith; Tarone, Guido

    1997-01-01

    Expression of muscle-specific β1D integrin with an alternatively spliced cytoplasmic domain in CHO and GD25, β1 integrin-minus cells leads to their phenotypic conversion. β1D-transfected nonmuscle cells display rounded morphology, lack of pseudopodial activity, retarded spreading, reduced migration, and significantly enhanced contractility compared with their β1A-expressing counterparts. The transfected β1D is targeted to focal adhesions and efficiently displaces the endogenous β1A and αvβ3 integrins from the sites of cell–matrix contact. This displacement is observed on several types of extracellular matrix substrata and leads to elevated stability of focal adhesions in β1D transfectants. Whereas a significant part of cellular β1A integrin is extractable in digitonin, the majority of the transfected β1D is digitonin-insoluble and is strongly associated with the detergent-insoluble cytoskeleton. Increased interaction of β1D integrin with the actin cytoskeleton is consistent with and might be mediated by its enhanced binding to talin. In contrast, β1A interacts more strongly with α-actinin, than β1D. Inside-out driven activation of the β1D ectodomain increases ligand binding and fibronectin matrix assembly by β1D transfectants. Phenotypic effects of β1D integrin expression in nonmuscle cells are due to its enhanced interactions with both cytoskeletal and extracellular ligands. They parallel the transitions that muscle cells undergo during differentiation. Modulation of β1 integrin adhesive function by alternative splicing serves as a physiological mechanism reinforcing the cytoskeleton– matrix link in muscle cells. This reflects the major role for β1D integrin in muscle, where extremely stable association is required for contraction. PMID:9396762

  7. DOG-1 Is the Caenorhabditis elegans BRIP1/FANCJ Homologue and Functions in Interstrand Cross-Link Repair▿

    PubMed Central

    Youds, Jillian L.; Barber, Louise J.; Ward, Jordan D.; Collis, Spencer J.; O'Neil, Nigel J.; Boulton, Simon J.; Rose, Ann M.

    2008-01-01

    Fanconi anemia (FA) is a cancer susceptibility syndrome characterized by defective DNA interstrand cross-link (ICL) repair. Here, we show that DOG-1 is the Caenorhabditis elegans homologue of FANCJ, a helicase mutated in FA-J patients. DOG-1 performs a conserved role in ICL repair, as dog-1 mutants are hypersensitive to ICL-inducing agents, but not to UVC irradiation or X rays. Genetic analysis indicated that dog-1 is epistatic with fcd-2 (C. elegans FANCD2) but is nonepistatic with brc-1 (C. elegans BRCA1), thus establishing the existence of two distinct pathways of ICL repair in worms. Furthermore, DOG-1 is dispensable for FCD-2 and RAD-51 focus formation, suggesting that DOG-1 operates downstream of FCD-2 and RAD-51 in ICL repair. DOG-1 was previously implicated in poly(G)/poly(C) (G/C) tract maintenance during DNA replication. G/C tracts remain stable in the absence of ATL-1, CLK-2 (FA pathway activators), FCD-2, BRC-2, and MLH-1 (associated FA components), implying that DOG-1 is the sole FA component required for G/C tract maintenance in a wild-type background. However, FCD-2 is required to promote deletion-free repair at G/C tracts in dog-1 mutants, consistent with a role for FA factors at the replication fork. The functional conservation between DOG-1 and FANCJ suggests a possible role for FANCJ in G/C tract maintenance in human cells. PMID:18086896

  8. Processing Semblances Induced through Inter-Postsynaptic Functional LINKs, Presumed Biological Parallels of K-Lines Proposed for Building Artificial Intelligence.

    PubMed

    Vadakkan, Kunjumon I

    2011-01-01

    The internal sensation of memory, which is available only to the owner of an individual nervous system, is difficult to analyze for its basic elements of operation. We hypothesize that associative learning induces the formation of functional LINK between the postsynapses. During memory retrieval, the activation of either postsynapse re-activates the functional LINK evoking a semblance of sensory activity arriving at its opposite postsynapse, nature of which defines the basic unit of internal sensation - namely, the semblion. In neuronal networks that undergo continuous oscillatory activity at certain levels of their organization re-activation of functional LINKs is expected to induce semblions, enabling the system to continuously learn, self-organize, and demonstrate instantiation, features that can be utilized for developing artificial intelligence (AI). This paper also explains suitability of the inter-postsynaptic functional LINKs to meet the expectations of Minsky's K-lines, basic elements of a memory theory generated to develop AI and methods to replicate semblances outside the nervous system.

  9. Processing Semblances Induced through Inter-Postsynaptic Functional LINKs, Presumed Biological Parallels of K-Lines Proposed for Building Artificial Intelligence

    PubMed Central

    Vadakkan, Kunjumon I.

    2011-01-01

    The internal sensation of memory, which is available only to the owner of an individual nervous system, is difficult to analyze for its basic elements of operation. We hypothesize that associative learning induces the formation of functional LINK between the postsynapses. During memory retrieval, the activation of either postsynapse re-activates the functional LINK evoking a semblance of sensory activity arriving at its opposite postsynapse, nature of which defines the basic unit of internal sensation – namely, the semblion. In neuronal networks that undergo continuous oscillatory activity at certain levels of their organization re-activation of functional LINKs is expected to induce semblions, enabling the system to continuously learn, self-organize, and demonstrate instantiation, features that can be utilized for developing artificial intelligence (AI). This paper also explains suitability of the inter-postsynaptic functional LINKs to meet the expectations of Minsky’s K-lines, basic elements of a memory theory generated to develop AI and methods to replicate semblances outside the nervous system. PMID:21845180

  10. Linking structural and functional connectivity in a simple runoff-runon model over soils with heterogeneous infiltrability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harel, M.; Mouche, E.

    2012-12-01

    Runoff production on a hillslope during a rainfall event may be simplified as follows. Given a soil of constant infiltrability I, which is the maximum amount of water that the soil can infiltrate, and a constant rainfall intensity R, runoff is observed wherever R is greater than I. The infiltration rate equals the infiltrability where runoff is produced, R otherwise. When ponding time, topography, and overall spatial and temporal variations of physical parameters, such as R and I, are neglected, the runoff equation remains simple. In this study, we consider soils of spatially variable infiltrability. As runoff can re-infiltrate on down-slope areas of higher infiltrabilities (runon process), the resulting process is highly non-linear. The stationary runoff equation is: Qn+1 = max (Qn + (R - In)*Δx , 0) where Qn is the runoff arriving on pixel n of size Δx [L2/T], R and In the rainfall intensity and infiltrability on that same pixel [L/T]. The non-linearity is due to the dependence of infiltration on R and Qn, that is runon. This re-infiltration process generates patterns of runoff along the slope, patterns that organise and connect differently to each other depending on the rainfall intensity and the nature of the soil heterogeneity. In order to characterize the runoff patterns and their connectivity, we use the connectivity function defined by Allard (1993) in Geostatistics. Our aim is to assess, in a stochastic framework, the runoff organization on 1D and 2D slopes with random infiltrabilities (log-normal, exponential and bimodal distributions) by means of numerical simulations. Firstly, we show how runoff is produced and organized in patterns along a 2D slope according to the infiltrability distribution. We specifically illustrate and discuss the link between the statistical nature of the infiltrability and that of the flow-rate, with a special focus on the relations between the connectivities of both fields: the structural connectivity (infiltrability patterns

  11. The criticality of high-resolution N-linked carbohydrate assays and detailed characterization of antibody effector function in the context of biosimilar development.

    PubMed

    Brady, Lowell J; Velayudhan, Jyoti; Visone, Devi B; Daugherty, Ken C; Bartron, Jeff L; Coon, Michael; Cornwall, Cabot; Hinckley, Peter J; Connell-Crowley, Lisa

    2015-01-01

    Accurate measurement and functional characterization of antibody Fc domain N-linked glycans is critical to successful biosimilar development. Here, we describe the application of methods to accurately quantify and characterize the N-linked glycans of 2 IgG1 biosimilars with effector function activity, and show the potential pitfalls of using assays with insufficient resolution. Accurate glycan assessment was combined with glycan enrichment using lectin chromatography or production with glycosylation inhibitors to produce enriched pools of key glycan species for subsequent assessment in cell-based antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity and complement-dependent cytotoxicity effector function assays. This work highlights the challenges of developing high-quality biosimilar candidates and the need for modern biotechnology capabilities. These results show that high-quality analytics, combined with sensitive cell-based assays to study in vivo mechanisms of action, is an essential part of biosimilar development.

  12. Linking catchment structure to hydrologic function: Implications of catchment topography for patterns of landscape hydrologic connectivity and stream flow dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jencso, K. G.; McGlynn, B. L.; Marshall, L. A.

    2010-12-01

    The relationship between catchment structure (topography and topology), stream network hydrologic connectivity, and runoff response remains poorly understood. Hillslope-riparian-stream (HRS) water table connectivity serves as the hydrologic linkage between a catchment’s uplands and the channel network and facilitates the transmission of water and solutes to streams. While there has been tremendous interest in the concept of hydrological connectivity to characterize catchments, there are relatively few studies that have quantified hydrologic connectivity at the stream network and catchment scales. Here, we examine how catchment topography influenced patterns of stream network HRS connectivity and resultant runoff dynamics across 11 nested headwater catchments in the Tenderfoot Creek Experimental Forest (TCEF), MT. This study extends the empirical findings of Jencso et al. (2009) who found a strong linear relationship (r2 = 0.92) between the upslope accumulated area (UAA) and annual duration of shallow ground water table connectivity observed across 24 HRS transects (146 groundwater recording wells) within the TCEF. We applied this relationship to the entire stream network to quantify the frequency distribution of stream network connectivity through time (as a function of UAA) and ascertain its relationship to catchment-scale runoff dynamics. Each catchment’s estimated connectivity duration curve (CDC) was highly related to its flow duration curve (FDC); albeit the rate of change of runoff with respect to stream network connectedness varied significantly across catchments. To ascertain potential reasons for these differences we compared the slope of each catchment’s CDC-FDC relationship (annual, peak, transition and baseflow periods) in multiple linear models against median values of common terrain indices and land cover-vegetation characteristics. Significant predictors (p<0.05) included the flow path distance to the creek (DFC), the flow path gradient to the

  13. Decoupling of mechanical systems based on in-situ frequency response functions: The link-preserving, decoupling method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keersmaekers, Laurent; Mertens, Luc; Penne, Rudi; Guillaume, Patrick; Steenackers, Gunther

    2015-06-01

    Mechanical structures often consist of active and passive parts, the former containing the sources, the latter the transfer paths and the targets. The active and passive parts are connected to each other by means of links. In this paper, an innovative theoretical model has been developed to achieve the mathematical decoupling of such structures without disassembling the substructures, when the links connecting the structures are resilient enough. This procedure is required to identify components causing a specific Noise, Vibration and Harsh-ness (NVH) problem. The links are regarded as a parallel connection of springs and dampers, ignoring some physical properties. However, the new procedure will provide a powerful construction in which different link models can be investigated. Therefore, this procedure will be called the Link-Preserving, Decoupling Method (LPD method). The absence of a time-consuming physical decoupling procedure distinguishes the LPD method from all known methods such as the classical TPA method. The LPD method is validated by two numerical simulations using linear and nonlinear lumped parameter models and by an experimental case study.

  14. CO2/light gas separation performance of cross-linked poly(vinylimidazolium) gel membranes as a function of ionic liquid loading and cross-linker content

    SciTech Connect

    Carlisle, TK; Nicodemus, GD; Gin, DL; Noble, RD

    2012-04-15

    A series of cross-linked poly(vinylimidazolium)-RTIL gel membranes was synthesized and evaluated for room-temperature, ideal CO2/N-2, CO2/CH4, and CO2/H-2 separation performance. The membranes were formed by photo-polymerization of oligo(ethylene glycol)-functionalized cross-linking (i.e., di-functional) and non-cross-linking (i.e., mono-functional) vinylimidazolium RTIL monomers with nonpolymerizable, "free RTIL." The effect of free RTIL ([emim][Tf2N]) loading on CO2 separation performance was evaluated by varying RTIL loading at three levels (45, 65, and 75 wt.%). The effect of cross-linker content on CO2 separation performance was also evaluated by varying the copolymer composition of cross-linked membranes from 5 to 100 mol% di-functional monomer. The substituent on the monofunctional RTIL monomer was also varied to investigate the effect of substituent structure and chemistry on CO2 separation performance. CO2 permeability was dramatically increased with higher loading of free RTIL. Increased RTIL loading had no effect on CO2/N-2 or CO2/CH4 permeability selectivity, but significantly improved CO2/H-2 permeability selectivity. Reducing the cross-linking monomer concentration generally improved CO2 permeability. However, anomalous permeability and selectivity behavior was observed below critical concentrations of cross-linker. The effect of the substituent on the monofunctional monomer on CO2 separation performance was minimal compared to the effects of RTIL loading and copolymer composition. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Functional Analysis of the Glucuronyltransferases GlcAT-P and GlcAT-S of Drosophila melanogaster: Distinct Activities towards the O-linked T-antigen.

    PubMed

    Breloy, Isabelle; Schwientek, Tilo; Althoff, Deborah; Holz, Marvin; Koppen, Tim; Krupa, Angelika; Hanisch, Franz-Georg

    2016-01-06

    The Drosophila melanogaster glucuronyltransferases dGlcAT-S and dGlcAT-P were reported to be expressed ubiquitously and results of in vitro activity assays indicate a functional redundancy. We analyzed both transferases in vivo and in vitro and could show significant differences in their activity towards N-and O-glycoproteins in vivo. While GlcAT-P is able to use N-linked N-acetyllactosamine chains and the O-linked T-antigen as a substrate to form non-sulfated HNK1- (GlcAβ1-3Galβ1-4GlcNAcβ1-) and glucuronyl-T-antigens in vivo, GlcAT-S adds glucuronic acid only to N-linked chains, thereby synthesizing only the non-sulfated HNK1-antigen.

  16. Theoretical studies of the functional role of the cross-linked histidine-tyrosine copper-B ligand of cytochrome c oxidase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McDonald, William J.

    In the present work density functional theory calculations were performed to explore the vibrational and electronic spectral changes associated with proton and electron transfer from the CuB center at the active site of cytochrome c oxidase that lead to the formation of either the PR or PM intermediates in the catalytic reduction of dioxygen to water. Furthermore, the thermodynamics of proton and electron transfer from the cross-linked histidine-tyrosine Cu B ligand were explored to assess the possible role of this ligand as a proton and/or electron donor during enzymatic turnover. Characteristic calculated cross-linked imidazole-phenolate and imidazole-phenoxyl radical vibrational frequencies and isotope shifts are in good agreement with the vibrational spectra of the PR and PM intermediates of the bo3 quinol oxidase from E. coli and R. sphaeroides and P. denitrificans suggesting that the Y244 (bovine numbering) is deprotonated in the PR intermediate, and is a tyrosyl radical in P M. Furthermore, using isodesmic reactions, the cross-linked phenol is found to be a significantly stronger acid than an unmodified phenol in the gas-phase, and likely in the inhomogeneous low-dielectric environment of the membrane bound enzyme, supporting the conclusion that the cross-linked tyrosine is a proton donor during enzymatic turnover. Time-dependent density functional theory calculations qualitatively reproduce the red-shift in the UV/visible absorption spectrum of a cross-linked imidazole-phenolate anion compared to the imidazole-phenol. Furthermore, the unique ˜500 nm absorption of a cross-linked imidazole-phenoxyl radical is correctly predicted using TDDFT and may be assigned as an imidazole-phenoxyl radical pi-to-pi* transition. Furthermore, this absorption is predicted in the spectrum of a Cu2+-imidazole-phenoxyl biradical model.

  17. The link in Linking

    PubMed Central

    Caldwell, Jane C; Chiale, Pablo A; Gonzalez, Mario D; Baranchuk, Adrian

    2013-01-01

    We present 2 cases of the slow-fast form of AVNRT with initially narrow QRS complexes followed by sudden unexpected transition to persistently wide QRS complexes due to aberrant intraventricular conduction. Introduction of a properly timed extrastimulus in one case and critical oscillations in cycle length due to short-long coupling in the second case set the stage for the initial bundle branch block. However, persistence of the aberrancy pattern once the initial event abated was maintained by the "linking" phenomenon. Delayed, retrograde concealed activation from the contralateral bundle branch perpetuated the initial bundle branch block. PMID:23840106

  18. The link in Linking.

    PubMed

    Caldwell, Jane C; Chiale, Pablo A; Gonzalez, Mario D; Baranchuk, Adrian

    2013-05-01

    We present 2 cases of the slow-fast form of AVNRT with initially narrow QRS complexes followed by sudden unexpected transition to persistently wide QRS complexes due to aberrant intraventricular conduction. Introduction of a properly timed extrastimulus in one case and critical oscillations in cycle length due to short-long coupling in the second case set the stage for the initial bundle branch block. However, persistence of the aberrancy pattern once the initial event abated was maintained by the "linking" phenomenon. Delayed, retrograde concealed activation from the contralateral bundle branch perpetuated the initial bundle branch block.

  19. In situ infrared spectroscopic and density-functional studies of the cross-linked structure of one-dimensional C{sub 60} polymer

    SciTech Connect

    Takashima, A.; Onoe, J.; Nishii, T.

    2010-08-15

    We have examined the infrared (IR) spectra of electron-beam (EB) irradiated C{sub 60} films, using in situ IR spectroscopy in the temperature range of 60-300 K. The irradiation-time evolution of the IR spectra shows that two highly intense new peaks finally appear around 565 and 1340 cm{sup -1} when the EB-induced C{sub 60} polymerization was saturated. To determine the cross-linked structure of the polymer explicitly, we have compared the IR spectra with theoretical spectra obtained from the cross-linked structure of all C{sub 120} stable isomers derived from the general Stone-Wales (GSW) rearrangement, using first-principles density-functional calculations. Since each C{sub 120} isomer has the same cross-linked structure as that of its corresponding one-dimensional (1D) C{sub 60} polymer, the IR modes obtained from the cross-linked structure of C{sub 120} are close to those obtained from the corresponding 1D polymer. Comparison between the experimental and theoretical IR spectra suggests that the 1D peanut-shaped C{sub 60} polymer has a cross-linked structure roughly similar to that of the P08 peanut-shaped C{sub 120} isomer.

  20. Biocomposites from Natural Rubber: Synergistic Effects of Functionalized Cellulose Nanocrystals as Both Reinforcing and Cross-Linking Agents via Free-Radical Thiol-ene Chemistry.

    PubMed

    Parambath Kanoth, Bipinbal; Claudino, Mauro; Johansson, Mats; Berglund, Lars A; Zhou, Qi

    2015-08-05

    Natural rubber/cellulose nanocrystals (NR/CNCs) form true biocomposites from renewable resources and are demonstrated to show significantly improved thermo-mechanical properties and reduced stress-softening. The nanocomposites were prepared from chemically functionalized CNCs bearing thiols. CNCs served as both reinforcing and cross-linking agents in the NR matrix, and the study was designed to prove the cross-linking function of modified CNCs. CNCs were prepared from cotton, and the cross-linkable mercapto-groups were introduced onto the surface of CNCs by esterification. Nanocomposite films were prepared by dispersing the modified CNCs (m-CNCs) in NR matrix by solution casting. The cross-links at the filler-matrix (m-CNCs-NR) interface were generated by photochemically initiated thiol-ene reactions as monitored by real-time FTIR analysis. The synergistic effects of reinforcement and chemical cross-linking at the m-CNCs-NR interface on structure, thermo-mechanical, and stress-softening behavior were investigated. Methods included field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), swelling tests, dynamic mechanical analysis, and tensile tests. Compared to biocomposites from NR with unmodified CNCs, the NR/m-CNCs nanocomposites showed 2.4-fold increase in tensile strength, 1.6-fold increase in strain-to-failure, and 2.9-fold increase in work-of-fracture at 10 wt % of m-CNCs in NR.

  1. Elucidating the functional relationship between working memory capacity and psychometric intelligence: a fixed-links modeling approach for experimental repeated-measures designs.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Philipp; Rammsayer, Thomas; Schweizer, Karl; Troche, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    Numerous studies reported a strong link between working memory capacity (WMC) and fluid intelligence (Gf), although views differ in respect to how close these two constructs are related to each other. In the present study, we used a WMC task with five levels of task demands to assess the relationship between WMC and Gf by means of a new methodological approach referred to as fixed-links modeling. Fixed-links models belong to the family of confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and are of particular interest for experimental, repeated-measures designs. With this technique, processes systematically varying across task conditions can be disentangled from processes unaffected by the experimental manipulation. Proceeding from the assumption that experimental manipulation in a WMC task leads to increasing demands on WMC, the processes systematically varying across task conditions can be assumed to be WMC-specific. Processes not varying across task conditions, on the other hand, are probably independent of WMC. Fixed-links models allow for representing these two kinds of processes by two independent latent variables. In contrast to traditional CFA where a common latent variable is derived from the different task conditions, fixed-links models facilitate a more precise or purified representation of the WMC-related processes of interest. By using fixed-links modeling to analyze data of 200 participants, we identified a non-experimental latent variable, representing processes that remained constant irrespective of the WMC task conditions, and an experimental latent variable which reflected processes that varied as a function of experimental manipulation. This latter variable represents the increasing demands on WMC and, hence, was considered a purified measure of WMC controlled for the constant processes. Fixed-links modeling showed that both the purified measure of WMC (β = .48) as well as the constant processes involved in the task (β = .45) were related to Gf. Taken

  2. Metal-Free Radical [2+2+1] Carbocyclization of Benzene-Linked 1,n-Enynes: Dual C(sp(3))-H Functionalization Adjacent to a Heteroatom.

    PubMed

    Hu, Ming; Fan, Jian-Hong; Liu, Yu; Ouyang, Xuan-Hui; Song, Ren-Jie; Li, Jin-Heng

    2015-08-10

    A new metal-free oxidative radical [2+2+1] carbocyclization of benzene-linked 1,n-enynes with two C(sp(3))-H bonds adjacent to the same heteroatom is described. This method achieves two C(sp(3))-H oxidative functionalizations and an annulation, thus providing efficient and general access to a variety of fused five-membered carbocyclic hydrocarbons.

  3. Assessing the Link between Executive Functions and Aggressive Behaviours of Children Who Are Deaf: Impact of Early Special Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sipal, Rafet Firat; Bayhan, Pinar

    2010-01-01

    Introduction: Relation between constructing complex mental structures and language skills cause delays in development of executive functions of deaf children. When the importance of language skills in development of executive functions and frequency of aggressive behaviours of deaf children are considered, investigation of executive functions of…

  4. Mimicking the hierarchical functions of dentin collagen cross-links with plant derived phenols and phenolic acids

    PubMed Central

    Vidal, Cristina M. P.; Leme, Ariene A.; Aguiar, Thaiane R.; Phansalkar, Rasika; Nam, Joo-Won; Bisson, Jonathan; McAlpine, James B.; Chen, Shao-Nong; Pauli, Guido F.; Bedran-Russo, Ana

    2015-01-01

    Proanthocyanidins (PACs) are secondary plant metabolites that mediate non-enzymatic collagen cross-linking and enhance the properties of collagen based tissue, such as dentin. The extent and nature of cross-linking is influenced by the composition and specific chemical structure of the bioactive compounds present in certain PAC-rich extracts. This study investigated the effect of the molecular weight and stereochemistry of polyphenol compounds on two important properties of dentin, biomechanics and biostability. For that, purified phenols, a phenolic acid and some of its derivatives were selected: PACs dimers (A1, A2, B1 and B2) and a trimer (C1), gallic acid (Ga), its esters methyl gallate (MGa) and propyl gallate (PGa), and a pentagalloyl ester of glucose (PGG). Synergism was assessed by combination of the most active PAC and gallic acid derivative. Mechanical properties of dentin organic matrix were determined by the modulus of elasticity obtained in a flexural test. Biostability was evaluated by resistance to collagenase degradation. PACs significantly enhanced dentin mechanical properties and decreased collagen digestion. Among the gallic acid derivatives, only PGG had a significant enhancing effect. The lack of observed C1:PGG synergy indicates that both compounds have similar mechanisms of interaction with the dentin matrix. These findings reveal that the molecular weight of polyphenols have a determinant effect on their interaction with type I collagen and modulate the mechanism of cross-linking at the molecular, inter-molecular, and inter-micro-fibrillar levels. PMID:25379878

  5. High-density functionalization and cross-linking of DNA: "click" and "bis-click" cycloadditions performed on alkynylated oligonucleotides with fluorogenic anthracene azides.

    PubMed

    Pujari, Suresh S; Ingale, Sachin A; Seela, Frank

    2014-10-15

    High density functionalization of DNA with ethynyl and octadiynyl side chains followed by CuAAC "click labeling" with 9-azidomethylanthracene was performed. Alkynyl DNA was also cross-linked with fluorogenic 9,10-bis-azidomethylanthracene employing the "bis-click" reaction. By this means the fluorescence of the anthracene moiety was imparted to the virtually nonfluorescent DNA. Phosphoramidites of 8-aza-7-deaza-2'-deoxyadenosine with short and long linker arms in a steric nondemanding 7-position were utilized in solid phase oligodeoxynucleotide synthesis. High density alkynylated DNA-without anthracene residues-was found to be of comparable stability with both long and short linker arms. High density anthracene functionalized DNA became less stable with the short linker compared to that with the long linker connectivity. Interstrand cross-linked homodimers constructed from alkynylated oligonucleotides with fluorogenic 9,10-bis-azidomethylanthracene were hybridized with complementary strands to form double helices. They are more stable when the linker was located at a terminus than in a central position. Short linker anthracene adducts were destabilizing compared to long linker adducts. The fluorogenic anthracene residues not only have a significant effect on the duplex stability, but also impart fluorescence to the species. Fluorescence of cross-linked double helices with long linker connectivity was quenched when the cross-link was in a terminal position and was dequenched when the linker was connecting the two double helices at the center of the molecule. The fluorescence of the anthracene cross-linked double helices was strongly increased (dequenched) when the correct base pair was formed, while no change occurred upon mismatch formation.

  6. Maternal Reflective Functioning among Mothers with Childhood Maltreatment Histories: Links to Sensitive Parenting and Infant Attachment Security

    PubMed Central

    Stacks, Ann M.; Muzik, Maria; Wong, Kristyn; Beeghly, Marjorie; Huth-Bocks, Alissa; Irwin, Jessica L.; Rosenblum, Katherine L.

    2014-01-01

    This study examined relationships among maternal reflective functioning, parenting, infant attachment, and demographic risk in a relatively large (N= 83) socioeconomically diverse sample of women with and without a history of childhood maltreatment and their infants. Most prior research on parental reflective functioning has utilized small homogenous samples. Reflective functioning was assessed with the Parent Development Interview, parenting was coded from videotaped mother-child interactions, and infant attachment was evaluated in Ainsworth's Strange Situation by independent teams of reliable coders masked to maternal history. Reflective functioning was associated with parenting sensitivity and secure attachment, and inversely associated with demographic risk and parenting negativity; however, it was not associated with maternal maltreatment history or PTSD. Parenting sensitivity mediated the relationship between reflective functioning and infant attachment, controlling for demographic risk. Findings are discussed in the context of prior research on reflective functioning and the importance of targeting reflective functioning in interventions. PMID:25028251

  7. Link direction for link prediction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shang, Ke-ke; Small, Michael; Yan, Wei-sheng

    2017-03-01

    Almost all previous studies on link prediction have focused on using the properties of the network to predict the existence of links between pairs of nodes. Unfortunately, previous methods rarely consider the role of link direction for link prediction. In fact, many real-world complex networks are directed and ignoring the link direction will mean overlooking important information. In this study, we propose a phase-dynamic algorithm of the directed network nodes to analyse the role of link directions and demonstrate that the bi-directional links and the one-directional links have different roles in link prediction and network structure formation. From this, we propose new directional prediction methods and use six real networks to test our algorithms. In real networks, we find that compared to a pair of nodes which are connected by a one-directional link, a pair of nodes which are connected by a bi-directional link always have higher probabilities to connect to the common neighbours with only bi-directional links (or conversely by one-directional links). We suggest that, in the real networks, the bi-directional links will generally be more informative for link prediction and network structure formation. In addition, we propose a new directional randomized algorithm to demonstrate that the direction of the links plays a significant role in link prediction and network structure formation.

  8. Cross-linked Composite Gel Polymer Electrolyte using Mesoporous Methacrylate-Functionalized SiO2 Nanoparticles for Lithium-Ion Polymer Batteries

    PubMed Central

    Shin, Won-Kyung; Cho, Jinhyun; Kannan, Aravindaraj G.; Lee, Yoon-Sung; Kim, Dong-Won

    2016-01-01

    Liquid electrolytes composed of lithium salt in a mixture of organic solvents have been widely used for lithium-ion batteries. However, the high flammability of the organic solvents can lead to thermal runaway and explosions if the system is accidentally subjected to a short circuit or experiences local overheating. In this work, a cross-linked composite gel polymer electrolyte was prepared and applied to lithium-ion polymer cells as a safer and more reliable electrolyte. Mesoporous SiO2 nanoparticles containing reactive methacrylate groups as cross-linking sites were synthesized and dispersed into the fibrous polyacrylonitrile membrane. They directly reacted with gel electrolyte precursors containing tri(ethylene glycol) diacrylate, resulting in the formation of a cross-linked composite gel polymer electrolyte with high ionic conductivity and favorable interfacial characteristics. The mesoporous SiO2 particles also served as HF scavengers to reduce the HF content in the electrolyte at high temperature. As a result, the cycling performance of the lithium-ion polymer cells with cross-linked composite gel polymer electrolytes employing methacrylate-functionalized mesoporous SiO2 nanoparticles was remarkably improved at elevated temperatures. PMID:27189842

  9. Loss-of-function mutations in the X-linked biglycan gene cause a severe syndromic form of thoracic aortic aneurysms and dissections

    PubMed Central

    Meester, Josephina A.N.; Vandeweyer, Geert; Pintelon, Isabel; Lammens, Martin; Van Hoorick, Lana; De Belder, Simon; Waitzman, Kathryn; Young, Luciana; Markham, Larry W.; Vogt, Julie; Richer, Julie; Beauchesne, Luc M.; Unger, Sheila; Superti-Furga, Andrea; Prsa, Milan; Dhillon, Rami; Reyniers, Edwin; Dietz, Harry C.; Wuyts, Wim; Mortier, Geert; Verstraeten, Aline; Van Laer, Lut; Loeys, Bart L.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Thoracic aortic aneurysm and dissection (TAAD) is typically inherited in an autosomal dominant manner, but rare X-linked families have been described. So far the only known X-linked gene is FLNA, which is associated with the periventricular nodular heterotopia type of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. However, mutations in this gene only explain a small number of X-linked TAAD families. Methods We performed targeted resequencing of 368 candidate genes in a cohort of 11 molecularly unexplained Marfan probands. Subsequently, Sanger sequencing of BGN in 360 male and 155 female molecularly unexplained TAAD probands was carried out. Results We found five individuals with loss-of-function mutations in BGN, encoding the small leucine-rich proteoglycan biglycan. The clinical phenotype is characterized by early onset aortic aneurysm and dissection. Other recurrent findings include hypertelorism, pectus deformity, joint hypermobility, contractures and mild skeletal dysplasia. Fluorescent stainings revealed an increase in TGF-β signalling, evidenced by an increase in nuclear pSMAD2 in aortic wall. Our results are in line with prior reports demonstrating that Bgn-deficient male BALB/cA mice die from aortic rupture. Conclusion In conclusion, BGN gene defects in humans cause an X-linked syndromic form of severe TAAD, associated with preservation of elastic fibres and increased TGF-β signalling. PMID:27632686

  10. Cross-linked Composite Gel Polymer Electrolyte using Mesoporous Methacrylate-Functionalized SiO2 Nanoparticles for Lithium-Ion Polymer Batteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shin, Won-Kyung; Cho, Jinhyun; Kannan, Aravindaraj G.; Lee, Yoon-Sung; Kim, Dong-Won

    2016-05-01

    Liquid electrolytes composed of lithium salt in a mixture of organic solvents have been widely used for lithium-ion batteries. However, the high flammability of the organic solvents can lead to thermal runaway and explosions if the system is accidentally subjected to a short circuit or experiences local overheating. In this work, a cross-linked composite gel polymer electrolyte was prepared and applied to lithium-ion polymer cells as a safer and more reliable electrolyte. Mesoporous SiO2 nanoparticles containing reactive methacrylate groups as cross-linking sites were synthesized and dispersed into the fibrous polyacrylonitrile membrane. They directly reacted with gel electrolyte precursors containing tri(ethylene glycol) diacrylate, resulting in the formation of a cross-linked composite gel polymer electrolyte with high ionic conductivity and favorable interfacial characteristics. The mesoporous SiO2 particles also served as HF scavengers to reduce the HF content in the electrolyte at high temperature. As a result, the cycling performance of the lithium-ion polymer cells with cross-linked composite gel polymer electrolytes employing methacrylate-functionalized mesoporous SiO2 nanoparticles was remarkably improved at elevated temperatures.

  11. Cross-linked Composite Gel Polymer Electrolyte using Mesoporous Methacrylate-Functionalized SiO2 Nanoparticles for Lithium-Ion Polymer Batteries.

    PubMed

    Shin, Won-Kyung; Cho, Jinhyun; Kannan, Aravindaraj G; Lee, Yoon-Sung; Kim, Dong-Won

    2016-05-18

    Liquid electrolytes composed of lithium salt in a mixture of organic solvents have been widely used for lithium-ion batteries. However, the high flammability of the organic solvents can lead to thermal runaway and explosions if the system is accidentally subjected to a short circuit or experiences local overheating. In this work, a cross-linked composite gel polymer electrolyte was prepared and applied to lithium-ion polymer cells as a safer and more reliable electrolyte. Mesoporous SiO2 nanoparticles containing reactive methacrylate groups as cross-linking sites were synthesized and dispersed into the fibrous polyacrylonitrile membrane. They directly reacted with gel electrolyte precursors containing tri(ethylene glycol) diacrylate, resulting in the formation of a cross-linked composite gel polymer electrolyte with high ionic conductivity and favorable interfacial characteristics. The mesoporous SiO2 particles also served as HF scavengers to reduce the HF content in the electrolyte at high temperature. As a result, the cycling performance of the lithium-ion polymer cells with cross-linked composite gel polymer electrolytes employing methacrylate-functionalized mesoporous SiO2 nanoparticles was remarkably improved at elevated temperatures.

  12. Genomic Analysis Reveals That Immune Function Genes Are Strongly Linked to Clinical Outcome in the North Central Cancer Treatment Group N9831 Adjuvant Trastuzumab Trial

    PubMed Central

    Perez, Edith A.; Thompson, E. Aubrey; Ballman, Karla V.; Anderson, S. Keith; Asmann, Yan W.; Kalari, Krishna R.; Eckel-Passow, Jeanette E.; Dueck, Amylou C.; Tenner, Kathleen S.; Jen, Jin; Fan, Jian-Bing; Geiger, Xochiquetzal J.; McCullough, Ann E.; Chen, Beiyun; Jenkins, Robert B.; Sledge, George W.; Winer, Eric P.; Gralow, Julie R.; Reinholz, Monica M.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose To develop a genomic signature that predicts benefit from trastuzumab in human epidermal growth factor receptor 2–positive breast cancer. Patients and Methods DASL technology was used to quantify mRNA in samples from 1,282 patients enrolled onto the Combination Chemotherapy With or Without Trastuzumab in Treating Women With Breast Cancer (North Central Cancer Treatment Group N9831 [NCCTG-N9831]) adjuvant trastuzumab trial. Cox proportional hazard ratios (HRs), adjusted for significant clinicopathologic risk factors, were used to determine the association of each gene with relapse-free survival (RFS) for 433 patients who received chemotherapy alone (arm A) and 849 patients who received chemotherapy plus trastuzumab (arms B and C). Network and pathway analyses were used to identify key biologic processes linked to RFS. The signature was built by using a voting scheme. Results Network and functional ontology analyses suggested that increased RFS was linked to a subset of immune function genes. A voting scheme model was used to define immune gene enrichment based on the expression of any nine or more of 14 immune function genes at or above the 0.40 quantile for the population. This model was used to identify immune gene–enriched tumors in arm A and arms B and C. Immune gene enrichment was linked to increased RFS in arms B and C (HR, 0.35; 95% CI, 0.22 to 0.55; P < .001), whereas arm B and C patients who did not exhibit immune gene enrichment did not benefit from trastuzumab (HR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.62 to 1.28; P = .53). Enriched immune function gene expression as defined by our predictive signature was not associated with increased RFS in arm A (HR, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.60 to 1.37; P = .64). Conclusion Increased expression of a subset of immune function genes may provide a means of predicting benefit from adjuvant trastuzumab. PMID:25605861

  13. Linking Brain Connectivity Across Different Time Scales with Electroencephalogram, Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, and Diffusion Tensor Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Federspiel, Andrea; Giezendanner, Stéphanie; Andreotti, Jennifer; Kottlow, Mara; Dierks, Thomas; Koenig, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Structural and functional connectivity are intrinsic properties of the human brain and represent the amount of cognitive capacities of individual subjects. These connections are modulated due to development, learning, and disease. Momentary adaptations in functional connectivity alter the structural connections, which in turn affect the functional connectivity. Thus, structural and functional connectivity interact on a broad timescale. In this study, we aimed to explore distinct measures of connectivity assessed by functional magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor imaging and their association to the dominant electroencephalogram oscillatory property at rest: the individual alpha frequency (IAF). We found that in 21 healthy young subjects, small intraindividual temporal IAF fluctuations were correlated to increased blood oxygenation level-dependent signal in brain areas associated to working memory functions and to the modulation of attention. These areas colocalized with functionally connected networks supporting the respective functions. Furthermore, subjects with higher IAF show increased fractional anisotropy values in fascicles connecting the above-mentioned areas and networks. Hence, due to a multimodal approach a consistent functionally and structurally connected network related to IAF was observed. PMID:22574926

  14. Ecological Immunology through the Lens of Exercise Immunology: New Perspective on the Links between Physical Activity and Immune Function and Disease Susceptibility in Wild Animals.

    PubMed

    van Dijk, Jacintha G B; Matson, Kevin D

    2016-08-01

    Locomotion and other physical activities by free-living animals may influence immune function and disease susceptibility. This influence may be a consequence of energetic trade-offs or other mechanisms that are often, but not always, inseparably linked to an animal's life history (e.g., flight and migration). Ecological immunology has mainly focused on these life-history trade-offs, overlooking the possible effects of physical activity per se on immune function and disease susceptibility. In this review, we explore the field of exercise immunology, which examines the impact of exercise on immune function and disease susceptibility in humans, with the aim of presenting new perspectives that might be transferable to ecological immunology. First, we explore key concepts in exercise immunology that could be extended to animals. Next, we investigate the concept "exercise" in animals, and propose the use of "physical activity" instead. We briefly discuss methods used in animals to quantify physical activity in terms of energy expenditure and summarize several examples of animals engaging in physical activity. Then, we highlight potential consequences of physical activity on immune function and disease susceptibility in animals, together with an overview of animal studies that examine these links. Finally, we explore and discuss the potential for incorporating perspectives from exercise immunology into ecological immunology. Such integration could help advance our understanding of human and animal health and contribute new ideas to budding "One Health" initiatives.

  15. Are there links between responses of soil microbes and ecosystem functioning to elevated CO2, N deposition and warming? A global perspective.

    PubMed

    García-Palacios, Pablo; Vandegehuchte, Martijn L; Shaw, E Ashley; Dam, Marie; Post, Keith H; Ramirez, Kelly S; Sylvain, Zachary A; de Tomasel, Cecilia Milano; Wall, Diana H

    2015-04-01

    In recent years, there has been an increase in research to understand how global changes' impacts on soil biota translate into altered ecosystem functioning. However, results vary between global change effects, soil taxa, and ecosystem processes studied, and a synthesis of relationships is lacking. Therefore, here we initiate such a synthesis to assess whether the effect size of global change drivers (elevated CO2, N deposition, and warming) on soil microbial abundance is related with the effect size of these drivers on ecosystem functioning (plant biomass, soil C cycle, and soil N cycle) using meta-analysis and structural equation modeling. For N deposition and warming, the global change effect size on soil microbes was positively associated with the global change effect size on ecosystem functioning, and these relationships were consistent across taxa and ecosystem processes. However, for elevated CO2, such links were more taxon and ecosystem process specific. For example, fungal abundance responses to elevated CO2 were positively correlated with those of plant biomass but negatively with those of the N cycle. Our results go beyond previous assessments of the sensitivity of soil microbes and ecosystem processes to global change, and demonstrate the existence of general links between the responses of soil microbial abundance and ecosystem functioning. Further we identify critical areas for future research, specifically altered precipitation, soil fauna, soil community composition, and litter decomposition, that are need to better quantify the ecosystem consequences of global change impacts on soil biodiversity.

  16. Human and mouse introns are linked to the same processes and functions through each genome's most frequent non-conserved motifs.

    PubMed

    Tsirigos, Aristotelis; Rigoutsos, Isidore

    2008-06-01

    We identified the most frequent, variable-length DNA sequence motifs in the human and mouse genomes and sub-selected those with multiple recurrences in the intergenic and intronic regions and at least one additional exonic instance in the corresponding genome. We discovered that these motifs have virtually no overlap with intronic sequences that are conserved between human and mouse, and thus are genome-specific. Moreover, we found that these motifs span a substantial fraction of previously uncharacterized human and mouse intronic space. Surprisingly, we found that these genome-specific motifs are over-represented in the introns of genes belonging to the same biological processes and molecular functions in both the human and mouse genomes even though the underlying sequences are not conserved between the two genomes. In fact, the processes and functions that are linked to these genome-specific sequence-motifs are distinct from the processes and functions which are associated with intronic regions that are conserved between human and mouse. The findings show that intronic regions from different genomes are linked to the same processes and functions in the absence of underlying sequence conservation. We highlight the ramifications of this observation with a concrete example that involves the microsatellite instability gene MLH1.

  17. Functional links between Snail-1 and Cx43 account for the recruitment of Cx43-positive cells into the invasive front of prostate cancer.

    PubMed

    Ryszawy, Damian; Sarna, Michał; Rak, Monika; Szpak, Katarzyna; Kędracka-Krok, Sylwia; Michalik, Marta; Siedlar, Maciej; Zuba-Surma, Ewa; Burda, Kvetoslava; Korohoda, Włodzimierz; Madeja, Zbigniew; Czyż, Jarosław

    2014-09-01

    Suppressive function of connexin(Cx)43 in carcinogenesis was recently contested by reports that showed a multifaceted function of Cx43 in cancer progression. These studies did not attempt to model the dynamics of intratumoral heterogeneity involved in the metastatic cascade. An unorthodox look at the phenotypic heterogeneity of prostate cancer cells in vitro enabled us to identify links between Cx43 functions and Snail-1-regulated functional speciation of invasive cells. Incomplete Snail-1-dependent phenotypic shifts accounted for the formation of phenotypically stable subclones of AT-2 cells. These subclones showed diverse predilection for invasive behavior. High Snail-1 and Cx43 levels accompanied high motility and nanomechanical elasticity of the fibroblastoid AT-2_Fi2 subclone, which determined its considerable invasiveness. Transforming growth factor-β and ectopic Snail-1 overexpression induced invasiveness and Cx43 expression in epithelioid AT-2 subclones and DU-145 cells. Functional links between Snail-1 function and Cx43 expression were confirmed by Cx43 downregulation and phenotypic shifts in AT-2_Fi2, DU-145 and MAT-LyLu cells upon Snail-1 silencing. Corresponding morphological changes and Snail-1 downregulation were seen upon Cx43 silencing in AT-2_Fi2 cells. This indicates that feedback loops between both proteins regulate cell invasive behavior. We demonstrate that Cx43 may differentially predispose prostate cancer cells for invasion in a coupling-dependent and coupling-independent manner. When extrapolated to in vivo conditions, these data show the complexity of Cx43 functions during the metastatic cascade of prostate cancer. They may explain how Cx43 confers a selective advantage during cooperative invasion of clonally evolving, invasive prostate cancer cell subpopulations.

  18. Frontotemporal cognitive function in X-linked spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA): a controlled neuropsychological study of 20 patients.

    PubMed

    Soukup, Georg Rüdiger; Sperfeld, Anne-Dorte; Uttner, Ingo; Karitzky, Jochen; Ludolph, Albert Christian; Kassubek, Jan; Schreiber, Herbert

    2009-11-01

    A cross-sectional neuropsychological study of cognitive functions in 20 male patients with genetically proven spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) was performed, with a comparison of their cognitive performance with that of 20 age- and education-matched control subjects. Neuropsychological assessment covered executive functioning, memory, and attentional control. The SBMA patients revealed deficits in verbal and non-verbal fluency as well as concept formation. Additionally, they showed significant memory deficits in all of the investigated domains of working memory, short-term and long-term memory. With respect to attentional control, the SBMA patients underperformed in relevant subtests, although performance differences did not reach significance overall. We conclude that fronto-temporal cognitive functions are impaired in SMBA, although at a subclinical level. Thus, functional deficits in SBMA are not confined to motor neurons but also affect extramotor networks.

  19. Developmental Trajectories of Acculturation: Links with Family Functioning and Mental Health in Recent-Immigrant Hispanic Adolescents

    PubMed Central

    Schwartz, Seth J.; Unger, Jennifer B.; Zamboanga, Byron L.; Córdova, David; Mason, Craig A.; Huang, Shi; Baezconde-Garbanati, Lourdes; Lorenzo-Blanco, Elma I.; Des Rosiers, Sabrina; Soto, Daniel W.; Villamar, Juan A.; Pattarroyo, Monica; Lizzi, Karina M.; Szapocznik, José

    2014-01-01

    The present study was designed to examine acculturative changes, and their effects on mental health and family functioning, in recent-immigrant Hispanic adolescents. A sample of 302 Hispanic adolescents was assessed five times over a 2½-year period. Participants completed measures of Hispanic and U.S. practices, collectivist and individualist values, and ethnic and U.S. identity at each timepoint. Baseline and Time 5 levels of mental health and family functioning were also assessed. Latent class growth analyses produced two-class solutions for practices, values, and identifications. Adolescents who increased over time in practices and values reported the most adaptive mental health and family functioning. Adolescents who did not change in any acculturation domain reported the least favorable mental health and family functioning. PMID:25644262

  20. Archaeal surface appendages: their function and the critical role of N-linked glycosylation in their assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jarrell, Ken F.; Nair, Divya B.; Jones, Gareth M.; Aizawa, S.-I.; Chong, James J. P.; Stark, Meg; Logan, Susan M.; Vinogradov, Evgeny; Kelly, John F.

    2011-10-01

    Many cultivated archaea are extremophiles and, as such, various archaea inhabit some of the most inhospitable niches on the planet in terms of temperature, pH, salinity and anaerobiosis. Different archaeal species have been shown to produce a number of unusual and sometimes unique surface structures. The best studied of these are flagella which are fundamentally different from bacterial flagella and instead bear numerous similarities to bacterial type IV pili in their structure and likely assembly. The major structural proteins, flagellins, are made as preproteins with type IV pilin-like signal peptides processed by a specific signal peptidase. In addition, the flagellins are glycoproteins with attached N-linked glycans. Both of these posttranslational modifications have been studied in the anaerobic archaeon, Methanococcus maripaludis, an organism which also possesses other surface appendages, an unusual version of type IV pili, whose major constituents are also glycoproteins. Analysis of mutants unable to make either or both of flagella and pili demonstrated that both are essential for attachment to surfaces. A number of mutants defective in the assembly and biosynthesis of the tetrasaccharide N-linked to the flagellins have been isolated. Investigations of these mutants by electron microscopy, mass spectrometry and motility assays have demonstrated that flagellins possessing no attached glycan or a glycan truncated to a single sugar cannot assemble flagella on their surface. Mutants which can attach a glycan of 2 or 3 sugars to flagellins assemble flagella but they are impaired in their swimming compared with wildtype cells which attach the tetrasaccharide to their flagellins.

  1. Redox-sensitive cross-linking enhances albumin nanoparticle function as delivery system for photodynamic cancer therapy

    PubMed Central

    Molina, Anna M.; Morales-Cruz, Moraima; Benítez, Marimar; Berríos, Kiara; Figueroa, Cindy M.; Griebenow, Kai

    2016-01-01

    Photodynamic cancer therapy is still limited in its efficiency because of a lack of targeted methods avoiding non-specific toxicity. To overcome this we developed a system that is solely effective upon cellular uptake and intracellular activation by incorporating redox-sensitive chemistry. We used a nanoprecipitation method to obtain human serum albumin nanoparticles (HSA NP) with a diameter of 295 ± 5 nm and decorated them with the photosensitizer (PS) chlorin e6 (Ce6). The NP were stabilized using a redox-sensitive cross-linker to create a smart drug delivery system that is activated only upon NP disintegration in the reducing intracellular environment. Indeed, our drug delivery NP broke down in an environment emulating the reducing intracellular environment with 10 mM glutathione, but not under extracellular conditions. In contrast, the control cross-linked with glutaraldehyde did not break down in the reducing environment. Upon NP disintegration Ce6 fluorescence doubled as the result of diminished self-quenching. While the Ce6-HSA NP did not produce a significant amount of singlet oxygen upon irradiation, NP disintegration restored singlet oxygen production to about half of the value generated by the free Ce6. In vitro experiments with HeLa cells showed that the smart system was able to kill up to 81% of the cells while the glutaraldehyde cross-linked control only killed 56% of them at a drug concentration of 10 ng/ml. Also, Ce6 immobilization in HSA NP prevented dark toxicity in three different cell lines. For the first time, we demonstrate that it is possible to design a smart NP drug delivery system delivering a PS drug to cancer cells while avoiding toxicity prior to the uptake and irradiation. This finding may provide a means of designing more efficient PDT in cancer treatment. PMID:27088048

  2. Sex comb on midleg (Scm) is a functional link between PcG-repressive complexes in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Kang, Hyuckjoon; McElroy, Kyle A; Jung, Youngsook Lucy; Alekseyenko, Artyom A; Zee, Barry M; Park, Peter J; Kuroda, Mitzi I

    2015-06-01

    The Polycomb group (PcG) proteins are key regulators of development in Drosophila and are strongly implicated in human health and disease. How PcG complexes form repressive chromatin domains remains unclear. Using cross-linked affinity purifications of BioTAP-Polycomb (Pc) or BioTAP-Enhancer of zeste [E(z)], we captured all PcG-repressive complex 1 (PRC1) or PRC2 core components and Sex comb on midleg (Scm) as the only protein strongly enriched with both complexes. Although previously not linked to PRC2, we confirmed direct binding of Scm and PRC2 using recombinant protein expression and colocalization of Scm with PRC1, PRC2, and H3K27me3 in embryos and cultured cells using ChIP-seq (chromatin immunoprecipitation [ChIP] combined with deep sequencing). Furthermore, we found that RNAi knockdown of Scm and overexpression of the dominant-negative Scm-SAM (sterile α motif) domain both affected the binding pattern of E(z) on polytene chromosomes. Aberrant localization of the Scm-SAM domain in long contiguous regions on polytene chromosomes revealed its independent ability to spread on chromatin, consistent with its previously described ability to oligomerize in vitro. Pull-downs of BioTAP-Scm captured PRC1 and PRC2 and additional repressive complexes, including PhoRC, LINT, and CtBP. We propose that Scm is a key mediator connecting PRC1, PRC2, and transcriptional silencing. Combined with previous structural and genetic analyses, our results strongly suggest that Scm coordinates PcG complexes and polymerizes to produce broad domains of PcG silencing.

  3. Altered functional connectivity links in neuroleptic-naïve and neuroleptic-treated patients with schizophrenia, and their relation to symptoms including volition

    PubMed Central

    Pu, Weidan; Rolls, Edmund T.; Guo, Shuixia; Liu, Haihong; Yu, Yun; Xue, Zhimin; Feng, Jianfeng; Liu, Zhening

    2014-01-01

    In order to analyze functional connectivity in untreated and treated patients with schizophrenia, resting-state fMRI data were obtained for whole-brain functional connectivity analysis from 22 first-episode neuroleptic-naïve schizophrenia (NNS), 61 first-episode neuroleptic-treated schizophrenia (NTS) patients, and 60 healthy controls (HC). Reductions were found in untreated and treated patients in the functional connectivity between the posterior cingulate gyrus and precuneus, and this was correlated with the reduction in volition from the Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale (PANSS), that is in the willful initiation, sustenance, and control of thoughts, behavior, movements, and speech, and with the general and negative symptoms. In addition in both patient groups interhemispheric functional connectivity was weaker between the orbitofrontal cortex, amygdala and temporal pole. These functional connectivity changes and the related symptoms were not treated by the neuroleptics. Differences between the patient groups were that there were more strong functional connectivity links in the NNS patients (including in hippocampal, frontal, and striatal circuits) than in the NTS patients. These findings with a whole brain analysis in untreated and treated patients with schizophrenia provide evidence on some of the brain regions implicated in the volitional, other general, and negative symptoms, of schizophrenia that are not treated by neuroleptics so have implications for the development of other treatments; and provide evidence on some brain systems in which neuroleptics do alter the functional connectivity. PMID:25389520

  4. Forging Links.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stewig, John Warren

    Blacksmiths and their craft have changed with the times, and as times change for teachers, they too should be forgers of links. Teacher-to-teacher links should extend beyond the faculty lounge to support systems and active groups of individuals concerned about each other. Another personal link can be made by developing a grade level, system-wide…

  5. Linking microbial community structure and function to seasonal differences in soil moisture and temperature in a Chihuahuan desert grassland.

    PubMed

    Bell, Colin W; Acosta-Martinez, Veronica; McIntyre, Nancy E; Cox, Stephen; Tissue, David T; Zak, John C

    2009-11-01

    Global and regional climate models predict higher air temperature and less frequent, but larger precipitation events in arid regions within the next century. While many studies have addressed the impact of variable climate in arid ecosystems on plant growth and physiological responses, fewer studies have addressed soil microbial community responses to seasonal shifts in precipitation and temperature in arid ecosystems. This study examined the impact of a wet (2004), average (2005), and dry (2006) year on subsequent responses of soil microbial community structure, function, and linkages, as well as soil edaphic and nutrient characteristics in a mid-elevation desert grassland in the Chihuahuan Desert. Microbial community structure was classified as bacterial (Gram-negative, Gram-positive, and actinomycetes) and fungal (saprophytic fungi and arbuscular mycorrhiza) categories using (fatty acid methyl ester) techniques. Carbon substrate use and enzymic activity was used to characterize microbial community function annually and seasonally (summer and winter). The relationship between saprophytic fungal community structure and function remained consistent across season independent of the magnitude or frequency of precipitation within any given year. Carbon utilization by fungi in the cooler winter exceeded use in the warmer summer each year suggesting that soil temperature, rather than soil moisture, strongly influenced fungal carbon use and structure and function dynamics. The structure/function relationship for AM fungi and soil bacteria notably changed across season. Moreover, the abundance of Gram-positive bacteria was lower in the winter compared to Gram-negative bacteria. Bacterial carbon use, however, was highest in the summer and lower during the winter. Enzyme activities did not respond to either annual or seasonal differences in the magnitude or timing of precipitation. Specific structural components of the soil microbiota community became uncoupled from total

  6. Functionality and Robustness of Injured Connectomic Dynamics in C. elegans: Linking Behavioral Deficits to Neural Circuit Damage

    PubMed Central

    Kunert, James M.; Maia, Pedro D.; Kutz, J. Nathan

    2017-01-01

    Using a model for the dynamics of the full somatic nervous system of the nematode C. elegans, we address how biological network architectures and their functionality are degraded in the presence of focal axonal swellings (FAS) arising from neurodegenerative disease and/or traumatic brain injury. Using biophysically measured FAS distributions and swelling sizes, we are able to simulate the effects of injuries on the neural dynamics of C. elegans, showing how damaging the network degrades its low-dimensional dynamical responses. We visualize these injured neural dynamics by mapping them onto the worm’s low-dimensional postures, i.e. eigenworm modes. We show that a diversity of functional deficits arise from the same level of injury on a connectomic network. Functional deficits are quantified using a statistical shape analysis, a procrustes analysis, for deformations of the limit cycles that characterize key behaviors such as forward crawling. This procrustes metric carries information on the functional outcome of injuries in the model. Furthermore, we apply classification trees to relate injury structure to the behavioral outcome. This makes testable predictions for the structure of an injury given a defined functional deficit. More critically, this study demonstrates the potential role of computational simulation studies in understanding how neuronal networks process biological signals, and how this processing is impacted by network injury. PMID:28056097

  7. Linking impulse response functions to reaction time: Rod and cone reaction time data and a computational model

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Dingcai; Zele, Andrew J.; Pokorny, Joel

    2007-01-01

    Reaction times for incremental and decremental stimuli were measured at five suprathreshold contrasts for six retinal illuminance levels where rods alone (0.002–0.2 Trolands), rods and cones (2–20 Trolands) or cones alone (200 Trolands) mediated detection. A 4-primary photostimulator allowed independent control of rod or cone excitations. This is the first report of reaction times to isolated rod or cone stimuli at mesopic light levels under the same adaptation conditions. The main findings are: 1) For rods, responses to decrements were faster than increments, but cone reaction times were closely similar. 2) At light levels where both systems were functional, rod reaction times were ~20 ms longer. The data were fitted with a computational model that incorporates rod and cone impulse response functions and a stimulus-dependent neural sensory component that triggers a motor response. Rod and cone impulse response functions were derived from published psychophysical two-pulse threshold data and temporal modulation transfer functions. The model fits were accomplished with a limited number of free parameters: two global parameters to estimate the irreducible minimum reaction time for each receptor type, and one local parameter for each reaction time versus contrast function. This is the first model to provide a neural basis for the variation in reaction time with retinal illuminance, stimulus contrast, stimulus polarity, and receptor class modulated. PMID:17346763

  8. The architecture of cross-hemispheric communication in the aging brain: linking behavior to functional and structural connectivity.

    PubMed

    Davis, Simon W; Kragel, James E; Madden, David J; Cabeza, Roberto

    2012-01-01

    Contralateral recruitment remains a controversial phenomenon in both the clinical and normative populations. To investigate the neural correlates of this phenomenon, we explored the tendency for older adults to recruit prefrontal cortex (PFC) regions contralateral to those most active in younger adults. Participants were scanned with diffusion tensor imaging and functional magnetic rresonance imaging during a lateralized word matching task (unilateral vs. bilateral). Cross-hemispheric communication was measured behaviorally as greater accuracy for bilateral than unilateral trials (bilateral processing advantage [BPA]) and at the neural level by functional and structural connectivity between contralateral PFC. Compared with the young, older adults exhibited 1) greater BPAs in the behavioral task, 2) greater compensatory activity in contralateral PFC during the bilateral condition, 3) greater functional connectivity between contralateral PFC during bilateral trials, and 4) a positive correlation between fractional anisotropy in the corpus callosum and both the BPA and the functional connectivity between contralateral PFC, indicating that older adults' ability to distribute processing across hemispheres is constrained by white matter integrity. These results clarify how older adults' ability to recruit extra regions in response to the demands of aging is mediated by existing structural architecture, and how this architecture engenders corresponding functional changes that allow subjects to meet those task demands.

  9. A novel Gfer-Drp1 link in preserving mitochondrial dynamics and function in pluripotent stem cells.

    PubMed

    Todd, Lance R; Gomathinayagam, Rohini; Sankar, Uma

    2010-08-01

    Mitochondria, the dynamic energy powerhouses of the cell, have vital roles in a multitude of cellular processes including differentiation and cell survival. Tight regulation of mitochondrial dynamics, integrity and function is indispensible for preservation of homeostasis in all cells, including pluripotent stem cells. The ability to proliferate and self-renew indefinitely bestows the pluripotent embryonic stem cells (ESCs) with immense curative potential. Mechanisms that preserve mitochondrial well-being, and therefore maintain "stemness," are vital in realizing the full potential of ESCs in therapeutic regenerative medicine. However, virtually nothing is known regarding the regulation of mitochondrial dynamics and function and the relationship thereof to overall cell fate and function in pluripotent ESCs or other somatic stem cells. Using loss- and gain-of-function approaches, we show that growth factor erv1-like (Gfer) plays an essential pro-survival role in the maintenance of murine ESC pluripotency by preserving the structural and functional integrity of their mitochondria, through modulation of the key mitochondrial fission factor Drp1.

  10. Frontal Lobe Function and Risk of Hip Fracture in Patient With Alzheimer Disease: An Analysis of Linked Data.

    PubMed

    Roh, Hyun Woong; Hong, Chang Hyung; Lee, SooJin; Lee, Yunhwan; Lee, Kang Soo; Chang, Ki Jung; Oh, Byoung Hoon; Choi, Seong Hye; Kim, Seong Yoon; Back, Joung Hwan; Chung, Young Ki; Lim, Ki Young; Noh, Jai Sung; Son, Sang Joon

    2015-11-01

    To determine the association between frontal lobe function and risk of hip fracture in patients with Alzheimer disease (AD).Retrospective cohort study using multicenter hospital-based dementia registry and national health insurance claim data was done. Participants who had available data of neuropsychological test, national health insurance claim, and other covariates were included. A total of 1660 patients with AD were included based on Stroop Test results. A total of 1563 patients with AD were included based on the Controlled Oral Word Association Test (COWAT) results. Hip fracture was measured by validated identification criteria using national health insurance claim data. Frontal lobe function was measured by Stroop Test and COWAT at baseline.After adjusting for potential covariates, including cognitive function in other domains (language, verbal and nonverbal memory, and attention), the Cox proportional hazard regression analysis revealed that risk of a hip fracture was decreased with a hazard ratio (HR) of 0.98 per one point of increase in the Stroop Test (adjusted HR = 0.98, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.97-1.00) and 0.93 per one point increase in COWAT (adjusted HR = 0.93, 95% CI: 0.88-0.99).The risk of hip fracture in AD patients was associated with baseline frontal lobe function. The result of this research presents evidence of association between frontal lobe function and risk of hip fracture in patients with AD.

  11. 14-3-3ζ regulates the mitochondrial respiratory reserve linked to platelet phosphatidylserine exposure and procoagulant function

    PubMed Central

    Schoenwaelder, Simone M.; Darbousset, Roxane; Cranmer, Susan L.; Ramshaw, Hayley S.; Orive, Stephanie L.; Sturgeon, Sharelle; Yuan, Yuping; Yao, Yu; Krycer, James R.; Woodcock, Joanna; Maclean, Jessica; Pitson, Stuart; Zheng, Zhaohua; Henstridge, Darren C.; van der Wal, Dianne; Gardiner, Elizabeth E.; Berndt, Michael C.; Andrews, Robert K.; James, David E.; Lopez, Angel F.; Jackson, Shaun P.

    2016-01-01

    The 14-3-3 family of adaptor proteins regulate diverse cellular functions including cell proliferation, metabolism, adhesion and apoptosis. Platelets express numerous 14-3-3 isoforms, including 14-3-3ζ, which has previously been implicated in regulating GPIbα function. Here we show an important role for 14-3-3ζ in regulating arterial thrombosis. Interestingly, this thrombosis defect is not related to alterations in von Willebrand factor (VWF)–GPIb adhesive function or platelet activation, but instead associated with reduced platelet phosphatidylserine (PS) exposure and procoagulant function. Decreased PS exposure in 14-3-3ζ-deficient platelets is associated with more sustained levels of metabolic ATP and increased mitochondrial respiratory reserve, independent of alterations in cytosolic calcium flux. Reduced platelet PS exposure in 14-3-3ζ-deficient mice does not increase bleeding risk, but results in decreased thrombin generation and protection from pulmonary embolism, leading to prolonged survival. Our studies define an important role for 14-3-3ζ in regulating platelet bioenergetics, leading to decreased platelet PS exposure and procoagulant function. PMID:27670677

  12. Loss-of-function mutation in the X-linked TBX22 promoter disrupts an ETS-1 binding site and leads to cleft palate.

    PubMed

    Fu, Xiazhou; Cheng, Yibin; Yuan, Jia; Huang, Chunhua; Cheng, Hanhua; Zhou, Rongjia

    2015-02-01

    The cleft palate only (CPO) is a common congenital defect with complex etiology in humans. The molecular etiology of the CPO remains unknown. Here, we report a loss-of-function mutation in X-linked TBX22 gene (T-box 22) in a six-generation family of the CPO with obvious phenotypes of both cleft palate and hyper-nasal speech. We identify a functional -73G>A mutation in the promoter of TBX22, which is located at the core-binding site of transcription factor ETS-1 (v-ets avian erythroblastosis virus E26 oncogene homolog 1). Phylogenetic analysis showed that the sequence around the -73G>A mutation site is specific in primates. The mutation was detected in all five affected male members cosegregating with the affected phenotype and heterozygote occurred only in some unaffected females of the family, suggesting an X-linked transmission of the mutation in the family. The -73G>A variant is a novel single nucleotide mutation. Cell co-transfections indicated that ETS-1 could activate the TBX22 promoter. Moreover, EMSA and ChIP assays demonstrated that the allele A disrupts the binding site of ETS-1, thus markedly decreases the activity of the TBX22 promoter, which is likely to lead to the birth defect of the CPO without ankyloglossia. These results suggest that a loss-of-function mutation in the X-linked TBX22 promoter may cause the cleft palate through disruption of TBX22-ETS-1 pathway.

  13. Poly(ethyleneimine) cross-linked multilayers deposited onto solid surfaces and enzyme immobilization as a function of the film properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bucatariu, Florin; Ghiorghita, Claudiu-Augustin; Simon, Frank; Bellmann, Cornelia; Dragan, Ecaterina Stela

    2013-09-01

    Single polycation cross-linked multilayers, based on poly(ethyleneimine) (PEI), have been prepared using a method of 3,3‧,4,4‧-benzophenonetetracarboxylic-dianhydride (BTCDA)-mediated electrostatics and hydrogen bonds layer-by-layer assembly. Linear PEI [PEI(L)] and branched PEI [PEI(B)] were adsorbed from salt-free aqueous solutions, either onto silica microparticles with particle diameter of 40-60 μm (Daisogel type) and 9-11 μm (Davisil type) or silicon wafers. The BTCDA cross-linking of the polycation adsorbed onto the solid surface results in a surface covered with carboxylic groups. The cross-linked polycation layers, which are negatively charged over a wide range of pH, can adsorb a new positively charged polyelectrolyte layer. A regular increase of the single polycation multilayers onto silica microparticles was observed by zeta potential measurements and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The immobilization of two enzymes (pepsin and lysozyme) onto the functionalized silica surface, via glutaraldehyde (GA), has been tested. The amount of the attached enzyme significantly depended on the isoelectric point of the enzyme. Surface characteristics, average height, ha, and average roughness, Ra, slightly increased after each modification step of the organic film.

  14. The positive link between executive function and lifetime cannabis use in schizophrenia is not explained by current levels of superior social cognition.

    PubMed

    Helle, Siri; Løberg, Else-Marie; Gjestad, Rolf; Schnakenberg Martin, Ashley M; Lysaker, Paul H

    2017-04-01

    There has been a growing link between a history of cannabis use and neurocognitive performance in patients with schizophrenia. Fewer neurocognitive deficits may be a marker of the superior social cognition needed to obtain illicit substances, or cannabis use may indicate a distinct path to schizophrenia with less neurocognitive vulnerability. This study sought to determine whether the relationship of cannabis use and executive function exists independently of social cognition. Eighty-seven patients with schizophrenia were administered measures of social cognition and executive function. Social cognition was assessed using the Bell-Lysaker Emotion Recognition Test to measure affect recognition, and the Eyes and Hinting Tests to measure theory of mind. Executive function was assessed by the Mental Flexibility component of the Delis-Kaplan Executive Functioning Scale. The relations between the variables were examined with structural equation modeling. Cannabis use positively related to executive function, negatively related to affect recognition, and had no relationship with theory of mind. There were no indirect effects of other illicit substances on amount of regular cannabis use. Alcohol use was related to worse affect recognition. The relationship between cannabis use and better executive function was supported and was not explained by superior social cognition.

  15. Autism and genius: is there a link? The involvement of central brain loops and hypotheses for functional testing.

    PubMed

    Boso, M; Emanuele, E; Prestori, Francesca; Politi, P; Barale, F; D'Angelo, E

    2010-01-01

    Mental processing is the product of the huge number of synaptic interactions that occur in the brain. It is easier to understand how brain functions can deteriorate than how they might be boosted. Lying at the border between the humanities, cognitive science and neurophysiology, some mental diseases offer new angles on this problematic issue. Despite their social deficits, autistic subjects can display unexpected and extraordinary skills in numerous fields, including music, the arts, calculation and memory. The advanced skills found in a subgroup of people with autism may be explained by their special mental functioning, in particular by their weak central coherence, one of the pivotal characteristics of the disorder. As a result of the increasing interest in autistic talent, there has recently emerged a tendency to screen any eccentric artist or scientist for traits of the autistic spectrum. Following this trend, we analyze the eccentricity of the popular pianist Glenn Gould and briefly discuss the major functional hypotheses on autistic hyperfunctioning, advancing proposals for functional testing. In particular, the potential involvement of rhythm-entrained systems and cerebro-cerebellar loops opens up new perspectives for the investigation of autistic disorders and brain hyperfunctioning.

  16. Children's Patterns of Emotional Reactivity to Conflict as Explanatory Mechanisms in Links between Interpartner Aggression and Child Physiological Functioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davies, Patrick T.; Sturge-Apple, Melissa L.; Cicchetti, Dante; Manning, Liviah G.; Zale, Emily

    2009-01-01

    Background: This paper examined children's fearful, sad, and angry reactivity to interparental conflict as mediators of associations between their exposure to interparental aggression and physiological functioning. Methods: Participants included 200 toddlers and their mothers. Assessments of interparental aggression and children's emotional…

  17. An epigenetic mechanism links socioeconomic status to changes in depression-related brain function in high-risk adolescents

    PubMed Central

    Swartz, Johnna R.

    2016-01-01

    Identifying biological mechanisms through which the experience of adversity emerges as individual risk for mental illness is an important step towards developing strategies for personalized treatment and, ultimately, prevention. Preclinical studies have identified epigenetic modification of gene expression as one such mechanism. Recent clinical studies have suggested that epigenetic modification, particularly methylation of gene regulatory regions, also acts to shape human brain function associated with risk for mental illness. However, it is not yet clear if differential gene methylation as a function of adversity contributes to the emergence of individual risk for mental illness. Using prospective longitudinal epigenetic, neuroimaging, and behavioral data from 132 adolescents, we demonstrate that changes in gene methylation associated with lower socioeconomic status predict changes in risk-related brain function. Specifically, we find that lower socioeconomic status during adolescence is associated with an increase in methylation of the proximal promoter of the serotonin transporter gene, which predicts greater increases in threat-related amygdala reactivity. We subsequently demonstrate that greater increases in amygdala reactivity moderate the association between a positive family history for depression and the later manifestation of depressive symptoms. These initial results suggest a specific biological mechanism through which adversity contributes to altered brain function, which in turn moderates the emergence of general liability as individual risk for mental illness. If replicated, this prospective pathway may represent a novel target biomarker for intervention and prevention amongst high-risk individuals. PMID:27217150

  18. Linking food web functioning and habitat diversity for an ecosystem based management: a Mediterranean lagoon case-study.

    PubMed

    Brigolin, D; Facca, C; Franco, A; Franzoi, P; Pastres, R; Sfriso, A; Sigovini, M; Soldatini, C; Tagliapietra, D; Torricelli, P; Zucchetta, M; Pranovi, F

    2014-06-01

    We propose a modelling approach relating the functioning of a transitional ecosystem with the spatial extension of its habitats. A test case is presented for the lagoon of Venice, discussing the results in the context of the application of current EU directives. The effects on food web functioning due to changes related to manageable and unmanageable drivers were investigated. The modelling procedure involved the use of steady-state food web models and network analysis, respectively applied to estimate the fluxes of energy associated with trophic interactions, and to compute indices of food web functioning. On the long term (hundred years) temporal scale, the model indicated that the expected loss of salt marshes will produce further changes at the system level, with a lagoon showing a decrease in the energy processing efficiency. On the short term scale, simulation results indicated that fishery management accompanied by seagrass restoration measures would produce a slight transition towards a more healthy system, with higher energy cycling, and maintaining a good balance between processing efficiency and resilience. Scenarios presented suggest that the effectiveness of short term management strategies can be better evaluated when contextualized in the long term trends of evolution of a system. We also remark the need for further studying the relationship between habitat diversity and indicators of food web functioning.

  19. Executive Functions and Prader-Willi Syndrome: Global Deficit Linked with Intellectual Level and Syndrome-Specific Associations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chevalère, Johann; Postal, Virginie; Jauregui, Joseba; Copet, Pierre; Laurier, Virginie; Thuilleaux, Denise

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to support the growing evidence suggesting that Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) might present with an impairment of executive functions (EFs) and to investigate whether this impairment is specific to patients with PWS or due to their intellectual disability (ID). Six tasks were administered to assess EFs (inhibition,…

  20. Compromised neutrophil function and severe bovine E.coli mastitis: is C5a the missing link?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Around the periparturient period and during early lactation dairy cows have an elevated risk for clinical mastitis. The severity of Gram-negative infections during these periods has been correlated with reduced neutrophil functions. In this review we focus on the potential role of C5a in the develop...

  1. Ecodevelopmental Trajectories of Family Functioning: Links with HIV/STI Risk Behaviors and STI among Black Adolescents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Córdova, David; Heinze, Justin E.; Mistry, Ritesh; Salas-Wright, Christopher P.; Zimmerman, Marc A.

    2016-01-01

    We examined the effects of family functioning trajectories on sexual risk behaviors and STI in adolescents. A sample of 850 predominantly (80%) Black adolescents from Michigan, United States, was assessed at baseline, 12, 24, and 36 months postbaseline. Adolescents were from working-class families with a mean age of 14.9 years (SD = 0.64, Range =…

  2. Ferredoxin-thioredoxin reductase: a catalytically active dithiol group links photoreduced ferredoxin to thioredoxin functional in photosynthetic enzyme regulation

    SciTech Connect

    Droux, M.; Miginiac-Maslow, M.; Jacquot, J.P.; Gadal, P.; Crawford, N.A.; Kosower, N.S.; Buchanan, B.B.

    1987-07-01

    The mechanism by which the ferredoxin-thioredoxin system activates the target enzyme, NADP-malate dehydrogenase, was investigated by analyzing the sulfhydryl status of individual protein components with (/sup 14/C)iodoacetate and monobromobimane. The data indicate that ferredoxin-thioredoxin reductase (FTR)--an iron-sulfur enzyme present in oxygenic photosynthetic organisms--is the first member of a thiol chain that links light to enzyme regulation. FTR possesses a catalytically active dithiol group localized on the 13 kDa (similar) subunit, that occurs in all species investigated and accepts reducing equivalents from photoreduced ferredoxin and transfers them stoichiometrically to the disulfide form of thioredoxin m. The reduced thioredoxin m, in turn, reduces NADP-malate dehydrogenase, thereby converting it from an inactive (S-S) to an active (SH) form. The means by which FTR is able to combine electrons (from photoreduced ferredoxin) with protons (from the medium) to reduce its active disulfide group remains to be determined.

  3. Biochemical characterization of arylsulfatase E and functional analysis of mutations found in patients with X-linked chondrodysplasia punctata.

    PubMed Central

    Daniele, A; Parenti, G; d'Addio, M; Andria, G; Ballabio, A; Meroni, G

    1998-01-01

    X-linked chondrodysplasia punctata (CDPX) is a congenital disorder characterized by abnormalities in cartilage and bone development. Mutations leading to amino acid substitutions were identified recently in CDPX patients, in the coding region of the arylsulfatase E (ARSE) gene, a novel member of the sulfatase gene family. Transfection of the ARSE full-length cDNA, in Cos7 cells, allowed us to establish that its protein product is a 60-kD precursor, which is subject to N-glycosylation, to give a mature 68-kD form that, unique among sulfatases, is localized to the Golgi apparatus. Five missense mutations found in CDPX patients were introduced into wild-type ARSE cDNA by site-directed mutagenesis. These mutants were transfected into Cos7 cells, and the arylsulfatase activity and biochemical properties were determined, to study the effect of these substitutions on the ARSE protein. One of the mutants behaves as the wild-type protein. All four of the other mutations resulted in a complete lack of arylsulfatase activity, although the substitutions do not appear to affect the stability and subcellular localization of the protein. The loss of activity due to these mutations confirms their involvement in the clinical phenotype and points to the importance of these residues in the correct folding of a catalytically active ARSE enzyme. PMID:9497243

  4. A functional RNAi screen links O-GlcNAc modification of ribosomal proteins to stress granule and processing body assembly

    PubMed Central

    Ohn, Takbum; Kedersha, Nancy; Hickman, Tyler; Tisdale, Sarah; Anderson, Paul

    2015-01-01

    Stress granules (SGs) and processing bodies (PBs) are microscopically visible ribonucleoprotein granules that cooperatively regulate the translation and decay of messenger RNA1–3. Using an RNA-mediated interference-based screen, we identify 101 human genes required for SG assembly, 39 genes required for PB assembly, and 31 genes required for coordinate SG and PB assembly. Although 51 genes encode proteins involved in mRNA translation, splicing and transcription, most are not obviously associated with RNA metabolism. We find that several components of the hexosamine biosynthetic pathway, which reversibly modifies proteins with O-linked N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) in response to stress, are required for SG and PB assembly. O-GlcNAc-modified proteins are prominent components of SGs but not PBs, and include RACK1 (receptor for activated C kinase 1), prohibitin-2, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase and numerous ribosomal proteins. Our results suggest that O-GlcNAc modification of the translational machinery is required for aggregation of untranslated messenger ribonucleoproteins into SGs. The lack of enzymes of the hexosamine biosynthetic pathway in budding yeast may contribute to differences between mammalian SGs and related yeast EGP (eIF4E, 4G and Pab1 containing) bodies. PMID:18794846

  5. 2D-RNA-coupling numbers: a new computational chemistry approach to link secondary structure topology with biological function.

    PubMed

    González-Díaz, Humberto; Agüero-Chapin, Guillermín; Varona, Javier; Molina, Reinaldo; Delogu, Giovanna; Santana, Lourdes; Uriarte, Eugenio; Podda, Gianni

    2007-04-30

    Methods for prediction of proteins, DNA, or RNA function and mapping it onto sequence often rely on bioinformatics alignment approach instead of chemical structure. Consequently, it is interesting to develop computational chemistry approaches based on molecular descriptors. In this sense, many researchers used sequence-coupling numbers and our group extended them to 2D proteins representations. However, no coupling numbers have been reported for 2D-RNA topology graphs, which are highly branched and contain useful information. Here, we use a computational chemistry scheme: (a) transforming sequences into RNA secondary structures, (b) defining and calculating new 2D-RNA-coupling numbers, (c) seek a structure-function model, and (d) map biological function onto the folded RNA. We studied as example 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) oxidases known as ACO, which control fruit ripening having importance for biotechnology industry. First, we calculated tau(k)(2D-RNA) values to a set of 90-folded RNAs, including 28 transcripts of ACO and control sequences. Afterwards, we compared the classification performance of 10 different classifiers implemented in the software WEKA. In particular, the logistic equation ACO = 23.8 . tau(1)(2D-RNA) + 41.4 predicts ACOs with 98.9%, 98.0%, and 97.8% of accuracy in training, leave-one-out and 10-fold cross-validation, respectively. Afterwards, with this equation we predict ACO function to a sequence isolated in this work from Coffea arabica (GenBank accession DQ218452). The tau(1)(2D-RNA) also favorably compare with other descriptors. This equation allows us to map the codification of ACO activity on different mRNA topology features. The present computational-chemistry approach is general and could be extended to connect RNA secondary structure topology to other functions.

  6. Linked alterations in gray and white matter morphology in adults with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder: A multimodal brain imaging study

    PubMed Central

    Itahashi, Takashi; Yamada, Takashi; Nakamura, Motoaki; Watanabe, Hiromi; Yamagata, Bun; Jimbo, Daiki; Shioda, Seiji; Kuroda, Miho; Toriizuka, Kazuo; Kato, Nobumasa; Hashimoto, Ryuichiro

    2014-01-01

    Growing evidence suggests that a broad range of behavioral anomalies in people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be linked with morphological and functional alterations in the brain. However, the neuroanatomical underpinnings of ASD have been investigated using either structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and the relationships between abnormalities revealed by these two modalities remain unclear. This study applied a multimodal data-fusion method, known as linked independent component analysis (ICA), to a set of structural MRI and DTI data acquired from 46 adult males with ASD and 46 matched controls in order to elucidate associations between different aspects of atypical neuroanatomy of ASD. Linked ICA identified two composite components that showed significant between-group differences, one of which was significantly correlated with age. In the other component, participants with ASD showed decreased gray matter (GM) volumes in multiple regions, including the bilateral fusiform gyri, bilateral orbitofrontal cortices, and bilateral pre- and post-central gyri. These GM changes were linked with a pattern of decreased fractional anisotropy (FA) in several white matter tracts, such as the bilateral inferior longitudinal fasciculi, bilateral inferior fronto-occipital fasciculi, and bilateral corticospinal tracts. Furthermore, unimodal analysis for DTI data revealed significant reductions of FA along with increased mean diffusivity in those tracts for ASD, providing further evidence of disrupted anatomical connectivity. Taken together, our findings suggest that, in ASD, alterations in different aspects of brain morphology may co-occur in specific brain networks, providing a comprehensive view for understanding the neuroanatomy of this disorder. PMID:25610777

  7. Causal Link between the Cortico-Rubral Pathway and Functional Recovery through Forced Impaired Limb Use in Rats with Stroke

    PubMed Central

    Ishida, Akimasa; Isa, Kaoru; Umeda, Tatsuya; Kobayashi, Kazuto; Kobayashi, Kenta; Hida, Hideki

    2016-01-01

    Intensive rehabilitation is believed to induce use-dependent plasticity in the injured nervous system; however, its causal relationship to functional recovery is unclear. Here, we performed systematic analysis of the effects of forced use of an impaired forelimb on the recovery of rats after lesioning the internal capsule with intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). Forced limb use (FLU) group rats exhibited better recovery of skilled forelimb functions and their cortical motor area with forelimb representation was restored and enlarged on the ipsilesional side. In addition, abundant axonal sprouting from the reemerged forelimb area was found in the ipsilateral red nucleus after FLU. To test the causal relationship between the plasticity in the cortico-rubral pathway and recovery, loss-of-function experiments were conducted using a double-viral vector technique, which induces selective blockade of the target pathway. Blockade of the cortico-rubral tract resulted in deficits of the recovered forelimb function in FLU group rats. These findings suggest that the cortico-rubral pathway is a substrate for recovery induced by intensive rehabilitation after ICH. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The research aimed at determining the causal linkage between reorganization of the motor pathway induced by intensive rehabilitative training and recovery after stroke. We clarified the expansion of the forelimb representation area of the ipsilesional motor cortex by forced impaired forelimb use (FLU) after lesioning the internal capsule with intracerebral hemorrhaging (ICH) in rats. Anterograde tracing showed robust axonal sprouting from the forelimb area to the red nucleus in response to FLU. Selective blockade of the cortico-rubral pathway by the novel double-viral vector technique clearly revealed that the increased cortico-rubral axonal projections had causal linkage to the recovery of reaching movements induced by FLU. Our data demonstrate that the cortico-rubral pathway is responsible for the

  8. Energy landscape of a GSTP1 polymorph linked with cytological function decay in response to chemical stressors.

    PubMed

    Basharat, Zarrin; Yasmin, Azra

    2017-04-20

    Gene polymorphisms lead to varied structure and functional properties. A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) i.e. Ile105Val (rs1695) in glutathione S-transferase P1 (GSTP1) gene influences cytological toxicity and modulates the risk to occupational diseases. Apart from this, cancer, neuropathy, NOx, SOx and ozone mediated respiratory function decline including lung inflammation, asthma, allergy etc., have been reported in people with this missense mutation. Here, the functional properties of rs1695 polymorph are revisited through a computational approach. Changes incurred by GSTP1 antioxidant protein as a result of alteration in its sequence, have been studied through docking followed by Poisson-Boltzmann electrostatic equation interpretation, grid and coulombic energy profile mapping for protein polymorphs with DelPhi. Molecular docking simulation of variant and wild type (WT) protein was carried out with eight FDA approved compounds that target GSTP1 for treatment of various diseases. This was to observe binding pattern variation upon mutation induction. Grid, reaction field and coulombic energy calculation of WT and mutated polymorph, complexed with and without these moieties was then attempted. Alteration in conformation and energy was observed in apo- and holo- form of GSTP1 and their ligand-bound complexes as a result of this mutation. This study is a demo of appraising gene-environment interaction based deleteriousness through molecular docking and dynamics simulation approach.

  9. The proportion of genes in a functional category is linked to mass-specific metabolic rate and lifespan.

    PubMed

    Takemoto, Kazuhiro; Kawakami, Yuko

    2015-05-06

    Metabolic rate and lifespan are important biological parameters that are studied in a wide range of research fields. They are known to correlate with body mass, but their association with gene (protein) functions is poorly understood. In this study, we collected data on the metabolic rate and lifespan of various organisms and investigated the relationship of these parameters with their genomes. We showed that the proportion of genes in a functional category, but not genome size, was correlated with mass-specific metabolic rate and maximal lifespan. In particular, the proportion of genes in oxic reactions (which occur in the presence of oxygen) was significantly associated with these two biological parameters. Additionally, we found that temperature, taxonomy, and mode-of-life traits had little effect on the observed associations. Our findings emphasize the importance of considering the biological functions of genes when investigating the relationships between genome, metabolic rate, and lifespan. Moreover, this provides further insights into these relationships, and may be useful for estimating metabolic rate and lifespan in individuals and the ecosystem using a combination of body mass measurements and genomic data.

  10. A family of Rab27-binding proteins. Melanophilin links Rab27a and myosin Va function in melanosome transport.

    PubMed

    Strom, Molly; Hume, Alistair N; Tarafder, Abul K; Barkagianni, Eleni; Seabra, Miguel C

    2002-07-12

    The Rab27a GTPase regulates diverse processes involving lysosome-related organelles, including melanosome motility in melanocytes, and lytic granule release in cytotoxic T lymphocytes. Toward an understanding of Rab27a function, we searched for proteins that interact with Rab27a(GTP) using the yeast two-hybrid system and identified JFC1/Slp1, a protein of unknown function. JFC1/Slp1 and related proteins, including melanophilin, contain a conserved amino-terminal domain similar to the Rab3a-binding domain of Rabphilin-3. We used several methods to demonstrate that this conserved amino-terminal domain is a Rab27-binding domain. We show that this domain interacts directly, and in a GTP-dependent manner with Rab27a. Furthermore, overexpression of this domain in melanocytes results in perinuclear clustering of melanosomes, suggesting that this region is sufficient for interaction with, and perturbation of function of, Rab27a in a physiological context. Thus, we identified a novel family of Rab27-binding proteins. We also show that melanophilin associates with Rab27a and myosin Va on melanosomes in melanocytes, and present evidence that a domain within the carboxyl-terminal region of melanophilin interacts with the carboxyl-terminal tail of the melanocyte-specific splice isoform of myosin Va. Thus, melanophilin can associate simultaneously with activated Rab27a and myosin Va via distinct regions, and serve as a linker between these proteins.

  11. Evolution of the human diet: linking our ancestral diet to modern functional foods as a means of chronic disease prevention.

    PubMed

    Jew, Stephanie; AbuMweis, Suhad S; Jones, Peter J H

    2009-10-01

    The evolution of the human diet over the past 10,000 years from a Paleolithic diet to our current modern pattern of intake has resulted in profound changes in feeding behavior. Shifts have occurred from diets high in fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and seafood to processed foods high in sodium and hydrogenated fats and low in fiber. These dietary changes have adversely affected dietary parameters known to be related to health, resulting in an increase in obesity and chronic disease, including cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes, and cancer. Some intervention trials using Paleolithic dietary patterns have shown promising results with favorable changes in CVD and diabetes risk factors. However, such benefits may be offset by disadvantages of the Paleolithic diet, which is low in vitamin D and calcium and high in fish potentially containing environmental toxins. More advantageous would be promotion of foods and food ingredients from our ancestral era that have been shown to possess health benefits in the form of functional foods. Many studies have investigated the health benefits of various functional food ingredients, including omega-3 fatty acids, polyphenols, fiber, and plant sterols. These bioactive compounds may help to prevent and reduce incidence of chronic diseases, which in turn could lead to health cost savings ranging from $2 to $3 billion per year as estimated by case studies using omega-3 and plant sterols as examples. Thus, public health benefits should result from promotion of the positive components of Paleolithic diets as functional foods.

  12. Methylations of histone H3 lysine 9 and lysine 36 are functionally linked to DNA replication checkpoint control in fission yeast

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Hyun Soo; Rhee, Dong Keun; Jang, Yeun Kyu

    2008-04-04

    Recently, histone H4 lysine 20 and H3 lysine 79 methylations were functionally linked to DNA damage checkpoint. The crosstalk between histone methylation and the S-M checkpoint, however, has remained unclear. Here, we show that H3 lysine 9 (K9) and lysine 36 (K36) methylations catalyzed by two histone methyltransferases Clr4 and Set2 are involved in hydroxyurea (HU)-induced replication checkpoint. The clr4-set2 double mutants besides histone H3-K9 and K36 double mutants exhibited HU-sensitivity, a defective HU-induced S-M checkpoint, and a significant reduction of HU-induced phosphorylation of Cdc2. Intriguingly, the clr4-set2 double mutations impaired the HU-induced accumulation of a mitotic inhibitor Mik1. Double mutants in Alp13 and Swi6, which can specifically bind to H3-K36 and K9 methylations, exhibited phenotypes similar to those of the clr4-set2 mutants. Together, these findings suggest that methylations of histone H3-K9 and K36 by Clr4 and Set2 are functionally linked to DNA replication checkpoint via accumulation of Mik1.

  13. Dynamic Links between Memory and Functional Limitations in Old Age: Longitudinal Evidence for Age-Based Structural Dynamics from the AHEAD Study

    PubMed Central

    Infurna, Frank J.; Gerstorf, Denis; Ryan, Lindsay H.; Smith, Jacqui

    2012-01-01

    This study examined competing substantive hypotheses about dynamic (i.e., time-ordered) links between memory and functional limitations in old age. We applied the Bivariate Dual Change Score Model to 13-year longitudinal data from the Asset and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old Study (AHEAD; N = 6,990; ages 70 – 95). Results revealed that better memory predicted shallower increases in functional limitations. Little evidence was found for the opposite direction that functional limitations predict ensuing changes in memory. Spline models indicated that dynamic associations between memory and functional limitations were substantively similar between participants aged 70–79 and those aged 80–95. Potential covariates (gender, education, health conditions, and depressive symptoms) did not account for these differential lead–lag associations. Applying a multivariate approach, our results suggest that late-life developments in two key components of successful aging are intrinsically interrelated. Our discussion focuses on possible mechanisms why cognitive functioning may serve as a source of age-related changes in health both among the young-old and the old-old. PMID:21480716

  14. Linking trade-offs in habitat selection with the occurrence of functional responses for moose living in two nearby study areas.

    PubMed

    Mabille, Géraldine; Dussault, Christian; Ouellet, Jean-Pierre; Laurian, Catherine

    2012-12-01

    A species may modify its relative habitat use with changing availability, generating functional responses in habitat selection. Functional responses in habitat selection are expected to occur when animals experience trade-offs influencing their habitat selection, but only a few studies to date have explicitly linked functional responses to the underlying trade-offs faced by the animals. We used data from 39 female moose fitted with GPS telemetry collars in two nearby study areas in Canada to investigate if moose (1) were faced with a food/cover trade-off in habitat selection, as typically acknowledged in the literature, and (2) showed a functional response in their use of food/cover-rich habitats. We also examined how habitat selection patterns varied seasonally, and between study areas. The occurrence of functional responses varied strongly between study areas, and could not always be related to a measurable food/cover trade-off. Functional responses were observed more often in the study area where the environmental conditions were more severe (colder temperatures, higher precipitations, and lower food availability). Selection coefficients were also less variable among individuals in that study area, suggesting that severe environmental conditions may constrain individuals to a few selection tactics and promote the development of functional responses. Moose reacted to the availability of different habitat types in different seasons, reflecting the changing trade-offs faced by the animals. We found considerable behavioral differences between individuals from two adjacent study areas, and therefore recommend caution when extrapolating habitat selection results. We advocate for the wider use of functional responses to identify critical habitats for a species from a management or conservation perspective.

  15. Mental Representation and Mental Practice: Experimental Investigation on the Functional Links between Motor Memory and Motor Imagery

    PubMed Central

    Frank, Cornelia; Land, William M.; Popp, Carmen; Schack, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    Recent research on mental representation of complex action has revealed distinct differences in the structure of representational frameworks between experts and novices. More recently, research on the development of mental representation structure has elicited functional changes in novices' representations as a result of practice. However, research investigating if and how mental practice adds to this adaptation process is lacking. In the present study, we examined the influence of mental practice (i.e., motor imagery rehearsal) on both putting performance and the development of one's representation of the golf putt during early skill acquisition. Novice golfers (N = 52) practiced the task of golf putting under one of four different practice conditions: mental, physical, mental-physical combined, and no practice. Participants were tested prior to and after a practice phase, as well as after a three day retention interval. Mental representation structures of the putt were measured, using the structural dimensional analysis of mental representation. This method provides psychometric data on the distances and groupings of basic action concepts in long-term memory. Additionally, putting accuracy and putting consistency were measured using two-dimensional error scores of each putt. Findings revealed significant performance improvements over the course of practice together with functional adaptations in mental representation structure. Interestingly, after three days of practice, the mental representations of participants who incorporated mental practice into their practice regime displayed representation structures that were more similar to a functional structure than did participants who did not incorporate mental practice. The findings of the present study suggest that mental practice promotes the cognitive adaptation process during motor learning, leading to more elaborate representations than physical practice only. PMID:24743576

  16. Linking Tropical Forest Function to Hydraulic Traits in a Size-Structured and Trait-Based Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christoffersen, B. O.; Gloor, M.; Fauset, S.; Fyllas, N.; Galbraith, D.; Baker, T. R.; Rowland, L.; Fisher, R.; Binks, O.; Sevanto, S.; Xu, C.; Jansen, S.; Choat, B.; Mencuccini, M.; McDowell, N. G.; Meir, P.

    2015-12-01

    A major weakness of forest ecosystem models is their inability to capture the diversity of responses to changes in water availability, severely hampering efforts to predict the fate of tropical forests under climate change. Such models often prescribe moisture sensitivity using heuristic response functions that are uniform across all individuals and lack important knowledge about trade-offs in hydraulic traits. We address this weakness by implementing a process representation of plant hydraulics into an individual- and trait-based model (Trait Forest Simulator; TFS) intended for application at discrete sites where community-level distributions of stem and leaf trait spectra (wood density, leaf mass per area, leaf nitrogen and phosphorus content) are known. The model represents a trade-off in the safety and efficiency of water conduction in xylem tissue through hydraulic traits, while accounting for the counteracting effects of increasing hydraulic path length and xylem conduit taper on whole-plant hydraulic resistance with increasing tree size. Using existing trait databases and additional meta-analyses from the rich literature on tropical tree ecophysiology, we obtained all necessary hydraulic parameters associated with xylem conductivity, vulnerability curves, pressure-volume curves, and hydraulic architecture (e.g., leaf-to-sapwood area ratios) as a function of the aforementioned traits and tree size. Incorporating these relationships in the model greatly improved the diversity of tree response to seasonal changes in water availability as well as in response to drought, as determined by comparison with field observations and experiments. Importantly, this individual- and trait-based framework provides a testbed for identifying both critical processes and functional traits needed for inclusion in coarse-scale Dynamic Global Vegetation Models, which will lead to reduced uncertainty in the future state of tropical forests.

  17. Sea urchin goosecoid function links fate specification along the animal-vegetal and oral-aboral embryonic axes.

    PubMed

    Angerer, L M; Oleksyn, D W; Levine, A M; Li, X; Klein, W H; Angerer, R C

    2001-11-01

    We have identified a single homolog of goosecoid, SpGsc, that regulates cell fates along both the animal-vegetal and oral-aboral axes of sea urchin embryos. SpGsc mRNA is expressed briefly in presumptive mesenchyme cells of the approximately 200-cell blastula and, beginning at about the same time, accumulates in the presumptive oral ectoderm through pluteus stage. Loss-of-function assays with morpholine-substituted antisense oligonucleotides show that SpGsc is required for endoderm and pigment cell differentiation and for gastrulation. These experiments and gain-of-function tests by mRNA injection show that SpGsc is a repressor that antagonizes aboral ectoderm fate specification and promotes oral ectoderm differentiation. We show that SpGsc competes for binding to specific cis elements with SpOtx, a ubiquitous transcription activator that promotes aboral ectoderm differentiation. Moreover, SpGsc represses transcription in vivo from an artificial promoter driven by SpOtx. As SpOtx appears long before SpGsc transcription is activated, we propose that SpGsc diverts ectoderm towards oral fate by repressing SpOtx target genes. Based on the SpGsc-SpOtx example and other available data, we propose that ectoderm is first specified as aboral by broadly expressed activators, including SpOtx, and that the oral region is subsequently respecified by the action of negative regulators, including SpGsc. Accumulation of SpGsc in oral ectoderm depends on cell-cell interactions initiated by nuclear beta-catenin function, which is known to be required for specification of vegetal tissues, because transcripts are undetectable in dissociated or in cadherin mRNA-injected embryos. This is the first identified molecular mechanism underlying the known dependence of oral-aboral ectoderm polarity on intercellular signaling.

  18. Mitofusin 2 (Mfn2) links mitochondrial and endoplasmic reticulum function with insulin signaling and is essential for normal glucose homeostasis

    PubMed Central

    Sebastián, David; Hernández-Alvarez, María Isabel; Segalés, Jessica; Sorianello, Eleonora; Muñoz, Juan Pablo; Sala, David; Waget, Aurélie; Liesa, Marc; Paz, José C.; Gopalacharyulu, Peddinti; Orešič, Matej; Pich, Sara; Burcelin, Rémy; Palacín, Manuel; Zorzano, Antonio

    2012-01-01

    Mitochondria are dynamic organelles that play a key role in energy conversion. Optimal mitochondrial function is ensured by a quality-control system tightly coupled to fusion and fission. In this connection, mitofusin 2 (Mfn2) participates in mitochondrial fusion and undergoes repression in muscle from obese or type 2 diabetic patients. Here, we provide in vivo evidence that Mfn2 plays an essential role in metabolic homeostasis. Liver-specific ablation of Mfn2 in mice led to numerous metabolic abnormalities, characterized by glucose intolerance and enhanced hepatic gluconeogenesis. Mfn2 deficiency impaired insulin signaling in liver and muscle. Furthermore, Mfn2 deficiency was associated with endoplasmic reticulum stress, enhanced hydrogen peroxide concentration, altered reactive oxygen species handling, and active JNK. Chemical chaperones or the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine ameliorated glucose tolerance and insulin signaling in liver-specific Mfn2 KO mice. This study provides an important description of a unique unexpected role of Mfn2 coordinating mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum function, leading to modulation of insulin signaling and glucose homeostasis in vivo. PMID:22427360

  19. Deleterious effects of reactive aldehydes and glycated proteins on macrophage proteasomal function: possible links between diabetes and atherosclerosis.

    PubMed

    Moheimani, Fatemeh; Morgan, Philip E; van Reyk, David M; Davies, Michael J

    2010-06-01

    People with diabetes experience chronic hyperglycemia and are at a high risk of developing atherosclerosis and microvascular disease. Reactions of glucose, or aldehydes derived from glucose (e.g. methylglyoxal, glyoxal, or glycolaldehyde), with proteins result in glycation that ultimately yield advanced glycation end products (AGE). AGE are present at elevated levels in plasma and atherosclerotic lesions from people with diabetes, and previous in vitro studies have postulated that the presence of these materials is deleterious to cell function. This accumulation of AGE and glycated proteins within cells may arise from either increased formation and/or ineffective removal by cellular proteolytic systems, such as the proteasomes, the major multi-enzyme complex that removes proteins within cells. In this study it is shown that whilst high glucose concentrations fail to modify proteasome enzyme activities in J774A.1 macrophage-like cell extracts, reactive aldehydes enhanced proteasomal enzyme activities. In contrast BSA, pre-treated with high glucose for 8 weeks, inhibited both the chymotrypsin-like and caspase-like activities. BSA glycated using methylglyoxal or glycolaldehyde, also inhibited proteasomal activity though to differing extents. This suppression of proteasome activity by glycated proteins may result in further intracellular accumulation of glycated proteins with subsequent deleterious effects on cellular function.

  20. Dehydrated hereditary stomatocytosis linked to gain-of-function mutations in mechanically activated PIEZO1 ion channels.

    PubMed

    Albuisson, Juliette; Murthy, Swetha E; Bandell, Michael; Coste, Bertrand; Louis-Dit-Picard, Hélène; Mathur, Jayanti; Fénéant-Thibault, Madeleine; Tertian, Gérard; de Jaureguiberry, Jean-Pierre; Syfuss, Pierre-Yves; Cahalan, Stuart; Garçon, Loic; Toutain, Fabienne; Simon Rohrlich, Pierre; Delaunay, Jean; Picard, Véronique; Jeunemaitre, Xavier; Patapoutian, Ardem

    2013-01-01

    Dehydrated hereditary stomatocytosis is a genetic condition with defective red blood cell membrane properties that causes an imbalance in intracellular cation concentrations. Recently, two missense mutations in the mechanically activated PIEZO1 (FAM38A) ion channel were associated with dehydrated hereditary stomatocytosis. However, it is not known how these mutations affect PIEZO1 function. Here, by combining linkage analysis and whole-exome sequencing in a large pedigree and Sanger sequencing in two additional kindreds and 11 unrelated dehydrated hereditary stomatocytosis cases, we identify three novel missense mutations and one recurrent duplication in PIEZO1, demonstrating that it is the major gene for dehydrated hereditary stomatocytosis. All the dehydrated hereditary stomatocytosis-associated mutations locate at C-terminal half of PIEZO1. Remarkably, we find that all PIEZO1 mutations give rise to mechanically activated currents that inactivate more slowly than wild-type currents. This gain-of-function PIEZO1 phenotype provides insight that helps to explain the increased permeability of cations in red blood cells of dehydrated hereditary stomatocytosis patients. Our findings also suggest a new role for mechanotransduction in red blood cell biology and pathophysiology.

  1. Chicken IgY Fc Linked to Bordetella avium ompA and Taishan Pinus massoniana Pollen Polysaccharide Adjuvant Enhances Macrophage Function and Specific Immune Responses

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Wenwen; Zhang, Hao; Huang, He; Zhou, Jianbo; Hu, Liping; Lian, Ailing; Zhu, Lijun; Ma, Ningning; Yang, Pingping; Wei, Kai; Zhu, Ruiliang

    2016-01-01

    Fc-fusion technologies, in which immunoglobulin Fc is genetically fused to an antigenic protein, have been developed to confer antibody-like properties to proteins and peptides. Mammalian IgG Fc fusion exhibits improved antigen-induced immune responses by providing aggregates with high avidity for the IgG Fc receptor and salvaging the antigenic portion from endosomal degradation. However, whether the linked chicken IgY Fc fragment shares similar characteristics to mammalian IgG Fc remains unclear. In this study, we linked the chicken IgY Fc gene to the outer membrane protein A (ompA) of Bordetella avium through overlapping PCR. The fusion gene was cloned into the pPIC9 plasmid to construct the recombinant Pichia pastoris transformant expressing the ompA–Fc fusion protein. The effects of the linked Fc on macrophage vitality, activity, efficiency of antigen processing, and immune responses induced by the fused ompA were investigated. Furthermore, the effect of Taishan Pinus massoniana pollen polysaccharide (TPPPS), an immunomodulator, on chicken macrophage activation was evaluated. TPPPS was also used as an adjuvant to investigate its immunomodulatory effect on immunoresponses induced by the fused ompA–Fc in chickens. The pinocytosis, phagocytosis, secretion of nitric oxide and TNF-α, and MHC-II molecular expression of the macrophages treated with the fused ompA–Fc were significantly higher than those of the macrophages treated with ompA alone. The addition of TPPPS to the fused ompA–Fc further enhanced macrophage functions. The fused ompA–Fc elicited higher antigen-specific immune responses and protective efficacy compared with ompA alone. Moreover, the fused ompA–Fc conferred higher serum antibody titers, serum IL-2 and IL-4 concentrations, CD4+ and CD8+ T-lymphocyte counts, lymphocyte transformation rate, and protection rate compared with ompA alone. Notably, the prepared TPPPS adjuvant ompA–Fc vaccines induced high immune responses and protection

  2. Possible link between the power spectrum of interstellar filaments and the origin of the prestellar core mass function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roy, A.; André, Ph.; Arzoumanian, D.; Peretto, N.; Palmeirim, P.; Könyves, V.; Schneider, N.; Benedettini, M.; Di Francesco, J.; Elia, D.; Hill, T.; Ladjelate, B.; Louvet, F.; Motte, F.; Pezzuto, S.; Schisano, E.; Shimajiri, Y.; Spinoglio, L.; Ward-Thompson, D.; White, G.

    2015-12-01

    A complete understanding of the origin of the prestellar core mass function (CMF) is crucial. Two major features of the prestellar CMF are 1) a broad peak below 1 M⊙, presumably corresponding to a mean gravitational fragmentation scale, and 2) a characteristic power-law slope, very similar to the Salpeter slope of the stellar initial mass function (IMF) at the high-mass end. While recent Herschel observations have shown that the peak of the prestellar CMF is close to the thermal Jeans mass in marginally supercritical filaments, the origin of the power-law tail of the CMF/IMF at the high-mass end is less clear. In 2001, Inutsuka proposed a theoretical scenario in which the origin of the power-law tail can be understood as resulting from the growth of an initial spectrum of density perturbations seeded along the long axis of star-forming filaments by interstellar turbulence. Here, we report the statistical properties of the line-mass fluctuations of filaments in the Pipe, Taurus, and IC 5146 molecular clouds observed with Herschel for a sample of subcritical or marginally supercritical filaments using a 1D power spectrum analysis. The observed filament power spectra were fitted by a power-law function (Ptrue(s) ∝ sα) after removing the effect of beam convolution at small scales. A Gaussian-like distribution of power-spectrum slopes was found, centered at α̅corr = -1.6 ± 0.3. The characteristic index of the observed power spectra is close to that of the 1D velocity power spectrum generated by subsonic Kolomogorov turbulence (-1.67). Given the errors, the measured power-spectrum slope is also marginally consistent with the power spectrum index of -2 expected for supersonic compressible turbulence. With such a power spectrum of initial line-mass fluctuations, Inutsuka's model would yield a mass function of collapsed objects along filaments approaching dN/dM ∝ M- 2.3 ± 0.1 at the high-mass end (very close to the Salpeter power law) after a few free-fall times

  3. Osimertinib (AZD9291) Attenuates the Function of Multidrug Resistance-Linked ATP-Binding Cassette Transporter ABCB1 in Vitro.

    PubMed

    Hsiao, Sung-Han; Lu, Yu-Jen; Li, Yan-Qing; Huang, Yang-Hui; Hsieh, Chia-Hung; Wu, Chung-Pu

    2016-06-06

    The effectiveness of cancer chemotherapy is often circumvented by multidrug resistance (MDR) caused by the overexpression of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) drug transporter ABCB1 (MDR1, P-glycoprotein). Several epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) have been shown previously capable of modulating the function of ABCB1 and reversing ABCB1-mediated MDR in human cancer cells. Furthermore, some TKIs are transported by ABCB1, which results in low oral bioavailability, reduced distribution, and the development of acquired resistance to these TKIs. In this study, we investigated the interaction between ABCB1 and osimertinib, a novel selective, irreversible third-generation EGFR TKI that has recently been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. We also evaluated the potential impact of ABCB1 on the efficacy of osimertinib in cancer cells, which can present a therapeutic challenge to clinicians in the future. We revealed that although osimertinib stimulates the ATPase activity of ABCB1, overexpression of ABCB1 does not confer resistance to osimertinib. Our results suggest that it is unlikely that the overexpression of ABCB1 can be a major contributor to the development of osimertinib resistance in cancer patients. More significantly, we revealed an additional action of osimertinib that directly inhibits the function of ABCB1 without affecting the expression level of ABCB1, enhances drug-induced apoptosis, and reverses the MDR phenotype in ABCB1-overexpressing cancer cells. Considering that osimertinib is a clinically approved third-generation EGFR TKI, our findings suggest that a combination therapy with osimertinib and conventional anticancer drugs may be beneficial to patients with MDR tumors.

  4. On the link between energy equipartition and radial variation in the stellar mass function of star clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webb, Jeremy J.; Vesperini, Enrico

    2017-01-01

    We make use of N-body simulations to determine the relationship between two observable parameters that are used to quantify mass segregation and energy equipartition in star clusters. Mass segregation can be quantified by measuring how the slope of a cluster's stellar mass function α changes with clustercentric distance r, and then calculating δ _α = d α (r)/d ln(r/r_m), where rm is the cluster's half-mass radius. The degree of energy equipartition in a cluster is quantified by η, which is a measure of how stellar velocity dispersion σ depends on stellar mass m via σ(m) ∝ m-η. Through a suite of N-body star cluster simulations with a range of initial sizes, binary fractions, orbits, black hole retention fractions, and initial mass functions, we present the co-evolution of δα and η. We find that measurements of the global η are strongly affected by the radial dependence of σ and mean stellar mass and the relationship between η and δα depends mainly on the cluster's initial conditions and the tidal field. Within rm, where these effects are minimized, we find that η and δα initially share a linear relationship. However, once the degree of mass segregation increases such that the radial dependence of σ and mean stellar mass become a factor within rm, or the cluster undergoes core collapse, the relationship breaks down. We propose a method for determining η within rm from an observational measurement of δα. In cases where η and δα can be measured independently, this new method offers a way of measuring the cluster's dynamical state.

  5. Tinnitus distress is linked to enhanced resting-state functional connectivity from the limbic system to the auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yu-Chen; Xia, Wenqing; Chen, Huiyou; Feng, Yuan; Xu, Jin-Jing; Gu, Jian-Ping; Salvi, Richard; Yin, Xindao

    2017-01-23

    The phantom sound of tinnitus is believed to be triggered by aberrant neural activity in the central auditory pathway, but since this debilitating condition is often associated with emotional distress and anxiety, these comorbidities likely arise from maladaptive functional connections to limbic structures such as the amygdala and hippocampus. To test this hypothesis, resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to identify aberrant effective connectivity of the amygdala and hippocampus in tinnitus patients and to determine the relationship with tinnitus characteristics. Chronic tinnitus patients (n = 26) and age-, sex-, and education-matched healthy controls (n = 23) were included. Both groups were comparable for hearing level. Granger causality analysis utilizing the amygdala and hippocampus as seed regions were used to investigate the directional connectivity and the relationship with tinnitus duration or distress. Relative to healthy controls, tinnitus patients demonstrated abnormal directional connectivity of the amygdala and hippocampus, including primary and association auditory cortex, and other non-auditory areas. Importantly, scores on the Tinnitus Handicap Questionnaires were positively correlated with increased connectivity from the left amygdala to left superior temporal gyrus (r = 0.570, P = 0.005), and from the right amygdala to right superior temporal gyrus (r = 0.487, P = 0.018). Moreover, enhanced effective connectivity from the right hippocampus to left transverse temporal gyrus was correlated with tinnitus duration (r = 0.452, P = 0.030). The results showed that tinnitus distress strongly correlates with enhanced effective connectivity that is directed from the amygdala to the auditory cortex. The longer the phantom sensation, the more likely acute tinnitus becomes permanently encoded by memory traces in the hippocampus. Hum Brain Mapp, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. SOX1 links the function of neural patterning and Notch signalling in the ventral spinal cord during the neuron-glial fate switch

    SciTech Connect

    Genethliou, Nicholas; Panayiotou, Elena; Panayi, Helen; Orford, Michael; Mean, Richard; Lapathitis, George; Gill, Herman; Raoof, Sahir; Gasperi, Rita De; Elder, Gregory; Kessaris, Nicoletta; Richardson, William D.; Malas, Stavros

    2009-12-25

    During neural development the transition from neurogenesis to gliogenesis, known as the neuron-glial ({Nu}/G) fate switch, requires the coordinated function of patterning factors, pro-glial factors and Notch signalling. How this process is coordinated in the embryonic spinal cord is poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that during the N/G fate switch in the ventral spinal cord (vSC) SOX1 links the function of neural patterning and Notch signalling. We show that, SOX1 expression in the vSC is regulated by PAX6, NKX2.2 and Notch signalling in a domain-specific manner. We further show that SOX1 regulates the expression of Hes1 and that loss of Sox1 leads to enhanced production of oligodendrocyte precursors from the pMN. Finally, we show that Notch signalling functions upstream of SOX1 during this fate switch and is independently required for the acquisition of the glial fate perse by regulating Nuclear Factor I A expression in a PAX6/SOX1/HES1/HES5-independent manner. These data integrate functional roles of neural patterning factors, Notch signalling and SOX1 during gliogenesis.

  7. A Cross-Linking Succinonitrile-Based Composite Polymer Electrolyte with Uniformly Dispersed Vinyl-Functionalized SiO2 Particles for Li-Ion Batteries.

    PubMed

    Liu, Kai; Ding, Fei; Liu, Jiaquan; Zhang, Qingqing; Liu, Xingjiang; Zhang, Jinli; Xu, Qiang

    2016-09-14

    A cross-linking succinonitrile (SN)-based composite polymer electrolyte (referred to as "CLPC-CPE"), in which vinyl-functionalized SiO2 particles connect with trimethylolpropane propoxylate triacrylate (TPPTA) monomers by covalent bonds, was prepared by an ultraviolet irradiation (UV-curing) process successfully. Vinyl-functionalized SiO2 particles may react with TPPTA monomers to form a cross-linking network within the SN-based composite polymer electrolyte under ultraviolet irradiation. Vinyl-functionalized SiO2 particles as the fillers of polymer electrolyte may improve both the thermal stability of CLPC-CPE and interfacial compatibility between CLPC-CPE and electrodes effectively. There is no weight loss for CLPC-CPE until above 230 °C. The ionic conductivity of CLPC-CPE may reach 7.02 × 10(-4) S cm(-1) at 25 °C. CLPC-CPE has no significant oxidation current until up to 4.6 V (vs Li/Li(+)). The cell of LiFePO4/CLPC-CPE/Li has presented superior cycle performance and rate capability. The cell of LiFePO4/CLPC-CPE/Li may deliver a high discharge capacity of 154.4 mAh g(-1) at a rate of 0.1 C after 100 charge-discharge cycles, which is similar than that of the control cell of LiFePO4/liquid electrolyte/Li. Furthermore, the cell of LiFePO4/CLPC-CPE/Li can display a high discharge capacity of 112.7 mAh g(-1) at a rate of 2 C, which is higher than that of the cells assembled with other plastic crystal polymer electrolyte reported before obviously.

  8. Identification of Functional Toxin/Immunity Genes Linked to Contact-Dependent Growth Inhibition (CDI) and Rearrangement Hotspot (Rhs) Systems

    PubMed Central

    Poole, Stephen J.; Diner, Elie J.; Aoki, Stephanie K.; Braaten, Bruce A.; t'Kint de Roodenbeke, Claire; Low, David A.; Hayes, Christopher S.

    2011-01-01

    Bacterial contact-dependent growth inhibition (CDI) is mediated by the CdiA/CdiB family of two-partner secretion proteins. Each CdiA protein exhibits a distinct growth inhibition activity, which resides in the polymorphic C-terminal region (CdiA-CT). CDI+ cells also express unique CdiI immunity proteins that specifically block the activity of cognate CdiA-CT, thereby protecting the cell from autoinhibition. Here we show that many CDI systems contain multiple cdiA gene fragments that encode CdiA-CT sequences. These “orphan” cdiA-CT genes are almost always associated with downstream cdiI genes to form cdiA-CT/cdiI modules. Comparative genome analyses suggest that cdiA-CT/cdiI modules are mobile and exchanged between the CDI systems of different bacteria. In many instances, orphan cdiA-CT/cdiI modules are fused to full-length cdiA genes in other bacterial species. Examination of cdiA-CT/cdiI modules from Escherichia coli EC93, E. coli EC869, and Dickeya dadantii 3937 confirmed that these genes encode functional toxin/immunity pairs. Moreover, the orphan module from EC93 was functional in cell-mediated CDI when fused to the N-terminal portion of the EC93 CdiA protein. Bioinformatic analyses revealed that the genetic organization of CDI systems shares features with rhs (rearrangement hotspot) loci. Rhs proteins also contain polymorphic C-terminal regions (Rhs-CTs), some of which share significant sequence identity with CdiA-CTs. All rhs genes are followed by small ORFs representing possible rhsI immunity genes, and several Rhs systems encode orphan rhs-CT/rhsI modules. Analysis of rhs-CT/rhsI modules from D. dadantii 3937 demonstrated that Rhs-CTs have growth inhibitory activity, which is specifically blocked by cognate RhsI immunity proteins. Together, these results suggest that Rhs plays a role in intercellular competition and that orphan gene modules expand the diversity of toxic activities deployed by both CDI and Rhs systems. PMID:21829394

  9. HESS Opinions: Functional units: a novel framework to explore the link between spatial organization and hydrological functioning of intermediate scale catchments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zehe, E.; Ehret, U.; Pfister, L.; Blume, T.; Schröder, B.; Westhoff, M.; Jackisch, C.; Schymanski, S. J.; Weiler, M.; Schulz, K.; Allroggen, N.; Tronicke, J.; Dietrich, P.; Scherer, U.; Eccard, J.; Wulfmeyer, V.; Kleidon, A.

    2014-03-01

    This opinion paper proposes a novel framework for exploring how spatial organization alongside with spatial heterogeneity controls functioning of intermediate scale catchments of organized complexity. Key idea is that spatial organization in landscapes implies that functioning of intermediate scale catchments is controlled by a hierarchy of functional units: hillslope scale lead topologies and embedded elementary functional units (EFUs). We argue that similar soils and vegetation communities and thus also soil structures "co-developed" within EFUs in an adaptive, self-organizing manner as they have been exposed to similar flows of energy, water and nutrients from the past to the present. Class members of the same EFU (class) are thus deemed to belong to the same ensemble with respect to controls of the energy balance and related vertical flows of capillary bounded soil water and heat. Class members of superordinate lead topologies are characterized by the same spatially organized arrangement of EFUs along the gradient driving lateral flows of free water as well as a similar surface and bedrock topography. We hence postulate that they belong to the same ensemble with respect to controls on rainfall runoff transformation and related vertical and lateral fluxes of free water. We expect class members of these functional units to have a distinct way how their architecture controls the interplay of state dynamics and integral flows, which is typical for all members of one class but dissimilar among the classes. This implies that we might infer on the typical dynamic behavior of the most important classes of EFU and lead topologies in a catchment, by thoroughly characterizing a few members of each class. A major asset of the proposed framework, which steps beyond the concept of hydrological response units, is that it can be tested experimentally. In this respect, we reflect on suitable strategies based on stratified observations drawing from process hydrology, soil

  10. Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Links Oxidative Stress to Impaired Pancreatic Beta-Cell Function Caused by Human Oxidized LDL

    PubMed Central

    Favre, Dimitri; Ezanno, Hélène; Bonnefond, Amélie; Bonner, Caroline; Gmyr, Valéry; Kerr-Conte, Julie; Gauthier, Benoit R.; Widmann, Christian; Waeber, Gérard; Pattou, François; Froguel, Philippe; Abderrahmani, Amar

    2016-01-01

    Elevated plasma concentration of the pro-atherogenic oxidized low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) triggers adverse effects in pancreatic beta-cells and is associated with type 2 diabetes. Here, we investigated whether the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is a key player coupling oxidative stress to beta-cell dysfunction and death elicited by human oxidized LDL. We found that human oxidized LDL activates ER stress as evidenced by the activation of the inositol requiring 1α, and the elevated expression of both DDIT3 (also called CHOP) and DNAJC3 (also called P58IPK) ER stress markers in isolated human islets and the mouse insulin secreting MIN6 cells. Silencing of Chop and inhibition of ER stress markers by the chemical chaperone phenyl butyric acid (PBA) prevented cell death caused by oxidized LDL. Finally, we found that oxidative stress accounts for activation of ER stress markers induced by oxidized LDL. Induction of Chop/CHOP and p58IPK/P58IPK by oxidized LDL was mimicked by hydrogen peroxide and was blocked by co-treatment with the N-acetylcystein antioxidant. As a conclusion, the harmful effects of oxidized LDL in beta-cells requires ER stress activation in a manner that involves oxidative stress. This mechanism may account for impaired beta-cell function in diabetes and can be reversed by antioxidant treatment. PMID:27636901

  11. Functional Effects of Schizophrenia-Linked Genetic Variants on Intrinsic Single-Neuron Excitability: A Modeling Study

    PubMed Central

    Mäki-Marttunen, Tuomo; Halnes, Geir; Devor, Anna; Witoelar, Aree; Bettella, Francesco; Djurovic, Srdjan; Wang, Yunpeng; Einevoll, Gaute T.; Andreassen, Ole A.; Dale, Anders M.

    2015-01-01

    Background Recent genome-wide association studies have identified a large number of genetic risk factors for schizophrenia (SCZ) featuring ion channels and calcium transporters. For some of these risk factors, independent prior investigations have examined the effects of genetic alterations on the cellular electrical excitability and calcium homeostasis. In the present proof-of-concept study, we harnessed these experimental results for modeling of computational properties on layer V cortical pyramidal cells and identified possible common alterations in behavior across SCZ-related genes. Methods We applied a biophysically detailed multicompartmental model to study the excitability of a layer V pyramidal cell. We reviewed the literature on functional genomics for variants of genes associated with SCZ and used changes in neuron model parameters to represent the effects of these variants. Results We present and apply a framework for examining the effects of subtle single nucleotide polymorphisms in ion channel and calcium transporter-encoding genes on neuron excitability. Our analysis indicates that most of the considered SCZ-related genetic variants affect the spiking behavior and intracellular calcium dynamics resulting from summation of inputs across the dendritic tree. Conclusions Our results suggest that alteration in the ability of a single neuron to integrate the inputs and scale its excitability may constitute a fundamental mechanistic contributor to mental disease, alongside the previously proposed deficits in synaptic communication and network behavior. PMID:26949748

  12. Discrete logic modelling as a means to link protein signalling networks with functional analysis of mammalian signal transduction

    PubMed Central

    Saez-Rodriguez, Julio; Alexopoulos, Leonidas G; Epperlein, Jonathan; Samaga, Regina; Lauffenburger, Douglas A; Klamt, Steffen; Sorger, Peter K

    2009-01-01

    Large-scale protein signalling networks are useful for exploring complex biochemical pathways but do not reveal how pathways respond to specific stimuli. Such specificity is critical for understanding disease and designing drugs. Here we describe a computational approach—implemented in the free CNO software—for turning signalling networks into logical models and calibrating the models against experimental data. When a literature-derived network of 82 proteins covering the immediate-early responses of human cells to seven cytokines was modelled, we found that training against experimental data dramatically increased predictive power, despite the crudeness of Boolean approximations, while significantly reducing the number of interactions. Thus, many interactions in literature-derived networks do not appear to be functional in the liver cells from which we collected our data. At the same time, CNO identified several new interactions that improved the match of model to data. Although missing from the starting network, these interactions have literature support. Our approach, therefore, represents a means to generate predictive, cell-type-specific models of mammalian signalling from generic protein signalling networks. PMID:19953085

  13. Evidence for a functional link between Dd-STATa and Dd-PIAS, a Dictyostelium PIAS homologue.

    PubMed

    Kawata, Takefumi; Hirano, Tatsunori; Ogasawara, Shun; Aoshima, Ryota; Yachi, Ayako

    2011-09-01

    Several mammalian protein families inhibit the activity of signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) proteins. The protein inhibitor of activated STAT (PIAS) was initially identified through its ability to interact with human STAT proteins. We isolated a gene (pisA) encoding a Dictyostelium orthologue of PIAS, Dd-PIAS, which possesses almost all the representative motifs and domains of mammalian PIAS proteins. A Dd-PIAS null mutant strain displays a normal terminal morphology but with accelerated development once cells are aggregated. In contrast, Dd-PIAS overexpressor strains demonstrate delayed aggregation, almost no slug phototaxis, impaired slug motility, and a prolonged slug migration period. This strain is a near phenocopy of the Dd-STATa null mutant, although it eventually forms a fruiting body, albeit inefficiently. The expression of several Dd-STATa-activated genes is upregulated in the Dd-PIAS null mutant and there is ectopic expression of pstAB makers. The concentration of a PIAS-green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusion protein, expressed under the PIAS promoter, is greatest in the pstO cells and gradually decreases with proximity to the tip of the slug and culminant: a pattern diametrically opposite to that of Dd-STATa. Our results suggest a functional interrelationship between Dd-PIAS and Dd-STATa that influences gene expression and development.

  14. Personal Identity Development in Hispanic Immigrant Adolescents: Links with Positive Psychosocial Functioning, Depressive Symptoms, and Externalizing Problems.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, Seth J; Unger, Jennifer B; Meca, Alan; Lorenzo-Blanco, Elma I; Baezconde-Garbanati, Lourdes; Cano, Miguel Ángel; Piña-Watson, Brandy; Szapocznik, José; Zamboanga, Byron L; Córdova, David; Romero, Andrea J; Lee, Tae Kyoung; Soto, Daniel W; Villamar, Juan A; Lizzi, Karina M; Des Rosiers, Sabrina E; Pattarroyo, Monica

    2017-04-01

    The present study was designed to examine trajectories of personal identity coherence and confusion among Hispanic recent-immigrant adolescents, as well as the effects of these trajectories on psychosocial and risk-taking outcomes. Personal identity is extremely important in anchoring young immigrants during a time of acute cultural change. A sample of 302 recently immigrated (5 years or less in the United States at baseline) Hispanic adolescents (Mage = 14.51 years at baseline; SD = 0.88 years, range 14-17) from Miami and Los Angeles (47 % girls) completed measures of personal identity coherence and confusion at the first five waves of a six-wave longitudinal study; and reported on positive psychosocial functioning, depressive symptoms, and externalizing problems at baseline and at Time 6. Results indicated that identity coherence increased linearly across time, but that there were no significant changes in confusion over time and no individual differences in confusion trajectories. Higher baseline levels of, and improvements in, coherence predicted higher levels of self-esteem, optimism, and prosocial behavior at the final study timepoint. Higher baseline levels of confusion predicted lower self-esteem, greater depressive symptoms, more aggressive behavior, and more rule breaking at the final study timepoint. These results are discussed in terms of the importance of personal identity for Hispanic immigrant adolescents, and in terms of implications for intervention.

  15. Jacket-free stir bar sorptive extraction with bio-inspired polydopamine-functionalized immobilization of cross-linked polymer on stainless steel wire.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zixin; Zhang, Wenpeng; Bao, Tao; Chen, Zilin

    2015-08-14

    Stainless steel wire (SSW) is a good substrate for stir bar sorptive extraction (SBSE). However, it is still a challenge to immobilize commonly used cross-linked polymers onto SSW. In this work, we present a new approach for immobilization of the cross-linked organic polymer onto SSW for jacket-free SBSE. A dopamine derivative was firstly synthesized; by introducing a mussel-inspired polydopamine process, a stable coating layer was finally generated on the surface of SSW. Secondly, the cross-linked polymer was synthesized on the polydopamine-modified SSW by using acetonitrile as the porogen, acrylamide (AA) as the functional monomer, ethylene glycol dimethacrylate (EGDMA) as the cross-linker and 2,2'-azobis (2-methylpropionitrile) as the initiator. A diluted pre-polymerization solution was carefully prepared to generate a thin layer of the polymer. The prepared poly(EGDMA-AA)-modified stir bar showed high stability and good tolerance toward stirring, ultrasonication, organic solvents, and strong acidic and basic conditions. Morphology and structure characterization of coatings were performed by scanning electron microscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectra, respectively. The prepared poly(EGDMA-AA)-modified stir bar showed great extraction efficiency toward protoberberines, with enrichment factors of 19-42. An SBSE-HPLC method was also developed for quantitative analysis of protoberberines. The method showed low limits of detection (0.06-0.15 ng mL(-1)), wide linear range (0.5-400 ng mL(-1)), good linearity (R≥0.9980) and good reproducibility (RSD≤3.60% for intra-day, RSD≤4.73% for inter-day). The developed method has been successfully applied to determine protoberberines in herb and rat plasma samples, with recoveries of 88.53-114.61%.

  16. optix functions as a link between the retinal determination network and the dpp pathway to control morphogenetic furrow progression in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yumei; Jiang, Yuwei; Chen, Yiyun; Karandikar, Umesh; Hoffman, Kristi; Chattopadhyay, Abanti; Mardon, Graeme; Chen, Rui

    2013-01-01

    optix, the Drosophila ortholog of the SIX3/6 gene family in vertebrate, encodes a homeodomain protein with a SIX protein-protein interaction domain. In vertebrates, Six3/6 genes are required for normal eye as well as brain development. However, the normal function of optix in Drosophila remains unknown due to lack of loss-of-function mutation. Previous studies suggest that optix is likely to play important role as part of the retinal determination (RD) network. To elucidate normal optix function during retinal development, multiple null alleles for optix have been generated. Loss-of-function mutations in optix result in lethality at the pupae stage. Surprisingly, close examination of its function during eye development reveals that, unlike other members of the RD network, optix is required only for morphogenetic furrow (MF) progression, but not initiation. The mechanisms by which optix regulates MF progression is likely through regulation of signaling molecules in the furrow. Specifically, although unaffected during MF initiation, expression of dpp in the MF is dramatically reduced in optix mutant clones. In parallel, we find that optix is regulated by sine oculis and eyes absent, key members of the RD network. Furthermore, positive feedback between optix and sine oculis and eyes absent is observed, which is likely mediated through dpp signaling pathway. Together with the observation that optix expression does not depend on hh or dpp, we propose that optix functions together with hh to regulate dpp in the MF, serving as a link between the RD network and the patterning pathways controlling normal retinal development. PMID:23792115

  17. HESS Opinions: From response units to functional units: a thermodynamic reinterpretation of the HRU concept to link spatial organization and functioning of intermediate scale catchments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zehe, E.; Ehret, U.; Pfister, L.; Blume, T.; Schröder, B.; Westhoff, M.; Jackisch, C.; Schymanski, S. J.; Weiler, M.; Schulz, K.; Allroggen, N.; Tronicke, J.; van Schaik, L.; Dietrich, P.; Scherer, U.; Eccard, J.; Wulfmeyer, V.; Kleidon, A.

    2014-11-01

    According to Dooge (1986) intermediate-scale catchments are systems of organized complexity, being too organized and yet too small to be characterized on a statistical/conceptual basis, but too large and too heterogeneous to be characterized in a deterministic manner. A key requirement for building structurally adequate models precisely for this intermediate scale is a better understanding of how different forms of spatial organization affect storage and release of water and energy. Here, we propose that a combination of the concept of hydrological response units (HRUs) and thermodynamics offers several helpful and partly novel perspectives for gaining this improved understanding. Our key idea is to define functional similarity based on similarity of the terrestrial controls of gradients and resistance terms controlling the land surface energy balance, rainfall runoff transformation, and groundwater storage and release. This might imply that functional similarity with respect to these specific forms of water release emerges at different scales, namely the small field scale, the hillslope, and the catchment scale. We thus propose three different types of "functional units" - specialized HRUs, so to speak - which behave similarly with respect to one specific form of water release and with a characteristic extent equal to one of those three scale levels. We furthermore discuss an experimental strategy based on exemplary learning and replicate experiments to identify and delineate these functional units, and as a promising strategy for characterizing the interplay and organization of water and energy fluxes across scales. We believe the thermodynamic perspective to be well suited to unmask equifinality as inherent in the equations governing water, momentum, and energy fluxes: this is because several combinations of gradients and resistance terms yield the same mass or energy flux and the terrestrial controls of gradients and resistance terms are largely independent. We

  18. Genetic Screen in Drosophila Larvae Links ird1 Function to Toll Signaling in the Fat Body and Hemocyte Motility

    PubMed Central

    Schmid, Martin R.; Anderl, Ines; Vo, Hoa T. M.; Valanne, Susanna; Yang, Hairu; Kronhamn, Jesper; Rämet, Mika; Rusten, Tor Erik

    2016-01-01

    To understand how Toll signaling controls the activation of a cellular immune response in Drosophila blood cells (hemocytes), we carried out a genetic modifier screen, looking for deletions that suppress or enhance the mobilization of sessile hemocytes by the gain-of-function mutation Toll10b (Tl10b). Here we describe the results from chromosome arm 3R, where five regions strongly suppressed this phenotype. We identified the specific genes immune response deficient 1 (ird1), headcase (hdc) and possibly Rab23 as suppressors, and we studied the role of ird1 in more detail. An ird1 null mutant and a mutant that truncates the N-terminal kinase domain of the encoded Ird1 protein affected the Tl10b phenotype, unlike mutations that affect the C-terminal part of the protein. The ird1 null mutant suppressed mobilization of sessile hemocytes, but enhanced other Tl10b hemocyte phenotypes, like the formation of melanotic nodules and the increased number of circulating hemocytes. ird1 mutants also had blood cell phenotypes on their own. They lacked crystal cells and showed aberrant formation of lamellocytes. ird1 mutant plasmatocytes had a reduced ability to spread on an artificial substrate by forming protrusions, which may explain why they did not go into circulation in response to Toll signaling. The effect of the ird1 mutation depended mainly on ird1 expression in hemocytes, but ird1-dependent effects in other tissues may contribute. Specifically, the Toll receptor was translocated from the cell membrane to intracellular vesicles in the fat body of the ird1 mutant, and Toll signaling was activated in that tissue, partially explaining the Tl10b-like phenotype. As ird1 is otherwise known to control vesicular transport, we conclude that the vesicular transport system may be of particular importance during an immune response. PMID:27467079

  19. Equilibrium conformational ensemble of the intrinsically disordered peptide n16N: linking subdomain structures and function in nacre.

    PubMed

    Brown, Aaron H; Rodger, P Mark; Evans, John Spencer; Walsh, Tiffany R

    2014-12-08

    n16 is a framework protein family associated with biogenic mineral stabilization, thought to operate at three key interfaces in nacre: protein/β-chitin, protein/protein, and protein/CaCO3. The N-terminal half of this protein, n16N, is known to be active in conferring this mineral stabilization and organization. While some details relating to the stabilization and organization of the mineral are known, the molecular mechanisms that underpin these processes are not yet established. To provide these molecular-scale details, here we explore current hypotheses regarding the possible subdomain organization of n16N, as related to these three interfaces in nacre, by combining outcomes of Replica Exchange with Solute Tempering molecular dynamics simulations with NMR experiments, to investigate the conformational ensemble of n16N in solution. We verify that n16N lacks a well-defined secondary structure, both with and without the presence of Ca(2+) ions, as identified from previous experiments. Our data support the presence of three different, functional subdomains within n16N. Our results reveal that tyrosine, chiefly located in the center of the peptide, plays a multifunctional role in stabilizing conformations of n16N, for intrapeptide and possibly interpeptide interactions. Complementary NMR spectroscopy data confirm the participation of tyrosine in this stabilization. The C-terminal half of n16N, lacking in tyrosine and highly charged, shows substantive conformational diversity and is proposed as a likely site for nucleation of calcium carbonate. Finally, dominant structures from our predicted conformational ensemble suggest the presentation of key residues thought to be critical to the selective binding to β-chitin surfaces.

  20. Identification of novel X-linked gain-of-function RPGR-ORF15 mutation in Italian family with retinitis pigmentosa and pathologic myopia

    PubMed Central

    Parmeggiani, Francesco; Barbaro, Vanessa; De Nadai, Katia; Lavezzo, Enrico; Toppo, Stefano; Chizzolini, Marzio; Palù, Giorgio; Parolin, Cristina; Di Iorio, Enzo

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to describe a new pathogenic variant in the mutational hot spot exon ORF15 of retinitis pigmentosa GTPase regulator (RPGR) gene within an Italian family with X-linked retinitis pigmentosa (RP), detailing its distinctive genotype-phenotype correlation with pathologic myopia (PM). All members of this RP-PM family underwent a complete ophthalmic examination. The entire open reading frames of RPGR and retinitis pigmentosa 2 genes were analyzed by Sanger sequencing. A novel frame-shift mutation in exon ORF15 of RPGR gene (c.2091_2092insA; p.A697fs) was identified as hemizygous variant in the male proband with RP, and as heterozygous variant in the females of this pedigree who invariably exhibited symmetrical PM in both eyes. The c.2091_2092insA mutation coherently co-segregated with the observed phenotypes. These findings expand the spectrum of X-linked RP variants. Interestingly, focusing on Caucasian ethnicity, just three RPGR mutations are hitherto reported in RP-PM families: one of these is located in exon ORF15, but none appears to be characterized by a high penetrance of PM trait as observed in the present, relatively small, pedigree. The geno-phenotypic attributes of this heterozygosity suggest that gain-of-function mechanism could give rise to PM via a degenerative cell-cell remodeling of the retinal structures. PMID:27995965

  1. Going to the gym or to the movies?: situated decisions as a functional link connecting automatic and reflective evaluations of exercise with exercising behavior.

    PubMed

    Brand, Ralf; Schweizer, Geoffrey

    2015-02-01

    The goal of the present paper is to propose a model for the study of automatic cognition and affect in exercise. We have chosen a dual-system approach to social information processing to investigate the hypothesis that situated decisions between behavioral alternatives form a functional link between automatic and reflective evaluations and the time spent on exercise. A new questionnaire is introduced to operationalize this link. A reaction-time-based evaluative priming task was used to test participants' automatic evaluations. Affective and cognitive reflective evaluations, as well as exercising time, were requested via self-report. Path analyses suggest that the affective reflective (beta = .71) and the automatic evaluation (beta = .15) independently explain situated decisions, which, in turn (beta = .60) explain time spent on exercise. Our findings highlight the concept of contextualized decisions. They can serve as a starting point from which the so far seldom investigations of automatic cognition and affect in exercise can be integrated with multitudinous results from studies on reflective psychological determinants of health behavior.

  2. Neocortex expansion is linked to size variations in gene families with chemotaxis, cell–cell signalling and immune response functions in mammals

    PubMed Central

    Castillo-Morales, Atahualpa; Monzón-Sandoval, Jimena; de Sousa, Alexandra A.

    2016-01-01

    Increased brain size is thought to have played an important role in the evolution of mammals and is a highly variable trait across lineages. Variations in brain size are closely linked to corresponding variations in the size of the neocortex, a distinct mammalian evolutionary innovation. The genomic features that explain and/or accompany variations in the relative size of the neocortex remain unknown. By comparing the genomes of 28 mammalian species, we show that neocortical expansion relative to the rest of the brain is associated with variations in gene family size (GFS) of gene families that are significantly enriched in biological functions associated with chemotaxis, cell–cell signalling and immune response. Importantly, we find that previously reported GFS variations associated with increased brain size are largely accounted for by the stronger link between neocortex expansion and variations in the size of gene families. Moreover, genes within these families are more prominently expressed in the human neocortex during early compared with adult development. These results suggest that changes in GFS underlie morphological adaptations during brain evolution in mammalian lineages. PMID:27707894

  3. Links between sulphur oxidation and sulphur-oxidising bacteria abundance and diversity in soil microcosms based on soxB functional gene analysis.

    PubMed

    Tourna, Maria; Maclean, Paul; Condron, Leo; O'Callaghan, Maureen; Wakelin, Steven A

    2014-06-01

    Sulphur-oxidising bacteria (SOB) play a key role in the biogeochemical cycling of sulphur in soil ecosystems. However, the ecology of SOB is poorly understood, and there is little knowledge about the taxa capable of sulphur oxidation, their distribution, habitat preferences and ecophysiology. Furthermore, as yet there are no conclusive links between SOB community size or structure and rates of sulphur oxidation. We have developed a molecular approach based on primer design targeting the soxB functional gene of nonfilamentous chemolithotrophic SOB that allows assessment of both abundance and diversity. Cloning and sequencing revealed considerable diversity of known soxB genotypes from agricultural soils and also evidence for previously undescribed taxa. In a microcosm experiment, abundance of soxB genes increased with sulphur oxidation rate in soils amended with elemental sulphur. Addition of elemental sulphur to soil had a significant effect in the soxB gene diversity, with the chemolithotrophic Thiobacillus-like Betaproteobacteria sequences dominating clone libraries 6 days after sulphur application. Using culture-independent methodology, the study provides evidence for links between abundance and diversity of SOB and sulphur oxidation. The methodology provides a new tool for investigation of the ecology and role of SOB in soil sulphur biogeochemistry.

  4. Designed synthesis of carbon-functional magnetic graphene mesoporous silica materials using polydopamine as carbon precursor for the selective enrichment of N-linked glycan.

    PubMed

    Sun, Nianrong; Yao, Jizong; Deng, Chunhui

    2016-02-01

    Glycosylation, which has been confirmed to be associated with many diseases, is an important protein post-translation modification. Taking into account the low abundant of glycan, the purification of complex biological samples is considered to be very significant before mass spectrometry detection. In this work, carbon-functionalized magnetic graphene /mesoporous silica materials (C-Mag G@mSiO2 materials) with high content of carbon were designed and synthesized by using polydopamine as carbon precursor. Taking advantage of the special interaction between carbon and glycan, C-Mag G@mSiO2 materials were successfully applied to enrich N-linked glycans in different complex samples, such as standard glycoprotein digestion, the mixture of standard glycoprotein digestion, glycoprotein and non-glycoprotein, and human serum.

  5. Special conference of the American Association for Cancer Research on molecular imaging in cancer: linking biology, function, and clinical applications in vivo.

    PubMed

    Luker, Gary D

    2002-04-01

    The AACR Special Conference on Molecular Imaging in Cancer: Linking Biology, Function, and Clinical Applications In Vivo, was held January 23-27, 2002, at the Contemporary Hotel, Walt Disney World, Orlando, FL. Co-Chairs David Piwnica-Worms, Patricia Price and Thomas Meade brought together researchers with diverse expertise in molecular biology, gene therapy, chemistry, engineering, pharmacology, and imaging to accelerate progress in developing and applying technologies for imaging specific cellular and molecular signals in living animals and humans. The format of the conference was the presentation of research that focused on basic and translational biology of cancer and current state-of-the-art techniques for molecular imaging in animal models and humans. This report summarizes the special conference on molecular imaging, highlighting the interfaces of molecular biology with animal models, instrumentation, chemistry, and pharmacology that are essential to convert the dreams and promise of molecular imaging into improved understanding, diagnosis, and management of cancer.

  6. O-GlcNAcomic Profiling Identifies Widespread O-Linked β-N-Acetylglucosamine Modification (O-GlcNAcylation) in Oxidative Phosphorylation System Regulating Cardiac Mitochondrial Function.

    PubMed

    Ma, Junfeng; Liu, Ting; Wei, An-Chi; Banerjee, Partha; O'Rourke, Brian; Hart, Gerald W

    2015-12-04

    Dynamic cycling of O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) on nucleocytoplasmic proteins serves as a nutrient sensor to regulate numerous biological processes. However, mitochondrial protein O-GlcNAcylation and its effects on function are largely unexplored. In this study, we performed a comparative analysis of the proteome and O-GlcNAcome of cardiac mitochondria from rats acutely (12 h) treated without or with thiamet-G (TMG), a potent and specific inhibitor of O-GlcNAcase. We then determined the functional consequences in mitochondria isolated from the two groups. O-GlcNAcomic profiling finds that over 88 mitochondrial proteins are O-GlcNAcylated, with the oxidative phosphorylation system as a major target. Moreover, in comparison with controls, cardiac mitochondria from TMG-treated rats did not exhibit altered protein abundance but showed overall elevated O-GlcNAcylation of many proteins. However, O-GlcNAc was unexpectedly down-regulated at certain sites of specific proteins. Concomitantly, TMG treatment resulted in significantly increased mitochondrial oxygen consumption rates, ATP production rates, and enhanced threshold for permeability transition pore opening by Ca(2+). Our data reveal widespread and dynamic mitochondrial protein O-GlcNAcylation, serving as a regulator to their function.

  7. Pupil Dilation and EEG Alpha Frequency Band Power Reveal Load on Executive Functions for Link-Selection Processes during Text Reading.

    PubMed

    Scharinger, Christian; Kammerer, Yvonne; Gerjets, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Executive working memory functions play a central role in reading comprehension. In the present research we were interested in additional load imposed on executive functions by link-selection processes during computer-based reading. For obtaining process measures, we used a methodology of concurrent electroencephalographic (EEG) and eye-tracking data recording that allowed us to compare epochs of pure text reading with epochs of hyperlink-like selection processes in an online reading situation. Furthermore, this methodology allowed us to directly compare the two physiological load-measures EEG alpha frequency band power and pupil dilation. We observed increased load on executive functions during hyperlink-like selection processes on both measures in terms of decreased alpha frequency band power and increased pupil dilation. Surprisingly however, the two measures did not correlate. Two additional experiments were conducted that excluded potential perceptual, motor, or structural confounds. In sum, EEG alpha frequency band power and pupil dilation both turned out to be sensitive measures for increased load during hyperlink-like selection processes in online text reading.

  8. Interactomic analysis of REST/NRSF and implications of its functional links with the transcription suppressor TRIM28 during neuronal differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Namgyu; Park, Sung Jin; Haddad, Ghazal; Kim, Dae-Kyum; Park, Seon-Min; Park, Sang Ki; Choi, Kwan Yong

    2016-01-01

    RE-1 silencing transcription factor (REST) is a transcriptional repressor that regulates gene expression by binding to repressor element 1. However, despite its critical function in physiology, little is known about its interaction proteins. Here we identified 204 REST-interacting proteins using affinity purification and mass spectrometry. The interactome included proteins associated with mRNA processing/splicing, chromatin organization, and transcription. The interactions of these REST-interacting proteins, which included TRIM28, were confirmed by co-immunoprecipitation and immunocytochemistry, respectively. Gene Ontology (GO) analysis revealed that neuronal differentiation-related GO terms were enriched among target genes that were co-regulated by REST and TRIM28, while the level of CTNND2 was increased by the knockdown of REST and TRIM28. Consistently, the level of CTNND2 increased while those of REST and TRIM28 decreased during neuronal differentiation in the primary neurons, suggesting that CTNND2 expression may be co-regulated by both. Furthermore, neurite outgrowth was increased by depletion of REST or TRIM28, implying that reduction of both REST and TRIM28 could promote neuronal differentiation via induction of CTNND2 expression. In conclusion, our study of REST reveals novel interacting proteins which could be a valuable resource for investigating unidentified functions of REST and also suggested functional links between REST and TRIM28 during neuronal development. PMID:27976729

  9. Analysis of bacterial core communities in the central Baltic by comparative RNA-DNA-based fingerprinting provides links to structure-function relationships.

    PubMed

    Brettar, Ingrid; Christen, Richard; Höfle, Manfred G

    2012-01-01

    Understanding structure-function links of microbial communities is a central theme of microbial ecology since its beginning. To this end, we studied the spatial variability of the bacterioplankton community structure and composition across the central Baltic Sea at four stations, which were up to 450 km apart and at a depth profile representative for the central part (Gotland Deep, 235 m). Bacterial community structure was followed by 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA)- and 16S rRNA gene-based fingerprints using single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) electrophoresis. Species composition was determined by sequence analysis of SSCP bands. High similarities of the bacterioplankton communities across several hundred kilometers were observed in the surface water using RNA- and DNA-based fingerprints. In these surface communities, the RNA- and DNA-based fingerprints resulted in very different pattern, presumably indicating large difference between the active members of the community as represented by RNA-based fingerprints and the present members represented by the DNA-based fingerprints. This large discrepancy changed gradually over depth, resulting in highly similar RNA- and DNA-based fingerprints in the anoxic part of the water column below 130 m depth. A conceivable mechanism explaining this high similarity could be the reduced oxidative stress in the anoxic zone. The stable communities on the surface and in the anoxic zone indicate the strong influence of the hydrography on the bacterioplankton community structure. Comparative analysis of RNA- and DNA-based community structure provided criteria for the identification of the core community, its key members and their links to biogeochemical functions.

  10. Community Links

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nelson, Mary

    1975-01-01

    At Moraine Valley Community College (Illinois), a chain of events, programs, activities, and services has linked the college and community in such areas as fine arts, ethnic groups, public services, community action, community service, and community education. (Author/NHM)

  11. Link Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Donoho, Steve

    Link analysis is a collection of techniques that operate on data that can be represented as nodes and links. This chapter surveys a variety of techniques including subgraph matching, finding cliques and K-plexes, maximizing spread of influence, visualization, finding hubs and authorities, and combining with traditional techniques (classification, clustering, etc). It also surveys applications including social network analysis, viral marketing, Internet search, fraud detection, and crime prevention.

  12. Brief Report: Elastin Microfibril Interface 1 and Integrin-Linked Protein Kinase Are Novel Markers of Islet Regenerative Function in Human Multipotent Mesenchymal Stromal Cells.

    PubMed

    Lavoie, Jessie R; Creskey, Marybeth M; Muradia, Gauri; Bell, Gillian I; Sherman, Stephen E; Gao, Jun; Stewart, Duncan J; Cyr, Terry D; Hess, David A; Rosu-Myles, Michael

    2016-08-01

    Multipotent mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC) transplantation is proposed as a novel therapy for treating diabetes by promoting the regeneration of damaged islets. The clinical promise of such treatments may be hampered by a high degree of donor-related variability in MSC function and a lack of standards for comparing potency. Here, we set out to identify markers of cultured human MSCs directly associated with islet regenerative function. Stromal cultures from nine separate bone marrow donors were demonstrated to have differing capacities to reduce hyperglycemia in the NOD/SCID streptozotocin-induced diabetic model. Regenerative (R) and non-regenerative (NR) MSC cultures were directly compared using isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ)-based quantitative proteomics. A total of 1,410 proteins were quantified resulting in the identification of 612 upregulated proteins and 275 downregulated proteins by ± 1.2-fold in R-MSC cultures. Elastin microfibril interface 1 (EMILIN-1), integrin-linked protein kinase (ILK), and hepatoma-derived growth factor (HDGF) were differentially expressed in R-MSCs, and Ingenuity Pathway Analyses revealed each candidate as known regulators of integrin signaling. Western blot validation of EMILIN-1, ILK, and HDGF not only showed significantly higher abundance levels in R-MSCs, as compared with NR-MSCs, but also correlated with passage-induced loss of islet-regenerative potential. Generalized estimating equation modeling was applied to examine the association between each marker and blood glucose reduction. Both EMILIN-1 and ILK were significantly associated with blood glucose lowering function in vivo. Our study is the first to identify EMILIN-1 and ILK as prospective markers of islet regenerative function in human MSCs. Stem Cells 2016;34:2249-2255.

  13. Functional genomic analysis and neuroanatomical localization of miR-2954, a song-responsive sex-linked microRNA in the zebra finch

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Ya-Chi; Balakrishnan, Christopher N.; Clayton, David F.

    2014-01-01

    Natural experience can cause complex changes in gene expression in brain centers for cognition and perception, but the mechanisms that link perceptual experience and neurogenomic regulation are not understood. MicroRNAs (miRNAs or miRs) have the potential to regulate large gene expression networks, and a previous study showed that a natural perceptual stimulus (hearing the sound of birdsong in zebra finches) triggers rapid changes in expression of several miRs in the auditory forebrain. Here we evaluate the functional potential of one of these, miR-2954, which has been found so far only in birds and is encoded on the Z sex chromosome. Using fluorescence in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry, we show that miR-2954 is present in subsets of cells in the sexually dimorphic brain regions involved in song production and perception, with notable enrichment in cell nuclei. We then probe its regulatory function by inhibiting its expression in a zebra finch cell line (G266) and measuring effects on endogenous gene expression using Illumina RNA sequencing (RNA-seq). Approximately 1000 different mRNAs change in expression by 1.5-fold or more (adjusted p < 0.01), with increases in some but not all of the targets that had been predicted by Targetscan. The population of RNAs that increase after miR-2954 inhibition is notably enriched for ones involved in the MAP Kinase (MAPK) pathway, whereas the decreasing population is dominated by genes involved in ribosomes and mitochondrial function. Since song stimulation itself triggers a decrease in miR-2954 expression followed by a delayed decrease in genes encoding ribosomal and mitochondrial functions, we suggest that miR-2954 may mediate some of the neurogenomic effects of song habituation. PMID:25565940

  14. Regulation of caspase 14 expression in keratinocytes by inflammatory cytokines--a possible link between reduced skin barrier function and inflammation?

    PubMed

    Hvid, Malene; Johansen, Claus; Deleuran, Bent; Kemp, Kaare; Deleuran, Mette; Vestergaard, Christian

    2011-08-01

    Caspase 14 is a unique member of the cysteinyl aspartate-specific proteinase family. Its expression is confined primarily to cornified epithelium such as the skin. Caspase 14 has been associated with the processing of filaggrin monomers and the development of natural moisturising factors of the skin, and thus, it could be speculated that caspase 14 dysregulation is implicated in the development of an impaired skin barrier function. We have investigated the regulation of caspase 14 transcription in cultured primary keratinocytes following stimulation with a number of factors present in inflamed skin, including T(H)1- and T(H)2-associated cytokines in addition to LPS and peptidoglycan. In particular, we found that T(H)2-associated cytokines reduced the caspase 14 mRNA level significantly. Furthermore, we found that the expression of caspase 14 was reduced in skin biopsies from patients with atopic dermatitis (AD), psoriasis and contact dermatitis, further supporting a role for this kinase in inflammatory skin conditions. Hence, the regulation of caspase 14 levels provides a possible link between impaired skin barrier function and inflammatory reactions in skin diseases such as AD and may offer an explanation to the skin barrier dysfunction in inflamed skin lesions.

  15. Ribozyme knockdown functionally links a 1,25(OH)2D3 membrane binding protein (1,25D3-MARRS) and phosphate uptake in intestinal cells

    PubMed Central

    Nemere, I.; Farach-Carson, M. C.; Rohe, B.; Sterling, T. M.; Norman, A. W.; Boyan, B. D.; Safford, S. E.

    2004-01-01

    We used a ribozyme loss-of-function approach to demonstrate that the protein product of a cDNA encoding a multifunctional membrane-associated protein binds the seco-steroid 1,25(OH)2D3 and transduces its stimulatory effects on phosphate uptake. These results are paralleled by studies in which the ability of the hormone to stimulate phosphate uptake in isolated chick intestinal epithelial cells is abolished by preincubation with Ab099 directed against the amino terminus of the protein. We now report the complete sequence of the cloned chicken cDNA for the 1,25D3-MARRS (membrane-associated, rapid-response steroid-binding) protein and reveal it to be identical to the multifunctional protein ERp57. Functional studies showed that active ribozyme, but not a scrambled control, decreased specific membrane-associated 1,25(OH)2D3 binding, but did not affect binding to the nuclear receptor for 1,25(OH)2D3. Seco-steroid-dependent stimulation of protein kinase C activity was diminished as 1,25D3-MARRS protein levels were reduced in the presence of the ribozyme, as judged by Western blot analyses. Phosphate uptake in isolated cells is an index of intestinal phosphate transport that occurs during growth and maturation. Whereas cells and perfused duodena robustly responded to 1,25(OH)2D3 in preparations from young birds, older animals no longer responded with stimulated phosphate uptake or transport. The age-related decline was accompanied by a decrease in 1,25D3-MARRS mRNA that was apparent up to 1 year of age. Together, these studies functionally link phosphate transport in the chick duodenum with the 1,25D3-MARRS protein and point to a previously uncharacterized role for this multifunctional protein class. PMID:15123837

  16. The human colonic thiamine pyrophosphate transporter (hTPPT) is a glycoprotein and N-linked glycosylation is important for its function.

    PubMed

    Nabokina, Svetlana M; Subramanian, Veedamali S; Said, Hamid M

    2016-04-01

    The recently identified human thiamine pyrophosphate transporter (hTPPT; product of the SLC44A4 gene) is responsible for absorption of the microbiota-generated TPP in the large intestine. The hTPPT is highly expressed in the colon, but not in other regions of the intestinal tract and is localized exclusively at the apical membrane domain of epithelia. The hTPPT protein is predicted to have multiple TM domains with a number of putative N-glycosylation sites, but it is not known if the protein is actually glycosylated, and if so at which site, and their role in the functionality of the transporter. Using several approaches including inhibiting de novo N-glycosylation in human colonic epithelial NCM460 cells with tunicamycin as well as enzymatic de-glycosylation, we show that the hTPPT protein is, indeed, a glycoprotein. Glycosylation of hTPPT was shown, by mean of site-directed mutagenesis, to occur at Asn(69), Asn(155), Asn(197), Asn(393), and Asn(416). However, only N-glycosylation at Asn(69), Asn(155), and Asn(393) appeared to be important for transporter functionality possibly through an effect on protein conformation and/or interaction with its ligand (but not through changes in expression at the cell membrane as determined by live cell confocal imaging). Results of this study showed, for the first time, that the hTPPT is glycosylated and that N-linked glycosylation occurs at multiple sites with some of them being important for function. The results also provide an indirect support for a membrane topology for hTPPT with 10 transmembrane domains as predicted by the TMHMM transmembrane helixes prediction program.

  17. Loss-of-function HDAC8 mutations cause a phenotypic spectrum of Cornelia de Lange syndrome-like features, ocular hypertelorism, large fontanelle and X-linked inheritance

    PubMed Central

    Kaiser, Frank J.; Ansari, Morad; Braunholz, Diana; Concepción Gil-Rodríguez, María; Decroos, Christophe; Wilde, Jonathan J.; Fincher, Christopher T.; Kaur, Maninder; Bando, Masashige; Amor, David J.; Atwal, Paldeep S.; Bahlo, Melanie; Bowman, Christine M.; Bradley, Jacquelyn J.; Brunner, Han G.; Clark, Dinah; Del Campo, Miguel; Di Donato, Nataliya; Diakumis, Peter; Dubbs, Holly; Dyment, David A.; Eckhold, Juliane; Ernst, Sarah; Ferreira, Jose C.; Francey, Lauren J.; Gehlken, Ulrike; Guillén-Navarro, Encarna; Gyftodimou, Yolanda; Hall, Bryan D.; Hennekam, Raoul; Hudgins, Louanne; Hullings, Melanie; Hunter, Jennifer M.; Yntema, Helger; Innes, A. Micheil; Kline, Antonie D.; Krumina, Zita; Lee, Hane; Leppig, Kathleen; Lynch, Sally Ann; Mallozzi, Mark B.; Mannini, Linda; Mckee, Shane; Mehta, Sarju G.; Micule, Ieva; Mohammed, Shehla; Moran, Ellen; Mortier, Geert R.; Moser, Joe-Ann S.; Noon, Sarah E.; Nozaki, Naohito; Nunes, Luis; Pappas, John G.; Penney, Lynette S.; Pérez-Aytés, Antonio; Petersen, Michael B.; Puisac, Beatriz; Revencu, Nicole; Roeder, Elizabeth; Saitta, Sulagna; Scheuerle, Angela E.; Schindeler, Karen L.; Siu, Victoria M.; Stark, Zornitza; Strom, Samuel P.; Thiese, Heidi; Vater, Inga; Willems, Patrick; Williamson, Kathleen; Wilson, Louise C.; Hakonarson, Hakon; Quintero-Rivera, Fabiola; Wierzba, Jolanta; Musio, Antonio; Gillessen-Kaesbach, Gabriele; Ramos, Feliciano J.; Jackson, Laird G.; Shirahige, Katsuhiko; Pié, Juan; Christianson, David W.; Krantz, Ian D.; Fitzpatrick, David R.; Deardorff, Matthew A.

    2014-01-01

    Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS) is a multisystem genetic disorder with distinct facies, growth failure, intellectual disability, distal limb anomalies, gastrointestinal and neurological disease. Mutations in NIPBL, encoding a cohesin regulatory protein, account for >80% of cases with typical facies. Mutations in the core cohesin complex proteins, encoded by the SMC1A, SMC3 and RAD21 genes, together account for ∼5% of subjects, often with atypical CdLS features. Recently, we identified mutations in the X-linked gene HDAC8 as the cause of a small number of CdLS cases. Here, we report a cohort of 38 individuals with an emerging spectrum of features caused by HDAC8 mutations. For several individuals, the diagnosis of CdLS was not considered prior to genomic testing. Most mutations identified are missense and de novo. Many cases are heterozygous females, each with marked skewing of X-inactivation in peripheral blood DNA. We also identified eight hemizygous males who are more severely affected. The craniofacial appearance caused by HDAC8 mutations overlaps that of typical CdLS but often displays delayed anterior fontanelle closure, ocular hypertelorism, hooding of the eyelids, a broader nose and dental anomalies, which may be useful discriminating features. HDAC8 encodes the lysine deacetylase for the cohesin subunit SMC3 and analysis of the functional consequences of the missense mutations indicates that all cause a loss of enzymatic function. These data demonstrate that loss-of-function mutations in HDAC8 cause a range of overlapping human developmental phenotypes, including a phenotypically distinct subgroup of CdLS. PMID:24403048

  18. The Effects of Computer Anxiety and Technostress, as Functions of Resistance to Change, on the Staff of the 18 Founding OhioLINK Libraries as the OhioLINK Automated System Is Initiated.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Popovich, Donna

    This descriptive study surveys the staff of all 18 founding member libraries of OhioLINK to see whether or not they prefer the new system or the old one and why. The purpose of the study is to determine if resistance to change, computer anxiety and technostress can be found in libraries converting their automated systems over to the OhioLINK…

  19. Formation of higher-order nuclear Rad51 structures is functionally linked to p21 expression and protection from DNA damage-induced apoptosis.

    PubMed

    Raderschall, Elke; Bazarov, Alex; Cao, Jiangping; Lurz, Rudi; Smith, Avril; Mann, Wolfgang; Ropers, Hans-Hilger; Sedivy, John M; Golub, Efim I; Fritz, Eberhard; Haaf, Thomas

    2002-01-01

    After exposure of mammalian cells to DNA damage, the endogenous Rad51 recombination protein is concentrated in multiple discrete foci, which are thought to represent nuclear domains for recombinational DNA repair. Overexpressed Rad51 protein forms foci and higher-order nuclear structures, even in the absence of DNA damage, in cells that do not undergo DNA replication synthesis. This correlates with increased expression of the cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) inhibitor p21. Following DNA damage, constitutively Rad51-overexpressing cells show reduced numbers of DNA breaks and chromatid-type chromosome aberrations and a greater resistance to apoptosis. In contrast, Rad51 antisense inhibition reduces p21 protein levels and sensitizes cells to etoposide treatment. Downregulation of p21 inhibits Rad51 foci formation in both normal and Rad51-overexpressing cells. Collectively, our results show that Rad51 expression, Rad51 foci formation and p21 expression are interrelated, suggesting a functional link between mammalian Rad51 protein and p21-mediated cell cycle regulation. This mechanism may contribute to a highly effective recombinational DNA repair in cell cycle-arrested cells and protection against DNA damage-induced apoptosis.

  20. De novo loss-of-function mutations in X-linked SMC1A cause severe ID and therapy-resistant epilepsy in females: expanding the phenotypic spectrum.

    PubMed

    Jansen, S; Kleefstra, T; Willemsen, M H; de Vries, P; Pfundt, R; Hehir-Kwa, J Y; Gilissen, C; Veltman, J A; de Vries, B B A; Vissers, L E L M

    2016-11-01

    De novo missense mutations and in-frame coding deletions in the X-linked gene SMC1A (structural maintenance of chromosomes 1A), encoding part of the cohesin complex, are known to cause Cornelia de Lange syndrome in both males and females. For a long time, loss-of-function (LoF) mutations in SMC1A were considered incompatible with life, as such mutations had not been reported in neither male nor female patients. However, recently, the authors and others reported LoF mutations in females with intellectual disability (ID) and epilepsy. Here we present the detailed phenotype of two females with de novo LoF mutations in SMC1A, including a de novo mutation of single base deletion [c.2364del, p.(Asn788Lysfs*10)], predicted to result in a frameshift, and a de novo deletion of exon 16, resulting in an out-of-frame mRNA splice product [p.(Leu808Argfs*6)]. By combining our patients with the other recently reported females carrying SMC1A LoF mutations, we ascertained a phenotypic spectrum of (severe) ID, therapy-resistant epilepsy, absence/delay of speech, hypotonia and small hands and feet. Our data show the existence of a novel phenotypic entity - distinct from CdLS - and caused by de novo SMC1A LoF mutations.

  1. Functional requirement for SAP in 2B4-mediated activation of human natural killer cells as revealed by the X-linked lymphoproliferative syndrome.

    PubMed

    Tangye, S G; Phillips, J H; Lanier, L L; Nichols, K E

    2000-09-15

    X-linked lymphoproliferative syndrome (XLP) is an immunodeficiency characterized by life-threatening infectious mononucleosis and EBV-induced B cell lymphoma. The gene mutated in XLP encodes SLAM (signaling lymphocytic activation molecule-associated protein)-associated protein (SAP), a small SH2 domain-containing protein. SAP associates with 2B4 and SLAM, activating receptors expressed by NK and T cells, and prevents recruitment of SH2 domain-containing protein tyrosine phosphatase-2 SHP-2) to the cytoplasmic domains of these receptors. The phenotype of XLP may therefore result from perturbed signaling through SAP-associating receptors. We have addressed the functional consequence of SAP deficiency on 2B4-mediated NK cell activation. Ligating 2B4 on normal human NK cells with anti-2B4 mAb or interaction with transfectants bearing the 2B4 ligand CD48 induced NK cell cytotoxicity. In contrast, ligation of 2B4 on NK cells from a SAP-deficient XLP patient failed to initiate cytotoxicity. Despite this, CD2 or CD16-induced cytotoxicity of SAP-deficient NK cells was similar to that of normal NK cells. Thus, selective impairment of 2B4-mediated NK cell activation may contribute to the immunopathology of XLP.

  2. Cyclase-associated protein is essential for the functioning of the endo-lysosomal system and provides a link to the actin cytoskeleton.

    PubMed

    Sultana, Hameeda; Rivero, Francisco; Blau-Wasser, Rosemarie; Schwager, Stephan; Balbo, Alessandra; Bozzaro, Salvatore; Schleicher, Michael; Noegel, Angelika A

    2005-10-01

    Data from mutant analysis in yeast and Dictyostelium indicate a role for the cyclase-associated protein (CAP) in endocytosis and vesicle transport. We have used genetic and biochemical approaches to identify novel interacting partners of Dictyostelium CAP to help explain its molecular interactions in these processes. Cyclase-associated protein associates and interacts with subunits of the highly conserved vacuolar H(+)-ATPase (V-ATPase) and co-localizes to some extent with the V-ATPase. Furthermore, CAP is essential for maintaining the structural organization, integrity and functioning of the endo-lysosomal system, as distribution and morphology of V-ATPase- and Nramp1-decorated membranes were disturbed in a CAP mutant (CAP bsr) accompanied by an increased endosomal pH. Moreover, concanamycin A (CMA), a specific inhibitor of the V-ATPase, had a more severe effect on CAP bsr than on wild-type cells, and the mutant did not show adaptation to the drug. Also, the distribution of green fluorescent protein-CAP was affected upon CMA treatment in the wildtype and recovered after adaptation. Distribution of the V-ATPase in CAP bsr was drastically altered upon hypo-osmotic shock, and growth was slower and reached lower saturation densities in the mutant under hyper-osmotic conditions. Taken together, our data unravel a link of CAP with the actin cytoskeleton and endocytosis and suggest that CAP is an essential component of the endo-lysosomal system in Dictyostelium.

  3. Sox10 gain-of-function causes XX sex reversal in mice: implications for human 22q-linked disorders of sex development.

    PubMed

    Polanco, Juan Carlos; Wilhelm, Dagmar; Davidson, Tara-Lynne; Knight, Deon; Koopman, Peter

    2010-02-01

    Male development in mammals is normally initiated by the Y-linked gene Sry, which activates expression of Sox9, leading to a cascade of gene activity required for testis formation. Although defects in this genetic cascade lead to human disorders of sex development (DSD), only a dozen DSD genes have been identified, and causes of 46,XX DSD (XX maleness) other than SRY translocation are almost completely unknown. Here, we show that transgenic expression of Sox10, a close relative of Sox9, in gonads of XX mice resulted in development of testes and male physiology. The degree of sex reversal correlated with levels of Sox10 expression in different transgenic lines. Sox10 was expressed at low levels in primordial gonads of both sexes during normal mouse development, becoming male-specific during testis differentiation. SOX10 protein was able to activate transcriptional targets of SOX9, explaining at a mechanistic level its ability to direct male development. Because over-expression of SOX10 alone is able to mimic the XX DSD phenotypes associated with duplication of human chromosome 22q13, and given that human SOX10 maps to 22q13.1, our results functionally implicate SOX10 in the etiology of these DSDs.

  4. An accessible protocol for solid-phase extraction of N-linked glycopeptides through reductive amination by amine-functionalized magnetic nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ying; Kuang, Min; Zhang, Lijuan; Yang, Pengyuan; Lu, Haojie

    2013-06-04

    In light of the significance of glycosylation for wealthy biological events, it is important to prefractionate glycoproteins/glycopeptides from complex biological samples. Herein, we reported a novel protocol of solid-phase extraction of glycopeptides through a reductive amination reaction by employing the easily accessible 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES)-functionalized magnetic nanoparticles. The amino groups from APTES, which were assembled onto the surface of the nanoparticles through a one-step silanization reaction, could conjugate with the aldehydes from oxidized glycopeptides and, therefore, completed the extraction. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first example of applying the reductive amination reaction into the isolation of glycopeptides. Due to the elimination of the desalting step, the detection limit of glycopeptides was improved by 2 orders of magnitude, compared to the traditional hydrazide chemistry-based solid phase extraction, while the extraction time was shortened to 4 h, suggesting the high sensitivity, specificity, and efficiency for the extraction of N-linked glycopeptides by this method. In the meantime, high selectivity toward glycoproteins was also observed in the separation of Ribonuclease B from the mixtures contaminated with bovine serum albumin. What's more, this technique required significantly less sample volume, as demonstrated in the successful mapping of glycosylation of human colorectal cancer serum with the sample volume as little as 5 μL. Because of all these attractive features, we believe that the innovative protocol proposed here will shed new light on the research of glycosylation profiling.

  5. Chip-SIP: Stable Isotope Probing of RNA combining phylogenetic microarrays and Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (NanoSIMS) to link structure and function in microbial systems (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayali, X.; Weber, P. K.; Mabery, S.; Dekas, A.; Pett-Ridge, J.

    2013-12-01

    A primary goal of microbial ecology is to understand the biogeochemical role of individual microbial taxa in the environment. Our approach to tackle this challenge (Chip-SIP) involves the combination of high-density phylogenetic microarrays ('chips') and Stable Isotope Probing (SIP) to directly link identity and function. Microbial communities are incubated in the presence of substrate(s) enriched in 13C or 15N, RNA is extracted and hybridized onto a microarray synthesized on a conductive surface, and the array is analyzed with a NanoSIMS imaging mass spectrometer to quantify isotopic enrichment of individual probes. After testing the method with mixtures of stable isotope labeled laboratory isolates, we have investigated organic and inorganic carbon and nitrogen incorporation by microbial taxa in various ecosystems including San Francisco Bay, the coastal Pacific Ocean, California soils, and the hindguts of wood-eating beetles. We will summarize the methodology, describe the types of questions it has allowed us to investigate, and discuss some testable hypotheses about biogeochemical cycling in various environments that can benefit from this approach.

  6. Glycosylation-deficient mutations in tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase impair its structure and function and are linked to infantile hypophosphatasia.

    PubMed

    Komaru, Keiichi; Satou, Yasuhito; Al-Shawafi, Hiba A; Numa-Kinjoh, Natsuko; Sohda, Miwa; Oda, Kimimitsu

    2016-03-01

    Tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase (TNSALP) is a membrane glycoprotein with a proposed role in bone mineralization. Indeed, mutations in TNSALP have been identified in patients with hypophosphatasia (HPP), a genetic disease characterized by hypomineralization of bone and teeth and a deficiency in serum ALP activity. TNSALP has five potential N-glycosylation sites at N140, N230, N271, N303 and N430 by standard nomenclature. A mutation at one of these sites, N430, was recently detected in a patient with infantile HPP. Using site-directed mutagenesis, we demonstrated that TNSALP has five N-glycans in transfected COS-1 cells and that individual single N-glycan deletion mutants of TNSALP retain the dimeric structure required for ALP activity, excluding the possibility that any single N-glycan plays a vital role in the structure and function of TNSALP. However, we found that TNSALP (N430Q) and TNSALP (N430E) mutants, but not a TNSALP (N430D) mutant, failed to form dimers. The TNSALP (N430S) mutant linked to infantile HPP was glycosylation-defective and unable to dimerise, similar to TNSALP (N430Q) and TNSALP (N430E) mutants; therefore, TNSALP (N430S) was established as a severe allele without strong ALP activity. By contrast to individual single N-glycan deletion mutants, TNSALP devoid of all five N-glycans was present to a much lesser extent than wild-type TNSALP in transfected cells, possibly reflecting its instability. A comprehensive analysis of a series of multiple N-glycan depletion mutants in TNSALP revealed that three N-glycans on N230, N271 and N303 were the minimal requirement for the structure and function of TNSALP and a prerequisite for its stable expression in a cell.

  7. Cross-linking mass spectrometry and mutagenesis confirm the functional importance of surface interactions between CYP3A4 and holo/apo cytochrome b(5).

    PubMed

    Zhao, Chunsheng; Gao, Qiuxia; Roberts, Arthur G; Shaffer, Scott A; Doneanu, Catalin E; Xue, Song; Goodlett, David R; Nelson, Sidney D; Atkins, William M

    2012-11-27

    Cytochrome b(5) (cyt b(5)) is one of the key components in the microsomal cytochrome P450 monooxygenase system. Consensus has not been reached about the underlying mechanism of cyt b(5) modulation of CYP catalysis. Both cyt b(5) and apo b(5) are reported to stimulate the activity of several P450 isoforms. In this study, the surface interactions of both holo and apo b(5) with CYP3A4 were investigated and compared for the first time. Chemical cross-linking coupled with mass spectrometric analysis was used to identify the potential electrostatic interactions between the protein surfaces. Subsequently, the models of interaction of holo/apo b(5) with CYP3A4 were built using the identified interacting sites as constraints. Both cyt b(5) and apo b(5) were predicted to bind to the same groove on CYP3A4 with close contacts to the B-B' loop of CYP3A4, a substrate recognition site. Mutagenesis studies further confirmed that the interacting sites on CYP3A4 (Lys96, Lys127, and Lys421) are functionally important. Mutation of these residues reduced or abolished cyt b(5) binding affinity. The critical role of Arg446 on CYP3A4 in binding to cyt b(5) and/or cytochrome P450 reductase was also discovered. The results indicated that electrostatic interactions on the interface of the two proteins are functionally important. The results indicate that apo b(5) can dock with CYP3A4 in a manner analogous to that of holo b(5), so electron transfer from cyt b(5) is not required for its effects.

  8. A case study of single hygroscopicity parameter and its link to the functional groups and phase transition for urban aerosols in Taipei City

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hung, Hui-Ming; Hsu, Chia-Hung; Lin, Wei-Ting; Chen, Yu-Quan

    2016-05-01

    The hygroscopicity, functional groups and phase transitions of urban aerosol particles in Taipei City were studied using a cloud condensation nuclei counter (CCNc) with a scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS) and an attenuated total reflectance with infrared (ATR-IR) detection technique. With the assumption of larger particles being activated first, the derived single hygroscopicity parameter (κ) exhibited an increasing trend with particle size, i.e., from 0.022 ± 0.01 at 87 ± 10 nm to 0.13 ± 0.03 at 240 ± 20 nm. The collected size-selected particles were characterized using ATR-IR for the functional groups of alkyl, carbonyl, ammonium, sulfate and nitrate, which showed various size dependence patterns, linked to different formation mechanisms. The hygroscopic response based on the ratio (xW_solute) for sample film of absorption by the enhanced water-stretching peak to that by the selected solute showed a better consistency with pure ammonium sulfate for sub-micron size particles. Based on the derived ammonium sulfate volume fraction from IR analysis, the κ received from CCNc measurements was concluded mainly contributed by ammonium sulfate for sub-micrometer particles. The increasing trend of sodium nitrate absorbance at aerosol diameter ≥1 μm was due to a reaction of nitric acid with sea salt particles. The micrometer sized particles were apparent not only in a significantly higher xW_solute than pure sodium nitrate but also had a deliquescence RH of 69 ± 1%, similar to that of sodium nitrate-sodium chloride mixtures. Overall, the organic species in this study exhibited a low hygroscopicity with less than 0.036 of contribution for the overall κ, and the major hygroscopic material of urban aerosols consisted primarily of ammonium sulfate in the sub-micrometer particles and sodium nitrate with sea salt in the coarse particles.

  9. Structure-Function Analysis of a Broad Specificity Populus trichocarpa Endo-β-glucanase Reveals an Evolutionary Link between Bacterial Licheninases and Plant XTH Gene Products*

    PubMed Central

    Eklöf, Jens M.; Shojania, Shaheen; Okon, Mark; McIntosh, Lawrence P.; Brumer, Harry

    2013-01-01

    The large xyloglucan endotransglycosylase/hydrolase (XTH) gene family continues to be the focus of much attention in studies of plant cell wall morphogenesis due to the unique catalytic functions of the enzymes it encodes. The XTH gene products compose a subfamily of glycoside hydrolase family 16 (GH16), which also comprises a broad range of microbial endoglucanases and endogalactanases, as well as yeast cell wall chitin/β-glucan transglycosylases. Previous whole-family phylogenetic analyses have suggested that the closest relatives to the XTH gene products are the bacterial licheninases (EC 3.2.1.73), which specifically hydrolyze linear mixed linkage β(1→3)/β(1→4)-glucans. In addition to their specificity for the highly branched xyloglucan polysaccharide, XTH gene products are distinguished from the licheninases and other GH16 enzyme subfamilies by significant active site loop alterations and a large C-terminal extension. Given these differences, the molecular evolution of the XTH gene products in GH16 has remained enigmatic. Here, we present the biochemical and structural analysis of a unique, mixed function endoglucanase from black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa), which reveals a small, newly recognized subfamily of GH16 members intermediate between the bacterial licheninases and plant XTH gene products. We postulate that this clade comprises an important link in the evolution of the large plant XTH gene families from a putative microbial ancestor. As such, this analysis provides new insights into the diversification of GH16 and further unites the apparently disparate members of this important family of proteins. PMID:23572521

  10. Cross-linking Mass Spectrometry and Mutagenesis Confirm the Functional Importance of Surface Interactions between CYP3A4 and Holo/Apo Cytochrome b5

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Chunsheng; Gao, Qiuxia; Roberts, Arthur G.; Shaffer, Scott A.; Doneanu, Catalin E.; Xue, Song; Goodlett, David R.; Nelson, Sidney D.; Atkins, William M.

    2012-01-01

    Cytochrome b5 (cyt b5) is one of the key components in the microsomal cytochrome P450 monooxygenase system. Consensus has not been reached on the underlying mechanism of cyt b5 modulation of CYP catalysis. Both cyt b5 and apo b5, are reported to stimulate the activity of several P450 isoforms. In the present study, the surface interactions of both holo and apo b5 with CYP3A4 were investigated and compared for the first time. Chemical cross-linking coupled with mass spectrometric analysis was used to identify the potential electrostatic interactions between the protein surfaces. Subsequently, the interaction models of holo/apo b5 with CYP3A4 were built using the identified interacting sites as constraints. Both cyt b5 and apo b5 were predicted to bind to the same groove on CYP3A4 with close contacts to the B-B’ loop of CYP3A4, a substrate recognition site (SRS). Mutagenesis studies further confirmed that the interacting sites on CYP3A4 (Lys96, Lys127 and Lys421) are of functional importance. Mutation of these residues reduced or abolished cyt b5 binding affinity. The critical role of Arg446 on CYP3A4 in binding to cyt b5 and/or cytochrome P450 reductase (CPR) was also discovered. The results indicated that electrostatic interactions on the interface of the two proteins are functionally important. The results indicate that the apo cyt b5 can dock with CYP3A4 in a manner analogous to holo cyt b5 so electron transfer from cyt b5 is not required for its effects. PMID:23150942

  11. Functional genomics of pH homeostasis in Corynebacterium glutamicum revealed novel links between pH response, oxidative stress, iron homeostasis and methionine synthesis

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background The maintenance of internal pH in bacterial cells is challenged by natural stress conditions, during host infection or in biotechnological production processes. Comprehensive transcriptomic and proteomic analyses has been conducted in several bacterial model systems, yet questions remain as to the mechanisms of pH homeostasis. Results Here we present the comprehensive analysis of pH homeostasis in C. glutamicum, a bacterium of industrial importance. At pH values between 6 and 9 effective maintenance of the internal pH at 7.5 ± 0.5 pH units was found. By DNA microarray analyses differential mRNA patterns were identified. The expression profiles were validated and extended by 1D-LC-ESI-MS/MS based quantification of soluble and membrane proteins. Regulators involved were identified and thereby participation of numerous signaling modules in pH response was found. The functional analysis revealed for the first time the occurrence of oxidative stress in C. glutamicum cells at neutral and low pH conditions accompanied by activation of the iron starvation response. Intracellular metabolite pool analysis unraveled inhibition of the TCA and other pathways at low pH. Methionine and cysteine synthesis were found to be activated via the McbR regulator, cysteine accumulation was observed and addition of cysteine was shown to be toxic under acidic conditions. Conclusions Novel limitations for C. glutamicum at non-optimal pH values were identified by a comprehensive analysis on the level of the transcriptome, proteome, and metabolome indicating a functional link between pH acclimatization, oxidative stress, iron homeostasis, and metabolic alterations. The results offer new insights into bacterial stress physiology and new starting points for bacterial strain design or pathogen defense. PMID:20025733

  12. Renal Integrin-Linked Kinase Depletion Induces Kidney cGMP-Axis Upregulation: Consequences on Basal and Acutely Damaged Renal Function

    PubMed Central

    Cano-Peñalver, José Luis; Griera, Mercedes; García-Jerez, Andrea; Hatem-Vaquero, Marco; Ruiz-Torres, María Piedad; Rodríguez-Puyol, Diego; de Frutos, Sergio; Rodríguez-Puyol, Manuel

    2015-01-01

    Soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) is activated by nitric oxide (NO) and produces cGMP, which activates cGMP-dependent protein kinases (PKG) and is hydrolyzed by specific phosphodiesterases (PDE). The vasodilatory and cytoprotective capacity of cGMP-axis activation results in a therapeutic strategy for several pathologies. Integrin-linked kinase (ILK), a major scaffold protein between the extracellular matrix and intracellular signaling pathways, may modulate the expression and functionality of the cGMP-axis–related proteins. We introduce ILK as a novel modulator in renal homeostasis as well as a potential target for cisplatin (CIS)-induced acute kidney injury (AKI) improvement. We used an adult mice model of depletion of ILK (cKD-ILK), which showed basal increase of sGC and PKG expressions and activities in renal cortex when compared with wildtype (WT) littermates. Twenty-four h activation of sGC activation with NO enhanced the filtration rate in cKD-ILK. During AKI, cKD-ILK maintained the cGMP-axis upregulation with consequent filtration rates enhancement and ameliorated CIS-dependent tubular epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and inflammation and markers. To emphasize the role of cGMP-axis upregulation due to ILK depletion, we modulated the cGMP axis under AKI in vivo and in renal cultured cells. A suboptimal dose of the PDE inhibitor ZAP enhanced the beneficial effects of the ILK depletion in AKI mice. On the other hand, CIS increased contractility-related events in cultured glomerular mesangial cells and necrosis rates in cultured tubular cells; ILK depletion protected the cells while sGC blockade with ODQ fully recovered the damage. PMID:26562149

  13. Linking N2O emissions from biochar-amended soil to the structure and function of the N-cycling microbial community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harter, Johannes; Krause, Hans-Martin; Schuettler, Stefanie; Ruser, Reiner; Fromme, Markus; Scholten, Thomas; Kappler, Andreas; Behrens, Sebastian

    2014-05-01

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) contributes 8% to global greenhouse gas emissions. Agricultural sources represent about 60% of anthropogenic N2O emissions. Most agricultural N2O emissions are due to increased fertilizer application. A considerable fraction of nitrogen fertilizers are converted to N2O by microbially-mediated processes. Soil amended with biochar has been demonstrated to reduce N2O emissions in the field and in laboratory experiments. Although N2O emission mitigation following soil biochar amendment has been reported frequently the underlying processes and specific role of the nitrogen cycling microbial community in decreasing soil N2O emissions has not been subject of systematic investigation. To investigate the impact of biochar on the microbial community of nitrogen-transforming microorganisms we performed a microcosm study with arable soil amended with different amounts (0%, 2% and 10% (w/w)) of high-temperature wood derived biochar. By quantifying the abundance and activity of functional marker genes of microbial nitrogen fixation (nifH), nitrification (amoA) and denitrification (nirK, nirS and nosZ) using quantitative real-time PCR we found that biochar addition enhanced microbial nitrous oxide reduction and increased the abundance of microorganisms capable of N2-fixation. Soil biochar amendment increased the relative gene and transcript copy numbers of the nosZ-encoded bacterial N2O reductase, suggesting a mechanistic link to the observed reduction in N2O emissions. Our findings contribute to a better understanding of the impact of biochar on the nitrogen cycling microbial community and the consequences of soil biochar amendment for microbial nitrogen transformation processes and N2O emissions from soil.

  14. Pyroglutamate and O-linked glycan determine functional production of anti-IL17A and anti-IL22 peptide-antibody bispecific genetic fusions.

    PubMed

    Zhong, Xiaotian; Kieras, Elizabeth; Sousa, Eric; D'Antona, Aaron; Baber, J Christian; He, Tao; Desharnais, Joel; Wood, Lauren; Luxenberg, Deborah; Stahl, Mark; Kriz, Ronald; Lin, Laura; Somers, Will; Fitz, Lori J; Wright, Jill F

    2013-01-11

    Protein biosynthesis and extracellular secretion are essential biological processes for therapeutic protein production in mammalian cells, which offer the capacity for correct folding and proper post-translational modifications. In this study, we have generated bispecific therapeutic fusion proteins in mammalian cells by combining a peptide and an antibody into a single open reading frame. A neutralizing peptide directed against interleukin-17A (IL17A) was genetically fused to the N termini of an anti-IL22 antibody, through either the light chain, the heavy chain, or both chains. Although the resulting fusion proteins bound and inhibited IL22 with the same affinity and potency as the unmodified anti-IL22 antibody, the peptide modality in the fusion scaffold was not active in the cell-based assay due to the N-terminal degradation. When a glutamine residue was introduced at the N terminus, which can be cyclized to form pyroglutamate in mammalian cells, the IL17A neutralization activity of the fusion protein was restored. Interestingly, the mass spectroscopic analysis of the purified fusion protein revealed an unexpected O-linked glycosylation modification at threonine 5 of the anti-IL17A peptide. The subsequent removal of this post-translational modification by site-directed mutagenesis drastically enhanced the IL17A binding affinity and neutralization potency for the resulting fusion protein. These results provide direct experimental evidence that post-translational modifications during protein biosynthesis along secretory pathways play critical roles in determining the structure and function of therapeutic proteins produced by mammalian cells. The newly engineered peptide-antibody genetic fusion is promising for therapeutically targeting multiple antigens in a single antibody-like molecule.

  15. Bruton's tyrosine kinase defect in dendritic cells from X-linked agammaglobulinaemia patients does not influence their differentiation, maturation and antigen-presenting cell function

    PubMed Central

    GAGLIARDI, M C; FINOCCHI, A; ORLANDI, P; CURSI, L; CANCRINI, C; MOSCHESE, V; MIYAWAKI, T; ROSSI, P

    2003-01-01

    X-linked agammaglobulinaemia (XLA) is a primary immunodeficiency disease characterized by very low levels or even absence of circulating antibodies. The immunological defect is caused by deletions or mutations of Bruton's tyrosine kinase gene (Btk), whose product is critically involved in the maturation of pre-B lymphocytes into mature B cells. Btk is expressed not only in B lymphocytes but also in cells of the myeloid lineage, including dendritic cells (DC). These cells are professional antigen presenting cells (APC) that play a fundamental role in the induction and regulation of T-cell responses. In this study, we analysed differentiation, maturation, and antigen-presenting function of DC derived from XLA patients (XLA-DC) as compared to DC from age-matched healthy subjects (healthy-DC). We found that XLA-DC normally differentiate from monocyte precursors and mature in response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) as assessed by de novo expression of CD83, up-regulation of MHC class II, B7·1 and B7·2 molecules as well as interleukin (IL)-12 and IL-10 production. In addition, we demonstrated that LPS stimulated XLA-DC acquire the ability to prime naïve T cells and to polarize them toward a Th1 phenotype, as observed in DC from healthy donors stimulated in the same conditions. In conclusion, these data indicate that Btk defect is not involved in DC differentiation and maturation, and that XLA-DC can act as fully competent antigen presenting cells in T cell-mediated immune responses. PMID:12823285

  16. Linking N2O emissions from biochar-amended soil to the structure and function of the N-cycling microbial community

    PubMed Central

    Harter, Johannes; Krause, Hans-Martin; Schuettler, Stefanie; Ruser, Reiner; Fromme, Markus; Scholten, Thomas; Kappler, Andreas; Behrens, Sebastian

    2014-01-01

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) contributes 8% to global greenhouse gas emissions. Agricultural sources represent about 60% of anthropogenic N2O emissions. Most agricultural N2O emissions are due to increased fertilizer application. A considerable fraction of nitrogen fertilizers are converted to N2O by microbiological processes (that is, nitrification and denitrification). Soil amended with biochar (charcoal created by pyrolysis of biomass) has been demonstrated to increase crop yield, improve soil quality and affect greenhouse gas emissions, for example, reduce N2O emissions. Despite several studies on variations in the general microbial community structure due to soil biochar amendment, hitherto the specific role of the nitrogen cycling microbial community in mitigating soil N2O emissions has not been subject of systematic investigation. We performed a microcosm study with a water-saturated soil amended with different amounts (0%, 2% and 10% (w/w)) of high-temperature biochar. By quantifying the abundance and activity of functional marker genes of microbial nitrogen fixation (nifH), nitrification (amoA) and denitrification (nirK, nirS and nosZ) using quantitative PCR we found that biochar addition enhanced microbial nitrous oxide reduction and increased the abundance of microorganisms capable of N2-fixation. Soil biochar amendment increased the relative gene and transcript copy numbers of the nosZ-encoded bacterial N2O reductase, suggesting a mechanistic link to the observed reduction in N2O emissions. Our findings contribute to a better understanding of the impact of biochar on the nitrogen cycling microbial community and the consequences of soil biochar amendment for microbial nitrogen transformation processes and N2O emissions from soil. PMID:24067258

  17. Linking N2O emissions from biochar-amended soil to the structure and function of the N-cycling microbial community.

    PubMed

    Harter, Johannes; Krause, Hans-Martin; Schuettler, Stefanie; Ruser, Reiner; Fromme, Markus; Scholten, Thomas; Kappler, Andreas; Behrens, Sebastian

    2014-03-01

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) contributes 8% to global greenhouse gas emissions. Agricultural sources represent about 60% of anthropogenic N2O emissions. Most agricultural N2O emissions are due to increased fertilizer application. A considerable fraction of nitrogen fertilizers are converted to N2O by microbiological processes (that is, nitrification and denitrification). Soil amended with biochar (charcoal created by pyrolysis of biomass) has been demonstrated to increase crop yield, improve soil quality and affect greenhouse gas emissions, for example, reduce N2O emissions. Despite several studies on variations in the general microbial community structure due to soil biochar amendment, hitherto the specific role of the nitrogen cycling microbial community in mitigating soil N2O emissions has not been subject of systematic investigation. We performed a microcosm study with a water-saturated soil amended with different amounts (0%, 2% and 10% (w/w)) of high-temperature biochar. By quantifying the abundance and activity of functional marker genes of microbial nitrogen fixation (nifH), nitrification (amoA) and denitrification (nirK, nirS and nosZ) using quantitative PCR we found that biochar addition enhanced microbial nitrous oxide reduction and increased the abundance of microorganisms capable of N2-fixation. Soil biochar amendment increased the relative gene and transcript copy numbers of the nosZ-encoded bacterial N2O reductase, suggesting a mechanistic link to the observed reduction in N2O emissions. Our findings contribute to a better understanding of the impact of biochar on the nitrogen cycling microbial community and the consequences of soil biochar amendment for microbial nitrogen transformation processes and N2O emissions from soil.

  18. Multiple actions of φ-LITX-Lw1a on ryanodine receptors reveal a functional link between scorpion DDH and ICK toxins

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Jennifer J.; Vetter, Irina; Lewis, Richard J.; Peigneur, Steve; Tytgat, Jan; Lam, Alexander; Gallant, Esther M.; Beard, Nicole A.; Alewood, Paul F.; Dulhunty, Angela F.

    2013-01-01

    We recently reported the isolation of a scorpion toxin named U1-liotoxin-Lw1a (U1-LITX-Lw1a) that adopts an unusual 3D fold termed the disulfide-directed hairpin (DDH) motif, which is the proposed evolutionary structural precursor of the three-disulfide-containing inhibitor cystine knot (ICK) motif found widely in animals and plants. Here we reveal that U1-LITX-Lw1a targets and activates the mammalian ryanodine receptor intracellular calcium release channel (RyR) with high (fM) potency and provides a functional link between DDH and ICK scorpion toxins. Moreover, U1-LITX-Lw1a, now described as φ-liotoxin-Lw1a (φ-LITX-Lw1a), has a similar mode of action on RyRs as scorpion calcines, although with significantly greater potency, inducing full channel openings at lower (fM) toxin concentrations whereas at higher pM concentrations increasing the frequency and duration of channel openings to a submaximal state. In addition, we show that the C-terminal residue of φ-LITX-Lw1a is crucial for the increase in full receptor openings but not for the increase in receptor subconductance opening, thereby supporting the two-binding-site hypothesis of scorpion toxins on RyRs. φ-LITX-Lw1a has potential both as a pharmacological tool and as a lead molecule for the treatment of human diseases that involve RyRs, such as malignant hyperthermia and polymorphic ventricular tachycardia. PMID:23671114

  19. Na+/K+-ATPase Is Present in Scrapie-Associated Fibrils, Modulates PrP Misfolding In Vitro and Links PrP Function and Dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Graham, James F.; Kurian, Dominic; Agarwal, Sonya; Toovey, Lorna; Hunt, Lawrence; Kirby, Louise; Pinheiro, Teresa J. T.; Banner, Steven J.; Gill, Andrew C.

    2011-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are characterised by widespread deposition of fibrillar and/or plaque-like forms of the prion protein. These aggregated forms are produced by misfolding of the normal prion protein, PrPC, to the disease-associated form, PrPSc, through mechanisms that remain elusive but which require either direct or indirect interaction between PrPC and PrPSc isoforms. A wealth of evidence implicates other non-PrP molecules as active participants in the misfolding process, to catalyse and direct the conformational conversion of PrPC or to provide a scaffold ensuring correct alignment of PrPC and PrPSc during conversion. Such molecules may be specific to different scrapie strains to facilitate differential prion protein misfolding. Since molecular cofactors may become integrated into the growing protein fibril during prion conversion, we have investigated the proteins contained in prion disease-specific deposits by shotgun proteomics of scrapie-associated fibrils (SAF) from mice infected with 3 different strains of mouse-passaged scrapie. Concomitant use of negative control preparations allowed us to identify and discount proteins that are enriched non-specifically by the SAF isolation protocol. We found several proteins that co-purified specifically with SAF from infected brains but none of these were reproducibly and demonstrably specific for particular scrapie strains. The α-chain of Na+/K+-ATPase was common to SAF from all 3 strains and we tested the ability of this protein to modulate in vitro misfolding of recombinant PrP. Na+/K+-ATPase enhanced the efficiency of disease-specific conversion of recombinant PrP suggesting that it may act as a molecular cofactor. Consistent with previous results, the same protein inhibited fibrillisation kinetics of recombinant PrP. Since functional interactions between PrPC and Na+/K+-ATPase have previously been reported in astrocytes, our data highlight this molecule as a key link between PrP function

  20. Transatlantic link

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    (left) European Geophysical Society (EGS) President Rolf Meissner at AGU Headquarters with (center) Executive Director Fred Spilhaus and (right) Foreign Secretary Juan Roederer. Meissner attended the meeting of AGU's Committee on International Participation (CIP) on February 26, 1988. At that meeting, specific ways of fostering close links between AGU and EGS were discussed.A few weeks later, Roederer and AGU staff, working with EGS Secretary-General Arne Richter at the EGS meeting in Bologna, Italy, March 21-25, planned details of the establishment of an AGU office in Europe. The Copernicus Gesellschaft, a new entity located on the premises of the Max Planck Institute for Aeronomy in Lindau, Federal Republic of Germany, will provide the administrative staff and handle logistics.

  1. Genetic loci associated with renal function measures and chronic kidney disease in children: the Pediatric Investigation for Genetic Factors Linked with Renal Progression Consortium

    PubMed Central

    Wuttke, Matthias; Wong, Craig S.; Wühl, Elke; Epting, Daniel; Luo, Li; Hoppmann, Anselm; Doyon, Anke; Li, Yong; Sözeri, Betül; Thurn, Daniela; Helmstädter, Martin; Huber, Tobias B.; Blydt-Hansen, Tom D.; Kramer-Zucker, Albrecht; Mehls, Otto; Melk, Anette; Querfeld, Uwe; Furth, Susan L.; Warady, Bradley A.; Schaefer, Franz; Köttgen, Anna

    2016-01-01

    Background Chronic kidney disease (CKD) in children is characterized by rapid progression and a high incidence of end-stage renal disease and therefore constitutes an important health problem. While unbiased genetic screens have identified common risk variants influencing renal function and CKD in adults, the presence and identity of such variants in pediatric CKD are unknown. Methods The international Pediatric Investigation for Genetic Factors Linked with Renal Progression (PediGFR) Consortium comprises three pediatric CKD cohorts: Chronic Kidney Disease in Children (CKiD), Effect of Strict Blood Pressure Control and ACE Inhibition on the Progression of CRF in Pediatric Patients (ESCAPE) and Cardiovascular Comorbidity in Children with CKD (4C). Clean genotype data from >10 million genotyped or imputed single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were available for 1136 patients with measurements of serum creatinine at study enrolment. Genome-wide association studies were conducted to relate the SNPs to creatinine-based estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFRcrea) and proteinuria (urinary albumin- or protein-to-creatinine ratio ≥300 and ≥500 mg/g, respectively). In addition, European-ancestry PediGFR patients (cases) were compared with 1347 European-ancestry children without kidney disease (controls) to identify genetic variants associated with the presence of CKD. Results SNPs with suggestive association P-values <1×10−5 were identified in 10 regions for eGFRcrea, four regions for proteinuria and six regions for CKD including some plausible biological candidates. No SNP was associated at genome-wide significance (P < 5×10−8). Investigation of the candidate genes for proteinuria in adults from the general population provided support for a region on chromosome 15 near RSL24D1/UNC13C/RAB27A. Conversely, targeted investigation of genes harboring GFR-associated variants in adults from the general population did not reveal significantly associated SNPs in

  2. Kinetics of template-directed pyrophosphate-linked dideoxyguanylate synthesis as a function of 2-MeImpdG and poly(C) concentration: insights into the mechanism

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kanavarioti, A.; Gangopadhyay, S.

    1999-01-01

    Aqueous solutions of deoxyguanosine 5'-monophosphate 2-methylimidazolide, 2-MeImpdG, yield primarily deoxyguanosine 5'-monophosphate, 5'dGMP, and pyrophosphate-linked dideoxyguanylate, dG5'ppdG, abbreviated G2p (see Chart 1). The initial rate of G2p formation, d[G2p]/dt in M h-1, determined at 23 degrees C, pH 7.8, 1.0 M NaCl and 0.2 M Mg2+ by timed high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis, exhibits a second-order dependence on 2-MeImpdG concentration, [G]o, indicating a bimolecular mechanism of dimerization in the range 0.02 M < or = [G]o < or = 0.09 M. In the presence of polycytidylate, poly(C), G2p synthesis is accelerated and oligodeoxyguanylate products are formed by incorporation of 2-MeImpdG molecules. The kinetics of G2p formation as a function of both monomer and polymer concentration, expressed in C equivalents, were also determined under the above conditions and exhibited a complex behavior. Specifically, at a constant [poly(C)], values of d[G2p]/dt typically increased with [G]o with a parabolic upward curvature. At a constant [G]o, values of d[G2p]/dt increase with [poly(C)], but level off at the higher poly(C) concentrations. As [G]o increases this saturation occurs at a higher poly(C) concentration, a result opposite to expectation for a simple complexation of two reacting monomers with the catalyst prior to reaction. Nevertheless, these results are shown to be quantitatively consistent with a template-directed (TD) mechanism of dimerization where poly(C) acts as the template to bind 2-MeImpdG in a cooperative manner and lead, for the first time, to the formulation of principles that govern template-directed chemistry. Analysis of the kinetic data via a proposed TD cooperative model provides association constants for the affinity between polymer and monomer and the intrinsic reactivity of 2-MeImpdG toward pyrophosphate synthesis. To the best of our knowledge, poly(C)/2-MeImpdG is the first system that could serve as a textbook example of

  3. White matter injury and microglia/macrophage polarization are strongly linked with age-related long-term deficits in neurological function after stroke.

    PubMed